Simon [II] Corbet 3rd Baron of Caus
(-Bef 1162)
Robert [III] Corbet 4th Baron of Caus
(Bef 1158-Between 1219/1222)
Thomas [I] Corbet 5th Baron of Caus
(-Bef 1274)


Family Links

1. Isabel de Vautort

Thomas [I] Corbet 5th Baron of Caus 1 2

  • Marriage (1): Isabel de Vautort about 1225-1228
  • Died: Bef 2 Nov 1274 3

  General Notes:

THOMAS [I] Corbet (-before 2 Nov 1274). "…Thomas, Hugh and Robert the grantor's sons…" witnessed an undated charter under which Robert Corbet donated tithes to Shrewsbury abbey. Henry III King of England ordered that "castrum de Caos", confiscated from "Robertus [Corbet]", be restored to him after "Thomas filius suus" swore homage to the king dated [Nov] 1217. Henry III King of England ordered "…Robertus Corbet vel Thomas filius suus…" to enquire into the state of the forests "de comitatu Salopie" dated [Jul] 1219. "Thomas Corbet, son and heir of Robert Corbet" made a fine for "his relief of the lands that Robert held of the king in chief" in Shropshire, dated 17 Oct 1222. "Thomas Corbet" was granted "the forest of Teynfrestanes", granted by King Richard to "Robert Corbet his father", dated 10 Jan 1236. Thomas Corbet "son of Robert Corbet...Lord of Caures" donated the tenth of lead produced in Schelve Mine to Shrewsbury abbey by charter dated 24 Feb 1270. Inquisitions dated "Tuesday after St Luke 2 Edw I" following the death of "Thomas Corbeth" name "Peter his son is his next heir". The chronology of his father's life suggests that Thomas must have been well over 80 years old when he died.

m ([1225/28]) as her second husband, ISABEL de Vautort, widow of ALAN de Dunstanville, daughter of ROGER de Vautort of Harberton, Devon & his wife ---. A charter dated 1 Jul 1241 records a final settlement between "Gilbertum de Basevil" and "Alanum Bassat" relating to land in Bepton, Sussex and land in Cornwall "quam Isabella que fuit uxor predicti Alani de Dunstanvill tenet in dotem" which was inherited by Gilbert from "Alani de Dunstanvill avunculi predictorum Gilberti et Alani". Her family origin and second marriage are confirmed by inquisitions dated "24 Oct 27 Edw I" following the death of "Hawis late the wife of Reginald de Valle Torta" which name "Peter Corbet aged 30 and more and Henry de la Pomerey aged 32 are next heirs of the inheritance of the said Reginald".

Thomas [I] & his wife had three children: Piers, Alice and Emma.

[FMG/Medieval Lands]


THOMAS CORBET was probably not far short of forty years of age when he succeeded his father. His presumed assent in 1198 to his Father's grant of Wentnor Mill implies nothing as to his age, though I think he was then about fourteen. A Writ of King John, dated October 15, 1207, indicates that Thomas Corbet had been serving in Poitou, in lieu of James de Newmarch, out of whose chattels Corbet was entitled to a sum of 20 merks. [53] On September 16, 1212, Thomas Corbet appears in the retinue of King John at Geddington (Northamptonshire), and has a present of one merk from the King. [54] On May 9, 1218, he participated in a Donum, made at Canterbury, to the Knights attendant on the King. His share was 3 merks, as were the shares of Baldwin de Hodenet and William Pantulf. [55] His subsequent defection from King John, his reconciliation to Henry III., and his succession as son and heir of Robert Corbet in October 1222, have been already stated. Thomas Corbet ought to have paid £50. of his relief at Easter 1223, but a Writ-Close of March 10, abates the payment by £20., which the King presented to Corbet in aid of the fortifications at his Castle of Caors. [56]

I will now give account of the various scutages and aids assessed on Thomas Corbet's Barony during his tenure thereof. In 1224 he had acquittance by Writ-Royal of the scutages of Montgomery and Bedford. In 1225 he owed the King £1. for the balance of the scutage of Byham, left unpaid by his Father, and £80. the balance of his own Relief. In 1229 he was assessed 10 merks on 5 fees for the scutage of Keri, but had a Writ of acquittance. In 1230 he was excused the scutage of Brittany, but in 1231 was assessed £10. on five fees, to that of Poitou. He was excused the scutage of Elvin in 1232. In 1235-6 he was assessed at the rate of 2 merks per fee, on nine fees, to the Aid in marriage of the King's Sister. He paid the charge by the hand of Richard his Clerk. [57] It would seem therefore that the fees on which he owed military service were fewer than those on which he was assessable to this Aid, and certainly they were fewer than the actual fees of his Barony, as I show in a note. [58] To the Aid in marriage of the King's daughter, levied in 1245, Thomas Corbet was assessed £5. on five fees. He was acquitted of the scutage of Gannok in 1246. In 1254 he was assessed £10. on 5 fees to the Aid for knighting Prince Edward, but was acquitted of the scutage of Wales in 1260.

