Robert de Ashton

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Sir Robert de Ashton, also called "Robert Assheton" or "Robert de Assheton" (died 1385), was a civil, military, and naval officer under Edward III of England who achieved distinction alike in court and camp, by land and by sea.

Edward III of England 14th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Edward III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death; he is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father, Edward II. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His long reign of 50 years was the second longest in medieval England and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English parliament, as well as the ravages of the Black Death.



Ashton was of the great northern family of Ashton or Assheton, of Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire. The house claims descent from Emma, the daughter of Albert de Gresley, the first baron of Manchester; she married Orm, the son of Ailward, and received from her father as a dowry a portion of the lands he had received from Roger of Poictou.

Ashton-under-Lyne Market town in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, Greater Manchester, England

Ashton-under-Lyne is a market town in Tameside, Greater Manchester, England. The population was 45,198 at the 2011 census. Historically in Lancashire, it is on the north bank of the River Tame, in the foothills of the Pennines, 6.2 miles (10.0 km) east of Manchester.

Lancashire County of England

Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians.

Albert de Gresle was a non-resident lord of the manor of Manchester. Initially the Gresle family, who were Normans, lived elsewhere. Stewards represented them, and the manor continued to develop in their absence.

From this union, probably of Norman heiress and Saxon thane, descended Sir John Ashton, who was twice married. The date of the birth of his son Robert [1] is not known, nor are there records of his early career.

Robert was also twice married. By his first wife, whose surname is not known, he left a son, Thomas, and a daughter, Eleanor. His second wife was the widow of Lord Matthew de Gomey, and after Ashton's death married Sir John Tiptoft, knt., and died in 1417.

Thomas de Ashton (warrior) English soldier

Thomas de Ashton, was an English warrior.


Dover Castle, where Sir Robert died. Keep and entrance of Dover Castle, 2007.jpg
Dover Castle, where Sir Robert died.

Sir Robert is first mentioned in 1324, as a member of the parliament of Westminster, and afterwards occupying positions of great importance and trust. In 1359 he was governor of 'Guynes' near Calais; in 1362 he was Lord Treasurer of England; in 1368 he had the custody of the castle of Sandgate near Calais with the lands and revenue thereto belonging; in 1369 he was admiral of the Narrow Seas; in 1372 he was Justiciar of Ireland [2] and in 1373 again lord treasurer of England and King's Chamberlain. In 1375 he became chancellor of the exchequer, and held that office until the death of Edward III in 1377, when he was succeeded by Simon de Burley. From 1376 to 1381 he was Constable of Portchester Castle, which he reinforced by building "Ashton's tower".

Westminster (UK Parliament constituency) former parliamentary constituency in the Parliament of England

Westminster was a parliamentary constituency in the Parliament of England to 1707, the Parliament of Great Britain 1707–1800 and the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801. It returned two members to 1885 and one thereafter.

Guînes Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Guînes is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. Historically it was spelt Guisnes.

Calais Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Calais is a city and major ferry port in northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's prefecture is its third-largest city of Arras. The population of the metropolitan area at the 2010 census was 126,395. Calais overlooks the Strait of Dover, the narrowest point in the English Channel, which is only 34 km (21 mi) wide here, and is the closest French town to England. The White Cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day from Calais. Calais is a major port for ferries between France and England, and since 1994, the Channel Tunnel has linked nearby Coquelles to Folkestone by rail.

The new king did not discard his father's old servant, and in 1380 Ashton was appointed constable of Dover and warden of the Cinque Ports. He died at Dover Castle 9 Jan. 1384-5, and was buried in the church there, to which he had previously presented a large bell.

Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports ceremonial official in the United Kingdom

The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports is a ceremonial official in the United Kingdom. The post dates from at least the 12th century, when the title was Keeper of the Coast, but may be older. The Lord Warden was originally in charge of the Cinque Ports, a group of five port towns on the southeast coast of England that were formed to collectively supply ships for The Crown in the absence at the time of a formal navy. Today the role is a sinecure and an honorary title, and 14 towns belong to the Cinque Ports confederation. The title is one of the higher honours bestowed by the Sovereign; it has often been held by members of the Royal Family or Prime Ministers, especially those who have been influential in defending Britain at times of war.

Dover Castle medieval castle in Dover, Kent, England

Dover Castle is a medieval castle in Dover, Kent, England. It was founded in the 11th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history. It is the largest castle in England.

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  1. Not to be confused with the unrelated Sir Robert I Assheton of Pitney, Somerset, husband of Elizabeth de Gorges, father of Sir Robert Assheton II(d.1384), Justiciar of Ireland, Treasurer of the Exchequer, etc.
  2. Michael Jones, ‘Ashton, Sir Robert (d. 1384)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 21 March 2017

"Ashton, Robert de"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.