Friday, 27 September 2013

The illegitimate York girl

Eleanor Holland was born in 1404 the illegitimate daughter of Constance of York (1374-1416), granddaughter to King Edward III, and Edmund Holland, Earl of Kent (1382-1408).

Edmund of Langley, Constance's father
Eleanor's mother Constance, the daughter of Prince Edmund of Langley, Duke of York, was firstly married to Thomas le Despenser and had three children by him before he died in 1400.
After the death of her first husband, Constance fell in love with Edmund Holland and became his mistress. Eleanor was then born from this union in about 1404.
Constance did not remarry, however Edmund married in 1406 to Lucia Visconti, daughter of the Lord of Milan. Constance attended the wedding banquet and made no protest to the union. Edmund was killed in battle in 1408 in Brittany at the age of twenty-six.

Eleanor brought her case to the Court Christian which was a spiritual court to disprove her illegitimacy in order to lay claim to her father's estate after his death, however she lost her case.
In 1431 the heirs of Edmund Holland; Joan, Duchess of York and Margaret, Duchess of Clarence who were Eleanor's aunts on her father's side, Richard Duke of York, Richard Earl of Salisbury, Alice his wife, Ralph Earl of Westmorland, John Lord Tiptoft, Joyce his wife and Henry Grey all collaborated and made a petition to Parliament to prove that Eleanor is illegitimate and to stop her from claiming to be 'the daughter and heir' of her father Edmund Holland despite whatever findings or conclusions the spiritual courts come to, in order to keep her from inheriting any of his estate.
The petition went as follows;

"wherefore þe saide suppliantz, dredyng hem to be hurt and 
enpeched of thair enheretance had be the saide Edmond, be 
other subtilite and wirchyng in þe temporell lawe, to be wroght 
by the saide Lorde Audeley and Alianore his wyf, as if thei wold 
take an action agayns sum persones of ther assent and covyne, 
or elles make < sum > persones of < suche >
assent and covyne take an action ayenst hem, as þe saide 
suppliantz < been > credebly enfourmed thei ordeyne
< hem > to do, in which action be the saide assent and 
covyne, bastardie shuld be allegged in the persone of þe saide 
Alianore, wyf to James, and thereupon be assent and covyne, 
and issue to be taken, and a writte to be sent to < sum >
ordinarie, not advertised of the saide subtilite, assent and 
covyne, wher hym list, to certifie wheþer þe saide Alianore, wyf 
to James, be mulire, or no; afore whiche ordinaire, þe saide 
Alianore, wyf to James, wille < allegge >, to prove her self 
mulire, be the saide depositon of the saide subornatz proves, 
and þanne þe partie had as adversarie ayenst þe saide Lord 
Audeley and Alianore hys wyf, in þe saide action taken, or to be 
taken, be þe saide assent and covyne, wolle no prove ne matier 
allege, ne defence make afore þe same ordinarie, agaynst þe 
saide Lord Audeley and Alianore his wyf, but there suffre the 
matier afore þe same ordinarie < to > procede, after
thentent of þe saide Lord Audeley and Alianore his wyf; so þat 
it is ryght lyche þat þe same ordinarie wold certifie þe saide 
Alianore, wyf to James, mulire; the whiche certificate so hadde 
and made, < shulde > by þe commen lawe of the saide 
roialme of Englond, utterly disherit þe saide suppliauntz, and 
their issues for evere of alle þe saide hole enheritance." Henry VI: January 1431

Eleanor married James Touchet, Baron Audley (1398-1459) in September 1430.
The couple had seven children;
+ Margaret Touchet (1431-81) m. Richard Grey
   + John Grey (d.1497)
   + Elizabeth Grey
+ Constance Touchet (b.1432) m. Robert Whitney
   + James Whitney
   + Joan Whitney
   + Eleanor Whitney
   + John Whitney
   + Robert Whitney
+ Humphrey Touchet (1434-71) m. Elizabeth Courtenay
   + John Touchet
   + Jane Touchet
   + Elizabeth Touchet
   + Philippa Touchet
+ Thomas Touchet (1440-1507) m. Catherine
   + Anne Touchet
+ Eleanor Touchet (b.1442) m. Humphrey Grey
   + John Grey
+ Edmund Touchet (1443-1524) Became a Bishop
+ Anne Touchet (b.1446) m. Richard Delabere
   + Thomas Delabere
   + Seneca Delebere

