LEVESHAM, John (d.1418), of Salisbury, Wilts.
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Family and Education
m. (1) by 1383, Agnes (d.1400), da. and h. of John Duller of Duller in Lychet Matravers, Dorset by Maud, da. of Roger Cormaille, wid. of Roger Mautravers of Duller and Robert Bont† of Old Sarum, Wilts., 1da. d.v.p.; (2) Agnes, wid. of John Dacy and Hugh Hore of Salisbury.1
Tax collector, Wilts. Nov. 1388, Salisbury Mar., Oct. 1393.
Reeve, Salisbury 1 Nov. 1396-7; mayor 1414-15.2
Little is known about Levesham before July 1385, when William Warmwell* brought a successful action against him and others for novel disseisin regarding a tenement in Salisbury. Ten years later he was one of the churchwardens of St. Edmund’s, Salisbury, who were present in April 1395 when John Waltham, bishop of Salisbury, held a visitation. A few weeks later, during the corporation of Salisbury’s dispute with the bishop, he acted as one of the city’s attorneys at a hearing before the royal council.3
Following his two Parliaments as representative for Salisbury, Levesham was asked to act as executor for citizens, John Druery and William Woderove. A member of the convocation of Salisbury by 1409, he is recorded as present at several of its meetings between then and his death.4 In March 1415, during his mayoralty, he was responsible for raising the loan of £100 which was demanded of the city in aid of Henry V’s first expedition to France, and in June following he was trying, evidently unsuccessfully, to obtain pledges that the money would be repaid. The expedition itself caused trouble of a different kind, for on 4 Aug. Levesham had to quell an armed affray (in which three men were killed) between a number of citizens and some Lancashire soldiers led by Sir James Haryngton* who were passing through Salisbury on their way to Southampton. On 28 Aug., having been appointed ex officio to a royal commission of array, he was himself raising a force in Salisbury. In 1417 he contributed £1 to the city’s share of a parliamentary subsidy.5
Levesham’s first marriage had given him possession of the manor of Duller and other holdings in Dorset, which his wife, Agnes, had inherited from her father, as well as property in Old Sarum previously owned by her former husband, Robert Bont. These holdings he retained after Agnes’s death in 1400, respectively ‘by the courtesy’ and under the provisions of her will, of which he was executor; although he subsequently relinquished ownership of Duller to his stepson, Edward Mautravers.
When Levesham died, on 12 May 1418, he was also in possession of two tenements in Salisbury and other properties in Stratford sub Castle and Netheravon. His heir was his grand daughter Agnes, the child of his daughter Alice by her husband Richard Christchurch. She, whose title to Duller was then successfully challenged by her distant kinsman Thomas Hussey II*, was made a royal ward and later married Thomas Temse†.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: Charles Kightly
- 1. C138/47/57; J. Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 331; Salisbury RO, ‘Domesday bk.’ 2, f. 26; 3, f. 76; deed iv. 8.
- 2. ‘Domesday bk.’ 2, f. 11; 3, f. 10; ledger bk. A, f. 54; Tropenell Cart. ed. Davies, i. 214.
- 3. C260/97/6; R. Benson and H. Hatcher, Old and New Sarum, 755; CCR, 1392-6, p. 355.
- 4. ‘Domesday bk.’ 2, ff. 48-55; ledger bk. A, ff. 34, 41, 43, 50, 56.
- 5. Ledger bk. A, ff. 54-55, 60.
- 6. C138/30/7, 47/57; ‘Domesday bk.’ 2, f. 26; deed iv. 8; CFR, xiv. 279, 343; CPR, 1416-22, p. 271; CCR, 1422-9, p. 350.