CHETWODE, Sir John (d.1412), of Chetwode, Bucks. and Warkworth, Northants.
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Family and Education
s. of Sir Nicholas Chetwode (d.1369) of Chetwode by Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Lyons† of Warkworth. m. (1) bef. 1371, Mary (fl. 1391), 1s. 1da.; (2) bef. 1393, Amabel (d. 8 Sept. 1430), da. of Sir Thomas Green of Green’s Norton, Northants., 1s. 1da.1 Kntd. bef. Oct. 1386.
Commr. of inquiry, Northants. Oct. 1398 (lands of a deceased tenant-in-chief), Oct. 1402 (forfeited land).
Sheriff, Northants. 8 Nov. 1401-29 Nov. 1402.
Verderer of Whittlewood forest, Northants. at d.
From his father Chetwode inherited the manors of Chetwode in Buckinghamshire and Hockliffe in Bedfordshire (which, in 1392, were together estimated as worth £40 a year), as well as land in Northamptonshire, and perhaps also the property at Great Stukeley in Huntingdonshire which he certainly held later. Of greater importance in Chetwode’s own opinion, however, was his inheritance from his maternal uncle, Sir John Lyons (d.1385), for it included the valuable estate at Warkworth. In fact, he chose to style himself ‘lord of Warkworth’, and to seal his deeds with the arms of Lyons — a lion rampant — in preference to those of Chetwode.2
Although Buckinghamshire returned him to Parliament, Chetwode’s career identifies him much more closely with the adjoining county of Northamptonshire, and it is clear that Warkworth was his principal place of residence. Yet he became a benefactor of Chetwode priory, near his family seat on the border of the two counties: in July 1389 he and his first wife obtained a royal licence to grant the canons in mortmain an acre of land and the advowson of the church at Chetwode — a gift which was to be completed by formal conveyance in November 1391 — and in the following year (1392) he and others obtained permission to grant 60 acres of wood in Lenborough near Buckingham to the same monastic house, for providing a light to burn daily before the high altar in the priory church.3
Like so many others made apprehensive by Richard II’s autocratic rule, Chetwode took out a royal pardon in June 1398, even though in his case there would seem to have been no real cause for concern, since his second wife, Amabel, was a niece of Sir Henry Green*, one of the King’s most trusted councillors. On the other hand, the connexion did not encourage Chetwode to seek preferment at Court, nor even to take an especially active part in local government: he served on only a single royal commission before Green’s execution by Henry of Bolingbroke, and it was not until after the latter’s accession to the throne that he was appointed sheriff. In May 1404 Chetwode was associated with John, Lord Lovell, as a witness to a local deed, but otherwise he would appear to have led a secluded life, taking little interest in even the affairs of his neighbours. At the end of the following year he and his wife secured an episcopal licence to have religious services celebrated privately at their home.4
At the time of his death, which occurred on 2 Apr. 1412, Chetwode was holding office as verderer of Whittlewood forest. The monumental brass placed over his grave in Warkworth church depicts him as wearing armour, his feet resting on a lion, his hands lifted as in prayer. The offspring of his first marriage — John and Margery (the wife of John Browning (1397-1420), son of John Browning* of Melbury Sampford, Dorset) — both died in 1420, leaving as heir to the Chetwode estates their half-brother (Sir) Thomas Chetwode. A few years after Sir John’s death, his widow Amabel married Thomas Strange*.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. S. Tucker, Ped. Fam. Chetwode, 5, 7; CCR, 1435-41, p. 355; G. Baker Northants. i. 739.
- 2. VCH Bucks. iv. 164-5; VCH Beds. iii. 384; Feudal Aids, vi. 397, 464; Baker, i. 739; J. Bridges, Northants. i. 194, 216-18; C143/413/15.
- 3. CPR, 1388-92, p. 89; 1391-6, p. 107; VCH Bucks, iii. 168; CP25(1)21/108/6.
- 4. C67/30 m. 12; CCR, 1402-5, p. 368; Reg. Repingdon (Lincoln Rec. Soc. lvii), 56.
- 5. CCR, 1409-13, p. 272; 1429-35, p. 227; Baker, i. 743-5; Bridges, i. 218.