Margery Hext's Ancestors

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Thomas Hext was born between 1475 and 1480, probably in the village of Kingston, in the civil parish of Georgeham in Northern Devonshire, England, the second son of Thomas Hext and Joane Fortescue.

In The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Herald's Visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620, it incorrectly shows Thomas as being married first to Florence Bonville Fulford, daughter of Sir John Bonville and widow of Sir Humphry Fulford. It also incorrectly states that they had four daughters together - Isabell; Elizabeth; Jane; and Agnes and three sons - Henry; Thomas and William. It also shows Thomas married “… da. Of Humphrey Poyntz of Iron Acton, co. Gloucester, 2 wife.” Other proof says he married the daughter of William, not Humphrey Poyntz (see Wilmot’s bio below). The Visitations book implies that Florence died leaving her husband Thomas with six children. Thomas is listed as her second husband in the Bonville pedigree in this same book. But Douglas Richardson, author of many genealogy books states in an online message board in September of 2011: “Florence Bonville never married Thomas Hext. This marriage is an error created from a faulty pedigree on file at the British Library.” Richardson goes on to say that “The line of descent will be included in my next book, Royal Ancestry, scheduled for publication in 2012.” (This researcher has not seen this new book yet.) Other researchers agree with Richardson, as Florence did exist but some say she died without issue in October of 1524. It should be noted here, that all of these errors are on the same page as the generation error of Margery Hext mentioned in her bio. Who those Hext children mentioned above were, is unknown. There could have been another Thomas Hext or they may have been our Thomas’ siblings, nieces and nephews or as some say, they were Wilmot and Thomas’ children.

What everyone agrees on is that Thomas married Wilmot Poyntz, the widow Hyllinge, sometime prior to 1510; they lived in Pickwell in the civil parish of Georgeham; and they had three sons and two daughters (see Wilmot’s bio for more on the children). It is possible that Thomas and Wilmot lived in the Pickwell Manor House that dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086, and is reputed to have been where Thomas Becket’s murderers fled in 1170, only to be beheaded on the lawn.

The Calendar of the Patent Rolls, Preserved in the Public Record Office Henry VII., Volume 2, 1494-1509, states that on August 23, 1497, about three months after his father’s death, Thomas, along with several other men, was awarded a Commission of oyer and terminer for Devon. Wikipedia says that this means he was “to make diligent inquiry into all treasons, felonies and misdemeanours whatever committed in the counties specified in the commission, and to hear and determine the same according to law.” This Public Record Office book has another entry for his name dated February 5, 1502, in which he was appointed, along with three other men, to be an arbitrator between two other parties in a dispute.

The book Ancestral Roots tells us that Thomas’ name is on the List of Escheators for England and Wales in 1525 for Devonshire, while other researchers say it was in 1528. This meant that he was the legal officer formerly appointed to look after the transfers to the Crown, the real property that belonged to a person who has died without heirs. This is documented in volume 4 of the Devon Notes and Queries, with a description of an inquisition on the death a Barnstaple man on October 29, 1529, which states it was held “before Thomas Hext, armiger, the escheator and a jury.” So it is possible he was appointed in 1525 and held the position into 1529, or he was reappointed in 1528. The reference calling him armiger, simply means he was a person entitled to heraldic arms. The Hext arms are described in Sir Bernard Burke’s The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales as Or, a tower triple-turreted betw. three battle axes sa., which is a black triple turreted tower with three black battle axes surrounding it on a gold background (mouse over image right).

Thomas Hext probably died in Pickwell in late November, 1555. Douglas Richardson’s Magna Carta Ancestry tells us that he was buried in Georgeham on December 1, 1555, most likely in the St George Churchyard.

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Wilmot Poyntz, was born before 1487, one of two known daughters of William Poyntz and an unknown wife. She probably was born in England, but where is unknown. Some researchers say she was born in Iron Acton in Gloucestershire, which is unlikely, while others say it was in Langley in Devonshire. Because she is listed as the daughter of Humphrey Poyntz in the The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Herald's Visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620, many researchers have her father incorrect-she was the granddaughter of Humphrey. Frederick Lewis Weis, in his book Ancestral Roots Of Certain American Colonists Who Came To America Before 1700 states she was the “dau. & coh. Of Wiliam Poyntz, . . . Son of HUMPHREY POYNTZ . . .”

Wilmot and her sister Elizabeth were co-heirs to their father, William’s estate and had to sue their father’s brother Nicholas for it. In the book Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, author Douglas Richardson states “she and her sister, Elizabeth Poyntz, as ‘daughters and heirs of William Poyntz,’ sued Nicholas Poyntz in Chancery regarding the detention of deeds relating to the manors of Anstey Cruwys [East Anstey] and Rackenford, Devon, and lands there.” A more detailed description of this lawsuit can be found in part 2 of Sir John Maclean’s, An Historical and Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Poyntz. He tells us that the court record is not dated but “occurred during the period that Archbishop Warham was Lord Chancellor, viz., between January, 1503-4 and 1516.” Neither sister was married at the time, so it probably occurred before 1510. Maclean reiterates how they tried to get the papers from their uncle, “though they had repeatedly demanded the delivery of them they had been refused, . . . and they therefore pray a subpoena against Nicholas Poyntz to appear and answer the premises. This petition was granted, but we know not what was the result.” Details of this court record can be found on The UK National Archives website, reference # C 1/153/16. (Mouse over and click on the image of this document on left above to enlarge it in a new window/tab.)

