COLKIRK, William, of Great Yarmouth, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

m. bef. Apr. 1390, Joan, ?1s.

Offices Held

Bailiff, Yarmouth Mich. 1413-14.1


Colkirk was actively engaged in trade at Yarmouth from 1388 until the year of his bailiffship. Early on he formed a profitable and long-lasting partnership with another burgess named John Spitling, with whom he is frequently recorded as shipping herring, cloth and grain, unloading many cargoes of salt, and importing wine from Gascony.2 In 1390 Colkirk and his wife acquired a plot of land near ‘Middelgate’ in Yarmouth, distinguished by its stone wall, and to this they added more property including a ‘fish-house’ purchased in 1396. In 1407, according to the provisions of the will made by another merchant, Bartholomew Drayton, he obtained other lands and buildings in the town.3 At the local elections to the Parliament of 1414 (Nov.), Colkirk stood surety for Robert Ellis II. He is last recorded as one of only four burgesses named on the parliamentary indenture drawn up on 26 Sept. 1423.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Norf. Official Lists ed. Le Strange, 155.
  • 2. E122/149/22, 33, 34, 150/2, 9, 17.
  • 3. Norf. RO, Yarmouth ct. rolls, C4/101, 105, 106, 119.
  • 4. C219/11/3, 13/2. The William Colkirk ‘skinner’ admitted as a freeman of Yarmouth in 1430, may have been his son, and three others of that surname were admitted in the course of the next 18 years: Cal. Freemen Yarmouth, 1, 3, 4, 6.