Sir Lewis Pollard (c. 1465-1526), of Bishop's Nympton, King's Nympton, and Oakford
Lewis Pollard was born c. 1465 at Roborough, Torridge, North Devon, England. He was the son of Robert Pollard and Margaret Lewknor, the daughter of Lewknor of Sussex, Esq. His father was the second son of John Pollard of Way. As the second son, Robert's father settled on him the lands of Roborow (Roborough), about 5 miles southeast of Great-Torrington. This is probably the place where Lewis was born.
When Sir Robert Chichester appointed Sir Lewis Pollerd as one of the trustees for his son, John Chichester, the name was spelled "Pollerd" in all instances except one.
Children of Lewis and Agnes (not necessarily in order of birth):
According to Prince, four of the sons were knighted: Sir Hugh, Sir John, Sir Richard, and Sir George. Many of the daughters married to knights; the first to Sir Hugh Stukely of Affton, the second to Sir Hugh Courtenay of Powderham, the third to Sir Hugh Pawlet of Stamford-peverel, the fourth to Sir John Crocker of Limeham.
Lewis definitely resided at Grilstone, in the parish of Bishop's Nympton prior to purchasing King's Nympton just to the southwest. He probably removed from there to King's Nympton. According to Hoskins, at Grilstone, in the church of St. Mary, at the end of the Pollard isle, there had been a stained glass window depicting Sir Lewis, his wife, and their twenty-two children. He is also said by Hoskins to be buried in the unmarked alter-tomb in the chancel at St. Mary. In a reference to Lewis' daughter's marriage, he is still called "Sir Lewis Pollard of Bishop's Nympton." However, John Prince believes this is an error in the writing of Fuller, and that the above window was never at Bishop's Nympton, but was at King's Nympton.
Lewis bought King's Nympton in August 1507 for £203 from Sir Charles Brandon, later duke of Suffolk, and Dame Margaret, his wife. He made a deer park there in the late 15th century, and built a great mansion. King's Nympton became the family home for the next century, until it was sold by his great-great-great grandson, Sir Hugh Pollard, 2nd Baronet to his cousin, Sir Arthur Northcote, 2nd Baronet.
Lewis was a prominent lawyer and judge. He was chosen in 1502 as reader of the Middle Temple of London, one of only four Inns of Court which are entitled to call their members barristers. He received the degree of the coif in 1503. On July 9, 1507, he was made the kings sergeant at law amidst a great celebration at Lambeth, with the king and a thousand guests in attendance. He was also made kings sergeant on the accession of the next king, Henry VIII. Lewis served as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas from 1514 to 1526. His apparent successor was Thomas Englefield, appointed about the end of 1526.
In dei nomine Amen. Quarto die Novembris ... [17 Henry VIII] [4 Nov 1525] ... Lodevicus Pollard ... profits of my manor of Ockeford to pray for my soule my father my mother my uncle maister Lewis Pollard ... my Lady of Canon Legh ... toward the ... of her church ... and my daughter ?Dame Margaret ... and every of the other ladies there ... Bisshopps Nymton ... parishe church of Ockeford ... parishe church of Kings Nympton ... brother Thomas Pollard ... sonne John Pollard .... Annes my wife ... will lyve sole and not marry ageyn and kepe well my children I will that she and Hugh Pollard my sonne have the residue of all my goodes ... Richard Pollard my sonne ... sonne John Pollard ... sonne Antonye Pollard ... godson Lewes Stewkely ... witnesses Antony Pollard Squier Thomas Hext gent ...
Lewis is sometimes said to have died in 1526 at Ockeford (Oakford), Devon, England. His will may have been dated November 2, 1526(?), although the excerpt found online seems to be dated November 4, 1526. According to Prince, Lewis died in 1540 and was buried in the church at King's Nympton, under the portrait of his family.
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