GREEN, Walter II (d.1456), of Hayes, Mdx.

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

Apr. 1414

Family and Education

?s. of Walter Green I* of Bridgnorth, Salop. m. (1) by Jan. 1413, Alice, ?da. of Adam of St. Ivone, 1s. Sir Robert 3da.; (2) by June 1443, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Robert Warner (d.1439) of Cowley Peachley, Mdx., 2s. 3da.1

Offices Held

Commr. of oyer and terminer, Essex, Mdx. Feb. 1416, Mdx. Jan. 1430 (treasons and felonies), Nov. 1455; kiddles, Herts., Essex, Mdx. July 1416, Feb. 1427, May 1428, Dec 1433, Apr. 1434, Oct. 1436, May, July 1440; to take possession of land for the Crown, Suff. Mar. 1418; raise a crown loan, Mdx. Nov. 1419, June 1446, Sept. 1449; make an arrest June 1428; of sewers June 1430, July 1448, Oct. 1455; inquiry Mar. 1431 (concealments), Dec. 1438 (excessive charges by millers), Sept. 1451; to assess a grant Apr. 1431; distribute a tax allowance Jan. 1436, Apr. 1440 (bis), June 1445, July 1446 (bis); commandeer shipping, Suff. May 1439 (passage of troops to Aquitaine).

Tax collector, Mdx. Jan. 1420.

J.p. Mdx. 12 Feb. 1422-Nov. 1439, 8 July 1440-d.

Controller of the subsidy of tunnage and poundage, London 11 Mar. 1426-aft. 10 Mar. 1432.

Steward of the estates of Philip Morgan, bp. of Ely bef. Oct. 1435.2

Collector of customs and subsidies, Ipswich 10 May 1437-20 Feb. 1441.

Biography

Although he is traditionally said to have been the son of Walter Green I, there is no real evidence to connect the subject of this biography with Shropshire. Indeed, the first reference clearly attributable to him suggests that he already possessed considerable influence in Middlesex by 1411, when he must still have been a relatively young man. He was then among the leading local residents present at the parliamentary elections for the county: his attendance is again noted in November 1414 and on at least 12 subsequent occasions before 1450, during which time he was himself returned as a shire knight to nine or more Parliaments.3 Green’s revenues from property in Stepney, Middlesex, were assessed at £13 6s.8d. a year in 1412, but he could rely on a far greater annual income. During the Hilary term of 1413, for example, he appeared as defendant in the first of three collusive suits brought against him and his first wife, Alice, for possession of land in Finchingfield, Essex, and the environs of north-east London. The plaintiffs were almost certainly his feoffees, for some of the property, including the manor of ‘Huscarles’ in Stepney, was still in his hands 26 years later.4 Part, if not all, of this estate belonged to Alice, who was evidently a wealthy woman in her own right. We do not know how Green came to acquire an inn and other land in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, but these were released to him in August 1434 by the widow of one of his feoffees, and passed directly to his eldest son, Sir Robert.5 It was perhaps through his second wife, Elizabeth, whose inheritance produced 100 marks a year, that Green came into property in Bohunt, Essex, and the area around Hayes, Enfield and Acton, in Middlesex. He spent his last years at Hayes, where he was buried, having placed the remaining part of the estate in the hands of trustees, including his son-in-law, Miles Windsor.6 Windsor in turn settled upon him at least four of his own manors, and with him was a party to several property transactions in the City. From 1427 onwards Green was involved in the conveyance of premises by and to a number of eminent Londoners, such as Henry Frowyk and William Estfield although the precise nature of his title is unknown.7 Less doubt surrounds his purchase, in the summer of 1437, of a messuage and land in Mile End. His last acquisition took place some ten years later, when the master of St. Bartholomew’s hospital confirmed him as farmer (at a token rent) of an estate in Hendon which formed part of his wife’s inheritance.8

For over 30 years of his life, Green played a full and active part in local government, serving on an impressive number of royal commissions, as well as sitting almost continuously on the Middlesex bench from 1422 until the time of his death. The date of his appointment as steward of the bishop of Ely’s estates cannot now be determined, but from 1418 onwards, if not before, Green’s East Anglian connexions are apparent from his employment there by the Crown. Having gained experience as a controller of the tunnage and poundage subsidy in the port of London, he went on to become a collector of customs at Ipswich, an office which he held for almost five years. Yet, despite his evident wealth and importance, comparatively little evidence has survived of Green’s personal affairs. At some point before February 1417, he joined with Roger Wootton* of Warwick in suing a vintner from Coventry for a debt of £10, apparently to no avail. A papal licence of July 1420 empowered Green and his wife to make use of a portable altar, but it was not until June 1433 that any particular marks of royal favour were shown towards him. Even then, the arrangement whereby he and William Tresham (the future Speaker of the Commons and one of Green’s parliamentary colleagues) were to farm the estates of Henry Green, a minor in the King’s custody, was never actually implemented.9 Meanwhile, in March 1432, Green stood surety for Thomas Frowyk* and Alexander Anne, the shire knights then returned to Parliament for Middlesex. Two years later he was among the leading notables of the county who were to take the general oath that they would not assist anyone breaking the peace. When, in February 1436, the royal council drew up a list of persons to be approached for a contribution towards the financing of an invasion of France, Green was asked for a loan of £40.10 He was acquainted with at least one member of the Council—the influential Sir John (Lord) Tiptoft*, who, in July 1437, chose him to be one of his mainpernors at the Exchequer. Green again acted as a surety in March 1456, this time for John Gaynesford of Surrey, who had married his daughter, Katherine, on the death of her first husband, Sir Edmund Rede.11

Green died on 8 Dec. 1456, leaving over £570 in goods and cash, part of which was set aside for pious works in memory of his late employer, the bishop of Ely. John Catesby of Whiston was excused the 50 marks which he owed for the marriage of Green’s younger daughter, Elizabeth; and the latter’s sister, Joan, received a dower which enabled her to marry Sir Ralph Salisbury of Ruthin. All Green’s surviving children did well for themselves. Alice, the youngest, became the wife of John Holgrave, a future baron of the Exchequer, while Sir Robert, who inherited the family estates, became a knight of the body to Edward IV and, like his father, represented Middlesex in Parliament.12

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.

Notes

  • 1. Green’s family tree is given in Mdx. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxv), 79, but although other evidence supports the chronology of his marriages and the number of his surviving children (PCC 15 Stockton; CP25(1)293/70/274; Essex Feet of Fines, iii. 261), his own and his wives’ parentage cannot now be verified. It appears, however, that Robert Warner was in some way related to Green’s second wife (Cart. St. Bartholomew’s Hosp. ed. Kerling, 1143-4), so he may have been her father. Green had two other children, not named in this pedigree, Philip and Margaret, who predeceased him on 16 Sept. 1442 (Trans. London and Mdx. Arch. Soc. iv. 257). It has been assumed that they were the issue of his first marriage.
  • 2. Reg. Chichele, ii. 531.
  • 3. C219/10/6, 11/4, 7, 12/2, 5-6, 13/1, 3, 14/2-3, 15/1