Sir Henry de Cobham

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Warden of the Isles 1294-1297

Sir Henry de Cobham


Henry de Cobham's accounts=

Henry de Cobham may have Warden or the Warden's lieutenant. A letter survives addressed to him as Warden's lieutenant on 28 August 1295, but from parliamentary records of the 20th of that month it appears that he may actually have been Warden.


The 1st Baron Cobham (1260-1339), he was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1307. He also held the titles of Sheriff of Kent, Constable of Canterbury, Tonbridge, Dover and Rochester Castles, all in Kent.

Constable of Rochester, for life, 1304; as "Henry de Cobham junior" he was Constable of Dover Castle, and Warden of the Cinque Ports, 1315-16. He was summoned to Parliament from 8 January 1313 to 22 January 1336, by writs directed Henrico de Cobham, whereby he is held to have become Lord Cobham. He sided with Edward II against the rebellious Barons, and presided at Canterbury at the arraignment of Lord Badlesmere as a traitor in 1322. Governor of Tonbridge Castle, 1324.


He was the son of John de Cobham, of Cobham and Cowling, and Sheriff of Kent, by Joan de Septvans. Sometime prior to 1285 Henry married Maud de Moreville, the daughter of Eudes de Moreville, widow of Matthew de Columbers.

He had livery of his father's lands at 10 May 1300. He died on 15 August 1339 in Hatch Beauchamp, Taunton, Somerset.

He married, before July 1285, Maud, widow of Matthew de Columbers, daughter of Eudes de Moreville. His son John was 2nd Baron de Cobham.

Sir Nicholas de Cheney

SIr Nicholas de Cheney (Chegny) was mentioned in 1305 as having been warden, probably as a lieutenant to Otto de Grandison. At that time the accounts of his period of office had not been rendered.

Sir Nicholas Cheney, of Up Otterey, died about 1320. He was a Member of Parliament, Sheriff of Somerset, Dorset and Devon.

His son, William, born about 1307 and killed in 1346 at the Battle of Crecy, was Warden of the Isles for a few months in 1331, when King Edward III needed a quick replacement for Pierre Bernard de Pynsole.

Henry, Prior of Wenlock

Henry was one of the men given responsibility for the Channel Islands during the absence of Lord of the Isles Otto de Grandison. He is mentioned as Otto's lieutenant on 16 September 1299, having been an itinerant justice at the Assizes earlier in the year.

He was Henry de Bonvillars, nominated as Prior of Wenlock Abbey in 1285. He was a fellow-countryman of Edward I's friend and servant, Otto de Grandsion, and was frequently employed on public business during the 35 years that he governed the priory.

He acted as one of the visitors of the English province of Cluny on at least four occasions between 1291 and 1301. Either he or his friends at court were able to save Wenlock from the disabilities of alien status in 1294, when its lands were restored immediately. The monks were not moved from their priory, though it was within three miles of the navigable river Severn, and Otto's brother, William de Grandison, testified that the prior was not of the power of the king of France, having been born near Grandison on Lake Neuchatel. Restrictions were imposed on sending money abroad to the mother-house, but Wenlock enjoyed its last period of relative prosperity under Prior Henry and his successor, Guichard de Charlieu.

John de Newent

John de Newent may have been Warden of the Isles from 1302 to 1307. It is possible that he only served in Guernsey, where he was listed at the head of the island's officials in an Assize Roll of 1304, but he does appear in lists of Jersey's wardens, so he probably had responsibility for all the islands. He is shown as a lieutenant of Lord of the Isles Otto de Grandison in a charter of 15 April 1302

Jean de Ditton

It is not known for certain whether de Ditton held the title of Warden. On 4 December 1306 he was named as Otto de Grandison's lieutenant in the islands, having already visited two years earlier as an intinerant justice. In 1309, together with John de Fresingfeld and Drouet de Barentin, as Justices-in-Eyre, he came to Jersey again. At the Common Pleas held before them, the Abbot of Valricher was summoned by William de Maresk (Dumaresq), Council for the Crown, to show by what right he held a mill in the Parish of Saint Saviour and the advowson of the Priory of Ecréhou; and also on what ground he claimed an annual rent of twenty sols from the Kings receiver.

The Prior of Ecréhou appeared as general attorney of the Abbey of Valricher, and pleaded that the Chapel of Ecréhou stood far from Jersey on a small, barren and uninhabited rock; that he lived there with a companion and a servant all the year round, burning a beacon nightly to warn mariners of the dangers of the surrounding rocks, and performing masses for the King and his ancestors; and that the Chapel had no other source of revenue but the mill and the rent of twenty sols.

It was further stated in the pleadings that the Abbot of Valricher was desirous of resigning the advowson of the Ecréhous owing to the poverty of the endowment. The justices seem to have wished that the Chapel should be maintained, possibly on account of the importance to coasting vessels of the beacon which the monks kept burning there; and they granted to the Prior of the Ecréhou, apparently not as attorney but in his own name, the Chapel with its revenues, during the King’s pleasure.

Warden of the Isles
Predecessor Successor
Sir William Grandison and Henri de Bouvillars
Sir Henry de Cobham
1294 - 1297
Drew de Barentin
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