Dear Newsgroup ~
Complete Peerage 1 (1910): 284 (sub Astley) includes a brief and incomplete account of Sir William Astley, 4th Lord Astley. It reads as follows:
"4. William (of Astley), Lord Astley, son and heir, born before 1344-5. He was never summoned to Parliament, though included in several commisions by Henry IV and Henry VI. He married Joan, daughter of John Willoughby [Lord Willoughby of Eresby]. He d.s.p.m." END OF QUOTE
As noted above, Complete Peerage above states that Sir William Astley was married to Joan, daughter of John Willoughby. Banks, Baronies in Fee and Glover, Vis. of Staffordshire 1583 cited below call her Catherine Willoughby. Elsewhere, however, Burke and the Genealogist call her Joan Willoughby. Who is right?
In such cases in which secondary sources disagree, it is often necessary to refer to contemporary records to determine the correct given name of a wife. Fortunately, there are two available records which indicate the wife of Sir William Astley was named Joan:
1. In 1401 Sir William Dasteley and Lady Joan D’Asteley witnessed the will of Robert Red, Rector of Broughton Astley, Leicestershire. [Reference: Gibbons, Early Lincoln Wills 1280–1547 (1888): 101 (will of Robert Red)].
2. Complete Peerage includes a brief abstract of the 1404 will of Sir William Astley's son-in-law, Thomas Raleigh, in which Thomas mentions his wife, Joan [Astley], as well as “Lord of Asteley,” and “Joan, Lady of Asteley,” presumably his wife’s parents. [Reference: Complete Peerage 6 (1926): 158, footnote d (sub Grey)].
As indicated above in Thomas Raleigh's will, Sir William Astley’s wife, Joan, was evidently still living in 1404. Following Joan’s unknown date of death, Sir William married (2nd) before 12 August 1413 (date of deed) Margaret _____. Margaret’s maiden name is currently unknown, although various subsequent land dealings which involve her could presumably be used to identity her parentage.
Complete Peerage gives no indication whatsoever as to the date of death of Sir William Astley. I find that Sir William Astley presented Nicholas Wildbore to the deanery of the collegiate church of Astley, Warwickshire 31 March 1420. On 12 Nov. 1420 William Ledbury and Katherine his wife quitclaimed the manor of Ashby Parva, Leicestershire to William de Ferrers, Knt., of Groby, William de Asteley and Margaret his wife, and two others, and to the heirs of the said Margaret [Reference: National Archives, CP 25/1/126/73, #28 [see abstract of fine at http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/index.html
Sir William Astley, 4th Lord Astley died testate shortly before Easter term 1421, in which term and year Reynold Grey, lord of Wexford, Hastings, and Ruthin, Richard, Prior of Coventry, and Margaret, widow of William de Asteley, Knt., executors of the will of William de Asteley, Knt., sued John Rage, of Cosby, Leicestershire, in the Court of Common Pleas regarding a debt of £40 [Reference: Court of Common Pleas, CP40/641, image 1470d (available at http://aalt.law.uh.edu/H5/CP40no641/bCP40no641dorses/IMG_1470.htm)
I’ve copied below my current file account of Sir William Astley, 4th Lord Astley, including numerous citations which concern the history of his life.
For interest’s sake, the following is a list of the 17th Century New World immigrants that descent from Sir William Astley and his 1st wife, Joan Willoughby:
Christopher Batt, Elizabeth Bosvile, Charles Calvert, Matthew Clarkson, Muriel Gurdon, Simon Lynde, Mary Johanna Somerset.
Do you descend from Sir William Astley? If so, I’d very much appreciate seeing your line of descent posted here on the newsgroup.
