MAUREWARD, Sir Thomas (c.1358-1424), of Goadby Marwood, Leics.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

Family and Education

b.c.1358, s. and h. of Sir William Maureward of Goadby Marwood by his w. Elizabeth. m. (1) bef. 1397, Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Oddingseles (d.1380) of Long Itchingdon, Warws. wid. of John, s. of Sir John Strange of Walton Deyville, Warws., 1da.; (2) between May 1420 and Feb. 1422, Margery (d.1425), wid. of Hugh Holt of Brampton Ash, Northants. Kntd. bef. Mar. 1379.

Offices Held

Commr. of array, Leics. Apr. 1385, Mar. 1392, Dec. 1399, Sept. 1403, May 1418, Mar. 1419; inquiry July 1389 (murder), Leics., Warws. June 1406 (concealments), Jan. 1414 (lollards), Leics. Mar. 1417 (complaint made by the prior of Ulverscroft); to act against the rebels in the north Mar. 1406; raise royal loans, Warws., Leics. June 1406, Jan. 1412, Leics. Nov. 1419, Mar. 1422; of oyer and terminer Apr. 1406; arrest Apr. 1406, Feb. 1414, Northants. May 1422; to hold an assize of novel disseisin, Leics. Aug. 1412.

Sheriff, Warws. and Leics. 8 Nov. 1401-29 Nov. 1402, 3 Nov. 1412-6 Nov. 1413, 1 May 1422-14 Feb. 1423.

J.p. Leics. 16 Sept. 1404-d.

Biography

Sir Thomas came from an ancient Leicestershire family long established at Goadby, which had benefited from its kinship with Roger Northburgh (d.1359), bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, and his nephew Michael (d.1361), bishop of London. When his father died in 1369 his mother paid the Black Prince 100 marks for his wardship and marriage, only to find her guardianship challenged in the lawcourts by Ralph, Lord Basset of Drayton. Having come of age by May 1380, Maureward then obtained seisin of his father’s lands in Leicestershire, on the border with Northamptonshire at Little Bowdon and beyond it at Arthingworth, Little Oxendon, Dingley and Farndon; and probably at the same time he also took possession of the family estate at Winterbourne Zelstone, far away in Dorset.1 In keeping with his standing as a landowner of substance, Maureward married into a prominent Warwickshire family (that of Oddingseles), no doubt in the expectation that his bride would bring him the properties at Tysoe, Pillerton and Loxley, Warwickshire, Alkerton and Wroxton, Oxfordshire, and ‘Schevyndon’, Gloucestershire, which had been settled on her as jointure in 1376-7 on the occasion of her earlier marriage to a member of a collateral branch of the Stranges of Knockin. However, the Maurewards’ tenure of these Strange estates was to be disputed in 1397, and it is unclear whether they were able to retain them for the rest of Elizabeth’s life. Together with her, Maureward joined the fraternity of the Holy Trinity guild at Coventry.2

Maureward had been knighted, perhaps while campaigning overseas, before he entered into his patrimony. In June 1380 he took out royal letters of protection as about to embark in the retinue of the famous soldier, Sir Hugh Calveley, but he returned home within a year to engage in some private warfare of his own. On 21 Apr. 1381 he rode over to Stapleford at the head of a small band of armed followers, with an avowed intention of killing Sir Laurence Hauberk on account of an old enmity between them; his men fell on Sir Laurence, forcing him to the ground with blows to his head, and then Maureward pierced him with a sword in the left side as far as his heart, of which stroke he immediately died. When eventually arraigned for murder, Sir Thomas produced a general pardon, dated 29 Dec. 1381 and granted at the request of Queen Anne ‘for his good service’. Despite this invaluble mark of royal favour, he was not destined to become a retainer of Richard II; on the contrary, he was not even entrusted with royal commissions after 1392, and he saw fit to procure another pardon in June 1398 at a time when many feared the King’s displeasure. It seems likely that he formed an attachment to Henry of Bolingbroke before Henry went into exile three months later, for he was ready to do him ‘good service after his coming into England’ in the summer of 1399. His political sympathies were no doubt a factor in his election for Leicestershire to the Parliament which deposed Richard and acclaimed Henry as King. He was sent personal summonses to attend great councils in 1401 and 1403, and under the Lancastrian kings he was given responsibility for many aspects of local government, most notably being appointed as sheriff three times and as a j.p. continuously for 20 years. In 1416 he was placed on a prestigious committee charged with the administration of the estates of Holy Trinity priory, Repton, Derbyshire, which, owing to improvident governance by previous keepers had fallen into serious neglect. Rewards came in the form of a gift of £50 made during his first shrievalty to be taken from the profits of his bailiwick; a concession allowed in 1404 that a pasture known as ‘Bassethey’ in Leicestershire, which he had leased for many years from the duchy of Lancaster, might henceforth be held by him and his heirs free of rent; and a lease issued at the Exchequer in 1423 of land at Tansor and a fishery in the Nen, Northamptonshire, during the minority of Lord Camoys’s heir.3

