BOTELER, Henry I, of Horsham, Suss.
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Family and Education
John Boteler, Henry’s putative father, had been taxed as the wealthiest man living in Horsham in 1327, likewise in 1332.1 He himself witnessed deeds in the town from 1380 to about 1409, but there is nothing to indicate his own financial standing in relation to his fellow townsmen.2
In June 1398, after representing the borough in Parliament for the last of five times, Boteler procured a royal pardon, perhaps because of the precarious political circumstances of the time. Nevertheless, there can be little doubt of his loyalty to Richard II, for 18 months later, on 23 Jan. 1400, he was to be arrested and brought along with Sir William Burcester* and Sir Thomas Sackville II* before Henry IV’s council, as having been involved in the recent failed plot to dethrone the King and restore his predecessor. Burcester had personal links with Thomas, Lord Despenser, a principal mover in the conspiracy, and perhaps Boteler had followed his lead in lending Despenser support. But whatever the facts of the matter he and his fellows were discharged on bail, on the surety of Sir Robert Denny* and others, after just five days in custody, and were presumably found innocent when brought to trial. Their shared experience brought members of the group closer together: in September following Burcester made Boteler a feoffee of his estates, together with Sackville and another of those arrested in their company; and then, just a few weeks later, Sir William acted as a witness when Boteler was enfeoffed by John, son of Hugh Hasell* of Arundel, of land at Broadwater and Sompting, near the Sussex coast.3 The connexion between the families of Burcester and Boteler was to continue for several years longer.
It has not proved possible to discern when the career of this Henry Boteler ended and that of his younger namesake began.