John Perkins, Lord of Madresfield

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John Perkins (Parkyns), Lord of Madresfield

Birthdate: (39)
Birthplace: Ufton Nervet, West Berkshire, England or Knowlton, Chiswick, Kent, England
Death: January 5, 1399 (39)
Madresfield, Worcestershire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Perkins; Henry Perkins and Bessie Evlala Perkins
Husband of Margaret Perkins
Father of William Perkins, Lord of Ufton, Bailiff to Duke of Gloucester, MP for Berkshire

Managed by: Private User
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About John Perkins, Lord of Madresfield

Quoting from “The Curd and Allied Families,” by William B. Curd and Lucy Price Rayne Truog (1927)

“‘A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames,’ says: Parkin, Parkins, Parkinson, Parkisson, Perkin, Perkins, Perkinson, Parkyns, Bapt. ‘the son of Peter,’ from the pet Perkin or Parkyn. There are no Perkins or Parkins in the Hundred Rolls, while the French diminutives Perrin and Perrott are common. What May be called the Flemish forms appear in Yorkshire and the East counties about the beginning of the 14th century, with Perkins and Parkins.

“In the Herold’s ‘Visitation’ for the Berkshire 1623, this family is said to have descended from a certain Peter or Petrus de Morely of Shropshire, a county on the border of Wales. Hence, the family is sometimes said to have been of Welsh origin.

“For three hundred years the Perkins ancestors were seneshals or wardens of de Spencers and Warwich Castle. The Ufton Book shows the Perkins line, eldest son to eldest son, etc., continued to the present time. Some of the family were distinguished in the history of England and were prominent in Stratford district, the home of Shakespeare and his wife, Mary Arden. ”

“Domesday Book, A. D. 1085,” lists a manor in Berkshire, England, called Offstone, belonging to William Fitz Anscuff, and Ufton Court was a beautiful old Manor house at the same place, the ancient home of the Perkins family.”

Generation 14. Peter De Morley was Servous to Hugh de Spencer and was living in 1380. He was married to Agnes Taylor.

Generation 13. Henry Parkyns was the son of Peter.

Generation 12. John Parkyns, son of Henry Parkyns,

  • was Seneschal to Thomas de Spencer, Earl of Gloucester. in 1390,
  • he was the first to acquire property in Madresfield.
  • He was living in 1400.

Generation 11. William Parkyns (1), son of John Parkyns, was 1st “Lord of Ufton. ”(bailiff to Humphry Plantagent, Duke of Glouster) He married Margaret, and was living in 1447.

Generation 10. Thomas Parkyns (1), son of William and Margaret Parkyns, was living in 1452-1479. He was called “Thomas of Ufton and Madresfield,” and gave Madresfield Manor House to his second son, Thomas.

Generation 9. Thomas Parkyns (2), son of Thomas Parkyns (1), was married to Ellen Tompkinson. They had four sons, William of Madresfield, James of Shropshire, and Richard and Lawrence, twins.

Generation 8. William Parkyns (2), son of Thomas Parkyns(2)), was married to Joan Reade, daughter of Reade near Coventry.

Generation 7. Richard Parkyns, Sr., son of William Parkyns (2) and Joan Reade , was married to Ann Twynborrowe, daughter of Walter Twynborrowe, of Woodmention, Herfordshire.

Generation 6. Richard Parkyns, Jr., the son of Richard Parkyns (1) and Ann Twynborrowe, was of Bunny Park. He married Elizabeth Beresford, daughter of Aden Beresford, of Fenney Bently of Derbyshire. There were eight children: Sir George Parkyns, Knight who died in 1626; Adrien; John; Aden; Francis; Annie; Eliza; and Margaret.

Generation 5. Aden Parkyns, the son of Richard Parkyns, Jr. and Elizabeth Beresford, was married to Mary ____. They came to Virginia in 1607, where he was registered as “Grocer. ” Whether he returned to England, or died in Virginia, is not known. They had four children: George; Richard (3); Annie; and Thomas.

Generation 4. Richard Parkyns (3), son of Aden and Mary Parkyns, owned land near Jamestown, or on the James River. Whom he married is not known.

Generation 3. Nicholas Perkins (1), the son of Richard Parkyns (3), was also married to a Mary, and there were 7 children. Records show that in 1641 Nicholas Perkins was transported to Hernia County, Virginia, by Brayant Smith, although it appears he was born in America, the grandson of the immigrant. On 30 August 1650, he was granted land in Bermuda Hundred, beginning in Cole’s Swamy, Henrico County, for the transportation of four persons into the colony, although only three are named: Mary Perkins, William Owen, and Richard Hues. The original document is almost illegible, and the names are given differently in several references. However, it is thought these persons were Mary Perkins, his wife, and his sons, William, Owen, Richard (4), and Thomas. He died about 1664, and his will mentions only his daughter, Lydia, and his two youngest children, Elizabeth and Nicholas (2). His widow married Richard Parker.

Generation 2. William Perkins, son of Nicholas and Mary Perkins, was born about 1633. His wife, was also named Mary. William and Mary, and their daughter, Mary, were passengers on the ship “Kent,” in 1667. Members of the Society of Friends, they joined the Burlington Monthly Meeting, in New Jersey.

Generation 1. Mary Perkins, daughter of William and Mary Perkins, was married 24 May 1683, at Burlington Monthly Meeting, to Henry Grubb


John Perkins/Perkyns (son of Henry)

  • was born in 1360 in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England and
  • died January 5, 1400 (at age 39), at Ufton Robert, the manor originally belonged to King Richard II (1377-1399).
  • John was the first to receive a coat of arms from the Despencer family and
  • served as the High Sheriff of the Despencer family and Seneschal to Thomas Despencer, Duke of Gloucester.

