Our best information about this man is collected in *Fraser 1966:


"In each county throughout England assessors and collectors were appointed by the king's council, and the men selected for Cumberland were Robert de Barton and Clement de Skelton," *Fraser 1966, p131


"At the other end of the scale, Robert de Barton might almost be described as a professional royal official. His service to the Crown began under Edward I when he acted as clerk to the commissioners of array in Cumberland in 1303: continued with the keepership of the royal lands at Penrith, Castle Sowerby and Wark on Tyne intermittently between 1307 and 1312: the view of Inglewood Forest in 1310, and the tallaging of the royal demesne in Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire in 1312 [Calendar of Patant Rolls 1301-7, pp. 132, 509; 1307-13, pp. 75, 226, 315, 416, 442, 521]. The inroads of the Scots brought further duties. In 1314 he was an auditor for the money collected in Cumberland to buy a truce with the Scots: in 1316 he was to value horses in the Western Marches: in 1318 his commissions included a valuation of the dilapidations committed by the Scots at Penrith and at Salkeld, and keepership of the king's food supplies at Carlisle: and in 1321 he was surveyor of the castles of Carlisle and Cockermouth [CPR 1313-17, pp. 240, 565; 1317-21, pp. 191, 298, 608]. Between 1314 and 1330 his name appears regularly on the judicial commissions of oyer and terminer in Cumberland. Later responsibilities included custody of the temporalities of the bishopric of Carlisle in 1325, in which connection he is described as "king's clerk", and of lead and silver mines at Minerdale, Silverbeck and Hartley, being opened up in 1331, in which year he was again keeper of Penrith and Castle Sowerby [CPR 1313-17, p. 234; 1324-27, p. 92; Calendar of Fine Rolls 1327-37, pp. 280, 249]. In 1332 he was appointed to maintain the peace in Cumberland, and in 1333 he was again receiver of stores [see below] at Carlisle and Skinburness [CPR 1330-34, p. 288; CFR 1327-37, p. 353]. His appointment as collector of the Lay Subsidy in Cumberland in 1332 was followed by a similar commission in April 1336 [CFR 1327-37, p. 481]. This veteran in the royal service, with his experience of accounting at the royal exchequer [e.g. Public Record Office, London, Queen's Remembrancer Memoranda Roll (6 Edward II), mm. 101, 115, 141d] would supply the technical expertise to guide the local gentry in their work of valuation." *Fraser 1966, pp132-133



Knight of Shire for Westmorland?


This is presumably the same man mentioned in *Nicolson et al 1777, p407:

"Concerning the manor of Barton; we find several of old time of the name de Barton, who seem to have been a considerable family in this parish, but not lords of any of the manors that we can find.

In the 15 Ed. 2. [1322] Robert de Barton was one of the jurors upon the inquisition on the forfeiture of Roger lord Clifford.

And in the 19 Ed. 2. [1326] Robert de Barton was knight of the shire for Westmorland."




Keeper of Military Stores, Carlisle?


This is surely also the same Robert mentioned on John Lisle's Stedman family history site (www.stedmanfamily.org, and see also here), described there as "Receiver and Keeper of Military Stores in the District of Carlisle, Co. Cumberland, 1315".

This is apparently recorded in Thomas Rymer's "Foedera", MS. Harl. British Museum, 805, Fol. 39. Carta de Barton. Excerpta & Rotulis Finium in Turr. Lond. Asservatis." (Not online yet, though volumes 8-10, covering July 1397 - October 1441, are online here).

This Robert is said by John to have been born, before 1250, in County York (where he later died, after 1338). He was the third son of Sir John Barton, of Fryton and Steresby, Knight . Robert married a Margaret, and had three children:
  • John Barton , who became a Burgess of Kingston-upon-Hull
  • Stephen Barton
  • Emma Barton





John gives the coat of arms of Robert's father Sir John as "port d'ermiine, sur les fes gules, trois annulets d'or." [reference: "Roll of Arms, Temp., Henry III (1216-1272)"]. This is identical to the coat of arms of the Whenby Bartons, which also appears as one quarter of the Barton arms in Burneside Hall, Kendal (another quarter possibly containing the arms of the Ormside Bartons). Whenby is only a stone's throw from Stearsby (see second map above). Fryton is very close to Barton-le-Street (see first map above).

In John's pedigree, Robert is the great x5 grandfather of the famous Scottish privateer Sir Andrew Barton (1466-1511).