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THE ST.CLARES OF ALDHAM, IGTHAM, BURSTOW, ETC.

John St.Clare of Igtham (who died in 1327) married about 1300 Joan de Aldenham, by which marriage his son became heir to his cousin Francis of Aldham, which then, about 1322, began to be called Aldham St.Clere. John, the son, died in 1335, leaving lands in Kent, Sussex, Hants, and North Hants. He was succeeded by his son, John III, of whose age proof was taken in 1351. The former apparently had married Isolda Aldham, relict of William Inge, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, who died in 1316. In 1347 King Edward confirmed the grant of Queen Philippa to John Seintcler, chevalier, of her manor of Maresfield, together with the king's park in the same place, the town of Grinsted, etc., during her life. On the Queen's death in 1369 there is note of a confirmation of an Essex gift to Marie de Seint Cleir of the lands and tenements of Markdiche, Havering-at-Bowre. In 1377 Sir John became sheriff of Sussex and Surrey. He appears as custodian of the lands which belonged to Letitia, relict of William Seintcler of Kingswood, who had for predecessor Thomas Seintcler of Kingswood, who, in right of his wife Juliana, held lands in Gloucester, 1365. Sir John married Mary (who re-married Sir Roger Bellers), and dying in 1389, left a son Sir Philip St.Clere, the elder of Igtham, Among the Harleian charters is one given by Sir John under seal at Penshurst, "mon seal a Penshurst" 44 Edward III (1371). The writing runs: "Johan de Seyntcler susrendu a M. Nichol de Louvayne chev. tout l'estat que j. avoi de son lees en tous les manoirs fies et advowsons". They are both called armigeri in the document, which is a parchment 2.5 x 11 inches, folded double and three, of six and one-third lines well written but dim old French, the seal being yet attached, and hardly imperfect since ".EINTCLER" remains, and nearly the whole of the shield with "the sun in its glory" blazoning its entire field.

Sir Philip St.Clere, who was Member of Parliament for Sussex in 1377, married Joan de Audley. Their eldest son was probably Thomas Sencler, one of the five armigeri who officered with the Earls of Arundel and Surrey, etc., a contingent consisting mostly of archers at Agincourt. Thomas St.Clere married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Philpott, Lord Mayor of London, and died in 1416, leaving a son and heir Philip, to whom he left a manor in Wold, North Hants. This Philip apparently died without issue, and the line is found continued by his uncle Sir Philip St.Clere of Burstow. The latter married in 1371 Margaret, daughter and eventual heiress of Sir Nicholas de Louvaine. In 1397 he contributed two messuages called the Coldharbour in the parish of All Saints at Fenn, in Roperia, London, for enlarging the church and making a cemetery. In 1405 be was sheriff of Sussex. In 1406 he and his wife received a quittance from one Elizabeth Mortayne. He died in 1408, and his wife in 1409, leaving extensive possessions in Somerset, Cambridge, Suffolk, Oxford, Surrey, Sussex, Leicester, and Kent, the bulk of which was put under guardianship for their sons, John and Thomas, the elder of whom was only twelve at his father's decease. Sir John Pelham obtained their wardship, and married John St.Clere to his daughter Joan Pelham, but he died in 1419 at the early age of twenty-three, when he was succeeded by his brother Thomas, who had also by 1422 succeeded to his cousin-german Philip of Igtham, being then mentioned in the escheats as of Igtham and Parva Preston. Among the Probat' alalis records he appears in 2 Henry VI (1424) as "Thomas Seintcler frater et haeres Johannis filii Philippi Seintcler chevalier". In 1426 a Thomas Seyncler is fined 100 marks for breach of the peace. As lord of the manor of Stene he presented Simon Smyth to the incumbency, 18th February 1427. He died on the 6th May 1435, aged only 34, leaving by Margaret, daughter of Lord Hoo and Hastings, three co-heiresses to his extensive possessions -

  1. ELIZABETH, married to (1) William Lovel, (2) Richard Lewknor.
  2. ALIANOR, married Sir John Gage, ancestor of the Viscounts Gage, who quarter the St.Clere arms and still retain ancient court rolls of Heighton St.Clare.
  3. EDITH, married Sir Richard Harcourt.

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