ST. PIERRE, Urian (d.1436), of Shrewsbury, Salop.
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Family and Education
m. bef. Jan. 1407, Joan, sis. of Sir Roger Acton, ?2da.
Assessor, Shrewsbury Sept. 1412-13; bailiff 1423-4, 1430-1.1
Constable, Shrewsbury castle Sept. 1412-d.
Alnager, Salop Easter 1413-19.
Coroner, Salop 14 Jan. 1423-8 Feb. 1436.2
Urian was a Christian name customary in the St. Pierre family resident in Cheshire, and the MP himself may have belonged to the junior branch living at Coole in the hundred of Nantwich, whose principal holdings passed to an heiress in Richard II’s reign. Certainly, his early interests were in that neighbourhood: in October 1391 he stood surety for David St. Pierre (perhaps his brother) in connexion with the latter’s assumption of office as bailiff of the hundred, and he himself, similarly, was connected with the administration of Nantwich in 1402 and 1410. On the latter occasion he entered into recognizances with Henry, prince of Wales, to ensure the payment of arrears of revenue from the hundred.3
By this time St. Pierre had married the sister of Sir Roger Acton who, having been sheriff of Shropshire in 1404-5 and 1409-10, was to be executed in 1414 for taking part in Sir John Oldcastle’s* rebellion. In 1407 St. Pierre had purchased property in Shrewsbury, Coleham and Abbey Foregate and subsequently, on 31 Jan. 1408, had obtained admission as a burgess of Shrewsbury, ‘pro se et heredibus de corpore suo legitime procreatis’.4 His speculations in property led to a major quarrel with the constable of Shrewsbury castle, Nicholas Gerard*, and were the subject of at least three assizes of novel disseisin, not to mention the cause of a violent assault by Gerard on St. Pierre in Castle Street. When eventually, on 31 Aug. 1410, the parties reached agreement, it was decided that Urian and his wife should relinquish the disputed premises to Gerard and, having taken the advice of Thomas, earl of Arundel, they promised to do their best to secure the earl’s ‘good lordship’ for their adversary. In return, Gerard agreed to surrender his royal patent of office as constable and to obtain this post for St. Pierre, undertaking also to pay him £15, while an additional £5 (the amount due to Gerard as his fee since the previous Easter) was to be provided by the sheriff, who then happened to be St. Pierre’s brother-in-law.5 In the event St. Pierre failed to obtain royal appointment as constable until he being then described as ‘King’s esquire’. His occupancy, however, was backdated to the previous Michaelmas, and was to be for life. On 29 Mar. following, a week after Henry V’s accession, he was also appointed as royal alnager in Shropshire, and it was, therefore, while holding both offices, as well as being a borough assessor, that he first entered the House of Commons. On 20 Apr., at Shrewsbury castle, he attended the shire elections to the same Parliament, and on 24 May, while it was in session, he joined with the two knights of the shire and with his own fellow Member, David Holbache, in acting as mainpernor in Chancery for one Matthew ap Meredith. It is worthy of remark that the shire knights and Holbache were all retainers of the King’s friend the earl of Arundel, whom Henry had promoted to the treasurership of the Exchequer at the very beginning of his reign; and it may well have been the case that St. Pierre’s own connexion with the earl had been instrumental not only in securing for him his seat in the Lower House, but also his royal offices. Less than a month after the dissolution, on 1 July, the King confirmed his constableship. St. Pierre was to attend the shire elections to several Parliaments, certainly those of 1414 (Nov.), 1421 (May), 1422, 1423, 1425, 1427 and 1429 and, while constable of Shrewsbury castle, he himself again represented the borough on three more occasions, on the second of which (1423) he was town bailiff as well.6
Two months after the conclusion of his second bailiffship (1430-1), St. Pierre served as a juror at Shrewsbury during the inquiry into liability to contribute to a royal aid. Since 1423 he had been acting as a coroner in Shropshire, but in February 1436, when he was said to be ‘too sick and aged’ to officiate, the sheriff was instructed to elect a replacement. He died before 15 Nov. the same year.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
Variants: Seinpiere, Seintpiere, Sempier, Seympere, Seynpier, Seyntpiere.
- 1. Shrewsbury Guildhall, box II, 67, f. 13; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), iii. 243-4.
- 2. C242/10/5.
- 3. G. Ormerod, Palatine and City of Chester ed. Helsby, ii. 598-9; iii. 389; DKR, xxxvi (pt. 2), 417-18. The pedigree in Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 424-5, is not reliable.
- 4. Add. 30319, ff. 88-89, 91; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), v. 48, 51.
- 5. Salop Peace Roll ed. Kimball, 83; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. liv. 102-4; JUST 1/750 mm. 3d, 4; Shrewsbury Guildhall, box VIII, 355; CP25(1)195/20/23.
- 6. CCR, 1413-19, p. 77; C219/11/2, 5, 12/5, 13/1-3, 5, 14/1.
- 7. Feudal Aids, iv. 259; CCR, 1435-41, p. 9; CPR, 1436-41, p. 25.