Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Richard Peshale

Male - Aft 1427

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  • Name Richard Peshale  [1, 2, 3
    Birth of Chetwynd, Shropshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4, 5, 6
    Gender Male 
    Death Aft 1427  [7
    Person ID I1546  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of DK, Ancestor of JTS, Ancestor of TNH, Ancestor of TSW, Ancestor of TWK, Ancestor of UKL
    Last Modified 22 Dec 2021 

    Father Thomas de Peshale,   b. of Chetwynd, Shropshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. Aft 1380 
    Mother Philippa Bennet,   b. of Butley, Shropshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F4530  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Margaret Malpas,   b. of Checkley, Staffordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    +1. Isabella Peshale,   b. of Bellaport, Muckleston, Shropshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID F4173  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 18 Apr 2024 

  • Notes 
    • From "The Escapades of Richard Peshall" (citation details below):

      We now come to the misdoings of Richard Peshall (Sir Thomas's son and heir). For six years, from 1408 to 1414, he committed a whole series of the most flagrant outrages, until at last he was brought to justice for them.

      In 1408, at Knighton, he robbed Roger Knyghton of 13S. 4d.; and at Christmas the same year, he gave liveries of cloth to John Jurdan and five others at Drayton. The object of this was to retain certain people to engage in his quarrels. Men were in the habit of giving liveries to those who were not of their own family for this purpose. This giving of liveries "for maintenance of quarrels" was strictly forbidden by Statutes of Richard II. and Henry IV., under pain of imprisonment and forfeiture to the King. Jurdan was tried for his having received a livery, but produced a pardon from the King, dated 10 February, 1415, and was acquitted.

      [Peshall's] next deed of violence took place on 28 August, 1410, when he collected a band of men, 66 armed in the manner of war, and pulled down the newly-built house of John Wydeford, and robbed him of goods and chattels to the value of £20.

      In the following year his outrages were numerous. In January, 1410-11, he went to Wem, and there feloniously assaulted Alice, the wife of John Wallesley, in her husband's presence, his brother Nicholas Peshall, John Bocard of Salop, and many other of his retainers aiding him.

      In the October following, he maltreated Margaret Smyth, widow, in her own house at Cheswardine, throwing her down, wounding her in the belly with a dagger, and so assaulting her that she afterwards died. The same year, on Easter Monday, he killed a man in the fields at Longford. And in July, 1411, he collected 400 Welshmen and others, in the fields of Wenlock, all "arrayed in the manner of war," and sent word to the Prior of Wenlock that they intended to enter the town of Wenlock by force and destroy the Prior and all his tenants. The Prior only saved himself by hastily sending to the Sheriff of Salop (Edward Sprenchose) for aid. The Sheriff forthwith raised the posse of the county, and so relieved the Prior from his danger.

      In August, 1414, Richard Peshall went to Tunstall, and expelled one William Thikeness, clerk, by force of arms, from a messuage and sixty acres of land and six acres of meadow, and robbed him of goods and chattels to the value of £10. And afterwards, on the Monday after the following Michaelmas, he drove him by force out of Shropshire, so that on account of the treatment he had received, William Thikeness died at Checkley in the next March. The same year [Peshall] gave liveries of cloth to Humfrey de Titteley, of Blore, and to seven other men, at Drayton, in order that they might aid him in his wrong-doings.

      In September, 1414, he arrested without any authority, at Drayton, one John Bokard, and threatened him with loss of life or mutilation of his limbs, until Giles de Sheynton, in order to save his life, became surety for him. John Bokard fled into Staffordshire, for fear lest Richard Peshall should kill him, which sO enraged Richard, that the surety, Giles de Sheynton, was afraid to leave his house for a fortnight, and had to pay Richard five marks, which he extorted from him. It is no wonder that the feeling against Richard Peshall was "that the said Richard was a common extortioner and oppressor of the people."

      The next year, 1415, he robbed one Roger Callerhall, of Tunstall, of 13s. 4d., at Drayton. He seems also to have assisted three Ferrers brothers in an attempt they made to kill Hugh Erdeswyk; and when Erdeswyk was warned of their design, and sent William Hyde, the Vicar of Sandon, in his stead, they carried the Vicar off to Weston-on-Trent as a prisoner, and illtreated him, and robbed him of his horse and harness, which were worth four marks. The quarrel between Erdeswyk and Ferrers led to some litigation in Michaelmas 1415, in which Richard Peshall and his brother Nicholas appear.

