Discussion:
William Hexstall of Staffordshire and Kent; long post
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sswa...@butler.edu
2021-01-27 23:10:15 UTC
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William Hexstall and his two wives Margaret Bromley and Joan ----- have been the subject of earlier posting on this list. It has been lockdown puzzle of mine to see whether anything further could be discovered about several particular questions:

the identity of his second wife Joan
the mother of his daughter Margaret who married William Whetenhall and Henry Ferrers
Margaret wife of Richard Petit. said to be William Hexstall’s daughter
William Hexstall’s parents

Happy for any insights and corrections. Happy as well to know of other documents that might refine what follows. I can be reached at sswanson [at] butler [dot] edu. Apologies for the formatting glitches I cannot seem to correct.

The documents here referenced are those that establish dates or connections. My thanks to Jan Wolfe who did early spade work on these people and to Rosemary Simons and Vance Mead (whoever they might be) who create the indexes to various Court of Common Pleas records.

Several works have studied the Hexstall families and draw upon early county histories and original records:

Frederic William Willmore, A History of Walsall and Its Neighbourhood (1887): 143-144
Alfred Uvedale Miller Lambert, Blechingley: A Parish History.... (London, 1921) I: 237-246
Josiah Clement Wedgwood, History of Parliament...1439-1509: Biographies of the Members of the Commons House (London, 1938): 449-451

Presumably Linda Clark, History of Commons 1422-1461 contains biographies, but I have not been able to find it yet in libraries.

William Hexstall came from a Staffordshire family. He and his brothers Thomas, Henry, and Hugh served the Stafford family in various capacities, which service brought them interests and office in Kent and Surrey as well as Staffordshire. For this network, see Carole Rawcliffe, The Staffords, Earls of Stafford and Duke of Buckingham 1394-1521 (Cambridge, 1978). William served as MP a number of times and held other public office.

William was twice married. The names of his wives Margaret and Joan appear on his (undated) monumental inscription at Walsall in Staffordshire:
[Frederic William Willmore, A History of Walsall and Its Neighbourhood (1887): 143]
lhttps://archive.org/details/ahistorywalsall00willgoog]

He was first married by 10 September 1428 to Margaret Bromley who is named in the inquisition post mortem of her brother John Bromley both as John’s sister and heir and as wife of William Hexstall:

[http://www.inquisitionspostmortem.ac.uk/view/inquisition/23-155/]

Margaret was still alive in Hilary term 1434 when her brother’s John’s widow Isabella, now married to John Pollard, sued Thomas Boughton and his wife Isabel and William Hexstall and his wife Margaret:

[http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no692/aCP40no692fronts/IMG_0819.htm]

Margaret died sometime between spring 1434 and spring 1446.

William and Margaret had at least two children, Joan, who emerges clearly in the records, and Humphrey, who is more obscure.

a) Humphrey Hexstall

Humphrey comes into view in two records.

The first is in the inquisition post mortem 30 June 1444 of his great-aunt Thomasa Frodsham, widow of Richard Chetwynd, which describes him as Humphrey Hexstall , the son of Margaret, the daughter of William, the son of Margaret, the sister of William Froddesham , Thomasia’s father and names him Thomasia’s next heir.

[http://www.inquisitionspostmortem.ac.uk/view/inquisition/26-239/]

The second is the puzzling entry in his father’s 1446 will naming “Joan wife of Humphrey Hexstall and daughter of Joan my wife”. [For will see below] Since no other Humphreys surface in the records, this Humphrey must have been William’s son. It looks as Humphrey married the daughter of his stepmother. He must have been dead in 1457 when his mother’s inheritance was settled on his sister Joan. His sisters were his father’s heirs.

[William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire 11 (London: Harrison and Sons, 1890): 237; https://archive.org/details/collectionsforhi11staf]

b) Joan Hexstall

Joan Hexstall married John Bromley of Badington. Though it does not say so explicitly, a final concord in 1457 appears to be settling Margaret Bromley’s inheritance on her daughter Joan after her father William’s death:

Between John Nedeham and Hugh Hexstall, clerk, complainants, and William Hexstall, armiger, and John Bromley, knight, and his wife Joan, deforciants of the manors of Wonyngton (Werrington) and Bromley in Halys, three messuages, 200 acres of land, forty acres of meadow, forty acres of pasture, twenty acres of wood, and 10* or rent in Podmore, Rugge, and Chatculno, and a third part of the manor of Assheley. William, John Bromley and Joan acknowledged the said manors, etc, to the right of the complainants, for which the complainants granted them to William, for his life, with remainder to the issue male of John Bromley and Joan; and failing such issue, to the right heirs of Joan [sic] forever; [On the morrow of St John the Baptist 35 Henry VI [25 June 1457]

[William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire 11 (London: Harrison and Sons, 1890): 237
https://archive.org/details/collectionsforhi11staf]

Before going further, it might help to set out a chart of the family and the connections that can be ascertained.

----- Hexstall, presumably of Hexstall and Millwich, Staffordshire
Children:
x. William Hexstall; alive 24 August 1470; his will has been lost
*1 William Hexstall married [by 10 September 1428] Margaret Bromley; heir of her brother
Children of William Hexstall and Margaret Bromley:
x. Joan Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Joan Hexstall married -----: John Bromley of Badingon
Children:
x. Isabella Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Isabella Hexstall married -----: William Needham
x. Margery Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Margery Hexstall married -----: John Harper of Rushall
x. Margaret Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Margaret Hexstall married -----: (Sir) William Stanley of Hooton
Children:
x. Margaret Stanley; heir of her mother
* Margaret Stanley married -----: (Sir) Thomas Gerrard
x. Humphrey Hexstall; dead 1457
* Humphrey Hexstall married [by 19 April 1446] Joan [Elmbrigge]
*2 William Hexstall married [by spring 1446]: Joan -----
*1 Joan ----- married -----: Nicholas James; alderman of London
Children of Nicholas James and Joan -----:
x. Isabel James; died 7 September 1472; MI Merstham, Surrey
* Isabel James married [by 1437] John Elmbrigge; died 8 February 1474; MI Merstham, Surrey
*2 John Elmbrigge married Anne Prophet; died 14[ ]
x. Amy James
* Amy James married [by 19 April 1446] -----: Thomas Hexstall
*2 Joan ----- married [by ] Roger Elmbrigge; dead spring 1446
? Joan [Elmbrigge] married [by 19 April 1446] Humphrey Hextall
Children of William Hexstall:
x. Margaret Hexstall; heir of her father [and possibly of her mother]
*1 Margaret Hexstall married [by 14 June 1454] William Whetenhall; died 4 June 1468 -----
Children:
x. William Whetenhall; heir of his mother
x. Margery Whetenhall; alive and unmarried 6 August 1487
*2 Margaret Hexstall married [by 24 August 1470]: (Sir) Henry Ferrers
Children:
x. Edward Ferrers of Baddlesley Clinton; heir of his mother
x. Elizabeth Ferrers
* Elizabeth Ferrers married -----: James Clerke of Wrotham, Kent
x. Hugh Hexstall; clerk; died 1476; probably buried Blechingley, Surrey
x. Thomas Hexstall; died 1486; buried St Nicholas, Dover
* Thomas Hexstall married [by 19 April 1446] Amy James; daughter of Nicholas James and Joan
x. Henry Hexstall; will dated 11 August 1492, proven 6 February 1492/3 PCC
*1 Henry Hexstall married [by 15 November 1466] Joan Grovehurst; daughter or sister and coheir of Richard Grovehurst
*2 Henry Hexstall married Margery -----

2. Joan ----- second wife of William Hexstall

William Hexstall’s wife Margaret Bromley last appears in the records in spring 1434. His second wife Joan first appears in the records as his wife in spring of 1446. So far as I can tell, no record names William’s wife between 1434 and 1446. Further indexing of court suits might narrow this gap.

Presumably Joan’s own family is to be found amongst the network of families serving the Stafford family. A webbing of marriages joined the Hexstall, Elmbrigge, Bromley, and Petit families. The Whetenhall family, originally from Staffordshire, might have been part of the Stafford network. The Barber family, mentioned below, was an important part of it.

Joan first appears as William’s wife in a court suit in Easter term 1446 when William and Joan prosecute a suit as the executors of Joan’s late husband Roger Elmbrigge. She also appears in a tentative will which William drew up 19 April 1446 [for which see below]. She subsequently appears as his wife in a court suit Hilary term 1448, in a final concord 25 June 1452, and last in an enfoeffment 14 June 1454.

[references and links: https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/common-pleas/1399-1500/easter-term-1446 Surrey History Centre LM/2011/40
https://waalt.uh.edu/index.php/CP40/748;
http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/fines/abstracts/CP_25_1_116_324.shtml#753
Surrey History Centre LM/341/73 or LM G.10.10.5

Joan first married Nicholas James, citizen and ironmonger of London. He was apparently from Norfolk, quite possibly Cromer to whose church he left money in his will. It’s hard to see how he might have fit into the Stafford network, yet that family did hold important estates on the northern Norfolk coast. (See Rawcliffe: xiii.) His will, dated 24 April 1433, proved 4 November 1434 PCC [PROB 11/3/348], names his wife Joan and two underage daughters Isabella and Amie; earlier children, whether Joan’s or an earlier wife’s, were buried at St Botolph Billingsgate as was he. If the age of majority of women was 18, his two daughters had been born after 24 April 1415. His will also notes holdings in Croydon which may explain his wife and daughter’s later connections with the Elmbrigge family which lived around Croydon. His biography may be found at the History of Parliament:
https://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1386-1421/member/james-nicholas-1433

By August 1434 Joan had married Roger Elmbrigge who was alive when Roger and Joan signed an indenture 1 February 1434/5. Later that year 8 July 1435 Roger and Joan conveyed by final concord substantial holdings in Staffordshire to Richard Petit for 300 marks of silver. He was dead by the spring of 1446.

[references:Calendar of plea and memoranda rolls preserved among the archives of the Corporation of the city London at the Guild-hall, IV (1413-1437): 274
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/common-pleas/1399-1500/easter-term-1446
http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/fines/abstracts/CP_25_1_195_22.shtml]

Which Roger Elmbrigge she married is an unsettled question, not least, because the Elmbrigge family does not emerge with clarity in the records. Research into this family is further hampered because their surname is spelled in an unending variety of ways. (I have chosen Elmbrigge; the VCH of Surrey chose Ellingbridge.) Even the first letter of their surname is given as E, H, and O.

For some months now I had simply assumed that Joan had married Roger Elmbrigge, esquire, whose memorial brass is illustrated in a number of important volumes on memorial brasses, who died 23 November 1437 and was buried in Beddington, Surrey. He is not often noticed but he was said to have died a young man shortly after being appointed sheriff of Surrey and Sussex.

In the minimalist accounts of the family this Roger Elmbrigge is said to have been the son of another Roger Elmbrigge.

I now wonder whether Joan married the elder Roger Elmbrigge. Below we’ll see that [a] Roger Elmbrigge sold Richard Petit his rights in the manor of Badger in Shropshire in 1435. Possibly it’s likelier that the elder Roger Elmbrigge held those rights conveyed Richard Petit than his son. Against that, it might be that his son held rights to the land through his mother. The VCH account of the manor of Badger adds that in 1440 “Roger’s brother” John Elmbrigge quitclaimed his rights to Richard Petit. (This document I have been unable to find; whether it’s the document or the editor that describes John as Roger’s brother I cannot say.) It is completely unclear when the elder Roger Elmbrigge died. Since his son and heir John Elmbrigge for the most part bought his estates, there are no dates of father passing estates to son.

Again, the elder Roger’s son John married Joan’s daughter Isabel. Possibly it’s likelier that husband and wife married stepchildren to each other than mother and daughter marrying brothers. The second is hardly impossible. (Might the second possibility break canon law rules of affinity? Which may not have deterred family builders in the least.)

[reference: G. Steinman Steinman, “Some Account of the Manors of Whitehorse, Croham, and Norbury in the Parish of Croydon, Surrey, and a Pedigree of Elmerugge”, Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, volume 5, (London: John Bowyer Nichols and Son, 1838): 161-174; https://archive.org/details/collectaneatopo07nichgoog
Alfred Heales, “Merstham”, Surrey Archaeological Collections 3 (1865): 1-17 at 11-12
https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archiveDS/archiveDownload?t=arch-379-1/dissemination/pdf/vol_3/surreyac003_001-017_heales.pdf
Victoria County History of Shropshire, 10: 213-220
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/salop/vol10/pp213-220]

There might be two heraldic clues to Joan’s identity. A monumental inscription in Walsall church reads “Orate pro animabus W’mi Hextale, et Margaretae et Johannae uxor’” and bore the Hexstall arms [Quarterly, 1 and 4 gules, a bend argent, 2 and 3 sable, a fleur de lis argent] impaling Party, per pale and per chevron. Since we know the Bromley arms [Quarterly per fesse indented gules and or], these arms presumably belong to Joan. I have been unable to identify them in any ordinary, the more so since they lack their tinctures.

[reference: Frederic William Willmore, A History of Walsall and Its Neighbourhood (1887): 143
https://archive.org/details/ahistorywalsall00willgoog]

The second clue appears on Roger Elmbrigge’s memorial brass. Boutell and Simpson describe the shields displayed on Roger Elmbrigge’s brass as chequy, or and sable [Elmbrigge]; and two chevronels between three cinquefoils, a label for difference. A third shield impales the Elmbrigge arms with two chevronels between three cinquefoils, a label for difference.

If Joan married the younger Roger Elmbrigge, the arms impaled, again without tinctures, might well be the arms of his wife Joan’s family. One hopeful identification fizzled out. Those arms [Argent, two chevonrels between three cinquefoils gules] were born in the seventeenth century by the Barber family of Ashmore, Dorset. As part of the Stafford network, the Hexstalls were closely connected to the Barber family of Stafford, but those Barbers born arms Ermine, two chevronels between three fleurs-de-lis gules.

