Appendix C4: The composition of the Parliament of 1399

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

The composition of the Parliament of 1399

Of the 255 Members whose names are recorded, 110 (as much as 43% of the total) were apparently newcomers to the House of Commons, and only 27 (11%) had sat in the Parliament immediately preceding. It is perhaps not surprising that so few of those who had been party to the Acts of Richard II’s last Parliament had secured re-election, given that by September 1399 the news of the King’s imprisonment and imminent deposition by Henry of Bolingbroke must have reached even the most distant parts of the realm. The Commons were overwhelmingly predisposed to support Henry’s usurpation, not only because at least 23 of their number had been retained by him or his father and looked to the duchy of Lancaster to supplement their incomes and provide employment, but also because no fewer than 18 more had been closely attached to the leading Lords Appellant of 1387-8. The latter group was no doubt only too eager to witness the end of the old regime, the restoration to their birthright of the heirs of Gloucester and Arundel, and the rehabilitation of Warwick. In this context it may be of relevance to note that as many as 34 of the Members now entering the House (13% of the total) had sat in the Merciless Parliament of February 1388, when the Appellants had been triumphant. (No doubt they were behind the Commons’ petitions for the Merciless Parliament to be once more considered valid, and its acts enforced, while all that had been done in the Parliament of 1397-8 should be rescinded.)1 Only one Member of the Parliament of 1399 may be said to have ever been particularly close to Richard II: John Colshull I, a ‘King’s esquire’ and purveyor for the Household right up to the preceding midsummer. Otherwise, the local communities had unanimously withheld their votes from anyone associated with the Ricardian court party.

Naturally enough, Henry IV hastened to distribute largesse to his loyal supporters, and as the lists below make clear he was quick to issue letters patent in favour of Members of the Commons who showed by their acclamation where their allegiance lay. Even before he dissolved Parliament on 19 Nov. he handed out to them new, often very substantial, annuities, made grants in their names of land and wardships, confirmed awards authorized by previous kings and by his father and himself under seal of the duchy of Lancaster, and profferred a number of other concessions in response to their petitions. Altogether, 37 Members were thus favourably singled out and their continued support for the house of Lancaster encouraged. Furthermore, ten of this privileged group, along with 20 others, were given royal offices by the new King’s appointment, or else were permitted by virtue of formal letters of confirmation to stay on in posts they already occupied. Seven parliamentary representatives (including the Speaker, John Doreward) made such a commendable impression in the first few weeks of the new reign as to be considered worthy to be members of Henry’s Council, with salaries of up to 100 marks a year. When all these tangible perquisites are taken into account, it transpires that 22% of the Members benefited directly from Henry’s imperative need to be accepted as King. It was, therefore, somewhat hypocritical of the Commons to profess dismay at ‘les outrageous douns ’ made by Henry to ‘undeserving persons’.2 Twenty-one Members who were j.p.s at the time the elections were held were kept on as such when new commissions were issued just after the dissolution; while 14 more were then newly appointed to their local benches. That 43 of the Members were named on the commissions of array set up three weeks later suggests that there were no doubts of their reliability as upholders of the new regime, although only time would tell whether or not this trust was misplaced.



Berney, Sir Robert                                             
*M, R (‘knight bachelor’; £20 p.a. from either Gaunt or Bolingbroke)                                         
Beville, Robert                                                                    
Bispham, William            
*O, R (£5 p.a.)
Blount, John II*A
Blount, Sir Walter*E, M, O, R (c. £148 p.a.)
Cope, John                    
M, R
Curson, John*A, M, R
Dabrichecourt, Sir Nicholas
*R (£20 p.a.)
Hasilden, Richard*O
Hoghton, Sir Henry*O, R (ten marks p.a.); M, R (£20 p.a.)
Hulle, William Ihe and his fellow MP William Walters expressed the support of their city, Salisbury, to Bolingbroke in July 1399, donating £200 to his campaign
Lambourne, Sir William*M
Lucy, Sir William*M, O, R (£20 p.a. as ‘bachelor’)
Mandeville, Thomas*O, R (£6 13s.4d. p.a.)
Maureward, Sir Thomasdid Bolingbroke ‘good service on his coming to England’
Neville, Sir Robert*M, O, R (£20 p.a.)
Pelham, John*O; A, R (100 marks p.a.)
Preston, John*O
Rochford, John*O
Skelton, Sir Thomas*E, O (chief steward south of Trent; £100 p.a.)
Urswyk, Sir Robert*O, R (c. £50 p.a.)
Walters, William             
see Hulle, William I

