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Some early Plant documents
The donation of further copies of early Plant documents would be
The following is a haphazard collection of copies of some documents with
some emphasis on the Cheshire/Staffordshire homeland of the main Plant
family (for which records start with the 1360 item included below) though
some other Plant records from elsewhere are also included.
Note on the earliest documents. In a fuller
list of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Plant records, which is given elsewhere on this
website, there are for example several Plants spread around England. These
mainly predate the times of the Poll Tax returns, which however are often
considered to be the standard source for the medieval population. Earlier
sources are thought to typify the poorer classes, in particular, less well
[see for example H Parkin (2015) The Fourteenth-Century Poll Tax
Returnss and the Study of English Surname Distribution, Historical
Methods, Vol.48(1), esp. page 2]. The Poll Tax returns are of
little help for Plant however, since they record only four with this name
(1377, 1379, 1381 twice) and these are in places of doubtful
consequence for the surviving Plant population. The relatively small
contribution of the Poll Tax records, for the Plants, is no doubt at least
partly because the survivng records are estimated to cover only 60% of the
medieval population with, in particular, no return for Cheshire. Along with
the northernmost tip of Staffordshire, east Cheshire is the earliest
well-acredited homeland of the main Plant family. This knowledge is due in
no small part to particularly useful records in the Macclesfield Court
Rolls, from which it is known that there were at least 7 differently named
Plants in Macclesfield Hundred of east Cheshire in the 1370s; these appear
in 35 records in this decade mainly just prior to the Poll Tax. From the
earliest preserved records in these Rolls, the Plant name continues on here
down the centuries. A start has been
made on listing some subsequent 16th- and 17th-century Plant wills and Plant
University attendees elsewhere on this
Some of the following documents have been purchased from The Original
- Emeri' de la Planta, also Emici de Plant', was dispossessed of lands in Chinon and Loud[un] (France). Normandy Rolls.
Historical context. This was immediately after the nearby Battle of Mirebeau, 1st August 1202, which was a short-lasting vistory for John, king of England in his attempts to hold on to land near his ancestral homeland of Anjou.
1279 Lincolnshire, England
- Alan son of Hugh Plante against
John son of John Plante, touching land in Burgh, Lincolnshire.
Patent Rolls transcribed by Deputy Keeper of PRO.
context. Lady Margaret de Lacy held lands in Burgh in reign of Edward I
(1272-1307). Burgh is 12 miles from Bolingbroke Castle which was built
1220-30 by Ranulph de Bludeville Earl of Chester and Lincoln. On Randulph's
death, 1232, the castle passed to his niece's husband, John de Lacy,
hereditary constable of Chester, who also in 1232 became Earl of Lincoln.
On his death in 1240, the castle became the property of his daughter Alice
and her husband, Earl Thomas of Lancaster, who was executed in 1322. Once
Alice died in 1348, Bolingbroke became the property of her first husband's
brother, Earl Henry of Lancaster, whose daughter Blanche married the famous
John of Gaunt in 1359, who thus joined the Lancastrian family, becoming 1st
Duke of Lancaster.
ca.1280-1305 Bath, Somerset, England
- Robert Plonte, of Saltforde,
once bailiff of Marsfelde. Ancient Deeds of Bath, Bundle No. 4.
1350 France to England
- Henry Plante of Risole, priest of London. Clergy,
the religious and the faithful in Britain and Ireland.
Historical context. Risole is evidently Risoul in the French Alps. This was during the times of the Popes' residence at Avignon in France.
1352 Norfolk, England
- James Plant and others, carrying away goods from ex-Warenne
lands (complaint of the Lancastrian earl of Stafford). Patent Rolls,
see item in Membrane 30d, Jan 28.
Note. Amongst the 26 surnames or by-names, for this group of 31 people,
7 were found soon after also in Macclesfield hundred in the main Plant
Plont, Halle, Kent, Knyght, Lovell, Nichol, and Batiller (or Bataille).
Historical context. Following the death of the last Earl Warren in 1347, his lands were gradually taken over by the Lancastrians. The remnants of
the Warren family removed their seat to Poynton in east Cheshire and the
Audley nobility, with a marital link to the earl of Stafford,
were further to the south in north Staffordshire in the main
1360 Main homeland, England
- First known records of Plants in their main subsequent homeland, Macclesfield Court Rolls, east Cheshire.
Note on source documentation. There is little by way of suitable documentation before 1360.
