HAWKSTONE, George, of Hawkstone, Salop.

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

Constituency

Dates

Jan. 1404

Family and Education

gds. of Richard Hawkstone of Hawkstone and ?s. of Robert Hawkstone of Silvington, Salop. m. 1s. ?1da.

Offices Held

Tax collector, Salop Jan. 1392.

Escheator, Salop and the marches 3 Nov. 1412-10 Nov. 1413, 30 Nov. 1417-4 Nov. 1418.

Commr. of inquiry, Salop Nov. 1413 (franchises in Morfe forest), Flints. July 1428 (claims to Mold castle); array, Salop May 1418; arrest Nov. 1433.

Sheriff, Salop 30 Nov. 1416-10 Nov. 1417.

J.p. Salop 17 Mar. 1419-Dec. 1420, 12 Feb. 1422-July 1423.

Biography

Hawkstone inherited the family properties at Hawkstone and Silvington in about 1390, but six years later he granted them and all his other lands in Shropshire to Elizabeth, widow of Nicholas, Lord Audley, and others. The purpose of the transaction is unclear, although it may have been to pay off debts to Lady Audley; certainly in 1403 her executors sued Hawkstone for the sum of £20. Our MP’s precise relationship to the Hawkstones of Wrinehill, Staffordshire, and in particular to Sir John Hawkstone (notorious for the murder of William Lacon, one of Henry of Bolingbroke’s followers, at the time of the Parliament of 1397 (Sept.)), is not known, but it was unquestionably a close connexion for he was named by Sir John as an executor of his will.1

Hawkstone served on a royal commission in 1392, but there then followed a gap of 20 years before his next appointment to office, as escheator. In the meantime, he often appeared on juries at sessions of the peace in Shropshire, and he was to be a regular elector at the shire elections, being present at those of 1413 (May), 1417 (when as sheriff he himself held the elections), 1420, 1421 (May), 1423, 1425, 1427, 1429, 1432 and 1435.2

In the Hilary term of 1419 Hawkstone stood bail for the prior of Wenlock, who had been accused in the King’s bench, by an approver, of counterfeiting, treason and abettment of the lollard leader, Sir John Oldcastle*. Another connexion with Oldcastle was similarly indirect: on 17 Feb. that same year Hawkstone was associated with Richard Colfox, a Cheshire man who had been involved in Oldcastle’s rising five years before but had escaped execution by procuring a pardon. Now, they stood surety in 500 marks for Hugh Cholmondley, one of the parties in another lawsuit. During his escheatorship of Shropshire in the previous year, Hawkstone had been responsible for taking custody for the Crown of the estates of Gilbert, late Lord Talbot, whose daughter and heiress was a minor. On 22 Feb. 1419 these properties were actually awarded to him at the Exchequer on a lease, only for him to relinquish them five months later. Hawkstone may have already belonged to the Talbot affinity; certainly by 1427 he was serving Lord Gilbert’s brother and successor, John (afterwards earl of Shewsbury), as a councillor, and his own son John later enlisted for Talbot’s campaigns in France.3

Hawkstone was sometimes called upon to witness local deeds, doing so, for example, for Thomas Whitton*. In 1425 he was party, as a feoffee, to Richard Fox’s* sale to William Burley* of his manors in Shropshire, and three years later he witnessed Burley’s acquisition of other properties. In 1434 he was among the gentry of the county required to take oath not to condone maintenance of those who broke the King’s peace. Meanwhile, in the previous year, he had conveyed land in Larden to Richard de la Mare and his wife Agnes, who may have been his daughter. Hawkstone is last recorded in July 1438 when he obtained a pardon of outlawry for