By G. E. C[okayne].
Revised and Much Enlarged
Edited by H. A. Doubleday and Lord Howard de Walden
Moels to Nuneham
The St. Catherine Press
Stamford Street S.E.
The first Lord Mountjoy descended, through younger sons in several generations, from William le Blund (Blundus--fair-haired), who m. Isabel, widow of Henry Lovet, of Elmley Lovet and Hampton Lovet, co. Worcester,(b) which Henry d. under age about 1256. William le Blund and his brother Walter were accused in Aug. 1265, before the commissioners appointed under the Dictum of Kenilworth, of unlawful violence at Quinton, Northants.(c) Tradition says that the abovesaid Isabel was a Beauchamp.(d) The record of the assizes held at Worcester, 1275, contains several references to William le Blund. He was there
(a) The earlier portion of this article has been largely documented by Miss Ethel Stokes.
(b) Isabel la Blund, formerly wife of Henry Lovet, presented to Elmley Lovet in right of dower, June 1316 (Reg. of Bishop Maydston--apparently unprinted--cited by Nash, Worcestershire, vol. i, p. 379). John Lovet, s. and h. of Henry (Coram Rege Roll, Trin. 19 Edw. II, rot. 172 d; Assize Roll 1026, rot. 17 d), granted the manor of Timberlake to his mother, Dame Isabel, wife of William le Blount (Croke, The Croke Family, vol. ii, pp. 778, 779), and released a rent to his brother Walter le Blount (Idem, p. 779).
(c) In their defence they produced evidence that they were "out" with John Giffard, who had obtained the King's pardon for himself and his followers for all offences in connection with the late disturbances till 9 Oct. 1265 (Hunter, Rotuli Selecti, p. 185; Cal. Patent Rolls, 1258-66, p. 460).
(d) Query a da. of William Beauchamp of Elmley Castle, overlord of Elmley Lovet and Hampton Lovet, by Isabel Mauduit, sister and ultimately heir of William Mauduit, Earl of Warwick. Her Blount descendants frequently used two variants of the Beauchamp arms--viz. (a) gules, a fess between 6 martlets or; (b) gules, a fess between 6 crosses crosslet or. Croke (op. cit., vol. ii, p. 131) engraves the seal of her son Piers le Blount, which contains 4 shields of arms; at the top, (a) above; beneath (1) a fess between 6 wolves' heads erased (Lovet); (2) barry nebuly of 6, or and sable (Blount); (3), (b) above.
pledge for [his stepson] John Lovet, and (since there is no differentiating description of either) is presumably the William le Blund who, as s. and h. of John le Blund, s. and h. of Walter de Blund, was found to be heir to lands in Doverdale (a parish adjoining Hampton Lovet) which had belonged to Amice, da.of the said Walter.(a) The abovesaid William and Isabel, in addition to their Worcestershire property, held the manor of Belton in Rutland,(b) and there seems to have been a close connection between this family and the family of the same name in Hanslope, Bucks.(c) William le Blund appears to have d. in the Spring of 1280.(d) His widow was living in Feb. 1322/3.(e)
WALTER LE BLOUNT, 3rd s. of William and Isabel abovenamed, was in 1313 of the Lancastrian party against Gavaston. In 1318 and 1321 he was Knight of the Shire for Worcester, and in 1322 was summoned for personal service against the Scots.(f) He m. before Feb. 1294,(g)
(a) Assize Roll 1206, rot. 2 d, 16.
(b) At Easter 1268 Geoffrey le Venur acknowledged he held from William le Blount and Isabel his wife half a knight's fee in Peauton (Belton), Rutland (Assize Roll 721, rot. 1); in 1271 William and Isabel were parties, with Walter le Blund, presumably his brother abovenamed, to a settlement of land there, in consideration of which they gave him land in Marsworth, Bucks (Feet of Fines, Rutland, file 3, no. 73).
(c) Such a connection would be a natural one in view of that between the Beauchamps of Elmley Castle, their overlords in Worcestershire, and William Mauduit, Earl of Warwick, lord of Hanslope. In the 13th century Sir Piers and Sir William le Blund, Kts., witness undated deeds at Hanslope (see the Beauchamp Cartulary, Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 28024, fl. 26, 30 d, 31 &c). In 1242/3 Piers le Blund held 1/4 fee in Hanslope of the new feoffment (Book of Fees, p. 873), which was held in 1279 by William le Blount, by Piers le Blount in 1302, and by William le Blount in 1316 (Hundred Rolls, vol. ii, p. 344; Feudal Aids, vol. i, p. 106; Cal. Inq. p. m., vol. v, p. 402), the last three names occurring in sequence and time as they do in the family of co. Worcester and Rutland. Isabel la Blounde herself held leasehold land in Hanslope before 1296 (Beauchamp Cartul., fo. 24 d). Piers le Blount, s. of William and Isabel, was rector of Hanslope (Reg. of Bishop Ginsborough, Worcs. Hist. Soc., p. 152), and presented Master Thurstan de Hamslap to Hampton Lovet in 1303, and Ralph le Blound, clerk, in 1306 (Idem, pp. 43, 149).
