RAWLIN (RAULYN), Roger, of Wood Norton, Norf.
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Family and Education
Town clerk, Lynn by Mich. 1398-1401.1
Controller of tunnage and poundage, Lynn 10 July-Oct. 1401.
Rawlin’s place of origin is not known, but by 1395 he was living in Wood Norton (some 30 miles from Bishop’s Lynn). He then received formal confirmation from John Sprot of his title to two messuages and some 130 acres of land, together with rents, in Testerton, Colkirk and Great Ryburgh, all near Norton, as well as to the advowson of Testerton church.2 Rawlin had by that date built up a reputation in the county as a competent lawyer. He had first been recorded in 1376 when standing surety in Chancery for a local man. Then, in October 1382 he provided sureties in the Exchequer on behalf of the prior of Walsingham. In December that year for reasons unknown he entered into recognizances for £19 13s.4d. with Thomas Haxey, the royal clerk. Perhaps it was legal acumen which led him to be frequently involved in property transactions: in 1387 he was party to the conveyance of the Norfolk manor of Grimston; by 1388, when Laurence Trussebut of Shouldham (later steward of Lynn) acted for him in the court of common pleas, he was a feoffee of the manor of Rougham; from 1390 he served as trustee of South Hall in Guist; and in 1394 he was enfeoffed by Constantine, Lord Clifton, of his castle at Buckenham and other estates. A regular associate of Rawlin’s was another lawyer, James Billingford, chief clerk of the Crown in Chancery, with whom in the summer of 1397 he took on the trusteeship of Over Hall in Toft Monks.3
Rawlin’s connexion with Bishop’s Lynn was apparently essentially a professional one. At the sessions of the peace held there in July 1396 and March 1397, not long before he was returned to Parliament for the borough, he provided securities for the appearance of two burgesses at the next delivery of Norwich gaol. It is possible that he had already been made town clerk before his election to the Commons. Certainly, he received as such an annual fee of £2 6s.8d. between 1398 and 1401, but was no longer serving in this capacity a year later.4 His main practice remained elsewhere: in 1403, for example, he appeared as feoffee of estates around Oxwick and Rayham in the course of a dispute over the advowson of the church of Welborne; and two years later he relinquished his fiduciary interest in lands as far away as Hertfordshire.5 He is last heard of in 1411 when obtaining a royal licence to convey Lord Clifton’s castle of Buckenham to other parties.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Norf. Official Lists ed. Le Strange, 202.
- 2. CP25(1)168/181/263.
- 3. CP25(1)168/179/158, 189; CCR, 1389-92, p. 151; 1396-9, pp. 289, 294; 1409-13, p. 40; CPR, 1391-6, p. 389; 1396-9, p. 39.
- 4. Sessions Roll 1394-7 (Norf. Rec. Soc. viii), 12, 14; King’s Lynn Town Hall, Ea 40, 41a.
- 5. CP25(1)168/181/271, 182/2; CCR, 1402-5, pp. 14, 138; 1405-9, p. 116.
- 6. CPR, 1408-13, p. 274. There is no evidence to connect him with Roger Rawlin of Sheringham, Norf. who made his will on 4 Mar. 1439: Norf. RO, Reg. Doke, f. 101.