Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Bonville

Male - 1499

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  John Bonville was born in in of Comberleigh, Devon, England (son of William Bonville and Elizabeth Kirkby); died on 7 May 1499.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: of Little Modbury, Devon, England


    Also called John Bountle.

    John married Alice Dennis before 1478. Alice (daughter of William Denys and Joan St. Aubyn) was born about 1451; died after 1500. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

    1. Florence Bonville

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  William Bonville was born on 12 Aug 1391 in Shute, Devon, England (son of John Bonville and Elizabeth Fitz Roger); died on 18 Feb 1461 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: 1392
    • Alternate birth: 12 Aug 1392, Shute, Devon, England
    • Alternate birth: 31 Aug 1392, Shute, Devon, England
    • Alternate birth: 13 Aug 1393
    • Alternate birth: 30 Aug 1393
    • Alternate death: 19 Feb 1461


    From Wikipedia:

    Bonville was knighted before 1417 during the campaigns in France of King Henry V. He was Knight of the shire for Somerset in 1421, and for Devon in 1422, 1425 and 1427. In 1423 he was appointed by the king as Sheriff of Devon. He was Seneschal of Aquitaine at various times from 1442 to 1453, and Governor of Exeter Castle from 1453–61. In 1443 Bonville was retained to serve King Henry VI for a one-year term and in 1449 was retained to serve the King at sea. He was summoned to Parliament from 10 March 1449 to 30 July 1460 by writs directed, for the most part, Willelmo Bonville domino Bonville et de Chuton ("To William Bonville, lord of Bonville and Chewton"), by which he is held to have become Baron Bonville. On 8 February 1461 he was nominated to the Order of the Garter.

    In 1441 riots resulted from a dispute over the Duchy of Cornwall between Bonville and Thomas Courtenay, 13th Earl of Devon, and on 14 December 1455 the two sides fought the Battle of Clyst Heath near Exeter, which resulted in the defeat of Bonville, the sacking of Shute and injury to a number of persons.

    Bonville was to all outward appearances loyal to King Henry VI during the Wars of the Roses until he joined the Yorkist side at the Battle of Northampton in July 1460. Both his son, William Bonville, and his grandson, William Bonville, 6th Baron Harington, were slain at the Battle of Wakefield on 31 December 1460.

    Less than two months later in 1460 the Yorkists suffered another defeat at the Second Battle of St Albans, where Lord Bonville and another Yorkist, Sir Thomas Kyriel, were taken prisoner by the victorious Lancastrians. The two men had kept guard over King Henry VI during the battle to see that he came to no harm. The King had been held in captivity by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, and transported in the train of the latter's army, but had been abandoned on the battlefield. In return for their gallantry the King promised the two men immunity. However Queen Margaret, who was present at the battle, remembered that Lord Bonville had been one of the men who had held King Henry in custody after the Battle of Northampton in July 1460, and wanted revenge. Disregarding the King's promise of immunity, she gave orders for the beheading of Lord Bonville and Sir Thomas Kyriel the next day, 18 February 1461. It is alleged that she put the men on trial and appointed as presiding judge her seven-year-old son, Prince Edward. "Fair son", Margaret is said to have inquired, "what death shall these knights die?" The young prince replied that they were to have their heads cut off, an act which was swiftly carried out, despite the King's pleas for mercy.

    Bonville was not attainted, as within three weeks of his death the Yorkist King Edward IV came to the throne. Bonville's widow, Elizabeth, was assigned a substantial dower in recognition of his services to the Yorkist cause.

    From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

    While his extensive and complex inheritances led to some violent disputes with neighbours during these years, these were on nothing like the scale of disorder that was to characterize Bonville's notorious conflict with the Courtenays during the 1440s and 1450s.

    This power struggle was triggered by the appointment of Bonville in 1437 as royal steward in Cornwall for life. This was seen by the young Thomas Courtenay, thirteenth earl of Devon, recently come of age and in possession of a severely reduced inheritance, as a serious challenge to his own regional authority. The bitterness of the strife that grew from this was symptomatic of a change in the local balance of power and wealth that had over a generation tilted against the Courtenay earls (the traditional leaders of west-country society) in favour of a small group of powerful gentry among whom Bonville was pre-eminent.

