Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.

Gascoigne Questions

Skip to first unread message

John Watson

Jan 31, 2013, 12:34:14 AM1/31/13
Dear all,

I'm, hoping that someone can help me here, with a few answers concerning Sir William Gascoigne, chief Justice of the King's Bench who died on 6 Dec 1419.

According to a note in Testamenta Eboracensia: "Lord Chief Justice of England: Chief Justice Gascoigne was the eldest son of William Gascoigne, of Gawthorpe, by Agnes, daughter and co-heir of Nicholas Frank, and was the eighth William in succession of his family. He married first, Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Alexander Mowbray, and secondly, Joan daughter of Sir William Pickering, Knight, and widow of ... Greystocke. By his wife he left issue, Sir William Gascoigne, Knight, and by his second marriage, apparently a numerous family."
Surtees Society, Vol. 4, Testamenta Eboracensia, Part I (1835) pp. 390-5

Q1. Who was Sir William Pickering, Knight? I can find absolutely no record of such a person.
Q2. Who was Joan's first husband? Again there seems to be no record of this person.
Q3. In her will dated 1 May 1426 and proved on 12 June 1426, Joan, the judge's second wife, mentions sons Sir Christopher, James, Robert, and Richard. Were these sons from her first or second marriage?
Surtees Society, Vol. 4, Testamenta Eboracensia, Part I (London: 1835) p. 410

I think I asked these questions in this group a few years ago and received no reply.



TJ Booth

Jan 31, 2013, 1:11:42 PM1/31/13
to GenMedieval

Will try to do this in brief since I'm soon off on vacation. This may be a
rehash of what you have, but it's all I have in the database, there are not
many original sources, so maybe only clues here.

Gascoigne's second wife was clearly a Pickering based on arms. Per 'The
history and antiquities of Harewood: in the county of York'; John Jones;
London; Simpkin Marshall; 1859; page 99 @
Arms in the Church of Harewood
Nos. 2 and 3.-Gascoigne and Mowbray, Gascoigne and Pickering, Gascoigne
bore arg, on a pale sable, a lucy's head, hauriant, or. Mowbray bore gules,
a lion rampant; ar. within a bordure gabony, or. and sa. Pickering bore
ermine, a lion rampant, az. crowned or.
Jones then goes on to state - likely from the visitations - Sir William
Gascoigne, Chief Justice of England, was married twice, 1st, to Elizabeth,
daughter and sole heiress of Sir Alexander Mowbray, of Kirtlington, in the
county of York; and 2nd, to Joan, daughter of Sir "William Pickering, Knt.,
and relict of Sir Ralph Greystoke, one of the Barons of the Exchequer. These
arms were on a brass inserted in the south wall, representing the Chief
Justice between his two wives."

Her arms are those of Pickering of Killington Westmorland. Nicholson and
Burns have a sourced pedigree for the family at There are snippets about an
earlier Sir Thomas Pickering in "Early Westmorland MP's 1258-1327" @"pickering";
but I've not seen the book itself. He had the same arms. The snippet does
note "John [Pickering], who married Margaret, but died s.p. before 8
February 1335. (2) Robert, the eventual heir, who died before 1346, leaving
an eldest son,17 Sir James de Pickering, who served as M.P. for Westmorland,
Cumberland and Yorkshire, and . . ". This is consistent with Nicholson and
Burns. There is a DNB bio for Sir James d. aft Sep 1397 @ Her arms seem the best
clue here so far, but don't know if 'Sir William' was her father.

I don't know the original source of the 'relict of Sir Ralph Greystoke'
statement, but Foster's pedigree states a bit more "daughter of Sir William
Pickering, Knight., and a widow of Sir Ralph Greystock, Baron of the
Exchequer, temp.King Henry.6. ". No original sources though, and I've found
nothing more about Sir William Pickering or Ralph Greystoke. Elsewhere she
is said to have been relict of Chief Judge Henry Greystoke. See 'The judges
of England: with sketches of their lives'; Edward Foss; Vol 3, Page 435 @ Chief Judge
Henry, whose dates are early (last mention is 1356) and would seem a bit
old - maybe father of Ralph?.

The son James in Pickerings' will was surely a Gascoigne, and was the
first of the Cardington line followed in the Visitation of Bedfordshire.
James m. Joan Pygot dau of Baldwin, who was sister of the John Pygot whose
30 Oct 1453 IPM names his heir as John Gascoigne then age 20 years and 8
weeks (thus b. abt 4 Sep 1433 - suggesting his father and older bro were b.
aft 1400). The chronology works, with John the then eldest son of James and
Joan, but dsp when his brother George became heir of Cardington. See Robert
Eden & George Cole; 'History of the manor and township of Doddington'; page
24 @ Don't have a cite on
the IPM itself, but should be available, and don't know an original source
that states 'James son of Sir William'..

Don't have anything on the other males mentioned in Pickerings' will -
James is second of the four so likely all were Gascoignes - am not sure who
else had issue. As you've noted, Margaret mentioned in Pickering's will
could not be the mother of Robert Hansard b. 1377, who chronology would
place as a sister of the chief judge if she were indeed a dau of a William
Gascoigne. The [unsourced] Gascoigne pedigree in History of Harewood above
makes the Margaret in Pickering's the wife of Thomas Arderne, apparently m.
after will's date.

