CHIDEOCK, John (c.1375-1415), of Chideock, Dorset.

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

Constituency

Dates

Nov. 1414

Family and Education

b.c.1375, s. of Sir John Chideock of Chideock by Joan, da. and coh. of Sir John St. Loe† of Newton St. Loe, Som. by Alice, da. and coh. of Sir John Pavely of Westbury and Brooke, Wilts. m. bef. Aug. 1390, Eleanor (c.1387-Dec. 1433), da. and event. sole h. of Sir Ivo Fitzwaryn* of Caundle Haddon, Dorset by Maud, da. and coh. of Sir John Argentine†, 1s. 1da. Kntd. 1415.1

Offices Held

Commr. of inquiry, Dorset Jan. 1412 (contributors to a subsidy).

Biography

If only in theory, Chideock was heir to the barony of Fitzpayn (created by writ in 1299) since his grandfather, Sir John Chideock†, had married the Fitzpayn heiress. On his father’s death in 1390 he inherited the family estates, including Chideock, More Crichel and East Chelborough (Dorset) and Allowenshay and Kingston Pitney (Somerset). He was still under age and, although the feoffees of East Chelborough immediately conveyed to him that manor, other properties of his were kept by his father-in-law, Sir Ivo Fitzwaryn, for up to nine years longer, Fitzwaryn having undertaken to support Chideock and his wife (then also still a child). The young man came of age before November 1397. A second accession of property occurred in 1409 on the death of his stepfather, John Bathe*, who had held for life in right of his wife (Chideock’s mother), property at Westbury and Hilperton in Wiltshire, and Clifton and Frampton-on-Severn in Gloucestershire as well as the Chideock manor of Little Crichel in Dorset. Childeock’s own wife, Eleanor, was for long considered to be merely a coheiress of the substantial Fitzwaryn estates, but her sister Alice, wife of Richard Whittington*, the great London merchant, died in about 1410 leaving her as the sole heir. Even so, Chideock died only a year after his father-in-law’s death in September 1414, and could have enjoyed the income from the Fitzwaryn estates only for a short while. Yet before he obtained possession of his wife’s inheritance he was a very wealthy man: his lands were estimated to be worth £278 a year in 1412, the manor of Chideock and its members alone being valued at £118.2

Chideock’s career was short; aged about 15 at the time of his father’s death in 1390, he was little more than 40 when he died. Nevertheless, his lack of participation in local government is worthy of remark. Early in his life he was involved in a protracted lawsuit concerning substantial properties, as well as annual rents of £60, in Kingston Pitney and Yeovil (Somerset), against Alice, countess of Kent, and others including Joan, countess of Hereford, and one Richard Chideock. The dispute began before March 1398 and was not settled until May 1402, having been complicated by the forfeiture of the estates of the earldom of Kent. Eventually the countess Alice agreed to give up her claim to the property in return for a payment of 800 marks, and Chideock was forced to borrow 770 marks from his wife’s brother-in-law, Richard Whittington, to meet the demand. He subsequently leased the manor of ‘Kingston upon Yeovil’ to Sir Thomas Brooke* and his wife for £10 a year. It may be conjectured that Chideock’s stepfather, John Bathe, had taken a hand in the settlement of the dispute with the countess of Kent, for he was on good terms with her and her family, and in his will he counselled Chideock to show loyalty to the countess Lucy, Alice’s daughter-in-law. Few other notices of the MP’s activities have survived beyond land transactions with his neighbours, and his acquisition, in 1403, of a papal indult for a portable altar.3

There is no evidence that Chideock took part in Henry V’s first expedition to France, but he was knighted some time in 1415, and it is possible that his death, on 25 or 28 Sept. that year, occurred at the siege of Harfleur. Chideock’s will has not survived, although a commission for probate was issued on 10 Oct. to the rector of Hawkchurch, Dorset (now Devon). Chideock was succeeded by his son John, then aged 14 and in the wardship of Edmund, earl of March.