[reference: Charles Boutell, The Monumental Brasses of England; (London: George Bell, 1849): unpaginated
https://archive.org/details/monumentalbrasse00boutuoft/page/n383/mode/2up
Justin Simpson, A List of the Sepulchral Brasses of England (Stamford: John Ford, 1857): 88
https://archive.org/details/listofsepulchral00simp/page/88/mode/2up
E. W. Watson, Ashmore co. Dorset. A History of the Parish (Gloucester, 1890): 94]

It may matter or it may be pure coincidence that in 1406-1407 Roger Elmbrigge, likely the father above, and John Barbour of Bishop’s Itchington were associated in an enfeoffment in Staffordshire:

[http://www.inquisitionspostmortem.ac.uk/view/inquisition/21-050/]

Since the arms of William Hexstall’s wife do not appear to be the same as those of Roger Elmbrigge’s wife, quite possibly they were married to different women.

3. Margaret Hexstall’s mother

What we know of Margaret is that she was born by 19 April 1446 when she appears unmarried in her father’s will, that she was married eight years later by 14 June 1454 to William Whetenhale the younger who died in 1468, that she married Henry Ferrers in 1469, that she was dead 22 December 1499 when Henry Ferrers wrote his will and buried in the Lady Chapel in the parish church of East Peckham.

Her (surviving) children so far as we know them were named Margery, William, Edward, and Elizabeth.

The strongest evidence that Margaret was Joan’s daughter, as Jan Wolfe earlier posted, is the wording of an enfeoffment dated 14 June 1454 of lands in East Peckham, Hadlow, Wateringbury, and Nettlestead in Kent; after her parents died, this land remained to William Wetenhale the younger and his wife Margaret daughter of the same [plural] William Hexstall and Joan...” The Latin is “... Will[el]mo Wetenhale Juniori et Margarete ux[or]i eius filie eorundem Will[el]mi Hexstall et Johanne...”

[reference: Surrey History Centre LM/341/73 or LM G.10.10.5]

If Joan had been married to Roger Elmbrigge the younger who died 23 November 1437 and William and Joan had married at the end of 1437 or in 1438, they would have had time to have a daughter married at 15 or 16 in 1454.

If William’s heirs in 1457 were his two surviving daughters, Joan and Margaret, it would make sense in dividing his estate between them to give Joan the northern portion and Margaret the southern portion; even more sense were elder daughter Joan first wife Margaret’s daughter (and thus Margaret’s sole heir) and were younger daughter Margaret second wife Joan’s daughter.

At the moment this strikes me as the stronger case; but I don’t believe the evidence is definitive.

a. Records often enough spoke of stepchildren as children. The will of Elizabeth (Fisher) Woodliffe Saxby, dated 19 September 1562, proved 2 March 1563/4 PCC [PROB 11/47/80], for example, spoke of Mary Saxby throughout as Elizabeth’s daughter and then left Mary “all her mothers childe bedd geare”. In some sense Margaret was Joan’s daughter, whether Joan were her actual mother or not.

b. There is no evidence that William and Joan were married till 1446; no evidence when William’s first wife Margaret died; no evidence when Roger Elmbrigge the elder died. Joan might well have been a widow 23 November 1437, but not necessarily. Even were she was free to remarry 23 November 1437, William himself may not have been so.

c. William Hexstall’s 1446 will is just odd. It was certainly not his last will, which has not survived, to whose provisions his brother Henry Hexstall’s 1492 will refers, and which a number of legal documents implement. The 1446 will is not odd in that he wrote it 24 years before he died. People in the mid-fifteenth-century had good reason to anticipate death. Its form is odd and unlike any other will I have read. The 1446 will omits basic elements of a will: no ‘in the name of God’, no being sick or mindful of death, no commending his soul to Jesus and Mary, no burial instructions, no executors. It jumps immediately to the disposition of his lands: “This is the last will of me William Hextall of East Peckham in the county of Kent, esquire, made the 19th day of April in the 24th years of King Henry VI after the Conquest. As to the disposition of all my lands and tenements noted below with all their appurtenances.....”
It settles his lands in East Peckham in Kent and Sutton in Surrey on Joan for her life, remainder to his daughter Margaret; it names Joan’s daughters who, if Margaret dies, are to receive legacies from the sale of land in East Peckham: Isabel wife of John Elmbrigge, Amy daughter of Thomas Hextall, and Joan wife of Humphrey Hextall; and it names his daughter Margaret. The will, meticulous in asserting the maternity of Joan’s three daughters by earlier marriages, is silent about Margaret’s maternity. The will describes her only as William’s daughter.
It refrains from identifying Humphrey, alive at the time of its composition, as William’s son and heir and pretty much excludes Humphrey from the will’s provisions. Only is the case of Margaret’s death were Humphrey and his wife Joan to receive lands in Sutton. The will omits any mention of his daughter Joan possibly already married to John Bromley of Badington. Nor does it say anything about William’s lands in Staffordshire, which got careful attention in his last will 24 years later. The 1446 will’s sole mention of Staffordshire is a pious bequest.
This will then looks much more like a marriage settlement, and marriage settlements were usually drawn up at the time of marriage.
This could be read two ways. If William were protecting the interests of Joan’s daughters, its provisions for Margaret might well mean that she too was one of Joan’s daughters.
If William were drawing up a marriage settlement because he had recently married Joan, then Margaret was more likely the daughter of his first wife Margaret. For all that’s said about the early marriage of girls, she was unlikely to have married William Whetenhall at age 8.

[reference: Surrey History Centre LM/2011/40]

d. Margaret named her first daughter Margery. William Whetenhall’s mother’s name was apparently Alice. Margery is not Margaret but neither is it Joan. So far as I can tell, we know the names of four of Margaret’s (surviving) children: Margery, William, Edward, Elizabeth. No names from Joan’s family: Joan, Isabella, Amy (possibly Anna).

e. Heraldry does not offer any clear help. Children of heiresses were entitled to quarter their mother’s arms. William Hextall’s family abounded in children who were heirs of their fathers, mothers, or both:

William Hexstall
*1 William Hexstall married [by ] Margaret Bromley; heir of her brother
Children of William Hexstall and Margaret Bromley:
x. Joan Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Joan Hexstall married -----: John Bromley of Badingon
Children:
x. Isabella Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Isabella Hexstall married -----: William Needham
x. Margery Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Margery Hexstall married -----: John Harper of Rushall
x. Margaret Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Margaret Hexstall married -----: (Sir) William Stanley of Hooton
Children:
x. Margaret Stanley; heir of her mother
* Margaret Stanley married -----: (Sir) Thomas Gerrard
Children of William Hexstall and [Margaret Bromley or Joan -----]
x. Margaret Hexstall; heir of her father [and possibly of her mother]
*1 Margaret Hexstall married -----: William Whetenhall
Children:
x. William Whetenhall; heir of his mother
x. Margery Whetenhall
*2 Margaret Hexstall married -----: (Sir) Henry Ferrers
Children:
x. Edward Ferrers of Baddlesley Clinton; heir of his mother
x. Elizabeth Ferrers

A. C. Fox-Davies sets out the rules of quartering [A Complete Guide to Heraldry (reprint New York, 1993): 547-549] although it’s not clear whether the rules he prescribes are those of the early C20 or those at play in C15. Here’s a summation:

If A is entitled to quarter B and B is entitled to quarter C, then A may quarter B and C or omit them as A wishes, with the exception that A may not quarter earlier arms without quartering the intermediate arms; So:
1) A may quarter B and C
2) A may omit B and C
3) A may quarter B and omit C
4) A may quarter C only if A also quarters B
Accordingly quartering arms represents [a claim to] descent; the absence of quarterings may mean a) no [claim to] descent; b) indifference to descent; or c) ignorance of descent. The absence of quartered arms is thus not itself evidence of absence of descent from an heiress.

The arms here also come from records at least a century later than the people we’re talking about.

[Links to the various county visitations may be found on Chris Phillips’ website: http://medievalgenealogy.org.uk/sources/visitations.shtml]

Were William’s daughter Margaret the daughter of his first wife Margaret Bromley, his daughter’s Whetenhall and Ferrers descendants would be entitled to quarter the Bromley arms. They do not appear to do so.

The Whetenhall arms [Visitation of Kent 1592: 115-116] quarter Hexstall and Hewett but not the Bromley or its quarterings that would follow in order. The Whetenhall arms [Visitation of Kent 1663-1668: 178] likewise quarter Hexstall and Hewett and do in fact go on the quarter the Bromley arms; but they quarter the wrong Bromley arms, those to which Joan’s Hexstall’s husband John Bromley was entitled, not those to which William Hextall’s wife Margaret Bromley was entitled. So the 1663-1668 version of the arms appears in this regard to be padding the eschutcheon.

The Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton [Visitation of Warwickshire 1619: 4] quartered Hexstall and Hewett but not Bromley.

It turns out, however, that the descendants of William’s elder daughter Joan, who were certainly entitled to quarter the Bromley arms did not ordinarily do so, (possibly because they already bore a fuller blazon of the the Bromley arms and its quarterings through their father John Bromley).

The Needham family [Visitation of Cheshire 1580: 184; Visitation of Shropshire 1623: 371] quartered (John) Bromley first where we would expect, then Hexstall and Hewett, but not (Margaret) Bromley again.

The Stanley of Hooton arms [Visitation of Cheshire 1580: 214-216] are those of Sir William Stanley’s descendants by his second wife Agnes Grosvenor. His first wife Margery Hextall’s daughter Margaret married Peter Gerard. Their descendants’ arms quartered Hexstall only.

[J. Paul Rylands, “Notes taken in the Church of Preston, Manchester, Eccles, Winwick, Farnworth, Sephton, and Hale, in the count of Lancaster.....”, Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire 50 (1898), new series 14: 203-231 at 211]

The Leighs of Rushall who descended from John Harpur and Margery Hexstall did quarter (John) Bromley first, then Hexstall and Hewett, then (Margaret) Bromley again but not her second set of Bromley quarterings. [Visitation of Staffordshire 1583: 101-103] They were the only family to quarter Margaret Bromley’s arms.

The absence of Bromley quartering from the Whetenhall and Ferrers arms, then, is inconclusive. It may represent no descent from Margaret Bromley, or, it may represent simple omission of her arms.

4. Margaret wife of Richard Petit.

Erdeswicke (later 1500s), Bridgeman (1881), and Willmore (1887) all state that Margaret wife of Richard Petit was Margaret Hexstall. Erdeswicke, followed by Bridgeman and Willmore, identifies her as William Hexstall’s daughter. Lambert (1921) argues that she must have been William Hexstall’s sister. Erdeswicke who lived within a hundred years of these people might well have had local knowledge. It may also be that he knew that William Hexstall had a daughter Margaret, that William’s estate at Hexstall and at Millwich had been divided in two and descended to the Bromley and Petit families, and assumed that just as William’s daughter Joan had married John Bromley, William’s daughter Margaret must have married Richard Petit. These are reasonable inferences to make. It could also be that Hexstall and Millwich had already been divided by some conveyance lost to us and that Margaret’s half came to her not from William but from some other family member or someone else altogether.

Sampson Erdeswicke, Survey of Staffordshire, ed. Harwood (Westminster, 1820): 45, 116
https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_KrUHAAAAQAAJ/page/n111/mode/2up?q=millwich
George Bridgeman, “History of the Parish of Blymhill”, part I, William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire 1 (1880): 289-384 and 2, part 2 (1881): 67-147 at 105-108
https://archive.org/details/collectionsforhi18812staf/page/n303/mode/2up
Frederic William Willmore, A History of Walsall and Its Neighbourhood (1887): 143-144
https://archive.org/details/ahistorywalsall00willgoog
Uvedale Lambert, Blechingley, two volumes, (London, 1921): I: 243-246
https://archive.org/details/blechingleyparis01lamb/page/n7/mode/2up

None of the visitations treating the Petit family name Richard Petit’s wife. The only record I can find that does name her is the monumental inscription in Walsall church noted by Willmore above: “Pray for the souls of Richard Petett, and his wife Margaret, and John Petett”. He gives their arms as “A chevron between three bugle horns”. Here it would have been helpful if the monumental inscription had impaled Richard’s wife’s arms as the Hexstall monumental inscriptions do. It looks as though the monumental inscription was put in place by their son John Petit, who, if his mother were not an heiress, would not be entitled to quarter her arms. Were Margaret the sister of the four Hexstall brothers, she would not have been an heiress.

[Petit of Hexstall, Visitation of Staffordshire 1583: 124; Kynnersley of Loxley, Badger, and Cleobury North, Visitation of Shropshire 1623: 300

Richard Petit was of age in 1435 when he paid Roger Elmbrigge and his wife Joan 300 marks of silver for a variety of property in Staffordshire [see above] which would make him roughly William Hexstall’s age. Richard’s son John Petit was active at least from 1457 onward, so he must have born by 1436. He could not have been William Hexstall’s grandson. He was nonetheless constantly a party with the Hexstall brothers to property transactions. At the end his life William Hexstall made John Petit one of the feoffees to whom he entrusted his property. Though there is no definitive evidence, so far as I can see, these circumstances strongly suggest that John Petit was William Hexstall’s close relative, quite probably his nephew.

My impression is, then, that Margaret wife of Richard Petit was William Hexstall’s sister.


[http://medievalgenealogy.org.uk/fines/abstracts/CP_25_1_116_327.shtml#832 (1457)
Surrey Historical Centre LM/342/16 (1469)]

5. William Hextall’s parents

A number of historians of Kent have repeated the claim that William Hexstall was the son of Richard Hexstall of Hexstall’s Court in the parish of East Peckham, Kent, who had married Anne daughter of heir of Richard Grovehurst. Edward Hasted (1782/1798) is often quoted in this regard. He drew his information from Thomas Philipott (1776).

