FOXTON, John, of Huntingdon.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Huntingdon Mich. 1423-5.2
The subject of this biography may well have been the son of John Ufton alias Foxton, a glover from Huntingdon who, in June 1393, was pardoned a murder committed by him some 13 years before. He, too, did business as a glover, and is first mentioned early in 1405 as a witness to a local deed. He put in a fairly regular attendance at the parliamentary elections held in the borough between 1413 and 1425, being himself returned twice to the House of Commons. In October 1414, just before he took his seat for the first time, he offered sureties in Chancery for his neighbour, Robert Peck II*. He may already have been involved in litigation for the recovery of a debt of five marks from a Peterborough man, although the latter failed to appear in court and was eventually outlawed as a result.3
The most notable incident in Foxton’s career occurred during the second of his two consecutive terms as bailiff of Huntingdon. For quite a while the burgesses had been involved in a dispute with the prioress of Hinchingbrooke over rights of way and access to common pasture, and at some point in, or shortly before, the summer of 1425 matters came to a head. The townspeople, led by such influential figures as Foxton and his colleagues, Hugh Parson* and John Dunhead II*, staged a raid on the prioress’s property, reputedly causing damage worth an estimated £40 to one of her closes. Not surprisingly, the prioress made a complaint to the royal council, which appointed a special commission of oyer and terminer, in July of that year, to investigate the affray. On its recommendation, Foxton and his fellow bailiff, Robert Peck II, managed to negotiate a private settlement, but only a few days later George Gidding* ruined all their good work by assaulting the prioress and abducting her servants. It looks very much as if Foxton died quite soon after this unfortunate turn of events, as no more is heard of him from then onwards. Firm evidence of his death does not, however, occur until July 1435.4