HAYWARD, alias SEYMOUR, John (c.1355-1407), of Bridport, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1377
Jan. 1380
Feb. 1383
Apr. 1384
Nov. 1384
Feb. 1388
Jan. 1390
Sept. 1397

Family and Education

b.c.1355, s. of Walter Seymour of Bridport. m. (1) by 1372, Edith; (2) by 1383, Scholastica, wid. of John Oure alias Gower of Weymouth, 1s. d.v.p. 1da.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Bridport Mich. 1380-1, 1382-3, 1384-5, 1387-8, 1389-90, 1392-3, 1394-5, 1398-9, 1402-3; constable 1393-4, 1395-6, 1401-2.2

Tax collector, Dorset Dec. 1380.


On 4 Dec. 1377, when up at Westminster for his second Parliament, Hayward was paid £31 8s.9d. at the Exchequer, this sum being part of £57 8s.9d. he was owed for supplying royal ships with ropes, cables, hawsers and other gear. Whether or not he was primarily a rope-maker or ship’s chandler, he was also involved in the manufacture of cloth.3 His property in Dorset and Somerset, acquired by both marriage and inheritance, included messuages near ‘le Bakhouse’ and others in East Street, Bridport, Hayward paying for the latter, where he lived, an annual rent of £2 to the Chideok family. In 1393 he proffered rents of 6d. a year to the town, in exchange for a lease for himself, his second wife and his children, Robert and Petronilla, on property in South Street. Through his marriage to Scholastica, the widow of a Weymouth burgess, Hayward also took control of lands in Walditch and premises in Dorchester, agreeing, however, that after her death he would pay a rent of £3 p.a. to her former husband’s brother. When over 40, Hayward inherited lands in Merriott, Crewkerne and Kingston Pitney, Somerset, valued at over £6 a year, from his father’s cousin, John Radeston, who died in 1395.4 On the second day of his 13th Parliament, 18 Sept. 1397, he secured a ten-year lease from the Exchequer of a toft and 40 acres of land in Merriott. One of his sureties on this occasion, the Somerset landowner Thomas Gorges, conveyed to him for life a messuage known as ‘la Glebe’ and the advowson of the parish church at Bridport, in return for a nominal rent of a girdle, alternatively 2d.5

Hayward made his will on 24 Feb. 1407. He wished to be buried against the wall of the south aisle of St. Mary’s church, Bridport, and he left half a mark and a ‘wayne lode’ of stones for the construction of a window close to his tomb. His other legacies included ten marks for repairs to the causeway leading to the chapel of St. Mary Magdalene at Allington, and provision for bread and the payment of 1d. to every poor man dwelling within a radius of three miles around Bridport. As his wife and son predeceased him, his property in Bridport was divided between his daughter, Richard Oure (probably his stepson), Alice Stikelane and one of his servants, while the local constable took over his house in South Street to provide for the regular observance of his obit on 24 June. The residue of his estate was to be distributed in alms by his executors. The overseer of his will was the then dean of Salisbury, John Chaundler (who rose to be bishop of the diocese).6

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


Date: C136/89/39: Dorset RO, B3/D2, f. 118.

  • 1. Dorset RO, B3/D2, ff. 53v, 70.
  • 2. CAD, i. C415, 646, 239; ii. C2889; iii. 3519; Dorset RO, B3/D2, ff. 68v, 71, 73, 81v, 89v, M11, ff. 9, 10, 12, 21, 33.
  • 3. E101/37/21, 343/29; E403/466 4 Dec.; Dorset RO, B3/M11, f. 9.
  • 4. C146/10044; Dorset Feet of Fines, 225; Dorchester Recs. ed. Mayo, 129, 139, 166; Dorset RO, B3/D2, ff. 70, 77, 80v, 84v, M11, f. 27, S113, 246; CFR, xi. 164; CCR, 1392-6, pp. 450, 461; C136/89/39.
  • 5. CFR, xi. 225; CPR, 1422-9, p. 124.
  • 6. Dorset RO, B3/D2, f. 118.