Edward Hasted: The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent.... (Canterbury, 1798) V: 91-106 and 311-322
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol5/pp91-106
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol5/pp311-322
Thomas Philipott, Villare Cantianum; or Kent Surveyed and Illustrated... (Lynn, 1776): 151, 190
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015030878980&view=1up&seq=1

Ordinarily, it is a simple matter to confirm Hasted, but my efforts to find Richard Hexstall invariably come to naught. For reasons that follow, I think Philipott jumbled his notes and is responsible for the confusion.

He says of the manor of Chartons (page 151): “In times of a lower descent, it was the possession of a good old family called Groveherst. William de Groveherst paid respective aid for it, at the making the Black Prince knight, and from him it devolved to his successor Richard Groveherst, who in the reign of Henry the fourth, determined in three daughters and co-heirs, married to Richard Tickhill, Richard Hextall, and John Petit, who about the beginning of Henry the sixth, passed one moiety of it to John Martin....”

He is clearly referring to a series of documents two generations later involving Ralph Tickhill and his wife Elizabeth, Henry Hexstall and his wife Joan, John Honington and his wife Alice, and John Petit and his wife Agnes. The four wives were the heirs [daughters or sisters] of Richard Grovehurst and his wife Joan. That relationship is set out in an acquittance by Edmund Chymbeham, executor of his brother John Chymbeham to these eight 15 November 1466. The eight were associated about that time in a lawsuit Hexstall vs Rodney 1463-1467. These same heirs demised their inheritance to Thomas Sibill 20 January 1480 [1479/80? 1480/1?] at which point it appears that Henry Hexstall’s wife Joan Grovehurst had died and Alice Grovehurst was now married to Richard Nutward.

[National Archives E 40/5372
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4944125
National Archives C 1/30/20
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7443258
National Archives E/40/5393
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4944146

(The Kynnersley pedigree [Visitation of Shropshire 1623: 300] also notes the marriage of John Petit to Agnes daughter of Richard Grovehurst and Henry Hexstall to Joan Grovehurst.)

Philipott identifies three of the four heirs in these conveyances. For some reason he moved them back two generations or so, omitted the fourth heir, and got Henry Hexstall’s name wrong. It’s likely then that Richard Hexstall of Hexstall’s Court never existed.

William Hexstall’s parents then are to be found in Staffordshire.

As we have already seen, his descendants quartered not only the arms of Hexstall but usually the arms of Hewett as well. This opens two possibilities.

a) The visitations record, in a blurry time frame, that sometime in the C14 Thomas Hexstall married Elizabeth Hewett, daughter of John Hewett and Catherine Bowles and her father’s heir; Catherine Bowles was in turn daughter of William Bowles and Elizabeth Gifford and her father’s heir. The Shropshire visitation suggests that the arms ordinarily described as Hewett [Sable, a chevron engrailed between three owls argent] belonged to William Bowles, so possibly they were passed on as quarterings to the Hewett arms or simply adopted as the Hewett arms.

[Leigh, Rushall, Bowles, etc in the Visitation of Staffordshire 1583: 103-104; Harpur of Rushall in the Visitation of Shropshire 1623: 218]

According to the inquisition post mortem of William Peyto made 18 June 1411 at Stafford, Elizabeth formerly wife of Thomas Hexstall held of him lands in 9s 10d in Great Wyrley, so Thomas Hexstall was dead by then. He might have been dead much earlier. In the spring of 1380 Matilda widow of Hugh Snell brought suit against a number of men for the death of her husband, amongst whom was Thomas Hexstall. The sheriff ordered to arrest him reported that Thomas Hexstall was dead. If it were Elizabeth’s husband who died in 1380, could not have been the father of the four Hexstall brothers. Even if he were dead in 1411, he might not have lived long enough to father the younger Hexstall brothers. They died in 1476, 1486, and 1492-1493.

[http://www.inquisitionspostmortem.ac.uk/view/inquisition/19-953/
https://archive.org/details/collectionsforhi14staf_0/page/n325/mode/2up]

I don’t know if matters that the visitations show no children for Thomas Hexstall and Elizabeth Hewett, considering that she was her father’s heir; nor do they assign Thomas Hexstall a location.

b) We have already met two monumental inscriptions in Walsall church. The third is to Hugh Hextall and his wife Isabel. Willmore again: “Pray for the souls of Hugh Hexstall and his wife Isabel.” He gives their arms as Quarterly, 1 and 4 gules, a bend argent, 2 and 3 sable, a fleur de lis argent, impaling Sable, a chevron engrailed, between three owls argent.

Hugh’s wife Isabel thus bore the same arms as Thomas’ wife Elizabeth. Though she does not show up in the visitations, her arms suggest that she belonged to the Hewett family.

Frederic William Willmore, A History of Walsall and Its Neighbourhood (1887): 143
https://archive.org/details/ahistorywalsall00willgoog

Erdeswicke reports that on Hugo de Hextall held Millwich into the reign of Henry VI and had issue William who married Margaret Bromley. Wedgwood (449-451), who was aware of the Richard Hexstall possibility, also decided that Hugh was the father of both William and Thomas.

Sampson Erdeswicke, Survey of Staffordshire, ed. Harwood (Westminster, 1820): 45, 116
https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_KrUHAAAAQAAJ/page/n111/mode/2up?q=millwich

It would be good to have further particulars about Hugh’s tenure of Hextall and Millwich–possibly tax records or manorial records might survive that would sketch in his tenure--yet, even so, he seems the likeliest candidate to be father of the four Hexstall brothers, not least because Hugh and William were buried, or at least memorialised, in the same church.

c) William Hexstall described himself 9 December 1460 as cousin and next heir of Isabel de Hopton late of Ludlow when he released rights in a tenement in Ludlow to Thomas Gryme. The word cousin was broader then than now, so William might have been her nephew or her cousin or even more distant kinsman, but he does say he was her next heir, so most likely Isabel was his paternal aunt or paternal cousin and dead 9 December 1460.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4947897
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/ancient-deeds/vol4/pp392-401 = Ancient Deed 9138

Isabel may well have been the Isabel daughter and heir of Thomas Hexstall, widow, who sold half a watermill at Millwich to William Bradshaw in 1453-1454. She may well have been the same person as Isabel Hexstall who in Hillary term 1457/8 sued Joan widow of William Birmingham for breaking into her close as Great Barre. William Hexstall himself had sued Joan in Trinity term 1436 twenty years before for exactly the same offense in the same place.


William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire, new series, 12 (1909) [= Chetwynd, History of Pirehill Hundred]: 163
https://archive.org/details/newcollectionsfo12stafuoft/page/n3/mode/2up
William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire, new series, 4 (London: Harrison and Sons, 1901): 104
https://archive.org/details/collectionsfora13socigoog
William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire, new series, 3 (1900): 146
https://archive.org/details/newcollectionsforhi03stafuoft/

If these inferences are correct, then Isabel was likely the daughter and heir of Thomas Hexstall and Elizabeth Hewett. Since both Isabel and William held rights of some sort in both Great Barre and Millwich, it appears that Isabel’s father Thomas Hexstall was the younger brother of William’s father Hugh Hexstall.
Jan Wolfe
2021-01-29 20:11:12 UTC
Permalink
Thank you, Scott, for providing a detailed and very informative discussion of the family of William Hexstall. I've just had time so far to read through it quickly and expect to study it more carefully. It has been many years since I looked at this family, but my recollection is that I had tentatively assigned William Hexstall's daughter Margaret, who married William Whetenhall and Henry Ferrers, to William Hexstall's second wife Joan, in part, because others had assigned a daughter of the same name to the first wife. Your suggestion and evidence that the Margaret assigned to the first wife may have been a sister rather than a daughter of William Hexstall removes this reason and leaves just the enfeoffment dated 14 June 1454 as evidence that Joan was Margaret's mother.

