Medieval Deed 1459

Medieval Deed dated 1459 from Tunstall, Staffordshire.

Memorandum by Phethean of Tunstall that he has purchased a “garden place that lies in Tunstall at harre of Tunstall”;Dated 31st July 1459.
Deed 1459 Tunstall, Staffordshire Copyright © Staffordshire Record Office

The text reads thus:

Line 1: Be hyt knowne to All True men In Cryste the Way of Truthe that I Phethean of Tunstall
Line 2: purch’ed A garden place that lyse In Tunstall at harre [Henry] of Tunstall my broder [brother] the qwyche [which]
Line 3: garden plase I be sette aft[er] my dyssese [decease] to marg[aret] my Wyffe And to marget my do’rter
Line 4: the Wyffe of Johnne’ ?bancroft And Aft[er] the dyssese off my Wyff yt to remayne to marget
Line 5: my dorture And to her Ayrys [heirs] The recorde of this Rychart of Rygdway And to this
Line 6: I sette to my ?Selee/?Selae [seal?] Geven t[h]e last day of Jule the yere Renyng of kynge ?harre/?herre/?hrye [Henry]
Line 7: the Syxth Aft[er] The c[on]quest of Englonde xxxti vij the 37th year of the reign of Henry VI, which is 1459]

Update Feb 2010: Additional documents

Note the spelling of the name “Phethean” in the text below. I would surmise that the author never saw the original deed, only a transcript. From the hypothesis below it can be surmised that there were probably no male heirs of “Phethean of Tunstall”, in which case it is unlikely that a link with the families in Brereton and Warmingham (which are only 15 miles away) will ever be found.  It also demonstrates that there is nothing new regarding long, drawn-out legal disputes over land titles!

“……  concerning his ” Garden-place that lyeth in Tunstall.” We have …… a transcript of an ancient deed, dated the last day of July 1459, which was first printed in Pitt”s History of Staffordshire; and we have added an unbroken chain of documents to bring down the title of Phythyon”s Garden to the present time. The instrument, with which we commence, seems to be in the nature of a Will, by which Phythyon leaves his Garden-place in Tunstall to his wife for her life, and after her decease to his daughter Margery, the wife of John Bancroft;—the next document in order (B) is later by eight years (1467) and is an inquisition or verdict of a Jury in a suit in the Manor Court, confirming the title of John and Margery Bancroft, under the deceased”s will, against John of Tunstall, unless he produced better evidence in his favour by the following Lady-day. The next document (C) bears date in 1501, being thirty-four years later in time, and proves that the litigation between the Bancrofts and Tunstall was not yet concluded; and here one Thomas Bancroft appears on the stage (probably the son of John and Margery), and John Tunstall is charged as unjustly detaining the Cottage and Garden from him. But right at last prevailed; and in 1548, John Bancroft is proved to have died, seised of the Cottage and Garden, according to the custom of the Manor, and his sister Joan was admitted tenant as his heir. This little property, so pertinaciously contended for in Tunstall Court, really becomes a subject of historical interest at this very distant period.

Who (it will be enquired) was Phythyon of Tunstall ? No doubt a military vassal of Audley, the Lord of Tunstall of that day, viz. James, the 7th Baron, who commanded the army arrayed on behalf of the tottering authority of King Henry VI., in the battle of Blore Heath, against that of the Duke of York, commanded by the Earl of Salisbury, where Lord Audley fought and fell, together with two thousand four hundred of his men, on the 23d Sept. 1459, (within two months after the date of Phythyon”s will). It cannot be thought a forced conjecture, that Phythyon was summoned by his feudal chief to serve on that disastrous occasion, and that just before he joined the army he executed the deed or will referred to. Probably he fell in the slaughter of the Lancastrian troops, leaving to his relatives the legacy of a legal warfare respecting his small Garden-place, more than equal in duration to the military conflicts between the Royal Houses of Lancaster and York, and which now, at the distance of nearly four centuries, furnishes a theme for the curious contemplation of his Tunstall descendants.

