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Men of Stamford in the Hundred Years War

David Large 2021

Introduction to the paper “Men from Stamford, Lincolnshire, Commanded by Edmund of Langley Duke of York (1341-1402): Comparison of Names in the Poll Tax and the Soldiers’ Databases.”

This paper is one of a series published in the ‘Soldier Profiles’ section of ‘The Soldier in Medieval England’ website.

This major UK medieval history project was developed by Professor Anne Curry and Adrian Bell (Southampton and Reading Universities), supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

In summary, the team collated and digitised 250,000 records of soldier service records held in archives in England, France and elsewhere, naming the men who fought in the Hundred Years War, and made them available in a searchable Database.

The aim has been to shed more light on the men who fought in the war, both the archers and the men at arms.


Recent work on soldiers named ‘Large’ compared names found in both the Poll Tax and in the Medieval Soldier Databases, in combination with the network connections and landed interests of the captains and commanders of the campaigns in which they served. This provided innovative, new insights into the likely places of origin of the soldiers, which, until now, have been generally unknown. In some cases, other family members and occupations of men who fought in the Hundred Years War, have emerged (See ‘Using the Poll Tax to identify Medieval Archers?’)[1]

The following study examines the Medieval Soldier database from the perspective of an English town in the last quarter of the 14th century, Stamford in Lincolnshire (in the Part of Kesteven). Lincolnshire is in the east midlands of England. The Parts have long been an administrative subdivision of the county. ‘Kesteven’ is said to derive from the Celtic ced (a wood) and the OId Norse stefna (a meeting place). The name Ceostefne became Kestevene by 1194, well before the period of interest in this piece of work. [2]

Stamford was selected for this preliminary study because the 1379 Poll Tax list for the town appears intact, and because the castle, manor and town of Stamford had been held for many years by Edmund of Langley.[3] If it were to be the case that men were recruited, or volunteered for military service from one of the estates held by a Lord of the Manor, then it might be possible to find evidence of this by comparing names entered in the Poll Tax for the place, with names on the Soldiers’ database. A study of this type may provide useful pointers towards men who fought in the Hundred Years War with France, from the point of view of a community rather than individual soldiers, researched previously.[4]

Edmund of Langley

Edmund of Langley (born at Kings Langley Palace, Hertfordshire), lived from 1341-1402, and was the fifth born, but fourth surviving, son of Edward III, King of England, Lord of Ireland and duke of Aquitaine (1312-1377) and his wife, Philippa of Hainault. The first son, William of Hatfield (Yorkshire) died in early infancy in March 1337.

Edmund of Langley’s three surviving older brothers were Edward the Black Prince (1330-1376), who predeceased his father; Lionel of Antwerp, 1st duke of Clarence (1338-1368), and John of Gaunt, the first royal duke of Lancaster (1340-1399) who was the father of Henry (Bolingbroke), later King Henry IV (reigned 1399-1413). All of Edward’s surviving sons had military careers during the Hundred Years War. Edmund’s three younger brothers were Thomas of Windsor (1347-1348), William of Windsor (1348-1348), and Thomas of Woodstock, 1st duke of Gloucester (1355-1397).[5] Edmund of Langley was created earl of Cambridge in 1362 when he reached the age of 21, and on 6 August 1385, during the campaign of Richard II to Scotland, was also made the 1st duke of York.[6] He married (i) Isabella of Castile, with whom he had two sons and a daughter, and (ii) Joan Holland (a niece of Richard II), his second cousin once removed, who had no issue.[7]

As the son of a king, Edmund was given a number of possessions by his father, including the manor of Stamford, details of which are as follows:

“Edmund Langley, fifth son of Edward III, became lord of Stamford: although he was only six years old when his father granted him all of Earl Warenne’s castles, manors and lands beyond the Trent, with the castle and manor of Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire. In 1363 Edmund was given by his father a grant in fee of the castle, manor, and town of Stamford, and of the manor of Grantham.”[8]

John de Warenne (7th earl of Surrey) had been lord of Stamford before Edmund succeeded to the title, and in 1342 (16 Edward III) Warenne was “to provide 40 men at arms, and a hundred archers for his service in France; requesting him to be at London in person on the octaves of S. Hilary, there to treat & agree with his council touching the wages for those soldiers in that expedition.”[9] Edmund also acquired lands, estates and manors in Yorkshire, Tynedale (Northumberland), Wiltshire, Essex, Buckinghamshire and Norfolk.[10] In November 1374 he was appointed, together with John de Montfort, duke of Brittany, to be the king’s lieutenant in the duchy of Brittany.[11] His other responsibilities included Governor and Constable of Dover Castle between June 1376 and August 1381,[12] Warden of the Cinque Ports,[13] and Keeper of the Bailiwick of the Forests of Rutland and Leighfield in May 1388.[14] Edmund held two estates in Hertfordshire, the county of his birth: the manor of Hitchen,[15] and the manor and motte and bailey castle of Anstey, East Hertfordshire, of which very little remains.[16]

Whereas Langley was commissioner of the Peace for Kent and Wiltshire between 1377 and 1380, it was John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster who held this role for Hertfordshire, for Lincolnshire Kesteven and elsewhere. These appointments were granted to Langley after the date of the 1369 campaign, which was his first.[17] Amongst his other appointments, Edmund held the office of Steward of England between March and August 1399.[18] When he died in 1402, the manor of Stamford passed to his oldest son, Edward of Langley, 2nd duke of York, who was killed at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, without issue.[19] Duke Edward was succeeded by his nephew, Richard, the three- year-old son of Richard, earl of Cambridge, who was Edmund of Langley’s second son, beheaded for treason against King Henry V just as the 1415 expedition was due to set sail. Young Richard (1411-60) was created 3rd duke of York the following year, and in 1459-60 challenged Henry VI’s right to the throne.[20]

Langley’s military campaigns occurred during the period 1369 – 1399, only a few years before his death in 1402. He took part in expeditions to Spain with his brother, Edward, The Black Prince in 1367-1369, and later to France during the 1370s. In 1370, Edward the Black Prince laid siege to Limoges, together with Edmund of Langley and John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, thereby meaning that three of the sons of Edward III were present together during this campaign. The town was sacked, allegedly with heavy loss of life of its citizens.[21] Langley’s leadership has been described as undistinguished in comparison to his eldest brother, particularly for apparently contributing to the failure of an expedition to Portugal in 1381.[22] Nevertheless, as the son of a medieval king, he clearly had an important role in military matters.

