Henry de Motlowe

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Henry de Motlowe (died 1361) was an English-born judge who briefly held office as Lord Chief Justice of Ireland.[1]

He was born in Cheshire, to a family from Nether Alderley. His surname also suggests that there was a family link with Mobberley, five miles from Alderley, which was called Motburlege in the Domesday Book. He owned lands at Church Lawton, (then known as Bog-Lawton): in 1338 one Ralph de Lawton gave a quitclaim for all lands which were held there by Henry and his heirs.

St. Mary's Church, Nether Alderley, where de Motlowe's family originated.

He was appointed a senior official of the English Crown by 1346, when he appears on a commission in London to investigate the forgery of the Royal seal.[2] In the same year he was appointed Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, but seems to have spent no more than a few months in that office, since he was replaced in the same year by John de Rednesse, and he is shortly afterwards heard of as member of a Commission of Oyer and Terminer in Derbyshire.[3]

In 1357 he was made a judge of the Court of Common Pleas and in the same year he sat on another royal commission, to investigate an alleged affray between Simon Warde, a servant of John Gynwell, Bishop of Lincoln and certain members of the Order of Hospitallers, on whom Warde had been attempting to serve a summons to appear in a lawsuit. Ironically the future Prior of the Hospitallers, Richard de Wirkeley, who with the then Prior John de Paveley, allegedly instigated the affray, had also been Lord Chief Justice of Ireland: the commission included yet another Irish Chief Justice, William de Notton.[4]

Motlowe died in 1361.[5]


  1. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 London John Murray 1926 Vol.1 p. 79
  2. ^ Ball p. 79
  3. ^ Ball p.79
  4. ^ Calendar of Patent Rolls of Edward III May 9, 1357
  5. ^ Ball p. 79
Legal offices
Preceded by
John le Hunt
Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench for Ireland
Succeeded by
John de Rednesse