Excerpted from: [ Ufton is a village in West Berkshire, England]

  • The toponym Ufton is derived from the Old English Uffa-tūn = "Uffa's farmstead" and the Domesday Book of 1086 records it as Offetune.
  • Three manors have existed in this area: Ufton Robert, Ufton Nervet and Ufton Pole. The Domesday Book records the first two.
    • The original Ufton Nervet, also known as Ufton Richard, was about 1 mile (1.6 km) north west of the current village, in the current location of Ufton Green. It had its own parish church of St John the Baptist, the ruined west wall of which still survives. The place was named after Richard Neyrvut, later corrupted to Nervet, who held the manor in the 13th century.
    • Ufton Robert manor house was just west of the current village and had a moat, which still survives. Excavations in the 19th century found bridge piles, a gateway and other foundations. The moat is also part of a set of linked medieval fishponds fed from an artificial stream which flowed into the south pond. The water was controlled to the ponds and moat by a series of sluices.
      • The manor came into the hands of the Perkyns family around 1411.
      • When they bought the manor of Ufton Pole in 1560 the two manors were combined and the main residence moved to Ufton Pole, which is now Ufton Court, a large Elizabethan manor house south-west of the village.
    • In 1434–35 the parishes of Ufton Nervet and Ufton Robert were merged and Ufton Robert's parish church of St Peter became the church of the merged parish. Although the original parish of Ufton Nervet had ceased to exist, this eventually became the name of the current village and parish. After the merger, Ufton Robert's parish church of St John the Baptist fell into decay, but its west wall survived by being adopted as the dividing wall between two cottages. In 1886 the cottages were demolished, re-exposing the west wall which now stands isolated in a pasture.

Excerpted from: The Perkins family in ye olden times by Mansfield Parkyns, 11916, Utica, NY, pp. 40-41: available online at

In the 21st Richard II. (1398) John Parkyns was seneschal to Thomas DeSpencer, Earl of Gloucester, and in the first year of Henry IV. (1400) he had a grant of land at Shipton-under-Whichwood (in Oxfordshire), one of the forfeited manors of the DeSpencers, who had enormous estates in various counties.

In the pamphlet, "Perkins Arms in England," someone has introduced "was" in your quotation. "John Parkyns was acknowledged, temp. Richard II. to hold an estate of the manor of Madresfield by fealty and 8s. 5d. per annum" and so destroyed the meaning. The words of the old Court Roll of Madresfield Manor are (bar abbreviations): "Johannes Parkyns cognovit tenere de domina 2 messuagia et 18 die'tas terrae reddends per annum 8s. 5a. et sectam curie et fecit fidelitatem.

  • * Free Translation — John Parkyns acknowleged to hold of her Ladyship's manor two messuages (dwelling houses and the adjoining land appropriated to the use of the household, including the adjacent buildings); to furnish 18 days' provisions; to pay 8 shillings B pence for rent; to become her adherent; to give the property necessary care; and he did homage.

John Parkyns acknowledges to hold "cognovit tenere," etc. represents an old feudal custom. On a new lord succeeding to the lordship the freeholders and others who held lands of his manors attended his first court and acknowledged that they held their property by certain "services" — "a peppercorn," "a pound of cummin," "a pair of spurs," etc., but commonly by a small money payment and "fealty" or "socage" or "court suit," etc.

I no doubt sent Mr. Turner the note in the words (Latin or English) in which I received it from a late friend of mine who had just found the old "Court Roll" (from which it was taken) in private hands. I afterwards obtained the complete "Roll"; it gives the names of other persons who "acknowledged" and the date (Tuesday next after Lady Day, 1390) and it seems that John Parkyns had just acquired his property (by purchase or otherwise) for he "did fealty" (or homage) ("fecit fidelitatem") not unlike our custom of being "presented" to the Queen on appointment to office under the Crown.



Seneshal to Thomas, Duke of Gloucester

Henry Perkins

Peter Morley - fl. 1381

aka Perkins (Little Peter)

1381 Sergeant to Hugh de Spencer, Shipton Manor, Oxon

m. Agnes Taylor

aka Peter de Morlaix

Family seat Upton, Berks.



  • BIRTH: John was born in 1360 in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England[1,2]
  • DEATH: He died in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England on 5 January 1399/1400; he was 39[1].
  • NAME: James Fulton Perkins explains the final morphing of the Perkins name from Henry's generation to that of his son, John:
    • "...When Henry married his eldest son was to be called John Perkyns (born 1360 in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England and died 05 Jan 1400 in the same place); again the suffix to indicate the eldest but changed from "kin" to "kyns". John became quite well educated and began often signing his name as John Perkins...Thus began the spelling carried by all subsequent generations..."[3]
  • OCCUPATION: John prospered, becoming Lord of Madresfield manor and carrying on the "family business", inheriting the position of High Steward to the DeSpencer family. In a 1398 Court Roll of Madresfield manor, he is listed as Seneschal and Amiger to Thomas DeSpencer, Earl of Gloucester[4].
  • COAT OF ARMS: With his Duke's influence, John was granted the right to bear arms and became the first Perkins to own a Coat of Arms. It contained a fesse dancette between six billets[3].
  • MARRIAGE: We know nothing of John's wife, nor of any other children.


  • 1. Placeholder, This Is, A Title Of No Consequence Because It Does Not Exist., (NeverNeverLand: Spoof Publications), [PlaceHold], III:1432.
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John Perkins, Lord of Madresfield's Timeline

Ufton Nervet, West Berkshire, England or Knowlton, Chiswick, Kent, England
Age 20
Madresfield, Worcestershire, England
January 5, 1399
Age 39
Madresfield, Worcestershire, England