Edmund of Langley’s soldiers and the Poll Taxes of 1377-1381

From the point of view of this study, the period of Langley’s military involvement spanned the time from ten years before to twenty years after the Poll Tax lists were compiled, 1377-1381. It follows that the names of some of the men who offered for service under his command might be found in the Poll Tax records for their towns and villages where he had major landed interests, both before the campaigns in which they fought, and afterwards if they survived. Amongst his other campaigns, Langley raised a retinue to fight under the command of his eldest brother, Edward, for one year in 1369 in Aquitaine, as described in the section on this site on Roger Large, soldier.[23]

It has been acknowledged by professional historians that discovering the origins of the military personnel serving as archers “is no easy task as military sources of the period rarely, if ever, provide this information.”[24] The Poll Tax lists for Langley’s other Lincolnshire manor, Grantham, have not survived, and so no comparisons with the men from Stamford are possible. Comparing the names of men on Poll Tax lists from places within the estates of Edmund of Langley with those on the Medieval Soldier database, could become part of a further and much larger study, especially when comparing them with areas in which Langley had no interests.[25]

According to the surviving records of the Poll Tax, in 1379-1381, the town of Stamford included 196 taxpayers, made up of 170 males, including 42 male servants, of whom all but 2 were without a surname, and 19 female servants, also recorded without a surname. Names of wives were not included, although widows were since they were taxed as individuals. Many occupations were also recorded. The population of Stamford in the Poll taxes illustrates a growing trend of using the trade of the individual as the surname, although we can never be certain whether it was the individual who followed the craft or whether the trade name had been inherited from an ancestor who had followed the craft. Thus, there are examples in the surnames of the tax lists of the medieval spelling of carpenter, skinner, cooper, mason, tailor, glover, tanner, chaloner (maker or seller of blankets), baker, fletcher, barber, goldsmith, litsterer (dyer), cooper (maker of barrels) and others.[26]

The Poll Taxes were levied in 1377, 1379 and 1381, all using slightly different criteria. The tax of 1377 was collected during the last parliament of Edward III, when those of fourteen years of age and above were liable to pay one groat (4d., four old pence). According to Carolyn Fenwick, who transcribed the original poll tax records into 3 volumes, the second Poll Tax in 1379, which has been the source of information about Stamford, was probably granted between 27 April and 27 May that year. This tax was to be levied on all lay men, both single and married, and single women, who were aged 16 years and above and was on a sliding scale related to personal wealth. Married couples were taxed as one unit, a change from the arrangements in 1377. The tax was to be between 4d. to 10 marks (£6 13s. 4d.), payable in two instalments. Genuine paupers were excluded. Parliament decreed that individuals liable for taxation should be taxed only in one place. Accounts were to be kept by treasurers appointed for the purpose and county sheriffs were ordered to assist in the collections.[27] For the tax of 1379, the age was raised to sixteen years. In 1381, a third Poll Tax was levied in which the age of payment was fifteen years and over, with a tax of between one and sixty groats (twenty shillings) But the majority paid at the one shilling rate and the tax was on individuals as in 1377, with the special arrangements for taxing married couples as had been the case in 1379.[28]

However, an additional challenge in the evaluation of the Poll Tax records concerning the male population of Stamford who might potentially be available for military service arises, namely the difficulty of taking into account men who were not liable to taxation, and whose names did not therefore appear in the records. This would apply equally in other towns and villages in England. As noted previously, the Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381 taxed men and women, dependents and servants, individually. Excluded were the clergy, the populations of the Palatinates of Chester & Durham, the Tin Miners of Devon & Cornwall (Stannary Men), men of the Royal Mint in London and Canterbury, distressed areas and the Cinque Ports. Mendicants (Orders of Friars) were also exempt.[29] Most of these groups were not relevant to Stamford, but members of the Clergy, including Friars, were. In addition to its six Parishes, the town of Stamford had Friaries of five orders, Augustinian, Dominicans Franciscans, Carmelite and ‘Friars of the Sack’ (also Augustinian), who were originally received in London with the Franciscan order.[30] Since none of these men were eligible for taxation, their names and numbers were not included in the tax records of the town, but we could assume they were not likely to be relevant to military service anyway. We also lack the names of the indigent poor, numbers of whom may have been significant in Stamford, given the work amongst the poor of all the Friaries.

It is not possible to consider the entire population of Stamford, therefore, since no complete record of this exists for the late 14thcentury. So, for present purposes, 130 male tax payers were included in the study, for whom both a first name and surname were clearly recorded in the Poll Tax list. Each name was cross-referenced against the Medieval Soldier database, which in its first version as used in this paper, contained around 250,000 service records (some men of course served more than once, so this figure reflects fewer individuals). The database is made up of names found in muster rolls (both for expeditionary and garrison service, for which the majority of evidence comes from the English garrisons in Normandy in the fifteenth century) and names of those taking out letters of protection and appointing attorneys, methods by which those intending to serve sought to protect their interests whilst away from home. For a detailed description of the datasets used for the online database see ‘The Soldier in later Medieval England: The Datasets described.’[31]

A connection with Edmund Langley was considered potentially significant in view of his undoubted links with Stamford, and the likelihood that some of the men under his command may have been drawn from the parts of the country where he held manors, and had significant landed interests. This, at least, is the hypothesis under consideration in this study. As for the soldiers themselves, males volunteered for paid service in the armies of the crown. Commissions of array were also used to raise defensive troops within the kingdom, all men between the ages of 16-60 years being eligible as long as they were physically fit and well,[32] BUT the Medieval Soldier database only includes the names of those with paid service, which was most commonly outside the realm. The men who made up the companies of soldiers were formed into ‘mixed retinues’ of men-at-arms and archers, mostly mounted, rather than being on foot. They had been recruited by captains who were in a contractual relationship with the Crown, and drawn from across the whole of England and Wales.[33]

In the Medieval Soldier database, the names of soldiers were recorded as follows: surname, first name, rank, place of service, the captain and commander under whom they served, the year of service and source reference. It should be noted, however, that letters of protection and appointments of attorney generally concern only men of higher status who had something that needed these legal protections. Archers did take out letters of protection, although in smaller numbers.[34]

Soldiers from Stamford

A discussion about men from Stamford recorded on the Poll Tax lists who may have enlisted for military service now follows. (There is always some danger in assuming that the individuals in the two sources are the same individual but this study assumes that the name matches are close enough for some confidence in this case.) The men have been assigned into one of two Groups:

Group 1

The first group of Stamford men includes 9 individuals from the tax-paying population of the town whose names were found both in the Poll Tax lists of 1379 and on one single occasion in the Medieval Soldier database. They are shown in the Table, where the men are listed in the chronological order in which they served.

Group 1: Men of Stamford, Lincolnshire, from the 1379 Poll Tax, against the Medieval Soldier database. Listed in order of the year of action from 1371 – 1400.

Group 1: Men of Stamford, Lincolnshire, from the 1379 Poll Tax, against the Medieval Soldier database. Listed in order of the year of action from 1371 – 1400.

§ a ‘dyker’ was a man who dug ditches

§§ a ‘chaloner’ was a maker or seller of blankets. The word also appears as a surname (Robert Chaloner).

The men paid tax as shown: two of them paid 4d, six paid 6d. and the last, paid 2s. This is a very small group of taxpayers from which to draw any useful conclusions about the tax paid and the rank assigned, but there is no obvious connection between the tax recorded and the subsequent military rank. Thus, the man at arms paid 6d. whereas the archers paid 4d or 6d and in one case, 2s.

Single examples of names are considered highly significant in the search for men who offered for military service from the Stamford area of Lincolnshire, and they may serve as useful examples should a more extensive study ever be conducted around this theme. These cases are exactly comparable to that of the archer, Simon Large, who paid 4d tax in 1379 at the ‘villa de’ Groby, Leicestershire, and whose name was found only once in the entire Poll Tax records for England, and on one occasion in the Medieval Soldier database.[35] Large fought under the captaincy of Sir Michael de la Pole, later 1st earl of Suffolk, on the campaign commanded by Thomas Woodstock (1355-1397), earl of Buckingham and later 1st duke of Gloucester, who was Langley’s younger brother.

