William de Woodford

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William de Woodford

Birthplace: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom
Death: after 1357
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of John de Woodford and Alice Prest
Husband of Janette (Brabazon) de Woodford
Father of John de Woodford

Managed by: Colin Bradley Martin
Last Updated:

About William de Woodford

  • The visitation of the county of Leicester in the year 1619 by Camden, William
  • https://archive.org/details/visitationofcoun02camd
  • https://archive.org/stream/visitationofcoun02camd#page/47/mode/1up
    • (Brabazon and Woodford.)
  • Roger Brabozon of Spropton in Com. Leicester. = ; ch: Roger Brabozon
    • Roger Brabozon sonne & heyre. = ; ch: William Brabason.
      • William Brabason. = ch: John Brabason
        • John Brabason sonne & heyre. = ; ch: Jane (m. William Woodford) Brabason.
          • Jane Da. & hey. of John Brabason. = William Woodford ; ch: John (m. Mabill Foluile) Woodford.
            • John Woodford 9 E. 3. = Mabill Da. of John Foluile. ; ch: Sr Rob't Woodford.
              • Sr Rob't Woodford Kt. ob. 36 H. 6 = ; ch: Thomas Woodford.
                • Thomas Woodford died before his father. = ; ch: Raphe Woodford
                  • Raphe Woodford ætatis 26 Aº 34 H. 6. = ; ch: Will'm (m. Anne Norwich) Woodford.
                    • Will'm Woodford obijt in vita patris. = Anne Da. of Symon Norwich of Brampto' in Com. Northampto'. ; ch: Marg't (m. Tho. Morton), Margery (m. John Turuill) Woodford.
                      • .... etc. _________________
  • Nichols' Lost Leicestershire By Stephen Butt
  • https://books.google.com/books?id=k0d4BgAAQBAJ&pg=PT48&lpg=PT48&dq=...
  • .... etc.
  • The manorial history of Sproxton is bound up in the inter-marriages of significant medieval landowning families, particularly Brabazon, Trussell, Neville, Folville and Woodford. All accumulated considerable land and wealth in the Hundred of Framland over several centuries. Of these, the Woodford family was probably the last to establish itself in the area, but by the time of the death of Sir Robert Woodford, Lord of Sproxton in 1455, their amassed fortunes had been lost due to a rift between Robert and his grandson Ralph of Ashby Folville.
  • The Woodford Cartulary devotes forty-eight pages to the family's
  • land transactions and history relating to the manor of Sproxton. Nichols quotes extensively from it. He reproduces several pedigrees of the Woodford family, but they are all different.
  • The family's first land purchase in Leicestershire was the manor of Brentingby, purchased by John Woodford in 1317. The Woodford family acquired the manor of Sproxton through the marriage of his only (surviving) son, William Woodford (who died in 1369), to Joan Brabazon. Their only son, John (1358-1401), was a minor when his father died, but gained the manor on his twenty-first birthday. John married Isobel Folville. Their only son, Robert (1383-1455), who was also a minor when his father died, married Isabel (Maud) Neville. These marriages brought very considerable land and wealth into the Woodford family, but very few heirs. Sir Robert Woodford and Isabel Neville had seven sons, but only one grandson - namely Sir Ralph Woodford. Sir Robert's eldest son was Thomas Woodford, who married his cousin Alice Berkeley, the daughter of Sir Lawrence Berkeley of Wymondham and Joan Woodford, sister to Sir Robert Woodford. Their son Ralph was born in 1430.
  • Thomas died before his father, and Ralph would therefore have become heir to his grandfather's estates, except for Sir Robert's disapproval of his marriage to Elizabeth Villiers. The reason for Sir Robert's strong dislike of the Villiers family is not explained, but it resulted in Robert attempting to disinherit Ralph by sharing out the family's assets between his sons. As a result, as William Burton notes, the family lost the majority of their lands: 'By reason of which division so made, that ancient family (which had continued many years in great account and high dignity) was, in a short space, utterly decayed and gone."
  • .... etc. __________

The relevant section of the cartulary was written by Robert Woodford and provides a family pedigree from John of Brentingby: Also ye shall truly and faithfully understand and Know for truth evermore that the said William of Woodford my Grandsire that purchest the lordship of Gnypton with the advowson wedded Jenet the daughter And the heir of Sir John Brabazon, knight and Lord of Sproxton. And the said William Woodford was a fulle Discrete mind and sufficiently lernyd in the law. And was chosen for to have ben sy(rg)eant in law. And then he dyed seised in fee symple of all hys Purchest land in Gynpton. And in other diverse Manors lands & tenementes in other towns and Countreys that was purchest by his father olde John Of Woodford. And by other Anncestres of his and by his own purchesse as ye may truly and faithfully Fynde by divers fynes and by sufficient dedes and Wele enselyd in waxe ? And he and Jenet his Wyffe hadde issue John de Woodford my fader.