* Connected with Guant or employed in the duchy of Lancaster administration


Certain of the above-named were to receive payments from Bolingbroke in December 1399 specifically for having brought forces to him at Ravenspur or on his journey south, and for having provided him with a bodyguard at the time of the Parliament:

Bispham, William£6 13s.4d.
Blount, Sir Walter£233 6s.8d.
Curson, John£100
Neville, Sir Robert£20


The following were associates of Bolingbroke’s friend and companion-in-exile, Sir Thomas Erpingham:

Argentine, Sir WilliamA, poss. O
Berney, Sir RobertA, Att., F, O
Gurney, JohnA, F
Heveningham, Sir JohnA, F



1. Gloucester                                                            
Braybrooke, Sir Gerard  II                                   
A, F; E to Gloucester’s widow; C, E, O to his mother-in-law, the countess of Hereford
Cheyne, Sir John IO, prob. C; condemned to death Sept. 1397, but sentence commuted to imprisonment at the Lords’ request
Coggeshall, Thomas                                
A, Att., F; F, R to his mother-in-law
Doreward, JohnA, Att.; F for his widow; A of his mother-in-law
Heveningham, Sir JohnA
2. Arundel
Berney, Sir RobertF
Burley, John IF, M, O; A, Att., F, O to his heir
Doreward, JohnR; A of his brother, Archbishop Arundel
Fitznichol, Sir ThomasA, F, prob. R
Gurney, JohnO
Horde, Thomas?O — if constable of Clun
Tiptoft, Sir PaynE, F, M, R
Young, Thomas IE, F, O; close to Earl Thomas
3. Warwick
Euer, Sir RalphR (20 marks)
Ruding, WilliamO, R
Spernore, WilliamA, C, F, M, R
Trewythenick, RogerO
Trussell, Sir AlfredC, F, R (20 marks)


The following had received pardons from Richard II specifically for adhering to the Appellants in 1387-8. The Commons now successfully petitioned (RP, iii. 432) that the charters of pardon should remain valid.

Beauchamp, Sir Roger18 May 1398
Braybrooke, Sir Gerard II12 May 1398
Coggeshall, Thomas7 Nov. 1397
Gurney, John14 May 1398
Maidstone, Thomas22 Feb. 1398
Spernore, William1 May 1398
Terry, William II15 June 1398
Tiptoft, Sir Payn30 Apr. 1398
Walwyn, Thomas II18 Nov. 1398



