CHENDUYT, John (d.1426), of Ardevora, Molingey and Bodannan, Cornw.

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. 1404

Family and Education

s. of Thomas Chenduyt of Bodannan by Joan, da. and h. of Benedict Berkele. m. (1) by 1390, Katherine; (2) by 1398, Isabel; (3) by 1400, Ebota; (4) by 1405, Joan, wid. of Richard Glyvyan; 1s. 1da. both illegit.1

Offices Held

Tax collector, Cornw. Mar. 1388.

Commr. of inquiry, Cornw. Mar. 1390 (theft), Nov. 1393 (illegal occupation of John Hawley I’s* lands).


The family of Chenduyt, which did not originate in Cornwall, may have taken its name from Shendish in King’s Langley, Hertfordshire, where a branch was still living in late medieval times. The Cornish branch was established in the 13th century, and their property centred on the manor of Bodannan in St. Endellion and included the hereditary bailiffship of the hundred of Trigg. John inherited the family estate in or before 1386, but later in his life attempts were made to deprive him of it: in September 1407 Bodannan was seized by the royal escheator who claimed that it had been owned by Sir Robert Tresilian†, c.j.KB, a victim of the Merciless Parliament of 1388, and was therefore forfeit. Chenduyt not unnaturally asserted that his father had held the property before him, and that it had belonged to no one else. He was permitted to bring evidences to court, and meanwhile to continue in possession until the matter had been decided. His case was found proven by inquisition and he retained the manor, though not without further dispute, notably by John Colshull I* who had married Tresilian’s widow. At the time of his death Chenduyt was holding, as well as Bodannan and the bailiwick of Trigg, messuages in Bodmin together with over 1,600 acres of pasture, furze, heath and meadow elsewhere in Cornwall.2

Of Chenduyt’s public life little can be said, save to remark on its comparative inconsequence. It seems likely, however, that he was in some way officially employed on the duchy of Cornwall estates: some time before 1388 he stood surety for Roger Juyl*, receiver of the duchy in Cornwall and Devon, and in that year he and Sir Henry Ilcombe* provided securities for the appearance of a certain clerk before the King’s Council to answer Sir John Kentwood*, the steward of the duchy. Furthermore, on 30 Jan. 1398, he received a grant for life of an annuity of £10, half of which was to come from the duchy manor of Penmayne and the rest from the hundred of Trigg. This grant was confirmed in respect of Penmayne in 1413 ‘so that he be not retained with anyone else [but the King]’ and again renewed in 1424. In the meantime little is recorded of Chenduyt’s activities, save that on one occasion he took a tun of wine from a ship, assuming it to be enemy property, that he witnessed a deed for Sir Thomas Brooke*, and that he was present at the Cornish elections held in the autumn of 1414.3

As a result of his retainder by Henry V, Chenduyt is found in the royal army invading France in 1415. On 29 Apr. he contracted to serve for 12 months and to supply two archers, but although the latter managed to survive the whole campaign (returning home in November), he himself was licensed to sail back to England from Harfleur on 6 Oct. because of ill health, thereby missing the battle of Agincourt. Unlike many so repatriated, Chenduyt recovered. He attended the Cornish elections for the first Parliament of 1416, and was again ready for military service in the spring. On 30 May he entered into indentures with the King to serve at sea, and accordingly embarked at Southampton on 22 June. In March 1417 he received royal letters of protection as a member of the retinue of John, earl of Huntingdon, the King’s cousin, and so probably took part in the engagement in the Channel when the English fleet captured the French commander and several ships.4

Chenduyt again witnessed the Cornish electoral indentures sealed at Lostwithiel in March 1421. Four years later he arranged that his property should descend to his illegitimate children, Richard and Joan, wife of John Pengelly. But after his death, which occurred on 13 Dec. 1426, his wishes were ignored. Richard died shortly afterwards, but Joan, who was still alive in 1440, was disinherited: after prolonged inquiry Chenduyt’s heirs were found to be his kinsmen, Ralph Trenewith II* of Fentongollen and Thomas Rescarrek.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421


Variants: Chendyt, Cheyndit.

  • 1. J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, i. 546-7; CAD, v. A10498; C139/31/57; Reg. Stafford (Exeter) ed. Hingeston-Randolph, 273; CCR, 1405-9, pp. 85, 357; Reg. Brantingham, 698.
  • 2. Maclean, i. 541-6; CCR, 1364-8, p. 50; 1405-9, pp. 376-7; CPR, 1405-8, p. 419; CFR, xiii. 109; xv. 230-1; C139/31/57; Cornw. Feet of Fines (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. 1950), 964; CIMisc. vii. 374; C1/16/85.
  • 3. CPR, 1388-92, p. 212; 1396-9, p. 293; 1413-16, p. 27; 1422-9, p. 226; CCR, 1385-9, p. 490; 1405-9, p. 350; E364/23 m. H; C219/11/4.
  • 4. J.H. Wylie, Hen. IV, iii. 297; Hen. V, iii. 48-49; Add. 4600 ff. 239v, 254, 270, 280v; DKR, xliv. 590; E101/69/5/445, 70/1/561, 47/28; C219/11/8.
  • 5. C219/12/5; C139/31/57; CCR, 1422-9, p. 376; CFR, xv. 137, 169, 202.