This note considers what we know concerning four Tempest wives and one Tempest daughter in the late Medieval period. In some cases, we reach conclusions, in others, we note the inconclusive evidence. The issues are:

1. Was Margaret Holand, daughter of Sir Robert Holand and Maud la Zouche, the wife of Sir John Tempest (1283-1356)?

2. Who was the wife of Sir John Tempest (b. ca 1313)?

3. Who were the parents of Mary Talbot, the wife of Richard Tempest (d. ca 1390)?

4. Who was the wife of Sir Richard Tempest (1356-1428)?

5. Who were the parents of Isabel Tempest who married Laurence Hamerton?

We take as our point of departure a manuscript written by Eleanor Blanche Tempest in the 1910s and early 20s. The manuscript, Tempest Pedigrees, is in the British Library (Add. MS 40,670) and a copy exists at Broughton Hall, near Skipton. We have examined the British Library copy but not the manuscript at Broughton, so we do not know whether there are differences in these documents. The British Library manuscript is a large folio document of 22 sheets, in which the text area of each sheet is about 24 by 20 inches. It is written in small black script, with citations in red ink and various coats of arms scattered about, in color. The sheets are crammed with information about the early Tempests, with meticulous documentation. The earliest Tempest recorded on these sheets is Roger, who lived in the early 12th Century and was an associate of the Rumellis, who established the monastery of Embsay, the predecessor of Bolton Abbey. We have made use of only a few of the sheets in our explorations, those having to do with the ancestors of Isabel Tempest who married Laurence Hamerton. Isabel and Laurence were ancestors of Peter Worden, the immigrant to Massachusetts. Some individuals appear two or more times on these sheets, sometimes with differing information. In the following, "EBT" refers either to the author or to her manuscript. EBT appears to be the source for a number of Burke's pedigrees of the Tempests, including those in Landed Gentry, Family Records, and Peerage and Baronetage. However, none of those pedigrees matches the EBT manuscript exactly. An article by R. W. Hoyle, "The Fortunes of the Tempest Family of Bracewell and Bowling in the Sixteenth Century" (Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, v. 74, 2002, pp. 169-189) is based largely on Mrs. Tempestís work.

Eleanor Blanche Tempest was born in 1853, the daughter of Edward Reynard of Sunderlandwick, East Riding Yorkshire. She married Arthur Cecil Tempest who held the Tempest estate at Broughton as a direct male descendant of the earliest Tempests. She died in 1928. She was clearly a remarkable woman. Blind in one eye, she undertook extensive genealogical studies of her husband's heritage and of other families of Yorkshire. Ms. Tempest acquired a large library of genealogical books at Broughton Hall, as well as manuscripts and other documents. It is evident that she spent many hours at the British Museum, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the Public Record Office, and public and private repositories in Yorkshire and Lancashire. In addition, she was evidently in close contact with other antiquaries of the day and other collectors of ancient documents. She was a member of the Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire and wrote a number of articles in its Proceedings as well as in the Genealogist, the Yorkshire Archaeological Society journals, and the Bradford Antiquary. She was also a wood carver, responsible for a number of mantel pieces in Broughton Hall.

Bracewell, the original manor of the Tempests, has not been in the family since the mid-seventeenth century. However, Broughton Hall, not far away and just off the A59 highway, continues in the Tempest family to this day. Henry Roger Tempest, EBT's grandson, lives there. He has given over control of the estate to his son Roger Henry Tempest. In 1987, Henry Roger commissioned and privately printed a book by M. E. Lancaster, The Tempests of Broughton (the front matter indicates it is available from The Estate Office, Broughton Hall, Broughton, Skipton, N. Yorkshire, BD23 3AE). This book is based largely on EBT, with additional material on the Tempests since 1920. Lancaster may also have had access to the archives in Broughton Hall. The book gives some sources, apparently mostly copied from EBT (occasionally in error), but much of it is undocumented. It is a useful resource, but not a substitute for EBT's manuscript. In preparing this note, in addition to EBT, we have consulted original sources (manuscripts in the British Library, the National Archives, and elsewhere), "quasi-original" sources (that is, transcripts, translations, and calendars of original documents), and secondary sources (these include sources such as the Dodsworth manuscripts in the Bodleian Library and Harleian MSS in the BL as well as various published sources from the 18th Century onwards). We have attempted to verify critical citations in EBT, although a few continue to elude us.

The descent shown in EBT from Roger Tempest to Isabel, the wife of Laurence Hamerton, is as follows:

Roger Tempest living 1151
Richard Tempest living 1153
Roger Tempest m. ca 1188 Alice daughter of Elias de Rilleston
Richard Tempest living 1222 m. Elena de Tong
Sir Richard Tempest d. ca 1268
Sir Roger Tempest d. before June 1288 m. Alice daughter of Walter de Waddington
Richard Tempest d.1297
Sir John Tempest, b. 1283, d. shortly after 1356 m. Margaret Holand
Sir John Tempest b. ca 1313 m. Katherine Sherburne
Sir Richard Tempest b. ca 1334, d. 1390 m. Mary Talbot
Sir Richard Tempest b. 1356, d. 1428 m. (?) Margaret Stainforth
Isabel Tempest m. Laurence Hamerton

We believe that the male line shown here is correct, the concern here is with the last five women.


