John Greystoke, 4th Baron Greystoke

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Arms of Greystoke: Barry argent and azure three chaplets of roses gules

John Greystoke, 4th Baron Greystoke (c. 1390–1436), son and heir of Ralph Greystoke, 3rd Baron Greystoke, was a member of the northern English nobility in the early fifteenth century.

Royal service[edit]

Born c. 1390, on his father's death and his elevation to the title, Greystoke "soon became enmeshed in border politics and Anglo-Scottish negotiations." He was appointed constable of Roxburgh Castle in 1421, being paid £1,000 p.a. during time of truce and double that in time of war, for a four-year contract, when he was replaced by Sir Robert Ogle.[1] Twice, in 1424, and again six years later, he was a member of ambassadorial expeditions to treat with the Scots.[2] The first of these discussions resulted in a truce with Scotland in March. Indeed, this embassy also took the role of providing an escort back to Scotland for the newly married James I who had recently married the king's cousin Joan.[3] The second resulted in a further- tenuous- extension to the truce, a not insignificant achieving in view, as one historian has put it, of the fact that Greystoke and his fellow negotiators ran the gauntlet "whilst on Scottish soil."[4]

Service to the crown was not however confined to the border; in 1430-1 he acted, at the behest of the royal council, as a royal commissioner to collect loans amounting to £400 to assist in the prosecution of the French wars.[5] He acted as an adjudicator in local gentry quarrels, alongside peers such as the earl of Northumberland.[6]

Wealth and regional influence[edit]

In the Income Tax of 1436, he was assessed at an income of £650 p.a,[7] and although never belonging to the higher echelons of the northern nobility, his family has been described as being regionally "a force to be reckoned with,"[2] in a relatively compact area that "jostled" with such landowning families.[8] Although traditionally the Greystoke family had been retained by the Percies, Earls of Northumberland, by the 1430s John had come within the sphere of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury.[9]

He was known for his piety, bequeathing valuable items to his father's clerical college, including vestments, ornaments, "and lead to repair the choir."[2]

Personal life[edit]

Greystoke was married to Elizabeth Ferrers, though the date of their union is unknown. She was born in 1393, a daughter of Joan Beaufort, a cousin of the king, by her first marriage to Sir Robert Ferrers.[10] They had a son, Ralph, who later succeeded to the barony. He dictated his will on 10 July 1436; dead less than a month later, he was buried, according to his wish, in Greystoke church.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Griffiths, R.A., The Reign of Henry VI, Berkeley 1981, pp. 172 n.7
  2. ^ a b c d "Greystoke". oxforddnb.com. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
  3. ^ Griffiths, R.A., The Reign of Henry VI, Berkeley 1981, pp. 156
  4. ^ Griffiths, R.A., The Reign of Henry VI, Berkeley 1981, pp. 158
  5. ^ Griffiths, R.A., The Reign of Henry VI, Berkeley 1981, pp. 119-20
  6. ^ Griffiths, R.A., The Reign of Henry VI, Berkeley 1981, pp. 130
  7. ^ Gray, H. L., 'Incomes from Land in England in 1436' English Historical Review, Vol. xlix (1934), p. 617
  8. ^ Griffiths, R.A., The Reign of Henry VI, Berkeley 1981, pp. 130: they coexisted with, for example, such families as the Dacres, Nevilles, FitzHughs, Percies, and Mortimers.
  9. ^ Harriss, G.L., Shaping the Nation: England 1360–1461, Oxford 2005, p. 535
  10. ^ "Joan Beaufort". oxforddnb.com. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Ralph de Greystoke
Baron Greystock
1418–1436
Succeeded by
Ralph de Greystoke