614 Spelman v Saunders

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'614 Spelman v Saunders', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/614-spelman-saunders [accessed 1 March 2024]

In this section


Sir Henry Spelman of St Giles without Cripplegate, London, and Congham, co. Norfolk, knt v Richard Saunders of King's Lynn, co. Norfolk, gent

May 1636 - January 1637

Figure 614:

Sir Henry Spelman of Congham, Norfolk, the renowned antiquarian.


The cause of Spelman's complaint against Saunders remains unknown. Saunders was required to appear in court in May 1636 and in January 1636/7 his appearance was ordered if the cause had not been agreed. No indication of sentence survives.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel. On 7 May 1636, at the petition of Dr Duck, it was decreed that Saunders was to appear in the next court in the presence of Sir Henry Marten. Saunders was required to appear and respond in this cause, and appear again in the first session of Michaelmas term. On 28 January 1637 warning was issued to Saunders to appear in person if the cause was not agreed.


Sir Henry Spelman of Congham, co. Norfolk, knt (1562-1641) was the son of Henry Spelman of Congham, co. Norfolk, esq, and his second wife, Frances, daughter of William Sanders of Ewell, co. Surrey, esq. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, Furnivall's Inn and Lincoln's Inn during the 1580s. Sir Henry married Ellinor, daughter of John Lestrange of Sedgeford, co. Norfolk. In 1612 he moved to Tothill Street, London, becoming a famous antiquary and lawyer. In 1625 he briefly served as M.P. for Worcester. He died in London and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 24 October 1641.

S. Handley, 'Sir Henry Spelman (1563/4-1641)', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004); W. Rye (ed.), The Visitation of Norfolk, 1563, 1589, 1613 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 32, 1891), p. 265; A. W. Hughes Clarke and A. Campling (eds.), The Visitation of Norfolk, 1664, part II (Publications of the Harleian Society, 86, 1934), p. 204; J. J. Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London 1633, 1634, 1635, vol. II (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883), p. 257.


  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: College of Arms MS. 'Court of Chivalry' (act book, 1636-8) [pressmark R.R. 68C] (hereafter 68C), fos. 89r-100r (May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 68C, fos. 74r-83v (7 May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Sir Henry Marten: 68C, fos. 84r-88v (9 May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 68C, fos. 51r-59r (28 Jan 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Lestrange, Ellinor
  • Lestrange, John
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • Sanders, Frances
  • Sanders, William, esq
  • Saunders, Richard, gent
  • Spelman, Ellinor
  • Spelman, Frances
  • Spelman, Henry, esq
  • Spelman, Henry, knight

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cambridgeshire
    • Cambridge, Trinity College
  • London
    • Furnivall's Inn
    • Lincoln's Inn
    • St Giles without Cripplegate
    • Tothill Street
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster Abbey
  • Norfolk
    • Congham
    • King's Lynn
    • Sedgeford
  • Surrey
    • Ewell
  • Worcestershire
    • Worcester

Topics of the case

  • inns of court
  • member of parliament
  • University of Cambridge