THE BERKELEY LORDS TO 1492 AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ESTATE
For three and a half centuries the Berkeleys of Berkeley maintained their position in the upper ranks of the English aristocracy. Only the Plantagenets rivalled their ability to continue to produce male heirs and the Berkeleys' achievements were imperilled only by the apparently selfish actions of the last lord of the medieval period, William (d. 1492), who bartered the ancient patrimony of the family for the meretricious, and merely temporary, attractions of a marquessate. The development of the estate falls naturally into three periods. In the first, from c. 1140 to c. 1280, the Berkeleys acquired the lordship of Berkeley and consolidated their local position. In the second, from c. 1280 to 1417, overlapping the era of 'high farming' in the earlier part, they greatly extended their estate by purchase and by acquiring the Lisle estate through marriage. The third, rather dismal period, from 1417 to 1492, was dominated by the efforts of the heirs male to retain their estate in the face of determined opposition by the heirs general but culminated in the fortuitous inheritance of half of the Mowbray estate and the promotion to exalted rank. At all times the marriages of the lords and the families which they produced had the most significant impact, although in differing ways.
First Period: c.1140-1280
Robert FitzHarding (d. 1170)
Robert, founder of the baronial family of Berkeley, was a younger son of Harding son of Eadnoth, otherwise Harding de Meriet. Harding witnessed a royal charter in 1086 and was still alive c. 1125, [For a useful summary of references to Eadnoth and Harding see Ann Williams, The English and the Norman Conquest (1995).] and from his eldest son, Nicholas (d. c. 1170), the Meriets of Merriott in Somerset descended. [B. W. Greenfield, 'Meriet of Meriet and Hestercombe', Proc. Som. Arch. & Nat. Hist. Soc. xxviii (1882), 99-215. Smyth, i. 15, says that Robert was the eldest son, and Nicholas a younger. Eadnoth was called 'the staller' from the position which he held under Edward the Confessor.] Robert established himself as a merchant at Bristol, becoming provost of the town and acquiring a number of manors to add to that of Fifehead in Dorset which he had from his father. [Ellis] From Robert earl of Gloucester he purchased the manors of Bilswick and Bedminster (now in Bristol) and the three Somerset hundreds of Portbury, Bedminster and Hartcliff, just south of Bristol; from others the manors of Leigh (a member of Bedminster), Portbury, Weare, Tickenham and Pawlett in northern Somerset, Bray (Devon) and South Cerney and Acton (Glos.). [Below, BCM/A/2/3, A/2/8, A/2/67, A/2/74, A/2/77 and A/2/84 Smyth, i. 34-5. Bedminster was later held of the Clare earls of Gloucester and then of the Despensers: CIPM v, no. 538, p. 338; ix, no. 428, p. 338.] As an associate of the earl of Gloucester, the Empress Maud's half-brother and greatest supporter, he took Maud's side against Stephen, and Maud and her son 'made use of the purse of this Robertt in that wantfull tyme of theirs'. [Smyth, i. 22.] The tradition that Henry II rewarded his services immediately on his succession with the grant of 'Berkeley and Berkeley Herness' has recently been challenged by the finding that the early charters purporting to record the grants are forgeries. [N. Vincent, 'New Charters of Henry II as Duke of Normandy', Historical Research (forthcoming); R. B. Patterson, 'Ducal and Royal Acta of Henry Fitz Empress in Berkeley Castle', TBGAS cix (1991), 117-26, upheld the authenticity of the charters; cf. below, BCM/A/1/1/1-5.] Berkeley Herness was royal demesne but had been held at an annual fee farm rent of £500 17s. 2d. by a family earlier called of Berkeley. [Smyth, i. 22-5, 30. 'Herness' means 'obedience, a jurisdiction, a district obedient to a single jurisdiction': PNGlos ii. 207. The chronicler Walter Map says that it was worth £500 a year: Smyth, iii. 3.] Those Berkeleys, who had been staunch in support of Stephen from their castle at Dursley, were dispossessed of Berkeley in 1147. Robert FitzHarding is not named as possessing Berkeley until 1166, and may have acquired Berkeley shortly before, some years after the beginning of Henry II's reign.
FitzHarding died in 1170 as a canon of St. Augustine's Abbey, which he had founded some thirty years earlier on his manor of Bilswick just outside the borough of Bristol. He had endowed the abbey with the manors of Bilswick, Almondsbury, Ashleworth, South Cerney, Cromhall, Fifehead Magdalen, Horfield and Leigh, [Smyth, i. 35-6; St Augustine's Cartulary, pp. xiv-xxii. Almondsbury, Ashleworth, Horfield and Cromhall were, later, detached portions of the lordship of Berkeley.] later adding the advowsons of all the churches in Berkeley Herness (Berkeley, Wotton, Beverston, Ashleworth and Cromhall). [Below, (BCM/A/1/1/110-114), Smyth, i. 35-6, 39, 60, 66.] His wife Eve, whom he married before 1130, [One of their younger sons, Henry, was evidently born by the early 1130s: See below,] founded a priory of nuns, St. Mary Magdalen's in Bristol, and, following her husband's example, retired there, dying as prioress in March 1173, and being buried with her husband at St. Augustine's. [Smyth, i. 42-4.]
If there was ill-feeling between the former holders of Berkeley Herness and the new ones it was ameliorated, to some extent at least, by an agreement for a double marriage thought to have taken place in 1153-4 but perhaps some ten years later. [Below BCM/A/1/43/62, Smyth, i. 3-5, 33, 55, 72-3. Maurice de Berkeley's eldest son Robert was not born until c. 1165.] FitzHarding's eldest son Maurice married Alice, daughter of Roger de Berkeley of Dursley, and his daughter Helen married Roger's eldest son, another Roger. Alice brought with her the manor of Slimbridge, and Helen took the manor of Dursley to Roger de Berkeley. Dursley was to be held directly of the king and, in addition, Roger held Ozleworth, half of Newington and the lands of Bernard Capelli, for which he did no service to FitzHarding. [As recorded in the Red Book of the Exchequer, 1166: Smyth, i. 28.] Although the arrangement solved the immediate strife, as late as 1278 FitzHarding's great-grandson Maurice (II) paid £200 to Henry de Berkeley, great-great-grandson of Robert and Helen, for a quitclaim of the lordship of Berkeley, [Smyth, i. 143; below, BCM/A/1/1/8-9.] and the transfer caused other complications. For instance, the Berkeleys of Dursley had granted advowsons and lands in the Herness to Kingswood, Gloucester and Reading abbeys, resulting in disputes as late as 1224. [Smyth, i. 33, 69; iii. 124; Curia Regis Rolls xi, nos. 698, 1006, 1392, 2870.]
Having acquired the large and valuable lordship, by whatever means, FitzHarding gave away a large proportion of it, either out of generosity or in the hope of securing supporters of his title to the estate. Besides his grants to St. Augustine's, he had a large family for which to provide. To his brother Elias he gave 2 hides of land in Combe and Huntingford, both within the later manor of Wotton under Edge. [Below, BCM/A/1/55; Smyth, i. 16; iii. 147, 234-5. That in Combe, which had been purchased by FitzHarding, passed through a younger son of Elias whose descendants adopted the name of de Combe, and that in Huntingford passed to the Veel family by marriage to Maud, daughter and heir of Harding, Elias's eldest son. Maud's second cousin Robert (II), lord 1190-1220, granted to her and Geoffrey le Veel more lands in free marriage, including two assarts in Michaelwood Chase, which in 1205-6 the king confirmed: Smyth, iii. 37, 238.] To his second daughter Aldena or Alditha he granted the small sub-manor of Kingscote (also in Wotton) on her marriage to Nigel FitzArthur of Clapton (Som.) [Smyth, i. 58, 65; iii. 251-2; Ellis; CIM i, no. 1291. In the 13th century the manor probably passed to a younger son, since it was held by a family who used the surname of Kingscote, while the manors of Clapton and Ashcombe (Som.) descended with another line surnamed Arthur: CIM i, no. 1291; CIPM iii, no. 371, pp. 248-9; v. no. 538, pp. 338-9] FitzHarding's third daughter Margaret married Odo FitzWilliam and was granted lands in Dursley parish to add to Odo's manor of Woodmancote in the same parish. [Odo's descendant, Thomas FitzOdo (d. 1274), left a son and heir aged nine (d.s.p.) whose heir was his sister Maud who married John Lord Botetourt (d. 1324). In 1288 Botetourt was holding a land of Cam manor at a rent of 13s. 4d. which was reduced to 6s. 8d. a year. Woodmancote passed from Botetourt to Robert de Swynburne (d. 1326). It was held by his widow at her death in 1341 and was then purchased from his grandson and heir Thomas by Thomas (III) Lord Berkeley: Ellis; CIPM ii, no. 56; vi, no. 693; Sanders, English Baronies, 11; GEC ii. 233-5; BCM SB 22; CFR 1369-77, 365.]
FitzHarding had four younger sons, Robert, Nicholas, Henry and Thomas Henry and Thomas were clerks. Thomas became archdeacon of Worcester, and Henry (d. 1188) dean of Mortain in Normandy and archdeacon of Exeter, having been treasurer to Henry II as duke of Normandy. [Ellis; Smyth, i. 54-5.] He was also presented to all the churches of Berkeley Herness by the first abbot of St. Augustine's. [Smyth, i. 55; St Augustine's Cartulary, no. 68.] On Nicholas (d. 1189) his father settled the manors of Hill and Nympsfield from the Herness, and from outside it the manor of Tickenham and other manors and lands in Somerset. [Smyth, i. 45; below, BCM/A/1/34] Nicholas married Ala, said to be a daughter and coheir of Guy FitzTecius, who brought him another manor in Tickenham and other lands in Somerset, in Elmore (Glos.) and in Cambridgeshire. [Smyth, i. 46, below, BCM/A/2/17/19 [SC 61], mentioning his son and heir Henry, who evidently died before his father.] His son and heir Roger died in 1230. Roger's son and heir Nicholas ('FitzRoger') married one Sibyl who was heir to the Gloucestershire manor of Elmore. [Smyth, i. 47. The Roger de Berkeley who in 1196-7 paid 60 marks to marry Hawise, widow of John de Somery and sister and heir of Gervase Paynel, was Roger de Berkeley of Dursley, not Roger FitzNicholas as Smyth assumes: GEC xii (1), 110; Smyth, i. 46. See also below, BCM/A/1/45/16] This family did not adopt a fixed surname until the 14th century when the long life of John FitzNichol (who succeeded his father in 1312 and died in 1375) prompted his grandson and heir Thomas to continue the use of FitzNichol.
Nicholas's brother Robert, usually called Robert de Weare, received more generous treatment from his father. FitzHarding granted to him the manors of Beverston, King's Weston and Elberton in Berkeley Herness, those of Over, Redwick and Northwick elsewhere in Gloucestershire, and in Somerset the manors of Weare and Pawlett, with the three hundreds. [BCM/A/2/84; Smyth, i. 50-1.] Robert married, first, Hawise, the twice-widowed but still childless daughter and heir of Robert de Gurney, who brought him the Somerset manors of Barrow and Englishcombe. She had a daughter Eve but was dead by 1168. [Smyth, i. 52; Ellis.] By 1182 Robert had bought the wardship of his second wife, Avice, daughter of Robert de Gaunt and heir of her mother Alice Paynel. [Smyth, i. 52; Sanders, English Baronies, 55.] Avice died in 1192 in the lifetime of her father, and in 1193-4 and 1194-5 Robert was paying 33 marks to have the lands of Alice Paynel. [Ellis; Smyth, i. 52.] Robert died in 1195 leaving as his heir his son by Avice, Maurice, usually called de Gaunt although he occurs once as Paynel. [Ellis.] Maurice was born c. 1186 and came of age in 1207, succeeding to half of the Paynel barony of Hooton Pagnell in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire as well as his father's lands. [Ellis.; GEC x. 320; Sanders, English Baronies, 55, says that Maurice came of age in 1205.] He married, first, Maud, daughter and heir of Henry Doyly (d. 1232) of Hook Norton (Oxon.) and, secondly, Margaret, sister of William Earl Marshal and widow of Ralph de Somery (d. 1210), but he died without issue in 1230. [Ellis; Smyth, i. 52; GEC x. 319-20, xii (1), 110; Sanders, English Baronies, 54, 113. Maud died without issue in the lifetime of her father in 1219. Maurice founded the hospital of St. Mark in Bristol, endowing it with the manor of Pawlett (Som.) and other land: Cartulary of St. Mark's Hospital, Bristol, ed. C. D. Ross (Bristol Record Society, xxi, 1959), pp. xii-xiii, xxvii.] His half-sister Eve, usually called de Gurney as the heir of her mother Hawise de Gurney, seems to have been married three times, to Thomas de Tilly, Roger de Peauton and Thomas son of William FitzJohn of Harptree (Som.). [Ellis; Smyth, i. 52. Smyth assumed that she had a husband surnamed Gurney.] In 1213-14 she recovered the manor of Farrington (Som.) in dower against William FitzJohn but she died before her half-brother, leaving a son Robert, evidently by Thomas son of William FitzJohn, since he inherited the manors of Harptree and Farrington. [Smyth, i. 52.] Robert de Gurney succeeded his uncle Maurice de Gaunt in 1230. [Smyth, i. 52. The Paynel lands were inherited by Andrew Lutterel, a distant cousin of Maurice's mother Avice Paynel de Gaunt: Sanders, English Baronies, 55. Sanders calls this Gurney barony that of 'Beverston' (including the lordship's other manors of Elberton and King's Weston), possibly because there was a castle at Beverston which Maurice de Gaunt built or substantially repaired without royal licence, for which he was pardoned shortly before his death: Sanders, English Baronies, 14; Smyth, iii. 101. Robert inherited the two Gurney manors of Barrow and Englishcombe and the FitzJohn manors of Farrington and Harptree, as well as the eight manors granted by FitzHarding to his son Robert.] Robert married Hawise de Longchamp and is recorded as holding 21 fees in Somerset and Gloucester in 1262-3. [Smyth, i. 53.] He was succeeded in 1270 by his son and heir Anselm de Gurney, who had two sons. [Smyth, i, 53.] Anselm granted the manors of Englishcombe, Harptree and Farrington to the younger, Thomas, who took service with his cousin Thomas (II) Lord Berkeley, as did his son and grandson, the latter gaining notoriety as the regicide Thomas de Gurney. [CPR 1338-40, 368. The regicide left four sons, Thomas, John, George and the well-known Matthew de Gurney (d. 1406), who all died without issue.] Anselm's elder son John (d. 1290) left an only daughter Elizabeth, who married John Lord Ap Adam. [Smyth, i. 53-4; GEC i. 179-81. It was from their son, Thomas ap Adam, that Thomas (III) Lord Berkeley and his brother bought back the manors of Beverston, King's Weston, Elberton and Over in 1330.]
