Sir John de Harington
(Abt 1304-1359)
Katherine Banastre
(Abt 1308-)
Sir William English of Cumberland County
Sir Nicholas Harington of Farleton
(1346-After 1397)
Isabel English
(1351-)
Agnes Harington
(1388-After 1444)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
1. Richard Sherburne

Agnes Harington 1

  • Born: 1388
  • Marriage (1): Richard Sherburne
  • Died: After 3 Nov 1444

  Research Notes:

From http://cybergata.com/roots/591.htm (Nicholas Harington of Farleton):
From Gen-Medieval Archives. 193
From: Dhhic@comcast.net (Douglas Hickling)
Subject: Who the Parents of Richard Sherburne's Wive Agnes, and of Isabel (Sherburne) Towneley and Agnes (Sherburne) Rishton?
Date: 24 May 2004 19:04:31 -0700

Douglas Richardson, in his recently published Plantagenet Ancestry 144 , at 678-679, gives convincing proof that the wife of Sir John Stanley of Lathom and Knowsley in Lancashire, was Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Nicholas Harington of Farleton, also in Lancashire, and his wife Isabel English. Some of the sources cited by Mr. Richardson to prove Elizabeth (Harington) Stanley's parentage also identify the wife of Richard Sherburne (formerly Bayley) of Stonyhurst as Elizabeth's sister, Agnes Harington. This effectively disproves the conventional wisdom, based only upon secondary authorities, that holds that Agnes Sherburne was a daughter of William Stanley of Hooton, Cheshire.

The most important of the secondary sources cited by Mr. Richardson is the pedigree chart of the Harington family published in 1823 in vol. 2 of Thomas Dunham Whitaker's An History of Richmondshire. In this pedigree, Whitaker sets forth the names and spouses of the three sons and five daughters of Sir Nicholas and Isabel (English) Harington, leaving little doubt that the compiler had access to much information relating to this generation of the family. The third daughter, Agnes Harington, is shown to have married Richard Sherburne. Richardson notes that Sir Nicholas' mother is incorrectly shown as Katherine Sherburne instead of Katherine Banastre, a mistake which need not invalidate the rest of what appears to be an extraordinarily detailed and complete pedigree of this line of Haringtons from its earliest recorded history.

The wills of the Sherburnes, especially that of Agnes, are rich in genealogical clues, yet they have been largely ignored. The 1437 will of Richard Sherburne, not cited by Richardson, was published in Testamenta Eboracensia, Part II, at 75-76, in vol. 30 (1855) of Publications of the Surtees Society. After bequests to the parish church of Mitton and to religious orders, he left the residue of his estate "to Agnes my wyffe," and named "Robert of Haryngton, knyght, Thomas of Harington, squyer, brother of ye same Robert," among his executors. No one surnamed Stanley is mentioned.

Agnes Sherburne died shortly after making her will, dated 3 November 1444, more than four years after her husband's death. This will, referred to by Richardson, appears in Testamenta Eboracensia, Part II, at 105-106. Her first bequest to any family member was "to Dame Elizabeth Staneley, my sister, a pare of golde bedes." There followed specific bequests to Agnes' then living children, her eldest son Richard Sherburne, Jr. having died before his parents: Dame Alice Tempest, Robert, Isabel, Elizabeth, John, Nicholas, John, and Mabel. "Thomas Staneley, knyght, and Thomas Haryngton, esqwier" were named overseers of the will. It is more unlikely than not that "Dame Elizabeth Stanely my sister" would have been placed ahead of Agnes' children in the will had Elizabeth not also shared Agnes' bloodlines. James Raine (1830-1896), the editor of Testamenta Eboracensia,, claiming to recognize the wealth of genealogical detail contained in the wills, commented that they confirmed that Agnes was the daughter of Sir William Stanley of Hooton, thus ignoring the fact that Dame Elizabeth Stanley's husband was a member of the Lancashire Stanley family and only a cousin of the Stanleys located in Hooton, Cheshire. Raine's implausible interpretation seems to have discouraged others from examining the wills more closely and in the light of other contemporary records which establish that Agnes Sherburne and Elizabeth Stanley were true sisters and daughters of Sir Nicholas Harington of Farleton.

