Sir John Dinham, Knight, Lord Dinham

Sir John Dinham, Knight, Lord Dinham

Male 1359 - 1428  (~ 69 years)

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  • Name John Dinham 
    Title Sir 
    Suffix Knight, Lord Dinham 
    Born ~ 1359  Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Died 25 Dec 1428  Hartland, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I48040  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 18 Mar 2017 

    Father John Dinham, Knight,   b. 0___ 1318,   d. 7 Jan 1383  (Age ~ 65 years) 
    Mother Muriel Courtenay 
    Married Y  [2
    Family ID F17698  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Eleanor Montagu 
    Married 3 Feb 1380  Hartland, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
     1. Muriel Dinham,   b. ~ 1390, Hartland, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1427  (Age ~ 36 years)
     2. John Dinham,   b. Bef 1406,   d. 25 Jan 1457, Hartland, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 51 years)
    Last Modified 18 Apr 2018 
    Family ID F17697  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Phillippa Lovel,   b. ~ 1391,   d. 15 May 1465, Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 74 years) 
    Married Y  [2
    Last Modified 18 Apr 2018 
    Family ID F17701  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - ~ 1359 - Devonshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 3 Feb 1380 - Hartland, Devon, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 25 Dec 1428 - Hartland, Devon, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Sir John Dinham (1359-1428)
    Sir John Dinham (1359-1428)

    was a knight from Devonshire, England and an ancient forefather of the grandchildren of Vernia Elvira Swindell Byars.

    He killed one of the murderers of his father in Exeter Cathedral, for which he was pardoned by the king.

  • Notes 
    • Sir John Dinham (13591428) was a knight from Devonshire, England. His principal seats were at Hartland in North Devon, Kingskerswell and Nutwell in South Devon, Buckland Dinham in Somerset and Cardinham in Cornwall.[2] He killed one of the murderers of his father in Exeter Cathedral, for which he was pardoned by the king. He later broke into Hartland Abbey and assaulted the Abbot over a long-standing disagreement, and also performed other acts of violence. He married three times; his heir was John Dinham (14061458). His monument survives in Kingskerswell parish church.

      Origins and inheritance

      The Dynham family took its name from its ancient manor of Dinan in Brittany.[3] They had been at Nutwell since about 1122 and were one of the leading gentry families in Devon. They founded Hartland Abbey in 1169 on their manor of Hartland.[4]

      John Dinham was the son and heir of Sir John Dinham (13181383) by his wife Muriel Courtenay, the elder daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Courtenay (13121362) of Wootton Courtenay in Somerset. Thomas Courtenay was the fourth son of Hugh de Courtenay, 9th Earl of Devon (12761340)) by his wife Muriel de Moels (died before 1369), the elder daughter and co-heiress of Sir John de Moels (died 1337), feudal baron of North Cadbury[5] in Somerset.[6]

      Dinham's father was murdered by robbers on 7 January 1383,[6] when John was aged 24. He inherited his father's estates including Hartland and Nutwell in Devon, Buckland Dinham in Somerset and Cardinham in Cornwall. He also inherited from his mother 3 1/2 knight's fees, including the former de Moels estate of Kingskerswell in Devon, which he made his seat, and also Woodhuish, Dunterton in Devon and Cricket Malherbe and Northome in Somerset and Over Worton with a moiety of North Stoke in Oxfordshire and Over Wallop in Hampshire together with 4 advowsons.[7]

      On his mother's death and following her burial in Hartland Abbey, Bishop of Exeter Thomas Brantingham granted an indulgence for 40 days to any of his parishioners who should say for the soul of Lady Muriell Dynham and for the souls of all the faithful departed, with pious mind a prayer Oracio Dominica with a Salutacio Angelica.[8]


      Dinham was a violent man. The two thieves, Robert Tuwyng and John Broun, who had murdered his father were convicted of robbery and murder and incarcerated in Ilchester prison. After apparently having escaped, John Broun was tracked down by Dinham and fled for sanctuary into Exeter Cathedral. On 18 February 1383 Dinham broke down the door and killed him after a fierce struggle, thus avenging his father's murder. On 16 March 1383 he received the king's pardon for his action,[9][a] but was ordered by the Bishop Brantingham to perform penance for having violated the right of sanctuary. The penance mandated by the bishop on 21 March 1383 was:[11]

      "that on a Sunday before this Pentecost he should stand at the small altar between the choir and the high altar on the south side, with head uncovered with a lit candle of 2 lbs weight in his hand from the start of the high mass, that is to say the Confession (Confiteor) until the end of the same mass and then if he should so wish to make gift at the offertory of the same candle into the hand of the celebrant at the high mass".

