BERE, Kynard de la (d.1402), of Kinnersley, Herefs.
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Family and Education
Commr. to put down rebellion, Herefs. Dec. 1381, Mar., Dec. 1382; seize Bartholomew Gorges, June 1384; of inquiry, Herefs. Feb. 1385 (murder), Nov. 1388, Dec. 1391 (lands of Sir Simon Burley), Feb. 1391 (alienation of Eaton Tregoes); array Apr. 1385, Mar. 1392, Dec. 1399; to arrest adherents of Walter Brut Sept. 1393; of oyer and terminer, Warws. Feb. 1400; to resist Welsh rebels and relieve Abergavenny May 1401; make proclamation of Hen. IV’s intention to govern well, Herefs. May 1402.
J.p. Herefs. 20 Dec. 1382-Dec. 1390, 28 Nov. 1399-d.
Sheriff, Herefs. 18 Nov. 1387-1 Dec. 1388, 1 Dec. 1396-3 Nov. 1397, 8 Nov. 1401-14 Feb. 1402.
Kynard de la Bere’s family held land around Kinnersley, between Hereford and Kington. His father, Sir Richard, was a comrade-in-arms of the Black Prince and became his chamberlain. He himself is first recorded in May 1381, when he stood surety for his neighbour, John Croft, as the lessee at the Exchequer of land at Eardisley. In December following he served on his first royal commission and a year later he was appointed a j.p. in Herefordshire. In October 1382 he had acted as an executor for Sibyl de la Bere (probably his stepmother), whose will stated that he might purchase her goods at a reasonable price.2
By July 1385, when he accompanied Richard II’s expedition to Scotland, de la Bere was serving in the royal household as a King’s esquire, and by 1387 he had been knighted. In May that year he entered into an obligation by recognizance in the sum of 400 marks to the earls of Warwick and Nottingham, both of whom were to oppose the King as Lords Appellant later that year, but whether Sir Kynard was directly implicated in the political troubles of the time is unknown. Certainly, his family background, together with the fact that he was a feoffee of Sir Simon Burley in the manor of Lyonshull, and the possibility that his wife was related to the chamber knight, Sir Richard Stury, might suggest that he sympathized with the King’s party at this time. The recognizance of 1387 was to be levied on de la Bere’s lands in Warwickshire, which he had presumably obtained by his marriage to Katherine, widow of Sir John Pecche (who had died in the previous year). In her right he was to enjoy custody of Pecche’s manors of Hampton in Arden, Honiley near Kenilworth and Dunchurch, and on 24 Feb. 1390, during the session of Parliament he was then attending, he obtained more lands in the county when he secured royal leases of the manors of King’s Norton and Pooley. His fellow MP for Herefordshire at the time was Thomas Oldcastle, who had acted as his surety, and in 1392 the two men, along with Thomas Walwyn II* and others, endowed a chantry in the parish church of Norton Canon near Kinnersley. Both de la Bere and Oldcastle were also co-feoffees of the lands of the Hereford lawyer, Richard Nash*.3
In December 1393, when he was granted exemption from serving in royal administrative offices against his will, de la Bere was referred to as a ‘King’s knight’, and in September following he accompanied Richard II to Ireland. He did so in the retinue of Roger Mortimer, earl of March, and as the latter remained in the province for the next few years as the King’s lieutenant, de la Bere may well have stayed on too. Most probably he accompanied the earl home in January 1398 and two months later, when Mortimer returned to Ireland, he undertook to act as one of his attorneys in England. His close connexion with the earl is further attested by the fact that, when Mortimer was killed by the Irish in July, de la Bere (along with William Beauchamp, Lord Abergavenny, and Thomas Walwyn II), acted as his executor. Moreover, he remained in contact with his fellow executors long after 1398, acting as a witness in 1400 when Abergavenny acquired the honour of Ewyas Harold. In February that year he was also called upon to help investigate an attack on one of Abergavenny’s Warwickshire manors; and in April he was a trustee for the lands of (Sir) Leonard Hakluyt*, a fellow Mortimer retainer, at Stoke Edith, Herefordshire. Not long after, in January 1402, he was made a feoffee by Sir Edmund Mortimer (the late earl’s brother) of two manors in Suffolk.4
The change of King in 1399, meanwhile, evidently did nothing to damage Sir Kynard’s local standing: not only was he elected to Henry IV’s first Parliament, but, ten days after its dissolution, he was restored to the Herefordshire bench (from which he had been dropped nine years earlier). In July 1401 he was one of those summoned to attend a great council at Westminster in the following month. Like most other Herefordshire gentry he was involved in the campaigns against Owen Glendower: in the previous spring he had been one of those charged with the relief of the castle of Abergavenny, and it was while accompanying Sir Edmund Mortimer’s expedition into Radnorshire that, on 22 June 1402, he was killed when the English were disastrously defeated at the battle of Pilleth.5
De la Bere’s will, made at Kinnersley in September 1394, was proved in 1404. He had requested burial at Kinnersley and had bequeathed all the lands to his son Richard. Other beneficiaries were his daughter, Agnes, and his widow and executrix, Katherine. The general tone of his testament, which strictly forbade any funeral pomp, recalls the wills of a group of Richard II’s courtiers known as the ‘lollard knights’, but otherwise there is no evidence that de la Bere himself had heretical sympathies.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: Charles Kightly
- 1. His mother may have been Katherine, da. of Sir William Abrahall (Herefs. RO, B56/1, f. 31), although his father was m. to Sibyl, da. of William Chabbenor by 1359 (CPR, 1358-61, p. 206; CP, iii. 149). His wife’s parentage is unknown, but K.B. McFarlane (Lancastrian Kings, 160) thought her to be a kinswoman of Sir Richard Stury.
- 2. Reg. Gilbert (Canterbury and York Soc. xviii), 55, 117; Reg. Trefnant (ibid. xx), 176, 179, 183; CPR, 1377-81, p. 350; CFR, ix. 250; Reg. Black Prince, iv. 1, 68-70, 74, 276.
- 3. EHR, lxxiii. 19; CCR, 1385-9, p. 311; CPR, 1388-92, p. 361; 1391-6, p. 123; CIPM, xvi. 778; VCH Warws. iii. 121; iv. 83; v. 48, 221; vi. 80, 81, 85; CFR, x. 311, 315, 318; xi. 81; Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. (NLW, 1955), no. 1921.
- 4. CPR, 1391-6, pp. 345, 481; 1396-9, pp. 349, 439; 1399-1401, pp. 218, 220, 492, 497, 576; Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. no. 301.
- 5. PPC, i. 162; CPR, 1399-1401, pp. 518-20; J.E. Lloyd, Owen Glendower, 151; W. Dugdale, Monasticon, vi (1), 354.
- 6. PPC 6 Marche; McFarlane, 207-20.