Sir John Assheton, M.P. for Lancashire

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John Assheton, K.B.

Also Known As: "John de Ashton", "John Ashton"
Birthdate: (60)
Birthplace: Ashton Hall, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
Death: September 3, 1428 (56-64)
Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of John Assheton, I, M.P. for Lancashire and Anne (Assheton) Ashton
Husband of Margaret Assheton 2nd Wife; Isabel Assheton and Jane Assheton
Father of Sir Roger de Ashton; Laurence Ashton; Lucy Shirley; Robert Ashton; Sir Thomas "the Alchemist" de Ashton and 7 others
Brother of Nicholas De de Assheton; Katherine Booth; Cecilia Radcliffe; Joan Davenport and Thomas Assheton

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir John Assheton, M.P. for Lancashire

  • A history and genealogy of the families of Bayard, Houstoun of Georgia: and ... By Joseph Gaston Baillie Bulloch
  • Pg.46
  • This ancient and prominent family had as its ancestor, Orme Fitz Edward, who married Emma, daughter of Albert de Cresley, Baron of Manchester, and had :
    • I. Sir Thomas.
    • II. Roger Fitz Orme, who had : 1 .Sir Thomas, Lord of Assheton, whose son, Sir John Assheton, living 1335, was a member of Parliament 1323. He married Margery, daughter of Sir John Byron and widow of Sir Edward Talbot. Besides Gilbert he had an elder son. Sir Robert Assheton, Vice Ohamberlain to King Edward III. Sir Robert Assheton by his wife, Elizabeth, had: Thomas de Assheton, who married Eleanor, daughter of Sir John Buckley (Foster says Bumhley), and had : Sir John Asshe-
    • Pg.47
    • ton. Knight of the Shire of Lancaster, 1385, who married Margaret, daughter of Perkyn de Legh of Lyme, and had : Sir John de Assheton who was drowned at Norham. He married a daughter of Sir Robert Standish of Standish. There is no record to show who this Sir Robert of Standish was the son of, but in taking a survey of the line we find that in 1384 there was a Robert de Standish, Sheriff of the same County, whose daughter in point of time must have been the one who married Sir John de Assheton. The line of Standish as we find it would then be as follows : Thurston de Standish, 1221, married Marjorie, daughter and co-heiress of Robert de Hulton, and had : Ralph de Standish who had: Jardon de Standish, 1271, (married Margaret), grandfather of John de Standish, Lord of Standish 1332, who had: .....
  • Sir John de Assheton, who was drowned at Norham, had by a daughter of Sir Robert de Standish a son, Sir John de Assheton, Knight of the Bath, Seneschal of Bayeux, who married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Byron of Clayton, knighted by
  • Pg.48
  • Henry VII. at Bosworth, died 1448, and had : Sir Ralph Assheton, second son, first called of Middleton, paid homage to King Henry VI., was Knight Marshal of England, and in 1482 created a Knight Baronet
  • He married Margaret, heiress of Middleton, daughter of John Barton of Middleton, and had : Sir Ralph Assheton, his second son, who married Margaret, heiress of Great Lever, daughter of Adam Lever of Great Lever, and had : Ralph Assheton of Great Lever, who married Eleanor Hulton, daughter of Adam Hulton of Hulton Park, of an ancient family, and had among others : Ralph Assheton, who married Margaret Orrell and had : Eleanor Assheton1 who married William Bolton of Little Bolton and Blackburn, who died in 1553 ; Son of Robert Boulton of Boulton 1487, who married Ann Rushton, daughter of Nicholas Rushton.
  • We thus see that the ancient family of Bolton is descended from the distinguished family of Assheton and from the Standishes who are connected to so many ancient lines, and from the Buckleys, Byrons, Hultons and others.
  • Pg.49
  • Adam de Hulton and Alicia de Hulton had, among others : Elena de Hulton, who married Ralph Assheton of Great Lever and had a daughter or granddaughter Eleanor Assheton, who married William Bolton of Little Bolton and Blackburn, 1523-5, died 1550, son of Robert Boulton of Boulton 1487, by Ann, daughter of Nicholas Rushton.
  • Ralph Assheton of Great Lever was son of Sir Ralph Assheton, second son, who was of Great Lever, who married Margaret Lever, heiress of Great Lever, daughter of Adam Lever of Great Lever ; son of Sir Ralph Assheton of Middleton, second son, by Margaret, daughter of John Barton of Middleton ; son of Sir John de Assheton, Knight of the Bath 1429, by Margaret, daughter of Sir John Byron of Clayton by Marjory Booth, daughter of John Booth by a daughter of Sir Henry Trafford of Trafford ; son of Sir Thomas Booth by Ellen, daughter of Thomas de Workesley of Workesley ; son of John de Booth and Agnes, daughter of Sir Gilbert de Barton ; son of Thomas, son of William Booths, living 1275, by Sibil, daughter of Sir Ralph de Bereton; son of Adam de Booths.


