HASILDEN, Hugh (d.c.1436), of Goldington Bury, Beds.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
s. of Roger Hasilden and nephew of Thomas Hasilden I*. m. 1s.
Rector, Clopton, Cambs. 10 Jan. 1393-Feb. 1401.
Commr. of inquiry, Hunts. Feb. 1402 (murder), Beds. Nov. 1421 (estates of Richard, Lord Scrope of Bolton), Nov. 1423 (obstruction of the highway at Wrestlingworth), Apr. 1431 (persons liable to pay taxes); array Apr. 1418, Mar. 1419; to raise royal loans Nov. 1419, Apr. 1421.
Steward of the duchy of Lancaster manor of Soham, Cambs. 20 June 1403-7 July 1404.1
J.p. Beds. 16 Nov. 1413-d.
Escheator, Beds. and Bucks. 4 Nov. 1418-23 Nov. 1419.
Hugh was a nephew of Thomas Hasilden, controller of the household of John of Gaunt, a Yorkshireman who in the years between 1369 and his death in about 1387 purchased several properties centred on the villages of Steeple Morden and Guilden Morden in Cambridgeshire, as well as the manor of Goldington Bury in Bedfordshire. As a poor relation (there were even rumours that his father was not of legitimate birth), Hugh’s material prospects were limited, yet his kinsmen proved generous to him: Goldington Bury came into his possession not long after his uncle’s death, and he seems to have acquired certain of the family lands in Yorkshire before the end of the 14th century. In his youth Hugh Hasilden was expected to follow a career in the Church, and early in 1393 his cousins Richard* and Thomas Hasilden II* presented him to the living at Clopton, a property they had recently purchased. Yet his calling in no way prevented him from becoming involved in disputes of a secular, even violent, nature. In 1395 the three cousins were engaged in a particularly acrimonious dispute with the London goldsmith, Adam Bamme*, over the ownership of a manor in Horseheath (Cambridgeshire). Hugh himself was partly responsible for the degree of ill-feeling shown on both sides, since he and his servants took the law into their own hands and tried to recover the manor by force. A royal commission of April that year demanded his arrest and appearance before the King’s Council, which in turn insisted that his two kinsmen should be bound over in securities of £1,000 as an earnest of their readiness to submit the quarrel to arbitration by no less a person than the chancellor of England. Perhaps it was such wordly concerns, or maybe a decision to marry, that caused Hugh to resign from the rectorship of Clopton in 1401, and to relinquish any ambitions of ecclesiastical preferment. The privileged position enjoyed by his two cousins as retainers of the new King Henry IV no doubt proved useful in bringing him to the attention of the government. He began to be appointed to royal commissions, and in 1403 he took over from his cousin Thomas the post of duchy of Lancaster steward of Soham (although he was not to keep it for long). Hugh Hasilden’s prospects changed even more dramatically following the premature deaths of both of his cousins before the autumn of 1405, for he then found himself in the position of head of the family during the minority of Richard’s son and heir. Anxious not to miss an opportunity of pursuing a personal claim to certain of the family estates, in 1406 he assisted Richard’s widow, Margaret, to defend her right to a life interest in the manor and advowson of Clopton and to certain other properties purchased by his late cousins. This lawsuit, which was brought in the court of common pleas by the coheirs of Sir Baldwin Berford, gave Hasilden the opportunity to assert that he himself was entitled to the reversion of the disputed property under the terms of a settlement made in 1400. However, the court finally ruled that a much earlier entail made by Berford’s father should be put into force. When, in December that year, while Hugh Hasilden’s only known Parliament was still in session, the wardship of the Hasilden heir was awarded to a fellow Member of the Commons, William Asenhill (who had married the widow of the young man’s grandfather), Hasilden stood surety on his behalf at the Exchequer.2