(d) His death before 4 Apr. 8 Edw. I is implied in the faulty record of proceedings at the Worcester assizes (Assize Roll 1029, rot. 3).
(e) When John and Walter, sons of [her son] Walter le Blount, reconveyed to the Lady Isabel le Blount her life interest in the manor of Timberlake (see ante, p. 329, note "b"), which she had granted to her son Piers, then dead (Egerton Charter 605; Croke, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 780). Their deed is witnessed by Sir William le Blount and Thomas le Blount, kts. Her seal is attached to B.M. Add, Chr. 55540, and seems to be a crowned figure of the Virgin, with the legend AVE MARIA GRATIA PLENA.
(f) Parl. Writs.
(g) Brit. Mus. Add. Chr. 55541.
possibly as 2nd wife, Joan, sister and coh. of William de SODINGTON, who had been heir of his brother Ralph.(a) He d. before May 1324.(b) She was living in 1331.(c)
JOHN LE BLOUNT, 2nd s. of Walter and Joan abovenamed, was in 1324 a practised soldier belonging to Worcestershire.(d) In 1337, being then a knight, he was found heir to elder brother, Wiliam Blount [Lord Blount].(e) He was joint commissioner in Worcestershire in 1344, to inquire as to holders of land.(f) He served in Gascony under Henry, Earl of Lancaster, and afterwards, 1347, under the King at the siege of Calais, till Edward's return to England.(g) In Oct. 1350 he was undertaking a pilgrimage to Santiago.(h) He m. Isoude.(i) He d. in 1358.(j)
WALTER LE BLOUNT, 3rd son(k) of John and Isoude abovenamed, was b. about 1348. He became a noted soldier, and appears to have acquired a great fortune. Tradition says that he fought at Najera
(a) Assize Roll 1329, rot. 9. She and her coparceners obtained certificates of their legitimacy in 1303 (Reg. of Bishop Ginsborough, pp. 74, 75).
(b) When his name is absent from the returns of the sheriff of Worcs., which includes his three sons: the eldest, Sir William, a non-resident landholder; John and Walter, the 2nd and 3rd, experienced soldiers, but landless (Parl. Writs). This Sir William was sum. to Parl. in 1330. See BLOUNT, where, however, the statement that Joan was da. of Ralph Sodington needs correction, she being sister of the Ralph referred to, as stated in text above.
(c) Croke, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 779. (d) See note "b" above.
(e) Cal. Inq. p. m. vol. viii, no. 115, according to which he was then aged 30.
(f) Cal. Patent Rolls, 1343-45, p. 415.
(g) Wrottesley, Crecy and Calais, p. 175.
(h) Cal. Patent Rolls, 1348-50, p. 572.
(i) According to tradition, Isoude de Mountjoy. The mystery of her parentage has not been solved. The release by John le Blount in 1374 to his brother Walter of all his rights in lands in Gayton, Yeldersley, Brushfield, &c. (Croke, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 171), which were Mountjoy manors in the 13th and 14th centuries (Jeayes, Derbyshire Charters, no. 1608, et seq.), suggests that a portion of the Mountjoy estates had descended by inheritance to John, then eldest surviving son of John le Blount and Isoude. It was a portion only, because (i) Gayton and Yeldersley, &c, descended through the marriage of Isoude (da. and h. of Serle de Mountjoy, s. and h. of Ralph de Mountjoy) to Robert de Ireland (Plac. de Quo Warranto, p. 155); the family of Ireland were still holding temp. Henr VII (Feudal Aids, vol. i, p. 250 et seq.; Jeayes, op. cit., no 2731); (ii) the receipt given by Madam Wake in 1359 for evidences belonging to Richard Blount, the young heir of John and Isoude, refers to vint oyt feetes en un boist del heritage le mere le dit Richard et ses parceners des tenements en le Pek, &c. (Harl. MS. 6709, fo. 119 d).
(j) Cal. Inqu. p. m., vol. x, no. 431, his s. and h. Richard being then aged 13.
(k) Croke, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 781.
(3 Apr. 1367) under John of Gaunt. He was apparently in the Duke's service in 1369,(a) and was already a knight in Mar. 1371/2.(b) In Jan. 1372/3 the Duke appointed him constable of Tutbury Castle for life,(c) and the following May he entered into a contract to serve the Duke, in peace and in war, for the term of his life.(d) Soon after his marriage he acquired lands, which seem to have been part of the Mountjoy property, from his brother John.(e) In Mar. 1377/8 he was in the train of John of Gaunt, King of Castile and Leon, setting out overseas.(f) He was J.P. for Staffs in 1380, and for Derbyshire in 1388.(g) In 1386 he was setting out again for Spain in the company of his patron.(h) In 1392 he was a commissioner of array in Staff,(i) and in 1393 to treat with Spain as to peace.(j) He and Sancha his wife obtained Papal indults for portable altars in 1394.(k) In 1398 John of Gaunt made him one of his executors.(l) He was chosen a Knight of the Shire for Derby in 1399, after the accession of Henry IV, who continued him in favour; in Feb. 1399/1400 he was receiving instructions for an embassy to Portugal, Spain and Aragon, and in Aug. 1401 was sum. to a Council.(m) In the same year he was a commissioner of oyer and terminer; (n) and the King sent him to Ireland in attendance
(a) When the Duke was witness at Hazlewood, co. Derby, to his deed selling land there (Jeayes, op. cit., no. 1376).