Eleanor died in 1459.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Bonjour Crispe

Henry Crispe was a firm Parliamentarian during the years of the English Civil War and this led to him being kidnapped from his own home in order to further the Royalist cause.

In August 1657 Henry was kidnapped from his home of Quekes by Royalist supporters, bundled into his own carriage without a servant to attend him - which he found most rude - and taken to coast where he was then put onto a boat which set sail to Bruges in Flanders where he would remain as a prisoner. At this time Flanders had been in Spanish possession, a country which had been at war with England for two years. Once in Bruges, Henry sent for his nephew Thomas who lived near to Quekes to come to him, and once he arrived the two men discussed the situation and tried to find a solution. Thomas was sent back to England and joined forces with Henry's son Nicholas to raise the ransom money. The ransom that was demanded was a sum of 3000l, which was expected to be paid by Cromwell's government. Cromwell saw this for what it was, a way to raise money for the Royalist side of King Charles II, and so refused to pay the money for the return of Henry Crispe. Cromwell made an order to the council that Mr Crispe was not to be ransomed, and therefore his family had to petition for a licence to allow them to pay the ransom themselves. Henry's son Nicholas died at this time, while his father was still kept prisoner, at which time the fight was taken up by Thomas who managed to obtain the licence. However this ransom was high and meant that Henry had to give permission for Thomas and his son-in-law Robert Darell to sell off some of the Crispe lands in order to raise the funds. It was still another eight months before the ransom was paid and Henry Crispe was released and sent back home to England.

Henry had in fact had previous warning that this kidnapping was to take place, and in an attempt to stop it he fortified his home with loopholes for musket fire and paid his neighbours to come and stay in his home with him for protection in case of attack, however neither of these actions appear to have had any effect on the kidnappers at all.

The kidnapping plot had been thought up and carried out by Captain Golding of Ramsgate who was a staunch Royalist and had previously taken refuge with Charles II.

While being held in Flanders, where the official language was French, Henry Crispe learnt only two words; "Bonjour Crispe". He would use only these words, probably incorrectly, during his eight months stay there, earning him the nickname of 'Bonjour Crispe'.

Quekes House
Henry Crispe was born around 1581 as the son of Henry Crispe (b.1545) and Anne Colepeper (1548-94). He inherited Quekes Manor in Kent in 1650 from his cousin, another Henry Crispe. Henry Crispe also shortly after became the Sheriff for this county, however due to his age it was his son Nicholas who undertook most of the duties.

Henry firstly married Mary Colepeper (b.1584), the daughter of Anthony Colepeper and Anne Martin, in about 1602, but they had no children and she died in about 1609. Secondly he married Frances Hooper (nee Roberts) (1590-1646) in about 1611, who was the daughter of Thomas Roberts and Frances James. Frances had a daughter, Frances Hooper, from her first marriage. With Frances he had a daughter Christiana, who married Robert Darell, and a son Nicholas (1615-57) who predeceased his father. Nicholas had married Thomasine Denne (d.1679) with whom he had a daughter Ann (d.1707), who married Richard Powle and had one son John Powle (d.1740).

Henry Crisp died on the 25th July 1663 and his estate was inherited by his nephew Thomas Crispe, due to his own lack of male heirs.

