HAROM, William, of Scarborough, Yorks.
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Family and Education
m. by 1 Aug. 1393, Cecily (d. Dec. 1427), da. of John Scalby (d.c. Sept. 1393), of Scarborough, at least 1s.2
Collector of customs, Scarborough 28 Oct. 1393-14 May 1400.3
Bailiff, Scarborough Mich. 1395-6, 1401-2, 1404-5, 1417-18.4
Commr. of array, Scarborough May 1398.
J.p. Scarborough 1 Dec. 1413.
Harom married his wife, Cecily, at some point before August 1393, when his mother-in-law, Joan Scalby, drew up her will in his presence and named the couple as her executors. Although they were not included in the list of beneficiaries, it looks as if William and Cecily inherited some of Joan’s property, because a few weeks later they brought a collusive suit at the local assizes to establish their title to certain holdings in Scarborough. By now a figure of some importance, Harom was made a collector of customs for the area, an office which he retained for nearly seven years. He attended his first Parliament in January 1395, witnessed a local deed in the following July, and was made town bailiff not long afterwards. As soon as his term of office had ended, in September 1396, he obtained the lease of a plot of wasteland from his fellow burgesses, having perhaps already acquired a tenement in St. Marygate Street as well.5
During this period, Harom was involved as plaintiff in two lawsuits at Westminster, one for the recovery of a debt of £30 from a Huntingdonshire man, and the other concerning the theft of a horse. The defendants in both cases were eventually pardoned their outlawry for failing to appear in court when summoned, but Harom may still have sought election to Parliament in 1399 in order to direct his legal affairs more effectively. He himself faced far more serious charges in 1405, when two Hanse merchants accused him and other Scarborough shipowners (including Robert Acclom*) of capturing their vessels at sea and making off with a mixed cargo of merchandise worth £280. By the following January their claim for damages had risen to £300, although orders for the arrest of the pirates, issued four months later, required them to pay a far more realistic sum of £231. Strenuous attempts on the part of the authorities to attach Harom and his associates because of their repeated evasions proved unsuccessful, however; and as late as October 1408, efforts were still being made to bring them to book. Although it threatened to jeopardize relations between the government and the Hanseatic League, the incident appears to have had little, if any, lasting effect on Harom’s career, for he was appointed to the bench in Scarborough in 1413, and he either died or retired from public life within the next year or so.6
Harom’s widow, Cecily, lived on until early December 1427. In her will, which was made a few days, at most, before her death, she asked to be buried in St. Mary’s church, Scarborough. To her son, John, she left bed hangings bearing the arms of the earl of Northumberland, which suggests that there may have been some family connexion with the Percys.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Haroun, Harum.
- 1. W. Prynne, Brevia Parliamentaria Rediviva, iv. 1113.
- 2. C260/195/7; Borthwick Inst. York, York registry wills, i. f. 59; ii. f. 521.
- 3. E159/176, Mich. m. 12.
- 4. C219/10/2; E159/176, Mich. m. 12; E368/169, Mich. m. 10v, 174 m. 196v, 175 m. 160, 177 m. 106, 178 m. 138, 189 m. 86v, 190 m. 107v, 191 m. 108.
- 5. C260/195/7; York registry wills, ii. f. 59; White Vellum Bk. Scarborough ed. Jeayes, nos. 28D, 44A; CPR, 1399-1401, p. 394.
- 6. CPR, 1399-1401, pp. 166, 355-6; 1405-8, pp. 146-7, 150-1, 353; 1408-13, p. 63.
- 7. York registry wills, ii. f. 521.