As can be seen from the table, 6 of the Stamford men were archers, 1 was a man-at-arms, and in the remaining 2 cases, the rank was not recorded, although archers were enlisted in the greatest numbers so we could perhaps assume that is how they served. Particular attention is drawn to the case of Thomas de Walyngton, who served under Langley and John de Montfort, duke of Brittany, in a Naval Expedition in 1375. A comment about the surname appears below. This endeavour was in fulfilment of Edmund’s appointment, with de Montfort, as joint king’s lieutenants in Brittany. Their force embarked from Southampton in early 1375, with plans to attack the French fleet before St. Sauveur-le- Vicomte, in the Cotentin in Normandy. Unfavourable winds forced them to disembark near St. Mathieu, where they captured the town, before marching to St. Pol de Léon, which they successfully stormed. Further sieges took place before a truce was agreed at Bruges in June 1375. Edmund then returned home with the English fleet.[36] This brief summary of events supplements the evidence that Thomas de Walyngton served under Edmund of Langley on the expedition of 1375, and that he came from Stamford, where Edmund was lord of the manor. Robert Prat, merchant, served under the retinue captain, Sir Ralph de Ferrariis, Keeping the Sea in 1371-1372.

William Cony paid 6d. tax, and one example of the name is recorded in the database, showing service as an archer under Sir John Darundell and John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, in the Naval Expedition of 1378. This is the same campaign, captain, commander and year as that in which John Large, archer, fought.[37] John Bytham, tailor, enlisted as a man-at-arms under the command of Richard Fitzalan [4th earl of] Arundel (1346-97). As Admiral of England, Fitzalan, with Thomas de Mowbray, defeated a combined fleet of Spanish, French and Flemish ships off the coast near Margate in March 1387, the circumstances and date implying that Bytham took part in this naval battle.[38]

William de Salteby, described in the Poll tax as a dyker (ditcher), served as an archer under Thomas de Mowbray, 1st duke of Norfolk and earl of Nottingham, in 1389-1390 in the Standing Force in Scotland (East March). He could have had more than one role during his period of military service. As a dyker or ditcher, he could have had an important additional role, because the English troops often dug ditches in the field of battle to unseat mounted enemy troops and cause foot soldiers to stumble and fall during their advance. This is exactly what would be expected of men with useful trades to offer their captains, as has been the case in battles and wars before and since. Mowbray had distanced himself from the court in 1387-1388, becoming one of the lords’ appellants by accusing a group of the king’s closest advisers of treason. In early 1389, Mowbray was reconciled with the king (Richard II), and became warden of the east march towards Scotland, a post which included the custody of the border castles of Berwick and Roxburgh. In addition, he was awarded £12,000 a year, agreeing to recruit 400 men-at-arms and 800 archers to serve with him for the months of June and July 1389.[39] It is virtually certain that William de Salteby was one of Mowbray’s archers during in this campaign. No definite connection has been found between Langley and Mowbray other than the evidence that Mowbray had fought alongside Admiral Fitzalan in the naval battle of 1387, and that he had royal apartments at Eltham and at Kings Langley Palaces, the latter having been the place where Edmund of Langley was born.[40] Two other men named Salteby, Robert and John, appear in the same campaign according to the muster roll.[41] These three men may have been related, but only William’s name appears in the Stamford tax lists. The others may have lived nearby, but in places where the Poll Tax lists have not survived. In terms of local geography, Saltby, the village from which the surname was derived, lies 20 miles north west of Stamford, and 9 miles south west of Grantham. Edmund of Langley held the manors of both Stamford and Grantham, although Poll Tax lists have survived only for Stamford. It could be argued that the Salteby men enlisted in one or other of the larger towns in their vicinity where they may have found employment.

Richard Gardner served in a Naval Expedition sometime during the reign of Richard II 1377-99, but the muster roll does not identity when exactly. Robert Chaloner, maker or seller of blankets, archer, served under Henry IV (in Scotland in 1400), two years before Langley’s death. John Cupper, an archer fought under the captaincy of Thomas de Radcliffe, commanded by Henry IV, in Scotland in 1400. The names of the two archers, Chaloner and Cupper, both fought in actions led by the king, in the same year and in Scotland. Their names were found at the same TNA reference and on consecutive membranes, suggesting they may have enlisted in the same place, presumably Stamford, Lincolnshire, where Henry’s father, John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, had been commissioner of the Peace for Lincolnshire Kesteven. This indicates another network connection of the commanders for other archers enlisting from Stamford.

Roger Walker paid 6d. tax and enlisted as an archer under the captaincy of Sir Harry Ferrys for Henry IV’s expedition to Scotland in June 1400. The captain has not been researched in detail, but he may have been a member of the Ferrers family, Lords of Groby, Leicestershire, who used the first name Henry. Duplicate, identical entries were found for Walker in the Muster Roll, and for this reason, his name has been included in Group 1 rather than Group 2. His case also shows that men of Stamford offered for military service in more than one retinue and under more than one captain, which, although not particularly surprising, would be of interest in the general understanding of enlistment practices in the late 14th and early 15th century.

These 9 individuals out of the 130 tax-payers of Stamford (6.9%) are men whose names appeared only once on both Poll Tax and Medieval Soldier lists, strongly suggesting they were the individuals, archers and men-at-arms who enlisted from this Lincolnshire town during the period 1371 to 1400. Only one of them served under Langley in person.

Group 2

The names of the following 16 men recorded in the Poll Tax lists for Stamford were found on the Medieval Soldier database on more than one occasion. Twelve show a clear-cut connection with Edmund of Langley on one of these entries. They are included here partly because one of the entries in the Medieval Soldier database show service under Langley, and partly because they may have been Stamford residents. However, the complexity of this group of men warrants a description rather than including them in a table. Several attempts to tabulate the group were made, but none was satisfactory or easy to interpret. It is important to note the 12 examples which had a direct connection with Langley and served under his command, the 13th had a slightly more tenuous connection through Langley’s brother, and the last, does not appear to have served under Langley, although he probably came from Stamford.

Special attention is drawn to John Wright, carpenter, who took out letters of protection for service in a garrison in Aquitaine in 1369.[42] There are, however, 16 entries of this name in the Medieval Soldier database, including one of a man who served in the Aquitaine Standing Force for a year from 28 February 1369 under Langley (the same garrison, year, date and membrane on which the name of Roger Large appears). In view of the striking similarities, these two entries are almost certain to refer to the same man. This is not to imply that Wright and Large were connected in any way, but to point out that the names of some men appear on the same membrane, apparently by coincidence. On the other hand, in the earlier work, a soldier named Roger Large also served under Edmund of Langley for one year in 1369, and the evidence suggested he could have originated in the Aswardhurn Wapentake of Lincolnshire.1 This district was very close to Kesteven, Lincolnshire, and their Poll Tax lists follow one after the other,[43] It is worth noting that another John Wright served under Michael de la Pole and Langley in the Standing Force in England, as an archer in 1399, for which the term Valettus (yeoman) was commonly used in this period.[44] This second individual served 30 years after his namesake, suggesting they might have been two different men and not one, although this is not inevitable, given that men enlisted up to the age of 60 years.[45] Had the younger man survived and paid tax, he could have re-enlisted by 1399, and this is a plausible explanation, given the connection with Langley in both cases. The alternative explanation is that they were father and son, with the same first name, enlisting 30 years apart. The fact that more than one example of the name of John Wright has been found in the databases, has meant that he has been included in Group 2.

