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Rycote Magna

Learn more about the owners of Rycote Magna from the 1086 Domesday Book through to the reign of Henry VIII.

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Hugh de Bolebec

  • Earliest known owner of the manor of Rycote Magna.
  • Recorded in the 1086 Domesday survey of England as holding four hides, with land for four ploughs and three villans (Williams, Domesday, vol. 1, p. 433).
Walter de Bolebec

Hugh de Bolebec (d. 1164-1165)

Walter de Bolebec

The Visdelou family

Hugh de Malaunay

The de Rycote family

In May 1200 Fulk de Rycote and his wife Matilda (neé Visdelou) acquired Rycote Magna from Hugh de Malaunay for fifty marks of silver (Salter, Oxon. Fines, p. 12; Craig, 'Marbury Ancestry', p. 164). The descent of Rycote Magna through the de Rycote family, however, is not entirely clear. In 1212 Alexander, son of Richard, is recorded as holding one knight's fee in Rycote (Book of Fees, pt 1, p. 119). The Victoria County History of Buckinghamshire then cites a Fulk de Rycote as being lord of Rycote and a supporter of King John in 1215 (VCH Bucks., vol. 4, p. 325). William Farrer records that a Fulk de Rycote was restored to his lands in 1217 (Farrer, Honors, vol. 1, p. 58). The Victoria County History of Buckinghamshire claims that the Fulk de Rycote who was lord of Rycote in 1215 died c.1233 (VCH Bucks., vol. 4, p. 325). F.N. Craig also asserts that the Fulk de Rycote who acquired Rycote Magna in 1200 died c.1233 (Craig, 'Marbury Ancestry', p. 169). It is clear that a Fulk de Rycote was active in the 1220s. A Fulk de Rycote is recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls in 1221, 1224 and 1231; in the Sandford Cartulary of the Knights Templar, c.1225; and as a justice of the assize in 1223 and 1229 (Curia Regis 5-6 Henry III, p. 16; Curia Regis 7-9 Henry III, pp. 292, 435; Curia Regis 14-17 Henry III, p. 275; MS. Wood empt. 10, fols. 40v-41r; Patent Rolls Henry III 1216-24, p. 395; Patent Rolls Henry III 1225-32, p. 349). The 1221 entry in the Curia Regis Rolls records that Fulk was the son of Richard de Rycote (Curia Regis 5-6 Henry III, p. 16). This may indicate that Fulk was possibly the brother of Alexander who held the knight's fee in Rycote in 1212. The death of a Fulk de Rycote, c.1233, is confirmed by an entry in the Close Rolls in 1233 for the appointment of a new coroner for Oxfordshire in place of the late Fulk de Rycote (Close Rolls Henry III 1231-4, p. 275).

A Fulk de Rycote is recorded as holding the knight's fee in Rycote Magna in 1235-1236 (Book of Fees, pt 1, p. 446). Craig claims that this Fulk de Rycote had come of age by 1250 and died in 1302 (Craig, 'Marbury Ancestry', pp. 164, 169). His date of birth would therefore not be later than 1229. He is said to be the son of William de Rycote (VCH Bucks., vol. 4, p. 325; Craig, 'Marbury Ancestry', p. 169). Craig also asserts that William de Rycote was the son of Fulk de Rycote (d. c.1233) and Margaret Visdelou (Craig, 'Marbury Ancestry', p. 169). The Fulk de Rycote who died in 1302 married Margaret, daughter of Sir Adam le Despenser (Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 6, p. 78). The marriage produced a son, Fulk (b. 1295), and a daughter Lady Cecilia de Scalebrok (Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 6, p. 78). It is probable that there were two Fulk de Rycotes who lived between 1233 and 1302. In 1244 a Fulk de Rycote is named as a surety for the bail of Geoffrey de Stocwell (Close Rolls Henry III 1242-7, p. 274). If this is the same Fulk de Rycote who died in 1302, it would place his date of birth as being no later than 1223. It would also entail that he would have been aged at least seventy-two upon the birth of Fulk de Rycote in 1295.

