TOPCLIFFE, Henry, of Cambridge.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

Offices Held

Bailiff, Cambridge Sept. 1422-3.1


At Easter 1419, not long before his first return to Parliament, Topcliffe was associated with John Cappe* and a local dyer in acquiring from John Hokington* a messuage in Cambridge, for which they agreed to pay 33s.4d. a year during the lifetime of Hokington’s wife, but thereafter would hold rent-free. When, two years later, he was party to the purchase of eight acres of land on the outskirts of the town, he may have been acting on behalf of a fellow burgess, Richard Bush, but it was on his own account that he subsequently paid the local authorities rent for part of a close in ‘Alweneslane’2

Topcliffe was elected to his third and last Parliament in 1423, immediately after completing his only recorded term as a bailiff of Cambridge.3 Having previously been an elector to the Parliament of 1414 (Nov.), he again took part in the borough elections of 1425 and 1427. In the meantime, he was one of the first eight burgesses to be nominated by Bush and John Knapton* to the common council of Cambridge, in April 1426, and later the same year was, as a ‘counsellor’ appointed to represent the town at the Magna Congregatio of the university.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: E.M. Wade


  • 1. E368/194 m. 103.
  • 2. CP25(1)30/95/19, 24; Cambridge Docs. ed. Palmer, i. p. lxix.
  • 3. His attendance is proved by the payment of £5 13s. in wages made by the town treasurers in 1424; C.H. Cooper, Annals, i. 172.
  • 4. Ibid. 175-6.