HAXTON, Robert, of London.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Warden of the Grocers’ Co., London 29 May 1401-2.2
Nothing is known of Haxton before May 1398, when he had already become a full member of the Grocers’ Company and was entitled to wear its livery. In September 1403 he stood surety in Chancery for Henry Halton*, with whom he had previously served as warden, and shortly afterwards he performed the same service for two Dutch shipmasters importing wine to England.3 Between July 1405 and October 1408 he was summoned to attend three sessions of the husting court of London as a juror from Cordwainer Street Ward; and he also sat on the jury at a session of the possessory assizes. It was during this period, in May 1406, that a consortium of merchants who had undertaken to keep the seas free of enemy shipping for the next 15 months chose Haxton as one of their agents for the collection of revenues assigned to them from the customs. That he was a figure of some importance in the City is also borne out by his presence among the electors who met at the Guildhall in 1407 to choose the parliamentary representatives for London.4
Very little evidence about Haxton’s financial affairs has survived, although on 12 June 1407 he joined with the wealthy grocer, William Standon*, to lend £133 to the King. By 1410, if not before, he was shipping fairly modest amounts of cloth into the port of London, presumably for sale on his own premises. At some unknown date he and his wife, Joan, became members of the guild of the Holy Trinity at Coventry, which suggests that he was involved in the local cloth trade as well. Haxton brought two actions for debt in 1410, one for the sum of 40s. due, significantly, from a Warwickshire man, with whom he probably had business dealings. Only once more, at some point within the next three years, did he himself initiate legal proceedings, this time against a London goldsmith who owed him £28. His last appearance in court evidently resulted from some misdemeanour on his part, since in May 1414 he was ordered to be arrested with John Presedent, another grocer, and brought into Chancery for interrogation. The reason for this is not stated, although it may have concerned some commercial malpractice.5
Haxton was a feoffee of property in Mark Lane, London, possibly for Nicholas Wotton*, to whom he subsequently conveyed his interest. His own holdings in the City were confined to a tenement in St. Dunstan’s Lane: this had been leased to him by John Spencer* for an unspecified term of years, and was still in his hands in June 1414, the date on which he is last mentioned.6