684 Warner v Lynch

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'684 Warner v Lynch', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/684-warner-lynch [accessed 5 March 2024]

In this section


Francis Warner of Parham, co. Suffolk, esq v John Lynch, John Snelling, Thomas Wilkes and James Hayward of Barfold, co. Suffolk, clothiers

c. June 1638 - February 1640


Warner complained that on 28 April 1638, he was riding with his servant in Ufford, Suffolk, when Lynch, Snelling, Wilkes and Hayward jostled them off the highway, threw Warner down 'and fowly abused him by pulling him by the haire of his head and lyinge upon him'. They also called him 'idle fellowe, and red coate fellowe' and said he was 'noe gentleman and that they were as good men as I and that they had four or five hundred pounds to spend rather then I should have the better of them.' Some time after this they had boasted in the hearing of others in the parish of Barfold, Suffolk that 'they had cudgelled Warner...as they had formerly cudgelled Naunton, meaning one Mr Naunton who is a gentleman well discended and of good quality in that country.' On 26 July 1638, Lord Maltravers referred the complaint to local gentlemen to investigate, urging them that it was 'an abuse of soe high nature as deserves severe and exemplary punishment'.Sir Thomas Glemham and Edmund Poley, esq., examined the matter and referred it back to Maltravers declaring that they 'did forbeare to order anything in regard of the foulnes of the abuse such a one as in theese parts wee have not knowne'. Warner had supported his story with witnesses to their satisfaction, while Lynch and Snelling denied the charges, but failed to produce witnesses.

The four men were ordered to appear in court in December 1638 and Warner's libel was presented the following February. The case had ended by November 1639. Lynch admitted saying to Warner, 'Had you bene a gentleman you would not have used me soe, or such like wordes', but he and Snelling were found guilty of breaching the peace and insulting the plaintiff and given the hefty sentence of a fine of 200 marks to the king, and payment of 200 marks each in damages to Warner, and £70 in expenses. On 4 February 1640, Dr Eden accused the two men of failing to pay the expenses. They later petitioned the Long Parliament asking for relief since the case had ruined them and they were threatened with imprisonment and seizure of their estates. They challenged the legitimacy of 'the proceedings and sentence' of the Earl Marshal's court as 'against lawe'. In his speech before parliament on 19 February 1641, Edward Hyde, esq., cited the case as an example of the excessive damages and costs imposed by Lord Maltravers. [For another case with Warner as defendant see cause 672].

Sentence / Arbitration

CUL, Ms Dd.3.64, fo. 42, cal. item 23, Letter of Glemham and Poley

'In obedience to your lo[rdshi]pp's commaunds wee gave notice to Mr Warner and to the 4 clothiers Linch, Wilkes, Heyward and Snellinge to meete us to examine the abuse wch Mr Warner had laid downe in his peticon. Linch and Snellinge came, but Wilkes was very sick and could not come, and one another Goffe did affime that Haward was sick. Linch and Snellinge did denye that which was contained in the peticon and said Mr Warner did offer them the wronge. But Mr Warner brought divers witnesses to prove the contents of his perticon, the particulers wherof we have here inclosed. Linch and Snelling did desire to have a longer day that they might bringe their witnesses to us wch wee graunted, though Mr Warner had but one night's notice before them; and the day appointed was 3 or 4 daies after and gave them liberty to bring their witnesses; but they never brought any. This is the substance of what did passe at our meetinge. Wee did forbeare to order anything in regard of the foulnes of the abuse such a one as in theese parts wee have not knowne, and thought it of such a nature as did deserve your lo[rdshi]pp's consideracon, Mr Warner having proved all hee alledged in his peticon wch wee humbly submit to your lo[rdshi]pp, remaining ever'.

No date.

Signed by Thomas Glemham and Edmund Poley.

Court of Honour, Sherard v Myn et al, Original papers 8, Libel

1. Warner claimed that his family had been acknowledged as gentlemen for up to 200 years and that he had been an esquire and a captain of the trained bands for several years, and was reputed as such in the parishes or townships of Parham, Wickham Market and Ufford, co. Suffolk.

