Page heading

Click on Home button or Site Map for more navigation details

Home Page Join Name Origins Name Distribution Journal Plant records Early Documents Wills Wills Reunion Contacts

Some early 'Plant like' name records

Reference: Dr John S. Plant (1999) Roots and Branches, Issues Number 17 and 18, etc.

Early records for 'Plant like' names can be grouped into possible antecedants of the Pallant, Plenty and Plant surnames though there are, at least in principle, possible early inter-connections. For example, Palente might have been confused phonologically with Plente. More particularly, there is often paleographical ambiguity between reversed <e> and <o> so that Plente can be confused with Plonte which is the standard spelling of Plante in the early West Midlands dialect area. Apart from the Macclesfield Court Rolls, the following information is taken from transcribed records and the original rolls should ideally be re-examined with these possible ambiguities in mind. Also, there are possible indications of early developments between such name forms as de la Planta, de Plant', de la Plaunt, Plaunt, Plonte, de Plantes, Plante, and Plant.


(A few of these and some later records are shown more fully elsewhere on this website).

1202 Geffrey Plante Genest's grandson, king John, captured his nephew Arthur of Brittany at Mirebeau in the Anjou-Poitou Marches on 1st August; and, a few weeks later, Emeric de la Planta alias de Plant' was dispossessed of lands there in Chinon and Loud[un]. Normandy Rolls.
1244 Bishop Vokart (of Chur) appointed Andreas Planta von Z(ouz), the Chancellor of Upper Engadine and so confirming the hegemony of the Planta family in the Zouz (Zutz or Suoz) neighbourhood lasting until 1798. Some further details about the Swiss Planta family.
1262 Plaunte William, Essex, Forest Pleas
1273 de la Plaunt and Plaunt, 3 Rouen merchants, Patent Rolls
1275 June 29th, lease to Thomas Plonte and Helen his wife from David le Blond and wife Annabel of plot of land to build a house, 34 feet by 32 feet, and 6 a. of land at la Fortheye in vil of Bitton [South Gloucestershire] (cf. 1280 entry for Saltford, 2 miles away), Berkeley Castle Muniments, The Blount estate, BCM/E/1/1/49
1275 Plauntes William, Norfolk, Rotuli Hundrederum
1279Plante William, Cambridge, Rotuli Hundrederum
1279 At Burgh in Lincolnshire, 'assize of mort dancestor arraigned by Alan son of Hugh Plante against John son of John Plante, touching land in.' Newly transcribed Patent Rolls
c1280-1303 Robert Plonte, of Saltford, once bailif of Marsfelde [Bath BC 151/4/14, 151/4/15]
1282de Plantes Henry, appeal in Huntingdonshire, Patent Rolls
1301 Plant Richard, rights to coal, Ewelowe near Chester, Flint [Pipe Rolls Cheshire in LCRS 92, 205]
1303Johannes Plonte [S.L.Thrupp and H.B.Johnson (1964) The earliest Canterbury freeman's rolls 1298-1363 in Kent Records (Ashford, 1912-) Kent Archaeological Society 18 181]
1312 Sarah wife of John Plonte of Canterbury, sale of 4s of annual rent, Canterbury Cathedral Archives U/4/1/80
1315 April 29th, John Plonte, witness to transfer of messuage and buildings in Canterbury, Canterbury Cathedral Archives, CCA-Dcc-ChAnt/C/1080
1321 Luke Plonte of Nettlebed, Oxfordshire, Patent Rolls
1328 Thomas Plonte and Robert his son [Bath BC 151/3/55]
1329Robert Plonte son of Walter Plonte [Bath BC 151/2/46, 151/2/47]
1340 Robert son of Thomas Plonte [Bath BC 151/3/56]
1340-49Robert Plonte [Bath BC 151/2/27, 151/2/28, 151/2/48, 151/2/25, 151/6/70, 151/5/90]
1344 Plant John, son of Alan, of Burgh Marsh co. Lincoln, Patent Rolls
1349 mention of tenement of John Plonte [Bath BC 151/2/42]
1350 cottage of William Plante. Deed dated 2 Oct 1350 at Haughley in Suffolk
1350 Henry Plante of Risole, priest of the diocese of London. Clergy, the religious and the faithful in Britain and Ireland
1352 Plant James, and others carried away goods at Welles, Warham and Styvekey co. Norfolk, Patent Rolls
c1360mention of land of Walter Plonte [Bath BC 151/2/38]
