PENKESTONE, John, of Southampton.

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



Family and Education

m. by Oct. 1392, Joan.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Southampton Mich. 1385-6, 1393-4, 1396-7.2

Controller of customs and subsidies, Southampton 6 Nov. 1391-Feb. 1393.

Dep. butler, Southampton 28 Aug.-Oct. 1395.

Commr. of inquiry, Hants Dec. 1405 (wastes on the estates of Robert Inkpen).


Penkestone, who may have been a merchant, was active in the administration of the borough of Southampton. As bailiff he sent to the sheriff of Hampshire the returns to the Parliaments of 1385, 1394 (when himself elected a second time) and 1397, and he undertook regular journeys to the Exchequer to pay the fee farm. His appointment in 1391 as controller of customs at Southampton and in the area between Melcombe Regis and Portsmouth, including the Isle of Wight, had been made on condition that he officiated in person and wrote the rolls himself. Four years afterwards he served briefly as deputy butler in his home port. In December 1396, during his third bailiffship, he appeared in Chancery in order to provide securities on behalf of a fellow burgess, who was then bringing an appeal against excommunication by the abbot of Westminster. In the following year he was appointed to give livery of local property to Walter Lange*. The precise reasons why he took out a royal pardon in May 1398 are not known, although the prevailing political climate made it expedient for those who had held official positions to do so.3

Penkestone’s property in Southampton included houses and gardens in East Street, English Street and French Street, as well as a small arable croft (‘Hampton’) in the suburbs. In 1398 he and his wife brought a plea of novel disseisin at the Winchester assizes against the borough of Southampton over the ownership of four shops; and eventually, after the suit had dragged on for nine years, they were awarded damages of £20. In 1412 and 1414 they conveyed to John Selder a house in Above Bar Street, together with a croft and eight-and-a-half acres of land.4

Penkestone died before 1422 when former holdings of his in French Street were made the subject of a quitclaim by John Hargreave to William Chamberlain*.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


Variants: Pengeston, Pynkeston.

  • 1. Black Bk. (Soton Rec. Soc. xiii), i. 35.
  • 2. J.S. Davies, Hist. Southampton, 172; E372/231 m. 39d.
  • 3. C219/8/12, 9/10, 12, 13; E372/231 m. 39d, 239 m. 36, 242 m. 38; CCR, 1396-9, p. 71; Southampton RO, SC4/2/171; C67/30 m. 25.
  • 4. Black Bk. i. 35, 49, 117, 137, 144, 159; CIMisc. vii. 387; JUST 1/1502 mm. 22d, 220, 1519 m. 3.
  • 5. CCR, 1422-9, p. 47.