602 Smith v Underwood

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'602 Smith v Underwood', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/602-smith-underwood [accessed 1 March 2024]

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Benjamin Smith of Westminster, co. Middlesex, gent v John Underwood of London, draper

October - November 1637


Smith complained that Underwood had said to him that he was 'a base fellow' and 'a base dealing fellow'. Smith entered bond to prosecute the cause on 2 November 1637 and Underwood was summoned to appear on the 18th. But no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

3/118, Note of scandalous words

Underwood had said to Smith that he was 'a base fellow' and 'a base dealing fellow'.

Signed by Thomas Exton.

3/119, Plaintiff's bond

2 November 1637

Bound to appear 'in the Court in the painted Chamber at Westminster'.

Signed by Benjamin Smith.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of Humphrey Terrick.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Exton acted as counsel for Smith and appeared before Lord Maltravers and the earl of Bath on 31 October and 18 November 1637. On the latter occasion Underwood was required to appear in response to a summons.


Benjamin Smith was the son of Thomas Smith of St Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, and Jane, daughter and coheir of Leonard Lister of Willaston, co. Salop. John Underwood was not mentioned in the Visitations of London.

J. Jackson Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634 and, 1635, vol. II (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883), p. 240.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Note of scandalous words: 3/118 (no date)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 3/119 (2 Nov 1637)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/28 (31 Oct 1637)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/29 (18 Nov 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bourchier, Henry, earl of Bath
  • Exton, Thomas, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Lister, Jane
  • Lister, Leonard
  • Smith, Benjamin, gent
  • Smith, Jane
  • Smith, Thomas
  • Terrick, Humphrey
  • Underwood, John, draper

Places mentioned in the case

  • London
    • St Mary Magdalene, Milk Street
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Salop / Shropshire
    • Willaston

Topics of the case

  • denial of gentility