Post by Peter Cockerill
JW Walker in his Wakefield Its History and People 1934 and 1939 editions has a somewhat confused account of the Wakefield Haselden pedigree and family - the dates and people simply don't fit.
The Visitations show Margaret Haselden as 'heir of Haselden' married to Richard Peck of Wakefield. Her arms are quartered by Peck.
Their third son Thomas was a priest/chaplian in 1401 per a deed and will. Since you have to be 25 years or more to be a priest he must have been born in 1376 or before.
Assuming two years between each child their eldest son was born in or before 1372. Margaret and Ricahrd would have married in or before 1371 and born in or before 1350 - say!
These 'facts' make most of Walkers pedigree impossible howver he does source the exisitence of male Haseldens living in Wakefield up to 1443 and possibly beyond. It seems a bit of a stretch to believe all these younger male Haseldens were wiped out thus allowing Margaret Haselden's arms to be quartered.
Help with this pedigree and the quartering of arms most welcome
I have at last managed to find copies of both editions of Walker's book on Wakefield.
The first problem is with the different versions of the Haselden arms:
1. 1563/4 Visitation 236 (presumably from the Rychard who married Anne Hothom): argent, on a bend sable three ewers argent.
2. 1584/5 Visitation 347 (presumably from the Richard who married Katherine Vavasour): gules, a cross patonce or, on a chief or, three buckles sable.
3. Walker 1934 491 (no source given): argent, a cross patonce sable (I have updated Walker's blazon).
4. Walker 1939 577 (still no source given): gules, a cross patonce or, on a chief azure, three buckles or.
We do not trust the genealogy of Visitations for more than two generations before the informant, and look for confirmation from elsewhere for anything earlier. If we don't trust the genealogy, I don't see any reason to trust the heraldry either, especially as here the two different generations can't agree. The first coat appears in Creswick's Roll (BL Add MS 62541) c.1510 CRK 1322, but only as an anonymous impalement added to a John Harington's arms. (Harrington is included in a description of some heraldic stained glass in Haselden Hall, see Walker 1939 581, again with no sources.) The second coat looks a bit more likely, since it appears on a seal of 1365 for Thomas de Haseldene (Birch 10517), but of course without any tinctures. The third coat appears frequently for Banaster from the early 14th century and into the 16th, but I haven't found it anywhere for Haselden. The fourth coat is similar to the second one, but with different tinctures. It is possible (but no stronger than that) that Walker 1939 describes the Haselden of Goldington Bury arms, and he says at 577 that this branch continued 'throughout the seventeenth century'. The quarter given in the 1584/5 visitation might therefore represent a different branch of the family, say that of Guildern Morden. But since Walker doesn't give any sources for either of his versions, I'm not convinced.
That brings us to the quartered arms in the 1584/5 visitation and what we can deduce from them. The answer is not a lot. Whatever 'rules' may have been written down by nineteenth-century writers, the sixteenth-century Pecks had never read them. They did whatever they fancied doing. Originally, in the middle of the fourteenth century, quartering was a way of displaying two titles at once. Richard 'Copped Hat', earl of Arundel and Surrey, quartered Fitzalan and Warenne to represent his two earldoms. By the early fifteenth century, quarters were, by extension, used to represent two (or more) lots of land. Later on in that century, the connection with land was often abandoned, sometimes, but not always, with the excuse that a wife had no brothers. When Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville in 1464 he wanted to make her look less gentry and more nobility. He therefore gave her five extra quarters derived from the ancestors of her mother, Jacquetta of Luxemburg, and relegated the Woodville quarter to last place. None of the quarters represented any land, or even any so-called heraldic heiresses. They were simply an unsuccessful attempt to boost her social standing amongst the aristocracy at court.
Looking at the Peck-Haselden quarters, the best we can take from them is that in the second half of the 1500s Richard Peck believed, perhaps correctly, that an ancestor of his married a Haselden, quite possibly one who brought some land with her. We cannot tell which branch she might have belonged to.
Regarding your comment about the younger male Haseldens being wiped out, they need not have died before their sister; if she was in fact an heiress, it could well have been in her issue rather than during her lifetime. In addition, younger sons of gentry families, with little or no land, were not a particularly attractive prospect for those looking to marry off their daughters. Many younger sons died without (legitimate) issue.