[Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 29, pp. 68-89 (1929)
Electronic text and additional notes kindly provided by David Hepworth
HTML version by Chris Phillips]


[Continued from vol. xxviii, p. 419.]

Bretton, German de Morteley, Richard Pincerna, Richard de Craven, William de Golthorp, and John de Thurgerland (Record Series, vol. 30, p. 458).

RICHARD BUTLER or DE SAVILLE, 4.A., was probably the eldest son of Hugh Butler and Avice de Saville, born about 1200 or a little later.

Such changes of name are familiar enough in our own day, and were probably more common in early times than we are aware of, owing to the difficulty of proof. The best known early example is in the Percy family, which name was assumed by Jocelin de Louvaine on his marriage with Agnes, daughter and eventually sole heir of William de Percy, in the late twelfth century, and was borne by his children and descendants.

In this case it probably indicates that Richard succeeded to certain property on the death of his mother and used, for a time at any rate, her maiden name.

His sister, Idonia, refers to him as "Richard de Sevile, my brother"; he is probably the "Richard Pincerna" who witnessed the release by William Butler to Pontefract Priory (see below) and the charters of his mother, Avice, and his sister, Dionisia (see above).

Undated. - I, Richard son of Hugh Pincerna of Sandal, have granted to the monks those two bovates of land lying in the territory of Silkeston, which William my brother and Dionisia my sister surrendered and quitclaimed to the monks for 10 marks of silver, 4s. 8d., together with Henry and William, the sons of Ketil, etc. Witnesses, Baldwin Theutonicus, William de Bretton, German de Mortel[ey], Richard de Craven, John de Hauch'k, Henry Portebref, and William de Golthorph (Record Series, vol. 30, p 434).

Undated. - I, Richard de Sevilla, son of Hugh Pincerna of Sandal, have granted to the monks, for 5 marks of silver, a bovate of land in the territory of Silkeston, lying in Bolehaut, together with Rainer son of Hugh the reeve, with all his secta and chattels, to hold of me in free alms. Witnesses, William de Bretton, Henry de Tancresley, Adam de Hoyland, Hugh de Berhg, and Roger de Berh (Record Series, vol. 30, p. 446).

There is no evidence as to Richard's wife. His children are a great puzzle, for, in view of his change of name, they might be either Butlers or Savilles. One of them, Ralph, certainly called himself Saville (see below), but the others, so far as they can be identified in the absence of positive evidence, were all Butlers. There are several Savilles who from their dates might be sons of this Richard;


they cannot be clearly identified, and I have included them tentatively in the previous section.

Richard appears to have died before 1267-8; see below, Richard, 5.A.

WILLIAM BUTLER, 4.B., was probably the second son of Hugh, born about 1200. There are two charters of his in the Pontefract MS., in one of which he calls himself son of Avice de Saivile, and in the other son of Hugh Pincerna of Sandal, in each case without using any surname himself. I have not found any other references to him, except those in the charter of his brother Richard, and the grant made to him by his mother, already quoted.

Undated. - I, William son of Avice de Saivile, have granted to John de Saivile, his heirs and assigns, the bovate of land in Bolhalch held by my native, Henry son of Ketil, and the said Henry, [etc., as before], with all liberties, etc., pertaining to that bovate within the bounds of Silkston, paying yearly to me and my heirs a pair of white gloves at Christmas. Witnesses, William de Bretton, John de Heton, Jordan his brother, Adam de Holand, Ralph de Rupe [Roche], and William de Goldtorph (Record Series, vol. 30, p. 470).

The reference to the rent of white gloves seems to show that Avice was then dead and that William had succeeded to the rent, probably as her heir. The date is therefore later than Avice's charter of cir. 1240-46.

Undated. - I, William son of Hugh Pincerna of Sandale, have released and quitclaimed to "my lords," the Prior and monks of Pontefract, all claim to that bovate of land which Dame Avice, my mother, in her widowhood, gave to me in the territory of Silkston which lies in Bolehal', together with Henry son of Ketil, my native, [etc., as before], for which the monks have given me 5 marks of silver. Witnesses, William de Bretton, German de Morteley, Richard Pincerna, Richard de Craven, and William de Goldthorph (Record Series, vol. 30, p. 456).

This I take to be subsequent to the last charter; in the interval John de Saville had apparently given his interest to the monks, assuming, as appears to be the case, that the bovate of Henry son of Ketil is the same in each charter. William's present charter is a release, not a grant, showing that the monks had already acquired an interest in it.

