CURTEYS (COURTEYS), John II, of Lostwithiel, Cornw.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Mayor, Lostwithiel Mich. 1389-90.2
Steward of the maritime ct. Lostwithiel 1390.3
At the elections held for the Merciless Parliament of 1388 John stood surety for his father, Thomas, then returned by Lostwithiel for the third time. In the following year he was chosen as mayor of the town. This post probably embraced the stewardship of the local maritime court, and it was his activities in the latter capacity which landed him in trouble when, in February 1390, a Breton ship, chartered by John Sampson of Plymouth, sailed up the river Fowey. Since the maritime court had found against Sampson as defendant in a plea of debt, Curteys, as steward, promptly seized part of the ship’s cargo in execution. However, Sampson objected to several irregularities, the most serious being that Curteys had ‘stolen’ his personal property; and as a result the deputy of the admiral of the south and west (John Holand, earl of Huntingdon), was assigned to hear a plea against him in the admiralty court which then proceeded with the case, sitting first at Lostwithiel in March 1391 and later on in London. When Curteys came to make his deposition, he referred to himself as ‘lieutenant’ of the receiver of the duchy of Cornwall, Robert Thorley. The outcome of the suit is not recorded. In the meantime, even more serious charges had been made against Curteys: that he and John Kendale* had committed the capital offence of counterfeiting the die of the King’s seal for the statute merchant of Lostwithiel and had also forged silver gilt and copper farthings. Nevertheless, at the supplication of the queen, and on proof being shown that they had been indicted by the malice of their enemies, they had received full pardons on 1 Jan. 1391.4
Curteys was probably a merchant, though the evidence for his trading ventures is slight. At the elections held prior to the two Parliaments of 1397 he stood surety for two of Lostwithiel’s burgesses, John Kendale and his own father Thomas Curteys; while his other local activities included service as a juror in the borough courts and, in 1400, appearance as a witness at an inquiry into the estates and adherents of the late earl of Huntingdon, who had risen in rebellion against Henry IV. In 1404 he stood bail for one Maud Pegast, who had been imprisoned for leaving the service of a local tradesman. Surprisingly, it was not until 1406 that Curteys was elected to Parliament for the first time. He later attended the shire elections held at Lostwithiel in April 1413 just after his own third election by the borough.5