The last will and testament of Henry Crispe;
" I, Henry Crispe, late of Queakes, in the Parish of Birchington, within the Isle of Thanett, in the County of Kent: ' to be interred in the Parish Church of Birchington, neare the Tombe by me erected for my wife and Children now departed.' 'Unto my grand-child, Mrs. Anna Crispe .£100 and such Jewells and Dimons as were my wife's in her life time.' And to my daughter, Thomasiue Lady Crispe, her mother, I doe give my watch with ye silver case, and that small dimond ring which I had of ye gift of ' Sir Henry Crispe, Knight, deceased.' Unto my beloved nephew, Lieutenant Thomas Crispe, eldest sonne of my loving brother, Mr. Thomas Crispe, of Cant, my houses, etc., in Birehington, knowne by the name of Queckes, late in mine own occupation before I was Carried away Prisiner into Flanders. Also lands at St. Nicholas, at Wade, neare Brookseud, etc., one other small tenement and windmill in Birchington, and my manor of Stoner; leases at Sandwich, and houses at Create Chart and Ashford. My manor of Haselton, also Haiston. The same to my said nephew (Thomas Crispe) and he sole owner and executor. Will proved, Oct. 23rd, 1667, by Thomas Crispe."

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Deathbed confession about Anne Boleyn

During the trial of Anne Boleyn in 1536, evidence of Anne's misconduct with other men included a deathbed confession of a previous Lady in waiting to Anne Boleyn; Bridget Wiltshire. 
Bridget died in 1534 and in her final days made a confession to one of her female attendants about the behaviour and nature of Queen Anne. 

John Spelman, one of the judge's at Anne Boleyn's trial noted in his Commonplace book:
"Note that this matter was disclosed by a woman called the Lady Wingfield who was a servant of the said queen and shared the same tendencies. And suddenly the said Wingfield became ill and a little time before her death she showed the matter to one of her"

The contents of this confession are unknown and therefore we can only speculate as to what was confessed, however it can be assumed that what she said concerned Anne having lovers before her marriage to the king or at least behaving in a way that could be considered inappropriate for a woman who was to marry a king. Why were her words not brought to light until two years after her death? Perhaps this was because during Queen Anne's reign it would have been nearly a criminal act to speak against the queen as the king had been known to have punished those who did. Therefore, this apparent confession of the queen having a scandalous past went forgotten for two years until 1536 when King Henry was trying to rid himself of yet another wife, and his men were actively seeking out any information or rumours which could be used against the queen.
One theory to what the confession concerned was Anne Boleyn's relationship with Thomas Wyatt before her marriage to the king. Bridget's third husband was close friends with the Duke of Suffolk, who was a blatant non supporter of Anne Boleyn, and when arrested Wyatt blamed Suffolk for this. 
However, the leading theory is that Bridget and Anne had had an argument, possibly instigated by Bridget speaking to Anne about the fact that she was pregnant with the king's child before being married to him despite herself insisting on her ladies being of high morals, and this argument meant that Bridget left court for a short time. It is the surviving letter that is said to have been an apology from Anne to Bridget and asking her to return to court. This was in fact a minor argument among the women, and it only later got taken out of proportion by Cromwell and his spies to be exaggerated and used against Queen Anne in her trial.

Bridget Wiltshire was born around 1485 as the daughter and heir of Sir John Wiltshire (1434-1526), the comptroller of Calais during the reign of King Henry VII, and his wife Margaret. The Wiltshire family lived at Stone Castle in Kent, which neighbours the Boleyn home of Hever Castle, therefore it is possible that the two families knew each other.
Stone Castle
Bridget married in 1513 to Sir Richard Wingfield (1469-1525), Lord Deputy of Calais and ambassador to Spain, as well as to King Francis of France during the 1520 Field of Cloth of Gold. Sir Richard's first wife had been Catherine Woodville (1458-97), sister to Queen Elizabeth Woodville. Even after Sir Richard's death, Bridget maintained her name of 'Lady Wingfield' for the remainder of her life.
The couple had ten children;
+ Cecily Wingfield (d.1525)
+ Elizabeth Wingfield (d.1522)
+ Charles Wingfield (1513-40)
+ Thomas Maria Wingfield (1516-57)
+ James Wingfield (1519-87)
+ Lawrence Wingfield
+ Jane Wingfield (b.1525)
+ Mary Wingfield
+ Margaret Wingfield
+ Catherine Wingfield