Sir Thomas Stanley and Thomas Harington, both named as overseers in Agnes' will, were Agnes' nephews and first cousins to each other. Sir Thomas Stanley was the son of Sir John and Elizabeth (Harington) Stanley, and Thomas Harington was the son of Elizabeth Stanley's brother, Sir William Harington. See John S. Roskell"s Knights of the Shire For the County Palatine of Lancaster (1377-1460), published in 1937 by the Chetham Society as vol. 96 (new series) of its Remains Historical and Literary of Lancaster and Chester, at 123, 127-128, and 179.

The families of Sir Nicholas Harington and Richard Sherburne were related both by ancestry and property ownership. Richard Sherburne was descended from Margaret de Holand and her first husband John Blackburn. From them, the line of descent is: (1) Alice Blackburn m. Sir Robert Sherburne, (2) Sir John Sherburne m. Margaret, (3) Sir Richard Sherburne m. Alice Plumpton, (4) Margaret Sherburne m. Richard Bayley, and (5) Richard (Bayley) Sherburne. VCH LANCASTER 7:2-5. Richard married Agnes, who was almost certainly Sir Nicholas Harington's daughter. Sir Nicholas' descent is from Margaret de Holand and her third husband Adam Banastre, whose daughter Katherine Banastre and her husband John Harington were Sir Nicholas' parents. VCH 3:246. As Margaret de Holand's great granddaughter, Agnes Harington was within the fifth degree of consanguinity of Richard Sherburne, Margaret's great-great-great grandson, a degree of kinship which would not have constituted an impediment to their marriage that required a papal dispensation.

Upon Margaret de Holand's death, about 1329, her manors of Aighton, Bolton-le-Moors, Chorley, and other lands were divided among her four heiress daughter. Partial interests in those estates were held by the Sherburnes and Haringtons for several generations. VCH Lancaster 5:245-245, 6:130-132. Sir Nicholas Harington held a one-quarter ownership in the Sherburne manor of Aighton making him the feudal lord of the Bayleys and Sherburnes who held that estate. VCH Lancaster 7:4.

Richard Bayley and his wife Margaret Sherburne seem to have died early. Edward Baines' pedigree of the Sherburnes says that Margaret was a widow in 11 Richard II (1388), but no authority is cited. See his History of the County and Duchy of Lancaster, Vol. 3 (1836). It is known, however, that John Bayley died before his father. According to Towneley's Abstracts of Inquisitions Post Mortem, edited by William Langton, published in 1875 by the Chetham Society as vol. 95 of its Remains Historical and Literary of Lancaster and Chester, at 44-45, John Bayley died on 22 May 1391, his nearest heir being his grandson Richard, the son of Richard, the son of John, and that the heir was then 9 years of age. The abstract dates the inquisition 23 September 1391 and states that: (1) the inquisition was conducted by Robert Urswyck, the county escheator, (2) John Bayley's wife Mabel survived him and (3) the decedant had held a quarter part of the manor of Aighton of Nicholas Harington, subject to a yearly payment of 60s. and military service. Several weeks before the date of the inquisition post mortem, young Richard's great grandmother Margaret, late wife and widow of Sir John Sherburne and in 1391 the wife of William Dransfeld, granted various tenements in Longton to Richard and Agnes, his wife, "and to the heirs issuing of their bodies, for 100 marks and rendering a rose at the Nativity of St. John the Baptist." Significantly, Richard and Agnes were represented in this transaction, dated 4 August 1391, "by Sir Nicholas de Haveryngton, knight, their guardian." See Final Concords of the County of Lancaster, pt. 3:100 (m.37) transcribed, translated, and annotated by William Farrer, published in 1905 by the Records Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 50.

As Richard's feudal lord, Sir Nicholas no doubt had the right to claim wardship of Richard in order to (1) hold the ward's land and reap the benefits associated with normal ownership, and (2) control young Richard's marriage. It is not known how or when Richard Sherburne became Sir Nicholas Harington's ward. He may have been made the subject of a guardianship following the death of his father in or before 1388, but it seems more likely that Sir Nicholas did not become Richard's guardian until John Bayley's death in May 1391. Upon gaining control of Richard's wardship, Sir Nicholas almost certainly arranged Richard's marriage to his own daughter. The grant, dated 4 August 1391, to Richard and Agnes, his wife, cited above, was probably intended as a kind of marriage gift, probably solicited in their behalf by Sir Nicholas, for which only partial consideration was paid.

