John Hody, Knight (c.1396 - 1441) MP

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Birthplace: Stawell, Somerset, England
Death: Died in Pillesdon, Dorset, England
Occupation: Chief Justice of the King’s Bench
Managed by: Margaret, (C)
Last Updated:

About John Hody, Knight

This is a selection from the book "The Annals of West Coker" which describes the lands inherited by Elizabeth Jewe and Sir John Hody.

Among the many lands held of William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, in 1396, was the fourth part of the knight's fee in Chickerell and West Chickerell, (in Dorset) held by Robert de Walsh and John Jewe, the later being in all probability the son of William le Jewe who, as we have seen, held fields in East Coker in 1345. The will of this John Jewe shows that his daughter Elizabeth who became the wife of Sir John Hody who inherited the estates of the Pillesdon family in Dorset. the same lady's inheritance of Stowell in Somerset is thus described by a writer of the seventeenth century:

A small parish is the third place my digression brings us unto, whose ancient Lords seeing I have mentioned elsewhere, I will leave and only lett you know that in succeeding ages Elizabeth daughter and heire of John Jew ( an ill-favoured name you will confesse) by Coles heire of Nethway brought it unto her husband Sir John Hody sonne of Sir Alexander Hody an ancient family I assure you and of great accompt, especially after Sir William Hody second sonne of Sir John Hody was Lord Cheife Baron of the Exchequer.

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See his mention as a “local boy” in the introduction to “Village Trail” at http://www.woolavington.org.uk , and on the same Web site see the church history section under “St. Mary’s Church” regarding the discovery of Hody’s vault.

The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary Woolavington, Somerset A Short History. Copyright Woolavington OnLine 2000-2005, all rights reserved.

Who built the Church? There are no records existing; the people, with few exceptions, could not read or write, which makes research difficult. The Manor from early times has been the property of the Abbots of Glaston, and was leased by them, pre-conquest, to a thegn. This was all the lower half of the village including the site of the churchyard; so it may have been at their instigation that it was reserved for a church. Perhaps the new owners of the Manor, Maud and Philip de Columber, who came in 1154 built it, nobody knows but the building by its architecture must have been there before 1200.

Although no stone church was built here before 1088, could there have been a simple place of worship before then? It seems strange that when the Saxon village was built round what is now The Square, and dwellings raised along Lower Road and Church Street, and the Manor below, this considerable area was left vacant in the middle of the community.

A interesting memorial is the Hody stone which is housed over the south windowsill of the chancel. This stone was found on the floor of the Church beneath the tower when the Church was restored about the year 1880. The letters are J.H. and they stand for John Hody, who was Chief Justice of England in the 15th century. It is on record that the will of the Chief Justice, Sir John Hody, directs that his body be buried in the church of Woolavington in Somerset near the body of Magister Johannes Hody, his uncle. There is a vault near the outer wall of the tower evidently extending underneath the floor of the Church at the west end. It is believed that this is the vault in which Magister Johannes Hody and his nephew the Chief Justice, were buried in the 15th century. Sir John Hody died in 1441 and by his will he made bequests to the Chantry Priests of Woolavington "for the love that he hadde to hyt, for ther he begane hys fyrst lernyng".

