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William Latimer 4th Baron Latimer 1329-1381

Also known as William de Latimer and William Le Latimer

Born: 24 March 1329 Scrampston, Yorkshire, England

Christened: Saint Andrew's, Rillington, Yorkshire

Died: 28 May 1381

Buried: Guisborough Priory, Yorkshire

Parents: William de Latimer, 3rd Lord (born about 1301 Danby Manor, Scampston, Malton, East Ride Yorkshire, England, died before 2 November 1335, Corby, Northampton, England) married (between 1335 and 1349 Mendelsham, Suffolk, England) Elizabeth de Botetourt (born about 1305, Mendelsham, Suffolk, England, died 11 April 1384) daughter of John de Botetourt, Prince Of England and Maud FitzThomas. Elizabeth married later Robert De Ufford

Siblings:

Married:

Spouse: Elizabeth Fitzalan (born 1315/20 Arundel, Sussex, England, died 3 January 1389, buried 8 January 1389) daughter of Edmund Fitzalan 4th Earl Arundel (born about 1 May 1285, Marlborough Castle, Sussex, England, died 17 November 1326, Hereford, England) married Alice Warren Countess Arundel

Offspring:

Elizabeth Latimer, Baroness Latimer of Corby (born 1357 Scrampston, Yorkshire, England, died 5 November 1395, buried in Priory, Guisborough, Yorkshire, England) married 1: (before 9 October 1381) John de Neville 3rd Baron Neville (born Raby, Durham, England, died 17 October 1388, Newcastle-upon-Tyne) married 2: (after October 1388) Robert de Willoughby, 4th Lord Willoughby de Eresby (born 1343 Eresby, Lincolnshire, England, died 9 Aug 1396)

Heraldic Coat of Arms: gules, a patonce or. Described by George Beltz as Gules, a cross flor Or.

Crest: A plume of six feathers Azure, tipped Or.

Knight of the Garter 1361, Stall 25, became a member of the order of the garter after the death of William FitzWarin

In 1324 Edward III granted the manor of Iselhampsted which had belonged to Hugh Le Despencer, to Sir Simon de Bereford, and two years afterwards in 1326 to William's father also William Latimer. Later called Isenhampsted-Latimers to distinguish it from the neighbouring village of Isenhampstead-Cheynies it remained in the Latimer family for some time. Potton Manor was held by the Latimer family until 1392 and The Saturday market held by William Latimer was worth only 4s in 1330 William fought at the battle of Crecy at the age of 16 in 1346. In 1350 William made the castle of Péhou his residence on the North coast of France on the Rance. In 1351 William received title to his lands, and was called to Parliament but was excused as he was on service to the king in Calais. Fiddleford manor passed to the Latimer family in 1355 through marriage to William Latimer and he late 14th century Great Hall and Solar were built for him. In 1359 William was in Gascony and also appointed the Governer of Becherel in Brittany. In 1360 William was appointed king Edward III's Lieutenant in the Duchy of Brittany. In 1361 William was appointed as the Lieutenant and Captain for John de Montfort, and controlled the castles of Becherel and Trungo. In 1364 William was at the Siege of Auray again with John de Montfort and the following battle when Charles de Blois was killed. William returned to England to seek advice from Edward III and later took part in negotiations between the claimants for the Duke of Brittany. John de Montfort became the Duke of Brittany. In 1369 Queen Philippa died and Edward III took Alice Perrers as his mistress. William Latimer became in 1369 Chamberlain to the kings household and dominated the court of Edward III with John of Gaunt and Alice Perrers. Willaim was one of the Wardens appointed to the West Marches of Scotland. in 1370. On 26 November 1370 William resigned his position as guardian of St Sauveur le Vicomte which he had been appointed earlier in the year. In 1373 William was appointed to treat with the King of Portugal, Fernando. In 1374 William was made constable of Dover Castle and Warden of the Cinque ports. In 1374 and 1380 William Latimer was the sheriff of Somerset and Dorset.

In the Good Parliament of 1376 William Latimer and Richard Lyons, a London merchant were impeached by Parliament with the consent of king Edward III and was the first instance of impeachment proceedings in law. Impeachment proceedings were started by the Parliament speaker Peter de la Mare, who accused William Latimer and Richard Lyons of fraudulent transactions for their own uses of royal monies. William was charged with setting up an import monopoly and selling the Castle of St Sauvuer to the French, and making the relief of Becherel difficult in 1375. He was charged with the oppression of Brittany and for taking bribes to release captured enemy ships, and keeping the kings fines such as that of Robert Knolles and the city of Bristol. With Robert Lyons, William was also charged with receiving money from the crown for loans that he had falsely made up. Parliament called for punishment and judgement: “Wherefore we pray and require you on behalf of the king and the council of parliament that the said lord Latimer be arrested and kept safely for all the said trespasses and forfeits, until he has made satisfaction to the king for his misdeeds; and that the said Richard Lyons be judged as he deserves upon the points and articles put against him, which he cannot reasonably deny”. William Latimer was a member of the House of Lords and asked for a written statement of the accusations, and time to prepare his defence, and a trial hearing before the House of Lords, the latter which he was granted. However the Lords found him guilty and Edward III imposed a fine of 20,000 Marks, although this was later dropped. William was released on bail from prison on 29 May 1376. Richard Lyons sent a bribe of £1000 disguised as a barrel of Sturgeon to Prince Edward, who sent it back, and Richard was put in prison. When John of Gaunt gained in power after the death of Prince Edward in 1376, William was restored to favour and was an executor of the will of Edward III when he died in 1377.

William was placed on the Royal Council in July 1377, but removed by the Commons in October 1377. In 1380 William was in Brittany with the Earl of Buckingham and in October 1380 at Rennes. William made his last will and testament on 10 July 1380. In 1381 he was at the siege of nantes. William died of a stroke aged 52 on 8 May 1381 and was buried at Guisborough, Yorkshire. The St Albans Chronicler said of him that he had a very loose morality, greedy, proud, cruel, deceitful and untrustworthy with a lack of wisdom and used to luxury, but eloquent. The title of Baron Latimer became exinct upon his death.

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

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