Apparently has these extra titles: K.B., M.P. It is unclear what these mean, though.

Ben M. Angel notes: K.B. - Knight of the Bath:

In the Middle Ages, knighthood was often conferred with elaborate ceremonies. These usually involved the knight-to-be taking a bath (possibly symbolic of spiritual purification)[17] during which he was instructed in the duties of knighthood by more senior knights. He was then put to bed to dry. Clothed in a special robe, he was led with music to the chapel where he spent the night in a vigil. At dawn he made confession and attended Mass, then retired to his bed to sleep until it was fully daylight. He was then brought before the King, who after instructing two senior knights to buckle the spurs to the knight-elect's heels, fastened a belt around his waist, then struck him on the neck (with either a hand or a sword), thus making him a knight.[18] It was this "accolade" which was the essential act in creating a knight, and a simpler ceremony developed, conferring knighthood merely by striking or touching the knight-to-be on the shoulder with a sword,[19] or "dubbing" him, as is still done today. In the early medieval period the difference seems to have been that the full ceremonies were used for men from more prominent families.[17]

From the coronation of Henry IV in 1399 the full ceremonies were restricted to major royal occasions such as coronations, investitures of the Prince of Wales or royal Dukes, and royal weddings,[20] and the knights so created became known as Knights of the Bath.[17] Knights Bachelor continued to be created with the simpler form of ceremony. The last occasion on which Knights of the Bath were created was the coronation of Charles II in 1661.[21]


M.P. is Member of Parliament, for which he was "Knight of the Shire" for Lancashire in 1413.


From the Dictionary of the National Biography:,_John_de_(d.1428)_(DNB00)

ASHTON, Sir JOHN de (d. 1428), seneschal of Bayeux, was the son of Sir John de Ashton and his wife, Margary Legh.

He was one of 46 esquires who were summoned to attend the grand coronation of Henry IV, in honour of which event they were solemnly admitted to the order of the Bath. He served in the parliament of 1413 as knight of the shire for Lancashire.

In 1416 he was with the Duke of Clarence at the taking of Bayeux, and was entrusted by the king with the office of seneschal of the city. There is in the 'Fœdera' a document sent to him by Henry IV from Falaise, commanding him to give special protection to the inhabitants of the religious houses. He was also captain of Hadupais and bailiff of Constance.

He was twice married and left many children, of whom the most distinguished were Sir Thomas de Ashton, the alchemist, and Sir Roger de Ashton, of Middleton.

Sir John died in 1428.

[Baines's Lancashire; Rymer's Fœdera, vii. 186, 504, 625, 530, 589, 614, x. 61. 91, xiii. 712; Axon's Lancashire Gleanings.]


From History of Parliament, British Political, Social, and Local History:


  • LANCASHIRE May 1413
  • LANCASHIRE Mar. 1416

Family and Education

Son and heir of Sir John Assheton I* by his 1st w. Margaret.


  • (1) Isabel, granddaughter and heir of Sir Richard Kirkby, prob. 2 sons and 1 daughter;
  • (2);
  • (3) by 1420, Margaret (died by Apr. 1434), at least 1 son

Knighted 11 Oct. 1399.[1]

Offices Held


  • Commissioner of array, Lancashire: Mar. 1400 [2], Aug. 1402 [3], July 1403, Avranches June 1418, St. Lô July 1418, Avranches Dec. 1418, Mar. 1419, Pont Orson June 1419 [4], Lancashire Mar. 1427.
  • Commissioner to prevent the spread of treasonous rumours May 1402
  • Commissioner to make arrests Oct. 1404;
  • Commissioner to ascertain the names of Normans owing homage to Henry V, Côtentin Mar. 1419;
  • Commissioner to receive homage Apr. 1419, Jan. 1420;
  • Commissioner to suppress brigandage May 1419;
  • Commissioner to levy a tax on sales of alcohol May 1419;
  • Commissioner to repair the fortifications at Coutances Jan. 1421;
  • Commissioner to destroy castles in Lower Normandy Sept. 1421.[5]


