TEMPEST WIVES AND DAUGHTERS IN THE LATE MEDIEVAL PERIOD.
PART 4.

BY JOHN R. SCHUERMAN AND DOUGLAS HICKLING

WHO WERE THE PARENTS OF ISABEL TEMPEST, WIFE OF LAURENCE HAMERTON?

First, some background, beginning with evidence for this marriage. Perhaps the most decisive is the inscription on Laurence's tomb in the church at Long Preston, dated 1445, identifying his wife as Isabel. Also on the tomb are five shields, one of them Hamerton impaling Tempest (the tomb is pictured in Whitaker’s History and Antiquities of the Deanery of Craven in the County of York, 3rd ed., 1878, p. 146; see also Harleian 4630, f. 142).

Laurence and Isabel were the parents of a number of children, including Alice (shown as Matilda in some sources, including Baines, History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster, 1836, Family History Library film 994035, item 3, v. 3, chart after p. 572 and Whitaker's Whalley 4th ed., v. 2, p. 476), wife of Richard Sherburne. The home church of the Sherburnes in Mitton at one time had an inscription on a wood screen to Richard Sherburne and Alice Hamerton. The inscription is quoted in a Harleian manuscript at the British Library and in Dodsworth's Church Notes (op. cit.). On our behalf, Chris Phillips has examined the Harleian manuscript (Harl. M.S. 804, fol. 99b) and reports that it reads: "Orate pro Anima Richardi de Sherburne et p[ro] anima _ _ _ [...] Hamerton uxoris suae Anno Mo cccc xti obijt prfatus Rich[...] et erat hic tumulatus in diem Ascensions [sic] domini nostri Jesu Christi cuius anima propitietur deus Requiem aeterna[...] dona eis Domine 19.H.6." The volume is tightly bound and the ends of the lines cannot be read, as indicated by the bracketed ellipses. However, it is likely this is only one or two letters. Phillips believes that the superscript "ti" was intended to be "li" making the date MCCCCXLI (1441). The transcription in Dodsworth's Church Notes follows closely the Harleian version but provides Alice's first name in brackets, indicating that it was not present in the original inscription. It does not provide the date at the end. Both Whitaker's Whalley (4th ed. v. 2, p. 493) and his History of Craven (3rd ed., p. 151) quote the inscription, citing the Harleian MS, but the quotation differs somewhat from the transcript shown above and Whitaker inserts Alice's name in place of the dashes.

This Richard Sherburne's parents were Richard Sherburne (d. 1441, will in Test. Ebor. II, Surtees Society Publications v. 30, p. 75-76, dated 3 January 1436 and probated 7 June 1441, Test. Ebor. shows the date of probate as 1440, but Wills in the York Registry, YASRS v. 6 shows it as 1441; IPM in Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, appendix to v. 39, p. 541 says died on Monday before Pentecost 19 Henry 6 [29 May 1441]) and Agnes Harrington (d. 1444, her will is also in Test. Ebor. II, p. 105-06, dated 3 November 1444, IPM in Towneley's Abstracts of IPMs, Chetham Society Remains, v. 99, pp. 52-53, where it says she died in 1445 or 1446; Wills in York Registry gives the date of the will as above, date of probate 30 November 1444). Richard Sherburne the son evidently predeceased his father by a few days. The will of Richard senior identifies his wife as Agnes and makes his son James and Robert and Thomas Harrington (brothers) his executors "at the sight of John Tempest." No other children are mentioned. Agnes's will identifies, among other children, “my daughter, Alice Tempest.” Later in the will she leaves a gold broach “to my son Sir John Tempest” and appoints “John Tempest, knight” as one of her executors. This John Tempest was the son of Piers Tempest who was the son of Richard above and perhaps Margaret Stainforth. Agnes's IPM references her deceased son Richard and his son Robert.

The identity of Agnes (Harrington) Sherburne was the topic of an article on the Soc. Gen. Med. newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/soc.genealogy.medieval) on 24 May 2004 by Douglas Hickling, building on work reported by Douglas Richardson in the recent Plantagenet Ancestry (2004, p. 678). Many sources show Agnes as a Stanley, but Hickling has shown that she was the daughter of Sir Nicholas Harrington.