I return to give other particulars of the career of Thomas Corbet. A Writ-Close, dated at Montgomery, on October 1, 1224, shows his love of the Chase. The Chief Forester of Shropshire is to allow him to pursue any three boars through the Forests of Shropshire, which he might happen to unkennel in his own Forest. [59] Another Writ-Close of May 19, 1226, orders Godescall de Maghelins (then Custos of Montgomery) to acquit Thomas Corbet of all obligation to do suit to the Hundred of Montgomery, if it appeared on Inquisition that Robert Corbet, his father, had been quit of such suit in the reigns of Henry II., Richard I., and John. [60] On August 27, 1226, Lewellyn, Prince of Wales, met King Henry III. at Shrewsbury, and undertook to satisfy Hugh de Mortimer, Thomas Corbet, Fulk fitz Warin, and other Barons Marchers, in respect of certain lands of theirs which he had seized. Lewellyn had appointed Sunday, October 25, to meet the said Barons at Oswestry, and King Henry III., by a Writ of September 2, names the Bishops of Hereford and Worcester, with Walter de Clifford, John de Monemue, John fitz Alan, John le Strange, and William de Cantilupe to attend the meeting and report the result. [61]

At the very time when King Henry conferred with Lewellyn at Shrewsbury, he sat in the Curia Regis, presiding over the business of an ordinary Assize, as well as regulating other matters. Among the latter, the Sheriff of Shropshire was ordered to proceed personally to the Forest of Stenufretames (Stiperstones), and there make Inquest as to whether the Forest of Stenufretames, and the Haye, and Gatesden, and Murthereleg, and Godwynescot, and the Park of Elrenor, were appurtenance,s of the Barony which Thomas Corbet held of the King in capite, and whether his Father died seized thereof, or whether the aforesaid Forest, Haye, and Park were appurtenances of the Honour of Montgomery. The Jury which assembled on this occasion consisted of 25 persons, all probably of knightly degree, and including John le Strange, John fitz Alan, and William Pantulf. Their report, it is sufficient to observe, was followed merely by an order for fuller inquiry. [62]

In October, 1227, Thomas de Muleton and his Fellow- Justices sat at Shrewsbury. The list of amercements and other charges authorized on this occasion contains the following consecutive entries:- Heredes Roberti Corbel 3 sol. de catallis. Emma Corbet 2s. 6d. de catallis. Thomas Corbet 1s. 4d. pro eodem. It would seem that Thomas Corbet and his Father had been remiss in accounting to the Crown for the chattels of certain felons within their jurisdiction. The question whether Emma Corbet was Robert Corbet's widow, I cannot determine on this or any other evidence.
A Letter of Henry III. to Lewellyn, Prince of Aberfraw and Lard of Snowdon, bears date February 2, 1282. A year's truce, commencing November 80, 1231, was current; but Lewellyn had complained of the rupture thereof by Thomas Corbet. The King promises full inquiry and amends, but intimates that only two of the persons, complained of as accomplices of Thomas Corbet, belonged to that Baron's jurisdiction. The others were apparently the King's own tenants, and the King promises special amends for the wrongs done by one Richard Suwerd. [63]

A Patent of June, 1233, shows King Henry dismissing from the custody of Philip de Colevile a hostage of Thomas Corbet's, viz. Reginald Corbet. The Pipe-Roll of the same year shows that any mistrust of Corbet's fidelity had been exchanged for confidence. The Sheriff of Shropshire, by the King's order, presents Thomas Corbet with a sum of 10 merks.