There is no clue to the date of William's death, and no evidence of any wife or family.

RICHARD BUTLER, 5.A., was apparently the son and heir of Richard, 4.A., born about 1225. His parentage is nowhere mentioned,


but the fact that in 1286 Peter de Saville held his property of the heir of Richard Butler (see Section II [Early Saville; YASRS vol. 28]) seems to show that he was head of the family.

1267-8, Hilary Term. - John de Saiville abandoned his claim that Richard le Botiller should take his homage and reasonable relief for John's free tenement in Golcar and Dodworth; see Section II.

He was dead in 1279-80, leaving a widow, Agnes, and a son Hugh.

ROBERT BUTLER, 5.B., was apparently the second son of Richard, 4.A.

1246, Easter Term. - Hugh de Barneby, who brought an assize of novel disseisin against Robert Pincerna, touching a free tenement in Skelbrog, is in mercy for not continuing his action (Assize Roll [JUST 1/]1045, m. 47d.).

In 1252 he witnessed a demise to John de Saville (see Section II).

1265, Michaelmas. - Assize if Stephen de Suthkyrkeby, father of Robert, died seised of a toft and a bovate of land in Skelbroke, which Robert de Butillier holds. The defendant admitted it, and released the land, and also a windmill there, to the plaintiff, who gave him a soar-hawk (Assize Roll [JUST 1/]1194, m. 12d.).

1267-8, Hilary Term. - Robert, parson of Metelay [? Methley], withdrew his writ of trespass against Robert le Butiller of Skewoke [sic, Skelbroke]. The said Robert le Butiller afterwards came and admitted that he owed the parson 20 marks, to be paid 5 marks at Martinmas, anno 53, and 5 marks at the subsequent Pentecost, Martinmas and Pentecost; pledges, Thomas Coke and William de Luvershale (Assize Roll [JUST 1/]1050, m. 21).

1269, Trinity Term. - Fine between Robert le Butiler junior and Agnes his wife, plaintiffs, and Robert le Butiler senior and Constance his wife, deforciants, of 12 bovates of land in Spaldington. The deforciants admit the property to be the right of Robert junior and Agnes by the gift of Robert senior and Constance; Robert junior and Agnes grant to Robert senior and Constance for life, to hold of Robert junior and Agnes and the heirs of their bodies, paying yearly 1d. at Pentecost for all service; reversion to Robert junior and Agnes and the heirs of their bodies, to hold of the chief lords; remainder to the right heirs of Constance, quit of any other heirs of Agnes (Feet of Fines, Yorks., case 266, file 53, no. 43).

His wife's name was Constance; she had land in Spaldington [near Howden, East Riding] in her own right. They had issue Robert.

RALPH DE SAVILLE, 5.C., was a son of Richard Butler or de Saville, 4.A. He had land in the neighbourhood of Rotherham, which he


gave to Roche Abbey "with his body." I am doubtful whether the last phrase indicates that he was entering the monastery, or simply a desire to be buried there.

Undated. - Ralph son of Richard de Savile gave to Roche Abbey, with his body, half a carucate of land in Brinsworth [near Rotherham] and Templeborough in the territory of Brinsworth. Peter de Wadworth a witness (Hunter, South Yorkshire, vol. 2, p. 261n., citing Nathaniel Johnston's MSS. collections).

GERARD DE SAVILLE, 5.D., may have been another son of Richard, 4.A. I have only the following note about him, and the sole reason for placing him here is that Ralph son of Richard de Saville also had lands at Brinsworth, where, so far as I can ascertain, none of the main family of Savilles ever had any property.

1240-1, Hilary Term. - Fine between Gerard de Seyville, plaintiff, and Ralph de Normanville, deforciant, of 2½ bovates and 1/3 of half a bovate of land in Brunnesford.1 Gerard releases all his right and claim (Feet of Fines, Yorks., case 264, file 36, no. 45).

HUGH BUTLER, 6.A., son and heir of Richard Butler, 5.A., was probably born about 1250.

