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History of the family of Wrottesley of Wrottesley, co. Stafford online

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heirs male of his body with remainder to John de Pilatenhale,
and the heirs male of his body, and failing such to the right
heirs of Sir Hugh."

In pursuance of this Indenture, Sir Hugh on the same
date enfeoffed the above named trustees in the manor, but
owing probably to the absence of one of the parties the
settlement was not completed till the following September,
when the same trustees conveyed the manor to Sir Hugh
and Isabella and to the heirs of their bodies, with remainders
according to the Indenture of 1 April. ^

When Sir Hugh had no longer an opportunity for fighting
the enemies of his country, he found a new and congenial
field for his energies in contests with his neighbours and
relations. He had already received pardons under the Great
Seal for his complicity in the deaths of four of his neighbours,
and at the present date he was engaged in a violent feud
with his near neighbour and relative, Adam de Peshall.

Sir Philip ap Rees, the father of Mabel, the second wife of
Sir Hugh, had died in August 1369, and when this event
occurred, Sir Hugh would be entitled to hold a third of
Talgarth by the courtesy of England, Mabel having had
issue by him.

On the death of Joan, the widow of Sir Philip, which took
place on the 22 August in the following year,^ Sir Hugh
appears to have claimed one half of the land she had held in

1 Original deed at Wrottesley, copied 1860-62.

^ Ibidem.

* Ibidem.

■• See ante p. 141.


dower, and this claim was resisted by Adam de Peshall. At
length, on the 18 October 1370, by the interposition of friends
of both parties, an accord was made by which Sir Hugh was
to permit Adam de Peshall and Elizabeth, his wife, to have
livery from the King's hands of the third part of the demesne
and manor of Talgarth Engleys which Joan, late wife of
Sir Philip ap Rees, had held in dower, and which was of the
inheritance of the said Elizabeth, together with some other
lands and tenements specified, and when this had been
effected, Adam and Elizabeth were to levy a Fine by
which Sir Hugh should acquire, by license of the King,
the said third part for his life, together with the other
third part which Adam and Elizabeth had held during the
lifetime of Joan, to- be held also for his life, and for which
he was to pay to Adam and Elizabeth £40 annually. As
Sir Hugh already held one third of the manor, the effect of
this agreement would be to hand over to him the whole of
Talgarth Engleys, subject to an annual payment to Adam
and Elizabeth of £40. Both parties took a solemn oath before
witnesses that they would faithfully caxry out their pledges,
but it is a noteworthy fact, when taken in connection with
the subsequent history of these transactions, that the half
of the Indenture formerly at Wrottesley, in place of bearing
the seal of Adam de Peshall according to the purport of the
last clause of the deed, has the seal of Thomas Gech, the
brother-in-law of Adam, attached to it.^ It would not, there-
fore, in the absence of witnesses, have bound Adam at all,
for the latter could have pleaded in a court of law that
it Vv'as not his act and deed, and it is abundantly clear
from subsequent proceedings that Adam never had any
intention of carrying out the agreement.

Sir Hugh, however, on the completion of this covenant,
seems to have taken possession of the whole manor, for in
a deed formerly at Wrottesley he styles himself " doininus
de Talgarth,'''' and granted a lease of the manorial mill. The
Welsh portion of Talgarth, including the towns of Langorse
and Bronlys, formed a separate manor, which was held under
the De Bohuns, Earls of Hereford. This had been settled
on Philip ap Rees and Joan, his wife, and their issue, and
having passed into the hands of Adam and Elizabeth, formed
a convenient base of operations for inroads upon the possessions
of Sir Hugh at Talgarth Engleys.