If the King, because of his overlordship of a part of Aighton or of other Sherburne estates, had a superior claim to Richard's guardianship, Sir Nicholas may have bought the guardianship through the county escheator Robert Urswyk, whose granddaughter Ellen Urswyk was the wife of Sir Nicholas' son Sir James Harington. Roskell, at 147-148. Guardianships of minor heirs were commonly bought and sold, and guardians very frequently arranged for the marriage of their own sons or daughters to their wards. The arranged marriage of Sir Nicholas' daughter Agnes to Richard Sherbune, his ward, would have conformed to the then common practice.

The names chosen for the children of Richard and Agnes Sherburne strongly support the argument that she was Sir Nicholas Harington's daughter. Their eldest son Richard predeceased his parents in 1440 and is therefore not mentioned in his mother's will made in 1444, just before her death. Their eight children named in Agnes' will were: Alice, Robert, Isabel, Elizabeth, John, Nicholas, James, and Mabel. Four of these children bear the names of Richard Sherburne's grandparents: Sir Richard Sherburne and his wife Alice Plumpton, and John Bayley and his wife Mabel. It follows then that the names of the remaining four children named in Agnes' will were probably intended to memorialize their mother's Harington ancestry. The names Isabel, Nicholas, Elizabeth, and James given to these children lack Sherburne/Bayley roots, but they do have clear Harington connections in the names of Agnes' parents, Sir Nicholas and Isabel (English) Harington, and her siblings Elizabeth (Harington) Stanley and Sir James Harington. Agnes' own name appears to have had no previous or contemporary connection with the Stanleys, but Sir William Harington, who was Agnes' brother, named his two daughters Isabel--the name of his mother--and Agnes--the name of his sister.

Contemporary records appear to show no instance in which Richard Sherburne is found to be closely associated with members of the Stanley family, contrary to what one would expect if his wife Agnes had been born into the Stanleys. On the other hand, in 1420, following the death of Agnes' brother Sir James Harington, the administration of his estate was vested in these executors: (1) Ellen (Urswyk) Harington, his widow; (2) Sir William Harington, the older brother; (3) Sir Richard Molyneux, Ellen's son by a previous marriage; (4) Richard Sherburne, very likely his brother-in-law, (5) Nicholas Harington, apparently a younger brother named for his father; and (5) Thomas Urswyk, his father-in-law. In that year, these executors gave fine for various writs apparently issued for the administration of Sir James' estate, [Roskell at 106]. See also Final concords of the County of Lancaster, pt. 3, supra, at 86. It is hardly likely that Richard Sherburne would have served as co-executor of Sir James Harington's estate, along with the decedent's brothers, step-son, and father-in-law, had his wife Agnes not been Sir James' sister or other close blood relative.

As note above, John de Bayley, because of the early death of his son Richard Bayley, was succeeded by John's grandson, Richard Sherburne. Richard was only 9 at his grandfather's death in 1391, and he became the ward of Sir Nicholas Harington and the subject of a child marriage. History was repeated following Richard Sherburne's death in 1440. His eldest son Richard Sherburne had married Matilda [shown also as Maud or Alice] Hamerton, pursuant to a 1422 agreement, and had died just a few days before his father Richard Sherburne, the elder. VCH Lancaster 7: 4-5. Richard Sherburne, the younger, was survived by three children--Robert Sherburne, who succeeded his grandfather, and by Agnes and Isabel. Marriages for Robert and Agnes were arranged following the death of their grandmother Agnes Sherburne, and young Isabel's marriage was apparently arranged a year or so before the death of her grandmother.

In the escheator's inquisition post mortem of Agnes' estate in 1447, her grandson Robert Sherburne, is said to have been 12 years of age at the time of Agnes' death, following which, but prior to completion of the inquisition, he had married Johanna Radcliffe. Towneley's Abstracts, cited above, vol. 99 (1876), at 52-53.

