WATER, Richard, of Canterbury, Kent.
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Family and Education
m. bef. Sept. 1395, Margery.
Bailiff, New Romney bef. Aug. 1396-5 Oct. 1397, by Nov. 1400.3
In December 1391 Water appeared as a surety for a citizen of Canterbury, and it seems likely that he himself had already been admitted to the freedom of the city. Certainly, his long service as a jurat was to begin less than two years later. In 1393 he acted as a feoffee, apparently on behalf of Thomas Ickham*, of certain rents in kind charged on land at Thanington, just to the south of the city.4 His own property holdings included a messuage and some 30 acres of land in Canterbury and its suburbs which he acquired that same year, another house there which he and his wife sold in 1395, and a shop near Westgate leased from the community in 1408-9.5
Water was professionally employed by the townsmen of New Romney, who in 1394-5 incurred expenses amounting to £2 13s.4d. ‘upon Master Richard Water, notary, coming from Canterbury for making challenges’ in the town. Subsequently, Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, appointed him bailiff of Romney, but when Arundel was banished by judgement of the Parliament assembled in September 1397, Richard II promptly replaced him with William Clitheroe*.6 Water was presumably also engaged as legal counsel by the city of Canterbury, but details of his activities in this respect have not survived. In 1407 he gave 10s. from his parliamentary wages as contribution to the city’s purchase of Le Lyon adjacent to the guildhall, so that the latter might be extended. On occasion his fellow citizens made calls on his services: thus, he appeared as a trustee of land belonging to William Emery* in 1409 and, together with Emery (a lawyer like himself), he took on the executorship of the will of Henry Parker in 1412. He is last recorded at Michaelmas 1416 as in receipt of a fee of £2 for having served as clerk to the jurats of Canterbury in the preceding official year.7