Dear Newsgroup ~
Complete Peerage 1 (1910): 283–284 (sub Astley) includes an account of Sir Thomas de Astley, 3rd Lord Astley [died c.1389]. Regarding his marriage, the following information is provided:
"He married, before 1336/7, when she was living, Elizabeth, daughter of Guy (de Beauchamp), 2nd Earl of Warwick, by Alice, daughter of Ralph de Toni. He was living 3 May 1366." END OF QUOTE.
Complete Peerage gives no documentation for the marriage. On page 284, footnote a, it only adds the following strange comment:
"Thomas Astley and Margaret his wife were living 15 July 1334 (Pat. Rolls.). V.G." END OF QUOTE
Actually, the Patent Rolls do not say that Sir Thomas de Astley had a wife Margaret on 15 July 1334. The record in question is found in C.P.R. 1330–1334 (1893): 560, and reads as follows:
"Date: July 15 . License for the alienation in mortmain in Thomas de Asteleye of Morton of a messuage and a carucate of land in Hullemorton to a chaplain to celebrate divine service daily in the chapel of St. Mary, in Hullemorton church, for the souls of the said Thomas, Margery his wife, Edith de Asteleye, the father and mother of Thomas and his heirs and ancestors." END OF QUOTE
As we can see, the license in this record was granted to Thomas de Astley, of Hillmorton, Warwickshire, which individual was in fact the great-uncle of Sir Thomas de Astley who married Elizabeth de Beauchamp. Also the name of the wife of Thomas Astley of Hillmorton is named as Margery in this record, not Margaret.
Elsewhere Dugdale, Antiquities of Warwickshire 1 (1730): 392 quotes from the will of Sir Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick [died 1315], which Guy was the father of Elizabeth de Beauchamp, wife of Sir Thomas de Astley. According to the terms of Sir Guy's will dated 28 July 1315, Dugdale says Earl Guy bequeathed his daughter, Elizabeth, "the marriage of Astley's heir (whom she took to husband, as in Astley I have already shewed)."
"Astley's heir" was of course Sir Thomas de Astley, 3rd Lord Astley. Complete Peerage says he was the son and heir of Giles de Astley, who died before 1316. Sir Thomas de Astley was also heir of his father's elder brother, Nicholas de Astley, 2nd Lord Astley, who Dugdale Antiqs. of Warwickshire 1 (1730): 109 says was last known to be living in 1314, when he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Strivelin [i.e., the Battle of Bannockburn]. Complete Peerage agrees that Nicholas de Astley, 2nd Lord Astley, was taken prisoner, not slain as some say, at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and that he died in 1325. The statement that Nicholas de Astley died in 1325 is not documented by Complete Peerage. Nicholas de Astley must surely have died long before 1325, however, as Sir Guy de Beauchamp's will dated 1315 specifically refers to "Astley's heir" who was clearly an underage unmarried minor. Also I note that in 1316 the "heir of Nicholas Asteley" was recorded as holding a fee in Whittington (in Grendon), Warwickshire of the Earl of Warwick [see VCH Warwick 4 (1947): 77, which cites Cal. IPM, v, p. 404]. Thus it would appear that Nicholas de Astley died in or before 1315, not 1325.
That Sir Thomas de Astley's wife, Elizabeth, was a Beauchamp by birth is affirmed by Nichols, Hist. & Antiqs. of Leicester 4(1) (1807): 61, which discusses the northeast window in the church of Broughton, Leicestershire:
“The picture of Thomas lord Astley kneeling, holding up his hands the shield of Astley. The same coat also upon his surcoat. Over against him, in the same window, his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Guy de Beauchamp earl of Warwick, kneeleth; holding an escutcheon, Quarterly, Beauchamp and Astley. Her gown is, Azure, semé of cinquefoils Ermine [ASTLEY]; her mantle upon her gown Gules Crusuly Or [BEAUCHAMP]).
Reviewing the above, we see that Complete Peerage states that Sir Thomas de Astley and his wife, Elizabeth de Beauchamp, were married by 1336/7, when she was allegedly living. But no documentation is given for that statement. As will be see further below, this couple were married actually before Easter term 1332.
