Thursday, July 23, 2009

John Holyer: Archer

An interesting new database of Medieval Soldiers has become available here. It records two instances of a John Holyer, Archer, one from 1387 and another from the reign of Henry V.

First Name Surname Rank Captain Name Commander Year Nature of Activity
John Holyer Archer Slegh, John Arundel, Richard Fitz Alan, earl of 1387 Exped Naval
John Holyer Archer Arundel, John, Sir
temp. Henry V Naval Exped

The first record of 1387 almost certainly refers to the naval expedition of that year which defeated the Franco-Spanish-Flemish fleet off Margate. Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel was Admiral of England.

The second record during the time of Henry V (1413-1422) must surely have been one of the French campaigns, so this John Holyer may have been one of the famous English archers who fought at Agincourt. I haven't yet decided precisely who Sir John Arundel was and whether he was one of the Arundels associated with the earldom. If forces were raised along the south coast, then maybe John Holyer was from the family at Hooe in Sussex for which I have a record from 1427 and which continued there until the early 17th century. They may be the progenitors of the Holyer family of Woodchurch, Kent who are my own ancestors.


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