TEMPEST WIVES AND DAUGHTERS IN THE LATE MEDIEVAL PERIOD.
PART 2.

BY JOHN R. SCHUERMAN AND DOUGLAS HICKLING

WHO WAS THE WIFE OF SIR JOHN TEMPEST (b. ca 1313)?

As noted above, the Dodsworth MS that EBT used as evidence for the marriage of the first John Tempest to Margaret Holand actually said she was married to the second John. This formulation is followed by a number of authorities. As noted above, it is well established that Margaret Holand, the daughter of Robert Holand and Maud la Zouche, was married to John la Warre who died in 1331. Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, 2004, pp. 400-01 suggests the possibility that she was also married to the second John Tempest, after the death of John la Warre. For this possibility, Richardson cites Surtees, History and Antiquitites of Durham, v. 2, p 329 which shows a Tempest pedigree that is a transcript, at least down to the second John, of Dodsworth 6, fol. 53, with a few additions not relevant here. Richardson also cites Roskell, House of Commons 1386-1421, v. 4, p. 573-575 (a biography of Richard, the second John Tempest’s grandson; note that Roskell suggests two possibilities for Richard's father, both of which are incorrect) and Clay, Dugdale’s Visitation of Yorkshire, v. 1, pp, 120-28. Roskell apparently based his statements about the parentage of Richard on Harley 6136, which was copied from Dodsw. 6, f. 53. (Harley 4630, Pedigrees of Yorkshire Families, West Riding, f. 388 shows the second John married to Margaret Holand, d. of Sir Robert Holand. This appears to have also been copied from Harl. 6136 or Dodsworth.) The Tempest pedigree in Clay's version of Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire does not appear relevant to the question of John Tempest's wife, since it begins with John's grandson, Richard Tempest.

There is also the Visitation of Devon cited above that shows Margaret Holand married to a John Tempest, without specifying which one. A printed version of this, the Visitation of the County of Devon 1564 with additions from the earlier Visitation of 1551, was edited by Frederick Thomas Colby (1881, Exeter, privately printed, online: http://ukga.org/cgi-bin/browse.cgi?DB=13&action=ViewRec&bookID=136). Colby's edition is based on Harley 5158, but there are other versions of the visitation in Harley 1080, 3288, and 5840. This is apparently an addition to the manuscript. Chris Phillips has examined these manuscripts for us at the British Library. With regard to Margaret, daughter of Robert Holand and Matilda la Zouch, Harley 5158 reads: “Margaret uxor Joh’es Tempest, rel’ta” (Margaret [Holland] wife of John Tempest, widow). Chris tells us that this is an unusual construction, such that it is unclear whether Margaret was a widow of John Tempest or somebody else. Since she died in Aug. 1349, she predeceased both John Tempests, and could not have been the widow of either. Furthermore, the other MS versions of the visitation do not include the marriage of Margaret with John Tempest and thus this addition to Harley 5158 appears to be later than the visitation. It does not seem to us that this source should be relied upon for identification of John Tempest's wife.

EBT marshals considerable evidence that Katherine Sherburne, born about 1320, was the wife of Sir John Tempest. Katherine was the daughter of Sir Robert Sherburne of Mitton by his wife Alice, daughter of Sir John de Blackburne of Wiswell by Margaret daughter of Robert de Holand and Elizabeth de Samlesbury. EBT cites a Sherburne Pedigree (1691) in Stowe MSS No. 711 folio 6 in the British Library (we have examined this pedigree, the folio numbers are actually 59-63) and the Victoria County History of Lancashire, v. 7, p. 3. EBT and VCHL quote a grant recorded in a manuscript by Richard Kuerden, now in the College of Arms. The College has provided Chris Phillips a transcript of the grant on our behalf. This is the transcript:

Ceux sont le covenantz p'lez ent' ma dame Alice q' fust la feme Robt de Shirburn chevlr et Mons' John Tempest chevlr et Kat'ine sa feme q' le dit mons' John avera toux les bles semes sur les t'res queux le dit mons' John et Kat'ine onnt de donne la dite Alice iour de ces covenans p'lez &c done a Carlo [end of line] lundy en la fest Tiffayn nr seignr lan du regn' le Roi Edward tiers puis le conquest xxvii. To this deed is a seale of Armes wth a chev(e)ron bet' 3 .. [sic] wch cannot well be p'ceived, I suppose them martlets (College of Arms MS. Kuerden 3, f. A3, no. 69).
(These are the agreements made between Lady Alice, who was the wife of Robert de Shirburn, knight, and Sir John Tempest, knight, and Katherine his wife, that the said Sir John shall have all the corn sown on the lands that the said Sir John and Katherine have of the gift of the said Alice on the day these agreements were made. Given at Carlisle, Monday in the feast of the Epiphany of our lord, of the 27th year of the reign of King Edward the third since the conquest [6 January 1353/4].)

