MORE, John I, of Cumcatch, Cumb.
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Family and Education
Collector of taxes, Cumb. Nov. 1383, Dec. 1384, Nov. 1386.
Commr. to arrest ships for an expedition to Scotland Mar. 1384;1 of inquiry, Cumb. Nov. 1392, July 1397 (illicit fishing in the river Eden).
Envoy to treat for a truce with Scotland 7 Feb. 1406.2
Sheriff, Cumb. 4 Nov. 1409-29 Nov. 1410.
The More family held land in Cumcatch from the reign of Henry III onwards; and it seems quite likely that the subject of this biography was either the son or nephew of another John More who died shortly before November 1377, while in office as verderer of Inglewood forest. No doubt because of his official connexions, he had been able to lease certain royal property there, although his position had not prevented him from taking part in armed raiding parties on the estates of Lord Clifford. The MP himself first comes to notice in the autumn of 1383, when he served as a tax collector for the first time in Cumberland.3 In October 1392 he was pardoned a sentence of outlawry incurred for failing to appear in court at the suit of Sir Robert Haryngton for an act of trespass; but despite this brush with the law, he served on a jury at Penrith in August 1394 and was subsequently appointed to two commissions of inquiry into illicit fishing in the river Eden. We cannot be entirely sure if the John More who received a pension of £5 a year at the Exchequer in February 1397 for ‘conquering two traitors appealed of treason’ later sat in the House of Commons, although since evidence was given on his behalf by Henry, earl of Northumberland, and the grant itself was assigned from Cumberland, this seems quite likely. More surrendered his royal letters patent in February 1402 in favour of another recipient, which suggests that the ‘two traitors’, or at least their next of kin, may well have been rehabilitated after the triumph of the Lancastrian regime. Meanwhile, in August 1401, More was bound over in £40 to keep the peace towards one William Napert. His sureties on this occasion included William Bewley (with whom he attended the October Parliament of 1404), while he in turn went bail on behalf of Robert Carlisle I*, who was then involved in a property dispute. In 1406 More was appoin