MORE, Simon (by 1511-62/63), of Great Yarmouth, Norf.
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Family and Education
b. by 1511, poss. s. or gd.-s. of Simon More, bailiff of Great Yarmouth 1510-11. m. Margaret, at least 2s.1
Murager, Great Yarmouth 1532-3, chamberlain 1535-6, 1538-9, collector half doles 1537-9, auditor 1540-1, 1543-5, 1547-8, Dec. 1551-?53, 1554-5, bailiff 1541-2, 1548-9, 1561-2, j.p. 1542-3, 1545-7, 1549-50, 1552-3, 1554-5, 1556-7, 1559-60, 1560-1, 1562-d., auditor, St. Erasmus’s guild 1545, keeper, lazar hospital 1555-61 or 2, surveyor, hospital for poor children 1561.2
Simon More was engaged in the fish trade: he owned at least two ships, the Blyth and the Peter, and in his will he mentioned ‘both my fish houses’. When he was elected to Parliament the town assembly granted him ‘all the whole herrings of his oasts [kilns] this year in consideration of his burgessship of the Parliament in the time of fishing this year’. The ‘brewing vessels’ which he bequeathed were probably for domestic not industrial use.3
Among More’s public concerns were the town’s religious and charitable institutions. In 1555 he became a feoffee of the lazar house outside the north gate. Some years earlier he and two others had been instructed to ‘view the chamber in the hospital appointed for the schoolmaster’ and before leaving to attend Parliament he was asked to find a teacher in London for the post. He was also connected with the successful campaign to have the fee-farm of the borough diverted to the repair or rebuilding of the harbour. In January 1549 he subscribed £5 towards the ‘new haven’, and later sat on several committees about it. In 1551 he and William Bishop lent the town money, receiving church goods as security; he also acted frequently as assessor or auditor of money raised for lawsuits and other municipal purposes. In February 1552 he was one of those who sealed the Duke of Northumberland’s ‘patent’ as high steward. During the French war of 1557 he served as captain of his ward, shared responsibility for choosing and fitting out local ships for naval service, and was one of the group empowered to govern the town in an emergency. Late in Mary’s reign he was involved in a question of council secrecy: after admitting that he knew the person who had breached it, More refused to name him, ‘saying that he was present at this assembly and could take him by the beard if he would’.4
The last reference to More in the town records dates from 1 Dec. 1562: on 12 Dec. he made his will, which was proved on the following 13 Feb. He commended his soul to God and asked to be buried in the chapel of the Twenty-Four in Yarmouth church. He left instructions for the completion of the lazar house chapel and charged the executors, his sons John and Thomas, to supervise this, as well as to make a benefaction twice a year to the poor in their homes and to convert an old house into tenements for two ‘poor impotent persons’. A Cambridge student, Robert Tower, was to receive 20s. a year for five years so long as he remained at the university. More’s widow received £100, and a ship and the contents of his ‘fish houses’ went to the executors, who were also residuary legatees. One of the three witnesses was Nicholas Fen.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: N. M. Fuidge
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Information from P. Rutledge; Gt. Yarmouth roll 1510-11; PCC 9 Chayre.
- 2. Gt. Yarmouth ass. bk. A, ff. 8, 28v, 31v, 59v, 124, 141, 203v, 315v; B, f. 23v; rolls 1538-9, 1541-2; HMC 9th Rep. pt. i. 315b.
- 3. Gt. Yarmouth rolls 1538-9; ass. bk. A, f. 88v; PCC 9 Chayre.
- 4. H. Manship, Gt. Yarmouth, i. 433; Gt. Yarmouth ass. bk. A, ff. 2, 19v, 27v, 28v, 34v, 44, 59v, 82, 89v, 100v, 102, 126, 159v, 164, 186v, 191v, 193, 199v, 206v; LP Hen. VIII, xix; H. Swinden, Gt. Yarmouth, 398n; HMC 9th Rep. pt. i. 314v.
- 5. Gt. Yarmouth ass. bk. B, f. 34; PCC 9 Chayre.