Wilmot married a man with the surname of Hyllinge (given name unknown) and they had one son, William, who had a son named Thomas. In the book Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office an entry on November 8, 1565, after Wilmot’s death, there is an entry that states, “Grant to William Sawlle of the wardship and marriage of Thomas Hyllinge, heir of Wilmot Hext, widow, to wit, the son of William her son, which Wilmot held of William Compton, the Queen's ward; with an annuity of 33s. 4d. from 15 April, 4 & 5 Ph. & Mary, when Wilmot died. Yearly value of the inheritance 4l. 13s. 4d.” This entry not only proves she was married to Hyllinge, but gives us her exact death date.

This husband died and Wilmot married Thomas Hext sometime prior to 1510. They had at least five children together – ancestor Margery; Katherine born about 1516, was the first wife of John Cutliffe, married on August 30, 1540, in Georgeham, Devon, and died and was buried there on November 4, 1563; eldest son George born about 1520, married Mary Parker in Georgeham on June 1, 1545, and is said to have died a few years later in 1548; second son Hugh was born about 1524, married Joan Berry and is said to have died about 1569; and John, who is only listed as a son in Richardson’s Magna Carta Ancestry, so he probably isn’t Wilmot and Thomas’ son. John’s name came from the Parker pedegree in the Visitations of Devon, where it states that Mary Parker first married , “John Hext of Pridixwell.” Some researchers believe that the Hext children mentioned in Thomas’ bio as being the children if Florence, were actually Wilmot and Thomas’ children, but give no documentation.

Wilmot Poyntz Hyllinge Hext died on April 15, 1558 and is probably buried with her husband Thomas, in the St George Churchyard in Georgehame.

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Thomas Hext’s ancestry is unknown, but he was known as being of Kingston. Many researchers say he was from Kingston in the parish of Staverton, because Sir William Pole in his book, Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, after writing about the Barnhous family who lived there, he suggested it with the following statement, “At Kingfton theire alfoe dwelled Thomas Hext, in Kinge Edw. 4 tyme.” In a footnote on the Devon Heraldry page and on the Kingston, Staverton page on Wikipedia, it is made clear that this is not the Kingston that our Thomas was from. The writer goes on to say, “There is however a parish and village named Kingston in South Devon, about 14 miles south-west of Kingston, Staverton, and Thomas Hext "of Kingston", the first member of the family recorded in the Heraldic Visitations of Devon, married a member of the Fortescue family of Whympston, Modbury, about 2 1/2 miles north-west of the village of Kingston.

Some researchers have suggested that Thomas’ father was also named Thomas (I), but give no documentation. Some say Thomas (I) is the father of the Hext children born to Florence Bonville, written about in Thomas Hext Jr’s (the one who married Wilmot Poyntz) bio above. Another researcher speculates that these Thomas’ may be related to the Hext’s in Widecombe, also in Devon, and our “Thomas Hext could have been a wool merchant or maybe a clothier.” Another concern is that Sir Bernard Burke in his Landed Gentry book on some pages called him John, and on others, Thomas. In The Visitations of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, he is also called John, sometimes with a footnote of Thomas. All this leads to much confusion in the Hext ancestry.

What is known, is that this Thomas married Joane Fortescue, probably between 1470 and 1475, in the village of Kingston, and they had at least nine children together. (See her bio for more on the children.) His name is mentioned at least 8 times in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, in the years of 1480 through 1484, for service in Devonshire. He is listed under the heading of Commissions of the Peace from June 10, 1480 through December 18, 1484. On December 4, 1481, he was commissioned, along with others, to enquire what lands John Wyse, deceased, tenant in chief, held in the county of Devon, what they are worth, on what day he died and who is his heir, and to take the same into the king's hands. The last entry for him is on December 8, 1484, when he was given his second Commission of array. Wikipedia says, “A commission of array was a commission given by English sovereigns to officers or gentry in a given territory to muster and array the inhabitants and to see them in a condition for war, or to put soldiers of a country in a condition for military service. . . .Commissioners were usually experienced soldiers, . .” The first Commission of array he was given was on May 1, 1484, probably in preparation “to conquer John, late earl of Oxford, and other rebels who have entered St. Michael's Mount, CO. Cornwall, and to bring back the mount into the king's hands and provide for its safe-custody and defence.

In a footnote in volume 2 of the Readings and Moots At the Inns of Court in the Fifteenth Century, it states that “Thomas Hext was of Kingston, Devon, and was recorder of Exeter 1483 -1493. He practiced as counsel in Devon: CP 40:866, m. 158 [(mentioned in maintenance action); CP 40:938, m. 360 (action on a retainer as counsel)].

In his mother-in-law’s 1501 inquisition post mortem, he is mentioned several times, including the fact that he died before she did. In the book Ancestral Roots it states that Thomas Hext died shortly before 8 May 1497, when a writ for an inquisition post mortem on his estate was issued to the escheator of Devon. In the Calendar of the Fine Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office: Henry VII, 1485-1509, his name, county and the above May date is listed under the “Writs of diem clausit extremum, . . . directed to the escheators . . ." By Wikipedia definition, these writs are also called inquisition post mortems. This researcher has not been able to find the text of  this writ, so it is unclear where Thomas died and was buried. He may have died in the village of Kingston and was buried in the St. James the Less Churchyard there. (Mouse over image right.)


Joane Fortescue was the only known daughter of Joan Prutteston and John Fortescue. She was probably born at the Wymston Manor, called Wymondeston at that time, in the Ermington Hundred in the Modbury Parish of Devonshire, England. Researchers have estimated her birth between 1441 and 1450.

