Robert PYGOT of Butley, Cheshire, died in 1535; by his wife Mary, he had issue, including an eldest son Humphrey, who died before him; andthe had another son Thomas, who survived him and was named as his heir in his Inquisition Post Mortem.
Robert PIGOT of Chetwynd, County Salop, also died in 1535; by his wife, also named Mary, he had issue, including an eldest son also named Humphrey, who also died before him, and another son, also named Thomas, who also survived him, and was named in his will as his son and heir.
A number of historians who have taken an interest in the affairs of families in this area during the century leading up to and including the early TUDOR era, including the PYGOT/PIGOTT families, appear to have stumbled upon this glorious array of extraordinary coincidences, and inevitabley ended up conflating the two men as a result.
It takes a brave or carefree colonial with no academic background in history to challenge the published works of eminent English historians such as George ORMEROD ("History of the County Palatine and City of Chester"), and John Parsons EARWAKER ("East Cheshire, Past and Present; or, A History of the Hundred of Macclesfield in the County Palatine of Chester," London, 1877-80).
But I am seeing that as inevitable - in particular, out of a great respect for the rules of Promigeniture, described by many as being "inviolable."
I propose therefore to attempt what might prove to be near impossible, and seek to recover the separate identities of two esteemed branches of a family which I claim to be my own, or to which my ancestors were probably very nearly related.
The confusions have arosin among the immediate descendants John PYGOT of Butley, who died in 1427, having had issue three sons:
1. William PYGOT; he died during the life of his father, by 1405, without issue.
2. John PYGOTT; he succeeded his father to the Butley estates in 1427.
3. Richard PIGOTT, who established a junior branch of the family at Chetwynd, Shropshire, which "rich" estate he acquired by his marriage to Jacosa de PESHALL, daughter & heiress of Reginald de PESHALL of Chetwynd, who thereby inherited the said Chetwynd estates.
But first, we might profit by a brief survey of the PIGOTT family during this time
EARLIER HISTORY OF THE PIGOTT FAMILY OF BUTLEY.
EARWAKER, at page 255, under the heading of "Butley Township," recorded the following details:
"...of Inquisitions post mortem now in the Record Office commences with one taken in the 50 Edward III (1376), after the death of William PYGOT, who died seized in his demesne as of fee of the "manor of Butteley," which his ancestors held in capite of Hugh DESPENCER by Knight's service, but owing to the forfeiture of the latter's estates, it was held directly from the Earl of Chester by the same service, and was worth 23 marks. He also held land in Smethwick, near Congleton, and John PYGOT, his son and heir, was the aged 22 years (fn). This "John PYGOT of Buttelegh," as he is always called, took an active part in the management of the affairs of this part of Cheshire in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. He was one of the Justices in Eyre for Macclesfield Hundred in 1386, Justice of Cheshire in 1388, and was exercising judicial functions in various parts of the County in 1389-142, having been appointed to the office of sergeant-at-Law in the Counties of Chester and Flint in 1400. His name is also not infrequently met with in deeds and conveyances of this period. He married for his 2nd wife Agnes, the widow of Matthew DOMVILE, the daughter and coheiress of William de Wettenhall of Cholmondeston, who held that manor in her own right, as shown by the Inq p.m. taken after her death in 1417. Her husband survived until 1427, when his Inq. P.M., taken in that year, showed that he held the "Manor of Buttylegh" and "an annual rent going out of Olde Foxwyst and Newton in Buttelegh." He also held a messuage in Dokenfield, a burgage in Macclesfield, and certain portions of the Manor and lands of Alstanton and Alvandeston for his life only, these being inheritances of his 2nd wife, by whom he had no issue. By his first wife, whose name has not occurred, he had two sons, William PIGOT, who died without issue in his father's lifetime, and John PIGOT, who succeeded him (fn 4). The latter appears to have died about 1460, and to have been succeeded by his son, John PIGOT, whose Inq p.m. was taken in 1513, when his son and heir, Robert, was 50 years old. This Robert PIGOT married Marion BLOUNT, by whom he had sons Humphrey PIGOT, who died during his father's lifetime, leaving 3 daughters coheiresses, and Thomas PIGOT, who succeeded to Butley on his father's death in December 1535. Thomas PIGOT, was then 50 years of age, died Feb 20, 1549..."
