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IT is an interesting object of curiosity, I believe, to most men, 
to search into the origin of their own families, to trace their 


lineal descents, and to collect the history of the individuals who 
compose them. However remote in time, or consanguinity, it 
is natural to experience in favour of our forefathers the real 
or imaginary influence of blood, and relationship : we enter 
affectionately into their concerns, we participate of their honours 
and prosperity, and are personally hurt at their misconduct, or 

The connection between the ancestor and his posterity not 
only affects themselves, but is acknowledged by mankind in 
general. In every country, an ancient descent, and from persons 
of eminence, reflects honour upon those who can claim it : the 
greatest nations have been ambitious of deducing their history 
from the earliest times, and where their real sources were lost in 
obscurity, they have adorned them with imaginary gods and 
heroes. These sentiments are undoubtedly founded in the 
innate and best feelings of the human mind, which delights in 
multiplying and extending the ties that bind us to our fellow- 
creatures. The love of our kindred is the first degree in the 

expansion of the heart, in its progress towards universal bene- 

Self-love but selves the virtuous mind to wake, 
As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake: 
The centre moved, a circle strait succeeds, 
Another still, and still another spreads; 
Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace, 
His country next, and next all human race 3 . 

I trust therefore that I have not been actuated by a silly 
vanity, or pride, by indulging a propensity so natural, and upon 
my return to my native country, after many years of absence 
occupied in the duties of an honourable station, if I have 
amused some of my vacant hours in collecting and digesting all 
(he particulars I can discover relating to our own family. Its 
antiquity, and noble origin, the number of illustrious persons it 
has produced, and a variety of circumstances connected 
with it, seem to be not altogether unworthy of research, and 

Every day the task of inquiring into former ages becomes 
more difficult. The knowledge of events gradually fades away, 
every generation, every year, annihilates the remembrance of 
persons, and facts, 

E di cento migliaja, che Parena 

Sul t'ondo involve, tin se ne scrva appena*. 

My father, my grandfather, and my ancestors still more remote, 
were in possession of circumstances now totally forgotten, and, 
in the next generation, much of what is known to me will be no 
longer in memory. I have endeavoured therefore to preserve, 
before it be too late, whatever information still subsists, either 
in my own knowledge, or in the traditions of those who have 

' Essay on Man, ep. iv. 1. 363. b Ariosto, canto xxxv. stanza 12. 

gone before me. The pursuit has been to myself an innocent, and 
not unpleasant employment : the display of the rank and merits 
of your ancestors to you, my children, may prove an incitement 
to virtue and good conduct, and may " kindle in you a generous 
emulation, and a noble ambition to perform actions worthy of 
them ." 

But another still more beneficial use may be made of this 
history. The review of so many persons and generations, passing 
rapidly over the theatre of life, may impress upon your minds a 
great truth, which I have lived long enough to feel in my own 
experience, but which, in the ardour of youth, you may probably 
have hitherto overlooked, That this world is nothing more than 
a succession of mere phantoms, which appear upon the stage for 
a short time, and then vanish for ever : and that to ourselves 
even, in what we seem to be, and to enjoy, it is equally unsub- 
stantial. To the past we are dead, the present transitory mo- 
ment can scarcely be said to exist, and the contingencies of 
to-morrow are still more visionary. You will then be satisfied 
that nothing can be considered as real but our future stale, and 
that no object is worth the pursuit of a rational being but a 
happiness which is of a very different character from any thing 
to be seen in this life, unchangeable, indestructible, and eternal. 
If this lesson, one of the most valuable which the whole com- 
pass of science can teach you, from the moving pictures here 
represented, should strike you with such luminous evidence as it 
ought to do, and become the leading principle of your lives, I 
shall think my trouble amply rewarded. 

In a few more revolutions of this planet, I shall myself be 
numbered with the ancestors of the family. In my person, in 
my character, and in the simple history of my life, I shall be as 
little known or remembered as they are now. 

c Sir Harhotlle Grimston's Preface to Crokc James. 

will remain to be discovered, by any idle person who may have 
the curiosity to enquire after me, beyond a register, a monument, 
and some slight scattered notices, which may have found their 
way into print, or may have been accidentally committed to 
writing. In future times, when this body shall be reduced to 
the dust from whence it came, may this little memorial be pre- 
served, as a testimony of my respect for my predecessors, and 
of my love for my children, and even of those who shall be born 
after them ; who " will never have known, or seen me, and 
whom I shall neither know, or see." 

Believe me, 

my dear children, 

to be ever your affectionate father, 
Studley Priory, ALEXANDER CROKE, 

January 1, 18 c 23. 


Dedication Page v. 

Contents ix. 

Introduction I. 




The history of Guisnes to the death of the frst Count, Sigefrede, and his Countess 
Elstrude of Flanders — Kings of Denmark — Noble family of Elstrude . 5 


Of the subsequent Counts of Guisnes, to the end of the frst male line — Adolphus, 
Rodolphus, Eustace, Baldwin I. Eobert or Mdnasses, Emma of Tancarville, 
Beatrice de Guisnes, liberie de Vere, Baldwin of Ardrcs ... 20 


Of the father of Robert and William le Blount— Origin of coats of arms— Origin of 
names . .......... 33 


Of the family of Guisnes of the second race, or the house of Ghent— Chat elains of 
Ghent - Wcnemar — Counts of Guisnes— Arnold I. — Baldwin II. Knighted by 
Thomas & Becket— Arnold II.— Lambert d'Ardres, the Historian— Baldwin III. 
—Arnold III. — Guisnes sold— Baldwin IF. nominal Count — Jane de Guisnes— John 

de Brienne— Guisnes recovered 43 




The Counts of Guisnes of the third race, or the house of Eu — John dc Brienne 
—Rodolphus II. — Rodolphus III. the last Count — Final history of Guisnes — Con- 
quered by Edward III.— Reconquered in the reign of Queen Mary . . 73 


Of other noble families of the house of Guisnes— The Lords de Couci—The Viscounts 
of Meaux—The Chatelains of Ghent — The Lords of St. John Steen — The Lords 
of Rassenghiem, and the Counts of Isenghiem .83 






The settlement of the Ic Blount s in England—Sir William le Blount quartered at the 
Monastery at Ely— Tabula Elicnsis— Sir Robert le Blount, Baron of Ixworth— 
Possessions of the brothers ......... 93 


Le Blount, Baron of Ixworth in Suffolk — Robert, first — Gilbert, second — William, 
third — Gilbert or Hubert, fourth — William, fifth — William, sixth, slain 
at the battle of Lewis— Title extinct — His two sisters married Sir William de 
Crcketot, and Sir Robert de Valonys 102 


Le Blount, Baron ofBelton. Stephen le Blount married Maria le Blount. Union of the 
two families — Their sons Robert and John — Sir John le Blount. Family ofde Wro- 
tham — Sir Robert le Blount. Lord Odinsels. Belton acquired — Division into tiro 
great branches from Sir Ralph le Blount, and Sir William le Blount — Sir William 
ancestor of the Blounts of Sodington, fyc. in the third booh— Sir Ralph le Blount. 
Lovet. Hampton Lovet acquired— Sir William le Blount— Sir Thomas le Blount. 
Juliana de Leyboumc. Hastings. Clinton. Two sons, William and Nicholas — Second 
Nicholas— Sir William le Blount. Alanus de Atkinson — Thickenapcltre acquired — 


Sir John le Blount. Elizabeth de Fourneaux—Sir William le Blount. Alice le 
Blount. Sir Richard Stafford. Sir Richard Stury . . . . 108 




The conclusion of the Lords of Belton, and the origin of the Croke family. 
Sir Thomas le Blount and Nicholas le Blount — View of the reign of Richard II. 
Conspiracy. Cruel execution of Sir Thomas le Blount. Extinction of the Lords of 
Belton — Nicholas le Blount escapes into Italy. John Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of 
Milan. Return and change of name to Croke. Settles at Easington—Heynes — 
James Croke, alias le Blount — Richard — John— Of the coat of arms of the 
family 129 


John Croke, alias le Blount, Esquire, and Prudentia Cave— Clerks and Masters in 
Chancery — Sir Thomas More— Cave family — Chilton and Studley purchased. 393 

Digression I. The history of the Priory of Studley, its jwssessions, founders, and 
benefactors— De Oyley — De Iveri—De Saint Valori—the Earl of Dreux — Richard 
King of the Romans— Story of Adela de Ponthicu— Grant to John Croke. 408 
See Additions. 

Ricliard Croke, D.D. Greek Professor.— Taught Henry the Fill.— Sent to Italy in 
the affair of the King's Divorce 43S 


Sir John Croke, or le Blount, and Elizabeth Union, The families of Union and 
Fettiplace— Beatrice of Portugal — First High Sheriff for Buckinghamshire — Name 
ofle Blount omitted 443 


Tlie eldest son of Sir John Croke and Elizabeth Union, Sir John Croke the Judge, 
and his descendants. 

Section I. Sir John Croke, the Judge, and Katherine Blount, his wife— Speaker of 
the House of Commons — Affair of the monopolies — Poor laixs— Appointed a Justice 
of the King's Bench .......... 459 

Section II. Sir John Croke, the eldest son of Sir John Croke, the Judge, and his 
descendants— Decay and extinction of this eldest branch— Trial of Haixkins 485 


Section III. Sir Henry Croke, the second son of Sir John Croke, the Judge, and 
his descendants; or the Chequers branch— Sir Henry Croke, Clerk of the Pipe, 
married Bridget Hawlrey— Sir Robert married Susan Fanloor—Thurban— Rivet t 
— Russel—Greenhill . . . iy R 

Section IV. Charles Croke, D. D. the third son, Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham 
College, Rector of Agmondcsham, Chaplain to King Charles the First . 506 

Section V. Serjeant Union Croke of Marston, the fourth son, and his 
descendants — Relationship to the Parliamentary leaders — Sir Richard Croke, 
Member for Oxford — Strange events at Woodstock — Captain Union Croke — The 
Cavalier Plot— Defeat of Sir Joseph IVagstaff— Concurred with Monk . 511 

Section VI. Edward Croke, thejifth son ...... 550 


Henry Croke, the second son of Sir John Croke and Elizabeth Union, and his 
descendants, or the Waterstock branch — His son Henry Croke, D. D. Professor of 
Rhetoric at Gresham College, Rector of Waterstock — The estate there left him by 
his uncle Sir George Croke the Judge — Wilkinson family — Sir George Croke, 
Fellow of the Royal Society — The longitude, and other philosophical pursuits — Left 
only daughters — Waterstock sold ........ 552 


Sir George Croke, the Judge, the third son of Sir John Croke and Elizabeth Union, 
and his descendants. 

Section I. Sir George Croke, and Mary Bennel — Appointed a Justice of the King's 
Bench — Disputes between the King and Parliament— Supports the liberty of the 
subject — Seldcn arid Hambden's cases— His reports— Bennet family— Left only 
three daughters ........... 561 

Section II. Mary the eldest daughter, and her husband, Sir Harbottle Grimston, 
Baronet — The Grimston family ........ 606 

Section III. Elizabeth, the second daughter, and her first husband, Thomas Lee, 
Esquire — The Lee family . ■ • ■ • ■ ■ • 614- 

Section IV. Sir Richard Ingoldsby, the second husband of Elizabeth, and his family 
— The Marquis of Winchester . . ■ . • • • . 616 

Frances, third daughter, and John Jervois, Esquire 627 


Paidus Ambrosius Croke, the fourth son of Sir John Croke and Elizabeth Union, a 
barrister — Family of Wellesbornc — His only daughter married Sir Robert Heath, 


Lord Chief Justice— Their descendants, Earls of Gainsborough, and Viscounts 
Wentworth ............ 628 


The three daughters of Sir John Croke and Elizabeth Union. 

Section I. Cecily Croke, the eldest daughter, and her first husband, Edward Bul- 
strode, Esquire — The families of Bulstrode and JVIiitelock — Sir James Whitelocke, 
a Justice of the King's Bench— Sir Bidstrode JVhitelocke, Lord Commissioner of the 
Great Seal, and Ambassador to Sweden — Quee?i Christina . . . C30 

Sir John Brown, the second husband of Cecily ...... 654 

Section II. Prudence Croke, the second daughter, and Sir Robert Wingfield 655 

Section III. Elizabeth Croke, the third daughter, and Sir John Tyrrell — Family 
of Tyrrell 656 


William Croke, the _fifth son of Sir John Croke and Elizabeth . Unton ,- his wife, 
Dorothy Homjivood : and his son Alexander Croke — Remarkable account of Mary 
Honywood — Bradford the Martyr — Thefamilies ofBrasey and Beke, Lord Lovelace, 
and Mayne — Simon Mayne one of the King's Judges— John Bigg . . 658 


The descendants of William Croke continued. The eldest branch of the descendants 
of his son Alexander Croke — Richard Croke — John — Edward — John — James — 
Charlotte Croke married William Ledwell 674 


The descendants of William Croke continued. The youngest branch of the descendants 
of his son Alexander Croke — William Croke — Fettiplace — Tlie Reverend Alexander 
Croke — Alexander Croke, Esquire, of Marsh Gibbon, and Elisabeth Barker — The 
families of Barker and Busby — Doctor Wood, author of the Institutes — William of 
Wykeham 679 

Digression II. The history of Marsh Gibbon ..... 690 

The sequel of the descendants of William Croke— Tlie children and grandchildren of 
Alexander Croke of Marsh Gibbon, and Elizabeth Barker . . . 695 






The Blount s ofSodinglon in Worcestershire, and Mawley in Shropshire. 
Sir William le Blount. Isabel Beauchamp. Lovet. Timberlake. Elmley Lovet. 
Broughton. Two sons, Peter, and Walter — Sir If alter le Blount of Rock. Johanna 
de Sodington — Peter le Blount — Sir William le Blount. De J r erdon. Husee 
— Crophull — Sir John le Blount — Isolda Mountjoj/. Eleanor Beauchamp. Meriet 
— Name of Blount — Sir John Blount. Juliana Foulhurst. Isabel Cornwall— Sir 
Walter Blount created a Baronet in 1642. — Ed-ward Blount, the friend of Pope 
— The family confirmed to the present time 121 


The Blounts of Kinlet in Shropshire, including those of Yeo, or Eye, in Hereford- 
shire, of Kidderminster in Worcestershire, and some other places— Richard, Earl 
of Cornwall— Elizabeth Blount beloved by Henry VIII. — The Duke of Richmond — 
Lord Surrey ........... 155 


The Mountjoy branch — Sir Walter Blount — Evidence of his descent — Marriage vjith 
Donna Sancha de Ayala — Family of Ayala— Edward the Black Prince — John of 
Gaunt, arid Constantia of Castile — Marriage of Catherine of Lancaster with Henry 
the Infant of Spain— Bakepuiz family— Slain at Shrewsbury— Shakespeare — Sir 
John Blount, Knight of the Garter— Sir Thomas, Treasurer of Normandy — Sir 
Walter, created Lord Mountjoy in 1464 — Edward, second Lord — John, third — 
William, fourth, the friend of Erasmus — Interview with Queen Catherine — Charles, 
fifth, at Boulogne — James, sixth, an alchemist — William, seventh — Charles, eighth, 
and last, distinguished by Queen Elizabeth — Conquest of Ireland — Created Earl of 
Devonshire in 1603— Penelope the wife of Lord Rich— Died without lawful issue — 
His natural son, Mountjoy Blount, created Lord Mountjoy, and Earl of Newport — 
Extinction of that title— Sir Christopher Blount, married Letitia, Countess of 
Leicester, beheaded in 1601. . 170 



The Blounts of Iver in Buckinghamshire, and Maple- Durham in Oxfordshire, still 
subsisting— Marriage with de la Ford — Sir Michael Blount, Lieutenant of the 
Tower, claimed the Barony of Mount joy — Teresa and Martha Blount the friends 
of Pope 252 


The Blounts of Grendon, Bromyard and Orleton, in Herefordshire, and Eldersfield 
in Worcestershire— Thomas Blount the Lawyer, his works— Edward Blount, his 
works 280 


The Blounts of Burton-upon-Trent, and Blounfs-Hall in Staffordshire ,- of Osberston, 
in Leicestershire ; and Tittenhangcr, in Hertfordshire — Sir Thomas Pope, the 
founder of Trinity College — Tittenhanger — Richard Blount, the Provincial of the 
Jesuits — Sir Henry Pope Blount, the traveller — Sir Thomas Pope Blount— Charles 
Blount, the Deist — By a marriage with Charles York, the property of this branch 
centered in the Earl of Hordwick ........ 288 


Other Blounts— I. Jews— 2. Blounts in Kent — 3. In Gloucestershire — 4. In Essex, 
tfc. — 5. In Bedfordshire— 6 . In London — 7. Of C?vydo?i—8. Other Blounts of 
uncertain places 338 

The Conclusion 369 

Notes, Additions, and Corrections ........ 373 

Records, and other Docttments, relating to Sludley Priory .... 397 

In the Genealogies, No. 4. is cancelled, being comprehended in No. 44. No. 44. is to be 
placed after the Introduction. 

In the Copper Plates, there are four of Seals and Fragments at page 437. 



I. The history of William, Count qfPonthieu. From Lambert. 

II. The arrival of Sigefred. From the same. — His fortifying Guisnes. 

III. The anger of Arnold, and the reconciliation. Ibid. 

IV. Sigefred's connexion with Elstritde. Ibid. — Account of Sigefred's i?ivasion, 
and the corruption of El st rude, written by the Monks of St. Bert in 's. 

V. The magnificence of Rodolphus. From Lambert. 

VI. Account of Rosella, and their children. Ibid. 

VII. The education of the children of Eustace. Ibid. 

VIII. The invention of Saint Rotrude. From the Chronicle of Andres. 

IX. A charter of Manasses, Count of Guisnes, and Emma, his Countess, to the 
Monastery of St. Leonard, with their seals. 

X. Contract of the Sale of Guisnes to the King of France. — History of the Counts 
of Guisnes in Latin verse. 

XI. Delivery of Guisnes by John, King of France, to Edward the Third. 

XII. Extracts from records relating to Guisnes. From the Catalogue des Rolle.s 
Gascon, Normans, et Francois, in the Tower, Harlcian Manuscripts, French Rolls, 
fyc — A catalogue of the Governors and Officers of Guisnes from Edward the Third, 
to Edward the Fourth. 


XIII. The estates of Robert, and William le Blount, in Domesday Book. 

XVI. Account of the Knights and Monks of Ely. List of them from the Tabula 




XV. Catalogue of ancient deeds, chiefly belonging to the Sodington family, in the 
Hatieian Manuscripts. 

XVI. Family of Ayala. Relacion del Lignage dc Ayala, from the Historia 
Genealogica de la Casa de Lara, by Don Luis de Salazar y Castro. 

XVII. Three letters from Lord William Mountjoy to Erasmus, and two from 
Erasmus to Lord Charles Mountjoy. A short account of thirteen letters from Eras- 
mus to Lord William Mountjoy, of which the ■principal substance is introduced in the 

XVIII. Catalogue of ancient deeds, belonging chiefly to the Mountjoy family, 
from Dugdalc, and Ashmole's MSS. 

XIX. Father Richard Blount's letter to Father Seguiran, about the marriage of 
Charles the First with Henrietta of France. — His admonitions to the Jesuits of the 
English Mission. 


XX. Account how the Blounts changed their name to Croke. From a manu- 
script. With notes from authentic historians, confirming the accuracy of the account. 

XXI. Bill of fare at the marriage of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, with the Duke 
of Milan's daughter. From Corio. — Translation of it. 

XXII. Master Croke' s Ordinances in Chancery. 

XXIII. The grant of the Priory of Studlcy to John Croke. 

XXIV. The will of Sir John Croke. 

XXV. A speech of Sir John Croke, one of the Justices of the King's Bench. 

XXVI. Catalogue of books given by Sir John Croke to the Bodleian Library. 

XXVII. The Woodstock Scuffle. A ballad. 

XX VIII. Letter oj Mons. Denys, and correspondence between Sir George Croke 
and Mr. Oldenburg. 

XXIX. A paper respecting theprinting of Sir George Croke's Reports. 

XXX. Sir George Croke's Orders for the Alms House. 

XXXI. Account of painted glass, formerly in the church and mansion at 
Waterstokc . 

XXXII. Bradford's letters to Mrs. Honywood. 

XXXIII. Entries of birtlis, deaths, tyc. in a Manuscript of Solomon's Proverbs 

XXXIV. TJiomas Hcame's walk to Studley. 

XXXV. Proposals for drying malt with hot air. Bu John Busby, Esquire, 
F. R. S. j 

XXXVI. Some occasional verses. 

XXXVII. a. A letter to Mr. Bromley, respecting the Lancastrian schools. 
b. Latin verses on winter and skating. 

XXXVIII. A catalogue of the books arid documents principally used in the 
Genealogical History. 



1 . Kings of Denmark ......... 18 

2. Elstrude, wife of Sigefrcde, the frst Count of Guisnes . . . ibid. 

3. The Counts of Guisnes 90 

4. Le Blount, from the time of William the Conqueror to Sir William le 

Blount, in 1320 118 

~>. Bcauchamp of Hachc . . . . . . . . .121 

6. De Vcrdon 128 

7. Sir Ralph de Mountjoy 134 

8. Blount of Sodington ....... .151 

Supplement A. The descendants of (i eorge Blount . . . ibid. 
Supplement B. The connexion of the Blount s of Sodington with the 

Aston Howard and other noble families ..... ibid. 

9. Blount of K 'inlet, Yeo, or Eye, Kidderminster, Bewd/ey, fyc. . ■ 168 

10. Blount of Yeo, or Eye ibid. 

11. Ayala 176 

12. Blount, Lard Mountjoy 252 

1 3. De la Ford 254 

14-. Blount of her, and Maple- Durham 278 

1 5. Blount of Grendon, Bromyard, Orlton, Ar. 286 

16. Blount 'of Elders field, ^c ibid. 

17. Blount of Burton-upon-Trent, and Blount s Hall, in Staffordshire-, 

Osbaston, in Leicestershire; and Tittenhange?; in Hertfordshire . .334 

18. Blount 'of Bilton and Mangotcf 'eld 342 

19. Can/clupe and Hastings ........ 378 

20. Leybournc ........... ibid. 

21. Crokc, from Dessenz of Noblemen ...... 392 

22. Cave 396 

23. Lords of the Honor of St. Valori. De Iveri, and De Valori . . 420 

24. Union and Fettiplace 



25. Hawtrcy, Croke, Thurban, Rivett, Russel, and Greenhill ■ • 500 

26. Vanloor 502 

27. Russel .504 

•28. Relationship of the Croke family to Oliver Cromwell, and the Parlia- 
mentary leaders ...■••••' 

29. Wilkinson 554 

30. Bennet 564 


31. Grimston 

32. Lee of Hartwell .614 

33. Ingoldsby 626 

34. Bulstrode, IVhitelocke, Mayne, and Beke 6o4> 

35. Wingfield ibuL 

36. Tyrrell of Heron, (fc 656 

37. Tyrrell of Thornton, %c. lbld - 





33. Croke and Honywood 

39. Lovelace .....-•••■ 

40. Norris and Bertie ...-■••■ 

41. Barker .....-•••• 

42. Barker from William of Wykeham lbld - 

43. Busby 

4 1. The Croke family, from the first origin to the present time. Th 

leading Genealogy, to which all the others are referred 





The coat of arms of the Counts of Guisnes • 3 

The seals of Count Manasses, and the Countess Emma . . • • 29 

The seal of Wenemar, Chatelain of Ghent ....•• * 5 

Ths seal of Arnold I. Count of Guisnes * 7 

Seal and counterseal of Baldwin II. .55 

Seal of William de Guisnes ihid - 

Seals of Siger, Chatellain of Ghent, and Petronilla de Courtray . • 56 

Seal of Margaret, Chatellaine de Courtray ^"^ 

Seal and counterseal of Arnold II. . 61 


Seal and counterseal of his Countess Beatrice 62 

Seal and counterseal of Baldwin III. 66 

Seal and counterseal of Arnold III. ..... 69 

Seal and counterseal of Baldwin IV. . 7° 

Seal and counterseal of John de Guisnes . . . . . . J \ 

Seal and counterseal of Jane, Countess of Eu, and Guisnes ... 72 

The three coats of arms of le Blount, lozengy, nebuly, and the six martlets 91 

The arms of Blount, ncbuly •. .119 

Seal of Sir Walter le Blount 125 

Seal of Peter le Blount 127 

Seal of Sir William le Blount 130 

Coat of arms of Croke, alias le Blount, martlets ..... 369 

Seal of Elizabeth, Prioress of Studley . 434 

Seal of Sir John Croke ......... 456 


The map of the County of Guisnes ....... 5 

The Castle of Guisnes 82 

Sir William le Blount, and Monk Wylnote 9S 

The head of Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, from an etching by 

Agostino Caracci ......... 388 

Chilton Church 404 

Fragments of the Priory at Studley ....... 437 

The monument of Sir John and Lady Elizabeth Croke at Chilton . . 452 

The head of Sir George Croke, by Hollar ...... 561 

Sir George Croke's Alms-house at Studley . . . . . .587 

The monument of Sir George Croke at Waterstock .... 594 

Studley Priory in the time of Sir George Croke ..... 604 

As all these plates, except the map of Guisnes, and the head of Sir George 
Croke, were etched by myself, I have to apologize for their rudeness. 


SlR HARBOTTLE GRIMSTON, in his preface to the 
Reports of his father-in-law, Sir George Croke, has correctly 
stated, that " he was descended of an ancient and illustrious 
' family called LeBloit?it," and that " his ancestor, in the time 
' of the civil dissention betwixt York and Lancaster, being a 
' fautor and assistant unto the house of York a , was inforced to 
' subduct and conceal himself under the name of Croke, till 
' such time as King Henry the Seventh most happily reconcil- 
' ing those different titles, this our ancestor in his postliminium 
1 assuming his ancient name, wrote himself Croke, alias Blount; 
' that of Blount being altogether omitted by the Judge's father 
' upon the marriage of his son and heir, Sir John Croke, with 
' the daughter of Sir Michael Blount, of Maple Durham, in the 
' county of Oxford." Which was about the end of the six- 
teenth century b . 

All authorities agree that the family of Le Blount is descended 
from two brothers, the sons of the Lord of Guisnes in France, 
who came over with William the Conqueror, and were then 
established in this country . And the French historians have 

* It is printed " Lancaster," but this is evidently a mistake. 

" Preface to Croke Charles, or Part the First. 

c Collins's Baronetage, vol. ii. p. 367. iii. 665. Bigland, Garter King at Arms, in 
Nash's History of Worcestershire, vol. ii. p. 163. Dugdale's Baronage, Fuller, 
&c. &c. which will be more particularly stated hereafter. 


traced the descent of the house of Guisnes from the royal family 
of Denmark. 

The history of this family will therefore be divided into three 

The First Book will contain the account of the family from 
the earliest periods till the settlement of the two brothers 
Robert and William le Blount in England, in the year 1066: 
or the History of the House of Guisnes in Picardy, and, ante- 
cedently, in Denmark. 

The Second Book will relate the settlement of the le 
Blounts in England, and the history of the eldest branches, the 
Barons of Ix worth, the Lords of Belton, and the Croke family. 

The Third Book will comprehend the youngest branches, the 
Blounts of Sodington and Mawley ; of Kinlet, Eye, and Kid- 
derminster; the Lords Mountjoy ; the Blounts of Iver and 
Maple-Durham ; of Grendon, Bromyard, Orleton, and Elders- 
field ; of Burton-upon-Trent, Osbaston, and Tittenhanger; and 
others of the name. 


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The History of Guisnes, to the death of the first Count. 

IT has been stated in some old authorities, that this ancient family of 
Le Blount took its rise from the Blondi, or Biondi, in Italy, whose 
historians derive them from the Roman Imperial family of the Flavii a . 
But a candid examination compels me to acknowledge, that I can find no 
evidence, or even probability, for this Italian and Roman descent. It is 
founded apparently upon no better ground than the similarity of meaning 
between the names of Flavius, or Flavus, of Blondi, or Biondi, and of 
Le Blount ; all derived from the flaxen, or light colour of the hair b . The 

* Collins's Baronetage, vol. i. page 367- From the information of the family of the 
Blounts of Sodington, 1727. Rawlinson's MSS. B. vol. lxxiii. Art. Blount, fol. 110. and 
Habington's MSS. Descents of Worcestershire Families, in Bib. Soc. Antiq. &c. &c. 

b Thus the royal family of the Guelphs has been deduced from the Catuli of Rome, 
because the names in the Latin and German language are synonymous, both signifying 
little dogs, or whelps. So the poetical historian, Gunther, says of Guelph the Sixth ; 

Hunc ex Romano Catulorum sanguine clarum, 

Et genus et nomen, (nisi fallit fama) trahentem, 

Theutonicus verso Welphonem nomine sermo 

Dixerat, ambiguae deceptus imagine vocis. 

Gunther in Ligurin. lib. ix. In Muratori, Antichita Estensi, vol. i. p. 2. Some more 



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The History of Guisnes, to the death of the first Count. 

IT has been stated in some old authorities, that this ancient family of 
Le Blount took its rise from the Blondi, or Biondi, in Italy, whose 
historians derive them from the Roman Imperial family of the Flavii\ 
But a candid examination compels me to acknowledge, that I can find no 
evidence, or even probability, for this Italian and Roman descent. It is 
founded apparently upon no better ground than the similarity of meaning 
between the names of Flavius, or Flavus, of Blondi, or Biondi, and of 
Le Blount ; all derived from the flaxen, or light colour of the hair b . The 

* Collins's Baronetage, vol. i. page 367- From the information of the family of the 
Blounts of Sodington, 1727. Rawlinson's MSS. B. vol. lxxiii. Art. Blount, fol. 110. and 
Habington's MSS. Descents of Worcestershire Families, in Bib. Soc. Antiq. &c. &c. 

" Thus the royal family of the Guelphs has been deduced from the Catuli of Rome, 
because the names in the Latin and German language are synonymous, both signifying 
little dogs, or whelps. So the poetical historian, Gunther, says of Guelph the Sixth ; 

Hunc ex Romano Catulorum sanguine clarum, 

Et genus et nomen, (nisi fallit fama) trahentem, 

Theutonicus verso Welphonem nomine sermo 

Dixerat, ambiguae deceptus imagine vocis. 

Gunther in Ligurin. lib. ix. In Muratori, Antichita Estensi, vol. i. p. 2. Some more 


family of Le Blount is sufficiently noble and ancient not to stand in need 
of fictitious embellishments : and the real and well-proved deduction of 
the family from a Danish origin completely destroys the other suppo- 

The county of Guisnes, the seat and patrimony of this family, before 
its arrival in England, is a part of the modern province of Picardy; which 
was never united under one government, like Normandy and Flanders, 
but was divided into many seigneuries, some of them held as fiefs of 
neighbouring lords ; and the name of Picardy itself is of recent origin . 
It is a very fertile country, and though a northern situation is unfavourable 
for vineyards, it abounds with corn and pasturage in an eminent degree. 
It is bounded on the north-east by the districts of Calais, Marque, 
and Oye, and the province of Flanders ; on the east by Artois ; on the 
south by the county of Boulogne; and on the north-west by the sea. 
By a terrier made after it was reduced under the dominion of France, in 
1.5.58, it contained twelve baronies, Andres, Fiennes, Licques, Basinghem, 
Hames, Alembon en Surques, Courteboume, Lamotte d'Andres, Laval, 
Creseques, Zelthum, and Hermelinghem. As many pairies*, Perrier, 
Losteborne, Nielles, Campagne, Autingues, Surgues, Bouvelinghem, 
Asquingoul, Reques, Fouquesolles, Ecclemy, and La Haye. Twenty- 
six lordships, Doncres, Nenviras, Berne, Wolfus, Leulingue, La Cresson- 
niere, Steimbeque, Courteheuse, Saint Martin-en-Louches, Hondreconte- 
en-Breme, Le Fief du Briart-en-Frelinghem, d'Ophauve, Du Hied, 

modern writers have derived it from a German root, from whence our word help is 
formed — Helfen. Leibnitz, Orig. Guelf. 

So the real name of the Burleigh family was Sitsilt, an ancient Welsh name, which, 
after several variations, was at length changed to Cecil, upon the suggestion of Mr. Ver- 
stegan, the celebrated antiquary, that they were descended from the Cecilii of Rome. 
Aubrey's Lives, vol. ii. p. 28. 

c Valesii Notitia Galliarum, p. 447. Gibbon, vol. xi. p. 1. For an account of the 
principal authorities, as well printed, as manuscript, which are referred to in this work, 
see the Appendix, No. XXXVIII. 

" Pairies were fiefs, of which the possessors were bound to attend the court of their 
lord, where they were styled peers, pares curtis, or curice. They are so styled in the 
English, as well as the French law. Blackstone, vol. ii. p. 54. In France, tout fief avait 
ses pairies, c'est a dire, d'autres fiefs mouvant de lui, et les possesseurs de ces Jlefs scrvans, 
qui etoient census egaux entr' eux, composoit la cour du seigneur dominant. Encyclopedic 
voce Pairie. 


Landrethum, Croisilles, La Grange, Le Court, Bercq-en-Campagne, 
Dispendas, Sanghem, Marcamp, the abbey of Licque, and that of La 
Capelle, the priory of Ardres, the hospitals of Lostbourne, and of Saint 
Merlat, in Ardres. It contained thirty-three parishes; Ardres, Nielles, 
Louches, Breme, Rodelinghem, Bouquehault, Leulingue, Bonningues, 
Licques, Surques, Alembon, Sanghem, and Homelinghem, l'Hopital or 
l'Hotel Dieu de Saint Inglevert, Escales, Sangate, Wale, which does not 
now exist, Hervelinghem, Peuplingue, Pihen, Coquelle, Fretun, Nielles- 
en-Cauchie, Saint Tricat, Saint Martin in the Castle of Hames, Boucres, 
Saint Blaise, Guisnes, Eperleques, Andres, Balenghem, Campagne, and 
Capelle, now the Great and Little Cappe. Auderwic, Bredenarde, Tour- 
nehem, Ushant% and some lands besides, within the county of Artois, 
were amongst its dependencies 1 . Of these subordinate lordships, the barons 

e Terrier de Guines, Hist, de Calais, vol. ii. p. 352. Amongst the Harleian Manuscripts, 
No. 3880, is a rental of the crown lands, and the King's revenues in Calais and Guisnes, 
taken by commissioners, who were Sir Richard Cotton, Comptroller of the Household, 
Sir Anthony St. Leger, Knight of the Garter, and Thomas Mildmay, Esquire, in the sixth 
year of Edward the Sixth. It is entitled Lands' Rental. The sums total are as follows : 

£. s. d. 

The County of Guines . . . . 851 7 11 

Lordship of Marc and Oye . . 1447 18 4 

Lordship and Castle of Hames . 383 15 3 

Ski mage de Calais 620 13 

Besides the town and marches of Calais. 
' Whatever they might have been originally, Calais, Oye, and Marque, seem not to have 
been comprehended within the county of Guisnes very early. The foundation and the 
origin of the name of Calais are lost in obscurity. It was derived from the Caletes, if they 
ever visited that country, and may be corrupted from Scala, a port in Caesar's time, if 
that were not Scales, or Escalle. The name Calais appears only after the twelfth century. 
In 860, the Calaisis was part of Flanders, and a lordship distinct from the counties of 
Guisnes and Oye. Hist, de Calais, vol. i. p. 446, where the boundaries are described. 
From 864, it probably made part of the county of Guisnes, and was possessed by Baldwin 
Count of Flanders. Ibid. 454. In 955, Arnold, the second, Count of Flanders and Bou- 
logne, had a contest with the Abbey of St. Bertin for Calais, which they pretended had 
been given them by Walbert, or Arnold le Vieux ; but Arnold retained it against them. 
He was still in possession of it after William of Ponthieu had taken Guisnes, &c. and after 
Sifred's invasion, when he fortified it against his attempts. Ibid. 496, 498. In 996, 
Baldwin IV. Count of Flanders, improved the port. Ibid. 502. In 1137, it was ceded by 
Charles le Bon, Count of Flanders, to the Count of Boulogne; p. 571. And in 1216, the 


of Ardres became very powerful. Hames was erected into a Marquisate 
in 1658, as was Courtebonne in 1671, in favour of Charles de Calonnes. 
The twelve baronies and twelve pairies of Guisnes, were established as 
early as the year 106o h . 

The town of Guisnes is situated between Calais and Boulogne. It 
stands by the side of a marsh to the north-east, and a river rises near it, 
formerly called the Leda, which flows down to Calais. It is surrounded 
on the other three sides by hills ; and to the south is an extensive wood. 
At the time of the surrender to the French it was nearly square, encom- 
passed on all sides by a large ditch filled with water, and defended 1>\ a 
rampart of earth, strengthened by freestone parapets. The castle, which 
stood south of the town, was separated from it by a ditch, which was 
a continuation of that of the town, and surrounded likewise the castle. 
It was built in the form of a pentagon, with five round bastions, and very 
high curtains. In the middle stood a tower, called La Cuve, which was 
a square building, fortified without by a strong bulwark, and a second 
wall, defended by a wet ditch, and four towers at the angles'. 

Count of Boulogne gave Calais, Marque, and Oye, to Philip Augustus, King of France, 
a- a portion with his daughter Matilda ; p. 630. And it continued in the Royal Family 
till it was taken by the English. 

Yet the Count of Guisnes had a judge in Calais in 1218. To a charter of Arnold of 
that date, among the witnesses is Willielmus de Undescote, Clerico Nostro, et Justiciario 
de Calais. Duchesne Pr. p. 273. Justice was administered in Calais in the name of the 
Count of Boulogne, the lord ; but the Counts of Guisnes had allodial lands there, which 
were not subjected to the ordinary jurisdiction of the lord, but to their own tribunal 
Hist, de Calais, vol. i. p. G37- 

The Counts, or Viscounts, of Oye were in the number of the twelve Peers of Flanders, 
and therefore it was not part of Guisnes ; yet it was seized by Sifred. Hist, de Cal. i. 622. 
It afterwards was probably ceded with Calais, in 1 137, by Charles le Bon, to the Count of 
Boulogne; for in 121(i, it was given by the Count of Boulogne to Philip Augustus, as 
before stated. 

As to Marque, the Abbey of St. Bertin claimed it in 938, as having been given to it by 
the Count of Flanders The gift was controverted, and the Count kept possession. Hist. 
de Cal. i. 4,92. In 1147, it was held of the Count of Boulogne, and had for pairies under 
it and Oye, Coulogne, Walle, or Waldam, Offekirk, Hennin, and Ecluse. (Ibid. p. 582,) 
and was at last ceded to Philip Augustus. Ante. 

' Hist, de Calais, vol. i. p. 524. 

" Nobiliaire de Picardie. Hist. Cal. ii. 530, and 568. 

' From a plan of Guisnes, taken after the siege in 1588, printed at Rome, by Duchetti, 


In an ancient picture in Windsor Castle, representing the interview 
between Henry the Eighth and Francis the First, in the year 1.520, which 
took place between Guisnes and Ardres, there is a bird's-eye view of the 
market-place, church, and castle of Guisnes, with part of the town walls, 
and the surrounding ditch, of the morass, which lies on the north side of 
the town, and of the river, with a view of the adjacent country, as they 
were at that time k . 

After the capture by the Duke of Guise in 1,5.58, the fortifications were 
entirely demolished by the French government, as useless ; that frontier 
being sufficiently covered by the towns of Ardres and Calais. 

The County of Guisnes was anciently comprehended within the 
Roman province of Belgica Secunda, and was inhabited by the Morini, a 
German race who had passed the Rhine, and expelled the original Celtic 
inhabitants. They were some of the most warlike people of Gaul, and 
for some time defeated the attempts which were made upon their liberty 
by Julius Caesar. After they were subdued, it was from the Portus 
Itius, probably Ushant, in that territory, that he sailed upon his expedition 
to Britain 1 . The boundaries of the districts occupied by barbarous nations 
were fluctuating, and expanded, and contracted, with the weakness, or 
strength, of the neighbouring tribes. Much of what is now land was then 
occupied by the sea, or by morasses. Morinia is laid down by D'Anville, 
as extending along the sea-coast for about seventy-five miles, from Calais 
to Montreuil, on the river Canche, and of about half that breadth. 
Taruenna, now Teroiienne, was the principal town™. It experienced the 

Histoire de Calais, vol. if. p. 310, referred to by Sir Joseph Ayloffe, in his Description of 
the Picture at Windsor Castle, page 19, note. There is also a rude plan of it in the British 
Museum, Cotton MSS. 

k This picture has been engraved by the Society of Antiquaries, and a description was 
given of it by Sir Joseph Ayloffe, which was published in the Archaeologia, vol. iii. p. 1S5, 
and separately, to accompany the print. 

1 The name of Morini was derived from the Celtic Mor, mare, the sea, as Armorica was. 
Valesii Notitia Galliarum. Caesar, Bell. Gall. ii. 4. iii. 9, 28. iv. 20, 22, 37. vii. 76. Ushant ' 
was originally called Wit-sand, White sand, ab albedine arenae. 

m It continued to be the ecclesiastical capital of this country till 1553, when it was 
destroyed, and the bishopric divided into three bishoprics. Guisnes was then annexed 
to that of Boulogne. Hist, de Cal. Pref. 7. The Bishop of Teroiienne was styled Epis- 
copus Morinorum. 



general calamities which afflicted every part of the Roman empire in its 
latter period. It was ravaged by the Huns, occasionally visited by the 
Northern pirates, and invaded by the Franks. Upon the death of Valen- 
tinian the Third, in the year 454, it ceased to be a part of the Roman 

Upon the dissolution of the Roman government, Morinia fell under the 
dominion of the Franks, who had then fully established themselves in 
Gaul ; and it acknowledged the sovereignty of Childeric". In the division 
of that country, upon the death of Clovis, it formed a part of the kingdom 
of Soissons. During this period it was governed, according to the 
political system of the feodal nations, by officers appointed by the King 
of France, under the name of Counts, whose principal residence was at 
Boulogne, and whose office was temporary, and various in extent. In 
process of time the Counts established their independence, and became 
the hereditary proprietors, or sovereigns, of the respective districts into 
which the country was apportioned. 

In the subsequent dark periods, it is difficult to ascertain exactly who 
were the owners of the county of Guisnes, till it had its own and distinct 
Counts, about the middle of the tenth century. In the disputes which 
have arisen upon this subject, it has been severally given to the Abbey of 
Saint Bertin at Saint Omer's, the Counts of Ponthieu, of Boulogne, and 
of Flanders. But it is scarcely possible to reconcile, and to weave into 
one connected narrative, the insulated facts, and the confusion of names, 
which occur in the rude annals, and the documents which remain of those 
times, frequently of suspicious authenticity. 

Without entering into these uninteresting discussions, I shall shortly 
state what appears to be the most probable account, and descend to clearer 
times, and better established events. 

In a dreadful eruption of the Huns and Vandals into Morinia, Leger 
the Second, the third Count of Boulogne, and his two sons, were slain, in 
the year 524. He was succeeded by his grandson Rodolphus in the 
county of Boulogne; but the county of Arques, which comprehended 
Sangate, Montour, Watte, Guisnes, and some other places, was detached 
from the county of Boulogne, and given to Matilda, the daughter of 

" Mezerai, torn. i. p. 236. 


Leger, and who brought it in marriage to a prince of the house of 
Brandenbourg . From her it descended at length to Agneric, the prin- 
cipal counsellor of Theodoric, King of Burgundy and Austrasia. He 
was succeeded by his son Walbert, who was living in 660, was Count of 
Saint Pol, Ponthieu, and Arques, and with his son Bertin, so christened 
by St. Bertin, became a monk in the monastery of that name ; and, dying 
without issue, his brother Saint Pharon, bishop of Meaux, and, next, his 
sister, Saint Phara, were his successors p . 

After the death of Saint Phara, this county remained for several years 
without a lawful owner, till Lideric, the first Forester of Flanders, created 
Count of Harlebec by Charlemagne, annexed it to his dominions, and it 
continued to be enjoyed by his successors'). 

One of these Foresters, Baldwin, surnamed Bras-de-Fer, the great- 
grandson of Lideric, married Judith the daughter of Charles le Chauve, 
King of France, and the grandson of Charlemagne. She was then a 
second time a widow. Her first husband was Ethelwolf, King of England, 
who, after a year's residence at Rome, had married her upon his return 
through France. She was then only ten years of age ; and as her husband 
lived only two years afterwards, she is said to have continued a virgin. 
After his death she incurred great censure by marrying Ethelbald, his son 
by a former wife ; but, at the repeated exhortations of the clergy, he was 
induced at length to divorce her ; and he lived not long afterwards. She 
returned to France, and was living at Senlis, where Baldwin saw her, fell 
in love with her, and, with the connivance of her brother, carried her off 
into Flanders, in the year 862. The King of France was offended, and 
assembled a council ; the lovers were excommunicated, and a war was the 
consequence. By the interference of the Pope, a reconciliation was effected, 
and the marriage was solemnized with great magnificence at Auxerre r . 

° Malbr. lib. ii. p. 226. Hist, de Calais, i. p. 333, 334, 335. 

p Lambert, chap. 3, 4, 5, 6. Hist, de Calais, p. a 74. 

" Lambert, chap. 2, 6. Hist, de Cal. i. 375. The claim of the Abbey of St. Bertin to 
the county of Guisnes was founded upon a supposed grant from Walbert. It was proved 
not to have been comprehended in that grant, and the abbey was never in possession of it. 
Ibid. p. 416. Duchesne, p. 6. 

r Hist, de Cal. i. p. 449. 

C 2 


Upon this event King Charles created his son-in-law Count of Flanders ; 
and that county then extended from the Scheld to the Sommc, and com- 
prehended those of Boulogne, Saint Pol, Artois, and Guisnes. The King 
reserved to himself the paramount sovereignty, and the Count had under 
him the subordinate lords in the different districts \ 

Such was the origin of the Counts of Flanders, who afterwards ex- 
tended their dominions, and acquired such power, that the first monarchs 
of Europe sought their aid, or alliance. From this time they were the 
immediate vassals of the crown of France; and the counties of Boulogne, 
Saint Pol, Artois, Ponthieu, Guisnes, and other counties within then- 
territories, were held immediately of the county of Flanders, and as 
arriere-fiefs of the crown of France, having other lordships under 

Baldwin the First died in S79". His son and successor, Baldwin 
the Second, surnamed Le Chauve, died in the year 918*. By his 
wife Elstrude, the daughter of King Alfred, he left two sons. The 
eldest, Arnold, surnamed the Great, succeeded him as Count of 
Flanders. The youngest, Adalolphus, Adolphus, or Ardolphus, had for 
his inheritance the counties of Boulogne and Terouenne, Saint Pol, and 
Guisnes, and was lord of the Abbey of Saint Bertin>'. After the 
death of Adolphus, in 934, without children, his territories, including 
Guisnes, came to his elder brother, Arnold the Great. This Count, 

s Hist, de Cal i p. 452, 47S. 

' Du Tillet, p. 103. Uredius. Hist, de Cal. i. p. 452, 479- 

" Though Lideric i- .stated by the Flemish historians as the first Forester of Flanders, 
doubts have been entertained by some other historians as to his very existence, and, at 
least, to his having had the government of Flanders. L'Art de Verifier les Dates, vol. iii. 
p. 1. Hut Baldwin Bras-de-Fer is acknowledged, by the consent of all the historians, to 
have been the first Count, and that he was the son of Odoacer, the grandson of Enguer- 
rand, and the great grandson of Lideric. It has been a question much agitated amongst 
the French lawyers and antiquaries, at what time fiefs became hereditary. Montesquieu 
gives it as his opinion, that many fiefs were already hereditary by the end of the first race, 
and that Charles le Chauve established the succession to them by a general regulation. 
Lib. xxxi. chap. 28. Before that period perhaps no general rule can be laid down; each 
county must stand upon its own evidence. 

x Hist, de Cal. i. 479, 480. Duchesne, p. 8. Lambert, chap. 1. 

y Ibid. 


with the assistance of Louis D'Outremer, King of France, made war 
against the Count of Ponthieu, and took from him Montrieul, and 
other places. By his wife Alice, or Athele, daughter of Herbert the 
Second, Count of Vermandois, he had five children, who all died before 
him except his daughter Elstrude*. 

Arnold the Great was succeeded in 965 by his grandson, Arnold the 
Second, surnamed Le Jeune, the son of his eldest son Baldwin, by his 
wife Matilda, the daughter of Conrad the Pacific, King of Aries, or of 
Herman Billing, Duke of Saxony. Soon after his accession, Lothaire, 
King of France, and William the Second, Count of Ponthieu, took ad- 
vantage of his minority, and attacked his dominions. This Count was 
descended from Engilbert, Silentiary, or Secretary, to Charlemagne, whose 
daughter, Bertha, he married, and who created him Count, or Governor, 
of Ponthieu. He was a man of learning, and at last retired from the 
world, and was Abbot of Saint Riquier. William succeeded his father, 
Roger, in 9-57 at soonest. Having been informed by tradition, that 
the territories of his predecessor, Walbert, had reached to the sea, he 
claimed the same extent of dominion, raised an army to support his 
pretensions, and, with the assistance of the King of France, he conquered 
the Boulonnois, the counties of Saint Pol, and Guisnes, in 965 a . 

The ancient annals relate, that Count William divided his territories 
amongst his children, according to their different dispositions and pursuits. 
To the eldest, whose whole delight was in arms and horses, he assigned 
his principal lordship of Ponthieu. The second son, who was a great 
hunter, had the woods and lawns of Boulogne. To the third son, who 
employed himself in the tranquil pursuits of agriculture, he gave the fruitful 
lands of the lordship of Saint Pol. To the fourth, whose principal occu- 
pation was the pasturage of his flocks and herds, he was preparing to 
allot the appropriate territory of Guisnes, when one of those sudden 
events, which were not uncommon in those unsettled times, defeated his 
intention ; and his son was otherwise provided for, by a marriage with the 
daughter and heiress of Reinald, lord of Saint Valori b . 

; Hist de Cal. i. p. 487. 

1 Ibid. p. 409, 411, 422, 487, &c. 

' Duchesne, p. 5. Lambert, chap 15. Appendix, No. 1. 


This occurrence was the arrival of a Danish prince 1 , named Sigefrede, 
cousin to the King of Denmark, who, with a numerous band of adventurers, 
drawn from the northern countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, 
under the general names of Danes, or Normans, landed upon that coast, 
and took possession of the territory of Guisnes. The predatory habits of 
the Scandinavian nations, the recent success of Rollo, and others of their 
countrymen, and their beneficial establishments in France and England, 
were no doubt the principal incitements to this expedition, which had 
been preceded by several others on different parts of the same coast; but 
the immediate occasion of this attempt, and the reasons assigned tor it, 
have been differently stated by the original writers. Duchesne thinks it 
most probable, that, after Count William had subdued the Boulonnois, 
Saint Pol, and Guisnes, Count Arnold called in the assistance of the 
Danes, under Sigefrede and Cnute, to enable him to recover his dominions. 
But he admits that this is mere conjecture, unsupported by any of the 
original historians : and it seems inconsistent with the anger said to have 
been expressed by Arnold upon this invasion. There seems upon the 
whole no reason to disbelieve the circumstantial account given by Lambert, 
that Sigefrede was not only related to the King of Denmark, but that he 
was likewise a descendant of the blood of Walbert, Count of Ponthieu, 
Guisnes, and Saint Pol, and that he therefore claimed Guisnes as his 
lawful inheritance, and as having been unjustly detained from him by the 
Counts of Flanders, and Ponthieu. Upon whatever pretences he founded 
his claim, it is certain that he took possession of the country, with no 
opposition, probably about the year 96.5, being well received by the in- 
habitants as the descendant of their ancient sovereigns, and immediately 
built and fortified the castle, or, in the language of that age, the donjon, of 
Guisnes, and surrounded it with a double fosse" 1 . 

' l'n Prince Danois. L'Art de Verifier les Dates. 

' Appendix, No. III. 1. Lambert assigns the year 928 to this invasion, as does Meier, 
in his Annals of Flanders, and Pontanus, Rerum Danicarum Historia, p. 129. -• Duchesne 
supposes it not to have happened till 935 at the earliest. For this event did not take place 
till after William of Ponthieu had conquered Boulogne, Saint Pol, and Guisnes, from 
Arnold. But Arnold appears to have been in possession of Boulogne in 935; for, first, his 
brother Adolphus did not die till 933, or 934, when Arnold succeeded to the counties of 
Boulogne and St. Pol ; secondly, in the life of Saint Bertulph it is said, that Boulogne 

chap. i. SIGEFREDE. lo 

Count Arnold, the lord paramount, was extremely angry at this violent 
intrusion into his fief, and summoned Sigefrede to appear before him to 
answer for his conduct. The high character and courage of this prince 
had procured him the friendship of many of the knights and nobles in the 
court of Flanders. Amongst these was Cnute, the brother of the Kins; of 
Denmark, his own cousin, with whom he had lived upon terms of the 
closest intimacy, and who was in great estimation with Arnold. The 
occasion of his being in Flanders is not mentioned. Upon receiving the 
summons, Sigefrede called a council of his warriors, and, after hearing 
their different opinions, communicated to them his resolution of appearing- 
before the Count of Flanders in person. Relying upon his interest in 
that court, and full of confidence in his own courage, he repaired to 
Sithieu, or Saint Omer's, where he found Count Arnold surrounded by 
his nobles and knights, amusing themselves with martial games'". When 
he arrived there, " recollecting," to use the words of Lambert, " that 
" fortune favours the bold," with an intrepid countenance he entered the 
assembly, and made his obeisance to the Count, and his nobles, with ele- 
gance and urbanity. He was received in a friendly and respectful manner 
by his cousin Cnute, and the rest of the court. Count Arnold at first 
shewed the haughty indignation of an offended sovereign ; but the friends 

having fallen to Arnold, he caused the body of that saint to be translated to Harlebecque, 
in Flanders, by the assistance of Wigfrid, Bishop of Boulogne and Teroiienne; but the 
Chronicle of Flodoard relates, that he was not consecrated bishop of that place till 935. 
3. The Art de Verifier les Dates assigns a still later period, 965, for which there seems to 
be good reason, assuming that the invasion did not take place till after the conquest of the 
Count of Ponthieu. 1. Lothario, who assisted William, did not begin his reign till 954. 
2. Count William did not succeed till 957 at the earliest. 3. Meier, lib. ii. Annul. Fland. 
and some other Flemish and French historians, relate, that the counties of Boulogne, &c. 
were not conquered by Count William till after the death of Arnold I which happened in 
965. Without being perfectly satisfied, I have adopted the opinion of the Benedictine, as 
a submission to the authority of a learned chronologist. It is often not easy to ascertain 
the exact date of events in those obscure periods, nor is it of much consequence. 

' Sit-Diu, or Sithiu, originally called Hebbin-gahem, was at first only a small village. 
Saint Omer, or Audemar, bishop of Teroiienne and Boulogne, in 636, built an hospital and 
a church there, which afterwards became the cathedral of the bishoprick of St. Omer. He 
gave St. Bertin, a fellow-labourer, a place near St. Omer's, where he built a monastery. 
Flence the names of St. Omer's, and the Abbey of St. Bertin. The two institutions had a 
law-suit for the possession of the body of their founder. Hist, de Cal. i. 365, 371. 


of Sigefrede interceded for him, and their repeated solicitations at length 
succeeded in mitigating the prince's anger. He held out to Sigefrede the 
right-hand of reconciliation, and friendship. The violence of the first 
occupation was overlooked, and Arnold deigned to bestow, and Sigefrede 
condescended to accept, the lordship of Guisnes, as a fief of the Counts of 
Flanders. The solemn ceremonies of investiture, fealty, and homage, 
were duly performed, and Sigefrede thus became the first Count of that 
territory, which he transmitted quietly to his posterity f . 

He is described as a man noble in mind, and illustrious in family; 
I nave in all military affairs ; of the highest rank, and greatly honoured, in 
Ins own country of Denmark, as the cousin-merman of the King, and 
second only to him in dignity g . 

Sigefrede married Elstrude, the daughter of Count Arnold the Great, 
and his wife Alice de Yennandois, and who was named after her grand- 
mother, Elstrude, the daughter of King Alfred. He died soon after his 
marriage, leaving his wife pregnant with a son, who succeeded him in his 
titles and property. 

It is related by some of the original historians, with many flowers of 
rhetoric, that the princess had been previously corrupted by Sigefrede, and 
that he died wretchedly in consequence of his crime, despised and forsaken 
by the world h . This story is not considered as entitled to credit by 
Duchesne and Du Tillet, the celebrated French antiquaries, and is slightly 
alluded to by the learned Benedictine 1 . 

Nothing more is known of the history of the founder of the house of 
Guisnes. It must be supposed that he maintained his territories with the 
same valour and prudence by which he had acquired them ; that, as was 
usual in those feudal ages, alternately a lord and a vassal, he supported 

' See Appendix, No. III. 

6 Ibid. The proper name of this Count was Sigefrede, from the Saxon rige victory, 
and jrpebe peace. In German, sieg and friede ; in Danish, sejer and /red. These are all 
different dialects of one and the same language. Sifred is a contraction, and Sigefroy, and 
Sifroy, French corruptions of the name 

" Elstrudem, enjus Sifridus nimio languebat amore. Cui post multa amoris colloquia. 
furtivaque ardoris oblectamenta, demum nolenti velle, immo nolle volenti, sine vi ludendo 
vim intulit, et earn clanculo impraegnavit Lambert d'Ardres, chap. ii. 
Appendix, No. IV. 

chap. i. SIGEFREDE. 17 

his dignity and authority in his own court at his castle of Guisnes, and 
was a faithful counsellor, an upright judge, and a brave soldier, in the 
court of his sovereign of Flanders. The county of Guisnes was then in a 
wild and uncultivated state, and with few inhabitants. Naturally a good 
soil, it improved by degrees in wealth and population ; but at what oera the 
subordinate baronies and pairies were created perhaps is not easy to ascer- 
tain. It is certain that the full number existed in the reign of Baldwin 
the First, about a century afterwards k . 

But although the historians expressly state that Sigefrede was first 
cousin to the King of Denmark, they have not mentioned to which of 
them he was so nearly related, and have left it to be discovered from the 
chronology of that time. If his arrival in Picardy took place in the year 
965, Harold the Sixth, who reigned from 930 to 980, must have been 
upon the throne : and Harold the Fifth was the grand-father of that 
sovereign, of Sigefrede, and his cousin Cnute; as he was the great great 
grand-father of Cnute, who swayed the sceptre of England with so much 

The families of Guisnes, Le Blount, and Croke, have therefore a right 
to enumerate the Danish kings in the catalogue of their ancestors. Den- 
mark is one of the most ancient monarchies in Europe ; and it has been 
observed, by no mean authority, that the regularity, and clearness, of their 
genealogies, and chronology, are a strong presumption in favour of the 
truth and accuracy of their historians'. They trace a succession of sixty- 
six kings, from Dan, the first founder of the monarchy, in the year before 
Christ 1038, to Harold the Sixth, who died in the year after Christ 980. 
It is not my intention to write a history of Denmark, nor do I mean to 
claim for an ancestor a sovereign who was a contemporary of King David. 
In the history of Denmark, during the great migrations of the northern 
hive, from the year of Christ 401, to 699, there is an unfortunate chasm, 
in which the name of King Biorno alone can be discovered to occupy an 
extensive space of two hundred and ninety-eight years. In the revolutions 
which may have happened in the intermediate time, it is impossible to 
connect the genealogy of the preceding, with that of the subsequent, 

k Hist, de Cal i. 524. 

' Universal History, vol. xxxii. Modern Part. 


sovereigns. But from the election of Gormo the First, in the year of 
Christ 699, or 700, the descent of the royal family is regularly carried on 
from that monarch to Harold the Fifth, through a succession of thirteen 
monarchs of the same race, and chiefly in a descent of the title from father 
to son™. 

A strong and characteristic badge of the original Danish descent of this 
family was long preserved in the cry of war of the Counts of Guisnes, 
which was Berne, Berne; that is, bunt, burn. A dreadful exhortation 
to slaughter and destruction, in the language of their northern ancestors, 
whose expeditions were usually marked by sword and fire". 

From the marriage of Sigefrede with Elstrude, daughter of the Count of 
Flanders, the subsequent Counts of Guisnes, and the families descended 
from them, are related to some of the most illustrious houses in Europe. 

I. They are descended from Lideric, the first Count, or Forester, of 
Flanders, in the year 792. They were of course related to the subsequent 
Counts; to Matilda, the daughter of Baldwin the Fifth, who was the wife 
of William the Conqueror ; to the five Latin Emperors of Constantinople. 
of the houses of Flanders and Courtenay ; and to some of the principal 
heroes of the Crusades, Robert, Count of Flanders, Eustace, Count of 
Boulogne, and his two brothers, the celebrated Godfrey of Bouillon, and 
Count Baldwin. The Counts of Flanders intermarried likewise with 
many of the royal families of Europe, with daughl :rs of the Kings of 
Burgundy, Italy, and France". 

?. Elstrude was the grand-daughter and namesake of Elstrude, the 
daughter of Alfred the Great 1 ". 

:3. The Counts of Guisnes claim a direct descent from the Emperor 
Charlemagne, through Judith, the daughter of his grand-son, Charles 
le Chauve, and wife of Baldwin the First, Count of Flandersi. 

"' See Genealogy , No. 1 . 

" Duchesne, p. 9. 

° Oliver Uredius in Genealogia Comitum Flandrite. Du Cange, Familix Byzantina-, 
p. 2 1 7- See Genealogy, No. 2. 

'' The name of this princess is variously written in the English historians: Aelstryth, 
Elitrita, Aelfryth, Aelfthrythe, Elstrude, Ethelswide, and Elfrida. 

q Vix ulla est toto orbe Christiano praclara nobilitas, quin ex aliquo Comitum Flandria? 
tit oriunda, atque ita genus suum ad C'arolum Magnum referre possit. Uredius in Titulo. 

No. 1. 


Gormo I. 
elected A. D. 699, or 700. 

Gotrick, his son. 

Olaus III. his son. 

Hemming, his son. 

Siward and Ringo, cousins to Hemming. 

Regner, son of Siward. 

Ivar, son. 

Siward, the Snake-eyed, brother to Ivar. 

Eric, the Bern, his son. 

(Eric, the Usurper. A. D. 857-) 

Cnute, the Little, son of Eric the Bern. 

Frotho VI. son of Cnute, married Emma, 
daughter to the King of England. 

Gormo II. surnamed Angle, being born in 
England, son of Frotho. 

Harold V. son. 

, 1 , 

Gormo III. = Daughter of Edward the Name unknown. 

I elder king of England. ) 

' " I Sigefrede, first Count of Guisni 

Harold VI. Cnute. according to Lambert, &c. &c. 

F irst cousin to Sigefrede, A. D. 960. 

reigned from A. D. 930, 
to A. D. 980. 
Swen. A.D. 981. 

r I 

Harold. Cnute the Great, A. D. 1015. 

King of England. 


From the Universal History, Modern Purt, vol. 32 




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chap. i. SIGEFREDE. 19 

4. Another Judith, grandmother to the former, and the wife of Louis 
le Debonnaire, was the daughter of Guelph, Count of Weingarten, and 
Duke of Bavaria. Through her they claim relationship to the Dukes of 
Brunswick, the ancestors of the present royal family of Great Britain, the 
Dukes of Bavaria, and Saxony, and the Italian branches of that family, 
the Marquisses of Este, of Liguria, and Tuscany, and the present Dukes 
of Ferrara, and Modena. A noble race, which has been immortalized bv 
the splendid visions of Ariosto, and the more sober fictions of Tasso r . 

' Muratori, Antichita Estensi. Leibnitz, Origines Guelfics; and Gibbon's Antiquities 
of the House of Brunswick. 

t> 9 



Of the subsequent Counts of Guisnes, to the end of the first mule line. 

JLlIE posthumous son of Sigefrede was horn about the year 966. He 
was under the tutelage of Arnold le Jeune, Count of Flanders, his first 
cousin and godfather, by whom he was named Ardolphus,oi' Adolphus, 
in memory of his great uncle, the Count of Boulogne and Saint Pol, and 
Abbot of Saint Bertin's. Count Arnold superintended his education ; 
and when he arrived at an age capable of performing the duties of a knight 
and a sovereign, he conferred upon him the order of chivalry, and put him 
in possession of the county of Guisnes ; to which he generously added 
the rich and extensive lands of Bredenard, which were situated between 
the river Vonne, and the bridge of Neullay". 

Adolphus 's affections were engaged by the charms of Mahaut, or Ma- 
tildis, daughter of Ernicule, Count of Boulogne, and he obtained her in 
marriage. They had two sons ; of whom Raoul, or Rodolphus, succeeded 
him, and Roger died in his youth 1 '. 

Rodolphus, the third Count of Guisnes, married Rosella, the daugh- 
ter of Hugh the Second, Count of Saint Pol. She was so denominated, 
according to Lambert, from her roseate odours, or the roses in her com- 
plexion; but more probably after Rosella, the wife of Arnold le Jeune, 
surnamed Royne, or the Queen, from being the daughter of Berenger, 
King of Italy. This marriage did not take place till after the year 1000, 
but how long after that time is uncertain 1 . 

It is related, that he distinguished himself by his military achievements, 
under kings and princes, in various and remote parts of the world, yet the 
particulars of his warfare have not been specified. The ecclesiastics, the 
only writers of this period, too often omit civil and military transactions' 1 . 

1 Lambert, chap. 12, 13. " Ibid. chap. 14, 16 

Duchesne. d Ibid. 


Proud of his martial renown, and his noble descent, his magnificence in 
his establishments at home, and upon his war expeditions, was greater 
than his revenues could support 6 . To supply his extravagance he op- 
pressed his vassals, and all who were resident within his territories, with 
new exactions. He compelled them to pay annually a penny a head for 
all men, women, and children, who had lived there a year and a day, and 
fourpence upon every marriage and burial. A heavy tax when the 
precious metals were scarce ! He introduced likewise a degrading species 
of servitude, by which all his subjects were prohibited from carrying any 
other arms than clubs; perhaps to prevent their revolt at his oppressions. 
It was called Colvekerlia, or Massuerie, and continued for many years. 
This tax he transferred, by sale I suppose, to the lords of Hamme, as a 
perpetual feod f . 

To the great joy of the country, he was slain at a tournament at Paris, 
where he received two mortal wounds, and was thrown into the Seine. 
This happened before the year 1036 s . 

His eldest son and heir was named Eustace ; and he had besides, as 
Lambert informs us, other sons, who did not degenerate from the virtues 
of their father in arms and martial deeds ; and likewise daughters, whose 
lovely faces, and elegant forms, excited the admiration of the age' 1 . 

Eustace, the fourth Count of Guisnes, was of a different moral cha- 

* Appendix, No. V. 

1 Lambert, chap. 36. In the Flemish language cotvc signified a club, keule in modern 
German, all derived from the Latin clavis, or an higher origin. Kcrle, as the Saxon carl, 
•was a countryman. Hence colvekerli, clavigeri rustici. The poll-tax was likewise com- 
prehended under the general term. It was often exacted with insult, and particularly 
from new-married women, and was considered as of a very slavish nature. Jgnominiosum 
omnino, pritsertim mulieribus recens miptis, servitutis genus videtur indicari. The 
editors of Du Cange in voce. I do not see what oppression it could iiave been to bear 
clubs. By the feodal law rustics were prohibited from carrying higher arms. Si qiiis 
rusticus arma, vel lanceam, portaverit, vel gladium, judex, in cujus potestate repirtus fuerit, 
vel arma tollat, vel viginti solidos pro ipsis recipiat a rustico. Feod. Lib. II. tit xxvii. 
sect. 5. 

s Ad execrabiles nundinas quas torneamenta vocant, says Lambert, chap. J 8. This 
shews how early they were in use. They were condemned by the Council of Lateran, in 
1164, under Alexander the Third, and persons slain in them were prohibited Christian 
burial. Decret. Greg. lib. v. tit. 13. 

" Appendix, No. VI. Lambert, and the Chronicle of St. Bertin. 


racter from his father, and treated his subjects with justice and mildness 1 . 
Little is known of him : he appears to have been living in the year 1052, 
and to have died soon after. His wife was Susanna de Grammes, daughter 
of Siger de Gramines, the most noble Chamberlain of Flanders, by whom 
he had Baldwin, his eldest son ; William, of whom nothing is said by 
Lambert; another son, named Remelin ; and two daughters, Adela, and 
Beatrice. He provided that all his children, both sons and daughters, 
should be educated in the liberal studies of literature : and his sons ex- 
celled in every military science, amongst the first young men of 
Flanders k . 

The fifth Count of Guisnes was Baldwin the First, who succeeded 
his father before the year 1065 ; since he was at the Court of Philip the 
First, King of France, and attested a charter of that date 1 . 

The proper name of his Countess, Adela, was superseded by that of 
Christiana, which was universally bestowed upon her for her piety. She 
is said to have been the daughter of Florent, or Florentin, a Duke of Lor- 
rain ; but as no duke of that name is known, Duchesne supposes that he 
was a powerful lord of that country, though not of ducal rank. According 
to other authors, she was the daughter of Bernard, Duke of Saxony, 
widow of Florent the First, Count of Holland, and was called Gertrude 
of Saxony m . 

In the war for the succession to the county of Flanders, in the year 
1070, he embraced the party of Robert le Frison, against the heroine and 
tyrant Richilda ; and in the year following displayed his valour in the 
battles of Montcassel and Broqueroies, in which she was defeated". 

Baldwin was no less religious than his Countess. His pious intention 
of founding a monastery on his domains, was promoted and accomplished 

' His subjects used to say of him, 

Ex re nomen habes, vivas, Conies, hie, et in aivum ! 
A pun upon his name, Eustatius; eo quod semper et ubique slaret in bono. Lambert, 
chap. 19, who adds himself, quod studuit, 

Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos. 
k Appendix, No. VII. Lambert, chap. 23. 
' Duchesne and Preuv. p. 19. 

m Lambert, chap. 25. Hist, de Cal. i. p. 517, who refers to Oudegherst and Scriverius. 
" L'Art de Verifier les Dates. Lambert, chap. 27. 

chap. ii. BALDWIN THE FIRST. 93 

by an accidental event. Upon a pilgrimage to Saint James in Galicia, in 
company with Enguerrand, lord of Lillers, and other noblemen, he fell 
sick, and was hospitably entertained at the Abbey of Charroux in Pictoir. 
In gratitude for this kindness, and edified by the exemplary regularity of 
that house, he agreed with the abbot that he should supply him with monks 
tor his intended foundation, which he immediately proceeded to carry into 
effect. For his new establishment he chose the town of Andres, about 
two miles from Guisnes, where he built a magnificent church, on the site 
of the chapel of Saint Medard, and founded a monastery, which was dedi- 
cated to Saint Saviour, and Saint Rotrude, whose remains had been mira- 
culously discovered' 1 . Monks from the Abbey of Charroux were trans- 
planted thither : it was richly endowed by the Count, and numerous other 
benefactors, and in ten years' time was possessed of a fourth part of the 
county of Guisnes '. It became one of the most considerable abbeys in 
France, and was adorned with the stately monuments of the Counts of 
Guisnes. The charter of foundation bears date in 1084, and it was con- 
firmed by the Bishop of Teroiienne in the same year. It was made sub- 
ject to the Abbey of Charroux, by which the abbot was elected, and to 
which it paid an annual rent of two marks of silver'. In 1211 the monks 
obtained from the Pope the privilege of electing their own abbot*. 

• Sancti Salvatoris Carofensis Monasterium. Lambert, chap. 2(3, 29, 30. 

p For the history of the discovery of the body of Saint Rotrude, see Appendix, 
No. VIII. 

' This appears by an act of Manasses. Duchesne, Preuv. p. 35. Cal. vol. i. 567- 

r Gallia Christiana, vol. x. p. 1602. 

5 Appendix, No. VIII. Extract from the Chronicle of Andres. The charter of founda- 
tion, and the bishop's confirmation, are printed by Duchesne, Preuv. p. 23, 25 The 
benefactions are all stated at length, and are very numerous. They consist of land, houses, 
mills, gardens, farms, tithes, and other property. Much of the land is described by days, 
terra quatuor dierum, prata triginta dierum; sometimes without mentioning the land, as 
quatuor dies, that is, as much land as a man can plough in a day with one plough, or a 
certain quantity of provisions for one day for the king's, or lord's, house. It occurs in 
Domesday book in the latter sense, as nox does likewise. Dimidia dies mellis. Una dies 
de firma. Firma trium noctium. Spelman, Ducange. Some of the benefactors give them- 
selves, as well as their property. Gotho dedit seipsum, dedit etiam totum pnedium. 
Eustachius, filius Hugonis fecit similiter Bernardus de Gisnes dedit hospitcm, (a sort of 
Villains, Ducange,) una cum eomitatu, et uxor ejus Gtrberga attrihuit seipsam cum pueris 
suis. Rainerus del Bruc, et Segechins uxor ejus dederunt semetipsos, et totum prtediunv 


It may not be uninteresting to relate the future history of this abbey. 
When King Edward the Third took Calais, in 1347, the monks retired to 
Ardres, but afterwards returned, and reestablished the abbey. It was 
again destroyed by the troops of Henry the Eighth, when he took Bou- 
logne in 1.54;3, and was never rebuilt. No other monument of it afterwards 
remained than a house with a little chapel, at Ardres, which had been 
occupied by the monks in their secession, and retained the name of the 
Abbe Royal, and where the abbot of Ardres maintained a chaplain. T<> 
this small establishment were annexed the revenues of the ancient abbey, 
amounting to one thousand crowns, or three thousand livres a year. The 
body of Saint Rotrude was removed to the Abbey of Saint Bertin, where 
it continued to he one of its most valuable treasures 1 . 

The pious Adela died soon after this foundation, and was buried in the 
new monastery, where the solemn rites were performed by Gilbert, the 
first abbot. Her husband attended the funeral, and gave to the monks 
the use of the marshes of Ostingheken, to celebrate an anniversary f< >r the 
repose of her soul". 

Baldwin had afterwards a contest, both in writing and by arms, with 
Arnold the First, Lord or Baron of Ardres, who refused to do homage to 
him for his territories, which were held as fiefs of the county of Guisnes. 
These barons were become rich and powerful; and Arnold was supported 
by a potent ally, Robert the Second, Count of Flanders, to whom he 
surrendered his allodial lands, and his castle, to hold of him as fiefs x . 

Count Baldwin died seven years after his Countess, and was buried 
near her at Andres, about the year 1091. He is said to have profited by 
his liberal education, and the study of the holy Scriptures. He was brave 
as a warrior, and correct in his morals. To his subjects and soldiers he 
conducted himself as a brother, rather than a superior, and exacted no 

eorum Count Manasses, heir to Baldwin, agreed that each of his knights should give a 
carrueate of land, or a rent of one hundred shillings. There are the names of Orbertus 
Wiscardus, and his brother Otgrinus. As most of the lands granted were in the county of 
Guisnes, all the gifts passed in the court of the Count. Generalibus placitis apud Gisnes, 
praesentibus militibus, et laicis, placitum observantibus, regionis Guinensis. Pr. p. 38. 

' Hist, de Cal. i. p. 385, 583. 

" Mentioned in the Charter, p. 25. 

J L'Art de Verifier les Dates. 


more than his just dues. He was a protector of widows and orphans, 
and a strenuous defender of the Church. Such is the excellent character 
given of him bv Lambert, and which is not contradicted by any of his 
actions with which we are acquainted 7 . 

His children were six in number : Manasses, or Robert, the eldest : 
Fulk, who accompanied his cousin Robert, Count of Flanders, Eustace of 
Boulogne, Godfrey, and Baldwin, in the first crusade, and was made 
Count of Baruth, or Berytus, where he was buried : Guy, Count of 
Forois, a place which the geographical knowledge of Duchesne has not 
enabled him to discover 2 : Hugh, first a priest, and archdeacon of the 
church of Teroiienne, and who afterwards adopted the profession of a 
soldier, and received the order of knighthood. His eldest daughter, 
Adela, married Jeffrey, lord of Semur in the Brionnois, and " resembling 
" her mother, shone like the sun for piety." Gisla, the youngest, 
married Wenemar, Chatelain of Ghent, of whom we shall have occasion 
to speak hereafter*. 

The sixth and last Count of Guisnes, in the male line, and who suc- 
ceeded his father about the year 1091, was christened Robert, after his 
godfather, Robert le Frison, Count of Flanders, but he was usually called 
Manasses; for it was customary in those times, as we are informed by 
Lambert, for persons to assume two names' 1 . This nobleman frequented 
the court of William Rufus, and was in great favour with that king. He 
bestowed upon him in marriage an English lady of considerable pos- 
sessions, Emma of Tancarville, daughter of Robert Lord of Tancarville, 
and Chamberlain of Normandy, and who was the widow of Odo of 
Folkestone 1 '. 

The oppressive services of Colvekerlia, which had been imposed upon 

* Lambert, chap. 24. 

1 L'Art de Verifier les Dates says, (vol. ii. p. 7&5,) Gui, ch'un modeme, trompe par 
Lambert, fait Compte de Foris, en vertu d'un pretendu marriage avec la fille du Compte 
de Foris. 

a Lambert, chap. 25. 

" Ex quo (Balduino, Christiana) suscepit famosissimae nobilitatis sobolem, Robertum vi- 
delicet, qui ut tunc temporis erat consuetudo, et adhuc plerumque tenetur, binomius erat, 
sed suppressa vocationis proprietate, inolescente usus assuetudine, dictus est Manasses. 
Lambert, chap. 25, 33. 

c Lambert, chap. 35. 



the people of Guisnes by Hodolphus, still continued, and had been trans- 
ferred by him to the lords of Hamme. A case, in which the fine upon 
marriage had been demanded with insolence, and indecency, from a bride, 
whose husband, William de Bocherdis, a vavassor, had resided in the 
country just long enough to bring him within the reach of the law, 
gave good reason tor complaint. Havidis, the bride, applied to the 
Countess, who interceded in her favour with her husband. He abolished 
the grievance, and granted lands to the lord of Hamme, as a compen- 
sation for the perquisites which he lost by this emancipation' 1 . 

Manasses was engaged in hostilities with Arnold the Second, Lord of 
Ardres, in 1093, because, after the example of his father, he had trans- 
ferred to the Count of Flanders the feudal duties which he owed to the 
Count of Guisnes. In the course of this war, Arnold was besieged in 
Ardres. The city was taken, and he was compelled to retire into the 
castle, or donjon. This likewise being nearly forced, he collected his 
strength, and made a vigorous sortie with such effect, that he drove 
Manasses from his territories, and almost to Guisnes. A peace ensued, 
the Lord of Ardres at length acknowledged the sovereignty of the Count 
of Guisnes, and the princes were completely reconciled 1 '. 

The remaining part of the history of this Count is confined to Ins 
benefactions to religious houses. By a charter, without date, but cer- 
tainly executed before the year 1097 f , at the petition of Gilbert, abbot of 
Andres, he confirmed all former, and all future, grants to that monastery. 
It specifies minutely all preceding benefactions, which are very numerous. 
He likewise decreed that none of his successors, or vassals, or any lay 
persons whatever, should exercise anv jurisdiction, or feudal rights, over 
the abbey, or any of its possessions, but that they should be subject 
only to the abbot and monks. Offenders against this privilege were to 
have their lands sequestered, and to pay a fine of one hundred pounds of 

'' Lambert, chap. fi6. Lambert calls him, Veteranus sive Vavassorius ; upon which 
Ducange in voce observes, Nondum mihi perspectum fateor cur Veteranorum nomencla- 
ture vavassores donet Lambertus Ardensis. 

e Duchesne, p. <)4. Lambert, Preuv. p. 1.59, 163. L'Art de Verifier les Dates, torn. ii. 
p. 7S6. 

' A charter of that date refers to it. Preuv. p. 37. 

chap. ii. MANASSES. 27 

silver to the Count 5 . In 1 102, he subscribed, as a witness, a donation 
to the abbey of Saint Bertin, and in 1119, some privileges were granted 
to the same through his hands' 1 . 

In conjunction with his Countess Emma, lie founded an abbey 
for nuns of the order of Saint Benedict, in the suburbs of Guisnes, in 
honour of the Holy Trinity, and Saint Leonard. The principal part of 
the endowment was from the Countess's possessions in England, and it 
was placed under the government of the Abbey of St. Bertin. Sybella, a 
lady from Lorrain, and related to Manasses's mother, was the first 
abbess'. Afterwards he bestowed upon it some churches and tithes in 
England, part of his lady's marriage-portion, and which, being of 
an ecclesiastical nature, he considered it as sinful for a layman to 
enjoy. These were the church of Niguenton, the churches or chapels of 
Alschot, and Celpham, and the tithes of Herst, and Bliseinghes, all in the 
diocese of Canterbury. The grants were confirmed by William, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and possession was delivered by him, and Henry 
his Archdeacon. The original charter of foundation bears date in 111/; 
that of these farther gifts in 1120, and it is sealed with the seals of the 
Count and the Countess*. By other charters without date he gave to 
the same monastery the tithes of all cheese, cider', apples, wool, and 
sheep, which belonged to him in England, and woodbote, and right 
of common in Guisnes, with twenty-four measures of wheat from his mill" 1 . 
This abbey continued till Guisnes was restored to France in the reign 

'-' The charter itself from the Chronicle of Andres. Duchesne, Preuv. p. 35. Firmiter 
etiam statuimus, ut nulli successorum meorum, vel hominum, ejusdem Caenobii homines 
liceat ad suam, vel cujuslibet laicalis personae, justitiam cogere, nisi ante abbatem ; vel 
coacti vam petitionem, seu incisuram super ipsos instituere, vel animalia eorum suis servitiis 
mancipare, vel quidlibet ex eorum substantiis auferre ; sed omnia pranominata et omnia 
ad idem monasterium pertinentia, sub potestate et justitia abbatis et monachorum libera 
omnino in perpetuum permaneant. Petitio, a tax. Incisura, the same. French, taille, 
tallia, talliage. Ducange. 

" Archives of St. Bertin, p. 38. 

1 Hist. Cal. i. p. 567. Chron. of St. Bertin. Duch. Pr. p. 41. 38. Gallia Christiana, 
vol. x. p. lb'06. 

k See the second charter in the Appendix. No. IX. 

' Sicera. 

m Archives of St. Leonard's transferred to Bourbourg. Duch. Pr. 40. 
E 2 


of Queen Mary, when the nuns were deprived of their English revenues, 
and their French property was transferred to the Benedictine nuns of 

In 1124 he commuted some services of personal labour, which wen- 
performed by the inhabitants of Scales, now Escalle, for a pecuniary rent, 
and on condition that when a ship arrived from England, they should carry 
his goods from thence to his castle, three times a year, and should assist 
him in his wars . In 1127, he made another grant to Saint BertinV. 
The church of Andres, and the spacious infirmary which was built by 
Rodolphus de Dovera, the friend and fellow-soldier of Manasses, having 
been burnt by lightning, he rebuilt them, with the assistance of other 
noblemen 4 . 

Soon after, oppressed by years and sickness, and full of trouble from 
the state of his family, he caused himself to be carried to the abbey of 
Andres, assumed the habit of a monk, and in a few days rendered up 
his spirit, in the arms of Peter, the abbot, in the year 1137. His 
widow retired to the abbey of Saint Leonard, and did not long survive her 
husband r . 

Count Manasses was of a robust make, and a gigantic size, but his 
countenance was beautiful, and his form elegant. He was dignified in his 
appearance, amiable for his virtues, and universally beloved. In his 
solemn acts he styled himself, Robert, by the grace of God, Count of 
Guisnes, which did not denote an independent sovereignty, but a great- 
ness and power more than common. He maintained great state, and 
amongst the witnesses to his charters, we find the names of some of his 
officers, Elembert, Vice-count, Baldwin, Constable, William and Manasses, 
Sewers, and Eustace, Esquire to the Countess' . Whatever may be the 
opinion of modern times to the contrary, the noblemen who bestowed 
such large revenues upon the monasteries were real benefactors to society. 
The lands of the religious houses were better cultivated, and improved, 

n Hist, de Cal. i. p. 568. ° Duch. Pr. p. 40. * Ibid. 

i Chronicle of Andres, Duch. p. 41. r Lambert, c. 49, 51. 

s Duch. Pr. p. 40. Hist, de Cal. i. p. 555. Comes Manasses elegantissimae formas specie 
laudabilis, essentia staturii giganteus apparuit, et personali auctoritate grandaevus, facie 
decorus, et aspectu, im6 virtute, robustus, omnibus amabilis. Lambert, chap. 36. in fine. 
This appears in some measure from his seal. 



than those of the laity ; and their tenants were used with more kindness, 
and exempted from the hardships of military service. The poor were 
relieved ; learning was preserved, and communicated ; means of educa- 
tion were supplied ; and religion was maintained, and propagated. 

Manasses, by his Countess Emma, had only one daughter, named 
Sibylla, or Rose, whom they married to Henry de Grand, Chatelain of 
Bourbourg. She died before her father and mother, in child-birth with 
Beatrice her sole offspring. After her death Henry married Beatrice de 
Gand, of the family of the lords of Alost. Manasses appears likewise to 
have had a daughter called Ade, but it is probable that she was not by 
Emma of Tancarville. He had likewise, before his marriage, a natural 
daughter named Adelaide, by a fair damsel of Guisnes. She was married 
to Eustace of Balinghen, and had five sons and a daughter. Her second 
husband was Daniel, brother to Siger, the second, Chatelain of Ghent 1 . 

The following are the seals of Manasses and Emma, annexed to their 
charter of 1 120, which is in the Appendix". 

Lambert, chap. 34, 

Duchesne, Preuv. p. 39 


Beatrice, the only hope of the family, was of a weak and sickly consti- 
tution, and was afflicted with the stone and gravel". At a proper age her 
grandfather procured a suitable match for her with a powerful English 
nobleman, Alberic de Vere, called by the French writers, Albertus 
Aper, or Sanglier, who was Lord Chamberlain, and Chief Justice of 
England, and the favourite of Henry the First, and King Stephen*. 

" Calculosa, et morbida. Lambert. 

' Lambert, chap. 43. The crest of the family of Vere is a boar, aper, sanglier — 
Edmondson's Baronage. Dugdale in his Baronage, i. p. 188. is wrong in stating that it was 
the Jirst Alberic de Vere, who married Beatrice de Guisnes. For, 

1 . It is certain that the first Alberic had a wife named Beatrice ; but it is equally certain 
that she had five sons and a daughter. In the Monasticon, vol. i p. 436 — 438. isacharter 
by which Alberic, and his wife Beatrice, with their sons, Alberic, Roger, Robert, and 
William, grant the Church of Kensington and other gifts to the Abbey of Abingdon, for 
the soul of their son Geoffrey, deceased. And there was a daughter named Rose, married 
to Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex. Beatrice de Guisnes had no children, by the 
concurring testimony of the historians, (Lambert, Preuv. p. 32. Duchesne, p. 30.) it is fully 
confirmed likewise by the course of events, the fears of Manasscs that he should leave no 
lineal descendants, and his divorcing, and marrying again, his granddaughter Beatrice, with 
the view of having an heir, (Preuv. p 30, 32, &c.) her bad health, for Lambert says, that 
she was matrimonii debitum solvere pertimeseentem, (chap. 50.) Arnold's readiness to seize 
the country as next heir, De Vere's neglect, and no son's appearing to claim the county 
after her death. The reason assigned for De Vere's not returning was, quod de vitd uxuris 
sua' non nimus quam de Guisnensis terrte comitalu disperaret. 

2. The time does not agree. The Charter to Abingdon Abbey was confirmed by King 
Henry the First in the year 1111, when seizin was delivered by Picot, Alberic's Dapifer, 
or Sewer, to Faritius the Abbot. A few years afterwards (non multorum post decursum 
annonmi) Alberic died, as is stated in the register of the Abbey. (Dugdale, eod. loco.) 
But our Alberic was living at the death of Manasses in 113?. 

3. Our Alberic was a favourite with King Stephen, who did not begin to reign till 1137, 
when the first Alberic must have been dead. 

Alberic de Vere therefore, who married Beatrice de Guisnes, must have been the second 
Alberic, the son of the former, who was killed at London, in 1139, the fifth year of 
Stephen, and is related by the English historians to have been in the confidence of that 
monarch and to have been much employed by him in affairs of importance. He was made 
Lord Great Chamberlain, and one of the King's Justices by Henry the First, was a man 
of talents and eloquence, and was sent by Stephen to appear for him at the ecclesiastical 
synod which was held in the fourth year of his reign. The turbulence of that reign, and 
the important situation which was held by De Vere, the sickly state of his wife, the want 
of children by her, the probability of her death, and the consequent loss of Guisnes, will 

chap. ii. BEATRICE, ALBERIC. 31 

In case of her death without children, a very probable event, the next 
heir was Gisla the sister of Manasses, who was married to Wenemar, 
Chatelain of Ghent. Their son Arnold was an ambitious and enter- 
prizing prince, who looked forward to the succession, and was prepared 
to seize upon Guisnes the first opportunity. With this view, even in the 
lifetime of Manasses, he had obtained from him the lordship of Tour- 
nehem, within the county of Guisnes, which afforded him a castle, and a 
station, within the territory y . 

Immediately upon the death of Manasses, in 1 137, Henry of Bourbours; 
sent over to England to inform his son-in-law, of that event, and of the 
designs of Arnold. Alberic came over, took possession of Guisnes, 
which was thus fallen to him in right of his wife, and did homage to Thierri 
D'Alsace, Count of Flanders. He returned immediately to England, to 
receive seizin from King Stephen of his wife's lands in that country, 
leaving her in Flanders with her father, and having appointed Arnold 
de Hammes, surnamed the Glutton, Bailiff, or Governor of Guisnes. 
Fully engaged by his honourable offices in England, having no prospect of 
children to continue the succession in his own family, and finding little 
attraction in his wife's infirmities, he never came back to Flanders 2 . 

In the mean time, Arnold, taking advantage of his absence, formed a 
powerful confederacy with William Castellan of St. Omer's, his father-in- 
law, and others, and seized upon the castle of Guisnes. He was opposed 
by Henry of Bourbourg, and his allies ; the war was carried on with 

sufficiently account for his not going over to that country, and supporting a right which 
was so very precarious. 

Beatrice de Guisnes was his second wife His first wife by whom he had seven chil- 
dren, was Adeliza, the daughter of Roger de Iveri, and Adeline de Grentmaisnel, as is 
fully proved by Kennet, (Parochial Antiq. p. 81. &c. ed. 1695.) who states it as a palpable 
mistake in Dugdale, transcribed from Leland, that she was the daughter of Gilbert de 
Clare. (Baronage, vol. i. p. 188.) 

It should seem that the title of Count of Guisnes was continued in the family of De 
Vere, for we find the arms of Aubrey de Vere, Earl of Gyne, and Oxeford, in the reign of 
Henry the Second, videlicet, quarterly, gules, and or. In the first quarter a mullet of the 
second, (Ashmole's MSS. vol. 797.) 

y Lambert, chap. 44, 45, 50. 

1 Ibid. 


various success, in which Guisnes was a scene of devastation ; and at 
length Arnold obtained complete possession". During this time, in 
vain did the partizans of Beatrice press De Vere to appear, and defend 
his wife's property. In this distressed state of her affairs, Baldwin, 
Lord of Ardres, made a proposal to Henry of Bourbourg, that if he 
would separate his daughter from De Vere, and give her to him in 
marriage, he would assist him in the recovery of Guisnes. The offer 
was accepted, and Beatrice was sent over to England under the care of a 
priest of Saint Omer's, and other attendants. Her ill-health, and other 
causes, were assigned as reasons for a separation ; De Vere consented, and 
a legal sentence of divorce- was pronounced by an ecclesiastical court. 
She returned to her father, and was married to Baldwin, with the consent of 
her liege Lord the Count of Flanders, but she died in a tew days after the 
celebration of the nuptials, about the year 1142, and was buried in the 
monastery of Saint Mary de la Capelle. Her husband, Baldwin, soon 
after went to Palestine with Louis, King of France, and Thierri. Count 
of Flanders, and died there in 1 146. On the death of Beatrice, Henry of 
Bourbourg quitted Guisnes, and left the undisturbed possession to 
Arnold, whose father, Wenemar, and his mother Gisla, being both dead, 
her rights now fully centered in him, and he thus became the first Count 
of Guisnes, of the second race, or of the house of Ghent. But Alberic, 
and Baldwin of Ardres, are enumerated as the seventh and eighth 
Counts 1 '. 

1 Lambert, chap. 5-2 — 59- This war is described in verse by Lambert, who was a 
contemporary, in chap. 55. 

h Lambert, chap. 59, 60, 6l, 62, 65. 

chap. in. LE BLOUNT. 33 


Of the father of Robert and William le Blount. 

HAVING thus given the history of this family till the extinction of the 
male line, and beyond the Norman invasion, it remains to ascertain which 
of these Counts was the father of Robert and William le Blount. 

That they were the sons of a Count of Guisnes is sufficiently established 
by the records of the Herald's office, the tradition of the family, and the 
unanimous concurrence of every genealogical authority 11 . And since it is 
evident, from the high rank which they held in William the Conqueror's 
army, and the extensive lordships which he bestowed upon them, that they 
were of a noble and illustrious family, there is no reason to question these 
uniform accounts h . 

It may however be observed upon the history of the Counts of Guisnes, 
as related by the French historians, 

First, That the surname of le Blount does not there appear. 

Secondly, That there are no three brothers mentioned, of whom two 
were named Robert and William. 

* This family of Blount, Blond, Blund, or le Blond, so named from fairness of com- 
plexion, is of noble extraction. The first mentioned in the records of the Herald's office are 
Robert le Blond, son of le Blond, Lord of Guisnes in Normandy, and William le Blund, 
who is supposed by Sir William Dugdale and others to be the brother of Robert Gene- 
alogical Table by Ralph Bigland, Esq. Garter King at Arms, in Nash's History of Wor- 
cestershire, vol. ii. p. 163. Le Blound, Lord of Guisnes, in France, had three sons, who 
came into England with William the Conqueror. One returned into France, the other 
two, Sir Robert, and Sir William le Blound, remained in England, and gave a beginning 
to all the Blounts in the kingdom. Collins, or rather Wootton, from the family. Baronetage, 
vol. ii p. 367. and vol. iii. p. 665. The many genealogies in the Harleian collection, that 
of Rawlinson, and all the manuscripts, agree upon this point. 

" Camden styles Gilbert le Blount, son of Robert le Blount, magna nobilitatis vir. Bri- 
tannia, in Suffolk. Ixworth. 


Thirdly, That no notice is taken that any of the family went over with 
Duke William. 

Fourthly, That the coat of arms of the Counts of Guisnes, being vairy, 
or, and azure, is different from that of the Le Blounts, whose most usual 
arms were lozengy, or, and sable: or nebuly of six pieces, or, and sable. 

1. To the first objection a decisive answer may be given. Hereditary 
surnames were unknown both in France and England, till about the time 
of William the Conqueror, when they began to be introduced into both 
countries ; and it was long after, not till about the reign of Edward the 
Second, before they came into general use. To search therefore for the 
ancient surnames of the royal and most ancient families of Europe is to 
seek after what did not exist". 

Surnames, indeed, given to individuals, were not uncommon, but they were 
arbitrary, and personal, and died with their possessors. They were mostly 
in the nature of sobriquets, or nicknames, both good and bad, and were 
derived from their country, their possessions, place of birth, or habitation ; 
from their occupations, professions, offices, and honours. Others were 
given on account of the qualities, or habits, the perfections, or the deiects 
of die mind, or the body, the colour of the complexion, or the hair, and 
even the most accidental occurrences, or associations. They are to be met 
with in the history of all the nations of Europe. Such were those of Edgar 
the Peaceable, Ethelred the Unready, Charles the Bald, Edmund Ironside, 
William Rufus, Geoffrey Grisogonel, or Grey-cloak, of Anjou, and in 
later times, Geoffrey Plantagenet, and the Duke of Guise, le Balafre. 

At length these surnames began to be something more permanent, and 
to be continued from father to son; and thus gradually became family 
names. This took place in England, in a considerable degree, upon the 
Norman conquest, and many of the nobles and knights, who came over, 
retained and transmitted to their posterity, the appellations, some of them 
merely incidental, which they had brought over with them. To this new 
practice I apprehend the survey of Domesday Book very much contri- 
buted. It bestowed upon the Norman adventurers " a local habitation, 
and a name." The authority of the great record of the nation gave 
stability to the names there entered, and their posterity, with the in- 

' Camden's Remains. 

chap. in. LE BLOUNT. 35 

heritance of the fief, would naturally transmit the surname of the first 
possessor, in which it stood registered in the rolls of their sovereign 

But even long after that period, family names were subject to great 
fluctuations, and frequently underwent many changes. It was not un- 
common for persons to take surnames different from their fathers. Of this 
many examples have occurred in our own country. For instance, Mor- 
timer and Warenne, the founders of the noble families of those names, 
were brothers, and sons of Walter de Sancto Martino. The first Gifford 
was the son of Osbert de Bolebec. The first Lovels, Montacutes, Stan- 
leys, and De Bergs, were respectively the sons of De Percival, Drogo 
Juvenis, de Aldeleigh, and Fitz-Adhelme. Besides these examples, 
Camden has given a remarkable instance of this practice, in a Cheshire 
family, not long after the Conquest, from authentic records. William 
Belward, lord of the Moiety of Malpasse, had two sons, Don David of 
Malpasse, surnamed le Clerk, and Richard. Don David had William his 
eldest son, surnamed de Malpasse. His second son Philip, was surnamed 
Gogh, one of the issue of whose eldest son took the name of Egerton. A 
third son, David, took the name of Golborne, and another that of Good- 
man. Richard, the other son of William Belward, had three sons, who 
all took different surnames, Thomas de Cotgrave, William de Overton, 
and Richard Little ; who had two sons, one named Ken-clarke, the other 
John Richardson. Here, as Camden observes, is the greatest variety of 
names, in one family, in only a few descents, and derived from most of 
the sources from whence they were usually deduced ; from their place of 
habitation, in Egerton, Cotgrave, and Overton; from their complexion, in 
Gogh, that is red ; from mental qualities, in Goodman ; from stature, in 
Richard Little; from learning, in Ken-clarke; and from the father's name, 
in Richardson d . Even till the Reformation it was not unusual for eccle- 
siastics, upon taking orders, to exchange their family name for that of their 
town. The family name e f William of Wykeham is unknown, and that of 
William of Waynflete was Paten, or Barbour'. 


d Camden's Remains. 

e Life of William of Wykeham, by Lowth, and of William of Waynflete by Dr. 
Chandler, who quotes Holinshead, p. 232, for the frequency of the practice. 
F 2 

36 THE COUNTS OF GU1SNES. hook i. 

The family of Guisnes therefore, according to the usage of the times, 
having no surname, and the individuals of it being designated only by their 
Christian names, with the addition usually of their hereditary lordship, it 
is not at all extraordinary that the two brothers, Robert and William, 
should have acquired a name which did not belong to their ancestors. 
Nor is it difficult to assign a reason fortius peculiar addition. The Danes 
were a fair people ; and whilst their countrymen in Normandy, who had 
migrated earlier, had been imbrowned by a longer residence in a more 
southern climate, the family of Sigefrede, who came over subsequently, 
might have still retained the national character of countenance; and the 
name of le Blount, in the Romance, or French dialect of the Latin tongue, 
would properly describe the light complexion and flaxen hair of the 
Scandinavian tribes'. 

It is not improbable that the Counts of Guisnes may have had the 
surname of le Blount, although it is not mentioned by the French historians. 
The accounts of the family in England expressly state the father of these 
two brothers to have been Le Blount, Lord of Guisnes. The name itself 
is of foreign origin, and such attributes were very common at this time, 
anil particularly amongst their kindred noblemen in the neighbouring pro- 
vinces. Amongst the old Counts of Boulogne we find a Guy a la Blanche 
Barbe, a surname not very unlike that of le Blount. Most of those names 
which were derived from personal qualities, of mind, or body, could 
scarcely have been assumed by the persons themselves, and must have 
been first given them by others, as a sort of nickname ; most certainly in 
those which implied some defect. Many of the family of Guisnes might 
have been called flaxen haired for a long time before they adopted the 
epithet as their surname, or before a regular historian would apply it to 

Second///, and thirdly. With respect to the second and third objec- 
tions, namely, that the names of Robert and William do not occur, and 
that no notice is taken that any of the family went over with William the 
Conqueror, it may be observed, that all ancient pedigrees are imperfect, 
and many of the collateral branches, and the names of the younger chil- 

1 Blundus, blondus, color capillorum flavus, qui nostvis Blond. Du Cange in voce. 
William Rufus is styled Blundus in some records. 

chap. in. LE BLOUNT. 37 

dren, are necessarily omitted. Most of the authentic accounts of the 
ancient families of Europe are taken from charters, grants to monasteries, 
and other conveyances, in which of course, the elder branches, who were 
possessed of the chief property, were the parties ; the younger brothers had 
nothing to bestow. It is to these benefactors likewise that the historians 
of those dark times have principally confined their narratives. The 
interests of their order, and the endowments of their churches, and 
monasteries, were the subjects most worthy of their attention. The 
adventures of the younger brothers of the family, and their embarking in 
an expedition which was so general, and extensive, were not objects of 
sufficient importance to find a place in those crude, and imperfect, 

The fourth objection, that the coat of arms of the Counts of Guisnes is 
different from that of le Blount, the history of armorial bearings will 
entirely dispel. With regard to the origin of coats of arms, which some 
heralds have carried up almost to Adam, an evident distinction must be 
made. The use of national, or personal, insignia, or symbols, taken from 
animals, and other objects, is very ancient. Such were the Roman eagles, 
and the peculiar standards of most nations. They were equally in use 
amongst the Northern barbarians, and were displayed by the feudal chief- 
tains upon their banners, their shields, and helmets. In the Crusades, 
when the knights of so many different nations were assembled, completely 
covered with mailed armour, from the necessity of avoiding confusion, 
these appropriate marks became more general, and they assumed a more 
fixed and invariable character, as religious, as national, as family, and as 
individual distinctions ; and the regulations which were unavoidably 
introduced, and observed, gradually formed the art, or science, of heraldry. 
The subjects which formed these different ensigns were naturally taken 
from those pursuits which were most honourable, and most accordant to 
the manners and mode of life of those who bore them ; from religion, war, 
and the chase. The cross of their Saviour, the arms and accoutrements of 
the knights, the war-horse and his trappings, the beasts of venery from the 
royal lion to the humble rabbit, the noble falcon, and his various prey, 
supplied an ample choice to gratify the fancy and taste of a gallant 

Whatever capricious ornaments therefore the knights might occasionally 


display upon their banners, or armour, coats of arms, properly so called, 
were unknown in the time of William the Conqueror. It was not till the 
crusades that these marks of distinction began to assume a regular form. 
It was not till a still later period, and by a gradual progress, that they 
became hereditary. This did not take place in France till the twelfth 
century 5 , and, in England, till the time of Henry the Third, in the 
thirteenth 1 '. The earliest known sculptured arms in this country are those 
on the shield of Geoffrey de Magnavilla, Earl of Essex, in the Temple 
Church, who died in 1144 s . The oldest seal with a coat of arms is the 
great seal of Richard the First, in 1 189, with two lions, or leopards, com- 
battant; his next seal, made in 1195, bore three leopards passant 1 '. In 
Montfaucon's Monuments of the French Monarchy, the first arms repre- 
sented are those of Geoffrei le Bel, Comte of Main, who died in 1150. 
The most ancient French seal with arms is said to have been that of Louis 
le Jeune, who began to reign in 11:37'. From the reign of Philip 
Augustus who began to reign in 11 SO, they are common. Amongst the 
seals of the Counts of Flanders, there is that of Robert le Frison, the 
tenth Count, affixed to a diploma of the year 1072; he is represented on 
horseback, and with a lion rampant on his shield. This may be thought an 

c In the ancient tapestry at Bayeux in Normandy, which represents the history of 
William the Conqueror, and Harold, and which was said to have been worked by Queen 
Matilda, but is certainly of contemporary date, and has been engraved by Montfaucon, in 
his Monuments de la Monarchic Francaise, vol. i. though the shields in general have no 
ensigns on them, there are four, on which are pictured two monsters, a cross, and some 
leaves. Kpon these Montfaucon, and there cannot be better authority, observes, Ces 
boucliers sont chargez de quelques figures, deux de monstres, un d'un croix, et l'autre de 
quelques fuilles, ce ne sont point des armoiries {nun tamen here gentllitia insignia erant.) II 
est certain qu'il n'y en avoit point encore en ces temps-la qui passassent de pere en fils. 
Les anciens mettoient souvent des marques a leur boucliers. Je ne donte point que depuis 
ces anciens Romains d'aatres nations n'aient quelquefois mis des marques sur leur 
boucliers, mais e'etoit un pur caprice. II n'y a eu de ces marques qui aient pass£ par 
succession aux families qu" au douzieme siecle. (Ilia vero insignia quels families distin- 
guuntur, qujeque ad filios et nepotes transierunt, duodecimo saculo cceperunt.) Montfaucon, I. 
p. 376. See Archaeol. vol. xvii. p. 85. and vol. xviii. p. 359. 

h Selden, Titles of Honour, Preface, p. 92. 

1 Gough's Introduction to his Sepulchral Monuments, p. 104. 

k Speed's History in Rich. I. 

1 Edmondson, p. 10. 

chap. in. LE BLOUNT. J9 

exception to the assertion, that arms were not in use so early. But in 
reality this must be referred to the arbitrary insignia occasionally adopted 
by knights. The lion does not appear again till it is introduced upon the 
shield of Philip of Alsace, to a diploma of 1163; after which it regularly 
becomes a coat of arms, and is on the seals of all the subsequent Counts m . 
In Scotland there is no evidence of any coats armorial before William the 
Lion, who began to reign in 1 16-5". The oldest monument of any of the 
Roman Pontiffs with a coat of arms, is that of Clement the Fourth, 
at Viterbo. He died in 1268°. In short, no well authenticated examples 
of coats of arms are to be found which can prove that they were regularly 
established, or, indeed, were in use, as proper heraldic insignia, till after 
the first crusade. But for a long time, even after those periods, they were 
far from being fixed and permanent, and changes and variations frequently 
occurred. In the same family the son often adopted a different coat 
of arms from his father, and one brother was distinguished from another 
by a different coat of arms. Innumerable examples of such variations are 
to be met with in England, and even so late as in the instances of the last 
Earls of Chester, Winchester, and Lincoln p . 

Since then, at the time of William the Conqueror's expedition, heraldry 
had no existence, neither the Counts of Guisnes, or their sons, could have 
had any coats of arms. When they were introduced into use, which was 
long after the Le Blounts had settled in England, it would have been no 
unusual occurrence that the two branches of the family, the one in 
Guisnes, and the other in England, should have adopted different bearings, 
from the want of mutual intercourse, or even for the very purpose of 

It is even far from being impossible, or improbable, that the two coats 
of arms were originally the same, and that the subsequent difference was 
the effect of time, or accident. The two coats, the one, vairy, or, and 
azure, and the other lozengy, or, and sable, and barry, nebuly, or, and 

m Ol. Uredii, Sigilla Com. Flandriae. 

° Lord Hale's Remarks on the History of Scotland. 

° Edmondson's Heraldry, p. 10. 

* The oldest grant of arms upon record is of Richard II. Richard the III. first erected 
the Heralds into a college. Rowe Mores' Dedication. The banners of the twelve tribes 
of Israel are not mentioned in the Scriptures, but were the fancies of the Rabbies. 


sable, in their general appearance, both in the forms, and the colours, have 
a considerable degree of resemblance, and either of them may have been 
an accidental, and gradual, or an intentional, deviation from the other. 
As the leopards of Normandy and Aquitain have imperceptibly become 
lions in the arms of England' 1 . 

At what period the Le Blounts acquired their coat of arms cannot 
perhaps be easily ascertained. The first authentic emblazonment which I 
have met with, is in the reign of Edward the First, in the catalogue of the 
knights of that period, in an ancient manuscript in the British Museum r . 

It does not appear that, in fact, the Counts of Guisnes had adopted any 
coat of arms till the latter end of the twelfth century. Upon examining 
the ample collection of proofs and documents annexed by Du Chesne to 
his history, the earliest seal we find of any of the Counts of Guisnes is to 
a charter of Count Manasses, of the year 1120, already given. The 
impression is of a man on horseback, with a lance, or some other weapon, 
and a shield, without any coat of arms. The seal of his wife Emma, is a 
woman with a book in one hand, and a flower in the other 8 . So the seal 
of Count Arnold, in 1151, is a man on horseback. The oldest seals in 
that collection, which have coats of arms, are those of the three sons of 
Arnold, Baldwin the Second, in 1202; William, about 1177; and Siger, 
Chatelain of Ghent, in 1190, and 1198. Those of Baldwin have the 
usual arms of Guisnes; William has, in addition, a bend; and Siger, a 
chevron; to distinguish their being younger brothers*. 

There is no direct proof, therefore, that the Counts of Guisnes had any 
coat of arms before the year 1177, but there is presumptive evidence, 
from their seals, that they had none as late as the year 1151. 

These objections are therefore of no weight, and the only point remain- 

1 As late as the reign of Edward I. the arms of England are thus blazoned. Le Roy 
de Engleterre porte de goules, a iii Lupards passauns de or. In an ancient manuscript 
containing nomina et arma nobilium qui cum Edwardo primo militabant. See more of 
this subsequently. Harleian RISS. No. 106S. p. 71. and in the Catalogue published by 
Rowe Mores from another manuscript. 

' Ibid. 

• For the charter itself see the Appendix, No. IX. 

' All these seals are engraved in the next chapter. They are taken from Duchesne. 

chap. in. LE BLOUNT. 41 

ing to be ascertained is which of the Counts of Guisnes was father to 
Robert Le Blount, and William Le Blount, the founders of the family in 
England, and to the other brother who returned to France. 

The reigning Count of Guisnes, at the time of William's expedition, 
was Baldwin, who succeeded to the lordship before the year 1065, and 
died in 1191. Four sons only are mentioned by Lambert, Manasses, or 
Robert, the eldest, Fulk, Guv, and Hugh. This Robert could not have 
been the same with Robert Le Blount, because he succeeded to the lord- 
ship of Guisnes, and, though he frequented the court of King William, 
certainly did not settle in England. The name of William is not amongst 
them. Unless therefore there were other sons not stated by Lambert, the 
two Le Blounts were not the sons of Baldwin, at that time Count of 

We must go back therefore to the late Count, Eustace, the father of 
Baldwin, and his children. Besides Baldwin, he is stated to have had a 
son, William, and another named Ramelin, but no other is mentioned. 
This might have been William Le Blount, for Lambert does not say what 
became of him. There might have been another brother named Robert, 
and Ramelin might have been the third who returned to France, and 
whose name is not known. These sons of Eustace were well qualified for 
the high prowess and the military rank of the Le Blounts, for it is said of 
them that they had been educated in the art of war amongst the first 
youths of Flanders". 

But as there is no positive authority for these suppositions', let us ascend 
another step, to Rodolphus or Raoul,the father of Eustace. Besides Eustace, 
he is stated by Lambert to have had other sons, " who did not degenerate 
" from their father's merits in warlike exploits and accomplishments"." 
Amongst these were probably Robert and William Le Blount, and the other 
brother. The age of these sons agrees perfectly as to time. Rodolphus 
married after the year 1000 ; it is not known how long after. If we 
suppose that he married about ths year 1010, his younger children would 
probably have been from forty to fifty years of age at the time of the Con- 
quest. Robert Le Blount must have been of that age, since his son 
Gilbert was capable of bearing arms, and accompanied William upon his 

" Appendix, No. VII. x Appendix, No. VI. 


expedition to England*. The high military command, bestowed upon the 
brothers, seems to imply a maturity of years and experience. In the 
painting at Ely, hereafter more particularly to be described, though a 
correct resemblance perhaps may not be found, yet even after repeated 
renovations, the general appearance was probably preserved, and in that of 
William Le Blount, we see the portrait of a warrior far advanced in life. 
Upon the whole therefore it seems best supported by facts, that the Le 
Blounts were the sons of Rodolphus, by his wife Rosella, daughter of the 
Count de Saint Pol. 

* Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. ii. p. 184. Gilbertus veniens in conquestu cum Willielmo. 

chap. iv. HOUSE OF GHENT. 43 


Of the Jamil if of'G/iisnes, of the second race, or House of Ghent. 

W E have now traced this family from its first origin to the end of the 
first race, to the time of the migration of the two brothers, and the detach- 
ment of the Le Blounts from the main stock. Before I proceed with their 
history, I shall relate the sequel of the fortunes of the house, and territory, 
of Guisnes. 

The descendants of Manasses having become extinct by the death of his 
grand-daughter Beatrice without issue, his next heir was Gisla, his 
youngest sister. At the death of Beatrice, his brothers and his other 
sisters were dead, and none of them had left children, except Adela, who 
had been married to the Lord of Semur, and had a son. She was older 
than Gisla, and had she been living would have had a claim prior to that 
of her sister. But she had been dead some time, and, by the laws of that 
country, representation did not take place, and therefore a younger sur- 
viving sister was preferred before the son of an elder sister deceased, as 
being nearer of kin to the last possessor. The son of Adela, Jeffrey, 
Lord of Semur, appeared at first as a competitor, but he soon abandoned 
his claim 3 . 

Gisla was married to Wenemar, Chatelain of Ghent, and Lord of 
Bornhem ; one of the first noblemen in Flanders. 

Ghent had formerly belonged to the Emperors, and was governed by 
Counts appointed by them. It was afterwards conquered by Arnold le 
Jeune, Count of Flanders, and, after being several times taken and retaken, 
was finally possessed by the Counts of Flanders, in the time of Baldwin 
le Barbu, about the year 1007. He appointed Lambert, a noble Lord, 
who was descended from the ancient Counts of Ghent, as the first heredi- 
tary Chatelain, Viscount, or Burg-grave of Ghent, and who was the 

1 Lambert, chap. 63. 
G 2 


ancestor of Wenemar. The ancient Counts, upon the first conquest, art- 
supposed to have retired to A lost, and to have continued Lords of that 
place, retaining their original name of De Gand\ 

The Chatelanie after this was therefore an hereditary fief, held of the 
Counts of Flanders. It was the first in rank, and the Chatelains had the 
title of Illustrious. They had large domains, within which they had the 
right of taxation, of haute justice, and other feudal perquisites. It was 
their prerogative likewise to bear, in person, or by a proper knight of their 
blood, the standard, or banner, of the city of Ghent, whenever the citizens 
went to war under their Lord and Prince, the Count of Flanders. And 
the city was bound to give them a white horse, and a salary of one hun- 
dred livres Parisis a day, when upon that honourable service . 

Wenemar, the son of Lambert the Second, who was grandson to the 
lirst Lambert, succeeded his father before l()8!s, in the Chatelanie of 
Ghent, and the Lordship of Bornhem. He was twice married. His 
first lady was named Lutgarde, and died without children. His second 
wife was Gisla de Guisnes. His name appears as a party, a guarantee, 
or a witness to various acts of that time, chiefly donations to monasteries, 
which, however important to those religious houses, are uninteresting to 
posterity. Having some contention with the people of Ghent, lie retired 
to William of Normandy, Count of Flanders, who sent him as his ambas- 
sador to the Emperor Lotharius. He enjoyed his government for fifty 
years, and died in 113S, leaving his widow Gisla de Guisnes, who sur- 
vived her husband, her brother Manasses, and her great niece Beatrice, 
and died about the year 1 W2. 

The children of Wenemar and Gisla. were Arnold, Wenemar, Sie>er, 

b Duchesne, p. 39, "99. Of the Lords of Alost, descended from the ancient Counts of 
Ghent, and named De Gand, was Gilbert de Gand, an ancestor of Beatrice, wife of 
Arnold II. Count of Guisnes, who came over with William the Conqueror, and received 
from him the Barony of Folkingham in Lincolnshire. His grandson, of the same name, 
was created Earl of Lincoln by King Stephen, and his brother, Robert De Gand, was Lord 
Chancellor. They were deprived of the Earldom of Lincoln, for supporting Louis of 
France, and Gilbert gave the Barony of Falkingham to Edward, eldest son of Henry the 
Third. Camden, Britann. in loco. Of the family of Alost were likewise the Lords of 

c Duchesne, p. 299. 

chap. iv. ARNOLD THE FIRST. + o 

Baldwin, first a monk and afterwards a knight, and Margaret, married to 
Steppo, a knight of Ghent. 

The seal of Wenemar affixed to a charter containing some grants to the 
Canons of Bornhem, without date, but perhaps about 1 1 1 C 2 J . 

From Gisla the title to the county of Guisnes descended to her eldest 
son Arnold the First, who thus became the stock of the Counts of 
Guisnes of the second race, or House of Ghent, as before mentioned. 

But Arnold did not succeed to the Chatelanie of Ghent, or the Lord- 
ship of Bornhem. After the death of Wenemar, Theodoric, Count of 
Flanders, displeased with Arnold for seizing upon Guisnes without his 
consent, took possession of Ghent, and appointed Roger, the Chatelain of 
Courtray, to be Chatelain. Arnold, to whom the office of right belonged, 
at length entered into a compromise, and agreed to surrender his claim, 
upon condition that Roger should marry his daughter, Margaret of Guisnes. 
as his second wife. Roger died in 1190, and leaving no children by 
Margaret, he was succeeded by Siger de Guisnes, her brother, and son to 
Arnold, who had married Peronella de Courtray, the daughter of Roger 

rt Duchesne, Pr. p. 67. from the archives of the Abbey of Afflegem. Of this and the other 
seals introduced, from the great accuracy of Duchesne, who copied them from the originals, 
and who has printed all the charters to which they are annexed, there can be no doubt of 
their authenticity. Yet he must have translated the inscriptions from their ancient form into 
a modern character. 

46 COUNTS OF GUISNES. book i. 

de Courtray, by his first wife, Sarah de Lille. From him descended 
the subsequent Chatelains, who bore the arms of Guisnes, as well as those 
of Ghent, till the time of Hugh the Second, who succeeded in 1232. 
And from these descended the Barons of Saint John Steene, and Ras- 
senghien, and the Counts of Isenghien, who will be hereafter mentioned f . 
The Lordship of Bornhem was likewise given to Siger f . 

We have before seen that Arnold, in the absence of Alberic de Vert-, 
had taken possession of Guisnes. Upon the death of Beatrice, and his 
mother Gisla, he became the ninth Count of Guisnes. He is 6aid to have 
been one of the bravest knights of his time, but the memory of his exploits 
has not survived. He was likewise a benetiictor to several churches, and 
monasteries, and, amongst other benefits, he bestowed upon that of Saint 
Bertin the privilege of passing over his lands in their way to England, 
without paying any impost. His wife was Matilda the daughter of 
William, Chatelain of Saint Omer's. Upon a journey to England, to visit 
the property which had descended to him from Emma of Tancarville, the 
wife of his uncle Manasses, he was attacked in his own house, at a town 
called Newton 8 , part of those possessions, by a disorder of which he died 
in 1 169, and his body was removed to the hospital of Santingheveld, to be 
buried according to his own desire 1 '. 

They had thirteen children ; Baldwin, William, Manasses, Siger, Chatelain 
of Ghent, Arnold, Margaret, married first to Eustace de Fiennes, secondly, 
to Roger, Chatelain of Courtray, and Ghent; Beatrice, who married first, 
William Faramus, Lord of Tingry, anrl afterwards Hugh, Chatelain of 
Beaumez ; A delis, who had two husbands likewise, Hugh Chatelain of 
Lille, and Robert de Waurin, Lord of Senghin ; Euphemia, Abbess of 
Saint Leonard's ; Lutgarde, a nun who succeeded her sister ; Matilda. 

c Lambert, chap. 61. Duchesne, 300, 303. 

f The arms of the Chatelains of Ghent are, sable, a chief, argent ; with a coronet of a 
circle of gold, enriched with precious stones, bearing pearls, nine in sight. 

5 Apud Niuentoniam. Lambert, chap. 73. Neuetona Chronicle of Ardres, p. 100. 

" Lambert, chap. 73. As to the name of this Count, Lambert calls him Arnold, Duch. 
Pr. p. 89. In charters, his name is signed Arnulfus, Ernoldus, and Arnulphus, page 01, 
In one charter he styles himself Ernoldus, but the seal to the same instrument has Ernulfus , 
P- 93, 94. Arnold the Second is called in a charter Arnoldus, his seal has Arnulfus. In 
another, both charter and seal have Arnulphus. 

chap. iv. BALDWIN THE SECOND. 47 

wife of Baldwin de Hondescote ; Gisla, married to Walter de Pollar, 
Lord of Aa in Brabant, and Prince of Tyberios, or Tabarie, in the Holy 
Land ; Agnes, who went to the Holy Land, married there, and was 

The seal of Count Arnold, from a charter without date, but probably 
about 1151, granting a free passage over his lands to the Abbey of St. 
Bertin k . 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Baldwin the Second, the 
tenth Count of Guisnes, who was christened of that name by his godfather 
Manasses, in memory of his own father. 

At a proper age, he received the honour of knighthood from the hands 
of Thomas a Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The holy prelate in 
person girt on his sword, fixed his spurs, and conferred the stroke of 
chivalry ; a ceremony which was attended with great splendour, and 
valuable gifts to the Archbishop ; for whom he ever after retained the 
highest veneration 1 . 

1 Lambert, chap. 48. 

k From the Archives of that Abbey. Duch. Pr. p. 93. 

1 Archipraesul Thomas, qui eidem Comiti dudum in signum militiae gladium lateri, et 
calcaria (o per omnia praedicandae in eximio Christi sacerdote humilitatis virtutem) sui 
militis pedibus adoptavit, et alapam collo ejus infixit; quern tamen in ipso militatoriae pro- 
motionis ejus die variis redemit munusculis, et lautioribus quam regalibus expensis. 


It may perhaps, at first sight, be thought extraordinary that a military 
order should be conferred by an ecclesiastic, yet a little consideration of 
the nature of chivalry will shew that it was perfectly in character. What- 
ever might have been the origin of this institution, and however it might 
afterwards have degenerated, whilst it existed in its purity and perfection, 
it was entirely founded in religion. Besides the other duties, which 
were of a moral and Christian nature, to defend the catholic faith, holy 
church, and her ministers, were some of its first obligations. The pre- 
vious preparations, the fasts, the night spent in prayer, the sermons, the 
sacrament, the baptisms, and the white habits, were the same ceremonies 
which accompanied the most solemn acts of religion. The form of con- 
ferring knighthood itself was purely religious. It was regularly performed 
at the altar, mass was celebrated, and a peculiar form of prayer was used, 
to be still seen in ancient rituals. By whomsoever applied, the sword 
was always blessed by a priest, and the words of investiture invoked the 
name of God, Saint Michael, and Saint George. Some of the orders, 
as the Knights Templars, and of Saint John of Jerusalem, were de- 
cidedly monastic, and all of them partook of the monastic nature in their 
form, their vows, and their obligations. They were even sometimes con- 
sidered as a species of priesthood, and the doubt whether all knights were 
not bound, like the clergy, to celibacy, was only dispelled by another 
indispensable part of their duty, love, and the service of the ladies m . 

It is no wonder, therefore, that an order so connected with religion, should 
be conferred by ecclesiastical, as well as lay, persons. Accordingly we 
find, that the right of making knights belonged to the pope, and other 
dignitaries of the church. In the Pontificale Romanum a form is pre- 
scribed for their creation by the pontiff in person". He claimed a right 
of authorizing others to make knights, even as late as the time of Julius 
the Third, in 1550. That pope, by his bull to the patriarchs of Con- 
stantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Aquileia, and other archbishops 
and bishops, being of his household chaplains, grants them the power of 

Language scarcely affords Lambert sufficient expressions for his admiration of Saint 
Thomas a Becket, qui fecit magnalia in terra iEgypti, terribilia in man', mirabilia in ccelo 
et in terra, super omnes, et in omnibus, magnitudinis virum, &c. Lambert, chap. 87. 

"' De Sainte Palaye. M6moires sur l'ancienne Chevalerie. 

" Selden, Titles of Honour, vol. iii. p. 498. 

chap. iv. BALDWIN THE SECOND. 49 

creating eight knights . The Emperor of Germany was always knighted 
by a bishop p . In ancient times in England they were created both by 
ecclesiastical, and lay subjects. The Abbot of Edmondsbury knighted 
many persons in the reign of William the Conqueror^. Lanfrank, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, bestowed that honour upon William Rufus, 
in his father's life time r . In a Synod, held at London, under Anselm, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1102, in the reign of Henry the First, it 
was enacted, that abbots should not create knights 8 ; though the practice 
seems still to have continued ; for, amongst other authorities, in the statutes 
of the abbey of Reading, which were confirmed by Henry the First, and 
subsequent kings, the abbot is prohibited from making knights, unless 
when he is habited in his sacred vestments'. 

In the year 1 170, when Thomas a Becket was returning to England, 
after his banishment, and passed through the county of Guisnes, he was 
met by Peter, Abbot of Saint Bertin's, by the command of Baldwin, and 
conducted from that monastery to the castle of Guisnes, where he was 
entertained with the greatest honour and magnificence. In the morning, 
before his departure, the Archbishop made a full confession of all his 
former life, to Geoffrey, Chaplain of the Count's chapel, humbly requesting 
his spiritual counsel, and commending himself to his prayers. He then 
took shipping for England, and his tragical end soon followed. Count 
Baldwin having afterwards obtained some relics of his body, placed them 
in the chapel of Saint Catherine, which he had built at de la Montoire". 

His father Arnold, in his life time, had procured for Baldwin the 
Second, a match of great prudence, with Christiana, sole daughter of his 
vassal, Arnold, Lord of Ardres, Viscount of Marc, and Lord of Colewide, 
by his wife Adeline, sister and heiress to Baldwin, Lord of Ardres, father 

Milites et equites deauratas octo, ac eisdem militibus solita equitum deauratorum 
insignia concedere. Selden, Titles of Honour, p. 506. 

p Ibid. p. 495. 

q Ingulphus, p. 901. 

' William of Malmsbury, lib. iv. cap. 1. 

3 Id. de gest. Pontif. ne abbates faciant milites. 

1 Nee faciat milites nisi in sacra veste Christi. Seld. ibid. 
" Chronicle of Ardres, and Lambert, chap. 75, 87. 



of Lambert the historian". Christiana was the heiress of those three 
lordships, which thus were united to Guisnes. Yet it was thought 
something of degradation for a lord to marry the daughter of his vassal. 
Arnold's father, Elembert, Lord of Marc and Colewide, having been 
appointed by the Count of Guisnes his viscount, or lieutenant, he and his 
successors ever after retained the title of Viscount of Marc>. 

In Christiana's fortune was included some property in England, the 
manor of Tollesbury, or Tolleshunt, in the parish of Tollesbury in Essex. 
Arnold d'Ardres possessed here three knights' fees about the reign of 
King John. He had likewise lands in Kent, Essex, and Bedfordshire, 
which he lost by supporting the barons against the king. In after times 
Robert de Guisnes gave to Fulk Basset, Bishop of London, the homage 
of Henry de Mark in this place. In 1251 the Count of Guisnes held 
Tolleshunt for two knights' fees, and Fulk Basset, brother and heir of the 
bishop, at his death in 1271, held it of the king in capite, by one knight's 
fee, of his honour of Boulogne 2 . 

After the death of his wife in childbed, which happened upon the 2d of 
July 1177*5 to console his affliction, he gave himself up to study; and 
though his education, like that of most of the nobility of those times, had 
been illiterate, he made great progress in philosophy, and the knowledge 
of the holy Scriptures. He collected a considerable library, of which he 
appointed Hesard de Hesdin librarian, and built an organ for the nuns at 
Guisnes. The defects of his education were supplied by the lectures of 
learned men, whom he invited to his castle, and maintained. Some of 
their labours in his service have been specified. Landeric de Wallanio 
translated for his use the Song of Solomon from Latin into Romance b , 
together with the Gospels for Sundays, and some Homilies. Alfrius 

1 Ad similitudinarium multorum exemplum nobilium, ducum, videlicet Regum et Impe- 
ratorum se humiliantium et propter similem causara sic uxoriantium, inclinavit se ad 
hominh sui filiam. Lambert, chap. 66, 67. 

» Duchesne, p. 66. The arms of the Lords of Ardres were, argent, an eagle displayed, 
sable. For a coronet a wreath set with pearls. Duchesne, Pr. p. 86, 90. 

1 Morant's Essex, vol. i. p. 400. Dugd. Bar. 

3 Lambert, chap. 85, 86. 

b De Latino in Romanum. Lambert. 

chap. iv. BALDWIN THE SECOND. 51 

interpreted the life of Anthony the monk. Another of the literati, named 
Master Godfrey, translated out of the same language a part of the Physics 
of Aristotle, as Simon de Bolonia did the work of Solinus de Natura 
Rerum. Walter, surnamed Silens, composed for him a book intitled 
Silentium, sive Romanum de Silentio, the Romance of Silence. Such 
was the Count's learning, that he was thought to equal Augustine in 
theology, Dionysius the Areopagite in philosophy, Thales the Milesian 
in mythology, and the most celebrated minstrels in lays of great ex- 
ploits . 

From his love of literature, Baldwin was naturally attached to the clergy, 
to whom it was almost exclusively confined. In 1 178 we find him enter- 
taining, in his castle at Ardres, William of Champagne, Archbishop of 
Rheims, who was returning from a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Thomas 
a Becket at Canterbury. In describing the feast given upon this occasion, 
Lambert relates a story strongly characteristic of the gross hospitality of 
the age. When the guests asked for water, to temper the strong wines 
which were set before them, the Cyprus, the Hi/ppocras, and the Claret", 
the attendants were directed, instead of water, to supply them with excel- 
lent wine of Auxerre'. The prelate perceiving the trick, " for there is 
" nothing hidden," says the historian, " which shall not be revealed'," 
asked his host for a cup of that water, without shewing his mistrust. The 
Count, arising from his seat, went to the side-board, and overturned and 
broke all the vessels of water, pretending drunkenness. " This piece of 
" politeness," says Lambert, "so much diverted the Archbishop, that he 
" promised to do whatever he should require, and at parting he presented 
" him with two vials of precious balsam 6 ." 

In 1179 he accompanied King Louis le Jeune to the tomb of Saint 

c Lambert, chap. SO, 81. In eantilenis, historiis, sive in eventuris nobilium, sive etiain 
in fabellis ignobilium, joculatores quosque nominatissimos aequiparare putaretur. Lambert, 
chap. 81. 

d Vino altero et altero Cyprico et Niseo, pigmentato, et clarificato. Lambert, chap. 37- 

e Authisiodoricum vinum pretiosissimum. 

f Nihil enim opertum quod non reveletur. Lambert, 87. 

? Lambert, chap 87- 

H 2 


Thomas a Becket. From Ushant they sailed to Dover, where his majesty 
was received with great honours by Henry the Second 11 . 

In the time of this Count an event happened of some importance to 
the county of Guisnes, the change of its sovereign lord. We have before 
seen, that it was a fief of the Counts of Flanders, as they were feuda- 
tories to the Emperor, and afterwards to the King of France. Philip 
of Alsace, Count of Flanders, married his niece Isabel, or Elizabeth, 
daughter of his sister Margaret, wife of the Count of Hainalt, to Philip 
Augustus, son of Lewis the Seventh, King of France, and gave as her 
portion a large part of the west of Flanders, and other territories. After 
the death of Philip of Alsace, at Acre, in 1190, there were many claims 
upon Flanders. His sister Margaret, as the next heir, took posses- 
sion of it, and her husband Baldwin, Count of Hainalt, and Namur, 
assumed the title of Count. Matilda of Portugal, the widow of Philip, 
was intitled to her dower; and Louis of France, the son of Philip 
Augustus, claimed what had been settled upon his mother at her mar- 
riage. After much discussion, a treaty, or a judicial decision, was made 
at Arras in 1191, by which the county of Flanders was divided, and 
Margaret had Bruges, Ghent, Ypres, Courtray, and Oudinard. Matilda, 
for her dower, Lisle, Douay, Orchies, l'Ecluse, Cassel, Furnes, Bailleul, 
Bourbourg, Berghes, Nieuport, and some other places. To Louis were 
ceded, in perpetuity, Arras, Bapaume, Aire, St. Omer's, Hedin, Lens, 
the homages of Boulogne, St. Pol, Guisnes, Lillers, Ardres, Richebourg, 
and all places to the south of Neuf-Fosse, comprising the Advowry of 

By this arrangement the Counts of Guisnes became at first the imme- 
diate vassals of the Crown of France. Afterwards Lewis the Eighth, the 
son of Philip Augustus, assigned these territories as the apannage of 
Robert of France, his youngest son. Saint Lewis erected them into a 
county, which was called Artois, in 1238, and Robert was created the first 
Count. The counties of Boulogne, Saint Pol, and Guisnes, were placed 

* Hoveden in anno 1179. 

1 Meyer. Annal. Flandriae. Anno 1191. Buzelini Ann. Gall. Fland. p. 248. 
p. 105. Hist, de Cal. i. filO Duchesne, Pr. p. 127. 

chap. iv. BALDWIN THE SECOND. 33 

under the tenure of Artois, and thus became arriere-fiefs of the Crown of 

Baldwin did not long observe the fidelity due to the French king. In 
1192 he joined the Count of Flanders, at that time at war with King 
Philip Augustus. The French King marched a powerful army into 
Flanders, and reduced them to terms. A treaty of peace was signed 
soon after at Peronne, in which Guisnes, and the other places, which were 
the portion of Isabel, were finally ceded to Philip Augustus 1 . 

In 1196, Baldwin was again in arms, another treaty was made at 
Bailleul, and again broken. Philip invaded his territories a second time, 
and he was obliged to surrender himself a prisoner, with his two sons, 
Giles and Siger m . He was restored to his liberty after some years con- 
finement, and, his health being injured by the imprisonment, he died on 
the 2d of January, in 1206. 

His funeral was attended by thirty-three children, which he had by his wife, 
and other ladies who shared his affections after her death. For though a 
lover of learning, he was not indifferent to the charms of the fair sex". 

Such was his prudence in the councils of princes, that he was said " to 
" shine as a precious gem in the crown of the kingdom of France, and a 
" valuable carbuncle in the diadem of the king of England ." So great was 
his wisdom and impartiality in the administration of the laws, that he was 

k Le Roi Saint Louis ayant erige, l'an 1238, 1' Artois en Compte, mit clans sa mouvance 
ceux de Boulogne, de Guisnes, et de S. Paul, qui devinrent par la des arriere-fiefs de la 
couronne. Du Tillet. Arnold III. in 1248, acknowledged, by an instrument under his seal, 
that he and his ancestors had done four liege homages to the Count of Artois; 1. for the 
Castle and County of Guisnes; 2. for the Barony of Ardres ; 3. for the Chatelanie of 
Langle; 4. for the land which he had at Saint Omer's. Duchesne, Preuv. p. 287- quatre 
hommages liges. 

1 Duchesne, p. "2. and Preuv. p. 127. ' 

m Chronicle of St. Bertin, Pr. p. 128. 

° His enemies said of him, In tantum in teneras exardescit puellas, et maxime virgines. 
quod nee David, nee filius ejus Salomon in tot juvencularum corruptione similis ejus esse 
creditur. Sed nee Jupiter quidem. Lambert admits that he had so many children, quod 
nee pater eorum nomina novit omnium. Lambert, chap. 89. 

In concilio principum adeo prudens dictus est idem Comes, quod in corona Regni 
Francise quasi gemma radiaret prcetiosa, et in diademate Regis Angliae quasi carbunculi 
petra corruscaret pretiosa. Lambert, chap. 88. 


surnamed the Just. However irregular in his pleasures, his conduct as a 
prince and a man, in other respects, was correct, and virtuous. He 
was a protector of orphans and widows, hospitable to strangers, and a 
benefactor to churches and monasteries. He built chapels, repaired 
cities and castles, established markets, drained marshes, and was in 
everv respect an active and public spirited sovereign. In his castle at 
Guisnes, he built a chapel, and, over the donjon, he erected a beautiful 
round bouse, covered with lead, and which contained so many chambers, 
and was so artfully contrived, that it was compared to the labyrinth of 
Daedalus p . 

The children of Baldwin the Second, and Christiana of Ardres, were ten. 
I. Arnold, 2. William, 3. Manasses, Lord of Rorichoue, and Tiembronne; 
4. Baldwin, Canon of the Church of Terouenne, and administrator of the 
Churches of Saint Peter near Montoir, of Stenentone, Stitede, Maling, 
and Baigtone, in England. He was killed in 1229, and his death was 
amply revenged by his nephew, Baldwin the Third, who compelled his 
murderers to go and bear arms in the Holy Land, for the good of his 
soul 'i. Though an ecclesiastic, he left children. 5. Giles Lord of Lotesse, 
(i. Siger, 7. Mabile, who married John de Chisoin, 8. Adeline, married to 
Baldwin de Marquise, and Hugh de Malaunoy. 9. Margaret, wedded to 
Rabodon de Rumes, 10. Matilda to William de Tiembronne. The 
names of five of his natural children are mentioned. 

The following Epitaph on the Countess Christiana, was written by 
Lambert r . 


p Lambert, chap. 76. He repaired the fortifications of Tournehem, and Audrvvick, and 
built Sangatte. Lambert, chap. 77, 86. 
q Lambert, chap. 71, 1% 79- 
' Lambert, chap. 71, 72. 



The seal and counter-seal of Baldwin the Second, to a charter dated in 
1202, confirming a grant of the tithes of Guisnes to the Abbey of St. 
Bertin 5 . 

The seal of his brother, William de Guisnes to a charter without date, 
but perhaps about 1177, by which he, his wife Flandrina, and his son 
William, grant to the Church of Saint Leonard the tithes of three parishes. 
St. Bertin, St. Peter, and St. Medard 1 . 

s Duchesne, Pr. p. 132. Archives of St. Bertin. ' Ibid. p. 100. From the Archives 

' that Abbey. 



The seal of his brother Siger, Chatelain of Ghent, and that of his wife, 
Petronilla de Courtray. It is a grant of tithes to the Abbey of Afflegem, 
and bears date 1 198". 

The seal of his sister Margaret, wife first of Eustace de Fiennes, and 
afterwards of Roger Chatelain of Courtray, to a charter without date, 
granted to the Abbey of St. Bavon at Ghent 1 . 

Duchesne, Pr. p. 464. Archives~6Tu*ie Abbey. * Ibid, p IOP, 

chap. iv. ARNOLD THE SECOND. 57 

He was succeeded by his son, Arnold the Second, the eleventh 
Count of Guisnes, who likewise inherited from his mother the Lordships 
of Ardres, Marc, and Colewide. Upon her death, in the year 1177, he 
immediately claimed those lordships of his father, and, obtaining possession, 
assumed the title of Lord of Ardres. His education was completed in 
the Court of Philip, Count of Flanders. After receiving the order of 
knighthood from his father, in 1181, he employed the two next years in 
frequenting tournaments? in different countries, under the conduct of a 
brave and prudent knight named Arnold de Cayeu z , and his nephew, who 
had been the companion of Prince Henry of England. In those early 
years, as we are informed by Lambert, he delighted to hear ancient men 
relate the edifying histories of the Roman Emperors, of Charlemagne, of 
Roland and Oliver, of King Arthur, the exploits of the English, of Gor- 
mund, Ysembarb, Tristan and Hisolda, Merlin and Merculf, the siege of 
Antioch, and the wars of Palestine 11 . 

His personal charms, and high reputation, inflamed the love of a noble 
widow, Ida, niece of the Count of Flanders, and, in her own right, 
Countess of Boulogne : wife, first, of Matthew, whose surname is un- 
known; secondly, of Gerard, Count of Gueldres; and thirdly, of Bethold, 
Duke of Loringhen. After many clandestine meetings, the Countess paid 
him a visit at Ardres, where he entertained her splendidly, and only per- 
mitted her to depart upon her promise to return. Every thing was ar- 
ranged, and the consent of Count Philip was obtained, yet Arnold was at 
last disappointed of the lady, and the county of Boulogne. Reginald, 
son of the Count of Dammartin, before this new connexion, had made 
proposals of marriage to Ida, to which she had been well-disposed, but her 
uncle, the Count of Flanders, unwilling to give up the profits of the ward- 
ship of the county of Boulogne, and disliking a French connexion, dis- 
approved of the alliance. At this critical period, when the marriage with 
Arnold was entirely settled, Dammartin seized the Countess, not altogether 
without her acquiescence, and carried her off into Lorrain. She contrived 
means to write to Arnold, to inform him of this pretended violence, and 
to request that he would deliver her from the hands of her oppressor. The 
too credulous lover, with some friends and followers, immediately engaged 

' Et Behordicia. z Arnoldus de Chaiocho. a Lambert, chap. 90, 9 1, 92. 

58 THE COUNTS OF GU1SNES. book i. 

in the enterprize; but no sooner were they arrived at Verdun, than Dam- 
martin, informed of their coming by the Countess herself, took them all 
prisoners, and married the perfidious lady. After a captivity of some 
months, they obtained their liberty by the intercession of the Archbishop 
of Rheims. Lambert considers this unfortunate affair as a judgment 
upon him for having neglected to fulfil his vow of going to the Holy Land 
witb Philip Augustus, and Philip Count of Flanders, and for having 
squandered the tithes, and the money, which had been exacted for that 
purpose, with thoughtless prodigality 6 . 

in his next matrimonial connection Arnold was the deserter. He was 
affianced to Eustachia, the youngest daughter of Hugh, Count of Saint 
Pol, but the celebration of the marriage was deferred on account of the 
tender age of the young lady. In the mean time, Henry, Chatelain of 
Bourbourg and Lord of Alost, died, in 119+, without issue, leaving Bea- 
trice his sister sole heiress of his possessions. Arnold then abandoned 
Eustachia, paid his addresses to Beatrice, and was accepted. The mar- 
riage was celebrated with great magnificence at Ardres, and the new mar- 
ried couple received the nuptial benediction, were sprinkled with holy 
water, and fumigated with incense, as they lay in bed, by a procession of 
priests, led by Lambert the minister of the place, who relates the event. 
And the whole ceremony concluded with a long prayer by Count Bald- 
win, his father . 

Arnold, being thus Chatelain of Bourbourg, and Lord of Alost and 
Waist', by this marriage ; and Lord of Ardres, Marc, and Colewide, from 
his mother, in the lifetime of his father, assisted him in his war with the 
Count of Flanders against Philip Augustus, and was the principal means 
of taking the city of Saint Omer, in 1 198, for which he received great re- 
wards from the Count. He surrounded Ardres with a large fosse, and 
gave protection to Matilda, the widow of Philip, Count of Flanders d . 
Upon the death of his father, Count Baldwin, he succeeded to the 

Lambert, chap. 93, 94, 95. 

Ibid. chap. 149. 

1 Ibid. chap. 151. Of this work Lambert gives a very rhetorical account, and describes 
the engineer, doctum geometricalis operis magistrum, Simonem fossarium, cum virga sua, 
magistrali more, procedentem, et hie illic, jam in mente conceptum rei opus, non tam in 
virgA, quam in oculorum pertica, geometricantem. Ibid. c. ]54. 

chap. iv. ARNOLD THE SECOND. 59 

county of Guisnes, in 1206. An enmity subsisted between him and 
Reginald, who was Count of Boulogne by his marriage with Ida, aug- 
mented, if not occasioned, by that marriage. Philip Augustus, as the 
ally of the Count of Boulogne, with a large army, entered the county of 
Guisnes in 1209, destroyed the castle of Bonham, and committed other 
devastations, till a peace was made in 1210% when Arnold did homage, 
and took the oath of fealty to King Philip Augustus and his son Louis. 
But his adherence to the King of France proved extremely detrimental to 
his affairs. In the war which then raged between John, King of England, 
and Philip Augustus, the English army under the command of the Earl 
of Salisbury, together with the troops of Ferdinand, Count of Flanders, 
Reginald de Dammartin, and other noblemen, entered Guisnes in 1213, 
and laid waste a great part of the country. A month after, in 1214, they 
returned again, and putting all to fire and sword, Arnold was obliged to 
retire to Saint Omer's. The city and castle of Guisnes were totally de- 
stroyed by the English, under the pretence that they had been compelled 
to pay a duty whenever they had passed through that country. Ardres 
was saved by the payment of a large ransom by the abbot. At length 
the hostile armies departed, and carried off Beatrice, and her children, into 
Flanders, where she was detained four years. Arnold was afterwards pre- 
sent with Philip Augustus at the battle of Bovines in 1214, where he had 
the satisfaction of seeing those enemies, who had so cruelly ravaged his 
territories, defeated, and many of them taken prisoners'. 

When John, King of England, had banished the prior and monks of 
Canterbury, in 1207, for electing Cardinal Langton Archbishop, at the 
nomination of the Pope, without his consent, the Count of Guisnes met 
them upon their entrance into his territories, to the number of eighty, and, 
after having regaled them at his castle of Tournehem, furnished them with 
horses for their journey to St. Omer's. Upon their arrival, they were met 

e Lambert, chap. 154. 

' Matthew Paris, An. 1216. Preuv. 269. Chronicle of Flanders, Ibid. Chronicle of Ardres, 
Preuv. 267. Matthew Paris, An. 1211. Rex Anglorum Johannes misit prin. ipibus militia: 
suae, qui erant in Flandria, pecuniam magnam nimis, ut Regem Francorum inquietarent, 
et terras cum castris incursione bellica devastarent. At illi terram comitis de Gysnes fere 
totatn ferro flammisque discurrentibus contriverunt. 
i 2 


in the public place of that town by the monks of the Abbey of Saint 
Bertin in solemn procession. It was a moving scene, says the chronicle 
of Ardres, to see one convent thus embracing another, and shewing their 
love by mutual kisses of peace. They received a cordial invitation to re- 
side with the monks of Saint Bertin; but Geoffrey, the prior, unwilling to 
render their generosity too burdensome, remained there himself with seven 
others, and the rest were distributed into different monasteries in France. 

Arnold held lands in England, in Kent, Bedfordshire, and Essex, amount- 
ing to twelve knights' fees, part of the honour of Boulogne, which consti- 
tute him an English Baron?. And when Louis, the son of Philip Augus- 
tus, was invited into England by the barons, in their contests with John, 
Arnold accompanied him with fifteen knights in 1215, leaving his county 
to the ravages of the king of England 11 . 

In 1217, he obtained the release of his wife Beatrice, still a prisoner in 
the custody of the Countess of Flanders, who was intrusted with the 
government of that county, during the imprisonment of her husband Fer- 
dinand, taken at the battle of Bovines. In 1215 and 1219 he served in 
the crusade against the Albigeois, with Prince Louis, and died in 1220. 
His Countess survived him four years, and built a monastery for nuns at 
Bonham, of which her daughter Beatrice was appointed the first abbess. 
It was destroyed by war, and by an inundation in 1395, and the nuns 
were transferred to Saint Colombe in Blendegne 1 . 

The children of Arnold the second, and Beatrice, Chatelaine of Bour- 
bourg, were, Baldwin, Robert, Henry, Arnold, Beatrice, who took the veil 
in the Abbey of Bourbourg, and was the first abbess of the monastery of 
Bonham founded by her mother, Christiana, Matildis, who married Hugh 
de Chastillon, Count of Saint Pol ; Adelis, and Beatrice. The second son 
Robert de Guisnes, and his brother and sisters are not mentioned by 
Lambert, and therefore were probably not born when his history concluded. 

' Dugdale, Bar. i. 76] . 

" Chronique ancienne de Flanders. Preuv. 269. Matthew Paris. 

1 Amongst her benefactions to the monastery at Ardres was a cask of excellent wine for 
the pittance of the monks. Unum etiam peroptimum vini dolium adhuc vivens ad nos us- 
que carricari fecit, et ad fratrum pitanciam assignavit. Preuv. 274. 



Robert's brother, Count Baldwin, by his will dated in 1244, left him a 
house in Baulinghem, and some land in Guisnes which had belonged to 
his sister M. perhaps Matilda k . He held the honour of Chokes in 
Northamptonshire, in the thirty-third of Henry III. 1248, and sold the 
manor of Gayton in the same county, with all his lands in England, to 
Ingelram Lord Fienles'. 

The seal and counter seal of Arnold the Second, on yellow wax, to a 
bond, by which he engages to pay a fine of fifty marks, if Walter de 
Formeselles should wage war against Philip, King of France, or his son 
Louis, as long as the King should exhibit justice in his court to the Count 
of Flanders, dated 1217 m . 

' Those of his Countess Beatrice, to an agreement between her, and her 
son Baldwin, to abide by the award of arbitrators in their disputes, dated 

6 Duchesne, p. 163. pr. 2S3. 

' Banks, vol. i. p. 321. 

■ Duchesne, Pr. p. 271. from the king's Archives. 



1222. It is on yellow wax, and was executed after her husband's 

.J % zz 

From this period we have no longer the assistance of the faithful 
historian of the family, Lambert of Ardres, and must be con- 
tented with such information as Duchesne has been able to collect 
from charters, and other ancient documents. He was the natural son of 
Baldwin, Lord of Ardres, the second husband of Beatrice de Bourbourg, 
by Adela, the daughter of Radulphus, a canon of that place ; and was 
cousin to Arnold the Second, Count of Guisnes, to whom his book is 
dedicated. His ecclesiastical preferment was that of Priest, or Rector of 
the church at Ardres. His history of the Counts of Guisnes, and Ardres, 
begins with the earliest accounts of that country, from the year 800, and 
ends abruptly in the middle of the reign of Arnold the Second, before the 
year 1206, when it must be presumed that his death prevented the com- 
pletion of his work. He professes to have taken the early parts of his 
history from authentic chronicles ; he must have had access to the best 
materials, the documents of the family, and of the church at Ardres ; and 
of the latter part he was a contemporary, and an eye-witness. He pursues 
the history of the Counts of Guisnes, in an uninterrupted series, till the 

Duchesne, p. 274. Archives of the Court of Isenghiem. 



ninety-sixth chapter, when he breaks off suddenly, and begins the history 
of the Lords of Ardres, Bourbourg, and Marque, which is then introduced 
by something of a poetical fiction. During two rainy days and a night, 
when Arnold, and a company of knights, assembled at his castle at Ardres, 
were unable to pursue the amusements of the chase and the tournament, 
Walter de Clusa, an ancient sage, under which feigned name we must 
understand Lambert himself, related this history to the assembly to pass 
away the wearisome hours. " Applying his hand to his beard, and 
" combing it with his fingers, after the manner of old men ," he began 
his narrative, and continued it through more than fifty chapters, till the 
rain ceasing, the nobles returned to their manly occupations, and Lambert, 
in his own character, resumed his history of the Counts of Guisnes. 

Lambert was learned in the literature of the age, and well acquainted 
with the ancient mythology, which he fails not to introduce upon all 
proper occasions. His heroes are compared to Hercules, Hector, and 
Achilles; his heroines to Cassandra, Helen, or Juno. He quotes Homer, 
but not in the Greek, Virgil, Ovid, Priscian, Eusebius, Jerom, Porphyry, 
Prosper, Sigebertus, and Bede. When he is animated with his subject, 
he sometimes breaks out into a strain of poetry ; but it must be admitted 
that his style is barbarous, like that of all the early writers of Europe, 
often too concise, at other times immoderately verbose, and full of anti- 
thesis, puns, and rhetorical amplifications. Every thing which concerns 
the interests of the church is stated with minute accuracy. He is affec- 
tionately attached to the family of Guisnes and Ardres, his relations, and 
patrons, but his partiality does not bias his judgment, or affect the truth 
of his narration, since he relates the faults of the individuals whose lives he 
writes, as well as their merits. Upon the whole he may be considered as 
one of the most authentic historians of the middle ages, and as such is 
repeatedly quoted by Valesius, Ducange, and other antiquaries. 

Baldwin, the second husband of Beatrice de Bourbourg and the father 
of Lambert, went to Jerusalem in 1 146. He died at Sathania or Senclia, 
and at his own request was thrown into the sea. Thirty years afterwards, 
in 1176, an impostor appeared, who pretended to be Baldwin. Lambert 

p Qui apposita ad barbam de\tera, et, ut senes plerumque facere solent, ea digitis inser- 
tis appexa, et appropexa, apto in medium ore incipit, et dicit. Chap. 96. p. 499- 



was not at first certain of the falsehood of his pretences, and was accused 
wrongfully of favouring the deception for money, as he relates himself''. 



Lord of Ardres. 

Petronilla de= Arnold III. ■-: 
Ruchenia, Lord of Ardres. i 
niece of no lawful : 

Theodoric, issue. : 

Count of 

Robertus = Matil da . 
a natural 

Helewide Beatrice de=: Baldv 

Arnoldus = Christii 

Guisnes, d. 

of Henry, 




Lord of Ardres 

no lawful issue. 

died in 



Lambert d Ardres, 

Priest of Ardres, 

the historian, 

a natural son. 


d. of 


a Canon. 



Baldwin II, 
Count of Guisnes 





C olewide. 


heiress of Ardres, 

Marque, and 


Arnold II. 
Count of Guisnes. 

Baldwin the Third, the twelfth Count, succeeded his father in 
1220, as Count of Guisnes, Chatelain of Bourbourg, and Lord of 
Ardres, and payed the relief which was due for his father's twelve knights' 
fees in Kent, Bedfordshire, and Essexi. He married Matilda de Fiennes, 
daughter of William, Lord of Fiennes and Tingry, and Agnes de Dam- 
martin, sister of Reginald Count of Boulogne, and Simon de Daminartin, 
Count of Ponthieu. She was also cousin to Matilda, Countess of Bou- 
logne, married to Monsieur Philip of France, uncle to Saint Lewis, and 
likewise cousin to Jane of Ponthieu, Queen of Castile and Leon. 

It would be tedious to relate this prince's temporary quarrels with some 
of the neighbouring nobles, his benefactions to monasteries, or his at- 
tendance at the translation of the body of Saint Bertin. In 1235 he was 
one of the noblemen who swore to endeavour to procure the marriage of 

Chap. 141, 142, 144. 

Dugdale, i. p. 76i, 

chap. rv. BALDWIN THE THIRD. 60 

Robert, brother of Saint Lewis, with the daughter of the Count of Flan- 
ders, and in the same year subscribed the complaint of the Barons of 
France to Pope Gregory the Ninth, against the prelates'. 

In 1233, Baldwin went to the assistance of Henry the Third, King of 
England, who was partial to foreigners, in his wars with the Barons. 
Having been appointed to the command of Monmouth Castle, he was 
besieged in it by the Earl Mareschal of England. Baldwin made a vigo- 
rous sortie, in which after a bloody battle he took the Grand Mareschal 
prisoner. He was at the same time wounded by an arrow, but the wound 
was not mortal, and he afterwards greatly signalized himself by his gallant 
exploits in that country 5 , where he had large possessions. A writ of right 
was brought against him by Robert de Davans, for a hide of land, and the 
twentieth part of a knight's fee in Telshant in Essex, in the twenty-first 
year of Henry III. 1236, when he appointed Peter de la Mote his attor- 
ney, in an imparlance*. 

He died in 1244, having made his will the same year, in which, amongst 
a great variety of bequests, he leaves two hundred livres to a knight to go 
to the Holy Land for the good of his soul". 

By Matilda de Fiennes he had four children. Arnold, Baldwin, Lord 
of Sangate, Adelvie, married to William, Chattelaine of Saint Omer and 
Count of Fauquembergue, and Ida, the wife of Gerard de Prouny*. 

r Duchesne, Preuv. p. 280. 

s Matthew Paris. In anno 1233 Duchesne, Preuv. p. 279, 280. 

' R. Dod's MSS. vol. 103. fol. 186. Essex. Claus. 21 Hen. III. Baldevinus comes de 
Gysnes, attornavit Petrum de la Mote in loquela que est in Com. Essex inter ipsum et 
Robertum de Davans de una hida terre, et de vicessima parte unius feodi militis in Tel- 

" Duchesne, Preuv. p. 165. 

* The will is a curious specimen of the old Flemish French. A few extracts may be 
amusing. Je Baudevvins Cuens de Ghisnes, e Castelains de Broborgh, fay a savoir a tos 
cheaus ki sunt e ki avenerunt, ke j'ai fait mon testament en teil maniere l'an del Incar- 
nation nostre Seingeur M. CC. et XLIIII. le deluns apres le Tiphanie. (the Monday after 
the Epiphany.) J'ay donei Robert mon frere me maison de Baulinghem ki fu M. (de 
Mahaut de Guisnes) me sereur, e totte le tere ke le tenoit en la tere de Ghisnes, cho ai-je 
donei a luy e a son hoir s'il a hoir de son cors; e s'il n'avoit hoir de son cors, tot doit 
revenir au Comte de Ghisnes, ke kil soit, e cho luy ai-je donei por son homage e por son 
servige. J'ay donei a Adame de Tienbrone me nieche le bos de huonual tot ensi cumme 
je l'aquis a Monseingneur Manassie mon oncle. — J'ay donei a Clarenbaut mon clerc totte 



The seal of Baldwin, with the counter seal, to a charter to the Monas- 
tery of Clairmarest, relating to a rent in Rumineehem, dated 1240. 

n !jo 

His son, Arnold the Third, the thirteenth Count of Guisnes, 
succeeded to that county, and to those of Arches and Bourbourg in 124.5. 
He was unfortunate during the whole course of his life. 

me dime de Beauvoir, tot ensi cum je 1' acatai a Monseigneur Vvichart de Bochout, e mon 
palefroi ke ie acatai a Monseigneur Philippe de Hondescote. — A Robert d'Achiel mon 
grant palefroi, e mon haubergh, e mes cauches de toclenet, e unes convertures de fer. A 
Horse mon garchon mon petti palefroi bai. A l'Abeie d'Andernes la ie ai coisi me sepul- 
ture, et la ie vuel gesir, X livreies de tere per faire mon aniversaire. e che les aserra on a 
la tere ke je acatai a me Dame Alienor de Andernes, et mon cheval vairon e mon haubergh 
e mes cauches a mon cors, e toutes les armure- de mon curs. A l'Abeie de Liskes X livreies 
de tere por faire mon anniveraaire sollemnellement. e con port la por en foir mon cuer e 
m'entraille. A me filles tottes mes carettes, a tot les kevaux, e a tot le harnais, e tos mes 
pors, e totes mes vakes, e totte me bestaille e trestos mes bleis de mes granges, e mes hau- 
berions, e mon autre meme harnais. — A 'un chevalier por aleir outre meir por 1'ame de mi 
C.C. lib. de parisis. — E k cho a parfaire ai-ie mis mes testamenteurs (executors.) Ouch. 
Preuv. p. 283. 

chap. iv. ARNOLD THE THIRD. 67 

The wife of Arnold was Alice de Coucy, daughter of Enguerrand the 
Third, Lord of Coney, Marie, and la Fere, and, after the death of her bro- 
thers, heiress of those lordships. The ancient family of de Coucy, which 
thus centered in that of de Guisnes, was one of the most illustrious in 
France. It derived its origin from the family of de Boves, so denominated 
from an old castle near Amiens". Mary, the elder sister of Alice, was 
married first to Alexander the Second, King of Scotland, and was the 
mother of Alexander the Third ; and afterwards was the wife of John de 
Brienne, suraamed of Acre, Grand Butler of France, youngest son of 
John de Brienne, King of Jerusalem 2 . The mother of Alice was Mary 
de Montmirel, the third wife of Enguerrand de Coucy, and heiress of the 
Lordships of Montmirel, of Oisy, of Crevecceur, Ferte Ancoul, Ferte 
Gaucher, Tresmes, and Belo, the Viscounty of Meux, and the Chattellainy 
of Cambray, all which lordships from this marriage subsequently came 
into the family of Guisnes\ 

Upon a journey to visit the court of Henry the Third, King of England, 
in 1249, Arnold was arrested by Roger Bigot, Earl of Norfolk, and Mar- 
shall of the kingdom, upon his own estate. He complained to the King, 
when the Earl pleaded a right of retaliation for a similar seizure upon the 
territories of Guisnes, where the Count had detained him as he was going 
ambassador to the council of Lyons, and had exacted a large fine. The 
affair was only ended, and the Count set at liberty, by the interference of 
Saint Lewis of France 1 '. 

Afterwards, in the war, in which he supported the Countess of Flanders 
against the Count of Holland, the Flemings were defeated, and, with the 
young Count of Flanders and many other noblemen, Arnold was taken 
prisoner in a naval engagement near Walcheren, in 1253, and was com- 
pelled to pay a ransom amounting to near nineteen thousand pounds of 
our money, which he borrowed from his own subjects, the Echevins of the 

y De Bova, or Castrum Bobarum, Preuv. p. 343. 

* Anno 1239. Rex Scotiae Alexander filiam cujusdam nobilis Baronis de Regno Franco- 
rum Engelrami de Cuscy, nomine Mariam, virginem elegantem, sibi matrimonialiter copu- 
lavit, et nuptias die pentecostes apud Rokesbure solemniter celebravit. Mat. Par. in anno. 
Pr. 383. 

1 Duchesne, p. 223, 230. 

b Mat. Par. An. 1249. Pr. 288. 

K 2 

(is COUNTS OF GUISNES. hook i. 

four bans of the county of Guisnes, that is, of Guisnes, Ardres, Aud'erwic, 
and Bredenard, and for which he gave them an hypothecation upon Ins 
lands in that county c . 

When Saint Lewis assumed the cross, he engaged himself as one of the 
knights who were to accompany him, but he did not go to the Holy 
Land ; prevented probably by the embarassed state of his affairs 11 . 

To these misfortunes was superadded an inconsiderate, but what was 
then thought a meritorious, generosity, in numerous and large benefactions 
to churches and monasteries. By these means, having contracted great 
debts, and reduced himself to the severest distress, he was obliged to sell 
the county of Guisnes, Montoire, and Toumehem, with other possessions, 
to Philip the Third, King of France. The contract of sale was executed 
at Paris in 1 C 2S0. It begins by stating, that in consequence of his im- 
mense debts, and the mortgaging of all his property, moveable and im- 
moveable, to his vassals, he was reduced to such extreme poverty, that he 
was unable to provide his wife and family with necessaries, and that, lest 
he should finally be obliged meanly to beg his bread, upon due deliberation 
he bad resolved to sell his possessions in Guisnes. The annual value was 
stated at one thousand, three hundred, livres Parisis. The price was three 
hundred thousand livres Parisis, and to be paid by installments. Ue was 
likewise to receive an annuity of a thousand livres Tournois, for the lives 
of himself and his wife. The king was besides to pay all his debts which 
were charged upon the land of Guisnes, and was to assign him a com- 
petent manor, or castle, for his residence'. It appears that Ardres, Au- 
derwic, and Bredenard, as dependences of the county of Guisnes, were 
comprehended in this sale, though not mentioned'. 

The chronicle of St. Benin, and the bond to the Echevins. Preuv. p. "288. The sum 
was 20,720 livres Parisis, which the Art de verifier les datps values at 25,875 livres Tour- 
nois, of the money of that time, or in the present money, 457,101 livres, 8 sols, y deniers. 
At a rough calculation of 40 pounds Stirling to 1000 livres, this will make something more 
than £18,280. Mezerai, t. i. p. 608. 

,; Extrait de l'Escrit des Chevaliers retenus pour aller avec le Roi S. Louys outre mer, 
et des convenance qu'il fist avec eux. — Ly Cuens de Guines soy dixiesme de Chevaliers, 
deux mille sis cens livres, et mangera a l'Hostel clu Roy. Pr. 292. 

e See the contract, Appendix, No. X. 

' The arret of Parliament in 1295, hereafter mentioned, states that what was claimed by 




The time of his death is unknown. The poor and the unfortunate re- 
tire to their graves unobserved, and unnoticed ! 

The children of Arnold the Third and Alice de Coney were six. Bald- 
win, the eldest, Enguerrand de Guisnes, the second son, who, upon the 
death of his maternal uncle, became Lord of Coucy, Oisy, and Montmirel, 
and was the ancestor of the second race of the family of De Coucy. 
John de Guisnes, the third son, obtained the Viscounty of Meaux, and the 
Lordships of Ferte Ancoul and Ferte Gaucher, upon a division between 
him and his brother Enguerrand. There was a daughter married to a 
nobleman in Ireland, whose names are unknown ; another called Isabel, 
who married first Gaucher, Lord of Basoches, and afterwards the Lord of 
Faillovel; and a third, Alice, who was the wife of Walter Bertout, Lord 
of Maliness. 

The seal and counter seal of Arnold the Third, to a French charter, 
granted to the convent of Mount St. Eloy at Arras, exempting the monks 
from all duties on passing over his lands, dated in 1277 h . 

his successor, were Fortalieium et villam Guinensem, Arde, Audrvic ac Bredenarde. 
Preuv. p. 301. And the son, facto patris sine terra vixit. Poem. p. 285. 

" This name is variously spelt, Aelide, Alips, and Adelize. 

h Duchesne, Pr. p. 293. 



His eldest son, Baldwin the Fourth, inherited the Chat- 
tellanie of Bourbourg, and some other possessions. He married Jane de 
Montmorenci, sister of Matthew, Lord of Montmorenci, Great Chamber- 
lain of France. He assumed the titles of Chattellain of Bourbourg, 
Count of Guisnes, Lord of Ardres, Auderwic, and Bredenard, and endea- 
voured to render his titles effectual by instituting a suit before the Par- 
liament of Paris to recover the territories, which had been sold by his 
lather, from King Philip the Third, under the droit de retrait lignager. 
The parliament decided, in 1283, that the suit could not be maintained, 
and that the Count could not claim the retrait lignager. This, in the 
French law, is a right in the descendants of the seller to redeem lands sold 
upon repayment of the purchase money. A law founded in the principles 
of the feudal times, to perpetuate the inheritances of great families 1 . 

He died in 129-3. and left only two daughters, Jane and Blanch. 
Blanch was never married, and had for her portion the Lordship of Cole- 
wide, and the Chattellanie of Langle. 

The seal and counter seal of Baldwin the Fourth, to a sale of lands to 
John le Vas, in French, and dated in 12S4-. It is broken in some places. 
In the dexter quarter of the shield are the arms of Ghent, sable, a chief 
argent, to mark his ancient extraction from that house k . 
10. 84. 

' The arret of the parliament. Pr. p. 300. Duchesne says, that the retrait lignager had 
no place in sales to the crown ; but the arret does not state this reason, and this was a doubt- 
ful point in the French law. See Potier, Traite des Retraits, Part I. ch. iv. sect. 194, page 
16"4. This droit was not the general law of France till an edict of Henry the Third in 
15S1. Till then it prevailed only in particular provinces, and must have varied in different 
places. In 1293, he recovered, by an arret, ninety-five pounds for every year the king had 
held the mill of Bredenard. Some memoirs call his wife Catherine, others Beatrice. 

k Duchesne, Pr. p. 301. 



The seal and counter seal of his brother, John de Guisnes, Viscount of 
Meaux, Lord of Ferte-Ancoul, and Ferte-Gaucher, affixed to a remon- 
strance made by the nobles of Champagne to Philip, King of France, 
against certain grievances, sealed with their seals, in 1314'. 


Baldwin the Fourth having no son, his heir was his eldest daughter 
Jane, who was styled Countess of Guisnes, and was married, in 1293, to 
John De Brienne, the second Count of Eu, and Great Chamber- 
lain of France. They finally succeeded in obtaining the restitution of the 
territories which had been alienated by Jane's grandfather. Upon a legal 
process, in the reign of Philip le Bel, an arret of the parliament, in 129-5, 
restored to them the county of Guisnes, Ardres, Auderwic, and Brede- 
nard, except such lands as were held of the Count of Boulogne. It was 
the ground of this decision, that Count Arnold the Third, previously to 
the sale, had settled those territories upon his son Baldwin in marriage, 
and therefore had no interest to alienate™. 

' Duchesne, p. 398. 

m Terras in maritagium datas et assignatas. Arret. Pr. p. 301. et 304. 



Bv this marriage of the heiress Jane, the county of Guisnes was trans- 
ferred from the second race, the house of Ghent, to a third race, the 
Counts of Eu. John de Brienne was slain at the battle of Courtray in 
1302, and left his son Rodolphus a child, under the guardianship of his 
mother. The marshes of Guisnes, which were said to have been held 
under the Counts of Boulogne, were restored in 1321, by King Philip 
the Fifth. The Countess Jane survived her husband near thirty years, and 
died in 1331. It does not appear that they had more than this one sod". 

The seal, and counter seal, of Jane, Countess of Eu, and Guisnes, to a 
charter respecting some dues from the Abbey of St. Bertin, dated 1324. 
The coats of arms are Guisnes and Eu. The latter is, azure, seme of 
billets, or, a lion rampant of the same . 

8 Pr. p. 305, 30S. 

Duchesne, Preuv. p. 308. See the history of the Counts of Guisnes 
from Sigefrede to John de Brienne, Appendix, No. X 



Counts of Guisnes, of the third race, or the House of Eu. 

JOHNDE BRIENNE,whodiedin 1 302, and his wife Jane de Guisnes, 
were succeeded by their son Raoul, or Rodolphus the Second, in 
1331, as Count d'Eu, and the sixteenth Count of Guisnes. He was 
Constable of France, and was slain by the stroke of a lance at a tourna- 
ment at the marriage of Philip Duke of Orleans, on the seventh of Octo- 
ber, 1345. His lady was Jane de Mello, Lady of Orme and Chateau- 
Chinon, daughter of Dreux de Mello, of an illustrious house in the diocese 
of Beauvais 3 , and left a son and two daughters ; Raoul ; Jane, married, 
first to Walter de Brienne, Duke of Athens, secondly, to Lewis d'Eureux, 
Count d'Estampes; and Mary, who died young. His son Raoul, or 
Rodolphus the Third, inherited the counties of Eu and Guisnes, of 
which he was the seventeenth, and last Count ; and he was likewise 
appointed to the honourable office of Constable of France. 

Upon the invasion of France, by Edward the Third, in 1346, Philip the 
Sixth dispatched Rodolphus, and the Count de Tancarville, with a body 
of troops, to the defence of Caen, which was an extremely rich city, and 
was threatened by the English. The citizens were likewise in arms, and 
promised to make a brave defence. At their own request, and against his 
own opinion, Rodolphus arrayed them in battle beyond the bridge, and an 
attack was made upon the enemy, but upon the first discharge of the 
English, the citizens fled, and Rodolphus, and Tancarville, were obliged 
to surrender themselves prisoners to Thomas Lord Holland. The con- 
sequences of this victory, the taking of Caen, and the massacres and 
pillage of that city, have been fully related by the historians 6 . Rodolphus 
was carried into England, and remained there above three years, where he 

a Hist. Cal. i. p. 697- 

b Hume, ii. p. 450. ed. 4to. Froissart, liv. i. chap. 122. 


was treated by Edward with the greatest kindness. In 13.50, he was 
permitted to return to France, to prepare the means of redeeming his 
liberty, and proposed to deliver up the town of Guisnes to Edward as his 
ransom. He went to Paris, and proceeded to the Hotel de Nesle, to pay 
his court to King John the Second, who had succeeded to the French 
throne. His reception was not such as he had expected, the monarch was 
displeased at his agreement to deliver up Guisnes, which would have 
opened the frontiers of his kingdom to the English, then in possession of 
Calais. He entertained likewise suspicions of his fidelity, and that he had 
formed dangerous connections with the King of England. These un- 
favourable impressions, however ill founded, had been inspired, or, at 
least, fomented, by Charles de la Cerda of Spain, who had executed the 
office of Constable of France during his captivity, and was desirous of 
obtaining that honour tor himself. John, in consequence of these in- 
trigues, caused him to be arrested by the Provost of Paris, and three days 
afterwards his head was cut off before the Hotel de Nesle, in the middle 
of the night 1 , without any form of trial, in the presence of the Duke of 
Bourbon, the Count Armagnac, and other Lords. Charles de la Cerda, 
who was appointed Constable in his place, reaped little benefit from his 
treachery, having been soon after assassinated by the orders of the Kini; of 
Navarre d . 

Rodolphus married Catherine, daughter of Lewis the Second, of Savoy, 
Lord of Bugei, and widow of Azzo Visconti, Duke of Milan. 

Not contented with having put Rodolphus to death, in this irregular 
manner, King John confiscated his possessions, gave the county of Eu to 
John D'Artois, son of Robert, Count of Beaumont, and reunited that of 
Guisnes to the domains of the Crown. 

The King of France did not long enjoy his new acquisition. Calais 
had been conquered by the victorious arms of Edward the Third, in 
the year 134-7- It was not probable that the strong castle of Guisnes, 
in its immediate neighbourhood, would be left unattempted. It was not 
however taken till five years afterwards, and by the stratagem of a private 

A Fheure tie Matines, says a MS. Chronicle, that is, about the middle of the ni^ht. 
L'Art de Verifier, ii. p. ~sq. Duchesne. Hume, ii. 474. Froissart. liv. i. chap. 1 

chap. v. THE ENGLISH IN GU1SNES. 75 

individual, in a time of truce. An English archer named John Dancaster, 
having been taken prisoner by the French, was detained in Guisnes, and, 
not being closely confined, was permitted to work upon the repairs of the 
fortifications. Having discovered a concealed wall which went across the 
ditch just under the water, in the night he let himself down from the 
castle, passed the fosse upon it, and escaped to Calais, where he concerted 
the plan of his enterprize. With thirty men, habited in dark armour, he 
returned by the same way to Guisnes ; they scaled the castle walls, slew 
the centinels, took the garrison by surprise, and made themselves masters 
of the place : and the next day they were reinforced by more troops from 
Calais. This happened in January, 1352. The governor, the Lord of 
Balinghem, was absent; and William de Beaucourray, his Lieutenant, was 
accused of treachery, and beheaded. The King of France complained to 
the Pope of this breach of the truce. The ambassadors of Edward 
pleaded, that the Count of Guisnes having been taken prisoner, had en- 
gaged to pay eighty thousand golden crowns for his ransom, or to sur- 
render the county of Guisnes ; that the ransom not having been paid, the 
county was forfeited to Edward ; and that King John had cut off the head 
of the Count to deprive Edward of the ransom, or the county. The 
cause was heard in the Consistory Court at Rome, but the death of Pope 
Clement prevented sentence from being given 6 . 

e Thuanus, lib. xx. cap. 3. page 680. ed. Buckley. Stow's Chronicle, page 3S8 
Edit. 1592. Froissart differs as to the date. Ce mois d'Octobre, au jour que la confrairie 
Saint Oven fut celebree, prindrent les Anglois la ville de Guines, durant les treves. vol. i. 
ch. 153. page 160. Edit. Denis Sauvage. 1574. 

Essendo furata la contea Guinisi al Re di Francia, sotto la confidanza delle triegue, 
trasse in giudicio il Re d'Inghilterra a corte di Roma, suoi ambasciadori dicendo, che sotto 
la fede delle triegue prestata, il Re d'Inghilterra gli hauea tolto per furto la rocca, e la 
contea occupata per forza. E per la parte del Re d'Inghilterra fu risposta, che havendo 
per suo prigione il Conte di Guinisi, Conestabole di Francia, preso in battaglia, e dovendosi 
riscattare per lo patto del la sua taglia iscudi LXXX. mila doro, o in luogo di danari la 
detta contea di Guinisi. E lasciato alia fede, acci6 che procacciare potesse la moneta, il 
Re di Francia, appellandolo traditore, per non haverlo a ricumperare, o consentirgli la 
contea di Guinisi, il fece dicollare. E cosi, contro a guistizia, privo il Re d'Inghilterra 
delle sue ragioni, lequali guistamente havea racquistate. La quistione fu grande in concis- 
toro, e pendeva la causa in favore del Re di Francia. E pero, innanzi che sentenzia se ne 
desse, il Re fece restituire la terra di Guinisi a quello Inghilese che dato glie l'havea. E 
L 2 


After King John of France had been taken prisoner at the battle of 
Poitiers, by the treaty of Bretigny in 1360, Guisnes was formally ceded 
to the King of England, with Calais, Marq, Sangate, Couloigne, Haines, 
Wale, and Oye, as part of John's ransom. The letters of the King of 
France to the magistrates, noblemen, and subjects of that county, to de- 
liver the possession to the King of England are quoted by Duchesne. 
And Edward appointed Matthew de Salperwic his Sovereign Bailly in 
that county, the fourth of December 1362 f . The King of England, to 
secure the important post of Calais, removed all the former inhabitants, 
and peopled it with English, who were of course governed by the laws of 
their own country. Guisnes was permitted to enjoy its ancient laws 
and customs s . 

In the subsequent wars, various attempts were made by the French to 
recover their lost possessions in the county of Guisnes. In 1370, Ardres 
was attacked by an army of one thousand lances, under the command of 
the Constable of France, but they were repulsed with considerable loss' 1 . 
The next attempt was more successful. In 1377, the first year of Richard 
the Second, the Duke of Burgundy with a powerful army invested it, and 
the garrison, commanded by John de Gumeny, being weakened by previ- 
ous excursions, was obliged to surrender, and was permitted to retire, vies 
et bagues sauves, to Calais. The castles of Ardiwick, and Vauclingen 
submitted also 1 . 

King Richard the Second, in 1394-, restored and confirmed to the 
nuns of the monastery at Guisnes, all their lands and revenues, both 
in Guisnes and England, of which they had been deprived in the wars". 

seguendo la morte di Papa Clemente non ne segul altra sentenzia. Istoria tli Matteo Vil- 
lain. Fir. Giiinti, 15SI. p. 118. He states the capture of Guisnes as above related. 

' Duchesne, p. 182. Appendix, No. XI. In the act of cession, dated the twenty-sixth of 
October 13fi0, 35 Edw. Ill, Guysnes is surrendered to the King of England, a tenir en 
demesne et en fee, et en obeissance, ce que en fee, et en obeissance. The tenants are 
directed to render lige homage and obediences to the King of England. — Sauf notre droit 
en autres choses. Though not expressly stated, I suppose the King of England did, or 
ought to have done, homage for it to the king of France. MSS. Cotton. 

i Hist, de Cal. ii. p. 351. 

b Froissart, ch. 25,0. 

' Ibid. 

k Rhymer, iii.part iv. p 94 


Upon the death of his first wife, a treaty was entered into for the mar- 
riage of Richard with Isabel, eldest daughter of Charles the Sixth, King 
of France, who was only seven years of age. They were married by 
proxy, on the twelfth of March 1395, and it was one of the articles of the 
treaty that she should be conducted to Calais vestue et enjoiallee 1 . The 
King came over to receive her. He proceeded to Guisnes, and the 
French King came to Ardres. Between these two places there is a large 
plain, across which ran the line of boundary between the territories of the 
two sovereigns. Here was the place of interview, and it was covered 
with a great number of splendid tents. After several days spent in mutual 
festivities, accompanied as usual with magnificent presents, the young 
bride arrived with a numerous attendance of nobles and ladies, in superb 
habits, with garlands of gold and pearls. She made two obeisances upon 
her knees to her future husband, but he prevented the third by his kind 
embraces. Taking leave of her father and friends, she was conducted to 
Calais, where the marriage ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, on the third of November. After the death of Richard she 
returned to France, and in 1406 was married to Charles, Count d'Angou- 
leme, afterwards Duke of Orleans" 1 . 

The English took Balinghem, in 1412, and in return the Count de St. 
Pol plundered, and burnt the town of Guisnes, although he dared not 
attack the castle". The next attempt against Guisnes was in 1436. 
Whilst the Duke of Burgundy was besieging Calais, as his army was 
exposed to frequent attacks from the garrison of that place, he sent 
the Lord of Croy to invest it. After a vigorous resistance, the town 
was taken by assault. The castle proved impregnable, and the sieges 
of both places, after ineffectual efforts, were abandoned . In 1454, 
Charles, Count d'Eu, conducted an enterprize against Guisnes. No 
sooner had he appeared before it than the garrison sallied out, defeated 
him, and hung sixty of the prisoners which they took p . Charles the 
Seventh, reconquered from the English all their possessions in France, 
except Calais and Guisnes. 

' Rhymer, vol. vii. p 811. ■ Froissart Hist, de Cal. ii. p. 81. ' Monstrelet, 

ch. 92. Hist, de Cal. ii. 115. ° [list, de Cal. ii. 150. " Ibid. p. 173. 


An attempt to take Guisnes was again made in the year 1514. After 
the capture of Terouenne, and the battle of Spurs, and Henry the Eighth 
had returned to England, the Count d'Angouleme, afterwards Francis the 
First, presented himself before it with eight thousand men, and a numerous 
artillery. The treaty for peace which immediately succeeded put an end 
to the siege'. 

Another interview between the kings of England and France, still more 
splendid than that between Richard and Charles, took place in the year 
1.520, between Henry the Eighth and Francis the First, in the plain 
between Guisnes and Ardres, which was called from this event the Chump 
de Drap D'Or. The magnificence of this meeting, in which the kings, 
and the noblemen, of France and England exhausted their revenues in the 
rivalry of expense and splendor, has been related by all the historians, and 
has been celebrated in the lively description of Shakespeare'. The 
picture of this scene at Windsor castle is an elaborate performance, painted 
at the time, and contains a representation of every circumstance, from the 
beginning to the conclusion of the interview, with the strictest observance 
of historic and local truth, and it is embellished with the portraits of the 
principal personages s . 

After Henry the Eighth had taken Boulogne in 1544, the Dauphin 
undertook the siege of Guisnes, but after some severe losses, he contented 
himself with setting fire to some villages, and retreated*. 

In the twenty-fourth year of his reign, 1532, Henry the Eighth appointed 
commissioners to draw up ordinances and decrees for the government of 
the county of Guisnes, as he did likewise for Calais". They regulated the 
succession to lands according to the law of inheritance in England, and 
the heriots to be paid upon deaths. At the expiration of seventy years, 
every tenant was bound to renew his title, and to pay a fine of a quarter 
of his rent. No English subject was permitted to many a foreigner, 
without a licence. A widow's dower was to consist of half her husband's 
lands for life, and the fee simple of one tenth. All the inhabitants were 
compelled to learn the English language, and an English name was to be 
given to every child at its baptism. Sons were to be of age at sixteen, 

« Hist, de Cal. vol. ii. p. 215. ' Hen. VIII. Sc. 1. ! See book i. chap. 1. 'Rhymer, 
torn. vi. p. 121. Hist, de Cal. ii. 253. " In the Cotton MSS. Faustina. E. vii. 4, 5. 


and girls at fourteen years of age. No owners of castles were to suffer 
them to decay, and there were other less important regulations. 

After the conquest of Calais and Guisnes, so mortifying to the French, 
they always looked forwards to their recovery. The county of Guisnes, 
and the empty title of Count, were bestowed upon several families by the 
favour of the French King, though Ardres, and some small parts of it 
only, were in their possession. 

The title was first claimed by the Viscount de Thouars. His claim 
was founded upon a descent from Margaret de Brienne, daughter of John 
de Brienne, the First, Count d'Eu, and who married Guy, the Second, 
Vicount of Thouars, and Lord of Talmond. But his pretensions were 
without foundation, for Margaret was proved not to have been the daughter 
of Jane, Countess of Guisnes, as they alledged, but was the sister of 
John, the Second, Count d'Eu, the husband of Jane. The claim was 
therefore disallowed, yet the Lords of Tremouille, Dukes of Thouars, 
have always taken the title of Counts of Guisnes". 

By the treaty of Arras in 1435, the nominal county was ceded by 
Charles the Seventh, to Philip le Bon, Duke of Burgundy. Louis the 
Eleventh, in 1461, gave it to Anthony de Croi, notwithstanding the oppo- 
sition of Louis de la Trimouille, Vicount de Thouars. The King, in 
favour of De Croy, re-united the Barony of Ardres, and the Chatellany 
of Angle, to the county of Guisnes y . Afterwards Louis the Eleventh, 
by the treaty of Conflans, in 1465, gave the counties of Boulogne and 
Guisnes to Count Charolois, and made a compensation to the Lord 
De Croi. But the Count becoming Duke of Burgundy, and being 
engaged in a rebellion against the King, Guisnes was taken from him, 
and given to Anthony De Croi, who was succeeded in it by his son 
Philip. Philip revolted from the King, and attached himself to the Duke 
of Burgundy, upon which his lands were confiscated in January 1476, 
and the county of Guisnes, and Barony of Ardres, were bestowed upon 
Anthony, the natural son of Philip, Duke of Burgundy, surnamed 
le Grand Batard, upon whose death, in 1504, it reverted to the crown, 
from which it was never afterwards alienated 2 . 

1 Hist, de Cal. ii. 17, 78. Duchesne, p. 82. 
» Monsti-elet, liv. iii. 97, 122. 

2 Hist de Cal. ii. p. 188. lgi. from the records. Some of the French historians state, 


But these shadowy honours were soon after converted into realities. 
At the treaty of peace concluded between Edward the Sixth, and 
Henry the Second, in 1.5.50, the French King paid four hundred thousand 
crowns for the restitution of Boulogne. Calais was next recovered. 
The Duke of Guise made an unexpected march to this place, in the 
winter, a season when the greater part of the garrison was always 
withdrawn to England, and a fleet of ships blockaded it by sea. After 
a brave resistance, the governor, Lord Wentworth, was obliged to capi- 
tulate ; and thus this important fortress, after being in the possession of 
the English for above two hundred years, was taken in eight days, in 
January in the year 15.58. 

The Duke next marched to Guisnes, of which Lord Gray was the 
governor, with a garrison of 1400 nun. The bulwarks of the city, after 
three days battering, were taken by assault. The Governor retreated to 
the castle, the tower de la Cuve, and whilst the French troops were en- 
gaged in plundering, they were attacked and driven out of the city, which 
the English then burnt. The batteries were opened against the castle, 
and the bastion which defended the gate was shattered, and a breach 
opened. After some hard fighting the breach was abandoned by the be- 
sieged, who retired to the old castle. The French having succeeded in 
taking possession of some other bastions, the governor capitulated, the 
twenty-first of January 155S\ Hammes, the county of Oye, Coulogne, 
Wales, Sangate, and all the other places, followed the example of Calais 
and Guisnes, and nothing now remained to the English of all their pos- 
sessions in France. 

that Guisnes was several times retaken by the King of France. L'Art de Verifier les Dales 
says, that Charles the Sixth recovered it from the English by conquest, and was in pos- 
session of it in 1413, and that it was again reconquered by Charles the Seventh. But 
nothing can be more certain than that the English were never dispossessed either of Calais 
or Guisnes till the final reconquest in the reign of Queen Mary. The records in the tower 
and other evidences prove, that all the acts of ownership, in the nomination of the governor, 
and other officers, were performed by the Kings of England during the whole period, and 
at the very dates mentioned by the learned Benedictine. See Appendix, No. XII. The 
donations by the Kings of France of this county were disposals of the lion's skin before 
the lion was taken, and have occasioned these mistakes. 
■ Hist de Cal. ii. 308. 


This war was concluded by the treaty of Chateau Cambresis, in 1559, 
between Queen Elizabeth, and Henry the Second, when it was agreed 
that the French King should retain for eight years the possession of Calais, 
with the castle and town of Guisnes, and the rest of that country taken 
in the last war, and that after the term of eight years, he should restore 
those places to the Queen, or pay the sun) of five hundred thousand gold 
crowns. For the performance of these conditions seven or eight merchants 
were security, and hostages were besides given b . At the expiration of 
the time, in 1567, Elizabeth sent her ambassadors, Smith, William Win- 
ter, and Henry Norreys, to Charles the Ninth, to demand the restitution 
of these places, according to the treaty. The claim was resisted, and a 
long discussion ensued with the Chancellor de PHopital. This refusal 
was founded upon an article of the treaty by which it was agreed, that if 
the Queen should attempt any thing against the French King by arms, 
either directly or indirectly, he should be freed from the said agreement. 
And it was alleged that the English had sent auxiliary troops to Rouen, 
and had taken possession of Havre de Grace, which the King had been 
obliged to recover by force. It was answered by the ambassadors, that 
the French had first prepared for war, that they had supported Mary 
Queen of Scots, and sent troops to her assistance, and to invade England. 
Replies and rejoinders followed each other, the embassy was unsuccessful, 
and the French refused to surrender the town, or to pay the stipulated 
sum c . 

All the territories recovered from the English, including Guisnes, were 
united under one government, under the name of the Pays Recotiquis, of 
which Calais was the capital, and it was divided into twenty-four cantons, 
or parishes. The ancient counties, baronies, pairies, and lordships, were 
united to the domains of the crown, and had no other lords, with some 
few exceptions' 1 . 

b Treaties in 4 vols vol. ii. page 46. ed. 1~S2. 

c Thuanus, lib. 41. Hist, de Cal. ii. p. 367- Hume says, that " all men of penetration 
" saw that the stipulations of the treaty of Chateau Cambresis were but a colourable pre- 
" text for abandoning Calais." vol. v. p. 19- But these discussions shew that the Queen was 
in earnest in endeavouring to recover those places. 

d Hist, de Cal. ii. 313, 4(5l, 352. Besides its connexion with this family, the account of 


Guisnes appeared to me to be interesting, as it was one of the places possessed by this country 
in France; I had therefore a double motive to render it as complete as I could. A history 
of our ancient possessions upon the continent is a desideratum in English literature. That 
of Normandy would be particularly acceptable, especially since the local antiquities of that 
dukedom have been lately so much illustrated. 

M ;; 




Of other noble families of the House of Guisnes. 

HAVING thus brought to a conclusion the history of the county of 
Guisnes, and the elder branch of the family, it may be necessary to say 
something of other noble families, descended from younger brothers of 
that house ; which however I shall not pursue at any great length. 

The Lords De Coucy*. 

We have before seen that, upon the death of his maternal uncle, named 
Enajuerrand de Coucy the Fourth, Enguerrand de Guisnes, the second 
son of Arnold the Third, and Alice De Coucy, succeeded to the pos- 
sessions of that family, by the name of Enguerrand the Fifth, and became 
the ancestor of the house of Coucy, of the second race. He was brought 
up at the court of his first cousin, Alexander the Third, King of Scotland, 
who married him to a noble lady named Christiana, daughter of Thomas 
Balliol h , a relation of John Balliol, King of Scotland . Upon his suc- 
cession to the rich inheritances of De Coucy, he divided them with his 
brother, John de Guisnes, in 1311. By this partition, Enguerrand had 
the lordships of de Coucy, Marie, and la Fere, in Vermandois, Oisy and 
Hauraincourt, in Cambresis, Montmirail, Conde en Brie, and Chalon le 
Petit, with the Chattellanie of Chateau Thieny, and the Hotel de Coucy 
in Paris. John obtained the Chattellanies of la Ferte-Gaucher, and la 
Ferte-Ancoul, the Viscounty of Meaux, and the lands of Boissy, Tresmes, 

* Duchesne, liv. vii. 
b Camden, Lane. Preuv. p. 415. 

c Le Lignage de Couci, written in 1303, in Duchesne, Preuv. 390, 440, 441. Duchesne, 
p. 253. 

M 2 

84 THE LORDS DE COUCY. book i. 

Belo, and Romeny. The agreement was confirmed by Philip le Bel, and 
these large possessions were afterwards divided amongst their sons''. 

His grandson, Engnerrand the Sixth, in 1:338, married Catherine of 
Austria, the eldest daughter of Leopold the Eirst, Duke of Austria, and 
Catherine of Savoy, grand-daughter of Albert the First, Duke of Austria, 
and Emperor of the Romans, and great grand-daughter of Rodolph of 
Habsburg. The match was made by King Philip, who gave her a marriage 
portion of forty thousand livres tournois, for which was substituted a rent 
of two thousand livres, and he added twenty thousand livres more. In 
consideration of this fortune, Enguerrand settled upon her a dower of six 
thousand livres a year 1 '. 

Their only son was Enguerrand the Seventh, who went to England, in 
1360, as one of the hostages, by the treaty of Bretigni, for the restitution 
of John King of France. Here he was in such favour with Edward the 
Third, that he gave him in marriage his second daughter Isabel, and the 
title of Earl of Bedford, with lands in Morholm, Wirisdale, Ashton, 11- 
verston, and Whittington, in Lancashire'. With part of his marriage por- 
tion he purchased the county of Soissons, which had been surrendered to 
King Edward by Guy de Blois, for his ransom, as one of the hostages for 
the King of France, with whom he was in great favour 1 -'. In right of his 
mother, Catherine of Austria, he claimed that Dutcliy. The Emperor 
admitted his right, but was unable to assist him against the Austrians, 
who refused to receive him. He collected troops in France, and entered 
Austria, but the attempt was unsuccessful, and he was obliged to abandon 
his claim \ Afterwards he engaged in the expedition against the Turks 
in 1395, under the command of Sigismond, King of Hungary, and was 
taken prisoner by Bajazet, with the greater part of the French princes, at 
the siege of Nicopolis on the Danube. Upon setting out upon this ex- 

d Preuv. p. 39"). The agreement for the partition. There are some accounts of the 
possessions of the de Coney family in England, in Banks's Dormant Baronages, vol. i. 
p. 321 Dugdale, Karon, vol i. p. 761. but with many errors, which may be corrected frosn 
authentic documents in Duchesne, livres 6 and ?. 

c The Settlement, Preuv. p. 407, 40S. 

' Camden, Bedf. Lane. Ulverston. Duchesne, p. 26G. Preuv. 415 Froissart. 

' Preuv. p. 432. 

" Pr. 420. Fro;ssart. 

chap. vi. THE LORDS DE COUCY. 80 

pedition, a high compliment was paid him by Charles the Bold, Duke of 
Burgundy, who having appointed his son John, Count of Nevers, to 
command the French troops, put him under the care of the Lord De 
Coucy. He died in captivity, and his heart was buried in the monastery 
of the Celestins near Soissons, which he founded. After the death of 
Isabel of England, he married Isabel of Lorraine, daughter of the Duke 
of that province, who survived him, and, in 1399, married Stephen, Duke 
of Bavaria, father of Isabel, Queen of France. His children were only 
daughters, two by his first wife, and one by his second'. 

The eldest daughter, Mary, Countess of Soissons, lady of Coucy, and 
Oisy, married Henry de Bar, eldest son of the Duke of Bar, who was 
slain at the siege of Nicopolis. She sold the lordship of de Coucy, in 
1400, with the Chattellanies of Marie, and la Fere, to the Duke of Or- 
leans, reserving the use during her life. The Duke used unwarrantable 
methods to compel her to this sale, and little of the purchase money was 
paid. She died soon after, having been poisoned at a wedding. The 
sale was held not to have been legal. The Chattellanies of Marie and la 
Fere returned to Robert de Bar 1 ". 

The second daughter, Philippa, was educated in England, and married 
Robert de Vere, Duke of Ireland', Marquis of Dublin, Earl of Oxford, 
and Great Chamberlain of England. Her portion was Morholm, Wiris- 
dale, Ulverston, and other places in Lancashire. Her husband proved 
unfaithful, he fell in love with a German girl, one of the Queen's maids of 
honour, whom he married, after he had been divorced from his wife™. 

' Duchesne, 270. Pr. 412. Froissart. 

k Duchesne, Pr. 426". The Deed of Sale. 

1 He was created Duke of Ireland in the ninth of Richard II. Dugd. MSS. No. 34. 
f. 59. 

"' Le Due d'Irlande avoit ;i femme la fille au Seigneur de Coucy, laquelle estoit fille de 
Madame Ysabel, fille des defunts Roy et Royne d'Angleterre, qui estoit belle Dame et 
bonne, et de plus noble et haute attraction qu'il fut. Et toutesfois il ainia une des Damoi- 
selles de la Royne regnante en Angleterre, une Alemande, et fist tant envers Urbain VI. 
qu'il se demaria de la fille au Seigneur de Coucy, sons mil tiltre de raison, fors par pre- 
somption et nonchalance, et epousa celle Demoiselle. Et tout consentit le Roy Richard, 
car il estoit si aveugle de ce Due d'Irlande, que s'il eust dit, sire, cecy est blanc, et il fust 
noir, le Roy n'en eust dit du lontraire. Le mere de ce dit Due fut moult grandement 


Isabel, the only daughter of the second marriage, after the death of her 
father, and his widow, Isabel of Lorrain, instituted a suit in law to recover 
her rights against her sister Mary de Bar, and the Duke of Orleans, and 
at length obtained the half of Coucy, Marie, and la Fere. Philippa, 
being an English subject, and provided for in that country, had no claim 
to them". Isabel married Philip of Burgundy, Count of Nevers and 
Rethel, youngest son of Monsieur Philip of France, called the Hardy, 
Duke of Burgundy, in 1409°. 

And thus this branch of the house of Guisnes, and the second race of 
the family of Coucy, ended in the royal family of Bourbon p . 

The Viscounts of Meaux*. 

Of the three sons of Arnold the Third, and Alice de Coucy, we have 
traced the descent of two, Baldwin de Guisnes, and Enguerrand de 
Guisnes, Lord of Coucy. We mentioned a third brother. John de 
Guisnes, who shared in the property of his maternal uncle, with his brother 
Enguerrand. By this partition lie obtained the castles and Chattellanies 
of la Ferte-Gaucher, and la Ferte-Ancoul. the house of Tronoy or Dronay, 
the vineyards of Vaucelles, the land of Boissy, of Tresmes, Belo, and 
Rommeny. He had likewise the Viscounty of Meaux, from which he 
took his title. His issue failing, were succeeded by Enguerrand De Coucy, 
youngest son of Enguerrand De Coucv the Fifth. After two descents, 
this branch ended in two daughters. Of these, the eldest, Alienor de 
Coucy, married Michael, Lord of Ligne in Hainault. Jane, the youngest, 
married John de Chastillon. The youngest died, and Alienor succeeded 
to the whole property, and. dying without issue, was succeded by her aunt, 
Jane de Coucy, who was the wife of John de Bethune. A daughter of 
this house, Jane de Bethune, Viscountess of Meaux, was married to 
Robert de Bar, whose daughter Jane de Bar, was wife of Lewis of Luxem- 

eourroucee de son fil, et prit la fille au Seigneur de Coucy. et la meit aveeques elle, et en 
sa compaignie. Froissart, vol. iii. ch. 77. He calls Oxford Acquessuffort. 

n Pr. p. 427. The proceedings from the Register of the Parliament. 

Monstrelet, ch. 51. Preuv. 436. 

>' Duchesne, page -2Q4. 

i Duchesne, liv. 6, 7. 



burg, Count of Saint Pol, by whom she had Peter of Luxemburg, Count 
of Saint Pol, and Viscount of Meaux, whose daughter, Mary of Luxem- 
burg, married Francis de Bourbon, Count of Vendasme' . 

A second branch of the house of Guisnes, the Viscounts of Meaux, 
by this marriage centered in the royal family of Bourbon 5 . 

The Chattellains of Ghent. 

We have likewise seen that the Chattellanie of Ghent came to Siger de 
Guisnes, a younger son of Arnold the First. From him descended the 
subsequent Chatellains, the Barons of Saint John Steene, and of Ras- 
senghien, and the Counts of Isenghien. Weary of the world, Siger 
quitted all earthly concerns, and entered into the order of Knights Tem- 
plars. The Chatellains of Ghent continued to be Lords of Bornhem, and 
Houdain. Walter de Gand, surnamed Villain, second son of Hugh, the 
First, Chattellain of Ghent, and Lord of Saint John Steene, was the an- 
cestor of the family of that latter title, and which retained likewise his sur- 
name of Villain 1 . The male line of the Chatellains of Ghent ended in 
Maria. She married Gerard, Lord of Sottenghien, a younger branch of 
the house of Enghien, in 1280. On the death of her son, and his issue, 
the Chatellanie fell to another female, Isabel, Viscountess of Melun, who 
had three husbands; first Henry of Louvain, secondly Alphonso of Spain, 
surnamed de la Cerda, son of Ferdinand, Prince of Castile, and Blanch, 
daughter of Saint Lewis, who after the death of Alphonso the Tenth, 
King of Castile, assumed that title, but was obliged to abandon it. By 
him Isabel was mother to Charles, Constable of France, and Count of 
Engoulesme. Thirdly, she married John, Viscount of Melun, Great 
Chamberlain of France, 1327- To him she brought the Chatellanie of 
Ghent, and other possessions, but from that time her descendants bore the 
title of Viscounts of Ghent". 

1 Duchesne, p. 294. 

s Ibid. Par ainsi les deux Branches des Seigneurs de Coucy, et des Vicomtes de Meaux, 
sorties de la maison de Guines, fondirent dans la Royale Famille de Bourbon, de laquelle 
est descendu le Roy Louys XIII. aujourd'huy regnant. 

' Duchesne, p. 337. 

" Ibid. 359. 


The Lords of St. John Steene, surnamed Villain. 

After the Counts of Guisnes, the Chatellains of Ghent, and the Lords 
of Coucy, this branch was the most illustrious. 

The city and lordship of Steene, Saint John Steene, or de la Pierre, was 
transferred by one of the Counts of Flanders to a Chatellain of Ghent, in 
exchange for some rights in the town of Hulst : it was enjoyed by the 
Chatellains till it was given as a portion to Walter de Gand, the second 
son of Hugh, before mentioned, who was surnamed Villain, or Villanus. 
This name was not uncommon ; Duchesne mentions several who bore it, a 
cardinal priest, in a bull of Eugene the Third, Villain de Canny, 
Villain D'Arzillieres, Villain de Nuelly, in Villehardouin, and Villain 
D'Aunoy, appointed by that historian guardian of his lands in Cham- 
pagne 15 . An uncle of Maker le Villain was surnamed Gerand le Diable. 
From a mere personal sobriquet this name become that of an illustrious 
family, whose cry of war was, Gand a villain sans reproehe. 

This family was divided into several branches, the Lords of Welle, 
Huysse, Morbeque, Lidekerque, and others''. 

The Lords of Rassenghiem-, and Counts of Isewrhiem. 

From the marriage of John Villain the Third, Lord of Saint John 
Steene, and of Margaret de Gaure of Liedequerque, proceeded the two 
branches, the Barons of Rassenghiem, afterwards Counts of Isenghiem, 
and the Lords of Liedequerque, which barony and lordships with other 
possessions were acquired from her z . I shall not relate all the particulars 
which may be collected of these noblemen ; but it may be interesting 
to mention, that Martin Villain, in 1458, made a voyage to the Holy 
Land, and, upon his return, he passed by the kingdom of Cyprus, where 
Charlotte, Queen of Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Armenia, received him with 
great honours, and invested him with the Order of the Sword, with the 
privilege of conferring the same upon two other knights, or, at least, 
esquires. Queen Charlotte's letter is dated at Nichosia, and was pre- 
served amongst the muniments of the Counts of Isenghiem, and the coat 

* P. 358. » Ibid. 355. • Ibid. 409- 



of arms of the Count received the addition of a sort of scroll round it, in 
which five swords were interwoven \ 

The territory and title of Isenghiem were acquired by the marriage of 
Adrian Villain the Third with Margaret, daughter of John de Staveles, 
Lord of Isenghiem, in 152.5. From a barony it was erected into a county 
by Philip the Second of Spain, in 1582, as a reward for Maximilian 
Villain's services ; particularly against the heretics in Flanders' 1 . 

Many of the noblemen of these derivative families are occasionally 
celebrated in Froissart, Monstrelet, and other contemporary chronicles. 

The county of Guisnes having been united to the possessions of the 
Crown of France, and all the foreign male lines of the family having 
become extinct, the blood of Sigefrede, the original founder, is no longer 
to be found, in a direct male descent, except in the families of Blount, and 

" Duchesne, p. 413. Preuv. 6i>l. b Ibid. 




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The settlement of the Le Blount s in England. 

WILLIAM of Normandy's preparations for the invasion of England 
animated the whole continent of Europe. Every motive which could in- 
fluence the mind, in those days of chivalry, was in full action; the prospect 
of military fame, the hopes of extensive territories, the love of novelty and 
adventure, and the sanctity of an expedition which had been consecrated 
by the Pope 1 '. From Normandy the warlike ardour principally extended 
to the nobles and knights of the neighbouring countries. Amongst these, 
Baldwin the Fifth, Count of Flanders, was doubly related to Duke William. 
They were first cousins, Baldwin's mother, Eleanor, having been sister to 
Robert the First, William's father. A still nearer connexion had taken 
place by the marriage of the Count's daughter Matilda with Duke William b . 

' In the Bayeux tapestry, the consecrated banner, sent by the Pope, is always introduced, 
and is argent, a cross or, in a bordure azure. Archaeol. xviii. p. 359- Walsingham says it 
represented a man fighting. 

b It is said by some authors that Baldwin IV. h;id no child by Eleanor, and that 
Matilda was his tzrand-daughter by Orgina of Luxemburg. But it is certain that Matilda 
was nearly related to Duke William ; he had a dispensation from the Pope to marry her; 
and Maugrr, Archbishop of Rohan, the Duke's uncle, in a rebellion in Normandy, actually 
excommunicated him on pretence of the too near relationship between them. If Eleanor 
had not been Matilda's grand-mother these facts cannot be accounted for. Carte, vol. i. 
p. 413. Rapin, i. 165 has made a mistake in styling Matilda jhe daughter instead of the 
grand-daughter of Eleanor, 

94- LE BLOUNT book ii. 

Tosti, brother to Harold, had married his other daughter, and, being at enmity 
with the King of England, had retired to the court of Flanders, full of 
complaints of the injustice which he had suffered; and he had engaged the 
protection of that Prince against his brother. The Emperor had given public 
permission to all his vassals to embark in the expedition. The Count of 
Flanders, therefore, had every inducement to employ all his influence to 
promote its success. Eustace, Count of Boulogne, was one of the principal 
noblemen who personally engaged in it. In concert with his relations, the 
Counts of Flanders, and Boulogne, Baldwin die First, the Count of Guisnes, 
naturally supported the interests of the Duke of Normandy; with whom, 
and his wife Matilda, he was connected by the ties of consanguinity 1 . 
Three brothers of the house of Guisnes, who were probably uncles to 
Baldwin, and the sons of Rodolphus, a former Count, and his wife Rosella 
de Saint Pol, inlisted under the banners of the Duke. The name of one 
of them, who afterwards returned to France, has not been preserved ; the 
other two were Sir Robert Le Blount, accompanied by his son Gilbert, 
and Sir William Le Blount, who continued to reside in England, and were 
the ancestors of the family of that name. 

The accounts of the Norman invasion are short and obscure. The list 
of the names of those 1 who came over with William, in the Battel Abbey 
roll, varies much in the different copies which are now extant, and that 
document is not conclusive evidence, unless so far as it is confirmed by 
better authority. In four of those copies the name of Le Blount occurs, 
and it is omitted in the others' 1 . As to their rank, and peculiar duties, 
Robert Le Blount was stiled Dux navium militarium, or Commander of 
the ships of war. and he was of the council of the Conqueror c . His 

c See the Genealogies, Nos. 2, 3, 4-. and book i (hap. 3. 

cl The name of Le Blount is found in Duchesne in his Rerum Normaniearum Scriptores, 
page 9 ; in Fuller's Church History, page 151 ; in Holinshead, page 3; and in Stow, page 
105. The name is omitted in the lists in Fox's Acts and Monuments, page 1S3; in two 
other lists in Holinshead, page 2 ; and in Stow, page 104; in Scriven's list, and in the 
rhyming catalogue in the Chronicle of John Brompton.. the Abbot, which begins 
Vous que desyrez assaver 
Les nons de grauntz de la la mer, 
Que vindrent od le conqueror 
William Bastard, de graunt vigour &c. &c. 
c Sir Thomas Blount Chevalier fuit de concilio Ducis, (sc. Willmi Conquestoris.) Coles 
MSS. vol. xliii. p. 9. British Museum. Thomas is evidently an error for Robert. 

chap. i. LE BLOUNT. 95 

brother William was General of the foot f . The exploits of the brothers 
upon this occasion, and the share which they had in the decisive battle of 
Hastings, have not been related ; but the high station which they held, and 
the great rewards which they afterwards received from the Conqueror, are 
sufficient testimonies of their military merit. 

Many circumstances have been related in local chronicles which are not 
of sufficient consequence to have found their way into the general histories. 
Of this kind are the events which took place in the Isle of Ely upon the 
conquest of England. Thurston, the abbot, and the monks of that rich 
monastery were the strenuous supporters of Edgar Atheling. After the 
unfortunate battle of Hastings, they afforded a safe retreat to many of the 
Saxon lords. The Earls of Chester and Northumberland, with other 
noblemen, and their followers, retired to that monastery with their 
treasures. The natural difficulties of the country, which was inaccessible 
from its extensive marshes, seemed to promise them security, till some 
general efforts could be made to rescue the kingdom from a foreign yoke. 
Hereward, the son of Leofric, Lord of Brunne, a general of great renown, 
was elected to the chief command, and a plan of defence, and of hostilities 
against the Normans, was adopted in their councils of war. The strength 
of the place, the formidable force collected there, the length of time it con- 
tinued, and the ineffectual attempts of his armies, had made the siege of 
Ely of sufficient importance to require the presence of William ; and he 
marched thither in 1069, with a considerable force. A causeway was 
thrown up across the marshes, and several attempts were made to force a 
passage. But the works were imperfect, the resistance brave and well 
conducted, and, before any progress could be made, William was obliged 
to repair to his army at York, which had been taken by the combined 
armies of the English, Scots, and Danes. The next year he returned to 
renew his attacks upon the island of Ely, and again failed in his attempts 
to pass the marshes. The preparations for another assault were defeated, 
and their forts were destroyed, in a sally made in boats, and commanded 

f Colli ns'a Baronetage, vol. ii. page 36'7- vol. iii. p. 665. Nash's History of Worcester- 
shire, vol. ii. p. 163. Dugdale's Baronage, vol. i. Blount. Monasticon, vol. ii. p. 184. 
Summons of the Nobility. Fuller's Church History, p. 155. Speed's History of Great 
Britain, page 797- Dux manuum militarium in some of these is an error for navium. 

96 LE BLOUNT. book ii, 

by Hereward in person, who, like Alfred, had got intelligence of their 
designs by visiting their camp in disguise. The king thus repeatedly 
baffled retreated to Cambridge, and, in his resentment for their protracted 
resistance, he confirmed his former seizure and alienation of the lands 
belonging to the monastery, in different parts of the kingdom. The monks 
repented of their resistance, and wished to surrender. The abbot, and 
some of the monks retired from the island, and waited upon the king at 
Warwick, with their humble submission. But their good will was all that 
was in their power. The lords refused to surrender, the monks who re- 
mained were kept under strict guard, and even in ignorance of what was 
going on, and the place was still vigorously defended. In the year 1071, 
though some reinforcements had been received, the skill of William's 
engineers, improved from experience, by a due combination of causeways 
and boats, forts and engines, formed a sufficient passage for the troops over 
the marshes anil waters, and after several attempts, the defences were 
forced, and victory declared in William's favour. The garrison retreated, 
and great numbers were slain, or taken prisoners. Amongst the latter 
were Earl Morchar, Siward, surnamed Beam, and Egelwin, bishop of 
Durham. Great cruelty was exercised upon some of the prisoners, and 
Hereward alone of all the leaders escaped. The king took possession of 
the monastery, accepted a fine of a thousand marks as an atonement, and, 
in the true spirit of the times, paid his devotions, with an offering of a 
mark of gold, to Saint Etheldreda, the founder and patroness of the 

Both as a punishment and a security, William sent forty of his principal 
knights, to be quartered upon the monastery. They had their banquets in 
the refectory, and each knight was allotted to a particular monk, as his 
host and companion. Amongst these knights was William Le Blount, 
who was assigned to the care and hospitality of Brother Wylnote. Great 
friendship and harmony subsisted between these martial and monastic 
pairs. There is reason to believe that the knights were not dissatisfied 
with their situation. " Of all the abbeys in England," says the witty Dr. 
Fuller, " Ely bare away the bell, for bountiful feast-making ; the vicinity 

* Bentham's History of Ely. 

chap. i. LE BLOUNT. 97 

" of the fens affording them plenty of flesh, fish, and fowl, at low 
" rates 1 '." 

When the king required the service of these knights in Normandy, upon 
the insurrection of his son Robert in 1077, their departure was a subject 
of mutual regret. But let the ancient historian of the Abbey relate " the 
" story," as it is translated by Dr. Fuller. " The soldiers with their 
" retinue are sent, they come, and here abide. Whereof each one is 
" delivered to some principal monk, as a captain to his lieutenant, or a 
" guest to his host. Now the king decreed that Bertwolde (MSS. Brith- 
" nodus) the butler should minister food to the soldiers and monks jointly 
" together, one with another, in the common hall of the monastery. What 
" need many words ? these captains to their lieutenants, these guests to 
" their hosts, these soldiers to their monks, were most welcome : for all of 
" them entertained each one, each one entertained all, and every one 
" mutually one another, with all duties of humanity. At length the fire 
" of the civil war being quenched, and the king established according to 
" his heart's desire, five years after, his severity in punishing being in 
" godly manner pacified, it pleased the king to withdraw this yoke, where- 
" with the pride of the monks was now sufficiently abated. And the 
" Conqueror reclaimed his soldiers to punish the ungodly insolence of his 
" son Robert, who at that time in outrageous manner kept riot in Nor- 
" mandy. But our monks (which is a wonder to report) did not only 
" with tears bewaile the departure of their dearest mates, the heroical 
" soldiers, and welcome guests ; but howled out most fearfully, and beat 
" their breasts as destitute of hope, after the manner of a new married wife, 
" whose husband is violently taken away, at an unseasonable time, out of 
" her sweet arms unto the wars. For they doubted lest that, being for- 
" saken, they should be subject to the spoil, whereas they had lived 
" securely at ease, with their armed guests, to whose trust they had com- 
" mitted themselves and their goods. They being now all ready for their 
" journey, every one of our monks, many in number, investured in their 
" copes, in dutiful manner accompanied these gentlemen departing, unto 

h Fuller's Church History, book i. p. 299. In testimony of their merit in this respect 
he quotes an ancient couplet. 

Prasvisis alii-s, Eliensia festa videre, 
Est, quasi praevisa nocte, videre diem. 

98 LE BLOUNT. book ii. 

" Hadenham, with songs, crosses, censers, processions, and all solemnity 
" that might be used. 

" And returning home they took order that the arms (or rather, the por- 
" traits) of each soldier should be lively depainted upon the walls of the 
" common hall, where they took their repast together, to the perpetual 
" memory of the customed kindness of their soldier-like guests, the which 
" from time to time, from the predecessors to the successors, and from 
" obscure antiquity to our posterity at this day, are curiously set forth to 
" be viewed of all men, not without a pleasant delight, in such manner as 
" they glitter and shine honourable in the margent of this table'." 

At the Reformation these pictures were destroyed, and the refectory of 
the monastery was converted into the present deanery of Ely. There is 
however an ancient painting, which was formerly in the possession of 
Doctor Knight, prebendary of that church, and now in the episcopal 
palace, which was probably copied from it. It consists of forty tablets, or 
pictures, each containing a knight, with the monk his companion, in their 
respective dresses as soldiers and Benedictines, with the coats of arms of 
each of the knights, as they are now borne by their families and descend- 
ants. Over it is the following inscription : 

" ftomina rt insignia millitum smcptlatim mm singulis! monarbis 
" in ecdessta <£Iirnsft roUnratoium rcrjnantt (Sttltrlmo Conqurttorr, 
" Slnno Somini ios?." 

The inscription over the picture of our ancestor is, 

" £Itm&us labium ifliUitarum Mix 
" Cum 2£lnInoto ittonarfto." 

He is painted with a helmet and a red feather : his dress is scarlet ; 
the helmet, and some pieces round his neck, are blue, to represent steel. 
Round his shoulders is a white scarf, and at the joints of his arms are 
large knobs with double bands, or bracelets, and he has a sword in his 
right hand. His appearance and beard denote the hardy veteran, but with 
an air of mildness and benevolence he stretches out his left hand, ap- 
parently in friendly converse with his companion, who is dressed in the 

1 See the original Latin, Appendix, No X!Y, and the list of the knights. 

tmx torn top tag to spomctio 

chap. i. LE BLOUNT. 99 

habit of his order. The meekness, resignation, and delicacy, of the holy 
father, form a striking contrast to the hardihood, and roughness, of the 
knight and soldier. Between them is the coat of arms still borne by the 
Blount family, barry, nebuly, or, and sable k . 

k As these pictures have been the subject of some controversy amongst the antiquaries, 
it may not be improper to give a short statement of their history. 

There appears to have been an original painting upon the walls of the refectory of the 
Convent, containing the portraits of the knights and monks, with their coats of arms, 
which was destroyed at the dissolution. 

There are now remaining, 1st, the Ely Tablet, Tabula Eliensis, in the Episcopal Palace 
at Ely, which is on board, about three feet long, by two broad, and is said to have been 
copied from the original painting in the refectory. It consists of forty tablets, or pictures, 
each containing the portrait of a knight, with the monk his companion, with the coat of 
arms of each knight, as they were subsequently borne by their families. The inscription 
at the top is, " Nomina et insignia Millitum singulatim cum singulis monachis in Ecclesia 
" Eliensi collocatorum regnante Gulielmo Conquestore, Anno Domini 1087." Over each 
tablet is the name of the knight, and the monk. This has been engraved in Bentham's 
History of Ely. 

2. A Parchment Roll, above a yard long, having a piece of green silk hanging before it. 
In the middle is a Latin historical account of the transaction, and round it the arms of the 
forty knights. At the top are the arms of Saint Etheburg, (for Saint Etheldreda,) the 
foundress of the Convent, of Saint Ethelwald, Bishop of Winchester, of William the Con- 
queror, and of Robert de Orford, the fourteenth Bishop of Ely, who filled that see from 
1301 to 1309, from 30th Edward 1. to 3d Edward II. which ascertains the period within 
which this document must have been made. It was in the possession of Francis Blome- 
field, and was printed by him in a sheet of the Collectanea Cantabrigiensia, which he after- 
wards cancelled, and therefore is not now easily to be met with. What is become of the 
original does not appear. The Latin history in the middle was printed in the Gentleman's 
Magazine for 1779, page 585, and is in the Appendix, No. XIV. and there are many old 
copies of it, with variations. 

3. Fuller, in his Church History, book ii. page 168, has given a translation of the same 
history, with the coats of arms round it. Some mistakes he has made, as in calling Earl 
Morcar of Northumberland, Earl Margery. 

4. There is a manuscript now in the British Museum, formerly in the King's Library, 
MSS. 18. C. 1. 3. entitled, " Story found in the Isle of Ely.'' This is a translation like- 
wise of the same history, and has neither arms, or portraits. 

5. In Dugdale's Manuscripts, in the Ashmolean Museum, MSS. No. 6501. II. F. 2. is 
the same account, with the arms. 

Upon the whole the following observations may be made, respecting principally the 
authenticity of the Ely Tablet. 

1. If these traditions and written accounts may be credited, the monks, at the departure 
o 2 

100 LE BLOUNT. book ii. 

The nobility, the high military rank, and the personal merit, of the two 
brothers, procured them the favour of the Conqueror, and were rewarded 
by extensive grants of land. Robert Le Blount appears in Domesday 
I took as the possessor of thirteen lordships in Suffolk, namely, Giswortha, 
afterwards called Ixworth, Walsani, Eascefelda, Wica, Sapestuna, Hep- 
worda, Wica, Icswerda, Watefella, Gisilmcham, Westtorp, Wiverthestuna, 
Westledestuna. In Middlesex, he held Leleham, and part of Stanes. 
An ample inheritance was bestowed upon William Le Blount in Lincoln- 

of the knights, caused pictures to be painted upon the walls of the refectory, as me- 

2. These pictures could not have been coats of arms, since they were not known in 
the tune of William the Conqueror. 

3. It follows therefore that they must have been portraits, which may well be signified 
by the word insignia, as they were put up in honour of the knights. And it may be 
observed, that the Ely Tablet is intitlcd, Nomina et insignia Militum, though it contains 
their portraits. 

4 They were repaired from time to time ; and it was perfectly natural that, when roats 
of arms were introduced, those of each knight should be added. 

5. After the pictures were so completed, the Ely Tablet was copied from them. The 
originals were perhaps separate pictures, not improbably as large as the life, though placed 
here in one piece The copier would in many respects adopt the practice and mode of hi^ 
own time, as to the form of the letters in his inscriptions, his painting in oil, and other 

Ij. The Ely Tablet therefore probably gives a true representation of the original 
pictures, as they appeared at the time the copy wis made: that is. the portraits, the first 
paintings, with the additional arms The objection made by Cole, that pointed, or 
rounded, helmets were not in use so early, or even before the fourteenth century, seems 
unfounded, as a helmet, nearly of the shape of that of William Le Blount, may be seen on 
the head of his cousin, Ernolphus, Count of Guisnes, in 11.01. The coats of arms having 
been evidently introduced :it a time long after that of William the Conqueror, no argument 
ran be deduced from the shape of the escutcheons. 

These paintings are very rude. The engravings of them in Bentham are very incor- 
rect, and too much finished. That of Earl Warren, in Watson's Memoirs of the Warren 
family, except something of the outline, is mere fancy. The annexed etching was traced 
off the original painting, in which however one l has been by accident left out in the word 

See Book I. chap. 4. Bentham's Hist, of Ely. Fuller's Church History, book ii. p 168. 
Stukely, in his second part of Origines ltoystoniana;, who is very erroneous. Cole's MSS. 
in the British Museum, vol. xxxi. page 100 to 107. Heylin, in his Examen Historicum, 
preface, p. 4, written against Fuller, who answered it in his Appeal of Injured Innocence. 

chap. i. LE BLOUNT. 101 

shire, where seven lordships are recorded in his name. Faldingevrde, 
Crocsbi, Torgrebi, Widcale, Catebi, Salrlatibi, and Schitebroc 1 . 

Sir Robert, from his principal lordships, was styled Baron of Icksworth, 
and Lord of Orford Castle. He married Gundred, the youngest daughter 
of Henry, Earl Ferrers, who was one of the commissioners for the survey 
of Domesday, and had two hundred and ten lordships given him by the 
Conqueror. His youngest son, Robert de Ferrers, was created Earl of 
Derby by King Stephen. It is not known who was the lady of William 
Le Blount. Time has obliterated all further memorials of the two bro- 
thers, nor is it known when they died, or where they were buried m . 

The heralds have given to Sir Robert Le Blount for a coat of arms, 
lozengy, or, and sable. You have already seen that coats of arms were 
not in use so early. This coat was borne by his descendants, the Barons 
of Ixworth ; and the heralds in this, as in many other cases, have worked 
upwards, and have attributed to the ancestor the bearings of his posterity. 
After the extinction of the Barons of Ixworth, it does not seem to have 
been borne by any others of the family". 

To Sir William Le Blount have been attributed two coats of arms, to 
which the same observation applies. They are, first, barry, nebuly, of six 
pieces, or, and sable . And, secondly, gules, a fesse between six martlets, 
argent : both of which have been borne by his descendants to the present 

1 See Domesday Book. Appendix, No XIII. and Dugdale, Baron. 
■ Dugdale, Baron, vol. i. p. 257- 

n Bigland, &c. It appears however in a coat of arras of the Grendon family, on an old 
parchment in the possession of that family. See book iii. chap. 5. 
• Ibid. 
T Rawlinson's MSS. B. vol. 73. f. 110. 6. 



The Le Blounts, Barons of Ixworth in Suffolk. 

ROBERT LE BLOUNT, the first Baron of Ixworth, was succeeded 

in his possessions by his son Gilbert Le Blount, the second Baron ; 
who likewise came into England with William the Conqueror". 

He founded a priory at Ixworth, for black canons, or canons of the 
order of Saint Augustine, and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary. Camden 
mentions it in these words. " Here is to be seen an ancient priory 
" founded by Gilbert Blount, a man of great nobility, and Lord of Ix- 
" worth h ." At the dissolution, in the reign of Henry the Eighth, it was 
valued at <£l68. 19*. l\d. a year, according to Dugdale, and at ^280. 9*. 
jd. according to Speed ; and it was then granted to Richard Codyngton 1 '. 

