Charter of Eleanor de Lyston for Richard and Ellen de Strelleye, 1335

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Charter of Eleanor, formerly the wife of John de Lyston, granting two parts of the manor of Woodborough [Nottinghamshire], formerly held of her inheritance by Margery de Nouwers for life, to Richard de Strelleye and Ellen, his wife, and the heirs and assigns of Richard. Woodborough, 13 June 1335.

The evidence concerning the descent of the manor of Woodborough in the early 14th century is not easy to interpret, but it appears that Eleanor inherited these two thirds of the manor as the heir of William de Creye.

The manor may have been divided into thirds as early as the 1280s, as there is a reference on 18 March 1285 to the land of John de Vilers and Clemence, his wife, John de Cantilupo and Maud, his wife, and Margery de Wodeburg [Calendar of Close Rolls, 1279-1288, p. 352]. Presumably these women were identical with the unnamed daughters and heirs of Ralph de Wodebour', described as the parceners of Henry de Wodebour', with whom they were holding half a knight's fee at Woodborough of the fee of Peverel, for which only one suit was done by Henry [Book of Fees, part 2, p. 1320]. In 1303 Henry was recorded as holding a quarter of a knight's fee at Woodborough of the fee of Peverel [Feudal Aids, vol. 4, p. 96].

In 1309 William de Trailly had conveyed by fine one third of the manor to William de Creye and Margery, his wife, and the heirs of William de Creye [CP 25/1/184/20, number 21]. This was followed by grants to William and Margery of the freehold land, goods and chattels in Woodborough belonging to Henry de Woodborough, brother of Ralph. [John Throsby's edition of "Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire," 1796, vol. 3, p. 32. This account refers to a grant of the goods and chattels in 1316 and a confirmation of the freehold in 8 Edward II to William and Margery and the heirs of William.] In 1327 Sir Payn de Vylers (the son of Clemence, daughter and coheir of Ralph de Woodborough, mentioned above) and Isabel, his wife, appointed an attorney to receive seisin of a part of the manor and the service of Margery, late the wife of [illegible] de Cray, for a third of the manor which she held for life [Catalogue of Ancient Deeds, vol. 6, no C5627]. Thus it appears that Margery became the tenant of Sir Payn.

As the charter of 1335 shows, Eleanor later held two thirds of the manor, which had previously been held for life by one Margery de Nouwers. Either this included the third part acquired by William de Creye and Margery in 1309 - in which case Margery de Nouwers is to be identified with William's widow, and another third part must have been acquired at a different time - or else it represented the other two thirds of the manor - in which case William had presumably acquired those two thirds after the expiry of the life term of Margery de Nouwers. In either case, Eleanor's two thirds of the manor were granted to Richard de Strelleye and Ellen in 1335, and - if Thoroton's account is accurate - Sir Payn in the same year 'passed' to Richard and Ellen two parts of the manor, which Margery de Nowers had held for her life, of the inheritance of Sir William de Cray, knight (presumably meaning of the inheritance of the heirs of Sir William). If this is correct, it presumably refers to Sir Payn's interest as Eleanor's lord.

Finally, in 1337, Payn and Isabel conveyed by fine another third of the manor to Richard de Strelley and Ellen and the heirs of Richard [CP 25/1/185/29, number 176]. Thoroton says that this third had descended to Payn as his inheritance after the death of his mother Clemence. It seems to have been exchanged for tenements of Richard de Strelley in Kinoulton and Screveton [Nottinghamshire Archives DD/2517/1; cf Catalogue of Ancient Deeds, vol. 3, no C367, vol. 6, no C4945].

Eleanor's husband John de Liston died shortly before 17 October 1332, leaving a son and heir John, aged 22 [Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 7, no 451]. The younger John died in 1349, leaving a son John who had been born in 1337 [Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 9, no 349; vol. 10, no 392], who in turn died in 1359, leaving as heir his uncle William de Liston, aged 30 and more [Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 10, nos 473, 551]. In fact William must have been well over 30 years old, as his son and heir Thomas was born around 1341 [Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 12, no 151].

