Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 7: Hylton


Volume 7, page 26 (as modified by volume 14):
He [Sir William (de Hilton), Lord Hilton (d. 1435)] m. Denise, da. of Sir Robert DE HILTON, of Swine in Holderness, by Constance, da. of Piers, 4th LORD MAULEY, by Constance, 1st da. and coh. of Sir Thomas DE SUTTON, of Braunsholm Castle and Sutton, also in Holderness [3rd LORD SUTTON OF HOLDERNESS].

Sir Robert de Hilton's wife Constance was the daughter and coheir of Sir Thomas de Sutton, who had previously been the wife of Piers, Lord Mauley (d. 1382/3) and Sir John Godard (living March 1392). It is clear from the chronology that Denise must have been born before Sir Robert's marriage to Constance. He had an earlier wife named Isabel, but alternatively it has been suggested that Denise may have been Sir Robert's sister rather than his daughter.

Robert de Hilton is named as the husband of one of the daughters of Agnes, late the wife of Sir Thomas de Sutton, in an entry on the patent roll dated 28 August 1395 [Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1391-1396, pp. 654, 655]. The entry is confused, naming this daughter as Margaret, late the wife of Sir Piers de Mauley, and another of the daughters also as Margaret, deceased, late the wife of Sir William de Aldeburgh; it goes on to say that Margaret and Piers de Mauley had issue Peter, a minor in the king's custody. The confusion probably arose because two of these daughters had married Piers, Lord Mauley (d. 1382/3) and his son, also Piers, who died in his father's lifetime [Complete Peerage, vol. 8, pp. 568, 569]. The deceased daughter, Margaret (d. 1391), had been the wife of the younger Piers, so that the wife of Robert de Hilton must have been the widow of the elder Piers, actually named Constance.

Constance remarried after the death of Sir Piers to Sir John Godard [History of Parliament, 1386-1421, vol. 3, pp. 194-196; see Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series, vol. 59, p. 14, for her inquisition post mortem, taken in 1401, which describes her as the widow of Piers de Mauley the Sixth, and names her heir as John Godard, aged 14 years and more]. Sir John survived at least until March 1392, so she could not have been married to Sir Robert de Hilton before that date, and therefore clearly could not have been the mother of Denise, whose son was a knight by 1412 and whose age was given as 50 in 1435 [Complete Peerage, vol. 7, p. 27].

Sir Robert de Hilton had an earlier wife named Isabel, who was living in 1379 and 1383 (see CP 25/1/289/52, number 27, and CP 25/1/143/145, number 2).

However, the chronology may suggest that Denise should be placed a generation earlier in the pedigree of Hilton of Swine. According to Surtees [History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, volume 2 (1820), page 28], in 1366 Denise was given an annuity of ten pounds by Robert, baron of Hilton (her future father-in-law). At that time her future husband William would have been about ten years old. In his pedigree of Hilton of Swine, Surtees places her as a daughter of the previous Sir Robert, the father of the Sir Robert who married Isabel and Constance.

[The correct identification of Sir Robert Hilton's wife Constance was given in History of Parliament, 1386-1421, vol. 3, p. 196. In October 2004 John P. Ravilious pointed out the chronological difficulty of making Denise the daughter of Constance. In June 2019 Douglas Richardson pointed out the evidence of Sir Robert's first wife, and the alternative parentage of Denise suggested by Surtees.
Item last updated: 22 June 2019.]