Accordingly at Easter term, 48 Edward III (1374), we find
the latter suing in Banco, Adam de Peshall and six others,

' Original deed at Wrottesley, copied 1860-G2. For an account of this trans-
action, see also Bridgeman's History of Weston under Lizard, pp. 83-89, Vol. ii,
New Series of Staffordshire CoUectious. No witnesses are named in the deed.


mostly Welshmen, for breaking vi et armis into his close at
Talf^arth Englej's, and taking his goods and chattels to the
value of £10. None of the defendants appeared, and the
Sheritf was ordered to arrest and produce them at the follow-
ing Trinitj'^ term.^ Sir Hugh must likewise have laid an
information against the Peshalls in the Court of King's Bench,
for an entry on the Coram Rege Roll of the same date, viz.,
Easter, 48 Edward III, states that the Sheriff had been
ordered to summon for that date Adam de Peshale, John le
Parker of Talgarth, Richard de Peshale, Kt., Richard Mutton,
John Qualmpolle, and fourteen others named, for divers
trespasses, extorsions and oppressions for which they had been
indicted. None of the defendants appeared, and the Sheriff
had made no return to the writ. He was therefore ordered
to distrain and produce them on the following term. The
process was continued up to Hillary term, 49 Edward III,
when Adam was fined ten marks, Richard de Peshall 40s.,
and the others smaller sums.- John Qualmpolle, here named,
had been formerly Sir Hugh's bailiff at Wrottesley, and having
been sued by the latter for an account of his stewardship
had absconded.^

Apparentlj^ after this inroad upon him Sir Hugh considered
it advisable to call upon Adam de Peshall to carry out the
agreement of 1370, for at the Easter Sittings of the Court
of Common Pleas, 48 Edward III. (1374), he sued Adam de
Peshall and Elizabeth, his wife, to carry out a covenant made
between them and himself respecting land in Talgarth Engleys,
and two parts of the same manor, according to the form of
certain Indentures made between them. The defendants did
not appear, and the Sherifi' was ordered to summon them for
the following term. The process was continued till Easter term,
49 Edward III, when the Sheriff returned that the defendants
had been distrained up to 40d. He was therefore ordered to
distrain again and produce them at the following term. The
process went on in this wa}^, adjourned from term to term,^
till Easter, 51 Edward III, when the Sheriff returned that he
had distrained them again up to 40d. The defendants,
however, made no appearance in Court, and he was ordered
to distrain again and produce them at the following Michael-
mas term.^ Before the last date the Eang had died, and as

' De Banco, Easter, 48 Edward III. m. 351, dor-so.

' Coram Rege, Ea.ster, 48 Edward III, m. 12, Rex.

3 De Banco, Mich., 42 Edward III, m. 340, dorso.

■* During a part of this time Sir Richard de Peshall, the brotlier of Adam, was
Sheriff of Staffordshire.

» De Banco, Trinity, 48 Edward III, m. 482, Ditto, Easter, 49 Edward III,
m. 448. Ditto, Hillary, 50 Edward III, m 164. Ditto, Trinity, 50 Edward HI,
m. 276, dorso. Ditto, Easter, 51 Edward III, m. 212.


this event annulled all the writs, Sir Hugh was forced to
begin his suit de novo.

It will be seen from the above narrative that seven years
had elapsed since the agreement had been made, and it was
not until four years had passed that Sir Hugh had commenced
an action in Banco for specific performance of it. During
the last three j'^ears Adam had successfully evaded service to
the writ, and Sir Hugh after having been put to considerable
expense in law costs had now to begin his suit again. It is
not surprising therefore to find him taking the law into his
own hands. In the first year of Richard II Sir Adam de
Peshall petitioned the King and Council, that having been up
in London for the Coronation of the King, on repairing
home to his own country. Monsieur Hugh de Wrottesley,
designing his death, had made various ambushes of men
armed and harnessed on the high roads between London and
the country, and he had himself laid in wait with many
armed men at a place called Foxhunte Ledegate, in the
county of Worcester, with a view of killing and murdering
the said Adam and his people, as was well known throughout
all the country, and he had afterwards so threatened him and
his servants and tradespeople of the town of Shuflfenhale
(Shifnal), that his servants and tradespeople did not dare to
attend the market or fair for the purpose of their business,
and he had taken from one William Barker, one of his
tenants, twenty-four oxen on the high road at Wrottesley,
and kept them until he had made a fine of 24s. for their
release, and the said Sir Hugh had formed a retinue of out-
laws and malefactors from the counties of Chester and
Lancaster, in consequence of which things the said Adam
prayed a remedy for himself and his tenants.