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  • Dictionary of National Biography
  • http://www.archive.org/stream/dictionarynatio25stepgoog#page/n90/mode/1up
  • Pg.78
  • HODY, Sir John (d. 1441), chief justice of the king's bench, of an old Devonshire family, was son of Thomas Hody, lord of the manor of Kingston Magna, near Shaftesbury, Dorset, and king's escheator there under Henry V, by Margaret, daughter of John Cole of Nitheway, Torbay. From 1425 his name often occurs in the year-books, and he must have become a serjeant-at-law before 1436, for in that year he contributed as a serjeant to the equipment of the army sent into France. He represented Shaftesbury in parliament in 1423, 1425, 1428, and 1438, and the county of Somerset in 1434 and 1440. On 13 April 1440 he succeeded Sir John Juyn as chief justice of the king's bench, died in December 1441, and was buried at Woolavington, Somersetshire. Prince says of him that he won golden opinions, and Coke (Institutes, pref.) says he was one of the 'famous and expert sages of the law' who assisted Lyttelton. He had estates at Stowell in Somerset and Pillesden in Dorset, the Latter acquired through his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Jewe, by whom he had five sons, including William Hody [q.v.], who became chief baron in 1486, and several daughters.
    • [Foss's Lives of the Judges; Prince's Worthies; Hutchins's Dorset, i. 317; Risdon's Devon, xvi. 60; Collect. Topogr. vii, 22; Register Chichele Lambeth, 481 b.; Engl. Chron. (Camd. Soc.), p. 60; Rot. Parl. iv.285, v. 477; Pat. 18 Hen. Vi. p.3, m.5.]
  • HODY, Sir William (1441?-1522?), chief baron of the exchequer, second son of Sir John Hody [q.v.], chief justice of the king's bench, was born about 1441. Perhaps he is the William Hody who represented Totnes in the parliament of 1472 (Members of Parl. Official Returns, i. 360). His name is the first mentioned in the year-books in 1476. He was in parliament in 1483, and procured a reversal of the attainder of his uncle, Sir Alexander Hody of Bowre, Somerset, who had been attainted at Edward IV's accession for adherence to the house of Lancaster. In 1485, shortly after the accession of Henry VII, he became attorney-general, and was made a serjeant-at-law at the end of the year. On 29 Oct. 1486 he was appointed chief baron of the exchequer, was still a judge in 1516 (Cal. State Papers, 1515-18, p. 876), and probably died in 1522, when John Fitzjames became chief baron. He married Eleanor, daughter of Baldwyn Mallett of Corypool, Somersetshire, by whom he had two sons, Reginald and John, and two daughters, Joan, who married Richard Warr, and Jane, who married Lawrence Wadham.
    • [Foss's Lives of the Judges; Hutchins's Dorset, i. 317; Prince's Worthies.]
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  • Sir John Hody was an English judge and Chief Justice of the King’s Bench
  • Hody was descended from a family of considerable antiquity, though of no great note, in Devon. Jordan de Hode held lands in Hode in the thirteenth century; Richard de Hody was the king's escheator of that county in 1353/4 and 1357/8; and the same office was filled by William Hody in 1400/1. The father of the chief justice was Thomas Hody, who was lord of the manor of Kington Magna, near Shaftesbury, in the adjoining county of Dorset, in 1419/20, and in the same year was king's escheator there. He married Margaret, daughter and heiress of John Cole, of Nitheway, near Torbay, in Devon, which thus became the birthplace of his children. Their elder son Alexander was a devoted partisan of the Lancastrian cause, and was attainted in the first year of Edward IV. for his adherence to Henry VI.
