672 Waldegrave v Warner

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'672 Waldegrave v Warner', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/672-waldegrave-warner [accessed 5 March 2024]

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John Waldegrave of Badingham, co. Suffolk, gent v Francis Warner of Parham, co. Suffolk, esq

June 1639


Lieutenant Waldegrave, a veteran of the Elizabethan wars, complained that at musters to select men for the Scottish campaign on Bedfield Green, Suffolk, on 26 March and 2 April 1639, Colonel Warner had said that he was 'a base unworthy fellow' and accused him of being drunk, and then, before Waldegrave's company, struck him 'on the head divers times with a cudgel'. Warner, who had been Colonel of the trained bands for the previous six months, maintained that the quarrel had begun over pressing one Page from the trained bands to serve against the Scots. Page had earlier agreed to serve, but Waldegrave, Warner's lieutenant, then tried to question this in front of his men, accusing Warner of injustice. Waldegrave later apologised to his colonel and agreed to make a public submission on 2 April; but on the day he had refused to go through with it, whereupon Warner admitted that he had struck him with his cane, once or twice upon the shoulders. Process was granted on 13 June 1639 and Warner made his answer; but no further proceedings survive. [For another case involving Warner as plaintiff, see cause 684].

Initial proceedings

6/115, Petition to Maltravers

'Your petitioner, being exercising of those traine men which were prickt to goe upon those ympolyments for the northerne parts, stept aside to the Collonell and in his eare intreated in the behalfe one Page, being no trained souldier who the Collonell, although, would have goe for that ymployment, and that he would afford him neighbour's fare, which is to have so much allowance as others had; upon which the Collonell replyed, and tould your petitioner that he was a base unworthy fellowe. And at another time, within few days after your petitioner being exercising the aforesaid company, the Collonell, afore the whole company, strooke your petitioner many blowes upon his head with a cudgell; and told your petitioner that he came drunck to his house and could neither speake for himselfe or his friend. Theise abuses happening before a great assembly and many of your petitioner's friends and acquaintance tends much to his disparagement, and not only of himself alone, but also of his whole family except your petitioner have satisfaction out of the court of honor for the same.'

Petitioned that Colonel Warner be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process on 13 June 1639

6/114, Plaintiff's bond

15 June 1639

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

Signed by John Waldegrave.

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

20/3r, Libel

1. Waldegrave had served Robert, Earl of Essex in Queen Elizabeth's wars in Ireland and under Henry IV in France. His family had been gentry for up to 300 years.

2. Between March and May, in Bedfield Green, at a muster in a field in Bedfield parish, co. Suffolk, Warner said that Waldegrave, his lieutenant, was 'a base unworthy fellow'.

3. At the time and place above, Warner 'struck me on the head divers times with a cudgel and gave me divers blowes and gave me the bastinado'.

4. These words and actions were provocative of a duel.'

No date.

Signed by Arthur Duck.

16/1o, Personal answer [damaged]

1. Warner had been for over 6 months colonel of a regiment of five companies of foot in Suffolk, and also for 5 years had been a captain of one of these companies, with John Waldegrave as his lieutenant for 4 years. Warner had appointed Waldegrave as his lieutenant and accepted that Waldgrave and his ancestors were gentlemen, but denied all the other allegations in this article.

