Peter Worden I's Ancestors in the Fourteenth Century:

Wars, Murder, and Sex


by John R. Schuerman


The first quarter century of the 1300s was a turbulent time in England and particularly the north of England. Perhaps it could be said that every quarter century has been turbulent, but this 25 years or so, was particularly chaotic. The periodic Scottish invasions (and counter invasions by the English) which had begun long before, continued throughout the period. From time to time, English monarchs attempted to enforce claims to parts of France through armed attack. There was also serious fighting among various English factions. Ancestors of Peter Worden I, the immigrant to America, were heavily involved in these activities, as barons and other lesser lords. These ancestors were related socially, militarily, and by marriage. On the accompanying chart, I show these relationships and the descendancy to Peter. Most of the men on the chart were knights, so should have the title "Sir," and some were barons, but I do not show their titles in order to save space. Many of these lines can be traced back further than shown on the chart; I show one such ancestry, for the Tempests.


King Edward I died in 1307, after a relatively successful reign. His tomb in Westminster Abbey describes him as "the hammer of the Scots." This is an exaggeration, but he did manage to quiet them and require the homage of their king, one of many such efforts by the English monarchy to exert power over the Scottish kingdom, none of which lasted very long. Edward I was succeeded by his son, Edward II, whose turn at power was much more problematic. Twenty-three years old when he took the crown, Edward II was vain and incompetent. While a teenager, he became close friends with Piers (Peter) Gaveston, the son of a French knight (from Gascony) in his father's retinue. Gaveston is almost always referred to as "the king's favourite." It is generally assumed that the relationship between Edward and Gaveston was sexual, although there is no solid evidence for that assumption. Gaveston was foolish and foppish. While Edward I was still alive, he got sick of Gaveston and exiled him. Immediately after he came to power, Edward II recalled Gaveston and began to bestow many benefits, giving him the earldom of Cornwall and responsibility for oversight of benefits given to others. This annoyed a lot of people, including Edward's new wife, Isabella, the daughter of the king of France. Edward and Isabella were married in 1308, when she was 13.


The Magna Carta, agreed to by King John in 1215, had been supposed to give the barons countervailing power vis-a-vis the King, and for many years after there was a struggle between the barons and the monarchy. During the reign of Edward I, Thomas, the earl of Lancaster became the leader of the barons. The earl owned extensive lands, both in Lancashire and elsewhere. Thomas was a cousin of Edward II, was just as incompetent. They fought from the beginning of the new king's reign. He led a large group of peers in opposition to the king, some of whom were ancestors (or other relatives) of Peter Worden I, including John Harrington, Robert Holand, John Tempest, John Mowbray, and Adam Banaster.


The barons were quite irritated by Gaveston and in 1308 forced his exile for the second time. He returned the next year. In 1310 the barons forced Edward to accept the "Ordinances," under which government was to be reformed and shared with a group of peers called "Ordainers." The Ordinances also called for still another exile of Gaveston. He left in 1311, but surreptitiously returned shortly thereafter. He flaunted his presence as the king returned all of his confiscated estates. The barons revolted and Edward marched north to put them down. He left Gaveston at Scarborough castle and went to York to engage his enemies. A contingent of barons swooped down on Scarborough and captured Gaveston in May 1312. At first his safety was assured by his captors, but a subgroup of rebels abducted him, ran him around the countryside to various castles and then beheaded him. This violation of the initial assurances of safety split the rebels and some went over to Edward. However, all of the followers of Thomas were blamed for the murder of Gaveston. A year later, the barons forced Edward to give them a pardon. The pardon, contained hundreds of names, including Robert de Holand, John de Harrington, John Tempest, Robert Banaster, Gilbert Talbot, John de Blakeburne, and Robert de Shireborne, all ancestors or relatives of Peter Worden I. As it turns out, there was a second pardon issued to Thomas of Lancaster and many of these same gentlemen on October 22, 1318 for their continuing offenses against the king.


Meanwhile, Edward had taken new favorites, Hugh Despenser and his son Hugh the younger. Again, he lavished extensive favors on them and again his queen was annoyed. So were the barons. But the increasingly aggressive Scots had to be dealt with, and Edward mounted an army to attack them. The decisive battle was at Bannockburn in 1314. Although the English had superior forces, the Scots, under Robert the Bruce defeated them and Edward was almost captured. Thomas of Lancaster sat out the battle of Bannockburn.