The petition is endorsed " Let a writ be issued under the
Great Seal commanding Monsieur Hugh de Wrottesle to appear
before the Council on the morrow of St. Martin next ensuing
under a penalty of £300, to answer to this bill." After which
follows a copy of the writ to Sir Hugh in Latin, which is
dated 30 October, 1 Eichard II. i

The King, although only ten years of age, had been crowned
at Westminster on the 16 July, and Parliament met on the
following 13 October. All petitions addressed in this way to
the King and Council were laid before Parliament, and the
above writ of the 30 October is endorsed " Istud breve
retornatum fuit in Parliamentum die Jovis in Crastino
Sancti Martini et idem Hugo ibidem compertus eodem die

^ Petitions to King and Council, Public Record Office. The petition is in
French, and bears no date.


There are two answers of Sir Hugh to the comphxint. In
the first of them, which is addressed to the King- of Castile
and Leon, the Duke of Lancaster, and other lords of Parlia-
ment, he merely says that " as Adam de Peshale had laid his
petition before Parliament, he prayed that the said Adam
might sustain his bill, or if he would not do so, that they
would give judgement upon it as reason demands." This was
evidently no answer to Sir Adam's petition, and the tone of it
justifies the suspicion that Sir Hugh trusted to the ascendency
of the old Court party in his favour. If this was the case
he must soon have been disabused, for the new Parliament
evinced an unaccustomed spirit of independence, impeached the
King's late mistress, Alice Perers, and excluded all the King's
uncles from the administi'ation. It also presented a petition
requesting the King to check the prevailing custom of the
Barons, as well as men of inferior rank, of forming illegal
confederacies and supporting one another in violations of the

Sir Hugh had therefore to frame another answer. His
counter petition to the Council, like Sir Adam's, is in French,
and is addressed, " A tres sage et noble conseil notre seigneur
le Roi." It states that an accord had formerly been made
between Adam de Peshale and him respecting the Manor of
Talgarth, by which the said Adam and Elizabeth, his wife,
ought long ago to have levied a Fine, and this the said
Adam had sworn to perform in the presence of Sir Ralph
Ferrers, Sir Peter de Caverswalle, Sir Nicholas de Stafford,
Sir Thomas de Harcourt, and others, and this oath he had
violated, as well as his deed under his seal, and by this
violation the said Hugh had been put to great expense and
loss, as the manor being held of the King in capite, he
had been forced to obtain the King's license, for which he
had paid a large sum, and since that time, by reason of the
enmity between them, the men of the said Adam had beaten
his men and tenants at the Fair of Albrighton on the last
day of St. Thomas (21 December). Notwithstanding which,
they had sent to the said Adam at Ideshale complaining of
the men of Sir Hugh, whom they had beaten, in consequence
of which Hamenet, the brother of Adam, armed and arrayed
as for war, with others of his household and tenants to the
number of sixty, arrayed and armed, went to Albrighton and
drove the men of Sir Hugh out of the county of Salop as far
as Wrottesley, in the county of Stafford, and had beaten, maimed,
and ill-treated them so badly that they were in fear of their
lives, and they had plundered them, shouting out "Tuez les
larons de Wrottesleye," and calling out and praying to God
that the said Hugh had been with them, so that they might
have killed him, to the dread of the whole county, and

wrotte:sley of wrottesley. 149

against the King's peace. And besides this, the said Adam,
Hamenet, and Sir Richard, his brothers, had laid a slanderous
complaint against him in the King's Court, and sued out
writs to attach his person without any reason, since which
time the said Sir Richard, Adam, and Hamenet, and others
of his affinit}^, had assembled together 300 men arrayed in
manner of war, so that he neither dared to remain at home
or go out of his house without a great company by reason
of their malice ; and Thomas Gech, the brother-in-law of
Adam, had sent word to one William de Godyngton to go
with him against the said Hugh, and because he had refused
to do so, the sons of Sir Richard had gone to the house of
William for the purpose of killing him, and out of spite had
taken his daughter and " la raviserent felenousement," against
the King's peace and dignity, and in order to spite the
said Hugh as before stated.^