1360 onwards First known Plants in main homeland, as yet 2 with the surname Plontt have been found by 1360 and at least 7 in 35 entries in the 1370s, for the Macclesfield Court Rolls of east Cheshire. Note on the Macclesfield part of the main Plant homeland. Only 2% of the Forest was assarted or approved around the Macclesfield Manor township of Rainow, where a number of Plants had arrived, by 1383. A decade earlier, another Plant had been around 8 miles to the south near the boundary with Leek parish in Staffordshire where surviving records for that early are less complete. Midway between the two was the Macclesfield Manor township called Sutton and Plants were acquiring land there too. A M Tonkinson [Macclesfield in the Later Fourteenth Century, 1999] has estimated that Ranulph Plont of Rainow was an average landholder in Macclesfield Forest around 1349-96 and, by ca.1400, perhaps it could have been the same Ranulph Plont who was a guarantor for others, including Nicholas Gardener who was in the top 12% of the Macclesfield Forest landholders. This 1349-96 mention of the name Gardener can be debated alongside mention of the term junior and, for example, John Plant could initially have meant something similar to John Junior (cf. linguistic evidence for the early meaning offspring) when such descriptors were earlier being added to forenames.
1363 Plontt Thomas indicted; then in 1365 outlawed and committed to prison pending paryment of a surety of 20s; Macclesfield Court Rolls
1373 Plontt Thomas had failed to pay the fee or fine for pasturing a bullock at the Black Prince's vaccary at Midgley, near the Macclesfield-Leek boundary and, in 1375, he was indicted; Macclesfield Court Rolls
1376 Will. Plante, draperie, Leicester Borough Archives
1376 John Plonte?, witness to quitclaim of land at Ernele, Wiltshire and Swindon Archives, 1720/175
1377 Willelmo Plant, gardiner, Myton, East Riding of Yorkshire, Poll Tax
1379 Johannes Plonte, Offchurch, Warwickshire, Poll Tax
1379 Thomas Plonte aided and abetted the beheading of John de Warton of Leek, on behalf of the Abbot of Dieulaces Abbey. On 5 May 1382, he obtained the King's Letters Patent, pardonning him of all felonies committed previous to 10 December 1381. Staffordshire Historical Collection XIV, 156-157
1381 Johannes Plante, agricole, Great Finsborough, Suffolk, Poll Tax returns
1381 wife of Walterus Plante amongst family servants at Pentlow, Essex, Poll Tax returns
1383-84 Ranulph Plont (father of John Plont snr and grandfather of William Plont and John Plont jnr), leasing land at Rainow, east Cheshire. Macclesfield Court Rolls
1386 Plonte William, chaplain (land of prior and convent of Bath), rent in Olveston, Gloucestrehire, Patent Rolls
1394 Plaint John, aged 60 years or more, witness at Lincoln to proof of age of John of Gaunt's mistress's husband's son - John Plaint had been servant to Master Thomas de Sutton, Calendar of Inquisitions
1395 John Plonte witnessed a conveyance of John de Grenley of land in Leek to Thomas Payge. R+B,2,7
1397 John and Richard Plont, sued, trespassing herds of cows at Quarford, north Staffordshire. Staffordshire Historical Collection, XV, 78-79.
1401 Richard Plont guarantor for farm of deadwood; Ranulph Plont guarantor for farm of coal in the forest of Macclesfield, Macclesfield Court Rolls
1401 witness John Plonte the Younger of Overton. Staffordshire Historical Collections 1928 41, Ancient Deeds Preserved at the Wodehouse, Wombourne 76 2/65
1406 Edward Plont gained from the Abbot of Dieulacres Abbey, near Leek in north Staffordshire, a lease for 39 years of two mess' one croft called Calwoheye de Roche Graunge. R+B,2,7
1410s John Plont jnr started acquiring lands at Rainow, Macclesfield Court Rolls (apparently he who was subsequently listed as one of 98 Knights, Gentlemen and Freeholders in Macclesfield Hundred in 1445)
1438 Richard Plant of Stonycliffe, grant from Abbot of Dieulacres for enclosure near Lymgrene (Staffs Charters, Ch 186).
1441 John Plante, archer in the expeditionary French force of Richard, Duke of York under captain John Vere, Earl of Oxford (TNA E101/53/33 m2 and TNA E101/54/9 m1) - around that time, John de Vere served as joint ambassador to France in 1439 and as Justice of the Peace in the counties of Essex, Hertford, and Cambridge
1442 John atte Halle otherwise Plant of Burgh, Lincolnshire, witness to two deeds 13 April and 7 May (Close Rolls)
1443 William Plantes, goldsmith, Norman alien at Salisbury, Wiltshire (TNA E179/387/8 Part 1, mm. 3-5, m. 4, tax assessment, 2 January 1443) identified with 1441 similar record for William ?Plentowe (E179/196/105, m.2, tax assessment, 7 September 1441) - hence perhaps from Plante family at Pentlow in Essex, as in the above 1381 record