Douglas Richardson, Historian and Genealogist
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WILLIAM ASTLEY, Knt., 4th Lord Astley, of Astley, Bentley (in Shustoke), and Weddington, Warwickshire, Broughton and Willoughby Watertless, Leicestershire, etc., Justice of the Peace for Warwickshire, son and heir, born before 1345. He married (1st) before 1370 JOAN WILLOUGHBY, daughter of John de Willoughby, Knt., 3rd Lord Willoughby of Eresby, by Cecily, daughter of Robert de Ufford, K.G., 1st Earl of Suffolk, 2nd Lord Ufford [see WILLOUGHBY 6 for her ancestry]. They had one daughter, Joan. He was never summoned to Parliament. In 1370 he had license for an oratory in his manor at Weddington, Warwickshire, which license was renewed in 1371. He presented to the deanery of the collegiate church of Astley, Warwickshire, 1387, 1396, 1401, 1410, 1413, 1414, 1420, and to the church of Crick, Northamptonshire, 1388, 1398, 1401, and 1408. In 1389 he granted a rent charge of 40s. on his manor of Bentley (in Shustoke), Warwickshire to the collegiate church of Astley, Warwickshire. The same year he sued John Bagworth, of Willoughby, Leicestershire, and others in the Court of Common Pleas regarding a trespass [vi et armis] at Willoughby, Leicestershire. He was a member of Bolingbroke’s army in 1399. Sir William Dasteley and Lady Joan D’Asteley witnessed the 1401 will of Robert Red, Rector of Broughton Astley, Leicestershire. His wife, Joan, was evidently living in 1404. In 1404–5 Hugh de Waterton and Richard Craddok, Knts., and other quitclaimed to William de Astley, Knt., William, lord of Willoughby, and William Mountfort, of Coleshill, the lands, etc., late of John Charnels in Pailton, Bedworth, Corley, Alcott Hall (in Coleshill), Sowe, Beulton, and elsewhere in Warwickshire. In 1408 he sued Thomas Hamond, of Coventry, Warwickshire, in the Court of Common Pleas regarding a debt of £20. He married (2nd) before 12 August 1413 (date of deed) MARGARET _____. They had no issue. In 1413 Edmund Wolf, William Byfeld, and others granted William and Margaret his wife a yearly rent and lands in Bedworth, Astley, Griff, Pailton, etc., Warwickshire, late of John Charnels. In 1418 he sued John Crudworth, of Whellesburgh (in Sibbesdon), Leicestershire, husbandman, and two others in the Court of the King’s Bench regarding a trespass. On 31 March 1420 he presented Nicholas Wildbore to the deanery of the collegiate church of Astley, Warwickshire. On 12 Nov. 1420 William Ledbury and Katherine his wife quitclaimed the manor of Ashby Parva, Leicestershire to William de Ferrers, Knt., of Groby, William de Asteley and Margaret his wife, and two others, and to the heirs of the said Margaret. He and Margaret his wife were members of Trinity Guild of Coventry, Warwickshire. SIR WILLIAM ASTLEY, 4th Lord Astley, died testate shortly before Easter term 1421, in which term and year Reynold Grey, lord of Wexford, Hastings, and Ruthin, Richard, Prior of Coventry, and Margaret, widow of William de Asteley, Knt., executors of the will of William de Asteley, Knt., sued John Rage, of Cosby, Leicestershire, in the Court of Common Pleas regarding a debt of £40. In Dec. 1421 Thomas Malory witnessed a deed for William’s widow, Margaret. Margaret presented to the church of Bedworth, Warwickshire in 1431. She was living in 1434/5, when she deeded the manor of Alcott (in Coleshill), Warwickshire to Richard Orme.
Child of William Astley, Knt., by Joan Willoughby:
i. Joan Astley, married (1st) Thomas Raleigh , of Farnborough, Warwickshire [see GREY 7]; (2nd) Reynold Grey , Knt., Lord of Hastings, Wexford, and Ruthin [see GREY 7].
