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A.D. 1337. II Ed. IIL Escheat No. 26, Essex. " Inquisition 14 March,
post mortem Willelmi de la Zonche de Mortiio Mart, Tenant by courtesy through
Alice, his late wife, who was sister and heir of Robert de Toni, as of the
right and inheritance of Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who is son
and heir of said Alice, and is of the age of 23 years and more."

A.D. 1337. II Ed. III. No. 26, Sussex. " William la Zouche de
Mortimer, on the day on which he died, viz., the last day of February last,
1337, held the Manor of Ashby de la Zouche. Alan la Zouche is son and heir
of William, and was on the day of the Annunciation of B.V.M. last of the age
of 19 years."

" Utiiversis ad quos. etc., etc. Willmiis La Zouche filius Roherti de Mortuo
Mart quondam Dominus de Castro Ricardi, Salutem, confirms certain grants to
Hugh de Say and Lucy his wife, daughter of Walter de Chfford, son of Richard,
son of Puntius, and of Hugh de Mortimer, Avus Metis."

A.D. 1337-8. II Ed. III. Anno regni Regis Edwardi, filii Regis Edwardi
iertii a Conquestu undecimo. " Johanna quae fuit uxor Domini Richardi Talbot
militis releases to her sister Margaret, quae fuit uxor Galfridi de Cornubia half
the Manor of Carkedone, i.e.. Carton. Seal. Barry of six. 16 fleurs de lys.
Legend, Sigillum Johanna Domince Castri Rid."


The above extracts, if read in conjunction with the Key-pedigree, will be
found to verify all except the earliest items. In respect of these particular
items, while authorities of repute, such as Nash, Sandford, and Vincent, have
been followed, we have noted their points of difference, and at the same time
it appears only fair to state, that the fact of Hugh Fitzosbern having been the
son of Osbem Fitz Richard has been called in question. The evidence in his
favour may be tenned the argument from tenure. Domesday declares that
Osbem Fitz Richard held Richard's Castle, and this demesne is found in the
possession of Osbem and Hugh, the sons of Eustatia de Say, who are alleged to
have assumed their mother's name, and with that the arms of de Say, for what
purpose does not appear.



Chapter IX.


Sir Geoffrey de Cornewall=Margaret co-heiress of

(d. 1335) Baron of Burford I Hugh de Mortimer=Sir William DevereUX
/wrg u.rorts. I (1296—1345). (d- 1337)-

Sir Richard de=(i) Joan . . . Geoffrey;

CORN-EWALL (2) SiBILLA DE (d. I344),


(d. April, 1349)

2ad BaroQ of
Burford (1313.
d. Oct . 1343)

Sir Geoffrey de=Cecili.\ Seymour.


3rd Baron of j
Burford (1 335-65)

:Margaret Sir John Joan =

De Cornewall

(vide Chap.x.)

:Sir James Matilda

Nevill = William

(of WhUtou) Boure

(of Co.


Sir Bryan de=Matilda . . . Richard Geoffrey Ellen

Cornewall, (vide Chapter xi.) of

4th Baron of Amberden


John, s.p.

OF Sir Geoffrey, the first Cornewall to hold the Barony of Burford— this
jure uxoris — we have at the outset little or no information. That he
was the younger son of Richard de Cornubia may be taken as proven, but, as we
have already seen, the parentage of the brothers, Sir Edmund and Sir Geoffrey,
remains obscure. We cannot so much as surmise the date of his birth. He
may have been serving with his reputed father when he fell at the siege
of Berwick, and we may further surmise that he had already won some
military reputation. Apparently on the death of Sir Richard he found himself
in the position of a mere soldier of fortune. His elder brother inherited Ihe
rich Manor of Thonock, but he was penniless. At once Earl Edmund came
forward to cffei recognition in a practical shape by the gift of the Manor of
Ever, henceforward to be known as " Cornewall Ever,"* the modern Iver in
Bucks, and his military prowess ere long was further rewarded by [the grant
of a wealthy wardship.! Margaret de Mortimer, as a mere girl of eight

* This deed of gift is mentioned by Sir Thomas Cornewall, 1623, in his letter to Vincent,
Rouge Croi.x, as being then in his possession.