A chart is in order:

 
 
 
  Richard   = Agnes Harrington              Laurence  = Isabel
            |                                         |
  Sherburne | d. 1444                       Hamerton  | Tempest
            |                                         |
  d. 1441   |                             d. bef 1445 |
            |                                         |
     _______|__________________        _____________|________
     |       |                 |         |          |          |
     |       |                 |         |          |          |
     |       |                 |         |          |          |
     |       |                 |         |          |          |
 
  Others   Alice d. 1507 =   Richard = Alice     Richard    others
 
           John Tempest      d. 1441
 
           d. 1464

Returning now to the question of the parentage of Isabel, wife of Laurence Hamerton. She was clearly a Tempest. She is shown in a number of sources (see below) as the daughter of Sir John Tempest and Alice Sherburne. This is clearly impossible, since it would mean that Richard Sherburne the second married the granddaughter of his sister. Furthermore, the dates are problematic, since Isabel would have to be the daughter of a man who died in 1464 and the husband of a man who died in about 1445. This chronological and relationship difficulty was suggested in an exchange on this subject on the Soc. Gen. Med. newsgroup 27 May-1 June 2004 .

This error may be found in a number of places, in the Tempest pedigrees in Whitaker’s History of Craven (3rd ed., 1878, chart opposite p. 96), Foster’s Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire (1874), and Thoresby’s Ducatus Leodiensis (History of Leeds, 1715, p. 205). It is also shown in the History of Craven (opposite p. 96) and Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire Hamerton charts and in the Sherburne chart in the History of Craven (3rd ed., 1878, opposite p. 24). Burke's Landed Gentry (18th ed., 1972, p. 886) tries to cover all bases, showing Isabel both as daughter of Sir Richard and of Sir John and Alice Sherburne, both on the same page. The error is also perpetrated in numerous Internet files.

EBT shows Isabel as the daughter of Sir Richard Tempest and we believe that to be correct. As noted above, she was clearly a Tempest. EBT does not guess at Isabel's birth date. We have her husband's death date (about 1445) and her son-in-law's death date (1441). Considering these in conjunction with the likely dates of birth of Richard's sons (see above), Isabel would be in the right generation to be Richard's daughter, although it is not clear where in the sibship Isabel might be placed. EBT presents two pieces of evidence regarding the Hamertons, both confirming a close relationship between them and the Tempests. The first is Assize Roll 1542, mm. 9 and 9d (EBT also references m. 3d of this roll, the roll is National Archives, JUST 1/1542). Chris Phillips has located and translated this manuscript for us and the following is an edited version of his report. Membrane 9 and its reverse, 9d, includes a copy of the text on m. 3d, relating to the same plea. It concerns a claim of novel disseisin brought by William Richardson against Roger Tempest and Thomas Proctour, 15 April 7 Henry [VI] [1429] and references a previous plea at Westminster in Michaelmas Term in 7 Henry VI [1428]. Roger Tempest, presumably Isabel's brother, answered "that he holds, and held at the date of the writ, jointly with Richard Ham'ton son of Laurence de Ham'ton and Robert Proctour of Austwyke, by a certain charter of feoffment of Richard Tempest knight to the same Roger, Richard Ham'ton and Robert by names, viz. Roger Tempest son of Richard Tempest knight, Richard Ham'ton son of Laurence [insertion: de] Ham'ton and Robert Proctour of Austwyke, by the name of all the lands and tenements which Richard Tempest knight had of the gift and feoffment of John Dowebyggyng son of Robert Dowebyggyng of Wakefeld lying in the vills and fields of [named areas]. He produces the charter of feoffment [i.e., Richard Tempest's charter], dated at Clapeham Monday next after the feast of Pentecost 3 Henry VI [28 May 1425]." The entry goes on with other details of the suit that are not relevant here. The manuscript shows that Isabel's son, Richard Hamerton, identified as the son of Laurence Hamerton, and Roger Tempest, Sir Richard's son and presumably Isabel's brother, were enfeoffed of property by Sir Richard in 1425.

