Types of Cause: Defamation – other

By the late fifteenth century it was becoming accepted practice in cases of defamation where the underlying accusation represented a wholly spiritual offence for the suit to be heard in the church courts, whereas accusations of a temporal nature were heard in the secular courts. However, where the alleged defamatory words involved both types of accusation either court might have jurisdiction.


R. H. Helmholz, ‘Select Cases on Defamation to 1600’, Selden Society, vol. 101 (1985).


EDC 5/1591/2 – Andrew Brednam c. Henry Aneon. The accusation involved religious deviance and dishonesty.


EDC 5/1/6 – John Minshull and Sir Gilbert Lightfoot, chaplain, contra Alice Scariot. The plaintiffs in this unusual defamation cause claimed that Alice had defamed them by saying that they had bribed her to defame someone.