KENYAN, Edmund (d.1414), of Oxford.

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



Nov. 1380
May 1382
Nov. 1390

Family and Education

m. (1) bef. 1380, Elizabeth, wid. of John Norton (d.1373) of Oxford, 1da.; (2) bef. 1411, Margaret.1

Offices Held

Coroner, Oxford bef. Mich. 1385; bailiff Mich. 1385-6, 1389-90; alderman 1399-1400, 1402-3, 1405-7, 1408-10, 1411-12, 1413-14; mayor 1401-2, 1404-5, 1410-11, 1412-13.2

Commr. to recruit workmen for the repair of Wallingford castle, Nov. 1389; of inquiry, Oxford Feb. 1391 (forgery of a will).

J.p. Oxford 6 Dec. 1397-c.1408.


Though his parentage is unknown, Kenyan was probably an Oxford man. He was in business as an inn-keeper by 1380, when he paid 3s.4d. as poll tax, and by then his first marriage, to John Norton’s widow, had brought him a number of properties, including shops situated off the High Street. In addition he owned a house near St. Frideswide’s church.3

In 1384 Kenyan acted as attorney for the abbot of Eynsham at the assizes held at Oxford, and at about the same time served as borough coroner, resigning office when appointed bailiff at Michaelmas 1385. While bailiff he sat in Parliament (for the fifth time) and also appeared ex officio on a royal commission to raise men or money to help resist an expected French invasion. During his second term as bailiff, in 1389, he was again a commissioner, this time to organize workmen to repair Wallingford castle. Kenyan’s increasing importance locally is indicated by his appointment in 1397 to the borough commission of the peace, and his election as alderman. Four times mayor between 1401 and 1413, he was involved during this period in the town’s long dispute with the abbot of Osney. In 1409 he and John Merston* were convicted before the county justices of appropriating one of the abbey’s tenements in Oxford, and, as mayor, he was named among the municipal officials whom the abbot later accused of illegally annexing to the borough the village of Osney.4

Through his second wife Kenyan acquired property in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. He died shortly after making his will in 1414, leaving as heir to his holdings in Oxford his only child, Emmeline, wife of John Carre.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: Charles Kightly


  • 1. CPR, 1408-13, p. 252; Oxf. Hist. Soc. xviii. 10; ser. 2, xiv. 121, 181.
  • 2. Oxf. Hist. Soc. xxxvii. 18-20; lxiv. no. 307; lxvi. no. 609; xc. no. 771; Merton Coll. ms 365.
  • 3. Oxf. Hist. Soc. xviii. 10; ser. 2, xiv. 120-1, 181, 259.
  • 4. Oxf. Archs. D/5/1, f. 44; CCR, 1385-9, pp. 24, 27; Univ. Coll. hustings roll 1a; CPR, 1385-9, p. 216; Oxf. Hist. Soc. lxxi. no. 190.
  • 5. CPR, 1408-13, p. 252; Oxf. Hist. Soc. ser. 2, xiv. 181.