Between the years 1234 and 1239, R. (Ralph de Maidstone), Bishop of Hereford, inspects and confirms the Charters of Sir Robert Corbet and his son Thomas, giving the tenth of the lead from Shelve Mine to Shrewsbury Abbey. Witnesses, Sir H. Abbot of Haghmon, Robert de Gyros, and Robert de Wuteton. [64] About the same time, I find Sir Thomas Corbet, followed by his brother Robert, in the testing-clause of a Haughmond Charter.
On January 10, 1236, King Henry III. confirmed by Charter, to his faithful and beloved Thomas Corbet, the restoration and confirmation which King Richard had made to Robert, father of the said Thomas, of the whole forest of Teynfrestanes, quit of all foresterage and exaction, with such right of hunting and venison (fugacione et venacione) as Roger, paternal uncle of the said Robert, had in the time of Henry II. [65]

The Originalia-Roll of 1287 shows the King respiting a debt of 5 merks due from Thomas Corbet. A Writ-Close of March 8, 1288, shows that the truce between King Henry and Lewellyn would expire on July 25 following, and that the King was much exasperated at hearing that Lewellyn had caused David his son to receive the homage of the Magnates of North Wales and Powys. The King summons a Council to meet him at Oxford on Tuesday after the Quinzaine of Easter, and to advise on these matters. Among those summoned are John fitz Alan, William de Warren of Whitechurch, William fitz Warin, Thomas Corbet, Ralph de Mortimer, Walter de Clifford, and Fulk fitz Warin. [66]
The Pipe-Roll of the same year shows Thomas Corbet amerced 10 merks for some disseizin; and in 1240 he is amerced 5 merks for forest-trespass. In 1242 he gives the King a fine of one palfrey, that he may have judgment in some cause. In 1248 he is amerced 20 merks for trespass.

King Henry III., by a Writ dated January 2, 1246, orders Inquest to be made as to certain of Thomas Corbet's Manors,- whether they were out of the limits of the King's Forest; also, whether Corbet's Men, of the Welsh tongue, had been used to pay toll at Montgomery and Shrewsbury. A Jury of thirteen replied to these inquiries, that Worthin, Forton, Caus, Minsterley, Yokethull, and Wentnor were extra forestam, except a part of Corbet's fee in Worthin, which was infra forestam. Also they said that Corbet's Tenants de lingua Walensi, after they became his tenants, had given toll at Montgomery and Shrewsbury.

This return was not satisfactory. A second Writ, of May 7, 1246, complains that "the Inquisition, concerning Warren to be granted to Thomas Corbet in Worthin, was insufficiently made", and directs a new Inquest. A second Jury of thirteen (three of them members of the former pannel) was assembled. These Jurors declared that Forton, Cauheis, Minsterley, Yokethul, and Worthin were extra metas forestae, but that part of Wentnor was infra metas foreste, and that the residue of Wentnor adjoined the Forest. [67] With these exceptions, the Jury knew of no other damage to the King's Forest, which could result from Corbet's proposed Charter of Free Warren. As to the question of Toll, this Jury stated that "the men of Robert Corbet (Thomas's father) of the Welsh tongue were quit of toll at Salop and Montgomery before that the said Robert married his daughter to Wenhunwyne; but afterwards, through the strife and war which arose between them, the said men had paid toll till the present day". [68]

This Verdict seems to have determined the King to allow Thomas Corbet Free-warren in all his Manors, except Wentnor; for a Charter, dated at Clarendon, July 1, 1246, gives Thomas Corbet such a right in his demesnes of Caus, Worthin, Forton, Yokethill, and Minsterley. [69]

As to the question of Toll, a third Writ issued on July 9, 1246, to the Sheriff of Shropshire (then John le Strange). He was, in full Court of the County, and in presence of himself and the Keepers of the Pleas of the Crown, to empanel twelve Knights, who were to be related to himself neither in the way of affinity nor personal grudge; and he was to take care to keep himself free of all suspicion in this business, as he wished to remain unharmed. The Knights were to say whether Thomas Corbet's men of the Welsh tongue, who owed fealty to the said Thomas, ought to be quit of toll in the Markets aforesaid, by ancient right, possessed by Corbet and his Ancestors, or by permission; and how long they had been so quit, and by whose permission. The twelve Knights (seven of whom had sat on one or other of the previous Juries) replied that the men of Thomas Corbet's ancestors had been so quit of toll by ancient right. [70]
A Charter of Feb. 27,1248, entitles Thomas Corbet to hold a yearly Fair at his Manor of Kaus on the vigil, the day, and the morrow of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr (July 7). The appointment of Thomas Corbet (a Baron Marcher) to be Sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire in this same year (1248) is an extraordinary one, and

[68] Sed postea per contencionem guerrae inter ipsos motam illud dederunt usque in hodiernum diem;- where the word ipsos is ambiguous, but probably refers to Corbet and his son-in-law, rather than to Corbet's Welsh Tenants. Still it does not appear why a quarrel between Wenhunwin and Corbet should prejudice Corbet's Tenants, when marketing in the King's boroughs, unless Corbet were disaffected and Wenhunwin loyal,- a state of things which we do not know to have coexisted at any time.

has given rise to a discussion whether he, or his namesake of Hadley, was the person so distinguished. When we find that Thomas Corbet of Hadley was deceased in August 1247, we are satisfied that it was the Baron of Caus, whom a Patent of May 18, 1248, entrusts with the Custody of the two Counties, and to whom John le Strange is ordered to give up the Castles of Shrewsbury, Brug, and Ellesmere by a further Patent of June 22, 1248. Thomas Corbet accounted as Sheriff for the half- year ending Michaelmas 1248, the year ending Michaelmas 1249, and the half-year ending Easter 1250. [71] He quitted office deeply indebted to the Crown. The Pipe-Roll of 1251 charges no less a sum than £256. 10s. 4d. as the arrears of Thomas Corbet.

