CUDDON, Peter I, of Dunwich, Suff.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Dunwich Sept. 1368-70.1
Tax collector, Suff. Nov. 1383, Dec. 1384.
The Cuddon family was domiciled at Dunwich by the late 13th century (Edward Cuddon being bailiff of the town in 1302), and members of it sat for the borough in the Parliaments of 1307, 1312, 1313 and 1331. The most important local family of our period, it acquired land outside the town, and by 1374 Peter Cuddon was in possession of the nearby manor of Westleton. In August 1384 he and Robert Cuddon (probably his brother) were among the burgesses party to an agreement with Sir Robert Swillington on behalf of the commonalty of Dunwich, regarding the foreshore rights over the havens of Dunwich and Southwold. In his capacity as bailiff, Robert Cuddon was responsible for the parliamentary returns of 1386 and 1390 (Jan.) when Peter was elected for the fifth and seventh times.2
The Cuddons were often associated with the Phelips of Dennington, who were to rise to national prominence under the Lancastrians. For instance, in 1389 Peter Cuddon was co-feoffee with William Phelip (father of Sir William* and Sir John*) of property in Dunwich and elsewhere in the area, perhaps acting on behalf of Robert Garneys, with whom his own son Peter II later had dealings. In the following year he purchased several acres of land at Homersfield on the river Waveney, some distance inland from Dunwich, a transaction marking another step in the Cuddons’ move into the ranks of the gentry.3
It is unclear whether it was he or his son Peter who acted as mainpernor for Nicholas Goodber at the Dunwich elections to the Parliament of 1397 (Jan.),4 and who sat for the borough in 1399. However, election of the younger man seems more likely, as the elder Peter’s other son, Robert I, had been returned in 1395.
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: K.N. Houghton
Variants: Codon, Codoun.