STURT (STERTE), Peter, of Exeter, Devon.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. by 1396, Willelma, da. and coh. of Thomas Symthesheges (d.c.1391) of Exeter, s.p.
Steward, Exeter Mich. 1400-1, 1403-4, 1410-11; member of the council of 12, 1404-5, 1406-10, 1411-13, 1414-15, 1416-19; mayor 1413-14, 1415-16.1
Constable of the Staple, Exeter c. Apr. 1403-Oct. 1405, 1407-8, Jan. 1409-10, 1411-12, Mar. 1413-Feb. 1415, Oct. 1415-Nov. 1416; mayor Nov. 1418-19.2
Warden of the Magdalen hospital, Exeter Sept. 1419.3
Sturt served a seven years’ apprenticeship to one of the most enterprising of Exeter’s merchants, Richard Bosom*, before his admission as a citizen on 14 Feb. 1396. Like Bosom he imported wine and was engaged in both the manufacture and export of woollen cloth.4 He was promoted within the civic administration along the usual channels, acted as an elector ten times between 1398 and 1415, and also came to be an influential figure in the organization of the local Staple. Indeed, when, on 21 Mar. 1413, the day after the dissolution of his only Parliament and the first day of Henry V’s reign, he was appointed by the Crown as constable of the Staple, this was for his fifth term. His fellow Member, Thomas Eston, had married his wife’s sister, and both men to a certain extent owed their standing in Exeter to the acquisition of their father-in-law’s property. Sturt’s share included messuages in South Street and land in ‘Prustrete’. In 1413, in association with John Talbot†, he lost a dispute in the mayoral court with the hospital of St. John the Baptist over ownership of premises elsewhere in the city, but he also held a tenement in High Street and lands in Heavitree, outside the walls, for which he paid annual rents of over 30s. to the house of St. Mary Marsh (a dependency of Plympton priory). His property in Dartmouth probably served as a base for mercantile activities in that port.5
Sturt was popular with his fellow citizens and is found acting in local business transactions and also as executor of the wills of Simon Grendon (d.c.1411), William Wilford* (d.1413) and Henry Mayhew; but the son-in-law of the last-named, William Cremyll, a servant ‘to the worthy Lorde Baron of Carrewe’ later sued Sturt’s own executors for mismanagement of the deceased’s estate. At the elections for the Parliament of November 1414, held at Exeter castle, he stood surety for Roger Golde. In 1420 he witnessed the settlement of the estates of Sir William Umfreville signed at Brampford Pyne, and for a long while he served as feoffee of the property left by his former master, Richard Bosom. He died before December 1435, when final arrangements were completed for the transfer of Bosom’s legacy to ‘Wynard’s Almshouses’.6 Sturt’s widow died childless before 1441.
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Exeter City RO, mayors’ ct. rolls 22 Ric. II-7 Hen. V.
- 2. C67/24; C267/6/44, 45, 50; C241/193/68, 202/5, 205/14, 217/1.
- 3. HMC Exeter, 398, but the correct date may have been Sept. 1428 as given in Notes and Gleanings, iii. 142.
- 4. Mayor’s ct. roll 19-20 Ric. II m. 20; E101/338/11; E122/40/23.
- 5. Exeter City RO, ED/M/547, 573, 771; HMC Exeter, 361; G. Oliver, Monasticon Dioecesis Exoniensis, 142-3; Add. Ch. 27601; H.R. Watkin, Dartmouth, 91.
- 6. Reg. Stafford, ed. Hingeston-Randolph, 397, 402; C1/11/50, 51; C219/11/4; Devon RO, Petre (Bonville) ms TB 240; Notes and Gleanings, iv. 188.