LINCOLN, Henry (d.1397), of Canterbury, Kent.

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. 1382
Feb. 1383
Jan. 1390

Family and Education

?s. of Robert Lincoln of Canterbury. m. bef. 1381, Isabel, 3s.

Offices Held

Jurat, Canterbury Mich. 1371-2, 1381-3, 1384-6, 1388-9, 1390-1; bailiff 1380-1, 1383-4, 1386-8, 1391-2.1

Commr. of inquiry, Canterbury Jan. 1377 (flooding caused by works at St. Augustine’s abbey).

Tax collector, Canterbury Mar. 1377.


He was probably the Henry Lincoln admitted to the freedom of Canterbury by special favour in 1349-50, at a time when his kinsman (perhaps father), Robert Lincoln, was a member of the committee which approved entries.2 In 1369 he acquired annual rents of 23s.8d. charged on farmland at Thanington, to the south of the city; and in the course of his career he subsequently obtained landed holdings to the north-east, concentrated on the parishes of Sturry, Westbere and Reculver. In Canterbury itself he came into possession of property in St. Mildred’s, a messuage at ‘Le Bulstoke’, a building next to the ‘Spechehous’, shops at Northgate, rents in the suburb of Wincheap, and, perhaps most important, the aldermanry of Worgate. He had become prominent in the city by May 1372 when he took part with the bailiffs and seven other ‘citizens and aldermen’ in an official perambulation of the city limits. That December he and two former bailiffs were bound to keep the peace towards a certain Thomas Hoke, whom they were alleged to have threatened in life and limb. In October 1373 he appeared in the Exchequer as surety for brother Peter de Mount Ardyt of Aquitaine, then made keeper of the alien priory estates at Romney. During his first bailiffship Lincoln was assessed for the poll tax levied in December 1380 as living in Canterbury with his wife and two servants. The comparatively high tax of 6s.8d.which he was charged suggests that his business as owner of a tavern was then flourishing, although it may be supposed that pilgrim traffic to Canterbury and therefore his profits were to be seriously affected by the insurrections of the following year, for which this same tax had much to blame. In November 1383 Lincoln acted as surety for a prisoner in the Marshalsea, he and his fellows agreeing under pain of £1,000 to produce him in court as required.3

Lincoln was one of six leading citizens of Canterbury who in February 1386 successfully negotiated with the Crown for a grant of £200 to be spent on long-overdue repairs to the city walls. The work was already in progress when he became bailiff later that year, with John Proude* as his colleague, and in September 1387 the King, who was impressed by the fact that both men had ‘travailed diligently’ throughout their term of office, ordered their re-election for the ensuing official year in the belief that operations could in consequence be quickly completed. However, when, late in 1393, Lincoln and Proude finally rendered account at the Exchequer, it was found that although they had spent not only the £200 granted by the Crown but also nearly £420 in addition, the task was still not finished. The six citizens who had negotiated the grant were in danger of forfeiting their bond for 800 marks, and it may have been in order to pre-empt such a consequence, that in February 1388 Lincoln had entrusted all his goods and chattels to William Ellis*, the lawyer, and other of his friends. At the parliamentary elections held at Canterbury in the autumn of 1390 he appeared as mainpernor for Edmund Horne, who had performed the same service on Lincoln’s own behalf earlier in the year.4

Lincoln’s will, made on 22 Feb. 1397, was proved a month later. He made small bequests to religious houses in Canterbury, such as the Benedictine convent of St. Sepulchre, and left a somewhat larger sum of 20s. for mending the way from the city to Sturry. Further along this old Roman road lay the church of Westbere, where he wished to be buried, providing £10 for his funeral expenses and month’s mind and five marks for his obit. A kinsman was to receive the special gown he wore as a citizen of Canterbury. In a codicil made on 7 Mar., Lincoln divided up his property between his sons: Robert, Edmund and Nicholas. He was also survived by his widow.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Canterbury Cathedral, City and Diocesan RO, burghmote reg. O/A1, ff. 1d, 3d, 5, 6d, 7, 11, 13; List of Canterbury Officials comp. Urry and Bunce, 47-48.
  • 2. Med. Kentish Soc. (Kent Rec. Ser. xviii), 203, 205. Robert was bailiff of Canterbury in 1346-7 and 1350-1, and MP in 1354.
  • 3. CP25(1)106/187/1744; E. Hasted, Kent, xi. 30; CCR, 1369-74, p. 479; 1381-5, pp. 288-9; CFR, viii. 220; E179/123/50.
  • 4. CCR, 1385-9, pp. 120-1, 342; E364/27 m. D; Canterbury O/A1, f. 10; C219/9/8.
  • 5. Canterbury consist. ct. wills, 1, f. 6.