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John Sully 1281-1387

Also known as John de Sully, John Sulby

Born: 1281


Died: 1387

Buried: The Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and the Mother of Him who hung thereon, Crediton, Devon

Parents: William Sully married Margery


Married: before 24 April, 1330

Spouse: Isobel Widow of John de Chaucombe (died about 1367, buried The Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and the Mother of Him who hung thereon, Crediton, Devon)


Unknown daughter

Heraldic Coat of Arms: Barry ermine and gules. Described by George Beltz as Ermine, four bars Gules.

Crest: Two bulls horns

Knight of the Garter 1361, Stall 18, became a member of the order of the garter after the death of Reginald Cobham

John lived to the age of 105, and most of his references would have been attributed to 2 or even 3 persons, except for his testifying at the Grosvenor and Scrope enquiry into who had the right to bear a particular coat of arms. John de Sulley on 23 December, 1313 was summoned for service in the Scotland by Edward II and on 8 June, 1315, he was included in a summons issued by the king at Berwick on Tweed. In Autumn 1316 John de Sulle was listed as "intending to serve in Scotland" and also in 1316 was issued a summons for service in repelling the Scots at Berwick-on-Tweed. John was possibly at Bannockburn but no mention is made of this defeat.

A John de Sullee appears on a feudal proffer roll (a list of those offering service) on behalf of John Fitz Nicholas in 1322, although this may be John de Sudley. In March 1332 John was ordered to attend Edward III at Newcastle "with horse and harness" for the Scottish campaign. In July 1333 John fought at the Battle of Halidon Hill as he testified at the enquiry and also claimed to be a few months later at the Siege and recapture of Berwick. In 1335 John was in John de Moelees company again in Scotland.

On 12 July, 1338, John was in France under the command of William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury. John said to be aged 65, fought in 1346 at the battle of Crecy in the retinue of the Earl of Arundel, and in 1350 was present at the sea battle of Winchelsea, both battles he claimed to be at in the enquiry. In 1352 John received from Prince Edward a payment of £40 per year from the Princes estates in Cornwall to be retained for life in the retinue of Prince Edward. He was soon thereafter appointed surveyor of game in Cornwall. He was appointed sheriff of Devon and Cornwall but was unable to take up the post, accompanying Prince Edward to Gascony in 1355.

John now said to be 75 fought at the battle of Poitiers 1356, and 2 weeks after the battle Prince Edward increased his annual payment by 40 Marks per year. In 1359 John was still in the service or Prince Edward and took part in the Rheims campaign.

On 24 April, 1361 John was granted by king Edward III once per year to have one shot with his bow, one course with his hounds and one chase for his dog "Bercellette" in any of the royal forests, parks or chases in the realm. John accompanied Prince Edward to Aquitaine in 1363 and was present at the battle of Nájera on 3 April 1367. John remained in France and received letters of protection in 1370 to serve in aquitaine. John arranged on 19 August 1384 for Prayers and daily Chantry services to be said for himself , parents and grandparents, by the Prior and Convent of Frithelstock, Devon, upon his death.

On 2 July 1386 John gave evidence at his Manor in Iddesleigh, before John Kentwode, as John was unable to travel to the enquiry due to his age. John testified on behalf of Richard le Scrope who claimed to wear the coat of arms azure, a bend which was also claimed by Robert Grosvenor. Richard le Scrope had 207 testifiers including Geoffrey Chaucer, and Robert Grosvenor 149, and an additional 55 testified seeing the arms on battlefields but not attributed to any knight. It was normal practice to give an account of their lives and Sir John de Sully and Sir John Chydioke claimed to be centenarians. John claimed also that his father had lived to over 100 years of age. At the enquiry Richard Baker was John's esquire (page), and served Sir John for forty of his sixty years.

Sir John was buried in The Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and the Mother of Him who hung thereon, Crediton, Devon and a monument erected with an effigy of John and Isobel, probably erected in the 1390's. It was originally placed in the North Transept but was moved to the end of the South Choir Aisle during the mid 17th Century.

Memorials Of The Most Noble Order Of The Garter From Its Foundation To The Present Time, George Beltz, 1841

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