Details of my 11 times great grandfather, Sir Roger Puleston of Emral, Worthenbury, Flintshire and his wife Janet Bulkeley

Sir Roger Puleston, my 11 times great grandfather, was the only son of John Puleston of Emral, Worthenbury, Flintshire and his wife Angharad, daughter of Griffith Hanmer of Hanmer, Flintshire.

Roger's first wife was Sicil (or Cecily), daughter of Sir Randel Brereton of Malpas, Cheshire, by whom he had a son John, who died without issue.

On 23 June 1449, Roger Puleston esquire was one of the witnesses to a deed (document 380 in the Bettisfield manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth) between (1) John Hanmer esquire and (2) Benet Come, clerk, rector of Llandrillo, David ap Ieuan esquire, Ieuan ap Tudur ap Gronw and John ap Edward ap David, being a grant of the |Manor of Halton with lands in the vills of Bronynton and Gredynton in the lordship of Maillors, co. Flint.

On the "Tuesday next after the feast of St Laurence" in 1451/2, an order was issued to Roger Puleston of Worthumbury, co. Flint, gentleman to inquire into certain felonies and breaches of the peace at Worthumbury (document number 1078 in the Bettisfield manuscripts at the NLW, Aberystwyth).

On 19 September 1456, Edmund, 1st Earl of Richmond (whose son became King Henry VII in 1485) wrote to Roger a letter (in abbreviated mediaeval Latin) giving Roger an annuity of 10 marks for his services:

"Edmund comes Richmondiae oibz ad quos pntes Ire puen't saitm. Sciat quod nos consideracoe boni et laudabit suic' dilect' nobis Rogero Pylston armiger', nob impenso, et imposteru impendend', dedim et concessim eidm Rogo, quadm annuitate siue anual reddit', decem marcar', legal' monet' Anglie, pcipiend anuatim p & [in] annuitatem siue anualem reddit' decem marcar' infra dominiu nrm de Kyallayt Oweyn, in ptibz Northwallie, p man recept' nri ibm, p tempe existent', a die dat' pntiu qua diu nob placuerit. Dat' sub sigitt n[ost]ro, decimo die mens' Septembr', Anno Regni Henric[us] sext[us] post conquests, tricessimo quarto. E RYCHMOND"

Edmund, 1st Earl of Richmond


Thanks to Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke (who was a half-brother of the Lancastrian King Henry VI and uncle to the Tudor King Henry VII, and to whom Roger was related by marriage), Roger held important positions in North Wales and was very much involved with the Wars of the Roses between the Lancastrian and Yorkist houses, playing an important part in the early battles and sieges. 

The town of Denbigh changed hands several times between the rival houses and, when Denbigh was controlled by the Lancastrians, Jasper Tudor held the office of Captain of Denbigh Castle. Roger helped the Lancastrians to capture the castle from the Yorkists in 1460 and held it on their behalf until he was forced to surrender it in 1461.

The ruins of Denbigh Castle

On 25 February 1461, a few days after the Lancastrian defeat at the Battle of Mortimer Cross in Herefordshire on 2 February, Jasper Tudor wrote to his deputies at Denbigh, Roger Puleston and John Eyton, exhorting them to prepare to avenge the beheading in 1461 of Jasper's father, Owen Tudor, the husband of Queen Catherine, dowager queen of England:

"To the right-trusty and well-beloved Roger à Puleston, and to John Eyton, and to either of them

Right-trusty and well-beloved Cousins and frinds, we grete you well. And suppose that yee have well in yor remembrance the great dishonor and rebuke that we and yee now late have by traytors
Marche, Harbert, and Dunns, with their affinityes, as well in letting us of our Journey to the Kinge, as in putting my father yor Kinsman to the death, and their trayterously demeaning, we purpose
with the might of our Lord, and assistance of you and other our kinsmen & frinds, within short time to avenge. Trusting verily that yee will be well-willed and put your hands unto the same, and of
your disposicon, with your good advice therein we pray you to ascertayne us in all hast possible, as our especiall trust is in you. Written at our towne of Tenbye the xxvth of ffeu'r. [February]


Another letter from Jasper to Roger requested him to safeguard Denbigh Castle and to collect as much money as he could:

"To our Right trusty and well-beloved Roger Puleston, Esq., Keeper of the Castle of Denbigh

Right trusty and well-beloved—We greete you well, letting you witt that we have received yor letters by Hugh, and understand the matter comprised therein; and as touching the keeping of the Castle of Denbigh, we pray you that you will do your faithful dilligence for the safeguard of hit, as far as in you is, taking the revenue of the lordship there for the vittaling of the same, by the hands of Griffith Vychan, receyvor there—we have written unto him that he should make p'veyaunce therefore—and that yee will understand the goodwill and dispossicon of the people, and that countrey, towards my Lord Prynce [i.e. Edward, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King Henry VI] and us, and to send us word assoone as you may, as our trust is in you. Written at my towne of Tenbye, the xxiiij of July.

