|Administrative / biographical background:
Sir Thomas Berkeley (d.v.p. 1611), eldest son and heir apparent of Henry Lord Berkeley (d. 1613), married Elizabeth, only child of George Carey, Lord Hunsdon (d. 1603). Although the Hunsdon title and most of the lands passed to George's brother John, Elizabeth was heir to some of the lands of her ancestors, the Butlers, earls of Ormond, and the Boleyns, and some deeds relating to the Carey inheritance are at Berkeley Castle.
The Butlers were descended from Theobald Walter or Fitzwalter, who accompanied Prince John to Ireland in 1185 and was granted the office of Butler. Theobald's great-grandson, a fourth Theobald (d. 1285), succeeded to the office and married Joan, one of the four daughters of John FitzGeoffrey (d. 1258), Justiciar of Ireland 1245-56.[John FitzGeoffrey was the son of Geoffrey FitzPeter, earl of Essex (d. 1213), by his second wife. The earldom descended through the children of Geoffrey's first wife, but John, for a fine of 300 marks, had livery of a portion of his father's lands: Sanders, English Baronies, 71-2; GEC v. 433-41.] Joan (d. 1303), as coheir of her brother Richard FitzJohn (d.s.p. 1297), was assigned the manors of Fambridge (Essex) and Shere with the Vachery in Cranley (Surrey), the reversion of Aylesbury (Bucks.), and a share of the Irish lands. Her heir was her second but eldest surviving son, Edmund (d. 1321), who acquired the reversion of most of the English lands of his brother-in-law John Pipard (d. 1331): below.
Edmund Butler's son and heir, James (I), created earl of Ormond in 1328, married Eleanor, daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford (d. 1322), by Elizabeth, daughter of Edward I. She brought him the manor of Kilpeck (Herefs.).[Kilpeck passed from Hugh de Kilpeck (d. 1244) to his daughter and coheir Isabel, wife of William Waleraund. William's brother Robert granted it to his nephew Alan de Plokenet (d. 1298); it passed to Plokenet's son Alan (d.s.p. 1325) and to the son's sister Joan, childless widow of Henry de Bohun of Haresfield, and in 1327 she granted Kilpeck to Eleanor de Bohun at Queen Isabella's request and 'in consideration of her affection': GEC x. 552-6; CPR 1327-30, 181.] On his early death in 1338 he held Kilpeck, the Pipard lands, the FitzJohn manors of his grandmother and two manors in Hampshire and Lancashire.[CIPM viii, no. 184. Eleanor married secondly, in 1344, Sir Thomas Dagworth (d. 1350) and died in 1363: GEC iv. 27-9. Kilpeck, Shere, the Vachery and Aylesbury were forfeited in 1461: CPR 1461-7, 75, 118, 425.] His son James (II) died in 1382, no longer holding the Lancashire manor but possessed instead of four manors in Somerset.[CIPM xv, nos. 696-708.] He was succeeded by his son James (III) (d. 1405). That James's son and heir James (IV) was married by 1413 to Joan, daughter of William Beauchamp of Abergavenny and his wife Joan, sister (and in 1415 coheir) of Thomas earl of Arundel.[CIPM. xix, nos. 26-33.]
Joan Butler died in 1430 leaving three sons under ten, James (V), John and Thomas. Their acquisitive grandmother, Joan Beauchamp, busied herself on behalf of her eldest grandson,[Her only son Richard, earl of Worcester, died in 1422 leaving an only daughter.] James (born c. 1420), gaining for him the inheritances of Hugh Burnell (d. 1420) and his second wife Joyce Botetourt (d. 1407): below. James was created earl of Wiltshire in 1449, before his father's death in 1452. By 1438 he had married Avice de Stafford, who in that year inherited the estate of her mother, Maud, the Brien heiress, which passed into James's possession: below. His youngest brother Thomas had married another substantial heiress, Anne, daughter and coheir of Sir Richard Hankeford (d. 1431): below. All three brothers were brought up at court and were staunch Lancastrians.[For what follows see GEC x. 126-32.] James's second wife, married possibly in April 1458, was Eleanor, daughter of Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset, who had been killed at St. Albans in 1455. James too had fought at St. Albans, was said to have fought with Queen Margaret at Wakefield in Dec. 1460, and in Feb. 1461 was marching to her assistance with the earl of Pembroke when they were defeated at Mortimer's Cross by Edward earl of March. He fled from the battle of Towton in March, but was captured at Cockermouth and beheaded at Newcastle on 1 May 1461. All three brothers were attainted. John and Thomas remained with Queen Margaret during the 1460s. They returned with her during the Readeption of 1470-1 but thereafter made their peace with Edward IV. John was pardoned and recognised (as James's heir) as earl of Ormond, and the attainder was formally annulled in 1475 when he was authorised to enter into all his brother's lands. Thomas was granted a general pardon in 1471[He said that the Act of Attainder had misnamed him as Sir Thomas Ormond, though he had not been knighted; he was still an esquire in 1478: above, D1/23/6 [GC 4351].] and was restored to some of his lands in 1472. John went abroad after his restoration and died, unmarried, before 15 June 1477, when Thomas succeeded him. Thomas's wife Anne Hankeford died in Nov. 1485, leaving two daughters, Anne and Margaret. He married again but had no more children before his death in 1515. His father, James (IV), had settled his Irish lands in tail male, and they consequently passed in 1515 to the great-grandson of his younger brother Richard, Sir Piers Butler, who also succeeded to the earldom of Ormond. The English lands passed to Thomas's daughters, Anne and Margaret.
