ALDWICK, John (d.1444), of Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorks.
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Family and Education
s. of Thomas Aldwick of Kingston-upon-Hull by his w. Margaret. m.1s.1
Bailiff, Kingston-upon-Hull Mich. 1415-16; mayor 1438-40; alderman of St. Mary’s ward 1443-d.2
Little is known of Aldwick before his first return to Parliament, in November 1414, save that he was the son of a local couple from whom he may have inherited the impressive residence in Hull (described as one of the greatest merchant houses in the medieval town) where he was living at the time of his death. It stood on land extending from Marketgate to the River Hull, and was actually used as a cloth hall by the burgesses during the 16th century. Not long after his first election to the House of Commons, Aldwick was made bailiff of Hull. His term of office was uneventful, but in 1419 he became involved in a dispute with the trustees of a messuage there, who accused him of evicting them and took their complaint to the court of Chancery. Notwithstanding his brush with the law, Aldwick was again chosen to represent the town in the Leicester Parliament of 1426, when he almost certainly helped to present a petition on behalf of Richard Reedbarrow, a hermit who lived at Ravenspur, and who had begun work on a beacon for ‘the help and relevyng of the shipmen, mariners and vesselx’ sailing to Hull through the treacherous waters at the mouth of the Humber. Reedbarrow’s appeal for financial assistance (in the way of an impost upon ships entering the port of Kingston-upon-Hull) was supported by the Commons, although it was not until the following year that the royal letters patent were issued, empowering certain named burgesses to collect and administer the money. Aldwick did not again sit in Parliament, but he remained active until the end of his life. In 1428, for example, he witnessed the will of John Godesman of Hull, and during the next decade he served two terms as mayor. After the incorporation of Hull as a county, in 1440, arrangements were made for local government to be vested in the hands of 13 aldermen, and he, not surprisingly, was among the first to be appointed.3
Aldwick drew up his will on 19 Nov. 1444 and died three days later. He asked to be buried in the choir of the chapel of the Holy Trinity, Hull, yet it was to the chapel of St. Mary that he made his most generous bequest, setting aside the revenues of most of his property in Hull, after the death of his only son, Geoffrey, for the endowment of a perpetual chantry. He also arranged for the building of a small hospital in Marketgate, which was to be managed in conjunction with his chantry by the mayor and corporation of Hull (to whom he left his ‘best coverd pece’ of silver plate). His executors, among whom were his son and his friend, Hugh Clitheroe†, were punctilious in discharging their responsibilities and after a royal licence had been obtained, in May 1445, the necessary measures were put into effect. Geoffrey Aldwick received an annuity of £4 from his father’s estate for the rest of his life, while an additional sum of 40s. (and a house) was set aside for the chantry priest, who was promised the reversion of Geoffrey’s pension.4