In 1250-1, Thomas Corbet came before the Barons of the Exchequer and made a recognition or statement, which not only shows what great immunities were claimed by the Barons of Caus, but supplies a test whereby we may estimate the accuracy of that genealogical table which I shall give of their descent. Corbet stated that he had had five antecessors since the Conquest of England, and that none of them had rendered any relief to the King or to his antecessors for those five knights'-fees which he (Corbet) now held of the King in capite. [72] If we turn to the subsequent table, it will be seen that, including Corbet the Norman, exactly five generations of this House had passed away before Thomas Corbet's accession. If, on the other hand, we assume that Thomas Corbet could not have intended to enumerate Corbet the Norman among those antecessors whose Relief was a question, it is still possible that he may have counted two of the first Roger Corbet's three sons as antecessors; for, if two of those sons had enjoyed the Barony, the term antecessor was technically applicable to each, even though one left no issue. As to Corbet's statement about Relief, he himself was certainly the first recorded Lord of Caus who had paid the Baronial Fine of £100.

In 1251, Roger de Somery and Robert de Grendon are instructed by Patent to inquire into a complaint made by Thomas Corbet against Hugh de Say and another. It concerned the rescue of some stolen booty, taken on Corbet's land, and the slaying one of his men.

In the same year Thomas Corbet is suing Thomas Purcel for wrongfully erecting a fence in Caus.
A Patent of 1252 appoints Alan la Zouche, Justice of Chester, to inquire concerning certain wrongs committed against the King and his subjects, in the Marches of Salop and Staffordshire, by Thomas Corbet.

In 1258, the Pipe-Roll charges Thomas Corbet with numerous arrears from the period of his Shrievalty, and also with 60 merks for an Aid of the current year, viz. for the King's transfretation into Gascony. This Aid was very irregularly assessed, but Corbet's liability seems penal, rather than proportional to any service he might owe.
At the Inquest of 1255, the Jurors of Chirbury Hundred complained of several diminutions of the King's prerogative, effected by Thomas Corbet in respect of his Manors in that quarter. He had withdrawn certain Pleas of the said Hundred to his Court of Caus, though the Manor of Caus was not within the said Hundred, nor owed any suit thereto. This withdrawal of Pleas of felony, bloodshed, theft, and hue and cry, from Thomas Corbet's Chirbury Fief, had for five years involved an annual loss of 8s. to the Crown. [73] The Jurors of Ford Hundred presented that Sir Thomas Trebec (read Corbet) held the fee of Caus of the King in capite, by service of 5½ knights in time of war, and that he did suit to both County and Hundred. [74]

On May 9, 1255, Justices are appointed to try an action of novel disseizin, preferred by Thomas Corbet against Griffin ap Wenunwin for a tenement in Caus. On July 5, 1255, another Patent appoints three Justices to set to rights the wrongs and strifes which subsisted between these same persons, whom we know to have been uncle and nephew. On October 26, 1255, John le Strange, junior (as was afterwards alleged by Thomas Corbet), came upon Corbet's Manors of Worthen, Brocton, Wentnor, Aston, Hanton, Bechesfeld, and Bromlawe, and took goods therefrom to the value of 700 merks. [75] This matter does not concern Caus or its neighbourhood; but I mention it here because it shows the position of two great Border families at the period.

At the Assizes of 1256 a presentment was made by the full County-Court of Salop to the effect that the Vills of Cauz, Wallop, and Feniton (Vennington) were within the County of Salop, but had never been used to make any appearance before the King's Justices. With respect to Caus this averment is fully established by the general, but of course negative, evidence of Records. The Pipe-Roll of 1259 shows Thomas Corbet chargeable with the following amercements, inflicted at the Assizes of 1256 or afterwards, viz. 20 merks for disseizin, 10 merks for many trespasses, 5 merks for many defauits, and 5 merks for non-production of some one for whom he was Surety. On July 29, 1259, Roger de Montalt and Gilbert Talbot are appointed to adjust and settle certain breaches of truce between Griffin ap Wenunwen and Thomas Corbet.

