COK, John, of Chichester, Suss.
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Family and Education
Mayor, Chichester Mich. 1420-1.1
By April 1397 Cok was the tenant for life of a tenement in Chichester, which, after his death, was to revert to the dean and chapter of the cathedral to help support a chantry. At the inquiry held in the city in November 1409 to investigate allegations that the former mayor and John Dolyte*, William Farnhurst* and Robert Stryvelyne* had fraudulently withheld from the Crown the contents of a bag of money discovered at Colworth, Cok was among the citizens who gave evidence that the sum involved was £223. A few years later he himself was alleged to have acted deceitfully: in a petition addressed to the bishop of Winchester as chancellor (so, probably between 1413 and 1417), Thomas Tracy held that Cok had wrongfully carried off goods worth £40 from his house, technically in fulfilment of a bond, had sold them for £20 16s. and not only kept the money, but refused to return the bond, leaving him impoverished. Cok was present at the shire court held in Chichester for the Sussex elections to the Parliament of 1415. It was during his only recorded mayoralty of the city that, in 1420, he himself was returned as a Member of the Commons. He served as a juror at Chichester for the assessment of a tax on parishes levied in the spring of 1428, and is last recorded, in June 1435, as a witness to a local deed.2