MASCALL, John (d.1423), of Southampton.
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Family and Education
?s. of Roger Mascall*. m. (1) by 1411, Joan; (2) Margery (d.1446), 1s.
Bailiff, Southampton Mich. 1405-6, 1408-10, 1411-12; mayor 1414-15, 1420-2; alderman 1415-19, 1422-3.1
Tax collector, Hants Nov. 1416.
The local customs accounts from 1397 show John Mascall sharing in the lading at Southampton of numerous vessels with cloth, as well as importing wine and saffron.2 He became a considerable property owner in the town and its vicinity and, although in 1398, along with the reeve of the secular college of St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Winchester, he was accused at the assizes of unlawful disseisin of lands at Botley, several transactions completed over the next 20 years gave him possession of sizeable holdings in Southampton, situated in Simnel Street, Fish Market, English Street, Above Bar Street and East Street, some of which had previously belonged to John Bigard* and Richard Bradway*.3
In 1409, 1411 and 1412, Mascall’s duties as bailiff involved him in journeys to Westminster for the payment of the fee farm; and when, in October 1420, during the second of his three terms as mayor, he received from the Franciscans on the community’s behalf a grant of the town conduit, he provided for the construction of a new system of pipes.4 It was while mayor that he was returned to Parliament for the first time.
Mascall is last heard of in July 1423, and he died later that year.5 He was buried in the churchyard of St. Mary just outside Southampton. As his widow and executrix, Margery Mascall became sole owner of his estate: in 1431, described as a ‘gentilwoman’ she held premises in the town worth £5 annually; and the terrier of 1454 reveals her as having been one of the most substantial property owners there, the most impressive of her holdings being a large mansion known alternatively as the ‘Counterhous’, ‘Le Cage’ or the ‘Checkerhouse’, in French Street. According to her will, which came up for probate at Romsey on 30 Aug. 1446, these properties were to pass to her son Richard, but he evidently did not long survive her, for the bulk of the estate soon came into the town’s possession. It fell to her executors to make arrangements for the keeping of the obit of John and Margery Mascall in a chantry at the church of the Holy Rood every 10 Nov., the annual cost of this being £1 0s.9d.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. J.S. Davies, Hist. Southampton, 173; Black Bk. (Soton Rec. Soc. xiv), ii. 6, 13, 16, 18, 19; Southampton RO, SC4/2/243, 245. The editor of the Black Bk. (i. 53, 68) causes unnecessary confusion by stating that there were two John Mascalls.
- 2. E122/138/25, 139/6, 184/3 file 1, f. 33.
- 3. JUST 1/1502 m. 24; Queen’s Coll. Oxf. God’s House, D666, R375, 381, 385; Black Bk. i. 69, 117; Southampton RO, SC4/2/218; Hants RO, D/CJ/18, 19; CP25(1)207/31/25.
- 4. E372/255 m. 36, 257 m. 36, 258 m. 37; Davies, 115.
- 5. Southampton RO, SC4/2/245; God’s House, R393.
- 6. C1/6/19; Feudal Aids, ii. 360; God’s House, D376; Southampton RO, SC13/1/1; Hants RO, D/LY/23/21; Davies, 424.