Project: Musgrave of Eden Hall

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The Stapleton marriage confusion

The marriage of two 15th century Stapleton sisters to two Musgrave brothers has created confusion. The profiles are:

Many pedigrees differ on which sisters married which brothers, and which sister first married William Hilton and had a child by him. Some summaries are frank in acknowledging confusion as to which sisters married which brothers. "Uncertain Musgrave (possibly Richard, Thomas or Simon)" [1]

The most common account, for which the case will be explained here, is that Thomas, eldest son, married Joan, who most of them report to be widow of William Hilton, while his younger brother Richard Musgrave married Joane's sister "Mary", who was apparently actually named Mariota.

In short summary, the key evidence will be shown to relate to the most senior member of the next generation of Musgraves, Richard Musgrave.

  • Male line. He seems to be described in a 1472 document as a son of Thomas and a grandson of Sir Richard Musgrave.
  • Mother. His IPM in 1491 mentions his mother Joane still alive as a widow. It is notable that his IPM does not mention any of her Stapleton manors as his, even though we know his family inherited them. This would make sense if his Stapleton ancestor out-lived him.

Early commentaries

Several (but not all) of the earliest antiquarians of the region report as per the common account, with some variations. Examples include Nicolson and Burn[2], and the 1563/4 Visitation of Yorkshire,[3] and Jefferson.[4]

Hutchinson[5] and the 1615 visitation[1] do not name the sister of Joan (who they both agree married Thomas), and Hutchinson reported this un-named sister to be the Hilton widow.

Ragg:[6]

Every printed pedigree that I have seen, and every MS. pedigree, every one even of the sixteenth century and seventeenth; is curiously wrong save one—that made by Sir John Lowther about 1640. But he gives only Richard's descendants, and alludes in no way to those of Thomas and Mariota, and this pedigree itself is confused and very troublesome to make out.

Hale:[7]

If you consult Nicolson and Burn, Hutchinson or Dugdale, you will find that Joan is given as the wife of Thomas Musgrave of Edenhall, and only Denton, to whose accuracy Dr. Wilson lately paid a tribute, correctly states that it was MARIOTA who married that particular Musgrave (Accompt, Tract Series, p. 120).

Denton reported a marriage year for Mariota and Thomas of 39 Henry VI, which means 1460 or 1461.[8]

Various modern authors including Hale approximate the date of 1458 for the other marriage:

The marriage of Richard Musgrave, Kt, second son of Sir Richard Musgrave of Hartley, to Johan, daughter and one of the heirs of William Stapleton, took place about 1458.[9]

According to Ragg's pedigree, this would be after the death of Thomas in 1457, and that is probably correct.

20th century doubts

Although Thomas was generally described as the eldest son, Richard's descendants came to possess Edenhall. In Ragg's words, "The family which came into possession of Edenhall was that of the second son, Richard Musgrave, and the elder Stapelton daughter, Joan, widow of William Hilton.[6]

In the 20th century, Ragg and Hale have argued directly from the primary records (and in agreement with old pedigrees by Denton and Lowther) that it was Thomas Musgrave who married Mariota Stapleton about the year 1450, whereby the Musgrave family came into possession of Edenhall. Hale notes as evidence:

  • The right-hand glass in the north window in the church at Edenhall shows the arms of MUSGRAVE impaling STAPLETON, with the inscription "Richard Musgrave Knight maried Johan, daughter and one of the heirs of William Stapleton". (It is not clear when this was done.)
  • "Denton, to whose accuracy Dr. Wilson lately paid a tribute, correctly states that it was MARIOTA who married that particular Musgrave (Accompt, Tract Series, p. 120)"
  • The inquisition post mortem of William Stapleton is quite conclusive: Mariota qui fuit uxor Thome Musgrave armigeri defuncti.[7]

Ragg states: -

Every printed pedigree that I have seen, and every MS. pedigree, every one even of the sixteenth century and seventeenth; is curiously wrong save one—that made by Sir John Lowther about 1640. But he gives only Richard's descendants, and alludes in no way to those of Thomas and Mariota, and this pedigree itself is confused and very troublesome to make out. The inscription existing in Rev. J. Hodgson's time in Kirkby Stephen Church tells us, in its pathetic way, what happened:
Hic jacet Ricardus Musgrave, miles, juxta Elizabetham uxorem ejus et Thomam filium et heredem eorum ; qui obiit IX° die mensis Novembris A.D. MCCCCLXIIII (9 November 1464) cujus anime propitietur Deus. Amen.'
Thomas, this son and heir, died before 1457, before his father. He left daughters only, and the whole Edenhall inheritance, as well as the Musgrave, went to his younger brother Richard and Richard's descendants

