From Thiboutot, in the Pays de Caux. John de Thiboutot is mentioned by Des Bois in 1107; and others appear in the Exchequer Rolls of 1180-95. They were Sieurs d'Alvemont, ennobled in 1667, and bore D'argent an sautoir denche de gueules—precisely the same arms as the English house. Three De Thiboutots are found in the Assembly of Norman nobles in 1789—Nobiliaire de Normandie. In England the name, which in after ages degenerated into Tiptoft, first occurs in the Liber Niger. Ralph de Toboltot or Toboutot held a fief in Suffolk from De Clare in 1165. He is not noticed by Dugdale, who begins his account of the family with Walter de Tibetot, who forfeited the lands he held of Earl Ferrers in Leicestershire in 1204 for "adhering to the King's Enemies." Next follows Henry de Tibetot—how related does not appear—in emphatic contrast to the last; for, being in arms for the Crown at the accession of Henry III., he, with Thomas Botterel, received a grant of the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire estates of Adam Painell, one of the revolted barons. His son Robert, again, was through life a "trusty servant" to Edward I.; attended him to the Holy Land; fought his battles in Scotland and Gascony; was Constable of his castles of Porchester and Nottingham: his Commissioner to treat for peace with Llewellyn in 1274, and his Lieutenant in Wales in 1289. On this occasion he gave battle to Rees-ap-Meredith, killed four thousand of his followers, and carried him captive to York, where the unhappy prince perished on the scaffold. "Some say," suggests Dugdale, "that Rees rebelled, by reason of Injuries done to him by this Robert:" whose rule, we may infer, was none of the mildest. He died in 1297, a man of extended possessions; for he had obtained a weekly market and yearly fair at his manor of Burwell in Cambridgeshire, free-warren at Bentley in Yorkshire and Braundeford in Suffolk, with a grant of Langar and Berneston in Nottinghamshire. His successor Pain (named after his grandfather Pain de Chaworth) was summoned to parliament by Edward II. in 1308, though he had been in dire disgrace during the preceding reign, and suffered sequestration for having returned from his second campaign in Scotland without leave. The King further appointed him Constable of Northampton and Justiciar of the Forests beyond Trent. He was three times again engaged in the Northern wars, and fell at the battle of Stirling in 1313. He left a young widow, Agnes de Ros, who had brought him the Yorkshire manor of Weighton-in-the-Wolds, and speedily re-married; and a son, then only fourteen months old, John, second Lord Tibetot.

No sooner had this baby-heir come to man's estate, than he in his turn took the field; and from that time forth, like most gentlemen of the period, spent the chief part of his time under arms. He could count up four campaigns in Scotland and two in Flanders, in addition to the "grand Expedition to France" undertaken in 1342, which he joined in the retinue of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford. Four years afterwards he was selected for the onerous post of Governor of Berwick upon Tweed. He died in 1367, having been twice married. By his first wife Margaret, the splendidly dowered co-heiress of Giles Lord Badlesmere, in whose right he held land in nine different counties, he had two sons; John, who died s. p. in his lifetime, and Robert, his heir. By the second, Elizabeth Aspall, the widow of Sir Thomas Wanton, he left one other son, Pain.

Robert, the last Lord Tibetot (for Pain never received a summons to parliament), was twenty-six years of age when he lost his father, and only survived him five years, leaving three little daughters in ward of Richard, Lord Scrope of Bolton, then Lord Treasurer of England. The two eldest of these great heiresses[74] their sagacious guardian disposed of in marriage to his own sons; Margaret was given to Roger, second Lord Scrope of Bolton; and Milicent to Sir Stephen Le Scrope; while Elizabeth became the wife of Philip Le Despencer. All three left descendants, and brought their husbands one or more great estates. Margaret had Langar, with "the Castell of Langham in Nottinghamshire, where was a principall House of the Tipetots;" Milicent, Castle Combe in Wilts and Oxenden in Gloucestershire; and Elizabeth, Nettlested in Suffolk.