The ultimate result of these proceedings is not shewn, but
without doubt both parties were bound over under heavy
penalties to keep the peace according to the provisions of
the Act of Edward III.

In order to give a continuous narrative of this dispute, it
has been necessary?' to outstrip some of the events of Sir
Hugh's life. The Wardrobe Accounts shew that he was present
at the Chapters of the Garter held on St. George's Day
(21 April), in each of the years 1374, 1375, 1376, and 1377.

On the first of these Festivals, owing probably to the war
in France, twelve only of the Knights were present, in addition
to the King and the Prince of Wales These were the Earls
of Cambridge and Salisbury, the Lords Latymer, Neville and
Basset, Sir Alan Buxhulle, Sir Guy de Brian, Sir Richard
Pembrugge, Sir W^alter Pavely, Sir Niel Loryng, Sir John
Sully, and Sir Hugh Wrottesle.'''

The Festival of the year 1376, was the last attended by
the Black Prince, for he died on the following 8 June. A
truce had been made with France, and every Knight was
present except the Captal de Buch. Robes were issued to: —

The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Lancaster,

The Duke of Brittany, The Earl of Salisbury,

The Earl of Cambridge, The Earl of Bedford,

The Earl of Warwick, The Earl of Stafford,

The Earl of Suffolk, Lord Latymer,

Lord Neville, Lord Percy,

' Petitions to King and Council. Public Record Office.

- Enrolled Wardrobe Accounts, No. 4. The colors of the Robes are not given
in these Accounts. The enrolled AVardrobe Accounts, as distinguished from the
ordinary Wardrobe Accounts, appear to have been overlooked both by Austis
and Beltz.


Lord Basset of Drayton, Sir Thomas de Holland,

Sir Alan de Buxhull, Sir Guy de Brian,

Sir Nigel Lor3^ng, Sir John Sully,

Sir Hugh de Wrottesle, Sir WilHara de Beauchamp,

Sir Thomas Percy, Sir Thomas Banastre, and

Sir Guychard d'Angle, Sir Robert de Namur.

The Robes at this Festival were sanguine in grain,' and the
hoods lined with blue ; the fur supplied was white miniver
for the lords and grey for the knights.

The Festival of the following year was the last attended
by the King, who died in June 1377. On this occasion
Richard, the young Prince of Wales, was introduced into the
Chapter, although only eleven years of age, and out of
compliment to his youth the Knights were attired in robes
of white cloth and hoods lined with blue.- To quote the
late Poet Laureate, they were " white robed in honor of the
stainless child."

An Inquisition of this year (1377), taken on the death of
Thomas de Venables of Alvandelegh, gives some information
respecting the parentage of Isabella, the wife of Sir Hugh.
It states that Thomas had died seised of certain lands and
tenements in Budworth, co. Chester, in right of his wife
Aline, the daughter and heir of Robert Daa, which were held
of the King in capite as Earl of Chester, by military service,
and that the heirs of Aline were Robert, son of Robert de
Legh, the son of Matilda, daughter of John de Arderne, Kt.
Katherine, the wife of John Boidele, Kt., daughter of John
de Arderne, and Isabella, the wife of Hugh de Wrottesleye, Kt.,
the other daughter of John de Arderne, and that Katherine
and Isabella were twenty-four years of age and upwards.

^ i.e., Sauguiue in grain is crimson. Spanish grana — whence the word pome-

- Wardrobe Accounts, 49-51 Edward III, ''^-J. There is a cotemporary drawing
of Sir Neel Loryng, in robes, in Cottonian MS., Nero. D. vii, where he is
depicted in white robes powdered with garters.