1. New Annuities                                                                        
Bispham, William1s. per diem                                                                                      
18 Nov.                               
Blount, Sir Walter56 marksbef. Jan. 1400
Cheyne, Sir John I100 marks26 Nov.
Curson, John£2019 Nov.
Doreward, John£3510 Dec.
Durham, John£2018 Feb. 1400
Eure, Sir Ralph£5030 Nov.
Francis, Sir Robert£623 Nov.
Grey, Sir Thomas£16 13s.4d. 21 Nov.
Gyles, John£108 Nov.
Hasilden, Richard40 marks25 Nov.
Leek, Williamten marks20 Nov.
Lucy, Sir William100 marks8 Feb. 1400
Ludwick, John£2018 Feb. 1400
Maidstone, Thomasten marks12 Oct.
Neville, Sir Robert40 marks5 Dec.
Shadworth, John£410 Nov.
2. Land, Wardships, etc.
Barbour alias Frye, ThomasExchequer leaseFeb. 1400, backdated to Oct. 1399
Blount, Sir Walterproperty forfeited by DespenserJan. 1400
Cope, Johnexcused payment of £40 for purchase of property6 Oct.
Doreward, Johnlease of alien priory of West Mersea24 Nov.
Durham, Johnlease of Mowbray property23 Oct.
Grey, Sir Thomaswardship and marriage
farm of earl of March’s land
31 Oct.
17 Nov.
Hasilden, Richardlease of Mowbray property27 Oct.
Ludwick, Johnlease of Mowbray property23 Oct.
Pelham, Johnlordship of Bosham during Mowbray minority
land worth £25 p.a.
11 Dec.
Feb. 1400
Preston, Johnlease of estates of Wilmington priory4 Nov.
Stafford, Sir Humphrey Iland in Som. for life28 Oct.
Walwyn, Thomas IIlease of estates of Abergavenny priory22 Oct.
3. Confirmation of grants made by Edward III and Richard II
Cheyne, Sir John IBeckford priory estates, worth 100 marks p.a.20 Nov.
Colshull, John IHuish estates20 Nov.
Courtenay, Sir Philipannuities of £200 and land worth £39 p.a.8 Nov.
Gateford, Johnannuity of £203 Nov.
Grey, Sir Thomasannuity of £5031 Oct.
Maidstone, Thomasannuity of £523 Oct.
Urswyk, Sir Robertannuity of £2018 Oct.
4. Confirmation of grants made previously under seal of the duchy of Lancaster
Berney, Sir Robertannuity of £20 
Bispham, Williamduchy offices 
Blount, Sir Walterduchy offices and annuities 
Curson, Johnduchy offices 
Dabrichecourt, Sir Nicholasannuity of £2018 Nov.
Hoghton, Sir Henryduchy offices 
Lucy, Sir Williamduchy offices 
Mandeville, Thomasland worth £8 p.a. 
Neville, Sir Robertannuity of £208 Dec.
Pelham, Johnduchy offices 
Preston, Johnduchy offices 
Rochford, Johnduchy offices 
Skelton, Sir Thomasduchy offices 
Urswyk, Sir Robertduchy fees, offices and leases 
5. Other concessions
Blickling, Rogerconfirmation of the duchess of Norfolk’s grants17 Nov.
Brooke, Sir Thomasexemption from royal offices13 Nov.
Eure, Sir Ralphexemption from royal offices30 Nov.
Gyles Johnexemplification of ordinance of 1335 on behalf of his constituency, Dover 
22 Oct.
Neville, Sir Robertexemption from royal offices
marriage of his gdda. to King’s half-brother                                          
5 Dec.
Shadworth, Johnprivilege of having the tronage of wool in London at his own warehouse, for life10 Nov.
Tanner, Thomasconfirmation of letters patent of Bishop Erghum granting manumission to his wife                                                        
3 Nov.
Wilcotes, Johnconfirmation of his retaining fee from Despenser15 Feb.
6. Knighthoods
Pelham, Johnon the eve of Henry’s coronation
Rochford, Johnbef. 12 Nov.



1. Customs officials (kept on in their posts by Henry IV unless noted otherwise)
Arnold, John Icollector, Ipswich (removed 15 Oct.); alnager, Suff. (removed 17 Oct.)
Cuttyng, Thomasalnager, Wilts.
Fenn, Hugh attecollector, Gt. Yarmouth; dep. butler, Gt. Yarmouth
Gateford, Johnalnager, Notts.
Godstone, Thomascollector, Ipswich; alnager, Essex and Herts.
Peyntour, Stephencollector, Sandwich
Pound, Williamdep. butler, Kingston-upon-Hull
2. Other
Braybrooke, Sir Gerard IIkeeper of Salcey forest, Northants.
Godstone, Thomashigh bailiff of Guînes and victualler of Guînes castle
Roches, Sir Johnsurveyor of forests in Wilts. and keeper of Marlborough castle
Sturmy, Sir Williamwarden of Savernake forest
Walwyn, Thomas IIescheator, Herefs. (removed 26 Nov.)



