CROSBY, Adam (d. by 1399), of Appleby, Westmld.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
One of the busiest lawyers in late 14th century Westmorland, Crosby practised largely in the court of common pleas at Westminster, and was thus an ideal choice as parliamentary representative for Appleby, where it was often difficult to find candidates ready to make the long and arduous journey south. Crosby first appears in June 1371, when he and another lawyer, William Soulby*, stood surety for Thomas Warcop† and his wife, Katherine, as farmers of the Halton estates. He maintained this connexion with the Warcops (whose son, Thomas I, sat for Appleby in the Parliament of 1399) for many years, notably as an executor of the will of Thomas’s father, William, another of his many clients. The collection of over £164 in debts due to the deceased involved Crosby and the Warcops in a number of lawsuits, which he was, of course, admirably qualified to prosecute.1 Over the years, Crosby was retained by several prominent local figures, including Thomas, Lord Musgrave†, the parsons of Kirkby Thore, Askby and Great Musgrave in Westmorland, and the vicar of Moorland in the same county, Sir William Threlkeld* (along with other members of his influential family), Robert Cliburn* and Sir Richard Vernon’s widow, Julia. He undertook many other cases on behalf of yeomen farmers and lesser landowners, too, and even acted for Thomas, the son of his parliamentary colleague, William Soulby.2
Perhaps because he was so preoccupied with cases at Westminster, Crosby rarely comes to notice as a feoffee-to-uses or a witness to property transactions in the north-west. In 1390, however, he attested a deed for Hugh Salkeld I*, and at the time of his death he was acting as a trustee of land in Cumberland which had belonged to Sir Richard Kirkbridge. Crosby died well before October 1399, having spent his last few years in virtual retirement. He was five times Member of Parliament for Appleby, but he never held any local office, again no doubt because of his professional commitments.3
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Croseby, Crossby.