Walter Devereux (1411–1459)
Sir Walter Devereux (1411 – 22 April 1459) of Bodenham and Weobley was a loyal supporter of Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York during the Wars of the Roses. He was Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1449 to 1451.
|Walter Devereux of Bodenham and Weobley|
Walter Devereux, 7th Baron Ferrers of Chartley
Sir John Devereux
|Father||Walter Devereux of Bodenham|
Ancestry and Childhood
His maternal grandparents were Thomas Bromwich, Lord Justice of Ireland and Catherine Oldcastle. His paternal grandparents were an elder Walter Devereux (c. 1361–1402) and Agnes Crophull. Agnes was mother of Sir Thomas Parr by a second marriage to John Parr of Kendal; and paternal grandmother of William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Kendal, a noted courtier under Edward IV of England and grandfather of Queen Catherine Parr. Agnes Crophull's third husband was John Merbury, the father of Walter Devereux's wife by a previous marriage as indicated below.
The Devereux arms were: Argent a fesse gules, in chief three torteaux.
Wars of the Roses and career
Walter Devereux was 8 years old at the death of his father in 1419. Following his marriage in 1427, he established his first residence at Bodenham, the core of his Devereux family estates. On 8 July 1427 Thomas Barton, Thomas Smith and Thomas Lightfoot, granted John and Agnes Merbury the manors of Bonington, West Leake and Treswell; 3 messuages and 5 virgates of land in Thrumpton in the county of Nottingham; the manors of Hemington and Braunstone and the advowson of the church of Braunstone in the county of Leicester; and a third part of the manors of Market Rasen and East Rasen in the county of Lincoln. They were to be held for the lives of John and Agnes, and after their decease remain to Walter Devereux and Elizabeth, his wife, and the heirs of their bodies. On the Subsidy Rolls of 1428 Walter Devereux held 1/3 of half a fee in Byford, and ½ fee in Bodenham. On 30 July 1428 Maurice Taylor, Roger Haynes, Richard Baby and William Mimm granted to Walter Devereux and his uncles, John and Richard Devereux, all the lands and tenements they held in Bradley and their fees of Weobley, Dilwyn, and King's Pyon in Herefordshire.
With the death of his grandmother, Agnes Crophull, on 9 February 1436, he inherited the remainder of his Devereux lands including Lyonshall Castle. She withheld her Crophull lands, deeding a life interest in them to her third husband, John Merbury. With his death on 3 February 1438, Walter Devereux inherited the Crophull lands including Weobley, and the Merbury estates. On 28 April 1438 Walter Devereux was certified as the heir of Agnes Crophul, and paid homage for his inheritance.
Following the death of Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, on 18 January 1425, Richard, 3rd Duke of York inherited his estates along the Welsh Marches. This brought Walter Devereux into the retinue of the Duke, and he remained his loyal supporter throughout the War of the Roses. Devereux had been knighted by 22 September 1429 when he first represented Herefordshire in Parliament. He probably was in attendance on the Duke when he travelled with Henry VI to France for his coronation on 16 December 1429. On his return Devereux represented Herefordshire again in Parliament on 16 January 1430. He was listed on the subsidy rolls for Herefordshire of 12 January 1431 as holding his 1/3 of half a fee in Byford.
Walter Devereux was appointed by the Duke of York as steward of his lordships of Radnor in 1435. He represented Herefordshire in Parliament on 10 October 1435, and on 3 January 1436 was assigned to collect the tenth and fifteenth granted by the Parliament to the king. Following York's appointment as Lieutenant of France in May 1436, Devereux was probably in the army the Duke brought to Normandy to recapture Fecamp and hold the Pays de Caux.
He represented Herefordshire in Parliament on 14 January 1440, and was described as a knight coming to Parliament on 24 April 1440 when identified as responsible for the distribution of a sum excepted from the collection of the tenth and fifteenth granted by Parliament. On 7 May 1440 Eustace Whitney of Whitney, and Mathew Hay of Chikwell committed to Walter Devereux the wardship and marriages of the daughters of John Walwayn (Ellen, Agnes, and Elizabeth) who were minors in the king's care. This placed in his keeping two-thirds of a moiety of the manor of Wellington, and two-thirds of a moiety of the manor of Addesore, county Hereford; rendering for the keeping of Wellington 4L 3s 4d, and for Addesore 5s 4d. The grant was confirmed on 16 May 1441 by Devereux's payment of 20L to the exchequer. On 8 June 1455 Urias and Elizabeth de la Hay; and Henry and Joan ap Griffith granted to Walter Devereux and his son; William Herbert; John Barrow, and Miles Skull a moiety of Wellington and Addesore manors; 100 acres of land and 20 shillings of rent in Wellington forever.
On 2 July 1440 the Duke of York was again appointed Lieutenant of France. On 28 January 1441 Walter Devereux was appointed Justice of the Peace for Herefordshire, and on 18 February 1441 entrusted with collection of a tenth and fifteenth to fund an expedition by the Duke to defend English possessions in France. In May 1441 Walter Devereux was granted protection and appointed an attorney while in France in the company of Richard, Duke of York. During 1442 he was captain of the garrison at Arques (Normandy), and on 18 August led a garrison detachment to support the Siege of Conches, which surrendered on 7 September. Henry VI diverted an army promised to York to the Duke of Somerset, and Devereux was back in England on 16 February 1443 when he was appointed again Justice of the Peace for Herefordshire.
