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

Entries: 46457    Updated: 2015-06-11 05:23:07 UTC (Thu)    Owner: Jim Weber

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  • ID: I36117
  • Name: John CURWEN , Constable of Porchester Castle 1
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1396 in Workington, Cockermouth, Cumberland, England
  • Death: 30 OCT 1441 in Porchester Castle, Portchester, Hampshire, England 2
  • Burial: Church of St. Mary, Brading, Isle of Wight, England
  • Note:
    I have placed John as son of William Curwen of Workington because Gary Boyd Roberts, in "The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants", stated that Margaret Curwen of Workington (b. c1470) was marrying her COUSIN William Curwen of Camerton. This seems to be an appropriate place to join the two families, making William & Margaret 3rd cousins. The joining of the two Curwen lines could not have been in a later generation. John would be a younger son (as Christopher inherited the Workington lands).

    In support of John's ancestry, Tim Cartmell, lists "John Curwen of Porchester Castle (d: 1441)" as a son of Sir William Curwen. Tim lists John as a son by the 1st wife (Elena le Brun), but without any supporting evidence either way. In fact Tim does not even mention William's 2nd wife Margaret Croft in that particular posting because it was all about the Brun family. The fact that Margaret is buried next to William Curwen showing her family arms piercing that of the Curwen arms implies that there were children (male?) of that marriage. Since the eldest son Christopher was by William's first wife, then John could be that male child by the 2nd wife. The burial arms have led many sources to indicate that Margaret Croft was mother of the eldest son Christopher, but Tim Cartmell, in an SGM post, pointed out that the 1st wife was still alive in 1394, and Christopher inherited lands in 1403, indicating he was born by 1382, making Christopher a son by the 1st wife Elena le Brun. No such reasoning applies to the younger son John.

    I believe that John's connection with Porchester Castle was as a military assignment and not involved with any rights to any lands in that area. The castle was owned by the Crown from 1158 onwards, and is a long way from his home.


    The following is copied from VCH-Hampshire, describing the church of St. Mary of Brading.

    The oldest memorial is an incised slab of Purbeck stone in the sacrarium to John Curwen, constable of Portchester Castle, who died in 1441. It is a fine specimen, probably of Flemish origin, measuring 8 ft. in length and 3 ft. 6 in. in breadth; the head, hands and sword-hilt were apparently inlaid with stone or metal, the shield of arms with enamel. In canopied niches each side are figures of saints; in the centre the Virgin and Child; at the four corners the symbols of the Evangelists; on either side of the figure, which is clothed in the plate armour of the period, is his shield of arms; round the margin the legend 'Hic jacet nobilis vir Johannes Cherowin armiger dum vivebat connestabularius Castri de Porcestre qui obiit anno Domini millesimo quadringesmo quadrago primo die ultima mens Octobris anima ejus requiescat in pace Amen.' From: 'Parishes: Brading', A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5 (1912), pp. 156-170. URL: Date accessed: 16 May 2009.


    Note that the Camerton lands did not necessarily come from John's wife "Miss de Camerton" (although she may have added to his holdings in the area) because the lands were probably in the Culwen family from the time of Gospatric, as evidenced in the following post to SGM by Dr. Robert S Kirk, 13 Mar 1996:

    I've never heard heard of Ketel Krok, but there is a good article "The Anglo-Scottish lords of Leitholme and Great Strickland" by George S.H.L.Washington in the Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 1960, pages 46-51, summarising what is known about Orm, son of Ketel son of Eldred, and his wife and relations. His wife was Gunhilda, daughter of Gospatric I, earl of Dunbar or Lothian. They had a son Gospatric who is the ancestor of the Curwen family (of Workington). Gunhilda had a brother, Waldeve (or Waltheof) of Allerdale, who gave her the Cumbrian manors of Seaton, CAMERTON, Flimby and Greysouthen. She also had a sister, Maud, wife of Dolfin son of Ailward, who was given the (adjacent) manors of Little Crosby, Langrigg and Brigham. Dolfin and Maud had a son Ketel (who married Ada), from whom is descended the Strickland family (of Sizergh castle), and also (via a female line) George Washington.

    Robert Kirk (Velp, The Netherlands)

    Father: William CURWEN , of Workington, Sir b: ABT 1350 in Workington, Cockermouth, Cumberland, England
    Mother: Margaret CROFT b: ABT 1380 in Claughton, Lancashire, England

    Marriage 1 Miss de CAMERTON b: ABT 1397 in Camerton, Cockermouth, Cumberland, England
      1. Has Children Christopher CURWEN , of Camerton b: ABT 1418 in Camerton, Cockermouth, Cumberland, England

      1. Title: Newsgroup: soc.genealogy.medieval, at groups -
        Page: Tim Cartmell, 23 Aug 2007
      2. Title: Newsgroup: soc.genealogy.medieval, at groups -
        Page: Tim Cartmell, 23 Aug 2007
        Text: 1441
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