His lady was Alicia de Colekirke, by whom he had William, his son 
and heir, and a daughter named Galina, or Galiena de Redel, who married 
Robert de Insula, or de l'Isle d . The arms of Colekirke were gules, a fesse, 
embattled, or, between two bells, argent 1 . 

It seems probable that Galiena derived her name of de Redel from her 
cousin Geoffrey de Redel, Archdeacon of Canterbury. Upon her marriage 
with Robert de Insula, that ecclesiastic gave her certain lands, which he 
afterwards exchanged for Rya, in the manor of Portar. The donation was 
confirmed by Henry the Second, and by Matthew Count of Boulogne'. 

1 Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. ii. p. 184. b Britannia. Ixworth, Suffolk. ' Monasthon. 
Tanners Notitia Monastics. a Dugdale, ibid, (ienealogies, Collins. ' Biglaml, Maple 
Durham Pedigree. 

' Carta? antiqine. Hen. II. confirmat donationem quam Galf'ridus Ridellus, Archidia- 
conus Cantuariensis, fecit Roberto de Insula, et Galiena;, cognate suae, filiie Willmi Blundi, 
de Rya qua; fuit manerii Portar, in excange (something seems wanting here, perhaps pro 
terra) quam idem Gafridus dedit prefata? Galiena?, ad maritandum honorato Roberto, et 
quam Mattheus Comes Bolon. carta sua eis confiimavit. R. Dods. MSS. vol. lxviii. f. 59- 
William is a mistake for Gilbert, if Dugdale is right in making Galiena his daughter. 


As Matthew was Count of Boulogne from 1160 to 1173, this gift must 
have been made between those years 5 . 

William Le Blount, the third Baron of Ixworth, lived in the reign 
of Henry the Second, and married Sarah de Monchampes, the daughter 
of Hubert De Monchampes, De Munchensi, or De Montecanisio, Lord 
of Edwardeston, or Elwaston in Derbyshire, son of Warine De Mon- 
chensi, a Baron in the time of Henry the First, who was son of Hubert 
De Monchensi, a baron, and Lord of Edwardeston in Suffolk, in the time 
of the Conqueror 11 . The priory at Ixworth having been destroyed in the 
wars, he rebuilt it, at some distance from the parish church, near which it 
had been originally erected'. The arms of De Monchensy were, or, three 
escutcheons, each, barry of six pieces, vairy, and gules 1 '. 

His son Gilbert, or Hubert, was the fourth Baron, and married 
Agnes de Insula, or de ITsle. The arms of de ITsle were, or, a fesse, 
between two chevrons, sable 1 . 

Hubert, son of William Blund is under the guardianship of the King. 
For eight years last past he was under the custody of the Bishop of Ely, 
and is of twenty years of age (thirty according to Dugdale.) He is the 
grandson of Hubert De Muntechenesy. He holds Ixworth, Effeld, 
Walesham, and Stratford, which were his father's 1 ". 

In the Chartulary of the priory of Merton in Surrey is the following 
charter without date. " Brother Robert, Prior of Merton, and the Con- 
" vent there, to all the faithful in Christ, greeting. We make it known 
" to you that we have granted, and confirmed, to Alexander, Clerk, of 

f William tlie fourth Count of Boulogne, who lived in the Court of Henry the Second, 
died in 1 159. He left a sister Mary, who was Abbess of Romsey in England. Upon the 
death of William, Matthew d' Alsace, son of the Count of Flanders, carried her off in ]16'() ; 
married her, and thus became in her right Count of Boulogne; and died in 1173. These 
lands were probably held of him under some manors granted to him, or his predecessors, 
by the King of England. Hist Calais, i. 587, -M)9. 

'' Bigland, Maple Durham Pedigree. 

' Tanner, and Dugdale. Roger Dodsworth's MSS. Hot. Pip. vol. xiii. f. 14. 

k Bigland, Maple Durham Pedigree. 

1 Ibid. 

■ R. Dods. vol. xli. f. 5. Rot. de dominabus puellis et pueris ex parte Rememoratoris R. 
in Scacco. In anno 20 Hen. II. 1 1/3. 


" Fecham, the land which Gilbert Blount has given him, and his heirs, for 
" his service, to hold of us, rendering a rent of twelve pence". " 

In the twelfth year of Henry the Second, 1 165, upon the assessment of 
an aid for marrying the king's daughter, it was certified that Gilbert Blount, 
the father of William, in the time of King Henry, and at his death, held 
twelve knights' fees, but it was in the time of war, that he was dissei/.ed 
of five of them, of which three were in the king's lands". 

Gilbert or Hubert had two sons, William and Stephen. Of Stephen I 
shall have occasion to speak hereafter. 

William was the fifth who inherited the Barony of [xvvorth. At his 
father's death he was a minor, and was under the wardship of the Bishop 
of Ely. In the thirty-second year of Henry the Second, 1185, he was 
thirty-two years of aye. He was possessed of the Lordship of Ixworth. 
Esteldei, and Walcham in Suffolk, and Edulfesberg in Buckinghamshire p . 

In Norfolk, in Easter term in the seventh year of John, 1205, William 
Blund demanded of William Fitz Roscelin, the manor of Henford, as his 
right, and of which William Blund his grand-father had been seized in the 
time of Henry, the king's father, by taking the explees. To this record 
the following pedigree is annexed' 1 . 
1 I 

I . ) 

William Blund = Sarua Gilbertus = Alicia=Roselin 

I I 

I I 

William Blund William son 

the Demandant. of Rosceline. 

By this it seems that Sir William Le Blount, who married Sarah De 
Monchensi, besides his sister Galiena, had a brother named Gilbert, who 
had Henford for his portion, and which had been kept possession of, after 
his death, by William, son of Rosceline, who had married Alicia, the 
widow of Gilbert. 

In the pleas of the fifteenth of John, 1213, William Blund demanded 
against Warine Fitz Gerald, lands in Stivinton, of which his ancestor 

c R. Dods. MSS. vol. lv. f. 120. " Ibid. vol. xlvii. and vol. lxxxix. f. 33. "> Dugd. 
Baron. " R. Dods. MSS. vol. xcvii. f. 26. 


Gilbert Blund was seized in the time of King Henry. His pedigree is 

Gilbertus Blundus. 



Willelmus, the Demandant. 

His wife was Cecilia de Yere, who was the mother of a son named 
William, and two daughters, Agnes and Roisia 8 . The arms of de Vere 
were quarterly, gules, and or 1 . 

William le Blount, the sixth and last Baron, married Alicia de 

In the fifth of Henry the Third, 1220, he paid scutage for the siege of 
the castle of Biham x . In the eighth year, 1223, William le Blund, and 
Alicia his wife, gave ten shillings to the church at Fairford in Gloucester- 
shire y . In the twelfth year, 1227? there was a perambulation of the 
King's forest in Lancashire, by William Blount and others 2 . In the 
twenty-first year, 1236, William le Blount was sued by Walter de Fon- 
tibus, (Fountayn,) in a writ of right for the manor of Welldon Parva, in 
Northamptonshire, and had an imparlance". In the twenty-ninth year of 
Henry the Third, 1244, when an aid for marrying the king's son was ex- 
acted, at the rate of twenty shillings for every knight's fee, Sir William 
le Blount paid seven pounds for seven knights' fees b . In the thirty- 
eighth year, 1253, when each fee was assessed forty shillings, towards 
making the King's eldest son a knight, he paid fourteen pounds . 

In the disputes between King Henry the Third and the Barons, he 
supported Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, against the King. A 
reference of their mutual claims having been made to the French King, in 
1263, some of the English Barons went over to France to appear before 
him at Amiens. The Earl of Leicester set off, when his horse fell, and 
he broke his leg. Upon which accident, he and the other Barons sent a 
deputation of a few wise men, both of the clergy and the laity, to represent 

1 R. Dods. MSS. vol. 97. f. 59. s Dugdale, Baron. « Bigland. " Dugd. Baron. 
1 R. Dods. vol. ciii. f. 54. » Ibid. vol. cvii. f. 128. * Ibid. vol. ciii. f. 133. 3 Ibid, 
vol. ciii. f. 186. b Ibid. Rot. Pip. vol. xv. c Ibid. 



them ; and of this number was the Lord William le Blount 1 . At the 
unfortunate battle of Lewis, he was standard bearer to the Earl of Leicester, 
and was slain, upon the 14th of May, 12(34. He was attainted in Parlia- 
ment, and dying without issue, his heirs were his two sisters. After the 
battle of Evesham, and the death of the Earl of Leicester, the next year, 
when Henry was established in full power, he made a merciful use of his 
victory. No attainders, except of the Montfort family, were carried into 
execution. And although the Parliament held at Winchester passed an 
Act to confiscate the property of all who had borne arms against the 
King, most of the forfeitures were remitted, easy compositions were made 
with others for their lands, and very small sums were levied even upon 
the most notorious offenders'". 

Such is the general account given of the consequences of the victory 
at Lewis, but it is difficult to ascertain precisely what forfeitures were 
exacted of Baron William. By the inquisition held upon his death, his 
property was found to consist of the manor of Wrabnasse in Essex, of 
Cley, Affield, Ixworth, and Walsham, and some lands in Level, all in 
Norfolk*'. Matthew Paris says, that he was attainted, and all his lands in 
Ikes worth, Walsham, Hemesford, and other places, were given to Peter 
Camynert, and Thomas de Grandisone, in the forty-ninth year of Henry 
the Third B . Some of his estates were certainly forfeited. There is a 
record of the sixteenth year of Edward the Second, in which it is stated, 
that Edward the First had granted to William de Loghmaban lands in 
Blencogan, in Cumberland, which had belonged to Sir William le Blount, 
who had forfeited them as an enemy and rebel ; and likewise the lands 
which Johanna, the widow of John le Blount, held in dower ; that since 
the said lands were held of John de Weston, and Margaret his wife, in her 
right, they claimed the wardship of the lands, and the heir of William de 
Loghmaban, who was a minor, and likewise his marriage 1 '. Yet his 
principal estates were not confiscated ; his widow had her dower in the 
manor of Ixworth, which she held till her death in 128 1, the tenth of 

d Tyrrel, from Annals of St. Augustine. MS. Mus. Brit, and Wykes. 

' Hume, ii. p. 228. ed. 4to. from Matthew Paris, p. 675. 

' Inquis. Post Mortem, 48 Hen. III. The county is stated wrong in this record. 

B Hist, in anno 

" R. Dods. MSS. vol. xxxii. f. 95. 


Edward the First: and his two sisters succeeded to the inheritance of 
Ixworth, and his principal manors'. 

Agnes, his eldest sister, was married to Sir William de Creketot of 
Ovesdonne, who died in the 53d year of Henry the Third, 1268. Roisia, 
the youngest, was the wife of Robert de Valonys, Baron of Orford in 
Suffolk, fifth son, and heir, of Robert de Valonys and Isabella de Creke. 
William de Creketot and Robert de Valonys, their two sons, were co- 
heirs of these lordships in right of their mothers. 

By the death of Lord William, the last Baron of Ixworth, without 
male heirs, the title became extinct, and the property was thus transferred 
from the Le Blount family to those of De Creketot and Valonys k . Creke- 
tot bore, azure, on a cross argent, five escalops, gules. De Valonys, 
argent, three pallets, wavy, gules'. 

In the seventh year of Edward the First, 1278, in the Pipe Roll, the estate 
of the late William le Blount paid to the scutage for Wales fourteen 
pounds, being for seven fees, at forty shillings each fee m . In the hundred 
Rolls, about the same time, Alicia Blunda had wreck and other rights in 
Wrabenasse in Essex". In Suffolk it was presented, that she had sub- 
tracted her suit to the hundred court of Risbrigg, for her tenement of 
Wratting : that she held the manor of Ixworth of the Kino, of the Barony 
of le Blount p: that the Lords of Stoke, Domina Alicia le Blunde, Domi- 
nus Baldwin de Seyngeorge, Willielmus de Stok, Johannes de Tendring, 
Juliana Gifford, and Thomas Talbot, had from old times the assize of 
bread and ale in Stoke q : that Alicia la Blunt had lately claimed free 
warren in Haverille, and Withetherisfeld, the jurors knew not by what 
warrant — that she claimed the same in Wrotting magna, and had sub- 
tracted her services in Wratting r . That in Kent she held one knight's fee 
in the town of Sneilwell*. 

1 Inquis. 10 Edw. I. Alicia uxor Willi. Le Blount tenuit Icworthe manor, Suffolk. 

k Dugdale, Camden, cSx. The descent from Creketot and Valonys is continued in 
Dugdale's Monasticon. Ixworth, vol. ii. p. 184. Sir William de Valonys had the ad- 
vowson of the church of All Saints, with the chapel of St. Mary, of the gift of Sir William 
Blount, formerly Lord of the manor of Cley. Blomefield's Norfolk, vol. iii. p. SQO. 

'Bigland. '" Dods. vol xvi. f. 41. "Page 165, 164. "Ibid. p. 172. p P. 151. 
i P. 143. ' P. 153, 195. s P. 497, 500. 



Le Blount, Baron of Be/ton, to Sir Thomas le Blount and Nicholas 
le Blount \ 

THE eldest male branch thus becoming extinct, we must ascend back to 
Sir Stephen le Blount, the second son of Gilbert le Blount the 
fourth Baron of Ixvvorth, and Agnes de LTsle, as the root from whence 
the rest of the family proceeded. He lived in the reign of Henry the 
Second, and married Maria, the sole daughter and heir of Sir William le 
Blount of Saxlingham in Norfolk, the third in descent from Sir William 
le Blount, who came over with the Conqueror. 

This original William le Blount had a son whose name is not known, 
and who was Lord of Saxlingham, in the time of Henry the First. His 
son Sir William le Blount lived in the reign of Stephen, and was father to 

a This branch, the eldest after the extinction of the Barons of Ixwoith, is entirely 
omitted by Bigland in his two pedigrees of the Sodington and Maple-Durham families; 
because they were not descended from it. The principal authorities for it are, 1. A 
Pedigree drawn up about the reign of Charles the First, which belonged to Sir William 
Dugdale, and which was communicated by Dugdale Stratford Dugdale, Esquire, Member 
for the County of Warwick, his descendant. It seems to be extremely accurate. The 
Sodington branch is the only part which is continued to modern times, and it ends with 
the children of Sir George Blount, Baronet, who married Mary Kirkham. 2. What 
Nash in his History of Worcestershire calls the Illuminated Pedigree. It was drawn up 
at the College of Arms in lC42, is a vellum roll, ten feet and a half long, and about two 
feet eight inches broad, with the coats of arms drawn and emblazoned in their proper 
colours. It was made for the Blounts of Grendon Court in Herefordshire, and therefore 
that branch is particularly described, and has been continued by Mr. Roland Blount to 
the present times, in the possession of whose widow it now remains. At the head are the 
effigies of Robert Lord Blount in a modern peer's robes, with a banner of the lozengy, 
Blount's arms ; and of Sir William le Blount, in plate armour, with the nebuly arms of 
Blount on his surtout, and on his banner, argent a cross, gules. 3. The Pedigree in 
Rawlinson's Manuscript, B. vol. 73. f. 110. 4. The Manuscript printed in the Appendix, 
No. XX. 5. Various records, deeds, and other documents, quoted in their proper places. 
All this evidence places in a clear light many parts of the family which before laboured 
under great obscurity : such as the marriages with Odinsels, de Wrotham, Lovet, Stafford, 
Stury, &c. &c. Sir Thomas le Clount, Isabel and Eleanor Beauchamp, &c. &c. 

chap. in. SIR JOHN BLOUNT. 109 

Sir William le Blount, who lived in the times of Henry the Second, 
Richard the First, and John, and who had this only daughter Maria, 
married to Sir Stephen le Blount, who thus became Lord of Saxlingham. 
And thus the families of the two brothers who first settled in England 
became united, and they were both the ancestors of the subsequent 
families 6 . 

Sir Stephen le Blount in the first year of Richard the First, 1 1 89, was 
on an assize c ; and in the tenth year 1198, with Agnes his mother, held 
half a carucate of land in the manor of Thorphall, in the parish of Sax- 
lingham in NorfolkA 

Sir Stephen le Blount had two sons, Robert and JoHN e . His second 
son Sir John Blount married Constance one of the sisters and coheirs 
of Richard de Wrotham'. This family was descended from 
Geoffrey de Wrotham of Radeville near Wrotham in Kent, who was a 
domestic servant of several of the Archbishops of Canterbury; of whom 
Hubert Walter gave him certain lands at Wrotham. Geoffrey, by his 
wife Muriel de Lyd, had a son William, who was recommended by Arch- 
bishop Hubert to Richard the First, in the ninth year of whose reign he 
was appointed Warden of the Stanneries in Devonshire and Cornwall. 
His report of the execution of his office is still extant in the Exchequer?, 

b Rawlinson's MSS. B. vol. 73. f. 119. b. Pedigree by Vincent Eyre in Coll. Arm. who 
has stated Stephen to have been the second son of William le Blount and Cecilia de Vere. 
Bigland calls him a natural son. His legitimate descent from Gilbert and Agnes is proved 
by the record next cited, by the Illuminated Pedigree, and Dugdale's Pedigree. The 
Sir Stephen le Blount, who was Chamberlain to Edward II. in Scotland, and Warden of 
the Marches, must be a different person. Rot. Scot. 2 Edw. II. ra. 16. 

c Placit. Cap. West. 

<* Blomefield's Hist, of Norfolk, vol. iii. p. 33S, 340. In 1235, Ellen le Blund held the 
same of William Cardville; and the same year the heirs of Stephen le Blund held a 
quarter of a knight's fee of the Earl of Arundel. In 1306, William, son of Ralph le 
Blund, sold it to Peter de Norford. In 1323, William le Blund possessed it. In 1272, 
Ascelina, widow of William le Blund, sued out a writ against William, son of Warine de 
Munchensy, and Sapientia, widow of William de Cardville, for her dower in Saxlingham. 
Ibid. That Saxlingham, the estate of Stephen le Blount, went in the line of Ralph le 
Blount, is a proof of the eldership of his branch. 

e Dugdale's Pedigree. The Illuminated Pedigree. 

f Habington. Collins, Hutchins's Hist, of Dorsetshire, vol. i. p. 284. 

s Lib. Nig. Scacc. i. 102. 

p 2 

110 SIR JOHN LE BLOUNT. book ii. 

and his rules and ordinances still govern the affairs of the Stanneries. In 
the next year he had grants of the manor of Cathanger in Somersetshire, 
and the Bailiwick of North Petherton. In the first year of John he was 
Sheriff of Devonshire, still Warden of the Stanneries, and Forester of the 
King's forests in Somersetshire and Dorsetshire, which offices he held in 
the fifth year. His wife was Maud de Cornhall, who brought him two 
sons. William, the eldest, was Archdeacon of Taunton, in the reign of 
John, and succeeded to the property and honours. But being a clergy- 
man, his brother Richard was substituted for him in his office of Forester. 
He died the third year of Henry the Third, 1218, when Richard de 
Wrotham, the second son, succeeded him. He was then a minor, and 
John de Mariscal and John de Erleigh were his securities for the per- 
formance of his office of Forester. In the twenty-sixth year of Henry the 
Third, 1241, he was a knight, and one of the justices of the Court of 
Common Pleas. He died in the thirty-fifth year of Henry the Third, 
12.50, without issue, when his heirs were William de Placetis, or Plessy, the 
son of his eldest sister Muriel ; Constance, the wife of John le Blount; 
Emma, the wife of Geoffrey de Scoland ; and Christiana, the wife of 
Thomas Picot. His property consisted of the manors of Mongton, Newton, 
Cathangre, and Ham, in Somersetshire ; Crele and Hcyghland in Kent ; 
and other estates. William de Placetis had the office of Forester, the 
manor of Newton, and most of the property. His third son Richard 
took the name of De Wrotham h . 

An estate at Mosterton, or Mostern, in Dorsetshire, is the only part 
which I can trace in the Blount family. In the twentieth of Edward the 
Third, 1546, Thomas Blount held one sixth of a knight's fee there 1 . In 
the thirty-fourth year, 1340, John Blount held at his death two parts of 
a messuage and garden, and one carucate of land, at that place of the 
King in capite as of his manor of Marshwood, and Margaret his sister 
was his heir, aged thirteen years k . It should seem therefore that this 
branch of the family ended in that heiress. In the eleventh year of Henry 
the Sixth, Richard More held the manor, and the capital messuage called 
Rlounts' Court 1 . 

Inquis. P. M. Collinson's Hist, of Somersetshire, vol. i p. 41. vol. 
Escaet. Hutchin. vol. i. p. 2S4. k Ibid. ' Ibid. vol. i. 347. 

chap. in. SIR ROBERT LE BLOUNT. in 

Sir Robert le Blount, the eldest son, married Isabel, the daughter of 
the Lord Odinsels, who brought him as her portion the manor of Belton 
in Rutlandshire ra . This was a family which had great possessions. The 
family of Limisie, in King John's reign, ended in two heiresses, of whom 
Basilia the eldest married Hugh de Odinsels, a Fleming ; and Alianora the 
youngest David de Lindesey, a Scotsman. The partition of the estates 
between them was made in the fifteenth year of that King. From Hugh 
de Odinsels proceeded two families. The first was seated at Ichinton in 
Warwickshire, and continued till near the time of Sir William Dugdale. 
The second possessed Solihull and Maxtoke. Hugh lived in the fifth 
year of Henry the Third, 1220, and died in the twenty-third year, 1328. 
His son Gerard had livery of his lands, and paid a relief of fifty pounds : 
the relief for a knight's fee being only one hundred shillings, he 
must have held ten knights' fees. Gerard died the fiftieth of Henry the 
Third, 1265, and Hugh his heir being under age, the custody was granted 
by the King to his son Edmund Crouchback. Hugh was of age the next 
year, and died the thirty-third of Edward the First, 1304. John, then 
twenty-eight years of age, was his successor, and died the tenth of Edward 
the Third, 1336, leaving his son John, twenty-four years of age, who in 
the twenty-fifth of Edward the Third, 1351, was outlawed, and the King 
seized his lands. They were restored to his son John, the thirty-first of 
Edward the Third, 1357. From him was a regular succession of heirs 
till the reign of Elizabeth, when John Odinsels was extravagant, be- 
came poor, sold the property, and ended the family. 

The other family, at Solihull and Maxtoke, Sir William Dugdale ob- 
serves, was soon, by heirs female, transferred to other stocks. Amongst 
these was Isabel. The manor of Belton, her portion, was a large inherit- 
ance, and from this estate the le Blounts of this branch were called to 
Parliament, by the name and title of Lord Blount of Belton". The arms 
of Odinsel were, argent, a fesse, and two mullets in chief, gules; with 
several variations . 

In the eighth year of Henry the Third, 1223, Robert le Blund witnessed 

'" Rawlinson, Dugdale, and the Illuminated Pedigrees. 

n Rnwlinson. In Escaet. 28 Edward I. Belton was a knight's fee of Edmund Duke of 
Cornwall, p. 160. 

Dugdale's Warwickshire, p. 342. 

112 SIR RALPH LE BLOUNT. book ii. 

the charter of foundation of Hilton Abbey, in Staffordshire, granted by 
Henry de AudetheleP. In the fifteenth year, 1230, he held a burgage house 
in Salop q . In the thirty-seventh of Henry the Third, 1252, he sued for 
Robert Stater'. The thirty-eighth, 1253, Robert Blundus sued John Fitz- 
vvilliam for carrying away from his house his charters and his seal 5 . The 
fifty-second, he complained of trespass in his manor of Gayton in Lincoln- 
shire 1 . He died in the seventeenth year of Edward the First, 1288, when 
Maleuline the Escheater was commanded to seize into the King's hands 
all the land and tenements of which Robert le Blound, who held of the 
King in capite, died seised". 

From Sir Robert le Blount the family divided into two great branches, 
descended from his two sons, Sir Ralph le Blount, and Sir Wil- 
liam. Sir William le Blount, the youngest, was the ancestor of 
the Blounts of Sodington, Kinlet, Burton-upon-Trent, the Lords Mounrjoy, 
those of Maple Durham, Grendon, and other families, which will be the 
subjects of the third book. 

Sir Ralph le Blount, or Rodolphus, was probably so named 
from his ancestor Rodolphus, Count of Guisnes, the father of Robert and 
William le Blount. As the eldest son he was of course the Lord of Belton. 

He married the daughter and heir of Sir Lovet, of Hampton Lovet in 

Worcestershire*. Her Christian name and that of herfather are not mentioned, 
but she seems to have been either Cecilia, or Alicia, one of the daughters 
and heirs of Sir John Lovet, the son of Henry Lovet, who will be more par- 
ticularly mentioned in the account of the Sodington family. She inherited 
Hampton Lovet from her father. It appears by the Testa de Nevil, about 
the first of Edward the First, 1272, that Henry Lovet held one knight's fee 
in Hampton Lovet of the Barony of William de Beauchamp>'. In 1269 
William Beauchamp presented to the church, I suppose on account of the 
minority of the heir z . This estate descended in this branch of the family, 
and not in that of Sodington. The arms of Lovet were, argent a fesse 
between six wolves' heads erased sable. 

In the fourteenth year of Edward the First, 1285, Sir Ralph le Blount 
recovered lands in Saxlingham which were his grandfather's, by the judg- 

>' Mon. Ang. i. 942. '• Calend. Rot. Chart. r Placit. West. E Ibid. ' Ibid. 

u Rot. Orig. Scacc. x The Illuminated Pedigree. > Testa de Nevil, p. 40. 'Nash. 



merit of Solomon de Ruffe*. The descent of this estate, some of the 
earliest property of the family, proves the seniority of this branch". 

Besides Sir Thomas le Blount, it appears that Sir Ralph le Blount had 
an elder son, Sir William le Blount, and that his wife was named 
Isabel. He was styled Lord of Belton. The estate there was settled 
upon. him in tail, and to bar it, in the fifty-fifth year of Henry the Third, 
1270, a fine was levied between William le Blount and Isabel his wife, 
querents, and Walter le Blount, deforcient, of one messuage, one mill, 
nineteen virgates of land, &c. in Belton, settled on William and Isabel 
in tail; who gave to Walter a virgate of land in Messeworth in Bucks*. 
By a deed without date, Lord William le Blount gave to John Lovet 
lands in Brerhull in Bertone^. In 1306", William son of Ralph le Blount 
sold land at Thorphall in the parish of Saxlingham in Norfolk to Peter de 
Norford 2 . In 13 1j, in the ninth year of Edward the Second, William 
le Blount was Lord of Belton 1 . In 1323, William le Blount possessed 
land at Saxlingham 1 '. In 132S, William le Blount presented to the 
Church of Hampton Lovet c . He must have died soon after that year, 
and without issue, since his brother Thomas, who died in 1330, was Lord 
of Belton. This Sir William le Blount could not have been the son of Sir 

1 Rawlinson and Dugdale's Pedigrees. 

" Though contemporary, the following mercantile Sir Ralph le Blount I suppose was a 
different person. He was Sheriff of London in the fourth year of Edward the First, 1276. 
Rawlrnson. In the Hundred Rolls, in the time of Henry the Third, and Edward the First, 
we find in London the ward of Ralph le Blount, and mention is made of Reginald le 
Blount, and William le Blount. Presentment is made of two walls erected in Kyron Lane 
by Ralph le Blount and the Abbot of Warden, to escape the attacks of thieves, the 
association of bad women, and filth in the night; another for exporting wool. Hund. Roll, 
p. 418. b. 424, 480. 

* This is from a MS. note of Le Neve, in the copy of Wright's History of Rutlandshire, 
in Gough's Collection, Bib. Bod. He adds, "See the Roll of Assarts of the Forest of 
Roteland to prove a William Le Blount possessed of Belton then. Willm le Blount de 
Belton tenuit Belton Launde. Vide Rot. Regard, 49 Edw. III. (1375.) in 5 et ult." It is 
possible that this Sir William le Blount may have been the husband of Isabel Beauchamp, 
of the Sodington line, and his son Sir Walter of Rock, and that a part of the Belton 
estate had been settled upon him as the younger son. 

J Dugdale. Appendix, No. XVIII. Art. 5. 

z Blomefield, Hist. Norf. vol. iii. p. 338, 340. a Anecd. Coll. Arm. 

h Blomefield, ibid. c Nash. 

114 SIR THOMAS LE BLOUNT. book ii. 

Thomas, as he was in possession of Belton before Sir Thomas's death. 
Nor could he have been the person who married Isabel Beauchamp, be- 
cause the estate at Saxlingham and the Lordship of Belton went in the 
elder branch, and not in the Sodington family. 

The other son of Sir Ralph le Blount was Sir Thomas le Blount. 
He is enumerated amongst the Knights who fought under that warlike 
monarch Edward the First. That he was a brave, a faithful, and an 
accomplished soldier, may be inferred from the honourable trusts which 
were bestowed upon him by his sovereign. And though no memorials 
remain of his various campaigns, and military services, it may be presumed 
that he shared in the dangers and honours of the British conquests in 
Wales, Scotland, and France. 

In the fourth year of his reign, 1310, King Edward the Second gave 
him the custody of his manor of Caldecote, near Kayrwent, in Glouces- 
tershire, which had been held by John the son of Reginald, deceased 1 '. 

In the fifth year, 1.31 1, he was appointed Governor of Drosselan castle, 
in Wales, which he held till the twelfth year, 131 S, when he was succeeded 
by Egidius de Beauchamp . This castle is in the parish of Llangathen, 
not far from Grongar Hill, in the vale of Towy in Carmarthenshire. 
Some ruins of it still remain. 

He married two wives : the name of the first is not known. His second 
was j uliana de Levborne. This latter marriage took place in the nineteenth 
year of Edward the Second, 132.5. Juliana was the daughter of Thomas 
de Levborne, and the widow of John de Hastings, Lord Bergavenny f . 
She was a great heiress, and was usually styled the Infanta of 
Kent. Her family was ancient, and had large possessions in that county. 
The greater part of their property had belonged to Odo, Bishop of 
Baieux, the half brother of William the Conqueror, whose estates had 
been confiscated by William Rufus. Sir Roger de Levborne erected the 

"* Rot. Grig, in anno. 

c Dagdale's Baron, vol. i. p. 519- and Rot. Orig. in Cur. Scacc. 12 Edw. II. Rex 
commisit Egidio de Bello campo custodiam eastn Regis et ville de Broslan, cum perti- 
nentiis, tenendum quamdiu Rex plaeuerit, eodem modo quo Thomas le Blound. 

' For Juliana de Leyborne, see Dugdale's Baron, vol. i. p. 531, 5S2. vol. ii. p. 13, 14. 
The Inquis. post mortem at her death, and Hasted's History of Kent, vol. ii. p. 206, &c. 

chap. in. SIR THOMAS LE BLOUNT. 115 

castle upon the manor from whence he derived his name, in the reign of 
Richard the First, whom he accompanied, with William de Leyborne, to 
the siege of Acre in 1191 x . His son, Sir Roger de Leyborne, took an 
active part in the troublesome reigns which succeeded. Adhering to the 
Barons, he was taken prisoner by King John in the castle of Rochester, in 
1215, but made his peace and was discharged. In 1251, he slew Ernulf 
de Mounterey at a meeting of the Round Table, at Waldon in Essex ; the 
launce, which was unbated, entering through his armour; and it was 
supposed to have been done designedly, out of revenge for ErnulPs having 
broken his leg at a former tournament. In 12.52 he attended King Henry 
the Third into Gascony. At first he adhered to the cause of the Barons 
against the King, but in 1263, he declared in favour of the royal cause, 
and was wounded in the King's service at Northampton. He was after- 
wards besieged in Rochester castle, and defended it successfully against 
the Earl of Leicester in person. He was taken prisoner at the battle of 
Lewes in 1264, and was released upon an undertaking for his personal 
appearance before the parliament. He was again defeated by Leicester in 
Wales. In 1265 he was appointed by the King to treat with the city of 
London, which had incurred his severe displeasure by adhering to the 
rebellious Barons. After imprisoning some of their members, the King 
at last consented to restore the city to its liberties for a fine of 50,000 
marks 7 . He was rewarded for his loyalty by valuable grants, and import- 
ant offices, particularly after the battle of Evesham. He was constable of 
Bristol in 1259, and was made Warden of the Forests beyond Trent, 
Steward of the King's Household, Warden of the Cinque Ports, Sheriff 
of Cumberland and Kent, and Governor of Carlisle, in 1267. In 1269 
he assumed the cross to accompany Prince Edward to the Holy Land, 
but he died in the" fifty-sixth year of Henry the Third, 1271. His two 
wives were, Idonea, the youngest daughter of Sir Robert de Vipont, Lord 
and Baron of Westmoreland ; and his second, Eleanor, the daughter of 

* List of the Knights at Acre. Ashmole MSS. No. 1120. The arras of Leybourne were, 
Azure, six lions rampant, argent, 3. 2. 1. or 3. 3. Ashmole MSS. No. 1120. Hasted, Hist. 
Kent. General History, page lxxxi. 

v Nichols's Leicestershire, vol. i. p. 179 and 509. 

116 SIR THOMAS LE BLOUNT. book ii. 

William de Ferrers, and die widow of Roger de Quinci, Earl of Win- 
chester, who survived him 1 . 

His son, William de Leyborne, received many marks of his sovereign's 
favour. In the fifty-sixth year of Henry the Third he had a grant in tee 
of the forest of Englewood. In the fourteenth year of Edward the First 
he entertained the King at his castle of Leyborne on the 25th of October. 
He was appointed the King's Admiral, Admiral of the southern seas, and 
Constable of Pevensey Castle, in 1295. The wardship, and marriage of 
Geoffry de Say was conferred upon him, and his ward married his daughter 
Idonea. From the twenty-seventh year of Edward the First to the third 
of Edward the Second, he regularly received his summons to the Parlia- 
ment as a Baron of the Realm. In the latter year, 1.109, he died, leaving 
his widow Juliana surviving, and Juliana, his grand-daughter, then six- 
years of age, his only heiress ; his son Thomas de Leyborne having died 
before him. 

But William de Leyborne had enfeoffed his son Thomas, and his wife 
Alice, before his death, with the manor of Leyborne, and other property. 
Thomas died in the thirty-fifth year of Edward the First, three years 
before his father, seised of the manor of Leyborne, which was held of the 
King as of the honor of Albermarle by half a knight's fee. He left i\lice 
his wife, who was the daughter of Ralph de Tony of Flamstead in Hert- 
fordshire, and his daughter Juliana". 

In the twenty-eighth year of Edward the First, Sir Simon and Sir 
Henry de Leyborne, two younger brothers, attended the King into Scot- 
land and were knighted at Carlaverock b . In the list of persons sum- 
moned by that monarch, by his writs of the 8th of February, to attend 
his coronation, Henry de Leyborne and his consort were invited'. 

Juliana de Leyborne, the heiress of the family, was born in 1303, for 
she was six years old at her grand-father's death in 1309 d - In her centered 

1 Dugdale's Baron, vol. ii. p. 13, 14. Selden, Titles of Honour, part ii. chap. v. s. 26. 
Upon the summons of the Barons, 5 Edw. I. to assist upon the expedition against Wales, 
Roger de Clifford who married the eldest, and Roger de Leyburn, the youngest daughters 
of Robert de Veteri Ponte, acknowledged to owe the service of two knights' fees and an 
half each for their halves of the Barony of Westmoreland. Seld. from Rot. Scut. 

" Ibid. b Hasted, vol. i. p. 4Sy. ' Ibid. vol. iii. p. 2(55. '< Inquis. P. M. 

chap. in. SIR THOMAS LE BLOUNT. 117 

the rewards of the merits of her ancestors, and the favour of so many 
sovereigns. Besides property in other places, the manor and castle of 
Ley borne, and the advovvson of the church of Ridley, she inherited twenty- 
two manors in the county of Kent alone. Mere, in Reinham parish, was 
held by the service of walking as the Principal Lardner or Clerk of the 
Kitchen at the King's Coronation ; and the privilege granted by Henry 
the Third to Roger de Leyborne was confirmed to his great-grand-daughter; 
that his gavelkind lands in Reinham, Upchurch, and Herclep should be 
held in fee by the fourth part of a knight's fee e . In addition to these, the 
manors of Langley, Colbridge, De la Gare, Wadeslade, Watringburv, 
Foukes, East Farbone, Bichnor, Swanton-Court, Goodneston, Easling, 
Queen-Court, Barton, Ashford, with Wall and Esture, Eleham, Pack- 
manstone, Elmstone, Overland, Wadling, Ham, and Westgate, acknow- 
ledged her as their Lady f . 

These immense possessions Juliana de Leyborne transferred to three 
successive husbands : but she was so unfortunate as to have no children to 
inherit them. 

Her first husband was John de Hastings, the eldest son of John de 
Hastings, Lord Bergavenny, by Isabel his wife ; sister, and, at length, 
co-heir, to Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke. At the death of his 
father in the sixth year of Edward the Second, 1312, he was of age. In 
1323 he was made Governor of Kenilvvorth Castle, and died in the 
eighteenth year of Edward the Second, 1325, leaving his widow Juliana, 
and Lawrence, his son and heir, by a former wife, about five years of age 5 . 
The principal seat of the Hastings' family was on the Lordship of Berga- 
venny in Monmouthshire, and they likewise enjoyed great property at 
Fillongley, Allesley, Birdingbury, Aston Cantelupe, and other places in 
Warwickshire, which they acquired, by marriage, from the Cantelupe 
family h . 

' Thomas le Blount, and Juliana his wife, enfeoffed certain persons of the manors of De 
la Gare, Langell, and the third part of Herietsham, eighty acres of wood in Espling, Os- 
pring, Hertelope, Ronham, Olivele, Aske, Sidingbourne, Tonge, Milstede, Merston, Rode- 
meresham, Kingestone, Upchurch, Dordan, and Middleton, in the county of Kent, as of 
the inheritance of Juliana. R. Dods. MSS. vol. 128. f. 6. 

f See each of these places respectively in Hasted's History of Kent. 

e Escaet. R. Dods. vol. 132. f. 47. 

b Dugdale's Warwickshire in locis, and page 742. See Genealogy of Cantelupe, No. 19- 
Q 2 

118 SIR THOMAS LE BLOUNT. book if. 

In about a year after his death, in 1325, Juliana again married Sir 
Thomas le Blount. Besides what she inherited from her father and grand- 
father, she was now endowed with considerable property of her late husband. 
Upon the death of John de Hastings, his estates were in the hands of the 
Crown, on account of the minority of the heir ; and Edward the Third, in 
his first year, by John de Blomville, his Escheator, assigned to Sir Thomas 
le Blount and Juliana his wife, widow of John de Hastings, one of the 
heirs of Adomar de Valencia, late Earl of Pembroke, the following lands, 
as her dower. 

The manors of £. s. d. 

Sutton, in Norfolk, valued at 32 11$ 

Winfarthing, in the same county 20 8 9^ 
Inveneslesbury, in Herts 8 19 11$ 

Suthanyfeld, in Essex 10 9 10 

Thurton, in the same 10 3 1 

Reydon, in Suffolk 51 IS 3$ 

Towcester, in Northamptonshire 63 13 6 
Some tenements in Fanges, in Essex 3 13 4 

In Asshedou, in Bucks 1 10 

In Southwark, Surrey 8 6 

Making in all 4203. 6s. 2r/. in annual value 1 . 
The manor of Birdingbury, in Warwickshire, had been granted to Sir 
John Paynel for his lite ; and upon his death, which happened before this 
marriage, it was assigned to Juliana, as part of her dower, the reversion 
and inheritance belonging to the son of her husband, Lawrence de 
Hastings. Accordingly we find that Sir Thomas le Blount, as patron, 
presented to the church at Birdingbury, Thomas le Blount, a subdeacon, 
in the year 1327- What relation this Thomas bore to him is not known k . 
Upon the death of Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, in the ninth 
year of Edward the Second, 1315, as his son Thomas was a minor, various 
noblemen were entrusted with the care of his property. At first William 
de Sutton was appointed Constable of Warwick Castle, and in the 
twentieth year of Edward the Second, 1326, Thomas le Blount had the 
charge of that castle, as Constable or Governor. He did not however 

' Rot. Orig. in Cur. Scacc. 1 Edward III. k Dugd. War. p. 216. 

chap. in. SIR THOMAS LE BLOUNT. 119 

long enjoy this honour, for in the first year of Edward the Third it was 
entrusted to Roger de Mortimer, during the remainder of the minority 1 . 

During the unhappy state of the kingdom in the last year of Edward 
the Second, though he held the office of Lord Steward of the King's 
household, he adhered to Queen Isabel ; and after she had taken 
Bristol, and the King had fled into Wales, he gave her every assistance" 1 . 
Holinshead relates it in the following manner, which he has literally 
translated from the original historian, Walsingham. " After the Queen 
went to Bristol, the King in the mean time kept not in one place, but 
shifting hither and thither, remained in great care. Whereupon Sir 
Thomas Blount, an ancient Knight, and Lord Steward of the King's 
house, took his servants, with victuals, horses, and armour, in great plenty, 
and came to the Queen, of whom, and likewise of hir sonne, he was 
joifullie received, and divers of them which he brought with him were 
retained, and the others had letters of protection, and were sent away in 
loving manner"." Howe says, that by the breaking of his rod, he resigned 
his office, and shewed that the King's household had free liberty to 
depart . 

Upon the accession of Edward the Third, he supplied the place of the 
Earl of Pembroke, who was still under age, at the Coronation p. He again 
served his country, and in 1327 was with the army which entered Scotland 
under Henry Duke of Lancaster''. 

After the death of Juliana de Leybourne, widow of Sir William de 
Leybourne and grandmother of the heiress, an Inquisition was held in the 
second year of Edward the Third, 1328, in Kent, when it was found that 
she held the manor of Eselyng, of the heir of Bartholomew de Badlesmere,, 
who was under age, as of the barony of Chilham, by the service of one 
knight's fee ; and a messuage, and eighty acres of ploughed land, and six of 

1 Dugd. War. p. 342. b. Rot. Orig. Cur. Scacc. m Dugd. Bar. vol. i. p. 519- 
n Holinshead, page 339. Walsingham, 20th and 21st of Edward the Second. Miles 
emeritus, Domini Regis Senesehallus se, cum tota sua familia, assumptis victualibus, 
armaturis, et dextrariis multi6 valde, contulit ad Keginam. Quern ilia, cum filio suo, 
benigne suscepit, et quosdam de suis secum retinuit, quosdam datis Uteris protectoriis in 
pace dimisit. Walsingham, page 125. edit. Cambden. Dextrarii, Fr. destriers, war 
horses. Du Cange. 

• History of England, page 225. " Rawlinson, vol. 73. f. 110, but with a mistake 

as to the reign. q Dugd. Bar. vol. i. p. 519- 

120 SIR THOMAS LE BLOUNT. bookii. 

meadow, in Overland, of the Archbishopric of Canterbury, then vacant. 
And that Juliana, the daughter of Thomas de Leybourne, the wife of 
Thomas le Blount, was her next heir, and of full age. On the 13th of 
February, Thomas le Blount did homage for those lands r . 

In the twentieth year of Edward the Second, and the first and second 
years of Edward the Third, Sir Thomas le Blount was summoned to Par- 
liament as a Baron 5 . He died in the fourth year of Edward the Third, 
13S0, leaving no issue by his second wife. There is no Inquisitio post 
Mortem amongst the records of the Tower. 

In the same year, his widow Juliana married her third husband, Sir 
William de Clinton, younger brother of John de Clinton, of Maxtoke, an- 
cestor of the Lords Clinton and Say, the Earl of Lincoln, and the Duke 
of Newcastle*. 

This marriage, and the great wealth he acquired by it, was the step to 
the future honours of William de Clinton. In the next year he was made 
Justice and Governor of Chester, Constable of Dover Castle, and Warden 
of the Cinque Ports. In 13.51 he was summoned to Parliament as a 
Baron. Next year he was appointed Admiral of the Seas from the 
Thames westward. By patent of the 16th of March, in the eleventh year 
of Edward the Third, 1337, he was raised to the dignity of Earl of Hun- 
tingdon, with the creation fee of £20 per annum, payable out of the issues 
of that county, and a grant of a thousand marks per annum of land. In 
1316 he paid an aid for knighting the Black Prince for the castle of Ley- 
bourne for one fourth of a knight's fee, which Thomas de Leybourne before 
held of Margaret de Rivers, and she of the King". 

In the mean time, the son of her first husband, Lawrence de Hastings, 
was under the guardianship of his mother-in-law, Juliana. He was bred 
up in the court of Queen Philippa, the wife of Edward the Third, who 
seems to have interested herself in the young man's favour. When that 
Sovereign was at Newcastle, upon his Scotch expedition in 1333, having 
sent for the Queen to come to him, and considering that so long a journey 
might be dangerous to the child, he directed special letters to Juliana, 
desiring her to take him under her charge, as a person most proper to 

r R. Dods. MSS. vol. 84 fol. S. Fines. 8 Dugtlale, Baron, vol. i. p. 519- and Sum- 

mons of the Nobility, in annis. ' Dugdale, i. 5~6, &c. &c. " Dugd. Baron. Hasted, 
History of Kent. 

chap. in. SIR THOMAS LE BLOUNT. i 2! 

undertake that trust\ In the ninth year of that King, 1335, Sir John le 
Blount, and others, were assigned to enquire of all trespasses committed by- 
Guy Bretons and others in the manor of Inteberwe, in Worcestershire, 
which belonged to Lawrence Earl of Pembroke''. In the eleventh year of 
Edward the Third, 1337, Lawrence de Hastings was committed to the 
tuition of Juliana's third husband, the Earl of Huntingdon, and he had an 
allowance of two hundred marks a year out of the Exchequer for his main- 
tenance ; and he held the manors of Winfarthing, and Heywood, in Nor- 
folk, as his guardian. As soon as he came of age he was declared Earl of 
Pembroke, and he died in the twenty-second year of Edward the Third, 
1348 r . 

Sir William de Clinton, Earl of Huntingdon, died in the twenty-eighth 
year of Edward the Third, 1334, and was buried in the Priory at Maxtoke, 
which he had founded. Having no children, his heir was Sir John de 
Clinton, his elder brother's son*. Upon the Inquisition at his death 
it was found that he held, in conjunction with Richard Dallesle, yet 
living, the manor of Wybergh, and the manors of Thurton and South- 
ingfeld, and the hamlet of Founge, and the advowson of the church of 
Thurton, in right of Juliana his wife, yet living, videlicet of her dower. 
John, the son of John his brother, was his heir, of the age of twenty-four 
years b . 

Juliana, having survived her three husbands, became again possessed of 
the castle of Leybourne, and all the manors which she had inherited, in her 
own right. She made her will the SOth of October, 1363, died in the 
forty-third year of Edward the Third, 1369, and was buried according to 
her will in the new chapel, on the south side of the Church of St. Augus- 
tine's monastery, near Canterbury . Upon the Inquisition which was held 
after her death, it was found that she had no heirs, either lineal or collateral, 
and all her immense possessions escheated to the Crown d . 

* Dugdale, Warwick, p. 742. * Rot. Orig. in Scacc. * Dugd. Warw. p. "42. 
» Dugd. Bar. h Eseaet. R. Dods. MSS. vol. 51. f. 61. ' Dugd. Baron. Reg. Cant. 
Langham , f. 115. 

* Inquis. Post Mort. 43 Edw. III. See the Genealogy of Leyborne, No. 20. formed 
from Dugdale's Baronage, vol. i. p. 531. vol. ii. p. 13. Ashmole's MSS. No. 825. part 5. 
fol. 10. No. 804. fol. 34. R. Dods. MSS. vol. 132. fol. 39. Hasted's History of Kent, 
vol. ii. p. 206, &c. 

122 SIR WILLIAM LE BLOUNT. book ii. 

By his first wife Sir Thomas le Blount had two sons, William and 
Nicholas. Sir William le Blount, the eldest, succeeded him as 
Lord of Belton c . Nicholas le Blount, the second son, was living in 
the 3.5th year of Edward the Third, 1361, and was the father of the second 
Nicholas le Blount, who lived in the reign of Richard the Second, 
and changed his name to Croke : an event which will be related in the 
next chapter f . 

Sin William le Blount, the eldest son of Sir Thomas, was Lord 
of Belton, in the reign of Edward the Seconds. He had a daughter Isabel, 
married to Alanus de Atkinson, and a son John. He was Knight of the 
Shire for Rutland in the twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and thirty-fifth years 
of Edward the First, and the seventh of Edward the Second, that is, in 
1299, 1300, 1306, and 131:3 h . This was before his father's death, when he 
Mas summoned to the upper house. In the fourteenth year of Edward the 
Second, 1320, William le Blount, Lord of Belton, gave to Walter the son 
of Robert, the Bailiff of Belton, half a virgate of land, in Belton, for his 
life'. In the fust year of Edward the Third, 1327, he had a charter of 
Free Warren for his manor of Hampton Lovet k ; and in the fourth and 
sixth years, 1330 and 1332, grants of two yearly fairs at Belton, on the 
eve of St. Thomas, and on the eve, day, and morrow of St. James 1 . In 
1328, and 1332, he presented Thomas de Hugford to the Rectory of 
Hampton Lovet™. By a deed dated at Hampton Lovet, in the fortieth 

e The Illuminated Pedigree makes the son of Sir Thomas le Blount, who married 
Leybourne, to have been Sir Thomas Blount, and says that he supplied the place of John 
Hastings at the coronation of Edward III. And that his son Sir Thomas Blount was 
beheaded in MOO. 

'Manuscript, Appendix, No XX. In the 2Sth year of Edward I. 1209, Nicholas le 
Blount of Yorkshire released to Sir Roger Mynyot all his land in Eskelly, which had 
belonged to Richard de Stochilld. R. Dodsw. vol. <)I. f. 181. Perhaps the first Nicholas. 
A Nicholas le Blount was Rector of Weting in Suffolk, in 1315. Blomefield's Norfolk in 

s Hist. p. 109. n. " Wright's Rutland, p. 14. i Dugdale's MSS. Ashmole MSS. 

vol. 39. fol. 47, et seq. Append. No. XVI II. art. 3. k Habington in Collins, 

vol. iii. p. 3(]S. note. Rot. Chart, p. 159. 1 Dugdale, Baron, p. 518. Rot. Chart. 

6 Edw. 111. n. '21.3:2. p. 1(33. 

m Nash in loco. In lSfifl William de Beauchamp presented, perhaps as Lord on 
account of the minority of the heirs of Sir John Lovet. In 1303 Peter le Blount, who in 
1305 likewise, presented Radulphus le Blount, who was witness to a deed in lull. See 
page 1 16. I know not in what right Peter presented. 

chap. in. SIR JOHN LE BLOUNT. 123 

year of Edward the Third, 1366, he gave to his son Sir John le Blount, 
knight, and Elizabeth his wife, in franc marriage, certain lands in Hams- 
lope, in Buckinghamshire. The seal is the nebuly arms of Blount". 

The manor of Thichenapeltre, which is called in Domesday Book 
Tichenapletreu, was in Hampton Lovet, and was purchased, according to 
Nash, in the thirteenth year of Edward the Third, 1339, of Richard Bos- 
ler, or Bottiler ; but by a deed preserved by Ashmole of John Alleyne, 
and Alice his wife, by William Blount, and John his son . In the same 
year, Joan, late wife of Richard le Bosler, released to Sir John Blount, 
Lord of Hampton Lovet, the manor ThichenapeltreP. 

Sir John le Blount, his son, was Lord of Belton, Custos of the 
City of London, and Constable of the Tower in the reign of Edward the 
Third. In the first year of that King, 1327, he was summoned as a Baron 
to Parliament, by the name of the Lord Blount of Belton q . He had two 
wives : by the first, whose name is not known, he was the father of Sir 
Thomas le Blount, who succeeded to the Lordship of Belton, and whose 
history will be given in the second part of this book. His second wife 
was Elizabeth de Fourneaux, sole heir to her father Sir Simon de Fourneaux 
and Alice his wife, daughter of Sir Henry de Umfraville, and co-heir with 
Elizabeth Umfraville, who married Oliver St. John, ancestor of Lord 
Bolingbroke r . She inherited the great estates of Fourneaux, whose arms 
were, gules, a bend between six cross-crosslets, or\ 

In the nineteenth year of Edward the Third, 134o, Thomas de Hugford, 
Rector of Hampton Lovet, granted to Sir John Blount, and Elizabeth his 
wife, with remainder to William their son, the manor of Hampton Lovet, 
with the advowson, and the manor of Thichenapeltre 1 . 

Elizabeth survived her husband, and in her widowhood, in the eighth 
year of Richard the Second, 13S5, founded a chauntry in the Abbey of 
Athelney in the county of Somerset. By the deed of foundation she 
agreed with Robert Hacche, the Abbot, that there should be found for 
ever two Chaplains, one of them to be a monk, the other a secular priest, 

" Dugdale's MS. Ibid. App. No. XVIII. Art. 2. • Ashmole, MS. App. No. XVIII. 

Art. 27. p Habington. Ibid. '" Rawlinson's Pedigree, Dugdale's Pedigree. r Col- 
linson's History of Somersetshire. Nash, vol. i. p. 536. s Habington. They were 

quartered with Blount in St. Augustine's Church, Dudurhull or Doderhill. ' Ashmole's 
MS. App. No. XVIII. Art. 39. 


124 SIR JOHN LE BLOUNT. book ii. 

to say mass every day in the year, except Good-Friday, for the good estate 
of William Aungier, and Henry Roddam, and also for the said Elizabeth, 
the Lady Alice Stafford, the Lady Maud Stafford, and Robert Wrench, 
and all the other friends and benefactors of the said Elizabeth, And also 
for the souls of Sir John Blount, Sir Simon de Fourneaux, and Alice his 
wife, Sir Henry de Umfraville, and Isabel his wife, Sir William Blount, 
and Maud his wife, the Lady Julian Talbot, the Lady Elizabeth Corn- 
wall, Sir Brian Cornwall, her son, Sir Richard Stafford, and Sir Richard 
Stafford the younger, Robert Flete, and Robert Stockton, and for the 
souls of all her friends and benefactors deceased. And it was farther 
agreed, that on the decease of the said Elizabeth Blount, or any other of 
the persons above mentioned respectively, annual obits should be kept on 
the days of their deaths, as also for the other persons who were dead at the 
time of executing the indenture. These services were to be performed at 
the Altar of the Holy Trinity in the Abbey Church of Athelney. And it 
was agreed that in case of the neglect thereof, the said Elizabeth and 
her heirs should have power to distrain upon the lands of the Abbot 
and Convent on their lands at Clavelshay in the parish of North 

Their son, Sir William le Blount, whose wife was named Maud, was 
therefore dead, and without issue in 13S5. Alice, their only daughter and 
heir, married first Sir Richard Stafford, who was likewise dead in 13So, and 
had had a son Sir Richard Stafford, then dead also. Secondly, she married 
Sir Richard Stury, who died without issue in 1403. This Knight served 
Edward the Third and Richard the Second, in their wars, with Sir John 
Montacute, afterwards Earl of Salisbury. They both favoured the doc- 
trines of Wycliffe, whose disciples attended their assemblies in armour, on 
account of the interruptions they were exposed to. When their attempts 
at a reformation recalled Richard the Second from Ireland, in 1:394, he 
sharply rebuked Montague, and threatened to put to death Sir Richard 
Stury, if they did not renounce their opinions' 1 . In the east window of 
Hampton Lovet in painted glass was the effigy of a knight in armour kneel- 
ing, with his name Sir Richard Stury under it, and two coats of arms; on 
the right, party per fesse, gules and or, six roses counter-changed, the buds 

n Coilinson's History of Somersetshire. * Ypod. Neust. p. 540. Walsingham, p. 351. 

chap. in. SIR JOHN LE BLOUNT. 125 

counter-coloured ; on the left, gules, a bend between six cross-crosslets, or, 
for Fourneaux'' ; which proves Alice's descent from that family. 

In 1396, by the name of Alice Stury Lady of Hampton Lovet, she pre- 
sented to the church, and, in 1412, as the widow of Richard Stury 2 . 
By a petition, without date, addressed to the Earl of Warwick, describing 
herself as his tenant, and the late wife of Sir Richard Stury, she claimed 
two messuages, two plough lands, five acres of meadow, and other lands in 
Thichenapeltre, in the county of Worcester, as her rightful inheritance 
after the death of William le Blount her brother'. 

Afterwards, styling herself Lady of Hampton Lovet, she erected a 
chapel in the chauntry of St. John the Baptist in the church there, dedi- 
cated to Saint Anne, and endowed it with the manor of Bishampton, lands 
in Hampton Lovet, and in Otterton, formerly Cotterugge, to support two 
chaplains, to pray for the souls of Sir John Blount and Elizabeth his wife, 
her father and mother, Sir Richard Stafford, and Sir Richard Sturv, her two 
husbands. The licence for this endowment from the Bishop of Worcester 
is dated the twenty-eighth of October, 1414, and in that year she presented 
a clerk to it b . 

She died in the fourth year of Henry the Fifth, 1415, and Sir John 
Blount of Sodington was found to be her heir e , in the estates which came 
from her father Sir John Blount. The Fourneaux estates went to her 
mother's heirs, the descendants of John Bitton who married Hawise Four- 
neaux d . This was Sir John Blount, who married Juliana Foulhurst, and 
Isabella Cornwall, and died in 1424. The situation of the Belton branch 
of the family rendered it necessary to have recourse for an heir to so dis- 
tant a relation. She had no children, her own brother was dead, her half 
brother or nephew, Sir Thomas Blount, had been beheaded in 1400, and 
her cousin Nicholas le Blount, had been attainted, went abroad, changed his 
name, and had lived in concealment in a distant country ; and it must be 
concluded from this inquisition that no other relations remained of the de- 
scendants of Sir Ralph le Blount. Thus were the manors of Hampton 
Lovet, and Thichenapeltre, transferred to the Sodington branch. In the 
same year 141.5, Sir John Blount presented to the church of Hampton 

y Nash, ii. p. 538. z Nash. * Ashmole, App. No. XVIII. Art. 40. and Habington, ibid. 
b Dodsw. vol 90. f. 111. Nash, vol. 1. p. 643. e Escaet. Dods. vol. 42. f. 47- d Col- 
linson's History of Somersetshire. 

126 SIR JOHN LE BLOUNT. book ii. 

Lovet, and the chapel of St. Anne f . Hampton Lovet descended to his 
son Sir John Blount of Sodington, by whom it appears to have been 
transferred to the Mountjoy family ; for Sir Thomas Blount the Treasurer, 
presented to the church in 1419, 1421, 1422, 1432, 1445, and to the 
chapel in 1427, 143:5, 1444, 1447, 1448, and 1453. And next, William 
Lord Mountjoy presented to the church in 1493, and to the chapel in 
1512 s ; and in that family it continued till it was sold to the Packington 

I Nash. s Ibid. 








The conclusion of the Lords of Belton, and the origin of the Croke 

HAVING thus given the history of the children of Sir John Blount by 
his second wife Elizabeth Fourneaux, I proceed to Sir Thomas Blount, 
his only son by his first wife". He succeeded as Lord of Belton. In the 
thirty-second year of Edward the Third, 1358, it was found by an inquisi- 
tion not to be to the King's detriment to grant a licence to Sir Robert 
West, to give the manor and advowson of Compton Valence in Dorset- 
shire to Sir Thomas Blount for life". At the coronation of Richard the 
Second, in 1377, he was deputy for John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke, a 
minor, in the office of Naperer, or Superintendent of the King's linen, in 
right of his manor of Ashele in Norfolk . 

This knight, with his cousin Nicholas le Blount, whose descent I have 
already given, engaged deeply in the conspiracy which was formed, in the 

» Dugdale's, Rawlinson's, and the Illuminated Pedigrees. b Inquis. ad quod damnum 
in anno. 

' Ibid. Baker's Chronicle. In these Pedigrees an intermediate Sir Thomas Blount is 
interposed between Sir John Blount and this Sir Thomas, but as the time scarcely admits 
of it, and as no particulars are mentioned of him, except that he lived in the reign of 
Richard the Second, I think it extremely probable that one Sir Thomas has been multi- 
plied into two, as has sometimes been done by Dugdale, and other genealogists. 

130 CHANGE OF NAME. book hi. 

year 1400, to restore Richard the Second to his throne after his deposition 
by Henry the Fourth. Since this transaction materially affected the 
family, by occasioning the extinction of the tldest line of the Belton 
branch, and the change of name, from le Blount to Croke, in the second 
line, it may not be improper to give some account of it, and of the 
causes which occasioned it. 

A long minority, a turbulent aristocracy, the ambition of the princes of 
the blood, and the King's imprudence, rendered the reign of ltichard the 
Second one of the most unfortunate in the English annals. In the fluctu- 
ations of power between the parties of the King and his opponents, as 
each gained the ascendancy, their adversaries bled upon the scaffold ; 
in their turn, the King's adherents, his enemies, and finally Richard him- 
self, were sacrificed in the contest ; and a foundation was laid for the civil 
wars which desolated the country for near a century. Expensive wars, 
the want of economy, in a tutelary and rapacious government, had early 
exhausted the treasury; and new and extraordinary taxes excited a general 
discontent in the kingdom, and dangerous insurrections of the people. 
When the King became capable of acting for himself, his thoughtless ex- 
travagance, his unbounded attachment to his favourites, and the oppres- 
sion of his subjects to extort the means of supplying his necessities, gave 
general disgust, and excited the jealousy and resentment of a haughty 
nobility. The necessary defence of the kingdom against a projected in- 
vasion of the French, in 13S6, required the aid of Parliament, and the 
party in opposition to the court, with the Duke of Gloucester at their 
head, seized this opportunity to compel the removal of the King's min- 
isters, and to take the government into their own hands. A commission 
issued, to which the King was obliged to consent, to invest fourteen per- 
sons with powers totally subversive of the King's authority ; his favourites 
and ministers were impeached, and most of them beheaded, or banished''. 
For some time the Duke and his party were completely masters of the 
kingdom, and Richard was obliged to acquiesce ; but those measures were 
displeasing to the people ; and as soon as circumstances were favourable, 
Richard emancipated himself from this restraint, asserted his royal authority 
in a council held for that purpose on the third of May 13S9, and appointed 

d Stat. 10 Rich. II. 1387. 

chap. i. CHANGE OF NAME. 131 

his own ministers. By these vigorous proceedings, and his subsequent ju- 
dicious conduct, the King and his Parliament were cordially reconciled, 
he acquired the confidence of his people, and the kingdom for some years 
enjoyed an uninterrupted tranquillity. 

But Richard unfortunately was not satisfied with the possession of a 
moderate and constitutional authority : he still feared the machinations of 
his enemies, he had experienced their oppressive insolence, he wished 
to protect himself against their power, and to raise himself above their 
control. It was declared by Parliament, that the King was as free in his 
royal prerogative as any of his predecessors, notwithstanding any statute 
in derogation thereof, particularly in the time of Edward the Second ; and 
that if any statute had been made in prejudice of the liberty of the Crown, 
it was repealed and annulled . 

In 1396 he strengthened his authority by an alliance with the French 
King, and a marriage with his daughter ; and partly by force, and partly 
by an artful management, he had procured a parliament entirely at his de- 
votion f . The Duke of Gloucester, and his party, alarmed at the King's 
proceedings, were entering into new cabals, when he was suddenly arrested 
and put to death, and many of his faction were seized, impeached, and 
beheaded. The Parliament proceeded to pass laws for the farther main- 
tenance and extension of the royal authority. By one Act the whole 
power of the Parliament, after it was dissolved, was vested in eighteen 
commissioners, or any six of the lords, or three of the commoners, who 
composed it g . And though it was expressed to be merely for answering 
the petitions depending in Parliament then undetermined and undis- 
patched, yet it was charged against him, that by colour of this grant they 
proceeded to other general matters according to the King's will' 1 . This 
was a strong measure, and the whole power of the kingdom was thus 
devolved upon the King and a council entirely at his command. To 
render himself still more secure, it was made high treason to endeavour to 
procure the repeal of those statutes, solemn oaths for their observance were 
administered to all his subjects, and the sanction of religion was super- 

■ Rot. Pari. 15 Rich. II. 1391. f Articles against King Richard, Art. IS, 19, 20. 
g 21 Rich II. ch. 16. 1397. " Articles against King Richard, Art. 8. 

132 CHANGE OF NAME. book 11. part ii. 

added by a bull obtained from Pope Boniface to confirm them under the 
penalty of excommunication, denounced against all who should infringe 

Though the King appeared now to be completely triumphant, and fully 
established in an independent and arbitrary power, under this seeming pros- 
perity a general discontent prevailed through the kingdom, the oppres- 
sive exactions still continued, and the connection with France, the natural 
enemy of the country, was offensive to the prejudices of the English. At 
this critical period, the King, by his unjust and injudicious conduct to the 
Duke of Lancaster, again roused the spirit of hostility, and occasioned his 
own ruin. After having banished that nobleman, without sufficient reason, 
upon the death of his father, Richard seized upon his opulent dutchy, and 
refused to admit him to the possession of it. Henry landed in England, 
and having taken a solemn oath that he had no other design than to 
recover his hereditary property, was supported by the greater part of the 
nation, Richard was deserted, and betrayed, and Henry of Lancaster 
mounted the throne doubly an usurper, by deposing his lawful sovereign, 
and by excluding the lawful heir of the house of Mortimer'. 

Yet although they had been overpowered for a time by the Lancas- 
trians, the King had still many friends. The English people, always high 
spirited but generous and humane, though they could oppose the tyranny of 
a prince upon the throne, were filled with compassion towards their fallen 
monarch ; who, after all, was rather inconsiderate than criminal. They 
were attached to the hereditary succession, and shocked at the perjuries 
and fraud by which Henry had obtained the crown. Some powerful 
noblemen, and a great number of Richard's adherents, determined there- 
fore to take advantage of the spirit which was now rising in his favour, 
and to replace him on the throne. The conjuncture seemed not unfavour- 
able. The Welsh and the men of Cheshire were invariably in his interest, 
and assistance might be expected from France. The principal leaders in 
this conspiracy were John Holand Earl of Huntingdon, uterine brother 
to Richard, and a great warrior ; his nephew Thomas Holand Earl of 
Kent : Edmund Earl of Rutland, and Thomas Lord Despenser, who had 

Richard was taken at Flint Castle, Aug. 19, 1399- Henry was crowned, October 13. 

chap. i. CHANGE OF NAME. 133 

married Richard's cousin. These noblemen had all been the appellants 
against the Duke of Gloucester, and for their services in those impeach- 
ments had been promoted by Richard to the respective titles of Dukes of 
Exeter, Surrey, Albemarle, and Earl of Gloucester, of which honours they 
had been deprived in the first parliament of Henry. With these were John 
Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, an accomplished nobleman, who had been 
much in Richard's confidence, and had been sent by him from Ireland to 
take the command of the forces till his arrival : Ralph Lord Lumley, the 
Bishop of Carlisle, the Abbot of Westminster, Richard's two chaplains 
William Ferriby and Richard Maudelain, Sir Benedict Sealy, Sir Thomas 
le Blount, his cousin Nicholas le Blount, and many others. 

The great power and vigilance of Henry, and the numerous armies 
which he could command, rendered any direct and open attack upon him 
altogether hopeless, and it was necessary to resort to some bold but secret 
attempt. The plan of the conspiracy was concerted at a dinner given by 
the Abbot of Westminster, on the ISth of December, 1399, at which were 
present the two Holands, Rutland, Despenser, Walsh, Roger Walden 
Archbishop of Canterbury 11 , the Bishop of Carlisle, Maudelain, Pol King 
Richard's physician, and Sir Thomas Blount, who is styled " a wise 
knight 1 ." It was here agreed to surprise Henry at a tournament to be 
held at Windsor on Twelfth-day, and a written agreement with their seals 
was entered into. The tournament was proclaimed, and Henry accepted 
of the invitation, every preparation was completed, the day arrived, and 
Henry was already at Windsor ; when unfortunately the plot was dis- 
covered, either by accident, the treachery of Rutland, or some means 
not perfectly known, within a few hours of its being carried into execution. 
The King, upon receiving this information, instantly fled to London, and 
the Lords who came to Windsor soon after with a body of five hundred 

k With the Duke of Gloucester the Earl of Arundel was impeached, and his brother, 
Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, was banished. Roger Walden was there- 
upon consecrated Archbishop, and continued to the end of Richard's reign, when he was 
removed, and Arundel restored. Walden was afterwards made Bishop of London. 
Godwin. De Preesulibus. 

1 MS in the French king's library, called Ambassades, in Webbe's translation of the 
Metrical History of Richard, by Creton. Archaeol. vol. xx. p. 217- 

134 CHANGE OF NAME. book ii. part ii. 

lances, and six thousand archers™, were disappointed of their object. 
Henry speedily collected an army of twenty thousand men, and appeared 
with them the next day at Kingston upon Thames. The conspirators, 
unable to oppose such a force, retreated in military array, with banners 
displayed, and every where proclaiming King Richard. The Earls of 
Kent and Salisbury, with two hundred horse, marched through Coin- 
brook, to Sunning near Reading, where Queen Isabel resided, who, 
though only eleven years of age, was the object of Richard's tenderest 

Here the Earl of Kent, to raise the Queen's spirits, and to animate his 
adherents, declared that Henry of Lancaster had run away from them, and 
had been chased into the tower of London, and that Richard had escaped 
from prison, and was at Pomfret with an hundred thousand men : and he 
tore off the collars and other badges of the house of Lancaster from the 
Queen's attendants, who had been placed about her by Henry. Maudelain, 
the King's chaplain, who resembled that prince most remarkably in person 
and voice, clothed in royal habiliments, with a rich crown upon his head, 
inarched with them, and personated the King ; and having been much with 
his Sovereign, and employed in many confidential services, he was admi- 
rably qualified to favour the deception. From Sunning they proceeded 
to Cirencester, where a thousand men, chiefly archers, were collected on 
the evening of the sixth of January. The Earl of Gloucester and Lord 
Lumley, with three hundred horse, proceeded towards South Wales, in 
hopes of being joined by Lord Berkeley in Gloucestershire". 

In the town of Cirencester they were opposed by the inhabitants, and 
in the market place three hundred of them fought against two thousand , 
many women distinguishing themselves in the combat. Being defeated, 
the Earls of Kent and Salisbury were made prisoners, but one of their 
chaplains having set fire to some houses, with a view to rescue them, the 

m Carte. 

" In the pardon of the Bishop of Carlisle, they were said to have appeared in arms at 
Bampton, in Oxon. Wantage, Faringdon, and Cirencester. Caite, Hist, of Kng'and. ii. 645. 
Rhymer, viii. p. 165. 


chap. i. CHANGE OF NAME. 135 

townsmen dragged them out of the Abbey, and beheaded them p. More 
than twenty of the principal conspirators fled to Oxford, where they were 
seized and beheaded in the Green Ditch. Amongst these were Lord 
Lumley, Sir Thomas le Blount, Sir Benedict Sealy, John Walsh, and 
Baldwin of Kent. Sir Bernard Brocas, Sir John Shelly, Maudelain and 
Ferriby, were put to death in London. The executions were performed 
with every circumstance of the most horrid barbarity. 

Sir Thomas Blount was hanged ; but the halter was soon cut, and he 
was made to sit on a bench before a great fire, and the executioner came 
with a razor in his hand, and knelt before Sir Thomas, whose hands were 
tied, begging him to pardon his death, as he must do his office. Sir 
Thomas asked, " Are you the person appointed to deliver me from this 
world ?" The executioner answered, " Yes, Sir, I pray you pardon me." 
And Sir Thomas kissed him, and pardoned him his death. The execu- 
tioner knelt down, and opened his belly, and cut out his bowels straight from 
below the stomach, and tied them with a string that the wind of the heart 
should not escape, and threw the bowels into the fire. Then Sir Thomas 
was sitting before the fire, his belly open, and his bowels burning before 
him; Sir Thomas Erpyngham the King's chamberlain, insulting Blount, 
said to him in derision, " Go seek a master that can cure you." Blount 
only answered, " Te Deum laudamus, Blessed be the day on which I was 
born, and blessed be this day, for I shall die in the service of my Sovereign 
Lord, the noble King Richard." The executioner knelt before him, kissed 
him in an humble manner, and soon after his head was cut off, and he was 

p The king found it necessary to restrain the zeal of his partizans, by issuing a writ on 
the Sth of February, commanding that none in future should be beheaded or executed 
without form of law. Ilhym. vol. vii. p. 124. As a reward for this service, on the 2Sth 
of February, 1400, the king granted to the men of Cirencester the goods of Thomas, Earl 
of Kent, and John, Earl of Salisbury, and other traitors there taken ; Rhymer, viii. p. ISO 
and to the men four bucks from Braden Forest, and a cask of wine annually from the 
port of Bristol ; and to the women six bucks and a cask of wine. Ibid. p. 150. 

" From la Relation de la Prise de Richard II. par Berry Roi d'Armes, a Manuscript in 
the French king's library, of which an account has been published by Gaillard, in his 

136 CHANGE OF NAME. book ii. part ii. 

The Earl of Huntingdon remained in London till after the battle of 
Cirencester, then went on board a vessel, and being hindered by contrary 
winds, was seized, committed to the Tower, and beheaded. Lord De- 
spenser escaped from Cirencester, and embarked in a vessel of Bristol, but 
the Captain brought him back to that place, where the people decapi- 
tated him. Eight of the heads, and the mangled quarters of the Lords 
and principal persons, were brought to London in panniers, and carried in 
triumphal procession, on the Kith of January, with trumpets sounding, 
and the people shouting, and they were accompanied by eighteen Bishops, 
and thirty-two royal Abbots, and other prelates, and were then fixed upon 
London bridge. The Earl of Rutland, who seems to have made his peace 
by betraying his fellow conspirators, paraded through the streets with the 
head of Lord Spencer, his brother-in-law, carried upon a pole before him, 
and presented it to the King : and was followed by twelve waggons loaded 
with prisoners in chains. The Bishop of Carlisle, and the Abbot of West- 
minster were pardoned' 1 . These cruelties were the prelude to the death 
of the unfortunate Richard, probably by starvation, and he was buried on 
the twelfth of March following 11 . 

Bv the attainder and death of Sir Thomas Blount, his estates were of 
course forfeited to the Crown. Upon the inquisitions which were taken, 
he was found to possess, in Hampshire, rents in Barramslie, the manor of 
Lvndhurst, rents in Pillee, a messuage and lands in Broklegh, the manor 
of Ryngewode, a messuage and lands at Wallop : in Wiltshire, at Larke- 
stoke, the manor and a mill ; a messuage and lands at Wodefold ; at 
Bathampton, Rolveston, and Wyly, ten pounds of rent : and four pounds of 
rent at New Sarum : and that he died without issue' 1 . It must be ob- 
served, that Belton is not mentioned in these inquisitions, probably because 

account, &c. of the MSS. in the library of the King of France. London, 1~89 vol. ii. 
p. 19?. It is referred to by Carte, vol. ii. p. 642. from whom this extract is taken. 

The Bishop of Carlisle was removed from the Tower to the Abbey of Westminster. 
Rhymer, vol. viii. p. 150. 

p His scull has been examined, and no marks of any wound were perceived. Gough's 
Sepulcral Monuments, vol. i. p. 1G3. King on Ancient Castles. Archeeol. vol. vi. p. 313. 

q Escaet. vol. iii. p. '26o. Rot. Tat. 

chap. i. CHANGE OF NAME. 137 

it was in Rutlandshire, of which the inquisition is not remaining ; unless it 
had been before alienated, which does not however appear. It was most 
likely now forfeited into the hands of the Crown, and was granted to Sir 
Walter Blount, since it is afterwards found in his possession, and was 
settled upon his wife Sancha. And thus the eldest line of the Lords of 
Belton became extinct. 

In the mean time, Nicholas le Blount, and William Fitzwilliams, who 
with others upon the first failure of the conspiracy had been sent to 
different parts of the kingdom to excite a farther insurrection, raised each 
of them a good party of horse, with which they made an excursion as far 
as Brentford, where meeting with a body of one hundred and sixty of 
Henry's men, they defeated them, and took many prisoners. But all 
hopes of success being now at an end, and Henry's vigour and cruelty 
precluding all chance of safety, the chiefs engaged in this service held a 
council at midnight, and having ordered the common soldiers to betake 
themselves to their own homes, the principal officers, endeavoured to 
make their escape and to go abroad. Calais was as unsafe as England, 
for immediately upon the discovery of the conspiracy, on the 5th and 6th 
of January, writs were sent not only to all the counties in England, but to 
Peter Courtenay the captain of Calais, to arrest the Earls of Kent and 
Huntingdon, and all other traitors, and to seize their lands ; and all liege 
subjects were commanded, under penalty of forfeiture of life and limb, not 
to conceal the said Earls, their officers, ministers, or servants, or any of 
their followers, adherents, or favourers r . They went therefore on board a 
small vessel at Pool, and arrived in safety at St. Maloes 5 . These were 
John Carrington, second son of Sir Thomas Carrington, who had received 
his military education under Sir John Neville in Gascony, where he served 
Richard the Second till he was twenty-five years of age'. His elder 

r Rhymer, vol. vii. p. 120. 5 Croke MS. 

' This was John de Nevill, son and heir of Ralph, Lord Nevill, who served in the 
armies of Edward III. and Richard II. and was much in France. In the 34th of Edward 
III. he was there with the king and Sir Walter Manny, when he was knighted. In the 
41st he succeeded his father as Lord Nevill. Three years after he was retained to serve 
the king with forty men at arms, one hundred archers, and an hundred mariners. After- 
wards with a larger number, and he was constituted admiral of the fleet. In the 4Ath, 
46th, and 47th years he served in France. In the 1st and 2d years of Richard II. he was 

138 CHANGE OF NAME. book ii. part ii. 

brother being dead, he came into England, and continued with Richard till 
his capture in Wales". With them were likewise Richard Atwick, 
Robert Newborough, William Lindsey, William Fitzwilliams, a younger 
son of John Fitzwilliams of Emley in Yorkshire\ and Nicholas le 

It is probable that Nicholas le Blount, having taken so active a part in 
the insurrection, and being so nearly related to Sir Thomas le Blount, was 
outlawed with the rest of those who had escaped, by which they became 
dead in law, and their estates were forfeited. And although by a statute 
made in the 5th year of Henry the Fourth, in the year 1404, all treasons, 
insurrections, and rebellions, were pardoned, yet outlawries for such of- 
fences, declared by a court of justice, were excepted 2 . 

Having secured their retreat to the continent, they went to Paris, 
and brought to King Charles the first information of the murder of 
his son-in-law. These soldiers were too active to continue long in idle- 
ness, ami the war in Italy, between the Emperor and the Duke of 
Milan, presented a fair field for their ambition'' 1 . A great connection and 
intercourse at this time subsisted between England and Milan. For 
some years a great number of English soldiers had served in Italy. 
The accomplished .John Galeazzo Visconti, the reigning Duke, had 
received his education under the instructions of Britons, and Sir John 
Hawkwood, the great English warrior, had married Doninia, the na- 
tural daughter of Bernabo his uncle 1 '. An event had taken place not 

lieutenant of Aquitaine, and seneschal of Bourdeaux. He died the 17th of October, in the 
12th year of Richard II. Dugdale's Baron, vol. i. p. 296. 

" Croke MS. Appendix, No. XX. 

x Amongst forty English who were killed by the Irish lords lez Tothils, on Ascension- 
ilay, in 1498, was John Fitzwilliams, perhaps the father of William Fitzwilliams. Camden 
in anno. (MS. p. 1<).) ? MS. 

z Stat. 5 Hen. IV. chap. 15. Le Roi ad pardonez toutz maners de tresons &c. et auxint 
les utlegaries, si nulles en eux ou aucun de eux soient pronunciez par celles enchaisons. 

* The battle of Brescia, mentioned in page 389, was fought on the 21st of October 1401. 
Muratori, Annales d'ltalia, vol. ix. p. 4. 

b Sandford's Gen. Hist. p. 360. Sir John Hawkwood was born at Sible-Heningham in 
Essex, the son of a tanner, and bred a tailor. Having being pressed into the king's service, 
he served in the wars in France with so much merit, that he was promoted, and knighted. 

No. 19. 


Sir William Cantelupe, 
Lord and Baron of Bergavenny. 

Sir George Cantelupe, 
Lord and Baron of 

died without issue. 

Johanna, the eldest 
sister, married Sir 
John Hastinges, who, 
in her right, was 
Lord of Bergavenny. 

Sir John Hastinges, 
Lord of Bergavenny. 

Ashmole MSS. vol. 625. part 4. f. 

Milisent, the youngest. 


Eudo de la Zouche. 

William Lord Zouche. 
of Harrintrwortlie 

Cantelupe bore, Azure, three leopards' heads, jessant de lis 
Ibid. vol. 797- 

As a Sir Thomas de Blount bore these arms, with a bend ermine, (Ashm. MSS. vol. 825. 
part 4. in fine,) perhaps it was Sir Thomas le Blount, who married Juliana de Leybourne, 
the widow of John de Hastings, and who might have borne them from being possessed of 
some of the Hastings, or Cantelupe, property, which his wife held in dower. 

= §*: 

3 3^ 

, and 
y, of 

Ham de Clinton 
ounger lirother 
k. Died 28 E 
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chap. i. CHANGE OF NAME. 3S7 

many years before, which had still more contributed to promote the con- 
nexion between the two countries. This was the marriage of Lionel, 
Duke of Clarence, second son of King Edward the Third, with Violante, 
the sister of John Galeazzo. 

These events had established a frequent communication between the 
English and the Milanese, and le Blount, with the other refugees, very 
naturally repaired thither, and entered into the military service of the Duke, 
who was at war with the Emperor, upon the following account. The 
predecessors of John Galeazzo Visconti had enjoyed only the title of Im- 
perial Vicar, or Governor of Lombardy. He was created the first Duke 
of Milan, and his dominions were rendered nearly independent of the Em- 
pire, by the Emperor Wenceslaus, in consideration of one hundred thou- 
sand florins of gold, in 1395. The Germans were discontented with 
Wenceslaus, and a powerful party was formed against him. The Electors 
convoked a national assembly, and pronounced the solemn sentence of his 
deposition, in 1400. Amongst the charges against him, it was one that he 
had alienated the imperial domain of Milan, and raised a simple officer of 
the kingdom of Lombardy to the rank of Duke. The Count Palatine, 

After the peace of Bretigni, with many other English adventurers, he went into Italy, 
and became the most celebrated commander of his age. Bernabd, brother to Galeazzo 
the Second, and father of Giovanni Galeazzo, gave him his daughter Doninia in 
marriage. He afterwards served the Pope, and at last established himself with the 
Florentines. He died at Florence, at a very advanced age, the l6th of March, 1393, the 
seventeentli of Richard II. where a superb monument, with his picture or statue, was 
erected to his memory. Sismondi's Histoire des Republics d'ltali, and all the Italian 
writers of that period. Fuller's Worthies, Essex. Stow's Annals. Morant's Essex, ii. 
289, 290, who endeavours to prove him to have been lord of a manor, and not a tailor, but 
upon insufficient reasons. Hearne, in his preface to Leland's Itin. vol. iii. p. 5, refers to a 
Life of Hawkwood by Valens. Villani, lib. ix. c. 3". and for the companies, lib. ix. c. 109- 
x. 27, 34. Froissart, b. i. c. 214, 215. Montfaucon, ii. 318, 322. Walsingham, Ypod. 
Neust. p. 522. Muratori, An. vol. xii. Poggio, Hist. Florent. Buoninsegni. See Memoirs 
of Sir John Hawkwood, read at the Society of Antiquaries, 25 Jan. 1776, printed in the 
Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica of Nichols, vol. vi. art. 1. A portrait of him was 
given to the Society by Lord Hailes in 1775. His name is variously corrupted by the 
Italian writers. Paulus Jovius calls him Aucuthus, others Giovanni della Guglia, or 
Aguglia, John of the Needle; Aucud, Agudo, Kauchovod, and more correctly Falcone di 
Bosco. See a description and etching of the monument of Bernabo Visconti at Milan, 
24 March, 1814, by T. Kerrich, Archteologia. The Lords of Milan were the first Princes 
of Europe who maintained a standing army. Ibid, from Villani, in 1346. 
3 D 2 


Robert, was elected Emperor, the 21st of August, 1400, and was crowned 
at Cologne, the 6th of January, 1401, upon a capitulation of certain articles : 
and, amongst others, that he should re-establish the imperial domain in 

In consequence of this engagement, and of the invitation of the Floren- 
tines, and some other Italian states, who were alarmed at the power and 
conquests of Galeazzo, the new Emperor, after having settled his affairs in 
Germany, assembled an army of fifteen thousand horse, and with the Duke 
of Austria, passed the Alps, in October, 1401, and approached the frontiers 
of Lombardy : where he received an hundred thousand florins from the 
Florentines, with the promise of farther assistance 1 ". 

From Trent, he summoned the Duke of Milan to surrender all the coun- 
tries of which he had usurped the sovereignty, and threatened him, in case 
of disobedience, with his vengeance, and the ban of the empire. Giovanni 
Galeazzo returned a haughty reply, " That he possessed his dutchy in 
" virtue of a solemn concession by the legitimate sovereign ; that he had 
" been invested conformably to the laws and ancient customs ; that it did 
" not belong to Robert, a base usurper of the throne, the declared enemy 
" of their common sovereign, to trouble him in the possession of propertv, 
" so justly acquired: and that he would repel force by force if he attempted 
•• to make an hostile attack"." 

Galeazzo was prepared to resist this formidable confederacy. He hail 
ahead}' reduced to his dominion most of the northern part of Italy. His 
army was commanded by the great constable Count Alberico Balbiano, 
who had been Grand Seneschal of the kingdom of Apulia, and some 
years before, in 1:394, had entered into his service with an hundred lances. 
Under him the principal commanders were Facino Cane, and Otto Terzo. 
All the troops from every quarter which could be procured were engaged 
in his pay, and they amounted to four thousand lances, most of them select 
and experienced warriors . The arrival of the English was very seasonable ; 
they readily engaged in the Duke's service, and amongst others, Carrington, 
Atwick, Newborough, Fitzwilliams, and le Blount, are particularly speci- 
fied p . 

The first object of the Emperor was to endeavour to seize Brescia, as 

n Corio, page 661. edition of 1565. " Corio— Pfeffel, Abregi. ° Corio. 

'• MS. ut supra. 

' "' . ' / 

chap. i. CHANGE OF NAME. 389 

the possession of that place would facilitate the entrance of his armies from 
Germany. But that city being well provided with the means of defence, 
he could make no impression upon it. Whilst he was engaged in this at- 
tempt, the principal part of his army, upon its march towards the city, was 
met by a select body of troops, including le Blount and his companions, 
which had been sent out of Brescia to attack themi. A desperate battle 
ensued. The post of greatest danger and honour was assigned to the 
English ; they shewed themselves not unworthy of the military fame of their 
country; and by a furious onset on the Imperialists, broke their line, put 
them to flight, and contributed principally to the decisive victory which 
was obtained r . The Emperor lost six hundred horse, the Grand Marshal 
of the Imperial army, and many other noble persons, were taken prisoners, 
and the remainder of the army escaped with difficulty from total destruction. 
The Emperor fled to Trent, his army was dispersed, and after some in- 
effectual attempts to retrieve his affairs, he was compelled to renounce all 
his designs upon Italy, and to return to Germany 5 . 

In this battle, Carrington and Newborough were however taken prisoners, 
and a large sum Avas paid for their ransom to a relation of the Bishop of 
Cologne. Galeazzo acknowledged with gratitude the merits and services 
of the English, and the splendid rewards which he bestowed upon them 
were worthy of the magnificent house of Visconti 1 . 

The Duke of Milan, by this important victory, being now secure in his 
dominions, and freed from all apprehensions from the Emperor, and the 
Italian states, proceeded to extend his conquests on every side. He had 
made himself master of many of the neighbouring states, had taken Bologna, 
and almost reduced Florence ; and he had even prepared the ornaments of 
royalty for the purpose of being immediately crowned King of Italy, when 
he was seized with a violent fever, which put an end to his life and his 
projects, on the 3d of September, in the year 1402". 

Galeazzo was a Prince of a superior understanding, great prudence, and 
humanity, and had received an extraordinary education under the most 
learned men of the age, in every department of science, and particularly in 
all the arts which are useful to a sovereign. But his ambition was equal to 
his talents, his magnificence and liberality were unbounded, and he wished 

' Corio. ' MS. s Corio. Pfeffel. ' MS. " Corio. Pfeffel. 

390 CHANGE OF NAME. book iv. 

to extend his fame throughout the universe". By his will, his dominions, 
which comprehended the finest parts of Italy, were divided amongst his three 
sons, who were all minors, andhe left besides immense treasures, out of which 
he directed a monastery, several churches, and chapels to be erected, with 
suitable endowments 7 . To his eldest son, Giovanni Maria Inglese Vis- 
conti, who was only fourteen years old, he bequeathed the Dutchy of Milan, 
and some other places; to his second son, Philip Maria Anglo, Pavia;and 
to his legitimated son, Gabriel Anglo, Pisa ; but the power of the Visconti 
family was much diminished by this partition of his dominions. The care 
of his children, and the administration of affairs, was intrusted to a council 
of seventeen persons. The government was distracted by intrigues, and 
by factions struggling tor power. The country became one promiscuous 
scene of murders, robberies, and violence ; and the subject states asserted 
their independence 2 . The services of the English were no longer re- 
quired, and they were ill treated by the Great Constable Alberico 
Balbiano a , who, ungrateful for the benefits conferred upon him by the 
deceased Duke, basely deserted to the party of the Pope and the Floren- 

In this unhappy situation of affairs, the English, who had continued in 
Milan in the enjoyment of their wealth, and well-earned reputation, in 
1404 resolved to leave Italy, and to return to England. They pro- 
ceeded through France and Flanders. At Besancjon Robert New- 
borough died, in consequence of a fall from his horse, and was buried in 
the Grey Friers' Church in that city ; having bequeathed the greatest 
part of his riches, obtained in Italy, to his friend Carrington. The others 
passed through Burgundy, traversed France, and arrived in Hainault, 
where they were entertained with great hospitality in the monasteries. 
Here they met with two friers, lately arrived from England, from whom 
they obtained information of many particulars relating to Carrington's 
family, and of the state of matters in that country. From Hainault they 
travelled through Brabant to Amsterdam. Being informed of the cruelty 

" He began the celebrated cathedra] at Milan in 1386, the finest Gothic building ii 

y Corio, pages 666, 66~. * Ibid. p. 636. a MS. u Corio, p. 636. See i 

head of Giovanni Galeazzo, from a print by Agostino Caracci. 

chap. i. CHANGE OF NAME. 391 

which was exercised by King Henry the Fourth towards those who had 
taken part against him, they thought it prudent to change their names 
before they ventured to revisit their native land. John Carrington assumed 
the name of Smith, Fitzwilliams of English, and Le Blount changed his 
name to Croke. From Amsterdam they sailed for England, in a ship of 
Ipswich, near which place they landed in 1404. 

During the life of King Henry the Fourth, they kept themselves in con- 
cealment, but after his death, in 1413, and they could appear in public 
with safety, they purchased lands, with the riches which they had ac- 
quired in Italy. Carrington, or Smith, settled in Essex, and dying in the 
year 1446, at the mature age of seventy-two, was buried in the church- 
yard of Reinshall Church, which was erected by himself. 

Le Blount, or Croke, lived mostly in Buckinghamshire, at a place 
called Essendon. His friends, Carrington, Fitzwilliam, and the rest of 
his former companions in arms, frequently visited him, and they talked 
over their old exploits with mirth and pleasure. 

The history of these transactions is contained in a curious original docu- 
ment, still preserved in the Croke family, and which is entitled, " An 
" account how the Blomits in Warwickshire changed their name to 
" Croke" and which is printed in the Appendix . It is confirmed by 
contemporary and authentic historians. 

Nicholas le Blount, or Croke, married Agnes Heynes, the daughter of 
John Heynes and Alicia at Hall. By the death of her brother, John 
Heynes, without issue, she inherited her father's property, and from this 
intermarriage the Crokes have ever since quartered the coat of arms of 
Heynes ; argent, a fesse nebule, azure, interspersed with besants, between 
three annulets, gules. 

Alicia was the daughter of Walter at Hall, by Johanna, the daughter of 
Fulk Rycot. Alicia had a sister Johanna who married Henry Bruer. In 
the Rycot, and Bruer families, we meet with intermarriages with Senton, 
Frenshe, and Langfled. What the estates were which were thus acquired 
from the Heynes, or the at Hall families, or both, I have not been able 
clearly to discover, but in the manuscript from whence this account is 

' No. XX. There was a Henry Croke with Henry the Fifth at the battle of Agin- 
court, in 1415. List of the Knights at that battle in Ashmole's MSS. No. 825, part 5. 



taken, upon the pedigree, the names of Appulton, Keinington, Northemp- 
sey, Lyford, and Botely, all in the county of Berks, are written. From 
hence it must be inferred, that the property of the family was situated in 
those places' 1 . 

The son of Nicholas le Blount, and Agnes Heynes, was James Croke, 
or le Blount. His name is omitted in the " Dessenz," but it appears in 
the vellum pedigree, and in another pedigree in the Manuscript of Rawlinson. 

The son and heir of James was Richard Croke, who married a lady 
named Alicia, but of what family is not related ; by whom he had a son 
named John Croke, otherwise le Blount, who will be the subject 
of the next chapter'. 




" Dessenz of Noble Noblemen. Harl. MSS. No. 1074. Art. 39. f. 
alogy, No. 2 1 . 

' There was a Richard Croke, who was Nottyngham Pursuivant at Arms, and died in the 
twenty-second year of Henry the Seventh or Eighth, 1506, or 1530. Rex omnibus &o 
concessimusdilecto subdito nostro Thomae Treheron officium Persevanti, vulgariter Notyng- 
ham appellati — per mortem Richardi Croke, 30 Ap. An. Keg. XXIJ. Kennet in Bliss's 
Wood's Ath. Ox. vol. i. p. 25y, note. Weever mentions a Richard Crooke who was Wind- 
sor Herald in the reign of Henry the Eighth. Fun. Mon. p. C76. 

For this first part of the Croke family there are four documents. 1 . The account of the 
change of name, a manuscript printed in the Appendix, No. XX. 2. A pedigree on vellum, 
beautifully illuminated, which begins with James Croke alias le Blountz, and ends with 
the children of William Croke, perhaps about the year 1670, penes me. 3. A pedigree in 
the Harleian Manuscript, No. 1074, drawn up apparently in the reign of Henry the 
Eighth, which is here printed, Genealogy No. 21. 4. A pedigree in Rawlinson s Manu- 
script in the Bodleian Library, No B. 74. p. 131. There are some variations, and differ- 
ences between them, which will appear in the following comparative view. From the 
whole I have extracted what appeared the most probable account, upon comparing dates, 
times, and circumstances. 

Account of 
change of name. 
Thomas le Blount, 
Knight, of Warwick- 
shire, temp. Ed. I. 

Nicholas le Blount, 
35 Edw. III. 

Nicholas le Blount, 
temp. Rich. II. 

Vellum Pedigree. Dessenz Pedigree. Rawlins 


Jacobus Croke, 
alias les Blounts. 

Richardus Croke, 

married Alicia. 


John Croke, 


Prudentia Cave. 

Nicholas le Blount, 

alias Croke, married 

Agnes Heynes. 

Richardus Croke. 

John Croke, 
married Cave. 

Nicholas le Blount, 
Knight of Warwick- 
shire, 35 Edw. III. 

James Blount. 

Richard Blount. 


John Croke, 

md. Prudentia Cave. 




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chap. i. CHANGE OF NAME. #393 

As there is a very ancient document of about this period, which con- 
tains the coats of arms of some of the le Blount family, this may be a 
proper time for considering their different bearings more particularly. 

We have seen that three different coats of arms were borne by le Blount 
in the earliest times : Lozengy, or and sable, by the Barons of Ixworth : 
Barry nebuly, or and sable ; and gules, a fesse between six martlets, 
argent, by the descendants of the first Sir William le Blount. And there 
can be no doubt but that all the branches of the le Blount family are equally 
entitled to each of those arms ; being lineally descended from those who 
bore them. Yet the lozengy arms have been laid aside since the ex- 
tinction of the Barons of Ixworth'. And though at this day the Blounts 
generally use the nebuly arms only, and the Croke family the martlets ; 
they were formerly borne promiscuously by all branches of the family. 
Thus in the Sodington branch, Peter le Blount used both coats ; his 
brother Sir Walter le Blount of Rock had for his seal the nebuly arms ; 
Sir William le Blount, son of Sir Walter, sealed first with the martlet 
arms, and afterwards with the nebuly arms?. They both were found in 
painted glass in the window of the chapel of the Blount family, in Mamble 
church b . And the martlets are introduced as the second quarter in the 
coat of Blount of Sodington in the Heralds' Visitation in 1634 1 . 

In a Manuscript in the Harleian Collection are the arms emblazoned of 
the knights of the several counties of England, in the time of Edward the 
First. Under the head of Warwickshire we find enrolled, " Sir William 
le Blountz," with his arms described, " unde of 6, or and sable." Sir 
Thomas le Blount with, "gules a fes entre 6 martlets argent 1 '." The 
same Catalogue was published from other manuscripts by Rowe Mores, 
at Oxford, in 1749, under the title of Nomina et Historia Gentilitia 
Nobilium Equitumque sub Edwardo primo Rege militantium, in a small 
quarto in black letter 1 . He supposes the catalogue was written between 

' They are introduced in the arms of Mountjoy Blount, Earl of Newport, in Mr. 
Wm. Blount's old parchment, but as they are the fifteenth quarter, and not stated to be 
Blount, I imagine they must be the arms of some other family. 

8 See their seals post, p. 125, 127, 130. 

h Nash's Worcestershire, vol. ii. p. 157- Habington's MSS. in Bib. Societ. Antiq. 

1 In Coll. Arm. c. 30. k Harl. MSS. No. 1068. fol. 71. 

1 It was printed from R. Dodsworth's MSS. vol. 21. and Robert Glover's " Copies of 
Olde Rolls of Arms," in Queen's College library. Mores printed only a few copies. 

394* CHANGE OF NAME. book ii. part ii. 

the fifteenth and nineteenth years of Edward the Second, 1:321, and 1 32.5, 
because Edmund of Woodstock, as Earl of Kent, and Hugh le Despenser, 
are mentioned ; of whom the first was created Earl of Kent in 1321, the 
latter beheaded in 1325. Mores speaks in warm terms of this book, and 
says that it is, without a rival, the most ancient heraldic document existing-. 
In this copy the names and arms are thus recited ; Warwickshire, " Sir 
William le Blount, oundee de or et de sable. Sir Thomas le Blount de 
joules, a une fesse e vi merclos de argent." In the arms of the tilters at 
the tournament at Dunstable, in the second year of Edward the Second, 
1308, in " le comte de Warwick" are Sir William le Blond, with the 
nebuly arms, and Sir Thomas le Blond, with the martlets'". These were 
probably Sir William, the son of Sir Walter le Blount, of Rock, who 
married Margaret de Verdun, and Sir Thomas le Blount who was tin- 
husband of Juliana de Leyborne. They are styled knights of Warwick- 
shire, though the principal seat of one was at Rock or Sodington, in 
Worcestershire, and of the other at Belton, in Rutlandshire, because they 
were tenants of the Earl of Warwick, and therefore fought under his 

Yet this Sir William le Blount used seals both of the nebuly and 
martlet arms, as is already mentioned. Sir Thomas le Blount to the 
deed before recited has affixed a seal with the nebuly arms: and his 
eldest son used the nebuly arms likewise. It should seem there- 
tore, that though, in their seals and private legal transactions, they 
used either coat, in war and tournaments, when from their being 
clothed in armour distinctions were necessary and usual, Sir William 
confined himself to the nebuly coat, and Sir Thomas to the mart- 
lets. Hence in the Croke Manuscript it is said, that Sir Thomas le Blount 
bore for his arms gules, a fesse between six martlets, argent, and that 
from him they have been derived to the Croke family, who are descended 
from his second son Nicholas, and have always borne those arms. Aut\ 
being so descended from a second son, in early times they bore a crescent 

m Harl. MSS. No. 10(58. So in Edward the Fourth's time. Ibid. fol. 115a. Dodsw. 
vol. 35 f. 78. Ces sont les noms et le* arras bannerets de Engleterre, arms as before. 
Edw. II. 

" Hampton Lovet, Tiiuberlake, and other manors belonging to the family, were held of 
:he Earl of Warwick. 

chap. i. CHANGE OF NAME. #395 

upon the martlet arms. The oldest emblazonment which I have met with 
is in the " Dessenz of Noble Noblemen," which was written early in the 
reign of Henry the Eighth. It commences with the second Nicholas le 
Blount, alias Croke, the grandson of Sir Thomas le Blount, and has the 
martlet arms with a crescent on the fesse". The crescent is found like- 
wise in the arms of John Croke, who married Prudentia Cave, the great 
grandson of Nicholas, and died in [554; in brass upon his monument at 
Chilton, and in stone over the porch at Studley Priory. In that of his 
eldest son Sir John Croke, in the same places, in a painted glass window 
at Studley Priory, and on a seal ring on his finger in his portrait p. The 
crescent was borne likewise by his eldest son Sir John Croke the Judge, 
and after this it was discontinued. The nebuly arms seem to have been 
continued in the elder branch of the Belton family. 

Harl. MS. No. 1074. Art. 39. t'ol. .3.5, 5rj. In this book in the genealogy of the King's 
of England, fol. 172. 6. Henry VIII. is the last, and Henry Prince of Wales is there. As 
he was born Jan. 1, 1509, and died Feb. <22, old style, the book must have been written in 
1510. The Lady Mary is in another hand and ink. It has the name of Henry Lilly, 
Rouge Dragon, written in it. Genealogy, No. 21. 

p Penes me. 




John Croke, or le Blount, Esquire, and Prudentia Cave. 

THE year of the birth of John Croke, alias le Blount, Esquire, 
the son of Richard and Alicia Croke, alias le Blount, does not appear. 
From his subsequent promotion it is evident that he must have been edu- 
cated in the profession of the law. Of his early life, and the gradual steps 
of his advancement, no memorials have been preserved. We first find 
him, in the year 1522, one of the Six Clerks in the High Court of Chan- 

As the Chancellor had been almost always an ecclesiastic, these officers 
were anciently actual cleri, or in holy orders, and were regularly promoted 
to livings under the Chancellor's patronage. They were originally six in 
number : in the early part of the reign of Richard the Second, they were 
reduced to three ; and by an ordinance in Chancery, of the twelfth year 
of that king, they were again restored to their first number. As clergy- 
men they were incapable of marrying ; and even when they ceased to be in 
orders, the ancient custom of their celibacy still continued ; a restraint 
which was confirmed by the same ordinance, and was observed till the 
reign of Henry the Eighth*. In the fourteenth year of that monarch, 
1 522, a petition was presented to Parliament by John Trevethen, Richard 

a Ordinatum est quod idem Custos Rotulorum jam habeat sex clericos, et non plures, 
scribentes in rotulis praedictis, ex causa supradkta, proviso quod nullus eorundem clerico- 
rum sic scribentium sit uxoratus. Hargrave's Manuscripts, in the British Museum, No. 
221. page 22, entitled, " The Antiquitie of the Six Clerks." 
3 E 

394 JOHN CHOKE, alias LE BLOUNT. book iv. 

Welles, Oliver Leader, John Croke, William Jesson, and John Lemsey, 
who then filled the office, and which was to this efifect. 

" In most humble wise beseechen your highness, your true and faithful 
" subjects, and daily servants, the six clerks of your high court of Chan- 
" eery, that whereas of old time accustomed hath been used in the said 
" court, that all manner of clerks and ministers writing to the Great Seal, 
'• should be unmarried, (except only the Clerk of the Crown,) so that as 
" well the Cursitors, and other Clerks, as the Six Clerks of the said Chan- 
" eery, were by the same custom restrained from marriage, whereby all 
" those that contrary to the same did marry, were no longer suffered to 
" write in the said Chancery, not only to their great hindrance, losing 
" thereby the benefit of their long study, and tedious labours and pains in 
«' youth taken in the said court, but also to the great decay of the true 
" course of the said court. And forasmuch as now the said custom taketh 
t; no place nor usage, but only in the office of the said six clerks, but that 
i; it is permitted and suffered for maintenance of the said course, that as 
" well the said Cursitors, as the other clerks aforesaid, may and do take 
• wives, and marry at their liberty, after the laws of holy Church, and of 
li long time have so done without interruption or let of any person. It 
" may therefore please your highness of your most abundant grace, with 
" the assent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons in 
" this present parliament assembled, to ordain, enact, and establish, that 
" the said six clerks, and all others which in time to come shall be in the 
" same office, may and do take wives and marry at their liberty, after the 
" law of holy Church, and so married may hold their said office as they 
" should do before the said espousals." The petition was favourably 
received, and passed into a statute 1 '. 

In the year 1529 5 when Sir Thomas More was appointed Lord 
Chancellor, he was at the head of the department . That good and 
able man, upon coming into his office, found the Court of Chancery 
filled with many tedious causes, some of which had hung there for 
almost twenty years. To prevent the recurrence of these proceedings, 
which were so oppressive to parties, he endeavoured to apply a remedy, 
which was conformable to the manners of the times, and the character 

b Stat. 14 and 15 Hen. VIII. cap. 8. 1522. 3 c Spelman, Series Cancell. Gloss, in \oce. 

chap. i. JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. 395 

of the Chancellor. He first caused Mr. Croke, the chief of the Six 
Clerks, to make a Docket, containing the whole number of all injunc- 
tions, which in his time had already past, or were depending, in any of 
the King's Courts at Westminster. Then having invited all the Judges 
to dinner, in the presence of them all, he shewed sufficient reason why he 
had made so many injunctions. And they all confessed that they them- 
selves in the like case would have done no less. He then assured them, 
" that if they themselves, to whom the reformation of the rigour of the law 
" appertained, would upon reasonable considerations in their own discre- 
" tion, as he thought in conscience they were bound, mitigate and reform 
" the rigour of the law, there should then from him no injunctions be 
" granted." To this offer they refused to condescend. " Then," said 
he, " for as much as yourselves, my Lords, drive me to this necessity, you 
" cannot hereafter blame me, if I seek to relieve the poor people's injuries." 
After this he said to his son Roper secretly, " I perceive, son, why they 
" like not this ; for they think that they may by a verdict of a jury cast 
" off all scruple from themselves upon the poor jury, which they account 
" the chief defence. Wherefore I am constrained to abide the adventure 
" of this blame d ." 

Mr. Croke availed himself of the privilege of marrying granted to the 
Six Clerks. As his eldest son was born in 1530, his marriage must have 
taken place at least the year before. His lady was Prudentia, the third 
daughter of Richard Cave, Esquire, of Stanford-upon-Avon, in Northamp- 
tonshire, by his second wife Margaret, daughter of John Saxby, of North- 
amptonshire. This was an ancient family, descended from two brothers, 
Wyamarus and Jordayne, who were living at the time of the Conquest, 
and enjoyed several lordships in Yorkshire; from one of which, North and 
South Cave, they derived their surname, de Cave. She was sister to Sir 
Thomas Cave ; and to Sir Ambrose Cave, who was Chancellor of the 
Dutchy of Lancaster, one of the Privy Council to Queen Elizabeth, and a 
most intimate friend of the Lord Treasurer Burleigh. It is related, that at 
a public ball at court her Majesty's garter slipped off as she was dancing. 
Sir Ambrose, taking it up, offered it to her, but, upon her refusing it, he 
tied it on his left arm, and declared that he would wear it for his mistress's 

Thomas More's Life of Sir Thomas More, page 218. 
3 E 2 

396 JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. bookiv. 

sake as long as he lived. In the possession of the family is an original 
picture of him with the garter round his arm. Her nephew, Roger Cave, 
married Margaret daughter of Richard Cecil, and sister to William Cecil 
Lord Burleigh, the Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth . One of 
their posterity, Sir Thomas Cave, was advanced to the dignity of a baronet 
in the year 1641 : an honour which is still enjoyed by his descendants. 
The sufferings for the royal cause, in the reign of Charles the First, of the 
Reverend John Cave, Rector of Pickwell, are minutely related by Walker, 
in his history of the sufferings of the clergy, and afford a striking but not 
uncommon example of petty democratic tyranny f . His son was the 
learned Doctor William Cave, Canon of Windsor, and Chaplain to King 
Charles the Second, who wrote the Scriptorum Ecclesiasticui-um Historia 
Literaria, the Lives of the Fathers, Primitive Christianity, and other 
works which still maintain their rank amongst the ecclesiastical historians 
of Great Britain s. 

On the 19th of September, 1529, the twentieth year of Henry the 
Eighth, he was appointed by patent Comptroller, and Supervisor of the 
Hanaper in Chancery, for his life\ On the L 1th of June, 1534, the 
twenty-sixth of Henry VIII. the King granted to him the office of Clerk 
of the Inrollments in the Chancery for his life'. And in 1545, the 
thirty-seventh of that King, on the 6th of March, with Sir Anthony 
Lee, he had a grant of the manor of Senders, and the Rectory of 
Stone, in Buckinghamshire 11 . In the first year of Edward the Sixth, 
1546, six Serjeants at Law were made, and amongst them appears the 
name of " Mr. Croke of the Inner Temple." A full account of 

e In Ashmole's MSS. vol. 836. fbl. iii. is an original letter from Roger Cave's executors 
to the Lord Treasurer Burleigh, dated 2d of August, 1586, about his will and funeral. 

' Page 220. 

s Collins's Baronetage, vol. ii. p. lfU. and a Pedigree, Had. MSS. No. 1233. fol. 114. 
from Wymer and Jordanus Cave, to Sir Thomas Cave, the first baronet, in 1627 Printed 
in Genealogy, No. 22. but I have omitted the coats of arms. 

" Walton in his Life of Pope, page 6, is mistaken in attributing this and other grants in 
the same reign to Richard Croke. 1 have examined the records, Rex Johanni Croke uni 
sex cler. cancell. concessit Officium Contrarotulatoris et Super visoris Hanaperii ad vitam. 

1 Patent Rolls, 26 Hen. VIII. 11th Jan. Rex Johanni Croke concessit officium Cleriei 
Irrotulamentorum omnium et singularum evidentiarum indenturarum, &C. inter recorda 
Cancellarire irrotulandarum, ad vitam. 

k Patent Rolls, in anno. 

No. 22. 


Maud, (.laughter to Peter de Mawle 
Lord of Lockhiffton. 

Anne, daughter to Sir Symon Ward 

Alice, dau. to Sir Geffrey Hotham. 

Marv, daughter and heir to Sir 
Genill, of South Cliffe. 

Catherine, daughter to Roger Some 
of Grindall. 

Anne, married to 

Gilbert Stapleton, 

of Bay ton. 

Wimarus de Cave, 
who gave all his lands in North 
Cave and South Cave to his bro- 
ther Jordan. Sans issue. Temp. 
Will. Conq. and Will. Rufus. 

Jordan de Cave, 
yonger brother of 
Wimarus de Cave. 

de Cave, son and heir of Jordan Cave. 

Thomas, second son 
John, third son. 
Piers, fourth son. 

erine, married to 
ohn Markenfield. 

Robert (ie Cave, married the da. of Thos. de Metham. 

Thomas Cave, son and heir of Brian, mar . Joyce, da. 
of Sir William St. Quintin. 

Geffry Cave, son and heir of Thomas, married Mable 
I Saltmarsh. 

Alexander Cave, 
Dean of Durham, and Prebendary 
of Holden, where he lyeth buried, 

Peter Cave, 
son and heir of Geary, 
Lord of South Cave, 

chap. ir. JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. 397 

the feast given upon the occasion is preserved by Dugdale. This perhaps 
was John Croke 1 . In the year 1547, the second of Edward the Sixth, he 
was elected Member of Parliament for Chippenham™. 

