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Monday, October 29, 2012

A Branch of Pye

When I last left the de Kilpecks, the family had daughtered out. They had married Walerand, Plugenet and Marmion. Philip Marmion died c. 1292. But there were other branches of the de Kilpecks, other sons of Hugh de Kilpeck (1076-11??), John de Kilpeck and Thomas de Kilpeck.

The easy one is Thomas. No spouse has been found for him and only one daughter has been discovered. Her name was Margaret and she married Stephen de la Bere. Margaret and Stephen had two daughters.

John de Kilpeck probably had children though none have been firmly established. The family names continue to repeat themselves in generation after generation, often muddying the waters and making true identification nearly impossible. Even Sir John Burke in the many books he put together on the peerage, nobility, baron, baronetcies, extinct and dormant titles, has mixed and confused some of the Robert Pyes, the Walter Pyes and the John Pyes. This is not to pass judgment on him and his volumes of works, but is offered as an example of how even dedicated researchers have been thwarted by the repetition of names throughout the generations.

John de Kilpeck had a son named Thomas. No wife has been discovered for him, but some secondary sources say he was the father of Walter Pye of Saddlebow.  I offer this, in this way, because there seems to be no clear cut evidence that Thomas and Walter were father and son, yet it is referred to often enough to give it some pause for thought. This is one of those pieces of information that need to be checked out in dusty old church or record books, not at my disposal.
Walter is claimed to have married Elizabeth de la Bere, daughter of Stephen de la Bere and his wife Margaret Pye (mentioned above). At this point, I want to mention that there are many 1st and 2nd cousin marriages through the early years in the Pye pedigree. It was a very common practice and helped to consolidate land holdings and generate loyalty within families. Many, if not most, marriages were contracts and had little or nothing to do with romance.  This seems to have been a general practice and occurs frequently in other families as well. Walter and Elizabeth had a son, Thomas, who married Joan Bromwich.  Walter, and his son Thomas, are referred to as ‘of Saddlebow.’ Saddlebow is a geographical area in Herefordshire, which may no longer exist on any map of today. I have seen references to an area south of Hereford that is in the general area of Kilpeck, Orcopp and Much Dewchurch which was called Saddlebow. Using today’s maps it’s very difficult to determine the location of the 14th century saddlebow.  These lands were most likely some of the holdings of the earlier Pyes and were given off to the younger sons, while the older sons inherited Kilpeck.

I have seen several references to Thomas and Joan Bromwich being the parents of Walter Pye. I have seen just as many saying they were the parents of John Pye. Maybe they had two sons, John and Walter. Whatever the case, I have found both names married to Elizabeth Scudamore. Elizabeth is rather an important figure and it’s sad that I can’t do more justice to her by saying which man is her correct husband. Elizabeth is the daughter of Sir John ‘Hen’ Scudamore and his wife Alice Glendower. The story goes that Sir John secretly married Alice and that they were able to keep the secret for 20 years. He was working for the King in subduing the Welsh. When the marriage was finally discovered, John was stripped of all his honors and castles that he held. Alice is the daughter of Owain Glyndwr, the National Hero of Wales. He studied law at Westminster, was esquire to the Earl of Arundel and rebelled against King Henry IV, declared himself Prince of Wales and established an independent Welsh Parliament. He was defeated at the Battle of Shrewsbury but continued to fight for Welsh independence until his death. He was knighted by King Richard II. The Scudamore family was anciently seated in Kentchurch, Holme Lacy and Ewyas, both in Herefordshire. Their name had a variety of spellings before it became Scudamore. The name continued to evolve as some of its members sailed for the New World. There the name became Skidmore.

A little bit of a tangent there but it is important to note that the Pyes were on the same social level as the Scudamores of the day. As far as I’ve been able to find, there are only three children listed for Elizabeth and John/Walter Pye. They had John, Walter and Jenkin. Jenkin married Elizabeth Selwick and had a son, Robert. Robert married a Monington, but no first name has come forth.  Their son John married a Vaughan, again no first name. This family had Elizabeth and Griffith Pye. Elizabeth married Thomas Catchmer and Griffith married a daughter of Thomas Walwyn.  Elizabeth and Thomas Catchmer’s daughter, Catherine, married Sir John Vaughan, Knt.  Griffith and his Walwyn wife had John and Robert. The Welsh name Vaughan spears frequently in marriages with the Pye family. The spelling has been Anglicized from its Welsh form of Vychyn.  John, son of Griffith, was the 2nd husband of Margaret Bodenham. There have been no children discovered from either marriage for Margaret.  Robert, the other son of Griffith, married a woman named Parry (ap Harry in the Welsh tradition) and they had at least one son, also named Robert.

To continue with this family line, I will need to leave this particular branch, retrace my steps a bit and pick up another Pye line in a different geographical location.  They won’t be far. They’re still in Herefordshire, but they are, by this time, considered distant relations.

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