Dame Elizabeth Stanley, undoubtedly the same person designated as "my sister" in Agnes Sherburne's will, entered into an agreement with Richard Towneley on 22 March 1444/45, for the marriage of his son John Towneley to "Isabell the doghter of Richard of Sherburne." Elizabeth agreed to make payments to both the groom and his father on the day of the marriage. See Towneley's Abstracts, vol. 99 (1876), at 60-61. Isabel Sherburne's father Richard Sherburne had predeceased his father Richard, the elder, and her brother Robert Sherburne, the head of the family, was only a child, himself and not yet in control of either his father's or his grandather's estate. Elizabeth Stanley stepped forward to make certain that Isabel, her sister's granddaughter, had a suitable marriage. Presumably, Elizabeth's Stanley in-laws had already been taken care of by the Stanley males.

Just as Elizabeth Stanley came forward to buy an acceptable marriage for Isabel Sherburne, three of the Hamerton relatives of Agnes Sherburne's mother Matilda (Hamerton) Sherburne financed Agnes' marriage. An extract of the agreement, dated 26 March 1448, under which Agnes Sherburne was to marry Henry de Rishton, appears in "Dunkenhalgh Deeds c. 1200 - 1600," edited by G. A. Stocks and Jams Tait, published in 1921 in Chetham Society Remains, vol. 80, new series, at 34. Under the indenture, Richard, James and Steven Hamerton of Wigglesworth, at least two of whom were probably the bride's uncles, gave 40 pounds to Richard Rishton for the marriage of his son Henry Rishton to "Agnes the doghter of Richard of Shyrburn the yonger." The editor explains the extract as follows:

In 1448 Henry, son and heir of Richard Rishton of Dunkenhalgh was contracted in marriage to Agnes, daughter of Richard Shireburne the younger (d. 1441) of Stonyhurst (V.C.H. vi. 420) whose wife was a Hamerton (ibid. vii. 5).

Richard Trappes-Lomax in his "A History of the Township and Manor of Clayton-le-Moors, Co, Lancaster," published in 1928 in Chetham Society Remains, vol. 85, new series, at 57, agrees that it was "Agnes daughter of Richard, son of Richard de Shireburn of Stonyhurst, by Alice his wife, daughter of Lawrence Hammerton of Hammerton, co. York" who was married, or contracted to be married, to Henry de Rishton in 1448.

As noted above, Robert Sherburne, son of Richard [d. 1440] and Matilda (Hamerton) Sherburne, was aged 12 at the death of his grandmother Agnes Sherburne in 1445 or 1446 when he married Johanna Radcliffe. It is, therefore, likely that his sisters Isabel Sherburne, who married Richard Towneley, and Agnes Sherburne, who married Henry de Rishton, were also children, but probably not below the age of 7, at marriage. It seems clear that Gary Boyd Roberts is in error in his RD600, at 416-417, not only for showing the name of the wife of "Richard Bayley alias Sherburne" as "Agnes Stanley," instead of "Agnes Harington," but also because, although correctly recognizing that Agnes Sherburne, who married Henry Rishton, and Isabel Sherburne, who married John Towneley, were sisters, he incorrectly shows, at line 11, that they were daughters of Robert Sherburne and Joanna Radcliffe.

The contemporary records reviewed above prove that Agnes and Isabel were daughters of Richard, not Robert, Sherburne. They also show that Robert Sherburne married Johanna Radcliffe in 1445 or 1446 when he was aged 12. They could hardly have been the parents of Agnes Sherburne, who was contracted in marriage to Henry de Rishton in 1448, or of Isabel Sherburne, whose marriage to John Towneley was the subject of the 1445 indenture between Dame Elizabeth Stanley and Richard Towneley. Both these contemporary records and chronology tell us that Agnes (Sherburne) Rishton and Isabel (Sherburne) Towneley were siblings, not daughters, of the Robert Sherburne who married Joanna Radcliffe.

I would appreciate having your comments, additions, and corrections.

Douglas Hickling


Agnes married Richard Sherburne. (Richard Sherburne died about 1440.)


Sources


1 Website:, http://cybergata.com/roots/481.htm.


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