STOKKES, John, of Derby.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
?1s. John Stokkes†.
The Stokkes family had lived in Derby since the early 14th century,3 and by now were prominent in its affairs. It is likely that John was the brother of Elias*, uncle of Thomas* and father of another John, the Member of 1422 and 1427. After representing the borough in Parliament three times, and immediately following his first bailiffship, he achieved appointment as bailiff of Queen Anne’s liberty in the town and shire of Derby, retaining this post until her death. During his tenure he was returned to the Parliament of 1393, but shortly after this (in Trinity term) he was indicted by some townspeople before the King’s bench, then sitting at Derby, for several offences, including false imprisonment, extortion, and illegal disseisin. In most instances he was found guilty, but his continued occupation of royal office indicates that the penalties were not unduly severe. Stokkes went surety for John Prentice I*, who was up before the same court, but when he and Elias Stokkes did likewise, offering bonds in £100 on behalf of Richard Sherman* and Thomas Shore*, their securities were adjudged forfeit. It may have been to avoid the consequences of such charges that, in June 1398, Stokkes took out a royal pardon.4 A month later he gave pledges in Chancery that a Lincolnshire chaplain would not prosecute complaints in the Papal Curia. He was again town bailiff when returned to his sixth Parliament (the first of Henry IV’s reign), and he and his fellow bailiff, Richard Trowell*, were subsequently appointed by the sheriff as custodians of the property in Derby belonging to Ralph Stathum, an adherent of the rebellious earl of Huntingdon.5 He was probably the John Stokkes listed among the six named burgesses attending the borough election of 1411, but it may have been his younger namesake who performed jury service at the investigations into lollardy conducted in March 1414.6