Afterwards being in much favour with King Edward the Sixth, in 
Michaelmas Term 1549, the third year of his reign, he was by him made 
one of the Masters of the Chancery". 

There is still extant in manuscript a paper, in the nature of a report, 
upon the constitution of the Court of Chancery, drawn up by Master 
Croke, in 1554, the second year of Queen Mary, when Stephen Gardiner, 
Bishop of Winchester, was Lord Chancellor . It isintitled, " Ordinances 
" explained by Master Croke, upon the estate of the Chancerye Courte in 
" Anno 1554." With the knowledge and accuracy of an ancient practi- 
tioner, he has stated minutely the different officers who compose the court, 
with an enumeration of their respective duties and privileges. The greater 
part of these regulations, I apprehend, are still the law of the court, but he 
mentions several customs, which savour of the simplicity of the good old 
times, and have been long abolished in modern practice. The Lord 
Chancellor, he states, had his diet out of the Hanaper, towards such 
charges as he was wont to be at. Of which some were then out of use ; 
as to have, in the term time, such Masters of the Chancery as would 
come to his house to be at his table, and a Chancery table in his hall for 
the Clerks. Many of his officers always travelled with the Chancellor, 
and were allowed for horse-keepers and horse-meat : and there were three 
or four Clerks of the Almoner at meat and drink in the Chancellor's house, 
who, for their diet, served the poor suitors with their pens, without fees. 

This Report will enable us to clear up a point of ecclesiastical history 

1 Dugd. Or. Jur. page 117. m Willis, Notitia Parliamentaria. 

" Croke Car. Preface. The time of his appointment appears by the following notes. 
In a list of the Six Clerks in the first of Edward the Sixth, 1547, Croke appears at the 
head; Croke, Carter, Snow, Leder, Judd, Walrond. In that for the third of Edward the 
Sixth, 1549, his name is omitted, and they stand thus; Carter, Snowe, Leder, Judd, 
Walrond, Powle. (Lansdown MSS. vol. 163. fol. 151.) And in another manuscript, 
(Lansdown, vol. l63,fol. 84.) there is " a noat of the Six Clarks, and when they succeeded." 
Amongst these is, " Crooke departed Michaelmas 3d Edw. VI. succeeded by Powle." 

° Hargrave's MSS. British Museum, No. 249, f. 80. Lansdown MSS. No. 163. f. 141. 
There is said to be another copy amongst the manuscripts of Lord Somers. It is printed 
in the Appendix, No. XXII. 



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chap. ii. JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. 397 

the feast given upon the occasion is preserved by Dugdale. This perhaps 
was John Croke 1 . In the year 1547, the second of Edward the Sixth, he 
was elected Member of Parliament for Chippenham m . 

Afterwards being in much favour with King Edward the Sixth, in 
Michaelmas Term 1549, the third year of his reign, he was by him made 
one of the Masters of the Chancery". 

There is still extant in manuscript a paper, in the nature of a report, 
upon the constitution of the Court of Chancery, drawn up by Master 
Croke, in 1554, the second year of Queen Mary, when Stephen Gardiner, 
Bishop of Winchester, was Lord Chancellor . It isintitled, " Ordinances 
" explained by Master Croke, upon the estate of the Chancerye Courte in 
" Anno 1554." With the knowledge and accuracy of an ancient practi- 
tioner, he has stated minutely the different officers who compose the court, 
with an enumeration of their respective duties and privileges. The greater 
part of these regulations, I apprehend, are still the law of the court, but he 
mentions several customs, which savour of the simplicity of the good old 
times, and have been long abolished in modern practice. The Lord 
Chancellor, he states, had his diet out of the Hanaper, towards such 
charges as he was wont to be at. Of which some were then out of use ; 
as to have, in the term time, such Masters of the Chancery as would 
come to his house to be at his table, and a Chancery table in his hall for 
the Clerks. Many of his officers always travelled with the Chancellor, 
and were allowed for horse-keepers and horse-meat : and there were three 
or four Clerks of the Almoner at meat and drink in the Chancellor's house, 
who, for their diet, served the poor suitors with their pens, without fees. 

This Report will enable us to clear up a point of ecclesiastical history 

1 Dugd. Or. Jur. page 117- m Willis, Notitia Parliamentaria. 

" Croke Car. Preface. The time of his appointment appears by the following notes. 
In a list of the Six Clerks in the first of Edward the Sixth, 1547, Croke appears at the 
head; Croke, Carter, Snow, Leder, Judd, Walrond. In that for the third of Edward the 
Sixth, 1549, his name is omitted, and they stand thus; Carter, Snowe, Leder, Judd, 
Walrond, Powle. (Lansdown MSS. vol. 163. fol. 151.) And in another manuscript, 
(Lansdown, vol. l63,fol.84.) there is "a noat of the Six Clarks, and when they succeeded." 
Amongst these is, " Crooke departed Michaelmas 3d Edw. VI. succeeded by Powle." 

'■ Hargrave's MSS. British Museum, No. 249, f. SO. Lansdown MSS. No. 163. f. 141. 
There is said to be another copy amongst the manuscripts of Lord Somers. It is printed 
in the Appendix, No. XXII. 

398 JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. book iv. 

hitherto left in uncertainty. The Lord Chancellor, as is well known, has 
a right to present to all benefices appertaining to the King, under a certain 
value. The reason and origin of this privilege appear upon the rolls of 
Parliament, in the reign of Edward the Third ; that it had been immemo- 
rially granted by former Kings, to enable the Chancellors to provide for 
the Clerks of the Chancery, who were always in orders f. But then, and 
long subsequently, this patronage comprehended only benefices of twenty 
marks or under. The limitation has long since been extended to twenty 
pounds ; for which no law or original authority is to be found, nor is the 
exact time known. Bishop Gibson, upon the authority of Hobart% sup- 
poses that the enlargement was probably made about the time of the new 
valuation taken in the reign of Henry the Eighth. So Professor Christian, 
in his notes upon Blackstone's Commentaries 1 , says, " It does not appear 
" how this enlarged patronage has been obtained, but it is probable by a 
" private grant of the crown, from a consideration that the twenty marks 
" at the time of Edward the Third, was equivalent to twenty pounds in 
" the time of Henry the Eighth. It cannot be doubted that since the 
" new valor beneficioruin, pounds were intended to be substituted for 
" marks." 

By " the ordinances explained" this point is determined. The present- 
ation to all benefices of twenty pounds, or under, was first usurped by Car- 
dinal Wolsey, probably with the King's consent. As the Cardinal was 
disgraced in 1529, the practice must have commenced long before the new 
valor beneficiorum was made, which was not till the year 1534. The 
words of the Report are these : " The guift of benefices of the King's 
" patronage of the value of twentie pounds, and under, be in the distribu- 
" tion of the Lord Chancellor. The ould rent was twentie marks, but 
" because the Cardinal, when he was Lord Chancellor, did present, in the 
" King's name, his clearkes to benefices of twentie pounds by yeare, all 
" Lord Chancellors have since done the like." Master Croke must have 
stated this from his own knowledge, as he was one of the Six Clerks 
during the Chancellorship of Wolsey. 

Sir Thomas Pope, the founder of Trinity College in Oxford, was ori- 
ginally destined to the profession of the law, and his earliest preferments 

* Rot. Pari. 4 Ed w. III. i Hobait, 214. Gibson's Codex, p. 763. 'Edition 

of Blackstone, vol. iii. p. 48. note. 

chap. ii. JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. 399 

were in that department; as Clerk of the Briefs in the Star Chamber, and 
Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. He received his instructions in the 
law of that court under the tuition of Maister Croke, and he always re- 
tained a grateful affection for the instructor of his youth ; which he testified 
by his will, dated in 1 556, in which is a bequest " of his black satin gown, 
" faced with Luserne spots, to his old Master's son, Master C/-oA - e s ." 

Nicholas le Blount, we have seen, was the first who bore the name of 
Croke, and, by his purchase of Easington, first introduced the family into 
Buckinghamshire. As all his original property, which descended to him 
from his ancestors, must have been confiscated by Henry the Fourth, he 
was indebted for whatever wealth he possessed to his own merit : and the 
foundation of the future fortunes of the Croke family was laid in Italy, by 
the munificence of the Duke of Milan. By his marriage with the heiress, 
Agnes Heynes, he obtained the inheritance of that family, which appears 
to have been situated in Berkshire : Maister John Croke, by his purchases 
in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, finally established the family in 
those counties. He was enabled to make these acquisitions by the very 
lucrative situations which he held. That of one of the Six Clerks was 
extremely profitable, for we find that, in the reign of Charles the First, six 
thousand pounds were paid to the Earl of Portland for procuring a man 
that appointment*. 

The office of Master of the Chancery was formerly of great rank and 
emolument. They were appointed by patent, and created by the solemn 
form of putting on a cap of dignity. They were styled the companions 
and co-judges, and were the real and effective assessors of the Chancellor ; 
and the King's counsel in his Chancery. In the House of Lords they at- 
tended for the purpose of advising the Lords in those branches of learning 
which belonged to their occupation, in the common, the civil, and the canon 
law. They were allowed to wear their caps there, in the presence of their 
sovereign, and their present seats on the woolsacks in that august assembly 
are the remains of their ancient dignity. Besides their fees, they had 
other large perquisites and privileges. They were maintained in great 
luxury in the Hospitium, or Hostell of the Chancery, where the principal 

s Warton's Life of Sir Thomas Pope, pages 6. and l6i. ' Clarendon, vol. i. p. 101. 

ed. 181Q- 

400 JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. book iy, 

officers of that court lived in a collegiate manner. The King's Purveyors 
supplied them with provisions, and the Butler of England with wine ; of 
which twelve tons were allowed yearly. A stately barge was kept upon 
the river for their voyages from the Hostell to Westminster-hall, and corn 
was allowed for their horses. They were found in lodging, food, fire, and 
apparel. Two robes, or liveries, were annually given them by the King, 
and delivered by the Chancellor. The winter robes were adorned with 
rich furs ; those intended for the warmer season were lined only with 
taftety". In the reign of Richard the Second a complaint was exhibited 
against them in Parliament, " that they were over fatte, both in boddie 
" and purse, and over well furred in their benefices, and put the King to 
" veiry great cost more than needed"." 

Many of these privileges and customs indeed were abolished before the 
time of Master Croke, as appears by his "ordinances," and some of them 
were compensated in money. Their principal emoluments were still un- 
diminished. The ordinary and stated fees were not large, but a practice 
prevailed of receiving voluntary douceurs, the honoraria, from their clients, 
to a great amount. This practice, which was common to most of the 
public officers concerned in the administration of justice, even to those who 
were in judicial situations, was the occasion of Lord Bacon's disgrace, who 
had only followed the example of his predecessors. As late as the begin- 
ning of the reign of James the First, these fees, taken by the Masters of 
the Chancery, were a subject of complaint in the House of Commons, and 
an attempt was made to regulate them by an Act of Parliament. But as 
they were not exacted as strict dues, but freely and voluntarily offered by 
clients, as a debt of gratitude for beneficial services performed, prohibitory 
laws were of little efficacy, and the practice continued?. 

From the fair emoluments of his profession, Maister Croke might have 
been enabled to become the purchaser of a considerable estate. But the 
dissolution of the monasteries opened a new scene of wealth to those who 

" Pannus et furfura, and pannus et sandallus, are the words of the Rolls, for all such 
allowances were made by wan-ant on record. 

s A treatise of the Maisters of the Chauncerie, written probably between 1596 and L60S. 
Published by Hargrave. Tracts, p. 314. vol. 1. 

» Stat. 1 Jac. I. cap. 10. Abuses and Remedies of Chancery, by Norbury, in Hargrave's 
Tracts, vol. i. p. 428. 

chap. ii. JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. 401 

had interest enough to obtain the gift, or the purchase, of the religious 
houses. The necessities of the King induced him to sell, by one extensive 
commission, a considerable part of their possessions for his immediate 
relief. The great quantity of land which came to market, the few persons 
who could command sufficient sums of ready money to become purchasers, 
and the pressure of the King's wants, which required an expeditious sup- 
ply, occasioned them to be sold at a rate very inferior to their real value, 
and great numbers of persons raised large fortunes from this fruitful 

In the year 1529, Master Croke purchased the estate and manor of 
Chilton, with lands in Wootton, and Hamme, in the county of Bucking- 
ham, of Lord Zouch. Easington, where his ancestor had settled in the 
reign of Henry the Fourth, was in that parish, which probably lead to the 
purchase. In the time of Edward the Confessor, Afric Fitz Goding held 
Chilton, and Easington 2 . At the Conquest it was taken from him, and 
given to Walter Gifford, and Ciltone and Hesington were two distinct 
manors. Walter Gifford was cousin to William the Conqueror, Earl of 
Longeville in Normandy, and Earl of Buckinghamshire. He had vast 
possessions, and his son founded Nutley Abbey, in the parish of Long 
Crendon. Chilton descended to that branch of the Giffords, who had the 
name of Bulbec, or Bolebec, and lived at their castle at Whitchurch in 
Buckinghamshire. Other families had possessions at Chilton, as Paganus 
de Dourton, Geoffrey de Sancto Martino, Hampden, and Grenville ; 
holding I suppose of the chief Lord of the fee. In 1468, William Lord 
Zouch, of Haringworth in Northamptonshire, was seized of this 
manor : and it continued in his family till it was purchased by Master 
Croke a . 

The conveyance is dated on the 10th day of May, in the twenty-first 
year of the reign of Henry the Eighth, 1529. The consideration paid was 
five hundred marks : a yearly rent is excepted of £6. 13s. id. payable to 
the wife of Sir Christopher Garnyes, Knight, and before wife of Sir John 
Risley, for her life. It is covenanted that the premises are of the yearly 

1 Brown Willis. 

a Delafield's History of Chilton, a manuscript in the Bodleian Library, printed 
Dr. Bliss's edition of Rennet's Parochial Antiquities. 
3 F 

402 JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. book iv. 

value of ^19- 13s. id. above all charges, and a fine was levied to complete 
the title b . 

And after the suppression of the monasteries, Henry the Eighth, in the 
thirty-third year of his reign, 1541, for the sum of two hundred and twenty- 
five pounds and five shillings, sold to John Croke and Prudence his wife, 
the manor of Canon Court, in Chilton, lately parcel of the monastery of 
Nokley, lately dissolved, as amply as it was enjoyed by Richard Rigge 
the last Abbot. By the same letters patent, were granted an estate at 
Merlake, which will be hereafter mentioned, and a house, with a garden on 
the west side of it, in Chancellor Lane, in London, which had both be- 
longed to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem . 

Upon the acquisition of this estate, Mr. Croke erected the mansion-house 
of Chilton, which became the principal seat of the family. It was built in 
the form of an H. In the middle of the front, facing the great entrance, 
was a porch, embattled, and covered with lead, which advanced some feet 
from the house, and was ascended by steps. On its face, just over the 
outward door, this inscription in capital letters was cut into the stone, al- 
luding to the turret, iehova turris mea, "The Lord is my tower." 
In the windows were many coats of arms of the family, and their con- 
nexions, in painted glass. There was likewise a gallery. The old house 
was altered, modernized, and new fronted by Richard Carter, Esquire, the 
subsequent owner of the estate, in 1740 d . But the area, and the spacious 
dimensions of the old house, may even now be ascertained from the two 
extremities of the original building, which are still subsisting, and are dis- 
tinctly marked : on the north side, by two chimneys, and a good part of the 
wall, which are in an ancient style, the brick work being in diamonds of 
two colours ; and, at the south end, by a Gothic door-way and window. 
All the bedrooms are still covered with old wainscot in small pannels, 
some of them of an ancient pattern, like scrolls of paper. I remember a 
fine stone gate-way, which formed the entrance from the street, consisting 
of a large arch for carriages, and a smaller by the side of it. Over it were 
carved these sentences in capital letters, da gloriam deo. deus 
non deseret. "Give the glory to God. God will not forsake us." 
And above, in carved work, pierced through the stone, omnia desuper, 

" Studley Chartulary, fol. 22. and f. 24. c The Grant in Studley Chart, fol. 17- 

d Dekfield's History of Chilton. 

chap. ii. JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. 403 

" All things from above." Which last sentence, probably suggested by 
this inscription, is written on the picture of Sir John Croke, the Judge. 
This gateway was pulled down by Sir John Aubrey. 

Ten years after his first purchase of Chilton, in the year I^39 5 he bought 
of Henry the Eighth the Priory of Studley, with all the possessions which 
belonged to it, for the sum of one thousand, one hundred, and eighty-seven 
pounds, seven shillings, and eleven pence e . It appears that he sold off all 
the distant estates of the Priory, and retained only the house, and manors, 
and other rights in the parish of Beckley. 

The Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem were suppressed by the Act of 
Parliament passed in the thirty-second year of Henry VIII. 1541. In 
the same year, together with the manor of Canon Court, and the house in 
Chancery Lane before mentioned, the King sold to John Croke, and Pru- 
dence his wife, a messuage called Merlake, in the parish of Beckley, in 
Buckinghamshire, parcel of the late Preceptory of Sandford, in Oxfordshire, 
lately belonging to the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, with all their 
other possessions, and manorial rights there : to hold in capite by the ser- 
vice of the thirtieth part of a knight's fee, rendering three shillings yearly'. 

Master Croke in London lived at a house in Fleet Street, called the 
Charyate, or Chariate, and which had a garden to it. He purchased this 
house, which was already in his possession, with two others adjoining it, in 
the year 1541. The sellers were Richard Holte, Citizen and Merchant- 
Taylor, and Thomasine his wife. The premises are described as all that 
messuage, called the Charyate, with two messuages and a garden adjoining, 
in which said messuage called the Chariate he now dwelleth. The consi- 
deration was 5^140, of which ^£60 was paid at the time of purchase, and 
the remainder by half yearly installments. Reciprocal bonds of two hun- 
dred marks each were given for the performance of the covenants, and the 
next year a recovery of the estate, which was freehold, was suffered in the 
Court of Hustings^-'. 

See the History of the Priory of Studley, inserted after the account of Master John 

' The Grant, penes me. Studley Chartulary, fol. 17. 
s Copies of the Deeds, in the Studley Chartulary, fol. 34 to 40. 
3 F 2 

404 JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. book iv. 

Master John Croke, or le Blount, died upon the 2d of September, in 
the year 1554, and is buried at Chilton, in a chapel adjoining the chancel, 
and which is still the burying place of the family. His monument is a flat 
stone in the pavement, with the following inscription in the old black letter, 
written on brass plates, and on a fillet round the stone. It does not men- 
tion his age, which leaves the time of his birth uncertain. 

(At the head,) 

g>tt grain* Iw stomnus tamm ipse rrsmrgrrf sperat 
iHannoito rlausus; Cronies in Ijor tumulo. 

(At the feet,) 

(©tit ttmrnt Bomtmtm sucrabmmt tn Qonnno. 
gfojutor forum ft protrrtor rorum est. 

(Round the sides of the stone, on the fillet,) 

imt Inrtl) bttrirti 3obn Crokr tbt eartur, sumtpnw one of tht sir 
Clrdtps of tl)f Upsgs! Comtt of tftf Cnannrrrp, arib afttrtoart 
(one of) tlje 0fotettt& of tnc eiard Cbannm-p, (lul)trl) Stolm) UruaitrtJ 
tljf stronTj Da)) of September, in tftr pro of ottre 2.orOe <§oti, 


The coat of arms on a brass plate is, a fesse between six martlets, 
with a crescent on the fesse ; without any quartering, or impale- 

It is not known whether he left any children besides his son and heir, 
Sir John Croke. I have a picture of an old man with a sensible look, 
which may probably be intended for him. 

Over the porch of the house at Studley are his arms, in stone, Croke, 
as before, with the crescent ; quartered with Heynes, and impaled with 
Cave, fretty, the colour of course not designated. The present family of 
Cave still bears azure, fretty, argent : and for a crest, on a wreathe, a 
greyhound currant sable. On an escroll, proceeding from his mouth, for 
a motto, Gardez, alluding to the name, Cave, Beware. 

His will is as follows, which was proved the 18th of October, 1555, on 
the oath of William Walker, Proctor of the Executor. 




chap. ii. JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. 405 

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN, the xi day of June, in the 
yere of our Lorde God a thousand, fyve hundredth, fiftie and fower; and 
in the firste yere of the reigne of our sovereign Lady Quene Mary : 
I John Croke, of Chilton, th' Elder, make my Testament and last Will 
in this wise followinge. First, I bequeath my soule unto Almightie Godd, 
and my bodye to the erthe to be buried in Christian buriall. I bequeath 
to every of my servants, men and women, a blacke lyvery, at seven shil- 
linges or eight shillinges the yarde ; the men to have coates, and the 
women gownes, as speedily after my decease as may be provided. And I 
bequeath to Thomas Springe fortie shillinges : to Oswald thre poundes : 
to Smewyn fortie shillings: to Stephen fortie shillings: to Meade fortie 
shillings : to Arthure fortie shillings : to Henry Chilton fortie shillings : 
to Henry the Bruer fortie shillings: and to Frances fortie shillings. I 
bequeath to Byrdesey twentie shillings : to the Miller twentie shillings : to 
Hawkyns twentie shillings : to Thomas the Carter twentie shillings : to 
John Chapman twentie shillings : to Alyanor Adys fortie shillinges : 
to Sibill fortie shillings : to Amye twentie shillinges : to Johan Lovell 
twentie shillings : to Allice twentie shillinges : to Johan Maygott tenne 
shillinges. I bequeath to John Coventree thre pounde six shillinges eight 
pence, and a black gown at tene shillinges the yarde: and to Sir Rauffe 
fortie shillings, and a blacke gowne of tenne shillinges the yarde: and to 
Mighell twentie shillinges. I bequeath to Jack twentie shepe: and to 
Robyn twentie shepe, and kepinge for them in Adingrove, or ellswhere 
sufhcientlie, so longe as they shall contynue in service with my sonne, and 
my daughter, or at their bestowinge. I bequeath to Roger, the boye in 
my kitchin, twentie shillinges: and to Alexander xx*-: and to Norrice 
xx«- I bequeath to Anne Hunt tenne powndes : and to my cosin Anne 
Mason thre pownde, six shillings, eight pence : and to her sister Wise 
fortie shillinges : and to Prudence Mason that fyve pownde which my 
wife willed unto her, and xxxiii*. im rf - of my bequest besides : and to 
Mystris Conysby twentie shillinges: and to Prudence Edwardes ^6111. 
vi«. vi xid. to her marriage. I bequeath to Anne Lee a tablett of golde, 
with a pommaunder in it. I will and bequeath to Anne Hunt, besides 
her annuity of twentie-six shillings eight pence by the yere, thirtene shil- 
linges fower pence by the yere; to be taken and received of the rentes of 

406 JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. book iv. 

my howses in Flete Strete at London, during her litfe. Also I will and 

bequeathe to Oswalde, my Butler, twentie shillings by yere during his lyfe, 

to be taken of the same rentes : also to Smevvyn twentie shillinges by 

yere, to be taken of the same rentes, during his lyfe : and also to my cozin 

Thomas Ashwell fortie shillings by yere, during his lyfe, to be taken of 

the same rentes. Also I geve unto the same Thomas Asshwell the best of 

my geldinges that he will chose, after my Executour hath first chosen out 

twain for himself. I give to Sir George Gifforde a signet of golde, with a 

blue stone, and the best of my gownes that he will chose. Also I bequeath 

to John Croke, my sonne, and to Elizabeth his wiffe, my ferme of Adin- 

^rove : to have to them, and to theire assignes, for so many yeres as they 

and eyther of them shall lyve, enduring the term and lease of the said 

ferme: and, after their deceases, I give and bequeath the residue of yeres 

of the said ferme then to come, and of the lease of the same, to the heirs of 

the bodie of the saide John my soonne, lawfullie begotten ; and, for lack 

of such issue, to the right heirs of me John Croke, th' elder. Also I geve 

and bequeath to every of my godchildren, in Chilton, and Esendon, fyve 

shillings a pece : and to Thomas Golde, the Attorney of the Common 

Place, eight powndes, in satisfaction for the cropp at Hayes that was in 

variance between him and me, and never yet dyscussed : yt contayned by 

estimation xii acres of wheate and rye newly sowen. Also I bequeath to 

the poore people of Beckeley, Studley, and Horton, fortie shillinges ; and 

to the pore people of thes Townes following, (that is to say,) to Borstall 

twentie shillings: to Ockeley twentie shillings : to Brill fortie shillings : to 

Ludgarsall twentie shillings : to Dorton twentie shillings : to Wotton 

twentie shillings: to Asshendon and Pollicott twentie shillings: to Neather 

Wynchindon twentie shillings : to Cherdesley twentie shillings : to Cren- 

don twentie shillings : to Shobyndon twentie shillings : to Ikford twentie 

shillings : to Wornall twentie shillings : to Chilton and Esindon twentie 

shillings. Also I give and bequeath to yonge Ciceley Croke my chain of 

golde, conteynyng in lyncks the nomber of a 148, and also my late wiffe's 

wedding ring. Also I give and bequeath to my olde companyons, the 

Feloweshipp of the Six Clerks, tenne powndes ; to be bestowed by them 

in manner and forme followinge; that is to say, tenne marks thereof uppon 

such thinges as they shall thynke moste necessary for theire house ; and 

chap. ii. JOHN CROKE, alias LE BLOUNT. 407 

fyve marks residue uppon a convenyent dynner : whereunto I will require 
them to call Sir Richard Reade, the Clerks of the Petie Bagge, th' 
Examynours, and the Regester. I give unto Maister Leder my hope of 
golde. And of this my last Will and Testament, I ordeyn and make 
John Croke, my son, my Executour, to whom I will and geve all the 
residue of my goodes not before bequeathed. In witness whereof I have 
subscribed this my last Will and Testament, and sett to my seale, the day 
and year above written. Per me Johannem Croke — Robert Keylway — 
Edward Unton — Ciceley Unton — J. Coventre. 



The History of the Priory of Studley, its possessors, founders, and 

THE materials for the earlier part of the history of the Priory at Studley, 
have been extracted from the ruins of antiquity by the industry of Bishop 
Kennet ; the parish of Beckley, in which it is situated, having originally 
formed a part of the extensive honor, barony, or lordship, in which the 
parishes of Ambroseden and Bicester, the more peculiar subjects of his 
valuable work, were likewise comprehended. 

Nothing more is known of this place before the Norman conquest, than 
that the village of Beccaule, which was bequeathed by King Alfred, in 
the year 901, to his relation Osferth, is supposed to have been Beckley a ; 
and that in 1005, Ailmer, Earl of Cornwall, founded an Abbey of Bene- 
dictine Monks, to whom he gave certain lands, which he exchanged with 
his kinsman Godwin for five mansions at Stodelege, now perhaps Studley". 
Whoever was the possessor at the time of the Conquest, it was one of 
the estates which were seized by William, and bestowed upon his fol- 
lowers. Amongst these, Robert de Oyley enjoyed a considerable 
share of his sovereign's favour. Wigod de Walengeford, a powerful 
Saxon nobleman, had supported William's claim to the throne of England, 
and had hospitably entertained him in his castle at Wallingford. To 
gratify one of his adherents, and at the same time to ingratiate himself 
with his new subjects, in the year 1066, he bestowed in marriage to 
Robert de Oyley, Aldith, the only daughter and heiress of Wigod ; who, 
after her father's death, which happened soon after, succeeded to his great 
estates. Upon this marriage, King William gave likewise to De Oyley 
two other lordships, the barony of Oxford, or De Oyley, and what was 
afterwards called the honor of Saint Valori, of which the head, or capital 

* Rennet's Parochial Antiquities, page 39, from /Elfredi Vita MSS. p. 194. This Beck- 
ley, Beccaulea, in a note to the will of King Alfred, Oxford, 1788, is said to have been in 
Sussex. " Ibid. p. 46. Mori. Ang. torn i. p. 254, 259. 


seat was at Beckley, and which contained a large extent of country, 
including Studley, Ambroseden, Mixbury, Northbrook, Arncott, and 
other manors. 

The institutions of chivalry were the foundation of all the virtues of 
those rude times. The minds of the knights were elevated and refined by 
the love of God, and of the ladies, and by the sentiments of honor and 
courage required by their profession. The rivalship, incident to those 
engaged in the same noble pursuits, might have promoted divisions in- 
jurious to the public interests. But the children of chivalry were all con- 
sidered as brethren, and a more intimate connexion subsisted between 
many of them in the voluntary association of brothers, or companions in 
arms. Mutual esteem, and a similarity of ideas and pursuits, were the 
foundation of an exalted friendship, which received a peculiar form in these 
associations. They were entered into either for some particular enterprize, 
or generally, and for life. The Brothers took a solemn oath to share 
equally the labours, and dangers, the glory, and the profit of their adven- 
tures, and never to abandon each other in their perils, or misfortunes. 
Besides the oath, other fanciful ceremonies were sometimes employed: the 
knights mingled their blood ; hearts of gold were given, or an exchange of 
armour was made ; they received the sacrament, or jointly kissed the 
sacred vessel in which it was contained. Like members of the same 
family, they adopted the same dress and armour, and they had the same 
friends and enemies. The engagement was considered as of the most 
sacred and indissoluble nature. The obligation to assist a brother in arms 
was held to be paramount to every other duty, except that to the Sovereign 
alone, and even a distressed damsel might in vain implore the succour of 
the Knight, when necessity compelled him to fly to the relief of his com- 
panion. Knights of different nations frequently took upon them these 
mutual engagements, but the connexion was at once dissolved in case a 
war arose between their respective sovereigns . 

This practice prevailed as early as the time of William, and such a con- 
nection subsisted between many of the knights who came over from Nor- 
mandy: of these Eudo and Pinco are particularly mentioned d . Robert 

* De Sainte Palaye, Me"moire sur l'ancienne Chevalerie, vol. i. p. 224. Du Cange, 
Dissertation 21, sur Joinville, and Gloss, voce Anna Mutare. d Dugd. Baron, vol. i. 

p. 439- 

3 G 


de Oyley had a fellow adventurer, and sworn brother, in Roger de Iveri'. 
In virtue of this engagement, when William the Conqueror bestowed two 
lordships upon De Oyley, upon his marriage, he honourably gave one of 
them to Roger de Ivery, about the year 1077- This was the lordship 
of which Beckley was the head. Before this gift Robert de Oyley had 
endowed his chapel of St. George within his castle at Oxford with two 
parts of the tithe of Beckley, the tithes of Horton, and half a hide of land 
in Stodele : they were afterwards transferred to the Abbey of Oseney, in 
1149 f . Tins family of De Ivery was descended from Rodolph, maternal 
half-brother to Richard the First, Duke of Normandy : who having dis- 
tinguished himself by killing a monstrous boar, in a hunting party with 
his royal brother, was rewarded for that service with the castle and lands 
of Ivery, on the river l'Evre, in Normandy, which gave him the title of 
Count s . Roger de Ivery was the son of Waleran de Ivery, who held a 
knight's fee in the baily wick of Tenechebrai in Normandy by the service of 
being Pincerna, or Cup-bearer, to the Duke h . His son Roger enjoyed 
the same honour of being Cup-bearer to William, after his accession to 
the throne of England, and married Adeline, eldest daughter of Hugh de 
Grentmaisnel, and Adelidis his wife. Hugh came over with the Con- 
queror, and having distinguished himself in the battle of Hastings, was 
afterwards joined with Odo, Bishop of Baieux, and William Fitzosborn, 
in the administration of justice throughout the kingdom. 

This lordship was then styled the Barony of Ivery, and constituted its 
owner an English Peer. Roger de Ivery likewise gave his name to the 
town of Iver, in Buckinghamshire, which belonged to him. He died 
about the year 1079? leaving three sons : Roger; Hugo, who had the 
manor of Ambroseden ; and Geoffrey'. The eldest, Roger de Ivery, 
succeeded to the Baronies, and to the office of Cup-bearer. About the 
year 1086, he attended the King in Normandy, and was appointed 

' Memorandum ijuod Robertus de Oleio, et Rogerus de Iverio, fratres jurati, et per fidem 
et sacramentum confederati, venerunt ad conquestum Anglia;, cum Rege Willielmo Bas- 
tard. Iste Rex dedit dicto Roberto duas Baronias, quas modo vocantur Doylivorum, et S. 
Waleria. Register of Oseney Abbey, MSS. penes Decan. et Capit. Md. Christi. Kennet, 

1 Kennet, 1083. e Gul. Gemet. p. i>88. h Norman. Script, p. 1048. ' Kennet, 
p. 62, S3, from Domesday Book and Oseney Register. 


Governor of the castle of Rohan ; where he gave a proof of his courage 
and fidelity in defending it against one of the rebellious attempts of Robert, 
the King's son k . Upon the death of King William, in the disputes for 
the succession, with his relation Hugh de Grentmaisnel, he supported the 
title of Robert to the crown of England ; for which he was banished by 
William Rufus in 1087, forfeited all his estates in England, and died in 
sorrow and disgrace. His misfortunes were considered by the monks of 
Worcester as a judgment for his having robbed them of the manor of 
Hampton 1 . 

Geoffrey de Ivery, the youngest son, was restored to his brother's 
possessions, and, dying without issue, the barony de Ivery fell to the 
Crown. But though the direct line was now extinct, yet some collateral 
branches long continued in the country" 1 . 

About the year 1155, King Henry the Second bestowed this barony 
upon Reginald de Saint Valori, or, as it was called in England, 
Saint Walery". 

This noble and ancient family were Lords of St. Valori in Normandy, a 
town so named from St. Valorie, a disciple of Columban, who was made 
Abbot of a Monastery in the territory of Amiens by Clothaire, in 589. 
The first person who is known of this family was Gilbert, who was styled 
the Duke of Normandy's Advocate de Sancto Gualerico. He married 
Papia, the daughter of Richard the Second, Duke of Normandy. His 
son was Bernard de St. Walery, father of Walter de St. Walery, who 
flourished under Duke Robert the Second, and with his son Bernard was 
present at the siege of Nice in 1096. Ranulph de St. Walery, who is 
recorded in Domesday Book, attended Duke William upon his expedition 
to England. Guy de St. Walery seems to have been his son, or younger 
brother, and died about the year 1141; leaving, by his wife Albreda, 
Reginald his son and heir . 

k Kennet, p. 70, from Ordericus Vitalis, b. iv. p. 546. ' Ibid. p. 70. Mon. Ang. torn. i. 
p. 134. b. m Ibid. p. 83. Regist. de Oseney. See the History of the House of Yvery, 
written by John, Earl of Egmont; printed, but not published, in 1764. 

" Kennet first states, that this honor was given soon after the death of Geoffrey de Ivery 
to Guy de St. Valori, p. 83, but afterwards, p. 104, he says this is a mistake, and that it 
was first given to his son Reginald by Henry II. about 1155, and that Jeffrey was living 
in 1149. 

° Kennet, p. S3. 

3 G 2 


Reginald de Saint Valori having assisted the Empress Matilda, King 
Stephen seized his lordship of Haseldone in Gloucestershire, which he 
gave to John Saint John of Stanton. Henry the Second, upon his acces- 
sion to the throne, restored it to Reginald, but as in the mean time it had 
been given to the Abbey of Kingswood, the monks were unwilling to 
relinquish their claim to it. At length Reginald having been enjoined as 
a penance by the Pope to found an Abbey of the Cistertian order, they 
surrendered it upon condition of his performing this injunction. The 
abbey was erected at Haseldon, and the Abbot of Kingswood, with 
many of his monks, were translated thither. From hence, from a defi- 
ciency of water, they removed to Tettebiri, and afterwards, being ill supplied 
with wood, his son, Bernard de Saint Valori, procured from Roger de 
Berkley forty acres of land in Mireford near Kingswood, and transferred 
the Cistertian Abbey to that place. For which Bernard granted to Roger 
de Berkley freedom from toll in his port of Saint Valori''. Reginald soon 
after confirmed to the nuns of Godstow, Heringesham, and Boieham, and 
whatever John Saint John had given them' 1 . 

Reginald de St. Valori was in great favour with Henry. In 1 15.5, soon 
after the death of Geoffrey de lvery, the King conferred upon him the 
honor of lvery, which from this time was called the honor of Saint 
Valori, or Walery r . Bishop Kennet has no where defined the exact ex- 
tent of this honour. The lands of Roger de Iveri are thus stated in 
Domesday-book. In Peritune Hundred, Mixbury, Astall, Fulbrook, 
Etone, Northbrook, Horspath, Hensington, Heathrop, Clanfield, Barton, 
Beckley, Cheping Norton, Sherborn, Holton, North Leigh, Hampton- 
Gay, Wistelle, Cutslowe, Rousham. In the first Gadre Hundred, 
Norbrook, Stoke Line. In the second Gadre Hundred, Walcot, Wool- 
vercot 5 . I think it extremely probable that the whole of these lands con- 

p Mon. Ang. vol. i. p. 811. b. S12. b. Kennet, p. 97, 113, 126. ■» Monastic on, -vol. i. 
p. 525. b. r Kennet, p. 113. 

* I state the modern names as they are given by Kennet, Par. Ant. p. 67- In Domesday 
they are, Misseberie, Estalle, Fulebroc, Etone, Noidbroc, Horspadan, Hansitone, Trop, 
Chenefclde, Berton, Bechelie, Nortone, Scirburne, Eltone, Lege, Hantone, Wistelle, Cods- 
laue, Rovesham, Norbroc, Stoches, Waltone, Ulfgarcote. The wife of Roger de Iveri in 
Besentone Hundred held Letelape, (Islip) and Oxendone, (Oddington.) In Edward the 
Confessor's time, the manors of Burcester, (Bicester,) Ambroseden, Stratton, Weston, &e. 
belonged to Wigod de Walingford. Domesday Book. 



stituted the honour of Iveri, and afterwards of Saint Valori. Some manors 
might in process of time have been detached from it by sale or gift, but 
it must be observed that it was held of the Crown by the same service of 
ten knights' fees, as long as it continued in the hands of a subject. At the 
death of Richard, King of the Romans, in 1272, the manors of Beckley, 
Ambrosedon, Blackthorn, Henley, and Willarstone only are mentioned'. 
The capital seat of the honour was at Beckley, where was a castle, in 
which Richard, King of the Romans, his son Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, 
and the other Lords resided. Upon the site where it stood, are still to be 
seen an ancient pigeon-house, and evident remains of foundations. Here of 
course the Lords of the dependent manors performed their suit and ser- 

Reginald was appointed a Commissioner to enquire what rents were due 
to the King in Normandy in 1161, and to collect a scutage, which was as- 
sessed in the same year upon the county of Oxford. He confirmed like- 
wise to the monks of St. Frideswide at Oxford the manors of Knittinton 
in Berkshire, which had been given by his father. In 1164, he was one 
of the Barons in the Council of Clarendon, and was deputed with other 
Lords to wait upon Lewis, the King of France. He died about 1 166, and 
left a son named Bernard, and a daughter called Matilda". 

Matilda married William de Braose, a powerful Baron, and for her bold 
and resolute behaviour to King John, was miserably famished, with her 
eldest son, in Windsor Castle in ^lO?. 

His son, Bernard de Saint Valory, the founder of the monas- 
tery at Studley, being abroad at his father's death, the King issued a pre- 
cept to the Sheriffs of the counties in which his lands were situated, to 
secure his rights and property till his return 2 . For the livery of his lands 
he paid to the King five marks and a half, in which were included, half a 
mark for Beckley, and one mark for Horton. It appears by a charter of 
the year Il69 5 that he was still in possession of the original hereditary 
lordship of St. Valori in Normandy. 

In 1171 he fell under the King's displeasure, his lands were seized, and 
the rents paid into the Exchequer. But his peace was soon made, and it 

' Kennet, p. 276. u Ibid. p. 1Q5. * Kennet, in annis. * Mat. West, sub 

anno. * Kennet, p. 123. 


seems to have been a condition that he should give to the King his manor 
of Wolvercott, and the advowson of the nunnery of Godstow, near Oxford, 
both which estates he had acquired in frank marriage with his second wife 
Avoris, the daughter of John de St. John, Lord of Stanton a . 

He was a considerable benefactor to the monks. In 1172 he gave to 
the Abbey of Oseney a pool near the Thames, with a watercourse running 
to the mill, and the moiety of seventeen acres and a half of his demesne 
lands in the isle of Oseney. To the Hospital of St. Giles in London he 
gave rents and privileges at Isleworth, and confirmed and enlarged his 
father's gifts to the nuns at Ambesbury\ He granted likewise a charter 
to the nuns of Godstow near Oxford, about 1 172, with lands and fisheries". 
King Henry the Second bestowed upon him the manor of Ardington, now 
Yarnton, in Berks, in 1 1 SO *' . 

In the year 1 184 according to Kennet, but Bishop Tanner supposes in 
1176, or 1179, he founded the Priory of Studley, for nuns of the 
Benedictine order, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and endowed it with 
half a hide of land in Horton. This is the earliest charter which is known, 
but it seems rather to imply that the convent was already in existence 6 . 

He was attending Richard the First in Normandy, when his father, 
Henry the Second, died in 1189- Soon after the coronation he again ac- 
companied the King into Normandy, where he went to prepare for his ex- 
pedition to Palestine. Bernard assumed the Cross with his sovereign, 
and, for his better success, in his passage through France, he founded an 
Abbey, which he called Locus Dei, Lieu Dieu, or Godestow, in 119 1, 
in the county of Eu, upon the river Breston, which divides Normandy 
from Picardy f . To the convention which was made at Messina between 
Philip Augustus, King of France, and Richard, amongst the fidejiissores, 
or securities, was Bernardus de St. Walery, or such of his heirs as should 
inherit St. Valori 8 . 

The events of this memorable crusade are well known, and the immortal 
honour acquired by Richard Cceur de Lion, and his brave associates. 

* Kennet, p. 127. b Ibid. c Kennet, p. 128. '' Ibid, in anno. 

' Studley Chartukry. ISryan Twyne's MSS. Kennet, in anno. Tanner's Notitia Mo- 
nastica. Dugdale's Monasticon. ' Kennet, p. 1 49. Gallia Christiana, vol. x. p. 328. 

5 The new edition of Kennet, in anno, from Ryuier. 


The siege of Acre was then the principal scene of action. It was here 
that the romantic bravery of Richard, and the Franks, met with a worthy 
adversary in the courage and virtues of Saladine. After two years the city 
was compelled to surrender ; but this siege and victory were purchased at 
an immense expence of money, troops, and heroes. More than one hun- 
dred thousand Christians were slain, and every country in Europe had to 
lament the loss of its princes, nobles, and knights. Amongst these is 
enumerated Bernard de Saint Valori, who was shot through the head by 
an arrow from an arbalet, or cross-bow h . 

He was succeeded in his baronies by Thomas de St. Walery, who 
paid one hundred and seventy marks for the relief of his barony', and was 
likewise a considerable benefactor to the service of religion, and the second 
founder of the Priory of Studley. He married Adela, or Edela, heiress to 
the lordship of Saint Albine, near Dieppe in Normandy, and daughter of 
the Count of Ponthieu k , of whom the following extraordinary story is 
related in the History of Picardy. 

" Thomas de Saint Valery was travelling with his wife Adela, daughter 
of a Count de Ponthieu. They were attacked near a forest by eight 
armed men. St. Valery, after a severe struggle, was seized, bound, and 
thrown into a thicket. His wife was carried off, exposed to the brutality 
of the banditti, and afterwards dismissed in a state of nudity. She, how- 
ever, sought for and found her husband, and they returned together. 
They were soon after met by their servants, whom they had left at an 
inn, and returned to their father's castle at Abbeville. The barbarous 
Count, full of false ideas of honour, proposed, some days after, to his 
daughter, a ride to his town of Rue, on the sea shore. There they en- 
tered a bark, as if to sail about for pleasure ; and they had stood out three 
leagues from the shore, when the Count de Ponthieu starting up, said, 
with a terrible voice, " Lady, death must now efface the shame which 
" your misfortune has brought on all your family !" The sailors, pre- 
viously instructed, instantly seized her, shut her up in a hogshead, and 
threw her into the sea, while the bark regained the coast. Happily a 
Flemish vessel passing near the coast, the crew observed the floating hogs- 
head, and expecting a prize of good wine, took it up, opened it, and with 

" Roger de Hovedon, p. 685. '< Kennet, p. IhQ. k Ibid. p. 156. 



great surprise found a beautiful woman. She was, however, almost dead, 
from terror and want of air ; and at her earnest entreaty the honest 
Flemings sent a boat ashore with her. She gained her husband's house, 
who was in tears for her supposed death. The scene was extremely 
affecting — but Adela survived it only a few hours. John, Count of Pon- 
thieu, repenting of his crime, gave to the Monks of St. Valery the right of 
fishing three days in the year in and about the spot where his daughter 
had been thrown overboard 1 ." 

In 1193, Thomas de St. Valori gave his manor of Mixbury to the 
Abbey of Oseney. In 1202, he confirmed to the Abbot of Thame some 
land in Stoke, and in 120:3 he confirmed his father's foundation of the 
Priory of Studley, with some new gifts" 1 . 

In 1205, he confirmed to the monks of Bittledon lands in Dodford". 
In 1206, he owed the King ten marks and nine shillings for arrears of 
scutage". In 1207, he confirmed his father's foundation of Godstow in 
France. He afterwards incurred the King's displeasure, and his lands 
were seized by the Crown ; for in 1209 he paid a composition of one 
thousand marks to recover them. The custody of his barony having been 
in the mean time committed to Robert de Braibroc''. 

In 1212, an Inquisition was taken of the honor of Saint Valori q . In 
1213, Thomas de St. Valori, by adhering to the Pope and the French 
interests, again offended the King, who sent a precept to the Sheriff of 
Oxfordshire, with orders for putting in some discreet steward to take care 
of his lands and chattels, commanding him to be summoned to appear on 
a certain day. And another precept was sent to Ralph Hareng, Seneschal 
of the honor of St. Valori, requiring him to assign to Gerard de Rodes 
land to the value of twenty pounds out of the said estate 1 ". 

In 1216, the King committed his estate to Ralph Harengod, to keep 
for the use of Thomas de Saint Valori', who confirmed the grants to 
Godstow Nunnery in Oxfordshire. In 1217 5 a precept was issued to the 
Sheriff of Oxfordshire to give Thomas de St. Valori possession of the lands 

1 The History of Picardy, quoted by Horace Walpole, from whom the above is taken. 
Walpoliana, vol. ii. page 128. 

m Kennet, in anno. Mon. Ang. torn. i. p. 147- Studley Chart, and Brian Twyne. 

n Kennet, p. 16?. ° Ibid. p. 168. p Ibid, in anno. q Ibid. p. 175. 

' Ibid, in anno. 6 Ibid. p. 183. 


of his brother Henry, of which he had been disseized in the Barons' war, and 
Henry had seizen of his lands in Fulbroc in Oxfordshire, Northon and 
Sutton in Huntingdonshire, and Henton in Berks, where he had obtained 
a market'. 

Henry de St. Valori, brother of Thomas, late lord of the manor of 
Ambrosden, at a trial before the itinerant Judges in the county of Buck- 
inghamshire, lost his lands in the said county by default to the King, 
because his attorney had not personally appeared in the court, after four 
days admonition ; but would have pleaded for an Essonium de malo lectin 
that is, that upon sickness of the party summoned, attested in the open 
court for four days successively, the Judges shall then appoint four knights 
to attend the sick person, and see him depute an attorney to appear for 
him. Which plea was now overruled by the Judges, because no attorney 
could have an attorney, as no proctor could have a proctor. Upon which 
Henry de St. Valori was judged in default, and his lands taken into the 
King's hands". 

Thomas de St. Valori died in 1219, 4 Henry III. and left only one 
daughter, Allanora, who was married to Robert, surnamed Gastabled, 
Earl of Dreux, a French peer, who was of the royal blood of France, 
being descended from Louis le Gros. He had livery of all the lands in 
England of her inheritance, including the honor of St. Valori, and in 1220 
confirmed the gifts of Thomas de St. Valori to the Abbey of Oseney*. 

About 1227, ah the lands of the Earl of Dreux were seized by the King, 
during some contests in France. He died in 1228, and was succeeded in 
his possessions in France, by his eldest son John, as Earl of Dreux and 
Brenne, and Lord of St. Valori, in Normandy. But the honor of St. 
Valori in England remained in the hands of the Crown. The arms of 
St. Valori were, two lions passant, which appears by a seal of Thomas de 
Saint Valori 51 . Allanora then married Henry, Earl of Sully l . 

Upon the disseizure and death of Earl Robert, the custody of his lands 
in England, which he held in right of his wife, was committed to 
Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the King's brother, in 1229, of which, 
in 1231, he had a full grant from his royal brother. But some part was 

' Kennet, p. 1S4. u Bracton, Hingham magna, cap. 4. Kennet, p. 198. 

* Dugd. Baron, vol. i. p. 455. Du Tillet, Recueil, p. 27, SS, 45. y R- Dods. MSS. 

vol. 20. fol. 58. ' Du Tillet, p. 27. 

3 H 


allotted to Allanora, the widow of Robert. Richard, Earl of Cornwall, 
who had been elected King of the Romans, in 1256, died in 1272, and 
was succeeded by his son Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, who dying 
without issue, in 1300, the honor of St. Walery descended to the King, 
Edward the First, as next heir\ ThisBarony was valued at ten knights' 
fees\ By King Edward the Second it was granted to his favourite Piers 
de Gaveston , upon whose death in 1312 it again reverted to the King, 
who immediately gave it to his new creature, Hugh le Despenser' 1 . 
Hugh granted it to his relation Sir John de Handlo'. After this it 
appears to have been in various hands. In 1317, the King gave it to 
Isabel his Queen for life f . In 1332, John de Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, 
was possessed of it 1 -'. In 1337, Sir John de Handlo held the manor of 
Beckley for life, and William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, obtained a 
grant in fee in reversion after the death of Handlo. In 1351, Edward the 
Black Prince held it by grant of the King as Duke of Cornwall \ In 
1357, Almaric de S. Amand was lord of the manor of Beckley 1 . From 
the want of sufficient documents, these intermediate possessions are not 
clearly understood, but in 1376, after the death of the Black Prince, the 
honor of St. Walery was ultimately vested in the Crown, with whom it 
has ever since continued : parcels, or particular manors only, having been 
granted out\ 

In the fifth year of Edward the Sixth, 1551, the King, by his letters 
patent, dated the 24th of April, amongst other things, granted to Sir 
Walter Mildmaye the manor of Beckley, with all messuages, lands, tene- 
ments, woods, &c. in Beckley and Horton in the county of Oxford, to 
hold in capite by the service of the hundredth part of a knight's fee, as 
parcel of the honor of Ewelme. From him it was transferred to Sir Henry 
Norris, and thus came into the family of the Earl of Abingdon 1 . 

'Studley Chart, f. 42. In 121-1, Philippa Basset, Countess of Warwick, gave to the 
Canons of Bicester seven shillings rent, which Roger de Stodley paid for a tenement in 
Stodley. Kennet, p. 232. R. Dods. MSS. Pipe. vol. 15. f. 120. vol. 20. f. 30. vol. -12. f. 127. 
vol. 61. f. 38. 

11 Studley Chart, f. 46. R. Dods. MSS. vol. 14. f. 246. vol. 15. f. 58, 285, 325. c Dugd. 
Baron, vol. ii. p. 42. Dugd. MSS. B. 1. 142. R. Dods. MSS. vol. 35. f. 25. * Dugd. 

Baron, vol. i. p. 390. ' R. Dods. vol. 107. f. 201. f Dugd. MSS. C. 138. % Year 

Book, Ed. iii p. 223. " Decree of Appropriation. Studley Chartulary. ' Dugd. Bar. 

vol. ii. p. 20. h Kennet. ' Studley Chartulary, fol. 42. 


The extent of the manor of Beckley, and of what it consisted, is clearly 
ascertained by an inquisition taken on the death of Edmund, Earl of 
Cornwall, before the Escheator, on the 16th of November, in the twenty- 
eighth year of Edward the First, 1300. It is a very particular and minute 
account of the manor of Beckley, and Hamlet of Horton, and of all the 
messuages, the number of acres of plowed land, meadow, and wood, the 
names, rents, and services of every freeholder, bondman, cottager, and 
every other possession, right, and franchise belonging to the manor. The 
value of the whole is estimated at ^44. 3s. 7\d. a year ; of which 6s. 8d. 
was held by the Prioress of Studley in free alms. It was held of the King, 
in capite, as of the honor of St. Valori, and King Edward was found to be 
the next heir™. 

Upon this inquisition, in the old chartulary, amongst other remarks, it 
is observed, 

First, That neither the Prioress of Studley, nor the Lord of the manor 
of Ashe, nor any other person inhabiting, or having any lands, within the 
towns of Studley, Ashe, or Merlacke, is said or declared to be a freeholder 
of the manor of Beckley, or suitor to the court there, or to owe any 
manner of suit or service to the Lord of that manor. 

Secondly, That no part of the manor of Beckley extendeth into any 
other county than Oxfordshire. 

Thirdly, That no mention is made of the great parcel of ground called 
Otmoor, " which Moor at this day some would fain find to be parcel of 
" the manor of Beckley, but if it had been so in deed, and so known, 
" taken, and esteemed, in those days, it could not, nor should not, have 
" been so utterly forgotten, and so clearly left altogether out, and unmen- 
" tioned in the said presentment. And specially for that it is so great and 
" notable a quantity of ground, so beneficial a common, and so profitable 
" for fowling and fishing to all the inhabitants of six or seven townships 
" bordering round about it, who always together, videlicet, every of the 
" said townships, as well one as another, have ever used, and enjoyed the 
" said common, for all their flocks of sheep, herds of beasts, and all 
; ' manner of cattle, at all times, and have taken and enjoyed the profits of 
" the fowling and fishing at their pleasure, at all times. No one of the 

m Studley Chartulary, fol. 46. b. 
3 H 2 


" said townships claiming any preheminence, or greater right, or interest 
" than the rest"." 

It appears then, that when these observations were made, above two 
hundred years ago, the claim of the lord of the manor of Beckley to the 
lordship of Otmoor was considered as a new claim. Otmoor was not ori- 
ginally comprehended within the manor of Beckley, as is clearly proved by 
this inquisition. It was probably part of the wastes of the honor of Saint 
Valori, and that honor not having been granted out, the Moor remained 
the property of the Crown. The tenants of all the manors within that 
honor had of course right of common upon it: and the other neighbouring 
towns by usage : but being inconvenient for the occupation of those at a 
distance, the use and the right gradually became confined to the townships 
immediately surrounding it . It would necessarily be under the juris- 
diction of the court of the honor of Saint Valori, which was held at 
Beckley. After those courts were disused, the court of the lord of the 
manor of Beckley, which was held at the same place, naturally enough 
assumed some parts of their jurisdiction, gradually extended its authority 
over the neighbouring waste of Otmoor, exercised manorial rights over it, 
and made regulations, which being for the general good were acquiesced 
in. And this usurpation upon the Crown has been matured by time and 
possession into a perfect right. 

In the mean time, the Priory at Studley was augmented by various 
donations, as well by the Founder, his heirs and successors, as by strangers. 
The original foundation consisted of the house, and site, and half a 
hide of land in Horton, given by Bernard de Saint Valori. This gift was 
confirmed by his son Thomas de Saint Valori in 1203, who prescribed the 
mode of electing the Prioress. She was to be chosen with his consent, or 
that of his Seneschal, if he was absent abroad. Upon this nomination she 
was to be presented to the Bishop of Lincoln, and to appear at Saint 
Valori 's court at Oxford to perform fealty. That is, a free election was 
left to the Religious, yet a conge d'eslire was first to be obtained from the 
Patron. He granted likewise pannage for feeding the Prioress's pigs p . 

n Studley Chartulary, fol. 49. b. 

° The towns of Charlton, Fencot, Moorcot, Noke, and Oddington, were not part of the 
honor of St. Valori. Rennet, p. 6\. et passim. 

p Charter in Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. ii. p. 486. Rennet, p. 165, and Glossary, voce 
Advowson of Religious Houses. 


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" said townships claiming any preheminence, or greater right, or interest 
" than the rest"." 

It appears then, that when these observations were made, above two 
hundred years ago, the claim of the lord of the manor of Beckley to the 
iordship of Otmoor was considered as a new claim. Otmoor was not ori- 
ginally comprehended within the manor of Beckley, as is clearly proved by 
this inquisition. It was probably part of the wastes of the honor of Saint 
Valori, and that honor not having been granted out, the Moor remained 
the property of the Crown. The tenants of all the manors within that 
honor had of course right of common upon it: and the other neighbouring 
towns by usage : but being inconvenient for the occupation of those at a 
distance, the use and the right gradually became confined to the townships 
immediately surrounding it . It would necessarily be under the juris- 
diction of the court of the honor of Saint Valori, which was held at 
Beckley. After those courts were disused, the court of the lord of the 
manor of Beckley, which was held at the same place, naturally enough 
assumed some parts of their jurisdiction, gradually extended its authority 
over the neighbouring waste of Otmoor, exercised manorial rights over it, 
and made regulations, which being for the general good were acquiesced 
in. And this usurpation upon the Crown has been matured by time and 
possession into a perfect right. 

In the mean time, the Priory at Studley was augmented by various 
donations, as well by the Founder, his heirs and successors, as by strangers. 
The original foundation consisted of the house, and site, and half a 
hide of land in Horton, given by Bernard de Saint Valori. This gift was 
confirmed by his son Thomas de Saint Valori in 1203, who prescribed the 
mode of electing the Prioress. She was to be chosen with his consent, or 
that of his Seneschal, if he was absent abroad. Upon this nomination she 
was to be presented to the Bishop of Lincoln, and to appear at Saint 
Valori's court at Oxford to perform fealty. That is, a free election was 
left to the Religious, yet a conge d'eslire was first to be obtained from the 
Patron. He granted likewise pannage for feeding the Prioress's pigs p . 

" Studley Chartulary, fol. 49. b. 

The towns of Charlton, Fencot, Moorcot, Noke, and Oddington, were not part of the 
honor of St. Valori. Kennet, p. 6l. et passim. 

"• Charter in Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. ii. p. 486. Kennet, p. 165, and Glossary, voce 
Advowson of Religious Houses. 

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In August, in the ninth year of John, 1207, Thomas de Saint Valori 
granted a rent of three shillings in Beckleyi. 

By another charter without date, he granted a carriage load of dead wood 
for firing weekly, to be taken out of Horton wood, by view of his Forester ; 
and a piece of land to enlarge their garden'. 

Richard, King of the Romans, by his charter, granted to the Nuns 
twelve feet of land in breadth all round the priory in his demesne wood of 
Horton 9 . 

His son, Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, granted them one acre and half of 
his waste of Horton to enlarge their enclosure, by a charter dated the first 
of October, in the twenty-seventh year of Edward the First, 1298'. 

In 1226, Robert Earl of Dreux, Lord of Saint Valori, and Alanor his 
wife, daughter and heir of Thomas de Saint Valori, granted the advowson 
of the Church of Beckley to the Nuns of Studley. The grant was con. 
firmed by Alanor after the death of her husband in 1234\ Hugh, Bishop 
of Lincoln, assigned certain tithes to the Nuns, in 1230*. 

The Nuns having recovered seizin of the presentation of the Church of 
Beckley against the King, and the Master of the Temple, Hugh Bishop 
of Lincoln, at the petitions of the King, and of Richard Earl of Pictou 
and Cornwall, and at the instance of the Nuns, with the consent of the 
Dean and Chapter, confirmed the right of advowson to them, and assigned 
to them a pension of ten marks from the said Church in certain portions 
after specified, together with the small tithes. These portions were, the 
tithes of corn of five hides of plowed land of the fee of the Lord of Saint 
Valori in Horton, with the tithe of hay thereunto belonging. The third 
part of the tithes of corn of two hides of the demesnes of Robert de Bosco, 
and John, the son of Alexander, in the town of Esses, with the tithes of 
hay. The tithes of corn of one carrucate of land cleared and cultivated by 
the Nuns in the town of Esses, provided that if they should clear any 
more land they should pay tithes for the same to the Church of Beckley, 
and they presented Nicholas de Anna, Clerk, to the Rectory, who was 
instituted by the Bishop, and took an oath not to molest the Nuns in the 

i Dugdale. Kennet, p. 169. ' Dugdale, and Br. Twyne, No. 4. ' Dugdale. 

B. Twyne, No. 13. 'Dugdale. Br. Twyne, No. 14. "Dugdale. Studley Char- 

tulary, f. 26. Br. Twyne, No. 5, 6, 7, 8. * Br. Twyne, No. 6, 7- 


said assignments of tithes y . This transaction took place in 1234 7 . In 
1248, the Prioress again presented to the Church of Beckley*. 

Yet afterwards, for some reason which does not appear, the advowson 
was in the Lords of Saint Valori. For in 1283, Edmund Earl of Corn- 
wall presented to the Church 1 '. In 1290 he presented Philip de Hed- 
deshonere, in place of Richard de Sottewell, instituted to the Church of 
Frothingham c . On the death of Philip de Heddeshonere he presented 
Henry de Exon d . In 1301, the King presented, as having the honor of 
Saint Valori descended to him'. In 1316, Sir John de Handlo presented 
Robert de Hanlo, Clerk, on the vacancy by the resignation of James de 
Berkhamstede f . Upon the institution of Robert de Hanlo to the Church 
of Haseley in 1318, Sir John Hanlo presented Edmund de Lodelawes. 

During this period several controversies took place. In the year 1292 
there was a suit between Philip de Heddeshonere, the Rector of Beckley, 
and dementia the Prioress and convent of Studley, respecting the tithes 
of corn and hay which were claimed by the Prioress. By the consent of 
parties it was referred to the arbitration of Oliver, Bishop of Lincoln ; who 
having made all due enquiries, in the presence of Edmund Earl of Corn- 
wall, as patron of the living, decided in favour of the Prioress's claims, 
and a deed was drawn up and executed by the parties 1 '. 

There was also a controversy between Sir Edmund de Lodelow, Rector 
of Beckley, and the Prior and convent of Saint Frideswide, the appro- 
priators of Oakley, concerning the tithes of a wood called Godstowe-wood, 
which each of the parties asserted to be within their respective parishes. 
It was decided by the Bishop of Lincoln in 1328 in favour of the Priory, 
it being found that the wood was within the forest of Bernwood, and 
therefore within the parish of Oakley'. 

In 1345, in Michaelmas term, there was a trial between the King and 
the Prioress of Studley, for the taxation of three hides of land annexed to 
the Nunnery, in which the Prioress pleaded, that at the foundation three 
hides of land in the parish of Beckley were annexed to it, and that she was 

y Studley Chartulary, fol. 25. z Regis, Line. a Regis, Lincoln. b R. Dods. 

MSS. vol. 44. f. 1S1 . e Reg. Lincoln. 01. Sutton. d Kennet, new Edition. 

e R. Dods. MSS. vol. 107- f. 166". ' Reg. Line. Dalderby. % Ibid. * The 

Agreement. Studley Chartulary, fol. 7- ' Chartular. S. Frideswidte. Kennett in 


taxed for them amongst the spirituals, or tenths. But the jury returned 
that she ought to pay for the same in taxation of the temporals' 5 . 

At length the Nuns not only recovered the advowson of Beckley, but 
obtained the appropriation of the living. Margery, Prioress of Studley, 
by her petition to Edward, the Black Prince, to whom the advowson had 
been granted by his father, King Edward the Third, having shewn that her 
predecessors were seized of the advowson, and had presented their Clerks, 
who had been instituted by the Bishop of Lincoln, Prince Edward, 
adverting to the poor state of the Priory which was in his patronage, 
granted and quit-claimed to the said Prioress and convent the advowson of 
Beckley, to hold of himself and his heirs as Dukes of Cornwall. As the 
church was then void, he granted to them the presentation, and his licence 
to appropriate. These letters patent were dated the 9th of November, in 
the 2jth year of his father's reign, 1351, and are recited in the letters 
patent of Edward the Third, dated on the 11th of November following, by 
which he confirms his son's grant, and gives his licence to appropriate 1 . 

The consent of the King and the Lord having been thus obtained, the 
appropriation was made by John Bishop of Lincoln, by his decree bearing 
date the 18th of the calends of May, in the year 1352. He states, as an 
inducement, that the possessions belonging to the Priory, since the last 
pestilence, had become so barren and slender, that they could not com- 
modiously be maintained, or keep hospitality, or perform their other duties. 
Wherefore, that divine worship may be more perfectly increased in the said 
Priory, the said Religious being patrons of the Church, in the presence 
of the Chapter of Lincoln, and the Archdeacon of Oxford, the Bishop 
united, annexed, and incorporated the said Church to the Prioress and 
convent. Reserving a fit portion of the profits for the maintenance of a 
perpetual Vicar, to be instituted upon the presentation of the said Reli- 
gious. And saving to the Church of Lincoln an annual pension of 
6s. 8d. and for the Chapter 40c?. Then follows the confirmation by the 
Dean and Chapter, in which the pension reserved to the Church of 
Lincoln is stated to be \0s. m 

In the year lo24, a suit was instituted in the Archdeacon of Oxford's 

" Dugd. MSS. A 2. f 323. ' Studley Chartulary, fol. 26. n Studley Chartulary, 

fol. V, 28. 


court by the Prioress and Convent, against Ralph Cradoc and Robert 
Guillim, for subtraction of tithes arising in Beckley Park. The Prioress 
obtained a definitive sentence in her favour, which established her right, 
title, and possession, of perceiving all and all kind of tithes, as well great 
and small, as mixed and minute, and of what kind soever, in, of, and out 
of, all lands, fields, meadows, feedings, pastures, parks, and all other tithe- 
able places within the parish of Beckley". 

Such were the benefactions by the Founder, and his successors ; I pro- 
ceed to state others which were made by strangers. 

Soon after the foundation, Matilda, the daughter of Alan, the Hunter, 
(Venatoris) upon taking the veil, gave to the Convent twelve acres of 
plowed land upon Shulfhull, in Horton, with its appurtenances in meadow 
and pasture. Which gift was confirmed by Thomas de Saint Walery, 
discharging it from all secular services due to him . 

Henry the Third, between the years 1229 and 1237? granted the Nuns 
to have one horse of burden travelling every day, once in the day, to bring 
them dead wood for firing from his wood of PanshaleP. 

There are many documents relating to the donation of the church or 
chapel of Senekeworth, or Seckworth, with lands in that parish, in the 
beginning of the thirteenth century. This was a village, now no longer in 
existence, situated between Botley and Whitham in Berkshire, which 
chiefly belonged to the Abbey of Abingdon, and is now in Cumnor 

1. The charter of Robert de Senekeworthe, granting to the Priory of 
Studley the Church, with all lands, tithes, and dues ; and one acre of land 
called Northsuturc, and pasture for three beasts in his demesne. It has 
no date, but the time may be ascertained from the witnesses, who were 
H, and K, the abbots of Oseney, and Nutley, and P, the Prior of St. 

2. In 1218, a composition was made by Richard, Bishop of Sarum, 
that the Nuns should have a third of the tithes of corn of Seckworth ; all 

■ Studley Chartulary, fol. 29. 

Ibid. fol. 15. a, and b. Dedi Deo, et Ecclesine Sanctae Maria; de Stodleia, et moniali- 
bus ibidem Deo servientibus, cum corpore meo in religione. The name of Shulfhull is 
still retained. 

* Br. Twyne, No. 9. « Ibid. 55. r Ibid. No. 15. 


other benefits belonging to that chapel in lands, tithes, and dues, with the 
tithes of Mercham, Cheleworth, and Boteley, to belong to the Vicar of the 
Chapel 8 . 

3.. By his charter, Sir William de Senekeworth, granted to Dionysia his 
daughter, half a virgate of land, with a messuage, croft, and meadow ; and 
two acres of arable land lying on one side at Schoolles, against Packstok, 
and on the other side adjoining the road called Eynshamwaye, and a 
marsh called Davidsmore*. It seems that Dionysia gave this land to the 

4. Sir William, Lord of Senekeworth, her father, son and heir of Robert 
de Senekeworth, by his charter, without date, gave to the Nuns pasturage 
for four cows, and one bull, in all his lands, except the islands ; and he 
discharged the virgate of land, which they held in Senekeworth, from all 
claim of hidage, scutage, chirichseth, and the custody of Windsor, and all 
other demands, except a rent of six pence to Robert de Boteley". 

5. Sir William de Senekeworth, son of William, confirmed all the gifts 
of his father, and the half virgate of land which the nuns had of the gift of 
his sister Dionysia ; and he discharged it of the custody of Windsor, suit 
of court, and all other demands". 

6. William, Lord of Senekeworth, granted to the church of the Blessed 
Mary at Senekwort/i, in lieu of the tithes of his demesne meadow, the 
meadow called Welistdesham, containing five acres, and another between 
the Church-mead and the Thames. If any meadow now in Villenage 
should fall into his hands, it should be tithed ; and least any instigated by 
an evil spirit should presume to disturb this Act, he confirmed it by the seal 
of R. Bishop of Sarum>'. 

7. By a charter, William, the son of Henry, grants a virgate of land in 
Senekeworthe, with Crodyne-croft 2 . 

8. About 1 1 8 1 , a composition was made between the Abbot of Abendon 
and William, the Vicar of Seckworth, respecting oblations, and other 
obventions belonging to the Mother Church of Cumnor, by A. and E. 
Abbots of Missendon and Dorkecestr, Philip and A. Priors of St. Frides- 

s Br. Twyne, No. 16. * Ibid. No. 20. 

u Ibid. No. 17. Chirivhseth, that is, a certain quantity of corn which was paid to the 
church on St. Martin's day, Church-scot. Ducange, and Kennet, Pur. Antiq. p. 603. 
' Br. Twyne, No. 22. ' Ibid. No. 19. * Ibid. No. IS. 
3 1 


wide and Esseby, by the command of Pope Lucius the Third. It men- 
tions the church of Mercham, and Bayvvorthe a . 

The church of Ilmere, in Buckinghamshire, was given to the Nuns of 
Studley by Albritha, daughter of David de Romenel, and Thomas, the 
son of Bernard, in the reign of King John, which gift was confirmed by 
Peter of Blois, Bishop of Lincoln ; and afterwards Hugh, his successor, 
appropriated it, and instituted a Vicar 1 '. 

Hugh, the son of William of Elsefield, gave a virgate of land there ; 
and, besides a hundred white loaves of that kind of bread which is called 
at Oxford Blanpeyn, which Ralph his Steward, and his heirs, were to 
deliver annually at Studley, upon the feast of the Assumption of Saint 
Mary . 

A house at Stratford was given by William de Stratford, by a charter 
without date' 1 . 

By a charter, Elias, the son of William de Tetyndon, gave the tithes of 
his demesnes in that parish ; and if he should erect a chapel there, he 
should maintain the Chaplain. The gift was confirmed by Robert, 
Bishop of Lincoln, who held that see from 1235 to 1253 e . 

Hugh, the son of Henry of Abingdon, confirmed the gift which Master 
Gilbert Mertel had made of premises in Ocks Street, which were of his 
fee f . 

The charter of Walkeline, the son of Roger, giants to Philip, the 
Miller of Oxford, a virgate of land in Wendlebury, rendering yearly six 
pence for some gilt spurs. And he warrants these tenements to whom- 
soever he shall assign them, whether a religious house, or otherwise". 

About 1221, Ralph Harang granted a rent of ten shillings to be paid 
by Richard le Wose of Forest-hill for a pittance for the Nuns 1 '. 

About 1221, Matthew, the son of Alan, gave a virgate of land at 
Steeple-Aston, in Oxfordshire 1 . 

But the principal donation was of the manor and advowson of Cruu- 
cumbe in Somersetshire, and a manor in Long Compton in Warwickshire, 
by Godfrey de Craucumbe ; perhaps about the year 1245. 

' Br. Twyne, No. 23. " Ibid. No. 24. Hugh Wallis, Bp. of Lincoln from 1209 to 

1234. c Ibid. No. 25. d Ibid. No. 26. e Ibid. No. 27. f Ibid. No. 28. 

s Ibid. No. 29. " Ibid. No. 35. * Ibid. No. 36. 


The town of Craucombe is about ten miles north from Taunton. 
Before the Norman invasion, Gueda wife of Godwin, Earl of Kent, in 
expiation of her husband's injuries to several monasteries, bestowed this 
manor on the church of Saint Swithun, at Winchester. At the Conquest 
it was seized by William, and given to the Earl of Morton, of whom 
Robert held it in Domesday Book. This Robert was surnamed de Con- 
stabulo from his office in Normandy. His son Robert possessed it in the 
beginning of the reign of Henry the First, and was succeeded by Simon, 
who called himself Fitz-Robert, and in the fifth year of King Stephen 
paid a fine to the King to have livery of the lands of Wimond de Crau- 
combe, whose daughter he had married 11 . In the fourth of Henry the 
Second he paid a fine to have justice against Reginald Heirun, his wife's 
sister's husband 1 . And in the twelfth year of Henry the Second he was 
certified to hold one knight's fee of Robert de Beauchamp 1 ". 

Simon Fitz-Robert having no issue, his lands were divided between his 
two brothers, Ralph and Godfrey. Godfrey, who inherited one half of 
the manor of Craucombe, assumed the name of de Craucombe, and was 
one of the most considerable men of his time. In the sixth of John he 
had a grant of the manor of Edston in Warwickshire. In the ninth year, 
a grant of the right of hunting, as well in, as out of forests, in all counties 
where he had lands". In the sixteenth year of that King he was at Run- 
nimede, and was sworn to the observance of the peace agreed to, and to 
support the authority of the twenty-five persons appointed to have the 
management of the kingdom. In that reign and that of Henry the Third, 
he was sent on several important embassies to the court of Rome. Henry 
the Third, in his seventeenth year, intrusted him to apprehend Hubert de 
Burgh, Earl of Kent, which he did at the head of three hundred men, and 
dragged him to the Tower out of a chapel near Merton, where he had 
taken sanctuary . In the eighteenth year, the King granted to him the 
wood of Corseley, containing five acres, ten of moor, and thirty of heath, 
in the forest of Selwood ; and in his nineteenth, the rights of free warren, 
a market, and a fair". Afterwards, by the artifices of some sycophants, he 
was dismissed from the King's court, but in 1245 was retaken into favour. 

k Rot. Pip. 5 Steph. ' Rot. Pip. m Lib. Nig. Scacc. i. 100. n Br. Twyne, 

No. 12. ° Dugd. Baron, vol. i p. 697- p Brian Twyne, No. 10, 11. 

3 I 2 


How much he was about the court appears by the great number of royal 
charters to which he was a witness. 

By a charter without date, for the salvation of his own soul, and those 
of Alice and Johanna, his wives, he gave to the convent at Studley his 
manor of Craucombe, with the advowson of the church, to clothe the 
Nuns: except a messuage which William the shoemaker held of him in 
Craucombe, with half a virgate of land which he had given to Aufred 
Byssop : to hold of Robert de Beauchamp, with the borough, market, 
and all other rights, free from all suit to the county, the sheriff, and the 
hundred; by the service of one knight's fee, of the fee of Mortuyl q . 
The manor from this time obtained the name of Craucombe Studley. 
In the sixth of Henry the Eighth the Prioress made a grant of her 
moiety of the Church House towards the repairs of the parish church 
of Craucombe. The advowson was valued in 1290 at six marks 1 . On 
the 7th of June, 1459, the Prioress presented William Tybarde, the first 
President of Magdalen College, to the church of Craucombe 8 . 

As to Long Compton, the manor being vested in Edward the First, it 
was found, upon an inquisition held in the seventh year of his reign, that 
the Nuns of Studley in Oxfordshire had a carucate of land, which was 
granted to them by Geoffrey de Craucombe in pure alms, who had ob- 
tained it of Henry de Bohun, Earl of Hereford. That they had nine 
tenants holding several proportions of land, by the performance of certain 
servile works, and three acres of land in deme-ne, bestowed on them by 
Hubert de Burgh for the enlarging their court, and likewise a court leet 
and free warren. That John de Compton had two yard lands of the 
Hospital of Saint John in Oxford, for which he paid 6s. Sd. to the Nuns 
of Studley per annum. In the thirteenth of Edward the First, Hugh de 
Plessetis and Ralph Pipard, who held the other half manor of Long 
Compton, claimed to have in common with the Prioress of Studley, a 
court leet, assize of bread and beer, gallows, weyfs, and to be exempted 
from suit to the hundred or county court, but it was found that the 
Prioress exercised these liberties in severalty 1 . 

Dugdale's Monasticon, ad prnedictas Sanctimoniales vestiendas. 
' Taxat. Spiritual. Collinson's History of Somersetshire, 3 vols. 4to. 1791- vol. iii. p. 515. 
■ Chandler's Life of Will. Waynflete from Reg. Bath and Wells, p. 93. note. 
' Dugdale's Warwickshire, Ed. 2. 1730. by W. Thomas, D. D. page 578. land in Halton. 
p. 651. note to page 382. and lands in Shotswell, p. 533. 


A great number of houses, pieces of land, and rents, in the city of Ox- 
ford, were granted by different persons, at various times ; chiefly in the thir- 
teenth century ; which are all described in the charters, with their situations 
and boundaries ; but although these particulars might be interesting to an 
Oxford antiquary, they are too long to insert here. They may be classed 
according to their parishes. 

In St. Mary' s parish. 

Clementia, the daughter of Robert Oweyn of Oxford, in her virginity, 
and own liege power, about 1261, granted a messuage near the house of 
the University; a mark of rent from the school of John Walens: four acres 
of meadow behind Oseney ; all her right in the lands held by Roger de 
Orliens, tailor, in right of his wife Catherine, her sister, and all the rest of 
the lands and tenements of her father". 

In 1276, William Pylle, of Oxford, granted a house called the School, 
between the gable of his own house, and Lawrence Kepeharm's ; excepting 
the room abutting upon it, and the window looking into his own premises. 
If his wife Chrestina should survive him, and demand her dower in it, he 
binds his other lands, and discharges this tenement. It was afterwards 
called the Studley Schools, and brought half a mark of rent". 

About 1214, Andrew Helegod gave part of his land in St. Mary's 

About the year 1241, Ralph Halegod, for his own soul, and those of 
his wives, Matilda, and Agnes, his father and mother, and his heirs, gave 
all his land in St. Mary's parish, which was held of the Church of the 
Holy Cross in Holiwell, for the clothing of the Nuns of Studley ; which 
was agreed to by Juliana, the Prioress, with the assent of the whole con- 
vent. If any shall convert the land to other purposes, he is excommuni- 
cated. A rent of thirty-two pence to be paid z . 

In that year, an agreement was entered into, between John, Abbot of 

u B. Twyne, No. 31. In raea propria puellitate, et ligea potestate. 

* Ibid. No. 32. Wood's Hist. Oxon. vol. ii. p. 1 3. and Kennet, Par. Antiq. Camera 
forera. Forera is a head-land. Visits extra dictam domum in tenementum meum. I suppose, 
a window 

» Ibid. No. 33. *■ Ibid. No. St. ad vestitum Monialium de Stodleye. 


Oseney, and Juliana, the Prioress of Studley, concerning an earthen wall, 
and the gutter of a sollar, in St. Mary's parish 8 . 

In the parish of Saint Mildred. 

Philip, the miller, of Oxford, gave twenty-one pence of rent, paid by 
Peter, the son of Thorald, for the house which belonged to Humedon, the 
taylor, about 1221 b . 

About 1260, an agreement was made between Walter the goldsmith, 
and Elizabeth, Prioress of Studley, respecting a rent often shillings from 
the house of Henry Gareford. 

Henry de Anna, formerly Rector of St. Mildred's , gave two houses, a 
sollar with cellars under it, in that parish ; and another house in St. 
Peter's. He granted likewise a rent, that twelve pence each might be 
paid annually to the Jiffy Nuns of Studley upon the day of his anniver- 
sary* 1 . And Robert, son of Oein, gave four shops in Cobler's Street 1- . 

In St. Peter's in the East. 

Lawrence, son of Harding, with the consent of his wife Agatha, gave 
all his land in Cattestrete, before Smithgate*". 

The nuns had a house called Sheld Hall, near New College, which was 
purchased of them by William of Wyckham, for an annual rents. 

Edmund Turand gave a rent of four shillings ; Henry the son of John 
Pille, the rent of a tenement ; and Thomas de Blekkeley, the shop of 
Lawrence Leg h . 

In All Saints' parish. 
Thomas, son of Henry, of Oxford, gave a rent of eight shillings from 
two shops ; Celeyna, daughter of William Wakeman, a rent of twenty 
shillings, with power of distress ; Adam, the son of Golde, of Oxford, 
four shillings of rent ; Henry Punchard remitted his right in a house 
in the Goldsmiths' Street : and Lawrence Leg granted one mark of rent 

B. Twyr.e, No. 34, note. b Ibid. No. 37. c Ibid. No. 43. d Ibid. No. 4'2. 

Ibid. No. 44. Quatuor selrlas, shops, or stalls; in corvesaria, the coblery. 
Ibid. No. 38. F Ibid. note. * Ibid. Nos. 39, 40, 41. 


from his house in the Great Street. There is no date to any of these 

In St. Martin's parish. 
Peter, the son of John, gave some land ; Galfredus de Hengtestry 
(Hinxey) Burgess of Oxford, a stall in the Butcher-row ; and Thomas de 
Henxtesey, Burgess of Oxford, remitted all his right in five shillings rent 
from a house in the Butcher-row k . 

In the seventeenth of Edward the Second, 1323, Roger, son of Nicholas 
at Nash, enfeoffed John Frelond of one messuage, one virgate of land, in 
Horton, formerly belonging to Walter at Hall. And in the fifteenth of 
Edward the Third, 1341, John Frelond enfeoffed Margery de Berchesdone, 
Prioress of Studley, with two tofts, twenty acres of plowed land, and three 
of meadow in Becklegh and Horton, formerly belonging to Walter at 
Hall, to find a chaplain to pray for his soul 1 . 

In the eighteenth of Edward the Third, 1344, John Frelonde, and 
William Attewode, of Studley, gave one messuage, nine oxgangs of plowed 
land, ten acres of meadow, six acres of wood, and sixteen shillings of rent 
in East-Clay don, and Botel-Claydon, to maintain a chaplain to celebrate 
a mass of the Virgin Mary every day in the conventual church of 
Studley n \ 

Another capital donation was made to the priory, in the thirteenth of 
Richard the Second, 1389. This was the manor of Esses, Ashe, or Nashe, 
in the parish of Bechleij, and in the counties of Oxford and Buckingham. 
It was formerly the property of John de Esses, or at Ashe, and Eleanor 
his wife, son of Roger at Nashe, by whom it was granted to John de 
Appulby, and Margaret his wife, the thirty-fifth of Edward the Third. 
1361. John de Appulbye, who was lord of Boarstall, granted it to Ralph 
Major, Vicar of the church of Beckley, and Roger Pake, of Newanton 
Purcel, Clerk of Studley, in the thirty-ninth of Edward the Third, 136.5. 

' Ibid. No. 45, 46, 47, 48, 49. Distress, Libero introitu ad nanniandum. From nam, 
distraining, whence withernam, a distress by reprisal. Saxon, niman, to take, and )>y)>ep- 
contra. German, nehrnen, and wieder. Goldsmiths' Street, Orfeveria. French, Orfevre, 
Auri Faber. 

k Ibid. No. 50, 51, 52. A stall, stallum. Butcher-row, Bocheria. 

1 Studley Chartulary, fol. 15, 16. m R. Dods. MSS. vol. 56. f. 134. 


And in the thirteenth of Richard the Second, 1389, John Redhod, William 
Beknesfelde, and William Cok de Whateleye, enfeoffed Agnes at Halle, 
Prioress of Stndley, with all their land in Ashe, which had belonged to 
John at Nashe, and which they had by the feoffment of Ralph Major, 
parson of the church of Waterstoke, and Roger Palte. In the next year 
Margaret, wife of Sir Gilbert Chastelyn, and afterwards of John Appulby, 
released all her right in Ashe, by a deed dated at Godstowe". 

There are no remains of the town of Ashe, which stood upon the spot 
called Pinfold Green, where was the pound of the manor . Traces of the 
name still continue in Nash Field, Asham Marsh, Asham Mead, and 
A sham Field. 

It appears, by depositions taken in the nineteenth year of Queen Eliza- 
beth, that the Prioress of Studley had common without stint, for all man- 
ner of cattle in the very extensive track of country called the Quarters. 
Some tradition of this right still continues in two proverbial sayings, re- 
membered by old people, that " if the grass grew upon Stanton church, 
" Studley might come and eat it off;" and another, that " Studley could 
" reach and fetch from Stanton church to Picket of Hay," which was said 
to have been near Winslow, ten miles off. It is extremely probable, that 
when this track of country was inclosed, the piece of ground called Men- 
marsh was allotted to Studley, in compensation for these extensive common 
rights. It appears by those depositions, that Menmarsh was part of the 
Quarters, and in an ancient terrier of the bounds of the parish of Beckley, 
it is stated, that the rivulet upon the common, there styled Dene- 
brocke p , divided the parish of Beckley from Brill or Boarstall ; so that 
Menmarsh was in Brill or Boarstall parish, and the county of Buckingham''. 
So in the perambulation of the forest of Bernwood for the purpose of dis- 

n Studley Chartulary, fol. 9. a. and b. 10. a. and b. II, 12, 15, iG. 

It is so laid down in an ancient map, penes me. 

p Probably so called from the Danes, who fought many battles in Bernwood Forest. 
See Kennet, p. 35. 

* Fines et limites parochia? Ecclesia? parochialis dc Beckleye. Sepe vocatum Arngravehegh 
quod est inter quondam campum vocatum Borstallfelde dividit parochiam de Beckleye, a 
parochia de Brehull. Et per illud sepe extendit se parochia de Beckleye, et ducit idem 
sepe recte ad quendam rivulum Denebrooke nuncupatum, qui quidem rivulus pertendit 
usque ad clausum Domini Richardi Damori. Qui quidem clausus dividit parochiam de 
Beckley a parochia de Woodpcrrye. Studley Chart, f. 3. 


afforesting so much of it as was in Oxfordshire, in the twenty -eighth year 
of Edward the First, in stating the boundaries between the Buckingham- 
shire, and the Oxfordshire parts, Denebrock is described as the division on 
that side r . 

There were besides a great number of other donations, of which 
the donors and the time are unknown, and which are specified in 
the subsequent grant of the priory. The original register of the mo- 
nastery, which existed in the time of Bishop Tanner, is no longer to be 

Of the Prioresses, I have been able to discover only the names of 
Juliana, in 1241 s ; of Alice de Craucombe, who was elected in 12.50 1 ; 
Elizabeth, Prioress in 1260 u ; Clementia, who was Prioress in 1292*; 
Margery de Berchesdone, who died in \377, and was succeeded by Eliza- 
beth Freemantle, the Sub-prioress y ; Agnes at Hall, in 13S9 Z ; Catherine 
Copcot, who died in 1529, and was succeeded by Alice WhygilK About 
the year 1266, there were fifty nuns b . 

The following is the seal of one of the Prioresses, perhaps Elizabeth, 
who held that office in 1260, or Elizabeth Freemantle. It represents the 
Virgin Mary and Child, under a tabernacle. Below, under an arch, is the 

' Et sic per le Holewey usque Menmarshe, et sic usque le Hoke de Okewood apud 
Shortrudinsend, et sic usque le Denebroke ad caput occidentale de Orcherd de Oclewood, 
et sic ascendendo per le Denebroke usque Suthwellerne. Mudley Chartulary, fol. 51. b. 
54. and Kennet, page 313. 1294. and page 369. 1315. 

Yet by permitting me to continue without dispute in the possession of Menmarsh for 
twenty-three years, till all the old witnesses were dead, who could have proved the full 
exercise of manorial rights over it by the lord of the manor of Studley ; and by the perjury 
of a discarded tenant, who had vowed revenge ; ] was cruelly robbed of this piece of land, 
by two verdicts at Oxford Assizes, during my absence abroad. If this judgment was correct, 
the Prioress of Studley had received no compensation for her common rights in the Quarters ; 
and the manor of Studley in Oxfordshire, in the midst of forests and wastes, had little 
or no waste belonging to it. The decision was as much against natural equity, as 

5 Brian Twyne, MSS. No. 34. ' Regist. Lincoln, in Kennet. u B. Twyne, MSS. 

No. 34. note. " Studley Chartulary. y Monasticon, vol. iii. p. 13. 

z Coles's MSS. a Ibid. vol. 27. fol. 85. Mus. Brit. " B. Twyne, MSS. No. 42. 

Henry de Anna gave annually quinquaginta monialibus xii denarios. 
3 K 


Prioress praying, and the. inscription is Sigillum Elizabethe Priorisse de 
Stodle. The Seal of Elizabeth, Prioress of Stodley c . 


iiLCfillum Priori! 

Elt7aletl\e m^tti &: S t o die 


The habit of the Benedictine Nuns was a black robe, with a scapulary 
of the same, and, under that robe, a tunic of white, or undyed wool. 
When they went to the choir, they had over all a black cowl, like that of 
the monks. 

The Priory was dissolved amongst the lesser monasteries, which had 
not above two hundred pounds a year, by the Act of the twenty-seventh 
of Henry the Eighth, 1536. At the dissolution, Johanna Williams was 
the Prioress, and there were fifteen nuns, whose revenue amounted in the 
gross, according to Speed, to c£l02. 6s. 7\d. or in the clear, according to 
Dugdale, to ,£ 84. 4s. 4f/. d Johanna Williams surrendered the Convent, 
and had a pension of =£16. 6s. $d. assigned to her, which she enjoyed in 

' For this seal I am indebted to Henry Ellis, Esq. of the British Museum, whose atten- 
tion and politeness render all researches in that extraordinary collection easy and pleasant. 
1 Dugdale's Monasticon. Tanner's Notitia Monastica. 


1553, in which year there remained in charge, I suppose upon the Court 
of Augmentations, £3. 6s. 8d. in annuities, and in pensions to the nuns, 
to Katherine Copcote, £3. 6s. Sd. to Alice Yemans, £l. 13s. id. to 
Elizabeth Boulde, £l. 13s. id. to Susan Denton, and Margaret Wigball, 
£ 1. 6s. 8d. each 6 . 

It has been justly observed, that the dissolution of the monasteries was 
an act not of the Church, but of the State ; prior to the Reformation, and 
effected by a King and Parliament of the Roman Catholic communion. 
The strictest members of that persuasion, and the most respectable cha- 
racters of the times, among whom the Duke of Norfolk may be mentioned, 
accepted grants of the Conventual estates. Even the clergy thought it no 
sacrilege to share in these acquisitions. Bishop Gardiner commended the 
King for suppressing them, and Queen Mary made large grants of Abbey 
lands. Undoubtedly the suppression of the Convents facilitated the ad- 
mission of Protestantism ; but it was evidently undertaken on other 

In the thirty -first year of Henry the Eighth, 1539, the Priory, with all 
the possessions belonging to it, were purchased by John Croke, for the 
sum of one thousand, one hundred, and eighty-seven pounds, seven shil- 
lings, and eleven pence, and a grant was made of it by letters patent from 
the King, on the 26th day of February in that year E . The premises are 
described as the house and site of the Monastery, with the Church, the 
manor of Studley in the counties of Oxford and Buckingham, the manor 
of Crawcombe Studley, in the county of Somerset, the manor of Long 
Compton in Warwickshire, six pounds of rent in Crawcombe Bere in 
Somersetshire, the Rectory and Church of Beckley, the Rectory and 
Church of Hilmere, otherwise Ilmere, in Buckinghamshire, the Chapel of 
Senekeworth, or Sakeworth, in Berkshire, the advovvson of the Church of 
Crawcombe Studley, the advowson of the Vicarage of Beckley, the ad- 
vowson of the Vicarage of Hilmere, or Ilmere ; all their possessions in 
Steple Barton, Steple Aston, Astvvykes, Worton, Wighthill, Wightley, 
Benbroke, Bekbroke, Takeley, Weveley, Forstyll, Ellesford, Ellesfeld, 

e Willis's Mitred Abbeys, vol. ii. p. 186. ' Burn's Eccles. Law, vol. ii. p. 545. 

Warton's Life of Sir T. Pope, page 39. E Sept. pars Patent, de anno R. Hen. Octavi 

tricesimo primo. In the Rolls' Chapel. 

3 K 2 


Overhayford, Tetyndon, Tyvyton, Bekeley Parke, and Staunton, in 
Oxfordshire ; and in Horton, Marlake, Okeley, Wornehall, Thomley, 
Wynchyndon, Kymbell, Hilmere, Umere, Est Claydon, Botcl Claydon, 
Wighthill, and Wightley, in Buckinghamshire ; and in Belgravein Leices- 
tershire, in Westcot Fairford in Gloucestershire, in Senekeworth, and 
Sakworth, in Berkshire, in Langeporte or Lamport in Northamptonshire, 
in Long Compton in Warwickshire, and in Crawcombe Studley, and 
Crawcombe Bere, in Somersetshire, and elsewhere : excepting the 
Prioress's wood, and all lands in Wroxton, Ardeley, Chesterton, and 
Wendlebury, in Oxfordshire. The whole was to be held of the King, in 
capite, by the service of the twentieth part of a knight's fee, and rendering 
six pounds fourteen shillings and two pence annually. 

Of the reservations, Prioresses wood was granted by Queen Elizabeth, 
in her fourteenth year, to Christopher Hatton, Esquire, of whom it was 
purchased in the same year by Sir John Croke of Chilton 1 '. And the fee 
farm rent of 4 J 6. 14s. 2f/. and of three shillings for Marlake, were sold 
under the statute of the twenty-second of Charles the Second, chapter the 
sixth, to William Gape, and were by him conveyed to William Croke, 
Esquire, of Chilton, in the twenty-fifth of Charles the Second, 1672, for 
the sum of il23. 9s.' The adjoining manor of Marlake, we have before 
seen, was purchased by Maister John Croke in 1541. 

Of the very extensive possessions belonging to the Priory of Studley, 
thus purchased by Master John Croke, it appears that he sold off all the 
distant property, and retained only the house, the manor of Studley, the 
appropriation of Beckley, and other rights in that parish. The manor of 
Crawcombe Studley was transferred to the Kingsmill family, in which it 
still continues k . To whom the other estates were conveyed has not been 
traced. Out of the appropriation of Beckley, his son, Sir John Croke, 
conveyed to William Shillingford, otherwise Izod, by a deed dated the 
tenth of Elizabeth, loGS, the Rectory of Beckley, and some messuages 
and lands in the town of Beckley, reserving all rights and tithes in Studley, 
Horton, Ashe, Merlake, and Otmoor, except the tithes of beasts upon Ot- 
moor belonging to the towns of Beckley, Noke, and Oddington 1 . 

11 Grant, and Bargain and Sale. In Studley Chartulary, fol. 12,13. ' Deeds, penes me. 
Collinson's Somersetshire. ' Deed. 

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From many fragments which have been found of pillars, friezes, and 
capitals, of the Saxon and Gothic styles of architecture, admirably ex- 
ecuted ; and of very large windows, with a great quantity of flowered 
paving bricks, of what are usually called Norman tiles, the Priory must 
have been a handsome building ; and there was a large Conventual 
Church™. How soon after the grant it was adapted to the purposes of 
domestic convenience, is not related. I apprehend that the principal part 
of the walls of the present house were those of the Priory, and, in par- 
ticular, the kitchen, the offices adjoining, and the eastern wing ; but it 
must have been much altered, and the windows all made new". As 
Master Croke, the purchaser, had built his principal seat at Chilton, it is 
probable that he did little to Studley, or even his son Sir John Croke, who 
resided at Chilton. I imagine that it was fitted up as a dwelling-house 
by Sir John Croke the Judge, the grandson of Master Croke. The old 
withdrawing room, the present dining room, had his arms inlaid over the 
chimney, being Croke with a label, impaled with Blount . This proves 
that that room, at least, was finished by him, after his marriage, and in the 
life-time of his father. As his father did not die till Judge Croke was 
fifty-five years of age, he must have lived at Studley from his marriage till 
that event took place. The Chapel was built long after, by Sir George 
Croke, and the stables have the date of 1666, and the initials of Alexander 

™ See the etching of them. I use the terms Saxon and Norman according to 
their usual acceptation, but the question of the origin of Gothic architecture has been 
very satisfactorily cleared up by late surveys of Normandy. It is certain, 1. that what we 
improperly style Saxon architecture, was a clumsy imitation of the Roman Orders, common 
all through Europe, and by the Normans introduced here: 2. that the intersection of the 
arches, and the erection of groined ceilings, gradually suggested the pointed arch : 
.5. that the pointed arch naturally lead to all the other peculiarities of the Gothic style. 

" The present appearance agrees in this with the information received by Hearne in his 
AValk to Studley. See Appendix, No. XXXIII. 

° 1 have preserved it. 

p Studley, or as it was formerly written, Estodeley, was probably derived from €rr. 
East, Pobe a wood, and Ley, uncultivated land, or I ege, a place. It would therefore 
signify, a woody place to the east, which is a proper description, being in the midst of 
woods, and to the east of the parish church, and the ca=tle of Saint Valori. 



THERE was a person who lived about this time, whom we may with 
considerable probability include within the pale of our family ; although 
there are not sufficient data fully to establish the relationship. This was 
Doctor Richard Croke, or Crocus, as he called himself in Latin, one of the 
first restorers, and most successful cultivators, of the Greek language in 

The name of his father and mother are not known, but he is stated by 
Mosellanus, in a letter to Erasmus, to have been of an ancient and honour- 
able family 3 . He was born in London 1 ', perhaps about the year 1492°. 
In his will, he mentions a brother, Robert Croke, of Water Horton in 
Warwickshire. This is all the knowledge we have of his connexions, but 
it is not improbable that he was the brother of John Croke, the Master in 
Chancery. They were contemporaries, and died within four years of 
each other 11 . He bore the name of Richard, which was that of Master 
Croke's father, and they both enjoyed the friendship of Sir Thomas More. 
The name of Croke is of rare occurrence out of this family. 

From whatever family he was descended, he was under no great obli- 
gations to it. In his oration to the Cantabrigians, he complains that in 
his younger years, he was deprived of his paternal inheritance, by the ini- 
quity of his relations. It is a proof of early merit, that he found in Arch- 
bishop Warham, a kind benefactor, who was at the expence of his mainte- 
nance and education 6 . 

a Juvenis cum imaginibus. Erasm. Op. Le Clerc, Epist. page J 596. D. 
b Wood's Ath. Oxon. i. col. 85. 

He was admitted Scholar at Cambridge in 150G, and as students then entered young, 
we may suppose that he was about fourteen years old. 
'' John Croke in 1554, Richard in 1558. 
e Oratio de Grwc. Disc, laudibus. 

chap. ii. RICHARD CROKE, D.D. 439 

Under such eminent patronage, he was elected Scholar of King's College 
at Cambridge, on the 4th of April 1506 f . Soon after, lead by the celebrity 
of the Oxford professors, he removed to that University, and studied the 
Greek language under the famous William Groyn, and other learned 

Having made great proficiency in Grecian literature, he went for farther 
improvement to Paris, where he was living in 1513. Whilst he resided 
there he seems not to have been well supplied with the means of pursuing 
his studies. Erasmus wrote to his friend Colet to send a few nobles to him, 
as a young man of good hopes, and who had been left destitute by some 
who had promised him their assistance* 1 . 

His reputation for learning being now established, he went into 
Germany, and was the first public professor of the Greek language at 
Cologne, Louvain, Leipsic, and Dresden'. The exact time of his 
residence in these Universities is not ascertained ; that he was at Leipsic 
in 1514, appears by a letter from Erasmus to Linacer k . He continued 
there for three years, and, amongst other eminent pupils, he taught the 
celebrated Camerarius 1 . With what honours he was received, and the 
success he met with there, the great number of his pupils, and the 
animated spirit and love for learning which he inspired, have been described 

' Wood, ibid. Regium Collegium cui mese eloquentiae rudimenta debeo. Croc. Oratio 
de Graec. Disc. laud. 

g Wood, ibid. Richardo Croco quondam ministro ac discipulo Grocini. Erasmus 
Epist. Coleto, page 131. C. Grocini doctissimi discipulus. Caii Hist. Cantab, p. 127- 

h Si quas pecunias habes in manibus, in hoc commissas.ut dentur in subsidium, rogo 
mittas aliquot nobiles Richardo Croco, quondam ministro ac discipulo Grocini, qui nunc 
Parisiis dat operam bonis Uteris. Juvenis est bonce spei, et in quern recte beneficium col- 
locaveris, nisi me plane fallit animus. Erasm. Epist. Coleto, 1513. page 131. C. In 
another, dated 29 Oct. 1513, destituitur ille a nonnullis qui promiserant subsidium, page 
131. F. 

1 Epistola Croci dedic. Martino Lenbelio Civi Lypsensi, praemissa operibus Ausonii, 
impressa 1515. Vale et Crocum tuum, primum literarum Grascarum, Colonise, Lovanii, 
Lypsieeque tuae, publicum professorem. Ama, Vale. 

k Erasm. Linacro, 5 June, 1514. Crocus regnat in Academia Lipsiensi, publicitus 
Graecas docens literas. Page 136. C. dated St. Omer's. 

1 Joac. Camerarii Vita P. Melancth. Usus ego sum Croco praeceptore Lypsia? puer pent 
triennio. Tn Grammatica sane doctrina Crocus excellebat, profitendo plurimorum studia 
excitaverat, reversus in patriam hoc opus doctrinae reliquerat inchoatum. Page 2o. 

440 RICHARD CROKE, D.D. book iv. 

in glowing language by Camerarius ; who made such progress under his 
instructions, that, when the Professor was occasionally absent, the scholar 
supplied his place, though only sixteen years of age m . He was succeeded 
by Peter Mosellanus", upon his removal to Dresden ; the last place of his 
residence upon the continent ; and where he gave lectures for two years . 

From hence he was invited to return to his native country, in 1517, and 
having been recommended for his great learning and eloquence, he became 
preceptor to the King in the Greek language, and was in great favour with 
him, and the English noblemen who were the patrons of literaturec. In 
1519, he was still attendant upon the court, and wrote to his friend 
Mosellanus to come to England ; who however declined the invitation. 
Mosellanus, in a letter written at that time, says, that he wished to send 
some books of Croke to Hesse, but that they were not to be procured q . 

Upon the entreaties of Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, he returned to 
Cambridge, where he was appointed Greek Professor to succeed 
Erasmus r . This appears to have been in the year 1518, for there is a 
letter of the 23d of April from Erasmus, to congratulate him upon his ap- 

"' Joach. Camerarii Epist. Nuncupat, ad librum de Eruditione C'ornparanda. Lugd. Bat. 
1699. page 17. Giving an account of his early studies, he says, Advenit turn ad nos 
Richardus Crocus e Britannia, cum uberiore copia quasi mercis musicae. Ccepit profiteri 
interpretationem Graecae linguae. Quis ad ilium concursus factus? Quis honor externo 
habitus, vel qui potius non habitus? Quis turn vel labori, vel operae, vel impensis pepercit? 
Fervebat opus, florebat ipse, nos incensi eramus discendi cupiditate. 

" Melch. Adam. Vita: Philosoph. Germ. fol. 1705. p. 119, 120. 

Dominus Richardus Crocus Anglus, qui hie biennio Grascae literatura; rudimenta cum 
summa laude, et morum honestate, seminavit, et nunc patriam repetiturus, has tibi literas 
porrecturum se recepit. H. Emsor Erasmo. Ex Dresda, Misiikc, 15 March, 1517. page 
1592. D. 

r Crocus qui ct Lypsi^e Graecas literas primus docuit, et ipsi Regi Henrico elementa 
Graeca tradidit. Stapleton de tribus Thomis, cap. 5. Croke was King Henry's Greek 
master after his return from Leipsic. More's Life of Sir Thomas More, p. 95. 

i Mosellani Epist. ad Jul. Pflugium. Hessum nostrum rectissime valere cupio, cui 
libellos Croci, quos cupit, jamdiu misissem, si haberi possent. Nusquam, quod sciam, pro- 
stant. Is noster Crocus in Aula Regis sui agit, et me jam Uteris in Angliam vocat. Sed 
an fidendum sit nescio. Misnae, 1519. Jortin. Erasm. vol. iii. page 60. 

' Wood. Knight's Life of Erasmus in Jortin, vol. i. page 22. Erasmo in professione 
linguae Gnecae successit R. Crocus, vir disertus atque eloquens. Caii Hist. Univ. Cantab, 
page 127. 

chap. ii. RICHARD CROKE, D.D. 441 

pointment to the professorship ; which he styles, a splendid and honour- 
able situation'. In his oration in commendation of Greek learning, which 
is dated on the calends of July the year following, he praises Erasmus 
highly, and speaks modestly of himself, as unworthy to succeed so great 
a man. In performing the duties of this office, so great were his labours, 
and so persevering his assiduity, that he had reason to complain, " that 
" his health was injured, and his countenance was become pale and 
" sickly 1 ." 

Afterwards, in 1522, he was appointed the first Public Orator at 
Cambridge ; an officer who was before called Magister Glomeriae : and he 
received a salary of forty shillings ; which office he held till he was suc- 
ceeded by Doctor Day in 1528". By the University of Oxford he was 
offered a great stipend to reside there, and he was solicited to accept it by 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Thomas More, Linacer, and Grocyn. 
On the other hand he was pressed by the Bishop of Rochester to continue 
at Cambridge; with whose request he complied 1 . In 1523, he was 
admitted to the degree of Bachelor in Divinity 7 , and was elected Fellow 
of Saint John's College in Cambridge 2 . The next year, 1524, he was 
made Doctor in Divinity*. Then, or about that time, Wood says he was 
tutor to the King's natural son, the Duke of Richmond : but as that 
nobleman was then only five years of age, it was certainly later. The 
Duke went to Paris in 1532, and died in 1536, being only seventeen years 

* Erasmus R. Croco suo S. D. Gratulor tibi, mi Croce, professionem istam tarn splen- 
didam, nee minus hororificam tibi quam frugiferam Academiae Cantabrigensi ; cujus com- 
modis equidem pro veteris hospitii consuetudine peculiari quodam studio faveo. Mihi 
nihil tuorum libellorum redditum esse scito. Tantum Franciscus ostendit epistolas 
quasdam Grsecas abs te recognitas, quas probavi; verum aiebat eas alteri missas. D. 
Thomae Grajo reddidi tuum Theocritum. Bene vale, mi Croce charissime. Lovanio, 
23 Aprilis, anno 1518. Col. 1678. F. Dr. Francis, Physician to Cardinal Wolsey. 

' Croci Oratio ad Cantabrigienses. 

" Wood, ibid. Glomeria is a barbarous word formed from glomerare, to collect together. 
I suppose from collecting together the members of the University. Dorainus Crocus qui 
primo advexit Graecas literas, erat primus Orator, et habuit, sicut Magister Glomerias sti- 
pendium xl s . Ex libro D. Matthei Cant. Dr. Day succeeded about 1528. Ex libro 
Oratoris Publici. Baker, in Coles's MSS. vol. 49 p. 333. 

1 Croci Oratio ad Cantabrigienses. 

y Regist. Acad. Cant. Baker. * Ibid. » Ibid. 

3 L 

442 RICHARD CROKE, D.D. book iv. 

of age. It was probably about the year 1529, or 1530, that Doctor Croke 
was his instructor; before he went to Italy, and when the Duke was at 
King's College b . 

Dr. Croke was intimately acquainted with all the learned men of his 
time, particularly those of his own country. His friendship with Erasmus 
appears strongly in a letter written by Mosellanus, of which Croke was to 
be the bearer, in 1517 c . 

There is a letter from Sir Thomas More to him, preserved by his grand- 
son, and which, allowing for the times and the man, must be allowed to 
be an elegant compliment. 

" Whatsoever he was, my Crocus, that hath signified unto you that my 
love is lessened, because you have omitted to write unto me this great 
while, either he is deceaved, or else he seeketh cunningly to deceave you ; 
and although I take great comfort in reading your letters, yet am I not so 
proude, that I should challenge so much interest in you, as though you 
ought of dutie to salute me everie day in that manner, nor so wayward, 
nor full of complaints, to be offended with you, for neglecting a little this 
your custom of writing. For I were unjust if I should exact from other 
men letters, whereas I know myself to be a great sluggard in that kinde. 
Wherefore be secure as concerning this ; for never hath my love waxed 
so cold towards you, that it need still to be kindled and heated, with the 
continual blowing of missive epistles. Yet shall you do me a great plea, 
sure if you write unto me as often as you have leasure, but I will never 

" Wood. ibid. 

c Petrus Mosellanus Domino Erasmo. Lipsias, 24 Mar. 1517. Deinde velut sponte 
currenti calcaria subdidit (ut literas scilicet Erasmo scriberet) Richardus Crocus, Britannus, 
juvenis cum imaginibus, turn utriusque linguae litteraturae cognitione non solum in Britan- 
nia, verum etiam Germanifi nostra maxirne clarus, qui in litterariis nostris confabulationibus, 
quoties tui nominis mentio esset facta (fiebat autem saepe) non destitit suadere, hortari, ut 
me tibi insinuarem ; neque enim hoc vel tibi tore ingratum, vel mihi pcenitendum ; nempe 
quod te sit humauior nemo, neque quisquam x*i rat ^oxxm magis omnibus sit expositus. 
Aicbat praeteiea noster Crocus, se ita Erasmo conjunctum, ut epistolm nostrae, vel hoc 
nomine, locus esset futurus istic honoratior, quod a se apportaretur: jam turn enim hinc in 
patriam solvere parabat. His quasi stimulis excitatus calamum arripui, hsc ntcunque 
scripsi, Croco perferenda dedi ; qua re si quid est peccatum, tuo Croco in nostra culpa 
ignosces,- is enim hujus aud,icid3 mihi auctor fu it (quod Graeci dicunt) *cgup«io{. Erasm. 
Epist. p. 1 596. D. 

chap. ir. RICHARD CROKE, D.D. 443 

persuade you to spend that time in saluting your friends which you have 
allotted for your owne studie, or the profitting of your scholars. As 
touching the other part of your excuse, I utterly refuse it, as there is no 
cause why you should fear my nose as the trunk of an elephant, seeing 
that your letters may without fear approche in the sight of any man ; 
neither am I so long snowted that I would have any man fear my censuring. 
As for the place which you require that I should procure you, both Mr. 
Pace and I, who love you dearly, have put the King in mind thereof." 

When King Henry's divorce was in agitation, and, in consequence o* 
Cranmer's suggestion, it was thought expedient to take the opinions of 
the foreign Universities; in the year 1530, Doctor Croke was sent into 
Italy upon that business : and he performed his commission with zeal, and 
fidelity. At the commencement of his progress, he was not invested with 
any public character, and had only a letter of recommendation to John 
Cassali, the English Ambassador. He went first to Venice, where he 
conferred with the divines and canonists, and even the Jewish Rabbis ; 
and consulted the works of the Greek and Latin Fathers ; which lay hid 
in manuscript, in the library of Saint Mark. Here he was intimate with 
Francesco Giorgi, the most learned man in the Republic ; and who was 
called by the Pope, " the Hammer of Heretics' ." 

After continuing some time, he went to Padua, Bononia, and other 
cities. The question of the lawfulness of the King's marriage was at first 
proposed in general terms, without any direct reference to the case of 
Henry. When Doctor Croke found that the men of learning were 
mostly inclined to his opinion, he became more explicit, and at length 
ventured to go to Rome ; where he endeavoured to procure himself to be 
made a Penitentiary Priest, that he might have the better access to the 
libraries. At this time, the Earl of Wiltshire, and Stokesley, Bishop of 
London, were sent as Ambassadors to the Pope, and the Emperor ; and 
Cranmer accompanied them. In the disputes which took place between 
the families of Cassali, and Ghinucci, the King's ministers in Italy, he 
adhered to the Ghinucci; and the Cassali became of course his inveterate 
enemies. By Stokesley he sent over an hundred books, papers, and sub- 
scriptions f . 

d More's Life of Sir Thomas More, page 95. e Burnet's History of the Reformation, 
vol. i. p. 87- fol. edit. ' Ibid. 

