Nielsen Hayden genealogy

William Tyrwhit

Male Abt 1390 - 1450  (~ 60 years)


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  • Name William Tyrwhit  [1, 2
    Born Abt 1390  [3
    Gender Male 
    Alternate birth Abt 1398  [4
    Died 1450  [5, 6
    Alternate death 7 Oct 1451  [7, 8
    Buried White Friars, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Person ID I9733  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of TNH
    Last Modified 9 Jan 2018 

    Father Robert Tyrwhit,   b. of Kettleby, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jan 1427 
    Mother Isabell Kelke,   b. of Barnetby-le-Wold, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1789  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Constance St. Quintin,   b. of Brandsburton, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1 Sep 1431 
    Married Bef Nov 1410  [8
    Children 
    +1. Adam Tyrwhit,   b. Abt 1411, of Kettleby, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1452  (Age ~ 41 years)
    Last Modified 3 Dec 2015 
    Family ID F2792  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Fought at Agincourt, 25 Oct 1415. Knight of the shire for Lincolnshire in March 1416, 1423, and 1426; sheriff of Yorkshire 7 Nov 1435 to 8 Nov 1436. Knighted by 22 Jul 1418.

      The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article about his father Robert Tyrwhit states that Robert's son and heir William was "thirty years old at his father's death", which would mean William was born about 1398. But this creates chronological problems both for William's first marriage and for the life of his son and heir Adam.

      The History of Parliament has William marrying Constance "by Nov. 1410", and furthermore says that William "died [...] on 7 Oct. 1451, leaving a son named Adam as his next heir. The latter did not live long enough to derive much benefit from his inheritance, and within the year he was succeeded by his own 22-year-old son, Robert."

      It seems to us more likely that the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article is deriving William's age at his father Robert's death from some document (such as an inquisition post mortem) that states that William was at least thirty years old when Robert died -- IPMs often seem to entail "at least" statements of that sort -- and that William could well have been born much earlier, say around 1390. While the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography gives no birth date for William's father Robert Tyrwhit, it does say that he "appears in chancery records as a JP and commissioner in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire from the early 1390s", and, later, that William was his eldest son and heir. So a circa-1390 birthdate for William is entirely plausible.

      This would mean that William married Constance by 1410 at age twenty or so; that his son and heir Adam was born in 1411 or 1412; and that Adam was old enough by 1430 or so to father his own heir Robert, which accords with the History of Parliament statement that Adam died "within the year" of his father William's 7 Oct 1451 death, and was succeeded by his 22-year-old son Robert.

      From the History of Parliament:

      The Tirwhits owed much of their importance in Lincolnshire to the successful career of Robert Tirwhit, the distinguished lawyer, who became a King's serjeant in 1399 and a justice of the king's bench nine years later, being also then retained as a councillor for the duchy of Lancaster. That he was in a position greatly to advance his own son's interests seems certain, for at the time of the latter's first return to Parliament in 1416, he was active on the bench in both Kesteven and Lindsey (as well as elsewhere) and thus probably played no small part in influencing the electors. William Tirwhit was, however, already a figure of some consequence in his own right, notwithstanding his early involvement in the unsuccessful rebellion led by the Percys against Henry IV in 1403. Royal letters of pardon had been granted to him two years later (probably through the intercession of his father), and, somewhat chastened by the experience, he returned to live quietly for a while at Kettleby, acting occasionally as a witness and feoffee for local landowners, including Sir George Monbourcher and his wife Elizabeth, the heir of Gilbert Umfraville, titular earl of Angus. It was during this period that he married his first wife, Constance, and received from his father an estate in the Yorkshire village of Thorngumbald. Despite the mediation of his maternal uncle, Roger Kelk, a dispute with one of his neighbours led, in November 1410, to a violent affray, as a result of which the judge himself went to law, claiming damages of £40 from his son's assailants. The case never reached a verdict, presumably because pressure was brought on the defendants to settle out of court; and in April 1412 William was confirmed in possession of these holdings, together with the manor of Wrawby in Lincolnshire, which also appears to have been settled upon him when he married. It is uncertain whether William took part in his father's celebrated attack upon William, Lord Roos, which incurred the wrath of the 1411 Parliament and led to the public humiliation of the judge, but he may well have been one of the armed men who attempted to ambush Roos 'in manner of war.' His rather belligerent temperament found a more legitimate outlet once Henry V's plans for an invasion of France got under way, and in April 1415 he was retained by the King to serve with three archers for the forthcoming campaign.

      Shortly after his return from France, Tirwhit entered Parliament for the first time. A year later, in the spring of 1417, he and Sir Richard Hansard (who was one of Justice Tirwhit's leading supporters in his dispute with Lord Roos) were arraigned at Lincoln on an assize of novel disseisin, but they managed to avoid appearing in court. The prospect of foreign conquests took him abroad once more in the following July as a member of King Henry's second expedition to Normandy. On this occasion he served with one mounted lance and three archers in the retinue of Robert, Lord Willoughby, for whom he was later to act as a trustee. The next four years were spent in France where he distinguished himself sufficiently to receive a knighthood and be made captain of three captured enemy castles. He apparently relinquished his command soon after the death of Henry V, and was back in England by September 1423, when he once again stood for Parliament, along with his old friend, Sir Richard. Although he was returned for the third (and last) time in 1426, Tirwhit clearly remained somewhat under the shadow of his father, and it was not until the latter's death, while still in office, that he came to occupy a dominant position in the county community. This was largely because of the dramatic improvement in both his finances and his territorial influence which followed his succession to the remaining family estates.

  • Sources 
    1. [S142] Royal Ancestry, by Douglas Richardson. Kimball G. Everingham, ed. 2013.

    2. [S1371] "H.N.C.", "Procession of St. John of Beverly, and Notices of Sir Marmaduke Constable, and of the Tyrwhitt Family." The Gentleman's Magazine, February 1835, page 150.

    3. [S866] Our own conjecture. See note at the entry for Sir William Tyrwhit (d. 1451).

    4. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-ongoing).

    5. [S59] Maddison's Lincolnshire Pedigrees, ed. A. R. Maddison, based on the work of Arthur Staunton Larken. London, 1902-06.

    6. [S439] Notices and Remains of the Family of Tyrwhitt, signed "R.P.T." 1862.

    7. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-ongoing)., year only. Entry on his father.

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