Sir John Tempest of Bracewell, Broughton, etc. was born 24 Aug. 1283 (proof of age is found in the Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, hereafter CIPM, v. 4, p. 171, see also Yorkshire Inquisitions III, Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series, hereafter YASRS, v. 37, p. 92-93). The last evidence of Sir John Tempest was 25 June 1356 when he witnessed a grant in Elslack (next to Broughton). EBT believes he died soon after. EBT and a number of Burkeís publications show Sir Johnís wife as Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Holand by his wife Maud, daughter of Alan lord Zouche. As support for this attribution, EBT quotes a manuscript by Roger Dodsworth (Dodsw. 6, fol. 54, in the Bodleian Library, this should be f. 53, f. 54 is a continuation of the Tempest pedigree that is not relevant here). The Dodsworth MS is the source for a pedigree in Harleian 6136, p. 18 in the British Library, also Harleian 4630, f. 388. EBT also quotes the Visitation of Devon 1562 (Harleian 5185, and the printed version of this, the Visitation of the County of Devon 1564 with additions from the earlier Visitation of 1551, ed. by Frederick Thomas Colby, 1881, Exeter, privately printed, online). However, EBT appears to have misread the Dodsworth MS, which shows Margaret Holand as the wife of Sir John Tempestís son, John (see below). The Visitation of Devon has a pedigree of the Holand family which shows Margaret Holand as married to John Tempest, but does not specify father or son.

The above Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Holand, is shown in a number of sources to have been the wife of John la Warre, who died shortly before 24 June 1331, having married before 1326 (Complete Peerage, hereafter CP, v. 4, p. 144, quoting Fine Roll, 5 Edw. III, 1331-32, m. 13, this is in Calendar of Fine Rolls, v. 4, 1327-37, p. 264, see also Ibid. p. 505). The widow of John la Warre died in 1349, according to her IPM (CIPM v. 9, p. 239-40).

We believe that it is unlikely that Sir John Tempestís wife was Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Holand. According to CP (v. 6, p. 530) Sir Robert Holand did not marry Maud la Zouche until about 1311 and certainly no later than 1314 (citing CIPM, v. 5, p. 255). Hence, they could not be grandparents of the second John Tempest.

There is also the matter of a Papal Indult in June 1344 to John Tempest, Knight, and Isabel his wife to select their confessors at the hour of their deaths (Calendar of Papal Registers, Papal Letters, v. 3, p. 179, we have confirmed this entry in CPR through examination of an image of the original of this indult from the Vatican Secret Archives, Registri Vaticani 166, f. 347v, number 165). EBT says "Either Sir John had a first wife 'Isabel' or the Holand wife was so called. The son John Tempest was not a knight by 1344 [hence, the CPR reference could not have been to him]."

The marriage of Sir Robert de Holand and Maud la Zouche and Maud's birth in about 1290 are well established by the inquests at the death of her father, Alan la Zouche (CIPM, v. 5, pp. 255-259, the first dated 27 March 7 Edw. II [1314]) in which Maud is identified as wife of Sir Robert de Holand and as age 24 (she had an elder sister, Ellen, wife of Sir Nicholas de Sancto Mauro, age 26, and a younger sister Elizabeth, age 20, a nun; Ellen and Maud are identified as coheirs). It is not clear why CP says Robert and Maud were married ďabout 1311Ē (when she would have been 21) but it was certainly before March 1314 (when she was 24). Of course, they could have been married earlier, say as early as 1305.

CP (v. 6, p. 528) says Sir Robert Holand was probably born about 1270, apparently basing that on the fact that his father settled upon him a tenement in 1292 (William Farrer, Lancashire Final Concords I, Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, v. 39, p. 173), that he was in the favor of the Earl of Lancaster in 1300 (Calendar of Close Rolls, 1296-1302, p. 365), and that he was a commissioner in 1303 (Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1301-03, p. 191, see also Calendar of Charter Rolls, vol. 3, pp. 43, 45, 79, 289). Douglas Richardson (Plantagenet Ancestry, 2004, p. 398) says he was born about 1283, basing that on an article by J. R. Maddicott in The English Historical Review, v. 86, p. 452, note. Maddicott bases this birthdate on the fact that Robert was not a knight in May 1302 (Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey, 4: 980-81) but was a knight in Sept. 1305 (Hattonís Book of Seals, no. 223). So Maddicott imagines that he was knighted c. 1304 ďat the usual age of 21.Ē Furthermore Holand was a vallettus to Thomas of Lancaster in 1298 which suggests to Maddicott that he was underage at that time. Obviously, knighthood could be conferred at a later age. The birthdate of 1283 seems a little late to us but it is possible that the truth is somewhere between the estimates of CP and Maddicott. If Robert was born in 1270, he would have been 20 years older than his wife, giving him time to have had a previous wife.

