POD, John (d.1411), of Colchester, Essex.

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. bef. May 1406, Alice, 1s.1

Offices Held

Alderman, Colchester Sept. 1398-1401, 1404-7, 1411-d.; bailiff 1403-4, 1407-8, 1409-10; mace-bearer 1404-6, 1411-d.2


Pod is first mentioned in the local records in 1382 when he was fined for polluting Loose Brook with dye, and in the following year he was found guilty of taking a pair of bellows and a lead weight from a neighbour’s house. In 1384 he sued a servant who had gone out secretly at night from his house at Loose Brook, leaving a door open so that wool and woad were stolen; but the defendant pleaded that he had fled after his employer attacked him with an axe and threatened to kill him. Throughout the 1380s Pod was regularly arraigned in the borough court for debts arising from his commercial activities as a merchant and dyer, and in 1392 he was pardoned his outlawry for not appearing in the courts at Westminster to answer William Vanner of London for the large sum of £40. Outlawed yet again, this time at the suit of John Glover* of Maldon for a debt of £8, he had to purchase another pardon in 1395. He was assessed for alnage on cloth sold in Colchester between 1394 and 1403, and this product, finished on his own premises, was evidently his principal export. A variety of commodities, including bitumen, canvas, wax, wood and iron, were shipped into Colchester in his name. In June 1404 he claimed £1 for work on the vestments in St. Mary’s church.3

Pod had been attached to reply for non-payment of rent for a field at Magdalen Green in 1387. He secured from the town bailiffs of 1404 the farm of the supportacio of all corn, sea coal, salt and chalk imported through New Hythe. Although he had died in the previous year it may well be he who was assessed in the subsidy return of January 1412 as holding property in Colchester worth £20 p.a.4 In the course of his career Pod had acted as a feoffee of other properties in Colchester, and in 1405 he served in a similar capacity regarding land at Boxtead, Withermondford and Horkesley, not far from the town. At the parliamentary elections of 1406 he stood surety for William Mate of Colchester.5

Pod was returned to the Parliament summoned to meet on 3 Nov. 1411, but must have died before the session ended, for his wife was mentioned as his widow and executrix on 14 Dec. His will is no longer extant.6

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: K.N. Houghton


Between the mid 14th and 15th centuries there were at least five inhabitants of Colchester named John Pod; it is assumed that the MP was the most prominent of the five, namely, the dyer and clothier.

  • 1. Colchester Moot Hall, ct. roll 35 m. 28v. His son John died in 1436; Cal. Colchester Ct. Rolls ed. Harrod, 43, 47.
  • 2. Ibid. 2; ct. rolls 30-32, 34-36, 38.
  • 3. Ct. rolls 22 mm. 4v, 39v, 24 m. 7, 25, 26, 33 m. 26v; CPR, 1391-6, pp. 26, 673; E101/342/9, 14, 16; E122/193/33, ff. 15d, 16d, 17.
  • 4. Ct. rolls 26 m. 8v, 34 m. 1v, 35 m. 7; Feudal Aids, vi. 445.
  • 5. Essex Feet of Fines, iii. 228, 230, 244; C219/10/3.
  • 6. Ct. roll 38 m. 9v; Colchester Oath Bk. ed. Benham, 95.