  • Justice of the peace for Lancashire 23 Feb. 1404, 17 Dec. 1411, 19 Aug. 1426,
  • Justice of the peace for Yorkshire 20 July 1424-d. [6]


  • Captain of Puits c.1417;
  • Seneschal of Bayeux 20 Sept. 1417-14 Mar. 1418;
  • Capt. of Coutances and Carentan and bailiff of the Côtentin 14 Mar. 1418-aft. Sept. 1421.[7]


  • Ambassador to redress infractions of the truce between England and John V, Duke of Brittany 17 Apr.-7 Aug. 1418;
  • Ambassador to treat with the Bretons 7 July 1420;
  • Ambassador to conserve the truce with Brittany 10 Feb.-26 Mar. 1421.[8]

Final office:

  • Chief steward of the duchy of Lancaster estates in Lancashire and Cheshire 9 July 1425-d. [9]


Like his father before him, Assheton became a retainer of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, while still a comparatively young man, being retained by him during the 1380s at an annual fee of £20. He must also in his youth have been close to Philip, Lord Darcy, who named him, in April 1399, as one of his executors; but by this date his primary allegiance lay with Gaunt’s son and heir, Henry of Bolingbroke.

On 27 Sept. following, just two days before Richard II finally renounced the throne, Bolingbroke awarded Assheton a second annuity of £10, which was to be doubled as soon as he became a knight. In the event, he had only to wait a few days until the eve of Bolingbroke’s coronation for this honour, although the necessary financial directives were not issued for another three years.

Meanwhile, in March 1400, Sir John acted as a mainpernor for two men who took on the lease of crown property in the Lancashire village of Salford. He himself was granted the farm of far larger estates in the county six months later, when King Henry made him guardian of the inheritance and person of (Sir) John Byron*, a royal ward. Assheton agreed to pay a rent of 80 marks p.a. retrospectively from the previous August, the recipients being his three brothers, Robert, Piers and Nicholas, whom the King also sought to reward for their past loyalty.

A further mark of favour came to him in November 1403, this time from Henry IV’s queen, Joan of Navarre. Part of her dower properties comprised extensive estates held by the Crown during the minority of Humphrey, earl of Stafford, and she allowed Sir John, whom she described as one of her household knights, to farm the young earl’s manor of Rothwell in Northamptonshire at a somewhat reduced yearly rent of £56. (Sir John’s keepership of Rothwell may well explain why Sir William Bourgchier*, husband to the countess of Stafford, later offered him a bond worth 200 marks.)

Yet notwithstanding the influence which he enjoyed as a royal favourite, Sir John found himself powerless to resist the judgement passed against him in a lawsuit at the Lancaster assizes of 1401; and his refusal to pay the damages of 20 marks awarded to his adversary, Sir Nicholas Longford, led to the forfeiture of oxen and cattle worth that amount from his estates.[10]

Through his parents Sir John was related both to Sir Piers del Leigh (his great-uncle), sometime steward of Macclesfield, who was beheaded by Bolingbroke for his adherence to King Richard, and Sir Ralph Staveley* (his stepmother’s brother), a devoted supporter of the Lancastrian cause, to whom the vacant office fell. Staveley joined with Sir John, in February 1410, in pledging securities to the two prominent Lancastrian retainers, Robert and John Waterton, perhaps in connexion with a grant made soon afterwards to him of the farm of the town and manor of Wheatley. This arrangement must have proved most convenient, because part of his annuity was already derived from the manorial revenues. The temptation to exploit his position seems, however, to have proved too much for him; and in about 1415 he was bound over in sums totalling 100 marks to make good various acts of waste and destruction.

In other respects, however, his career went from strength to strength with his appointment first to a number of royal commissions and then to the county bench. That the electors of Lancashire eventually chose him as their parliamentary representative is hardly surprising, although it is worth noting that the returns to his first two Parliaments were made by none other than Sir Ralph Staveley, the then sheriff, and that at least two of his other kinsmen were present on the first occasion. Although his attachment to Staveley was clearly far more useful from the political viewpoint, Sir John maintained friendly relations with the del Leighs, who began gradually to recover their fortunes. In April 1412 he was among the large company of gentry who travelled to Macclesfield church for the solemn settlement of a dispute between his kinsman, Robert del Leigh, and Sir Thomas Grosvenor.[11]

We do not know how much military experience Sir John possessed before leaving England in the summer of 1415 on Henry V’s first expedition to Normandy. He had some three years previously been summoned as a member of Henry IV’s retinue, and may well have fought earlier in the royal army against the Scots and the Welsh.

