The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest

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  • ID: I31977
  • Name: John de BEETHAM & Kirkby, MP, Sir 1 2 3
  • Sex: M
  • ALIA: John de /Bethum/& Meathop, MP, Sir
  • Birth: BEF SEP 1352 in Beetham, Kendal, Westmorland, England 4
  • Death: AFT MAY 1415 in Kirkby, West Derby, Lancashire, England 2
  • Note:
    Manor of Beetham, Kendal, Westmorland:

    1379 John de Bethum, one of the commissioners of array in co. Westmorland.

    1379-99 John de Bethum is said to have married Margaret, sister of Sir William Tunstall, knt., by whom he had issue.

    1380 James de Pykeryng, knt., complained against John de Bethum and Henry de Bethum in a plea wherefore with force and arms they took and carried away three goshawks belonging to the said James at Bethum of the value of £10.

    1380 Grant by John son and heir of Ralph Knott of Bethom to John de Bethom, lord of Bethom, of all the lands and tenements in Bethum which formerly belonged to the said Ralph. Dated 3 Richard II.

    1389 John de Bethom one of the Keepers of the peace in co. Westmorland.

    1395 William, Hugh, Robert, Thomas and John de Bethom are to answer the complaint of the abbot of Shap ("Hepp").

    1403 John de Bothome, chivaler, and Christiana his wife obtain a writ out of the Chancery of the Duchy of Lancaster.

    1405 John de Bethome, chivaler, was one of the knights of the shire.

    1405 Agreement made between Mons. Walter de Stirkeland, chivaler and Mons. John de Bethom, chivaler, that Thomas son and heir of Mons. Walter shall take to wife Mabel, daughter of Mons. John, and that Mons. Walter shall enfeoff Thomas and Mabel and their issue male of £20 worth of land and that all Mons. Walter's lands shall descend to Thomas and his heirs male, except lands in Quynfell remaining to Mons. Walter for life by the death of John de Stirkeland and others and whereof Mons. Walter will enfeoff at will one of his younger children for life. For which marriage Mons. John shall pay to Mons. Walter £93 6s. 8d., namely one fifth on the day of the feoffment of the jointure of £20 of land and the remainder by four payments at Martinmas and Whitsuntide following; if Mabel die without issue male the payments to cease. It is agreed that the espousals between Thomas and Mabel shall be solemnized within three weeks of this writing, both parties being bound to Mons. Thomas de Tunstall, chivaler, for due performances. Given at Sireszergh on Tuesday before Candlemas, 6 Henry IV (1405). Round seal of red wax bearing a chief (indented?) and over all a bendlet; Crest: on a wreath over a helmet closed a vulture's head erased (for Bethome).

    1405 Bond of William Marshall and Joan his wife to Thomas son of John de Bethom, knt., in £50 to observe the conditions contained in certain indentures made between them. Dated 7 Henry IV.

    1406 Acknowledgment by Walter de Stirkland, knt., that he has received from John de Bethom, knt., and Richard Bethom the sum of £37 6s. 8d.

    1407 John de Bethum, knight of the shire for co. Westmorland.

    1415 John Bethom, chivaler, and Thomas Bethom with others are commissioners of array in co. Westmorland.

    1415 Thomas de Bethum, son and heir of Sir John de Bethum, knt., obtains a writ.

    ['Beetham', Records relating to the Barony of Kendale: volume 2 (1924), pp. 211-238. URL:]


    Following is John's article in The History of Parliament:

    BEETHAM, Sir John (d.c.1415), of Beetham, Westmld.

    Constituency Dates: WESTMORLAND 1406

    Family and Education
    s. and h. of Robert Beetham of Beetham. m. poss. (1) Margaret, sis. of Sir William Tunstall, at least 1s. Thomas, 1da.; (2) by 1403, Christine. Kntd. by Apr. 1388.

    Offices Held
    Collector of taxes, Westmld. Nov. 1377, Mar., Dec. 1380, Dec. 1385, Nov. 1388, Jan. 1392, Mar., Oct. 1393, Dec. 1402.

    Commr. of array, Westmld. Feb. 1379, May 1415.

    J.p Westmld. 15 July 1389-June 1390.

