STAPLETON, John II, of Stapleton, Salop.
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Family and Education
2nd s. of John Stapleton of Dormington, Herefs. and Stapleton. m (1) between Nov. 1408 and Feb. 1409, Isabel, da. of Elizabeth Elmham; (2) by 1413, Margaret, 1s. d.v.p.; (3) by 1443, Margery, 5da.
The manor of Stapleton descended in the family of the same name from the early 12th century, along with its advowson and the township of Netley. John, the father of the MP, apparently also inherited ‘Armegrove’ in Shropshire and Normanton-le-Heath in Leicestershire, but resided mainly in his manor-house at Dormington in Herefordshire.1 Stapleton senior was most likely of the affinity of Thomas, earl of Arundel, for he looked for wives for his sons among the daughters of the earl’s retainers, with the consequence that his eldest son Hugh (the heir of his wife Katherine Burnell) was contracted in 1405 to marry the daughter of Thomas Young I*, and young John himself was wedded to Isabel, daughter of Elizabeth Elmham (she who was probably already the wife of William Ryman* and was later to nurse Arundel in his final illness). By the second of these marriage contracts, drawn up in London on 13 Nov. 1408, the earl agreed to pay Stapleton senior 100 marks, to provide the bride with a trousseau, and to meet the cost of the espousals at Dormington, while Stapleton in turn promised to settle on the young couple land worth 20 marks a year and to support them until they came of age.2
John junior’s second wife, Margaret, would appear to have been a kinswoman of (Sir) Leonard Hakluyt*, the former shire knight for Herefordshire and Somerset, for she and Leonard Stapleton (presumably John’s son of that name) were left bequests in the wills of Hakluyt and his widow, Margaret. Indeed, Leonard was later (by 1442) to have possession of the Somerset manor of Grove in South Brent, which had formed the principal part of Margaret Hakluyt’s inheritance.3 Connexions such as these—with the earl of Arundel and the Hakluyts—might explain the fact that, although John Stapleton junior was a comparatively obscure member of the Shropshire gentry, the feoffees of his lands (appointed at some unknown date before 1418) included such important marcher lords as Edmund, earl of March, Gilbert, Lord Talbot, John Talbot, Lord Furnival, and Hugh, Lord Burnell. Otherwise, little is recorded about him, and he never served on a royal commission. He attended the Shropshire elections held at Shrewsbury before the Parliament of 1420, and he himself secured election for the shire a year later, perhaps with the help of one of his distinguished trustees. In 1438 there was a fire at his moated manor-house at Stapleton, but five years later he nevertheless settled the manor in reversion on his son, Leonard, and the latter’s offspring, with successive remainders to his own issue by his wives Margaret and Margery and ultimately to John Talbot, now earl of Shrewsbury. He was still alive in 1446, but both he and Leonard died before 1450, when his properties were divided among the husbands or descendants of his five daughters.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. VCH Salop, viii. 164-5, 167; CIPM, xiv. 283; CCR, 1389-92, p. 476; R.W. Eyton, Antiqs. Salop, vi. 118. Stapleton the father m. by 1377 Katherine (b. c.1351), 2nd da. and coh. of Edward Burnell of Longley, Salop, whose inheritance descended eventually to Hugh Stapleton (d. 1484): CIPM, xv. 6-7; VCH Salop, viii. 143, 266; C142/2/19.
- 2. Shrewsbury Lib. deeds 2800, 2837.
- 3. Som. Med. Wills (Som. Rec. Soc. xvi), 61, 66; Som. Feet of Fines (ibid. xxii), 103.
- 4. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), iii. 287-8; (ser. 4), v. 221-2; C219/12/4; Shrewsbury Lib. deeds 2801, 2803-4, 2838; CP25(1)195/22/26; VCH Salop, viii. 164-5, 167; Eyton, vi. 118.