t The following is Sir Thomas Comewall's statement as to this wardship, writing to Vincent,
Rouge Croix, 1623 : " Not long after (i.e., 32 Edw. I.), the said King Edward did grant unto this
Geoffrey the wardship of Margaret, the second daughter and coheyre of Hugh Mortimer, Lord of
Burfiord and Richard's Castle and Stepleton and divers other lands. Which Hugh Mortimer died
about the 32nd yeare of Edward the First, as it appeareth by an Inspeximus of an Inquisition taken
att Stepleton in the County of Hereford, dated the 32d yeare of Edward the First, which Margaret
the said Geoffrey shortly after took to wife, as it appeareth by a writt of Partition for the parte of
the sd. Sir Geoffrey Cornewall and Margaret being then his wife, etc." Roberts " Calenderiuiu
Genealogicum." Hen. III., Edw. I. " At the Inq. p. mortem of Hugh De Mortimer, made on the
Feast of the Decollation of St. John Baptist, viz., August 29, 1304, 32 Edw. I., it was found that Joan
De Mortimer was twelve years of age on the Feast ot S. Catherine the Virgin, November 25,
and Margaret De Mortimer eight at the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. September 14, proximo
preterito." Again, in the Rot. Fin. i Edw. II., 1307, Joan was found to be fifteen years of age, and
Margaret ten. This was in regard of the Northamptonshire estates ; the Inq. of 1304 was held at
Worcester. Both go to show that the year of Margaret's birth was 1296.


in 1304 had inherited one-half of the possessions of the Scropes, De Says
and Mortimers of Richard's Castle. Her elder sister and co-heiress was
soon to give her hand to a knight whose name survives only in the village of
English Bicknor, and we are the less surprised that while in her first youth
Margaret should have accepted her gallant guardian. On the partition of the
De Mortimer estates her sister obtained Richard's Castle, which, on the early
death of her first husband, she bestowed with her hand on a scion of the powerful
house of Talbot, probably of Eccalswall, while to the share of Margaret fell
Burford with its Barony and manors. To this was added a portion of the
De Mortimers' Devon estates in the Manor of King's Newton, or Nimington.

We have already (in the letter addressed to Vincent by Sir Thomas
Cornewall, Baron of Burford, 1623) presented much of the details of Sir
Geoffrey's life. His military services were chiefly, if not indeed wholly,
rendered in the Scottish campaigns of Edward I. and Edward II., and the
honours and emoluments which accrued to him may be referred to his gallantry
quite as much as to the tie of blood. To the latter, however, we must attribute
his being selected as guardian of two of King Edward II.'s children. Prince
John of Eltham and the Princess Elinor, afterwards Duchess of Guelders,
with for consideration the rich Manors of Macclesfield and Overton ;
to the former the pardon* granted 32 Edward I. for the killing of William de
Hoo, probably in a duel, the said WiUiam being like himself a Norman. It
remains a singular coincidence, that whereas the grandson of the slayer held
high command at Agincourt and was summoned by writ as Lord Fanhope, the
great nephew of the slain, for his share of the same victory, was raised to the
peerage as Baron Hoo and Hastings, being left in command of the English
Army in France after the return of King Henry V. to England.

In 1317 (Rot. Pat.) Sir Geoffrey was summoned to perform military service
against the Scots, and it may be owing to his valour or capacity that in con-
sequence he received the above-mentioned wardship of the royal children.
In 1324 he sat for the County of Northants.

Turning to the problem of dates — always difficult at so early a period —
the Escheats help us. Thus, 1309, 2 Ed. II., Vigom, Inq. p. mortem Wilhelmi
de Mortuo Mari taken the Sunday before Epiphany. William held 35 acres
of arable of the gift of Robert de Mortimer for life of the inheritance of the

* This pardon was included among Sir Thomas Cornewall's deeds in 1623.


heirs of Hugh. That such heirs are also heirs of William, and are Joan, wife
of Thomas de Bikenore, who is of the age of 17 years, and Margaret,
wife of Galfridus de Cornewall, who is 14 years of age. Said William
held on the day of his death a messuage of Isabel de Mortimer. Again,
in the same year, but later — Escheat, Salop, Monday next after the Feast of
St. Nicholas, Joan was of the age of 18 years on the Feast of St. Catherine last
and Margaret is under age and under the cust' dy of the King. So that this
child-bride, who was born in 1296, though a wife, remained in wardship. In
1313 she became a mother.

