|Captain Nicholas Horton|
|It is not known whether this Horton is an ancestor of mine - there are many families with the Horton name. However, it would be nice to think that he is. Enquiries are ongoing with friends in France to see whether more information can be found about Nicholas and the direct link to the siege of Castle Oye.|
The Historical Medieval Horton Family
Nicholas Horton was born in about 1397 to William and Joan Dutton in Mowsley, Leicestershire. He was one of six sons Richard, John, William, Roger, Thomas and Nicholas. There are very few records relating to the Horton's. But Richard was William's heir, and lived in Mowsley, Leicestershire until his death some time after 1450. John Horton became parson of the church of Wokkeseye, in the diocese of Salisbury.
Roger, however, is recorded as Sir Roger Horton, and in 1422 is granted 110 marks yearly, as Justice of the King's Bench. Together with John Preston and William Lee of Knyghtley he was commissioned to enquire about all treasons, escapes of felons from prison, all persons who are irreplegiable by law and statute and are demised to baio or mainprise by sheriffs or other ministers of the king, all wards, marriages, reliefs, escheats, chattels of felons, fugitives and outlaws, deadands, treasure trove and wreck of sea pertaining to the king and concealed from him and any other concealments in the counties of Salop, Oxford, Berks, Worcester, Gloucester and Hereford..
Nicholas, on the other hand, had what appears to be an illustrious career with King Henry V, most especially at the Battle of Azincourt. In the resource The Soldier in later Medieval England he is listed as a Captain, Man at Arms to Henry V. Subsequent to the battle he is Indentured by the King: Nicholas Horton. Nature of Service: Custody of Castle of Oye (Pas de Calais). Research to date suggests that in about 1423 the Castle of Oye falls to a siege, and Nicholas is taken prisoner. It would appear from the sources currently available that Nicholas is held prisoner for some 18 years!
Could it be that Nicholas Horton was that important, that his family could not raise the money for his ransom? Or had he fallen out with his family and only his friends were willing to raise a ransom for him? For it is recorded: Pardon to Nicholas Horton, late captain of the castle of Oye, for losing it to the king's enemies, the capture having been due to want of men and victuals and the said Nicholas having been made prisoner, with the loss of all his goods there, and put to a ransom the amount of which he cannot bear without aid from his friends, who are unwilling to contribute until such pardon has been obtained for him