This John PYGOT the younger was named in an agreement, dated 31 January 1445, as John PYGOT of Butley, in an agreement with Robert LEGH of Adlynton, concerning lands in Cheshire [Manchester Library, TATTON of Wythenshaw Muniments, TNA Ref TW/783]
The above account is nearly identical to other accounts of this family for this period.
But EARWAKER then goes on to describe this Thomas PIGOT as having had his Inq p.m. taken in 1552, and "...it appears that he left three sons Robert, Richard and John, and three daughters Mary, Katherine and Dorothy."
I believe that this ensuing account is where the conflation begins.
George ORMEROD, in his "History of the County Palatine and City of Chester" fares only marginally better, before falling into the same apparent trap. At page 335, in his Volume III, and under the heading of "Butley cum Newton," he summarises a similar sequence of Inquisitions post mortem, with one exception - he omits one generation, that of the John PYGOT whom EARWAKER states had died ca 1460.
ORMEROD concluded with yet another variation:
"Inq. p.m. 27 Hen VIII. Robert PIGOTT held the manor of Butteley, and lands in old Foxwist and Nether Foxwist, Newton, and Tyehall, from the king as Earl of Chester, as the 2oth part of a knight's fee; val. 23 pounds 4s. 4d; also one capital messuage in Sale, and lands in Smethwick and Prestbury; val. tot. 26 pounds 7s. 10d; died 15 Dec predictus, Margery, Mary and Dorothy TRACY, severally aged 16, 14 and 12 years, Alicia BAGHOLD, aged 12 years, and Elianor wife of John SHARP, aged 20 years, next of kin and co-heiresses.
"Notwithstanding this inquisition, a collateral male line succeeded:
"Inq. p.m. 5 Edw VI. Thomas PIGOTT found to have held as in the last, and to have died 5 February 3 Edw VI, Robert PIGOTT his son and heir.
"Butley was divided between the daughters of this Robert..."
Well, it wasn't, actually.
The real answer probably lies in the full transcript of the 27 Hen VII Inquisition, which is reproduced in the Thirty Ninth Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, published on 16 May 1878.
At page 214, we find:
"1536, April 27.
"Thomas, writ of livery, setting forth the finding of an inquisition, viz., that Robert PYGGOT, armiger, died seized of the manor of Boteley, and of 5 messuages, 200 acres of land, 50 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, 200 acres of wood, and 400 acres of heath and marsh in Oldfoxwixt, Netherfoxwist, Newton and Lyehall, within the fee of Boteley; of an annual rent of 10s. issuing out of a field called "Hewebirche" in Prestbury; of one messuage and 3 acres of land in Smithweke, and of one messuage, 20 acres of land, 30 acres of meadow, and 20 acres of wood in Sale; in his demesne, as of fee-tail-male, of the reversion of the fee simple pertaining to the said Robert PYGOTT and his heirs; that the said Robert married Mary BLONT and had issue Humphry and Thomas; that Humphry died in the lifetime of his father, without issue male; that afterwards the said Robert died, when the manors, &c, descended to the said Thomas; that the manor of Boteley, and the messuages, &c, in Oldfoxwixt, Netherfoxwixt, Newton and Lyehall were held of the Earl of Chester by the 20th part of a knight's fee, yearly value 24 pounds 4s 4d; that the lands in Smethwik were held of the heir of Thomas SMETHWIK, in socage, yearly value 4s.; those in Sale of the heirs of William de HONFORD by fealty only, yearly value 36s. 6d.; and those in Prestbury of the Abbey of Chester, in socage, yearly value 10s.; that the said Robert died on the 15th Dec., 27 Hen 8; that Margery and Dorothy TRACY, Alice BAGSHAGH, and Eleanor wife of John SHARPE, were kinswomen and heirs of the said Robert, viz., the said Margery, Maria and Dorothea daughters of Joan one of the daughters of Humphry son of the said Robert, and Robert BRADSHAWE son and her of Alice another of the daughters of the said Humphry, and the said Eleanor third daughter of the said Humphry, and of the respective ages of 16, 14, 12, 5 (Robert) and 23; that Thomas PIGOTT was son and heir male of the body of the aforesaid Robert, and of the age of 50. [27 & 28 Hen 8 m (1)]."
