CHURCH, John, of Leicester.
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Family and Education
m. Katherine, 1s. 1da.1
Mayor, Leicester Mich. 1403-4, 1408-9, 1422-3; bailiff 1413-14.2
Church sat in Parliament at least eight times between 1399 and 1435, more often than any other Leicester burgess of the period under review. He also witnessed the borough elections to the Parliaments of 1407, 1411, 1429, 1431, 1432, 1433 and 1437 — almost all those, in fact, to which he was not himself elected. Despite his parliamentary service and municipal offices, he remains a somewhat obscure figure. Resident in Leicester, where he witnessed a large number of deeds,3 he owned land in both the town and its suburbs, as well as a tenement at Thrussington and a share in the manor of Swithland, both to the north of the borough. These he may have acquired with the profits of his business as a merchant.4
Like many other prominent local burgesses, Church was a benefactor of the Corpus Christi guild, being concerned in 1392 with the foundation of the chantry of the fraternity at St. Martin’s church. Evidently pious as well as wealthy, in 1405 he received a licence from Bishop Repingdon of Lincoln allowing mass to be said in his private chapel, and in 1408 he renewed it. He also left land to endow a chantry for himself and his wife, his son John, his daughter Katherine, and others including Henry Beeby*.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: Charles Kightly
- 1. Leicester Bor. Recs. ed. Bateson, ii. 424.
- 2. Roll of Mayors ed. Hartopp, 26-27; Leicester Bor. Recs. ii. 416; Wyggeston Hosp. Recs. ed. Thompson, nos. 571-2, 587.
- 3. C219/10/4, 6, 14/1-4, 15/1; Leicester Bor. Recs. ii. 412-14, 416, 418-19; Wyggeston Hosp. Recs. nos. 579, 581, 593, 602.
- 4. Leicester Bor. Recs. ii. 261, 413-14; CP25(1)126/74/20.
- 5. CPR, 1399-1401, p. 371; Reg. Repingdon (Lincoln Rec. Soc. lvii), 1-2, 128; Leicester Bor. Recs. ii. 424.