2017-06-06 23:01:58 UTC
Many published sources state that Sir Robert de Lathom (died 1325), of Lathom, Lancashire, ancestor of the Stanley family, married Katherine, daughter and heiress of "Sir Thomas de Knowsley." For example, see Pollard, The Stanleys of Knowsley, a History of that Noble Family (1868): 199 which states the following:
"In the fourteenth century Sir Robert de Lathom married Catherine, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas de Knowsley, and thus by this marriage Knowsley became the property of the Lathoms." END OF QUOTE.
However, Farrer, Final Concords of Lancaster 1 (Lanc. & Cheshire Rec. Soc. 39) (1899): 8, footnote 1 contradicts that statement:
“All the pedigrees of the Lathom family trace the acquisition of Knowsley to the marriage of Sir Robert de Lathom, Kt., to Catherine, dau. and heiress of Robert de Knowsley, erroneously so called. What estates she brought her husband I do not know ...”). END OF QUOTE.
So Farrer refutes the claim that Katherine, wife of Sir Robert de Lathom, was the "daughter and heiress of Robert de Knowsley," or even that she was an heiress.
Assuming there is no evidence that Katherine was a Knowsley, who then was Katherine? In recent time, I've located two Common Pleas lawsuits which involve Katherine, both during the period she was the widow of Sir Robert de Lathom:
1. In Michaelmas term 1341 Katherine widow of Robert de Lathum and Joan her sister sued William Bard the younger, of Osgodby, Yorkshire, and Joan his wife in the Court of Common Pleas in a plea of land in Yorkshire.
Reference: Court of Common Pleas, CP40/328, image 34f (available at http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/E3/CP40no328/aCP40no328fronts/IMG_0034.htm).
Who was William Bard, of Osgodby, mentioned in the 1341 lawsuit? VCH York N.R. 2 (1923): 430-434 states that "William Bard 'of Osgodby' died in possession of lands in Osgodby and Cayton in 1349." No mention is made of his wife, Joan.
2. In 1342 Henry Fitz Bernard and Maud his wife sued Katherine, widow of Robert de Lathum, and Thomas de Lathum, Knt., in the Court of Common Pleas regarding custody of the lands and heir of Richard de Torbok, Knt., [for] the third part of two parts of the manor of Tarbock in Tarbock, Lancashire.
Reference: Court of Common Pleas, CP40/330, image 425f (available at http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/E3/CP40no330/aCP40no330fronts/IMG_0425.htm).
VCH Lancaster 3 (1907): 176-182 gives further information regarding this lawsuit. "The defence was that [the plaintiff] Maud was never legally married to Richard [de Torbock], and the question being referred to the bishop of Lichfield for inquiry he reported that there was no lawful marriage. Five or six years later there was a contest between Katherine de Lathom and her son Thomas and Henry Russell of Chester as to the custody of the heirs."
The following additional sources are cited: Lichfield Epis. Reg. V. fol. 48 (quoting roll 288 of the pleas at Westminster, 15 Edw. III); De Banc. R. 346, m. 285 d.; 351, m. 267 d. 303 d.; 353, m. 22 d.; 355, m. 202 d.
Reviewing the above, we learn that Katherine, wife of Sir Robert de Lathom, had a sister, Joan, and that they appear to have had an interest in unspecified land in Yorkshire in 1342. Katherine's parentage is not established.
For interest's sake, the following is a list of the 17th Century New World immigrants that descend from Sir Robert de Lathom (died 1325) and his wife, Katherine:
Robert Abell, Dannett Abney, Thomas Booth, Grace Chetwode, Henry Corbin, Elizabeth & Thomas Coytemore, Margaret Domville, Rowland Ellis, John Fenwick, Thomas Gerard, Muriel Gurdon, Daniel & John Humphrey, Oliver Manwaring, Anne Mauleverer, John and Margaret Nelson, Elizabeth, Joshua, & Rebecca Owen, Thomas Owsley, Thomas Rudyard, Mary Wolseley, Amy Wyllys.
Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah