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in York Cathedral as " Consanguineus Regis." This, the style accorded Sir
Edmund and Sir Geoffrey, seems to suggest that his are the arms in the window
of Asthall Church, and that he and not Sir Richard (as stated in page 15) was
their brother, while Joan, wife of Sir John Howard, must have been their sister.
Having incurred the wrath of Piers Gaveston, Sir John assigned Ids, or his
wife's, estates to the above Richard [see Appendix]. Lastly, there was another
Richard De Cornewall, priest, described as chaplain, who, Jan. 14, 1350, was


pardoned for the death of John de Rockesfield, and appears to have been
defendant in an action by the Crowm concerning the presentation to the
benefice of Northorpe.

We have stated the problem of the various Richard De Cornewalls, who
were contemporaneous. So far as it is allowable to form a conclusion from
imperfect data, it would appear that the sons of Richard De Comewall and Joan
Fitzalan were Sir Edmund, Sir Geoffrey, and Richard, parson of Walsoken, with
a daughter Joan, wife of Sir John Howard, and ancestress of the Dukes of

Sir Geoffrey, the third Baron, was born in 1335, at Stepleton Castle, and
baptised at Presteign, Sep. 8, of that year. On his father's decease he was made
the ward first of WiUiam de Cusancia (Nov. i, 1343), and shortly after, i.e., 1352,
in respect of part of the estate, of Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. But
in 1349 the Crown presented a Portioner of Burford, during the minority of
Geoffrey. He married CecUia, probably a daughter of Sir John Seymour of
Penhow, Mon., son of Sir Roger Seymour by John Damarel. Sir John Seymour's
brother. Sir Roger, ancestor of the Dukes of Somerset, had married CecUia,
daughter of Lord Beauchamp of Hache, and it was probably a nephew of
CecUia Cornewall who represented Herefordshire in 1388. By her Sir Geoffrey
had Sir Bryan, his successor, Richard, who succeeded Sir Bryan, Geoffrey,
and Ellen. She died July 26, 1369 [escheat 43, Edw. IH., 57], having
survived her husband, who died abroad May 18, 1365, holding Rochford and
Stepleton, Burford, a moiety of the Hundred of Overs, King's Newton, Thorpe,
Norton,* Stapleton.f and Amberden — the last two in Essex.

In the Rot. Origin, Edw. IH., occur the following : 24 Edw. HI. Bucks.
Grant by the King to Sir Alan De Claveryng, knight, of the custody of all lands
in Ever which belonged to Richard, son of Geoffrey de Cornewall and Sibilla
his wife, deceased. To hold to the lawful age of the heir, rendering therefor
10 marks. Ibid. 26 Edw. III. Northants. To the lischeator. To reserve
in the King's hands the Manor of Thorpe and a moiety of Norton, whereof
Sibilla was jointly enfeoffed with Richard, son of Geoffrey De Cornewale,
deceased, her late husband.

* It is stated that prior to his decease he had conveyed the Manors of Norton and Thorpe
without Royal license, and with intent to defraud the King of the wardship of his heir, but that, as
this would have involved forfeiture, re-entering died seized of them.
This may be Steeple or Stebbing.


Ibid, Hereford. Writ to Escheator to receive the fealty of and deliver
seizen unto William, heir of Robert Golafre deceased, of 12 acres in Staunton
Logerons, which are holden of Geoffrey de Cornewall, being within age as of
the Manor of Stepleton. This would seem to refer to a leaseholder.

