81 Buggs v Norton

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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John Buggs of St Andrew Hubbard, London, M.D. v Richard Norton of St Michael Cornhill, London, gent

April - October 1638


This was one of a pair of suits arising out of a quarrel between the two men in February-April 1638 in the parish of St Peter, Cornhill, London. On 26 June 1638 Norton answered Buggs's libel by saying that he was merely an apothecary, and obtained his title of doctor of physic at Padua or elsewhere overseas. On 20 October Dr Merrick, acting for Buggs, and Dr Duck for Norton, were called on to prove their libels. [For Norton's counter suit, see cause 467].

Initial proceedings

9/3/6, Personal answer

In response John Buggs's libel, Richard Norton answered that 'John Buggs was by trade an apothecary... as it is reported 4 or 5 yeares since at Padua or some other part beyond the seas obteined the title of Dr of Physic.'

Signed by Richard Norton.

Endorsed Norton's response to Buggs' libel, 26 June 1638.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Merrick acted as counsel for Buggs and Dr Duck for Norton. On 20 October 1638 both were called on to prove their clients' libels.


John Buggs is unmentioned in the Visitations of 1633-5 and 1664, but Richard Norton may have been the Richard Norton mentioned in the 1633 Visitation of London as being the husband of Lettice, daughter of Luke Norton of Offley, co. Hertford, esq, and the son of William Norton of Sharpenhoe, co. Bedford. Richard Norton became a linen draper and the business partner of Richard Chaloner. He grew active in the peace movement during the civil war. He was a vestryman at St Michael Cornhill and he headed a list of 31 citizens suspected of royalist plotting in December 1642. His partner Chaloner was executed for royalist conspiracy the following year.

J. J. Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London in 1633, 1634, and 1635 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883), vol. 2, p. 128; K. Lindley, Popular Politics in Civil War London (Aldershot, 1997), pp. 246-7, 341.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Personal answer: 9/3/6 (26 Jun 1638)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: R.19, fos. 434r-449v (20 Oct 1638)

People mentioned in the case

  • Buggs, John, M.D.
  • Chaloner, Richard
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Norton, Lettice
  • Norton, Luke
  • Norton, Richard, gent
  • Norton, William

Places mentioned in the case

  • Bedfordshire
    • Sharpenhoe
  • Hertfordshire
    • Offley
  • Italy
    • Padua
  • London
    • St Michael, Cornhill
    • St Peter, Cornhill

Topics of the case

  • apothecary
  • civil war
  • denial of gentility
  • physician
  • royalist