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Joyce la Zouche

circa 1250 - 1290

Father William la Zouche
Mother Maud de Howbridge
1st husband Nicholas de Whelton
Children Felicia
2nd husband Robert de Mortimer
Children Isabel, Hugh, William


Joyce, the daughter of William and Maud (1)(3)(15), probably born around 1250 or just before (2). She had at least one brother William (15), but was the only known sibling to survive her father.

She married Nicholas de Whelton sometime around the mid 1260s (5), possibly when, or just before, her parents granted the manor of Howbridge to her in 1265/66 (1). However, they had only been married a short time when Nicholas died (5), possibly even before the birth of their daughter Felicia (3).

Following Nicholas's death there was some doubt over her dower rights to the manor of Whilton (5), so her father "paid off" Nicholas's eldest brother Roger in an attempt to secure her rights (4). This was to be the start of a dispute over the manor which would last for generations (5).

Joyce remarried soon afterwards, this time to Robert de Mortimer of Richard's Castle (8)(9)(10)(11)(12), and they had at least three children - Isabel in the late 1260s (6), Hugh about 1274 (7), and William after that.

Robert died in 1287 (8)(9)(11)(10)(12), and Joyce in 1290 (13)(14).


Brief details of her children:



Sources:

  1. "Feet of Fines for Essex", Volume 1, page 263, lists entry 1565:
    [50 Henry III. 1265-66] Mich.* Joyce (Joyosa) la Eusche, pl. William la Euche and Matilda his wife, impedients. Manor of Hobrigge with appurts. Plea of warranty of charter. Impedients to hold, for their lives, of pl. and the heirs of her body by the yearly rent of 6d. at Michaelmas, for all service, custom, and exaction, and doing all other services to the chief lords of that fee. Reversion to pl. and her said heirs; to hold of the heirs of Matilda. And then the heirs of Matilda shall warrant to pl. and her heirs against all men for ever. If pl. shall die without heir of her body, remainder to the right heirs of Matilda; to hold of the chief lords. Endorsed: And Richard le Botiller and Dionis' de Monte Caniso put in their claim.
  2. Her date of birth is bounded on the lower side by her parents marrying between 1235 and 1242, and on the upper side by her daughter Felicia's birth in the mid 1260s. As her second husband Robert was born about 1252, I place her birth nearer to the later end of this range.
  3. See "The Whilton Dispute" (5) for a detailed commentary on all the known extant documents concerning this family and their land dispute. A single example which sets out the main players in the family is found on pp70-76. The National Archives, Ref: JUST 1/1223, m. 25: Assize roll of Geoffrey Lewknor and John Mettingham for Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland, Leicestershire, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk, including essoins and amercements. An entry dated 3 February 1275 reads:
    The assize summoned before Geoffrey de Leukenore and John de Mettingham at Hargrave on the Sunday next after the feast of the Purification of the blessed Mary in the third year of the reign of the lord Edward, king [3 February 1275].
    Northamptonshire. The assize comes to recognize whether Roger de Whelton, Robert de Mortimer and Joyce his wife, Henry Turberville, Thomas de Montgomery, and William de Mortimer unjustly and without judgment disseised Felicia, daughter of Nicholas de Whelton, of her free tenement in Whilton after the first [crossing of the sea into Brittany of lord Henry, king, our father] whereof she complains that they disseised her of two-thirds of the manor of Whilton with appurtenances. And Roger, Robert, Joyce, Henry, and Thomas do not come. And Roger de Whelton was attached by William Ireis, John de Feure; and Robert was attached by Adam le Wyte, Thomas le Botiler. Therefore [let them be] in mercy. And the abovesaid Henry and Thomas were not attached, because they were not found. Therefore let the assize proceed against them by default. But the abovesaid William de Mortimer comes and similarly a certain Thomas le Chamberleng, bailiff of the abovesaid Robert de Mortimer, and for the abovesaid Robert and all others he responds and says that the assize ought not to be taken now, because he says that formerly in the court of the lord king before Gilbert de Preston, assigned justice at the bridge of Rockingham, the same Felicia brought an assize of novel disseisin concerning this same tenement against Robert and the others, such that a certain assize was taken there against them by default. And the same Gilbert after the taking of that assize, because of some difficulties found in that assize, fixed a day for the same Felicia to hear her judgment at Westminster