There is some chronological evidence (and her 1st name) to make Elizabeth
Gascoigne, wife of John Aske, the dau of Sir William Gascoigne by first wife
Elizabeth Mowbray. The chief judge was certainly the fatyher based on
chronology. Moriarty shows Elizabeth d. by 1396, and I have the
Aske/Gascoigne m. bef 1417. "In the 11th year of Thomas Langley, Bishop of
Durham [1417] John de Ask of Ergom, son and heir of John de Ask of Ouschip
in the county of York had licence to enfeoff John de Lyndeley and Thomas
Thurkilby, clerk of his manor of Harwyk, that they might regrant the same to
the said John de Ask and Elizabeth daughter of William Gascoign, of
Goukthorp, his wife with remainder over [45th Annual Report of the Deputy
Keeper of the Public Records, HMSO, London, 1885 p. 155]." Also note that
Elizabeth is not in Pickering's will - but then I don't know when Eliz died.

Terry Booth
Chicago IL
> -------------------------------
> 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


Jan 31, 2013, 1:32:05 PM1/31/13
Variant spelling

William /Pickering/ (Pykerynge) , Knt

John Watson

Jan 31, 2013, 5:17:16 PM1/31/13
> From: "John Watson" <>
> Newsgroups: soc.genealogy.medieval
> To: <>
> > with the word 'unsubscribe' without the
> > quotes in the subject and the body of the message


Thanks for your well researched answer. My problem is that I don't all
together trust secondary sources and visitation pedigrees, I'd like to
see some original evidence concerning these people.

Over the past few years I have searched in vain for a single
contemporary record of either "Sir William Pickering, knight" or
"Ralph Greystoke, baron of the Exchequer". I have come to believe that
they never existed and are figments of someone's imagination.

I'll keep searching though - maybe one day I'll find the answers to
these questions.

On the parents of Elizabeth, wife of John Aske - on chronological
grounds, I have her as daughter of William Gascoigne and Joan
Pickering. John Aske was married twice, firstly to Juliana, daughter
of Sir William Erghum (a marriage that is not shown in any visitation
pedigrees) and secondly to Elizabeth Gascoigne. Since his son and heir
Richard was aged 10 when John Aske died in 1429, I believe that he
married Elizabeth Gascoigne around 1417. I have a note somewhere that
Elizabeth Mowbray, the first wife of William Gascoigne died in 1396.



John Watson

Jan 31, 2013, 8:38:16 PM1/31/13
On Feb 1, 5:17 am, John Watson <> wrote:

Hi all,

Since nobody seems to have any answers I will give you my theory
(which at least has the advantage of involving real, rather than
imaginary people and fitting with all of the known facts).

Joan, second wife of Sir William Gascoigne, chief justice of the
King's Bench (d. 6 Dec 1419) was the daughter of Sir James Pickering,
knight, of Killington, Westmorland and Selby, Yorkshire, (d. ca.
1398), Speaker of the House of Commons.

In 1371 Sir James Pickering bought for £40 the wardship and marriage
of Christopher Moresby, (ca. 1357- aft. Nov 1391) son of Chrisopher
Moresby (d. Nov 1369) of Moresby, Distington and Culgaith in
Cumberland, and Asby Winderwath, Winderwath, and Winton in
Westmorland. My belief is that Sir James Pickering married the young
Christopher Moresby to his daughter Joan.

Christopher Moresby was knighted and became MP for Westmorland in
1390, but died about a year later. On 27 November 1391 his former
guardian, Sir James Pickering contracted at the Exchequer to pay £40
for the custody and marriage of his young son, Christopher, and £16
p.a. for the keepership of his estates.

Christopher son of Sir Christopher Moresby and Joan was born and
baptized at Winderwath in November 1380, Christopher was about 11
years old when his father died, leaving him heir to the manors of
Moresby, Distington and Culgaith in Cumberland, and of Winderwath and
Winton in Westmorland. His mother, Joan, retained the manor of Asby
Winderwath as a jointure. Christopher proved his age in February 1402
and obtained seisin of his inheritance in Westmorland and Cumberland,
along with unspecified estates in Yorkshire, which may have belonged
to his mother. He was knighted before March 1422. Sir Christopher
Moresby died early in 1443.

Jane, widow of Sir Christopher Moresby appears to have married, some
time after 1391, secondly as his second wife, Sir William Gascoigne,
of Gawthorpe and Harewood, Yorkshire. By him, she had at least one
son, James, later of Cardington, Bedfordshire. In her will dated 1 May
1426 and proved on 12 June 1426, she mentions a daughter [Agnes]
married to Robert Constable [of Flamborough] and four sons; James, Sir
Christopher, Robert and Richard.

James was her son by William Gascoigne, Sir Christopher was her son by
Christopher Moresby. The other two sons could be by either of her
husbands. At the moment I am searching for either a Robert or a
Richard Moresby in the early to mid 1400's. This I think would be a
further proof of this theory - can anyone help?

