WALWYN, Thomas II (d.1415), of Hellions in Much Marcle, Herefs.
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Family and Education
s. and h. of Sir Richard Walwyn† by Joan, da. of Walter Hellion of Much Marcle. m. by Feb. 1382, Isabel (1364-1430), da. and coh. of Thomas Hathewey of Ruardean, Glos., 3s. inc. William Hathewey† and Malcolm Hathewey†, 2da.1
Escheator, Herefs. and Glos. 3 Dec. 1386-30 Nov. 1387, 6 Dec. 1391-24 Oct. 1392, Herefs. 19 June-26 Nov. 1399
Sheriff, Herefs. 15 Nov. 1389-7 Nov. 1390, 7 Nov. 1393-8 Feb. 1395.
Commr. of inquiry, Herefs., Glos. Feb. 1390 (estates of the earl of Pembroke), Herefs. Dec. 1391 (property of Sir Simon Burley), May 1393 (insanity of Joan Hayme), Worcs. July 1413 (assaults), Herefs. May 1414 (offences against Statute of Leatherworkers); arrest Apr. 1394; array Dec. 1399, Sept. 1403; to levy the debts of Thomas, earl of Worcester, Pemb. Apr. 1400; make proclamation of Henry IV’s intention to govern well, Herefs. May 1402.
Alnager, Herefs. 20 July 1394-18 June 1396.
J.p. Herefs. 28 Nov. 1399-May 1401, 27 Apr. 1404-d.
Thomas Walwyn of Much Marcle (near Ledbury) was among the more important of the Herefordshire gentry of our period, largely due to his connexions with local magnates. Like his less prominent relation and contemporary, Thomas Walwyn I* of Stoke Edith (whose career is sometimes difficult to disentangle from his own) he was descended from an ancient marcher family. His was a junior branch, whose principal manor of Hellions in Much Marcle had been obtained by his father’s marriage to Joan Hellion, but the Walwyns remained closely associated, and, indeed, Thomas II was responsible as sheriff for making the return to the Parliament of 1395 of his younger namesake. By 1382 (when first mentioned) he had added to his patrimony estates in Ruardean and St. Briavels, Gloucestershire, the inheritance of his wife, Isabel Hatheway.2
Thomas probably began his career in the service of the earls of March, the feudal overlords of Much Marcle, and from 1389 onwards he was frequently associated in private transactions with one or another of a group of Mortimer retainers, including Richard Nash*, (Sir) Kynard de la Bere*, Sir Hugh Cheyne*, and, especially, Thomas Oldcastle*. At the time of his first return to Parliament in 1397 he seems to have been acting as receiver-general of the Mortimer estates, and a few months later (in July) he crossed over to Ireland to serve as treasurer for Roger, earl of March, who was then King’s lieutenant there. It was probably at this time that March granted him for life holdings in March Marcle worth £20 a year. He came home with the earl in January 1398, but did not return with him to Ireland two months later, for he then agreed to look after his affairs in England as one of his attorneys. Walwyn’s closeness to Earl Roger is attested by the fact that, following the earl’s death at the hands of the Irish in July, he acted as an executor of his will.3
Meanwhile, in 1394, Walweyn had obtained, jointly with Robert Whittington*, the farm of the valuable estates in five counties belonging to the foreign abbey of Lire; and although the abbot’s proctor, Ralph Maylock, successfully sued for restoration of the lands in 1395, Walwyn was evidently again in possession by 1404, for he then wrote to his consanguineus, Master John Prophet (King’s secretary and dean of Hereford) stating that he was prepared to return them to Maylock. Walwyn is often found in association with Prophet, whose influence he cannot but have found useful: in about 1407, for instance, the dean, now keeper of the privy seal, wrote to a bishop (whose name is not recorded) requesting him to admit one of Walwyn’s chaplains to a benefice.4 In May 1397 Walwyn had obtained a royal lease of certain Herefordshire lands of the late Richard, Lord Talbot, during the minority of the heirs; and it was probably this interest in the Talbot estates which prompted his forcible interference with the conduct of an inquest held at Stroud in 1398 to establish the value of the deceased lord’s Gloucestershire possessions with a view to repayment of a debt. Thomas and his servants allegedly made an armed attack on the jurors, threatening to kill one of them if he continued to be party to the inquiry. A royal commission was set up to investigate the matter, but with what result is not known. Walwyn was in trouble again early in the following year, being then indicted before the Warwickshire justices for robbery and rape. He claimed that the accusations were malicious, and that he dared not answer for fear of being murdered by his enemies: having petitioned Richard II for a suspension of the process, he was not only successful in this but on 5 Apr. 1399 secured a general pardon.5
