Roger de Welby de Multon, High Sheriff for County of Lincoln, 1397. Will proved 1410. m. Bur. at Multon (now Moulton) 20th. of Richard II.
In 1401, Roger Welby de Multon, Co. Lincoln, and others grant land to the church of St. Botolph's.
EXCERPT FROM THE WILL OF ROGER DE WELBY proved 1410
"In the name of God, Amen, I, Roger de Welby, of Multon on Monday in the feast of St. Dustan, the Bishop and Confessor, in the year of our Lord one thousand four hundred and ten, do make my Testament in the following manner.
"In the first place I bequeath my soul to Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the Saints, and my body to be buried in the Church of Multon near the grave of my father.
"I also bequeath to the Vicar of the same my best Beast¹, in the name of my rational soul. To the High Altar of the same, for Tithes with held and forgotten twenty shillings.² To the three lights of same, ten shillings; to the Fabric of the Church of Multon, forty shillings, and to every Order of Brothers of St. Botolph, twenty shillings.
"I also wish to have four Secular Masses divinely celebrated, that is to say, two in the Parish of Multon for one year next after my decease, and two in the Chapel of St. James of Multon, for one year, or one for two years.
"I also desire that my funeral expenses shall not be made excessive for vain show, but soberly and decently to the honor of God, so that the money which would be expended in luxurious banquets may be distributed amongst the poor, and laid out in works of charity for the good of my soul.
"The remainder of my goods and chattels not bequeathed, my debts being first paid, and my last will well and faithfully carried into execution, I give and grant to Margaret, my wife, Richard de Pynchebeck, Richard and Adlard my sons, and William Case, Rector of East Bitham, whom by the advice and counsel of my Lord the Present Lord Prior of Spalding, I constitute my executors."
This will is in the Registry of the Cathedral of Lincoln.
In the Multon (Moulton) Welby line were Roger Welby, High Sheriff, 1397, Richard Welby, M. P., Lincolnshire, 1422, Richard Welby, M. P., 1450-2, Richard Welby, High Sheriff, 1471, and M. P., 1472-7, Richard Welby, High Sheriff, 1487, and Thomas Welby, High Sheriff. 1491.
In the period preceding the Norman Conquest two officers appear at the head of the county organization. These are the earldorman or earl, and the scirgerefa, or sheriff.
The latter was more particularly the representative of the king. Alter the Conquest the sheriff became a purely royal officer (vice-comes or ballivus). He held an annual court (the Sheriff's court or leet) to which the vassals of the king were suitors, arranged the assessment of rates and was in fact the financial representative of the Crown within his district. He presided over the assembly which elected the knights of the Shire.
From Fuller's "Worthies," written in 1662, speaking of the office of High Sheriff, he says: "From King Edward III until our own remembrance, the principal gentry in every shire were deputed for that place, keeping great attendance and hospitality: so that as some transcripts hath for the fairness of their character not only evened but exceeded the original, the Vice-comes has pro tempore equalled the Court himself and greater Lords in the land for their magnificence."
In the early part of the 17th century the family lost prestige and declined, but later made peace with the Crown and one branch made a rapid rise once more in Royal favor and purchased back a part, at least, of their estates.
The various Welby lines can be traced back to 1066 through the authorities cited:
Burke, Peerage and Baronetage, 1908.
Burke, Dormant and Extinct Peerage of the British Empire.
England, Boston Parish Register, County of Lincoln, 1599-1638, Vol. II, pp. 142, 147, 166, 176, 179.
Thompson, Pishey, History and Antiquities of Boston, 1856.
Visitation of Lincolnshire.
Publications of the Harleian Society, Vol. LV., p. 1315.
Maddison, A. B., Lincolnshire Pedsgrees-Lincoln Wills.
Ms. C. 23, Heralds' College.
Gibbons, A., Notes on the Visitation of Lincolnshire, 1634, pub. 1898.
Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica.
The Genealogist, Vol. 5,1881---Visitation of Lincolnshire, 1652.
Notices of the family of Welby, collected by a member of the family, printed by S.Rigde Street, Grantham, 1842, for private circulation.
Holles Collection, British Museum, Vol. 3, p. 682, Under Welby, Lincolnshire.
"Mr. P. H. Farwell,
With regard to the Welb- Pedigree find this in an old collection of MSS. here I enclose a rough copy of the main descent herewith.
College of Arms, Norroy,
London, E. C. 4. Registrar.
King of Arms"
April 13, 1927.
¹"My best Beast. this was generally the most valuable horse in the possession of Persons of Rank: led caparisoned, and bearing the military weapons of the deceased, before the corpse at the funeral, and afterwards delivered up as a mortuary."
Ellers Hint, of Belvoir Castle, p. 27
²With reference to the value of money at this period, Henry in his history of Great Britain says that in the fifteenth century, three half pence would purchase as much of the necessaries of life as fifteen pence would do at the time he wrote, viz. 1780. Hence some estimate may be formed of the value of the numerous bequests to the Church, contained in this and in the other wills quoted.