LAMPLUGH, Sir John, of Lamplugh, Cumb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



May 1421

Family and Education

s. and h. of Sir John Lamplugh (exec. 8 June 1405), of Lamplugh by his w. Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Sir Richard Preston (d. by 1393) of Preston Richard and Burton, Westmld. m. at least 1s. poss. d.v.p. Kntd. by 1407.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Cumb. 24 Nov. 1419-16 Nov. 1420, 5 Nov. 1432-3.

Commr. of inquiry, Cumb. Sept. 1429 (false return by (Sir) Christopher Moresby*, as sheriff, to the 1429 Parliament).


Noted as ‘a race of valorous gentlemen, successively for their worthiness knighted in the field’, the Lamplughs were an ancient family known to have settled in Cumberland by the late 12th century. Their estates lay principally in and around the manor of Lamplugh (whence they took their name), and they soon came to play a leading part in local affairs. Sir Thomas Lamplugh, our Member’s grandfather, represented Cumberland in the 1384 (Nov.) Parliament and was active on numerous royal commissions in the northwest. His eldest son and heir, John, was a loyal follower of Richard II, whom he accompanied to Ireland in the spring of 1399, and whose memory he evidently continued to revere long after he was deposed and murdered. This no doubt explains his involvement as a ringleader in the uprising led by Richard Scrope, archbishop of York, in 1405, and his summary execution for treason along with the archbishop on 8 June outside the walls of York.2 Henry IV was not, however, a vengeful monarch, and he allowed Sir John’s son, the subject of this biography, to inherit the family property almost at once. Indeed, by 1407, when he and his maternal uncle, Sir Alan Pennington*, were in joint possession of the manor of Preston Richard in Westmorland, the young man had been knighted. He and Pennington also owned land in Stainton, Westmorland, and appeared together, in September 1411, as witnesses to a conveyance made by one of (Sir) Christopher Curwen’s* trustees. Along with Curwen, Sir John Lamplugh had previously helped to establish the boundaries of the lordship of Frizington (a few miles south-west of Lamplugh), but not much else is known about his activities over the next few years. At some point before the summer of 1417, when the case was heard in the court of common pleas, Sir John became involved in a dispute with Stephen Scrope, archdeacon of Richmond and a kinsman of the late archbishop, over a debt of £12 laid to his charge. His failure to answer successive writs of summons resulted in a sentence of outlawry, but he surrendered himself to the Fleet prison and was eventually pardoned.3 His brief spell in gaol clearly had no adverse effects on his career, for in November 1419 he assumed office as sheriff of Cumberland. He attended the first and, so far as we know, only Parliament of his career in May 1421, being named among the witnesses to his own return. He was subsequently present at the county elections held at Carlisle to the Parliaments of 1422, 1427 and 1435; and during his second term as sheriff of Cumberland, in 1433, he himself was responsible for holding the elections.4

Meanwhile, in 1428, Sir John served as a juror at an assize concerning the ownership of land in Stainton. As one of the leading members of the Cumbrian gentry, he was called upon in May 1434 to take the general oath that he would not support anyone who disturbed the peace. It is not known if he lived to see the marriage of his grandson, John, to one of Sir Thomas Beetham’s daughters four years later; but he was almost certainly dead by 1445, when his widowed daughter-in-law, Margaret, offered a bond to John Eaglesfield*, whose daughter may have become John’s second wife. At all events, it is quite likely that Sir John outlived his own son, Hugh, and was succeeded by his grandson.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.


Variants: Lamplewe, Lamplogh, Lamplough.

  • 1. Recs. Kendale ed. Curwen and Farrer, ii. 207, 227; JUST 1/1500 rot. 40-40v; Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. tract ser. no. 7, p. 156. None of the Lamplugh family pedigrees are reliable with regard to Sir John, confusing him either with his father (J. Nicolson and R. Burn, Westmld. and Cumb. ii. 37) or giving him a fictitious son, John (Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. n.s. xxxviii. facing pp. 12-13).
  • 2. Nicolson and Burn, ii. 37; Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. n.s. xxxviii. 83-85; J. Hardyng, Chron. ed. Ellis, 362-3; CPR, 1399-1401, p. 158.
  • 3. Recs. Kendale, ii. 196, 207; Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. n.s. xiv. 400-2; xxxviii. 85; CPR, 1416-22, p. 221; C88/98/10.
  • 4. C219/12/5, 13/1, 5, 14/5.
  • 5. CPR, 1429-36, p. 383; Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. n.s. xiii. 224; tract ser. no. 7, p. 156; CAD, iv. A9676; Nicolson and Burn, ii. 37.