  • John, the younger son, was educated as a lawyer, and is frequently mentioned in the Year Books from 1424/5. There is no record of his summons to take the degree of the coif; but from his name appearing in the legal part of the list of those who were called upon to contribute towards the equipment of the army against France in 1435/6, there is very little doubt that he was then a Serjeant; and if not then, he had certainly attained that rank before July 1439. He was returned to parliament as representative of the borough of Shaftesbury in 1419/20., and again in 1422/3, 1424/5, 1427/8 and 1436/7; and the estimation in which he stood on the latter occasion may be conceived by his being sent to the Lords with a message from the other house announcing the election of a speaker in the place of John Tyrell incapacitated by infirmity. In 1433/4 and 1439/40 he was chosen a knight of the shire for the county of Somerset; and on the death of Sir John Juyn in the latter year he was raised to the office of chief justice of the King's Bench, his patent being dated 13 April 1440. He held it not quite two years; his successor, Sir John Fortescue, being appointed on 25 January 1442. His judicial career was probably terminated by his death; for his will is dated 17 December 1441, though the precise time of its probate is not recorded.
  • Notwithstanding the short period during which he presided in the court, he is stated by Prince to have won golden opinions by his integrity and firmness in the administration of justice. Sir Edward Coke mentions him amongst the " famous and expert sages of the law" from whom Lyttelton had "great furtherance in composing his Institutes of the Laws of England."
  • The judge had an estate at Stowell, in Somerset, as early as 1427/8; but he was for some time seated at Pillesden, in Dorset, which came to him, together with the manor of Whitfield in the parish of Wivilscombe, in Somerset, and other property in both counties, by his marriage with Elizabeth,daughter and heiress of John Jewe, son and heir of John Jewe, by Alice, daughter of John de Pillesden. After his death his widow married Robert Cappes, Esq., who was sheriff of Dorset and Somerset in 1445/6. She died in 1473, having had issue by her first husband five sons and several daughters.
  • John, the eldest son, was seated at Stowell and Nitheway, and his posterity continued there for many generations. William, the second son was chief baron of the Exchequer in the reign of Henry VII. From him sprang a branch which resided at Pillesden, and became extinct in the 18th century.
  • The will of the chief justice, by which it appears that his father survived him, directs his body to be buried in the church of Wolavington, in Somerset, near the body "Magistri Johannis Hody," his uncle. By the large amount of silver plate and other articles which he gives in legacies, some idea may be formed of the domestic economy of a chief justice of England in the middle of the fifteenth century.
  • This article incorporates text from Foss's Judges of England, a publication now in the public domain.
  • From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hody
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  • HODY, John (d.1441), of Stowell, Som. and Pilsdon, Dorset.
  • s. of Thomas Hody, esquire (d.1442), of Kington Magna, Dorset; er. bro. of Alexander†. m. by 1430, Elizabeth (d. 3 Aug. 1473), da. and h. of John Jewe (d.1415/16), of Whitfield in Wiveliscombe, Som. and Pilsdon,2 5s. inc. Sir William†, 3da. Kntd. bef. June 1440.
  • From: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1386-1421/member/hody-john-1441
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  • ACCORDING TO THE OTHER SOURCES THIS SEEMS TO HAVE SKIPPED A GENERATION AND ATTACHED MARGARET COLE TO HER SON?
  • Sir John Hody, Chief Justice of the King's Bench1,2
  • M, #88469, b. circa 1405
  • Father Thomas Hody, Lord of Kington Magna Manor3 b. c 1380
  • Sir John Hody, Chief Justice of the King's Bench was born circa 1405 at of Stawell, Somersetshire, England.1 He married Margareta Cole, daughter of John Cole, circa 1431.1 Sir John Hody, Chief Justice of the King's Bench left a will on 17 December 1441 at of Pillesden, Dorsetshire, England.3
  • Family Margareta Cole b. c 1410
  • Children
    • Johanna Hody+1 b. c 1432
    • Sir William Hody, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, Attorney General+2 b. b 1441, d. 1524
  • Citations
  • 1.[S61] Unknown author, Family Group Sheets, Family History Archives, SLC.
  • 2.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 217.
  • 3.[S31] Unknown author, Wikipedia.
  • From: http://our-royal-titled-noble-and-commoner-ancestors.com/p2945.htm#i88469
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Notes for Sir John Hody

