ARNOLD, John II (d.1433), of Winchester, Hants.

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



May 1413

Family and Education

m. Agnes, wid. of John Turner of the Soke, Winchester, 1s.1

Offices Held

Bp. Beaufort’s bailiff, the Soke and the liberty, Winchester c. Mar. 1405-aft. Mich. 1423; receiver-general, the episcopal estates c. Mich. 1407-c. 1419; jt. apparitor-general of the diocese 3 Jan. 1433-d.2


There were at least three John Arnolds living in Winchester in the early 15th century, but the main outlines of the career of the Hampshire MP are quite clear.3 We are certainly on firm ground when dealing with his close connexion with Henry Beaufort, which began before November 1402, when he was a member of the entourage of Beaufort, then bishop of Lincoln, for his voyage to Brittany to escort Henry IV’s consort to England, and continued after the bishop succeeded William of Wykeham at Winchester. Indeed, when Thomas Warrener, Wykeham’s kinsman, was removed from his office of bailiff of the Soke (which he had held for over 40 years), Arnold was appointed in his place. He remained in the post for perhaps as long as 20 years. From September 1406 he held on a 24-year lease the farm of all the demesne lands pertaining to Wolvesey palace, by Beaufort’s grant. Even more important, in 1407 the bishop made him his receiver at Wolvesey with responsibility for all the revenues of his wealthy diocese. Arnold attended the parliamentary elections for Hampshire held at Winchester in 1411, and two years later he was himself returned to Henry V’s first Parliament, which Beaufort opened as chancellor. While the Parliament was in session Arnold stood surety for John Arnold ‘junior’, the newly appointed joint alnager of Hampshire, who may well have been his son.4

The elder John Arnold, like his younger namesake, was also involved in the cloth trade which flourished in and around Winchester, and it was probably he who in 1401-2 had been assessed for alnage on a small quantity of cloth sold in the city. The properties let to him by Beaufort in 1406 included, for the large annual rent of 40 marks, three local mills, two of which were for fulling. Arnold’s powerful position as bailiff of the Soke enabled him to interfere with the workings of one of the city’s own mills, and a year later the fullers of Winchester complained that he ‘impedivit et interrupit cursum aque, preponens distruccionem et deterioracionen dicti molendi’, thus harming their industry. He was evidently on better terms later with at least one of their number, for he acted as executor of a draper named John Moule.5

Arnold was clearly in demand as an executor, and is known to have been asked to act as such by, among others, Dr. Thomas Ayleward (parson of Havant and himself one of Bishop Wykeham’s executors), Thomas Lavington (rector of Meon Stoke), and Thomas, 2nd Lord West. The last, when he made his will on 1 Aug. 1415, left Arnold £6 13s.4d., but after West’s death at sea in the following year he, in conjunction with his fellows, refused to undertake the administration of the will. Arnold attended the Hampshire elections to the Parliaments of 1414 (Nov.) (when Lewis John, a close associate of Bishop Beaufort’s cousin, Thomas Chaucer*, was elected), 1419 and 1420.6

The full extent of Arnold’s property in and near Winchester is not known, though he certainly owned some buildings in Kingsgate Street, and leased from St. Swithun’s priory a lime-kiln and fishery. In 1431 his premises in the city were valued at £4 p.a. Although by then he had ceased to act as bailiff of the Soke, his commendable services to Cardinal Beaufort were by no means forgotten. In January 1433 the cardinal granted him and his son John the office of apparitor-general of the diocese for term of their lives in survivorship. Arnold senior did not occupy it for long: both he and his widow were dead by June that year.7

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Winchester Coll. muns. 1287.
  • 2. Ibid. 1076-8, 1100, 1104, 1127-8; Hants RO, bp. of Winchester’s pipe rolls 159409-27; Reg. of the Common Seal (Hants Rec. Ser. ii) nos. 95, 110, 130.
  • 3. He was evidently not the John Arnold whom Bishop Wykeham described as ‘noster clericus commensalis ’ when, in 1397, he appointed him as his apparitor-general and whom (although not called ‘clerk’) he confirmed in that office in 1402 as a reward for his past service. Two years later this John Arnold received a bequest of £5 in Wykeham’s will; Reg. Wykeham (Hants Rec. Soc. 1896-9), ii. 476, 534; R. Lowth, Wm. of Wykeham, p. xlv.
  • 4. Winchester Coll. muns. 1083, 1104, 1128; E368/180 m. 108, 181 m. 110d; C219/10/6; CFR, xiv. 8; E101/320/38; Reg. of the Common Seal, no. 98.
  • 5. E101/344/17; VCH Hants, v. 49; CPR, 1422-9, p. 238; Black Bk. Winchester ed. Bird, 191; Reg. of the Common Seal, no. 98.
  • 6. C219/11/5, 12/3, 4; CPR, 1416-22, p. 19; Reg. Wykeham, i. p. xii; Reg. Chichele, ii. 98; Winchester Coll. muns. 19859; 19916; Hants RO, Reg. Beaufort, pt. iv. ff. 11, 43.
  • 7. Winchester Coll. muns. 1080, 1083, 1092, 1287, 18076; Reg. of the Common Seal, no. 101; Feudal Aids, ii. 374.