Richard Wydeville, Esq., Sheriff of Kent, Constable of the Tower

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Richard Wydeville, Esq.

Also Known As: "Richard Woodville", "Wydevill", "Richard Wydeville"
Birthplace: Maidstone, Kent, England (United Kingdom)
Death: November 29, 1441 (65-66)
Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, England (United Kingdom)
Place of Burial: Maidstone, Kent, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir John de Wydeville, Sheriff of Northants and Isabel Goddard
Husband of Joan Bittelsgate
Father of Lady Joan Maude Woodville; Hon. Elizabeth Pashley and Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers
Half brother of Thomas Woodville, Sheriff of Northamptonshire and Richard Wydeville

Occupation: steward to the Duke of Bedford, Constable of the Tower of London, and Sheriff of Kent. He was also Captain of English Calais., Forebear of Elizabeth, Queen of Edward IV
Managed by: Noah Tutak
Last Updated:

About Richard Wydeville, Esq., Sheriff of Kent, Constable of the Tower

Please see attached CPR (v. 11) document of pages RE known Wydevills. If anyone one has access to the expensive Douglas Richardson books, searching them may provide more documentation.

Source: Elizabeth Wydeville “Queen Consort of England” Wife of Edward IV (1437 – 1492)
Mother of the Princes in the Tower

Sir Richard I DeWydeville/Woodville Constable of the Tower (1385 – 1441) King of England
Father of Elizabeth, Lady Joan Wydville/Woodville (1410 – 1462)
Daughter of Sir Richard I, William Haute or Hawte (1430 – 1497)
Son of Lady Joan, Thomas Hawte (1453 – 1502)
Son of William, Hawte, Sir William Knight (1490 – 1530)
Son of Thomas, Jane, Lady Hawte (Haute) (1522 – 1600)
Daughter of Hawte, Sir William Knight, George (Sir) Wyatt (1550 – 1625)
Son of Jane, Lady, Reverend Haute Wyatt (1594 – 1638)
Son of George (Sir), Elizabeth York Plantagenet (Queen of England, Wife of Henry VII) (1466 – 1503)
Richard Wydevill
Birth: 1385 - La Mote, Maidstone, Kent, England
Death: 1441 - Grafton, Northamptonshire, England
Parents: John Wydeville & Isabel Goddard
Wife: Joan Bedlisgate
Children: 1. Sir Richard Wydevill, 1st Earl Rivers+ b. c 1405, d. 12 Aug 1469. Married Jacquetta of Luxembourg

Brief Biography

From The 1st part of Shakespeare's "Henry Vl" character information - Woodville, quoting from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, written by Michael Hicks.

The Woodvilles were modest Northamptonshire gentry who failed in the male line on the death about 1435 of Thomas Woodville, esquire, whose heirs were two sisters rather than his half-brother, Richard, father of the future Earl Rivers. As a younger son, the elder Richard Woodville (d. c.1441) pursued a distinguished military and administrative career that became the model for future generations of the family. Allegedly brought up with Henry IV he was in the garrison of the king's son Thomas at Guînes in 1411, was captain on Henry V's campaigns of 1415 and 1417, and later served the regent, John, duke of Bedford. He was in English France almost continuously from 1417 to 1435 as captain and bailiff, as seneschal of Normandy (1420), chamberlain of the regent, and treasurer of finances (1423), lieutenant of Calais in 1427 and again in 1435, and councillor of France; he was employed in positions of trust in England in 1425 and 1436. Returning to England, where he already held the Mote estate at Maidstone and where his brother bequeathed him Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, he was MP for Kent in 1433, constable of Rochester, and sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1437, before his death about 1441. He was never knighted and married his daughter no higher than the ranks of the Kentish gentry.


Richard Wydevill was the son of Sir John Wydevill and Isabel (?). He died circa December 1441. Richard Wydevill was also known as Richard Woodville.

Child of Richard Wydevill and Joan Bedlisgate: Sir Richard Wydevill, 1st Earl Rivers+ b. c 1405, d. 12 Aug 1469

Sir JOHN de Wydeville ([1341/43]-[after 8 Sep 1403)).
m firstly KATHERINE Fermbrand, daughter of [Sir JOHN Fermbrand of Biddenham, Bedfordshire & his wife ---].
m secondly (before 1379) as her second husband, ISABEL, widow of ROBERT Passelaw of Drayton Parslow, daughter of ---. [Note: Her maiden surname has since been identified as "Godard" in CPR Vol. 14 "Addenda & Corrigenda"]
Sir John & his first wife had one child:

i) THOMAS (-1435, bur Bromham, Bedfordshire). m firstly ELIZABETH, daughter of ---. m secondly ALICE, daughter of ---.

