Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Conyers

Male - 1490


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  • Name John Conyers  [1
    Born of Hornby, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Died 14 Mar 1490  [2, 3
    Buried Hornby, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I17125  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of JTS
    Last Modified 22 Dec 2017 

    Father Christopher Conyers,   b. Bef 21 Apr 1402,   d. Between 1461 and 1465  (Age > 58 years) 
    Mother Eleanor Rolleston,   d. 1433 
    Family ID F10671  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Margaret Darcy,   b. 1 Sep 1418, Ravensworth, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 20 Mar 1469 and 20 Apr 1469  (Age 50 years) 
    Married Bef 20 Nov 1431  [2
    Children 
    +1. Eleanor Conyers,   d. 5 Jun 1493
    Last Modified 29 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F10669  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Sheriff of Yorkshire 1467-68, 1474-75. Present at the coronation of Richard III in 1483.

      From Wikipedia:

      Sir John Conyers, one of twenty-five children of Christopher Conyers, was a pre-eminent member of the gentry of Yorkshire, northern England, during the fifteenth century Wars of the Roses.

      Based in Hornby Castle, he was originally retained by his patron, the regional magnate Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury at a fee of £8 6s. 8d. By 1465, he was Steward of the Honour of Richmondshire and was being retained, along with his brothers William and Richard, by Salisbury's son and successor as regional magnate, the earl of Warwick, for which he received £13 6s. 8d. He accompanied Salisbury on his journey from Middleham to Ludlow in September 1459, and took part in the Battle of Blore Heath on the 23rd of that month. He later took part in Warwick's rebellion against Edward IV in 1469 and the Battle of Edgecote, raising his 'Wensleydale connection, and possibly even being the ringleader, 'Robin of Redesdale.' He submitted to the King in March 1470. After Edward's successful return to power in 1471 he was a Justice of the Peace for Yorkshire's North Riding. A loyal retainer and probable ducal councillor of Edward's brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III (who retained him for £20 annually), he was made a knight of the body, at 200 marks per annum annuity, and substantial estates in Yorkshire, "where he was very active on local commissions." He was also elected to the Order of the Garter. In August 1485 he appears to have fought in and survived the Battle of Bosworth in the army of Richard III, and was later granted offices in Richmondshire by the new king, Henry VII in February 1486, as a result of 'good and faithful service.' He supported Henry during the first rebellion of his reign, in spring 1486, a position that has been called 'particularly significant' and, according to Michael Hicks, it 'was a momentous decision'.

      From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

      Like his father, John was a Salisbury retainer, but, unlike the now elderly Christopher, John was drawn into the conflicts of the 1450s. He was with the duke of York and the Nevilles at the rout of Ludlow in 1459, and was attainted at the Coventry parliament. He escaped the worst consequences of attainder, however, by having put his wife's inheritance into the hands of trustees who included men acceptable to the Lancastrian regime—a tactic adopted by Thomas Harrington at the same time. [...]

      [His father Christopher] was dead by 1465, when an extant Middleham account shows John retained at £20 p.a. by Salisbury's heir, the earl of Warwick, but does not mention Christopher. For the rest of John's life he was to be the linchpin of the Middleham retinue -- a role that in 1471 allowed him to move smoothly into the service of the new lord of Middleham, Richard, duke of Gloucester, after the defeat and death of the earl of Warwick, in whose earlier rebellions the Conyers family had been deeply implicated -- Sir John has himself been identified by some historians with the Robin of Redesdale who led the principal Yorkshire rising of 1469 against Edward IV. The family thus retained its claim on the patronage and favour of the greatest northern nobleman -- an important consideration when John was looking to advance not only the twelve children he had fathered, but also his younger siblings, such as Brian, his eldest half-brother, for whom he acquired Pinchingthorpe from the Sockburn branch of the family.

      From a national perspective Sir John's career reached its climax in 1483, when the lord of Middleham became king. John was made a knight of the body and a knight of the Garter, but his importance to the new king (and, perhaps, his own inclinations) kept him in the north, and unlike many of Richard's other northern allies he did not move south to enjoy the spoils of royal patronage. His kinsmen, too, tended to remain based within Richmondshire -- creating a slight sense of distance from the king's inner circle which perhaps stood them in good stead when Richard was defeated by Henry Tudor in 1485. As in 1471 the interests of the Conyers family and the new lord of Middleham coincided: one wanting lordship, the other needing to win over the Middleham connection. Barely a month after Bosworth, on 25 September, Sir John was among those commissioned to administer the oath of loyalty to the new king.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1768] Pedigrees from the Plea Rolls, Collected from Pleadings in Various Courts of Law, A.D. 1200 to 1500, from the Original Rolls in the Public Record Office, by George Wrottesley. 1905.

    2. [S142] Royal Ancestry, by Douglas Richardson. Kimball G. Everingham, ed. 2013.

    3. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-ongoing)., year only.