The medieval Burley family of Shropshire and Herefordshire

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Dec 2, 2007, 11:30:57 PM12/2/07
As a necessary part of my research into the life of Thomas Mallory of
Papworth St. Agnes, I soon realized that I would need to have an
accurate understanding of the Burley family of Broncroft Castle,
Shropshire. This proved to be one of the most difficult bits of
research I have ever encountered, because so much had been written and
published over the centuries, yet from the late 15th century on people
were confused and continued to become more confused, until, by the
19th century, it had become one huge mess of chronological
contradictions. This, literally, is the first pedigree of this family
which can claim a fair degree of accuracy. As a result, it will differ
hugely from what can be found on the internet or in printed sources.

Generation - 0

William de Hugley (born roughly around 1125) sometime, perhaps in the
third quarter of that century, died, leaving a son Helias and four
daughters, one of whom, whose name is unknown, married William de
Burley who would have been born roughly around 1150. When Helias de
Hugley (alive in 1194) died by 1203, his sisters become his co-heirs,
one whom (Sibil) dies unmarried and without children around 1220,
something which results in litigation among the other heirs. This
litigation makes it clear that her sister's son was yet another
William de Burley.

Generation - 1

The only record I have found of the first William de Burley was a
grant of land to his son-in-law, Brian de Jay, which was witnessed by
William's brother-in-law, Helias de Hugley.

Generation - 2

William de Burley II is fairly well recorded thanks to the above-
mentioned litigation. Very roughly, he would have been born around
1175 and was still alive in 1225.

Edelina de Burley, the daughter of William de Burley I and the sister
of Elias Hugley, married Brian de Jay of Bedston, co. Shropshire, who
had a brother by the name of Philip. Edelina and Brian had two
children, Robert and John. Edelina's son John de Jay married Joanna de
Buckenhull and had three known children Peter de Jay, Walter de Jay
married to a woman, like his mother, named Joanna, and a daughter

Generation - 3

Simon de Burley is mentioned as the son of William, which could only
be William de Burley II. He appears as both Simon of Burle in
Shropshire and of Birleye in Herefordshire in 1242-3 and 1249. The
spelling of these two place names varied wildly in the middle ages.
Apparently, according to differences in local pronunciation, the
Shropshire location eventually came to be spelled in modern times as
Burley and the Herefordshire location as Bireley. In the middle ages,
their spellings overlapped which would indicate that, perhaps they
took their name from the family possessing them rather than the land
giving the family its name as was the situation in so many other
cases. The ownership of these lands in both counties by the first
Simon de Burley is important, because it is indicates we are dealing
with one family rather than two, something which simplifies the
explanation of events that take place one and two centuries later. It
also gives an indication of when he died, as in 1274, the Shropshire
properties had been put in the hands of Sir Simon's successor Sir John
de Burley. By 1292, these same lands were in the hands of Sir John's
son Sir Roger. This would indicate that by 1292, at the latest, Sir
John had inherited what was now the main family property in
Herefordshire from Sir Simon which allows us to arrive at 1283 as an
approximate year of death, a very good life span for someone born
around 1200.

Generation - 4

The successor of Sir Simon of Generation - 3 is Sir John de Burley who
would have been born very roughly around 1225. There is no way to
prove that Sir John was Sir Simon's son, though the chances are good
that he was, due to the good chronological fit and the name Simon
reappearing in the future among individuals who appear to be Sir
John's descendants. Sir John de Burley was listed as an under-tenant
of lands in Burley in the Parish of Culmington in Shropshire in 1274.
By 1292 when his presumed son Sir Roger first appears as under-tenant
of the Shropshire lands, Sir John has succeeded to the main family
property in Herefordshire and appears as the lord of Burleye in that
county in 1305. This is the last notice of Sir John, and he probably
passed away not many years afterwards, thus like his presumed father
Sir Simon, living to a ripe old age for a man of his times of around
80 or more which would have been very good, indeed.

Generation - 5

Sir Roger de Burley, the presumed son of the Sir John de Burley of
Generation - 4, would have been born roughly around 1250. He was the
under-tenant of the Burley lands in the Parish of Culmington in
Shropshire by 1292 and continued to be shown in possession of them
until 1299, though by 1297 he had probably moved back to Herefordshire
to live with his aging presumed father, as a Sir John de Burley who
would best fit as the son of Sir Roger and grandson of Sir John who
was summoned to serve in the king's army for overseas duty in 1297 due
to the value of his possessions in Shropshire. Between 1305 and 1316
Sir Roger had inherited the main family estates in Herefordshire from
his father, his name appearing as the Lord of Birely in Herefordshire
in 1316. He must, however, have died in that same year, as his
presumed son, yet another Sir John de Burley receives a parliamentary
writ as lord of the same manor.

Generation - 6

Sir John de Burley of this generation would have been born around
1271, as his son Roger for reasons explained below would not have been
born much later than 1293. No doubt this would have been the year the
previous generation's Sir Roger had enfeoffed the younger Sir John of
properties he, in turn, still held of the elder Sir John of generation
- 5. The enfeoffment, though, had to have taken place by 1297, as the
Sir John of this generation appears to have already been in actual
possession of the family lands in Shropshire which seem to have been
reserved for the keeping of the de Burley heirs during this century
and, as is mentioned above, it was on account of the value of this
property having passed a certain threshold that he called to serve
overseas, even though his father could have still appeared in other
government surveys due to the fact he would have been his son's
immediate feudal overlord. The Sir John de Burley of this generation
(generation - 6) was married at least twice, as his widow Maude went
to court in 1325 for her dower, meaning that Maude was most likely not
his heir's mother and that Sir John, himself, would probably have died
either that year or the year before.

