723 Wood v Fortescue

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper, '723 Wood v Fortescue', The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/723-wood-fortescue [accessed 20 June 2024].

Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper. "723 Wood v Fortescue", in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) . British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/723-wood-fortescue.

Cust, Richard. Hopper, Andrew. "723 Wood v Fortescue", The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ). . British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/723-wood-fortescue.

In this section


Richard Wood of Hareston, Brixton, co. Devon, gent v John Fortescue of Spriddlestone, co. Devon, esq

April 1638


Wood complained that between November and February 1638, at a meeting to set the ship money rate in Plymstock parish, Devon, Fortescue gave him the lie and said that he was 'a base rogue.' Wood presented his libel on 14 April 1638, but there is no indication of the verdict in either this case or Fortescue's counter suit [see cause 219].

Initial proceedings

15/2f, Libel

Richard was son and heir of John Wood of Hareston.

1. Richard Wood's family had been gentry for up to 300 years.

2. Between October and February last in Plymstock parish, co. Devon, Fortescue gave Wood the lie, once or twice and said that he 'was a base rogue, or a rogue', words provocative of a duel.

14 April 1638

Signed by Joseph Martyn.


No John Fortescue of Brixton orof Spriddlestone appears in the Visitation of 1620, but a John Fortescue of Spriddlestone compounded for delinquency on the Truro Articles after the civil war and was fined £202, 4s. Richard Wood (b.1587) was the son and heir of John Wood of Hareston, Brixton, co. Devon, and Thomazin, daughter of George Southcott of Calverleigh.

F. T. Colby (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1620 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 6, 1872), pp. 109-112, 314; P.R. Newman, Royalist officers in England and Wales, 1642-1660: A biographical dictionary (London, 1981), p. 141; CCCD , vol. 3, p. 1911.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Libel: 15/2f (14 Apr 1638)

People mentioned in the case

  • Fortescue, John, esq
  • Martyn, Joseph, lawyer (also Martin)
  • Southcott, George
  • Southcott, Thomazin
  • Wood, John
  • Wood, Richard, gent
  • Wood, Thomazin

Places mentioned in the case

  • Devon
    • Brixton
    • Calverleigh
    • Hareston
    • Plymstock
    • Spriddlestone
    • Truro

Topics of the case

  • civil war
  • denial of gentility
  • giving the lie
  • military officer
  • royalist