Some of the land, however, including Burwell (or Tiptot Manor) in Cambridgeshire, passed to their uncle Pain de Tibetot; and from him to his son Sir John, a baron of the realm in 1426. "The Lord Tipetot that was in Edwarde the 4. Dayes had such Landes as were left only to the Heire Mais of the auncienter Lorde Tipetote."—Leland. Yet this second family attained a pre-eminence that had never been accorded to the first. Sir John, an able statesman and successful soldier, filled some of the highest offices in the realm during three successive reigns, and was enriched by princely grants.[75] He had been retained to serve Henry IV. in the field for the term of his life with a stipend of one hundred marks, and on Owen Glendower's attainder in 1406, he obtained all the lands in South Wales that had belonged to one of his followers, Rees-ap-Griffith. In the same year he was Chief Butler of England: the next, Treasurer of the King's Household, with two important commands in Acquitaine: and the accession of Henry V. only brought him a fresh instalment of honours and dignities. One preferment trod closely on the heels of the other. In 1415 he was Seneschal of Acquitaine: in 1416 Ambassador to the King of the Romans: in 1417 President of the King's Exchequer in Normandy and Treasurer of the Duchy. Henry VI. appointed him Chief Steward of the Royal castles and manors throughout all Wales and the Marches, then vested in the Crown during the minority of the Duke of York, and summoned him to parliament as Lord Tibetot and Powys. He was twice again in the French wars with a great following; and in the interval named Castellan of Merc in the Marches of Picardy. He died in 1440, leaving by his wife Joyce, sister and co-heir of Sir Edward Charlton, Lord Powys (a descendant of the ancient Princes of Powys), an only son, to whom accrued a magnificent inheritance.

This son, John, then a lad of fourteen, was created Earl of Worcester on attaining his majority, and proved one of the most remarkable men of his time. He was educated at Baliol College, Oxford; but "wandered in search of learning to Italy, studied in her universities, and became a teacher at Padua, where the elegance of his Latinity drew tears from the most learned of the Popes, Pius the Second, better known as AEneas Sylvius. Caxton can find no words warm enough to express his admiration of one 'which in his time flowered in virtue and cunning, to whom I know none like among the lords of the temporality in science and moral virtue.'"—Green's History of the English People. He was not only facile princeps among the unlettered nobles of his own day, with whom learning was of little account, but would have ranked high amid the scholars of any other age. He translated into English the Orations of Publius Cornelius and Caius Flaminius, and was the author of several learned tracts, enumerated by Bale. Above all, he was the munificent patron and protector of men of letters, and the staunch supporter of Caxton. If, however, his position was unsurpassed in science and literature, there was little to admire in his political career. In 1449 he received, as I have already stated, an Earldom from Henry VI. in memory of his father's services; and eight years later—while still under thirty—had been appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland. Yet, no sooner was Ed. IV. seated on the throne, than he veered round to the rising Sun of York; and accepted the offices of Justiciar of North Wales and Constable of the Tower under the new dynasty. He was welcomed with enthusiasm to the Yorkist camp. No rewards were thought too great for this important and recently converted ally; and each coming year was marked by some fresh proof of the Royal favour. In 1461 he was Treasurer of the Exchequer; in 1462 Lord Chancellor of Ireland for life: in 1463 Steward of the Household: then again Deputy of Ireland, where he took up his abode in 1446; Constable of England and a Knight of the Garter. He is said to have been so cruel, that he "earned the epithet of the Butcher even amid the horrors of the civil wars." Once, when the King had caused him to sit in judgment at Southampton on some Lancastrian gentlemen that had been taken in a skirmish, he had them all, to the number of twenty, without exception, drawn, hanged, and beheaded. Amid all the various duties of his official life, he found leisure to journey to Jerusalem; and on his way home visited Venice and Padua, from whence he went to Rome, "out of a great affection he had to see the famous Vatican Library." There he delivered the eloquent Latin oration that moved the Pope to tears. But his return to England was unfortunately timed. He arrived at the very moment when the Earl of Warwick had achieved the short-lived restoration of Henry VI., and found himself face to face with the exasperated Lancastrians whom he had deserted in their hour of need. He well knew that a short shrift awaited him at their hands, and strove to escape his doom by hiding himself in the forest of Weybridge in Huntingdonshire. But his pursuers found him out: he was captured "on the top of a high Tree," carried to London, and lost his head as a traitor on Tower Hill. "He returned," remarks Fuller, "from Christ's sepulchre to his own grave in England, coming home in a most unhappy juncture of time, when Henry VI. was restored to the throne, and whose restitution was only remarkable for the death of this noble lord. The axe then did at one blow cut off more learning
in England than was left in the heads of all the surviving nobility." He was buried in the church of the Dominican friars in London; but there is a monument in Ely Cathedral either to him or his father. The figure wears a coronet, and is in full plate armour, covered with a close-fitting tabard emblazoned with the engrailed saltire of the Tibetots; the loins girt with a horizontal hawbrick, and the arms protected by rere-braces, vambraces, and coudes.

He had two wives. The first, Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Robert Greyndour, and widow of Lord De La Warr, died in child-birth, her infant son dying the same day; by the second, Elizabeth Hopton, widow of Roger Corbet of Moreton-Corbet, he left a son named Edward, then two years old, who was restored in blood on the return of Edward IV., but died unmarried in his minority.

With him the Earldom expired, and the barony fell into abeyance between the three aunts who became co-heiresses; Philippa, married to Thomas Lord Ros; Joan, married to Sir Edmund Ingelthorpe: and Joyce, married to John Sutton, son and heir of Lord Dudley.

-- Cleveland

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