The fact that Alice had given land to Sir John Tempest and his wife Katherine suggests a parental relationship between Alice and Katherine. EBT questions whether the seal of a chevron between three martlets was the Tempest shield. This shield was used by other Tempests but another common version was a bend between six martlets.

EBT notes that in 1353 Katherine and Sir John Tempest her husband brought a writ of novel disseisin of land in Wode Plumpton, by her attorney Adam Fox against John & Isabel de Stafford & others. EBT's citation is Lancashire Assize Roll, No 1, mm. 1 & 27; at another point, she cites Lancashire Assize Roll, No 2, mm. 1 & 27. Chris Phillips has examined this record for us at the National Archives (DL 35/2, mm. 1 & 27) and has verified EBT's account of the document. The Sherburnes held land in Wood Plumpton, which may be the source of Katherine and John’s belief that they had an interest there. The online History of Wood Plumpton says: “During the 14th and 15th centuries local gentry acquired freehold land among whom were the Shirebuerns of Stoneyhurst, who held Catforth, . . .” Robert Sherburne, Katherine’s father, was a descendant of Matilda de Catford (Coucher Book of Whalley, v. 3, v. 16 of the Chetham Society's Remains, p. 681: “Robert de Schireburn, who was the grandfather of the Sir Robert de Shireburn who married Alice Blackburn, married Maude, sister of Adam de Catforth”).

In August 1354 Sir John Tempest and Katherine his wife, of the diocese of York, obtained a Papal Indult to choose their confessors (Calendar of Papal Registers, Papal Letters, Vol. 3, p. 527).

The online catalogue Access to Archives (A2A) has an entry pointing to a document at the Lancashire Record Office. We have obtained a copy of that record, reference DDCL 1049, and Chris Phillips has transcribed and translated it from the French for us. It is an indenture in March 1350/51 acknowledging a debt and arranging payment to Sir William de Clifton from Lady Alice who was the wife of Sir Robert de Shirburne, Sir John Tempest the younger [puisne], Robert de Shirburne, clerk, William Shirburne, Robert d[e H . . . eighs?] and William de Clayton, vicar of Pulton. This suggests a close relationship between Alice and the second John Tempest. The first John Tempest was still alive at the date of this record, so if he were Alice's son-in-law it is unclear why he was not the party to the indenture, rather than his son.

So we have good evidence of a marriage between a John Tempest and a Katherine, and it is highly likely that that Katherine was Katherine Sherburne. There are several possibilities:

1. Katherine Sherburne was married to the first John Tempest. She would have had to have married him after Isabel, that is, after 1344 (when he was 61), the date of the Papal Indult to John and Isabel. We estimate that Katherine was born between 1308 and 1320, based on an estimate of the birth date of her mother, Alice, of between 1290 and 1295, and an estimate of the birth date of her eldest brother, Robert, of no later than 1310 (we do not know whether Katherine was younger or older than Robert). If she was born in 1308, she would have been 25 years younger than the first John and would have been more than 36 when they were married. If she was born later she would have been younger at marriage but the difference in their ages would have been greater. Even if she were born as early as 1300, she could not have given birth to the second John Tempest, born no later than 1313. Finally, there is the record cited above in the Lancashire Record Office of an association between Alice Sherburne, Katherine's mother, and the younger John Tempest.

2. The second John was married first to Margaret Holand and then to Katherine Sherburne. This seems unlikely. It is well established that Margaret Holand was married to John la Warre who died in 1331. So she could have subsequently married John Tempest. However, her inquisitions post mortem (CIPM, v, 9, pp. 239-240) refer to her as the widow of John la Warre with no reference to John Tempest. As to the Visitation of Devon, we have suggested above that it should be discounted.

There is also an affinity problem if the second John Tempest married both Margaret Holand and Katherine Sherburne, if we have their descents right. Margaret was the granddaughter of Robert de Holand and Elizabeth de Samlesbury and Katherine was their great-grandaughter, so they are related in the second and third degree. We have not found a dispensation for the marriage of John Tempest with Katherine Sherburne, although there is a Papal Indult to them to choose their confessors at the hour of their deaths. All of this leads us to the third possibility:

3. The second John was married only to Katherine Sherburne. We believe this is the most likely possibility.

For the record, the following are secondary sources indicating a marriage between Katherine Sherburne and John Tempest, although it is not always clear which John Tempest:

Stowe 711 (British Library), ff. 59-63 descendants of Robert de Shirburne and Alice de Blackburne showing their daughter Catherine as wife of John Tempest of Bracewell, 27 E 3.

Edward Baines, History of Lancaster, 1836, v. 3, pedigree of Sherburne following p. 23 shows same marriage (here as Katherine) and same date.

Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey, pp. 680-82, same marriage.

VCH Lancaster quoting Kuerden (see above).

