BIGGE, John, of Lincoln.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Recorder of Lincoln by 15 Sept. 1421.1
Commr. of inquiry, Lincoln Nov. 1422 (wastes at the hospital of the Holy Innocents).
In November 1410, Bigge acted as a mainpernor in Chancery for various persons then being sued by the Lincoln merchant, William Castle. His association with these men is particularly interesting in view of the fact that he was subsequently accused of raping Castle’s wife and robbing her of goods worth over 100 marks. A total of seven separate indictments were filed against Bigge in the court of King’s bench during the Michaelmas term of 1422, each of which concerned various acts of extortion, violence and theft allegedly committed by him between November 1407 and September 1421. Since this period also saw his election to at least four Parliaments and his appointment as recorder of Lincoln, there is a possibility that Bigge was the victim of factionalism within the civic hierarchy. The most plausible accusation was that of forging six blank charters under the purloined seal of one William Athern, although when the case finally came before a jury, in 1424, Bigge was found innocent on all counts. Meanwhile, at some point before February 1417, he acted as a feoffee-to-uses for the Lincolnshire landowner, Thomas Belesby, who settled upon him his property in Lindsey and Kesteven.2
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421