TREAGE, Robert, of Colquite and Treago in Crantock, Cornw.
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Family and Education
Collector of customs and subsidies, Plymouth and Fowey July 1414-Feb. 1416, Dec. 1417-19.
Commr. of inquiry, Cornw. Oct. 1417 (concealments); oyer and terminer July 1418.
Havener, Cornw. and Plymouth 14 Feb. 1426-Mich. 1427.
Robert’s inheritance of the manor of Treago in Crantock was contested by his kinsman, Michael Treage, but in a suit brought in the court of common pleas in 1406 he successfully defended his title by claiming to be a direct descendant of William Treage, who had held the manor in Edward I’s time. In the same parish he also held lands at farm on a lease demised by Adam Vivian*. According to tradition, it was he who bore the cost of the rebuilding of the south aisle of the collegiate church at Crantock, but in fact it was as a commissary of Bishop Stafford of Exeter that in 1417 he undertook to receive donations for the project and to supervise the works. Treage acquired property, too, in the parish of St. Mabyn, where he had his own oratory in a chapel dedicated to St. Mary.2
By the time of Treage’s first election to Parliament, in 1413, he was no stranger to the central courts: in 1405 he had provided securities at the Exchequer on behalf of the farmer of the alnage of cloth in Cornwall and Devon, and in 1408 and 1410 he had appeared in Chancery on behalf of a number of other Cornishmen. He seems to have also made contacts within the King’s household, for he later acted as proxy for the incumbents of three Cornish churches which were all in royal patronage. On 26 Oct. 1413, he stood surety for the prior of Loders (Dorset) and William Wynard (later recorder of Exeter) when they were granted the farm of the priory estates at the Exchequer, and on the same day he shared with Wynard and the prior of Tywardreath an Exchequer lease of the alien house of Modbury (Devon) at a rent of £23 6s.8d. a year. The lease was confirmed in 1421.3
Treage made a good marriage, and was often recorded in association with members of his wife’s family. On 17 Dec. 1417, the final day of his third Parliament, he and his brother-in-law, John Arundell of Trerice, entered into recognizances for £100 payable at the Exchequer (a transaction which may have had something to do with Treage’s re-appointment on the day before as customer of Plymouth and Fowey). At the elections for the same Parliament he had offered mainprise for (Sir) John Arundell I of Lanherne and his son, Thomas, the knights of the shire for Cornwall; and he did them further service by assisting Sir John to make landed settlements for his illegitimate children, by rendering account in the Exchequer in September 1422 for the shrievalty of Cornwall which Thomas had just vacated, and by acting as an attorney at the assizes for Sir John’s wife. Sir John, who was steward of the duchy of Cornwall in the county, may well have been instrumental in securing for Treage appointment as havener of the ports of the duchy. In July 1420 the latter stood surety for Robert Hill of Shilston, j.c.p., when he was granted a duchy wardship, and in 1425 and 1429 he attended the parliamentary elections held at Lostwithiel, headquarters of the duchy administration.4
Meanwhile, in 1424, Treage had shared with Richard Penpons† an Exchequer grant of a lease for 15 years of the manor and borough of Helston-in-Kerrier. However, in a petition presented to the Parliament of 1431, Margaret, widow of Sir Nicholas Sarnesfield, alleged that they, ‘pour lour malveys covetise d’avoir les ditz manoir et burgh a petit ferme’ had acquired the lease by fraud, that is, by the connivance of Treage’s brother-in-law, Arundell, who had supervised the inquest which ruled that the premises should escheat to the Crown, and had made the valuation on which the terms of the lease were based. Royal commissions were set up to investigate Margaret’s allegations that assets had been wasted and tenants evicted, and as a result of their findings the letters patent were cancelled. Treage and Penpons were nevertheless allowed to retain such corn of theirs as was currently growing on the property in question. Treage’s ‘covetise’ is perhaps understandable: Margaret had previously farmed Helston for over £53 a year, and was now prepared to forgo two crown annuities of £20 each in order to recover possession. The loss of expected profits from Helston may well have contributed to the financial embarrassment of Treage’s later years: he had evidently been living beyond his means and by 1437 his debts amounted to at least £173. Among his many creditors were Sir Thomas Etchingham, Sir Robert Umfraville, John Cory* of Launceston, and a skinner, tailor, pewterer, goldsmith and draper, all of London. Nevertheless, he proved successful in obtaining royal pardons of outlawry incurred for failing to make answer in the lawcourts. Treage’s last recorded public appearance took place in January 1442, when he was named on the Cornish electoral indenture drawn up at Launceston.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
Variants: Treyage, Tryage.
- 1. Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 244; JUST 1/1540 m. 115d.
- 2. Reg. Stafford, ed. Hingeston-Randolph, 74; Reg. Lacy (Canterbury and York Soc. lx), 151; CCR, 1419-22, p. 41.
- 3. CFR, xiii. 9; xiv. 37, 39; CCR, 1405-9, p. 373; 1409-13, p. 109; Reg. Stafford, 173; Reg. Lacy ed. Hingeston-Randolph, i. 44, 93; CPR, 1416-22, pp. 377-8.
- 4. CCR, 1413-19, p. 450; C219/12/2, 13/3, 14/1; Cornw. Feet of Fines (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. 1950), 933; E368/195; JUST 1/1540 m. 111d; CFR, xiv. 340.
- 5. CFR, xv. 72; RP, iv. 384, 396; CPR, 1429-36, pp. 103, 107, 133, 274-5; C219/15/2.