FILOLL, William (c.1380-1416), of Woodlands, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Apr. 1414

Family and Education

b.c. 1380, s. and h. of John Filoll by Margaret, da. and h. of Roger Walssh of Langton ‘Walssh’ in Purbeck, Dorset, by his 1st w. Joan Chesilden. m. by 1397, Joan (c.1386-1 July 1434), yr. da. and coh. of John Frome* of Buckingham, Bucks. and Woodlands, 1s. John, 3da.1

Offices Held

J.p. Dorset 14 June 1412-d.


Filoll belonged to an old Dorset family. His grandfather, William Filoll, had been duchy of Lancaster steward in the county from before 1372 until after 1383, and his father died, on 12 Mar. 1403, possessed of considerable estates there. These included the manor of Langton ‘Walssh’, since an agreement had been made with Joan, wife of John Fauntleroy, who had a claim to the Walssh property as grand daughter of Roger Walssh by his second wife, that this manor and the chantry of Wilcheswood in Langton Matravers (founded by the Walsshs) should remain with the Filolls. Only a year later, in 1404, William’s father-in-law, John Frome, died, and his wife accordingly came into her inheritance, which included the manor of Woodlands and other properties in Dorset. On his death Filoll’s estates, assessed in 1412 as worth £124 6s.8d. p.a., included the hundred of Knowlton, 14 manors and several smaller holdings, many of them concentrated to the south of Blandford Forum. An interesting sidelight is provided on this property: in 1415 Bishop Beaufort of Winchester wrote to his ‘treschier et tresentierement bien ame’ William Filoll, asking him to fulfil his promise to present the bishop’s secretary, Richard Petworth, to the chapel of Wilcheswood, and Filoll did so.2

After the MP’s death writs were sent not only to the escheator of Dorset, but also to his counterpart in Essex. Although there is no indication that he was connected with the Filolls who had owned land in Essex, and whose main line had died out in the 1330s, his widow later held a tenement called ‘Badons’ in Tendring and 86 acres of land there of Hugh Stafford, Lord Bourgchier. Filoll also had a reversionary interest in the manors of Woodmancote, Morley and Southwick, a moiety of that of ‘Treulee’ and rents in Goring, all situated on the Sussex coast, under the terms of an entail made in 1354. He himself never acquired this property, though his widow was to come into possession of it after the death of his aunt, Mary, widow of Sir William Percy*.3

In his will, dated 12 Jan. 1416, ten days before his death, Filoll made extensive bequests: gowns, plate, weapons (including a long sword called ‘Percy’), horses, armour and cash (totalling over £24) were left to particular individuals, among them his ‘pantlerer’. The rest of his treasure found in chests and in the hands of debtors was to be disposed for his burial in the parish church of St. Wulfhilda at Horton, Dorset, and distributed among the priests and the poor for the health of his soul. The residue of his goods and chattels was to go to his widow and his children, ‘to be found and governed by her’. Filoll’s heir was his son John, then aged seven. His widow remarried, firstly, Sir Richard Arches* and, secondly, Sir William Cheyne c.j.KB. In her will, made on 31 Mar. 1420, she arranged for the feoffees of the Filoll estates to ‘susteyne and do marie’ Filoll’s daughters Avice, Isabel and Eleanor.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421


  • 1. CFR, xii. 297. J. Hutchins (Hist. Dorset, iv. 315) is in error in stating that this William Filoll m. Elizabeth, 2nd da. of John, Lord Audley. This was in fact his grandson (HMC Middleton, 115).
  • 2. Reg. Gaunt 1371-5, no. 1036; 1379-83, no. 853; C137/36/33; C138/16/51; CPR, 1391-6, pp. 229-30; CFR, xii. 297; HMC Middleton, 101-3, 291-3; Feudal Aids, vi. 422; Hutchins, i. 637, 641; iv. 316; C1/6/268; CIPM, xiv. 222, 291; xvi. 1046; Dorset Feet of Fines, 231.
  • 3. CFR, xiv. 106; C139/65/39; Suss. Feet of Fines (Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii), 135-6; P. Morant, Essex, i. 473; ii. 150-2.
  • 4. HMC Middleton, 103-6; PCC 34 Marche; CCR, 1413-19, pp. 305-6; C138/16/51, 25/3; C139/65/39.