WOOD, William I, of Newbury, Berks.

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

Constituency

Dates

Family and Education

m. (1) bef. Nov. 1381, Joan; (2) aft. Jan. 1395, Katherine.

Offices Held

Tax assessor, Berks. May 1379.

J.p. Berks. 26 May-Dec. 1380, 20 Dec. 1382-July 1389, 12 Nov. 1397-9.

Commr. to put down rebellion, Berks. Mar., Dec. 1382; of oyer and terminer Apr. 1382, Feb. 1383.

Sheriff, Oxon. and Berks. 15 Nov. 1389-7 Nov. 1390, Dec. 1396-3 Dec. 1397.

Escheator, Oxon. and Berks. 12 Dec. 1390-2 Jan 1392, Mar.-24 Nov. 1394.

Biography

Through his first marriage Wood acquired a number of properties in Newbury and the surrounding villages, which, initially held by his wife Joan for term of her life, were formally conveyed in 1381 to him, Joan and his own heirs, by Roger Ryot, a London goldsmith. Wood was subsequently involved in other transactions relating to land in the same part of Berkshire and, before 1392, he also came into possession of the manor of Weston in Welford, a few miles from Newbury.1

Wood’s activities suggest that he was a lawyer. He was employed by the Berkshire family of Loches, not only to provide assurances in 1376 that Sir Adam Loches would keep the peace, but also to act as a trustee of the landed holdings of George Loches. In March 1385 he witnessed a quitclaim of property in Berkshire made to the King and Isabel Foxe, and was deputed to take the acknowledgement of the same transaction at Englefield that December. Probably the most important of his connexions was that formed with the influential family of Adderbury. In 1380 he had been named as a feoffee of the manor of Langley and bailiwick of Wychwood forest, Oxfordshire, which the Golafres settled on Sir Richard Adderbury I* for life, and in January 1395, shortly before he sat in the Commons for the only time, he agreed to act as attorney in England for Sir Richard Adderbury II*, who was then on his way to Ireland to report to the King about the results of his diplomatic mission to Germany. Wood was able to call upon the younger Sir Richard to be a trustee of his own manor of Weston, and during his second term as sheriff he returned Adderbury to Parliament. Acquaintance with such men, intimates of Richard II and his first queen, can only have served to promote Wood’s career in local administration, and may even have played a part in his own election to the Commons. Meanwhile, in September 1391, he, in association with Alan Godefrey of Berkshire, had stood surety at the Exchequer for two monks from Abingdon abbey, and in the following year they obtained a royal licence to alienate to the abbey the manor of Bayworth and other premises, the purpose of the grant being to provide daily services for the welfare of the abbot and for his soul after death. It seems quite likely that Wood was retained by the abbey as legal counsel.2

Wood is not recorded alive after the accession of Henry IV, when his involvement in the local government of his region came to an abrupt end. (Coincidentally, his associate Sir Richard Adderbury II withdrew from public life at the very same time.) But it was not until several years had elapsed that, in 1422, the surviving feoffee of Weston conveyed the manor to his widow, Katherine.3

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger

Notes

Sometimes atte Wood or Bythewood.

  • 1. CCR, 1381-5, p. 91; CP25(1)12/76/9, 78/7; SC12/5/69.
  • 2. CCR, 1374-7, p. 471; 1377-81, p. 517; 1385-9, p. 115; 1389-92, p. 493; CPR, 1377-81, p. 444; 1391-6, pp. 135, 526; CAD, iii. D647; VCH Berks. iv. 119.
  • 3. CAD, iii. D647.

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