ASSHENDEN, Thomas II, of Dartmouth, Devon.
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Family and Education
prob. s. of Thomas Asshenden I*. m. by 1434, Katherine.
Bailiff, Dartmouth Mich. 1422-3; mayor 1428-9.1
Like his putative father, Asshenden was involved in legal transactions concerning the Devonshire manors of Combe-in-Teignhead, Columbjohn and Godford, which belonged to the Prideaux family. The younger Asshenden’s interests were, in fact, very much those of a member of the gentry: in February 1421, two months after the dissolution of his first Parliament, he took out royal letters of protection as going to France in the retinue of a prominent local landowner, Sir Thomas Carew, and it was described as ‘gentleman’ that five years later he entered into a bond of £100 for the appearance in Chancery of a yeoman from Woodbury. Nevertheless, in April 1423 he joined with two local ship-masters in purchasing the royal balinger called Craccher (which had once belonged to John Hawley II*), so it is clear that he continued to be involved in the concerns of the seafarers of Dartmouth. From 1427 to 1439 he was a feoffee of property in and near Dartmouth for John Gayncote, MP for the borough in 1426.2
Although Asshenden’s name is listed as one of the parliamentary burgesses for Dartmouth in the schedule accompanying the return of 1433, that of Hugh Yon is given on the electoral indenture, and it is difficult to establish which of the two was in fact sent to Westminster, especially as both men were involved in a serious incident which took place at Dartmouth in July while the Parliament was in progress, following which the royal escheator in Devon, Baldwin Fulford, brought charges against 73 local men for assault. In September 1434 Asshenden obtained from Bishop Lacy of Exeter permission to have an oratory in his house at Dartmouth.3 He died within seven years of his last return to Parliament.