Blount, Walter (d.1474) (DNB00)

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BLOUNT, WALTER, first Baron Montjoy or Mountjoy (d. 1474), lord high treasurer of England, eldest son of Sir Thomas Blount and grandson of Sir Walter Blount [q. v.], became treasurer of Calais in 1460, apparently in immediate succession to his father; fought bravely with the Yorkists at the decisive battle of Towton (29 March 1461), and was rewarded first by knighthood and afterwards by promotion to the governorship of Calais. In October 1461 he was besieging with a very large force ‘the Castell of Hampnes by side Cales,’ which apparently held out for Henry VI. In 1465 he was nominated lord high treasurer of England, and was raised to the peerage as Baron Montjoy or Mountjoy, on 20 June of the same year. In 1467 he was given the Devonshire estates forfeited to the crown by the attainder of Thomas Courtenay, earl of Devonshire, in 1461. He was directed in 1468 to accompany the king in a projected expedition to aid the Duke of Brittany against Louis XI. In the following year Mountjoy accompanied Edward IV on his public entry into London after his release from the temporary confinement to which Warwick and Clarence had subjected him. He was created a knight of the Garter on 23 April 1472.

Lord Mountjoy died late in 1474, and was buried in the church of Grey Friars, London. His piety was as far-famed as his bravery. On 17 Sept. 1469 he and his wife were received into the fraternity of the chapter of the Holy Trinity priory at Canterbury. By his will, dated 8 July 1474, he largely increased the endowment of the hospital of St. Leonards, near Alkmonton, Derbyshire, originally founded by his grandmother, Donna Sancha de Ayála [see under Blount, Sir Walter, (d. 1403)], and established a chapel in the same village. He was twice married: (1) to Helena, daughter of Sir John Byron of Clayton, Lancashire, and (2), in 1467, to Ann, widow of Humphrey Stafford, duke of Buckingham, and daughter of Ralph Nevill, earl of Westmorland, by Joan Beaufort, only daughter of Catherine Swynford and John of Gaunt. By his second wife, who died in 1479, he had no issue. In 1470 Lord Mountjoy was appointed custodian of the estates of the dukedom of Buckingham during the minority of his stepson Henry Stafford, the heir. By his first marriage he had three sons. William, the eldest, was killed while fighting with Edward IV at Barnet in 1471, and was buried with his father at Grey Friars. William's son Edward succeeded his grandfather as the second Baron Mountjoy in 1474, but died in the following year, and was buried in the Grey Friars' church in London. The second son, Sir John, succeeded his nephew Edward as third Baron Mountjoy in 1475; was appointed captain of Guisnes and Hammes near Calais in 1477; was continued in the office by Richard III in 1483; died in 1485, bequeathing his body to the Grey Friars' church; and was succeeded in his title by his son William [q. v.] The third son, Sir James, became lieutenant of Hammes in 1476; joined in offering the castle of Hammes to Henry, earl of Richmond, in 1484–5; was with Henry VII on his landing at Milford Haven in 1485; was knighted there; became a knight banneret in 1487; and died in 1493 (cf. Polydore Vergil, Camd. Soc. 208, 212).

[Sir Alexander Croke's Genealogical History of the Croke Family, surnamed Le Blount, ii. 197–204; Dugdale's Baronage; Rymer's Fœdera, xi. 504, 578, 630, 656–7, 767; Stow's Survey, ed. Strype, bk. iii. 133; Paston Letters, ed. Gairdner, ii. 5, 52, 169, 389; Nichols's Leicestershire, iii. 7, iv. 523, 524.]

S. L. L.