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SCROPE, JOHN le, fifth Baron Scrope of Bolton (1435–1498), was son of Henry, fourth baron, by Elizabeth, daughter of his kinsman, John, fourth lord Scrope of Masham, and was born on 22 July 1435 [see under Scrope, Henry le, (1376–1415)]. Inheriting the Yorkist politics of his father, who died on 14 Jan. 1459, he fought with Warwick at Northampton and was ‘sore hurt’ at Towton (Paston Letters, ii. 5). Edward IV gave him the Garter which had belonged to his father, the Duke of York. He took part in the gradual reduction of the Lancastrian strongholds in the north, and may have been at the battle of Hexham in 1464 (Wavrin, p. 441).

Scrope was aggrieved, however, that Edward did not restore to him the lordship of the Isle of Man, of which his family had been divested by Henry IV, and in 1470 he began to raise Richmondshire for the recalcitrant Nevilles. But on Warwick being driven out of the country he made his peace, and, though he adhered to Warwick during the short Lancastrian restoration, Edward overlooked his inconstancy and employed him in negotiations with Scotland in 1473. In 1475 he accompanied the king to France. As he still persisted in quartering the arms of Man, he was ordered to relinquish them during the expedition, without prejudice to his right, if any (Fœdera, xii. 2). In the next year he went on a mission to Rome with Earl Rivers (Paston Letters, iii. 162). He held a command in the Duke of Gloucester's invasion of Scotland (1482), and took part in the subsequent negotiations with the Duke of Albany. Gloucester, when king, sought to confirm Scrope's support by a grant of lands in the south-west, with the constableship of Exeter Castle. He was also governor of the Fleet. Nevertheless he kept his position under a fifth king. In 1492 he was retained to go abroad with Henry VII, and as late as August 1497 assisted in raising the siege of Norham Castle. Scrope died on 17 Aug. 1498.

His first wife, whom he married before 1463, was Joan, daughter of William, fourth lord Fitzhugh (d. 1452) of Ravensworth Castle, Richmondshire. She bore him a son, Henry, sixth baron of the Bolton line, and father of the seventh baron, ‘stern and stout,’ who fought at Flodden, and whose portrait is still at Bolton Hall.

Scrope married, secondly Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Oliver St. John (by Margaret, widow of John Beaufort, duke of Somerset) and widow of William, lord Zouche of Haryngworth (d. 1463). She was still living in 1488 (Rot. Parl. vi. 424). By her he had a daughter Mary, who married Sir William Conyers of Hornby. His third wife was Anne, daughter and heiress of Sir Robert Harling of East Harling in Norfolk, and widow of Sir William Chamberlayne, K.G., and Sir Robert Wingfield. She survived Scrope only a few weeks.

A daughter Agnes married, first, Christopher Boynton; and, secondly, Sir Richard Radcliffe [q. v.], the adviser of Richard III.

[Rotuli Parliamentorum; Rymer's Fœdera, original edit.; Scrope and Grosvenor Roll, ed. Nicolas, ii. 61, 76; Testamenta Eboracensia (Surtees Soc.), iii. 94, 149; Ramsay's Lancaster and York; other authorities in the text.]

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