1285 ate Palente John, Sussex, Assize Rolls
1296 de Palenta John, Sussex, Subsidy Rolls
1343 Plente John, messuage of land, vicar of the cathedral church of Chichester, Sussex, Patent Rolls


1219 Radulphus Plente (Oxon) Et in operatione castri de Oxon' infra idem castrum xxiij li. et iij s. et iiij d. per breve R. et per visum Petri de Haliwell' et Radulfi Plente. Et in reparatione domorum R. extra villam lxv s. per breve R. et per visum eorundem. [3 Henry III Pipe Rolls]
1219 William Plente (Kent) Et de dim. m. de Willelmo Plente pro panno vendito contra assisam. [3 Henry III Pipe Rolls]
1230 Simon Plente (York) Et de dim. m. de Willelmo filio Ailredi et Simone Plente pro eodem. (By reference back to the preceding records eodem equates to dissaisina.) [14 Henry III Pipe Rolls]
1230-1 Radulphus Plente [ A cartulary of the Hospitals of St John the Baptist, ed H.E.Slater (1914) in Oxford Historical Society Publications 68, 202]
1272 Symon Plente [Feet Fines Oxf. in Oxfordshire Record Society: Record Series (Oxford, 1919-) 12, 200]
1272-84William Plente (and then his widow Gerbergia) of Ormesby (Norfolk) --- charter for piece of land at Hemesby [Norwich Cathedral Charters]
1307 Robert Plente, witness of quitclaim, Exeter, Devon Record Office, 5714, M/T/4
1307-26 Matillide Plente, Bosham. [Register of Bishop Walter de Stapeldon of Exeter, concerning Clerks and Clergy of Cornwall and Devon, 1307-26, p 56]
1340 Alice Plente, tenement anf garden in Tavistock, Devon Record Office,482A/PF11 [W68/4]
1342 Plente Walter, Exeter co. Devon, Patent Rolls
1343 Plente John, messuage of land, vicar of the cathedral church of Chichester, Patent Rolls
1343 Plente John, witness at Theydene Boys on release of claim to lands in Theden Boys, Close Rolls
1345, 1346 acolite Walter Plente [Register of Bishop John de Trillek of Hereford, Clerks and Clergy of Herrefordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire, pp. 419, 431]
1348At Prestbury, Walter, son of William Plente of Bishop's Castle [Register of Bishop John de Trillek of Hereford, p. 399]
1349 sub-deacon Walter son of John Plente; deacon Walter Plente [Register of Bishop John de Trillek of Hereford, pp. 486, 491]
1350 presbiter Walter Plente de Castro episc., ad ti. domus de Sandone [Register of Bishop John de Trillek of Hereford, p. 543]
1361 Roger Plente, witness of Charter of Feoffment, Exeter, Devon Record Office, 51/1/2/2
1364 Plente Roger of Exeter, license to take 20 packs of large cloth of divers colours from port of Exeter to Gascony, Spain, and other parts beyond seas; and to return with wine and other merchandise to the ports of London, Suthampton, Sandwich or Exeter, Patent Rolls
1364 Plente Roger, right to be collector of customs at Exeter, Fine Rolls
1364 Plente Roger, searcher of gold and silver exported without license in the county of Devon, assault on, Patent Rolls
1365 Plente Roger, merchant of Exeter, his ship 'le Ceorge' of Exmouth, Patent Rolls
1367 Plente Roger, king's minister in Devon, Patent Rolls
1368 Plente Roger, collector of customs in port of Exeter, Patent Rolls
1372 8th November, Roger Plente, mayor of Exeter, witness to lease, Devon Record Office, 51/1/2/5a-b
1386 30th April, ground formerly belonging to Roger Plente, Exeter, Devon Record Office, 51/1/3/5
1386 Plente Reynold, rights to yearly rent had been granted by William Botreaux, knight, the elder, Inquisition at Launceston Cornwall
1394 Pleyntif Richard, Somerset, Patent Rolls


