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Richard Stucley

Richard Stucley

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Biography

Richard Stucley (died 1440/1) (alias Styuecle, etc.) of Trent in Somerset, of Merston in Sussex and of Chewton Mendip in Somerset, was three times Member of Parliament for Sussex, in 1415, March 1416 and 1417. He was the father of Hugh Stucley, Sheriff of Devon in 1448, who married Catherine de Affeton, the heiress of Affeton in Devon, and founded the prominent Stucley family of Affeton. Via a female line he is the ancestor of the present Stucley baronets of Hartland Abbey and Affeton Castle in Devon.
The Stucley family died out in the male line on the death, unmarried and without children, of Dennis Stucley (died 1755), Sheriff of Devon in 1748. The marriage of his aunt Sarah Stucley (died 1742), to George Buck (1674–1743) of Bideford, brought Affeton to her grandson George Buck (1731–1791), who became the heir on the death of Dennis Stucley in 1755. Buck's descendant George Stucley Buck (1812–1900) in 1858 assumed by royal licence the name and arms of Stucley and was created a baronet in 1859, becoming Sir George Stucley Buck Stucley, 1st Baronet.

Origins

Little is known of his origins, but possibly he was a member of the important family of Stucley (alias Styuecle, Stukeley, etc.) which originated at the manor of Great Stukeley in Huntingdonshire.

Marriage and children

Arms of FitzRoger: Gules, three lions rampant or. These arms were subsequently quartered by the Stucley family and are visible in stained glass in King's Nympton Church in Devon

At some time between 1396 and 1398 he married Elizabeth FitzRoger (1370–1414), the only child and sole heiress of John FitzRoger (died 1370/2) of Chewton in Somerset, third son of Sir Henry FitzRoger (died 1352) of Chewton by his wife Elizabeth de Holland (died 1387), daughter of Robert de Holland, 1st Baron Holand. Elizabeth FitzRoger was the widow of Sir John Bonville (c. 1371 – 1396), eldest son and heir apparent of Sir William Bonville (died 1408) of Shute in Devon. Her son by her first marriage was the Devonshire magnate William Bonville, 1st Baron Bonville. The FitzRoger estates of which she was the heiress covered six counties and included the valuable manors of Chewton in Somerset (worth at least £40 per annum) and Merston in Sussex (worth about 40 marks per annum), also West Kington in Wiltshire and Mapperton in Dorset.

By Elizabeth, Stukley had children including Roger (born 1398), eldest son and heir; and Hugh, who became Sheriff of Devon in 1448.

Career

His earliest career is associated with the county of Essex. In 1396 he was granted by King Richard II an annuity for life of £15 from the manor of Ridgewell in Essex. In 1397 as Richard Stucley "of Essex" he provided securities at the Court of Exchequer. He became a member of the Royal Household, as a King's Esquire. He made a connection with the county of Sussex through his tenure of the FitzRoger manor of Merston and made the acquaintance of Sir William Percy, MP, a member of the retinue of Richard FitzAlan, 4th/11th Earl of Arundel (1346–1397), and in 1406 he witnessed an important transaction at Arundel Castle in Sussex on behalf of Thomas FitzAlan, 5th/12th Earl of Arundel (1381–1415). He obtained the office of Customer of the port of Chichester in Sussex and also Escheator of Somerset and Dorset.

In 1413 he became a feoffee of the Westcountry estates of William de Botreaux, 3rd Baron Botreaux (1389–1462), feudal baron of North Cadbury in Somerset, and later acted as a feoffee to Thomas de Camoys, 1st Baron Camoys (died 1419/21).

Resettles wife's estates

In 1410 he and his wife resettled by entail her paternal inheritance jointly on themselves with remainder to their eldest son. This was a commonly made transaction, which by placing assets in the hands of feoffees, was designed to circumvent payment of feudal relief, a form of inheritance tax. The manors of Chewton and her West Kington in Wiltshire were excepted. This effectively disinherited Sir William Bonville, Elizabeth's son by her first marriage, who commenced legal proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas against his stepfather Stucley to oust him from the FitzRoger estates. The courts ruled in Bonville's favour in 1421 and 1422 and Stucley was thus ejected from most of the FitzRoger estates, excepting apparently Merston, as in 1425 he was described as "of Merston, gentleman", in a deed concerning Bruton Priory in Somerset.

He remained however a wealthy man and was frequently asked by his associates to provide bail and to act as mainpernor by providing securities at the Exchequer on their behalves.

Death

He died shortly before 28 November 1441.

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Origins Marriage and children Career Resettles wife's estates Death
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