Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Robert Constable

Male Abt 1353 - 1401  (~ 47 years)


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  • Name Robert Constable 
    Born Abt 1353  of Flamborough, Bridlington, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Died Between 1400 and 1401  [2
    Alternate death Bef 8 Jan 1400  [1
    Alternate death Aft 8 Jan 1400  [4
    Alternate death Between 29 Nov 1400 and 7 Jan 1401  [3
    Person ID I10736  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of TNH
    Last Modified 7 Jan 2018 

    Father Marmaduke Constable,   b. of Flamborough, Bridlington, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 May 1378 
    Mother Joan la Zouche,   b. of Lubbesthorpe, Blaby, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1376 
    Family ID F5564  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Margaret Skipwith,   b. Abt 1360,   d. Aft Jan 1401  (Age ~ 41 years) 
    Married Bef 20 Jan 1384  [4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Children 
    +1. Marmaduke Constable,   d. Bef 5 Aug 1404
    Last Modified 7 Jan 2018 
    Family ID F3661  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Knight of the shire for Yorkshire, Feb 1388 (the "Merciless Parliament").

      Sheriff of Yorkshire, 20 Oct 1385 - 18 Nov 1386; 11 Nov 1394 - 9 Nov 1395.

      "[H]e married Margaret, the widow of Alexander Surteys, who had died young in 1380 barely a few months after succeeding to family property in North Gosforth. Surteys had, however, by then produced an infant son, who became a ward of Margaret's father, William Skipwith. Since she herself had remarried without first obtaining the necessary royal licence, the Crown demanded a fine of 40s. before dower could beassigned, although in February 1384 Skipwith was ordered to be present when a suitable allocation of property was made to her out of the child's patrimony. Sir Robert was naturally anxious to gain control ofthe rest of these estates as well, and in October 1385 he finally obtained a lease of the town of North Gosforth at an annual rent of eight marks payable at the Exchequer." [Complete Peerage]

      "His return to the Merciless Parliament of 1388, in which the Lords Appellant removed King Richard's most unpopular favourites and asserted control over the government, does, however, underline the strength of his connexions in the upper ranks of the nobility, for both Thomas of Woodstock and Gaunt's son, Henry of Bolingbroke, were active as Appellants, and clearly relied upon the support of friends like Constable among the shire knights." [History of Parliament]

      From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

      Sir Robert [ii] Constable [...] continued the family's slow rise into a more than purely local prominence. During his father's lifetime he had begun a military career, campaigning in Brittany in 1373 with John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. This was the family's first known association with the house of Lancaster since 1321, and it is unclear whether the connection had been maintained in the intervening generations. It may have been for his service on that campaign that Robert was knighted. His military activity continued as head of the family (he served in Brittany under Thomas of Woodstock in 1380 and in Scotland under Gaunt in 1383) alongside involvement in local government. He was a justice of the peace for the East Riding and sheriff of Yorkshire in 1385-6 and 1394-5, and was returned to parliament in 1388. He acquired land in Butterwick in Ryedale, Yorkshire, in 1395, and it may also have been Robert who forged the links with the Percy family that were to be of such importance to the family in the next century. By 1405 (but not in 1378) the Constables held land of the earl of Northumberland in Nafferton, Yorkshire, and elsewhere.

      Robert was unmarried at his father's death, but within three years had married Margaret Skipwith, the widow of Alexander Surtees (d. 1380) of North Gosforth, Northumberland. They were pardoned for marrying without licence in January 1384, but the marriage must have taken place earlier, since Robert's heir was old enough to inherit at his father's death, which occurred in late 1400 or early 1401.

  • Sources 
    1. [S822] John P. Ravilious, 27 Apr 2004, post to soc.genealogy.medieval.

    2. [S121] "Constable family (per. c. 1300-1488)", article by Rosemary Horrox in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

    3. [S1526] The Ancestry of Dorothea Poyntz, Wife of Reverend John Owsley, Generations 1-15, Fourth Preliminary Edition by Ronny O. Bodine and Bro. Thomas Spalding, Jr. 2013.

    4. [S120] Tim Owston, "Gateway to the Constable Family of East Yorkshire.".

    5. [S121] "Constable family (per. c. 1300-1488)", article by Rosemary Horrox in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography., month and year only.

    6. [S128] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant. Full citation details here.

    7. [S1521] John Watson, 11 Feb 2013, post to soc.genealogy.medieval.

    8. [S1526] The Ancestry of Dorothea Poyntz, Wife of Reverend John Owsley, Generations 1-15, Fourth Preliminary Edition by Ronny O. Bodine and Bro. Thomas Spalding, Jr. 2013., month and year only.