DOLYTE (TOLITE), John, of Chichester, Suss.
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Family and Education
Dolyte was perhaps a parishioner of the church at Chidham, on Chichester harbour, for it was there that his son Richard was married, at Michaelmas 1404.1 However, he also lived in Chichester itself, where he set up in business as a taverner. At Whitsun in 1409, when one Thomas Knight, in order to procure his release from imprisonment at Chichester for abusing his master, the prior of Hayling, promised to let the city have a bag of gold he had concealed in the porch of a chapel at Colworth, three miles away, John Hay, the mayor, sent Dolyte along with William Farnhurst* and Robert Stryvelyne* to retrieve it. Dolyte found the bag, then, with his companions, sealed it and delivered it to the mayor who, in the presence of other citizens broke the seals and counted out the contents as 101 marks. The money was claimed both by the bishop of Chichester, as found in his liberty, and by the Crown, on the pretext that it had been stolen, and it was the bishop who, by threats of excommunication, secured it. The mayor, Dolyte and his two companions all saw fit to procure general pardons from the King, on 19 July, but when jurors at an inquiry held at Chichester four months later asserted that the bag had in fact contained £223, they were summoned, each by a subpoena in £100, to appear at the Exchequer to account for the discrepancy. Dolyte was sent to the Fleet prison on 15 Feb. 1410, but was later bailed by two leading Sussex lawyers, James Knottesford and Richard Wakehurst*, and was presumably eventually cleared of the charges. This was not the end of his troubles, however, for a few years later he was outlawed at the suit of Peter James† of Southampton for a debt of £10, although he was able to procure another royal pardon in February 1419. Six years later Dolyte gave evidence at Chidham at the proof of age of Robert Tauk (grandson of Robert Tauk*, the former shire knight).2 He is not recorded after his fourth return to Parliament in 1433.