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The Ancestry of Oliver Mainwaring: Assheton

1 John Assheton (II) = Joan Radclyffe
2 John Assheton = Isabel Kirkby
3 Thomas Assheton = Elizabeth Byron
4 Elizabeth Assheton = John Trafford
5 Edmund Trafford = Margaret Savage
6 Margaret Trafford = Thomas Gerard
7 Sir Thomas Gerard (Jr.) = Jane Legh
8 Katherine Gerard = William Torbock
9 Margaret Torbock = Oliver Mainwaring (I)
10 Oliver Mainwaring (II) = Prudence Esse
11 Oliver Mainwaring (III) = Hannah Raymond

1.  John Assheton (I), of Ashton-under Lyne, co. Lancaster, knighted by 1377, living 1392.[1] He married (2) ____, daughter of Robert Staveley, of Staveley, co. Chester. He married Joan Radclyffe, sister of Sir Ralph Radclyffe (I), Knight of the Shire for Lancashire in 1397 and 1404,[2] and daughter of William Radclyffe, of Smithills, in the parish of Deane, co. Lancaster.

2.  John Assheton (II), of Ashton-under Lyne, co. Lancaster, entered the service of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, in the 1380s, created a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of John’s son, Henry IV (1399), Knight of the Shire for Lancashire in the parliament of 1413, appointed Seneschal of Bayeux after its capture in 1416, born after 1338 (under-age in 1360), died 3 September 1428.[3] This man’s marriages, and particularly the maternity of his son Thomas, appear to be the object of some confusion. One source states that he married (1) Isabel Kirkby, granddaughter and heiress of Sir Richard Kirkby, implying that she was mother of his son Thomas,[4] and (without explanation) makes him married (2) ________. Another source states that he married (1) Jane, daughter of Sir John Savile, of Tankersleigh, and that she was mother of his son Thomas.[5] The various accounts of this man agree however in making him marry finally, by 1420, Margaret, widow of Sir William Atherton and of Sir Maurice Berkeley, and daughter of Sir John Byron, of Clayton (by whom he was ancestor of the extinct house of Baronets Assheton of Middleton).[6] He married by 1403 (if she was mother of his son Thomas), Isabel Kirkby, granddaughter and heiress of Sir Richard Kirkby.

3.  Thomas Assheton, “The Alchemist,” born about 1403 (aged 25 years at his father’s death in 1428). Shortly after his father’s death, evidently because of animosity toward his step-mother, he kidnapped his younger half-brother and refused to release him.[7] He was still alive in 1446, in which year he, in company with Edmund de Trafford (father of John Trafford, who married Thomas’s daughter Elizabeth), was granted a licence from the crown dated 9 March 1446 (24 Hen. VI), “encouraging [them] … to pursue their experiments in alchemy, and forbidding any subject of the king to molest them” (in the words of a modern paraphrase).[8] He and his wife (who was his stepmother’s sister) are said to have had eleven children. He married Elizabeth Byron, daughter of Sir John Byron, of Clayton, M.P., by Marjory, daughter of John Booth, of Barton, and sister of Margaret Byron, her husband’s step-mother.[9]

4.  Elizabeth Assheton. She married John Trafford, lord of the manor of Trafford, in Manchester, co. Lancaster, born after 1408, knighted about 1444, died 20 January 1488/9, whom see for the continuation of the line.


1DNB, s.v. Ashton; V.C.H. Lancashire 4:341-2; Roskell, The Knights of the Shire for the County Palatine of Lancaster, 1377-1460, 53-4; The House of Commons, 1386-1421, 2:75-77.
2Roskell, 83.
3DNB; V.C.H. Lancashire 4:341-2; s.v. Ashton; Roskell, The Knights of the Shire for the County Palatine of Lancaster, 1377-1460, 115-19; The House of Commons, 1386-1421.
4The House of Commons, 1386-1421, pp. 77, 78, makes her his first wife, says that he “probably” had two sons by her, and calls Thomas the eldest son.
5Roskell, 115.
6Burke’ Extinct and Dormant Peerages.
7The House of Commons, 1386-1421, in the entry for his father, Sir John Assheton II.
8DNB, s.v. “Aston or Assheton, Sir Thomas de,” citing Rot. Pat. 2, no. 14 (our source of the paraphrase); Cunliffe (ed.), Pages from the Life of John Sparling of Petton, chart at end, and p. 131 (where however the name is misprinted as Henry Trafford), citing James Croston, County Families of Lancashire and Cheshire (Manchester, 1887); Adam McLean, posting dated 27 July 1999 to Alchemy Academy, available online at http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jul99.html, citing Oxford Bodleian MS Add. C. 125.
9Joseph Gaston Baillie Bulloch, A History and Genealogy of the families of Bayard, Houstoun of Georgia, and the descent to the Bolton family from Assheton, Byron, and Hulton of Hulton Park (Washington, 1919), 54.

The content of this page first appeared in the form of an ancestor table, under the now-defunct URL http://johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/AT/view_AT.cfm?ID=29, on 21 August 2002
This version was last revised 16 February 2005