Buxhull, Alan (DNB00)

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BUXHULL, Sir ALAN (1323–1381), constable of the Tower, was the son of Alan Bokeshull, or Buxhull, the tenant in capite of a messuage now known as Bugzell, in the parish of Salehurst, Sussex, and of other lands in the same county, and who also held the manor and church of Bryanstone, in Dorsetshire, all of which were, upon his death in 1325, inherited by his son Alan, then an infant two years old. In 1355 he was a knight in the expedition of Edward III to succour the King of Navarre; and some years later, in 1363, he attended the king to welcome the King of Cyprus on his landing at Dover. The year following he was sent with the Lord Burghersh and Sir Richard Pembrugge to render similar honours to King John of France, when by reason of the inability of his subjects to ransom him he was obliged to return to captivity in England. In 1369 Sir Alan, then the king's chamberlain, was sent with certain nobles to swear to the fulfilment of the treaty with Scotland, and in the same year he held a command under John of Gaunt at Tournehem. In 1370 he succeeded Sir John Chandos as captain and lieutenant of the king in the territory and fortress of St. Sauveur le Vicomte, near Valognes, in Normandy, where, as Froissart tells us, he bore himself as a right valiant knight, ‘appert homme durement.’ Soon afterwards he took part, with Sir Robert Knolles, in the expedition against the French near Le Mans. It was during his stay in Normandy that Sir Alan received a writ from the king addressed to his ‘dear and faithful Aleyn de Buxhull,’ commanding him to proceed into the district of Cotentin to redress the outrages alleged to have been committed by the king's subjects there against those of the King of Navarre. Upon the death of the Earl of Stafford, one of the founders of the order, in October 1372, Buxhull was created a knight of the garter, being the fifty-third person promoted to that distinction. He had been elected in 1365–6 successor to Sir Richard la Vache, K.G., in the office of constable of the Tower of London for life, and was also made custos of the forest and park of Clarendon and other forests in Wiltshire. Towards the close of his life Sir Alan was a party to the murder, under peculiarly atrocious circumstances, of Robert Hauley and John Schakell, two esquires who had escaped from the Tower and taken sanctuary at Westminster. To effect their capture, Sir Ralph Ferrers and Buxhull were despatched with fifty men, and, meeting with some resistance, slew their unhappy prisoners within the very precincts of the abbey. This deed happened on 11 Aug. 1378. The power of John of Gaunt, however, effectually screened the perpetrators from punishment. Buxhull did not long survive, for dying on 2 Nov. 1381, he was buried, according to Weever, in Jesus' chapel, under old St. Paul's, near the shrine of St. Erckenwald. He was twice married. By his first wife, whose name is unknown, he left two daughters: Elizabeth, the wife of Roger Lynde, and Amicia, the widow of John Beverley. He took to his second wife Maud, the daughter of Adam Franceis, citizen of London, and relict of John Aubrey, who subsequently married John de Montacute, afterwards third earl of Salisbury and K.G. She gave birth to a posthumous son, who also received the name of Alan, and in due time the honour of knighthood.

[Beltz's Memorials of the Order of the Garter, pp. 188–92, and authorities cited; Lower's Worthies of Sussex, pp. 147–9; Weever's Ancient}} Funerall Monuments, p. 380; Hutchins's Dorsetshire, 3rd ed. i. 249, 251; Archæologia, xx. 152 n., where the writer asserts, but without giving any authority, that Buxhull was excommunicated for his share in the murder.]

G. G.