TUNSTALL, John, of Winchelsea, Suss.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Dep. butler, Winchelsea 14 Oct. 1399-27 Dec. 1400.
Mayor, Winchelsea Easter 1411-15.1
Tunstall witnessed a deed at Winchelsea in 1396. His trading concerns there included importing salt, and he also dealt in nautical stores, like the eight bins (‘bunnys’) which he supplied to the town in 1399 for provisioning a ship it was equipping to serve Richard II on his second expedition to Ireland. During the summer of the same year Tunstall visited the sheriff of Sussex, Sir William Fiennes, with regard to allegations made against Thomas Bette*, and he later rode to see Bishop Rede of Chichester ‘ad scrutandum rumores de castro de Pevense’, which was in danger of falling to the Lancastrians. Winchelsea paid him 10s.6d. as his fee that year (though in what official capacity he was acting is uncertain), and he represented that Port at the Brodhull which met in July. Following Henry of Bolingbroke’s accession to the throne, Tunstall was appointed as deputy to the new King’s chief butler, John Payn II*. While in office, in February 1400, he attended a Guestling at Hastings on Winchelsea’s behalf.2
Between 1404 and 1421 Tunstall held land at Udimore, Pett, Guestling and Icklesham, on which, as a Portsman, he claimed exemption from parliamentary fifteenths. In the meantime he began to trade at New Romney, where he paid maltolts from 1408 to 1422.3