|SOME NOTES ON MEDIEVAL ENGLISH GENEALOGY|
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BY DOUGLAS HICKLING
John de Mowbray, a son of Sir Philip de Mowbray of Redcastle, is referred to as "John de Moubray, knight, late lord of Tours in Vymeu" in two records in the patent rolls:
17 June 1335. CPR Edward III 1334-1338, pp. 120-122. "Attestation at the request of Anselm de Guyse and Philippa de Moubray, his wife, sister and one of the heirs of John de Moubray, knight, late lord of Tours in Vymeu."
12 February 1336. CPR Edward III 1334-1338, p. 222. "Testification, at the request of Robert Gower, knight, and Margaret, his wife, sister and one of the heirs of John de Moubray, knight, late lord of Tours in Vymeu."
Sir Philip de Mowbray, this John's father, was a son of Sir Galfrid or Geoffrey de Mowbray and a daughter of Red John Comyn. [See William Stephen, HISTORY OF INVERKEITHING AND ROSYTH, (1921), pp. 53-54, and the addendum to this work which appears in the same author's THE STORY OF INVERKEITHING AND ROSYTH (1938), p. 149.]
Sir John de Mowbray, son of Sir Philip de Mowbray of Redcastle, must be ruled out as Christiana de Plumpton's brother for two reasons. According to Stephen, HISTORY, etc., p. 54, Sir Philip de Mowbray and his wife Eve were the parents of a son, Sir John of Redcastle, and three daughters, "who were the respective wives of Ancelm de Gyses, Robert Gower, and David Merschal." [See CALENDAR OF DOCUMENTS RELATING TO SCOTLAND 3: 319.] Christiana was not one of these. Further, Sir John, a supporter of Edward Baliol, was killed in Baliol's defeat at Annan on 26 December 1332. [Ibid.] Sir John's death in 1332 preceded by several months the death of Richard de Emeldon, Christiana's second husband at the battle of Halidon Hill on 19 July 1333, so he could not have been the brother named by Christiana on 12 December 1333 to seek and receive her dower from Emeldon's estate. This John de Mowbray was a contemporary of Christiana de Mowbray, but he was not her brother.
"John, son of Geoffrey de Mowbray," appears with certainty in just one of the patent rolls:
20 May 1354, CPR Edward III 1354-1358, p. 69. "Commission of oyer and terminer to William Basset, Thomas de Fencotes, Thomas Levelaunce and Thomas de Egmanton, touching the death of Geoffrey de Moubray 'chivaler,' John his son and Adam de Halsham, killed at Eppeworth. co. Lincoln."
Several weeks later, on 26 June 1354 [CPR Edward III 1354-1358, p.76], a pardon was granted to John Noble
detained in the gaol of the castle of Lincoln for the death of Geoffrey de Moubray, "chivaler," killed at Eppeworth, of the king's suit for the said death, as it appears by the record of William Basset and his fellows, justices of oyer and terminer touching that felony, that he killed him in self defence.
The Geoffrey de Moubray who, with his son and servant, was killed at Epworth in 1354, was no doubt the same person whose complaint was heard by a commission of oyer and terminer on 20 October 1350 [CPR Edward III 1350-1354, p. 25], alleging that several men from Lound and a great many others from Finningley
broke his close at Wrote [Wroot], co. Lincoln, drove away 5 horses and 10 oxen of his there, worth 20L., carried away some of his goods and burned others, and assaulted his men and servants ...
The parish of Wroot is located within the western edge of the Isle of Axholme, 5 miles west of Epworth. The Lords Mowbray, whose principal home was Epworth manor, were the barons of the whole Isle of Axholme. [CIPM 11: 138-139; CCR Edward III 1333-1337. p. 490.] Geoffrey de Mowbray of Wroot is identified as a "chivaler," which is usually synonymous with "knight." As such, he was almost certainly a person of means, and it may be assumed that he held his estate at Wroot, directly or indirectly, of the baronial Lords Mowbray of the Isle of Axholme.
William Mowbray and Stephen Goslin, in their THE MOWBRAY JOURNAL, hereafter cited as TMJ, v. 1, no. 2, August 1976, p. 4, state that it is probable that John I, Lord Mowbray, had a brother named Geoffrey. The records that refer to the breaking of Geoffrey's close at Wroot and to his death at Epworth amply support TMJ's conjecture that Geoffrey was a member of the baronial family and a brother of John I, Lord Mowbray. Geoffrey's son John was therefore a first cousin of John II, Lord Mowbray and a contemporary of Christiana.
