HAREWELL, John (d.1428/9), of Wootton Wawen, Warws.

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



Nov. 1414

Family and Education

s. and h. of Roger Harewell (d.1389), by Maud, da. of John Stanford and sis. and h. of Thomas Stanford of Wootton Wawen. m. (1) bef. Sept. 1385, Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Weyland of Loxton, Som. and Oxborough, Norf. by Burga, da. and h. of John Sparwe of Yorks., 1da.; (2) bef. Oct. 1387, Parnell, wid. of William Hyndon of Som.; (3) bef. July 1402, Margery, da. and coh. of Thomas Beaupyne* of Bristol, 4s. inc. Roger and John; (4) Joan (d.1444), 1s. 1da.

Offices Held

Coroner, Warws. bef. July 1392.

Commr. of inquiry, Warws. July 1411, June 1412 (concealments), June 1412 (reversion of lands held by William, late Lord Beauchamp of Abergavenny); to raise royal loans Nov. 1419, Jan. 1420.

Escheator, Warws. and Leics. 10 Nov. 1413-12 Nov. 1414.

J.p. Warws. 16 Jan. 1414-Dec. 1417, 12 Feb. 1422-d.

Dep. sheriff, Worcs. (by appointment of Richard, earl of Warwick), 5 Sept. 1418-Mich. 1419.

Sheriff, Warws. and Leics. 4 Nov. 1428-d.


Harewell was to inherit Wootton Wawen only after the death of his mother (who was still living in 1389), and his early connexions were all with Somerset, where his uncle, John, was bishop of Bath and Wells (1366-86).1 It was no doubt Bishop Harewell (a trusted counsellor of the Black Prince and member of the Council appointed in 1378 to assist Richard II) who arranged his first marriage, to the daughter of one of the tenants on the episcopal estates, Sir John Weyland. In 1385 Weyland settled on the young couple the Somerset manor of Loxton, to hold for term of their lives. Elizabeth did not long survive, but after the deaths of her father and brother the heir to the Weyland estates (some nine manors in Somerset, Suffolk, Norfolk and Dorset) was her daughter, Joan Harewell, who in about 1412 was to marry John Stretch* of Ashe, Devon.2 Harewell was named as an executor of his uncle the bishop’s will in June 1386 and received from him a bequest of £20. Despite the bishop’s death he continued to have interests in Somerset, where besides Loxton he owned an inn at Wells, and both his second and third marriages were to local women. His most profitable marriage was to Margery, one of four daughters of the wealthy Bristol merchant Thomas Beaupyne. In 1402 he was associated with his new father-in-law and with William Venour, the London grocer who had married another of Beaupyne’s daughters, in securing from the Exchequer a lease of property at Knole, tenure of which he was to retain until his death; and in the following year Beaupyne named him as an executor of his will. In the division of the estates then arranged the Harewells’ share (to which they were to succeed in 1409 on the death of Beaupyne’s widow) included the manors of Beer Crocombe and East Capland as well as land at Buckland St. Mary. In 1412 Harewell’s landed holdings at Beer and Loxton were estimated to be worth £40 a year.3

Yet despite his interests in the West Country Harewell chose to live in Warwickshire, and over the years he added to his property in that county, his most notable acquisitions being the manors of Stourton (1397) and Shottery in Stratford-upon-Avon (by 1402). He and his third wife became members of the guild of Holy Trinity at Coventry.4 Harewell’s public service was also concentrated on Warwickshire, although in the extent of his commitment he could not rival his younger brother Thomas, who served as a j.p. without break from 1417 until 1443. Both brothers were lawyers; and John could make good use of his training when required to perform tasks against his will: in 1392 he complained about his election as a coroner on the ground that the Statute of Westminster laid down that coroners should be chosen ‘of the most lawful and wisest knights who can, may and will best attend upon that office’, and asserted that since he had not been knighted he was ineligible. Early on in his career he offered his services to Thomas Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, and when Warwick was arrested for treason in the summer of 1397 he was found to have in his possession £20 of the earl’s money. He purchased a royal pardon in the following June. This connexion with the Beauchamps was to last for the rest of Harewell’s life: in 1410 he witnessed a conveyance for the late earl’s brother, William, Lord Beauchamp of Abergavenny; two years later he served on royal commissions regarding the succession to that lord’s estates; and by 1417 he was a diligent member of the council of Earl Richard of Warwick. Indeed, Harewell was often concerned with Warwick’s affairs: in July 1417 he shared with two others of the Beauchamp affinity an Exchequer lease of the estates of the earl’s late father-in-law, Thomas, Lord Berkeley, thus being enabled to look after the interests of the Countess Elizabeth; the earl’s business took him on journeys to London (where he remained from October to December 1417) and to Berkeley (in January 1418 and again in the following summer), and he also served a term as the earl’s deputy in the shrievalty of Worcestershire. Harewell was frequently to be found acting with or on behalf of others of the Warwick circle, notably John Throckmorton*, Thomas Crewe* and the latter’s stepson, Sir William Clopton. During Earl Richard’s absence in France in June 1421 he accompanied the countess on her visit to Berkeley, returning with her to London and the Midlands. Two years later he witnessed Warwick’s grant of an annuity to Robert Stanshawe of Gloucestershire and appeared as a feoffee of lands settled by the earl on another of his retainers, Richard Curson.5

