Walter Devereux (1387–1419)

Sir Walter Devereux of Bodenham was a prominent knight of Herefordshire during the reigns of Henry IV and Henry V. He is the ancestor of the Devereux Earls of Essex and Viscounts of Hereford.

Walter Devereux of Bodenham
BornChristmas 1387
Died1419 (age 31/32)
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Maud Bromwich
Walter Devereux of Bodenham and Weobley
William Devereux
Thomas Devereux
Simon Devereux
Isabel Devereux
FatherWalter Devereux of Bodenham and Weobley
MotherAgnes Crophull

Childhood and AncestryEdit

Walter Devereux was born on Christmas Day 1387,[1][2] and was 15 years old at the death of his father, Walter Devereux of Weobley.[3] He inherited only part of the lands of his father, and his mother, Agnes Crophull,[a] held the majority of his estates in dower during his lifetime.[4]

His arms were: Argent a fesse gules, in chief three torteaux.


Walter Devereux assumed a position in the retinue of Henry IV following the death of his father on 25 July 1402 at the Battle of Pilleth. On 13 December 1402 Sir Edmund Mortimer declared his rebellion against Henry IV, but Devereux stayed loyal to the king. He was probably present at the Battle of Shrewsbury on 21 July 1403, and subsequently was knighted.[b] Sir Walter Devereux was placed on a Commission of array for Herefordshire on 8 September 1403 to raise troops for the defense against the king’s enemies who have lately invaded the realm.[5] It is probable that Devereux was present when Henry IV faced off with a combined Welsh and French force in South Wales during the summer of 1405, but no major battle occurred and the English force had dispersed by October of that year. Devereux remained an important supporter of the efforts to suppress the rebellion in Wales as Prince Henry assumed responsibility for the fight. Walter Devereux would be among 14 men below the rank of baron who would be retained for life by Prince Henry (the future Henry V).[6]

In 1406 Welsh raiders damaged Lyonshall Castle in the heart of Devereux territory. Walter Devereux shared a claim on the castle with the family of his distant cousin John Devereux, 1st Baron Devereux. These claims could only be inherited through the male line, and would result in the castle finally passing to his son in the 1430s. When the daughter of John Devereux, Joan 3rd Baroness Devereux and Baroness Fitzwalter, died on 11 May 1409 she still possessed Lyonshall. On 24 May 1409 an order was issued to the escheator and sheriff of Herefordshire to take the castle into the king’s hands, and arrest ‘certain of the king’s lieges’ who had entered and held it with a strong hand to the contempt of the king. This is probably a reference to Walter Devereux trying to assert his claim.

As described in Shakespeare's plays, there is suggestion that when Henry V assumed the throne on 20 March 1413, the new king did not favor the companions of his youth who had supported him in his struggles with the partisans of his father, Henry IV. This loss of favor may have contributed to the shift of the Devereux family into the retinue of the newly reinstated Earl of March, and ultimately into the affinity of the House of York.

On 12 November 1414 John and Agnes Cheverell granted for 200 marks to Agnes Crophul, mother of Walter Devereux, and her heirs 1 messuage, 20 acres of land, 5 acres of meadow, and 7 acres of pasture in Whitchurch maund; the manor and rent of Whitchurch maund; 7 messuages, 1 toft, 243 acres of land, 26 acres of meadow, and 28 acres of wood in Bodenham, which encompassed all the land concessions of Walter Devereux’s ancestor, William Devereux of Bodenham, to Baron John Devereux.

Walter Devereux went with Henry V to France along with his brothers, Sir John Devereux[7] and Sir Richard Devereux.[8][9] He fought at the Siege of Harfleur, and the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415.