Sir John & his second wife had one child:

ii) RICHARD Wydeville of Grafton (-[Dec 1441]). m ---, daughter of [JOHN Bedlisgate & his wife --- Beauchamp of Wellington, Somerset] (-after 1448). Richard & his wife had one child:

(a) RICHARD Wydeville, son of RICHARD Wydeville & his wife Joan Bedlisgate ([1405]-beheaded 12 Aug 1469). He was created Baron and Lord de Ryvers 9 May 1448, and Earl Rivers 24 May 1466.

ID: I022655

  • Name: Richard (Esquire) Wydville 1
  • Sex: M
  • Name: Richard Wydeville 2
  • Birth: ABT 1385 2
  • Death: AFT 29 NOV 1441 2
  • Father: John (Sir) Woodville
  • Mother: Elizabeth Lyons

Marriage 1 Joan Bedlisgate b: ABT 1390

. Joan (Maud) Wydville b: ABT 1404 in Grafton Regis, Northampton, England
2. Richard Wydeville , Duke of Somerset b: ABT 1412 in Maidstone, Kent


  • 1. Title: a28107.ged
    • Repository:
    • Media: Other
    • Text: Date of Import: 23 Sep 2005
  • 2. Title: updike.ged
    • Repository:
    • Media: Other
    • Text: Date of Import: Apr 2, 2006


parents unknown.

Relationship to Lady Jane Grey:

68 4th Great-Grandfather

124 4th Great-Grandfather

Alternate Spellings of Family Name:

  • Woodville
  • Wydeville
  • Widvile
  • Wydvile
  • Widville
  • Woodvile

From the English Wikipedia page on Mote Park

The park's name is derived from 'moot' or 'mote' in Old English meaning "a place of assembly".[2][3] Its proximity to nearby Penenden Heath (the site of shire moots during the Middle Ages) indicates that it may once have formed part of an administrative region in central Kent.

In the 13th century, the "mote" lands were incorporated into the manor of local landowners and a manor house in the area of the present-day park is described as being castellated (or fortified) with emparked grounds. This is believed to indicate the area was used as a one of the earliest deer parks in Kent.[4][5][6]

The park is incorporated into royal history as a possession of King Edward IV's consort, Elizabeth Woodville (daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers) and was later raided by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick angered by the King's marriage. The Woodville family continued to lay claim to the land despite various interventions during the reign of Richard III and Henry VII.

On 17 July 1531, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn visited it, before their marriage.[7] Passing to Thomas Wyatt the younger, the estate again returned to the Crown under Queen Elizabeth I before finally passing, in 1690 to the Marsham family, who would later become the Lords Romney.[5]

Under the ownership of the Marsham family, the estate was considerably improved.[6] The grounds were laid out in the so-called Anglo-Dutch style illustrated in an engraving by Johannes Kip in 1750.

In 1799, King George III and Prime Minister William Pitt visited the property to inspect around 3,000 assembled troops of the Kent Volunteers, a local militia trained to defend the county from a possible invasion by Napoleon I of France. A Doric-style temple was constructed to commemorate the occasion.[3][8][9][10]

Between 1793 and 1800 the original Mote House was demolished and a new mansion constructed, designed by Daniel Asher Alexander.[11] At the same time the River Len was dammed to form a lake. The addition of internal roadways, walls, a boathouse and a bridge (the 'Great Bridge') over the lake stretched the financial resources of Charles Marsham, 3rd Baron Romney.[3] Eventually the family gathered enough funds to expand the property and the park reached the size it is today, approximately 180 hectares. The Great Bridge was demolished and the lake itself expanded to around 30 acres (120,000 m2).

At the peak of its opulence in 1888 an article in the Gardener's Chronicle described extensive gardens, exotic plants and a walled kitchen garden including orangeries, vineries and peach houses, staffed by 25 gardeners.

In 1895 the estate was sold to Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted. The estate had included the Mote Cricket Club since 1857 however the Viscount Bearsted expanded the facility and built a pavilion between 1908 and 1910 (see below).

In 1929 Walter Samuel (the 2nd Viscount Bearsted) sold the majority of the estate to Maidstone Borough Council (then the Maidstone Corporation) for £50,000[12] and converted the house to an orphanage.[11] The family still retains an interest in the park today.

