HAKLUYT, Leonard (c.1352-1413), of Herefs. and Grove in South Brent, Som.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b.c.1352, s. of Sir Edmund Hakluyt† of Longford, Herefs. by Emma, wid. of John Berenger of Shipton Bellinger, Hants. m. by 1394, Margaret (d.1414), da. and h. of Sir John Longeland† of Grove in South Brent, prob. s.p. Kntd. by 1389.1
J.p. Herefs. July 1389-June 1394, May 1401-Feb. 1407.
Commr. to arrest adherents of Walter Brut, Herefs. Sept. 1393; make proclamation of Henry IV’s intention to govern well May 1402; of inquiry Jan. 1403 (murder), western counties Jan. 1405 (trade with Welsh rebels), Som., Dorset June 1406 (concealments), Som. Aug. 1409 (concealment of forfeited lands), Bristol July 1411 (wastes at St. John’s hospital); to raise royal loans, Som. Aug. 1409; assess a tax, Herefs. Jan. 1412.
Escheator, Herefs. and adjacent march 8 Nov. 1401-14 Feb. 1402.
Sheriff, Herefs. 14 Feb.-29 Nov. 1402, 15 Nov. 1408-5 Feb. 1409.
Tax collector, Herefs. Mar. 1404.
The Hakluyt family was of Welsh descent, having originated in Radnorshire, but by the time of Leonard’s birth in about 1352 it had long been established in Herefordshire. His own landed property is difficult to trace in its entirety. In Herefordshire he is known to have held an estate at Stoke Edith, just east of Hereford, and he may also have owned the manor of Lower Venn, north of the city, as well as premises at Longford, near Leominster. At his death he possessed (unspecified) lands in Worcestershire. Outside the marches he had estates in Somerset and Dorset worth £66 13s.4d. p.a. (in 1412), including the manor of Oldland and property in Shepton Mallet and Broadmayne. His marriage brought him further holdings in the south-west, namely the manor of Grove in South Brent, Somerset, and properties at Degembris, Tremough and Carvath, in Cornwall.2
Hakluyt’s career began in the service of the Mortimers, to whom he appears to have been a highly valued servant. In February 1380 he received royal letters of protection as about to accompany Edmund, earl of March, to Ireland, where the latter had been appointed King’s lieutenant. Evidently, he took an active part in Edmund’s Irish campaigns, for in September 1381 the earl granted him, as his esquire, an annuity of £10 for life from the manors of Erith and Swanscombe, Kent. Edmund died at Cork three months later, but Hakluyt (as nothing is known of his activities in England at this time) may have remained in Ireland in the service of Sir Thomas Mortimer, deputy of Roger, the young heir to the earldom.3Even so, he had returned to England by 1385 when he was first elected to Parliament. He sat again in the Merciless Parliament of 1388, but to what extent he was directly involved in the political upheavals of this time is unknown. He did, however, act as a surety at the Exchequer for Elizabeth, widow of Sir Thomas Trivet, one of the knights of Richard II’s chamber, who died as the result of a fall from his horse in October 1388, while still facing charges of treason in the Parliament then in session at Cambridge. Hakluyt apparently guaranteed that she would produce all accounts and pay all arrears relating to her husband’s offices (he had once been an admiral) and in June 1389 she entered into a recognizance, upon penalty of £2,000, that she would do so. It was a month later that Sir Leonard was first appointed to the Herefordshire commission of the peace. Being still attached to the Mortimer interest, in September 1394 he again went to Ireland, this time in the retinue of Earl Roger, who had now come of age and been appointed lieutenant there. March remained abroad until January 1398, but Hakluyt clearly returned before then, for in July 1397 he was acting as the earl’s attorney in England. Furthermore, in the same month March granted him (in addition to the pension awarded in 1381 and again for life) a new annuity of £20, drawn from the manor of Much Marcle, Herefordshire. After a short visit home, the earl went back to Ireland in March 1398, leaving Hakluyt once more to do duty as his attorney. March was killed at Trim in July, and the Mortimer estates reverted to the Crown during the minority of his heir. However, in the following November Hakluyt received royal confirmation of both his annuities, and this was repeated in March 1399 when the lands were granted in dower to Roger’s widow, Eleanor. When, in April 1400, Sir Leonard put part of his own holdings (namely those at Stoke Edith) in the hands of feoffees, these included two other Mortimer retainers, (Sir) Kynard de la Bere* and Philip Holgot*.4
