JAYET, Thomas (d.1416).
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. Agnes, s.p.
Controller of the coinage of tin in the duchy of Cornw. by 28 Mar. 1400-d.1
Jayet’s background is obscure, but there is a strong likelihood that he came from East Anglia. He may have entered the service of Henry of Monmouth before the latter became prince of Wales and duke of Cornwall in October 1399, but his appointment as controller of the coinage of tin in the duchy (in effect controller of the stannaries) did not come about until after the fall of John Holand, earl of Huntingdon, one of whose adherents had been installed in the office in the last months of Richard II’s reign and continued to discharge his duties at the beginning of Henry IV’s. By an order of the prince dated at Chester on 23 Apr. 1401 Jayet was to be paid £20 p.a. as controller and to receive 20s.every year for his livery; the arrears owing since March 1400 were to be paid immediately.2 Jayet continued to hold the post for the next 15 years, in the course of which he represented the borough of Lostwithiel, where the duchy had its administrative headquarters, in the Parliament of 1411.
Jayet’s will, made on 29 Mar. 1416, reveals some interesting details about his life. For instance, he left £40 to the church of St. Ethelbert in ‘Cacyngton’ in order to provide services for the souls of six members of his family. The location of this church has unfortunately not been discovered, but it was definitely not in Cornwall. It may have been in Suffolk, for the testator’s kinsman and executor, ‘dominus’ William Jayet (d.1427), was rector of Nowton near Bury St. Edmunds. Thomas was to be buried in the chancel of Allhallows Gracechurch, in London, where 1,000 masses were to be sung for his soul, and 1,000 poor people of the City were each to receive 1d. in alms. He was evidently a man of some means: his other bequests included £40 (for his wife), further sums amounting to about £25, a bed with embroidered worsted coverings, silver vessels and robes trimmed with fox and other furs. He left his London tailor 36s.8d. Cornwall was only mentioned in passing, when Jayet proposed that a servant of his, Thomas West*, should have all his armour then in the shire. A further suggestion as to his origins is supplied by a reference to his property in Norfolk, which was to be sold for as high a price as possible in order to meet the cost of two life annuities of £2 each (one for an aunt, the other for his widow). Jayet’s house in the city parish of Allhallows was to belong to his widow for the rest of her life. Something of his way of life is revealed by his arrangements for such items as horses, swords and armour at his dwelling in the capital, all of which were to be sold. The will came for probate before the prerogative court at Canterbury on 2 June 1416, and five days later Jayet’s office of controller of the stannaries was granted to another.3