RYKEDON (RYGDON), Richard (d.1453/4), of Hythe, Kent.
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Jurat, Hythe Feb. 1423-4, 1430-1, 1438-9, 1441-4, 1445-d.1
Churchwarden of St. Leonard’s, Hythe c.1430.2
In 1399 John and Margaret Rykedon, perhaps Richard’s parents, settled on him five acres of arable and marshland at Wickhambreux, Kent, but he was no doubt also related to Robert Rykedon (d.c.1412) who lived at Hythe.3 By 1413 he had set up in business there as a stonemason; and he then paid maltolts on the proceeds of 28 weeks’ work, of which the jurats remitted 2s. to reward him for fitting latches to the windows of their common house. He also traded in cloth and cattle, while his wife kept a brewery which provided beer for the crew of John Leigh’s* ship when the town hired it in 1419. Rykedon’s chattels were valued at £8 in 1413-14, and at £10 six years later. In 1419 he served as constable on the vessel which carried the duchess of Clarence across the Channel, and he was given £4 12s.6d. for the wages of the seamen.4 He apparently grew more prosperous over the years, although in 1441-2 he worked only four weeks at his craft as mason, the maltolts he paid being mainly on the sale of cloth, beer and herring. By then he had acquired property in the town which earned him rents of 37s. a year.5
Rykedon was often employed on town business. In December 1429 he was responsible with John Overhaven* for bringing back to Kent the canopy used at Henry VI’s coronation, arranging for it to be appraised at Canterbury and, after offering it to the barons of Sandwich, eventually taking it home. He frequently represented Hythe at meetings of the Brodhull between 1433 and 1451. In 1448-9 he was sent to see Archbishop Stafford at Canterbury in an attempt to persuade him to let Hythe hold its bailiff-ship at farm.6 Rykedon’s election to Parliament in November 1449 came only after Robert Berd†, the man elected at the request of James Fiennes†, Lord Saye, the warden of the Cinque Ports, withdrew his candidacy after securing his return for Rye instead. He attended this Parliament at both the Westminster and Leicester sittings, for 180 days in all, until May 1450, for which he was owed £13 10s. in wages (at the rate of 1s.6d. a day), besides a promised bonus of 26s.8d., only for the town to be still in his debt three years later. In 1451 he was present at the court of Shepway when Humphrey, duke of Buckingham, took his oath as warden, and, continuing to be active on Hythe’s business, in that year or the next he undertook visits to London and Canterbury.7
Rykedon died before February 1454, when his widow accounted for maltolts in his place.8
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: A. P.M. Wright
- 1. Hythe Reg. 1, f. 32; 2, ff. 1, 3; jurats’ bk. E, ff. 6, 18, 29, 65, 80, 96, 111, 126, 141, 154, 168, 184.
- 2. HMC 6th Rep. 521.
- 3. CP25(1)111/253/1150; Reg. 1, f. 24; jurats’ bk. C, f. 41.
- 4. Jurats’ bks. C, ff. 34, 50, D, ff. 9, 41.
- 5. HMC 6th Rep. 517; jurats’ bk. E, ff. 9, 21, 31, 49, 69, 99, 115, 157, 172.
- 6. HMC 4th Rep. 438; White and Black Bks. of Cinque Ports (Kent Rec. Ser. xix), 2, 4, 5, 13, 14, 24, 25, 27; jurats’ bk. E, f. 118; C1/21/2.
- 7. Jurats’ bk. E, ff. 28, 157, 172.
- 8. Ibid. f. 187.