HOSIER, alias LENE, alias TAYLOR, William, of Grimsby, Lincs.

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. 1404

Family and Education

m. by Sept. 1395, Agnes, 2s.1

Offices Held


According to a royal pardon issued to him in September 1398, this MP was also known as a resident of Langton and Market Rasen, but no further evidence has survived about his activities in these parts of Lincolnshire. The pardon also refers tantalizingly to unspecified support which he had previously given to the Lords Appellant of 1388 in their attack upon Richard II’s unpopular favourites, this being the only indication of his personal sympathies. Meanwhile, in the autumn of 1395, he and his wife, Agnes, acquired a messuage on the south side of the market-place in Grimsby for the sum of £10, an undertaking which provides the earliest reference to his connexion with the borough. It was, however, as a local burgess that Hosier was pardoned just a few weeks later for all illegal purchases and weighings of wool. His commercial interests were in fact extremely diverse, for like most of his fellow merchants he dealt in whatever commodities were available. In 1400, for example, he sent cured herring worth 18s. to Caistor; and he was also involved in a dispute with one John Burton, a deep-sea fisherman who sailed as far afield as Iceland, over the loss of tackle at sea. Another of his lawsuits was brought against one John Berkesikell who sold him 3,000 turves, many of which had not been properly cut.2

The most notable recorded incident in Hosier’s career was his feud with the Grimsby burgess, William Welle*, whom he and his sons, John and William, twice attempted to murder, first at Grimsby and then in a field near Corringham. On the latter occasion Hosier actually managed to stab his adversary, and was duly convicted of malicious wounding at the sessions of the peace in 1395. He eventually paid two fines of 40s. for his offence in the court of King’s bench. Hosier served on a jury at Grimsby for the assessment of taxes in about 1402, at which time his son, William, held office as bailiff. The latter had previously been involved in yet another case of assault, but despite his somewhat truculent disposition he too enjoyed considerable influence in the borough.3

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.


Variant: Hosyer.

  • 1. Lincoln Rec. Soc. lvi. 224-7; South Humberside RO, 1/560/30.
  • 2. C67/31 m. 13; CPR, 1391-6, p. 630; E. Gillett, Grimsby, 33, 36, 42; South Humberside RO, 1/560/30.
  • 3. Lincoln Rec. Soc. lvi. 224-7, 235; Feudal Aids, ii. 249; E368/176.