HORSEY, Sir John (c.1365-1422), of Clifton Maybank,, 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



Dec. 1421

Family and Education

b.c.1365, s. and h. of John Horsey of Horsey, Som. by Eleanor Maubank (d.1417). m. bef. 1398, Alice (d. 16 Mar. 1434), da. of William Carent of Toomer in Henstridge, Som. and aunt of William Carent*, 2s (1 d.v.p.). Kntd. by Mar. 1419.1

Offices Held

Commr. to take custody of a royal ward June 1402; of arrest Nov. 1403.

Lt. of Windsor castle ?by June 1404-5 Sept. 1413.2

Parker of Guildford, Surr. 27 June 1404-5 June 1413.

Sheriff, Som. and Dorset 30 Nov. 1407-15 Nov. 1408, 10 Dec. 1411-3 Nov. 1412.

J.p. Som. 28 Mar. 1419-d.


This MP, whose family held the manor of Horsey near Bridgwater, made proof of age for his inheritance shortly before November 1386. His father had died in 1375 when he was 11, and his wardship and marriage had been granted to his mother Eleanor (afterwards the wife of Sir John Fitzpayn) and Philip Maubank, her kinsman. Some of his property was held of the duchy of Lancaster, which may explain how he came to enter royal service. No further trace of him has been discovered before 1400, though he possibly found employment under John of Gaunt or Henry of Bolingbroke, for it was only shortly after the latter assumed the throne that, on 14 Jan. 1400, described as ‘King’s esquire’, he was granted the herbage and pannage of Windsor park for a render of 40s. a year. He continued to devote himself to Henry IV, receiving offices and annuities in return. On 15 Jan. 1401 ‘or good service’ he received an annual fee of £27 from the issues of the Paulet estates in Somerset during a minority; in June 1403 he was granted custody of the royal manor of Easthampstead (Berkshire); and in the following year he successfully petitioned for permission to hunt in Petherton forest (Somerset) and was appointed parker of the royal estate at Guildford for life. He was paid his wages for the parkership from land pertaining to Windsor castle, and it may be that he had already risen to be lieutenant of the castle itself, because in September 1404 he received £15 for expenses of the earl of Douglas, incurred while the latter was imprisoned at Windsor earlier in the year. As lieutenant he was instructed in May 1409 to take custody of the earl of Fife, the son of the earl of Douglas and ten other Scottish prisoners. Horsey’s services were evidently highly valued, for in September 1412 he received from Henry IV an annuity of 20 marks from the issues of Somerset and Dorset, and on 12 Feb. following the King ‘for good and agreeable service done in many ways by our dear esquire’ made him a gift of £24. Horsey was clearly less in favour with Henry V, who, although he renewed the annuity of 20 marks, removed him from the parkership of Guildford in June that year (because, allegedly, he had ‘made waste of vert and venison in the park’) and from the lieutenancy of Windsor only three months later. But the King did grant him, perhaps in recompense, a tun of wine every year from the port of Bridgwater as from September 1413; and Horsey continued to be called ‘the King’s servitor’. He was retained as a member of Henry’s retinue for his first expedition to France, being contracted on 29 Apr. 1415 to supply three archers.3

After this, Horsey was knighted, but seems to have retired from royal service to his estates in the West Country. He was named on the schedule sent from Dorset to the Council at the end of 1419 listing those best able to undertake military defence, presumably at home, for there is no further record of him travelling abroad. Horsey attended the elections for Somerset prior to the Parliaments of 1419, 1421 (May) and 1421 (Dec.), although he himself sat in the last mentioned for Dorset. He had inherited Charlton Mackrell (where his grandfather and father had founded a chantry), Horsey and other property in Somerset from his father, but Clifton Maybank, just across the border in Dorset, had belonged to his mother, who died in 1417. (Clifton became the family seat and remained so until the 17th century.) Horsey’s property near Bridgwater was assessed at 50s. p.a. in 1402, that at Charlton Mackrell at £20 in 1412, and Horsey at £200 in 1422. Just before sailing for France in 1415, Horsey had settled the manor of Charlton Mackrell on his elder son, William, and the latter’s wife, Joan, but William died in 1418 leaving the manor in the possession of his widow, until her death in 1430. Horsey’s estates were thus depleted for the last seven years of his life. He died on 3 Sept. 1422, leaving as his heir a younger son, Henry.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421


  • 1. CCR, 1422-9, p. 30; Som. Med. Wills (Som. Rec. Soc. xvi), 23. The pedigree given by J. Hutchins (Hist. Dorset, iv. 427) contains errors.
  • 2. Issues ed. Devon, 314; E404/24/525; CPR, 1413-16, p. 118.
  • 3. CFR, viii. 306, 308-9; ix. 64; CCR, 1374-7, p. 159; 1385-9, p. 183; 1402-5, p. 31; CPR, 1399-1401, pp. 179, 404; 1401-5, pp. 236, 359, 406; 1408-13, p. 427; 1413-16, pp. 29, 49, 93; CIPM, xiv. 146; E28/12; VCH Som. iii. 98; E101/69/4/378; E403/611 m. 16; E404/28/220; Cal. Scots. Docs. (supp.) v. no. 918.
  • 4. C219/12/3, 5, 6; PCC 39 Marche; CFR, xiv. 273; xv. 28; xvi. 1, 20, 167, 330; C138/37/27; C139/1/20, 68/2, 79/7; Feudal Aids, vi. 514, 630; CPR, 1413-16, p. 349; CCR, 1419-22, p. 92; E28/97/9; C260/107/35; C44/10/18.