CAPPE, John, of Cambridge.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Cambridge Sept. 1424-5, 1431-2.1
Nothing is known of Cappe before 1415 when he first attended a parliamentary election for Cambridge. He appears to have been involved in the quarrels which marked local politics at this time, for the chancellor and proctors of the university claimed that they had risked their own lives to protect his when, with Robert Attilbridge*, he was threatened by three townsmen whom the chancellor had banished from the town. Cappe was returned to Parliament four years before he is recorded as holding any office in the borough but, having just completed his first term as bailiff, he was among the 24 ‘discreet’ burgesses elected to the common council in April 1426. Later that year he was one of the seven burgesses representing the town at the Magna Congregatio of the university.2
No trace of Cappe’s property has been found, save that in 1419 he shared with Henry Topcliffe* and others a lease of a messuage in Cambridge, for which they were to pay John Hokington’s* wife 33s.4d. a year for her lifetime, but thereafter might hold it rent-free. Cappe’s own wife, Isabel, donated £2 to the guild in the parish church of St. Clement soon after its foundation in 1431, and her obit was subsequently held there on the Sunday after Relic Sunday.3 In 1431 and again in 1433 Cappe was one of the electors of the parliamentary burgesses.