677 Walsh v Wray

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'677 Walsh v Wray', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/677-walsh-wray [accessed 5 March 2024]

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William Walsh of Abberley, co. Worcester, esq v John Wray of Fleet Street, London, scrivener

No date


Walsh complained that Wray had called him 'a base stincking gentleman, and a base fellowe' in Fleet Street, London, saying that 'he cared not a turd for your petitioner.' The quarrel had begun, according to Walsh, when Wray refused to honour his promise to take Thomas Evett as his apprentice over which Walsh threatened him with litigation. At one point Wray attempted to draw Walsh's sword to use against him, but failing to do so declared 'that if he had a sword about him, he durst do as much as your petitioner durst'. Walsh petitioned Arundel for redress, but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

EM336, Petition

'Your petitioner entered into agreement with one John Wray, a scrivener dwelling in Fleetestreete, about taking of Thomas Evett, sonne of John Evett, to be his apprentice. According to which agreement, your petitioner sent for Thomas, above 100 miles. But Wray in the meane while tooke another apprentice and refused to make good his agreement with your petitioner; howbeit your petitioner meeting Wray in Fleetestreete on Friday last, upon communication thereabout, your petitioner told him that if he would not make good his agreement with your petitioner, your petitioner would sue Wray. Whereupon, Wray, very uncivilie, replyed that he cared not a turd for your petitioner, and that he would answer your petitioner, where he durst and as he durst. Your petitioner, wishing Wray to use better manners and to leave his sawciness, Wray told your petitioner he was a base stincking gentleman, and a base fellowe. And told your petitioner that he knew what your petitioner was; and bearing up to your petitioner braved your petitioner in a high and provoking manner, offering to snatch your petitioner's sword and drawe it from his side, whom if your petitioner had not thrust from him, with his hand, he might have endangered your petitioner's life, for Wray spared not to say, that if he had gotten your petitioner's sword, he would have ma[u]led him. Saying further that if he had a sword about him, he durst do as much as your petitioner durst, when and where he dared, with many other insolent speeches and provoking behaviour.'

Petitioned Arundel for redress.

No date.

No signatures.


William Walsh of Abberley married Elizabeth Blount, daughter of Sir George Blount of Sodington Hall, co. Worcester.

A. T. Butler (ed.), The Visitation of Worcestershire, 1634 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 90, 1938), p. 13.

William Walsh and his wife Elizabeth were among those granted license to alienate several Worcestershire manors on 10 March 1632.

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. 624.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: EM336 (no date)

People mentioned in the case

  • Blount, Elizabeth
  • Blount, George, knight
  • Evett, Thomas
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Walsh, Elizabeth
  • Walsh, William, esq
  • Wray, John, scrivener (also Rea)

Places mentioned in the case

  • London
    • Fleet Street
  • Worcestershire
    • Abberley
    • Sodington Hall

Topics of the case

  • denial of gentility
  • scatological insult
  • weapon