APPLEBY, Robert (d.1407), of Lincoln.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Bailiff, Lincoln Sept. 1396-7; mayor 1402-3.2
Commr. of array, Lincoln Jan. 1400.
J.p. Lincoln 16 Mar. 1405-d.
By the time of his death, Appleby owned at least six messuages, a windmill and a ‘place’ in Lincoln and its suburbs, being by then one of the richest merchants in the city. His wealth seems to have come largely from the wool trade, although he evidently had some connexion with the leather-sellers of Lincoln, to whom he left five marks for the purchase of a pipe of wine to be consumed by them after his death. He is first mentioned in May 1396, when the merchant, Robert Messingham*, made him one of his executors. This task brought Appleby and his associates into conflict with the ecclesiastical authorities, and at some point over the next four years they were excommunicated for contumacy by the bishop of Lincoln. They duly appealed both to the papal see and the court of Canterbury, and in July 1400 they were bound over in sums of £40 to answer the bishop in the secular courts where he had challenged their right to a stay of execution.3
Meanwhile, in September 1396, Appleby was made bailiff of Lincoln, and thus became responsible for holding the election to the first Parliament of 1397, to which he himself was returned. In the following June he obtained royal letters of exemption from holding any further municipal office or government appointment, but since he went on to become a royal commissioner and j.p. (as well as serving a term as mayor of Lincoln) we must assume that he had no real desire to avoid such commitments. One year later a royal pardon was awarded to him as ‘merchant, alias wool merchant of Lincoln’; and, giv