689 Waterhouse v Muschamp

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'689 Waterhouse v Muschamp', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/689-waterhouse-muschamp [accessed 2 March 2024]

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Henry Waterhouse, gent v Christopher Muschamp, gent

c. 1636-7


Waterhouse complained that Muschamp had given him scandalous words in the parish of Whitchurch (county unknown) between November and January 1636.Muschamp maintained in his defence that he had been provoked when Waterhouse said that he 'was noe gentleman, but that he was a cheate, and that he Henry Waterhouse would prove it.' Muschamp claimed to be the grandson of the late Christopher Muschamp of Carshalton, Surrey, Lord Chief Baron of England, but he was required to prove it with a certificate from the Officers of Arms. No indication of sentence survives in this case, but in the countersuit [see cause 454] Muschamp was awarded £30 damages and 20 marks expenses on 29 April 1637.

Plaintiff's case

14/1p, Defence interrogatories

1. The witnesses were warned of the penalty for perjury and bearing false witness. What was the age, occupation and condition of the witness for the last seven years? Whether and how long they had known the parties in this case?

2. Was he a kinsman, servant or dependent upon Waterhouse? Was he taxed at the last subsidy to the king?

3. Was he in Whitchurch parish between November and January last? Did he hear the words between Muschamp and Waterhouse? Did not Waterhouse say that Muschamp 'was noe gentleman, but that he was a cheate, and that he Henry Waterhouse would prove it?'

4. Were Christopher and Jane Coates 'persons of honest life and conversation such as will not depose untruly upon their oaths, and to whose testimony (they being sworn) credit is to be given'?

5. Had he heard Christopher and Jane Coates ever say that they bore hatred or malice towards Waterhouse? If yes, at what time and place, upon what occasion and in whose presence?

6. Whether he knew that Jane Coates, before her examination on Muschamp's behalf, 'was a person publiquely denounced in [the church court and] excommunicated'? Had he heard the excommunication published in the parish church where Jane Coates lived? 'When was the pretended excommunication published against her, by whom, and for what cause'?

7. Was Muschamp a gentleman anciently descended, and son and heir of Christopher Muschamp who was son and heir of another Christopher Muschamp, of Carshalton, co. Surrey, deceased, 'who was Lord Chief Baron of England, and soe commonly known'?

No date.

Signed by Arthur Duck.


On 2 April 1638 Walter Wyberd, his wife Joan, and John Wyberd, gent, were licensed to alienate the manor of Colchester Hall in the parish of Takeley, and five messuages in Takeley, Elsenham, Broxted, Canfield and White Roding, co. Essex to Christopher Muschamp, gent. On 1 December 1638 Michael Grevill, gent, and his wife Anne, were licensed to alienate two messuages in Takeley to Christopher Muschamp, esq, and his wife Anne.

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, pp. 721, 731.


  • Plaintiff's case
    • Defence interrogatories: 14/1p (c. 1636)

People mentioned in the case

  • Coates, Christopher
  • Coates, Jane
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Grevill, Anne
  • Grevill, Michael
  • Muschamp, Anne (also Muschampe)
  • Muschamp, Christopher, gent (also Muschampe)
  • Muschamp, Christopher, judge (also Muschampe)
  • Waterhouse, Henry, gent
  • Wyberd, Joan
  • Wyberd, John, gent
  • Wyberd, Walter

Places mentioned in the case

  • Surrey
    • Carshalton
  • Essex
    • Broxted
    • Canfield
    • Colchester Hall
    • Elsenham
    • Takeley
    • White Roding

Topics of the case

  • allegation of cheating
  • denial of gentility