Generation - 7

Unlike the last three generations, there is definite proof due to the
litigation about his father's widow's dower that this generation's
Roger de Burley was the previous generation Sir John de Burley's son.
This Roger would have been born around 1293, as he held the family
properties in Shropshire 1314. He must have died very shortly after
the matter of the dower was settled, as in 1327, Simon de Burley holds
the lordship of the main de Burley property, the Herefordshire Manor
of Bireley.

Simon de Burley, in order to fit chronologically with the various de
Burleys of the next generation who do have a clear connection with the
de Burley family properties, must belong to this generation and not
the next. The most economical solution is to consider him as being the
immediately preceding Roger de Burley's brother. He could have been
born as early as 1295, though a date as late as 1305 could also work.
He is the one who most likely sired the de Burleys of the next
generation who made such a splash in the history of England during the
reign of Richard III.

Perhaps it would be proper to also affiliate here Walter de Burley, a
famous academic of the first half of the 14th century and who was made
responsible by Edward III for the education of his oldest son Edward,
Prince of Wales. A manuscript in the British Library written in the
handwriting of the famous 16th century antiquarian John Stowe states
that the introduction of the younger Burleys to the Prince of Wales
was through this man, so he cannot be of the same generation, though
whether he would fit better in the generation previous to this one is
something I am not yet prepared to categorically either affirm or
disaffirm. Walter de Burley and, to a lesser extent, an Adam de
Burley, who is also of this century and probably to be affiliated with
this family, had an immense influence on the intellectual climate of
England, so much so that Chaucerian scholars have spilled much ink
exploring whether Geoffrey Chaucer shows in his writings any of this
man's influence or not.

Generation - 8

Sir John de Burley, Knight of the Garter, would have been born around
1325 and was close in age to Edward III's son, the Prince of Wales. He
was apparently a childhood friend of the Prince of Wales and, in
battle, acted as a type of bodyguard. He earned the eternal gratitude
of the royal family by once saving the life of the Prince of Wales in
battle and was well rewarded by the Prince of Wales's father Edward
III and later by the trust and admiration of the Prince of Wale's son
Richard II who succeeded his grandfather as king, his father having
died before his grandfather.

His father married Amice (Amicia in Latin) de Penbrugge, a lady whose
name changes to Anne as the 14th century wears on, something that can
be documented as having happened to other Amice's of her generation.
As the later documents have a greater likelihood of giving us the name
the families of these ladies wished the women concerned to be known
by, I would like to refer to her hereafter as Anne.

Anne's brother was yet another famous 14th century knight of the
garter, Sir Richard de Penbrugge. Sir Richard was much admired by King
Edward III who piled on him honours, money, and land. Sir Richard was
married to a woman by the name of Petronilla about whom little is
known. He died in 1375 and his only son and heir Henry, a boy of only
15, died shortly thereafter.

With Henry de Penbrugge's death, his two aunts, the sisters of his
father, Sir Richard de Penbrugge, became his heirs. As is mentioned
above, Anne was the wife of Sir John de Burley. The other aunt,
Hawise, was married to Thomas de Barre. The two ladies amiably divided
their inheritance up between them and continued to keep good relations
between their families. This is evidenced by the fact that, not having
a suitable daughter of his own to marry off, Sir John de Burley,
possessing both marriage and property wardship rights over a rich
minor in his care, William Lucy, gave this young man in marriage to
his wife's sister's daughter, Elizabeth de Barre.

Sir John's most famous act historically was a fairly minor one in his
career. He took Geoffrey Chaucer along with him as part of his retinue
once on the king's secret business to the continent. The connection
with Chaucer must have been multi-faceted, though, as the early 15th
century Chaucerian manuscript now known as the British Library's
Lansdowne belonged at one time to Sir John's grandson (another Sir
John de Burley, but a different century). The Corpus Christi
manuscript copy of Chaucer's works is also said to have been once in
Burley hands, too. I have yet not had enough time to check the history
of the manuscript transmission of these two manuscripts, but it should
be interesting to do so in the near future.

Sir John's life is fairly well covered in various published works, but
the various family affiliations listed are not normally to be trusted.
He died in the mid-1380s before the collapse of his immediate family's
fortunes. His children will be covered under the next generation.

Sir Simon de Burley was made the tutor of the future King Richard II
by the Prince of Wales and the young prince remained devoted to him
the rest of his life. This was true, though, of others. He was given
the wardship of the Earl of Oxford during his minority and, throughout
his life, the earl remained so fondly attached to Sir Simon and
Richard II so attached to both men that it created jealousies that
rocked the body politic of England during the 1380s much as it had
been by the fondness of Richard II's great grandfather Edward II for
Piers de Gaveston. Sir Simon had no children, but he had immense
intelligence, great culture and exuded charm which, when he exercised
it, people found impossible to resist. A good example would be Anne of
Bohemia, who became just as fond of him as her husband. Another would
be his nephew Richard's wife who was a daughter of the Earl of
Stafford. His weakness was his disinterest in people not as cultivated
as himself, something which most people were and which eventually
caused him to be the victim of a politically motivated execution in
1388 and his lands to be seized. This devastated both the king and the
queen and the recriminations and counter-recriminations which followed
eventually resulted in Richard II's overthrow. Geoffrey Chaucer has
been assumed to have benefited from Simon de Burley's favour. I can
also assume this favour was an important part of the reason for the
good fortune that came the way of the relatively unknown but well
educated Sir Anketil Mallory whose grandson Sir William Mallory seems
to have married Sir Simon's grandniece Margaret Burley in the
succeeding century.

