DALLINGRIDGE, Sir Edward (c.1346-1393), of Bodiam castle, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

1379
Jan. 1380
Nov. 1380
1381
May 1382
Apr. 1384
Nov. 1384
1385
1386
Feb. 1388

Family and Education

b.c.1346, s. and h. of Roger Dallingridge† (c.1311-1380) of Dallingridge by Alice, da. and h. of Sir John Radingden† of ‘Radynden’, Suss.1 m. c. Nov. 1364, Elizabeth (b.c.1347), da. and h. of John Wardieu of Sywell, Northants. and Bodiam, 1s. Sir John*, 1da. Kntd. bef. Nov. 1367.

Offices Held

Commr. of array, Suss. June 1377, Apr. 1385, Mar. 1392; to fortify Winchelsea July 1380, Rye Jan. 1385, Mar. 1386; make proclamation ordering the earl of Arundel’s tenants to perform their services, Suss. July 1381; resist insurgents, Surr., Suss. July, Oct. 1381, Suss. Dec. 1381, Dec. 1382; of inquiry, Kent, Mdx., Surr., Suss. Feb. 1382 (wastes, temporalities of the abpric. of Canterbury), Kent May 1382 (seizures by Richard Lyons†), Suss. June 1382 (maladministration of St. Mary’s hospital, Chichester), Kent Dec. 1383 (piracy), Suss. Jan. 1386 (wastes, Wilmington priory), Kent Feb. 1391, Worcs. Mar. 1392 (trespasses), Suss. Aug. 1392, Feb. 1393 (de Vere estates), Surr., Suss. Mar. 1393 (concealments); sewers, Suss. Feb., May 1382, Nov. 1383, Kent, Suss. Feb. 1390; to supervise the reconstruction of the Canterbury diocesan archives July 1382; of arrest, Suss. Aug. 1382, Apr. 1392; to administer oath in support of the Lords Appellant Mar. 1388; determine appeals from the constable’s ct. May, Nov. 1389, Jan., Mar. 1392, from the admiral’s ct. Nov. 1389, July, Oct. 1391; determine suits for piracy Dec. 1389, Feb. 1390; try Sir John Drayton* Feb. 1390; of oyer and terminer, Suss. Dec. 1390, Feb. 1393, Mdx. July 1393; to examine evidence in the dispute between the earl of Huntingdon and the civic authorities of London Jan. 1391; examine the judgement in a suit before the mayor’s ct. London June, Nov. 1391, Mar. 1393; of gaol delivery July 1391.

Tax surveyor, Suss. Aug. 1379.

Parlty. cttee. to investigate administration 2 Mar. 1380.2

J.p. Suss. 26 May 1380-d., Kent 6 Apr.-Oct. 1383.

Master forester, duchy of Lancaster, at Ashdown Chase, Suss. 13 Aug. 1381-6 Sept. 1383.3

Dep. capt. Brest, Brittany by Jan. 1389.

Member, Ric. II’s council 4 May 1389-d.

Ambassador to France 12 Apr.-15 July 1390.4

Keeper and escheator of the City of London 25 June-22 July 1392.