1164Geffrey Plante Genest's illegitimate son, Hamelyn, from Anjou, married Isabel de Warenne and inherited the earldom of Surrey with traditional lands in Norfolk etc. Hamelyn's offspring may have retained some cultural connection to the 'de la Planta' name from their ancestral home of Anjou, though surviving primary evidence for the early use of the Plant(a/e)genet name is sparse.
1188-99Plan' Roger de, Chester's Charters
1199Radulphus Plantebene (Norfolk) [1 John Pipe Rolls]
1200 Radulphus Planteben' (Norfolk and Suffolk) [2 John Pipe Rolls]
1209 Plantefolie Gilbert, Leic', Curia Regis
1210Plantefene Andrew, Inhabitants of Leicester (1103-1327).
1214 Planet' Susan de, Jelding' Kent, Curia Regis
1220 Plantan' William, Suff', Curia Regis
1221 Planetis Ralph de, Kent, Curia Regis
1226Plantefolie John, Somerset, Curia Regis
1230 Planterose Robert, Warr' Wigorn', Curia Regis
1254 Plantin Roger, serjent of E. of Norfolk, Close Rolls
1258Plantyn Roger, butler of E. of Norfolk, Close Rolls
1258 Plantyn Roger, lands in Norfolk, Patent Rolls
1263 Plauntefolie Maud, Weston', Close Rolls
1266Plauntegenet Galfrido, serjent at arms, Wodestock, Close Rolls
1267Ph'us filius Elye Plauntefolye, Nottingham. Fine Rolls
1268 Planteng' Roger, Guldeford' Norff', Close Rolls
1270Plantefolie Adam, Welle Fanerwal' (co. York), Close Rolls
1285 Plauntain Henry, Patent Rolls
1310 Johannes Planterose [Two Bedfordshire subsidy listings ed S.H.A.Hervey (1925) Suffolk Green Books 18 87]
1341 le Plaunter Henry, Cambridge-Huntingdon border dispute, Patent Rolls

Some Alpine context and a background of the earldom of Chester and Lincoln

It is misleading to place too much emphasis on any one isolated record for the medieval Plant name. However, the following is an attempt to outline some of the general context for some of the available records. A narrower account of a more specific context for almost all of the early Plant records, from France into England, is given by the Longspée-Audley hypothesis.

There are some indications of a French, or still earlier Alpine, context to the name. In the Swiss Alps, Zuoz was the site of the Stammhaus, or original castle of the family of Planta, who as far back as 1139, in the times of Geffrey Plante Genest (1113-51), held the Engadine in feof. An early known Plant record, in 1202, in Anjou in western France, can be related to the feuding of Arthur of Brittany and his uncle King John, grandson of Count Geffrey Plante Genest (Plantagenet) of Anjou. It is unclear whether the early Plant records in Angevin France, in 1202 and 1273, were directly related to the noble Planta family, whose hegemony in the Upper Engadine is confirmed in the 1244 record listed above. Also in the Alps, Verbier Castle was probably built in the twelfth century and belonged to the Duchy of Savoy though it was largely destroyed in the Battle of La Planta in 1475.