1279-80. - Agnes widow of Richard le Boteler claimed against William Heron 1/3 of a moiety of the manor of Silkiston in dower. William vouched to warranty Franco le Teyes, who warranted and vouched to warranty Hugh son of Richard [Pincerna] of Sandale, who came and demanded why he ought to warrant. Franco said that Richard Pincerna, Hugh's father, whose heir he is, enfeoffed of the said premises one Baldwin le Tyes, Franco's father, whose heir he is, and produced a writing which testified that Richard granted and confirmed by his charter to the said Baldwin, for his homage and service, two parts [thirds] of all the land he had in Silkeston, to hold to Baldwin and his heirs, paying yearly to Richard and his heirs 1d. at Christmas, for all service, with a clause of warranty; and also another writing which testified that Richard gave to Baldwin, for his homage and service, the third part of all his lands within the boundaries of the vill of Silkeston and Dodeworth, paying yearly 21s. 8d. and doing forinsec service, with a clause of warranty. Hugh admitted the writings, and warranted to Franco. Judgment that as Hugh has sufficient of the free tenement which belonged to the said Richard, husband of Agnes, let her have part of that land in a competent place, to the value of her dower, and let Franco hold in peace (Assize Roll [JUST 1/]1056, m. 63d.).

1 Brinsworth, near Rotherham; Brinesford in D.B.


1279-80 - Agnes widow of Richard le Buteler claimed against John de Ketelberg one third of 10 acres of land, 40 acres of wood and 10s. rent in Great Sandale, Styrsthorpe1 and Haytefeld, as dower. John says that he holds only 5 acres and 1 rood of the land, and vouches to warranty Hugh son of Richard le Buteler, who warrants the land and rent. Let Agnes have her dower to the value of the land and rent claimed out of the other free tenements which Hugh has of the said Richard, formerly husband of Agnes. And as to the wood, Hugh demands why he should warrant. John says that Richard son of Hugh [sc. Richard] le Buteler, Hugh's father, by his charter granted to Master William de Bolinton, John's ancestor, whose heir he is, all the moiety of Wythingeved with the wood, viz., from the way lying at the head of the vill of Stirsthorp to the field towards Sandale, and produces the charter, which contains a warranty clause. Hugh admits the charter, and says that the wood contains about 2 acres, and that he is willing to warrant the one third claimed by Agnes and to give it up to her, if John is willing. John says that the charter contains the whole wood and that his ancestor entered on the whole. Jury (Assize Roll [JUST 1/]1056, m. 67).

Some time after the date of the inquisition on Peter de Saville i.e., in the summer of 1286, Hugh son of Richard le Butler of Sandal granted to John de Heaton, knt., the homage and service of Peter de Savile and his heirs, in respect of three parts [fourths] of the town of Goulacres [Golcar], with wardships, reliefs, etc. Witnesses, John le Tyes [Tyas], John Sotehill, William le Fleming, Hugh de Swillington, etc. (Yorks. Arch. Journal, vol. 7, p. 262; Dodsworth MS. 117, fo. 122, in the collections of John Hanson; Harl. MS. 4630, s.n. Saville).

1287, Michaelmas Term. - Fine between Hugh le Botiller and Isabel his wife, plaintiffs, and Gilbert de Latum, deforciant, of 1 messuage, 3 tofts, 8 bovates of land and 30s. rent in Sandale near Donecastre [Kirk Sandal], Togesdene, Haytfeud and Stirshope [?],2 To hold to Hugh and Isabel and the heirs of Hugh, of Gilbert and his heirs, paying yearly a rose at the Nativity of St. John Baptist for all service to Gilbert and his heirs, and doing the accustomed service to the chief lords (Feet of Fines, case 267, file 63, no. 14).

1293-94, Feb. 27. - Hugh le Boteler of Sandale was a juror at an inquisition respecting a proposed grant by William de Gamelstone, Vicar of Little Markham, of lands, etc., in Aukley and Blaxton [Yorks.] and Finningley [Notts.], to Bayham Abbey, Sussex (Inq. ad quod damnum, file 21, no. 29; Record Series, vol. 23, p. 159).

1 Probably Streethorpe, in the par. of Kirk Sandal.
2 Probably Streethorpe.


1303, Michaelmas Term. - Simon de Wakefeld complained of Hugh le Butiler of Skelbroke and William de Wakefeld for assaulting him at York on Tuesday after the close of Easter, 30 Edw. I [1302]. They denied it. The jury found that Hugh did beat and wound Simon, by order (per preceptum) of the said William, and assessed the damages at £40 (Coram Rege 178, Mich. 32 Edw. I, m. 15).

Hugh probably died soon after this.

There is no evidence of any child; he probably died without issue, leaving Edmund, son of his cousin, Robert Butler, as his heir.