Biography

In the early years of the 14th century the Dallingridges had been little more than minor gentry of Sussex, possessed of a few parcels of land at Dallingridge near East Grinstead. Their subsequent rise owed much to three lucrative marriages, contracted in successive generations. First, through his marriage to Joan, daughter of Walter de la Lynde, John Dallingridge (d.1335) acquired the Sussex manor of Bolebrook as well as a moiety of that of Laceby in Lincolnshire. These passed to their son Roger, who substantially increased the family fortunes by his match with Alice Radingden, for her inheritance included Sheffield and four other manors in Sussex. In about 1380 these for the most part descended to Sir Edward, following his father’s death.5 Three years earlier he, too, had added to the family possessions as a consequence of an opportune marriage arranged by his father long before, in 1364. When his father-in-law, John Wardieu, died in 1377, Sir Edward’s wife Elizabeth inherited manors at Bodiam and Hollington as well as 750 acres of land elsewhere in Sussex, a number of properties in Kent, and the manors of Sywell, Hannington and Arthingworth in North-amptonshire.6Elizabeth’s title to certain estates in Leicestershire and Rutland (including Braunston and the bailiwick of the forest of Leighfield) was far from sound, but even so the Dallingridges managed to gain possession, and in 1378 Sir Edward took out a royal pardon for trespasses done by Wardieu as keeper of the forest. Having resolved to consolidate his landed holdings in the south of England, four years later he sold much of the Wardieu inheritance in the Midlands to William Burgh, the future judge, while the Northamptonshire estates were to be dealt with in the same way subsequently.7 Dallingridge made Bodiam his principal place of residence, where by royal charter granted him in 1383, he was entitled to hold weekly markets and an annual fair. In the course of his career, purchases, such as that of the manor of Iden, augmented his Sussex holdings still further.8 The precise value of Dallingridge’s estates may not now be ascertained, but there can be no doubt that he ranked among the wealthiest landowners of his native county. Furthermore, by the end of his comparatively short life he was in receipt of at least £147 a year in annuities and fees awarded him for his outstanding services in the military retinues and councils of the mighty.

Edward’s earliest attachments were influenced by those of his father Roger (four times a knight of the shire between 1360 and 1377), who having been employed by Queen Philippa in the forest administration of Ashdown Chase, had been made steward of the estates in Surrey and Sussex held by the widowed countess of Surrey and Warenne of the inheritance of her nephew Richard, earl of Arundel (d.1376). He was named among the trustees of Arundel’s other estates in 1366.9 As a consequence Edward, having hardly entered manhood, received his first experience of warfare as a member of the earl’s company in the royal army which camped outside Paris in the winter of 1359-60. But his years as a soldier were not spent serving Arundel alone. Already knighted, in 1367 he set out for Milan in the entourage of Lionel, duke of Clarence, and he was probably again in Italy in March 1370, when he obtained certain concessions from Pope Urban V. That autumn, however, he was to be arrested and brought before Edward III’s council for having failed to embark for France in the major expeditionary army commanded by Sir Robert Knolles after receiving an advance payment of his wages. In 1371 Dallingridge followed Arundel in the naval force led by the earl’s son-in-law, Humphrey, earl of Hereford, and two years later he enlisted with the duke of Lancaster for his great march across France from Calais to Bordeaux. It was while in Guienne that, in March 1374, he was among those to whom Gregory XI addressed letters exhorting them to use their influence with John of Gaunt in favour of the papal nuncios sent to make peace between him and Louis, duke of Anjou. He had already attracted the attention of Lancaster’s ally, John, duke of Brittany, who a month later granted him a handsome life annuity of £40 to be received from the duke’s Sussex estates. Other lords with whom he served overseas also took notice of his abilities as a soldier and councillor: Edward, Lord Despenser, for whom he had witnessed deeds in 1372 and 1373 (including a charter granted to the burgesses of Avan), retained him in 1374 for a naval expedition — during which they captured La Seinte Anne, a ship of Sluys — and again in the following spring, when they supported the duke of Brittany’s bid to recover his duchy from the French. Despenser thought so highly of Dallingridge as not only to grant him an annuity of £40 and the office of master forester of his chase at Rotherfield (Sussex), but also to name him as a trustee of his estates and an executor of the will he made in November that same year. Sir Edward’s association with Despenser was evidently close: in later times, when risen to be an influential member of the King’s Council, he was to offer his former lord’s widow assistance in her need.10

