GOLDINGTON, John I (d.1419), of Thele and Hunsdon, Herts. and Springfield, Essex.
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Family and Education
2nd s. and h. of John Goldington (1332-bef. 1383) of Thele and Springfield by his w. Joyce (1337-bef. 1390), sis. and coh. of Sir Thomas Engaine (d.1367) of Hunsdon. m. Avice, 1s.1
Commr. of inquiry, Herts. Jan. 1412 (persons liable for taxation).
By the early 14th century, if not before, this MP’s ancestors had settled in the Hertfordshire manor of Goldingtons, although with the passage of years they were able to extend their estates in the county, and acquire others across the border in Essex. From his paternal grandfather, Sir John, Goldington inherited the manor of Thele and rents in Queen Hoo Hall, Hertfordshire, together with the manors of Sturmer, Ringers in Terling and Springfield, as well as extensive farmland in Chatley, Aldham, Little Baddow and Colne Engaine, Essex. His mother, Joyce, was moreover heir to one third of the Engaine estates, comprising the actual manor of Colne Engaine and property in Upminster in the same county, and the manor of Hunsdon in Hertfordshire.2 She also possessed a title to part of the manor of Eaton in Bedfordshire and land in Puxley, Northamptonshire, but neither of these properties descended to her son.3 Given that John Goldington II* also had connexions with Eaton, we may reasonably assume that the two men were related, although the subject of this biography can generally be distinguished from his namesake. He possessed other holdings in Bengeo, Hertfordshire, which he occupied as a demesne tenant of the earls of Oxford, and in the Essex villages of Newton Hall and Great Dunmow. He probably acquired the latter by marriage, since they formed part of his wife’s jointure. Goldington’s income from land must have been far greater than that assessed for taxation purposes in 1412 (£47 p.a.) or estimated at the time of his death seven years later (£48 p.a.) as both figures are incomplete.4
According to Chauncy, John was the younger brother of Robert Goldington, sometime sheriff and escheator of Essex, who evidently died childless early in the 1380s.5 He certainly appears to have come into his inheritance by December 1383, when his widowed mother confirmed him in the reversion of the manor of Hunsdon which she and her husband had settled for life upon Sir Robert Rous. There is some evidence to suggest that Goldington’s parents were faced with a series of financial problems during their later years, and this may in part explain why he was himself content to play so modest a part in local society. He survives as a shadowy figure about whom little is known, save in a formal capacity, usually as the witness to property transactions in Essex and Hertfordshire. He performed this service for such eminent landowners as Sir Philip Thornbury* and the latter’s father-in-law, John Durham*, but was not otherwise much concerned with the affairs of his neighbours.6 During the Hilary and Easter terms of 1385 he sold a messuage and land in Springfield to Geoffrey Colvyll, perhaps because of the debts left by his father. There are, however, no other indications that he was again obliged to raise money in this way, and he had little to do with the property market. In June 1398, as ‘John de Goldington of Essex’, he received a royal pardon, perhaps for formal reasons only. By this date he had regained part, if not all, of his land in Hunsdon, where he lived quietly for the next 20 years.7 His one return to Parliament, and, subsequently, his appointment to a single royal commission of inquiry are highlights in an otherwise undistinguished career.
Goldington died towards the end of March 1419, and was buried at St. Margaret’s church in Stanstead Thele, where his great-grandfather, Sir William, had founded a chantry. Although his widow, Avice, re-married without permission from the Crown, she and her second husband, John Audley, obtained a royal pardon almost immediately, and in July of the same year were confirmed in possession of part of the Goldington estates. The rest of this property was entrusted to John Leventhorpe*, who also obtained the wardship and marriage of our Member’s young son. The latter died while still under age in the autumn of 1421, and was succeeded by his cousin, John Henxworth.8
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. CIPM, x. no. 441; xii. no. 139; xvi. no. 393; C138/36/7; R. Clutterbuck, Herts. iii. 178; CCR, 1381-5, p. 405; CPR, 1416-22, p. 218. Both J.E. Cussans (Herts. (Hertford), 135) and R. Morant (Essex, ii. 8) mistakenly describe this MP as the son of Sir John Goldington, who was, in fact, his grandfather.
- 2. CFR, v. 110; vii. 61-62, 70; CCR, 1354-60, p. 652; 1369-74, pp. 3, 98-99; 1374-7, p. 81; H. Chauncy, Herts. i. 385; CIPM, x. no. 441; xii. no. 139; VCH Herts. ii. 327, 440; iii. 473-4; Morant, Essex, ii. 8, 127, 197, 201, 219, 358, 426.
- 3. VCH Beds. iii. 194; CIPM, xvi. no. 393; CFR, vii. 377-8, 384; CPR, 1367-70, p. 160; 1370-4, pp. 16, 377.
- 4. CIPM, x. no. 638; Feudal Aids, vi. 440, 461; C138/36/7; CCR, 1399-1402, p. 252.
- 5. Chauncy, i. 557; PRO List ‘Sheriffs’, 44; ‘Escheators’, 43-44.
- 6. CCR, 1381-5, pp. 299, 405; 1409-13, pp. 422, 427; 1413-19, pp. 93, 116.
- 7. CAD, iv. A7730-1