SPYNE, Guy (d.c.1427), of Coughton, Warws.

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



Feb. 1388
Sept. 1388
Jan. 1390
Nov. 1390

Family and Education

s. of William Spyne of Coughton by his w. Alice. m. by 1370, Katherine (d. aft. 1438), 1s. d.v.p. 2da.

Offices Held

Commr. of inquiry, Herefs., Warws., Worcs. July, Dec. 1390 (goods forfeited by Sir John Beauchamp of Holt), Warws. Dec. 1398 (royal grant of property to Coventry); array Mar. 1392, Dec. 1399, Sept. 1403; weirs June 1398.

Receiver-general of the estates forfeited by Thomas, earl of Warwick c. July 1397-9.

Escheator, Warws. and Leics. 4 Mar. 1398-29 Oct. 1399.


The Spyne family had settled at Coughton by the mid 13th century and, over the years had acquired substantial holdings there, including the manor itself. In 1370 these were settled in reversion on Guy and his wife, they to inherit after the deaths of his parents. Subsequently, he also held lands in Kinwarton and, over the border with Staffordshire, at Ashwood in Kinver forest. Together with his wife he joined the guild of the Holy Trinity at Coventry.1

Among Spyne’s closest associates were members of the Lowe family of Staffordshire, to whom he may have been related; and in 1379 he and Sir Humphrey Stafford I* were sued in the court of common pleas by John, Lord Botetourt, over the wardship of the heir to the Lowe lands. It was no doubt Spyne’s tenure of Coughton from Thomas Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, which first drew him into the earl’s circle. In 1382 he was associated with Warwick’s most trusted councillor, Sir Nicholas Lilling*, when they both stood surety at the Exchequer for John Daniel, the earl’s chamberlain; and in the following year he was actually described as ‘esquire of the earl of Warwick’. His return to five consecutive Parliaments between 1388 and 1391 was no doubt influenced by his connexion with Earl Thomas, who would have especially welcomed the presence of supporters in the Commons in the first of these, the Merciless Parliament, in which he, as one of the Lords Appellant, sought to press through a stringent proscription of the King’s favourites. Spyne’s fellow Member on each occasion was Sir William Bagot, who owed his initial rise to the same patron, and in February 1390, during his third Parliament, he provided securities for Bagot at the Exchequer. He had retained contact with the Staffords and that same month he stood bail for the release from the Tower of Sir Humphrey’s brother, Ralph Stafford* of Grafton. Spyne’s earliest royal commissions (in 1390) were indirectly concerned with the welfare of Warwick’s ward, John Beauchamp* of Holt, whose father had been executed by order of the Merciless Parliament. He became closely involved in the activities of other members of the Warwick circle, such as his neighbour, William Spernore*, and in 1393 he was drawn into Sir Nicholas Lilling’s dispute with the Blount brothers, which had apparently arisen from a quarrel between Earl Thomas and John of Gaunt. His exclusion from royal commissions between 1392 and 1398 may perhaps be attributed to the same connexion.2

Although, by Michaelmas 1396, Spyne was in receipt of an annuity of £10 charged on the Beauchamp manor of Haselor, unlike most of Warwick’s retainers he was not singled out for punishment when the King took his revenge. On the contrary, following his lord’s arrest for treason in July 1397 he was appointed receiver-general of the forfeited estates of the earldom, which had been granted by Richard II to his nephew, Thomas Holand, soon to be created duke of Surrey. He may have owed this promotion to his continued association with Bagot, by then one of the most influential members of the King’s Council, with whom he evidently remained on friendly terms. Certainly, in November he acted on Bagot’s behalf against the interests of John Catesby*, another Warwick retainer, in the dispute over the Beauchamp manor of Ladbroke, later going so far as to threaten the tenants when they spoke up for the Catesby claim. Sir William’s hand may also be seen in Spyne’s appointment as escheator, and his continuance in that office until Richard’s deposition.3

Spyne was to be appointed to commissions of array by Henry IV. Presumably, Earl Thomas forgave him his disloyalty, for he permitted his erstwhile retainer to keep the rent of £10 p.a. from Haselor, and it was not until 1404, three years after the earl’s death, that Spyne made a quitclaim of his rights to the same to St. Mary’s college, Warwick. At that time he was experiencing other financial set-backs resulting in a suit in the court of common pleas for a debt of £40. Following the loss of his only son, Thomas, Spyne may have hoped that by agreeing to the marriage in 1409 of one of his daughters and coheirs (Eleanor) to John*, son of Thomas Throckmorton*, he might be restored to his place in the Beauchamp circle, in the favour of Earl Richard, for Thomas Throckmorton was then constable of Warwick’s castle of Elmley, and his son was destined to become one of the earl’s most trusted advisors. In 1412 a moiety of Coughton was entailed on the couple, the other part being settled on Eleanor’s sister, Alice, and her husband, William Tracy of Toddington, Gloucestershire. Little is heard of Spyne thereafter, although he was still living as late as 1426.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


Variants: Spine, Spineto, Spynny.

  • 1. VCH Warws. iii. 80-81; Reg. Holy Trinity Guild Coventry (Dugdale Soc. xiii), 8; W. Dugdale, Warws. 748-50; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xiii. 186.
  • 2. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xiii. 154, 164; CFR, ix. 285; x. 313; Med. Legal Recs. ed. Hunnisett and Post, 313, 318-19; CCR, 1389-92, pp. 124, 146; 1392-6, pp. 113, 154; DKR, xxxvi. 17.
  • 3. Egerton roll 8769; Med. Legal Recs. 294, 320, 322, 325, 338.
  • 4. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xv. 112; Coventry Statute Merchant Roll (Dugdale Soc. xvii), 45; Warws. Feet of Fines (ibid. xviii), nos. 2454-5; E164/22, f. 154d; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), vi. 232-5, 241.