Walter Taillour, tailor, paid 6d. tax, and two examples of this name are recorded in the Medieval Soldier database. In the first case he served as archer under Sir William de Windsor (who married Alice de Ferrers, mistress of Edward III), in June 1380. This expedition to France was commanded by Thomas Woodstock, duke of Gloucester.[46] The second entry of a Walter Taillour registers service as an archer in the 1417 expedition to France led by Henry V under Sir John Tiptoft. The apparent rarity of the name suggests that the two entries probably refer to the same individual serving in two campaigns, several years apart, commanded by two sons of kings. However, in view of a measure of doubt, however slight, he has been included in Group 2 rather than Group 1. In any case, Walter Taillour did not serve under Langley. John Taillour, son of Walter Taillour, tailor, paid 4d. tax. A total of 61 examples of this name are recorded in the Medieval Soldier database but 4 examples concern serving as an archer under Langley and Despenser in the 1375 Expedition to France mentioned above. These entries may all refer to the same individual from Stamford. [47]

Adam Taillour, tailor, paid 6d. tax. 14 examples of the name appear, all in the Muster Roll, but none corresponds to Walter and John Taillour, who may possibly have been his brother and nephew. However, one man named Adam Taillour served as archer under Sir Percy Thomas and John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, in the 1378 Naval Expedition.[48] This is the same roll as that on which William Cony, archer, was recorded, in the campaign commanded by Gaunt (see Table above). The coincidence may suggest that this Adam Taillour is the Stamford resident, one of a trio of family tailors living in the Parish of St John. He may also have fought as an archer under Hugh Curtays and Sir Stephen le Scrope in 1395-1397, in the Standing Force in Ireland,[49] and even later under John of Lancaster, later duke of Bedford, third surviving son of Henry IV, at Berwick garrison in 1403-1404.[50] Richard Taillour, tailor, paid 6d. tax. There are 27 examples of this name in the Medieval Soldier database. One man with the name served as an archer under Langley after he became duke of York, in 1399 in the Standing Force in England, the troops which Langley raised ostensibly for the defence of Richard II’s kingdom: but in the event, Langley accepted Henry IV’s coup.[51] This is the same company which included the names of John Wright, John Forster and William Cony. The implication is that Stamford was a place where several men enlisted for service for this campaign under the command of Edmund of Langley, who was lord of the manor.

John Brice paid 6d. tax. Five examples of the name appear in muster evidence, and six men of this name took out letters of protection. However, in five of the latter cases, the county of origin is recorded; 3 from Norfolk and 2 from Suffolk, thereby excluding them from further consideration, and illustrating another potential challenge in a study of this kind which handles incomplete records. Of the remaining examples of men named John Brice, one was a man-at- arms under Sir William de Neville in the 1374 Naval Expedition.[52] Another was an archer under Richard FitzAlan, earl of Arundel,[53] and another, an archer under Henry V in 1415 in the Agincourt campaign.[54] A final example sees John Brice as archer (Valettus) under the captaincy of Ralph Eyton of Ardenne and the command of Henry V, also in the Expedition of 1415.[55] These entries are unlikely all to refer to the same man, and although one of them paid his Poll Tax in Stamford, none served under Langley.

John Fletcher, fletcher, paid 6d. tax. 16 examples of this name are recorded in the Muster Roll dataset, and he is another good example of a surname having been adopted from a trade. Two of the names show service as an archer under Langley and Despenser, recorded on consecutive membranes, suggesting duplicate entries.[56] There are 69 examples of the surname Fletcher in the Medieval Soldier database. Fletchers were recruited during the course of the war for obvious reasons, and it is likely that John Fletcher of Stamford was one of them.

John Sherman, sherman (a man who shears), paid 6d. tax. One of 16 examples of the name served as archer (Valettus) under Michael de la Pole and Langley in the 1399 Standing Force in England.[57] This is the same campaign in which William Cony served (see the Table above). John Forster, butcher, paid 6d. tax. One of 53 examples in the Medieval Soldier database shows a man serving as archer under Langley as part of the Standing Force in England in 1399.[58] This is the same campaign, commander, year and roll as the case of John Wright above, suggesting that both men may have enlisted from Stamford. John Broun, described in the Poll Tax as ‘menuw merchant’, paid 3s.4d. tax; he was clearly a wealthy individual who paid more Poll Tax than all his fellow townsfolk, (except Johannes de la Panetre, Esquire, of the Parish of St Andrew, Stamford, who paid 20s.0d. tax). In view of the uncertainty about this trade, The National Archives was consulted. The original 1379 Poll Tax record for Stamford, Lincolnshire was examined (E179/135/76/1 c.1), and the transcription was exactly as suggested by Carolyn Fenwick. In Anglo-Norman French ‘menuw’ means ‘middling’ or ‘intermediate’. It can also mean “minor” or “small.” It follows that a menuw(e) Merchant is one who dealt in small things, such as a Haberdasher.[59] Furthermore, the 1379 Poll Tax list for Stamford included the names of a total of 6 “menuw merchants,including John Broun. This suggests a town which was active in the trade, possibly acting as a centre for outlying villages which were too small to maintain a group of tradesmen of this type.

Ninety-three examples of the name John Broun occurred, and one of them served as a man-at-arms under Langley and John of Brittany with Edward Despenser as captain, in the 1375 Expedition to France.[60] A John Broun also served as an archer under Langley in 1375.[61]

John Sharp, servant of John Broun, merchant, paid 4d. tax. Four examples of the name occurred in the Medieval Soldier database, serving as archer under Langley, John duke of Brittany and Lord Despenser, in the 1375 Expedition to France.[62] A second entry identical to the first, suggests a duplicate. Two further identical entries of John Sharp also appear under the same captain and commander, in the same Expedition and year.[63] These four entries are probably the same individual, despite the relative frequency of the name, since the entry of Sharp is in the same campaign and roll as his master as noted in the Poll Tax, John Broun. This may be more than coincidence, suggesting master and servant both enlisted, arguably at the same time, in which case, the servant continued his duties in the field, both of them under the command of Edmund of Langley. The presence in battle of a master with his servant probably means that Broun was the man-at-arms, clad in plate armour. He would have needed help to put on and take off the armour, hence the servant at his side, acting as his Squire. John Broun, the merchant, also had a female servant, called Johanna (surname not given). There is no record of her name anywhere in the entire database, confirming that she did not go to France with her master and his servant, John Sharp, but remained in Stamford. The 1375 Expedition to France was the same venture in which Thomas de Walyngton served, and he definitely came from Stamford. It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Broun and his servant, Sharp, also came from Stamford.