1457 was the year of William Stapleton's IPM which mention (to use Brownbill's words: "clearly states that Joan was the widow of William Hilton and Mariota the widow of Thomas Musgrave. The inquisition after the death of Margaret Stapilton (1469) seems to have agreed with that of her husband William, but is now almost illegible."[10] (He cites Chan. Inq. p.m. 36 Hen. VI, no. 48.) Ragg's own reading of the Stapleton IPMs can be further considered by reading his Maulds Meaburn article: [11]

William de Stapilton the younger, died in 1458, leaving two daughters as co-heiresses, who at that time (Inquisitio post mortem, 36 Henry VI., No. 48) were widows, and at the time of Margaret's death in 1469 (Inquisitio post mortem, 8 Edward IV., No. 40) were returned as one of the age of 55, and the other of (perhaps) 49. [Note: in his Edenhall article he read it as 40.]

Note, Brownbill himself says that the IPM of William "clearly" makes Joan and Mariota both widows already in 1457 - Joan of William Hilton and Mariota of Thomas Musgrave. (The brother of Thomas, Richard, had according to Ragg not yet married.)

These concerns therefore are well justified, but the specific solution proposed by Ragg in his Edenhall article has not gained any consensus, and has arguably been proven wrong. He made Richard Musgrave who died 1491, plus all his brothers, offspring of Richard and Joan (not Thomas and Joan, and not Richard and Mariota), while allowing all the sisters of this Richard to remain with Thomas, becoming first cousins.

Brownbill's response to Ragg

John Brownbill gave a short reply to Ragg, which cited THB Graham as a preferred pedigree, making Joan the wife of Thomas.[10]

Brownbill cites several records:

First Surtees, Durham ii, 31, and the Deputy Keeper’s Report, xxxv, 118 (not an edition which is online). Quoting directly from the first of these:

Indent. made at Houghton 6 Feb. 14 Booth, 1471, between Wyllyam, Baron of Hilton, and Richard Musgrave the elder, and Marye his wyff, mother of the said Baron: the sayd Richard and Marye shall kepe styll all the ffeoffaments she hath at this daye, and the said Baron shall paye, &c. to the said Marye, for her lyff, for all her part of his endowing, 23l. 6s. 8d. at Whitsontyde and Martynmasse. Rot. Booth, a° 14.[12]

THB Graham was not only cited by Brownbill on this subject but also then cited Brownbill's discussion. In 1931[13] he added to the evidence relevant to this a source cited by Nicolson and Burn:

William and Margaret had two daughters coheirs ; Mary married to Sir William Hilton of Hilton, and afterwards to Richard Musgrave second son of Sir Richard Musgrave of Hartley castle ; and Joan married to Thomas Musgrave elder son and heir of the said Sir Richard. They were heirs of Edenhall as well as of Alston-moor. And in the 9 Ed. 4. there was a partition executed between Richard Musgrave and Mary his wife of the one parr, and Johan relict of Thomas Musgrave of the other part ; whereby it was agreed, that Alston moor should go to the said Richard Musgrave and Mary his wife and the heirs of the said Mary, and that Edenhall should go to the said Joan and her heirs.[14]

The editors of the Complete Peerage agreed with Brownbill about this and found another perhaps less convincing sighting of a Richard Musgrave with a wife named Mary, but in York.[15]

Second, Calendar of the Patent Rolls for 1467-77, p.215.[16] This is only a 1470 pardon list which mentions two people living in Edenhall named William Musgrave Esq. and Joan Musgrave, widow. This is in a very big list. Nevertheless Brownbill finds it likely that this is one of the Stapleton wives, already thus a widow the year before the above record mentioning Richard and Mary.

Third, he cites the Close Rolls for 1480, 20th year of Edward IV.[17] These describe "Richard Musgrave esquire, kinsman and heir of Richard Musgrave knight, to wit son of Thomas son of Sir Richard Musgrave". Both the father (Thomas) and the grand father (Sir Richard) are dead, and the grand father Sir Richard clearly had a close connection to the Betham family. The living Richard is clearly considered the heir.

Fourth Brownbill also suggests that there is evidence that Richard (d. 1491) was still alive in 1485 at the same time as an elder Richard. He refers to the Calendar of the Patent Rolls 1476-85, pp. 214 (mentions both, and 545 (only mentions "the younger" Richard); and 1485-94, p.504 (only mentions Richard "the elder"). (Note that given the Close Rolls record, if Richard the brother of Thomas was still alive in 1480 he was not his father's heir, so not the oldest son.)

