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Goditha de Massy
circa 1330s - 1418
Goditha was probably born in the 1330s (1), the daughter of Roger de Massy (2) and Lucy his wife (16)(17)(22). She may have had a brother Richard (2).
She married Ralph de Stathum, of Stathum in Cheshire (3)(4)(6)(7), sometime around 1350 (8), and had at least five sons - Thomas (18)(20)(24)(9), Richard (20)(24)(9), Ralph (5)(24)(9), William (20)(24)(9) and Robert (24)(9). (Other possible children include Peter (9)(10), Nicholas (9)(11), Goditha (9)(12), Margaret (9)(13) and Agnes (9)(14)).
Upon her parents' death she inherited the manor of Morley (22). The date of this is not known, but it must have been before 1361, at which time her husband was granted a license for an oratory there (15). She also inherted the manor of Caldelowe on the death of her grandmother's cousin Elizabeth Foljambe (nee de la Launde) (7)(18)(16)(17). Again the date is not clear, but it must have been prior to 1372 (15).
Her husband, Ralph, died on 13th June 1380 (23), leaving Goditha as the matriarch of the family. She seems to have guided the family's affairs pretty well over the following decades. In 1383 she succesfully defended a suit by Philip de Okeover, a distant cousin, disputing her claim to the manor of Caldelowe (16)(17); in 1398 she was granted free warren in all her demesne lands in Morley, Smalley & Kydsley (19), and in 1404, she finished the building of Morley church tower which she had started with her husband about 35 years previously (21). Finally, between 1408 and 1410, she was involved in a dispute with Henry Coton over a collection of deeds relating to the manor of Morley (22).
Goditha died on 16th May 1418 (23), having survived her husband by 38 years, and lived until probably well into her eighties - an incredibly good age for the era.
Brief details of her children:
- Thomas, the eldest son, has his own page.
- Richard was almost certainly the second eldest son, probably born in Morley in the 1350s. He was involved in the family dispute with John of Gaunt, and was in the middle of the events of June 1381, when he and his brother William killed Henry Massey, one of Gaunt's allies. The sheriff was ordered to arrest them after a hearing the following year, but they fled, ending up in Calais. He returned in December 1383, and was eventually pardoned. He moved to Derby, where it is claimed he married Emma Bourdon, from Bourden in Northamptonshire. I haven't attempted to verify this. He was still alive in 1414 when he acquired some lands in Derby, but nothing later is known of him.
- William, probably the third eldest son, was also born in Morley in about the 1350s. He too was involved in the family disputes, and as mentioned above, he and his brother Richard killed Henry Massey in 1381 and then absconded. He was eventually pardonned, and became esquire to the Earl of Huntingdon. This lead to the family becoming invovled in the "Revolt of the Earls" in January 1400, when Huntingdon and his allies plotted to kill the newly installed king, Henry IV. The plan came to naught, and Huntingdon and the others were duly dealt with. William seems to have come out of the affair very well though, as the king he was plotting to kill at the start of the year made him one of his esquires by the end of it, and granted him an annuity of £20 from the manor of Fremington in Devon, which he had claimed from William's former master, the Earl of Huntingdon. It is not known whether he ever married or had children. He was still alive in 1405, when mentioned in his uncle John's will, but nothing more is known of him.
- Ralph, probably the fourth son, was also involved in the family disputes of course, and in 1374 he stabbed Robert de Eaton, one of John of Gaunt's men. As seems to have been the standard ploy, he then initially fled to Calais, then was pardonned the following year. He was involved in the "Peasants Revolt" activities of the family in 1381, and was duly charged and later pardonned for his part in that too. Whether he ever married or had children is unknown, but he moved to Derby where he had a couple of cottages and about 60 acres of land. In 1397 he was said to have killed William de Croxton at Smalley coalpits, and was again pardoned the following year. When the attempted revolt occured in 1400, he was involved along the rest of his brothers. Nothing more is known of him after he was pardonned for this last offence in 1401. He wasn't mentioned in his uncle John's will of 1405, so he may have died before that.
- Robert, probably the fifth eldest son, was also involved in the events of June 1381, indeed he was said to have lead the attack on Breadsall Priory. In 1393, he was serving in Huntingdon's garrison at Brest. He may have met his death there, because nothing later is known of him - in particular his name does not appear alongside his brothers in records relating to the revolt of 1400.