before him and his other companions, justices of the Bench. And he says that the same Gilbert by common assent of his companions, justices of the Bench, made that assize to come before him again at Northampton and examined it concerning certain articles. Afterwards, indeed, because the same Gilbert died [8 January 1274] before that business was concluded, Master Roger de Seyton, who succeeded the same Gilbert as justice in the Bench, made the abovesaid assize to come before him again at Northampton and diligently re-examined it, such that after that re-examination the lord king by his writ ordered his justices of the Bench that they should make the record and the process of that assize to come before him on the octaves of St. Michael next following [early October 1274] and that they should adjourn the parties before him at that time. And since the same Felicia came before the lord king at that day through her guardian and believed that the judgment on the principal matter would injure her had she waited, she absented herself maliciously, so that thus judgment upon the principal matter was delayed. Wherefore, inasmuch as by the abovesaid assize taken at the bridge of Rockingham before the aforementioned Gilbert, assigned justice, and also by the re-examinations of the same assize made repeatedly before the aforementioned Gilbert and Master Roger by turns as has been said before, whatever could at present be found has sufficiently been recognized and found by that assize, he asks judgment if this assize ought to proceed.
    And Felicia through her guardian says that it seems to her that the taking of that assize ought not to remain by any response made her above, because she says she is underage and that in this case she knows how to say or plead nothing except only to seek the assize for injury and disseisin done her. Nevertheless, inasmuch as the abovesaid Robert does not show that she withdrew herself from any assize arraigned formerly concerning this tenement nor even that judgment had passed on the principal matter whereby she ought to be precluded from that assize, she asks judgment.
    Day is given them to hear their judgment on the morrow of the close of Easter at Northampton [22 April 1275].
    Afterwards at Northampton on the morrow of the close of Easter, the abovesaid Felicia comes and similarly the abovesaid Robert comes in his proper person. And the parties on either side were asked if they wanted to say anything else. And the abovesaid Robert says that that assize ought not to proceed thereof between them, because he says, as his bailiff said above, that the same Felicia formerly arraigned a certain assize of novel disseisin against the same persons concerning that same tenement before Gilbert de Preston, who took that assize and adjourned that Felicia into the Bench to hear her judgment thereof And after that judgment had been delayed for some time before the justices of the Bench, by order of the king the record and process of that assize were placed before the lord king on the octaves of St. Michael next following. At which day the abovesaid Felicia by her guardian came to hear her judgment thereof And, when she perceived that the judgment would be reputed to injure her, she willfully absented herself so that by this the judgment on the principal matter would be delayed. But nevertheless, the justices at the pleas of the lord king, having no regard for the absence of the same Felicia, proceeded to judgment according to the recognition of the aforementioned assize on the prinicipal matter, considcring that that Felicia should take nothing by that assize but should rather remain in mercy for a false complaint. And concerning this he puts himself on the record of the justices and likewise of their rolls of the abovesaid term.
    And Felicia well denies that judgment on the principal matter ever passed against her, and concerning this she puts herself on the record of the abovesaid rolls.
    Day is given them on the morrow of St John the Baptist here [25 June 1275]. And meanwhile let the rolls be searched.
    [The following passage is then deleted: And therefore Ralph de Hengham and his companions, justices of the lord king at the pleas of the lord king, are asked that, their rolls of the abovesaid term having been examined, they send the justices here their record thereof on the morrow of St John the Baptist.]
    Afterwards, on the morrow of St John the Baptist [25 June 1275] at Northampton, the lord Ralph de Hengham sent his record, which is as follows:
