607 Sone v Vandeburgh

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'607 Sone v Vandeburgh', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/607-sone-vandeburgh [accessed 5 March 2024]

In this section


Paul Sone of St Leonard, Shoreditch, London, gent v John Vandeburgh of Lime Street, London, merchant

October 1639 - February 1640


Sone complained that in September 1638 Vandeburgh, a Dutch merchant, had jostled him in the street and said that 'Paul Sone was a base fellow, a base rascall and noe gentleman, and that he John Vandeburgh was a better man then I, Paul Sone, both in worth and birth'. The incident occurred in St Helen's parish, London, near Bishopsgate Street, when Sone allegedly approached Vandeburgh and his wife, and offered to take Vandeburgh's wife by the arme, saying, 'Come sweet hart, goe with me. Lett us drink a pint of wine.' When Vandeburgh responded, 'Forbeare sir, or what doe you meane, sir, she is my wife,' Sone retorted, 'Your wife, your whore' and drew his sword, again urging her to go drinking with him. Vandeburgh disarmed Sone and soon after secured his conviction and a £10 fine for his actions in the City of London quarter sessions court; but meanwhile his wife had miscarried. Process was granted on 25 October 1639 and when William Powell served this on Vandeburgh on 22 November, the latter called him 'Rogue and knave, and said I will make Sone stincke at the stake before I have done with him'. Dr Lewin produced witnesses to support the libel on 4 February 1640, but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

2/141, Petition to Arundel

'In September last past one John Vandeburgh, a Dutchman who lives in Limestreete, London, without any provocation of your petitioner, jostled your petitioner in the streete and called him base fellowe, base rascall, and saide he was no gent, and that he was a better man then your petitioner, and used diverse other disgracefull speeches to and of your petitioner. He being without remedy elsewhere, most humbly prayes your lordships warrant to caule John Vandeburge before you in the Court Milletary; and he shall ever pray and c.'

Maltravers granted process on 25 October 1639.

2/130, Plaintiff's bond

8 November 1639

Bound to appear 'in the Court in the painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Paul Sone.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of John Watson.

10/12/9, Libel [badly damaged]

Sone charged Vandeburgh with having said that 'Paul Sone was a base fellow, a base rascall and noe gentleman; and that he John Vandeburgh was a better man then I, Paul Sone, both in worth and birth'.

No date.

Signed by William Lewin.

Plaintiff's case

14/3jj, Defence interrogatories

1. The witnesses were warned against the crime of perjury. What was the witness's age, occupation and condition? Where were they born? Where did they live now?

2. Was the witness related to or a household servant of Sone? Were they in receipt of a wage or pension from him and how much?

3. Had the witness been instructed how to depose? If so, exactly where, when and who was present?

4. Whether on the day of Vandeburgh's supposed words, Vandeburgh and his wife met Sone 'in the street in St Helens, neare Bishopsgate street, in London walking homeward to their dwelling house, Vandeburgh holding his wife by the arme did not Sone then and there take, or offere to take, Vandeburgh's wife by the hand or arme'? Did Sone say, 'Come sweet hart, goe with me. Lett us drink a pint of wine'? Did Vandeburgh reply, 'Forbeare sir, or what doe you meane, sir, she is my wife'. Did Sone reply, 'Your wife, your whore'? Did Sone then draw his sword? Did Vandeburgh catch hold of Sone's sword and urge Sone to deliver his sword up, which Sone refused to do? Did Vandeburgh then 'wring the sword from Sone'?

5. Was Vandeburgh's wife so frightened by the affair that she miscarried her baby within four days?

6. Had Sone been indicted for the above at the City of London quarter sessions in November 1638? Had Sone been ordered to pay a £10 fine to the king for this?

7. Had Vandeburgh been provoked into speaking the words? 'Let such witness set down what words went before and by whom spoken and what words followed and by whom spoken.'

8. Was Sone 'distempered with drink' at the time of the words?

9. Was Sone 'not a quarrelling man given to contention and falling out with other men and soe commonly accompted'?

10. Were Sone and Vandeburgh acquainted before the time of the words? 'Had they even seen one the other before'?

No date.

Signed by Thomas Eden.

12/3i, Affidavit

'This day appeared personally William Powell, aged about 30 yeares, and maketh oath that, in Friday 22 November, he did personally serve John Vandeburgh at his house in Lime St, London, with process of this hoble court to appeare the third day after the serving thereof, if it were courte day, to answere to Mr Paul Sone in cause ofAnd John Vandeburgh imediately upon receipt of the proces breake out into passionate and furrious wordes and called Powell rogue and knave and said, 'I will make Sone stincke [sic] at the stake before I have done with him', which wordes he repeated often in outrageous manner'.

26 November 1639

No signatures.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Lewin acted as counsel for Sone and Dr Eden for Vandeburgh. On 4 February 1640 Dr Lewin produced on behalf of Sone the witnesses Marian Nichols and Robert Collet.


Neither party appeared in the Visitations of London: J. Jackson Howard and J. L. Chester (eds.), The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634 and, 1635, vol. I (Publications of the Harleian Society, 15, 1880); J. Jackson Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634 and, 1635, vol. II (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883); J. B. Whitmore and A. W. Hughes Clarke (eds.), London Visitation Pedigrees, 1664 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 92, 1940).


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition to Arundel: 2/141 (25 Oct 1639)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 2/130 (8 Nov 1639)
    • Libel: 10/12/9 (no date)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Defence interrogatories: 14/3jj (no date)
    • Affidavit: 12/3i (26 Nov 1639)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/31 (4 Feb 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Collet, Robert
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Lewin, William, lawyer
  • Nicholls, Marian
  • Powell, William
  • Sone, Paul, gent
  • Stuart, Charles I, king
  • Vandeburgh, John, merchant
  • Vandeburgh, Mrs
  • Watson, John

Places mentioned in the case

  • London
    • Bishopsgate Street
    • Lime Street
    • St Helen
    • St Leonard, Shoreditch
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
    • United Provinces

Topics of the case

  • comparison
  • denial of gentility
  • other courts
  • previous litigation
  • quarter sessions
  • sexual insult
  • weapon