Appendix C7: The composition of the Parliament of May 1413

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer

The composition of the Parliament of May 1413

Parliament had been summoned to meet on 3 Feb. 1413, but was dissolved abruptly after six weeks as a result of Henry IV’s death on 20 Mar., and the proceedings were nullified. The Parliament roll, if one were ever compiled, was destroyed, and so too were all the returns to the writs of summons bearing the names of those elected to the Commons. The identity of only 24 Members of Henry IV’s last Parliament are now known, having survived in the records of the boroughs they represented. Of these 24 as many as 15 were re-elected to the first Parliament of the new reign, which assembled on 14 May, but how many of their 236 colleagues had similarly sat in the Lower House just before is now impossible to tell, although information about the Membership of earlier Parliaments does show that at least 49% were not complete newcomers to the House. What is also clear is that a substantial number of the 251 known Members were linked in some way with the new King, Henry of Monmouth. Seventeen had been very close to him for a long period, as officials in his estate administration, his companions-in-arms on the campaigns against Owen Glendower in Wales, or members of his household. They included such intimates as John Phelip, knighted on the eve of Henry’s coronation, and now wearing royal livery as a knight of the Chamber, William Porter II, an esquire of the Household long reputed to be his counsellor, two former receivers-general of his estates, the steward and the controller of his meinie when prince, and the steward of the principality. Five of this group had also received annuities from Henry IV, as had 17 others, most of whom now obtained confirmation of their grants by the new King. The Commons included nine men with posts in central government, five of them re-appointed from the previous reign (including Thomas Chaucer, the chief butler, and Robert Frye, the clerk of the King’s Council), and the rest awarded their posts by the new King (notably John Hotoft, the keeper of the records of the court of common pleas, Lewis John, the master worker of the Mints in London and Calais, and John Spencer, the cofferer of the Household). Eight of those present were constables of royal castles, and 15 were officials on crown estates, including the receiver-general of the duchy of Lancaster (John Leventhorpe, unusual among his colleagues in duchy administration in being kept on in his post by Henry of Monmouth), and the newly-appointed chief stewards of the duchy, Sir Walter Hungerford and (Sir) Roger Leche. They were joined by the new receiver-general of the duchy of Cornwall. Of less significance is the fact that 12 of the Members were currently involved in the collection of customs revenues, half of them by Henry of Monmouth’s appointment. At the start of the reign he had placed his allies at the core of government: Henry Beaufort, bishop of Winchester, was made chancellor, and Thomas Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, treasurer, and these two both had friends in the Commons, in Beaufort’s case including the receiver-general and the steward of his episcopal estates, two annuitants and his influential cousin, Thomas Chaucer (who was himself surrounded by at least seven close associates); and in Arundel’s case by 11 members of his circle, including his newly-appointed under treasurer of the Exchequer and at least seven retainers. Other Members were linked with the King’s friends, the earls of Warwick and Westmorland and Richard Courtenay, the receiver of the Chamber, whom Henry was shortly to make bishop of Norwich.

Given the presence of so many men (some 72) who were presumably well disposed towards the new King and kept or had recently received official positions of importance, it might be expected that the Commons as a whole would display few signs of opposition to the new regime; rather, a ready compliance to fit in with whatever was required of them. Indeed, at the outset William Stourton, who had been steward of the principality of Wales up to Henry’s accession and was now made Speaker by the assembly, was quite willing to agree to the King’s request that the Commons’ grievances, as then expounded to him and the assembled Lords, might be submitted in more detail and in writing to ensure their adequate consideration.  Yet the Speaker’s fellows in the Lower House disavowed his action, taken ‘sanz advys et assent de ses ditz compaignons’, saying that they wished to make their complaints orally, as was the custom, and offering through a new spokesman, John Doreward, no more than a schedule listing general headings. No doubt past experience made them wary of committing any opinions to paper or trusting too readily to fair words. Stourton had recalled to the King’s face how often the Commons had asked his father for ‘bone governance’ and had received promises that all would be put right, ‘Mes coment y feust tenuz et perfourne en apres, mesme nostre Seigneur le Roy en ad bone conisance’. Even though the Commons ‘for their great love and affection, for the good of the realm, and for good governance in future’ granted Henry the wool subsidy for four years as well as a whole fifteenth and tenth, they underlined the principle that direct taxation was extraordinary and should be confined to times of war, by disclaiming any obligation to grant further taxes for the maintenance of the permanent garrisons.1

