POLRUDDON, Pascoe, of St. Columb Major and Polruddon in St. Austell, Cornw.
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?1s. John Polruddon†.
Commr. of inquiry, Cornw., Devon Mar. 1403 (ownership of disputed lands).
Under sheriff, Cornw. c. Mich. 1407-8.1
Clerk of the peace, Cornw. c.1416-18.2
Two years before his first return to Parliament Polruddon was under threat of excommunication for doing damage in Bishop Brantingham’s manor of Pawton in St. Breoke. However, after performing the required penance (that he should walk in the procession at the local church without cloak, hat or robe, make a public apology and offer a wax candle weighing one pound), he was absolved. At that time he was living in the adjacent parish of St. Columb Major, but in the course of his career he acquired properties elsewhere in Cornwall, in the parishes of St. Austell, Veryan and St. Dennis, places for the most part situated on the coast between the two boroughs which he represented in the Commons.3
Polruddon’s training as a lawyer was completed before his election to Parliament for Lostwithiel. In the same year (1388) he acted in the court of common pleas as an attorney for a number of Cornishmen, on two occasions in suits of such complexity and legal interest as to warrant mention in the Year Books. He may have had some connexion with Sir Robert Tresilian†, c.j.KB, who was executed by order of the same Parliament, for when inquiries were made in Cornwall about Tresilian’s estates, he was able to provide the King’s commissioners with detailed information relating to their tenure and about the judge’s misdeeds in the shire. While Polruddon did conduct his clients’ suits at the Launceston assizes, his main practice would appear to have been in the King’s bench: thus, for example, in the Trinity term of 1399 he provided securities on behalf of several Cornishmen, undertaking that they would pay fines adjudged in the court; and in the following Michaelmas term (during the Parliament at which he represented Truro) he acted as attorney for the prior of La unceston in a case of trespass. In the previous year, however, he had himself been fined £5 for contempt of court, and it was probably in connexion with another suit that in February 1399, along with Richard Respryn* and Robert Treffridowe, he entered into recognizances for £100 with the dean and canons of St. Stephen’s chapel at Westminster, at the same time making separate arrangements to reimburse Respryn and Treffridowe with £74. On another occasion Polruddon appeared in Chancery as mainpernor for a clerk who, by colour of a papal provision (contrary to the Statute of Provisors) had accepted the vicarage of St. Gorran, Cornwall.4
Although at one time (in 1404) Polruddon was handling a brief on behalf of the earl of Devon, without doubt the most important of his regular clients was the steward of the duchy of Cornwall, (Sir) John Arundell I* of Lanherne, who in September 1407 appointed him as his attorney to deliver seisin of part of his estates to feoffees, and shortly afterwards named him as his deputy in the shrievalty of Cornwall. The date of Polruddon’s appointment as clerk of the peace in the county is not known, but it was made some time between 1410 and 1416; and Arundell, who was the most prominent man on the bench, may again have been responsible. There is no indication of the date of Polruddon’s death, but he must have been getting on in years by 1428 when, indeed, he asked John Polruddon, probably his son, to stand in for him at proceedings at the Launceston assizes.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. JUST 1/1519 m. 94d.
- 2. E. Stephens, Clerks of Counties, 69.
- 3. Reg. Brantingham ed. Hingeston-Randolph, 617; Cornw. RO, Carew Pole ms HD/11/181; JUST 1/1527 m. 20; CCR, 1422-9, p. 337; Feudal Aids, i. 226, 227.
- 4. Yr. Bk. 1387-8 ed. Thornley, 93; 1389-90 ed. Plucknett, 61, 68; CIMisc. v. 134-5, 144, 211; JUST 1/1502 m. 210; KB27/514 attorneys’ roll, 549 m. fines, 553 m. fines, 554 m. 3; CCR, 1396-9, p. 436.
- 5. KB27/574 m. 18; CCR, 1399-1401, p. 124; Cornw. RO, Enys ms DDEN/1935; JUST 1/1540 m. 115d. John was already an apprentice-at-law (C219/13/5), and had sat for Truro in 1423 and Bodmin in 1427. He owned property in the parishes of St. Austell, Philleigh and Gluvias, and m. Florence, da. of Thomas Trewythian, a man from whom Pascoe Polruddon had leased land in 1412 (Cornw. Feet of Fines (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. 1950), 977; Carew Pole ms HD/11/182).