HAY, Thomas de la (d.1440), of Arkstone in Kingstone and Urishay in Peterchurch, Herefs.
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Family and Education
s. of John de la Hay. m. Joan, 2s.1 (1 d.v.p.)
Commr. of arrest, Herefs. Apr. 1401; inquiry Jan. 1414 (lollards); array Apr. 1418, Mar. 1419.
Steward and constable of Monmouth and The Three Castles 26 Oct. 1416-19 May 1423.
J.p. Herefs. 14 Nov. 1416-d.
Escheator, Herefs. and adjacent march 4 Nov. 1418-19, 12 Nov. 1427-4 Nov 1428.
Steward of the duchy of Lancaster lands, Herefs. and Glos. 22 June 1420-19 May 1423, Ebbw, Mon. 18 May 1422-1 Oct. 1431.
Constable of Caldicot castle bef. June 1421-aft. Oct. 1422.2
Sheriff, Herefs. 4 Nov. 1433-3 Nov. 1434.
Thomas’s family estates included Urishay castle and other property in the parish of Peterchurch, on the Herefordshire border with Breconshire. He also held Arkstone (in the neighbouring parish of Kingstone) possibly in right of his wife. In February 1404 he became a feoffee of Sir John Chandos* for the manors of Fownhope, Wellington and Adzor, Herefordshire, and on Chandos’s death, in 1428, moieties of the last two manors passed to his own heirs.3
De la Hay is first mentioned in the records in 1401, when he was appointed to a royal commission to make an arrest. Like most of his neighbours, he took part in the suppression of Glendower’s revolt, serving in the autumn of 1405 with Sir Richard Arundel’s expedition against the rebels of South Wales. In April 1407 he became a feoffee of the Shropshire dower lands of Isabel, widow of Sir John Eynesford†, who had by then married Sir Richard de la Mare, and he was also linked with Sir Richard in other private transactions. Another of his associates was his immediate neighbour, John ap Harry, for whose attendance at Parliament he appeared as a surety in 1407, and of whose manor of Byford he was a feoffee.4
In February 1409 Thomas was one of ten Herefordshire esquires retained by Henry of Monmouth, prince of Wales, with an annual fee (paid until at least 1431) of ten marks, and three years later he shared a royal grant of the lands of a minor with John ap Harry and others. He was present at the Herefordshire elections to the Parliament of 1410, and was himself returned to the Parliament of May 1413, the first of Henry of Monmouth’s reign. He was again a county elector in 1414 (Nov.) (when he was a surety for the attendance of (Sir) John Skydemore), 1420 and 1421. Under Henry V, de la Hay became an important official of the duchy of Lancaster, holding the stewardships of Monmouth and of the duchy estates in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire; and in February 1421 he leased from the Exchequer land in Monmouthshire with two duchy colleagues, John Leventhorpe*, the receiver-general, and John ap Gwillym, receiver of Monmouth. In 1416, moreover, he became a j.p. for Herefordshire (an office he was to hold for the rest of his life), and he also served a term as local escheator.5
At the beginning of Henry VI’s reign, Thomas lost most of his duchy offices, but he retained his influence in his native county, which he again represented in 1423 and 1431. He also discharged office as sheriff and escheator, and attended the local parliamentary elections in 1425, 1426, 1427, 1429 and 1433. On several of these occasions his fellow electors included Thomas de la Hay, junior, of Hentland near Ross-on-Wye, a close relation though not a son. The two men were frequently associated: between 1430 and 1432 both were indicted before the court of King’s bench for leading their servants in assaults on various of their neighbours, and in June 1432 the older man offered securities when Thomas junior obtained a lease of the custody of the alien priory of Craswall, near Peterchurch. Both of them were, in May 1434, required to take the general oath that they would not support anyone who broke the peace.6
Little is known about the years immediately preceding de la Hay’s death on 2 Jan. 1440. His wife Joan outlived him, but his elder son, Richard (husband of Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas de la Barre*), was already dead. His heir, therefore, was his second son, Urian, born in 1410.7