Nielsen Hayden genealogy

William Bonville

Male Abt 1332 - 1408  (~ 76 years)


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  • Name William Bonville  [1
    Born Abt 1332  of Shute, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Alternate birth Abt 1340  of Shute, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Died 11 Feb 1408  [5
    Alternate death 14 Feb 1408  [2
    Buried Newenham Abbey, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I7365  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 7 Jan 2018 

    Father Nicholas de Bonville,   b. Abt 1293, of Shute, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1354  (Age ~ 61 years) 
    Mother Joan de Champernon,   b. of Ilfracombe, Barnstaple, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F5171  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Margaret d'Aumarle,   b. Abt 1347, of Woodbury, St. Thomas, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 May 1399  (Age ~ 52 years) 
    Married Bef 1365  [2
    Children 
    +1. John Bonville,   b. Abt 1371, of Chewton, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Oct 1396  (Age ~ 25 years)
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2018 11:32:40 
    Family ID F2638  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Alice,   d. 27 Mar 1426 
    Married Bef 6 Jun 1402  [5
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2018 11:32:40 
    Family ID F2212  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • "[A]mong the most prominent west-country gentry in the late fourteenth century, serving as MP for Devon and Somerset on ten and seven occasions respectively, and receiving a large number of local offices and commissions. He was a liveried retainer of the leading regional magnate, Edward Courtenay, earl of Devon, a close political and family bond that was destined to be violently sundered in the mid-fifteenth century." [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry on his namesake grandson]

      According to the History of Parliament: MP for Somerset, 1366; Devon, 1371, 1376, 1378, 1379, Nov 1380, 1381, May 1382, Oct 1382; Somerset Oct 1383, Apr 1384; Devon Apr 1384; Somerset Nov 1384, 1386, Feb 1388, 1393, 1395; Devon Jan 1397, Sep 1397; Somerset 1399; Devon 1402. He was also elected for Devon in Oct 1377 but was on active service overseas, so his seat was taken by Thomas Pomeroy. Not counting this last, this comes to twelve times for Devon and nine times for Somerset.

      Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset 1 Nov 1381 - 24 Nov 1382; of Devon, 15 Nov 1389 - 7 Nov 1390.

      "The Bonvilles, of French origin, established themselves in Devon shortly after the Conquest and by the end of the 14th century their wealth and standing in the county had become second only to that of the Courtenays. The antagonism between the heads of the respective families in the mid 15th century, which expressed itself on the battlefields of the Wars of the Roses and ended in the extinction of the main Bonville line, was exacerbated if not caused by jealousy of the material prosperity of the Bonvilles, for which Sir William himself was largely responsible. At his death in 1408 he was holding some 40 manors, and extensive lands and rents, in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire, providing his grandson and heir with an income sufficient to justify his elevation to the House of Lords. Such material assets led Sir William into wide fields of public service and military enterprise. In 1369 he served under the duke of Lancaster at Caux and later at Boulogne, and in October 1377 he was again absent overseas and unable to take his seat in Parliament. His military career, however, was only an interlude in a remarkably active political life: beginning in 1366, Bonville sat, either for Devon or Somerset, in 20 out of the 33 Parliaments convened in the next 36 years. His position in the West Country, if not already evident from this near monopoly, may be gauged by the frequency of his appointments to royal commissions, some of which were of major importance." [History of Parliament]

  • Sources 
    1. [S790] The Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor, by Sir John Maclean. London: Nicholls and Sons, 1873.

    2. [S47] The History of Parliament. Some citations point to entries from the printed volumes not yet added to the online site.

    3. [S238] Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, by Douglas Richardson. 2011., place only.

    4. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008.

    5. [S238] Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, by Douglas Richardson. 2011.