>> | Home | Books | Visit | Explore & More | Events | FAQs | Contacts

Hemyock Castle
Ancient Heart of the Blackdowns

People Power – The March to Democracy

These webpages are about Britain's long, slow, continuing progress towards democracy; particularly the contribution of people associated with Hemyock Castle.

Other webpages in this series.

Sir William Asthorpe (Late 14th Century)

1362 – Married an Orphaned Young Heiress

In 1362, despite continuing opposition from powerful nobles, he had gained permission to marry the young heiress Margaret Dynham, who had been orphaned during the Black Death. This caused much jealousy amongst his powerful rivals, who triggered several court cases.

1380 – Granted a Licence to Crenellate Hemyock Castle

On 5th November 1380, King Richard II granted Sir William & Lady Margaret Asthorpe a Licence to Crenellate their Hemyock manor house; effectively permission to convert it into a castle.

Sir William's Role – Supporting the Lawful Authority of King Richard II

Sir William's role was to impose King Richard's writ, and counter the rebellious Devon lords. He also had to contend with powerful church leaders, including the Abbot of nearby Dunkeswell Abbey, which his wife's family (Richard de Hidon) had endowed.

1381 – Wat Tyler's Peasant's Revolt

In 1381, King Richard II – as a mere teenager ‐ gained the confidence of ordinary people enough to defuse Wat Tyler's "Peasant's Revolt," possibly the first great popular rebellion in English history. Against all advice, King Richard had bravely ridden-out to meet the rebels, face to face. But throughout his reign, he had powerful enemies amongst the nobility.

1399 – King Richard II Deposed & Later Murdered

In September 1399, King Richard's enemies – including the Devon lords – deposed and then possibly murdered him, replacing him with Henry Bolingbroke who became Henry IV.

Sir William & Lady Margaret Asthorpe died at separate times also during 1399. They left no heirs.

Throughout his life, and certainly after his death, Sir William's enemies continued to oppose him and to blame him for numerous problems, many of which were probably due to his role supporting King Richard II.

1400 – King Henry IV Granted Hemyock to Sir Thomas Pomeroy

In 1400, Henry IV granted Hemyock for life, to Sir Thomas Pomeroy of Combe Raleigh, Devon. After Sir Thomas's death in 1426, Hemyock reverted to the Dynhams until the death of Sir John Dynham in 1501.

Other webpages in this series:

These webpages were created as part of a special exhibition at Hemyock Castle's 2019 Heritage Open Day

Heritage Open Days are part of European Heritage Days, a Council of Europe initiative. They are co-ordinated by The National Trust with funding by players of People's Postcode Lottery

Hemyock Castle receives no funding, and makes no charge for entry on Heritage Open Days. We welcome donations to The Blackdown Support Group & Musgrove Leukaemic Group Somerset

Home | Books | Visit | Explore & More | Events | FAQs | Contacts

Hemyock Castle, Hemyock, CULLOMPTON, Devon, EX15 3RJ, UK.
© 2001–2023. Prepared and published by Curlew Communications Ltd