MILLE (MULLE), Thomas (d.1422), of Traymill, Devon, and Harescombe, Glos.
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Family and Education
m. by Sept. 1394, Juliana (14 June 1357-aft. 1427), da. of Thomas Rous (d.1358), and sis. and h. of John Rous (d.1369), of Avenbury, Herefs. and Harescombe, wid. of Sir Andrew Herle† of Warws., 1s. Thomas†, 2da.1
J.p. Herefs. 2 Mar. 1399-July 1419, Glos. 8 Mar. 1404-d.
Commr. of gaol delivery, Hereford castle Apr. 1399; oyer and terminer, Glos. June 1402, Worcs. Aug. 1405; inquiry, Som. Apr. 1403 (poaching, Fullwood), Glos., Bristol Jan. 1414 (lollards), Glos., Herefs. May 1419 (concealments), Glos. Feb. 1421 (repairs to guttering at Lee), Oct. 1421 (piracy), Nov. 1421 (ownership of the manor of ‘Brokenborough’); sewers Apr. 1412, May 1413; array May 1415, May 1418; to raise royal loans Nov. 1419, Jan. 1420.
Tax controller, Herefs. Mar. 1404.
Escheator, Herefs. and adjacent marches 3 Nov. 1412-10 Nov. 1413.
Steward, duchy of Lancaster estates Herefs., Glos. 20 June 1416-bef. 22 June 1420.2
Mille, who came from a Devonshire family of small means, is first recorded in 1391 when he provided securities that two of his fellow Devonians would keep the peace. He was still apparently living in the county two years later, then appearing at the Exchequer as a mainpernor for Thomas Raymond*, the recorder of Exeter. Nothing is known of his early landed holdings, save that he had an interest in property at Chilton, some seven miles to the north of Exeter, which was to be the subject of a quitclaim made to him later, in 1413, by John, nephew and heir of Thomas Creedy†. Mille’s feoffees on that occasion included the lawyers, William Frye* and John Copplestone*, both of whom, like Raymond, belonged to the circle of Edward Courtenay, earl of Devon. There is, however, no evidence that Mille himself was of that affinity, although like his friends he may have been a member of the legal profession.3
Mille’s move to Gloucestershire, which took place before Michaelmas 1394, was an outcome of his advantageous marriage to Juliana Rous, whose inheritance included the manors of Harescombe and Duntisborne Rouse in that county, and Allensmore, Avenbury and Tregate as well as the hamlet of Winnall in Herefordshire. He was subsequently often referred to as ‘lord of Harescombe’ and it seems likely that he lived there. In 1412 his lands in Gloucestershire were estimated to have an annual value of £20 and those in Herefordshire were probably worth a similar amount.4
Mille’s activities as a royal commissioner were divided equally between the two counties in which his wife’s estates lay. He was evidently well regarded by the Crown as an administrator, for he was retained as a j.p. either in Herefordshire or Gloucestershire, and more usually in both counties at the same time, from 1399 until his death some 22 years later. In March 1411 he was appointed to supervise the expenditure of a grant of murage made to the citizens of Hereford; and in the following year he was named as escheator of the shire. Furthermore, for about four years from June 1416 he served as duchy of Lancaster steward in the same two counties, a deputy having to be appointed in November 1417 when he was ‘elsewhere on the King’s business’. In April 1421 Mille was one of a group, headed by the bishop of Worcester, to whom was committed the keeping of the hospital of St. Bartholomew in Gloucester in order that the administration of the house might be reformed.5
Mille was occasionally asked by other landowners of the region to act on their behalf in business transactions: thus in 1410 he stood surety at the Exchequer for the parson of Uley; in 1413 he witnessed the assignment of dower made by Edmund, Lord Ferrers of Chartley, to his mother; and in 1418 he was chosen as an arbiter in the disputes between Llanthony priory and St. Peter’s abbey, Gloucester. He also sometimes appeared as a feoffee-to-uses, for example, for Gilbert, Lord Talbot, who shortly before his departure for France in July 1417 appointed trustees of his estates in the Welsh marches.6
Mille’s last appointment as a j.p. was dated February 1422, and he died before 11 June, when the will he had made on 23 Aug. 1420 was proved at Worcester. He had asked to be buried in Harescombe church near the altar dedicated to St. Thomas and St. Nicholas, and had left all his goods and chattels in Devon to his son, another Thomas, and the residue to his widow. These two, along with Mille’s son-in-law Nicholas Poyntz†, shared the burden of executorship. In 1427 the widow entailed Harescombe and Duntisborne Rouse on William Herle esquire, most likely her son by her first marriage; but Herle evidently died without issue, for Mille’s son took possession of the manors a few years later. Thomas junior represented Gloucestershire in the Parliaments of 1435, 1439 and 1449 (Feb.), and was influential in the county as steward of the local estates of Humphrey, duke of Buckingham, from 1435 until after 1459. His loyalty to Henry VI was to lead to the attainders of himself and his son, Sir William (who was slain at Towton), in Edward IV’s first Parliament.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
He should not be confused with Thomas Mille of Magna Dene, Glos., who made his will on 20 Aug. 1412 and d. bef. Mar. 1420 leaving a widow named Elizabeth: PCC 47 Marche.
- 1. Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. x. 85, 123-5, 128.
- 2. Somerville, Duchy, i. 635.
- 3. CCR, 1389-92, p. 324; 1413-19, p. 95; CFR, xi. 102.
- 4. CIPM, xii. 408; xiii. 47; xiv. 52; CFR, xi. 47; CP25(1)78/82/121; C115/K2/6682, ff. 9, 37d-39, 137, 6684, f. 24.
- 5. CPR, 1408-13, p. 278; 1416-22, p. 375.
- 6. CFR, xiii. 176; CCR, 1409-13, p. 152; 1413-19, p. 101; 1419-22, pp. 4, 17; C115/K2/6682, ff. 109d-114; Glos. RO, Guise of Elmore ms, D326/T/16/1; CPR, 1416-22, p. 219.
- 7. Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. x. 124; CP25(1)79/87/12; C. Rawcliffe, Staffords, 210, 224, 234.