CALWE, John, of 'Trespryson', Cornw.
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Family and Education
Under bailiff of the hundred of Lesnewth, Cornw. Mich. 1391-2, 1397-8, 1399-1401, 1402-3, 1404-12.1
Tax collector, Cornw. May 1398.
The office of bailiff of the hundred of Lesnewth was held in fee by John Denys of Orleigh, Devon. Calwe accounted for the issues of the hundred at the duchy exchequer at Lostwithiel on no fewer than 13 occasions between 1391 (when Denys was a minor) and 1412 (some years after Denys’s death), but was no longer acting in this capacity by the time of his only known return to Parliament for one of the duchy boroughs. In the 1390s he also served as bailiff of Sir Henry Ilcombe’s* manor of Kirland. This post could be dangerous: in 1395 the men of Bodmin took exception to Ilcombe’s demands as lord of the manor, and when Calwe impounded some of their cattle they raided Kirland, broke the pound, and took the cattle and other goods worth £200. Calwe attended the shire elections for Cornwall held at Launceston in 1411 and at Lostwithiel in 1413, on the latter occasion appearing as mainpernor for John Mayhew I, one of the burgesses-elect for Launceston. He may well have been chosen to represent Liskeard in the Parliament of 1419 simply because he was known to be planning a journey to Westminster, having been summoned to present himself in the King’s bench that Michaelmas term (when the Parliament was to meet) to answer charges of unlawful detinue. In the records of the suit Calwe is described as ‘of Trespryson, yeoman’, although earlier he had been living at Bodmin. He again attested the shire electoral indentures in 1422 and 1423, and is last recorded, in January 1425, as a witness to a conveyance made by John Helligan’s* widow at Cartuther near Liskeard.2