- Nicholas, if a son of that name existed, is a mystery. I know nothing about him.
- Peter, if he was a son of Ralph, was a priest living first in Mirabeau, Lincoln, then after 1374 in Gnosale, Staffordshire. He was still alive in 1409
- Goditha, if a daughter of that name existed, married Sir John Pulteney.
- Margaret, if a daughter of that name existed, married Walter Bozun of Buckinghamshire.
- Agnes, if a daughter of that name existed, married John le Hunt of Ashover.
See her father's page for details.
"Derbyshire Feet of Fines 1323-1546" (Derbyshire Record Society, 1985), number 864, reads :
- Estimate based upon her marriage in the 1350s (8), and her death in 1418 (23).
"Westminster. Quindene of Michaelmas 1359. P[laintiff]: William de Lynton, parson of the church of Ilkeston, and Robert Mold, vicar of the church of Spondon. D[eforciant]: Ralph de Stathum and Goditha his wife. Concerning the manor of Morleye. Ralph and Goditha acknowledged the manor to be the right of William who, with Robert, had it of their gift. William and Robert granted and rendered it to Ralph and Goditha to hold to themselves and the male heirs of their bodies of the chief lord etc forever. Successive remainders to the heirs male of the body of Goditha, the heirs of the body of Goditha, Thomas de Stathum, Ralph's brother, and the male heirs of his body, and the right heirs of Goditha."
"Derbyshire Feet of Fines 1323-1546" (Derbyshire Record Society, 1985), number 890, reads :
"Westminster. Quindene of Michaelmas 1367. P[laintiff]: Robert Mold, parson of the church of Breydesale, and Henry de Adderleye. D[eforciant]: Ralph de Stathum and Godiva his wife. Concerning 1 mess. 2 tofts, 60a. land 12a. meadow 6s rent, a rent of 1 cock and 6 hens and an eighth part of a mill in Derby. Ralph and Godiva acknowledged these to be the right of Robert who, with Henry, had them of their gift. They remised and quitclaimed of, and warranted for themselves and the heirs of Godiva to Robert and Henry and the heirs of Robert. Robert and Henry gave 100 marks of silver"
"Calendar of the Patent Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, Edward 10, Vol XVI", 1916, page 189 contains the following entry dated November 6 1375 :
"Pardon, at the supplication of Hugh de Calvyley, captain of Calais, to Ralph son of Ralph de Stathum of the king's suit for the death of Robert de Eyton of Morley, whereof he is indicted or appealed, and of any consequent outlawry"
"Derbyshire Feet of Fines 1323-1546" (Derbyshire Record Society, 1985), number 925, reads :
"Westminster. Quindene of Easter 1376. Octave of Trinity 1376. P[laintiff]: Ralph de Stathum and Goditha his wife. D[eforciant]: John Flegh and Margery his wife. Concerning a moiety of the manor of Caldlowe. John and Margery acknowledged the moiety to be the right of. Ralph and they remised and quitclaimed of it and the heirs of Margery to Ralph, Goditha and the heirs of Ralph. Ralph and Goditha gave 100 marks of silver"
"Calendar of the Patent Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, Edward 10, Vol XVI", 1916, page 475 contains the following entry dated June 1 1377 :
"Inspeximus and confirmation, at the request of Ralph de Stathum and Goditha, his wife, kinswoman and heir of the undermentioned John de la Launde, now tenants of Caldelowe and Snelleston, co Derby, of a charter dated 15 October, 16 Edward I , granting to the said John and his heirs free warren in those lands.
For ½ mark paid in the hanaper."
Ralph and Goditha were certainly married by 1359 (3), but judging by the fact their sons were clearly adults by the mid 1370s, it seems most likely they married nearer to 1350. Its unlikely to be much earlier than that as Goditha lived until 1418 (23).
In "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire", Volume 4, page 327, Cox claims that Ralph had 9 other children besides his heir Thomas : "They had six other sons, Ralph, Richard, William, Nicholas, Piere and Robert, all of whom died without issue; also three daughters - Goditha, married to Sir John Poulteney, Margaret, to Walter Bohun, of Bucks; and Agnes, to Thomas Hurt". He offers no evidence for this.
"The Descent of the Family of Statham", By Rev S P H Statham claims that Ralph had a son Peter, but offers no evidence for the claim. It seems to be based on the fact that a Thomas, son of Ralph Stathum, who was a priest in Gnoushall was both assumed to be the brother of Peter, and also to be the same person as Ralph's son Thomas.
