Ancestorium Family Tree Collaboration

John (Sir) de Woodforde, 1st of Brentingby

Male 1295 - 1369  (74 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All

  • Name John (Sir) de Woodforde 
    Suffix 1st of Brentingby 
    Born 1295  Woodford, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1369  Leicestershire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I086508  Ancestorium
    Last Modified 29 Jul 2022 

    Family Alice Preston,   d. UNKNOWN 
     1. William (Sir) de Woodforde, (serjeant-at-law),   b. 1330, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Mar 1369, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years)
    Family ID F47040  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • "This family is said to have come into England with the Conqueror.
      Sir John de Woodforde, 1st of Brentingby, Leicesteshire (b 1226, d 1333!) called William by Visitation
      m. Alice (dau/heir of Sir Walter Preste or Preston of Melton Mowbray & Burton Lazars)"

      John de Woodford
      Gender: Male
      Birth: circa 1300
      Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom
      Immediate Family:
      Husband of Alice Prest
      Father of William de Woodford

      Added by: Colin Bradley Martin on September 26, 2013
      Managed by: Colin Bradley Martin, Deb Allen Emerson and Catherine Beckham

      William WOODFORD
      Born: ? Died: 1369

      The Woodforde story
      John Woodford of Brentingby

      Sometime before 1317, John de Woodford travelled from the Woodford Valley near Salisbury in Wiltshire to Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire and `weddyd a merchant daughter there'.
      The medieval Woodford cartulary records that John of Woodford, a `gentleman's son from besyde Salesbury' fought at the battles of Crecy (1346) and Poitiers (1356), but does not explain why he left his Wiltshire village to settle in Leicestershire.

      He purchased property in Melton Mowbray, but his first major acquisition was the manor of nearby Brentingby, with the associated arms, from John Neville of Stoke in Nottinghamshire.
      This was the first of several connections between the Woodford and Neville families through which the Woodford family can claim a descent from Alfred the Great. John Neville was a descendant of the Neville family of Rolleston in Nottinghamshire which had descended from John de Neville (fl.1269/70), the third son of Geoffrey de Neville. The Woodford family later acquired land in both Rolleston and nearby Stoke through the marriage of Robert de Woodford to Isabel (or Mabel) Neville in 1402.
      John's presence in the Melton area at this time is also confirmed by a record of a demand by a Nicholas Charnell against `John de Woodford and Alice (Prest) his wife' dated 1329. The Woodforde cartulary records that in the same year, Walter Prest made over to John `a messuage with the appurtenances' in Melton.

      In his introduction to Leicestershire Wills and Administrations 1496-1649, William Hartopp (who came from a yeoman family in Brentingby) singles out the will of 'Alice Woodford of Brentingby' proved before the official of the Archdeacon of Leicester in the church of Melton Mowbray, 13 Kal Jan 1333. He records that probate of Sir John de Woodford of Brentingby was granted by the same authority in St Martin's, Leicester on 27 August 1401. This latter John Woodford was the grandson of John of Brentingby.
      Brentingby Chapel after redevelopment
      Brentingby Chapel after redevelopment
      John de Woodford married Alice Prest some time after his arrival in Leicestershire. Some pedigrees, including William Burton in his Description of Leicestershire (1622, revised 1642), substitute a William Woodford as the husband of Alice, but in her will, Alice Prest clearly mentions her husband John and her sons Walter and William. Other pedigrees reproduced by John Nichols in his History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester support the cartulary's claim that John de Woodford married Alice Prest. (Nichols ii.p.376). The confusion between John and William Woodford may have occurred because both names appear frequently in the family.
      The latest date attributable to John de Woodford is 1362 when he `sold and alienated the manor of Brentingby and all his lands in Thorpe Arnold, Wyfordby and Stapulforth' to his son, William. (Cartulary f.4).
      The cartulary provides little further information about John apart from noting that he was `with Kyng Edward at the getyng of Caleys' and `at the taking of the Kyng of Ffrance at the Batell of Payters (Poitiers)'. He was therefore of fighting age, and physically able to fight, in 1347 and 1356.

      The lordship of the De Mowbray estates had been confiscated by Edward ll and was given to the Despencers in 1322. As a result, John de Mowbray was arrested and later beheaded, and his wife and son were imprisoned. The lands were restored to his son, John de Mowbray, by Edward lll. This John de Mowbray was a prominent figure in the battles of Crecy and Poitiers so it is possible that John Woodford fought alongside him. John de Mowbray died of the plague in York in 1362, the same year that John of Woodford transferred his lands and property to his son.
      It is possible that John of Woodford eventually died from injuries sustained at Poitiers. It is also possible that his eldest son, Walter, fought at Poitiers and was killed in battle.
      Alice Prest's father and grandfather, both named Walter Prest, were wealthy sheep merchants. It seems they were both victims of the Black Death that reached Melton in the early summer of 1349 because all known records of the Prest's numerous merchant transactions pre-date that year.

      Outline Leicestershire descent

      John de Woodford was born c.1295, Woodford, Salisbury, Wilts. He died c.1362, Leicestershire. He married Alice Prest who was born 1297, probably in Melton Mowbray and was the daughter of Walter Prest. She died in 1333.
      Their son, Sir William de Woodford was born c.1328, Brentingby, Melton Mowbray, Leics.. He died 22 March 1369. He married Joan Brabazon who was born 1328.
      Their son, Sir John de Woodford was born 11 November 1358. He died 1401, Brentingby. He married Mabel Folville who was born 1347, Ashby Folville, Leicestershire.
      Their son, Sir Robert Woodford was born 1383, Ashby Folville, Leics. He died 1455. He married (in 1402) Isabel (or Mabel) de Neville who was born 1386. They had six sons and several daughters.
      Their eldest son, Thomas Woodford was born 1405, Ashby Folville, Leics. He died before 1498. He married Alice de Berkeley who was born c1405.

      Their son, Sir Ralph Woodford was born 1430, Ashby Folville, Leics. He died 4 March 1498, Ashby Folville. He married firstly Elizabeth Villiers who was born 1432 and died 9 August 1469, Ashby Folville. He married, secondly, Margaret whose details are not known. Ralph and Elizabeth had five sons:
      (1) William Woodford married Anne Norwich and had one daughter, Margaret.
      (2) Matthew Woodford married Lucy Brooksby and died without issue.
      (3) John Woodford married firstly Millicent Markham, who died childless, and secondly, Mary Jerningham. They had three sons and two daughters. The family moved to Muston in Leicestershire where their descendants still live.
      (4) Robert Woodford married Alice Gates of Burnham, Bucks. They had six children including four sons. Only their eldest son, Thomas, had issue. The Northamptonshire and, consequently, the Somerset Woodforde families descend from Thomas.
      (5) Thomas Woodford married Jane Neville and died without issue.