A'Bear Family History

Sir Richard de la Bere & Alan Plokenet


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From the 14th Century references it is possible to extract information about Sir Richard de la Bere’s family. For TAFOW page 32 states that

Richard de la Bere, in 1330 ….gave by fine levied a moiety of the manor of Haselbere to Edmond Everard …. who enfeoffed the said Richard and Clarice his wife to hold for their lives with successive remainders to Richard their son, John brother of the said Richard, Edmund brother of the said John and Thomas brother of the said Edmund….

Alan Plokenet’s family is best described in 1328 by ref SC 8/66/3260E

People mentioned:  Hugh de Plokenet; Alan [de Plokenet], son of Hugh de Plokenet; Alan [de Plokenet], son of Alan de Plokenet; Alan [de Plokenet], son of Alan de Plokenet the younger; Joan [de Plokenet (de Bohun)], daughter of Alan de Plokenet the younger; Jocelin [de Plokenet], son of Hugh de Plokenet; Oliver [de Plokenet], son of Jocelin de Plokenet; Oliver [de Plokenet], son of Oliver de Plokenet; Alan [de Plokenet], son of Jocelin de Plokenet.

Alan and Oliver were clearly closely related. In fact they were second cousins.

Also in 1328 ref  SC 8/66/3260C states that:   

Oliver de Plokenet requests his inheritance, stating that he is ready to aver that Alan de Plokenet had no other heirs and no brothers or sisters other than were contained in his bill, and that Richard de la Bere's claim to be the brother and heir of Alan, father of Joan, is false.

Furthermore, SC 8/66/3260A  states that:

Oliver Plokenet asks that he might be received to sue for his right in the matter of his inheritance, according to the purport of his bill, and that the King might not receive anyone's homage until his right has been tried: for he has been in the King's service, and unable to pursue his right, and the King will find, if he asks the good people of his land, that the de la Beres who now claim have no right. Oliver requests the King's mercy, that he might not be disinherited by a procured inquisition.

Then SC 8/66/3260F states that:

Richard de la Bere nominates William de Werdale as his attorney in the suit between him and Oliver Plokenet.

And SC 8/66/3260G  adds that:

Richard de la Bere and Oliver Plokenet appeared in the King's Chancery at Lincoln on the Wednesday after Palm Sunday, 2 Edward III (1328): Richard claimed his inheritance, as the next heir, and Oliver delivered a petition which is sewn to the aforesaid inquisitions. With the assent of the parties, they were given a day on the Monday, three weeks after Easter, in Chancery.

Richard won his case, and in 1328/1329 shared out his Haselbury inheritance:

C 143/198/3    

Richard de la Bere to settle half the manor of Haselbury on himself and Clarice his wife for life, remainder to Richard their son and the heirs of his body, remainder to John, brother of the said Richard the younger, and the heirs of his body, remainder to Edmund, brother of John, and the heirs of his body, remainder to Thomas, brother of Edmund, and the heirs of his body, remainder to the right heirs of Richard de la Bere. Somers.

We know from the footnote to Oliver’s petition that he died by 25th May 1329.  (Ref: SC 8/66/3260A)

Much later, the writ of 26th February 1354 (TAFOW pg 33) states that

The said manor fell to one Richard de la Bere, knight, as brother and heir of Alan Plukenet….thence to Richard de la Bere as son and heir and from him to the aforesaid Thomas as son and heir.

We know from this that Richard the father was knighted and died before his son Richard, and the last of the family group to survive was Thomas. These facts are supported and developed by the writ of 28th August 1354 (TAFOW pg 32) which states

The whole of the said manor, immediately after the death of Alan son of Alan Plukenet, descended to Joan de Bohun of Kilpek, his sister and heir, because he died without heir of his body; and because the said Joan died without heir of herself the right of the said manor fell to one Richard de la Bere, knight, as brother and heir of Alan Plukenet, father of the said Alan son of Alan, and Joan de Bohun. From the said Richard the right descended to Richard de la Bere as son and heir, and from him to the aforesaid Thomas as son and heir, who is 30 years of age and over.

The above writ concerns only Thomas de la Bere, now the sole survivor of this branch. It probably ties in with the death of Alan’s late wife Sybil’s share of the estate which he is now claiming.

Clearly Alan Plokenet had a son Alan who inherited his land until the son died. A writ dated 14 July 1353 (TAFOW pg 31) elaborates:

The manor, which is held of the king in chief night’s service, of the gift of King Edward I. The said Alan (the father) was an alien and a bastard and died about fifty years ago. After his death, by restitution of the same king, Alan his son entered upon the manor as his true heir begotten of him, and continued his seisin for three years and a half. After his death, without heir of his body, King Edward II restored a moiety of the manor to Joan, his sister, as his heir; and with the other moiety the king dowered Sibyl, his wife, for her dower from this manor and from a free tenement belonging to her husband in divers places; which moiety the said Sibyl now holds. The aforesaid Joan occupied her moiety for three years and died without heir to her body, whereby the present king (Edward III) in the fifth year of his reign (1332) took that moiety into his hand by Simon de Bereford, then escheator on this side of the Trent. After her death there came one Richard de Bere, asserting that he was her kinsman and heir and brought to the said escheator a writ of diem clausit extremum, whereby it was returned that the said Richard was heir and kinsman on her father’s side… and he died seized thereof….

According to the above, Sir Alan (the father) must have died about 1303. In fact his death is recorded as an Inquisition Post Mortem in 1298/1299, which agrees well. (Ref: SC 8/264/13162). At this time he held lands in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Herefordshire and had been knighted. (Ref : C 133/91/1).

From the above, it seems his son Alan held it until about 1302. In 1301 he was fighting the Scots with John de la Bere and others:

1301 : Request of Alayn de Ploknet to Sir Adam de Osgotby for protections and respites of debts for John le Rous, Richard de Grunestede and John de la Bere who are with him in Scotland

But there is a problem here. If Alan the son died three and a half years after his father (about 1302), and Joan three years after that (about 1305), there seems to be a delay of twenty three years before Richard made his claim to his inheritance in 1328. It would only seem correct if Alan died about 1325 followed by Joan in about 1328, and then upon her death Richard made his claim.

Thomas, as last named, seems to have been the youngest son of Sir Richard. We may deduce from the above that he was born in about 1320 and his brothers before then.

From two earlier deeds we know Richard was established in Dorset:

1316 : Richard de la Bere, Lord of Thornton in Manhull, and Clarice his wife

1331 : Richard de la Bere, Lord of Thornton in Marnhull, Sturminster Newton & Buckland Newton, Dorset. Debtor owing 100 for merchandise bought from him.

To be married by 1316 and to have had four children by 1320 it would seem certain he was born before 1300.

We already know that Sir Richard died before his son Richard. And son Richard’s death must have occurred before Thomas claimed his inheritance in 1357 – 1359.

The likely date for Sir Richard’s death would tie up with a post mortem record which reads:

1345 – 1346 Somerset - Richard De la Bere

This agrees with the already established facts that it was after 1331 and before 1353.

His son Richard inherited his father’s estate so died after 1346 but before his brother Thomas’s claim in 1354. He could not have been the Richard knighted at the Battle of Crecy as he was too old to be considered a young man at the time of the battle in 1346, and died too early to continue his long association with castle Emlyn. Nor could his brother John have been the man who fought in the Battle of Crecy and was pardoned, as he was named John “son of John”.


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