Thank you for your reply.
I have looked into Elizabeth Michelgrove's ties to the Ernle family myself as she is mentioned in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography's entry on Sir John Ernle (CJCP)(d. 1520) as a relation.
In her proof of age (Inq. Ed. IV no. 66), it is stated that she was baptised at Earnley parish church, Sussex on 28 March 39 Hen. VI, which is 1461 rather than 1561. Perhaps that was a typo.
The History of Parliament's updated biography of John ERNELEY (d. circa 1453), M.P. for Ludgershall, Wilts. (Nov. 1449), grandfather of Sir John above, states that his son John (father of Sir John) and this John's mother, Joan Ernle, widowed for a second time were the godparents of John Michelgrove's granddaughter and heir, Elizabeth Michelgrove (who later married Shelley).
I find this slightly bemusing as Joan ought not to have been referred to as Joan Ernle in this case, but as Joan Michelgrove as Joan 2nd husband was Elizabeth's grandfather, John Michelgrove. Joan's maiden name was, of course, Best (of Wiltshire).
I think it more likely that John Ernle the godfather had a sister named Joan and that she was Elizabeth Michelgrove's godmother.
I got this notion from a piece in "The Genealogist" (1904), vol. 20, p. 87, entited "Pedigrees from the Plea Rolls" by Major General the Honourable George Wrottesley.
From "De Banco. Mich. 19 Ed. 4, m. 306", i.e. the plea rolls for the Michaelmas legal term (October-December) in the Court of King's Bench during the 19th year of the reign of King Edward IV, i.e. 4 March 1479 (New Style) to 3 March 1480 (N.S.), so Oct.-Dec. 1479 (not 1480 as I have seen stated in some articles on the Ernles.
It states: "Sussex. John Clerkson and John Ingler sued John Erneley for a messuage and two carucates of land in Sidlesham which Gilbert Fauconer, late of Muchelgrove, had given to John Erneley, late of Erneley, and to the heirs of his body."
The pedigree accompanying this is short but appears as follows:
John Erneley, of Erneley,
seised temp. E. 3
had a son John
who had Joan mother of John Clerkson, plaintiff, and Isabella, mother of John Ingler, plaintiff.
The only other item is a line stating: "Defendant admitted the claim."
Now, the ODNB and Hist. Parl. articles I have already mentioned state that the defendant, John Erneley, whose place in the pedigree is not given, is the man history now calls Sir John ERNLE, Chief Justice of the Commons Pleas (1519-20, d. 1520).
I find this odd on two grounds: first Sir John was definitely the younger of two Ernle sons of John Ernle and Margaret Morley named John. The heir was my ancestor, the elder son, John Ernle, of Fosbury and Bishop's Cannings, Wilts. who, from his age given in an IPM was born in 1461/62. He would have been 17 or 18 at the time of the law suit recorded in "De Banco", given above. All that is known of Sir John, his younger brother, is that he must have been born sometime prior to their father's death in Oct. 1465 or shortly thereafter (maximum 9 months, maybe 10 for an exceptionally long pregnancy on the part of his widowed mother, Margaret). He would only have been 13 or 14 in Michaelmas term 1479.
Why with an elder brother living would the future Sir John Ernle be the John Erneley plaintiff of 1479? Unfortunately, neither John the younger brother nor John the elder brother were mentioned by name in their father John's will dated and proved in Oct. 1465, so we don't know exactly which lands the two Ernle brothers of the same name inherited. We do know, however, that the elder, who established himself more in Wiltshire than in Sussex was by law and custom his father's principal heir. John the younger we know stayed in Sussex (when not in London at his Inn of Court). Only two of their father's other children, Humfrey and Anne, are mentioned in his will, possibly because the other sons had already been provided for during their father's lifetime, and in the case of John the Elder would inherit the real property anyway.
There is no way of determining which John, then is the plaintiff of the 1479 case, though I think it likelier that it was John the elder. There is nothing to say either way, for this is a case about a fairly small part of any inheritance either might have received, and not necessarily from their father, though the tracing of the lineage from an earlier John Ernle who was granted the holding by a Fauconer of Muchelgrove (i.e. one of your Michelgroves whose earlier name was le Fauconer or Fauconer) is a strong suggestion that is was part of their patrimony.