Researchers estimate that Joan married Thomas Hext between 1465 and1475. They had nine children, five daughters and four sons. Their birthdays are unknown, but in The Visitations of Cornwall, the order of each sex is given. The females were — eldest daughter Agnes married Sir Lewis Pollard, who was a prominent lawyer and judge, and a distant cousin to our Pollard line; the second daughter Elizabeth married John Ackland, her cousin, once removed; third daughter, Jane, married into the wealthy Hawley family, marrying the second son, Nicholas; Katherine married John Cutcliff of Damage, on August 30, 1540, and died 23 years later in 1563; and their youngest daughter was Elenor, who we have no information on, but some say she is the Elizabeth who married Richard Prye of Horwood. Their four sons were — eldest son John married twice, first to Jane Tilley of Broad-Clist and after she died he married Anne Gyll; then came ancestor Thomas; nothing is known about their third son Henry; and lastly William, the fourth son, we also know nothing about.

Joane Fortescue Hext outlived her husband by about 28 years. The authors of Ancestral Roots state she was alive in 1524, and dead in 1525, because in 1524, her name Joan Hext, widow was listed on the Devon Lay Subsidy Rolls 1524-7, but her name was deleted from the 1525 list. It is not known exactly when and where she died or is buried.


William Poyntz was a younger son of Elizabeth Pollard and Humphrey Poyntz. In Pole’s description of the manor of East Ansty in his book, Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, he places William as the son of Humphrey in the line of succession. In part 2 of his book, The Historical and Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Poyntz, Sir John Maclean mentions the possibility of Humphrey being William’s father, “This Humphry died in 1487, and in the inquisition taken thereupon it was found that Nicholas Poyntz was his son and heir, and was aged 21 years and more. No other issue from him is shewn, and it is not unlikely that he might have had another son named William, . . .

The real proof of his parentage is found in two Chancery Proceedings. The first (UK National Archives catalogue reference # C 1/153/16) is a law suit that his two daughters brought against their father’s brother, Nicholas Poyntz, about 1510, as stated in Wilmot’s bio. Sir John Maclean states, “The petitioners recite that their father, William Poyntz, was seized of the manors of Anstey and Rackenford, and of lands and tenements in the said parishes, and being so seized died seized, leaving his said two daughters, Elizabeth and Wilmot, his heirs, and they complain that divers evidences, writings, &c, shewing their title to the aforesaid manors and lands are in the possession of Nicholas Poyntz, . . .” This not only gives us Wilmot’s father’s name, but tells us he held two manors, Anstey and Rackenford, both in Devonshire. (More on this in his daughter, Wilmot's bio-see image above.)

The second proof of his parentage, is a Plea of covenant dated April 23, 1486, about the Over Woolacombe manor in in the parish of Mortho (Mortehoe) that involves William’s parents, John Pollard and his son William (CP 25/1/46/93, # 1). In it they list their three children by name including William, as brother of Nicholas. (More on this in his father, Humphrey's bio-see image below.)

William’s wife’s name is unknown. It is most likely they had only three children, ancestor Wilmot; Elizabeth, whom nothing is known about; and Humphrey, who must have died without heirs prior to the law suit, which made his two sisters heirs of their father.

It is not known when or where William Poyntz died, but it was before the law suit, which is estimated to have occurred by 1510. He probably died in Devonshire at one of his manors.

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John Fortescue was the son and heir of Mabel Falewell and William Fortescue, Lord of the Wymston Manor, anciently called Wimpstone, Wymondston, Wimston, Wymston, and Wymondeston, in the Modbury Parish of Devonshire, England. This manor no longer exists. There is however, a private road marked Whympston, that leads to a modern farmhouse and smaller bungalows with older farm buildings that may be on the site where the original manor was. (Mouse over farm photo on left to see sign.) John was most likely born at this Manor. Researchers have estimated his birth between 1410 and 1420.

Sometime before 1450, John married Joan Prutteston, who was the sole heiress of the Prutteston estate, now known as Preston, among others, thus he became Lord of these manors also. In the Records of the Court of Common Pleas, Chief Justice's roll, 28 Hen VI, Trinity term, 1450, there is a legal claim made by John Fortescu of Pritteston to recover wrongfully taken personal property from William Hille of Plympton, prior. (Mouse over and click on the image of document CP 40/758-image #565 on right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.) John and Joan had four children together, see her bio for more on them.The Fortescue family eventually took on the Prutteston arms — Ore on a bend azure, 3 crosses patty fitchy argent.

It should be noted that our John Fortescue is sometimes confused with his first cousin, Sir John Fortescue, the eminent lawyer who became lord chief justice in England and is buried in Gloucestershire. Our John lived and died in Devonshire and is known as John Fortescue of Wymston. A few sources state that John was a Member of Parliament for Tavistock, Totnes, and Plympton in various years between 1424 to 1430, but these dates just don’t fit.  If this is true, then John would have to have been born much earlier than 1410. This researcher has not found any documentation to support that he was an MP, so maybe he was again confused with another John Fortescue.