It is evident from this transcript that the son Thomas, of ORMEROD's 5 Edw VI Inq. p.m., was heir to his father, but that he had no heirs, nor was he likely to have produced any in what was left of his lifetime.
Further, it is clear that the jury empanelled to return writs to the Escheator in 1536 therefore itemized in advance the co-heiresses of Robert who would, in all likelihood, survive their uncle Thomas. Or that is certainly how it looks!
This is further alluded to by Frank RENAUD, M.D., in his "Contributions towards a History of the ancient parish of Prestbury, in Cheshire," published by the Chetham Society, Vol. 97, 1876, at page 68, where we find the following:
"...William PIGOT, whose history is best set forth in the following post mortem inquisition: 'William PIGOT died seized in fee of a moiety of the Manor of Butley, which said William formerly held the said manor from Hugh Le Despenser, who held it from the earl in capite by military service, which said Hugh forfeited it, by reason whereof the said William at the time of his death held it immediately from the said earl by the like service. He also died seized in fee of a certain parcel of land in Smethwick in socage. He died on Thursday next after the raising of the holy cross, 50 Edw III, leaving John, his son, upwards of 22 years, his next heir.'
"John PIGOT held Butley by the same tenure as his father. He was one of the justices itinerant for Cheshire (Cheshire, Chamberlain's accounts). He died in 1394, and was succeeded by John PIGOT, who held Butley under the Despensers in the 6th Hen VI, 1427. He also held rents issuing out of Old Foxwist, and Newton in Butley. His name occurs as one of the justices itinerant for Maccesfield Hundred in 1402 and 1413 (Ormerod).
"He appears to have been succeeded by a son also named John PIGOT of Butley, whose Inq p.m. is dated 1512, 4 Hen VIII. He had two sons, vizt; Robert PIGOT who succeeded him; and George PIGOT, who settled at Bonishall, and who married Catherine, daughter of Henry HENSHAW of Henshaw, in Siddington.
"Robert PIGOT died in 1535, 27 Hen VIII, leaving one son and four daughters.
"Thomas PIGOT died without issue, leaving four sisters and coheiresses. His Inq. p.m. dated 6 Edw VI, 1552, is as follows: 'Thomas PYGOTTE tenuit terras et tenementas suas in Butlege una cum terris et tenementis in Olde Foxwiste, Newton, et Lee Hall, de Domino Rege ut Comes Cesrtrie foed. Milit." 6 Edw VI.
"One of his sisters, the inheritrix of a fourth part of Butley, married Francis CLINTON of Herefordshire."
RENARD does not cite his sources as to the death of Thomas PIGOTT of Butley without issue, with the four sisters as coheiresses - and he clearly has misunderstood that the heiresses were his nieces, not his sisters. Although I suppose it is possible that Thomas DID have sisters - the wife of Francis CLINTON is evidently not a daughter of Humphrey, so perhaps she was instead his sister, and there may have been others.
But if so, does that mean that all of the nieces and their offspring were now dead, and that four of their aunts had survived them?
Here we have another John PIGOTT in the lineage, over and above the lineages recorded by ORMEROD - but not in the same generation as EARWAKER had recorded his extra John PYGOT. That is the John PIGOT whom RENAUD states as having died in 1394. Once again, he cites no source for this detail.
It is indeed curious that neither this man, nor EARWAKER's ca 1460 death, appear elsewhere in the histories, even though their individual presence does, in each case, make for a more conventional chronology, based on the approximately 30 year elapsed time between successive generations.
