2006-01-22 01:03:06 UTC
Dear Doug, Brom, et al.,
There has been past discussion concerning the identity of
Isabel, wife of Sir Robert Morley (d.v.p. before 27 Oct 1401).
There is minimal documentation found to date, beyond statements in
Dugdale's Baronage and elsewhere that she was the daughter of 'the
Lord Molines': based upon these statements and known chronology,
she is placed as probably the daughter of Sir Richard de Moleyns
(d. 14 Dec 1384) by his alleged wife, Eleanor de Beaumont .
This has some genealogical import, given that the descendants of
Sir Robert Morley and his wife Isabel include individuals royal
(Anne Boleyn - by marriage; Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer,
Prince William, & c.) and non-royal (including emigrants William
Asfordby, George and Nehemiah Blakiston, William Farrar, Elizabeth
and John Harleston, and William Skepper).
I only lately noted, in Colin Richmond's book on the Paston
family, a discussion of the Moleyns antecedents of Robert
Hungerford, Lord Moleyns. In a footnote to this discussion
concerning the account of William Wyot (steward of Sir William
Moleyns' household) for 1401-2 (PRO, E101/512/17), Richmond wrote,
' William Wyot's account reveals that Moleyns was paying
Isabel (probably his aunt rather than his sister), married
to Sir Robert Morley (d. 1403), son of Thomas, Lord Morley
(d. 1416), an annual pension of £10. The pension of his
wife Margery was of the same sum. He was involved in a
limited financial transaction with Sir Philip Vache. ' 
It is unfortunate that only the title of the referenced account
of William Wyot, steward of Sir William Moleyns' household, for
1401-2 (PRO, E101/512/17) is accessible on the National Archives
site. However, it does appear from Richmond's text that he has
identified Isabel as a member of the Moleyns family. The fact
that he calls her 'probably' the aunt of Sir William Moleyns, and
not his sister (as usually identified, cf. Plantagenet Ancestry)
is most likely due to the apparently tight (but not problematic)
chronology involving Isabel as a daughter of Sir Richard de
Moleyns. In fact, given that Sir Richard de Moleyns was born in
or before 1357 (of age in 1378), and that his parents William de
Moleyns and Margery Bacon were married before 12 March 1351/2,
it would be extremely unusual for Isabel de Moleyns to be
an aunt of Sir William Moleyns, and far more likely to have been
his sister .
Should anyone have access to the details of William Wyot's
account (E101/512/17), that would be certainly above and beyond
the call of duty, but might possibly resolve the matter. Those
few other details noted concerning the Moleyns family, esp.
bearing on the connections with the Wyot and Vache and other
families, are provided below for those interested .
 Isabel is identified as daughter of 'the Lord Molines' by
Dugdale in his pedigree of Morley [Baronage 2:27]. Burke
[Burke's Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages]
calls her the daughter of 'John, Lord Molines', apparently
after the same statement by Copinger [Manors of Suffolk
VI:143 (Leffrey Hall)]. More recently, Doug Richardson has
identified her as 'presumably daughter of Richard de Moleyns,
knt....' [Plantagenet Ancestry (2004), p. 518].
 Colin Richmond, The Paston Family in the Fifteenth Century:
Volume 1, the First Phase (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press,
1990), pp. 47-48 and p. 47, footnote 126. The complete
context of Richmond's discussion can be best judged from the
full text of this section, as follows:
' The interest of the Moleyns family in Gresham went back a long
way: it had begun in the mid-fourteenth century as fraudulently as
it was to end in the mid-fifteenth. After Sir Edmund Bacon's death
in 1336 or 1337, there was a good deal of scuffling to lay hands on
his estates (as well as on his widow). William Moleyns, son of
John Moleyns, 'the King's yeoman', married Edmund's daughter,
Margery, and made an unsuccessful attempt to deprive John
Burghersh, the grandson of Edmund's other daughter and heir,
Margaret, of his share of the inheritance. The coup having failed,
Sir Edmund Bacon's lands were divided between Moleyns and
Burghersh; Gresham fell to Margery Moleyns, who died in 1399.
She, according to the later testimony of Richard Wyot, one of her
executors, left the manor to Sir Philip Vache and Elizabeth, his
wife, for their lives; the executors were to sell the reversion,
giving first option to her grandson, Sir William Moleyns. In fact,
she had granted Gresham to Sir Philip Vache on 29 May 1399 for nine
years after her death. Although Sir Philip died nine years after
Margery did, in 1408, it was only after the death of Elizabeth
Vache in 1414 that Sir William Moleyns, said Richard Wyot, agreed
to purchase Gresham for 920 marks. He held the estate for two
years; then Richard Wyot, who was telling this story in 1427,
re-entered, because the terms of the payment had not been met
<126> All William Moleyns had paid had been 20 marks, I presume
the 'deposit' or earnest of payment. The account of William
Wyot, steward of Sir William Moleyns' household, for 1401-2
(PRO, E101/512/17) shows Moleyns to be a knight whose landed
income was about £340 per annum, though he pleaded at the
Exchequer in 1406 that it was £100 less than that:
PRO, E159/182, Adhuc Records Hillary 7 Henry IV, m. 15d.
In 1414 his debts were pardoned: CPR 1413-16, p. 156. William
Wyot's account reveals that Moleyns was paying Isabel (probably
his aunt rather than his sister), married to Sir Robert Morley
(d. 1403), son of Thomas, Lord Morley (d. 1416), an annual
pension of £10. The pension of his wife Margery was of the
same sum. He was involved in a limited financial transaction
with Sir Philip Vache. '
 Sir William Moleyns was born in London, 7 Jan 1377/8 [CP].
Isabel Moleyns' son Sir Thomas Morley was born sometime
before 24 Sept 1393 [CP]. It seems far more likely that
Isabel, born say 1375/77 (no later than say April 1377),
would be a more reasonable 'fit'.
 With regard to the Wyot and Moleyns families, this from
the Victoria County History series, A History of the County
of Oxford, Vol. 13: 'Aston and Cote: Manors and other estates',
Bampton Hundred (Part One), pp. 66-9.
" Before 1378 all or part of the manor was settled on William's
son Richard (d. 1384), whose son William (d. 1425) succeeded
probably in 1399; (fn. 11) in 1417 he leased the manor for their
lives to William and Elizabeth Wyot, with provision for his wife
Margery. (fn. 12) "
footnotes to VCH account:
11 Cal. Pat. 1377-81, 251; Cal. Fine R. 1391-99, 230, 237;
Complete Peerage, ix. 41.
12 Cal. Close, 1413-19, 437, 442.
Concerning the Moleyns and Vache families, these entries in
the National Archives website were noted:
Grantor: William de Molyns, knight.
Grantee: Thomas Sekyndon, clerk, Thomas atte Lude, William
Nafferton and Thomas Galyan.
Subject: Grant of the reversion of the manor of Hook Norton held
by Philip la Vache and Elizabeth his wife on the death of the
4 Ric. II [ between 21 June 1380 and 20 June 1381]
Richard de Molyns, knight to John de Harliston and Richard
Abberbury, knights, and others :
Release of his right in the manor of Hook Norton
( Hogenorton ) : Oxon.
6 Ric. II.
[ between 21 June 1382 and 20 June 1383]
* John P. Ravilious