Richard Le Scrope, 1st Baron of Bolton

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Richard Le Scrope, 1st Baron of Bolton

Also Known As: "Richard Scrope"
Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: Bolton, Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England, (Present UK)
Death: May 30, 1403 (72-80)
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Henry le Scrope, Lord Chief Justice and Margaret de Ros
Husband of Blanche Scrope (de La Pole)
Father of William Le Scrope; Sir Roger Le Scrope, 2nd Baron Scrope of Bolton; Stephen Le Scrope and Richard Le Scrope
Brother of Stephen Scrope; William le Scrope and Geoffrey le Scrope
Half brother of Thomas de Musgrave, III, Sir and Sir Richard de Musgrave, Knight

Occupation: Lord Chancellor
Managed by: Reinhard Albrecht Buehling
Last Updated:

About Richard Le Scrope, 1st Baron of Bolton

Richard le Scrope, 1st Baron Scrope of Bolton

Richard le Scrope, 1st Baron Scrope of Bolton (c. 1327 – 1403) was an English soldier and courtier, serving Richard II of England.[1] He also fought under the Black Prince at the Battle of Crecy in 1346.

Richard le Scrope was a Knight of the Shire for Yorkshire in the parliament of 1364, and was summoned to the upper house as a baron by writ in 1371, when he was made Lord High Treasurer and Keeper of the Great Seal.

In 1378 Lord Scrope became Lord Chancellor, a role in which he attempted to curb the extravagance of Richard II, but resigned in 1380 when the government collapsed due to military failures in France. After the turbulence of the Peasants revolt, in which his successor was beheaded by the rebels, he took up the position again. He was finally deprived of office by King Richard for non-cooperation in 1382 and thereafter dedicated himself to the rebuilding of Bolton Castle.[2] on his estates in Wensleydale in Yorkshire, which he had been given licence to crenellate.[3][4]

Both as a soldier and a statesman Lord Scrope was highly regarded and the new king Henry IV was moved to confirm that his lands and titles would not be forfeit in spite of the fact that his eldest son William had been executed by Henry in 1399 for William's support of Richard II. Richard Scrope died on 30 May 1403 in Pishobury, Hertfordshire (where he had bought a country estate) and was buried at Easby Abbey in Richmond, Yorkshire. His title passed to his second son Roger Scrope [5]

Scrope engaged in several disputes with regard to his armorial bearings, the most celebrated of which was with Sir Robert Grosvenor[6] for the right to the shield blazoned "Azure, a bend Or," which a court of chivalry decided in his favor after a controversy extending over four years (see Scrope v Grosvenor)

Geoffrey Chaucer and Owain Glyndwr gave evidence in Scrope's favour.

He was a son of Henry le Scrope.[7] The Archbishop of York Richard le Scrope was a first cousin.[8]

He married Blanche de la Pole (daughter of William de la Pole of Hull), by whom he had four sons.:[9]

  • William Scrope, 1st Earl of Wiltshire
  • Roger Scrope, 2nd Baron Scrope of Bolton
  • Stephen
  • Richard



  • Sir Richard le Scrope, 1st Baron Scrope, Lord High Treasurer & Chancellor of England1,2,3,4
  • M, #16007, b. circa 1326, d. 30 May 1403
  • Father Henry le Scrope b. b 1270, d. 6 Sep 1336
  • Mother Margaret Roos d. a 1343
  • Sir Richard le Scrope, 1st Baron Scrope, Lord High Treasurer & Chancellor of England was born circa 1326 at of Bolton, Yorkshire, England. He married Blanche de la Pole, daughter of Sir William de la Pole, 4th Earl of Suffolk, Admiral of England, Baron of the Exchequer and Katherine de Norwich, before 21 February 1352.2,3,4 Sir Richard le Scrope, 1st Baron Scrope, Lord High Treasurer & Chancellor of England died on 30 May 1403; About age 76.
  • Family Blanche de la Pole d. 1378
  • Children
    • Sir Stephen le Scrope, Lord Deputy of Ireland, Governor of Roxburgh Castle5,3,4 d. 4 Sep 1408
    • Sir William le Scrope, 7th Earl of Wiltshire b. c 1350, d. 29 Jul 1399
    • Sir Roger le Scrope, 2nd Lord Scrope+2,4 b. b 1373, d. 3 Dec 1403
  • Citations
  • [S4497] Unknown author, The Complete Peerage, by Cokayne, Vol. XI, p. 539-541; Wallop Family, Vol. 4, line 888.
  • [S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. IV, p. 197.
  • [S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. IV, p. 196.
  • [S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. V, p. 165.
  • [S11568] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, by George Edward Cokayne, Vol. XII/2, p. 97, notes.
  • From:


  • Richard Scrope1
  • M, #361622, d. 30 May 1403
  • Last Edited=4 Aug 2009
  • Richard Scrope was the son of Henry Scrope and Margaret de Ros.1 He married Blanche de la Pole, daughter of Sir William de la Pole and Katheirne de Norwich.1 He died on 30 May 1403.1
  • Child of Richard Scrope and Blanche de la Pole
    • Roger Scrope+1 d. 3 Dec 1402
  • Citations
  • [S1916] Tim Boyle, "re: Boyle Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 16 September 2006. Hereinafter cited as "re: Boyle Family."
  • From:


  • Richard SCROPE (1° B. Scrope of Bolton)
  • Born: 1327
  • Died: Sep 1403
  • Notes: Chancellor of England under Richard II and the builder of the great castle of Bolton, in the North Riding.
  • Father: Henry SCROPE of Bolton (Sir Knight)
  • Mother: Margaret De ROS
  • Married: Blanche De La POLE (B. Scrope of Bolton) ABT 1344, Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England
  • Children:
    • 1. Roger SCROPE (2° B. Scrope of Bolton)
    • 2. William SCROPE (1° E. Wiltshire)
    • 3. Stephen SCROPE (Sir)
    • 4. Richard SCROPE
  • Married 2: Margaret MOUNTFORD (B. Scrope of Bolton)
  • From: SCROPE (1° B. Scrope of Bolton)