Maurice (I) de Berkeley (1170-90)
FitzHarding's heir, his eldest son Maurice, inherited the manors of Portbury and Bedminster (Som.), Bray (Devon) and Acton (Glos.), and a much depleted Berkeley Herness. Shortly after his father's death, he obtained a confirmation from Henry II of the grant of Berkeley and in Oct. 1189, after the succession of Richard I, he obtained another confirmation for 1,000 marks. [Smyth, i. 64-5, 76.] He bought the manors of Foxcote, Purton, Hanham and 'Hampton' (Glos.), the two latter of which he then enfeoffed to tenants, and founded two hospitals within Berkeley Herness. [Smyth, i. 69, 77; below, BCM/A/2/8,A/2/74. 'Hampton' may be Rockhampton.] He died in June 1190 leaving Alice as his widow. [Smyth, i. 65.] She bought several holdings, some of which she granted to her younger sons, and 'lyved till extreame old age'. [Smyth. 73-4] They had six sons and a daughter but, mercifully, except for the necessary continuance of the line, they were not as prolific as Maurice's siblings. The daughter Maud was married to Elias (III) Giffard (d. 1190) and had two sons, the elder, Elias (IV) (d. 1248), being the father of John Lord Giffard of Brimpsfield (d. 1299). The younger, Osbert (d. 1237), was granted the reversion of the manor of Foxcote (Glos.) by his uncle Thomas (I) Lord Berkeley in 1227 and was the father of another Osbert, who was prominent in the troubles of Henry III's reign. [Smyth, i. 76; GEC v 639, 649-53. Osbert had originally been granted the Devon manor of Bray but agreed to exchange it for Foxcote after the death of Robert's widow Lucy de Berkeley, who was holding it in dower.]
The six sons were Robert and Thomas, successively lords of Berkeley, and Richard, Henry, Maurice and William. [Their respective ages are indicated in a charter concerning St. Augustine's Abbey and Longbridge Priory (both family foundations) witnessed by all of them except Thomas, in the order Robert, Richard, Henry, Maurice and William. Since Thomas succeeded Robert he was older than Richard, who was the only one of the six, other than Thomas, to have issue.] Henry appears only as witnessing several family charters and presumably died without issue. [Smyth, i. 75, says that Henry and Richard went to Scotland with William the Lion when the Scottish king was released but that is highly unlikely.] More is known of the remaining three, principally through grants of lands to them, many of them made under certain conditions and being early examples of entails. William, the youngest, was granted by his father half the manor of Gossington, in the Herness, and the manor of Portbury, but in 1195-6 he exchanged Portbury with his brother Robert (II) Lord Berkeley for the other half of Gossington. [Smyth, i. 74; iii. 200-1.] The terms of the exchange were that if William died before his brother, without issue by his wife, the Gossington moiety would revert to Robert, and vice versa regarding Portbury. William was married but seems to have died without issue. [Smyth, i. 75, says nothing of any descendants, although elsewhere, iii. 201, he offers a descent which he describes as suspect. The reversion of Portbury to Robert (II), and Thomas (I)'s grant to his nephew of the land in Gossington which William had held, seem to be conclusive evidence that William died without issue.] Maurice, the fifth son, was granted two holdings in Berkeley and Gossington by his uncle Roger Berkeley of Dursley and two more, in Hinton and Cam, by his father. [Smyth, i. 74.] On his marriage, his brother Robert (II) granted the manor of Foxcote to him and his issue, the manor to revert to Robert and his heirs if there was no issue, and he died, without issue, before Robert. [Smyth, i. 100. Smyth, i. 74, says that Maurice had a son Thomas to whom he made over his lands in Hinton and Cam, and that Thomas died without issue at the end of Henry III's reign when the lands reverted to 'Thomas Lord Berkeley', but Maurice certainly died without issue (cf. Smyth, i. 100) before his brother Robert, for Foxcote was held in dower by Robert's widow Lucy and by his will he devised to St. Augustine's Abbey lands which he had bought in Cam and Foxcote, and which the abbey later granted to his brother Robert; GEC v. 650 n.] The third son, Richard, appears only as witness to a couple of charters, but in 1220-1 a son of his was granted by Thomas (I) the land in Gossington which had reverted after the death of William, the grant being made to 'Robert son of Richard, my nephew,' on the condition that it would revert if Robert died without issue. [This Robert fitz Richard was not the knight of the same name who granted lands to the church of St. Michael on Steep Holme before 1209 and left a daughter and heir Agacia who married John de Keu.] Robert witnessed several charters for his uncle Thomas and had three children: Sir Robert de Kingston (d.s.p. 1275), Alice and Letuaria. [Sir Robert de Kingston also held land in Kingston, a hamlet within the manor of Slimbridge, and his lands were later acquired from Letuaria's son Robert de Dounton by John de Acton for his younger son Odo. Part, at least, of Alice's portion was bought by Maurice (II) Lord Berkeley.]
Robert (II) de Berkeley (1190-1220)
Robert, Maurice (I)'s eldest son, was brought up at the court of Henry II, testimony to his father's close relations with that monarch. [Smyth, i. 82.] He paid a relief of £1,000, at £200 down and the rest at £80 a year, although in 1195-6 he was pardoned 500 marks for his good service in war, and he obtained confirmations of the grant of the lordship from Richard I in Sept. 1190 (two months after his father's death), again in Nov. 1198 after the 'loss' of the Great Seal, and a third in April 1199 from the new monarch John for 60 marks. [Smyth, i. 82-3. These fresh confirmations from successive monarchs are testimony to the relatively precarious tenure of the lordship in the early days.] He founded the hospital of St. Katherine in Bristol and, having recovered Portbury from his brother in 1195-6, he acquired another large holding there by exchange for lands of equal quantity in the lordship at Woodford. He also bought more land in Somerset at Chatley and Tellisford. [Smyth, i. 74, 89, 100. This holding in Woodford was repurchased by Thomas (III) in 1329: Smyth, i. 326.] In July 1204 he was granted Herbert de Moreville's half of Portbury manor (which was in the king's hands because Moreville was a Norman) to hold during the king's pleasure rendering the profits to the Exchequer. [The Berkeley portion of Portbury, and the new holding there, were held of the Morevilles.] He was constable of Bristol Castle between 1202 and 1204, a justice itinerant in 1208 and a witness in 1207-8 to royal charters, but soon afterwards he lost the royal favour and in 1211 his castle and lands were seized, to be restored only after a fine of 2,000 marks and a further 100 marks to have a fair trial by his peers for his life, a total debt of £1,400. [The Pipe Roll for 1212-13 records the settlement with Robert and that he had repaid £250 already, now paid another £200 and was pardoned £50 by the king, leaving a debt remaining of £900. This £900 stayed on the books until 1218-19 when he agreed to repay it at £100 a year and was finally cleared in 1230-1: Smyth, i. 90-2; GEC ii. 126.] Although partially restored to royal favour, he joined the baronial revolt and during John's vigorous counter-attack Berkeley Castle was siezed and placed under a royal castellan by June 1216. [Smyth, i. 91-2, 94-5.]
In this dire crisis it seems that Robert's brother Thomas took steps to secure the inheritance to himself. Thomas was Robert's heir presumptive as after some years Robert's marriage to Juliana, daughter of Robert de Ponte de l'Arche and niece of William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, was still childless. [Smyth: 97-8. William de Ponte de l'Arche, probably Juliana's brother, witnessed charters of Robert and his brother Thomas (I).] Thomas obtained the support of Pembroke by agreeing to marry another of his orphaned nieces, Joan, daughter of Ralph de Somery (d. 1210), and in return Pembroke was to arrange for the king to take Thomas's homage and restore to him his brother's barony and lands, to discharge him of a debt of 210 marks which Robert owed to the earl of Salisbury, to have Berkeley Castle delivered to him, and to arrange for him to 'be freed of the king's justiciar (presumably Peter des Roches) and of William Briwerre. [Curia Regis Rolls, xi, no. 50; GEC xii (1). 111. Thomas's marriage to Joan de Somery, usually regarded as having occurred in 1220, is said by Smyth, i. 117, to have been in 1217. Their son and heir was of sufficient age by 1221 to be the subject of a marriage agreement.] In the event these arrangements were nullified as Robert was eventually pardoned and finally came to terms in Feb. 1217 and for a fine of 1,450 marks was restored to his lands but not to the Castle. Juliana died in Nov. 1217 and he immediately hurried into marriage with Lucy, said to be a niece of William Longespée, earl of Salisbury (illegitimate son of Henry II), but he died in May 1220, still childless. His haste may suggest nothing more than a natural desire for an heir of his own body, but it might also suggest that he had been offended by Thomas's actions in 1216-17. Certainly, he left Thomas with a heavy burden of debt and several other troublesome legacies of the civil war. Shortly after Robert's death Lucy married Hugh son of Hugh de Gurney, and she died in 1234, having held Bedminster, Wotton, Slimbridge and other manors in dower. [Smyth, i. 96-8, 106, 108 n.; GEC ii. 126.]
Thomas (I) de Berkeley (1220-43)
Robert's brother Thomas had some difficulty in succeeding to the lordship. When the sheriff of Gloucestershire went to Berkeley Castle to take it into the king's hands on Robert's death, the earl of Salisbury, who had been granted custody of it, refused to hand it over without an express order by the king and council on the grounds that his niece Lucy was with child. [Smyth, i. 106, 108 n.] Thomas enlisted the aid of his wife's cousin, the earl of Pembroke, who wrote to the justiciar Hubert de Burgh asking for justice for Thomas, and on 9 Aug. 1220 Thomas did homage. [Smyth 107, 108n.; GEC ii. 126; xii (1), 111.] He did not have seisin of the Castle until 1224 and in the interim he was paying the wages of the royal keepers from his debts to the king. [Smyth, i. 107.] The spectre of debt hung over Thomas for the rest of his life. In 1224 he came to an arrangement with the Exchequer to repay the debts of himself and his late brother at £80 a year. [Smyth, 107, 116, 126.] and as well as the enormous sums remaining on the royal books from Robert's troubles, Lucy survived Robert for 14 years, holding her dower lands; the inflation, of 1180-1220 can only have added to Thomas's problems. Nevertheless, before 1230 he recovered the three Somerset hundreds from his cousin Maurice de Gaunt.
Thomas's entanglement with William Briwerre (d. 1226), which arose from his agreement to marry one of Briwerre's daughters, was resolved, probably in 1221, when Thomas granted to Briwerre the marriage of his son and heir Maurice, on condition that he would be married to the daughter of Richard FitzRoy and Rose of Dover. Richard was an illegitimate son of King John and Rose was the daughter and heir of Robert de Dover (d. 1205) and a granddaughter of Briwerre; she brought the barony of Chilham to FitzRoy.[Sanders, English Baronies, 111-12.] It was also agreed that Briwerre would acquit Thomas of 200 marks which he owed to the king, and that Thomas would make over to Briwerre his manors of Portbury and Arlingham for a term of 15 years. On Briwerre's death, if not before, Rose of Dover took possession of the two manors and she was ejected from Arlingham in Dec. 1236, a proceeding which she disputed on technical grounds. [Curia Regis Rolls, xvi, no. 148B.]
