ANDREW, James (d.1434), of Ipswich; Sproughton and Baylham, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



May 1413
May 1421
Dec. 1421

Family and Education

yr. s. of William Andrew of Stoke by Ipswich by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of John Trehampton† (d.1349), of Cavendish, Suff.; bro. of John Andrew† of Ipswich. m. (1) bef. Feb. 1408, Alice, da. and coh. of John Weyland of Baylham by his w. Margaret, wid. of John, s. and h. of Thomas atte Oke† of Orford, Suff., 2s. inc. John†, 1da.; (2) aft. Apr. 1419, Margery, da. of Sir John Heveningham* of Heveningham, Suff.

Offices Held

Tronager, Ipswich 12 Dec. 1404-Feb. 1405.

Commr. of inquiry, Suff. July 1414 (wastes), Feb. 1422 (counterfeiting).

Collector of customs and subsidies, Ipswich 28 Feb. 1416-Jan. 1421.

Under steward of the liberties of Bury St. Edmunds’ abbey, bef. Oct. 1427.1

Tax collector, Suff. Dec. 1429.

J.p. Ipswich 10 July 1433-d.


The Andrew family came of burgess stock, but in James’s lifetime established itself among the lesser gentry of Suffolk. James’s father William Andrew, who held property at Stoke in the suburbs of Ipswich, acquired through his marriage to Elizabeth Trehampton landed interests at Cavendish in west Suffolk. But it was in the affairs and trade of their home town, Ipswich, that his several sons rose to prominence: the eldest, John, served as bailiff in 1386-7 and 1390-1, having represented the borough in the Parliaments of 1382 and 1383 (Oct.); John’s brother Thomas (b.c.1361) was three times bailiff (1405-7 and 1412-13); and Robert Andrew I*, very likely another of William’s sons, sat for Ipswich in the Parliament of 1391.2 James Andrew was a younger son of William and Elizabeth; when his mother died a widow in 1401 the heir to the family property at Stoke, which James was holding in trust, was his elder brother Thomas, while the lands at Cavendish were to pass to his young nephew Nicholas (John’s son). James evidently acquired some of the family holdings subsequently, for at the time of his death he was in possession of properties at Stoke. These may have fallen to him at the death of his brother Thomas (of whose will he was an executor in 1420), or else when, in 1430, Nicholas died leaving two female cousins as his heirs.3

Notwithstanding this rather inauspicious beginning, James Andrew became a man of property both through his profession as a lawyer, which earned him a sufficient income to enable him to purchase land, and through his first marriage, to the daughter of a local landowner. At first his property interests centred on Ipswich: in 1399 he reached an agreement with the town authorities whereby they granted him tenure of a local mill in return for his undertaking to keep it in good repair; in 1403 he and Robert Andrew obtained from a burgess named John Waller all his lands, rents and services in the town; and James purchased more property in the course of the next four years, including three tenements in St. Laurence’s parish and other holdings in the parishes of St. Stephen and St. Peter. It was in Ipswich that Andrew had his ‘dwelling house’. But he also developed interests as an owner of land to the north west and south of Ipswich, and by 1404 he had holdings in Bramford and Sproughton as well as a third part of a manor in Stutton.4 Andrew’s first wife, Alice Weyland, inherited a moiety of the manor and advowson of Baylham and other properties in the same part of Suffolk, and she presumably also held dower lands from the estate of her former husband John atte Oke, who is known to have owned a manor in Shopland, Essex, as well as holdings at Orford. Andrew was to act as executor of his mother-in-law’s will in 1420.5

