BARNVILLE, William, of Harrow, Mdx.

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 1382
Sept. 1388

Family and Education

s. of John Barnville of Mdx. by Margaret, da. of Thomas Fryville of Kellythorpe in Great Driffield, Yorks. m. (1) by Oct. 1382, Avice; (2) Maud, at least 1s.1

Offices Held

Commr. of inquiry, Mdx. Aug. 1381 (trespasses at Harrow and Pinner); to suppress the insurgents of 1381, Dec. 1381, Mar., Dec. 1382.


Members of the Barnville family are known to have built up a freehold estate in the manor of Oakington, in Harrow, from the 13th century onwards, and William Barnville first appears in August 1381 as a commissioner appointed by the Crown to investigate cases of trespass in two of the archbishop of Canterbury’s parks in that area. In the following year he and his wife, Avice, sold land in the neighbouring manor of Acton to John and Isabel Holmys for the sum of £40. Although described as ‘the elder, of Kent’ in one of the quitclaims drawn up at this time, there can be little doubt that the William Barnville involved in the transaction had but five months before been returned as shire knight for Middlesex.2 By the date of his second election to Parliament, in September 1388, Barnville had acquired other estates and made a number of influential connexions. In May of that very year, for example, he joined with Sir Baldwin Raddington†, the controller of the royal household, and John Raddington, to farm land in Taunton, Somerset, at a rent of £10 a year, payable at the Exchequer. He had probably by then inherited his mother’s manor of Kellythorpe, which he settled upon feoffees by two conveyances in June 1388 and May 1389.3

Twice, in August 1384 and June 1391, Barnville acted as a mainpernor in Chancery, on the second occasion offering joint sureties of £100 on behalf of a Kingston man. In July 1389 he bound himself in £40 at the Exchequer to guarantee the payment by Westminster abbey of an annual farm for the alien priory of Folkestone; and it is possible that he was involved in other of the abbey’s business.4 Barnville had probably been dead for some time when, in October 1397, his widow Maud agreed to accept the arbitration of the abbot of Westminster in a dispute with the prioress of Kilburn, from whom she and her late husband had rented land in Oakington. Having each entered into bonds for £100 as a sign of their readiness to abide by the abbot’s judgement, the two parties finally reached an agreement in November 1400, and Maud continued to occupy the premises with her son, John. She was still alive in May 1413, when her lawsuit against three Middlesex men was being heard at common law.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.


Variant: Bernevyll(e).

  • 1. CCR, 1381-5, p. 221; 1385-9, p. 499; 1399-1402, pp. 293-7. Since he is described as ‘the elder’ in 1382 it may well be that Barnville also had a son by his first marriage.
  • 2. VCH Mdx. iv. 208-9; CPR, 1381-5, p. 77; CCR, 1381-5, p. 221.
  • 3. CFR, x. 228; CCR, 1385-9, pp. 499, 682.
  • 4. CCR, 1381-5, p. 572; 1389-92, p. 354 (in both entries he is described as ‘of Middlesex’); CFR, x. 294.
  • 5. CCR, 1399-1402, pp. 293-7; 1413-19, pp. 68, 74.