See also

William FIENES (1357-1402)

1. William FIENES, son of Sir William FIENES Kt. (1331-1359) and Joan de SAY ( - ), was born in 1357. He was baptised on 1 August 1357 in Hurstmonceaux. He married Elizabeth BATISFORD circa 1382 in Wartling, Sussex. He died on [Julian] 18 January 1402. He was buried in Hurstmonceaux.


"only son and heir, Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex 1397 and 1399.


Elizabeth BATISFORD was the daughter of William BATISFORD ( - ). She and William FIENES had the following children:



James FIENES ( - )

Second Generation

2. James FIENES, son of William FIENES and Elizabeth BATISFORD, married Emmeline CRO(W)MER circa 1419 in Willingham, Cambridgeshire.


For service in the Hundred Years War in France, Henry V awarded him with the lordship of Court-le-Comte, the governorship of Arques, and Captain-Generalship of towns on the Seine. He built Knole, co. Kent, with spoils from service in France. From the time he attended Henry VI at his coronation in Paris in 1431, he steadily advanced in royal offices including those of King’s Serjeant, Knight of the Body, Constable of Dover Castle, Warden of the Cinque Ports, King’s Chamberlain, member of the Privy Council, Constable of the Tower, and finally Treasurer of England. This latter position he held from 22 Sep 1449 until 22 Jun 1450 when the weak Henry VI yielded to the indictment of the House of Commons scapegoating Fiennes for the loss of Anjou and Maine and remanded him to the Tower. While awaiting trial, Jack Cade’s mob seized him in the Tower and dragged him to the Standard at Cheapside where he was beheaded— his gory end being dramatized in Shakespeare’s Henry VI.

James Fiennes was created Baron Saye and Sele by Letters Patent from Henry VI by 24 Feb 1447 and summoned to Parliament for the first time 3 Mar 1447. Geoffrey White concluded that although the actual patent disappeared and was never enrolled there could be no doubt that the remainder vested to the heirs male of the body of the grantee and that the title did not arise from a writ of summons that at that time probably would have descended to heirs general. These tangled claims have led historians and genealogists astray. This compound title was partly personal, commemorating the grantee’s descent from his grandmother’s family, the Lords Say, a title since 1399 in abeyance between the heirs of Idonea Say Clinton and Joan Say Fiennes; and partly territorial, after Sele, formerly called Beeding, a priory in Saumur, co. Kent. After becoming a peer, he abandoned the Fiennes arms, Azure, three lions rampant or, for those of the Lords Say, Quarterly, or and gules. Sir Anthony Wagner links these arms with the families of Beauchamp of Bedford, Clavering, Lacy, and Vere because they, as well as the Saye family, were all connected with the rebel Earl of Essex, Geoffrey De Mandeville, who died in 1144. They are based on the quarterly coat of or and gules adopted by Essex.


Emmeline CRO(W)MER was the daughter of Sir William CROMER of Willingham ( - ) and Margaret Squery, B. Poynings? ( - ). She and James FIENES had the following children:



William FIENES (c. 1442-1471)

Third Generation

3. Sir William FIENES, son of James FIENES and Emmeline CRO(W)MER, was born circa 1442 in Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire. He had the title '2nd Baron Saye and Sele'. He died on 14 April 1471 in the Battle of Barnet. He married Margaret WICKHAM.


"Only son and heir sum. to Parl. 1451. Sold his Father's Patent of Dover Castle and Warden of the Cinque Ports to Humphrey Duke of Buckingham. Appointed Constable of Porchester, and Pevensey Castles, for life, 1461. Slain at the Battle of Barnet, 1471

Constable of Porchester Castle and of Pevensey Castle for life, Vice Admiral to the Earl of Warwick, then High Admiral of England. He accompanied Edward IV on his flight into Flanders and his triumphal return to England at Ravenspur. The marriage of the second baron accounts for the rise of this branch of the family. He married Margaret Wykeham (died shortly before 30 May 1477), daughter and heiress of William Wykeham, otherwise Parrott, of Broughton Castle, Oxford. Her father was son and heir of Sir Thomas Wykeham, otherwise Parrott, third and only son to leave issue of William Parrott of Ash, near Overton, Hants, by Alice Champneys, daughter and heiress of William Champneys by Agnes, sister of William of Wykeham (1324–1404), Bishop of Winchester from 1367 until death. By this marriage the Fiennes family acquired Broughton Castle which remains in 2000 the seat of the Lords Saye and Sele. For the next five generations, a thin line of only sons inherited Broughton Castle, but they did not assume the title and were never called to Parliament. The title was dormant, meaning that the rightful claimants never asserted their title.


Margaret WICKHAM (also known as Margaret WYKEHAM) was the daughter of William WICKHAM ( - ). She and William FIENES had the following children:



Henry FIENES (c. 1454-1476). Henry was born circa 1454 in Broughton Castle. He had the title '3rd Baron Saye and Sele'. He married Ann(e) HARCOURT circa 1473 in Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire. He died on [Julian] 1 August 1476. He was buried in Broughton Castle.