ARCHES, Sir Richard (d.1417), of Oving, Bucks.
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Family and Education
prob. s. of Richard Arches of Eythrope, Bucks. by Lucy, da. of Sir Richard Adderbury I*.1 m. (1) bef. 1410, Joan (b.c. 1375), yr. gdda. and coh. of Sir Giles Ardern (d.1376) of Drayton, Oxon., wid. of William Greville of Horley, Oxon. (yr. s. of William Greville (d.1401) of Chipping Campden, Glos.), 1s. 1da.; (2) between Jan. 1416 and May 1417, Joan (c.1386-1 July 1434), da. and coh. of John Frome* of Buckingham and Woodlands, Dorset, wid. of William Filoll*.2 Kntd. bef. July 1401.
Commr. of array, Bucks. Oct. 1403.
J.p. Oxon. 8 Mar. 1410-Feb. 1412.
The ancient family of de Arcubus or Arches of Buckinghamshire held manors in Eythrope, Cranwell and Little Kimble, which, since they all afterwards passed to this Member’s daughter and eventual heir, Joan Dynham, may be presumed to have been once held by him too, although never specifically recorded as being in his possession. There is no doubt that Sir Richard did hold a fourth family manor in the county — that of Oving.3
Arches was among the esquires who received wages from the royal wardrobe as engaged from September 1394 to April 1395 in Richard II’s first military expedition to Ireland, and before very long he was knighted. In the course of a local dispute in the summer of 1401, he was bound over to keep the peace, but this by no means affected his standing in the community, for he was returned to Parliament in the following year. Although his continued interest in parliamentary affairs is suggested by his attendance at the Buckinghamshire elections of 1407, there is no record of any further service in the Commons on his own part.4 Later, as a consequence of his first marriage, to Joan Ardern, Sir Richard made his home in Oxfordshire, where Joan and her sister Margaret had inherited the estates of their grandfather, Sir Giles Ardern. Shortly after contracting to marry two of the sons of William Greville, the rich wool merchant of Chipping Campden, the sisters had divided the Ardern properties between them and their husbands, Joan’s share being the manors of Horley, Ilbury and Wykeham. These she now brought to her second husband, Arches. Sir Richard’s new status as a landowner in Oxfordshire led to his service for two years on the local bench, and in February 1414 he was among those present at Oxford castle for the county elections to Parliament.5 Early in the following year his standing in the locality was further enhanced by the decision of his childless uncle, Sir Richard Adderbury II*, to settle on him a substantial part of his holdings in the same county, including the manors of Souldern, Steeple Aston, Sibford, Ludwell and Glympton. Perhaps it was the case (as asserted several years later in the course of legal proceedings) that Arches had to purchase these properties from Adderbury, although the price was probably reduced in view of their close kinship.6
As part of his preparations to join Henry V’s army for the conquest of Normandy, in May 1417 Arches made settlements of certain of these newly-acquired manors. He had recently married for the second time, evidently with the intention of further increasing his fortunes, for his new wife Joan’s half-share of the estates of her late father, John Frome (sometime councillor to Henry IV), comprised all his holdings in Dorset, while her previous marriage to the shire knight William Filoll had also provided her with dower lands in that part of the country. But Arches was not destined to live long in enjoyment of his new-found affluence. Having embarked for France in the retinue of Thomas, earl of Salisbury, at the end of July, he died there only a few weeks later, on 5 Sept., presumably a casualty of war.
Sir Richard was not long survived by his young son John, after whose death the Arches estates devolved on his daughter Joan. She, whose marriage was granted by the King to Thomas Chaucer*. in 1420, also became heir a year later to the lands of her half-brother, Richard Greville*, and having married the Devonshire landowner, Sir John Dynham (d.1458), she brought a number of lawsuits to establish her title to the former Adderbury estates. In the course of these proceedings John Langston, the son of one of Arches’s executors, stated that Arches had willed that in the event of his failure to return from overseas his mother Lucy and that particular executor should be empowered to sell certain of the disputed manors, giving Langston senior himself first option to purchase. Arches’s widow, who before March 1420 had married Sir William Cheyne, c.j.KB, lived on until 1434.