One last thing that needs to be mentioned is Sir Simon's library.
Among his books were a book of "Romans du Roy Arthur" (Stories of King
Arthur) and a book of "les propheties de Merlyn" (The Prophecies of
Merlin). I have not yet tried tracing his library, but it proves that
at least two books connected with the King Arthur story were in the
possession of the Burley family 80 years before the death of Thomas
Mallory of Papworth St. Agnes, someone who has occasionally been put
forward as a contender for having been the writer of "Le Morte
Darthur", the famous story of King Arthur and his knights and arguably
the first full-length English novel, as well as the greatest specimen
of English literature between Chaucer and Shakespeare.

Sir John and Sir Simon can be proven to be brothers and can be proven
to have a sister Maude married to a man from an established
Herefordshire gentry family by the name of Henry le Frene.

Sir Richard de Burley who appears as having taken an important role in
a battle in the war in France in 1364 is probably to be affiliated
here and is probably not the same Sir Richard who appears in the next
generation. This particular Sir Richard, however, is not otherwise
heard of in the context of this family, so he may not belong to this
particular de Burley family. (There were at least three de Burley
families in medieval England important enough to keep consistently
appearing in the records to even further keep things confused during
the course of my research on this family.) Alternatively, he may have
died in the French wars rather young or he may have been content with
a life away from court. For whatever reason, after his one appearance,
he seems to disappear.

Another individual who never became a knight, Alan de Burley, is
someone else who might fit here and who might have been the brother I
presume to have existed who married a sister of a Shropshire gentleman
John Burnell, an individual who appears to have been distantly related
to the Barons Burnell. This presumed brother would have been given at
least some of the family lands in Shropshire and lived in Shropshire
as a Simon Burley who appears after the death of the Sir Simon de
Burley of Richard II's reign can be shown possessing properties in
Burley in the Shropshire parish of Culmington. A reason for
considering Alan de Burley as the person who might have filled this
role is because he is recorded at his death in 1382 as having received
a salary of 5 pence a day to act as the king's messenger in
Shropshire. This doesn't seem like much, but in the money of 1382
would have generated enough income over the course of each year to
have comfortably raised a family on it and it places him at the right
position at the right time to become the progenitor of the Shropshire
Burley family who became, in their own way, as influential in the 15th
century as their predecessors were in the 14th.

Generation - 9

The oldest son of Sir John de Burley and Anne Penbrugge was Sir
Richard, also a knight of the garter, who I estimate to have been born
about 1349 and can show to have died in 1387. He married, as her
second husband, Beatrice the daughter of the Earl of Stafford. This
lady's first husband had been Thomas de Ros of Hamlake. Sir Richard
died a year before the downfall of his uncle Sir Simon, an event which
led to a temporary of eclipse in the Burley fortunes. The lands Sir
Richard possessed which he had entailed on his wife, she, as his
widow, then entailed on Sir Simon, her uncle by marriage, obviously
with the intention of some future property settlement which cannot be
immediately clear to us today. However, within months, Sir Simon had
been executed and his property seized, including the property with
which he had been enfeoffed by his nephew's widow.

Sir John de Burley, the younger, was probably the second son of the
elder Sir John. He would have most likely been born around 1351 or
1352. He had an active and fairly distinguished career, appearing in
the historical record with reasonable frequency. He died, however,
before his older brother Richard, so he would have died by 1385. He
had no children and probably had never married.

William de Burley was the third son of the elder Sir John. He was
never knighted, but well provided for financially by his father.
William was born about 1354 and died around 1388. William made little
impact on the world he lived in, but was well-liked.

Roger de Burley was born around 1361 and died about 1401. Roger was
married around 1382 to a woman who may have been called Alice. At
least, his wife at his death was an Alice who remarried to a Sir
Richard Arundel, a man who was eventually granted the wardship of
Roger's son (and possibly hers, though Roger is claimed in the usually
unreliable published pedigrees to have had two wives) John de Burley,
who was the future owner of the Lansdowne and, possibly, the Corpus
Christi early 15th century copies of Chaucer's works. Alice's
husband's mother was probably a member of the Ros of Hamlake baronial
family, so there would have also been a connection of sorts with
Beatrice the wife of Roger's older brother Sir Richard, as Beatrice's
first husband had also come from the Ros of Hamlake family. These
connections, obviously, deserve further research.

The elder Sir John and Anne de Penbrugge had only one surviving
daughter, Isabella, who married Sir John de Hopton. She would probably
have been born sometime in the years between her third brother William
in 1354 and her fourth brother Roger in 1361. 1357 or 1358 would,
thus, be a fairly reasonable guess and works well chronologically. As
a descendant of hers Elizabeth Hopton becomes the sole heir of the
Herefordshire de Burley estates in 1461, it would do well to write a
brief summary of this lady's descent. Isabella de Burley and Sir John
Hopton had a son, another Sir John Hopton, who was born perhaps as
early as 1373 but most likely not after 1377. Sir John Hopton the
younger married a woman by the name of Joan and had two sons, Walter,
the first son, who was killed at Ludlow in Shropshire and Thomas the
second son who became the family's heir. This Thomas Hopton married
Eleanor Lucy. Their son Walter eventually inherited both the Burley
estates from his father's second cousin William who was the son of the
owner of the above-mentioned Chaucerian manuscripts. William also
inherited the Lucy estates as his mother's heir. When he died without
having had children in 1461, the Hopton, de Burley, and Lucy estates
all passed to his sole heiress, his full and only sister, Elizabeth
Hopton. Elizabeth had been born in 1427 and in 1461 was married to
Roger Corbett of Corbett Moreton and the mother of a large family who
married well and prospered in succeeding centuries. We will come back
to her later before finishing this document.

