Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 3: Criol


Volume 3, page 542:
NICHOLAS DE CRIOL, of Eynsford, Stockbury, Westenhanger, &c., Kent, and Croxton Kerrial, co. Leicester, s. and h. of Nicholas DE CRIOL, of Croxton, and of Cherry Hinton, co. Cambridge, sometime Warden of the Cinque Ports (who d. shortly before 2 July 1273), by his 1st wife, Joan, da. and h. of William D'AUBERVILLE, of Eynsford, &c., Kent ... He m., before 10 Feb. 1272/2, Margery, da. of Gilbert PECHE, of Westcliff, Kent. He d. 12 Oct. 1303. His widow's dower was ordered to be assigned, 1 Jan. 1303/4. Her will, directing her burial to be at the Friars Minor at Bedford, dat. 31 Mar. 1319 (Lincoln Reg.).

This account confuses Margery, the wife of the younger Nicholas de Criol (d. 1303), with Margery, the second wife of his father, Nicholas de Criol (who died between 25 November 1271 and 10 February 1272) [for the date of his death, see National Archives CP 25/1/283/17, number 489, and Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1266-1272, p. 623]. The younger Margery had six sons by her husband - Nicholas, Robert, Thomas, Gilbert, William and Simon - and had licence to remarry, 30 June 1304 [Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1301-1307, p.236; her deceased husband's name is mistranscribed as John in the printed calendar, but is clearly Nicholas in the original roll]. She subsequently married Ralph le Savage, with whom she appears in 1306 in pleas concerning her dower [CP 40/159, rots 5d, 8 and 18, the last of which mentions her sons], and Ralph presented to the church of Westenhanger, Kent, (evidently held as part of her dower) until 1328 [Archaeologia Cantiana, 31, 84 (1915)]. But the will dated 1319 is certainly that of the elder Margery. The evidence suggests that she was the daughter of Simon de Cray, that she had a son, Bertram, and probably a daughter, Margery, by the elder Nicholas de Criol, and that she subsequently had four more daughters by a member of the Clifford family.

There are many references to a Margery, widow of Nicholas de Criol, before the death of the younger Nicholas de Criol in 1303. These include an agreement dated 1300, reciting that Geoffrey de Bradedene had enfeoffed Lady Margery, who was the wife of Sir Nicholas de Criel, of the manor and advowson of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire, and that she had promised to enfeoff him and his wife, Katherine, and his heirs [National Archives, E 327/165], and a quitclaim of the manor and advowson by Margery de Kyriel to Geoffrey de Braddene and Katherine his wife in 1301 [British Library, Add. Ch. 21856; cf. also Baker, History and antiquities of the county of Northampton, vol. 2, p. 139, citing Madox, Formulare Anglicanum, p. 90 (1702)]. There is also the fine of May 1302, referred to below, by which Margery, who was the wife of Nicholas de Crioll, settled lands in Kent on Elizabeth de Clifford, with remainders to Margaret Hereward and Katherine de Bradene [National Archives, CP 25/1/99/77, number 544].

Deceased daughters Katherine de Braddene and Margaret Hereward are mentioned in the will of Margery de Criol, dated at Irchester [Northamptonshire] 31 March 1319 [Lincolnshire Archives, REG/4, ff. 69, 69d, 70; extracts printed in Bedfordshire Historical Record Society, vol. 14, pp. 83, 84 (1931) and Alfred W. Gibbons, Early Lincoln Wills, pp. 4, 5 (1988)]. So this is clearly the will of the same Margery who was already a widow by 1300 and 1302 - that is, the widow of the elder Nicholas de Criol (d. by 1272). Others mentioned in the will include an apparently deceased sister, Lady Joan, a deceased son Bertram, a Robert Hereward, also deceased, a daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Sir John de Pabenham, another daughter, Lady Margery de Say, a niece, Lady Joan de Playce, and a nephew and executor, Sir Gilbert Pecche.

Bertram's name suggests that he was Margery's son by Nicholas de Criol, whose father was also named Bertram. This probability is supported by a reference to a gift of land in Croxton [Kerrial] made to Croxton Abbey by a Margery de Cryoll, which was confirmed by her unnamed son [Monasticon, vol. 6, part 2, p. 877 (1830)] and the appearance of Margery de Criol and Bertram, her son, in a list of the same abbey's benefactors [The manuscripts of His Grace the Duke of Rutland, vol. 4, p. 180 (Historical Manuscripts Commission no 24, 1905)]. Margery's daughter, Lady Margery de Say, was married to John, son of Geoffrey de Say, by January 1286/7 [National Archives, CP 25/1/215/38, number 24]. As she does not appear in the Clifford documents mentioned below, she was presumably Margery's daughter by Nicholas de Criol.

The three daughters, Katherine, Margaret and Elizabeth, mentioned in Margery's will appear in a number of records, including the following, from which it is clear that they - and apparently another daughter, Amy - were Margery's children by a man named Clifford. The chronology indicates that they were born after her marriage to Nicholas de Criol. Their father appears to have been dead by 1289.