Certain Members of the Commons of May 1413 were awarded offices in the Crown’s appointment during or soon after the session, and 17 of them were appointed to royal commissions set up over the same period, most of those singled out being known as loyal adherents of the King and his friends. More significantly, 22 of those present in the Lower House now secured letters patent confirming grants of annuities or offices, or bestowing fresh grants. Of the latter undoubtedly the most important were the awards to Sir John Phelip and William Porter II of the estates of alien priories, but there is nothing to show that it was the support given to the King’s policies in the Lower House which led to these concessions being made.

RETAINERS OF HENRY IV

Assheton, Sir John II*£40
Beauchamp, Sir William*£40 marks
Brooke, Sir Thomas*grant of venison
Burgh, John II*£20
Chaworth, Sir Thomas40 marks
Edgeley, Adam*yeoman usher to the King
Frye, Robert II£10
Golafre, John*40 marks
 *£10
Gresley, Sir Thomas*£26
Hastings, Sir Edmund£20
John, Lewis1s. per day
Leche, (Sir) Roger100 marks
Leventhorpe, John*various, amounting to c. £104
Lound, Sir Alexander*40 marks
Loveney, William*50 marks
Merbury, Nicholas*£40
Pauncefoot, Sir John£40
Phelip, Sir John*£20
Pomeroy, Sir Thomas*£28
Spencer, John£18 6s.8d.
Sturmy, Sir William*40 marks
Walsingham, Thomasvictualler to the Household
Yerde, William£30

* Positive confirmation of annuities by Henry V.

 

ASSOCIATES OF HENRY OF MONMOUTH FROM BEFORE HIS ACCESSION

Chaucer, Thomassteward of the honours of Wallingford and St. Valery
Clink, Johnwater bailiff, Dartmouth; havener, ports of Plymouth and Cornw.; duchy of Cornw. official
Corp, Johndep. water bailiff, Dartmouth
Hawley, John IIfeodary and escheator, duchy of Cornw.
Hay, Thomas de laretained with fee of ten marks p.a.; campaigns in Wales
Holgot, Thomasretained with fee of ten marks p.a.; campaigns in Wales
Hotoft, Johncontroller of prince’s household; campaigns in Wales
John, Lewisdrinking companion
Leche, (Sir) Rogersteward of prince’s household; campaigns in Wales
Merbury, Nicholasin his service
Phelip, Sir Johnmember of prince’s household; campaigns in Wales; annuity of 40 marks; of prince’s intimate circle; knighted on eve of his coronation, and made knight of his chamber
Porter, William IIesquire in prince’s household; campaigns in Wales; annuity of 50 marks; of prince’s intimate circle and counsel; member of his Household after accession
Rempston, Sir Thomas II                                                                                                                  
knighted on the eve of his coronation
Spencer, Johnreceiver-general of prince’s estates; controller of his household; annuity of £20; campaigns in Wales
Stanley, Johnannuity of £20
Stourton, Williamsteward, principality of Wales
Wynter, Johnreceiver-general of the prince’s estates

 