There are several court actions that occurred in the Hilary Term of 1480, late in John’s life. Three of them involve, Henry Bokelly, the grandson of George Denyshull, the husband of John’s deceased aunt Agnes. These actions solidify John’s maternal ancestry by naming John’s grandparents as John and Agnes Folywell and their two daughters Agnes and John’s mother Mabel. Bokelly tried to claim Agnes’ inheritance from her father, which went to John’s mother Mabel after Agnes died without having children. Bokelly, with a few others, broke into the Ermyngton and Rattre manors and stole 20 horses and 10 cows from John. The court papers proved that Bokelly was the son of George’s bastard daughter Margaret, who was born in adultery with another woman and Bokelly had no relationship to Agnes. (Mouse over and click on the composite image of the CP40/871 documents on left, to enlarge it in a new window/tab.) It should be noted here, that 30 years prior to this incident, after John’s father, William’s death, his mother Mabel and her second husband had sued George Denyshull for property. There was one other court case that came under this same term, but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the above case, John Fortescu of Prueteston and William Fortesu sued William Benet alias Huchon of Rattre, yeoman. None of these cases have a more detail date, but they are laid out here in image order.

John died on March 11, 1480/81, before his wife and an Inquisition post mortem was taken on November 4, 1481. He was probably buried at the Wymston Manor or in the nearby Modbury churchyard.


Joan Prutteston was probably born in her family’s manor, Pruteston, later renamed Preston, in the Hundred of Ermington, an ancient administrative district of Devonshire, England. She was the daughter and sole heir of John Prutteston and his unnamed wife (more about this in her father’s bio). Researchers have estimated her birth from 1408 to 1420.

Joan married John Fortescue sometime before 1450, and they had four children — eldest son John married Isabella Gibbs, and inherited the Wymston Manor, thus became known as John Fortescue of Wymston; second son William married Elizabeth Camprenowne and inherited the Prutteston estate; another named John was the youngest son who married Alice Cookworthy, inherited the Spridelston estate in the parish of Brixton, and became known as John Fortescue of Spridelston; and where ancestor Joane fits in, is unknown.

Joan is mentioned in her father’s inquisition dated 1469. She inherited all of her father’s estates including Alhalwinlegh, Prutteston, Spridelston, Dodbrooke and possibly others. In total, she inherited “six messuages (dwelling houses), two dovecots, and 200 a[cres of] land in Ermyngton; a moiety [part ownership] of a ferling of land in Worthehele with three messuages; 45 a[cres of] land in Burraton, a moiety of a messuage; 200 a[cres of] land in Medewyll, within the manor of Ermyngton; and a messuage, 30 a[cres of] land with 4 a[cres of] wood in Herford, co. Devon. (Text from Joan’s inquisition post mortem.)

Joan Prutteston Fortescue died on May 23, 1501. A writ was issued on June 26, 1501 and an inquisition post mortem was held on October 26, 1502. (It is printed in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem and Other Analogous Documents Preserved in the Public Record Office: Henry VII.) It is very long and it states that her eldest, “John Fortescu, of Wynston aged 50 and more is her son and heir.” It also mentions her husband, father and sons William and John. Two other names, among others, are mentioned together several times — son-in-law, ancestor Thomas Hexte, who died before her, and a John Hallewyll. This John is mentioned in volume 45 of the Devon Report and Transactions as a 1428 freeholder of Alhalwinlegh, which is also called Legh and All Hallowen Leigh. The relationships between these three people are not mentioned or explained, but land changed hands between them. After Hext died, John Hallewyll gave the land in Burraton and Herford by charter, back to “Joan, for the term of her life, with remainder to John Fortescu, the younger, esquire, her son, and the heirs of his body, . . .” This sounds like they may have been related somehow. Unfortunately, it is not known where Joan died or where she was buried.

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Humphrey Poyntz was the younger son of Nicholas Poyntz and his first wife Elizabeth Myll (Mill), said to have been born about 1430-4 at Elkstone, Gloucestershire, England. Many of the visitations show him as dying without heirs, but this is in error, as they are confusing him with this Humphrey’s grandson. There is solid documentation that he married Elizabeth Pollard and had children. Most researchers say he married Elizabeth in the 1460’s in Harescombe, Glouchestershire, but give no proof. By marrying Elizabeth he gained the manors of Over Woolacome and East Ansty (also called Ansty Cruwys), in Devonshire. He has been called the Lord of Elkstone, Esq., of Langley and Umberleigh, and was Escheator of Devon in 1460-1. There is a record in the Devon Archives dated October 21, 1461, that states, “Inquisition post mortem taken at Exeter before Humfrey Poyntz Escheator, on death of William Bonevile.

In the Calendar of Close Rolls, Henry VI: Volume 6, 1454-1461, there is a document in Membrane 11 dated October 28, 1460, which states, “To the escheator in Gloucestershire and the march of Wales adjacent. Order to remove the king's hand and meddle no further with the manor and advowson of Elkeston, delivering to Humphrey Poyntz esquire any issues thereof taken; as it is found by inquisition, taken before the escheator, that by fine levied in the king's court Nicholas Poyntz esquire at his death held the same for life by demise of Maurice Denys esquire, John Poyntz and Alice his wife, with remainder to the said Humphrey and reversion to the grantors and to the heirs of John Poyntz, and that they are held of another than the king.

Sir John Maclean states in part one of An Historical and Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Poyntz that “On 20th October 1466 Humphry Poyntz and others gave 13s. 4d. to have a writ of convention. This was probably to enable him to levy the fine by which he granted to Maurice Denys and Alice his wife, and Walter Denys, son and heir apparent of the said Maurice, the manor of Alweston and Erthcote and Hundred of Langley and Alweston.” Alice Denys was Humphrey’s half sister.

