VINCENT, John, of Sutton, Suss.
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Family and Education
John may have been the son of Simon Vincent, the former MP for Chichester, with whom he was associated in a suit for debt brought against John atte Wode of Lewes in or before 1405, although there is no evidence that he ever inherited Simon’s property in east Sussex. His own landed holdings were situated for the most part in the Arun valley, where he was a tenant of the earls of Arundel at Houghton and South Stoke. In 1408 he and his wife received seisin from William Neel*, Thomas Patching* and Robert Jugler*, all citizens of Chichester, of lands, tenements and rents at Sutton, Watersfield in Coldwaltham and Barnham, which they were to place in the hands of a different body of trustees ten years later.2
Vincent’s competence as a lawyer is attested by his appearance in the King’s bench in 1402 on behalf of the prior of Hardham, whom Bishop Rede of Chichester was suing for persistent poaching in the episcopal warren at Coldwaltham and, although judgement was given for the bishop, he continued to be retained as counsel for the defendant and his servants in later years. Following the destruction of the bishop’s lodge at the warren in the autumn of 1405, Vincent went surety in 100 marks for Thomas Haberger, one of the alleged culprits, undertaking that he would not harm Rede or his men, nor set fire to his buildings. Meanwhile, at the assizes held at Lewes in 1403, Vincent had conducted the case for the dean and chapter of Chichester cathedral in their dispute with the prior of Tortington. He regularly stood as surety in Chancery for persons from Sussex engaged in lawsuits in the London courts, and in August 1413 he provided financial securities for Richard Sherter*, William Hore* and the latter’s wife, in connexion with an appeal brought before the chancellor regarding debts contracted in the Staple court at Chichester by the late Roger Raketon. It was perhaps Vincent’s ability as an advocate which had led to his election to Parliament by the burgesses of Midhurst earlier in the same year, and was to make him a suitable candidate for election by the citizens of Chichester in March 1416. On the latter occasion he attended the county court held in Chichester for the election of the knights of the shire who were to accompany him to the Commons.3 Vincent is not recorded after 1418.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. West Suss. RO, add. ms 12300.
- 2. Two Fitzalan Surveys (Suss. Rec. Soc. lxvii), 91, 130, 147; Suss. Feet of Fines (ibid. xxiii), no. 2871; West Suss. RO, add. mss 12300, 12309.
- 3. Chichester Cart. (Suss. Rec. Soc. xlvi), 271-2; CCR, 1402-5, pp. 118, 495; 1405-9, p. 79; 1413-19, p. 87; JUST 1/1512 m. 66; C219/11/8.
- 4. He was perhaps the father of another John Vincent, who lived in Chichester in the 1440s: Suss. Arch. Colls. lxxxix. 138, 161-2.