Of Stowell, Somerset, and Pillesdon [aka Pilsdon], Dorset (jure uxoris); will dated 17 Dec 1441, proved 25 Jan 1441/42.

According to the Oxford DNB64, Hody, Sir John (d. 1441/2) he held many positions in the government, which culminated in his appointment as chief justice and his knighthood in 1440, under Henry VI. In his will he stated his wish to be buried in Woolavington church in Somerset.

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  • Collectanea Topographica Et Genealogica (1841) Vol 7
  • http://archive.org/details/collectaneatopo18nichgoog
  • http://archive.org/stream/collectaneatopo18nichgoog#page/n31/mode/1up
  • Pg. 22 Sir John Hody of Pillesdon
  • http://archive.org/stream/collectaneatopo18nichgoog#page/n32/mode/1up
  • Pg. 23 Sir John Hody Chief Justice son of Thomas Hody
  • http://archive.org/stream/collectaneatopo18nichgoog#page/n34/mode/1up
  • Pg. 25 Children of Sir John Hody
  • http://archive.org/stream/collectaneatopo18nichgoog#page/n35/mode/1up
  • Pg. 26 Elizabeth Jewe, the wife of Sir John Hody
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  • John Burke. A genealogical and heraldic history of the commoners of Great Britain and Ireland enjoying territorial possessions or high official rank; but uninvested with heritable honours.
  • http://archive.org/details/agenealogicalan09burkgoog
  • http://archive.org/stream/agenealogicalan09burkgoog#page/n277/mode/1up/
  • Pg.241
  • Robert Bond & Mary Hody dau. of John Hody, lord chief justice
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  • CP 25/1/292/67, number 104.
  • Link: Image of document at AALT
  • County: Devon. Somerset. Dorset.
  • Place: Westminster.
  • Date: One week from St Michael, 9 Henry VI [6 October 1430].
  • Parties: William Carent, esquire, John Fauntleroy and Thomas Hody, querents, and John Hody and Elizabeth, his wife, deforciants.
  • Property: A moiety of the manor of Berhall' in the county of Devon and a moiety of the manors of Estwhitfeld' and Westwhitfeld' and of 12 messuages, of 4 carucates of land, of 100 acres of meadow, of 200 acres of pasture and of 10 acres of wood in Chiwe, Mertok', Kyngesbury, Compton' Pauncefote and Chiltern' Dummer in the county of Somerset and a moiety of the manors of Pillesdon', Westchikerell' and Putton' and of 1 messuage in Dorchestre in the county of Dorset.
  • Action: Plea of covenant.
  • Agreement: John Hody and Elizabeth have acknowledged the moieties to be the right of John Fauntleroy, as those which the same John, William and Thomas have of their gift, and have remised and quitclaimed them from themselves and the heirs of Elizabeth to William, John Fauntleroy and Thomas and the heirs of John for ever.
  • Warranty: Warranty.
  • For this: William, John Fauntleroy and Thomas have granted to John Hody and Elizabeth the moieties and have rendered them to them in the same court, to hold to John Hody and Elizabeth and the heirs of their bodies, of the chief lords for ever. In default of such heirs, remainder to the right heirs of Elizabeth.
  • Standardised forms of names. (These are tentative suggestions, intended only as a finding aid.)
  • Persons: William Carant, John Fauntleroy, Thomas Hody, John Hody, Elizabeth Hody
  • Places: 'Berhall', East Whitefield, West Whitefield (both in Wiveliscombe), Chew, Martock, Kingsbury Episcopi, Compton Pauncefoot, Chilthorne Domer, Pilsdon, Chickerell, Putton (in Chickerell), Dorchester
  • From: http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/fines/abstracts/CP_25_1_292_67.shtml
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  • BOND, William (1454/55-1539/44), of London and Lutton, Dorset.
  • b. 1454/55, s. and h. of Robert Bond of Lutton by Mary, da. of Sir John Hody of Pilsdon, Dorset. m. (1) 1496/97, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of John Prouz or Prout of Bredy, Dorset, wid. of Leonard Hyde; (2) by 1501, Lucy, da. of William Stanley of Winterbourne Monkton, Dorset, 3s. 3da.1
  • From: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/bond-william-145455-153944
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view all 12

Sir John Hody, Lord Chief Justice's Timeline

1396
1396
Stawell, Somerset, England
1419
1419
Age 23
Stawell,Moorlinch,Somerset,England
1420
1420
Age 24
Stowell, Somersetshire, England
1424
1424
Age 28
Stowell, Somerset, , England
1426
1426
Age 30
Stowell, Somersetshire, England
1428
1428
Age 32
Stowell, Somersetshire, England
1430
1430
Age 34
Stawell, Somersetshire, England
1432
1432
Age 36
Stawell, Somersetshire, England
1434
1434
Age 38
Stowell, Somersetshire, England
1441
December 17, 1441
Age 45
Pillesdon, Dorset, England