At all events, he was present with a personal following of 12 archers at the battle of Agincourt; and he later supervised the payment of arrears of wages due to soldiers from Wales. He was evidently on close terms with Sir William Boteler*, another of the captains from Lancashire, who had already employed him as one of his trustees. His relations with his former ward, Sir John Byron, also remained cordial, and at about this time he married his first son, Thomas, to one of Byron’s daughters.

Sir John continued to enjoy the patronage of the Crown (his two annuities had been promptly confirmed by Henry V after his accession), and he thus once again proved a welcome choice to the electors of Lancashire when they met to decide upon their representatives for the March Parliament of 1416. That his standing went far beyond the county borders is, moreover, evident from his appearance not long afterwards with Sir Thomas Rempston II* as an arbitrator in an important dispute over property in the north Midlands, which involved (Sir) William Meryng*, and had probably been referred to them on the recommendation of the Commons.[12]

Henry V certainly placed great confidence in Sir John as both a soldier and an administrator: and during his second campaign against the French, which began in 1417, he bestowed a series of offices upon him. As bailiff of Cotentin, Sir John was closely involved in safeguarding the English line of defences and communication which ran through Lower Normandy from Cherbourg to Evreux; and he supplied the King with various items of military intelligence.

Sir John evidently did not return to France with the main English army in June 1421, since he appears as a juror two months later at the Lancaster assizes. He and his third wife, Margaret, then spent some time on their estates at Morley in Yorkshire, where she gave birth to a child.

According to a petition which Sir John later submitted to Parliament, her confinement was barely over when one John Mirfield of Pontefract arrived with a private army of 200 men, laid siege to the house and threatened to demolish it. Rather than subject his wife to such distress, Sir John agreed to be taken, as a prisoner, to Pontefract castle where he was allegedly forced to find heavy financial securities regarding some unspecified arbitration award. The truth of these charges cannot now be substantiated, although Sir John was later able to persuade the government to interrogate those concerned. His period of incarceration cannot have been too long, for by December 1421 he was back on active service in Normandy.[13]

The death of Henry V in 1422 seems to have marked the end of Sir John’s ventures overseas, although advancing years probably accounted for his decision to concentrate upon more local affairs.

He continued to draw his two annuities; and, from 1426 onwards, he held a commission of the peace in Yorkshire as well as Lancashire. He attested the return for the latter county to the Parliament of 1427, and died almost one year later, on 3 Sept. 1428.

His widow, Margaret, retained the manor of Alt as her jointure, while his other Lancashire estates in Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester and Wardle passed to his eldest son, Thomas. The descent of his Yorkshire properties is not recorded, but these may have gone to Margaret and her issue.

Thomas, who later acquired a reputation as an alchemist, evidently felt some rancour towards his stepmother, for not long after Sir John’s death he kidnapped his infant half-brother and refused to release him. The administration of Sir John’s estate also caused problems. Indeed, in 1434, one of his executors was outlawed for debt at the suit of William, Lord Lovell, and his own effects were confiscated to meet these demands.[14]

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421, Author: C.R.


  • 1.VCH Lancs. iv. 341-2, 347; Chetham Soc. xcix. 19, 22-23; C1/7/141; DKR, xxxiii. 34; DNB, i. 649, 652. The pedigree given by J. Foster in Lancs. Peds. sub Assheton, is totally unreliable.
  • 2.DKR, xl. 528.
  • 3. Ibid. 531.
  • 4. Ibid. xl. 713, 714, 720; xlii. 314, 321.
  • 5. Ibid. xli. 759; xlii. 315, 317, 318, 355, 407, 433.
  • 6. Ibid. xxxvii(1), 174; xl. 532; Somerville, Duchy, i. 492.
  • 7. R.A. Newhall, Eng. Conquest Normandy, 93, 159, 216; Rot. Gasc. et Franc. ed. Carte, i. 257; J.H. Wylie, Hen. V, iii. 64; Gesta Hen. V ed. Williams, 276; DKR, xlii. 433.
  • 8.DKR, xli. 688; xlii. 375, 401, 412.
  • 9. Somerville, i. 492.
  • 10. DL28/27/3; DL29/738/12100; DL42/15, ff. 14, 101, 116v, 164, 168v; Test. Ebor. i. 255; DKR, xl. 528; CPR, 1401-5, p. 327; CCR, 1405-9, pp. 489, 530; Chetham Soc. n.s. lxxxvii. 22.
  • 11. DL42/16(2), f. 16, (3), f. 16; W.M. Bowman, England in Ashton-under-Lyne, 100; Chetham Soc. n.s. xcvi. 107, 111; C219/10/6, 11/1A; DKR, xxxiii. 22; CCR, 1409-13, p. 78; M.J. Bennett, ‘Late Med. Soc. in N.W. Eng.’ (Lancaster Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1975), 44.
  • 12. DL42/16, f. 76; 17(2), ff. 17, 122v; E404/31/217; Chetham Soc. xcv. 112-13; N.H. Nicolas, Agincourt, 128, 375; VCH Lancs. iv. 284; CCR, 1413-19, p. 374.
  • 13. Newhall, 93, 159, 216; Wylie, iii. 343; Chetham Soc. xcvi. 118; SC8/29/1443; Orig. Letters ed. Ellis, ii(1), 72.
  • 14. C1/7/141; C219/13/5; DL29/89/1631; DL42/18(2), ff. 26, 109v; VCH Lancs. iv. 344; v. 100; DKR, xxxiii. 27, 30, 34; CCR, 1422-9, pp. 304, 306; Chetham Soc. xcix. 19, 22-23.


