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James Audley 1316-1369

Also known as James Audley, the younger

Born: 1316


Died: 1369, Fontenay le Comte, Poitiers, France


Parents: James (died 1334) married Eve of Clavering (died 20 September 1369, buried at Langley Abbey, Norfolk, England) daughter of John of Clavering, 2nd Lord Clavering and Hawise de Tibetot. She married 1: Thomas of Aldithley, son of Nicholas of Aldithley and Catherine Giffard She married 2: Sir Thomas de Ufford before 2 December 1308. She married, 3: Robert of Benhale, Lord Benhale before 1342. She and Sir James Audley were associated after 1314


Peter Audley (died 1359)


Spouse: None

Offspring: None

Heraldic Coat of Arms: gules, a fretty or

Knight of the Garter, 1348, Founder Member, Stall 22

Note: This James Audley should not be confused with James Audley, the 2nd Lord Alderly, (born 3 January 1316, died 1 April 1386), son of Nicholas Audley and Joan Martin, the 2nd Lord married (before 13 June 1330) Joane de Mortimer (born 1314, Wigmore, England, died about 1337) and married (about 1340, Edgmond Shropshire, England) Isabel (Isabella) Le Strange.

Sir James held Eastington Manor 1338-1369, from the death of his grandmother Iseult in 1338. He fought at the battle of Sluys and at Crecy on the 26 August 1346 he fought with Prince Edward in the Vanguard on the right wing. James held the office of Seneschal of Poitou and the office of Governor of Aquitaine. He took part in the tournament at Woodstock, England in March 1355 and joined Prince Edward on the campaign of 1355. He asked to be at the front of the battle at Poitiers where he led the first cavalry charge and was severely wounded. Due to his courage and skill he was paid an annual sum of 500 marks.

Froisart said of him: When sir James Audley was brought to his lodging, then he sent for his brother (sir Peter Audley) and for the lord Bartholomew of Burghersh, the lord Stephen of Cosington, the lord of Willoughby and the lord Ralph Ferrers, all these were of his lineage, and then he called before him his four squires, that had served him that day well and truly. Then he said to the said lords: ‘Sirs, it hath pleased my lord the prince to give me five hundred marks of revenues by year in heritage, for the which gift I have done him but small service with my body. Sirs, behold here these four squires, who hath always served me truly and specially this day: that honour that I have is by their valiantness. Wherefore I will reward them: I give and resign into their hands the gift that my lord the prince hath given me of five hundred marks of yearly revenues, to them and to their heirs for ever, in like manner as it was given me. I clearly disherit me thereof and inherit them without any repeal or condition.’ The lords and other that ere there, every man beheld other and said among themselves: ‘It cometh of a great nobleness to give this gift.’ They answered him with one voice: ‘Sir, be it as God will; we shall bear witness in this behalf wheresoever we be come.’ Then they departed from him, and some of them went to the prince, who the same night would make a supper to the French king and to the prisoners, for they had enough to do withal, of that the Frenchmen brought with them, for the Englishmen wanted victual before, for some in three days had no bread before.

The Audleys were Patrons of the Parish Church of St. James The Great in Audley into the fourteenth century they are probably to be credited with the re-building of the church, Sir James Audley's (elder?) will specified that he wished to be buried at Hulton abbey. The re-building at Audley was carried out between 1310-1340. In 1349 the rectory was appropriated by Hulton Abbey and in 1369 a vicarage was established. A dispute concerning the appropriation had the result that the abbot did not exercise his rights of patronage fully until 1385. During the same period another local gentry lineage, Delves of Apedale, prospered initially in the following of Sir James Audley of Heleigh and later in the military administration of Prince Edward. In 1352 the family acquired the nearby Cheshire manor of Doddington and in 1365 received a licence to crenellate their mansion there. A tower house or pele tower of this period still survives. Sir John Delves, the builder of Doddington, had achieved prominence as a courtier in the household of Prince Edward and in the administration of the Principality of Aquitaine, and may also have been the builder of the nave and aisles at Audley.

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