HERING, Emericus (Adomar, Aylmer), of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb.
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Family and Education
Keeper of the seal of the statute merchant, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 12 Sept. 1423-13 Mar. 1442.
Commr. of inquiry, Northumb. Feb. 1428 (murder).
Assessor of a tax, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Jan. 1436.
The Herings were a long-established Northumbrian family, with estates at Howick and Little Houghton which they are known to have occupied from the 13th century onwards. The subject of this biography was quite possibly a close relative (perhaps the grandson) of Robert Hering of Howick, since he eventually inherited the latter’s estates, but his precise identity remains uncertain. One of Robert Hering’s sons was a chaplain named Emericus, who was active at the very beginning of the 15th century, and who is sometimes confused with the MP. Another Emericus was present at the baptism of Sir Thomas Clifford’s son and heir, John, at Hart, Northumberland, in April 1389, and later gave evidence in 1411 at his proof of age, when he himself claimed to be 47 years old. It is unlikely, on chronological grounds, that this man later sat in the House of Commons and remained continuously active until 1442, but we cannot be entirely sure.1
There seems to be little doubt, however, that the Emericus Hering listed among the witnesses to a deed at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in June 1414 went on to represent the borough in Parliament. Two years later he attested the will of John Stockdale, a local tradesman, and in the spring of 1421 he was returned to the Lower House for the first time. Emericus never held an elected office in Newcastle, although in 1423 he was made custodian of the seal of the statute merchant there by the Crown, and he also served briefly as a royal commissioner of inquiry and a tax collector in the area. At some point before 1428, he gained possession of the family property in Howick (where he already owned a tower for defence against the Scots), and not long afterwards he was permitted to farm certain land in Stannington, Northumberland, which had been confiscated from an outlaw. Despite his growing influence in county society, Emericus retained his old connexions with Newcastle; and in 1429 he witnessed the will of his friend, the wealthy merchant, Roger Thornton*, who bequeathed £5 to him as a gift. Not surprisingly, he was quite often called upon by his neighbours to attest deeds, although he himself made no further efforts to extend his holdings. He may well have died in, or shortly before, March 1442, when he was replaced as keeper of the seal of the statute merchant: at all events, no references survive to him after this date. In 1459, Agnes, the widow of John Bedford II* of Kingston-upon-Hull (who had previously been married first to Richard Dalton* and then to John Strother*) named both Thomas Hering and his son Emericus as beneficiaries of her will, so it looks as if he left immediate descendants.2