CUPPER, Robert (d.c.1434), of Great Yarmouth, Norf.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. Agnes, 1s.
Bailiff, Yarmouth Mich. 1419-20, 1422-3, 1425-6.1
J.p. Yarmouth 17 July 1426-Oct. 1431.
Commr. of inquiry, Norf., Suff. Feb. 1433 (export of uncustomed goods from Yarmouth).
Few details about Cupper’s mercantile interests have been discovered, although at one stage in his career he was involved in a complicated transaction with a man from Guernsey which concerned not only exchange of merchandise but also the sale of a French prisoner. Evidently highly regarded in the community of Yarmouth, he was named as an executor of several wills including those made by such prominent townspeople as Alice, widow of Nicholas Drayton (in 1414), Robert Cley (1416) and John atte Fenn (1419). During his second term as a bailiff, he shared responsibility for making return of the election to the Parliament of 1423. His experience of public service as a j.p. suggests a man of some importance locally and, indeed, he was among those Norfolk notables who, in May 1434, were ordered to take the general oath not to maintain anyone who broke the peace.2
Cupper made his will on 20 Nov. 1434, requesting burial by the east door of St. Nicholas’s church, Yarmouth. He left his wife, Agnes, a house with its adjacent quay, which was to pass after her death to his son Robert. All his other holdings were to be sold to pay his debts. Robert junior was also bequeathed, among other things, a book called Stimulus Conscientiae (The Prick of Conscience), which was to remain in the keeping of Agnes, wife of William Paston, j.c.p., until he reached the age of discretion. Other personal bequests were: to the judge himself, named as overseer of the will, a set of amber beads ‘marked for 12’; to Paston’s son John, his best ‘baselard’ (long dagger) and its belt; and to the prior of Yarmouth, appointed an executor, his amber beads ‘marked for ten’. Another executor was Ralph Browning† of Yarmouth. The date of Cupper’s death is not known, but his will was not to be proved at Norwich until 4 Oct. 1438.3