Sir Robert Holand was beheaded 7 Oct. 1328 (Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous, v. 2, p. 270 and other sources) by adherents of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, for his alleged betrayal of Thomas at the battle of Boroughbridge in 1322. Maud died 31 May 1349 (CIPM, v. 9, p. 178; Lancashire Inquests & Extents, III, Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, v. 70, 1913-14, p. 201). Richardson says they had 4 sons and 5 daughters, Isabel, Margaret, Maud, Elizabeth, and Eleanor. Cal. Pat. Rolls 1321-24, p. 75, records an order of 26 February 1322 to conduct a daughter (unnamed) of Robert Holand to the Tower of London along with Aline and John, the wife and son of John de Mowbray. As noted above, CP says Margaret Holand's parents, Robert and Maud (la Zouche) were married about 1311, certainly before 1314, but as noted above, the date could have been (though unlikely) as early as 1305. Hence, Margaret could have been born as early as 1306 or as late as 1314, assuming she was a first child, a big assumption. In any event, she would not have been married (to John Tempest or John la Warre) before 1321 and could not have given birth to John Tempest, born about 1312.

For the record, we note that Sir Robert de Holand and Maud la Zouche had a daughter, Isabel, the second wife of John de Warenne, eighth earl of Surrey (CPR, Edward III 1345-48, 12 December 1346, p. 221). This Isabel could not have been John Tempestís wife, since, as noted above, no daughter of Robert and Maud could have been his wife.

The above analysis depends considerably on the presumed date of birth of the second John Tempest. EBT shows this in different places in her manuscript as 1308 or 1313. Could John have been born later, such that he could have been the grandson of Sir Robert Holand and Maud la Zouche? The only birthdates in this part of the Tempest line that we know with relative confidence are those of John's father (the senior John Tempest), 1283 by evidence of the proof of age, and this John's great-grandson, Richard (whom we discuss later), born 1356, according to his testimony in the Scrope vs. Grosvenor proceeding. Counting back from that date, it is hard to imagine that Richard's grandfather, the second John, could have been born after 1320, at the latest. This is still too early for John to have been the grandson of Sir Robert Holand and Maud la Zouche, even if they were married in 1305, which is unlikely. We believe the outside limits for the second John Tempest's birth are 1303 to 1313, most probably between 1305 and 1311.

We believe that Sir John Tempest's wife was not Margaret, daughter of Robert de Holand and Maud la Zouche, nor any other daughter of Robert and Maud (e.g., Katherine or Isabel). She may have been a Margaret (although the Papal Indult indicates that John's wife in 1344 was an Isabel). A daughter of Robert de Holand and Elizabeth de Samlesbury would fit better on chronological grounds. If so, it was probably not Margaret, since Robert and Elizabeth's daughter Margaret is known to have been married to John Blackburn, Robert de Hephale, and Adam Banester. And accounts of Robert and Elizabeth's family do not include daughters named Isabel, Katherine, or Mary. We conclude that we do not know the identity of Sir John Tempest's wife.

We should note that if John Tempest married a daughter of Robert de Holand and Elizabeth de Samlesbury, his son John Tempest (see next) and his wife Katherine Sherburne would be related in the second and third degree, clearly prohibited. We do not find in the Calendar of Papal Registers permission for this marriage. Other high officials of the church could issue dispensations and we have examined the published registers of William Melton, Archbishop of York during this period (Canterbury and York Society, vols. 70, 71, 76, 85, 93) also without finding relevant records. However, not all of Melton's registers have been published (they appear to be kept at the Borthwick Institute at the University of York). Some dispensations and licenses for marriage by the Archbishops of York, Bishops of Durham, and Archdeacons of Richmond from 1308-1531 are found in Testamenta Eboracensia volumes 3 and 4 (volumes 45 and 53 of the Surtees Society Publications). We do not find a dispensation for John and Katherine in this source. Of course, failure to find a dispensation is not definitive evidence that John did not marry a Holand.

A possible clue to the first John's wife may lie in transactions relating to rights to his marriage. His father, Richard, died 29 Sept. 1297, before John came of age (he was 14) and Richard's lands and the rights to his marriage were taken into the king' hands. The king apparently granted John's marriage to Bolton priory which then sold it to William Mauleverer in 1299-1300 (Bolton Priory Compotus 1287-1325, v. 154 of Yorks. Arch. Soc., 2000, pp. 101, 115). The Tempests were associated both before and after John with Mauleverers, that is, their names appear as witnesses together to various transactions. On the possibility that Mauleverer had in mind marrying John to his daughter, we have attempted to find a William Mauleverer of the right age with a daughter, perhaps even a daughter named Isabel. So far, we have been unsuccessful in this search.