KENT, John I (d.1413), of Reading, Berks.

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

Constituency

Dates

Oct. 1383
Jan. 1390
Jan. 1404

Family and Education

m. Joan.1

Offices Held

Tax collector, Berks. May 1379, Mar., Oct. 1393, May 1398, Mar. 1401, Dec. 1402.

Mayor, Reading Mich. 1391-2, 1393-4, 1401-2, 1405-6, 1409-10; bailiff 1403-4.2

Coroner within the abbot of Reading’s liberty 1395-7; Berks. at d.3

Biography

Kent, a mercer by trade,4 was resident in Reading where he possessed property and, between 1378 and 1411, witnessed a large number of deeds. In many of these transactions he was associated with David atte Hacche* and William Catour*, two of the wealthiest burgesses. Catour, indeed, was a business partner: in about 1395 Kent and he were jointly charged 6s. alnage on cloth offered for sale.5

Like Catour, Kent was much concerned with the administration and parliamentary representation of the town. Five times mayor, he also served terms as bailiff and coroner, and, in 1395, he was a member of the Reading jury which presented cases before the county j.p.s. On several occasions he appeared as a mainpernor for the parliamentary burgesses, doing so in 1382 when William Shortwade was elected, in February 1388 on behalf of atte Hacche, in 1394 for William Saville, in January 1397 for John White I, in September 1397 for Robert Godewyn and Thomas Selham, in 1399 for Roger Hay, in 1406 for John Hunt I and Philip Richard and, finally, in 1407 for John Mereham.