Andrew made his first recorded appearance in the central courts in 1391, when, in association with Robert Andrew, he stood surety in Chancery for a man from Norwich. On another occasion, in 1397, he was party to recognizances for 100 marks, and in the following year he acted as mainpernor at the Exchequer for John Arnold I* of Ipswich when the latter was appointed alnager of Suffolk. Andrew’s interest in the affairs of Ipswich was life-long, and the town authorities evidently found his services as an attorney useful. But Ipswich was not the only town to employ him: when Richard II claimed the full fee farm from Colchester in January 1399 Andrew was appointed to defend this borough’s interests at the Exchequer, a duty he also discharged when Henry IV renewed the claim in May 1400. It was evidently at the Exchequer that Andrew found much of his business; for instance, he stood surety there in 1399, 1400 and 1413 for successive keepers of the alien priory of Creeting St. Mary, Suffolk, one of whom, John Staverton, held the office of baron.6 Through useful contacts like Staverton Andrew was able to secure custody of his nephew Nicholas’s inheritance in 1402, and, more important, to obtain the farm of ten East Anglian manors which had belonged to Sir Robert Hemenale and Robert Ashfield, on a lease which he shared with John Beaver from July 1404. It is, however, doubtful whether he and Beaver ever derived much benefit from their acquisition, for many claims to the properties concerned were brought in Chancery, among the claimants being such influential figures as Sir Reynold Braybrooke*, who had married Hemenale’s widow. They tried to make a profit by subletting two of the manors to Isabel de Ufford, the dowager countess of Suffolk, but after five years they were still not able to render any account at the Exchequer.7

In December 1404 James Andrew was appointed tronager of Ipswich, only to relinquish the post two months later in favour of his brother Thomas. Among those for whom he acted in a legal capacity in the course of the next few years were the abbot of St. Osyth, Essex, and the family of Sir Thomas Genney of Suffolk, offering assistance to the latter’s widow and son in various transactions including a marriage settlement. In 1411, a year after his first return to Parliament, he purchased a papal indult allowing him to have a portable altar.8 On 1 May 1413 Andrew was present at the shire court for the Suffolk elections to Henry V’s first Parliament. His own election for Ipswich, held three days later, was recorded in a return made by his brother Thomas as one of the bailiffs. James later attended the shire elections to the Parliaments of 1421 (May) and 1423.9

Andrew became well known to the gentry of Suffolk, commending himself by service as an executor and trustee, and before his return to Parliament for the county in 1421 he had been on especially good terms with two former knights of the shire-Gilbert Debenham of Little Wenham, who in 1417 had named him as an overseer of his will, and Sir Roger Drury of Thurston, who in 1420 had asked him to be his executor. Of even greater significance was Andrew’s connexion with the de la Poles; certainly, as early as 1405 he had been associated with Robert Bolton, a member of the council of Michael de la Pole, 2nd earl of Suffolk, and the latter had formally retained his services not long afterwards.10

In the 1420s Andrew continued to be employed as legal counsel to the borough of Ipswich, and in April 1425 he was granted an annuity of 20s. for life in recognition of his services and in lieu of the annual sum of. 8s.8d.paid to him hitherto for the repair of the town’s mill. By October 1429 he was a member of the body of portmen, as such participating in the drafting of new borough ordinances. But he did not enjoy this position for long: shortly afterwards he fell into a dispute with the bailiffs and town council over the ownership of the ‘salt merssh’, an area for which the town was charged at the Exchequer as part of the fee farm, and, although the case was prolonged when William Weathereld* and others of the council revealed secret deliberations to Andrew, the town eventually triumphed.11

Some time in the 1420s Andrew held the prestigious office of under steward of the liberties of the great abbey at Bury St. Edmunds. However, his relations with the abbot were troubled in his last years by a controversy over the Suffolk manors of Ickworth and Wangford, an affair which occasioned much bitterness among the local gentry. These manors were held by Katherine, widow of Sir John Cokerell, with whom, in August 1427, Andrew acted as co-patron of the church at Little Snoring, Norfolk. When Katherine died two months later he purchased from the abbot of Bury the custody of Ickworth during the minority of the heir (Katherine’s grand daughter), obtaining an allowance of 40 marks from the purchase price of 100 marks, since this sum was owing to him from the time of his under stewardship. But the young heiress died, and in 1431 Andrew decided to support the claims to the estate made by Sir William Drury and George Hethe of Mildenhall against the interests of the abbot as overlord and the rights of John Brockley*, a London draper, who alleged in a petition to Chancery that there was a conspiracy to deprive him of his inheritance. Hethe was a retainer of William de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, and much later, after Suffolk’s murder, he confessed that he had made a false claim to Katherine Cokerell’s estate for fear of the earl’s ‘hevy lordship’.12 Although firm evidence is lacking, it may be inferred that Andrew was also in the earl’s pay. Early in 1434 Suffolk’s kinsman Sir Walter de la Pole* named Andrew among his feoffees, to effect an entail of his manors in Cambridgeshire. This connexion was evidently a close one (doubtless encouraged by the fact that the two men were married to sisters), and de la Pole had originally intended his feoffees to consist of Andrew and just two others, though he subsequently expanded their number considerably.13 Furthermore, Andrew’s identification with Suffolk’s affinity was such as to lead to his death.

