LUTON, William, of Huntingdon.
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Family and Education
Coroner, Huntingdon bef. Sept. 1364.
Bailiff, Huntingdon Mich. 1364-5.
At first glance it seems improbable that any one individual’s parliamentary career could extend over a period of almost 40 years, but there is no positive evidence that we are dealing with two namesakes. Certainly, a break could be made between the years 1365 and 1372, for which there is no real information, although such a division would still be arbitrary.
Luton first comes to notice in November 1351, when he witnessed a deed in Huntingdon. The following year saw his election to Parliament, and he may also have been made a coroner at this time. Such an appointment would explain why he was popular as a witness to property transactions in the borough. He was, however, obliged to resign the post on becoming bailiff, in 1364, never to take it up again. Luton’s own holdings lay in the parish of St. Martin, where he occupied at least two tenements, one of which was released to him, in 1362, by a member of his own family. Subsequently, he acquired two gardens in the town as well, conveying these to trustees who eventually came to include John Denton*. Like many other leading burgesses, Luton also acted as a feoffee on behalf of the commonalty, and in 1381 he took possession of certain land which had been given to the town by Walter Rudham. It is interesting to note that he had dealings with the influential London fishmonger, William Brampton I*, who sued him shortly before November 1379, for a render of 40s. Luton was actually outlawed for refusing to appear in court, but he procured a royal pardon, and the sentence was suspended.2