  1. An undated charter records that Masters Richard and William de Clifford, brothers, granted tenements in the City of London to their kinswomen, Elizabeth and Margaret de Clifford, and Katherine, called Chaumbirleng, and their heirs, and granted custody of the three women, who were under age, and of the tenements to William Chaumbyrleng of Corby. If the three women died without issue, the tenements were to go to Amy de Clifford and her heirs [National Archives, E 326/7167. The date of the charter must be between July 1285, when Ralph de Sandwich was made custos of London, and late 1289, when William de Brompton, justice of the Bench, was removed and imprisoned for corruption. It should also perhaps be dated to the period before William de Clifford became bishop of Emly in 1286.]. In 1302 Geoffrey de Bradden and Katherine, his wife, granted a moiety of a third of the same tenements to Sir Robert Hereward and Margaret, his wife, and the heirs of Margaret, the charter referring to the former grant by Masters Richard and William de Clifford to Elizabeth de Clifford, Margaret and Katherine [National Archives, E 210/1973. Note that the published abstract of this charter is inaccurate - the charter refers to Richard and William only as brothers, not as the brothers of Elizabeth, Margaret and Katherine.].
  2. The manor of Irchester, Northamptonshire, was transferred in 1289 by William and Richard de Clifford to Thomas de Morton [Victoria County History, Northamptonshire, vol. 4, p. 21]. Reference is made in the record of an assize of novel disseisin in 1331-1332 to a subsequent grant by Thomas de Morton to William de Clifford, Richard, his brother, and Margery de Kiriel for their lives, and then to Elizabeth (later the widow of John de Pabenham) and Margaret (later the mother of Margery, the wife of William Lovel) and the heirs of their bodies, with remainders to their sisters Amy (elsewhere called Emma) and Katherine [Selden Society, vol. 98, pp. 683-687 (1983)].
  3. By a fine of May 1302, Margery, who was the wife of Nicholas de Crioll, granted lands in Kent to Elizabeth de Clifford and the heirs of her body, with successive remainders to Margaret Hereward and the heirs of her body, and to Katherine de Bradene and the heirs of her body [National Archives, CP 25/1/99/77, number 544]. It was later stated that by virtue of this fine John de Pabenham and the same Elizabeth, his wife, were seised of the premises [Calendar of Fine Rolls, 1405-1413, pp. 88-90]. By another fine of May 1304/May 1305 between John de Pabenham and Elizabeth, his wife, and Margery de Crioll, land in Hinwick and Harrold, Bedfordshire, was settled on John and Elizabeth and the heirs of their bodies [National Archives, CP 25/1/3/37, number 19]. The Pabenham-Clifford Book of Hours shows a woman whose dress displays the arms of Pabenham and Clifford [Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 242, f. 29r; cf. John A. Goodall, Antiquaries' Journal, vol. 77, pp. 179-220 (1997). Goodall incorrectly identified the couple as John de Pabenham (d. 1330) and his second wife, Joan de la Plaunche.].
  4. In 1313, Richard Clifford, son and heir of Sir John Clifford, surrendered his rights in various lands to Margery de Crioll, widow of Sir Nicholas de Crioll, Elizabeth, wife of Sir John Pabenham the elder, and Margery Hereward, daughter and heir of Margaret, late the wife of Sir Robert Hereward [Baker, History and antiquities of the county of Northampton, vol. 1, p. 713; cf VCH Buckinghamshire, vol. 4, pp. 192, 193 and VCH Northamptonshire, vol. 4, p. 21].

As for Margery's own parentage, the following pieces of evidence suggest that she was a daughter of Simon de Cray: (1) in the Pabenham-Clifford Book of Hours, on the same folio already referred to, are shown separately the arms of Clifford, Pabenham and another coat of arms, which is elsewhere attributed to Simon de Cray of Kent [G. J. Brault, Aspilogia III: Rolls of Arms Edward I 1272-1307, Vol. 2, p. 125] and (2) in her will, Margery de Criol mentions her nephew, Sir Gilbert Pecche and an apparently deceased sister, Joan, apparently referring to Gilbert, the son of Gilbert Pecche (d. 1291) by his second wife, Joan, daughter of Simon de Cray [Complete Peerage, vol. 10, pp. 335-337]. (Note that Margery, the wife of the younger Nicholas de Criol (d. 1303), was a half sister of the younger Gilbert Pecche, and was therefore an aunt of his son, also named Gilbert. The fact that there were two women named Margery, both widows of men named Nicholas de Criol, and both with nephews named Gilbert Pecche, has contributed to the confusion between them.)

[The question of the two Margery de Criols was raised by MichaelAnne Guido in April, 2002. Mardi Carter pointed out the discussion of the Criols in the Bedfordshire Historical Record Society volume, where extracts from Margery's will were printed. Further contributions in the subsequent discussion came from Rosie Bevan, Tony Ingham and Doug Smith.
The problem was discussed again in 2008 and 2009. Tony Ingham provided the crucial heraldic evidence, together with much of the other information mentioned above. Other contributions were made by Douglas Richardson, Jane W. Flank, Michael Andrews-Reading, Louise Staley and James W. Cummings.
Douglas Richardson provided further information about the younger Margaret in December 2020.
Item last updated: 27 December 2020.]