BLANKPAYN, John, of Cambridge.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. bef. June 1369, Alice.1
Mayor, Cambridge Sept. 1374-5, 1379-80, 1390-1.2
Tax collector, Cambridge Dec. 1380, Nov. 1382.
Blankpayn had substantial property in several parishes within Cambridge, including a garden in Trinity parish, a toft in St. Andrew’s, lands in Barnwell and at least two houses — one houses in the market, another in Petty Cury. In 1371 he was associated in the acquisition of a messuage in St. Mary’s parish, perhaps the same as the one which, adjoining the property of Corpus Christi college, was conveyed to the clerks there in 1375, during his first mayoralty. He became a leading member of a religious guild in the church of the Holy Trinity.3 Blankpayn established important connexions even before his first return to Parliament: in 1370 he had been among those enfeoffed by Roger Harleston † in the Bedfordshire manor of Dunton Chamberlain, and ten years later he was to act as surety for Harleston when the latter was elected knight of the shire for Cambridgeshire.4
In November 1380, shortly after his second term as mayor, Blankpayn received with Robert Brigham* a royal grant of pavage in Cambridge for four years, and in the following month he was appointed collector of the infamous poll tax granted by Parliament at Northampton. Not long afterwards order began to break down in Cambridge, and Blankpayn’s own activities in local politics were not irreproachable. A royal writ of 6 Feb. 1381 required him to enter into a recognizance for £100 for having obstructed the justices during their sessions and inflamed local opinion against them; and two weeks later he was bound over to be obedient to royal officers and to prevent the congregation of malcontents in the town. There is more than a hint of factional divisions amo