Joan de Somery does not seem to have brought any lands to Thomas but she gave him six sons and two daughters, Margaret and Isabel. Isabel held land in the manor of Ham, and died probably shortly before 1307, apparently unmarried. Thomas gave to Margaret half the manor of Uley on her marriage with Sir John FitzMatthew (d. 1261), by whom she was the mother of Matthew FitzJohn (d.s.p. 1309) and Joan (d. 1295). That Joan married Walter (d.s.p. 1301), son and heir apparent of John Lord Beke (d. 1303). [GEC iii. 182-4; Smyth, iii. 182-4, 186-8. Joan had her mother's manor of Uley which Walter Beke is recorded as holding of Thomas (II) Lord Berkeley in 1284-5. On her death without issue it reverted to her brother Matthew. Uley should have passed on Matthew's death in 1309 to Margaret's issue by Anselm Basset or to Thomas (II) de Berkeley, but in 1287 Matthew had granted the reversion of all his lands (including that of Uley) to the king and queen. Uley was granted to Walter de Gloucestre (d. 1311) and was bought from his son and heir by Maurice de Berkeley of Stoke Giffard.] Margaret married secondly Sir Anselm Basset (d. 1280) in 1265 and was still living in 1287. [GEC iii. 182-4; Smyth, i. 121, does not record her first marriage.] Basset held land in Somerset and Gloucestershire, and bought lands in Cam and Uley from Margaret's brothers Richard and William. [Smyth, iii. 132, 184.]
The younger sons of Thomas (I) were Thomas, Robert, Henry, William and Richard, of whom three died young and all died without legitimate issue. Thomas was granted the Devon manor of Bray, to him and his heirs, and lands at Symond's Hall in the lordship by his father, bought more lands in Symond's Hall from his cousin Elias de Combe, but died without issue between 1243 and 1247 when such lands as he had not granted to Kingswood Abbey reverted to his brother Maurice. [Smyth, i. 117, 119, 123, iii. 316. In 1250-1 Maurice was impleaded by William de Fourd for ½ hide in East Bray, a suit which was decided in Maurice's favour after a trial by battle: Smyth, i. 133. East Bray does not appear later in Berkeley hands.] After Thomas's death, his brother Robert sued the abbey with seven suits in 1247-8 for lands in Berkeley and Symond's Hall as heir of his brother but was fined for making a false claim since he was not the eldest brother. [Smyth, i. 119. Given his mother Joan's predilection for granting lands to her younger sons, not only in tail but also with specific remainders, it is possible that these lands were under an entail which was violated by the grant to the abbey.] Nothing else is known of Robert and he presumably died without issue soon after. The fourth son, Henry, was granted lands within the lordship at Billow, Wotton and Cam by his father, and by his mother a messuage and virgate in Bradley, to him and his issue with reversion to his brother Richard and his issue. [Smyth, i. 119; iii. 81.] He also died without issue. The remaining two sons, Richard and William, lived longer. Richard presumably inherited the Bradley holding on Henry's death and he acquired other lands within the lordship, in Nibley from his mother, and in Uley, Huntingford and Wick by purchase. [Smyth i, i.120.] In 1268-9 he initiated a suit against a substantial free tenant of the lordship, Robert de Stone, for a half-virgate in Cam, and some time between 1265 and 1280 he granted a holding in Cam to his sister Margaret and Anselm Basset. [Smyth, i. 121. His seal shows a shield of arms, the arms being a chevron with a label of five points.] In 1271-2 he stood as surety for his brother William, and in March 1271 he witnessed a Berkshire charter of his uncle Sir Roger de Somery (d. 1273). [Smyth, i. 120; Cat. Anct. D. iii, D306.] The date of his death and possible issue are unknown.
The last son, William, was granted a holding in Bradley and two holdings amounting to 2½ virgates in Cam by his father, and the manor house at Bradley and two other holdings there, in tail, by his mother, and in 1262 he acquired a large holding in Uley which he later sold to Anselm Basset and Margaret. [Smyth, i. 120; iii. 109, 140, 181, 184.] He followed his eldest brother into the king's service: he was with Henry III in Gascony in 1254-5 as a king's yeoman and by 1261 was a knight, in the interim receiving several marks of royal favour. In 1271-2, having caused a serious breach of the peace, he promised before the king to join the Hospitallers or Templars and leave the kingdom, a promise for which his brother Richard was one of the pledges. [CCR 1253-4, 247; 1254-6, 396; 1256-9, 227; 1259-61, 308, 381, 401-2, 499; 1264-8, 515-16; CPR 1247-58, 330, 343, 395, 481, 503; 1258-66, 619; 1266-72, 298, 499; CLibR 1251-60, 349. Smyth, i. 120; iii. 173-7, incorrectly assigns this William's activities to William de Berkeley of Dursley, who was born in 1269 and died in 1300.] By Oct. 1256 William had married Avice de Blackford, heir of four Devon manors and the widow of Robert de Blackford (d. 1253), by whom she had had a son John. In 1261 William alienated three of her manors to Ralph de Gorges, intending to deprive young John de Blackford of his inheritance. Avice and William were both dead by June 1272 when her son was acknowledged as her heir, and William seems to have had no legitimate issue. [Smyth, i. 120; CIPM i, nos. 262, 799. In 1290, during a law-suit initiated by Thomas (II) for the recovery of lands in Bradley granted by Joan to her son William under an entail, Sir William was said to have died without issue, and there is no mention of his heirs in the inquisition post mortem of 1272. He had a son Maurice de Camme who was presumably illegitimate but was granted some lands by his father and lived until 1301 or later.] His nephew, Thomas (II), was able to recover some of the lands which William had sold, on the grounds of the entails created by William's mother Joan. [Smyth, iii. 109-10.]
On the death of Thomas (I) in 1243 Berkeley and the Somerset lands (Portbury, Bedminster and the three hundreds) passed to his eldest son and heir, Maurice (II). [Smyth. i. 122-3] Thomas's widow Joan lived almost as long as Maurice; her dower was settled around 1246 and she had the manors of Wotton, Cam, Coaley, Hurst, Alkington and Hinton. [Smyth, i. 117, 127.] In 1247-8 her lands were valued at £200 a year which, if this was an underestimate as may be assumed, shows that the Berkeley estate was then worth over £600 a year. [Smyth, i. 117, 122-3. A value of £212 12s. 11d. was given to the lordship in her late husband's inquisition post mortem.] She lived until 1276, surviving her husband by 33 years, but was active on her family's behalf, buying lands which she granted in tail to her younger sons Henry, Richard and William, obtaining grants of free warren in her dower manors of Cam and Wotton, and obtaining a grant of a market and fair at Wotton, in which manor she created a borough in 1253. [Smyth, i. 119; CChR 1226-57, 401.]
Maurice (II) de Berkeley (1243-81)
Thomas (I) had conducted a relatively successful holding operation for the family, and his heir started the family's recovery through his close connection with Henry III, receiving several marks of royal favour. [Smyth, i. 116, 126.] Maurice was with the king for Christmas at Windsor and did his homage there on 24 Dec. 1243. [Smythi. 126.] This favour may perhaps be attributed at least partly to Maurice's marriage to the king's niece Isabel. [GEC ii. 127; Smyth, i. 145-6.] According to Smyth, Maurice and Isabel were married and had issue by 1240. Isabel's marriage portion was the Essex manor of Great Wenden, which was worth around £45 a year, and in 1262 Maurice was granted free warren and a market and fair there. [CChR 1257-1300, 43.]
Maurice's association with the court culminated in March 1261 when he was retained to be of the king's household with a fee of 40 marks a year and the usual robes. [CCR 1259-61, 392-3; CPR 1258-66, 147; CLibR 1260-7, 31,60, 94.] After the battle of Lewes in May 1264 Maurice suffered from his loyalty to the king by the loss of his lands, but Henry, although under the control of the victorious Montfortian council, continued to look after his niece. [Two months after the battle the king restored Wenden to Isabel and in August granted her two Kent manors, for the sustenance of herself and her children: CCR 1261-4, 353, 390.] After the battle of Evesham restored the status quo in Aug. 1265, payment of Maurice's annual fee was resumed in October and the livery of robes in May of the following year. [Smyth, i. 139; CCR 1264-8, 193; CLibR 1260-7, 182.] The royal favour seems to have continued when Edward I succeeded his father. Maurice's heir Thomas (II) took a crusading vow (adopting the ten crosses in his arms as a result), most probably at the parliament at Northampton in June 1268 along with the Lord Edward and numerous others. [Smyth, i. 219. Thomas does not seem to have actually joined the crusade: B. Beebe, 'The English Baronage and the Crusade of 1270', BIHR xlviii (1975), 143-8.] In 1280 Maurice was granted free warren in his demesne lands of Berkeley Herness and Portbury, and he and his son Thomas were granted respectively four bucks and two bucks. [CChR 1257-1300, 233; CCR 1279-88, 25.]
Maurice's financial position was weakened by his mother's longevity and, although his wife's manor of Wenden extended the estate outside the counties of Gloucestershire and Somerset for the first time, he bought no new manors. [In 1246 he arranged with the Exchequer to pay his debts at £40 a year, being pardoned £24 because of his recent service in Wales; in 1253 he again had to borrow money, 60 marks from the king, to equip himself for the campaign in Gascony, and was pardoned another 50 marks of his debts: CChR 1257-1300, 127, 133.] His efforts were concentrated instead on the small-scale development of his inherited manors, making small acquisitions and exchanges. [For his similar activities in Wenden, see BCM/A/2/6] He was the first of the Berkeley lords to evince that manifestation of the 'high farming' of the period.
Maurice (II) had four sons, Thomas, Maurice, Robert and Simon, and a daughter Maud who 'lived long', bought land in Nibley and died without issue. Maurice the son was active with his father in the troubles of 1264-5 but is reported to have been killed in a tournament in 1279, two years before his father's death. [Smyth, i. 147-8. Smyth says that Maurice was the eldest son, but circumstantial evidence points strongly to Thomas being the eldest: he was married in 1267 to the sister of Robert de Ferrers, earl of Derby, was holding the important manor of Bedminster by 1276, and was named after his grandfather, as was customary, while Maurice was named after his father (customary for the second son), was apparently unmarried and did not hold any of the family lands.] Simon was destined for the church and was presented to Slimbridge church by his father in 1270 when he was still under-age. [Reg. Giffard, 44] In 1275 their father granted half the manor of Arlingham, a detached portion of Berkeley hundred, to Robert and Simon jointly. Simon was dead by 1281, when one William was parson of Slimbridge, [PRO CP25/1/75/30 no. 20; Smyth, i.150.] and Robert, and the cadet branch which he founded, retained the moiety of Arlingham. Robert married Elizabeth, probably a daughter of Sir John de Acton and Margaret, daughter and coheir of John de Aller, and seems to have had with her part of her mother's inheritance in Somerset. [In Feb. 1289 Margaret de Acton settled a rent of 10s. and appurtenances in Blackford (Som.) on Robert and Elizabeth and their issue, with remainder to herself and her heirs. John, son and heir of Robert and Elizabeth, held quarter parts of the manors of Wanstrow and Stathe (Som.) which were part of the same inheritance: PRO CP25/1/197/12; Somerset Fines, 1196-1307, 265, 273-4.] He had two sons, John and Robert, and died c. 1300. [Smyth, iii. 59.] John was in the wardship of his uncle Thomas (II) Lord Berkeley and died in 1320 leaving four daughters, Elizabeth, Felicia (or Leticia), Thomasia and Margaret. Thomasia had died without issue by 1332. [GIPM v. 30; CPR 1330-4, 240.] Elizabeth married James de Wilton and then Walter de Thornhill, in 1355 settling her lands on herself and Walter and their issue with reversion to James and Joan, her children by her former husband. [PRO CP25/1/199/24 no. 42, 77/66 no. 252; Feud Aids iv. 354, 359; Somerset Fines, 1307-99, 183; CIPM xiv, no. 10, p. 9] Leticia married John Westmancote, and Margaret married Richard de Aston, who died without issue, and then John atte Yate; the inheritance was divided between the Thornhills, Westmancotes and Yates. [CPR 1330-4, 240; CIPM xii, no. 116; xiv, no. 10, p. 9; Smyth, iii. 59] Robert de Berkeley's younger son Robert had from his father holdings at Billow and Clingre in Cam, and he acquired other lands within the Herness and in Wiltshire. [PRO SC6/1148/12; Smyth, i. 149; iii. 350; CCR 1323-7, 98; CIM ii, nos. 277, 764.] He died in 1315-16, leaving a daughter Isabel, who married Hugh de Bisley, and a son and heir Thomas. [Smyth, i. 149.] Thomas died between 1340 and 1343; his five year old son John was in the wardship of Thomas (III) Lord Berkeley and died in 1348, his heir being his sister Margaret, who married Ralph Trye. [BCM GAR 125-7 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/24/136); Smyth, i. 149.]
The first period of the estate's history was a quiet one. Mainly, it seems, because of the political background the lords' marriages before that of Maurice (II) brought no lands to the estate. Similarly, few lands were purchased and such new manors as were bought were often sub-enfeoffed. After the cadet branches descended from FitzHarding's sons Robert and Nicholas, no more were established until that descended from Maurice (II)'s son Robert of Arlingham. Younger sons, who were numerous but not prolific, were endowed with holdings from within the lordship, most of which reverted to the lordship on the childless deaths of the cadets, and some which had been granted to religious houses were repurchased by the lords. The lordship of Maurice (II) pointed to the future with the acquisition of lands outside Gloucestershire and Somerset through his wife, the beginning of an intense concentration on developing the potential of existing manors, and the dispersal of lands to cadet branches.