Between 1932 and 1941, Mote House (known then as "The Mote") was home to the Caldecott Community (now the Caldecott Foundation), a nursery organisation that had relocated to Maidstone from its original home in London following the First World War.

In 1941, war again forced the Community to move on (to Hyde House in Dorset) as Mote House was commandeered by the British Armed Forces (who continued to use the kitchen garden) as a headquarters and training facility during the Second World War. It was subsequently used as offices for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food before becoming a care home for the disabled. After lying empty for a number of years it is in the process of being redeveloped (along with its outbuildings) as retirement apartments and cottages.[11]

The park itself was remodelled following its purchase in the 1930s and now contains a number of recreation facilities (see below). It was also used as a venue for the annual Kent County Show between 1946 and 1963. Being central to the town, much of the population was able to walk to and from the Show which was and is held during the middle of July each year[13]

The park is registered at Grade II on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Mote House itself is a Grade II* listed building incorporating historic outbuildings including the Grade II listed stables.[14][15]

The park also hosted Radio 1's Big Weekend (a music festival) on 10–11 May 2008.[16]

In 2011, it was announced that the parkland would undergo a major conservation and improvement project. Lost historic views are to be recreated as part of a £2.5m scheme. In February 2011, scrubland was due to be cleared and 140 new parkland trees planted including alder, birch, hornbeam, sweet chestnut, beech, oak, redwood and lime. Historic views like that between the Volunteers Pavilion and Mote will be reinstated by the removing poorer quality trees. Kent Wildlife Trust is collaborating on the project to ensure the ecology of the park is protected.[17][18]


  • 2.^ Entry for 'Moot' at
  • 3.^ Entry for Maidstone (referencing Mote Park) in the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72) by John Marius Wilson
  • 4.^ History of Mote Park at Maidstone Borough Council
  • 5.^ England's Topographer: Or A New and Complete History of the County of Kent by William Henry Ireland pages 634 to 638 (Published 1829)
  • 6.^ Park The town and parish of Maidstone: Town and manors, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4 by Edward Hasted (1798), pages 260-307
  • 7.^ p.440, David Starkey, Six Wives:The Queens of Henry VIII
  • 8.^ The Beauties of England and Wales, Or, Delineations, Topographical by John Britton and others (Published 1808) at Google Books
  • 9.^ A detailed description of the review from Public Characters of 1805 by Alexander Stephens (1805) at Google Books
  • 10.^ per Ireland (supra), pages 692-695
  • 11.^ Mote House, This is your life Press Release dated 9 January 2007 on behalf of Raven Audley Court plc
  • 12.^ Kent in the Twentieth Century by Nigel Yates (2001) page 360, at Google Books
  • 13.^ Kent Showground History
  • 14.^ Mote House Development Brief: Record Of Decision Of The Cabinet Member For Transport And Planning Policy Maidstone Borough Council decision dated 7 November 2001
  • 15.^ English Heritage: Buildings at Risk Register 2007
  • 16.^ BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend
  • 17.^ "Recreating historic views at Mote Park in Maidstone". BBC News. 24 January 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  • 18.^ "Mote Park Improvement Project". Maidstone Borough Council. Retrieved 17 March 2011.

Sir Richard Wydeville, or Woodville (1385 - 1441) was steward to the Duke of Bedford, Constable of the Tower of London, and Sheriff of Kent. He was also Captain of English Calais.

Wydeville's spouse was Elizabeth Joan Bedelgate (1390 – 1448).

The couple had at least two children, Sir Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers (1408 - 1469), and Joan Woodville (1409 - 1462), wife of Sir William Haute (MP).

Their grandchild, through Earl Rivers and his wife Jacquetta of Luxembourg, dowager Duchess of Bedford, was Elizabeth Woodville, Queen Consort to King Edward IV of England, and ancestor of all English ruling monarchs from 1409 onwards and Scottish ruling monarchs from 1413 onwards.

Richard died after 11/29/1441.

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Richard Wydeville, Esq., Sheriff of Kent, Constable of the Tower's Timeline

Maidstone, Kent, England (United Kingdom)
Age 10
Maidstone, Kent, England, United Kingdom
Grafton, Northamptonshire, England
Of, Nettlestead, Kent, England
Maidstone, Kent, England (United Kingdom)
November 29, 1441
Age 66
Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, England (United Kingdom)
Constable of the Tower of London
Mote House, Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent, England, United Kingdom