John Grene paid 4d tax. 101 examples of this name were recorded in the Medieval Soldier database. Despite the caution needed in dealing with such a common name, there was one example of a John Grene serving as an archer under Langley and Despenser in the Naval Expedition of 1375,[64] and a second example in a later reference.[65] None of the other examples of men with his name saw service under Langley, although a William Grene served under Langley in 1381 for one year on military duties overseas in Northern France.[66] However, in a letter of protection he is described as of Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, about 90 miles north-west of Stamford. No evidence of a family link is likely to be discovered, although the possibility cannot be completely excluded. The 1375 Naval Expedition therefore also included John Grene, suggesting that he, too, came from Stamford, where Thomas de Walyngton also paid tax, and whose name has become a key piece of evidence in support of the hypothesis. John Baker, servant, paid 4d. tax. 122 examples of this name occurred in the Medieval Soldier database, so great care is inevitably required in the interpretation of his entries. However, a man with the name served in the Standing Force in England under de la Pole and Langley, as a Yeoman archer in 1399,[67] a similar entry to that of John Wright, above. John Barbour, barber, paid 6d. tax. A total of 147 examples of this name are recorded in the Medieval Soldier database. One man with the name served as man-at-arms under Langley and Despenser in the Expedition to France of 1375.[68] And so he, too, arguably came from Stamford, with his comrades, Thomas de Walyngton, John Broun, John Sharp and John Grene. John Barbour was the only barber in Stamford paying tax in 1379.

Thomas Storme paid 6d. tax in 1379. One example of his name is recorded in the Muster Roll (TNA), in which he served under Sir Thomas Swinburne in 1405 in Bordeaux, although his rank was not given.[69] It is therefore virtually certain that he was the man from Stamford. However, since the original work for this project began, some additional entries have been added to the Garrisons’ database, and the name of Thomas Storme now appears in two Garrisons, both in Normandy, where he served as an archer. The first was at the Garrison of Bayeux under the captaincy of Sir William Breton in 1425.[70] And the second, at the Garrison of Avranches, under Thomas Burgh, in 1429.[71] These two entries are extremely close together, within the same roll, suggesting that the two entries of Thomas Storme referred to the same individual, 4 years apart. For the purposes of assessing the possibility of Stamford men serving in the army, however, these two years, 1425 and 1429, are significantly distant from the year of the 1379 Poll Tax. It follows that it is unlikely that they both refer to the Stamford man serving in 1405. In any case, Edmund of Langley died in 1402, and so Storme could not have served under his command. It is for this reason that Thomas Storme has been assigned to Group 2 rather than Group 1. The extreme rarity of the name suggests that these entries may refer to a father and his son, or another younger male relative with the name.

John Chester paid 6d. tax in Stamford in 1379. He was a Chaloner (a maker or seller of blankets), and was, according to the Agincourt Roll (a late sixteenth century roll of those at the battle, deriving it seems from a lost roll of the period), a man-at-arms under the captaincy of Sir John Gray and the command of Henry V on the 1415 campaign. On this roll his name was entered as John de Chester, implying a place of origin, although perhaps several generations before.[72] His name also appears on two occasions as an Archer at the Garrison of Vernon, Normandy, both under the captaincy of John Burgh, in 1423,[73] and 1424.[74]These two names were both entered without the “de,” as was also the case in the Stamford Poll Tax list. As we saw in the case of Thomas Storme above, these two references are extremely close together on the same roll, suggesting that they, too, refer to the same individual named John Chester. And the comments made about Storme apply equally to John Chester. Perhaps an earlier member of the Chester family came from the town of Chester.

Of the 16 men, 11 (68.8%) discussed here were directly under Langley’s command, and may all have come from his manor of Stamford, since their names were also included in the Poll Tax list for the town.

In his detailed account of the history of Stamford, the eighteenth century antiquarian, Francis Peck (1692-1743), has provided valuable additional information on some of the residents of the town at about the time of the Poll Taxes. For example, in July 1377, the year in which Richard II held a council of war in Stamford, ‘Thomas de Wadingtoun of Staunford, gave to John Broun of Staunford, W. de Melton parson the church of S. Paul at Staunford, & to John Bonde of the same, one message situate in the parish of S. Mary at the bridge, with one curtilage adjacent (an area of land attached to a house and enclosed)…’ [75]

The name John Broun, or Brown in its modern spelling, occurs only once in the entire 1379 Poll Tax list for Stamford, and a review of all the names of those who paid tax in Stamford that year, shows that only Thomas de Walyngton (as his name was transcribed in the published version), could possibly have been the man, de Wadingtoun. No other names are similar in any way, and so it is proposed that Thomas de Walyngton/ Wadingtoun and John Broun, merchant, are the men included in Peck’s account. In 1379, Thomas de Walyngton/Wadingtoun (Group 1), together with John Broun and his servant, John Sharp (Group 2), all lived in the parish of St. Paul, Stamford, and enjoyed a special social status within the community. Group 1 includes those men who enlisted, and Group 2, those who may well have enlisted by virtue of the connection of one of their names in the Medieval Soldier database with Edmund of Langley. The name of John Brown/Broun was also recorded as ‘Alderman of Stanford this 8. & 9. R[ichard] II (1385/6), noting that Edmund Langley E. of Cambridge [lord of Stanford] for his service in the Scotch wars, & many other great services, having highly merited, was advanced to the dignity & title of duke of York (the parliament then sitting) his charter bearing date 6. Aug. 9 R[ichard] II. Whereby he also had 100 l. per annum out of the customs of wools, skins, & pelts in Kingston super Hull, as also 500l. per annum out of the port of London, until a £1000 yearly, in lands & rents, could be settled upon him’.[76]

This close association between Langley and the town and citizens of Stamford is worth emphasising, since it makes it all the more likely that he would have enlisted men from the town to serve in his retinues.

It is also worth noting that William Styandeby, merchant, who paid 6s.8d. tax in 1379, was named with Edward Styandeby, as Aldermen of Stamford in 45 Edward III (1371/23). ‘They were perhaps brothers and successively aldermen in this town.’ [77] Neither of their names appears in the Medieval Soldier database. Were they perhaps too old to enlist or excluded from military service on the basis of their civic duties, or some other reason?

Two further names are also included in this study: John Tidde of Stamford, paid 4d tax in 1379. No examples of the name are found anywhere in the Medieval Soldier database. However, a single example of the name Reginald Tidde occurs, serving as an archer under Langley and Despenser in the 1375 Naval Expedition.[78] This is the same roll on which the names of John Broun and his servant, John Sharp, were recorded, suggesting a possible connection and a common place of origin. In recent surname mapping projects, the equivalent modern name, Tidd, was most common in Norfolk, to the south east of Lincolnshire, and Tideswell occurred in Staffordshire and adjacent Nottinghamshire, a county which borders on Lincolnshire to the west.[79] In view of the extreme rarity of this medieval surname and the service connection, it may be that Reginald Tidde was killed in action, and hence did not appear in the Poll Tax lists, and that John was his father, son, brother or cousin, since the evidence suggests that Stamford was their home town. On the other hand, we cannot exclude the possibility that the older Tidde died of natural causes between 1375 and 1379.