1381 Main homeland
- Thomas Plonte, complicit (with Abbot of Dieulacres) in murder at Leek in main Plant homeland (Staffordshire Historical Collections).
- John Plaint, witness to proof of age of Sir Thomas Swynford, Lancastrian son of John of Gaunt's mistress, Catherine Swynford.
Note. John Plaint is here recorded as servant, in 1373, to Thomas de Sutton, godfather of Sir Thomas Swynford - though Sutton was an important family name in the main Plant homeland, it is also a common place name. See also 1279 item above.
1397 Main homeland
- John and Richard Plont, sued for trespass with cattle at Quarnford in main Plant homeland (Staffordshire Historical Collections).
1401 and 1403 South Staffordshire
- John Plonte the Younger 1401 (item 76) and John Plonte 1403 (item 79)
witnesses at Wombourne (Staffordshire Historical Collections).
Note. Both these items, for one or two Johns,
refer to Overton.
In the book A Topographical History of Staffordshire: Including Its
Agriculture, Mines ...By William Pitt (1817), on p. 187, Richard E Plant
found Overton or
Orton, a hamlet in Wombourne parish, contains two three good farm-houses and
1438 Main homeland
- Richard Plant of Stonycliffe. Leave from Abbot of Dieulacres (near Staffordshire-Cheshire border) to make an enclosure near a place called Lymgrene. In Staffordshire Charters, Ch 186.
1441 Portsmouth to France
- John Plante, archer, expeditionary
force to France under captain John Vere, earl of Oxford [TNA
lists The John Plante entry is the 33rd listed name under the
first heading down in the middle column: Archers.
[purchased JSP, Jan 2016]
Historical context. Henry VI turned to Richard, 3rd Duke
of York again in 1440, after peace negotiations with France failed, and
Richard was reappointed Lieutenant of France on 2 July.
1441-43 Norman alien at Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Plantes, Goldsmith, Norman alien at Salisbury, with possible association
with ?Plentlowe (cf. Pentolowe, Essex in 1381 record for
Walter Plante, family servant).
1442 Lincolnshire, England
- John atte Halle otherwise Plant (of
Burgh), witness to two deeds: 13 April and 7 May (Acknowledged 8 May).
Location. See also Plants at Burgh in 1279 item above. In
both cases, John is mentioned along with Robert Masyngberg - Thomas
Massingberd had inherited Bernake Hall, just SW of Burgh, through marriage
in 1434 to a granddaughter of Sir Hugh Bernak.
1445 Main homeland
- John Plant junior in list of 98 notables of
- Historical context. This date coincides with the
marriage of Margaret of Anjou to Henry VI of England, with a clandestine
agreement that the lands of Anjou and Maine would pass from the English to
to her uncle king Charles VII of France (cf. 1202 item above).
- Other records for John Plant jnr. The text and footnote
10 of a Nomina 28
paper [JSP, 2005] tentatively associates this listed John Plant junior
with other documents for a John Plant jnr in Macclesfield Hundred. This
derives from some 1982 searches for document records involving Prof Ann
Curry and W Keith Plant.
Note on the Fittons. The same 1445 east Cheshire list mentions Laurence Fitton, knight and the next such list for this Hundred is much later, in 1579. This later list mentions Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth who is apparently he (1529-1579) who served as Lord President of Connaught and Thormond and Vice-Treasurer of Ireland.
Another link to Ireland. The ca.1472-84 documents below feature Sir John Plant of Dublin.
1465 Woburn Abbey, Diocese of Lincoln, England
- John Plant, Cistercian monk of Woborn, rights to receive and retain benefice. Clergy, the religious and the faithful in Britain and Ireland.
1467-8 Canterbury, Kent
- John Plant, mercer, Worgate (traders in Canterbury 1392-1592)
1471 Main homeland
- Thomas Plant of Derliston, husbandman, and others including a Fitton gentleman of Gawswirth Hall, are sued for taking livestock by force. (Staffordshire Historical Collections).
Note on location. Darlaston was a village, then at the far south of Staffordshire, though now in the West Midlands conurbation between Wolverhampton and Birmingham. As well as the 1479 document below, there is a later record of a Plant family at Darlaston, in a 1532-3 list of Staffordshire families (see list and the link to a corresponding map). However, a later 1613 document (below) refers to property at Meyford, Stone and Darlaston - there is now a Darlaston Inn near Meaford and Stone, which are between Stoke and Trent and Stafford, and this highlights confusion concerning the references to Darlaston.
