PYNE, Edmund, of Upton Pyne, Devon.
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Family and Education
m. bef. Mich. 1395, Alice.1
Tax collector, Devon Mar. 1395, Sept. 1432.
Sheriff, Devon 30 Nov. 1407-15 Nov. 1408, 5 Nov. 1432-3.
Commr. of inquiry, Devon Apr. 1410 (market at Forde), Som., Dorset June 1421 (Urswyk estates); array, Devon Apr. 1418, Mar. 1419; to raise loans Jan. 1420.
Edmund Pyne’s parentage has not been traced, though as a tenant of Bramford Pyne (Devon) he must have been one of the heirs of the Edmund Pyne referred to in the inquisition following the death of the earl of Devon in 1377, or at least one of that namesake’s descendants. The long gap between his two terms as sheriff, one of nearly a quarter of a century, might at first sight suggest that two men of the same name were involved in these appointments. Other evidence, however, points to a single individual who, quite simply, lived a long time: Edmund Pyne’s presentations (as patron) to the church of Combepyne occurred regularly from 1412 to 1431, and his connexion with the Brookes of Weycroft near Axminster extended, apparently without any break, from 1388 until the 1430s.2
It was this connexion with the Brooke family which formed the central feature of Pyne’s career. For several years he acted as a feoffee of the extensive estates in Somerset, Devon and Gloucestershire which Sir Thomas Brooke* acquired by his marriage into the family of Cheddar. In October 1404, not long after his first Parliament, he was apparently involved, along with Brooke’s stepson, Richard Cheddar*, in an ‘insurrection’ in Dorset, in which they were alleged to have laid an ambush for John Savage, esquire, this being in retaliation for a murderous assault made by the latter on Cheddar while the Commons had been sitting; and in the following year he acted as surety for the young man’s good behaviour towards Bishop Metford of Salisbury and his tenants. Of greater interest and importance was Pyne’s position in 1414 as mainpernor for the younger Thomas Brooke*. The latter and his friends undertook in large sums of money that he, Brooke, would not attempt to escape from the Tower where he was imprisoned for having taken part in Sir John Oldcastle’s* rebellion; and again in 1417 Pyne formally guaranteed that neither Brooke nor Cheddar would in future adhere to Oldcastle and his cause. Whether he shared Brooke’s interest in lollardy is not known. Incidentally, it was from Sir Thomas that he received possession of the manor of Westrop (Wiltshire), initially as a feoffee but later as sole owner.3
Although very much in the shadow of the Brooke family, Pyne had property of his own, and the estates he held in Devon in 1412 were valued at £40 a year. They included both Bramford and Upton Pyne and two advowsons. In 1403 he and his wife had also been involved in transactions relating to the manor of Combepyne and lands, similarly in east Devon, near Axminster. That he was a landowner of some substance is also suggested by the fact that he was one of only four men called upon to witness the indentures containing the result of the elections to Parliament held at Exeter on Christmas Eve 1409. He again attended the parliamentary elections for Devon in April 1421 and October 1423.4
In 1426 Pyne obtained a papal indult for plenary remission at the hour of death. Although he served as sheriff in 1432-3, the omission of his name from the list of Devon notables who in 1434 were to take the general oath not to maintain anybody who broke the peace may point to his having died before then.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 200; Reg. Stafford ed. Hingeston-Randolph, 279.
- 2. CIPM, xiv. 316; Feudal Aids, i. 485; Reg. Stafford, 158; Reg. Lacy ed. Hingeston-Randolph,i. 22, 110, 126, 132.
- 3. CCR, 1399-1402, p. 283; 1405-9, p. 78; 1413-19, pp. 116, 428, 479-81; 1429-35, pp. 79-80; 1435-41, p. 93; 1441-7, p. 107; CFR, xvi. 361; Som. Feet of Fines (Som. Rec. Soc. xvii), 206; ibid. (xxii), 170; CPR, 1401-5, p. 502; 1429-36, pp. 104, 118; Feudal Aids, v. 260.
- 4. Feudal Aids, i. 485; vi. 419; Reg. Stafford, 279; Reg. Lacy, i. 62, 110; CP25(1)45/71/35; C219/10/5, 12/5, 13/2.
- 5. CPR, 1429-36, pp. 398-9; CPL, vii. 428. An Edmund Pyne presented to the church at Combepyne in 1444 and 1451, but if this was our MP he must by then have been a very old man. Sir William (now Lord) Bonville* was the patron at the next presentation in 1454: Reg. Lacy, i. 290, 357, 382.