In addition, the Medieval Soldier database includes one man for whom Stamford is actually recorded as his place of origin, and so is of particular interest in the study: this was John Ady who was intending to serve under Michael de la Pole from June 1385 in Scotland.[80] This confirms that Stamford men undoubtedly did enlist for military service, and under other captains and commanders. De la Pole and Langley led a Standing Force in England in 1399 in which 4 other men included in this study, John Wright, John Sherman, John Forster and John Baker, all served, showing a close connection between these two military leaders. However, a note of caution needs to be added here, because Ady’s name does not appear in the Poll Tax lists for Stamford. Did he perhaps live in a village near Stamford during the period 1377-1381, rather than in the town itself, but went to Stamford to ‘enlist?’ The information known about him from the two sources at least bears this interpretation. He could not be included in Group 1, because Stamford was not given as the place in which he paid tax.

The databases also include names of men from Lincolnshire who enlisted under other captains, and where their origins have been recorded: Lincoln, Louth, Gainsborough, Grantham, Spalding, Wrangle, Dunsby and Rippingale, adjacent villages in Lincolnshire, approximately 12 miles north east of Stamford. The number of men known to have enlisted from this part of Lincolnshire appears relatively small, but even for men-at-arms who secured letters of protection, only 12 were from Lincolnshire. On the other hand, of the 4493 names of men-at-arms entered on this database, only 455 (10.1%) include the county and/or place of origin, including London, the Isle of Wight and Wales. By far the majority of the places listed are in southern and midland counties of England, and so the apparent scarcity of volunteers from Lincolnshire is not completely unexpected.


Stamford, Lincolnshire was one of relatively few manors held by Edmund of Langley by the date of the Poll Taxes, particularly in comparison with his siblings. This study shows that of the 27 of its male inhabitants, 9 from Group 1 who definitely enlisted, 11 of the 16 from Group 2, and the 2 other examples, Tidde and Ady, may well have enlisted for military service from Stamford under Langley. Two of these men, Thomas de Walyngton (Group 1), and John Wright (Group 2), undoubtedly served under Langley in person, because the Muster Roll confirms this. Six men from Stamford served in the army under other captains, as shown in the Table, since single examples of their names were found in the Medieval Soldier database. Fourteen men with Stamford Poll Tax names have more than one entry in the Databases, including 11 which were linked directly with Langley. The final candidates, John and Reginald Tidde and John Ady, all have connections with either Langley or Stamford, or both.

Estimating the numbers of the male population of Stamford who may have enlisted for military service in one campaign or another is difficult and fraught with challenges, since the Poll Tax lists only those who paid tax. The names of men in groups not eligible for taxation, noted above, do not appear in the records, and so cannot be incorporated into any estimate of numbers enlisting at a population level. However, most of them (including clergy and friars) would not have been eligible for military service, unless they volunteered. In addition, the surnames of only 2 of the 42 male servants in the town were recorded, and so the others could not be checked either. John Sharp, servant of John Broun, merchant, is one of the notable exceptions.

Taking this into account, the 9 men who enlisted from Stamford out of the list of 130 taxpayers, represents 6.9% of the males who paid tax in 1379. This is a significant percentage especially if it were representative of other places in the country which had close connections with a royal commander or an aristocratic captain. In the unexpected event that all the 27 men (Group 1 = 9, + Group 2 = 16, +2 [Tidde & Ady])) noted above enlisted at the same time, this would represent 20.8 % of the male taxpayers of the town, and which could inevitably have had a huge impact on its trading and commercial activities. Many livelihoods and families would have been put at serious risk.

However, all the Stamford men in Group 1 and most of those in Group 2 enlisted between 1371 and 1400, that is, over a time span of almost 30 years. It goes almost without saying that had all the men left home at the same time, the town would have been depleted of its male population and work force. As it was, the enlistments occurred over a period of three decades, and so the proportion of Stamford’s male population in military service at any one time, and the likely impact on the town, would have been reduced. It is not known how many of the men survived the war and returned to live in Stamford, but it is likely that some, or perhaps many of them, did. On the other hand, the losses of great numbers of men from ‘The Pals Battalions’ in The Great War, especially at the start of The Battle of the Somme in July 1916, is worth noting. The ‘Pals’ were formed by groups of men from the same community to provide mutual support, and their losses had exactly this impact on their towns. These men had lived and worked in the same towns, and they were killed in action together on the Western Front, as well. The numbers of visitors to the Somme Battlefields during the summer of 2016, a hundred years after the slaughter provided a grim reminder of the reality of wartime catastrophes of this sort, one consequence of which was that women from the worst affected towns were employed to carry-out the work their men-folk had undertaken before the outbreak of war in 1914. Much the same would probably have occurred in the late fourteenth century in rural towns such as Stamford: how could it have been otherwise? Furthermore, the devastation wreaked on Stamford by the Black Death of 1348/9, some 30 years earlier, must inevitably have led to a significant decline in population, because Lincolnshire and East Anglia were amongst the worst affected areas of England, with an estimated mortality rate of at least 30%.[81] The thirty years to the time of the Poll Taxes, an interval of one generation, was scarcely sufficient time to restore the town’s working population before the demands made upon it by the Wars with France. This was particularly the case for Stamford, Lincolnshir e, with its close connections with Edmund of Langley, who would have expected men living within his manors and lands, to enlist.

This preliminary study is an example of the potential value of a novel and innovative method of comparing names recorded in the Poll Tax lists and the Medieval Soldier database in attempting to discover the identities of the men who enlisted from one rural English town. Stamford, Lincolnshire, was selected for the study because it was one of the landed estates of Edmund of Langley, later 1st duke of York, for which the Poll Tax records appear intact, making the comparison of names in the two lists, more likely to be useful. During the first study of archers named ‘Large’ it was clear that the presence of network connections of the captain of the retinue and/or his commander, and their landed interests, were crucial. Without these, it would have been difficult to decide which man in a Poll Tax list corresponded with a man with the same name in the Medieval Soldier database. There was no difficulty in the case of Simon Large, archer, where only one example of the name was found in both lists. But for cases where there was more than one example of a name in the Soldiers’ Databases, the network connections of the senior officers proved invaluable in helping to assign the likely origin of the soldier. That, at least, was the hypothesis being tested.

There are certain similarities in this study of men from Stamford. Had it been the case that considerable numbers of Stamford men enlisted under Langley, the conclusions would have been much more obvious: the network connections of the captains and commanders are relevant and crucial to discovering the origins of the archers. One of the 5 men in Group 1 of the Stamford Poll Tax list whose commanders were identified, definitely served under Langley, namely Thomas de Walyngton. Although this amounts to 20% of the men in whom only one example of the name was found in both the Poll Tax list and the Medieval Soldier database, such a small number makes it difficult to draw conclusions about enlistment patterns at a population level.