In 1322, Thomas of Lancaster, now collaborating with the Scots, was attacked by Edward's forces at Boroughbridge in Yorkshire. By this time, most of Thomas's followers had deserted him. He was soundly defeated. Thomas surrendered and was executed. But Edward's efforts to again invade Scotland were largely unsuccessful. Campaigns in France also failed. Queen Isabella managed to get herself sent to France in 1325 to negotiate peace with her brother King Charles IV and decided to stay in Paris, where she took a lover, Roger Mortimer. Her son, Edward, was with her.


In 1326, Isabella, with Mortimer, invaded England with a small force. The people rallied behind them and the regime, controlled by this time by the Despensers, crumbled. Few forces came to its defense. The Despensers were captured and executed. Edward fled to Wales, was captured, and in January 1327 deposed by Parliament. Edward and Isabella's son assumed the crown as Edward III at the age of 15. The government was supposed to be run by a council of regents made up of bishops and barons, but Isabella and Mortimer seized power. The captive Edward II was moved around various castles until Mortimer arranged his murder with the consent of Isabella. The rule of Isabella and Mortimer became quite unpopular and in 1330 the young Edward III had Mortimer seized. He was tried and executed and Isabella eventually entered a convent. Edward III went on to become one of the greatest of English monarchs.


Some of Peter Worden's ancestors and relatives did not fare well in all of these goings-on. Adam Banaster, who had been in the company of Thomas of Lancaster, engaged in a revolt against Thomas and his associate Sir Robert Holand (who was Adam Banaster's brother-in-law) in 1315. Adam's primary beef was with Robert, who had appropriated extensive lands in Lancashire. With a number of accomplices, Adam rode around the countryside of south Lancashire, pillaging and burning, until they were captured

and Banaster was hanged. Later, the same Sir Robert Holand betrayed Thomas at Boroughbridge and much later, in 1328, was beheaded for his treachery by adherents of the by then long dead Thomas. Sir John Mowbray fought on the side of Thomas at Boroughbridge and was captured and hanged. According to the Complete Peerage, "His body is said to have been left hanging in iron chains on the gallows for 3 years or more." His wife and son John spent several years in the Tower in London. The penalty for treason in those days was a particularly brutal form of execution, beginning with being dragged behind a horse to the gallows and then being hanged, drawn, and quartered. I will spare the reader the gory details. I find it fascinating that my English friends, so civilized and urbane, could be descended from people who engaged in such barbarism. But then, so are we.


Notes on the attached chart:

John Tempest (b. 1283, d. 1359) is thought to have married a Holand, and is shown on a number of pedigrees as having married Margaret Holand, a daughter of Robert and Maud (la Zouche) Holand. Douglas Hickling has shown that this is highly unlikely on chronological grounds. John Tempest and his wife, Isabel, received a Papal indult to choose their confessors in June 1344 (Cal. Pap. Reg., Papal Letters, v. 3, p. 179).


The chart shows Christiana de Mowbray, the wife of William Plumpton, as the daughter of Sir John de Mowbray (executed after the Battle of Boroughbridge). It is known that she was a Mowbray and Hickling in an article posted at has shown that this identification is quite likely, although not absolutely certain. Isabel Tempest, the wife of Laurence Hamerton is shown in some sources as the daughter of John Tempest, the son of Richard Tempest, but Hickling has also shown that that identification is incorrect. We believe the descent shown here is correct.



As in the past, I have depended extensively on The Oxford Companion to British History (Oxford, 1997). There are many books on the Kings Edward, I have used Thomas B. Costain, The Three Edwards (Garden City, New York, 1962). For Thomas of Lancaster, see J. R. Maddicott, Thomas of Lancaster 1307-1322: a study in the Reign of Edward II (London, 1970). For Thomas, Robert de Holand, and others involved with Thomas, see G. H. Tupling, South Lancashire in the Reign of Edward II (volume 1 of the third series of the publications of the Chetham Society, 1949).


As I have indicated above, Douglas Hickling has provided much information for the accompanying chart. A major source for the Tempests is Eleanor Blanche Tempest's Tempest Pedigrees, which as far as I know exists only in manuscript form in the British Library, Add. MS. 40670. For the Harringtons, see Ian Grimble, The Harington Family (London, 1957). For the Talbots, J. Gardner Bartlett, English Ancestry of Peter Talbot of Dorchester, Mass. (Boston: 1917). The Radcliffes are discussed in Charles P. Hampson, The Book of the Radclyffes (Edinburgh, 1940). None of these sources is completely reliable. For the Mowbrays and Holands, see George E. Cokayne, Complete Peerage (14 vols, London, 1910-1998), which is generally quite authoritative. Other sources for many of the families here are the Victoria History of the County of Lancaster and Edward Baines, History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster (London, 1888).


