ARUNDELL, John II (c.1392-1423), of Bideford, Devon.

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



Nov. 1414
Dec. 1421

Family and Education

b.c.1392, 1st. s. of (Sir) John Arundell I*. m. by 1417, Margaret (c. 1376-c.1421), er. da. and coh. of Sir John Burghersh* of Ewelme, Oxon., wid of Sir John Grenville* (d.1412) of Bideford, 1s.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Cornw. Mich. 1412-6 Nov. 1413.

Commr. of oyer and terminer, Devon Nov. 1412; inquiry Jan. 1414 (lollards).


As the eldest son of Sir John Arundell, John junior stood to inherit one of the richest estates in Cornwall. His marriage gave him a share in the Burghersh estates, which, in November 1417, were divided between his wife Margaret and her younger sister, Maud, whose husband was the influential Thomas Chaucer*. Margaret’s inheritance, thus allotted, included moieties of the manors of Stratford St. Andrew (Suffolk), Hatfield Peverell (Essex), East Worldham (Hampshire), the keeping of the forest of Woolmer and Alice Holt, estates at Ewelme, Swyncombe and Nuffield (Oxfordshire), the advowson of Stratford and lands in Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire. As well as this, the Arundells held the manor of Ravensbury and more than 700 acres of land in Surrey, together with part of the manor of Skendleby and rents at Partney (Lincolnshire). Moreover, the marriage brought Arundell into kinship with one of the foremost political figures of the day, for Chaucer was cousin to the Beauforts, chief butler of England and five times Speaker of the Commons.1

While still a very young man Arundell was appointed by Henry of Monmouth, prince of Wales, as sheriff of Cornwall, and he continued to hold office after the prince’s accession as Henry V. Doubtless he owed much to his father’s position as steward of the royal duchy of Cornwall. In May 1414 his father became sheriff of Devon and as such presided at the shire court of 23 Oct. which elected John junior as knight of the shire to the November Parliament. On 9 Feb. 1415 the latter stood surety for one of Chaucer’s friends, John But*, then granted the keeping of certain duchy property. Also he was present at the Cornish elections in February 1416 when his father was elected to Parliament for the eighth time. In 1418, along with (Sir) John Colshull II* and others, he was given livery of estates which the late John Whalesborough* had entrusted to them as feoffees. The 1419 Cornish elections to Parliament, at which he and his younger brother, (Sir) Thomas Arundell, were chosen, were again conducted by their father as sheriff. On 4 Nov., during the Parliament, the two brothers were their father’s sureties in a grant of the wardship of Colshull’s lands and the marriage of his heir. On 8 Feb. 1420 John sealed an indenture for one year’s service in France with six men-at-arms and 18 archers, argeeeing to be at either Southampton or Dover for embarkation in April. However, he returned home within the year, for he was present at the Cornish elections on 17 Mar. 1421, then witnessing the return of his father. His brother Sir Thomas was sheriff when he and his father were elected together for the Parliament of 1422.2

Arundell died on 4 Dec. 1423. The wardship of all the estates which, by the courtesy, he had held of the inheritance of his wife (who had died about two years before) were granted jointly to his brother-in-law Thomas Chaucer and Thomas Haseley* (the clerk of the Crown in Chancery and an Oxfordshire neighbour of Chaucer’s) during the minority of his son John, who was only two years old. The boy became heir to his grandfather’s lands in 1435, whereupon no less than 1,000 marks was even then paid at the Exchequer for the wardship and marriage. In 1442 young John became the ward of William de la Pole, earl of Suffolk (Chaucer’s son-in-law), who promptly married him to his niece, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas, Lord Morley. After proving his age in May 1443, he was given seisin of estates in ten counties.3

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Authors: J. S. Roskell / L. S. Woodger


  • 1. CCR, 1419-22, pp. 162-3; 1429-35, pp. 335-7; 1435-41, pp. 2, 18; CFR, xiv. 398; CPR, 1429-36, pp. 589, 451; Trans. Devon Assoc. xvi. 684-5; C139/11/29.
  • 2. C219/11/4, 8, 12/3, 5, 13/1; CPR, 1413-16, p. 281; CCR, 1413-19, pp. 420-1; E101/70/3/644; E404/36/20.
  • 3. CFR, xv. 51, 72-73; CPR, 1429-36, p. 497; CCR, 1441-7, pp. 103-4; C139/11/29, 112/68; Parochial Hist. Cornw. ed. Polsue, iii. 295.