Sir Richard was a well-respected courtier and diplomat, he exchanged written correspondence with the philosopher Erasmus;
"Greeting, honoured sir. Though almost overwhelmed by my literary labours, I have not forgotten your instructions about a physician. I dared not recommend the first comer, and I had already almost found the person we wanted; but in the mean time the man to whom I had entrusted this business is carried off by the prince, or rather, before the prince himself leaves, by my lord the chancellor of Burgundy.
The bearer of this is my servant, whom I am sending over to England on particular business. It will be like your noble self, if you will give him what help he may need towards a safe and convenient crossing. You have done so much for me, you will be willing to add this further service.
Farewell, you and your charming wife and your delightful children. I hope your father-in-law, the comptroller, is in the best of health.
Erasmus of Rotterdam, Louvain, 5 March 1518"

In 1526, after Bridget's first husband had died in Toledo in Spain where he was commissioned, she had married Sir Nicholas Hervey (1490-1532) who was a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and an ambassador to Charles V in Ghent - he spent the time from June 1530 until March 1531 in Ghent on commission. 
The couple had five children;
+ Henry Hervey (b.1526)
+ George Hervey (1527-99)
+ George Hervey (1532-1605)
+ Mabel Hervey
+ dau. Hervey

Bridget later married for a third time in 1532 to Sir Robert Tyrwhitt (d.1572), the couple had no children. The time between the death of her second husband and her marrying Tyrwhitt was not long as both events occurred within a year; it is a theory that Anne had scolded Bridget for marrying so soon after the death of her previous husband as it was appropriate to leave a certain amount of time before seeking another husband, and this telling off angered Bridget.

Bridget had spent many years at the royal court; she attended the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520 in the household of Queen Catharine. It can be surmised that she remained in Queen Catharine's household until it was broken up by King Henry, however she was the invited back to court to serve Anne Boleyn in 1530 during the time when her own household was growing when she was still Lady Anne Rochford. A letter still exists that Anne wrote to Bridget at this time. Bridget remained at court and saw Anne go from Lady Rochford to Queen of England, during which time it is suggested she served in the queen's household as the Mother of Maids, perhaps due to her being older in age than many of the queen's ladies and her longer tenure at court. In 1532 when King Henry and Anne Boleyn went to Calais, they visited Bridget's house on the way to Dover. Bridget is last seen in court records in January 1534 when she received a New Years gift from the king, and it is assumed that she left court soon after this. Bridget died in childbirth, as did the child as there is no record of a living child from her third marriage. Her last husband Tyrwhitt outlived Bridget by many years.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Wife of a Pretender

The name of Perkin Warbeck is well known by anyone who has ever studied the Tudors, however his wife seems to be less frequently talked about, yet is of equal importance. 

Lady Catherine Gordon was born around the year 1470 in Scotland to her parents; George Gordon Earl of Huntly and his wife - either Princess Annabella, the daughter of King James and Joan Beaufort, or his third wife Elizabeth Hay whom he married after he and Annabella divorced in 1471. Catherine had been described by several contemporary sources as being very beautiful. Lady Catherine grew up at the Scottish royal court, and therefore was aware that 'Richard, Duke of York' had reappeared.

