HUGFORD, Sir William (d.1404), of Apley, Salop and Wilden, Beds.
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Family and Education
?s. of William Hugford of Middleton, Salop. m. by 1388, Margery (1354-8 Aug. 1408), da. and h. of Sir James Pavenham of Wilden by Katherine, da. of Walter Trailly, 2s. (1 d.v.p.), 1da. Kntd. by 1385.
Tax collector, Salop Oct. 1380, Mar. 1404.
Commr. of array, Salop Apr. 1385, Mar. 1392, Dec. 1399, Aug. 1402, Sept. 1403; oyer and terminer June 1390, Feb. 1403; inquiry Feb. 1391 (murder), Dec. 1391 (alienations, Wenlock priory), Salop, Staffs. July 1393 (false weights); gaol delivery, Shrewsbury castle Feb. 1392; to collect an aid, Salop Dec. 1401; make proclamation of Henry IV’s intention to govern well May 1402.
J.p. Salop 24 Dec. 1390-1, 12 Nov. 1397-d.
Sheriff, Salop 5 Dec. 1391-18 Oct. 1392, 1 Dec. 1396-3 Nov. 1397, 24 Nov. 1400-8 Nov. 1401.
Escheator, Salop, Staffs. and the marches 24 Oct. 1392-24 Nov. 1394.
Hugford may have been a minor at the death of his presumed father, another William, in about 1380, and made ward to Sir Thomas Astley. If so, it must have been the father who presented to the church at Stockton (Shropshire) in 1369 and 1379, obtained episcopal licences to hear mass at Apley in the 1370s, and was engaged in lawsuits over family property at Higford in the same period. The Hugfords were lords of Apley, on the Severn to the north of Bridgnorth, where their estate included parks, woods, mills and a fishery. That our MP was a landowner of substance is also suggested by his tenure from the earl of Arundel of knights’ fees valued at 40 marks a year.1 To his estates in Shropshire Hugford added property in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire through his marriage to Margery Pavenham, who at the age of five on her father’s death in 1360 had inherited the manors of Wilden and Carlton. She proved her age in 1370 and married Hugford some time before 1388, but they did not obtain possession of the advowson of Wilden until the death of Margery’s uncle, Edmund, to whom her father had given it, in 1390. Twelve years later Margery inherited the holdings of Reynold Trailly, her great-nephew, which included two parts of the manors of Ravensden or ‘Trailly’s’ and Wootton Hoo, in Bedfordshire, and land in Cambridgeshire, but their value had been considerably depleted by life annuities charged on them by Margery’s nephew, Sir John Trailly. However, Wilden, where in the 1360s the manor-house had been ruinous and half the land fallow or barren, evidently recovered value over the years, and by the time of Margery’s death her properties were worth an estimated £20 13s.4d. a year.2
Hugford also secured for himself a profitable wardship. In May 1381 David Holgrave leased to him for 40 marks a year custody of two-thirds of the lands in Shropshire once belonging to Sir Walter Baskerville which had been granted to Holgrave himself by the King. The transfer of the wardship was confirmed to him by royal letters patent in 1383, by which time the heir was Thomas Fouleshurst, who also stood to inherit estates in Herefordshire and Cheshire. Hugford continued to hold the wardship until Fouleshurst came of age seven years later. In the meantime he had acted as a trustee of the substantial Shropshire estates belonging to Sir Richard Ludlow, his fellow MP in the Merciless Parliament of 1388. Quite how much importance should be attached to Hugford’s service at sea in the retinue of his feudal overlord Richard, earl of Arundel, in the year before that Parliament was to meet, is difficult to ascertain. It should be noted, however, that Hugford’s career with regard to royal employment was neither favourably affected when Arundel came to power, nor, apparently, adversely affected by his fall and execution in 1397 (at which time Hugford was holding office as sheriff of Shropshire for the second term). True, he saw fit to take out a royal pardon in May 1398, after the Shrewsbury Parliament, but he was re-appointed to the bench in the following autumn. Hugford was far more closely associated with the family of Lord Strange of Knockin: in 1396 he had stood surety at the Exchequer for Sir Roger Strange*,3 and he was clearly well informed about the affairs of Sir Roger’s brother, Lord John, for in 1402 he and Sir John Strange* of Norfolk made known to Prince Henry of Wales the details of trusts set up by Lord Strange during his lifetime in order that his debts should be paid, his daughters married and his sons supported. As a result the prince granted them custody of the Strange estates during the minority of the heir, on condition that they fulfilled the terms of the original enfeoffments. Under Henry IV Hugford continued to be appointed to royal commissions, notably those of the peace, and he served another term as sheriff. He was one of four men from Shropshire summoned to attend the great council of August 1401, and a year later he was associated with a fellow councillor, Sir Adam Peshale*, in being made responsible for raising the shire levies to join Henry of Monmouth’s army in Wales.4
Hugford died shortly before 28 Nov. 1404. One of his sons had predeceased him in London three years previously, so the other, William, inherited his estates. However, the latter did not survive for long; and on the death of Sir William’s widow in 1408 the combined Hugford and Pavenham properties escheated to the Crown during the minority of her grand daughter, Margery, then aged two. The wardship and Margery’s marriage were granted to Sir Humphrey Stafford II* for the large payment of 400 marks, but Margery was also fated to die young, with the consequence that her inheritance passed in 1413 to her aunt, Alice, wife of (Sir) Thomas Lucy*.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 4), x. 190; Reg. Stretton (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. ser. 2, viii), 52, 70, 78; ibid. (x. pt. 2), 201, 209; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xiii. 123; Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 130; CAD, iv. A7471; v. A10805, 11542; CIMisc. vi. 236.
- 2. CIPM, ix. 181; x. 580; xiii. 64; xvi. 826; Peds. Plea Rolls, 173; VCH Beds. iii. 50, 221, 224, 330; CFR, xii. 155; CCR, 1399-1401, p. 531; 1402-5, p. 6 (where his wife is called Elizabeth in error); C137/32/37, 72/39.
- 3. C67/30 m. 24; CPR, 1381-5, pp. 220, 228, 324; CIPM, xv. 691-2; xvi. 1010; CCR, 1381-5, p. 287; 1389-92, p. 238; DKR, xxxvi. 188; CFR, xi. 184; E101/41/5.
- 4. PPC, i. 162; DKR, xxxvi. 457; CPR, 1401-5, p. 138.
- 5. CFR, xii. 265; xiii. 115-16; xiv. 49; PCC 1 Marche; CAD, iv. A8347; CPR, 1408-13, pp. 52-53; C137/72/39.