Thomas Rempston (died 1458)

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Thomas Rempston
Sir Thomas Rempston, KG.png
Arms of Sir Thomas Rempston, KG
Bornshortly before 1392 [lower-alpha 1]
Died15 October 1458
Residence Rempstone and Bingham [2]
Occupation Soldier, administrator, diplomat, member of parliament
Military career
Allegiance Royal Arms of England (1399-1603).svg Kingdom of England

Sir Thomas Rempston II (or Rampston) (bef. 1392 – 15 October 1458) was a medieval English soldier, landowner, and a leading military commander during the Hundred Years' War in France. [3] He dedicated his career, as his father had done before him, to the service of the House of Lancaster, the ruling dynasty of England. Much of the Rempston family's fortunes were in fact owed to this. However, several ransoms contracted by sir Thomas while campaigning in France, coupled with the fact that his long-living mother held many of his estates in dower, meant that he had to endure several financial difficulties for much of his life. [4] [5]

Soldier one who fights as part of an organized armed force

A soldier is one who fights as part of an army. A soldier can be a conscripted or volunteer enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer, or an officer.

Hundred Years War Series of conflicts and wars between England and France during the 14th and 15th-century

The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and the development of strong national identities in both countries.

House of Lancaster noble family

The House of Lancaster was the name of two cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet. The first house was created when Henry III of England created the Earldom of Lancaster—from which the house was named—for his second son Edmund Crouchback in 1267. Edmund had already been created Earl of Leicester in 1265 and was granted the lands and privileges of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, after de Montfort's death and attainder at the end of the Second Barons' War. When Edmund's son Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, inherited his father-in-law's estates and title of Earl of Lincoln he became at a stroke the most powerful nobleman in England, with lands throughout the kingdom and the ability to raise vast private armies to wield power at national and local levels. This brought him—and Henry, his younger brother—into conflict with their cousin Edward II of England, leading to Thomas's execution. Henry inherited Thomas's titles and he and his son, who was also called Henry, gave loyal service to Edward's son—Edward III of England.



Thomas was the son of Sir Thomas Rempston by his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Simon Leeke. The Rempston family was an ancient Nottinghamshire family seated at Rempstone, since as early as the reign of Henry III of England. [6]

Nottinghamshire County of England

Nottinghamshire is a county in the East Midlands region of England, bordering South Yorkshire to the north-west, Lincolnshire to the east, Leicestershire to the south, and Derbyshire to the west. The traditional county town is Nottingham, though the county council is based in West Bridgford in the borough of Rushcliffe, at a site facing Nottingham over the River Trent.

Rempstone village in the United Kingdom

Rempstone is a village and civil parish in the Rushcliffe district of Nottinghamshire, although its closest town and postal address is Loughborough across the border in Leicestershire. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 census was 367. It is situated at the crossing of the A60 and A6006 roads. It has no schools. Rempston is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book.

Henry III of England 13th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Henry III, also known as Henry of Winchester, was King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine from 1216 until his death. The son of King John and Isabella of Angoulême, Henry assumed the throne when he was only nine in the middle of the First Barons' War. Cardinal Guala declared the war against the rebel barons to be a religious crusade and Henry's forces, led by William Marshal, defeated the rebels at the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich in 1217. Henry promised to abide by the Great Charter of 1225, which limited royal power and protected the rights of the major barons. His early rule was dominated first by Hubert de Burgh and then Peter des Roches, who re-established royal authority after the war. In 1230, the King attempted to reconquer the provinces of France that had once belonged to his father, but the invasion was a debacle. A revolt led by William Marshal's son, Richard, broke out in 1232, ending in a peace settlement negotiated by the Church.

Life account

In 1413 and again in 1416 he represented Nottinghamshire in parliament. Rempston at this time was impoverished due to a settlement made by his father in favour of his mother, which prompted him to seek fortune on the wars in France. [7] In 1415 he was present at the battle of Agincourt with eight men-at-arms and twenty-four foot soldiers. In 1417 he was appointed High Sheriff of Flintshire and Constable of Flint Castle for life. [4]

Parliament of England historic legislature of the Kingdom of England

The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it merged with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Battle of Agincourt English victory in the Hundred Years War

The Battle of Agincourt was one of the greatest English victories in the Hundred Years' War. It took place on 25 October 1415 near Azincourt in the County of Saint-Pol, in northern France. England's unexpected victory against a numerically superior French army boosted English morale and prestige, crippled France, and started a new period in the war during which the English began enjoying great military successes.