Following the deaths in 1376 of Lord Despenser and the earl of Arundel, Dallingridge was for a while closely attached to the latter’s younger son, John, Lord Arundel, under whose captaincy he served in 1378 at Cherbourg, and for whom, on another occasion, he stood surety at the Exchequer. During his second Parliament, in 1380, he secured a share in the custody of the alien priory of Frampton, which Lord John had held before he drowned. Although a comparative newcomer to Parliament, Sir Edward was one of the three knights appointed to a commission drawn from both Houses to make a thorough investigation of the royal administration, following complaints in the Commons of excessive taxation. Their comprehensive brief was to look into the condition of the realm, the conduct of the King’s ministers, and the state of royal revenues. It may be that Dallingridge owed his place on the commission to another member of it, Richard Fitzalan, the next earl of Arundel, to whom he had already become attached. The Commons voted a subsidy earmarked expressly to finance an army to be sent to Brittany under the leadership of Thomas of Woodstock, and this expedition Dallingridge joined in the summer.11 Such experience of warfare was soon much in demand at home, for the Sussex coast was increasingly under threat of French attack; and in September Sir Edward was reported to have been seriously wounded in action at Bourne, although he recovered sufficiently to be returned to the Parliament meeting at Northampton two months later. The following year saw him busy on the earl of Arundel’s behalf in restoring order in Sussex in the aftermath of the Peasants’ Revolt — a task which included compelling the earl’s tenants to return to work. In August 1381 he was made a trustee of Arundel’s lordships of Chirk and Chirksland in the Welsh marches, and two months later the earl called on him to provide securities for an Exchequer lease. Clearly, he had established himself as Fitzalan’s most prominent retainer in Sussex.12

Perhaps as a consequence of his association with Arundel, Dallingridge’s relations with John of Gaunt had become uneasy. In January 1381 he and his son-in-law, Sir Thomas Sackville II*, together with their friend and fellow retainer of the earl, Sir Philip Mestede,13 had all done homage to Lancaster for the lands they held of him. But they and many others of the local gentry resented the intrusion of Duke John, who had only recently acquired his Sussex estates, and soon expressed their hostility towards the duchy administration, which by exploiting local resources was challenging their own franchises. In March Dallingridge began a campaign of intimidation against the duke’s officials; he and his followers not only prevented the duke’s steward, John Broke*, from holding a court at Hungry Hatch, but also ambushed the Lancastrian feodary, whose commission was burned in front of him. John of Gaunt, faced with a national crisis at the height of the Peasants’ Revolt, chose to conciliate Dallingridge by appointing him as his master forester of Ashdown, and for the next two years took no action against him. Sir Edward might have remained secure in his local prominence, had it not been for the exigencies of national politics. He was present at the Salisbury Parliament of April 1384 to hear Lancaster’s response to the Commons’ complaints of violence and extortion practised by the retainers of the magnates, in which the duke assured them that an example would be made of any of his own followers guilty in this respect; and within a fortnight of the Parliament’s close he was attached at the duke’s suit to answer to a special commission of oyer and terminer for his actions of 1381. Dallingridge appeared in court in June before a judicial tribunal strongly biased in Lancaster’s favour and, treating the case as a matter of honour, he answered the charges with a wager of battle. The jury found against him and adjudged damages of £1,080. Dallingridge remained under arrest until 26 July when, it has been plausibly conjectured, the earl of Arundel, taking advantage of the duke’s temporary absence abroad, interceded for his retainer while the King was staying at Arundel castle. But Lancaster had Sir Edward arrested again at the end of October, and it seems unlikely that, although re-elected, he was able to take his seat in the Parliament which met at Westminster shortly afterwards. (Certainly, no writ for expenses was issued in his name.) Yet in the long term Dallingridge’s political standing suffered little harm, and his influence in Sussex remained undiminished.14

