BENEFELD, Robert, of Portslade, Suss.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
poss. s. of Simon Benefeld*.
In all probability related to the Benefelds of Twineham and Shoreham, Robert himself lived at Portslade, only a short distance from the latter place, which he represented in Parliament in 1414. In the previous year he had attended the shire court at Chichester for the elections to the Parliament of May 1413, being one of those asked to attest the electoral indenture for Sussex and its boroughs. In the spring of 1421, as a minister of Beatrice, countess of Arundel, he was responsible for the seizure in her name of 12 pipes of wine worth £12 cast ashore at Newhaven and Brighton from the wreck of a ship of Zeeland. However, the nature of his office and the duration of his service to the countess are not recorded.
To judge from the frequency that suits were brought against Benefeld, he was perennially in debt. Before 1422, Robert, Lord Poynings, sued him in the court of common pleas for failure to render account, and Alice, widow of Adam Turke, alleged that he owed her 40s.; and his creditors later included William Cromer*, the London draper, Edmund Twyn, grocer of London, and the executors of William Laurence. He secured pardons of outlawry for failing to appear to answer their charges in November 1427, October 1433 and November 1448, on each occasion being described as ‘of Portslade, gentleman’.
C219/11/2; CIMisc. vii. 606; CPR, 1422-9, p. 432; 1429-36, p. 306; 1446-52, p. 194.