Trollope, Munderford and the Beauforts

Sir Andrew Trollope (d.1461)

In the late 1420s Trollope served in France as a mounted man-at-arms as part of the Tombelaine garrison under Thomas Burgh and later with the Fresnay garrison under Sir John Fastolf and his Captain Osbert Munderford during which time he was part of the force that relieved Caen in 1433. In February 1440 he served under Matthew Gough during John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset’s raid into Picardy and the following month was listed under the Earl's personal retinue. By 1442 he was Lieutenant at Fresnay under Sir Richard Woodville and retained the post in 1449 when Woodville was replaced by Mundeford. In the absence of Mundeford (who had been captured the year before) Trollope surrendered the fortress to the French in March 1450 but as part of the surrender terms arranged for Munderford’s release.

Trollope’s marriage to Munderford’s sister and his continued association with the Beaufort family boosted his rise to prominence and by May 1447 he had been granted for life the Barony of La Ferté Macé. By 1455 Trollope was serving as Master Porter of Calais and was involved in piratical sorties from the town under the Earl of Warwick. In command of the Calais Garrison when they sailed to England in 1459 as part of the Yorkist army, Trollope’s long association with the Beauforts may well have influenced his defection from the rebels at Ludford Bridge in October 1459.

Trollope accompanied Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, during the Lancastrian attempt to capture Calais over the winter of 1459/1460 and reputation was enough to win over the garrison at Guînes and he was entrusted with its defence, being appointed Bailiff on 24 March 1460. Unfortunately subsequent reverses for Somerset at Newham Bridge on 23 April 1460 and the interception of reinforcements under Mundeford in June forced the surrender of the castle.

Returning to England with Somerset, Trollope played an influential part in the Lancastrian victory at Wakefield on 31 December 1460, when, according to Waurin, he had, by subterfuge, enticed the Yorkists from their stronghold at Sandal. He was prominent in the Lancastrian victory at St Albans (17 February 1461) and, although wounded in the foot by a caltrop, was among the first to be knighted after the battle.

Trollope, along with his son David, was killed at the Battle of Towton (29 March 1461) while sharing the command of the Lancastrian vanguard with the Earl of Northumberland.

Osbert (Osbern) Mundeford (1409 -1460)

Mundeford served under Sir John Fastolf at Fresnay where he became Marshal of the Garrison in 1433 and was present at the recovery of Le Mans in 1428. By 1444 he was Captain of Beaumont-sur-Sarthe and by the following year Captain of Le Mans under the authority of the Governor of Maine and Anjou, Edmund Beaufort, Earl of Dorset (he became Duke of Somerset in 1448). Following Dorset’s appointment as Lieutenant-General of Normandy further offices and rewards were granted to Mundeford and on 18 April 1448 he was granted a crown annuity of £40 for his good service in France. The same year Mundeford assisted John Stanlowe as Treasurer of Normandy and, following Stanlowe’s death in September 1448, took up the office himself during which time he attempted an overhaul of tax collection in the Duchy.

In December 1445 the county of Maine was surrendered to the French as part of the Treaty of Tours and despite receiving royal orders to surrender Le Mans to the French, Munderford refused until such time as he received the same order from the Duke of Somerset on the grounds that the town was part of the Beaufort estates. Despite threats of force from Henry VI Mundeford held out until 1448 when the French, tired of the delay in handing over the town, took matters into their own hands and despatched an army to recover it. Unprepared for a lengthy siege and with no possibility of relief Munderford finally surrendered the town without a fight in March 1448.
When hostilities between the French and English reopened in July 1449, Mundeford was once again Captain of Fresney as well as Pont-l'Évêque. Munderford was taken prisoner at the fall of Pont-Audemer in September 1449 and imprisoned in the castle of Châteaudon where he wrote an account of the siege (printed in the 'Chronique de Mathieu d'Escouchy,' ed. De Beaucourt, iii. 354). As a consequence of his imprisonment he was absent when Trollope surrendered Fresnay in March 1450 but released shortly afterwards following payment of a ten thousand crown ransom. The following year he was appointed as Marshal of Calais under Edmund Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset where he served for several years before returning to England in the mid 1450’s.

In September 1458 Mundeford was appointed to investigate the defence of the Isle of Wight and following the failure of Henry Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset to capture Calais from the Yorkists during the winter of 1459/1460, he was commissioned, in June 1460, to gather 500 troops at Sandwich intent on extracting Somerset from Guînes. Before he could set sail a Yorkist force from Calais fell upon Sandwich, and defeated Mundeford in a short, sharp fight. Taken across the channel he was summarily executed on the sands below the Tour de Rysbank.

The above "Personalities of the Wars of the Roses " articles appeared in Vol 1 Issue 1 (Oct 2007) and Vol 3 Issue 2 (Feb 2009) of the Beaufort Companye Herald Newsletter