Unpublished IPMs: Proof of Age for William Heron, 1418

Matt Tompkins introduces a previously uncalendared proof of age.

This document is the proof of age of William Heron, son of John Heron of Thornton in Northumberland.  It appears in CIPM xxi as document 145, but is there misidentified as relating to John Heron, and is described as ‘badly galled and illegible'.  Notwithstanding the galling it can in fact all be read, with some effort, and the results can be checked against an early edition of its text in Archaeologia Aeliana. [1.  J.C. Hodgson, ‘Proofs of age of heirs to estates in Northumberland in the reigns of Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI', Archaeologia Aeliana xxii (1900), pp. 116-30, at p. 122 (http://archive.org/stream/archaeologiaaeli22sociuoft#page/n197/mode/2up)]

As is commonly the case, the date of birth given in the proof - 12 March 1397 - does not match that given in his father's IPM (CIPM xix.504) - 12 March 1396.  The fact that the birth date given in the IPM, if true, would have entitled William to livery of lands a year earlier suggests that the year stated in the Proof may have been the true one.  However it was not until 9 March 1419, nine months after the Proof was taken and a year after William had achieved his majority, that the escheator was ordered to take his fealty and give him seisin of his father's lands (and for 10s. paid in the hanaper his homage was respited until 24 June of that year - CCR 1419-22, 498).

The Herons of Thornton were a cadet branch of the Herons of Ford, who held Ford in tail male under a settlement of 1337.  In 1425 the senior line failed and Ford castle and its lands passed to William.[2. For a discussion of the descent of Ford to the Thornton branch of the Heron family, correcting the account in The Complete Peerage, vi, see Chris Phillip's Medieval English Genealogy webpages (http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/cp/heron.shtml#p487b)] Three years later he was dead, killed while attacking his neighbour, Sir John Manners, at Etal castle.



[Writ de etate probanda not extant]

NORTHUMBERLAND. Proof of age. Castle of Newcastle on Tyne. 6 June 1418. [Mitteford]

The jurors say that he was born at Whittingham on 12 March 1397 and baptised in the church there on the same day, and they remember for the following reasons.

John del Stroyther, aged 60 years and more, says that William Rodom, one of William Heron's godfathers, rode with him to Whittingham for the baptism.

William Chesemon, aged 51 years and more, says that he was in Whittingham church on that day for a love day between Thomas Hazylrygg and John Swan.

John de Mitteford, aged 62 years and more, says that on that day he rode from Bolton to Whittingham for the baptism with Edmund Heron, master of Bolton, the other godfather.

William de Cartyngton, aged 54 years and more, says that on that day he was in the township of Whittingham to hire Patrick Garre to serve him for one whole year as ploughman.

Richard Wettewang, aged 53 years and more, says that he was with John Lylleburn, chevalier, that day and they rode together to Whittingham and killed a hare in the field there.

Edmund Selby, aged 56 years and more, says that on that day he rode from Shawdon to Whittingham church for the baptism with Elizabeth, daughter of Alan del Stroyther, William Heron's godmother.

Thomas Rede, aged 65 years and more, says that he was in Whittingham on that day and bought a grey horse for £10 from John Claveryng, chevalier.

Roger Vssher, aged 56 years and more, says that on that day he was in discussion with John Clerke, clerk of Whittingham church, for an obligation against John Lang binding him to pay him 10 marks at the next following Whitsunday.

John Hogysson, aged 58 years and more, says that on that day he was in Whittingham to bury Robert Croxton in the churchyard there.

John Belyngham, aged 66 years and more, says he was in Whittingham church and saw John Burn, the parish chaplain, baptizing William there.

Thomas Mainevyll, aged 59 years and more, says that on that day he rode with Hugh Galone, one of the king's coroners in Northumberland, from Whittingham to Cartington to view the body of John Mayre who was killed by Robert Forster.

Robert Carlell, aged 69 years and more, says that on that day he rode with John Heron, father of William Heron, from Whittingham to Alnwick to speak with Henry Percy, late earl of Northumberland.

C138/35/54 m. 1