The Mowbrays of Easby and later of Kirklington are the subject of two useful articles. "Mowbray of Kirklington," by G. Andrews Moriarty appears in THE NEW ENGLAND HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL REGISTER 120 (1966): 170-174, hereafter cited as Moriarty, and "The Mowbrays of Easby," which appears in TMJ, v. 4, no. 3, December 1979, beginning at 15, This family and its holdings are chronicled in VICTORIA COUNTY HISTORY (hereafter cited as VCH) YORKSHIRE NORTH RIDING 2: 305-307. Also helpful is "The Chartulary of the Priory of Guisborough," which appears in THE SURTEES SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS v. 89 (1891): 27-30.
Four persons named John were members of the Mowbray family, which held one of the two manors located in the township of Easby in the parish of Stokesley in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Only one of them qualifies as a contemporary of Christiana de Mowbray, who, as suggested above, was born about 1305.
The John de Mowbray of Easby/Kirklington, who was a contemporary of Christiana de Mowbray, was a Judge of the Common Pleas, 1359-1373. [Moriarty 170.] John de Mowbray (the future judge) was the second son of William de Mowbray, the only member of his family to be taxed in Easby in 1301, and his wife Agnes. [TMJ 17; Moriarty 171.] William and Agnes appear on 1 April 1312 in connection with their land in the North Yorkshire town of Brompton-on-Swale, located about 35 miles WSW of Easby. [CCR Edward II 1307-1313, p. 457.] TMJ, p. 17, says that William attested deeds in 1302, 1312, and 1320, and that in 1316 he was appointed to survey the grain in his home wapentake of Langbaurgh. "Two months later in the same year an urgent reminder was considered necesssary as he had not yet done so."
William was dead by 1320 and had been succeeded by his elder son Thomas de Mowbray of Easby to whom a debt was acknowledged on 13 January 1320. [CCR Edward II 1318-1323, p. 218.] John de Mowbray, son of William, was taxed at Easby in 1327. It appears that John (the judge) was a few years older than Christiana, although he outlived her by nine years, dying about 1373. [Moriarty 173.]
Until his appointment as a Judge of Common Pleas in 1359, he was consistently styled in the public records as "John son of William de Moubray," even decades after his father's death. An exception was his appointment on 2 July 1354 as a justice to a commission to keep the statute of labourers in "Pykering and Clyveland in the North Riding, co. York." [CPR Edward III 1354-1358, p. 60.] As there was no doubt only one "John de Moubray" living in Cleveland, an area which included Easby, there was no need to further identify him. The earliest appearance of "John son of William de Moubray" in the Calendar of Patent Rolls was his participation in 1345 on a commission of oyer and terminer looking into a complaint brought in Yorkshire by John de Mowbray of the manor of Kirkby Malzeard. [CPR Edward III 1343-1345, p. 502.]
In July 1355, Robert son of Sir John de Musters released a life estate in the manor of Kirklington to "John son of William de Moubray," a transaction witnessed by John's nephew "John son of Thomas Moubray," who, as the judge's nephew, was a generation younger than Christiana. [CCR Edward III 1354-1360, p. 234.] On 16 October 1355, William Boteler of Kydale acknowledged a debt owed to "John son of William Moubray." [CCR Edward III 1354-1360, p. 226.] The last record which styles John de Mowbray (the judge) as "John son of William Moubray" is the enrolment of a release which he witnessed in August 1359, just a few weeks after his appointment to the bench. [CCR Edward III 1354-1360, p.638.] John son of William Mowbray appears to have been the "King's Serjeant [at law] and later a judge (a knight in 1360)," who was summoned to Parliament "among the lawyers from 1354 to 1370." [CP 9: 380 n. (j).]
The King's "[a]ppointment, during pleasure, of John Moubray as a justice of the Bench, with the usual fee," was dated 11 July 1359. [CPR Edward III 1358-1361, p. 241.] On 8 January 1363, the King, in order to remedy a judicial backlog in the common bench of the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, Nottingham, Westmoreland, York, Lincoln, Derby, and Lancaster, appointed a justice of the king's bench to that court. The backlog was caused by the failure of all of the judges to have been to those parts for a long time and "none comes there but John de Moubray, who seldom comes because the said Bench being open there and closed elsewhere he must be present in parts far distant from those counties about the things which pertain to the office of justice to which he is specially ascribed." [CPR Edward III 1361-1364, p. 278.]
The last reference in the patent rolls to "John Moubray, one of the justices of the Bench" is dated 6 February 1370, and relates the creation of a commission of oyer and terminer to look into the breaking into the manor of Kirklington by many evildoers while the judge was "in the king's protection" in order to steal John's goods, to wound and imprison his men and servants, and to ravish and carry away "Elizabeth, late the wife of Alexander Moubray," the judge's son. Elizabeth is also described as the judge's "special servant" at Kirklington. [CPR Edward III 1367-1370, p. 421.]
