631 Strode v Dawe

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'631 Strode v Dawe', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/631-strode-dawe [accessed 2 March 2024]

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Sir Richard Strode of Chalmington, co. Dorset, knt v George Dawe of Cattistock, co. Dorset and Strode Allen of Evershot, co. Dorset, gents

February - May 1635


Strode complained that the previous summer at Bridport, Dorset, during the metropolitan visitation of the diocese, Dawe had said that he had been degraded from his knighthood by the court of High Commission 'by having my sworde broken over my head and my spurrs taken off my heeles'. Sir Richard also claimed that in the same month at a muster in Cerne, Dorset, when the captain asked what arms he could find, Dawe replied 'an asse ready furnished'. In addition Sir Richard complained that on 29 December 1634 in Cattistock parish, Dorset, at a public meeting of commissioners, Allen said of his servant John Rowe that he had 'very base qualities and thereby was the fitter for Sir Richard Strode's service'. Strode maintained that he had been a knight for 30 years, whilst Dawe and Allen were plebeians, although they styled themselves gentlemen. On 2 May 1635 Allen petitioned the Earl Marshal to dismiss Sir Richard's charge against him as unworthy 'of so high a court', pointing out that he was already prosecuting two suits against him in Star Chamber. The court was considering the award of expense in June, but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

7/62, Affidavit

'George Dawe of Chalmington in the county of Dorset, Strode Allen of Evershot in the same county and John Hunt, commonly called Treneyles, of Chant Marle in the same county: these have confederated and combined together to disgrace and scandalize Sir Richard Strode in this towne and in the country.

Dawe and Treneyles, at my lords grace of Canterbury's last visitation at Bridport in the county of Dorset, did in a scoffinge and scornefull manner publiquely reporte that Sir Richard Strode was in the high commission court degraded by havinge his sworde broken over his head and his spurs taken from his heeles. And Dawe had before that time at a publique muster, when the captaine commanded what armes Sir Richard Strode did finde, made answere an asse ready furnished, for which offences my Lord Marshall about the end of the last Michaelmas terme sent his messenger for Dawe and Treneyles. But Treneyles rescued himselffe and caused my Lord Marshall's messenger to be disgracefully used and dangerously beaten by the procurement of Allen. And Dawe then appearinge, did falsely in his petition to my lord scandalize one William Gore, Sir Richard Strode's wittnesse in this matter.

And Allen, on 29 December last, at a publique meeting before divers commissioners, and many others, did, without any occasion given by Sir Richard Strode, openly say to Sir Richard that his man Mr Rowe had base and bad qualities in lyving and forswearinge, and that he had wronged Allen. Sir Richard fearinge the wrong alleadged had bin true did then openly reprove his servant, yet Allen farther saide that he was the fitter for Sir Richard's service in beinge soe qualified. Allen and Dawe doe write and justifie themselves to be gentlemen when they are not, and by their shewe of gentility in desperate swearinge have done Sir Richard Strode greate damage and very much wronge.'

21 February 1635

No signatures.

9/4/30, Libel

Richard Strode was descended of a gentry family and for these last 30 years has enjoyed the dignity of a knight, whereas Dawe and Allen were from non-gentry, ignoble and plebeian families, although for several years both Dawe and Allen had claimed to be gentlemen and had described themselves as such in written documents. During the previous summer at Bridport, Dorset, in front of persons of dignity, Dawe claimed that Strode was 'degraded from my knighthood by having my sworde broken over my head and my spurrs taken off my heeles'.

In the parish of Cerne in the same month Dawe described him as 'Asinum instructum, an asse ready furnished, or words to that effect'.

Between November 1634 and January 1635 in Cattistock parish, in front of persons of dignity, Strode Allen said of John Rowe of Strode's household that 'John Rowe had very base qualities and thereby was the fitter for Sir Richard Strode's service, or words to that effect'.

Endorsed 18 April 1635.

No signatures.

9/4/15, Petition of Strode Allen

'Wheras Sir Richard Strode, knt., seeking your petitioner's ruyne and utter undoing prosecutes two suits against him in the Star Chamber, and well knowing the petitioner was to be in London all this terme, as hee is usually every terme, hath, notwithstanding, the more to vex, disgrace and put him to charges, procured a messenger of this court to goe downe neere before the terme into Dorsetsheere to bring him up to appeare in your honour's court ymediately; and there hath put in a bill against the petitioner wherein there is nothing objected against him but only this, viz. that hee should say that one John Rowe had verry base qualletyes, and thereby was the fitter for Sir Richard Strode's service. And whereas Sir Richard hath cunningly in the same bill objected against one George Dawe wordes of a higher nature, thereby the better to hyde and keepe from your lordship's consideracon how slight the matter objected against the peitioner is, taken alone and by itselfe, and how unworthye it is of so high a court.

In consideracon of the premisses, and alsoe for that noe affidavit hath be[en] thereunto made of the petitioner's speaking the wordes objected, the petitioner being ready to take his corporall oath that he never spake them, his humble suit unto your honour is you would bee pleased to reject Sir Richard Strode's bill soe farr as it concerned the petitioner, and to dismisse the petitioner from his farther attendance in court, and graunt him his charges from Sir Richard.'

2 May 1635.

No signatures.

Summary of proceedings

On 9 May 1635 Dr Duck had to reply to the libel for Strode Allen. After proceedings on 30 May, expenses in this cause were considered before Arundel, Huntingdon and Maltravers on 9 June 1635.


Squibb's notes of the Visitation of 1677 relate that a John Strode of Chalmington was the second son of Sir Richard Strode, who was descended from the Strodes of Newnham, co. Devon.

G. D. Squibb (ed.), The Visitation of Dorset, 1677 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 117, 1977), p. 96.

On 11 February 1635 Sir Richard Strode requested copies of his witnesses' depositions be deposited in Chancery concerning his prosecution of Nicholas Love, formerly warden of St Mary's College, Winchester, D.D. Sir Richard was involved in another lawsuit when he was ordered to be arrested for failing to appear in court to answer the prosecution of Sir John Strode on 6 July 1637.

J. Broadway, R. Cust and S. K. Roberts (eds.), A Calendar of the Docquets of Lord Keeper Coventry, 1625-1640 (List and Index Society, special series, 35, 2004), part 2, pp. 394, 430.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Affidavit: 7/62 (21 Feb 1635)
    • Libel: 9/4/30 (18 Apr 1635)
    • Petition of Strode Allen: 9/4/15 (2 May 1635)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: EM348 (9 May 1635)
    • Proceedings: EM349 (30 May 1635)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 8/24 (9 Jun 1635)

People mentioned in the case

  • Allen, Strode, gent
  • Dawe, George, gent
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Gore, William
  • Hastings, Henry, earl of Huntingdon
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Laud, William, archbishop of Canterbury
  • Love, Nicholas, D.D.
  • Strode, John
  • Strode, John, knight
  • Strode, Richard, knight
  • Treneyles, John

Places mentioned in the case

  • Devon
    • Newnham
  • Dorset
    • Bridport
    • Cattistock
    • Cerne
    • Chalmington
    • Evershot
  • Hampshire
    • Winchester

Topics of the case

  • assault
  • contempt of court
  • denial of gentility
  • false claim to gentility
  • High Commission
  • Star Chamber
  • other courts