MERSTON, Ralph, of Worcester.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Worcester Mich. 1416-17.1
Tax collector, Worcester Dec. 1417, Apr. 1428.
Merston, a baker by trade, is first heard of in April 1401, when Ralph Stafford* of Grafton undertook in Chancery not to do or procure him harm. This followed on after a violent incident at Bromsgrove in which a kinsman of his had been killed by Stafford’s son, Humphrey*, allegedly with malice aforethought. The cause of their quarrel is not stated. At the elections held at Worcester for the Parliaments of 1414 (Nov.) and 1415, Merston stood surety for the appearance in the Commons of the lawyer, John Weston. No doubt he already held property in the city, perhaps including the house on ‘Eportestrete’ which was to be recorded in his possession later. His first return to Parliament in 1416 was followed just a few months later by election as a bailiff. Merston witnessed several local conveyances in 1429 and 1433, and in the meantime his name was included on the indenture containing the return to the Parliament of 1432 of both the citizens and the knights of the shire chosen. In the following year he found mainprise for the attendance of one of the shire knights, John Wood I*, for whom he subsequently acted as a trustee of property in Northwick near Worcester. At the elections of 1435 he stood surety for John Halle, a local grocer. He probably died before 1449, when his name was omitted from a list of Wood’s feoffees, which in other respects was almost identical to the earlier one.2