For the past 20 years Andrew had been involved in litigation over land at Baylham with Richard Sterysacre*, a retainer of the young John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, and in 1434, having been threatened by Sterysacre and others of Mowbray’s affinity, including some leading officials of the duke’s household, he sought security of the peace against them. They were ordered to appear before the justices of assize at Henhowe on 22 July, but on the previous day Andrew was assaulted near Bury St. Edmunds, receiving wounds from which he shortly afterwards died. In the circumstances it was inevitable that his widow and son John should, with the assistance of his brother-in-law, Sir John Heveningham, seek the protection of the earl of Suffolk. This appeal produced a dangerous situation in East Anglia, and during the next few months there was clearly a threat of large-scale violence in Suffolk between the followers of the duke and the earl. It was this that led the King’s Council to intervene. On 15 Feb. 1435 it required the two magnates to make formal assurances that they would not interfere with the proceedings of an official inquiry into the circumstances of Andrew’s death, nor prevent the punishment of those found guilty. In the event, however, most of the defendants secured royal pardons, some granted specifically at the supplication of the duke of Norfolk.14

Andrew’s elder son John, already closely associated with others of the earl of Suffolk’s affinity, soon became a firm adherent of the earl himself. A Lincoln’s Inn lawyer, he was to sit in Parliament for Ipswich in 1442 and 1449 (Feb.), and for Bletchingley in 1449 (Nov.).15

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Authors: K.N. Houghton / L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Add. 14848, f. 151v.
  • 2. N. Bacon, Annalls of Ipswiche ed. Richardson, 83, 87-89.
  • 3. CIPM, ix. 547; Feudal Aids, v. 98-99; C138/37/28; C139/81/38; CFR, xii. 151; xv. 331-2; PCC 48 Marche.
  • 4. Ipswich RO, deed AII, 23/2; recog. rolls 6-14 Hen. IV, 1-10 Hen. V, 1422-5 (AV, 10/3); CP25(1)224/111/8; Stowe Ch. 395; CCR, 1413-19, p. 97; Add. Ch. 9702-3.
  • 5. CP25(1)223/111/38; C1/69/209; Add. 19115, ff. 2-3; CCR, 1381-5, pp. 622-3; CIPM, xv. 454; HMC 9th Rep. i. 228.
  • 6. CCR, 1389-92, p. 326; 1396-9, p. 228; CFR, xi. 255; xii. 16, 68; xiv. 46; Colchester Oath Bk. ed. Benham, 17-21.
  • 7. CFR, xii. 249; CPR, 1408-13, pp. 49-50; CCR, 1402-5, pp. 494, 523; 1405-9, pp. 84, 127, 140, 271, 274, 329-30, 361; CIMisc. vii. 349.
  • 8. CFR, xiii. 51; CCR, 1409-13, pp. 192, 331; CPL, vi. 338.
  • 9. C219/11/1, 12/5, 13/2.
  • 10. Norf. and Norwich RO, Reg. Hyrning, ff. 37, 72; CCR, 1413-19, p. 451; CP25(1)224/111/12; SC6/996/20.
  • 11. HMC 9th Rep. i. 247; Bacon, 93; E. Anglian Daily Times, 6 Dec. 1928.
  • 12. Reg. Chichele, iii. 471; J. Copinger, Suff. Manors, vi. 71; Add. 14848, ff. 145-51; C1/68/14; CCR, 1454-61, pp. 77-78.
  • 13. CPR, 1429-36, pp. 333, 465.
  • 14. PPC, iv. 300; R. Virgoe, ‘The Murder of James Andrew’, Procs. Suff. Inst. Arch. xxxiv. 263-8.
  • 15. CCR, 1435-41, pp. 66, 107; F. Blomefield, Norf. viii. 287.