2. Linch, Wilkes, Hayward and Snelling were and are clothiers.

3. On 28 April in the parish or township of Ufford, Linch, Wilkes, Hayward amd Snelling 'meeting mee, Francis Warner, ridinge in the daye time in the king's highway, in fashion and habit of a gentleman, and haveing my manservant alsoe on horseback leading the way before mee, they and every of them, or at least one of them with the countenance, assistance and abettment of all and every of the other of them, in a rude and violent manner, jostled out of the waye first my manservant, and then presently after myselfe, and threwe mee downe upon the ground, and pulled and tore mee by the hayre of the head. They and every one of them, or at least one of them with countenance and assistance and abettment of all and every of the other of them, called mee idle fellowe, red coate fellowe and jacke. They, or at least one of them with the countenace and assistance and abettment of all and every of the other of them, sayd that I was noe gentleman, and that they were a good men as I, and that they had foure or five hundred pounds to spend rather then I should have the better of them.

Warner therefore prays for justice and satisfaction against the four men.

Copy signed by Gilbert Dethick, register.

Court of Honour, Sherard v Myn et al, Original papers 8, Addition to the libel

'Item, that John Lynch, Thomas Wilkes, James Hayward, John Snellinge, all or some of them with the privity, consent and procurement of the rest of them, did, since the opprobrious speeches and disgracefull usages said and done by them unto me, Francis Warner, in the parish of Barfold and other parishes within the county of Suffolk, use these further disgracefull, provoking, vaunting and braving speeches of and against me, Francis Warner, in the hearing of divers persons, vizt. That they had cudgelled Warner, meaning me, Francis Warner, as they had formerly cudgelled Naunton, meaning one Mr Naunton who is a gentleman well discended and of good quality in that county.'

Note: 'Ingrosse the former libell with this addition to this effect and leave out that clause in the former libell that they are no gentlemen.'

Sentence / Arbitration

CUL, Ms Dd.3.64, fos. 40-1, cal. item 22, Plaintiff's sentence

Found in favour of Warner and against Lynch and Snelling. Warner was and had been a gentleman of gentle family. Lynch and Snelling had said of him as in the libel, that he was 'a redd coate fellowe, a jacke and noe gent' or words to that effect, and that this was done maliciously and in breach of the peace. They were fined 200 marks for the king, ordered to pay 200 marks damages to Warner and taxed at £70 expenses.

Copy document signed by Arundel and Thomas Eden.

No date.

EM3158, Plaintiff's sentence

The defendants ordered to make a submission and pay a fine of 200 marks to the crown, and 200 marks to Warner.

With £70 in expenses to Warner.

EM3159, Award of expenses

Award of expenses for Warner against the defendants but no sum of money filled in.

No date.

EM3160, Defendants' bill of costs

Expenses of Lynch, Snelling, Wilkes and Hayard:

Michaelmas term, 1638 - Michaelmas term, 1639: £156-6s-8d.

EM3161, Defendants' bill of costs

Expenses of Haywood and Wilkes: £53-2s-6d


CUL, Ms Dd.3.64, fo. 45, cal. item 23, Defendants' petition

'The humble peticon of John Linch and John Snellinge of Barford in the county of Suffolk', 'to the honourable the knights, cittizens and burgesses in this present parliament assembled'.

'Your peticoners beeing both clothiers and allwaye lived in good creddite and reputacon in theire country following their professions without disturbing other men; but of late have by the violent prosecucon of one Francis Warner, esq, beeing soe vexed and disquieted in the Lord Marshall's Court that they are allmost undone and one of them forced to give over his trade beeing (after £100 at the least spent in the courte, sentenced in the courte of honnor to pay 400 marks damage to Mr Warner and £70 costs, your pet[ition]ner Linche's fault beeing only that he said to Mr Warner, Had you bene a gentleman you would not have used me soe, or such like wordes. And your peticoner Snelling not having said soe much.

