732 Wrey v Vacye

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper, '732 Wrey v Vacye', The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/732-wrey-vacye [accessed 25 June 2024].

Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper. "732 Wrey v Vacye", in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) . British History Online, accessed June 25, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/732-wrey-vacye.

Cust, Richard. Hopper, Andrew. "732 Wrey v Vacye", The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ). . British History Online. Web. 25 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/732-wrey-vacye.

In this section


Sir William Wrey of Trebeigh, co. Cornwall, knt and bart v John Vacye of Fenton Vacy, co. Cornwall, esq

December 1637


Wrey complained that in January 1637 Vacye had said he was a better man than he, that Wrey 'would runne away', and that he was a 'base beggarly knave'. Process was granted on 6 December 1637, but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

3/57, Petition to Arundel

'In January 1637 your petitioner was much abused by many evill and base words given him by John Vacye, esq. Mr Vacye amongst other base speeches saying the petitioner would runne away, and that Mr Vacie was as good a man as the petitioner was, or rather better. And Mr Vacye being desired to forbeare such ill termes, Mr Vacy, replyinge said that one beggarly knave would take an other base beggarly knave's parte, meaning and thereby intimateing that the peticoner was a base beggarly knave.'

Petitioned that Vacye be brought to answer.

Duck desired Dethick to grant process, 6 December 1637.

Signed by Arthur Duck.

3/58, Plaintiff's bond

6 December 1637

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

Signed by Henry Vincent of St Clement, co. Cornwall, gent on behalf of Wrey.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of Humphrey Terrick.


Sir William Wrey, knight and 2nd baronet (1600-1645), was the eldest son of Sir William Wrey of North Russell, in the parish of Sourton, co. Devon and Trebeigh in St Ives, co. Cornwall, knight and 1st baronet (d. 1636), and Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Courtney of Powderham, knt. The first baronet was an active J.P. and leading figure in the faction struggles in Cornwall during the late 1620s. The second baronet married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Chichester, 1st viscount Chichester of Donegal. Knighted in 1634, he became a royalist Commissioner of Array in 1642.

John Vacye, esq, was the eldest son of Leonard Vacy of Fenton Vacy and Magdalena, daughter of Anthony Clifford of Boscombe, co. Wiltshire. He was aged 12 in 1620. Leonard Vacy also had a brother, John Vacy, who was aged 46 in 1620.

A. Duffin, Faction and Faith. Politics and Religion of the Cornish Gentry Before the Civil War (University of Exeter, 1996); J. L. Vivian and H. H. Drake (eds.), The Visitation of Cornwall in the year 1620 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 9, 1874), pp. 251, 268; G. E. Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Baronetage, 1625-1649 (Exeter, 1902), vol. 2, p. 41.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition to Arundel: 3/57 (6 Dec 1637)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 3/58 (6 Dec 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Chichester, Edward, viscount Chichester of Donegal
  • Chichester, Elizabeth
  • Clifford, Anthony
  • Clifford, Magdalena
  • Courtenay, Elizabeth
  • Courtenay, William, knight
  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Terrick, Humphrey
  • Vacye, John, esq (also Vacy, Vacie)
  • Vacye, Leonard (also Vacy, Vacie)
  • Vacye, Magdalena (also Vacy, Vacie)
  • Vincent, Henry, gent
  • Wrey, Elizabeth, lady
  • Wrey, Elizabeth, lady
  • Wrey, William, knight and baronet
  • Wrey, William, knight and baronet

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cornwall
    • Fenton Vacy
    • Trebeigh, St Ives
    • St Clement
  • Devon
    • North Russell
    • Powderham
  • Ireland
    • Donegal
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Wiltshire
    • Boscombe

Topics of the case

  • allegation of cowardice
  • comparison
  • denial of gentility
  • military officer
  • royalist