608 Sotherton v Palmer

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'608 Sotherton v Palmer', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/608-sotherton-palmer [accessed 3 March 2024]

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Sir Augustine Sotherton of Drayton, co. Norfolk, knt v Daniel Palmer of Costessey, co. Norfolk, yeoman

August - November 1640


Sotherton complained that between May and September 1640, in the parish of Costessey, Norfolk, in the presence of several gentry and of Sotherton's servant, Henry Franklin, Palmer had said that Sotherton 'was a base gentleman and a base knight, and kept noe servants but rogues and sharks'. Process was granted on 20 August 1640 and Dr Duck gave the libel on 10 October. On 20 November the defence were required to respond, but the case was lost with the suspension of the court's proceedings on 4 December.

Initial proceedings

5/149, Petition

'Your petitioner, being qualified as abovesaid and a gentleman of an ancient descent, notwithstanding Daniel Palmer of Colsey [Costessey] in the county aforesaid, yeoman, within these two months last past, before divers credible persons, told Henry Franklin, a servant of your petitioner that your petitioner was a base gent and a base knight, and never kept any about him but rogues and sharkes, which words were spoken in a verie scandalous and provokeing manner, thereby much inviting your petitioner to duell.'

Petitioned that Palmer be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process, 20 August 1640.

5/145, Defendant's bond

10 October 1640

Bond to 'appear in the Court in the Painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Daniel Palmer

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

12/4d, Libel

Between May and September 1640 in the parish of Cossey in the presence of several gentry, Palmer had said that Sotherton 'was a base gentleman and a base knight and kept noe servants but rogues and sharks'.

No date [10 October 1640]

No signatures.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Sotherton and Dr Talbot for Palmer. Dr Duck gave the libel on 10 October 1640. On 24 and 30 October Dr Talbot was required to respond to the libel for Palmer, and on 20 November the defence was again required to respond to the libel within five days.


Sir Augustine Sotherton of Hellesdon, near Norwich, was the son of Thomas Sotherton of Norwich, gent, and Elizabeth, daughter of Augustine Steward of Norwich, esq. Augustine married Anne, daughter of Thomas Peck of Norwich.

W. Rye (ed.), The Visitation of Norfolk, 1563, 1589, 1613 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 32, 1891), p. 269; A.W. Hughes Clarke and A. Campling (eds.), The Visitation of Norfolk, 1664, part II (Publications of the Harleian Society, 86, 1934), p. 239.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 5/149 (20 Aug 1640)
    • Defendant's bond: 5/145 (10 Oct 1640)
    • Libel: 12/4d (10 Oct 1640)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 56r-64v (10 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings before Stafford: 1/11, fos. 41r-44v (24 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/11, fos. 19r-30v (30 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 5r-9r (20 Nov 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Franklin, Henry, servant
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, William, baron Stafford
  • Palmer, Daniel, yeoman
  • Peck, Anne
  • Peck, Thomas
  • Sotherton, Augustine, knight
  • Sotherton, Elizabeth
  • Sotherton, Thomas, gent
  • Steward, Augustine, esq
  • Steward, Elizabeth
  • Talbot, Clere, lawyer
  • Watson, John

Places mentioned in the case

  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Norfolk
    • Costessey
    • Drayton
    • Hellesdon
  • Norwich

Topics of the case

  • denial of gentility
  • insult before gentlemen
  • undermining before subordinates