While Brownbill does not dispose of the problem Ragg explains, he does successfully criticize Ragg's proposed "solution". Brownbill correctly points out that it seems impossible for Richard who died 1491 to have had a 30 year old son if his own parents had not married until after 1457. The Close Rolls record also seems to show the male line going Richard-Thomas-Richard in a relatively clear way.

Brownbill says in conclusion that: "The pedigree in Transactions N.S. Xi, 54, will therefore stand". He is referring to the pedigree by THB Graham in his Border Manors article in which Thomas as usual has all of the sons, but his wife is Joan, not Mary. [18]

Therefore based on Brownbill proposes:

  • Mariota Stapleton first married William Hilton and was the mother of young William Hilton
  • Joanna Stapleton married Thomas Musgrave, and they had as children at least Richard who was son and heir in the main line of Musgraves.
  • Mariota Stapleton married secondly to Richard Musgrave

It seems worth remarking, given the uncertainties, that Brownbill's equation of the names Mariota and Mary is not automatically acceptable.

Also see the IPM of 1491 (below) which shows Joane to be the mother of Richard who died then, and apparently still holding the manors of Edenhall and Alston. (But note that Ragg and Brownbill agree that the mother of that Richard is Joane Stapleton.)

Further evidence

Here is what we find in the Westmorland IPM for Richard, the head of the family in the next generation.

693 RICHARD MUSGRAVE, esq.[19]

Writ 25 Aug., inq. Saturday before St. Luke the Evangelist, 7 Hen. VII.
By deed dated 18 Oct., 17 Edw. IV, he enfeoffed Richard, late Duke of Gloucester, Thomas Middelton of Lonysdale, esq., Joan Musgrave, widow, his mother, William Musgrave, esq., and Richard Middelton, esq., now deceased, and John Musgrave, then esquire, now knight, who survives, of the under-mentioned castle and lands, to his own use.

He died 10 August last. Edward Musgrave, aged 30, is his son and heir.

WESTMD. The castle and manor of Hertlay, worth 40l., the manor of Crosbe Garet, worth 20 marks, the manor of Great Musgrave, worth 20 marks, the manor of Little Musgrave, worth 20l., the manor of Morton, worth 4l., and the manor of Soulby, worth 5l., held severally of Henry Lord Clyfford, and Lord of Westmerland, by cornage, viz. by a rent to the said Lord Clyfford of 12s. 4d. yearly for the castle and manor of Hertley, 10s. 2d. for the manor of Crosbe Garet, 4s. 2d. for the manor of Great Musgrave, 11s. 2d. for the manor of Little Musgrave, 6s. for the manor of Morton, and 14s. 8d for the manor of Soulby.
C. Series II. Vol. 7. (14.) E. Series II. File. 114. (3.)

Note that his mother may have still been alive (the updates about people do not mention her dying) but was certainly alive 1477. That she was dead is implied by the IPM for Cumberland, showing that he was now lord of her Stapleton inheritance of Edenhall:[20]

695 RICHARD MUSGRAVE, esq.

Writ 25 Aug., inq. Wednesday before St. Luke the Evangelist, 7 Hen. VII.
He died 10 Aug. last, seised of the under-mentioned manors and lands in fee. Edward Musgrave, aged 30, is his son and heir.
CUMB. Manor of Eddynhall, worth 30s., held of the King in chief, by service of 1/4 of a knight’s fee, and by rendering 10 skeps of oats and 33s. 4d. at Michaelmas yearly to the King’s foresters of Ingelwode.
Manor of Hotton, worth 6s. 8d., held of the King in chief, by service of 1/10 of a knight’s fee, and 4s. rent at Michaelmas yearly.
A messuage and 6a. land in Hotton, worth 10s., held of the King in chief, by service of 1/15 of a knight’s fee, and 4s. rent at. Michaelmas yearly.
Manor of Bocherdby, worth 40s., held of the King in chief, by cornage, by a rent of 5s. at Michaelmas yearly to the King’s Exchequer of Carlisle.
A fourth part of the manor of Kargo, worth 10s., held of Thomas Parr, as of the manor of Steynton, co. Cumb. service unknown.
Three messuages, 9a. land and 3a. meadow in Ughtersyde, worth 20s., held of Guy Farfax, knt., and others, joint feoffees of Henry, late Earl of Northumberland, as of the manor of Aspatre, co. Cumb., service unknown.
A messuage and 4a. land in Sebereham, worth 6s. 8d., held of the King by a fee farm of 13s. 4d. at Whitsuntide and Martlemas yearly, for all service.
C. Series II. Vol. 7. (16.) E. Series II. File 114. (2.)