The brother of the Sir John de Burley, knight of the Garter, who must
have existed and whom I have very tentatively and hesitantly assigned
in that position a rather obscure individual by the name of Alan must
have had two sons and possibly four. Purely for the sake of
convenience I shall designate them as so-and-so son of Alan. Please
remember that, though their father was certainly a Burley and almost
equally as certainly a brother of Sir John and Sir Simon of the
previous generation, without better evidence, we could never be really
sure of the name. One son, who was probably the first, was John
Boerely, who with the execution of his famous uncle, created a new
identity for himself that distanced himself from that man. As a first
step, he dropped the French "de" and as a second he started spelling
his name phonetically as it was actually pronounced by people of his
generation in Shropshire (the "boer" being "boar" as in wild boar). He
even adopted a new coat coat-of-arms, bearing three wild boar's heads
on it.

John Boerly was in a position where he had to make rapid adjustments,
and he did. Probably around 1386 or 1387, when Sir Simon was at his
peak of power and influence, John, in spite of having no land yet, was
able to marry Juliana Grey, the daughter of one Baron Grey of Ruthin
and sister of another. No doubt, this was arranged as a means of
extending de Burley influence in Shropshire and Wales where Lord Grey
de Ruthin had much influence. Through Juliana's mother, though, the
smart and ambitious young man had, by marriage, the Baron Strange of
Knockin as a first cousin, and both the Earl of Arundel and the future
Earl of Shrewsbury, Lord Talbot, as a second cousin. When Sir Simon
fell with such disastrous effects on the de Burley family fortunes,
John was caught between a stone and a hard place. The Earl of Arundel
was an important man in the group of lords that had conspired to
overthrow Sir Simon, have him executed, and, with this, all his
property seized. John's wife's extended family, as well as his wife,
herself, was, in all likelihood, too powerful to resist, even if he
had wanted to, so he adjusted himself to their needs, and prospered.
His behind-the-scene's influence, though, in parliament can be seen in
the rehabilitation of the main line of the de Burley family and the
return of most of their lands in the early 1400s. He was in a position
to do so because, when the old Earl of Arundel found himself in the
same situation as Sir Simon de Burley had ten years before, John
Boerly maintained his loyalty to the old earl's son until the son
could be rehabilitated on Henry IV becoming king. The new earl
willingly acquiesced in the total rehabilitation of the main line of
the de Burley family. John Boerly represented Shropshire regularly in
the House of Commons and when his brother-in-law, Lord Grey de Ruthin,
was taken hostage by Owen Glendower and the Welsh wars began in
earnest, John Boerly was the one who was commissioned by the king to
muster the men of Shropshire and the Marches to fight in the king's
campaigns. In the process, he became well acquainted and closely
associated with, not only the future Henry V, but also a distant
cousin of his wife, Lord Grey of Codnor, the general Henry IV had
chosen to prosecute the Welsh wars and, afterwards, the man he chose
to pacify that principality. Lord Grey of Codnor's wife was the
rather older half sister of a man alluded to before, Sir William
Mallory, the man who was to become the second husband of a woman it is
safe to assume to be John Boerly's daughter, Margaret Burley.

John Boerly and his wife endowed a church in 1411 to have masses said
for their souls regularly and his wife probably passed away in that
year or the next. Their children will be dealt with separately. Sir
John participated in a campaign in France in 1414, but soon returned
to England to die. His French campaign, though, was not very heroic,
as it appears it was army rations, combined with French water, that
killed him.

It would be fairly safe to assign John Boerly with a brother Simon who
appears as having had feudal tenure of lands in Burley in Shropshire
in 1399 and in 1422. I have not been able to find out anything about
him, but there probably would be records available somewhere in the
county archives of Shropshire, if someone would go to the trouble of
looking for them. Finding relevant documents, though, is not a job I
would relish.

Two other man who might be brothers of John Boerly are James Burley
who was pardoned for murder in 1384 and William Burley who appears as
the king's servant at the very beginning of the reign of Henry IV.
This particular William Burley is the ancestor of a long line of
Burleys who were locally prominent in Shropshire and can be documented
via the Visitations until almost 1600. This line of Burleys, because I
have so little information about it, I would like to treat hear for
the sake of convenience.

John Boerly's presumed brother William had two sons, William and John.
William's son John Burley may have been the one who received a pardon
for murder in 1410. (Murder seems to have been a very common crime,
almost a fashion of the times, and pardons for murder were also
equally common.) This John Burley, though, had a son Hugh who was
married to a woman by the name of Elizabeth. They had a son, Thomas,
who married Jane, a daughter of Thomas Eyton. Thomas and Jane had a
son who is known as Thomas Burley of Ponsbury and who is mentioned as
occurring in 1596.

Generation - 10

John de Burley, the owner of the above mentioned Chaucerian
manuscripts, and head of the senior line of the de Burley family was
born about 1383, petitioned parliament (surely with John Boerly's help
as lack of support from him would probably have killed the matter) for
Sir Simon's rehabilitation and the recovery of his lands. The
rehabilitation was granted and most of the family lands eventually
came into his hands, though after a couple of years had passed and
John Boerly's usefulness in the successful prosecution of the Welsh
wars had sufficiently sunk in. The young John de Burley married a
woman by the name of Margaret, probably someone connected with his
step-father's family. He passed away in 1428, leaving a son William
who, though he married a woman by the name of Jane, was the last
representative of the senior line of the de Burleys. When he passed
away, his estates passed, as is mentioned above, to his second
cousin's son Walter Hopton.

John Boerly and Juliana, his wife, had numerous children, though how
many is a matter of speculation.

