The Daniels family were formerly Danyers or D'Anyers. They are of interest not least because Sir Thomas Danyers was prominent at the Battle of Crecy against the French in 1346 and for his deeds here and elsewhere during the campaign was promised by Edward III, a piece of land worth £20 a year. The King did not have a suitable piece of land to offer at the time and so gave Sir Thomas a pension of 40 marks a year out of the Royal Manor of Frodham. A mark was two thirds of a pound. It was not until 1398 that the grant of land was made. By this time Edward III had died, in 1377, his eldest son had died before him so he was succeeded by his grandson, Richard II. Meanwhile Sir Thomas Danyers had died in 1354 and his eldest son, another Sir Thomas has died before him leaving one daughter, Margaret. The land at Lyme was granted to Margaret and her third husband, Piers Legh, a son of the Legh family of Adlington. In some subsequent histories, the two Sir Thomas Danyers have been treated as one and Margaret incorrectly identified as the daughter of Sir Thomas Danyers senior.

Sir Peter Leicester of Tabley's Historical Antiquities was printed in 1673. During the Civil War he was a Royalist and at one stage was arrested. He was not imprisoned on the proviso that he went home and took no further part in hostilities. Sir Peter was very erudite with a command, of Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He spent his time writing of the history of Cheshire. Family trees of the land-owning families were compiled by examining documents they held in their muniment rooms. These would include land charters, marriage settlements and wills. The Leicesters were close neighbours of the Daniels and shared a chapel of ease at Over Tabley which saved them and their tenants walking to the nearest parish church, in Rostherne. There was no parish church at Knutsford at that period.

The full title of George Ormerod's History is: The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester, incorporated with a republication of King's Vale Royal and Leycester's Cheshire Antiquities. In it he republishes Leicesters work in the appropriate sections. In Volume I on page 472 he places Leicesters accountof the Daniels of Over Tabley, from which I abstract the details of the earlier generations. Leicester commonly quotes regnal years for events. The ones of importance here are:

According to Sir Peter Leicester:

I. William Danyers senior purchased lands in Daresbery from Henry de Norreys A.D 1291, (19 Edw. I. Lib.C fol 184 d) and married Agnes de Legh, daughter of Thomas de Legh of West Hall, High Legh. He had two daughters. Margery married Henry Horsale of Lymme. Agnes married Alexander, son of Richard, son of Alexander de Waleton near Daresbury in 1302. (30 Edw. I) He also had two sons, Thomas Daniers of Bradley in Appleton, eldest son and William Daniers of Daresbery junior. (Ormerod then states "and if I mistake not, John, a third son, unless that John, son of William, 23 Edw. III be meant of William Daniers junior)

William Daniers junior, second son, had his father's lands in Daresbury and had a wife Agnes, and had issue, John Danyers, son and heir and three daughters, Cicely, Agnes and Magot and another son called Henry, all living at the time of their father's death in 1306, when he was buried at Limme. Cicely married Robert Stathum of Stathum in Limme and was living in 20 Edw. III. (about 1347).

Sir John Danyers of Daresbery, son and heir of William Danyers, junior, had issue William, son and heir who married Clemence, daughter and heir of Alan de Norreys in 1344, by whom he had the manor of Daresbery and the royalty of Over Walton in Cheshire, and the lands of Sutton, Eccleston and Raynull in Lancashire. from whom the Daniells of Daresbery in Cheshire are descended and continue to this day 1666. (This must be taken directly from Sir Peter Leicester's book)

Sir John Danyers of Daresbery was styled knight in 1344, (18 Edw. III)

II. Thomas Danyers of Bradley, senior, 17 Edw II (abt 1324) son and heir of William Danyers senior, had lands in Limme by the grant of William Danyers his father. He purchased Bradley from Peter Dutton, lord of Warburton in 1301. He married Margaret, daughter of Adam de Tabley and had issue Thomas Danyers junior, eldest son, Sir John Danyers of Gropenhale, second son; Augustine who had lands in Sworton in High-Legh in 11 Edw. III (abt 1338; Alice a daughter married Matthew son of William Mere of Mere nigh Over-Table in 13 Edw II 1319. Margaret, another daughter, married John, son of Vivian de Derewallshaw id est, Thelwallshaw, 1335; Joan, another daughter had three bastard sons, William, Roger and Robert.

Thomas Danyers senior had to his second wife, Joan Norreys by whom he had issue Thomas Danyers, afterwards Sir Thomas Danyers of Over-Tabley; Henry, another son, to whom his father gave the marriage of the heir of William Clerke of Over Tabley in 28 Edw. III (1353). Thomas Danyers senior made his will in 1354. So it appears that Sir Thomas senior had two sons called Thomas by two wives. Sir Thomas Danyers senior was twice sheriff of Cheshire in the reign of Edward III in 1352 and 1354.

Sir Thomas Danyers junior, of Bradley, and heir of Sir Thomas senior, married Isabel, daughter and co-heir of William Baggiley by Clemence his wife, co-heiress of Sir Roger Chedle, alias Sir Roger Dutton of Chedle (i.e. Cheadle). He died before his father in 26 Edw III, which is 1351 leaving one daughter, Margaret, who had three husbands. She inherited all her mother's lands but Sir Thomas junior's lands were settled on his younger brother John. The latter had two wives, the first being Joan the daughter of William Boydell and sister and co-heir of William Boydell of Doddleston in Cheshire. They had two daughters but Margaret died before she could marry and Nicola, who became heir to her mother's lands, married Geoffey de Warburton in 1358. They had a daughter, who married but had no issue. John married secondly Alice ? but had no issue so this line died out. Leicester reported that Sir John had a son called Robert who died without issue but it is not clear from which wife.

With the failure of the lines of both Thomas and John, sons of Thomas Danyers by his first wife, his son Thomas by his second wife Joan Norreys succeeded. He was later Sir Thomas Danyers of Over Tabley and I show details below in the tree.

Beamont, in is History of Lyme, reports that Dame Margaret, the wife of Sir Piers Legh, and their two sons, Peter and John Legh, survived him.  Besides taking her father’s property, she succeeded after his death as heir to his brother Sir John D’Anyers, to the half of Grappenhall, and to certain lands in Brome and Heatley, portions of which she gave up to her son and grandson in 4 Hen. IV. and 4 Hen. VI., and she died on Thursday, the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, 6 Hen. VI. (1428), leaving her grandson, Peter Legh, then aged 13, heir of certain of her lands; and her son, Sir John Savage, heir of the rest. (1)  John Legh, her other son, who became the founder of the Leghs of Ridge, held eyres in 5 and 9 Hen. VI, and was escheator in 12 and 13 Hen. VI.(2)

The sources for this last paragraph are said to be (1) Cheshire Inquistions Post Mortem and (2) History Ches. I, 58-9. The latter is probably Sir Peter Leicesters History of Cheshire published in 1676.

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