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Family and Education
For one who represented a shire in Parliament, Nicholas Colman is remarkably obscure. He may have been related to Roger Colman ‘of Leicestershire and Staffordshire’, an esquire retained by John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, who was slain shortly before February 1385.1 It was indeed as ‘of Staffordshire’ that Nicholas himself stood surety in Chancery for a man indicted for trespass two years later. Moreover, from 1388 he had a lease for life, from the Knights Hospitallers, of the Staffordshire manor of Keele, which he retained until 1409 when the prior of St. John’s claimed £200 damages against him for extensive waste and destruction on the estate.2 He is not known to have held any property in Leicestershire worthy of qualifying him for election to Parliament for that county; nor is he recorded in association with any of the Leicestershire gentry.