You mention that William Hexstall's wife Margaret died sometime between spring 1434 and spring 1446. Wouldn't the inquisition post mortem dated 30 June 1444 of Thomasa Frodsham, widow of Richard Chetwynd, naming Margaret's son Humphrey as Thomasa's next heir imply that Margaret was dead by 30 June 1444?
Post by ***@butler.edu
the identity of his second wife Joan
the mother of his daughter Margaret who married William Whetenhall and Henry Ferrers
Margaret wife of Richard Petit. said to be William Hexstall’s daughter
William Hexstall’s parents
Happy for any insights and corrections. Happy as well to know of other documents that might refine what follows. I can be reached at sswanson [at] butler [dot] edu. Apologies for the formatting glitches I cannot seem to correct.
The documents here referenced are those that establish dates or connections. My thanks to Jan Wolfe who did early spade work on these people and to Rosemary Simons and Vance Mead (whoever they might be) who create the indexes to various Court of Common Pleas records.
Frederic William Willmore, A History of Walsall and Its Neighbourhood (1887): 143-144
Alfred Uvedale Miller Lambert, Blechingley: A Parish History.... (London, 1921) I: 237-246
Josiah Clement Wedgwood, History of Parliament...1439-1509: Biographies of the Members of the Commons House (London, 1938): 449-451
Presumably Linda Clark, History of Commons 1422-1461 contains biographies, but I have not been able to find it yet in libraries.
William Hexstall came from a Staffordshire family. He and his brothers Thomas, Henry, and Hugh served the Stafford family in various capacities, which service brought them interests and office in Kent and Surrey as well as Staffordshire. For this network, see Carole Rawcliffe, The Staffords, Earls of Stafford and Duke of Buckingham 1394-1521 (Cambridge, 1978). William served as MP a number of times and held other public office.
[Frederic William Willmore, A History of Walsall and Its Neighbourhood (1887): 143]
lhttps://archive.org/details/ahistorywalsall00willgoog]
[http://www.inquisitionspostmortem.ac.uk/view/inquisition/23-155/]
[http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no692/aCP40no692fronts/IMG_0819.htm]
Margaret died sometime between spring 1434 and spring 1446.
William and Margaret had at least two children, Joan, who emerges clearly in the records, and Humphrey, who is more obscure.
a) Humphrey Hexstall
Humphrey comes into view in two records.
The first is in the inquisition post mortem 30 June 1444 of his great-aunt Thomasa Frodsham, widow of Richard Chetwynd, which describes him as Humphrey Hexstall , the son of Margaret, the daughter of William, the son of Margaret, the sister of William Froddesham , Thomasia’s father and names him Thomasia’s next heir.
[http://www.inquisitionspostmortem.ac.uk/view/inquisition/26-239/]
The second is the puzzling entry in his father’s 1446 will naming “Joan wife of Humphrey Hexstall and daughter of Joan my wife”. [For will see below] Since no other Humphreys surface in the records, this Humphrey must have been William’s son. It looks as Humphrey married the daughter of his stepmother. He must have been dead in 1457 when his mother’s inheritance was settled on his sister Joan. His sisters were his father’s heirs.
[William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire 11 (London: Harrison and Sons, 1890): 237; https://archive.org/details/collectionsforhi11staf]
b) Joan Hexstall
Between John Nedeham and Hugh Hexstall, clerk, complainants, and William Hexstall, armiger, and John Bromley, knight, and his wife Joan, deforciants of the manors of Wonyngton (Werrington) and Bromley in Halys, three messuages, 200 acres of land, forty acres of meadow, forty acres of pasture, twenty acres of wood, and 10* or rent in Podmore, Rugge, and Chatculno, and a third part of the manor of Assheley. William, John Bromley and Joan acknowledged the said manors, etc, to the right of the complainants, for which the complainants granted them to William, for his life, with remainder to the issue male of John Bromley and Joan; and failing such issue, to the right heirs of Joan [sic] forever; [On the morrow of St John the Baptist 35 Henry VI [25 June 1457]
[William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire 11 (London: Harrison and Sons, 1890): 237
https://archive.org/details/collectionsforhi11staf]
Before going further, it might help to set out a chart of the family and the connections that can be ascertained.
----- Hexstall, presumably of Hexstall and Millwich, Staffordshire
x. William Hexstall; alive 24 August 1470; his will has been lost
*1 William Hexstall married [by 10 September 1428] Margaret Bromley; heir of her brother
x. Joan Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Joan Hexstall married -----: John Bromley of Badingon
x. Isabella Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Isabella Hexstall married -----: William Needham
x. Margery Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Margery Hexstall married -----: John Harper of Rushall
x. Margaret Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Margaret Hexstall married -----: (Sir) William Stanley of Hooton
x. Margaret Stanley; heir of her mother
* Margaret Stanley married -----: (Sir) Thomas Gerrard
x. Humphrey Hexstall; dead 1457
* Humphrey Hexstall married [by 19 April 1446] Joan [Elmbrigge]
*2 William Hexstall married [by spring 1446]: Joan -----
*1 Joan ----- married -----: Nicholas James; alderman of London
x. Isabel James; died 7 September 1472; MI Merstham, Surrey
* Isabel James married [by 1437] John Elmbrigge; died 8 February 1474; MI Merstham, Surrey
*2 John Elmbrigge married Anne Prophet; died 14[ ]
x. Amy James
* Amy James married [by 19 April 1446] -----: Thomas Hexstall
*2 Joan ----- married [by ] Roger Elmbrigge; dead spring 1446
? Joan [Elmbrigge] married [by 19 April 1446] Humphrey Hextall
x. Margaret Hexstall; heir of her father [and possibly of her mother]
*1 Margaret Hexstall married [by 14 June 1454] William Whetenhall; died 4 June 1468 -----
x. William Whetenhall; heir of his mother
x. Margery Whetenhall; alive and unmarried 6 August 1487
*2 Margaret Hexstall married [by 24 August 1470]: (Sir) Henry Ferrers
x. Edward Ferrers of Baddlesley Clinton; heir of his mother
x. Elizabeth Ferrers
* Elizabeth Ferrers married -----: James Clerke of Wrotham, Kent
x. Hugh Hexstall; clerk; died 1476; probably buried Blechingley, Surrey
x. Thomas Hexstall; died 1486; buried St Nicholas, Dover
* Thomas Hexstall married [by 19 April 1446] Amy James; daughter of Nicholas James and Joan
x. Henry Hexstall; will dated 11 August 1492, proven 6 February 1492/3 PCC
*1 Henry Hexstall married [by 15 November 1466] Joan Grovehurst; daughter or sister and coheir of Richard Grovehurst
*2 Henry Hexstall married Margery -----
2. Joan ----- second wife of William Hexstall
William Hexstall’s wife Margaret Bromley last appears in the records in spring 1434. His second wife Joan first appears in the records as his wife in spring of 1446. So far as I can tell, no record names William’s wife between 1434 and 1446. Further indexing of court suits might narrow this gap.
Presumably Joan’s own family is to be found amongst the network of families serving the Stafford family. A webbing of marriages joined the Hexstall, Elmbrigge, Bromley, and Petit families. The Whetenhall family, originally from Staffordshire, might have been part of the Stafford network. The Barber family, mentioned below, was an important part of it.
Joan first appears as William’s wife in a court suit in Easter term 1446 when William and Joan prosecute a suit as the executors of Joan’s late husband Roger Elmbrigge. She also appears in a tentative will which William drew up 19 April 1446 [for which see below]. She subsequently appears as his wife in a court suit Hilary term 1448, in a final concord 25 June 1452, and last in an enfoeffment 14 June 1454.
[references and links: https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/common-pleas/1399-1500/easter-term-1446 Surrey History Centre LM/2011/40
https://waalt.uh.edu/index.php/CP40/748;
http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/fines/abstracts/CP_25_1_116_324.shtml#753
Surrey History Centre LM/341/73 or LM G.10.10.5
https://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1386-1421/member/james-nicholas-1433
By August 1434 Joan had married Roger Elmbrigge who was alive when Roger and Joan signed an indenture 1 February 1434/5. Later that year 8 July 1435 Roger and Joan conveyed by final concord substantial holdings in Staffordshire to Richard Petit for 300 marks of silver. He was dead by the spring of 1446.
[references:Calendar of plea and memoranda rolls preserved among the archives of the Corporation of the city London at the Guild-hall, IV (1413-1437): 274
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/common-pleas/1399-1500/easter-term-1446
http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/fines/abstracts/CP_25_1_195_22.shtml]
Which Roger Elmbrigge she married is an unsettled question, not least, because the Elmbrigge family does not emerge with clarity in the records. Research into this family is further hampered because their surname is spelled in an unending variety of ways. (I have chosen Elmbrigge; the VCH of Surrey chose Ellingbridge.) Even the first letter of their surname is given as E, H, and O.
For some months now I had simply assumed that Joan had married Roger Elmbrigge, esquire, whose memorial brass is illustrated in a number of important volumes on memorial brasses, who died 23 November 1437 and was buried in Beddington, Surrey. He is not often noticed but he was said to have died a young man shortly after being appointed sheriff of Surrey and Sussex.
In the minimalist accounts of the family this Roger Elmbrigge is said to have been the son of another Roger Elmbrigge.
I now wonder whether Joan married the elder Roger Elmbrigge. Below we’ll see that [a] Roger Elmbrigge sold Richard Petit his rights in the manor of Badger in Shropshire in 1435. Possibly it’s likelier that the elder Roger Elmbrigge held those rights conveyed Richard Petit than his son. Against that, it might be that his son held rights to the land through his mother. The VCH account of the manor of Badger adds that in 1440 “Roger’s brother” John Elmbrigge quitclaimed his rights to Richard Petit. (This document I have been unable to find; whether it’s the document or the editor that describes John as Roger’s brother I cannot say.) It is completely unclear when the elder Roger Elmbrigge died. Since his son and heir John Elmbrigge for the most part bought his estates, there are no dates of father passing estates to son.
Again, the elder Roger’s son John married Joan’s daughter Isabel. Possibly it’s likelier that husband and wife married stepchildren to each other than mother and daughter marrying brothers. The second is hardly impossible. (Might the second possibility break canon law rules of affinity? Which may not have deterred family builders in the least.)
[reference: G. Steinman Steinman, “Some Account of the Manors of Whitehorse, Croham, and Norbury in the Parish of Croydon, Surrey, and a Pedigree of Elmerugge”, Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, volume 5, (London: John Bowyer Nichols and Son, 1838): 161-174; https://archive.org/details/collectaneatopo07nichgoog
Alfred Heales, “Merstham”, Surrey Archaeological Collections 3 (1865): 1-17 at 11-12
https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archiveDS/archiveDownload?t=arch-379-1/dissemination/pdf/vol_3/surreyac003_001-017_heales.pdf
Victoria County History of Shropshire, 10: 213-220
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/salop/vol10/pp213-220]
There might be two heraldic clues to Joan’s identity. A monumental inscription in Walsall church reads “Orate pro animabus W’mi Hextale, et Margaretae et Johannae uxor’” and bore the Hexstall arms [Quarterly, 1 and 4 gules, a bend argent, 2 and 3 sable, a fleur de lis argent] impaling Party, per pale and per chevron. Since we know the Bromley arms [Quarterly per fesse indented gules and or], these arms presumably belong to Joan. I have been unable to identify them in any ordinary, the more so since they lack their tinctures.
[reference: Frederic William Willmore, A History of Walsall and Its Neighbourhood (1887): 143
https://archive.org/details/ahistorywalsall00willgoog]
The second clue appears on Roger Elmbrigge’s memorial brass. Boutell and Simpson describe the shields displayed on Roger Elmbrigge’s brass as chequy, or and sable [Elmbrigge]; and two chevronels between three cinquefoils, a label for difference. A third shield impales the Elmbrigge arms with two chevronels between three cinquefoils, a label for difference.
If Joan married the younger Roger Elmbrigge, the arms impaled, again without tinctures, might well be the arms of his wife Joan’s family. One hopeful identification fizzled out. Those arms [Argent, two chevonrels between three cinquefoils gules] were born in the seventeenth century by the Barber family of Ashmore, Dorset. As part of the Stafford network, the Hexstalls were closely connected to the Barber family of Stafford, but those Barbers born arms Ermine, two chevronels between three fleurs-de-lis gules.
[reference: Charles Boutell, The Monumental Brasses of England; (London: George Bell, 1849): unpaginated
https://archive.org/details/monumentalbrasse00boutuoft/page/n383/mode/2up
Justin Simpson, A List of the Sepulchral Brasses of England (Stamford: John Ford, 1857): 88
https://archive.org/details/listofsepulchral00simp/page/88/mode/2up
E. W. Watson, Ashmore co. Dorset. A History of the Parish (Gloucester, 1890): 94]
[http://www.inquisitionspostmortem.ac.uk/view/inquisition/21-050/]
Since the arms of William Hexstall’s wife do not appear to be the same as those of Roger Elmbrigge’s wife, quite possibly they were married to different women.
3. Margaret Hexstall’s mother
What we know of Margaret is that she was born by 19 April 1446 when she appears unmarried in her father’s will, that she was married eight years later by 14 June 1454 to William Whetenhale the younger who died in 1468, that she married Henry Ferrers in 1469, that she was dead 22 December 1499 when Henry Ferrers wrote his will and buried in the Lady Chapel in the parish church of East Peckham.
Her (surviving) children so far as we know them were named Margery, William, Edward, and Elizabeth.
The strongest evidence that Margaret was Joan’s daughter, as Jan Wolfe earlier posted, is the wording of an enfeoffment dated 14 June 1454 of lands in East Peckham, Hadlow, Wateringbury, and Nettlestead in Kent; after her parents died, this land remained to William Wetenhale the younger and his wife Margaret daughter of the same [plural] William Hexstall and Joan...” The Latin is “... Will[el]mo Wetenhale Juniori et Margarete ux[or]i eius filie eorundem Will[el]mi Hexstall et Johanne...”
[reference: Surrey History Centre LM/341/73 or LM G.10.10.5]
If Joan had been married to Roger Elmbrigge the younger who died 23 November 1437 and William and Joan had married at the end of 1437 or in 1438, they would have had time to have a daughter married at 15 or 16 in 1454.
If William’s heirs in 1457 were his two surviving daughters, Joan and Margaret, it would make sense in dividing his estate between them to give Joan the northern portion and Margaret the southern portion; even more sense were elder daughter Joan first wife Margaret’s daughter (and thus Margaret’s sole heir) and were younger daughter Margaret second wife Joan’s daughter.
At the moment this strikes me as the stronger case; but I don’t believe the evidence is definitive.
a. Records often enough spoke of stepchildren as children. The will of Elizabeth (Fisher) Woodliffe Saxby, dated 19 September 1562, proved 2 March 1563/4 PCC [PROB 11/47/80], for example, spoke of Mary Saxby throughout as Elizabeth’s daughter and then left Mary “all her mothers childe bedd geare”. In some sense Margaret was Joan’s daughter, whether Joan were her actual mother or not.
b. There is no evidence that William and Joan were married till 1446; no evidence when William’s first wife Margaret died; no evidence when Roger Elmbrigge the elder died. Joan might well have been a widow 23 November 1437, but not necessarily. Even were she was free to remarry 23 November 1437, William himself may not have been so.
c. William Hexstall’s 1446 will is just odd. It was certainly not his last will, which has not survived, to whose provisions his brother Henry Hexstall’s 1492 will refers, and which a number of legal documents implement. The 1446 will is not odd in that he wrote it 24 years before he died. People in the mid-fifteenth-century had good reason to anticipate death. Its form is odd and unlike any other will I have read. The 1446 will omits basic elements of a will: no ‘in the name of God’, no being sick or mindful of death, no commending his soul to Jesus and Mary, no burial instructions, no executors. It jumps immediately to the disposition of his lands: “This is the last will of me William Hextall of East Peckham in the county of Kent, esquire, made the 19th day of April in the 24th years of King Henry VI after the Conquest. As to the disposition of all my lands and tenements noted below with all their appurtenances.....”
It settles his lands in East Peckham in Kent and Sutton in Surrey on Joan for her life, remainder to his daughter Margaret; it names Joan’s daughters who, if Margaret dies, are to receive legacies from the sale of land in East Peckham: Isabel wife of John Elmbrigge, Amy daughter of Thomas Hextall, and Joan wife of Humphrey Hextall; and it names his daughter Margaret. The will, meticulous in asserting the maternity of Joan’s three daughters by earlier marriages, is silent about Margaret’s maternity. The will describes her only as William’s daughter.
It refrains from identifying Humphrey, alive at the time of its composition, as William’s son and heir and pretty much excludes Humphrey from the will’s provisions. Only is the case of Margaret’s death were Humphrey and his wife Joan to receive lands in Sutton. The will omits any mention of his daughter Joan possibly already married to John Bromley of Badington. Nor does it say anything about William’s lands in Staffordshire, which got careful attention in his last will 24 years later. The 1446 will’s sole mention of Staffordshire is a pious bequest.
This will then looks much more like a marriage settlement, and marriage settlements were usually drawn up at the time of marriage.
This could be read two ways. If William were protecting the interests of Joan’s daughters, its provisions for Margaret might well mean that she too was one of Joan’s daughters.
If William were drawing up a marriage settlement because he had recently married Joan, then Margaret was more likely the daughter of his first wife Margaret. For all that’s said about the early marriage of girls, she was unlikely to have married William Whetenhall at age 8.
