HOPYERE, Edward, of Winchelsea, Suss.
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Family and Education
prob. s. of Richard Hopyere (d.c.1413), of Iham, Suss.1
By 1418 Hopyere had succeeded to the land at Icklesham once held by his putative father. In addition, he had holdings at Udimore, on which as a Portsman he claimed exemption from parliamentary fifteenths levied between 1407 and 1420. He witnessed a deed at Winchelsea in April 1410 and in January 1415 he served there on the jury which provided information to the royal commission set up to map out the position of proposed new walls for the town.2
As master of the King’s balinger George de la Tour, Hopyere was ordered in February 1417 to recruit a crew, and a few months later he took part in transporting Henry V’s forces over to France. On 12 Aug. the King, writing to the chancellor from Touques, included him in a list of shipmasters who were to receive annuities as reward for their services. Accordingly, he was paid £3 6s.8d. a year, at least until the autumn of 1420, when he was returned to Parliament. His own business concerns prevented him from acting as caretaker of the George during the months before her sale in 1423. Six years later Hopyere helped to appraise wool which the customer at Winchelsea had arrested after it was discovered being smuggled under a load of wood. A Chancery petition shows he could be an unscrupulous litigant. Alice Kynton appealed to Bishop Beaufort as chancellor (probably during his term of office in 1424-6) after Hopyere and another Winchelsea man had obstructed her suit against them for a debt of £20, by bringing counter-claims, so that she dared not return home for fear of imprisonment. She compared her own ‘graunt poverte’ with ‘le richesse’ of her tormentors.3