On 5 August 1302, the king pardoned a much earlier "John son of William de Moubray of his outlawry for the death of Robert de Bildesdale ..." [CPR Edward I 1301-1307, p. 51.] TMJ, pp. 16-17 suggests that he was an uncle of the judge. Since the pardon occurred some years before Christiana's probable birth year, he was likely a generation older. John de Mowbray (the judge) was survived by his son John Mowbray, a cleric. This John was warden of Laysingby Hospital about 1364 and in 1374 he was parson of Ripley in Yorkshire. He was later appointed a papal chaplain, auditor, and referendary, and died about 1390. [TMJ 17, Moriarty 173-174.] These dates show that John Mowbray, the cleric, was one generation younger than Christiana and are consistent with the identification of his father John de Mowbray (the judge) as Christiana's contemporary.
The Mowbrays of Easby were neighbors of the Lords Eure, whose principal manor in that area was in Stokesley, but they also held one of the two manors of Easby. Sir John de Eure of Stokesley, Ingleby, and Easby, was an associate of the Earl of Lancaster and of John I, Lord Mowbray, at the Battle of Boroughbridge in 1322 and, like them, was subsequently executed. [CPR Edward II 1321-1324, pp. 75 and 128; and THE CHRONICLE OF LANERCOST, ed. and trans. by Sir Herbert Maxwell (1912), pp. 235-236.] He was succeeded by his son, also named John de Eure, the latter being for a time as early as 1346 the feudal lord of William de Plumpton and Christiana his wife with respect to the manor of Brenkley near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. [NCH v. 12: 522-523; and FEUDAL AIDS v. 4: 57-59.]
According to VCH YORKSHIRE NORTH RIDING 2: 306-307, the second manor of Easby was held for several centuries by the Mowbrays who inherited the lands of William de Tanton. There is no indication that the Eures ever owned both manors at Easby. Even so, William de Mowbray, the father of Sir John Mowbray (the judge), was required to do homage to John de Eure in 1301 "for all the property he held of John de Insula in Stokesley manor." ["Feet of Fines for the County of York from 1300 to 1314," edited by M. Roper, YORKSHIRE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY RECORD SERIES 127 (1963): 3.] It is not clear what interest, if any, William de Mowbray had in the manor of Stokesley that required him to give homage. The 1326 inquisition post mortem of the elder John de Eure's estates in Yorkshire lists "the manor with its members, held jointly with Agnes his wife and the heirs of their bodies, of John de Claveryng by knight's service." [CIPM 6: 462.] There is no indication that John de Mowbray held any interest in this manor at that time.
John de Mowbray, the father, was the son of Roger, Lord Mowbray. He is said to have been born 4 September 1286, and was made a knight on 22 May 1306. [CP 9: 377.] He married Aline de Braose in 1298. [CP 9: 379.] The baronial John de Mowbrays, father and son, became an enduring presence at a high level in Northumberland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. From 1308 to 1319, the elder John, Lord Mowbray, was regularly summoned for service against the Scots. [CP 9: 378.] On 23 March 1314/15, King Edward II appointed him captain and keeper of Newcastle and the County of Northumberland. [ROTULI SCOTIAE 1: 136.] This appointment followed the defeat of the English forces by the Scots at Bannockburn in June 1314 which resulted in destructive incursions by the Scots into Northumberland and Newcastle, which, in conjunction with prolonged rains, gave rise to fear and famine. As captain and keeper, John, Lord Mowbray, would have had frequent and continuing contact with its leading merchants and civic figures, including John Scot and especially Richard de Emeldon, who served as Newcastle's mayor during virtually all of the years during which Mowbray was involved in Scotland and in the North of England.
The marauding Scots used Northumberland as their route and Newcastle as their gateway into Yorkshire where the Mowbrays had many holdings, so Lord Mowbray had strong economic reasons for wanting to stop the Scots before they could reach Newcastle. In an apparent effort to protect them from the Scots, the king, on 18 September 1317, granted the town and borough of Scarborough in Yorkshire to Mowbray, and on the 26th he was given custody of the castle of Scarborough. [CPR Edward II 1317-1321, pp. 25, 29.] To these holdings, the king added custody of the manor and castle of Malton, Yorkshire. [CPR Edward II 1317-1321, p. 28.] Prior to 19 March 1318, Mowbray and William de Ros of Helmsley, at the king's direction, had seized the castle of Knaresborough, Yorkshire. [CPR Edward II 1317-1321, p. 123.] Knaresborough was six miles north of the Plumpton estate in Spofforth. William de Ros of Helmsley was a second cousin of Sir William de Plumpton, their common ancestors being an earlier Sir William de Ros of Helmsley and Lucy Fitz Piers. Even though the younger John de Mowbray was then still a child, having been born at Hovingham, Yorkshire on 29 November 1310, the king, on 1 April 1319, granted a license to John, Lord Mowbray, to enfeoff John his son and his heirs of his manor of Hovingham. [CP 9: 380.]
