The Folville Family
Mabel Folville, the wife of John Woodford, was the heiress of a notorious Leicestershire family which included John, Eustace, Laurence, Richard, Robert, Thomas and Walter. the seven sons of John de Folville who died in 1310.
The manor of Ashby Folville passed to the younger John who, it appears, was the only brother not to have indulged in a life of crime.
The worst of the brothers, judged by the number of crimes alleged against him, was Eustace Folville, with five murders and many other felonies; the next was Robert and then Richard, who in 1321 became the rector of Teigh in Rutland.
The Folvilles were first recorded as criminals when three of the brothers were indicted for participating in the murder of Roger de Belers. This took place on 19 January 1326 on the road between Melton Mowbray and Leicester near Kirby Bellars. The Woodford family was related to the de Belers. Lettice Prest, the sister of Alice Prest who married John of Brentingby, married James de Belers.
Eustace Folville was later charged with three or more further murders, a rape and three robberies. He was buried at St Mary's Church, Ashby Folville. The figure on his tomb is much defaced.
appears that most of the Folvilles' criminal activities were directed
against the supporters of the Despensers. On almost every occasion they
avoided punishment and were pardoned for their alleged crimes.
The lordship of Ashby Folville passed from John de Folville to his second son Geoffrey de Folville who married Mabel Tilney. He died before 1370 and it was his daughter Mabel who married John Woodford and through whom the Woodford family gained the manors of Ashby Folville and Newbold Folville.
Folville pedigrees in Nichols are inaccurate. VCH Rutland, 11.151 ff contains some erroneous information. Reliable relevant deeds appear in the Woodford Cartulary, Brit.Mus. Cotton Claudius A xiii.
Henry of Knighton was interested in the Folville family's activities. See Chronicon H.de Knighton (Rolls Series),i.432.