Man-at-arms Armoured medieval soldier

A man-at-arms was a soldier of the High Medieval to Renaissance periods who was typically well-versed in the use of arms and served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman. A man-at-arms could be a knight or nobleman, a member of a knight or nobleman's retinue or a mercenary in a company under a mercenary captain. Such men could serve for pay or through a feudal obligation. The terms knight and man-at-arms are often used interchangeably, but while all knights equipped for war certainly were men-at-arms, not all men-at-arms were knights.

In 1418 he served at the siege of Rouen, and on its fall was appointed captain of Bellencombre (Seine-Inferieure), which was subsequently bestowed on him by royal gift. On 22 Nov. 1419 he was promoted to the command of Meulan; he was also granted the town of Gassay, made third chamberlain to the Duke of Bedford, and steward of the king's household.

Siege of Rouen 15th-century siege or Rouen, France

The Siege of Rouen was a major event in the Hundred Years' War, where English forces loyal to Henry V captured Rouen, the capital of Normandy, from the Norman French.

Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, airplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. Captain is a military rank in armies, navies, coast guards, etc., typically at the level of an officer commanding a company of infantry, a ship, or a battery of artillery, or similar distinct unit. The terms also may be used as an informal or honorary title for persons in similar commanding roles.

Bellencombre Commune in Normandy, France

Bellencombre is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region in northern France.

In 1423 he took part in the battle of Cravant, and early in 1424 he went with John of Luxembourg to besiege Oisy in the Pas de Calais. After that fortress was taken he helped to besiege Guise in June of the same year. The garrison, however, did not surrender till early in 1425. Rempston then joined the Duke of Bedford in Paris.

Battle of Cravant A battle during the Hundred Years War

The Battle of Cravant was fought on 31 July 1423, during the Hundred Years' War between English and French forces at the village of Cravant in Burgundy, at a bridge and ford on the banks of the river Yonne, a left-bank tributary of the Seine, southeast of Auxerre. The battle ended in a victory for the English and their Burgundian allies.

John II of Luxembourg, Count of Ligny French military personnel

John II of Luxembourg, Count of Ligny was a French nobleman and soldier, a younger son of John of Luxembourg, Lord of Beauvoir, and Marguerite of Enghien. His older brother Peter received his mother's fiefs, including the County of Brienne, while John received Beaurevoir. He married Jeanne de Béthune, Viscountess of Meaux, widow of Robert of Bar, on 23 November 1418, and became step-father to Jeanne de Bar, Countess of Marle and Soissons. He and Jeanne de Béthune had no children.

Oisy-le-Verger Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Oisy-le-Verger is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region of France.

In January 1426, when war had been declared with Brittany, he took part in the raid into Brittany, penetrating as far as Rennes, and returning with the booty into Normandy. He fortified himself in St. James-de-Beuvron, near Avranches, which Richemont attacked in February. The besiegers were thrown into confusion by a successful sortie, and Richemont was forced to retreat to Rennes, leaving much spoil in the hands of the English. Rempston, joined two days later (8 March 1425 – 1426) by the Earl of Suffolk, pushed on to Dol, taking a fortified monastery by the way.

Declaration of war formal announcement by which one state goes to war against another

A declaration of war is a formal act by which one state goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government, in order to create a state of war between two or more states.

Duchy of Brittany Medieval duchy in northwestern France

The Duchy of Brittany was a medieval feudal state that existed between approximately 939 and 1547. Its territory covered the northwestern peninsula of Europe, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, the English Channel to the north. It was less definitively bordered by the Loire River to the south, and Normandy and other French provinces to the east. The Duchy was established after the expulsion of Viking armies from the region around 939. The Duchy, in the 10th and 11th centuries, was politically unstable, with the dukes holding only limited power outside their own personal lands. The Duchy had mixed relationships with the neighbouring Duchy of Normandy, sometimes allying itself with Normandy, and at other times, such as the Breton-Norman War, entering into open conflict.

