Unpublished IPMs: John Colshull, knight, Cornwall, 1418

The IPM into the Cornish lands of Sir John Colshull has been calendared as CIPM xxi.121, but incompletely. The calendar text has a number of gaps and the last third of the IPM has been reduced to just a few disconnected phrases, followed by the statement ‘remainder mostly illegible'. Both the Chancery and Exchequer copies of the IPM are indeed difficult in parts, but between them, and with the use of an ultra-violet lamp, it has been possible to work out the entire text. It was also found that the calendar entry's first paragraph did not accurately represent the original text, so the entire entry is reproduced below with the first paragraph corrected, the gaps filled and the final third inserted. For convenience passages which in CIPM xxi.121 are represented by cross-references to identical passages in Colshull's Devon IPM (xxi.120) are here set out in extenso.

A previously unpublished writ requiring the assignment of dower in Cornwall to his widow Ann also appears below, after the IPM. The writ is in the Exchequer file next to her husband's IPM, but the assignment itself is not extant.

John Colshull was the son of another John Colshull, a London vintner and royal servant who within months after the execution for treason of Chief Justice Tresillian had married his widow Emmeline, née Huish, by whom he acquired her family's lands in Cornwall and Devon.[1. http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1386-1421/member/colshull-john-i-1413.] They both died in 1413, when their son John, aged 22, inherited 15 manors in Cornwall and Devon and the castle and isles of Scilly (this IPM provides the delightful information that the annual feudal service owed to the duchy of Cornwall for Scilly was 100 puffins). He seemed destined for a career as a landowner and soldier, but died just five years after his parents, aged 27.[2. His father has no IPM; that of his mother, dated 27 Oct. 1413, is CIPM xx.68.]


His IPMs record that on 3 April 1418 he granted many of his lands to feoffees in anticipation of his death overseas on military service.[3. A similar grant, made in the same circumstances, was recorded in the Gloucestershire IPM of Gilbert, lord Talbot - see the recent blog post of its previously unpublished text.] If he died overseas then his wife was to have a life interest in one manor and the profits of the rest were to be used to repay his and his father's debts, to provide dowries for his two daughters, and to bring up any further child as yet unborn. If he returned safe then the properties were to return to him.

It seems likely that he did in fact die in the wars in France. There is an antiquarian tradition that he died at Agincourt,[4. For example, Davies Gilbert, Parochial History of Cornwall (1838), i, 418.] which is chronologically impossible but may represent a garbled conflation of presence at Agincourt with death in the 1418 conquest of Normandy. His April 1418 grant in anticipation of overseas service was made at the time when reinforcements for the army in Normandy were gathering in the Channel embarkation ports, [5. CPR 1416-22, 201; J.H. Wylie, The Reign of Henry the Fifth, iii (London, 1929), p. 113.] and the IPM records that he died on 12 July 1418, when the campaign was in full swing.

There seems to be no record of his involvement in either the initial invasion of Normandy in 1417 or the completion of the conquest in 1418, but he had certainly been active in earlier years. In 1415 he had letters of protection to serve with Sir Edward Courtenay in the Agincourt campaign, and in 1416 he contracted jointly with Sir John Arundell of Lanherne to serve at sea with a force of 120 men. His former captain Sir Edward Courtenay went to France in 1417 as part of the duke of Gloucester's retinue, which in July 1418 was besieging Cherbourg, so Colshull might possibly have died there (his name does not appear among Courtenay's retainers in the original 1417 muster, but he might perhaps have joined it as a reinforcement in 1418). Alternatively, his erstwhile colleague Sir John Arundell was also active in 1418, vice-admiral of a fleet operating in the channel, and it may be that Colshull was part of that force when he died. [6. The Soldier in later Medieval England database at www.medievalsoldier.org; TNA, E 101/69/8/541; Wylie, Henry V, iii, 107-10; http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1386-1421/member/arundell-john-i-1366-1435. Additional operations by English forces in July 1418 were the siege of Domfront by a force commanded by Gilbert Talbot and the earl of Warwick and preliminary moves against Rouen by Henry V himself (the siege did not commence formally until his main body arrived there on 29 July).]

The wardship of his son John, just two years old in 1418, was granted to his associate John Arundell of Lanherne, who shortly afterwards married Colshull's daughter Joan to his younger son, Remfrey Arundell. [7. CFR 1413-22, 288; H.S.A. Fox and O. Padel, The Cornish Lands of the Arundells of Lanherne: Fourteeenth to Sixteenth Centuries (Exeter, 2000), xxii.]. John the younger proved his age in Oct. 1437 and married Cecily Cheyne, who proved her own age in Nov. 1438 (CIPM xxv.129, 299).


Writ. 24 July 1418. [Wymbyssh].
CORNWALL. Inquisition. Liskeard. 10 September 1418. [Talbot].

Jurors: Edmund Beket; Stephen Brenewich; Robert Heye; Robert Pyne of ‘Ham[…]'; Thomas Colyn; John Josep; Robert […]; John ?Cal[..]; John Thorndon; Walter Forde; Gilbert Draynek; and William Philip.

He held in his demesne as of fee the manors of Manely and St Ewe and the advowson of St Ewe of the king in chief as of the crown by knight service, and ¼ borough of Truro and a water-mill there of the king in burgage by a rent of ¼d., all by grant of William Hywyssh to William's sister Emma (mother of John Colshull, who was the heir of her body) and the heirs of her body, remainder to her right heirs, and also 100a. wood in Swannacot of the king as of his duchy of Cornwall of the castle of Launceston, service unknown, annual values, Manely £12, St Ewe manor 53s. 4d., ¼ Truro borough and mill 10s. 4d., 100a. wood £12.