William Boerly, the oldest son of John and Juliana, reverted back to
the former Burley coat of arms, but generally kept the spelling of the
family name his father had adopted. In spite of an illustrious career,
neither he nor his father was a knight. This must have been by choice.
They both obviously wanted to make an impact, but seemingly wanted
that impact to come from their intelligence rather than their titles.

William Boerly became one of the longest serving members of the House
of Commons in the 15th century and became its Speaker. As the years
progressed his position gradually changed from that of a staunch
Lancastrian in the reign of Henry V to a staunch Yorkist toward the
end of the reign of Henry VI. He was heroic in the conviction of his
opinions regarding matters of national policy (and there was no debate
about national policy for a good 45 years of his life which did not
concern him), but does not seem to have acquired all of his numerous
properties by means that would be approved of in this century. His
first wife and the mother of his two daughters was Ellen Grendon. His
second wife was a woman by the name of Margaret who survived him. He
would have been born around 1390 and died in the late 1450s.

John Boerly is also said to have had two other sons, John who was
supposed to have been in the service of the Earl of Arundel and Edward
who was a priest. However, I have this from a History of Parliament
and have not yet been in a position to check whether the source they
used in this case was reliable or not. Even though this is generally
an excellent resource, published information about who was who when in
this family are never to be trusted without confirmation.

John Boerly had one daughter who can be verified from the historical
record, Isabel, the wife of Thomas Fowlehurst of Cheshire. She had
children, but they died before her and, in the last years of her life,
her brother William Boerly acquired the manors in which had a dower
interest from her husband's heirs, probably to ensure her a quiet old

John Boerly is listed with half a dozen daughters or more in the
Visitations. Upon careful checking, only Joyce, who married a Gattacre
could possibly fit chronologically. Even here, different published
sources have different pedigrees, so a thorough search of contemporary
records would be necessary. It does appear worth doing though, and I
have that in my head as a future research object as it appears this
particular Burley female was an ancestress of William Thynne, the most
important editor of Geoffrey Chaucer during the 16th century.

Only one other daughter can plausibly be assigned to John Boerly and
Juliana Grey and that would be Margaret, but not the Margaret listed
in the Visitations as the marriage given her there would be
chronologically impossible for a daughter of John Boerly or any other
previous John de Burley.

Soon after Henry IV assumed the throne, John Boerly, because the new
king's father had had a special attachment to Sir Richard de Burley
(Sir Simon's nephew and the husband of a daughter of the Earl of
Stafford) and because what appears to have been John Boerly's brother
William was a servant of the king whom Henry IV appears to have been
fond of, John Boerly, was given the marriage rights over a minor by
the name of Robert Corbet, meaning that, even if Robert came of age,
he could not acquire possession of the property he held by feudal
tenure until he married a woman John Boerly had given him permission
to marry. Robert apparently came to a fairly quick agreement
concerning a woman so well-thought of by John that he went to the
trouble of also buying the wardship of the properties Robert was due
to hold by feudal tenure. Clearly the woman concerned was important to
John, so important that we must assume her to be either his daughter
or the daughter of a sibling that he was a foster father of.
Considering the times, any other option is highly unlikely. This, plus
the fact, that after John's death, William Boerly is chosen as one of
the feofees used in the technically complicated process of giving
Margaret a life interest in the manor of Shawbury, traditionally the
manor held by the mother of the heir of the Corbet properties. Robert,
in the beginning, had had no choice in the matter of his marriage, but
he was of age and long married when he made the land transfer.
Clearly, an arranged marriage had become one of love. Robert died in
1421 leaving his wife with five small children. In the same year,
Margaret remarried, this time to Sir William Mallory, the nephew of
the wife of the Lord Grey of Codnor, the man who worked so closely
with Margaret's presumed father John Boerly during the time of Welsh
wars. The children Margaret had with her two husbands will be
considered further on.

Generation - 11

William Boerly had two daughters by Ellen Grendon. The first daughter
Joan was married as a 16 year old to the much older Staffordshire
general Sir Philip Chetwyn, a first cousin of Sir Thomas Malory of
Newbold Revel. It has been speculated that this relationship gave Sir
Thomas a special geographic knowledge of south-western France.
However, Margaret Burley's son by Sir William Mallory would have been
a first cousin of the general's wife. This doesn't, of itself, mean
much, other than studies concerning the authorship of "Le Morte
Darthur" are still open to debate in many points of detail, even if
the debate favours Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel. Sir Philip,
though, soon died and Joan Burley (From her generation, all Burleys
reverted to more normal spellings.) married again Sir Thomas Littleton
who was a highly respected member of the judiciary and, in that ex-
officio capacity, a regular participant in parliament. His legal
thinking was particularly influential in shaping common law more
clearly with regard to issues dealing with land. Also, his hand can be
seen in the drafting of the constitutional documents justifying the
overthrow of Henry VI and the assumption of the throne by Edward IV.
This marriage (and also that of Joan's younger sister Elizabeth to Sir
Thomas Trussell) has been very fruitful in its impact on the British
upper classes. Margaret Burley, most surely the daughter of John
Boerly, had five known children by her first husband Robert Corbett
who was a member of the House of Commons and the lord of the Manor of
Corbet Moreton (so many spellings of this appear in the documents of
earlier centuries that I am not sure which is correct in terms of the
21st century). Her daughters were Mary who married Robert Charleton of
Apley, Elizabeth who married George Sandford of Sandford, and Dorothy
who married Philip Kynaston of Walford. All of these were the heirs of
prominent gentry families located in Shropshire and the marriages of
each of these ladies proved fruitful. Margaret Burley's two sons by
her first husband were Thomas who did not live long. He was apparently
married a woman by the name of Ancareta Burley and was a member of the
House of Commons once, probably as a result of his uncle, William
Boerley's influence. He died with no children and his wife apparently
died at about the same time, as there is no record of her being given
her widow's dower rights.

