Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 6: Heron


See also "proposed" section

Volume 6, page 484, note c:
Roger [Heron, d. by 15 March 1332/3] left a widow named Margery, who was living 1346 (De Banco R., 348, m. 330d).

In January 1340/1 she was the wife of Gilbert de Boreudone, having apparently married him since November 1337 [Feet of Fines Northumberland (Publications of the Newcastle upon Tyne Records Committee, vol. 11), nos 271, 277 (1932)].

(This Gilbert may be the same as the Gilbert de Boroughdon or Borrowdon, who married Elizabeth, sister of Gilbert (de Umfraville), Earl of Angus (d. 1380/1) - Complete Peerage, vol. 7, p. 358. Eleanor, the daughter and heir of Gilbert and Elizabeth, married Henry Tailboys, and was the mother of the Sir Walter Tailboys who later disputed the manor of Croydon with Sir Roger Heron (d. by 1400).)

[Item last updated: 11 February 2003.]

Volume 6, page 486:
He [Sir Roger Heron (d. by 1400)] for some reason seems to have lost Ford and the principal hereditary lands,(m) though he suc. to Croydon.
Note m (continued on p. 487):
William, his brother, had Ford. He is called "the blind, of Simonburn," in the pedigrees (e.g., that by Sir Richard Heron compiled in 1798, where the eldest son Roger is omitted and his descendants are assigned to this William, whose descendants are assigned to John Heron of Thornton). In 1388, as "William Heron of Ford Esq.," he complained that after a raid on his lands by the Scots two years previously he had made a counter-raid in time of truce, being thereupon imprisoned and fined by the Earl of Northumberland (Rolls of Parl., vol. iii, p. 255). He may have been the William Heron who was Knight of the shire for Northumberland in 1371 (Cal. Close Rolls, 1369-74, p. 290). He d. before the Percy forfeiture in 1403, when his s. and h. William was in ward to the Earl of Northumberland (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1401-05, p. 310). William the son m. Isabel, whose parentage is unknown. He as "William Heron of Ford, Esq.," was slain 20 Jan. 1427/8, while with some of his men attacking the house of John Manners, of Etal, near Ford (Ch. Inq. p. m., 6 Hen. VI, no 15 (file 32); Durham Inq. in Dep. Keeper's Report, vol. xlv, App., p. 220; Cal. Patent Rolls, 1436-41, p. 258) His widow Isabel ... m., 11 May 1432, at Whittingham, Sir William Lumley, of Ravenshelm (Exch. Inq., series I, file 1361, no. 1 ...) She was living 1483, being called Elizabeth in the Lumley inquisitions. (Dep. Keeper's Report, vol. xliv, App., pp. 450, 451). William Heron and Isabel his wife had a son and heir John, who m. Elizabeth, great-granddaughter of Roger, 2nd lord of Ford, thus uniting the senior lines, as shown in the text, p. 488.

The account above seems to be seriously mistaken:

  1. It appears that Ford remained in the senior line of the family until the death of Sir William Heron without male heirs in 1425. At that time, because it had been settled in 1337 and 1340 in tail male, it passed to William Heron of Thornton (killed 1427/8), whose son John (killed 1461) later married Sir William's daughter and heir Elizabeth.
  2. Roger's younger brother William probably died without issue at a fairly early age.
  3. The Herons of Thornton were evidently the descendants of the next brother, John, who had a grant of land in Thornton in 1377. John Heron of Thornton - presumably the son of this John, or just possibly the same man - died in 1408, leaving a son William Heron (1395/6-1427/8) who inherited Ford (incorrectly described in the text above as a son of Roger's brother William).

Further details are given below.

The descent of the manor of Ford

The following data show that Ford was held by Roger's descendants until the male heirs failed in 1425, when it passed to the William Heron of Thornton and Whittingham.

