EAGLESFIELD, John, of Eaglesfield, Cumb.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. poss. 1s. Ida.1
Collector of taxes, Cumb. May 1398.
John’s family took its name from the manor of Eaglesfield in Brigham, which they held, along with all their other property, as feudal tenants of the Lucys. His most famous kinsman — Robert Eaglesfield, the founder of Queen’s college, Oxford, and chaplain to Edward III’s queen, Philippa — evidently began his career as a member of the household of Anthony, Lord Lucy; and it has been suggested that he may even have represented Cumberland in the Parliament of 1328 before taking holy orders.2 On the death of Maud, Baroness Lucy, the wife of Henry, earl of Northumberland, in December 1398, John himself was seised of the two manors of Eaglesfield and ‘Alneburgh’, while another relative, Richard Eaglesfield, occupied the manors of Dearham and Langrigg. The two men had just served together as tax collectors for Cumberland, and may well have been brothers.3 Perhaps the John Eaglesfield senior who sat with them both on a jury at Carlisle, in March 1395, was their father, but not much is known about this shadowy figure. It was certainly the subject of this biography who stood bail of £40, along with William Osmundlaw*, for one of their neighbours at the Carlisle assizes of 1401. Four years later he witnessed a mortgage transaction between John Skelton* and Sir Robert Muncaster*, but no more is heard of him until November 1414, when he represented Cumberland in Parliament. So far as we know, he sat only once in the House of Commons, although he put in fairly regular appearances at the county elections, being present at Carlisle to witness the returns to the Parliaments of 1420, 1421 (May), 1426, 1427, 1432 and 1435. From 1427 onwards he is described as John Eaglesfield senior, so it is possible that he had a son of the same name.4 Both men were called upon in May 1434 to take the general oath that they would not support anyone who broke the peace. John the elder was still alive in January 1445, when the widowed Margaret Lamplugh offered him and others securities of ten marks. According to one source, his daughter is said to have married a grandson and namesake of Sir John Lamplugh*, so this transaction may perhaps have resulted from the attendant negotiations between him and the young man’s mother. No other references survive to any of his offspring or, indeed, to John himself, who evidently died soon afterwards.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Egilsfeld, Eglisfeld.
- 1. J. Nicolson and R. Burn, Westmld. and Cumb. ii. 37.
- 2. Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. ed. Emden, i. 631-2; DNB, vi. 583-4; Nicolson and Burn, ii. 60; Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. n.s. xvi. 239-72.
- 3. CIPM (Rec. Comm.), iii. 244; CFR, xi. 265.
- 4. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. tract ser. no. 2, p. 177; C219/12/4, 5, 13/4, 5, 14/3, 5; C258/31/28; JUST 1/1517 rot. 60.
- 5. CPR, 1429-36, p. 353; CAD, iv. A9676; Nicholson and Burn, ii. 37. Lamplugh’s grandson, John, had certainly been married before, in 1438, to Jane Beetham (Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. tract ser. no. 7, p. 156), so unless he took two wives some confusion may well exist in the family pedigree.