[reference: Surrey History Centre LM/2011/40]
d. Margaret named her first daughter Margery. William Whetenhall’s mother’s name was apparently Alice. Margery is not Margaret but neither is it Joan. So far as I can tell, we know the names of four of Margaret’s (surviving) children: Margery, William, Edward, Elizabeth. No names from Joan’s family: Joan, Isabella, Amy (possibly Anna).
William Hexstall
*1 William Hexstall married [by ] Margaret Bromley; heir of her brother
x. Joan Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Joan Hexstall married -----: John Bromley of Badingon
x. Isabella Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Isabella Hexstall married -----: William Needham
x. Margery Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Margery Hexstall married -----: John Harper of Rushall
x. Margaret Hexstall; heir of her father and her mother
* Margaret Hexstall married -----: (Sir) William Stanley of Hooton
x. Margaret Stanley; heir of her mother
* Margaret Stanley married -----: (Sir) Thomas Gerrard
Children of William Hexstall and [Margaret Bromley or Joan -----]
x. Margaret Hexstall; heir of her father [and possibly of her mother]
*1 Margaret Hexstall married -----: William Whetenhall
x. William Whetenhall; heir of his mother
x. Margery Whetenhall
*2 Margaret Hexstall married -----: (Sir) Henry Ferrers
x. Edward Ferrers of Baddlesley Clinton; heir of his mother
x. Elizabeth Ferrers
1) A may quarter B and C
2) A may omit B and C
3) A may quarter B and omit C
4) A may quarter C only if A also quarters B
Accordingly quartering arms represents [a claim to] descent; the absence of quarterings may mean a) no [claim to] descent; b) indifference to descent; or c) ignorance of descent. The absence of quartered arms is thus not itself evidence of absence of descent from an heiress.
The arms here also come from records at least a century later than the people we’re talking about.
[Links to the various county visitations may be found on Chris Phillips’ website: http://medievalgenealogy.org.uk/sources/visitations.shtml]
Were William’s daughter Margaret the daughter of his first wife Margaret Bromley, his daughter’s Whetenhall and Ferrers descendants would be entitled to quarter the Bromley arms. They do not appear to do so.
The Whetenhall arms [Visitation of Kent 1592: 115-116] quarter Hexstall and Hewett but not the Bromley or its quarterings that would follow in order. The Whetenhall arms [Visitation of Kent 1663-1668: 178] likewise quarter Hexstall and Hewett and do in fact go on the quarter the Bromley arms; but they quarter the wrong Bromley arms, those to which Joan’s Hexstall’s husband John Bromley was entitled, not those to which William Hextall’s wife Margaret Bromley was entitled. So the 1663-1668 version of the arms appears in this regard to be padding the eschutcheon.
The Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton [Visitation of Warwickshire 1619: 4] quartered Hexstall and Hewett but not Bromley.
It turns out, however, that the descendants of William’s elder daughter Joan, who were certainly entitled to quarter the Bromley arms did not ordinarily do so, (possibly because they already bore a fuller blazon of the the Bromley arms and its quarterings through their father John Bromley).
The Needham family [Visitation of Cheshire 1580: 184; Visitation of Shropshire 1623: 371] quartered (John) Bromley first where we would expect, then Hexstall and Hewett, but not (Margaret) Bromley again.
The Stanley of Hooton arms [Visitation of Cheshire 1580: 214-216] are those of Sir William Stanley’s descendants by his second wife Agnes Grosvenor. His first wife Margery Hextall’s daughter Margaret married Peter Gerard. Their descendants’ arms quartered Hexstall only.
[J. Paul Rylands, “Notes taken in the Church of Preston, Manchester, Eccles, Winwick, Farnworth, Sephton, and Hale, in the count of Lancaster.....”, Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire 50 (1898), new series 14: 203-231 at 211]
The Leighs of Rushall who descended from John Harpur and Margery Hexstall did quarter (John) Bromley first, then Hexstall and Hewett, then (Margaret) Bromley again but not her second set of Bromley quarterings. [Visitation of Staffordshire 1583: 101-103] They were the only family to quarter Margaret Bromley’s arms.
The absence of Bromley quartering from the Whetenhall and Ferrers arms, then, is inconclusive. It may represent no descent from Margaret Bromley, or, it may represent simple omission of her arms.
4. Margaret wife of Richard Petit.
Erdeswicke (later 1500s), Bridgeman (1881), and Willmore (1887) all state that Margaret wife of Richard Petit was Margaret Hexstall. Erdeswicke, followed by Bridgeman and Willmore, identifies her as William Hexstall’s daughter. Lambert (1921) argues that she must have been William Hexstall’s sister. Erdeswicke who lived within a hundred years of these people might well have had local knowledge. It may also be that he knew that William Hexstall had a daughter Margaret, that William’s estate at Hexstall and at Millwich had been divided in two and descended to the Bromley and Petit families, and assumed that just as William’s daughter Joan had married John Bromley, William’s daughter Margaret must have married Richard Petit. These are reasonable inferences to make. It could also be that Hexstall and Millwich had already been divided by some conveyance lost to us and that Margaret’s half came to her not from William but from some other family member or someone else altogether.
Sampson Erdeswicke, Survey of Staffordshire, ed. Harwood (Westminster, 1820): 45, 116
https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_KrUHAAAAQAAJ/page/n111/mode/2up?q=millwich
George Bridgeman, “History of the Parish of Blymhill”, part I, William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire 1 (1880): 289-384 and 2, part 2 (1881): 67-147 at 105-108
https://archive.org/details/collectionsforhi18812staf/page/n303/mode/2up
Frederic William Willmore, A History of Walsall and Its Neighbourhood (1887): 143-144
https://archive.org/details/ahistorywalsall00willgoog
Uvedale Lambert, Blechingley, two volumes, (London, 1921): I: 243-246
https://archive.org/details/blechingleyparis01lamb/page/n7/mode/2up
None of the visitations treating the Petit family name Richard Petit’s wife. The only record I can find that does name her is the monumental inscription in Walsall church noted by Willmore above: “Pray for the souls of Richard Petett, and his wife Margaret, and John Petett”. He gives their arms as “A chevron between three bugle horns”. Here it would have been helpful if the monumental inscription had impaled Richard’s wife’s arms as the Hexstall monumental inscriptions do. It looks as though the monumental inscription was put in place by their son John Petit, who, if his mother were not an heiress, would not be entitled to quarter her arms. Were Margaret the sister of the four Hexstall brothers, she would not have been an heiress.
[Petit of Hexstall, Visitation of Staffordshire 1583: 124; Kynnersley of Loxley, Badger, and Cleobury North, Visitation of Shropshire 1623: 300
Richard Petit was of age in 1435 when he paid Roger Elmbrigge and his wife Joan 300 marks of silver for a variety of property in Staffordshire [see above] which would make him roughly William Hexstall’s age. Richard’s son John Petit was active at least from 1457 onward, so he must have born by 1436. He could not have been William Hexstall’s grandson. He was nonetheless constantly a party with the Hexstall brothers to property transactions. At the end his life William Hexstall made John Petit one of the feoffees to whom he entrusted his property. Though there is no definitive evidence, so far as I can see, these circumstances strongly suggest that John Petit was William Hexstall’s close relative, quite probably his nephew.
My impression is, then, that Margaret wife of Richard Petit was William Hexstall’s sister.
[http://medievalgenealogy.org.uk/fines/abstracts/CP_25_1_116_327.shtml#832 (1457)
Surrey Historical Centre LM/342/16 (1469)]
5. William Hextall’s parents
A number of historians of Kent have repeated the claim that William Hexstall was the son of Richard Hexstall of Hexstall’s Court in the parish of East Peckham, Kent, who had married Anne daughter of heir of Richard Grovehurst. Edward Hasted (1782/1798) is often quoted in this regard. He drew his information from Thomas Philipott (1776).
Edward Hasted: The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent.... (Canterbury, 1798) V: 91-106 and 311-322
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol5/pp91-106
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol5/pp311-322
Thomas Philipott, Villare Cantianum; or Kent Surveyed and Illustrated... (Lynn, 1776): 151, 190
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015030878980&view=1up&seq=1
Ordinarily, it is a simple matter to confirm Hasted, but my efforts to find Richard Hexstall invariably come to naught. For reasons that follow, I think Philipott jumbled his notes and is responsible for the confusion.
He says of the manor of Chartons (page 151): “In times of a lower descent, it was the possession of a good old family called Groveherst. William de Groveherst paid respective aid for it, at the making the Black Prince knight, and from him it devolved to his successor Richard Groveherst, who in the reign of Henry the fourth, determined in three daughters and co-heirs, married to Richard Tickhill, Richard Hextall, and John Petit, who about the beginning of Henry the sixth, passed one moiety of it to John Martin....”
He is clearly referring to a series of documents two generations later involving Ralph Tickhill and his wife Elizabeth, Henry Hexstall and his wife Joan, John Honington and his wife Alice, and John Petit and his wife Agnes. The four wives were the heirs [daughters or sisters] of Richard Grovehurst and his wife Joan. That relationship is set out in an acquittance by Edmund Chymbeham, executor of his brother John Chymbeham to these eight 15 November 1466. The eight were associated about that time in a lawsuit Hexstall vs Rodney 1463-1467. These same heirs demised their inheritance to Thomas Sibill 20 January 1480 [1479/80? 1480/1?] at which point it appears that Henry Hexstall’s wife Joan Grovehurst had died and Alice Grovehurst was now married to Richard Nutward.
[National Archives E 40/5372
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4944125
National Archives C 1/30/20
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7443258
National Archives E/40/5393
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4944146
(The Kynnersley pedigree [Visitation of Shropshire 1623: 300] also notes the marriage of John Petit to Agnes daughter of Richard Grovehurst and Henry Hexstall to Joan Grovehurst.)
Philipott identifies three of the four heirs in these conveyances. For some reason he moved them back two generations or so, omitted the fourth heir, and got Henry Hexstall’s name wrong. It’s likely then that Richard Hexstall of Hexstall’s Court never existed.
William Hexstall’s parents then are to be found in Staffordshire.
As we have already seen, his descendants quartered not only the arms of Hexstall but usually the arms of Hewett as well. This opens two possibilities.
a) The visitations record, in a blurry time frame, that sometime in the C14 Thomas Hexstall married Elizabeth Hewett, daughter of John Hewett and Catherine Bowles and her father’s heir; Catherine Bowles was in turn daughter of William Bowles and Elizabeth Gifford and her father’s heir. The Shropshire visitation suggests that the arms ordinarily described as Hewett [Sable, a chevron engrailed between three owls argent] belonged to William Bowles, so possibly they were passed on as quarterings to the Hewett arms or simply adopted as the Hewett arms.
[Leigh, Rushall, Bowles, etc in the Visitation of Staffordshire 1583: 103-104; Harpur of Rushall in the Visitation of Shropshire 1623: 218]
According to the inquisition post mortem of William Peyto made 18 June 1411 at Stafford, Elizabeth formerly wife of Thomas Hexstall held of him lands in 9s 10d in Great Wyrley, so Thomas Hexstall was dead by then. He might have been dead much earlier. In the spring of 1380 Matilda widow of Hugh Snell brought suit against a number of men for the death of her husband, amongst whom was Thomas Hexstall. The sheriff ordered to arrest him reported that Thomas Hexstall was dead. If it were Elizabeth’s husband who died in 1380, could not have been the father of the four Hexstall brothers. Even if he were dead in 1411, he might not have lived long enough to father the younger Hexstall brothers. They died in 1476, 1486, and 1492-1493.
[http://www.inquisitionspostmortem.ac.uk/view/inquisition/19-953/
https://archive.org/details/collectionsforhi14staf_0/page/n325/mode/2up]
I don’t know if matters that the visitations show no children for Thomas Hexstall and Elizabeth Hewett, considering that she was her father’s heir; nor do they assign Thomas Hexstall a location.
b) We have already met two monumental inscriptions in Walsall church. The third is to Hugh Hextall and his wife Isabel. Willmore again: “Pray for the souls of Hugh Hexstall and his wife Isabel.” He gives their arms as Quarterly, 1 and 4 gules, a bend argent, 2 and 3 sable, a fleur de lis argent, impaling Sable, a chevron engrailed, between three owls argent.
Hugh’s wife Isabel thus bore the same arms as Thomas’ wife Elizabeth. Though she does not show up in the visitations, her arms suggest that she belonged to the Hewett family.
Frederic William Willmore, A History of Walsall and Its Neighbourhood (1887): 143
https://archive.org/details/ahistorywalsall00willgoog
Erdeswicke reports that on Hugo de Hextall held Millwich into the reign of Henry VI and had issue William who married Margaret Bromley. Wedgwood (449-451), who was aware of the Richard Hexstall possibility, also decided that Hugh was the father of both William and Thomas.
Sampson Erdeswicke, Survey of Staffordshire, ed. Harwood (Westminster, 1820): 45, 116
https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_KrUHAAAAQAAJ/page/n111/mode/2up?q=millwich
It would be good to have further particulars about Hugh’s tenure of Hextall and Millwich–possibly tax records or manorial records might survive that would sketch in his tenure--yet, even so, he seems the likeliest candidate to be father of the four Hexstall brothers, not least because Hugh and William were buried, or at least memorialised, in the same church.
c) William Hexstall described himself 9 December 1460 as cousin and next heir of Isabel de Hopton late of Ludlow when he released rights in a tenement in Ludlow to Thomas Gryme. The word cousin was broader then than now, so William might have been her nephew or her cousin or even more distant kinsman, but he does say he was her next heir, so most likely Isabel was his paternal aunt or paternal cousin and dead 9 December 1460.
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4947897
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/ancient-deeds/vol4/pp392-401 = Ancient Deed 9138
Isabel may well have been the Isabel daughter and heir of Thomas Hexstall, widow, who sold half a watermill at Millwich to William Bradshaw in 1453-1454. She may well have been the same person as Isabel Hexstall who in Hillary term 1457/8 sued Joan widow of William Birmingham for breaking into her close as Great Barre. William Hexstall himself had sued Joan in Trinity term 1436 twenty years before for exactly the same offense in the same place.
William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire, new series, 12 (1909) [= Chetwynd, History of Pirehill Hundred]: 163
https://archive.org/details/newcollectionsfo12stafuoft/page/n3/mode/2up
William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire, new series, 4 (London: Harrison and Sons, 1901): 104
https://archive.org/details/collectionsfora13socigoog
William Salt Archaeological Society, Collections for a History of Staffordshire, new series, 3 (1900): 146
https://archive.org/details/newcollectionsforhi03stafuoft/
If these inferences are correct, then Isabel was likely the daughter and heir of Thomas Hexstall and Elizabeth Hewett. Since both Isabel and William held rights of some sort in both Great Barre and Millwich, it appears that Isabel’s father Thomas Hexstall was the younger brother of William’s father Hugh Hexstall.
Jan Wolfe
2021-01-31 00:39:45 UTC
Permalink
The 1434 Hilary term suit in which Margaret's brother John’s widow Isabel, now married to John Pollard, sued Thomas Boughton and his wife Isabel and William Hexstall and his wife Margaret isn't just one of those so-and-so waited for four days against so-and-so records. There are actually two records, http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no692/aCP40no692fronts/IMG_0819.htm (400f) and http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no692/bCP40no692dorses/IMG_1638.htm (318d) in this term.
If someone here has actually read the Latin text, I would be pleased to learn what it says, in case it says anything interesting.
Jan Wolfe
2021-01-31 05:27:15 UTC
Permalink
Another suit that is consistent with the suggestion that William Hexstall and his second wife Joan may have been recently married when William wrote a "will" in April of 1446 is the suit described here, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/common-pleas/1399-1500/easter-term-1446 (William Hexstall and his wife Joan, former wife and executor of Roger Elmbrigge vs. William Sefoule). The suit started in Easter term 1446 and went on for a couple of years. See also http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no748/bCP40no748dorses/IMG_1847.htm (Hilary Term 1448, last entry).
Jan Wolfe
2021-01-31 05:29:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jan Wolfe
Another suit that is consistent with the suggestion that William Hexstall and his second wife Joan may have been recently married when William wrote a "will" in April of 1446 is the suit described here, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/common-pleas/1399-1500/easter-term-1446 (William Hexstall and his wife Joan, former wife and executor of Roger Elmbrigge vs. William Sefoule). The suit started in Easter term 1446 and went on for a couple of years. See also http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no748/bCP40no748dorses/IMG_1847.htm (Hilary Term 1448, last entry).
I see now that Scott had already mentioned this suit.
Jan Wolfe
2021-01-31 17:46:03 UTC
Permalink
The British History Online summary of the suit against William Sefoule in Easter 1446 refers first to this document (CP 40/741 rot. 112), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no741/aCP40no741fronts/IMG_0225.htm.

