PAULE, William, of Grimsby, Lincs.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Bailiff, Grimsby Mich. 1380-1.1
Two men of this name were active in Grimsby during the late 14th century, one of whom, a mason, was a colourful character involved in various acts of theft, trespass and murder (albeit reputedly in self-defence).2 The other was a shipman or master mariner, and since he is known to have held office as bailiff it seems more likely that he, rather than his more flamboyant namesake, was also the burgesses’ choice as parliamentary representative. Little else can, however, be said about him. In about 1381 he was found guilty of an attempt to evade the very strict rules imposed by the borough authorities on the sale of herring from incoming ships, and a consignment of his worth 16 marks was confiscated because the transaction had been made privately in his own home. He acted as a mainpernor for John Hesilden at the time of his return as MP for Grimsby in 1391; and four years later he sat on a jury at the local sessions of the peace. He last appears in May 1398, when he was one of the burgesses who tried unsuccessfully to prevent William Welle* from making use of a communally-owned cargo boat which by custom was generally available to the townspeople for trade along the east coast.3