"The Descent of the Family of Statham", By Rev S P H Statham claims that Ralph had a son Nicholas, but offers no evidence for the claim. Indeed it states simply "Nicholas is not mentioned in any contemporary record". Nevertheless Rev Statham must obviously have had a reason for including him. I suspect there may an old pedigree in existence somewhere, which informed both Rev Statham and Charles Cox (9).
"The Descent of the Family of Statham", By Rev S P H Statham claims that Ralph had a daughter Goditha who married Sir John Pulteney, but offers no evidence for the claim. There was a Thomas Pulteney living in Leicestershire at the time, whose wife was called Goditha.
"The Descent of the Family of Statham", By Rev S P H Statham claims that Ralph had a daughter called Margaret who married Walter Bozun of Buckinghamshire, but offers no evidence for the claim.
"The Descent of the Family of Statham", By Rev S P H Statham claims that Ralph had a daughter Agnes who married John le Hunt of Ashover, but offers no evidence for the claim. There was a family of that name living at Overton Hall in Ashover at the time.
"Collections for a history of Staffordshire", New Series, Volume 8, contains an abstract of "The Register or ActBooks of the Bishops of Coventry and Lichfield, Book V". This lists a number of "Licenses for oratories, choosing confessors, studying, and other graces, from iiii Kal. Dec. 1360", and amongst them is "iii Non. Mart. To Ralph de Stathum for his oratry at Morley for 2 years". Later in the same document, amongst the entries for 1372, is "xvi Kal. Jun. At same . To Ralph de Stathom for his oratory at Caldelowe for 2 years".
"Collections for a History of Staffordshire", Vol 13, 1892. p184 (Extracts from the pleas rolls):
DE BANCO. MICH, 7 Ric II
Derb. The record of an assize was returned into Court which had been taken at Derby on the Monday after the Feast of St. James the Apostle, 7 Ric. II [July 1383], in which Philip de Okoiire (Okeover), Chivaler, claimed the manor of Caldelowe against Goditha, formerly wife of Ralph de Stathum, and others. Goditha answered as tenant, and stated that one Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John de la Launde, "was formerly seised of the tenements and had married one Richard, son of Richard Foljaumpe, and afterwards a Fine was
levied in 3 E. III between Joan, formerly wife of John de la Launde, complainant, and the said Richard, son of Richard Foljaumpe, and Elizabeth, deforciants of the manor of Caldelowe and of other lands and tenements, by which Joan acknowledged the said tenements to be the right of Elizabeth, for which the said Richard and Elizabeth granted them to Joan for her life, with reversion to the said Richard and Elizabeth and to the heirs of Elizabeth. And she produced the Fine in Court, and she stated that the said Richard and
Elizabeth continued in seisin of the tenements for a long time after the date of the Fine, and at length Richard died, and after his death Elizabeth continued in seisin of them, and died leaving no issue, and after her death the said Goditha and one Peter Peyntour entered as cousins and heirs of Elizabeth, viz., Goditha as daughter of Lucy, daughter of Lucy, daughter of Joan, sister of John, father of the said Elizabeth, and Peter as son of Joan, son of Matilda, another sister of the said John, father of Elizabeth, and she stated that Philip was kinsman of the said Elizabeth more remotely, viz., as son of Thomas, son of Roger, son of John, son of Hugh, father of Lucy, the mother of John, father of the said Elizabeth. And the said Philip, without admitting that such a Fine had been levied, stated that long before Elizabeth held anything in the manor, one Hugh de Okoure, his ancestor, and whose heir he was, viz., father of John, father of Roger, father of Thomas, father of the said Philip, was seised of the manor in demesne as of fee, and gave it to one William de la Launde, Knight, and to Lucy, his wife, and to the heirs male of their bodies, and from the said William and Lucy the manor descended to one William as son and heir, and from this William, who died leaving no male issue, the manor descended to one John as brother and heir, and from this John, who died leaving no male issue, the right reverted to the said Philip, as kinsman and heir of the said Hugh, and after the death of John, Elizabeth had intruded herself into the manor, and Philip being under
age had then entered, and was seised of it until the said Goditha and the other defendants had disseised him.