The Black I'lince died on the 8 June 1376. The enrolled Accounts of John de
Sleford, the Keeper of the Wardrobe, between the 2i November, 48 Edward III,
and 21 June, 51 Edward III, when the King died, have the following entry: —

" Et Edwardo Principi Wallie ac Ricardo filio suo Principi Wallie post mortem
dicti patris sui, Duci Lancastrie, Comitibus Pembroke, Warwick et Saiuni, Dominis
de Percy, Latymer, Neville, Mohun et Basset, Alano de Buxhulle, Ricardo de
Peinbrugcre, Guidoue Brian, Thome Graunson, Guychard de Angle, Nigello Loryng,
Johanni Sully, Hugoni de Wrotteslee et Waltero Pavele, militibus de Garterio,
et Kpiscopo Wyutouensi jiro robiis suis contra festum Sancti Georgii faciendis,
necnon prefato Ricardo Principi Wallie, Thome de Wodestoke, Henrico filio Regis
Castell, Comiti Oxou : dominis de Bellomoute, et Moubray, duobis filiis Comitum
Stafford et Sarum, tribus filiis domini de Percj', et Jobanni de Sotheray pro
apparatubus suis ad ordinem militarem de dicto avo suscipiendum," etc.

This is probably the first occasion on which Knights were made of such tendw
age. Richard, the Prince of Wales, and his cousin Heury, the son of John of
Gaunt, were born in the same year, viz., in 1366.


The relationship of the sisters to Aline is not specified,
but judging from chronology, and facts gleaned from the
Chester Plea Rolls, they were, without doubt, her grand-

Edward III died on the 21 June 1377, and his grandson,
Richard, was crowned in the following month. On the
formation of the young King's household. Sir Hugh was
placed in his former position as a " miles Rejjis,''''^ and his
fee of £40 a year was confirmed to him by Letters Patent
dated 27 January 1378.

At the first festival of St. George of the new reign all the
Knights of the Garter were present. The young King at
this date was only eleven years of age, and he was accom-
panied by his mother, Joan, the Princess of Wales, and
several other ladies, who were all attired in the same
dress as the Knights. Alan de Stokes, the Keeper of the
Wardrobe, charges his accounts this year with a robe of
scarlet cloth for the King's mother, of the uniform of the
Society of the Garter " de secta Tnilitum de Societate
Garterii, de dono domini Regis contra Festum Sancti
Georgii,'' and the same for the Queen of Spain (the Duchess
of Lancaster), the Duchess of Brittanj^, and the Lady
Courtenay, sister of the King,^ and for two daughters of
the Duke of Lancaster, and for the Countess of Oxford.

' Robert Daa was a son (probably illegitimate) of Warine le Grosvenor of Bud-
worth, the chief Forester of Delamere, temp. Edward 1. The name is apparently
Welsh, for a Jevan ap Daa was Collector of the Subsidy in co. Chester in 1434,
and Res Wynne ap Daa held the same office in 1454. A suit on the Chester
Plea Rolls shews that Warine le Grosvenor, temp. Edward I, had made grants
of land in Budworth to his son Robert Daa, and this Robert was also executor
of his will.

Thomas de Venables was not the father of Ellen, the mother of the three
coheiresses of Aline, for in 42 Edward III they were sueing him for waste
and destruction in lands of their inheritance at Teverton, near Tarporley.
He must, therefore, have held their inheritance by courtesy only. The
father of Ellen may have been a Bulkeley, as she is called Ellena de Bulkeley
on the Chester Plea Rolls ; but I suspect she was a widow, and had been
born a Radclifle. The Radcliffes of Ordsall, co. Lancaster, held Moberley
and Sandbach, under the Ardernes of Aldford, and Sir Hugh Wrottesley, after
his marriage with Isabella, appears to have assumed the Arms of Radcliffe
with a change of tincture, for these Arms, viz , " Or, a bend engrailed Gules,"
have been ascribed to him by Ashmole, in his " History of the Garter," on
the authority of an Armorial in the College of Arms. Ormerod, in his
" History of Cheshire," describes Ellen as a Wasteneys, but I have never
been able to discover any authority for this statement.