3 L a 

444 RICHARD CROKE, D.D. book iv. 

Though it was well known that bribes were given both by the Emperor, 
and Henry, yet an appearance of obtaining the disinterested opinions of 
the Universities was endeavoured to be preserved. Doctor Croke, in one 
of his letters of the 5th of August, 1.530, to the King, protested that 
" he never gave, or promised any divine any thing till he had first freely 
" written his mind, and that what he then gave was rather an honourable 
" present than a reward." In another of the 7th of September, he writes, 
" Upon pain of my head, if the contrary be proved, I never gave any man 
" one halt-penny, before I had his conclusion to your Highness, without 
" former prayer, or promise of reward, for the same." In his accounts 
still extant, the sums given appear to have been generally small, from one 
to thirty crowns, and the utmost was seventy-eight crowns. The Empe- 
ror's presents, and provisions, were more magnificent. Doctor Croke 
found the divines completely mercenary, and says, that " if he had money 
" enough he could get the hands of all of them in Italy'." 

Many of his letters written during his stay in Italy are still extants. 
In all of them he complained of the deficiency of his remittances, and that 
he had not money enough to support himself, and to pay his transcribers, 
and other necessary expences. 

Having thus acquitted himself so much to the satisfaction of his 
employer, he was soon rewarded. On the 12th of January in 1531, he 
was presented by the King to the Rectory of Long Buckby in North- 
amptonshire h . A few years after, in 1.53.5, this Rectory, including eight 
shillings payable yearly to the Prioress of Markeyate for a portion of the 
tithes, was valued at thirty-one pounds, eleven shillings, and three pence ; 
out of which ten shillings and seven pence were deducted for synodals 
and procurations'. He does not seem to have resided upon his living, but 
to have kept a curate : one of whom was called Sir William Castell. 

' Burnet, ibid. 

s In the Cotton MSS. Vitell. !'<. 13. They are much burnt round the edges, but the 
principal part may be made out. One of them, giving an account of the decision of the 
University of Padua, is printed by Burnet, vol. i. Appendix, page 8S, Another by Strype, 
vol. i. Appendix, No. 40 from Fox's collection. There is another original letter in the 
Harleian MSS. No. 416. folio 21. from Dr. Croke to Henry VIII. dated from Venice in 
1530, 22 Oct. concerning the prevarication of some Friars at Padua. 

11 Reg. Joh. Longland. Episc. Line. Bridges's History of Northamptonshire, p. 548. 

' Rot. in OfEc. Primit. No. 28. Ibid. p. 5i~. 

chap. ii. RICHARD CROKE, D.D. 445 

Graduates having then the title of Sir, as Sir Hugh Evans in Shakes- 

In 1532, he came to Oxford, and was incorporated Doctor of Divinity 
in that University. In that year, King Henry the Eighth converted 
Cardinal Wolsey's College into his own foundation, by his charter of the 
18th of July, and Croke was appointed the third of the twelve canons. 
In the latter end of the same year, the new Dean, Doctor John Hygden, 
died, upon which the Canons wrote to Cromwell, the Secretary of State, 
requesting that he would intercede with the King that Doctor Croke might 
succeed him; but he was not appointed to the Deanery. In 1545, 
Henry dissolved his College, and established it as a Cathedral. On this 
new foundation he was not made a Canon, but he received, as a com- 
pensation, a yearly stipend of <£26 13*. 4</. : when he retired to Exeter 
College, and lived there as a sojourner 15 . 

During his continuance at Oxford, he wrote some verses upon Leland, 
to reproach him with changing his religion ; for Croke continued firm till 
his death in the Catholic faith. Leland replied in the following witless 

In Richardum Crokum Calumniator em. 
Me fatuum Crokus, fatuorum maximus ille, 

Imperio quodam prajdicat esse suo. 
Ut sim, me furise non torquent ; illius urgent 
Ciade Mathematician nocte dieque caput'. 

It should seem that he afterwards went to reside at Cambridge, for 
Doctor Caius, or Keys, mentions that in 1551, a Doctor Richard Croke, 
being Deputy Vice-Chancellor of that University, together with Doctor 
Hall, discharged Christopher Frank, the Mayor of Cambridge, from his 
interdict, to which he had rendered himself subject, by refusing to take the 
usual oath to the Vice-Chancellor ; but not till he had made submission, 
and done penance at the Augustine Church, on his knees, with a lighted 
taper before the blessed Virgin™. 

He died in London in 1558, having made his nuncupative will on the 
22d day of August, being I suppose too ill to write. It was proved in 

" Wood, by Gutch, vol. iii. p. 42S. ' Leland, Encomia Celeb. Virorum. Collectanea, 
vol. v. p. 161. Wood, ibid. m Caii Hist. Cantab, lb. i page 107. 

446 RICHARD CROKE, D.D. book iv. 

the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on the 29th of August in the same 
year, in the following words. 

In the Name of God, Amen, the 22d day of August, in the year 
of our Lord God a thousand five hundred fifty-eight. Richard Croke, 
Doctor of Divinity, Parson of Long-Buckby, in the county of North- 
ampton, being then sick in his body, but of his perfect mind and memory, 
made and declared his last will and testament nuncupative in manner and 
form following. First he commended his soul to Almighty God, and all 
the holy company of Heaven, and his body to be buried in Christian 
burial. Then he made, named, and constituted Robert Croke, of Water 
Horton, in the county of Warwick, his brother, and Richard Carpenell, 
his servant, his Executors of his said testament, and last will ; to whom 
he gave all his goods, chattels, and debts whatsoever. Witnesses hereof 
Will. Gent, and John Knight, Gent. Sir Will. Castell, Curate of Long 
Buckby, aforesaid, Will. Frend, and others. The will was proved by the 
oath of Christopher Robynson, Proctor of the Executors. 

His known printed works, which are all extremely scarce, are these. 

Oratio de Graecarum disciplinarum laudibus. Dedicated to Nicholas, 
Bishop of Ely, by an epistle dated cal. Jul. 1519. In quarto". 

Oratio qua Cantabrigienses est hortatus ne Graecarum literarum deser- 
tores essent. Printed with the former. Before and at the end of these 
two Orations, Gilbert Duchet has a laudatory Epistle . 

Richardi Croci Britanni Introductiones in rudimenta Grasca. Dedi- 
cated to Archbishop Warham. Expensis providi viri Domini Johannis 
Lair de Siberch p . 

Tabula Greecae Linguae, published in Germany : mentioned in the dedi- 
cation of his Rudimenta Graeca. 

Elementa Gramma ticae Graecae 1 '. 

De Verborum Constructione. I suppose this is his translation of 
Theodore Gaza's fourth book De constructione, which he dedicated to the 
Elector of Mentz. Printed at Lypsick, 1516, in quarto r . 

" Wood's Ath. On. col. 86. ° Ibid. ■" Wood, and Ames's Typographical Anti- 

quities, page 45(5. q Wood. 

r Ibid. Grammatica Theodori Gaza; Latine verterunt partim Erasmus, anno 1518, par- 
tim vero Richardus Crocus nostras, lingua; Graecae apud Lipsienses professor omnium 
primus. Hodius de Graecis illustribus, p. 72. 

chap. ii. RICHARD CROKE, D.D. 447 

He translated into Latin, Chrysostom in Vetus Testamentum, and 
Elysius Calentius. This writer was a Latin poet, who was born at 
Naples, and died before 1503. He was preceptor to Frederic, the son of 
Ferdinand the First, King of Naples. His works were published in folio, 
the first edition it is not known when, the second at Rome in \503, the 
third at Basil in 1 554 s . 

Opera Ausonii impressa per Valentinum Schumen, 4to. 1515, cum 
epistola praemissa dedicata Martino Lenbelio, Civi Lypsiensi, et annota- 
onibus 1 . 

* Tanner's Bibliotheca Britannica Hibernica, p. 209. Moreri. ' See ante. 



Sir John Croke, or lc Blount, and Elizabeth Unton. 

TlIE family was now permanently established at Chilton, and Sir John 
Croke, the son of John Croke, Esquire, and Prudentia C.ive, succeeded 
to the ample inheritance of his father. The tranquil life of a man of fortune 
affords tew incidents for the pen of a biographer, and little which can 
interest posterity. But Sir John Croke was the patriarch from whose 
loins several distinct families proceeded, the descendants of his numerous 

He was bom in lo;30\ The place of his education is not known, 
except that at seventeen years of age he was admitted of the Inner Temple, 
rather for acquiring the theory, than with a view to the practice of the 
profession of the law b . By Sir Harbottle Grimston, who married his 
grand-daughter, he is described as a man of great modesty, charity, and 
piety c . He resided in London at the house in Fleet Street, which had 
been purchased by his lather, and which was a fashionable part of the town 
before elegance had migrated westward. At his house in Chilton he 
seems to have maintained with dignity the highly respectable character of 
a country gentleman ; filling, when his duty required it, the public offices 
which belonged to that station, and occasionally taking his seat in Parlia- 

Early in life, when he was twenty-three years of age, in 1553, he 
married a lady of family, and high connexions, and who had likewise the 
youthful charms of fifteen. This was Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir 
Alexander Unton. Her family was seated at Chequers in Buckingham- 
shire, at Faringdon, and Wadley, in Berkshire. In Faringdon church is 

1 From his monument. 

b " John Crooke of London was admitted of the Inner Temple, 10 June, 1 Edward VI. 
" 151-7." Register of the Inner Temple. 
1 Preface to Croke Charles. 

chap. in. SIR JOHN CROKE. 449 

a chapel called Unton's Isle, where are some of their monuments, of which 
the inscriptions are nearly obliterated, but which have been preserved by 
Ashmole' 1 . Sir Hugh Unton, the great-grandfather of Lady Elizabeth 
Croke, married Sybell the daughter and heiress of William Fettiplace, the 
son of Thomas Fettiplace of Shifford in Buckinghamshire, Esquire, in the 
time of Henry the Sixth, whose wife was Beatrice, the natural daughter of 
John the First, King of Portugal. This sovereign married Philippa, the 
daughter of John of Gaunt, and had by her legitimate children, who suc- 
ceeded him in the kingdom. By his favourite mistress Ines, or Agnes 
Perez, he had Beatrice, and a son named Alphonso, who was created 
Duke of Braganza, and was the ancestor of the present royal family of 
Portugal. Beatrice had four husbands. The first was Thomas, Earl of 
Arundel. After his death she became the second wife of the great Gilbert 
Talbot, first Earl of Shrewsbury, the victorious general of the English 
forces in France, by whom she had a daughter named Ankaret, who died 
a child. Thirdly, she married John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon ; and 
lastly, Thomas Fettiplace, Esquire. Her first and third marriages were 
unfruitful, and she left only one son, William Fettiplace, by her last hus- 
band. She was much beloved by her royal father, who upon the death of 
her first husband, in the fourth year of Henry the Fifth, wrote to Sir John 
Pelham, a favourite of that monarch, desiring him " to shew the Lady 
" Beatrice, his daughter, being deprived of her husband, the same favour 
" he had before shewn her." From this marriage the Untons quartered 
the arms of Fettiplace ; which are gules, two chevrons, argent : and the 
Croke family, from this, and another marriage, which will be hereafter 
mentioned, claims a descent from the royal house of Braganza 6 . 

d History of Berkshire. Faringdon came to the Crown by the dissolution of Beaulieu 
Abbey. It was granted by Queen Mary to Sir Francis Englefield, after whose attainder 
Queen Elizabeth gave it to Sir Henry Unton. In 1622 it was purchased of Sir John 
Wentworth, and other representatives of the Unton family, by Sir Robert Pye. Wadley, 
in 1531, was the seat of the Untons: from them it passed by a female to the Purefoys. 
Henry Purefoy of Wadley was created a baronet in 1662, and the title is now extinct. 

e D. Antonio Caetano de Sousa, Historia Genealogica da casa real Portuguesa, 6 vols. 

•ito. Lisbon, 1 739 to 1748. Collins, Baronetage, vol. iii. p. 266. Ashmole's History of 

Berkshire, vol. ii. p. e <2l3, &c. Monuments at Childrey in Berkshire, Swinbrook in Oxford- 

3 M 

4.50 SIR JOHN CROKE. book iv. 

Sir Thomas Unton, the son of Hugh, in the reign of Henry the Eighth, 
held lands in Fingest in Buckinghamshire ; and was created Knight of the 
Bath, at the Coronation of Edward the Sixth. 

His son, Sir Alexander Unton, had two wives; Mary Bourchier, by 
whom he had no children ; and Cecill, the daughter of Peter Bulstrode, 
Esquire, of Bradborough in Buckinghamshire, by whom he was the father 
of Sir Edward Unton, Knight of the Bath, Henry Unton, and Lady 
Croke. Sir Alexander died in 1547 f . After his death, his widow Cecill 
married Sir Robert Kellaway, of Minster Lovell, in Oxfordshire, by whom 
she had an only daughter Anne, married to Sir John Harrington, Lord 
Harrington of Exton in Rutlandshire. This nobleman was the eldest son 
of Sir James Harrington. In the reign of Elizabeth he was Lord Lieu- 
tenant of Rutlandshire, and Recorder of Coventry. King James in the 
first year of his reign created him Baron of Exton. He and his lady 
were appointed to the care and tuition of the princess Elizabeth, who 
was born in 1596, and afterwards married Frederic the Fifth, Count 
Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, and King of Bohemia. Lord 
Exton accompanied her into Germany upon her marriage, where he 
was taken ill, and died at Worms on the 24th of August, 16 1:3. His 
widow was living in 1617- His only son survived him only a few 
months, and died young and unmarried. He left two daughters, who 
inherited the property. Of whom Lucy married Henry, Earl of Bedford, 
to whom she brought an estate at Minster Lovell, and ten thousand 
pounds in money. Frances, the other sister, and co-heiress, was the 
first wife of Sir Robert Chichester of Raleigh in Devonshire, Knight 
of the Bath, by whom she had a daughter, Anne, married to Thomas 
Lord Bruce, ancestor of the Earl of Aylesbury s. 

Sir Edward Unton, Knight of the Bath, brother to Lady Elizabeth 
Croke, married Anne, Countess of Warwick, daughter to Edward Sey- 

shire, of Anne Fettiplace, married to Edmund Dunch, in Little Wittenham Church in 
Berkshire. Fuller's Worthies. Vertot's Revolution de Portugal. Anderson's Genealogical 
Tables, pages 717, 718, 719. Noble's Memoirs of Cromwell, vol. ii. p. 158. 

f Monument in Faringdon Church. 

" Wills of Sir John and Lady Elizabeth Croke, and of their son, Sir John Croke. 
Collins, Uaronetage, vol. ii. p. 227- Holland's Hemologia Anglica, 1620. 

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chap. in. SIR JOHN CROKE. 451 

mour, Duke of Somerset, and Protector of England, widow of John 
Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and son of the Duke of Northumberland, by 
whom she had five sons, of whom three died young ; Edward and Henry 
only survived, and succeeded one after the other, in their father's in- 
heritance. Of the two daughters, Anne, married Sir Valentine Knightley, 
and Cecill to John Wentworth, Esquire h . 

Of the two sons, the nephews of Lady Elizabeth Croke, Edward 
Unton married two wives ; first, a daughter of Sir Richard Knightley of 
Northamptonshire ; and secondly, Catharine, daughter of the Lord 
Hastings, afterwards Earl of Huntingdon, but left no issue by either. 

The other son, Sir Henry Unton, was educated at Oxford, and travelled 
over great part of the world. For his bravery he was created a Knight 
Banneret, by the Earl of Leicester, at the siege of Lutphen in 1586. He 
was twice ambassador in France. During his residence there, in the 
true spirit of the reign of Elizabeth, he challenged a French nobleman, in 
defence of the beauty, or honour, of his royal mistress. In the Bodleian 
Library is a manuscript which contains copies of his dispatches, and 
other papers, during his first embassy: the passport is dated 22 July, 
1591'. His wife was Dorothy, the daughter of Sir Thomas Wroughton. 
He died upon his second embassy in France, the 23d of March, 1596, 
and was brought over and buried at Faringdon k . After his death, a 
collection of poems, written at Oxford in memory of him, was published 
by Doctor Robert Wright, Fellow of Trinity College, and afterwards 
Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry ; who prefixed a good Latin preface 1 . 
Wright accompanied Sir Henry in his last embassy to the French King's 
camp at Lafere, in which he died m . 

Such was the noble family into which Sir John Croke married, and 
which soon after became extinct. To return to the account of himself". 

" Monument in Faringdon Church. ■ Bod. MSS. No. 3498. * Monument at 


1 It is entitled, Funebria nobilissimi et praestantissimi equitis D. Henrici Untoni ad 
Gallas bis legati regii, &c. a Musis Oxoniensibus apparata. 1596. 4to. 

m Warton's Life of Sir Thomas Pope, Appendix, page 392. He inserts part of one of 
the poems. 

D See the Genealogy of Unton and Fettiplace, No. 24. From Had. MSS. No. 1139, 

a Visitation of Bucks in 1574. No. 1 102. Visitation of Bucks in 1«34, page 122, No. 3968. 

Ashmole's Berkshire. Monuments in Faringdon Church. Brown Willis's MSS. vol. 21. f. 19- 

3 M 2 

452 SIR JOHN CROKE. book iv. 

Sir Thomas Pope, the founder of Trinity College in Oxford, by 
his will dated in 1 556, and which took effect by his death in 1559, in the 
fiftieth year of his age, bequeathed to him, under the affectionate name of 
" his old master's son, Master Croke," his gown of black satin, faced 
with lucern spots. This was the spotted fur of a Russian animal called 
a lucern, anciently much esteemed. It was usual in those times, when 
fashions were less changeable, and valuable articles of dress were con- 
sidered as a substantial part of wealth, to leave them to particular friends, 
as a token of affection. This satin gown seems to have been his habit of 
ceremony, since he is represented in it by Hans Holbein in a fine picture, 
in the possession of the Earl of Guildford at Wroxton, and it appears 
in all his other portraits: Sir John Croke himself is painted in a similar 

In the year 1571, the thirteenth of Queen Elizabeth, he was elected 
Member of Parliament for Southampton, and he represented his own 
county as Knight of the Shire for Buckinghamshire, in the Parliament 
which met in 1572, having for his colleague Sir Henry Lee p . In 1575 he 
was appointed the first High Sheriff for the county of Buckingham, 
divided from Bedfordshire : till that year there having been only one 
High Sheriff for the two counties' 5 ; and he then received the honour 
of Knighthood from the Queen Elizabeth'. 

Sir John Croke and Lady Elizabeth lived together above fifty-five 
years. He died on the 10th day of February, in the year 1608, in the 
seventy-eighth year of his age, and his lady followed him on the 24th 
of June 161 1, in the seventy-third year of her age. 

They had five sons, and three daughters, who lived to grow up : John, 
Henry, George, Paulus Ambrosius, and William : Cicely, Prudentia, and 
Elizabeth : and three children, who died young. He was buried in 
a very splendid manner : the expences of his funeral amounted to c£215. 
14a\ s ; and his widow erected a fine monument in the chapel in Chilton 
church, which is appropriated as the burial place of the Croke family. 
Their effigies are lying under an arch supported by two black marble 

° Thomas Walton's Life of Sir Thomas Pope, page, 6. and 164. p Willis, Notitia 

Pari. i Fuller's Worthies, Bucks, p. 140. ' Ward, p. 303. s Account in 

the hand-writing of Sir George Croke, penes me. 

' ><>'■' >Q ".OOOOOOOOOOi 


452 SIR JOHN CROKE. book iv. 

Sir Thomas Pope, the founder of Trinity College in Oxford, by 
his will dated in 1.556, and which took effect by his death in 1559, in the 
fiftieth year of his age, bequeathed to him, under the affectionate name of 
" his old master's son, Master Croke," his gown of black satin, faced 
with lucern spots. This was the spotted fur of a Russian animal called 
a lucern, anciently much esteemed. It was usual in those times, when 
fashions were less changeable, and valuable articles of dress were con- 
sidered as a substantial part of wealth, to leave them to particular friends, 
as a token of affection. This satin gown seems to have been his habit of 
ceremony, since he is represented in it by Hans Holbein in a fine picture, 
in the possession of the Earl of Guildford at Wroxton, and it appears 
in all his other portraits: Sir John Croke himself is painted in a similar 

In the year 1571, the thirteenth of Queen Elizabeth, he was elected 
Member of Parliament for Southampton, and he represented his own 
county as Knight of the Shire for Buckinghamshire, in the Parliament 
which met in 1572, having for his colleague Sir Henry Lee p . In 1575 he 
was appointed the first High Sheriff for the county of Buckingham, 
divided from Bedfordshire : till that year there having been only one 
High Sheriff for the two counties' 5 ; and he then received the honour 
of Knighthood from the Queen Elizabeth'. 

Sir John Croke and Lady Elizabeth lived together above fifty-five 
years. He died on the 10th day of February, in the year 1608, in the 
seventy-eighth year of his age, and his lady followed him on the 24th 
of June 1611, in the seventy-third year of her age. 

They had five sons, and three daughters, who lived to grow up : John, 
Henry, George, Paulus Ambrosius, and William : Cicely, Prudentfa, and 
Elizabeth : and three children, who died young. He was buried in 
a very splendid manner : the expences of his funeral amounted to c£215. 
14*. s ; and his widow erected a fine monument in the chapel in Chilton 
church, which is appropriated as the burial place of the Croke family. 
Their effigies are lying under an arch supported by two black marble 

° Thomas Walton's Life of Sir Thom;.s 1'ope, pages 6. and 164. p Willis, Notitia 

Pari. i Fuller's Worthies, Bucks, p. 140. r Ward, p. 303. * Account in 

the hand-writing of Sir George Croke, penes me. 

. JoL(dy £6>$a.l?etA &rv/uL . a/ 6 A Man , J&wfa.SAty&ed : . ' < 

• ' ' ■■ .2 .cm ry mi : . 3£e. nny .4 

. • fincdvr*^. It. ( ' -/ ' 

chap. in. SIR JOHN CROKE. 453 

Corinthian pillars. Sir John is in armour, and Lady Elizabeth in the 
dress of the times. Round the front of the monument their children 
are all represented kneeling in the habits of their respective situations 
in life : the figures are well executed, and the whole is a fine specimen 
of the taste and statuary of that age. 

Above the figures of Sir John and Dame Elizabeth, in the centre, 
is the coat of arms of Croke, quartering Heynes, with a crescent. The 
same on the right hand ; and on the left, Unton, quarterly. 

In front of the monument are the following eleven figures of the chil- 
dren, with a coat of arms to each. 

1. Sir John Croke, the eldest son, in his dress as a Judge, scarlet robes 
and black coif. The arms are Croke, impaled with nebule, or and sable, 

2. A babe in swaddling clothes. This must have been their second 
child, who died an infant. The arms are Croke, with a crescent, azure, 
for difference, denoting a second son*. 

3. Henry Croke, in a bar gown, welted down the sleeves, denoting an 
utter barrister. Arms, Croke with a mullet, impaled with argent, a 
chevron between three eagles' heads erased, azure, for Honeywood. 

4. Sir George Croke, habited as a Judge. Arms, Croke, with a 
martlet, impaled with gules, a bezant between three demi-lions' heads 
couped, argent, for Bennet. In his own coat of arms he bore a mullet, as 
third son, not reckoning the infant. 

5. Paulus Ambrosius Croke. In a plain bar gown, as having been a 
reader". Two coats of arms : first, Croke, with an annulet, impaled with 
gules, a lion or griffin rampant, or, debruized of a bend, ermine, a chief, 
cheeky, or and gules, for Wellesborne. Second coat of arms, Croke, im- 
paled with argent, two piles in chief, wavy gules, for Choe. 

6. A little boy. Arms, Croke, with a fleur-de-lis. 

7. A young man. Croke. with a rose. 

8. William Croke, as a gentleman, in armour. Croke, with a quater- 

' Ward supposes the three young figures to be grand-children, but the differences on the 
arms prove them to be children of Sir J. Croke. 
u Chauncy's Hertfordshire, p. 303. 



foil, impaled with azure, a chevron between three eagles' heads erased, 
argent, for Honey wood 31 . 

Then come the three daughters. 

1. Cecil. Two coats of arms. First, sable, a stag's head caboched, ardent, 
pierced through the mouth with an arrow, or ; attired, and between them 
a cross patee, fitchee, or, for Bulstrode, impaled with Croke. Second, 
gules, within a bordure a chevron between three lions' paws, erased 
and erect, argent, armed azure. On a chief argent, an eagle displayed, 
sable. Impaled with Croke, for Brown. 

2. Prudentia. Arms: a bend, gules, cottised, sable, charged with three 
pair of wings, argent, for Wingfield, impaled with Croke. 

3. Elizabeth. Arms : argent, within a bordure engrailed, gules, two 
chevrons, azure, for Tyrrel, impaled with Croke. 

It appears that some part of this monument was not put up during the 
life time of Lady Elizabeth ; for though two of her sons were judges, the 
youngest did not arrive at that dignity till long after the death of his 

The inscription on the monument is this. 




* See as to Honey wood, in the Vellum Pedigree, it is argent, and the bearings azure. 

chap. in. SIR JOHN CROKE. 455 

On the pavement below is a large flat stone, I suppose over the bodies, 
with this inscription, on a fillet of brass round it. 


and (obliterated) days, for whome this tombe is made, at 



Sir John Croke's coat of arms is thus blazoned, in painted glass, and in 
stone over the porch, at Studley. Croke, quartered with Heynes, a 
crescent for difference. Impaled with Unton, quarterly, the first and 
fourth quarters, azure, on a fesse, ingrailed, or, between three spear heads, 
argent, a greyhound, current, sable, armed, gules, for Unton. Secondly, 
gules, two chevrons, argent, for Fettiplace. Thirdly, azure, three griffons, 
segreant, argent, armed and langued, gules. 

I have the portraits of Sir John and Lady Elizabeth. His is painted on 
pannel, and bears the date of 1596, aetatis 65. It is a three-quarters 
length. He is represented as a comely man in a green old age, with a 
grey beard ; the hair which grows on his upper lip appearing almost to 
cover his mouth. He is dressed in a black silk doublet, worked and cut 
in small rows, with a gown of the same colour, flowered, lined and collared 
with fur ; perhaps the same which was bequeathed to him by Sir Thomas 
Pope. He has a high crowned hat, with a band and rose. His sleeves 
have small ruffles, worked with an open edge. On his left hand, which 
bears a fringed glove, on the fore-finger he has a gold ring, with the single 
coat of arms of Croke, with a crescent on the fesse. On the fourth finger 
he has three rings, two broad plain gold rings, and between them a seal 
ring, with a death's head, and round it, disce mori vt vivas. This 
ring is in my possession. It is gold, very heavy, and has the initials I. C. 
cut at the back of it. It belonged to his youngest son, William, who 
mentioned it in his will as an intended bequest to his grandson, Samuel 

456 SIR JOHN CROKE. bookiv. 

Davis, but he had afterwards erased if. I have likewise what appears 
to be a copy of this picture, not so well painted. 

Her picture is on canvas, a three-quarters length, larger than the other. 
She is a handsome woman, dressed in a large loose black gown, slashed in 
tin- sleeves, and shewing the white lining. She has a very large ruff 
round her neck, and ruffs round the wrists. Over her breast is a sort of 
broad band of white cambric, with lace down the middle, on which hangs 
a cameo of a head set in gold. Below this is a festoon of strings of pearls, 
and there are strings of dark beads round her wrists. Her head is dressed 
with a comb, set with pearls. On her left hand there is a ring with a 
square stone on her thumb, and another set with stones in the shape of a 
heart, on her fourth finger. In her right hand is a pinch of snuff. By 
her right side hangs a fan, and on her left a watch. The exact time when 
pocket-watches were invented does not appear to be known. The watch 
said to have belonged to Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, in the beginning 
of the fourteenth century, was a jocose imposition upon an antiquary. 
Henry the Eighth, and Charles the Fifth, had watches. There was one in 
Sir Ashton Lever's Museum, dated in 1541. In Queen Elizabeth's time 
they appear to have been a common article of magnificence. Malvolio, as- 
suming the great man, talks of " winding up his watch." Hook, in 1606, 
by some said to have been the inventor, only improved the construction 7 . 

These two pictures were given to my father by Richard Ingoldsby. 
Esquire, of Dinton, the last male descendant of Sir Richard Ingoldsby, 
who married their grand-daughter. 

■ Will, penes me. 

1 Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Act ii. sc. 8. Harrington, Archieol vol. v. p. 416. 
Ward's Lives, Hook, pages 169, 171, 179 Dr. Dei-ham's Artificial Watchmaker. Beck- 
man's History of Inventions, &c Waller's Life of Hook. 

chap. in. SIR JOHN CROKE. 457 

I have the wills of Sir John, and Lady Elizabeth, Croke, which give a 
curious picture of their affairs, and the manners of the times. His was 
made the 2d day of July, 1607 : her's on the 1st of February, 1609". 

It appears by these wills that they sometimes resided at their house in 
Fleet Street ; of course during Sir John's attendance upon the Parlia- 
ment ; and in the country, at the Manor-house of Chilton, or the Lodge 
in the park there. They had a house for the purpose of husbandry, 
which was carried on extensively according to the usual custom of 
gentlemen in those days ; almost every article of consumption being 
supplied from their own lands. No notice is taken of the house at 
Studley, which he had given up to his son John. Their coaches, the 
number of their horses, and servants, the gilded chambers, and the great 
quantity of gilt plate, in cups and covers, salt sellers and other articles, the 
chains of gold and pearls, the rings and jewels, the Turkey carpets, the 
great quantity of silk and linen, exhibit a picture of the simple splendor 
which reigned in the family of a rich country gentleman. The sums inci- 
dentally mentioned, and the appraisement at the end, afford a measure of 
the value of many commodities at that period. Three steers, or dry kine, 
tat I suppose, are valued at £\3. 6s. $d. or £4>. 8s. lOd. each. These 
modern times may perhaps smile at the minuteness, and simplicity, with 
which the different articles are enumerated, the knowledge displayed by a 
lady of family and fortune of the detail of her domestic establishment, and 
the particular care with which she disposes of her various pieces of apparel. 
The reader will not be displeased with the occurrence of antiquated names 
for various implements of ancient use ; the mazlin cup, the suckling pot, the 
great livery pots, the kettle for driving of bucks, the basons and ewers, 
the armour and weapons for furnishing men for the wars, the lances, 
the morinspikes, the calivers, my lady's gowns and kirtles, of silk, 
velvet, taffety, and tufftaffety ; not forgetting her holiday cloak of the 
latter material. The bowl of silver gilt with a cover, which Sir John 
bought of his eldest son, Sir John Croke, and which had been given 
him as a fee for his counsel in law by Sir Christopher Hatton, shews 
the estimation in which his legal opinions were early held. We may 
profit by the examples of the unfeigned sense of religion expressed 

a The will of Sir John Croke is in the Appendix, No. XXI V. 

3 N 

45S SIR JOHN CROKE. book iv. 

at the beginning of the wills, and reduced into practice at the end 
of them, in large bequests to the poor ; by the love shewn to all their 
children and relations, in the great number of specific legacies, and 
bv their considerate kindness to all their servants. All these and other 
circumstances will afford a fair specimen of the mode of living, the ideas, 
the plenty, the benevolence, and hospitality of those good old days ; and 
will make these testaments interesting to all readers of taste and feeling. 

The will of Lady Croke, being extremely long, is not printed. It 
may therefore not be improper to mention the various persons to whom 
she bequeaths legacies. These are, her daughter Brown, and her children. 
Henry Bulstrode, and his daughter Elizabeth. Her daughter Whitlock, 
and her daughter Elizabeth. Anne Searle, another of her daughter 
Brown's daughters, and her sister Dorothy Bulstrode that was. Edward 
Bulstrode. Her daughter Winkefield, and her children, Robert, Richard, 
and Roger Winkefield. Her daughter Tyrrell. Her daughter Bennet 
Croke, and her children, Nathaniel, Henry, and Elizabeth. Her son 
Paulus Ambrosius Croke. Her son William Croke, his wife, and 
his children, Elizabeth, Catherine, Alexander, Edward, and Francis. 
Her sister Harrington. Lady Umpton. Her nieces Wentworth, 
Chilwood, and Purefoy. Her cousin Francis Brown. Mrs. Denham 
of Oakley. Mary Hart. Mrs. Gurgeney. Sir Alexander Hampden. 
Her cousin Scudamore. With other legacies to servants and the 
poor. The residue was to be divided into three parts. The first, for 
the two daughters of her son Henry. The second, for the two daughters 
of her son William. And the third, for her executors, George Croke, 
Paulus Ambrosius Croke, William Croke, and Henry Wilkinson, Min- 
ister of Waddesdon. 

Thus far we have only had to follow a single stem; but since the 
numerous children of Sir John Croke, and Elizabeth Unton, became 
each the founder of a separate family, I shall take them all in order, 
according to their seniority ; allotting a chapter to each child, and 
the descendants. I shall follow the elder branch first to its extinction, 
then the next son, and so on to the last. Adopting in this respect 
the order which would be employed to hunt out the heirs to a paternal 

ch. iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 4,59 


The eldest son of Sir Jo/in Croke, and Lady Elizabeth Union, Sir John 
Croke, the Judge, and his descendants. 

AS Sir John Croke the Judge had five sons, who each became the head 
of a separate family, this chapter is subdivided into six sections ; of which 
the first will be occupied by the Judge, and the other five by his sons, and 
their descendants. 

Sir John Croke, the Judge, and Katherine Blount, 

his WIFE. 

OF the five sons of Sir John Croke, and Elizabeth Unton, four were 
educated for the bar ; and two of them became illustrious ornaments to 
their profession. 

The eldest son of Sir John Croke, and Elizabeth Unton, was named 
after his father. He was born in 1553, and was brought up to the law. 
He was admitted a Student of the Inner Temple the 13th of April, 1570, 
the twelfth year of Queen Elizabeth, and in due time was called to the 

Our ancient sovereigns interfered much in the private and domestic 
affairs of their subjects ; and the influence, or direct power, of the King, 
or his ministers, was often exerted to promote the interests of favoured 
individuals. The lawyers of modern days would repel with indignation 
the interference of a prime minister in the government of their societies. 
At this time an application to a Lord High Treasurer for his letter to the 
Benchers of one of the Inns of Court, to admit a young man to the bar, 
was not extraordinary. Amongst the manuscripts in the British Museum, 
is the following petition to the Lord Burleigh. 
3 n 2 

460 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 

It is indorsed, " The humble petition oi* John Croke, gentleman, of the 
" Middle Temple, for your Lordship's letter to the Reader of the Middle 
" Temple, in his behalf, to be called to the bar V 

" To the Right Honourable the Lord High Treasurer of England. 

" It may please your Lordship, I am an humble suitor unto you, for 
your Lordship's letter unto Mr. Henry Hall, Reader of the Middle 
Temple, and the rest of the Worshipful of the Bench, in behalf of your 
suppliant, John Croke, gentleman, of the same house, that it would please 
him to accept of your suppliant in his call to the bar, (whereof they have 
a good opinion of him.) 1 therefore most humbly desire your Lordship 
to afford your honourable letter unto that end. Eor the which he shall lie 
most bound to pray for your Lordship." 

The relationship between the petitioner, and the Lord High Treasurer, 
was the ground of this application. Mr. Croke's cousin, Roger Cave, 
was married to Margaret, Lord Burleigh's sister ; and his sister Prudentia 
married Sir Robert Wingfield, the son of Elizabeth, another sister of Lord 
Burleigh ; but whether before, or after, this time does not appear. 

He was made a Bencher of the Inner Temple, the 30th of January. 
1591; Lent Reader of that Society, in 1596; and two years afterwards 
Treasurer, in which office he succeeded Sir Edward Coke\ In the latter 
end of the reign of Elizabeth he was appointed Recorder of the City 
of London . 

In 1.594, the thirty-seventh of Elizabeth, under the name of John 
Croke of Studley, he was jointly bound with Sir Michael Blount to 
Charles Blount, the last Lord Mountjoy, to pay a yearly quit-rent of 
twenty pounds, in consideration of his Lordship's surrendering the moiety 
of a certain number of acres of arable land, meadow, pasture, and wood, 
in the parishes of Benham, Winterburn, Stapleton, and Boswell, for the 
term of ninety-nine years' 1 . 

Sir John Croke, besides his professional pursuits, served his country in 

1 This petition states him to have been of the Middle Temple, but in the Register of the 
Inner Temple is an entry, " John Croke of Chilton, admitted 13 April, 12 Elizabeth, 1570." 
Perhaps he was of both societies. Lansdown MSS. No. 107. fol. 7-*. Burleigh Papers. 

b Arms in the Inner Temple Hall Window. Register of the Inner Temple. Dugdale's 
Orig. Jurid pages 166, 170. c Preface to Cro. Car. J Note to the Maple-Durham 


ch. iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 461 

a parliamentary capacity. In the year 1585, he was elected Member tor 
Windsor, with Henry Neville, Esquire. In 1597, and again in 1601, he 
was chosen one of the representatives for the city of London e . 

In the year 1601, he gave to the newly established Library of Sir 
Thomas Bodley, " twenty-seven good volumes, of which twenty-five were 
" in folio'." The catalogue of them is printed in the Appendix, from the 
large vellum book of benefactions made by order of Sir Thomas Bodley, 
and preserved in the library?. He was likewise Sub-Steward of the Uni- 
versity of Oxford 1 '. 

In the last memorable parliament which was called by Queen Elizabeth, 
and which assembled on the 27th day of October, 1601, he had the honour 
of being chosen Speaker of the House of Commons. The manner and 
the ceremonies observed upon his appointment have been related by a 
contemporary writer'. 

Upon the meeting of the House, Sir William Knolles, the Comptroller 
of her Majesty's Household, proposed that they should proceed to make 
choice of a Speaker ; and signified his opinion that Mr. John Croke, 
Recorder of London, and one of the Knights for the City of London, 
was " a very fit, able, and sufficient man to supply the whole charge of the 
" said office, being a gentleman very religious, very judicious, of a good 
" conscience, and well furnished with all other good parts." No contrary 
voice being delivered, Mr. Croke, after some large pause, stood up, and 
very learnedly and eloquently endeavoured to disable himself for the 
burthen of that charge ; alledging his great defects both of nature and of 
art fit to supply that place, and shewing all full compliments for the same 
to abound in many other learned and grave members of the House. In 
the end, he prayed most humbly that they would accept of his due excuse, 
and be pleased to proceed to a new election. Upon which the Comptroller 
stood up, and said, That hearing no negative voice, he took it for a due 
election, which the House confirmed. Whereupon the Comptroller, and 
the Right Honourable Sir John Stanhope, her Majesty's Vice-Chamberlain, 

e Willis's Notitia Parliamentaria. f Wood's Annals Univ. Oxon. by Gutch, vol. ii. 

p. 922. 5 Appendix, No. XXVI. '' Sir Leoline Jenkins, vol. ii. p. 652. ; Sir 

SimondsD'Ewes's Journals of the Parliaments, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 1682. 

462 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 

immediately set Mr. Croke in the chair. After some little pause, he 
returned thanks to the House for their great good opinion of him, and loving 
favour towards him, and prayed them to accept of his willing mind and 
readiness, to hear with his unableness and wants, in the service of the 
House, and referred himself to their good favour 1 '. 

On the 30th of October, about one o'clock, her Majesty came by water 
to the Parliament chamber, where being placed in her chair of state, the 
members of the House of Commons, who had attended at the door of the 
said house, with their new Speaker elect, the full space of half an hour, 
were at last let in, and the Speaker was led up to the bar, by the hands of 
Sir William Knolles, and Sir John Fortescue, the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, and presented to her Majesty, to whom after he had made 
three low reverences, he spoke in effect as follows. 

" Most sacred and mighty Sovereign, upon your Majesty's command- 
ment, your most dutiful and loving Commons, the Knights, Citizens, and 
Burgesses of the Lower House, have chosen me, your Majesty's most 
humble servant, being a member of the same House, to be their Speaker ; 
but finding the weakness of myself, and my ability too weak to undergo 
so great a burthen, I do most humbly beseech your sacred Majesty to con- 
tinue your most gracious favour towards me, and not to lay this charge so 
unsupportable upon my unworthy and unable self; and that it would 
please you to command your Commons to make a new election of another, 
more able, and more sufficient, to discharge the great service, to be ap- 
pointed by your Majesty, and your subjects. And I beseech your most 
excellent Majesty, not to interpret my denial herein to proceed from any 
unwillingness to perform all devoted dutiful service, but rather out of your 
Majesty's clemency, and goodness, to interpret the same to proceed from 
that inward fear, and trembling, which hath ever possessed me, when 
heretofore, with most gracious audience, it hath pleased your Majesty to 
licence me to speak before you. For I know, and must acknowledge, 
that, under God, even through your Majesty's great bounty and favour, I 
am that I am. And therefore none of your Majesty's most dutiful sub- 
jects more bound to be ready, and being ready, to perform, even the least 
of your Majesty's commandments. I do therefore most humbly beseech 

k D'Ewes, page 621. 

ch.iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 4,63 

your Majesty, that, in regard the service of so great a prince, and flourish- 
ing kingdom, may the better, and more successfully, be effected, to com- 
mand your dutiful and loving Commons, the Knights, Citizens, and Bur- 
gesses, of the Lower House, to proceed to a new election." 

Then after he had made three reverences, the Queen called the Lord 
Keeper, to whom she spake something in secret, and after the Lord Keeper 
spoke in effect thus much. 

" Mr. Speaker, — Her Majesty with gracious attention having heard 
your wise and grave excuse for your discharge, commanded me to say 
unto you, that even your eloquent speech of defence for yourself is a great 
motive, and a reason very persuasive, both to ratify and approve the choice 
of the loving Commons, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, as also to 
commend their wise and discreet choice of yourself, in her gracious censure, 
both for sufficiency well able, and for your former fidelity and services well 
approved, and accepted of. And therefore her Majesty taketh this choice 
of you for bonum omen, a sign of good and happy success, when the 
beginning is taken in hand with so good wisdom and discretion. Her 
Majesty therefore commanded me to say unto you, that she well liketh of 
your election, and therefore she ratifieth it with her royal assent." 

Then Mr. Croke, making three low reverences, answered in this 

" Most sacred, and most puissant Queen, Seeing it hath pleased you 
to command my service, by consenting to the free election of your dutiful 
and loyal subjects, the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, of me to be their 
Speaker, I most humbly beseech your Majesty to give me leave to shew 
unto you the dutiful thoughts, and earnest affections, of your loyal subjects, 
to do your Majesty all services, and to defend your royal and sacred per- 
son, both with their lives and goods. He then proceeded to make a 
vehement invective against the tyranny of the King of Spain, the Pope's 
ambition, and the rebels of Ireland ; which he said were like a snake cut 
in pieces, which did crawl and creep to join themselves together again. 
He then offered his solemn prayers to heaven, to continue the prosperous 
estate and peace of the kingdom, which, he said, had been defended by the 
mighty arm of our dread and sacred Queen." 

At this the Queen interrupted him, and cried out, " No, but by the 
mighty hand of God, Mr. Speaker." 

464 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 

He then proceeded to beseech her Majesty for freedom of speech, to 
every particular member of the House, and their servants. And lastly, that 
if any mistaking of any message, delivered unto him from the Commons, 
should happen, that her Majesty would attribute them to his weakness, in 
delivery or understanding, and not to the House; as also any forgetfulness, 
through want of memory, or that things were not so judiciously handled, 
or expressed by him, as they were delivered by the House. 

To which, after the Queen had spoken to the Lord Keeper as aforesaid, 
(after three reverences by the Speaker,) the Lord Keeper said in effect as 

" Mr. Speaker, — Her Majesty doth greatly commend and like of your 
grave speech, well divided, well contrived ; the first proceeding from a sound 
invention, and the odier from a settled judgment and experience. You 
have well, and well indeed, weighed the estate of this kingdom, well 
observed the greatness of our puissant and grand enemy the King of Spain, 
the continual and excessive charges of the wars of Ireland, which if they 
be well weighed, do not only shew the puissance of our gracious Sovereign 
n defending us, but also the greatness of the charge continually bestowed 
by her Majesty, even out of her own revenues, to protect us, and the ex- 
posing of her Majesty to continual trouble, and toilsome cares, for the 
benefit and safety of her subjects. Wherefore, Mr. Speaker, it behoveth 
us to think and say, as was well delivered by a grave man lately, in a 
Concio ad Clerum, Opus est subsidio nt fiat excidium. Touching your 
other requests, for freedom of speech, her Majesty willingly consenteth 
thereto, but with this caution, that the time be not spent in idle and vain 
matter, painting the same out with froth, and volubility of words, whereby 
the speakers may seem to gain some reputed credit, by emboldening them- 
selves to contradiction, and by troubling the House, of purpose, with long 
and vain orations, to hinder the proceeding in matters of greater and more 
weighty importance. Touching access to her person, she most willingly 
granteth the same, desiring she may not be troubled unless urgent matter 
and affairs of great consequence compel you thereunto : for this hath been 
held a wise maxim, " In troubling great estates, you must trouble seldom." 
For liberties unto yourselves, and persons, her Majesty hath commanded 
me to say unto you all, that she ever intendeth to preserve the liberties of 
the House, and granteth freedom even unto the meanest member of this 

ch. iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 465 

House: but her Majesty's pleasure is, you should not maintain and keep with 
you notorious persons, either for life, or behaviour, and desperate debtors, 
who never come abroad, fearing laws, but at these times ; pettifoggers 
and vipers of the commonwealth; prolling and common solicitors, that set 
dissention between man and man ; and men of the like condition to these. 
These her Majesty earnestly wisheth a law may be made against; as also 
that no Member of this Parliament would entertain, or bolster up, any 
man of the like humour, or quality, on pain of her Highness displeasure. 
For your excuse of the House and of yourself, her Majesty commanded 
me to say, that your sufficiency hath so oftentimes been approved before 
her, that she doubteth not of your sufficient discharge of the place you 
shall serve in. Wherein she willeth you to have a special eye, and 
regard, not to make new, and idle, laws, and trouble the House with 
them ; but rather look to the abridging, and repealing, of divers obsolete 
and superfluous statutes ; as also first to take in hand matters of greatest 
moment and consequence. In doing thus, Mr. Speaker, you shall fulfill 
her Majesty's commandment, do your country good, and satisfy her 
Highness's expectation. Which being said, the Speaker made three 
reverences to the Queen, and the Members of the House of Commons 
returned to their own House, where the Speaker repeated the substance of 
what had been delivered by the Lord Keeper 1 . 

In this Parliament many matters of considerable importance were trans- 
acted. Amongst others, the redress of the great grievance of monopolies. 
From the scantiness of the Queen's revenues, and the great expences of 
her government, she had adopted an expedient, which had not been un- 
usual, to reward her servants by granting them monopolies by patent ; 
which they either exercised themselves, or sold for large sums. The)' 
were lucrative to the holders, but oppressive to the country, bv raising the 
price of commodities, and by restraining the freedom of commerce. A 
petition against them had been presented by the House to her Majesty in 
the last Parliament, but with little effect. A bill was now brought in, 
entitled, " An Act for the explanation of the common law in certain cases 
" of letters patent." It appeared that these monopolies comprehended a 
large proportion of the most useful articles of life, glass, pots, bottles, iron, 

1 D'Ewes, p. 600. 
3 o 

466 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 

steel, tin, oil, vinegar, salt, currants, salt petre, lead, brandy, beer for ex- 
portation, paper, cards, starch, sulphur, ashes, anniseed, tanning, and 
other particulars : and one proof of the abuse of them was produced by 
the instance of salt, which had been raised from sixteen pence, to fifteen 
shillings a bushel. Long debates ensued upon it. It was said by 
Mr. Francis Bacon, that the royal prerogative was too high to be debated ; 
that her Majesty had both an enlarging and a restraining power ; and that 
by her prerogative she might set at liberty things restrained by statute law 
or otherwise, and might also restrain things which were at liberty. What- 
ever might be the private sentiments of individuals, these high notions of 
the royal power seemed to be generally entertained by the House; at least 
they were openly asserted by many, and passed without contradiction. 
But although they might receive some countenance from the arbitrary 
proceedings of the House of Tudor, in the two following reigns they were 
fully discussed, and were proved to be contrary to the laws and consti- 
tution of England. 

Whilst the bill was depending, the Queen, sensible of the general 
odium which these unpopular privileges had excited, and foreseeing from 
the spirited manner in which they were taken up by the House, that she 
should be compelled to abolish the monopolies, was desirous that it should 
appear as a gracious measure originating from herself. She sent therefore 
for Mr. Croke, and informed him of her intention of recalling the obnoxious 
patents. On his return to the House he stood up in his place, and gave 
the following account of the interview. 

" It pleased her Majesty to command me to attend upon her yesterday 
in the afternoon, from whom I am to deliver unto you all, her Majesty's 
most gracious message, sent by my unworthy self. She yields you all 
hearty thanks, for your care and special regard of those things that 
concern her state, kingdom, and consequently our selves, whose good 
she had always tendered as her own ; for our speedy resolution in 
making of so hasty, and free, a subsidy, which commonly succeeded, 
and never went before our councils ; and for our loyalty. I do assure 
you with such and so great zeal and affection she uttered and shewed the 
same, that to express it our tongues are not able, neither our hearts 
to conceive it. It pleased her Majesty to say unto me, that if she 
had an hundred tongues she could not express our hearty good wills. 

ch.iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 467 

And further she said, that as she had ever held our good most dear, 
so the last day of our (or her) life should witness it ; and that the 
least of her subjects was not grieved, and she not touched. She appealed 
to the throne of Almighty God, how careful she hath been, and will 
be, to defend her people from all oppressions. She said that partly 
by intimation of her council, and partly by divers petitions that have 
been delivered unto her both going to the chapel and also to walk abroad, 
she understood that divers patents, which she had granted, were grievous 
to her subjects ; and that the substitutes of the patentees had used 
great oppressions. But she said, she never assented to grant any thing 
which was malum in se. And if in the abuse of her grant there be 
any thing evil, (which she took knowledge there was,) she herself would 
take present order of reformation. I cannot express unto you the 
apparent indignation of her Majesty towards these abuses. She said 
that her kingly prerogative (for so she termed it) was tender ; and there- 
fore desireth us not to fear or doubt of her careful reformation ; for 
she said, that her commandment was given a little before the late troubles, 
(meaning the Earl of Essex's matters,) but had an unfortunate event; 
but that in the middest of her most great and weighty occasions, she 
thought upon them. And that this should not suffice, but that further 
order should be taken presently, and not in Jtituro, (for that also was 
another word which I take it her Majesty used,) and that some should 
be presently repealed, some suspended, and none put in execution, 
but such as should first have a tryal according to the law, for the 
good of the people. Against the abuses her wrath was so incensed, 
that she said, that she neither could, nor would, suffer such to escape 
with impunity. So to my unspeakable comfort she hath made me 
the messenger of this her gracious thankfulness and care. Now we 
see that the axe of her princely justice is laid to the root of the tree ; 
and so we see her gracious goodness hath prevented our counsels, 
and consultations. God make us thankful, and send her long to reign 
amongst us. If through weakness of memory, want of utterance, or 
frailty of my self, I have omitted any thing of her Majesty's commands, 
I do most humbly crave pardon for the same ; and do beseech the 
honourable persons which assist this chair, and were present before 
3 o 2 

468 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 

her Majesty at the delivery hereof, to supply and help my imperfections ; 
which, joined with my fear, have caused me (no doubt) to forget something 
which I should have delivered unto you." 

Nothing could exceed the astonishment, the admiration, and gratitude 
of the House, at this extraordinary mark of the Queen's goodness and 
condescension. Mr. Wing-field, with tears in his eyes, said, that if 
a sentence of everlasting happiness had been pronounced unto him, 
it could not have made him shew more inward joy than he now did. 
Another compared it to the glad tidings of the Gospel ; and said, 
that it ought to be written in the tablet of their hearts. Croke said, 
that his heart was not able to conceive, nor his tongue to utter, the 
joy he conceived of her Majesty's gracious and especial care for our 
good. Wherefore as God himself said, Gloriam meant ulteri non dabo. 
so may her Majesty say, in that she herself will be the only and 
speedy agent for performance of our most humble and most wished 
desires. Wherefore let us not doubt but as she hath been, so she 
still will be, our most gracious Sovereign, and natural nursing mother 
unto us. Whose days the Almighty God prolong to all our comforts. 
Upon which the whole House answered, Amen m . 

It was unanimously voted, that the Speaker, with a committee, should 
wait upon her Majesty with the thanks of the House. When the 
time was fixed, Mr. Croke asked the House, " What it was 
11 their pleasure he should deliver unto her Majesty ?" Upon which 
Sir Edward Hobbie stood up, and said, " It was best he should devise 
" that himself, and that the whole House would refer it to him." 
Which reference was confirmed by the general acclamation of I, I, l n . 

In the afternoon, about three o'clock, about one hundred and forty 
members met in the great chamber before the Council chamber in 
Whitehall. When the Queen came into the Council chamber, and, 
being seated in her royal seat, attended with most of the Privy Council, 
and nobles about her, the Speaker and the Members were introduced, 
and after three low reverences made, Mr. Croke addressed the Queen 
as follows. 

"' D'Ewes, p. 657- " Ibid. p. 658. 

ch.iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 469 

" May it please your excellent Majesty, I am, in the name of your 
most loyal subjects of the Lower House of Parliament, (whereof part are 
here prostrate at your sacred feet,) to present all humble, and dutiful, 
thanks for your most gracious message, sent of late by me unto them. 
For which they confess they are not able to yield your Majesty eyther 
answerable guifts, or comparable treasure, but true hearts they bringe, with 
promise of respect and duty, befitting true, and dutiful, subjects, even to 
the spending of the uttermost droppe of bloud in their bodyes, for the pre- 
servation of religion, your sacred person, and the realme. They cannot 
express the joy of their hearts by any sound of wordes, that it pleaseth your 
Majesty soe freely, and willingly, to grant them this access unto your 
sacred person. They come not, as one of tenn, to give thanks, and the 
rest to depart unthankful, but they come, all in all, and these for all, to be 
thankfull, not for benefitts received, which were sued for, and so obtained, 
but for gracious favours bestowed of your gracious mere motion, and of 
late published by your Majesty's most royal proclamation. They confess, 
that your sacred ears are always bowed down and open to all their suites 
and complaints, yet now your Majesty hath overcome them, by your most 
royal bounty, and as it were prevented them by your magnificent and 
princely liberality ; for which, as for all other your gracious favours and 
royal and kingly benefits bestowed upon them, they give glory first unto 
God, that hath in mercy towards them placed so gracious and benigne a 
prince over them, praying to the same God to graunt them continuance of 
your so blessed, and happy, government over them, even to the end of the 
world. And, most gracious Sovereign, I confess I was not able in my 
heart to conceyve, much less with my tongue to utter, your princely and 
royal message, sent by me, your unworthy servant, to the Commons, soe 
in like manner I must acknowledge I am as unable to declare their 
humble, and dutiful, thankes for the same, for which my want and dis- 
ability I crave pardon, first of your sacred Majesty, and of them all desire 
to be excused ." 

The Speaker having ended his speech, with three low reverences, the 
Noblemen and Counsellors present, with the Speaker and Members of the 
House of Commons, all kneeled down, when her Majesty uttered these 

° Had. MSS. 

470 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 

gracious words following, directing them to Mr. Speaker, with command- 
ment to relate them from her to the Lower House of Parliament. 

" Mr. Speaker, — I well understand, by that you have delivered, that 
you, with these gentlemen of the Lower House, come to give us 
thanks for benefits received. I pray you, let them know, that I return 
them all the thanks that can possibly be conceived in a kingly heart, 
for accepting my message in so kind a manner, and thanke you 
for delivering of it. But I must tell you, I doubt, and cannot be 
resolved, whether I have more cause to thank them, or they me. 
Howsoever I am more than glad to see sympathy between them and 
me, and I must tell you, that I joy not so much that I am a Queen, 
as that I am a Queen over so faithful and loving a people, as also 
that God hath set me over you, and preserved me so miraculously 
from dishonour, shame, oppression, violence, and infinite dangers, and 
practices, attempted by the enemies of God, and religion, against me. 
For which so mighty deliverance I yield all humble and hearty thanks 
to Almighty God. For the money you have so freely and willingly 
bestowed upon me, I will be no waster. You all know that I am 
neyther fast holder, nor greedy griper, nor hoarder of money ; noe 
nor spender much upon myselfe. It shall all be bestowed for the 
defence of the kingdom, and theyr owne eyes shall see it, and a 
just account shall be made of all. Tell them, Mr. Speaker, that they 
may have a prince more wise, but never shall they have a prince more 
loving unto them, or more carefull of them for their wellfare, than 
myself will be. For I desire nothing more in this world, than to 
preserve them in peace, and to keep them from oppression and wrong. 
It was such a grief unto me when I heard that my people and loving 
subjects were by errors abused, that I could not be at rest, untill I 
had given them a remedy." 

Here she paused ; and bidding Mr. Speaker and the Commons to stand 
up and come nearer her, said, " that, as you have spoken unto me, soe I 
must speak to you, and trouble you with a longe speech. The remedy of 
the grievances, and heavy wrongs, Mr. Speaker, for which they are so 
exceedingly thankful, I must say thus much in excuse of myself, That I 
never granted any of these Pattents, by my prerogative royal, to any of 
my servants by way of recompence for their good services done, but my 

ch. iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 471 

intention was for a common good to the subject, as well as private benefit 
to them. Neyther did I ever sett my hand to any grant since I came to 
this place, but in my heart I thought no danger, but good should come to 
my subjects thereby. And, for my own part, I wish I may no longer live, 
than I shall endeavour to advance the Gospell, and the peace of my king- 
dom. But I must tell you, that those that sued to me for these, and such 
like pattents, dealt with me as physitions do with their patyents, who use 
to put into the pills they minister, either much aromatical powder, or guild 
them over to hide their bitterness and sourness. For they pretended to 
me, that all my subjects should have a public benefit and profit, as well as 
they should have private gain. This they pretended, and this I intended, 
but the executioners of them (like varletts) turn all to a contrary end. God 
knoweth against my heart ; for God let me no longer live, than I shall 
endeavour, to my uttermost power, to doe all the good that may be for all 
my loving subjects, without any intention of preferring my private, much 
less any of my servants', good before them. Truly, Mr. Speaker, when 
this grievance came unto my ears, as I had great cause to be moved at 
their misdemeanors, so my heart was surprised with an extraordinary joy, 
when I understood that those gentlemen of the Lower House, that spake 
against the abuse of those monopolies, spake not against me that granted 
them, nor in malice to my servants, and others that had them, neyther for 
their private respect as being oppressed and wronged by the lewd ex- 
ecutioners of them, but for their love to me, as well as for the public good 
in general. For they no doubt did perceive, that the gain of the pattents 
tolerated this long time, was a hazard of the losing of the love of my sub- 
jects, than which what can be more precious unto me ! 

" For this, Mr. Speaker, their loving and kind dealing with me, I can but 
thank them, and think of them as the best subjects I have. And for this 
their loving regard and care of me, this I will promise, that none that ever 
was before me in this realm, nor none that shall come after me, shall be 
more regardful of them than I will be, even to the hazard of my own life 
for their sakes. Alas, Mr. Speaker, what am I as of myself? without tht 
watchful providence of Almighty God ? other than a poor silly woman, 
weake, and subject to many imperfections, expecting as you do a future 
judgement; yet I hope assuredly this much, in the mercy of Almighty 

472 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 

God, that so long as I endeavour to my uttermost power to defend my 
people from private and open wrongs, shun oppression, and tyranny, 
that God will accept my willing heart for good, and not impute unto me 
the errors and culpes of my subjects. For if that were not, intolerable and 
miserable were the state of a king. But howsoever I thanke Almighty 
God, that sendeth me such loving subjects, who are willing, as much as in 
them lyeth, to keep me from errors, which I might ignorantly have fallen 
into. Amongst these, and many other blessings which Almighty God 
hath vouchsafed to bestow on me, I thank God, notwithstanding all the 
attempts at danger, infamy, shame, oppression, and wronge exercised 
against me, by the enemies of the kingdom, this heart of mine was never 
possessed, or surprised, with any fear, or dread. This 1 speak not by way 
of bragging, or boasting, of my own strength, or power, but for it, and 
all his mercies bestowed upon me, I give all thanks possible, and so long 
1 hope I dishonoured him not, nor speake flatteringly of myself. Many 
think it to be a great preheminence to be a King or a Queen. It is truth, 
the throne of a kinge is glorious without ; but, Mr. Speaker, I am not so 
blind, or simple, as to be ignorant, that with the glory there are many 
dangers, greifes, troubles, and vexations, and many other calamities and 
crosses ; so that for my part, were it not more for conscience, than for any 
content I have, (except the love of my subjects, which is as dear to me as 
my life,) I could well be content that another had my charge. Well, Mr. 
Speaker, commend us heartily to all the Lower House, and soe I leave 
you to God, and your godly consultations." 

She turned herself to Mr. Comptroller, and Mr. Secretary, willing them 
that they should bring the Gentlemen of the House to kiss her hand, 
before they went into their countries. 

" Many things," the writer says, " through want of memory I have 
omitted, without setting down many her Majesty's gestures of honourable 
and princely demeanor, used by her. As when the Speaker spake any 
effectual or moving speech, from the Commons to her Majesty, she rose 
up and bowed herself. As also in her own speech, when the Commons, 
apprehending any extraordinary words of favour from her, did any reverence 
to her Majesty, she likewise rose up and bowed herselff." 

"• I have given the last speech of the Speaker to the Queen, and her answer, from a 

ch. iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 473 

This account affords a fine specimen of the ceremonious and courtly 
style of the reign of Elizabeth. 

In this Parliament many statutes were passed for the good of the 
country. Amongst these was the celebrated Act for the relief of the poor, 
the foundation of the present poor laws' 1 . At the time this statute passed, 
it was thought not unwise, and to have been founded upon the humane 
principle of charity, and an useful plan of police. Either from a radical 
defect in the system itself, from the changes in the state of society, or from 
the mismanagement of those who were intrusted with the execution of it, 
by extending relief indiscriminately to those who are able to work, as well 
as to the sick and impotent, or perhaps from all these causes together, it 
has proved the scourge of the country, the basis of a system which has 
deranged the natural relations of society, of rich and poor, labourers and 
their employers, parents and children, husbands and wives ; has relaxed 
industry and virtuous exertion, annihilated modest dependence, and 
destroyed charity. The ruinous consequences which have ensued from it, 
have compelled us to perceive at length a self-evident truth ; that to support 
one part of the community, and that the most worthless, at the expence 
of the other part, which is the most useful and industrious, is an arrange- 
ment founded in palpable injustice, and in a false policy, totally subversive 
of the first principles of civil society : which was established to secure to 
every man the fruits of his own labour. There were other acts passed of 
less equivocal utility : for the relief of soldiers and mariners ; for the re- 
dress of the misemployment of charities ; for preventing perjury, and 
unnecessary expences in law, and for avoiding trifling and frivolous suits ; 
for preventing idle misdemeanors ; against fraudulent administrations ; for 
the true making of woollen cloths ; the recovery of marsh lands ; the 
encouragement of the insurance of ships ; and the assizing of fuel r . 

The business of this Parliament being ended, the Queen appointed a day 
to dissolve it, the 19th of December, 1601. For this purpose her 
Majesty being in the Upper House, the Members of the House of Com- 
mons were introduced, with Mr. Croke their Speaker, who addressed her 
Majesty to this effect. 

manuscript in the British Museum, which is different from that published by D'Ewes, 
page 658, and is much fuller. Harleian MSS. No. 787. folio 127. the last in the book, 
i 43 Eliz. chap. ii. ' Statutes at Large. 

3 P 

474 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 

" That laws were not at first made with human pen, but by Divine ordi- 
nance, that politick laws were made according to the evil conditions of 
men, and that all laws serve not for all times, no more than one medicine 
for all diseases. If he were asked, what were the first and chiefest thing 
to be considered, he would say, Religion. So religion is all in all, for 
religion breeds devotion, devotion breeds zeal and piety to God, which 
breedeth obedience and duty to the Prince, and obedience of the laws, 
which breedeth faithfulness and honesty and love, three necessary and only 
things to be wished and observed in a well-governed Common-wealth. 
And that her Majesty by planting true religion had laid such a foundation 
upon which all those virtues were so planted and builded, that they could 
not easily be rooted up and extirpated. And therefore he did acknowledge, 
that we ought and do acknowledge that we will praise God and her 
Majesty for it. And then he descended to speak of governments and laws 
of nations, among and above all which he principally preferred the laws of 
this land, which he said were so many and so wise, that there was almost 
no offence but was met with in a law. Notwithstanding her Majesty 
being desirous for the good of her land to call a Parliament for redress of 
some old laws, and making some new, her dutiful and loving subjects 
having considered of them, have made some new, and amended some old, 
which they humbly desire may be made laws by her most Royal Assent, 
which giveth life unto them. And so after thanks given for the pardon by 
which we dread your justice and admire your mercy, and a prayer unto 
her Majesty that she would accept as the testimonies of our love and duty 
offered unto her, with a free heart and willing spirit, four entire subsidies 
and eight fifteenths and tenths, to be collected of our lands and livelihoods." 
In speaking whereof, he mistook and said, four entire fifteenths and eight 
subsidies, but he was remembered by some of the council that stood near 
him, and so spake right as aforesaid ; and having craved pardon for his 
offence, if either he had forgotten himself in word or action, he ended. 

The which the Lord Keeper answered thus in effect. " First as touching 
her Majestie's proceedings in the laws for her Royal Assent, that should 
be as God should direct her sacred spirit ; secondly, for your presentation 
of four subsidies and eight fifteenths and tenths; thirdly, your humble 
thankfulness for the pardon, for them and yourself; I will deliver her 
Majestie's commandment with what brevity I may, that I be not tedious 

ch.iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 475 

to my most gracious Sovereign. First she saith, touching your proceeding 
in the matter of her prerogative, that she is persuaded subjects did never 
more dutifully ; and that she understood you did but obiter touch her 
prerogative, and no otherwise but by humble petition ; and therefore, that 
thanks that a Prince may give to her subjects, she willingly yieldeth. But 
she now well perceiveth, that private respects are privately masqued under 
publick presence. Secondly, touching the presentation of your subsidy, 
she specially regardeth two things, both the persons and the manner. For 
the first, he fell into commendations of the commonalty ; for the second, 
the manner, which was speedy, not by persuasion, or persuasive induce- 
ments, but freely out of duty with great contentment. In the thing which 
ye have granted, her Majesty greatly commendeth your confidence and 
judgment ; and though it be not proportionable to her occasions, yet she 
most thankfully receiveth the same as a loving and thankful prince ; and 
that no prince was ever more unwilling to exact or receive any thing from 
the subject than she our most gracious Sovereign ; for we all know she 
never was a greedy grasper nor strait-handed keeper ; and therefore she 
commanded me to say, that you have done (and so she taketh it) dutifully, 
plentifully, and thankfully. 

For yourse(f, Mr. Speaker, her Majesty commanded me to say, that you 
have proceeded with such wisdom and discretion, that it is much to iiour 
commendations ; and that none before you hath deserved more. And so 
he ended after an admonition given to the Justices of the Peace, that they 
would not deserve the epithets of prolling Justices, Justices of quarrels, 
who counted champetrie good chevesance, sinning Justices who do suck 
and consume the wealth and good of the Common-wealth : and also 
against those who lie (if not all the year, yet) at least three quarters of the 
year in this city of London'." 

Afterwards the House was dissolved by the Lord Keeper. Before the 
dissolution, Mr. Herbert Croft, one of the Members, addressed the Speaker 
in these words. 

Mr. Speaker, — " Though perhaps my motion may seem unseasonable at 
this present, yet I beseech the House consider with me a speech made 
yesterday, that consisted of four parts, the scope whereof (it being Mr. 
Hackwell's speech) lays open the dangerous mischiefs that come by trans- 

' D'Ewes, p. 618. 
3 P 2 

470 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 

portation of ordinance, and that due reformation thereof may be had for 
restraint of private transporting; I would only put the House in mind, and 
vou also, Mr. Speaker, that the gentleman which yesterday moved it, de- 
sired that Mr. Speaker might say something thereof to her Majesty, in his 
speech to be inserted. Which I do again desire, the more earnestly, 
because our bill is fallen (as he said) into an everlasting sleep, and we have 
now no remedy but by her Majesty." 

Mr. Croke answered him. — " If it please you, upon the motion of 
the gentleman made yesterday, I mean to say something therein, both 
for your satisfaction, and performance of rny duty, and therefore this matter 
shall need no further to be moved." 

With which the House rested well satisfied, and so arose. But it is to 
be noted, that the Speaker said not one word in his speech to her Majesty 
touching that matter, which was greatly murmured at, and spoken against, 
amongst the burgesses, that the House should be so abused, and that nothing 
was done therein 5 . 

It was when the business of the monopolies was before the House, that 
certain witty verses, burlesquing some of the wise Members of the Parlia- 
ment, and which began, 

Down came Sir John Croke, 
And said his message on his book, 

were written by the polite and agreeable Sir Michael Hicks, a great wit of 
the times, and the intimate friend of Sir Fulk Greville, Sir Francis Bacon, 
Sir Walter Raleigh, Mr. Cambden, and other learned and eminent per- 
sons. But notwithstanding the testimony of the Secretary of State, Sir 
Robert Cecil, confirmed too by an oath, that " they were in his fancy as 
" pretty and pithy as ever he saw," and " the great entertainment they 
" found with her Majesty," and " the good sport she intended to have with 
" the author, when she saw him next," I fear I cannot, consistently with 
the delicacy and cleanliness of these fastidious days, mention even the sub- 
ject of them, much less introduce the verses themselves 1 . 

In the first year of James the First, 1603, he was knighted, and made 
Serjeant at Law, with thirteen others. Upon their appearance in the 

■ D'Ewes, 6S9. ' Collins's Baronetage, vol. i. page 343. De Crepitu in Parlia- 


ch. iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 477 

Court of Chancery, to take the oaths, Sir John Croke, on account of his 
having been Speaker of the House of Commons, and having thereby 
gained a precedency before all other barristers, who were not Serjeants, by 
the direction of the Lord Keeper, appeared as Ancient, or first of the new 
Serjeants, although he was Puisne, in admittance, to five of them. And 
he made a speech in that capacity, in all their names, and delivered unto 
the Lord Keeper a ring for the King. But when the solemnity of taking 
their degree was performed, in the Court of Common Pleas, Philips, be- 
cause he had received the King's patent to be one of his Serjeants, came 
first, as Ancient Serjeant, by the appointment of Popham, the Chief 
Justice, with the assent of the greater part of the Justices and Barons. 
And Sir John Croke was brought to the bar, after the said five new Ser- 
jeants, who were his ancients in admittance : and this was the rank as- 
signed him. This was against the opinion of the Lord Keeper, and 
twelve of the Privy Council, who wrote letters, that as he had been 
Speaker of the Parliament, and had been knighted the Sunday before, he 
ought to have the precedence before the other Serjeants, notwithstanding 
their antiquity of admittance ; and four of the Judges, Andersons Gawdy, 
Fenner, and Yelverton, concurred in this opinion". 

He was afterwards made a King's Serjeant, and Judge of the counties 
of Brecknock, Radnor, and Glamorgan". 

In the fifth year of King James, 1608, on the 25th of June, upon the 
death of Sir John Popham, the promotion of Sir Thomas Flemming to be 
Chief Justice, and of Sir Lawrence Tanfield to be Chief Baron, Sir John 
Croke was made a Justice of the King's Bench : in which office he con- 
tinued till his death. Upon receiving this preferment, his coat of arms 
was set up in the north window of the hall of the Inner Temple, and in 
the hall of Serjeant's-Inn in Fleet Street?. 

King James, in the thirteenth year of his reign, 1615, granted to him 
diverse coppices, woods, underwoods, and other land, in the forest of 
Bernwood, to hold for twenty-one years, rendering £51 z . 

The arguments of Sir John Croke, as counsel, and his decisions as a 
judge, recorded in the contemporary reports, shew his eminence in his 

" Cro. Jac. page 1. " Ibid. Table of the Judges, 5 Jac. s Cro. 181. 

Dugdales Orig. Jurid. p. 166, 170. • Pat. Rot. 13 Jac. I. part 2. 


profession, and he is said to have been " famous for his wisdom, eloquence, 
" and knowledge in the laws*." He received a bowl of silver e;ilt, with 
a cover, as a present from Sir Christopher Halton, " for his council in 
" law 1 '." Sir Christopher, though originally a member of one of the 
Inns of Court, had never followed the profession of the law. When he 
was appointed Chancellor, in 1587, in cases of difficulty he consulted his 
learned friends, and it may be presumed from this valuable present, that 
Sir John Croke was one of those of whose opinions he availed himself. 

In 1609, Sir Thomas Bodley was guided by his advice, with respect to 
the best mode of endowing his celebrated library at Oxford . 

There are in the British Museum, a short minute of a charge to the 
Grand Jury of Middlesex in 1604, of another at the Somersetshire Assizes 
at Monmouth in 1618, and a very long and able charge in the Court of 
King's Bench in 1613 d . These minutes are written, according to the 
practice of the old lawyers in a motley dialect of law French, Latin, and 
English ; though no doubt they were delivered, bating a few quotations, 
in the English language only. The charge delivered in the King's Bench 
contains a full and able specification of all offences which can come within 
the cognizance of the grand inquest, but expressed in the quaint language 
of that reign. Some of them would now appear curious. They are di- 
rected to inquire " de ceux que voile purtraiture le picture del Dieu sem- 
" ble al un liorame oue grey beard. Car ceo est un damnable offence, il 
" n'est d'etre measured. Heaven is his throne, and the earth is his foot- 
" stool, et pur ceo ils que voile undertake de measure Dieu doyent vuer 
" higher than the heavens cujus mensura (comme un dit) est altior celo, 
" latior terra, et profundior mare." In the reign of James, Recusants and 
Papists, and the Gunpowder treason, would not be forgotten, the learned 
Judge informed the Jury, " Ceo jeo dye pur leur amendment, ils seant 
" semblable al vipers labouring pur eat out the bowells del terre which 
" brings them forth. De Jesuits leur positions sont damnable, La Pape a 
" deposer Royes, ceo est le badge et token del Antichrist. Doyes etre 

1 Preface Cro. Car. b Will of Sir John Croke, his father. ' Life of Sir 

Thomas Bodley, prefixed to the printed catalogue of manuscripts. d Bibl. Harl. 

No. 583. fol. <Zi. b. No. 585. fol. 30. 

ch. iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 479 

" carefull a discover eux. Receivers of stolen goods are semblable a les 
" horse leaches, which still cry, Bring, bring." 

Amongst my own papers I have four annual speeches of ceremony 
made by Mr. Justice Croke when he was Recorder of London, upon pre- 
senting the Lord Mayor in the Exchequer in the years 1596, 1597, 1600, 
and another without date ; one of these speeches is given in the Ap- 

The two following trials which were held before him may be mentioned 
as remarkable. 

Dr. Dun, afterwards the celebrated civilian, when he was a student of 
Christ Church, had the misfortune to kill a boy. He brought down a spe- 
cial commission to Oxford, and was tried by Serjeant Croke, the Sub- 
steward of the University, and was acquitted f . 

In the year 1608, Sir John Croke, with Sir Thomas Fleming, Chief 
Justice, and Sir David Williams, gave sentence against the townsmen of 
Oxford, in the Court of King's Bench, in a dispute between the Univer- 
sity and City for privilege of watch and ward. In which cause, besides 
sitting as Judge, he gave testimony, that the privilege in dispute had been 
asserted and used by the University above thirty years before, to his re- 
membrance, without the claim of the town s. 

For the benefit of the students of the law, and of posterity, he published 
in 1602 a folio volume of select cases, which had been collected by the in- 
dustry of Robert Keilway, who was Supervisor Liberationum Regis, or 
Surveyor of the King's Liveries, and which were decided in the reigns of 
Henry the VII. and VIII : others of which the time was unknown: cases 
in Eyre in the time of Edward the Third : a few in that of Edward the 
First: others reported by Judge Dalison in Philip and Mary, and 
Elizabeth : and some by Serjeant Bendloes, in Henry, and Mary. In a 
Latin preface, written not without some degree of classical elegance, and 
dedicated to the candid students of the law of England, he balances the 
motives for and against the publication of the work, and decides at length 
in favour of it by the advice of his friends, and the utility of cases, in qui- 
bus multa acute, multa subtilitcr disputata, [quce turn inventionem, turn 

e Appendix, No. XXV. f Sir Leoline Jenkins, vol. ii. p. 652. s Wood's Hist. 

Univ. Oxon. lib. i. p. 386. 

480 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 

Judicium multum juvere possunt,) sammo cum ingenio et Judicio deter- 
minata, quce alibi non leguntur. The alterations, or improvements, which 
have been wrought in the law of England, by the ever-changeful course of 
time, the abolition of the feodal tenures, the extension of commerce, and 
other causes, have rendered those ancient cases of less use than formerly, 
but it is upon these old and solid foundations that the present admirable 
legal fabric has been erected, and, as Sir John Croke expresses it, ex an- 
tiquis jontibus hodiernce saluberrimce aquce hauriuntur. He concludes 
his preface with four admonitory lines to the student. 

Sit tibi cura magis multum, quam multa, legendi : 

Immcmor anne legit P Negliget ipse legem. 
Qua: meminere sciunt, quod labitur utile non est ; 

Nosce quod oblitis tempus inane juit ''. 

Amongst the manuscripts of the Glynne family, at Ambroseden, were 
seven Arguments concerning the power and privileges of Parliament, by 
Mr. Mason, Mr. Calthrope, Mr. Attorney General, Justice Hyde, Justice 
Jones, Justice Whitlock, and Justice Croke'. 

In those times, the servants of the public were not so well rewarded for 
their services as at present, and Queen Elizabeth in particular was sparing 
of her remunerations. I have a letter from Sir John Croke to his brother 
George, in which he complains that he was much impoverished by his 
high situations, which led him into expences beyond what his fortune 
would support ; and requesting the loan of five hundred pounds' 5 . It ap- 
pears too by his will, that, in his necessities, to provide for his children, 
and to sustain his public offices, he had sold to Sir George Croke the 
manor of Easington for seven hundred and fifty pounds'. Sir George had 
likewise a mortgage upon part of his property for five hundred and fifty 
pounds, and purchased of him his estate at Studley. 

Sir John Croke married Catherine the daughter of Sir Michael Blount, 
of Maple-Durham in Oxfordshire, Lieutenant of the Tower, of whom I 

h The Reports are intitled, Relationes qu<>rundam casuum selectorum ex libris Roberti 
Keilway, Armigeri, qui temporibus fcelicissimje memorise, Regis Henrici beptimi, &c. &e. 
' Vol. ii. of the Catalogue of Oxford Manuscripts, page 51. No. 199?, 68. k This let- 

ter has been lost during my absence abroad. ' Ad publica onera evocatus sustinenda 

Will penes me. 

ch.iv. sec. i. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 481 

have already spoken in the chapter upon that family. She was born the 
1 1th of April, 1663 m . Upon this marriage, the name of Blount was al- 
together omitted by his father, and the rest of the family, who had till that 
time styled themselves Croke, alias Blount ". 

In London, Sir John Croke resided at his house in Holbourne. As his 
father did not die till he was fifty-five years of age, in 1608, and his 
mother, who had the use of the principal mansion at Chilton, lived three 
years afterwards, till 1611, I apprehend that he resided, when in the 
country, at Studley, till his mother's death. This supposition is confirmed, 
by the admission of his third son Charles at Christ Church, as a Knight's 
son of Oxfordshire, in 1603°. How long the Priory continued in its 
original slate, or whether any alterations were made in it by his father or 
grandfather, does not appear. It is extremely probable, that it was first 
converted into a commodious dwelling house by Sir John Croke the 
Judge. He certainly fitted up the old withdrawing room in the life-time 
of his father, and after his marriage ; it was in small pannels, in divisions, 
with Doric pilasters between ; and his coat of arms, inlayed in wood, was 
over the chimney, namely, Croke, with a label, denoting the eldest son, 
impaled with Blount. When the wainscot was taken down to make the 
present dining room, at the back of the coat of arms was found written in 
ink, " Mr. John Croke y" yonger att Studley, theis be & c ." The same 
coat of arms, with those of his father, are in painted glass in the window of 
the same room, and those of Sir George Croke which are in a different style 
of ornaments, from having probably been put up at a later time, after he had 
purchased the estate. Sir John Croke's arms are likewise in stone over 
the porch, with the date 15S7, when I suppose the alterations were made. 
The arms of Sir George Croke were evidently a subsequent addition. 
This porch appears to have been built on to the walls previously erected. 

After his mother's death he lived at Chilton, where his will is dated in 
1617, and died at his house in Holbourne, the 23d day of January, in 
1619, aged 66 years. He was buried at Chilton, and his monument is a 
flat marble stone, on the pavement of the Croke Chapel, with the follow- 
ing inscription upon a brass plate, written by himself. 

m Gough's MSS. Shropshire, No. 2. 
■ Preface to Croke Charles, by Sir Harebottle Grimston. 
° Ward's Lives of the Gresham Professors, page 306. 
3 Q 

482 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv. 











Round the sides of the stone is likewise a fillet of hrass, on which is cut 
the following words. 


There is likewise a plate with his arms. Croke, quarterly ; impaled 
with Blount, quartering nine coats. 1. Barry, nebuly, Blount. 2. With- 
in a bordure, charged with ten saltiers, two wolves statant, Ayala. 
3. Vairy, Beauchamp. 4. A tower, Ayala. 5. A pale, Delaford. 6. A 

>' This epitaph seems to have suffered much from the ignorant artist who engraved it. 
Trncndum assigiiala, are palpable blunders, for tenenda assignatus ; rixirit, for vixerit ; ter- 
cio for tertio ; atatis sui for sua. Some other parts are doubtful. 

ch.iv. sect. SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. 483 

chevron between three pheons, Spicer. 7. A fesse, dancette, between 
three mullets pierced, More. 8. A fesse between three annulets. 9. Barry 
of six, vairy and ermine. 

In the window of the withdrawing room only four of the quarters of 
Blount are introduced. First, Blount, nebuly of six pieces, or, and sable. 
Secondly, argent, within a bordure, or, charged with ten saltiers, gules, 
two wolves, statant, sable, armed and langued of the third, Ayala. Thirdly, 
Or, a tower with three battlements azure, Ayala. Fourthly, Vairy, Beau- 
champ. Over all, a crescent or, for difference. It is the same in stone 
over the porch. 

His will was made the 28th of October, 1617 5 and is written in Latin. 
He left one hundred pounds, and all his household goods in his mansion 
house at Chilton, and all his plate, to his wife. To his son Sir John 
Croke, all his books, and the furniture in his houses in Holbourne, and 
Serjeant's Inn, with his seal at arms. To his son Henry, and his wife 
Brigitta, and their children, one hundred pounds. To his son Charles, 
twenty pounds. To his sons Union and Edward, each, forty pounds, 
and an annuity of twenty pounds, to be paid out of Chilton. To his 
daughter Rachel, bed furniture of the value of forty pounds. To each of 
his brothers and sisters, a silver cup of ten pounds value, with this in- 
scription, Timete Dominum, Honorate Regem, Diligite invicem. (Fear 
the Lord, honour the King, love one another.) To his brother George, a 
gold ring of an ounce weight, with this inscription, Fides adhibita fidem 
obligat, (Fidelity exhibited, secures fidelity,) requesting him, by the frater- 
nal love he bore him, to permit his son and heir to repurchase the manor 
of Easingdon. To each of his servants, twenty shillings. Upon all his 
family, and upon all who confess and love Jesus Christ, he implores the 
blessing of God. To his dearest aunt, Lady Anne Harrington, Baroness 
of Exton, he bequeaths a golden heart, with diamonds, of the value of 
twenty pounds. His wife, and his son John, are his executors, and his 
brothers George, Paul, and William, and his sons Henry and Charles, are 
the supervisors of his will. By subsequent codicils he gives a pair of gilt 
salts, which had been his father's and grandfather's, to his son Sir John 
Croke, and to the poor in Chilton and Easingdon three pounds : to those 
of Studley and Horton, forty shillings. 

He had five sons, John, Henry, Charles, Unton, and Edward ; and a 
3 Q 2 

484 SIR JOHN CROKE, THE JUDGE. book iv- 

daughter named Rachel : of all of whom 1 shall treat in order, appropriat- 
ing a separate section to each. 

I have his picture, painted on pannel, a half length. He is in his judge's 
robes, with a square cap, under which is a white cap, worn perhaps on 
account of baldness, or some other infirmity. In his right hand is a 
bundle of papers. On the back ground is written, Omnia Desuper. I 
have likewise the picture of his wife, the Lady Katherine Croke, a hand- 
some woman in a large ruff. The dress and general appearance corre- 
spond with her statue on the monument of her father, Sir Michael Blount, 
in Saint Peter's Church in the Tower. 





THE eldest son of Sir John Croke, the Judge, was likewise Sir John 
Croke, the fourth of that name, and the third of that title, having been 
knighted, in the life-time of his father, by King James the First \ He in- 
herited the estate at Chilton, where he lived as a country gentleman. In 
1628, the third year of Charles the First, he was elected Member for 
Shaftesbury 1 *. 

He married two wives; the first was Eleanor, the youngest daughter and 
one of the coheiresses of Jervas Gibon, Esquire, of Kent. She had a con- 
siderable fortune, was only fourteen years of age, of a sickly constitution, 
and died in two years, being five months under sixteen. Her eldest sister 
married Mr. Robert Pointz ; the second, named Gresill, Sir John Law- 
rence. After the death of Eleanor, Sir John Lawrence instituted pro- 
ceedings at law, and in Chancery, against Sir John Croke, in 1618, to 
compel him either to pay ,£300, which was due to Sir John Pointz for the 
wardship of Gresill, or to relinquish his claim to Eleanor's lands. In his 
answer, Sir John Croke declares that he is willing to pay his contribution to- 
wards the wardship of Gresill, but that the lands of Eleanor, being of the 
nature of gavelkind, he was intitled to hold them for his life, as tenant by 
the curtesy, if he did not marry again, whether he had issue or not ; that 
the provision in the will of Jervas Gibon, that if any of his daughters died 
before sixteen, her portion should accrue to the other sisters, must be un- 
derstood if unmarried. And that the inheritance of the land descended 
to the two surviving sisters, by which Sir John Lawrence was bettered 
more than £300. All this appears in the petitions and answers of the 

» Ward's Lives of the Gresham Professors, page 305. b Willis, Notit. Pari. 

486 SIR JOHN CROKE. book iv. 

parties in Chancery before Sir Francis Bacon : but how the law-suit ended 
is not stated . 

His second lady was Rachel, the daughter and heiress of Sir William 
Webb, Knight, of Motcomb in Dorsetshire. He died the tenth day of 
April, 1640, in the fifty-fourth year of his age, leaving three sons, and one 
daughter. He was buried under a plain marble stone on the pavement of 
the Chapel at Chilton, with the following inscription, which bears testi- 
mony to his devotion, learning, honour, and probity, and the proper dis- 
charge of his filial, conjugal, paternal, and friendly duties. 

m. s. 









The arms on the monument are, Croke, quarterly. In an escutcheon 
of pretence, gules, a cross between four faulcons, or, for Webb d . 

Sir John Croke, the fourth of that name and title, was his son and 
heir. In the life-time of his father he married a young lady of an excellent 
and amiable disposition, Jane, the daughter of Moses Tryon, Esquire, of 

c Lansdowne MSS. vol. 165. No. Q5. fol. 332. The petition and answer of Sir John 

J The colours are not expressed on the monument, but they are in Guillim. 

ch.iv. sec. ii. SIR JOHN CROKE. 


Harringworth in Northamptonshire, but he was so unfortunate as to lose 
her in child-birth, in the twentieth year of her age, in 1636, leaving only a 
little daughter to console his afflictions. Her monument is a black marble 
on the pavement of the chapel at Chilton. The inscription. 

m. s. 


J A N M : 
















The coat of arms is Croke, quarterly, with a label for difference, impaled 
with azure a fesse, crenelle, between six etoiles, or e . 

He married a second wife, but it is not known who she was. 

During the civil wars, Sir John raised a troop of horse for the service of 
the King, by which means he very much embarrassed his estate. Mr. 
Ward says, that he was afterwards created a Baronet, but he was not able 
to learn the time of his creation, or to find his name in the English Ba- 
ronetage f . 

I would willingly draw a veil over the misfortunes and crimes of this 
last, but one of the family in the elder branch, but the historian must prefer 

e The colours from Guillim, p. 402. 

f Ward's manuscript additions to his lives of the Gresham professors, in the British 
Museum, page 305. 

488 SIR JOHN CROKE. book iv. 

plain truth before the gratification of his private feelings. We have before 
seen that Sir John Croke, the Judge, had impaired his fortune by the 
necessary expences of supporting the dignity of the high offices which he 
filled. His grandson was completely ruined. Poverty, unless it is occa- 
sioned by vice, is not dishonourable, and a series of unavoidable or laudable 
expences, or even a thoughtless imprudence, might have dissipated the pa- 
ternal property of Sir John Croke, without affecting his character. The 
affair which I am about to relate can receive no mitigation by being attri- 
buted to the virulence of party spirit, or the gratification of an unfounded 
revenge, festering in a mind rendered acrid by distressing circumstances. 

This was his cruel persecution of Mr. Robert Hawkins, and his endea- 
vours to take away his life, in conjunction with several other persons, by a 
false indictment for a robbery in 1667. An account of Hawkins's trial 
was published in 168.5, and is attributed by Wood to Sir Matthew Hale, 
before whom he was tried % . It was republished in 17 10, about the time 
of Sacheverell's trial, to support the high church, by casting an odium 
upon the sectaries; and it is likewise in the State Trials' 1 . The second 
edition is intitled, " The Perjured Phanatick, or the malicious conspiracy 
" of Sir John Croke of Chilton, Baronet, Justice of peace in com. Bucks. 
" Henry Larimore, Anabaptist preacher, and other phanatics, against the 
" life of Robert Hawkins, M. A. now living, and late minister of Chilton, 
" occasioned by his suit for tithes. Discovered in a trial at Alisbury, 
" before the Right Honourable Sir Matthew Hale, then Lord Chief Baron 
tw of the Exchequer, and after Lord Chief Justice of England. Published 
" by his Lordship's command." 

In his preface to the reader, Mr. Hawkins gives the following account 
of " the occasion of this great difference." 

" I was entertained by Sir John Croke, of the parish of Chilton, in the 
county of Bucks, Baronet, to attend as Chaplain in his house ; and also 
to serve the cure of the said parish of Chilton ; for which he did, under his 
hand and seal, promise to pay me fifty pounds per annum, he being im- 
propriator of the said parish, and to pay it by quarterly payments. When 
1 had faithfully performed my duty in both these capacities above two 
years, and in all that time had received no money from him, but upon 

* Ath. Ox. vol. ii. col. 426. ed. 1. " Vol. ii. page 42. Edit. 1719- 

ch. iv. sec. ii. SIR JOHN CROKE. 489 

some occasions had lent him several sums out of my own pocket, at last I 
was somewhat urgent with him for money, and then he told me plainly, 
that I did not know him as yet, for, as he said, he had cheated all persons 
that he had ever dealt with ; and therefore I must not expect to speed 
better than they had done. I told him, that I hoped for better things 
from him. But he replied, that he never intended to pay me any money, 
and therefore I might take my course. 

" When I saw that, I went to London, and upon enquiry, found that Sir 
John Croke was outlawed after judgment, at the suit of Mr. Thomas and 
Mr. William Hellows, the one of London, and the other of Windsor, for 
a sum of money due from the said Sir John Croke to the said gentlemen ; 
and that his manor of Chilton, with several farms, and the Rectory of the 
said parish, were extended into the King's hands, and a lease was granted 
from the Crown, under the seal of the Court of Exchequer, to the same 
gentlemen, and their assigns. I applied myself therefore to them, in order 
to persuade them to pay me for serving the same cure, out of the profits aris- 
ing from the said Rectory : and they, by the advice of their counsel, granted 
me a lease of the said Rectory, with all the glebes, tithes, and other profits 
belonging to it, under both their hands and seals, to enable me to demand 
the same. Upon which I returned to Chilton, and acquainted Sir John 
Croke with what I had done; humbly entreating him to pay me what was 
due, and, upon that condition, I promised to deliver up the same lease. 
But Sir John, instead of complying, told me I was a treacherous villain, 
and had undermined him in his estate, and therefore was not fit to live; and 
that the lease should be of no use to me ; for that he would find out a way 
to prevent all my designs, and put a stop to all my proceedings, for he knew 
how to do my business to all intents and purposes ; and bid me get out of 
his sight, or else he would knock me down immediately : so I left him in 
a great rage and passion. Soon after this, he advised one Mr. Good, a 
Minister in the next parish, with the said Larimore, and others, to make a 
forcible entry upon my church in Chilton, which according they did, by 
breaking it open ; and I indicted them for a riot upon that account at the 
next sessions at Buckingham. And then I desired several of the farmers 
to give me a meeting, in order to prevent a suit in law, if possible. When 
they came to me, I told them, that Sir John Croke owed me a great sum 
3 R 

490 SIR JOHN CROKE. book iv. 

of money, for serving the cure at Chilton, which they knew to be true ; 
and that he refused to pay me ; and therefore, unless they would find out 
some way for me to be paid, I must put my lease in suit, and force them 
to pay their tythes to me, or compound with me for them. They replyed, 
that it would be unjust in me to make them pay their tythes over again, 
which they had bought of Sir John Croke, and had taken their farms 
tythe free. I replied, if they would let me see their leases, I would not 
insert any of those persons' names in my bill, whose leases bore date before 
the outlawry and extent ; but all those whose leases were made since that 
time, were liable to pay their tythes to me, or else compound with me for 
them. But they reply'd, they would consult with Sir John Croke about 
the matter, and let me know his answer in a short time. 

" So when they had discoursed with Sir John, they told me that he said, 
they needed not to fear what I could do to them by vertue of the lease, or 
upon any other account, for, as soon as I should begin the suit, and de- 
mand the tythes, he was fully resolved to do my business so effectually, as 
should stop all my proceedings. 

" So when I saw I could not prevail to get my money either from Sir 
John Croke or the tenants, I was forced to exhibit my bill in the Exche- 
quer, for tithes against Larimore, Mayne the Constable, Thomas Beamsly, 
Nicholas Sanders, and others; which I did in Michaelmass term, 1667, 
as may appear by the records of the Exchequer ; and when the said Lari- 
more, Mayne, and the rest above named, were served with subpcenas to 
answer my said bill, Sir John Croke soon after, viz. Wednesday, Septem- 
ber the 16th, 1668, entered upon this conspiracy, with Larimore, to take 
away my life, as will fully appear by Mr. Brown's evidence in the trial, 
which shews how they prosecuted their malice, how justice was done, and 
my reputation as well as life secured by my acquittal : I shall only 
mention farther, the incouragement 1 had from my Lord Chief Baron, 
to prosecute several of the conspirators. He himself was pleased to direct 
the process for special bail, to order the Under Sheriff to demand £500. 
security of each ; and, upon amotion at the Exchequer by Sir Richard 
Croke, and other eminent council, that less might be accepted, positively 
insisted upon the said order. But all ended in their hearty submission to 
me, and a reasonable composition with them ; Larimore paid me «£30. 

ch. rv. sec. ii. SIR JOHN CROKE. 491 

Thomas Croxton ^44. Thomas Beamsly <£20. Mayne £\5. Nicholas 
Sanders =£12. In all ,£121. The others were secured by their poverty 
and Sir John Croke lost his commission." 

Though Sir John Croke was sufficiently culpable, this account is evidently 
much exaggerated, and in some parts a misrepresentation. The barefaced 
avowal, and even boast, of dishonest principles, here attributed to him, would 
shew a degree of profligacy scarcely credible in any man. This preface was 
written under a strong sense of injuries, with something of triumph, for 
having succeeded in escaping them, and it was published at a time when 
the author might hope to gain favour by blackening the puritans. Hawkins 
himself appears not to have been of the most unblemished reputation, for it 
is said by Anthony Wood, that " he was afterwards Vicar, but a poor one 5 
" if not scandalous, of Beckley'." 

This trial took place at Aylesbury, on the 11th of March, 1668, before 
Sir Matthew Hale, and Hugh Windham, Serjeant at Law. Hawkins was 
indicted for stealing two gold rings, one white Holland apron, two piece s 
of gold of the value of ten shillings each, and nineteen shillings in silver, 
belonging to Henry Larimore, upon the 18th of September. Sir 
John Croke was present in court, but quitted it abruptly before the 
conclusion. The best short account of this trial will be the summing up 
of Sir Matthew Hale to the Jury. 

At the end of the examinations, the Lord Chief Baron (Hale) asked if 
Sir John Croke was gone, and informed the Court " that he had sent him 
" that morning two sugar loaves for a present. I did not then know so 
" well as now, what he meant by them, but to save his credit, I sent his 
" sugar loaves back again. I cannot think that Sir John Croke believes 
" that the King's Justices came into the country to take bribes, I rather 
" think, that some other person (having a design to put a trick upon him) 
" sent them in his name." And so taking the letter out of his bosom, he 
asked the gentlemen if it was his hand, which appearing, the Lord Chief 
Baron said, " he intended to carry it to London, and would relate the 
" foulness of the business upon occasion." 

His directions to the Jury were to this effect. 

1 Ath. Ox. vol. ii. col. 426. Ed. i. 
3 R 2 

492 SIR JOHN CROKE. book iv. 

" You that are of the Jury, the prisoner at the bar stands indicted for 
robbing this Lariraore, and you have heard at large, both the prosecutor's 
evidence to prove him guilty, (which if you do believe,) I never heard a 
fuller. And, secondly, you have also heard the prisoner's defence, wherein 
(as I think) he hath as fully answered the same charge. I shall first repeat 
the evidence against him, which consists of two branches ; the first is the 
prosecutor's proof of this indictment ; and, secondly, his charging 
him with other crimes of the like nature, as the stealing of Chilton's 
boots, and the picking of Noble's pocket. 

1. For to prove him guilty of robbing him, he observes this method : 

First, He himself swears that he saw the prisoner at the bar commit the 
robbe y. 

Secondly, His son and sister swear that they saw him run out of the 
house at the same time. 

Thirdly, He brings in four or five persons, that swear the gold ring, and 
the five shilling piece, were found in the house of him that is now the pri- 
soner at the bar. 

Fourthly and lastly, He proves by two witnesses, that the gold ring and 
five shilling piece were pawned to him. 

And for the first of these, Larimore swears, that upon Friday, the 18th 
of September last past, he locked his doors, between twelve and one of the 
clock at noon, and went out (leaving nobody at home,) to pluck hemp, 
about two furlongs from his house, where he stayed with the rest of his fa- 
mily, till within an hour and an half of sunset ; at which time, he coming 
home, found his door open, and ran up into his chamber, and there through 
the chinks of the loft boards, he swears that he saw the prisoner, now at the 
bar, ransacking and rifling of a box, in the which was at that time a Hol- 
land apron, and a purse, in which purse were two gold rings, two pieces 
of gold, and nineteen shillings in silver, all which said rings, gold, and 
silver, with the said apron, he swears that he did see the prisoner now at 
the bar turn out of the said purse, take and feloniously carry away, except 
one piece or two of the silver, and shew the very purse out of which he 
saw him take them. If you compare the evidence with the indictment, 
you may see the policy of the prosecutor. For he would gladly seem a 
moderate prosecutor, by indicting him for felony only, as the stealing of 

ch. rv. sec. ii. SIR JOHN CROKE. 493 

rings, money, &c. But by his evidence, he would as gladly charge him 
with burglary also, for he swears, he broke open, or picked the locks of his 
doors, and box, which by law is the same. 

And secondly, To corroborate this his evidence, he brings in two wit- 
nesses more, viz. his son and sister Beamsley, and they swear that they 
did, at the same time, see the prisoner, that is now at the bar, run out of 
Larimore's house, with a great bunch of keys in his hand, and he hid him- 
self amongst beans and weeds : and note the keys, to intimate that by the 
help of those, he picked Larimore's locks. 

Thirdly, He brings in his son, Dodsworth Croke, the Constable, and 
Tythingman, which all swear, that they found this gold ring, and five shil- 
ling piece of silver, in a basket, hanging upon a pin, in the house of the 
prisoner at the bar, with a few eggs, which the prisoner at the bar the day 
before had stolen from him. 

And, fourthly and lastly, He brings in one of Sir John Croke's sons 
and Mr. Good, who swear that the one pawned the ring, the other the five 
shilling piece, to Larimore. 

Thus Larimore swears, he saw the prisoner rob him, his son and sister 
swear they saw him run out of the house, the same time, four more swear, 
that they found the ring and five shilling piece in his house upon search ; 
and, lastly, two swear that the ring and five shilling piece were pawned to 
him. If all this be true, he must needs be guilty, and if so, altho' I have 
a great respect for his calling, yet that shall no way excuse him, but rather 
aggravate his crime. 

And thus much touching the indictment. 

And secondly, He seems to charge him with other acts of the like 
nature ; as, 

1. He brings in one Chilton to swear that the prisoner at the bar did 
steal a pair of boots from him, and four or five persons swear, that they 
did hear Chilton say he did. 

2. He brings one Boyce, from London, a person, I think, of no great 
credit, he swears, that he saw the prisoner at the bar, about two years ago, 
have his hand in the pocket of one James Noble, and that Noble said, that 
he lost a gold ring, and a piece of gold at the same time. This (if true) 
would render the prisoner now at the bar obnoxious to any Jury. Thus 
far the evidence against the prisoner at the bar. 

494 SIR JOHN CROKE. book iv. 

Now we come to the prisoner's defence, which, because it is so full, I 
shall be the briefer in it. 

The parts of his defence were two, as himself observed. 

1. He shews how too improbable it is. 

And 2. How impossible it is that he should be guilty of this charge. 

First, That it is not likely that Larimore was robbed at all, because he 
did not declare it to any of his neighbours, as soon as he saw the robbery 
committed. Again, he varies as to the time when it was done, for that he 
told his brother Beamsley, that he had lost the ring and five shilling piece, 
before there was any difference between him ami the prisoner at the bar, 
as appears by Mrs. Willcox, and that difference began in Michaelmas term, 
1667: and before Sir John Croke he confessed that he had lost this a 
month before the prisoner was committed, which must be about the 19th 
of August, 1668. And in court, he swears, that he saw the prisoner rob 
him of the same gold ring, and five shilling piece of silver, upon Friday the 
18th of September, 1668, an hour and an half before sunset; all this 
cannot be true ; and for the warrant, that bears date a day before the rob- 
bery was committed, whereupon the Judge said to Larimore, Come, 
thou art a cunning fellow, for thou wentst to Sir Richard Pigott for a 
warrant on the 17th day, and wast not robbed untill the 18th day : Lari- 
more, thou knewest, it seems, upon the 17th day, that thou shouldest be 
robbed on the 1 8th day, that the prisoner at the bar should rob thee ; surely 
thou canst divine, if all this be true. Again, is it likely, that when the 
prisoner was charged with flat felony at his own doors, the constable like- 
wise threatening to break open his house to search, if he had been guilty, 
his wife and himself, having the opportunity of going abroad after they 
had so charged him, while they were gone to consult with Sir John Croke, 
as the prisoner at the bar sufficiently proved they did, that in all that time 
he would not have made his escape, or at least found a more convenient 
place to convey a ring and five shilling piece, than to let it remain all that 
time in a little basket, with a few eggs, hanging on a pin ? Again, who 
came first into the room, where this egg-basket hung ? Why, Larimore ; 
and who took down the basket ? Larimore ; who turned out the eggs ? 
Larimore ; and who had the dressing of the eggs ? Larimore. He is a 
special cook, you Gentlemen of the Jury; it is an easy thing for Larimore 
to juggle a ring and five shilling piece into a basket, he being the first that 

ch. iv. sec. ii. SIR JOHN CROKE. 4.95 

came into the room ; as he put up his hand to take down the basket, he 
might with ease enough convey such things as these were into it. All 
this, and many more, are probable circumstances, to move you and me to 
believe, that it is not possible, that the prisoner at the bar is guilty of this 
robbery ; but that I must leave to you to consider of. 

Again, the prisoner at the bar proves the whole business to be but a 
meer contrivance of Sir John Croke's and this Larimore, on purpose to 
ruin him, as is fully made manifest by the testimony of Mr. Brown, who 
justifies, that upon Wednesday the 16th of September last past, and but 
two days before this pretended robbery, he heard Sir John Croke advise 
this Larimore to fetch a warrant to search the house of the prisoner at the 
bar, and then to convey gold and silver into it ; which having done, charge 
him with flat felony, and bring him before the said Sir John Croke, and 
no other Justice, he then promising to the said Larimore to commit him 
to the jail without bail, and hang him at the next assizes, which is now ; 
and, as I take it, they do aim at it. You of this jury, if you do believe 
what Mr. Brown saith, it is as foul a conspiracy as ever was heard of; and 
I am apt to think it may be probable, because that Sir John Croke and 
Larimore did threaten to cast this Mr. Brown into prison, and sd ruin him, 
if he came down, and testified his knowledge about this business, which 
thing is of a very ill consequence. Again, it seems likely that Mr. Brown 
may be credited, if you compare their actions with the times ; for upon 
Tuesday Sir John arrested the prisoner upon a feigned action of an ^6100. 
Upon Wednesday the plot was concluded upon by Sir John Croke and 
Larimore, as may appear by Mr. Brown's testimony. On Thursday they 
procured of Sir Richard Pigott the warrant to search. On Friday, 
Larimore pretends that he was robbed, (tho' in truth there appears no such 
thing.) Upon Saturday the prisoner's house was broken open and he ap- 
prehended ; and upon Sunday he was carried to jail ; it was a good week's 
work. But there is an honest man, said my Lord Chief Baron, (pointing 
at Mr. Willcox,) he knocks down all ; for he justifies that he came to 
Larimore's house upon Friday the 18th of September last past, (it being 
the same day that he swears he saw the prisoner at the bar robbing him, 
and an hour and a half before sun-set,) and there continued till it was near 
night, and he further saith, that Larimore was with him all that afternoon. 
And he said, that Larimore was not robbed that afternoon, nor was Mr. 

496 SIR JOHN CROKE. book iv. 

Hawkins there at that time. If this that Mr. Willcox saith be true, then 
all that Larimore, his son, and sister hath sworn, must needs be false. 

And as touching the boots, Chilton swears that he had legged a pair of 
boots for the prisoner, and laid them in his shop window, for him to take 
along with him as he went by, which he did, and paid him for his work ; 
and yet this Larimore, Sir John Croke, Croxtone, and others, did use their 
utmost endeavours, to stir up this Chilton to indict the prisoner for stealing 
of them, (Croxtone promising him to bear him out in it.) This can argue 
nothing else but malice in those persons. And for that which Boyce 
swears, is a story which can argue nothing else ; for neither is Noble here 
to prosecute, nor can Boyce swear that the prisoner at the bar did pick his 
pocket, or that Noble ever said he did. 

Thus I have repeated the evidence to prove him guilty, and have not, I 
think, omitted any thing in it that is material. Which if you do believe, 
he must needs be guilty. And also the prisoner's defence, which I think 
is sufficient. It is a plain case, and I suppose you need not go from the 
box, but that I leave to you. 1 ' 

And so the Jury, not stirring from the box, found Mr. Hawkins, Not 

On account of his debts, Sir John Croke, at this time, and afterwards, 
was a prisoner in the King's Bench, but continued in his house at Chilton 
under the superintendance of a keeper k . He sold the family estate at 
Chilton to — Harvey, Esquire, a citizen of London, of whose son Edward 
it was purchased by Richard Carter, Esquire, a barrister, and one of the 
Welch Judges : whose son George Richard Carter, Esquire, having an 
only daughter, Martha Catherine Carter, by her marriage with Sir John 
Aubrey, Baronet, about the year 1784, it became his property'. This sale 
does not appear to have relieved Sir John Croke from his embarrassments, 
for he was removed from Chilton to London in a state of confinement, and 
died there, the exact time is not known m . 

His son was Sir Dodsworth Croke, who was knighted by King 
Charles the Second", and to whom the title of Baronet descended". 
Having no children, he was the last of the male line of the eldest branch 

k Delafield's History of Chilton. ' Monument in Boarstall Church. "' Delafield. 

Ward, MS. Addit. p. 305. • Delafield. 

ch. iv. sec. ii. SIR JOHN CROKE. 


of the family. The estate at Chilton having been sold, he lived to a oreat 
age in poverty and distress, at that place, and died without issue in 1728, 
as appears by this inscription upon a square stone in the chapel. " Here 
" lieth the body of Sir Dodsworth Crooke, Knight and Baronet, who 
" died January the 16th, 1728, aged 84 years." 

3 s 





WHILST the eldest branch of the descendants of Sir John Croke, the 
Judge, thus withered in poverty, and discredit, his second son, Henry, by 
his prudence, and good conduct, raised a fair establishment of fame and 

He was born, as is stated on his monument, in the memorable yeur 
1588, when the country obtained safety and glory by the destruction of 
the invincible armada. The honour of knighthood was conferred upon him 
by his Sovereign, and he is said to have been a man of letters, and of polite 
manners. About the year 1616, he obtained the office of Clerk of the 
Pipe in the Exchequer 1 ; which is a lucrative place, not over burdened 
with any great expenditure of time, or labour\ His education, profession, 
and the previous steps which lead to this appointment, have not been 
related. In 1628, the third of Charles the First, he was Member of Par- 
liament for Christchurch, in Hampshire . 

By a discreet marriage he acquired a very considerable estate in Buck- 
inghamshire. His lady was Bridget, the daughter and co-heiress of Sir 
William Hawtrey, Knight, of Chequers, in the parish of Ellesborough. 

This was an ancient family, which had been long settled there. From 
the name, Hawtrey, a corruption of Haute rive, in Latin de Aha Ripa, 
it may be presumed to have claimed a Norman origin, or from the town of 
Hauterive in Languedoc, on the river Auriege, thirteen miles south of 
Thoulouse. The earliest of the family who remains upon record is Sir 

* Styled in Latin, Ingrossator rotulae magna; in Curia Scaccarii. 

'' In the Court Calendar it i« valued now at £651 a year, and is at present held by Lord 
William Bentinck. 
' Willis. Notit. Pari 

ch. iv. sec. in. THE CHEQUERS BRANCH. 499 

William de Alta Ripa, of Algerkirk in the county of Lincoln ; and who 
appears to have acquired this estate by his union with Catherine, the 
daughter and co-heiress of Sir Chequers of Chequers. From him, by a 
descent of ten steps, we arrive at Sir William Hawtrey, Knight, the father 
of Bridget*. 