The elder John, Lord Mowbray, was called for service as a Member of Parliament from 26 August 1307 to 15 May 1321, although his attendance was excused as to the 6 January 1314/15 parliament because he had been made Warden of the Marches toward Carlisle. [CP 9: 378.] His parliamentary attendance would have put him in contact with John Scot, who represented Newcastle at the parliaments held in 1307, 1309, and 1320; and with Richard de Emeldon who was a Member of Parliament representing Newcastle in 1311 and the parliamentary session held at York on 9 September 1314, just months after Bannockburn. Lord Mowbray and Emeldon, with their mutual interests, were no doubt strong allies at this latter parliament.
Lord Mowbray had the misfortune to have aligned himself with Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, in a dispute with King Edward II. In January 1321/22, he took part in besieging the king's castle at Tickhill, which resulted in orders by the king for his arrest and the seizure of his lands. Mowbray was captured on 16 March 1321/22, while fighting for the Earl at Boroughbridge. He was then taken to York where he was hanged on 23 March and his estates forfeited. [CP 9: 379.]
On 26 February 1321/22, his wife Aline and their son John, still a child, were taken to the Tower of London and confined there for several years, but, on the accession of King Edward III in 1327, the inheritance of the younger John, Lord Mowbray was restored. [CP 9: 380.] On 28 February 1327, the king granted rights to young John's marriage to the new Earl of Lancaster. [CPR Edward III 1327-1330, p. 26.] John II, Lord Mowbray, married Joan, the earl's daughter. Having given homage to the king, Mowbray, although still a minor, was given "seisin of the lands whereof his father was seised in his demense as of fee, excepting lands that belonged to the Templars" on 27 July 1327. [CCR Edward III 1327-1330, p. 152.]
King Edward III, on 12 April 1333, granted the 22-year old Lord Mowbray respite for all of the debts owed the king "because he is about to set out in the king's service and by his order, to Scotland." [CCR Edward III 1333-1337, p. 105.] Prior to the siege of Berwick and the Battle of Halidon Hill at which Richard de Emeldon and his men were killed, the king's forces gathered at Newcastle-upon-Tyne before departing toward Scotland. Among the king's train were the Lords Percy and Neville, as well as "the lord Ros and the lord Lucy and the lord Mowbray." [CHRONICLES OF FROISSSART, pp. 35-37.] Henry le Scrope (1312-1392), Sir William Plumpton's first cousin, was knighted at the siege of Berwick and fought at Halidon Hill. [CP 11: 561.] Sir William de Ros of Helmsley (d. 1343), Plumpton's second cousin, was in 1333 "amongst the magnates who guaranteed the terms of surrender of Berwick." [CP 11: 98.] Although Sir William de Plumpton was very likely in the retinue of Henry, Lord Percy, his feudal superior, there is no record evidence of his presence at either Berwick or Halidon Hill. While Plumpton may not have been an associate of Lord Mowbray at Halidon Hill or Berwick, the above sources make clear that at least two of Plumpton's cousins as well as his feudal lord were among those who fought on Mowbray's side.
Lord Mowbray was summoned to Parliament from 10 December 1327 to 20 November 1360. [CP 11: 380.] If he was faithful in his attendance, he would have been present at some of the same parliaments as Richard de Emeldon, including the parliaments at York on 7 February 1328, at Northampton on 24 April 1328, and at London on 16 March 1332. Presumably, he attended the parliament at London summoned for 30 September 1331 along with Sir William de Plumpton.
In his personal life and in his many years of public service in the North of England, Lord Mowbray had extensive contacts with the relatives of both Sir William and Christiana de Plumpton and with Sir William's feudal lord, Sir Henry Percy, all of which suggest the likelihood that Lord Mowbray was related, or in some other manner connected, to them. As mentioned in the sketch of the life of Sir William de Plumpton, complaints brought by Lord Mowbray against Plumpton were heard by commissions of oyer and terminer in 1330, 1351, and 1354, and Sir William and Lord Mowbray served together on such commissions in 1350, 1352, 1356, and 1361.
