NASH (ASH), Richard (d.1394/5), of Hereford.

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



Jan. 1377
Jan. 1380
Oct. 1383
Nov. 1384
Feb. 1388
Nov. 1390

Family and Education

s. of Nicholas Nash of Nash, Herefs. by his w. Lucy. m. 1da.;1 1s. illegit. James*.

Offices Held

J.p. Herefs. 26 May 1380-d.

Commr. to put down rebellion, Herefs. Dec. 1381, Mar., Dec. 1382; of inquiry Sept. 1386 (wastes on estates of the earl of Pembroke), S. Wales Nov. 1393, June, Sept. 1394 (appeals against judgements); to arrest the adherents of Walter Brut, Herefs. Sept. 1393.

Jt. justiciar of S. Wales 25 May 1389-90, 1 June 1393-July 1394.2


Nash was probably born in the hamlet of that name near Presteigne on the Herefordshire border with Radnorshire, and in 1376 he paid 5s.9d.relief to take possession of his parents’ lands there. However, at the time of his first mention in the records (in 1366) he was living in Hereford, and in due course the city returned him to five Parliaments. In February 1378 he stood surety with Thomas Oldcastle* for Ralph Maylock, proctor of the alien abbot of Lire, when the latter was granted custody at the Exchequer of his abbey’s English lands. A year later he was nominated attorney for the prior of Llanthony and for Leonard Hakluyt*, both of whom were going to Ireland in the train of Edmund Mortimer, earl of March. Associated with him in this undertaking was Philip Holgot*, another Hereford lawyer with whom he came to be closely linked. In 1379 the two men agreed to act as Sir John Bromwiche’s feoffees of lands in Herefordshire and Northumberland, and at about this time Nash, Holgot, and Bromwiche all shared a royal lease of the confiscated estates of the abbey of Caen. Furthermore, by 1385 Nash and Holgot were employed as trustees by Thomas Oldcastle and his brother, Sir Richard, of property in Radnorshire as well as nearer home. Holgot and Thomas Oldcastle were subsequently to perform similar services on behalf of Nash himself. The common factor which had undoubtedly drawn these men together in friendship was their shared affinity in the retinue of the young earl of March, Roger Mortimer. In Nash’s case this was indicated by his receipt of an annuity of £2 as an apprentice-at-law engaged by the earl by 1387, if not for several years before. Clearly, his identification with members of the Mortimer circle played a significant part in the development of his career, even though in later years he showed himself willing to take fees from other noblemen.3

Nash’s increasing importance is demonstrated by his appointment to the Herefordshire bench in 1380, and in 1384 he was for the first time elected to Parliament for the county. His services as a lawyer were much in demand, both by private individuals (for whom he often acted as surety) and by the government, which in May 1389 appointed him one of the royal justices in South Wales. Accordingly, that summer he conducted sessions in Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire, for a fee of 6d.8d. per day.4 In October following, as one of the leading citizens of Hereford, Nash became involved in the dispute with the dean and chapter concerning jurisdiction over the cathedral cemetery and the path through it. He and his fellows entered into a bond in the sum of £200 to observe the arbitration of Bishop Trefnant and Sir John Clanvowe, who eventually awarded a settlement satisfactory to all parties. At about the same time Nash was enfeoffed of property at Lower Bullingham, just outside the city, his co-feoffees including his own illegitimate son, James, another lawyer, who sat for Hereford in the Parliament of November 1390, when Richard himself represented the shire for the last time. In the year running from Michaelmas 1390 Richard was paid a fee of 40s. by Thomas, earl of Stafford, and he also received a reward of 20s. for riding from Hereford to Newport on the earl’s business. Then, in 1391, he was named as a parliamentary proxy by the abbot of Gloucester. Bishop Trefnant of Hereford made him a member of his council at an unknown date before 1393, and in April 1394 he was acting for the bishop in a dispute concerning episcopal rights in Malvern chase. But his earlier attachment to the Mortimers was by no means forgotten: the following August he was appointed attorney by the earl of March, when he was about to embark for Ireland as the King’s lieutenant. A month later he appeared in the same capacity for Sir Thomas Brut and as ‘guardian’ of the interests of young John Devereux, Lord Devereux’s heir, who were also bound for the province.5 Nothing more is heard of him, and by February 1395 he was dead.6

Little is known of Nash’s private life, although he may well have been related to Roger Nash, clerk, chamberlain of South Wales in 1387-8, and to William Ash, esquire, of Herefordshire, who occupied the same office from Apart from his bastard son, he had a daughter, Cecily, who after his death married John Cook of Horndon, Essex. Nash’s landed property in Hereford and the nearby villages of Shelwick, Upper and Lower Breinton, Hampton Bishop, Lower Bullingham, Marden and Sutton, was at the time of his death in the hands of feoffees, whose assigned task included the foundation of a chantry in Hereford cathedral, where masses were to be offered for the souls of him and his son. The mayor and citizens of Hereford lent their support to the project in grateful recognition of the services performed on their behalf by the two men.7

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: Charles Kightly


  • 1. Herefs. RO, Pencombe ct. roll A63/II/1/xix; Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. (NLW 1955), 3219.
  • 2. R.A. Griffiths, Principality of Wales, i. 120-1, 126.
  • 3. CCR, 1364-8, p. 294; CFR, ix. 68; CPR, 1377-81, pp. 318, 391, 403, 409, 445; 1385-9, pp. 50, 52; 1388-92, p. 101; 1416-22, p. 547; Egerton Roll 8730.
  • 4. CCR, 1385-9, pp. 288, 629; 1391-6, p. 23; G.A. Holmes, Estates of Higher Nobility, 60; E364/23 m. B.
  • 5. Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. 540, 1491, 2943-4, 2946, 2954; Reg. Trefnant (Canterbury and York Soc. xx), 164-5, 170, 172; CPR, 1391-6, pp. 477, 491, 500; SC10/37/1833; Staffs. RO, D641/1/2/4 m. 4.
  • 6. CFR, xi. 153.
  • 7. Griffiths, 179; Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. 1326, 3166, 3219.