John Colshull, esquire, his father, once held in his demesne as of fee 3 messuages and a carucate in Treworra and gave them to Richard Glyvyan and his wife Joan, who still lives, for their lives, rendering 60s. yearly to John Colshull, esquire, and his heirs at Michaelmas, Christmas, Easter and Midsummer, by which Richard and Joan were seised. Richard then died and Joan married John Cheynduyt of Bodannon. Then John Colshull, esquire, father of John Colshull, knight, died, and the reversion descended to John Colshull, knight, as son and heir of John Colshull, esquire. He died seised.

By his indented charter, shown to the jurors and dated 29 January 1414 at Treworra, by the name of John Colshull, esquire, he granted to John Cork, who still lives, the rent and all the services of John Cheynduyt and Joan with the reversion of the 3 messuages and carucate, described as all that they held in Treworra, for the whole life of John Cork, rendering to John Colshull, knight, and his heirs during the life of Joan, wife of John Cheynduyt, who still lives, 6s. 8d. at Michaelmas, and after the death of Joan to John Colshull, knight, and his heirs 10s. at Michaelmas. John Cheynduyt and Joan attorned to John Cork according to form of the charter. Thus the 6s. 8d. and the reversion of the 3 messuages and carucate after the death of John Cork came to John Colshull, knight, of which he died seised. He held the 3 messuages and carucate of John Carmynowe in free socage, service unknown, annual value 4d.

John Colshull also held the manor of Swannacot, except the advowson and the woods belonging to the manor, and a carucate and 100s. rents, jointly with his wife Ann, who still lives, by the grant of his father John Colshull, esquire, by his indented charter shown to the jurors and dated 21 November 1407 at Tremadart to them by the names of John son of John Colshull, esquire, and Ann his wife and the heirs of their bodies, by the name of the manor of Swannacot, excepting the advowson and woods belonging to it, and all the lands of John Colshull, esquire, of Exe. The manor and lands are held of the king as of the duchy of Cornwall as of his castle of Launceston, service unknown, annual value, £10.

He held no more because by his indented charter, dated 3 April 1418 and shown to the jurors, he granted to John Preston, parson of St Ewe, John Jaybien, John Butte, John Cork and Thomas Nethercote, who survive, the castle and isles of Scilly, the manors of Binamy, Stratton, Week St Mary, Tremadart, Trenant and Raphael and his lands in Liskeard, St Cleer, Canalissey and Clease with the advowsons of Duloe, St Ewe and Week St Mary, and his manors and lands in Devon, to hold them all except the manor of Tremadart for the lives of the feoffees and his own life, and the manor of Tremadart for the life of Ann his wife, and after her death for the lives of the feoffees and his own life, remainder after the deaths of the feoffees and his death to the heirs of his body, in default of issue the castle and isles of Scilly and the manors of Binamy, Stratton and Week St Mary and the advowson of Week St Mary to remain to the right heirs of Guy de Blankmonstre, late parson of the church of St Ewe, and the manors of Tremadart, Trenant and Raphael and the lands in Liskeard, St Cleer, Canalissey and Clease and the advowsons of Duloe and St Ewe to remain to the right heirs of Walter Colshull, grandfather of John Colshull, knight, on these conditions, he being about to go overseas in the king's service, that if he did not go or returned at any time he might reclaim the premises and hold them as before; and if he should die abroad or on the journeys then his feoffees should grant the manor of Tremadart to his wife Anne for her life and from the profits of the other permises should pay all his debts and those of his father, John Colshull, esquire, perform his will and that of his father, and give £200 to Joan and Anne, his daughters, for their marriages, or if they both died before marriage, for the salvation of his soul. Lastly, if his wife Anne should be pregnant at the time of his gift then after payment of the debts and legacies and after the death or marriage of the daughters they should apply £100 to the maintenance of any son or daughter so born according to their discretion.
The castle and isles of Scilly are held of the king as of his duchy of Cornwall by service of 100 puffins or 6s. 8d. yearly at Michaelmas, annual value in time of peace £10 and in time of war nothing.
The manor of Binamy is held of the king as of his duchy of Cornwall of his castle of Launceston, service unknown, annual value £30.
The manor of Wick St Mary is held of the king as of his duchy of Cornwall, service unknown, annual value 30s.
The manor of Tremadart is held of the earl of Salisbury as of his manor of Lantyan, by knight service, annual value 20 marks.
The manor of Trenant is held of Robert Asthorp, clerk, service unknown, annual value £10.
The manor of Raphael is held of Thomas Swynborn and Phillipa his wife, in right of Phillipa, as of their manor of Lanreath, by knight service, annual value £10.
The lands in Liskeard and St Cleer are held of the king as of his duchy of Cornwall, service unknown, annual value £10 10s.
The lands in Canalissey are held of the bishop of Exeter as of his manor of Pawton, by knight service, annual value 50s.
The lands in Cleese are held of Thomas Arundell, knight, service unknown, annual value 2s.

He died on 12 July 1418. His son John is his next heir, as issue of his and his wife Ann's bodies, and aged 2 years and more.

[Exchequer copy, foot:] Apportionment of £16 3s. 8d. from 12 July to 14 November, 1 quarter and 51 days - £6 6s. 8d.
And of 10¾d.

C 138/34/41 mm. 3-4
E 149/112/5, m. 1


CIPM xxi.121A


Writ de dote assignanda 6 Feb 1419. [Wymbyssh]
Her oath not to marry without the king's licence having been taken by Edmund, bishop of Exeter, to assign dower in presence of the next friends of John, son and heir of her husband John Colshull, knight, a minor in Henry V's wardship.

[Assignment not extant]

E 149/112/5, m. 2