    Sir Johnís ancestors acquired the manor of Beetham during the reign of Richard I, and subsequently became lords of the manors of Meathop and Farleton as well, holding most of their property as feudal tenants of the earls of Oxford. Little is known about Sir Johnís father, but his grandfather, Sir Ralph Beetham, was an extremely influential figure in the north west, where he served on various royal commissions and also took an active part in punitive raids across the border against the Scots. The young John Beetham is first mentioned in September 1373, when Henry Threlkeld, a local landowner, granted him a small estate at Kirkby in Kendale. Four years later John received his first official appointment as a tax collector in Westmorland, having been perhaps already involved in litigation over the ownership of the manor of West Harlsey in Yorkshire. Certainly, in 1379, he and John Berwick, who together advanced a claim to the property as right heirs of the late Anthony Burton, had appeared in court as plaintiffs in the case. The outcome is not recorded, but by 1390 the two men enjoyed joint possession of the manor of Burton in Kendal (just a few miles south of Beetham), so they may well have carried the day. At all events, some three years later, Sir Alan Pennington* began what looks like a collusive action against Beetham for the same property, leading to the confirmation of his title in court. A disagreement with Sir James Pickering*, who in 1380 accused John and one of his kinsmen of stealing three valuable goshawks, led to another lawsuit, which seems eventually to have been settled out of court. It was at this time that John, as Ďlord of Beethamí, obtained ratification of his tenure of certain holdings in the manor. The precise date of his knighthood is unclear, but by the spring of 1388 he had assumed this rank.

    The early 1390s proved a fairly quiet period in Sir Johnís life, marked only by a short term of service on the Westmorland bench, attendance as a juror at sessions of gaol delivery in Appleby and a limited amount of work collecting royal taxes. Several members of the Beetham family, including Sir Johnís son, Thomas, were bound over in 1395 to keep the peace towards the abbot of Shap in Westmorland, against whom they had been waging a relentless vendetta; and in 1398 the same group of young men became involved in a violent feud with Richard Duckett*, John Lancaster I* and other members of the county gentry. Sir John himself was not directly implicated in these Ďmurders, insurrections and riotsí, although it is unlikely that he remained aloof from a quarrel which concerned at least five of his kinsmen. All but one (his namesake, John Beetham, who may, indeed, have been another of his sons) were eventually pardoned by Henry IV in May 1407, but only after repeated commissions of oyer and terminer had been set up to interrogate the miscreants. Sir John, meanwhile, struck up an alliance with the powerful landowner, Sir Walter Strickland*, who lived near Shap, and whose son, Thomas II*, was betrothed in 1405 to Beethamís daughter, Mabel. In return for the promise of land worth £100 to be settled by Sir Walter on the couple, Sir John agreed to deliver £93 6s.8d. to the Stricklands in five regular instalments. The following year saw his only known appearance in the House of Commons as representative for Westmorland, his colleague on this occasion being his sonís former adversary, John Lancaster I, who had evidently agreed to settle their differences.

    Although he conveyed his share of the manor of Burton to his son in 1407, Sir John remained active for several more years. In 1411, for example, he and his son-in-law, Thomas Strickland II, attested a conveyance of land in Strickland Ketel; and in the spring of 1413 he headed the list of witnesses present at the Westmorland elections to the first Parliament of Henry Vís reign. He is last mentioned in May 1415, as a royal commissioner of array; and he probably died before the end of the year. His son and heir, Thomas, soon faced actions for debts of over £166 brought by the executors of John Appilton, sometime parson of Beetham, who were presumably attempting to recover money owed by Sir John at the time of his death. Thomas was, in fact, outlawed for failing to appear in court when summoned, although he secured two royal pardons, in February 1419 and May 1425 respectively. The second of these was actually issued while Thomas was representing Westmorland in Parliament: like his father, he sat only once in the Lower House.

    Father: Robert de BEETHAM & Kirkby b: ABT 1327 in Beetham, Kendal, Westmorland, England

    Marriage 1 Margaret TUNSTALL b: ABT 1360 in Thurland Manor, Tunstall, Lancashire, England
    • Married: in 1st wife 2
    1. Has Children Mabel de BEETHAM b: ABT 1385 in Beetham, Kendal, Westmorland, England

    Marriage 2 Christine b: ABT 1375
    • Married: BEF 1403 in 2nd wife 2

    1. Title: The History of Parliament,
      Page: Stricklan, Thomas II (d. 1455)
      Text: father of Mabel
    2. Title: The History of Parliament,
      Page: Beetham, Sir John (d. c1415)
    3. Title: Records relating to the Barony of Kendale. URL:
      Page: II:211-38
    4. Title: The History of Parliament,
      Page: Beetham, Sir John (d. c1415)
      Text: granted a small estate in Sep 1373
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