Douglas Richardson, in his Magna Carta Ancestry states, “In 1474 John Cruys sued Humphrey and his wife, Elizabeth, for an illegal entry into the manors of Cruwys Morchard and Rackenford, Devon. In 1480 he leased messuages, lands, etc. in Northcote and Codlemore (in Bittadon), Devon from Water Hale. The same year he end his wife, Elizabeth, John Prouse and John Chalvedon sued John Cruys for an unjust disseisin in Welcombe, Anstey Cruwys [East Anstey], CruysSydeham, and Little Rackenford, Devon.

By a deed dated May, 4, 1475, he was given the Manor of Elkeston from John Orchard and William Coffyn. T. S. Tonkinson writes in his book, Elkstone, its Manors, Church and Registers that on June 27, 1482, “the king, for £15 paid in the hanaper, pardons” of 18 named men, “for lately acquiring for their lives from Humphry Poyntz, esq., the manor of Elkeston and the advowson of the church of the same, and all messuages, lands, rents, reversions, and services in Elkeston, held in chief, and entering thereon without licence.”  (A hanaper was simply a wicker basket in which writs and other documents were kept.) This is probably the letters patent of pardon for all acquisitions of land, obtained from King Richard III,, mentioned in Humphrey’s inquisition.

Richardson goes on to say, “On 23 April 1486 he and his wife, Elizabeth, settled a moiety of the manor of Over Woolacombe (in Mortehoe), Devon on themselves for life, with remander to Fulk Prideaux, Esq., and his wife, Katherine (daughter of the said Humphrey end Elizabeth) and the heirs of Katherine.” This is CP 25/1/46/93, number 1, and can be found on the Notes on Medieval Genealogy website in full. This was an agreement made with John Yeo, and William Pollard, the son of John Pollard, who is probably related to Elizabeth. In it, after the statement about their daughter Katherine, Humphrey and Elizabeth name their other children as follows, “In default of such heirs, successive remainders (1) Nicholas Poyntz, brother of the same Katherine, and the heirs of his body, (2) to the heirs of the body of William Poyntz, brother of the aforesaid Nicholas . . .” (Mouse over and click on the image of this document on right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.) A year and a half later, Humphrey Poyntz died on October 10, 1487, and an inquisition was taken at Winchcombe on 29th. This inquisition is short and is mainly about the above mentioned May 4, 1475 deed and the letters patent of pardon obtained from King Ric, III. It is found in the Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Series 2, Volume 1, Henry VII and reads as follows:

308, HUMPHREY Poyntz, gent. Writ 30 Oct., inq. 29 Oct., 3 Hen. VII. [ 1487] By deed dated 4 May, 13 Edw. IV, [1475] one John Orchard and William Coffyn gave the under-mentioned manor to him in tail male, with remainder to the right heirs of one Nicholas Poyntz, his father. He obtained from King Ric, III letters patent of pardon for all acquisitions of land, &c.

He died 10 Oct., 3 Hen. VII. Nicholas Poyntz, aged 21 and more, is his son and heir.

GLOUC, Manor of Elkeston, worth 5 marks, held of the King in chief, by service 1/15 of a knight's fee. C. Series II. Vol. 3. (61.)


Elizabeth Pollard was the daughter and sole heir of Thomasin Cruwys and her husband Richard Pollard. Researchers have estimated her birth anywhere from 1434 to 1438. She was probably born in Devonshire, but where is undocumented, as different researchers have said she was born in Way, Langley, and Over Woolacome.

Douglas Richardson, in his Magna Carta Ancestry states she married Humphrey Poyntz before1466, and they had two sons and a daughter — Katherine, who was the second wife of Foulke Prideaux, the grandson of ancestor John Prideaux and his third wife Ann Shapton; eldest son and heir Nicholas, who was sued by his nieces Elizabeth and Wilmot Pontz; and ancestor William.

It is not known when Elizabeth Pollard Poyntz died. It is known that she was alive on April 23, 1486, when she signed the moiety agreement that is described in her husband’s bio. (A moiety is explained by Wikipedia as: “Moiety is a Middle English word for one of two equal parts under the feudal system. Thus on the death of a feudal baron or lord of the manor without a male heir (the eldest of whom would inherit all his estates by the custom of male primogeniture) but with daughters as heiresses, a moiety of his fiefdom would generally pass to each daughter, to be held by her husband. This would involve the division of the barony, generally consisting of several manors, into two or more groups of manors, which division would presumably be effected by negotiation between the parties concerned.”) It is assumed she did remain at the manor of Over Woolacombe for the rest of her life, and probably died there.


William Fortescue’s birth year has been estimated to be 1385. He was the eldest of two known sons born to Elizabeth Beauchamp and her husband William Fortescue. He may have been born in Devonshire England, but his parents owned several manors, so he may have been born elsewhere. William married Mabel Falewell sometime prior to 1410, as in The Register of Edmund Stafford, under the “Licence to celebrate Divine Service in Domestick Chapels or Oratories, granted to” index, it states “Licence was granted, 17 Nov., 1410, to WILLIAM Fortscu, senior, and ELIZABETH his wife; also, to WILLIAM FORTESCU, junior, and MATILDA, alias MABILLA, his wife, for the mansion of the said William (senior), at Wymedeston, alias Wymeston [hodie Whympston], in the parish of Modbury, . . .” This license was for a small chapel to be built for private worship within their manor at Wymeston. Many researchers say they were married about 1394, but don’t give supporting documentation. They had at least one son together, ancestor John Fortescue of Wymston.

