CLERK, alias OKHAM, Geoffrey, of Leicester.
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Family and Education
Duchy of Lancaster receiver and bailiff of the honour of Leicester 1377-8; feodary in Northants. 1381-2; receiver of Henry, earl of Derby, in Northants. 1382-3, and in Glos. and Wilts. bef. 1391.2
Escheator, Warws. and Leics. 3 Dec. 1386-30 Nov. 1387.
Mayor, Leicester Mich. 1390-2.3
Commr. of inquiry, Yorks. Jan. 1392 (wastes at Burstall priory).
Alnager, Leics. 20 July 1394-27 Nov. 1396.
Probably a Leicester man, Clerk was made free of the borough in 1362, being excused the normal entry fine.4 By 1377 he was duchy of Lancaster receiver and bailiff of the honour of Leicester, and thereafter remained in the service of John of Gaunt or his son until at least 1391.
Though he owned property in London and Northamptonshire, Clerk probably resided for most of his life in Leicester, where he rented a mercer’s shop from the commonalty.5 In 1389 he was chosen as warden of the guild of the Assumption in All Saints’ church, and in the same year was one of three burgesses who attended the trial, before Archbishop Courtenay at St. Mary’s abbey, of seven local lollards.6 Mayor for two consecutive terms in 1390-2, Clerk represented the borough in Parliament in 1391 while in office. Peter Clerk* alias Barwell, another duchy servant; was perhaps a relation.
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: Charles Kightly
The identification of Geoffrey Clerk with Okham is made by Hartopp (Roll of Mayors, 24) and, judging from local and national records, is clearly correct.
- 1. The returns for 1390 (Jan.), and 1394 are both badly mutilated. In the first case part of Clerk’s surname is missing, and the second his Christian name (C219/9/7, 10).
- 2. Reg. Gaunt 1379-83, nos. 444, 666, 746; DL28/1/1, 3/3; DL29/212/347; Somerville, Duchy, i. 371, 376, 387.
- 3. Roll of Mayors, 24; Wyggeston Hosp. Recs. ed. Thompson, nos. 559-62; Leicester Bor. Recs. ed. Bateson, ii. 408-10.
- 4. Leicester Bor. Recs. ii. 132.
- 5. CCR, 1377-81, p. 61; 1392-6, pp. 200, 217; Leicester Bor. Recs. ii. 156, 165.
- 6. Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xiv. 167; Concilia Magna Brittaniae ed. Wilkins, iii. 209.