MORYS, Nicholas, of Trumpington, Cambs.
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Family and Education
Commr. of inquiry, Cambs. Mar., Apr. 1401 (poaching on crown lands), Feb. 1408, July 1413 (repairs to the great bridge at Cambridge), May 1415 (counterfeiting); sewers, Isle of Ely Mar. 1407, Norf. June 1407.
J.p. Cambridge 8 Feb.-May 1414.
Nicholas was a member of the prominent Cambridge family which had provided the town with several mayors and served the borough in Parliament on at least 16 occasions between 1307 and 1380. It seems likely that he was a younger son of John Morys†, and was named after John’s brother Nicholas, the abbot of Waltham Holy Cross from 1371 until his death in 1389. The younger Nicholas was frequently recorded in association with Thomas Morys (d.1414) of Chesterton and Cambridge, for whom he acted as a feoffee-to-uses, and it may be supposed that he was Thomas’s brother. He himself inherited certain of the family lands situated some two miles south of Cambridge at Trumpington, which came into his possession before 1412, when, together with his property in the shire town itself and at Chesterton, they were valued for the purposes of taxation at £20 a year. In addition, by that date Morys had also acquired landed holdings in Northamptonshire at Rothwell, Titchmarsh and Glapthorn, estimated as worth 20 marks p.a., although whether these had been purchased or formed part of his wife’s inheritance is not known.2
Morys had been first mentioned, in May 1397, as a witness to a conveyance dated at Saddlebow in Norfolk. His training as a lawyer was by then already completed and at the assizes at Cambridge later that year he proved popular as an attorney, taking briefs from his kinsman, Thomas, and Sir Walter de la Pole*, among others. When he provided securities in Chancery that December on behalf of a defendant from Trumpington, he did so in association with Thomas Lopham*, another member of the legal profession who was to be his colleague on later occasions too. Perhaps Morys’s most distinguished client was Sir Stephen Scrope, who on his departure for Ireland in 1401 named him among the attorneys assigned to look after his affairs at home for a year. Morys was on friendly terms with John Burgoyne*, yet another Cambridgeshire lawyer, for whom he had stood surety at the Exchequer in the previous year; and it was in order to safeguard the interests of Burgoyne’s daughter, Grace, that in 1407 he took on the trusteeship of estates in Essex which were the inheritance of her husband, John Peyton. In March 1408, together with Burgoyne and John Bilney I* of Cambridge, Morys acquired a royal licence to grant certain properties in the shire town and Barnwell to the Benedictine nuns at St. Radegund’s priory. Then, in 1409, his trusteeship of property in Babraham and Swaffham Bulbeck once more brought him into contact with Sir Walter de la Pole, while that of the manor of Thorley in Hertfordshire, which he undertook in the following year on behalf of the Corbet family, found him working in association with two future judges—John Martin and William Cheyne.3
Besides being employed on royal commissions, Morys was also engaged on other business for the Crown. Thus, in February 1410 he and Thomas Lopham received ten marks each to cover the expenses they incurred when dealing with a matter which had proved to be to the King’s profit. He was at Cambridge for the shire elections to the Parliaments of 1407, 1411, 1414 (Nov.) and 1415, and for a brief time served as a j.p. for the borough. His appointment to the bench preceded his only known election, to the Parliament at Leicester, where, during the session, he was named as a feoffee of the estates in Northamptonshire belonging to Ralph Green* of Drayton. He is last recorded, acting in this capacity on Green’s behalf, in June 1416.4
Following his death Morys’s property in Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire passed to John Morys (presumably his son), for whom it continued to provide an annual income of about £35.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
Variants: Mores, Mors.
- 1. CPL, v. 561, 565, 571.
- 2. CPR, 1377-81, p. 353; 1385-9, p. 356; 1391-6, p. 99; PCC 29 Marche; CCR, 1413-19, p. 275; VCH Essex, ii. 171; Feudal Aids, vi. 410, 500; VCH Northants. ii. 577; iii. 145.
- 3. CCR, 1396-9, pp. 120, 234; 1409-13, p. 235; 1413-19, p. 366; JUST 1/1506 m. 10; CFR, xii. 68; CPR, 1399-1401, p. 507; 1405-8, pp. 344, 429.