    Violence reached an alarming level during the summers of 1439 and 1440, and the situation was worsened by a serious blunder on the part of the government--the appointment of the earl to the stewardship of the duchy of Cornwall, a post so similar to that held by Bonville as to be hardly distinguishable from it. Urgent attempts at even-handedness and arbitration failed, and the dispute was only temporarily resolved by the appointment of Bonville as seneschal of Gascony in December 1442, thereby removing him temporarily from the scene (he sailed from Plymouth in March 1443 but was back in Devon by April 1445). Even though the government, coming increasingly under the influence of the duke of Suffolk, was careful not to antagonize the earl of Devon, the latter was clearly seen to be the principal culprit. Bonville's connection with Suffolk grew stronger. He was a member of Suffolk's entourage at Margaret of Anjou's betrothal ceremonies at Rouen in May 1444, and married his daughter Elizabeth to one of Suffolk's henchmen, Sir William Tailboys. This development culminated in the parliament of 1449, when Bonville was raised to the peerage as Baron Bonville of Chewton.

    Antagonisms hardened after the fall of Suffolk in 1450. The earl of Devon attached himself to the duke of York, and felt confident enough in the summer of 1451 to risk an encounter in the field with Bonville (and his ally, James Butler, earl of Wiltshire). Despite much plunder and violence, a major showdown was avoided when York's unexpected arrival in the west country persuaded the earl of Devon to lift the siege of Taunton Castle, which Bonville had made his headquarters. Although temporarily imprisoned (as were Devon and the other principal malcontents), Bonville was soon able to exploit the dramatically changed political situation that followed the humiliating submission of York and Devon to the king at Dartford on 3 March 1452.

    Between 1452 and 1455 Bonville became the dominant force in west-country politics [...] and the king personally reinforced his position by staying at Bonville's house at Shute on his progress through the west country in the summer of 1452. Bonville was confirmed as steward of the duchy of Cornwall in 1452 (the post that had triggered the violence in 1439), and appointed constable of Exeter Castle in 1453, both posts to be held for life. [...]

    These partisan appointments of Bonville to positions within the earl of Devon's traditional zone of influence forced the earl to take increasingly desperate measures [...] [T]he enmities that had grown over more than twenty years proved irresolvable. The death in 1458 of Bonville's old adversary afforded him little comfort. The new earl of Devon [...] quickly gained favour with Queen Margaret, and this presented enormous risks for Bonville and his family.

    William married Elizabeth Kirkby. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 3.  Elizabeth Kirkby


    Also called Isabel Kirkby.

    1. 1. John Bonville was born in in of Comberleigh, Devon, England; died on 7 May 1499.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  John Bonville was born about 1371 in of Chewton, Somerset, England (son of William Bonville and Margaret d'Aumarle); died on 21 Oct 1396.

    John married Elizabeth Fitz Roger before 18 Oct 1377. Elizabeth (daughter of John Fitz Roger and Alice) was born on 15 Aug 1370 in of Chewton, Somerset, England; died on 15 Apr 1414. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 5.  Elizabeth Fitz Roger was born on 15 Aug 1370 in of Chewton, Somerset, England (daughter of John Fitz Roger and Alice); died on 15 Apr 1414.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: 16 Apr 1414

    1. Isabel Bonville
    2. 2. William Bonville was born on 12 Aug 1391 in Shute, Devon, England; died on 18 Feb 1461 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England.

Generation: 4

  1. 8.  William Bonville was born about 1332 in of Shute, Devon, England (son of Nicholas de Bonville and Joan de Champernon); died on 11 Feb 1408; was buried in Newenham Abbey, Devon, England.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: Abt 1340, of Shute, Devon, England
    • Alternate death: 14 Feb 1408


    "[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]

    William married Margaret d'Aumarle before 1365. Margaret (daughter of William d'Aumarle and Agnes) was born about 1347 in of Woodbury, St. Thomas, Devon, England; died on 25 May 1399. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 9.  Margaret d'Aumarle was born about 1347 in of Woodbury, St. Thomas, Devon, England (daughter of William d'Aumarle and Agnes); died on 25 May 1399.
    1. Elizabeth Bonville died before 1 Nov 1452.
    2. 4. John Bonville was born about 1371 in of Chewton, Somerset, England; died on 21 Oct 1396.

  3. 10.  John Fitz Roger was born between 1345 and 1352 in of Chewton, Somerset, England (son of Henry fitz Roger and Elizabeth de Holand); died about 1371.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: Bef 1372

    John married Alice before 26 Apr 1369. Alice died on 27 Mar 1426; was buried in Newenham Abbey, Devon, England. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 11.  Alice died on 27 Mar 1426; was buried in Newenham Abbey, Devon, England.


    Called in some sources Alice Cheddar.

    1. 5. Elizabeth Fitz Roger was born on 15 Aug 1370 in of Chewton, Somerset, England; died on 15 Apr 1414.