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SHERARD, Robert, of Stapleford, Leics.
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Family and Education
?s. of George Sherard by Joan, da. of Richard Berners. m. bet. Mich. 1396, Agnes, da. and h. of Sir Laurence Hauberk† (d.1381) of Stapleford by Margaret, da. and coh. of Roger Cheyne of ‘Bukenhalle’, Salop, wid. of (Sir) Hugh Calveley* (d.1393) of Calveley and Mottram St. Andrew, Cheshire, 1s.
Duchy of Lancaster bailiff of Stapleford c. Mich. 1404-c. Mar. 1413.1
No evidence has been found either to support or disprove Nichols’s statement that Sherard came from an old Cheshire family, and he is not known to have possessed landed holdings in that county other than those he acquired by marriage. He is first recorded in February 1394 while accusing a man from Northampton of mayhem and a breach of the peace.2 Two years later he made his important match with Agnes, the widow of (Sir) Hugh Calveley, who, having earlier inherited from her father, Sir Laurence Hauberk, sizeable estates at Stapleford and Saxby (Leicestershire) and Barrow in Cottesmore (Rutland), had recently managed with the assistance of her stepfather, Sir John Calveley*, to establish her title to the manor of Scalford against the claims of her uncle, John Hauberk. In the autumn of 1396, Stapleford and Scalford were formally settled on Robert and Agnes Sherard, with remainder to the lady’s issue, although a few years later Robert persuaded his wife to accept new entails of these and other Hauberk estates, giving preference to his son before her older Calveley offspring, with the outcome that after her death only the property at Saxby was divided between the Calveleys and the Sherards, the latter acquiring all the rest. Agnes held for life as dower from her previous marriage a third part of the Cheshire manor of Mottram St. Andrew.3
Stapleford, Sherard’s principal manor, formed part of a large estate pertaining to the duchy of Lancaster, the profits of which, from December 1400 until his death at the battle of Shrewsbury, were paid to Sir John Calveley for his loyal service as one of the King’s knights-bachelor. Thereafter, from 1404 for the rest of Henry IV’s reign, Sherard himself enjoyed an annuity of £20 charged on the estate at Stapleford, which he farmed on an eight-year lease and administered on behalf of the duchy as a bailiff. While so doing, he was elected to Parliament for the only recorded time. Under Henry V, perhaps because he had ceased to hold office, Sherard’s annuity was reduced to 20 marks. His service to the Crown in other respects was of little account, although he did contract on 29 Apr. 1415 to join the King’s first expedition to France, albeit with a contingent of no more than two archers.4
Sherard died at an unknown date before Easter 1422, and was probably buried in Stapleford church, where he and his wife were to be depicted on windows inserted in the 17th century.5 Their son, Laurence, who became a prominent figure in royal local administration as sheriff of Rutland in 1437-8 and of Warwickshire and Leicestershire in 1443-4, also served James, Lord Audley, as steward of certain of his estates.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. DL29/212/3249.
- 2. J. Nichols, Leics. ii. 333, 343; CCR, 1392-6, p. 266.
- 3. Nichols, ii. 309, 314, 333; Early Lincoln Wills ed. Gibbons, 48-49; Leics. Village Notes ed. Farnham, ii. 344; iv. 31; v. 370; VCH Rutland, ii. 123; CP25(1)192/8/3; DKR, xxxvi. 80-81.
- 4. DL28/27/3, 6; DL29/212/3249, 738/12100; DL42/15, f. 17d, 17, f. 24; E101/69/5/419.
- 5. Leics. Village Notes, iv. 32, 130; Nichols, ii. pl. opposite p. 339. Sherard’s widow was called Johan in a lawsuit (CP40/645 m. 336d), though this was apparently an error, for Agnes was still alive at Michaelmas 1421.
- 6. Nichols, ii. 348.