There are two flat monuments of this family in Ellesborough church. 
One has the effigies of a gentleman and lady, engraved on a brass plate, 
with two groups of figures, the one of eleven men, and the other of 
seven women, representing their sons and daughters. The brass fillets, 
with the inscription, have been torn off, but there is the coat of arms of 
Hawtrey. The other has an inscription on a brass plate in the old black 

#f pour ruartttf prat) for fht sottlrs of Cfcomas ©atotreg (Ssqugf r, 
anti £>pjbell his irjyffe tohprh GThomas fcrresspb the xvth tiap of flo- 
brmbec in the pm of our Hortrc 6o*& a mccccc . xl. mi . ariO tl;f 
siapU £$itU tomsSptJ the .... trap of ... . in the wre of our iCorbr 

<8oti a mccccc on tohose sfoute anfo all Christen soules Slesu 

habe merrp. 

iiere Ipethe the bofcp of iHarpe somtpme the iupfe of S83iIIiam ^ato- 
trep of this parpshe (Sgqupa*, luho oeparte'o this Ipfe in trabeu" of her 
fprst rftgRr the xth Uap of Serember in the per? of our 3Lorl3 #00 
M . vc. l. v. hjbose soule £0)3 parson* 

The wife of Sir William Hawtree, the father of Bridget, was Winifred, 
the daughter of Ambrose Dormer, Esquire, of Great Milton in Oxford- 
shire, and sister of Sir Michael Dormer, who married Dorothy Hawtrey, 
sister of Sir William Hawtrey c . Sir William Hawtrey had no male 
issue ; but he had three other daughters, Mary, married to Sir Francis 
Wolley ; Anne, to John Sanders of Dinton ; and Elizabeth, to Walter 

d Vi-itation of Bucks, in 1574. Harl. MSS No. 1139. Pedigree of Hawtrey in Brown 
Willis, supra. In the twenty-sixth of Elizabeth, the Queen granted to Michael Hawtrey, 
Philippa li is wife, and Willi. im Hawtrey, their son, the Rectory and Advowson of the Vi- 
carage of Wendover, for their lives, rendering 49^ l6s. 8d. a year. The fine paid was 
501. Rot. Pat. in Brown Willis, MSS. vol. xl. fol. 106. 

e Monument of the Dormers in Great Milton Church. Brown Willis's MSS. vol. xix. in 
Bibl. Bodl. 

3 s 2 

500 THE CHEQUERS BRANCH. book iv. 

Pye, son and heir of Sir Walter Pye. The estate at Chequers went with 
Bridget, the second daughter, to Sir Henry Croke f . 

Sir Henry Croke died of the stone, the first of January, in 1659, in the 
seventy-second year of his age, and was buried at Ellesborough. In the 
inscription upon his monument, which is a flat marble on the pavement, 
there is a singular thought, conceived in the quaint beauties of the lan- 
guage of those times, that " he did not love the poor, and therefore that 
" none might continue in poverty, was the constant object of his exertions, 
" and of the employment of his wealth." 

p. m. s. 



A coat of arms, Croke quartered, with a crescent for difference. 

His lady, who died before him, is buried under a superb marble monu- 
ment in the same church. She is represented in a recumbent posture, 
under an arch, supported by four Corinthian columns, and her manly vir- 
tues are celebrated in the following, rather extraordinary, epitaph. She 
died in 1638, and was buried on the fifth of July s. 


' See the Genealogy of Hawtrey, Croke, Thurban, Puissel, and Greenhill, No. 25. 
s Ellesborough Register of burials. 


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500 THE CHEQUERS BRANCH. book iv. 

Pye, son and heir of Sir Walter Pye. The estate at Chequers went with 
Bridget, the second daughter, to Sir Henry Croke f . 

Sir Henry Croke died of the stone, the first of January, in 1659, in the 
seventy-second year of his age, and was buried at Ellesborough. In the 
inscription upon his monument, which is a flat marble on the pavement, 
there is a singular thought, conceived in the quaint beauties of the lan- 
guage of those times, that " he did not love the poor, and therefore that 
" none might continue in poverty, was the constant object of his exertions, 
" and of the employment of his wealth." 

p. m. s. 

NAT I . 


A coat of arms, Croke quartered, with a crescent for difference. 

His lady, who died before him, is buried under a superb marble monu- 
ment in the same church. She is represented in a recumbent posture, 
under an arch, supported by four Corinthian columns, and her manly vir- 
tues are celebrated in the following, rather extraordinary, epitaph. She 
died in 1638, and was buried on the fifth of July?. 


' See the Genealogy of Hawtrey, Croke, Thurban, Russel, and Greenhill, No. 25. 
- Ellesborouffh Register of burials. 

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The arms are, Croke, single, with a crescent, impaled with, argent, 
lour lions rampant, between two cotises sable. For Hawtrey. Two 
crests, two swans' necks, Croke; and for Hawtrey, a bear's head, or, fretty, 
sable. There are likewise two single coats, one of Croke, and the other 
of Hawtrey, as in the impaled coat of arms. 

His son and successor, not only in his estates, but likewise in the office 
of Clerk of the Pipe, was Sir Robert Croke, Knight, who twice re" 
presented the borough of Wendover in Parliament, in the fifteenth and six- 
teenth years of Charles the First', and was knighted by that King at 
Whitehall, the nindi of August, 1641 k . 

Like his father, he improved his patrimony by a prudent marriage. The 
object of his choice was Miss, or as young ladies were then called, Mrs. 
Susanna Vanloor, one of the three daughters and heiresses of Sir Peter 
Vanloor, Baronet, only son of Sir Peter Vanloor of Tylehurst in Berkshire. 
This last gentleman was born in Holland, in the province of Utrecht, was 
a wealthy merchant in London, and was naturalized by the authority of 
parliament. His mercantile and pecuniary services were often employed, 
and acknowledged, by his Sovereigns Queen Elizabeth, King James, and 
Charles the First, and he was rewarded by the title of a Baronet. He died 
September the sixth, in 1627, being above sixty years old, and was buried 

1 15 and 16 Charles I. Willis's Not. Pari. * Woods Ath. Oxon. vol. ii. col. 728. 

.502 THE CHEQUERS BRANCH. book iv. 

at Tylehurst under a sumptuous monument 1 . By his wife Jacomina, the 
daughter of Henry Teighbott, he had only one son, of his own name, and 
six daughters, of whom Anna married Charles Caesar, son and heir of Sir 
Julius Caesar, Privy Counsellor, and Master of the Rolls, and Mary, Sir 
Edward Powell, Baronet. Sir Peter Vanloor, the son, married Susanna, 
the daughter of Lawrence Beeke, of Antwerp, and had three daughters. 
Jacomina, Susanna, and Maria. Susanna married Sir Robert Croke m . 

In 1661, Sir Robert Croke presented a petition to King Charles the 
Second, for restoring the ancient and established comptroll and legal 
course of the King's Exchequer. He states, that his Majesty's father, in 
the eighth year of his reign, by his letters patent, granted him the office of 
Clerk of the Pipe, or Ingrosser of the Great Roll of the Exchequer : that 
the ancient course of the Court had been observed from King Stephen, 
until of late, that the auditors obstructed the same by illegal and unsafe 
proceedings ; and in particular that many rents had been omitted in the 
accounts, and many sums lost to the Crown. His Majesty, by an order 
of the seventh of June, 166 1, referred the petition to the Chancellor, and 
others, who met at Serjeant's Inn, on the eighth of July, and made an 
order for the production and return of various documents, by the second 
of November, but what farther was done does not appear". 

He died February the eighth, 1680, aged 71 years, and his lady in 1685, 
aged 60. They were both buried at Ellesborough, but their tomb-stones 
are now nearly covered by the pew of the Russel family . They had six 
sons, and seven daughters p . 

The arms of Vanloor are, or, a garland, or orle of wood-bine, or honey- 
suckle, proper 1. 

Robert Croke, Esquire, their eldest son, was Clerk of the Pipe, in 
his father's life-time, who must therefore have resigned in his favour, after 
having enjoyed the office above twenty years. He died however without 
issue before his father, July the 30th, 1671, aged thirty-five years, and 

' Ashmole's Berkshire, p. 14G. '" Gmealogy of the Vanloor family in Dugdale's MSS. 
No. 852. fol. 324, It is signed by Pieter van Loor. No. 26. " Landowne MSS. vol. 
259. fol. 100. ° Inscription p There was a Robert Croke, who took the degree 

of Doctor of Physic, 1 May, lfj44, can it be the same person? Wood, Fasti, Oxon. vol. ii. 
col. 728. 9 Blome's Catalogue of Baronets, at the end of Guillim. 

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was buried at Ellesborough, but his tomb-stone is likewise eclipsed by the 
Russel pew. 

A second son, Henry Croke, died in 1662, only twenty-one years 
of age. His tomb-stone has a long laudatory inscription, nearly ob- 
literated by the envious hand of time, and the footsteps of the profane. 
As far as it can be made out it is as follows. 




Four lines obliterated. 

A daughter Catherine was baptized the 23d of February, 16.50, and 
died in 1657 s . 

All the six sons and seven daughters of Sir Robert Croke, and Su- 
sanna Vanloor, died before their father, except three daughters. For Sir 

' Artuum. ' Ellesborough Register. 

504 THE CHEQUERS BRANCH. book iv. 

Robert, by his will, dated the 5th of May, 1679? gave all his manors and 
lands, in the parish of Ellesborough, to his wife Dame Susan Croke, for her 
life, and after her death to Susan, Mary, and Isabella, his three daughters, 
their heirs and assigns, for ever, in such shares as his wife should ap- 
point*. Isabella the youngest daughter married John, or Samuel, Dod, a 
barrister. Mary, the second, was the third wife of John Thurban, Serjeant 
at Law; by whom he had no children". 

The whole of the estate at Chequers, I know not by what means, be- 
came the property of Serjeant Thurban ; who left it to Johanna, his only 
daughter, by his second wife Mary, sister to Lord Cutts. She married, 
for her first husband, Colonel John Rivett, by whom she had three sons, 
John, James, and William, and a daughter, Johanna Cutts Rivett. Her 
second husband was John Russel, Esquire, by whom she had no children. 
The three sons dying without issue, the estate came to their sister Jo- 
hanna Cutts Rivett. This heiress married Charles Russel, Esquire, son 
of John Russel, who married Johanna Thurban, by his first wife Rebecca, 
sister of Sir Charles Eyre. They had an only son, Sir John Russel, Ba- 
ronet, whose two sons by his wife Catherine Cary, Sir John Russel, and 
Sir George Russel, both dying without issue, the reverend Doctor John 
Russel Greenhill, as next heir, inherited Chequers. He was the son of 
Samuel Greenhill, Esquire, by Elizabeth Russel, sister of Charles Russel 
before mentioned. The son of Doctor Greenhill, Robert Greenhill Rus- 
sel, Esquire, Barrister at Law of Lincoln's Inn, and Member of Parliament 
for Thirsk in Yorkshire, is the present representative of the family, which 
is descended from Oliver Cromwell ; the Protector's youngest daughter 
Frances, the relict of Robert Rich, having married their ancestor, Sir John 
Russel, Baronet". 

The house at Chequers, in the parish of Ellesborough, is a fine old 
brick mansion, built by Sir Henry Croke, with a square court in the 

' Sloan's MSS. Mus. Brit. No. l69t. fol. 91. u Brown Willis, MSS. vol. iii. p. 36. 

x Genealogy, No. 27- from the Visitation of Bucks, in 1574, by Richard Lee, Harl. MSS. 
No. 1139. Brown Willis's MSS. Noble's Memoirs of Cromwell, Gough's View of the fa- 
mily of Cromwell. Nichols's Biblioth. Topog. vol. vi. art. 3. There was a Robert Thur- 
born, Student in Medicine, but in Orders, Warden of Winchester in the time of William 
of Waynflete, in 1429. Chandler's Life of Waynflete, p. 15. 
























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504 THE CHEQUERS BRANCH. book iv. 

Robert, by his will, dated the 5th of May, 16?9> gave all his manors and 
lands, in the parish of Ellesborough, to his wife Dame Susan Croke, for her 
life, and after her death to Susan, Mary, and Isabella, his three daughters, 
their heirs and assigns, for ever, in such shares as his wife should ap- 
point 1 . Isabella the youngest daughter married John, or Samuel, Dod, a 
barrister. Mary, the second, was the third wife of John Thurban, Serjeant 
at Law ; by whom he had no children". 

The whole of the estate at Chequers, I know not by what means, be- 
came the property of Serjeant Thurban ; who left it to Johanna, his only 
daughter, by his second wife Mary, sister to Lord Cutts. She married, 
for her first husband, Colonel John Rivett, by whom she had three sons, 
John, James, and William, and a daughter, Johanna Cutts Rivett. Her 
second husband was John Russel, Esquire, by whom she had no children. 
The three sons dying without issue, the estate came to their sister Jo- 
hanna Cutts Rivett. This heiress married Charles Russel, Esquire, son 
of John Russel, who married Johanna Thurban, by his first wife Rebecca, 
sister of Sir Charles Eyre. They had an only son, Sir John Russel, Ba- 
ronet, whose two sons by his wife Catherine Cary, Sir John Russel, and 
Sir George Russel, both dying without issue, the reverend Doctor John 
Russel Greenhill, as next heir, inherited Chequers. He was the son of 
Samuel Greenhill, Esquire, by Elizabeth Russel, sister of Charles Russel 
before mentioned. The son of Doctor Greenhill, Robert Greenhill Rus- 
sel, Esquire, Barrister at Law of Lincoln's Inn, and Member of Parliament 
for Thirsk in Yorkshire, is the present representative of the family, which 
is descended from Oliver Cromwell ; the Protector's youngest daughter 
Frances, the relict of Robert Rich, having married their ancestor, Sir John 
Russel, Baronet". 

The house at Chequers, in the parish of Ellesborough, is a fine old 
brick mansion, built by Sir Henry Croke, with a square court in the 

1 Sloan's MSS. Mus. Brit. No. 1691. fol. 91. » Brown Willis, MSS. vol. iii. p. 36. 

v Genealogy, No. 27- from the Visitation of Bucks, in 1574, by Richard Lee, Harl. MSS. 
No. 1139. Brown Willis's MSS. Noble's Memoirs of Cromwell, Gough's View of the fa- 
mily of Cromwell. Nichols's Biblioth. Topog. vol. vi. art. 3. There was a Robert Thur- 
born, Student in Medicine, but in Orders, Warden of Winchester in the time of William 
of Waynflete, in 1429. Chandler's Life of Waynflete, p. 15. 



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ch. iv. sec. in. THE CHEQUERS BRANCH. 505 

middle. It has lately been fitted up in the Gothic style, with great taste, 
and the rooms are large, and very beautiful. In the library is a valuable 
collection of original portraits of the Cromwell family, and some of the 
principal characters of that period. Amongst them are the pictures of Sir 
William and Lady Hawtree, Serjeant Thurban, and two full-lengths of 
Sir Robert, and Lady Croke y . 

y That of Sir Robert Croke is a fine portrait, and might have been painted by Cornelius 
Jansen, or Vandyck. The other of Lady Croke is in a stiffer, more Gothic style, and being 
apparently older than the other, 1 am inclined to think is the portrait of Sir Robert's 
Mother, Bridget Hawtrey. 

3 T 




CHARLES CROKE, the third son of Sir John Croke, the Judge, was 
a clergyman, and his success in his profession seems to have been the 
just reward of his merits. He was educated at Thame school, and was 
admitted a student of Christ Church in Oxford, on the 5th of January, 
1603, as a Knight's son of Oxfordshire. He took the degree of Bachelor 
of Arts, April the 16th, 1608, that of Master in Hill, and became the 
principal Tutor and Lecturer in his college*. 

Upon the resignation of Mr. Richard Ball, the second Professor of 
Rhetoric in Gresham College, he was a competitor for that office with 
Mr. William Osbaldson. On the 14th of January, 16 13, he was elected; 
upon which occasion, the interest of his father, who had been Recorder of 
London, and was then one of the Judges of the King's Bench, was sup- 
posed to have given additional weight to the recommendation of his own 
acknowledged learning and abilities. The following letter, written by Dr. 
King, formerly Dean of Christ Church, and then Bishop of London, is no 
mean testimonial in his favour. 

" To the Right Worshipfull, my verie loving friends, Sir Thomas Ben- 
" net, and Sir Bapt. Hicks, Knights, with other the Committees for the 
" Rhetorique Lecture, in Gresham Colledge, these. 
" Right Worshipfull, 

" Understandinge that Mr. Charles Croke had a suite unto your 
" worthie company, in discharge of my love, which I beare to his name, 
" as also to his own good deservinge, I was bould to accompanie his 
" desires with some testimonie of my knowledge of him. Wee lived to- 

a Ward's Lives of the Gresham Professors, page 306, with the manuscript additions. 

ch. iv. sec. iv. CHARLES CROKE, D.D. 0O7 

" gether in Christ Church, I his deane, he a member of that house, where 
" I observed and cherished his proceedinge from time to time ; wherein he 
" prospered so well both for disputations and for other exercises of learn- 
" inge, that most of the place of lecturinge and government over others he 
" hath atteyned unto in that house. Which I speak not by report or 
" rumour, but am able truly to relate upon my perfect knowledge. His 
" religion is sounde and uncorrupt, according to the race from whence he 
" springeth. And for his honestie and virtuousness of lief, I could not 
" add more to men, that understand my speech, than that he is his father's 
" living image. Learning, religion, and virtue, I know, are what you 
" ayme at ; which, when you shall find conjoyned in a person of birth and 
" blood, as well as of other qualities, you need not seek further to make 
" your election. And therefore, recommending you all to the integritie of 
" your good consciences, and the direction of the Spirit of God, I heartily 
" rest, 

" Your worship's very assured friend, 

London House, " JO. LONDON." 

Jan. 14, 1613. 

After his election, he was ordered to perform his first inaugural oration 
upon the first Friday in Hilary term following, which was upon the 2Sth 
of the same month b . 

This institution of Gresham College was established by the celebrated 
Sir Thomas Gresham, a noble merchant, in the reigns of Edward the 
Sixth, and Queen Elizabeth, who, like the Medici, was a great encourager 
of learning ; and his benefaction took effect after the death of his lady in 
1596. It was designed to be a third University of the kingdom, and, by 
its situation in London, to afford the means of obtaining knowledge to 
those, whose situation precluded them from a regular education in the 
more distant seminaries, particularly persons of the mercantile profession. 
Seven professorships, for divinity, law, physic, geometry, astronomy, rhe- 
toric, and music, were appointed. The mansion-house of Sir Thomas was 
assigned for the residence of the Professors, who read their lectures 

3 T 2 

.508 CHARLES CROKE, D. D. book iv. 

twice in every week during the law terms, and received a salary of fifty 
pounds a year. This college was the cradle of the Royal Society. Many 
of the learned men, whose voluntary meetings were the origin of that 
useful establishment, were Professors here. The first members usually 
assembled in it, and had their public room, and their repository for curi 
osities there, for above fifty years, till they finally removed to Crane Court, 
in 1710°. 

In 1616, Mr. Croke was Junior Proctor of the University of Oxford, 
with the learned Dr. Saunderson, afterwards Bishop of Lincoln* 1 . Upon 
the 24th of June, in the same year, he was instituted to the rectory of 
Waterstock, upon the presentation of his uncle Sir George Croke: but he 
resigned it in the October following 1- . On the 5th of September, 1617, he 
was elected Fellow of Eton College, in the room of Mr. William Charke f . 
In 1619, he resigned his Gresham professorship, in favour of his cousin 
Henry Croke, who succeeded him on the 2.5th of May in that year^. 

Doctor Charles Croke had two wives. The first was Anne, the 
daughter of Sir William Grene ; to whom there is a marble monument in 
Becklev church, against the wall of the chancel, at the south end of the 
communion table. On a plate of brass, having a lady kneeling against a 
table with a book engraved upon it, is this inscription. 


And on a brass plate, on a flat stone below, 


'Ward. Sprat's History of the. Royal Society. d Wood's Fast. Oxon 'Ward. 

' Ibid. « Ibid. 

ch. iv. sec. iv. CHARLES CROKE, D.D. 509 






On the monument against the wall is a coat of arms : Croke, impaled 
with, Azure, three stags trippant, or. 

For his second wife, he married Anne, daughter of John Rivett, of 
Brandston, in the county of Suffolk, Esquire. By her he had an only 
son, who died young, and named John Croke k . 

In the year 1621, he was presented, by the Earl of Bedford, to the rich 
living of Agmondesham in Buckinghamshire. This obliged him to quit 
his fellowship at Eton College, which, by the rules of that society, was not 
tenable with any living, rated at more than forty marks; and Agmondesham 
is stated at ,£48. 16s. 0£</. h On the 20th of June, 1625, he accumulated 
the degrees of Bachelor and Doctor in Divinity, and went out Grand 
Compounder. He was afterwards appointed a chaplain to King Charles 
the First'. 

Since his rectory was so valuable, it cannot be supposed that it was from 
mere lucrative motives that he undertook the education of some young 
gentlemen of rank and fortune, who seem to have been principally the sons 
of his particular friends. In this number were included, Sir William 
Drake of Amersham, Sir Robert Croke 1 , and, that "miracle of his age tor 
" critical and curious learning," as he is called by Anthony Wood, John 
Gregory, who was selected by Dr. Croke to wait upon those two gentle- 
men, as their Servitor, when they went to Christ Church, in I624 m . 

" Ward, 307. ' Wood, Fasti Oxon. vol. i. col. 851. 

k Visitation of Bucks, 1575, and another in 1634. " Charles Croke, D. D. now Rector 
" of Ayniersham, and Chaplain to the King's Majesty, married Anne, daughter of John 
" Rivett, Brandston, com. Suffolk, Esquire." Harl. MSS. No. 1533 fol. 65. b. No. 1482. 
fol. 19. A pedigree in Harl. MSS. No. 1102. fol. ~. Brown Willis's MSS. vol. iii. fol. 36, 
Bibl. Bodl. Ward says he always lived single. 

1 Fast. Oxon vol. ii. col. 728. 

'" John Gregory was born at in l607, the son of poor but respectable 
parents, and was probably educated gratis by Dr. Croke, who thus provided for his farther 

510 CHARLES CROKE, D. D. book iv. 

Another pupil was Henry Curwen, Esquire, only son of Sir Patrick Cur- 
wen, of Warkington, in Cumberland, Baronet, who died at the age of four- 
teen, on the 21st of August, 1638, whilst under his care, and was buried 
m Agmondesham church. Under the title of a " Sad Memorial," he 
published the sermon which he preached upon the melancholy occasion, 
upon the fourteenth chapter of Job, verse the second, in quarto, at Oxford, 
in 1638". 

He continued always very zealous in the interest of King Charles the 
First, during the rebellion ; for which reason he was obliged to leave his 
native country, and retire to Ireland, soon after the unhappy exit of that 
Prince. His chief residence there was at Feathard, in Tipperary, but he 
died at Carloe near Dublin, on the 10th of April, 1657°. I believe he left 
some posterity in that country. 

education by this appointment He made a great progress in hi» studies, was successively 
Chaplain of Christ Church, Chaplain to Brian Duppa, Dean, afterwards Bishop of Chiches- 
ter, then of Salisbury, in each of which churches Gregory had a prebend. In the Rebellion 
he lost his preferment, and retired in great distress to Kidlington, where he died in lb"4o'. 
He wrote several very learned books, and was honoured with the correspondence of the 
greatest men of the age. Biog. Brit. 1?C6. Supplement. Ath. Oxon. ii. col. 100, 50, 728. 
Fast. Oxon. i. 240, 252. His life prefixed to his Opera Posthuma. 

" Fast. Oxon. vol. i. c. 851. His monument in Agmondesham church. 

" Ward's Lives, p. 308. from the information of Mr. Benjamin Robertshavv, Rector of 

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ch.iv. sec. v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 511 



THE influence of Hambden, and some other principal leaders in the op- 
position to King Charles the First, and who were persons of fortune and 
respectability in Buckinghamshire, extended in a considerable degree to 
their neighbours ; and, accordingly, in the civil war which followed, we 
find the gentlemen of that county in general on the side of the Parliament. 
The Croke family was even more intimately connected with the heads of 
that party. To the Lord Commissioner Whitlock, Ingoldsby, Saint 
John, Hambden, Waller, the poet, Mayne, Grimstone, Sir Hardress 
Waller, and even to the Protector, they were nearly related by blood, or 
affinity". We come now to a branch of the family, which was naturally 
swayed by the bias of its connections, and attached itself to Cromwell with 
zeal and fidelity. 

The fourth son of Sir John Croke, the Judge, was born about the year 
1594, and was named Unton after his grandmother. He was admitted a 
student of the Inner Temple the 16th of November, 1609, called to the 
Bar the 26th of January, 1616, and to the Bench the 14th of June, 1635. 
He married his wife, whose name was Anne, the 8th of November, 1617, 
the daughter and heiress of Richard Hore, Esquire, of Marston. In the 
first parliament of King Charles the First, in 1625, and in that which was 
summoned in 1640, he was elected Member for Wallingford, in Berkshire 1 . 
In the latter year, he was Lent Reader to the society of the Inner Temple, 
when Sir Thomas Gardiner, Recorder of London, who lived some time at 
Cuddesdon, near Oxford, read the autumnal lecture '. 

He resided at Marston, a small village near Oxford, in a house which 
he acquired by his wife, and which was made use of by the Commissioners 
for the King and the Parliament army in the treaty for the surrender of 
Oxford, in May, 1646'. He was also for some time Deputy Steward of 

a See the Table, No. 28. " Willis, Notit Pari. c Dugil. Or. Jud. 168. a Wood's 
Hist. Univ. Ox.l.b.i. p. 365. 

519 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

the University to Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery and Pembroke 1 . 
On the 21st of June, 1654, he was called to the degree of Serjeant at Law. 
In Thurloe's State Papers there is a letter, of the 2d of October, 1655, 
from Doctor John Owen, the Dean of Christ Church, to the Protector, in 
which he strongly intercedes in Serjeant Croke's favour, that he might be 
made a Judge. 

" May it please your Highnesse, 
" Your Highnesse was pleased to favour me not long since in my 
" request on the behalf of Mr. Serjeant Croke, and to mention your good 
" intendments towards him. Least in the multitude of your weighty 
" affairs he might be forgotten, during the present opportunity of making 
" him one of your Judges, I am bold to remind your Highnesse of your 
" thoughts towards him, being fully assured he will never really forfeit 
" them. I dare not with any confidence assume unto myself a judge- 
" ment of the fitness of any person for such an employment, yet I have 
" most good ground to continue in my former persuasion of his ability and 
" integrity, so that I am most confident your Highnesse will never have 
'• cause to repent of your doing him this favour, and that he will, in his 
" place, perform that which is the true service unto you, in an upright ad- 
" ministration of justice. That you may have the presence of our good 
" God, in a living sense of his unchangeable love in Jesus Christ, to your 
" person, and a gracious assistance in all your affairs, is the daily prayer of 
" him who is to 

" Your highnesse most humbly and most faithfully devoted, 
Oxfcd, "JOHN OWEN f ." 

October 2, 1655. 

Whether the place was already promised, or for whatever cause is not 
known, it seems that the recommendation was not attended to. 

In the list of Commissioners appointed in 1656, under the authority of 
an Act of Parliament, for the security of the Lord Protector, with power 
to try offenders for high treason, without the intervention of a jury, after 
the Lord Chancellor, and the Judges, the third person named is Unton 
Croke, Serjeant at Law&. 

' Wood's Hist. Univ. Ox. lib. ii 442. ' Thurloe's St.'ite Papers, vol. iv 65. 

5 Tlie Att itself in the King's Collection of Pamphlets published during the time of 
Charles the First, and the Commonwealth. Folios, volume 15. 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 513 

Unton Croke acted likewise as a Justice of the Peace, and the following- 
entries in the register of the parish of Marston of marriages performed by 
him in that capacity, during the great rebellion, may amuse the reader. 

3 July, 1654. Edward Lyde, als Joyner, of Horspath parish, and 
Dorothy, one of the daughters of John Robinson of Whately, yeoman, 
were married by and with the consent of the said Jo. Robinson in this 
parish before Unton Croke, Justice of the Peace, according to the statute. 

(Signed) Unton Croke. 

In some of these entries it is stated, that the " contract" had been pub- 
lished in the parish church ; in others, that it had been proclaimed on three 
several market days in the market place at Oxford. A family marriage 
occurs. Martin Piggot, gent, of the parish of St. Pancrass in London, 
and Anne Croke, one of the daughters of Mr. Unton Crooke, Esq. married 
the 26th of August, 1657, by Martin Wright, Esq. Justice of the Peace. 

His wife died before him, on the tenth day of June, I67O, in the sixty- 
ninth year of her age, and left him with ten children. He followed her 
in a few months afterwards, on the 28th day of January, 1671, being 
seventy-seven years of age. 

On one flat stone in the chancel of Marston church are both their 



AN . DNI 1670 1 ', ANNOQUE ^TATIS SU;£ 77°- 

(On a brass plate below.) 



h According to the manner of dating then in use, this must have been l67?> or what we 
should now write, 1671. The date of the preceding year continued till the 25th of March. 
3 U 

514 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 


The arms on the monument are, Croke, impaled with, sable, a chevron, 
between three cinquefoils, for Hore. 

Of these ten children, the names of some are not known. Sir Richard 
Croke, the eldest son, Captain Unton Croke, the second, and Charles, 
will furnish materials for our history. Anne, the eldest daughter, we have 
seen was married to Martin Pigott ; the second was named Mary; 
there was a second Anne, a Catherine, and another daughter, Caroline, 
who died the 19th of July, in the year 1670, in the thirty-sixth year of her 
age 5 . 

Sir Richard Croke, the eldest surviving son, was born about the 
year 1623. He followed, what may now be almost considered as the family 
profession, that of the law, and he proceeded in it till he obtained the highest 
rank, that of a Serjeant. He was admitted of the Inner Temple, the 24th of 
January, 163.5, called to the bar the 5th of November, 1646, to the bench 
the 23d of November 1662, and was Autumn Reader in l670 k . At his ad- 
mission he is styled second son of Unton Croke. His lady was Elizabeth, 
the daughter of Martyn Wright, Esquire, Alderman of Oxford. He was 
Recorder of that city for thirty years, and represented it in Parliament for 
twenty years. 

After the death of King Charles, the property belonging to the Crown 
was taken possession of by the Parliament. The old royal Manor, or 
Palace, at Woodstock, the favourite abode of our kings from Henry the 
First to Charles the First, and which is rendered interesting from the con- 
finement of Queen Elizabeth, and the anecdotes which are related of her 
emplovments and sentiments during her imprisonment, did not escape 
their unhallowed hands. In 1649, Sir Richard Croke, his brother Captain 
Unton Croke, with the Captains Cockayne, Hart, Careless and Roe, and 
Brown, the surveyor, were the Commissioners appointed to survey, esti- 
mate, and sell, the manors, and houses at Woodstock, belonging to his 

' So inscribed on a small flat stone in Marston chancel. Visitation of Oxon In Coll. 
Gonville et Caii, apud Cantab. 

k Arms in the Inner Temple Hal!. Register of ditto. In the register occur likewise 
the names of Charles, Henry, Francis, Robert, &c, 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 515 

late Majesty 1 . By some zealous partizans of the cavalier party, it was 
thought that the interference of supernatural agents might not be unser- 
viceable to the cause of the Royal Martyr. When the Commissioners 
had taken possession of the Palace, they were assailed by the powers of 
darkness. The adventures they met with were certainly extraordinary, 
but as they are " proved by irrefragable testimony," and are considered 
both by Anthony Wood, and Doctor Plot, as " worth the reading by all, 
" especially the many Atheists of the age," I hope I may be excused for 
inserting them. 

The original account of this affair was published in a small quarto of 
thirteen pages, printed in 1660, but with the date of 1649, intitled, " The 
" just Devil of Woodstock, or a true narrative of the several Apparitions, 
" the frights, and punishments, inflicted upon the Rumpish Commis- 
" sioners, sent thither to survey the manors and houses belonging to his 
" Majestic" In the preface, it is said, that " the penman of this narrative 
" was a divine, and minister, and schoolmaster of Woodstock, a person 
" learned and discreet, and not biassed with factious humours ; his name 
" Widows, who each day put in writing what he heard from their mouths, 
" and had befallen them the night before, keeping to their own words, 
" never thinking it would be made publick." It was printed after his 
death 1 ". 

I give this story as it has been written by Dr. Plot, in his History 
of Oxfordshire, which is much shorter than the other, and though it differs 
in some few respects, as the days of the month, it agrees in the main cir- 
cumstances with Widows. 

" Amongst such unaccountable things as these, we may reckon the 
strange passages that happened at Woodstock in anno 1649, in the manor 
house there, when the Commissioners for surveying the manor house, park, 
deer, woods, and other the demesnes belonging to that manor, sat and 
lodged there. Whereof having several relations put into my hands, and 
one of them written by a learned and faithful person then living upon the 
place, which being confirmed to me by several eye witnesses of many of 

1 Wood Ath. Oxon. ii. 11 9. 

1,1 This is a very scarce book. It is to be found amongst the King's Pamphlets, in the 
British Museum, volume 859, article 10. 

3 U 2 

516 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

the particulars, and all of them by one of the Commissioners themselves, 
who ingenuously contest to me, that he could not deny but what was 
written by that person above mentioned was all true; I was prevailed upon 
at last to make this relation publick, (though I must confess, I have no 
esteem for such kind of stories, many of them no question being performed 
by combination,) which I have taken care to do as fully, yet as briefly, as 
may be. 

" October 13, 1649, the Commissioners with their servants being come to 
the manor house, they took up their lodging in the King's own rooms, 
the bed chamber and withdrawing room, the former whereof they made 
their kitchin; the councel hall, their brew-house; the chamber of pre- 
sence, their place of sitting to dispatch business ; and a wood-house of the 
dining room, where they laid the wood of that ancient standard in the 
high park, known of all by the name of the King's Oak, which (that no- 
thing might remain that had the name of King affixed to it) they digged 
up by the roots. October 14 and 15, they had little disturbance ; but on 
the 16th there came, as they thought, somewhat into the bed chamber, 
where two of the Commissioners and their servants lay, in the shape of a 
dog, which going under their beds, did as it were gnaw the bed cords ; but 
on the morrow finding them whole, and a quarter of beef which lay on 
the ground untouched, they began to entertain other thoughts. 

" October 17, Something to their thinking removed all the wood of the 
King's Oak out of the dining-room into the presence chamber, and hurled 
the chairs and stools up and down the room : from whence it came into 
the two chambers where the Commissioners and their servants lay, and 
hoisted up their beds' feet so much higher than their heads, that they thought 
they should have been turned over and over, and then let them fall down 
with such a force, that their bodies rebounded from the bed a good dis- 
tance, and then shook the bedsteds so violently, that themselves contest, 
their bodies were sore with it. October 18, something came into the bed- 
chamber, and walkt up and down, and fetching the warming-pan out of 
the withdrawing room, made so much a noise, that they thought five bells 
could not have made more. And October 19, Trenchers were thrown up 
and down the dining-room, and at them that lodg'd there, whereof one of 
them being shaken by the shoulder and awakened, put forth his head to 
see what was the matter, but had trenchers thrown at it. October 20, 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. .517 

The curtains of the bed in the withdrawing room were drawn to and fro, 
and the bedsted much shaken, and eight great pewter dishes, and three 
dozen of trenchers, thrown about the bed chamber again, whereof some fell 
upon the beds : this night they also thought whole armfulls of the wood of 
the King's Oak had been thrown down in their chambers, but of that, in 
the morning, they found nothing had been moved. 

" October 21, The Keeper of their ordinary and his bitch, lay in one of 
the rooms with them, which night they were not disturbed at all. But 
October 22, though the bitch kennel'd there again, (to whom they ascribed 
their former night's rest,) both they and the bitch were in a pitiful taking ; 
the bitch opening but once, and that with a whining fearful yelp. Octo- 
ber 23, they had all their cloathes pluct off them in the withdrawing room, 
and the bricks fell out of the chimney into the room ; and the 24th they 
thought in the dining-room, that all die wood of the Kino's Oak had been 
brought thither, and thrown down close by their bed-side, which noise, 
being heard by those of the withdrawing room, one of them rose to see 
what was done, fearing indeed that his fellow commissioners had been 
killed, but found no such matter ; whereupon, returning to his bed again, 
he found two dozen of trenchers thrown into it, and handsomely covered with 
the bed cloaths. 

" October 95, The curtains of the bed in the withdrawing room were 
drawn to and fro, and the bedsted shaken as before : and in the bed cham- 
ber glass flew about so thick, (and yet not a pane of the chamber windows 
broken,) that they thought it had rained money, whereupon they lighted 
candles, but to their grief, they found nothing but glass, which they took up 
in the morning, and laid together. October 29, Something walked in the 
withdrawing room about an hour, and going to the window, opened and 
shut it ; then going into the bed-chamber, it threw great stones for about 
half an hour's time, some whereof lighted on the high bed, and others on 
the truckle bed, to the number in all of about fourscore. This night there 
was also a very great noise, as though forty pieces of ordnance had been 
shot off together ; at two several knocks it astonished all the neighbouring 
dwellers, which 'tis thought, might have been heard a great way off. 
During these noises, which were heard in both rooms together, both com- 
missioners and servants were struck with so great horror, that they cryed 
out to one another for help, whereof one of them recovered himself out of 

.518 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

a strange agony he had been in, snatch'd up a sword, and had like to have 
killed one of his brethren coming out of his bed in his shirt, whom he took 
for the spirit that did the mischief. However, at length, they got all to- 
gether, yet the noise continued so great and terrible, and shook the walls 
so much, that they thought the whole manor would have fell on their heads. 
At its departure, it took all the glass away with it. 

" November 1, Something as they thought walk'd up and down the 
withdrawing room, and then made a noise in the dining-room : the 
stones that were left before and laid up in the withdrawing room, were 
all fetch 'd away this night, and a great dale of glass (not like the former) 
thrown about again. November 2, came something into the withdrawing 
room, treading (as they conceived) much like a bear, which first only 
walking about a quarter of an hour, at length it made a noise about the 
table, and threw the warming-pan so violently, that it quite spoiled it. It 
threw also glass and great stones at them again, and the bones of horses, 
and all so violently, that the bedsted and walls were bruised by them. This 
night they set candles all about the rooms, and made fires up to the mantle- 
trees of the chimneys ; but all were put out, no body knew how, the fire, 
and billets that made it, being thrown up and down the rooms; the curtains 
torn with the rods from their beds, and the bed posts pull'd away, that the 
tester fell down upon them, and the feet of the bedsted cloven in two : 
and upon the servants in the truckle bed, who lay this time sweating for 
fear, there was first a little, which made them begin to stir; but before they 
could get out, there came a whole coule, as it were, of stinking ditch water 
down upon them, so green, that it made their shirts and sheets of that 
colour too. The same night the windows were all broke by throwing of 
stones, and there was most terrible noises in three several places together, 
to the extraordinary wonder of all that lodged near them ; nay, the very 
cony stealers that were abroad that night, were so affrighted with the dis- 
mal thundering, that for haste they left their ferrets in the cony boroughs 
behind them, beyond Rosamond's well. Notwithstanding all this, one of 
them had the boldness to ask in the name of God, What it was? What it 
would have? and, What the// had done, that the// should be disturbed in 
this manner? To which no answer was given, but the noise ceased for a 
while. At length it came again, and (as all of them said) brought seven 
Devils, worse than itself. Whereupon one of them lighted a candle again, 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 519 

and set it between the two chambers, in the door-way, on which another 
of them fixed his eyes, saw the similitude of a hoof striking the candle and 
candlestick into the middle of the bed-chamber, and afterwards making 
three scrapes on the snuff to put it out. Upon this, the same person was so 
bold as to draw his sword, but he had scarce got it out, but there was an- 
other invisible hand had hold of it too, and tugg'd with him for it, and 
pervailing, struck him so violently with the pummel, that he was stun'd 
with the blow. Then began grievous noises again, insomuch that they 
called to one another, got together, and went into the presence chamber, 
where they said prayers and sang psalms ; notwithstanding all which, the 
thundering noise still continued in other rooms. After this, November 3, 
they removed their lodgings over the gate ; and next day, being Sunday, 
went to Ewelm, where, how they escaped, the authors of the relations 
knew not; but returning on Monday, the Devil (for that was the name they 
gave their nightly guest) left them not unvisited, nor on the Tuesday 
following, which was the last day they staid. Where ends the history (for 
so he was stiled by the people) of the just Devil of Woodstock: the Com- 
missioners and all their dependants going quite away on Wednesday ; 
since which time, says the author that lived on the place, there have honest 
persons of good quality lodged in the bed chamber and withdrawing room, 
that never were disturbed in the least like the Commissioners. 

" Most part of these transactions, during the stay of these Commissioners, 
'tis true, might be easily performed by combination, but some there are of 
them scarce reconcileable to juggling : such as, 1. The extraordinary noises, 
beyond the powerof man to make, withoutsuch instruments as werenot there. 
2. The taring down and splitting the bed posts, and putting out so many 
candles and so great fires, no body knew how. 3. A visible shape seen 
of a horse's hoof treading out the candle. And, 4. A tugging with one 
of them for his sword by an invisible hand. All which being put together, 
perhaps may easily perswade some man otherwise inclined, to believe that 
imaterial beings might be concern'd in this business : which if it do, it 
abundantly will satisfy for the trouble of the relation, still provided the 
speculative Theist be not after all a practical Atheist"." 

To this account of Dr. Plot, we may add a few circumstances which he 

" Plot's History of Oxfordshire, chapter viii. sect. 37- 

.520 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

has omitted, from Widows, and which more particularly relate to Sir 
Richard and Unton Croke. 

" On the 25th of October in the afternoon, came to them Mr. Richard 
Crook the Lawyer, brother to Captain Crook, and now Deputy Steward 
of the manor. Mr. Hyans his Majesty's officer being put out. To en- 
tertain this new guest, the Commissioners caused a very great fire to be 
made of near the chimney full of wood of the King's Oak, and he was 
lodged in the withdrawing room, with his brother and servant in the same 
room. About the middle of the night, a wonderful knocking was heard, 
and into the room something did rush, which coming to the chimney side 
dashed out the fire, as with a stamp of some prodigious foot, then threw 
down such weighty stuff, what ere it was, (they took it to be the residue of 
the clefts and roots of the King's Oak,) close by the bed side, that the house 
and bed shook with it. Captain Cockayne, and his fellow, arose, and 
took their swords to go unto the Crooks. The noise ceased at their rising, 
so that they came to the door, and called. The two brothers, though they 
were fully awaked, and heard them call, were so amazed, that they made 
no answer, until Captain Cockayne had recovered the boldness to call 
very loud, and came unto their bed side. Then faintly first, after with 
some more assurance, they came to understand one another, and comforted 
the Lawyer. This entertainment so ill did like the Lawyer, and being 
not so well studied in the point, as to resolve this the Devil's law-case, that 
he the next day resolved to be gone, but having not dispatched all that he 
came for, profit and persuasions prevailed with him to stay the other hear- 
ing, so that he lodged as he did the night before. 

" On the 26th, the glass was thrown about the room. In the morning 
Mr. Richard Crook would stay no longer, yet, as he stopped, going 
through Woodstock town, he was there heard to say, " that he would not 
" lodge amongst them another night for a fee of five hundred pounds." 

" On the 28th in the night, a noise, both strange, and differing from the 
foregoing, first awakened Captain Hart, who lodged in the bed chamber, 
who hearing Roe and Brown to groan, called out to Cockayne and Crook 
to come and help them, for Hart could not now stir himself. Cockayne 
would fain have answered, but could not, or look about, something he 
thought stopped both his breath, and held down his eye-lids. Amazed 
thus, he struggled and kicked about, till he had awaked Captain Crook, 

ch. iv. sec. v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 521 

who, half asleep, grew very angry at his kicks, and multiplying words, it 
grew to an appointment in the field. But this fully recovered Cockayne 
to remember that Captain Hart had called for help. Then they heard 
Captain Crook crying out as if something had been killing him. Cockayne 
snatched up the sword that lay by their bed, and ran into the room to save 
Crook, but was in much more likelihood to kill him, for at his coming the 
thing that pressed Crook went off him, at which Crook started out of his 
bed, whom Cockayne thought a spirit, and made at him, at which Crook 
cried out, " Lord help, Lord save me [" Cockayne let fall his hand, and 
Crook embracing Cockayne, desired his reconcilement, giving him many 
thanks for his deliverance. Then rose they all, and came together, dis- 
coursed sometimes godly, and sometimes prayed. One night their book 
of valuations was found laid upon the embers, and burning ; which was 
snatched up and saved. 

The Commissioners applied to Mr. Hoffman, the Presbyterian minister 
of Wootton, who after consulting with two Justices of the Peace, Jen- 
kinson and Wheat, refused to go to pray with them. To this there is a 
marginal observation. " By which it is to be noted, that a Presbyterian 
" minister dares not to incounter an independent devil." A humorous 
ballad was written upon this occasion, and was printed in 1649, in one 
sheet in quarto, and intitled, " The Woodstock Scuffle," and is in the 
Appendix °. It is said, that this tragi-comic piece was performed 
by Joe Collins, the late King's Gardener, who hired himself to the 
Commissioners, assisted by his splay-footed bitch, and other confe- 
derates p. 

Sir Richard Croke had a considerable interest in his own county, and 
in the general election in 1654, supported his cousin, Lord Commissioner 
Whitlocke, as a candidate for the City of Oxford, and his son James in 
representing the County. Immediately after his election, James Whit- 
lock, who was afterwards knighted by Cromwell in 1656, wrote the fol- 
lowing letter to his father. 

° Appendix, No. XXVII. p See the British Magazine for April and August, in 

1757. For an account of the Palace at Woodstock, and Rosamond's Bower, see Warton's 
Life of Sir Tho. Pope, page 71, note. 

3 x 

522 CROKE OF MARSTON. chap. iv. 

" For the Right Honourable his deare Father, the Lord Commissioner 
" Whitelocke, att Chelsey. These, hast, hast. 

" Dear Sir, 

" I held it my duety, uppon the instant of the con- 
" elusion of the elections att this place, to acquaint you, that I am chosen 
" one of the Knights for the countey in the next parliament. I am told, 
" that the number of voyces might justly have given the first place to me ; 
" but I freely resigned it to Lieutenant Generall Fleetwood, not suffering 
" it to be brought to tryall by the polle, which many of the countrey de- 
" sired. The persons elected are, Lieutenant General Fleetwood, Mr. 
" Robert Jenkinson, Collonell Nathaniel Fynes, Mr. Lenthall, Master of 
" the Rolles, and myself. 

" Many of your friends appeared really for me, amongst which, I can 
" experimentally say, none acted more effectually then my cousen Cap- 
" tain Croke, his father, and brother. The Citty of Oxford was pre- 
" pared very seasonably for me, wherein my cousen Richard Croke's 
" affections did particularly appeare ; and I conceive that, if you shall be 
•• pleased to waive the election for the Citty of Oxford, no truer friend 
" could be commended by you for their choice then my cousen Richard 
" Croke, in regard of his interest there, if you think it fitt. I shall say no 
" more at present in this hast, butt expect your commands in all things, 
" who am 

" Your most obedient sonne, 

Oxford, « J. WHITELOCKE^." 

July 12, 1654. 

In 1659, he was appointed one of the Commissioners for settling the mi- 
litia for the County of Oxford, under the ordinance of Parliament for that 
purpose. He died on the 15th day of September, 1683, in the sixtieth 
year of his age, and is buried under a handsome marble monument, 
erected against the wall, in the chancel of Marston church, by his son 
Wright Croke. The epitaph speaks highly of his devotion to the true ca- 
tholic religion, his fidelity to his clients, and his friendship for all mankind ; 

' Whitelocke's Journal of the Swedish Ambassy, vol. ii. p. 419. 

CH. IV. SEC. V, 


and it states, that he was much beloved by both the King Charleses. It 
is conceived in the following words. 

m. s. 


The coat of arms is, Croke, quarterly, on the fesse, a label, on a martlet, 
sable ; denoting the eldest son of a fourth son'. 

Sir Richard Croke had three sons, Richard, Wright, and Charles 8 . 

' Rawlinson, MSS. Pedigrees. 

' The following is a specimen of the malice, and wit of the cavalier party against 
their adversaries, and of the Fescennine licentiousness of the Universities in those times. 
It is part of a Terrae-filius, spoken in the Theatre at Oxford, at the Public Act, in 16*74, 
and preserved by Anthony a Wood, in his Diary, volume 52, page 25, under the year 

Oratio habita in Theatro Ckoniensi per Henricum Gerard, A. M. e Collegio Wadhamensi, 
et Academioe Terra:- filium.— Cum hoc Doctore (Dr. Smith, Canon of Christ Church) jun- 
gamns illius coexecutorem Recorderum nostrum Oxoniensem, qui cum sit magister memo- 
riae oppidanis, (Mr. Crook,) Teme-filius ipsi paucis erit e memoria. Noverint, igitur, 
universi per prgesentes, preedictum dominum, Dominum Recorderum Oxoniensem, non ha- 
ventem timorem Dei ante oculos, sed motum ab instigatione Diaboli, Oliveri, vendidisse, 
vel vendendos exposuisse, omnes et singulos boscos, subboscos, catellos, matellos, pascuas, 
pratas, et pasttiras, Regii manerii Woodstockiani, die 25" Octobris, anno \QiQ. Noverii.t 
deinde universi, pra?dictum Dominum causam habuisse cum Diabolo, misere tamen jacta- 
tum fuisse, Barbarum enim ilium Diabolum a summo gradu ad imum praecipitem dedisse. 
Noverint insuper universi per praesentes, eodem tempore, Diiibolum contra ilium habeas 
corpus issuasse, at secundum meritum debuisse habeas animam issuasse. Non mirum tamen 
est ilium hunc Diabolum hostem habuisse, cum tot Diabolos hospites sibi ascivit? Dia- 
bolum scilicet Rebellionis, Diabolum Hypocrisis, Diabolum Fraudis, et Diabolum Fanati- 
cismi et ca?teros quoscunque oppidanos Diabolos. 

524 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

Richard died in the 16th year of his age, in January 1 671, having been 
entered of the Inner Temple, and a monument was erected to his memory 
in Carfax Church at Oxford, with the following inscription, which attri- 
butes to him the appropriate virtues of his age ; a good disposition, great 
hopes of his future proficiency, the fear of God, and an exemplary dutiful- 
ness towards his parents. 




His eldest son having thus died young, Sir Richard Croke was suc- 
ceeded by his second son and heir, Wright Croke, who was born about 
1658. This young man was entered at Lincoln College in Oxford the 
6th of July, 1677? and gave early indications of talent and scholarship. 
There is a considerable Latin poem of his in the Musae Anglicanae, in 
praise of the Saxon language, written when he was at college. It is a 
proof of some merit in a composition, that it is placed in a select collection 
with the works of Addison, Smith, and others of our best writers of Latin 
poetry, and that it does not suffer by the proximity'. But these seeds of 
genius do not seem to have been matured to any good purpose. It does 
not appear that he followed any profession, or engaged in any pursuits, 
which might have been useful to himself, or others. Nothing indeed farther 
is known of him than that he had a wife, whose name was Mary, that he 
died on the 7th day of June, 1705, in the forty-seventh year of his age, 

' Musae Anglicanae, vol. iii. p. 225. 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 525 

and his lady on the 29th of March, 1717, aged 61 years. Of his family, 
it is recorded on the same monument which he erected to the memory of 
his father, that he lost three children in their tender years ; and the parish 
register of Marston contains the names of two other sons, Richard, bap- 
tized 11th of October, 1687, Charles, baptized 7th of April, 1689, and a 
daughter, Caroline, baptized 31st of January, 1691. In the same register 
are entered the baptisms of Anne, daughter of Richard Croke, 16th of 
July, 1699, and of Thomas, son of Richard Croke, 30th of May, 1703. 
Whose children those were I am at a loss to know, as Sir Richard Croke 
died in 1683, and Richard, the son of Wright Croke, was only 12, and 16 
years of age, at those two baptisms. 

The inscription, on the monument in Marston chancel, under that for 
Sir Richard Croke, is this. 

DISCESSIT 47 AN. jETAT. JUNE 7 th , 1705. 


QUiE OBIIT 29° MARTII 1717, .ETATIS 61. 

Of Charles Croke, the other son of Sir Richard Croke, nothing is 

We have seen Sir Richard Croke in favour with the leading powers 
in the great Rebellion : his brother Union Croke entered early into 
the parliament army, in which he had the command of a troop of cavalry. 
Though he was never promoted to the rank of a general, he was an active 
partizan, and an able officer in that species of desultory warfare, which 
was peculiarly calculated for the cause in which he was engaged. 

Whilst the King was at Oxford, he was stationed in the garrison at 
Abingdon, with a large body of the parliament army, under Major Gene- 
ral Browne. This was a scene of very active service, from being a situa- 
tion so near the head quarters of the enemy, and Unton Croke dis- 
tinguished himself upon every occasion where the cavalry were employed. 
Amongst other gallant actions, he went one night with his party, and 

526 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

seized and carried off a great number of horses belonging to the King's 
troops, whilst they were grazing in the meadows adjoining to Magdalen 
College. For this hazardous and useful piece of service he was promoted 
to a company". 

In the year 1649; Lord Fairfax, Generalissimo of the parliamentary 
army, with his Lieutenant General Cromwell, and other officers, came to 
Oxford, at the time of the Commemoration, where they were splendidly 
entertained by the University, with feasts, and with learned and congra- 
tulatory speeches. Fairfax and Cromwell were created doctors of law". 
Degrees were given to other officers, according to the recommendation of 
the generals. Sir Hardress Waller, Colonels Harrison, Ingoldsby, Hew- 
son, Okey, and some more, were admitted to the degree of Master of Arts, 
and Unton Croke was created Bachelor of La\v v . In the October follow- 
ing, with his brother Sir Richard, he was one of the Commissioners ap- 
pointed by the Parliament to take possession of the King's Palace at 
Woodstock, for the valuation and sale of the royal property there ; as 
before mentioned. 

The Lord Commissioner Whitelocke was in several ways related to the 
Croke family, and was born in the house of Sir George Croke, his mother's 
uncle, in Fleet-street 2 . When he went upon his embassy to Sweden, 
with a magnificent train of attendants, he was accompanied by two of his 
cousins. In his own account he thus describes them. Amongst the gen- 
tlemen of the first degree, who were admitted to the Ambassador's table, 
and who had servants and lacquays in Whitelock's livery, was " Captain 
" Unton Croke, of the army, k'msman to Whitelocke, son of Serjeant 
" Croke, of an ancient family in Oxfordshire, and of good parts and con- 
" dition*." Unton had the particular permission of the Protector to go 1 '. 
His brother Charles, mentioned hereafter, was the other. They sailed for 
Sweden in November, 1653, and returned in June, 1654. Of Captain 
Unton Croke's gallantry in this embassy, Whitelocke tells the following 
story. " The 22d of February, Captain Croke, Whiteloeke's kins- 
" man, and one of his gentlemen, chose for his Valentine, Monsieur 

u Wood's Athena? Ox. pan ii. coll. 755. * Whitelock, p. S89. » Wood, Ath. 

Ox. ii. p. 755. z Wood's Ath. Ox art. Whitelock, part ii. coll. 399. a Wliite- 

lock's Ambassy to Sweden, vol. ii. Append, p. 463, and 465. b His Letter to Crom- 

well, Thurloe's State Papers, vol. iii. 

ch. iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 527 

" Woolfeldt's lady, and sent a present of English silke stockins and gloves, 
" which she took so well, that, he going to wait on her as his Valentine, 
" she treated him with great respect, and gave him a ringe sett with a 
" fayre ruby, and sixe little diamonds about it, of the value of eighty 
" pounds, a present fitt for a lady to give, who was the daughter and sister 
"of a king ." Monsieur Woolfeldt was a nobleman of family and for- 
tune in Denmark, and had the place of Reichs Hoffmeister, or Great 
Chamberlain, in that country. His lady was the King of Denmark's 
daughter by a left-handed wife, that is, a second wife, whom the King, 
having issue by his first wife, takes in marriage by the left hand, and the 
issue cannot inherit the crown d : a kind of marriage well known amongst 
the German nations 1 . Woolfeldt was at that time in Sweden, having 
been banished by the King of Denmark for favouring the rights of the 

In the beginning of the next year, 1655 ( , Unton Croke was of material 
service to the Protector. The general discontent of the nation at the usurp- 
ation of Cromwell, and more particularly after the dissolution of the Par- 
liament on the 22d of January, began at that time to shew itself in open 
mutinies, and still deeper conspiracies. All parties, the republicans, the 
army, and the royalists, were dissatisfied with an arbitrary power, erected 
upon the ruins of the monarchy and of liberty, and exercised with oppres- 
sion and tyranny. A conspiracy, usually called the Cavalier Plot, was 
very generally entered into to restore the King. Cromwell, who had in- 
formation of every thing which passed, was justly alarmed at these combina- 
tions, which he knew to be very extensive, and favoured by some of the 
principal persons in his government, and who had been his chief sup- 
porters. To counteract their designs, he employed confidential agents in 
all parts of the kingdom. In this service, Captain Unton Croke, with his 
troop, was stationed in the west, and had his emissaries in every quarter. 

■ Ambassy, vol. i. p. 454. d Ambassy, i. p. 280. e See the Introductory Essay- 

to the case of Horner on Liddiard, page 115. It is fully treated of by Heineccius in his 
Elements Juris Germanici, lib. i. tit. 10. § 214. and the whole of title 13. f At that 

time the year began the 25th of March, till that day the date of the preceding year conti- 
nued, eitheralone, or with the following year also, written like a fraction. WagstafTe's ex- 
pedition was in what we should now call 1655, yet being before the 25th of March, Unton 
Croke's Letters are dated 1() ">4, or l6o|. 

528 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

With, or without, specific directions, he apprehended all persons who were 
with reason suspected of being disaffected to the government. Of his 
seizure of Adjutant General Allen he has given an account to the Pro- 
tector 8 . 

" Feb. 7, 1654. 
" Concerning Adjutant Allen. 

" Sir John Davis, Baronet, reports, that the said Adjutant said, at his last 
being in London, he was with the Protector, and had roundly told him his 
mind, and that he did nettle the Protector extremely ; that he departed 
from him in a huffe, without any leave, and that immediately he took his 
horse and came out of London. 

" About the end of November last he met in Exeter a kinsman of his 
wife's, one Mr. Reynell, who was chosen a member of the last Parliament, 
but had deserted. He told the said Mr. Reynell, they were quiet in Ire- 
land, as to the common enemy, but there were many discontented there, 
as well as here. He said there was talking of disbanding some there, and 
that he was pitched upon to inform a Committee concerning it, and other 
the affaires of Ireland ; but he was resolved to say nothing in it : he said 
there might be mischief, besides the danger of disbanding any there, that 
there could not be 5000 drawn into the field ; and there was 40000 to be 
kept under. He did highly commend Lieutenant General Ludlowe, and 
said he was come already, or coming into England. That he intended to 
be himself in Ireland in February, but would first go to London. 

" The said Mr. Reynell telling him he was ready to act in the country as 
a Justice of the Peace, though he could not as a Parliament man. For 
that the best way (as he thought) to be secured against the common ene- 
mies was to acquiesce in and under the present government ; he answered, 
that he happly might think so likewise, but there were many of another 
mind, and the Protector might have overruled all, according to the interest 
of honest men, without taking so much power to himselfe, which did dis- 
please many. 

" All company, that have, since his last coming from London into these 

' All the following letters, which are in Thurloe's State Papers, 1 have examined and 
corrected by the originals, which are in the Bodleian Library. 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 529 

parts, conversed with him, do report him to be a person highly dissatisfied 
with the present government. 

There are divers strangers, particularly from Somerset, and about Bristol, 
that came to his meetings, which are often on week days. He rides 
commonly with a kind of vizard over his face, with glasses over his eyes, 
and this he did on the 5th of last month, being Friday, riding to a meeting 
at Luppitt, within this county, and that which did not a little cause sus- 
picion of him, was the coming at that time of Hugh Courtnay (that had 
been, or is, an officer in Ireland) to Mr. Prowze's house, a Cavalier of 
good estate ; where the said Courtnay scarce spoke any thing but treason, 
most bitterly reviling the present government and his Highness, said he 
was then going to London, where, and thereabouts, he was sure to meet hearts 
and hands enough to carry on the Anabaptistical interest, that his govern- 
ment should not stand many months, and that deliverance was at hand. 

We have not picked out the venom of his discourses, but fairly repre- 
sented the same. 


Captain Union Croke to the Protector. 
May it please your Highness, 
If my letter of account concerning Adjutant General Allen (which I 
sent up with divers papers inclosed in it by same post that he wrote to 
your Highness) be not yet come unto your Highness's hands, I cannot but 
suspect there hath been some ugly practise used in diverting the intelli- 
gence, which at large I presented your Highness with ; and also an endea- 
vour to render me negligent and remiss in my duty towards your High- 
ness. And least what I have reason to fear should prove true, that your 
Highness is yet in the dark concerning all passages of the seizing the Ad- 
jutant's person, and other things relating to him, I shall presume humbly 
to reiterate what I formerly hinted unto your Highness. So soon as I 

" He was Sheriff of Devonshire, represented Barnstaple in the Parliament in 1656 and 
l65|, and was Knighted by Oliver, 1 June, 1655. Noble, i. 443. 
1 Thurloe's State Papers, vol. iii. p. 140. Original, vol. 23. f. 43. 
3 Y 

530 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

received your commands for securing his person, which came to my hands 
this day eight days in the evening, within few hours afterwards I set forth 
of Exon, towards his father-in-law Mr. Huish his house, where I heard 
the Adjutant was. To which place I came about break of the next day; 
and having enquired of some servants of the house, whether the Adjutant 
were there, they told me he was, and in bed. So soon as I heard this, 
I resolved, according to what the High Sheriff and I agreed on the night 
before, imagining it might conduce much to the advantage of your High- 
ness, to seize on his trunks, and them to search for papers, thereby to 
discover his designs, and to know who were his correspondents. But un- 
happily, he had sent them up to London some few days before : so that 
1 was deprived of my intention. And here, my Lord, if he could quarrel 
at any thing in his apprehension, it was at this action, where I was neces- 
sitated to send two or three soldiers to enter in his chamber, with the 
first that carried him news of my being come to the house: least he 
having notice, if he had any papers there, might convey them away. Some 
i'ew letters were found, which I inclosed in my last letter to your High- 
ness. They were writ to him from some discontented spirits, and many 
dissatisfactory clauses contained in them. 'Tis true, my Lord, the sol- 
diers wore their swords by their sides, and alighting from their horses, 
took their pistols in their hands ; but that the least violence was used, or 
any ill words gave, or any thing that looked like an affront, I do deny, 
and well know, that he cannot lay any thing to the charge of myself or any 
man that was with me. I should now, my Lord, render your Highness 
an account of what words passed between us, but, hoping that my former 
letter is, ere this, in your Higlmess's hands, I shall forbear ; only this I 
shall add, that, according to your Higlmess's instructions, I confined him to 
Ins father's house, he giving me a note under his hand, that he would there 
remain until your Higlmess's further pleasure were known. This day 
1 sent him your Higlmess's letter, and I desired him to remember his pro- 
mise unto me in continuing at the present where he was. All that possibly 
the High Sheriff and myself, with the greatest care and diligence we have 
used, can of a truth make out against him, is this, that to two persons of 
very good quality in this county, in his discourses, he vented these words. 
To the one he said, (and that in a high bravado) that he was not asiiamed 

ch.iv. sec. v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 531 

to say, that he was dissatisfied with the present government: and that he 
had declared so much (said he) to your Highness ; and added, that, in 
discourse with your Highness, he very much nettled you, and having put 
your Highness into a chaffe, he left you, and then took his horse, and 
came into the country, without taking leave. To the other gentleman he 
said, they being entered into several discourses, and the gentleman asking 
him some question concerning Ireland, as to the peace thereof, &c. to 
which the Adjutant replied, they were free from the common enemy, but 
there were those, that were discontented there as well as here. He added, 
that it was reported, that some in Ireland should be disbanded, which he 
thought could not be done ; and then, entering into a high commendation 
of Lieutenant General Ludlow, he concluded the Irish discourse. After 
this, the gentleman took the occasion to express the great sense of happi- 
nes that he, and the whole nation had, by your Highness's government. 
To which the Adjutant replied, that he perceived he thought so, and 
it may be, so might he ; but he thought many others were of another 
mind. And then said, that your Highness might have overruled all, 
according to the interest of honest men, without taking so much of the 
government to yourself, which, he said, displeased many. My Lord, 
these words will be exactly proved. Many others I have heard, in many 
places spoken, but cannot prove them. All the country rings of his 
dissatisfaction, which he spares not to tell every where, especially at the 
meetings of such of the baptized church, where he resorts ; but doth it so 
cunningly, that I cannot yet discover him further, though, without all 
question, his work hath been in those parts to dissatisfy the people. They 
have had divers meetings of late upon the week days, to which places he 
hath gone disguised with kind of vizard : and this also can be proved. I 
sent over all Dorsetshire and Devon, enquiring after Colonel Sexby, and 
Courtney, but as yet cannot hear of them, and your Highness need not 
doubt in the least of my vigilancy and care in all respects over those that 
are your Highness' and nation's enemies. I have faithful scouts in all 
parts of this country, who do correspond with me, and if any thing be 
hatching, I hope the Lord will make me instrumental to discover and sup- 
press it. I have, according to your Highness' commands, acquainted the 
baptized Church in Exon with your Highness's favour towards their^ 
3 y 2 

.532 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

who have sent this inclosed letter of thanks to your Highness. I now 
take leave humbly to subscribe myselfe, 

Your Highness's most humble 

and devoted servant, 

February 7, 1654. 

In another letter from him, of the 21st of February, he relates his se- 
curing some other gentlemen, who might have been instrumental in any 
insurrection. His own Lieutenant had been apprehended as a disaffected 
person, and some of his soldiers, who had been sent to take Colonel 
Sexby, had been imprisoned at Weymouth. These events he fully 
stated and explained in two other letters to the Protector, of the 5th of 

Captain Union Croke to the Protector. 
May it please your Highness, 
By the last post I acquainted your Highness of the peace and quiet that 
was in these parts, and what I had done in relation thereunto, by securing 
such gentlemen as (if any trouble should have arisen) might have been 
instrumental in acting much mischief. And 1 humbly desired your High- 
ness's commands, whether I shall continue their restraint, or enlarge them. 
I also acquainted your Highness, that I had not been careless in making 
the most curious search after Sexby, having had parties out after him both 
in Devonshire and Dorsetshire. Some of them are not yet returned, 
which makes me hope they have tract him, and that by the next your 
Highness may receive a further account from 

(May it please your Highness) 

Your most humble and obedient Servant, 
Exon, ' UNTON CROKEi. 

February 21, 1 654-. 

k Thurloe, iii. p. 143. Original, vol. 23. f. 5Q. ' Ibid. vol. iii. p. 165. Original, 

vol. 23. f. 203. 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 533 

Captain Union Croke to the Protector. 
May it please your Highness, 
Receiving your commands on Saturday night last by the post, I made 
all possible speed to repair to Weymouth, to receive an account of the late 
detention of my soldiers, and also to be informed of the particulars your 
Highness gave me in charge, and I have most faithfully and impartially 
(according to my best judgement, and as the brevity of time would also 
permit) couched every particular in this enclosed narrative. Hitherto your 
Highness hath (I confess) received no satisfaction from me concerning 
my Lieutenant. Indeed, my Lord, I know not how he stood in your 
Highness's thoughts, nor what was the reason of his long absence from 
my troop. I only accidentally heard that he was detained upon suspicion 
that he did not well relish the present government. My Lord, I think he 
is more a stranger unto me than unto any officer in the regiment. He 
was placed in my troop (but not by my choice) immediately before the 
time your Highness gave me liberty to attend my Lord Whitelocke into 
Sweden. So that, before my going thither, I had not a week's acquaint- 
ance with him, and since my return I have had as little of his company: 
so that I am very incapable to know his principles. But, my Lord, I am 
informed by others that know him very well, that he is of a dangerous 
temper, and neither well inclined to the good old way of God, nor to the 
government of your Highness. My Lord, this I thought my duty to 
speak, not out of any prejudice I have to the person of the man, from 
whom I have received all respect that could have been expected, but that 
I could not be silent having so fair a call from your Highness to spend 
my opinion. I profess, my Lord, I am so far from desiring his continu- 
ance, that I rejoice at your Highness's resolves in giving him his dismis- 
sion. And since your Highness is pleased to think of such a course, I 
beseech you, my Lord, grant me the liberty of making an earnest request 
unto your Highness, which if you will be pleased to grant, I shall freely 
engage all that's dear to me in this world, that your Highness shall never 

have cause to think your favours It is, my Lord, that my 

Cornet (who is a plain downright honest man, one that is well principled, 
and that hath borne command in my troop now for more than five years, 
and an exceeding good and careful soldier) may be my Lieutenant, and that 
your Highness will confer my colours on a brother of mine who hath been 

.53+ CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

some years in my troop, and is not unapt for the place. He is, my Lord, 
well disposed, and of a gracious spirit. The High Sheriff of Devonshire, 
Col. Copleston, hath lately honoured him with one of your Highness's 
commissions for a company (which he hath already raised) in his regiment: 
but, my Lord, I imagine that that is now near at an end ; and therefore it 
is that I presume thus earnestly to importune your Highness in this man- 
ner, hoping I may live to express my gratitude, and to declare more amply 
than I hitherto have had opportunity to do, how much I am, 
May it please your Highness, 

Your most faithful and obedient Servant, 

Weymouth, UNTON CROKE™. 

March 5, l65|. 

A paper of Captain Unton Crake concerning Col. Sexb//. 

The Mayor of the town, Captain Hurst, the Governor of Portland, 
Captain Green that commands a frigate, and Cornet Brockhurst that 
belongs to Jersey island, confessed to me, that the soldiers demeaned 
themselves very civilly without giving offence to any ; and the reason why 
they were detained was purely upon this account, that they came to search 
tor Colonel Sexby without an order in writing. 

The soldiers came unto Weymouth on the 20th day of February last 
past about five a clock at night, made some enquiry at a distance, whether 
Colonel Sexby were in town or no. They were told that if he were in 
town, he was at Captain Arthur's house, (who is the Grand Customer of 
that place, but a man esteemed of no good principle,) for there he was ser- 
vant to a lady, to whom for many years he had professed friendship, and 
many people thought that it still continued. One of the soldiers throwing 
aside his arms, addressed himself to the said Captain's house in quality of 
a countryman, and knocked at the door, whereupon a maid servant came 
unto him. The soldier asked her whether Colonel Sexby were in the 
house or no ; for he had a desire to speak with him. She replied, she 
could not tell, but she would in an instant inform him, and so went in and 
called Mrs. Ford unto him, Sexby's supposed mistress. When she came, 
she demanded of the soldier his business. He told her, he had a message 

ra Thurloe, lii. \>. 193. Original, vol. 24. f. 91. 

ch.iv.sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 535 

and letter to deliver to Colonel Sexby. She desired to know from whom. 
The soldier answered, from a very good friend of the Colonel, one Mr. 
Hugh Courtney. Mrs. Ford said, that the Colonel was not within, but 
if he would leave the message and letter with her, she would take order to 
have it delivered unto him, that so a time and place might be appointed 
for them to meet. The soldier told her that unless he could see him he 
would not deliver the letter, and so departed. Immediately after this, 
Mrs. Ford calls one Dudley unto her, (who is deputy to Captain Arthur, 
and acts all things under him,) and tells him that there were troopers in 
town, enquiring after Colonel Sexby. She willed him to enquire, if he 
could, what was the business ; and if he could learn it, she desired to be 
informed before any soldiers came down to the house to make search 
after him. He promised he would make enquiry, and then went up to 
the inn where the soldiers quartered, and entered into discourse with 
them. He told the soldiers, that he knew their business, and what it was 
they came about, and told them it was to apprehend Sexby. And for his 
part he loved the Protector so well, that he would assist them in the 
business. He said that Sexby was in town, and at the house of Cap- 
tain Arthur : and if they should be wise, and keep his counsel, he would 
carry them to his very chamber door : but he told them, they must search 
very well, for the house was large, and many by places in it ; that without 
a strict scrutiny, little good could be done. The soldiers were very joy- 
ful at this news, and did intend that night, though very late, to go and 
search the house. And when they were provided and ready to go, 
Dudley's mind changed, he denied all that was said before, and would not 
go forth with them ; so that all the business for that night seemed to be 
quashed. E're this time, the news went for current about the town, that 
soldiers were come to apprehend Col. Sexby; whereupon. Coronet 
Brockhurst, Captain Lambert, one Major Hardinge, and Mr. Waltham, 
(the two last, I am credibly informed, are high flown men in their prin- 
ciples, and direct friends to Sexby and Joyce,) these four much questioned 
why it was the soldiers came to look after any man without a written 
order. Some of them examined the soldiers, who presently confessed the 
design ; and notwithstanding that they made out what they could, to 
whom they belonged, from whence they came, and what was their busi- 
ness ; yet they thought it convenient to secure the soldiers. And that 



night some of Captain Lambert's seamen were placed in the house, where 
the soldiers were, to take care none should come to them, nor they go to 
any. The next day the soldiers were had to the Mayor, and by the in- 
stigation of the aforesaid gentlemen, he thought them very fitting to be 
secured, until such time as he should send for Captain Hurst, Governor 
of Portland. He desired the soldiers to repair to their quarters, and en- 
treated Coronet Brockhurst and Captaine Lambert to bear them com- 
pany, which was to watch over them. About noon Captain Hurst comes. 
They incited the Captain to proceed against the soldiers, as they had 
done the Mayor before. He concurred with them, so the soldiers were 
then disarmed, and made prisoners indeed. 

By this it appears, that if Sexby were in the town, he had liberty 
enough given him to make his escape. 

I do find that the Mayor and Captain were very innocent from any 
design in the business ; they did it merely at the request of others. 
Neither can I learn that either the Mayor or Captain have any relations 
or near acquaintance with Sexby; but some of the other gentlemen have. 

I cannot discover what the principles of the Captain are. They are not 
much taken notice of any way ; but sure I think by his discourse, he 
desires to be quiet, and doth not appear to be of a turbulent spirit. 1 
pressed him to discourse as to present affairs, but he was very wary. 1 
asked him his thoughts of Major General Harrison, who was his prisoner. 
He was very affectionate towards him in his expressions, often saying, he 
was a good man. He told me that the Major General had desired liberty 
of him to speak upon some places of Scripture sometimes to his soldiers, 
which he had granted him : and he did usually preach to them. There is 
no commission officer but himself in the castle; otherwise I had discoursed 
with more. The Captain told me that he had little acquaintance with 
Sexby ; but he knew Joyce very well, and hinted to me, as if he owned 
all his preferment from him. He told me that he was at London, about 
three weeks since, and desired to speak to Sexby about some business, 
but could not, for he was then told that Sexby was with his Highness, and 
that he had much conference about the plot ; but that he heard Sexby 
was very free, and gave satisfaction. He told me that Colonel Harrison 
wondered to hear that Sexby should be suspected. He thought him only 
to be a decoy for his Highness, because he observed all those that Sexby 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 53? 

had been with were secured ; but he himself at liberty, though pretended 
to be searched for. Colonel Harrison also added, that Sexby was with 
him, but he knew him to be a treacherous fellow, and would have nothing 
to do with him. This imperfect unmodelled narration is all that at present 
can be made forth by 


After the events here related, Colonel Sexby was suspected of having 
dispersed some papers directed against the government. Cromwell sent 
for him to secure him, but he fled. Upon which, Cromwell pretended, on 
account of ancient friendship, to employ him as his agent at Bourdeaux. 
He accepted of the employment, but being near seized by the magistrates 
there, he made his escape . He was the writer of the celebrated pamphlet 
called, Killing no Murder, of which he acknowledged himself to be the 
author. He died in the Tower 1 ". 

Notwithstanding the vigorous police of the Protector, the conspiracy 
still existed in full force, and a day for a general rising was even appointed. 
The design so far succeeded, that in several counties armed parties began 
to assemble, and, in the month of March, attempts were made to seize 
Shrewsbury castle, Chirke castle, and other strong places. In the west 
the conspiracy broke outmost into action. On the 11th of March, a 
party of about two hundred horse, under the command of Sir Joseph Wag- 
staff, Penruddock, Jones, and Grove, some of the principal gentlemen in 
that part, with other persons of fortune and consequence, entered Salisbury 
at the time of the assizes, at midnight, proclaimed King Charles the Se- 
cond, seized the Judges, and having taken away their commissions, set 
them at liberty ; the Sheriff they carried away with them. Not find- 
ing themselves supported by the country, as they expected, they retired into 
Devonshire : of which Captain Croke having timely intelligence, pursued 
them with his troops, overtook them at South Molton, and defeated them 
most completely, after a sharp conflict"!. Penruddock, Jones, and Grove, 
with many others, were taken prisoners, but Sir Joseph Wagstaff and 

" Thurloe, iii. p. 194. Original, vol. 24. f. 87- ° Ludlow, vol. ii. p. 82. p No- 

ble's Memoirs of Cromwell, vol. ii. p. 66. a. q Whitelock's Memorials, page 601. Lud- 

low's Memoirs, vol. ii. page 69. Clarendon's Hist, of the Rebellion. 
3 Z 

538 CROKE OF MARSTON. book v. 

Mr. Mompesson escaped. Captain Croke's two letters to the Protector 
upon this occasion, which were published in the Gazette, will give the most 
authentic account of this transaction r . 

" A Letter to his Highness the Lord Protector, from Captain Unton 
Crooke, signifying the total defeat of the cavaliers in the west, under the 
command of Sir Joseph Wagstaffe. 

Published by his Highness's special commandment. London, printed 
by Henry Hills and John Field, printers to his Highness, lbo4. [March 17.] 
A Letter, &c. as in the title page. 

May it please your Highness, 

Yesterday morning, being Tuesday, I marched 
with my troop to Huninton, being fifteen miles eastward from Exon, 
with intention to stop the enemy from coming further westward ; but 
gaining intelligence that they were come that way, and that they would 
be too strong for me, I made my retreat to Exon ; the next morn- 
ing I understood they were in the march for Cornwall, and in order 
thereunto they were come to Collumpton, within ten miles of Exon, I 
heard they were much tired, and their number two hundred, and there- 
fore imagined that if they should gain Cornwall, it might be much preju- 
dicial ; 1 was resolved to hazard all that was dear to me rather than let 
them have their end, and thereupon marched towards Collumpton with 
only my own troop, I had no more for this service, but when I came near 
that place, I understood they were marched to Tiverton, whither I pur- 
sued them with all speed, but there mist them also, but received informa- 
tion that from thence they were gone to South Molton, twelve miles 
further, still in order for Cornwall; thither I resolved to follow them ; they 
took up their quarters about seven of the clock this night, and by the good 
providence of God, directing and assisting me, I beat up their quarters 
about ten of the clock; they disputed it very much with me in the houses 
for more than two hours, firing very hot out of the windows ; they shot 
seven or eight of my men, but none I hope mortally wounded, they shot 
many of my horses also; but, my Lord, we broke open many houses; 
some of them yielded to mercy ; I promised them, I would use my en- 

' They are preserved in the British Museum. See catologue of printed books. 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 539 

deavours to intercede for their lives, I have taken most of their horses, 
about fifty prisoners, amongst whom are Penruddock, Jones, and Grove, 
who commanded those horse, each of them having a troop. WagstafT I 
fear is escaped, he was with them, but at present 1 cannot find him, yet 
hope to catch him as soon as day-light appears. I will raise the country 
to apprehend such stragglers, which for want of having dragoons, narrowlie 
escaped me. My Lord, they are all broken and routed, and I desire the 
Lord may have the glory. I beseech your Highness to pardon this un- 
polisht account, I can hardly indeed write, being so weary with extreme 
duty, but I hope by the next to send your Highness a more perfect one, 
and a list of the prisoners, many of them, I suppose, being very consi- 
derable. Colonel Shapcot of this county was pleased to march with me 
on this design, and was with me at the beating up of their quarters, and 
hath shewed himself wonderfully ready, in every respect, to preserve the 
peace of this county. My Lord, I remain, 

May it please your Highness, 

Your most obedient and most humble servant, 

From South Moulton, UNTON CROOK. 

March 15, 1654, about two 
or three o'clock in the morning. 

" A second Letter to his Highness the Lord Protector, from Captain 
Unton Crooke, signifying the total defeat of the cavaliers in the west, 
under the command of Sir Joseph Wagstaffe. 

Published by his Highness special commandment. 
London, printed by Henry Hills and John Field, printers to his High- 
ness, 16 J4. [March 20th.] 
A second Letter, &c. as in the title page. 
May it please your Highness, 

I gave your Highness last night an account how far I 
had pursued the enemy that came out of Wiltshire into Devon ; I sent 
your Highness the numbers of them, which I conceived to be two hun- 
dred ; it pleased my good God so to strengthen and direct me, that al- 
though I had none but my own troop which was not sixty, that about ten 
a clock at night, I fell into their quarters at a town called South Molton, 
in the county of Devon ; I took, after four hours dispute with them in the 
town, some sixty prisoners, near one hundred forty horses and arms. Wag- 
3 z 2 

540 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

staffe himself escaped, and I cannot yet find him, although I am still send- 
ing after him ; this party of them was divided into three troops, Colonel 
Penruddock commanded one of them, and was to make it a regiment, Co- 
lonel Groves commanded another, and was to com pleat it to a regiment, 
Col. Jones the third, and was to do the like; these three gentlemen are of 
Wiltshire, and men of estates. One of Sir Edward Clark's sons was with 
them, he was to be Major to Penruddock, the prisoners tell me that we 
killed him. 

I have brought all the prisoners to Exon, and have delivered them over 
to the High Sheriff, who has put them into the high gaol. Your High- 
ness may be confident this party is totally broken, there is not four men in 
a company got away ; the country surprize some of them hourly, the 
Maior of South Molton, being with me in the street, was shot in the body, 
but like to do Mill. 

I have nine or ten of my troop wounded. 
I remain, 

Your Highness most 

obedient servant, 
Exon, Mar. 16, 1654. UNTON CROOK." 

A commission of oyer and terminer was issued for the trial of the prisoners, 
but Chief Justice Rolls, the Judge, who had been seized at Salisbury, and 
was nominated upon the commission, refused to attend, as being too 
nearly implicated in the affair. The Attorney General, Prideaux, was 
sent down to prosecute. Many were found guilty of treason. Penrud- 
dock and Grove were beheaded. Lucas, and many inferior criminals, were 
executed; Jones, being allied to Cromwell, was pardoned. 

After this defeat, Unton Croke was still upon the alert, to extinguish 
all the remains of the conspiracy. In June he was in Oxfordshire, and 
apprehended a great number of disaffected persons. 

Captain Unton Croke, and H. Smith, to the Protector. 
May it please your Highness, 

In pursuance of your instructions we have seized the 
persons of the Lord Lovelace, Sir John Burlacie, Sir Thomas Pope, John 
Osbaldiston, Esq. who were included in the list sent us from your High- 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 541 

ness, Sir William Walter, and Col. Sands, are, as we hear at London, and 
so out of our reach. We have also secured the Lord of Falkland, George 
Nappier, Thomas Whorvvood, Esq. who are dangerous and disaffected 
persons. We intend to-morrow morning to send them to Worcester, that 
being the nearest place where there is convenience for confinement. We 
also sent for my Lord of Lindsay, whose residence is in this county, a 
person sufficiently known to your Highness, as we suppose ; but at his 
own importunity, and Colonel Coke's, we have adventured to leave him at 
his house, untill your Highness shall signify the contrary ; but we 
thought it a duty to act what we did incumbent on, 
May it please your Highness, 

Your most faithfull humble servants, 


Oxon. June 6th, 1655. UNTON CROKE. 

Here was in this town one Coll. Colt, who formerly served the king, 
and esteemed a very dangerous person, we made attempts to seize him, 
but he having notice, fled from us, as we hear, to London 5 ." 

In November, disturbances were still apprehended, and Unton was still 
active, as appears by a letter from Major General Berry, followed by a 
second, in which he requests the Protector to perform his promises to Cap- 
tain Croke. 

Major General Berry, to Secretary Thurloe, dated Worcester, Mth 
of November, \655. 

I came this last night to Worcester, where I met with your 
Letter, as also some intimations from his Highness, which I can find 
Captain Croke hath taken notice of, and given his Highness an account 
of his proceeds thereupon, &c l . 

Major General Berry, to the Protector. 
May it please your Highness, 

I have only one public business of great import- 

■ Thurloe's State Papers, iii. p. 521. Original, vol. 27. f. 101. ' Thurloe, vol. iv. p. '211. 
Original, vol. 32. f. 569- 

542 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

ance, that I make bold to trouble your Highness withal, having always 
found you ready to accept such motions ; and that is, that your Highness 
would please to make good your word to Captain Croke ; but it must be 
whilst you live, or otherwise we fear it will never be done. You know 
what plotting there is against your person, and if any of them should 
take, what will become of our preferments ? Only for my own part, I 
may hope for something when you die, if any thing be left, because I am 
promised it in the word of a King, from whom I crave pardon, and a grant 
of this humble request of 

Your Highness's most 

devoted Servant, 
Salop, JA. BERRY". 

Dec. 1, 1655. 

The failure of this attempt was fatal to the designs of the royalists ; and 
the annihilation of their very sanguine hopes filled them with indignation 
against the principal instrument of their defeat. Union Croke was accused 
of a breach of the. terms upon which Penruddock, and the others, had 
surrendered. It was pretended that they had capitulated only upon the 
express condition that their lives should be spared. The charges of per- 
fidiousness and falsehood were liberally bestowed upon him, and are con- 
veyed to posterity in the sermons of Dr. South", and the Fasti of Anthony 
a Wood y . But upon an accurate consideration of all the circumstances 
of the case, whatever may be the merits, or demerits, of the cause in which 
he was engaged, Unton Croke must stand acquitted of this crime. 

With respect to the fact, whether any such direct and express terms had 
been granted them as the inducement to their surrender, Ludlow informs 
us, in his Memoirs, that " Major Croke absolutely denied any such 
" tiling 7 -." In his letter to the Protector, published in the Gazette, and 
written immediately upon the spot, no such capitulation is mentioned, nor 
do we find that his account was contradicted at the time. All that he 
states is, that they defended themselves, firing very hot out of the windows. 

" Thurloe, vol. iv. p. 274. Original, vol. S3, f. 45. 

1 South's Sermons, ed. 1715. vol. i. page 124. in a note, perhaps written by Dr. King, 
the publisher of South's Sermons. 

J Fasti Ox. part ii. col. 755. * Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 71. ed. Edinburgh, 17. 

ch.iv. sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 543 

for two hours, that the troops broke open many houses, that " some of 
" them yielded to mercy, and he promised them that he would use his 
" endeavours to intercede for their lives." A very different thing from 
a surrender upon express terms. Penruddock, in the speech which he 
made at his execution, stated the articles to have been life, liberty, and 
estate, and said that they were drawn by his hand 3 . This implies that 
they were in writing ; in which case they must have been deposited with 
the parties who were to have the benefit of them : many persons must 
have seen them, and they would have been capable of proof. 

Indeed the promise of interceding in their favour, which Unton Croke 
admits that he made to some of them, was in reality the utmost engage- 
ment to which his power extended. Without entering into the learning 
of the writers of the Law of Nations, relating to sponsions, or treaties en- 
tered into by subaltern officers, it must be remarked, that this was not a 
case of war, but a case of a rebellion against an established government ; 
which would of course be subject not to the laws of war, as between two 
enemies, but, to the municipal laws of the country, as between the So- 
vereign and the subject. A commander sent to reduce rebels, could have 
no power, without an express authority to that effect, to stipulate with 
them for the preservation of their lives ; and, in case of capture, they 
would still be amenable to the laws of treason. It is justly observed there- 
fore by Lord Clarendon, though his account of this transaction in other 
respects is evidently stained with the colouring of party, that " Major 
" Croke had no authority to enter into any such convention^.' 1 '' 

After all, if such conditions had in reality been made, with, or with- 
out, sufficient authority, the performance of them did not rest with Un- 
ton Croke, but with the Protector. It was not Unton Croke who put 
them to death : but, after they had been condemned upon a trial before a 
jury of their countrymen, it was the Protector who inforced the sentence, 
and suffered them to be executed : which it was not in Unton Croke's 
power to prevent. 

To some, who yielded to mercy, he fairly stated, that he promised to 

3 State Trials, vol. ii. p. 259. ed. 1730. 1!) April, 1655. Trial of Penruddock. 
b Clarendon's Hist, of the Rebellion, ed. folio, vol. iii. p. 435. 

544 CROKE OF MARSTON. bookiv. 

intercede for their lives. His conscientious performance of this promise 
affords a very strong presumption that he was not capable of acting per- 
fidiously towards the others. By two letters in Thurloe's Collection, it 
appears that he addressed himself both to Cromwell, and his Secretary, in 
their favour ; and that with warmth, and earnestness. 

Captain Union Croke to Secretary Thurloe. 
To the Honourable John Thurloe, Esquire, Secretary of State at 
Whitehall. These, Hast, hast, hast. 
Honourable Sir, 
Upon my Lord Protector's letter, I immediately sent away Mr. John Pen- 
ruddocke, and Erancis Jones, within some few hours after I received an ex- 
press from you, clearing any doubt I might make of the person, because there 
were two of the name in gaol, but the considerablenesse of the person 
guides me aright. Sir, 1 wrote to his Highness lately, concerning five 
men, (who are the most inconsiderable of the company, not one of them 
being of estate or quality as I can learn,) to whom I promised, who kept 
a house against me four hours, that I would intercede to his Highness for 
their lives. Sir, I shall press it to you with importunity, that you will 
move it to his Highness, that so, if any be thought worthy of pity, as to 
have their lives, that his favour may extend to those men ; though not for 
their own sakes, yet in regard of my reputation, because I lye under a 
promise to them. Sir, hereby you will infinitely oblige, 

Sir, your most humble servant, 
Exon, UNTON CROKE c . 

March %, 1655. 

At the time of holding the commission for their trial at Salisbury, he 
wrote again. 

Captain Union Croke to Secretary Thurloe. 
Honorable Sir, 
1 received yours at Exeter on Saturday last, and accordingly repaired to 
Sarum, to attend the Judges, where I at present am. You were pleased to 
put me in hopes, that his Highness might be intreated for the sparing of 

c Thurloe's State Papers, vol. iii. p. 281. Original, vol. 36. f. 23. 

CH. IV. SEC. V. 


those five persons I wrote about, and promised me your assistance, in the 
promoving my request. Sir, I do again in treat your intercession, and that, 
if it be possible, by the very next post, I may be ascertained whether there 
is a possibility of their reprieval. One of them is Wake, two brothers, whose 
names are Colliers. I profess I have forgot the others' names, but they 
are all five contemptible persons ; yet, by reason of my engagement, I 
cannot but continue my importunity, that they might be spared. Sir, I am 
very tedious with you, but I hope you will pardon, 

Honorable Sir, 
Your very humble Servant, 


April 12, 1655. 

These letters evidently proceed from an honourable mind ; extremely 
desirous, not of formally satisfying an engagement by a cold application, 
but of accomplishing the object of it effectually ; and they shew that 
sensibility of reputation which always attends a man of honour. Upon 
the whole, it is impossible for every impartial person not to draw the 
conclusion, that the vehement abuse, which was heaped upon this officer, 
proceeded rather from the virulence of a disappointed party, than from any 
foundation in truth. 

The suppression of this conspiracy, which threatened to shake the pro- 
tectoral throne, and was chiefly effected by the vigorous measures of Unton 
Croke, gave great satisfaction to Cromwell. To provide for his future 
security he immediately established his project of dividing England into 
cantons, under the government of twelve Major Generals, and of levying 
a tenth part of the estates of all the royal party. Unton Croke was pro- 
moted to the rank of Major, and two hundred pounds a year, out of the 
forfeited estate of Mr. Mompesson, was settled upon him for his services '. 

In I608, the zeal and insolence of the Anabaptists and other sectaries' 
being very violent against the University of Oxford, the colleges, and stu- 
dents, they had laid a plan to destroy all " both root and branch" as they 
called it. The Protector, having received information of their designs, 
sent orders to Major Unton Croke, at this time at Oxford, with some 

4 Thurloe, p. 368. Original, vol. 25. f. 315. e Ludlow's Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 72. 

546 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

troops of cavalry, to have a vigilant eye towards their proceedings. Upon 
which he appointed parties of horse to patrole the streets, night and day ; 
and particularly upon the Sth of May, the time fixed for the attempt. The 
scholars were armed for the protection of their own colleges. A general 
panic prevailed. Many of the members of the University quitted the 
place, some hid themselves, or left their colleges and took refuge in the 
town, and others of the more godly party prayed day and night to be freed 
from the danger. By the activity of Major Croke, and his troopers, the 
intended insurrection was prevented, tranquillity was completely restored, 
and the University saved from total destruction'. 

Upon the death of Oliver Cromwell, in 1658, he appeared in support 
of his son Richard, and at the head of his troop, with the Mayor, Recorder, 
and Town-Clerk of Oxford, proclaimed the new Protector before Saint 
Mary's church and at other places ; where they were liberally pelted by 
the loyal young students of the University with carrot and turnip tops?. 
In that year, he was appointed High Sheriff for Oxfordshire, by 
Richard Cromwell, and his council ; in which capacity he made a double 
return of members for that county 1 ' ; and, in the same year, with his brother, 
Sir Richard Croke, was returned as Member of Parliament for the city of 
Oxford'. This was afterwards quoted in the House of Commons, as a 
case in point, to prove that a person might be returned for a borough in a 
county for which he was High Sheriff k . In King Charles the First's time 
it was considered as a disqualification, and that monarch appointed four 
of the popular leaders Sheriffs, to incapacitate them from being elected 
members, which was submitted to 1 . In the writ indeed there was for- 
merly a clause, Nolumus autem quod tu nee aliquis alius Vicecomes dicti 
regni aliqualiter sit electus. But as early as the reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth the constant practice was otherwise, as is proved by Sir Simonds 

f Wood's Hist. Univ. Oxford, ed. Gutch, p. 684. t Anthony Wood's Life, p. 115. 

'' Journals, House of Commons. ' Willis's Not. Pari. vol. i. p. 277, 291. k Douglas, 
Election Cases, vol. iv. p 121. note p. 161. 

' Sir Edward Coke, and other members, who had taken an active part against the Duke 
of Buckingham, were made Sheriffs in lfi25, and so could not be chosen parliament men. 
Whitelocke's Mem. pages 2, 6. In 1G29, Mr. Long was fined 2000 marks in the Star- 
Chamber, and imprisoned, for serving as a Member of Parliament, when he was Sheriff. 
Whitelocke, p. M. 

ch. iv. sec. v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 547 

D'Ewes ; and he adds a substantial reason for it, that " otherwise it had 
" lain in the power of any sovereign to have disabled as many persons as 
" he chose, and he might have dis-furnished the house of its ablest mem- 
bers 01 ." 

After the removal of Richard Cromwell from the Protectorship, 
April 22, 1659, the governing powers began to look towards the revenues 
of the universities ; and all human learning was despised by the 
saints. Some thought that the universities should be quite abolished, 
but the more moderate were of opinion, that they should be modelled 
after the form of Leyden, and other Dutch universities, and should 
have three colleges left for the study of the three great faculties, of 
divinity, law, and physic ; each to have a professor. The most active 
person in promoting this plan was said to have been Major Croke. For 
this opinion respecting the university he was censured by Dr. South". 
Soon after, he was appointed one of the Commissioners for Oxfordshire, 
by the act for settling the militia. 

In the disputes which arose between the republican party and the 
army, when the principal point in debate was the re-establishment of the 
remains of the long parliament, or the calling of a new one, a party 
appeared for the old parliament in Wiltshire, under the command of 
Colonel Croke, " who having told divers of Ludlow's friends (as he relates 
" it himself) in that country, ' that the principal reasons of his dissatis- 
" faction with the proceedings of the army had been taken from what 
" Ludlow had said in the late council of officers,' he prevailed with divers 
" of them to side with him, and so marched towards Portsmouth, in order 

"' Journal, page 381. 

" Sermons, vol. i. page 124. ed. 1715. " Should God in his judgement "suffer England 
" to be transformed into a Minister, should the faithful be every where massacred, should 
" the places of learning be demolished, and our colleges reduced not. only as one in his 
" great zeal would have it, to three but to none, yet assuredly hell is worse than all this." 
To this is subjoined a note, I suppose by the Editor, Doctor William King, to explain to 
whom he alludes. " Unton Croke, a colonel of the army, the perfidious cause of Penrud- 
" dock's death, and sometime after High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, openly and frequently 
" affirmed the uselessness of the Universities, and that three colleges were sufficient to an- 
" swer the occasions of the nation, for the breeding up of men to learning, so far as it was 
" either necessary or useful." 

4 A 2 

548 CROKE OF MARSTON. book iv. 

" to join Sir Arthur Haslerig, and Colonel Morley, who had already pos- 
" sessed themselves of that place, and declared for the restitution of the par- 
liament ." On the 1 lth of January, 1660, he was made Colonel of 
Berry's regiment by the Parliament ''. 

Weary at length of the endless confusion which prevailed in the king- 
dom, with the moderate men of all parties, together with his relation In- 
goldsby, he cordially supported the re-establishment of a more stable 
government, in the restoration of the ancient race of monarchs. After 
General Monk had arrived in London, on the 29th of February, accord- 
ingly, Colonel Unton Croke, and his regiment, declared their concurrence 
with himi. After the Restoration, when his regiment was disbanded, 
he appears to have led a retired life : sometimes in Devonshire, from 
whence he married his wife, at Cheddington in Bucks, at Grandpoole 
in the south suburbs of Oxford, at Heading-ton Wick, and other places. 
He was living in a gouty condition, at or near London, in 1690: but 
his affair with Penruddock was never forgotten by the loyalists r . 
He married, first, the daughter of Sir Charles Wise, and had by her one 
daughter at least. His second wife was the daughter of Mr. Mallet, a 
merchant of Exeter : by whom he had a son of his own name. What 
became of his children is not known. 

Charles Croke, a younger son of Serjeant Unton Croke, and 
brother to Colonel Unton Croke, was a Commoner of Christ Church 
College at Oxford 8 . He accompanied his cousin, Lord Whitelocke, upon 
his embassy to Sweden, in the years 16.5J, and 1654, as one of his Pages, 
of whom he had four ; Henry Elsing, son of the Clerk of the Parliament, 
was another'. He served some years in his brother Unton Croke's troop of 
horse, and after his return from Sweden, Colonel Copleston, the High Sheriff 
of Devonshire, honoured him with one of the Protector's commissions for a 
company, which he had already raised, in his regiment. But that being 
near an end, Unton Croke, in a letter to the Protector, dated 5 March, 
1655, requests that he would confer the vacant colours in his troop upon 

Ludlow's Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 283. >' Whitelock, p. 694. '' Ibid. |>. C>y<). 

' Wood's Ath. Oxon. col. 7.~>5. ' Wood's Fast. Oxon. ii. c. 755. ; Whitelocke's 

Ambassy, vol. ii. p. 465. Appendix. 

ch.iv.sec.v. CROKE OF MARSTON. 549 

his brother, of whom he speaks as " not unapt for the place, well disposed, 
" and of a gracious spirit "." Wood informs us, that after he had taken 
many rambles, had been a soldier, and had seen the vanities of the world, 
he published at London in 1667, a book in octavo, intitled, Youth's 
Unconstancy . 

1 See the letter already printed, p. 533, 53±, from Thurloe's State Papers, vol. iii. 



T HE fifth and youngest son of Sir John Croke, the Judge, was Edward 
Croke, of whom it is only known by his monument, that he died young, 
on the 4th of February, 1626, and was buried at Chilton, where, on a flat 
stone, is the following inscription, upon a brass plate ; of which the senti- 
ments are superior to the poetry. 

A coat of arms above, Croke with an annulet. 

ave, viator. 
stay here, thou gentle passenger, 
and view this young man's character, 
here lyes the body of a sonne, 
next to his sire that to god is gone, 
the next step forward, grandsire holdes, 
and great grandsire third place enfoldes*. 
their virtues speake their prayses best, 
and heere their bodyes quiet rest. 

vale, lector, 
reader, now passe, and credit this, 
who liveth well shall go to blisse, 
and who so runnes a holy course, 
as these have donne whom i rehearse. 
when as he views this character, 
will wish he were inheritor 
unto such worthyes, men that were 
renowned whilst they lived heere. 

uk jacet edwardus croke, qui oi5iit quarto die febru- 
arii, 1626. 

3 This alludes to the situation of their places of burial. 

ch. iv. sec. vi. EDWARD CROKE. 551 

Sir John Croke, in his will, mentions his daughter Rachel, but he 
probably speaks of his daughter-in-law, Rachel Webb, wife of his son, 
Sir John Croke. 

This finishes all the descendants of Sir John Croke, the Judge. 



The Waterstock Branch. 

HAVING gone through all the descendants of Sir John Croke, the 
Judge, I return to his brother Henry Croke, the second son of Sir 
John Croke, and Elizabeth Unton. He was a barrister, and was dead 
when his mother made her will in 1607. His wife was Bennet Hony- 
wood, the daughter of Robert Honywood, of Charing, in Kent, Esquire, 
and sister to his brother William's wife; and who was buried the 27th of 
October, 1638, at Waterstock. He is represented on the monument of 
his father and mother in a bar gown, with his coat of arms, Croke, with a 
mullet, impaled with argent, a chevron between three eagles' heads, erased, 
azure: for Honywood. His children were, Anne, Nathaniel, Henry, and 
Elizabeth. Anne married William Walpole, Esquire, of Little Bursted, 
in Essex ; and Elizabeth was the wife of Nicholas, a barrister. I be- 
lieve Nathaniel died young \ 

Henry Croke, son to the last Henry, was born about 1596. He 
was entered at Christ Church College, in Oxford, on the 17th of January, 
lb 10, being only fourteen years of age; where he continued till he had 
taken his degree of Master of Arts, and then removed to Braze-nose Col- 
lege' 1 . 

A testimonial, addressed to Doctor George Abbot, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, was given him in 1 6 1 8, from the principal members of 
both his colleges, certifying his abilities for any employment either in 
Church or State, suitable to his years, being then twenty-two years of age, 
but for what purpose it was obtained does not appear, unless for his 

3 Harl. MSS. Xo. 1533. a visitation of Bucks, in 1675. Ward, Waterstock Register. 
b Ward, 305. 


Reverendissimo in Christo patri, Georgio divina Providentia Archie- 
piscopo Cantuariensi, et totius Angliae primati et metropolitano, nos, quo- 
rum nomina subscripta sunt, pro merito et dignitate tanti viri debitam cum 
honore reverentiam. Cum Henricus Croke, e collegio jEnei Nasi in Arti- 
bus Magister, certis de causisipsumin hac parto moventibus, literas nostras 
testimoniales de vita sua, laudataque morum integritate, concedi petierit ; 
nos tarn honestae petitioni ejus, quantum in nobis est, obsecundare volen- 
tes, testamur, et testatum facimus per praesentes, Henricum Croke ad se- 
cundam annuum suscepti gradus magisterii, quo in JEde Christi et Mnei 
Nasi collegio versatus est, sedulam studiis dedisse operam, vitamque suam 
sobrie ac pie per omnia instituisse; ad haec, in iis rebus, quas ad religio- 
rem spectant, nihil unquam, quod scimus, eum aut credidisse aut tenuisse, 
nisi quod catholici patres veteresque episcopi ex doctrina Veteris Novique 
Testamenti collegerunt, quod ecclesia nostra Anglicana jam tenet, appro- 
bat, et tuetur ; adeoque dignum fore, ut ad quodcunque munus in eccle- 
sia, vel republica, aetati subs competens promoveatur. In cujus rei testi- 
monium nomina nostra hisce praesentibus apposuimus. 

Sam. Radcliffe, Pr. coll. Mn. Nas. Guil. Goodwin, Vicec. Ox. 

Joann. Pickering. Edm. Gwinne, Subdec. 

Edw. Ritston. Johann. Weston, Praebend. 

Gabr. Richardson. Guil. Ballowe, Thesaur. 

Radul. Richardson. Christ. White, Magist. 

Philipp. Cappar. Johann. Morris, Magist. 

The names in the first column were of Brazen-nose, in the second, of 
Christ Church c . 

The next year, his cousin Charles Croke resigned his Professorship of 
Rhetoric, at Gresham College, and he was chosen to succeed him, upon 
Wednesday the 26th of May, 1619, being then but twenty-three years of 
age. Upon that occasion he obtained another testimonial from Christ 
Church college, where he had been longest resident. 

Universis Christi fidelibus, ad quos hoc praesens scriptum pervenerit, 
nos, quorum nomina subscripta sunt, pro merito ac dignitate cujusque 

c Ward, 309- 


554 CROKE OF WATERSTOCK. book iv. 

personae debitam reverentiam. Cum pium sit et aequitatis officio consen- 
taneum cognitae veritati testimonium perhibere, et Henricus Croke, Ar- 
tium Magister, ex Mde Christi Oxon. certis de causis ipsum hac in parte 
moventibus, literas nostras testimonials de vita sua laudabili, merumque 
inteo-ritate, sibi concedi petierit, nos tarn honestae petitioni deesse non po- 
tuimus. Quare testamur, et testatum facimus per praesentes, dictum Hen- 
ricum Croke per septem annos in ALde Christi Oxon. vixisse, doctrinae 
suae atque eruditionis Christianae non vulgare apud nos specimen edidisse. 
eundem fuisse et esse probis et honestis moribus, bona fama, religione sin- 
cera, et conversatione integra, adeoque dignum, qui ad qualecumque munus 
in ecclesia, vel republica, aetati et gradui conveniens promoveatur. In cu- 
jus rei testimonium nomina nostra his praesentibus apposuimus. Datum die 
decimo octavo Maii anno Dom. 1619- 

Edm. Gwinne, Subdec. Rob. Burton, Theol. Baccal. 

Jo. Weston, Doct. Jur. Civ. Jo. Wall, Theol. Baccal. 

Tho. Manne, Theol. Baccal. Rob. Whitehall, Theol. Baccal. u 

Trinity term beginning that year on the next Friday after his election, 
which was the day for reading the Rhetoric Lecture, he was ordered to 
perform his Latin oration that morning according to custom. It is pro- 
bable that he had prepared his composition from an expectation that he 
should be chosen, as the time was short, and the electors would otherwise 
scarcely have required that duty from the youngest professor they had 
ever chosen. He held the office with great credit for eight years, and re- 
signed it April the 13th, 1627? having then taken his degree of Bachelor 
in Divinity 1 . 

He left Gresham College upon a design of marriage, which he accom- 
plished soon after; for upon the 18th of July following, he married Sarah, 
the daughter of the Reverend Henry Wilkinson, Rector of Waddesdon, in 
Buckinghamshire. And the reason of his quitting his professorship some 
months before his marriage might probably be to favour the election of his 
wife's brother, Edward Wilkinson, who succeeded him in it f . 

d Ward, 309. l Ibid. ' Ibid. 

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The family into which he married produced several divines of considerable 
eminence in die Presbyterian party. His father-in-law, who was born in 
1566, and died in 1649, had been elected Fellow of Merton, by the interest 
of Sir Henry Saville, to whom he was related, obtained the Rectory of 
Waddesden, and was one of the Assembly of Divines in 1643. His wife 
was Sarah, the only daughter of Dr. Arthur Wake, Canon of Christ 
Church, and father of the learned Sir Isaac Wake, Orator of the Univer- 
sity of Oxford, author of Rex Platonisus, and afterwards Ambassador to 
Savoy 5 . 

The brother of Mr. Henry Wilkinson, was Doctor John Wilkinson, 
who was tutor to Prince Henry, son of James the First, Principal of 
Magdalen Hall, and, in 1646, one of the Parliamentary Visitors of the Uni- 
versity. In 1648, he was appointed President of Magdalen College, and 
died in 1649- At this advanced period of his life, oppressed by years 
and weakness, he was persuaded by the avarice of his wife, and his ne- 
phew Henry, to take part in a very disgraceful transaction. The founder 
of Magdalen College had provided a sum of money for the expenses of 
law-suits, and other occasional demands, and which was deposited in old 
gold, or spur-royals, in the tower of the college. Dr. Wilkinson, with the 
college officers, broke open the door, discovered the treasure, and they di- 
vided it amongst them : the President had an hundred pieces, and the 
Fellows each thirty. All the college shared in the spoil ; in the whole 
there were nine hundred pistolets, and each piece produced sixteen shillings 
and six-pence 1 '. Wood states the whole amount at <£1400. 

Doctor Henry Wilkinson, usually styled senior, nephew to the Presi- 
dent of Magdalen, son of the Rector of Waddesden, and brother to Sarah 
Wilkinson, was one of the Assembly of Divines likewise, Rector of Saint 
Dunstan's, one of the Parliamentary Visitors, Vice-President, and Senior 
Fellow of Magdalen College, Canon of Christ Church, and Margaret Pro- 
fessor of Divinity; and died in 167-5 1 . 

There was another Doctor Henry Wilkinson, commonly called junior, 

e Wood Ath. Oxon. ii. 59. As there has been some confusion respecting these divines, 
from there being several of the same name, I have made out a correct pedigree of them. 
No. 29. h Chandler's Life of William Waynflete, 1811, page 290. Wood, ii. 748. 

1 Ath. Oxon. c. 397. 

4 B 2 


who was cousin to the last, being the son of the Reverend William Wil- 
kinson, of Adwick in Yorkshire; brother to the Rector of Waddesden, and 
the President of Magdalen. This Henry was made Principal of Magda- 
len Hall, in 1648, and had a brother John, who was a physician k . 

Soon after Henry Croke's marriage, his uncle, Sir George Croke, pre- 
sented him to the Rectory of Waterstock, and, upon the 25th of June, 
1640, he took the degree of Doctor in Divinity. Sir George Croke hav- 
ing by his will left him the house and estate at Waterstock, upon his death 
in 1641; he succeeded him as Lord of the Manor. He died in 1642, and 
was buried on the 20th of April 1 , in the chancel of his own church, with- 
out any monument to his memory 1 ". 

He had four sons, George, John, Henry, baptized 7th of May, 1640", 
and Samuel, baptized 1st of April, 1642°, and one daughter, Mary, born 
in 1635, who died in her infancy''. 

Of the great number of persons, who compose the genealogy of a nu- 
merous family, tew will be found whose lives can afford much entertain- 
ment, or instruction. Of many, no remembrance whatever is preserved ; 
the men of fortune pursue their amusements, the men of business their occu- 
pations, without supplying any materials which can be interesting to futurity. 
When we meet with a man of science and philosophy, who has employed 
his mind in pursuits useful or ornamental to mankind, we may be allowed 
to dwell upon the subject with some degree of pleasure and satisfaction. 

Sir George Croke, the eldest son of Doctor Henry Croke, after his 
father's death, inherited the estate at Waterstock. His uncle Sir George 
Croke, the Judge, left him one hundred pounds, to be laid out in the pur- 
chase of an annuity, towards his maintenance and education 1 '. He was ap- 
pointed Fellow of All-Souls College in Oxford, by the Parliamentary Vi- 
sitors, and on the 2?th of February, 1651, was created Master of Arts, by 
virtue of a dispensation from Oliver Cromwell, the Chancellor of the Uni- 

He married Jane, one of the fourteen children of Sir Richard Onslow, 
the ancestor of the celebrated Speaker of the House of Commons, and the 

" Ath. Oxon. ii. c. 6±6, 770. 

1 Waterstock Register. "' Ward. 

" Waler- 

stock Register. " Ibid. 

p Ward. q Will penes me. 

r Wood A th. 

Oxon. vol. ii. col. 777- 


present Earl of Onslow. Sir Richard Onslow, in the time of Charles the 
First, espoused the side of the Parliament, in which he served in three ses- 
sions for the county of Surrey. He raised a regiment, and was one of 
the select committee who waited upon Oliver Cromwell to persuade him 
to assume the title of King; and was afterwards made one of his peers. 
He was a man of an elegant and polite mind, and a particular friend of 
Sir Anthony Ashly Cooper; with whom he concurred in bringing about 
the Restoration of Charles the Second 5 . Upon the return of the King, he 
received the honour of Knighthood, and was appointed High Sheriff for 
Oxfordshire in 1664'. 

