HARNAGE, Hugh, of Belswardyne and Sheinton, Salop.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Bridgnorth Sept. 1402-3.2
Escheator, Salop and the adjacent march 29 Nov. 1410-10 Dec. 1411, 17 Dec. 1426-12 Nov. 1427.
Commr. of inquiry, Salop Feb. 1412 (the death of Nicholas Smith at Halesowen), Feb., June 1413 (rights of common pasture in Morfe forest), Nov. 1424 (escape of felons from Shrewsbury).
J.p. Salop 28 May 1422-July 1424.
Sheriff, Salop 12 Nov. 1423-6 Nov. 1424.
Hugh’s surname was derived from a hamlet some seven miles south-east of Shrewsbury in the parish of Cound. His family had long been resident at Belswardyne near Much Wenlock, but obtained their interest in the manor of Sheinton only in 1371 when the young wife of Richard Harnage secured a third part of the manor which previously had belonged to her great-uncle, William Sheinton, clerk.3
The MP, a lawyer, is first heard of in 1400 when acting as attorney for the commonalty of Bridgnorth. Two years later he was associated with his counterpart from the town of Shrewsbury, Roger Thornes, when standing surety for an Exchequer lessee of lands; and that autumn both he and Thornes were returned to Parliament for their respective boroughs, Harnage being then bailiff of Bridgnorth. After his first escheatorship he was occasionally appointed to royal commissions in the county at large. He also became a regular participant at shire elections, being present at Shrewsbury castle for those preceding the Parliaments of 1413 (May), 1419, 1421 (Dec.) and 1423, and then at every one held up to 1437.4 Having been briefly appointed to the local bench, in 1423 he was made sheriff. In the meantime in September 1419, Harnage had witnessed at Eaton Mascott various transactions completed by Roger Thornes; and in the following year he was enfeoffed (in association with John Wynnesbury*) of lands at Oldbury near Bridgnorth. About this time he was also entrusted with the local property of John Bruyn*. The most important of his clients was probably Joan, Lady Beauchamp of Abergavenny, who, from 1426 if not earlier, paid him an annual fee of £2. By then the whole of the manor of Sheinton had come into his possession, for it was as ‘lord of Sheinton’ that in 1423 and 1428 he witnessed conveyances at nearby Leighton; and in 1431 the inquiry to assess liability to contribute to a royal aid found that Hugh Harnage ‘of Sheinton, gentleman’ held this manor of the duke of York. In May 1434 he was among the Shropshire gentry sworn not to maintain those who broke the peace. Following his appearance at the elections of 1437 nothing more is heard of him.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. CCR, 1369-74, p. 208. The pedigrees given in Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 215-16, and Harl. 5848, f. 10 are unreliable.
- 2. E372/248 m. 41d.
- 3. CCR, 1369-74, p. 208. J.B. Blakeway (Sheriffs Salop, 64) was wrong in assuming that Sheinton had been in the possession of the Harnage family since Hen. III’s reign; it was held by the Sheintons from before 1284 until 1366: Feudal Aids, iv. 215; CIPM, iv. 235; xii. 168.
- 4. CFR, xii. 157; E372/246 m. 43d, 247 m. 43d; C219/11/2, 12/3, 6, 13/2-5, 14/1-5, 15/1.
- 5. CCR, 1419-22, pp. 51, 57; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), ix. 405; xlvi. 14; Shrewsbury Lib. deeds 12879, 12886; Bodl. Blakeway ms, 18 f. 30. Feudal Aids, iv. 252, 267; SC11/25; CPR, 1429-36, p. 408. According to H.T. Weyman (Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 4), v. 34) Harnage was still alive in 1452 when he sold his lands in Bridgnorth and ‘Erdington’ to John Bruyn. This is most unlikely. Hugh Harnage, the escheator for Shropshire in 1464-5, 1469-70 and 1471, may have been this Hugh’s son. He was a member of the royal household at the time of his death in 1471; C140/37/37.