CHEYNE, Sir Hugh (d.1404), of Cheyney Longville, Salop.
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Family and Education
s. of Hugh Cheyne of Cheyney Longville and poss. bro. of Roger Cheyne† m. (1) by 1377, Margaret; (2) bef. July 1397, Maud, da. of Simon Brobury of Brobury, Herefs. by Joan, da. of Reynold de la Mare,1 wid. of Sir Ralph Seymour and of Sir John Merriott† of Merriott, Som. ?1s. Kntd. by May 1370.
Keeper of Shrewsbury castle 27 Dec. 1365-Nov. 1399, Wigmore castle by Aug. 1402-d., Ludlow castle and town by 6 June 1403-d.
Tax assessor, Salop Aug. 1379; controller Mar. 1404.
Steward of the liberty of Ulster, Ire. 8 Mar. 1382-c. July 1383.2
Commr. to take musters of the army under Richard, earl of Arundel, May 1388;3 of inquiry, Worcs. Nov. 1388 (forfeited estates of Sir John Beauchamp† of Holt), Glos., Herefs., Worcs., Warws., Leics. Feb. 1391 (wastes on estates of Lire abbey); oyer and terminer, Salop June 1390; arrest Nov. 1400.
J.p. Salop 24 Dec. 1390-Nov. 1397, Worcs. 18 Nov. 1403-d.
Although Cheyne became a prominent figure in the west Midlands, the details of his family background are confused. It seems likely, however, that he was a grandson of Roger Cheyne†, who sat for Shropshire in four Parliaments of the 1320s, and brother of another Roger who represented the same county in 1365. Precisely when he inherited the family estates is not known. In 1368 either he or his father obtained an episcopal licence to have a private oratory at More near Bishop’s Castle (Shropshire), and by 1377 he was in possession of the manor and advowson of Bitterley close by. Cheyney Longville itself passed to him probably several years before 1394, when he obtained a royal licence to crenellate the manor-house. The full extent of Cheyne’s holdings in the neighbouring county of Worcestershire is also uncertain, although he is known to have held property at Redmarley, Westmancote and Bewdley (on the Severn).4 Cheyne’s second marriage brought him a life interest in estates as far away as Somerset. As the widow of Sir John Merriott, Maud held as her jointure and dower the manors of Compton Dundon and ‘Brode Mershton’ as well as two-thirds of Merriott (altogether worth over £35 a year). Sir John’s heirs were Margaret, wife of Sir William Bonville I* of Shute, and her sister Elizabeth, wife of Sir Humprey Stafford I* of Hooke, and it was to the Bonvilles that, in 1399, the Cheynes sold their interest in Merriott. They retained the other properties, however, and Maud Cheyne was still receiving an annual rent of £20 from Compton 13 years later. This marriage not only strengthened a friendship already formed between Cheyne and Maud’s cousins, the famous Speaker Sir Peter de la Mare† and his brother, Malcolm*, but also brought him into close contact with Roger, son of William Seymour*, the heir to the barony of Beauchamp of Hatch, who was Maud’s nephew. After the deaths of the de la Mare brothers the Cheynes and Seymour claimed to be heirs of their estates at Little Hereford and Yatton, in Herefordshire.5
The principal elements in Cheyne’s career were his position as a member of the household of Edward III and his close connexion with the earls of March. It was as a ‘King’s yeoman’ that on 1 Sept. 1358 he received an annuity for life of ten marks, and he had risen to be a ‘King’s esquire’ by 1365 when he was granted, for good service, custody of Shrewsbury castle. Another reward was the keepership for life of Kempton park (Middlesex), but this he relinquished in 1369. Cheyne was knighted in the following year, before being commissioned to commandeer vessels in the West Country for royal service, and it seems very likely that he saw military action abroad before May 1377, when he went on the King’s service to Ireland. Cheyne is not known to have continued to be a household knight under Richard II, but early on in the new reign he obtained royal confirmation of his annuity and his office at Shrewsbury, as well as an increase in his fee for the latter to 7½d. a day. And there were other marks of favour too: from 1387 for the rest of the reign he shared a lease of the estates of the alien priory of Wootton Wawen (Warwickshire), and in May 1388, during his third Parliament, he obtained from the Lords Appellant a wardship of lands in Magor, Monmouthshire, along with the marriage of the heir, for which last he paid 45 marks. Cheyne was still in the King’s favour as late as 1394 when he was permitted to fortify Cheyney Longville.6
Cheyne’s position at Court and his royal office as custodian and (certainly by June 1390) constable of Shrewsbury castle made him an influential figure in Shropshire, one whose support would be worth seeking in a local dispute. A summons to appear before the King’s Council in the summer of 1390 arose from his participation in one such quarrel, on behalf of John Darras* and his brother-in-law Sir Roger Corbet*. Another of the participants was Sir Richard Ludlow for whom, during the second Parliament of that year (of which they were both Members), Cheyne provided securities for his future peaceful demeaning towards Edmund Ludlow, parson of Wistanstow, the latter being, incidentally, Cheyne’s co-lessee of Wootton Wawen. Cheyne was also associated with Richard Cornwall, baron of Burford, for whom he was later to act as a feoffee of estates in Shropshire and Worcestershire.7