In the meantime, Harewell had continued to be of service to Joan, the widow of Warwick’s uncle, Lord Beauchamp of Abergavenny. Since 1415 he had acted as a trustee of the Fitzalan estates which she held for life, and he had also undertaken the feoffeeship of lands in Kent which had been settled on her son, Lord Richard. By 1426 he was receiving from Lady Joan separate annuities of £10 and £3 6s.8d., the latter being specifically for his services as her councillor. Joan herself was party to transactions whereby the Warwickshire manors of Bidford and Broom were settled for life on Harewell’s brother, Thomas (another of her retainers), with reversion to John’s heirs. But these were not the only concerns of John Harewell: when, in 1426, he took out royal letters of protection to join the duke of Bedford’s company in France, it was evidently with the intention of settling the affairs there of the late William Venour, his brother-in-law, for whom he was currently acting as executor.6

Harewell’s link with the Warwick affinity was the single most important factor in his career, and one which he strengthened through the marriages of his four elder sons. Thus, the eldest, Roger, was married to Agnes, daughter of Sir William Clopton, grand daughter of the Worcestershire lawyer Alexander Besford*, niece of Thomas Throckmorton* and cousin of John Throckmorton; and John, Richard and William married the three daughters and coheirs of Besford’s daughter, Margaret, and her husband John Dixton of Dixton, Gloucestershire.7 Other members of the closely knit circle, such as William Wollashull*, were remembered in Harewell’s will, made at Wootton on 14 Dec. 1428. He left monetary bequests amounting to £350, of which a small part was to go to the friars of Coventry, Warwick and Worcester and also to pay for repairs to certain roads in Somerset and between Wootton and the hermitage at Silesbourne. His first four sons were to receive sums amounting to £56 13s.4d., while the offspring of his last marriage (John junior and Joan) were left £100 and 100 marks respectively, and his widow was to have £100. His executors were his brother, Master Richard Harewell, and his son Richard. Harewell had been appointed sheriff a few weeks earlier, but did not live to complete his term, for he died before 26 Mar. 1429 (the date of probate). He was buried beneath an alabaster tomb at St. Peter’s, Wootton. Harewell’s estates were divided between his four elder sons, two of whom (Roger and John) were to be returned for Warwickshire to the Parliament of 1431.8 His widow married Thomas Poyntz of Frampton Coterell, Gloucestershire, brother-in-law of the Beauchamp retainer, Robert Stanshawe, and died in 1444.9

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. VCH Warws. iii. 198; W. Dugdale, Warws. 809-10; CIMisc. v. 322; Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. ed. Emden, ii. 872.
  • 2. CIPM, xvi. 478, 781; HMC Wells, ii. 642; F. Blomefield, Norf. vi. 172-3; J. Hutchins, Dorset, iv. 197; Som. Feet of Fines (Som. Rec. Soc. xxii), 42-43.
  • 3. Som. Med. Wills (Som. Rec. Soc. xix), 289-90; Som. Feet of Fines (ibid. xvii), 228; (ibid. xxii), 9-13; Reg. Bubwith (ibid. xxx), 321, 378-82; CPR, 1385-9, p. 336; 1399-1401, p. 476; 1422-9, p. 285; CFR, xii. 163; xiii. 20; xvi. 117; CCR, 1402-5, p. 347; Feudal Aids, vi. 507.
  • 4. Warws. Feet of Fines (Dugdale Soc. xviii), no. 2362; Reg. Holy Trinity Guild, Coventry (ibid. xiii), 37; CCR, 1396-9, p. 125; VCH Warws. iii. 260; v. 206; E326/4678.
  • 5. CCR, 1392-6, p. 10; 1422-9, pp. 127, 340; C67/30 m. 15; CPR, 1396-9, p. 526; 1416-22, pp. 152, 247; 1446-52, p. 22; Add. Ch. 8440; Egerton Roll 8773; CFR, xiv. 207; Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. lxx. 88-89.
  • 6. CCR, 1419-22, pp. 167, 176, 183; CFR, xvi. 200-1, 273; SC11/25; E101/514/15; CPR, 1429-36, p. 344; C139/115/27; VCH Warws. iii. 54; DKR, xlviii. 243.
  • 7. VCH Worcs. iv. 21, 84; VCH Glos. vi. 191; CFR, xv. 1; CCR, 1419-22, p. 26; 1422-9, pp. 9-10.
  • 8. PCC 10 Luffenham; Trans. Birmingham Arch. Soc. xlvii. 57; Dugdale, 809-10; E326/5531.
  • 9. CPR, 1436-41, p. 69; CFR, xvii. 275.