RODNEY, Sir John (d.1400), of Backwell and Rodney Stoke, Som.
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Family and Education
s. and h. of Sir Thomas Rodney† of Backwell ?by Joan, da. of Hugh Cressye. m. (1) bef. 1369, Katherine, ?da. of Robert Cheddar† of Bristol, 4s. inc. Walter*, 1da.; (2) aft. 1386 and bef. Nov. 1389, Alice (d. 27 Mar. 1426), wid. of John Fitzroger, Sir Edmund Clevedon† and Sir Ralph Carminowe*, s.p. Kntd. by Mar. 1373.1
Commr. to put down unlawful assemblies, Som. June 1381; of sewers June 1382; arrest Nov. 1387; inquiry, Dorset Nov. 1388 (shipwreck), Som. May 1399 (trespass), Devon, Som., Dorset, Wilts., Bristol, Hants Dec. 1400 (concealment of the possessions of Richard II and his adherents); array, Som. Mar. 1392; to assign dower, Som., Dorset June 1397.
Sheriff, Som. and Dorset 18 Nov. 1387-1 Dec. 1388, 1 Dec. 1396-3 Nov. 1397.
J.p. Som. July-Nov. 1389.
Rodney came from a family which had established itself in Somerset before the end of the 11th century. He inherited the manors of Backwell, Stoke Giffard (now Rodney Stoke), Dinder, Winford, Saltford, ‘Twyerton’ and Lamyatt and lands elsewhere, all together valued at his death at more than £66 a year. Lamyatt was held of the duchy of Lancaster, which might account for Rodney’s participation in the expedition to France of 1373 as a knight in the service of his feudal overlord, John of Gaunt. In February 1375, however, he was preparing to go overseas in the retinue of Edmund Mortimer, earl of March. Then, too, a substantial part of his estates was held of the Despensers: his five-and-a-quarter knight’s fees so held were valued in 1376 at £53 10s.; and this connexion doubtless played a part in the arrangement of the marriage of his grandson, John, to a member of the Glamorgan family of St. John, who were also Despenser feudatories. Sir John’s uncle, Richard Rodney, was a canon of Wells cathedral, and the dean and chapter were Rodney’s tenants in property in the High Street, Wells. In addition, he held Dinder and a moiety of Stoke Giff