STANSHAWE, Nicholas, of Kingrove and Stourden in Winterbourne, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



May 1421
Dec. 1421

Family and Education

3rd s. of Isabel Stanshawe (d. 8 Jan. 1412) of Stanshawe’s Court, Glos. m. bef. two, Margaret — (d.1435) of Stourden in Winterbourne and Hempton, at least 1s.1

Offices Held

Commr. of inquiry, Glos. Feb. 1422 (case of eviction).

Collector of taxes, Glos. Sept. 1431.


Nicholas Stanshawe came of a fairly prosperous Gloucestershire family, being the third son of Isabel Stanshawe, who, in April 1407, settled her manor of Stanshawe’s Court upon his elder brother, Robert, while granting him and his heirs the manor of Kingrove in Winterbourne. When she died, in January 1412, she was succeeded by her young grandson, John, so for some years Robert and Nicholas were together responsible for managing their nephew’s inheritance. Both men had trained as lawyers at Lincoln’s Inn, where Nicholas presumably met Robert Crackenthorpe*, and thus established a personal connexion with Westmorland. Crackenthorpe served as deputy sheriff of the county between February 1421 and October 1423, and was thus responsible for returning Nicholas to three of the four Parliaments in which he sat for Appleby. Interestingly enough, John Forster, his colleague in the Parliament of 1422, was also a member of Lincoln’s Inn, and yet another of the many lawyers whose professional commitments at Westminster made them an ideal choice as representatives for such a small and distant constituency. In November 1421, for example, Nicholas offered bail of £40 in the court of Chancery on behalf of a Bristol man, and he no doubt had several other clients in London. Robert Stanshawe first entered the House of Commons in 1422, as a shire knight for Gloucestershire (which returned him on a further three occasions), this being the only time that the two brothers attended Parliament together. So far as we know, Nicholas soon abandoned his links with Appleby and did not sit again himself, although he remained active for several more years.2

His position as a landowner in the south-west was greatly enhanced by his marriage, at some point before 1420, to an heiress named Margaret, who was a kinswoman, perhaps even the daughter, of Robert Waleys of Stourden. Waleys’s trustees settled upon her the manors of Stourden, Hinton and Hempton, along with the hundred of Grumbald’s Ash and other property in Stoke Gerard and Wick in Gloucestershire. She and Nicholas were confirmed in possession of these estates in February 1428; and on her death, in 1435, he retained a life interest in them all. The grant to him, in July 1423, of the lands and marriage of the young Eleanor Herberd consolidated his holdings in Gloucestershire even further, and it is not surprising that he was named on the list of county gentry who were to take the general oath of 1434 that they would not support anyone who disturbed the peace.3

Nicholas was probably still alive in June 1439, when one of his neighbours at Hinton was pardoned a sentence of outlawry incurred for failing to appear in court to answer charges of trespass laid against him by the lawyer. He left at least one son, Robert, who was born in about 1420, and who followed him into the legal profession. As ‘Stanshawe le tierce’ he was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in 1441 and died 31 years later.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.


Variant: Stansshawe.

  • 1. C139/73/16; Brit. Rec. Soc. xlvii. 264-5.
  • 2. J.S. Roskell, Commons of 1422, p. 220; Brit. Rec. Soc. xlvii. 264-5; LI Adm. i. 3; CCR, 1419-22, pp. 129-30.
  • 3. CCR, 1422-9, p. 400; 1435-41, pp. 10-11; CPR, 1429-36, p. 373; C139/73/16; CFR, xv. 47-48; xvi. 217.
  • 4. CPR, 1436-41, p. 216; LI Adm. i. 8; C139/73/16; VCH Glos. x. 275.