Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of Sir Hugh Willoughby (c.1380-1448)

Hugh was the son of Edmund Willoughby and Isabel Annesley, and great-grandson of Sir Richard Willoughby . By his second marriage to Margaret Freville he acquired the valuable manor of Middleton and other estates in Warwickshire, making him one of the wealthiest members of the Midlands gentry. Middleton was to become one of the family's principal residences. Hugh was knighted at the coronation of Henry VI in 1429 and held local offices appropriate to his status.

Sir Hugh and his first wife were buried in the church at Willoughby-in-the-Wolds under a tomb chest with elegant alabaster effigies.   

Tomb of Sir Hugh Willoughby (d 1448) and his wife Isabel, in Willoughby-on-the-Wolds parish church


Sir Hugh married 1stly, c.1395, Isabel Foljambe (d 1417), and had:

  • Richard (d 1471)
  • Nicholas, no children
  • Thomas, no children

Hugh married 2ndly, by 1419, Margaret Freville (d 1493, m 2ndly Richard Bingham, Justice of the King's Bench (d 1476)), and had:

  • Robert (d 1474), m Margaret, daughter of Sir John Griffith of Wichnor, Staffordshire, and had:
    • Henry (c.1451-1528)
    • Richard, m Jane Sacheverell in 1485 (divorce on the grounds of precontract with William Zouche), m Anne, Lady Clinton and Say in 1488
    • Dorothy, m Thomas Thurland
    • Alice m Richard Curzon
    • Sanchia, m John Strelley
  • Isabel, m Philip Boteler of Watton Woodhall, Hertfordshire in 1436
  • Maud, m Thomas Hertwell
  • Eleanor, m Sir John Shirley
  • Jocosa, m Richard Bracebridge of Kingsbury
  • Alice, m John Marmyon
  • Baldwin, Henry, John, Marjory, and another daughter

Archive Collections

  • Title deeds, settlements, estate and legal papers relating to Sir Hugh Willoughby's ownership of the Willoughby estates are part of the Middleton Collection held in Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham.
  • Hugh's will is at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, York. It was published in Testamenta Eboracensia 2, 130-4

Published Sources

  • S. J. Payling, ‘Willoughby family ( per. 1362–1528) ’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [available online to subscribers ]

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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