Second Period: c. 1280-1417
Until c. 1280 the shape of the Berkeley estate had changed little but thereafter it was composed of two elements, the original patrimony or core, around which the acquisition and dispersal of the other lands, the second element, ebbed and flowed. The patrimony, which remained with the family (with one major exception) throughout the period, lay in two blocks of land. The smaller consisted of the large manors of Portbury and Bedminster with the small hundreds of Portbury, Bedminster and Hartcliff, in the north-eastern corner of Somerset, immediately west and south of Bristol, and a quantity of rents from the city itself, which had been acquired by Robert FitzHarding before 1140. [CIPM ii, no. 407; PRO SC6/1148/2, 8. The rents from Bristol amounted to £6 14s., during the forfeiture, £5 16s. 4d. between 1350 and 1356, and £6 12s. 6d. between 1361 and 1364: BCM GAR 417-18.] The Bristol suburb of Redcliffe Street, on the southern bank of the Avon, had grown up on the land of Bedminster manor. [CIPM ii, no. 407; GIPM iv. 118. Redcliffe Street provided £16 in rents in 1281.] That block provided an income of c. £200 a year in the 14th century. The larger block was the lordship of Berkeley, which was far more important in terms both of income and of the status and influence it provided. Although FitzHarding had granted some manors, principally detached portions, to St. Augustine's Abbey and to members of his family, and although some lands continued to be held of the Berkeleys of Dursley, who held Dursley in chief, it was a source of extraordinary strength. It included two boroughs, Wotton-under-Edge and Berkeley, and by 1281 was divided, somewhat arbitrarily, into nine manors, Ham (the largest and closest to the castle, which included the previously distinct manor of Appleridge), Wotton under Edge, Symond's Hall, Cam, Coaley, Hinton, Hurst, Slimbridge and Alkington; each manor incorporated several vills and hamlets. The manors formed the hundred of Berkeley, which was held by the family, and the hundred was entirely contained within a five-mile radius of Berkeley Castle at its centre. In the 14th century the lordship, including the hundred, was worth c. £800 a year. During the Mortimer régime Thomas (III) de Berkeley obtained the privilege of return of writs, which enlarged the family's control within this compact and rich territorial unit. [PRO SC8/157/7832.] Although, between them, the two portions of the patrimony may have provided as little as £800 a year in 1281, by 1321 the income from them had risen to around £975, and by 1389 it had risen still more to £1,050. The value which Thomas (III) placed on the core lands, as the patrimony, was marked when, c. 1349, he settled the lordship of Berkeley and the manor and hundred of Portbury on himself for life with remainder to his son and heir Maurice in tail male, so that the lands should not be alienated or partitioned between coheirs. [Somerset Fines, 1307-99, 21; Smyth, i. 364; PRO C136/58 no.1; C135/199 no. 9.] Bedminster had already been settled in jointure and tail general on the marriage of Maurice (III) in 1289 and was therefore detached from the rest of the patrimony in 1417 when, on the death of Thomas (IV), it passed to his daughter Elizabeth, countess of Warwick.
Thomas (II) (1281-1321) and Maurice (III) de Berkeley (1321-6)
Thomas (II) inherited from his father a good position in court circles, which he fostered and improved by years of faithful service to Edward I as a councillor, military commander and ambassador. On the king's death in 1307 Thomas was probably well over sixty and, although he continued to serve the new king for a few more years and lived on until 1321, it was his son and heir, Maurice, who increasingly took up the more active role. Maurice was given around half the inheritance by his father in 1301 when he was about thirty and started his career as a military commander in the Scottish campaigns of the end of Edward I's reign. From 1308 he was summoned to parliament along with his father, and he was appointed to a series of important positions, warden of Berwick-upon-Tweed 1315-16, justiciar of Wales 1316-17 and seneschal of Gascony in Feb. 1320 (an office which he appears not to have taken up). He was a leader of the rebels in the Despenser war of 1321 and, having succeeded his father in Nov. 1321, surrendered to the king in Feb. 1322 and spent the rest of his life imprisoned in Wallingford Castle. He died in May 1326, a few months before the coup led by Isabella and Mortimer. The period 1281-1321 was one of intense activity in the estate, the 'high farming' era which generated an astonishing number of charters that now survive in the archive. The wives of Thomas (II), Maurice (III) and Thomas (III) brought lands to their husbands which expanded their interests outside Gloucestershire and northern Somerset, but the lords themselves were actively engaged in developing and increasing the estate by purchase, both of small holdings within the patrimony manors and of new manors.
This very deliberate and positive policy of land acquisition began with the making of small additions whenever possible to the manors of the patrimony, sometimes as small as a fraction of a single acre. Major purchases with the same end in view were the acquisitions of the small manor of Bradley within the lordship manor of Wotton in 1292, the manor of Henry de Middleton at Portbury in 1299 and the manor of Frampton on Severn in 1303, which was immediately leased at a rent of £14 13s. 4d. to be paid to the lordship manor of Hurst. [PRO CP25/1/75/36 no. 156; Smyth, i. 189; PRO CP25/1/75/39 no. 250, 40 no. 265] Thomas also acquired holdings in Bradley and Arlingham through successful litigation in 1290. [Smyth, i. 193, iii. 110; Cal. Doc. Irel. 1293-1301, 686 (where Wick is not Wick in Ireland, as implied).] His efforts were directed particularly at the acquisition of rents, however, and it is clear that he had a preference for that form of revenue. The process gradually grew in scale. After c. 1300 Thomas and Maurice began to expand their territorial ambitions and to acquire whole manors. During the 1310s Thomas bought substantial holdings at Leckhampton and Hartpury north of Berkeley hundred besides one called Planches within the lordship manor of Cam, and Maurice the manors of Upton St. Leonards and King's Weston (Glos.), and Kingston Seymour and Portishead, along with a number of smaller holdings at Winterhead, Barton, Winscombe, Ashton, Cheddar and Tickenham, in northern Somerset. [BCM SB 10 f. 31; PRO CP25/1/198/18 no. 46; CPR 1327-30, 269; Rot. Parl. ii. 399; Smyth, i. 274; CIPM viii, no. 678. The holdings at Winterhead, Barton and Winscombe were settled on Maurice, his wife Eve and their younger son Maurice.] Each was concentrating principally on areas local to their separate households: Thomas, from Berkeley, on central and northern Gloucestershire and Maurice, from Portbury, on northern Somerset. Maurice's wife's lands in northern Somerset gave him an added interest in that area, and her other lands in Wiltshire gave him a secondary focus, resulting in the acquisition of another holding at her manor of Brigmerston. [Rot. Parl. i. 396; PRO C137/23 no. 39.] The last major addition to the estate was the manor of Awre, opposite Berkeley on the other side of the Severn, with its appurtenant advowson and hundred of Bledisloe, which was acquired in two halves. The first was granted to Maurice by his lord Aymer de Valence in 1308, and the second was settled on Thomas (III) by Roger Mortimer in marriage with his daughter in 1319. [BCM GAR 255 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/51/50); CPR 1327-30, 269; Feud. Aids, ii. 264, 273; Genealogist, NS xxxv (1919), 96.] Thomas (II) also bought lands in the area to add to the manor in 1308 and 1317, and their acquisition seems to have prompted Maurice to buy another holding on the west bank of the Severn, at Beachley, in 1317-18. [Smyth, i. 327.]
Other lands were acquired but held only temporarily. The manor of Sopworth (Wilts.), worth around £12 a year, was granted to Maurice (III), for life, by Aymer de Valence in 1308 [BCM GAR 255, GAR 319 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/51/50, BCM/A/2/97/1).] and the manors of King's Stanley (Glos.) and Great Rollright (Oxon.) were granted to Thomas and Maurice respectively in 1314 and 1316 by Edward II. [Feud. Aids, ii. 266; Smyth, i. 274; CIPM viii, no. 678.] Kings Stanley was the subject of a dispute with John Lord Giffard of Brimpsfield, to whom it had passed by 1316, and Great Rollright was also held only briefly. Maurice also leased for a term of years thirds of the manors of Olveston and Berwick in Henbury from Roger, son and heir of the Berkeley retainer Sir Peter Crok (d. 1308 x 1316), which may have been worth c. £7 a year. [PRO SC6/1145/15, 1147/12.]
Between 1270 and 1319 the estate benefited from the marriage portions of the wives of successive lords, the only time at which this was a factor since earlier marriages had been dictated by politics, and the landed portion was replaced by the cash portion during the 14th century. The manors of the marriage portions expanded the estate beyond the confines of Gloucestershire and northern Somerset for the first time, although these too were only temporary additions as they were used to endow younger sons. The first major addition of the kind had been Isabel Fitzroy's, which had not, as might have been expected, been used to provide for the younger son, Robert (of Arlingham). In 1267 Thomas had married Joan de Ferrers, sister of the Robert who was dispossessed of his earldom of Derby by the Lord Edward. By her he had four sons, Maurice (III), Thomas, John and James (who joined the church), and two daughters, Margaret and Isabel. [Margaret married first Thomas FitzMaurice of Ireland, whose marriage her father had bought in 1284 and by whom she was the mother of the first earl of Desmond, and then Reginald Russell; Isabel became a nun: CCR 1279-88, 252; 264, 265, 300, 301, 365; CFR 1272-1307, 199, 208, 425-6; CPR 1307-13, 383; VCH Som. ii. 150; GEC iv. 234-7. James became bishop of Exeter after the murder of Bishop Stapledon during Queen Isabella's coup in 1326; James was elected on 5 Dec. 1326 but died on 21 or 24 June 1327.] Joan died in 1309 and Thomas did not remarry. [Smyth, i. 207.] She brought him the manors of Coston (Leics.) and Eynesbury (Hunts.). [Smyth; 205-6; CIPM i,nos. 732, 776; ii, no. 423, pp. 297, 310.] In 1289 the heir Maurice (III) married Eve, daughter of Eudo de la Zouche and Milicent de Montalt, and she brought the manors of Brigmerston and Milston (Wilts.) and holdings at, Edingworth and Milverton and a rent of £10 from Bridgwater (Som.) [PRO SC6/1148/15; Smyth, i. 244.] The two Ferrers manors cannot be evaluated but the Zouche lands and rent were worth almost £50 a year. [CCR 1288-96, 46. The two Wilts. manors were worth £30 a year, and Milverton £7-8.] Maurice and Eve had five sons, Thomas (III), Maurice and John, and Eudo and Peter who joined the church, and two daughters, Milicent and Isabel [Milicent married John Lord Mautravers (d. 1364) c. 1314 and Isabel married Robert Lord Clifford (d. 1344) in 1328. Eudo died in his brother's household at Bradley in Aug. 1328 and Peter in 1341.] Eve died in 1314 and about three years later Maurice married Isabel, daughter of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester. She brought him a rent of £8 from Speenhamland (Berks.), the manors of Burford and Shipton-under-Wychwood (Oxon.), and the manor of Stanley Pontlarge and holdings at Falfield and Ampney Crucis (Glos.) but most of them were held by Isabel for life only and benefited Maurice only between the marriage and the forfeiture in 1322. [CIM ii, no. 681, 950; CFR 1319-27, 96, 124, 175, 181; CCR 1323-7, 219; 1327-30, 46; CIPM v, no. 316; PRO CP40/269/41 dorse; Feud. Aids, ii. 270. The arrangements which Isabel's father made for his second marriage cut her out of the Clare inheritance.] She survived him and lived until 1338.
Maurice was probably aged around nineteen when he married Eva la Zouche in 1289 and his father Thomas granted the manor of Bedminster to the couple [Smyth, i. 244.] In 1301 Thomas handed over another portion of the inheritance to his heir, granting him the other Somerset manor of Portbury, and around half the lordship in return for a rent of £120 and Maurice's obligation to pay annuities totalling £54 to his brothers and sister, to keep up payment of the annuities and maintenance agreements already promised to those who had sold land to Thomas, and other burdens on the estate such as rents to chantries. From this time on, therefore, a large part of the estate was administered from the household which Maurice set up at Portbury. The division of the Berkeley patrimony into two blocks made a natural choice of lands for the adult heir: Bedminster manor was granted to Thomas (II) before he succeeded his father and to Maurice (III) and Maurice (IV) on their marriages. [In a similar fashion, Wotton, the secondary centre of the Berkeley block, was set aside for the use of widows, being held by Thomas (I)'s widow Joan in the mid 13th century, by Maurice (III)'s widow Isabel and by Thomas (III)'s widow Katherine in the 14th century. Maurice (IV)'s widow did not hold it because Katherine was still alive at Maurice (IV)'s death.] When Maurice's eldest son and heir, Thomas (III), reached adulthood and married Margaret daughter of Roger Mortimer of Wigmore in 1319, his grandfather was still alive and the couple were established with the manor of Awre, both the Mortimer and Berkeley moieties being settled on them. [Genealogist, NS xxxv (1919), 96; PRO SC6/1148/12.]
