Sir Robert Hilton, Kt., MP

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Sir Robert Hilton, Kt., MP

Birthplace: Swine, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Death: December 22, 1429 (31-40)
Swine, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert de Hilton and Constance de Hilton
Husband of Joan Hilton
Father of Elizabeth Melton and Isabel Hilton

Occupation: Lord of Swine
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Sir Robert Hilton, Kt., MP

  • HILTON, Sir Robert (d.c.1431), of Swine and Winestead in Holderness, Yorks.
  • s. and h. of Sir Robert Hilton (d.c.1400) of Swine and Winestead, by his 1st w. Isabel (d. by 1395); e. bro. of Sir Godfrey*. m. Joan (d.1432), da. of Sir Robert Constable*, 2da. Kntd. by Mar. 1401.1
    • J.p. Yorks (liberty of Beverley) 4 Mar. 1401-June 1407, 12 Feb. 1408-d., (East Riding) 16 May 1401-July 1424, (West Riding) 16 Jan. 1414-July 1415, Yorks. (generally) 5 July 1419-23.
    • Commr. of inquiry, Yorks. (East Riding) Mar. 1401 (water supply of Kingston-upon-Hull), Mar. 1402 (confiscation of goods at Hull), June 1406 (concealments and evasions), July 1406 (breach of the statute against forestallers), Feb. 1419 (treasons and evasions), May 1425 (idiocy of John Thymelby); to determine an appeal against a judgement in the ct. of chivalry Sept. 1401; proclaim the King’s intention to rule justly, Yorks. (East Riding) May 1402; of array July, Aug., Sept. 1403, July 1410, May 1415, Oct. 1417, Mar. 1419, Mar 1427; oyer and terminer Aug. 1403 (trespasses), July 1418 (assault on the provost of Beverley); to raise a royal loan June 1406, Nov. 1419.
    • Collector of a tax, Yorks. (East Riding) Mar. 1404, a royal loan Jan. 1420.
    • Sheriff, Lincs. 10 Nov. 1414-1 Dec. 1415, Yorks. 16 Nov. 1417-4 Nov. 1418, 13 Nov. 1423-6 Nov. 1424, 7 Nov. 1427-4 Nov. 1428.
  • The Hiltons of Swine belonged to a cadet branch of the baronial family of Hilton, and are known to have settled in Holderness by the early 13th century. One local historian has described them as being ‘hardly less powerful and magnificent than the stately tree from which [they] sprang’; and they certainly exercised considerable influence in the East Riding. Sir Robert Hilton the elder twice became sheriff of Yorkshire as well as sitting as a j.p. He married one of his daughters, Denise, to her kinsman, William, 5th Lord Hilton, thus strengthening the alliance which already existed between them, while for his eldest son, the subject of this biography, he chose a wife from one of the leading families in Holderness. Robert Hilton’s marriage to Joan, the daughter of Sir Robert Constable of Flamborough, followed several years after that of his other sister, Maud, to Constable’s second son, John (d.1407), and it brought the two families even closer together. It also enabled Robert to establish a valuable connexion with the important Lincolnshire landowner, (Sir) Thomas Cumberworth*, whose sister, Katherine, was married to Sir Robert Constable’s son and heir, Sir Marmaduke (d.1404), and who remained on close terms with the Hiltons throughout his life. When Joan died, in 1432, she left Katherine one of her most treasured possessions, unum librum de Romanse incipientem cum Decem Preceptis Alembes.2
  • Quite early on in his career, Robert Hilton became attached to Thomas Percy, earl of Worcester, who, in February 1397, granted him the marriage and wardship of the young (Sir) Brian Stapleton*, together with a rent of £20 p.a. with which to support him. Since Sir Robert Hilton the elder had himself recently married Sir John Godard’s* widow, Constance, it made sense to marry the youth to one of Godard’s daughters, who duly became his wife. Unlike his patron, Hilton proved to be a loyal and committed adherent of the Lancastrian regime; and after Percy’s execution and forfeiture for treason in 1403 the award was confirmed by Henry IV. As early as 3 Nov. 1399, he and his brother-in-law, John Constable of Halsham, had acted as attorneys for the King when the latter delivered an estate in Holderness to his second son, Thomas of Lancaster; and just four days later royal letters patent authorized payment of £32 p.a. from the wool custom at Hull to Hilton, who was then retained for life by King Henry as an esquire of the body. He succeeded his father in, or shortly before, January 1401, and within a matter of weeks a knighthood was conferred upon him.3 He was well able to support such an honour, being heir to an extensive estate which included the manor of Fulstow and property in Aylesby, Lincolnshire, as well as the land in Swine and Winestead which had belonged to his ancestors for over 200 years.4 Hilton had barely entered his patrimony when he was appointed to the bench, first in Beverley, and then, just two months later, in the East Riding. He also began to act as a royal commissioner at this time, and in August 1401 he was summoned to attend a meeting of a great council at Westminster as a representative for Yorkshire. In the following January William Hatfield, one of his neighbours, chose him to execute his will, although his main preoccupation in the early part of 1402 was an action for debt which had been brought against him by the London embroiderer, Robert Ashcombe*. Hilton lived at Swine throughout this period, maintaining what appears to have been a sizeable retinue of servants and well-wishers. One of these men died in 1403 ‘while staying with my lord Robert’, and left him a bequest of 46s. 8d. as a token of thanks for his protection. Not long afterwards, Hilton offered sureties in Chancery for his kinsman, William,Lord Hilton, who was also being sued by a Londoner; and in August 1405 he received another mark of royal favour in the form of the joint keepership of the estates of Thomas, Lord Fauconberg, who had been declared insane. Unfortunately for him, however, Fauconberg had not much longer to live, and the grant was revoked less than two years later.5
  • Hilton appears to have confined his attention to the business of local government during this period, although in about 1408 he agreed to act as a trustee for his nephew, William Constable of Halsham; and shortly afterwards he performed a similar service for the above-mentioned Sir Thomas Cumberworth. Although his administrative experience had hitherto been confined to Yorkshire, he became sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1414, and two years later he was returned to Parliament for the first time by the electors there. His younger brother, Sir Godfrey, was also beginning to establish himself as a member of the county community, and in May 1416 Robert went surety for him at the Exchequer as farmer of the manor of ‘Swynford’ in Harlaston, which formed part of his young stepson’s inheritance. Godfrey’s marriage to a wealthy Lincolnshire heiress and his subsequent election as a Member of the first Parliament of 1421 may well have owed something to Sir Robert’s influence. The latter was also made a feoffee-to-uses of the extensive Lincolnshire estates of John Skipwith’s* son, Thomas; but, even so, he remained chiefly active in the East Riding, and all of his four later appearances in the Lower House were as a Member for Yorkshire. It was there, too, that he served no less than three terms as sheriff, being responsible during the second for the reception of certain hostages surrendered by James I of Scotland.6
  • Hilton drew up his will in March 1429, and died at some point before 22 Dec. 1431, when it was proved. He was still in receipt of his annuity as a knight of the body to Henry VI, and was buried with befitting pomp in the ornate family chapel in Swine church. He made bequests well in excess of £100, as well as remitting half the annual rent of each of his tenants. His widow, Joan, who was chief of his executors, died within the following year, leaving their two daughters, Elizabeth and Isabel, to share the family estates between them, although their uncle, Sir Godfrey, enjoyed a life interest in the manor of Swine, which was conveyed to him in 1432 by Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, one of the principal trustees. Joan Hilton was clearly a woman with literary tastes, for in addition to the book which she left to Katherine Cumberworth, she also bequeathed unum librum de Romanse de Septem Sages to her niece, Margaret Constable.7
  • From:


  • Sir Robert de Hilton, Lord of Swine & Catwike1,2,3,4,5
  • M, #91965, d. 1431
  • Father Sir Robert de Hilton1 d. a 1396
  • Mother Constance Sutton d. 9 Jun 1401
  • Sir Robert de Hilton, Lord of Swine & Catwike married Isabel before 1392; His 1st marriage.2,3,4,5 Sir Robert de Hilton, Lord of Swine & Catwike married Joan Constable, daughter of Sir Robert Constable, Sheriff of Yorkshire and Margaret Skipwith, circa 1395.6 Sir Robert de Hilton, Lord of Swine & Catwike died in 1431 at of Swine, Yorkshire, England.7
  • Family 1 Isabel
  • Child
    • Sir Godfrey Hilton+2,3,4,5 b. c 1393, d. 5 Aug 1459
  • Family 2 Joan Constable
  • Children
    • Elizabeth Hilton+
    • Isabel Hilton+6 b. c 1396
  • Citations
  • 1.[S11583] The Wallop Family and Their Ancestry, by Vernon James Watney, p., 432.
  • 2.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 308.
  • 3.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. IV, p. 299.
  • 4.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. IV, p. 324.
  • 5.[S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. V, p. 326.
  • 6.[S40] RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project.
  • 7.[S11583] The Wallop Family and Their Ancestry, by Vernon James Watney, p., 223.
  • From:


  • 'Hilton01'
  • William de Helton (d before 20.04.1208)
  • m. Bone (dau of German Tison of Shilbottle)
    • 1. Alexander de Hilton of Helton or Hilton
    • m. Agnes de Verly (sister of Hugh de Verly)
      • A. Robert de Hilton, 1st Lord (d c1310)
      • BE1883 (Hilton of Hilton) appears to confuse this Robert de Hilton with Robert de Hilton of Swine (see below) by reporting that he was the one who married Marmaduke de Thweng. TCP (Thweng) reports that this had been suggested by Dugdale, wrongly.
      • m. (before 12.1255) Joan (dau of William Le/De Breton of Essex)
        • i. Alexander de Hilton of Rennington (dvp c1303)
        • m. Elizabeth
          • a. Robert de Hilton, 2nd Lord (d c1322)
          • m1. Joan
          • m2. (before 13.02.1314/5) Ellen (d before 12.04.1339, widow of Walter, Lord Huntercombe)
            • (1) Alexander de Hilton, 3rd Lord of Hilton (d c04.1361)
            • m1. Alice
            • m2. Maud de Emeldon (b c1310, d 08.09.1369, dau of Richard de Emeldon of Embleton and Jesmond)
              • (A) Robert de Hilton, 4th Lord of Hilton (d before 27.05.1370)
              • m. Alianore de Felton (dau of Sir William de Felton of Edlingham)
                • (i) Sir William de Hilton, 5th Lord of Hilton (b c1356, d 25.05.1435)
                • m. Denise de Hilton (d 31.07.1436, dau of Sir Robert de Hilton of Swine) @@ below
                  • (a) Sir Robert Hilton of Hilton (de jure 6th Lord) (d 11.08.1448)
                  • m1. (before 13.04.1398) Maud de Clifford (d before 16.05.1442, dau of Roger de Clifford, Lord)
                    • ((1)) William Hilton of Hilton (de jure 7th Lord) (d 13.10.1457) - continued below
                    • m. (by 01.1438/9) Mary or Mariot Stapilton (dau of William Stapilton of Edenhall)
                  • m2. (before 22.04.1445) Elizabeth (d 16.08.1450, widow of Sir Bertram Monbocher & others)
                  • (b) Thomas Hilton
                  • (c) Margaret Hilton apparently of this generation
                  • m. Sir Ralph Bulmer of Wilton (b by 1406, d 05.04.1444)
                • (ii) Maud Hilton probably of this generation
                • m. Sir John Constable
        • ii. Sir William de Hilton of Swine and Winestead (d 1290-1)
        • The following is supported by VCH (Yorkshire, East Riding volume 7, Swine) though, other than to note that Sir William's widow Maud m2. Sir Robert de Tilliol, VCH does not name any of the wives. Sir William's wife is identified by TCP (Lascelles) as ...
        • m. (1288) Maud de Lascelles (d 1343, dau of Roger, Lord Lascelles, m2. Sir Robert de Tilliol)
          • a. Sir Robert de Hilton or Hylton of Swine (d c1351)
          • (1) Having reference to the dates, it is presumed that this was the Robert (rather than his son) who married Margaret Thweng, sister of Thomas, 4th Lord. TCP (Thweng) identifies Thomas's coheirs as including Margaret's daughter Isabel and John, son of Isabel's sister Maud. There is no mention of Sir Robert Hilton so it is presumed that Sir Robert was not Margaret's son.
          • (2) Robert, husband of Margaret Thweng, is sometimes described as though he was a Lord but this appears to have resulted from confusion with either his grandfather or his cousin (above).
          • m1/2. ??
            • (1) Sir Robert Hilton of Swine (d by 1363)
            • m. Maud (a 1363)
              • (A) Sir Robert Hilton of Swine (a 1393)
              • This was possibly the Sir Robert who was father of Denise. TCP (Hylton) identifies the mother of Denise as Margaret, dau of Sir Thomas de Sutton of Braunsholm Castle and Sutton. However, after noting that this had been modified by TCP (vol xiv) which presumably suggested that his wife's name was Constance rather than Margaret, 'MedieGen' indicates that Denise must have been by an earlier wife.
              • m1. ??
                • (i) Denise de Hilton (d 31.07.1436)
                • m. Sir William de Hilton, 5th Lord of Hilton (b c1356, d 25.05.1435) @@ above
              • m2. Constance Sutton (dau of Sir Thomas de Sutton of Braunsholm Castle & Sutton, widow of Piers de Mauley)
              • Of this generation but uncertain of which marriage were ....
                • (ii) Sir Robert Hilton of Swine (d c1431)
                  • (a) Elizabeth Hilton (d 1454)
                  • m.Sir John Melton (b 1415, d 23.10.1474)
                  • (b) daughter(s)
                • (iii) Sir Godfrey Hilton of Swine (d 1459)
                • VCH reports that Sir Godfrey, brother of Sir Robert, "seems to have held Swine manor for life". Although this has not been confirmed properly, this appears to have been the Godfrey (d 05.08.1459) who married Hawise Luttrell. The following comes from TCP (Luterel or Luttrell).
                • m. Hawise Luttrell (d 24.03.1421/2, sister/heir of Sir Geoffrey Luttrell of Irnham)
                  • (b) .... etc.
                • (iv) Isabel Hilton
                • m. Sir Robert Hildyard of Arnall, Normanby, Riston, Winestead (d 1428)
                • (v) daughter
                • m. Sir Roger Salvayn of Herswell (d 07.03.1422)
          • m2/1. Margaret de Thweng (dau of Marmaduke de Thweng, 1st Lord, sister of Thomas, 4th Lord)
            • (2) .... etc.
  • Main source(s): TCP (Hylton or Hilton of Hilton) with some support/input for the lower section from Visitation (Durham, 1575+1615+1666, Hilton)
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Sir Robert Hilton, Kt., MP's Timeline

Swine, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Derbyshire, England
East Riding, Yorkshire, England
December 22, 1429
Age 36
Swine, East Riding of Yorkshire, England