May it please this honourable assembly to take your peticoners (whoe are every day thre[a]t[e]ned to be imprisoned and their estates to be seized for the damages) into your humble proteccon and since the proceedings and sentence are against lawe, to take such care for your peticoners' releife as in your grave wisedomes shall seeme most convenient. And your peticoners shall pray etc.'

No date [Jan - Feb 1641].

Summary of proceedings

Dr Eden and Dr Lewin acted as counsel for Warner and Dr Duck represented the defendants. On 5 December 1638, Lynch and Spelling were ordered to appear in person, and Wilkes and Haywood were required to appear from the King's Bench prison. Dr Eden and Dr Lewin gave the libel on Warner's behalf. Lynch and the others petitioned to respond, while Wilkes and Hayward were required to appear at Arundel House on 6 December. On 21 February 1639 Dr Duck was granted the opportunity to present material for the defence. On 2 March 1639 Dr Duck refused to accept articles 9 and 10. After sentence had been passed, on 4 February 1640, Dr Eden accused Lynch and Snelling of not complying with their sentence in not paying the expenses.


Francis Warner of Parham, co. Suffolk, esq (1603-1658) was the son of Edmund Warner of Parham. He attended Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1621. He first married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Rous of Henham, co. Suffolk (now Essex). His second wife was Anne, daughter of Anthony Everard. His son, John Warner, was created a baronet in 1660.

J and J. A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, part 1 to 1751 (Cambridge, 1922), vol. 4, p. 338.

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.

None of the parties appear in W. H. Rylands (ed.), A Visitation of the County of Suffolk, 1664-1668 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 61, 1910); A. Campling (ed.), East Anglia Pedigrees (Publications of the Harleian Society, 91 and 97, 1939 and 1945).

Warner v Lynch and Snelling was cited in Edward Hyde's speech on 19 February 1641 as an example of Maltravers awarding excessive damages against defendants:

Wallace Notestein (ed.), The Journal of Sir Simonds D'Ewes from the beginning of the Long Parliament to the opening of the trial of the earl of Strafford (New Haven and London, 1923), p. 376.

A. Hopper, 'Sir Thomas Glemham', Oxford DNB (2004).


  • Sentence / Arbitration
    • Plaintiff's sentence: CUL, Ms Dd.3.64, fos. 40-1 (no date)
    • Plaintiff's sentence: EM3158 (no date)
    • Award of expenses: EM3159 (no date)
    • Defendant's bill of costs: EM3160 (Mic 1639)
    • Defendant's bill of costs: EM3161 (no date)
  • Submission
    • Defendant's petition: CUL, Ms Dd.3.64, fo. 45 (Jan - Feb 1641)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers:R.19, fos. 474r-484v (5 Dec 1638)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/6, fos. 20-33 (21 Feb 1639)
    • Proceedings before Marten: 1/6, fos. 9-12 (2 Mar 1639)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/31 (4 Feb 1640)
  • Initial proceedings

People mentioned in the case

  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Everard, Anne
  • Everard, Anthony
  • Forth, Anne
  • Forth, William, esq
  • Glemham, Thomas, knight
  • Hayward, James, clothier (also Heyword)
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Hyde, Edward, esq
  • Lewin, William, lawyer
  • Lynch, John, clothier (also Linch)
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • Naunton, Mr, gent
  • Poley, Edmund, esq
  • Rous, Elizabeth
  • Rous, John, knight
  • Snelling, John, clothier (also Snellinge)
  • Warner, Anne
  • Warner, Edmund, esq
  • Warner, Elizabeth
  • Warner, Francis, esq
  • Wilkes, Thomas, clothier

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cambridgeshire
    • Emmanuel College
    • University of Cambridge
  • London
    • Arundel House
    • Inner Temple
  • Suffolk
    • Barford
    • Boyton
    • Henham
    • Parham
    • Ufford
    • Wickham Market

Topics of the case

  • apparel
  • assault
  • denial of gentility
  • imprisonment
  • inns of court
  • member of parliament
  • Long Parliament