SECHEVILLE (SACHEVILL), Richard, of Tavistock, Devon.

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



Family and Education

prob. s. of John Secheville of Tavistock, m. Margery, da. of John Carswill by Isabel, gdda. of Richard Mothercombe, at least 1s.

Offices Held

Commr. of inquiry, Devon Oct. 1408 (eviction of a tenant from lands at Backstone and Rosh Ash).


One of Richard’s ancestor’s Ralph Secheville, represented Tavistock in the Parliament of 1295, and another, John, did so in seven Parliaments between 1332 fand 1340. His putative father, who was portreeve of Tavistock in 1389-90 and held several properties at Inswell and elsewhere in the lordship of Hurdwick as well as in the town itself, died shortly before July 1421.1 Richard himself witnesse deeds for his fellow burgesses from 1407 onwards. His own holdings included a garden at Parkwood and dwellings at Tavistockf for which he paid rent to the local abbey; and he acted as a feoffee of premises next door to his house near the parish church. Shortly after the dissolution of his second Parliament, on 5 Feb. 1420, he stood surety for an Exchequer lease of a wardship in Somerset, one of the lessees being John Hankford, a kinsman of the chief justice, Sir William Hankford, who in December 1423 was to leave him a bequest of two marks in his will.2.

In about 1433, quite likely at the time of his final appearance in the House of Commons, Secheville brought an action in Chancery against Henry Fortescue*, the former chief justice of Ireland, for illegally dispossessing him of messuages and land sin Nethercombe in Holbeton, Devon, for false awards and for ‘assaults with Irysshermen, Scottys and other’ on his wife, Margery, and her mother. He claimed that the lands ‘with howsynge thereuppon’ had been occupied by Margery’s family since 1349 for an annual rent of 16s. payable to Hugh Cumba and his descendants, of whom Fortescue was one. But the latter and his brother Richard, supported by an Irish rablle, had broken into his house while he and his family were in bed, and with ‘orrible governance, crying and shotte ... caste owte [his] children, al naked, sore wepinge and cryinge’, his wife ‘beynge grete and quyeke with childe, her moder, and here son and lefte hem there for dede, which was the cause of the saide childe’s deth’; moreover, they held Secheville himselfe prisoner first in Exeter and then, for three years, in London, so that, and because of his subsequent impoverishment, he was unable to sue for justice until six years after the eviction. Eventually compromise agreements were reached with Fortescue, and recorded in the court of common pleas in 1438 and 1400, but Secheville is not mentioned thereafter.3

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Trans. Devon Assoc. lxxi. 149, 151; Devon RO, Bedford mss B117/4, 5, D84/22, 29, T1258M/S21, ff. 121, 124; Tavistock Parish Recs. ed. Worth, 73; CFR, xiv. 378.
  • 2. Bedford mss D2/100, B117/7, 9, S21 ff. 9, 130, 131; CFR, xiv. 325; Reg. Chichele, ii. 291.
  • 3. C1/12/251-4; CP25(1)46/85/175; Procs. Chancery Eliz. ed. Caley and Bayley, ii. p. xviii.