CRAKEFORD, William (d.c.1419), of Norwich, Norf.

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



Family and Education

m. 1da.

Offices Held

Bailiff, Norwich Mich. 1390-1, 1397-8; town clerk Oct. 1408; coroner by Nov. 1414.1


William may have been descended from the Crakefords living at Crakeford in Tuttington, Norfolk, in the reign of Henry III. He is first mentioned in the records of Norwich in 1389 when acting as a feoffee of property in the parishes of St. Giles and St. Laurence. A year or so later, during his first term as a bailiff, he contributed 20s. towards the expense of installing the wool Staple at Norwich, no doubt having a regard for his own mercantile interests, which included the export of woollen cloth sometimes shipped overseas via Great Yarmouth. On New Year’s Day 1399, when Richard II was shortly expected to visit Norwich, Crakeford was chosen as one of a committee to consider how best to apply to him for a new charter under which the city would become a shire-incorporate with a mayor and sheriffs, but the visit never took place. During the year 1402, which also saw his only return to Parliament, Crakeford played an active part in further attempts to procure this charter, being ‘sent backward and forward, to and from London concerning it’, and soliciting the help of such ‘great ones’ as Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland.2

Crakeford continued to hold official positions in Norwich, but never as sheriff or mayor. For a short while, in 1408, he was acting as clerk of the mayoral court, but only as a temporary replacement or deputy for William Ampulford*. He attended an important meeting of the civic assembly in February 1414 and later that year became one of the coroners of the city, as such being party to the electoral indentures for the Parliament of 1414 (Nov.). In 1415 his own clerk was paid 2s. for writing down a list of the names of citizens required to appear before the mayor, and for entering in the register all those newly-admitted as citizens in the years 1404-13.3

Crakeford had served in 1411 as a feoffee of property at Shimpling and elsewhere in the south of the shire, apparently on behalf of a notary called John Folsham. His own property holdings were small, consisting merely of a tenement in ‘Cordewanerrewe’ in the parish of St. Peter Mancroft, and a messuage in St. Cross. The latter came into the possession of his only daughter, Margery, wife of Roger Bryd of Colby, who sold it, in January 1420, after her father’s death.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Norf. Official Lists ed. Le Strange, 98; Add. Ch. 62332; C219/11/4.
  • 2. F. Blomefield, Norf. iii. 114, 119; vi. 349; Norf. RO, Norwich enrolments, 14 mm. 34, 35; Recs. Norwich ed. Hudson and Tingey, ii. 50; E122/149/33.
  • 3. Recs. Norwich, i. 273; ii. 61; C219/11/4.
  • 4. CP25(1)169184/144; Norwich enrolments, 15 m. 36d, 17 m. 17.