BURGESS, John, of Maldon, Essex.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. by June 1395, Joan.1
Constable, Maldon Jan. 1394-5, 1399-1400, 1412-13; bailiff 1400-1, 1402-3, 1406-7, 1409-10, 1428-9, 1431-2, 1433-4.2
Burgess was one of those selected to assist the bailiff of Maldon for the official year beginning in January 1394. He shared tenure of the town common with John Welles I* for four years from June 1402 and then alone until 1408, paying £4 annually. Meanwhile, he had been one of the townsmen named in the charter of privileges granted by the bishop of London in October 1403. In March 1404, when attending his first Parliament, he stood surety in Chancery for Bartholomew, Lord Bourgchier, an important local landowner. At the elections to the Parliament of 1406, held during the third of his seven bailiffships, he was a mainpernor for the appearance in the Commons of Robert Painter.3
Burgess had many and diverse trading interests, including cloth, ironmongery and fish, which led him to be periodically concerned in suits for debt both in the borough court at Maldon and in the royal courts at Westminster. In 1409 a man from Barton-on-Humber was pardoned for not appearing to answer him and a London fishmonger for a debt of £50 6s.8d., and in the following year Burgess himself was being sued. Before 1412 he had failed to defend himself when prosecuted by a London tailor, a London draper and certain men of Colchester to whom he owed a total of £26 6s.8d.; and several years later in 1429 he was pardoned his outlawry for ignoring summonses for debts amounting to as much as £140 due to 17 creditors.4
Burgess witnessed a conveyance of John Glover’s* land in Maldon for Robert Darcy* in 1421. In 1432, when returned to Parliament for Maldon for the last time, he attested the indenture recording the election of the knights of the shire, of whom Darcy was one; and when last mentioned, in November 1436, it was also in association with the prominent lawyer, as his fellow witness to a deed dated at Maldon.5