It was in November 1495 that the 'Duke of York' arrived in Scotland looking for support to help claim his right to the English crown. King James IV of Scotland received the young 'Duke' with full honours at Stirling Castle - fully believing him to be the said Duke of York - and then decided to marry the 'Duke' into the Scottish royal family in the belief that if he succeeded, Scotland and England would be allies.
King James chose as the bride, his cousin Lady Catherine Gordon; it appears that the 'Duke' had been courting the Lady Catherine since 1495 when he arrived in Scotland as a love letter he wrote to her remains;

"Most noble lady, it is not without reason that all turn their eyes to you; that all admire love and obey you. For they see your two-fold virtues by which you are so much distinguished above all other mortals. Whilst on the one hand, they admire your riches and immutable prosperity, which secure to you the nobility of your lineage and the loftiness of your rank, they are, on the other hand, struck by your rather divine than human beauty, and believe that you are not born in our days but descended from Heaven.
 All look at your face so bright and serene that it gives splendour to the cloudy sky; all look at your eyes so brilliant as stars which make all pain to be forgotten, and turn despair into delight; all look at your neck which outshines pearls; all look at your fine forehead. Your purple light of youth, your fair hair; in one word at the splendid perfection of your person:—and looking at they cannot choose but admire you; admiring they cannot choose love but you; loving they cannot choose but obey you.
 I shall, perhaps, be the happiest of all your admirers, and the happiest man on earth, since I have reason to hope you will think me worthy of your love. If I represent to my mind all your perfections, I am not only compelled to love, to adore and to worship you, but love makes me your slave. Whether I was waking or sleeping I cannot find rest or happiness except in your affection. All my hopes rest in you, and in you alone.
 Most noble lady, my soul, look mercifully down upon me your slave, who has ever been devoted to you from the first hour he saw you, Love is not an earthly thing, it is heaven born. Do not think it below yourself to obey love's dictates. Not only kings, but also gods and goddesses have bent their necks beneath its yoke.
 I beseech you most noble lady to accept for ever one who in all things will cheerfully do as your will as long as his days shall last. Farewell, my soul and consolation. You, the brightest ornament in Scotland, farewell, farewell."

They were married in January 1496, and Catherine took on the title of 'Duchess of York'. The wedding celebrations included a tournament, in which the 'Duke' wore armour with purple brocade. The couple received a monthly pension of £112 from the Scottish court. In September 1496 the couple had their first child, Richard. 
Perkin Warbeck
The 'Duke' and his wife stayed in Scotland until July 1497, when shortly after giving birth to a second child, the couple set sail with the intention of landing in England to claim the English throne. Firstly though, they landed in Ireland on the 26th July and stayed in Cork for over a month. 
When the 'Duke' and his wife landed at Whitesand Bay in Cornwall, he proclaimed himself 'King Richard IV of England' and his wife was now 'Queen Catherine of England'. 'Queen' Catherine set up a royal household at the castle on St Michael's Mount. Not long after, it was here that she was taken  prisoner by King Henry VII's forces when her husband fled to Hampshire and later surrendered to the king. As the 'Duke', or the newly confessed 'Perkin Warbeck of Belgium' was therefore not an English subject, he could not be executed by the King of England.
It is unknown what happened to the two children of Lady Catherine and Perkin Warbeck, however there is rumour and speculation that they were sent to Wales to be raised - as there are Perkins families in Wales who claim descent from Perkin Warbeck.

St Michael's Mount Castle, Cornwall
On the 15th October 1497 there is record of a payment to Robert Southwell for horses and saddles for the transportation of 'my Lady Kateryn Huntleye'. On the orders of King Henry VII, Catherine was taken into the household of Queen Elizabeth, with the instruction that she be treated as a sister - she was after all a relation to the Scottish King - however she was in reality a prisoner as she could not leave. Her expenses were paid for out of the privy purse. While her husband was firstly sent to the Tower, but later released and allowed to live at court until his escape attempt led to his execution on the 23rd of November 1499. After Warbeck's death Lady Catherine wore the colour black for the rest of her life, as a symbol of mourning for the husband that was taken from her.

After Warbeck's execution, Catherine reverted back to her maiden name of Gordon, and her position at court changed from that of prisoner to the daughter of an earl. She received a pension and her wardrobe expenses were paid for by the king, as well as there being also other occasional payments being made to her.
In January 1503 Catherine was at the betrothal ceremony for Princess Margaret to King James IV of Scotland, and was later in February the chief mourner at Queen Elizabeth's funeral.

