These webpages are about Britain's long, slow, continuing progress towards democracy; particularly the contribution of people associated with Hemyock Castle.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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
Hemyock Castle, Hemyock, CULLOMPTON, Devon, EX15 3RJ, UK.
© 2001–2021. Prepared and published by Curlew Communications Ltd