      There had been a long history of quarrelling between the abbots of Hartland Abbey and the Dinham family, founders of the abbey, mainly concerning patronage and occupation of the abbey during a vacancy.[12] In 1397 Abbot Philip Tone claimed as abbot the lordship of the manor of Stoke St Nectan, near the parish church of St Nectan, Hartland, and claimed thereby view of frankpledge from the residents of that manor. In August that year Dinham was accused by the Abbot of Hartland of "breaking into his houses, assaulting him and chasing him to his chamber and ill-treating his servants".[13] Dinham with his armed supporters appeared at the abbey, "and so ill-used him that his life was despaired of, took timber and goods to the value of 20, killed 22 sheep, carried off 2 cows, depastured corn and grass, imprisoned his servant, assaulted and ill-used his men, servants and bondsmen".[14]

      This action prevented the abbot from cultivating his land for a long period and frightened away his tenants and the lucrative flow of visitors come either to pray at the holy sites or to buy the tithes.[14] On 27 February 1398 Dinham was bound over to keep the peace for 1,000 marks,[13] levied on his lands and chattels in England, with Sir John de la Pomeray, Sir John Prideaux, Giles Aysse and John Stantorre each standing as surety for 200.[14]

      Dinham was later found guilty of committing assaults on others in January 1402 and in December 1404.[13] In September 1402 he was amongst those accused by the Abbot of Torre Abbey of digging up a road at Kingkerswell and assaulting the abbot's men. He also committed acts of violence at Nutwell and at Littleham.[15]

      On 28 April 1407, having paid 700 of his 1,000 marks surety he and his mainpernors were pardoned.[13][16]


      Dinham married three times. His first marriage, some time before 3 February 1380, was to a lady named Eleanor or Ellen (died after 22 Sept 1387[17]). Her parentage has not been directly evidenced,[18] but she has been shown to have been Eleanor de Montagu, daughter of John de Montacute, 1st Baron Montacute and his wife Margaret de Monthermer.[19] Eleanor was granted licence by Bishop Brantingham in 1382 to hold divine service during one year in her chapel situated within her manor of Kytone,[20] and John and "Elianora" were also granted by the bishop on 3 January 1384, licence to celebrate divine mass in their chapel within their manor of Kingskerswell.[21]

      By Eleanor, Dinham had a daughter Muriel, who married Sir Edward Hastings of Elsing and Gressenhall.

      Dinham's second marriage, before 26 November 1396, was to Maud Mautravers (died c. 1402), a daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Mautravers of Hooke, Dorset (a cousin of John Maltravers, 1st Baron Maltravers (1290?1365) of Lytchett Matravers, Dorset[22]) and widow of Piers de la Mare of Offley, Hertfordshire.

      His third wife was Philippa Lovel (died 15 May 1465), daughter of Sir John Lovell of Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire and Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire, by his wife Alianore la Zouche, daughter of Sir William la Zouche of Harringworth, Northamptonshire. Philippa survived her husband and some time before 24 March 1429 remarried to Nicholas Broughton.[23] By Philippa Lovel, Dynham had a son and heir, Sir John Dinham (14061458).

      Dinham died on 25 December 1428 at the age of about 69.


      Dinham's chest tomb with his effigy and the effigies of two of his wives survive in St Mary's Church, Kingskerswell,[24] which is adjacent to the ruins of the Dinham manor house and seat. All the monuments been moved from their original unknown positions[citation needed] to occupy each one a separate window ledge in the north aisle. The effigy of Dinham himself retains one front of its chest-tomb base, decorated with angels holding heraldic escutcheons. The arms of Dinham, four fusils in fess, are still visible sculpted in low-relief on the chest of his surcoat.

      end [2]
    • Sir John "Lord Dinham" Dinham
      Born about 1359 in Devonshire, Englandmap
      Son of John Dinham and Muriel (Courtenay) Dinham
      Brother of Muriel (Dinham) de Dinham and Johanna (Dinham) Berkeley
      Husband of Eleanor (Montagu) Dinham married 3 Feb 1380 in Hartland, Devonshire, Englandmap
      Husband of Maud (Mautravers) Dinham married 26 Nov 1396 in Hook, Devonshire, Englandmap
      Husband of Philippa (Lovel) Dinham married 1406 in Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, Englandmap
      Father of Muriel (Dinham) Hastings, Catherine Dinham, Otes Dinham, Jane Dinham, John Dinham, Emma Dinham, Alice Dinham and Elizabeth Dinham
      Died 25 Dec 1428 in Hartland, Bideford, Devon, Englandmap


      From Royal Ancestry, cited below: Married 1) ELEANOR (or ELLEN) MONTAGU. They had one daughter, Muriel. Married 2) MAUD MAUTRAVERS, widow of Peter de la Mare, Knt. They had no issue. Married 3) PHILIPPE LOVEL, daughter of JOHN LOVEL, KG, 5th Lord Lovel. They had one son, John, Knt., and two daughters, Maud (wife of Thomas Brooke, Esq.), and Philippe (wife of Thomas Beaumont, Knt.).


      Magna Carta Ancestry 2011 2nd ed. Vol. II p. 85-87
      Ancestral Roots 8th Ed. Line 214-34
      Richardson, Royal Ancestry (2013) Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham, (Salt Lake City, Utah: the author, 2013), volume II, pages 457 and 458, DINHAM 7, entry for JOHN DINHAM.
      Magna Carta Ancestry: A study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Richardson, Douglas, (Kimball G. Everingham, editor. 2nd edition, 2011), vol. 2 p. 85.
      Wikipedia page for John Dinham (1359-1428)
      Marlyn Lewis.

      end [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S10682] "John Dinham (abt. 1359 - 1428)" biography, which was abstracted, downloaded and published Saturday, March 18th, 2017 by.

    2. [S10683] "John Dinham (1359-1428)" biography, which was abstracted, downloaded and published Saturday, March 18th, 2017 by David.