And he Dyed seised in the same landes in fee symple. And So I Robt Wodford sone & heir to hym siesed in fee Symple have gyffyn be fyne all the landes ? to Rauf of Wodford my own son ?..?

Hence, the cartulary is in accord with the pedigrees in Nichols and others regarding the basic male descent:

John I ? Died c.1362 William I ? Died 22 July 1369 John II ? 11 November 1358 ? 1400/1 Robert I ? 1383-1455 ---
Walter Woodford, the eldest son of John of Brentingby, died before his father. Consequently, the lands and properties acquired by John passed to his younger son William. However, a deed dated 1357 records a grant by the Prior and Convent of St Pancras, Lewes, to Walter, son of John Woodford of a tenement that Walter Preset held in Melton along with some other property with a remainder in succession to Walter?s brother William and Joan his wife? This is dated at Lewes on SS Simon and Jude, 31 Edw III.

According to the cartulary, in 1362 John de Woodford sold and alyenyd the sayd manor of Brentyngby Thorpe arnold Wyfordby & Stapulforth with theyr appertannces? to William, ellys had is byn alyenyd to Sir Arnold Boys knight & lord of thorpe arnold.?

William Woodford is described by the Woodford Cartulary as a fulle discrete man and sufficiently lernyd in the law?. He was appointed a Sergeant-at-Law, thus becoming a member of what was an elite and superior order of barristers. According to Nichols he was knighted in 1353 on payment of 15s to Sir William Zouch of Harringworth, who held Thorpe Arnold.

The earliest evidence of William being active in the managing of the family?s estates is given by the cartulary, which records that in 1324 Robert Orger released to Walter Prest all his right to a messuage in Melton, whose estate William Woodford purchased.? There is evidence that from about 1350 William was very active in expanding the family?s estates, with the assistance until about 1362 of his father.

William married Joan Brabazon, daughter of Sir John Brabazon of Eastwell and Sproxton. This marriage marked the first alliance between the Woodford family and a notable Leicestershire family, and through it William acquired the manors of Garthorpe and Sproxton in Leicestershire and lands in Uttoxeter, Co.Staffs. The cartulary states that Joan, daughter and heir of Sir John Brabazon brought (Garthorpe) in marriage to William de Woodford ? and it was found (at the Inqusition Post Mortem of 1455 of William?s grandson Sir Robert Woodford) that Roger de Brabazone, knight, gave his manor to William le Brabazon his nephew; who had issue John le Brabazon who had issue Joan his daughter and heir, who married William Woodford.?

Joan Brabazon was descended from Sir William Trussel of Cubleston, Co.Staffs. Her paternal grandfather William Brabazon had married Sir William Trussel?s daughter Genet or Jeanette Trussel.

Nichols recorded that at the upper end of the North aisle of Thorpe Arnold church was sited a large flat stone whereon has been a portraiture, the verge circumscribed GUILLAM DE WOODFORD DE BRENTINGBY ET JAME SA FEME ... MCCCCL.? There is now no trace of the stone. The date recorded by Nichols (1450) is either wrong or the stone related to a later Woodford descendant.

As late as 1730 there was a glass in the church showing the arms of the Folville family in the upper window on the north side of the nave aisle. In the middle window on the south side were the arms of the lords of the manor of Thorpe Arnold, presumably the Woodford family.

In 1352, William acquired further land in Wyfordby, Burton Lazars, Stapleford and Knossington. The Records of the Borough of Leicester include a grant from an Alicia Chevercourte of her manor of Wyfordby together with the advowson of the church and the manor?s holdings in other areas of the county.

In 1355, again according to the cartulary, Hugh de Chenchian, Prior of Lewes, and his brethren, constituted William (as well as Sir William of Burgh) as a steward of the parsonage of Melton and of all the priory?s lands and tenements in Melton. William was granted a yearly stipend of 40 shillings and a coat of arms (or 16s 8d in lieu of it) as a salary for life.

William is a signatory of a title deed in the Gretton (Sherard) manuscript collection dated 15 October 1364.

William died on 22 July 1369. He was survived by three married daughters and by his son and heir, John II, who at the time of his father?s death was just eleven years of age.

Revd Michael T. H.Banks, Thorpe Arnold ? The Story of its Church and People, 1980.

M.Bateson, Ed., Records of the Borough of Leicester, Vol II, 44, No 137. 12 December 1352.
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William de Woodford's Timeline

Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom
Age 27
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom
of, Wymondham, Leicestershire, England