While attending the first Parliament of Henry IV’s reign, in October 1399 Walwyn obtained the farm of the alien priory of Abergavenny (of which custody was to be renewed in 1407 and 1413). Ten days after the close of the parliamentary session, moreover, he was appointed for the first time to the Herefordshire commission of the peace. These preferments may have been partly due to the good offices of the new King’s friend, William Beauchamp, Lord Abergavenny, whose service Walwyn had by now entered. During 1400 he was a trustee when Beauchamp acquired (from Sir Lewis Clifford) the castle and lordship of Ewyas Harold, with its appurtenant manors in Wiltshire and Somerset, in exchange for two manors in Kent; and he was also a feoffee for Abergavenny’s estates at Inteborough and Rushock, Worcestershire. When Beauchamp made his will in 1408, he bequeathed Walwyn a covered cup and the sum of £40, and appointed him an executor. Subsequently, Thomas became closely associated with the widowed Lady Joan, with whose help in 1412 he purchased the manors of Hagley, Worcestershire, and Dean and Chalford, Oxfordshire, in part from Robert Lewknor*. He may have been acting as her agent when, in the same year, he was one of a group to whom Edward, duke of York, assigned the custody of the lands of the attainted Thomas, Lord Despenser, whose daughter had married Lady Joan’s son, Richard, the new Lord Abergavenny. There was plainly some dispute about these estates, for in December 1413 York on the one part, and Lady Joan, Sir John Greyndore* and Walwyn on the other, entered into recognizances in £2,000 to fulfil all covenants concerning them. Incidentally, Walwyn was York’s own feoffee for the manor of Barton-by-Bristol.6 Like most of the marcher gentry, Walwyn was involved in the suppression of Owen Glendower’s revolt in which York took a commanding role. In October 1404 he was appointed by the Parliament in which he was then sitting to survey the shire levies of Herefordshire, and twice in the course of the next 18 months he was ordered to muster the garrisons of castles in South Wales. In March 1408 he obtained the farm of yet another alien priory, that of Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire, the lands of which were in that county and Herefordshire.7
Walwyn made his will on 12 Mar. 1415, and died on 19 or 20 May following. He requested burial in Much Marcle church, where he had founded a chantry for himself and his ancestors: 10,000 masses were to be said there for his soul ‘in all haste’. His manorial holdings at Dean and Chalford were to be sold for charitable purposes, with part of the proceeds devoted to ‘helpe pore nede men oute of pryson’. Legacies also went to Marcle priory and Flaxley abbey, but the chief beneficiaries were the testator’s widow, Isabel, his eldest son, Richard, his younger sons, William and Malcolm, his daughters, Joan (wife of Hugh Folyot) and Christine, and his brother, William. An elaborate settlement was also made of his extensive lands. The principal estates at Marcle, Ledbury and Eastnor were to go to his widow for life, with remainder to his sons, although the heir was to have immediate possession of property at King’s Pyon, Aylton, Hyde, and Ruardean, Malcolm was to have the manors of ‘Thatley’ and ‘Farley’, and William the premises at Botterley (near Bromyard) and ‘La Fenne’. Longford, near Leominster, was to remain in the hands of feoffees for 20 years, for the fulfilment of the will. Walwyn’s executors included John Walwyn of Stoke Edith and the latter’s son, Thomas I, while the supervisors of the will were Master John Prophet and Joan, Lady Abergavenny. His widow lived on until 1430.8
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: Charles Kightly
- 1. CPR, 1388-92, p. 128; M.G. Watkins, Herefs. (Radlow), 101; CFR, ix. 288; CIPM, xv. 652; PCC Marche 32.
- 2. Watkins, 99-101; J. Leland, Itin. ed. Toulmin Smith, iii. 111; CPR, 1388-92, p. 128; CFR, ix. 288; CIPM, xiv. 224; xv. 652.
- 3. Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. (NLW 1955), iii. 502; CPR, 1391-6, pp. 123, 477; 1396-9, pp. 170, 349, 439; CCR, 1401-5, p. 306; G.A. Holmes, Estates of Higher Nobility, 60-63; Kalendars and Inventories ed. Palgrave, ii. 53; SC6/1184/22; SC11/23/4; CFR, xii. 279.
- 4. CFR, x. 305; xi. 129, 134; CPR, 1391-6, p. 579; CAD, i. B426; Anglo-Norman Letters ed. Legge, 377-8; Harl. 431.
- 5. Sel. Cases in Chancery (Selden Soc. x), 39; CFR, xi. 211; CCR, 1396-9, pp. 277, 498, 501; CPR, 1396-9, pp. 505-6; 1399-1401, p. 348; SC8/249/12428. The Talbot dog in the Walwyn family arms may indicate that some of the family, at least, were Talbot retainers.
- 6. CFR, xii. 10; xiii. 74; xiv. 45; xvi. 200-1; CPR, 1399-1401, p. 220; 1405-8, p. 320; 1408-13, pp. 401, 406, 451; 1429-36, p. 344; CCR, 1402-5, p. 526; 1409-13, p. 145; 1413-19, pp. 110, 258; T.R. Nash, Worcs. ii. 12; Lambeth Pal. Lib. Reg. Arundel ii. f. 156; VCH Worcs. iii. 133; Hist. Dean and Chalford (Oxon. Rec. Soc. xvii), 104, 108.
- 7. RP, iii. 532; CPR, 1405-8, pp. 6, 156; 1408-13, p. 459; CFR, xiii. 101-2, 111; CCR, 1409-13, p. 420.
- 8. PCC 32 Marche; CFR, xv. 276. Despite her position as supervisor, Lady Abergavenny lived up to her evil reputation (she was known by contemporaries as ‘a second Jezebel’: Adam of Usk, Chron. ed. Thompson, 63) when, in 1419, she attempted to annex Walwyn’s manor of Longford by armed force (CPR, 1416-22, p. 218; C1/69/230).