685 Warner v Wentworth

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'685 Warner v Wentworth', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/685-warner-wentworth [accessed 5 March 2024]

In this section


George Warner of Wolston, co. Warwick, esq v Sir Peter Wentworth of the same, knt

April 1636 - February 1637


The cause of Warner's complaint against Wentworth is not recorded, although it probably had to do with the quarrel between the two men in 1636 over who should have the best pew in Wolston church, Warwickshire. Wentworth was called to appear in person before the court in May 1636 and January 1637. No indication of sentence survives, but in July 1636 the quarrel was referred to the churchwardens, or failing them, the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, to arrange a settlement.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Warner and Dr Eden for Wentworth. Dr Ryves and Dr Merrick also acted in the cause. Wentworth was warned to appear before the court in person in May 1636. There were further proceedings on 28 January, 11 and 16 February 1637.


Sir Peter Wentworth was the son of Nicholas Wentworth of Lillingstone Lovell, co. Oxford and Susanna, daughter of Roger Wigston of Wolston, co. Warwick. Sir Peter became a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Charles I and served as a justice of the peace and high sheriff in Oxfordshire. He was questioned before the privy council in 1635 for his failures in collecting ship money. He was elected M.P. for Tamworth, co. Stafford, on 18 December 1641, and attended until 1653. Denzil Holles attacked Wentworth over his dealings in the disputed manor of Wolston. The royalist lord of the manor, George Warner, failed to compound under the conditions of the surrender of Lichfield in 1646. Wentworth purchased the manor, valued at £6000, for only £2038, prompting Warner to complain of being obstructed by Wentworth. For the earlier 1636 pew dispute between the two men and Secretary Coke's reference of the dispute to the churchwardens or Robert Wright, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, see:

S. Barber, 'Sir Peter Wentworth (1592-1675)', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004); A. Hughes, Politics, Society and Civil War in Warwickshire 1620-1660 (Cambridge, 1987), p. 85;M. F. Keeler, The Long Parliament, 1640-1641: A Biographical Dictionary of its Members (Philadelphia, 1954), p. 385.

Historical Manuscripts Commission, Report on the MSS of Earl Cowper (3 vols., 1888-1890), vol. ii. p. 123.

In April 1637, George Warner, lord of the manor of Wolston, co. Warwick, petitioned Sir Nathaniel Brent, visitor for the archbishop of Canterbury for a seat in the parish church of Wolston, which was granted him. Warner complained that in his absence, Sir Peter Wentworth secured a revocation of this grant and after petitioning the king, pulled down Warner's seat. Warner was high sheriff of Warwickshire in 1639-40.

CSP Dom. 1637 , p. 17; J. Broadway, R. Cust and S. K. Roberts (eds.), A Calendar of the Docquets of Lord Keeper Coventry, 1625-40 (List and Index Society, special series, 35, 2004), part 2, p. 369.


  • Proceedings
    • Undated proceedings: College of Arms MS. 'Court of Chivalry' (act book, 1636-8) [pressmark R.R. 68C] (hereafter 68C), fos. 64r-67r (c. Apr 1636)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 68C, fos. 89r-100r (May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 68C, fos. 74r-83v (7 May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 68C, fos. 51r-59r (28 Jan 1637)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 23r-36v (11 Feb 1637)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 14r-20v (16 Feb 1637)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 70r-73v (c. 1636-8)

People mentioned in the case

  • Brent, Nathaniel, knight
  • Coke, John, knight
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Holles, Denzil, esq
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Laud, William, archbishop of Canterbury
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Ryves, Thomas, lawyer (also Rives)
  • Stuart, Charles I, king
  • Warner, George, esq
  • Wentworth, Peter, knight
  • Wigston, Robert
  • Wigston, Susanna
  • Wright, Robert, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield

Places mentioned in the case

  • Staffordshire
    • Lichfield
    • Tamworth
  • Oxfordshire
    • Lillingstone Lovell
  • Warwickshire
    • Coventry
    • Wolston

Topics of the case

  • arbitration
  • chivalric order
  • civil war
  • high sheriff
  • justice of the peace
  • Long Parliament
  • parliamentarian
  • pew dispute
  • royalist
  • sequestration
  • ship money
  • taxation