2-4. On 10 March 1639 he received a letter from Suffolk's deputy lieutenants ordering him to muster his company 'and to select out of them seventy and find able men to be imployed in his Majestie's service, for the expedicon towards Scotland. And amongst other directions in that letter, he was therein required that those who served in any townes armes belonging to his company should be some of those who should be so sent, in pursuance of which command he caused his company to meet him at Framingham upon the twentieth day of March last past, which accordingly they did. And Mr Waldegrave (knowing that one Page of that band who served with the armes of the towne of Framlingham, was according to those directions to be sent out and be imployed in that service) came to him and acquainted him that Page was unwillinge to go for that towne, in regard he had formerly offered his service to them and was refused by them, but would be content to go in any other man's armes; and thereupon Mr Waldegrave desired him that Page might not go in the said towne armes, whereunto he then and there condescended'. 'Shortly after the premises the day aforesaid (he being then with his company and selecting out diverse men for that service) one Fish, one of the band aforesaid was then called for to goe in his own armes in that service, which Fish in regard of his family, children and age desired of him that he might stay at home which he granted so that Fish would provide an able man to goe in his roome, whereupon Fish brought Page to serve for him. And Page being then asked by Warner whether he were willing to goe in Fishe's armes in that service, answered he was. And thereupon he asked Page whether Fish and he were agreed. And Page thereupon going aside and talking with Fish came to him againe, and said they were agreed, and the premises was done in the presence and hearing of Mr Waldegrave. And thereupon Page's name was enrolled amongst those who were to be sent away for the service'. On Saturday 23 March 1639 Waldegrave came to Warner's house at Parham and told Warner that Page 'had injustice done him'. Warner replied that Page had suffered no injustice and desired Waldegrave to speak no more of it, which Waldegrave then promised to do. On 26 March at 'Beefield greene with his company', Waldegrave, 'openly before them and in the presence and hearing of many or some of the company', told Warner that Page had a great deal of injustice done him. Warner answered that he 'wondered that Mr Waldegrave' persisted 'in a business that concerned him not', adding further 'that he thought that he had satisfied Waldegrave when he was last at his house concerning Page and that Page had no wrong nor should have any'. About a quarter of an hour later Waldegrave approached Warner 'in a braving manner,' and told Warner he had wronged Page in the presence of the company. Warner then replied that Waldegrave was 'saucie' and 'unmannerly'. On Saturday 30 March, Mr Waldegrave came again to Warner's house, and there acknowledged to Warner that he was sorry for the words he had spoken to him on 26 March. Warner replied that because the injury was public, he therefore 'required a publique acknowledgement from Mr Waldegrave'. On Tuesday 2 April Warner was to meet his company again at Bedfield Greene, where he expected to have Waldegrave's submission before the company for the wrong Waldegrave had given him, which Waldegrave had promised to do. But Warner perceiving Waldegrave unready to do this, called Waldegrave to him and reminded him of his promise. Waldegrave 'then and there before the company and in the hearinge of many', told Warner that he 'had better considered of it, and that he would not doe it'. So Warner replied 'you will stand to and justify what you have formerly said unto me concerning Page'. Waldegrave answered 'that he would justifie and mayntayne it'. Then Warner 'having been soe often and soe publiquely affronted and abused by Mr Waldegrave', did 'upon these provocations strike Mr Waldegrave with a cane which he had then in his hand *and usually carried about him* once or twice upon the shoulders.'

No date.

Signed by Francis Warner.


Elizabeth, daughter of a John Waldegrave of Suffolk married Thomas Alexander of Framlingham, esq, but Francis Warner did not appear in the Visitation or pedigrees. William Waldegrave was a deputy lieutenant for Suffolk engaged in raising soldiers from the trained bands for the First Bishops' War in 1639.

W. H. Rylands (ed.), A Visitation of the County of Suffolk, 1664-1668 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 61, 1910), p. 98; A. Campling (ed.), East Anglia Pedigrees (Publications of the Harleian Society, 91 and 97, 1939 and 1945); M. C. Fissell, The Bishops' Wars: Charles I's campaigns against Scotland, 1638-1640 (Cambridge, 1994), p. 206.

On 1 January 1634 William Forth, esq, and his wife Anne, were licensed to alienate the manor and advowson of Boyton, and thirteen messuages in co. Suffolk to Francis Warner, esq.

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, 36, 2004), part 3, p. 648.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition to Maltravers: 6/115 (13 Jun 1639)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 6/114 (15 Jun 1639)
    • Libel: 20/3r (no date)
    • Personal answer: 16/1o (no date)

People mentioned in the case

  • Alexander, Elizabeth
  • Alexander, Thomas, esq
  • Bourbon, Henry IV, king
  • Devereux, Robert, earl of Essex
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Fish
  • Forth, Anne
  • Forth, William, esq
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Page
  • Waldegrave, Elizabeth
  • Waldegrave, John
  • Warner, Francis, esq
  • Watson, John

Places mentioned in the case

  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Scotland
  • Suffolk
    • Badingham
    • Bedfield Green
    • Boyton
    • Framlingham
    • Parham

Topics of the case

  • assault
  • Bishops' Wars
  • denial of gentility
  • deputy lieutenant
  • drunkenness
  • military officer
  • provocative of a duel
  • trained bands
  • weapon