The following Escheat, g Ed. II., 1315-16, estabhshes the parentage of Sir
Geoffrey — albeit not his mother's maiden name : " License to Geoffrey Corne-
waU and Margaret his wife to enfeoff Joan, who was wife of Richard Cornewall,
of the Manors of Amberden, Stepulton, and Bm'ford, that she might re-enfeoff
said Geoffrey and Margaret." That this took effect is shown by an Escheat
of 1335, being an Inq. p. mortem after the decease of Sir Geoffrey, wherein it
was shown that Geoffrey and Margaret held jointly the Manor of Amberden in
Essex by the gift of Joan de Cornewall.

The following is a translation of the grant of wardship : — Know ye that
whereas lately among other manors, lands, and tenements granted to our
dearest son John and his sister AUianor our daughter, for their sustenance,
to hold at our will, we granted to them the manor of Macklesfield with the
appurtenances in the county of Chester, to the value of 175 marks and 8 shillings,
and the manor of Overton with the appurtenances in the same county, to the
value of £126, to hold as aforesaid, and afterwards on the i6th of January last

past, willing that the said John and Alienor in of our dearest

father Edward and for his expenses should make We

committed to our beloved and faithful Richard Damory, Robert de Mauley,
Steward of the Household of the same Edward, and Nicholas de Hengate,
Keeper of the Wardrobe of the same Edward, the custody of the manors, lands
and tenements aforesaid, at our pleasure, so that from the issues thence pro-
ceeding they might give account in the wardrobe of the same Edward as long
as they have the aforesaid custody. — We have now committed to our faithful
and beloved Geoffrey of Cornwall the custody of the aforesaid manors of Mackles-
field and Overton, to be held as long as the King pleases, paying annually
£301 8s. od. until anything else is ordered. Dated at York, Oct. 16, 13 Edw. II.,


1319. Signed by Edwardus Rex presentia Reginse. So that the Queen was
a consenting party.

It would seem that the lands given to Prince John and the Princess Ehnor
had been charged with payments to the wardrobe of Edw. I. and were recom-
mitted to Geoffrey de Cornewall, subject to the same charge.

We note further a fine, 14 Edw. II., whereby Joan, who was wife of Richard
de Cornewall, paid the King two marks for license to assign a lay fee in Asthall
and Asthall Lingeley to the Prior of the Hospital of St. John in Hereford.
Inasmuch as the two Asthalls, viz., AsthaU and Asthall Lye — as it is now
termed — are situate within five miles of Burford, Oxon, it may be assumed
that the gift was not to Burford in Salop, but to the above priory in that
ancient town. Dugdale states that this Priory of St. John the Evangehst was
existing in 1291. In 1544 it was granted by Henry VIII. to Edmimd Harman,
the King's Surgeon. Over the monument to Joan, in Asthall Chiurch, are three
coats of arms in stained glass ; that of Sir Edmund, her elder son, with a bend
bezantee ; that of Sir Geoffrey with a bend engrailed, and bearing 3 muUets ;
and a third, on a chief sable 3 bezants or ; the glass of the field being plain,
showing that the entire coat had been tampered with. Tradition styles
this monument that of the Countess of Cornwall. In the Visitation of
Huntingdonshire, 1613, Harl. Soc, are seals bearing a close resemblance to
the third coat in Asthall Church, viz., of Sir Richard De Cornewall, 21
Edw., III. and of WiUiam Cornewall, his son, 10 Richard II. These coats
are argent, on a fesse sable 3 bezants or ; and this Sir Richard, Captain of
Calais, may have been a younger brother of Sir Geoffrey and Sir Edmund,
while an three may have had a sister Joan, wife of Sir J. Howard.