On 2 May 1417 Geoffrey Harley, Richard Hull, and John Monnington granted to John Merbury, and Agnes Crophul, his wife and the heirs of their body: Weobley Castle, and the manors of Weobley, Cotesbach, and Newbold Verdon; the manors of Arnold, Treswell, Hyde, Hemington (in Lockington), Sutton Bonington, Leake, Thrumpton, Braunstone, and the manor and vill of Market Rasen; 3 knights’ fees in Weobley, Straddle (in Vowchurch), Cusop, and Little Marcle in Herefordshire, one and a quarter knights’ fees in Bitterly and Blithelow (in Bishop's Castle) in Shropshire; 60 shillings of rent and the view of frankpledge of Skeffington in Leicestershire; the advowsons in Leicestershire of the priory of Grace Dieu; the churches of Braunstone, Skeffington, and Cotesbach; a fourth part of the church of Bosworth, the advowson of Ludlow in Shropshire; and a fourth part of a water mill in Luton and Wheathampstead (Bedfordshire). These lands would all pass together to the Devereux family following the marriage of Walter Devereux’s son to John Merbury’s daughter from a previous marriage.[10]

On 3 November 1417 Walter Devereux acquired 3 messuages, 7 tofts, 1 dovecote, 273 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow, 15 acres of pasture and 22 shillings 6 pence of rent in Lyde Muscegros, Lyde Godfrey, Lyde Saucy, and Lyde Prior in Herefordshire.[11][12] They would remain in the possession of the Devereux family for the next 100 years.

On 20 January 1418 John Walwyn died holding a moiety of the manors of Wellington and Addesore, and left a widow and three underage daughters who became the wards of Walter Devereux. Walwyn’s widow died in 1419, and the next year the eldest daughter, Elena wife of Richard Monington, proved her full age before the escheator and jurors.[13]


Walter Devereux died in 1419, and the escheator of Hereford and the adjacent march of Wales was ordered to take his lands in hand on 20 November 1419.[1][14]


Walter Devereux married about 1409 to Elizabeth Maud Bromwich, daughter of Sir Thomas Bromwich.[3][1][15] They had children:[c]

  • Walter Devereux his heir, in 1411[16]
  • William Devereux (c1412 - after 1433)[d]
  • Thomas Devereux (c1414 to after 1433)[e]
  • Simon Devereux (c1418 to after 1445)[f]
  • Isabella Devereux (c1420)[17][g]

General ReferenceEdit

  • Brydges, Sir Egerton. "Collins's Peerage of England; Genealogical, Biographical, and Historical. Greatly Augmented, and Continued to the Present Time." (London: F.C. and J. Rivington, Otridge and Son; J. Nichols and Co.; T. Payne, Wilkie and Robinson; J. Walker, Clarke and Sons; W. Lowndes, R. Lea, J. Cuthell, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Co.; White, Cochrane, and Co.; C. Law, Cadell and Davies; J. Booth, Crosby and Co.; J. Murray, J. Mawman, J. Booker, R. Scholey, J. Hatchard, R. Baldwin, Craddock and Joy; J. Fauldner, Gale, Curtis and Co.; Johnson and Co.; and G. Robinson, 1812). Volume VI, pages 1 to 22, Devereux, Viscount Hereford
  • Duncumb, John. "Collections Towards the History and Antiquities of the County of Hereford." (Hereford: E.G. Wright, 1812). Part I of Volume II, page 37 and 49, Broxash Hundred
  • Mosley, Charles (editor). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th Edition. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1999. Page 1378
  • Robinson, Charles J. "A History of the Castles of Herefordshire and their Lords." (Woonton: Logaston Press, 2002). pages 125 to 129, Lyonshall Castle