^ A writ on the Patent Roll of 1 Richard II (printed), dated 25 November
1377, contains a pardon for John Trubbeschawe for killing Stephen de
Bruggewode, granted on the supplication of Hugh de Wrotteslej- " Begis
militis." John was one of the outlaws of co. Chester, whom Sir Hugh had
taken into his service.

^ This was Matilda, widow of Sir Hugh Courtenay, and half-sister to the
King. The Duchess of Brittany was Mary, a daughter of Edward III, and
the Countess of Oxford was Philippa, granddaughter of Edward III, and a
daughter of Isabella, the Countess of Bedford.


Also for robes of scarlet cloth embroidered with Garters
of blue taffata, with the motto " hony soit qi mal y pense,"
each robe of two trimmings, "c^e duahus garniamentis,^'
and for hoods of the same, lined with white cloth, made
long and furred, for twenty-four Knights of the Society of
the Garter, for the Festival of St. George, viz., for the Duke
of Lancaster, five yards of scarlet cloth and one yard of
white cloth, and a fur lining, '\furratuT(i"' of 200 bellies of
pure miniver; for the Earl of Derby,' three yards of scarlet
cloth and half a yard of white cloth, and a fur of 200 bellies
of pure miniver ; and for the Duke of Brittany, the Earls of
Cambridge, Warwick, Salisbmy, Stafford, Suffolk, Northumber-
land, and Huntyngdon, and the Lords Latimer, Nevill,
Basset, and Sir Thomas Holand, to each, five yards of
scarlet cloth and half a yard of white cloth, and a fur of
200 bellies of pure miniver ; and to Sir Wilham de Beauchamp,
Sir Gu}^ de Brian, Sir Alan de Buxhull, Sir Thomas Percy,
Sir Thomas Banastre, Sir Nigel Loryng, Sir John Sully, Sir
Hugh de Wrottesle, Sir Louis de Cliftord, and Sir John de
Burle, to each for robes, five yards of scarlet cloth, half a yard
of white cloth, and a fur lining of 120 bellies of miniver
" grossi^^ ;^ and to Isabella, Countess of Bedford,^ for a robe
of the uniform of the said Knights, " de secta dictorum
rrdlitiim," for the same Festival, five yards of scarlet cloth,
half a yard of white cloth", and a fur of 200 bellies of
pure miniver.''

Sir Hugh was present again at the Festival of the Order
in 1379, but apparently the presence of the King's mother
and the other ladies in 1378 had not been a success, for the
household accounts of 1379 state that 2,030 Garters'* were
made of blue taffata, embroidered in gold, with the motto
of the Order, for twenty-six trimmings, " garnicunentis," for
the King and other Knights of the Societj^ of the Garters,
(sic) " de Societate Garteriorum,'' and likewise for the King's
mother and for two others, which were not received, " et
aliis duabus de non receptisy From another part of the
same document we find that the two ladies who had not
accepted their robes were the Countess of Bedford and her
daughter, the Countess of Oxford, and as no other ladies
received robes, the King's mother must have been the only
lady present upon this occasion. It is a trifling circumstance

^ Henry, Earl of Derby, %vas the eldest son of the Duke of Lancaster,
and was afterwards Henry IV. At this date he was only eleven years of age.

- Miniver grossus would be prohablj' the back or coarser fur of the animal,
grey in colour.

^ The Countess of Bedford was Isabella, daughter of Edward III, and the
widow of Ingelram de Coucy.

■* The robes were powdered with Garters, as shewn on a contemporary
drawing of Sir Kiel Loryug.


in itself, but the refusal of the two Countesses to accept

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