Thomas (II) had two other lay sons to establish, Thomas and John, and Maurice (III) also two, Maurice and John. Both generations were dealt with in much the same way, the elder of each pair having his mother's marriage portion, with some additional lands within Gloucestershire which had been acquired, and the younger more haphazardly with lands which had been acquired. Thomas (II)'s sons also married heiresses. Thomas was granted Coston (Leics.) and Eynesbury (Hunts.) some time before 1300 and later, in the 1310s, the manor of Wick in Arlingham, a holding at Hartpury and a rent of 10 marks from the Arlingham fisheries (Glos.) [Smyth, i. 209; BCM SB 10 f. 351. The charter recording the grant of Coston and Eynesbury (SB 10 f. 351) is undated but was witnessed by Thomas (II)'s brother Sir Robert (d.1300-1).] He married first Margery, daughter and heir of Sir Robert de Bray of Wollaston (Northants.), by whom he had a daughter Katherine, and secondly Isabel, daughter and heir of Sir John Hamelyn of Wymondham (Leics.) [VCH Northants. iv. 58] He died in 1346 leaving Katherine to inherit Wollaston and a son John by his second wife who inherited Coston, Eynesbury, Wymondham and the lands in Gloucestershire. [CIPM viii, no. 630] This cadet branch in Leicestershire was still going strong in the 16th century. Thomas's brother John had an annuity of £20 before 1301 and was also granted a small manor at Bradley (in Wotton) and sundry other new small holdings around the hundred. [BCM GAR 256 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/51/51); Smyth, i. 214.] He married Hawise, daughter and heir of Thomas de Timworth (d. c. 1290) of Bratton Clovelly (Devon). In Nov. 1311 Bratton Clovelly was settled on Hawise's mother Lucy for life, with reversion to Hawise and her issue, along with the manor of Bradford-on-Tone and substantial holdings at Hoccombe near Milverton, which Lucy had acquired. [BCM SB 10 ff. 26-7; Proc. Som. Arch. & Nat. Hist. Soc. xxviii (1882), 174, 177, 178, 192-5, assumes incorrectly that the husband of Hawise de Timworth was John de Berkeley of Dursley. Lucy married secondly Simon de Meriet.] Two years later they were settled again on Lucy for life, with reversion to John de Berkeley and his wife Hawise and the issue of Hawise. Lucy had died by March 1316 when John was holding Bratton Clovelly, but both John and Hawise were dead without issue by Sept. 1317 when Kingswood Abbey drew up a charter promising religious benefits for their souls in recognition of their substantial grants of land to the abbey. [Smyth, i. 215; iii. 317]
In the next generation, Maurice (III)'s second son, Maurice of Stoke Gifffard, was granted the manor of Bradley (bought by his grandfather), before 1321, and the reversions of his mother's lands in Somerset and Wiltshire and of Kingston Seymour (bought by his father), lands worth around £60 a year. [PRO SC6/1148/12, 15; CIM ii, no. 919; Smyth, iii. 148.] He bought three more manors in Gloucestershire, King's Weston and Elberton in 1330 and Uley by 1340. [CPR 1327-30, 507; PRO CP25/1/77/57 no. 40, 65 no. 230; Reg. Bransford, 274; Smyth, iii. 186-8. The three manors were valued at almost £90 a year in 1400: CIPM xviii, no. 409.] He was retained by the king as a banneret in 1330 and received generous grants in fee of forfeited land, worth probably around £300 a year, but his son and heir was deprived of them when their earlier holders were restored to favour. [CMR nos. 2270 (iii), 2271 (i); CPR 1327-30, 530, 1330-4, 145.] He married by 1330 Margery de Vere who was probably a daughter of Alphonse de Vere (d. 1328) and sister of John, who succeeded his uncle Robert as earl of Oxford in 1331. [CPL ii. 368.] They had three sons, Thomas, Maurice and Edward, and two daughters, Emma and Isabel. Isabel was still alive and apparently unmarried in 1400, and Emma married Thomas, son and heir apparent of Sir John de la Ryvere of Tormarton. [GIPM vi. 224; PRO CP25/1/77/66 no. 267. Sir John was succeeded by his son Henry: Saul Knights and Esquires, 228.] Maurice married Joan, daughter and heir of William Hereward of Devon, and had died by 1371 when Sir John de Wylington quitclaimed his interest in the wardship of Maurice's son and heir, another Maurice, to the executors of Maurice (IV). The young heir had evidently died without issue by 1400. [GIPM vi. 224.] The third son Edward married Joan, daughter and heir of Cecilia de Hickling of Suffolk but died without issue in 1380. [CFR 1337-47, 417; CCR 1349-54, 421; 1369-74, 340; CPR 1374-7, 437; CIPM xv, no. 310.] Maurice of Stoke Giffard's eldest son Thomas was thirteen at his father's death in 1347. He married Katherine, daughter of John de Botetourt, in 1355 and died in 1361 leaving a son Maurice, born in late 1358, as his heir. [CPR 1354-8, 257; CCR 1360-4, 226, 235, 237; CFR 1356-68, 198; CIPM xi, no. 10; Smyth, i. 257.] This Maurice proved his age in 1380 and died in 1400, his heir being a posthumous son, another Maurice, who was coheir to the Botetourt inheritance in 1420. [CCR 1377-81, 288-9; 1419-22, 87; 1422-9, 39; CFR 1399-1405, 81; 1405-13, 79; CPR 1399-1401, 431-2; Smyth, i. 259.] Maurice (III)'s third son, John, had by 1322 been granted the manor of King's Weston and holdings at Leckhampton, Cam (Planches) and Awre and Blakeney (Glos.), which had been bought by his father and grandfather and were worth c. £30 a year. [BCM GAR 122 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/24/131); PRO SC12/36/11 m. 8; SC6/1147/12, 1148/12.] He died, apparently without issue, in 1336.
Thomas (II) died in July 1321 and the estate was taken into the king's hands following his son's surrender in Feb. 1322. During the previous forty years the estate had been enlarged by the landed portions of their wives and the acquisition of several new manors and other holdings. Their territorial horizons had been expanded by marriage into Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, and by royal grant into Oxfordshire, although the purchasing policy was directed primarily at strengthening the patrimony and the immediately adjacent areas of Gloucestershire and north Somerset. All the lands brought as marriage portions, and most of those which had been purchased, had been granted to younger sons, but the manors of Awre, Portishead and Upton St. Leonards, worth c. £34 a year, and holdings at Ashton, Cheddar, Tickenham and Beachley, had been added to the inheritance of Thomas (III), [PRO SC6/1148/12; BCM GMR 17 (cf.below, BCM/A/4/2/28).] while the lands worth £30 a year granted to his younger brother reverted to him on John's death in 1336, having been granted in tail male. Most of the two lords' efforts, however, had been directed at making the numerous small additions to the manors of the patrimony, and the greatly increased value of those manors was Thomas (III)'s main benefit from the careers of his father and grandfather.
[Thomas (III) (1326-61) and Maurice (IV) de Berkeley (1361-8)]
The estate was officially restored to Maurice's heir, Thomas (III), in Jan. 1327. His relationship with Mortimer thrust the family to the forefront of national politics, especially with the imprisonment and death of Edward II at Berkeley Castle in 1327, and ensured that the family received a number of benefits during Mortimer's régime. When, in 1330, the political tide turned Thomas faced a parliamentary trial for the death of Edward III's father. He was finally cleared in 1337 but spent the 1330s under a cloud. He was restored to royal favour in the 1340s and briefly took up a prominent position again, before relapsing into obscurity in old age, devoting himself to domestic pursuits and the acquisition of land. His marriage with Margaret Mortimer brought him three sons, Maurice (IV), Thomas and Roger, and a daughter Joan. [Joan was married in 1337 to Thomas, son and heir of John de Haudlo (d. 1347) and Maud Burnell, and secondly, following the death of her young husband, to Reginald (later Lord) Cobham in 1342.] Margaret died in 1337 and ten years later Thomas married again, to Katherine, daughter of Sir John de Clevedon and widow of Sir Peter le Veel, who gave him another four sons, another Thomas, another Maurice, Edmund and John. Despite this plethora of younger sons, only one, the youngest, survived Thomas.
Like his grandfather, Maurice (IV) enjoyed most of his active career before becoming lord. Born probably around 1320, in 1338 he was married to Elizabeth, daughter of the younger Despenser, and by her had three sons, Thomas (IV), Maurice and James, and three daughters. Elizabeth survived him and remarried, to the Somerset knight Sir Maurice Wyth, dying in 1389. In the early 1340s Maurice had been crusading in Spain, and was then retained before 1347 by the Black Prince, whom he accompanied on the Poitiers campaign of 1355-7. He was wounded and captured at Poitiers and, after three years in captivity in France, was eventually released in 1360, having paid around half his ransom of £2,000 and made arrangements to pay the remainder. His wound appears to have made him an invalid for the rest of his life and he cut no figure in either national or local politics while lord. His early death in 1368 can probably be attributed to the same cause, and his heir was the sixteen-year-old Thomas.
The forty years between 1280 and 1320 had been notable for the unusual quantity of land purchased (by no means all of which had been earmarked for younger sons, provision for whom was most often the reason for magnates to buy land), but Thomas (III) far exceeded his father and grandfather in this respect. Purchase was, however, the only means by which the estate was changed permanently, since marriage portions by then were paid in cash rather than in land (although Thomas's second wife did bring with her a large quantity of land which she held for life). Thomas's stepmother was still alive when he was restored to the estate in 1327, so he did not immediately hold the entire inheritance. She held the manor and hundred of Portbury (and the manor of Kingston Seymour settled on Thomas's brother) in jointure and was granted as dower the manor and borough of Wotton, the manor of Symond's Hall and rents of £63 from Cam and Coaley and £23 6s. 8d. from Bedminster. [Cim ii, no. 919; Smyth, i. 245; BCM GAR 424 (cf. below, BCM/A/4/2/8). In 1329 she released Portbury manor and hundred to Thomas (presumably in return for an annuity) and died in 1338. [Smyth, i. 245. She was still alive in June 1337 despite the assertion in VCH Berks. iv. 100 that she died on 7 July 1333. BCM/A/2/22/2.]
To a certain extent Thomas followed his grandfather's practice of acquiring small holdings to add to his existing manors. Some additions were more substantial, such as the sub-manor of Sages, worth £17 a year, within Slimbridge manor, [BCM GAR 247 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/43/125).] but to a far greater extent he concentrated on acquiring whole manors. He bought 14 new manors, in possession or reversion, and had a temporary interest (mostly through leases for life or for a term of years) in seven other manors. In 1330 he made his first major purchase, the manors of Beverston and Over (Glos.) and Barrow Gurney and a large holding at Tickenham (Som.), from Thomas ap Adam, and in 1332 the reversion of the manor of Syde (which fell in in 1339), also in Gloucestershire. [PRO CP25/1/77/62, no. 16, /69 no.347; Glos Record Office D1866/T18, T19; Somerset Fines, 1307-99, 238.] In 1339 he bought a moiety of Elston (Wilts.), and between 1342 and 1346 the manors of Woodmancote (Glos.), Clevelode (Worcs.) and a moiety of Cheddar (Som.) with the reversion of the other moiety. [Wilts. Fines, 1327-77, no. 199, BCM GAR 30 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/3/132); PRO CP25/1/199/24 no. 61; C135/156 no.12. For Woodmancote, CPR 1340-3, 443; BCM GAR 125 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/24134); Smyth, i. 349; iii. 387-8, giving two conflicting accounts.] In 1355 he acquired another six manors, buying those of Tockington (Glos.) and a moiety of Sock Dennis (Som.) with the reversion of the other moiety [Smyth, i. 330; J. Maclean, 'The Manor of Tockington', TBGAS xii (1887-8), 135-6; GIPM v. 309] and arranging a complicated marriage agreement with Sir Ralph de Middleney whereby the reversion of Middleney's inheritance of four manors and other associated holdings in Somerset was settled on Thomas's younger sons after his death. [Somerset Fines, 1347-99, 28-9; CIPM xi, no. 517; PRO C136/38 no. 10; C139/35 no. 50.] All these 14 manors, with other holdings purchased by Thomas at Cricklade (Wilts.), 1350, Tickenham (Som.), 1330 and 1352, and Falfield, by 1337, Compton Greenfield, by 1340, Westonbirt, by 1344, Bentham, by 1346, Down Hatherley, by 1346, and Alveston (Glos.), were eventually inherited by Thomas's only surviving younger son, John. [PRO C136/38 no. 10; C139/35 no. 50; CP25/1/77/56 no. 12,/67 no. 295; Wilts. Fines, 1327-77, no. 380; Smyth, i. 328, 330, 350, CCR 1360-4, 236. Apart from the reference by Smyth there is no evidence that Alveston was held by Thomas (III), but it was held by John at his death.] John also had some lands which had been held by his uncle John and which had reverted to his father in 1336. Those which were most closely associated with the patrimony (in Cam and in Awre) were kept for Thomas's heir, but King's Weston and Leckhampton were included in the numerous entails made by Thomas for his younger sons. [PRO C136/38 no. 10; C139/35 no. 50; CP25/1/77/66 no. 268, /69 no. 330.] The lands which passed to John were worth an absolute minimum of £300 a year.
