MORE, Nicholas, of Wells, Som.
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Family and Education
m. c.1384, Margaret (b.c.1357), da. and h. of Richard Malet of Ashbrittle, Som. by his w. Lucy, wid. of ?Richard Cressebien and Thomas Hatfield.1
Rent collector, Wells Jan.-Mich. 1395, 1397-1400.2
More was living in Wells by June 1382, when he attested a conveyance of a shop in the High Street. It may well have been in his capacity as a lawyer that in 1389 he was given power of attorney for the delivery of seisin of other property in Wells to Thomas Hore*, and similarly, in 1397, with regard to transactions on behalf of Nicholas Cristesham*. Meanwhile, as a notary public he drew up a formal instrument on 12 Nov. 1396 to the effect that the proctors of the dean and chapter of Wells had, by authority, of a papal bull and in accordance with royal letters patent, taken possession of the church at Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire, in his presence. He also put in an appearance the following day at a court of the church tenants. The grant of the right of advowson, previously made by Bishop Erghum in favour of the dean and chapter, had not only already caused controversy but continued to do so, and More, now described as ‘clerk of the diocese’, recorded and attested proceedings between the dean and chapter and Thomas atte Fenne, the local vicar, in 1400. It was again as a notary public that in 1402 he was commissioned to prove the will of Richard Ferrour*. In the previous year another burgess of Wells, Thomas Tanner*, had bequeathed 40s. to him.3
More’s wife, Margaret, had been the subject of a writ to the sheriff of Somerset in October 1389, which resulted in an inquisition at Ilchester. It was stated in the writ that William Lawrence, who back in 1370 had been granted Margaret’s wardship and marriage along with custody of her inheritance (two messuages, a watermill and land in Blackmoor, Ashbrittle and Atherstone), had sold these to Richard Cressebien, who now alleged that although he had offered the girl a suitable marriage during her minority, she had refused it and, without his consent, had married More. Cressebien asserted that More was illegally in possession of the property. However, the inquiry disclosed that while still a minor Margaret had been wedded to Cressebien’s son for about seven years, after which she had left her husband (reported to be still alive), and married one Thomas Hatfield, who had died five years later; her marriage to More had thus only taken place after two years of widowhood. It would appear that the Mores were allowed to retain possession of Margaret’s lands, for at Easter 1393 they conveyed a moiety of the manor of Ashbrittle and the advowson of the church there to Richard Sydenham.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. CIMisc. v. 259; CIPM, xiii. 37.
- 2. Wells Town Clerk’s office, convoc. bk. 1378-1450, ff. 112, 128, 132, 135.
- 3. HMC Wells, i. 357, 488; ii. ch. 454; Som. Med. Wills (Som. Rec. Soc. xvi), 6-8, 10; Wells City Chs. (ibid. xlvi), 93, 102.
- 4. CIMisc. v. 259; Som. Feet of Fines (Som. Rec. Soc. xvii), 156.