MANDEVILLE, Thomas (1360-c.1408), of Countesthorpe, Leics.
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Family and Education
b. Astcote in Pattishall, Northants. 11 Apr. 1360, yr. s. and event. h. of Sir Richard Mandeville of Astcote by his w. Eleanor. m. bef. 1377, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of John Shulton of Ansley, Warws. and Countesthorpe, by Eleanor Bagsover of Badger, Salop, s.p.
Commr. to make proclamation of Henry IV’s intention to govern well, Leics. May 1402.
Tax controller, Leics. Mar. 1404.
At the time of the death of Sir Richard Mandeville in x36z the heir to his manor of Astcote was his elder son John, then seven years old; but the latter did not long survive his father and, when Sir Richard’s widow died about eight years later, Thomas was found to be the heir. He became a ward of Roger, Lord Clifford, but in 1375 Edward III granted custody of Astcote to his esquire Robert Corby†, an action which prompted Clifford to bring suits against the Crown for loss of his rights of wardship. Mandeville made proof of age in July 1382. Besides Astcote his inheritance included property in Ireland: five years later he obtained royal confirmation of a charter of 1323 whereby Richard de Burgh, earl of Ulster, had conferred on his grandfather Henry Mandeville ‘the attendance of all satellites of the earl’s Bonhaght’ in the province. The charter had been earlier confirmed to Thomas’s father by Lionel of Antwerp.1 The MP himself is not known to have ever visited Ireland, although he may well have travelled elsewhere overseas in the company of John of Gaunt (Lionel’s brother), whose service he entered while still a boy. In 1372 he had been acting as assistant to Duke John’s avener with the task of restocking the ducal stables, and before March 1381 he had won promotion as avener himself. On 7 Aug. that year as reward for his services Lancaster granted him and his heirs the profits of ‘Godewynsholme’, an area of marshland near Great Yarmouth.2
Naturally, as a member of John of Gaunt’s entourage, Mandeville came into close contact with other Lancastrian retainers. In 1377 he was associated with William Bagot*, at that time one of the duke’s esquires, in a discreditable episode involving the abduction of Juliana, widow of Sir Richard Vernon, and her forcible detention at Potterspury and in Warwick castle, although his role in the affair was no doubt that of mere follower to the lead given by the forceful Bagot. Among those of whom he enfeoffed his property in Leicester and elsewhere was William Chiselden, receiver-general of the duke’s estates, and on one occasion (in 1392) he joined the duchy steward of Leicester, Sir Thomas Walsh*, in attesting a grant made in mortmain to the borough of Leicester, for which Lancaster’s licence had been required. By Duke John’s grant Mandeville enjoyed an annuity of £6 13s.4d. charged on the duchy lordship of Higham Ferrers. He saw fit to purchase a general pardon from Richard II in June 1398 at a time when Lancaster’s eldest son and heir, Henry of Bolingbroke, was in disgrace, accused of treason; nor can there be any question of where his sympathies lay when Henry was sent into exile. His return to the Parliament of 1399 which deposed King Richard and welcomed Henry’s accession to the throne may be attributed to his long attachment to the house of Lancaster. Subsequently, he was confirmed in his tenure of the area of marshland in Norfolk, now estimated to provide revenues of £8 a year, and on 23 Nov. 1401 as a ‘King’s esquire’ he was awarded a second annuity charged on Higham Ferrers, this one being of 20 marks. He was now given certain tasks in local administration by the Crown, but was evidently reluctant to undertake duties of an arduous nature; he failed to join the royal army which marched into Wales to suppress the rebellion, and in August 1404 he obtained letters patent exempting him from having to discharge any office in future against his wishes.3 Nor was Mandeville elected to Parliament again, although he did attend the Leicestershire elections of 1407. Early in the following year he was party to a donation of property in Leicester to the collegiate church of St. Mar