651 Trenchard v Hargrave

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'651 Trenchard v Hargrave', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/651-trenchard-hargrave [accessed 1 March 2024]

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John Trenchard of St Martin-in-the-Fields, co. Middlesex, gent v James Hargrave

February 1636 - February 1637


Trenchard complained that Hargrave had said that he had 'dealt basely' and was 'a cheater and a cosener', and 'that he should not cheat me as he had cheated others'. Hargrave claimed that he had been provoked by Trenchard's dishonesty over drawing up a contract for the purchase of a garden in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Middlesex. He presented his defence in February 1636, but Trenchard won the case and on 7 May 1636 Hargrave was sentenced to pay £20 damages and £5 expenses, and also perform his submission before Lord Maltravers in the Painted Chamber at Westminster on 24 May, apologising for his 'scandalous and disgraceful speeches.' On 28 January 1637 his payments were still outstanding.

Defendant's case

17/1f, Defence [damaged]

Hargrave claimed he was provoked because Trenchard 'dealt not well with [him] in making of a contract and conveyances thereupon between Marie Batchelor, widow, and Edward Batchelor, and for the purchase and assurance of a gardeyne plot or garden scituate in the parish of St Martins in the Field... wherewith he was intrusted by [Hargrave], and received of [him] a... for his labour and paynes therein. [Hargrave] did [at the time and place of the libel], in angry manner tell [Trenchard] that he was base and had dealt basely with [him] and that... and he should not cheate [him]... he confesseth that John Trenchard as he believeth is the natural... of Sir George Trenchard knight, and that John Trenchard is... gentlemen and sonne of his ancestors knights and so reputed and taken.'

Dated 11 February 1636

Signed by James Hargrave.

17/1k, Second answer of Hargrave

John Trenchard was the son of Sir George Trenchard, knt, from a gentry family, and Hargrave admitted the words and submitted to correction.

Dated 11 February 1636

Signed by James Hargrave.


4/5, Submission

No date

Hargrave was to perform his submission before Lord Maltravers in the Painted Chamber, in the palace of Westminster, between 9 and 11 am on 24 May 1636 :

'Whereas I, James Hargrave, by myne owne confession and sentence diffinitive given against me in this honourable court stand convicted to have used certayne scandalous and disgraceful speeches of and against John Trenchard of the parish of St Martins in the Fields aforesaid, esq., I do humbly confess and acknowledge that I am hartily sorry for the same, and do farther acknowledge and confesse that Mr Trenchard is a gentleman descended of an ancient family and that I did him great wrong in using against him the words aforesaid; and in particular to have said that John Trenchard was base and had dealt basely with me, and that John Trenchard was a cheater and a cosener and had cozened and cheated me, and that he should not cheat me as he had cheated others, or words to that effect. And therefore I do humbly pray Mr Trenchard to forgive me my such rashe and unadvised speeches, and do promise to behave and demeane myself withal due respect towards him hereafter and never to offend him in the like.'

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Trenchard and Dr Talbot for Hargrave. On 7 May 1636 Hargrave was warned to appear to receive sentence; he was ordered to pay £20 damages and £5 expenses by the following term. On 28 January 1637, Hargrave was again warned to pay these sums.


John Trenchard of Warmwell, co. Dorset (1586-1662) was the son of Sir George Trenchard, and Anne, daughter of Sir George Speke of White Lackington, co. Somerset. He attended St Alban's Hall, Oxford and the Middle Temple. He married Jane, daughter of Sir John Rodney of co. Somerset. Although his seat was at Warmwell, he spent much time in London. He was M.P. for Wareham in the parliaments of 1621, 1624 and 1625 and again during the Short and Long Parliaments.

He became an active parliamentarian committee man during the civil wars and also sat in the Protectorate Parliaments. John Browne of Frampton, co. Dorset was his brother-in-law.

J. P. Rylands (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Dorset taken in the year 1623 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 20, 1885), p. 94; G. D. Squibb (ed.), The Visitation of Dorset, 1677 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 117, 1977), p. 25; M. F. Keeler, The Long Parliament, 1640-1641: A Biographical Dictionary of its Members (Philadelphia, 1954), p. 364.


  • Defendant's case
    • Defence: 17/1f (11 Feb 1636)
    • Second answer: 17/1k (11 Feb 1636)
  • Submission
    • Submission: 4/5 (24 May 1636)
  • Proceedings
    • Undated proceedings: College of Arms MS. 'Court of Chivalry' (act book, 1636-8) [pressmark R.R. 68C] (hereafter 68C), fos. 64r-67r (c. Apr 1636)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 68C, fos. 89r-100r (May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 68C, fos. 74r-83v (7 May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 68C, fos. 51r-59r (28 Jan 1637)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 23r-36v (11 Feb 1637)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 14r-20v (16 Feb 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Batchelor, Edward
  • Batchelor, Mary, widow
  • Browne, John, esq
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Hargrave, James
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Rodney, Jane
  • Rodney, John, knight
  • Speke, Anne
  • Speke, George, knight
  • Talbot, Clere, lawyer
  • Trenchard, Anne
  • Trenchard, George, knight
  • Trenchard, Jane
  • Trenchard, John, esq

Places mentioned in the case

  • Dorset
    • Frampton
    • Wareham
    • Warmwell
  • London
    • Middle Temple
  • Oxfordshire
    • St Alban's Hall, Oxford
    • University of Oxford
  • Middlesex
    • St Martin-in-the-Fields
    • Westminster
  • Somerset
    • White Lackington

Topics of the case

  • allegation of cheating
  • civil war
  • denial of gentility
  • Long Parliament
  • member of parliament
  • parliamentarian