On 23 June 1335, Lord Mowbray acknowledged "that he owes to Geoffrey le Scrop, knight, 200 L, to be levied, in default of payment, of his lands and chattels in co. York." [CCR Edward III 1333-1337, p. 497.] Geoffrey le Scrope's wife was the sister of Sir William de Plumpton's mother. After John Denton, who had succeeded Richard de Emeldon as Mayor of Newcastle, was murdered, John, Lord Mowbray, served with Henry de Percy on a commission of oyer and terminer convened on 4 May 1345 to investigate the killing. [CPR Edward III 1343-1345, p. 511.]
The Bishop of Durham was ordered on 12 February 1346 to arrest several men, including Edmund de Widdrington, who had "been indicted of divers felonies and trespasses committed in Newcastle upon Tyne before John Moubray and his fellows, justices of oyer and terminer in that town ..." [CFR Edward III 1337-1347, pp. 453-454.] Shortly thereafter, on 18 February 1346, Mowbray served on a commission of inquisition touching a petition by Maud, late wife of Richard Acton, seeking to recover property in Newcastle previously held by Edmund Widdrington, "outlawed for felony." [CPR Edward III 1345-1348, p. 106.] Edmund Widdrington was probably a grandson of Matilda/Maud de Emeldon, the second daughter of Richard de Emeldon. Matilda married Richard Acton of Newcastle, and their daughter Elizabeth married Richard de Widdrington. [NCH 13: 320.]
The Scots were defeated at the Battle of Neville's Cross, fought on 17 October 1346. Divisions of the English army were led by Henry de Percy, Lord Mowbray, and others, and the cavalry was placed in reserve and commanded by William de Ros of Helmsley and others. Henry le Scrope fought under Percy. [Robert White, "The Battle of Neville's Cross," ARCHAEOLOGIA AELIANA (2nd series) 1 (1857): 280-284.] Sir William de Plumpton was probably in the retinue of Lord Percy, his feudal superior. William de Ros of Helmsley (1329-1352), was the son and heir of the William de Ros of Helmsley who fought at Berwick, and was Plumpton's second cousin once removed, their common ancestors being Sir William de Ros of Helmsley and Lucy Fitz Piers. Henry le Scrope, who also fought at Berwick and Halidon Hill, was Plumpton's first cousin. Henry's mother Juetta de Ros was the sister of Plumpton's mother Lucy de Ros. [CP 11: 561.]
John, Lord Mowbray, was commissioned on 8 November 1347 to inquire into a petition claiming entitlement to rent from a messuage in Newcastle granted by Peter Graper. Peter was very likely the brother of Adam Graper, the husband of Agnes, Richard de Emeldon's eldest daughter. [NCH 13: 314; Blair, "Members of Parliament etc.," p. 74; Dendy, p. 65.]
Henry de Percy, John de Stryvelyn, Lord Mowbray, and others were appointed to a commission of the peace in the County of Northumberland on 2 April 1353. [CPR Edward III 1350-1354, p. 450.] Sir John Stryvelyn [Stirling] was Jacoba Emeldon's second husband, making him Christiana de Plumpton's son-in-law. John, Lord Mowbray, and Henry le Scrope were appointed by the Council to a commission of the peace in Yorkshire on 25 February 1354. [CPR Edward III 1354-1358, p. 61.] Henry le Scrope (1312-1392) and Sir William de Plumpton were first cousins. Robert de Plumpton, son of Sir William and Christiana de Plumpton, married Isabella, Henry le Scrope's daughter. [Stapleton, p. xxiii; and THE PLUMPTON LETTERS AND PAPERS, ed. Joan Kirby, (1996), unpaginated chart entitled "The Later Plumptons."]
On 2 July 1354, Lord Mowbray and Richard and William le Scrope were commissioned as justices to enforce the Statute of Labourers in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and William de Plumpton was similarly appointed for the West Riding of Yorkshire. [CPR Edward III 1354-1358, p. 61.] William le Scrope (1325-1367) and Richard le Scrope (abt. 1328-1403) were also cousins of Sir William de Plumpton. William le Scrope, a younger brother of Henry le Scrope, was Plumpton's first cousin.
On 12 February 1357, the king revoked a commission of inquiry that had included John, Lord Mowbray, and John de Middelton. [CCR Edward III 1354-1360, p. 390.] Although not descended from her, John de Middleton and his sisters were co-heirs of Jacoba (Emeldon) Stryvelyn. The Middletons were related to Sir John Stryvelyn's first wife, Barnaba Swinburne. [NCH 13: 327-328.]
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