INGOLDISTHORPE, Sir John (c.1361-1420), of Ingoldisthorpe and Raynham, Norf.

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



Jan. 1404
Nov. 1414

Family and Education

b.c.1361, s. and h. of Sir William Ingoldisthorpe of Ingoldisthorpe by his w. Eleanor ?da. and coh. of Miles Hastings of Quidenham, Norf. m. c. Feb. 1380, Elizabeth (d. 12 Dec. 1421), da. of Sir John Burgh (1328-93), of Burrough Green, Cambs. by his 2nd w. Katherine, da. of Sir John Dengaine of Stow cum Quy and Teversham, Cambs.; half-sis. and coh. of Thomas Burgh (d.1411), 1s. 1da. Kntd. bef. Dec. 1383.

Offices Held

Commr. of sewers, Norf., Cambs. Apr., May 1392, Norf. Nov. 1412; array July 1402, May 1415; inquiry, Norwich Mar. 1403 (encroachment on crown property), Norf. Feb. 1406 (insurrection at Bishop’s Lynn), Norf., Suff., Essex Nov. 1406 (Sir Robert Hemenhale’s estates), Cambs. May 1415 (counterfeiting); to take custody of the estates of Thomas, late earl of Arundel, in Norf., Suff. and Essex Oct. 1415.

Sheriff, Norf. and Suff. 29 Nov. 1402-5 Nov. 1403.

Escheator, Norf. and Suff. 12 Nov. 1414-14 Dec. 1415.

J.p. Cambs. 28 Nov. 1417-Feb. 1419.


The Ingoldisthorpes, whose descent may be traced from the 12th century, took their name from the village near Snettisham in Norfolk, and by the early 14th century they were well established among the local gentry, with substantial landed interests near Bishop’s Lynn. There, they held manors in Ingoldisthorpe, Snettisham, Raynham, Fring, Islington, Emneth, Tilney and Wimbotsham, as well as a moiety of another in Clenchwarton.1John became heir to these family holdings when not yet two years old, following the death of his father in July 1363. His mother, Eleanor, retained possession of three manors and survived at least 40 years longer, most of that time living in Marham abbey, though not necessarily as a professed nun. The rest of the estates were held in trust for John, whose wardship and marriage were granted by the Crown first to a ‘King’s esquire’ named Roger Archer and then, in May 1373, to John, Lord Arundel, the marshal.2 Ingoldisthorpe had not been married by the time of Arundel’s death at sea in the winter of 1379, and in the following February it was his mother who arranged a match with Elizabeth, one of three daughters of the wealthy Sir John Burgh, who was prepared to pay 300 marks in instalments over three years in order to secure John as a son-in-law. This marriage was to result in a considerable increase in Ingoldisthorpe’s landed possessions, for when, in 1411, Burgh’s only son died childless leaving his half-sisters as his heirs, the Ingoldisthorpes secured a large share of the Burgh estates, including the manors of Burrough Green and Swaffham Bulbeck in Cambridgeshire, Somerton in west Suffolk and Swinton in Yorkshire. The properties in Cambridgeshire alone were worth some £43 a year. Elizabeth Burgh also brought Ingoldisthorpe interesting connexions: among her kinsmen was Sir Richard Waldegrave*, the former Speaker; her sister Margaret was married first to Sir John Lowdham of Nottinghamshire and then to Sir John Zouche* of Kirklington, younger son of the 3rd Lord Zouche; and her other sister, Joan, was wife first to Thomas Hasilden I* of Guilden Morden and then to (Sir) William Asenhill*.3

Ingoldisthorpe was knighted before December 1383, when he obtained livery of his patrimony. In March 1387 he enlisted in the naval force under the command of Richard, earl of Arundel, admiral of England, from whom he held some of his lands, but there is no evidence that he actively supported the earl and his fellow Lords Appellant in their rebellion against Richard II and his favourites later that year. Indeed, he soon turned his attention to more strictly local affairs: in June 1392 he joined in a grant in mortmain of the manor and advowson of Histon to the nuns of Denney abbey in Cambridgeshire, and later that year he witnessed concessions made by Bishop Despenser of Norwich to the burgesses of Bishop’s Lynn. (Ingoldisthorpe always took an interest in the affairs of this town, so near his principal estates.)4 Then, on 26 Apr. 1396 he was retained for life by the former Appellant, Thomas Mowbray, earl of Nottingham, receiving as his fee a yearly rent of £20 from the manor of Willington (Bedfordshire). The indenture of retainder contained provision for this annuity to be fixed on a place nearer Sir John’s own estates after the expansion of Mowbray’s territorial interests in East Anglia expectant on the death of his grandmother, Margaret Marshal, countess of Norfolk. Yet this connexion with Mowbray led to no preferment from Richard II, who sent his erstwhile friend into exile two years later. Henry IV, however, granted confirmation of Ingoldisthorpe’s fee on 17 Nov. 1399 after news came of Earl Thomas’s death. Under the new regime Ingoldisthorpe took a greater interest in government both at the centre and in the localities: he received an individual summons as a knight of Suffolk to attend the great council of August 1401 and another about two years later; and, in the meantime, in 1402, his service on royal commissions began again after a lapse of ten years. Having done duty as sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1402-3, he secured election for the latter county to the first Parliament meeting after the end of his term of office. At that time Ingoldisthorpe held few, if any, lands in Suffolk, but he was on good terms with many members of the shire gentry who would have supported his candidacy. On 6 Jan. 1405 he obtained a royal pardon of £100 owing on his sheriff’s account at the Exchequer ‘in consideration of his great losses and costs in the office’. Ingoldisthorpe continued to be employed on royal commissions following the accession of Henry V, and it was when he was escheator of Norfolk and Suffolk that he was returned to the Parliament of 1414 (Nov.) as a shire knight for his home county.5

