BELLERS, John, of 'Sixtenby' (?Sysonby), Leics.
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Family and Education
yr. s. of Sir James Bellers† of Ab Kettleby by his 2nd w. Margaret; half-bro. of James*. m. bef. 1404, Elizabeth (c.1392-18 Aug. 1427), da. and event. h. of Anthony Howeby alias Sutton (d.1422), of Sutton Cheney, 1s. John, 3da.
Under the terms of the entail arranged by his father Sir James Bellers in 1381, John, as Bellers’s son by his second wife, stood to inherit the manor of ‘Sixtenby’ and a number of other properties situated for the most part to the south of Melton Mowbray. After Sir James’s death — in 1411 or later — John probably also came into possession of the family manors at Ab Kettleby and Burton Lazars, for these were to be held in the mid 15th century by his own son, John.1
Always overshadowed by his older half-brother James, John Bellers was never, so far as is known, appointed to royal office. However, he did serve as a member of the retinue of Henry Beaufort, bishop of Lincoln, for his voyage to Brittany in November 1402, to escort Henry IV’s consort, Joan of Navarre, to England, having perhaps been recruited by Sir John Berkeley II*. In his youth he made several appearances in the lawcourts, usually as a defendant: earlier in 1402 he and James were summoned before the King’s bench for a breach of the peace, and in the following year he was at law with Nicholas Wymbissh, one of the Chancery clerks, with whom he entered mutual recognizances for £40. John allegedly took a more aggressive role than James in the abduction of the aged Roger Walron from Snibston in February 1406, severely maltreating his prisoner on their ride to ‘Sixtenby’, but the Bellers brothers’ failure to appear before the King’s Council in Parliament to answer Walron’s charges resulted in the same penalty for both: a fine of £100.2
Bellers attended the Leicestershire elections to the Parliaments of 1411 and 1413 (May), on the latter occasion witnessing the electoral indenture which recorded the return of his half-brother. It was in association with James that in 1414 he was made a trustee of the Northamptonshire estates belonging to the Seyton family. Bellers did not survive long after his only election to Parliament later that same year; indeed he is not recorded alive again.3 His heir was his son John (c.1404-1476), who by Michaelmas 1421 was in the wardship of John Mowbray, the Earl Marshal. The boy’s mother, Elizabeth, by then the wife of Thomas Seagrave, inherited the Howeby lands from her father in the following year, only to die in 1427. John junior represented Leicestershire in 1432, 1435, 1450 and perhaps also in 1470, eventually leaving as heirs to the Bellers and Howeby properties his two surviving sisters, Eleanor Dekyn and Marina Green, and his nephew John Vilers of Brooksby.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Leics. Village Notes ed. Farnham, vi. 311-12; Leics. Med. Peds. 26; J. Nichols, Leics. ii. 243, app. p. 127; Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 392.
- 2. Leics. Med. Peds. 130; CCR, 1402-5, p. 281; 1405-9, p. 33; RP, iii. 564; SC8/23/1107; CPR, 1405-8, pp. 230, 234; E101/320/38.
- 3. C219/10/6, 11/2; Add. Chs. 21819, 21822.
- 4. Leics. Village Notes, i. 262; iv. 182-3; vi. 313; C139/32/1; Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xiii. 103, 110-13; Leics. Med. Peds. 26, 32; CFR, xv. 203.