OFFICE-HOLDERS

1. Central government
Burgh, John IIunder treasurer of the Exchequer from 22 Mar. 1413
Chaucer, Thomaschief butler
Frye, Robert IIclerk of the King’s Council
Haseley, ThomasChancery clerk; prob. dep. to the clerk of the Commons
Hotoft, Johnkeeper of the records of the ct. of c.p. from 23 Mar. 1413
John, Lewismaster worker of the Mints, London and Calais from 1 Apr. 1413
Spencer, Johncofferer of the Household from 21 Mar. 1413
Stockdale, Thomas?teller of the Exchequer
Walsingham, Thomasunder butler of England
Yerde, Williamharbinger of the Household
2. Constables etc. of royal castles                                                
Beauchamp, Sir WilliamGloucester
Chaucer, ThomasWallingford
Godstone, Thomashigh bailiff and victualler of the castle, Guînes
Hungerford, Sir WalterMarlborough
Leche, (Sir) RogerFlint
Leventhorpe, JohnOdiham
Mosdale, JohnScarborough and Newcastle-upon-Tyne
St. Pierre, UrianShrewsbury
Stourton, WilliamMere
3. Officials on crown estates
Attilbridge, Robertporter, Cambridge castle; keeper of the warrens, Cambridge and Chesterton
Belgrave, Williamreceiver, duchy of Lancaster honour of Leicester
Bird, Johnsteward, receiver and bailiff, estates of Queen Joan, Wilts.
Clink, Johnparker, Petworth, Suss. and Liskeard, Cornw.
Edgeley, Adamparker, Bletchingley, Surr.
Golafre, Johnverderer, Woodstock park
Hungerford, Sir Walterchief steward, duchy of Lancaster south of Trent from 5 Apr. 1413
Leche, (Sir) Rogersteward, duchy of Lancaster lordships of High Peak and Tutbury; chief steward north of Trent from 5 Apr. 1413
Leventhorpe, Johnreceiver-general, duchy of Lancaster
Oldhall, Edmundreceiver, duchy of Lancaster, Cambs., Norf., Suff.
Porter, William IIyeoman-ranger, forests of Melksham and Pewsham, Wilts.
Sturmy, Sir Williamwarden, Savernake forest; chief steward, estates of Queen Joan
Wilcotes, Johnreceiver-general, duchy of Cornw.; steward of the duchy in Devon; warden of the stannaries, all from 2 Apr. 1413
Wybbury, Johnparker, Freemantle, Hants
Wynter, Johnsteward, duchy of Lancaster, Norf., Suff.; also Cambs. from 5 Apr. 1413
5. Customs officials
Bell, Johncollector, Boston from 12 Apr. 1413
Dalton, Richardcontroller, Newcastle-upon-Tyne from 3 Apr. 1413
Faire, Mark lealnager, Hants
Hawley, John IIcontroller, Bridgwater to Exeter
Landford, Rogertronager and pesager, Sandwich; alnager, Kent
Lane, Thomascollector, Sandwich from 12 Apr. 1413
Pollow, Johncontroller, Exeter
St. Pierre, Urianalnager, Salop from 29 Mar. 1413
Starling, Johncollector, Gt. Yarmouth from 13 Apr. 1413
Wayville, Richardsearcher, Sandwich from 27 Mar. 1413
Wood, John Ialnager, Worcs.
Wynter, Johndep. butler, Gt. Yarmouth and Cromer
6. Others
Bedford, Thomasclerk of the peace, Beds.
Bellers, Jamesescheator, Warws. and Leics.
Duffield, Richardclerk of the peace, Lincs. (Lindsey)
Lambarde, Johnclerk of the peace, Wilts.
Leche, (Sir) Rogersheriff, Flintshire
7. Justices of the peace
Bell, JohnLincs. (Holland)
Bellers, JamesRutland, Leics.
Beville, ThomasHunts.
Biere, WalterDorset
Bosom, WilliamBeds.
Brooke, Sir ThomasSom., Dorset
Burgh, John IISurr.
Burgoyne, JohnCambridge
Cary, RobertDevon
Chaucer, ThomasOxon.
Chaworth, Sir ThomasNotts.
Corbet, RobertSalop
Cotterstock, WilliamBeds.
Darell, JohnKent
Giffard, JohnBucks.
Golafre, JohnBerks.
Hansard, Sir RichardLincs. (Lindsey)
Holbache, DavidSalop
Holgot, ThomasHerefs.
Hotoft, JohnMdx.
Hungerford, Sir WalterSom., Wilts.
Leche, (Sir) RogerStaffs.
Leventhorpe, JohnEssex
Loveney, WilliamEssex, Mdx.
Merbury, NicholasNorthants.
Mitford, WilliamNorthumb.
Oldhall, EdmundNorf.
Phelip, Sir JohnWorcs.
Porter, William IICambs. (appointed 21 Mar. 1413)
Stourton, WilliamCornw., Som., Wilts.
Sturmy, Sir WilliamWilts.
Uvedale, JohnHants
Wakehurst, RichardSuss.
Weston, JohnWarws.
Wilcotes, JohnOxon.
Wynter, JohnNorf.

