SHORTWADE, William, of Reading, Berks.

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



May 1382

Family and Education

m. Alice, 1da.

Offices Held

Constable, Reading bef. July 1390.


A tailor, Shortwade paid more towards the poll tax of 1379 than any other member of his trade in Reading. He was also concerned with the manufacture of cloth, for which he paid alnage in 1396. It may have been the cloth trade which had taken him ‘beyond the seas’ in 1390, when, on the pretext of his absence, an effort was made to oust him from the local constableship by Reynold Sheffield, the steward of the abbot of Reading. However, the attempt failed because of the opposition of the mayor, William Catour*; and it is probable not only that Shortwade continued to be constable, but that he was ex officio a member, with Robert Cappelade*, the other constable, of the Reading jury which presented cases before the county j.p.s. in 1395. He was still alive in 1399 when, possibly intending another journey abroad, he appointed Roger Hay* and John White I* as his attorneys. His heir was his daughter, Thomasina, who after his death, became involved in a dispute with the vicar of St. Mary’s, Reading, over some property of which the latter had been enfeoffed by her father.

E179/73/42; E101/343/24; C. Coates, Hist. Reading, 52-53; C1/6/88; Reading Pub. Lib. deed 87.

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: Charles Kightly