Madox, Formulare Anglicanum (1702): 125–126. Dugdale, Antiqs. of Warwickshire 1 (1730): 107 (Astley ped.), 114–115, 120–121. Bridges, Hist. & Antiqs. of Northamptonshire 1 (1791): 561. Nichols, Hist. & Antiqs. of Leicester 4(1) (1807): 58–59 (Astley ped.), 61 (the arms of Astley, Beauchamp, and Willoughby are found in the west window in the steeple of Broughton, Leicestershire). Banks, Baronies in Fee 1 (1844): 108–109 (sub Astley) (author identifies wife of William Astley as “Catherine, daughter of William lord Willoughby, of Eresby”). Burke, Gen. Hist. of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited & Extinct Peerages (1866): 12–13 (sub Astley: “William de Astley, 4th Lord Astley ... This nobleman was included in several commissions during the reigns of Henry IV. and Henry VI. His lordship m. Joan, dau. of John, Lord Willoughby de Eresby.”). Glover, Vis. of Staffordshire 1583 (Colls. Hist. Staffs. 3(2)) (1883): 36 (Astley ped.: “Will’m’s de Astley D’n’s de Astley, miles = Catherine, soror Baronis de Willoughby”). Genealogist n.s. 2 (1885): 167 (sub Astley) (author identifies Joan, wife of William de Astley, Lord Astley, as “daughter of John (Willoughby, Lord Willoughby of Astley”). Gibbons, Early Lincoln Wills 1280–1547 (1888): 101 (will of Robert Red). Birch, Cat. Seals in the British Museum 2 (1892): 438 (seal of William de Astley, Knt. dated 1399 — A shield of arms: a cinquefoil pierced, ermine, ASTLEY. Between five small roses, and within a gothic rosette of eight points, bordered with ball-flowers. Legend: * Sigillum : dni : Will’i : de : Asteleye : militis.). Wrottesley, Staffordshire Suits: Plea Rolls (Colls. Hist. Staffs. 15) (1894): 4. Madan, Gresleys of Drakelowe (Colls. Hist. Staffs. n.s. 1) (1898): 235. C.P.R. 1385–1389 (1900): 485. C.P.R. 1399–1401 (1903): 210, 565. C.P.R. 1391–1396 (1905): 238, 370, 436, 477. C.P.R. 1401–1405 (1905): 127, 138. Wilson, Regs. of Bishops of Coventry & Lichfield 5 (Colls. Hist. Staffs. n.s. 8) (1905): 52, 60. Desc. Cat. Ancient Deeds 5 (1906): 248–249. Jeayes, Desc. Cat. Derbyshire Charters (1906): 184. C.P.R. 1405–1408 (1907): 66, 498. VCH Warwick 2 (1908): 117–120; 4 (1947): 53, 179, 211; 6 (1951): 17, 28, 109, 283. C.P.R. 1408–1413 (1909): 378. C.P.R. 1413–1416 (1910): 424. C.P. 1 (1910): 284 (sub Astley); 6 (1926): 158, footnote d (sub Grey) (abs. of 1404 will of Thomas Raleigh mentions his wife, Joan [Astley], and “Lord of Asteley,” and “Joan, Lady of Asteley,” presumably his wife’s parents). C.C.R. 1402–1405 (1929): 73, 401, 475. C.C.R. 1405–1409 (1931): 182. C.F.R. 12 (1931): 255, 319. Harris, Reg, of the Guild of the Holy Trinity, St. Mary, St. John the Baptist & St. Katherine of Coventry 1 (Dugdale Soc. 13) (1935): 97, 111 (list of the members of Trinity Guild: “William, Lord de Asteley, and Margaret his wife”). Paget, Baronage of England (1957) 9: 1–2 (sub Astley). Cal. Inqs. Misc. 7 (1968): 25. Ancient Deeds — Ser. B 3 (List & Index Soc. 113) (1975): B.9103, B.10662, B.10665, B.10709, B.10763, B.10765, B.10788. Given-Wilson, Chronicles of the Revolution, 1397–1400: The Reign of Richard II (1993): 253. Hardyment, Malory: The Knight Who Became King Arthur’s Chronicler (2007): 135. Court of Common Pleas, CP40/514, image 45 (available at http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT6/R2/CP40no514/aCP40no514mm301-endfronts/IMG_0045.htm
). Court of Common Pleas, CP40/641, image 1470d (available at http://aalt.law.uh.edu/H5/CP40no641/bCP40no641dorses/IMG_1470.htm
). Court of the King’s Bench, KB27/627, image 54 (available at http://aalt.law.uh.edu/H5/KB27no627/aKB27no627fronts/IMG_0054.htm
). National Archives, C 143/406/5; E 327/214; E 329/386 (available at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.ukwww.catalogue.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search.asp
). National Archives, CP 25/1/126/73, #28 [see abstract of fine at http:// www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/index.html