Discussion:
A Wodhull Problem
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Joe
2017-05-18 19:13:27 UTC
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Jason Clark and I are trying to work out a little problem with this Wodhull line. It would seem straight forward tracing IPMs.

John Wodhull - died 1296, son and heir Thomas 23 yo
https://archive.org/stream/cu31924011387812#page/n263/mode/2up
Thomas Wodhull (1272-1304) – died 1304, son and heir John 1 year 17 weeks old
https://archive.org/stream/cu31924011387820#page/n185/mode/2up
John Wodhull (1302-1336) - died 1336, son and heir John 16 yo
https://archive.org/stream/cu31924011387861#page/n63/mode/2up
John Wodhull (c1320-1348) – died 1348, son and heir John 5 ½ yo
https://archive.org/stream/cu31924011387879#page/n139/mode/2up
John Wodhull (1342-1367) – Died 1367, 2 daughters and co-heirs Elizabeth 3 yo & Eleanor 2 yo
https://archive.org/stream/cu31924011387903#page/n187/mode/2up

Here is where the problem comes when. When Elizabeth and Eleanor both die underage in 1376/7, their heir was their great-uncle Nicholas Wodhull.
He was called “Nicholas de Wodhull, aged 24 years and more, uncle of John their father.” And “Nicholas de Wodhull, aged 30 years and more, brother of John father of John de Wodhull their father.” The problem is, there is no way the brother of their grandfather was born c1352 when his supposed father died in 1336.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/vol14/pp277-288

Charles Hanson wrote a long article on the Wodhull family (The Genealogist, vol. 7 (1986):28-29.). He solves this problem by saying Nicholas was not a brother of their grandfather, but rather his nephew. He says the grandfather John Wodhull (1320-1348) had a brother Thomas and Nicholas was a son of this Thomas.

Thomas Wodhull (1272-1304)
|
John (1302-1336)
| .
| ?|?
John (1320-1348) Thomas (born about 1322)
| |
John (1342-1367) Nicholas (born 1352)
|
Eleanor&Elizabeth d. 1376

As evidence for the existence of this Thomas, Hanson cites the Tropenell Cartulary which includes a suit with testimony giving a long Wodhull descent:

Manor of Little Dunsford granted to Thomas Wodhull by Harry Preiers (his father-in-law)
Thomas Wodhull
His son John Wodhull
His son Thomas Wodhull
His son John Wodhull d.s.p.
His brother Nicholas Wodhull
His son Richard Wodhull
His brother Thomas Wodhull
His son Thomas Wodhull
His son John Wodhull (living at the time of the suit in 1471)
https://archive.org/stream/tropenellcartul02davigoog#page/n374/mode/2up

However this pedigree is clearly flawed:
No John Wodhull died without issue,
No Wodhull was ever directly succeeded by his brother.
The first Thomas Wodhull had a son John, but his son and heir was John not Thomas.
There is no evidence that the second Thomas Wodhull existed at all.


There is evidence that the John who died in 1348 had a brother Nicholas, as he was the executor of his will.

So, something is wrong in the IPMs of Eleanor and Elizabeth.
1. If their heir was Nicholas, brother of their grandfather, then Nicholas’ age cannot have been 24 years old as stated, and Hanson’s reconstruction is wrong. Could the translated dates from the original IPM be wrong?

2. If Nicholas was age 24 years old in 1376, then he cannot have been the brother of Elizabeth & Eleanor’s grandfather as stated. Could the translated relationship from the original IPM be wrong?
j***@gmail.com
2017-05-18 20:45:51 UTC
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Specifically, Hansen cites a single pedigree, created some 100 years after the fact, used in a few legal battles amongst the same group of individuals, legal battles which have been included in the Tropenell Cartulary.

For the time period you'd actually expect to find Thomas, the cartulary entries have no sign of him. Those entries have the same individuals found in the IPMs.

If you follow all the primary records (ignoring IPM birth estimates), you seem to end up with a Nicholas that looks like this ...

Born (bef 1328)
Age 21+: Executor to his brother's will (1349, assuming adult by this time)
Age 38+: Marries Margaret Foxcrote (1366, and they receive her inheritance)
Age 48+: Inherits from his nieces (1376)
Age 52+: Sheriff of Wiltshire (1380)
Age 55+: No longer sheriff of Wiltshire (1383)
Age 82+: Dies (1410)

... an individual who seems to live quite long, but a possible timeline, if we ignore the IPM birth estimates. He would be almost 20 years older than the closest IPM estimate of 1346, or before. If he were somehow an executor as a minor, he'd still need to be born by 1336, when the father dies, making the closest estimate still a decade off. The first question, I guess, would be ... how accurate we should expect IPM birth estimates for heirs, to be? If there's no surprise if they aren't accurate, then there's no real problem.
Joe
2017-05-18 23:14:46 UTC
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But not only do you have to ignore the ages in the IPMs of his nieces Elizabeth and Eleanor in 1376:
"aged 24 years and more" and
"aged 30 years and more"

His age is given as "aged 50 and more" in the IPM of Gerard Braybroke in 1403.

I don't see how you can argue that he is the Nicholas Wodhull, executor of his brother John in 1348, who had to of been born by 1327.
Post by j***@gmail.com
Specifically, Hansen cites a single pedigree, created some 100 years after the fact, used in a few legal battles amongst the same group of individuals, legal battles which have been included in the Tropenell Cartulary.
For the time period you'd actually expect to find Thomas, the cartulary entries have no sign of him. Those entries have the same individuals found in the IPMs.
If you follow all the primary records (ignoring IPM birth estimates), you seem to end up with a Nicholas that looks like this ...
Born (bef 1328)
Age 21+: Executor to his brother's will (1349, assuming adult by this time)
Age 38+: Marries Margaret Foxcrote (1366, and they receive her inheritance)
Age 48+: Inherits from his nieces (1376)
Age 52+: Sheriff of Wiltshire (1380)
Age 55+: No longer sheriff of Wiltshire (1383)
Age 82+: Dies (1410)
... an individual who seems to live quite long, but a possible timeline, if we ignore the IPM birth estimates. He would be almost 20 years older than the closest IPM estimate of 1346, or before. If he were somehow an executor as a minor, he'd still need to be born by 1336, when the father dies, making the closest estimate still a decade off. The first question, I guess, would be ... how accurate we should expect IPM birth estimates for heirs, to be? If there's no surprise if they aren't accurate, then there's no real problem.
j***@gmail.com
2017-05-20 06:14:38 UTC
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Every single one says "and more". I'm considering that to be the only accurate part. The numbers can't all be right, as they're all different.
Joe
2017-05-20 18:55:54 UTC
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Post by j***@gmail.com
Every single one says "and more". I'm considering that to be the only accurate part. The numbers can't all be right, as they're all different.
While "aged 30 years and more" could be aged 30 to 39 and "aged 50 and more" could be aged 50 to 59 you would expect the "aged 24 years and more" to mean he was aged 24.

The most likely explanation for the difference the "aged 24 years and more" and "aged 30 years and more" IPMs is that the jurors who certified him as "aged 30 years and more" did not know his true age, but knowing that he was an adult of age to inherit recorded a date which would not be challenged. The most likely conclusion taking these three IPMs together is that he was exactly 24 years old in 1376.
j***@gmail.com
2017-05-21 21:28:58 UTC
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So, you end up with a Nicholas, born 1352, marrying and being granted property at age 14, with no real evidence of parents, or guardians. Meanwhile, there does actually seem to be a Nicholas, executor and brother of John (d. 1348), exactly as described in the IPM relationships.
j***@gmail.com
2017-05-21 21:35:05 UTC
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You also end up with a Sheriff that's 28, and younger than the common age range you gave in a previous argument. Meanwhile, age 52ish is in the common age range you gave.
j***@gmail.com
2017-05-22 06:34:51 UTC
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And, no, I wouldn't expect "and more" to be an exact age. I'd expect something like 24 years on such and such a day last ... to be exact.

The more I think about it, I think the only resolution is to turn Thomas into Nicholas, the brother and executor of John, but whose somehow not the heir with that exact relationship stated in IPMs, and then detach the current Nicholas as parentage unknown. No verifiable Magna Carta line.
j***@gmail.com
2017-05-20 06:18:28 UTC
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And the two that are more similar, would have him getting married, and being granted property, at 14 or 15, with no sign of a guardian or king's approval.
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