Mention has already been made in Chapter VIII. of the grant in 1317 to
Sir Geoffrey by Edw. II. of a moiety of the Hundred of Overs, confirmed to
him I Edw. III., subject to a rent-charge of six shillings and eightpence to the
CrowTi — Rot. Pat. of that year. Apparently he had been ousted from this,
inasmuch as in the Pari. Roll., vol. ii., p. 81, we find a petition to the King —
Edward III. — the date being 1334, from " Sonn hge Bacliiler " (i.e., Knight
Batchelor), Geffrey de Comewaile, reciting that King Edw. II. had granted
him a moiety of the Hundred of Oures (sic) to hold in fee from him. Of this
he had been deprived, it having been annexed to the body of the County of
Salop. Whereupon a writ was promptly issued to the Sheriff of Salop com-


manding him to permit Geoffrey de Cornewall to enjoy peaceably a moiety of
the hundred of Overs, granted to him by letters patent for hfe.

The date of his death appears from Rot. Origin., 9 Edw. III., 1335,
wherein the Escheators of Somerset, Lincoln, and Hereford are commanded
to seize into the King's hands such lands as Geoffrey de Cornewall had died
seized of. As has been shown, Margaret, dxuring widowhood, held the Manors
of Burford, Stepleton, and Amberden for hfe. A Devereux pedigree shows
that she remarried Sir William Devereux, who by a previous wife had a son,
William, aged at his father's death in 1337 over twenty-two years — Inq. p.m.
II Edw. III., No. 25. She must have died before 20 Edw. III., inasmuch
as in the Rot. Origin, of that date, 1346, we find that the King lets to farm
unto John Talbot of Richard's Castle the Castle of Steppelton* with appur-
tenances in the Counties of Hereford and Salop, the Manor of Burford, and
the rents of Lentwardyn, co. Salop {sic), a moiety of the Manor of Rocheford,
CO. Hereford, a moiety of the Manor of Hamel Castell and of the rents of
Karkedon, Vigorn, and a moiety of the rents of Denton, Lincoln, which
belonged to Geoffrey, son of Richard de Cornewall, deceased, to hold until
the lawful age of the heir. Rendering therefor yearly £8^ sterling, and saving
to the Kmg the knights' fees.

There are several Escheats of interest beside that of Overs, wherein — 1317,
10 Edw. II. — Sir Geoffrey is styled " diledus et fidelis consafigninens noster,"
e.g., the grant, 1297-8, by Earl Edmund, of CornewaU-Ever, wherein the words
run " nepoti nostra, filio quondam Ricardi de Cornnhia ;" and 1304, 32 Edw. I.,
the pardon granted Sir Geoffrey for the death of William de Hoo, dated at
Strivelin, May 20, in consideration of the good service the said Geoffrey had

* "Stapleton Castle, although situated within the County of Hereford on its extreme north-
western confines, forms a part of the parish of Presteign in Radnorshire. Blount tells us, that it
appears in Domesday under the name of Stepedune, and was given by the Conqueror to Ralph de
Mortimer, but it is evident that he misread Scepedune (Shobdon) for Stepedune, and it is far more
probable that it was included in the grant to Osbem Fitz Richard. The first notice we have of it
is in a writ dated 30th of June, 1207, when, owing to the minority and widowhood of Margaret de
Say, it was at the disposal of King John, and Margaret de Say was the heiress of the Fitz Richards.
In 1223 Hen. HI. granted a hcense to WilUam de StuteviUe, then Baron of Richard's Castle, to hold
a weekly market at his Manor of Stapleton. The descent of the Manor and Castle continued with
the Mortimers of Richard's Castle. At the death of Hugh de Mortimer, the last Baron, in 1304,
Stapleton fell to the share of his younger daughteer and co-heiress, Margaret. She married Sir
Geoffrey de Cornewall, etc., etc. John Cornewall, Esq., son of Sir Gilbert, owned Stapleton
(Stepleton) in 1675, but it was sold in the year 1706 by Thomas Cornewall, Baron of Burford, to
Auditor Harley of Eywood, son of Sir Edward Harley of Brampton Bryan, and formed part of Lord
Oxford's estate until very recently. We have no means of ascertaining the character of the
ancient building, fragments of which are embedded in the farm house %vhich occupies the Castle
site. The Castle itself, in 1645, is described in Symonds' Diary as ' strong, but because there was no
water near it was pulled downe by Ludlowe's Governor (Sir Michael Woodhouse) least (sic) the
enemy might make use of it." — Robinson's Castles of Herefordshire


rendered the King in Scotland. Moreover, as if to emphasize the royal verdict
that this " death " amounted to justifiable homicide, the pardon was followed
immediately by a grant of the wardship of Margaret de Mortimer.