Best regards,


John Watson

Feb 1, 2013, 4:32:01 AM2/1/13
Hi all,

I have found some further (and I think extremely good) proofs of my
theory that Joan, second wife of William Gascoigne, (d. 1419) was the
daughter of Sir James Pickering and widow of Sir Christopher Moresby.

Joan Gascoigne mentions in her will dated 1 May 1426 three sons; Sir
Christopher, Robert and Richard. Two years later these three, who must
surely be her sons appear together in the papal registers:
6 Kal. Dec 1428, Christopher Moresby, knight, of the diocese of
Carlisle, Robert Moresby, donsel, of the diocese of York, and Richard
Moresby, canon of London, had papal indults that the confessor of
their choice may grant them, being penitent and having confessed,
plenary indulgence once only, namely in the hour of death [1].

Richard Moresby, as it appears from the above record was a clergyman:

On 8 November 1424 Richard Moresby was instituted to the church of
Holme-upon-Spalding Moor on the presentation of Robert Constable, lord
of Flamborough and of Holme-upon-Spalding Moor [2]. Robert Constable
of Flamborough had married Agnes, the daughter of Joan Pickering who
mentions him in her will, so Richard Moresby was Robert's brother-in-
law. As was normal at this time, ecclesiastical presentments were
often used as a way of providing an income for relatives.

In her will Joan Gascoigne requests "and my bones to be buried in the
kyrk of Holme in Spaldyngmore" [3]. So the priest performing the
burial service was her son, Richard Moresby.

On 5 Ides of November 1428, Agnes Constable, noblewoman, wife of
Robert Constable of Holme, of the diocese of York had a papal indult
to have a portable altar [4]. The next entry in the papal register,
dated the same day, gives the same indulgence to Richard Moresby,
canon of London. It would appear that Agnes and her half brother
Richard Moresby had applied for this indulgence together.

Richard Moresby seems to have held many different ecclesiastical
benefices. On 12 November 1447, Richard Moresby, canon and archdeacon
of Huntingdon in Lincoln, I.U.B. was given an undult during ten years
to visit his archdeaconry by deputy, and any archdeaconries which he
may meanwhile obtain, and to receive the procurations, even in ready
money [5]. Richard Moresby, Archdeacon of Huntingdon died in 1461 [6].

About Robert Moresby, I have yet to find any records.

Best regards,


1. Calendar of Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland,
Volume 8: 1427-1447 (1909), pp. 122-136
2. Joan W. Kirby, The York Sede Vacante Register 1423-1426 (Borthwick
Publications: 2009) p. 40, No. 251
3. Surtees Society, Vol. 4, Testamenta Eboracensia, Part I (1835) p.
4. Calendar of Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland,
Volume 8: 1427-1447 (1909), pp. 122-136
5. Calendar of Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland,
Volume 10: 1447-1455 (1915), pp. 38-47
6. John Le Neve, Fasti Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ (1715) p. 159

Feb 1, 2013, 7:18:47 PM2/1/13


On vacation so no access to notes, but the Moresby theory makes great sense. The only solid evidence that Joan was a Pickering is the arms evidence on the tomb, which also ties her to Killingham. There is no Sir William of Killingham at the time, but there is a Sir James with the right chronology. Pedigrees sometimes make up first names, the 'Sir William' is not to be trusted, nor the pedigree ID of her 1st husband. Great work adding the Moresby detail. Will need to study it more, but you're right the pedigree names have no contemporary support.

Didn't the Chief Justice name 4 sons - but no daughters - in his will? I don't recall the names beyond William and whether he called each one a Gascoigne. I think it sometimes happened about that time that sometimes step-sons might be called sons, but would have to review the will to see if it holds water.

Still like John Aske's 2nd wife being dau of the chief justice based on the record I previously sent suggesting the marriage was shortly before 1417 (and of course her son was b. aft 1417 based on the IPM). The pedigrees at that time had a very tough time identifying which William was father of which Gascoigne daughter. I do recall Aske's first wife being Juliana and had some sources for her (now back home), I recall the marriage was early - late 1380's or 1390's, don't recall her last mention. Is there any evidence beyond the iffy pedigree his 2nd wife was sister of the chief Justice?

James, the Harewood pedigree of Gascoigne is not totally to be trusted since it sometimes cites few or no contemporary sources, but maybe I overlooked a contemporary source making Aske's wife the chief judge's sister. The arms on the tomb are contemporary so I believe the Pickering family identification, and I believe that Aske's 2nd marriage was shortly before 1417. Wasn't the chief judge b. around 1350? To have children around 1420,wouldn't she have to be b. no earlier than 1375 or 1380? If a dau of the chief judge, there is no problem with b. 1390's if by Eliz Mowbray. My question was if she could be Joan's daughter. The name Elizabeth fits with Mowbray, but don't recall the name of the chief judge's mother - or maybe it's not known.

Better stop here - the tequila seems to be affecting my memory..

Terry Booth
Vallodolid, Yucatan
To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
0 new messages