Sir Bryan, the 4th Baron, was born and baptized at Stokesay, Salop,
May 3, 1355. We have some difficulty in distinguishing him from his contem-
porary and senior, Sir Bryan of Kinlet, but it seems clear from the dates that
he ser\^ed as Sheriff of Salop, 1378-80, and Staffs, 1378. He married Matilda,
erroneously alleged to have been the daughter of Sir Thomas Latimer of
Chipping- Warden, and reUct of Sir Robert Fitzwalter of Daventry, who had
died in 1342. She was Uving in 1365. According to the precis of muniments
in the possession of Sir Thomas Corn;walI in 1623, Sir Bryan, in 7 Richard H.,
obtained a pardon for sacrilege. This at the instance of the Queen. The
Escheat, dated 12 Nov., 13S3, runs thus : " Pardon to Bryan de Cornewall de
Burford, Chivaler, for reverence (sic) of God, and at special request of Anne,
Queen of England, our most beloved Consort." In an Escheat of 1390 he is
styled " Bryan de Cornewalle,* Dominus de Burford, Knight." He gave
(Esch. 14 Rich. II.) a rent-charge of £10 to his brother Richard and sister
Ellen, and died Jan. 17, 1399-1400. According to one account he had by
Matilda a son John. If so this son must have died vit. patr., inasmuch as he
was succeeded as 5th Baron by his brother Ri:hard, aged 40 at his decease,
who therefore had been bom in 1360.

The youngest brother of Sir Bryan and Richard, viz., Geoffrey, is stated
by one authority to have died in infancy, but this militates against Morant's
account of the devolution of Amberden, f which was his portion, e.g., " Margaret,
daughter and co-heiress of Hugh de Mortimer, brought Amberden to Geoffrey
de Cornewall, who died seized of it 1335. Richard his son and heir (Inq. p.
mortem, 9 Edw. HI.) Another Geoffrey died 1365, leaving a son Geoffrey
heir (Inq., 39 Edw. III.) Inasmuch as temp. Hen. VI. Amberden is found in

* The Rot. Norm., 1421, mention the grant of the Manor of Toumabie in Normandy to
Brj'an de Cornewall. This Bryan it is impossible to identify. It could not have been either Sir
Bryan of Kinlet or Sir Bryan, Baron of Burford, neither of whom were living at that date.

t Henry VIII. granted the Rectory and Advowson of Stebbing to Thomas Cornewall and
his heirs to hold in capite by the 40th part of a Knight's fee (Lett. Pat.. 45 Hen. VIII.) On Oct.
22, 1548, Thomas had license to convey to Trustees for use of himself and wife, remainder to Hum-
phry Cornewall and Joan his wife (Pat. 2 Edw. VI.)) In 1567 Humphry Cometvall by license
aliened to William Tiffyn.

Again, Henry Parker was pardoned I53r for buying of Thos. Cornewall, Esq., the Manor of
Franstead cum pert : in that parish and in Great Leghs, etc., to be holden of the King in capite (Lett.
Pat. 23 Hen. VIII.) On May 18, 1538, said Thomas had license to aUenate to Thos. Morton. Not-
withstanding at his decease, May, 1558, he was seized of this Manor, valued at £10 los. per annum.
Jane, his granddaughter, was then 6 (Inq. 5 Eliz.) She married George Chauncey of Ardeley in
Herts, dying in 1582 {vide Ckaunccy's Herts).


possession of the Berners family we may surmise that the Manor came to
them by an heiress of the Comewalls. But that there were Cornewalls of a
previous generation remaining either in Essex or on the Suffolk border appears
probable from the Visitations of Essex of 1552 and 1643, e.g.. The Visitation
of Essex, 1552 :

John Cornewall, of Haverell. Essex=. . . .

I !


Thomas Cornewai,l=Jane . . . William. Edward.



John Cornewall=(i) The widow Humfrey CoRNEWALt=MARY, dau. (i) Mary=Robt. Gainford

of Lord heir of John.

Cobham. *

= The widow

I of Vemey.

I 1 ,1

Gyles. Mary. Jane.

of Wm. (2) Julyan=John Daniell

Mannoke, (3) Barbara= Francis

of Stoke Berners, of

Gifford, by Finchinfleld.

Nayland. (4) Mary=Thos. Svbill.

(5) Cecil=Julian Walde-


Sp. 5-P.

1 I 1 I "1 "" " I \

Thomas. George. Frances. Jane. Margaret. Elizabeth. Frances.

Again, the Visitation of Essex, 1634 : Berners, Quarterly or and vert.
(i) . . . . =John Berners, of Finchmgfield={2) ....

