WALWYN, Philip (d.c.1395), of Tingrith, Beds.
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Family and Education
m. by Aug. 1384, Joan, da. of Sir Thomas Fitzwalter alias Daventry (d.1361) of Daventry, Northants. and Tingrith, sis. and coh. of Thomas Daventry (d.s.p. 1381).1
Keeper of the royal manor and park of Ashurst, Kent 18 June 1378-d.
Constable of Corfe castle, Dorset 3 Feb. 1380-8 July 1388.
Commr. of array, Dorset Mar. 1380, Apr. 1385; to repair Corfe castle Mar. 1381, Apr. 1385; receive John of Northampton† as a prisoner at Corfe Feb. 1384; of inquiry Dorset May 1384 (poaching); to repair Ashurst manor June 1384; recover an abducted heir, Dorset June 1384; victual Corfe castle June 1386; make an arrest (generally) June 1386.
Surveyor and controller of the subsidy, Dorset Dec. 1380.
Guardian of the temporalities of the bpric. of Bath and Wells 10 June-5 Nov. 1386.
Usher of the royal chamber by 31 Aug. 1384-bef. Aug. 1389.
Sheriff, Beds. and Bucks. 7 Nov. 1393-11 Nov. 1394.
The subject of this biography is very easily confused with his near contemporary and namesake, who is often (but not always) described as Philip Walwyn the younger. The problem of distinguishing between them is made all the harder because they pursued virtually identical careers at Court, serving as esquires of the body to Richard II, and, between them, monopolizing the office of usher of the royal chamber during the last two decades of the 14th century. The two men rose to prominence in the household of the Black Prince, where, by 1371, Philip Walwyn the younger was employed as usher of the hall at a fee of £10 a year which was later confirmed to him by King Richard. During the latter’s reign he held various offices, including those of searcher of ships in the Thames and bailiff itinerant of the stannaries of the duchy of Cornwall, receiving additional annuities of £30 as well as other rewards and gifts. He was shown similar preferment by Henry IV, to whom he remained loyal until his death, which seems to have occurred at about the same time as that of the King himself.2 Although the question of identity cannot always be answered satisfactorily, it is clear that Philip Walwyn the younger did not sit in the Parliament of 1395. The royal wardrobe accounts show him to have been a member of Richard II’s Irish expedition on active service from 7 Sept. 1394 to 21 Apr. 1395, and thus out of England when the Commons met. Moreover, unlike his namesake, he had no connexions with Bedfordshire, but lived at Clanfield in Oxfordshire with his wife, Edith, who probably brought him the manor when they married.3
Although we do not know exactly how they were related, the two Philip Walwyns almost certainly belonged to the same family, which originated in Herefordshire. One of them was still based there in November 1363, when he acted as a mainpernor for the keeper of Titley priory. (Since this local cell of the order of Tiron passed into the hands of Philip Walwyn the elder not long afterwards it seems likely that the reference concerns him.) Eight years later a Philip Walwyn of Herefordshire became involved in litigation for the recovery of a debt of 22 marks from a local man and also then agreed to stand surety for John Slegh, the chief butler of England; but there is no further clue as to his identity. As we have already seen, both the MP and his namesake first went to Court as retainers of Edward III’s eldest son, the Black Prince. On 12 Mar. 1372, Philip Walwyn the elder was awarded a life annuity of £10 by the prince, whose young son and heir, Richard II, confirmed the grant, assigning it first from the revenues of the exchequer at Carmarthen, and then, in June 1378, altering the terms of the letters patent so that half the money came directly to Walwyn in his capacity as keeper of the park and manor of Ashurst. The rest was initially allocated to him from the Exchequer at Westminster, but in the following year he obtained custody of Titley priory instead, presumably to make it easier for him to collect his fee. A further mark of royal favour came his way in February 1380, when he was made constable of Corfe castle in Dorset. This was followed, in October 1382, by a preferential lease of land which had been confiscated by the Crown on the nearby Isle of Purbeck. The threat of an invasion by the French on this part of the coast had assumed serious proportions by 1385, and Walwyn became involved in military preparations for the defence of the area.4 Yet although he was appointed to a number of royal commissions in Dorset, he still spent much of his time at Court, where, together with Philip Walwyn the younger and another kinsman named Richard Walwyn, he received annually the winter and summer liveries of an esquire of the royal body.5
By August 1384 Philip Walwyn the elder was serving as usher of Richard II’s chamber, a post which he held for about five years until his replacement by Philip Walwyn the younger. It was also in the summer of 1384 that he secured the appointment of his wife, Joan, as keeper with him of Ashurst park for term of their joint lives—an arrangement which probably marks the date of their marriage. Joan’s only brother, Thomas Daventry, had died without issue in 1381, leaving her and her sister to partition the family estates in Daventry and Tingrith. Joan duly received one half of each manor, but in 1387 she and Walwyn convenanted to lease her sister’s lands in Tingrith at an annual rent of ten marks as well.6 Walwyn continued to serve at Court, but although his first loyalty was clearly to King Richard, he also established a connexion with Henry of Bolingbroke, whose father, John of Gaunt, was then feudal overlord of the manor