There has been speculation that after Queen Elizabeth died, King Henry took Catherine Gordon as his mistress, or he at least held a special fondness for her which he had held since meeting her in 1497 - if Catherine's mother had indeed been Princess Annabella who was the daughter of Joan Beaufort, this would have made her a relation of King Henry VII through his mother Margaret Beaufort. It is most often noted that King Henry saw Catherine as an innocent victim of Warbeck's who had tricked her into marrying him. Francis Bacon's History of King Henry VII includes the statement that;

"When she was brought to the king, it was commonly said, that the king received her not only with compassion, but with affection; pity giving more impression to her excellent beauty. Wherefore comforting her, to serve his eye as well as his fame, he sent her to his Queen"

During the years after Warbeck's death, King Henry gave expensive gifts of clothes to Lady Catherine; in November 1501 she was given clothes of cloth of gold with ermine, a gown of purple velvet and a black hood in the French style, then later on in April 1502 she was also given velvet material in black and red to be made into gowns for her and black kersey to be made into stockings, and finally in November 1502 she was given cloth of black satin to be trimmed with mink and miniver and a crimson bonnet.

In 1510 Lady Catherine was granted papers of denization, which meant that she was now an English subject.
In August 1510 King Henry VIII gave to Lady Catherine several land grants in Berkshire, however these came with the condition that she would not leave England without Royal License, this included returning home to Scotland.

It was around 1512 that Lady Catherine married for a second time to James Strangeways who was a Gentleman Usher of the King's Chamber. At this time there were more Berkshire land grants given to Lady Catherine appear to have been a wedding gift, as they included the fact that her husband would inherit them in the case of her death. The couple lived at Fyfield Manor, but this was short lived as by 1517 James Strangeways had died.

Fyfield Manor in Berkshire
In June 1517, Catherine was granted more lands in Berkshire, yet they came with the same understanding that she was not to leave England without the king's permission.
In July 1517 Catherine married for a third time, to Matthew Craddock, Steward of Gower, a gentleman who was later knighted. The couple went to live in Glamorganshire in Wales, where Craddock was from. Craddock took part in the French War of 1513 when he was given a vessel and a crew. The couple spent their life at court where Catherine was the head of Princess Mary's privy chamber until 1530. Craddock died in July 1531. In his will, he lists the jewels owned by Catherine before their marriage; including a girdle with a pomander, a heart of gold, a fleur-de-lys of diamonds and a gold cross with nine diamonds. In his will he left her an income from the lands of Dinas Powys and Llanedeyrn.

Catherine then married for a fourth time to Christopher Ashton (b.1493), a Gentleman Usher of the Chamber, and the couple went to live at Fyfield Manor. Ashton had two children from a previous marriage, to whom Lady Catherine was now stepmother.

Lady Catherine died in October 1537 at her Fyfield home in Berkshire, she made her will on the 12th October and died shortly after. She was buried in the parish church of St Nicholas at Fyfield in a tomb still called 'Lady Gordon's monument'. Also, there is an effigial monument to her and her third husband Matthew Craddock in St Mary's Church in Swansea. Her last husband survived her by at least twenty years. Lady Catherine never returned to her home country of Scotland, despite the efforts of King James and Perkin Warbeck. However, it appears she had a happy life in England; the last three of her husbands, and even potentially the first, were all love matches which would have been unusual for this era.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Prince and the coroner's daughter

Thomas de Brotherton, Earl of Norfolk (1300-38) was born the son of King Edward I of England and his second wife Margaret of France, and was therefore the half-brother of the next king, Edward II of England when he ascended to the throne - Thomas was seven years old at this time.

Thomas married, around 1519, Alice de Hales. The marriage must have taken place after 1518 when Thomas came of age as if he had been any younger he would have required permission from the king to marry and there is no evidence that he married without the king's permission, and therefore had to be of age when he married Alice. Also, it could have not taken place after 1521 due to the birth dates of their children.
The couple had three children; Edward (d.1334), Margaret (1322-99) and Alice (1324-52).