Does the wording here suggest that the first action in the suit had been brought earlier?

I think that the first line states, "Surrey. William Sefoule of London Timbermonger was summoned to respond to William Hexstall and Joan his wife who was the wife of Roger Elmbrigge executrix of the will of Roger Elmbrigge armiger ... "
Then William Hexstall and Joan's attorney presents their case and then William Sefoule in his proper person responds.
Post by Jan Wolfe
Post by Jan Wolfe
Another suit that is consistent with the suggestion that William Hexstall and his second wife Joan may have been recently married when William wrote a "will" in April of 1446 is the suit described here, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/common-pleas/1399-1500/easter-term-1446 (William Hexstall and his wife Joan, former wife and executor of Roger Elmbrigge vs. William Sefoule). The suit started in Easter term 1446 and went on for a couple of years. See also http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no748/bCP40no748dorses/IMG_1847.htm (Hilary Term 1448, last entry).
I see now that Scott had already mentioned this suit.
Jan Wolfe
2021-02-01 22:20:58 UTC
Permalink
A minor comment about Joan, daughter of William Hexstall's wife Joan and wife of William's son Humphrey in 1446:
The HOP article about Nicholas James cites C1/12/125. TNA states the date of this pleading as 1433, https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7438795. The image is here, http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no12/IMG_0203.htm.
The pleading indicates that Nicholas James was dead at the time of the pleading. The pleading is addressed to the Bishop of Bathe and Welles and Chancellor of England. Wikipedia states that John Stafford was Chancellor from 1432 to 1450. He had been the Bishop of Bath and Wells since 1425 and became the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1443. If TNA is correct about the date, then Nicholas died during 1433. If Nicholas James died soon after writing his will (24 April 1433), then either a posthumous daughter of Nicholas born during 1433 or a daughter of Roger Elmbridge born by early spring of 1434 would have been age 12 by the time William Hexstall mentioned his wife Joan's daughter Joan as the wife of his son Humphrey in his "will" dated 19 April 1446.
Jan Wolfe
2021-02-02 06:53:19 UTC
Permalink
As Scott stated, the will of Nicholas James was dated 24 April 1433 and proved (administration granted) on 4 November 1434. Just above the probate section of the PCC record of the will, there is another date, perhaps 8 May 1432:
Indice responder' vol______ dat London octav_o die mensis maii Anno dni mill'mo cccc ^ tricestimoij

The probate section also mentions two years:
Probatum fuit present' testamentu' coram M. Johne Hindefelde commiss___ et c.
Anno dni mill'mo cccc supradicto ...
The 4 November 1434 date follows the statement about granting the administration.

The will may be downloaded (free at this time) from TNA, https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D968519

Images of the will are also available on Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/5111/images/40611_311103-00144?pId=869477
https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/5111/images/40611_311103-00145
and
https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/5111/images/40611_311103-00146

The will is about 6 pages in length and there are many more bequests than in the brief abstract.
Jan Wolfe
2021-02-02 22:20:40 UTC
Permalink
For those interested in the identity of the mother of William Wetenhall, husband of Margaret Hexstall:

The will of "Alicia Wetenhale vidua _x_srent apud Bury Sct Edmunde_" was dated 4 October 1458 and proved on 19 October 1458. I think that she bequeathed a long list of items to her daughter Katherine and her sons John and Thomas (no surnames). She bequeathed to her sister Joan C_d__(?), and to several other people, some of them in religious orders. She also made several bequests to religious establishment, including some in London.

The will is written in Latin. In looking at it, I did not see any mention of William Whetenhall or Margaret.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D969179
and at Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/5111/images/40611_311103-00717?pId=870180
sswa...@butler.edu
2021-02-02 23:54:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jan Wolfe
The will of "Alicia Wetenhale vidua _x_srent apud Bury Sct Edmunde_" was dated 4 October 1458 and proved on 19 October 1458. I think that she bequeathed a long list of items to her daughter Katherine and her sons John and Thomas (no surnames). She bequeathed to her sister Joan C_d__(?), and to several other people, some of them in religious orders. She also made several bequests to religious establishment, including some in London.
The will is written in Latin. In looking at it, I did not see any mention of William Whetenhall or Margaret.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D969179
and at Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/5111/images/40611_311103-00717?pId=870180
Thanks for your additions, Jan.

Of course the IPM of Thomass Frodsham, widow of Richard Chetwynd, moves Margaret’s possible death date to 30 June 1444. (We look but we do not see.) That closes the gap by two years.

As to Joan wife of Humphrey Hexstall, another possibility is that she was the daughter of yet an earlier marriage than her mother’s marriage to Nicholas James. Were this so, my guess is that Nicholas James would have left her a small legacy of some sort, but it is a possibility.

I did miss Alice Whetenhall’s will (which is why the list can be so wonderful). One intriguing possibility rocketing around the web is that Alice was Alice Elinbridge. It is only under that spelling of her surname that she appears. That identification would make sense since both the Whetenhall and Elmbrigge families had interests in Staffordshire and Shropshire and such a marriage would make perfect sense in the webbing of these allied families, but there is absolutely no documentation I can find. Still, it’s an odd name to pull out of thin air.

Here it would be helpful if the Elmbrigge family in Surrey could be sketched in more precisely. It may be simply that Roger the father, John the son and heir, and Roger the younger son were an outpod of a family much more settled and much better documented towards the west in Worcestershire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire.

I’ll see what I can make of the Latin in between classes.
Jan Wolfe
2021-02-03 05:36:38 UTC
Permalink
A source for the surname of William Whetenhall's wife Alice is Boyd's Inhabitants of London:
https://search.findmypast.com/record?id=GBOR%2FBIL%2FSOG35%2F0138&parentid=GBPRS%2FBIL%2F00204636.
Here is my transcription of the entry:

Wetenhall
William
1420
19385

Name William Wetenhale of S. Mary Woolchurch
Wife Alice Elinbridge dr resh(?)
Profession etc. citizen & grocer Alderman 1438-1451
warden 1427, 1433, 1439, 1440, 1446, 1447
will of Alice 1458 PCC 24&25 Stokton
Died 1457 Buried S Mary Woolchurch
Will 1457 Hustings II 531 wife Alice: PCC 16 Stokton
Children
William = Margaret Hexstall dr & heir of William Esq.
Margaret = John Colville GR 19386

On the back of the previous page of Boyd's Inhabitants of London:
Margaret wife of William Wetenhale GR. Manning Bray III 361

Manning Bray III must be _The History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey_ by Owen Manning and William Bray (who lived in the 1700s) which appears to have been reprinted in 1974, https://www.worldcat.org/title/history-and-antiquities-of-the-county-of-surrey/oclc/1325060 and https://books.google.com/books?id=UWw-AQAAIAAJ. According to Google Books, the words Elinbridge, Elmbridge, and Wetenhale all appear a large number of times in this book.

There was a John Caryll, b. c.1505, 1st s. of John Caryll of Warnham by 2nd w. Margaret, da. of Thomas Elinbridge of Merstham, Surr., http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/caryll-%28carrell%29-john-1505-66 and http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/member/caryll-%28carrell%29-john-1566 (two bios for the same person?)

There is an Ellenbridge Way in Croydon.

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 6:54:32 PM UTC-5, ***@butler.edu wrote:
...
Post by ***@butler.edu
Thanks for your additions, Jan.
Of course the IPM of Thomass Frodsham, widow of Richard Chetwynd, moves Margaret’s possible death date to 30 June 1444. (We look but we do not see.) That closes the gap by two years.
As to Joan wife of Humphrey Hexstall, another possibility is that she was the daughter of yet an earlier marriage than her mother’s marriage to Nicholas James. Were this so, my guess is that Nicholas James would have left her a small legacy of some sort, but it is a possibility.
I did miss Alice Whetenhall’s will (which is why the list can be so wonderful). One intriguing possibility rocketing around the web is that Alice was Alice Elinbridge. It is only under that spelling of her surname that she appears. That identification would make sense since both the Whetenhall and Elmbrigge families had interests in Staffordshire and Shropshire and such a marriage would make perfect sense in the webbing of these allied families, but there is absolutely no documentation I can find. Still, it’s an odd name to pull out of thin air.
Here it would be helpful if the Elmbrigge family in Surrey could be sketched in more precisely. It may be simply that Roger the father, John the son and heir, and Roger the younger son were an outpod of a family much more settled and much better documented towards the west in Worcestershire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire.
I’ll see what I can make of the Latin in between classes.
William Acton
2021-02-03 08:23:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jan Wolfe
https://search.findmypast.com/record?id=GBOR%2FBIL%2FSOG35%2F0138&parentid=GBPRS%2FBIL%2F00204636.
Wetenhall
William
1420
19385
Name William Wetenhale of S. Mary Woolchurch
Wife Alice Elinbridge dr resh(?)
Profession etc. citizen & grocer Alderman 1438-1451
warden 1427, 1433, 1439, 1440, 1446, 1447
will of Alice 1458 PCC 24&25 Stokton
Died 1457 Buried S Mary Woolchurch
Will 1457 Hustings II 531 wife Alice: PCC 16 Stokton
Children
William = Margaret Hexstall dr & heir of William Esq.
Margaret = John Colville GR 19386
Margaret wife of William Wetenhale GR. Manning Bray III 361
Manning Bray III must be _The History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey_ by Owen Manning and William Bray (who lived in the 1700s) which appears to have been reprinted in 1974, https://www.worldcat.org/title/history-and-antiquities-of-the-county-of-surrey/oclc/1325060 and https://books.google.com/books?id=UWw-AQAAIAAJ. According to Google Books, the words Elinbridge, Elmbridge, and Wetenhale all appear a large number of times in this book.
There was a John Caryll, b. c.1505, 1st s. of John Caryll of Warnham by 2nd w. Margaret, da. of Thomas Elinbridge of Merstham, Surr., http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/caryll-%28carrell%29-john-1505-66 and http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/member/caryll-%28carrell%29-john-1566 (two bios for the same person?)
There is an Ellenbridge Way in Croydon.
...
Post by ***@butler.edu
Thanks for your additions, Jan.
Of course the IPM of Thomass Frodsham, widow of Richard Chetwynd, moves Margaret’s possible death date to 30 June 1444. (We look but we do not see.) That closes the gap by two years.
As to Joan wife of Humphrey Hexstall, another possibility is that she was the daughter of yet an earlier marriage than her mother’s marriage to Nicholas James. Were this so, my guess is that Nicholas James would have left her a small legacy of some sort, but it is a possibility.
I did miss Alice Whetenhall’s will (which is why the list can be so wonderful). One intriguing possibility rocketing around the web is that Alice was Alice Elinbridge. It is only under that spelling of her surname that she appears. That identification would make sense since both the Whetenhall and Elmbrigge families had interests in Staffordshire and Shropshire and such a marriage would make perfect sense in the webbing of these allied families, but there is absolutely no documentation I can find. Still, it’s an odd name to pull out of thin air.
Here it would be helpful if the Elmbrigge family in Surrey could be sketched in more precisely. It may be simply that Roger the father, John the son and heir, and Roger the younger son were an outpod of a family much more settled and much better documented towards the west in Worcestershire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire.
I’ll see what I can make of the Latin in between classes.
The Shropshire genealogist George Morris wrote that “The heiress of Aldenham married John de Elmerigge & she could not have had it until the death of her uncle who was living 1371. n. p. 345”[1] I do not have access to p. 345.

When John de Aldenham died in 1349, his heir was his five-year-old neice Katherine (daughter of his brother Hugh).[2] It appears to have been this Katherine who married John de Elmerigge (d. 1379):

“In 1342 the manor [of Murcott] was held by Hugh of Aldenham, whose grandson Roger Elmbridge of Elmbridge in Dodderhill (Worcs.) died seised of Murcott in 1375. Roger’s brother and heir John was dead by 1379 and John’s son and heir Roger was proved to be of age in 1398. Murcott evidently descended to Thomas Elmbridge (d. 1507), whose daughter Anne with her husband Sir John Dannet gained livery of Murcott in 1525.”[3]

The manor of Aldenham (in Morville, Shropshire) was sold by John Elmbrigge and William Hexthall in 1465.[4] The buyers were:

1. William Fielding
A knight, MP and lawyer who was killed at the Battle of Tewkesbury 1471 and was the ancestor of the Earls of Denbigh. I have not found any other reference to Fielding owning any portion of the Aldenham estate. Presumably he was acting in a legal capacity.

2. John Lawley
A lawyer who lived at Wenlock; his interest in Aldenham descended to Richard Lawley (living 1540) and was bought out by William Acton in the 1540s.