Margaret Burley's second son, Sir Roger Corbet, married Elizabeth
Hopton before anyone thought so many of her relatives would die off in
succession, leaving her one of the wealthiest women in England. Their
sons were Robert who died without children, Richard who became the
heir of the huge fortune of ancestors and the husband of Elizabeth
daughter of Walter Lord Ferrers of Chartley. Richard Corbet and
Elizabeth Ferrer's daughters were Anne the wife of Thomas Starry of
Rossall (Shropshire), Mary the wife of Thomas Thornes of Shelvock
(Shropshire), Jane the wife of Thomas Cresset of Upton (Shropshire),
and Elizabeth the wife of Sir Richard Cholmely of Cheshire. All of the
children of Sir Roger Corbet and Elizabeth Hopton had marriages which
left descendants, except for Robert who died young and possibly the
Cheshire marriage which I have not yet had a chance to check.

Almost immediately after the death of Sir Roger, Elizabeth Hopton,
married at the age of 39 or 40 as her second husband and his third
wife the first Earl of Worcester who delayed a trip to Ireland where
he was to go as the king's lieutenant (in practical terms, as a kind
of viceroy) by making a detour to woo her and marry her immediately.
In 1469, they had a son Edward, the second Earl of Worcester who died
as a teenager. In 1470, the first earl was executed by the Earl of
Warwick's government during the brief restoration of Henry VI. When
Edward IV came back to power in 1471, Elizabeth married a supporter of
the king as staunch as her husband had been, Sir William Stanley, the
brother of Lord Stanley whose second wife (her third husband) was
Margaret Beaufort, the mother of the future Henry VII. The Stanleys
not only had a natural interest in the future Henry VII's welfare, but
they also deeply resented that Richard III (or someone around him
which, to them, was the same thing) had murdered Edward V and his
brother Richard the Duke of York, the two young sons of Edward IV. The
Battle of Bosworth was won through the efforts of Elizabeth Hopton's
third husband Sir William Stanley and Henry VII made him Lord
Chancellor of England. Elizabeth is shown in various pedigrees as
being the mother of Sir William's only son but she would have been a
mother for the last time at the age of 48, so clearly this needs
checking. No pedigree, however, has her as the mother of his daughter,
so in spite of its implausibility, her bearing a child at such a late
age cannot be automatically rejected.

By her second husband, Sir William Mallory, Margaret Burley had at
least one son, Thomas Mallory of Papworth St. Agnes who was born 6
December 1425. He married a daughter of John Palmer and a niece of
Thomas Palmer, a prominent and long serving member of the House of
Commons from Leicestershire. Thomas, himself, was a member of the
House of Commons at least two times and may have participated on a
military campaign in northern England in 1462 as a companion of Edward
IV. He died during the first coup d'etat of the Earl of Warwick in
1469. It is not absolutely clear whether his death was from natural
causes or whether it was as a result of having been on someone's hit
list, possibly because of his close connections with the Earl of
Worcester. He left behind a family 10 children (the oldest being 17)
with the youngest still in need of a whet nurse as the child's mother
had died in childbirth. It goes without saying that he has numerous
descendants. Some scholars have claimed that he, and not Sir Thomas
Malory of Newbold Revel, was the author of "Le Morte Darthur" (the
stories of King Arthur and his knights). I thought it was a closed
case, too, when I began my research, though I don't think so anymore
for reasons that go beyond the intended scope of this posting. Now,
while the argument might still favour Sir Thomas of Newbold Revel, I
also feel sure it's definitely not a closed case. There is still room
for considerable discussion.

Margaret Burley and Sir William Mallory may have had yet other
children. One might be the Anne Mallory mentioned as a sister in
Thomas Mallory's will, though again this particular Anne could just as
easily have been the child of Sir William's first or even his third
marriage, the third one to a woman by the name of Margery. Another
child might be the Robert Mallory who was the Lieutenant of the
Constable of the Tower of London during the first years of the reign
of Edward IV. The Mallory estates were literally next to those of the
Earl of Worcester and many of Thomas Mallory's (and Robert's, if he
were Thomas's brother) relatives had close connections with the Earl
of Worcester's father who, before being given a peerage, was a
prominent member of the House of Commons. I think it is, at least,
plausible that Thomas Mallory, at least, and Robert Mallory (if he
were Thomas's brother) knew the Earl from childhood and that putting
him in charge of the actual management of the Tower of London was a
form of patronage on the part of the Earl. I also believe it would
explain other things in the life of the earl, of Elizabeth Hopton, of
Thomas, and, of course, of Robert, himself, but that, too, would
involve arguments that go beyond the intended scope of this posting.

This then takes the history of the medieval de Burleys of
Herefordshire and Shropshire to a time where they have abandoned the
initial "de" and where other sources of information can easily help
genealogical researchers, so with this I would like to stop.


Dec 3, 2007, 12:26:30 AM12/3/07

In that you are correcting existing pedigrees, it would be valuable to
know your own sources; occasional allusions to Visitations (which
ones?) & sweeping statements about the historical record are not
enough. Best, Bronwen

Douglas Richardson

Dec 3, 2007, 12:54:38 AM12/3/07
Dear Hikaru ~

Nice post, but you've left out ALL of your sources. Can you possibly
repost the message, and add your sources please?

I can provide you further particulars regarding John de Hopton and his
wife, Isabel de Burley. Please see below.

Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Family of John de Hopton, Knt., and his wife, Isabel Burley:

1. JOHN DE HOPTON, Knt., of Prilleston, Norfolk, Burwaton and Fitz,
Shropshire, Fulbrook, Great Harborough, Pailton (in Monks Kirkby), and
Wodecote (in Leek Wootton), Warwickshire, etc., son and heir, adult by
1370. He married before 1377 ISABEL BURLEY, daughter of John Burley,
K.G., of Birley, Herefordshire. They had one son, John. In 1370 he
owed £100 to John Brown, of Buckinghamshire, which debt was still
unpaid in 1376. In 1387 he granted the manors of Great Harborough,
Fulbrook, Pailton (in Monks Kirkby), and Wodecote (in Leek Wootton),
Warwickshire to John son of Henry Langford (evidently a trustee). His
widow, Isabel, allegedly married (2nd) JOHN TRUSSELL.


Blomefield, An Essay Towards a Topog. Hist. of the County of Norfolk 5
(1806): 319. Beltz, Memorials of the Most Noble Order of the Garter
(1841): 257-260. Lloyd, Hist. of the Princes, the Lords Marcher, and
the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog 3 (1882): 208. Tresswell &
Vincent, Vis. of Shropshire 1623, 1569 & 1584 1 (H.S.P. 28) (1889):
253-256 (1623 Vis.) (Hopton pedigree: "Sir John Hopton Knt. = [1]
Elizabetha da. & heir to Sir John Burley Knt. [2] = Johannes Trussell,
2d maritus"). Desc. Cat. of Ancient Deeds 3 (1900): 195. Trans.
Shropshire Arch. & Nat. Hist. Soc. 3rd Ser. 4 (1904): 302-304; 4th
Ser. 6 (1916-17): 233. VCH Warwick 6 (1951): 100. Shropshire Feet of
Fines, CP 25/1/195/18, no. 11 (fine dated 12 Nov.1379 between John de
Hopton, knight, querent, and William Thornhull and Florence, his wife,
deforciants, re. the manor of Burwarton and the advowson of the church
of the same manor, and a moiety of the manor of Fittes [Fitz],
Shropshire) (abstract of document available online at http://
PRO Document, C 241/158/56 (debt of John de Hopton, Knt. to John
Brown) (abstract of document available online at


Dec 3, 2007, 11:24:06 AM12/3/07

I apologize for the lack of sources. It was based on the traditional
works people use, the close rolls, patent rolls, fine rolls, curia
regis cases, feudal aids, etc. The extra frill came from the easy
access I have to the additional charters of the British Library and to
its manuscripts collection. Because I have attention deficit syndrome,
I can literally only do one thing at a time. My practice is to do
throrough research first. Then write things up from memory, then go
back later to rewrite and put in the sources. When I wrote the Burley
and Driby postings it felt literally as if the spirits of the past had
taken control of my hands and mind to make me tell their story. In the
case of the Burley posting I worked at my computer 16 hours non-stop,
except for making myself a couple of cups of tea and a small snack as
I went along. My notes are still terribly disordered but if there is
some detail that interests you, I would be happy to make a quick
search and send back the relevant source to you. The final version of
my book concerning Thomas Mallory of Papworth St. Agnes and a re-
opening of the question of the authorship of "Le Morte Darthur" will,
I hope, be ready by summer of next year. Putting in the sources, which
I recognize as all-important, will be several months down the line,
but I will be happy to send the relevant chapters fully sourced, as I
finish them, to anyone interested.

One last thing, thanks for the extra Hopton information. That family,
too, needs further study. Fortunately, the published work on them in
earlier times was not nearly as bad as with the Burleys. I appreciate
your input. It was an honor that a scholar of your stature would take
note of my postings.


Kay Allen

Dec 3, 2007, 11:43:42 AM12/3/07
to Hickory,
Sorry, I did not see your original post on the
Burleys. There is much in the archives on this topic
in the archives. There are two separate Burley
families. The traditional works are totally inaccurate
and grafted.

K Allen AG

--- Hickory <> wrote:

> > owed Ł100 to John Brown, of Buckinghamshire, which

> -------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email
> to with the word
> 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and
> the body of the message

Dec 6, 2007, 7:20:33 PM12/6/07
On Dec 3, 4:54 pm, Douglas Richardson <> wrote:

[pointless cross-posting removed]

> Dear Hikaru ~
> Nice post, but you've left out ALL of your sources. Can you possibly
> repost the message, and add your sources please?
> I can provide you further particulars regarding John de Hopton and his
> wife, Isabel de Burley. Please see below.

And on the subject of referencing, it is actually far more useful to
reference each statement, rather than to dump an unhelpful jumble of
sources at the foot of an article and expect one's readers to examine
every single one in an attempt to verify your material.


Peter Stewart

Dec 6, 2007, 8:30:35 PM12/6/07

<> wrote in message

> On Dec 3, 4:54 pm, Douglas Richardson <> wrote:
> [pointless cross-posting removed]

Pointless indeed, to the rest of us, but for Richardson there is always the
hope of finding another toady in another newsgroup. Bill Arnolds don't come
along in sgm every day of the week.

> > Dear Hikaru ~
> >
> > Nice post, but you've left out ALL of your sources. Can you possibly
> > repost the message, and add your sources please?
> >
> > I can provide you further particulars regarding John de Hopton and his
> > wife, Isabel de Burley. Please see below.
> And on the subject of referencing, it is actually far more useful to
> reference each statement, rather than to dump an unhelpful jumble of
> sources at the foot of an article and expect one's readers to examine
> every single one in an attempt to verify your material.