Other lands held by Sir William de Creye were later in the hands of the Liston family. The inquisition post mortem of Eleanor's husband John mentions a son of John and Eleanor named Thomas, presumably the same Thomas de Lystone who in 1346 was holding with others half a knight's fee in the hundred of Rokesley, Kent, formerly held by William de Crey [Archaeologia Cantiana, vol. 10, pp. 156, 157]. The inquisition also notes that John held lands in Ramsden Crays, Essex, as of the inheritance of Eleanor, and in 1330 a plea was pending between the king and Sir John de Liston concerning the advowson of Ramsden Crays [Calendar of Close Rolls, 1330-1333, p. 89]. Evidently this property, including the advowson, passed eventually to his son William [Calendar of Close Rolls, 1360-1364, pp. 527-8].

Eleanor's seal shows three shields of arms. At the top in the photograph above are the arms of Liston (vert ten bezants). At the bottom right are the arms of Sir William de Creye (gules a cross engrailed or, over all a bend azure), who bore the arms of Creye with a bend for difference [N. H. Nicolas, ed., A Roll of Arms, of the Reign of Edward the Second, p. 24 (1829)]. The arms at the bottom left appear to be those of the Trailly family (or a cross between four martlets gules). Comparison of the arrangement with that of similar seals and chronological considerations suggest that Eleanor's father may have been a Trailly, and her mother a daughter of Sir William de Creye.

Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Alianora quondam uxor Johannis de Lyston in pura viduetate mea dedi concessi et hac presenti carta mea confirmavi Ricardo de Strelleye et Elene uxori eius heredibus et assignatis predicti Ricardi duas partes manerii de Wodeburgh [cum] pertinentiis quas Margeria de Nouwers quondam tenuit ad vitam suam de hereditate mea. Habenda et Tenenda predictis Ricardo et Elene heredibus et assignatis predicti Ricardi de capitalibus dominis feodi illius per servicia inde debita et consueta imperpetuum. Et ego predicta Alianora et heredes mei predictas duas partes cum pertinentiis predictis Ricardo et Elene heredibus et assignatis predicti Ricardi contra omnes gentes warantizabimus et defendemus imperpetuum. In cuius rei testimonium huic presenti carte sigillum meum apposui. Hiis testibus Johanne filio Willelmi, Johanne de Mountene, Johanne Bret, Galfrido de Staunton et Roberto Jorce, militibus, Sampsone de Strelleye, Adam atte Crouche. Datum apud Wodeburgh die martis proximo post festum sancte Trinitatis Anno regni Regis Edwardi tertii post conquestum Nono.
Alianor Liston ded_ Ricardo Strelley 2 partes Maner of Woodburgh 9 E 3

Know all men present and future that I Alianor formerly the wife of John de Lyston in my pure widowhood have given, granted and by this my present charter confirmed to Richard de Strelleye and Elena his wife [and] the heirs and assigns of the said Richard two parts of the manor of Woodborough with appurtenances which Margery de Nouwers formerly held during her lifetime from my inheritance. To have and to hold to the said Richard and Elena [and] the heirs and assigns of the said Richard from the chief lords of that fee by the services thence due and accustomed forever. And I the said Alianor and my heirs will warrant and defend the said two parts with appurtenances to the said Richard and Elena [and] the heirs and assigns of the said Richard against all men forever. In witness of which thing I have affixed my seal to this present charter. With these witnesses: John son of William, John de Mountene, John Bret, Geoffrey de Staunton and Robert Jorce, knights, Sampsone de Strelleye, Adam atte Crouche. Given at Woodborough on Tuesday next after the feast of Holy Trinity in the ninth year of the reign of King Edward III after the conquest [13 June 1335].
Alianor Liston grants to Richard Strelley two parts of the Manor of Woodborough, 9 Edward III (1335)

[The photographs above were kindly provided by James Poynor, together with the transcript and translation, which I have modified slightly. The discussion of the descent of the manor of Woodborough, the Liston genealogy and the associated heraldry are based almost entirely on information generously provided by Tony Ingham, to whom I am very grateful.]