In 1445 Walter Devereux was Bailly of Caus Castle in Shropshire. On 18 November 1445 he was appointed to a commission to inquire why following the death of Sir John Cornewaill on 20 December 1243 his lands were not taken into the king's hands.
Early in 1446 Walter Devereux contracted a marriage for his son, Walter, with Anne Ferrers, daughter of William de Ferrers, 6th Baron Ferrers of Chartley; and entails manors on his son and new daughter-in-law. On 1 June 1446, he was entrusted with the collection of a loan for the king necessary for Henry VI's meeting in October with the King of France to negotiate a final peace.
While attending Parliament, Devereux witnessed the Duke of York's grant of land to the house of friars minors at Babewell by Bury St Edmunds on 28 February 1447. On 9 November 1447 he was appointed Sheriff of Herefordshire. The manor of Leominster was placed in Walter Devereux's keeping with the assent of the monastery of Reading on 12 February 1448. On 10 April 1448 Nicholas Poynes and John Langeley granted to Sir Walter and Elizabeth Devereux the manor of Dymock, Gloucestershire. Later on 7 December 1452 William Wykes of Moreton Geffrey, and John Hille of Weobley further committed to Sir Walter and Elizabeth Devereux four parts of the manor of Dymock, which had been taken into the king's hand.
On 30 July 1448 the Duke of York was appointed Lieutenant of Ireland, and Devereux was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland. They went to Ireland in June 1449, but in June 1450 Jack Cade's Rebellion broke out signalling growing discontent in England with the rule of Henry VI. In September 1450 the Duke returned to England and had an angry meeting with the King. Devereux yielded his position as Chancellor, and on 1 August 1450 was granted L13 6s 8d from the Irish revenue for life for good and laudable services in the English and French Wars. He represented Herefordshire at the Parliament of 6 November 1450, and a recognizance to the king was placed on Walter Devereux and others for £200 to insure that Robert Poynings, a supporter of the rebellion, appeared before Parliament before 7 December. Devereux was again in attendance at Parliament on 20 January 1450, and when it resumed on 5 May 1450. On 17 April 1451 Walter Devereux was appointed to determine the yearly value of the county, castle, and lordship of Pembroke; the castles, towns and lordships of Kilgarran, Llanstephan, Osterlowe, Treyne Clynton, and St Clear in Herefordshire.
York declared his loyalty to the King at Ludlow in February 1452 stating that the Court should free itself from bad advisors. The King did not respond, and York took to the field with his supporters, which included Walter Devereux, and marched on London. The King eventually found York entrenched at Dartford Heath. The confrontation was resolved following minor skirmishing, but Devereux was attainted for treason by Parliament later that year. At this time, he began holding Wigmore Castle for the Yorkists.
On 5 January 1453 Jasper and Edmund Tudor were formally invested as the Earls of Pembroke, and Richmond respectively. From this time forward the Tudors intermittently fought a private war with William Herbert and Walter Devereux. On 6 March 1453 Devereux's son, now Lord Ferrers, represented Herefordshire in Parliament in his place. On 20 March Walter Devereux and William Wylflete were placed under a recognizance of 200L and 50 marks to John, Bishop of St David's, and on 15 May the bishop granted them a moiety of Narberth Castle. On 26 March Walter Devereux of Weobley; William Herbert of Raglan; Humphrey Stafford of Frome; Thomas Throgmerton of Coughton; John Throgmerton of Tewkesbury; and John Cassy of Wightfeld were place under a recognisance to the king of 40L for the good behaviour of Thomas Herbert of Billingsley. Devereux granted his part of 80 acres of land in Suthwyk and Peryowe to the Duke of York on 15 June 1453, so that he in turn could grant it to John Lynne. On 14 December 1453 Walter Devereux and his son were appointed to investigate the escape of prisoners in Herefordshire. Devereux was appointed on 22 February 1455 to investigate specifically the misdeeds of John Cassy.
In August 1453 Bordeaux was lost to the French, and Henry VI became mentally incapacitated. On 27 March 1454 the Duke of York was made Protector of the Realm, but on 25 December 1454 the king regained his senses and set about reversing the Duke's actions.
On 22 May 1455, the first Battle of St. Albans was fought north of London, traditionally recognised as the first battle of the War of the Roses. A Yorkist victory that included the capture of the King, the Battle of St. Albans restored the Duke of York to complete power. Shortly after the victory Parliament pardoned Walter Devereux on 9 July. On 4 November 1455 he was appointed Sheriff of Gloucestershire. He was also appointed Justice of the Peace for Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, and would continue to hold one or both of these positions for the rest of his life.