Ingoldisthorpe had formed some useful connexions in the community of East Anglia. He was asked to be an executor of the will of Sir William Elmham*, the prominent soldier and diplomat who died in 1403, and subsequently acted as a trustee of the manor of Walsham (Suffolk) on behalf of Elmham’s widow Elizabeth, probably a kinswoman on his mother’s side. Among other notable figures whom he served as a feoffee-to-uses were Sir Simon Felbrigg KG, Sir John Strange* and Sir Thomas Erpingham KG.6 On occasion he was a benefactor to the Church, though only on a small scale. In May 1406 he joined Sir John Colville in making a conveyance to the house of Austin friars at Bishop’s Lynn of part of a messuage adjoining the friary so that it might be enlarged, but due to a misunderstanding the property was seized by the escheator and it was not until 1413 that the transaction was given royal approval, and then only on condition that obits for Henry V’s parents would be kept there. Ingoldisthorpe also had dealings with the great Cluniac priory of Lewes (Sussex) from which he held certain of his lands in Norfolk, transactions between them including Sir John’s authorization of a grant to the priory in 1412 of property in Walpole and West Walton, along with ‘liberum taurum suum et liberum aprum suum’.7

In his later years Ingoldisthorpe would appear to have resided in Cambridgeshire, where he served on the bench. It was there, at Swaffham Bulbeck, that he made his will, on 2 Nov. 1419. He wished to be interred in the parish church of Burrough Green, leaving £20 for the maintenance of a chantry at his tomb and five marks for repairs to the building. (Monuments to him and his wife still remain, showing Ingoldisthorpe as a knight in armour, wearing the ‘SS’ livery collar of Lancaster.) He gave 13s.4d. to each of five churches on his estates for forgotten tithes. Houses of religion, too, benefited under the terms of his will: the friaries of Lynn and Cambridge, the nunneries of Shouldham and Blackborough and seven houses of lepers in Lynn were all remembered with gifts of money in return for prayers for his soul; £20 was set aside for repairs to the priory of Austin nuns at Crabhouse and every nun there was given 6s.8d.; while the house of Austin canons at Bromehill was to receive £5 6s.8d. Nor were secular institutions ignored: Ingoldisthorpe left £5 for the use of the merchant guild of the Holy Trinity at Lynn. To the tenants on his manor at Tilney he left £10, to be distributed according to valid claims of unjust treatment by him or his officers; and he sought the prayers of tenants on his other manors by leaving £1 for distribution in each place. Ingoldisthorpe’s bequests in money amounted to about £140, this sum including £3 to each of his executors, among whom were Sir John Colville, Sir William Asenhill (his wife’s brother-in-law) and William Allington*, the future Speaker.8 Ingoldisthorpe died on 29 May 1420, leaving as his heir his son Thomas, aged nearly 19. The latter was probably already married to Margaret, the daughter and heir of Sir Walter de la Pole*, a wealthy Cambridgeshire landowner, with whom Sir John had been associated two years earlier, when both men had witnessed a grant to Spinney priory. Sir John’s widow, Elizabeth, made her will on 13 Nov. 1421, naming de la Pole as one of her executors, and she died a month later, only to be followed to the grave within a few weeks by her son.9 The new heir to the Ingoldisthorpe estates, Thomas’s baby son, Edmund†, was made a ward of Sir John Tiptoft*, who, having paid 500 marks for the child’s marriage, wedded him to his second daughter, Joan. (Sir) Edmund came into the Ingoldisthorpe inheritance in 1443, when he was also heir to the fortunes of de la Pole and Bradstone; and such was his standing that the hand of his daughter was sought by John Neville, Lord Montagu and afterwards earl of Northumberland. Sir John Ingoldisthorpe and his wife were remembered in the foundation of Bateman’s chantry in Burrough Green in 1445 and the Burgh chantry in the same church in 1460.10

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


Variants: Ingaldesthorp, Inglesthorp, Inglysthorp.

  • 1. F. Blomefield, Norf. vii. 122-7; viii. 377, 405, 468-70; ix. 78; x. 305.
  • 2. CIPM, xi. 506; xiii. 188; CPR, 1361-4, p. 431; 1370-4, pp. 280-1.
  • 3. CCR, 1377-81, p. 359; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xxx. 311-419; VCH Cambs. vii. 142; Feudal Aids, vi. 406.
  • 4. CCR, 1381-5, p. 343; 1392-6, p. 422; 1399-1402, p. 274; E101/40/33 m. 11; CPR, 1391-6, pp. 74, 148.
  • 5. CPR, 1399-1401, p. 193; 1401-5, p. 480; PCC, i. 164; ii. 86.
  • 6. Blomefield, viii. 18; x. 305; CPR, 1405-8, p. 99; 1408-13, p. 71; CCR, 1405-9, p. 519; Norf. Feet of Fines ed. Rye, 394; HMC Lothian, 21.
  • 7. CPR, 1405-8, p. 172; 1413-16, p. 25; CAD, iii. A5547.
  • 8. PCC 48 Marche; VCH Cambs. vii. 147.
  • 9. C138/47/49, 62/4, 12; C139/6/46; CCR, 1419-22, pp. 40, 85-86; CFR, xiv. 367-8; PCC 53 Marche.
  • 10. CFR, xv. 39, 73-74, 233; Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 422; CP, ix. 89-93; CPR, 1441-6, pp. 176, 329; 1452-61, p. 634.