    "To his companions and friends Geoffrey de Leukenore and John de Mettingham, justices of the lord king, Ralph de Hengham sends greetings. So that we might make you more certain concerning that which happened before the lord king between Felicia de Whelton and Robert de Mortimer, I signify that, when the record of the assize of novel disseisin taken before lord Gilbert de Preston between Felicia de Whelton and the abovesaid Robert concerning tenements in Whilton came before the lord king by a writ concerning this directed to Master Roger de Seyton and after the parties had been adjourned before the lord king, the abovesaid record having been inspected, it seemed to me and my companion that the judgment was manifestly to be rendered for the abovesaid Robert. And when we were ready to render that judgment, the abovesaid Felicia absented herself Wherefore, by judgment the bailiff of the abovesaid Robert was told that he should go without day, but it was not expressly pronounced that the abovesaid Felicia take nothing by her assize. And the reason for this was that there was a certain similar judgment made in the Bench between Matilda Longespeye and John de Breuse. I understood and still understand that the abovesaid John is going to complain concerning this judgment. That suit was determined in part by my judgment, therefore judgment was thus not expressly pronounced [in the suit between Felicia and Robert] because, if it had been, it would have seemed to all that I had confirmed the judgment between the abovesaid John and Matilda beforehand, for which action I could possibly be rebuked. It was said, however, that there would be saved to the abovesaid Robert whatever ought to be saved by such a default of the abovesaid Felicia. Farewell."
    And because the abovesaid Robert formerly said manifestly that the justices at the pleas of the lord king proceeded to judgment on the principal matter against the abovesaid Felicia and of this vouched the record of those rolls, through which certain record it was not found that that judgment passed on the principal matter between them such that it was considered that the abovesaid Felicia take nothing by her assize, it is considered that this assize should proceed.
    And Thomas le Chaumberleng, bailiff of the abovesaid Robert, says that the abovesaid Felicia never had any free tenement in the abovesaid manor, because he says that that manor at one time belonged to William de Whelton, who held it in his demesne as of fee until he was taken at Northampton against the lord Henry, king. And the same king gave that manor as forfeit to a certain Thomas de Turberville, against whom Roger de Whelton, son and heir of the abovesaid William, recovered that manor according to the form of the Dictum of Kenilworth. And when the same Roger had seisin thereof; he enfeoffed thereof William la Zouche, father of the above said Joyce whose heir she is, and placed him in full seisin. And the same William died seised. And after the death of the same William, the abovesaid Felicia came and intruded herself into the abovesaid manor and held it for some time, so that the abovesaid Robert, who married the abovesaid Joyce, by reason of the same Joyce seised that manor and removed the abovesaid Felicia, as he was well entitled to do.
    And John de Roseles, one of the recognitors, does not come; therefore let him be in mercy.
    The jurors say that the abovesaid manor at one time belonged to William de Whelton, who had two sons, to wit, Roger the firstborn and a certain Nicholas, born thereafter. The same William, wishing to advance Nicholas his son, gave him the abovesaid manor with appurtenances and put him in full seisin thereof. And after the same William had put the same Nicholas in seisin thereof, he immediately withdrew and went to Wymington, a certain manor of his, to stay there. And he was there continuously for fifteen days, and for all that time the abovesaid Nicholas was in peaceful and separate seisin. They also say that the abovesaid Roger de Whelton was present at the abovesaid feoffment and confirmed the gift and deed ofthe abovesaid William, his father. The jurors were asked whether the same William ever afterwards returned to the abovesaid manor, and they say the same William returned after a fortnight, but, however, not as lord, rather as a friend and guest at the home of another friend. And they say that the same Nicholas held that manor and did and disposed thereof at his will as lord. Some time afterwards, indeed, the abovesaid William, father of the same Nicholas, and the same Nicholas went to Northampton to visit there. And when the lord Henry, king, father of the present lord king, arrived with his army to take those who held that town against him, the abovesaid William and Nicholas were captured there. Because of that, the lord king gave his lands as lands of the disinherited. And he gave the manor of Whilton to a certain Thomas de Turberville. And the jurors were asked whether the lord king gave that manor by reason