Catalogue description THE VEEL ESTATE

This record is held by Berkeley Castle Muniments

Details of BCM/A/3/10
Reference: BCM/A/3/10
Date: undated, [late 13th century]
Held by: Berkeley Castle Muniments, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Administrative / biographical background:

The Veels were a prominent gentry family in 14th- and 15th-century Gloucestershire. Peter (II) (d. 1343) and his son, Peter (III) (d. 1391), were closely involved with the Berkeley lords and, indeed, Thomas (III) Lord Berkeley married Peter (II)'s widow, Katherine de Clevedon, in 1347. That may account for some of the Veel charters being in the Castle, as she brought with her a number of manors which she held in jointure and dower, including portions of the manors of Norton Fitzwarren (Som.) and Lariharn (unidentified). The documents in the Berkeley archive reveal a connection with Sir Nicholas de Kingston, made famous in a paper by K. B. McFarlane. [McFarlane, Collected Essays, 45-55.]


The Veels were descended from Geoffrey le Veel who had married by 1206 Maud, daughter of Harding, son of Elias FitzHarding, and so a great-niece of Robert FitzHarding; she was the daughter and heir of Denise de Huntingford and brought Huntingford, in Wotton under Edge (Glos.), to Geoffrey. [Robert FitzHarding granted to his brother Elias a hide of land in Huntingford to hold as a quarter of a fee, and on Maud's marriage to Geoffrey her cousin Robert (II) de Berkeley (Robert FitzHarding's grandson) granted her lands in free marriage, including two assarts in Michaelwood Chase. In 1205-6 the king confirmed to Geoffrey the lands which he had been granted with Maud by Robert in marriage, the lands which she had inherited from her father and all the lands which she had inherited from her mother in Huntingford. These passed to their son Robert and to his son Sir Robert: Smyth, i. 16; iii. 37, 147, 234-5, 238. The elder Robert witnessed a charter of Kingswood Abbey in 1246-7, and Sir Robert another three in the period 1262-75: below, BCM/F/1/5/3, 6-8 [SC 293, GC 1195, SC 449, GC 1526].] They rose to prominence in the person of Sir Robert le Veel (d. 1298 x 1301), son of Robert, son of Geoffrey and Maud, who made his fortune in the service of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester (d. 1295). [Sir Robert was alive on 27 Dec. 1298 but had died by 26 May 1301 when his widow Hawise had licence to remarry: above, BCM/A/1/18/3 [SC 461]; CPR 1291-1301, 595. For his connection with Gloucester, including acting as his executor, see CCR 1288-96, 126; CPR 1291-1301, 19, 140, 292.] The earl granted him the manor of Swanbourne (Bucks.) in 1274, and he acquired Littlecote, in Stewkley (Bucks.), and Lisworney, with the castle of St. Fagans, near Cardiff, both by 1275, and Charfield (Glos.), near Huntingford, by 1278 when it was settled on him and his wife Hawise in jointure. [VCH Bucks. iii. 423-4; PRO CP 25/1/75/31, no. 32. In 1286 William de Wauton quitclaimed Charfield to Robert and Hawise (P.R.O. CP 25/1/75/33, no. 80), which seems to indicate that Robert had acquired the manor, and a 16th-century inquisition stated that the manor had been granted by John Meysy to Robert and his male issue. The earls of Gloucester were overlords of Littlecote and Robert may have had that manor by the earl's grant also. Robert and his son Robert were pursuing a suit against Alice widow of Hugh de Dunster in 1275, and one of the Roberts was holding the manor in 1284-6. For Swanbourne and Lisworney, see BCM/A/3/11 and 15.] He had three, possibly four, sons, Peter, Robert, Bogo and possibly Thomas. [A Thomas le Veel was granted two messuages in Berkeley by Maurice (II) Lord Berkeley, which he later granted to Thomas (II) in 1306; he witnessed a charter in Alkington in Dec. 1304, and in July 1321 his widow Edith was granted a plot of land at Wick Dangerville, in Alkington, by Thomas (II), to her and her issue: above, BCM/A/1/4/3, 37 [GC 2362, GC 1080], A1/12/11 [GC 1118].] In 1275 he settled Lisworney on his son Peter and his wife Hawise; in the same year he was acting in Littlecote with his son Robert; and Swanbourne passed to another son, Bogo (clearly named after his lord's brother). It is not clear which of the sons was the eldest but Peter and Robert appear to have died without issue as Lisworney and Littlecote passed to Peter (II), son of Bogo. Bogo had married Joan, daughter and coheir of Sir Peter FitzWarren of Ablington, Alton and Penleigh (Wilts.), Hamfallow in Ham (Glos.) and Norton Fitzwarren (Som.), but was dead by 1310 when Joan was his widow.


