EASTBURY, John, of Blagrave in Lambourn, Berks.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
J.p. Berks. 18 May 1403-Feb. 1407.
Tax collector, Berks. Apr. 1404.
Commr. of oyer and terminer, Berks. July 1416.
John Eastbury, the Berkshire MP of 1365, 1366 and 1368, was employed as steward of the estates of Edward III’s daughter, Isabel, afterwards countess of Bedford, and as royal escheator in various counties between 1357 and his death in 1374. Besides his manor of Eastbury in Lambourn, he died in possession of a number of other properties in Berkshire and Wiltshire, some of which he had acquired by deception from an heiress known to be of unsound mind. Two of his manors, Blagrave and Hadley, also in Lambourn, he held jointly with his wife, Katherine, and in 1375 when she died these, instead of passing with Eastbury’s other holdings to his eldest son, John, apparently went instead to John, junior, the subject of this biography.3 Certainly, it was the younger man who, in 1387, sued James Sparsholt and his wife, Edith, for damages amounting to £200 for depriving him of the wardship of one of the tenants at Blagrave.4
Otherwise, little is known about the younger John. He occasionally made appearances in the Exchequer or Chancery as a surety, doing so for the prior of the alien house of Andover in 1379, for Sir William Clopton in 1383, and, in association with his kinsman, John Arches*, for a clerk impleaded by the bishop of Hereford in 1387. On 5 Dec. 1391, three days after the dissolution of his only known Parliament, he joined his fellow shire knight from Berkshire, Laurence Drew, in providing securities at the Exchequer on behalf of Sir William Sturmy, knight of the shire for Devon. He was also acquainted with the wealthy landowner Sir Gilbert Talbot*, who, when on point of departure for Ireland with the royal forces in September 1394, named him as one of his attorneys to look after his affairs at home, and confirmed him in this role five months later. Surprisingly, Eastbury’s first appointment to royal commissions was delayed until 1403.5
John Eastbury, our Member, is not mentioned in the will his brother, the elder John, made in August 1406; nor did he inherit his lands, which passed to the testator’s great-nephew, Ralph, son of John Arches.6 Nevertheless, he was undoubtedly still living, and in 1412 was assessed for taxation as holding property in Lambourn worth £10 a year. He witnessed deeds in 1412 and 1417 (the former on behalf of a neighbour, the wife of Sir Richard Adderbury II*), but died some time before 1428, when his widow, Margaret, was in possession of Blagrave. She lived on at least six years more.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. Called ‘junior’ on the return: OR, i. 241.
- 2. The John Eastbury who died in 1406 had sat for Berks. in 1377 (Jan.). Besides the lands he had inherited from his father there, he also held the manor of Watford (Northants.) and property in Leics. ‘by the courtesy’ after the death of his wife Agnes (c.1356-1375), gdda. and h. of Nicholas Burneby (d.1361): CIPM, xii. 126; xiv. 125; J. Bridges, Northants. i. 586-7; CFR, xiii. 46.
- 3. CIMisc. iii. 408-9; CPR, 1370-4, pp. 418-19; 1405-8, p. 207; VCH Berks. iv. 259-60; CIPM, xvi. 22, 124.
- 4. VCH Berks. iv. 257, 260; CP40/507 m. 101.
- 5. CFR, ix. 157, 361; x. 22; CCR, 1381-5, p. 631; 1385-9, p. 307; CPR, 1391-6, pp. 476, 536.
- 6. PCC 11 Marche; C137/53/20; CFR, xiii. 71.
- 7. Feudal Aids, i. 62; vi. 404; CCR, 1409-13, p. 346; 1413-19, p. 381; DL29/683/11068.