678 Walter v Stepney

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'678 Walter v Stepney', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/678-walter-stepney [accessed 3 March 2024]

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678 WALTER V STEPNEY

William Walter of St Martin-in-the-Fields, co. Middlesex, gent v Sir John Stepney of Prendergast, co. Pembroke, bart, Thomas Stepney of Llandebie, co. Carmarthen, esq, and Charles Stepney of Prendergast, co. Pembroke, gent

July 1639 - February 1640

Abstract

Walter complained that Dame Magdalen Stepney, wife of Sir John, Thomas Stepney, esq., and his wife Priscilla, and Charles Stepney, gent., had reported before several 'persons of quality', especially at a mayor's feast held at Haverfordwest in December 1637, that Walter 'was a base coblinge rogue, the sonne or grandchild of a cobler' and that he was 'noe gentleman, nor can give any armes.' Process was granted on 20 July 1639 and the parties entered bonds. The case continued in February 1640 when Dr Duck presented Walter's witnesses; but nothing further survives. [For an earlier case in which Sir John Stepney was plaintiff, see cause 625].

Initial proceedings

6/49, Petition

'Your petitioner, being a gentleman of antient discent, and both he and his ancestors having lived in good esteeme and quality in theire countrey. Dame Magdalen Stepney the wife of Sir John Stepney Baronett, Thomas Stepney, gent., Priscilla his wife, and Charles Stepney, gent., owing causeless grudge to your petitioner and his family, have combined together to disparage your petitioner in his birth and have given forth and reported to divers persons of quality at several tymes, especially at a mayor's feast held for the towne and county of Haverford West in December 1637, that your petitioner was a base coblinge rogue, the sonne or grandchild of a cobler, base rogue, base cobling jacke, base slave, with divers other opprobrious and scandalous speeches, withal affirminge that your petitioner is noe gentleman, nor can give any armes, whereby your petitioner and his family are highly wounded in their reputacon.'

Petitioned that all the above parties be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process on 20 July 1639.

6/48, Plaintiff's bond

31 July 1639

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

Signed by William Walter.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of Humphrey Terrick.

2/163, Defendant's bond

19 November 1639

Bound to appear 'in the Court in the paynted Chamber within the pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by John Stepney on behalf of all three male defendants.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of Humphrey Terrick.

6/12, Defendant's bond

31 October 1639

Bound to appear 'in the Court in the Painted Chamber within the pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by North Cuney of Prendergast, co. Pembroke, yeoman, on behalf of Thomas Stepney.

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

6/13, Defendant's bond

31 October 1639

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

Signed by North Cuney of Prendergast, co. Pembroke, yeoman, on behalf of Sir John Stepney, bart.

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

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Walter and Dr Gwyn for the Stepneys. On 4 February 1640 Dr Duck produced the witnesses Richard Dirricke and Anna Young.

Notes

Sir John Stepney was the son of Sir John Stepney of Prendergast, co. Pembroke and Catherine, daughter of Sir Francis Mansel of Muddlescwm, co. Carmarthen, bart. He married Magdalene, daughter of Sir Henry Jones of Abermarlais, co. Carmarthen, bart. He was high sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1637 and a forceful collector of ship money and M.P. for Haverfordwest in the Long Parliament. He was an inactive royalist colonel of foot in the civil wars and governor of Haverfordwest.

G. E. Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Baronetage, 1611-25 (Exeter, 1900), vol. 1, p. 179; P. R. Newman, Royalist officers in England and Wales, 1642-1660: A biographical dictionary (London, 1981), p. 359; M. F. Keeler, The Long Parliament, 1640-1641: A Biographical Dictionary of its Members (Philadelphia, 1954), pp. 351-2.

Documents

  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 6/49 (20 Jul 1639)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 6/48 (31 Jul 1639)
    • Defendant's bond: 6/12 (31 Oct 1639)
    • Defendant's bond: 6/13 (31 Oct 1639)
    • Defendant's bond: 2/163 (19 Nov 1639)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 1/10 (4 Feb 1640)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/31 (4 Feb 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Cuney, North, yeoman
  • Dirricke, Richard
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Gwyn, Thomas, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Jones, Henry, baronet
  • Jones, Magdalene
  • Mansell, Francis, baronet (also Maunsell)
  • Mansell, Catherine (also Maunsell)
  • Stepney, Alban, baronet
  • Stepney, Charles, gent
  • Stepney, Catherine
  • Stepney, Magdalene, dame
  • Stepney, Priscilla
  • Stepney, Thomas, esq
  • Stepney, John, baronet
  • Terrick, Humphrey
  • Walter, William, gent
  • Watson, John
  • Young, Anna

Places mentioned in the case

  • Carmarthenshire
    • Abermarlais
    • Llandebie
    • Muddlescwm
  • Middlesex
    • St Martin-in-the-Fields
    • Westminster
  • Pembrokeshire
    • Haverfordwest
    • Prendergast
  • Wales

Topics of the case

  • allegation of tradesman status
  • civil war
  • coat of arms
  • denial of gentility
  • member of parliament
  • military officer
  • Parliament
  • royalist
  • ship money
  • taxation