JORCE, John, of Nottingham.
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Family and Education
Jorce is an obscure figure, although his family, seated at Burton Joyce, had produced leading members of the Nottinghamshire gentry in the 14th century, with estates at Nottingham, Gedling, Stoke Bardolf and Carlton, as well as property in Bakewell (Derbyshire) and Loughborough (Leicestershire). Sir Robert Jorce (d.1369), left as his heir his son William, who served as a j.p. in 1399-1401 and, retained as a King’s esquire, received a grant of 1s. per day at the Exchequer.1 Difficulties over John Jorce’s identity arise because of a suit in Chancery and the court of common pleas in 1436 over ownership of Burton Joyce, which William’s widow had long retained after his death without issue in 1403. The petitioner, John Jorce or Joce of Staffordshire, esquire (escheator there in 1436-7, and a retainer of the earl of Stafford), gave his pedigree as son of John Jorce and great-grandson of Sir Robert. It is therefore possible that the Nottingham MP was identical with the petitioner’s father, who, as Joce, perhaps sat for Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1402.2
However, Jorce certainly had connexions with Nottingham. He witnessed a conveyance there in 1392 and as a ‘bowyer’, brought suits in the borough court in 1394. A year later Elias Stokkes* of Derby was charged before the Nottinghamshire j.p.s. with ambushing John Jorce ‘of Nottingham’ in High Street, Bramcote (Warwickshire), in January 1394. By then a member of the town guild of the Holy Trinity, in 1408 Jorce became the guild’s chamberlain, but was subsequently charged with embezzlement of four marks of its funds. Yet, in other respects, he was regarded as sound: in 1396 he provided securities before the King’s bench for local men, and in 1408 and 1418 he acted as an attorney in the borough courts of Nottingham, one of his clients being an archer of the Crown, William Gresley*. In the meantime, at the local elections of April 1413 he had found mainprise for the attendance in Parliament of Thomas Mapperley.3
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Notts. IPM (Thoroton Soc. xii), 68-69. The family finances were in serious decline at the turn of the century: by his will in 1403 William Jorce instructed his executors to pay large debts to Sir Thomas Rempston* (Borthwick Inst. York, York registry wills, iii. f. 98).
- 2. C1/11/215, 12/137; Genealogist (ser. 2), xviii. 29. The pedigrees given in the two courts differ slightly. The petitioner later held lands at Beeston, Notts. (C1/24/97).
- 3. Nottingham Univ. Lib. Middleton ms D781; Nottingham Archs. ct. rolls 1293 m. 12d, 1312 m. 16d; B.H. Putnam, Procs. J.P.s, 139; Nottingham Recs. ed. Stevenson, i. 265, 307; ii. 54, 66, 69, 118; KB27/539 fines m. 1; C219/11/2.