By 1319 Joan had married Sir Nicholas de Kingston of Tortworth and Oldbury (Glos.). The evidence of Joan's identity is provided by the succession to the manors of Hamfallow, Charfield and Swanbourne, by a series of charters concerning Wickstowe in Ham and by other charters from Ham manor. The sub-manor of Hamfallow within the large manor of Ham (Glos.), which had been held by Peter FitzWarren in 1285 and 1288, was held by Joan le Veel in 1310 and by Kingston c. 1320 and in 1325-6, and it later passed to Peter le Veel. [Ham account rolls (cf. above, p. 202); the rent of 24s. and 1 lb. of cumin for Hamfallow was paid to the Berkeley lords by Sir Nicholas de Kingston in 1325-6, and the entry does not change until 1339-40 when it was said to have been paid by his 'heirs', and then by Veel; from 1347 it was not paid, being owed by Veel's widow Katherine, then wife of Thomas de Berkeley.] In 1338 Peter le Veel quitclaimed to William FitzWarren and his wife and son lands in Wickstowe (in Hill or Ham) which William had had by demise of Alice FitzWarren, Peter's aunt, and Alice is in the same series of charters described as daughter and coheir of Sir Peter FitzWarren (who had bought the holding in 1281), and as Alice, wife of Sir Adam de Sharesull. [Above, BCM/A/1/35/2-3 [GC 2920-1], 5 [GC 2982]. Alice had granted the holding to one William FitzWarren, his wife Clarice and their son William, whose relationship to Sir Peter FitzWarren, Alice's father, is not clear. Other lands in Billow, in Cam (Glos.), and Birdham and West Itchenor, (Sussex) were included in Sir Peter's purchase in 1281: above, BCM/A/1/35/1 [GC 497].] Alice and Joan were therefore the daughters and coheirs of Sir Peter FitzWarren, Joan was the mother of Peter (II) le Veel and Alice married Adam de Shareshull.


That Joan the mother of Peter le Veel was the widow of Bogo le Veel is indicated by other charters in the Castle (above, BCM/A/1/24/14-15 [GC 1722, GC 1758]) which mention holdings in 1310 of Joan, widow of Bogo le Veel. In the same year Joan le Veel was holding Hamfallow, formerly of Peter FitzWarren. The descent of Swanbourne (BCM/A/3/11) shows that Bogo was a son of Sir Robert, and it was Bogo's son Peter (d. 1343) who succeeded to the Veel family lands as well as the FitzWarren lands of his mother. The Veel lands included Charfield, which in 1316 was held by Peter le Veel, a minor in the custody of Ralph Monthermer, [Feud. Aids, iv. 269.] and in 1320 the advowson of Charfield was held by Sir Nicholas de Kingston in the right of his wife's dower. [Reg. Cobham, 234.] Combined with his tenure of Hamfallow, the evidence shows beyond doubt that Kingston's wife Joan of 1319 and 1324 was Joan, daughter and coheir of Sir Peter FitzWarren, widow of Bogo le Veel and father of Peter (II) le Veel.


Sir Nicholas de Kingston and his first wife Margaret acquired manors in Kingston Bagpuize and Ashdown (Berks.) and lands in Pusey (Berks.). He later granted Kingston Bagpuize to his elder brother Sir John, and c. 1300 exchanged Ashdown and Pusey for the Gloucestershire manors of Tortworth and Redland, near Bristol, with Sir William Maunsel. He was granted free warren in both and a market at Tortworth in 1304, but apparently later exchanged Redland for the manor of Oldbury and adjacent holdings. Kingston witnessed charters for Thomas (II) Lord Berkeley on six occasions between July 1304 and Dec. 1319, acted as arbitrator on his behalf in a dispute with Kingswood Abbey in May 1303, and was pardoned an amercement of 3s. 4d. in the hundred court of Berkeley in 1316-17. [Above, BCM/A/1/2/39 [GC 1116], A/1/9/5 [SC 470], A/1/11/10-11 [GC 1980, SC 483], A/1/48/7 [SC 468], A/2/10/4 [GC 2293], A/2/17/22 [GC 2273]; BCM GAR 111 (above, A/1/24/119).] He was one of Thomas's household which travelled to Leicestershire in 1318 for the marriage of the lord's younger son Thomas to a local heiress, [He witnessed a charter dated at Wymondham (Leics.), the inheritance of the son Thomas's wife, in June 1318 by which Thomas (II) granted some Glos. lands to his son and his new wife; the other witnesses included Thomas (II)'s eldest son and heir Maurice (III), and were all prominent members of his household and retinue: BCM/A/1/11/11 [SC 483].] but he was not exclusive in his service to Berkeley. He was granted two robes a year from Siston (Glos.) by Sir Alan Plokenet of Kilpeck but these ceased to be paid in 1313 and in 1320 he tried to recover them through an assise of novel disseisin. [Saul, Knights and Esquires, 96.] In 1309 he witnessed a charter of John Giffard of Brimpsfield, and in 1311 Robert FitzPayn arranged for him to be sheriff. [McFarlane, Collected Essays, 55 n.; Saul, Knights and Esquires, 160.] He was sheriff twice, in 1308 and again 1312-13, knight of the shire for Gloucestershire in 1306 and 1315, keeper of the peace in 1314, and tax-collector and assessor in 1313, 1316 and 1319. [McFarlane, Collected Essays, 54 n.] He is not recorded as active after May 1324, and in November that year he was said to be 'incapacitated by age'. [McFarlane, Collected Essays, 49] The statement that he outlived Henry Burghersh, bishop of Lincoln, who died in Dec. 1340, is probably an error, being made in an inquisition of 1504. [CIPM Hen. VII, ii, no. 757. The inquisition states that Hawise, wife of Sir Robert le Veel, did not survive her husband, who in fact left a widow Hawise; it is not impossible that he had two wives called Hawise.] His heirs were said to hold Hamfallow before Michaelmas 1340 [BCM GAR 124-5 (above, BCM/A/1/24/133-4).] His wife Joan had presumably died by 1338 when Peter le Veel confirmed the grants of his aunt Alice de Shareshull.