(b) John of Gaunt's Register (Royal Hist. Soc.), no. 913.
(c) Idem, no. 606.
(d) Idem, no. 855.
(e) Idem, nos. 606, 855, 913. In 1381 he acquired the Bakepuiz estates in Derbyshire (Barton Blount, &c.) and other counties from Nicholas de Bakepuiz (Croke, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 797). In 1394 settlement was made of the Belton and Hampton Lovet estates, which had descended to Alice, wife of Sir Richard Stury, heir of the eldest son of Sir William le Blund and Isabel first abovenamed. In the event of her death, s.p., Sir Walter was to hold for life, and his son John in tail male (Feet of Fines, Divers Cos., 56/250). Alice d.s.p., in 1414 (Ch. Inq. p. m., 2 Hen. V, no. 27), but Sir Walter acquired the property before her death, because Belton was among the estates which his feoffees settled on his widow in 1413 (Croke, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 795) with remainders to her sons Sir John Blount, Thomas, James and Piers, who were all living when she made her will.
(f) Rymer, vol. vii, p. 186. His account for his voyage to treat with the ambassadors of the King of Castile, 31 July 1378 to 15 May 1379 is preserved (Exchr., K.R., Accs. 318/15). He is described in John of Gaunt's Register, no. 692, as "nostre tres cher and tres ame chivaler monsire Wauter Blount."
(g) Cal. Patent Rolls, 1377-81, p. 514, &c.
(h) William Salt Soc. Collections, vol. xiv, p. 243.
(i) Cal. Patent Rolls, 1391-96, p. 92. (j) Rymer, vol. vii, p. 743.
(k) Cal. Papal Letters, vol. iv, p. 495.
(l) Nicolas, Testamenta Vetusta, p. 143.
(m) Nicolas, Proceedings of the P.C., vol. i, pp. 159, 111.
(n) Cal. Patent Rolls, 1399-1401, p. 463.
on his son Thomas of Lancaster, whom he made Lieutenant.(a) When Percy revolted in 1403 he fought for the King at Shrewsbury, 21 July, and was slain.(b) He m., circa 1373, Sancha, da. of Don Diego GOMEZ, alcalde maior Toledo, by Dona Inez de AYALA. She was a Spanish lady who came to England in Dec. 1371 in the service of Constance of Castile, John of Gaunt's 2nd wife.(c) He d. as abovesaid, 21 July 1403, and was bur. at St. Mary's, the Newark, Leicester. Will dat. at Liverpool, 16 Dec. 1401, pr. 1 Aug. 1403.(d) His widow founded a chantry in the hospital of St. Leonard at Alkmonton (co. Derby) in 1406(e) She made her will in 1415, desiring to be bur. beside her husband at the Newark, Leicester,(f) where her mistress Constance was interred.(g)...
(a) Cal. Patent Rolls, 1401-5, pp. 106, 244. He was accompanied by his son James. He was called in the Irish Chancery magister filii rgis (R. Pat. Hibern., vol. i, p. 172).
(b) The legend that the Earl of Stafford and Sir Walter Blount were, for the King's protection, apparelled like him, and so slain by Douglas, which is embodied by Shakespeare in his Henry IV, seems to be of a later growth, for Walsingham and Annales Henry IV, both contemporary, merely state that they with others made a stand round the King's banner, and were killed.
(c) Croke, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 174, gives a pedigree of Ayala back to the 11th century "from authentic Spanish authorities," but if it be no better than his pedigree of Mountjoy (Idem, p. 136), it is useless. For the quartering of the arms of Ayala before Blount, see Dingley's History from Marble (Camden Soc.), pp. 146, 147.
(d) He names his wife Sancha and sons John, Thomas and James. His brohter John Blount was an executor (Croke, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 797). Sir Walter is one of the characters in Shakespeare's Henry IV, where the King calls him "a dear and true industrious friend."
(e) Croke, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 184, 798.
(f) Idem, p. 798. Leland, circa 1545, saw the tombs in the church, on the south side of the nave (Itin., vol. i, p. 17).
(g) In 1422 Thomas (Beaufort), Duke of Exeter, gave to Thoms Blount 1,000 marks (presumably trust money) to found a chantry in the Newark, Leicester, for 10 priests to celebrate for the souls of Sir John Blount and his parents Sir Walter and Dame Sancha (Croke, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 803)....
Seal of Walter le Blount
Seal of Piers le Blount