of the forfeit of the abovesaid William or of the abovesaid Nicholas, and they say expressly that it was for the forfeiture of the same Nicholas. They were also asked if the abovesaid Roger de Whelton recovered that manor against Thomas de Turberville according to the form of the Dictum of Kenilworth, and they say that after the same Thomas de Turberville had held that manor for some time by reason of the grant made him by the lord king, the earl of Warwick seised that manor into his hands, asserting that it was of his fee. And thereupon Joan de Stuteville, chief lady of that fee, sent to the abovesaid earl and made him to understand that the abovesaid manor was the right and inheritance of the abovesaid Felicia, whose wardship pertained to her by reason of Felicia’s being underage and that it was of her fee and not of the fee of the same earl, wherefore the same earl immediately returned seisin thereof to her. And immediately thereafter Baldwin Wake, son of the abovesaid Joan, went to the abovesaid Thomas de Turberville and satisfied him by a fine of 100 marks and more for his right. And they say that as soon as the seisin of the abovesaid manor thus was gained to the use of the abovesaid Felicia, the abovesaid Joan de Stuteville received the homage of the same Felicia thereof And the same Felicia was in such seisin of the two-thirds of the abovesaid manor, whereof it is now complained, for a quarter of one year and more. Wherefore they say on their oath that the abovesaid Robert de Mortimer and all the others except Roger de Whelton and Joyce wife of the same Robert unjustly disseised the same Felicia thereof etc., as the writ says. And therefore it is considered that the abovesaid Felicia should recover her seisin thereof by view of the recognitors; and let Robert, Henry, Thomas, and William be in mercy for disseisin; and Felicia similarly in mercy for a false accusation against the abovesaid Roger and Joyce. Damages: twenty marks.
    Damages: twenty marks, whereof seven marks for the clerks of the justices and forty shillings to the sheriff's clerks.
    [Added later:] Afterwards, before the king, notwithstanding the recognition of the aforementioned assize, it is considered that the abovesaid [Robert] recover his seisin etc.
  4. "Close Rolls of the reign of Henry III, preserved in the Public Record Office, 1264-68", page 368. A complete translation is given in "The Whilton Dispute 1264-1380", Robert C Palmer, 1984, pp 40-41, which reads:
    CR, 1264-1268, p. 368             Date: 4 March 1267
    Memorandum: Roger de Whelton, son and heir of William, came into Chancery on the Friday after Ash Wednesday and acknowledged that he would observe firmly and faithfully in perpetuity everything contained in the writing below, to wit:
    To all faithful Christians who will see or hear this writing, Roger de Whelton, son and heir of William de Whelton, knight, greetings in the lord. Know that I have granted and given, on my behalf and on behalf of my heirs and assigns, to William la Zouche and his heirs and assigns all right and claim which I had or am able to have in any way by right or by inheritance in all manors, lands, and tenements, advowsons, reliefs, services, wards, escheats, mill-sites, and dowers with all other appurtenances pertaining to the said manor or to the said lands which could come to me by the name ofthe abovesaid William de Whelton, my late father, or by the name of Fina, my late mother, in any way by right or by inheritance in whatsoever counties they shall be in England in the power of the lord king such that neither I, Roger, nor my heirs nor my assigns nor another in our name for us or through us can exact or sell anything of right or claim in the said manors, lands, tenements, advowsons, reliefs, services, wards, escheats, mill-sites, and all the other abovesaid appurtenances nor sell or alienate in any way to the damage of the abovesaid William la Zouche or to our advantage the abovesaid right without the consent and full will of the abovesaid lord William la Zouche. In testimony of which business I have placed my seal to this writing, these being witnesses: William de Valence, Master G. Gyfford the chancellor, Roger de Leyburn, R. Waleraund, R. Aguylon, W. de Saint Omer, Alan la Zouche, and others.
    Memorandum also: on the same day in the same Chancery the same Roger appointed his attorneys, to wit, John le Kue and William de Blechington or either of them, to restore all the manors and lands of the abovesaid Roger before justices which can accrue to the same Roger by whatsoever right and, when they have been restored, to deliver the seisin of them to the same William la Zouche.
  5. See "The Whilton Dispute 1264-1380", Robert C Palmer, 1984