In a related vein, Elizabeth de Beauchamp is known to have had a sister, Maud de Beauchamp, who married Sir Geoffrey de Say, 2nd Lord Say [died 1359]. Complete Peerage 11 (1949): 475–477 (sub Say) includes an account of Sir Geoffrey de Say, 2nd Lord Say. Regarding Sir Geoffrey's marriage, the following information is provided:
"He married Maud, daughter of Guy (de Beauchamp), Earl of Warwick, by Alice, daughter of Ralph de Toni. He died 26 June 1359. Maud survived him and died 28 July 1369." END OF QUOTE
On page 477, footnote e, the following documentation is provided for the marriage of Geoffrey and Maud:
Cal. Patent Rolls, 1361-64, pg. 48.
This item is a license dated 1361, in which Maud de Say, mother of WIlliam de Say, is styled “sister” to Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick in 1361.
Further evidence of Maud de Say's parentage is found in Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds 4 (1902): 235, which is an acquittance dated 1356 from Maud de Say, one of the executors of [Geoffrey] de Say, to her sister, [Juliana de Leyborne], Countess of Huntingdon. Maud de Say and Juliana, Countess of Huntingdon, were half-sisters, they both being daughters of Alice de Tony but by two different husbands. [Note: The acquittance is dated 1356 [30 Edward III] in the published abstract; however, Geoffrey de Say died in 1359. As such, the acquittance must date from after 1356].
Conclusive evidence of the parentage of both Elizabeth, wife of Sir Thomas de Astley, and Maud, wife of Sir Geoffrey de Say, is found in a Common Pleas lawsuit dated Easter 1332. The lawsuit proves that both women were married by that date and that both were daughters of Sir Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.
In Easter term 1332 Thomas de Asteleye and Elizabeth his wife sued Adam de Herwynton, executor of the will of Guy de Beauchamp, late Earl of Warwick, regarding legacies owed to Thomas and Elizabeth his wife, Geoffrey le Say and Maud his wife, and John de Beauchamp, as heirs of Earl Guy. Reference: Court of Common Pleas, CP40/290, image 302f (available at http://aalt.law.uh.edu/
As shown by Dugdale cited above, Sir Guy de Beauchamp names all three children, John, Maud, and Elizabeth in his will dated 1315.
As to the death date of Elizabeth de Beauchamp, wife of Sir Thomas de Astley, Complete Peerage states only that she was living in 1336/7. The following record, however, indicates Elizabeth was living in 1341:
In 1341 Thomas de Asteleye, Knt., obtained license to alienate to the canons of Arbury, Warwickshire a messuage and 36 acres of land in Wolvey, Warwickshire to sustain a chaplain to be found by them to celebrate daily mass in the priory church for the good estate of the said Thomas, Elizabeth his wife, Alice de Wolveye, and Andrew de Asteleye, for their souls after death. [References: Cal. Patent Rolls, 1340–1343 (1900): 348; VCH Warwick 2 (1908): 90].
One final matter. Maud de Beauchamp, widow of Geoffrey de Say, left a will proved 1369, requesting burial in the church of the Black Friars, London near “Edmund, my beloved husband.” Reference: Nicolas, Testamenta Vetusta 1 (1826): 83.
Complete Peerage does not identify Maud's husband, Edmund. Nor have I been able to learn his identity. I've located the following records of Maud following the death of her known husband, Geoffrey de Say. These records refer to her surname as Say consistently after Geoffrey's death. None of these records mention a husband Edmund.
Geoffrey's widow, Maud, was assigned dower 20 August 1359. In 1361 she sued John James and Joan his wife and others in the Court of the King’s Bench regarding a trespass. The same year she petitioned the king requesting a renewal of the charter of pardon granted to John Martyn, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, priest, for the death of Walter de Walsoken. In 1365 she sued William Kyng, of Birling, Kent in the Court of Common Pleas regarding a reasonable account of the time he was her receiver of money. In 1366 she had license to have an oratory in her house in St. Dunstan’s in the East, London. In 1367 Thomas Longspe and his wife, Maud, executrix of the will of Richard Shakel, sued Maud, widow of Geoffrey de Say, and Ralph de Norton, administrators of the goods and chattells of Geoffrey de Say, in the Court of Common Pleas regarding a debt of 45 marks. The same year she sued William Kyng, of Berling, Kent, in the Court of Common Pleas regarding a reasonable account of his time as her receiver of money. In 1368 she had a grant for life of 100 marks annually for long service to the king, Queen Philippe, and Isabel, the king’s daughter.
Possibly Maud's marriage to Edmund took place before her marriage to Geoffrey. On this point, I am agnostic.
Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah