Amyas Chichester, Esq., of Arlington

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About Amyas Chichester, Esq., of Arlington

Amyas Chichester

  • Born: Abt 1527 at Arlington, Devon, England
  • Died: 4 Jul 1577 at Devon, England
  • Father: John Chichester
  • Mother: Joan Brett


  1. Bet 1546 and 1569 to Joan Gifford Born: Abt 1532 at Brightley, Devon, England Died: Bet 1564 and 1626 Father: Roger Giffard Sir Mother: Margret Cobley

The Heralds' Visitation of Devon lists 19 children produced from this marriage.

Amyas was the second son of John Chichester of Raleigh and inherited Arlington, North Devon , one of his father's manors on his father's death in 1533. He became the founder of the Arlington branch of the Chichester family which continued to the death of the last encumbent of Arlington, Rosalie C. who died in 1949 when the estate passed to the National Trust. Arlington Court is open to the public.


  1.  "Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists, Who Came to America Before 1700" Weis, Frederick Lewis, 2004. Line 52, Revised for 8th Edition.  Page 61.

Grant to Amyas Chichester


Sir John Chichester (c. 1474-1537) of Raleigh, the son and heir of Nicholas Chichester (d.pre-1496) and heir to his grandfather, married firstly in about 1490, Margaret Beaumont (d.1507), daughter and co-heiress of Hugh Beaumont of Shirwell by his wife Thomasine Wise, and the heir to Raleigh and the other principal family estates was Sir John Chichester (c. 1516/22-1569), (grandson), son of Edward Chichester (c. 1496-1522), (second and eldest surviving son of Sir John Chichester (c. 1474-1537). However Sir John Chichester (c. 1474-1537) married secondly to Joan Brett, sister of Robert Brett (d.1540), lord of the manor of Pilland in the parish of Pilton, and the last steward of Pilton Priory before its dissolution[1] and widow of John Courtenay (d.1510) of Molland; she survived her husband and remarried Henry Fortescue. His will was witnessed by his brother-in-law Robert Brett (d.1540).

His eldest son by his second wife Joan Brett was Amyas Chichester (1527-1577), to whom he granted his manor of Arlington, and who established that line of the family, created Chichester Baronets of Arlington Court in 1840. The Latin deed dated 28 November 1535 making the grant survives in the Chichester of Arlington archives in the North Devon Record Office, catalogued as follows:

"Surrender John Chechester, and Joan, his wife to Amias Chechester, their son, Manor of Alryngton, alias Arlyngton, with advowson of the church; 2 red seals of John and Joan Chechester on parchment tags".[2] His will dated 12 October 1530, written five years before he made the grant sets out his intentions clearly:[3] "Will (indented) of John Chechester, Esq. Manors, lands, advowsons of churches, etc. of and in Dunwere, Beggernhuysche alias Huyshe Gaunte, Arlyngton, Rokesford [in Sandford?], Cheryton Fytz Payne, Tregamere, and Treverbyan, to Johan his wife for her life. After her death, manor and advowson of Arlington to his son Amys and his heirs male and manor of Dunwere to his son John, and his heirs male. Manor of Ralegh [in Pilton] and advowson of chantry there, and moiety of manor of Awton Gifford to go after death of Elizabeth, late wife of Hewe Chechester, to Johan (i.e. Brett), and after her death to go, together with the manor of Wedisworthy after the death of his mother, to his executors, for the performance of various provisions in his Will concerning marriage of his daughters, maintenance of his children, compensation of tenants, etc. Manors, lands, advowsons of churches, etc. of and in Maneton Magna, Huntor [in Manaton?], Hennok, Lokesforde [Loxhore], Barstabell, Scherwell, Pilton, Kentisbury and Tauton Bischopp, to his son William and his heirs male, if he refuse to be a priest. Executors: Johan his wife, and Amys his son. Overseers: Robert Brett, Richard Chechester, John Forde".

Amias married Jane Giffard, daughter of Sir Roger Giffard (d.1547) of Brightley in the parish of Chittlehampton. The Heralds' Visitation of Devon lists 19 children produced from this marriage. The descent from Amias is as follows:[4]

Henry Chichester (eldest son) (1545-1589), married in 1571/2 Mary Burgoine (d.1616), daughter of George Burgoine of South Zeal, immediately north of Dartmoor, which family Lysons (1822) states to have also held the nearby manor of South Tawton: "A younger branch of the Bedfordshire family of that name, continued (in Devon) for several generations, having married the heiresses of Sheldon, Stoning, and Courtenay. The heiress of the Burgoynes married Jackson, of Exeter. William Courtenay Burgoyne, Esq., died in 1750. Arms: Azure, a talbot passant argent on a mullet or a crescent sable for difference".[5] A monument to Robert Burgoyne dated 1651 exists in the church at South Tawton and shows the arms of a talbot dog. Their 16th-century manor house at nearby South Zeal is now the "Oxenham Arms" public house.[6] The arms of Burgoyne can also be seen on the monument to Thomas Chafe (1585-1648) of Dodscott, in the parish church of St Giles in the Wood.

Amias Chichester (1574-1621/2) (son), married Susan Platters, daughter of William Platters of Saterley in Suffolk. His eldest so Henry predeceased his father in 1620.


  • Amyas Chichester, Esq.1
  • M, #69016, b. 28 March 1527, d. 4 July 1577
  • Father John Chichester, Esq.1 b. c 1475, d. 22 Feb 1538
  • Mother Joan Brett1 b. c 1472
  • Amyas Chichester, Esq. was born on 28 March 1527 at Arlington, Devonshire, England. He married Jane (Joan) Giffard, daughter of Sir Roger Giffard and Margaret Cobleigh, before 1545; They had 15 sons (Henry; John; Richard; Hugh; Robert; Gifford; Severus; Philip; Edward; Silvester; Paul; Bartholomew; Gregory; Francis; & Roger) & 4 daughters (Margaret, wife of Edward Poyntz; Elizabeth, wife of Henry Bellew, & of Stephen Braddon; Frances, wife of John Wyatt, Esq; & Honor, wife of Balthazer Boteler).1 Amyas Chichester, Esq. died on 4 July 1577 at Braunton, Devonshire, England, at age 50.1
  • Family Jane (Joan) Giffard b. c 1529
  • Child
    • Frances Chichester+1 b. 27 Nov 1558
  • Citations
  • 1.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. I, p. 114.
  • From:


  • Amyas Chichester1
  • M, #249838
  • Last Edited=7 Nov 2007
  • Amyas Chichester is the son of John Chichester and Joan Brett.1
  • He was ancestor of the Chichesters of Arlington.1
  • Citations
  • 1.[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1157. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  • From:


  • Born: 1527, Arlington, Devonshire, England
  • Died: 4 Jul 1577, Braunton, Devonshire, England
  • Notes: ancestor of Chichesters of Arlington. Executor of his father will.
  • Father: John CHICHESTER of Raleigh (Sir Knight)
  • Mother: Joan BRITE
  • Married: Jane (Joan) GIFFORD (b. ABT 1525 - d. BEF 16 Apr 1596) (dau. of Sir Roger Gifford of Brigthleigh and Margaret Cobleigh) ABT 1545, Arlington, Devonshire, England
  • Children:
    • 1. Henry CHICHESTER of Arlington
    • 2. John CHICHESTER
    • 3. Richard CHICHESTER (b. ABT 1538 - d. BEF 22 Jun 1618)
    • 4. Hugh CHICHESTER (b. ABT 1539)
    • 5. Robert CHICHESTER
    • 6. Mary CHICHESTER
    • 7. Elizabeth CHICHESTER
    • 8. Gifford CHICHESTER (b. 1545)
    • 9. Severus CHICHESTER (b. ABT 1546 - bur. 9 May 1574)
    • 10. Phillip CHICHESTER
    • 11. Edward CHICHESTER
    • 12. Silvester CHICHESTER
    • 13. Paul CHICHESTER (Capt.)
    • 14. Bartholemew CHICHESTER
    • 15. Honor CHICHESTER
    • 16. Gregory CHICHESTER
    • 17. Francis CHICHESTER (b. ABT 1556 - bur. 13 Jul 1611)
    • 18. Frances CHICHESTER
    • 19. Roger CHICHESTER (b. ABT 1560)


  • The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Herald's Visitations ... By College of Arms (Great Britain)
  • Pg.173
    • Chichester of Raleigh. Pg.172-175
  • Nicholas Chichester, 2 son of Margaret (Keynes) & Richard Chichester, heir to his brother John, and aged 30 at his death, named in the Inq. taken on the death of his father as deceased. mar. Christian, 3 da. of Sir Nicholas Pawlet of Sampford Peverel, widow of Henry Hull of Larkbear, named in the Inq. taken on the death of her father in law, remar. 3 Sir William Martin, 4 James Chudleigh of Asheton., parents of Elias (ob. s.p.), Tristram (ob. s.p.) Henry (ob. s.p.), Jane (m. Thomas Bretton), Philipp, (m. John Cole), Elizabeth (m. John Berry), Richard (ob. s.p.), William (Rector of Sherwill & Arlington), Peter, John (m. Margaret Beaumont & Joan Bright) Chichester
    • John Chichester of Rawleigh, son & heir of Christian (Pawlet) & Nicholas Chichester, heir to his grandfather and aged 24 years and more at his death, named in the Inq. taken on the death of his sons Hugh and Edward, died 22 Feb. 1537-8. Inq. P.m. 28 Hen. VIII, No.4; mar.1 Margaret Da. & hei. of Hugh Beaumont of Sherwill, parents of Edward (m. Lady Elizabeth Bourchier), Hughe (m. Elizabeth _), Elizabeth (m. Nicholas Pyne) Chichester; mar.2 Joan Da. of Robert Bright, named in the Inq. taken on her husband's death, remarried Henry Fortescue., parents of Anne, Mary (m. John Rowe), William, Amias (m. Jane Gifford), John (m. Katherine Peard & _ Rowe) Chichester.


  • The visitation of the county of Devon in the year 1620 Vol. 6
  • Pg.22
    • Bellew.
  • Hen. Bellew of Stockleigh English in com. Devon son of _ (Stukeley) & Willm. Bellew of Alverdiscot, mar. Elizab. d. of Amias Chichester of Arlington in Devon, parents of Hen., Philip (m. Joane Quick), James, George Bellew.
    • Bellewe
  • Henry Bellew of Stockleigh Inglish in com. Devon son of Anne (Stukley) & William Bellew of Ash in Bramton in com. Devon es., mar. Eliza. d. of Amias Chichester of Arlington, parents of Anne (m. Wm Phillips), Mary (unm.), Jane (m. _ Daws) George, Henry, Philip (m. Joane Quick) Bellew/Bellewe.


Raleigh, Pilton

  • The historic manor of Raleigh, near Barnstaple and in the parish of Pilton, North Devon, was the first recorded home in the 14th century of the influential Chichester family of Devon. It was recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086 together with three other manors which lay within the later created parish of Pilton. Pilton as a borough had existed long before the Norman Conquest and was one of the most important defensive towns in Devon under the Anglo-Saxons. The manor lies above the River Yeo on the southern slope of the hill on top of which exists the ruins of the Anglo-Saxon hillfort of Roborough. The historic manor of Raleigh is now the site of the North Devon District Hospital. .... etc.
    • Chichester
  • A pedigree of the Chichester family was compiled in 1871 by Sir Alexander Palmer Bruce Chichester, 2nd Baronet of Arlington Court (1842-1881), ("History of the Family of Chichester"), and gives six generations of the family prior to their inheritance of the manor of Raleigh, all of which differ from the names of the eight generations listed in the official Heralds' Visitations. Vivian published his 1895 edition of the Visitations in parallel with Sir Alexander's pedigree on the same page for comparison.[26] Both versions however are largely in agreement on the descent of the family after John Chichester who married Thomasine de Raleigh:
  • John I Chichester married in about 1365[27] Thomasine de Raleigh (d.1402), daughter and heiress of Sir John De Raleigh. He was lord of the manors of Treverbin in Cornwall and of Beggerskewish and Donwer in Somerset.[28] According to Sir Alexander Chichester, Bart., he was the son of Sir Roger Chichester, who was knighted in 1346 at the Siege of Calais and later fought at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356.[29] According to the Heralds' Visitation of Devon his father was John Chichester, 7th in descent from Walleran de Cirencester alias Chichester, himself descended from a brother of Robert of Chichester, Bishop of Exeter in 1155-1160. According to the Ledger Book of Tor Abbey, in 1237 Walleran did homage to William de Raleigh for the manor of South Pool.[30]
  • Sir John II Chichester (1385-1437)[31] (son), who fought in the Battle of Agincourt (1415) in the retinue of the Sieur de Harrington. He married Alice Wotton, daughter and co-heiress of John Wotton of Widworthy. He survived his wife and died 14 December 1437.[32]
  • Richard Chichester (1423-1496), (son), was a minor aged 14 on his father's death. He served as Sheriff of Devon in 1469 and 1475. He married firstly Margaret Keynes, daughter of Nicholas Keynes of Winkleigh; secondly Elizabeth Sapcott (d.1502), who survived him, daughter of Sir John Sapcott. He died 25 December 1496[33] and his Inquisition post mortem was taken in 1498. His tomb slab exists set into the floor of the chancel aisle of Pilton Church. Their second son Richard Chichester married Thomasine de Hall (d.1502),[34] the heiress of Hall, in the parish of Bishops Tawton, and founded that line of the family, whose descendants (in a female line) still own the estate in 2012. His heir was his grandson John Chichester (d.1537/8). He was predeceased by both his sons:
    • John Chichester (d.1477) (eldest son by Margaret Keynes), married Thomasine Steyning, who survived him, daughter of William Steyning. Predeceased his father, died without issue.
    • Nicholas Chichester (c. 1447 - before 1496),[35] (younger son by Margaret Keynes and heir to his brother), married Christine Paulet
  • Sir John Chichester (c. 1474-1537) (son and heir of Nicholas Chichester (d.pre-1496) and heir to his grandfather), married firstly in about 1490, Margaret Beaumont (d.1507), daughter and co-heiress of Hugh Beaumont of Shirwell by his wife Thomasine Wise. Secondly Joan Brett, sister of Robert Brett (d.1540), lord of the manor of Pilland in the parish of Pilton, and the last steward of Pilton Priory before its dissolution[36] and widow of John Courtenay (d.1510) of Molland; she survived her husband and remarried Henry Fortescue. His will was witnessed by his brother-in-law Robert Brett (d.1540). The manorial account book for Raleigh of the year 1506/7 survives.[37] His eldest son by his second wife Joan Brett was Amyas Chichester (1527-1577), to whom he granted his manor of Arlington, and who established that line of the family, created Chichester Baronets of Arlington Court in 1840.
  • Sir John Chichester (c. 1516/22-1569), (grandson), MP, Sheriff of Devon 1552 and 1557. He was the son of Edward Chichester (c. 1496-1522) (second and eldest surviving son of Sir John Chichester (c. 1474-1537), whom he predeceased) by his wife Lady Elizabeth Bourchier (d.24 August 1548), a daughter of John Bourchier, 1st Earl of Bath (1470–1539). Lady Elizabeth's monumental brass, depicting a small kneeling figure with separate inscription, exists in St Brannock's Church, Braunton, Devon.[38] Sir John Chichester's elaborate monument (without effigy) exists in Pilton Church. He married Gertrude Courtenay, a daughter of Sir William Courtenay (1477–1535) of Powderham. He obtained from the crown (after having been leased to Richard Duke (d.1572), of Otterton) the rectory, parsonage, glebe, tithes oblations and advowson of the former Pilton Priory, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. He bequeathed these to his son and heir in his will.[39] These rights had passed under another lease to George Turrell by 1591.[40]
  • Sir John Chichester (1549-1586) (eldest son), of Raleigh. Married Anne Denys, daughter of Sir Robert Dennis of Holcombe Burnell.
  • Sir Robert Chichester (1578-1627) (son). His monument with kneeling effigies of himself and his two wives exists in Pilton Church. He married firstly Frances Harrington (d.1615), who received a stately funeral in Pilton church attended by many eminent persons.[41] She was the daughter of John Harington, 1st Baron Harington of Exton (1539-1613) and a co-heiress of her brother John Harington, 2nd Baron Harington of Exton (1592-1614). By her he had a daughter Anne Chichester who married Thomas Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin (1599-1663). Secondly he married Ursula Hill, daughter of Robert Hill of Shilston. In 1599 he purchased from Robert Dillon Esq., of Chumhill, Bratton Fleming, the husband of his aunt Grace Chichester, for £9,900 the manors of "Bratton Flemyng, Benton, and Haxton, the capital mansion, barton and demesnes of Chumhill, Haxton, Chelfham, and Shirrledon and all the lands called Chumhill, Benton, Haxton, Chelfham, and Shirrldon, in the parishes of Bratton Flemyng, Loxhore, Stoke Rivers, and Kentisbury, and £5 of rent (called Flemyng's rent) out of lands in South Molton and elsewhere in Devon".[42]
  • Sir John Chichester, 1st Baronet (1623-1667) (son by 2nd wife Ursula Hill)
  • Sir John Chichester, 2nd Baronet (c. 1658-1680) (son), died without progeny.
  • Sir Arthur Chichester, 3rd Baronet (c. 1662-1718) (brother). In 1689 [43] he moved permanently to Youlston Park in the parish of Shirwell, long owned by the family and used as a second seat, inherited by Sir John Chichester (c. 1474-1537) from his first wife Margaret Beaumont (d.1507), and sold the manor of Raleigh to Arthur Champneys, MP for Barnstaple in 1701 (1695-c. 1715) and a Barnstaple merchant.[44] On 2 November 1715 however he was back at Pilton where together with Henry Incledon, Esq., he received the oaths, declarations against trans-substantiation and administered the sacramental tests respecting 36 local gentlemen.[45]
  • .... etc.
  • From:,_Pilton


