HASILDEN, Thomas II (d.c.1404), of Guilden Morden, Cambs.
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Family and Education
Duchy of Lancaster steward of Soham, Cambs. by 1392-20 June 1403.1
Commr. to take custody of a royal ward, Beds., Bucks. Apr. 1393; survey the estates forfeited by Abp. Arundel of Canterbury, the duke of Gloucester and the earls of Arundel and Warwick, Cambs., Hunts., Norf., Suff. Oct. 1397; seize the estates of Sir Thomas Mortimer, Norf., Suff. Oct. 1397; of inquiry, Cambs. Apr. 1401 (poaching on crown lands), May 1401 (arson); to make proclamation of Henry IV’s intention to govern well May 1402; of array Aug. 1402.
J.p. Cambs. 22 July 1397-Nov. 1399, 16 May 1401-d.
Sheriff, Cambs. and Hunts. 22 Aug. 1399-24 Nov. 1400.
Tax collector, Cambs. Mar. 1404.
The younger Thomas Hasilden appears to have spent his boyhood on his father’s estates at Steeple Morden and Guilden Morden, and he is first recorded, in 1380, as standing surety in Chancery for certain men from that locality involved in a lawsuit. Following his father’s death in about 1387, he does not seem to have inherited a substantial share in the family property, although he did join his elder brother, Richard, and their stepmother, Joan, in the purchase of ‘Avenels’ in Guilden Morden and the manor and advowson of Clopton. He and Richard were always on the best of terms and were frequently associated both in their local activities and in an official capacity. Nevertheless, Thomas did manage to forge an independent career of his own, establishing certain connexions which his brother lacked. Thus, for example, in March 1388 he stood surety at the Exchequer for the widow of Sir John Chalers, who had died while attending the Merciless Parliament. His father’s long service to John of Gaunt no doubt explains his own entry, before May 1390, into the household of the duke’s son and heir, Henry of Bolingbroke, earl of Derby, from whom he was then receiving a daily wage. As Henry’s esquire, he later enjoyed a life annuity of £10 paid by the earl’s receiver-general. It was, of course, to John of Gaunt that, before Thomas was first returned to Parliament in 1395, he owed his appointment as duchy steward of Soham. But obviously, since he continued to hold the post for ten years or more, he owed re-appointment to Bolingbroke. Probably because of the latter’s position as a seeming supporter of Richard II in the Parliament of September 1397, which Hasilden attended as a Member of the Commons for the third time running, he was made one of the surveyors of the estates forfeited, after Parliament had passed judgement, by the chief of the King’s erstwhile enemies in the crisis of 1387-8. Evidently, however, he himself had some sympathy for at least one of the followers of those condemned, for in November he provided securities in Chancery for William Marney*, a retainer of Joan, countess of Hereford, sister of the recently executed earl of Arundel. But then Joan was mother-in-law of Henry of Bolingbroke. Following Henry’s fall from grace a few months later, Hasilden thought it prudent to purchase a royal pardon, doing so in June 1398. During the period of his lord’s exile he continued to perform the duties of a j.p. in Cambridgeshire. But otherwise it would seem that his position was now somewhat insecure: while on his way to the shire town to hold sessions of the peace in January 1399, he was assaulted by an armed gang led by a certain warrener who had long borne a grudge against him and other members of his family.2
Shortly after Henry of Bolingbroke returned in triumph to the capital and took control of the government, and even before Richard II was formally deposed, Thomas Hasilden was appointed to the shrievalty of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. He was thus in a position to endorse the election of his brother to Henry’s first Parliament. On 26 Oct., while Parliament was in session, Thomas offered mainprise at the Exchequer for the new King’s councillor, Master Henry Bowet (then granted custody of Minting priory), and on the very next day he was himself given the keeping of the manor of Fen Stanton, Huntingdonshire, forfeited by Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk. A month later he returned for cancellation the letters patent by which Henry, some time before his accession, had granted him his £10 annuity, only to receive in exchange another of 40 marks charged on the duchy of Lancaster lands in Norfolk. At the very same time his brother Richard was similarly retained for life. As a ‘King’s esquire’, Thomas was commissioned in July 1400 to requisition horses for unspecified business