LUNCEFORD, Simon (d.c.1390), of Rye, Suss. and New Romney, Kent.
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Family and Education
Mayor, Rye Aug. 1375-7, 1379-80;1 jt. bailiff c.1382.
Although Simon was probably related to the Luncefords of Catsfield and Burwash, Sussex,2 he himself lived at Rye, where he set up in business as a vintner. In September 1364 he obtained a royal licence to ship £70 worth of coin and cloth to Gascony to buy wine. He witnessed deeds at Rye from 1371 to 1380 and, besides serving as mayor for three terms, he apparently also held office for a while as joint bailiff with John Baddyng*, for in 1382 the two men were amerced at the Exchequer for misdemeanours committed at that post, which they probably occupied for the short time that the townsmen were responsible for receiving the issues of the bailiwick. Nevertheless, Lunceford had already begun to sever his links with Rye, for he began to pay maltolts in Colbrond ward, New Romney, in the accounting year starting March 1382.3
A royal commission of January 1385, intended to ensure Rye’s fortification against imminent French attack, suggested that Lunceford had retired to Romney for fear of such raids, and ordered that he and all others who had left the Port should be compelled to pay their share of the cost of defence. Whether he complied with this order or not, he decided to remain at Romney where he contributed maltolts until 1390 and acquired property in the neighbouring hundreds of Langport and St. Martin, on which as a Portsman he claimed exemption from taxation. Meanwhile, the jurats of Romney had hastened to employ him in the town’s public business; and several times they sent him to Dover, as in May 1384 when he attended a hearing before the lieutenant warden about Romney’s dispute with Lydd, its member-port. Early in 1388 he was party to the town’s negotiations with Archbishop Courtenay about its franchise, which, however, ended in failure with Romney being placed under an interdict. He accompanied James Tiece* on a journey to London in July 1389 about the community’s affairs.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: A. P.M. Wright
- 1. Cat. Rye Recs. ed. Dell, 136/126, 128; E368/153.
- 2. That family included a John Lunceford (fl. 1360-c.1401), and another Simon Lunceford, advocant of the Cinque Ports, who claimed tax exemption for land at Catsfield under Hen. V: Reg. Gaunt 1371-5, i. 56; Suss. Feet of Fines (Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii), no. 2414; CFR, x. 156; xii. 114; E179/225/36, 38, 40, 42; C1/5/184.
- 3. CPR, 1364-7, p. 16; Cat. Rye Recs. 136/117, 128; E368/154 Easter rot. 10; Romney assmt. bk. 1, f. 14.
- 4. CPR, 1381-5, p. 519; assmt. bk. 2, ff. 4-21; E179/225/11, 17, 21.