Francis Berners, of Fmchingfield.=daughter of Cornewall (i.e. Barbara).

ToHN Berners, of Flnchmgfield=JoANE, daughter of Philip Causton.


John Berners of Finchingfield=MARY, daughtar of . . . Wallys, of Little Bradfield.
Uvi ng 1634. I

I \ \ I

John. William. Mary. Elizabeth.

£et. 16 in 1634.

Quarterly, i and 4, arg. a lion rampant gu. crowned or, a bordure sa charged
with 10 bezants — Cornewall : 2 and 3, Barry of six arg. and gu. a canton gu, erm.
Crest, a Cornish chough sa, a crescent for difference.

Harleian MS. No. 99 — fo. 140.
• This bill made the vjd daye of November in the xxvijth yere of Kyng Henry the viijth
witnefseth that I John Comwell of Stebbyng in the Countie of Essex, Gentylman and Dame
Ehzabeth my wyfi Lady Cobham have receN'^'ed off George Broke Knight, lord Cobham. xxx. li.
vi. sh ; viii. d: s'tlinge {i.e. sterling) to us the forsaid John ComeweU and Dame Ehzabeth due att the
feast of Seynt Michell th' arrhangell last past of s'ne and for an annuytieof aC. Marke for the joynture
of the said Dame Elizabeth, of the which sm of xxx. li. vjs- viijd we knowledge our selffe to
be truly contented and payde, and the said George Broke Knight, lord Cobham. and his
executors therof clerely acquited and discharged by these presents. In witnes wherof we have
sette oure seales the daye and yere abovewrytten

by me John

In another receipt dated 2nd May 27 Hen. VIII. the parties are described as John Corn-
wall Gent and Dame Elizabeth my wifi, late wiS unto Thomas Broke Knight Lord Cobham.


From the fact of these Comewalls of Essex and Suffolk (Haverell is in the
latter County) bearing the coat of Sir Edmund de Comewall and holding lands
in the ^'icinity of Amberden, and also by their alliance with the Berners family,
who had succeeded to Amberden, temp. Hen. VI., it would seem that they
were the descendants of the Geoffrey of whom we are treating. This, how-
ever, in the absence of positive evidence, we are unable to establish, neither
do the Visitations assist otherwise than by assigning to this hne the Corne-
wall coat of arms.

Of Ellen, the sister of Sir Bryan, Richard, and Geoffrey, we have no record.
Richard succeeded his elder brother Sir Bryan as 5th Baron of Burford.
Concerning him we reserve consideration to a future chapter, reverting in our
next to Sir John, the yoimgest of the three sons of Sir Geoffrey de Comewall
by Margaret de Mortimer.


Chapter X.


Sir Geoffrey de CoRNEWALL=MARr,ARET, dau. and heiress of Hugh de Mortimer.
jureux: Baron of Burford. I (d. 1345).

(d . 1335). I

Sir JoHK DE CoRNEWALL (3rd son)=A Niece of The Duke of Brittany.

Sir John de Cornewali^Elizabeth, widow of John Holand, Duke of Exeter,
summoned as Lord Fanhope 1433, I (d. 1426).

and as Lord Milbroke 1442,

(d. 1443). I

Sir John.
(d. s.p. 1421).

TT will be remembered that the third son of Sir Geoffrey de Cornewall by
-*■ Margaret de Mortimer was Sir John de Cornewall, to whom, in admiration
of his martial prowess in the Scotch wars, John, Duke of Brittany, gave his
niece in marriage. We are unable to determine the date of that marriage
or of his birth or death. His mother, born in 1296, must have been married
about 1311, for his elder brother, Sir Richard de Cornewall, was twenty-three
in 1335, having thus been born in 1312. To the date of Sir Geoffrey's birth —
the second son — we have no clue* ; but evidently Sir John could not have been
born earlier than 1314, and possibly later, inasmuch as we find him per-
forming military service in 1361. In that year, so we learn from the Rot.
Franc, a letter of protection was granted to Sir John Cornewaille, Chivaler.
He was then proceeding to Ireland in the retinue of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, t
third son of King Edward III.|

