OSENEY, Richard, of Worcester.
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Family and Education
Clerk of the recognizances, Worcester by July 1388-aft. Apr. 1403.2
Clerk of the peace, Worcs. by July 1412-late 1418.3
Bailiff, Worcester Mich. 1423-4, 1427-30, 1433-4, 1439-41, ?1448-9.4
Commr. of gaol delivery, Worcester Nov. 1435, ?Oct. 1447, May 1448, Feb 1449.
Oseney was reputed in the 16th century to have been ‘a gentleman as well as a citizen’. He married the widow of a man from Malvern, and his arms were subsequently depicted in Great Malvern priory when she was buried there next to her first husband. But his own career centred on Worcester, where he gained citizenship before 1398. Early in the reign of Henry IV both he and his mother were engaged in the cloth industry, but he appears to have had some legal training, too, thus becoming qualified for the post of clerk of the recognizances at Worcester, which he held for at least four years; and in February 1406 he was responsible for summoning the defendants in a local property suit. On 15 Dec. following, during the final session of his first Parliament, he and three other Worcester men, who included Thomas Belne*, a j.p., were summoned to appear before the King’s Council on charges arising out of matters discussed in the Commons, but what these were is not disclosed. Oseney’s later appointment as the clerk of the peace for Worcestershire entitled him to a daily wage of 2s. He regularly attended sessions and was afterwards recorded, as suing for the King, in a legal handbook possibly compiled by the serjeant-at-law, John Weston (for whom he provided securities on the occasion of his election as Worcester’s MP in May 1413). He is last mentioned as clerk on 6 Oct. 1418 and by January following had been succeeded by John Forthey*.5
In 1407 Oseney had conveyed to Thomas Belne a tenement in the High Street, Worcester, next to his own house, and much later, in June 1421, he was appointed by Belne’s executors as their attorney. He acted in a similar capacity for the widow of his fellow Member of 1406, Richard Halle. In 1429, during his third bailiffship, Oseney was associated with John Throckmorton*, the prominent Worcestershire lawyer, as co-feoffee of property in the city, and four years later he witnessed a conveyance of land in Droitwich on Throckmorton’s behalf. It may well have been through this colleague that Oseney came to the attention of Richard, earl of Warwick, from whom he subsequently received an annual fee of 13s.4d., presumably for legal advice.6 Soon after his election as bailiff for the fifth time, Oseney was party to a covenant entered into by the commonalty with Worcester cathedral priory to improve the latter’s water supplies. It was later claimed that he himself then became a ‘great benefactor’ of the monks, ‘binding himself to be of their councell and to atturne [as] their tenant for rents out of his houses’ in ‘Brode’ Street, ‘Freres’ Street, High Street and his meadow outside Sidbury, as well as from a shop ‘named Elgwinsynne’, a garden and ‘the Heeld neere Dydley’. Further, in November 1433, he and his wife, Agnes, made formal provision for the laying of the priory’s water pipes beneath their land. In return it was agreed that the two of them should be buried in the cathedral in a tomb under the stone monument to Oseney’s mother, near St. George’s chapel, and that prayers would be said for them there on the anniversary of Thomas Carter’s death. (In the event, as we have seen, Agnes preferred to lie next to her first husband.)7
While it was certainly this Richard Oseney who attended the city elections to the Parliaments of 1419, 1421 (Dec.), 1426, 1431 and 1435, and, in the meantime, the shire elections of 1425, and probably he who was described in 1442 as a 40s. freeholder in Worcester, the man who was responsible as bailiff for presiding over the hustings in 1449, and witnessed the parliamentary returns in later years, was perhaps a son of the same name.8
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
Aseney on the return of 1406.
- 1. T.R. Nash, Worcs. ii. 129.
- 2. C241/188/131, 193/71.
- 3. B.H. Putnam, Treatises on J.P.s, 64-65, 102-3, 265-6, 273.
- 4. Worcester Chs. (Worcs. Hist. Soc. 1909), 22, 60, 162, 194; Collectanea (ibid. 1912), 32-33, 39, 49, 61.
- 5. T. Habington, Surv. Worcs. (Worcs. Hist. Soc. 1899), ii. 401-3; Collectanea, 12; E101/345/12, 592/20; CPR, 1405-8, p. 141; CCR, 1405-9, p. 214; Putnam, loc. cit.
- 6. Collectanea, 30-32; Worcester Chs. 59; CCR, 1429-35, p. 289; SC12/18/45, f. 1.
- 7. Worcester Chs. 161; Habington, loc. cit. That Oseney was, in fact, buried in the cathedral, is clear from the will of his grandson, Richard (d.1492), who requested burial there ‘nexte the tombe of my granefadir’: PCC 8 Vox.
- 8. C219/11/2, 12/3, 6, 13/3, 4, 14/2, 5, 15/2, 6, 7, 16/1, 2.