HARRINGTON, Sir Robert (d.1399), of Glaston, Rutland and Glooston, Leics.
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Family and Education
s. of John Harrington of Glaston and Glooston by his w. Margery. m. bef. 1381, Agnes, 2s. 1da. Kntd. bef. Apr. 1386.
Commr. of array, Rutland Sept. 1386; to bring a royal ward to the King July 1391; of weirs, Leics. June 1398.
J.p. Leics. 15 July 1389-d.
Sheriff, Warws. and Leics. 7 Nov. 1390-21 Oct. 1391.
Robert came from the branch of the Harrington family which held Little Panton in Lincolnshire, although as a descendant of a younger son of John Harrington (d.1326) of Panton he could lay claim neither to the Lincolnshire estates nor to those in Northamptonshire and Rutland which all passed in 1376 to three female coheirs. However, Robert’s grandfather, Thomas, held the manor of Glaston in Rutland, which came into the possession of the MP’s father, John, before 1353. John’s severe financial difficulties, exacerbated by costly litigation arising from the claims to Glaston made by his more prominent kinsman, Sir John Harrington, led him to sell a life interest in the manor to William Wade† of Stockerston and his wife Margaret, and to promise to Sir Roland Daneys† the reversion. Robert Harrington’s first task was therefore to regain this part of his inheritance. Following the deaths of the Wades in 1364 and 1377, respectively, he challenged the right of Daneys’s nephew and heir, John Daneys* of Tickencote, to succeed to Glaston and finally, in 1381, secured from him a formal quitclaim. Perhaps he had to buy him out.1 Harrington encountered similar problems with regard to his other manor, at Glooston over the border in Leicestershire, for his father had either given or sold Sir Roland Daneys an interest there, too. Some time before January 1369 he managed to persuade Sir Roland’s widow to seal a deed confirming his title, but this was alleged to be to the prejudice of young John Daneys, and matters were further complicated when the vicar of Evington pressed a claim. Nevertheless, as with the suits over his manor in Rutland, Harrington was eventually successful; he and his wife were assessed for the poll tax of 1381 as resident at Glooston.2
It was not until after his first election to Parliament that Sir Robert was found employment as a royal commissioner and j.p. Little is known about those with whom he usually associated, save that on occasion he witnessed deeds for members of the Hastings family. From 1387 to 1392 he was engaged in a suit over the manor of Carlton Curlieu (Leicestershire) in which one of his fellow litigants was William Chiselden, receiver-general of the duchy of Lancaster.3 There is no evidence that Harrington was personally acquainted with the court of Richard II, even though by 1392 his daughter, Margaret, was married to the King’s messenger, William Brauncepath. His retention on the Leicestershire bench right up to Richard’s departure for Ireland in the early summer of 1399 suggests, however, that the King had found no reason to doubt his loyalty. The circumstances of Harrington’s death, which occurred shortly before 23 Aug., are not recorded, although it is possible that he fell offering armed resistance to the forces of Henry of Bolingbroke. The wardship of his lands during the minority of his elder son, Robert, was granted free of payment to John Payn II*, butler of Bolingbroke’s household, while Henry and the captive King were at Stafford. Robert junior came of age before 1407, but by 1428 both he and his brother Walter were dead without issue, leaving the Harrington manors to their sister, Margaret Brauncepath.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. CIPM, xiv. 333, 363; xv. 65; VCH Rutland, ii. 183-4; CCR, 1354-60, pp. 99-100, 304; 1381-5, p. 422; Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 57, 339, 437.
- 2. VCH Leics. v. 113-14; CCR, 1369-74, pp. 1-2; Leics. Village Notes ed. Farnham, ii. 322.
- 3. HMC Hastings, i. 101; Leics. Village Notes, ii. 12; CCR, 1396-9, pp. 195-6.
- 4. CPR, 1391-6, p. 157; 1396-9, p. 590; 1399-1401, p. 23; CCR, 1402-5, p. 74; 1405-9, p. 184; 1409-13, pp. 299, 304; Feudal Aids, iii. 122.