DAMMER, Richard, of Shoreham, Suss.
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Family and Education
Coroner, Suss. by Apr. 1428-c. June 1440.1
Controller of customs and subsidies, Chichester 5 July 1447-Apr. 1453.
Dammer was party to the Sussex electoral indentures drawn up at the shire court at Chichester for the Parliaments of 1414 (Nov.), 1419, 1421 (May), 1426, 1429, 1431, 1432, 1433, 1437 and 1442. There were Dammers living at Bramber in this period, but it seems likely that Richard himself resided throughout just a few miles away at Shoreham. Certainly, in January 1432 he witnessed a deed at Old Shoreham, and in November that year he appraised a ship in Shoreham harbour laden with cloth and salt subject to forfeiture to the Crown through smuggling. His property there included a moiety of a messuage, a shop and 42 acres of land, all of which were confirmed in his possession in the early 1440s, after he had bought out the interest of the Fromonds of Winchester in the same.2
To judge from certain aspects of his career, Dammer may have been a lawyer by profession. He often acted for others as a trustee of their landed holdings in Sussex, doing so, for instance, in 1421 for John Hallere in his premises at Sidlesham. In October 1426 he went surety at the Exchequer for Walter Urry*, the lessee of property at West Hoathly. He was at some time in the service of Reynold, Lord West, for whom he took oath in Chancery in about January 1434 that a consignment of wine landed at Chichester was intended solely for the use of West’s own household, so that the customers would be ordered to let it pass free of duty. Another client was Ralph Rademylde*, on whose behalf, as a feoffee of his estates, Dammer presented to East Hoathly rectory in 1438 and 1442.3 For many years Dammer served as a coroner in Sussex, officiating in the rapes of Lewes and Pevensey. He was said to be ‘too sick and aged’ for the post in November 1433, but his illness cannot have been chronic nor his age extreme, for nearly seven years later (June 1440) he was again the cause of a writ de coronatore eligendo, this time because he lived in the ‘remotest part of Sussex’, meaning that whereas he acted as a coroner in the eastern rapes, his lands were in the western rapes of Chichester and Bramber.4 Nevertheless, Dammer’s service to the Crown was not over, for he went on to hold office as controller of customs at Chichester for almost six years.
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Suss. Arch. Colls. xcv. 55; xcvi. 27, 29; xcviii. 50-51, 64.
- 2. C219/11/5, 12/2, 5, 13/4, 14/1-4, 15/1, 2; E159/209, Mich. rot. 10; CCR, 1429-35, p. 170; 1435-41, pp. 450-1; CP25(1)241/88/25, 89/10.
- 3. CP25(1)240/84/16; CFR, xv. 145; CCR, 1429-35, p. 330; Reg. Praty (Suss. Rec. Soc. iv), 111, 127.
- 4. Suss. Arch. Colls. xcv. 55; xcviii. 64; CCR, 1429-35, p. 261; 1435-41, p. 309.