TUNSTALL, Roger (b.1354), of Bedford and Haynes, Beds.

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

b. 1354, yr. s. of Roger Tunstall (d. by 1388) of Haynes by his w. Alice.1

Offices Held

Bailif, Bedford 1396-7; mayor 1398-9, 1406-7, 1409-10.2


The subject of this biography is first mentioned in November 1382, when he and his father joined together to witness a deed conveying property near their home at Haynes. Roger Tunstall the elder may well have died before January 1388, the date of Roger’s next appearance in this capacity: he was certainly dead by the following July, as it was then that our MP and his brother obtained the reversion of a messuage in Haynes occupied by their widowed mother for life. Eleven years later he acquired property in Bedford from William Brown*, and as late as 1427 we still find him consolidating his holdings in the borough. It looks very much, indeed, as if he spent most of his time there, because he was frequently called upon to attest conveyances and offer sureties on behalf of his fellow burgesses. In 1401 he and Ralph Pyrewelle* brought a suit for trespass against John Ferrour* in the mayor’s court; and three years afterwards he was one of the senior residents named as arbitrators in the dispute between his friend, William Brown, and the prebendary of St. Mary’s Bedford.3

On 5 May 1410, Tunstall gave evidence in the successful action brought in the court of chivalry by Reynold, Lord Grey of Ruthin, against Sir Edward Hastings (de jure Lord Hastings), who claimed the right to bear the Hastings arms undifferenced. Tunstall was then described, on his own testimony, as ‘Mayer de Bedford, d’aige de lvj ans, gentilhomme dauncestry, & poit bien despendre par an en la county de Bedford x. marcz, mez n’d peint d’armes’. He went on to attest the indentures for the borough elections to the Parliament of May 1413, November 1414, 1417, 1423.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.


Variants: Dunstall and Tunstalle.

  • 1. Beds. RO, RO5/26.
  • 2. CCR, 1396-9, p. 229; Beds. RO, DDL 239; Bedford Town Hall, DDX 67/54.
  • 3. Beds. RO, RO5/26, 27A; DDTW 343, 373; DDW 19, 20; CCR, 1399-1402, p. 475; 1402-5, p. 128; Bedford Town Hall, Bedford ct. bk. 1400-1, passim; Ancient Chs. and Muns. Bedford (1895), no. 18; CP25(1)6/72/20, 80/5.
  • 4. Grey v. Hastings, 29; C219/11/1, 4, 12/2, 13/2.