Fulk de Rycote (b. 1295) was proved to be of age on 6 December 1317 (Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 6, p. 78). The document records his date of birth as 16 November 1295 and that he was baptised in the chapel at Rycote (Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 6, p. 78). He appears to have died between 23 December 1360 and 25 January 1361. On 23 December 1360 Fulk de Rycote is cited as holding the knight's fee in Rycote whilst on 25 January 1361 John de Rycote is recorded as having paid homage to Prince Edward for the manor which he held by knight's service (Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 10 p. 519; Black Prince's Register, vol. 4, p. 371). However, an entry in Inquisitions Post Mortem, stating that Fulk de Rycote held the knight's fee in Rycote in May 1372, may indicate an alternative descent of the manor (Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 13, p. 98). John de Rycote's date of birth is unclear. Prince Edward's order for the restoration of his lands, on 4 February 1361, states that he was of full age (Black Prince's Register, vol. 4, p. 372). An entry in the Close Rolls of April 1348 records a John de Rycote as owing a debt of £100 with a Fulk de Holcote to William de Osberton (Close Rolls Edward III 1346-9, p. 508). The Wiltshire feet of fines for 1380 cites a 1372 concord identifying John de Rycote as the son of Fulk de Rycote and the father of John de Rycote (Wilts. Fines, p. 5; Craig, 'Marbury Ancestry', p. 170). The elder John de Rycote is said to have married Elizabeth Gernon by whom, in addition to his son John, he had a daughter Katharine (Craig, 'Marbury Ancestry', p. 170; VCH Oxon., vol. 7, p. 128). A John de Rycote died prior to 25 August 1400, on which date the sheriff of Oxford was issued orders to cause elections to replace the deceased John de Rycote and Thomas Barentyn as verderers in Rockingham forest (Close Rolls Henry IV 1399-1402, p. 167). The Victoria County History of Oxfordshire also cites a mutilated deed of 1398-9 which states that the lands of the deceased John de Rycote were in the possession of Nicholas Clerke (VCH Oxon., vol. 7, p. 128). Nicholas Clerke married Katharine de Rycote, daughter of John de Rycote and Elizabeth Gernon (Craig, 'Marbury Ancestry', p. 171; Carter, Quatremains, p. 38). Nicholas Clerke took the de Rycote surname (Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 20, p. 103).

Nicholas Englefield (d. 1415)

Richard Quatremains (c.1392-1477)

Sir Richard Fowler (c.1471-1528)

  • Inherited Rycote Magna following the deaths of his father, Richard Fowler (d. 1478), and Sybil Quatremains (d. 1483), his father's aunt, heirs under the terms of Richard Quatremains's will (Lee, Thame, pp. 294-5, 299-300).
  • He presumably inherited Rycote Parva from the Quatremains for he is recorded as selling both Rycote Magna and Rycote Parva to Sir John Heron in 1521 (BL Arundel MS 26, fol 76b).
  • Married Julian (pronounced Gillian) who died in 1527 and was buried in the aisle of Great Haseley Church (MS. Gough Oxon. 31, fol. 95).
  • Knighted, 17 November 1501, upon the marriage of Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon (MS. Gough Oxon. 30, fol. 234v).
  • Sheriff of Oxfordshire, 1501-1502 (Peters, Lord Lieutenants, p. 71).
  • Channel 4's Time Team argued that the Tudor mansion was probably built by him.
  • According to John Leland, Fowler was "very onthrift and sold al his landes leving his children ful smaul lyvinges (MS. Top. Gen. e. 9, fol. 9v).
  • Buried at Trinity church, Queenhithe Ward, London (MS. Gough Oxon. 30, fol. 234v).
Sir John Heron (d. 1522)

Giles Heron (d. 1540)

Rycote Magna