On August 1, 1260, King Henry, exasperated by the lawlessness or patriotism of Lewellyn ap Griffyth, and hearing that the Welsh had stormed Builth Castle and slaughtered the English garrison, summoned the Army of Wales to muster at Shrewsbury on September 8. Among the vassals of the Crown to whom summonses were directed, the following were to appear, with horses and arms, and their complement of service due on such occasions. These were Roger de Somery, Walter de Clifford, Griffin ap Wenunwen, John Giffard, Henry de Hastings, Fulk fitz Warin, William de Braose, Roger de Mortimer, Giles de Clifford, John fitz Matthew, William Devereux, Walter de Dunstanvill, Reginald fitz Peter, John fitz Alan and Thomas Corbet. James d'Audley, Ralph Botiller, Simon Earl of Leicester, John fitz Philip, and John le Strange were to muster at Chester. [76]

This magnificent prelude ended in a truce, terminable on the 24th of June, 1262. Meantime I find Thomas Corbet encompassed with litigation, the details of which I shall reserve for more appropriate localities. I should here notice however that in October 1260, Corbet names Robert le Blundel or William Hager as his Attorneys in his suit of trespass against John le Strange, junior. A Patent of March 30, 1261, gives Thomas Corbet an annual salary of 50 merks out of the Royal Treasury.

On July 22, 1262, King Henry III., being then at Amiens, had received from Philip Basset (Justiciar of England) a report (it was a false one) of the death of Lewellyn ap Griffith. The King wrote at once to Basset, apprehensive that David, younger brother to Lewellyn, would set up a title to the sceptre of North Wales, though Owen, the elder brother of the three, was still living. It is obvious that the King intended to allow no claim to the Principality, but to seize it for himself. If the report turned out to be true, Basset was to summon the King's army to Shrewsbury, and to forward letters (enclosed), which the King had providently written to Roger de Mortimer, Reginald fitz Peter, John le Strange (senior), John fitz Alan, Thomas Corbet, Griffin ap Wenunwen, Fulk fitz Warin, Ralph le Botyller, and James d'Audley. [77]

King Henry relanded in England on December 20, 1262, and found Lewellyn, not only living, but in active rebellion. The Spring of 1263 is noticeable for Prince Edward's campaign on the Border. His partial success against Lewellyn was unattended by any great results. The intrigues of Montfort and his party served to withdraw the Prince from Wales to London, and a want of unanimity among the Baron's Marchers, whom he left behind, was probably the foundation of some of the misfortunes which were now awaiting the Royal cause. At this critical juncture, viz. in Trinity Term 1263, I find Thomas Corbet, for instance, intent on a private quarrel. He was suing John le Strange, senior, in the Courts of Westminster, for hunting and taking beasts in his (Corbet's) Warren of Pecton. Le Strange had already failed to appear to the charge on several occasions, and the case was adjourned. A Patent of June 1263 gives protection from all suits, etc., to Thomas Corbet and many of his retainers; such protection to extend to November 1st, or for so much of the interval as the Welsh war should last. The persons named in this Patent are Peter Corbet (eldest son, I presume, of Thomas), Robert Corbet (of Wattlesborough), Robert Blunde, Roger de Merse, Stephen de Boulers, William Hager, William de Horton, John de Hanewod, Roger Gudmund, Robert Pycot, William Bagot, Robert de Wytton, Robert Burnel, Hugh Hacher (Hager), Richard de Hope, Adam de Brerlawe, Roger fitz Baldwin, Alan Corbet, and John de Cotes.

A small detail of Border history is curiously supplied in the attestation of a grant by Robert Pigot, son of William Pygot, to Alberbury Priory. It is attested by Robert Corbet, as yet not a knight, Roger de Merse, Roger fitz Matthew Clerk, Thomas Hord, and others, and is dated (substantively) on February 2, 1264, Henry son of King John, reigning, and Llewelin son of Griffin, then being with Griffin son of Wenhunwen, with no small army, to devastate the March and especially (to destroy) Roger de Mortimer. [78] So then the Prince of Powis was already detached from the English alliance.

But I must return to Thomas Corbet. There is no evidence that he ever swerved from his loyalty. Yet in the interval between the battle of Lewes (May 14, 1264) and the battle of Evesham (August 4, 1265), I do not find his name once mentioned in those Pseudo-patents whereby Montfort endeavoured to get rid of Roger de Mortimer, Hamo le Strange, James d'Audley, and the more zealous Loyalists of the Marches. [79] The cause of Corbet's apparent inactivity can only be conjectured. The infirmities or the caution of old-age may have prevented his co-operation with the more active members of a party, whose chief, Roger de Mortimer, had hardly reached the prime of manhood; [80] or perhaps there was that in Thomas Corbet's temper and character which would have isolated him from any party, even if that party had not included his personal enemies, the Stranges. We certainly know that many of Thomas Corbet's Tenants espoused the cause of Montfort.