And Goditha stated she knew nothing of the gift of the manor by the said Hugh, but that the Fine had been levied as above stated, in the third year of King Edward III, and this Fine was a Fine upon surrender, "finis super redditionem," and was levied before the Statute by which the non-claim, of such a Fine was restrained, "per quod non clamewm cujuscunque talis finis restringitur." And at the date of the Fine, Roger, the ancestor of Philip, was of full age, and out pf prison, and within the four seas; and the said Roger had not put in his claim to the manor within a year of the levying of the Fine, and therefore Philip was precluded from the present assize. After some further pleadings a day was given to the parties at Westminster on the Wednesday after a month from Michaelmas,* on which day the suit was adjourned to the Morrow of All Souls, and from that date to the
Morrow of St. Martin, and from that date to the Octaves of St. Hillary, in statu quo nuno. A postscript states that on that date Philip did not appear and the suit was dismissed. m. 393.
* As it involved a question of law, the decision was left to the Judges in Bank
"Collections for a History of Staffordshire", Vol 13, 1892. p188 (Extracts from the pleas rolls):
DE BANCO. EASTER, 7 Ric II
Derb. William de Skypwyth and William de Burgh, Justices of Assize in co Derby, tra=nsmitted the record and process of an assize of novel disseisin taken before them on the Monday the feast of St James the Apostle, 8 Ric II, in these words:-
An assize, etc, if Goditha, formerly wife of Ralph de Stathum, and others named, had unjustly disseised Philip de Okore (Okeover), Chivali, of the manor of Caldelowe, and a messuage and an acre of land in Caldelowe and Snellesron.
In this suit Goditha repeated her plea as in the former assize, claiming by virtue of a Fine levied on the Quindene of St Michael, 3 E III, between Joan, formerly wife of John de Launde, complainant, and Richard, son of Richard Foljambe, and Elizabeth, his wife, daughter and heir of John de la Launde, and claiming to be nearer of blood to the said Elizabeth than Philip, and she gave these pedigrees:-
Lucy = William de la Launde
| | |
John de la Launde Joan Matilda
| | |
Elizabeth = Richard Foljambe Lucy Joan
Lucy Peter Peyntour
Hugh de Okeover
John Lucy = Wiliam de la Launde
| | |
Roger William John
| ob sp |
Philip, the plaintiff
Philip repeated his plea as in the former trial, but added that at the time the said Goditha stated that the Fine was levied, and for all the rest of his lifetime, Roger his ancestor was in Scotland, and not within the four seas of Enland, and that he died in Scotland. Goditha replied that at the time the Fine was levied Roger was within the four seas, becuase he wasat Mynsterton in co. Leicester, which she was prepared to prove. Philip repeated that on the date of the Fine and for a year and a day afterwards, the said Roger was in Scotland, and died there, which he was prepared to prove*. A day was therefore given to the parties in Banco on the Tuesday after three weeks from St Michael, on which day both Goditha and Philip appeared in person, and because the plea could not be determined in co. Derby a day was given to the parties on the Thursday at a month from St Michael, on which day Goditha and Philip appeared in person, and stated that they were prepared to maintain their pleas as given above, and prayed that a jury might be summoned from co Leicester; and the Sheriff was ordered to summon a jury for the Octaves of St Hillary. A postscript shows that no jury had been empanelled up to the morrow of the Ascension. m334.
* Philip was certainly wrong in his date, for Roger had Letters of Protection whilst in Scotland in 9 E III. It may be assumed, however, that he died or was killed in Scotland (Scotch Roll of 9 Ed III)
"Derbyshire Feet of Fines 1323-1546" (Derbyshire Record Society, 1985), number 963, reads :
"Westminster. Quindene of Easter 1386. P[laintiff]: Thomas Stathum and Elizabeth his wife. D[eforciant]: Thomas Witty, parson of the church of Braydeshale, John Parke and Goditha, widow of Ralph de Stahum. Concerning the manor of Caldelowe. Thomas Stathum acknowledged the manor to be the right of Goditha who, with the other defendants, granted and rendered it to Thomas and Elizabeth to hold to themselves and the heirs of their bodies of the defendants and the heirs of Goditha, paying therefore one rose each year at the feast of the nativity of St John the Baptist for all services etc due to the defendants and the heirs of Goditha and doing to the chief lord etc. Succesive remainders to the heirs of the body of Thomas Stathum and to Richard his brother, and the heirs of his body. Reversion to the defendants and the heirs of Goditha."