Quite so, Michael. Newsgroup participants have examined all sources cited by
Richardson in a number of lines in his latest book, PA3 (or RPA as he
prefers), as well as others dumped here from the same work in progress, but
these did not substantiate his arbitrary claims or alleged discoveries.

Louise Staley took a great deal of trouble over this in one particular case,
with Richardson - as usual when quizzed on his methodology - failing to help
in the enquiry or defend himself for making it necessary in the first place.

Far from roaring, the lion appeared to sleep through each of these
episopdes, and then shamelessly strutted back after wards as if nothing had
happened to his credibility as a scholar - still supported by a sorry few,
who put loyalty to someone who had duped and/or flattered them in the past
ahead of ethical considerations. Even remaining polite to some people can be
a badge of bad character.

Peter Stewart

Kay Allen

Dec 7, 2007, 12:37:13 PM12/7/07
to Douglas Richardson,
Dear Douglas etal.,

Isabel Hopton DID NOT marry Trussell. His wife is
someone else.

Kay Allen AG

--- Douglas Richardson <> wrote:

> Dear Hikaru ~
> Nice post, but you've left out ALL of your sources.
> Can you possibly
> repost the message, and add your sources please?
> I can provide you further particulars regarding John
> de Hopton and his
> wife, Isabel de Burley. Please see below.
> Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City,
> Utah
> + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
> Family of John de Hopton, Knt., and his wife, Isabel
> Burley:
> 1. JOHN DE HOPTON, Knt., of Prilleston, Norfolk,
> Burwaton and Fitz,
> Shropshire, Fulbrook, Great Harborough, Pailton (in
> Monks Kirkby), and
> Wodecote (in Leek Wootton), Warwickshire, etc., son
> and heir, adult by
> 1370. He married before 1377 ISABEL BURLEY,
> daughter of John Burley,
> K.G., of Birley, Herefordshire. They had one son,
> John. In 1370 he

> owed Ł100 to John Brown, of Buckinghamshire, which

Douglas Richardson

Dec 7, 2007, 1:16:59 PM12/7/07
On Dec 7, 10:37 am, Kay Allen <> wrote:
< Dear Douglas etal.,
< Isabel Hopton DID NOT marry Trussell. His wife is
< someone else.
< Kay Allen AG

Dear Kay ~

Good to hear from you as always.

When you have a moment, please cite your source, and, if you have it,
provide a weblink for your statement. Otherwise we just have your
word for this. As an Accredited Genealogist, you're well aware that
history and genealogy are based on evidence, not opinion. So, by all
means, let's see your evidence.

I'll follow up with my evidence and state the source.

Kay Allen

Dec 7, 2007, 4:17:14 PM12/7/07
to Douglas Richardson,
Dear Douglas,

Attack all you want. Why should I give you information
that I hope to have published myself? This information
has been vetted by Paul Reed and Dr. Neil Thompson,
who are both FASGs.

So, as you so often have said, "You'll have to read
the article(s)." :-) All the evidence is available, if
you look for it, as I did. Your evidence could matter
less to me, because I have the evidence disproving it.

Yours in collegiality,

Kay Allen AG

--- Douglas Richardson <> wrote:


Dec 7, 2007, 8:23:44 PM12/7/07
Douglas Richardson wrote:

Kay has given you a hint. She does not need to cite her sources.

Peter Stewart

Dec 8, 2007, 12:34:27 AM12/8/07

"Kay Allen" <> wrote in message

> Dear Douglas,
> Attack all you want. Why should I give you information
> that I hope to have published myself? This information
> has been vetted by Paul Reed and Dr. Neil Thompson,
> who are both FASGs.
> So, as you so often have said, "You'll have to read
> the article(s)." :-) All the evidence is available, if
> you look for it, as I did. Your evidence could matter
> less to me, because I have the evidence disproving it.
> Yours in collegiality,

Good for you, Kay.

With real experts at work in SLC, like yourself, Paul Reed and Neil
Thompson, it's a mystery that Douglas Richardson hasn't picked up some
useful tips on research methods and diligence from watching you across the
library table, waiting to follow you at the photocopier, etc. I'm sure he
must have picked up some other side-benefits for himself by doing this, but
not yet the lesson of honest and self-sufficient work obviously.

Peter Stewart

Darrell E. Larocque

Jan 6, 2022, 5:10:39 PMJan 6


I have no idea if you even have the same email or follow anything here anymore, but one passage that you wrote I found and it rings true which I am now looking at to prove:

"Sir John and Sir Simon can be proven to be brothers and can be proven to have a sister Maude married to a man from an established Herefordshire gentry family by the name of Henry le Frene."

I have found a source which mentions Maud, wife of Sir Walter Devereux, who I call 'the Elder' to differentiate from his son:

"Pardon, for 40s. paid to the king by Thomas de Maurdyn, to him Westminster, and John de Maurdyn and Agnes, his wife, of their trespass in acquiring to themselves and the heirs of Thomas from John son and heir of Henry le Frene a messuage and a virgate of land in Wystanston, Amberleye and Frene, co. Hereford, said to be held in chief, and the reversion of a virgate of land in the same towns, likewise held in chief, which Walter Deveros; and Maud, his wife, hold for the life of Maud of the inheritance of the said John son of Henry, and entering therein and receiving the attornments of the said Walter and Maud without the king's licence; and grant that they may retain the said messuage and virgate, and enter on the other virgate after the death of Maud, without let or hindrance."

Great Britain. ''Calendar of the Patent Rolls, Edward III, vol. 14: 1367-1370'', (London: 1913), p. 367.

This ties in directly with the Devereux research that I am conducting now, and I would love to know where you found this possible relationship from. The close association between the Burneys and the Devereuxs at this time really does explain this, but I need more obviously.

Darrell E. Larocque

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