TUTBURY, Adam (d.c.1400), of Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorks.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. at least 1s.1
Bailiff, Kingston-upon-Hull Mich. 1371-2.2
Collector of customs, Kingston-upon-Hull 18 Mar. 1373-16 Nov. 1378.
Tutbury, a prominent member of the mercantile community in Hull, is first mentioned in May 1366, when he embarked upon a long series of property transactions in the borough. It is now difficult to tell when he was acting for himself and when as a trustee employed by others, but we know from his will that he owned quite a number of holdings on his own account. It looks very much as if his acquisition of a messuage, rents and other appurtenances in Beverley Street at this time marked the first of a series of purchases designed to establish him as a landowner of note in the town; and he went on, in 1372, to gain possession of dwellings in the more salubrious area of Hull Street, along with a staithe or landing-stage giving access to the port. Some, if not all, of the dealings in which he later became involved along with his friends, William Bubwith* and John Hedon*, were, however, undertaken on behalf of the local guild of Corpus Christi, to which he belonged. Early in 1382 an inquisition ad quod damnumwas held to determine if he and John Denton could alienate five messuages and 20s. of annual rent in Hull for the foundation of a chantry dedicated to the welfare of the guild in the chapel of Holy Trinity, Hull. Although the jury found in their favour, they had to wait another two years and pay 20 marks for a royal licence permitting them to proceed with their plans, which were finally completed in about 1386. Once the chantry was established, Tutbury’s interest in the property market declined, and he seems merely to have been content to strengthen his title to the lands and rents already in his possession.3
Meanwhile, at some point before 1368, Tutbury began an action for trespass against a local man who failed to appear in court and was duly outlawed. The same fate befell Tutbury himself a few years later, because he, too, refused to answer when summoned to defend himself against the charge that he had not rendered proper accounts while receiver of the affluent Hull merchant, Geoffrey Hanby. The latter’s executors, who were attempting to recover debts owed to the deceased’s estate, had Tutbury confined to the Fleet Prison in London, but he was released in January 1378 and accorded a royal pardon. He was then in office as a controller of customs in Hull for the Crown, and cannot have found it too difficult to secure his freedom. Some years later, in 1393, he again used his influence to obtain a writ of supersedeas in order to halt another action of account, this time being brought against him by one Robert Costenoght of Nottinghamshire.4 Tutbury evidently had friends in high places, and was able to enlist help from the government when his commercial ventures went wrong. He traded regularly in cloth, fish and wine, three of the most important commodities passing through the port of Hull in the later Middle Ages, and occasionally he found himself in difficulties. In February 1397, for example, a cargo of cloth worth 100 nobles which he and his partner, John Leversegge*, had shipped to Danzig and Elbing was confiscated by the authorities there because of an infringement of the local regulations. Richard II intervened personally in support of their appeal for redress, claiming that they had been unfairly treated by the authorities, and seeking compensation on their behalf. The outcome of the dispute is not recorded, although it probably marked the end of Tutbury’s mercantile career. He was still active in the following July, when he served as a juror at an assize of fresh force in Hull; but from then onwards he lived in retirement, and on 12 Feb. 1398 he thought it prudent to draw up a will, which was proved on 2 July 1400.5
Tutbury had already taken the precaution, in April 1394, of conveying his land in Hull to a body of trustees, among whom was his only son, Laurence. The latter inherited all his father’s property except for one messuage set aside for the use of the guild of Corpus Christi on the condition that the brethren arranged for obits to be kept in memory of the deceased. Tutbury was buried in the chapel of Holy Trinity, which was closely associated with the guild, and to which he bequeathed a reversionary interest in all his son’s inheritance.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Tutbery, Tutebury, Tuttebery.
- 1. Borthwick Inst. York, York registry wills, iii, f. 39v.
- 2. C. Frost, Hull, 148.
- 3. York registry wills, ii, f. 496; iii. f. 39v; Yorks. Arch. Soc. Rec. Ser. cxli. 179; Cal. Hull Deeds ed. Stanewell, D121-4, 127-8B, 130-2A, 133A, 134, 136, 143, 147-9, 160-2, 167; C143/399/5; JUST 2/248; CPR, 1381-5, p. 390.
- 4. CPR, 1367-70, p. 85; 1377-81, p. 103; 1392-6, p. 230.
- 5. C260/113/4, 9; E122/59/23, 24, 159/11; Dip. Corresp. Ric. II (Cam. Soc. ser. 3, xlviii), 172.
- 6. Cal. Hull Deeds, D176, 197; York registry wills, iii, f. 39v.