His alliance with the House of Brittany must have brought him into
close connection with the Court of that Duchy, and in consequence,

• Rot. Franc, 38 Edward IIL, 1365. Letters of protection granted to Galfridus de Corne-
waile and John de Chaubon, Knights, who were going abroad. This Geoffrey was Sir John's next
elder brother.

t Sir John Comewall's name is mentioned in the Roll of returns of Lionel, Duke of Clarence.
See also Patent Roll, 1347.

t According to Beatson's Political Index, which gives a Ust of peers summoned by writ in
each reign, in the same year he was summoned as Sir John de Cornewayle, while in the Cotton
MSS., •■ Claud G.," is an alphabet of the noble families of England with their arms tricked ; .md in
this list — " Cornewall, Baron " — Arg. lyon g«., crowned or, Bordure sa. bczantee or. Bankes also —
" Index Baronum Summonitionibus " — gives " Cornwaile, 35 Ed. IIL" It appears that the summons
was to a special Council respecting Irish affairs, and not a summons to Parhament. Moreover,
Bankes makes this Sir John Cornewall to be of Kinlet and Thonock, who, as he died in 1415, could
not have been prominent in 1365. He classes the Barony of Cornewall among the Baroncs
pmtermissi, i.e., summoned only once— a division apparently arbitrary. This Barony was not
noticed by Dugdale, whose lists of Barons by writ is the only one to be depended upon.


when England and Brittany were in league against France,* we are the
less surprised to find him domiciled there with his young wife. He held
a command in the army, and either matters had become critical, or, as has
been affirmed, he desired that his heir should be English-born ; whichever
may have been the motive, he despatched his wife just before her confine-
ment, and the heir was actually born at sea, albeit close to shore in the Bay
of St. Michael's Mount, to be duly baptised in the Church of Market-Jew or
or Marazion, a township which had received favour from the King of the
Romans. From the circumstance of his having been born and rocked on the
green waves of the Channel he received the sobriquet of The Green Knight.
Sandford, in his Genealogical History, records the incident, but unhappily
we have no dates — indeed, it seems far fiom certain that the Breton-born wife of
Sir John de Cornewall made a recovery after so abnormal and perilous a confine-
ment. We are in the region of surmise, and can only conclude that the early
years of the future hero of Agincourt may have been spent at Burford Castle.
That castellated residence must have been very large, for in the seventeenth cen-
tury two families of populous proportions inhabited it simultaneously, and in
the generation prior to Lord Fanhope, room was also found for the brother
and sister of King Edward H. But perhaps the most convincing argument
io: Lord Fanhope's early association with Burford may be the fact of his
having buried his royal consort there. That the spot was selected for her
last, suggests that it may have been her husband's first, home.

No doubt in his youngest manhood he was serving with the army in France,
and there received knighthood. Be that as it may, the earliest mention we
have of him after his romantic entry into the world is in the Rot. Franc, 1380,
where a letter of protection is issued for him as a Knight with John Childe,
Esq., both about to proceed to Brittany ; and in the Patent Rolls for 13851 we

* "John de Montfort, Duke of Brittany, joined King Edward III. in commissioning the
Duke of Lancaster as Captain of Brittany in 1337." — Rymer's Foadera. This John, second Duke,
had married Mary, daughter of Edward III., and sister of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. By
maiTiage, therefore, Sir John Cornewall was allied to the royal House of England, a link to be drawn
closer in the marriage of his son. It is a coincidence that John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, and
ward of Sir Geoffrey, was to have married a niece of the Duke 0/ Brittany, but died before the
proposed marriage was celebrated. Could this have been the niece who was " given " to Sir
John Cornewall? Miss Strickland — "Queens of England" — mentions that in 1386 a marriage
was negotiated between John de Montfort, Duke of Brittany, surnamed "The Valiant," and
Joanna of Navarre, afterwards Consort of Hen. IV. of England. She was his third wife, his second
having been Jane Holand, half sister of King Richard II.