Those fourteen manors and other smaller holdings were permanent acquisitions inherited by Thomas's sons Maurice or John, but Thomas also obtained a temporary interest in the Herefordshire manor of Burghill between 1327 and 1336, and the Wiltshire manor of Sheldon between 1351 and 1363. Furthermore, in 1347 his second wife brought him another nine manors which she held in jointure and dower from her first husband: Charfield, Tortworth, Hamfallow and Huntingford (Glos.), Ablington and Alton (Wilts.), Norton Fitzwarren (Soms.), Plympton (Devon) and 'Lariharn'. These were worth at least £70 a year, [Smyth, i. 346; iii. 210-12, 234-40, Wilts. IPM, 151; CIPM viii, no. 466; xvi, nos. 214-15; BCM GAR 126-34, GAR 422 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/24/135-43, BCM/A/3/16/1), GMR 3. Charfield, Tortworth, Ablington, alton, Plympton and Hamfallow were together valued at about £70: GIPM v. 300-1; PRO C136/38 no. 10; BCM GAR 126-34. There are no available valuations for Huntingford, Norton Fitzwarren or 'Lariharn']. and they benefited Thomas until his death in 1361 but were eventually inherited by the heirs of Katherine's first husband. [PRO C136/38 no. 10.] The Veel connection also led Thomas to have an interest in the manor of Penleigh (Wilts.), which in 1350 was acquired by Thomas and Katherine jointly, with the reversion belonging to Katherine's children by Peter le Veel [VCH Wilts. viii. 159; Wilts. Fines, 1327-77, no. 376.]
Thomas's land dealings also involved some sales. The block purchase from ap Adam in 1330 had included the reversion of the manor of Monewden (Suff.), held for life by Isabel Hastings, and two years later Thomas sold it to Isabel.[CPR 1327-30, 507; CCR 1330-3, 424, 529.] In 1320 Thomas had bought a small holding at Childrey (Berks.) and acquired another reversionary holding there, which he sold to Nicholas de la Beche in 1338,[BCM SR 39 (cf. below, BCM/A/4/2/7); CMR no. 872; CCR 1337-9, 522.] and in 1354 he sold the reversionary interest which he had acquired in the manor of Yewdon (Bucks.) to Thomas Doyly.[VCH Bucks. iii. 49] Finally there were the manors of Eastham and Eckington (Worcs.).[VCH Worcs. iv. 70, 187, 267; PRO CP25/1/260/23 no. 51; BCM GAR 398-400 (cf. below, BCM/A/2/98/6, BCM/A/2/99/1-2).] Eckington had been acquired from the Mortimers by 1333 but was sold in 1358, the timing suggesting strongly that it was parted with in order to help with the payment of Maurice (IV)'s ransom. In Eastham Thomas seems to have acquired an interest from one of his servants, Richard le Porter, in 1341 and supplemented it with rents in the area acquired from another servant, Roger de Eastham. The manor did not continue in Berkeley hands: it may have been sold like Eckington, the various interests may have been for life only, or the manor may have been given up to resolve a disputed title which also concerned Clevelode (which did stay in Berkeley hands).
As well as ensuring by settlements and entails that the vast bulk of his acquisitions benefited his numerous younger sons, Thomas also had the patrimony to protect and his eldest son Maurice to establish. When in 1338 Maurice and Elizabeth were married, Thomas settled on them in jointure the lordship manor of Hurst (with its appurtenant rent from Frampton and a rent from the lordship manor of Cam), entailing it on their heirs male.[PRO C135/199 no. 9; C136/58 no. 1.] In 1349 Thomas settled the remaining portion of the lordship (8 manors, 2 boroughs, 2 advowsons, the castle and the hundred) and the manor of Upton St. Leonards, and in 1352 the manor and hundred of Portbury, on himself for life with reversion to Maurice and his male issue. Before his death the entire estate had been entailed in tail male except for a few small holdings, and Bedminster and Awre (settled in tail general in 1289 and 1319 respectively). The year before his marriage Maurice was granted the Bristol block of the patrimony (Portbury, Bedminster and their hundreds), initially at an annual rent of 400 marks, which was gradually reduced and then given up altogether.[Smyth, i. 364, 365; Thomas (III) was holding Bedminster again 1356-60: BCM GAR 361 (cf. below, BCM/A/2/67/24).] In 1342 he was granted the manor of Wenden and the £10 rent from Bridgwater and 10 years later the small holding at Christon and Uphill close to his manor of Portbury.[Smyth, i. 364, 365, 371; PRO C136/58 no. 1; C138/28 no. 50] After succeeding his father, he bought the reversion of the manors of Little Marshfield and Purton (Glos.) in 1366, and Little Marshfield was settled on his younger son James in tail male, Purton probably being intended for another son, who died young. Maurice needed to buy lands for his younger sons since nearly all the lands inherited from his father were entailed.[The manor of Wenden (Essex), the manor of Yorkley (then known as Tutnalls and Purton), a holding in Iron Acton and Sages in Slimbridge (Glos.), and the rent from Bridgwater and the holding at Christon and Uphill (Som.) were the only unentailed lands available to Thomas (IV) when he wanted to raise cash through a mortgage in 1375 BCM/A/2/36/12-13]. In addition to the lands granted to him before he succeeded, he inherited holdings at Chicklade (Wilts.) and a manor at Yorkley (Glos.).[BCM GAR 320, GMR 17 (cf. below, BCM/A/2/37/19, BCM/A/4/2/28); PRO C135/199 no. 9; 136/58 no. 1; Wilts. Fines, 1327-77, no. 379]. Thomas had created that manor by a number of small acquisitions along the west bank of the Severn, south of Awre, between 1330 and 1350.[BCM GAR 326 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/2/13); PRO C135/199 no. 9.] Maurice also benefited from the additions to the patrimony manors made by his father and from the holdings in Cam and Awre which had reverted to Thomas on the death of his younger brother John in 1336. He never enjoyed the full benefit of his inheritance because his stepmother outlived him by several years and held in dower the manors of Cam, Wotton and Symond's Hall, the borough of Wotton and a third of the hundreds of Bedminster and Berkeley, in addition to jointure in the most valuable of her husband's acquisitions, the reversion belonging to her son John.[PRO C136/38 no. 10. By April 1363 she had recovered against her son John (aged eleven) her dower of Syde manor and in holdings in Westonbirt, Down Hatherley, Leckhampton and Bentham. BCM/A/1/1/74 and A/2/41/3]
The period from the restoration in 1327 to the death of Maurice (IV) in 1368 is notable not only for the huge additions made to the estate (manors and lands worth well over £300 a year, around a third of the value of the patrimony inherited by Thomas in 1327) but that they had all been achieved by purchase. Marriage had brought Thomas substantial lands but they were temporary interests only. His heir benefited little, but the manor at Yorkley and the small holdings at St. Chloe, Uphill and Chicklade passed to him and he added the manor at Purton, having also acquired Little Marshfield for his younger son.
Thomas (IV) de Berkeley (1368-1417)
Until the death of Maurice (IV) the family had benefited from a succession of adult heirs, most of the lords being over thirty when they inherited, but the estate was now in wardship for six years. Thomas's father-in-law, Warin Lord Lisle (d. 1382), obtained the wardship, which ended in Jan. 1374, but for some time after reaching his majority Thomas was further handicapped by the longevity of two dowagers, his mother and step-grandmother, who held over half his inheritance until their respective deaths in 1389 and 1385. Aged fourteen, he had married the seven-year-old Margaret, Lisle's only daughter, in 1367, and in 1381 she became her father's heir. In 1385 she produced her only child, a daughter Elizabeth, who was betrothed to Richard Beauchamp, son and heir of the earl of Warwick (d. 1401), six months after her mother's death in 1392. Being outside the court circle, Thomas suffered from Richard II's policy of bolstering the local positions of his favourites, and was an enthusiastic supporter of Bolingbroke's invasion in 1399. He was actively involved in the deposition of Richard II and for the next seven or eight years he played a prominent role on the national stage as councillor and admiral for Henry IV. After 1406, however, he retired into relative obscurity. He did not remarry after Margaret's death and on his own death in 1417 the estate was divided between his daughter, who had the Lisle lands and some of the Berkeley lands, and his nephew James, who inherited the bulk of the Berkeley patrimony under the entail of the mid 14th century.
During the fifty-year lordship of Thomas (IV) purchase again played an important part in the development of the estate but the most significant change was the accession of the Lisle estate in 1382. During Maurice (IV)'s lordship the Berkeley estate had been divided by the assignment of dower to his father's widow and further division followed his death in 1368 since he too left a widow, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was granted Wenden (Essex), two-thirds of Portbury and Portishead and Uphill (Som.), the small holding at Chicklade (Wilts.), and the manors of Coaley, Upton and Awre, and the small holding at St. Chloe (Glos.) in dower, and already held Hurst (with a rent from Cam) in jointure.[PRO C136/58 no. 1.] Katherine's dower was worth £285 a year and Elizabeth's jointure and dower a further £335 a year, leaving lands worth £540 a year for the 16-year-old heir Thomas (IV).[BCM GMR 17 (cf. below,BCM/A/4/2/28).] The wardship of his lands was granted to his father-in-law for £400 a year.[CFR 1356-69, 388.]
That Thomas felt purse-pinched in early adulthood is seen in his mortgage of the unentailed lands in 1375 to raise 400 marks and in an agreement with his step-grandmother Katherine in Jan. 1375 to cut and sell timber from the manor of Wotton. His situation improved with the fortuitous death of his brother-in-law Gerard, Lisle's only son and heir, without issue between Jan. 1380 and Nov. 1381, when Lisle and Thomas came to an agreement by which Lisle allowed his daughter to inherit his estate.[GEC viii. 39.] Lisle died the following year and his estate, worth c. £600 a year, was duly joined to the Berkeleys'.[PRO SC12/18/42 dorse.] The Lisle estate consisted of numerous manors and other holdings scattered all over the south of England, but lying principally in two groups, the smaller one of seven manors in Devon and Cornwall, the larger based on seven Berkshire manors with four in Wiltshire, three in Oxfordshire, three in Northamptonshire and one each in Buckinghamshire and Middlesex. His wife's inheritance widened Thomas's territorial horizons. Like his own, it did not all come to him immediately, since about half was held in dower and jointure by Lisle's widow Joan (d. 1392), and a further two manors in jointure by Gerard's widow Amy, but during the next 10 years his position gradually improved following the deaths of the various widows.
Not surprisingly, Thomas had bought no new lands before the various groups of dower lands came into his hands, although he did acquire temporarily two Gloucestershire manors and a borough from the widow of one of his late retainers in 1383.[BCM SR 67, GMR 17 (cf. below, BCM/A/4/2/14,28); CPR 1381-5, 228.] Land-buying was largely a matter for consideration when lords had surplus cash in hand and Thomas had none to spare, certainly until 1382 and more probably until 1389 or 1392. Thereafter he held two inheritances and it would not have been surprising if he had then merely sat back to enjoy the profits: his wife died in 1392 leaving an only daughter, and there were no younger sons, provision for whom was the prime motive for land acquisition. It is all the more interesting, therefore, that Thomas did purchase a number of manors and lands after 1392. Some of them were connected with the Lisle inheritance, such as a large holding in Kingston Lisle, Fawler, Baulking and Uffington (Berks.), which he bought in 1397 and two years later leased at £5 a year, the manor of East Peek (Devon) and a moiety of Nethercott (Wilts.) bought in 1413, and a holding in Charlton, in Hungerford (Berks.) in 1414, [Thomas also acquired a weekly market and three annual fairs at Penzance (where the Lisle manor of Alverton lay) in 1406: CChR 1341-1417, 430.] Other acquisitions were clearly connected with the Berkeley inheritance and included lands in Bancombe, in Charlton (Som.) in 1383, the Edingworth and Milverton holdings of his second cousin Maurice of Stoke Giffard before 1395, and a couple of advowsons, Chicklade in 1380 and St. Andrews, London (the parish in which most of his London holdings lay), in 1394.[BCM SB 10 f.239 and v.] In 1398 he acquired the reversion of the St. Amand manor of South Cerney and Cerney Wick (Glos.), and in 1399 holdings at Wraxall and Weston-in-Gordano in Portbury hundred (Som.); and then in 1412 a holding at Horton and Yate (Glos.), another holding within Portbury hundred at Portishead and the manor of Cerney Wick (Glos.), in 1414 the manor of Shorncote (Wilts.) and in 1415 the manor of Tickenham, in Portbury hundred (Som.) [PRO CP25/1/79/85 no. 57; Somerset Fines, 1399-1461, 47, CCR 1409-13,334.] There were also acquisitions within Berkeley hundred, a number in Wotton manor in the vills of Bradley, Nibley and Wortley, two holdings in Arlingham, one in Ham, several in the boroughs of Wotton and Berkeley, as well as others elsewhere. [PRO CP25/1/79/85 no. 46; Smyth, iii. 59, 61, 112, 213, 287. For Thomas (IV)'s purchases in general. Smyth, ii. 13-16.] Most of those lands lay in three clear territorial areas, Portbury hundred, Berkeley hundred, and on the Gloucestershire-Wiltshire border. The focus on Portbury hundred is emphasised in his further acquiring the advowsons of Portishead and Walton-in-Gordano in 1412, and free warren in Walton- and Weston-in-Gordano, Portishead and Charlton in 1401, which can be compared with his obtaining a confirmation of the grant of free warren in Berkeley Herness and Portbury in 1413. [CChR1341-1417, 416; CCR 1409-13, 334.] It therefore appears that the purchases of lands and rights were carefully chosen to suit the portion of the inheritance settled in tail male (Berkeley lordship and Portbury) and thus for the benefit of his nephew James. Thomas enfeoffed all these latter acquisitions (Shorncote, Chicklade and those in Gloucestershire, Somerset and London) to a group of trustees three weeks before his death and, although no instructions for their disposal are included in the grant, it was probably for the purpose of leaving them to James, through either an entail or a use. [No instructions for their employment are mentioned in his will, which had been made in Feb. 1415.] Despite the enfeoffment, the jury at Thomas's inquisition post mortem returned that the lands were all held in fee simple and they were the subject of a long dispute with Thomas's daughter Elizabeth and her husband the earl of Warwick. [PRO C138/28 no. 50.]
