COLYN, Andrew (d.c.1402), of New Romney, Kent.

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



May 1382

Family and Education

poss. s. of Walter Colyn of New Romney. m. Edith (d.c.1413), 4s.2

Offices Held

Jurat, New Romney 25 Mar. 1391-2, 1396-8.3


Colyn obtained a letter ‘de franchise’, attesting his privileged status as a Portsman, in April 1368. He paid maltolts in Bocherye ward, Romney, from 1375 to 1402; and transactions enrolled in the town court between 1373 and 1385 show that he acquired several plots of land there. In addition, in 1379 he purchased 14 acres of land at Hope All Saints and St. Mary in the Marsh from John Ellis I* of Dover, and for a few years he held land nearby in the hundreds of Langport and St. Martin on which, as a Portsman, he claimed exemption from taxation.4 Colyn’s main occupation was dealing in nautical stores. In 1381 he bought from the jurats some tin purchased on a recent voyage of Romney’s common ship, timber left over from strengthening the vessel, and old ships’ tackle, chains and ropes, at the same time selling the town tar and canvas for further repairs. But he also traded in provisions: between May 1382 and Michaelmas 1384 he shipped oats, oxen and chickens, as well as other victuals (worth £22 4s. altogether), most likely to the garrisons at Calais.5

Colyn was occasionally employed by Romney to see to its external business. In October 1381 he went to Dover to arrange about sending the town’s common barge for the crossing of Anne of Bohemia from France, and in the following year he made three more visits there — in June to discuss the Cinque Ports’ commitment to keep the sea, and in September first to brief Romney’s counsel about its dispute with its member-port of Lydd, and then to deal with a quarrel concerning a ship from Hythe which had been wrecked off the coast of France. He was also given the task of supervising excavations near Romney: between 1388 and 1390 he was paid £24 3s.9d. ‘pro dykynke in le Ree’. Colyn was employed by Thomas Ellis† and Hugh atte Welle†, successive customers at Sandwich, to collect the petty custom and tunnage and poundage at Romney. After Ellis’s death in 1390, he appeared in the Exchequer asking to be admitted to account.6

Colyn made a will concerning the disposition of his lands in 1398. This was embodied in an indenture specifying how his feoffees (who included John Yon*) were to divide them after his death: his widow Edith (provided she did not marry again) was to enjoy possession for her lifetime of all his property, save that at Ivychurch; and then his 11 messuages in Romney, his stalls and his land outside at Hope and Lydd were to be shared, roughly in equal portions, between his sons, Hugh, John, Peter and Thomas, each taking the house he already occupied, except for Thomas who was to receive Colyn’s own dwelling. Colyn did not die immediately. In April 1400 he formally ceased a legal action against a sometime master of the local hospital, and a month later he acquired yet more property in Romney. It was not until 1402 that he stopped paying maltolts.7

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: A. P.M. Wright


  • 1. He attended for 15 days, the full length of the Parliament: Romney assmt. bk. 1, f. 17.
  • 2. Reg. Daniel Rough (Kent Rec. Ser. xvi), 121, 171; assmt. bk. 2, ff. 22, 60-74.
  • 3. Assmt. bk. 2 f. 53; C47/64/10/304; Kent AO, NR/JBr/4, nos. 3, 6.
  • 4. Reg. Daniel Rough, 176, 186, 191, 197, 202, 203; CP25(1)108/212/106; E179/225/11, 17; assmt. bk. 1, ff. 5-15; 2, ff. 2-54; NR/JBr/4, no. 55.
  • 5. Assmt. bk. 1, ff. 9-11; E122/126/7.
  • 6. Assmt. bk. 1, ff. 12, 16; 2, ff. 18, 21; E159/167 Easter rot. 111.
  • 7. Assmt. bk. 2, ff. 22, 46; NR/JBr/6, no. 44.