663 Vicary v Barton

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Richard Vicary of Dunkeswell, co. Devon, gent v Peter Barton of Awliscombe, co. Devon

April - October 1638


Vicary complained that Barton had given him scandalous words at Dunkeswell, Devon, accusing him of cheating the parish of its money. Barton maintained that he was provoked by Vicary calling him 'Base ragged baker and brownbread baker, foole and other reproachful speeches'.Barton answered the libel on 28 April 1638 and on 20 October an agreement between the parties was brought before the court for its approval, together with a certificate of Vicary's gentility from Sir William Le Neve, Clarenceux.

Initial proceedings

17/4i, Personal answer

1-2. He did not believe these articles were true.

3. In one of the months in the libel, 'I was at Dunckeswell in company with Richard Vicary and (after many provoking speeches given me by Vicary (he calling me Base ragged baker and brownbread baker, foole and other reproachful speeches) I then told him that he should not be suffered to pocket up the parish money or to cosen the parish in such a manner as he had done; and otherwise I do not believe this article to be true in any parte thereof.'

4. Negative.

Dated 28 April 1638.

Signed by Peter Barton.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Parry acted as counsel for Vicary and Dr Martin for Barton. On 20 October 1638 Dr Parry had to prove the libel and send it to the commissioners. There was also an agreement between the parties to be approved by the court, and a truthful certificate of Vicary's gentility from Sir William Le Neve, Clarenceux King of Arms.


Neither party appeared in the Devon Visitation of 1620: F. T. Colby (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1620 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 6, 1872).


  • Initial proceedings
    • Personal answer: 17/4i (28 Apr 1638)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: R.19, fos. 434r-449v (20 Oct 1638)

People mentioned in the case

  • Barton, Peter
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Le Neve, William, knight
  • Martin, Joseph, lawyer
  • Parry, George, lawyer
  • Vicary, Richard

Places mentioned in the case

  • Devon
    • Awliscombe
    • Dunkeswell

Topics of the case

  • allegation of cheating
  • allegation of tradesman status
  • arbitration
  • denial of gentility
  • King of Arms