TURNAUNT, Richard (d.1433), of Winchester, Hants.
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Family and Education
Commons’ bailiff, Winchester Mich. 1415-16; mayor 1419-20, 1426-7.2
Through his marriage to Gilbert Forster’s widow, Turnaunt took control of considerable property and fulling interests in Winchester. His main business was in the finishing of cloth: one of the two tenters attached to the city fulling mill at Coitebury was let to him for 6s.8d. a year from 1416 until his death;3 and from 1414 he leased a plot on the north side of Buck Street where was another tenter (in 1430 taking up a new 50-year lease of the same). Towards the end of his life he also rented from St. Swithun’s priory the site of a fulling mill at Easton near Winchester, where he agreed to build, equip and maintain a new mill. Forster’s property, which Turnaunt had taken over by 1417, centred on Tanner Street with the city mill to the east. The pattern of expansion undertaken by the entrepreneurs of the clothing industry was to acquire tenements, cottages and workshops adjoining their own dwelling houses so that they lived in the midst of their workmen and manufacturing premises. Thus, Turnaunt lived in a house formed out of a group of tenements at the southern end of Tanner Street, and his block of property extended through to Buck Street. From 1417 he also leased ‘Dalronsmede’ off Shulworth Street.4
At the parliamentary elections held at Winchester in 1413 Turnaunt stood surety for the attendance in the Commons of a fellow clothier, Mark le Faire, and as bailiff he notified the sheriff of Hampshire of the results of the elections of March 1416. His own first return to Parliament occurred within a few days of the end of his bailiffship. It was a rare occurrence for a mayor of Winchester to be elected to Parliament while in office, but it was during Turnaunt’s first mayoralty in 1419 that he was returned for the third time. At an unknown date in 1421 or 1422 he rode to Southampton with the then mayor, Richard Bolt*, and 12 other of the ‘best men’ of Winchester, seeking to resolve a disagreement with a messenger of the Chancery. (He may well have had trading interests there for he was a feoffee of property in the port as well as at Winchester.) Then, eight years later, he received travelling expenses for going with the mayor and John Bye† ‘pro cc. marcis domino Henrico Cardinali’ (possibly a loan to the Crown negotiated by Cardinal Beaufort). Meanwhile, in the Parliament held at Leicester in 1426, he had acted as proxy for the abbot of Hyde. In June 1432, when up at Westminster for his last Parliament, Turnaunt provided securities at the Exchequer for the newly appointed alnagers of Hampshire.5
That same year Turnaunt’s property in Winchester was reported by a local jury to be worth £2 p.a., but this was probably an underestimate, for in November 1430 he had been assessed at 50s. by the collectors of a fifteenth, a figure suggesting that he was then the wealthiest layman living in the city.6 Indeed, the cash legacies of his will, made on 7 Jan. 1433, totalled more than £456. Turnaunt left £100 each to his sons, Edmund and Richard, £5 to a servant, John Smith, and £5 to other members of his household. He also bequeathed 30s. to the fabric fund of the cathedral, £2 to that of his parish church, St. George’s, and nearly £3 to various religious foundations in the city. For funeral expenses he left £13 6s.8d., while £18 was to serve as the salary for three years of a chaplain celebrating mass at St. George’s. For the upkeep of his sons and a daughter, during their time under the guardianship of his widow, Turnaunt left £60, to his sister £20, to his niece for her marriage £6 13s.4d., and for the marriage of his stepdaughter, Denise Gade, £10. Woollen and linen goods worth £100 were to be distributed for the good of his soul. That one of Turnaunt’s executors, Robert Holand, was a citizen of London, may well indicate the main direction of his trading concerns. He died within four weeks, and was buried in the cathedral cemetery. His widow, who may have originally come from Colchester, took as her third husband Robert Large†, the London mercer, and then, after his death in 1441, she married John Gedney*.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. CCR, 1441-7, p. 458; PCC 17 Luffenham.
- 2. Stowe 846, ff. 132, 136v, 142, 152.
- 3. Winchester RO, bagmen and laghmen accts. 4, 5-6 Hen. V; chamberlains’ accts. 7-8 Hen. V, 9 Hen. V-1 Hen. VI, 8-9, 11-12 Hen. VI.
- 4. D.J. Keene, Surv. Winchester (Winchester Studies 2), i. 224; ii. nos. 88, 363, 476-8, 490, 496; Reg. Common Seal (Hants Rec. Soc. ii), no. 212.
- 5. C219/11/2, 8; Winchester RO, chamberlains’ accts. 9 Hen. V-1 Hen. VI, 8-9 Hen. VI; Stowe 846, f. 145; HMC 11th Rep. III, 82; CFR, xvi. 73; SC10/48/2384.
- 6. Feudal Aids, ii. 374; Winchester RO, 37/BX/SR1.
- 7. PCC 17 Luffenham; Guildhall Lib. London 9171/5 ff. 327d-8. Through his mother, Juliana, Edmund Turnaunt acquired an interest in the manors of Binsted and Bilsham, Suss. (CCR, 1441-7, pp. 458, 473), but his half-brother, Richard, fared even better, by eventually inheriting the bulk of the estates in Mdx. and elsewhere of his stepfather, Gedney.