Dallingridge was released from prison before January 1385, being urgently needed to supervise the fortification of Rye and Winchelsea in the face of renewed threats of invasion from France. However, the task of defending the Sussex and Kent shores had to be left to subordinates in June, for the earl of Arundel called on him to join his retinue in the King’s army marching to invade Scotland. Even so, the importance of Dallingridge’s military role in the south received emphasis during the Parliament which met in the autumn; and he was then granted a royal licence for the crenellation of his manor-house at Bodiam, specifically so that the adjacent countryside might be more easily defended against the King’s enemies. Major works were begun on the castle immediately. Returned to the Commons yet again in 1386, Dallingridge was among the supporters of Arundel and Gloucester in their move to take over the administration. It was while Parliament was in session that Sir Edward, testifying in the court of chivalry in the celebrated dispute between Scrope and Grosvenor (over their claims to bear the same heraldic arms), recalled remarks made many years earlier by Earl Richard’s father as to the noble blood and ancestry of Lord Scrope. Early in 1387 he assisted in the task of organizing the fleet which was to sail under Arundel’s command as admiral, he himself taking a prominent place on the flagship. That spring he and his fellow feoffees of the Fitzalan lordships in Wales formally leased them to the earl. It seems very likely that he was a member of Arundel’s military retinue which took up arms against the royalist forces later in the year; and it is not surprising that at the dissolution of the Merciless Parliament it was he who was appointed to take oaths in Sussex pledging support for the regime of the earl and his fellow Lords Appellant. During the session of this, Dallingridge’s tenth Parliament, he had secured a royal pardon for having received from Earl Richard a grant for life of the manor of High Roding (Essex) without first obtaining a licence. He helped the earl to organize and finance his second naval expedition, that of the summer of 1388, supplying his own ship The Trinite of Winchelsea for service; and Arundel subsequently made him his lieutenant as captain of Brest, where he spent part of the winter. Dallingridge had benefited personally from the earl’s shared control of Crown patronage by securing the joint keepership of the alien priory of Wilmington in May 1388, and from January following he occupied it with another of Arundel’s retainers; they were authorized to pay the farm directly to the garrison at Brest.15

It might be expected that the dismissal of the senior Appellants from the King’s Council in May 1389 would be followed by Dallingridge’s retirement from royal employment. On the contrary, Richard II, appraised of his worth, and in all probability persuaded by the Appellants to accept the counsel of their nominees, appointed him a member of the Council on 4 May, and he quickly set about making himself indispensible. That summer he was entrusted with a delicate mission as intermediary between the King and his own erstwhile lord, the duke of Brittany, negotiating for the surrender of certain castles in Guienne in return for the duke’s restoration to the earldom of Richmond. He evidently made a favourable impression: as a ‘King’s knight’, in July he was permitted to purchase two manors in Sussex forfeited by judgement of the Merciless Parliament, and a month later it was agreed that he should be retained for life with the substantial annual fee of 100 marks, which, moreover, he might take directly from the farm he owed for Wilmington priory. Throughout the four remaining years of his life Dallingridge was the most prominent knight in the King’s Council, sharing responsibility for many important executive acts and policy decisions. For instance, in November 1389, he expressed to the King the Council’s advice that the newly-elected Pope, Boniface IX, should not be given formal recognition until it became clear how his election would affect the Great Schism. In 1390 and 1391 he sat on many conciliar tribunals to determine appeals from the various courts of chivalry, and to arbitrate where lesser courts had failed to settle disputes. Along with other members of the Council, in the spring of 1390 he went on an embassy to France, in the course of which he was to survey the fortifications of Calais. Pleased with Dallingridge’s counsel, the King made him a gift of 100 marks that October, and was later to reward him with a grant of two tuns of red wine a year. In the summer of 1391 the councillors, including Dallingridge, were concerned with matters arising from the papal embassy, and in December he was sent on another mission to the duke of Brittany, specifically because of their former friendship. He received wages of 10s. a day for attendance on the Council, and in the year beginning in January 1392 he is known to have served 207 days, often accompanying the King in his peregrinations about the country. Upon the Council records no name appears more frequently than his.16

Dallingridge’s place on judicial tribunals made him familiar with a number of conflicts with the civic authorities of London, leading to serious local unrest. Following the removal of the government to York in May 1392 and the suspension from office of the mayor and aldermen of London a month later, Sir Edward was chosen to act as warden of the City. He left the King at Nottingham on 29 June and at 9 a.m. on 1 July came to the Guildhall to be sworn into office. However, after the Londoners had been fined 3,000 marks, and had forfeited their liberties, on the 22nd he was replaced by Sir Baldwin Radington, the controller of the Household, by all accounts a rigid disciplinarian. It was rumoured that the King had found Dallingridge to be ‘too gentle and tender with the Londoners’, but it seems more likely that it was Richard’s intention to release him to act as a free agent in the complicated negotiations between the Crown and the City which were to follow. Dallingridge remained in London in consultation with Radington for a few days, and then, from 17 to 26 Aug., he spent his time ‘pro concordia facienda versus Regem pro civibus’ — a diplomatic intervention which led to the formal reconciliation at Woodstock in September, he himself being then present. Dallingridge had sat in his last Parliament as an elected Member of the Commons in 1388, but it seems likely that he attended the assemblies of 1390 and 1391 in his capacity as a royal councillor, as he certainly did the meeting at Winchester in January 1393.17

There is no record of Dallingridge’s activities after 1 July 1393, and this Sussex knight, who had so successfully combined the qualities of soldier and councillor, died before 30 Aug. He was buried next to his wife in the Cistercian abbey at Robertsbridge.18 His only son, Sir John, succeeded him.

