CLINTON, Sir Thomas (d.1415), of Amington, Warws. and Hunton, Kent.
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Family and Education
yr. s. of John, 3rd Lord Clinton (d.1398), of Maxstoke, Warws. by his 2nd w. m. (1) bef. Feb. 1394, Alice; (2) bef. 1409, Joan (22 Nov. 1381-c. 1457), da. and coh. of Sir Ralph Meynell (d.1388), of Langley, Derbys. and Newton Regis, Warws. by his w. Joan, and wid. of John Staunton (d.1405) of Staunton Harold, Leics., s.p.m. ?1da. Kntd. by Jan. 1386.
Commr. of array, Kent Jan. 1400, Nov. 1403, inquiry Jan. 1414 (lollards).
Escheator, Kent and Mdx. 2 Nov. 1407-9 Dec. 1408.
Thomas was the elder of Lord Clinton’s sons by his second wife, and uncle to William, 4th Lord Clinton (the son of his half-brother William, who died in 1383).1 His career had begun by January 1386 when, already a knight, he sued out royal letters of protection to join John of Gaunt’s expedition to Spain, for his deposition in the court of chivalry in the controversy between Lord Scrope of Bolton and Sir Robert Grosvenor, made just before embarkation in June, reveals that he had previously taken part in two campaigns in Scotland. Subsequently, he left Gaunt’s service to join that of Thomas Mowbray, the Earl Marshal. At London on 6 Feb. 1389 he was retained to serve Mowbray in peace and war, receiving maintenance for himself and two yeomen and an annuity of £20 from the earl’s manor of Caludon (Warwickshire). Five years later the earl granted him and his wife for life an annual rent of 20 marks from Chacombe (Northamptonshire), although this would not be paid until after the death of Mowbray’s grandmother, the dowager countess of Norfolk. As a consequence, Clinton followed Mowbray on the royal expedition to Ireland in the autumn of 1394. In 1396 he acted as a feoffee of land in Ratcliffe Culey (Leicestershire) and Dunton and Marston (Warwickshire), apparently on behalf of Joan, widow of Sir Ralph Bracebridge, and during his father’s lifetime he seems to have lived in Warwickshire, perhaps at Lord Clinton’s seat, Maxstoke castle. His election to Parliament in 1397 could have been owed either to the influence of his father (shortly to benefit from the downfall of the earl of Warwick), or to that of his lord, Thomas Mowbray. Clinton obtained a royal pardon in June 1398, possibly because of Mowbray’s by then precarious position as an alleged traitor; but there can be little doubt of his own loyalty to Richard II, for in July 1399 he and Sir Thomas Astley† raised a small force to aid the duke of York in opposing the incursion of Henry of Bolingbroke. Nevertheless, soon after the latter’s accession to the throne Clinton was able to obtain confirmation of the grants he had received from his erstwhile patron.2
Meanwhile, on his father’s death in September 1398, Clinton had inherited the manors of Hunton and Bensted in Kent (which Lord Clinton had entailed on him and his first wife and their male issue). The principal family estates passed to the new Lord Clinton, but certain other properties in Kent (notably those at Chiddingstone and Hever), which the old lord had held in gavelkind, were divided between all the male heirs, namely, Lord William, Sir Thomas and his brother Edward. When Edward died early in 1401 the shares of the others were duly increased.3 Through his second marriage, to one of the four coheiresses of the Meynell estates, Clinton acquired an interest in Burton Overy and Upton (Leicestershire), Newton Regis (Warwickshire), Langley (Derbyshire) and lands in Staffordshire; and, together with his wife and her sisters, he brought suits at the Warwickshire assizes for possession of land at Amington.4Nevertheless, he chose to live in Kent, where in 1412 his landed holdings were estimated to be worth £35 6s.8d. a year. Clinton sat in two Parliaments for the shire, and established connexions with the local gentry. For instance, in 1411 he was enfeoffed by Roger Fiennes* (great-nephew of his father’s first wife), of estates in south-east England, obtaining as Fiennes’s feoffee a royal licence in 1413 to enclose a path through Herstmonceux park (Sussex). In October 1414 he asked Archbishop Chichele for permission to have masses said privately in his own oratory.5
Clinton made his will on 19 June 1415, requesting burial in Leeds priory (Kent). He left 20 marks for the fabric of the priory, £3 to Aylesford priory and 20s. to the parish church of Hunton. On 16 July he was mustered for service in France in the retinue of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, having with him his own contingent of five men-at-arms and 14 archers, only to die on the campaign, of disease contracted at the siege of Harfleur. His will was proved on 11 Nov. There is a memorial to him in the chancel of Hunton church.6
Clinton left no male issue, and all his property in Kent passed to his nephew, Lord William. He may, however, have been the father of one of his second wife’s daughters: Anne, later wife of Robert Francis† of Foremark, Derbyshire. (Her other daughters — Margaret who later married Ralph, son of Sir Ralph Shirley*, and Elizabeth, wife of William Haselridge of Noseley — were the issue of her first husband, John Staunton.) Two of the wills of Clinton’s widow have survived, dated 1453 and 1457.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. CP, iii. 314-15.
- 2. C76/70 m. 28; Scrope v. Grosvenor, i. 65; CPR, 1399-1401, p. 28; Warws. Feet of Fines (Dugdale Soc. xviii), no. 2366; C67/30 m. 10; E403/562 m. 14; E. Curtis, Ric. II in Ire. 84-85.
- 3. W. Dugdale, Warws. 993; C136/102/16; CFR, xi. 283; CCR, 1396-9, pp. 341, 447; 1399-1402, p. 249.
- 4. J. Nichols, Leics. ii. 532-3; VCH Warws. iv. 162; VCH Leics. v. 71; CIPM, xvi. 715-16; C136/100/40, 106/41; C137/52/14; JUST 1/1514 mm. 51d, 53d.
- 5. CPR, 1408-13, p. 284; 1413-16, p. 133; Feudal Aids, vi. 475; Reg. Chichele, iv. 104.
- 6. Reg. Chichele, ii. 55, 88; E101/44/30/1, 45/13; Arch. Cant. xxi. 219.
- 7. CCR, 1422-9, p. 52; 1447-54, pp. 426-7; CPR, 1452-61, p. 82; Nichols, iii. 709.