Being the eldest son, William inherited most of his parents property including Wymston. Douglas Richardson states that William “and his wife, Mabel, had license for divine service in their manor of Whympston (in Modbury), Devon 8 Nov. 1421.” The last mention of William is in court records for a plea of covenant, which begun on June 10, 1425, and was completed on October 6th of the same year. In it, Mabilla is called the wife of William Fortescu, which strongly suggests that he is still alive.

Richardson goes on to state that William died testate before 1440, because court record CP 40/717, pictured right and discussed further in Mabel’s bio, proves his wife was remarried by this year. (Mouse over and click on the image of this document on right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.) It is probable that William Fortescue died sometime between 1426 and 1439. Unfortunately, it is not known where he died and was buried.

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Mabel Falewell was the daughter of Agnes, whose surname is unknown, and her husband John Falewell. She may have been born on the family manor of Velwell, in Devonshire, which later had its name changed to Falewill. There is a UK National Archives court record dated November 4, 1429, for an “Indented grant by John Falewill of Velwell (Falewill) . . .and his wife Agnes,” that supports that the Falewell’s were from the Velwell manor. Pole’s Description of the County of Devon has very little to say about the Falwell Manor, just that it is in the in Ratrewe parish in the former Stanburrowe Hundred.

Mabel has been called Matilda, Maud, Mabilla, Mabillam, etc., on records and by researchers. Douglas Richardson states, “Matilda is Latin for Maud and Mabilia is Latin for Mabel. Maud and Mabel are two different names. As such, the exact name of William Fortescue's wife has never been known. . . . Evidence that William Fortescue's wife was actually named Mabel is proven by a fine dated 1425, whereby Mabel's parents, John and Agnes Falewell, settled lands on themselves for life, with successive remainders on Mabel, wife of William Fortescue.” The actual Latin courtdocuments spell her name as Mabellam, which translates from the Latin to Mabel. Even more confusing is the many ways her surname has been spelled: Falwell, Falwyll, Falewyll, Valewyll, Velwell, Fowell, etc., making research even more difficult.

Mabel married William Fortescue, sometime prior to 1410, and they had at least one son together, ancestor John. On June 10, 1425, in the Feet of fines, mentioned above by Richardson, Mabel became the beneficiary of her parents, “after their decease 2 messuages, 27 acres of land and a moiety of 3 messuages, of the mill, of 294 acres of land and of 19 acres of meadow, in the vills of North'ford', Stancombpriour and Boweden.” This branch of the Fortescue family later took on the Falewell arms. Mabel’s husband William died and by 1440 she was married to John Trumpyngdon. This was the year that the first lawsuit for this couple occurred. John Boson (Richardson believes he is a nephew of John Falewell, but others say he’s another brother-in-law of Mabel) sued John and Mabel as executors of Willam Forstescu, along with ancestor John Prutteston of Prutteston, gent and John Huntyngdon, of Crediton, warden of the church & chapel of St Lawrence, in the Court of Common Pleas for debt.  (See image above in William Fortescue’s bio.) Ten years later, John Hille, as the executor of Boson sued them for a debt, regarding a trespass. (Mouse over and click on document CP 40/758-image #649 on left to enlarge it in a new window/tab.) In these two cases, Mabel is listed as Trumpyngdon’s wife, formerly wife of William Fortescu. That same year, 1450, but probably prior to the above mentioned lawsuit, John and Mabel sued George Denyshull, Mabel’s sister Agnes’ husband, using formedon descender, (a law which at that time was used by those who had a right to lands or tenements by virtue of a gift in tail) regarding a half share in two messuages and lands in Ratley, Devonshire.

The year 1450 is the last time Mabel is mentioned in the records. It is not known if John and Mabel had any children. Her husband John was mentioned in a lawsuit on December 23, 1645, and in 1468, in membrane 14 of a feet of fines as a tax collector. Unfortunately, it is not known when or where Mabel Falewell Fortescue Trumpyngdon died and was buried.


John Prutteston was probably born on the family estate of Prutteston, in the former (district) Hundred of Ermington, parish of Newton Ferrers, near Modbury, in Devonshire, England, in about 1380. Sir William Pole in his Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, gives the succession of the manor from William de Prutefton in King Edward I’s time, down to this John. It is not stated that the succession was from father to child, until we get to this John and ancestor Joan. Walter de Prutefton, in the 18th year of King Richard 2nd (1395), held the manor prior to John, but if he was John’s father, grandfather, brother or uncle is unknown. His surname has been spelled many different ways including Pruteston, Preteston and Preston, making research difficult.

John married and had a daughter, ancestor Joan. There is an inquisitions post mortem, in Modbury, dated May 8, 1433, for a William Bykebury and in it, there is a section trying to prove the age of his daughter Elizabeth. It contains a rambling of facts all referring to events that happened on the day she was born, 23 April 1417. One of these is of interest to us: “John Pruteston, 46 years and more, married Florence his wife.” It is not clear if this is our John who married Florence, but it is extremely probable. If so, she is the mother of Joan and would put Joan’s birth at after 1417, probably 1418. John’s wife probably died young, as there were no other heirs.

On January 20, 1431, John granted to William and Joan Halle “14 acres of land and a moiety of 1 messuage in Wymundeston and Aueton Gyfford,” for their lives, but after they die, it shall revert to John and his heirs. (Mouse over and click on the image of this document, CP 25/1/46/82, number 80, on right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.) John is listed as the querent, which is basically the participant in a property transaction who believes he’s the rightful owner of the property.

