TILLIOL, Geoffrey (d.c.1400), of Torpenhow and Embleton, Cumb.

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



Family and Education

yr. of bro. of Sir Peter Tilliol*. m. Alice, da. and h. of Sir John Ireby* of High Ireby, 2da. Kntd. by Feb. 1398.1

Offices Held

Farmer of pontage at Carlisle 6 Mar. 1389-93.


Shortly before his death, in April 1367, Sir Robert Tilliol made provision for his wife, Felicity, and his two younger sons, Geoffrey and Roger. The bulk of the family estates descended to his eldest boy, Peter, who was then only 11 years old, but Geoffrey was assured of a life interest in a modest amount of land in Torpenhow. He later went to live on his wife’s manor of Embleton, which he occupied as a feudal tenant first of the Lucys and later of Henry, Percy, earl of Northumberland, who acquired the Lucy estates by marriage. Geoffrey’s career is greatly overshadowed by that of his elder brother, who may have had a hand in securing his election to the Parliament of 1393 as a knight of the shire for Cumberland. By the he was acting as a collector of pontage in Carlisle, although he held no other posts and did not attend any more Parliaments. He was not, however, without influence in the local community, albeit largely as a result of his important family connexions. We do not know exactly when he married Alice, the only child of Sir John Ireby, who represented Cumberland in three Parliaments and who was also three times sheriff of the county, although their alliance clearly improved his standing even further. In February 1394 he stood bail in the court of Chancery on behalf of Sir Thomas Musgrave* (who was then charged with being an accessory to murder); and two years later he performed a similar office for Thomas Boget, a chaplain accused of harbouring felons. Geoffrey was chosen by his father-in-law as one of the executors of his will; and on 24 May 1397 he and the recently widowed Katherine Ireby began accounting at the Exchequer as collectors of the customs in Cumberland in place of Sir John.2

Probably through the efforts of his brother, who stood well at Court, in June 1395 Geoffrey and his friend, Geoffrey Lowther, were granted the keepership of a ferry over the river Solway by Richard II. Geoffrey Tilliol may well have been involved in some of Sir Peter’s malpractices as sheriff of Cumberland, because both men took out royal pardons early in 1398, although neither had any reason to fear political reprisals at that time. Indeed, in November 1398, they are named together as ‘borghs’ or securities for the keeping of a truce between England and Scotland, Sir Geoffrey having by then been knighted. Shortly before leaving for Ireland as a member of the ill-fated expedition mounted by Richard II in the spring of 1399, Sir Peter named his younger brother as one of his attorneys. The latter also agreed to act for John Monceaux*, another member of the royal army. His dealings with Sir Robert Muncaster* are less easy to understand, but it appears that Muncaster was obliged to mortgage some of his estates in order to raise money, and and thus came to borrow 250 marks from Sir Geoffrey Tilliol on the security of his property in and around Torpenhow (which lay conveniently near the land settled on Sir Geoffrey by his father). Certainly, by a deed of April 1400, he undertook to repay this amount to Sir Geoffrey within a term of 40 years, although Tilliol’s death soon afterwards led to a renegotiation of the loan.3

By February 1401, Sir Geoffrey’s widow, Alice, had married the influential Cumbrian landowner, John Skelton*, who arranged through an intermediary for the entire sum of 250 marks to be paid to Katherine Tilliol, one of Sir Geoffrey’s two young daughters and coheirs, while himself contracting another mortgage with Muncaster. Sir Geoffrey’s property in Torpenhow reverted to his elder brother, Sir Peter, while his widow’s manors of Embleton and High Ireby passed into the hands of her new husband. On the evidence of a later dispute over the ownership of Sir John Ireby’s estates, it looks as if Skelton married Katherine to his eldest son, Richard, in order to retain control over her money and inheritance. Her sister, Joan, became the wife of Sir Robert Roos, had left a daughter named Eleanor. Eventually, after Skelton’s death, Eleanor and Katherine became embroiled in litigation, since both advanced a claim to the two manors.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.


  • 1. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. tract ser. no. 2, pp. 154, 176; C67/30 m. 30. The genealogy given in Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 372, suggests that Alice’s two daughters, Joan and Katherine, were by her second husband, John Skelton, but they were, in fact, Geoffrey Tilliol’s children, as is evident from the nature of the property dispute in question.
  • 2. E122/39/7; CAD, iii. D1167; Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. tract ser. no. 2, p. 154; CIPM (Rec. Comm.), iii. 244; CPR, 1388-92, p. 20; CCR, 1392-6, pp. 272, 507.
  • 3. CPR, 1391-6, p. 596; 1396-9, pp. 555, 559; C67/30 mm. 23, 30; Cal. Scots Docs. iv. nos. 465, 512; CAD, vi. C4149.
  • 4. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. tract ser. no. 2, p. 176; CCR, 1429-35, p. 121; 1435-41, p. 247; Peds. Plea Rolls, 372.