CANOUN, William, of Hythe, Kent.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
poss. s. of Nicholas and Agnes Canoun of Hythe. m. Margery, 1da.1
Jurat, Hythe Feb. 1401-3, 1408-9, 1414-15.2
Canoun witnessed deeds at Hythe from 1400. The maltolts he paid show that he traded in livestock and also in beer brewed by his wife. He was one of the wealthiest men in the town, having acquired by 1412 personal chattels valued at £50. Some of his land he granted to the local hospital of St. Bartholomew in 1414.3 Canoun also had personal experience of seafaring. Certainly, in March 1403 he had been one of the accomplices of William Leigh of Hythe who, with the help of a small fleet from Colchester and Calais, captured a ship of Bilbao and sailed it to Sandwich to divide the spoils. Royal orders, both to the mayor and bailiff of Sandwich, to seize the vessel and its cargo, and to the warden of the Cinque Ports, to enforce restitution, were evidently ineffective, for by July some of the plunder had found its way into the hands of Londoners.4
In June 1408 Canoun was among those townsmen of Hythe who, threatened by the machinations of John Smalwode, whom they had expelled from the office of common clerk a year earlier, commenced a lawsuit against him for menacing behaviour. Following Canoun’s attendance in the Parliament of 1411, he was given a deduction of 12s.6d. on his maltolts as part payment of his wages. In May 1412 he was a member of a delegation sent to Dymchurch for discussions with Archbishop Arundel’s steward about the construction of a new harbour for Hythe, and that same spring he was engaged by the town in seeking a vessel capable of doing Hythe’s ship-service to the Crown.5
Canoun died before January 1420, when his widow paid maltolts in his place. She survived until after 1434, in which year she made enfeoffments of land at Hythe, West Hythe, Cheriton, Saltwood and elsewhere in the neighbourhood.6