t Both these entries have been assumed to refer to " The Green Knight's " father. Sir
John de Cornewall, who, however, in 1380, and still more in 13S5, must have been too old for active
service. We have, therefore, a clue to the probable date of Lord Fanhope's birth. Men of his
ran k received the accolade as mere boys, so that he would have been born about 1364. If that be
so he must have been in middle age at Agincomrt.


have this entry, " John Comewaile, Knight, went on the King's service to
Scotland." And again, ii Richard II. (Cat. des Rolles Gascons), there is a
letter of protection for John Cornevvaille, Knight, going abroad in the retinue
of the Duke of Lancaster — John of Gaunt — his future father-in-law. As
the destiny of the Duke and his retinue was Brittany, we have here a conjunc-
tion which may imply that " The Green Knight " was not unknown to the
Princess Elizabeth prior to her first and second man-iage.

With unhappy Richard II. that brave soldier would appear to have found
favour, inasmuch as one of the last acts of his reign was to obtain the authoriza-
tion of Parliament to a grant for life of the Manor of Chipping Norton, late
the property of the Earl of Arundel attainted — Cat. Rot. Pat., 22 Richard II.
Sir John notwithstanding transferred his allegiance to the son of his former
patron, the Duke of Lancaster, a King whom he served with zeal. History
deems him an English hero, but as a matter of ancestry he was in the male hne
Norman-French, his paternal grandmother representing the great houses of
Mortimer and De Say, his great-great grandmother, a Fitzalan, being also of a
Norman family — destined to reappear under a different nomenclature as the
Royal Stuarts ; while his mother was Breton-French. The associations of
boyhood may have imparted an English tenacity and resourcefulness, but
his saUent characteristics were purely French — vivacity and agility, while he
exhibited a temperament sanguine in the superlative degree. We behold
that quahty in the slender and ruddy Knight who figured somewhat theatrically
in a stained glass window at Ampthill, destroyed by a gale early in the last
century. Therein he was depicted striking the attitude of a conqueror, and
tramphng under foot the Ulies of France, while over his bare head a Squire
waved the proud banner of England. The supple figure scarcely resembled
that of an athlete — rather of a fencer, every nerve aquiver with energy ; indeed,
of the pair, the tall, broad, brawny Squire, with steel helmet and strong mouth,
seemed more suggestive of the English type. The bordure of his coat, it may
be remarked, was not sable, but of a sage-green with golden bezants ; that
detail however may be attributed to the artist who painted the window.

Yet another stained glass presentment in the same Church, and of later
date, showed him kneeling opposite to his royal wife, his shield enriched by
the blue ribbon of the Garter. Even thus, and in an attitude of devotion,
with hands reverently upraised, the eager visage seems combative — emphati-
cally the face of a fighting man. It may be added, though we anticipate,


that his Princess bears the label of three points ermine of her sire, John of
Gaunt, a device she shared with her sister Philippa, Queen of Portugal, and
with her half-sister Katherine, Queen of CastUe and Leon.

Hollinshed aptly remarks that, enjoying his father's name he inherited
his valour, and at the outset of his career found ample scope for the display
thereof, for the Consort of the second Duke of Brittany — his cousin — was
aunt to King Richard II., his first patron. In 1397 he was specially retained
to serve the King for life — this doubtless to prevent him from transferring
his sword permanently to Brittany, his mother's native country. He shared
the blood of the De Montforts, and from a military point of view a parallel
might be drawn between the great Simon and himself. As a sort of retaining
fee he was granted an annuity of one hundred marks, to be paid out of the
Cunage of Cornwall. The grant above-mentioned of the Manor of Chipping
Norton in 1399 proved to be the last favour conferred on the young and
promising knight by ill-starred Richard II. In that same year he rendered
homage to King Henry the Fourth.