Sir George Croke appears to have been actively engaged in the various 
pursuits which occupied men of science at that philosophical period, when 
the Royal Society was first instituted, and enrolled amongst its members 
so many persons of eminence ; and he was elected a Fellow the 8th of Fe- 
bruary, 1676". Dr. Plot, in his Natural History of Oxfordshire, has de- 
dicated to him a plate of undescribed plants, natives of Oxfordshire, in 
which he styles him " a learned and curious botanist"." Of the different 
branches of that interesting science he attended more particularly to gar- 
dening, and was curious in exotic plants 7 . Lawrence, in his New System 
of Agriculture 2 , says, that he was the first who brought the Plane Tree 
into England: which Miller supposes must have been the Occidental, or 
Virginian Plane : for the Oriental Plane was introduced by Lord Ba- 
con 11 . Evelyn, in his Sylva, says, that " the introduction of the true Plane 
Tree amongst us is perhaps due to the great Chancellor Bacon, who 
planted those still flourishing at Verulam. As to mine, I owe it to that 
honourable gentleman, the late Sir George Croke of Oxfordshire, from 
whose bounty I received an hopeful plant, now growing in my villa 'V 

Anthony Wood gives an account, that he visited Sir George Croke at 
Waterstock, on the 30th of June, in 1668, and was much pleased by lodg- 
ing in a room there, called the King's room, because Henry the Sixth had 
slept there. And that in December of that year, he spent his Christmas 

5 Collins's Peerage, vol. v. p. 327, 330. ' Wood, ubi supra. " Books of the 

Society. " Page 149. y Ward, p. 311. 2 Page 247. 3 Dictionary in 

voce. b Voce Platanus, vol. ii. p. 68. Edit. Hunter, 1812. The first edition was in 



at Sir George's, with Francis Dryer, a foreigner of Bremen, who had been 
residing at Oxford for the purpose of consulting the Bodleian Library . 

In a correspondence with Mr. Oldenburg, the Secretary of the Royal 
Society, and which is preserved in their letter books, Sir George appears to 
have been an astronomer, an anatomist, an amateur in medicine, and to 
have been engaged in discovering a method to find the longitude at sea. 

A vapouring French physician, a Monsieur Dennis, who was employed 
" par ordre du Roi a faire des experiences, dont tout le monde recevra de 
" grands avantages," transmitted to England in 1673, " un essence merveil- 
" leuse," which he pretended would staunch effusions of blood even from 
wounded arteries. It had been tried " aux yeux de toute la cour, et de 
" tout ce qu'il y a de scavans medicins etchirurgeons." The ingenious in- 
ventor had obtained the Royal Privilege for the exclusive sale of it in 
France, and he confesses that he expected to derive " bien de l'argent" 
from England; " car pour une pistole de dispense, on en tireroit plus de 
•' mille." A pretty reasonable profit. Some of it was transmitted to Sir 
George Croke, who in a series of experiments fully proved the inefiicacy 
of the medicine, and annihilated the golden mountains of the charlatan. 

About the same time he brought forward a proposition for the finding 
of the longitude. Having stated the insufficiency of all former methods, 
by the eclipses of the moon, her place in the zodiac, distance from the 
fixed stars, or entrance into the ecliptic line, by the satellites of Jupiter, or 
any other celestial observations, or the variations of the magnetic needle ; 
he assumes, that a correct measurer of time would be the only certain me- 
thod; an opinion which succeeding experience has proved to be true. 
Since then to obtain an accurate time-keeper was the principal object, he 
examines and rejects the various kinds in use, dials, water, sand-glasses, 
and pendulums, and then proposes a new horologium, of his own inven- 
tion, in which Mercury was made the measure of time per descensum, 
upon the principle of an hour-glass. In Latin, the language of science, 
he describes the invention, and explains its various advantages. 

Mr. Oldenburg, in his answer, after many compliments, informs him, 
that the invention of mercurial hour-glasses had occurred to Tvcho Brahe, 

Life of Anthony Wood, p. 217, 214. 

chap. v. CROKE OF WATERSTOCK. 5.59 

the Danish astronomer, many years before, who had failed in the experi- 
ment, and complained " that Mercury had played the knave with him ;" 
that another man, Smith, had attempted the same thing with no better 
success ; and that it was his own opinion, and that of his philosophical 
friends, that the method would not answer. 

Sir George, in his reply, assures the Secretary that he had never seen 
those authors ; but with the true sanguine spirit of an inventor, so far from 
being disheartened by this information, he is glad that his opinion is con- 
firmed by so good authority. He does not like it the worse because they 
failed in the experiment, which he supposes was owing to its being ill 
conducted. He obviates some farther objections, and wishes it to be tried 
with greater accuracy. He proposes that Mr. Hook, or some able me- 
chanic, should make an instrument upon his plan. But I suppose it did 
not succeed ultimately, as nothing farther was heard of it d . 

Sir George Croke died the 17th of November, 1680, at the house of his 
brother Henry, in the Haymarket at London, from whence his body was 
conveyed to Waterstock, and was buried in the chancel, without any 
monument, near to his great uncle Sir George Croke, the Judge, and his 
wife, who died about four years before him, March the 11th, l6?6 e . 

He left only two daughters, Elizabeth, and Sarah, who was born the 
19th of April, l669 f ; one of them married Sir Thomas Wyndham; and 
Mr. Delafield was informed that Sir Richard Onslow courted the other, 
but whether he married her he could not be certified e. There being no 
son, the estate was sold to Sir Henry Ashhurst. This gentleman was 
one of the trustees appointed by Mr. Boyle for his lectures. He was a 
staunch puritan, and a particular friend of the celebrated Mr. Baxter. 
In 1688, he was created a Baronet. The estate still continues in this fa- 
mily, but in 1695, the ancient seat was pulled down, and a new one of 
brick was built in its place. This, in turn, was demolished, and an ex- 
cellent new stone house was erected, by Sir William Henry Ashhurst, one 
of the Justices of the King's Bench : and father to William Henry Ash- 

d See Monsr. Denys's letter, and the correspondence between Sir George Croke and 
Mr. Oldenburg, respecting the Styptic, and the finding the longitude, from the Letter 
Books of the Royal Society, in Appendix, No. XXVIII. 

e Wood, ibid. f Waterstock Register. • History of Chilton. 

560 CROKE OF WATERSTOCK. book iv. 

hurst, Esquire, the present representative in Parliament for the county of 
Oxford h . 

Of the other three sons of Doctor Henry Croke, John was a courtier, 
and Gentleman of the Bedchamber to King Charles the Second. He 
died in November, 1670, and was buried at Waterstock. Henry was a 
linen draper in the Haymarket. Of Samuel no account has been pre- 

11 Ward, p. 312. and MSS. notes. Wood, Fast. Oxon. Life of A. Wood. p. 581. 
■ Ward, p. 311. Waterstock Register. 

5 i r G eo rd e C ro oKe one o€ 
ttie [uftice^ of tke bi..o, Ben. k 

oh. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 561 


Sir George Croke, the Judge, and his descendants. 


SIR GEORGE CROKE, the third son of Sir John Croke and Elizabeth 
Unton, was born about the year 1.560; in the beginning of the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth*. 

He passed his infancy and his tender years under the care of a discreet 
and affectionate mother, and exhibited, from his childhood, the same ex- 
cellence of mind and disposition, which accompanied him through lite. 
He received the first part of his public education at the school at Thame, 
which had been founded by Lord Williams, and was formerly of much ce- 
lebrity. At the age of fifteen, in 1575, he was entered of Christ Church 
College in Oxford, to improve his talents, by the cultivation of the 
sciences, and the study of philosophy. After some residence, he was 
removed to the Inner Temple, of which he had been admitted a Member. 
on the 7th of February, in the seventeenth year of Queen Elizabeth, 157-t: 
and where he employed the remainder of his youth in the study of the com- 
mon law b . At what time he was called to the bar does not a,ppear. In 
1597, the 39th of Elizabeth, he was elected a Representative in Parliament 
tor the borough of Berealston in Devonshire . He was made a Bencher of 
the Inner Temple, the 5th of November, 1597 ; was Autumn Reader in 
1599; Treasurer in 1609; and Double Reader in 1617" 1 - The Inns of 
Court, at that time, constituted a Juridical University, where exercises 

" From the dates, cetatis 66, 1626, on his picture, and his monument. 
b Sir Harbottle Grimston's Preface to his Reports. Wood's Hist. Univ. Oxon. Register 
of the Inner Temple, and his arms in the Hall window. 
' c Willis's Not. Pari. * Pref. Cro. Car. Ward, p. 30.5. Temple Register. 

4 C 

.562 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

were performed, lectures read, and degrees conferred, in the common law : 
as in other Universities in the canon and civil law e . From the Benchers, 
or Ancients, one was appointed to read lectures annually in the summer 
vacation to the students, and was called the Single, or Autumn Reader : 
and one of them, who had formerly read, gave his lectures in the Lent va- 
cation, and was called a Double Reader f . 

Upon the 29th of June, 1623, the twenty-first year of King James, he 
received from Williams, the Lord Keeper, and Bishop of Lincoln, in the 
presence of the King at Greenwich, an order signed by the King for him 
to be made a Serjeant at Law, and at the same time was knighted, and 
appointed the King's Serjeant. On the 3d of July following, he received 
the King's writ to that effect, dated the 26th of June ; and in Michaelmas 
term, he was accordingly called to the rank of a Serjeant, with fourteen 
others, amongst whom were, Bridgeman, Sir Heneage Finch, Davenport, 
Bramston, and others, who afterwards arrived at high dignities in the 
law 8 . 

A happy union of learning, judgment, memory, talents, industry, and 
integrity, could not fail to open the road to fame and wealth. Sir George 
Croke appears to have had great practice as advocate, and was particularly 
celebrated for his skill in pleading causes'". His name occurs continually, 
as counsel, in the cases of the contemporary reporters. Of his zeal, 
and honest prejudices, in favour of the parties in whose causes he 
was engaged, so natural to a warm and honourable mind, he has 
frankly made a confession in his argument in Selden's case. " The 
•■ counsel have, of either side, pressed such reasons and arguments as they 
" thought convenient for the maintaining their opinions ; and perhaps 
•' with a prejudicate opinion : as I myself, by mine own experience, when 
•• I was at the bar, have argued confidently, and 1 then thought the law 
•' to be of that side for whom I argued. But after being at the bench, 
•' weighing indifferently all reasons, and authorities, I have been of a dif- 

Blackstone, vol. i. p. 23. ' Coke, Preface to vol. iii. of his Reports. 

s Cro. Jac. p. 66S, 671- Pref. Cro. Car. 

'' Judicio acri, et memoriatenaci fruebatur, quibus addita singulari imlustria, amplissi- 
mum juris cognitionem, maxime autem in iis qua ad causas agendas spectant, adeptus est. 
Denique virtutibt.s intel'.ectualibus morales adjecit, fidem utique integerrimam, et munifi- 
centiam egregiam. Wood, Hist, et Antiq. Univ. Oxon. vol. ii. p. 64. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 663 

" ferent opinion, and so the law hath been adjudged, contrary to that 
" opinion, which I first confidently conceived 1 ." 

In 1618, when the citizens of Oxford, endeavoured to procure a new 
charter, which would have been injurious to the University, the Earl of 
Pembroke, the Chancellor, having notice of it, obtained a copy, which 
was examined by the University, and many exceptions were taken to 
it. They were put into the hands of Mr. John Walter, and Mr. 
George Croke, the Barrister, who digested and drew them up in due 
form k . 

Though the exact amount of his profits cannot be ascertained, there is 
sufficient proof that he acquired considerable wealth by his profession. 
As a younger brother he could have inherited no great fortune from his 
father. I had a letter from his elder brother, Sir John Croke, the Speaker 
of the House of Commons, and afterwards Judge, to borrow five hundred 
pounds of him, as is before mentioned. 

Before the year 16 15, he purchased of Sir William Cave, the estate at 
Waterstock, which is now the property of William Henry Ashhurst, 
Esquire. This estate had come into the Cave family, by the marriage of 
Sir Thomas Cave, brother to Sir George Croke's grandmother, Prudence 
Cave, with Elizabeth Danvers, daughter and heiress of Sir John Danvers 
of Waterstock. For many years it had been in the Danvers family, as 
appeared by the coats of arms formerly in painted glass in the church and 
mansion-house. There were the quarterings and impalements of many 
families, with which they intermarried : Bruly, Quatermain, Mansel, 
Fowler, Verney, and others. Amongst them were those of William 
Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, George Neville, Archbishop of York, 
and James Fenys, the latter with the date of 1480. That the arms 
of William of Waynflete were there, may be easily accounted for. 
Joan Danvers, relict of William Danvers, Esquire, was a benefactress 
to Magdalen College, in the life-time of the founder. In 14.53, she 
granted the manor of Wike, alias Staneswyke, at Ashbury in Berk- 
shire, which had descended to her from Rate Stanes, to Waynflete, and 
other trustees, for the new Hall, which was afterwards transferred to 
the college. In return, the President and Society entered into an obliga- 

' State Trials, vol. vii. k Wood's Annals Univ. Oxon by Gutch, vol. ii. p. 331. 

4 c 2 

564 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

tion to celebrate exequies cum notd for her soul, and the souls of her hus- 
band, and of Matilda de Acre, Countess of Oxford, for which they were 
allowed a pittance. These obits continued till the Reformation, when they 
were changed into commemorations 1 . The arms of Waynflete were pro- 
bably put up in remembrance of the connexion which subsisted between 
him and Joan Danvers, or to record a visit which he made to Waterstock. 
1 1 was a very usual mark of respect, paid to persons of rank, and was fre- 
quently given by the visitors themselves. George Neville was brother 
to the celebrated Earl of Warwick, who was surnamed the King- 
maker, and was Archbishop of York from 1464, to 14/6. It does 
not appear why his coat of arms was put up at Waterstock m . James 
Fenys, I suppose, was Lord Say and Seal, to whom the Danverses 
were related. For William of Wykeham's daughter Margaret married 
Sir William Fenys, (or Fiennes,) Lord Say and Seal. Edward Fenys, 
Lord Say and Seal, married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Danvers, and 
and his sister Elizabeth Fenys, married William Danvers. In the house 
were likewise the arms of Knolles, Harrington, and others, I know not 
how connected". 

In 1621, he purchased Studley of his nephew, Sir John Croke of Chil- 
ton, and, besides lands in Chilton, given in exchange, he paid the sum of 
c£l800 in money for it. I find receipts, which have been preserved, for 
the sum of £2420, before paid in 1600, to his brother Sir John Croke, the 

1 Chandler's Life of William Waynflete, 1811, page 86, 252. 

'" Godwin de Praesulibus, vol. ii. p. 275. who has recorded an account of the magni- 
ficent dinner given at his installation. 

n See post, the Genealogy of Barker from William of Wykeham, No. 42. See the ac- 
count of the coats of arms in the church and mansion house at Waterstock, as they were 
in the year 1660, from Hutton's Collections for Oxfordshire. Rawlinson's MSS. Bibl. Bod. 
No. 397. fol. 343. in the Appendix, No. XXXI. and the arms in the church rudely tricked 
by Wood. Wood's MSS. Ashm. Mus. No. 8548. f. 52. As they had survived destruction 
in the Rebellion, what became of those in the church? Those in the house, 1 suppose, were 
destroyed when it was taken down. In an heraldic visitation I find, Edwardus Cave de 
Waterstoke, Ar. filins tertius Thomae Cave, milit. Duxit in uxorem Elizabetham filiam 
Johannis Conway de Arrowe in com. Warw. mil. et habuit exitum Fulconem. Harl. MSS. 
No. 5868, and Lee's visitation of Oxfordshire, in 1574, page 33. Anthony Wood's MSS. 
No. 8474, 12. 



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ch, vi. s-ec.i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 565 

Judge, said to have been for lands bought at Studley, and for a further 
sum of ,£1200 in 1621, to his nephew, " due as by agreement ." 

The exact time of his marriage has not been stated. His lady was 
Mary, the second daughter of Sir Thomas Bennet, by his wife, who was 
named likewise Mary, and was the daughter of Robert Taylor, Esquire, 
Sheriff of London, in the thirty-fourth year of Queen Elizabeth. Sir 
Thomas Bennet was the third son of Thomas Bennet, Esquire, of Clopcot 
near Wallingford in Berkshire, was Sheriff of London in the year 1594, 
and Lord Mayor in the first year of King James the First ; by whom he 
was knighted. And he was brother to Richard Bennet, the ancestor of 
the Earl of Arlington, in the reign of Charles the Second, and of the pre- 
sent Earl of Tankerville. Lady Croke's elder sister Anne, married 
William Duncombe, of Brickhill in Buckinghamshire, Esquire. Simon, 
her eldest brother, was seated at Beechampton in Buckinghamshire, 
married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Arthur Ingram, and was created 
a Baronet in 1627- Richard, her second brother, was an eminent 
merchant in London, and the grandfather to three heiresses, who became the 
wives of Lord Latimer, John Bennet, Esquire, and James Cecil, Earl of 
Salisbury. His widow Elizabeth, daughter of William Cradock, Esquire, 
afterwards married Sir Heneage Finch" 1 . 

Upon the 11th of February, 1624, the twenty-second year of James, 
he was created one of the Justices of the Common Pleas, then more 
usually called the Common Bench, in the place of Sir Humphrey Winch •». 
In Hilary term, 1627, with the rest of the Judges, he subscribed some 
orders to be observed in the houses of the Courts of Law : as he did after- 
wards, in 1630, for the government of the Inns of Court and Chancery'. 

After the death of Sir John Dodridge, in 1628, the fourth year of King 
Charles, there being then five Judges in the Common Pleas, the King, 
intending to reduce them to their usual number, upon the 23d of Sep- 
tember, having had communication with the Lord Keeper Coventry, 
nominated Sir George Croke to be one of the Justices of the King's 

Penes me. 

p Collins's Peerage, vol. iii. page 364. edition 1756. By an error he calls her Margaret, 
instead of Mary. See the Genealogy of Bennet, from Collins, and Brown Willis's MSS. 
vol. 19. No. 30. 

' Cro. Jac. page 699. r Dugd. Orig. Jurid. p. 321. 

566 SIR GEORGE CROKE. bookiv. 

Bench, and signed a warrant the same day for his patent ; and another 
warrant, reciting his first patent of Justice of the Common Pleas, and 
determining his pleasure concerning that place, saving all wages and sums 
due. The patent of Justice of the King's Bench was dated and sealed 
upon the 9th day of October, the patent of revocation of his former appoint- 
ment upon the 10th ; and both were delivered to him upon the 1 1th, when 
he was sworn in\ 

Upon this occasion a question was raised respecting his precedency. 
Previously to this removal, he had three puisnes, or juniors, upon the 
Bench ; one in the Common Pleas, and two of the Barons in the Exche- 
quer ; and there was no clause in his patent, saving his superiority, pre- 
cedency, and antiquity, as had been the case in the second patent of 
Justice Nichols. It was doubted therefore, whether his appointment to 
the King's Bench was not to be considered as a new appointment, which 
would bring him in as puisne to all the Judges, whose rank is determined 
according to the date of their patents. But all the Judges, assembled at 
the Lord Keeper's house, agreed, " That he needed not such a saving. 
" For his patent continued untill the time he was Judge of the King's 
" Bench, and he never ceased to be a Judge, but was translated only." 
And they conceived that " the patent of revocation of his place as Justice 
" in the Common Pleas was needless ; because, by making him Justice in 
" the King's Bench, his former patent was in law determined, according 
" to the case in Dyer, 5 Mar. 159, yet for better security, there was one 
" made, according to the president of Justice Jones his patent, when he 
" was removed out of the Common Pleas to be Judge in the King's 
" Bench 1 ." 

Towards the conclusion of Sir George Croke's life, in the disputes 
between the King and the Parliament, the kingdom had arrived at one of 
the most important crisises in which any country was ever involved. Each 
party pretended to found its claims upon law and right ; and it must be 
admitted, that, at the commencement of the contest, they were both on the 
side of the Parliament. For it was indisputably the object of the King, 
however excellent his private character, to render his power despotic, and 
independent of his Parliament : whilst it was, at least, the ostensible 

* Cro. Car. p. 127- ' Ibid. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 56? 

purpose of the Parliament, to maintain the ancient free constitution of the 

But the state of the question was soon changed. Charles had complied 
with every reasonable demand, and had surrendered every offensive part of 
his prerogative. This period may be fixed, at the time when he gave his 
assent to the bills for the abolition of the High Commission Court, and 
the Star Chamber. The subject had then obtained the confirmation of 
every right, which was essential to his freedom. The Crown was left in 
possession of all the prerogatives, which were absolutely necessary to the 
executive power, and of no others. And the constitution was settled, 
nearly according to its present form ; which is justly considered as a 
model of political wisdom. 

From this time it became evident, that no concessions on the part of the 
Crown were sufficient to satisfy the Parliamentary leaders, and that they 
had a settled design to overturn the established laws and constitution, to 
abolish the monarchy, and to establish a republic in its place. They 
began by depriving the King of the command of the militia, and were pro- 
ceeding to strip him of every part of his just authority. Farther submis- 
sion would have been to betray the sacred trust, with which he was 
invested; and he was compelled to make a stand in his own defence, and 
that of the lawful constitution of his country. A civil war was the con- 
sequence: which ended in the King's defeat, the triumph of his adversaries, 
and the erection of a commonwealth. The struggles for power between 
different factions, the inevitable concomitant of that unstable form of po- 
licy, ended in a military government, and the tyranny of Cromwell. The 
people, at length, having experienced the inadequacy of all the projected 
schemes of government to promote their happiness, and sensible that they 
had only been the dupes of crafty and ambitious men, were glad to retrace 
their steps, and to return to the old legitimate limited monarchy. 

Such is the short history of this contest. It was the fortune of Sir 
George Croke to live in the earliest part of it only ; when the Crown was 
assuming very unjustifiable powers. To establish, and rivet them upon 
the people, the Courts of Justice were used as the principal instruments ; 
and no means were left unattempted, by threats, persuasion, and promises, 
to render them subservient to the views of the court. The virtuous Sir Ed- 
ward Coke, and several others, had been removed for want of sufficient 

.568 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

servility. The place of Chief Justice was occupied by Finch, a man 
whose talents were employed only to gratify his ambition: and most of the 
other Judges were awed, or cajoled into submission. Wherever the Crown 
was interested, the decisions were uniformly in its favour; and these par- 
tial judgments were amongst the principal causes of the subsequent ca- 

In these unjustifiable proceedings Sir George Croke did not concur; 
and unterrified by the menaces, and uninfluenced by the fascinations 
of power, upon every occasion, followed the dictates of his own con- 
science, and gave his opinion in favour of the rights of the people. Al- 
though he was but little supported, and his opinions were generally over- 
ruled by the majority of the Judges, yet they had great influence upon the 
public mind, and contributed not a little to those measures by which the 
liberties of the country were finally established. To appreciate properly 
the merit and the utility of his conduct, it will be necessary to shew how 
much those liberties were indangered by the attempts of the Crown. 

Of the three absolute rights of man, which civil society was instituted to 
protect, that of personal security, indeed, in the enjoyment of life and 
limb, could not well have been violated in a civilized country, or by any 
but a most lawless and savage despot; but powers which were totally sub- 
versive of the other two rights, persona/ liberty, and the right of pro- 
pert if, were claimed and exercised by this unfortunate monarch. Nor was 
any thing further wanting to establish a perfect despotism, than his suc- 
ceeding in these attempts; for a sovereign who can imprison or tax his 
subjects, without control, has the unlimited command over a nation. 
Upon these two essential points the country found an able supporter in 
Sir George Croke. 

First. Personal Liberty, by which no man can be imprisoned un- 
less by due course of law, is essential to a free state. In every country 
where the magistrate or the sovereign is invested with the power of arbi- 
trary imprisonment the subject is completely inslaved, and holds every other 
right by a precarious tenure. 

I shall say nothing of the High Commission Court, or the Star Cham- 
ber; because, however inconsistent with liberty, they were certainly esta- 
blished by the law of the land, till they were abolished by Act of Par- 
liament. But the most objectionable and illegal power assumed by the 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 569 

King, was that of imprisonment by a warrant from the Privy Council, 
without bail, and for a great length of time, without the parties being 
brought to trial. Such imprisonments had frequently taken place in the 
last and former reigns. Charles continued to exercise a power which he 
believed to be lawful, and he exerted it, with little scruple, upon every oc- 
casion, where the public or even the private, conduct of individuals, had 
unfortunately incurred his displeasure. In 1626, Sir Dudley Diggs, and 
Sir John Elliot, were committed to the Tower, for exercising a truly le- 
gitimate right, in being managers for the Commons in the impeachment of 
the Duke of Buckingham. They were however soon released". The 
Earl of Arundel was committed for having married his son to the Duke of 
Lenox's sister ; but he was released upon the application of the House of 
Peers". Of those who refused to lend the King the sums required by the 
Commissioners of loans, some were sent on board ships to serve as man- 
ners, others were pressed as soldiers ; Sir Peter Hayman was dispatched 
upon an errand to the Palatinate; and many others were imprisoned in 
close confinement, in common jails, and out of their own counties. Just 
before the meeting of the Parliament, in 1627, they were all discharged y . 
Many were imprisoned without any cause shewn, and when it was certi- 
fied, upon their being brought up by habeas corpus, that they were com- 
mitted by his Majesty's command, they were returned back to prison 2 . 

These harsh measures occasioned the interference of Parliament, and 
the celebrated Act, called the Petition of Right, was the consequence; by 
which it was enacted, that no freeman should be imprisoned, unless by the 
lawful judgment of his Peers, or the law of the land 3 . But this law, con- 
clusive as it seemed, proved no security to the subject, and arbitrary im- 
prisonments by the Privy Council again took place. Even the writ of 
habeas corpus, which the law had provided as a remedy in cases of false 
imprisonment, was evaded, by removing the persons committed from prison 
to prison, and other artful means \ 

These unjustifiable proceedings were opposed by Sir George Croke. 
Upon every motion for an habeas corpus, or for a discharge from custody, 
where the party was legally intitled to it, he always gave his decided opi- 

' Whitelocke, p. 6. » Ibid. » Ibid. p. 8. z Ibid. » 3 Car. I. « White- 

locke, page 13. 

4 D 

570 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

nion that it should be granted: though his vote was often rendered nuga- 
tory by the number of the other Judges. 

Thus in the case of Atkinson in 1629, who had been committed by the 
Lord Chamberlain, for suing a servant of the King, without his leave, had 
been once delivered by an habeas corpus, and was again committed by 
the Lord Chamberlain; Sir George Croke, with Jones, and Whitelocke, in 
opposition to Hyde, the Chief Justice, granted a new habeas corpus c . 

But the principal case was that of the celebrated Selden, who, with 
Hollis, Hobert, Elliot, Hey man, Coriton, Long, Stroud, and Valentine, 
were committed for their language and proceedings in Parliament ; which 
the King, in his speech upon the dissolution of it, was pleased to call " the 
" seditious conduct of some vipers.''' A particular statement of this case 
will shew the oppressive nature of this power which was assumed by the 
Crown, and the vexatious manner in which it was exercised. 

The first warrant of the Privy Council, under which they were com- 
mitted to prison, was dated the 2d day of April, 1629, and stated no 
cause, but only His Majesty's pleasure and commandment. A month 
afterwards, on the 7th of May, a second warrant issued for their detention, 
" for notable contempts committed against the King and government, and 
'"for stirring up sedition." They applied for writs of habeas corpus, but 
upon the day when they were to have been brought up to hear the opinion 
of the court upon them, the prisoners did not appear, and therefore could 
receive no benefit from the writs. This was a manoeuvre on the part of 
the King, who had removed some of them from the prisons in which they 
were before, and to the keepers of which the writs had been directed, and 
had committed them to the Tower. A letter was sent from the King to 
the Judges, dated the 27th of July, 1629, to inform the court of the reason 
why he had not suffered them to appear, " that they had carried them- 
" selves insolently and unmanneredly towards the King and the Judges, 
" and therefore he did not think their presence necessary, until their 
" temper aud discretion should be such as to deserve it." Selden and 
Valentine were however permitted to appear the next day. Three hours 
after, came another letter from the King, to inform the Judges, that " upon 

" Whitelocke, page 13. b. sect. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 571 

" more solemn deliberation, Selden and Valentine were not to be brought 
" up, but that all should receive the same treatment.'"' He recommended 
likewise that the opinions of all the other Judges should be taken. From 
this intended delay, the court could give no opinion upon the writs of ha- 
beas corpus, and the parties continued in prison the whole of the 
long vacation. Towards the end of the vacation the King sent for 
the Chief Justice, and Judge Whitlock, and told them " that he was 
" contented they should be bailed, if they would express their sor- 
" row for the King's being offended with them.'''' In Michaelmas Term 
the prisoners were brought up, and informed that the court was 
willing to discharge them upon giving bail, and also finding sureties for 
their good behaviour. In prescribing these conditions, Sir George Croke 
did not concur with the other Judges, and was of opinion that they were 
intitled to be bailed absolutely; but his opinion was overruled by the rest. 
The prisoners considered these conditions as illegal, since sureties for good 
behaviour were never required but from persons held to have been guilty 
of some heinous, or at least infamous crime, and it was an implication that 
they were guilty of the matters objected. Upon their refusal to find such 
sureties, they were therefore remanded to close custody in the Tower, and 
the Chief Justice informed them at the same time, that perhaps the court 
would not afterwards grunt an habeas corpus. A denial of justice, which 
was considered, by all the eminent lawyers present, as a monstrous perver- 
sion of the law, but which was adhered to by the court: for upon a sub- 
sequent application of Mr. Littleton for another habeas corpus, for the 
question to be again argued, the Judges refused, and said, that unless Sel- 
den would certify under his hand that he would enter into such a security, 
they "would no more grant an habeas corpus*. 

Proceedings were commenced against them in the Star Chamber, but 
they were dropped. Sir John Elliot, Hollis, and Valentine, were prose- 
cuted in the Court of King's Bench, and were fined and imprisoned by 
the sentence of the court". But Selden was not proceeded against, and 
was detained in prison upon the original grounds, of not putting in sure- 
ties for his good behaviour f . In the end of November, by a warrant from 
the Privy Council, his close confinement was relaxed, and he was permitted 

J State Trials, vol. vii. p. 29, &c. Rushworth, Whitelock. e Ibid. f Selden 's 

Vindicias Maris Clausi, p. 1433. a. 1428. b. 

4 D 2 

572 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

some liberty within the walls of the Tower, and to see his friends. Soon 
after he procured himself by an habeas corpus to be removed to the Mar- 
shalsea prison, from thence, in May, 1630, to the Gate-House, in West- 
minster, from whence he was again remanded to the Marshalsea. During 
this time, many applications were made, at different intervals, to procure 
his liberty by habeas corpus, but all in vain; till at length, in May, 1631, 
by the interest of the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke, he was dis- 
charged, upon giving hail for his appearance only. After making his ap- 
pearance in the Court of King's Bench from term to term, according to 
the tenor of his bailment, in January, 1634, upon his petition to the King, 
he was absolutely discharged^-'. 

Thus was a member of Parliament, one of the first characters in the 
kingdom for learning, talents, and respectability, by a mere mandate of the 
Privy Council, illegally kept in custody, without being convicted of any 
crime, or brought to trial, for the space of six years; of which, for near 
nine months, he was in close confinement; for above two years more, in 
prison, with more or less indulgence; and for the rest of the time in the 
legal custody of his bail. Nor was this a mere nominal imprisonment, 
within the rules of a court, but during part of the time close and severe. 
During the nine months he was in the Tower, his friends were denied all 
access to him, and he was prohibited for three months from the use of 
books, paper, pens, and ink. At length leave was obtained from the Privy 
Council that he might have the use of certain books, of which he gave a 
catalogue 1 '. Nineteen sheets of writing paper were allowed him, marked 
each by the Lieutenant of the Tower, of which, and of whatever he might 
write upon them, a regular account was required to be given 1 . 

These oppressions, in violation of the Petition of Right, engaged the 
attention of Parliament in the year 1640, and produced the celebrated ha- 
beas corpus act, a noble remedy, and which was finally completed by sub- 
sequent statutes. In the debates upon that Bill, the indignation of the 
House of Commons was justly excited by these cases. It was resolved, 
that " there was a delay of justice towards Mr. Selden, Ho His, and the 
" rest, in that they were not bailed upon the writs of habeas corpus." 

e Vindicia?. That is 16.35. b They were the Bible, both the Tahnuds, some modern 

books of Talmudical learning, and Lucian. ' Selden's Vindicia?. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 573 

" That Sir George Croke, then one of the Judges of the King's Bench, 
" was not guilty of this delay, and that Mr. Seiden, Hollis, and the 
" others, should have reparation for their respective damages and suffer- 
" ings against the Lords of the Council, and the Judges of the King's 
" Bench;" and the sums of c£o000 each were awarded to most of them k . 
Hyde, Jones, and Whitelocke, were named as the guilty persons, but 
Whitelocke's son, afterwards Ambassador in Sweden, having assured the 
House, that his opinion and carriage in the case of habeas corpus were well 
known to have been the same with that of Judge Croke, which was con- 
firmed by Hambden and others, he was considered by the House in the 
same degree with that Judge, as to their censure and proceedings 1 . 

2. The other most important right is that of property; which was 
likewise invaded. If the King could take the money of his subjects 
without their consent in parliament, property was no longer secure ; parlia- 
ments, being no longer necessary, would be laid aside, and the Sovereign 
would be despotic. The various attempts to establish this power in the 
Crown which had been made in the early part of Charles's reign, had 
been strenuously resisted, and, as it was conceived, the claim itself had 
been finally annulled by the Petition of Right. But this statute was soon 
evaded, and still farther efforts were made to render the King independent 
of his parliaments. This was done by the writs, which issued by the King's 
sole authority, to tax all the counties in England for the ostensible purpose 
of finding ships, and furnishing them with men and provisions. 

The general occasion of raising this tax was not fictitious. The other 
powers of Europe were in arms. The coasts were actually much infested 
by pirates, to the great prejudice of commerce. That the narrow seas 
were not guarded was one of the grievances complained of by the House 
of Commons, in 1625. That pirates infested the coasts, that trade had 

k Journals of the House of Commons, July 6 and 8, 1641. Selden's opposition was 
merely on account of what he considered as the illegality of the King's proceedings, not 
any enmity to the monarchy itself. At a subsequent period, upon the intended removal of 
the Lord Keeper Littleton, the King proposed to deliver the seals to Seiden, whose affection 
to him was not doubted. They were not howe*er offered to him, because it was thought 
he would refuse them, on account of his age and dislike of business. Clarendon, vol. i. 
part ii. page 770. ed. 181£). 

1 Whitelocke's Memorials, page 37. 

574 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

decayed, and the national honour suffered, was a charge against the Duke 
of Buckingham. The Dutch had become masters of the sea ; and the 
disputes relating to the fisheries had given occasion to the celebrated con- 
troversy between Grotius and Selden, respecting the freedom of the seas m . 
It had become necessary to support the honour of the kingdom by a more 
powerful fleet. Nor was there afterwards any suggestion that the money 
which was raised had been embezzled, or misapplied. In the summer of 
1635, by the help of this tax, a powerful navy of sixty ships had protected 
the narrow seas, and the trade of the country; the Dutch fishing boats, 
which had encroached upon the British territories, were repressed, and 
they had been compelled to pay thirty thousand pounds for a licence to 
fish in those waters. But if the right of levying this tax had been once 
established, there was no security as to the future application of the money 
raised ; and it would have afforded an unlimited fund for any purpose to 
which the King might think proper to apply it". 

At first, in 1634, writs had been directed to the Cinque Ports, and 
other maritime places only, to prepare a certain number of ships : which 
was not much objected to, or opposed. But the next year, 1635, 
the King, intending to increase the navy still more, issued new writs, 
directed not only to the maritime places, but to every county in England. 
It was a favourite measure with the King, and to ensure its success, the 
Lord Keeper Coventry, by his Majesty's command, in his usual address 
to the Judges, before their departure to hold the Assizes, on June 17th, 
1635, required them to take every occasion in their charges, and otherwise 
" to let the people know how careful his Majesty was to preserve his 
'•'• honour, and the honour of the kingdom, and the dominion of the sea, 
" and to secure both land and sea by a powerful fleet, that foreign nations 
" might see that England was both able and ready to keep itself, and all 
" its rights." And the Judges were to let them know, " how just it was 
" that his Majesty should require this supply for the common defence, 
" and with what alacrity and chea? fulness they ought, and were bound 
" in duty, to contribute to it." In December of the same year the King 
privately took the opinion of the Judges upon the general question. 

For the most part, the tax was submitted to and paid ; and, in parti- 

'" Whitelocke, p. 22, 3, and 6. " Clarendon, i. p. 121. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 575 

cular, the sum of twelve thousand pounds, which had been assessed upon 
the county of York. But many, as Whitelocke observes, were not con- 
vinced by the Judges of its legality, great discontent was expressed, and 
actions were brought against the officers employed in the execution of the 
writs . Upon this opposition, the King required the more solemn opinion 
of the twelve Judges, upon a case stated in a letter addressed to them on 
the second of February, 1636. Every exertion was made by Lord Chief 
Justice Finch to obtain an answer favourable to the Crown. By great 
solicitation, promises of preferment, and even threats, he at length pro- 
cured the following opinion p . 

May it please your most excellent Majesty, 
We have according to your Majesty's command, every man by himself, 
and all of us together, taken into consideration the case and question, 
signed by your Majesty, and inclosed in your royal letter ; And we are 
of opinion, that when the good and safety of the kingdom in general is 
concerned, and the whole kingdom in danger, your Majesty may by writ, 
under the great seal of England, command all the subjects of this your 
kingdom, at their charge, to provide and furnish such number of ships, 
with men, munition, and victuals, and for such time as your Majesty 
shall think ft, for the defence and safeguard of the kingdom from such 
danger and peril: And that by law your Majesty may compel the doing 
thereof in case of refusal or refractoriness : And we are also of opinion, 
that in such case, your Majesty is the sole judge, both of the dangers, 
and when, and how the same is to be prevented and avoided. 

Jo. Brampston. Rich. Hutton. Geo. Vernon. 

Jo. Finch. W. Jones. Fra. Crawley. 

Humph. Davenport. Geo. Croke. Robt. Berkley. 

Jo. Denham. Tho. Trevor. Fra. Weston. 

This opinion was thus signed, the 7th of February, 1636, by all the 
twelve Judges ; but, at the time, two of them, at least, Sir George Croke, 
and Mr. Justice Hutton, dissented from it, and subscribed for conformity 
only. It was published, and inrolled in all the courts of law. 

Whitelocke, p. 24,. * Ibid. p. 23. 

.576 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

Amongst those who had opposed these writs was John Hambden, 
Esquire, a gentleman of family and fortune in Buckinghamshire. He 
was proceeded against in the Exchequer, and the cause was tried, upon a 
demurrer, before all the Judges, in the Exchequer Chamber. 

By the writ it was commanded, that the county of Buckingham should 
provide a ship of war of 450 tons, with 180 men, and all things necessary, 
and should bring her to Portsmouth by the 1st of March, provided for six 
and twenty weeks, for the defence of the kingdom, the guarding of the 
sea, the security of the subjects, and the safe conduct of ships, the sea 
being infested with pirates. To effect this, power was given to the Sheriff 
to assess each person within the county according to his state and faculties, 
and to enforce compliance by distress and imprisonment. The sum assessed 
upon Hambden was twenty shillings, which he refused to pay, and the 
legality of the charge was the question to be decided. 

The whole nation regarded with the utmost anxiety the event of this 
celebrated trial, one of the most important which ever came before a court 
of justice. On the one side, the power and prerogative of the Crown 
were at stake, and, on the part of the subjects, it involved their dearest 
interests, their liberty, persons, and estates. It was argued, on the behalf 
of Mr Hambden, by St. John, and Holborne, and for the Crown, by Sir 
John Banks, the Attorney General, and Sir Edward Littleton, the Soli- 
citor General ; and afterwards by the twelve Judges. The cause was 
conducted with talents and exertions, equal to its importance. The argu- 
ments were elaborate, learned, and powerful. Reason, history, and autho- 
rities, were appealed to. Laws and statutes, from the remotest antiquity, 
to the present times, precedents, Parliament rolls, records, and decisions of 
courts, particularly of the Exchequer, to the number of upwards of three 
hundred, were produced, on one side, or the other, at the bar or on the 

After the counsel had concluded their arguments, which occupied twelve 
days, the Judges separately delivered their opinions at length ; beginning 
with the junior, according to the usual practice of the court. After five of 
the Judges, Sir Francis Weston, Sir Francis Crawley, Sir Robert Berkley, 
Sir George Vernon, and Sir Thomas Trevor, had delivered their opinions 
in favour of the Crown, Sir George Croke, on the 14th of April, 1638, 
contrary to expectation, gave his judgment for Hambden. His non-con- 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 577 

currence in the opinion delivered to the King, to which his signature 
appeared, had not been generally known. From the persuasions of the 
King's friends ; from his unwillingness to differ from his brethren upon 
the Bench ; and perhaps from his benevolent wishes, not to give occasion 
to disturbances in the country, and to foment the divisions and the vehe- 
ment party spirit, which now began to shew themselves, and of which he fore- 
saw and feared the consequences ; he had resolved to deliver his opinion 
for the King, and to that end had prepared his argument. Yet a few days 
before he was to argue, upon discourse with some of his nearest relations, 
and most serious thoughts of this business, he resolved not to tjive an opi- 
nion which in his real judgment he could not approve. He was particu- 
larly confirmed in this resolution by his lady, who was a very good and pious 
woman, and told her husband upon this occasion, " that she hoped he 
" would do nothing against his conscience, for fear of any danger, or 
'■'■prejudice to him or his family ; and that she would be contented to 
" suffer want, or any misery with him, rather than be an occasion for 
" him to do or say any thing against his judgment, and conscience.'' 
A noble example of spirited and honourable conduct in a lady ! Upon 
these and other encouragements, but chiefly upon his better thoughts, he 
suddenly altered his purpose and arguments ; and when it came to his 
turn, he argued and declared his opinion against the Kingi. 

Before he proceeded to his argument, he obviated a difficulty, which had 
been much pressed by the Solicitor General, That the case had been 
resolved by the opinions of all the Judges under their own hands. He 
admitted that he had set his hand to two opinions, of which the first in 
December, 1635, being more general, he still maintained; but with respect 
to the second opinion before stated, he confessed, " that he subscribed his 
" hand, but he then dissented to that opinion, and then signified his opi- 
" nion to be, that such a charge could not be laid by any such writ, but by 
" parliament. But the greater part seeming absolutely to be resolved 
•' upon that opinion, some of them affirming that they had seen diverse 
•' records and precedents of such writs, satisfying them to be of that 
" judgment, he was pressed to subscribe with them, for that the major 
•' part must involve the rest, as it was said to be usual in cases of differ- 

i Whitelocke's Memorials, page 24. 
4 E 

57S SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

" ence, and for that the lesser number must submit to the major, although 
" they varied in opinion ; as it is in the courts, if three Judges agree in 
" opinion against one, or two, where there are five Judges, judgment is 
" to be entered per curiam. And in cases of conference and certificate of 
k< their opinions, if the greater part did agree and subscribe, the rest were 
" to submit their opinions. And this by more ancient Judges than 
" myself was affirmed to be the continual practice. And that it was not 
" fit, especially in a case of this nature, so much concerning the service of 
" the King, for some to subscribe, and some to forbear their subscriptions. 
" And that although we did subscribe, it did not bind us, but that in point 
" of judgment, if the case came in question judicially before us, we 
" should give our judgments as we should see cause after the arguments 
" on both sides. 

" Hereupon I consented to subscribe, with such protestations, only fur 
" conformity. But this being before arguments heard on both sides, or 
" any precedents seen, I hold that none is bound by that opinion. And 
" if I had been of that opinion absolutely, now having heard all the argu- 
" ments of both sides, and the reasons of the King's counsel to maintain 
" this writ, and the arguments of the defendant's counsel against it, and 
" having duly considered the records and precedents, cited and shewed to 
" me, especially those of the King's side, I am now of an absolute opinion 
" that this writ is illegal, and declare my opinion to be contrary to that 
" which was subscribed by us all. And if I had been of that opinion. 
" yet, upon better advisement, being absolutely settled in my judgment, 
" and conscience, in a contrary opinion, I think it no shame to declare 
" that I do retract that opinion, for humanum est errare, rather than to 
" argue against my own conscience." 

After this manly avowal of his conduct and sentiments, he proceeded 
with his argument. He stated six points. First, that the command to 
make ships at the charge of the inhabitants of the country, not being by 
authority of Parliament, was illegal, and contrary to the common law. 
Secondly, that it was expressly contrary to diverse statutes. Thirdly. 
that it was not to be maintained by any prerogative royal, nor allegation 
of necessity or danger. Fourthly, that, admitting it were legal to lay 
such charge upon maritime ports, yet to charge an inland county is illegal, 
and not warranted by any former precedent. Fifthly, I shall examine 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 579 

the precedents and records, cited to warrant the writ. And, sixthly, 
I shall examine this particular writ, and do conceive it is illegal, and not 
sufficient to ground this charge. 

The first point he proved, by shewing, that this was the first writ 
since the Conquest, which went to any inland county to that effect, and 
therefore that it was against the common law. That the common law of 
England settleth a freedom in the subjects in respect of their persons, and 
giveth them a true property in their goods and estates, so that without their 
consent, either actual, or implicite, by a common ordinance which they con. 
sented unto by a common assent in Parliament, it cannot be taken from them, 
nor their estates charged ; and for this purpose the law distinguished be- 
tween bondmen, whose estates are at their Lord's freewill and disposition ; 
and freemen, whose property none may invade, charge, or unjustly take 
away, but by their own free consent ; and this constitutional doctrine he 
proved by numerous authorities. That if it were allowed, no man would 
know what his charge may be, for they may be charged as often as the 
King pleases, and with making as many ships as should be appointed. 
And, besides, it is left in the power of the Sheriff, to charge any man's 
estate at his pleasure. 

Secondly. If the common law were doubtful, it is made clear by 
diverse express statutes, which he stated ; from that of the twenty-fifth 
year of Edward the First, by which it was enacted, that " no aids, taxes, 
" or prizes, should be taken, but by the common assent of the realm," to 
the Petition of Right passed in the third year of the King. Amongst 
which, the Act of the twenty-first of Henry the Fourth, was shewn to be 
directly to the very point, stating, that " of late commissions had been 
" made to cities and boroughs, to make barges and barringers, without 
" assent of Parliament, and therefore declaring them void." 

Thirdly. And whereas the arguments had been, that the kingdom 
being in danger, there could not so suddenly any Parliament be called, 
and the kingdom might be lost : the writ so mentioning, and that being 
recordum superlutivum. To all these he answered, amongst other things, 
that the suggestions of danger in the writ were not absolute, or sufficient. 
And if they were, that we are not always bound absolutely to believe 
them : because many times untrue suggestions are put into writs and 
patents, which may be traversed. Yet the law doth not impute any un- 
4 e 2 

580 SIR GEORGE CROKE. hook iv. 

truth to the King, out thai he is abused therein, and attributeth the false- 
hood to those who misinformed him. 

It the danger were real, yet a charge must not be laid upon the subjects 
without their consenl in Parliament; for either it is near, and then presi nl 
provision must be made by men's persons, and the present ships of th< 
kingdom which the King may command; but he cannot command money 
out of null's purses, lint, if the dan;." r !>'• further off, the King may call 
his sages together tor such defence. And here, if then- be time to mak< 
ships al the charge of the counties, there is time enough to '-all a Parlia- 
m< nt. And Beven months an- allowed by tin- writ to prepare the ships. 

Where it has been urged, that this writ is warranted by the Kind's pre- 
rogative, to this I answer, that I do not conceive there is any such prero- 
gative, lor if it wen-, I should not speak againsl it, for it is part of oui 
oaths to maintain the- prerogative. But if it is against the common law 
a nd thi tatutes, then there is no such prerogative-, for the King can do 
nothing contrary to the law. Nihil aliud potest Rea in terris tjuum de 
jure potest. And whatevi r is done to the hurt or wrong of the subji Cts, 
and againsl the laws of the land, the law accounteth, that it is not done by 
the King, hut by some untrue and unjust informations, and is there- 
fore void. And Hit be illegal to impose such a charge, it is not to be con- 
sidered as a matter of royal power, hut as a matter done upon a false sug- 
gestion, to l)i- imputed not to the King, hut to those who advised him. 

The royal power, indeed, is to Ix- used, in cases of necessity, and iinun- 
nenl danger, when ordinary courses will not avail; as in eases of rebellion, 
sudden invasion, and the hk<-. But in a time of peace, and no extreme 
necessity, legal courses must he used, and not royal power, lint there 
can he no such necessity or danger conceived, that may cause these writs 
to he awarded. For the laws have provided means for defence in times of 
danger, without taking this course, for the King hath power to command 
all persons to attend with arms, at the sea coast, to defend the kingdom, 
and also to make stay or arrest of the ships of merchants, to go with his 
navy, to any part of the kingdom for defence thereof. And this was 
always conceived to he sufficient. This course he shewed had been always 
taken, and no other was resorted to, even in the case of the threatened 
invasion by the Spanish Armada. 

FOURTHLY. If it were legal to lay such charge upon maritime ports, 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. .581 

yet, to charge an inland county with making ships, where there are no 
shipwrights, masters, or mariners, and is utterly unconversant with sea 
affairs, is not legal, for it commandeth an unreasonable and impossible 
thing to be done, which is contrary to law. For lex non cogit ad impos- 

But the fifth and great point, and indeed the chief argument in favour 
of the Crown, was a multitude of records and precedents, which had been 
cited to warrant the writ, and to shew, that the King had done nothing 
but what his progenitors have done 

1 confess this allegation much troubled me, when I heard these records 
cited, and so learnedly and so earnestly pressed to be so clear, that they 
could not be gainsayed. Hut having perused them, and satisfied my 
judgment therein, I now answer, that if there were any such precedent, 
(as I shall shew there was not one,) to prove this writ to be usual, yet it 
were not material, for now we are not to argue what has been done de 
facto, for many things have been done, which were never allowed ; but 
our question is, what hath been done, and may be done, de jure; and then 
as it is said in Coke, multitude) errantium non purit errori patro- 
cinium. Multitudes of precedents, unless they be confirmed by judicial 
proceedings in courts of record, are not to be regarded ; and none of these 
were ever confirmed by judicial record, but complained of. 

But to give a more clear answer unto them. Upon serious reading of 
all the records which have been sent me on the King's part, I conceive 
that there is not any precedent or record of any such writ. 

It is true, that before the twenty-fifth year of Edward the First, there have 
been some writs to maritime towns, to provide and prepare ships upon just 
cause of fear of any danger, sometimes at the King's charge, but some- 
times at the charge of the towns, which occasioned the complaint in Parlia- 
ment, in the twenty-fifth of Edward, and the making of that statute; and 
there is no record of that reign since, to maritime towns, to prepare ships 
at their own charge. 

In the time of Edward the Third, indeed, writs were again awarded to 
maritime towns, to send ships at their own charge, which were the 
principal cause of the statute 14 Ed. III. c. 1. After that statute, no 
such writs or commissions issued, but one, but that is fully satisfied, for it 

.582 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

was grounded upon an ordinance of Parliament, in the first year of 
Richard the Second. 

After this general answer, he took a view of all the records which had 
been cited, near ninety in number, and shewed that none of them proved 
these writs to be legal ; that they were only for arrays of men with arms, 
and for collecting ships in the ports and maritime places ; and none of 
these at their own expence, since the statute of the fourteenth year of 
Edward the Third, and none to make or prepare ships at the charges of 
the counties, upon any occasion whatever. 

Having discussed the principal question, he proceeded in the sixth 
place to examine the writ itself, which he proved not to be legally issued, 
or warranted by any former precedent. 

That the motives mentioned in it were not alledged as certain, and were 
besides not sufficient. That all former precedents for providing ships had 
alledged, that great navies had been armed by foreign princes to invade the 
kingdom : but to make such preparations against pirates was never heard 
of, but the course had been, for the Admiral to secure the coast with a few 
ships. That the command of the writ to inland counties to find a ship, 
which is impossible, and to find provisions for the men out of their own 
county, is contrary to law. That the command to the Sheriff to assess 
men at his own discretion, is not legal. That the power of imprisonment 
is illegal, being contrary to Magna C/iarta, and other statutes. That other 
parts of the writ could not be performed. That it was not certified, so long 
after the writ had issued, that a ship had been provided, and therefore that 
there is no cause to charge the defendant. 

Lastly, he objected to the mode of proceeding, and that the writs of 
Certiorari and Scire facias were irregular, and not good. 

He concluded therefore, upon the whole matter, that no judgment 
could be given to charge the defendant. 

I have omitted many lesser arguments, particularly those of a mere legal 
nature, and I have only given the heads of the principal, as every posi- 
tion was proved at great length, by quotations and authorities. To every 
impartial mind, it must have carried complete conviction, and I will venture 
to say, that a more learned, masterly, luminous, or dignified argument, 
was never delivered in a Court of Justice. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 583 

He was followed, in favour of Hambden, by Sir Richard Hutton, and 
Sir Humphrey Davenport, the Lord Chief Baron, and by Sir John Den- 
ham, without any argument, as he was not able to attend. 

An elaborate answer to Sir George Croke, and the other arguments in 
favour of Hambden, was given by Sir John Finch, the Chief Justice of 
the Common Pleas, abounding with much ingenious sophistry, and which 
rather served to make more manifest the weakness of the King's cause, 
than to support it. The principal foundation of his reasoning was the 
supposition of a case of danger to the kingdom, of the sufficiency of the 
King's writ to prove it, the necessity that he should provide against it, and 
the consequential power of calling for the assistance of all his subjects for 
defence. It was alledged, that the power of imposing this charge must 
be solely vested in the King : for since the laws had intrusted him with 
the power of defending the kingdom, it must necessarily have given him 
the means of executing his trust. With regard to the precedents produced, 
it was denied that they were irrelevant, and if they were not directly in 
point as to the very mode, they were in point as to the principle, namely, 
that the King had called upon his subjects for their services in time of 
danger. That no distinction could be made between the sea and the land, 
for that the sea was the King's as well as the land, and he might com- 
mand the services of his subjects on the one, as well as the other. 

The statutes against the power of raising talliage, aids, and other taxes, 
were evaded by nice distinctions, and it was said that they must be under- 
stood only of unjust exactions, and such as were levied for the King's own 
emolument, and not of a revenue raised for the good of the country, and 
for necessary defence. And, still farther, this necessary power for the de- 
fence of the kingdom was said to be one of the high prerogatives of the 
King, and that though Acts of Parliament might " take away the flowers 
" and ornaments of the Crown, they could not take away the Crown it- 
" self, they could not bar a King of his regality, and therefore Acts to take 
" away his royal power in the defence of the kingdom, or to bind him not 
" to command his subjects, their persons, and goods, and, I say, said the 
" Chief Justice, their money too, are void." 

It was said that the writ does not command an assessment, but ships to 
be provided ; that the assessment was not absolutely necessary, and there- 
fore that it was not a talliage, but a service. Yet, with the inconsistency 

.584 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book vi. 

natural to those who argue against the truth, when pressed with the rea- 
soning of the impossibility of finding a ship in an inland county, he ob- 
served, that it was to be performed by the money raised. In answer to 
the objection, that by law no man could be compelled to go out of his 
county, it was stated, that the sea and land made but one entire kingdom, 
and therefore that going to sea was not going out of the realm ; that the 
question before the court was not on an imprisonment, but on an assessment, 
and that if the writ was illegal in form and circumstances, yet that would 
not make the command illegal for substance. 

Notwithstanding the able arguments in his favour, judgment was given 
against Hambden, but a great part of the nation was satisfied that the de- 
cision was contrary to law, and the Judges were loaded with reproach and 
infamy, for prostituting the dignity of a court of law to the favour of a 
prince'. The argument of Sir George Croke, from his known learning, 
independence, and integrity, had great weight with the country, which 
was justly alarmed at this subversion of its best rights; and the proceed- 
ings in this case were one of the principal causes of the subsequent cala- 

In the Parliament of 1640, it was unanimously voted by the two Houses, 
that " ship-money, the extra judicial opinion of the Judges, the writ it- 
" self, and the judgment against Mr. Hambden, were against the laws 
" of the realm, the right of property, and the liberty of the subjects; 
" contrary to former resolutions in Parliament, and to the petition of 
" right. And were so declared by an Act of Parliament. iGth Car. 
" cap. 14." The records of that judgment, and the opinion of the Judges, 
were ordered to be brought into the Upper House by the Chancellor, and 
chief Judges, to be vacated and cancelled. 

The next day a committee was appointed to draw up a charge of treason 
against such as had been abetters therein, Finch, who was now the Lord 
Keeper, and the rest of the Judges'. Finch appeared upon his impeach- 
ment, and made a very submissive speech in the House of Commons, yet 
he was voted a traitor, amongst other charges, for " soliciting, persuading, 
•■ and threatening the Judges to deliver their opinions tor the levying of ship- 
" money," but he made his escape into Holland'. Sir Robert Berkley 

' Clarendon, i. page 122. See his strong censure of the Judges. * Whitelucke, 

p. 37. ' Ibid. p. 38. 

CH. VI. SEC. I. 


was afterwards impeached of high treason, and the Usher of the Black 
Rod was sent to the Court of King's Bench, when the Judges were sit- 
ting, and took Judge Berkley from off the Bench, and carried him away 
to prison. He redeemed himself, by supplying the Parliament with ten 
thousand pounds". Subsequently another charge was brought in by the 
Commons against five of the other Judges, Brampton, Trevor, Weston, 
Davenport, and Crawley, for their opinions in favour of ship-money x . 

The situation of a Judge is an unthankful office. The party who gains 
his cause thinks that he has only obtained his own, and feels no gratitude 
for the justice of a decision in his favour; but the losing party usually con- 
siders himself as aggrieved, and too frequently harbours resentment against 
those who have decided against him. Even the high character of Sir 
George Croke was not sufficient to shield him from the malice of disap- 
pointed suitors. In the year 1640, an attack was made upon hiin by a 
Mr. John Cusacke, a man of good family in Ireland, and great nephew 
and heir to Sir Thomas Cusacke, sometime Lord Chancellor of that 
country y . He was an attorney, and had written some pieces in support 
of the royal prerogative. He came over to England for the recovery by 
law of some property belonging to his uncle, in which he seems not to 
have been successful. Whether in the prosecution of these claims Sir 
George Croke had given a decision against him in the court in which he 
presided 2 , or for what other cause, does not appear, he certainly en- 
tertained much resentment against him, which he endeavoured to gratify in 
the form of law. As a Solicitor in the Star Chamber, he procured a sub- 
poena to be sued forth in that court, at the suit of two persons named, 
Wingfield Honnings and Leonard Henricke, but without their authority 
or knowledge, against Sir George Croke, Knight, without giving him any 
other title, and caused it to be served upon him by a common porter. In 
further prosecution of his wicked design, he had prepared a bill to be pre- 
ferred against him, charging him with giving an unjust judgment in the 
Court of Chancery, against Honnings and Henricke. Upon an informa- 

u Whitelocke, p. 391. * Ibid. p. 45. ' Sir Thomas Cusacke was made Chan- 

cellor of Ireland, 4th of August, 1550. He was of Cussington and Lismullen, in the county 
ofMeath. Archdall's Irish Peerage, vol v. p. 38. % See Cusacke's case, Car. 12S. 

Qu. whether the same? 4 Car. I. 

4 F 

.586 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

tion filed in the Star Chamber against him, by Sir Ralph Whitfield, the 
King's Serjeant, the Court decided, on the 10th of June, 1640, that Cu- 
sacke had been guilty of a great offence, which was much aggravated, in 
respect it was against a Judge of the realm, without giving him that ad- 
dition which of right belonged to him, being a person in the opinion of the 
whole court of great learning and unspotted integrity, and one that in all 
his judgments had shewed himself a worthy and honest man. Wherefore 
they adjudged that Cusacke should be committed to the Fleet, till he had 
given security never to meddle with the sollicitation of causes, should pay 
a fine of £.500, and be set in the pillory, and carried through Westminster 
Hall, and to all the courts there, with a paper on his head declaring his 
offence, and in every court was to acknowledge his offence, and ask Mr. 
Justice Croke forgiveness. There is a pedantic but humble letter from 
Cusacke to Sir George, dated from the Fleet, 18th of June, 1640, ac- 
knowledging his offence, and imploring forgiveness ; but whether he suc- 
ceeded in obtaining his pardon is not known, as Sir George had declared 
that " he did not seek a revenge for the abuse of his private person, but 
" of his public function, that the estimation thereof, which is holy, and a 
" general preservative of all public felicity, may be preserved*." This is the 
case alluded to in Viner's Abridgment, that a bill in the Star Chamber 
abated, because it was brought against Sir George Croke only, without 
the addition of his office and dignity of Judge, which is said to have been 
cited by Jones, in Trinity term, 16 Car. 1. soon after it happened 1 '. 

As Sir George Croke, in his public situation, ably supported the most 
valuable rights of his fellow subjects, in his private capacity he was 
equally their benefactor, in promoting religion, and by charitable institu- 

In the year 1629, he gave one hundred pounds to Sion College, the cor- 
porate association of the clergy of London, and which was employed in 
purchasing books for the library'. 

He erected a chapel in his mansion house at Studley, and in his life-time 
settled a stipend of twenty pounds a year for a clergyman, who should 

• Viner's Abridgment, vol. ii. p. 94. Title Additions, G. 25. b The sentence of the 

court, 10th of June, \6 Car. and Cusacke's Letter, MSS. with me. 

c Ward, MS. Additions to his Lives of the Gresham Professors. British Museum, to 
p. 305. from the History of Sion College, p. 41. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 587 

preach once every Sunday, there, or in the chapel at Horton 11 . This was 
a great convenience to his own family, the poor people in the alms-house, 
his tenants, and neighbours; the parish church being at Beckley, at the 
distance of two miles. There was previously no place for divine 
service at Studley, since the suppression of the convent, and the chapel 
of the contiguous hamlet of Horton was unendowed, and supported 
only by the voluntary subscription of the inhabitants, who paid 
eight pounds a year to the vicar of Beckley, or his curate, for reading 
prayers there. But there were seldom, or never, any sermons, till Sir 
George Croke, before the erection of his own chapel, first allowed ten 
pounds a year to several clergymen for preaching upon Sundays, once a 
fortnight e . 

He likewise appointed an annuity often pounds a year " to the minister 
" of Chilton, if he should be a preaching minister, and should preach once 
" at least every Sunday in the parish church^." 

At Studley he also erected an hospital or alms-house, for the relief, ha- 
bitation, and maintenance, of four poor men, and four women. It is a 
substantial, but plain, brick building, and has the following inscription 
upon it. 

ANO. DOMINI. 1639. 

By the same deed in which he had provided for the clergyman, and 
which is dated the 23d of May, in the 15th year of Charles I. 1639, 
he endowed it with a rent charge of sixty pounds a year, out of his estate 
at Easington. It was a comfortable retreat for age and want. They were 
supplied with the necessaries of life, a warm house, clothes, and fuel, and 
an allowance in money, which was sufficient at that time to afford a 
decent maintenance. The men were to be of the age of threescore 

* Deed of the 23d of May, 1 5th Car. 1 639. « The affidavit of J. Coxhead, 7th of Feb. 

1638. MS. penes me. ' Deed ut supra. 

4 F 2 

588 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

years, and the women fifty, unless they were lame or blind : and were to 
be elected by such persons as should be owners of the mansion houses of 
Waterstock and Studley ; and the persons elected were to be out of the 
parishes of Chilton, Waterstock, and Beckley. They had each a room in 
die building, and a separate garden behind it. Their allowances were, 
two shillings every week; once every two years a livery gown of broad 
cloth, of colour London russet, and the other years, two shirts and smocks ; 
and half a chaldron of coals, or two loads of wood, yearly. 

A set of excellent orders for their regulation was drawn up, and signed 
by him, the 21st of September, 1639, and which is still extant*. They 
bear the marks, not of a narrow superstition, but of an enlarged and liberal 
mind, and the object appears to have been, not merely the relief of indi- 
gence, but the encouragement of industry and good morals. No persons 
of indifferent character were to be admitted, or could be permitted to con- 
tinue. Such only were eligible as were poor indeed, and well reputed of 
for religion, and good conversation; no cursers, or common swearers, no 
idle persons, or drunkards, none having committed fornication, or adultery; 
no hunters of ale-houses ; no gadders, or wanderers abroad from house to 
house, no tale-bearers, no busybodies, but such as shall live without com- 
mon scolding, or brawling, and quietly and peaceably with their neigh- 
bours. After their admission, they were not to live in idleness, but to 
dispose themselves to such work as they were able, that they might get 
somewhat towards their maintenance, that they might eat their own bread, 
and give unto others, and to keep themselves when they were sick. None 
were to wander, or beg alms ; none was to lodge with them in their cham- 
bers, but one of them was to help another, as in charity they should. 
Cursing, or swearing, getting drunk, or sitting above half an hour at an 
ale-house, unless with some strange friend, were fined for the two first 
offences, and occasioned expulsion for the third. They were to attend 
divine service on Sundays, both morning and evening, and twice daily, in 
the chapel, or alms-house. 

Such was the judicious, and well-arranged .plan, upon which this good 
and wise man formed his charitable establishment. It is still kept up, and 
maintained, as much as possible, according to the disposition and intention 

6 See the Appendix, No. XXX. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 589 

of the founder. The specific allowances of clothing, and fuel, are, of 
course, of the same intrinsic value as formerly, but the pecuniary pay- 
ments, from the depreciation in the value of money, are now become 
scarcely sufficient for their support. An evil which might have been pre- 
vented, by reserving the rent charge in corn, and apportioning the allow- 
ance according to the price of that standard article of life* 1 . 

The general estimation in which Sir George Croke was held for integrity, 
a sense of duty, and a disposition to promote every useful institution, oc- 
casioned his being appointed a trustee for several benefactions for the ad- 
vancement of learning, and the improvement of the condition of the 

Though the extraordinary talents of Lord Bacon had created a revolu- 
tion in science, and had discovered the just method of studying nature in 
her own works, like all other novelties it made at first but a slow progress. 
The reign of James was abundant enough indeed in learning, but it was 
directed towards matters of religion, and unprofitable disputation, and the 
interest of Lord Bacon could never obtain the authority of the King to 
found a public establishment for the encouragement of natural know- 
ledge: which was afterwards in some measure effected by the institution of 
the Royal Society 1 . In the mean time it was left to the exertions of indi- 
viduals, and amongst these, Sir William Sedley by his will, dated in 16 IS, 
bequeathed the sum of two thousand pounds, to be laid out in the pur- 
chase of lands, to found a professorship of Natural Philosophy in the Uni- 
versity of Oxford. Such however was still the prejudice in favour of 
Aristotle, that the new professor was directed to lecture in his books of 
physics, de ca?lo et mundo, de meteoris, his parva naturalia, de anima, 
et de generations, et corruptione k . After his death, an estate at Wad- 
desden, in Buckinghamshire, of the value of one hundred and twenty 

" It appears by the old accounts of the Alms-house, that, during the Rebellion, such 
charitable institutions were made to contribute to the government, and that in the year 
1651, out of the rent charge of sixty pounds, four pounds fourteen shillings and sixpence 
were paid for ten months tax for the army ; which is more than ten per cent. In the first 
and subsequent Acts for imposing the land tax, charitable foundations were exempted. 
1st William and Mary. 

1 Sprat's History of the Royal Society, p. 151. k Wood's Hist, Oxon. by Gutch. 

,590 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

pounds a year, was purchased with this money, and conveyed to the Uni- 
versity, by a deed of the 11th of December, 1622, in which Sir George 
Croke appears as a trustee 1 . 

He was likewise appointed a trustee, with the Earl of Essex, and other 
persons of rank and consequence, of the valuable estates given by Henry 
Smith, Esquire, to charitable uses, of which the benefits were " so widely 
" diffused, applied to so many purposes, and gladdened the hearts of so 
" many persons in very different stations of life." Every parish in the 
county of Surry partakes to this day of his benefactions, besides many 
other places. They were directed to be applied to the relief of poor pri- 
soners, and of hurt and maimed soldiers ; for the portions of poor maids in 
marriage; apprenticing children, and setting up poor apprentices ; amend- 
ing the highways; for losses by fire, or shipwreck; for the relief of aged, 
poor, or infirm people, of married persons having more children than their 
labour could maintain, poor orphans, such poor as keep themselves and 
families to labour, and put forth their children to be apprentices at the age 
of fifteen ; and to provide a stock always in readiness to set such persons 
to work as were able; for the ransom of poor captives, being slaves under 
Turkish pirates ; for the use and relief of his poorest kindred; to buy im- 
propriations for the maintenance of godly preachers, and the better fur- 
therance of knowledge and religion ; the teaching and educating poor chil- 
dren ; and money to be lent in sums of twenty pounds, half a year at a 
time. A more extensive charity, or a more proper application of it, can 
scarcely perhaps be found m . 

In the year 1639, or 1640, this pious and learned Judge, finding his 
ageand infirmities to increase, and being desirous, before he put off 
his decaying and declining body, to have some leisure to examine his 
life, and to prepare for that great day, wherein all must render an 
account to the Supreme Judge of all their actions, was an humble suitor 
to King Charles for his writ of ease, which was denied, and yet in effect 

1 Wood's History of the University of Oxford, lib. ii. p. 42. ™ Collections relating 

to Henry Smith, Esq. published by William Bray, Esq. in 1800. "Sir Harbottle 

Grimston, Pref. to Cro. Car. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 591 

To the King's most excellent Majesty. 

The humble petition of your Majesty's humble Servant, Sir George 
Croke, Knight, one of the Justices of your Bench, 
Humbly sheweth, 

That he having by the gracious favour of your Majesty's late Father, of 
famous memory, and of your Majesty, served your Majesty, and your said 
late Father, as a Judge of your Majesty's Court of Common Pleas, and of 
your Highness' Court, called the King's Bench, above this sixteen years, 
is now become very old, being above the age of eighty years. And by 
reason of his said age, and dullness of hearing, and other infirmities, 
whereby it hath pleased God to visit him, he findeth himself disabled any 
longer to do that service in your Courts, which the pi ice requireth, and 
he desireth to perform ; yet is desirous to live and die in your Majesty's 

His most humble suit is, that your Majesty will be pleased to dispense 
with his further attendance in any your Majesty's Courts ; that so he 
may retire himself, and expect God's good pleasure : and during that little 
remainder of his life, pray for your Majesty's long life and happy reign. 


To which he received the following answer from the King. 

Upon the humble address, by the humble petition of Sir George 
Croke, Knight, who, after many years service, done both to our deceased 
Father and Ourself, as our said Father's Serjeant at Law, and one of his and 
our Judges of our Benches, at Westminster, hath humbly besought Us, by 
reason of the infirmity of his old age, (which disableth him to continue to 
perform to Us that service, ne much desireth to have according to his duty 
done,) his further attendance might be by Us, in our grace, dispensed with ; 
to the end all our loving subjects, who have and shall faithfully serve Us, 
(as We declare this our servant hath done,) may know, that, as We shall 
never expect, much less require, or exact from them, performances beyond 
what their healths and years shall enable them ; so We shall not dismiss 
them, without an approbation of their service, when we shall find they 
shall have deserved it, much less expose them in their old age to neglect. 
As our princely testimony therefore, that the said Sir George Croke, being 
dispensed withal, proceeds from Us, at the humble request of the said Sir 

592 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

George Croke, (which We have cause and do take well, that he is rather 
willing to acknowledge his infirmity by his great age occasioned, than that 
by concealing of the same any want of justice should be to our people,) 
and not out of any our least displeasure conceived of him ; do hereby 
declare our Royal pleasure, That We are graciously pleased, and do hereby 
dispense with, the said Sir George Crake's further attendance in our said 
Bench at Westminster, and any our circuits. And, as a token of our ap- 
probation, of the former good and acceptable service, by the said Sir 
George Croke, done to our deceased Father and Ourself ; do yet continue 
him one of our Judges of our said Bench : and hereby declare our further 
will and pleasure to be, That, during his, the said Sir George Crake's life, 
there shall be continued and paid by Us unto him, the like fee and fees, as 
was to him, or is, or shall be by Us, paid to any other our Judges of our 
said Bench at Westminster, and all fees and duties, saving the allowance 
by Us to our Judges of our said Benches, for their circuits only. 

After he had thus retired from the laborious duties of his judicial office, 
he spent the remainder of his life at Waterstock, in the enjoyment of his 
friends, and the appropriate exercises of holy meditation and devotion. 

In public transactions, there is a certain degree of formality and stiffness; 
we see only the external man ; it is always, therefore, particularly inte- 
resting to view a great character in his undress, in retirement, in the bosom 
of his own family, and even in trifling circumstances of his private and 
domestic manners and habits. The little anecdotes of this nature, intro- 
duced with so much judgment by Plutarch, have made his lives the 
favourite of all ages and nations. In Montaigne, and the works of our 
relation Whitlock, we see the man himself, as well as the accurate chroni- 
cler of his times. Of Sir George Croke, in this respect, little can now be 
found, and none of his correspondence has been preserved. There is 
however a memorandum, written by his nephew Alexander Croke, in 
which he gives an account of a conversation, which passed between him 
and his uncle, after his retirement from business, about the disposal of his 
property, which, though in itself trifling, and of little consequence, may 
not be uninteresting from the description of the place and manner in 
which it took place, and the amiable kindness of Sir George to his 

ch.v. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 593 

" Memorandum, that upon the 21st day of June, 1641, I being then at 
Waterstock, and my uncle, the Judge, being then pleased to declare unto 
me his purpose of settling Studley and Easington upon me, in case his 
son should die without issue, and then using unto me many kind speeches, 
and amongst others, said unto me, that he did account of me as of one of 
his children. I then moving of him, (that if his purpose therein should 
continue,) and that what he intended that way, were to be to my eldest 
son only, that he would be pleased so to order it, that my said eldest son 
might in some kind be beneficial unto my son William. He was then 
pleased to give me answer to this effect. " Nephew, I give the land unto 
" you, and you may dispose of any part of it, as you will, yourself." I 
then replied, " Sir, is it your pleasure, that I should do so }" He an- 
swered, "Yes, when I am dead, but whilst I live you cannot do it." 
And farther declared, that it was his intention and meaning, that provision 
should be made for my wife, and for my younger children, and said, " that 
" he intended to do it himself, and to have done it, although I had not 
" spoken." And upon my saying, that what I moved him in, proceeded 
from myself, out of my tender care of my children, and least peradven- 
ture I might die in his life-time, his answer unto me was, " that it was 
" well done, and if I died in his life-time, he would take order." And 
then, as he was walking on the mount, he was pleased to say unto me, 
that " my family consisted of two branches, and that Studley should be 
" for my eldest son, and Easington for my younger," and said, that "for 
" ought he knew, he would make it so before he slept;" and then said, 
that " he would have me build an house at Easington, and that he would 
" allow timber, and be at the charge of building, as far as an hundred 
" pounds would go." All this passed in the parlour and garden, at Water- 
stock, and upon the mount, the day and year above written. And upon 
the Saturday following, I attending on my said uncle, between Thame 
and Cuddington, he was pleased then to say unto me, that "concerning 
" the matter I moved him in, his will was in his nephew Hampson's 
" keeping, but if it pleased God that he lived till Michaelmas, he said he 
" would doit." And afterwards, upon occasion of using my son Richard's 
name, with mine and others, in the purchase of the land, which he intended 
to have bought of Nicholas Lovell, in Easington, which he said he in- 
tended towards his alms-house, but was pleased to declare, that " although 
4 G 

.594 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

" my son's name were therein used, yet his intention was, that my son 
" William should have Easington," and did likewise at one or two times 
more declare himself unto me to this purpose, " that it might be, Easing- 
" ton one day might be my son William's. 


On the same paper is another memorandum. 

" Memorandum, that in the year 1641, about Bartholomewtide, 1 being 
then at Waterstocke, and my uncle, the Judge, speaking of Easington, 
was pleased to say unto me to this effect, that " it might be, Easington 
" might come unto me and my son William sooner than I did imagine.'' 
And at another time, about Michaelmas, in the same year, my said uncle, 
having shewed me then the survey of Studley, was pleased, amongst other 
speeches, to speak unto me to this effect, that " it might be, that it might 
" one day come to me, and mine, but there would be a great many be- 
" tween me and home, his daughters and their children." And used some 
such like speech unto me at one other time before, and at one other time, 
in the same year, as he was riding on the way between Waterstock and 
Chilton, to the best of my remembrance, used words to this effect, that 
" he would purchase some other lands for his alms-house, and take off 
" the charge from Easington. 


Soon after these transactions, he departed this lite upon the 1 6th of 
February, 1642, in the eighty-second year of his age, and was buried ;it 
Waterstock, on the 3d of March, where there is a monument to his me- 
mory erected against the wall of the chancel near the communion table. 
It is an arch, with Corinthian pillars, under which he is represented in his 
judicial dress, leaning upon a scull, and with a book in his hand. Under- 
neath is the following inscription. 


" The original MS. in the hand-writing of Vlexander Croke, penes me. 

if CrxsA-e . 

■U WO-terj tovA , ~" /64 f ■ 




Sir George Croke left behind him, amongst his contemporaries p, the 
general character of abilities, and deep learning in his profession, un- 
blemished integrity, sincere religion, and amiable manners : and the just- 
ness of their opinion is sufficiently evinced by the history of his life. In a 
turbulent period, when faction ran high, he was not considered as a par- 
tizan, but he supported the steady and unbiassed dignity which became a 
judicial situation. He lived in habits of friendship with many of the 
popular leaders, without approving of their republican principles, or 
abetting their violent proceedings. As he maintained the royal prerogative, 
as far as it was conformable to the laws of the country, although he 
decided those great constitutional points in favour of the liberty of the 
subject ; yet his not having been removed from his office, and the King's 
gracious answer to his petition for leave to retire, are proofs that he had 
not forfeited the favour of his Sovereign. He happily quitted the world 
before the scenes of confusion which followed ; had he lived, it is probable 
that, like Sir Matthew Hale, he would have continued to hold his com- 
mission, without acknowledging the authority of the usurpers ; since it 
was necessary that justice should be administered, whoever might be in 
possession of the government. 

The following character of him was written by Sir Harbottle Grimstone, 
his son-in-law ; whose personal acquaintance with him, and his own ex- 
perience as a lawyer, enabled him to discriminate his various excellencies. 

" He was of a most prompt invention and apprehension, which was 

p Wood's Hist. Univ. Ox. lib. ii. p. 42. before quoted in a note; Whitelocke; and every 
author by whom he is mentioned. His monument states his death in 1641. As it was in 
February, this, according to the new-stile, was in 1642. 
4 G 2 



accompanied with a rare memory, by means whereof, and through his 
sedulous and indefatigable industry, he attained to a profound science and 
judgment in the laws of the land, and to a singular intelligence of the true 
reasons thereof, and principally in the forms of good pleading. He was 
of an universal and admirable experience in all other matters which con- 
cerned the Commonwealth. He heard patiently, and never spake but to 
purpose, and was always glad when matters were represented unto him 
truly and clearly; he had this discerning gift, to separate the truth of tin 
matter, from the mixture and affection of the deliverer, without giving the 
least offence, tie was resolute and stedfast for truth : and as he desired 
no employment for vain glory, so he refused none for fear ; and by his 
wisdom and courage in conscionably performing his charge, and care- 
fully discharging his conscience, and his modesty in sparingly speaking 
thereof, he was without envy, though not without true glory. To speak 
of his integrity and forbearing to take bribes, were a wrong to his virtue. 
In sum, what Tacitus saith of Julius Agricola, his wife's father, who 
was a Governor in our Britain, I may truly say of this Agricola^, our 
Reverend Judge, my wife's father, tempora eurarum, remissionumque ; ubi conventus ac Judicia poscerent, gravis, intentus, severus, et 
scepius miser icors : ubi officio satisfaction, nulla ultra potestatis persona : 
tristitiam, et arrogantiam, et avaritiam exuerat; nee illi, quod est raris- 
simuni, uut faciUtas auctoritatem, aut severitas amorem, deminuit. " That 
he well and discreetly divided the seasons of his affairs and vacations. 
In times of audience and judgment, he was grave, heedful, and austere, 
and yet merciful too. That duty performed, no face any more or shew 
of authority : severe and stately looks were laid apart in such sort, that 
neither his gentle and courteous behaviour weakened the reverence, nor 
his severity the love due to his person." He was of a strict life to him- 
self, yet in conversation full of sweet deportment and affable, tender and 
compassionate, seeing none in distress whom he was not ready to relieve ; 
nor did I ever behold him do any thing more willingly than when he gave 
alms : he was every way liberal, and cared for money no further than to 
illustrate his virtues : he was a man of great modesty, and of a most plain 
and single heart, of an ancient freedom and integrity of mind, esteeming 

11 Tiu^yoi. Taciti Agricola, sect. is. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 597 

it more honest to offend, than to flatter, or hate. He was remarkable for 
hospitality, a great lover and much beloved of his country, wherein he was 
a blessed peace-maker, and in those times of conflagration was more tor 
the bucket than bellows, often pouring out the waters of his tears to 
quench those beginning flames which others did ventilate. In religion, he 
was devout towards God, reverent in the church, attentive at sermons, 
and constant in family duties. Whilst he lived, he was the example of 
the life of faith, love, and good works, to so many as were acquainted 
with his equal and even walkings in the ways of God, through the several 
turnings and occasions of his life', and he died full of commendation tor 
wisdom and piety ; and left such a stock of reputation behind him, as 
might kindle a generous emulation in strangers, and preserve a noble 
ambition in those of his name and family to perform actions worthy of 
their ancestors 8 . 

Of the following poem, I know not the author. I found it in manu- 
script amongst my papers. 

An Elegy on Judge George Croke. 
This was the Man, the Glory of the Gown, 
Just to himself, his Country, and the Crown, 
The Atlas of our Liberty, as high 
In his own Fame, as others' Infamy. 
Great by his Virtues, great by others' Crimes, 
The best of Judges in the worst of Times. 
He was the first who happily did sound 
Unfreedomed Loyalty, and felt the Ground. 
Yet happier to behold that dawning Ray, 
Shot from himself, become a perfect Day, 
To hear his Judgement so authentic grown, 
The Kingdom's voice the Echo to his own. 
Nor did he speak but live the Laws, although 
From his sage Mouth grave Oracles did flow. 
Who knew his Life, Maxims might thence derive, 
Such as the Law to Law itself might give. 
Who saw him on the Bench, would think the Name 
Of Friendship, or Affection, never came 

' Preface to Cro. Car. s Preface to Cro. Eliz. 

59S SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

Within his Thoughts. Who saw him thence, might know 

He never had, nor could deserve, a Foe. 

Only assuming Rigour with his Gown, 

And, with his Purple, laid his Rigour down. 

Him nor Respect, nor Disrespect, could move, 

He knew no Anger, and his Place no Love. 

So mixt the Strain of all his Actions ran, 

So much a Judge, so much a Gentleman. 

Who durst be just, when Justice was a Crime, 

Yet durst no more, in so unjust a Time. 

Nor hurried by the highest Mover's Force, 

Against his proper, and resolved, Course; 

But when our World did turn, so kept his Ground, 

Ho seemed the axe on which the Wheel went round. 

Whose Zeal was warm, when all to Ice did turn, 

Yet was but warm, when all the Word did burn. 

The reports of cases, decided in the different tribunals, are the reposi- 
tories of the common law, and of the interpretation of the statutes. 
After the year books, no public officers were appointed to perform the 
duty of reporting, but it was left to the industry of individuals. From 
his earliest attendance in Westminster Hall, Sir George Croke had taken 
a regular series of notes of cases which were adjudged in the Courts of 
King's Bench, and Common Pleas, during the whole time that he fre- 
quented them as a student, or advocate, or presided in them as a Judge, 
He began when he was about twenty-four years old, and continued them 
till within a year or two of his death. They were bequeathed by him, 
with the principal part of his library, to his son-in-law, Sir Harbottle 
Grimston, who published them, having been brought up, as he says of 
himself, at the feet of this Gamaliel. They were written in a very small, 
close, and intricate hand, and in the old Norman, or French, language, 
which eustom had rendered more familiar ana expressive to the old lawyers 
than their native tongue ; but they were published by Sir Harbottle in 
English, contrary to his own opinion, by the injunction of some persons of 
authority. In regard they were too bulky to be comprised in one volume , 
he divided them into three parts, according to the reigns of the three 
princes, in which the decisions took place. And in consequence of tin- 
advice of Lord Coke to students, " that they should read the later 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 

■ >>.»[' 

" reports first" and that he might vouch the principal persons in the 
profession then living, for their correctness and candour, he began with the 
publication of the last part, those cases which occurred during the reign of 
King Charles the First, when he was Judge as well as Reporter. This 
first volume, or part, was printed, with the approbation of the Judges, in 
the year 1657 ; and, by the authority of the Parliament, a monopoly was 
granted to Sir Harbottle for the sole publishing of it*. There was a 
squabble between some printers respecting it, which was published and 
printed on one side of a sheet of paper". A long preface is prefixed, 
giving an account of the work, and an history of the author and his family. 
The second part, of cases during the reign of King James, came out in 
1659 ; and the first part, of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, in 1661 ; 
which is dedicated by Sir Harbottle Grimston to King Charles the 
Second, with all those expressions of an ardent affection, which subsisted 
between Charles and his subjects, in the early days of his restoration. 
The reports themselves begin about the time when those of Sir James 
Dyer end, and comprehend a series of cases adjudged during a period of 
near sixty years, from the twenty-fourth year of Queen Elizabeth, 1582, 
to the sixteenth of Charles the First, 1640 ; an extraordinary length of 
time for the exertions of one man. They contain an immense mass of 
law, of the highest authority, with a regular journal of all the changes 
which took place in the principal department of the profession, and an in- 
teresting account of the legal formalities and ceremonies used in the cre- 
ation of Serjeants, Judges, and other high officers ; and of many of the 
usages and rights of the common law. The method used is likewise ex- 
cellent. They are not swelled out with the pleadings and arguments at 
large, but each case is shortly stated, according to the points discussed and 
adjudged ; the reasons are plainly and succinctly stated ; and a happy me- 
dium is observed between a wearisome diffuseness, and an imperfect 

I have a portrait of him, a three-quarters length, in his dress as a Judge, 
with the coif. His left hand leans on a table covered with a green cloth, 

1 It is amongst the King's folio pamphlets in the British Museum, No. 13. See the 
Appendix, No. XXIX. 

" Journals, House of Com. 9 June, 1657, page 551. order signet! Hen. Scobel, at the end 
of Cro. Car 

600 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

and there is a curtain behind him of the same colour. There is written on 
it, aetatis 66, anno domini 1626. I have likewise another picture, appa- 
rently a copy from the other. Mr. Pennant mentions that he saw at 
Gorhambury, the seat of Lord Grimston, near Saint Alban's, a portrait of 
Sir George Croke, a half length in his robes, and another of his lady in 
black, with a lawn ruff 1 , but, on examination, I found it to be a copy of 
his mother's picture, Elizabeth Unton. 

There is a small oval head of him, engraved by Hollar"; another larger 
by Robert Vaughan, which is prefixed to his Reports, with this inscription 
Vera e/figies Georgii Croke Equitis a/irati et utriusque Banci Justicia- 
rius, temp. Car. Reg. Ut vultus hominum, ita simulacra vultus; quce 
marmore, out cere jinguntur, imbecilla, ac mortalia sunt. Forma mentis 
ceterna; quam tenere et exprimere, non per alienam materiam, et artem, 
sed tuis ipse moribus possis % . Granger* mentions two others, by Gay- 
wood, and R. White, but I have never seen them. 

His buildings, the chapel and the alms-house, still remain at Studley. His 
coat of arms, dated 1622, is carved in stone, over the porch of the mansion, 
impaled with Bennet, that of his wife, viz. gules, a bezant between three 
derni lions rampant, argent, langued azure, with a mullet, to denote his 
being a third son. The same arms, in painted glass, are in the old with- 
drawing room, with the two crests, that of Bennet being out of a mural 
coronet, or, a lion's head gules, charged with a bezant on the neck. The 
same arms are in the chapel, and two of the bed rooms. 

Sir George Croke left two wills ; the first, relating principally to his 
real, the second to his personal property. The first is dated the 25th of 
May, 1639, and is to the following effect 11 : He desires to be buried after a 
Christian's manner of burial, without any unnecessary ceremonies, or 
charges, especially of hearse, heralds, or offerings. He left an annuity of 
£20 to his brother William Croke, to be paid by his wife, and others, out 
of Easingdon, and £§0 a year, as before limited, to the alms-house, and 
chaplain. He bequeathed Studley to his conusees and grantees, under a 

' Pennant's Journey from Chester, and he quotes Lloyd, ii. 2fi7? " The original plate 

of Hollar is in the Bodleian Library ; and, by the favour of the Vice-Chancellor and the other 
Curators, I have been permitted to have some impressions taken off' for this work. * Ta- 
cit, in vita Jul. Agricolae Socrei sui, sec. 46. y Biographical Dictionary. * The 
original is in the possession of William Henry Ashhurst, Esq. of Waterstock. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 601 

fine before levied, to the use of his son Thomas for life, then to the conu- 
sees for ninety-nine years, then to the heirs of the body of his son Thomas 
by any other wife that he might have other than Anne his now wife; with 
liberty to Thomas, with the assent of his mother, and of any two others of 
his executors, to limit all or any part of Studley to any his wife that he 
hath, or shall have, for term of her life for a jointure; then to his conu- 
sees during the ninety-nine years, and afterwards to the use of such chil- 
dren of Thomas, and the heirs of their bodies, as his son, by the assent of 
his mother, and two executors, shall appoint ; and for default of such ap- 
pointment, then after his decease, to such of the children of Thomas, and 
the heirs of their bodies, as the testator's wife and executors should think 
fit. And for default of such issue, to his brother, William Croke, for 
life, remainder to the use of his nephew Alexander, and his heirs male; 
giving security for the payment of £2000 for the testator's daughters. 

Easington he left to his wife for life, or widowhood, then to his son 
Thomas for life, with power to sell, with the consent of the executors: 
then to the conuseesfor ninety-nine years, as before limited as to Studlev: 
and, after that term ended, then to the heirs of the body of his son by 
any other wife than Anne ; and, for default of such issue, to his nephew- 
Alexander Croke, and the heirs male of his body; giving security for the 
payment of £ 1000 to his daughters. 

Wuterstock he bequeathed to his wife for life, or widowhood, then to 
his son for life, then to his executors for ninety-nine years, then to his son 
and the heirs of his body by any other wife than Anne, with liberty, with 
the consent of his mother and two executors, to appoint the same to any 
wife he now hath, or shall have, for life for a jointure, and, after such 
estates, then to the conusees, to dispose thereof to such of the children of 
Thomas, and the heirs of their bodies, as he, with the consent of his mother 
and two executors, should appoint; and, for default of such appointment, 
to such of his son's children as the executors should think fit. And for 
default of such issue, then to his nephew Henry Croke, son of his brother 
Henry, and then to his son George Croke, giving security for .£3000 to 
his daughters. 

We have before seen, that the estate at Waterstock went, according to 
this will, to his nephew Doctor Henry Croke, and afterwards to his son 
4 H 

602 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

Sir George Croke: that at Studley went to his brother William, as will 
hereafter appear. 

The will of his personal property is dated, at the beginning, on the 20th 
of November, 1640, and, at the end, on the 3d of December, and was 
proved on the 3d of May, 1642. In this he bequeaths to the poor of Chilton, 
Waterstock, Studley, and Saint Dunstan's in the West, five pounds each, 
and three pounds to the parish where he shall die. To the minister of 
Chilton 40s.; of Waterstock £o ; but if his nephew Henry is parson there, 
£10. To his wife £300, and her jewels, &c. part of his plate, and the 
use of the remainder for life; afterwards to his son, or, if dead, to be sold 
and divided amongst his daughters. A part of the plate is excepted, and 
given to his son. To his wife, half his household stuff, and furniture, at 
Waterstock, and the use of the other half for life, or widowhood ; then to his 
son Thomas. His household stuff at Studley to his son, and two hundred 
pounds for the better furnishing the house at Studley. To his wife, her 
wearing apparel, coach, coach-horses, and harness, one nag for her own 
use, except the bay nag given him by his son-in-law, Thomas Lee, which 
was to be returned to him ; a double gelding, and two geldings for servants, 
and his carts and cart geldings, kyne, &c. &c. To his brother William 
Croke, a piece of plate of the value of £10, and the sum of ,±100, and his 
wearing apparel ; except his robes used by him as a Judge, which were to 
be disposed of by his wife by gift or otherwise. To his son-in-law, Har- 
bottle Grimston, Esquire, and his daughter Mary, £20 in plate, and to 
their children, George, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Thomas, ±100 each. 
To Harbottle Crimston all his books concerning the common law, lying 
or being usually in his study, or closet, at Serjeant's Inn, both printed 
books, and written ; except his books of Statutes, and the Abridgments of 
Statutes, and those which concern the office of a Justice of Peace, which 
books so excepted he devises to his son Thomas. And he desires his 
said son-in-law, that if he shall not proceed in the practice and profession 
of the law, as perhaps, after the death of his father, he may not think it 
convenient for him to do, that then he would dispose of them between his 
nephew Edward Bulstrode, Unton Croke, and George Walton. To his 
son-in-law, Thomas Lee, Esquire, and his daughter Elizabeth, his wife. 
£20 for plate ; and to their sons, Thomas, and George, and their daughter 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 603 

Mary, £ 100 each. To Richard Jervois, Esquire, and Frances his daughter, 
his wife, £20, and to their daughters, Lucy and Mary, ^100 each. All 
his books concerning the common law, except the book commonly called 
the Commentary upon Littleton, and the Book of Statutes, and Abridg- 
ment of Statutes, and Dalton's book concerning a Justice of Peace, lying 
and being in his study at Waterstock, to his nephew Unton Croke, Esq. 
Also all his books concerning the common law at Studley, to his nephew 
Edward Bulstrode, Esq. to whom he forgives a debt of £50. The books 
excepted in his study at Waterstock, to his son Thomas. All his divinity 
books in English, except the three new books of Martyrs of the last edi- 
tion, and the English Bible in folio at Waterstock, to his wife, the book of 
Martyrs and Bible to his son, his wife to have the use for life, or widow- 
hood. To his son, all his Latin books, and books written in Latin, French, 
or any other language not before given. Legacies to his servants. To 
his nephew and godson, George Croke, son of his nephew Doctor Henry 
Croke, ,£100, for an annuity towards his maintenance and bringing up in 
learning. To his wife, one complete armour for a horseman, and two 
armours for two footmen. The residue of his armour to his son. Debts 
owing from his brother William to be released. His wife, his nephew 
Bulstrode Whitelocke, Thomas Hampsted, Alexander Croke, Esquires, 
and his good neighbour, William Tipping, to be his executors. His wife 
to have the sold administration, and the others to be coadjutors, and to have 
i 3 20 each. And whereas Lord Bayning, Viscount Sudbury, had ap- 
pointed him one of his executors, and he had not intermeddled in his 
affairs, though he had joined in the probate, and the other acting executor 
was dead, and the executorship was now come to him by survivorship, he 
appoints Lady Anne, widow of Lord Bayning the son, his executrix of 
the said estate. Signed George Croke. Christus mihi vita, mors 
mihi lucrum. Witnesses, Har. Grimston, Tho. Hampson, L. Hurst, 
Fran. Croke, Robert Newburgh, John Cammocke, Robert Dur- 

His lady, Dame Mary Croke, survived him fifteen years, and dying on 

the first of December, 1657, was buried at Waterstock, under a flat stone 

in the chancel near her husband. She appointed Colonel Ingoldsby, and 

Giles Hungerford, Esquire, her executors, and bequeathed five pounds to 

4 h 2 

604 SIR GEORGE CROKE. book iv. 

the alms-house, to which she had given many benefactions in money 
during her life, and settled upon it a small close in Easington a . 
The inscription upon her tomb-stone is as follows: 


They had only one son, named Thomas, and three daughters, Mary, 
Frances, baptized the 25th of September, 1618\ and Elizabeth. 

Of the children of Sir George Croke, little is known of his only son 
Thomas, nor indeed of the exact time when he died. He appears to have 
been bred to the law, for he was a member of the Inner Temple, and was 
admitted on the 26th of April, 1619, into the chambers of his uncle, Paul 
Ambrose Croke, who was a Bencher of that society'. Mr. Wood says, 
that he was " a sot, or a fool, or both d ." But he quotes no authority for 
this assertion, and the legacy of his father, in his will, in which he leaves 
him " all his Latin and French books, or books in any other language, 
" with his Statute books, Abridgments of Statutes, such as concern the 
" office of a Justice of the Peace, and any others undisposed of," are a be- 
quest not very well adapted to such a character. But as Sir George in 
his will left the bulk of his law library to Sir Harbottle Grimston, it 
should seem that at that time he had laid aside the study of the law, and 
had chosen the life of a country gentleman. This will was made Dec. 2d, 

1640, and it there appears to have been settled, that after his decease, his 
son was to live at Studley, and his lady to continue at Waterstock, as he 
devises to him part of his plate, the household goods at Studley, and =£200 
for better furnishing that house. Thomas was living on the 21st of June, 

1641, a few months only before his father's death. Whether he survived 
him or not is uncertain. At that time in the conversation with his nephew 

* The old alms-house accounts, sub anno 1647, &c. penes me. h Waterstock 

Register. c Ward's MS. Inner Temple Register, vol. ii. fol. 125. '' Life of A. Wood, 
p. 581. 

ch. vi. sec. i. SIR GEORGE CROKE. 60.5 

Alexander, he spoke of his succeeding to the Studley estate, after the 
death of his son Thomas, as if it were a probable event; perhaps from the 
state of his son's health. There is no proof that his son ever inherited 
any part of his property, as Waterstock went to his daughters, and Stud- 
ley to his nephew Alexander. Thomas was married, and his wife's name 
was Anne, as appears from Sir George's will in 1639. 

Of Sir George Croke's daughters, Mar//, the eldest, married Sir Har- 
bottle Grimston, Baronet: Elizabeth, the second, had two husbands ; the 
first was Thomas Lee, Esquire, of Hartwell, in Buckinghamshire; and 
her second husband was Sir Richard Ingoldsbij, Knight of the Bath : 
Frances, the third, married Richard Jervois, Esquire. 

After just premising, that Stephen Moore, ancestor of the Baron Kil- 
worth, Viscount Mountcashell, of the kingdom of Ireland, married the 
granddaughter of Sir George Croke, I have not discovered by which of 
his children*, I shall proceed to give some account of his sons-in-law. 

e Debrett's Peerage, Ireland, p. 734. 



SIR HARBOTTLE GRIMSTON, who married Mary, the eldest 
daughter of Sir George Croke, was one of the most respectable characters 
of that eventful aera. He was descended from an ancient family, and was 
born at Bradfield Hall, near Maningtree, in Essex, about the year 1594. 
He was the second son of Sir Harbottle Grimston, Baronet, who was the 
representative for that county, and was one of those who were imprisoned 
for a long time for refusing to pay the loan money. He was educated for 
the law, and was a member of Lincoln's Inn, but. upon the death of his 
elder brother, he abandoned his profession. Falling in love with Sir 
George Croke's daughter, her father would not bestow her upon him 
unless he would return to his studies ; which he did with great success, 
and became eminent as an advocate". In 1638, he was appointed Re- 
corder of Colchester ; and at the meeting of the Long Parliament, in 1640, 
he was chosen one of the representatives for that place. 

In his political conduct, though no enemy to the monarchy, he warmly 
opposed the illegal oppressions of the Crown, and was a zealous defender of 
liberty and the laws. His learning and talents were considerable, and his 
eloquence powerful. Upon every important question, his conduct was ani- 
mated, his language vehement, and he inveighed against those, whom he con- 
sidered as the enemies to his country, with unsparing severity b . Upon all 
measures in opposition to the King, and in the most important committees 
of that memorable parliament, for the redress of grievances, and for 
bringing obnoxious ministers to justice, he was always an active member. 
He was one of the first who proposed calling to account those who had 
been concerned in levying ship-money. In 1641, he was of the committee 

J Burnet, Hist, of his Own Times. " Upon one occasion he called Secretary Winde- 

banck, the very pander and broker to the Whore of Babylon. Rush. v. 122. Hume, vi. 

ch. vi. sec. ii. SIR HARBOTTLE GRIMSTON. 607 

to prepare the charge against the Earl of Strafford; and, in 1642, upon 
that for vindicating the privileges of Parliament, upon the King's going 
down to the House to demand the five members. In the same year, when 
the Parliament had passed the ordinance of the Militia, he accepted a com- 
mission as one of the Deputy Lieutenants of the county of Essex c . 
Soon after the King had erected his standard at Nottingham, Sir Thomas 
Barrington and Grimston seized upon Sir John Lucas and his Lady in 
Essex, and committed them to prison ; and Lucas was proclaimed a traitor 
for assisting the King d . He was one of the Commissioners named by the 
Commons, in 1647, to go down with a congratulatory declaration to the 
army, and of another for disbanding part of the army e . During the 
memorable siege of Colchester by the Parliament army, the King's troops 
took possession of Sir Harbottle's house at Bradfield Hall, where they 
placed two hundred musqueteers, and two troops of horse. This party 
plundered and ruined the house, took away and destroyed all the furniture, 
and turned out his lady f . In 1647, he was one of the Committee of 
Appeals from the Visitors appointed to reform the University of Oxfords. 

But during this time he was far from going all lengths with the Parlia- 
ment. In 1643, he refused to subscribe the solemn League and Covenant, 
and discontinued sitting in the House till it was laid aside h . In September, 
1648, he was appointed one of the Commissioners of the Parliament to 
treat with the King in the Isle of Wight, and was extremely desirous of a 
compromise between him and the Parliament. He, and Hollis, on their 
knees, begged the King to dispatch the business with all possible haste, 
before the army, then in the north, could interfere ; and they assured his 
Majesty, that " if he would frankly come forward, and send them back 
" with the concessions that were necessary, they did not doubt but that he 
" would in a very few days be brought up with honor, freedom, and 
" safety, to the Parliament, and matters brought to a present settlement."'' 
But the King unfortunately could come to no resolution, and the treaty 
failed. The King however was well pleased with Sir Harbottle's conduct, 
who, upon his return to Parliament, pressed the acceptance of the King's 
concessions 1 . 

When the King was brought to his trial, the persons in power had such 

' U'hitelock, p. 56. d ibid. 59. c Ibid. ^S^. f Ibid. 308, 9, 10. s Wood's 

History, by Gutch. ; ' Burnet. ' liurnet's HisL of his Own Times, vol. i. p. 44. Ed. folio. 


apprehensions of Sir Harbottle's duty to his Majesty, and his interest with 
the army and people, that they put him under confinement, and did not 
release him till after the King's death. An order for his discharge was 
signed by Fairfax, on the 30th of January, which states that he had en- 
gaged himself not to act, or to do any thing to the disservice of the Parlia- 
ment or army k . He afterwards resigned the Recordership of Colchester, 
on the 6th of July, 1649, and went abroad for some time with his son for 
his education 1 . 

A man of Grimston's sound principles was not likely to be a friend to 
Cromwell, and he joined in a strong opposition to him and the Indepen- 
dents. During the disputes which began to take place between the Par- 
liament and the army, at a meeting of the officers, it was proposed, " to 
" purge the army." Upon which Cromwell said, " he was sure of the 
" army; but there was another body that had more need of purging, 
" name///, the House of Commons, and he thought the army only could do 
" that." Grimston reported these speeches of Cromwell to the House of 
Commons, and introduced the business by a speech, in which he stated, 
that " he had a matter of privilege of the highest sort to lay before them, 
" which concerned the very being and freedom of the House." He then 
charged Cromwell with the design of putting force upon the House, and 
proved the words which he had used by witnesses. Cromwell fell down 
upon his knees, and made a solemn prayer to God, attesting his innocence, 
and his known zeal for the Parliament, and submitted himself to the pro- 
vidence of God for his protection. This prayer was uttered with great 
vehemence, and was accompanied with many tears ; and he so confused 
and wearied out the members by a very long speech, in which he endea- 
voured to persuade them that the witnesses were not to be believed, that 
nothing farther was done in it™. But he soon afterwards proved the truth 
of the charge, by his forcible dissolution of the Parliament. 

When Cromwell summoned a Parliament in 16j6, according to his new 
model of representation, Grimston was elected as one of the sixteen mem- 
bers for the county of Essex. He was not however permitted to sit in the 
House, being in the number of those who were rejected by the council, for 

" Archdall's Peerage of Ireland, in seven vols. 8vo. 1789- vol. v. p. JJ)3. ' Biog. 

Brit, note F. "' Burnet. 

ch. vi. sec. ii. SIR HARBOTTLE GRIMSTON. 609 

refusing to recognize the Protector's government, or for being otherwise 
obnoxious to him. Upon which he joined in the strong and severe remon- 
strance which was published by the excluded members, against the 
oppression and tyranny of Cromwell, and by which they protested 
against the present assembly as not being the representative body of 
England. But this remonstrance was not attended to by the Protector, 
his Council, or the Parliament". After being thus excluded from the 
House of Commons, he was principally employed in following the 
practice of the law. As he was known to be a well wisher to the ancient 
government of England, he united himself with those who prepared the 
way for the King's restoration. In February 1660, he was appointed one 
of the Council of State, in which the principal power was vested by the 
old Parliament, before its dissolution. Upon the meeting of the new Par- 
liament, he was chosen Speaker ; an high honour, to be appointed to pre- 
side in an assembly, which was about to perform such signal services to 
the country, as the abolition of tyranny and anarchy, and the restitution of 
lawful government! Upon the 11th of May he sailed to Holland, to 
wait upon the King, at Breda, with Sir John Granville, who had been 
the chief organ of communication between the King, General Monk, the 
army, and the Parliament . 

After the Restoration, he was much in favour with the King, and had 
the honour of entertaining him, on the 25th of June, in 1660, at his house 
in Lincoln's-Inn Fields. Upon presenting the money bill to his Majesty, 
on the 13th of September, he made an elegant and loyal speech p . He was 
in the commission of Oyer and Terminer for the trial of the Judges of 
Charles the First, who sat at Hicks's Hall, 9th of October, 1660. Upon 
the 3d of November the same year, without any solicitation, he was made 
Master of the Rolls, an office which he held above twenty-three years, till 
his death. The same year he was appointed Chief Steward of Saint Al- 
ban's, and Recorder of Harwich, and from the Restoration till his death, 
he continued to be one of the Representatives in Parliament for the 
borough of Colchester' 1 . 

He published, as I have before mentioned, the Reports of his father-in- 

n Whitelocke, p. 640. c Burnet. p Biograph. Britan. sub nomine. n Biog. 


4 I 


law, Sir George Croke, who had left them to him, with his study of books 
at Serjeant's Inn. He has prefixed long prefaces to each of the volumes, 
in which he has given an account of the Judge and his family. Several of 
his speeches have been preserved in Rushworth, and other contemporary 

Sir Harbottle's second wife was Anne, daughter of Sir Nathaniel Bacon, 
niece to the great Lord Bacon, and widow of Sir Thomas Meautys. 
Of Henry Meautys, elder brother of Sir Thomas, he purchased the 
house and manor of Gorhambury. It had belonged to the monastery 
of Saint Alban's, and, at the dissolution, was granted to Ralph 
Rowlatt, Esquire, whose son conveyed it to Sir Nicholas Bacon. His 
eldest son Anthony Bacon, left it to his brother, the great Lord Bacon, 
who gave it, after his death, to Sir Thomas Meautys, one of the Clerks 
of the Privy Council, and his private secretary, and confidential friend. Sir 
Thomas Meautys's only daughter Jane dying without issue, it became the 
property of her uncle Henry Meautys. There was another connexion 
between the families, for Sir Nathaniel Bacon married Jane, the daughter 
of Hercules Meautys, Sir Thomas's great uncle r . Lord Bacon had built 
a small house within the bounds of the old city of Verulam, and about a 
mile from Gorhambury, called Verulam House, at an expence of nine or 
ten thousand pounds : which was most ingeniously contrived, his Lordship 
being the chief architect. It was sold about 1665 or 1666, by Sir 
Harbottle Grimston, to two carpenters, for £400, of which they made ,£"800. 
Gorhambury House was built by Sir Nicholas Bacon. There is extant a 
particular and very curious description of both these houses 8 . 

Sir Henry Chauncy gives this character of Sir Harbottle Grimston, 
" He had a nimble fancy, a quick apprehension, a rare memory, an eloquent 
tongue, and a sound judgment. He was a person of free access, sociable 
in company, sincere to his friends, hospitable in his house, charitable to the 
poor, and an excellent master to his servants 1 ." 

The celebrated Bishop Burnet lived many years under his protection, as 

' From the deeds in the possession of Lord Verulam. Clutterbuck's History of Hert- 
fordshire, vol. i. Ed. 1815. 

' Letters in the Bodleian Library, vol. ii. page 228. ' Hist, and Antiq. of Hertford- 

shire, p. 4,65. 

ch. vi. sec. ii. SIR HARBOTTLE GRIMSTON. 611 

Preacher at the Rolls Chapel. He was a kind patron to him, and greatly 
assisted and encouraged him in writing the History of the Reformation". 
When King Charles the Second was offended with Burnet, about his con- 
duct in the affair of the Duke of Lauderdale, and sent Secretary 
Williamson to Sir Harbottle, to desire him to dismiss him, he excused 
himself, and said " that he was an old man, fitting himself for another world, 
" and he found his ministry useful to him." Burnet was grateful for these 
acts of kindness, and says in his History of his Own Times, " Since I was 
" so long happy in so quiet a retreat, it seems but a just piece of gratitude 
" that I should give some account of that venerable old man." After 
stating some particulars of his life, which we have already related, Burnet 
adds, " His principle was, that allegiance and protection were mutual ob- 
ligations ; and that the one went for the other. He thought the law was a 
measure of both ; and that when a legal protection was denied to one that 
paid a legal allegiance, the subject had a right to defend himself. He was 
much troubled when preachers asserted a divine right of regal government. 
He thought it had no other effect but to give an ill impression of them as 
aspiring men ; nobody was convinced by it ; it inclined their hearers 
rather to suspect all they said besides ; it looked like the sacrificing their 
country to their own preferment ; and an encouragement of princes to turn 
tyrants. Yet he was always looked at, as one who wished well to the 
ancient government of England. 

" He was a just Judge ; very slow, and ready to hear every thing that 
was offered, without passion or partiality. I thought his only fault was, 
that he was too rich ; and yet he gave yearly great sums in charity, dis- 
charging many prisoners by paying their debts. He was a very pious and 
devout man, and spent every day at least an hour in the morning, and as 
much at night, in prayer and meditation. And even in winter, when he 
was obliged to be very early on the bench, he took care to rise so soon, 
that he had always the command of that time, which he gave to those ex- 
ercises. He was much sharpened against popery, but had always a 
tenderness to the dissenters, though he himself continued always in the 
Communion of the Church. 

" His second wife, whom I knew, was niece to the great Sir Francis 

" Preface to that History. 
4i 2 


Bacon. She had all the high notions for the Church and the Crown, in 
which she had been bred ; but was the humblest, the devoutest, and best 
tempered person I ever knew of that sort. It was really a pleasure to hear 
her talk of religion ; she did it with so much elevation and force. She was 
always very plain in her clothes, and went often to jails, to consider the 
wants of the prisoners, and relieve or discharge them, and, by the mean- 
ness of her dress, she passed but for a servant trusted with the charities of 
others. When she was travelling in the country, as she drew near a 
village, she often ordered her coach to stay behind, till she had walked 
about it, giving orders for the instruction of the children, and leaving libe- 
rally for that end*. 

" In KiS4, old Sir Harbottle Grimston lived still to the great indignation 
of the Court, on account of his known dislike to the Roman Catholic 
religion. When the 5th of November came, Burnet begged him to excuse 
his preaching at the Rolls, ' for that day led one to preach against popery, 
and it was indecent not to do it.' Sir Harbottle said, 'he would end his 
life as he had led it all along, in an open detestation of popery.' Burnet, 
thus compelled to preach, did it effectually, and chose for his text, ' Save 
me from the lion's mouth, thou hast heard me from the horns of the uni- 
corn,' which was interpreted by the court, perhaps not unjustly, as levelled 
against the King's coat of arms and his conduct. This occasioned much 
anger, and the King wrote to Sir Harbottle to dismiss him from being 
Preacher at the Rolls, as a disaffected person. He was obliged to com- 
ply, and Burnet travelled abroad. Sir Harbottle died soon after, nature sank 
all at once, and he departed, as he had lived, with great piety and resignation 
to the will of God!-." 