1467. June, (7th Edward IV.) Inquisition on Parchment, as follows:—

” Be hyt to have in mynde that thes were the XII men that were ” charget by the Stuart for to gyffe a true davie as y” custom ys betweene ” John of Bancroft of the tane pte and John of Tunstall of y” oth” prt ” that ys for to say, Rychart of Colcloghthe, Rye. of Rygdway, Jenkyn ” of Drakeford, Rye. Jackson, Jenkyn Adam, Jenkyn Sawdur, Jenkyn ” Robynson, Thomas Meke, Wyllm Burslem, Thomas Meke ye younger, ” Rawlyn of Colcloghthe, Rye. Crocket, all thes true men fondon by ” y* quest th” they went upon th” John of Bancroft had bett” tytyll and ” ryght then hadde John of Tunstall and th” they wyll byde by the ” evedense that they all fonde. Also all the queste was fully agrent th” ” yf John of Tunstall myght not bryng in by y* next Courte aft” Saynte ” Mare day belt” evedense then hadde John of Bancrofte Marget of ” Bancroft to stande in poseschion as we sesyt hyr in to hur and to her ” ayrys as the dedy”s Wyll was, and y” to we alle above rehersyt have ” set to our Selys, and ye davie was geve the Seturday next aft” ye fest ” of Saynt John y” aportantyn. Also we Thomas of Burslem, Roger ” of Colclohgthe y” elder, Thomas Knyght were by when th” was ” presentyt and thrto wyll we here recorde. The yere renyng of Kyng ” Edwardey” IIII after ye qquest of England VIII.”

1501. Thursday after the Invention of the Cross.

Copy of Court Roll of the Manor of Tunstall, of an Inquest of 12 tenants impannelled and sworn to enquire whether Thomas Bancroft had better right in one cottage, with a garden adjoining, in Tunstal!, than John Tunstall, who unjustly detained the same (as alleged).
A fine was imposed upon the Inquest of 6s. Bd. each, unless they delivered a verdict concerning the premises before the Feast of the Conception then next.

1548. May 8 (Anno 3 Edward VI.)

Copy of Court Roll of the Manor of Tunstall, at a Court held at Burslem. Stating a presentment, by the Jury and free tenants, that John Bancroft had died seised, according to the custom of the Manor, of and in one cottage and garden in Tunstall, and that Joan Bancroft was his sister and next heir. To whom seizin was granted by the Steward, To hold to her and her heirs for ever, according to the custom of the Manor.


1566. October 3 (Anno 8 Elizabeth).
Copy of Court Roll of the said Manor (Sir William Sneide being Lord), containing a surrender, by Joan Bancroft, of one cottage and the third part of a customary acre of land, in Tunstall, To the use of Jeffry Rowley and his heirs, according to the custom, and his admittance accordingly.


1570. September 28 (Anno 12 Elizabeth).
Copy of Court Roll containing a surrender, by Jeffry Rowley, To the use of himself and Agnes his wife, and the survivor and their heirs in tail, and admittance thereon.

1599. October 4 (Anno 41 Elizabeth).

Surrender, by Jeffry Rowley, of a cottage and a piece of land called the Yorde Place, in Tunstall, containing the eighth part of one customary acre, To the use of Thomas Baddeley and Ann his wife, and their heirs in tail, who were admitted.


1619. August 17 (Anno 17 Jac- I-J
Indenture between Ralph Sneyde the Elder, Esq. Lord of the Manor of Tunstall, and Ralph Sneyde the Younger, Esq. his son, of the one part, and Thomas Baddeley of Tunstall, yeoman, of the other part, whereby, in consideration of £30 3s. Qd., Ralph Sneyd, Sen. and Jun. did grant enfeoff, and confirm unto the said Thomas Baddeley and his heirs (with other premises), two cottages and the eighth part of an acre of land, being copyhold, within the said Manor.

n.b. Thomas Baddeley, grandson of the said last-named Thomas Baddeley, died in 1705, and, by his Will, dated 20th November in that year, devised certain real estate, including (by name) two cottages in Tunstall, unto his nephew Randle Baddeley and his heirs.


1764. October 12.
Settlement made by Thomas Baddeley, son of Randle, upon the marriage of Smith Child, his nephew, with Margaret Iloylance, of all his estates, &c. in Tunstall, including ” One messuage or tenement with the appurtenances, in the holding of Thomas Hockenhull.


1774. May 14.
Conveyance from Smith Child and his Trustees (o Samuel Tellwright, of two dwelling-houses, with stable, garden, and appurtenances, in Tunstall, late in the tenure of Thomas Hockenhull, then of two other persons.


1815. December 27.
Conveyance by Samuel Tellwright to Thomas Machin of Longport, in the parish of Burslem, potter, of the same two houses.

[These Extracts are all made from the original Documents, 1838.]”

Abstract from:


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