WAYVILLE, Richard (d.1417), of Bicknoller, Som. and Rodmell, Suss.

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 1413
Nov. 1414

Family and Education

s. and h. of John Wayvillet of Catsfield, Suss. m. bef. 1400, Agatha (d. 11 Apr. 1434), da. and h. of John Rademylde of Rodmell, wid. of John Broke, junior, s.p.

Offices Held

Commr. of array, Suss. Aug., Sept. 1403, Kent May 1415; inquiry, Suss. Apr. 1406 (trespass), Kent, Suss. June 1406 (concealments), Suss. May 1408 (smuggling); to raise royal loans, Kent, Suss. June 1406; of arrest, Suss. Sept. 1408, Apr. 1413, Kent May 1413; to survey Dover castle Mar. 1413.

Dep. to Thomas, earl of Arundel, constable of Dover castle prob. Mar. 1413-Oct. 1415.

Searcher, Sandwich 27 Mar. 1413-d.


The Wayvilles’ principal landed holdings were widely separated. The manor of Bicknoller in Somerset, held of the barony of Dunster, had passed to them by marriage in the early 13th century, while in Sussex they had subsequently acquired the manors of West Blatchington and Catsfield, along with a number of other properties situated in the same areas of the county, around Ditchling and Battle. All these descended to Richard following the death of his father, at an unknown date before December 1401.1 Further accretions of property had come to him as a consequence of his marriage, which had taken place a year or so earlier, and together with his wife, Agatha, he held at least 12 messuages, 800 acres of land, pasture for 1,400 sheep, and annual rents of £10 from holdings on the coast near Lewes. Agatha had also inherited a house and several acres of land at Stepney in Middlesex, but these she and her husband sold not long afterwards. Wayville could expect to receive an income from his property in Sussex of at least £30 a year, according to the assessments made for the purposes of taxation in 1412.2

Wayville was well connected in Sussex, for he was a kinsman of Sir John Dallingridge*, a knight of the chamber to Henry IV, who, when providing for the settlement of his estates in 1404, promised that in the event of the failure of his uncle’s line the manors of Wilting and Hollington should pass to him; and in the following year Wayville acted as a trustee of estates in Warwickshire and Gloucestershire which Sir John’s wife occupied for life.3 However, of much greater significance for Wayville’s two elections to Parliament for Sussex (which occurred after Dallingridge’s death), was his position as a retainer of the Fitzalan earls of Arundel. He had entered their service in the last years of Richard II’s reign, appearing in 1396 and 1397 as a witness to deeds whereby Philippa, widow of Sir Richard Cergeaux*, confirmed to her uncle, Richard, earl of Arundel, and the latter’s Coffees, her abandonment of a claim to estates pertaining to the earldom. A few months after the earl’s condemnation and execution for treason, Wayville purchased a royal pardon, specifically relating to any treasonable offences he had committed as an adherent of Arundel and his fellow Lords Appellant in the years 1386-8. Naturally, in 1399 he was quick to attach himself to Arundel’s youthful heir, Thomas, on his return from exile in the company of Henry of Bolingbroke. He himself demonstrated his loyalty to the new King Henry IV in January 1400 by his prompt seizure, at Guildford, of the possessions of one of the traitors who had supported the recent Epiphany rising. In the early years of the reign he probably saw military service in the marches of Wales under Earl Thomas’s command; certainly, in 1404 he acted as the earl’s agent at the Exchequer, collecting sums of money due for his forces as the King’s lieutenant of North Wales. Two years later his name was recorded as a witness at Arundel castle to an important settlement of the earl’s estates. It was no doubt in connexion with a serious dispute involving Earl Thomas (perhaps even the rift between Archbishop Arundel and the prince of Wales, in which the earl sided with the latter), that Wayville came to be imprisoned in Nottingham castle in the autumn of 1409. At the same time a fellow Fitzalan retainer, Thomas St. Cler*, was held prisoner in the Tower, only for both men to be released by order dated 21 Oct. Before 1412 Earl Thomas awarded the same two esquires handsome annuities of £20 each, charged on the issues of his lordship of Lewes. Wayville was to benefit even more from his master’s rise to prominence as treasurer of the Exchequer and constable of Dover castle immediately after Henry V’s accession in March 1413. He was straight away ordered, along with the prior of St. Martin’s, Dover, to survey all defects in the castle and other buildings there, as well as to assess any remedial work needing to be done to books, vestments, arms, armour and artillery; they were told to certify the same to Arundel as treasurer so that repairs might be undertaken. It seems very likely that Wayville had already been appointed as the earl’s lieutenant at Dover. Similarly, he owed his post as searcher of Sandwich, acquired within a week of the beginning of the reign, directly to his lord’s patronage as treasurer. He was returned to Henry V’s first Parliament in the company of another Fitzalan retainer, the lawyer, Richard Wakehurst. Taking advantage of the opportunities presented by Arundel’s treasurership, in October he and two others acquired at the Exchequer custody of the manors of Throwley, Chilham and Molash, Kent, for the duration of the war with France; indeed, Earl Thomas himself came forward to stand surety on the lessees’ behalf. Wayville was still holding office as Arundel’s lieutenant at Dover when re-elected to Parliament in November 1414, and probably retained the post until the earl’s death in the following October.4

In Wayville’s will, made on 13 May 1417, he requested burial within the processional aisle of the Cluniac monastery of St. Pancras at Lewes, leaving to the monks his manor and advowson of Catsfield on condition that they kept his obit. The considerable sum of £12 10s. was set aside so that 3,000 masses might be offered for his soul within three days of his death. To the church at Rodmell he left a chest for vestments, and also a tapestry depicting white dogs to carpet the floor before the high altar. The wives of two other former Fitzalan retainers—Nicholas Carew* and William Ryman*—were remembered with gifts of a rosary and a gold cross, respectively. Since Wayville had no children he provided that the manor of Blatchington and his armour should remain to his male heirs, but that the rest of his estates should be sold for pious uses or for the benefit of needy kinsfolk. Certain lands at Ditchling and Bolney were to be held, for their lives, by his friends, Walter and Joan Bolney, and their son, Richard (his own godson). The overseers of the will, which was proved on 10 Dec., included Robert, Lord Poynings, and Sir Thomas Sackville II* (the testator’s kinsman on the Dallingridge side).5 Wayville’s widow, having completed the sale of Bicknoller before 1423, lived on another 11 years. She was buried in Rodmell church next to her first husband.6

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


Variant: Weyvile.

  • 1. Some Som. Manors (Som. Rec. Soc. extra ser. 1931), 163-71; VCH Suss. vii. 242; ix. 240-1; Suss. Feet of Fines (Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii), nos. 1477, 1573; Bolney Bk. (ibid. lxiii), 7; HMC Wells, ii. 669.
  • 2. Suss. Feet of Fines, nos. 2702, 2709; VCH Suss. vii. 70-71, 73, 229; London and Mdx. Feet of Fines, 170; CCR, 1402-5, p. 521; Feudal Aids, vi. 525.
  • 3. C139/111/52; CPR, 1405-8, p. 118.
  • 4. CCR, 1396-9, pp. 72, 84; 1409-13, p. 7; C67/30 m. 3; CIMisc. vii. 116, 494; E403/578, 6 Mar., 621, 18 May; CPR, 1413-16, pp. 38, 180; 1452-61, p. 203; CFR, xiv. 41; Feudal Aids, vi. 525.
  • 5. Som. Med. Wills (Som. Rec. Soc. xvi), 80-82.
  • 6. CCR, 1422-9, p. 48; Suss. Arch. Colls. lxxix. 107.