GREENLANE, John (d.1432), of Haddenham and Cambridge.
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Family and Education
Mayor, Cambridge Sept. 1418-23, 1426-7.1
J.p. Cambridge 24 Oct. 1418-Jan. 1430.
Commr. for the repair of the great bridge, Cambridge July 1422, June 1423.
In 1411 Greenlane was present at the county court held at Cambridge for the election of the knights of the shire. He must have already been a landowner of substance, for in the following year his annual income from property at Haddenham, Shelford and elsewhere was assessed for the purposes of taxation at as much as £28 6s.8d. Some of this was derived from premises in Cambridge, but the extent of his holdings in the town is unclear; it is merely recorded that about three years later he bought half an acre of land in the fields of Barnwell and that he subsequently leased a tenement in St. Andrew’s parish as well as part of a close in ‘Alweneslane’.2 It was as ‘of Haddenham’ that in 1415 Greenlane and a man from Ely sued John Pole of Norwich for a debt of £18, but his official career indicates that his interests came to be centred on Cambridge, where he evidently was a well respected figure, being elected mayor in no fewer than five consecutive years from 1418 onwards. It was during his third mayoralty, in 1421, that he was elected to Parliament for the second time. As mayor he was placed on commissions of the peace in the town by virtue of his office, yet he clearly proved competent as a magistrate, for he was retained on the bench from 1423 to 1430, even though in only one of those seven years was he occupying the mayoralty. In April 1426 he was among the 24 ‘discreet burgesses’ chosen as members of the reconstituted common council of Cambridge. Later that year, not long after his reelection as mayor, he was associated with such distinguished local figures as Sir Nicholas Styuecle* and Roger Hunt*, the former Speaker, as their co-feoffee of property in Broughton (Huntingdonshire).3
Greenlane died in 1432, having made his will on 1 Feb. that year. The will gave no indication of his standing as a well-to-do country landowner and former mayor, although it contained quite generous bequests, including £5 for new bells and £1 for lead for the bell tower at the church of St. Andrew the Great, Cambridge, where he had arranged to be buried, and other sums of money to each convent of mendicant friars in the town as well as to the churches of Rampton and his native Haddenham.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: E.M. Wade
- 1. E368/194 m. 103; J. H. Cooper, Annals Cambridge, i. 176; Add. 5833, ff. 135-6.
- 2. Feudal Aids, vi. 411; C219/10/6; Cambridge Antiq. Soc. xxxi. nos. 152, 360; Cambridge Docs. ed. Palmer, i. p. lxix.
- 3. CPR, 1413-16, p. 316; Cooper, i. 175; CAD, i. B571.
- 4. Cambridge Antiq. Soc. xxxi. 81; J.M. Gray, Biogs. Mayors Cambridge, 17.