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Thomas Pelham of Warbleton, Sussex
(-After 1372)
Agnes Gensing
Sir John Pelham of Laughton, Sussex
Sir John Pelham of Laughton, Sussex
(-After 1457)


Family Links

1. Joan de Courcy

Sir John Pelham of Laughton, Sussex 1

  • Marriage (1): Joan de Courcy before 20 May 1425 1
  • Died: After 20 May 1457

  General Notes:

Sir John Pelham, his only son, was likewise in the French wars in the reign of Henry V. as is evident from two letters to his father, which are preserved among the ancient writings of the family, one of which is not altogether visible.

In 1415, his father, by his charter, dated June 3d, grants to him the office of Constable of Pevensey, with the fees and wages thereto belonging, which (as is recited) he had by the grant of Henry IV. to him, and his heirs male, under his seal of the Duchy of Lancaster, in consideration that he, the said John, took the same by a strong hand, at the King's last arrival in England, and held the same for his use; to which grant is appendant the seal of the arms, and crest of the family, as now borne, and on each side of the helmet, the buckles of a belt, in commemoration of his ancestor taking the King of France prisoner. He was Chamberlain of the Household to Henry V's consort, who in the 3d of Henry VI. styling herself Catharine, Queen of England, wife of Henry V. daughter of Charles, King of France, and mother of the King of England," of her especial grace and free-will, and for the good and agreeable service of her best beloved Knight, Sir John Pelham, and Joan de Courcey his wife, grants to them, for their better maintenance in her service, fifty marks per annum out of her manors, &c. in England and Wales. Also by her charter, dated at Hadham, in co. Hertf. July 24th, [????], grants to her thrice dear and well-beloved Sir John Pelham, and Owen ap Tydor, Esq. full power and authority to remove and displace the bishop of Lisieux, her Chancellor in France, and to take from him her seal, as also to survey and repair all her towns, castles, &c. Which charter is sealed with the great seal of the arms of France and England quarterly, impaling the Flower de Luces, the arms of France. And it is observable, that notwithstanding Owen Tydor was then her husband, yet Sir John Pelham had precedency of him. He had some difference with Robert, Lord Poynings, and was obliged to enter into a recognizance in Chancery, and with him as sureties, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, Sir Thomas Chaworth, and Sir John Colvil, Knights, wherein they were bound to the King in 1000l. that he should keep the peace with Robert, Lord Poynings, and other the King's subjects. But the said Sir John Pelham having after been convicted of an assault against Thomas Jordain, by committing him to prison, the King, February 5th, 1430-1, pardons the said Sir John Pelham, the Earl of Northumberland, &c. the forfeits. of their recognizances, &c.

This Sir John, by his charter, dated at Warbleton, September 4th, 1430, grants to Stephen, prior of St.Trinity, of Hastings, and the convent of the said place, all his lands, rents, and services, in the parish of Warbleton, which belonged to Richard Leverer and Mr. John Waller, granted to him by his father, Sir John Pelbam; .and to the said charter is a fair seal of green wax appendant, viz. Quarterly in the ftrst and fourth, three Pelicans, and in the second and third, Ermire, on a Fess three Crowns; and for the crest, a Cage on a Helmet, and on each side thereof the Buckles and a Belt, circumscribed, Sigillum Johannis Pelham. In 17 Henry VI. being wrote Sir John Pelham, Knt. son and heir of Sir John Pelham, Knt. he released to Sir John Fenys, Knt. and his heirs, all his right in the hundred of Foxherle, with the appurtenances, in co. Sussex; as also all his right, fealty, suits of court and castle-ward appertaining to the manor of Hurst-Monceaux, which the said Roger held of the said Sir John Pelham.