King Edward III reign for 50 years from 1327-1377, so the original grantee named John Erneley, of Erneley, who flourished during his reign, and was apparently the great-grandfather of the two plaintiffs Clerkson and Ingler, must be the defendant great-grandfather at the very least, more likely their great-great-grandfather, or even greatx3 grandfather.
The reasons I posit this are several: first the Ernle descent of John the elder and his brother John the younger which can be proved so far indicates that their father was John Ernle of Sidlesham (d. Oct. 1465) and their grandfather John Ernle, M.P. who died ca 1453 leaving his wife Joan nee Best who remarried to John Michelgrove, the paternal grandfather of Elizabeth Michelgrove (bt. 1461), by 1457.
Now John Ernle the M.P. was the son not of a John Ernle, but of a William Ernle, who lived quite a long life apparently dying ca 1448 (and so aged probably 60-70+), having been married to a lady named Isabella (his first wife) when he was enfeoffed in 1406, almost 30 years after the death of King Edward III, during the course of whose 50-year reign lived the John Erneley, of Erneley, who received (when in that reign?) the aforementioned Sidlesham messuage etc. from Gilbert Fauconer of Muchelgrove.
It is likely that this John was either the father or the grandfather of William Ernle of the 1406 enfeoffment.
From what information I have on the Fauconer alias Michelgrove pedigree I cannot identify Gilbert the grantor, but it seems likely that he would have made the grant of house and lands in Sidlesham to John Ernle because John was marrying into his family, so perhaps as part of the dower of one of his daughters or another family member.
This, then, would explain a kinship between the Michelgrove and Ernle families that predated Elizabeth Michelgrove's 1461 baptism possibly by more than a century, rather than the short four years or so during which Joan (Best) the widow of John Ernle (d. ca 1453) had been married to Elizabeth's paternal grandfather John Michelgrove.
If we could date Gilbert Fauconer lifetime more precisely, we could then establish a better dates for lifetime of John Ernle the original grantee of the Sidlesham messuage etc. In tracing any exact date for such a grant, we might also get an idea of when John is likely to have been made this grant in dower, thereby developing an idea of when he might have been born (that is, depending on a theory that would make him a man of marriageable age, but for the first marriage, not a later marriage, though that would be a hypothesis).
What information I have gathered on the Michelgrove ancestry of the baby Elizabeth baptised in 1461 with two Ernle godparents is drawn from the following:
(1) A History of the Castles, Mansions, and Manors of Western Sussex, by D.G.C. Elwes, pp. 65, 75 etc.
(2) England's Topographer. Or, a New and Complete History of the County of Kent (1829), by W.H. Ireland & J. Kelley, p. 267
(3) A Compendious History of Sussex, by Mark Antony Lower, p.114
(4) Leading Cases of the Common Law (1996), by A.W.B. Simpson.
(5) English Baronetage (1741). Collins. p. 62
(6) Leading Cases in the Common Law (1996). A.W.B. Simpson.
and with reference to two websites:
fabpedigree.com and girders.net quoting an older edition of "The History of Parliament" p. 589.
I must admit that these notes date back a while to 10 September 2008, so new materials may have become available which could shed more light on these questions.
The Fauconer pedigree I have sketched from the foregoing is as follows:
1. Godfrey le Fauconer, 1279 (Elwes), Godfrey le Huton assumed the surname Falconer from his tenure of the mansion of Falconer's Hurst (Kent). His ancestor was William son of Balderic who was granted the manor of Hurst by Henry II to hold by serjeanty (Ireland/Kelley)
2. Robert le Fauconer, his son and heir, d. 1302 aged 63 (Elwes)
3. John le Fauconer (Elwes) called John Michelgrove (fab-pedigree.com), assumed the name of "de Michelgrove", aged 30 in 1302, fl. 1313, formerly of Falconhurst, Kent, & latterly of Michelgrove, Clapham, Sussex (Elwes)
4a. Henry (Ireland/Kelley) and his son John (d. inf.)(ibid.)