Next generation

The disagreement concerning which brother was married to which sister carries to the next generation in terms of which of the sister were the parents of which children.

(And in the case of Ragg, there is even disagreement about which Musgrave husband had which children, but he is exceptional in this.)

Most pedigrees which mention children apart from Richard (d.1491), mention that all or most of the children were to Richard and Joanne. Many old sources first list boys, then girls, but the 1615 visitation gives a list of these children from oldest to youngest:[1]

  • Margaret. m. John Sandford
  • Richard Musgrave. Eldest son and heir, already discussed above. m. Joan de Clifford
  • Eleanor. m. Christopher Lancaster
  • John. m (1) Crackenthorpe and (2) Dudley. (Sometimes said to have founded a line based in Musgrave Hall and Fairbank, but see his article.)
  • Nicholas Musgrave of Hayton. (Some sources place as 4th son, some as 3rd.) m. Margaret Colvill, co-heiress of Tilioll. Had issue.
  • William of Crookdake (or Crookdyke etc). (Some sources place as 4th son, some as 3rd.) m. (1) Phyllis Colvill, younger co-heiress of Tilioll and (2) a widow. Had issue.
  • Isabella. m. John Crackenthorp, Esq. of Newbiggin

Sometimes added to this family:

  • Mary. m. Nicolas Ridley. But for example see the 1563/4 and 1615 visitations where she is the one child clearly set apart for Richard Musgrave and Joanne's apparent sister called there "Mary" (and named there as the widow of one William Hylton and father of another).[3][1]

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Heraldic Visitation of Westmoreland, Made in the Year 1615, by Sir ... By College of Arms (Great Britain), page 7
  2. Nicolson and Burn Vol.1 [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Visitations of Yorkshire in the Years 1563 and 1564: Made by William ...edited by Charles Best Norcliffe, page 217
  4. The history and antiquities of Cumberland [2]
  5. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t5s75nm5z?urlappend=%3Bseq=367
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rev. Frederick W. Ragg (1913) The Earlier Owners of Edenhall, TCWAAS, [3]
  7. 7.0 7.1 Edenhall Church and its Glass. By the Rev. Bernard G. R. Hale, M.A., and Francis Haswell, M.D. Read at the Church, September 6th, 1912. pages 228-233. [4]
  8. Denton [5]
  9. George Watson (1897) Two Lintel Inscriptions, TCWAAS, [6]
  10. 10.0 10.1 John Brownbill, M.A. The Musgrave Pedigree. Addenda Antiquaria, pp. 340-342 http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archiveDS/archiveDownload?t=arch-2055-1/dissemination/pdf/Article_Level_Pdf/tcwaas/002/1929/vol29/tcwaas_002_1929_vol29_0030.pdf. Accessed March 11, 2017. jhd
  11. Ragg (1911) Maulds Meaburn, TCWAAS [7]
  12. Robert Surtees, 'Parish of Monk-Wearmouth', in The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 2, Chester Ward (London, 1820), pp. 1-39. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/antiquities-durham/vol2/pp1-39 [accessed 15 March 2017].
  13. THB Graham (1931) Alston, TCWAAS, [8]
  14. Nicolson and Burn Vol.2 p.439.
  15. Complete Peerage 2nd ed. Vol.9 p.437 footnote.
  16. https://www.archive.org/stream/calendarpatentr05blacgoog#page/n225/mode/1up
  17. 'Close Rolls, Edward IV: 1472', in Calendar of Close Rolls, Edward IV, Edward V, Richard III 1476-1485, ed. K H Ledward (London, 1954), pp. 205-206. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-close-rolls/edw4/1476-85/pp205-206 [accessed 16 March 2017].
  18. THB Graham (1911) Border Manors, TCWAAS [9]
  19. Maskelyne and H. C. Maxwell Lyte, 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, Entries 651-700', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Series 2, Volume 1, Henry VII (London, 1898), pp. 266-295. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/series2-vol1/pp266-295 [accessed 13 March 2017].
  20. Maskelyne and H. C. Maxwell Lyte, 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, Entries 651-700', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Series 2, Volume 1, Henry VII (London, 1898), pp. 266-295. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/series2-vol1/pp266-295 [accessed 17 March 2017].


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