Specific ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Charles Mosley (editor). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th Edition. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1999. Volume 1, pages1378-80
  2. ^ Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry IV. (London: Mackie and Co). Walter Devereux, knight. 701, Writ 24 April 1403
  3. ^ a b Evelyn Philip Shirley. Stemmata Shirleiana. (Westminster: Nichols and Sons, 1873). page 103 to 104
  4. ^ [1], Calendar of the Fine Rolls, Henry VI, Volume 17, 1437-1445. London. 1936. Pages 31-33 (22 March 1438, membrane 9)
  5. ^ Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry IV, Volume II, 1401-1405. (London, Mackie and CO, 1905). Page 288, 8 Sep 1403
  6. ^ Gwilym Dodd (editor). Henry V: New Interpretations. (Great Britain: CPI Group LTD, 2013). Page 51
  7. ^ Harris Nicholas. The History of the Battle of Agincourt; and of the Expedition of Henry the Fifth Into France: To which is Added, The Roll of the Men at Arms, in the English Army. London: Johnson, Brooke Street, Holbern, 1827. Page 88
  8. ^ UK National Archives, [21 March 1421 – 20 March 1422] Reference: E 101/70/735, Description: Parties to Indenture: Indentures between the king and the following for service in France. Richard Devereux, Date: 9 Henry V
  9. ^ Lists of Various Accounts and Documents Connected Therewith formerly preserved in the Exchequer. (London: Public Record Office, 1912). Page 56
  10. ^ Robert Thoroton, 'Arnall', in Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire: Volume 2, Republished With Large Additions By John Throsby, ed. John Throsby (Nottingham, 1790), pp. 231-234. British History Online [accessed 4 April 2020].
  11. ^ [2], Medieval Genealogy Website. Abstract of Feet of Fines. CP 25/1/83/53, number 8.
  12. ^ [3], Medieval Genealogy Website. Abstract of Feet of Fines. CP 25/1/83/58, number 25.
  13. ^ Collections Towards the History and Antiquities of the County of Hereford in continuation of Duncumb’s History. Hundred of Grimsworth. By William Henry Cooke. London: John Murray, Albermarle Street. 1892, Page 172, Grimsworth Hundred
  14. ^ [4], Calendar of the Fine Rolls, Henry V, Volume 14, 1413-1422. London. 1934. Pages 274 and 275 (28 March 1419, membrane 36)
  15. ^ 'Arnall', Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire: volume 2: Republished with large additions by John Throsby (1790), pp. 231-234. devereux ferrers. Date accessed: 06 August 2014.
  16. ^ Cyril Flower, M. C. B. Dawes and A. C. Wood, 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, Appendix I: 922-971 ', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Series 2, Volume 3, Henry VII (London, 1955), pp. 479-501. British History Online [accessed 23 April 2020].
  17. ^ Rev. Charles Robinson. A History of the Mansions and Manors of Herefordshire. (London: Longmans & Co). Page 146


  1. ^ On 10 April 1436 - Inquest taken at Kyrkeby Kendale for Agnes, who was the wife of John Parr, Esquire, deceased. Agnes died 9 February 1436. Walter Deverous is her kinsman and next heir, viz. son of Walter Deverous, knight, son of the same Agnes, aged 24 years.
  2. ^ When Walter Devereux's lands were taken into the kings hand upon his death in 1419 he was referred to as "esquire."
  3. ^ Burke's Peerage, 106th Edition, records Walter Devereux as having a daughter, Elizabeth Devereux. The inscription on her tomb records her as a daughter of the Walter Devereux who died in 1402, and therefore his sister.
  4. ^ William Devereux served as an archer in the army of John, duke of Bedford, going to the relief of Paris in 1429. He served on garrison day that same year in Creu and Tombelaine under Captain Thomas Burgh. In 1430 he was on garrison duty at Porte Meulland under Sir Richard Merbury.
  5. ^ Thomas Devereux served as an archer, and was on garrison duty at Porte Meullant under Sir Richard Merbury in 1430. In 1438 he was on garrison duty at Creil under Captain Thomas Gerard.
  6. ^ Simon Devereux served as a man-at-arms in garrison duty at Galardon in Poitou (France) under Sir Francois Surienne. In 1445 he served as an archer in garrison duty at Verneuil(-sur-Avre) in the Eure department of Normandy. under Sir Franious Surienne.
  7. ^ Isabella Devereux married Rowland Lenthall (o.s.p., 1422 to 12 May 1488).