Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Cheyne, William

CHEYNE, Sir WILLIAM (d. 1438?), judge, was recorder of London as early as 1378-9 but does not appear as appear before 1406-7, after which date his name occurs in the year-books in the that character with some frequency until 1410, when he was called to the degree of serjeant-at-law. Five years later he was appointed to a judgeship in the king's bench, which be retained on the accession of Henry VI (1422), and exchanged for the chief Justiceship of the same bench in 1424. In 1425-6 he was knighted at Leicester in company with William Babington and John Juyn, the latter of whom succeeded him as clue justice of the king's bench in 1438-9. The Escheat Rolls do not enable us to fix the date of his death even approximately. The family of De Cheyne was originally seated in Hertfordshire, but subseguently spread into Kent, Sussex, Somersetshire, Devonshire, Buckinghamshire, and Cheshire. That the judge did not belong to the Hertfordshire stock seems to be certain, but there the certainty ends. Philipott (Villare Cantianum, p.25) mentions one William Cheyne of Shurland in the Isle of Sheppey, who was sheriff of Kent in 1412-l4l3, and the following year, and again in 1423-4, and who was knighted in 1430-1; and Berry (County Genealogies, Kent, p. 125) Buys that this William Cheyne of Shurland was the son of Richard Cheyne of the same place by Elisabeth, daughter of Cralle of Cralle, Sussex, and grandfathér of Sir John Cheney, who was raised to the peerege in 1458-9. He also identifies this William Cheyne with a Sir William Cheyne who was buried in the church of St. Benet, Paul's Wharf, in 1442, and whose will, a model of brevity and simplicity is included by Nicholas in his ‘Testamente Vetusta’ p. 249. The will, however, which does not read like that of a lawyer, contains nothing which serves to connect the testator with Kent, while it refers to property held by him at Stoke and Trapeseles. A Williem Cheyne of Sheppey is known to have died about 1441, as his will was then proved in the prerogative court of Canterbury (Marshall, Genealogist, iv. p. 327); and one William Cheyne of Sheppey is distinguished from the judge in the list of contributories to the expenses of the French war drawn up in l436. A Sir William Cheyne, knight, is also mentioned as tenant of the manor of Brambletye in Sussex, in 1428-9. It is of course that there was more than one William Cheyne of Sheppey, and that the judge is to be identified with the person mentioned by Philipott; but if so, it is singular that neither he nor Morant, the historian of Kent, who gives a kind of history of the family, should have noticed the fact.

[Mun, Gild. Londin. (Rolls Series), iii. App. 424-5, 426, 428; Year-books. 8 Hen. IV Mich. ff 1. 16, 9 Hen. IV, Mich. ff. 18, 23. 10 Hen. IV, Mich. f. 2, ll Hen. IV, Hil. f. 6, 14 Hen. IV, Mich. f. 6, Hil. f. 32; Dugdale’s Chron Ser. 57, 58, 59, 82; Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council, iii. 6, 132, iv. 290. 328; Gregory's Chronicle (Camden Society), p. 160; Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire, iii. 609; Collinson's Somersetshire. ii. 375; Coll. Top. et Gen. iii 183; Sussex Archæological Collections, xx. l35; Foss's Judges of England; Lysons’s Magna Britannia, vi. pt. i. clxiii.]

J. M. R.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.64
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
222 i 8-9 Cheyne, Sir William: for was recorder of London as early as 1378-9, but read is probably distinct from the William Cheyne who was recorder of London from 1377 (see Letter Book H, ff. 49, 75) to 1890 (ibid. ff. 246, 253), as he