King Edward IV

In 1463, Roger Puleston took part in an unsuccessful plot to dethrone the Yorkist King Edward IV, as a result of which he was arrested. However, he was soon pardoned by Edward and allowed to return to Emral. The King even appointed Roger and others to a commission in Chirkland, but Roger nevertheless secretly maintained his contacts with Jasper Tudor and other Lancastrians.

Jasper Tudor and the Lancastrians retook Denbigh in 1468. In 1468, acting through the Privy Council on behalf of King Edward IV, the Earl of Warwick called upon Jasper Tudor and Roger Puleston, his deputy at Denbigh, to surrender Denbigh Castle to the Duke of York's nominee, at the same time assuring them of his belief in the loyal intentions of the Duke.

An old print of the gatehouse to Denbigh Castle

By letter dated 26 February 1470, written from Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Jasper (acting on behalf of Henry VI, who had been deposed in 1460, exiled and by 1470 imprisoned in the Tower of London) appointed Roger as Governor of Denbigh Castle. Another letter, dated 2 December 1470, written by Jasper from Monmouth to Roger in abbreviated mediaeval Latin, appointed Roger as deputy constable of Flintshire:

"Jasper comes Pembrokiae, Locutenens genai Edri Princip' walliae, ducis Cornub, et com Cestr', p'mogeniti Reg' Henric' sext' illustris', oibz ad quos pnt'tre pnt saltm. Sciatis nos p bono et laudabit s'rvc'
dno meo Princip' et nobis p ditcu armig' Rog' u a Pylston impenso et imposteru impendend, concessisse eidm Rog, officiu vice Comit' com fflynt. Hend et tenend dcu officiu p se vel p suu sufficient' deputat', cu omnimod vad, feod, et pficuis, deo officio debit' et consuet', quadiu nobis placuerit—dans in mandatu oib et singul' offic', baftis, tenentib', et ministris, ibm, qd sint pfat' Roger in exercend officio pdco, auxiliant', attendent', et in oib favent', put dcet. In cui rei testim, pntib sigillu meu apponi fecim. Dat apud Monmouth, scdo die decembris, anno ab Inchoacoe Regni Henric' sext' xlix°, et redempconis suae regiae potestat' Anno primo."

The Welsh poet Lewis Glyn Cothi described Sir Roger in one of his poems as a powerful warrior who possessed great wealth, a noble mansion and an extensive territory.


In 1468, after the death of his first wife Sicil, Roger married Janet, daughter and heir of Thomas Bulkeley, Esq of Eaton, Cheshire (son and heir of Sir William Bulkeley, Knight, by his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton and granddaughter of Thomas, Lord Stanley, KG). Their marriage settlement was dated 1 June 1468.

Roger and Janet had 4 sons:

  • Sir Roger Puleston of Emral, who married:
    • first, about Joan (sister and heir of Sir Edward Hanmer, of Hanmer, Flintshire), by whom he had 4 children
    • secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Salusbury of Llewenni and widow of Peter Hope of Broughton and
    • thirdly, Katherine, daughter of Sir Piers Dutton of Halton, by whom he had a daughter Julia, who married Anthony Grosvenor of Dodleston, Esq.

He was Knight of the Body to King Henry VIII, inherited Emral on his father's death and died 18 January 36 Henry VIII (1545).

  • John, who died without issue.
  • Thomas, who died without issue

  • my 10 times great grandfather, Philip Puleston.

Sir Roger was alive in 12 Edward IV (1473-4). A 17th century document in the Puleston manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, Aberyswyth (document no. 573, containing extracts of several grants made to the Puleston and Hanmer families) refers to a document dated 2 May 12 Edward IV:

"Rogeri Pulesdon ar. prarta suam gewent Dat apud Emrall concessit John Ayton Willmo Roydon Petro Mynshall et Thomas Stretenham et heredib. suis dia moss terra.... reddit et servisia sua er in Franckton et Warrenshall in com. Salop et in...."

Sir Roger died at Emral on 10 July 1479. He died an extremely wealthy man - his estate consisted of:

  •  his demesne, as of fee, of the Manor of Emral
  • 160 acres of land, 40 acres of wood, in Worthenbury, with a yearly value of 5 marks
  • a mill in Worthenbury, considered of no value
  • another mill in Worthenbury, with a yearly value of 40 shillings (£2)
  • 47 acres of land in Worthenbury with a yearly value of 31 shillings 4 pence
  • 29 messuages and 500 acres of land in Worthenbury worth £10 a year
  • a fulling mill and 30 acres of land in Halghton worth 10 shillings a year
  • 5 acres of land in Hanmer worth 20d a year
  • a tenement and 60 acres of land in Iscyoet worth 20 shillings a year
  • 13 messuages and 90 acres in Overton Madoc worth 60 shillings a year and
  • 7 messuages and 80 acres of pasture in Bangor worth 26 shillings 8d a year, which were held of the Earl of Chester by service of a quarter of a knight's fee.

As Sir Roger's son and heir (also Roger) was only 7 when his father died, Roger's widow Janet and William Hanmer were given custody of him until he became of age at 21.


Copyright: Haydn Puleston Jones, 2007-19