Or does it? If the hypothesis could be tested on a larger scale, it might be found that the percentage of men enlisting under Langley from his other manors, was significant, suggesting that the strategy of linking men whose names are found in the Poll Tax, with their captains and commanders in the Medieval Soldier database, is valid. And this would apply not solely to individuals, but to populations as well. Group 2 includes 16 men from the Poll Tax list selected for study. This Group is more complex because more than one entry was found for their names in the Medieval Soldier database, although the presence of duplicate entries complicates the analysis to some extent. They have been included because of convincing connections of one of the entries with Langley, or in 3 cases (Adam Taillour, Robert Chaloner and John Cupper), with Langley’s older brother, John of Gaunt. In Taillour’s case, it is worth noting that John of Gaunt held the role of Commissioner of the Peace for Hertfordshire, for Lincolnshire Kesteven and elsewhere, rather than his younger brother, Edmund of Langley. To emphasise and clarify the point further, Chaloner and Cupper, were both under the command of King Henry IV (Gaunt’s oldest son) in Expeditions to Scotland in 1400, no doubt another example of a network connection being applied to another royal prince, whose son later became king. In other words, Gaunt and his family used their own network connections to recruit men for their own retinues in the same way as did Edmund of Langley.

Where the number of examples of a Poll Tax name which is also found in the Medieval Soldier database is small, as in the cases of John Sharp, John Fletcher and Richard Taillour, their origins in Stamford may be proposed with a fair degree of confidence. In other examples, where numbers of entries in the databases are high, this conclusion may be less secure, unless, they had convincing evidence of connections with Langley. Undertaking a more extensive study of the origins of men who served under Langley using the Poll Tax lists for other towns and villages, would be of interest, and might well demonstrate that the men who enlisted under his command, did indeed come preferentially from areas where he held manors and estates. This is what would be would be predicted if the hypothesis is correct. The results would need to be compared with Poll Tax names from areas of the country in which he had no interests. If the names and places in the Poll Tax records were to be digitised, then meaningful comparisons with names on the Medieval Soldier database would be feasible on a much bigger scale, and be potentially, of significant interest.

In the years since the Soldiers’ Database was created and made available for general as well as specialist use, a great deal has been written by members of the original team and others, to advance our understanding of many aspects of the military affairs of the period.[82] However, there is still potential value in small-scale projects such as this, to test hypotheses about how best to identify individual soldiers, especially from the lower ranks (archers), and also to examine patterns of enlistment from discrete communities such as Stamford, Lincolnshire.

In conclusion, it is proposed that the 9 men whose names appear on one single occasion in both the Poll Tax list for Stamford and the Soldiers’ Databases, are one and the same individual, and their origins from Stamford, Lincolnshire, can be confidently assigned. This is an important new finding which has implications for the places of origin of medieval soldiers throughout the length and breadth of England. If the hypothesis proposed in the first study “Using the Poll Tax to identify Medieval Archers?” that enlistment under a commander was likely to occur from places where he had landed interests is valid for populations as well as for individual soldiers, then at least some of the men in Group 2, especially those who took part in the 1375 Naval expedition to France, arguably came from Stamford as well. It follows that connecting men named in a Poll Tax list with a military endeavour under a named commander, may also be an invaluable route to discovering their origins. Populations are made up of many individuals, after all. If this were to be the case, then the conclusions would go some way to satisfying “Ockham’s Razor.” William of Ockham/Occam (1287-1347) was a English Franciscan Friar, philosopher and theologian, who is said to have employed the statement “Pluralitas non-est ponenda sine necessitate,”[83] which may be loosely paraphrased as “in a complex argument, the simplest solution is likely to be correct.” It is worth recalling that William died in 1347, the year after The Battle of Crécy, so he was a contemporary of the conflicts between the English and the French during the early stages of The Hundred Years War.

It follows that making comparisons of names from the Poll Tax lists and the Soldiers’ database is a fruitful method of discovering not only the identities of individuals, together with their places of origin and their trades, but also of revealing clusters of men from the same town, which the evidence presented here suggests, served in the same retinues, and under the same leaders. This appears to be the case for the campaigns of 1375 and 1399. Finding groups of several men who volunteered together from the same town may be a valuable way of discovering more of the way in which captains and commanders recruited their men. “Ockham’s Razor” also applies to this finding.

The two ‘outliers’ Tidde and Ady are a special case, and in future studies, similar examples would need to be dealt with in a slightly different way. Questions remain about the men of Stamford who offered for service in other retinues and under different commanders, although this was not unexpected given comparable patterns of enlistment in later conflicts. This aspect was beyond the scope of this study, although it would also be amenable to testing on a wider scale. Concerns continue about how best to deal with common surnames especially when such names have multiple entries in the Medieval Soldier database.

It is hoped that future work based on the results of this study may reveal more of the origins, families and occupations of English archers from the towns and villages of England, who fought in The Hundred Years War.

Acknowledgements: I am very grateful to Professors Adrian R. Bell and Anne Curry for their encouragement, helpful advice and support during the work for this study.

David M Large.

References and Sources


[2] Kesteven.

[3] Bertrum Wolffe, The Royal Demesne in English History: The Crown Estate in the Governance of the Realm from the Conquest to 1509. Routledge Library Editions. First Edition, 30 September 1971, Appendix A, p. 243. Courtesy of Amanda Pickering, Assistant Operations Manager, Customer Services, Leeds University Library, Leeds, Yorkshire.


[5] Edward III of England.

[6] G. E. Cokayne, with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), Volume XII/2, page 897.

[7] Edmund of Langley, 1st duke of York.,_1st_duke_of_York

[8] John Drakard, The History of Stamford, in the County of Lincoln: Comprising its Ancient, Progressive, and Modern State, with an Account of St Martin’s, Stamford Baron and Great & Little Wothorp, Northamptonshire. Printed by and for John Drakard,1822. p. 58: Wolffe, ibid. Appendix A, p.243.

[9] Francis Peck, Academia tertia Anglicana; or, the Antiquarian Annals of the Town of Stan/mford in Lincoln, Rutland, andNorthampton Shires. 1727, Book XI, p. 37.

[10] Francis Blomefield, An Essay towards the Topographical History of the County of Norfolk. 1805. British History On-line. Castle Rising near King’s Lynn, the manor of Hadeston Bainard, Launditch and South Greenhoe hundred, and the manors of Beeston and Mileham, acquired from Richard, earl of Arundel, attained, Volume 2, pp. 406-409. South Greenhoe and Launditch hundreds, Volume 5, pp. 1-3. Volume 9, pp. 42-59. Volume 10, pp. 15-25; Tuck, Anthony, ‘Edmund, first duke of York (1341–1402)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, Jan 2008 []: Peck, ibid, Liber XIII, p. 5.

[11] Charles L. Kingsford, Langley, Edmund de, fist duke of York. Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Vol. 32, quoting Rymer’s Fœdera, vii. 49, original edition.

[12] Complete Peerage, volume XII/2, page 895.

[13] Edward Hasted, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. British History On line: Volume

9. pp. 475-548. On-line; CPR. Richard II, vol. 1, p. 7, 1377.

[14] William Page, The Victoria History of the County of Rutland. A. Constable and Co. Ltd. 1869-1934. vol. 1, pp. 16, On-line edition: Complete Peerage, volume XII/2, page 897.

[15] Peck, ibid, Liber XIII, p. 5.

[16] Wolffe., ibid, p.243. Courtesy of Amanda Pickering, Assistant Operations Manager, Customer Services, Leeds University Library, Leeds, Yorkshire: Anstey motte and bailey castle, list/list-entry/1009453 quoting D. Renn, Medieval Castles in Hertfordshire, (1971), 13, and Andrews. R T, TEHAS Excavation Report, (1903).

TL 43 SW22, Information from NAR (TL 43 SW22).