4b. John, uncle of John who died inf. (Ireland/Kelley) and son of John (above 3)(Elwes), was called John Michelgrove in fabpedigree.com, m. Joan Whelpton d/o Richard Whelpton, fl. ?1342-1387? (fabped)
5. John Michelgrove (d.?1459) m. Joan NN (fabped) called John Michelgrove no dates in Hist. Parl., p. 459
6. John Michelgrove alias Fauconer, of Michelgrove, parish of Clapham, Sussex, Esq. (Elwes), lived between 1400 and 1460 (H.P., op. cit.), whereas Elwes states he died 20 Aug. 1458 (which makes it impossible for Elizabeth who follows to be his daughter); m. Agnes (H.P.) otherwise called Mary (Anne) in fabped., but called Mary, daughter of William Sydney, of Penshurst, Kent, Esq. (Collins, English Baronetage, 1741, p. 62). Fabped adds that William Sydney's wife was Isabel otherwise called Elizabeth nee St John (d. 1437?), and that William parents were William Sydney and Cicely daughter of John Michell. I have noted that William Sydney the son is elsewhere referred to as Sir William.
7. Elizabeth Michelgrove, sole child and heir to her father (called posthumous by ODNB) goddaughter of John Ernle and Joan Ernle in her proof of age quoted in Elwes p. 75, m. 1474 to Sir John Shelley (d. 3 Jan. 1526 O.S. or N.S.?), and herself died at Clapham, Sussex, aged 53 on 30 June 1518 (Elwes) vs "d. 30 July 1513, aged around 53" (Simpson, op. cit.), having had issue seven son and three daughters, of whom the second son was
8. Sir William Shelley, Justice of the Common Pleas.
Lower simply contributes this re "Clapham in Surrey" [sic], viz.: In the reign of Henry III, it [Michelgrove House] belonged to the family of Le Fauconer, who were descended from the De Winstonestons of Wiston."
In generation 6, I would suggest that it is possible that John Michelgrove was married twice, possibly first to Agnes/Ann (as Agnes was name then usually pronounced Annis, and thence often shortened to Ann, and consequently at this long remove sometimes confused with the separate name Ann/Anne), and later to Mary Sydney, who bore his daughter Elizabeth, your ancestress.
This pedigree gives no hint of the identity of Gilbert who granted the messuage etc. in Sidlesham to John Erneley of Erneley (sic, for Earnley, Sussex) during the reign of King Edward III, but some of it may be new to you. I would, of course, welcomes your additions and/or corrections to it, as well as your thoughts on my musings on the early Ernle pedigree, and any additions or corrections to it as well.
Of course, I realise that if Elizabeth's godmother Joan was a sister of the John Ernle who died in Oct. 1465, she cannot be identical with the Joan Ernle who was mother to John Clerkson, the first plaintiff (especially as the grandfather of the first Joan, had she existed, would have been John Ernle (d. ca 1453) whereas the grandfather of the latter (Joan Clerkson nee Ernle) was John Erneley of Erneley who lived in the Edward III's time.
I know this because even though, at a stretch someone might say a man livingin 1377 (as a child or infant) could still be alive in 1453 (though rarely), I know that the two men are not the same from a statement about John Ernle (d. ca 1453) dating from 1423 when as heir to his father William was not yet of age, and so born long after the death of Edward III (say shortly before his father was enfeoffed in 1406, and in time for his coming of age shortly after the 1423 bond (with Ralph Thorpe) of Boscombe, Wilts).
This makes me think that the plaintiffs, Clerkson and Ingler, in the 1479 case against a presumably young John Erneley must have been men advanced in their years as they appear to have belong to a generation or two earlier if their mothers were granddaughter's to a man who must have died in or before 1406 if he is the father of William Ernle (enfeoffed 1406, died ca 1448, and married by 1406 so likely 20+ then) or even earlier if he is this William's grandfather. Of course, if the place where the pedigree of the defendant of 1479 joins to that of the plaintiffs is much earlier than William's father or grandfather, then other chronological and genealogical problems start to arise, and much of my theorising collapses, and would need reexamination (to which, I am, of course, open).
Enough to be going on with. All the best,
your kinsman (?)