It seems unusual for a prince, who is also second in line to the throne, to marry the daughter of a coroner, a woman who would have little if any dowry and no political influence. Among the royal families of medieval England, Alice de Hales can be considered the most obscure, and unlikely, bride that ever married a royal prince. Prince Thomas showed a reckless personality and a lack of interest in money or power; something that would be evident for his whole life.

The two families came into contact due to the fact that Prince Thomas was granted the property and lands of the previous Earl of Norfolk, Roger Bigod; this included the wardship of John de Hales, Alice's younger brother as he was still in his minority when his father died. It is also possible that he was also granted the wardship of John's sisters too and this is how the two met. Due to the young age and status of both members of the couple, it can be assumed that this was a love match, it has been suggested that he found Alice so beautiful that he married her. The wedding took place in Norfolk.

“…and the seid Thomas Brodirton, Erle of Norfolke, cam down into Norfolke and ther he
wedded a knyght’s doughter fast by Bungey and they hadden togedir ij dowters”.   (Book of Pleas)

Alice de Hales (1302-27) was the daughter of Roger de Hales (1275-1313) and his wife Alice Skogan (b.1277). Roger and Alice (m.1298) had three other children; John, Jane and Matilda.
Hales Hall near Loddon, Norfolk was the seat of the Hales family. Hales was an ancient family that can be seen in England from the time of William the Conqueror. Sir Roger was Lord of Hales in 1294. He owned the Wrantishagh Manor, where he built a chapel dedicated to St Andrew and instated a priest and a congregation developed.
Hales Hall, Norfolk
Sir Roger de Hales (1274-1313) was Crown Coroner for Norfolk, which meant that he oversaw suspicious deaths and also the property and lands of those who died under suspicious circumstances.
On the 7th May 1303 Roger de Hales was the victim of an attack whilst carrying out his work;

"the king directed a commission of oyer and terminer to Henry de Spigurnel and Robert de Retford, touching Geoffrey Kempe, John Graunt, John Gerard and Robert Topyn of Norwich, and the whole community of that town, who assaulted Roger de Hales, coroner of the county of Norfolk, in the execution of his office on a body found dead in a place in Norwich called Tomeland and Ratounerawe, assaulted Richard de Hakeford, bailiff of the kings hundred of Bloufeld, and other men of that hundred who were there by summons of the bailiff, made on the mandate of the coroner in the kings name, snatched the coroners rolls from his hands, tore and trampled them, and prevented his exercising his office." 

In the Calendar of Close Rolls the following records concerning Roger de Hales can be found;

29 July 1309, To the sheriff of Norfolk. Order to cause a coroner for 
that county to be elected in place of Roger de Hales, who is 
insufficiently qualified.  

19 June 1313, To the sheriff of Norfolk. Order to cause a coroner for 
that county to be elected in place of Roger de Hales, deceased.

Prince Thomas became a member of the Hales family and took a great interest in the family's affairs. Alice's sister Jane married Sir John Jermy (1300-45), and in about 1325 Thomas gave the manors of Metfield and Mendham to Sir John and hi wife Jane as her dowry. The Jermy family and the Hales family were close geographically as well as being previously intertwined in business affairs; in 1303 Sir Roger granted the tenancy of Tharston estate to the Jermy family.

Prince Thomas married his daughter and heir Margaret to John Segrave between 1327, when Thomas was granted the wardship of John, and 1336. While a marriage to the king's niece was an advantageous marriage for John Segrave, this was not such an honour for Margaret. Prince Thomas could have done more to arrange a marriage for his daughter to a man with more wealth and power, however he often was blind to finding such things as important, which was highly unusual during this period and especially among the royal family.

To read more about this couple see Brad Verity's Love Matches & Contracted Misery - Part 1 in Foundations: The Journal of the Foundations of Medieval Genealogy