In 1319 Kingston settled his lands on himself and Joan in jointure, and again in 1324 with remainder to Henry Burghersh for life and then to Joan's son Peter le Veel and his wife Cecilia and their issue. [PRO CP 25/1/76/50, no. 205; CP 25/1/76/54, no. 318.] Peter was a minor in 1316 when Charfield was in the custody of Ralph Monthermer, and Cecilia bore him a son, Peter (III), in 1327. [Feud. Aids, iv. 269; CIPM viii, no. 466.] In July 1330 he settled Lisworney on himself and Cecilia and their male issue, and Charfield, Tortworth and Huntingford were settled in the same way. Cecilia was dead by 1337 when Ablington and Alton, with a rent of 20s. in Figheldean (Wilts.), were granted by Alice and Adam de Shareshull to Peter and his second wife, Katherine. [CIPM xvi, no. 215.] Penleigh was settled in 1340 on Alice and Adam. [VCH Wilts. viii. 159] Peter died in March 1343, drowning at sea, and leaving his son Peter by Cecilia and a son John (aged six) and daughter Joan by Katherine. [CIPM viii, no. 466.] In 1347 Katherine married Thomas (III) Lord Berkeley (d. 1361) and in 1350 they acquired Penleigh from the Shareshulls, with remainder to Katherine's heirs by Veel. [CIPM xvi, no. 215; Wilts. Fines 1327-77, 376; VCH Wilts. viii. 159.] Tortworth and Oldbury had passed after Kingston's death to Peter (II), who had sold Swanbourne and Littlecote in 1337 to Sir John de Moleyns. [VCH Bucks. iii. 423-4, 429-30. The conveyance was completed in 1339, but Moleyns forfeited his lands in 1340. They were restored in 1345 but Peter (III) managed to recover them and sold them again in 1352. In 1348-50 Katherine, Peter (II)'s widow, was claiming half the manor of Littlecote against Moleyns as having been settled on Peter and her and their issue.]