1. Sheriffs
Benstede, Sir EdwardEssex and Herts. 3 Nov.                                                             
Cuddington, RalphSurr. and Suss. 23 Jan. 1400
Gurney, JohnNorf. and Suff. 3 Nov.
Leigh, Sir WilliamCumb. 30 Sept.
2. Escheators
Cope, JohnNorthants. and Rutland 26 Nov.
Gateford, JohnNotts. and Derbys. 28 Nov.
3. Customs officials
Doreward, Johndep. butler, Colchester 15 Sept.-14 Oct.
Kymer, Eustacesearcher and tronager, Melcombe Regis 10 Nov.
Pound, Williamcollector, Kingston-upon-Hull 5 Oct.
4. Members of Henry IV’s Council
Brampton, William I1 Nov.
Cheyne, Sir John Iprob. by Feb. 1400
Coggeshall, Thomas1 Nov. (100 marks p.a.)
Curson, Johnc. Nov.
Doreward, John1 Nov. (100 marks p.a.)
Freningham, John1 Nov. (100 marks p.a.)
Shadworth, John1 Nov.
5. Others
Arnold, John Iserjeant-at-arms 21 Nov.
Cope, Johnclerk and serjeant-marshal of the Marshalsea 11 Nov.
Curson, Johnkeeper of Horston castle, Derbys. 18 Jan.
Freningham, Johnjt. keeper of temporalities abpric. Canterbury 5 Sept.-21 Oct.
Grey, Sir Thomasenvoy to Scotland 10 Dec.
Nash, Jamescoroner and King’s attorney in KB 1 Oct.
Pelham, (Sir) Johnknight of King’s chamber and royal swordbearer 24 Oct.
constableship Pevensey castle in tail-male Feb.
Rochford, (Sir) Johnsteward, estates forfeited by earl of Kent Feb.
Tiptoft, Sir Paynknight of King’s chamber
6. new appointments
Stretch, Johnsteward, Devon and Som. 18 Nov.
Urswyk, Sir Robertmaster forester, Lancs. c. Oct.
7. J.p.s appointed by Richard II but retained by Henry IV, 28 Nov.
Barantyn, ThomasOxon.
Biere, WalterDorset
Blickling, RogerNorwich
Blount, John IIWorcs.
Brooke, Sir ThomasSom.
Burley, John ISalop
Curson, JohnDerbys.
Euer, Sir RalphNorthumb., Yorks.
Fenn, Hugh atteGt. Yarmouth
Francis, Sir RobertStaffs.
Freningham, JohnKent
Gateford, JohnNotts.
Grey, Sir ThomasNorthumb.
Hampden, EdmundBucks.
Hardyng, SampsonNorthumb.
Preston, JohnSurr., Suss.
Rochford, (Sir) JohnLincs.
Skelton, Sir ThomasCambs., Hunts.
Stafford, Sir Humphrey IDorset, Wilts.
Trewythenick, RogerCornw.
Young, Thomas ISalop
8. J.p.s newly appointed on 28 Nov. (unless otherwise indicated)
Aston, Sir ThomasStaffs.
Belne, ThomasWorcs.
Bere, (Sir) Kynard de laHerefs.
Berney, Sir RobertNorf.
Botkesham, RobertBishop’s Lynn Feb. 1400
Coggeshall, ThomasEssex
Doreward, JohnEssex
Frome, JohnDorset
Ludwick, JohnHerts.
Musgrave, Sir ThomasWestmld.
Pelham, (Sir) JohnSuss. Feb. 1400
Sturmy, Sir WilliamWilts.
Tiptoft, Sir PaynCambs. 9 Nov.
Walwyn, Thomas IIHerefs.
9. Commissioners of array appointed Dec. 1399 (unless otherwise noted)
Argentine, Sir WilliamSuff.
Barantyn, ThomasOxon.
Bere, (Sir) Kynard de laHerefs.
Berney, Sir RobertNorf.
Blyton, WilliamLincoln (Jan. 1400)
Bonet, JohnSurr. (Jan. 1400)
Bonville, Sir William IDevon
Botkesham, RobertBishop’s Lynn
Brockhill, ThomasKent
Brooke, Sir ThomasDevon
Coggeshall, ThomasEssex
Colshull, John ICornw.
Courtenay, Sir PhilipDevon
Cuddington, RalphSurr.
Curson, JohnDerbys.
Dayrell, RogerBucks.
Doreward, JohnEssex
Euer, Sir RalphYorks.
Flore, RogerRutland
Francis, Sir RobertStaffs.
Freningham, JohnKent
Frome, JohnDorset
Gateford, JohnNotts.
Hampden, EdmundBucks.
Herlyngton, JohnHunts.
Heveningham, Sir JohnSuff.
Lambourne, Sir WilliamCornw.
Lucy, Sir WilliamHerefs.
Ludwick, JohnHerts.
Maureward, Sir ThomasLeics.
Musgrave, Sir ThomasWestmld.
Pelham, JohnHants
Roches, Sir JohnWilts.
Rochford, JohnLincs.
Sparsholt, EdmundBerks.
Stafford, Sir Humphrey IDorset
Stretch, JohnDevon
Sturmy, Sir WilliamWilts.
Tiptoft, Sir PaynCambs.
Trussell, Sir AlfredNorthants.
Walwyn, Thomas IIHerefs.
Wilcotes, JohnOxon.
Young, Thomas ISalop

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: J. S. Roskell

End Notes

  • 1. RP, iii. 425.
  • 2. Ibid. iii. 433.