CRICKLADE (CREKKELADE), Thomas (d.c.1449), of Cricklade and Studley, Wilts.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
?descendant of Nicholas Cricklade† of Gloucester. m. bef. 1412, Alice (d.c.1457), da. and event. h. of John Studley of Studley by Joan, da. of Robert Walsh of Llandough, Glam. and Langridge, Som., ?3s. inc. Robert† and John†, 3da.1
Commr. of inquiry, Glos. July 1414 (escheated lands); arrest, Wilts. July 1415.
Verderer of the forests of Brayton, Pewsham and Melksham, Wilts. Oct. 1414-23 Jan. 1447.
Coroner, Wilts. by July 1419-23 Jan. 1447.2
Thomas Cricklade was possibly a descendant (but hardly a son) of Nicholas Cricklade, knight of the shire for Gloucestershire in 1352, and parliamentary burgess for Gloucester in 1355. A lawyer, he is first recorded in 1407, when he acted as surety for the defendants in a case of rape committed at Foxham in Wiltshire. In the same year he appeared in the court of common pleas as attorney for Thomas Fowler in a suit regarding the theft of a horse, which was still in progress seven years later. In 1410 he witnessed a grant of a Wiltshire manor to Hales abbey, Gloucestershire.3
By 1412 Thomas had come into possession of lands in Cricklade and elsewhere which, according to the assessments then made for the purposes of taxation, were worth 20 marks a year. However, it was as a parishioner of nearby Calne that in July the same year he provided evidence at the visitation of the dean of Salisbury, and together with the vicar of Calne he was named a few months later as an arbitrator in a dispute over a legacy. By then he had married Alice Studley, with whom he enfeoffed the vicar and others of her late father’s manor of Studley, which was subsequently (after Alice’s half-brother, Walter Studley*, had made a similar enfeoffment) settled on the Cricklades and their issue. Alice was eventually to inherit all her father’s property (at Cadnam, Heydon, Calne, Rodbourne and elsewhere), and also that of her mother’s family, the Walshes, but not until after the death in 1427 of Robert Walsh of Langridge, esquire (for whom Thomas Cricklade acted as an executor). Clearly, to this marriage Cricklade owed at least some of his local importance.4
In 1414, the year following his first election to Parliament, Cricklade not only began to be appointed to royal commissions, but was also made verderer of the royal forests near his home, a post which he then held for more than 30 years. In 1416 he acted as a summoner for the sheriff of Wiltshire, in connexion with a suit over property in West Lavington inherited by Agnes, the young wife of his kinsman, Nicholas Cricklade, and in November that year, following the couple’s successful recovery of the premises, he undertook the trusteeship of the same. Cricklade was present at the shire court at Wilton at the elections to the Parliament of 1417. He may already have been a county coroner, an office he apparently retained until 1447, despite orders in 1419 and 1421 for his removal on the grounds of insufficient qualification. In 1423 he stood surety for the attendance in Parliament of his brother-in-law, Walter Studley, burgess-elect for Malmesbury. He was again present at the Wiltshire elections in 1426, on the occasion of his own return for Calne.5
Cricklade’s by now considerable landed interests made him an obvious choice as an overseer in the hundred of Calne of the collection of the subsidy of 1428. A year or so later he may also have been engaged in legal work for the Stonor family, since a letter written in 1429 by Thomas Stonor* to his receiver, John Warfield*, contains the order, ‘Also speke ye to my Maister whanne Cricklade and W.. te mete togedre for myn brotherys will’ (this ‘brother’ being Stonor’s brother-in-law, John Worfton, the Wiltshire esquire who died in April that year). In 1431 Cricklade was a trustee of extensive lands in Wiltshire on behalf of Nicholas Cricklade and his wife, his own elder son, Robert, being a beneficiary of the settlement then made. Thomas witnessed the Wiltshire indenture of return to the Parliament of 1433 when Robert, along with William Cricklade (probably another son of his), sat for Calne and his second son, John, represented Cricklade. The knights of the shire in this Parliament certified Thomas, Robert and William Cricklade as socially eligible to take the oath not to maintain any who broke the peace. In 1435 a ploughman of Haydon, a manor belonging to Thomas Cricklade’s wife, was pardoned outlawry for a debt of £2 he owed him. More serious trouble, however, arose over an annuity of ten marks which a certain Agnes Warre claimed from the issues of the manor of Studley, again held by Cricklade jure uxoris; the Cricklades refused to pay the annuity, whereupon, after ‘divers strifes and debates’ both parties were persuaded by Sir Walter, (now Lord) Hungerford*, to submit to the arbitration of the lawyer (Sir) John Fortescue* and others, and Cricklade eventually agreed to make amends.6
Cricklade was removed from his offices as coroner and verderer in January 1447, being then ‘broken with age’. He is last recorded in February 1449, acting as co-patron with his wife of the living at Langridge, and died shortly afterwards. In 1456 his widow, Alice, was compelled to forgo her claims to Llandough and, doubtless for a consideration, executed a release of her right in this and other lands of the Walsh family in Wales to Sir William Herbert†. As her seal was not well known, she used that of Stanley abbey by Calne, and the transaction was enrolled in the guildhall at Calne itself.7 Later the same year Alice transferred to her son John the manor of Haydon Wick, 23 messuages, and some 550 acres of land in Cricklade and elsewhere. She was predeceased by her elder son, Robert, whose own child, John, was heir to the Cricklades’ extensive lands. This inheritance then became for 25 years the subject of intense dispute, initially between the two John Cricklades (young John even accusing his uncle of plotting to murder him) and, subsequently, after John junior’s death in about 1468, between John senior (d.1481) and the Hungerfords.8
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: Charles Kightly
- 1. Genealogist, n.s. xiii. 147-8; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxxiv. 408-10; Cartae Glam. ed. Clark, v. 1637-9.
- 2. CCR, 1419-22, pp. 2, 141; JUST 3/179 mm. 16-18; C242/9/8, 11/7, 8.
- 3. CCR, 1405-9, p. 350; 1409-13, p. 96; CPR, 1413-16, p. 202; SC1/43/120.
- 4. Feudal Aids, vi. 537; Reg. John Chandler (Wilts. Rec. Soc. xxxix), 362; Wilts. Feet of Fines (ibid. xli), 330-1; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxxiv. 389-413; Som. Med. Wills (Som. Rec. Soc. xvi), 120-1.
- 5. Wilts. Feet of Fines, 350; CPR, 1416-22, p. 58; C219/12/2, 13/2, 4.
- 6. Feudal Aids, v. 247; Cam. Misc. xiii. 5; CPR, 1429-36, pp. 371, 434; C219/14/4; C1/17/80; Wilts. Feet of Fines, 466.
- 7. Reg. Bekynton (Som. Rec. Soc. xlix), 109; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxxiv. 390-2; Cartae Glam. v. 1637-9.
- 8. Wilts. Feet of Fines, 626; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxxiv. 392-413.