In 18 Henry VI. the King confirmed to him the manors of Crowherst, Burwashe, and Bevylham, with the rape of Hastings. He had also the office of the master of the royalties, and forests, which the Queen held in dower in Normandy, as appears by his representation to the King after her death, wherein be prays, in consideration of his good services done to his father and mother, to grant him the said office, with the usual wages, rights, profits, and emoluments thereunto belonging, and that he will signify hit pleasure to the Chancellor there, to make him a grant in due form. In 25 Henry VI. he presented the following petition to the parliament: "Unto the noble and most discrete knyghts of the schires and borgessis of this present parliament. Beseeching unto your noble and wyse discretions. John Pelham, Chivalier of the counte of Sussex, that for as muche in the tyme of the ryght high and myghty Prince Kyng Henry the 4th, progenitor and grantfadyr unto our soverayne Lord the Kyng that now ys. Hit lyked unto that good Kyng and progenitor, for the notable and trew services doa be John Pelham, Knyght, unto the said King, and progenitor, to geve and grante unto the seid John Pelham, Knt. Fadyr of your beseecher, the manerys of Crowhurst, Boursworsch, and Bevylhame, forthwith the rape of Hastyng, with the appurtenances yn the conte aboveseyd, after the deth of Radulph Erie of Westmerlande, tenante of the forseyd manerys and rape, terme of lyfe, and to the seyd John Pelham, Knt. and to hys heyrys yn fee simple for ever. To have and to holde the seyd manerys with the seyd rape forthwith, the honours, lordchippis, londis, tenements, rents, seryisis, parkys, closurys, hundreds, wapentackes, courts lets, knyghts fees, offices, advesons, patronages of churchis, chapels, chaunterys, hospitalys, returns of writ, or any oder maundement and execusion of the same forthwith, lybertees franchises to the seyd rape or manerys belonging or abyding, yn eny veyse"

But it appears, that the said Sir Thomas Hoo enjoyed his grant of the premises, which bears date July 19th, 1445, and in 27 Henry VI. was created Iord Hastings.

The said Sir John Pelham, from his pious disposition, was admitted into several religious orders. The Chamberlain, Warden and Proctor, of the hospital of the Holy Trinity and of St. Thomas the martyr, at Rome, by deed dated at London, December 1st, 1447, receive Sir John Pelham, Knt. and Lady Joan his wife, into their brotherhood. And Nicholas Barbaran, prior of the monastery of St. Anastasius of the Cistercian order, with the consent of their house, signify, that they have received Sir John Pelham, Knt. and the Lady Joan his wife, into the fraternity of the blessed Virgin Mary of the scale of Heaven, and that they are bound to pray for theai. Also Pius II an. 1459, 7th of the Ides of January, grants licence to the brotherhood and sisters of the hospital of the Holy Trinity, and of St. Thomas the martyr, in the city of Rome, to receive into their hospital, or brotherhood, Sir John Pelham, Knt. and Lady Joan his wife; in pursuance whereof the said brotherhood, by their admission, dated at London, January 2ti, 1400, accept them as members of their hospital; and likewise Martin V. having in 1426*c signified his power by his delegates, to grant indulgences to such persons as shall contribute any part of their worldly goods, for the relief of the religious, and service of God, Pius, by his delegate, Peter de Vernacia, grants an indulgence to the Lady Joan Pelham (in consideration of her parting with some of her goods to them) to abstain from tasting.

The last will and testament of the said Sir John Pelham bears date May 20th, 33 Henry VI. whereby he requires his feoffees (whom he had constituted by several charters), "to permit Joan his wife, to enjoy his manor of Laughton, with the hundred of Sheplake, Note-Bourn, and Chilvington, with the profits of the manors of Crowburst, Burghershe, and Bevylham: also that they enfeoff John Pelham, his son and heir, in the manors of Burghershe, with the hundred of Hawksbury, Crowburst, with the hundred of Bareslow, as also the forest and chase of Dalyngton; and, in default of issue male, to remain to William his son, in default of issue, to Thomas his son, and heirs male, remainder to his right heirs. Also, that they enfeoff William his son; in the manor of Bevilham, with the hundred of Shoosewell, with remainder (in default of heirs male) to John, his son and heir; and in default, to Thomas his son, and his heirs male, with remainder to his right heirs. And further wills, after the death of Joan his wife, that his feoffees enfeoff John, his son and heir, in his manor of Laughton, and hundred of Shiplake, with the like entails on William, and Thomas, his sons."

He had two wives; first, Joan, daughter and coheir of Sir John de Escures*; and, secondly, Joan de Courcy, an attendant on Queen Catherine, consort of Henry V. By this last he had the sons before mentioned, and three daughters; Catharine, married, first, to John Bramshot, Esq.; and, secondly, to Sir Thomas Lewknor, Knight; Cicely, second daughter, wedded to William Lunsford, of Hotheley, in com. Suss. Esq.; and Joan, the youngest, to John Covert, of Slaugham; and, secondly, to William Ashbornham, of Ashbornham, Esqrs.

