JORDAN, John (d.c.1422), of Dorchester, Dorset.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Dorchester Mich. 1405-6, 1407-8.1
Jordan first sat as a Member for Dorchester in January 1397 and was thereafter elected to every Parliament before 1415 for which returns survive, save only three. He probably belonged to a branch of the family of that name which was long established in Dorset and held considerable estates based on Wolfeton, besides property in Dorchester itself. It was here that he himself resided and his interests were centred on the town, where he traded in cloth. Described always as ‘John Jordan, senior’, he was involved either as grantor or donee in conveyances of property in all parts of the town.2 In his official capacity as bailiff, he was in regular attendance in the borough court as a witness, as, for instance, in 1409 when he attested a deed of John Westpray* and John Jordan of Wolfeton; and in the previous year his name had appeared as a witness alongside that of his son, John junior, who was then steward of the court. He attended the elections for Dorchester to the Parliaments of 1414 (Apr.), 1417, 1419 and 1421 (May).3
In 1404, Jordan was in possession of property held jointly with his wife, Margery, but she had apparently died before 1410, by which date he had married Alice, widow of his fellow Member in the Parliament of 1397 (Sept.), Robert Gutton. In April that year, John and Alice rented to her brother, Richard Rede, premises they held jointly in South Street, and two years later the couple released their right in a burgage called ‘Helle’, which had formerly been Gutton’s. Jordan died before May 1423, when his widow and son, John, granted away part of his estate in Dorchester. The following March, Alice herself made a will leaving John two tofts in South Street.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: E.M. Wade
He is to be distinguished from John Jordan junior, his son, and a contemporary, John Jordan of Wolfeton, Dorset.