SHIPTON, John, of Pittleworth, Hants.
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Family and Education
Escheator, Hants and Wilts. 8 Nov. 1404-1 Dec. 1405.
Collector of customs and subsidies, Melcombe Regis 21 Jan. 1412-Mar. 1413.
Dep. butler, Southampton 28 Mar. 1413-c.1418.
Shipton’s origins are obscure, but he would not appear to have been a native of Southampton and is never recorded as holding property there. He may well have been the ‘King’s servant’ of this name who, in March 1399, was appointed to provide horses for the dispatch of Richard II’s affairs and subsequently received a grant of money due from the warden of Ilchester gaol. If so, he soon changed his allegiance to Richard’s successor: as escheator of Hampshire and Wiltshire five years later he was still referred to as ‘King’s servant’. During his term of office, in August 1405, he successfully petitioned Henry IV for a pardon for the executors of Thomas Lenne, deputy keeper of Clarendon park, where he himself was a tenant. In May 1406, in recompense for his services as a ‘harbinger’, Shipton was granted for life goods worth £10 forfeited in Wiltshire.1
Shipton’s first known connexion with Southampton occurred later the same year when he stood surety in Chancery for the executors and widow of a burgess named William Oldfriend. A month after the dissolution of his only Parliament he was appointed customer along the coast at Melcombe. By this time he and his wife had acquired the manor of Pittleworth, situated on the river Test some 15 miles from Southampton, but at Easter 1412 they conveyed it, along with the advowson of the church, 120 acres of land and the east bailey of Buckholt forest, to John Uvedale, who had represented the shire in the House of Commons on the same occasion. The exact length of Shipton’s tenure as deputy butler in the port of Southampton is not known, but in April 1413 he was commissioned ex officio to seize certain ships recently captured at sea and deliver their cargoes to the lawful owners.2