Sir Roger's brother William

William appears in lists of the sons of Sir William Heron in 1337 [Complete Peerage, p. 484] and 1340 [ibid., p. 484 note j (continuation on p. 485)], in both cases being placed between Roger and John. On 9 September 1348 William Heron made an agreement for the marriage of one of his [younger] sons William, John and Walter to Cecily, daughter of John de Lisle of Chipchase [Northumberland and Durham Deeds (Publications of the Newcastle upon Tyne Records Committee, vol. 7), p.113 (1929) - in the event Cecily married Walter]. But in 1351, a list of sons is given which starts with Roger, John and Walter [Complete Peerage, p. 485], suggesting that William was dead by then.

The identity of the William "the blind, of Simonburn", referred to above, is unclear. Simonburn Castle seems to have been held in 1415 by Sir Roger's grandson, Sir William Heron of Ford [British Library, Cotton MS Julius F. X. ff. 156b]. The "William Heron of Ford Esq." who appears in 1388 was perhaps the son of Sir Roger, who appears to have still been alive at this time (see below).

The ancestry of John Heron (killed 1461), the husband of Elizabeth

There is no doubt that John, the husband of Elizabeth, the daughter and heir of William Heron (d. 1425), was the son of William Heron of Ford, who was killed in January 1427/8. For example, in 1449, John and Elizabeth had pardon for entering lands of their inheritance, he being called the son of William Heron, late of Ford, and she the daughter of William Heron, knight [Calendar of Patent Rolls 1446-52, p. 259]. John was said to be 13 on 16 January 1427/8 [P.R.O. DURH 3/2, f. 261], 10 on 18 June 1428 [P.R.O. C 139/32 no 15] and 14 on 12 April 1431 [P.R.O. DURH 3/2, f. 261d].

The William Heron who was killed in January 1427/8 was found by a chancery inquisition post mortem taken 18 June 1428 to have held lands including two thirds of a fourth part of the manor of Whittingham and of Barton and Thornton hamlets [P.R.O. C 139/32 no 15]. The date of 20 January given for his death by this inquisition appears to be an error - in two Durham inquisitions post mortem, the date is given as 15 January (the first of these inquisitions was taken the following day) [P.R.O. DURH 3/2, ff. 261, 261d]. For the remarriage of his widow Isabel in 1432 to Sir William Lumley, and her survival until 1483, see the text above.

From the details of land tenure, it is clear that this William was the son, aged 12 on 12 March 1407/8 - and therefore born 12 March 1395/6 - of John Heron of Thornton, who died 5 Oct 1408, holding the manor of Thornton and other lands including a quarter of the manor of Whittingham and a quarter of the vills of Thornton and Barton [P.R.O. DURH 3/2, f. 164; Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, vol. 19, no 504]. There was an order to assign dower to John's widow Katherine, 18 May 1412 [Calendar of Close Rolls 1409-13, p. 276]. She was presumably still living, and holding dower, at the death of John's son William, in January 1427/8 [see above].

Chronology suggests that the John Heron who died in 1408, and whose son was born in 1395/6, would be a grandson of Sir William Heron (d. 1379) - unless he was a son who fathered his heir at an unusually advanced age. From the records cited above, Sir William's four eldest sons were Roger, William, John and Walter. It is argued above that the second son, William, died young. On the other hand, the descendants of the fourth son, Walter, the Herons of Chipchase, are well documented. Therefore, since the Herons of Thornton inherited the manor of Ford on the failure of the male issue of the eldest son Roger, it seems clear that they must have been the descendants of the third son, John, who in 1377, had a grant of land in Thornton [British Library, Lansdowne MS 326, f. 45b] and who was presumably the same John Heron of Thornton named as one of the executors of Sir William Heron in 1382 [Complete Peerage, vol. 6, p. 486, note j]. John Heron (d. 1408) must have been this John's son (or just possibly John himself).

[The corrected version of the Heron pedigree summarised above was proposed in October 2002 by Tony Ingham, who also provided most of the supporting evidence from primary sources. Rosie Bevan provided further information and comments.
Item last updated: 11 February 2003.]