John Prutteston of Prutteston, gent is named as a defendant in the 1440 John Boson lawsuit mentioned above - see the image in William Fortescue’s bio and the details in Mabel Falewell’s bio.

From 1443-1450, John was in a dispute over houses and land, described as, “Messuages, land, etc in Wodelond, Blackawton (Blakaueton), Bridgetown Pomeroy, Wadecomb, Whitchurch, and Bondleigh (Bonelegh)” with Walter Burel, and then in 1455-1456, with Walter’s wife Alice. In this case John is listed as a defendant and feoffee to Alice’s husband Walter. The British English Dictionary defines feoffee as “(in feudal law) a person to whom a grant of freehold property is made.

John died and an inquisition post mortem was held in the 8th year of Edward IV (between March 4, 1468 and March 3, 1469). He owned many houses and land, which were all inherited by his daughter, ancestor Joan. In two different volumes of Report and Transactions written by The Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and Art, it states that John Prutteston died in 1469. In volume 45, he died seised of [in legal possession of] Alhalwinlegh, and in volume 9 in a footnote, “John Prutteston died possessed of Dodbrooke manor.

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Nicholas Poyntz’s birth has been estimated anywhere from 1379 to 1399 in Gloucestershire, England. He was the son and heir of Katherine FitzNichols and Robert Poyntz, the eldest of their six known children. The earliest record found for him, so far, is dated February 15, 1411, in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls for King Henry IV (to be discussed in his mother’s bio). Being that 4 of his siblings are also mentioned in this record, the estimated birthdates make sense. Nicholas is mentioned in the November 16, 1418, Inquisition Post Mortem of his grandfather, Thomas FitzNicholl, as the son of Robert and Katherine. In volume 5 of the Calendar of the Patent Rolls, there is a March 5, 1448, record which states “Licence, for 40s. paid in the hanaper, for Katharine, late the wife of Robert Poyntz, and daughter of Thomas Fitz Nicholl, ‘chivaler,’ both deceased, to demise to Nicholas Poyntz, son of her and Robert, in tail male, all her estate for life in the manor of Hull, co. Gloucester, held in chief.” This basically means, his mother paid to transfer the Hull manor to Nicholas with the limitation of it being handed down to male descendants.

In part 1 of An Historical and Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Poyntz, Sir John Maclean states, “He appears to have lived a quiet life in troublous times. In 1431 he was knight for the shire of Gloucester.” Researchers have called him “Lord of Iron Acton, Tockington, Swell Nympsfield, Wiknston and Elkstone.” It is also said he was Escheator for Gloucester in 1424 and 1434. There is a 1438 Chancery court record which states that “Richard Clavylde, of the Parish of Berkeley in Glos., merchant” owed £200 to “Nicholas Poyntz, of Glos., esquire.” There is also a Berkeley Castle Muniments record dated October 28, 1440, that involved “Nicholas Poyntz, esquire, and James Berkeley, lord of Berkeley, knight,” that states “Nicholas has lent to James £113 payable at Michaelmas.

Nicholas married Elizabeth Myll, researchers say about 1427, but in 1420, when Elizabeth’s father wrote his will, he named Nicolas as one of his executors. This does not prove they were married at the time, but it may be possible. Nicholas and Elizabeth had 2 sons, John his heir and ancestor Humphrey. His wife died and Nicholas married Elizabeth Hussey of Hastings, Sussex, the daughter of a knight who was present at the famous battle of Agincourt. They had at least eight children together, four sons and four daughters. In a charter dated September 17, 1450, that both Nichols and this Elizabeth wrote, they named seven of their children, including the names of their daughter’s husbands, in the following order — Maurice married a woman named Elena; Thomas; Nicholas; Henry, who married Alice widow of William Canterbury; Alice, the eldest daughter married Maurice Denys; Margarett, the middle daughter, married John Lisley; and Johanna the youngest daughter, married William Doddington. The daughter that isn’t mentioned in this charter was Elizabeth, who was a nun at Shaftesbury.

Some researchers say that Nicholas Poyntz, Esq., Sheriff of Gloucestershire left a will in May of 1456, but give no documentation for this statement. There is a Calendar of Close Rolls entry dated October 28, 1460, concerning the manor of Iren Acton, which states that Nicholas died in legal possession of the manor, and his second wife Elizabeth has overlived him, but it doesn’t say when he died. Sir John Maclean states, “The exact date of the death of Nicholas Poyntz is uncertain. He would seem to have died very soon after he made the charter . . . ” Maclean based this on the fact that a year after the above charter was written, “his son John Poyntz, Esq., confirmed to Thomas Poyntz and the heirs of his body a moiety of the manor of Nympsfield,” and the fact that John “was granted full seizin of his lands on 28th October 1460.” It could be that both are correct, as Nicholas could have handed over the running of the estate to his son John, and died in 1460. What confuses matters more is that the 1623 Visitation of Gloucestshire states he died in the 39th year of Henry VI (1460/1), while two Sussex sources say he died in 1449, volume 5 of The Topographer, says he died 29th year of Henry VI (1450/1), and Ancestral Roots says he died shortly before September 20, 1460.


Elizabeth Myll was one of three known children born to Juliana Le Rous and her husband Thomas Myll. her surname has been spelled Mylle, Myle, Mille, Mulle and Mill. Many researchers say her father’s given name was Edward, but in her father, Thomas’ will he makes her husband, Nicholas Poynes, one of his executors. Documentation for her birth can not be found, so researchers have estimated it to be between 1395 and 1412. The location of her birth is also uncertain. She was probably born in Harescombe, Gloucestershire, England or at the Devonshire family manor, Mill, also called Tremyll.