  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 51
  • Scrope, Richard le (1327?-1403) by James Tait
  • SCROPE, RICHARD le, first Baron Scrope of Bolton (1327?–1403), chancellor of England, was the third son of Sir Henry le Scrope (d. 1336) [q. v.], chief justice of the king's bench, and his wife Margaret. At the age of seventeen (November 1344) he succeeded his eldest brother, William, in their father's estates. He had already served with this brother in Brittany, but won his first laurels at Neville's Cross, where he was knighted on the field, after which he lost no time in joining the king before Calais. There was hardly a campaign in France or Scotland for forty years to follow in which Scrope was not engaged. He early attached himself to the service of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, in whose train he fought at Najara (1367), and in nearly all his subsequent expeditions down to 1385. This association went far to determine the part he played in the critical domestic politics of the closing years of Edward III's reign. On 8 Jan. 1371 Scrope—who had once (1365) sat for his county in the commons—was summoned to the upper house, and on 27 March succeeded Bishop Brantingham as treasurer on Sir Robert Thorp taking the great seal from William of Wykeham. This substitution of lay for clerical ministers was not particularly successful. It was Scrope no doubt who, on a tax upon parishes being proposed, estimated their number at forty thousand, while in reality there were only 8,600. He laid down his office in September 1375 to take up the (joint) wardenship of the west marches against Scotland.
  • On Richard II's accession Scrope became steward of the household, an office to which the minority gave unusual importance. He figured prominently in the first two parliaments of the reign, in the second of which, held at Gloucester, the great seal was transferred (29 Oct. 1378) to him. He remained chancellor for little more than a year, giving way to Archbishop Sudbury on 27 Jan. 1380, and returning to the business of the Scottish border. But on 4 Dec. 1381 he again became chancellor and a member of the commission headed by Lancaster to inquire into the state of the royal household. But as the nominee of parliament and Lancaster (who between 1380 and 1384 retained his services for life in peace and war), Scrope was soon at variance with the young king. He refused to seal Richard's lavish grants, and, when royal messengers demanded the great seal from him, would only surrender it into the king's own hands (11 July 1382). He told Richard that he would never again take office under him (Walsingham, ii. 68).
  • Retiring into the north, Scrope resumed his activity as warden on the border, and was in both the Scottish expeditions of 1384 and 1385. It was on the latter occasion that he challenged the right of Sir Robert Grosvenor to bear the same arms as himself—viz. azure, bend or. This was not the first dispute of the kind in which Scrope had engaged. At Calais in 1347 his right to the crest of a crab issuing from a coronet had been unsuccessfully challenged (Scrope and Grosvenor Roll, i. 62). Again, before Paris in 1360, a Cornish squire named Carminowe, who bore the same arms, had questioned his right to them. It was then decided that both were entitled to bear them—Carminowe because his ancestors had borne them since the time of King Arthur, and because Cornwall was ‘un grosse terre et jadis portant le noun dune roialme;’ and Scrope because his forefathers had used this blazon since the days of William the Conqueror (ib. i. 50, 214). The bearings were simple, and their recurrence easily explicable in districts so isolated from each other as Yorkshire, Cheshire, and Cornwall. Nevertheless, after a trial extending over nearly five years [see under Grosvenor, Sir Robert, for details], in which doubts were thrown on the gentility of Scrope as the son of a ‘man of law,’ judgment was finally given (27 May 1390) entirely in his favour. He got his adversary excused a fine incurred by non-payment of the costs, and the two were publicly reconciled before the king in parliament. The records of the trial and depositions of the witnesses, printed by Sir Harris Nicolas in 1832, throw much incidental light upon the early history of the Scrope family and upon the details of Edward III's wars. Scrope's son, the Earl of Wiltshire, abandoned the crab crest for a plume of feathers azure, leaving the former to the Masham branch. There is an impression of the ‘sigillum de Crabb’ in the ‘Testamenta Eboracensia’ (ii. 187).
