HODYNGTON, Thomas, of Huddington, Worcs.
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Family and Education
Verderer, Feckenham forest, Worcs. bef. 20 June 1393.
Commr. of array, Worcs. Dec. 1399, Sept. 1403; inquiry Jan. 1414 (lollards).
Sheriff, Worcs. 29 Nov. 1402-20 Feb. 1403.
Hodyngton was a minor in 1350, but must have come of age well before 1375, when he first presented to the church of Batsford in Gloucestershire. His inheritance included the manor of Huddington in Worcestershire, held by his family since the late 13th century and entailed in 1390 on his issue by Joan Thurgrim, salt wells in Droitwich, in the same county, and lands in Broad Campden and Morton (Gloucestershire) and Little Tarrington (Herefordshire).1
In May 1380 Hodyngton enlisted with Thomas Throckmorton* in the retinue of Sir William Windsor for service in France, but his career was not to be spent as a soldier, for he had trained to be a lawyer. Like Throckmorton he soon became one of the circle of legal advisors and retainers surrounding Thomas Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, and in 1386 he stood surety at the Worcestershire elections for two of their number, the lawyer Henry Bruyn* and Warwick’s highly trusted councillor, Sir Nicholas Lilling*. Hodyngton gave his lord staunch support throughout the period when, as one of the Appellants, Warwick shared control of the government. His removal from his post as verderer of Feckenham in June 1393, ‘for causes specially moving the King and Council’, coincided with the dismissal from their posts of Alexander Besford* and William Spernore*, both of whom were also of Warwick’s affinity, and there can be little doubt that their disgrace was a direct consequence of Richard II’s growing hostility to the earl and of the latter’s quarrel with the King’s uncle, John of Gaunt. Hodyngton was also connected with Bishop Wakefield of Worcester, from whom he held his principal manor, being named in March 1395 along with his father-in-law, Richard Thurgrim, as an executor of the bishop’s will. In June they and their fellows paid a fine of £100 to secure royal pardon for the separate sums of 280 marks and £200 demanded from them at the Exchequer as owing from the diocese since the time of Wakefield’s predecessor. It was no doubt Hodyngton’s knowledge of the law which made him a sensible choice for the executorship of wills, and he was in demand in this respect.2
Following Warwick’s imprisonment in 1397, Hodyngton prudently purchased a royal pardon for everything he had done in derogation of the King’s majesty as a follower of the Lords Appellant. It was only after Richard II’s deposition and the earl’s rehabilitation that he was appointed to royal commissions; and during the minority of Earl Richard he was summoned to attend the great council of August 1401, and acted for a few months, in 1402-3, as sheriff of Worcestershire, an office normally held by the earls of Warwick in fee. He may have been selected for the post because of his continuing connexion with the Beauchamps: he was then legal advisor to Earl Thomas’s widow, in 1401-2 receiving £1 6s.8d.as his fee as an apprentice-at-law and in 1403-4 the sum of £2 for acting as a member of the countess’s council. Among others who required Hodyngton’s services were Sir John Russell* of Strensham, formerly master of the horse and councillor to Richard II, who in 1405 named him as an executor of his will. In the following year Hodyngton married his elder daughter, Agnes, to Sir John’s eldest son and heir, William Russell*. That was the year (1406) of Hodyngton’s only known election to Parliament. He later attended the Worcestershire elections of 1413 (May) and 1421 (Dec.).3
The date of Hodyngton’s death is not known, but his place of burial was almost certainly Huddington church, where stained-glass windows subsequently bore the inscription ‘orate pro anima Thomae Hodyngton’, along with armorial devices recording marriages into his family. In 1427 his widow sold to John Throckmorton* lands which had once belonged to her father in Thorndon and Wolverton, Worcestershire.