Margaret was married in 1469, when she was a mere child,[She can hardly have been as young as four in 1469, as suggested in her mother's inquisition post mortem, as her eldest son was born in 1477.] to Sir William Boleyn, the younger son and heir of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn (d. 1463). At the time William could not expect to succeed to his father's lands, and Margaret, daughter of an attainted father, faced the possibility that the birth of a brother would prevent her from inheriting a share of her parents' lands. Her mother, however, had forfeited none of her lands when her husband was attainted; she may have been protected by her Yorkist brother-in-law, William Bourgchier, Lord FitzWarin, husband of her half-sister Thomasine: by 1469 part, at least, of her inheritance was held, to her use for the life of her husband, by an impressive set of ultra-Yorkist feoffees including Thomas Bourgchier, archbishop of Canterbury, George Neville, archbishop of York, Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, and William Bourgchier. In that year the feoffees conveyed the manor of Virworthy (Devon) to another group to secure a jointure for Margaret.[Below, BCM/H/1/3/1-2 [SC 622; GC 4357].] Margaret's eldest son Thomas was born in 1477. William Boleyn died in 1505, ten years before his father-in-law, but by then it was apparent that he had made an extremely good marriage. Since her mother had died in 1485 Margaret was certainly her coheir, and probably also coheir to the English lands of her father, only the Irish lands having been settled on the heirs male.
William and Margaret's son and heir, Thomas, is well known as the father of George, Mary and Anne Boleyn, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Howard duke of Norfolk, whom he married c. 1500 when he had only £50 a year on which to live.[GEC x. 139 n.] His mother Margaret survived her father by 25 years, dying between September 1539 and March 1540, but for the last 20 years of her life was incapable of managing her own affairs.[GEC x. 137 n.] Thomas was in 1525 created Viscount Rochford, the manor of Rochford (Essex) being part of his mother's inheritance from the Butlers, and in 1529 he was created earl of Wiltshire and earl of Ormond, Piers Butler being induced to surrender the earldom of Ormond in exchange for that of Ossory.[GEC x. 139; xi. 51. Rochford had been forfeited in 1461: CPR 1461-7, 104-5.] After the disgrace and execution of his son George and daughter Anne in 1536 he was deprived of the earldom of Ormond, which was restored to Piers in 1538, and he died in March 1539, a few months before his mother. His heirs were his granddaughter Queen Elizabeth, daughter of his daughter Anne by Henry VIII, and his daughter Mary, widow of William Carey (d. 1529). Mary died in 1543 leaving as heir her son Henry Carey, born March 1526 and reputed to be the son of Henry VIII. In Jan. 1559, two months after the accession to the throne of his cousin (or half-sister) Elizabeth, Henry Carey was created Lord Hunsdon. He died in 1596, leaving his son George to inherit the other moiety of Thomas Boleyn's land from Elizabeth on her death in March 1603, six months before his own.[Queen Elizabeth confirmed the Norfolk manors of Blickling, Carbrooke, West Lexham, Stiffkey, Filby, Postwick and others to her great-uncle Sir James Boleyn (d.s.p. 1561), younger son of William. Much of the Boleyn lands were scattered among numerous coheirs; another younger son of William, Sir Edward, left four daughters, and William himself had four daughters. Blickling passed to Sir John Clere, son and heir of Sir Robert and Alice, one of William's daughters: Blomefield, Norfolk, vi. 389.] George's only child, Elizabeth, born in 1576, married Sir Thomas Berkeley in 1595 or 1596.[GEC vi. 630 and n.] George's brother and heir male, John, died in 1617 leaving a son and heir Henry, created Viscount Rochford in 1621 and earl of Dover in 1628. Henry left a son and heir John, who died without male issue in 1677, when the titles passed to the descendants of Edmund, younger brother of George and John.[GEC vi. 630-2.]
