SALMAN, Robert, of Calne, Wilts.
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Family and Education
m. bef. 1433, Joan, wid. of Nicholas Temse,1 prob. s.p. Tax collector, Wilts. Dec. 1406.
Commr. of arrest, Wilts. June 1408.
Verderer of the forests of Pewsham and Blackmoor, Wilts. bef. June 1430.2
Probably a relation of a namesake who, while living at Heddington, three miles south of Calne, had paid 8d. towards the poll tax of 1379, Salman evidently belonged to the lesser gentry; and, since he was frequently in demand as a feoffee, he may also have received some legal training. He is first mentioned in 1393, when he purchased a royal pardon for unspecified offences. Two years later, he appeared as a juror at the inquisition post mortem held on John Blake† of Quemerford, for the administration of whose estate he may have been jointly responsible, for it was to be later alleged (at a visitation of Calne by the dean of Salisbury) that he and the cantarist of St. Mary’s church, Calne, had withheld from the church a chalice once in Blake’s keeping. In 1397 Salman joined Richard Collingbourne* of Great Bedwyn in purchasing from the royal escheator in Wiltshire corn worth £23 6s.8d., which had been forfeited by Thomas, earl of Warwick, following his condemnation for treason. Apart from his return, for both Malmesbury and Calne, to Henry IV’s first Parliament, little more is known about him until June 1408, when he was appointed to arrest two men who, contesting the King’s right to appoint the treasurer of Salisbury cathedral, had recently attempted to depose the royal nominee with the help of bulls procured at the Roman Curia.3
Salman was occasionally called upon to stand surety for defendants in lawsuits, and he also took on trusteeships of land in Wiltshire. He had already established firm links with the Crook family of Lacock, for whom he acted in dealings concerning various of their properties between 1403 and 1430. Among his co-feoffees of the manor of Wick-by-Lacock was Thomas Calston*, on whose behalf, between 1409 and 1412, he appeared as a trustee in the complicated series of transactions whereby the manor of Knighton (in Ramsbury) was acquired from the Lovells. Thus, he was party in November 1412 when the manor was finally settled on Calston, with remainder to his son-in-law, William Darell†; and at the same time he and a different group of feoffees conveyed to him land in Marlborough. It was then, too, that Salman was made a trustee of Calston’s manor of Littlecote (also in Ramsbury). He witnessed a deed on his friend’s behalf in 1415.4
Meanwhile, Salman had been returned for Calne to three consecutive Parliaments at the beginning of Henry V’s reign. By Michaelmas 1416 he had taken out a lease of two-thirds of the manors of Calne and Calstone Wellington, and also of an estate in Quemerford, which, during the minority of the heir of William, 4th Lord de la Zouche, were temporarily in the hands of Queen Joan, widow of Henry IV. He held the lease jointly with John Bird*, the queen’s steward and bailiff in the county, paying her £13 6s.8d. a year. He was consequently farming the greater part of the manor of Calne when elected to Parliament for the borough in 1417; and was still doing so when, in the following year, he shared with the former Speaker, Sir Walter Beauchamp*, and the latter’s wife, Elizabeth, a reversionary interest in the manor of Grove in Melksham (which was not to fall in until after his death). Incidentally, in 1422 he stood surety for the attendance in the Commons of Henry Bottenham, burgess-elect for Calne.5
Salman built up his landed holdings by acquiring, in 1424, a small estate at Allcannings, Wiltshire, and three years later land at Clayhanger in Somerset. In 1428 he was assessed for taxation as also occupying property at Lushill, near Cricklade. His marriage to the widowed Joan Temse, moreover, brought into his possession the manor of West Ashton near Edington, which in 1433 was settled on them and their issue, with successive remainders to Joan’s sons by her first marriage, William†, Thomas† and John Temse, and, ultimately, should their line fail, to Sir Walter (now Lord) Hungerford*.6
Before June 1430 Salman had served as verderer of the royal forests of Pewsham and Blackmoor, which were both in the vicinity of Calne, but he was then removed from office, no reason being specified. He was present at Wilton at the election of the knights of the shire for the Parliament of 1432, and two years later appeared among the local gentry certified as liable to take the oath not to maintain men who were in breach of the peace. Not recorded thereafter, he died before 1444. Salman and his wife were included in 1446 among those for whose souls prayers were to be said in the chantry chapel founded by John St. Lo in the parish church at Calne. The priest was also to pray for the welfare of a number of other Calne MPs, including Salman’s stepson, William Temse.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: Charles Kightly
- 1. Wilts. Feet of Fines (Wilts. Rec. Soc. xli), 219, 472.
- 2. CCR, 1429-35, p. 4.
- 3. E179/196/52A; C67/30 m. 8; CIMisc. vi. 280; C136/83/6; Reg. John Chandler (Wilts. Rec. Soc. xxxix), 263.
- 4. CCR, 1409-13, p. 107; 1413-19, p. 292; CAD, ii. C2381, 2492, 2520, 2670; iv. A6811, 7148, 9589.
- 5. SC6/1062/26, 27, 1295/1/2; C219/13/1; CPR, 1441-6, p. 26.
- 6. Wilts. Feet of Fines, 398, 472; Som. Feet of Fines (Som. Rec. Soc. xxii), 66.
- 7. C219/14/3; CPR, 1429-36, p. 371; 1441-6, pp. 264, 459.