But if the 1394 death was of a man who was a tenant in chief of a manor held of the crown, as Butley appears to have been, then there should indeed have been an Inquisition post mortem held on that occasion. I have not yet seen any indications that one has survived for his death. One can, and should, make the identical observation on the ca 1460 death, as well.
However, if we look at the death dates, we see that the placement of EARWAKER's additional generation (with the ca 1460 death) makes much more sense than does RENAUD's - his gap of 86 years between John PYGOTT (died 1427) and John PYGOTT (died 1513), which matches ORMEROD, appears highly unlikely (unless the heir was an infant).
Thomas PYGOT, the grandson of John PYGOT, Esq'r, was named as Plaintiff in a Chancery Court action, PYGOT v DUNCALF, date range 1544-1551, the defendant being Thomas DUNCALF, concerning Detention of Deeds relating to land at Prestbury in the Lordship of Butley, Cheshire [TNA - C 1/1252/88, at Kew].
THE JUNIOR BRANCH OF CHETWYND PIGOTTS.
EARWAKER also fails to record the third son of John PYGOTT (ca 1353-1427) of Butley, who heads the conventional pedigrees of the PIGOTTs of Chetwynd, County Salop.
He is identified as Richard PYGOT by Rev W.G.D. FLETCHER, M.A., F.S.A., in his "Sequestration Papers of Thomas PIGOTT of Chetwynd," which were published in the Transcactions of the Shropshire Archaeology and Natural History Society (G.B.), 3rd Series, Volume VI, 1906, at pages 67 et seq., and where Richard's descent is summarized as follows (page 69):
"...John PYGOT, the son & heir of William [his Inq. p.m. is dated 50 Edw III (1376)], occurs in 1382 in the entail of the manor of Cheadle Hulme. In 1385 he was appointed a justice of the three hundreds of Eyre at Macclesfield, and in 1388 a deputy-justice of Chester. In 1400, Henry, prince of Wales, appointed him serjeant-at-law for the counties of Chester and Flint, and in 1400 justice of Cheshire. His 2nd wife Agnes, daughter & heiress of William de WETTENHALL of Cholmondeston, and widow of Matthew de DOMVILLE. In 1398, John PYGOT and Agnes his wife had an episcopal license for the celebration of divine service in their oratory. She died s.p., and her Inq. p.m., dated 5 Hen V (1417) finds that she died seized in fee of the manor of Cholmondeston and land in Leighton. "John PYGOTT's Inq. p.m. is dated 6 Hen VI (1427), and it was found that he held the manor of Buttylegh, with its appurtenances, of Katherine, queen of England, as tenant in dower of the Manor of Macclesfield, Thomas DESPENCER, who formerly held it of the Earls of Chester, died without heirs, and the same fell to the King; and the same manor was held as the 20th part of a knight's fee, and was worth per annum 20 marks. And he also held 9s. 4d. rent issuing out of lands in Butley, &c, and, as the inheritance of his wife Agnes, certain parts of the Manors of Alsaston and Alvandeston. And John PYGOT was his heir. By his first wife he had three sons:
1. William PYGOT, who died s.p. before 1405.
2. John, who succeeded his father as Lord of Butley.
3. Richard, ancestor of the PIGOTTs of Chetwynd."
"The third son, Richard, with his brother John PIGOT of Butley and Sir John GROSVENOR, appears as party to a suit brought by William de BROMELY, Lord of Badington, in 1429 [Plea Rolls, Henry VI]. In 1432 he had a grant of a messuage called 'le Halle of Pott' in Shrigley, in fee, from Richard SCARRET. In 1423 and 1426, he occurs as justice in Eyre in the Hundred of Macclesfield [sic - this may be in error for his brother John?], and frequently down to 1440 in recognizances to keep the peace [Recognizance Rolls]. He married Joyce, daughter and coheiress of Richard de PESHALL [sic - other sources record him as Reginald] of Chetwynd, and by her he obtained the rich manor of Chetwynd. He died in may 1439, his Inq. p.m. being dated 2 January 19 Hen VI, by which it is found that he left a son and heir, John PYGOT, who was then aged 5 years."
