SPICER, John I (d.c.1428), of Oxford.

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



Jan. 1404

Family and Education

s. of William Spicer of Oxford by Agnes, da. and h. of Alan Heton alias Knaphull. m. bef. 1380, Alice, 1s.1

Offices Held

Surveyor of nuisances, Oxford Mich. 1394-5, 1401-2, 1426-7; bailiff 1396-7, 1406-7; coroner bef. Apr. 1418.2


Spicer, who came from a prosperous Oxford family, paid 3s. towards the poll tax of 1380. Eight years later felons broke into his draper’s shop, stealing woollen cloth worth 20 marks. In 1389 he witnessed the will of a fellow burgess, Roger Clyfton alias Bedel.3 In the 1390s Spicer filled the offices of surveyor and bailiff and on one occasion served as juror in an inquisition held at Oxford before the county escheator. When attending Parliament for the third time, in March 1404, he and his fellow Member, Thomas Coventre I, went surety for an executor of William Palmer, who had been a bailiff of Oxford in 1392-3. A member of the common council of the borough in 1409, Spicer may well have served as coroner at about this time. Certainly, it was as a former holder of this office that he was named during an inquiry in 1418 as one of those who had encouraged the commonalty to usurp the abbot of Osney’s jurisdiction over the manors of North and South Osney. Spicer was present at six of the eight parliamentary elections held at Oxford between 1420 and 1427, namely, those of 1420, 1421 (Dec.), 1422, 1423, 1425 and 1427.4

Spicer, having made his will in 1427, died at an unknown date before September 1429, and was succeeded in his property at Oxford by his son, John junior (d.1442), although he had bequeathed some of it to his grand daughter Margaret. The property itself, including ‘Rack Hall’, was mainly concentrated in the suburban parish of St. Michael Southgate and in Grandpont, but the MP’s business had doubtless been done in ‘Drapery Hall’ in the town itself, a building which had come to him by inheritance.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: Charles Kightly


  • 1. Oxf. Hist. Soc. (ser. 2), xx. 135, 152-3.
  • 2. Ibid. xxxvii. 19; lxvi. no. 389; lxxi. no. 190; Bodl. Twyne mss 4, f. 19, 23, f. 350.
  • 3. Oxf. Hist. Soc. xviii. 14; xxviii. no. 327; Recs. Med. Oxf. ed. Salter, 54; Liber Albus Oxoniensis ed. Ellis, 192.
  • 4. CCR, 1402-5, p. 319; Oxf. Hist. Soc. lxxi. no. 190; Twyne ms 23, f. 358; Univ. Coll. hustings roll 1a; C219/12/4, 6, 13/1-3, 5.
  • 5. Oxf. Hist. Soc. xv. 302; lxiv. nos. 307, 309; xci. 179; (ser. 2), xiv. 131, 237, 242; xx. 6-7, 10, 135, 152-3.