GOLDINGTON, John II, of Lidlington, Beds.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
poss. s. and h. of John Goldington of Eaton.1 ?1s.
J.p. Beds. 28 Nov. 1399-Feb. 1407, 14 May 1408-Feb.
Tax collector, Beds. Mar. 1404.
Commr. of array, Beds. Nov. 1403; oyer and terminer Aug. 1416 (treason); inquiry Feb. 1422 (counterfeiters).
During the 1390s this MP is constantly described as ‘the younger’ presumably to distinguish him from his namesake, John Goldington ‘the elder’, who lived at Eaton and may well have been his father. It was probably the latter who, in May 1389, received instructions from the Crown concerning the trial by the law of arms of a French prisoner, but we cannot be certain on this point. The first unmistakable reference to the subject of this biography occurs in February 1392 when he acted as a mainpernor in Chancery for certain members of the Botteley family. Just over one year later he again offered sureties there, this time on behalf of John Goldington the elder, whose dispute with the parson of Great Barford appears to have taken a violent turn. He also then went bail for one Thomas Everard of Hemingford Abbots in Huntingdonshire. However, there can be little doubt that the most important of his connexions was with Eleanor, the widow of Reynold, 2nd Lord Grey of Ruthin (d.1388), for whom he witnessed various deeds.2 In October 1394, Goldington agreed to act as an attorney in England for the King’s knight, Sir Reynold Braybrooke*, who was about to leave for Ireland with Richard II. The two men may have come to know each other through their mutual links with the Greys, although it is possible that they met at Court, since within the year Goldington himself was admitted to the royal household with an allocation of 40s. from the wardrobe for liveries. That he and Braybrooke remained on friendly terms may be gathered from his readiness, in May 1398, to stand surety for the knight as farmer of part of the Cobham estates.3 Even so, his ties with the Court were not sufficiently strong to prevent him from effecting a rapid change of allegiance when Henry IV seized the throne and his appointment to the local bench followed almost at once.
Although he appears to have served in no more than two Parliaments, Goldington regularly attended the county elections, and he witnessed at least 13 of the returns made by the sheriff of Bedfordshire between 1413 (May) and 1435.4 By the time that he himself took a seat in the House of Commons he enjoyed a landed income in excess of £25 a year from the Bedfordshire villages of Cardington, Eaton, Marston Moretaine and Lidlington (where he made his home). In 1416 he added to his estates in Eaton by purchase, but from then onwards he did little to consolidate his existing holdings. Despite his long period of service as a j.p. and his more sporadic appearances on royal commissions, comparatively little is known about the more personal aspects of his career. From time to time he became involved in local property transactions, acting as a feoffee-to-uses for such influential landowners as John Enderby* (in Stratton), William Bosom* (in Roxton), John Olney (in Weston) and Sir John Chastelyon (in Leighton Buzzard). He was also made a trustee of land in the Bedfordshire villages of Edworth and Chawston; and in 1416 he helped to complete an endowment made upon Woburn abbey by the late Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford.5 Goldington likewise possessed a title to the manor of Fownhope in Herefordshire, which he initially held to the use of Sir John Chandos*, but later conveyed to Sir John Cornwall (cr. Lord Fanhope, 1432). The latter also acquired the Bedfordshire manors of Ampthill and Millbrook from our Member, who had been appointed as a feoffee by the widowed Eleanor, Lady St. Amand. Relations between the two men may well have been fairly close, since in 1423 Goldington was a party to the purchase by Sir John and his wife of the manor of Tingrith in Bedfordshire.6
Goldington was ‘still surviving’ in February 1434, at which time he relinquished the trusteeship of the manor of Fownhope; and in the following May he and other leading figures in Bedfordshire took the general oath that they would not assist persons breaking the peace. No more is heard of him after 29 Aug. 1435, however, when he attended the Bedfordshire parliamentary elections for the last time. His descendants made their home at Lidlington until the following century; and although no references survive to his wife or children, the John Goldington who fought in France during the 1430s may well have been his son.7