  • Sir John Ashton1
  • M
  • Father Sir John Ashton
  • Mother (Miss) Standish
  • Sir John Ashton married Jane Saville, daughter of Sir John Savile and Isabel Radcliffe. Sir John Ashton married Mary Byron, daughter of Sir John Byron and (Miss) Standish.
  • Family 1 Mary Byron
  • Child
    • Sir Ralph Assheton+ d. 14 Apr 1486
  • Family 2 Jane Saville
  • Children
    • Elizabeth Assheton+
    • Lucy Ashton+2,3 d. 12 Feb 1482
    • Sir Thomas Ashton+ b. c 1400
  • Citations
  • 1.[S8488] Unknown author, Burke's Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, p. 20.
  • 2.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 652.
  • 3.[S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. IV, p. 27.
  • From:


  • Sir John de Assheton1
  • M, #228360, d. 3 September 1428
  • Last Edited=4 Apr 2007
  • Sir John de Assheton was the son of Sir John de Assheton.2 He married, firstly, Jane Savile, daughter of Sir John Savile.1 He married, secondly, Margaret Byron, daughter of Sir John Byron.1 He died on 3 September 1428.1
  • He was invested as a Knight, Order of the Bath (K.B.) in 1399.1 He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Lancashire in 1411.1 He held the office of Seneschal of Bayeux in 1412.1 He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Lancashire in 1413.1 He fought in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, where he commanded troops.1 He held the office of Governor of Hadupais in 1419.1 He held the office of Bailiff of Coutances in 1419.1
  • Child of Sir John de Assheton and Jane Savile
    • 1.Sir Thomas Assheton1
  • Child of Sir John de Assheton and Margaret Byron
    • 1.Sir Ralph Assheton+2 d. b 1490
  • Citations
  • 1.[S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 827. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • 2.[S37] BP2003. [S37]
  • From:


  • Sir John de Ashton or Sir John Assheton (died 1428), was an MP and soldier under King Henry IV and King Henry V.
  • Ashton was the grandson of Sir John de Ashton and his wife, Margary Legh. He was one of forty-six esquires who were summoned to attend the grand coronation of Henry IV in 1399, in honour of which event they were solemnly admitted to the Order of the Bath.
  • Ashton served in 1411, 1413 and 1416 as a knight of the shire (MP) for Lancashire.
  • In 1416 he was with Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence at the taking of Bayeux, and was entrusted by the king with the office of seneschal of the city. There is in the 'Fœdera' a document sent to him by Henry IV from Falaise, commanding him to give special protection to the inhabitants of the religious houses. He was also captain of Coutances and Carentan and bailiff of Cotentin.
  • Sir John died in 1428. He was twice married (firstly to Isabel, heiress of Sir Richard Kirkby) and left many children, of whom the most distinguished were Sir Thomas de Ashton, the alchemist, and Sir Roger de Ashton, of Middleton.
  • From:
  • From:


view all 21

Sir John Assheton, M.P. for Lancashire's Timeline

Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
Age 23
Probably Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
Age 25
Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
Age 27
Of, Ashton U Lyne, Lancashire, England
Age 29
Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
Age 29
Ashton-under-Lyne, UK
Age 31
Ashton-under-Lyne, UK
Age 31
Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
Age 35
Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England