HOREWODE, John I (d.1417), of Wells, Som.

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



Feb. 1413
May 1413

Family and Education

m. by 1398, Margery, prob. wid. of William Shephurd of Frome, Som., 1s.1 Thomas.

Offices Held

Constable of the peace, Wells Mich. 1403-4; master 1404-5, 1412-13, 1416-d.; auditor 1410-12.2


Precisely when Horewode was made a freeman of Wells is not known. The John Horewode alias Shephurd who became a burgess in 1405, the year in which the MP first officiated as master of the town, was most likely a relative, a member of the branch of the family with which both Horewode and his wife were closely connected. Indeed, he may even have been Horewode’s stepson. Our Member is most likely to be identified with the John Horewode who had fully paid his fine of admission to the freedom by 1402, and who in that same year was assessed at Wells for alnage on 50 broad cloths sold locally. He provided pledges for two other new burgesses in 1409 and 1411. In the meantime, in 1408, he had been chosen to discuss the re-admittance to the freedom of the borough of Edward Goudgrome, who had been expelled five years earlier. It was during his second mastership of Wells that Horewode was elected to two Parliaments: Henry IV’s last and Henry V’s first. He had earlier been one of the delegates sent from Wells to report at the shire court at Ilchester the outcome of the borough elections to the Parliament of 1410, and was to be similarly employed for both assemblies of 1414. In December 1415 he agreed to act as an arbitrator in the local dispute between John Kyng and Richard Setter* on the one side and Thomas Kyngesbury on the other.3

In March 1406, Horewode had joined with Richard Groos* and Thomas Hore* in obtaining a royal licence to grant four messuages and four shops in Wells to the master and commonalty, in relief of charges incumbent upon the town. His own personal holdings in Wells are not recorded in detail, even in the will which he made on 21 Feb. 1417. In this he bequeathed various sums to the vicar, chaplains and clerks of St. Cuthbert’s, Wells, including 13s.4d. towards the building of the vestry. Three pounds was to be distributed among the poor people attending his funeral, and the four poor men holding torches around his hearse were each to receive a russet gown. A priest who was to celebrate mass for the testator’s soul for one year received £5. Other beneficiaries of the will included the John Shephurd already mentioned, who was left a blue and green gown trimmed with white fur, and a worsted doublet, and a kinsman of Horewode’s, also called John, who received another gown and 20s. Thomas, son of John Blithe*, was given a silk girdle banded with silver. The residue passed to the testator’s widow and his son, Thomas. Horewode died before 1 Apr. and was buried in the nave of St. Cuthbert’s.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. CPR, 1396-9, pp. 392, 394; Som. Med. Wills (Som. Rec. Soc. xvi), 74-75.
  • 2. Wells Town Clerk’s Office, convoc. bk. 1378-1450, ff. 155, 162, 164, 186, 193, 198, 212.
  • 3. Wells City Chs. (Som. Rec. Soc. xlvi), 133-6, 143; HMC Wells, ii. ch. 540; CPR, 1396-9, pp. 392, 394; convoc, bk. f. 174; C219/10/5, 11/3, 5; E101/344/3, 4.
  • 4. CPR, 1405-8, p. 160; Wells City Chs. 10; Som. Med. Wills, 74-75.