GEFFE (JEFFE), Robert, of New Romney, Kent.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. (1) bef. Feb. 1386, Alice, wid. of William Senebache; (2) bef. 1399, Sarah.1
Jurat, New Romney 25 Mar. 1394-5, 1396-8, 1400-1, 1402-3, 1404-13.2
Cinque Ports’ bailiff at Yarmouth Sept.-Nov. 1394, 1396, 1406.3
Between 1385 and 1421 Geffe paid maltolts as a resident of Holyngbroke ward, Romney, where the leading townsmen dwelt. In 1386 he made an enfeoffment of all his lands and rents within the liberty of Romney, while later transactions show him in possession of a mill, a messuage and a grange in St. Martin’s parish, and a tenement with four dwellings annexed to it in St. Nicholas’s. He also owned land in the adjacent hundred of Langport, on which, as a Portsman, he claimed exemption from taxation.4
In 1388 Geffe was employed in negotiations with Archbishop Courtenay over Romney’s attempted revolt from archiepiscopal jurisdiction. In the following year he supervised the construction of groynes on the bridge at Romney. When, in 1397, the town was in financial difficulties and hoped to raise money by using its common barge for commercial purposes, his fellow jurats appointed him along with Simon Clerk† (one of his feoffees) to manage the business by finding equipment and stores for the vessel, and by hiring a crew. In May that year a voyage they had organized to ship timber for sale in Newcastle-upon-Tyne made a profit of £4 with its return cargo of coal; and a second venture, this time to La Rochelle, was put under way in the autumn. While up at the Parliament of 1406, Geffe paid for having the proceedings of the assembly written out for the benefit of the commonalty of Romney. In 1407-8 he was sent to Dover to check the lists of Portsmen made the previous year for the purpose of claiming exemption from parliamentary fifteenths.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: A. P.M. Wright
For much of his career he was called ‘senior’ to distinguish him from a younger namesake who paid maltolts in Bocherye ward from 1389 to 1416: Romney assmt. bk. 2, ff. 25-80.
- 1. Kent AO, NR/JBr/6 no. 5, 12 no. 2; assmt. bk. 2, f. 48.
- 2. C47/64/10/304; assmt. bk. 2, ff. 46, 52, 61, 63, 65, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76; NR/JBr/4 nos. 3, 6, 7, 8 no. 9.
- 3. Assmt. bk. 2, ff. 36, 41, 65.
- 4. NR/JBr/6 no. 5, 7 no. 4, 12 no. 2; assmt. bk. 2, ff. 2-91; E179/237/57.
- 5. Assmt. bk. 2, ff. 18, 21, 44, 65, 66.