NEWLAND, John, of Grimsby, Lincs.
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Family and Education
Commr. of array, Grimsby July 1377.
Collector of a tax, Grimsby Dec. 1380.
Bailiff, Grimsby Mich. 1381-2; mayor 1382-3.1
Coroner of the liberty of Grimsby bef. 3 Apr. 1385-aft. 25 July 1390.2
It is now impossible to tell if this MP was the John Newland of Rawcliffe in Yorkshire who, in 1366, together with his wife, Joan, conveyed extensive property in Grimsby to a local man named William Stalyngburgh. Whether or not he came to settle in the borough from elsewhere, he was certainly a figure of some consequence there by 1377, when he served on a royal commission of array. Soon afterwards he was summoned to attend the Lincoln assizes as co-defendant in a lawsuit over property brought by the prior of the order of St. John of Jerusalem in England, but he did not appear and the case seems to have been dropped. During his term as bailiff of Grimsby, Newland was responsible for holding two parliamentary elections; and in the following year, while mayor, he made an unsuccessful attempt to prevent William Elmsall* from making an illegal shipment of grain to the enemy in Scotland. Notwithstanding his failure to arrest the cargo, he was still expected to account for it at the Exchequer, and thus faced a demand for £33 6s.8d. to be met out of his own pocket. In both 1385 and 1386 Newland performed jury service at Grimsby, where, for at least five years, he also held office as one of the coroners.3
Despite this heavy load of official commitments, Newland found time to pursue his own commercial ventures, not all of which did him credit. In January 1388, for example, he was found guilty before the local j.p.s of conspiring with his former adversary, William Elmsall, to forestall four boats of fresh herring and thus take profits of £10 in excess of the usual price. Although he faced damages of £5, over and above the customary fine of 40s., the verdict had little, if any, effect on his career. In the following March he was included on the list of prominent local figures who were to take the general oath in support of the Lords Appellant; and in 1392 he shipped a cargo of dry goods worth over £5 through the port of Kingston-upon-Hull. He again did business there in June 1401, when the Godberad de Camfer carried merchandise valued at £10 for him.4