[17] CPR, Edward III, vol. 16, p. 491 & 490 (1377); CPR Richard II, vol. 1, p. 512 (1380).

[18] Complete Peerage, volume XII/2, page 898.

[19] Rosemary Horrox, Edward [Edward of Langley, Edward of York], second duke of York. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Read on-line at

[20] Drakard, ibid, pp. 63-64.

[21] Peck, Book XI, p. 65; Siege of Limoges

[22] Anthony Tuck, Edmund [Edmund of Langley], first duke of York (1341–1402), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004/2008. Read on-line.


[24] G. P. Baker, ‘To Agincourt and beyond! The martial affinity of Edward of Langley, second duke of York (c.1373–1415)’, Journal of Medieval History, 43 (201x), 40–58., p. 47, quoting Anne Curry, The Battle of Agincourt. Sources and Interpretations. Boydell Press, 2000, p. 422. Barring troops raised in the earldom of Chester, duchy of Lancaster and principality of Wales in the for the Agincourt army.

[25] Sam Gibbs has already done this to an extent in his thesis: S. Gibbs ((2016) ‘The service patterns and social- economic status of English archers, 1367-1417: the evidence of the muster rolls and poll tax returns’. PhD thesis,

University of Reading, available here:

[26] For further details on surname derivation, see Reaney, P., H., and Wilson, R., M., A Dictionary of English Surnames. First Published 1958. Taylor and Francis e-Library, 2006. Surnames-P-Reaney/dp/041505737X : Sinclair, Alice, An Analysis of the Personal Names in an Extract from the Poll Tax Returns of 1377. The University of Nottingham School of English Studies, Volume 1: 2008-2009. ISSN: 2041- 6776.

[27] Carolyn C. Fenwick, The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381, Records of Social and Economic History, New Series 27, 28, 29. Edited by Carolyn C. Fenwick. Published for the British Academy by OUP in 1998, 2001 & 2004. Introduction to volume 1.


[29] C. Fenwick, The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381, Records of Social and Economic History, New Series 27, 28, 29. Edited by Carolyn C. Fenwick. Published for the British Academy by OUP in 1998, 2001 & 2004. Fenwick.

[30] The friars of the Sack. British History Online.


[32] CPR 16 March 1378, Richard II, vol. 1, p. 166. Membrane 31d. Calendar of the patent rolls preserved in the Public Record Office, 1377-1381. Richard II, volume 1. London, HMSO 1891. University of Michigan, USA.

[33] Andrew Ayton, A., and Philip Preston, The Battle of Crécy, 1346. Warfare in History, ISSN 1358–779X. Edited by Matthew Bennett, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Kent. Boydell & Brewer Limited, PO Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2005. p. 68.

Read on-line, 1346.pdf

[34] Bell summarises this in his study of the campaigns of 1387 and 1388: Bell, A. R. War and the Soldier in the Fourteenth Century. Warfare in history. Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge (2004).


[36] Kingsford, ibid.

[37] TNA E101/36/39 m.7d.

[38] Richard Fitzalan, 4th Earl of Arundel.

Wikipedia,,_4th_Earl_of_Arundel#Admiral quoting E. Powell et

al, The House of Lords, pp. 400-401. For summary of the campaigns of 1387 and 1388 see Bell, War and the Soldier in the Fourteenth Century.

[39] C. Given Wilson, Mowbray, Thomas, first duke of Norfolk, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004.

Read on-line at

[40] Given Wilson, ibid.

[41] Information on soldiers has been taken from the AHRC-funded ‘The Soldier in Later Medieval England Online Database’, TNA E101/41/7 m. 2 & 3.

[42] TNA C61/82 m.7

[43] C. Fenwick, The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381, Records of Social and Economic History, New Series 27, 28, 29. Edited by Carolyn C. Fenwick. Published for the British Academy by OUP in 1998, 2001 & 2004. Volume 2,

pp. 28, 29, Lincolnshire.

[44] TNA E101/42/12 m.10.

[46] TNA E101/39/7 No. 4 m.1.

[47] TNA E101/34/3 m.2d & 3d (3 entries),

[48] TNA E101/37/28 m.1 and TNA E101/36/39 m.11.

[49] TNA E101/41/39 m.1i, 2, 3iii, 5, 6ii, 7 & 8ii.

[50] TNA E101/43/26 m.2 & E101/43/26/m.3.

[51] TNA E101/42/12 m.5d.

[52] TNA E101/33/13 No. 2 m.2.

[53] TNA E101/36/32 m.5.

[54] TNA E101/45/1 m.9.

[55] TNA E101/45/1 m.11.

[56] TNA E101/34/3 m.2d & 3d.

[57] TNA E101/42/12 m.10d.

[58] TNA E101/42/12 m.5.

[59] From the online Anglo-Norman Dictionary at the word “menuw” is derived from menu, meneu, menut, mesnu, fem. menuwe, plural. menuz, meneutz, mesnuz, mesnutz. Monu Rot Parl 1 iii 211.21, meaning small, thin, light. Perhaps derived from the Latin, minutus, ‘small’ or ‘petty.’ In other words, a merchant in small goods, or a Haberdasher. I would like to thank Dr Paul Dryburgh of The National Archives, and the project team of The People of 1381 ( for advice on this term.

[60] TNA E101/34/3 m. 1d, 2d, & 3.

[61] TNA E101/35/6 m.1d.

[62] TNA E101/34/3 m.3d.

[63] TNA E101/35/6 m.1d.

[64] TNA E101/34/5 m.3.

[65] TNA E101/34/5 m.1d.

[66] TNA C76/65 m.10.

[67] TNA E101/42/12 m.10d.

[68] TNA E101/34/3m.1 & m.2 & TNA E101/34/5 m.3 (duplicate entries); and TNA E101/35/6 m.1d (duplicate entries).

[69] TNA E101/44/8 m. 3.

[70] BNF, MS. Fr. 25767 no. 118.

[71] BNF, MS. Fr. 25767 no. 40.

[72] BL Harley 782 f. 80 (Agincourt Roll).

[73] Muster Roll (TNA), BNF, MS. Fr. 25767, no. 42.

[74] Muster Roll (TNA), BNF, MS. Fr. 25767, no. 88.

[75] Peck, Liber XI, p. 66.

[76] Peck, Liber XII, pp. 10-11.

[77] Peck, Liber XII, p. 66.

[78] TNA E/101/34/5 m.3.

[79] › news › british-isles-surname-maps 2012-2019, Created by Luka Cvetinovic: Created by Oliver O’Brien, Department of Geography, University College, London, & the Kernel Density Estimation map generation code (KDE), using data from the edited Electoral Roll for the United Kingdom, 2016.

[80] TNA C76/64 m.4.

[81] Lincs to the Past, For additional details and comment on The Black Death, see S. Sharma, A History of Britain, 3000 BC-AD 1603, Published by BBC Worldwide Ltd, 80 Wood Lane, London, W12 0TT, 2001. ISBN 0 563 38497 2. Chapter 5, ‘King

Death.’ pp 222-273.

[82] For example see: Bell, A. R., Curry, A., King, A. and Simpkin, D. (2013) The soldier in later medieval England. Oxford University Press.

[83] Occam’s razor. William of Ockham,

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