SHEFFIELD, William, of Seaton, Rutland.
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Family and Education
m. by 1409, Isabel, da. and h. of Roland St. Liz (d. by 1429) of South Luffenham and Morcott, Rutland, by Alice Pinchbeck, 1s.1
Tax collector, Rutland Nov. 1419.
Nothing is known about Sheffield before he took part in the Rutland county elections to the Parliament of 1406. Perhaps by then he had already married the hieress, Isabel St. Liz, to whom he owed his position as a local landowner. Since he does not appear to have held any estates of his own in the area, it seems likely that his return as a shire knight in the following year was effected through the influence of his father-in-law, Roland St. Liz, although no definite evidence of his marriage occurs before 1409, when St. Liz settled his manor of Seaton upon him and his wife. The next few years of Sheffield’s life remain shrouded in obscurity. In November 1419, however, he again began to play some part in public affairs by serving as a tax collector for Rutland. Having witnessed the return for the county to the Parliament of 1420, he himself stood for election once again in the following year, and entered the House of Commons for the second and last time.2
Sheffield’s relations with his father-in-law were evidently cordial. In April 1421, for example, the latter joined with Sir John Beaufo* and others in releasing to him their rights in a watercourse in Seaton; and not long afterwards he and Beaufo in turn assisted St. Liz by offering mutual securities of £200 on his behalf during a property dispute with Sir Thomas Chetwode. On the death of her father, at some point before Easter 1429, Isabel obtained seisin of approximately one half of the St. Liz estates, the other being awarded to her sister, Margaret, who was then married to the Rutland MP, John Burgh III*. Isabel’s share comprised farmland and rents in Seaton, Morcott and Thorpe by Water, together with the advowson of Morcott church, although thanks to an arrangement whereby each sister settled a reversionary interest upon the other she eventally obtained Margaret’s purparty as well. Thus, by the date of her death (which occurred after 1436), she was also in possession of additional holdings in the Rutland villages of Barrowden, South Luffenham and Uppingham, and her rent-roll had increased by some £4 a year.3 Sheffield himself is last mentioned in May 1434, when he and other leading members of county society took the general oath not to support persons disturbing the peace. He left at least one son, named John, who in June 1453 was made a tax collector in Rutland.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Shefeld, Sheffeld.