Thomas Felton (died 1381)
Sir Thomas Felton KG (died 2 April 1381) was an English knight. He fought at the Battle of Crecy in 1346, and the Capture of Calais in 1347. He was also at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356. He was a signatory to treaty of Bretigny in 1360. In 1362 he was appointed seneschal of Aquitaine. He accompanied the Black Prince on his Spanish campaign. He was taken prisoner by Henry of Trastamare's forces in 1367. In 1372 he was appointed joint-governor of Aquitaine and seneschal of Bordeaux. He caused Guillaume de Pommiers and his secretary to be beheaded for treason in 1377 and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1381 (the year he died).
Felton was second son of Sir John Felton, governor of Alnwick in 1314, who was summoned to parliament in 1342, and was lord of the manor of Litcham, Norfolk.
Sir Thomas was with the expedition, commanded by Edward III, that invaded France in 1346, and took part in the battle of Crécy, the capture of Calais, and the other important events of that campaign.
When the Black Prince went to take possession of Gascony in 1355, Felton went with him, and followed him to the battle of Poitiers. He was one of the commissioners who signed the important treaty of Bretigny (1360) and took oath to see it executed.
He was deputed to receive the king of Cyprus, who came to Aquitaine on a visit to the prince in 1364. The prince when requested by Don Pedro to reinstate him on the throne of Castille, referred the matter to Sir John Chandos and Felton. Chandos was unfavourable. Felton recommended that the barons and knights of Aquitaine should be consulted in the matter. The prince replied, "It shall be done". The larger council being held it was decided that Felton be sent to Spain with a fleet of twelve ships to bring Don Pedro. Having set out he landed at Bayonne, where Don Pedro had already arrived, and returned with him and his suite to Bordeaux. Power to treat with Pedro, king of Castile, was given to him as seneschal of Aquitaine representing Edward, prince of Wales, in letters dated 8 February 1362.
The invasion of Spain having been agreed upon, Felton and Chandos obtained leave from the King Charles II of Navarre to cross the mountain passes into Spain. Felton preceded the prince with a small force, and found the enemy encamped near Navarrete, 1367. They were attacked by a large body of Spaniards, and all either killed or taken prisoners (see Battle of Aríñez). Felton was exchanged for the French Marshal d'Audreham, who was afterwards taken prisoner by the English at the battle of Navarrete. He subsequently took part in combats and sieges at Monsac, at Duravel, and at Domme.
Felton was then recalled to Angoulême by the prince, and sent into Poitou with the John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke. He secured La Linde on the Dordogne when about to be betrayed to the French. He joined John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster in an attack on the town of Mont-Paon, and made an unsuccessful attempt to relieve the garrison of Thouars. In spite of his efforts Monsac was lost to the English. In 1372, when the Black Prince had surrendered the principality of Aquitaine into the king's hands, it was granted by royal commission to Felton and Sir Robert Wykford; and on the final withdrawal of the Duke of Lancaster, Felton was appointed seneschal of Bordeaux.
In February 1375 he returned to England; in 1376 he was charged with the execution of the truce, and in December of the same year he was charged to negotiate with the king of Navarre. He caused Guillaume de Pommiers and his secretary to be beheaded at Bordeaux for treason. He was at length again taken prisoner by the French near Bordeaux, 1 November 1377. In 1380 Joan or Johanna, his wife, petitioned the king that a French prisoner in England should not be ransomed until her husband had been set at liberty. In August of the same year the king granted to Felton for the payment of his ransom thirty thousand francs from the ransom of two French prisoners. In April 1380 a procuration had been signed by the Comte de Foix to set him at liberty. During the same year he received letters of protection in England to enable him to return to France for matters connected with the payment of his ransom. The lands and barony of Chaumont in Gascony were given by Edward III to Sir John Chandos, with a reversion at his death to Felton.
Felton was made a knight of the Garter in January 1381, and his plate is still to be seen in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, in the tenth stall, on the sovereign's side. He died 2 April 1381. Besides the manor of Litcham, Norfolk, Felton owned the manor called Felton's at Barrow, Suffolk, and other property in the neighbourhood.
Felton's paternal grandfather was Sir Robert Felton, governor of Scarborough Castle in 1311, who was slain at Stirling in 1314. William Felton, Sir Robert's father, governor of Bambrough in 1315, was originally known as William Fitz-Pagan, being son of Pagan of Upper Felton, Northumberland, and was the first to bring the family into notice 
Felton had an elder brother, Hamond Felton (died 1379), who was M.P. for Norfolk in 1377. A younger brother, Sir Edmund Felton, who was living in 1364, was ancestor of Robert Felton of Shotley (died 1506), who by his marriage with Margaret Sampson of Playford, Suffolk, acquired the Playford property, and was grandfather of Sir Anthony Felton, K.B. (died 1613). Sir Anthony's son, Henry (died 1659), was created a baronet 20 July 1620.
Felton married Joan de Walkfare, and left three daughters:
- Mary, wife of Sir John Curson of Beke or Beek, Norfolk
- Sibyll, wife of Sir Thomas de Morley
- Eleanor, wife of Sir Thomas de Ufford.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Fotheringham, James Gainsborough (1889). "Felton, Thomas (d.1381)". In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 18. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 309–310.
- Suffolk Institute of Archæology, iv. 27 et seq. (Playford and the Feltons);
- Beltz's Order of the Garter;
- Gage's Thingoe, p. 11;
- Rymer's Fœdera; Froissart's Chroniques, ed. Luce;
- Archives de la Gironde;
- Black Book, ed. Anstis (Rolls Series).