A Patent of King Henry III., dated at Kenilworth, on September 20, 1266, certifies that "our faithful and beloved Thomas Corbet at our instance has restored to our faithful and beloved Robert Corbet certain lands in Addeston which he (Thomas) had seized on the ground of the late disturbances, and has remitted his rancour against the said Robert".

Among Pleas classified as coram Rege in February, 1267, we have the following:- "Thomas Corbet presents himself against Odo de Hodnet, Robert Corbet, Robert Pycot, Roger de Mersche, Thomas Hord, John de Arundel, and Richard Pech, as to why, under occasion of the late disturbance of the realm, they seized his (Thomas's) goods at Caus, Jokelhull, Munsterle, Worthin, Schelve, and Aston". The Defendants (who were Thomas Corbet's own Tenants) did not appear, and had already made several similar defaults; but the Sheriff sent word that they were now at St. Edmundbury, coram Rege, with horses and arms. This was however proved to be false, and they were summoned for a day in three weeks of Easter. [81] I do not find the result of this suit, but only several adjournments thereof. In Hilary Term, 1268, the King, at the instance of Hamo le Strange, sent word to the Justices then sitting, that "he had pardoned the Defendants for all their trespasses and would preserve them harmless against any person whatever". The only effect of this was, that the Justices ordered the Sheriff to discharge the process of distraint whereby he was seeking to compel the appearance of the Defendants. In Easter and Trinity Terms, 1268, Thomas Corbet was still prosecuting the Suit.

Another of these protracted suits of Thomas Corbet's, originating in February, 1267, was against Peter Knotte, who had seized Corbet's goods and beaten his men. Knotte, it appears, was a Chaplain, and Corbet's suit against him merged in a suit against the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, who in Trinity Term, 1268, was still neglecting his alleged obligation to further the ends of justice against the defaulting Clerk.

A third suit of the same date was prosecuted by Thomas Corbet against Hameline de Bouley, a Devonshire man, who had plundered Corbet's goods at Selverton and Exeter. In this Suit the Bishop of Exeter was implicated.
A fourth prosecution by Corbet was that of Ranulf Payn, a Clerk, who had plundered Corbet's goods at Shrewsbury, Moles, and Horton during the civil war. This suit, like that against Peter Knotte, involved the Bishop of Lichfield, and was pending in Michaelmas Term, 1267.

We have seen Thomas Corbet at issue with his Vassals, his kinsmen, and his Compatriots of the Marches. We next find him involved in a lawsuit with his own son. In the last week of August, 1267, before the King at Salop, Peter Corbet withdrew the suit of novel disseizin which he had against Thomas Corbet for a tenement in Caus and Acton. Peter now quit-claimed the premises to Thomas for a sum of 10 merks. [82]

On September, 12, 1267, Henry III., still at Shrewsbury, expedited a Charter to the Abbey there. Among the witnesses was Thomas Corbet. [83] On September 20, 1267, as was afterwards alleged, Walter, son of Philip de Mungomery, David de Sullan, Robert de Say, and Griffin Seys, plundered Thomas Corbet's goods at Wentnor. They were apparently set on by Adam de Mongomery, and were of the party or faction (de societate) of Hamo le Strange. Corbet's prosecution of these persons I will give in due course.

At Westminster, in October, 1267, Thomas Corbet was suing Adam Cox, Alan Gamell, Hugh Colle, Baldwin le Bulgere, Thomas le Messeure, Roger Pride, Henry Charite, Alan Tanghelard, John le Vileyn, and Ivo de Salop (all well-known burgesses of Shrewsbury), for the following trespasses:- Adam Cox had assaulted Madoc fitz Wymark, Corbet's Villain, and had taken from him a ring of Corbet's. Alan Gamell and the others had, during the civil war, seized Corbet's goods at Shrewsbury, Moles (Meole), and Horton. Moreover John le Vileyn and Ivo de Salop, being at the time Bailiffs of Shrewsbury, had restored sundry goods of Corbet's to certain enemies of the King, whom Corbet had pursued and found with the plunder in their hands. Corbet had apparently attached the goods and left them in the hands of Sureties or Trustees, from whom the Bailiffs had taken them, for the aforesaid purpose of handing them over to the Freebooters. In Hilary Term, 1268, I find Corbet asking leave of the Court to withdraw this prosecution.