This John PYGOT was named in a deed dated 17 May 1470 [Cheshire Archives & Local Studies - TNA Ref DDS/137], as the son & heir of Richard PYGOT, Esq, as joint 1st party, along with Robert LEGH of Adlynton, Junior, and John SMYTH, Chaplain - the 2nd party being Robert DOWNES, Senior, Esq, and Geoffrey DOWNES - and concerning the Quitclaim of Party 1's claims upon all the lands in Potshryglay once held by Richard, father of John PYGOT.
FLETCHER continues, at page 71:
"John PYGOT of Chetwynd, the son and heir of Richard PIGOT and Joyce PESHALL, was born in 1434. In January 1457-58, a commission was issued for his arrest, together with thirteen others, for using threatening language to Joan, the widow of John PYGOT, his aunt. Probably the dispute was over her dower lands. In 1459, he entered into a recognizance to her in the sum of 100 marks [Recognizance Rolls]. This John PYGOT of Chetwynd married Ellen, daughter of Robert de LEGH of Adlington in Cheshire, by his wife Mabel, daughter of Sir William STANLEY. Their son Robert PIGOTT of Chetwynd was Sheriff of Shropshire in 1517, and married Margaret, daughter of Sir John BLOUNT of Kinlet (sic - his will named her as Mary, and there is no certainty that she was a BLOUNT), by whom he had a son Thomas PIGOTT, who married Elizabeth ONLEY. Their son Robert PIGOTT of Chetwynd married Elizabeth, daughter of William GATACRE, and had issue - Thomas PIGOTT of Chetwynd, who married Dorothy, daughter of Thomas EYTON by his wife Alice CHARLTON, and their eldest son Walter PIGOTT was Sheriff in 1624, and the father of the Royalist Officer [Thomas]."
Robert PIGOTT, of Chetwynd; his will dated 25 May 1534, proved Lichfield, 19 May 1536; he married firstly, Mary (he named her in his will, but did not identify her birth surname); Robert married secondly, Jane or Joan ONLEY (widow of John ONLEY, who died in 1512, and daughter of Thomas PONTESBURY, of Shrewsbury, by his wife Elizabeth GRAFTON), the widowed mother of his daughter-in-law (Jane said to have died in 1573 at Albrington, Shropshire).
By his first wife Mary, he had issue:
1. Humphrey PIGOTT, who died without issue during his father's lifetime (provision in his father's will for "...an honest priest to sing prayers" for his Christian soul), without issue and probably unmarried.
2. Thomas PIGOTT, who succeeded to Chetwynd. See next.
3. Richard PIGOTT, who was named in his father's will.
4. Francis PIGOTT, ditto.
5. Edward PIGOTT, ditto.
Thomas PIGOTT, of Chetwynd; died in 1549; his will, dated 15 September 1546, was proved at Lichfield on 16 May 1549; he married Elizabeth (alias Isabel) ONELEY (a daughter of John ONLEY by his wife Joan or Jane PONTESBURY); her will, dated 15 May 1554, was proved at Lichfield on 15 June 1554.
By her he had issue:
1. Robert PIGOTT of Chetwynd; named in both his parents wills; married Elizabeth GATACRE, with issue.
2. Richard PIGOTT, named in both his parents wills.
3. John PIGOTT, ditto; said to have been a Clerk, at Norbury, Shropshire, and unmarried, when he made his will, dated 6 Apr 1580, which was proved P.C.C. on 12 Dec 1580, in which he named his brother Robert PIGOTTE, Esq, and Robert's son Francis.
I. Mary PIGOTT, named in her father's will; named as Mary WELER in her mother's will.
II. Anne PIGOTT, not named in her father's will; named as Anne YOUNGE in her mother's will.
II. Katherine PIGOTT, named in both her parents wills.
III. Dorothy PIGOTT, ditto.
I am very grateful to Gail STOKES, of Cheadle, Cheshire, for the transcriptions of the secretasry hand used in these three Chewynd wills - and indeed for her willingness to engage in the issues raised in this blog.
TWO THOMAS PIGOTTS.
As we have seen above, Thomas PIGOTT of Butley, died sometime in or before 1552.
