CLINK, John (d.1433), of Westminster.

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 1413
Nov. 1414

Family and Education

m. Rose (?Byncombe).

Offices Held

King’s messenger: attached to the royal household by 1392; of the Exchequer from Nov. 1396; in the service of Henry of Monmouth by 1402.

Parker of Petworth, Suss. 11 July 1405-c. 1416, of Liskeard, Cornw. 6 Nov. 1408-28 Apr. 1431.

Water bailiff, Dartmouth 12 Oct. 1405-d., Caen 12 Jan. 1418-c. 1422.2

Havener of the ports of Plymouth and Cornw. by Mich. 1412-c. Dec. 1415.3

Commr. of inquiry, Devon, Cornw. July, Nov. 1412, Dec. 1431, June, July 1432 (infractions of truces at sea); to requisition vessels for royal service, Cornw., Devon, Dorset, Hants Dec. 1423, Kent, Suss. May, June 1429; of arrest Feb. 1427, May 1431; to search Dartmouth for contraband Sept. 1430; arrange for the restitution of stolen vessels Oct. 1431.

Serjeant-at-arms, Aug. 1417-d.4


Clink entered royal service in or shortly before 1392 and remained in the Crown’s employ until his death more than 40 years later. In 1392 he travelled to York with Richard II’s household and that autumn helped to organize transport for the return journey to Westminster of the rolls, writs and memoranda of the Exchequer, the department to which he was to be attached four years later as a messenger. After the deposition of Richard II, Clink entered the service of the new King’s eldest son, Henry of Monmouth, and it was as his envoy that in July 1403, shortly before the battle of Shrewsbury, he took letters to Henry IV at Burton-upon-Trent. This particular service earned him 13s.6d. as a reward, while his general assistance to the prince of Wales in the borders ensured a favourable reception for his petition for the parkership of Petworth, which fell to the King’s gift following the forfeiture of the earl of Northumberland’s estates two years later.5 In the same year (1405) the prince granted Clink the office of water bailiff of Dartmouth for life, in lieu of an annuity of £5 which he had enjoyed up till then,6 and the King gave him and another of the prince’s servants the sum of 20 marks to be raised from the sale of the possessions of a Welsh rebel. Clink continued to travel with Prince Henry’s household, although when it was at Westminster he probably stayed in his own house, a small property in King Street.7

It was clearly the grant of the parkership of Liskeard (a post which was given him for life as a reward for good service to the prince of Wales as ‘servant’ and ‘yeoman’), which first took Clink to the West Country. All three of the Cornish boroughs which returned him to Parliament belonged to Henry of Monmouth as members of the duchy of Cornwall and remained in his possession after his accession to the throne in 1413; and no doubt Clink’s position, affording him personal access to Henry, carried considerable weight when the burgesses were given the opportunity to choose him. At the time of his election to Henry V’s first Parliament, in 1413, and his third, in 1414, Clink was also occupying the post of havener of the ports of the duchy.

A new phase of Clink’s career began when Henry V proposed to invade Normandy. In the spring of 1415 he organized ships to take the King’s ambassadors to France, and, after negotiations failed, on 29 Apr. he entered a contract to serve in the King’s retinue in France for one year. Royal letters of protection were issued to him on 5 June, and there can be no doubt that he crossed the Channel some two months later. Clink was back at Westminster in the new year, but when the time came for Henry V to invade Normandy again he was once more ready to take part.8 In August 1417, at Touques, where the English army now made its landing, he was appointed as a royal serjeant-at-arms, and it was not long before he received the office of water bailiff of Caen.

Following Henry V’s death, Clink continued to serve the Crown as serjeant-at-arms, but was allocated no salary until after he had petitioned the Parliament of 1426 for payment of the sum of 1s. a day to which he considered himself entitled. In July 1427 he was paid £10 for expenses incurred in conducting the Scottish earl of Crawford, along with other hostages for the payment of the ransom of James I of Scotland, from the Tower of London to the custody of the wardens of the marches who were then at York. Over the next six years Clink was kept busy executing various royal commissions in Cornwall and Devon, but he decided to surrender one of his offices, the parkership of Liskeard, in 1431. He died two years later, shortly before 7 Dec. 1433. Subsequently, Clink was described in a petition addressed to the then chancellor, Bishop Stafford of Bath and Wells, as ‘lately your servant’. Robert Byncombe, a kinsman of Clink’s wife, encountered obstacles when trying to carry out her wishes for the provision of a chaplain who was to celebrate mass in St. Andrew’s church, Plymouth; and it may have been there that Clink was buried.9

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. C219/10/5. Not Clyv as in OR .
  • 2. C64/8 m. 15.
  • 3. E122/113/3; R. Inst. Cornw. Jnl. n.s. iv. 117.
  • 4. SC8/101/5027.
  • 5. CPR, 1391-6, pp. 189, 191; J.H. Wylie, Hen. IV, iv. 205; SC8/181/9050; E101/404/24 f. 8d.
  • 6. John Corp* and Edmund Arnold*, both of Dartmouth, who are recorded as acting as water bailiffs of Dartmouth between 1400 and 1419, probably did so as Clink's deputies.
  • 7. CCR, 1399-1402, p. 515; 1405-9, pp. 45, 248.
  • 8. E101/69/3/369; E404/31/210, 352; C76/98 m. 8; CCR, 1413-19, p. 356.
  • 9. SC8/101/5027; CPR, 1422-9, p. 414; 1429-36, p. 328; Cal. Scots. Docs. iv. 1009; E404/43/358, 49/19; C1/10/253.