Cheyne’s local standing owed much to his years of service with the Mortimer earls of March, with whom his family had long been connected. (Indeed, in 1349 Cheyne’s father had given evidence when Roger, the second earl, had made proof of age.) Sir Hugh himself was formally retained by Earl Edmund in London on 2 Nov. 1376, his indenture stating that in peacetime he would be provided with sustenance and lodging for himself, a chamberlain, two grooms and a page, and hay, oats and shoes for five horses; while for military expeditions, although he was to be mounted and arrayed at his own expense, he was to have food and lodging for himself and a slightly larger entourage. In addition, the earl granted Cheyne an annual rent of 40 marks for life from the issues of the town of Ludlow, and subsequently either he or his successor also bestowed on him the manor of Bewdley in Worcestershire. (Sir Hugh was later to settle Bewdley on his kinsman, the Speaker Sir John Cheyne I* of Beckford.) Over the next few years Cheyne frequently came into contact with others of the Mortimer affinity, such as Sir John Bromwich†, Sir Ralph Lingen† and Sir Peter de la Mare. His journey to Ireland on royal service in 1377 gave him an opportunity to deal with problems of administration and order on Mortimer’s extensive estates in the province, and two years later he returned there as a member of the retinue of the earl, newly appointed King’s lieutenant. Cheyne was one of the witnesses of Earl Edmund’s will, made at Denbigh on 1 May 1380, and later that year he applied for a royal licence to grant land to Wigmore abbey, the earl’s chosen burial place. He may well have been in March’s entourage in Ireland in December 1381, when the earl died at Cork. In the following spring, during the minority of Earl Roger, who nominally succeeded his father as lieutenant of Ireland, Cheyne was appointed as steward of the Mortimer liberty of Ulster, and received a payment of £50 to go there ‘circa reformacionem pacis’, rebellion having broken out following Earl Edmund’s death. He probably remained in Ireland for the rest of the year, and is known to have been acting as the young lieutenant’s attorney in the following winter, specifically in dealing with a case of piracy. He returned home before July 1383 (on Sir Philip Courtenay’s* appointment as lieutenant), only to encounter difficulties over the administration of Earl Edmund’s will. The latter had named as his executors the bishops of London and Hereford, the earl of Northumberland and four knights, including Peter de la Mare, but Northumberland’s executorship was now opposed and Archbishop Courtenay thought it wise to grant administration jointly to de la Mare and Cheyne. It was therefore these two who presented to the Mortimer livings of Kingsland (in 1383) and Ludlow (in 1384). Earl Roger, now heir presumptive to the throne, was re-appointed lieutenant of Ireland in 1392 and Cheyne joined his retinue in September 1394 when he attended Richard II on his first Irish expedition. It was at Connaught that three years later, on 20 Oct. 1397, the earl formally retained Cheyne to be a member of his council for life, receiving a fee of 20 marks a year, over and above his 40 marks’ annuity, as well as maintenance for himself, a squire, two yeomen, a groom and five horses.8
Cheyne’s removal from the Shropshire bench in 1397 may have been due to his absence in Ireland, rather than to the uneasy relations then existing between the earl of March and King Richard, although he did see fit to take out a royal pardon in May 1398. This referred specifically to the support he had given to the Lords Appellant at the time of the Merciless Parliament, in derogation of the King’s majesty. He may have returned to Ireland with March that summer, and have remained there after the earl’s death and until the arrival of the King’s second expedition in 1399. Cheyne was removed from his office at Shrewsbury castle by Henry IV but began to be appointed to royal commissions again in November 1400; and he was summoned to the great council held in August 1401. Rehabilitation was complete by the following summer when he secured appointment as custodian of the Mortimer stronghold of Wigmore castle, then in the Crown’s possession during the new earl’s minority; in May 1403 his annuities charged on the Mortimer estates were confirmed, and it was about that time, too, that he was verbally appointed custodian of Ludlow castle with a fee of 40 marks (no doubt replacing his 40 marks’ annuity which was also charged on Ludlow).9
Cheyne died in 1404, most probably on 1 Aug., the date of his obit. He had long been a leading member of the Palmers’ guild of Ludlow (with which the earls of March, as lords of Ludlow, had always maintained close links), and had donated plate and a goblet (afterwards known as the ‘Warden’s Nutt’) to the fraternity. He was buried in Ludlow church — of which he was also a benefactor — most probably in the chantry where his effigy and arms are depicted in stained glass.10
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
He has been distinguished from Sir Hugh Cheyne (d. 1390), of Laverstock, Wilts., who sat for Wilts. in 1383 and 1385.
- 1. J. Duncumb, Herefs. iv. 41.
- 2. Rot. Pat. et Claus. Hib. ed. Tresham, 112.
- 3. Rot. Gasc. et Franc. ed. Carte, i. 175; ii. 158.
- 4. Reg. Charlton (Canterbury and York Soc. xiv), 48; Reg. Gilbert (ibid. xviii), 116; R.W. Eyton, Antiqs. Salop. x. 54-55; xi. 373; Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 198; CP25(1)195/17/69; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), i. 119-28; CCR, 1402-5, p. 74; 1405-9, p. 183; CPR, 1391-6, p. 500; CIMisc. vi. 234.
- 5. Procs. Som. Ar