      Early in 1414, Henry V. decided to visit in person the Midland Counties. In April he was at Leicester with his new Chief Justice, Sir W. Haukeford; thence he proceeded to Lichfield, where he remained two months, and heard every kind of plaint that was brought into his Court. From Lichfield he proceeded to Shrewsbury, where he obtained presentments from all the Hundreds of the County of Salop, and called for all the Coroners' Rolls of the last year. These presentments are very voluminous, but they are of considerable interest, and they throw much light on the history of Shropshire. At Shrewsbury the young King heard the trial of all kinds of actions, including the Common Assize of novel disseisin, mort d'ancestor, and a Gaol Delivery.

      Amongst those who were indicted, and ordered to appear before the King in Trinity Term, 1415, to answer for their transgressions, was Richard Peshall. As, however, he had found bail, and did not appear, the Sheriff was ordered to levy a distress. The King's Chancellor had sent to Thomas Giffard, of Chillington, a commission to arrest Richard Peshall, to answer to the King for divers insurrections and felonies. Accordingly, on the first Friday in January, 1414-15, Thomas Giffard attempted to arrest him at Stafford. Richard, however, "refused rebelliously to submit," and John Jurdan and other malefactors, armed with swords, bows and arrows, rescued Richard Peshall, and would have killed Thomas Giffard had not the constables of Stafford, with other lieges of the King, come to his assistance. Richard Peshall was afterwards pursued and captured, and delivered into the custody of John Bagot, the Sheriff of Stafford. All these his misdeeds were presented to the King, by divers Hundreds of the County of Salop, at Trinity Term, 1415; and Richard was brought up, and put in exigend, and committed to the custody of the Marshal. He was afterwards brought before the Court, and questioned, when he produced Letters Patent of the King, dated 8th February, 2 Henry V. [1414-15], pardoning him for all his felonies and trespasses, &c., perpetrated by him before the preceding 8th December [1414]. He was therefore acquitted, and allowed to depart in peace.

      The question naturally suggests itself to us, how could a man guilty of murders, rapes, robberies, and a whole list of flagrant crimes, obtain a pardon, and get off scot-free? Where there was a war being a waged, a perpetrator of serious offences might serve in the army, and so gain a pardon by his good service. Where there was no war, he must have obtained his pardon through the intercession of some powerful patron. Probably in this way Richard Peshall obtained his pardon; and he, in his turn, interceded for his follower, John Jurdan, whose pardon is dated only two days later. In the middle ages, when everybody carried arms, there must have been many vulgar brawls and frequent deaths.

      Richard Peshall's outrages did not cease with his trial and pardon. Only two years later, in 1416, after having been bound over in a sum of £400 to keep the peace towards all the King's subjects, he went to Standon, in Staffordshire, and there he insulted, beat and ill-treated one Joan Boydell, so that her life was despaired of. For his offence he was summoned by the King's writ to appear at Easter Term, 1417, to answer for his offence, but he did not appear, and so his £400 was forfeited.

      Five years later, in 1422, he was indicted for divers felonies. On this occasion he appeared in person, and was bound over in a sum of 500 marks to keep the peace towards all the King's subjects, and especially towards William Hulle, of Newport. Thomas Corbet, John Esthope, Hugh Cresset, and John Leighton of Leighton, all well-known Shropshire men, entered into a recognizance of 100 marks each for the good behaviour of Richard Peshall, Esquire, of Chetwynd. Richard, however, could not keep quiet, for in July, 1427, he was at Mere, near Newport, and there he insulted, beat, and wounded William Lee, John Thikene, John Hancokson, and William Davidson. Proceedings were consequently taken at Michaelmas, 1431, to estreat the recognizances of his four sureties, and the Sheriff was ordered to levy the money on their land and chattels.

      From a document quoted in Duke's Antiquities of Salop, it would appear that he must have been outlawed about 6 Henry VI. [1427-8], when John Bruyn had orders to enquire what lands were held by him "at the time of his outlawry at the suit of the King." After this I have been unable to find any more documents about Richard Peshall.

  • Sources 
    1. [S774] The Chetwynds of Ingestre: Being a History of That Family from a Very Early Date by Henry Edward Chetwynd-Stapylton. London: Longmans, Green, And Co., 1892.

    2. [S953] The Parshall Family A.D. 870-1913: A Collection of Historical Records and Notes to Accompany the Parshall Pedigree by Horace Field Parshall. London: Francis Edwards, 1915.

    3. [S954] A Survey of Staffordshire by Sampson Erdeswick and Rev. Thomas Harwood. Westminster: John Nichols and Son, 1820.

    4. [S442] Kay Allen, 3 Apr 2002, post to soc.genealogy.medieval.

    5. [S955] Kay Allen, 20 Aug 1998, post to soc.genealogy.medieval.

    6. [S977] The Blackmans of Knight's Creek: Ancestors and Descendants of George and Maria (Smith) Blackman by Henry James Young. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: 1980.

    7. [S6177] W. G. D. Fletcher, "The Escapades of Richard Peshall, of Chetwynd." Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, 3rd Series, 6:217, 1906.