On the accession of Henry IV, Hakluyt’s patrons the Mortimers (as the declared heirs of Richard II) became a focus of opposition to the new dynasty. How far this affected his career is unknown, but there is no record of any official employment given him between 1399 and July 1401, when he was among those summoned to a great council which was to be held at Westminster in the following month. By this time the Welsh were in revolt under Owen Glendower, and Sir Leonard, as sheriff of Herefordshire during most of 1402, must have been much involved in the campaigns against them. Moreover, when, in November 1402, Sir Edmund Mortimer, uncle of the young earl of March, went over to Glendower, Hakluyt remained loyal to the Crown and in October 1403 he was one of those empowered to receive into the King’s peace the Welsh rebels of Radnorshire, Breconshire and Monmouthshire. Nevertheless, he continued his connexion with the main line of the Mortimers, and in the following month he gave up one of his annuities for the support of the late Earl Roger’s daughters. He may well have been acting as a Mortimer receiver at this time, for in April 1404 he was ordered to hand over to the Crown such forfeited rents of the traitor Sir Edmund as were then in his keeping. On 30 Oct. following, while attending the Parliament at Coventry, he was granted a royal lease of the Mortimer manors of Marden and Much Marcle. Six months later he was commissioned to take the musters of the royal garrisons of certain castles in southern and central Wales.5
Hakluyt’s fourth return to Parliament, in 1404, had been for Somerset, and it was there that he apparently spent much of his later life, probably at the manor of Grove in South Brent, where both he and his wife were to draw up their wills. Between 1405 and his death he sat on royal commissions relating to the south-western counties but (possibly because of a continuing link with the Mortimers) he also remained influential in Herefordshire, where he was again made sheriff in November 1408. This term of office was, however, cut short in February following, when he was for some reason thought to have died and his executors were ordered to hand over all relevant accounts to a successor. In point of fact he was to live on for several more years. In 1410 he was a beneficiary of the will of (Sir) Thomas Clanvowe (his fellow MP for Herefordshire in 1394), who left him a gilt cup ‘for gret truste that y have in his socoureyng and helpe of my wife at here nede’. He made his own will on 3 Aug. 1413, and was dead within a week.6
Sir Leonard’s testament is a long and interesting document, reflecting his position as a notable figure both in the Welsh march and the south-west. He requested burial at the Franciscan church at Bridgwater, to which he left £20. Further legacies went to the parish churches of South and East Brent, Somerset, and Lugwardine and Much Marcle, Herefordshire, as well as to the friars at Hereford, Ludlow, Bristol and Bridgwater and the Carthusians at Witham and Henton. Five pounds each was donated to the confraternities of the Holy Trinity at York and of the Palmers at Ludlow (provided they would admit his widow). Similar sums were to be devoted to the repair of roads in Brent and to the construction of a causeway near Longford. In all, Sir Leonard’s monetary bequests (including gifts to servants and friends) totalled more than £250. His executors included his widow, Margaret, and Richard Pecock, rector of Shepton Mallet. The former, having retired to the Franciscan house at Bridgwater, survived her husband by only a year, dying between 29 July and 11 Aug. 1414.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Authors: Charles Kightly
Variants: Hackluith, Hacklut, Hakelot.
- 1. CIPM, xv. 241-2; Yr. Bk. 1389-90, ed. Plucknett, 160-6; Coll. Top. et Gen. i. 244; Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, 108; CCR, 1385-9, p. 679.
- 2. J. Leland, Itin. ed. Toulmin Smith, ii. 75; CIPM, xiii. 167; xv. 241-2; Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. (NLW 1955), iii. 301; PCC 27 Marche; CFR, xiv. 2; CPR, 1377-81, p. 403; 1391-6, p. 354; SC6/1160/4 m. 5; Reg. Bowet (Som. Rec. Soc. xiii), 222; Som. Fines (ibid. xvii), 209; Feudal Aids, v., 250; vi. 424, 509; J. Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 540; Cornw. Feet of Fines (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. 1950), ii. 75, 109.
- 3. CPR, 1377-81, pp. 409, 445; 1381-5, pp. 119, 257, 330; CP, viii. 447-8; G.A. Holmes, Estates of Higher Nobility, 60-63.
- 4. CCR, 1385-9, p. 679; R.H. Jones, R. Policy Ric. II, 45, 54, 132-5; T.F. Tout, Chapters, iii. 435, 452; CPR, 1391-6, p. 481; 1396-9, pp. 186, 349, 355-6, 452, 457; CP, viii. 448-50; Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. iii. 301.