709 Wignall v Dod

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper, '709 Wignall v Dod', The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/709-wignall-dod [accessed 17 June 2024].

Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper. "709 Wignall v Dod", in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) . British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/709-wignall-dod.

Cust, Richard. Hopper, Andrew. "709 Wignall v Dod", The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ). . British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/709-wignall-dod.

In this section


James Wignall of Tandridge, co. Surrey, esq v James Dod of the same, gent

December 1637


Wignall complained that at the inn of James Peake of Godstone, Surrey, on 20 January 1637, Dod had 'digraced' his family by telling his brother, Sir Edward Wignall, that their late father William Wignall, esq., a Surrey J.P., had forsworn himself at the Essex assizes, in a case involving Dod's father. Dod said that William confessed this on his deathbed and was now 'hanging in hell'. Wignall and Dod were examined before Lord Maltravers on 2 December 1637, who referred the cause to Sir Thomas Bludder and John Angell, esq, to negotiate a settlement. Bludder and Angel examined witnesses for Dod at Reigate on 21 December 1637, and, although they acknowledged that Sir Edward Wignall had provoked Dod by calling him and his father base fellows, they also found that William Wignall had been 'a gent. of faire repute in the countrey' and therefore recommended that Dod should subscribe to a written satisfaction.

Initial proceedings

EM74, Affidavit

John Peake of Godstone, co. Surrey, innkeeper, aged about 40

On 20 January 1637 James Dod was in his house with Sir Edward Wignall, son of William Wignall of Tandridge, esq. Dod 'did upbraid Sir Edward with his deceased father with these or the like words in effect: that William Wignall deceased was a base fellow and had in his lifetime (at a triall in Essex betweene Walter Covett and John Dod father of James Dod) forsworne himself, for which he was damned in hell. And William Wignall repented thereof in his death bedd and would have made him satisfaction if he had lyved.

Anne Peake daughter of John Peake aged twentie yeares or thereabouts saieth and deposeth and agreeth in all things that the deposition of John Peake is true being reade over unto her.'

1 December 1637

Taken before John Page.

EM73, Petition

Petitioned that James Dod 'maliciously and unchristianlike scandalized and defamed your petitioner's deceased father, William Wignall, esquior. And upon conference betwixt your petitioner's brother Sir Edward Wignall, knt., and Dod, publiquelie in the hearing of divers persons, Dod upbraided and told Sir Edward that his father, at an assize houlden in Essex (in a cause betwixt one Walter Covett, gent., and the father of Dod) had forsworne himselfe, for which he said, he was hanging in hell. And further said that your petitioner's father on his deathbed had confessed the same, and promised that if he lived he would make him amends, with other like scandalous speeches (as by good proofe will appear to your lordship). By which meanes not only the good name and reputation of your petitioner's deceased father is traduced and wounded but also your petitioner and their whole familie are disgraced and suffer therein.'

Petitioned that Dod be brought to answer.


'Arundel House. December 2 1637

The parties to this business menconed in the petition appearing this day before me, and it being alleadged that there were some witnesses in the countrey whose testimony would be very effectuall to cleere some things in question touching provocacons pretended to be given to the defendant Dod, I thought fitt to referr the examination of the whole business to Sir Thomas Bludder, knight, and Mr John Angell, prayinge them upon good information of the true state thereof to sett downe such order for satisfaction for anie offence that they shall find to have been given as shall be just, and may give an end to theis differences now depending between the parties.'

Signed by Maltravers.

EM75, Certificate of Bludder and Angell

'To the right honourable the Lord Maltravers'

'The humble certificate of Sir Thomas Bludder, kt., and John Angell, esqr.'

They certified that at the hearing of witnesses on behalf of James Dod at Reigate on 21 December 1637, it was affirmed that Sir Edward Wignall provoked Dod by saying that he and his father were base fellows, 'yet, notwithstanding, William Wignall was in his life tyme a justice of the peace, and a gent. of a faire repute in the countrey,to our knowledge. Wee have thought fit that James Dod shall subscribe to the satisfaction here annexed to this certificate, which we humbly refer to your lordship's greater judgement.'

Signed by T. Bludder and John Angell.


James Wignall, the plaintiff, was James Widnell, son of William Widnell of Tandridge, co. Surrey, esq, and J.P., and Judith, daughter of Wyat Wyld, Sergeant at Arms. James's elder brother was Sir Edward Widnell of Tandridge, knt. James Dod was the son of John Dod of Tandridge and Elizabeth, daughter of John Hubert or Hobert of Shepperton, co. Middlesex.

W. B. Bannerman (ed.), The Visitations of the County of Surrey, 1530, 1572 and 1623 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 43, 1899), pp. 84, 105, 151; G. J. Armytage (ed.), A Visitation of the County of Surrey, 1662-8 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 60, 1910), p. 120.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Affidavits: EM74 (1 Dec 1637)
    • Petition: EM73 (2 Dec 1637)
    • Certificate of Bludder and Angell: EM75 (21 Dec 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Angell, John, esq
  • Bludder, Thomas, knight
  • Covett, Walter, gent
  • Dod, Elizabeth
  • Dod, James, gent
  • Dod, John
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Hubert, Elizabeth (also Hobert)
  • Hubert, John (also Hobert)
  • Page, John
  • Peake, Anne
  • Peake, John, innkeeper
  • Wignall, Edward, knight (also Widnell)
  • Wignall, James, esq (also Widnell)
  • Wignall, Judith (also Widnell)
  • Wignall, William, esq (also Widnell)
  • Wyld, Judith (also Wild)
  • Wyld, Wyat (also Wild)

Places mentioned in the case

  • London
    • Arundel House
  • Middlesex
    • Shepperton
  • Surrey
    • Godstone
    • Reigate
    • Tandridge

Topics of the case

  • allegation of perjury
  • assizes
  • denial of gentility
  • justice of the peace
  • office-holding
  • other courts