JONET, William, of Hereford and 'Hulle' near Clifford, Herefs.
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Family and Education
Steward of the lordships of Brecknock, Hay, Huntington and Caldicot, Wales, and of the hundreds of Kingstone, Burghill, Cowarne, Bodenham and Stretford, Herefs. Oct. 1374-c.1380.
Commr. of oyer and terminer in the same lordships May 1377; arrest, Hereford Aug. 1386.
Steward of the lordships of Narberth, St. Clears, ‘Amcoyd’, ‘Pellenyank’, Mellenyth, Kerry, Knighton, Pilleth, Montgomery, Cedewain and Builth, and constable of Narberth and Maelienydd castles 16 Jan. 1382-c.1393.
J.p. Herefs. 1 Mar. 1384-c.1385.
Escheator, Glos., Herefs. and the adjacent marches of Wales 24 Nov. 1394-18 Nov. 1395.
In May 1368 Jonet was nominated one of the attorneys in England for Thomas Fitzreynald. He had little contact with Hereford affairs, but two years later was described as living there when he stood surety, in association with Stephen Lugwardine the local MP, for Walter Devereux†, an Exchequer lessee. That he was a good administrator, with possibly some legal training, is suggested by his crown appointment in October 1374 as steward of the lordships in the Welsh marches and of the Herefordshire estates which had belonged to Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford, during the minority of the latter’s elder daughter, Eleanor. While holding this office, in February 1376 Jonet secured a royal grant of the wardship of lands in Cantreselif, Breconshire, during the minority of a tenant of de Bohun’s, and in the autumn of the same year another of the custody of the alien priory of Titley, in the marches, for as long as the war with France continued. In May 1377 his judicial powers over the area of his stewardship were extended by a commission to hold inquiries touching all manner of crimes committed there, and to try both civil and criminal cases. In the same month Jonet found mainprise for Nicholas Prill†, then appointed alnager in Herefordshire. Later that year, he relinquished his keeping of Titley priory, quite willingly, for in October he stood surety for the new Exchequer lessee of the priory estates. He probably retained his office as steward of the de Bohun lordships in Herefordshire and the marches until June 1380 when the heiress, who had meanwhile married Thomas of Woodstock, Edward III’s youngest son, came of age.1
Little is known about Jonet’s private life, but in January 1381, when he acquired lands and a mill at Pembridge, Herefordshire, an associate was the lawyer Philip Holgot*. His interests centred more in the marches than in Hereford, for later that year he amortized a messuage and 100 acres of land in Hardwick to the Cluniac monastery at Clifford for the maintenance of the monks and the provision of daily services in their church. Besides owning these properties Jonet was a tenant of the earl of March in the manor of ‘Hulle’ near Clifford, then valued at £13 6s.8d. annually; and he may well have been resident there, rather than in Hereford, when he was returned to Parliament by the city for the first time. It was as ‘of Hereford’, however, that the following year he took out a royal pardon.2
Jonet’s influence in the border areas of Wales increased in January 1382 as a consequence of his appointment as steward of the Welsh lordships which had come into royal custody consequent upon the death of Philippa, widow of Roger Mortimer, 2nd earl of March (d.1360) and because of the minority of the 4th earl; and he gained added authority as constable of Narberth and Mellenyth castles, positions he probably continued to hold for the next ten years. In the meantime, in November 1382, he provided securities for the Exchequer lessees of certain of the Mortimer estates. Yet he maintained contact with the citizens of Hereford. In August 1386, along with the then mayor, he was commissioned to arrest 11 men who, having been retained by David Russell to embark for Ireland, had failed to do so. On 25 Apr. 1388, during the second session of the Merciless Parliament, to which he had been elected, Jonet was among those who u