Passelewe, Edmund de (DNB00)


PASSELEWE or PASSELE, EDMUND de (d. 1327), baron of the exchequer, belonged to a family many members of which appear in the rolls as holding judicial and other official positions during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries [cf. Passelewe, Robert, and Passelewe, Simon]. Different Passelewes held land in the march of Wales and in the fen country. Edmund Passelewe belonged to the Sussex branch of the clan, and was therefore closely connected with Robert Passelewe [q. v.] treasurer of Henry III. Edmund was probably son of another Robert Passelewe. Simon Passelewe [q. v.] the judge, was also probably his uncle or near kinsman. Among his contemporaries were John and Peter Passelewe. Edmund was a considerable landowner in Kent and Sussex, holding, for example, half a knight's fee in Wittersham and a third of a knight's fee in Smeeth, both in Kent, and the manor of Cramesham in Sussex of the archbishop of Canterbury. In 1310 he did homage for these lands to Archbishop Winchelsea (Peckham Register, iii. 999), a date which may be regarded as not far distant from the time of his entering into their possession. In 1313 he agreed that his lands and chattels in Kent should be chargeable for the large debt of 100l. to Thomas de Grele (Cal. Close Rolls, 1307–13, p. 584). In 1318 he made his lands and chattels in Sussex security for a debt to Robert de Bardelby (ib. 1313–18, p. 597). Part of his estate he ultimately devoted to pious uses.

In 1288 Edmund was appointed a member of a commission to inquire into some damage done to the Isle of Thanet by an inundation of the sea. In 1309 he was appointed, with Roger de Scotre, to be intendant to the king's affairs of pleas and other business whereof they may be charged (ib. 1307–13, p. 231). Dugdale calls him a serjeant. Henceforward he was constantly employed as a justice of assize. In June 1311 he was first summoned as a judge to parliament (ib. p. 362). In January 1321 he was appointed with his colleague, Walter Stirchelee, to hear pleas of the crown at an assize held in the Tower of London (‘Ann. Paulini’ in Stubbs's Chron. of Edw. I and Edw. II, i. 290–1). On 20 Sept. 1323 he was appointed a baron of the exchequer, and continued to hold that office until the end of the reign. He died in 1327. He was a layman and a knight. A widow and two sons survived him.

[Abbreviatio Placitorum, p. 325 a, ii. 1261 c, i. 132, 207 b; Rot. Originalium Abbreviatio; Parl. Writs, vol. ii.; Dugdale's Origines Juridiciales. The main facts are collected in Foss's Judges of England and Biographia Juridica, p. 503. They may be further supplemented from the Cal. of Close Rolls; Stubbs's Chron. of Edw. I and Edw. II, Register of Peckham's Letters (both in Rolls Ser.).]

T. F. T.