  • The celebrated controversy had been interrupted by the political crisis of 1386–9, in which Scrope sided with the king's opponents, and sat on their commission of government. His opposition at least was disinterested, for he spoke out boldly in parliament on behalf of his much maligned brother-in-law, Michael de la Pole, earl of Suffolk [q. v.] (Rot. Parl. iii. 216–17). On Richard's resuming power and ruling with more deference to his subjects' susceptibilities, Scrope was more than once employed in negotiations with France and Scotland, and occasionally acted as a trier of petitions in parliament. But his advancing age induced him to devote much of his time to good works and the completion of his great castle at Bolton. The abbey of St. Agatha at Easby, close to Richmond, in which his father, its second founder, lay buried, had already experienced his generosity. He now (about 1393) set aside an annual rent of 100l. to provide twelve additional canons to pray for himself and his family. The fine late decorated refectory is said to have been his work (Testamenta Eboracensia, i. 274). He got the church of Wensley made collegiate, and furnished the chapels of St. Anne and St. Oswald at Bolton with a priest apiece (Dugdale, i. 655). His castle of Bolton, placed on the north side of Wensleydale five miles west of Wensley, was now rapidly approaching completion. The license to crenellate had been granted in 1379, but the contract with the builder is at least a year earlier. Though he lived to see it finished, Scrope passed most of his later life at ‘Scrope's Inn,’ Holborn, or at the manor of Pishobury in Hertfordshire, purchased in 1394 (Wylie, ii. 193). As the last stones of Bolton Castle were being placed in position, Richard took his belated revenge upon his old adversaries of 1386. But Scrope's former moderation or his eldest son's favour with the king procured an exception in his favour. On 29 Nov. 1397 a full pardon issued to ‘Sir Richard le Scrop, an adherent of the Duke of Gloucester’ (Fœdera, viii. 26). On the king's overthrow two years later, the odium incurred by Scrope's son as a chief agent of his tyranny threatened his father with a new danger. He appeared in the first parliament of Henry IV, and ‘humbly and in tears’ entreated the new king not to visit the sins of the son upon his father and brothers. Henry graciously consented that they should not be disinherited for Wiltshire's treason (Rot. Parl. iii. 453). With one exception—on the occasion of the attainder of the conspirators of Christmas 1399 in January 1401—this was Scrope's last public appearance. He died on 30 May 1403, and was buried in the abbey of St. Agatha. In ‘Testamenta Eboracensia’ (ii. 186) is a notice of a pension which he had to grant to a person seriously wounded by himself and his servants in York Minster.
  • By his wife Blanche (d. after 1378), daughter of Sir William de la Pole of Hull, Scrope had four sons, of whom the eldest, William, earl of Wiltshire (d. 1399), is separately noticed.
  • The second son, Roger, succeeded him as second baron, but died in the same year (3 Dec.), when his son Richard (b. 1393?), by one of the coheiresses of Robert, lord Tiptoft, became third baron; Richard's grandson was John le Scrope, fifth baron Scrope of Bolton [q. v.]
  • The third son, Stephen, whom his father married to a second Tiptoft coheiress, became in her right lord of Bentley, near Doncaster, and of Castle Combe, Wiltshire, where he founded a family, which has lasted to our own day [see Scrope, William, (1772–1852)]. In 1397 he served as justice of Munster, Leinster, and Uriell. He was one of the few who remained faithful to Richard II until his arrest, but under Henry IV became joint keeper of Roxburghe Castle (1400) and deputy-lieutenant of Ireland (1401). He won a victory there at Callan in September 1407, and died of the plague at Castledermot on 4 Sept. 1408. His widow married (January 1409) Sir John Fastolf [q. v.] He left a son Stephen and a daughter Elizabeth (Wylie, ii. 124, iii. 162, 168; Devon, Issues, p. 280; Testamenta Eboracensia, iii. 38; Holinshed, Ireland, p. 66).
  • The fourth son, Richard, is only mentioned in a deed, dated 31 Oct. 1366 (Scrope and Grosvenor Roll, ii. 53). In consequence of an ambiguous expression in Scrope's will (Testamenta Eboracensia, i. 272), Richard le Scrope [q. v.], archbishop of York, has often been considered his son, even since Sir Harris Nicolas's convincing proof of his real parentage (Scrope and Grosvenor Roll, ii. 121). Some authorities doubtfully give Scrope a second wife; but they are not agreed whether she was a Margaret, daughter of Sir John Montfort, or a lady named Spencer. The fact seems doubtful.
  • [Rotuli Parliamentorum; Rymer's Fœdera, original edit.; Walsingham's Historia Anglicana (Rolls Ser.); Testamenta Eboracensia (Surtees Soc.); Scrope and Grosvenor Roll, ed. Nicolas, 2 vols. 1832 (the second volume contains pedigrees of both branches of the Scropes, lives of their members down to 1405, and biographies of most of Scrope's witnesses); Quarterly Review, April 1836; Dugdale's Baronage; Wylie's History of Henry IV.]
  • From:,_Richard_le_(1327%3F-1403)_(DNB00)


