MAWARDEN, Richard (d.c.1418), of Marden, Herefs., Sodbury, Glos. and Stratford sub Castle, Wilts.
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Family and Education
m. bef. July 1388, Edith (d.1425).
Commr. of array, Herefs. Apr. 1385, Mar. 1392; arrest July 1387, Wilts. Mar. 1400; inquiry, Herefs. July 1388 (lands of Sir Simon Burley), Wilts. bef. Feb. 1412 (ownership of Barford St. Martin).
Sheriff, Herefs., 2 Jan.-18 Nov. 1386, Wilts. 15 Nov. 1389-7 Nov. 1390, 7 Nov. 1393-11 Nov. 1394, 1 Dec. 1396-2 Oct. 1399, Hants 5 Nov. 1403-18 Jan. 1404, Glos. 15 Nov. 1408-4 Nov. 1409.
Constable and porter of Dynevor castle, Carm. 1 Dec. 1388-bef. June 1397.
Collector of customs and subsidies, Bristol and ports between Bridgwater and Chepstow 5 Dec. 1395-Feb. 1397.
Keeper of Southampton castle 30 Jan. 1400-Mar. 1404.
Steward and parker of Sodbury 2 Mar. 1405-d.
Mawarden presumably came from Marden in Herefordshire, and during Richard II’s reign was usually described as resident in that county. He took little part in local affairs, however, save on an official level, and his career was always that of a royal servant and administrator. Mawarden had entered royal employment by 29 July 1381, when as a ‘King’s esquire’ he was granted, from the issues of Cornwall, an annuity of £10 for life. This he exchanged the following year for a similar sum charged on the farm of certain royal mills in Shropshire. Thus, by the time of his first and only election to Parliament for Herefordshire, in 1384, he was in receipt of livery at the Wardrobe, and he continued to be a ‘King’s esquire’ for the rest of the reign. In 1385 he took part in Richard II’s expedition to Scotland with his own small retinue of two archers. His services were rewarded in 1388 with the grant of the offices of constable and porter of Dynevor castle, but, although the posts were granted him for life, in fact he relinquished them within nine years. In October 1391 he was accorded a tun of wine every year from the prisage at Bristol, and in August 1393 he received a corrody of £5 p.a. from Stanley abbey in Wiltshire. As a member of the King’s household, Mawarden travelled to Ireland in the autumn of 1394 on Richard’s first expedition there. Further signs of royal favour came the next year, with his appointment as customer in Bristol, in September 1396, when he shared with two others the important wardship of all the estates in England and Wales lately belonging to Richard, Lord Talbot, and in the following year when he and another royal esquire were granted the fine incurred by the bailiffs of Oxford for escapes from the town prison. Finally, in December 1397 he obtained custody of the manors of Tilshead, Wiltshire, and Tarrant Launceston, Dorset, both of which belonged to the abbey of Caen, for a farm of £56 5s.11d. a year. Meanwhile, as sheriff of Wiltshire, Mawarden had been responsible for holding the county elections to the Parliaments of 1390 (Jan.), 1397 (Jan.) and 1397 (Sept.). The personnel of this last assembly was of crucial political importance to Richard II, who required a smooth passage through the Commons of his measures against the Lords Appellant of 1387-8; and it was surely not coincidental that on this occasion Mawarden, a member of the royal household, returned the King’s trusted councillor, Sir Henry Green, together with another courtier, Sir Thomas Blount. Although both men held land in Wiltshire in right of their wives, they were virtual outsiders to the community of the shire, and their loyalty to Richard II may not be questioned, for both were to suffer execution for it. Mawarden, too, remained true to Richard, but in his case only so long as expediency demanded. On 12 July 1399 he received £38 18s. at the Exchequer for going as sheriff of Wiltshire ‘with no small number of men’ (possibly as many as 160) to join the duke of York at Ware, Hertfordshire, to withstand the invading army of Henry of Bolingbroke.1 It seems likely, however, that he and his men joined up with Bolingbroke when York made his peace with him, for after Henry took the throne he acquitted Mawarden from making an account at the Exchequer for the money received for his force. As sheriff, Mawarden again held t