DALDERBY, William, of Lincoln.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Lincoln Sept. 1378-9; mayor 1382-3, 1384-5.2
Controller of a tax, Lincoln Dec. 1380; collector Nov. 1386.
Commr. to audit accounts of collectors of pavage, Lincoln Nov. 1383; of array Dec. 1383;3 inquiry May 1389 (counterfeiting), Apr. 1407 (wastes at the hospital of the Holy Innocents).
Mayor of the Boston Staple, Lincs. 20 July 1389-90.4
Coroner of the liberty of Lincoln by 15 Aug. 1403-aft. 18 Nov. 1406.
Much of William Dalderby’s influence in Lincoln was due to his position as son and heir of one of the city’s leading wool merchants, who invested the profits of trade in property and thus became a prominent rentier as well. Besides representing Lincoln in at least four Parliaments, Robert Dalderby served as mayor of both the city and the local Staple, and is also remembered as the founder of two chantries in the churches of St. Benedict and St. Andrew. William, the second son, was still a child when his father drew up his will in January 1363, but the latter none the less made handsome provision for the boy, leaving him four tenements, a solar, a garden and farmland in Lincoln, together with the reversion of all the other estates which had been settled upon his elder brother, Roger, should he die without issue. William also received one half of all his father’s goods and chattels, which were themselves of no little value. Robert entrusted the boy to the care of his friend, Peter Belasise, until he should reach the age of 18, custody of his effects being given to his widowed mother, Alice. We do not know when William achieved his majority, but he was certainly of age and in possession of all his late father’s property and goods by April 1377, when a royal pardon was accorded to him as ‘son and heir of Robert Dalderby of Lincoln’.5
Dalderby lost no time in exploiting the commercial opportunities available to him, and, like his father, he soon began to prosper through the wool trade. He was, for example, one of the large group of merchants who advanced the government a loan of £10,000 in September 1377, and who, by way of repayment, were allowed to export wool to Calais free of custom. In his case, shipment was to be from Boston; and, indeed, he did send out a cargo of six sarplers from the port within a few weeks. His subsequent appointment as mayor of the Boston Staple certainly suggests that he had long been active there, as does the award to him in October 1395 of two separate pardons for the fraudulent sale and weighing of wool. Meanwhile, in September 1378, he became bailiff of Lincoln; and not long afterwards he received the first of several royal commissions, on this occasion for the controlment of the unpopular poll tax which prompted the Peasants’ Revolt. He was returned to Parliament in October 1383 just after the end of his first term as mayor. His year in office proved uneventful, in sharp contrast to his second mayoralty, which was marked by a dramatic worsening of relations between the citizenry and the dean and chapter of Lincoln cathedral. The dispute arose over rival claims to jurisdiction within the cathedral close, and Dalderby himself was accused by the ecclesiastical authorities of disrupting the market there, making illegal arrests and generally trying to undermine the power of their courts. An inquiry was held into these and other allegations in 1386, but the quarrel worsened, and in May 1390 a royal commission of oyer and terminer met in Lincoln to investigate the dean’s charges, Dalderby and many other prominent citizens having previously been bound over in several securities of 100 marks to keep the peace and stay away from the cathedral. At the same time the commonalty was involved in an almost identical conflict with John of Gaunt, who, as keeper of Lincoln castle, claimed certain franchises which threatened the authority — and prosperity — of the mayor and bailiffs. During his period in office Dalderby had likewise attempted to prevent Gaunt’s servants from holding fairs and markets, with the result that he was later summoned before another royal commission. Needless to say, Gaunt’s position was upheld: and, indeed, it was he who eventually imposed an extremely unfavourable and biased award upon the citizens in their dispute with the dean.6
As a property owner on a fairly impressive scale, Dalderby naturally had dealings with other local landowners, including Robert Cumberworth*, on whose behalf, in 1392, he acted as a trustee. His circle also comprised the merchants John Sutton and his uncle, Robert*, with whom he occasionally witnessed deeds. He appears to have been rather closer to John, since when the latter became involved in a violent dispute with his uncle, in 1398, Dalderby stood bail for him. He and his wife were on intimate terms with Robert Appleby*, whose widow, Joan, left Katherine Dalderby a silk girdle inlaid with silver and a pair of gold rosaries set with a diamond. Joan’s will of 1408 also refers to her two godchildren, Thomas and James Dalderby, who were probably sons of the MP. The latter’s public career seems to have ended in November 1406, when orders were issued for his removal as coroner of Lincoln because he was insufficiently qualified. He lived on quietly for several more years, however, and went surety for his kinsman, John Dalderby, on his return to Henry V’s first Parliament in 1413. He and his wife had at some point acquired estates in Boston and Skirbeck, which, in May 1416, they settled upon feoffees. Dalderby must then have been quite advanced in years, but he evidently survived to witness the will of a fellow merchant, Robert Raithby, in the following year, and likewise to attest the ratification, in November 1421, of ordinances for the use of the common seal of Lincoln. He was, moreover, present at a ‘congregation’ held at the guildhall at the very beginning of Henry VI’s reign. It was almost certainly he who acted as a mainpernor for Robert Feriby† and Hamon Sutton* on their return to, respectively, the Parliaments of 1423 and 1425, but no more is heard of him from then on.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. C67/28B m. 13; C260/133/19; CP25(1)144/154/30; Reg. Repingdon (Lincoln Rec. Soc. lvii), 144; Lincoln Cathedral Lib. ms 169, f. 255; CPR, 1348-50, p. 575.
- 2. C260/96/14; Assoc. Archit. Socs. Reps. and Pprs. xxxix. 229-30.
- 3. Rot. Scot. ed. Macpherson etc. ii. 58.
- 4. C267/4/12; J.W.F. Hill, Med. Lincoln, 251.
- 5. C67/28B m. 13; C260/133/19; C267/7/3; Lincoln Cathedral Lib. ms 169, f. 255; CPR, 1348-50, p. 12; 1350-4, p. 408; 1358-61, p. 583; CCR, 1349-54, pp. 7, 344, 457, 571.
- 6. E122/7/13; CFR, ix. 41, 59; CCR, 1377-81, pp. 30-31; 1389-92, pp. 164-5; CIMisc. iv. 201; CPR, 1388-92, pp. 220, 270, 271; 1391-6, pp. 628, 630.
- 7. C219/11/1, 13/2, 3; CP25(1)144/148/27, 154/30; Reg. Repingdon, 144; ibid. (Lincoln Rec. Soc. lvii), 460; CCR, 1396-9, pp. 77, 424; Lincs. AO, Cragg 2/3; FL deed 3222; L1/3/1, ff. 2v, 5.