MARSHALL, John I, of Cambridge.

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



Apr. 1384
Sept. 1388

Family and Education

Offices Held

Mayor, Cambridge Sept. 1391-2.1

J.p. Cambridge 24 May-c. Sept. 1392.


Described as ‘of Cambridge’ in 1369, Marshall was then pardoned his outlawry in the London court of husting for not appearing before the justices to answer John Colman of London, cutler, concerning an account due from when Marshall had been his receiver. In 1380 he appeared as a juror at inquisitions held in Cambridge and Thriplow.2 On 23 Feb. the next year, he was one of several leading burgesses who were bound in recognizances of £100 to cease from interfering with the sessions of the royal judges and from inciting the people of Cambridge against them. Nevertheless, during the following turbulent summer he emerged as a leader of the rioters who attacked Corpus Christi college, plundered it and exacted from the clerks their submission to the jurisdiction of the borough. Marshall’s actions clearly met with approval from many influential townsmen, for on 9 Sept. he was chosen mayor, only to have his appointment quashed by a royal writ of the 22nd in which a new election of a ‘fit person’ was ordered; ‘noteworthy evidences laid before the Council’ had shown that Marshall, a smith by trade, was ‘not sufficiently qualified’ for the post. At the parliamentary inquiry conducted in December following, the King committed custody of the town to Richard Maisterman*, who had displaced Marshall as mayor. Marshall’s unpopularity with the government did not stand in the way of his election to the Parliaments of April 1384 and September 1388, although his parliamentary service at Salisbury was the sole interruption in a series of seven, otherwise consecutive, returns of Maisterman. In April 1385, by royal letters patent, he was granted an exemption for life from holding any office in local government. However, he was again elected mayor in 1391, when no further objections were made, and in the course of his year of office he was appointed to a commission of the peace in the town.3

Marshall owned a number of properties in Cambridge and the immediate neighbourhood. In 1376 he and others had conveyed to John Payn I* of Swaffham 12 acres in the fields of Barnwell, of which they had previously been enfeoffed by Alice Sleford. He was among those who received in November 1388 a royal licence to endow the nunnery of St. Radegund with messuages, shops, land and a rent in Cambridge, worth £2 14s.10d. a year. The priory also benefited from his will (which has not survived), for he directed that his lands in Cambridge and Barnwell be sold and the proceeds applied to various charitable uses, and to this end in 1407 his executors conveyed 14 acres to John Bilney I* and others, by whom they were immediately granted to the nuns.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Add. 5833, f. 133.
  • 2. CPR, 1367-70, p. 309; JUST 2/24; Cambridge Antiq. Soc. lv. 43. He was probably the same as John Marshall ‘of Thriplow’ who in 1391 was enfeoffed of property previously belonging to John Thriplow* in the village: CAD, vi. C4617.
  • 3. Cambridge Antiq. Soc. lv. 63; CCR, 1377-81, p. 513; 1381-5, p. 13; CPR, 1381-5, pp. 143, 547; RP, iii. 106-7.
  • 4. C143/407/8; CPR, 1385-9, p. 528; Cambridge Antiq. Soc. xxxi. nos. 353, 357.