Nicholas de Meynell

Born:  Nicholas de Meynell was born in 1276, probably in Whorlton Castle. His parents were Nicholas and Christiana de Meynell. He had a younger brother named John and a sister named Christiana. His surname appeared in documents with various spelling, such as Meinell, Meynill and Menill.

Educated:  As a youth, it is likely that he received training in the knightly arts.

Married:  Nicholas de Meynell never married. He had an adulterous relationship with Lucy de Thweng, daughter of Sir Robert de Thweng and Matilda Hansard.

Family: Nicholas and Lucy had an illegitimate son, Nicholas, who was acknowledged as the heir to the family estates.

Home:  Whorlton Castle was the family home of the Meynells.

Known for:  Nicholas de Meynell was a person of some standing in the North Riding. He was summoned to Parliament from 1313 to 1321 and served for a year (1315) as Sheriff of York. He is best known for his illicit relationship with Lucy de Thweng who was married to William Latimer at the time. The vengeful Latimer brought Meynell to court on an accusation that he had hired two men to murder him. As the case progressed, the hired men changed their story and said that Latimer had forced them to support his claims. Nicholas de Meynell is also known for his effigy, which is housed in the Church of the Holy Rood at Whorlton.

Died:  Nicholas de Meynell died in 1322.

Further Information: “Kilton Castle” William I’Anson in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal vol. 22 (1912)

“The Story of Whorlton Old Church” Joan Hartley (1978)

“An Everyday Story of Knightly Folk” Michael Prestwich in “Thirteenth Century England” vol. 9 (2003)