CORY, John, of Launceston, Cornw.

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

Family and Education

Offices Held

Mayor, Dunheved 1397, 1405.1

Controller of customs and subsidies, Plymouth and Fowey 26 Apr. 1419-Nov. 1423; collector 14 Nov. 1423-July 1426.


John was perhaps the son of John and Isabel Cory who in 1371 had been granted by the commonalty of Dunheved a house in ‘Bastestret’. By 1391 he himself held a tenancy for life in a messuage and some 60 acres of land in and near the town, and throughout his life he was closely involved in local affairs. In May 1395 he was one of three burgesses who with the mayor treated with the prior of Launceston over maintenance of the chapel of the Magdalene in the High Street, and subsequently, in 1409, he was party to the foundation in the chapel of a chantry where prayers were to be said for the overlord of the town, Prince Henry of Monmouth, as well as for the mayor and burgesses. In the meantime he had served two terms as mayor of Dunheved, figured in the parliamentary elections of 1397 (Sept.) and 1406 as a surety for two of the local burgesses-elect (William Holt I and Walter Tregarya), and in 1402-3 had represented the borough before the j.p.s sitting at Bodmin. In 1413 the mayor and aldermen of Dunheved demised to him a garden and plot of land on a lease for 47 years, at an annual rent of 8s. He may have been mayor again for a third term in 1425-6, for during that year he accounted for the fee farm of the borough to the receiver of the duchy.2

In November 1419 Cory appeared in the Exchequer as a mainpernor for Simon Yurle* of Launceston and John Cokeworthy II* of Yarnscombe when they were granted a crown lease on local property. Since the previous April he had been acting as controller of customs in Plymouth and Fowey, and in 1423, when up at Westminster for his sixth Parliament, he was appointed as a customer in the same ports. Cory attended the shire elections held at Launceston in 1422, and at those for the Parliaments of 1427, 1429, 1432 and 1435 he provided securities for the appearance of certain of the Cornish burgesses-elect (Simon Yurle, John Palmer III*, Richard Penpons† and Richard Tregoose†). Another Cornish MP, Robert Treage* was in his debt for £8. Late in life Cory acquired lands some ten miles to the north of Launceston, in the neighbourhood of Bridgerule and Honeychurch, Devon.3

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. R. and O.B. Peter, Hist. Launceston, 400.
  • 2. Ibid. 102, 112-13, 118-19, 300; C219/9/13, 10/3; Cornw. Feet of Fines (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. 1950), 827; C143/440/14; CPR, 1408-13, p. 53; SC6/820/12; Notes and Gleanings, v. 98.
  • 3. CFR, xiv. 293; C219/13/1, 5, 14/1, 3, 5; CPR, 1436-41, p. 103; Feudal Aids, i. 237, 459.