BURGH, John III (d.1436), of Withcote, Leics. and Manton and Morcott, Rutland.
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Family and Education
m. by Mich. 1416, Margaret, da. and coh. of Roland St. Liz (d. by 1429) of South Luffenham and Morcott, by his w. Alice Pinchbeck, wid. of Henry Durant of Cottesmore, Rutland, s.p.1
J.p. Leics. 16 May 1416-June 1418, 14 July 1422-3, 23 Jan. 1431-Oct. 1436, Rutland 12 Feb. 1422-d.
Escheator, Leics. and Warws. 16 Nov. 1420-13 Nov. 1423, Rutland 5 Nov. 1430-26 Nov. 1431.
Commr. of inquiry, Leics. May 1423 (a murder), Rutland Apr. 1431 (persons liable to contribute to the subsidy), May 1433 (escapes of felons); to raise a royal loan May 1428; of array, Leics. Jan. 1436.
Coroner, Rutland by d.
Nothing is known of this Member before February 1412, when, together with the Staffordshire knight, (Sir) Rustin Villeneuve*, and others, he offered bail of £200 on behalf of a group of five men accused of assaulting the abbot of Burgh in Suffolk. Just one year later he again acted as a mainpernor, this time for Robert Bolyver of Northamptonshire; and since he is described on both occasions as ‘John Burgh of Rutland’ we may safely assume that his return to the Parliament of May 1413 was effected in complete accordance with the residential qualifications shortly to be required of shire knights. According to a lawsuit fought much later in the court of Chancery by his great-nephew and heir, Henry Burgh, he owned a fairly substantial estate in the Manton area of Rutland, just across the Leicestershire border from certain holdings in Withcote which probably came into his hands at some point before he represented the latter county in May 1421. It was, however, through marriage rather than purchase or inheritance that Burgh acquired most of his property. As the widow of Henry Durant, his wife, Margaret St. Liz, brought him land in the Rutland villages of Cottesmore, Greetham, Alsthorpe and Wenton. Some of this was sold by the couple for 50 marks during the Michaelmas term of 1416, but they kept the rest, and in 1429 settled it upon trustees holding to the use of Burgh and his heirs. This date also marked the partition of the St. Liz estates, which Margaret shared with her sister, Isabel, the wife of William Sheffield*. By an instrument formalized before the justices of the common pleas, the Burghs were then awarded property in South Luffenham, Morcott, Uppingham and Barrowden, together with rents worth £4 2s.8¾d. (all in Rutland), to hold jointly for life with a remainder to Isabel Sheffield should they die childless.2
Meanwhile, in June 1418, John Burgh and his brother, William, went surety for Robert Browe* on his confirmation in office as sheriff of Rutland. Browe was subsequently chosen to be one of John’s feoffees, as indeed was John Culpepper*, another prominent local landowner. Burgh’s name often appears among lists of mainpernors in Chancery and at the Exchequer. In May 1420, for example, he offered personal guarantees that William Burton, the recently appointed alnager of Leicestershire, would satisfactorily perform his official duties, and when Elizabeth, the widow of Henry, Lord Beaumont, became farmer of her late husband’s estates in 1427, he again came forward as a guarantor. Although inevitably preoccupied with his growing commitments in Rutland, Burgh did not neglect his interests in Leicestershire; and it is worth noting that he not only represented the two counties in Parliament, but also sat on both benches as a j.p., and also occupied the two escheatorships, albeit at an interval of exactly ten years. Roger Flore, his influential colleague in the 1415 Parliament, was likewise the owner of estates which spanned the county border, and it is hardly surprising to find Burgh witnessing some of Flore’s transactions in Leicestershire. Another of his neighbours was John Dansey of Somerby, near Oakham, who seems to have been closely involved in his financial affairs. Dansey owed him 90 marks in December 1422, and subsequently appeared with him as plaintiff in an unsuccessful action for the recovery of a debt of £40, due from a Nottinghamshire man.3
Burgh did not again sit for Rutland after 1415, but he was present at the county elections to the Parliaments of 1426, 1427, 1431 and 1433 (being himself returned for Leicestershire on the last occasion). He also put in an appearance at the Leicestershire elections of May 1413 (when he first represented Rutland), 1420, 1425 and 1427.4 He is last mentioned on 18 Jan. 1436, although it was not until the following October that the sheriff of Rutland received orders to elect a new coroner because of his death in office. Since he left no direct heirs, his wife’s property reverted to Isabel Sheffield, who thus obtained possession of the entire St. Liz inheritance. His great-nephew subsequently advanced a claim to his estates in Rutland, arguing that Burgh had made a will in favour of his brother’s children. No further evidence of such a document has, however, survived.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. VCH Rutland, ii. 216; CP25(1) 192/8/13, 9/3.
- 2. CCR, 1409-13, pp. 327, 430; C1/34/75; CP25(1) 192/8/13, 9/3, 4; VCH Rutland, ii. 216.
- 3. CP25(1) 192/9/4; CCR, 1422-9, pp. 47-48, 53, 253; CFR, xiv. 250, 341; xv. 174.
- 4. C219/11/2, 12/4, 13/3-5, 14/2, 3.
- 5. CPR, 1429-36, p. 520; CCR, 1435-41, p. 74; C1/34/75; VCH Rutland, ii. 216.