DALTON, Richard (d.c.1422), of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb.
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Family and Education
Controller of customs, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 3 Apr. 1413-28 Feb. 1416.2
Sheriff, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Mich. 1416-17.
Dalton is first mentioned in April 1409, when he imported a mixed cargo of merchandise, including soap, alum and iron into Newcastle-upon-Tyne. His career must have been greatly helped by his marriage, early in 1411, to Agnes, the elder daughter of Robert Hebburn, although this did not go unopposed. A dispute evidently occurred between him and another local merchant named William Moreton over their respective rights to her hand; and in January of that year Thomas Langley, bishop of Durham, delegated two commissaries to pronounce judgement, which they did in Dalton’s favour. His appointment, in April 1413, as controller of customs at Newcastle probably owed a good deal to his influential father-in-law, who then held office in the port. Dalton first attended the parliamentary elections for Newcastle in the following May, and thus helped to return himself to the House of Commons. He took part in six more elections between then and December 1421, being regularly named among the 12 probi homineswhose task it was to choose representatives for the borough, but so far as we know he did not again stand as a candidate.3
Not much is known about Dalton’s involvement in the local property market, although he evidently owned two tenements near the church of All Saints, Newcastle. From September 1415 onwards, much of his time was taken up with the administration of Robert Hebburn’s estate, for he had been appointed as supervisor of the latter’s will, and had also been entrusted with the responsibility of finding a suitable husband for his young sister-in-law, Margaret. In May 1419, Dalton was pardoned a sentence of outlawry incurred for his failure to appear in court when being sued by the master and scholars of Balliol college, Oxford, for a debt of £15.4 No more is heard of him after 1421, and at some point over the next three years his widow married the influential Northumbrian landowner, John Strother*. She and Dalton had at least one son, John, who was still alive in September 1459 when she drew up her will. She left him a considerable quantity of plate, some of which had belonged to his father and some to another kinsman, John Dalton (d.1433), the vicar of All Saints, Peaseholm Green, York, where the family had strong local connexions. After Strother’s death, in 1424, Agnes took as her third husband, John Bedford II*, a wealthy merchant from Kingston-upon-Hull, to whom she lent the money which constituted the bulk of her son’s inheritance. Bedford proved scrupulous in repaying his debts, and evidently thought well of his stepson, to whom he bequeathed a silver and gilt cup, called ‘le nutte’. Although Agnes was buried near to Bedford in the church of Holy Trinity, Hull, she remembered her first husband, and set aside 8s. a year from rents in Newcastle for obits to be performed annually there in his memory.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. Test, Ebor. ii. 234-7; Surtees Soc. clxiv. 142-3. On the basis that the widowed Agnes Bedford made provision in her will of 14 Sept. 1459 for obits to be performed for her previous husbands, John Strother and Richard Dalton, it has hitherto been assumed that she married Strother first and then Dalton. This was obviously not the case, however, since Strother outlived Dalton, and died in 1424 (C139/14/15).
- 2. Richard Dalton was replaced by a John Dalton in February 1416, but this may be an error; and it is possible that he remained in office until 18 July 1417.