The purpose of this webpage is to try and trace the lineage of Richard Lord of Towcester (c. 1555 to 1610) back in time and place, having previously shown that the genealogical path from "Robert Laward alias Lord of London" (c. 1480 to 1550) is broken.
See Dossier 2016 for details.
The search is focused on the name "Thomas Lord" and for dates prior to 1600. Richard Lord, the earliest confirmed male in the line, lived in Towcester prior to his death in 1610. He had one son, Thomas Lord, who inherited the Towcester property and apparently lived there until the family removed the America in 1635.
Given the tradition of naming sons for their grandfathers, we might assume the father of Richard Lord of Towcester was a "Thomas Lord" or somewhere not too distant.
However, the name "Richard Lord" comes up several times in the 16th century records for the Whittlewood survey area, so both names will be researched.
The map above displays instances of the evidence of geographical connections to Richard Lord and/or Thomas Lord. These instances form a tight cluster of places and the dates form a logical pattern. Moving from most recent to most distant below:
1622 Towcester. Thomas Lord of Towcester involved in a legal dispute with property owner in Wood Burcote.
c. 1615 Caldecote. Mentioned in Richard Lord's Towcester will, daughter Ellen is engaged to marry a man from this village.
1610 Towcester. Richard Lord's will, describing his property in Towcester.
c. 1600 Towcester. Although the exact year the Lords moved to Towcester, it is likely, from the property description in the will above, they were established there by 1600, if not well before.
c. 1600 Potterspury. In his 1610 will Richard Lord mentions "my well beloved friends Mr Henry Peddler* and Thomas Pedder of East Purye** in the Counte of Northton gent's and Paul Boughton of the same toune clerk...".
* transcribed as "Peddler" but actually is "Pedder". **"East Purye" is what is now known as "Potterspury".
He lists these three men and appointes them as "supervisors" of his will. It is suggested these were his closest friends, and may have been for many more years than from 1600. And given that Potterspury is well south on Watling Street from Towcester suggests that Richard's ealier history was located to the south. (That leads to the next reference.) Also, see footnote below about these three men at Potterspury in the 16th century.
1586 Leckhampstead. Parish register records birth of daughter "Alice" to "Richard Lord" and "Joane". (Later family records confirm this is Richard of Towcester.) Also, an "Alice Lord" dies in this village in 1599, but as the daughter survives and is mentioned in Richard's 1610 will, the person who died here is not the same. But, given the name, perhaps related? Perhaps the younger Alice's grandmother?
1583 Leckhampstead. Parish register records birth of daughter "Elizabeth" to "Richard Lord". (Later family records confirm this is Richard of Towcester.) Does this suggest that he lived here before moving to Towcester?
1566 Passenham/Deanshanger. Refrence is made to fields owned by "descendants of Richard Lord" holdong land in both Passenham and Deanslanger. (University of Leicester, "Whittlewood Project - Deanshanger and Passenham", citing "field books".)
1557 Deanshanger. Mention is made in a book on the history of Passenham of tithing men "Richard Lord Jnr" and a "Thomas Lord" who is constable of Passenham. (Margaret Webb, personal communication). It is assumed these men are adults of perhaps 30 years? Since the births of Richard and Joan come almost 30 years later, this "Thomas Lord" could be same age as the Alice Lord who died in Leckhampstead in 1599 and could be the father of Richard Lord of Leckhampstead/Towcester. Lacking age or kinship data on this "Richard Lord Jnr" of Deanshanger, it cannot be shown that he is the same Richard Lord later of Towcester. But the suggestion is present. (Note: there is also a "John Lord" will listed for Deanshanger in "A Calendar of Wills Relating to the Counties of Northampton and Rutland" by the Church of England, Archdeaconry of Northampton 1510-1652" London, 1888.)
1524-25 Deanshanger/Passenham. Citing tax records as the source, Richard Lord is taxed on goods as living in Passenham in 1524 and Deabnshanger in 1525. ( (University of Leicester, "Whittlewood Project - Deanshanger and Passenham")
One possible scenario is that Richard Lord (of Towcester) lived in the Deanshanger/Passenham area to adulthood, c. 1580, and made close friends in the Potterspury area, and then married a woman named "Joane" from Leckhamstead. When their childred were born, as there was no church in Deanshanger, the mother's influence caused them to be baptised in Leckhamstead.
In 1610 Richard Lord of Towcester lists three close friends as supervisors of his will. He describes Henry Pedder and Thomas Pedder as gentlemen and Paul Boughton as clerk, all of the town ("toune") of Potterspury.
His will proved in December of 1634 (PROB 11/166/661), nearly a quarter century after Richard Lord's death. This suggests he was (perhap) a much younger man than Richard. The entry for the probate record states "Will of Thomas Pedder, Gentleman of Potterspury, Northamptonshire".
Henry Pedder is cited in the Will of "Mary Smyth alias Kent" of "the parish of East Purye alias Potterspury" as a supervisor, and signs the will in February 1612, just two years after serving the same for Richard Lord.
"(Christopher) Clarke possibly resided at Potterspury, where in 1608 his father had appointed Paul Boughton to the vicarage."
This appointment predates Richard's death in Towcester by two years, so the same man?
Will of "Paul Boughton (the elder) of Potterspury, Northants, clerk. (probate). So he also outlived Richard Lord by a quarter century, suggesting a significantly younger age.
In the 16th century people did not generally travel great distances, and social associations were often made within small distance fro their family property. So when names connected to locations in the same general time period form a spatial cluster, it may be considered a form of "proof" that social and genealogical connections may also be valid.
The earliest dates for a "Richard Lord" in the Whittlewood area are found in Deanshanger. There are reference to friends in Potterspury and baptisms takle place in Leckhampstead. These communities appear to be some distance apart (above) and there were other communities much closer.
However, if one views the place names used to apply not just to the settlements but to the wider parish, one can see that many areas of these three locations are very close to each other (above). However, there is no reason to doubt that Richard Lord could have had close associations with the settlements at Potterspury and Leckhampstead in the late 16th century, while living in the community at Deanshanger.
To be continued.