Notton, William de (DNB00)

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NOTTON or NORTON, WILLIAM de (fl. 1346–1363), judge, was probably one of the Nottons of Notton, Yorkshire, whose pedigree is partially given by Hunter (South Yorkshire, ii. 391). In William's time, however, the manor had already passed into the hands of the Darcys. In 1343 Notton received lands in Fishlake, Yorkshire, from John de Wingfield, a grant which the king confirmed or extended in 1346. In the same year he appears as a king's serjeant; he attained to some prominence in this capacity, and his arguments are of frequent occurrence in the year-books of Edward III. In 1349 he was summoned to parliament (Dugdale, Chron. Series, p. 47). In 1352 he was granted lands in Litlington, Cambridgeshire, and employed to inquire into the state of labourers, servants, and artisans in Surrey. In 1355 he was made a judge of the king's bench, and when on circuit in this and the following year was directed to remove the sheriffs of Oxfordshire and Northumberland. In 1358, being one of those who had passed judgment upon Thomas Lisle, bishop of Ely, for knowingly harbouring a murderer [see Lisle, Thomas], Notton was cited to answer for his conduct at the papal court at Avignon; on his neglecting to appear, he was excommunicated. This did not, however, interfere with his judicial promotion; in 1359 he was on the commission for the peace in Surrey, in 1361 he was a judge of assize, and in the same year was made chief justice of the king's bench in Ireland (Cal. Rot. Pat. p. 162). Two years later he was one of the council of Edward III's son Lionel, then lieutenant of Ulster; he died before 1372, as his name does not appear in the ‘Patent’ or ‘Close Rolls’ for Ireland in that or any later year.

Both Notton and his wife Isabella were benefactors of the priories of Bretton, Yorkshire, and Royston, Hertfordshire, to which they granted the manor of Cocken Hatch, near Royston, formerly in the possession of John de Vere, earl of Oxford. Copies of Notton's seals are preserved in the British Museum, and his son's are given in MSS. 25942–4.

[Cal. Rot. Pat. p. 162; Rolls of Parl. ii. 455 b; Cal. Inquis. post mortem, ii. 113, 168, 190; Rymer's Fœdera, Record ed. passim; Abb. Rot. Origin. ii. 212; Dugdale's Chronica Series; Add. MS. 5843, ff. 244, 247; Lascelles's Liber Munerum, I. iii. 5; Barnes's Edward III, p. 551; Foss's Judges of England; Hunter's South Yorkshire, ii. 391; Manning and Bray's Hist. of Surrey, iii. 95; Index of Seals.]

A. F. P.