"Calendar of the Charter Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office", Vol 5, p375:
July 17 . Grant to Goditha, lady of Morley, and her heirs, of free warren in all their demesne lands of Morley, Smalley and Kydsley, co. Derby.
There exists some detail from the will of John Stathum of Stathum in Cheshire, but I have not yet managed to consult the original for myself (or find a transcript, which I believe may well exist in one of the volumes of the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"). For now I only have some slightly contradictory notes on it. In Vol 45 (1923) of the Derbyshire Archaelogical Journal, Rev SPH Stathum states "John, ... by a deed enrolled in the court of Chester in 1405 (6 Hen iv, f. 9) left 'all his lands, tenements, rents and services in the ville of Lymme, Lymbothes and Stahum' to his son John and his heirs male, with remainder to (his nephew) Thomas, son of Ralph de Stathum, with remainder to William, son of Ralph de Stathum, and failing male issue to all or any of these legatees with remainder to his right heirs", and a little later concerning Ralph "we have seen how his brother John named his two eldest nephews Thomas and William, his heirs, failing issue to his own sons". A little later, Rev Stathum expanded on his paper in the DAJ in his book "The Descent of the Family of Statham", but by then his version of this had changed to "By a deed enrolled in the Chester Court in 1405 (CPR 6 Hen IV f9), we learn that John de Stathum, son and heir of Hugh de Stathum, gave to John de Stathum his son, and to the heirs male of his body legitimately begotten, all his lands, tenements, rents and services, with all their appurtenances, in the vill of Lymme, Lymbothes and Stathum. Failing such heirs to his son John he demised his estates to his son Thomas and his heirs male, with remainder to Richard, son of Ralph Stathum, and, failing heirs of Richard, to the heirs of William, son of Ralph de Stathum". More recently, in his paper "Central England and the revolt of the Earls, January 1400", published in Historical Research Vol 64, Issue 155, pp 403-410, David Crook states "In 1405 John de Stathum, Ralph's brother, arranged to leave his lands in Lymm, Lymm Booths and Statham to his nephews Thomas, Richard and William de Stathum of Morley, in that order, if his own male line should fail", and he references CHES 29/108, rot 9, which is the same item under today's classification. My expectation from comparing these accounts, is that David Crooks' will prove to be the most reliable, thus indicating that Ralph's eldest three (if not only three) sons alive, towards the end of the life of their uncle John (between 1391 and 1405), were, in probable order of age, Thomas, Richard and William.
"For whom the bell tolls - the building of Morley church tower", Maureen Jurkowski, published in "Foundations of Medieval Scholarship", 2008. (A good read for more information on Goditha)
"Pedigrees from the plea rolls collected from the pleadings in the various courts of law AD 1200 to 1500", Wrottesley, p268, reads :
De Banco. Easter, 11 Hen 4 , m 337
Derb:- Goditha, late wife of Ralph de Stathum, sued Henry Coton, Clerk, to give up to her a pyx containing deeds which she claimed as heir of Hugh de Morley.
Hugh de Morley of Morley
The pyx had com into Henry Coton's hands after the death of one Katrine Verdon, 20 Rich 2.
"The Descent of the Family of Statham", By Rev S P H Statham, page 32, includes a transcription of an inscription in Morley church: "Orate pro anima Radulphi de Stathum quondam domini de Morley qui istam capellam fierifecit et obiit xiii die Junii anno domini Mccclxxx et pro anima Godythe uxoris sue nuper domine de Morley predicto que presentem ecclesiam cum campanili de novo construxit que obiit xvi die Maii Anno domini Mccccxviii quaram animarum et pro eisdem exorantium propicietur deus Amen"
"Derbyshire and the English Rising of 1381" by David Crooks, Historical Research, Vol 60, Issue 141, Feb 1987, pp 9-23. This work discusses the hitherto unknown events in Derbyshire at the time of the Peasant's Revolt of June 1381, and the leading role played in them by the Statham family. It also examines a long running dispute between Ralph Statham and John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, in the decades prior to this, and how the Stathum family appear to have used the revolt as a cover for extracting revenge on the Duke and some of his allies in settlement of old scores. This is a very well referenced scholarly work, by a highly respected historian and archivist at the PRO/TNA. The references I have checked (probably about 40% of them), are all accurate, so I am happy to accept those I haven't as reliable, especially as I am not relying on them for genealogical proof, but rather just for added detail of the Statham family's activities. It can be found online here