Following many changes, possession of the estate stabilised after 1343: Lisworney, Charfield and Huntingford (which had been held by Sir Robert), Tortworth and Oldbury (which had passed to Peter and Cecilia from Kingston), and Norton Fitzwarren (which Peter had inherited from his mother Joan) descended to Peter's elder son Peter (III); Ablington and Alton, along with Penleigh after 1350, and Hamfallow and Veel Hall in Plympton (Devon) were held in jointure by Katherine and were to pass to her children by Peter (II). [When the land in Plympton was acquired is unknown. In 1343 it was described as a £10 rent; by 1386 as 20 messuages, 5 ferlings of land, a quantity of meadow and wood, and £16 of rents: CIPM viii, no. 466; xvi, no. 214.] Katherine also had a third of Norton Fitzwarren and Lariharn and possibly other lands, and in 1344 was claiming a third of Huntingford and Oldbury against Joan, widow of Henry le Veel who may have been another son of Peter (II). [For Katherine's claim to Huntingford and Oldbury, Smyth, iii. 239; for her portions of Norton and Lariharn, BCM/A/2/14 and 16. Henry le Veel is not otherwise mentioned but he appears to have been connected with Henry Burghersh, bishop of Lincoln, who had a remainder under Sir Nicholas de Kingston's settlement of 1324. A relationship of Kingston and the Veels with Burghersh, though not known to be recorded, may explain why a son of Peter's was called Henry. None of the lands which passed to Peter (III) were held in chief and in 1344-5 his body and part of his lands were in the wardship of Bartholomew Burghersh, Henry's brother and heir, and other parts of his lands were in the hands of six others, including Thomas Lord Berkeley, of whom he held Huntingford: Year Book, 17 and 18 Edw. III, 343 n. 7.] In 1384 Peter (III) and his son Thomas confirmed the jointure lands to Katherine and her issue, possibly in return for her surrender of her dower lands, none of which are mentioned in the inquisition taken when she eventually died in 1386, 43 years after Peter. [CCR 1381-5, 442; CIPM xvi, nos. 214-17.] Shortly before, John, her son by Peter, had died without issue and the heir to the lands was Sir John Moigne, the son of Katherine's daughter Joan and Sir Henry Moigne. The Moignes held Shipton Moyne (Glos.), Great Easton (Essex), Maddington (Wilts.) and Owermoigne (Dorset). [Those manors had been held by Henry Moigne (d. 1315), along with half of the manor of Beckhampton (Wilts.) of the inheritance of his wife Joan, who held all the other manors in jointure. Their son John was a minor but by the time Joan died in 1340 she had evidently conveyed Owermoigne to John, as it does not appear in her inquisition post mortem and John's son Henry was born there in 1328. Beckhampton was not mentioned either, but instead there was a rent of 10 marks from 'Lideshulle' (Hants.). John died in 1342, leaving a widow Juliana. Thomas de Berkeley acquired the wardship of the son Henry, and accounts remain in the Castle for Great Easton (June to Michaelmas 1343) and Maddington (29 May to Michaelmas 1343, and 1345-6); the earlier Maddington account records the payment of the 10-mark rent from 'Lodeshulle' by Edward St. John, and Shipton is mentioned in the Ham account of 1348-9; on 17 June 1343 Juliana sold the crops growing at Easton and Maddington to Berkeley. Henry died in 1374, and in 1384 his surviving children by Joan were John, Henry, William, Elizabeth (wife of Sir Alan Cheyne), Agnes and Edith: CIPM v, no. 514; viii, nos. 275, 365; ix, no. 595, xiv, no. 79; CCR 1385-9, 118; above, BCM/A/2/94/1 [GC 3056].] On the death of John Moigne, Sir Henry's father, in 1342 Thomas de Berkeley had acquired the wardship of his lands, and he seems also to have had the marriage of the heir, as Henry married Thomas's stepdaughter Joan. Henry proved his age in 1350 and died in 1374 leaving John, his eldest son and heir, to inherit Ablington, Alton, Penleigh, Plympton and Hamfallow on Katherine le Veel's death in 1386.


Sir Peter (III) le Veel had by 1358 married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Lord Bradestone (d. 1360), and Tortworth was settled on them and their male issue. Peter was succeeded in 1391 by his son Thomas, a younger son John apparently having been granted Norton, which he was trying to recover by force in 1393. [CPR 1392-6, 359.] Thomas was succeeded by his son John (d. 1457-8), who in 1449 settled Lisworney on himself and his wife Alice with remainder in halves to their second and third sons William and John and their issue. In 1474 their eldest son Robert quitclaimed the manors to his mother Alice and his brothers. [Smyth, iii. 235.] Alice also held Tortworth and Oldbury in jointure. Robert left a daughter Alice who married David Matthew, but Charfield and Huntingford (and half of Lisworney, with Tortworth and Oldbury, after Alice's death) passed to his brother William, as they were all held in tail male. William died in March 1493 leaving a son William aged 11. The manors were then occupied by David Matthew, who died in 1504 leaving four daughters, Katherine, Elizabeth, Anne and Margaret, aged 14, 13, 11 and 10. In Jan. 1505 an inquisition confirmed that the four manors were held in tail male and were the inheritance of William, son of William, [CIPM Hen. VII, ii, nos. 757, 833. The two inquisitions, one on the death of David Matthew in May 1504 and one 'of concealments' in Jan. 1505, give slightly different accounts of the early settlements. According to the first, all four manors were held in tail general, while according to the second (presumably correct, as the manors did pass to Robert's brother William in the first instance) they were held in tail male. The first said that Tortworth and Oldbury were settled on Kingston with remainder (after Burghersh) to Peter (II) and Cecilia and their issue, the second that they were settled on Peter and Cecilia and their male issue, and later settled on Peter (III) and his wife Elizabeth and their male issue, and later still on John and Alice and their male issue; under the initial settlement by Kingston they were to pass to Peter and Cecilia and their issue. Similarly, Charfield was said to have been granted in the first place to Sir Robert le Veel and his male issue, passed to his son Peter and grandson Peter (II) and was settled on Peter (II) and Cecilia and their male issue, and Huntingford to have been settled on Peter and Cecilia and their male issue.] who by then was of age.

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