Unpublished IPMs: Proof of Age for Sibyl, wife of Thomas Bekyngham, esquire, 1418

This document is the proof of age of Sibyl, wife of Thomas Bekyngham, esquire, of Berkshire. It appears in CIPM xxi as document 146, but the evidence of nine of the twelve jurors is omitted there, and that of the other three is truncated: the full text is given here. It is of particular interest because the memory of seven of the jurors is stated to derive from the dates of written documents created on the day of the baptism, one of them a record of the baptism entered in the parish missal book.

Sibyl was one of three sisters and co-heirs of her father, Sir Thomas Childrey of Childrey (J.P., escheator and M.P. for Berks., steward of the estates of William of Wykeham, bishop of Winchester). His IPM (CIPM xix.403), taken on 15 November 1407, gave her age as 6 years and more, which is consistent with the birthdate given in her proof.


Writ de etate probanda. ‡ 28 April 1418. [Smyth].

Majority claimed by her husband, Thomas Bekyngham, esquire. By royal grant [CFR 1405–13, pp. 233, 235], the lands and tenements from her inheritance are in the custody of John Halle of Sussex and Walter Burton, who are to be informed.
[Dorse:] They were warned.

BERKSHIRE. Proof of age. Grandpont. 14 May 1418. [Wilcotes]

The jurors say Sibyl Chelrey, wife of Thomas Bekyngham, esquire, was born at Childrey and baptised in the church there on 1 August 1401 and was therefore aged 17 years and more on 1 August last. They remember the date for the following reasons:

John Couentre, aged 44, Thomas Frankeleyn, aged 54, and Thomas Cokerell, aged 56, were present in the church, and John, then receiver of the sheriff of Berkshire, received from Thomas and Thomas 10s. 8d. of their issues, forfeited in the King's Bench and Exchequer, [thus far as in CIPM xxi.146] and John gave them an acquittance with the sheriff's seal of office, by the date of which Sibyl's age is well known to them.

Thomas Chalkeley, aged 43 years, Thomas Burwelle, aged 5 years [sic], and Richard Shayle, aged 55 years, say they were present in church when Sibyl was baptised and saw her godfather, Gilbert Talbot, knight, who at the special request of Sibyl's mother manumitted a certain John Lane of the aforesaid vill [Childrey?], a neif belonging to his manor of Wadley, by a writing, from the date of which they know the date of the baptism.

John Shipton, aged 54 years, says he was present in church when Sibyl was baptised and wrote the date of the birth and baptism in the same church's missal book.

Henry Baylly of Childrey, aged 46 years, says on the day of her baptism he was seised and enfeoffed of a tenement in Childrey, and the seisin was delivered by the rector of the church immediately after the baptism.

John Pretfote, aged 47 years, says a daughter was born to him and his wife on the day of the baptism, who is now a nun in Littlemore priory.

John Bullok, aged 50 years, William Elys, aged 43 years, and Edmund Whytemay, aged 60 years, say they were present in church for the settlement of a dispute (pro tractam concordie) between the vills of Challow and Childrey concerning the common pasture belonging to the tenants of the said vills, in which Sibyl's father, Thomas Chelrey, arbitrated between the parties and made a written award under his seal, by inspection of which they well remember her age.

C138/35/55 m. 1-2 (to be published in extension of CIPM xxi.146).