TIECE, James (d.c.1423), of New Romney, Kent.
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Family and Education
Jurat, New Romney 25 Mar. 1391-2, 1397-9, 1400-1, 1402-3, 1404-6, 1407-9, 1410-15, 1416-17, 1418-23.4
Tiece’s father had sat in Parliament for Romney in 1351 and 1368. In 1381 he and his wife conveyed to their sons, William, Hugh and James, all the property which Petronilla (who was then gravely ill) had inherited following the death of her brother, William Godard. James, whose involvement in the affairs of the commonalty was to last for 40 years, was sent to Dover in June 1382 to discuss arrangements about the Cinque Ports’ commitment towards naval defence. In 1384-5 he paid over to the town various sums of money, including a legacy of 20s. from his father, 26s.8d. of ‘foreign’ rent, and £11 11s. from other sources. He contributed maltolts in Holyngbroke ward from 1387 to 1422, and is recorded as acquiring a number of properties in the vicinity. In 1412 when his wife was suffering from a serious illness, he placed some land with a grange on it, which had come to him by marriage, in the hands of John Lunceford* and James Lowys* as trustees. As a Portsman, Tiece claimed exemption from parliamentary fifteenths on landed holdings in the nearby hundred of St. Martin.5
Over the years Tiece was frequently employed on Romney’s business. In 1388 he was on the deputation authorized to deal with the town’s dispute with Archbishop Courtenay, then personally spending £5 ‘circa negocia libertatis’. He went to Dover in 1390-1 to arrange terms of employment with Romney’s new common clerk, although the same year some of the jurats had to appear before the warden of the Cinque Ports over a dispute between the commonalties of Romney and Canterbury which his conduct had exacerbated. At that time Tiece owed Romney the sum of £10, which, however, he paid off before 1394. In 1395-6 he joined the delegation which rode to see Archbishop Courtenay at Maidstone for negotiations regarding curtailments of the barons’ liberties. He attended the coronation of Isabella de Valois in January 1397. Tiece was one of the men of Romney who went to Dover in August 1398 to seek to have the Cinque Ports exonerated from contributing to the fines imposed on the communities of Kent and Sussex by Richard II, for having supported the Lords Appellant ten years earlier. In 1401 he was again at Dover, this time asking to have the Ports excused from providing shipping to carry Richard’s widowed queen over to Calais. He accompanied William Clitheroe* to Dover in 1407-8 in connexion with the barons’ ship-service to the King. An audience he had with Archbishop Arundel at Cranbrook in 1413 was on a private matter, for he and James Lowys, as executors of Tiece’s brother Hugh, were seeking permission from the archbishop to fulfil a testamentary bequest to the local commonalty.6
Tiece was unpopular in certain quarters. In July 1398 John Ken had been fined £1 for insulting him contrary to the respect owed to one of the jurats, and in August 1406 he was himself deposed from the local post of vintener and even sent to prison for disobeying the authorities in his duties as officer of the watch. Then, in February following, another man was fined for abusing him, and in 1420 William Harwarstock was arrested for calling the ‘venerable’ James Tiece a liar and perjurer (although Tiece interceded for him and he was amerced only 20d.).7