The Pipard Inheritance
Ralph FitzNicholas, steward of the royal household, was granted the wardship and marriage of the Anglo-Irish heir Alice Pipard, whom he married to his son Ralph. The couple's son and heir, Ralph Pipard, had a son John who died in 1331 presumably without issue, having granted the reversion of most of his English lands to Edmund Butler, brother of his wife Maud.[GEC. ii. 447-50 (Butler); x. 530-3 (Pipard).] Eight of the manors named in Ralph Pipard's inquisition post mortem of 1309 passed to the Butlers: Great Finborough (Suff.), Long Compton (Warws.), Smeetham in Bulmer (Essex), Aston Blank (Glos.), Twyford and Great Linford (Bucks.) and Rotherfield Pipard and Fritwell (Oxon.).[CIPM v, no. 191. Rotherfield Pipard is not mentioned after 1392 and Twyford was sold in 1452. The others, apart from Great Finborough, were forfeited in 1461: CPR 1461-7, 200, 434, 440, 486.]
The Burnell and Botetourt Inheritances
Maud Burnell, heir to her brother Edward Lord Burnell (d.s.p. 1315), married first John Lord Lovel (d. 1314), bearing him a posthumous son and heir, and secondly John de Haudlo. She settled her inheritance in tail male on the issue of her second marriage with reversion to her descendants by Lovel. Her son by Haudlo was known as Nicholas Burnell and died in 1383 leaving a son Hugh. Hugh's son Edward (by his first wife) died without male issue in 1415, and under the settlement made by Maud the Burnell lands should have reverted on Hugh's death in 1420 to the Lovels. Hugh, however, had granted most of the inheritance to feoffees in 1414 (below, BCM/H/1/9/1 [GC 4095]), and in 1416 settled the reversion of most of his lands on John Talbot, Lord Furnivall (later earl of Shrewsbury) and Talbot's son John and his wife Katherine, Burnell's granddaughter, and their issue. Though Katherine was described as John Talbot's wife in 1421 the marriage seems not to have been completed[CPR 1419-22, 154-5; Cat. Anct. Deeds, ii, C2398.] and by 1430 she was married to Sir John Radcliffe (d. 1441), by whom she had a son John. On her death in 1452 most of the lands reverted to William Lovel. Three manors in Norfolk passed to Katherine's son, and her sister Margaret and her husband, Edmund Hungerford (a younger son of Walter Lord Hungerford), had inherited four Essex manors in 1420. In the confused situation, Joan Beauchamp seems to have acquired some of the lands. Among the few manors excepted from the settlement of 1416 were Pitchford and Norton, by Condover (Salop.). Pitchford passed to Joan Beauchamp and from her to James Butler, who forfeited it in 1461; it was then granted to John Lovel and sold by him in 1463[VCH Salop. viii. 118.] In 1453 James and William Lovel reached an agreement about the manors of Norton, with a rent in Wolverley (Salop.), Bidford and Broom (Warws.), and Upton Snodsbury and Russell's Hall in Dudley (Worcs.), by which James was to allow William to recover the manors which would then be divided and one part granted to James and his issue: below, BCM/H/1/11/1 [GC 4280]. James later forfeited Upton Snodsbury, along with Boreham and Great Holland (Essex), which in 1421 were to be delivered to Elizabeth, widow of Edward Burnell.
Hugh Burnell married secondly Joyce Botetourt, heir to the lands of her grandfather, John Lord Botetourt (d. 1386)[John, the first Lord Botetourt (d. 1324), had married a considerable heiress but she settled most of her lands on her daughter; their son, Thomas (d.v.p.) had married the sister and coheir of John Lord Somery, whose inheritance passed to Thomas's descendants. It consisted of the manors of Northfield (with its castle of Weoley), Cradley in Halesowen and Old Swinford (Worcs.), Bordesley and Haybarn, both in Aston (Warws.), Mere, Handsworth and Clent (Staffs.) and Newport Pagnell and Little Linford (Bucks.). The Butlers already held Great Linford (Bucks.) as part of the Pipard inheritance. There were two other Botetourt daughters, who were nuns. For what follows, see VCH Worcs. iii. 51, 143, 194-5, 216; Staffs. Hist. Collections, xi (1890), 226.] and eventually to those of her mother Joyce's nephew Hugh la Zouche (d. 1399). From her grandfather Joyce Burnell inherited ten manors and a castle in Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Buckinghamshire, but she had no surviving issue and her heirs were her aunt Joyce, wife of Sir Adam Peasenhall, and her cousins Maurice de Berkeley (a minor born in 1400) and Joyce wife of Hugh Stranley. In 1417 the Stranleys granted their purparty of the Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire lands to Nicholas Rugeley and his wife Edith, who immediately granted it to Joan Beauchamp, and in 1419 the Peasenhalls granted their third of the same lands to Joan. Joan then settled these lands on her grandson James Butler through feoffees. The remaining coheir, Maurice de Berkeley, came of age in 1423 and a dispute between him and Joan was resolved by arbitration which gave the castle of Weoley and the manors of Northfield and Cradley (with 40s. from Old Swinford) to Berkeley and the other lands to Joan, but James Butler was later able to recover part of Cradley on the grounds that Joan had previously settled it on him. The Botetourt manor of Newport Pagnell also passed to James Butler.[In 1386 Newport Pagnell and Little Linford had been settled on Burnell, in fee simple if he was disturbed in his possession of Weoley by Joyce's heirs after her death, but otherwise for life only: VCH Bucks. iv. 415.]