As the King and the Lancasterian party manoeuvred to reverse their losses, lawlessness increased on the Welsh Marches. Walter Devereux, as Constable of Wigmore Castle, was up in arms. In the summer of 1456, he descended on Hereford with the castle's garrison and captured the mayor and justices. Devereux then brought before the justices several local men whom he had the justices condemn to death by hanging. He mustered a force of 2000 archers from Gwent, and marched on the castles at Carmarthen and Aberystwyth, which he took by assault. Afterwards he declared a commission of Oyer and terminer to judge and condemn men whom he believed hostile to York. Among his prisoners were Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, and Robert Rees, Keeper of the Welsh Seal. The king placed Walter Devereux under a recognizance of 1000L on 26 September 1456 to be paid if he didn't immediately turn himself in at Windsor Castle. He, and his son, were also among a group of prominent Herefordshire Yorkists placed under another recognizance of 5000 marks on 2 June 1457 to be paid if they did not turn themselves in for imprisonment at Marshalsea. Devereux, along with Humphrey Stafford and Clement Spryce, were placed under an additional recognizance of 2000 marks on 3 June to be paid if Humphrey Stafford did not turn himself in at Marshalsea. On 1 October 1458 Henry VI granted Walter Devereux a pardon as part of his general effort at reconciliation with the Yorkists, and this was followed by a grant of land in Drogheda in Ireland in 1459.
Walter Devereux died on the 22 or 23 April in 1459. Three writs were issued between 27 and 30 April 1459 to the escheators of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Gloucestershire, the march of Wales, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire, and London to make inquiry into his holdings.
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- Duncumb, John. Collections Towards the History and Antiquities of the County of Hereford, Volume 2, Issue 1. (Hereford: EG Wright, 1812). Page 37, Broxash Hundred
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- Evelyn Philip Shirley. Stemmata Shirleiana. (Westminster: Nichols and Sons, 1873). page 103 to 104
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- , Medieval Genealogy Website. Abstracts of Feet of Fines. CP 25/1/292/66, number 64.
- UK National Archives. Walter Devereux, cousin and heir of Agnes, widow of John Merbury [28 April 1438]; Reference: PSO 1/63/4; Description: Privy Seal Office: Signet and other Warrants for the Privy Seal, Series I. CERTIFICATES OF HOMAGE. Walter Devereux, cousin and heir of Agnes, widow of John Merbury.
- , Abstract of Feet of Fines. CP 25/1/292/66, number 64. Indicates that Walter Devereux and his wife, Elizabeth, are to inherit certain Crophull lands
- Robin Neillands. The Wars of the Roses. (London: Cassell, 1992). Pages 58–59, 70–86
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- Calendar of Patent Rolls, Volume 3, page 537. 1441, 18 February, membrane 23d
- , The Soldier in Late Medieval England website. University of Southampton. Walter Devreux, membrane 1, TNA E101/53/33, membrane 8 and 13, C76/123
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- , The Soldier in Late Medieval England website. University of Southampton. Walter Devreux, BN_msfr_25778_1817
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- Devereux Papers. Longleat House. Box I.7. Bond to, as Bailly of Caux, for money, advanced for a ransom, 1445
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- Gabriel O'C Redmond. "An Account of the Anglo-Norman Family of Devereux, of Balmagir, County Wexford." (Dublin: Office of "The Irish Builder," 1891). Pages 13
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- Letters patent of Henry VI granting a general pardon to Walter Devereux, 1 Oct 1458. United Kingdom National Archives, Longleat House, DE/BOX 1/16
- Calendar of the Fine Rolls, Henry VI, Volume 19, 1452–1469. (London, 1939). Page 144
- On 10 April 1436 – Inquest taken at Kyrkeby Kendale for Agnes, who was the wife of John Parr, Esquire, deceased. Agnes died 9 February 1436. Walter Deverous is her kinsman and next heir, viz. son of Walter Deverous, knight, son of the same Agnes, aged 24 years.
- By charter on 1 April 1510/1 he enfoeffed all his lands and tenements in Pudleston (held of Sir Nicholas Vaux as part of Richard's Castle), Broadfield, and manors of Wood House in Bodenham and King's Pyon (held from Thomas Poyntz and Jane, Walter Devereux's widow, as part of her castle and manor of Weobley). His Will was proved on 26 November 1511 before the subdean of Hereford, and it indicated his enfoeffees were to make a life estate of the premises to Margery, his wife, and the remainder to his kinsman and heir, Walter Devereux "Lord le Ferrers." John Devereux died on 24 October 1511.
- This fee in Bodenham was listed as held by Stephen Devereux
- Newbold Verdon, Braunstone, Cotesbach and Hemington in Leicester; Weobley manor in Herefordshire; Sutton Bonington manor and lands at Arnold in Nottinghamshire; and an estate at Market Rasen (Lincolnshire).
- His term was brief and uneventful. In 1451, Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland appointed his son, the 8-year-old Edmund, Earl of Rutland, as the new Lord Chancellor. Since Rutland was under age, his duties were taken over by Deputy Chancellor Edmund Oldhall.
Sir John Merbury
| Lord of Lyonshall
Walter Devereux, 7th Baron Ferrers of Chartley
| Lord Chancellor of Ireland
Edmund, Earl of Rutland