In 1309 — 3 Edw. II. — Margaret sued out a writ of partition of the Mortimer
estates, and in 1319 King Edw. II., by letters patent, dated Oct. 21, granted
the Manors of Marketfield (Macclesfield) and Overton to Geoffrey de Cornewall.

In 1337-8, II Edw. III., we find this :.. Anno regni Regis Edwardi, filii
Regis Edwardi, tertii a Conqiiestu, undecimo. Johanna qua fuit uxor Domini
Ricardi Talbot militis releases to her sister Margaret, quce fuit uxor Galfridi de
Corniihia a half of the Manor of Carkedone (Carton). Sealed, Barry of six i6
fleurs de lys. Legend, Sigillum Johanna; Domirue Castri Rici. This resembles
the seal of her father Hugh, Lord de Mortimer of Richard's Castle.*

As regards the statement of Sir Thomas Cornewall in 1623, that according
to tradition, Richard, brother of Earl Edmund, took prisoner the Duke of
Brittany, and kept him prisoner in Burford Castle — this prior to 1217, the date
of the said Richard's death— and that in consequence he was granted for the
field of his coat ermine, whereas it had been argent, ermine being that of the
Dukes of Brittany, it may suffice to state that in 1297 Biirford Castle was not
in the possession of the CornewaUs, the grant of wardship of Margaret de
Mortimer not having been issued until full seven years later. The tradition,
even if it were Sir Geoffrey who took the Duke prisoner, lacks verification, and
indeed rests mainly on the authority of Sandford, who transferred the capture
from Richard, slain at Berwick, to Sir Geoffrey. We have been unable to
trace the legend in any contemporary record — indeed there is nothing to show
that either the first or second Duke of Brittany was ever a prisoner. With the
latter Edward III. was in alliance, and Prince John of Eltham, Sir Geoffrey's
ward, was actually engaged to his niece at the time when he died jam flare

In the Cotton MSS., Claud, under wardrobe account, 9 Edw. III., Geoffrey
de Cornewall is stated to have held the manor of Depedene (Debden), with
Bereford and Stapleton.

* The following is from Sir Thomas precis of his muniments in 1623 : " Item, a deed of release
dated 11 Edw. III., from Johane that was the wife of Richard Talbot, Knight (she had become a
widow for the second time), unto Margaret her sister, the late wife of Geffry of Cornewall, of all her
right in the moietie of the Manor of Carkedon (Carton in Mamble) which he held by the grauut of
the said Margaret ; unto which deed the scale of the said Johane is affixed, and in the former part
of that seale there is a httle Scutchion wherein the aforesaid armes of the said Robert Mortimer may
be all seene. This Johane and Margarett were the twoe daughters and coheir es of Hughe Mortymer,
Lord of Richard's Castle and Burfford, etc."


Again, in Morant's History of Essex we find the following : — " l\Iargaret,
daughter and co-heiress of Hugh de Mortimer, brought Amberden to Geoffrey
De Cornewall, who died seized of it 1335. Richard, his heir. Inq : p. m., 9
Edw. III., 1335. Another Geoffrey died 1365, having a son Geoffrey heir, 39,
Edw. in.," — concerning which more presently. With respect to the partition
of the De Mortimer Estates there is in the Cal. Rot. Pat., p. 201, 3 Rich. II.,
an exemplification of the Inq., p. mortem of Hugh de Mortimer, and of aU his
manors, lands, and knights' fees, and further of the partition of the same be-
tween Thomas de Bykenore and Joan his wife, eldest daughter of Hugh, and
Geoffrey de Cornewall and Margaret his wife. This would appear to have
been drawn up in consequence of some dispute concerning tenures.