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger

Notes

Variants: Dallyngrugge, Dalyngregge.

  • 1. It has been generally held that his parents were John Dallingridge and Joan de la Lynde (as e.g. by the Marquis Curzon of Kedleston, in Bodiam Castle, 146), but they were, in fact, his grandparents: CIPM, xiv. 70; C139/111/52. His mother, Alice Radingden, was still alive in 1401: Add. Ch. 20087.
  • 2. RP, iii. 73-74.
  • 3. Reg. Gaunt 1379-83, no. 1103; Somerville, Duchy, i. 380.
  • 4. E364/24 m. A; Foedera ed. Rymer (orig. edn.), vii. 667.
  • 5. Suss. Feet of Fines (Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii), nos. 1265, 1305, 1884; CIPM, vii. 649; xiv. 70; CPR, 1374-7, pp. 12, 18; VCH Suss. vii. 257; DL28/32/22. The monumental brass at Fletching, attributed to Sir Edward’s brother Walter, is much more likely to represent his father Roger; Suss. Arch. Colls. lxxvii. 187-9.
  • 6. CCR, 1364-8, p. 85; 1392-6, pp. 388, 396; CIPM, xiv. 340; CFR, viii. 399; C67/28B m. 13; Suss. Feet of Fines, nos. 2480, 2580; VCH Suss. ix. 82; VCH Northants. iv. 133, 173.
  • 7. VCH Rutland, ii. 16, 33; CIMisc. v. 8, 10; CPR, 1377-81, p. 292; 1381-5, p. 180; CFR, ix. 128; CCR, 1377-81, p. 474; 1381-5, pp. 95, 228, 606.
  • 8. CPR, 1381-5, p. 273; CIPM, xvi. 320; CChR, v. 281.
  • 9. Chichester Cart. (Suss. Rec. Soc. xlvi), no. 882; CPR, 1361-4, pp. 156, 260, 546; 1364-7, pp. 198, 237.
  • 10. Scrope v. Grosvenor, i. 164; CPR, 1367-70, pp. 41, 475; 1374-7, pp. 289, 443; 1381-5, p. 55; 1399-1401, p. 244; CPL, iv. 83, 132; E101/31/15, 34/5; Cartae Glam. ed. Clark, iv. 1334; CCR, 1374-7, p. 21; Lambeth Pal. Lib. Reg. Sudbury, ff. 89-90; CIPM, xiv. 209; CFR, ix. 46; x. 346.
  • 11. CPR, 1377-81, pp. 287, 459; CFR, ix. 126, 180.
  • 12. CCR, 1377-81, p. 474; 1381-5, p. 74; CPR, 1381-5, pp. 35, 296; CFR, ix. 270.
  • 13. Suss. Arch. Trust, Lewes, Firle Place Ch. 204; Suss. Feet of Fines, no. 2602; Bolney Bk. (Suss. Rec. Soc. lxiii), 37.
  • 14. S. Walker, ‘Lancaster v. Dallingridge’, Suss. Arch. Colls. cxxi. 87-94; Reg. Gaunt 1379-83, no. 1165; CPR, 1381-5, pp. 427-8; CCR, 1381-5, pp. 459, 482, 600.
  • 15. CCR, 1385-9, pp. 6, 462; CPR, 1385-9, pp. 42, 98, 415; 1388-92, p. 118; VCH Suss. ix. 259-63; E101/40/33 m. 1, 41/4; CFR, x. 230, 278; E403/512, 25 Jan., 2 Apr., 521, 11 Nov., 14 Dec., 12 Feb.