623 Stephens v Nicholls

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'623 Stephens v Nicholls', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/623-stephens-nicholls [accessed 1 March 2024]

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Thomas Stephens of Hackney, co. Middlesex, gent v Bartholomew Nicholls of the same

December 1637 - January 1638


Stephens complained that Nicholls had come to his house and called him 'knave and base gentleman', saying he 'was a vile unworthy fellowe, and delt dishonestly with him.' Process was granted on 8 December 1637 and on 27 January 1638 Nicholls was required to appear in response to a summons; but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

3/55, Petition to Arundel

'Your petitioner, as a gentleman of an ancient discent and coate of armour, that Bartholomew Nicholls of Hackney hath latelie abused your petitioner with many scandalous and opprobrious speeches. He came to your petitioner's house in a revileing manner, called your petitioner knave and base gentleman, and said he was a vile unworthy fellowe, and delt dishonestly with him, thereby provoking your petitioner to fight with him.'

Petitioned that Nicholls be brought to answer.

Duck desired Dethick to grant a process, 8 December 1637.

Signed by Arthur Duck.

3/56, Plaintiff's bond

9 December 1637

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

Signed by Thomas Stephens.

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

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Stephens. On 27 January 1638 Nicholls was required to appear in response to a summons.


A Thomas Stephens of London, haberdasher was mentioned in the 1634 Visitation of London, as son of Anthony Stephens of Hodson, co. Wiltshire.

J. J. Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634 and 1635, vol. II (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883), p. 262.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 3/55 (8 Dec 1639)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 3/56 (9 Dec 1639)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/5, fos. 1-15 (27 Jan 1638)

People mentioned in the case

  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Nicholls, Bartholomew
  • Stephens, Anthony
  • Stephens, Thomas, gent
  • Terrick, Humphrey

Places mentioned in the case

  • Middlesex
    • Hackney
    • Westminster
  • Wiltshire
    • Hodson

Topics of the case

  • allegation of cheating
  • denial of gentility