WARYN, William, of Salisbury, Wilts.
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Family and Education
Reeve, Salisbury 1 Nov. 1399-1400; mayor 1404-5, 1415-16, 1422-3, 1424-5, 1433-4; auditor 1421-2.3
Commr. of array, Salisbury Aug. 1415, Mar. 1440.
One of the most prominent Salisbury citizens of his day, Waryn was a member of the convocation of the city from before 1407 until his death at some date after 1440.4 Even more important, he served as mayor no less than five times—more often than any of his contemporaries. Not surprisingly, he was also a very frequent witness to local deeds.
Waryn is first mentioned in the records in September 1396, when he bought a tenement in Castle Street. He was mayor at the time of Henry IV’s visit to Salisbury in 1405. In 1411 he was named among the principal negotiators for the community during its dispute over tolls with Southampton: on 14 Jan. that year he and Walter Shirley* were ordered by the convocation to prosecute the city’s case in the court of common pleas, and on 2 Apr. following, the same two were among those authorized to hold a meeting with the port’s representatives. This meeting apparently came to nothing, for a month later Waryn was still acting as one of Salisbury’s attorneys in the common pleas, where the Southampton men were now similarly served by no less a person than Sir William Sturmy*. The matter at issue was still unresolved in February 1412, when Waryn and others were again busy negotiating in London.5
On 11 Dec. 1413 Waryn, along with Richard Spencer* and Walter Shirley, was given a grant of pontage for seven years, the three being specifically made responsible for repairing the ‘Ayleswaterbrigg’, which carried the main Southampton road out of Salisbury. In March 1415 he contributed £2 towards the loan of £100 which the city was required to make towards the cost of Henry V’s first expedition to Normandy, and five months later he was appointed to a royal commission of array connected with the same enterprise. During his second mayoralty, which commenced that autumn, an ordinance was passed whereby any member of the convocation of the city might nominate its MPs, although two such nominations were required before a candidate was deemed fully eligible for election. On 18 Dec. 1416 Waryn was acting as deputy for the then mayor, Walter Shirley, who was away, and two weeks later he and William Walters* were sent to the chancellor, Bishop Beaufort, to negotiate the repayment to the city of the previous year’s loan.6 In the following spring Waryn was appointed an executor of Walters, whose feoffee he had been and who was the godfather of his daughter, Agnes. Two years afterwards, in October 1419, he received a legacy of ten marks from John Milbourne, an esquire employed by John Chilterne, archdeacon of Salisbury.7 Meanwhile, he had been making sizeable contributions towards parliamentary subsidies and other tallages levied in Salisbury; and in 1421 he was elected to the newly established office of auditor of the city’s property. His contribution to the subsidy levied in 1424 was by far the highest then paid by any inhabitant, and it is plain that by this time he was one of Salisbury’s richest men. Part of his wealth, at least, was based on the export of locally produced cloth through the port of Southampton, and on the import of groceries and other goods. Thus, in August 1430, a ship called Le Fryday brought him various wares, including soap, dyestuffs, nails, haberdashery, hemp, teazles end ‘Cologne thread’, all from Middelburg. It was perhaps in connexion with a payment for commodities of this sort that one Henry Dyer, a dyer from Witney, Oxfordshire, fell into his debt for over £11.8
In November 1430 Waryn was one of a group of local citizens who obtained royal licence to grant five tenements in Salisbury to the commonalty in mortmain. Little more is known about him, save that in 1437 he stood surety for the attendance of Thomas Pakyn in Parliament and that in March 1440 he was appointed to a commission of array in the city and suburbs.9