Piccope MS v. 1 (Chetham’s Library, Manchester), p. 188: pedigree of Radclive of Radeclive: “James Radclyffe of Rad. Tower s & h of Wm 12 R 2 = Joan d. of Sir John Tempest of Bracewell by Kath. dr Sir Robt Shirburne of Stoneyhurst.”

Canon Raines MS v. 40 (Chetham’s Library), p. 9 Radclyffe: “Roger Radcliffe the sixth & youngest son of James Radcliffe of Radcliffe Tower esq. by Joan dau of Sir John Tempest of Bracewell co York by Katherine his wife dau of Sir Robert Sherburne of Stoneyhurst in the co Lanc kt was born according to computation of dates about the year 1405.”

MARY TALBOT THE WIFE OF RICHARD TEMPEST (ca 1334-1390)

Mary (Maria) Talbot was the wife of Richard Tempest. EBT quotes from a widow's release by Mary: "The 16 Feb: 13 Ric ij (1389-90) Maria widow of Sir Ric Tempest released to Ric Tempest 'filio meo' her dower in Pathorn & Thornton in Craven. Sir Tho: Talbot chiv 'patre meo' being witness." Her source for this is a manuscript of John Hopkinson, now in the West Yorkshire Archive Service in Bradford (shelf number 32D86, v. 1, fol. 85d), which we have examined. EBT wonders whether "patre" should read "fratre." She notes that "A Sir Tho: Talbot chival was co-warden of Berwick with her son Sir Ric: Tempest 23 Mar: 1385-6 . . . (Exch. K. R. Acct Bdl 73/2 No 34)." Folios 81 to 91 of volume 1 of Hopkinson concern abstracts of early charters of lands in the West Riding, most of which relate to the Talbots. The guide to the Hopkinson manuscripts at Bradford indicates that these charters come from manuscripts of Christopher Towneley, so Hopkinson is a "tertiary" source. We have not attempted to find the relevant Towneley manuscript. The Towneley manuscripts are scattered, some in the British Library, some in Chetham's Library in Manchester, and others elsewhere. The Towneley manuscripts are cited by a number of writers on the Talbots.

Thomas Whitaker's History of the Original Parish of Whalley and Honor of Clitheroe (4th ed., 1876, pedigree v. 2, p. 500) shows: "Thomas Talbot, knt. fil. Edmundi, called Miles in 4 Edw. III, 1229-30 [sic, 4 Edw. III was 1330-31], dead 40 Edw. III, 1366." Whitaker also shows a brother of Mary, also Thomas, "living 1356." If the dates for Thomas Talbot shown in Whitaker are correct, then the witness to Mary (Talbot) Tempest's release of dower in 1389-90 could not have been her father, but could have been her brother. According to J. Gardner Bartlett's The English Ancestry of Peter Talbot of Dorchester, Mass. (Boston: Privately Printed, 1917, p. 10) Thomas senior was born about 1307 on the basis of deeds he was given 3 February 1328/9 (Bartlett cites Whitaker's Whalley, p. 497 and Harleian 804, f. 17).

So Mary's father was evidently Thomas Talbot and she had a brother Thomas. A number of sources show Thomas Talbot senior's wife (presumably Mary's mother) as Elizabeth Bellair, daughter of James Bellair and Lettice, daughter of Walter Prestopp, including Whitaker's Whalley (Ibid.) and History and Antiquities of the Deanery of Craven (3rd ed. 1878, ed. by A. W. Morant, chart opposite p. 32), Bartlett (follows Whitaker's Whalley for this part of the family), John Hopkinson in a collection of pedigrees and descents of gentry of the West Riding of Yorkshire (Family History Library film 207955, p. 422), and Harleian MS 4630, f. 316. This is clearly incorrect. Elizabeth Bellair was the wife of Thomas Talbot's grandson, Thomas, son of Edmund. The Calendar of Fine Rolls, v. 8 (1369-77), p. 380 contains a commitment 4 February 1377 to Thomas Talbot and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of James de Bellars and Lettice late his wife, deceased, daughter and heir of Walter Prest. The elder Thomas Talbot died before 1366 so he could not have received a commitment in 1377. The correct attribution of Elizabeth Bellair's husband is shown in Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire 1665-66 (Surtees Society v. 36, p. 239, online in Making of America Books, and Foster's Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire (London, 1874).

According to Foster's pedigree, the Sir Thomas Talbot who was Elizabeth Bellair's husband was under age and in the wardship of Thomas Banister at the time of the death of his father Edmund in 1372, but had attained full age and a knighthood by 1380. Hence, he is likely to have been born between 1351 and 1359. Mary (Talbot) Tempest's son, Richard, was born in 1356 (see below), so he cannot have been the grandson (or nephew) of the Thomas who married Elizabeth Bellair. They had to have been cousins. Thus, Mary (Talbot) Tempest was probably the aunt of this Sir Thomas Talbot. We do not know the identity of her mother.