2017-08-01 19:41:18 UTC
We can discount the statement, in the first edition of Cokayne's _Complete Peerage_, that she was a Joan Rokesley by birth. Her second husband's mother was an Agnes Rokesley of Kent, which makes this unlikely (and the "new edition" of _CP_ specifically keeps Joan's identity unknown).
In the past, I had noticed a long article on armorial shields in the Cathedral Church of Christ at Canterbury, Kent, which included an intriguing entry:
579. Poynings (as last shield) _impaling_ ermine, a cross engrailed.
A., fol. 8b, omits the ermine. C., fol. 13. Ha., fol. 22.
W. omits to notice the ermine.
This shield was in St. Peter's Church, according to Scarlett and C., fol. 26. The engrailed cross was _gu._, and therefore the shield WAS FOR NORTHWOOD [emphasis mine]. The manor of Leveland came to the Poynings by a marriage with an heir of Thomas de Northwood, who dying s. p. left his sisters Agnes and Joan his coheirs. Agnes appears to have married Nicholas Herring (no. 564) according to a fine of 1379 (Feet of Fines, 2 Rich. II, no. 104), which with other fines appears to show that Hasted's account of the descent of the manor of North Cray is pure fiction.
(The Herring reference):
I thought I was onto something, as I knew that the wife of Michael, 1st Lord Poynings, was a widow Joan de Moleyns, whose maiden identity was not known. Since Poynings was impaling Northwood in the shield above, could this be their marriage? The account above appeared to show an Agnes (Northwood) Herring, living 1379, with a sister Joan Northwood. This might be chronologically compatible with Michael Poynings and his wife Joan (____) (Moleyns).
The Calendar of I.P.M.'s for 35 Edward III soon dashed my hopes, however, clearly showing that Thomas de Northwode died Auguest 35 Edward III, leaving sisters Joan, aged 24, wife of John Lovedale or de Levyndale, and Agnes, aged 19.
I suspect the Poynings who married a Northwood was actually the 1st Lord Poynings's uncle, an earlier Michael Poynings.
The following snippet, dated 2 Edward III (ca. 1328/9), mentions a grant by the Northwoods to "Michael son of Michael de Ponynges."
I believe Michael son of Michael Poynings living in 1328/9 would be the man known as Michael Poynings "le Oncle," i.e., the uncle of the first Lord Poynings.
Since Thomas Poynings, the father of the first Lord, married a Kentish woman (Agnes Rokesley), perhaps his brother, Michael Poynings "le Oncle" also married in Kent?
Thomas Poynings and wife Agnes certainly had Kentish dealings with his brother Michael Poynings in 1 Edward III [? and 20 Edward II.]