The transmission of the Manor of Butley to his co-heiresses, his late older brother Humprey's daughters and/or their issue, provides very clear evidence that Thomas had no male heirs of his own.
As we have also seen above, Thomas PIGOTT of Chetwynd made his will in September 1546, and it was proven in May 1549. He left three sons, the eldest of whom, Robert PIGOTT, inherited Chetwynd.
This provides further proof that Thomas of Chetwynd and Thomas of Butley were two different people.
The final piece of evidence is the fact that the Manor of Butley is not mentioned anywhere in Thomas of Chetwynd's will - nor was it mentioned in the will of his father Robert (dated 1534, proved 1536).
All of this, I believe, constitutes conclusive evidence that Thomas of Butley and Thomas of Chetwynd were two different PIGOTTs, and were almost certainly 4th or 5th cousins. It follows, therefore, that their fathers, Robert of Butley and Robert of Chetwynd, were also two different PIGOTTs, and probably 3rd or 4th cousins.
SOME RECORDS IN THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES.
Some documents at Kew, for Robert and Thomas PIGOTT, both of Salop, indexed in the Discovery web-site [T.N.A.], may yet prove to be of interest.
Robert PIGOTT, Salop:
Date - 28 Hen VIII [22 Apr 1536 to 21 Apr 1537].
Date - 28 Hen VIII.
Thomas PIGOTT, Salop:
Date - 3 Edw VI [28 Jan 1549 to 27 Jan 1550].
Date - 3 Edw VI.
Date - 3 Edw VI.
I suppose it is possible that these two gentlemen were of the Butley branch, but with property in County Salop. Alternatively, they may just be the final proof of the above assertion - that the Butley line and the Chetwynd line were different branches of the same family. I do look forward to sighting copies of these records, now (Jan 2016) on order.
SIR WILLIAM BETHAM'S ERROR.
My own derivation from the PIGOTT's of Butley was speculated by Sir William BETHAM, Chief Herald in Ireland, during the 1830's. His pedigree, perhaps with constructions suggested by the then Baronet of Knapton (for whom he was doing the research), was typed up in 1934 by Michael DIX and deposited in the Society of Genealogists, London - it stated that John PIGOTT, the 1562 grantee of the Dysart Estates in the Queen's County, Ireland, was a son of Robert PIGOTT of "...Butley and Chetwynd" by his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir John BLOUNT of Kinlet.
Clearly, BETHAM was in error, and on a number of counts, as follows:
1. On the above evidence, there were evidently two different Robert PIGOTTs - one of Butley, the other of Chetwynd.
2. Robert PIGOTT of Butley did marry a BLOUNT, and her name was Mary (she was so named in his Inq. p.m.) - but she was probably instead a daughter of Sir Humphey BLOUNT, and so a sister of Sir John BLOUNT. The chronology of the families indicates that any daughter of Sir John BLOUNT would probably have been too young to have had children by this Robert PIGOTT.
3. Robert PIGOTT of Chetwynd did have a wife name Mary, but we have no specific evidence that she was a BLOUNT, and her having been identified as a BLOUNT may simply be the result of the ensuing conflation.
If she was, she was probably too old to have been a daughter of Sir John BLOUNT of Kinlet (as mentioned in item 2 preceding).
The fact that Robert appointed Dame Margaret BLOUNT, Sir John's widow and Robert's own "...faithful and true kinswoman" (and so described by him in his will), as a trustee of his estate, may have been what has led some researchers to see that as evidence of a BLOUNT marriage for this Robert - but Dame Margaret was already a kinswoman of Robert PIGOTT, by virtue of their common descent from the family of PESHALL of Chetwynd. However, there is a possibility that there was an earlier John PIGOTT of Butley with a BLOUNT wife, perhaps even a first wife of the one who died in 1427, or even of his son.
4. Robert & Mary PIGOTT did have a grand-son named John, son of their son & heir Thomas, who was of an age to have gone over to Ireland in ca 1558. But he did not, and died in Shropshire.
* * THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. TO BE CONTINUED * *