BURDET, Sir John (d.1402/3), of Huncote, Leics.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Jan. 1380
Jan. 1390

Family and Education

b. aft. 1345, yr. s. and event. h. of Sir Robert Burdet (d.1349) of Huncote by Elizabeth, da. and h. of Robert Garshill of Ibstock, Leics. and Bourton on Dunsmore, Warws. m. bef. Dec. 1380, Katherine, da. of Sir John Ardern of Aldford, Cheshire by his 3rd w. Ellen Wastneys, 1da. Kntd. bef. Jan. 1375.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Warws. and Leics. 18 Jan.-4 Oct. 1375.

Commr. of array, Leics. Apr., July 1377, Mar. 1380, Jan. 1385, Mar. 1392, Dec. 1399; to make proclamation against unlawful assemblies and punish insurgents July 1381; put down rebellion Dec. 1381; of inquiry July 1389 (murder).

Tax assessor, Leics. May 1379.

J.p. Leics. 26 May 1380-Apr. 1381.


Burdet came from an old Warwickshire family with estates at Arrow and Seckington, as well as those over the border in Leicestershire at Huncote and elsewhere. These properties had been divided after the death of Sir Robert Burdet† in 1333 between his sons Sir Gerard (from whom descended the branch seated at Arrow, represented in the later 14th century by Sir Thomas Burdet*) and Sir Robert, who had Huncote. When the latter died in 1349 his heir was his elder son, Robert (b.1345), who lived to make proof of attaining his majority in 1366, but followed his father to the grave shortly afterwards, leaving his brother John to inherit not only Huncote, but also the manor of Ditchampton in Wiltshire and their mother’s property at Ibstock and Bourton.1

Possessed of his parents’ estates by 1371, Burdet was faced with an unforseen disaster in the following year when his house at Ibstock was burnt down, the damage costing some £60. Not long afterwards he was knighted and, in 1375, appointed as sheriff. Some of Burdet’s land was held of Henry, Lord Ferrers of Groby (d.1388), but whatever his relationship may have been with that lord, he was certainly no friend of Ferrers’s kinsman Robert, Lord Botiller (or Ferrers) of Wem, who held a neighbouring estate at Narborough. In the ‘first hour of the day’ on 30 Jan. 1377 (so a coroner’s inquest was to hear) 30 of Ferrers’s men burst into Burdet’s hall and chamber at Huncote bent on murdering him, and when obstructed by a certain tailor they stabbed the latter to death. Ferrers successfully petitioned for royal pardons for the culprits, and the feud continued with Burdet bringing actions in the lawcourts, first against men from Narborough who had depastured his crops and then, in 1381, against Ferrers himself, for 200 marks due on a bond dated November 1378. Unable to recover this money before Ferrers’s death, he had subsequently to sue his executors for it.2 Burdet proved to be of some use to the government of the early years of Richard II’s reign, in particular for his services in a military capacity as a commissioner of array and for the suppression of the risings of 1381. It is unclear what, if any, significance should be attached to his lack of employment by King Richard after 1392.

Burdet’s marriage to Katherine Ardern had not added greatly to his landed holdings, although she did inherit a share in the property left by her kinswoman, Alana Grosvenor, wife of Thomas Alvanley alias Venables, situated in Cheshire at Budworth. This they sold to Katherine’s sister Isabel and her husband, Sir Hugh Wrottesley KG, by royal licence dated December 1380.3 Their only daughter, Elizabeth, was married in Burdet’s lifetime to Burdet Humphrey*, son of Ralph Stafford* of Grafton, a kinsman of the earl of Stafford. Sir John obtained papal letters of plenary remission in April 1398, but lived on after the Lancastrian usurpation, only to die at some unknown date between November 1402 and Easter 1403.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


He has been distinguished from his cousin Sir John Burdet of Arrow (c.1347-c.1380): CIPM, xii. 296.

  • 1. W. Dugdale, Warws. ii. 846-8; Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 420; CIPM, ix. 396; xii. 87; xiv. 148; VCH Wilts. vi. 9; R.C. Hoare, Modern Wilts. (Branch and Dole), 153 (although in this ped. two Robert Burdets are erroneously placed between John and his father); Leics. Med. Peds. ed. Farnham, 39-40; CFR, vi. 244.
  • 2. CIPM, xiii. 87; xvi. 558; Leics. Village Notes ed. Farnham, ii. 402-3; iii. 251.
  • 3. DKR, xxxvi. 542; CPR, 1377-81, p. 560; G. Ormerod, Palatine and City of Chester ed. Helsby, ii. 85, 214-16; iii. 566.
  • 4. CPL, v. 126; CFR, xiv. 305; CPR, 1401-5, p. 179; Leics. Village Notes, ii. 403; iii. 10. Burdet’s inclusion on a commission of array dated Sept. 1403 was clearly an error.