CURTEYS, Thomas (d.c.1407), of Pill of Lanlivery and Lostwithiel, Cornw.
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Family and Education
Commr. to close the ports of Looe, Polperro and Fowey May 1401.
Thomas came from a leading Lostwithiel family, two of whose members had sat in the Commons: a Ralph Curteys† represented the borough as early as 1305, and John Curteys, perhaps Thomas’s father, did so in 1363, having earlier served as mayor of Lostwithiel in 1354. Another kinsman, Gerard Curteys, an important tin merchant, had in the 1330s held eight messuages in Lostwithiel as well as land on the nearby manor of Penlyne. Thomas’s putative father, who acted as a juror at inquests held in Cornwall following the death of the Black Prince in 1376, is likely to have been the John Curteys who was murdered near Perranporth in 1381.2
In 1373 Thomas and John Curteys were accused at the Launceston assizes of unlawfully disseising Richard Cosyn of his property in Penkneth, a vill which formed part of the town of Lostwithiel. Four years later Thomas stood surety at the Exchequer for the prior of the Benedictine house not far from the town at Tywardreath. By the time of his first return to Parliament in 1383 he had acquired property at Pill, in the nearby parish of Lanlivery, and in August that same year he and his wife obtained a licence from Bishop Brantingham of Exeter to have an oratory there, a privilege which, over 20 years later (June 1405), Bishop Stafford confirmed. Curteys once, in 1384, presented an incumbent to the church at Warleggan. In addition to these holdings, from 1400 onwards he had a reversionary interest in lands belonging to John Archer of Lizard.3
Curteys is recorded on various occasions engaged in Cornish affairs: acting as a surety for the peace at the Launceston assizes; making a property evaluation in a dispute between the bishop of Exeter and John Tregorrick†; and appearing, at the assession court of the duchy of Cornwall held in the summer of 1406, as surety for the lessee of the chases and moors at Helston-in-Kerrier.4 A more unexpected undertaking, made in 1390, was the feoffeeship of the manor of Perton in Tettenhall Regis, Staffordshire, which, with his assistance, was then entailed on Sir Humphrey Stafford I’s* heirs by his wife Elizabeth. This important connexion probably came about through Curteys’s marriage into the Northamptonshire family of Fitzwalter. In 1393 he and his wife gave up their rights to a moiety of the manor of Daventry (which Maud had presumably inherited from her father), to Henry of Bolingbroke, earl of Derby (the future Henry IV); and this probably had something to do with the grant, made to them both before Michaelmas 1400 by a patent under the seal of the duchy of Lancaster, of an annuity of £20 from the issues of the manor of Passenham, Northamptonshire, for the rest of Maud’s life. Thomas Curteys was still living in 1406-7 when the annuity was paid to him and his wife, but he had already died when, in 1408, it was sent to his widow alone.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Mon. Brasses Cornw. ed. Dunkin, pl. 9; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 128.
- 2. Caption of Seisin (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. xvii), 36, 45; CPR, 1381-5, p. 314; E306/2/2, 3; C136/7; C241/178/140; J. Hatcher, Rural Economy Duchy of Cornw. 244.
- 3. JUST 1/1476 mm. 72d, 80; CFR, ix. 21; Reg. Brantingham ed. Hingeston-Randolph, 87, 500; Reg. Stafford, 274; J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, ii. 181.
- 4. JUST 1/1502 mm. 170d, 171; CCR, 1389-92, p. 269; E306/2/7.
- 5. CPR, 1388-92, p. 19; CCR, 1419-22, p. 108; DL29/341/5517, 5519, 5522, 738/12102, 12103; DL36/2/21; DL42/2, f. 131.