Volume 6, pages 486, 487:
He [Sir Roger Heron (d. by 1400)] occurs as a knight in 1364. In 1390 Sir Walter Tailboys claimed the manor of Croydon afsd. against him. Nothing is known of his career. He m. Margaret. He was dead in 1400, as appears by the inquisition on his son.

He was a knight by 1362 [Northumberland and Durham deeds (Publications of the Newcastle upon Tyne Records Committee, vol. 7), p. 113]. Walter Tailboys' litigation against him and Margaret was still continuing in 1395 [Victoria County History, Cambridgeshire, vol. 8, p. 32, citing P.R.O. CP 40/537, rot. 342d]. But he certainly predeceased his son (who died 10 November 1400), as shown by an order in 1422/3 to the escheator in Cambridgeshire, which recites a grant to his widow, "by name of Margaret late the wife of Roger Heroun knight", with remainder to William Heroun son and heir of the said Roger [Calendar of Close Rolls 1422-29, p. 29].

[The evidence for these chronological points was provided in November 2002 by Tony Ingham.
Item last updated: 11 February 2003.]

Volume 6, page 487:
WILLIAM HERON, s. and h. He m. Isabel, da. of Richard SCOT, of Newcastle.(f) He d. 10 Nov. 1400.
Note f:
Ch. Inq. p. m., 8 Hen. V, no 50 (file 47). The following pedigree is given. Peter Scot, kt. (who founded the house of Black Friars in Newcastle, circa 1260; Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. vi, p. 1489), had two sons, Nicholas and Henry. Nicholas had a son John, who had a son Piers, who had a son Nicholas, who had a da. Cecily, who m. Sir John de Hawkeswell; Cecily and Sir John had a son Nicholas, who had a da. Margaret (a nun) and a son Robert, which Robert had a son, Sir John Hawkeswell, who d. Oct. 1419. Peter Scot's younger son Henry had a son John, who had a son Richard, who had a son Richard, who had a da. Isabel, who m. William Heron, kt., and she was found to be next heir to Sir John Hawkeswell.

In fact it was William Heron, knight, Isabel's son by William Heron (d. 1400), who was later found to be the heir.

In the inquisition cited above, Isabel's ancestor Henry is described as "Henrici Scot postnati Petri Scot militis ... patris Nicholai Scot Chivaler [et (inserted)] antenati dicti Henrici filij Petri Scot patris eiusdem Nicholai Scot" [P.R.O. C 139/32 no 15]. The correct interpretation appears to be the one given above, which agrees with the published abstract of a related entry on the close roll [Calendar of Close Rolls, 1422-1429, pp. 28, 29; cf. also pedigrees based on the inquisition in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, 3rd ser., vol. 3, p. 196; History of Northumberland, vol. 13, pp. 238-240]. (The recently published abstract of the inquisition, however, makes Nicholas the son of Henry Scot rather than his brother [Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, 1418-1422, no 476].)

There is a record of Nicholas Scot, a minor, son and heir of John and Isabel, in 1335, which suggests that the Piers, son of John and father of Nicholas, who appears in the pedigree given may represent a spurious extra generation [History of Northumberland, vol. 13, p. 240].

Isabel appears to have remarried to John Bertram, and to have been living as his wife in Michaelmas term 1415, but she must have been dead by 20 August 1422, when her son was found to be Sir John Hawkeswell's heir (see above). Her remarriage is indicated by the settlement, between 1415 and 1418, of two thirds of half the manor of Benwell, and the reversion of the other third, on John Bertram and Isabel his wife, with successive remainders to William Heron of Ford and his heirs male, William Bertram and his heirs male, Robert Bertram and his heirs male, Margaret, sister of Robert and her heirs male, and finally to the right heirs of Richard Scot [History of Northumberland, vol. 13, p. 219]. From a previous fine in 1415, it is clear that this property was of Isabel's inheritance [P.R.O. CP 25/1/181/15]. The natural interpretation is that William Heron is Isabel's son by her first husband, and William, Robert and Margaret Bertram her children by her second husband.

