FRANK, Philip (d.1432), of Bishop's Lynn, Norf.

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

?m. Margaret, 2s. ? inc. Richard.

Offices Held

Chamberlain, Lynn Mich. 1409-10, 1425-6; constable c.1423-1425; mayor 1426-7.1

J.p. Lynn 30 Apr. 1429-d.

Commr. of weirs, Norf. Feb. 1431.


Philip Frank, who came from a local family, purchased his admission as a burgess of Lynn in 1401-2.2 One of the mediocres, on 14 Apr. 1411 he gave assurances in Chancery that other Lynn men, either of his party, like Bartholomew Petipas, or of the inferiores, such as William Halyate*, would not molest any of their fellow townspeople. Returned to Parliament later that year, during the first mayoralty of another of his colleagues (Roger Galion), Frank entered into a bond for £50 with the mayor and community four days before the Parliament was dissolved on 19 Nov. Then chosen as one of the 18 arbitrators in the quarrels over Lynn’s constitution, he did not, however, figure on the committee of nine which took over the government of the borough in May 1412.3 Frank helped to return the inferiores, Halyate and John Tilney, to the last Parliament of Henry IV’s reign, which was prematurely ended by the King’s death; and his name appears as an elector on the indentures of 1414, 1420 (when he was mainpernor for a potentior, Thomas Brigge), 1422, 1425, 1429 and 1432 (acting on the last three occasions as surety for Thomas Burgh, John Parmenter* and Thomas Botkesham†, respectively). Meanwhile, he had been picked as an elector of the municipal officers in 1419 and 1421, and himself served from the latter date until 1423 as a scabin of the Holy Trinity guild of merchants. Although still only a member of the lower council of 27 in 1421, two years later he was promoted to the status of jurat, that is, a member of the 24.4

Although little has been discovered of Frank’s trading activities, it is known that early in 1422 he won a suit in the admiralty court against a mariner from Danzig. Moreover, in 1417 a fellow merchant, Edmund Beleyeter*, had appointed him as feoffee of his manor in Great Massingham and executor of his will. Four years later he was entrusted with Richard Thorpe’s property in Lynn and, in 1427, with that belonging to Thorpe’s son. At about the same time, in association with Thomas Beaufort, duke of Exeter, and others, Frank held in trust 34 messuages in the town.5 He died shortly before 21 Sept. 1432, when a new jurat was elected in his place.6

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


Archaeologia, xxiv. 320.

  • 1. HMC 11th Rep. III, 160; Norf. Official Lists ed. Le Strange, 191; King’s Lynn Town Hall, assembly bk. II, f. 91, Ea 44.
  • 2. Cal. Freemen Lynn, 21, 30.
  • 3. CCR, 1409-13, p. 206; HMC 11th Rep. III, 192; Lynn Town Hall, Ae 17.
  • 4. Recs. King’s Lynn ed. Harrod, 98; HMC 11th Rep III, 227-8, 230; C219/11/4, 12/4, 13/1, 3, 14/1, 3; Lynn Town Hall, assembly bk. I, f. 1d. Ca 3, 5, Gd 57, 58.
  • 5. CCR, 1422-9, pp. 149, 185, 191; 1441-7, p. 302; C1/5/52; CP25(1)169/185/57, 186/25; CPR, 1422-9, pp. 160-1.
  • 6. It is possible that Philip Frank was related to Master John Frank, clerk of the Parliaments 1414-23, and master of the rolls from 1423 until his death in 1438, for they were associated as cofeoffees of property in London and Southwark in 1420, and in a suit for debt before the common pleas (CPR, 1429-36, p. 477); but John would appear to have been of Wessex origin (Bull. IHR, xv. 142-5).