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: I38945
  • Name: Michael HARCLA ,of Hartley & Pendragon Castle,Sir 1
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1244 in Hartley Castle, Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
  • Death: AFT 1298 in Pendragon Castle, Mallerstang, Westmorland, England (dsps) 1
  • Note:
    NOTE: Michael's wife was Joan FitzJohn, dau. of William FitzJohn. I have speculatively made Joan a grandaughter of John de Vipont/Veteriponte by assuming that William was an illegitimate son of John. This would explain why the Harcla family, which was little known, suddenly came into prominence, holding several properties of the Vipont family, and subsequently of the Cilffords (heirs of the Viponts).


    The following entry from the Close Rolls of Edward I, Jan 1287, shows that Michael must have been Warden of Carlisle Castle:

    To William de Vescy, justice of the Forest beyond Trent. Order to cause Michael de Harcla, sheriff of Cumberland, to have in the forest of Inglewod thirty oaks fit for timber for the works of the king's castle of Carlisle.


    The following entries are taken from the IPM of Roger de Clifford, d. 6 Nov 1282:

    Michael de Harcla holds Hartley
    Michael de Harcla holds Smardale

    ['Parishes (West Ward): St Ninian, Brougham', The Later Records relating to North Westmorland: or the Barony of Appleby (1932), pp. 278-290. URL:]


    Hartley Castle.

    On the attainder of Roger de Clifford for adhering to the faction of the earl of Lancaster, this Hall was granted by Edward 11 to Sir Andrew de Harcla, and during his ownership was subjected to frequent destruction by the Scots. On the attainder of Sir Andrew the Hall and estate passed to Ralph Nevil, who subsequently sold them to Sir Thomas de Musgrave.

    ['Parishes (East Ward): St John, Kirkby Stephen', The Later Records relating to North Westmorland: or the Barony of Appleby (1932), pp. 121-151. URL:]



    The Norman castle of Pendragon is supposed to have been built about the year 1180, but the most authentic mention that we have of a stone castle here is in the year 1314. The jurors at the Inquisition p. mortem of Robert de Clifford found that there is a castle of stone in Mallerstang called Pendragon, held by Andrew de Harcla by payment of a yearly rent of 6d. Roger, his son, being then 15 years old, the custody of the castle was committed by Edward 11 to Guy de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick. Roger coming of age, was drawn into that conspiracy which Thomas, earl of Lancaster, formed against the king, and, being taken a prisoner was beheaded at York. The Inquisition p. mortem taken at his death in 1327 found that he died possessed of this castle of Pendragon, together with the Forest of Mallerstang, also that the buildings in the castle could not be extended, for that the cost of maintaining the same exceeded the profits thereof. The fortunes of the castle, however, were resuscitated when the twice widowed Idonea came into residence, indeed it seems to have risen to the zenith of its glory during her time. The Lady Anne in her Memoirs of the Clifford family tells us that "Pendragon castle was Idonea's chief and beloved habitation." Here, in the year 1333, she entertained Balliol, king of Scots, and here also she died, aged 73.

    Notwithstanding Balliol's friendly visit a Scottish raiding party destroyed the castle by fire in 1341. It was repaired by another Roger de Clifford who married Maud Beauchamp and who died seised of the castle in 13901, leaving it to his son Thomas. Then again we find it laid in ruins in 1541, but whether by the Scots or accident by fire, we have no means of ascertaining. For 119 years it continued a desolate ruin until it was re-edified by the Lady Anne in 1660. Her diary tells how she formed the design of restoring the castle as early as 1615, for a library for a Mr. Christopher Wobridge. To give an easier access to the castle she built the neighbouring bridge over the Eden and, in 1662, "a wall of lime and stone around the castle 90 roods in compass, with two gates and within it a stable, coach-house, brew-house, bake-house, wash-house and a little room over the gate which is arched."

    In 1685 the castle was demolished by Thomas, earl of Thanet, and it has ever since continued to be exposed to the ravages of time and tempest.

    ['Parishes (East Ward): St John, Kirkby Stephen', The Later Records relating to North Westmorland: or the Barony of Appleby (1932), pp. 121-151. URL:]

    NOTE: I assume that Pendragon had been held by the Harcla family for some time. In 1314 when Robert Clifford died, Andrew had not yet made his famous exploits, for which he was rewarded with many properties.

    Marriage 1 Joan FITZJOHN b: ABT 1250 in Bilton in Ainsty, Yorkshire West Riding, England
      1. Has No Children Andrew de HARCLA , 1st Earl of Carlisle b: BEF 1275 in Hartley Castle, Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
      2. Has Children John de HARCLA , of Whitehall b: ABT 1277 in Hartley Castle, Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England

      1. Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000
        Page: III:31
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