CARTER, William I (d.1400), of Scarborough and Flamborough, Yorks.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. Margaret, 2 da.1
Bailiff, Scarborough Mich. 1382-3.2
Searcher of the port of Scarborough 5 Dec. 1384.
Although he may have been distantly related to John Carter I*, William came originally from Flamborough, where he spent the early years of his life. He had moved to Scarborough well before the time of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, because he was listed among the 42 potentiores (or leading burgesses) who were excluded from the royal pardon of 1382 and obliged to pay an additional fine of 500 marks to the Crown. Indeed, by then he had assumed office as bailiff of the town and, soon after, he obtained the post of searcher of ships in the port of Scarborough and along the adjacent coastline. In January 1391 William served as a juror at an inquest into the death of a mariner in the harbour, and in the following autumn he offered sureties on behalf of Robert Martin on the latter’s return as a parliamentary burgess.3 He himself entered the House of Commons for the first and only time in 1394, being by then a man of considerable substance. In addition to land near the ‘Butter Cross’, he owned a tenement in Burwell Gate, Scarborough, and was rich enough to bequeath 28 marks for masses to be said for his soul in both Scarborough and Flamborough, as well as leaving money to the local guilds of St. Clement the Pope and St. Katherine, to which he had presumably belonged. He drew up his will in February 1400 and died at some point over the next six months, being survived by two daughters and a widow named Margaret, whom he named as his executrix.4