The second piece of evidence EBT cites is the founding of a chantry in Long Preston church in 1468 by Sir Richard Hamerton (the chantry contains the tomb mentioned above) for the souls of his father Laurence and others, witnesses being Sir Richard Tempest of Bracewell (perhaps the son of Sir Richard, son of Sir John and Alice Sherburne, John was the son of Sir Piers and Grace Hebden, and Piers was son of Sir Richard) and Sir Richard Tempest of Staynforth (son of Sir Roger who was son of Sir Richard). Her citation for this is "Dodsw. MSS." Unfortunately, EBT does not provide the volume number of the Dodsworth manuscript, we believe it to be Dodsw. 155, but have not examined that work.

There are a number of other evidences for the connection between the Tempests and Hamertons, many not cited by EBT:

9 Sept. 1410, Yorkshire Deeds I, Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series, v. 39, p. 44, no. 120: Release from Cecily, widow of Thomas Cokeson of Crakhow, to Sir Richard Tempest, knt. of [described lands]. Witnesses: Sir Thomas Talbot, knt., Laurence de Hamerton, and others.
1 May 1421, Ibid. p. 41, no. 106: Release from Henry de Marsden to Sir Richard Tempest, knt., of lands in Broughton, witnesses included Laurence de Hamerton.
7 July 1437, Ibid. p. 41, no. 107: Grant in special tail male by Roger Tempest, esq., and Katherine his wife, to William, their son, and Joan, daughter of James Metcalf, of their manor in Broughton with other lands. Witnesses: Sir John Tempest, knt., Laurence de Hamerton, and others.
13 June 1410, Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1408-1413, p. 225: Commission to William de Haryngton, "chivaler," Richard Tempest, "chivaler," Laurence de Hamerton, and others to arrest various people.
June 1412, EBT quoting Dodsw. 83, f. 57 [or 51]: Sir Richard Tempest, with his sons Peter and John and Laurence Hamerton, witnesses.
1 April 1418, Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry V, 1416-1422, p. 196: Commission of array to Richard Tempest, "chivaler," Laurence Hamerton, and others for the defense of the realm while the king is in foreign parts for the recovery of the inheritance and rights of the crown.
6 Sept 1426, Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, Madden, 1834-43, v. 6, Charters Relating to Elslack, &c, pp. 316-17, T. 130: Richard Tempest, militis, Laurence de Hamerton, and others, witnesses.
20 Sept. 1426, Ibid. p. 316, T. 134: Laurence de Hamerton, Roger Tempest, and others, witnesses.
28 Sept. 1426, Ibid. p. 316, T. 135: Richard Tempest, militis, Laurence de Hamerton, armig', and others, witnesses.
5 January 1427-8, EBT quoting Hoghton Tower Deeds, no. 272: Sir Richard Tempest, Knt., with Laurence Hamerton and John Tempest (his son) with others witnesses at Gisburne.
4 Oct 1434, Pudsay Deeds, Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series, v. 56, p. 255 No. 267: John Tempest, knight, Laurence de Hamerton, and others, witnesses.
20 July 1439 A2A: Lancashire Record Office Tatton of Cuerdan ref. DDTA 146: John Tempest, knt., Laurence Hamerton, Richard Hamerton, Roger Tempest, and others, witnesses. (Online at the Access to Archives website.)

We believe that there is good evidence that Isabel was Sir Richard's daughter. We cannot, however, be sure that she was a daughter of Margaret Stainforth, since we do not know whether Richard had a previous wife (carried off by the Scots) and we do not know where in her sibship Isabel came.


We are grateful to Chris Phillips for his assistance in locating, translating, and interpreting original documents at the National Archives and British Library. We thank the Borthwick Institute at the University of York for their translation of the will of Robert de Stainforth. We much appreciate the helpful comments by Chris Phillips, Jeffery Duvall, and Henry Tempest on an earlier version of this article.

Please direct comments to the corresponding author, John Schuerman, j-schuerman@uchicago.edu, 1229 E. 50th St. Chicago, Illinois, 60615.