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Memoirs of the Archdales With the Descents of Some Allied Families




THE Wars of the Roses brought desolation and ruin to many Staffordshire homes.  The county was infested by marauding bands from the Welsh marshes, always ready to take advantage of the lawlessness of the times, and the King’s Commission went forth again and again, for the array of all persons “of body able, and estate sufficient” to aid in the defence of that country. Nor was the shire immune from the major operations of war. In 1459, many Cheshire and Staffordshire men fell at the battle of Blore Heath, fighting under James Touchet, Lord Audley, for the cause of Queen Margaret and the House of Lancaster.

During this stormy period, the names of Touchet, Colclough, Bagenal, Rolleston and Archdale—all of them afterwards associated with Irish affairs, appear amongst the families of Staffordshire.

The earliest mention of the last-named family, that has been found, refers to JOHN ARCHDALE, who was living at Acton Trussell, near Stafford, in the reign of Henry V.

In the year 1415, William Egynton of Madeley and Alice his wife, and John Toke of Penkhull and Felicia his wife, sued Richard Paulyn of Boterton and Agnes his wife, Richard Paulyn of Boterton, John Forde of Hanchurch, John Sondon of Acton, chaplain, John Archdale of Acton, and Thomas Hare of Acton, for damage to their property at Boterton to the value of £20.¹

In the reign of Henry VIII, the Archdale and Dorrington families, who were probably related to each other, are found taking a prominent part in the affairs of the county town.²

JOHN ARCHDALE, of Stafford, was the common ancestor of the Irish, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire branches of the family. He is stated to have been “ of kin ” to Alice, Elizabeth and Rose, daughters and co-heiresses of John Cowell, of Dungworth Storrs, in the chapelry of Bradfield.³

This John Archdale is first mentioned in the Borough records at Stafford in 1533. He served twice as Bailiff of that Borough, and twice as Chamberlain. He was Churchwarden of St. Mary’s in 1538-9, also Warden of the adjoining small church of St. Bertelin, and is named in the Staffordshire Muster Roll of 1539.4

  1. See Pica Rolls, de Banco, Trinity, 3 Hen. V. A.D. 1415. About the same time there was a family named “Ardale” in Essex, but there seems to be no conclusive evidence for connecting them with the Archdales of Staffordshire. In the Patent and Close Rolls and Feet of Fines, between 1352 and 1459, I find eight references to the name “Ardale” in Essex, three in Suffolk, and a John Ardale at Coventry in 1392.
  2. The Dorringtons were very prominent at Stafford, temp. Henry viii. both in holding public office and in Subsidy returns. The “Ancient High House” was built by a Richard Dorrington in 1555. John Dorrington subscribed the Funeral Certificate of Martin Archdale, who in his will (1597) mentions four Dorringtons.
  3. See Harleian Society, MS 326.
  4. The entry is as follows:—[Stafford town]. “John Arschedall, harnys for a man.”

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by Henry Blackwood Archdale. Printed at the Impartial Reporter Office, Enniskillen, by Wm. Trimble , 1925
2nd Ed. (Rev.), Combs &c. Research Group, Inc., © 2000