The pardon by Edward II of Thomas of Lancaster and his adherents for the death of Piers Gaveston can be found in its original Latin in the Parliamentary Writs, Vol. 2, Div. 2, Appendix pp. 66-70; in French in Foedera, v. 2, pt. 1, pp. 51 et seq; and in English in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls, 1313-1317, p. 21. The second pardon can also be found in the Parliamentary Writs, Vol. 2, Div. 2, Appendix pp. 126-130 and in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls, 1317-1321, p. 227.



In my last article in February, concerning coats of armor, the motto of the Tempests was shown as "Loyouf as Thou Fynds." Readers may have wondered what this meant, and I did too. I have now found one explanation, in Thomas Whitaker's History and Antiquities of the Deanery of Craven in the County of York, 3rd Ed., 1878, p. 101 (this is LDS film 476217). At one time, the motto could be found in the window of the church at Bracewell that the Tempests were associated with. I did not find it there last fall, but will look again next month when we are there with Pat and Rex Warden. Apparently the motto is old English, "loyouf" means "love," so the motto means either "Love as you find (or experience) a return" or "Love not me unless you find that I love you." I'm not sure whether to believe this or not. It doesn't sound very romantic to me, but you may disagree.


I am most appreciative to Doug Hickling for his assistance on this article.


Tempest, Holand, Talbot, Sherburne, Harington, Mowbray, Banaster Relationships in the 1300s


Robert de Holand


Thurstan de Holand = dau. of Adam de Kellet

Richard Tempest = __________________living 1275________|

d. 1297 | |
| Robert de Holand = Elizabeth de Samlesbury

| living 1284______|________________________________________________________________

| | | |

John Tempest = Robert de Holand = Maud la Zouche | Adam Banaster = (3) Margaret d>1329

b.1283 d.1359 | d. 1328 ______________| | = (1) John Blackburn d<1302

| | John Harington ____________________| |

| | 1281-1347 | | | John de Mowbray

| Edmund Talbot = Joan Holand John = Katherine Robert = Alice Blackburn = Aline de Braose

| d>19 Jul 1310 | Harrington | Banestre Sherburne | m. prob 1310 |__________

| Thomas Talbot d.<1342 d. 1361 | | |

| _________________(____________________________(_________________________| William Plumpton = Christiana

| | ( ( | (3rd husb) d. 1362 | de Mowbray

John Tempest = Katherine | | Margaret = John Sherburne _________________|

b. ca 1313 | Sherburne | | d> 1391 | |

m<1353 | | | Richard Sherburne = Alice Plumpton

______________________| ____________________| | m. 1351,d. 1369/70 |

| | | |

Richard Tempest = Maria Talbot | | Margaret = John Bayley 1334 d.1390 | | | | d.1391

| | | |

| Nicholas = Isabel Margaret = Richard Bayley

Richard Tempest = Harrington | English Sherburne | d. 1379

b.1356 d.1428 | |_____________________ |_________

| Richard Hamerton = Elizabeth de Radcliffe | |

________________________| ______________________| Agnes = Richard (Bayley) Sherburne

| | Harrington | 1382, d.1441

Isabel Tempest = Laurence Hamerton d. 1444 |

| d< Jun 1449 |

___| _______________________________________________________________________________________|

| |

Alice Hamerton = Richard Sherburne

b. ca 1412 | d.1441 Tempests before Richard (d. 1297)

| Roger living 1151

____________| Richard living 1153

| Roger m. ca 1188 Alice daughter of Elias de Rilleston; eldest son

Agnes Sherburne = Henry Rishton Richard living 1222 m. Elena de Tong; eldest son

| Richard d. ca 1268; eldest son

Nicholas Rishton = Margaret Radcliffe Roger d. before June 1288 m. Alice daughter of Walter de Waddington; eldest son

| Richard d.1297; eldest son


Agnes Rishton = Richard Worthington


Peter Worthington = Isobel de Anderton


Robert Worden = Isobel Worthington

| (

Peter Worden I ( indicates that the line jumps over the intersecting line. < = before, > = after