HASILDEN, Richard (d.1405), of Steeple Morden and Guilden Morden, Cambs.

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



Family and Education

1st. s. of Thomas Hasilden I* by his 1st w.; bro. of Thomas II*. m. (1) by May 1379, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir Stephen Turberville of Shillingstone, Dorset and Little Chesterford, Essex, 1s.; (2) bef. June 1400, Margaret, s.p.

Offices Held

Commr. of array, Cambs. Mar. 1392, Sept. 1403; to proclaim Henry IV’s intention to govern well May 1402.

Duchy of Lancaster steward of Sutton, Cambs. 1394-5.1

Tax collector, Cambs. Mar. 1404.

Sheriff, Beds. and Bucks. 22 Oct. 1404-d.


Richard was apparently the elder of the two sons of the controller of John of Gaunt’s household. Through his first marriage, which was arranged by his father in 1379 when the bride, Elizabeth Turberville, was still under age, he acquired the manors of Shillingstone in Dorset and Little Chesterford in Essex, thus gaining an independent income of some substance, for the Dorset property alone was worth as much as £40 a year.2 When his father died, in about 1387, he seems to have inherited the bulk of the family property in Cambridgeshire, although it was in partnership with his brother, Thomas, and their stepmother, Joan, that he added to the Hasilden holdings the manor of ‘Avenels’ in Guilden Morden (in about 1390) and also purchased a substantial estate at Clopton. In 1393 he and Thomas, as joint patrons of the living at Clopton, presented to the rectory their cousin, Hugh Hasilden*, who was to make his home on the family’s manor at Goldington Bury in Bedfordshire.3

In December 1387 Richard and Thomas Hasilden had been required to furnish securities in Chancery that they would keep the peace towards one Thomas Wolston; the brothers stood surety on each other’s behalf. In view of their father’s long service to the duke of Lancaster, it is not surprising that young Thomas joined the household staff employed by Lancaster’s son Henry of Bolingbroke, earl of Derby, nor that Richard should also have had dealings with the earl, to whom, incidentally, he sold two carriage horses in 1392. Richard’s appointment by John of Gaunt as steward of the duchy manor of Sutton may well have preceded his first election to Parliament in 1394. The brothers’ dispute with Thomas Wolston, about which nothing more is heard, was merely the forerunner of a number of local quarrels they had a hand in fomenting. In 1395 they and their cousin Hugh fell into serious trouble with the King’s Council for evicting the wealthy London goldsmith, Adam Bamme*, from a manor he had bought in Horseheath. In May the leading disputants were each bound in £1,000 to accept an award to be made by none other than the chancellor, Archbishop Arundel, but the Hasildens prejudiced their case by once more taking possession of the manor by force, with the result that in August a royal commission was set up to remove them and re-instate Bamme. Both brothers were present in the ‘Clock House’ of the palace of Westminster in May 1396 when, on the same chancellor’s orders, Alan St. Just, then under arrest for certain misprisions, was searched for contraband gold and silver and 22 gold marks were removed from his possession, but how the Hasildens had come to have an interest in this particular affair is not revealed.4

Richard Hasilden acted as mainpernor for his brother Thomas at the Cambridgeshire elections to the Parliament of January 1397. They were both of them unpopular with certain sections of the local community: on two separate occasions, first at Haddenham (in the Isle of Ely) in May 1398, and then when they were riding from Coveney towards Cambridge in January 1399, a warrener named Richard Smalpas, at the head of a gang some 50 or 60 strong, laid an ambush with the intention of killing them. Whether this animosity had anything to do with their positions as officials in the duchy of Lancaster is unclear; but the fact that they both took out royal pardons in the summer of 1398 was almost certainly because of their connexion with the disgraced Henry of Bolingbroke, and it can hardly have been coincidental that when Thomas, as sheriff by Bolingbroke’s appointment, held the parliamentary elections for Cambridgeshire in 1399 he returned his brother Richard to the assembly which acclaimed their lord as King. On 27 Oct., while the Parliament was in session, both Hasildens secured Exchequer leases of certain of the forfeited Mowbray estates, Richard’s grant giving him custody of the manor of Great Chesterford, which lay close to his wife’s property in Essex. Then, in the week following the dissolution, they were granted life annuities of 40 marks each, charged on the Norfolk estates of the duchy of Lancaster. When, in August 1401, a number of commoners from each county were summoned to attend a great council, Richard and his brother were among those chosen from Cambridgeshire. However, it was Richard alone who was associated with Sir Payn Tiptoft*, a knight of the King’s chamber, in receiving letters from King Henry in October 1402 requesting the levy of a benevolence in the county. Both brothers were summoned to another great council about a year later. But neither of them joined Henry IV’s army on its march into Wales, which as royal retainers they were under obligation to do. Fortunately, however, the King was prepared to order, in February 1404, that the duchy annuities each enjoyed should be paid them notwithstanding.5

Richard died during his year in office as sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, probably only shortly before 11 Nov. 1405.6 In the following year his widow, Margaret, lost a major lawsuit brought in the court of common pleas by the coheirs of the estates of the late Sir Baldwin Berford, who challenged her right to hold the manor and advowson of Clopton for life under the terms of a settlement made in 1400, the claimants’ case resting on much earlier entails made long before the Hasildens had purchased the property. Margaret was still living in 1418.7 Richard’s heir was his first wife’s son, Thomas (b.1386), whose wardship and marriage were granted by the Crown in 1406 to William Asenhill*, the husband of Richard’s stepmother. However, soon after coming of age Thomas lost his wits, and, following his death in about 1410, the family estates were split up between Isabel, his widow, Asenhill and Hugh Hasilden, all three of whom continued to derive some profit from them long after his infant son William (c.1410-1480) attained his majority.8

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Somerville, Duchy, i. 387.
  • 2. P. Morant, Essex, ii. 557; J. Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 445; CCR, 1377-81, p. 251; Essex Feet of Fines, iii. 202; Feudal Aids, vi. 423.
  • 3. VCH Cambs. viii. 34, 98-100, 102; Ely Diocesan Remembrancer, 1897, p. 193.
  • 4. CCR, 1385-9, p. 455; 1392-6, pp. 427, 516; Derby’s Expeds. (Cam. Soc. n.s. lii), 262; CPR, 1391-6, pp. 592, 614.
  • 5. C219/9/12, 10/1; SC8/214/10674; C67/30 m. 12; CFR, xii. 17; DL42/15, ff. 7, 184d; PPC, i. 158, 164; ii. 74, 76, 88.
  • 6. According to his post mortem, which was not held until a year later, in November 1406, he died on 11 Apr. 1405, but this date seems unlikely as no one was then appointed to replace him as sheriff: C137/52/9; CFR, xiii. 1.
  • 7. CP40/581 m. 120; Cambridge Antiq. Soc. xxxiii. 10, 19-21, 41; VCH Cambs. viii. 34; CP25(1)30/95/14.
  • 8. CFR, xiii. 60-61; CPR, 1408-13, p. 52; R.E. Chester Waters, Chesters of Chicheley, i. 213-14, 217; R. Newcourt, Repertorium, ii. 134; T. Blore, Rutland, 61; CCR, 1429-35, pp. 249-51.