Maureward was well regarded in the Midlands: among the landowners for whom he acted as a feoffee-to-uses were Richard, son and heir of Sir Ralph Basset of Weldon, Sir John Ardern of Cheshire, (Sir) Richard Vernon* of Haddon (the future Speaker) and John Blaket* of Newton Harcourt. His trusteeship of property on behalf of Alice, widow of Sir Thomas Stafford†, brought him into contact with her brother-in-law, Edmund, bishop of Exeter, and perhaps also to the attention of the latter’s kinsman, Edmund, earl of Stafford, for he witnessed the final agreement made between the earl and Sir Hugh Shirley* in settlement of their dispute over the estates of the late Lord Basset of Drayton. That agreement was apparently made on the eve of the battle of Shrewsbury at which both Earl Edmund and Shirley lost their lives, so it is quite likely that Maureward also took the field that day on the same, royalist, side. Sir Thomas’s association with the Shirleys continued for many years afterwards, for in 1419 he was acting as a feoffee of the Basset manors at Sheldon, Warwickshire, which were then settled on Sir Ralph Shirley* and his wife.4 Maureward was on such good terms with the Nottinghamshire knight, Sir Thomas Chaworth*, that in February 1414 when Chaworth was a prisoner in the Tower on charges of complicity in the lollard rising, he was prepared to join in providing securities for his good behaviour under pain of 1,000 marks.5

In February 1422 Maureward paid £40 for a royal pardon for having married the widow of a tenant-in-chief without first obtaining the King’s licence. The lady in question was a neighbour of his in Northamptonshire, being the relict of Hugh Holt esquire, who only shortly before his death in 1420 had succeeded to substantial estates in that county, as well as in Hertfordshire and Surrey, as the heir of Sir John Holt, j.c.p., one of the judges banished by the Merciless Parliament.6 Maureward died shortly before September 1424 and was buried in Goadby church; but his widow, who made her will on 21 July in the following year, requested burial at Brampton Ash, presumably at the side of her first husband. Maureward’s heir was his only child Philippa, already the wife of Sir Thomas Beaumont, second son of John, 4th Lord Beaumont.7

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger

Notes

  • 1. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xii. 54-55; CPR, 1354-8, p. 183; CIPM, xv. 121, 1019; Leics. Village Notes ed. Farnham, ii. 72-74, 76; Leics. Med. Peds. ed. Farnham, 28; CCR, 1377-81, p. 307; J. Nichols, Leics. ii. 194; Feudal Aids, vi. 498; J. Hutchins, Dorset, i. 336-7.
  • 2. VCH Warws. v. 176, 196; vi. 126-9; CCR, 1374-7, p. 461; W. Dugdale, Warws. i. 343; Leics. Village Notes, ii. 75; Reg. Holy Trinity Guild (Dugdale Soc. xiii), 80.
  • 3. C76/64 m. 9; Leics. Village Notes. v. 370; C67/29 m. 13, 30 m. 14; CPR, 1401-5, pp. 155, 463; 1413-16, pp. 393-4; PPC, i. 162; ii. 88; DL42/16, f. 26; CFR, xv. 56.
  • 4.<