The pivot of a briUiant career undoubtedly was his alliance with royalty.
John Holand, created Earl of Huntingdon in 1387, and Duke of Exeter in 1397,
had married, as her second husband, in 1384 Elizabeth, daughter of John of
Gaunt and sister to King Henry IV, a Princess who, bom 1364, was married in
1380 to John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke, she being 17 and he only 8, wliich
marriage was dissolved by mutual consent in 1383. UnhappUy in the brief
struggle which terminated in the deposition and murder of Richard II., the Duke
espoused the cause of the reigning monarch. This seems to have exasperated
King Henry, who on October 6, 1399, degraded him from his Dukedom,*
and he was beheaded January 15th, 1400, at Pleshey, in Essex ; in consequence
whereof the Princess Elizabeth descended to be Countess of Huntingdon.
With her brother, the King, she was present at a tournament at York,
and fascinated by the prowess of Sir John Cornewall in unhorsing first
an Italian and then a French Knight, obtained the royal permission to
accept him as a suitor. Such at least is one version, but Holhnshed hints
that " the Knight and the Countess were agreed beforehand without the
King's consent."

* The Earl of Huntingdon endeavoured secretly to organise a rising in London. Hearing of
the failiure of his friends (Sc., at Cirencester), he fled down the Thames in a small boat, but foul
weather drove him on to the coast of Essex, where he was recognised, apprehended, and lawlessly
executed by a mob outside Pleshey Castle. — Professor Oman.


Probably that represents the actual fact. The Knight was no stranger
either in court or in camp, and kinship with the Royal House of Brittany
brought him within the charmed circle of royalty, while his natural beauty and
grace was enhanced by the rarest skill in tournay. In the Rot. Pat., 2 Hen.
IV., this brief entry teUs of the marriage, viz., " John de Cornwaile Knight
married Elizabeth of Lancaster, Countess of Huntingdon." The auspicious
event carried with it honours and rewards. He was made a Knight of the
Garter, and this on the score of merit. Henry, Prince of Wales, loaded him
with riches.* He gave him for the term of his natural life the Castles of
Trematon — once the stronghold of the Valletorts — Restormel, Calstock,
Ashburgh, Penhyn, and Penknyth ; the townships of Lostwithiel and Camelford
with the exclusive fishing rights of the river Fowey — all and singular because
of service rendered in peace and in war. The King settled upon him a rent-
charge of four hundred a year, equivalent to at least ;^6ooo of our present
money — the prelude to other and much larger grants by the Crown. That
the happy couple were keenly alive to their own interest may be inferred from
a petition in the Rot. Pari., 3 Hen. IV., wherein Sir John Cornewall joins his
wife. It is therein recited that the King had granted to them and to the
Proctor of the Abbey of Fescamps the custody of the lands in England belonging
to the said Abbey — one of the so-called Alien Priories— and they pray that
they may be permitted without let or hindrance to enjoy the same.

The Rot. Norman, 5 Hen. V., 1418, show that this petition was successful,
e.g., " By patent dated at Bayeux the King granted to the Bishops of Durham
and Hereford, and to his uncle John, Duke of Bedford, with others, the re-
version of all the lands belonging to the alien Abbey of Fescamps in Normandy,
in the County of Sussex and elsewhere, which Sir John Cornewall and Elizabeth
his wife held for life by grant from the Crown, for tfie purpose of assigning
the same to a Monastery which the King had lately founded at Isleworth.
He has been erroneously affirmed to have been Sheriff of Salop, 1399-1404.
This is obviously in confusion with Sir John Cornewall of Kinlet — a Shropshire
landowner who also was Surveyor of Array in the latter year. We have no
evidence to show that Lord Fanhope held lands in Salop. A further evidence
of Sir John Cornewall's insistence on his rights is furnished by a Bill in Chancery,
4 Hen. IV., 1408-9, by himself and Elizabeth Lancaster, Countess of Huntingdon

* Although we cannot determine the exact date, it was probably on his marriage that he
was granted for life the Manor of Fownhope — then styled Fanhope, or Fawnhope — from which
he took his title.


his wife, against the Mayor of Barnstaple, reciting a grant by the King of lands
in Devon* and of the Manor of Barnstaple to complainants during the nonage

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