The sale of Wenden in 1404 partly balanced Thomas's acquisitions. It was the only principal manor which had not been entailed, either in fee tail or tail male, and so the only one available when he needed to raise cash in a rush in order to loan £1,000 to the king. Although it had been part of the estate for 150 years it had long been the one anomaly in an otherwise concentrated estate, and its distance from the administrative centre had already led to its being farmed by 1389.
At Thomas (IV)'s death in 1417 the Berkeley estate, after following a pattern of recurrent growth and diminution over the previous 140 years, had reached a pinnacle. As well as the Berkeley patrimony itself, hugely increased in value since 1281, and a few other manors in Gloucestershire added to it, Thomas had held the Lisle estate and had bought a further four manors with numerous other small holdings. On his death, however, it broke apart. To his daughter went lands worth c. £725 a year, comprising the Lisle lands (£600 a year) and the manors of Awre and Bedminster with their hundreds (£125 a year). To his nephew went an estate worth c. £1,000 a year consisting of the lordship of Berkeley (with the manor of Upton) worth £825 a year, and Portbury manor and hundred worth £130 a year. In addition to the lands which he had from his uncle, James had his father's manor of Little Marshfield and the prospect of his mother's inheritance in Wales and the Marches. If the Berkeley inheritance had passed to him peacefully after his uncle's death, and if he had inherited all his mother's lands, James would have held land of greater value than any of his predecessors had done on succeeding their fathers.
Third Period: 1417-92
James (I) de Berkeley (1417-63)
James was the son of Thomas (IV)'s younger brother James who had married a Marcher heiress and died in 1405 fighting the Welsh under Glendower. He was eleven in 1405 and heir apparent to the substantial inheritance of his mother, Elizabeth Bluet: the two minor Marcher lordships of Raglan and Stradewy, and the manors of Thruxton (Herefs.) and Daglingworth (Glos.). Elizabeth was also the prospective heir on the death of Adam de Peasenhall to the ap Rees lands of the lordship of Talgarth and the manor of Shifnal (Salop.). [For what follows, see BCM/C Administrative history.] Her inheritance was worth at least 400 marks a year but in the event James inherited very little of it. [Below, BCM/A/1/1/46 [GC 4129]. In 1408 Elizabeth and her third husband, Thomas ap Harry, sold Thruxton to Thomas's elder brother John, and in the following year, Peasenhall having granted them Talgarth, they settled the manor and 50 marks of rent on themselves and their issue with remainder to the right heirs of Elizabeth. They evidently had no issue, however, as, after her fourth marriage to William ap Thomas, Talgarth was resettled in 1420. In Aug. 1429 the lordship was granted to James de Berkeley and his heirs but that may have been part of a deal with ap Thomas, for in July 1425 James and his wife Isabel granted Raglan to ap Thomas for life and in 1430 ap Thomas bought Raglan outright for 1,000 marks, which seems to have included Stradewy. James also failed to get Shifnal, which was regarded as an escheat, the reversion being sold by Henry IV. James therefore inherited from his mother only Talgarth and Daglingworth.
James may have sold Raglan and Stradewy in order to fund his fight to retain his Berkeley inheritance against his cousin Elizabeth and her husband Richard earl of Warwick. There can be little doubt that Elizabeth's father Thomas fully recognized and approved his nephew as his heir male, despite allegations to the contrary. James and his brother Maurice were in their uncle's care at Berkeley from 1410 and Thomas twice sold James's marriage, specifically as his heir male, in 1410 to John St. John and in 1414 to Humphrey Stafford, and in 1412 St. John requested an exemplification of the entail of 1349 of the Berkeley estate. [According to Smyth, citing a manuscript of c. 17 Hen. VI (1438-9), Thomas twice sold the marriage of James, once for 1,000 marks and once for 1,200 marks: Smyth, ii. 79-80.] Furthermore, Thomas's very specific policy of acquiring land centred on Berkeley and Portbury hundreds and his granting of all the lands which he had acquired to feoffees three weeks before his death strongly suggest that he was not only happy for the patrimony to pass to James but also intended to enhance it. James's troubles arose from the attempts of the Warwicks to claim as much of it as they could. An early attempt to claim the whole lordship of Berkeley on the grounds of a fee tail settlement in the time of Robert FitzHarding seems to have been dropped quickly. They were rather more persistent and successful with two other ploys, first a claim to the manors of Wotton, Symond's Hall, Hinton, Cam and Coaley, on the grounds that they had been settled in tail general on the marriage of Maurice (II), Lord Berkeley to Isabel Fitzroy in the mid 13th century, and, secondly, claims to portions of some manors which they maintained had not been included in the 1349 entail, such as the rents from Iron Acton, which had been paid to Ham manor for over a century, and Sages, in Slimbridge, which had been bought by Thomas III in the mid 14th century. [The rent of 22 marks from Frampton on Severn which was paid to Hurst manor had specifically been mentioned in the 1338 settlement on Maurice (IV) and his wife.]
The Warwicks' determination was apparent immediately after Thomas (IV)'s death, which occurred when they were in Gloucestershire, staying either at the Castle or at Wotton, while James was in Dorset with his father-in-law Humphrey Stafford. [For what follows see, unless otherwise stated, Smyth, ii. 41-8, 57-76.] Thomas died on 13 July and James sued out a writ of diem clausit extremum two days later, but on 21 July the custody of the lands was granted to three of Warwick's retainers. [The render was remitted on 12 June 1418: Smyth, ii. 41. A court was held at Alkington in the name of the Warwicks on 21 Sept. 1418: BCM GCR 1 (cf. below, BCM/A/1/3/163). For the grant of the custody of Thomas's lands to John Harewell, John Barton and John Baysham on 21 July 1417: below, BCM/A/2/29.] The inquisition post mortem at Gloucester at the end of September was adjourned because the evidence was disputed. On 22 Oct. Warwick sued out a supersedeas countermanding James's writ, and after some legal manoeuvring Warwick's writ was countermanded on 5 Nov., another inquisition was held and the jury found that James was heir, as Thomas's male heir, to the entailed lands and the countess was heir to the rest. James did fealty and had his homage respected on 1 Dec. but, handicapped by the desertion of some of his uncle's closest servants to the Warwicks, he was unable to sue livery, pay his relief and have proper possession until, on 1 Nov. 1420, he obtained the support of the duke of Gloucester by promising him the reversion of lands of his mother's inheritance to the value of 400 marks a year. Recognition courts at all the lordship manors were held on 6 May 1421, [BCM GRR 7 (cf. below, BCM/A/4/2/30)] and James had licence to sue livery at Michaelmas 1421 and paid his relief of 100 marks. His belated succession was recognised by his first appearance on the Gloucestershire commissions of the peace on 2 Sept. and his first summons to parliament on 20 Oct.
On 1 Sept. 1422 James took the precaution of granting the Castle and the manors of Berkeley, Ham, Appleridge, Hinton, Hurst, Slimbridge, Cam, Coaley, Alkington, Upton St. Leonards, Wotton and Symond's Hall to a powerful group of feoffees consisting of Humphrey duke of Gloucester, John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, John Holand, earl of Huntingdon, Thomas Stanley, Robert Wingfield and John Morgan. [The dukedom of Norfolk was in fact not revived until 1425.] The countess of Warwick died on 28 Dec. 1422, but the dispute continued. On 10 Sept. 1421 James and Warwick agreed, under bonds of 10,000 marks each, to submit the dispute to the arbitration (which was not to include the manors of Wotton, Portbury, Cerney and Shorncote) of the bishop of Worcester and the justice John Juyn, provided that the award was made before Christmas. The date was not met, and on 20 May 1423 they again entered into bonds for arbitration before midsummer, yet again for an award by 1 Nov., and once more for a partial award which was made on 24 Nov. 1424, with the promise of a final award before the following Michaelmas. That award, made on 6 Oct. 1425, declared that Warwick would hold for his life the manors of Wotton, Symond's Hall and Coaley and holdings in Frampton on Severn, Cromhall, Iron Acton, Kingscote and Minchinhampton (Glos.) and the hundreds of Hartcliff and Portbury and the manor of Portishead, Limeridge Wood, Weston-in-Gordano and lands in Christon and Uphill (Som.), while James would retain, to him and his male issue, the manors of Cam, Hinton and Slimbridge (Glos.). [Smyth, ii. 48]
There the matter rested until the death of Warwick on 30 April 1439. His inquisition post mortem, held on 6 Sept., reopened the dispute by finding that he died holding, by the courtesy of England, the manors of Hinton, Cam, Coaley, Wotton and Symond's Hall, as Elizabeth's inheritance by entail from Maurice (II) (d. 1281) and his wife Isabel, and the manor of Slimbridge, as her inheritance from Maurice (I) (d. 1190) and his wife Alice, the manor having been granted to them in free marriage by her father. The findings were clearly faulty: James had retained possession of Cam, Hinton and Slimbridge and, under the award of 1425, Warwick had had only a life interest in Wotton, Symond's Hall, Coaley and the other lands. The countess Elizabeth's heirs were her three daughters, Margaret (d. 1467) wife of John Talbot, later earl of Shrewsbury (d. 1453), Eleanor (d. 1467) wife successively of Thomas, Lord Roos (d. 1430), Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset (d. 1455), and Walter Rokesley, and Elizabeth (d. 1480), wife of George Nevill, Lord Latimer (d. 1469). The dispute continued between James and the three sisters, the Talbots taking the lead. Margaret was Talbot's second wife and her heir was her son John, Talbot's fourth son, created Lord Lisle in 1444 and Viscount Lisle in 1451, who died with his father in 1453. After that, Margaret was fighting on behalf of her grandson Thomas Talbot (k. 1470).
James took possession of Wotton, Symond's Hall and Coaley after Warwick's death and held them peaceably for three years, but was dispossessed by the countess of Shrewsbury (John Talbot having been created earl of Shrewsbury on 20 May 1442), the three coheirs bringing an assize of novel disseisin against James for Cam, Hinton and Slimbridge, and James one against them for Wotton and Coaley. An unusual document illustrating the local effect of these disputes records that on 24 Feb. certain tenants of Coaley manor acknowledged that, having returned to James and paid their rents to him the previous Christmas, they would thereafter be true tenants to him and his heirs. An arbitration of 5 April 1448 awarded Wotton, Symond's Hall and Coaley and all the other disputed lands mentioned in the arbitration of 1425 (except the 22 marks in Frampton on Severn and £10 rent from Sages in Slimbridge) to the three coheirs, and to James and his male issue Cam, Hinton, Slimbridge, Hurst and Portbury. The award was reaffirmed in July 1449, but James refused to give his assent. The dispute grew increasingly violent during the 1440s and culminated in 1451 when, having suborned some Berkeley servants, Lisle was let into Berkeley Castle, captured James and his sons and forced them to enter into bonds to abide by the latest award, i.e. that the coheirs would have Wotton, Symond's Hall and Coaley, and Berkeley hundred, and James would have Berkeley, Ham, Appleridge, Alkington, Hinton, Hurst, Slimbridge, Cam, Upton St. Leonards, the 22 marks rent in Frampton on Severn and Portbury. Meanwhile, the countess of Shrewsbury had captured James's wife Isabel and imprisoned her in Gloucester Castle, where she died in Sept. 1452. James's sons James and Thomas accompanied Talbot to France in 1453 where at Chatillon in July Thomas was captured, and James killed, along with Talbot himself and his son John Lord Lisle.
James's marriage to Stafford's daughter was short-lived and childless. In 1423-4 James married Isabel, daughter of Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk (d. 1399). She was the widow of Henry de Ferrers (d. by 1423), son and heir apparent of William Lord Ferrers of Groby (d. 1445), by whom she had an only daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth married Sir Edward Grey (d. 1457), a younger son of Reginald Lord Grey of Ruthin: Edward became Lord Ferrers of Groby in her right and was a feoffee for James and William de Berkeley in 1447. Their elder son John, Isabel's grandson, was killed at St. Albans in 1455 (his widow infamously marrying Edward IV), and their younger son Edward married Elizabeth, sister and heir of Thomas Talbot, Viscount Lisle (k. 1470), and was himself created Lord Lisle in 1475 and Viscount in 1483.
