CRANLEY, John (d.1444/5), of Great Yarmouth, Norf.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. Joan (d.1446/7), wid. of Thomas Elgar, Geoffrey Badlee and William Croppe, s.p.
Bailiff, Yarmouth Mich. 1411-12, 1421-2.1
Cranley was actively engaged as a merchant at Yarmouth from 1393, trading in such commodities as canvas, cloth, wine and herring. He had at least one fishing vessel of his own, which in 1418 brought in a cargo of cod.2 Bailiff of Yarmouth for two terms, during the first of these he is recorded as making the returns to the Parliament of 1411. At the parliamentary elections held locally in 1422 and 1427, he stood surety for the appearance of Robert Ellis II* and John Fastalf, esquire, respectively. He was of sufficient standing to be included in May 1434 among those Norfolk notables ordered to take the generally administered oath not to maintain any who broke the King’s peace.3
Cranley made his will on 12 July 1444, requesting burial in St. Nicholas’s church, Yarmouth, and leaving to his wife, Joan, all utensils and provisions in his house as well as all his livestock. He instructed her to pay his debts. Probate was granted at Norwich on 14 Feb. 1445. Joan, then left a widow for the fourth time, drew up her own will on 21 Feb. 1446 and died within a year. She made bequests to the parish church at Burgh St. Peter, Norfolk, perhaps her native village, and left her son John Elgar of Norwich, goldsmith, a feather bed, and her daughter Isabel a silver girdle. Her ‘fish-house’, tenements and gardens in ‘Le Tabbard Rowe’ at Yarmouth were to be sold to provide for religious services on behalf of herself and her four husbands. A few years later, Joan’s executors petitioned the chancellor for assistance in the recovery of sums of money owing to Cranley for wine, salt and other merchandise once purchased from him.4