To sum up briefly the estates of Sir Geoffrey de Cornewall and his wife.
They comprised the Barony and Manor of Burford, the Castle and Honour of
Stepleton, the Manor of Cornewall Ever in Bucks, the Manors of Norton and
Thorpe, Northants, of Macclesfield and Overton in Cheshire, and of Denton
in Lincoln, the Manors of Ham Castle and Carton in Mamble — styled Carkedone
in the Escheats — the Manor of King's Nymington in Devon, with lands in
Somerset, the Manor, or half Manor, of Rochford in Worcestershire, and of
Amberden in Essex. None of his descendants held so extensive an acreage.
With regard to the Manor of Denton in Lincolnshire, it would appear to have
been alienated, inasmuch as a httle later (vide Mr. Moor's " Gainsburgh "), it
was in the possession of the Welby family.

By Margaret de Mortimer Sir Geoffrey de Cornewtdl had (i) Sir Richard
his successor in the Barony ; (2) Geoffrey ; (3) Sir John; (4) Joan ; (5) Matilda.
Concerning Sir John, the third and most distinguished of the sons, we treat
in the next chapter. Geoffrey obtained for his portion the Manor of King's
Newton or King's Nymington in Devon, with the Manors of Norton and
Thorpe, Northants. He has already been mentioned as proceeding to Brittany
under safe conduct, so it may be inferred (hat, hke the rest of the De Corne-
walls of that period, he was a soldier. He died in 1344, and bestowed upon
his nephew, Sir Geoffrey, the third Baron o! Burford, liis lands in Devon and
Northants. Neither Dr. Marshall nor Judge Bayley mention the fact of his
having been married, but Baker correctly assigns him for wife Margaret. He
must have died s.p., inasmuch as his estates passed to his nephew, who
(Escheat 20 Edw. III.) was served heir and cousin of Margaret.


Of the daughters, Joan married Sir James Nevill of Whilton, Northants,
and Matilda, William Boure of Salop.

Richard, the second Baron, was 24 on his father's death in 1335. In the
Rot. Origin, 9 Edvv. III., Salop, " The King received the fealty of Richard De
Comewall, son and heir of Geoffrey De Comewall, deceased, for a moiety of the
Hundred of Overs, which said Geoffrey held by service of six shillings and
eight pence." This was a renewal of the life grant made to Sir Geoffrey.
Richard — styled Ln error Sir Richard — married SibyU, sister of John, and
daughter of Sir Otho De Bodrugan, erroneously called Botringham. Her
grandfather. Sir Henry De Bodrugan, who died in 1309, married SibiUa De
Mandeville. The arms, viz., Arg. 3 bends gu, are those given as the impale-
ment of De Bodrugan by Vincent in the High Legh Pedigree of Cornewall.
[See also Maclean's History of Trigg Minor]. On her Baron Richard settled
half the Manors of Norton and Thorpe, which ]\Ianors, after his decease, were
conveyed by her to her brother, John De Bodrugan, and John Vidston for life
by the annual render of a pair of gloves, value id. She had also a Ufe interest
in the Manor of Comewall Ever. He died 17 Edw. III., having had by Sibyll an
only child and heir, Sir Geoffrey, certified to be 13 years of age on the death of
his mother on the Saturday after Ascension Day, 23 Edw. III.

At this period there were no less than four Richards De Comewall. Of
these Sir Richard was knighted at Calais in 1347. The close Roll, 20 Edw. III.,
mentions grants to him for his past services, and his seal is given— Arg. on a
fesse sa, 3 bezants or, in the Harl. Soc, vol. on Hunts, but in the second Calais
Roll a bend in lieu of a fesse. He held lands in Wode Walton, and obtained
the Manor of Shelswell, Oxon, from Edw. II., when Sir W. Tucket was hanged
at York, 13 Edw. II. [see Blomfield's Bicester], albeit the entry caimot be
found. Further, there was Richard De Cornewall, Baron of Walsoken, whom
(Patent Roll, 12 Edw. II., part 2) the King collated to the Prebend of Newbold