Asenhill was to retain several of the Hasilden properties for term of his life, but opportunities for enrichment were still open to Hugh Hasilden, since the heir went mad in 1408 and died about two years later, leaving an infant son, William, as sole representative of the main line of the family. During William’s minority, Hugh apparently established himself firmly in the old family lands in and near Wakefield, and he also took possession of ‘Avenels’ manor in Guilden Morden. In 1411, while he was still acting as executor of the wills of his uncle and two cousins, he and Asenhill found themselves at odds with the Crown as a result of its claim to certain estates at Steeple Morden and Litlington; however, they successfuly sued out a writ of supersedeas and thus prevented the King’s agents from evicting them. More than 20 years elapsed before young William came of age and required his kinsman to confirm him in possession of the bulk of his inheritance. He nevertheless agreed, perhaps under pressure, that Hugh might retain Goldington and the Yorkshire lands.3
Although he was returned to Parliament only once, Hasilden attended at least 13 of the Bedfordshire elections held between 1413 (May) and 1435, his name appearing at the head of the list of those who attested the returns of 1429, 1431 and 1435. Meanwhile, in 1409, he had been one of a small group of local landowners who obtained a licence from Henry IV for the endowment of the Augustinian house of Newnham in Bedfordshire with an estate in the Goldington area. At some point before 1416 he became involved in a lawsuit which he brought against a former employee for failing to render a proper account of revenues received. His life seems to have been interspersed with disagreements of one kind or another, although the next major disturbance did not occur until 1427, when he was once again summoned to appear before the royal council and ordered to accept judgement in a quarrel with Thomas Kempston I*, the mayor of Bedford, and the community of the town. This time, his demeanour left nothing to be desired and he was discharged the securities of £100 taken from him as a guarantee of good behaviour.4
Hasilden had by then been sitting for many years as a local j.p., and it is important to remember that, despite his rather truculent disposition, he was a man of some influence, with connexions in many parts of England. During his dispute with the people of Bedford, for example, he evidently enjoyed the support of John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, and John Holand, earl of Huntingdon, who, together with the lawyer, John Enderby*, began an action on his behalf against Thomas Kempston at the Bedfordshire sessions of 1428. Evidence of any long-term association between Hasilden and a baronial patron remains wanting, but he had other important contacts, most notably with Henry Chichele, archbishop of Canterbury, being actively involved in the foundation of his new college at Higham Ferrers in Northamptonshire. Hasilden was also on good terms with John Cheyne* of Chenies, for whom he witnessed various deeds, and the Kentish landowner, William Edward. Another of his closest friends was Sir Thomas Brownflete who, like him, had interests in both Bedfordshire and Yorkshire. One of Henry IV’s most distinguished courtiers (he was treasurer of the Household by 1409), Brownflete made his will in 1427, naming Hasilden as an executor and rewarding him with £5 in cash, a vestment of black damask, and a chasuble and alb.5
Following the general settlement of the Hasilden estates in 1433, in which Hugh was confirmed in his possession of Goldington, he lived on to be included among the Bedfordshire gentry who, in May 1434, were required to take the general oath that they would not support persons breaking the peace; and he was also able to attend the parliamentary elections held at Bedford in August 1435. He must, however, have died well before May 1437, at which date his son and heir, Thomas, had already disposed of his Yorkshire lands. Thomas seems to have inherited his father’s belligerent characteristics, for he was involved in the Bedford riots of 1439, as a retainer of Lord Fanhope.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. DL42/15, f. 37d. He was replaced by Sir John Tiptoft*.
- 2. Cambridge Antiq. Soc. Procs. xxxiii. 10, 19, 20, 21, 41; CP40/581 m. 120; VCH Beds. iii. 204; CPR, 1391-6, pp. 592, 614; VCH Cambs. viii. 34; CFR, xiii. 60-61; CCR, 1392-6, p. 408.
- 3. CP25(1)6/74/17; Feudal Aids, i. 45, 190; vi. 393; CCR, 1409-13, pp. 182-3; 1429-35, pp. 249-50; VCH Cambs. viii. 98-100, 102; CIMisc. vii. 427.
- 4. C219/11/1, 12/2, 4-6, 13/1, 3-4, 14/1-5; C143/440/12; VCH Beds. iii. 216; CPR, 1408-13, p. 57; 1413-16, p. 217; PPC, iii. 280-1.
- 5. Corporation of London RO, hr 141/76; Reg. Chichele, ii. 456-7; Feudal Aids, i. 45; VCH Beds. iii. 182; CCR, 1429-35, pp. 59-60; R.E. Archer, ‘The Mowbrays’ (Oxf. Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 1984), 258-62.
- 6. CPR, 1429-36, p. 374; 1436-41, p. 246; CCR, 1429-35, pp. 249-51; 1435-41, p. 120.