WARMWELL, William (d.1423), of Salisbury, Wilts.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. Joan (d.1396), 1da.1
Reeve, Salisbury 1 Nov. 1373-4; coroner 1378-9; mayor 1379-80.2
In about 1376 Warmwell was appointed, with John Bitterley* and others, as an executor of William Teynterer, junior, a wealthy fellow citizen, and as such he became engaged through the executors’ proctor, William Montagu, earl of Salisbury and captain of Calais, in a dispute with one William Gilbert of Calais, who, it was alleged, had owed the deceased the sum of £329. Warmwell’s special responsibility was the sale of certain properties in Salisbury and the distribution of the proceeds for the mending of roads and bridges and for poor men, but for some 30 years after Teynterer’s death he failed to fulfil his obligations in this respect, retaining the premises for his own profit. In 1397 the complaints of Teynterer’s widow Alice (then married to Bitterley) forced him to sell the properties concerned, but the proceeds were still in his hands in 1406, when Alice inserted a passage in her will accusing him of wrongfully keeping 200 marks, and requesting the mayor and the bishop of Salisbury to compel him to distribute the money according to her late husband’s will. She warned Warmwell that if he still failed to complete his charge, he ‘wolde be dampned to the fuyr of Helle’.5
Meanwhile, there had been no indication of dishonesty in Warmwell’s other dealings. In 1378 he had stood surety for the attendance of Thomas Boyton in Parliament, and two years later did the same for John Bitterley. From June 1380 he shared with Thomas Bowyer, a fellow citizen, and William Hunte, a yeoman of the King’s chamber, the farm for ten years of the subsidy on cloth for sale in Wiltshire, paying an annual sum of 100 marks. In July 1385 Warmwell and Bowyer arraigned an assize of novel disseisin against Thomas Burford* and others, concerning a tenement in Salisbury; they recovered their property and were awarded damages of 3s.4d.6 During the highly acrimonious dispute between the corporation of Salisbury and Bishop Waltham in June 1395, Warmwell was one of those who acted as attorneys for the city when the case came up before the royal council. In the autumn of the following year his wife, Joan (who had been married twice before, in both instances to local men) died, leaving him a life interest in their residence in Castle Street.7
Although Warmwell produced only ten cloths for alnage in the financial year 1396-7, he was apparently quite well-off. His contribution to the Salisbury tallage of 1398 was the highest paid by any inhabitant, and in 1412 he was stated to own tenements worth £21 10s. a year in the city, as well as land worth £5 p.a. in Todworth.8 His wealth, and the extent of his property, is shown by his will, made on 8 Oct. 1422 (when he must have been at least 75), and proved on 10 May 1423. Its provisions included a request that he should be buried in St. Thomas’s church, Salisbury, to which he left a missal, vestments and plate, together with a psalter which was to be chained in the pew he used to occupy. Payment w