HARDYNG, Sampson (d.c.1427), of Beadnell, Northumb.
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Family and Education
Commr. of inquiry, Northumb. Mar. 1375 (failure to repair Bamburgh castle), Mar. 1375 (violence at Bamburgh), Nov. 1383 (contents of the castle chapel at Newcastle-upon-Tyne), Nov. 1383 (illicit sale of a cargo, Newcastle-upon-Tyne), Nov. 1389 (estates of Sir Henry de la Val), July 1390, July 1391 (removal of armaments from Bamburgh castle), Apr. 1392 (estates of John del Chambre), Mar. 1395 (drainage at Newcastle-upon-Tyne), Dec. 1402 (customs evasion), June 1406 (concealments), June 1408 (estates of Sir Henry de la Val), co. Dur. Nov. 1410 (value of customs at Hartlepool), Northumb. Feb. 1412 (lands of Elizabeth Fenwick), Feb., May 1414 (estates of Philip, Lord Darcy), Dec. 1415 (land forfeited by Sir Thomas Gray), Nov. 1424 (claims of Sir John Scrope); to confiscate salmon nets May 1380; of gaol delivery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Feb., July 1386, Feb. 1387, Feb. 1389, Feb. 1393, Oct. 1397, Norhamshire 1421;2 to make an arrest, Northumb. Aug. 1386; survey coal measures Apr. 1389; extend the estates of Sir Alan Heton Dec. 1390; of oyer and terminer Nov. 1392 (evasion of customs); to partition the Heton estates July 1394; detain vessels in the port of Newcastle-upon-Tyne May 1401; prevent the spread of treasonous rumours May 1402; of array Aug., Kept. 1403; to raise a royal loan June 1406; seize Scottish merchandise Dec. 1409.
Collector of the wool custom and custom on aliens, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 12 Nov. 1379-24 Aug. 1389; of tunnage and poundage 25 May 1382-24 Aug. 1389.
J.p. Northumb. 20 Dec. 1382-15 July 1389, 23 Feb. 1393-d.; of the liberty of the bp. of Durham in Northamshire and Islandshire, Northumb. 1421.3
Bailiff, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Oct. 1385-6, 1387-8; mayor 1396-8.4
Escheator, Northumb., Cumb. and Westmld. 24 Nov.1394-3 Mar. 1397, Northumb. 24 Nov. 1400-8 Nov. 1401, 23 Nov. 1419-16 Nov. 1420.
Collector of an aid on the marriage of Princess Blanche, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Dec. 1401.
Steward of Morpeth, Northumb. by 30 Nov. 1402-bef. 13 May 1420.5
The family background and early life of Sampson Hardyng remain obscure, although he had already settled at Beadnell (a few miles south of Bamburgh castle on the Northumbrian coast) by 1374, when Alan Strother made him a grant of property there. Over the years Sampson extended his holdings in the area, acquiring farmland and tenements piecemeal, whenever the opportunity arose. In November 1383, for example, he purchased a substantial estate from the heirs of Sir Robert Coventry, thus adding considerably to his rent-roll. His first wife, Margaret, was, moreover, heir to an income of £5 p.a. from land in Heugh, Stamfordham and Ouston (to the west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne), and although the money was temporarily seized by the Crown in November 1375, an official inquiry eventually supported her title. Sampson maintained close connexions with the mercantile community in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he himself evidently did business. In November 1374 he stood surety in Chancery that the merchants Nicholas Haukeswell and William Deseburgh would ship hides only to designated ports along the east coast and not elsewhere; and three years later Deseburgh called upon him for similar guarantees regarding a cargo destined for London. The extent of his commercial ventures is now difficult to judge, although we know that he had less than successful dealings with Robert Hebburn*, who managed to avoid paying him sureties of £78 for eight casks of woad. Sampson himself may have been obliged to borrow money from time to time to fund enterprises of this kind, for in 1375 he owed the parson of Thornton in Lonsdale 28 marks, and in the following year Robert Hales, the prior of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England, a notorious usurer, advanced him £40 as a loan.6
From 1375 onwards, when he was appointed to his first royal commission, Sampson devoted a growing amount of time to municipal and administrative business. In the beginning, his activities were centred largely upon Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he served for many years as a collector of customs. He represented the town in six Parliaments between 1382 and 1397, as well as discharging two terms each as bailiff and mayor, and giving evidence there, in 1388, at the inquisition post mortem held on John, Lord Neville. His financial dealings suggest that he still had access to ready supplies of credit: in February 1383 he was able to stand bail of £400 for a group of local merchants, and not long afterwards Richard, Lord Scrope of Bolton, received from him bonds in a similar sum. Naturally enough, in view of his obvious flair for administration, his influence soon made itself felt throughout Northumberland as a whole, especially after his appointment, in 1382, to the county bench. In 1389, for instance, he was one of the small group of gentlemen chosen to settle a boundary dispute between the townships of Morpeth and Mitford; and in 1391 he became a feoffee of the manor of Gunnerston, which Sir Thomas Swinburne* wished to settle in trust upon John Fenwick.7
At about this time, Sampson obtained a royal licence for the alienation of rents worth four marks from property in Newcastle-upon-Tyne to the prior of Tynemouth. He may once again have been acting as a trustee rather than the actual owner of the land, as his own house lay in Pilgrim Street, and was leased by him, along with various appurtenances, at an annual rent of 46s.8d., from the influential Northumbrian landowner, Sir Thomas Gray*.8 Several of the parliamentary burgesses who sat for Newcastle-upon-Tyne in our period were men of wealth and position, but Hardyng alone possessed sufficient statute in the county community to be returned as a shire knight, too. He first represented Northumberland in 1395 while serving one of his many terms as escheator there, and was elected five times in all over the next 26 years. During the first half of this period in particular he was much in evidence as a trustee and witness to property transactions by the local gentry. In 1401, for example, Sir Thomas Swinburne conveyed to him yet more of his Northumbrian estates, while at the same time releasing him from any attendant legal actions. Sampson also assisted Mary, the widow of Sir Thomas’s kinsman, Sir William Swinburne*; and in 1403 he became a feoffee of the castle and manor of Bothal, which was then settled in reversion upon John Bertram*. He may well have come to regret his involvement in this particular transaction, because in 1409, after the death of their father, Bertram’s brother, (Sir) Robert Ogle*, besieged the castle with a private army. Partly in his capacity as a j.p. but also by virtue of his own claims to trusteeship, Sampson vainly attempted to restrain (Sir) Robert, although his protests and those of his colleague, Sir John Widdrington*, were ignored. He and Bertram remained close friends, and in June 1411 they were both present to supervise the assignment of dower to Widdrington’s widowed daughter, Agnes.9
As might be expected, Sampson not only represented Northumberland in Parliament but also had a hand in choosing other shire knights. He was present at the county elections of 1407, 1413 (May), 1417 and 1422, although, interestingly enough, his name always appears near the end of the list of witnesses to the return, among the lesser gentry, rather than at the beginning where his erstwhile parliamentary colleagues invariably took precedence.10 Sampson died shortly before 20 Oct. 1428, when his elder son, William, released whatever claims he might have inherited to his father’s trusteeship of the manor of Gunnerton. William, may, perhaps, have been the child of Sampson’s second marriage, which took place in about 1402 and brought him a life interest in lands and tenements in Crawcrook near Gateshead in the palatinate of Durham. His younger son, Roger, married a daughter of Roger Booth*, and thus became lord of the manor of Holingside there.11