HOUGH, Ralph, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs.
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Family and Education
m. Maud, at least 1da.1
This MP is first mentioned in February 1382, when he and another influential local figure, William Thickness*, witnessed a deed for the prior of Trentham. If, as seems likely, he was a kinsman of Hugh Hough (d. by 1386) of Shavington in Cheshire, then he and Thickness must have been related by marriage, perhaps even being brothers-in-law. At all events, most of the evidence which has survived to illuminate Hough’s career concerns his association with William and his family. The two men sat together for Newcastle in the Parliament of April 1384; and seven years later, when Hough was returned with William’s half-brother, Thomas*, his friend’s son, Nicholas, agreed to act as one of his mainpernors. In February 1392 he and William were acquitted from the charge of receiving suspected murderers at Newcastle some four years before, so they evidently collaborated as partners in crime, too. Although he is not known to have held municipal office, Hough was clearly a figure of some consequence in the borough, as can be seen from his appearance in 1394 as a mainpernor for the newly elected serjeant of the merchant guild. He was probably quite old when, in the autumn of 1409, Richard and Joan Thickness settled the remainder of their property in