WORFTON, William (c.1366-1408), of Broad Hinton, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b.c.1366, s. and h. of William Worfton of Broad Hinton by his w. Isabel. m. by 1402, Margaret (c.1385-8 Aug. 1420), da. and coh. of Thomas Beaupyne* of Bristol by his w. Margaret, 2s.
The duke of York’s dep. warden of Braydon forest and keeper of Fasterne park, Wilts. c.1390-d.
J.p. Wilts. 28 Nov. 1399-May 1401, 14 Nov. 1403-4, 22 Feb. 1405-d.
Sheriff, Wilts. 24 Nov. 1400-9 May 1401.
Tax collector, Wilts. Mar. 1404.
Worfton’s father died on 22 Feb. 1393, whereupon he, said to be 27 years old, succeeded to the family holdings in Wiltshire and elsewhere. The most important of these were the manor of Woodhill in Cliffe Pypard, which had been sold to his father with remainder to himself by Peter Besiles, the manor of West Alvington in Devon, also acquired from the same vendor, and a tenement at Didmarton in Gloucestershire; while as her jointure, Worfton’s mother retained control of a number of other properties, notably the manors of Broad Hinton and Medbourne in Liddington. At his father’s death the total value of this inheritance was estimated at £90 16s. a year.1
Like his father, Worfton served as a j.p. and sheriff in Wiltshire, and also like him he entered the employment of Edmund of Langley, duke of York. William senior had been involved in the administration of the duke’s park at Fasterne, and the MP himself, as the ‘duke’s esquire’, held office as keeper of the park and deputy warden of Braydon forest, his appointment dating from about January 1390, when the duke had been granted the wardenship by the Crown. Yet another member of the family also served the duke: William’s brother, Master Thomas Worfton, was warden of the hospital of St. John the Baptist at Wootton Bassett by Duke Edmund’s collation, and was to be named by him as an executor of his will. This connexion can, however, have had no direct effect on William’s only election to Parliament in 1404, for his patron died two years previously.2
Worfton had married one of the four daughters of Thomas Beaupyne, a wealthy Bristol merchant, and in 1403, after the death of her only brother it had been arranged that when Beaupyne and his wife died the Worftons should have their manor and advowson of Bawdrip in Somerset. In fact, when shortly afterwards Beaupyne did die, his widow gave up her life interest. Worfton and his wife were of sufficient standing in Wiltshire to be asked to dine with the household of Bishop Metford of Salisbury. His last transaction of any importance was the purchase of the manor of Beversbrook from Sir John Blount in 1406. Worfton died on 4 Nov. 1408, leaving as his heir his elder son, John, then aged seven. His widow married (Sir) John Blaket* of Icomb, Gloucestershire, and lived on until 1420.3
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Authors: Richmond / L. S. Woodger
Variants: Werfton, Worston, Wrofton. The name later became Wroughton: Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv), 219.
- 1. C136/78/31.
- 2. E364/11 m. C; CPR, 1405-8, p. 227; 1416-22, p. 33; VCH Wilts. iii. 369; iv. 435 (where the date of Worfton’s appointment is wrongly given); PCC 16 Marche.
- 3. Som. Feet of Fines (Som. Rec. Soc. xxii), 13; CCR, 1405-9, pp. 99, 425-6, 435, 438; CFR, xiii. 153; CPR, 1408-13, p. 109; C137/71/23, 74/50; C138/46/38; Harl. 3755, ff. 34d, 35; Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. vii. 178-9; PCC 17 Marche; Wilts. Feet of Fines (Wilts. Rec. Soc. xli), 263.