CHESTERTON, William, of Harnham, Wilts.
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Family and Education
Chesterton, who lived at Harnham (between Salisbury and Wilton) is first mentioned when, in January 1399, he released John Chitterne, one of the clerks in Chancery, from all legal actions against him. He was plainly associated, and closely, with the influential Hungerford family. In March 1401 he stood surety with Sir Walter Hungerford* for four debtors of William Wilcotes*, and in May 1412, again with Sir Walter, he witnessed a grant to Thomas, Lord Berkeley, of the advowson of Portishead, near Bristol. He was even more intimately connected with Sir Walter’s mother, Joan, widow of Sir Thomas Hungerford*, who died in March 1412, for not only did she appoint him as one of her executors, but in her will she bequeathed him a bed and bedding, a silver cup, 40s. in cash and 100 sheep at her manor of Heytesbury.1
In April 1414 Chesterton was returned for Old Sarum to the Parliament at Leicester, along with another Hungerford servant, Robert Long, who was then just beginning his parliamentary career. Their election may have owed a good deal to the fact that Sir Walter Hungerford (who was to be a Speaker in that Parliament) was then sheriff of Wiltshire. In the following year, Chesterton served as a man-at-arms in the retinue Sir Walter engaged for Henry V’s first campaign in France.2 Whether he returned home alive is not known.