[The evidence for Isabel's remarriage was provided in October 2002 by Tony Ingham, who corrected the previous misinterpretation of the record in the History of Northumberland. He also, in September 2002, suggested the correction to the statement about Sir John Hawkeswell's heir, based on the entry in the Calendar of Close Rolls.
Item last updated: 11 February 2003.]

Volume 6, pages 487, 488:
SIR WILLIAM HERON [d. 1425], s. and h., aged 3 months in Jan. 1400/1. ... He was of full age and already a knight in Feb. 1421/2, and did fealty to the Bishop of Durham for his lands in Norhamshire on 14 Sep. 1421.(b)
Page 488, note b:
Dep. Keeper's Report, vol. xxxiii, App., p. 188. His kinsman William Heron, of Ford, did fealty at the same time.

In an inquisition taken in August 1422, he was said to have been aged 21 years and more on 8 November 1421, implying that he was born 8 November 1400 [Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, 1418-1422, no 476].

He is styled a knight when his named appears against Ford and Simonburn in a list of castles in Northumberland compiled about 1415 [British Library, Cotton MS Julius F.X. ff. 155b, 156b]. If this is correct, he must have been knighted by his early teens.

The other William Heron who did fealty in 1421 is described in the record only as William Heron esquire [P.R.O. DURH 3/38, m. 5], which is consistent with the evidence outlined above, that Ford was still held by the senior branch of the family at that time.

[Item last updated: 11 February 2003.]

Volume 6, page 488:
He [Sir William Heron (d. 1425)] m. (disp. 13 Jan. 1411/2, the parties being related in the fourth degree) Anne, da. of Sir Robert OGLE, kt.(e)
Note e:
Testa. Ebor. (Surtees Soc.), vol. iii, p. 321. His wife is here named Elizabeth.

Sir William's wife is called Elizabeth in the contemporary entry recording the marriage dispensation in the bishop's register [Surtees Society, vol. 164, p. 174 (1956)], though in the 1563/1564 visitation of Yorkshire she is called Anne [Harleian Society, vol. 16, pp. 233, 234 (1881)]. According to the Ogle pedigree in the late 15th-century "proto-visitation" of the North, she remarried to Sir John de Middleton, knight [Surtees Society, vol. 144, p. 55 (1930); the same remarriage is given in the 1563/1564 visitation of Yorkshire].

[Brad Verity pointed out the error concerning her name in August 2004. Tony Ingham provided a copy of the 1563/1564 Ogle pedigree in November 2002.
Item last updated: 26 August 2004.]

Volume 6, page 488:
ELIZABETH, da. and h. [of Sir William Heron (d. 1425)] was 3 years of age at her father's death, and the Bishop of Durham granted her wardship and marriage to William Heron, of Ford, who was slain at Etal, near Ford, 20 Jan. 1427/8.

William Heron of Ford appears to have died 15, not 20, January 1427/8 (see the discussion of the Herons of Thornton above).

[Item last updated: 11 February 2003.]

Volume 6, pages 488, 489:
ELIZABETH, da. and h. [of Sir William Heron (d. 1425)] ... m. (disp. 11 July 1438) John, son of her guardian, William HERON [of Ford] afsd., by his wife Isabel. ... He fought on the Lancastrian side in the Wars of the Roses, and was slain at the battle of Towton, 29 Mar. 1461.

Elizabeth was still living 17 February, 1497/8, when she, as dame Elizabeth Heron, demised to William Bolom a tenement in Bayly Highgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, with the assent of her [grandson and] heir William Heron of Ford esq. [Northumberland and Durham Deeds (Publications of the Newcastle upon Tyne Records Committee, vol. 7), p. 108 (1929)].

[Brad Verity posted this evidence in August 2004, citing W. P. Hedley, Northumberland Familes, vol. 2, p. 45 (1970), though Hedley gives no source for the information.
Item last updated: 26 August 2004.]