He was well read in the ancient Fathers of the Church, and wrote in 
Latin, for the use of his son, a small manual, containing the duty of a 
Christian. He also left in manuscript, a journal of the several debates in 
the treaty with Charles the First in the Isle of Wight 2 . 

He died on the 31st of December, 16S3, being near ninety years of age, 
and was buried at Saint Michael's church, at Saint Alban's. By his first 

" Burnet's History of his Own Times, vol. i. p. 382. folio edition. » Burnet, page 596. 

'- Archdall's Irish Peerage, vol. v. page 194. note. He seems to have varied in the spell- 
ing of his Christian name. In the two first volumes of Sir George Croke's reports, it is 
printed Harebotle, but in the last volume, Harbottle, as it is now written by the family. 
















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lady, the daughter of Sir George Croke, he had six sons, five of whom 
died before him, and three daughters*. By his second wife Anne he had 
no children. He was succeeded in his title and estates by his son 
Samuel, who married, first, Lady Elizabeth Finch, daughter of Heneage 
Finch, Earl of Nottingham, and Lord Chancellor; by whom he had 
only one daughter named Elizabeth, and who married William, Marquis 
of Halifax. Sir Samuel Grimston's second wife was Lady Anne Tufton, 
daughter of the Earl of Thanet, by whom he left one daughter only. 

Of Sir Harbottle Grimston's daughters, Mary, who was christened at 
Waterstock, 5th of October, 1632, was married to Sir Chapel Luckyn, of 
Messing Hall in Essex, whose grandson William Luckyn, was the adopted 
heir of Sir Samuel Grimston, took the name of Grimston, and, in 1719? 
was created Baron of Dunboyne, and Viscount Grimston, of the kingdom 
of Ireland. His grandson, James Bucknell Grimston, was created Baron 
Verulam in England, in 1790. His son, the present peer, James Walter 
Grimston, succeeded to the title of Baron Forester, in Scotland, upon the 
death of Anna Maria, the last Baroness, in 180S, and in 1815, was created 
Viscount Grimston, and Earl of Verulam, in England. He was born the 
26th of September, 1775, and married Lady Charlotte Jenkinson, daugh- 
ter of Charles, the first Earl of Liverpool \ 

The arms of Grimston are, Argent, on a fesse, sable, three mullets of six 
points, pierced, or ; and in the dexter chief, an ermine spot. Crest, on a 
wreath, a stag's head, couped, proper, attired, or. 

At Gorhambury, are portraits of Sir Harbottle Grimston, one at full 
length, and another in his robes, as Master of the Rolls . 

' Sir George Croke, in his will, dated 20th November, 1640, leaves one hundred pounds 
each to George, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Thomas, the children of his son-in-law Har- 
bottle Grimston, Esquire, and his daughter Mary. The other sons must have been born 

" Archdall's Peerage of Ireland, and all the peerages. 

c Many of his speeches and some letters are extant in the histories and collections of the 
times. Whitelocke's Memorials, Clarendon, Rushworth, Thurloe, Nelson, Rennet. &c. &c. 
See the Genealogy of Grimston, No. 3 1 . 



ELIZABETH, the second daughter of Sir George Croke, had two hus- 
bands, Thomas Lee, Esquire, and Sir Richard Ingoldsby. 

To the first she was married at Waterstock, on the 30th of September, 
1633\ This was Thomas Lee, Esquire, of Hartwell, in Bucking- 
hamshire, the ancestor of the present Baronet of that name and place, and 
who was descended from an ancient family, which was supposed to be a 
younger branch of the Leghs, or Leighs, of Cheshire, derived from the Ve- 
nables. They settled in Buckinghamshire about the beginning of the 
reign of Henry the Fourth. Their original seats appear to have been at 
East Claydon and Morton, in that county ; where we find William Lee, 
Esquire, who died in 14S6. By the marriage of his descendant, Sir 
Thomas Lee, Knight, with Eleanor, the daughter of Michael Hampden, 
Esquire, of Hartwell, they acquired that estate, and made it their principal 
residence. Sir Thomas and Eleanor had twenty-four children, and Tho- 
mas, their eldest son, married Jane, the daughter of Sir George Throck- 
morton, of Fulbrook, in Buckinghamshire, by whom he was the father of 
Thomas Lee, Esquire, the husband of Elizabeth Croke b . 

Thomas Lee and Elizabeth Croke had three sons and a daughter, 
Thomas, William, George, and Mary. William is not mentioned in Sir 
George Croke's will, and was perhaps then dead. Mary married Sir 
William Morly, of Barecourt, Knight. The name of their son Thomas 
occurs occasionally in the annals of the times. Though probably, from 
his Buckinghamshire connections, he took part with the Parliament, he 
was a promoter of the King's restoration. On the 23d of December, 
16-59, with his father-in-law Colonel Ingoldsby, and Colonel Howard, he 
waited upon Lord Chancellor Whitelocke, to persuade him to go over to the 
King with the Great Seal c . Upon the King's restoration he was created a 

' Waterstock Register. ^ Collins's Baronetage, vol. iii. p. 149. ed. 1741. 

c Whitelocke's Memor. p. 6^2. The name of Colonel Lee occurs several times in those 
memorials ; I suppose the same person. 

No. 32. 


William Lee, of Morton, Esq. in Bucks, died I486. 
John Lee. 

Thomas Lee, of East Claydon, 
and Morton, in Bucks. 





Sir Thomas Lee, Knight. 


Twenty-four children. 

Thomas Lee, Esq. eldest son, 
possessed Morton and Hart- 
well, High Sheriff of Bucks, 
4 Car. I. 

Thomas Lee, Esquire, 
first husband. 

Eleanor, daugh. of 
Michael Hampden, 
of Hartwell. 

Jane, daugh. of Sir 
George Throckmorton, 
of Fulbrook, Bucks. 

Elizabeth, 3d daugh. z 
of Sir George Croke. 

Sir Richard Ingoldsby, 
second husband. 

Thomas, = 
created Baronet 
12 Car. II. 
died l6gi. 

- Anne, da. and heir 
of Sir John Davies, 
of Panghorne, Berks, 
died 1708. 



Sir William Morly, 
of Barecourt, Knt. 

[2 |s 

John, Lyonel. 

a Captain. 

Sir Thomas 
Lee, Bart, 
died 1702. 

Alice, da. and heir 
of R. Hopkins, of 
London, Merchant. 

I I I 

Anne, martied 

1. R. Winkworth, 
of Maudlins, in 

2. Capt. Nashack. 

— Pad- 


R. Beek. 

Elizabeth, =r Sir Thomas Lee, Bart. 

dau. and 
heir of 
- Sandys, 

Member for Bucks. 

Sir William Lee, Knt 
Chief Justice, married 
l.adau. of Mr. Good- 
win, of Bury in Suf- 
folk, and had one son. 
2. Mrs. Melmoth, relict 
of — Melmoth, a mer- 
chant, da. of — Drake, 
a merchant. 




a Colonel in 
the Guards, 
married a da. 
of Sir Thomas 

Sir George Lee, 


died young, 


Sir William Lee. = Lady Elizabeth Harcourt, 
I da. of Simon Earl Harcourt. 

Sir William Lee, 
died unmarried. 

The Rev. Sir George Lee. 

ch. vi. sec. in. THOMAS LEE, ESQUIRE. 615 

Baronet, and died in 1691. His lady was Anne, the daughter and heir of 
Sir John Davies, of Pangbourne in Berkshire, by whom he had a son of 
his own name, who was singularly fortunate in his children, whom he had 
by Alice, daughter of Richard Hopkins, Esquire, a merchant in London. 
Besides his eldest son, who was likewise another Sir Thomas, and repre- 
sented his county in Parliament, two of his other sons had the merit and 
good fortune to arrive at the summit of their respective professions' 1 . 

William, the second son, was bred to the common law, and became 
Lord Chief Justice of England. His younger brother, George, was an 
advocate in the Civil Law Courts, where his integrity and abilities pro- 
moted him to the situation of Dean of the Arches, and Judge of the 
Prerogative Court, when he was knighted, and made one of the Lords 
Commissioners of the Admiralty, and a Privy Counsellor. But his talents 
were not confined to his profession : he was an active Member of Parlia- 
ment, and joined the party of the Prince of Wales in opposition to Sir 
Robert Walpole. He was much in the confidence of the Prince, and 
afterwards of the Princess Dowager, of Wales. His answer to the 
Prussian Memorial was considered as a master-piece in the science of the 
Law of Nations"; and his decisions in Prize Causes in the Court of Ap- 
peals established his fame in every state in Europe f . 

The last Sir Thomas Lee, brother to the two Judges, having lost his 
eldest son, Thomas, at eighteen years of age, was succeeded by his youngest 
son, Sir William Lee. This gentleman married Lady Elizabeth Harcourt, 
daughter of Simon Earl Harcourt ; one of the most accomplished noble- 
men of his time, Preceptor to the Prince of Wales, afterwards George the 
Third, and Ambassador to the Court of France. Lady Elizabeth survived 
her husband several years : and their eldest son, Sir William Lee, having 
died without issue, the present Baronet is the Reverend Sir George Lee. 

The arms of Lee are, azure, two bars, or. Over all a bend, counter- 
compony, of the second and gules. The crest, a bear, passant, sable, 
muzzled, collared, and chained argent s . 

6 Collins's Baronet, vol. iii. p. 149. Brown Willis's MSS. vol. 19- 
e Montesquieu, Lettre XLV. Nous lisons ici la r£ponse du roi d'Angleterre au roi de 
Prusse, et elle passe dans ce pays-ci pour une re"ponse sans replique. 

f Blackstone's Commentaries, vol. iii. p. 70. s See the Genealogy of Lee, No. 32. 



THE second husband of Elizabeth Croke was Sir Richard 
Ingoldsby, Knight of die Bath. Amongst the sons-in-law of Sir 
George Croke, we have hitherto seen only lawyers or private gentlemen. 
We have now to present the reader with a soldier, of no small reputation 
in those military times. 

Sir Richard Ingoldsby was the second son of Sir Richard Ingoldsby, of 
Lenthenborough in Buckinghamshire, Knight, by Elizabeth his wife, the 
daughter of Sir Oliver Cromwell, of Hinchinbrook in Huntingdonshire ; 
and consequently, he was cousin to the Protector. The Ingoldsby 
family was originally of Lincolnshire. Sir Roger de Hyngoldyeby held 
in Foulbeck, Hetham, Westby, and Heryerby, three knights' fees, 
rendering yearly for Castle Ward thirty shillings, about 1230 a . They 
removed to Lenthenborough in Buckinghamshire, in the reign of Henry 
VI. of which Ralph and John Ingoldsby were the joint purchasers. 
Ralph had a commission in 1448, to provide ships for the defence 
of Aquitaine, and John, in 1468, was appointed a Baron of the Ex- 
chequer 6 . Sir Richard Ingoldsby's eldest son, Francis Ingoldsby, by his 
extravagance, dissipated his fortune, sold Lenthenborough, and became 
a Pensioner in the Charter House. The second son was Sir Richard 
Ingoldsby, who married Elizabeth Croke. 

He was educated in the public school at Thame, and by the persuasions 
of his parents, entered early into the Parliament army. He was soon 
made a Captain in Colonel John Hambden's regiment, in which he fought 
against the King, and, in a short time, by the interest of Cromwell, he was 
promoted to a regiment of horse. Colonel Ingoldsby was a man of great 

" Dns Rogerus de Hyngoldyeby tenet in Foulbeck, Hetham, Westby, et Herierby, tria 
feoda militis redd', pro Ward Castri xxx*. Blount's Fragmenta Antiquitatis, page 456. 
Beckwith's ed. 4to. 1815. 

b Noble's Memoirs of Cromwell, vol. ii. p. 181. 

ch. vi. sec. iv. SIR RICHARD INGOLDSBY. 617 

personal strength, and undaunted bravery. In an age of enthusiasm and 
hypocrisy, he escaped the general contagion ; and without aspiring to the 
character of a saint, he retained the honest frankness of a soldier, and the 
pleasant and sociable manners of a gentleman. Although he was so unlike 
those with whom he associated, and was known to be no enemy to 
monarchy, he was highly esteemed by the republican party, and was much 
in the confidence of Cromwell . 

A man of such a character, and so nearly related to Cromwell, was of 
course engaged in all the principal transactions of the time. He was 
elected a Member of the Long Parliament in 1640. In 1644, his name 
appears in the list of officers of Sir Thomas Fairfax's army, which was 
voted by the Lords and Commons, as Ingoldsby, Colonel of Foot rt . In 
that year he was obliged to surrender himself to the King's officers, but 
regained his liberty 6 . In 1645, he attacked the King's troops near Taun- 
ton, with considerable slaughter', and was employed in the siege of Pen- 
dennis castle, where it was reported he was shot in reconnoitrings. 
After the surrender of Oxford to the Parliament, 24th June, 1646, 
Colonel Ingoldsby was appointed Governor of the garrison. Though no 
place had been more loyal before the surrender, afterwards it became of all 
others the most remarkable for sectarianism and sedition. 

It was resolved by the Parliament to reform the University, and to bring 
the members to a conformity with the prevailing opinions. Six commis- 
sioners were sent down, to prepare the way for a general reformation. At 
the head of these was the celebrated Doctor Cheynell. They were of the 
Presbyterian faction, and preached, and disputed indefatigably, to remove 
the scruples of weak-minded brethren. They met with great opposi- 
tion from the army there stationed ; which consisted of Seekers, Ana- 
baptists, Independents, and gifted men of every denomination ; who 
maintained the perfect equality of all Christians, and abhorred the doc- 
trines and the regular establishment of ministers, in the Presbyterian 
assemblies. Conferences and disputations were frequently held between 
the leaders of the different sects. Amongst these, one William Earby, a 

c Wood's Ath. Ox. ii. col. 757. d Whitelocke, p. 132. e Noble's Memoirs of 

Cromwell, vol. ii. p. 186. ' Whitelocke, p. 144. e Ibid. p. 204. 

4 K 


soldier and an eminent preacher, publicly maintained, that " the fulness 
" of the Godhead dwelt in the saints in the same manner, though not in 
" the same manifestation, as it doth in Christ, and that they would have 
" the same worship, honour, throne, and glory, that Christ hath, and a 
" more glorious power to do greater works than ever he did before his 
" ascension." He had many followers in this extraordinary doctrine, till 
Colonel Ingoldsby, his commander, cashiered and discharged him for his 
abominable blasphemy h . 

Upon the resolutions of the House of Commons, for disbanding the 
army, in 1647, and the discontents of the military upon it, after the result 
of Fairfax's Council of War was communicated to the House, the money 
sent for disbanding Colonel Ingoldsby's regiment was recalled. Three 
thousand pounds of this money were stopped by some of Colonel Rains- 
borough's men'. After the King was taken prisoner, there was a petition 
to the General, in October, 1648, from Colonel Ingoldsby's regiment, 
" for justice to be done upon the principal invaders of their liberties, namely, 
" the King and his party." It does not appear that Ingoldsby himself 
concurred in it, as the soldiers at that time were deliberative bodies, inde- 
pendent of their officers 14 . 

Though he was appointed one of the King's Judges, he never sat in the 
court, always abhorring the action in his heart, and having no other interest 
in the national disputes than his personal affection for Cromwell. The 
day after the sentence was pronounced, he had occasion to speak with an 
officer, who, he was told, was in the Painted Chamber ; when he came 
thither, he found Cromwell, and the rest of the Judges, who were 
assembled to sign the warrant for the King's death. As soon as Cromwell 
saw him, he ran up to him, and, taking him by the hand, drew him by force 
to the table ; and said, " though he had escaped him all the while before, 
" he should now sign that paper as well as they." Which he, perceiving 
what it was, refused with great passion, saying, " he knew nothing of the 
" business," and offered to go away. But Cromwell and others held 
him by violence, and Cromwell, with a loud laughter, taking his hand in 
his, and putting the pen between his fingers, with his own hand writ. 

" Wood's Hist. ' Whitelocke, p. 2 53. k Ibid. 341. 

ch. vi. sec. iv. SIR RICHARD INGOLDSBY. 619 

Richard Ingoldsby, he making all the resistance he could ; and he after- 
wards said, " if his name there were compared with what he had ever 
" writ himself, it could never be looked upon as his own hand 1 ." 

After the University had been reformed, and regenerated, by the Par- 
liamentary Visitors, Fairfax, Cromwell, and a large party, were invited 
there to the Commemoration, in May 1649, and were received with 
great honours. Degrees were given to most of them, and that of 
Master of Arts was conferred upon Ingoldsby. Amongst the ejected 
members of the University, Whitehall, who had been expelled from 
Christ Church, by cringing and flattery to Ingoldsby, was made Fellow of 
Merton m . 

In September of that year, a formidable mutiny broke out at Oxford, 
amongst the Levellers. They published a representation to the army and 
nation, declaring their intention of " freeing them from the excise, which 
" eats into the bones of poor people, from cut-throat tithes, lawyers, and 
" law Latin." They imprisoned their officers, set guards, fortified New 
College, and committed many acts of hostility. The mutineers ex- 
pected to have been joined by great numbers, and even the whole army. 
Before they could increase to any very considerable party, by the care of 
Ingoldsby the governor, and the other officers, they were dispersed, 
some of them were tried by a court martial, and two were shot, others 
disbanded and otherwise punished. Some of them, who belonged to In- 
goldsby's regiment, were .pardoned at his request. The University was 
greatly alarmed, and, after tranquillity was restored, it was voted, that 
" calling into consideration that special service which divers officers of war 
" had effected in quieting the tumultuous soldiers in the garrison, a civil 
" visit and thankfulness should be tendered to them by the Vice-Chan- 
" cellor, Proctors, and Heads of Houses, and that Major General Lam- 
" bert and Colonel Ingoldsby should be presented severally with gloves, 
" in the name of the University." And thanks were voted by the House 
of Commons to them for their services therein". 

In 1650 he was sent by the Parliament into Ireland with General Lud- 
low. Here he was particularly distinguished. In the same year, with 

' Nakon's Trial of King Charles. Clarendon, Hist. vol. iii. p. 1011. Ed. 1819. "'Wood's 
Ath. Ox. » Wood, by Gutch, p. 626. Whitelocke, pages 408, 409, 410, 411. 

4 K 2 


three troops of horse, he charged 3000 horse and foot of the Irish, near 
Limerick, under Colonel Grace, and totally routed them . In 1651, 
finding about two hundred horse grazing near the city of Limerick, he fol- 
lowed them to the gates, where those that escaped the sword, the Shannon 
devoured. The enemy lost about an hundred men, a hundred and fifty 
arms, and a thousand cows, oxen, and sheep". In July, 1651, Cromwell 
sent Ingoldsby's regiment to General Lambert, who were in Scotland' 1 . 
In the year 1651, he purchased the estate at Waldridge, in the parish 
of Dinton in Buckinghamshire, which then became the seat of the family. 
In 1652, the Irish burnt Portumny town, and Colonel Ingoldsby relieved 
them, routed their horse, and surrounded their foot in a bog r . 

In the year 1653, when Cromwell was determined to humble the Par- 
liament, he called a council of officers at Whitehall to determine respect- 
ing the settlement of the country, and putting a period to that assembly. 
Hopes were entertained that they would dissolve themselves, but Colonel 
Ingoldsby came back to Cromwell, and told him that, the House was en- 
gaged in debate of an act which would occasion other meetings, and pro- 
long the session. Upon which Cromwell was so enraged, that with 
a party of soldiers he marched to the House, ordered the mace to 
be taken away, turned out the members, and locked the door. Thus, 
by one bold measure, he destroyed the celebrated Parliament which had 
murdered the King, and governed the nation for so many years, and put 
an end to the Republic'. He was now declared Protector, and a Council 
of State was appointed, by the fundamental instrument of government. 
Of this Council, Ingoldsby was nominated, and was afterwards summoned 
by writ to sit in the Upper House, or House of Peers, upon its erection 
in 1657. 

Anthony Wood informs us, that about this time, Cromwell committed 
him to the Tower, for a short time, for beating at Whitehall a person, 
whom he calls " the honest innkeeper of Aylesbury." This I suppose was 
one of Ingoldsby's lively sallies, in which his zeal had the upper hand of 
his discretion'. In 1654, he was one of the Commissioners for " eject- 

" Whitelocke, p. 450. Ludlow, vol. i. p. 359- l> Whitelocke, June 20th, 1651. 

1 Whitelocke, July 28th, 10*51. r Whitelocke, p. 513. s Whitelocke, page 52!). 

Fast. Oxon. ii. col 758. 

ch. vi. sec. iv. SIR RICHARD INGOLDSBY. 621 

" ing scandalous, ignorant, and insufficient schoolmasters" for the county 
of Buckingham". 

After the death of Oliver Cromwell, he continued to be faithfully attached 
to his son Richard, when he was ungratefully betrayed, and deserted, by 
his own relations, and by those who owed their elevation to his family. 
Richard was not insensible of his merit. When an officer was brought 
before him for murmuring at the promotion of some persons who were 
known to have been cavaliers, he asked him, " Whether he would have 
" him prefer none but those that were godly ? Here, continued he, is 
" Dick Ingoldsby, who can neither pray, nor preach, and yet I will trust 
" him before ye all." And Henry Cromwell, the Lord Lieutenant of 
Ireland, always spoke of him by the familiar, but affectionate appellation 
of " honest Ingoldsby x ." In 1659, he was one of the Commissioners of the 
Militia for Bucks. 

Yet however well disposed himself, he was not always properly se- 
conded by the soldiers under his command. When Lieutenant General 
Fleetwood, in opposition to the new Protector, had assembled his officers 
at Saint James's, and had appointed a general meeting of the army 
there, Richard ordered a counter-rendezvous at the same time at White- 
hall. Most of the officers and soldiers repaired to the General : 
amongst others, three troops of Colonel Ingoldsby's horse marched also 
to Saint James's, with part of two more; so that he had only one entire 
troop of his regiment to stand by him. Even many of Richard's own 
guards deserted him, and he was left almost unprotected y . In this 
distress of Richard, amongst contending and virulent parties, and whilst 
he was wavering between contradictory proposals, Ingoldsby was one 
of those real friends who suggested the most prudent line of conduct 
for him to adopt, if he had been of a capacity to embrace their counsels, 
and of sufficient courage to have executed them. They persuaded him 
" to adhere to the Parliament, to reject the demands of the army, and to 
" punish their presumption." Ingoldsby, Whaley, and Goffe, declared 
their resolution to stand by him, and one of them, probably Ingoldsby, 
offered to kill Lambert, whom they looked upon as the author of the con- 

" The Commission. * Ludlow's Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 171- Ed. Edin. 1751. 

low, ii. p. 176. 


spiracy against him, if he would give him a warrant for that purpose. 
Richard rejected their advice, dissolved the Parliament, and was de- 
posed 2 . 

When the Council of Officers had thus freed themselves from the su- 
perior authority of a Protector, they knew that they could not long hold 
the government in their own hands, if they did not immediately remove 
Ingoldsby, Whaley, Goffe, and the other officers who had dissuaded 
Richard from submitting to their advice, from their command in the army, 
as they had great interest there. They were accordingly removed, and 
were replaced by Lambert, and the other officers who had been cashiered 
by Oliver*. 

The Cromwell family having now totally fallen from all its power and 
honours, Colonel Ingoldsby, who had no republican principles, readily 
concurred with the party which accomplished the restoration of the mo- 
narchy. Before the arrival of Monk in London, on the 23d of December, 
1659, with his son-in-law, Mr. Lee, and Colonel Howard, he waited upon 
Whitelocke, the Lord Commissioner of the Great Seal, and discoursing with 
him upon the probability of their success, proposed that he should go over 
to the King with the Great Seal. Whitelocke would not consent to their 
overtures b . 

After Monk was appointed General of the Forces, he gave Colonel 
Rich's regiment to Ingoldsby. Before the order could be put in exe- 
cution, Rich, hoping to prevail with his men, as he had formerly done, to 
declare for the republicans, went down to their quarters. Upon his arrival 
most of them promised to remain faithful to him; but when Colonel In- 
goldsby came down, as he had great personal interest amongst them from 
their having been under his command in the time of Cromwell, he pre- 
vailed with the greatest part of them to desert Rich ; who, finding himself 
abandoned, yielded the rest of the men to him, and declared his resolution 
to acquiesce . Rich was afterwards committed to prison by the Council 
of State, for persuading his soldiers to obey the Parliament, and to stand 
against Charles Stuart*. 

On the 25th of February, 1660, he was sent by Monk with forces to 

' Clarendon, iii. p. 876. a Clarendon, iii. p. 877- b Whitelocke's Memorials, 

p. 692. b. c Ludlow, ii. p. 356. J Whitelocke, p. 699. b. 

ch. vi. sec. iv. SIR RICHARD INGOLDSBY. 623 

quiet the regiment at Bury e , and he was appointed a member of the Coun- 
cil of State f . He surprised likewise the Castle of Windsor, where there 
was a great magazine of arms and ammunition, and displaced the Governor 
who had been appointed by the Rump Parliaments. 

At this critical time a most important service was performed by In- 
goldsby. Whilst the great business of the Restoration was in a state of 
trembling uncertainty, an event happened which had nearly destroyed the 
King's hopes, defeated all the prudent designs of Monk, and was near 
again plunging the nation into all the miseries of civil war. The near 
prospect of the changes which were expected to take place had filled the 
republican party with the most gloomy apprehensions, and their ruin and 
destruction appeared to be inevitable. The greater part of the army, and 
even many of the soldiers who were under General Monk, had been in- 
flamed, by artful agents, with a sense of their own desperate condition. 
Whilst they were in this state of mind, and wanted only a proper oppor- 
tunity, and a leader of vigour and capacity, to break out in great strength, 
General Lambert, a man of the greatest enterprize, and military skill, and 
highly popular with the army, made his escape from the Tower, where he 
had been for some time confined by the Parliament. Monk, and the 
Council of State, were in the greatest agony. Officers were sent by Lam- 
bert to the soldiers who were dispersed in different parts of the kingdom, 
and were all expected to join him; on the other hand, no small danger was 
apprehended from assembling troops to oppose him in their present state 
of jealousy and dissatisfaction. 

With great expedition, Lambert drew together four troops, and appeared 
in arms near Daventry, waiting for the other parts of the army. General 
Monk, upon the first intimation of his proceedings, appointed Colonel 
Ingoldsby to attend and watch all his motions with his own regiment 
of horse: a service in which he very willingly engaged, from his enmity 
to Lambert, on account of his malice to Oliver and Richard, and an 
affront which he had himself received from him : and his own regiment 
was the more faithful to him, for having been before seduced by Lam- 
bert to desert from him. Ingoldsby, being joined with a good body 
of foot, under Colonel Streater, used so much diligence in waiting upon 

' Whitelocke, p. 698. f Wood, Fast. Ox. ubi supra. « Clarendon, iii. p. 1011. 


Lambert's motions, before he was suspected to be so near, that Haslerig, 
son of Sir Arthur, one of his four captains, was taken prisoner. Hasle- 
rig told them that he was dissatisfied with Lambert's design, and had 
quitted him, and hoped to be set at liberty. But Ingoldsby informed 
him, that unless he would bring off his troop also from Lambert, his 
deserting them should be of no advantage to him. He promised to use 
his best endeavours, and was permitted to return, and soon afterwards he 
brought over his troop to Ingoldsby \ From the information thus ob- 
tained, Ingoldsby marched hastily, and came in sight, before it was known 
that he was in pursuit of his enemy. Lambert, surprised at this disco- 
very, disheartened by the desertion of one of his troops, and the supe- 
riority of the enemy, and probably wishing to gain time, offered a parley, 
which was agreed to. Lambert proposed that Richard should be re- 
stored to the Protectorship, and promised to unite all his credit to the 
support of that interest. But Ingoldsby, sensible of the folly and impos- 
sibility of that undertaking, and having devoted himself to a better cause, 
rejected his overture, and told him, that he himself was one of those who 
pulled down Richard, and now would set him up again; and that they 
had no commission to dispute, but to reduce him and his party'. Both 
parties prepared for engaging, but another of Lambert's troops forsaking 
him, his courage failed him, and no fighting took place; except that one 
of the troopers fired a pistol at Ingoldsby. Lambert, concluding that his 
safety depended upon his flight, endeavoured to escape by the swiftness of 
his horse. Ingoldsby, keeping his eye still upon him, and being as 
well mounted, overtook him, and made him prisoner with his own hand, 
after he had in vain used great and much importunity to him, that he 
would permit him to escape. Some officers of the greatest interest with 
the fanatical part of the army, and whose designs were most apprehended 
by Monk, were taken with him. This capture took place on the 23d of 
April, 1660. Upon their return, they found the roads full of soldiers, 
marching to join Lambert, and, if their plans had not been crushed at that 
very instant, they would have become in a few days a very formidable 
power k . Ingoldsby first brought his prisoners to Northampton. It was 

L Ludlow. ' Whitelocke, 701. k Clarendon, iii. p. 962. Whitelocke, p. 701. a. 

Ludlow, ii. 376. 

ch. vi. sec. iv. SIR RICHARD INGOLDSBY. 625 

here that Lambert, as Ingoldsby told Burnet, entertained him with a pleasant 
reflexion for all his misfortunes. The people were in great crowds applaud- 
ing, and rejoicing for the success. Upon which Lambert put Ingoldsby in 
mind of what Cromwell had said to them both, near that very place, in 
1650, when, with a body of officers, they were going down after their army 
that was marching into Scotland, the people all the while shouting, and 
wishing them success. Lambert upon that said to Cromwell, he was 
glad to see they had the nation on their side. Cromwell answered, " Do 
" not trust to that; for those very persons would shout as much if you 
" and I were going to be hanged." Lambert said, " he looked on him- 
" self as in a fair way to that, and began to think Cromwell prophe- 
" sied 1 ." 

Ingoldsby returned to London, and brought his prisoners to the Privy 
Council, who committed them to the Tower, and other prisons. By this 
seasonable victory, all apprehensions from the discontent of the army 
were removed, and the business of the Restoration proceeded, without 
further interruption, with moderation and firmness m . From this time the 
King's party, who had hitherto sheltered themselves in obscurity, appeared 
publicly, and avowed themselves. And, through Mr. Mordaunt, who 
was known to be entirely in the King's confidence, Ingoldsby, with 
many of the Council, and officers of the army, made direct tenders of their 
services to Charles". On the 26th of April, 1660, the House of Com- 
mons ordered a day of Thanksgiving, " for raising up Monk, and other 
" instruments, in delivery of the nation from thraldom and misery." And 
thanks were voted to Monk, for his eminent and unparalleled services, and 
to Ingoldsby . 

The King would admit of no applications from any of his father's 
Judges, or hearken to any propositions on their behalf. To this, Ingoldsby 
formed an exception. From the deposal of Richard, he had declared that 
he would serve the King, and told Mr. Mordaunt, " that he would per- 
" form all the services he could, without making any conditions; and 
" would be well content, that his Majesty, when he came home, should 
" take off his head, if he thought fit; only he desired that the King might 

'Burnet's Hist, of his Own Times, vol. i. p. 85. Ed. folio, 1724. m Clarendon. 

■ Ibid. " Wliitelocke, p. 701. b. 

4 L 

626 SIR RICHARD 1NG0LDSBY. book iv. 

•' know the truth of his case :" namely, that he had never once been 
present at the trial of the late King, and had been compelled by force to 
sign the warrant, as before related. But though his Majesty had within 
himself compassion for him, he never would send him any assurance of his 
pardon; presuming that, if these allegations were true, there would be 
a season when a distinction would be made, without his Majesty's de- 
claring himself, between him and the others of that bloody list, which he 
resolved never to pardon; nor was Ingoldsby at all disheartened with this, 
but pursued his former resolutions, steady in the King's caused 

Upon the Restoration, in the Act of Indemnity which was passed, and 
did not extend to any of King Charles the First's Judges, Colonel 
Richard Ingoldsby was excepted by name, and he was declared capable of 
bearing any office, ecclesiastical, civil, or military, and of serving in Par- 
liaments At the King's Coronation he was created Knight of the Bath. 
He afterwards retired, and passed the remainder of his life in a quiet re- 
pose at Waldridge. Of his two younger brothers, Henry was a Colonel, 
and Thomas a Captain, in the Parliament army r . Henry was created a 
Baronet, by Cromwell, on the 31st of March, 1658, and was re-created by 
Charles the Second s . Sir Richard served in Parliament, after the Restora- 
tion, in the Parliaments which were summoned in the 13th, 31st, and 
32d years of Charles the Second, for the borough of Aylesbury 1 , died in 
1685, and was buried in Hartwell church, on the 16th of September. His 
wife was buried at Dinton, May the 7th, 167-5". He left an only son, 
Richard, and a daughter Anne, who married Thomas Marriot, Esquire, of 
Ascot, in Warwickshire. 

His son, Richard Ingoldsby, Esquire, of Waldridge, married Mary, the 
only daughter of William Colmore, Esquire, of the city of Warwick. 
They had seven sons, and as many daughters. He died the 14th of 
April, 1703, and his wife in 1726 \ Their sons were, Richard, William, 
Thomas, a second Richard, Francis, Henry, and John. The daughters, 
Elizabeth, Mary, Anne, Letitia, Jane, Sarah, and Henrietta 7 . 

All the sons died children, except Thomas, the third. He was born in 

r Clarendon, iii. p. 101 1 . ^12 Car. II. cap. xi. sect. 45. ' Wood's Fasti, vol. ii. 

col. "57. * Noble's Memoirs of Cromwell, vol. i. p. 441. ' Ibid. " Noble. 

* His monument in Dinton Church. Register there. * Dinton Register. 


" know the truth of his case :" namely, that he had never once been 
present at the trial of the late King, and had been compelled by force to 
sign the warrant, as before related. But though his Majesty had within 
himself compassion for him, he never would send him any assurance of his 
pardon ; presuming that, if these allegations were true, there would be 
a season when a distinction would be made, without his Majesty's de- 
claring himself, between him and the others of that bloody list, which he 
resolved never to pardon; nor was Ingoldsby at all disheartened with this, 
but pursued his former resolutions, steady in the King's caused 

Upon the Restoration, in the Act of Indemnity which was passed, and 
did not extend to any of King Charles the First's Judges, Colonel 
Richard Ingoldsby was excepted by name, and he was declared capable of 
bearing any office, ecclesiastical, civil, or military, and of serving in Par- 
liaments At the King's Coronation he was created Knight of the Bath. 
He afterwards retired, and passed the remainder of his life in a quiet re- 
pose at Waldridge. Of his two younger brothers, Henry was a Colonel, 
and Thomas a Captain, in the Parliament army 1 ". Henry was created a 
Baronet, by Cromwell, on the 31st of March, 1658, and was re-created by 
Charles the Second s . Sir Richard served in Parliament, after the Restora- 
tion, in the Parliaments which were summoned in the 13th, 31st, and 
32d years of Charles the Second, for the borough of Aylesbury 1 , died in 
1685, and was buried in Hartwell church, on the 16th of September. His 
wife was buried at Dinton, May the 7th, 1675". He left an only son, 
Richard, and a daughter Anne, who married Thomas Marriot, Esquire, of 
Ascot, in Warwickshire. 

His son, Richard Ingoldsby, Esquire, of Waldridge, married Mary, the 
only daughter of William Colmore, Esquire, of the city of Warwick. 
They had seven sons, and as many daughters. He died the 14th of 
April, 1703, and his wife in 1726 x . Their sons were, Richard, William, 
Thomas, a second Richard, Francis, Henry, and John. The daughters, 
Elizabeth, Mary, Anne, Letitia, Jane, Sarah, and Henrietta T . 

All the sons died children, except Thomas, the third. He was born in 

r Clarendon, iii. p. 101 1. i 12 Car. II. cap.xi. sect. 45. ' Wood's Fasti, vol. ii. 

col. 75?. s Noble's Memoirs of Cromwell, vol. i. p. 441. ' Ibid. u Noble. 

» His monument in Dinton Church. Register there. * Dinton Register. 









£ it!lt 



= R" 

: i; ; r 






ill I 


r/.2- = 
"I 2."! 


ch. vi. sec. iv. SIR RICHARD INGOLDSBY. 627 

1689, and inherited the estate at Waldridge. He was High Sheriff' for 
Buckinghamshire, and, in 1731, was Member of Parliament for Aylesbury. 
He died in 1768. His wife was Anne, daughter of John Limbrey, Esq. 
of Tangier Park, in Hampshire, and she died the 21st of May, 1741, aged 
forty years 1 . 

They had an infant, who died in 1736* ; but their only surviving child 
was Martha Ingoldsby, who, on the 7th of January, 1762, married George 
Powlet, Esq. who on the death of the Duke of Bolton, in 1794, became 
Marquis of Winchester, premier Marquis of England\ The Marchioness 
died the 14th of March, 1796, and the Marquis in 1800. Their son was 
Charles Ingoldsby Powlet, the present Marquis of Winchester, Earl of 
Wiltshire, and Baron Saint John '. 

The arms of Ingoldsby are, ermine, a saltier engrailed, sable. Crest, a 
griffbn d . 

Frances, the third daughter of Sir George Croke, married John Jer- 
vois, Esquire, of whom I have not been able to learn any particulars. 

1 Her monument at Dinton. a Dinton Register. " Ibid. c Peerage. 

'' See the Genealogy of Ingoldsby, No. 33. from Brown Willis's MSS. vol. xix. Harl. 
MSS. No. 1102. corrected, and continued from Deeds, the Dinton Register, &c. 

4 L 2 



H.AVING exhausted the family of Sir George Croke, the Judge, 1 
proceed to his brother, Paulus Ambrosius Croke, the fourth son of 
Sir John Croke, and Elizabeth Unton. 

He was a Barrister of the Inner Temple, of which he was admitted a 
student, and described as late of Clement's Inn, the 18th of February, 
24 Elizabeth, 1582 : was called to the Bar the 5th of July, 1590 : made a 
Bencher the 10th of May, 1605: and was Lent Reader in 160S\ The 
manors of Cotsmore and Barrow, in Rutlandshire, were purchased by 

His first wife was Frances Wellesborne, whose monument was in Saint 
Catherine Cree's Church in London, and the epitaph is preserved by 
Stowe'. Frances Croke, the loving and beloved wife of Paulus Am- 
brosius Croke, of the Inner Temple, Esquire, was one of the daughters, 
and heirs, of Francis Wellesborne, Esquire, of Hanny, in the county of 
Berks. She deceased, the \0th of July, in the year 1605, aged 22 years. 
Well borne she was, 

but better borne again. 
Her first, birth 

to tin flesh did make her debtor. 
The latter in the Spirit 

by Christ hath set her 
Freed from fleshes debts, 

Death's first and latter gams. 
Wives pay no debts 

Whose husbands live and raigne. 

' Inner Temple Register. Arms in the Inner Temple Hall window. Ward, 306. Dugd. 
Or. Jud. p. 167. b Wright's Rutlandshire, page 40. 

c Survey, page 149. There was a grant of the manor of Esyndon in the county of 
Bucks for time of his life to Christopher Wellesborne, in the reign of Henry the Fifth, or 
Richard the Third. Harleian MSS. No. 433. Art. 465. 


The first line alludes to the origin of this family. Eleanor, eldest 
daughter of King John, married Simon Mountford, Earl of Leicester, by 
whom she had six children. Richard, the fifth son, changed his name 
from Mountford to Wellesbourne, and was the ancestor of that family* 1 . 

His second wife was Susanna, the daughter of Thomas Coe, or Choe, 
of Boxford in Suffolk, widow of Humphrey Milward, Esquire, of 
London, and before the wife of Thomas Carter, Esquire, of London and 
Walthamstow e . 

He died on the 25th of August, in 1631, and Mr. William Fletcher 
was admitted to his chambers in Hare Court, on the 3d of November, in 
the same year f . 

On Sir John Croke's monument he is represented in a barrister's gown, 
with two coats of arms for his two marriages. First, Croke, with an 
annulet, impaled with, gules, a lion rampant, or debruised of a bend, 
azure ; a chief, cheeky, or and gules : for Wellesbome. The other coat is, 
Croke, as before, impaled with argent, two piles in chief, wavy, gules, for 

By his first wife he left one daughter only to inherit his estates. She 
was married to Sir Robert Heath, Attorney General, and afterwards Lord 
Chief Justice of the King's Bench. Their only daughter, Margaret 
Heath, married Sir Thomas Fanshaw, Knight, of Jenkins, in the parish of 
Barking, in Essex. They had an only daughter likewise, Susanna Fanshaw, 
who became the wife of Baptist Noel, Esquire, second son of Baptist, 
Lord Viscount Camden, who was seated at Luffenham in the county of 
Rutland. They left one son, Baptist Noel, who became Earl of Gains- 
borough, upon the death of his cousin, Wriothesley-Baptist, Earl of 
Gainsborough, without male issue, in 1690 s . This title became extinct 
in 1799, but the present family of Noel, Viscount and Baron Wentworth, 
is descended from the same ancestors' 1 . 

MSS. No. 1533. page 65. b. A visitation book 
5 Collins's Peerage, vol. ii. p. 522. Delafield. 

'' Raker's 

Chron. p 



of Buckingh 




p. 300 

" Peerage, i 

, 272. 





BEFORE I proceed with the history and descendants of William Croke, 
the fifth and youngest son of Sir John Croke and Elizabeth Unton, I 
shall dispatch their three daughters, Cecily, Prudentia, and Eliza- 

Cecily, the eldest, had two husbands: the first was Edward 
Bulstrode, Esquire, of Hedgerly Bulstrode, in Buckinghamshire; the 
second, Sir John Brown, Knight. 

Her first husband was descended from an ancient family, and from 
Richard Bulstrode, who was Keeper of the Great Wardrobe to Margaret, 
the Queen of Henry the Sixth, and, afterwards, Comptroller of the 
Household to King Edward the Fourth. His great grandmother was 
Mary, the daughter of the celebrated Sir Richard Empson, one of the 
Barons of the Exchequer, who, with Dudley, was an able instrument in 
the hands of Henry the Seventh, to extort money from the subject under 
the forms of law ; and who was attainted of high treason, arraigned, found 
guilty, in violation of justice, and beheaded on Tower Hill, to gratify the 

Edward Bulstrode, and Cecily Croke, had two sons, Henry and 
Edward, and a daughter, Elizabeth. Their eldest son, Henry, was the 
father of Thomas Bulstrode, who married Coluberry Mayne, and thereby 
formed a connection with two families, of whom I shall have occasion to 
speak hereafter, the Maynes, and the Bekes. Their daughter, Elizabeth 
Bulstrode, married Sir James Whitelocke, Knight, one of the 
Justices of the King's Bench, who was born in 1570. He was an able 
and an independent man, and disapproved of the method sometimes used 

ch. viii. sec. i. SIR JAMES WHITELOCKE. 631 

by the King, of sending to the Judges for their opinions upon questions 
beforehand; and said that if Bishop Laud went on in his way, he would 
kindle a flame in the nation*. He concurred with Sir George Croke upon 
the point of granting writs of Habeas Corpus. When actions for false im- 
prisonment were brought against some of the members of the High Com- 
mission Court, with a view of checking the oppressive measures of 
that tribunal, and the King personally interfered with his absolute 
command to stop the proceedings, Whitelocke insisted upon it, " that 
" it was against law to exempt, or privilege, any man from answering 
" the action of another man that would sue him." The Judges stood 
firm, refused to obey the command of the King, and he was at length 
obliged to abandon this unlawful exercise of authority 6 . After his 
death, when it was moved, as before related, that Selden and the 
other prisoners should have reparation out of the estates of the 
Judges who had refused to bail them, Whitelocke was excepted, and it 
was stated, that he had been a faithful, able, and stout assertor of the rights 
and liberties of the free-born subjects of this kingdom, for which he had 
been many ways a sufferer, and particularly by a strait and close 
imprisonment, for what he said and did as member of the House of 
Commons . 

His son has given the following character of him. " In his death the 
" King lost as good a subject, his country as good a patriot, the people as 
" just a judge, as ever lived. All honest men lamented the loss of him. 
" No man in his age left behind him a more honoured memory. His 
" reason was clear and strong, and his learning deep and general. He had 
" the Latin tongue so perfect, that sitting Judge of Assize at Oxford, 
" when some foreigners, persons of quality, being there, and coming to 
" the court, to see the manner of our proceedings in matters of justice, 
" this Judge caused them to sit down, and briefly repeated the heads of 
" his charge to the Grand Jury in good and elegant Latin. He under- 
" stood the Greek very well, and the Hebrew, and was versed in the 
" Jewish histories, and exactly knowing in the history of his own country, 
" and in the pedigrees of most persons of honour and quality in the 
" kingdom, and was much conversant in the studies of antiquity and 

1 Whitelocke's Memorials, page 13. b Ibid. p. 15. c Ibid. p. 37- 

632 SIR JAMES WH1TEL0CKE. book iv. 

" heraldry. He was not by any excelled in knowledge of his own pro- 
" fession of the Common Law of England, wherein his knowledge of the 
" Civil Law (whereof he was a graduate at Oxford) was a help to him, 
" as his learned arguments will confirm" 1 ." 

Sir James Whitelocke was a member of the original Society of Anti- 
quaries, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, with Sir Robert Cotton, Camden, 
and other eminent men . 

There are in manuscript, the Lectures of James Whitlock, Esquire, in 
the Middle Temple, read August the 2d, 1619, upon the Statute 21 Henry 
VIII. chapter 13 ; and, A Treatise upon Combats 5 . Several of his 
speeches are in The Sovereign's Prerogative, and the Subject's Privileges 
discussed. Printed at London, in 1657. There are also two short pieces 
written by him, published in Heame's Curious Discourses 8 . 1. A Dis- 
course of the antiquity and office of Heralds in England. It consists of 
three pages, and is dated 28 November, 1601. 2. Of the antiquity, use, 
and privileges of places for Students, and Professors of the Common Law 
of England: in six pages. He left likewise an account of his own life, 
written by himself. And, notwithstanding his full practice in his profession, 
he neglected not his study of the Bible, but collected notes throughout 
both the Old and New Testaments. His lady likewise wrote a Collection 
of promises and precepts out of the Book of God 1 '. He died in 1632. 

The son of Sir James Whitelocke and Elizabeth Bulstrode, was 
Bulstrode Whitelocke; who became eminent as a man of general 
learning, a lawyer, a politician, and a negociator. 

He is included in that list of superior characters, with whom it was the 
pride and boast of Lord Clarendon to have associated in his youth. At 
first setting out in life, they both ran the same course, and opposed the 
illegal proceedings of Charles. Afterwards, whilst Clarendon followed 
the fortunes of his Sovereign, Whitelocke, as was natural from his con- 
nections with the principal leaders, was attached to the side of the Par- 
liament ; yet, as his former friend observed, " with less rancour and malice 
" than other men, and never led, but followed, and was rather carried 

H Whitelocke's Memorials, page ] 7- " Life of Sir Robert Cotton, annexed to the 

catalogue of the Bodleian, and other Manuscripts, page 8. ' Bodleian MSS. No. 7858. 

c Pages 90, 129. " Swedish Ambassy, vol. ii. Appendix, p. 433, 4:36. 


" away with the torrent than swam with the stream'." He has been 
accused of a want of stability of principle, and of always adhering to those 
who were in power : but the review of his life will shew this charge to be 
unfounded. He was too good a moralist, and lawyer, not to distinguish 
what was right ; he had too much sound sense for an enthusiast ; and he 
was too honest to give his sanction to what he believed to be wrong. 
Accordingly we find him opposing many of the unlawful proceedings both 
of the King, and of the Parliament, and entirely adverse to the elevation 
of Cromwell. When he had freely delivered his opinion upon any point, 
and it was always in favour of peace and moderation, and his farther 
opposition could be no longer effectual, he acquiesced under measures 
which he could not control, and submitted to authorities which it was 
not in his power to resist. This conduct proceeded not from weakness, 
but, as he has explained it himself, from principle. " All casuists," he 
said, " agree, that if a government be altered, and another power in pos- 
" session of it, all private men are bound to submit to the present powers, 
" because they are ordained of God k ." 

Bulstrode Whitelocke was born on the 6th of August, 1605, in the 
house of Sir George Croke, his mother's uncle, in Fleet Street 1 . He 
received the first part of his education at Merchant-Taylors' School, and 
was admitted, in Michaelmas term, 1620, a Gentleman Commoner of Saint 
John's College in Oxford, where he was recommended to the particular 
care of the President, afterwards Archbishop Laud, who was his father's 
contemporary and intimate friend" 1 . For the fatherly kindness which he 
experienced he was ever grateful ; and when that prelate was impeached, 
he refused to be upon the committee appointed to draw up the charges 
against him. Without having taken a degree, he removed from hence to 
the Middle Temple, where he was called to the Bar, and became a cele- 
brated practitioner. 

During his residence in that society, together with Hyde, Noy, Selden, 
and other great lawyers, he was one of the principal managers of the 
superb masque, which was exhibited by the Inns of Court in February, 
1633, before King Charles and his Queen, at Whitehall, at an expence 

1 Life of Lord Clarendon, vol. i. p. 59. ed. 176l. k Swedish Ambassy, vol. i. p. 335. 
' Wood's Ath. Ox. part ii. col. 399- m Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 33. ed. 1682. Wood. 
4 M 


of above twenty thousand pounds. In the arrangement of these festivities, 
the whole charge of the music was intrusted to him, and it was an accom- 
plishment in which he excelled. He has given an entertaining account of 
the whole exhibition, apparently con amore". 

But these delights were soon to be exchanged for less pleasing occupa- 
tions. As a sound lawyer, he could not approve of the Ship-money, and 
he was much consulted by Hampden in his great cause. Yet so little 
was he of a seditious disposition, that he refused to support the Cove- 
nanters of Scotland; and advised his friends not to foment those public 
differences, or to encourage that nation in their opposition to their natural 
Prince . 

In the Long Parliament, which met on the 3d of November, 1640, he 
was elected Member for Marlow, and defended the memory of his father, 
who was wrongfully accused of having refused to bail Selden upon an 
Habeas Corpus?. 

When the Earl of Strafford was impeached, he was chosen Chairman of 
the Committee appointed to draw up the articles against him, and to speak 
to some of them. Of his manner of conducting that trial, Lord Strafford 
observed to a private friend, " that others had used him like advocates, but 
" that Palmer and Whitelocke had treated him like gentlemen ; yet had 
" omitted nothing that was material to their cause ." 

He was frequently employed by the House of Commons to draw up 
some of the most important bills, and other instruments ; as the Act that 
the Parliament should not be prorogued, adjourned, or dissolved, without 
their consent, which finally established the supreme power of that as- 
sembly r . 

In the debates upon the militia, in 1641, he made an excellent speech, 
in which he declared it to be his opinion, that the power of the militia was 
neither in the King alone, nor in the Parliament, but jointly in both : in 
the King for command, in the Parliament for pat) ; which is the present 
true constitutional doctrine 8 . 

When matters were coming to an extremity with the King, and it was 
proposed in Parliament to raise an army in their defence, Whitelocke 

" Memor. p. 18. " Biog. Britan r Wood, ubi supra. Memor. p. 37. 

* Memor. p. 37, 41. ' Ibid. p. 43. 5 Ibid, p 53. 


highly disapproved of it, and with great eloquence deprecated the miseries 
of a civil war, which he painted in the most lively colours, and with a pro- 
phetic spirit foretold, that in the progress of it, they would be obliged to 
surrender their laws, liberties, properties, and lives, into the hands of an 
insolent soldiery. He then proposed, that all peaceable means should be 
resorted to, before they had recourse to such desperate measures'. 

His opposition was unavailing, and he therefore concurred in the future 
proceedings of the Parliament. He accepted the office of a Deputy Lieu- 
tenant of the counties of Oxford and Buckingham, in 1642, and with Mr. 
Hampden, and a body of troops, dispersed the King's Commissioners of 
Array, who met at Watlington to raise men for his service. Afterwards, 
with a gallant company of horse, raised chiefly amongst his neighbours, 
he marched to Oxford with Lord Say, and about three thousand troops, 
and took possession of it. It was proposed to fortify that city, and to 
seize the college plate, and Whitelocke, who was very much beloved there, 
was named as a fit person to be the Governor. This advice was not 
followed by Lord Say, and that important station was soon after occupied 
by the royal army. In October, his seat at Fawley Court was plundered 
by Prince Rupert's brigade, and in November, Whitelocke was with the 
forces which opposed the King at Brentford". 

In January, 1643, the Parliament sent propositions for peace to the 
King at Oxford, when he was one of the six Commissioners, and princi- 
pally drew up the papers during the treaty ; which came to nothing*. 

As he opposed any undue extension of their authority both in the King 
and the Parliament, he was equally adverse to any extraordinary power in 
the sectarian clergy. In 1644, the Assembly of Divines, of which he was 
one of the lay members, presented their opinion to the House of Com- 
mons, " that the Presbyterian form of Church government should be 
" settled, and that it was jure divino." In the debates upon that subject, 
Whitelocke delivered his opinion in the House of Commons against the 
divine right of presbytery ; and that point was in consequence negatived r . 
So afterwards, when the Presbyterians petitioned to have the power of ex- 
communication, and suspension, he opposed it, and shewed the unreason- 
ableness and ambitious nature of the demand z . 

' Meraor. p. 57- " Ibid. p. 59 " Ibid. p. 63. » Ibid. p. 106. Wood, 

i Memor. p. 16'3. 


After the battle of Newbury, which happened upon the 27th of 
October, 1644, he was one of the Commissioners named to carry to the 
King at Oxford the propositions of peace, which had been agreed to by 
both Houses. When employed upon this service, in an accidental 
interview with him and Hollis, his Majesty expressed his particular regard 
for them, and was satisfied of their wishes for peace. He requested their 
opinion, as friends, what they apprehended might be a proper answer to 
the message of the House, and was likely to facilitate a peace : and la- 
desired them to set it down in writing : which they did, and the King 
adopted some parts of their paper'. This treaty, which, like the others, 
was only a solemn farce on the part of the Parliament to cajole the 
people, of course produced no good effect. The secret intercourse, which 
had taken place between Hollis and Whitelocke, and the King, was 
betrayed by the treachery of Lord Savile, and they were impeached of 
high treason, for advising with the King, contrary to their trust. It 
was only by the great exertions of their friends, that they escaped being 
sent to the Tower, and were at length cleared from the charge b . 

The Earl of Essex, who was jealous of the power of Cromwell, and the 
Scotch Commissioners, who were offended with him likewise, were 
carrying on their intrigues to get rid of him. One evening, Maynard and 
Whitelocke were sent for by Essex, to meet the Commissioners, and 
other friends. It was proposed by the Scotch Chancellor, to remove 
Cromwell, by proceeding against him as an incendiary, under the treaty 
between the two nations. Whitelocke spoke against it, and advised them 
not so to proceed, upon which the design was abandoned. After this 
time, Cromwell, who was informed of every thing, shewed himself more 
kind to Whitelocke'. 

He voted against the Self-denying Ordinance, answered the arguments 
which were advanced in favour of it, and stated the injury which the State 
would suffer from laying aside the many brave men, who had rendered it 
such material services' 1 . 

In 1645, he was one of the Commissioners at the treaty of Uxbridge, of 
which the proceedings are too much the subject of general history, to re- 

* Memur. p. 109. b Ibid. p. 148, 156. ' Mem. p. 111. d Mem. p. 114. 

Clarendon is wrong in stating that Whitelocke appeared for passing the Ordinance. Hist. 
Reb. vol. ii. p. 795. 



quire being here related 6 . After the failure of that negociation, in the 
debate about sending farther proposals of peace to the King, he supported 
the motion to the utmost of his power. In the same year he was 
appointed one of the Commissioners of the Admiralty, and Steward of 
the revenues of Westminster College f . He was accused of holding 
intelligence with the King, but he justified himself against the charge, and 
had afterwards ,£2000 voted to him for his losses s. Although he was far 
from agreeing with them in their politics and conduct, yet he states himself 
to have lived much in 164.5 with Sir Henry Vane, Mr. Solicitor, Mr. 
Brown, and other grandees of that party ; and was kindly treated by 
them h . 

With Selden, Maynard, and St. John, he procured the abolition of the 
Court of Wards, and all the oppressive system of wardships : an improve- 
ment in the laws of the country, which was adopted after the Restora- 

Upon all occasions he shewed himself a friend to learning. He 
preserved the Lord Keeper Littleton's books and manuscripts from being 
sold by the Sequestrators' 1 . He preserved the Herald's College, in 
opposition to the ruling powers, who were levellers of all ranks 1 . He 
caused also the King's manuscripts at Whitehall to be removed to Saint 
James's, and preserved. And again, in 1648, at the instance of Mr. 
Selden, he undertook the care of the royal library and medals, to prevent 
a design of their being sold and sent abroad™. At the siege of Oxford, he 
used all his interest to have honourable terms granted to the garrison, and 
that the colleges and libraries should not be plundered. With Selden he 
assisted Patrick Young, formerly his Majesty's Librarian, to print the 
Septuagint, from a valuable manuscript" : and in 1656, there was a great 
meeting of learned men at his house, by an order of the House ot 
Commons, to consider the translations of the Bible. It was agreed that 
the English translation was the best in the world, though some mistakes 
were pointed out. But the dissolution of the Parliament rendered their 
enquiries fruitless". 

In December, 1646, he earnestly promoted the Ordinance for taking away 

e Memor. p. 120. ' Mem. p. 137. 5 Wood, and Memor. " Meraor. p. 176. 

ed. 2. 1645. Oct. 14,. < Memor. p. 199. " Ibid. p. 166. ' Ibid. p. 203. 

"' Ibid. p. 289, 400. - Ibid p. 259- ° Ibid. p. 645. 


all coercive power of Committees, and all arbitrary power from both or 
either of the Houses of Parliament, and was usually on all Committees 
relating to foreign affairs p . And he opposed the disbanding of the army, 
because he knew that the soldiers would not submit to it, and bad conse- 
quences would ensue. This ingratiated him still more with Cromwell 
and the officers. He kept a strong garrison in his house at Fyllis Court, 
near Henley 9 . 

During all this time, he applied himself closely to the practice of his 
profession, and attended the Assizes. In March, 1647, he was appointed 
one of the three Commissioners of the Great Seal, for one year, with a 
salary of one thousand pounds. By this appointment he acquired 
honours, and the style and title of Lord Commissioner Whitelocke, but he 
was no gainer in point of income. His practice in the law before 
brought him in near two thousand pounds a year, and the profits of his 
new office were not above fifteen hundred. He has related, as an instance 
of the industry of the Commissioners, that they determined in one day 
thirteen causes, and forty demurrers in the afternoon, and sometimes sat 
from five in the morning till five in the evening'. 

In May, in the same year, his friends, and some who wished for his 
absence, proposed that he should be appointed Lord Justice of Ireland, to 
exercise the civil government of that country; but he was unwilling to 
undertake it. Cromwell and his party were likewise against his going 
away, as they frequently consulted with him, and made much use of his 
advice 5 . He refused also the office of Recorder of the city of London'. 

The next year, 1648, in July, the Earl of Pembroke was made Con- 
stable of Windsor Castle, and Keeper of the Park and Forest, and he 
appointed Whitelocke his Lieutenant". In October he was called to the 
degree of Serjeant at Law, and was appointed by the House of Commons 
Attorney General of the Dutchy of Lancaster, and one of the King's 
Serjeants 1 '. When those who obtained promotion in the law came before 
him to take the oaths, he usually addressed them in learned speeches, in 
which he treated of the antiquity and the nature of their offices. Several 
of them are preserved in his Memorials : such as his discourses upon the 

p Mentor, p. 231. i Ibid. p. 217. ed. 2. 28 July, 164-6. ' Mem. p. 2<)4, 322, 359. 
* Ibid. p. 253. ' Ibid. p. 271. " Ibid p. 319. x Ibid. p. 337- 

ch. viir. sec. i. LORD COMMISSIONER WHITELOCKE. 639 

Court of Exchequer, upon the rank of Serjeants, and of that of 

When Colonel Pride stood at the door of the House of Commons, on 
the 6th of December, 1648, to exclude those members who were obnoxious 
to the party in power, he suffered Whitelocke to pass as a friend to Cromwell 
and the army'. Whilst things were in an unsettled state, on the 21st of that 
month, the Speaker, Lieutenant-General Cromwell, Sir Thomas Widdring- 
ton, another of the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal, and White- 
locke, met by appointment to consult upon the state of affairs, the 
conduct of the army, and the settlement of the kingdom. Widdrington 
and Whitelocke were ordered to draw up the heads of their discourse for 
consideration ; by what means they might endeavour to bring the army 
into a fitter temper, and procure the restitution of the secluded members ; 
the answer to be given by the army to the message of the House ; and a 
proposal of settlement between the army and the House. In this im- 
portant duty they were intrusted with the confidence of both parties*. 

He was next named by the House, upon the Committee to consider of 
the charges to be brought against the King. But he never attended the 
Committee, and entirely disapproved of the King's trial and execution 6 . 
In February he was appointed to draw up the Act to take away the 
House of Lords, though he had declared his opinion against that 
measure . 

After the King's death, and the new seal of the Commonwealth was 
made, on the 8th of February he was voted to be the first of the new 
Lords Commissioners. Sir Thomas Widdrington refused to accept of the 
office under the new government. Whitelocke modestly wished to be 
excused, but stated his reasons why he had no objection to it, " that the 
" business was the execution of law and justice, without which men 
" could not live together :" and, with respect to any objections which 
might be entertained against the legal authority of Parliament, " that a 
" strict formal performance of the ordinary rules of law had hardly been 
" discerned on either side, from unavoidable necessity :" that for 
himself " he thought his obedience due to the House of Commons, there 
" being no other visible authority in being but themselves 11 ." 

» Meraor. p. 344, 347, 392. » Ibid. p. 355. ' Ibid. p. 357. " Ibid, p 35$. 

' Ibid. d Ibid. p. 372. 


On the 14th of February, he was nominated one of the Council of 
State, whose powers were to command the militia and navy, and for one 
year. In the next year he was again appointed 6 . He refused to 
subscribe the test appointed by Parliament, approving the proceedings of 
the High Court of Justice which tried the King'. Whitelocke was 
still in high favour with Cromwell. On the 24th of February, in 1648, 
Cromwell and Ireton went home with him from the Council of State, 
aud supped at his house. They were all cheerful, and well pleased, 
and discoursed of God's providence, and the miraculous events which 
had happened. In going home late, they were stopped by the guards, 
who pretended not to know them, but did it to shew their vigilance 8 . 
On the 14th of March he drew a declaration to satisfy the people 
respecting the proceedings of the Parliament 11 . On the 1st of June, he 
was chosen High Steward of the city of Oxford, and on the 6th of July re- 
signed his office of Attorney General of the Dutchy'. In 1649, he was one 
of the Governors of the school and alms-houses at Westminster 15 ; and in 
November, made a long speech in the debate for excluding lawyers from 
the House of Commons 1 . 

In 1650, when Fairfax had his scruples about the lawfulness of invading 
Scotland, Cromwell, Lambert, Harrison, Saint John, and Whitelocke, 
were appointed by the Council to confer with him, and to persuade him 
to undertake it. Notwithstanding their arguments, Fairfax declared he 
would rather lay down his commission than do it. The issue of the 
conference was reported to the House, upon which Fairfax was removed 
from his command, and Cromwell was appointed General and Commander 
in Chief 1 "; upon which occasion Whitelocke was one of the four Members 
appointed to meet and congratulate him. Cromwell presented each of the 
four Members with a horse, and two Scots prisoners. Whiteloocke gave 
his two prisoners their liberty". 

After the defeat at Worcester, on the 10th of December, 1651, a 
meeting was held at Cromwell's request at the Speaker's house, consisting 
of some members of parliament, and officers of the army, for the settlement 
of the nation. The lawyers were generally for a mixed monarchical govern- 

* Memor. p. 376, 425. f Ibid. p. 377. s Ibid. p. .378. h Ibid, p 380. 

, Ibid. p. 397. " Ibid. p. 411. ' Ibid. p. 431. ed. 2. m Ibid. p. 445. " Ibid, 

p. 509. ed. 2. 10 Sept. 1651. 

ch. viii. sec. i. LORD COMMISSIONER WHITELOCKE. 641 

ment, and the soldiers for a commonwealth. Whitelocke spoke in favour 
of a monarchical government, and proposed that a time should be ap- 
pointed for Charles Stuart, or the Duke of York, to come in to the Par- 
liament, upon proper terms. Cromwell evaded, and put off that question, 
and they parted without coming to any resolution : but that artful politician 
by this conference discovered the inclinations of the persons present ; a 
knowledge of which he afterwards availed himself . 

Near a year afterwards, on the 7th of November, 1652, Cromwell had 
a private conference with Whitelocke upon the same subject, to sound 
hiin, and to endeavour to gain him over to support him in his design of 
assuming the supreme power. Cromwell urged the necessity of some high 
authority to restrain, and keep things in order, and asked him what he 
thought of some person's taking upon himself the office of King. White- 
locke highly disapproved of it, and told him that, as to his own person, 
the title of King would be of no advantage to him, because he had all the 
power already, and that it would be attended with great envy, and op- 
position. That the question, at present, was national, between a monarchy 
and a free state. If he assumed the title, it would be merely personal 
between Cromwell and Stuart. The friends of a commonwealth would 
all desert him, and his cause would be ruined. He suggested therefore, 
that Cromwell should enter into a private treaty with Charles, to restore 
him upon certain limitations to secure their religious and civil liberties, 
and to protect himself, and his friends. If he did this, he might be as 
great as ever a subject was. Cromwell thanked him for his advice, but 
from this time his carriage towards him was altered, and he did not consult 
with him so often, or so intimately, as before p . 

On the 20th of April following, in 1653, at the meeting at Cromwell's 
lodgings at Whitehall, when he proposed that the Parliament should be 
dissolved, which was supported by the Officers, as the best way to advance 
themselves to the civil government, Whitelocke spoke against it, as a 
dangerous thing, neither warranted in conscience, or wisdom. It was ex- 
pected that the Parliament would dissolve itself; but when Ingoldsby came 
from the House of Commons, and informed Cromwell that the members 

• Memor. p. 491. v Ibid. p. 523. 

4 N 


were prolonging their sittings, he immediately marched down with a party 
of soldiers, and cleared the House 4 . Into Cromwell's Parliament, which 
was summoned by his writ dated the 8th of June, Whitelocke was not 
admitted'. His commission of the Great Seal was superseded by the vote 
for taking away the Court of Chancery 5 . 

When Cromwell found that Whitelocke was not to be moulded to his 
purpose, and that he was likely to oppose his design of assuming the sove- 
reignty of England, which he was now about to carry into execution, 
fearing his talents and influence, he was determined to get rid of him in an 
honourable manner'. It was first proposed that he should be appointed 
one of the Commissioners for the civil government of Ireland, which he re- 
fused. Another favourable opportunity soon offered itself". 

It was the policy of Cromwell, and the other leaders, to enter into 
treaties with foreign powers, in which the legitimacy of their government 
must necessarily be recognized. There was no power so friendly to them 
as the Queen of Sweden. Like her father, she was attached to the pro- 
testant cause, and was desirous of cultivating alliances against the popish 
interests. The protestant princes of Germany were weak and divided, the 
protestants of France were subdued, the Swiss were too distant, and the 
Dutch and the Netherlands were in league with the Danes, and at war with 
England. No nation therefore was in a condition to be so serviceable to 
her as England. On the other hand, it was an important object to the 
Commonwealth, by a treaty with Sweden, to procure a powerful ally, to 
promote commerce, to open a free trade through the Sound, and to 
strengthen themselves against the Dutch and the Danes. 

Christina had already made some overtures, and it was resolved to send 
an Ambassador Extraordinary to Sweden. Whitelocke was unanimously 
appointed by the Council of State to that office. When it was to be no- 
tified to him, Sir Gilbert Pickering, the Secretary of State, having written 
what Cromwell called " a very fine letter," he took the pen himself, and 
wrote as follows, with his own hand. 

i Mem p 529. ' Mem. p. 5.12. s Mem. p. 543. ' Mem. p. 526. 

p. 536. Ed. 1732. l6th of June, 1652. 

ch. viii. sec. i. LORD COMMISSIONER WHITELOCKE. 643 

For the Right Honourable the Lord Whitelocke, one of the Commis- 
sioners of the Seal. These. 
My Lord, 

The Council of State, having thoughts of putting your 
Lordship to the trouble of being Extraordinary Ambassador to the Queen 
of Swizland, did think fit not to impose that service upon you, without 
first knowing your own freedom thereunto; wherefore they were pleased 
to command our services in making this address to your Lordship, and 
hereby we can assure you of a very large confidence in your honour, and 
abilities for this employment. To which we begging your answer, do 

My Lord, 

Your humble servants, 
September 2, 1653. O. CROMWELL. 


The coldness of the climate, the dangers of the northern seas in winter, 
the chance of capture, the detriment which his affairs, private and politi- 
cal, might suffer in his absence, and his suspicion, that it was not intended 
as a favour, were reasons which induced Whitelocke to decline the ap- 
pointment. But although this civil letter seemed to leave it to his own 
free choice, he soon found that his refusal would not be admitted. In two 
private conversations with him, Cromwell urged his acceptance with ex- 
traordinary earnestness, and in the most friendly manner; assuring him 
that it would be a most important service to the Commonwealth, and the 
Protestant cause; with high compliments to his abilities, and promises of 
future kindness. When he had at length prevailed with Whitelocke to 
undertake the office, he thanked him in the most cordial terms, as for a 
favour done to himself, and sent him a present of a fine sword, and a pair 
of rich spurs. And indeed it would have been difficult to have found a 
person better fitted for the situation. His being of a good family, and of 
polished manners, his former travels, his acquaintance with languages, his 
knowledge of the various interests of Europe, his firmness and courage, his 
eloquence, judgment, and discretion, qualified him in a peculiar manner 
for that delicate employment. Of his skill in foreign politics they had 
4 n 2 


had sufficient experience: and he had been always consulted in all ques- 
tions of that nature : as in the dispute with Holland, about the dominion 
of the British seas x . 

The embassy was set forth with great splendor. Whitelocke's retinue 
consisted of one hundred persons. In the first class, which comprehended 
the gentlemen who were admitted to his table, were two of his sons, and 
his cousin, Captain Unton Croke, whose brother Charles was one of the 
Pages. With two frigates, two store-ships, a ship of war, and a light 
catch, they sailed from Gravesend, on the sixth of November, 16o3, and, 
after a most stormy passage, arrived at Gottenburgh on the fifteenth. 
From hence, they went by land to Upsal, where the Queen was residing. 
They were received with the greatest honours, both by the Queen and the 
people; but of the foreign Ambassadors, Don Antonio Piementel de Pa- 
rada, the minister from Spain, was the only one who paid his respects to 
him. He had many enemies, who were instigated by the Dutch and 
Danish Ambassadors, and he was in some danger of assassination from 
the royal party: as had happened to Dorilaus and Ayscham. By his 
noble and magnanimous conduct, he gained the esteem of those who were 
at first not inclined to befriend him, and he maintained punctiliously the 
dignity of the nation which he represented. To guard against the daggers 
of the cavaliers, he never went abroad without a large attendance well 

The Queen soon entertained a high opinion of him, from his honourable 
conduct, and his candour, particularly in presenting to her at first all his 
instructions without reserve, or distrust. She admitted him to frequent 
private audiences, and treated him with perfect confidence. With herself 
in person, in reality, the whole negociation was carried on, and Whitelocke 
found her easier to deal with than her prime minister, the Chancellor Ox- 
enstiern; an old and wary politician. 

The many conversations which Whitelocke has detailed, exhibit a cu- 
rious picture of the character and manners of that extraordinary woman. 
With business she usually intermixed lively sallies, and pleasantry. Upon 
one occasion she asked him how many wives he had had; and upon his in- 

* Mem. p. 536". Rd. 2. 23d of June, 1652. 

ch. viii. sec. i. LORD COMMISSIONER WHITELOCKE. 645 

forming her that he had had three, and had children by all of them, she 
exclaimed, " Par Dieu vous estes incorrigible 1 .'" 

At a concert, she led him by the hand to a lady who was called La 
Belle Comptesse, the wife of Count De La Garde, and desired him to 
discourse with this lady, her bed-fellow, and tell her if her inside was not 
as beautiful as her outside. Whitelocke found her to correspond to this 
description, and to have great modesty, virtue, and sense. The Queen 
then pulled off the Countesses glove, and gave it to Whitelocke, for a fa- 
vour. The other she tore in four pieces, and gave to some great persons. 
In return, Whitelocke sent the Countess a dozen pair of English white 
gloves, which were much esteemed 2 . 

At a collation, to which he invited the Queen, upon May-day, " by the 
" custom of England, as she was his mistress," her Majesty expressed 
her contentment, with much drollery, and gaiety of spirit. Amongst other 
frolics, she commanded him " to teach her ladies the English salutation; 
" which, after some pretty defences, their lips obeyed, "and Whitelocke 
" most readily 3 ." 

The nuptials of Baron Home and the Lady Sparre were celebrated at 
Court with great magnificence. In the evening when they began dancing 
the brawles, the Queen came to Whitelocke to take him out to dance 
with her, which he did. After it was over, and he waited upon her 
to her chair of state, she exclaimed, " Par Dieu, these Hollanders are 
" lying fellows." Upon his requesting an explanation of her meaning, 
she said, " The Hollanders reported to me, that all the noblesse of Eng- 
" land were of the King's party, and none but mechanics of the Parlia- 
" ment party, and not a gentleman among them; now I thought to try 
" you, and to shame you if you could not dance : but I see that you are a 
" gentleman, and have been bred a gentleman 1 "." She likewise bestowed 
upon him the Order of Amaranta, which she had instituted . 

Whitelocke's visit to Sweden was just at the critical time when 
Christina was about to resign her crown. He had the honour of 
being waited upon by the Prince, who came to Upsal to succeed 

* Journal of the Swedish Ambassy, vol. i. p. 297. 
P. 154. c Wood. 


her ; and was present at the Ricksdagh, or Swedish Parliament, sum- 
moned to give consent to the resignation ; which took place whilst he 
was yet lying in the harbour of Stockholm. 

Though there was little difficulty in arranging the terms of a treaty, to 
winch both parties were so well disposed, a considerable delay took place 
before it was concluded. The Swedish court waited to know the event 
of a treaty which was negociating between England and Holland. As 
soon as intelligence arrived of the conclusion of that treaty, the other 
between England and Sweden was immediately signed, on the 1 1th of 
April, 1654. 

This treaty comprehended the articles of mutual friendship, free trade, 
and reciprocal benefits, which are usually agreed upon between allied 
nations. Each country was to be permitted to trade with the enemies of 
the other, except in contraband. What was to be comprehended under 
that description was to be the subject of future discussion. The goods 
of an enemy might be seized on board the ships of either nation, but 
passports and certificates were to be conclusive evidence that none such 
were on board. It was agreed to maintain the freedom of navigation in 
the Baltic, the Sound, and other seas, and to give mutual assistance for 
promoting and establishing it. 

This business being completed, after five months residence, Whitelocke 
sailed from Stockholm on the 31st of May, 1654, landed at Lubec, 
traversed part of Germany, sailed again from Gluckstadt, and after another 
dangerous voyage, in which his vessel struck on a sand bank, and was 
nearly lost, he arrived in safety on the shores of England, on the 30th of 

The treaty, and Whitelocke's conduct in Sweden, were highly approved 
of by Cromwell and the Council ; but empty compliments were all that 
he was likely to receive. Even the balance of his accounts, and the sums 
which he had advanced beyond his allowance, were left unpaid. Two 
years afterwards, by the very great exertions of his friends, the Parliament 
voted him £500, the sum he had expended beyond what he had received, 
and ^2000 more for his services. But the Protector was not pleased 
with this favour of the Parliament to him d . Whitelocke observes, that it 

a Memor. p 6±5. IS Jan. lfofi. 

ch. viii. sec. i. LORD COMMISSIONER WHITELOCKE. 647 

was the practice of Cromwell, after his turn was served, to cast off' his 
instruments ! 

When the new King of Sweden was seated on his throne, he sent an 
Ambassador to England, in 1655, to ratify the treaty, and to arrange such 
points as had been reserved for farther discussion. The Lord Fiennes, 
Whitelocke, and Mr. Strickland, were appointed Commissioners to treat 
with him. Many and warm discussions took place, especially as to 
whether pitch, tar, hemp, and flax, should be considered as contraband. 
At length it was agreed that they should be so considered, only during the 
war between England and Spain. The new treaty was signed on the 
17th of July, 1656. After the Restoration, a new treaty was entered into, 
between Charles the Second and the King of Sweden ; in which almost 
all the articles of these two treaties were introduced. And this is the last 
permanent treaty now subsisting between the two countries, and which 
still continues to define their political and commercial relations. 

During Whitelocke's absence in Sweden, Cromwell had taken upon 
him the sovereign power, under the name of Protector. Although this 
was contrary to Whitelocke's opinion and advice, yet he accepted from 
him the renewal of his commission as Ambassador : which was sent over 
to Upsal. After his return, he was continued as first Commissioner of 
the Great Seal, and was appointed one of the Commissioners of the Ex- 
chequer, on the 4th of August, l654 e . At the meeting of Oliver's second 
Parliament, on the 4th of September, Whitelocke, as first Commissioner, 
carried the purse with the seal before him f . In this Parliament he was 
chosen for the county of Buckingham, and the boroughs of Oxford and 
Bedford, and was Recorder of Bristol?. 

On the 23d of April, 1655, an ordinance was made by the Protector 
and his Council for the better regulating and limiting the jurisdiction of 
the High Court of Chancery: which Whitelocke and Widdrington refused 
to execute. Whitelocke's objections were " not only to the new regu- 
" lations themselves, as inconvenient, injurious, and prejudicial to parties in 
" the court, but to the authority by which they were enacted, which he 
" knew had no legal power to make a law ; and he had taken an oath to 
" execute the place of Commissioner legally and justly. He did not, how- 

' Memor. p. 580. f Ibid. p. 582. < Mem. Sept. 1654. 


" ever, scruple the authority of his Highness, and the Council, as to the 
"command of matters concerning the government of the Commonwealth." 
Upon this refusal the Seal was taken from them h . But the Protector, as 
Whitelocke states, " being good-natured, and sensible of his harsh pro- 
" ceedings against him and Widdrington, for keeping to that liberty of 
" conscience which himself held to be every one's right, and that none 
" ought to suffer for it," intended to make them some recompence, by 
appointing them, in July, 1655, Commissioners of the Treasury, with the 
Colonels Mountague and Sydenham, with salaries of one thousand 
pounds a year each'. 

Though Cromwell found that Whitelocke could not be made a tool of 
to further his ambitious views, he still retained the outward appearance of 
friendship for him, and frequently consulted him, particularly about 
foreign affairs. He knew that his opinions, though sometimes not very 
flattering to his inclinations, were always sound and judicious ; and that 
he could always depend upon his sincerity. In these conversations he 
often pressed Cromwell to have recourse to frequent Parliaments, advice 
with which he was not disposed to comply, though he was not offended 
by it k . 

He was appointed one of the Committee of Trade and Navigation, 
which was a favourite measure of Cromwell, and was established the 2d 
of November, 1655: and he made an able report upon the copper trade 
with Sweden 1 . He was nominated as an Ambassador Extraordinary to 
Sweden a second time, in January, 1656, but Whitelocke thought "that 
" he had had danger and trouble enough in his former Ambassy, without 
" the least reward ; but instead of it, had met with neglects and slightings, 
" besides being money out of pocket." He therefore endeavoured to 
avoid this appointment, and the design was afterwards abandoned m . 

In Cromwell's third Parliament, which met the 17th of September, 
1656, he was elected Knight for Buckinghamshire, and was not one of 
those members who were excluded from sitting in the House by Cromwell 
and his Council" 1 : and he was appointed to fill the office of Speaker, 
during the indisposition of Sir Thomas Widdrington, for which he 

11 Memor. p. 602. '' Ibid. p. 60S. k Ibid p. 647, 664. i Ibid. p. 617, 

632. m Ibid. p. 64:3. 

ch. viii. sec. i. LORD COMMISSIONER WHITELOCKE. 649 

received the thanks of the House, and it was agreed, that in the short 
time of his being Speaker, by his holding them to the points in debate, 
they had dispatched more business than in all the time before of their 

When the Parliament had framed their Petition and Advice to Crom- 
well, that he should take the title of King, Whitelocke was made Chair- 
man of the Committee appointed to confer with him upon it. Though he 
disliked some things in the Petition, and therefore refused to present it, 
yet he spoke in favour of the principal point, and advised Cromwell to 
comply with it. Upon this, and other important affairs, Cromwell con- 
sulted with the Lord Broghill, Pierrepoint, Whitelocke, Wolsey, and 
Thurloe, in private meetings, when he used to lay aside his greatness, 
would be very familiar, and, by way of diversion, would make verses with 
them, and every one must try his skill in poetry. Tobacco and pipes 
were commonly introduced, and he would smoke himself. From this 
buffoonery he would again return to serious business, and he followed 
their counsel in most of his great affairs ; but not in complying with the 
Petition and Advice . Nor was Whitelocke's conduct upon this occasion 
inconsistent with the principles which he had formerly avowed. Though 
the illegal proceedings of Charles had originally occasioned his opposition 
to him, he had been led, through his particular connection with the par- 
liamentary party, much farther than he intended to go, and was in reality a 
friend to monarchy. When the restoration of the exiled family seemed 
impossible, he thought the re-establishment of the monarchical form 
of government, even in the person of Cromwell, preferable to a republic. 
The existence of a King was necessary to give life to the laws and con- 
stitution of the country, to which Whitelocke was sincerely attached p. 
What perhaps had never happened before, Cromwell's fears overcame 
his inclinations and his ambition, and he refused the title. That of 
Protector was substituted in its place, with power not inferior. At his 
solemn inauguration, Whitelocke, with a drawn sword in his hand, 

" Memor. p. 645. " Ibid. p. 6iJ. 

p See the account of this conference, published in 1660, under the title of Monarch y 
asserted to be the best, most ancient, and legal form of government. 
4 o 


sat with his son, Richard Cromwell, in one of the boots of his state 

Whitelocke was far from supporting all the measures of Cromwell and the 
Parliament. He disapproved of the Committee for ejecting scandalous 
and insufficient ministers, which was an instrument of great oppression to 
the clergy r . About the same time he made application to Cromwell tor 
the Provostship of Eton, " as a thing of good value, quiet, and honourable, 
" and fit for a scholar," but he met with a refusal : his service, as he 
observes, was past, and therefore there was no necessity of a recompence"! 
Cromwell, however, still continued upon apparently friendly terms with 
him, and summoned him as one of the sixty members of the Other House 
of Parliament, the new House of Peers, on the 11th of December, 1657*. 
Yet not being satisfied with the public transactions, he lived much in 
retirement". In April, 1658, he was appointed of a Committee to hear 
appeals from Guernsey and Jersey". He was nominated in the Commis- 
sion of the High Court of Justice, for the trial of Doctor Hewet and the 
other conspirators against the Protector, but he never sat with them : the 
establishment of that court being against his judgment, which was, that 
they should be tried in the Upper Bench, according to law?. Upon the 
capture of Dunkirk, overtures were made to him to be Governor of it, 
which he refused to undertake 2 . On the 21st of August, a bill was 
signed by the Protector, about a fortnight before he died, for a patent to 
make Whitelocke a Viscount, an honour of which he refused to accept 3 . 

Upon the accession of Richard, he presented an address to him from 
Buckinghamshire 6 . During his Protectorship, he constantly attended the 
business of the Treasury, and was again made Commissioner of the Great 
Seal, with Fiennes and LTsle. Richard had a particular respect for him, 
and consulted with him, the Lord Broghill, and others, about dissolving 
the Parliament. Most of them were for it. Whitelocke dissuaded him 
from it : and always declared his judgment honestly, and for the good of 
the Protector, when his advice was required . 

' Memor. p. 662. r Ibid. p. 664. ■ Ibid. ' Ibid. p. 665. " Ibid, 

p. 673. " Ibid. p. 674- 'Ibid. * Ibid. a Ibid. p. 675. "Ibid. 

p. 676. c Ibid. p. 678. 

ch. viii. sec. i. LORD COMMISSIONER WHITELOCKE. 651 

After the deposition of Richard, and the army had assumed the govern- 
ment, he was removed from his office of Commissioner of the Great Seal. 
When part of the Long Parliament was restored, and appointed a Council 
of State, he was named one of the members of it. He was falsely accused 
of holding a communication with Charles and Hyde, from which he justi- 
fied himself d . He was named as a Commissioner to mediate a peace 
between Sweden and Denmark, which he declined 6 . As President of 
the Council, he was most active in suppressing the insurrection of Sir 
George Booth. 

Monk seems to have been desirous of availing himself of his services, 
and wished him to have been one of the Commissioners for Scotland ; but 
Whitelocke refused'. He was one of the Committee of ten members of 
the Council of State, who were nominated by the army on the 17th of 
October, 1659, to consider of fit ways to carry on the government *: and 
of a new Council of twenty-three persons, named on the 22d, for the ma- 
nagement of public affairs, under the name of the Committee of Safety. 
This office he was at first unwilling to undertake, and only consented to 
prevent, if possible, the army from governing by the sword. And he 
was of a special Committee of that Board, to consider of a form of govern- 
ment. The Great Seal was again delivered to him' 1 . At first he took an 
active part against Monk, and with the Committee issued Commissioners 
to raise forces against him : and he even received from them a commission 
to raise a regiment of horse himself. He represented to the city that 
Monk designed to bring in the King by a new civil war, and Lambert was 
ordered to march against him. 

Whilst affairs were in this perplexed state, Whitelocke proposed to 
Fleetwood, that, since it was evidently Monk's design to bring in the 
King, he should either assemble all their forces and see what stand they 
could make against it, or else send some trusty person to the King with a 
tender of their services to restore him ; and he offered to go himself. 
Fleetwood at first seemed willing, and had even desired Whitelocke to 
prepare himself for the journey ; but after meeting with Vane, and some 
officers, he declared he could not do it without Lambert's consent, who 

d Memcr. p. 680. e Ibid. p. 6S1. ' Ibid. p. 685, 6 Ibid. p. 686. "Ibid, 

p. 687. 

4- O -2 


was at too great a distance. The next day, Colonel Ingoldsby told 
Whitelocke that his condition required that he should go to the King, 
with the Great Seal; which overture he did not comply with 1 . By the 
restored Members of the Long Parliament he was treated with much 
severity, and Scot said, that he should be hanged, with the Great Seal 
about his neck. Being informed of their intention to send him to the 
Tower, he retired into the country, and ordered his wife to carry the Great 
Seal to the Speaker's 

In this seclusion he continued till the King's restoration was completed. 
After that event, during the debates upon the Bill of Oblivion, he peti- 
tioned the House of Commons ; and on the question being propounded, 
whether he should be one of the twenty persons excepted out of the general 
pardon, it was negatived by a considerable majority. He spent the 
remaining fifteen years of his life in retirement, mostly at Chilton 
Park in Wiltshire, where he died of the stone on the 2Sth of July, 
1675 ; and was buried at Fawley near Marlow, in an isle which he had 
built for a burying place for himself and his family. It is said that he 
waited upon the King, after the Restoration, to beg his pardon for all that 
he had transacted against him, and that his Majesty bid him " Go, live 
li quietly in the country, and take care of his wife and sixteen children." 
Queen Christina, in an interview with Charles the Second, informed him, 
that, in his Embassy to Sweden, she had never heard him speak a dis- 
honourable word against his Majesty^. 

Lord Commisssioner Whitelocke had three wives. The first was 
Rebecca, the daughter of Thomas Bennet, Esquire, Alderman of London, 
by whom he had only one son, Sir James Whitelocke, who was settled at 
Trumpington, near Cambridge. He was first a Captain ; afterwards Fellow 
of All Souls College; then a Colonel in the Parliament army; Knight 
for Oxfordshire, Septembers, 1654; Knighted by Oliver, January 6, 1650; 
Burgess for Aylesbury, January 27, 1658'". He left two sons, both of 
whom died unmarried. His second wife was Frances, daughter of William, 
Lord Willoughby of Parham, and Frances, daughter of John, Earl of 
Rutland. He had nine children bv her, and she died the 16th of May, 

1 Memor. p. 692, 693. k Ibid. p. G93. ' Memorials. m Wood's Ath. Ox. 

part ii. col. 401. 

ch. viii. sec. i. LORD COMMISSIONER WHITELOCKE. 653 

1649- His third wife was the widow Wilson, whose maiden name was 
Carleton, who survived him, and by her he had several children. In the 
year 1664, he mentions that he had then fourteen children, and had lost 
three. The eldest of the last marriage inherited Chilton Park, and his son 
was living in 1772. At that time, of all Sir Bulstrode's numerous issue 
there were none left in the male line, except Mr. Whitelocke of Chilton 
Park, Mr. Carleton Whitelocke, and his son, a Student in the Middle 

In his retirement, Lord Whitelocke wrote the Annals of his own Life, 
not with a view of being published, but for instruction to his children. 
They contained likewise the public transactions of the country, and various 
dissertations upon subjects of divinity, law, politics, history, and antiquity . 

Of these a part was printed in folio, in the year 1682, under the name 
of Memorials of the English affairs from the beginning of the reign of King 
Charles the First, to the Restoration. Arthur, Earl of Anglesea, was the 
Editor. This is a most valuable account of that eventful period. The 
concern which the author had in the public affairs of the country, and his 
intimacy with the chief actors, enabled him to relate events with accuracy, 
and to ascribe them to their genuine motives. Upon every occasion he 
has shewn the greatest impartiality both as to the measures themselves, 
and the characters of those who were concerned in them. His style is 
easy, and without affectation ; and though his work is not wrought up into 
a regular uninterrupted narrative, it derives some advantages from the form 
of a journal, in the correctness of dates, and the introduction of an infinite 
number of facts, which would not find their place in a regular history. 

Another part was published by Doctor Morton, in the year 1772, in 
two volumes in 4to. intitled, A Journal of the Swedish Ambassy in the 
years 16.53 and 1654, from the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and 
Ireland, written by the Ambassador, the Lord Commissioner Whitelocke. 
It is a most interesting history of every thing relating to that ambassy, 
full of anecdotes of the celebrated Queen Christina, and her court, and 
related in so lively a manner, as to make us present, as it were, in every 
scene he describes, and to enter into his very inmost thoughts and feelings. 

11 Dr. Morton's Dedication to the Swedish Ambassy, &c. ° See his preface to it in 

the Appendix, No. I. of the Swedish Ambassy, vol. ii. page 429. 

654 SIR JOHN BROWN. book iv. 

" In those pages," says his learned Editor, " the political man will find no 
" contemptible model of doing business ; the family man may extract that 
" which suits his laudable purposes ; and the individual, the moral, and 
" the religious man will see his form delineated, and be instructed where to 
" seek his end." It is greatly to be wished that the remainder of his 
Journal was published. 

His Essays ecclesiastical and civil were published in octavo, in 1706. 
His Notes upon the King's Writ for choosing Members of Parliament, 
issued in the thirteenth of Charles the Second, being Disquisitions on the 
Government of England by King, Lords, and Commons, were published 
in 2 vols, in 4to. in 1766. A most learned and constitutional book. 

Many of his speeches were published separately in his life-time, of 
which Wood has given a list. Others are in Rushworth's Collection ; as 
those upon the trial of the Earl of Strafford. His speeches in the con- 
ference with Cromwell, to persuade him to take upon him the title of King, 
are to be found in the account of the conference printed in 1657, under 
the title of, Monarchy asserted to be the best form of Government p. 

The second husband of Cecily Croke was Sir John Brown, 
Knight. I have not discovered any particulars relating to this second 
marriage, which took place before the 1st of February, 1609; because 
her mother, in her will of that date, styles her " my daughter Brown." 

>' See the Genealogy of Whitelocke, Bulstrode, Mayne, Beke, &c. Whiteloeke, from 
Biown Willis's MSS. vol. 19. Harl. MSS. 1102, a visitation of Bucks in 1 634. Bulstrode 
from the same, Harl. 1102. p. 44. and Harl. No. 1193. p. 51. May ne from Harl. No. 1102. 
Willis, ibid. Beke, ibid, and Brown Willis's MSS. vol. iii. page 4G. Harl. 1102. p. 61. b 
Harl. 1193. p. f)8. No. 34. 

654 SIR JOHN BROWN. book iv. 

" In those pages," says his learned Editor, " the political man will find no 
" contemptible model of doing business ; the family man may extract that 
" which suits his laudable purposes ; and the individual, the moral, and 
• l the religious man will see his form delineated, and be instructed where to 
" seek his end." It is greatly to be wished that the remainder of his 
Journal was published. 

His Essays ecclesiastical and civil were published in octavo, in 1706. 
His Notes upon the King's Writ for choosing Members of Parliament, 
issued in the thirteenth of Charles the Second, being Disquisitions on the 
Government of England by King, Lords, and Commons, were published 
in 2 vols, in 4to. in 1766. A most learned and constitutional book. 

Many of his speeches were published separately in his life-time, of 
which Wood has given a list. Others are in Rushworth's Collection ; as 
those upon the trial of the Earl of Strafford. His speeches in the con- 
ference with Cromwell, to persuade him to take upon him the title of King, 
are to be found in the account of the conference printed in 1657, under 
the title of, Monarchy asserted to be the best form of Government?. 

The second husband of Cecily Croke was Sir John Brown, 
Knight. I have not discovered any particulars relating to this second 
marriage, which took place before the 1st of February, 1609 ; because 
her mother, in her will of that date, styles her " my daughter Brown." 

f See the Genealogy of Whitelocke, Bulstrode, Mayne, Beke, &c. Whitelocke, from 
Biown Willis's MSS. vol. 19. Harl. MSS. 1102, a visitation of Bucks in 1634. Bulstnxle 
from the same, Harl. 1102. p. 44. and Harl. No. 1193. p. 51. Maynefrom Harl. No. 1102. 
Willis, ibid. Beke, ibid, and Brown Willis's MSS. vol. iii. page 4«. Harl. 1102. p. 6l. b 
Harl. 1193. p. (38. No. 34. 

15 and 31 Hen. III. I 
Geoffrey de la Bech. = 


See likewise th< G<ncaf<>»j/ .</ I'nton, So. '24. 


John de la ltocli. = 

Thomas de In Bech. = 


. (i.-ni-lniT ■ i Kind,.. 

and Rouse „f West™ 


of = Edward Bulstrode. 

- Mai v. dangli ,,t lit, li.ud l,i,ij,-„i 
len.p Ik,, VII. relict of Johr 

= Joan, tlaugllt.r of Thomas f'Jlft 
of Sunning, Berks. 

lary, daugh. ot 

1, Read .'of 
'anon, Berks. 



Robert de la Bech, = 
9, 17 Hen. V. VI. 1 

John Whitlock, = Acmes de la Bee 
32 Hen. VI. 1 38 Hen. VI, 

.llHeTvi. i!l'.'| C Ed.T 
IV l.i Hen VII. 
1 Hen VIII. 


Thomas Bulstrode 

Robert Mayne, 


Fiwtwite. Alice It 
By the first wif 

John Mayne, 

Edward Bulstrode. 


Richard Whitlock. 

slrode, Bucks, 
first husbaod. 


lohn Had issue, De la Bech Whillock.and Richard, = die Manor of 2.3Hen. | 
licks Ockingliaui. Berks, and of VIII. 
Beeches Lands, and Whitchurch, Oxon. 



a ^pturi. 

Sir James Whitlock, Knt, Judge of = Eli 
the King's Bench, bom Nov. 28, 1 
1 :,?(>, died 22 June, 1632, buried at 
Fawley. Bucks 

abeth Bulstrode. 

Kr.l jrift. 

= Ehzalnth, da 
of! Benin-!. 

Edward Bulstrode 

and of Warwickshi 

Second JTift. 7V,lr 

= Frances, da. of = Wido 

Ld. Willough. maid 

by. of Parkam, Ca. 

, and Frances, 

of Rutland" 

Henry Bulstrode. = 
„f Upton. 


Simon Mayne. = 
of Dinton, died 1 

2d husband. ' 

Elizabeth, rear. Sir Bulstrode Whitlock, 

Thus, Mu>tyn, ,.t .,!' lawlev, burn Aug 
M.,st..ii,S. Wales. li. MiU5,, bed July 2S 
Cecily, married E. 1675. Lord Commis- 
IJixon,,,fliolden. sioner, and Ambas- 

1 if if,. , m 

■r Wilson, Mary, man,, 1 
n name T. Knight, 
leton. ol'Rcading 
1 Cecily. 

Elizabeth, mar". 


of Ashford, 

Thomas B 
mar d . Nov. 


- t'ololieny 

Simon Mayne, 
King's Judge. 

of' Bedfordshire, 

died 1641. Second 
wife Elizabeth, d. 

I 1628. I died 1606, 

II,„-i I 

,1 II ,1.1,., 

,1 Wl,..| 


Oil. I'.yli 

Ihl i.rd. d„o , 
Join, l-.ill, ,r,l 1 

, Henry. 

M„ garel, 

I „l l.„b„, 


"the Ito'g.oid'e .,,'d I 

No. 35. 



Sir John Wingfield, 
eldest son. 

Sir Robert Winkfield, 

of Letheringham, 


Elizabeth, second daughter and coheir 
of Sir Robert Gowsell, by Elizabeth, 
sister and coheir of Thomas Fitzallen, 
fifth Earl of Arundel and Surrey, 
widow of Thos. Mowbray, first Duke 
of Norfolk. 

Sir Henry Wingfield, : 

of Otford, in Com. Suff. 

Knt. of Rhodes, 

second son. 

= Elizabeth, 
daughter of 
Robert Rowley. 

Sir Thomas Wingfield, 
third son. 

Robert Wingfield, Margaret, daugh of 

of Upton, George Quarles, of 

ob an. 18 Eliz. Ufford, in Norfolk. 

wife of Sir Wm. 
Brandon, grand- 
father to Sir 
Charles Brandon, 
Duke of Suffolk. 

Anne, da. and = .lohn. 
heir of John 



of Ticken- 

cote, in 

Com. Rutl. 


married to 
f on and heir 
of Sir Peck- 
sail Broccas, 

of Bucks 


Robert Wingfield, 
of Upton, in North- 
amptonshire, ob. an. 
22 Eliz. 

Elizabeth, da. of Richard Cecil, 
of Stanford, and sister of William 
Lord Burleigh. 

1 I 
3. Richard. 
4 Peregrine. 


mar. Adam 






Sir Robert Wingfield, 
ob. an. 7 Jac. I. 


Sir Robert Wingfield. 

Prudence, da. of John Croke. 

alias Blount, of Chilton. 

in Com. Bucks. 

Elizabeth, da. and coheir of 
Roger Aston, Gentleman of 
the Bed-chamber to King 


Francis Wingfield. 



PRUDENTIA CROKE, the second daughter of Sir John Croke and 
Elizabeth Unton, married Sir Robert Wingfield, Knight, who died in the 
seventh year of James the First. He was the son of Sir Robert Wing- 
field, by his wife Elizabeth, the daughter of Richard Cecil of Burleigh, 
and sister of William Lord Burleigh, Lord High Treasurer, whose sister 
Margaret was married to her cousin Roger Cave*. His great grand-father 
was Sir Henry Wingfield, of Orford, in Suffolk, a Knight of Rhodes b . 
Sir Robert Wingfield and Prudence Croke had three sons, Robert, Richard, 
and Roger, and a daughter married to — — Broccas c , son and heir of 
Sir Pecksell Brocas, of Buckinghamshire" 1 . 

Some of this family were settled at Brantham, and Letheringham 
in Suffolk, Stones Castle in Kent, and Kimbolton Castle in Huntingdon- 
shire,- and were of great antiquity, and noble descents and alliances*. 

Their coat of arms is, argent, on a bend, gules, between two cotizes, 
sable, three pair of wings joined in lewer, as the first. 

1 Collins's Peerage, vol. ii. p. igo. b Pedigree in the History of Northamptonshire 

by Bridges and Whalley, vol. ii. page 508. Ed. 1791- c Dame Elizabeth Croke 

(Unton'sj Will, penes me. d Harl. MSS. No. 1411. fol. 27- where is a pedigree of the 

Wingfield family, printed in Genealogy, No. 35. e Guillim, page 384. Ed. 1660. 



ELIZABETH, the third daughter of Sir John Croke and Elizabeth 
Unton, married Sir John Tyrrell, of Heron in Essex. Her epitaph 
at Chilton has recorded all we know of her. 

Here lyeth Elizabeth Tyrell, late wife of Sir John Tyrell, of Heron, 
Knight, and daughter of Sir John Croke of Chi/ton, Knight, who had 
one daughter named Dorothy, who died in her infancie. And the said 
Elizabeth died the \6th of February, Anno Domini 1631, being the 57 th 
uearc of her age. 

Against the wall is the monument. Within an arch, a lady kneeling 
at an altar, an infant before her. At the top, a coat of arms, in a 
lozenge, argent, two chevronels, azure, within a bordure, engrailed, gules, 
for Tyrrell, impaled with Croke. Below another coat of arms, Quarterly. 
1. Tyrrell. 2. Paly, argent and sable. 3. Gules, on a chevron argent, 
three dolphins of the field. 4. Argent, a cross, between four escalops, sable. 

This was an ancient family, descended from Sir Walter Tyrrel, who 
held the lordship of Langham in Essex, in the time of William the Con- 
queror, and shot William Rufus with an arrow in the New Forest ; they 
were divided into several branches, which possessed large estates in Essex, 
Suffolk, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire ; and two of them were 
created Baronets. The titles and the name are now become extinct. 

Of the elder branch little is recorded, except the names, the marriages, 
and the estates. One Sir John Tirrel was appointed by Henry the 
Fifth Captain of the Carpenters for the new works at Calais, to be paid 
twelve pence a day. The sufferings of another Sir John Tyrrel, in the 
royal cause of Charles the First, are commemorated in the following epi- 
taph in East-Hornden church. 































2 § 


in o 

o .a 



o o c 

.3 ._. 

5>^ £^^1§ * 

.= | - J <u .s i e <- *- ■- 
en -s J t»c«cB«3i» in 

n _; . 






; JI 

E £3.a 


I i_ o 3 o 3 

0) 3 • Jj 

■- 5 «£ 


a « s s. 

3 i > s 

« 1- o t- 

Sin 5 



ELIZABETH, the third daughter of Sir John Croke and Elizabeth 
Unton, married Sir John Tyrrell, of Heron in Essex. Her epitaph 
at Chilton has recorded all we know of her. 

Here hjeth Elizabeth Tyrell, late wife of Sir John Tyrell, of Heron, 
Knight, and daughter of Sir John Croke of Chilton, Knight, who had 
one daughter named Dorothy, who died in her infancie. And the said 
Elizabeth died the \6th of February, Anno Domini 1631, being the 57th 
yeare of her age. 

Against the wall is the monument. Within an arch, a lady kneeling 
at an altar, an infant before her. At the top, a coat of arms, in a 
lozenge, argent, two chevronels, azure, within a bordure, engrailed, gules, 
for Tyrrell, impaled with Croke. Below another coat of arms, Quarterly. 
1. Tyrrell. 2. Paly, argent and sable. 3. Gules, on a chevron argent, 
three dolphins of the field. 4. Argent, a cross, between four escalops, sable. 

This was an ancient family, descended from Sir Walter Tyrrel, who 
held the lordship of Langham in Essex, in the time of William the Con- 
queror, and shot William Rufus with an arrow in the New Forest ; they 
were divided into several branches, which possessed large estates in Essex, 
Suffolk, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire ; and two of them were 
created Baronets. The titles and the name are now become extinct. 

Of the elder branch little is recorded, except the names, the marriages, 
and the estates. One Sir John Tirrel was appointed by Henry the 
Fifth Captain of the Carpenters for the new works at Calais, to be paid 
twelve pence a day. The sufferings of another Sir John Tyrrel, in the 
royal cause of Charles the First, are commemorated in the following epi- 
taph in East-Hornden church. 






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a <si 

rsi a 


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5 « 



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Q a 

Z a 

5 Si 


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2 Q 

t. CO 
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Z 3 
— co 

z z 


1-j ef f if 

■as i||1i 


O « 


S <g I £ W C J 



x S 


°.i a3r/3 ' ctn t« 


r S 


* a 

o -r 

. o 

£ o 

H V) 

a w 

o i* 



i£ S 

■5 t S c S'-2 

3 lis SB 

1|B 8« 


II ri 




£ 1-i 


I'l'i |f* 















II — 1— 


S §.gj5 



1 = rl 


£ y 




b ° ft B 

died unmarried, 

John Robert Spencer =z= Ai 
l'hilips, of Riffham. b. N 

Nu. 3/". 


Sir Thomas Tyrrell, - 
','d si. 11 of Sir Thoiua- 
Tyrr. 11. of Heron Gate, 
Knt. Knight llannoivi, 

Humphrey Tyrrell, 

right of his wife, wl 

brought thirty manors. 

: Elizabeth, daugh. ami eohei 
Sir Henry, or Sit Humph 
Le Bruin, of South < >ken 

Eliz.ilx'lii. ..laugh, of Sir Thou 
Bodlcy, Knt. Founder of 1 

George Tyrrell, Esi]. Eleanor, daugh. of Sir Edward 

Montague. Km Lord < liifi'.Iu- 
tice, and one of the Executors .1! 
Hen. VIII. ancestor of the Duke, 
of Montague ami Manehesioi, 
and the Earls Sandwich and 

Elizabeth, daughter of 
Sir Wm. Kingsmill, of 
SidmantOD, Southamp. 

Mary, daughter of Benedict Lee, 

Sir Edward 'Iym-11. . Mi/ah, ih. 
Baronet, 1627. No is 

. Penelojie, married 

-- Sir Toby -^^ Lucy, widow of Willi 

: Tyrrell. Bart. Cheyney, of Chest 

d. 1671. Boy's, d'a. of Sir Thoi 

Hester, married 
Sir Peter la Ware. 
, Sir T. Salisbury. 
Thomas Tyrrell. 

Eli/. ib tii. mar". 


(i. Bridget. 1 

Sir I homas Tyrrell, = 

"1 Man. lap..-, and Castle 
I'lmip. Mucks. Col. in 
I'ai'l Army, Judge of 
tii. Cuunuon I', nn c 
<>f the ComiiiU-ioner-. 
of the Great Seal to 
Oliver Cromwell. 

J. Lucy, mar*, to 

2. Hester, 'to T. 

3. Mary. 

Sir Thomas TyTrell, Bart. Timothy. 

mar 1 Trances, only dau. No issue, 

of Sir Henry Blount, of 

ber to Charles 
Gen. of the Ordi 

: Elizabeth, sole 
da. and heir of 
J. Usher, Abp. 

He -y 


don Chace, mar". 


Sir Peter Temple. 

2. Bridget, Mimar". 

3. Mary, married 
Sir Walter Pye. 

Hester, da. of Sir Edw. Sir Peter Tyrrell, 

Tyrrell, of Thornton, of Hanslape and Castle 

Bart. Thorp, treated Baronel 

Jo'Go.maH. the dau. of 

— John Blower, of Carew Raleigh, son of 


heir of Charles Blount, Esq. 
Bluum's Hall, second son oi' S 
Henry Blount 

J.itm-Tyrrc]l J of("\il.l,. > 

deni-ral ili-t.oi'i.n-i ; - ; .| 

■ Mai-v, .1 1. of 
Ibitcliiii on. 

2. Cha 

3. John, Capt. Navy. d.luYl-J. 
-1: I'sher, uiar d . a daugh. of 

Van Tromp. 

I'liilip, 1 

Mary, married 

lieu Cavendish, 

,A' Dove-bridge. 


Eleanor, wife to Bridget, m 

Charles, 2d son of S. Byn 

Sir Henry Blount, ofWhitbi 
of Tittenhanger. 

r Charles Tyrrell, Bart. 

.lames Tvrrell 1.-, .»! f 
Cieut i.eiural 111 iT:J!). r. 
Giooms of the Bctlchaml. 
Prince of Wales 

Ham Charley ti:,-,, ,rd. 

E>-e\. h\ his wife Mary, 

— Mary, daughter of 
Giles Alleyn, Esq, of 
Haseley Hall, Essex, 

ol'.lohn lligham, Esq. ol 

\une, li.lest daughter of 

the Rev. Wm. Master, 

second wife. 

sir John Tyrrell, = 
b. July 20, 17C2, 
created a Baronet 
Sept. 28, 1801). 

^m-.A,, . -id v daughter <•! 
Wdliam IWu. Esq. ot 
\\ -,1th. on Huu-e, Hert> 

ch. viii. sec. in. ELIZABETH CROKE. TYRRELL. 657 





The deeds of men of fortune, and soldiers, seldom survive them ; the 
works of authors have something of a longer existence. The last but 
one of the Oakley and Shotover family, James Tyrrel, Esquire, who was 
born in 1642, was educated at Queen's College in Oxford, and afterwards 
studied, without practising, the common law, in the Inner Temple, where 
he was called to the bar. Upon his marriage, he retired to his patrimony at 
Oakley, and was one of the Deputy Lieutenants, and a Justice of the 
Peace, for Buckinghamshire, from which offices he was removed by King 
James the Second, for not complying with his designs for the restoration 
of popery. He became a voluminous author, and wrote an History of 
England to the reign of William the Third, in five volumes folio ; and 
another work intitled Bibliotheca Politico, or an Enquiry into the Ancient 
Constitution of the English Government, in folio likewise, and other books. 

His son, James Tyrrel, was the last of the Shotover family, served in 
the army, arrived at the rank of Lieutenant General in 1739, was one of 
the Grooms of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales, represented the 
corporation of Boroughbridge in Yorkshire in three Parliaments, was 
Governor of Gravesend, and Tilbury Fort, and Colonel of a regiment. 
He died without issue, and left the estate, and the house at Shotover, 
which was erected by himself, to Baron Schutz ; by whose descendants 
it is now 

• Collins's Baronetage, Ed. 1741. vol. ii. p. 76. vol. iii. p. 510. See the Genealogies of 
Tyrrell, No. 36, and 37- 

4 P 



William Croke, and his descendants. 

»*E have now traced, to the full extent, the descendants of the four 
eldest sons, and the three daughters, of Sir John Croke and Dame Eli- 
zabeth Unton : the patriarchal stock of the family. We have seen all the 
male lines of them gradually and in succession becoming entirely extinct, 
vanishing from sight, or transferring their blood and property through 
females to other families. The youngest branch, which lived at Studley, 
has been favoured with a longer duration. 

This branch was descended from William Croke, Esquire, the 
fifth son of Sir .John Croke and Elizabeth Unton. We have before related, 
that his brother, Sir George Croke, bequeathed to him the estate at Stud- 
ley for his life, with remainder to his son Alexander in tail male; which 
thus became the seat of his family. He does not appear to have engaged 
in any profession or other active pursuit: an ample testimony is borne by 
Sir Harbottle Grimston to the amiableness of his character: ' l that he 
" was a man of an humble spirit, and piously disposed, addicting himself 
" wholly to a country life." 

If education and example can influence the mind, he was blessed with 
a wife who was probably of a disposition similar to his own. This was 
Dorothy, the daughter of Robert Honywood, Esquire, of Charing, in Kent. 
Her mother, Mary, was a lady who has been much celebrated for her piety, 
the multitude of her descendants, and the length of her life. Her father, 
Robert Atwaters, or Waters, Esquire, of Royton, in the parish of Lenham, 
in Essex, was a man of fortune, who left only two daughters, coheiresses ; 
Joyce, the eldest, who married Humphrey Hales, Esquire, of the Dun- 
geon, in Canterbury: and Mary, the youngest, who brought the estate at 
Royton, another at Charing, and some other property, to her husband, 
Robert Honywood; then of Henewood, in the par