MOIGNE, Sir John (1354-1429), of Owermoigne, Dorset, Maddington, Wilts. and Great Easton, Essex.
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Family and Education
b. Owermoigne, 28 May 1354, s. and h. of Henry Moigne of Owermoigne by Joan, da. of Sir Peter Veel† of Tortworth, Glos. m. (1) by 1377, Joan, da. and h. of John Belvale, 1s. 2da. all d.v.p.; (2) by Feb. 1394, Cecily. Kntd. by 1383.1
Commr. of inquiry, Dorset Dec. 1383 (concealments), Nov. 1388 (shipwreck), Feb. 1389 (disseisin), Oct. 1391 (wastes), Dec. 1391, Feb. 1393 (eviction), Som. Sept. 1392 (estates of deceased tenants-in-chief), Som., Dorset c. Dec. 1392 (estates of William, Lord Windsor), Mar. 1393 (concealments), Dorset Feb. 1394 (post mortem), Feb. 1408 (decay of Melcombe), Nov. 1415 (watches on Isle of Purbeck); array Apr. 1385, Mar. 1392, Dec. 1399, May 1416, Apr. 1418, Mar. 1419; to assign dower, Som., Dorset June 1397; of weirs, Dorset June 1398; to make proclamation of Henry IV’s intention to govern well May 1402.
Sheriff, Som. and Dorset 1 Dec. 1388-15 Nov. 1389, 9 Nov. 1395-1 Dec. 1396, Wilts. 11 Nov. 1394-9 Nov. 1395.
J.p. Dorset 15 July 1389-96, 12 Nov. 1397-9.
Escheator, Som. and Dorset 2 Jan.-24 Oct. 1392.
Moigne’s father died on 1 Dec. 1374 when John was still under age. Temporarily placed in the custody of Sir Robert Rous, he was brought to London in January and handed over, at the house of the Friars Preachers, to the chancellor and the treasurer as a royal ward. He may have spent the next few months as a member of the King’s household, but he attained his majority on 28 May and proved his age at Dorchester in July following. Moigne’s inheritance was quite substantial, including the manors of Great Easton (Essex), Shipton Moyne (Gloucestershire), Sopley (Hampshire) and Owermoigne (Dorset), besides lands at Maddington and Beckhampton (Wiltshire) and other property in Somerset, Hampshire, Dorset and the city of London. Great Easton was held of the King by grand serjeanty, for service as larderer at coronations, although Moigne himself only claimed this right at Henry V’s accession and it is uncertain whether his claim was allowed even then. The Moigne estates were, therefore, widespread, but Moigne’s interests centred on Dorset, where he increased his landed holdings through marriage. Whether he actually acquired the manor of Buckhorn Weston is unclear, for although it is said to have come to him through his first wife, he was not in possession in 1397.2
Moigne inherited further estates outside Dorset in 1386 following the death of his maternal grandmother, Katherine, widow of Thomas, Lord Berkeley: the manors of Ablington, Alton and Penleigh (Wiltshire) and property in Plympton (Devon). In 1398 on the marriage of his elder daughter, Elizabeth, to William Stourton* of Stourton, Moigne settled on them the manor of Great Easton (an entail made in 1377 having ceased to operate following the deaths of Moigne’s first wife and their son). Similarly, in 1408 he granted Owermoigne in reversion to his younger daughter, Eustacia, and her husband, William Bonville (one of the sons of Sir William Bonville I* of Shute). In the 1412 assessment for royal taxation Moigne’s estates were valued at £174 p.a., but this took no account of lands he held in Oxfordshire (at Clifton Hampden and Burcot), nor of his share in the manor of Bridge on the Isle of Wight. Owermoigne and its members was his largest block of property, and worth £50 a year. This was situated on the chalk downs not far from the Dorset coast, and it is not surprising, therefore, that Moigne had been among those ordered in 1383 to go to their strongholds near the coast to prepare for defence against French attack.3
Moigne had seen military service overseas in 1380, when a young man. He became a prominent public figure in Dorset and the neighbouring counties, discharging three terms as sheriff and one as escheator besides nine years on the peace commission, and there are glimpses of him at work. At his Hockday tourn in Somerset in May 1389, for example, he heard an accusation that the parson of St. Decumans had neglected to repair a road; late in 1392 he and William Holym, clerk, were instructed by the Exchequer to make a valuation of certain estates in Somerset and Dorset, and, having done so, they were given £5 for their expenses; and in 1395 he sat at Dorchester with Chief Justice Clopton to adjudicate the claim of the prior of Montacute for an annuity against the parson of Child Okeford. Moigne was summoned to the great council of 1401 as one of four representatives from Dorset. Nothing is recorded to his detriment, save that in 1402 he was brought before the barons of the Exchequer on suspicion of involvement in an attack on Prussian ships at Sluys several years before, and his plea that he had not been party to the affair was accepted. Moigne was less active in local government under Henry IV than his predecessor, and never again served as a j.p., but there are no indications of serious political difficulties. Similarly, he was not re-elected to Parliament under the Lancastrians, although he did show a continuing interest in parliamentary affairs by attending the Dorset elections of 1410, 1413 (May) and 1423. In the meantime, in February 1417, he had made Henry V a loan of 20 marks, and had been appointed to three commissions of array.4
The main reason for Moigne’s semi-retirement was probably old age. He died, aged 75, on 20 Aug. 1429. Both his daughters had predeceased him, so his heirs were his grandsons, John Stourton II* (afterwards Lord Stourton) and John Bonville.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Mewne, de Moyn.
- 1. C255/1/5/28; CIPM, xiv. 79; J. Hutchins, Hist. Dorset, iv. 115-16; CCR, 1381-5, p. 442; CPR, 1374-7, p. 450; 1391-6, p. 377.
- 2. CCR, 1374-7, pp. 114, 147; CFR, viii. 273; CIPM, xiv. 79, 166; Dorset Feet of Fines, 229; HMC Middleton, 293; Eng. Coronation Recs. ed. Wickham Legg, p. lxxvi; G.W. Wollaston, Coronation Claims, 307; Corporation of London RO, hr 129/53, 93.
- 3. CCR, 1381-5, p. 278; 1385-9, p. 62; CPR, 1374-7, p. 450; 1391-6, p. 377; 1396-9, p. 356; 1405-8, p. 463; CIPM, xvi. 214-15; Dorset Feet of Fines, 265; Sel. Cases in Chancery (Selden Soc. x), 108; Feudal Aids, ii. 350; iv. 200; v. 225, 240, 243, 269; vi. 425, 455; C115/K2/6682 ff. 37d-39.
- 4. PPC, i. 161; Pub. Works in Med. Law (Selden Soc. xxxii), 138; Yr. Bk. 1389-90 ed. Plucknett, 119; E403/541 m. 11, 629 m. 8; E159/178 recorda Hil. m. 4; C219/10/5, 11/2, 13/2; C76/65 m. 27.
- 5. C139/43/16.