Brittany Historical province in France

Brittany is a cultural region in the northwest of France, covering the western part of what was known as Armorica during the period of Roman occupation. It became an independent kingdom and then a duchy before being united with the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province governed as if it were a separate nation under the crown.

Rempston held the barony of Gacé in Normandy. [8]

In 1427 he assisted Warwick in the reduction of Pontorson; the garrison capitulated on 8 May 1427. By this time the Duke of Brittany was sufficiently alarmed, and a truce was negotiated in May for three months, which was soon afterwards converted into a peace. Two years later, he was present at the siege of Orléans, [9] [10] and shortly after he joined the force under Sir John Fastolf which went to the relief of Beaugency, Waurin, the chronicler, being in the army. Setting out from Paris, they were joined at Janville by Scales and Talbot, and Rempston took part in the council of war, in which, contrary to Fastolf's advice, it was decided to advance. In the battle of Patay (18 June 1429) which followed he was one of the commanders, and was taken prisoner by Taneguy du Chatel (one of the murderers of John the Fearless in 1419). [11] He remained in prison until 1435, and a curious petition contains the terms of his ransom. He was shortly afterwards appointed seneschal of Guienne, and in that capacity won much popularity at Bordeaux. He took part in the siege of Tartas in 1440, under the Earl of Huntingdon.

Illustration from Vigiles de Charles VII depicting the siege of St. Sever (1442), which saw Rempston captured Vigiles de Charles VII, fol. 117, Prise de Saint-Sever (1442).jpg
Illustration from Vigiles de Charles VII depicting the siege of St. Sever (1442), which saw Rempston captured

On late January 1441, with the siege of Tartas still ongoing, the English obtained terms for a conditional surrender: the town would capitulate if a French relief force failed to show up before 25 June 1442. [12] [13] Notably, Rempston also agreed with the Lord of Albret, to whom the viscounty of Tartas belonged, that if this deadline wasn't met by the French, Albret would also switch his allegiance, thus placing all of his lands under suzerainty of the English in southwestern France. This would have been disastrous for Charles VII, who would see large amounts of land in Gascony suddenly pass to enemy control, and so he mounted an expedition, the "Journée de Tartas", to relieve the town. [14] The French arrived on 24 June 1442; the English were vastly outnumbered (receiving little or no support from England as efforts were focused on the defense of Normandy) and withdrew, thus the agreement came to nothing.

On 8 August 1441 he made a treaty with the counts of Penthièvre and Beaufort, by which all their possessions near Guienne were to be neutral for four years. He was taken prisoner when the dauphin took St. Sever in 1442, after the 'Journee de Tartas', but regained his liberty, and retook St. Sever, which the French in turn recaptured.

He died on 15 October 1458, and was buried in Bingham church, where there existed an alabaster monument to him in Thoroton's time. He married Alice, daughter of Thomas Bekering, and by her had: 1. Elizabeth (b. 1418), [15] wife of John, afterwards Sir John Cheney; 2. Isabel, wife of Sir Brian Stapleton; 3. Margery, wife of Richard Bingham the younger. Both the Bingham and the Rempston estates afterwards passed to the Stapleton family.


  1. Rempston's birth date is not known. In Rawcliffe 1993 it is stated that he was unlikely to have come of age much before Henry V became king in 1413, meaning he had probably already reached the age of 21. Several genealogy websites cite 1389 as a possible year of birth.

  1. Brown 1891, p. 73.
  2. Chetwynd-Stapylton.
  3. Payling 2004.
  4. 1 2 Rawcliffe 1993.
  5. Bolton 2007, pp. 105–106.
  6. Nicolas 1832, p.  201.
  7. Hanna & Turville-Petre 2010, p.  13.
  8. Bolton 2007, p. 117.
  9. Courcelles 1834, p.  94.
  10. Curry 1992, pp. 139, 152.
  11. Bolton 2007, p. 105.
  12. Wolffe 2001, p. 156.
  13. Piraud 2010, p. 34.
  14. Vale 1974, p. 85.
  15. Richardson 2011, p. 445.

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