Historical context. This 1471 legal case could have related to the 1469-71 Lancastrian rebellion in as much as the accused Plant is mentioned along with a gentleman Fitton of Gawsworth (see also 1445 document above) who might have been partisan (see also 1479 item below).
1479 Main homeland
- husbandman Thomas Plante, late of Darlaston, along with others including a knight and two gentlemen of the Fitton family of Gawsworth are sued, partly on behalf of the Yorkist king, for trespass.
Compendium of 1471, 1479 and 1613 document items for Darlaston [REP, June 2015].
Historical context. George of Clarence (the only uncrowned one surviving after 1460 of the sons of York) had been involved in the 1469-71 Lancastrian rebellion, was forgiven, but was tried for treason by Edward IV in person and executed on 18 Feb 1478.
ca.1479-84 Dublin, Ireland
- Sir John Plant appears as
Document A: John Plant prebendary of Houthe, freeman of Dublin by special
grace, fourth Friday after 24 June 1479;
Document B: chaplain,
seneschall of household, beneficiary and executor of the will of the
Archbishop John of Dublin, primate of Ireland; and,
prebendary of Howth (village near Dublin) in the excommunication of John
A is in Freemen of Dublin (1479) and B and C are in Dublin
diocese testators and legatees.
Documents. The ordering of the documents B and C places them ca.1468.
However, Document B concerns the will of Archbishop John of Dublin,
who can only be John Walton (bishop of Osney in Oxford in 1452), appointed
Archbishop of Dublin on 4 May 1472, resigned blind and in ill health 14 June
1484 (died ca.1490). Documents A and C place Sir John Plant on the
outskirts of Dublin, though Document A suggests that he was an Englishman,
perhaps arriving in 1479.
Secular primates. The secular Primate of Ireland (or Lord Lieutenant of Ireland) from 1447-60 was Richard, Duke of York, who was reputedly the first royal to adopt Plantagenet as a family name. His son George, Duke of Clarence was born in Dublin Castle in 1449 and, albeit mainly a nominal position,
was the Primate through 1462-78. This was followed by a succession of Yorkists: John de a Pole in 1478; the young Richard of Shrewsbury, one of the two princes in the tower, 1478-83; Edward of Middleham, d. 9 April 1484, only son of Richard III; John de la Pole 1484-85, nephew of Edward IV and Richard III and also eldest son of the 1478 Primate; he was the de facto heir to the throne under Richard III.
Resignation of Archbishop John. Though only of arguable relevance, the resignation of Archbishop John is a little over a month after the appointment of John de la Pole as the secular Primate. Archbishop John was replaced by Walter Fitzsimon who made the mistake of attending the coronation in Dublin of the pretender Lambert Simmel to the English throne though, after the decisive Tudor victory at the 1487 battle of Stoke (Nottinghamshire), Walter was pardoned by the Lancastrian Tudors and became one of their staunch supporters.
- Benevolence record for Tho. Plaunt in (7th ward) street from hye crosse
to Pexsall corner (inhabitants of Leicester 1327-1509)
1510 Main homeland
- Thomas Plant late of Coton, Staffordshire (also mentions the Wedgwood family).
Note on location. This is probaby the Coton near Gnosall. The document also mentions Forton, which is near Gnosall (just to the west of Stafford). There are Staffordshire Plant families not far distant in a 1532-3 (see list and the link to a corresponding map).
- Robert Plant, skinner (London Liverymen, 1537)
1545 Main homeland
- William Plant of Keele, seizure of his cattle (mentions the Sneyd family, owners of Keele Hall, subsequent site of Keele University). Star Chamber Depositions.
1559 Main homeland
- James, Katherine and William Plant(e) mentions Northrode, Cheshire which is at the heart of the fourteenth-century homeland of the main Plant family.
1565 Main homeland
- Elizabeth Plante, complaint against Sir Ralph Bagnall, tenements in Leek.
Historical context. Upon the dissolution of Dieualcres Abbey in 1539, the land was granted to Sir Ralph Bagnall.
1567 Main homeland
- Christopher Plante, Thomas Plante and two others, complaint against
Sir Ralph Bagnall, property in Leek parish.
1573-4 Main homeland
- Thomas Plant, suspicion of coyniage of false money Acts of Privy
1613 Main homeland
- John Plant, remission of land at Meyford, Stone and Darlaston to him and his heirs (Staffordshire Historical Colections) [See also 1471 and 1479 documents above].
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