The Pipe-Roll of 1269 quotes a King's Writ excusing £33. 9s. 4d. of the debts due from Thomas Corbet to the Crown. He still owed £6.

By Charter dated February 24, 1270, Thomas Corbet, styling himself "Son of Robert Corbet", and "Lord of Caures", gives, as if it were an original grant, the tenth of the lead produced in Schelve-Mine to Shrewsbwy Abbey. The Charter was expedited in the Monks' Infirmary, and was attested by Brian de Bromtone, John Lingayne, Vivian de Roshall, John de Lee and Robert Blundel, Knights, also by John de Prestecote, Adam le Bole, John de Arundell, and William Hager, Clerk. [84]

At the Forest Assizes of November 1271, it was presented that "Peter, son of Thomas Corbet, having roused a stag in his Father's Forest, had pursued it in the King's Forest".

A Patent of February 10, 1272, presents Thomas Corbet with a sum of 400 merks, in return for good services and losses incurred. The money was to be provided out of the first issues of the Eyre of the King's Justices in Herefordshire.

At Shrewsbury Assizes, in October 1272, Thomas Corbet prosecuted Walter son of Philip de Mongomery, and others, who, as aforesaid, had plundered his goods at Wentnor in September 1267. The Defendants pleaded that the King, by a Charter of March 8, 1268, had pardoned his faithful and beloved Hamo le Strange and all of his party (de familia sua) all trespasses, etc., which they had committed in contravention of the Statutes of Oxford, and in the time of civil war, down to the date of the said Charter. Also it was shown that the Defendants were de societate Hamonis Extranei, i.e. of the following of the said Hamo. To this, Corbet very aptly rejoined that on September 20, 1267, there was no war, and that the King's pardon only extended to the time of civil war (perturbacionis). The parties were ordered to attend and receive judgment coram Rege in the Quinzaine of Hilary 1273, [85]- a period, be it observed, which King Henry did not live to see.

Thomas Corbet was now also approaching his end. In 1272 he seems to have completed his foundation of the Chapel of St. Margaret at Caus. His death probably took place in September or October 1274. On the 23rd of the latter month an Inquest, held at Yockleton, found that the Knight's-fees which constituted his Barony, were 8¾ in number, and that he owed thereon the service of 5 knights'-fees in time of war. His whole income was put at £101. 11s. 9d. per annum. In Caus itself he had had 4 carucates in demesne. Twenty-eight burgages there paid a rent of 1s. each. The garden was worth 6s. 8d. and the Dovecot 5s. per annum. Peter his Son and heir would hold his estates of the King, as of the Escheat of a sometime Earl of Shrewsbury (Robert de Belesme). [86]

The wife of Thomas Corbet was Isabel, sister and, in her issue, rightful coheir of Reginald de Valletort, of Trematon, Cornwall. His children by her were Peter, his successor, Alice, wife of that Robert Baron Stafford who died in 1282, and Emma, wife of that Brian de Brompton who died about 1287. Thomas Corbet's Will was proved at Hereford in 1275 by the aforesaid Sir Peter Corbet and Sir Bryan de Brompton". [87]

I have been careful to relate many minute particulars in the life of this remarkable, if not great, man, because that life covered a great portion of the aera with which my history has to deal. Thomas Corbet's early childhood was probably coeval with the last few years of Henry II.'s reign. His Christian name, not a common one at the period, was perhaps suggested by a great character and catastrophe which then filled the minds of men. I mean the murder, or reputed martyrdom, of Thomas Becket. As a boy and amid scenes of petty warfare on the Border, Thomas Corbet will have listened to spirit-stirring tales of far distant lands, when all Christendom exulted in the Saracenic exploits of King Richard, or wept at the news of his captivity. The youth and manhood of Thomas Corbet were conversant with the recklessness, treason, and terror which disfigured the reign of John. His maturity and his old-age outmeasured the fifty-six years during which the third Henry revelled in selfish imbecility, precipitated an anarchy, or exulted in a restoration which reflected less credit on himself than on the meanest Royalist who adhered to his cause.