ROBERT BUTLER, 6.B., was the son of Robert, 5.B., probably born about 1250. He was married in or before Trinity Term, 1269, when his father and mother settled land in Spaldington on him and his wife Agnes (see above).

I have no further information about him; he was dead in Easter Term, 1296, leaving three sons, Robert, Edmund, and William.

1296, Easter Term. - Fine between Agnes, widow of Robert le Butiller, plaintiff, and Thomas de Dronefeld and Joan his wife, deforciants, of a messuage in York. To hold to Agnes and her heirs. Warranty against the heirs of Joan (Feet of Fines, case 268, file 68, no. 15).

ROBERT BUTLER, 7.A., was the eldest son of Robert, 6.B. He was apparently pressed to death in 1294, in his father's life-time.

1293, Trinity Term. - Gaol Delivery; Wapentake of Osgoldcross. Robert le Botiller was arrested for many robberies, larcenies, homicides, and burglaries; he admitted that he was a thief (se esse latronem), turned approver, and appealed many [named1] persons of being thieves and receivers, including William the man of William del Sayles, living in Skelbroke, and Geoffrey le Mouner [miller] of Skelbroke. He afterwards withdrew his appeal against Geoffrey, and pleaded that he, Robert, was a clerk; and thereupon the Dean of Christianity of York, the Archbishop's attorney, claimed him as a clerk; he had on another occasion, before Peter de Campania, and other justices of gaol delivery, been handed over to the Archbishop as convicted (pro convicto). He has no chattels (Assize Roll [JUST 1/]1098, [Part 2,] Trin. 21 Edw. I, m. 78).

[Further evidence for this case appears in the Year Books of Edward I, 60 [British Library, Add. MS 31,826, f. 210v - Year Book 28-34 Edward I, 1299-1306:

Robert le Botiler de Skelbrok had a certain firstborn son by name of Robert who was captured and taken to York on suspicion of homicide and other transgressions as yet unknown, the father claimed that the said Robert the son harshly and with great force was brought into prison, and as he was relieved from the said force he recognised his guilt, and took surety of men to indicate this, sending then for the coroner who coming, in the presence of the coroner he admitted his theft and homicide and rape and he took surety of men to indicate this, and the said coroner wrote his confession in these words, and handed the writing to the justices, and the justices sent for the said Robert to see if he would like to be made in court what he admitted in the presence of the coroner, who stated the said Robert would co-operate in court and admit his confession, but he said that he made it under duress and that duress was sustained in prison and he was able to be relieved from his torture.
Justices proof is required, whether such torture and treatment in prison was true as thus he said, and who said that it was not.
Justices ordered to seek companions in prison who will testify for you. And further the justices sent for the custodian of the prison and made him testify that force and duress from him was placed and he testified and on this oath and to the aforesaid statement and charge laid on him by the Robert in prison he said that they used no force
Justices Robert, you were not forced to state your sins
Robert I am good and faithful and I know of nothing wrong whatsoever and that confession that I made I made under duress in prison and I am clergy aware of right and wrong saving to me privilege of clergy placing me in evidence
Justices He was returned to prison, and it pertained to all this thus far that the father to the said Robert, when detained in prison his father died of whose heir he is as firstborn son by right of birth he was next of kin. And being of full age at the death of his father in chief of lord J of N he succeeded into the lands in his hands and of the wife of Robert the father he assigned dower.
Justices After the death of the father they said to the sheriff to make enquiry to have to use of Robert le Botiler and to send for him and co-operating in court the justices said to him, Robert in this year you acknowledged robbery etc and indicted etc that you said not.
Robert Lord, as I said before that time to this I am good etc and nothing wrong etc and that confession etc
Justices etc Robert that you acknowledged robbery homicide and rape in the presence of men who have record as in the presence of the coroner and this in court that has record of admittance that known confession which was made to him in this manner we hold you for full worth of your admittance
Justices Sheriff to return him to prison
Priest He said to the justices, Lords I plead him as clergy
Justices etc you will have him free. Thus he will be detained in the custody of the archbishop for whatever time for his clearance by ordeal and we lay claim to the truth to the Lord Archbishop of his confession, and he will be freed to the priest to take him to the prison of the archbishop, by which fact he was told by the justices that otherwise he was convicted of robbery homicide and delivering this the justices said to him that otherwise he would be convicted of robbery etc as you admitted to him, therefore he will not be freed to the custody of the archbishop but will remain in the King's prison without clearance, the justices made the sheriff remit him to prison
Justices They made 12 to be called of good standing and they assembled in virtue of sworn oath, as they commanded them to know true value of all lands of Robert le Botiler father that he held in fee on the day that he died and unimpaired from waste. And the 12 made this. One note that if a clerk was taken for suspicion of wrongdoing as robbery, homicide and these and he recognised his guilt in the presence of the coroner who it placed on record, he forfeited his inheritance forever by that confession. Further note that from this clergy he is precluded from clearance by ordeal through his confession made in the presence of the coroner not in court that has record and moriatur inumo that numus it was debated if clergy ordinarily convicted by no other proof than confession made by him is allowed in this cause according to be cleared by ordeal if then afterwards he would be cleared by ordeal moriatur moritur as felony and forfeits his inheritance from all of his blood.]