Arlington Court

  • .... etc.
    • Chichester family
  • The Chichester family, which in 2012 still exists in several branches and survives in North Devon at Hall, two miles SE of Bishops Tawton, was historically one of the leading ancient gentry families of Devon, having been established in 1384 at the manor of Raleigh, in the parish of Pilton near Barnstaple, upon the marriage of John Chichester of Somerset to Thomasine de Ralegh, daughter and heiress of Sir John de Ralegh.[10] The site of the great manor house of Raleigh, which was sold by Sir Arthur Chichester, 3rd Baronet (c.1662-1718) to Arthur Champneys, MP, a Barnstaple merchant,[11] is now occupied by a disused 1960's concrete building, part of the complex of North Devon District Hospital. The present Georgian mansion called Raleigh House was built on a site directly above the old mansion by Nicholas Hooper, whose father Sir Nicholas Hooper, MP, had purchased the manor from Champneys in 1703.[12] The Chichester family thenceforth lived at Youlston. According to the hearth tax returns of 1664, which showed Raleigh still to have been owned by Sir John Chichester, 1st Baronet, of Raleigh (1623-1667) it had 24 hearths, making it one of the largest houses in North Devon, possibly second largest after Tawstock Court.[13] The manor of Arlington was also inherited from the de Ralegh family,[14] and was thus one of the family's most ancient Devon possessions. It was later given by the Chichesters to a younger son from a second marriage, Amyas Chichester (d.1577), who married Jane Giffard, daughter of Sir Roger Giffard of Brightley in the parish of Chittlehampton, and by her produced a family of nineteen sons and four daughters, thus establishing there his own branch of the family.[15] The large family of Amyas is referred to by Charles Kingsley in Westward Ho! [16] Hall in the parish of Bishops Tawton was inherited in 1461 by Richard Chichester on his marriage to Thomasine de Halle, daughter and heiress of Simon de Halle.[17] The manor of Shirwell, in which is situated Youlston House, was inherited by the Chichester family temp. Henry VII (1485-1509) by marriage to Margaret Beaumont, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Beaumont, whose family had resided at Youlston since the reign of Henry I (1100-1135).[18] Shirwell is adjacent to the south of Arlington. Margaret Beaumont's sister and co-heiress Joan Beaumont married into the Basset family of Whitechapel and Tehidy, to which family she brought the other Beaumont lands of Umberleigh[19] and Heanton Punchardon.[20] The pioneering yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester (1901-1972) was the son of Rev. Charles Chichester, appointed by the family as parson of Shirwell, seventh son of Sir Arthur Chichester, 8th Baronet (1822-1898), of Youlston. He was buried at Shirwell Church, where two monuments to him exist. His younger son is Giles Chichester (b. 1946), Conservative Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar, who thus retains his family's ancient connection to Devon. (For the history of the wider family see Marquess of Donegall and Chichester baronets).
  • .... etc.
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Amyas Chichester, Esq., of Arlington's Timeline

March 28, 1527
Arlington, Devonshire, England
April 5, 1540
Age 13
Widworthy, Devonshire, England
Age 15
Of Widworthy, Devonshire, UK
Age 17
Widworthy, Devonshire, England
Age 18
Arlington, Devon, England
Age 22
Widworthy, Devonshire, England
Age 23
Widworthy, Devonshire, England
Age 25
Widworthy, Devonshire, England
Age 26