Open main menu

Northampton, Henry de (DNB00)

NORTHAMPTON, HENRY de, or FITZPETER (fl. 1202), judge, was probably a brother of Geoffrey Fitzpeter, earl of Essex [q. v.], who seems to have been closely connected with Northamptonshire, for both he and Simon Fitzpeter were in several years sheriffs of the county. Henry was an officer of the exchequer, a canon of St. Paul's (Dugdale, Origines Juridiciales, pp. 21, 22), and held the church of St. Peter's, Northampton (Close Rolls, i. 520). He was a justice itinerant for Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and Huntingdonshire in 1189 (Pipe Roll, 1 Ric. I. 69, 194), and sat as one of the king's justices at Westminster and in the country in 1202 and later. In 1205 King John granted Henry Fitzpeter de Northampton license to make a park at Little Lunford (probably Ludford in Lincolnshire) (Rotuli Chartarum, ed. Hardy, i. 151), and from that year to 1207 Henry was joint-sheriff of Northamptonshire (Close Rolls, i. 34, 77). It may be inferred that he joined the baronial party, of which until his death Geoffrey Fitzpeter had been leader, for in November 1215 his lands and houses in Northampton were given away by the king (ib. p. 238). He received letters of protection in the following March. He founded an hospital within the precincts of St. Paul's, London (Monasticon, vi. 767). Dugdale (Baronage, i. 705) reckons a Henry, dean of Wolverhampton, among the sons of Geoffrey Fitzpeter, earl of Essex, and it does not seem possible to distinguish clearly between him and this Henry de Northampton.

[Authorities quoted; Foss's Judges of England, ii. 99, where the omission of any notice of a probable relationship between Henry and Earl Geoffrey must be noted as against the theory stated above; Dugdale's Chron. Survey, and Monasticon, vi. 767; Rot. Litt. Claus. i. 34, 77, 238, 520, ed. Hardy (Record publ.); Rot. Litt. Pat. pp. 54, 169, ed. Hardy (Record publ.); Pipe Roll, 1 Ric. I, pp. 69, 194, ed. Hunter (Record publ.)]

W. H.