arrow arrow
Sir Alexander de Chesney
(Abt 1225-Abt 1250)
William de Say
Alexander de Chesney
(-Bef 1296)
Agnes de Say
Sir William de Chesney
(Abt 1274-)


Family Links

1. Margaret Shurland

Sir William de Chesney 1

  • Born: Abt 1274 2
  • Marriage (1): Margaret Shurland before 1302


Manorial Estate: Shurland Manor, Eastchurch, Sheerness, Kent, ME12, GB. 3 MANOR OF SHURLAND, which had antiently owners of this surname; the first of whom, that is mentioned as being of note, is Sir Jeffry de Shurland, who resided here in the reign of king Henry III. in the 9th year of which he was constable of Dover castle. His son was Sir Robert de Shurland, who was a man of eminent authority in the reign of king Edward I. under whom he was lord warden, and in the 28th year of it attended that prince at the siege of Carlaverock, in Scotland, where, with many other Kentish gentlemen, he received knighthood. In the 10th year of that reign he obtained a grant of liberties, among which was wreck of the sea, for his manor here, as he did of freewarren in it in the 29th year of it; soon after which he died, and was buried under a tomb within an arch in the south wall of Minister church, with his effigies in marble lying at length on it, and a horse's head carved on the tomb on his right hand. The figure of the horse's head (which seems either part of the marble on which it lies, or at least to have been firmly fixed to it when the tomb was put up) has given rise to a tale, which has been reported among the common people for many years, that Sir Robert having upon some disgust at a priest, buried him alive, swam on his horse two miles through the sea to the king, who was then on ship-board near this island, and having obtained his pardon, swam back again to the shore, where being told, his horse had performed this by magic art, he cut off his head. About a twelvemonth after which, riding a hunting near the same place, the horse he was then upon stumbled, and threw him upon the scull of his former horse, by which he was so much bruised, that it caused his death: in memory of which, the figure of a horse's head was placed by him on his tomb. The foundation of which story is with more probability supposed to have arisen from Sir Robert Shurland's having obtained the grant of wreck of the sea, as above-mentioned; which privilege is always esteemed to reach as far into the water, as upon the lowest ebb, a, man can ride in and touch any thing with the point of his lance; and on this account the figure of the horse's head was placed by him. He bore for his arms, Azure, five lions ram pant, argent, a canton, ermine; which arms are on the roof of the cloysters of Canterbury cathedral.

He left an only daughter Margaret his heir, who marrying with William, son of Sir Alexander Cheney, entitled him to this manor, of which he died possessed in the 8th year of king Edward III. anno 1323. His grandson Richard Cheney, of Shurland, married Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Robert Cralle, of Cralle, in Suffex, by whom he had two sons, Sir William, of Shurland, and Simon, who was of Cralle, and ancestor of the Cheneys, of Higham, in this neighbourhood, and of Warblinton, in Suffex.

Sir William Cheney, the eldest son, possessed this manor, in whose descendants, who were at times knights of the shire and sheriffs of this county, it descended down to Sir Thomas Cheney, who was a man of great account in his time; in the 7th year of king Henry VIII. he was sheriff of this county, and served several times in parliament for it. He was elected a knight of the garter in the reign of king Henry VIII. in the 31st of whose reign, as well as in the 2d and 3d years of the succeeding one of king Edward VI. his lands in this county were disgavelled by the acts of those years. By king Henry VIII. he was appointed constable of Queenborough-castle, governor of Rochester, warden of the five ports, and treasurer of the houshold, in which office he continued in the next reign of Edward VI. of whose privy council he was one, and at his death espousing the cause of queen Mary, he was made again lord warden. Queen Elizabeth continued him treasurer of her houshold, and made him of her privy council. He new-built the mansion of Shurland with the materials of Chilham castle, where he before resided, and which he is said to have pulled down and brought hither, and he continued to reside here with great hospitality and sumptuous housekeeping, till the time of his death, which happened in the tower in the 1st year of that reign, and was buried, with great pomp and magnificence, in a small chapel adjoining to the parish church of Minster.

Inquisition: Post mortem, 22 May 1296. 2 335. ALEXANDER DE CHENY alias DE CHEYNY, DE CHEINY, DE CHENEY.

Writ returnable at the exchequer. Witness, J. de Cobeham at Westminster, 22 May, 24 Edw. I, because the king is in Scotland. Writ returnable at the exchequer. Edenburgh, 11 June, 24 Edw. I.

SUSSEX. Inq. made at Brithm' on Wednesday after SS. Peter and Paul [24 Edw. I]. Stretes. The manor (extent given), including 2 pairs of thongs for dogs, worth 4d., with the advowson of the church, held of William de Say and his heirs, by service of 1d. yearly. William his son is his next heir, and of full age.

HERTFORD. Inq. made at Tyteberste, 6 July, 24 Edw. I. Titeberste. The manor (extent given) held of the abbot &c. of Westminster by service of rendering 20s. yearly. Heir as above, aged 22.

KENT. Inq. Tuesday after the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, 24 Edw. I. Patrikesburn. The manor (extent given), except the knights' fees thereto pertaining and a certain plot of land; which manor with other lands &c. was at one time held of the king in chief by barony by Sir William de Say, who twenty years ago enfeoffed thereof by charter the said Alexander and Agnes his wife, to hold of the said William and his heirs rendering yearly a pair of gift spurs or 6d. and doing the service due therefrom for the guard of the castle of Rochester; and in such standing the said Alexander died. Sir William de Cheney, aged 22, is his next heir.

Endorsed:- It was found among the memoranda of the exchequer that Patrikesburne is of the barony of Say and is held of the king by barony. It is not known how the said Alexander entered upon a holding of the barony, whether with the king's licence or without; wherefore it is expedient that the heir of the said Alexander be dealt with discreetly (circumspecte agatur), for the manor is held of the king and ought to be held in chief by barony as aforesaid.

KENT. Inq. Wednesday before St. Margaret, 24 Edw. I. Kestane. The manor (extent given), including a windmill which for want of a mill stone (mole) stands vacant and is therefore worth nothing, held of the heir of Sir William de Say by service of 1d. yearly. Heir as last above, aged 22 and more.

Writ to the treasurer and barons of the exchequer to send the inquisition made concerning the lands &c. which were of Alexander de Cheny to the king without delay, Berwick, 29 August, 24 Edw. I.

C. Edw. I. File 74. (23.)

William married Margaret Shurland, daughter of Sir Robert Shurland and Unknown, before 1302.


1 Sussex Archaeological Society, editor, <i>Sussex Archaeological Collections </i> (N.p.: n.p., n.d.), Vol 65: 20-53; The Family of Chesney or Cheyney. L. F. Salzman.

2 J E E S Sharp and A E Stamp, <i>Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem </i> (London: n.p., n.d.), 3 Edward I: 197-208.

3 Edward Hasted, <i>The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent</i>, 12 (Canterbury: W Bristow, 1799), 6: 245-258.

Buist-Taylor-Keatch-Kendall family history website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Contact      Site Map

Design your own website - Click here