[Collins's Peerage of England]

* Conflicts with previous text regarding his father 2

  Noted events in his life were:

Title: Constable of Pevensey, 3 Jun 1415. 2

Inquisition: Post mortem, 14 Feb 1429. 3 JOHN PELHAM, KNIGHT

222 Writ. 14 February 1429. [Stokes].

SUSSEX. Inquisition. Lewes 9 March 1429. [Otteworth].

Jurors: Richard Lyvet ; Richard Rakle ; Roger Lecche ; John Bray ; Robert atte Forde ; William Stopham ; Thomas Copyn ; William Shoeswelle ; Laurence Curteys ; Robert atte Reede ; Henry Westbourne ; and Thomas Warde .

He held no lands or tenements of the king in chief or any other in demesne as of fee. For service rendered, Henry IV granted him the following parcels of the castle and shire of the honour and lordship of Richmond by letters patent dated 21 November 1412 [CPR 1408\endash 1413, p. 457]. The letters were shown to the jurors, and the grant was made to him and his heirs in perpetuity, to hold of the king, his heirs, and successors in chief by knight service after the death of Ralph, earl of Westmorland and marshal of England, who held the castle, shire, and lordship for life also by grant of Henry IV by letters patent.

Crowhurst, the manor, annual value 8 14s. 10d.;
Burwash, the manor, annual value 14 12s.;
Bivelham, the manor, annual value 7 2s. 9d.; with
Hastings, the rape, annual value with perquisites of court 21 6d.

Ralph died and John was seised of the manors in demesne as of fee until he enfeoffed John Pelham, knight, junior, delivering seisin to him and his heirs in fee simple in perpetuity. The farmers and tenants attorned to him. After the enfeoffment, John Pelham had no interest in the manors or rape except at the will of John Pelham, junior, and by his licence.

He died on 12 February last. John Colbrond and Joan wife of Thomas atte Hale are his kin and next heirs. John is the son of Agnes sister of John Pelham, and Joan is the daughter of Joan, his other sister. John is aged 21 and more, and Joan is aged 30 and more.

C 139/39/36 mm.1\endash 2

Will, 20 May 1457. 4 John Pelham, Knight, May 20, 1457, 35th Henry VI. I will that my feoffees permit Joan, my wife, to enjoy my manor of Laughton, with the hundred of Sheplake, Note-Bourn, and Chilvington, with the profits of the manors of Crowhurst, Burghershe, and Bevylham; and that they enfeoff John Pelham, my son and heir, in the manors of Burghershe, with the hundred of Hawksbury, Crowhurst, with the hundred of Bareslow, as also the forest and chase of Dalyngton; and in default of issue male of the said John to remain to my son William; failing his issue, to Thomas my son, and his heirs male, with remainder to my right heirs. Also, I will that they enfeoff William, my son, in the manor of Bevilham, with the hundred of Shoosewell, with remainder, in default of his heirs male, to John, my son and heir, and his heirs male; failing such, to Thomas, my son, and his heirs male, with remainder to my right heirs. Also, I will that after the death of Joan, my wife, my said feoffees enfeoff John, my son and heir, in my manor of Laughton and hundred of Shiplake, with remainder, in default of issue, to William and Thomas, my sons.

John married Joan de Courcy before 20 May 1425.1

  Marriage Notes:

...grant by Queen Katherine, to him [John Pelham] and "Joan de Courcy his wife," of fifty marks per annum, given under her seal at the castle of Hertford, September 20th, in that year (1425).

[Journal of the British Archaeological Association, Vol. 1, page 253]


1 William Berry, <i>Pedigrees of the Families in the County of Sussex</i>, 1 (London: Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper, 1830), 313.

2 Sir Egerton Brydges K.J., editor, <i>Collins's Peerage of England</i>, 9 Volumes (London: n.p., 1812), 5: 504.

3 J E E S Sharp and A E Stamp, <i>Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem </i> (London: n.p., n.d.), 23.

4 Nicholas Harris Nichols Esq., <i>Testementa Vetusta - an Illustration From Wills of Customs... </i> (London, GB: Nichols and Sons, 1826), 1: 280.

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