Elizabeth married Nicholas Poyntz and they had two sons — John, the eldest and the heir married Alice Cox/Cocks, of Bristol and had seven children; and ancestor Humphrey. The Rev. John Melland Hall writes, in his paper, Harescombe: Fragments of Parochial History, that “Elizabeth became the first wife of Sir Nicholas Poyntz, of Iron Acton, co. Glouc, knt., and was the ancestress of this important branch of the Poyntz family.

It is not known when or where Elizabeth Myll Poyntz died, but researchers have estimated it was between1431 and 1442. Some say she died in Iron Acton, while others say it was in Chipping Sodbury, both are in Gloucestershire.

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Richard Pollard was most likely born in Devonshire, England, the son of Emma Doddescombe and her husband John Pollard of Waye. Researchers disagree on where he was born as Waye, Over Woolacome, and Horwood, all have been stated as his birthplace. They have estimated he was born about 1404, but documentation proves this can not be correct, as he was married to Thomasin Cruwys by 1413. So it is best to say it is not known when and where he was born, but certainly it would not be after 1393.

On October 27, 1402, Richard “and the male heirs of his body” are mentioned in a Plea of covenant involving his parents, as the main heir, for land in Umberleigh in Atherington (CP 25/1/45/71). It states that if he has no heirs the land would go to his three brothers. This implies that at this point he has no children. But by 1413, it seems, he was married. In Thomas Frost Johns’ book Crewes of South Cornwall, and their Ancestors in Liskeard, Cornwall, and Cruwys Morchard, Devon, it states that on September 20, 1413, which was soon after the death of his brother-in-law Humphrey Cruwys, Richard Pollard and Thomasin his wife put up a £100 bond as part of an agreement to enter arbitration on a dispute with John Cruwys regarding the manors of Anstey Cruwys and Little Rackenford (more on this in Thomasin’s bio). A year and a half later, Richard and Thomasin have a son, as in the Register of Edmund Stafford it says that an oratory license was granted on “15 March, 1414-15, to 'RICHARD POLLARD AND THOMASIA his wife, and to JOHN their son, for their house at Langelegh [hodie Langley], in High Bickington [Bukyngton, MS.].” This license was for a small chapel, especially for private worship, to be built within their manor at Langley.

Then eleven years later Richard is mentioned in East Anstey, as stated in The Register of Edmund Lacy, Bishop of Exeter, 1420-1455, John Crwys, William Nortone and Richard Pollard are listed as patrons in East Anstey on November 30, 1426. The next year, on May 18, 1427, Richard and his brother Roger, who were acknowledged as the rightful owners of the property, granted a house and land in Bishops Tawton to Walter and Agnes Caucy and their children, who were the existing tenants on the property. This transaction was completed on October 6th of the same year. (Mouse over and click on the image of this document, CP 25/1/46/80, number 46, on right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.)

In the book, Inquisitions and Assessments Relating to Feudal Aids, A.D. 1284-1431, which is written in Latin, he and his brother-in-law, William Norton, plus one other person are mentioned twice in 1428, as holding two estates. The first was with William Wolcombe, concerning the manor of Overawolcombe, which was formerly held by Robert Cruys and the second with John Cruys concerning Estansty (East Anstey), formerly held by William Cruys. In both cases they are listed as “tenants who hold half a knight's fee, which they hold, separately from one another, and no one of them holds the fourth part of the whole” (rough translation). This is the last piece of documentation this researcher has found for Richard. It is not known when and where he died or where he is buried, but it was probably in Devonshire, possibly in East Anstey.

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Thomasin Cruwys’ given and surname has been spelled many different ways —Thomasina, Thomasine, Thomasia, Carew, Cruse, Cruys, Crewes, among others. She was one of at least three children born to Margaret Cornu and her husband Robert Cruwys. It is not known when and where she was born, but it was probably in Devonshire, England. She married Richard Pollard sometime before September 20, 1413, the date of the bond spoken about in his bio. This was the date she and her sister Elizabeth Norton, using their married names, began their fight to gain what they believed to be their rightful inheritance for East Anstey and Little Rackenford. They based this case on a deed that was supposedly made by their grandfather Alexander Cruwys. But their uncle John Cruwys, brother to their father, contested the deed. Their grandmother, Julianne Hordelgh, who was now remarried, did not support her granddaughters, and supported John, the male heir. Then it was proven that the deed Thomasin and Elizabeth had was a counterfeit, as it was made by Walter Cornu, their maternal grandfather, without their knowledge. The Pollards and Nortons pleaded that they did not know the deed was counterfeit and apparently a compromise deal was struck, as in 1428, “John Cruwys, William Norton and Richard Pollard were jointly presented to East Anstey and all three were listed as holding East Anstey.” In George Wrottesley’s Pedigrees From The Plea Rolls, there are three different instances that shows her pedigree, one going back to her great-grandfather Robert de Cruys. It should be noted that these cases are dated in the years 1465, 1476, and 1482.

Thomasin and Richard had at least two children — ancestor Elizabeth and a son named John, who was alive on March 15, 1414/5, but apparently died young, as Elizabeth was their sole heir. It is not known when and where Thomasin died or where she is buried, but it was probably in Devonshire, possibly in East Anstey.

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