715 Willoughby v Hodgson

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

This free content was Born digital. CC-NC-BY.


Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper, '715 Willoughby v Hodgson', The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/715-willoughby-hodgson [accessed 22 June 2024].

Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper. "715 Willoughby v Hodgson", in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) . British History Online, accessed June 22, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/715-willoughby-hodgson.

Cust, Richard. Hopper, Andrew. "715 Willoughby v Hodgson", The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ). . British History Online. Web. 22 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/715-willoughby-hodgson.

In this section


Francis Willoughby, 5th Baron Willoughby of Parham v John Hodgson of Stickeswold, co. Lincoln, yeoman

July - October 1640


Lord Willoughby complained that Hodgson had abused him in Lincoln on a market day in May 1640, within the hearing of many witnesses, saying, 'My Lord Willoughbie hath dealt basely with me', repeating 'I am basely and scurvely dealt with'. When bystanders asked by whom, he reiterated 'by my Lord Willoughbie.'Process was granted on 16 July 1640 and Willoughby presented his libel on 10 October; but no further proceedings survive and it is probable that the case was lost with the suspension of the court's proceedings in December.

Initial proceedings

12/4g Citation

Hodgson to appear at the suit of Willoughby in the Painted Chamber for scandalous words provocative of a duel

Dated: 15 July 1640

5/126, Petition

'John Hodgson, of Stickeswold in the countie of Lincoln, yeoman, in May last past in the cittie of Lincolne, upon a markett day, did, in the presence and hearing of divers credible witnesses, utter many wordes tending to the dishonor of your petitioner, and in particular these wordes following or the like in effecte: vizt. My Lord Willoughbie (meaning your petitioner) hath dealt basely with me; and often times repeated the same words saying, I am basely and scurvely dealt with; and being by some present asked by whome, the said Hodgson replyed, By my Lord Willoughbie.'

Petitioned Hodgson to be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process, 16 July 1640.

5/125, Plaintiff's bond

16 July 1640

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

Edward Matthew of Middle Temple, gent, acting on behalf of Lord Willoughby.

Signed by Edward Matthew.

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

12/4c, Libel

Hodgson had said 'I am basely and scurvely dealt with' and 'My lord dealt basely with mee'.

Signed by Thomas Eden.

No date [10 October 1640]

Summary of proceedings

Dr Eden acted as counsel for Willoughby and Dr Exton for Hodgson. On 10 October 1640 Hodgson had to appear upon bond. Dr Exton appeared for Hodgson and in his presence, Dr Eden gave the libel. Dr Exton was to respond at the next sitting. On 24 October Dr Exton was required to respond to the libel. On 30 October Dr Exton challenged the libel and Dr Eden was given until the second session to prove it.


Francis, 5th Lord Willoughby of Parham (1614-1666), was the son of William, 3rd Lord Willoughby of Parham and Frances, daughter of John Manners, 4th Earl of Rutland. Francis married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Cecil, Viscount Wimbledon. During 1643 Willoughby was appointed parliamentarian major-general in co. Lincoln, but his command was superseded by the earl of Manchester and included in the Eastern Association. His injured honour motivated his subsequent challenge to Manchester, for which he was forced to apologise by the House of Lords. In 1647 he was impeached by the Army and drifted towards the royalists, whom he served as Governor of Barbados. He died when his ship went down during a hurricane off Guadeloupe in July 1666.

M. A. LaCombe, 'Francis Willoughby, 5th Baron Willoughby of Parham', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004); G. E. Cokayne, Complete Peerage (London, 1959), vol. 12, part 2, pp. 705-8; A. R. Maddison (ed.), Lincolnshire Pedigrees (Publications of the Harleian Society, 52, 1904), vol. 3, p. 1089.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Citation: 12/4g (15 Jul 1640)
    • Petition: 5/126 (16 Jul 1640)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/125 (16 Jul 1640)
    • Libel: 12/4c (10 Oct 1640)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 56r-64v (10 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings before Stafford: 1/11, fos. 41r-44v (24 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/11, fos. 19r-30v (30 Oct 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Cecil, Edward, viscount Wimbledon
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Exton, Thomas, lawyer
  • Hodgson, John, yeoman
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, William, baron Stafford
  • Manners, John, earl of Rutland
  • Matthew, Edward, gent
  • Montagu, Edward, earl of Manchester
  • Watson, John
  • Willoughby, Elizabeth, baroness Willoughby of Parham
  • Willoughby, Frances, baroness Willoughby of Parham
  • Willoughby, Francis, baron Willoughby of Parham
  • Willoughby, William, baron Willoughby of Parham

Places mentioned in the case

  • Lincolnshire
    • Lincoln
    • Parham
    • Stickeswold
  • London
    • Middle Temple
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • West Indies

Topics of the case

  • civil war
  • denial of gentility
  • military officer
  • Parliament
  • parliamentarian
  • royalist