BAGGELE, William (d.1401), of Midhurst, Suss.
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m. Joan, 3s. inc. Michael*.
Baggele was one of the ringleaders of the men of Midhurst in their struggle for greater independence against the lord of the borough, Sir John Bohun (d.1433), and met his death in 1401 while engaged in an armed rebellion against him. On 29 Dec. he, his three sons and their friends from the town and the neighbouring countryside — to the number of 70 it was afterwards alleged — assembled at Bohun’s warren at ‘Wephull’ near Midhurst (where several of them had been wont to poach). A number of them then, armed with bows and arrows, prepared an ambush for Bohun there, while the rest were assigned stations in various parts of the town itself. Sir John received a warning at Cowdray and, swiftly mustering his men, went to encounter the rioters, whom he ordered, using his authority as a j.p., to disperse. However, when he arrested one of the leaders the others refused to leave peaceably and began to shoot at Bohun’s party, shouting ‘shute, shute, slee, slee’, and in the ensuing skirmish which took place on some of Baggele’s land on ‘Basehill’, Baggele and a servant of his named Henry Blays were cut down by Bohun and his henchmen. In January two juries at Midhurst indicted Sir John and his accomplices for these homicides, and Baggele’s widow, Joan, brought an appeal against him; but when the case was eventually heard in the King’s bench Bohun was acquitted on a plea of self-defence, and the widow was amerced for making a false appeal. Baggele’s son Michael was among those later found guilty of assaulting Bohun, but was let off after paying a fine as amends.1
On 27 Sept. 1400, a year before his death, Baggele had made a will by which he devised two messuages in Midhurst and a shop in Chichester to his son Thomas. Although Thomas entered the Church, in 1431 he was burnt at the stake as a heretic and lollard.2