WALSH, Robert, of Lincoln.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Commr. of inquiry, Lincoln July 1426 (survey Somerton castle).
Keeper of a lesser piece of the King’s seal for recognizances of debts, Lincoln Nov. 1427.
J.p. Lincs. (Kesteven) 6 Nov. 1435-Mar. 1437.
Assessor of a tax, Lincoln Jan. 1436.
Although nowhere described as such, Walsh was almost certainly a lawyer, for most of the evidence to survive about him concerns his activities as a trustee, mainpernor and attorney. He first comes to notice in August 1409, when he represented a clerk named John Hertlipole at the Lincoln assizes on the very same day that he was summoned to appear there himself as one of several defendants in a property dispute. His associates on this occasion included Robert Sutton*, whose son, Hamon Sutton*, was destined to become his parliamentary colleague and close friend. Meanwhile, in November 1410 and again in May 1411, Walsh agreed to stand surety in Chancery for various local men involved in litigation there. Not long afterwards he obtained from the Exchequer the shared lease of a plot of land and a shop in Lincoln for a period of four years. His circle of clients was evidently growing throughout this period, and in March 1414 he again acted as an attorney at the Lincoln assizes, this time for a group of influential landowners from the surrounding area.1
Walsh was first returned to Parliament by the burgesses of Lincoln in 1417 and subsequently represented them on at least nine more occasions, his popularity in part, no doubt, being due to the fact that legal matters took him regularly to Westminster. At some point over the next seven years, for example, he and Richard Duffield* offered pledges in Chancery on behalf of the sheriff of Lincoln; and in 1421 he gave the King’s Council personal guarantees that Katherine, the daughter of John Storeton, would not marry without a royal licence. Walsh often acted as a trustee, nost notably in 1418, when he and a distinguished group of men including Henry Somer* and William Kinwolmarsh (then deputy treasurer of England) acquired a title to the manor of Resham in Lincolnshire. In 1425 he and Hamon Sutton performed a similar service for William Blyton*; and again, two years later, they became feoffees of land in Cold Hanworth. It was about then that Walsh began a lawsuit on his own account against one William Broghton of Waddington, whom he arraigned on an assize of novel disseisin at Lincoln. His participation in local government began in 1427, with his assumption of responsibility for the sealing of recognizances for debt in Lincoln. On Hamon Sutton’s appointment as sheriff of Lincolnshire Walsh duly offered guarantees of his good behaviour in office.2
A man of wide-ranging and diverse connexions, Walsh once more discharged the duties of a mainpernor in 1431, this time at the Exchequer on behalf of the trustees of the late Sir Robert Neville*. Two years later Alice, Lady Deincourt, made Walsh one of the executors of her first will, but he clearly predeceased her by many years as she lived on until 1474. Nothing more is in fact heard of him after March 1437, when he was replaced as a j.p. in Kesteven.3