Joyce Burnell's inheritance from her cousin Hugh la Zouche consisted of the manors of Ashby-de-la-Zouch (Leics.), Swavesey and Fulbourn (Cambs.) and Nutbourne, in Pulborough, and River, in Tillington (Sussex). Joyce died on 1 Jan. 1407; on 27 Jan. Hugh la Zouche's feoffees quitclaimed to Hugh Burnell all the Zouche lands, including the two Sussex manors held for life by Hugh la Zouche's widow Joan (d. 1439), and in 1412 a potential Zouche heir, Robert de la Zouche, quitclaimed the five manors to Burnell.[In 1391 the manors of River (Treve) and Nutbourne, or a rent of 100 marks from the other three manors, had been settled on Joan. She married secondly Sir John Pelham (d. 1429) and died in 1439.] Of the five, Ashby at least passed to James Butler, being forfeited in the 1460s, when he was said to have held it by grant of Joyce, daughter of Joan and Hugh Burnell;[CPR 1461-7, 549. The names of the grantor and her parents appear to be confused.] in 1458 he had granted it to feoffees who held it until expelled by John Lovel. At Berkeley Castle are a charter relating to Swavesey and an account for Fulbourn,[Below, BCM/H/1/2/1 [SC 91]; the Fulbourn account is for 2-3 Hen. VIII and therefore outside the limit of this calendar. In 1442 the second Butler brother, John, acquired another manor in Fulbourn from John Shardelowe, and it was settled on John, Thomas and James in tail: CCR 1441-7, 45] suggesting that those two manors also passed to the Butlers and thence to the Berkeleys.
The Brien Inheritance
Guy Lord Brien (d. 1390) left as heir Elizabeth, daughter and eventual sole heir of his son Guy and his wife Alice, daughter and heir of Sir Robert de Bures. Elizabeth married Robert Lovel, a younger son of John Lord Lovel and uncle of William Lord Lovel, heir to the Burnell lands in 1420. Her daughter and heir Maud married first Sir Richard Stafford (d. c. 1427) by whom she had an only daughter, Avice, and secondly John earl of Arundel (d. 1435). By Arundel she had a son Humphrey, on whose death as a minor in 1438 Maud's lands passed to Avice, then aged 14.[GEC x. 128. The Arundel heir was Humphrey's uncle William]. Her inheritance consisted of two manors in Essex, six in Suffolk, four in Kent, six in Devon, six in Somerset, two in Gloucestershire and nine in Dorset, an island in Devon, other holdings in Suffolk and Somerset, and Walwyns Castle (Pembs.). In 1445 all except for Walwyns Castle were settled on James (V) Butler and Avice and their issue, with remainder to Avice's issue and James's right heirs:[Dorset Fines, 1327-1485, 322] when Avice died without issue in 1457 the whole inheritance, including Walwyns Castle, stayed in the Butler family and was forfeited in 1461.[CPR 1461-7, 72, 116, 200, 331, 431, 454, 485, 486].
The Hankeford Inheritance
Sir Richard Hankeford was the grandson and heir of Sir William Hankeford (d. 1424), Chief Justice of the King's Bench, and the son of Sir Richard (d.v.p. 1419).[Sir William was of Eastbury (Berks.), Yarnscombe (Devon), Kelynach (Cornw.) and elsewhere: GEC v. 504-5; x. 132]. He married first Elizabeth (d. 1426 x 1428), sister and heir of Fulk Lord FitzWarin (d. 1420), and secondly Anne, daughter of John Montague, earl of Salisbury; by the first he had two daughters, one of whom died aged eight in 1433, and by the second only Anne. Anne therefore shared the Hankeford inheritance with her half-sister Thomasine;[Sole heir after 1433 to the FitzWarin inheritance, wife of William Bourgchier (d. 1469), who was summoned to parliament as Lord FitzWarin: GEC v. 506] at her death in 1485 her lands consisted of two Somerset manors, East Cranmore and Quarm, in Exton, lands in Cornwall possibly including Kelynach, held by William Hankeford, and no fewer than 27 manors in Devon.[CIPM Hen. VII, i, nos. 153-5; the names of the lands in Cornwall are illegible in the inquisition]. She had married Thomas Butler by 11 July 1445 when she proved her age and she and Thomas had livery of her purparty.