ALLEYN, Thomas, of East Grinstead, Suss.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. by 1383, Agnes.
Bailiff, East Grinstead Mich. 1394-6.1
Jure uxoris, Alleyn held a moiety of a messuage in East Grinstead, which he and his wife sold to William Rasse and the latter’s son in 1383. Two years earlier he had been a prominent member of the band of rioters, headed by Sir Edward Dallingridge* and the latter’s son-in-law, Sir Thomas Sackville II*, who, in their pursuance of a vendetta against local ministers of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster (and, incidentally, lord of the borough of East Grinstead) had, in the spring of 1381, attacked the duke’s steward for Sussex while he was holding a court at Hungry Hatch, raided houses belonging to the duke at Ringmer, and seized and burnt a number of official documents. Subsequently they hunted in the ducal forests of Maresfield and Ashdown, carried off duchy goods at Fletching and East Grinstead, and finally, in March 1384, killed an under forester. No action was taken against the miscreants until June following, when a royal commission of oyer and terminer was issued and Dallingridge was brought to trial. What became of Alleyn is less clear, although a year later he succeeded in obtaining a pardon for his share in the murder and Sackville was pardoned for harbouring him, the King’s mercy on both counts being secured by the intercession of Sir James Berners*, a favoured knight of the royal chamber.2
Alleyn served as a juror at East Grinstead for the inquest post mortem on Sir John St. Cler† in July 1388. At the time of his first Parliament, in January 1393, he was suing John Russell of Lewes in the court of common pleas for recovery of a debt of ten marks. Subsequently, he was made bailiff of East Grinstead for two consecutive terms, rendering account to the officials of the duchy with whom he had earlier been at odds. In July 1407 he himself took out a pardon of outlawry following his failure to appear in the central courts to answer the prior of Lewes, to whom he owed 20 marks. In 1409, together with his wife, Alleyn made a settlement on feoffees of 20 acres of arable land and four of meadow in East Grinstead and at Lingfield, Surrey (some three miles away).3 He is not recorded after his election to the first Parliament of Henry V’s reign.