ERDINGTON, Thomas (c.1371-1434), of Erdington, Warws.; Barrow upon Soar, Leics. and Corfe Mullen, Dorset.
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Family and Education
b.c.1371, s. and h. of Sir Thomas Erdington† (d.1395) of Erdington by Margaret (d. 1405), da. of Sir Robert Corbet† (d.1375) of Moreton Corbet, Salop, and Elizabeth, da. of Fulk, 1st Lord Strange of Blackmere. m. (1) shortly aft. Mich. 1391, Anne, da. of Sir Thomas Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt, Oxon. and Ellenhall, Staffs. by Maud, da. of John, Lord Grey of Rotherfield, 1s. Thomas†; (2) Sibyl (d. 3 Jan. 1435).
?Commr. of sewers, Thames estuary Apr. 1400.
J.p. Warws. 16 Jan. 1414-Dec. 1417.
Sheriff, Warws. and Leics. 16 Nov. 1410-1 May 1422.
Thomas was the direct descendant of Sir Henry Erdington† who had been summoned to Parliament as Lord Erdington in 1335, but he himself was never so summoned and, indeed, attained no higher rank than that of esquire. When he reached his majority, in 1392, his father settled on him some land at Barrow and, aged 24 at his father’s death in 1395, he then obtained possession of the widely separated manors of Erdington and Corfe Mullen which had been entailed on him and his first wife. But ten years were to elapse before he inherited Barrow in its entirety, this estate being held by his mother as jointure. It might be expected that Erdington would sometimes be recorded in connexion with his relations, the Corbets, for in addition to his parents’ marriage linking the two families, his aunt had married her brother-in-law Sir Roger Corbet*. However, there does not seem to have been much contact between them. Erdington inherited the Corbet manors of Braunstone and Houghton in Leicestershire, and his interests centred on that county and its neighbour, Warwickshire.1 Valuations put on the Erdington estates in 1395 (in a post mortem) and 1436 (for the purposes of taxation) differ widely, but the second (£170 a year) was probably more accurate than the first (about £77 a year), and there can be little doubt that Erdington was one of the wealthiest esquires of the region.2
The Erdingtons had acquired one third of the manor of Barrow upon Soar through marriage, in the 13th century, to one of the Somery heirs, and over the years a series of transactions had made them owners of the greater part of the manor. Disputes at Barrow during Erdington’s lifetime may have arisen from his father’s ambition and his own to consolidate their local interests. In 1386 a commission of oyer and terminer was set up when the feoffees of Ralph, 3rd Lord Basset of Drayton, complained that Sir Thomas and his son had instigated a forcible entry into Lord Basset’s property at Barrow, and had felled trees and removed timber and other goods; and in the following year one of the commissioners, John, Lord Beaumont (by no means impartial in the affair) alleged that the Erdingtons had also broken into his parks at Barrow and had hunted and fished there. On the Erdingtons’ side it was claimed that a jury in an assize of novel disseisin had been intimidated by Basset’s retainers. After Basset’s death the dispute was continued by his widow, Joan, and his nephew, Sir Hugh Shirley*, the latter coming to Barrow in 1394 at the head of a band of 200 armed men to cause widespread destruction on the Erdington estate, and the former, Lady Joan, complaining that the younger Thomas Erdington had ambushed one of her tenants and besieged him in his house. The immediate motives for Erdington’s purchase of a royal pardon in June 1398 are, however, not known.3
Following his only return to Parliament in 1411, Erdington served as a j.p. and as sheriff, in the latter capacity being responsible for the conduct of both elections of 1421. Incidentally, it was later alleged in Chancery that when sheriff he had unjustly retained a bond for £20. Erdington headed the list of electors named on the Warwickshire parliamentary indenture of 1432. He had made personal connexions of some importance: his only son, Thomas, had married Joyce, one of the grand daughters of Hugh, Lord Burnell (d. 1420), and he himself was on amicable terms with Elizabeth, Lady Clinton, who named him as overseer of her will. There are also hints of a connexion with Richard, earl of Warwick, but it was probably Erdington’s son who by 1432 was in receipt of an annuity of £10 from that magnate.4
Erdington died on 9 Feb. 1434, his widow following him to the grave less than a year later. The son, Thomas (who sat for Warwickshire in 1439 and Leicestershire in 1445), built an elaborate alabaster monument to his parents in Aston church, Birmingham, where he himself later founded a chantry.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. CP, v. 85-90; Quorndon Recs. ed. Farnham, 9-10, 114-15, 124; Leics. Med. Peds. 11; CCR, 1392-6, pp. 431, 433; VCH Warws. v. 37; vi. 266; vii. 63-64; J. Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 355; VCH Leics. iv. 429; v. 158, 189; C136/83/15; C137/49/27; CFR, xii. 298; Huntington Lib. San Marino, Hastings ms HAD 22/382. J. Nichols, Leics. (iii. 63-67, 411-12) confused Erdington’s mother with Margaret Brotherton, de jure countess of Norfolk.
- 2. Feudal Aids, vi. 421; EHR, xlix. 639.
- 3. CPR, 1385-9, pp. 171, 390, 543; CCR, 1389-92, pp. 22, 32; 1392-6, p. 367; Procs. Chancery Eliz. ed. Caley and Bayley, i. p. vi; CIMisc. vi. 84; C67/30 m. 17.
- 4. C219/12/5, 6, 14/3; CP, ii. 435; Reg. Chichele, ii. 268; M.C. Carpenter, `Pol. Soc. Warws’. (Cambridge Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1976), app. pp. 101, 106; C1/70/68.
- 5. C139/63/23, 69/23; CCR, 1429-35, p. 329; CFR, xvi. 197, 234; VCH Warws. vii. 376; Trans. Birmingham Arch. Soc. xlvii. 68.