ARNOLD, Robert (d.c.1408), of Winchelsea, Suss.

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



Jan. 1377

Family and Education

prob. s. of Robert Arnold of Winchelsea. m. Isabel (d.142I), 2s.

Offices Held

Mayor, Winchelsea Easter 1391-4.1

Dep. butler, Winchelsea and Rye 23 Oct. 1398-14 Oct. 1399.


Robert Arnold’s namesake and presumed father had served as mayor of Winchelsea for four annual terms between 1348 and 1359.2 Before the end of Edward III’s reign he himself had acquired an interest for life in a moiety of a messuage and 144 acres of arable land at Great Chart, Kent, part of the inheritance of Margery, wife of John Fresingham of Rolvenden, although how he had come by it remains unclear. Besides this, he held land at Pett and Fairlight, on which as a Portsman he claimed exemption from parliamentary fifteenths levied between 1373 and 1407. That he generally resided in Winchelsea is evident from his close dealings with townspeople. In 1388 a debt of one mark he owed to Reynold Patrick† found mention in Patrick’s will, and at some unknown date he acted as a feoffee for settlement of land in the neighbourhood belonging to the prominent local family of Salerne. In 1397 the new parson of Winchelsea complained to the chancellor that Arnold and others had attacked and wounded him while he was saying mass in his church on 24 June, and had carried off his service book and the offertory.3

In February 1389 the Cinque Ports had employed Arnold to procure at Westminster their customary exemption from parliamentary fifteenths. It was during his second term as mayor of Winchelsea that he was returned to the Parliament of 1393, and he also represented the town at a Brodhull held in March 1400.4

Arnold died shortly before 1409, leaving most of his land to his widow Isabel, who survived until 1421. The elder of his two sons, another Robert Arnold, was to serve as a jurat in Winchelsea in the 1430s.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: A. P.M. Wright


  • 1. E368/165, 167; Add. Ch. 20197.
  • 2. Add. Chs. 20180, 20182; Cat. Rye Recs. ed. Dell, 136/89, 95.
  • 3. CP25(1)108/207/2232; E179/225/3, 5, 12, 31, 33; Lambeth Pal. Lib. Reg. Courtenay, f. 226; CPR, 1408-13, p. 110; C1/3/124.
  • 4. Add. Chs. 16431-2.
  • 5. E179/225/34, 36, 38, 40, 42; Cott. Julius BIV, ff. 51, 57; CIMisc. vii. 503.