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Stanley Ancestress: Katherine, wife of Sir Robert de Lathom (died 1325), of Lathom, Lancashire
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Douglas Richardson
2017-06-06 23:01:58 UTC
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Dear Newsgroup ~

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
Douglas Richardson
2017-06-06 23:31:42 UTC
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Minor correction:

For "they appear to have had an interest in unspecified land in Yorkshire in 1342," please read "they appear to have had an interest in unspecified land in Yorkshire in 1341."

DR
Douglas Richardson
2017-06-07 05:51:43 UTC
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Dear Newsgroup ~

Farrer, Final Concords of Lancaster 2 (Lanc. & Cheshire Rec. Soc. 46) (1903): 48 comments on the alleged maiden name of Katherine, wife of Sir Robert de Lathum:

“Katherine, wife of Sir Robert de Lathum, lord of Lathum, is said, on the authority of the pedigree in the College of Arms, to have been dau. and heir of Thomas de Knowsley. So far as the pedigree of the Knowsley family can be deduced there appear to be some grounds of substituting Robert for Thomas, as the name of Katherine’s parent.” END OF QUOTE.

Thus it would appear only on the basis of an ancient pedigree that Katherine, wife of Robert de Lathum, is alleged to be "daughter and heir of Thomas de Knowsley." No evidence exists to prove this claim. Red flag.

Interestingly, today I located another lawsuit today which concerns Katherine, widow of Robert de Lathum, and Joan her sister.

In Michaelmas term 1341 William Bard the elder and Margaret his wife sued William Bard the younger and Joan his wife in the Court of Common Pleas in a plea that they warrant them to the sixth part of the manor of Bele by Beverley, Yorkshire which Katherine widow of Robert de Lathum and Joan her sister claim as their right. Reference: Court of Common Pleas, CP40/328, image 48f (available at http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/E3/CP40no328/aCP40no328fronts/IMG_0048.htm).

The manor of Bele named in this lawsuit appears to be an estate at Weel, Yorkshire. VCH York East Riding 6 (1989): 308-313 includes a discussion of village of Weel stands about 2½ km. east of Beverley on the opposite bank of the river Hull. It reads as follows:

"The part of Weel granted away by the archbishop comprised 3 bovates. The undertenant recorded from 1298 to 1315 was John of Staveley (fn. 59) and in 1346 Richard of Ask (perhaps for Eske). (fn. 60) The manor of WEEL was settled on Richard and his wife Joan, with remainder to Joan's heirs, in 1348-9, when it was held in dower by Margaret wife of William Bard. (fn. 61) It was perhaps the same Joan who, as widow of Robert of Holme, held land of the archbishop's fee in 1369. (fn. 62) An estate described as ¼ of the manors of Weel and Eske was conveyed by Sir John of Leek and his wife to Walter of Topcliffe and his wife in 1391. (fn. 63) The manors later belonged successively to John Topcliffe (d. by 1538) and his son Robert. (fn. 64) In 1573, when it included ground called Topcliffe park, it was sold by Richard Topcliffe to Richard Tailforde." END OF QUOTE.

Margaret, wife of William Bard, living in 1348-9, named above would presumably be the same person as Margaret, wife of William Bard the elder, named in the 1341 lawsuit above.

It was seen in my earlier post today that William Bard the younger named in both 1341 lawsuits was of Osgodby, Yorkshire. Curiously, I've found two references to a contemporary Robert de Lathum of Osgodby, Yorkshire in the Close Rolls:

l. In 1319 Robert de Lathum of Osgodeby and others acknowledged that they owed Robert de Bardelby, clerk, £60. Reference: Cal. of Close Rolls, 1318-1323 (1895): 210.
2. In 1322 John le fiz Johan Amyes de Hemmyngburgh and Thomas Pertrik of Wodehalle brought a writ of ael against Hugh de Bradeford, of Osgodby, Yorkshire, for eight acres of land in Osgodby, "concerning which Hugh ought to vouch to warranty Robert de Lathum of Osgodby." Reference: Cal. of Close Rolls, 1318-1323 (1895): 536.

Robert de Lathum, of Osgodby, Yorkshire (living 1322) is presumably the husband of Katherine, widow of Robert de Lathum named in the two Common Pleas lawsuits dated 1341. But was he the same person as Sir Robert de Lathom, of Lathom, Lancashire (died 1325), who also left a widow, Katherine?

My feeling at this point is that there were two men named Robert de Lathom, one in Yorkshire, and one in Lancashire, both of whom left widows named Katherine. Possibly additional evidence can be found to prove if we are dealing with one or two Robert de Lathom's. My guess is that we are dealing with two men. Having multiple men of the same men alive at the same time is the bane of medieval research.

Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah

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