  6. Their daughter Isabella was probably born in or before 1269 (14), so the marriage was probably in or before 1268.
  7. See Hugh's page
  8. "Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, Edward I, 1279-1288", 1902, page 450, lists:
    May 6 1287. To Master Henry de Bray, escheator this side Trent. Order to deliver to Joyce (Jocosa), late the wife of Robert de Mortuo Mori, tenat in chief, the manors of Coderigge, co. Worcester, and of Burford, co. Salop, to hold in tenancia until the king shall cause dower to be assigned to her.
  9. "Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, Edward I, 1279-1288", 1902, page 455, lists:
    July 18 1287. To Master Henry de Bray, escheetor this side Trent. Order to deliver to Joyce (Jocosa), late the wife of Robert de Mortuo Mari, the manors of Farnlegh, Hobrigg, Kinggesnemeton, and Hunttebare, with everything received thence since they were taken into the king's hands by reason of Robert's death, as the king learns by inquisition taken by the escheator that the manors are of Joyce's inheritance. Witness: Edmund, earl of Cornwall.
  10. "Calendar of Fine Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol I, Edward II 1272-1307", 1911, page 238, lists:
    July 21 1287. Order to the escheator on this side Trent to deliver to Isabel de Mortuo Mari, sister of Robert de Mortuo Mari, deceased, the manor of Hamcastell whereof Robert enfeoffed her long before his death and put her in seisin, wherein she continued, as was found by an inquisition madeby the escheator; to hold in tenancy until the quinzaine of Michaelmas next, answering for the issues if they should pertain to the king; and to take the manor then into the king's hand unless he have other order in the meantime.
    The like to the same on behalf of William de Mortuo Mari touching the manor of Litle Wodeham.
  11. "Calendar of Fine Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol I, Edward II 1272-1307", 1911, pages 241/2, lists:
    Oct 25 1287. Order to the same [the escheator on this side Trent] to deliver to Joyce, late the wife of the said Robert de Mortuo Mari, the manor of Norton by Daventre, to hold in tenancy at the king's will, so that she answer for the issues if they should pertain to the king; the escheator having found by inquisition that Margery, late the wife of Roger de Whelton, held the said manor in dower of Roger's gift, and that Roger de Whelton, nephew and heir of the aforesaid Roger, enfeoffed thereof William la Zuche, father of the said Joyce, and that Robert and Joyce satisfied Margery therefor, that it might more quickly enter the inheritence of Joyce, assigning to Margery the manor of Ambreden late of the inheritence of the said Robert, to hold for life in exchange for her said dower; and the escheator having taken the manor of Norton into the king's hand on account of Robert's death.
  12. "Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, Edward I, 1279-1288", 1902, page 463, lists:
    Nov 12 1287. To Master Henry de Bray, escheator this side Trent. Order to deliver to Joyce (Jocosa), late the wife of Robert de Mortuo Mari, tenant in chief, the advowsons of the churches of Bureford and Yeddeford, which the king has assigned to her in dower from her late husband's advowsons of churches.
    To the same. Order to deliver to the said Joyce the following of the said Robert's knights' fees, which the king has assigned to her in dower: a fee in Farneberge, which Jordan de Say holds; a sixteenth of a fee in the same town, which Henry Mile holds; a fee in Dunchirch, which John Dunheved holds; a fee in Pudlisdon, which William do Curzon holds; a quarter of a feo in Whyle, which Henry de la Launde holds; half a fee in Mulston, which tho heirs of William de Mulston hold; a third of a fee in Tyleshope, which Adam de Ammerugge holds; two parts of a fee in Grete, which Geoffrey de Grete holds; a third of a fee in Stok, which Henry le Moneur and Robert de Munselowe hold; an eleventh of a fee in La Hull, which Adam de la Hull holds; half a fee in Assheford Carbonel and Overton, which Richord Carbonel holds; a quarter of a fee in Assheford Boulers, which Robert de Boulers holds; a fee and a sixth of a fee in Ammerugge, which Adam de Ammerugge holds; half a feo in Mersshe, which Thomas de Hunteleye holds; half a fee in Purshull, which Henry de Peremort holds; a twelfth of a fee in Codrugge, which John son of Hugh holds; half a fee in Sheldesleye, which Henry le Waleys holds; a quarter of a fee in Sapye, which Miles Pychard holds; half a fee in Cure, which John Wyard holds; half a fee in Corkedon, which Hugh de Mortuo Mori holds; throe quarters of a fee in Kingeshemede ond Asshe; and a fee and a quarter in Sutton and Over Sapye, which John Sturmy holds.
  13. "Calendar of the Close Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, Edward I, Vol III, 1288-1296", 1904, page 72, lists:
    March 12 1290. To Master Henry de Bray, escheator this side Trent. Order to deliver to William de Bello Campo, earl of Warwick, the lands that Joyce, late the wife of Robert de Mortuo Mari, tenant in chief, held at her death of her own inheritence, and as her dower of Robert's lands, to have in name of custody until Robert's heirs come of age, as the king, on 8 May, in his sixteenth year, granted to the earl whatsoever he had in his hands of the lands that belonged to Robert, to have until Robert's heirs come of age, with the knights' fees and dowers when they should fall in, and the lands of the inheritence of the heir's mother if they came to the king's hands during the wardship, saving to the king the marriage of the heirs and the advowsons of the churches.
  14. "Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem and other analogous documents preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol II, Edward I", entry no. 785, states:
    JOICE LATE THE WIFE OF ROBERT DE MORTUO MARI
    Writ, on the complaint of Isabel daughter of the said Robert that whereas she was enfeoffed of the manor of Hunteber' by the said Joice who had the same of her own inheritence in her widowhood, and peacefully continued her seisin for a long time, the late escheator took the same into the king's hand after the death of the said Joice, by reason of the heir of the said Robert, who was in the king's wardship, and that William de Bello Campo, earl of Warwick, to whom the king committed the said wardship, detains the manor from the said Joice (sic), 7 Sept 18 Edw I.
    [DEVON.] Inq taken at Buddelegh on Wednesday after St Leonard, 18 Edw I.
          Huntebere. The manor was the inheritence of the said Joice, who in her widowhood enfeoffed the said Isabel of the same , and she continued peacefully her seisin thereof for three weeks, until the king's escheator took the manor into the king's hand immediately after the death of the said Joice, by reason of the heir of the said Robert. The said Joice was not seised in her demesne thereof as of fee, on the day she died. The said Earl detains the manor from the said Isabel to her manifest prejudice and disherison.
    Writ of certiorari concerning the tenure and value of the abovesaid manor, 9 Dec. 19 Edw I.
    [DEVON.] Inq. Tuesday after Epiphany, 19 Edw I.
    Huntebeare. The manor is held of Matthew son of John in socage, rendering 6d yearly for all services.
                                                                                                    C. Edw. I. File 58 (1)
  15. "The Whilton Dispute 1264-1380", Robert C Palmer, 1984, p 161 gives a translation of plea brought by Hugh de Montgomery. It begins :
    Source: CP 30/ 127, rn.       131 Date: circa II May 1299
    Northamptonshire. Hugh de Mortimer formerly by his attorney before the justices at Westminster sought against Felicia who was the wife of Philip de Montgomery two-thirds of the manor of Whilton with appurtenances as his right etc. by a writ of right "because John Wake chief lord [of that fee] remitted to the lord king his court thereof" etc. And wherefore he said that a certain William the ancestor of the same Hugh was seised in his demesne as of fee and right in time of peace in the time of the lord King Henry, father of the present king, taking thereof esplees to the value of etc. And from the same William descended the right etc. to a certain William as son and heir. And from the same William, because he died without heir from himself, the right descended etc. to a certain Joyce as sister and heir; and from the same Joyce, to this Hugh who now [demands] as son and heir. And that such is his right he offered [suit and good proof]. ...

     
    The same plea is noted in "Collections for a History of Staffordshire", Vol 7, Part 1, "Plea Rolls of the reign of Edward I - Bancoo Roll, Easter 27 E I". An entry on page 53 reads:
    North. A writ superseding a Great Assize which Hugh de Mortimer had arraigned against Felicia formerly wife of Philip de Monte Gomery, respecting two parts of the manor of Whelton, and which Hugh claimed as his inheritance, giving the following pedigree from one William his ancestor, who was seised of it temp. Henry III.
               William, temp Hen III *
         _________|________________
        |                          |
     William                    Jocosa
    son & heir               sister & heir
      ob.s.p.                      |
                     Hugh de Mortimer the plaintiff,
                               son & heir
    
    * Another suit at the back of the membrane shows the ancestor of Hugh was William La Zusche.
    



Notes:


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