ASTON, John II, of Leominster, Herefs.
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Family and Education
John was probably related to Hugh* and Walter Aston*, and it was along with the latter that he represented Leominster in Parliament. Early in Richard II’s reign he witnessed a conveyance at Leominster, and it may have been he who, in July 1383, was nominated by a local woman, Joan Faukener, as one of her proctors in her matrimonial suit before Bishop Gilbert.1 He was perhaps also the Leominster ‘flesh hewer’ of this name who was indicted before the justices of the King’s bench in the summer of 1395 for offences committed on Friday in Whit week the previous year, it being alleged that, together with Walter Brute and Hugh Maune, he had broken the peace at Leominster and seriously wounded John Hakluyt. The accused, however, made a counter-charge against the prior of Leominster and his servants and constables, asserting that they had actually ambushed them and wounded Brute with five arrows. The prior’s men then said that Brute and his followers, who for three months before the incident had been making affrays in the town, on the previous Monday had assaulted and maimed one Walter Lyulf, and, when an attempt was made to arrest them on the Friday in question, they and others, including Aston, had, while resisting, committed two murders. Aston himself pleaded not guilty. Since Brute was a notorious lollard, who had been tried for heresy before Bishop Trefnant two years earlier, these activities at Leominster may be seen as an attack on the ecclesiastical authorities there. The outcome of the prosecution is not known.2 If this John Aston, the Leominster MP, was indeed a lollard, it was probably he who was associated with Sir John Oldcastle*, in February 1413, when Peter atte Vyne promised to cease all legal actions against him.3