1294. - Pleas of the Crown, 22 Edw. I. The jurors present that Robert le Botiler of Skelbrook had a certain elder (antenatum) son, called Robert, who was taken and brought to York on suspicion of theft, murder, and other misdemeanours; et confessus est propter duritione et rigore, quia non relevandus fuit a p'tre [? petre] (Yorks. Arch. Journal, vol. 12, p. 72 [Dodsworth's Yorkshire Notes]).

1 This case is one studied by me, the names are Alice Hotty of Skelagh and her sister Matilda, Colle of Burgh Walleys the man of Richard Tyes, Thomas son of Sybil of Skelagh, William the man of William del Sayles living in Skelbrook, John son of Sen' of Doncaster, Thomas chaplain of Skelagh formerly living at Doncaster, William Luggeto sergeant of Arnethorp, Adam le Waleys of Skelagh, Geoffrey le Mouner of Skelbrook, Adam Alman, Benedict son of Thomas of Slepyl living at Kekelton, William son of Stephen of burgh Waleys, Robin son of Walter Walschef of Elmsale, William Smith of Leicester and his wife, John Skyllare of Lancaster, William Curry of Tickhill, John the Goldsmith of Doncaster, Robert le Mouner of Paynel Hoton and William Maureward.


He appears to have left a widow, Constance, living in 1302 (see below).

The barbarous custom of pressing to death, known as la peine forte et dure, was used where a person accused of felony refused to plead and stood, as the phrase went, "mute of malice." He was stripped, laid on his back on the bare ground, and as much iron and weights as he could bear, et plus, were placed on him, so that he could not rise; he was given to eat of the worst bread that could be found, and to drink of the water nearest to the gaol, except running water; he had nothing to drink on the day that he ate, and nothing to eat on the day that he drank. This was kept up until he either pleaded or died. The object of the prisoner was to avoid forfeiture, which followed on a conviction for felony; by refusing to plead, he could not be tried, and consequently could not be convicted.

EDMUND BUTLER, 7.B., was the son of Robert, 6.B., and apparently his heir; the elder son, Robert, must have died without issue. He was probably born about 1280. He apparently succeeded to the family property on the death of his father's cousin, Hugh, 6.A. (see above), but had land in Skelbrook before that, probably on his father's death.

1298-99, Thursday after the Purification, 27 Edw. I. - Inquisition taken after the death of Richard Fitz John. Edmund le Butiller held of the said Richard a capital messuage, etc., amounting to half a knight's fee, in Skelbrok, by the service of a sparrowhawk yearly and the king's scutage when it runs. Edmund's own tenants are set out, and include Agnes la Botillere, who held a bovate of land by homage and a yearly rent of 1d. She was probably his mother, or at any rate his father's widow (Inquisitions post mortem, Chancery, Edw. I, file 80; Record Series, vol. 31, p. 86).

1302, Michaelmas Term. - William de Wakefeld and Agnes his wife were summoned to answer Edmund le Botiller for making waste and sale of houses and gardens in Skelebroke, which they hold for the life of Constance who was wife of Robert le Botiller by demise of the said Constance, who held the same in dower of Edmund's inheritance, viz., 1/3 of 2/3 of the manor of Skelebroke; Edmund said that they had pulled down a sheepfold and cut trees, etc.; he claimed £20 damages. A technical objection was taken to the writ, and judgment was given for the defendants (De Banco 144, Mich. 30 Edw. I, m. 200; Yorks. Arch. Journal, vol. 12, p. 71).

This note and the one in 1303, below, enable me to correct an error in the third volume of Yorkshire Inquisitions (Record Series, vol. 31, pp. 86n., 87n.).