Isabel Mowbray brought to James the manors of Aspley, Alspath and Flecknoe (Warws.), which her brother had granted to her and Ferrers on their marriage in July 1416, and Marks and Buttsbury (Essex), which she had held in jointure with Ferrers. [GEC v. 357-8.] She gave James four sons, William, James, Maurice and Thomas. Her elder brother Thomas was executed in 1405 but their brother John succeeded to the vast inheritance in 1413 and was restored to the dukedom in 1425, died in 1432 and was succeeded by his son John (VI) (d. 1461). Isabel's puissant brother John does not seem to have become involved in the dispute between the Berkeleys and the Warwicks and may have been handicapped by the fact that his wife Katherine was George Nevill's sister. After Isabel's death James married Joan Talbot, daughter of the first earl of Shrewsbury, reaching agreement with her brother the second earl in July 1457 that the earl would give 100 marks with his sister and redeem one bond of £1,000 from James to the king, and that James would make a jointure for Joan in £120 of land. Joan survived James and married secondly Edmund Hungerford.
Talgarth and Daglingworth, along with a moiety of the manor of Brokenborough (Glos.), which James and Isabel had purchased, were settled on their younger sons in 1434-5, one moiety of Talgarth on James, the other moiety on Maurice, and Daglingworth and Brokenborough on Thomas, being available for the purpose because not held in tail male like the Berkeley patrimony. After James was killed at Chatillon in 1453 the manors were transferred between different sets of feoffees in a way that is confusing, but it is clear that the settlement of 1434-5 was not strictly adhered to: Daglingworth was included in settlements on the eldest son William and his wife in the 1470s, and Brokenborough was granted to Maurice and his wife Isabel. Little Marshfield was at some time granted to the youngest son Thomas but was also held by his brother Maurice by 1461. Maurice had married Isabel, daughter of Philip Mead, and after the death of her brother Richard and his children c. 1488 she inherited various lands in Gloucestershire and in Bedminster, Wraxall, Ashton and Tickenham (Som.). On William's death in 1492 Maurice was his heir, although he inherited very little in the first instance. Thomas, who was under nineteen when captured at Chatillon, was granted by his father the lands held in fee simple (presumably purchased) in Gloucestershire, some of which lay in Berkeley, Dursley and Hinton, and on 13 Dec. 1482 his brother William granted him an annuity of £19 for life. [Smyth, ii. 83-4.] On 18 March 1454 Humphrey duke of Buckingham appointed him receiver general of his lands in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Hampshire, at £5 a year with 2s. for each day spent travelling on his business. Thomas married Margaret, daughter and heir of Richard Guy of Minsterworth, by whom he had four sons and three daughters, and died in 1484.
James and Isabel also had three daughters. [Smyth ii. 90-3.] Elizabeth, who had a portion of £200, married Thomas Burdet of Warwickshire, shortly before Nov. 1448. Isabel married William Trye of Hardwicke (Glos.) and in Aug. 1476 her brother William granted to the Tryes the rent of 40s. which they owed for the holding called Inwood in Cam until her portion of £200 be paid. [Trye was descended from Ralph Trye who married Margaret, granddaughter and eventually heir of Robert de Berkeley of Billow.] The third daughter, Alice, married Richard Arthur of Clapton (Som.).
William Lord Berkeley (1463-92)
William was born c. 1426 and when aged thirteen joined the household of Henry Beaufort, bishop of Winchester, with whom he went to Calais in 1438-9. On 15 May 1440 his father granted the manor of Portbury to him and Nicholas Poyntz for a term of 40 years, and in 1447 William granted his estate in the manor to John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk (his cousin), Edward Grey (his brother-in-law), James Ormond and others. Relations between William and his cousin Norfolk were evidently close: in 1448 Norfolk granted to William all his lands in Ireland to hold for life at a rent of a rose a year, and in Jan. 1453 appointed him supervisor of Gower and steward of Chepstow for life, with the customary fees and an additional annual rent of £20.[Smyth, ii. 138.] In sharp contrast, William seems not to have been on good terms with his father: on 20 Aug. 1460 they reached an agreement under ten headings, beginning 'First that the said Sir William should not henceforth greeve, vex nor trouble the said lord James his father, nor any of his servants, counsellors or tenants of any of his Lordship's manors in Gloucestershire, by lawe nor otherwise.'[Smyth, ii. 75-6.]
One of William's first acts on succeeding his father was to agree with James's widow Joan that she would receive an annuity of £100 in lieu of her dower and jointure but he soon renewed the dispute with Margaret countess of Shrewsbury, petitioning for the restoration of Wotton, Symond's Hall, Coaley, and the New Leaze and Sages in Slimbridge, and recounting the Talbots' assault on the castle in 1451 and its consequences. A flurry of bills and replies ensued, in one of which William accused the countess of having hired a man to kill him when he came to London to sue out his livery. Before the case came to issue, the countess died in June 1468 leaving her grandson Thomas Talbot, Viscount Lisle, as her heir to the manors of Wotton, Symond's Hall, a moiety of Arlingham, and various lands and rents in Arlingham, Cromhall, Alkington, Hurst, Dursley, Nibley, Sharncliffe, Kingscote, a sixth part of Iron Acton, lands in Horwood, Murcott and Gloucester, the manor of Wick in Arlingham, Sages Place and Sages Land in Slimbridge, and the 'hundred' of Wotton (formerly the hundred of Berkeley). Those lands had been allotted to Margaret in a division of the lands between the coheirs in Nov. 1466, her sister the duchess Eleanor having the manors of Coaley and Portishead, and her sister Elizabeth Nevill having Limeridge Wood in Portbury. Thomas Talbot's mother Joan, daughter and coheir of Thomas Cheddar, [GEC viii. 57] died in the same year as his grandmother and, as he was then only nineteen, the two inheritances were granted to William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, the father of Thomas's wife Margaret. Thomas sued his livery on 14 July 1469 and had possession of his lands, which were valued at 1,873 marks 12s. 3d. (or £1,249 5s. 7d.), but on 20 March 1470 he and his followers met William, his brothers Maurice and Thomas, and their supporters in the skirmish at Nibley Green, where Thomas Talbot was killed. His widow Margaret brought an action against William for the death of her husband, and, on petitions by both parties, an agreement was reached in parliament on 6 Oct. 1472 that William and his heirs should have the manors of Wotton, Symond's Hall and the other Berkeley lands which Talbot had inherited from his grandmother, paying to the viscountess £100 a year for her life. Shortly afterwards she married Henry Bodrugan and she quietly received the annuity for many years. Talbot's heirs were his sisters Margaret and Elizabeth, and when Margaret died without issue in 1475 Elizabeth became sole heir: days after her sister's death, her husband Edward Grey was created Lord Lisle on 14 March 1475. Grey was William's nephew, being the son of William's half-sister, but he immediately renewed the dispute. An agreement was made on 25 Feb. 1482 that Wotton and Symond's Hall, a rent of 34s. 4d. in Nibley and Sharncliffe, a sixth of Iron Acton, New Leaze, the Warth and Sages in Slimbridge, Westmancotes in Arlingham, etc., should be settled on William and his male issue, William to give Edward and Elizabeth an annuity of £20 during the life of the Viscountess Margaret and after her death £100, but the agreement does not seem to have been enforced.
William's first known wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Reginald West, Lord de la Warr (d. 1450) by Margaret (d. 1433), daughter and heir of Robert Thorley. [Smyth, ii. 138-9.] Smyth says that they were married in 1466, but since William was then forty or more and Elizabeth at least 33, and since their childless marriage ended in divorce in 1467, they were probably married much earlier. William then married Joan Strangeways, daughter of Katherine duchess of Norfolk by her second husband Thomas Strangeways. Joan was the widow of Sir William Willoughby to whom she was married by July 1461 when her half-brother, John duke of Norfolk, granted them the reversion of six Yorkshire manors held for life by Katherine, for their lives. Willoughby had died by Aug. 1468 and in the November following she married William Lord Berkeley. [In Aug. 1468, as Willoughby's widow, Joan was granted an annuity of 100 marks from the tunnage and poundage of London: CPR 1467-77, 107.] In June 1475 her nephew, John duke of Norfolk, granted to William and Joan the six Yorkshire manors, for the life of Joan, and his estate officials were instructed to accept them as occupiers. By Willoughby she had had two sons, Edward and Richard, and two daughters, Cecilia and Anne, and William was very generous to these stepchildren. In May 1480 he arranged with Richard Beauchamp, Lord St. Amand, for Anne Willoughby to marry Beauchamp's son and heir Sir John, and granted the couple his manor of Arlingham (Glos.) for their lives. He also seems to have been involved in the mariage of Cecilia Willoughby to Edward Dudley, who succeeded his grandfather John Sutton, Lord Dudley, in 1487, for in Dec. 1480 William and Joan entered into an indenture to pay Edward 500 marks. Edward Willoughby frequently acted as a feoffee for William, and William settled several manors from the Mowbray inheritance on Edward and Richard. [The reversion of Cherry Hinton (Cambs.) after the death of the duchess Elizabeth, Caludon (Warws.) in July 1488, and Kennett and Kentford (Cambs.) in Feb. 1488. Kennett and Kentford reverted to Henry Lord Berkeley in 1559-60 on the failure of the male issue of Edward and Richard Willoughby.] Joan gave William a son Thomas in 1470 and a daughter Katherine in 1474. Thomas was made a Knight of the Bath on 18 April 1475 (on the same occasion as the king's eldest son was made prince of Wales and his younger son duke of Norfolk), and in June contracts were made for his marriage to Mary, daughter of William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. In the same year the manor of Cam was settled on Katherine, but both Thomas and Katherine died shortly afterwards. Joan died in Feb. 1484 and in the summer of 1486 William married Anne, daughter of John Fiennes, Lord Dacre, but they had no issue. She outlived him, later married Sir Thomas Brandon and died in Sept. 1497.
William remained on close terms with his cousin John duke of Norfolk, and in 1467 John made a grant of timber at Haynes (Beds.) to William's creditors to void William's bond to them of 1,000 marks. William was named as John's coheir apparent in the grant, although John, while childless, was then only 23. John died in Jan. 1476, leaving an only daughter Anne, aged three. Edward IV moved immediately to secure the inheritance for his younger son Richard (born Aug. 1473) and on 28 May William Berkeley made over his title to the lands that he might inherit if Anne Mowbray died to Richard and his issue and the king, in exchange for a release from his bonds to the Talbots. Anne Mowbray died in Nov. 1481 but in Jan. 1483 an Act of Parliament vested the Norfolk inheritance in Richard for life, his heirs and the king's heirs, and Berkeley, who had been created Viscount Berkeley in April 1481, confirmed his renunciation of the inheritance. The king's death in April 1483 nullified the agreement. Soon after Richard III's accession Berkeley was created earl of Nottingham and the Mowbray inheritance was at last divided between the coheirs, Howard and Berkeley, [For the division of the inheritance, below, BCM/D Administrative history.] but in March 1484 Berkeley made an agreement with Richard and settled on the king a large proportion of the inheritance. Again, the agreement was nullified by Richard's death at Bosworth on 22 Aug. 1485 and with Henry VII's accession William Berkeley again started with a clean sheet, being created Earl Marshal on 19 Feb. 1486. [Howard had been created duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshal in 1483 but had been killed at Bosworth and attainted.] According to Smyth, he had disapproved of the marriage contracted by his brother and heir presumptive, Maurice, and therefore determined to disinherit him. From Feb. 1486 he began to alienate his inheritance in good earnest, and this time included the lordship of Berkeley itself. In Feb. 1486 he granted to Sir William Stanley his portion of Bromfield and Yale, in the following August he settled the reversion of six Berkeley manors on Thomas Grey, marquess of Dorset, and in Feb. 1488 he settled those and another on the king, adding another three in June 1488. Also settled on the king were Gower and numerous other Mowbray manors (all those in Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, the Brotherton manors in Susssex, and another ten in Surrey, Essex and Warwickshire). The Yorkshire and Lincolnshire lands, the manors in Buckinghamshire, and five other manors in Essex, Warwickshire, Sussex and Surrey were settled on Thomas Stanley, earl of Derby, two manors in Shropshire and Worcestershire on Humphrey Coningsby, three in Middlesex and Bedfordshire on Reginald Bray (including two also settled on the king), and four in Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire on his Willoughby stepsons (including two also settled on the king). That comprised his whole inheritance from the Mowbrays except for his eighth portion of Lewes which passed to his brother Maurice, despite an attempt to settle it on the king in 1490 [VCH Suss. vii. 5.] On 28 Jan. 1489 he was created marquess of Berkeley, a title which he enjoyed for three years before his death Feb. 1492. His brother Maurice, although 56 when William died, tackled the situation with vigour, and within seven years had recovered around fifty of the seventy Mowbray manors in England by challenging the legality of the alienations. Berkeley remained lost to the family, however, until the failure of the male issue of Henry VII with the death of Edward VI in 1553 restored it to Maurice's great-grandson Henry, born posthumously in 1534.