 

ASSOCIATES OF THE CHANCELLOR, BISHOP BEAUFORT

Arnold, John IIthe bp.’s bailiff of the Soke and liberty, Winchester; receiver-general of the episcopal estates
Brut, Johnbailiff of his liberty of Bishopstone, Wilts.
Chaucer, Thomashis cousin; constable of Taunton castle
Golafre, Johnannuity of £5
Walsingham, Thomas                                             
supplied his household with wine; close dealings in the 1420s
Wilcotes, Johnannuity of £20
Wyot, Richardsteward of the episcopal estates

 

ASSOCIATES OF THOMAS CHAUCER

But, Johndep. butler, Tawmouth and Barnstaple from 28 Mar. 1413; previous connexion
Golafre, Johnfriend; trustee of each other’s estates; official connexion at Woodstock
Haseley, Thomasconnexion well established by 1420; surety for Chaucer at the Exchequer; feoffee
John, Lewislong connexion through the wine trade; Chaucer instrumental in his elections for Wallingford and Taunton
Sperlyng, Andrewclose association
Walsingham, Thomas                                                                                
connexion through the wine trade; Chaucer’s under butler
Wyot, Richardtrustee of each other’s estates; often associated

 

ASSOCIATES OF THOMAS FITZALAN, EARL OF ARUNDEL

Burgh, John II                                                                                                            
Arundel’s under treasurer of the Exchequer from 22 Mar. 1413
Corbet, RobertR
Holbache, DavidF, R
Jugler, RobertF, R
Lacon, RichardF, M, O, R
Phelip, Sir JohnM (1411)
Porter, William IIM (1411)
St. Pierre, UrianR
Wakehurst, RichardAtt., later F
Wayville, RichardArundel’s agent at the Exchequer during campaigns in Wales; annuity £20; dep. as constable of Dover castle, prob. from Mar. 1413
Wiltshire, JohnO

 

ASSOCIATES OF RICHARD BEAUCHAMP, EARL OF WARWICK

Armorer, ThomasO and farmer of his property, Hants
Birmingham, WilliamM, R
Mallory, JohnA
Rody, NicholasE, O, R
Weston, Johnlegal advisor
Wood, John IA, prob. legal advisor

 

ASSOCIATES OF THE COURTENAYS

Cary, Robert                                                                                      
brother-in-law of Richard Courtenay (friend of Henry of Monmouth and receiver of his chamber)
Wyke, Rogerposs. retainer of Edward, earl of Devon

 

ASSOCIATES OF HUMPHREY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER

Beauchamp, Sir William                                                         
F, M (1415 and later); later to be prominent lieutenant to the duke in France, and his chamberlain
Tyrell, JohnF, M (1415), O, R

 

ASSOCIATES OF RALPH NEVILLE, EARL OF WESTMORLAND

Darell, JohnE, F, R
Hastings, Sir EdmundA, F

 

APPOINTMENTS MADE DURING OR SHORTLY AFTER THE PARLIAMENTARY SESSION

Barber, Thomas II                                                                     
coroner, Staffs. May
But, Johndep. butler, Plymouth and all ports Cornw. 24 May
Chaucer, Thomaskeeper of Woolmer and Alice Holt, Hants 3 Sept.
Golafre, Johncontroller and surveyor, Woodstock park 5 Sept.
Haseley, Thomasverderer, Windsor forest 31 May
Leche, (Sir) Rogertreasurer of the Household, by Oct.
Porter, William IIdiplomatic envoy to Joao I of Portugal July
Spencer, Johnjoint custodian of temporalities of bpric. of Norwich 13 June
Wynter, Johnjoint custodian of temporalities of bpric. of Norwich 13 June

 

COMMISSIONS

Bosom, Richard                                                                                     
tax collector July
But, Johntax collector July
Erdeswyk, Hughtake sureties in a dispute July
Fitznichol, Sir Thomasoyer and terminer June