  • Richard Le Scrope
  • Birth: 1327 Bolton on Swale, North Yorkshire, England
  • Death: May 30, 1403 Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England
  • Baron Scrope of Bolton
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • Henry le Scrope (1271 - 1336)
  • Children:
    • Roger Scrope (1348 - 1403)*
    • William Scrope (1350 - 1399)*
  • Sibling:
  • William Scrope (____ - 1344)*
  • Richard Le Scrope (1327 - 1403)
  • Burial: St Agatha Churchyard, Easby, Richmondshire District, North Yorkshire, England
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 111014748
  • From:



Bolton Castle was built by Sir Richard le Scrope, Lord Chancellor of England to Richard II. The licence to crennelate was granted and building commenced in 1379 and was completed in 1399. The family had raised to prominence a generation before under Sir Henry Le Scrope who was Chief Justice of The Kings Bench, Chief Justice of The Common Pleas and father of Sir Richard. Having said this, a member of the family called Richard FitzScrob – Scrob, being the earliest Norman spelling of the name Scrope – had built Richard’s Castle in Herefordshire in 1050, so the family must have borne some political power well before this time.

Sir Henry had served in the retinue of The Earl of Warwick in France and later with John of Gaunt. His first action was at The battle of Crecy, being Knighted at The Battle of Durham. He fought in every major campaign between 1346 and 1384, when he challenged Robert Grosvenor to his right to bear the Arms ‘Azure, a Bend d’Or’. In 1385, a General Proclamation was made throughout the host that all who were interested in the dispute should appear on 20th August at Newcastle on Tyne. The case took four years to be determined and judgement was given in Westminster Hall, in favour of Scrope. Many of the most interesting and powerful persons of the land gave evidence, including John of Gaunt and Owen Glendower.

He obtained the wardship of the three heiress daughters of Robert, Lord Tiptoft who was reputed to have salvaged King John’s treasure from ‘The Wash’. The three girls were betrothed to Scropes’ sons and are all left legacies in Scrope’s will where he refers to them as ‘my dearest daughters’.

Between 1371 and 1375 he served as Lord Treasurer and was made Lord Chancellor in 1378, which post he held until 1380, but he then served again from 1381 to 1382. The following explanation was given for his having The Great Seal taken from him; “After the death of Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, and of some other tenants in captive, numerous applications were made to The King for their lands, which fell to The Crown in consequence of the minority of their heirs. His Majesty, regardless of his own pecuniary necessities, having commanded The Chancellor to comply with those requests, Scrope ventured to remonstrate and urged the propriety of keeping the lands in The King’s own hands for the supply of exigencies. Incensed at this behaviour, Richard sent messenger after messenger to Scrope, desiring him forthwith to return The Great Seal, but he “(refused) to deliver it up to any person other than The King himself.”

There is considerable mystery as to the origins of the major Scrope wealth. Henry and Geoffrey Le Scrope reputedly founded the family fortune, however there is a problem with this. They undoubtedly acquired some land holdings, but on a minor scale. Henry also applied for a licence to embattle his manor house at Kirby Fleetham, but his declared remuneration from gifts and fees, never amounted to more than about £80 per annum (Brigette Vale). Richard Le Scrope spent a reputed 18000 Marks on building Bolton Castle between 1378 and 1399, he also bought the Kingdom of The Isle of Man for his son William for a further £10000. This represents about £90 million at today’s prices. He acquired some of his properties by lending money on the security of land. When people were unable to pay back these funds these lands and manors became forfeit to him. The licence to crenellate Bolton Castle was granted in July 1379, although the contract with Johan Lewyn, mason, was made in September 1378. Leland (later – in the reign of Henry VIII) describes in his ‘Itinerary’ how Bolton was 18 years in building and cost 1000 Marks per annum and was completed in 1399. He also describes ‘An Astronomical Clock’ in the courtyard and the way “the smoke was conveyed from the hearth in the hall, through tunnils through the walls and no other louvers”. Sir Francis Knollys describes Bolton as having “The highest walls of any house he had seen”.



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Richard Le Scrope, 1st Baron of Bolton's Timeline

Bolton, Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England, (Present UK)
Age 18
Bolton, Yorkshire, England
Age 21
Bolton, Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England
Age 23
Bentley, Yorkshire, England
Age 25
Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England
May 30, 1403
Age 76
January 29, 1938
Age 76
June 3, 1938
Age 76
November 12, 1959
Age 76