3. Thomas Stone
Served as Bailiff of Shrewsbury; he made a ‘Gift with warranty of all his lands within the realm’ to Thomas Acton and Robert Broune in 1471. Robert Broune was the executor (and presumably a close relation) of John Bruyn (either senior or junior- not sure which). John Bruyn junior (grandson and heir of John Bruyn senior) had a daughter and heiress named Margery who married William Otley. Robert Broune’s portion of Thomas Stone’s manors and lands (including Aldenham) also seems to have been inherited by Margery, as her interest in Aldenham was bought out by William Acton in the 1540s.

4. John Cotes, John Haven and Thomas Acton
Brothers-in-law, having each married one of the three daughters and coheiresses of Thomas Downton.

Aldenham was reunited by Thomas Acton’s great grandson William Acton, MP in the 1540s. He has a HOP biography here:
https://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/acton-william-1513-67

References

[1] Shropshire Archives. 6001/2790. Vol 3, p. 320.
https://www.shropshirearchives.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/shropshire-pedigrees.pdf

[2] https://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/vol9/pp275-289

[3] https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V9BphO8eXW8C&q=Aldenham+elmbrigge&dq=Aldenham+elmbrigge&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwig1aHwoM3uAhVvRhUIHfSAD7EQ6AEwAnoECAQQAg

Full text available here (p. 6): https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/35848166/minsterworth-manor-victoria-county-history

[4] https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/b2fa564f-e62a-4c38-af30-638183e1c210

Best,

Will Acton
William Acton
2021-02-03 08:46:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Acton
The Shropshire genealogist George Morris wrote that “The heiress of Aldenham married John de Elmerigge & she could not have had it until the death of her uncle who was living 1371. n. p. 345”[1] I do not have access to p. 345.
“In 1342 the manor [of Murcott] was held by Hugh of Aldenham, whose grandson Roger Elmbridge of Elmbridge in Dodderhill (Worcs.) died seised of Murcott in 1375. Roger’s brother and heir John was dead by 1379 and John’s son and heir Roger was proved to be of age in 1398. Murcott evidently descended to Thomas Elmbridge (d. 1507), whose daughter Anne with her husband Sir John Dannet gained livery of Murcott in 1525.”[3]
Rereading this I see it only makes sense if Katherine de Aldenham was the mother of Roger Elmbridge (d. 1375) and John Elmbridge (d. by 1379). If she was aged 5 in Easter 1349 the chronology seems tight for her younger son John to have died with a son and heir by 1379.
William Acton
2021-02-03 17:48:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Acton
Post by William Acton
The Shropshire genealogist George Morris wrote that “The heiress of Aldenham married John de Elmerigge & she could not have had it until the death of her uncle who was living 1371. n. p. 345”[1] I do not have access to p. 345.
“In 1342 the manor [of Murcott] was held by Hugh of Aldenham, whose grandson Roger Elmbridge of Elmbridge in Dodderhill (Worcs.) died seised of Murcott in 1375. Roger’s brother and heir John was dead by 1379 and John’s son and heir Roger was proved to be of age in 1398. Murcott evidently descended to Thomas Elmbridge (d. 1507), whose daughter Anne with her husband Sir John Dannet gained livery of Murcott in 1525.”[3]
Rereading this I see it only makes sense if Katherine de Aldenham was the mother of Roger Elmbridge (d. 1375) and John Elmbridge (d. by 1379). If she was aged 5 in Easter 1349 the chronology seems tight for her younger son John to have died with a son and heir by 1379.
The error here seems to be VCH Gloucester, which claims that Hugh de Aldenham was grandfather of Roger Elmbridge (d. 1375). But the two sources cited are:

TNA DL10/419
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C3540815

VCH Worcs 61
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V9BphO8eXW8C&q=Aldenham+elmbrigge&dq=Aldenham+elmbrigge&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwig1aHwoM3uAhVvRhUIHfSAD7EQ6AEwAnoECAQQAg

...neither of which show the Roger Elmbridge who died in 1375 holding Murcott. In fact, his IPM does not list Murcott either:
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/vol14/pp115-129

Roger's IPM of 1375 says that his heir was his brother John Elmbridge, so he must be a different man to Katherine de Aldenham's son Roger Elmbridge, whose own son Roger was a ward of the king at some point:
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C5686027

Presumably Roger (the ward) was the father or grandfather of the John Elmbridge who (with William Hexthall) sold Aldenham in 1465.
sswa...@butler.edu
2021-02-03 20:52:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Acton
Post by William Acton
Post by William Acton
The Shropshire genealogist George Morris wrote that “The heiress of Aldenham married John de Elmerigge & she could not have had it until the death of her uncle who was living 1371. n. p. 345”[1] I do not have access to p. 345.
“In 1342 the manor [of Murcott] was held by Hugh of Aldenham, whose grandson Roger Elmbridge of Elmbridge in Dodderhill (Worcs.) died seised of Murcott in 1375. Roger’s brother and heir John was dead by 1379 and John’s son and heir Roger was proved to be of age in 1398. Murcott evidently descended to Thomas Elmbridge (d. 1507), whose daughter Anne with her husband Sir John Dannet gained livery of Murcott in 1525.”[3]
Rereading this I see it only makes sense if Katherine de Aldenham was the mother of Roger Elmbridge (d. 1375) and John Elmbridge (d. by 1379). If she was aged 5 in Easter 1349 the chronology seems tight for her younger son John to have died with a son and heir by 1379.
TNA DL10/419
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C3540815
VCH Worcs 61
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V9BphO8eXW8C&q=Aldenham+elmbrigge&dq=Aldenham+elmbrigge&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwig1aHwoM3uAhVvRhUIHfSAD7EQ6AEwAnoECAQQAg
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/vol14/pp115-129
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C5686027
Presumably Roger (the ward) was the father or grandfather of the John Elmbridge who (with William Hexthall) sold Aldenham in 1465.
The chain from John Elmbrigge, who together with William Hexstall sold Aldenham, to John’s great-granddaughter Anne Elmbrigge who married Sir John Dannet and got livery of Murcot in 1525 appears to be secure, the stages back to John and Hugh de Aldenham less so. The following tree seems to make best sense of the documents William Acton has posted

x. John de Aldenham
x. Hugh de Aldenham
x. Catherine de Aldenham
* Catherine de Aldenham married -----: John de Elmerigge
Children:
x. Roger de Elmbridge
* Roger de Elmbridge married -----: Elizabeth Knightly; alive 1420
Children:
x. Roger de Elmbrigge; proved of age 1398
Children:
x. John Elmbridge
* John Elmbrigge and William Hexstall sold manor of Aldenham
Children:
x. Thomas Elmbrigge
* Thomas Elmbrigge married -----: Elizabeth Gainsford
Children:
x. Thomas de Elmbridge; died 1507
Children:
x. Anne Elmbridge
* Anne Elmbridge married -----: Sir John Dannet
* gained livery of Murcott 1525

The descent of the manor of Badger in Shropshire also casts light on the Elmbrigge family. The account is found in VCH, Shropshire, 10: 213-220:

https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/salop/vol10/pp213-220

The estate belonged to Philip's son and heir William in 1347 (fn. 49) but not in 1349 at William's death without issue. (fn. 50) By 1361 it belonged to John of Badger, (fn. 51) Philip's brother, (fn. 52) and John's widow Alice had it from c. 1366 (fn. 53) until her death in 1404. Under a settlement of 1361 Badger was then shared by William's coheirs Catherine Sevile, Elizabeth Maundevile, Elizabeth Fraunceys, Catherine Mercher, and Margaret Overton. (fn. 54) Catherine Sevile's husband Thomas may have had a share in 1413, when he nominated the rector, (fn. 55) but in 1430 the rector was nominated by Roger Elmbridge. (fn. 56) Roger is said to have been the husband of Alice's granddaughter Elizabeth Coleson, and the Elmbridges' daughter Alice is said to have married Richard Petit. (fn. 57) In 1435 Roger quitclaimed his interest in Badger to Richard, (fn. 58) who nominated the rector in 1435, had a moiety of the manor in 1437, and was living in 1447. (fn. 59) Roger Elmbridge's brother John quitclaimed his interest in Badger to Richard in 1440. (fn. 60)

S. P. L. = Local Studies Library, Shrewsbury
amalgamated with S. R. O. to form Shropshire Records and Research Center
S. P. R = Shropshire Parish Registers

54 Cal. Inq. p. m. xviii, pp. 326-7; Cal. Close, 1402-5, 341-2
56 S. P. R. Heref. xvi (3), p. v
57 S. P. L., MS 4645 p. 186; cf. W. S. L. 350/3/40, Badger pp. 3-4 which makes Eliz. daughter of Alice by a second marriage
58 Bod. MS ch. Shrops. 129
59 Ibid. 128; S. P. R. Heref. xvi (3), p. v; Visit. Salop. 1623 ii (Harl. Soc. xxix), 300; Cal. Pat. 1446-52, 76
60 Bodl. MS, ch. Shrops, 131

The account relies on a number of manuscripts in the Local Studies Library in Shrewsbury. The first part of the account can be ascertained from the IPM of Alice de Baggesover 15 May 1404

http://www.inquisitionspostmortem.ac.uk/view/inquisition/18-958/

William le Yonge , Richard le Yonge, clerk , his brother, Roger Attenassh, parson of the chapel of Badger , and William Stretey, clerk , granted the manor of Badger with the advowson of the free chapel there to John de Baggesovere and Alice his wife and the heirs male of their bodies, with remainder to the right heirs of William son of Philip de Baggesovere . John died without heirs male by Alice, and William son of Philip died without heirs of his body, so the remainder descended to Annabel and Eleanor, sisters and heirs of William son of Philip. Annabel had a daughter Katherine, now wife of Thomas Sevile , and died. Eleanor had two daughters, Elizabeth and Katherine, and died. Elizabeth is wife of Thomas Maundevile . Katherine had two daughters, Isabel and Elizabeth, and died. Elizabeth is the wife of Ralph Fraunceys . Isabel had two daughters, Katherine and Margaret, and died. Katherine is the wife of William Mercher , Margaret the wife of John de Overton .

Alice held the property until 25 March last , when she died. It then descended to Katherine wife of Thomas Sevile , aged 40 years and more; Elizabeth wife of Thomas Maundevile , 30 years and more; Elizabeth wife of Ralph Fraunceys , 26 years and more; Katherine wife of William Mercher , 20 years and more; and Margaret wife of John de Overton , 18 years and more.

x. Philip of Badger
x. William of Badger dsp 1349
x. Annabel of Badger
x. Catherine -----; dead 1404
* Catherine married -----: Thomas Savile; alive 1413
x. Eleanor of Badger; dead 1404
x. Elizabeth -----; alive 1404
* Elizabeth ----- married -----: Thomas Maundevile
x. Catherine -----; dead 1404
x. Elizabeth -----; alive 1404
* Elizabeth ----- married -----: Ralph Fraunceys
x. Isabel -----; dead 1404
x. Catherine -----
* Catherine ----- married -----: William Mercher
x. Margaret -----
* Margaret ----- married -----: John de Overton

The second part of the VCH account is much sketchier:

Roger is said to have been the husband of Alice’s granddaughter Elizabeth Coleson.
A footnote offers the possibility that Elizabeth was Alice’s daughter by a second marriage. Presumably the evidence for these claims is found in the manuscripts in footnote 57 above.

Their daughter Alice is said to have married Richard Petit. [This appears to be at odds with the likelihood that Richard Petit married Margaret Hexstall. He could of course have married them both.]

Richard and John Elmbrigge then quitclaim their rights in Badger to Richard Petit for 300 marks.

To me at least it looks as though Richard Petit bought the manor of Badger instead of getting it as a son-in-law.

This account also seems to be at odds with the variant accounts that William Acton has posted and the latter part of the account seems to be at odds with Alice de Baggesover’s IPM unless it can be shown that her daughter/granddaughter Elizabeth was the daughter of someone other than John Badger.
Jan Wolfe
2021-02-03 21:03:41 UTC
Permalink
In looking again at the will of Alice (Elinbridge?) Wetenhale, I think the surname of her sister Joan was Cave.
My updated notes are here, https://www-personal.umich.edu/~bobwolfe/gen/pn/p29622.htm.

Perhaps Joan Cave was the person of that name in this record:
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7442988
Reference: C 1/29/225
Short title: Cave v Dunton.
Plaintiffs: Joan Cave, widow, of London, some time of Lynn, late the wife of John Syff.
Defendants: William Dunton, gent, of Hadley, feoffee.
Subject: Tenement called `The Chequer' (Chekyr) in Lynn, enfeoffed by the said John.
Norfolk.
4 documents
Date: 1460-1465

If so, then also this record:
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7441549
Reference: C 1/25/149
Short title: Syffe v Crosse.
Plaintiffs: Joan, late the wife of John Syffe, of Bishop's Lynn.
Defendants: Hugh Crosse, feoffee.
Subject:Tenement `in a soill called the Cheker' in Lynn. Norfolk.
Date: 1455-1460

There are additional property records pertaining to John Syff(e) of Bishop's Lynn.
Jan Wolfe
2021-02-04 03:03:55 UTC
Permalink
A quick look at the two Chancery cases indicates that the given name of both of Alice (Elinbridge?) Wetenhale's sister Joan's husbands was John, that Joan's marriage to John Syff(e) preceded her marriage to John Cave, and that she was again a widow at the time of the second suit.

Here are the links to the Chancery case images in case someone is interested in reading the names of all of the people mentioned:
C 1/25/149 http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no25/IMG_0222.htm
C 1/29/225 http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no29/C1no29nos%201-300/IMG_0307.htm and the following three images

Both John Syff and John Cave were burgesses of a town in Norfolk now called King's Lynn, but known until 1537 as Bishop's Lynn and colloquially as Lynn (Lenne).