In England, a Savoyard influence became important in the mid thirteenth century after the 1236 marriage of King John's son, Henry III, to Eleanor of Provence whose uncle, Peter of Savoy, had been granted lands in England by 1240. Peter was appointed guardian of Warenne lands, for example, including the Manor of Boston in south Lincolnshire and the Honour of Lewes in Sussex. These two places coincide with two early instances of the Plant name in England - in 1279, the Plante name was hereditary, apparently for three generations, at Burgh near Boston; and, around 1280, a Plonte is described as 'once bailif of Marsfelde', which could have been the one near Lewes. Alpine Savoyard origins might also be associated with the 1301 record of the industrious Richard Plant in Flintshire, who might be set in the context of a Savoyard master mason who, in 1280-82, oversaw, on behalf of Henry III's son, King Edward I, the building of Flint Castle across the river Dee from Chester; this castle was partly rebuilt after a Welsh attack in 1294. Later, the 1350 mention of the London priest Henry Plante of Risole evidently refers to Risoul in the French Alps.

There might also have been associations of the Plant name with traditions ensuing from the earlier English earldom of Chester and Lincoln. As already indicated, the earliest known evidence that the Plant name was hereditary in England is the listed 1279 Plante record for Burgh in Lincolnshire, which suggests that the Plante name had been hereditary for one or two generations previously. A 1344 Plant record for Burgh Marsh indicates that the family was still there some time later. Burgh-le-marsh in Lincolshire is about 16 miles from Boston and 9 miles from Bolingbroke Castle which had been built by Randulf de Blundeville, earl of Chester, and earl of Lincoln from 1217, who also held Huntingdon, which is the location of the de Plantes listed record dated 1282. In 1189, Ranulph had married Countess Constance of Brittany, the widowed daughter-in-law of Geffrey Plante Genest; and, in 1214, he had founded Dieulacres Abbey, near Leek, to relocate the community of Poulton Abbey to the other side of Cheshire, safer from attacks from the Welsh. In 1237, the earldom was annexed by the crown. The Black Prince, eldest son of Edward III, was buying wool from Dieulacres in 1347 and the Abbey owned land near Macclesfield, the location of the Prince's stud farm. Subsequently, there is evidence that the hereditary Plant surname was established in its main homeland, around both Macclesfield and Dieulacres, astride the Cheshire-Staffordshire border, as evidenced in the listed Plont(e) records of 1360, 1373, 1379, 1381, 1383-84, 1395, and 1406.

John of Gaunt, another son of Edward III, acquired Bolingbroke Castle in south Lincolnshire and lived there during the 1360s and 1370s. In 1394, a sexagenerian John Plaint appeared as a witness at Lincoln in connection with the issue of John of Gaunt's earlier extra-marital affair. The Angevin Warennes, descendants of count Geffrey Plante Genest, had by then relocated their main base to Poynton in east Cheshire, near Macclesfield in the main (?subsequent) Plant homeland. The 1352 Plant record can be tentatively associated with this relocation to east Cheshire from the Warenne's Hundred in Norfolk. Migration to the south from east Cheshire might have related partly to the fact that Dieulacres Abbey was a major landholder in Staffordshire; and, as indicated by the listed 1381 Plonte record, the maintenance of these land-holding rights attracted more attention than might be imagined from a more usual view of religious duties for the eleven monks in 1381 at Dieulacres.

How any of this relates to the modern Plant surname is a matter for conjecture and ongoing investigation, except to say that there was an early secondary cluster of the Plant name around Bolingbroke in south Lincolnshire, with the main cluster of the name persisting around Dieulacres, in Leek parish, at the northernmost tip of Staffordshire, just over the border from east Cheshire. This is described further elsewhere on this web site.

Plant Home PagePlant Family History Group Homepage