LUNCEFORD, John, of New Romney, Kent.
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Family and Education
prob. s. of Simon Lunceford*.
Jurat, New Romney 25 Mar. 1394-5, 1397-8, 1402-3, 1404-6, 1407-16.2
Commr. of sewers, Romney Marsh Feb. 1409.
In about 1388 Lunceford sat on a jury at an inquest held in the Cinque Ports about the amount of money Sir Robert Assheton, the late warden, had spent on keeping the sea in 1383-4. As ‘of Romney’ he acquired property in St. Nicholas’s parish in 1389, and shortly afterwards he took over from his presumed father, Simon, the payment of maltolts in Colbrond ward, doing so from 1392 to 1415. Like Simon, too, he held land in the nearby hundreds of Langport and St. Martin, on which, after 1395, he claimed exemption from taxation because he was a Portsman.3
In 1395-6 Romney paid Lunceford £3 for a journey to Westminster, partly to procure writs confirming the Cinque Ports’ exemption from parliamentary fifteenths, partly to recoup the costs of shipping provided in the previous year for Richard II’s expedition to Ireland. The question of the Ports’ liability for taxation took him again to London in 1398, and in the autumn of the same year he was also sent to obtain writs excusing the barons from contributing to other levies as well (probably to the fines imposed by the King on the counties of Kent and Sussex for having supported the Lords Appellant of 1387-8). For the coronation of Henry IV, in October 1399, Lunceford spent ten days in the capital with two companions from Romney, at the cost to their local community of £9 11s.3d., besides expenses incurred in the making of the scarlet gowns and hoods and embroidered gloves they were given to wear for the ceremony, at which they helped bear the royal canopy.4 In 1409-10, Lunceford, out of charity, gave 6s.8d. on behalf of 20 poor men who had no money to pay the scot levied that year; and in 1412 he was asked by James Tiece* to be a feoffee of property in the town. Even so, he was not altogether popular there. That same year Hugh Newenton, chaplain, was fined £2 for cursing Lunceford and calling him a false thief (the MP recovered damages of 20s. in satisfaction), and in 1413 William Wyltyng insulted him and was fined the same amount for this offence against the dignity of a jurat.5
Lunceford is last recorded alive in 1415-16, when he was leasing a garden in Colbrond ward from the commonalty, but he died within a few years. His property, including ‘Brettysplace’ and various tenements and kiddels in Romney, were sold by his kinswoman and heir, Joan, wife of George Eyre† of Battle, Sussex, in March 1423, half going to Thomas Smith III* and the rest to Thomas Sparwe*.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: A. P.M. Wright
He should be distinguished from John Lunceford of Burwash and Lundsford in Etchingham, Suss.: VCH Suss. ix. 98, 214; Feudal Aids, vi. 528.
- 1. He reached London on his way to Leicester before the order for prorogation was received in January 1414, and was given 15s. for the abortive journey: Romney assmt. bk. 2, f. 82.
- 2. Kent AO, NR/JBr/4, nos. 3, 7; C47/64/10/304; assmt. bk. 2, ff. 52-85.
- 3. E101/18/7; assmt. bk. 2, ff. 30-83; E179/237/57; NR/JBr/5, no. 9.
- 4. Assmt. bk. 2, ff. 38, 47, 49.
- 5. Ibid. ff. 70, 77, 134; NR/JBr/6, no. 2.
- 6. Assmt. bk. 2, f. 85; NR/JBr/8, nos. 45, 47.