[54] [55] Rot. Misae, 14 John, mm. 4, 12.
[56] Claus. I. p. 537.
[57] Testa de Nevill, pp. 60, 61.
[58] In or about 1240 we have (Testa de Nevill, pp. 45, 48) two distinct Feodaries of Thomas Corbet's Shropshire Barony. One list presents a total of 9 1/14, 1/10 fees, including Acton Burnell (1 fee), but excluding Welbatch (½ fee). The other list presents a total of 8¾ fees, but excludes both Acton Burnel and Welbatch, which are given as two half fees of the Honour of Pulverbatch. Acton Burnell was certainly, and Welbatch probably, a Corbet fee, so that on the whole the actual feoffments in Corbet's Barony amounted to at least 9¾ fees.
[59] Claus. I. 623.
[60] [61] Claus. II. 114, 154-5.
[62] Assizes, 10 Hen. III., m. 4 dorso.
[63] Foedera, I. 202.
[64] Salop Chartulary, No. 339.
[65] Rot. Cart. 20 Hen. III., m. 8.
[66] Foedera, I. p. 235.
[67] It is evident that the first Jury had confused the Manors of Wentnor and Worthin, saying that of each which was true only of the other. We have seen that Medlicott was the part of Wentnor which was in the jurisdiction of the Forest (supra, Vol. VI. pp. 341, 345).
[69] Rot. Cart. 80 Hen. III., m. 8.
[70] Inquisitions, 30 Hen. III., No. 24.
[71] Sir Thomas Corbet stands first witness to a Deed (No. 385) in the Salop Chartulary, dated October 18, 1248. This was during his Shrievalty, though he is not styled Sheriff. The observation is worth making, for it will assist us in determining the proximate date of some undated Deeds, for instance, the one given in Vol. II. p. 22.
[72] Memoranda, 35 Hen. III., Rot. 14, a.
[73] [74] Rot. Hundred. II. 60, 66.
[75] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 11. Corbet's action against Le Strange was pending seventeen years after the alleged injury, and the cumulative damages were rated at £1000. An Inquest was ordered to investigate the case, but with what result I know not.
[76] Foedera, I. 398, 420.
[77] Foedera, I. 398, 420.
[78] Hist. Shrewsbury, I. 125, note 4.
[79] Supra, Vol. I. p. 284.
[80] Supra, Vol. IV. p. 221.
[81] Placita coram Rege, Hil. Tm. 51 Hen. III., m. 14. In February, 1287, King Henry III. was certainly at St. Edmundsbury (Rot. Pat. 51 Hen. III.) whither also the Army of England was under summons for the purpose of reducing the Rebels who still held out in the Isle of Ely. (Mat. Paris Contin. sub anno 1267.)
[82] Placita, 51 Hen. III., m. 3 dorso.
[83] Salop Chartulary, No. 51.
[84] Salop Chartulary, No. 289.
[85] Assizes, 56 Hen. III., m. 8 dorso.
[86] Inquisitions, 2 Edw. I., No. 42.
[87] Sheriff's of Shropshire, pp. 40, 41.

[Antiquities of Shropshire, Rev. R. W. Eyton] 1


• Inquisition: Post mortem, 2 Nov 1274. 3 85. Thomas Corbeth.

Writ (missing).


Extent, Tuesday after St. Luke, 2 Edw. I. (defective.)

Worthin. The manor (extent given with names of free tenants, some doing suit at the court of Caus).

Yokelthul. The manor (similar extent given).

Wontenowr. The manor (similar extent given). The church is in the gift of the lord of Caus.

Munsterleg'. The manor (similar extent given).

Caus. The manor (extent given) with names of free tenants holding knights' fees and doing suit at the court of Caus, viz.- Edmund de Hodeneth, Robert Corbeth, Fulk son of Fulk son of Warin, John de Arundel, Robert Pigot, and Robert Burnel without suit, 1 fee each; Reginald son of Peter, Robert de Witidon, Roger Burnel, Roger de Mars, and John de Hanewode, ½ fee each; Roger de Horton ¼ fee, Madoc 1 virgate land paying 5s. yearly, and William Hag' 1 virgate paying 20d. yearly.

Aston. The manor is held for 1 knight's fee of the lord of Caus, and is in the king's wardship ...

Pleas and perquisites of the chief court of Caus 100s. yearly.

Peter his son is his next heir ... ought to hold the said tenements of the king in chief as of escheat through the death of Sir (Robert) sometime earl of Salopessur', and this by service of 5 knights with the king in time of war.

C. Edw. I. File 7. (8.)

Thomas married Isabel de Vautort, daughter of Roger de Vautort of Harberton, Devon and Unknown, about 1225-1228.


1 Charles Cawley, <i>Medieval Lands</i>.

2 Robert Tresswell and Augustine Vincent, <i>The Visitation of Shropshire taken in the year 1623</i>, 2 (London, GB: The Wardour Press, 1889), 2: 303.

3 J E E S Sharp and A E Stamp, <i>Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem </i> (London: n.p., n.d.), 2 Edward I: 58-65.

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