John Syff was living 20 Sep 1440
http://nrocatalogue.norfolk.gov.uk/index.php/conveyance-by-robert-bristoll-henry-thoresby-john-pigot-john-syff-burgesses-of-lynn-to-edmund-spryngwelle-burgess-of-lynn-of-messuage-in-gresmarket-extending-to-common-fleet,

John Syff was living 10 January, 20 Henry VI (1441/42)
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/hist-mss-comm/vol11/pt3/pp151-185 "The borough of Kings Lynn: Books" pages 151-185, The Manuscripts of the Corporations of Southampton and Kings Lynn Eleventh Report, Appendix: Part III (1887).

John Cave was dead by 4 September 34 Henry VI (1455)
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-close-rolls/hen6/vol6/pp130-137 Close Rolls, Henry VI
Post by Jan Wolfe
In looking again at the will of Alice (Elinbridge?) Wetenhale, I think the surname of her sister Joan was Cave.
My updated notes are here, https://www-personal.umich.edu/~bobwolfe/gen/pn/p29622.htm.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7442988
Reference: C 1/29/225
Short title: Cave v Dunton.
Plaintiffs: Joan Cave, widow, of London, some time of Lynn, late the wife of John Syff.
Defendants: William Dunton, gent, of Hadley, feoffee.
Subject: Tenement called `The Chequer' (Chekyr) in Lynn, enfeoffed by the said John.
Norfolk.
4 documents
Date: 1460-1465
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7441549
Reference: C 1/25/149
Short title: Syffe v Crosse.
Plaintiffs: Joan, late the wife of John Syffe, of Bishop's Lynn.
Defendants: Hugh Crosse, feoffee.
Subject:Tenement `in a soill called the Cheker' in Lynn. Norfolk.
Date: 1455-1460
There are additional property records pertaining to John Syff(e) of Bishop's Lynn.
sswa...@butler.edu
2021-03-09 18:33:13 UTC
Permalink
A quick look at the two Chancery cases indicates that the given name of both of Alice (Elinbridge?) Wetenhale's sister Joan's husbands was John, that Joan's marriage to John Syff(e) preceded her marriage to John Cave, and that she was again a widow at the time of the second suit.
C 1/25/149 http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no25/IMG_0222.htm
C 1/29/225 http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no29/C1no29nos%201-300/IMG_0307.htm and the following three images
Both John Syff and John Cave were burgesses of a town in Norfolk now called King's Lynn, but known until 1537 as Bishop's Lynn and colloquially as Lynn (Lenne).
John Syff was living 20 Sep 1440
http://nrocatalogue.norfolk.gov.uk/index.php/conveyance-by-robert-bristoll-henry-thoresby-john-pigot-john-syff-burgesses-of-lynn-to-edmund-spryngwelle-burgess-of-lynn-of-messuage-in-gresmarket-extending-to-common-fleet,
John Syff was living 10 January, 20 Henry VI (1441/42)
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/hist-mss-comm/vol11/pt3/pp151-185 "The borough of Kings Lynn: Books" pages 151-185, The Manuscripts of the Corporations of Southampton and Kings Lynn Eleventh Report, Appendix: Part III (1887).
John Cave was dead by 4 September 34 Henry VI (1455)
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-close-rolls/hen6/vol6/pp130-137 Close Rolls, Henry VI
Post by Jan Wolfe
In looking again at the will of Alice (Elinbridge?) Wetenhale, I think the surname of her sister Joan was Cave.
My updated notes are here, https://www-personal.umich.edu/~bobwolfe/gen/pn/p29622.htm.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7442988
Reference: C 1/29/225
Short title: Cave v Dunton.
Plaintiffs: Joan Cave, widow, of London, some time of Lynn, late the wife of John Syff.
Defendants: William Dunton, gent, of Hadley, feoffee.
Subject: Tenement called `The Chequer' (Chekyr) in Lynn, enfeoffed by the said John.
Norfolk.
4 documents
Date: 1460-1465
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7441549
Reference: C 1/25/149
Short title: Syffe v Crosse.
Plaintiffs: Joan, late the wife of John Syffe, of Bishop's Lynn.
Defendants: Hugh Crosse, feoffee.
Subject:Tenement `in a soill called the Cheker' in Lynn. Norfolk.
Date: 1455-1460
There are additional property records pertaining to John Syff(e) of Bishop's Lynn.
The will of Richard Groveherst of Tonbridge, Kent, dated 16 February 1456/7, codicil also dated 16 February 1456/7, proved 12 May 1457 PCC [PROB 11/4/136], precludes the possibility that William Hexstall and his brothers were children, as Philipott and Hasted write, of Richard Hexstall and Anne Grovehurst.

Richard Groveherst's will names his deceased wife Joan, present wife Alice (for whom elaborate provisions are made), and four daughters:
Joan wife of Henry Hexstall
Alice wife of John Honington
Agnes; not yet married; [who would marry John Petit]
Elizabeth; not yet married; [who would marry Ralph Tickhill]

The will leaves the manor of Grovehurst to his daughter Joan wife of Henry Hextall and the heirs of her body lawfully begotten. This shows that the manor of Grovehurst did not come to William Hexstall by descent from his father. Since Joan apparently died without surviving heirs of her body, she and her husband Henry Hexstall must have conveyed the manor to Henry’s brother William Hexstall before Joan herself died. The will precludes the existence of the Richard Hexstall said to be William’s father and makes it well nigh a certainty that William Hexstall’s parents are to be found in Staffordshire.

For what it’s worth, there is a will of John Grovehurst of Dartford, Kent, dated 20 August 1472, proved [ND] PCC [PROB 11/6/267]. The names in either will are mutually exclusive, so, if Richard and John were kinsmen, they were not close kinsmen, or their families had nothing to do with each other.
wjhonson
2021-03-09 21:56:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@butler.edu
A quick look at the two Chancery cases indicates that the given name of both of Alice (Elinbridge?) Wetenhale's sister Joan's husbands was John, that Joan's marriage to John Syff(e) preceded her marriage to John Cave, and that she was again a widow at the time of the second suit.
C 1/25/149 http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no25/IMG_0222.htm
C 1/29/225 http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no29/C1no29nos%201-300/IMG_0307.htm and the following three images
Both John Syff and John Cave were burgesses of a town in Norfolk now called King's Lynn, but known until 1537 as Bishop's Lynn and colloquially as Lynn (Lenne).
John Syff was living 20 Sep 1440
http://nrocatalogue.norfolk.gov.uk/index.php/conveyance-by-robert-bristoll-henry-thoresby-john-pigot-john-syff-burgesses-of-lynn-to-edmund-spryngwelle-burgess-of-lynn-of-messuage-in-gresmarket-extending-to-common-fleet,
John Syff was living 10 January, 20 Henry VI (1441/42)
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/hist-mss-comm/vol11/pt3/pp151-185 "The borough of Kings Lynn: Books" pages 151-185, The Manuscripts of the Corporations of Southampton and Kings Lynn Eleventh Report, Appendix: Part III (1887).
John Cave was dead by 4 September 34 Henry VI (1455)
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-close-rolls/hen6/vol6/pp130-137 Close Rolls, Henry VI
Post by Jan Wolfe
In looking again at the will of Alice (Elinbridge?) Wetenhale, I think the surname of her sister Joan was Cave.
My updated notes are here, https://www-personal.umich.edu/~bobwolfe/gen/pn/p29622.htm.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7442988
Reference: C 1/29/225
Short title: Cave v Dunton.
Plaintiffs: Joan Cave, widow, of London, some time of Lynn, late the wife of John Syff.
Defendants: William Dunton, gent, of Hadley, feoffee.
Subject: Tenement called `The Chequer' (Chekyr) in Lynn, enfeoffed by the said John.
Norfolk.
4 documents
Date: 1460-1465
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7441549
Reference: C 1/25/149
Short title: Syffe v Crosse.
Plaintiffs: Joan, late the wife of John Syffe, of Bishop's Lynn.
Defendants: Hugh Crosse, feoffee.
Subject:Tenement `in a soill called the Cheker' in Lynn. Norfolk.
Date: 1455-1460
There are additional property records pertaining to John Syff(e) of Bishop's Lynn.
The will of Richard Groveherst of Tonbridge, Kent, dated 16 February 1456/7, codicil also dated 16 February 1456/7, proved 12 May 1457 PCC [PROB 11/4/136], precludes the possibility that William Hexstall and his brothers were children, as Philipott and Hasted write, of Richard Hexstall and Anne Grovehurst.
Joan wife of Henry Hexstall
Alice wife of John Honington
Agnes; not yet married; [who would marry John Petit]
Elizabeth; not yet married; [who would marry Ralph Tickhill]
The will leaves the manor of Grovehurst to his daughter Joan wife of Henry Hextall and the heirs of her body lawfully begotten. This shows that the manor of Grovehurst did not come to William Hexstall by descent from his father. Since Joan apparently died without surviving heirs of her body, she and her husband Henry Hexstall must have conveyed the manor to Henry’s brother William Hexstall before Joan herself died. The will precludes the existence of the Richard Hexstall said to be William’s father and makes it well nigh a certainty that William Hexstall’s parents are to be found in Staffordshire.
Could you explain why you say that Joan apparently died without heirs ?
Why isn't William Hexstall her son?
sswa...@butler.edu
2021-03-09 22:49:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by wjhonson
Post by ***@butler.edu
A quick look at the two Chancery cases indicates that the given name of both of Alice (Elinbridge?) Wetenhale's sister Joan's husbands was John, that Joan's marriage to John Syff(e) preceded her marriage to John Cave, and that she was again a widow at the time of the second suit.
C 1/25/149 http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no25/IMG_0222.htm
C 1/29/225 http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/ChP/C1no29/C1no29nos%201-300/IMG_0307.htm and the following three images
Both John Syff and John Cave were burgesses of a town in Norfolk now called King's Lynn, but known until 1537 as Bishop's Lynn and colloquially as Lynn (Lenne).
John Syff was living 20 Sep 1440
http://nrocatalogue.norfolk.gov.uk/index.php/conveyance-by-robert-bristoll-henry-thoresby-john-pigot-john-syff-burgesses-of-lynn-to-edmund-spryngwelle-burgess-of-lynn-of-messuage-in-gresmarket-extending-to-common-fleet,
John Syff was living 10 January, 20 Henry VI (1441/42)
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/hist-mss-comm/vol11/pt3/pp151-185 "The borough of Kings Lynn: Books" pages 151-185, The Manuscripts of the Corporations of Southampton and Kings Lynn Eleventh Report, Appendix: Part III (1887).
John Cave was dead by 4 September 34 Henry VI (1455)
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-close-rolls/hen6/vol6/pp130-137 Close Rolls, Henry VI
Post by Jan Wolfe
In looking again at the will of Alice (Elinbridge?) Wetenhale, I think the surname of her sister Joan was Cave.
My updated notes are here, https://www-personal.umich.edu/~bobwolfe/gen/pn/p29622.htm.
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7442988
Reference: C 1/29/225
Short title: Cave v Dunton.
Plaintiffs: Joan Cave, widow, of London, some time of Lynn, late the wife of John Syff.
Defendants: William Dunton, gent, of Hadley, feoffee.
Subject: Tenement called `The Chequer' (Chekyr) in Lynn, enfeoffed by the said John.
Norfolk.
4 documents
Date: 1460-1465
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7441549
Reference: C 1/25/149
Short title: Syffe v Crosse.
Plaintiffs: Joan, late the wife of John Syffe, of Bishop's Lynn.
Defendants: Hugh Crosse, feoffee.
Subject:Tenement `in a soill called the Cheker' in Lynn. Norfolk.
Date: 1455-1460
There are additional property records pertaining to John Syff(e) of Bishop's Lynn.
The will of Richard Groveherst of Tonbridge, Kent, dated 16 February 1456/7, codicil also dated 16 February 1456/7, proved 12 May 1457 PCC [PROB 11/4/136], precludes the possibility that William Hexstall and his brothers were children, as Philipott and Hasted write, of Richard Hexstall and Anne Grovehurst.
Joan wife of Henry Hexstall
Alice wife of John Honington
Agnes; not yet married; [who would marry John Petit]
Elizabeth; not yet married; [who would marry Ralph Tickhill]
The will leaves the manor of Grovehurst to his daughter Joan wife of Henry Hextall and the heirs of her body lawfully begotten. This shows that the manor of Grovehurst did not come to William Hexstall by descent from his father. Since Joan apparently died without surviving heirs of her body, she and her husband Henry Hexstall must have conveyed the manor to Henry’s brother William Hexstall before Joan herself died. The will precludes the existence of the Richard Hexstall said to be William’s father and makes it well nigh a certainty that William Hexstall’s parents are to be found in Staffordshire.
Could you explain why you say that Joan apparently died without heirs ?
Why isn't William Hexstall her son?
First, William Hexstall was Joan Grovehurst’s husband’s brother and likely older than she was herself.

Second, Richard Grovehurst’s will specified that if Joan died without heirs of her body lawfully begotten, the manor of Grovehurst would pass to her sisters Agnes and Elizabeth. If the manor of Grovehurst had descended according to the terms of the will, it would have passed first to Joan’s child, and, failing children, to her sisters. It did not, which indicates that Joan and Henry conveyed the manor before she died to Henry’s brother William. Close as the Hexstall brothers were, it seems highly unlikely that Joan would have deflected the manor from her own child. She might have had less regard for the interest of her sisters.

Third, Joan was dead 20 January 1480 [1479/80? 1480/1?]. Her husband Henry Hexstall married next, before he died, Margery who survived him by some decades. Henry Hexstall’s will dated 11 August 1492, proven 6 February 1492/3 PCC names no children, so presumably he himself died without issue. Possibly he had children by either wife; if so, they were all dead by 1492/3. At no point does any record indicate that Joan herself had children.
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