636 Talcot v Nash

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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636 TALCOT V NASH

Robert Talcot of Colchester, co. Essex, gent, M.A. v Walter Nash of Brancaster, co. Norfolk

May - October 1640

Abstract

Talcot complained that between March and May 1640 in a tavern at Burnham Market, Norfolk, Nash had said 'that I was as base a fellow as any was in the kingdom or country; and that I was a knave and that if he had penne and inke he would write it downe in the face of the countrie.' The quarrel had arisen over a suit brought by Talcot against Nash and Nash maintained that his words were conditional: 'that he who sued a man for a bargaine, after he had received that bargaine, was a knave'. Process was granted on 21 May 1640, Nash made his answer on 25 June and in October the case was in the hands of arbiters.

Initial proceedings

5/54, Plaintiff's bond

15 May 1640

That he was to 'appear in the Court in the Painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Robert Talcott

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of William Lewin, Registrar.

5/55, Petition

'Sheweth that the petitioner is a gent., descended of an ancient family, and is a Master in Artes. That notwithstandinge, Walter Nash of Brauchester in the county of Norfolke about a month since did very much abuse your petitioner, and amongst other provoking speeches told your petitioner that he was a base fellow as any was in the countrie and a knave; and if he had a pen and inke he would write it downe in the face of the countrie. All which speeches Nash used in a very provoking manner to the intent to provoke your petitioner to strike him, and in the presence of divers credible witnesses.'

Petitioned that Nash be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process, 22 May 1640.

5/73, Defendant's bond

11 June 1640

That he was to 'appear in the Court in the Painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Walter Nash.

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

20/3k, Libel

1. Talcot was from a good family and had graduated as M.A. from Cambridge University.

2. Between March and May last in Burnham Market, co. Norfolk, Nash said 'that I was as base a fellow as any was in the kingdom or country, and that I was a knave and that if he had penne and inke he would soe write me downe.'

No date.

Signed by Just. Lewyn.

17/6n, Personal answer

1. He did not believe this article was true.

2. He met Robert Talcot in a tavern in Burnham as mentioned in the libel and they spoke together concerning a former bargain they had made, and a suit brought by Talcot against Nash. Talcot claimed that Nash had 'dealt knavishly with him'. Nash replied 'that he was sure that he who sued a man for a bargaine, after he had received that bargaine, was a knave'. Talcot called those present to bear witness that Nash called him a knave, and Nash replied 'that he should need no witness for that, for he would give it him under his hand, that he that did so was a knave, and if he did so he was a knave'.

Introduced 25 June 1640.

Signed by Thomas Eden and Walter Nash.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Lewin acted as counsel for Talcot and Dr Eden for Nash. On 10 October 1640 the court was due to certify that the arbiters had process.

Notes

For a full transcript of Nash's bond, see G. D. Squibb, The High Court of Chivalry: A Study in the Civil Law in England (Oxford, 1959), appendix XV, p. 253.

Robert Talcott, M.A. was the son of Robert Talcott, an alderman of Colchester, and Joanna, daughter and heiress of John Crane of Suffolk. The younger Robert Talcott married Mary, a daughter of Parkinson. His sister Mary Talcott married John Langley, an alderman of Colchester and captain of trained bands.

W. C. Metcalfe (ed.), The Visitations of Essex, Part I (Publications of the Harleian Society, 13, 1878), p. 497.

Documents

  • Initial proceedings
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/54 (15 May 1640)
    • Petition: 5/55 (22 May 1640)
    • Defendant's bond: 5/73 (11 Jun 1640)
    • Libel: 20/3k (no date)
    • Personal answer: 17/6n (25 Jun 1640)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 56r-64v (10 Oct 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Crane, Joanna
  • Crane, John
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Langley, John, alderman
  • Langley, Mary
  • Lewin, William, registrar (also Lewyn)
  • Nash, Walter
  • Talcot, Joanna (also Talcott)
  • Talcot, Mary (also Talcott)
  • Talcot, Robert, alderman (also Talcott)
  • Talcot, Robert, gent (also Talcott)
  • Watson, John

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cambridgeshire
    • University of Cambridge
  • Essex
    • Colchester
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Norfolk
    • Brancaster
    • Burnham Market
  • Suffolk

Topics of the case

  • alderman
  • arbitration
  • corporation
  • denial of gentility
  • military officer