ENGLEFIELD, John (d.1402/3), of Englefield, Berks.
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Family and Education
s. and h. of Sir John Englefield (d.1368) of Englefield by his w. Isabel. m. bef. 1386, Nicola (b.c.1361), da. of Thomas Devenish (d.1374) of Greatham, Hants and sis. and h. of Thomas Devenish (d.1382) of the same, 2s. 1da.
Commr. to make proclamation against sedition, Berks. May 1402.
The Berkshire manor of Englefield had been in this MP’s family since the mid 12th century. John inherited it, while no more than a child, after the death of his father in 1368, and, having come of age, he leased out land as ‘lord of Englefield’ from 1382 onwards. His mother Isabel, who had since married Sir Thomas Priour (d.c.1382), retained for life the family properties in Oxfordshire, including the manor of Shiplake and its members, Lashbrook and Crowsley, with regard to which John made a covenant to his mother barring impeachment of waste. When, in April 1386, he made a formal quitclaim of the manor, advowson and chantry of Englefield to William Fauconer*, having first had an inventory compiled of his chattels there, this was part of the preparations for his departure for Spain in the army led by John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. In later years Fauconer acted in association with Edmund Hampden* and Thomas Barantyn* as trustees of the manor on Englefield’s behalf.1
Englefield’s marriage, contracted some time earlier, had brought him estates further afield, for his wife, Nicola Devenish, had already inherited a moiety of the manor of Sutton Scotney in Hampshire and the manor and advowson of West Chelborough in Dorset, and was destined to take possession of Greatham, Westbury and Emsworth after the death of her father’s widow. These properties must have increased Englefield’s income substantially, for they were to be valued in 1412 at £65 a year.2
In September 1393 Englefield composed a will, perhaps in anticipation of another voyage overseas, for he made his burial in the chapel of St. Mary at Englefield conditional on his dying in England. The most important provisions favoured his children: his younger son, William, was to have £200 from the issues of Englefield, unless it happened that he became heir to his father, or to his mother’s manor of West Chelborough; and his daughter Elizabeth was to have £100 for her marriage. Earlier that year he had witnessed a conveyance of land in Overton and Southampton to William of Wykeham, bishop of Winchester. He was also associated with the bishop of London, Robert Braybrooke, to whom, indeed, he was related. His younger brother, Philip, was an esquire in Braybrooke’s household from 1393 to 1402, and in 1396 he himself became the bishop’s co-feoffee of certain manors in the marches of Wales in which Braybrooke’s nephew, Sir Gerard Braybrooke II*, had an interest by remainder. However, whether or not either connexion, with Wykeham or Braybrooke, proved useful to Englefield on his election to Parliament in September 1397, remains open to speculation, and it may be that his continued association with John of Gaunt was of greater significance, for since 1391 he had been in receipt of the duke’s retaining fee of £20 a year. Evidently, Englefield did nothing in the course of that Parliament at Westminster and Shrewsbury to mark him out as opposed to Richard II’s sweeping measures against his enemies, the former Lords Appellant, for in October 1398 the King made a grant by letters patent in his favour. Unfortunately, the substance of this grant is now unknown, as the letters were not enrolled; it was, however, confirmed by Henry IV in December 1399. By this time Englefield was holding the duchy of Lancaster manor of Langstoke, worth £21 a year, probably in lieu of the annuity granted him by the King’s father. He continued in possession of Langstoke at least until 1401. In August that year he was one of three men summoned from Berkshire to attend a great council.3
Englefield may have gone abroad again in 1400, for it was his mother who in the spring of that year arranged for his daughter, Elizabeth, to marry Thomas, son and heir of Sir Thomas Sackville I*. Englefield is last recorded on his appointment to a royal commission in May 1402 and died before June 1403, when his widow, Nicola, acted as sole patron of Greatham church. In the following year Nicola married John Golafre* of Fyfield, with whom, in October 1404, she obtained a royal licence to entail her manor of Sutton Scotney on her new husband and their issue, with remainder to William Englefield (John’s younger son). Within ten years both of John Englefield’s sons had died without issue, and his landed holdings had passed to his brother, Philip.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. CCR, 1385-9, p. 139; VCH Berks. iii. 406; CAD, iii. D1326; E210/5514, 5560, 5981, 6023.
- 2. CP25(1)207/28/40; VCH Hants, ii. 506; iii. 69, 456; CIPM, xiii. 254; xv. 482-3.
- 3. CCR, 1392-6, p. 117; CPR, 1391-6, p. 688; 1399-1401, p. 291; E210/6658; L.H. Butler, ‘Bp. Braybrooke and kinsmen’ (Oxf. Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 1951), 374-9; DL29/738/12096, 12098; PPC, i. 163; DL43/15/3 m. 3.
- 4. Reg. Wykeham (Hants Rec. Soc. 1896-9), i. 240; CPR, 1401-5, p. 462; CP25(1)191/27/2, 207/31/9; E210/1342, 6621.