Monday 9 July 2012

Thomas Tyldesley 1410

In 1666, Sir William Dugdale 1605-1686 published the first edition of Origines juridiciales. Amongst the Arms he recorded as appearing in the windows of Gray's Inn were those of Thomas Tyldesley who died in 1410 and was serjeant at law to Henry IV (FN1).

John Lunn suggests that the window in question was in the chapel at Gray's Inn and was lost during the second world war (FN2). However, although the chapel was destroyed by bombing, the windows had been removed for safekeeping. The windows were reinstated when the chapel was rebuilt.

Furthermore there is every reason to think that the Tyldesley Arms were lost before 1886. Douthwaite gives a schedule of the Arms described in Dugdale and where the glass was still in existence at the time he was writing he marked the entry with an asterisk. There is no asterisk next to the name of Thomas Tyldesley, serjeant at law (FN3). For any glass that is missing Douthwaite offers the following explanation:

As might be expected from the fragile character of the material, much of the ancient glass has from time to time suffered considerable damage. On one occasion a severe storm of wind wrecked the great Eastern window, and the portions which withstood the shock could not be afterwards very correctly arranged. The workman employed to reinstate the shields has occasionally substituted scraps of scrolls and other ornaments for the armorial bearings that had perished. Of any transposition or confusion, when found, notice is taken as the necessity arises. This window was greatly improved in 1871, by means of a background of antique glass, and the reinstatement of the several shields, arranged as symmetrically as the case would allow. Many of the escutcheons represented in Dugdale's work before mentioned have entirely disappeared, and much glass that remained in his time is now injured and misplaced.
The earliest Arms granted to a Tyldesley were argent, three molehills vert—that is, silver with three green molehills. Here they are quartered with the Arms of Workesley (now better known as Worsley) which are argent, a chief gules—that is silver, with a red horizontal upper band. This reflects the fact that Thomas Tyldesley's parents were Thurstan Tyldesley and Margaret Workesly, daughter and co-heiress of Jordan de Workesley, Lord of Wardley. The crescent is a cadency mark.

It is by the marriage of Thomas Tyldesley's parents that the Wardley estates came into the ownership of the Tyldesleys. Thomas Tyldesley died in 1410 without chiildren, but the Wardley estate would pass through his brother Hugh Tyldesley. Croston writes:
With Jordan, the younger son of Richard de Worsley, the brother of Henry, the benefactor of the church at Eccles, who, as we have seen, was lord of Wardley in the reign of Edward I., may be said to have begun and ended the line of Worsley of Wardley, for at his death, in the succeeding reign, the estate was conveyed in marriage by Margaret, one of his daughters and co-heiresses, to Thurstan, son of Thomas de Tyldesley, lord of the mesne manor of Tyldesley, and from this match sprang the several branches of the famous house of Tyldesley of Tyldesley, of Wardley Hall in Worsley, Morley's Hall in Astley, the Lodge in Myerscough Park, an outlying portion of Quemmore Forest, in Lancaster parish, and of Fox Hall, Blackpool, in Bispham parish (FN4). 
One descendant of Hugh Tyldesley is Sir Thomas Tyldesley 1557-1635, whose arms, as will be seen, were noted by both Dugdale and Douthwaite and still survive at Gray's Inn. He is the 9 x great nephew of Thomas Tyldesley who died in 1410, and the fact the two men were related was recognised as late as 1685—albeit that the details were not recounted entirely accurately.

1. Page 302.
2. History of the Tyldesleys of Lancashire, John Lunn, 1966 p36.
3. Gray's Inn, William Douthwaite, 1886.
4. Historic Sites of Lancashire and Cheshire, James Croston, 1883.