Northwell, William de (DNB00)

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NORTHWELL or NORWELL, WILLIAM de (d. 1363), baron of the exchequer, probably took his name from Norwell, Nottinghamshire, of which he was doubtless a native. Another William de Northwell was appointed rector of St. Clement's, Eastcheap, in 1309. The future baron was clerk of the king's kitchen in 1313. In 1327 he apparently adhered to Edward II, but received a pardon from the regency in the same year. In March 1329 he was presented to the ‘church of Candlewyke-street, London’ (Tanner, p. 155), and on 14 April he accompanied the king to France; on 27 July he was presented to the church of Wistow, Lincolnshire, and soon after to a moiety of that of Eckington, Derbyshire. On 14 Aug. 1331 he received the living of Bainton, Yorkshire, but the presentation was revoked on 28 Sept.; on 31 July he was granted for life the custody of the hospital of St. Nicholas, Carlisle. On 14 Dec. 1332 he received the prebend of Freeford, Staffordshire (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1330–4, p. 377), and in 1332 that of Norwell Overhall in the diocese of Southwell by royal grant, but the Archbishop of York disputed the right of presentation; Northwell was finally installed on 13 Sept. 1333 (ib. p. 478; Le Neve, iii. 437). On 12 Sept. 1335 Northwell was appointed keeper of the king's wardrobe, and Tanner says he received a prebend in Wolverhampton Church on 21 June 1338. In 1340 he resigned the wardrobe, and on 21 June was made a baron of the exchequer, but soon resumed office at the wardrobe (cf. Palgrave, Ancient Kalendars, iii. passim).

In 1346 Northwell accompanied the king on his Creçy campaign, and kept the accounts of the expedition (Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles, Camden Soc., p. 85). He remained at Calais until the following year, assisting in the administration of the town. On 8 Dec. 1348 he was presented by the Black Prince, as Earl of Chester, to the living of Stockport; but this did not prevent his continuance at the wardrobe. He died in 1363. Northwell was succeeded in the prebend of Norwell Overhall first by a John de Northwell, and then by another William de Northwell, and several Northwells appear as benefactors of Southwell Cathedral. A William de Northwell wrote, according to Pits (p. 857), ‘Quasdam historias de rebus Anglicis,’ of which no copy seems known.

[Authorities quoted; Calenders of Close and Patent Rolls, passim; Cal. Rot. Pat. (Record ed.), p. 137 b; Rymer's Fœdera (Record ed.); Rot. Origin. Abbreviatio, ii. 141; Parl. Writs, iii. 1232; Hardy's Reg. Pal. Dunelmense, iv. 104; Beltz's Order of the Garter, pp. 383–7; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib.; Foss's Judges, iii. 469; Brown's Nottinghamshire Worthies, pp. 50–3.]

A. F. P.