LOK, William, of Bishop's Lynn, Norf.

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

Offices Held


Either Thomas Lok, who purchased admission as a burgess of Lynn in 1371-2, or, as is more likely, John Lok, who was a merchant trading in cloth with Prussia, served as borough chamberlain in 1384-5, and was still alive in 1393, might have been William’s father.1

William was unusual among the parliamentary burgesses of Lynn in never (so far as the records go) having held local office, even as a jurat. In fact, with regard to internal affairs of the borough, all that we know of him is that he was one of the group of 23 burgesses who, in July 1402, each had to provide securities of £100 and undertake before the sheriff of Norfolk not to molest the borough’s overlord, Bishop Despenser of Norwich, or his sevants.2 He was far from being unimportant in the trade of the town, however. Certainly some of his shipments were of considerable value: in October 1402 he imported dried fish worth £90; in December 1405 three cargoes of herring, eels, flax, linen and iron, in all worth £401, were shipped into Lynn for him and his partners, John Wesenham* and Robert Botkesham*; and only two months later another was valued at £166 13s.4d. Also, Lok exported cloth: one consignment, in March 1406, being worth £132. In February 1409 he freighted a German ship to sail to Norway and thence, for a cargo of beer, to Wismar, but when it put in at Bergen certain Hanse merchants ordered the master not to go on to Wismar under peril of his life; and so he returned to Lynn, causing Lok to suffer severe financial loss. This, along with other grievances of English merchants against the Hanse, was put before Henry IV in 1412.3

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Cal. Freemen of Lynn, 19; HMC 11th Rep. III, 223; CCR, 1385-9, p. 566; N.S.B. Gras, Early Eng. Customs System, 528; Red Reg. King’s Lynn ed. Ingleby, f. 117d. M. McKisack in EHR, xlii. 589 lists John Lok as parliamentary candidate in 1400, but in Parl. Repn. Eng. Bors. 148, has John Bolt. (Elections were held at Lynn on 8 Oct. 1400-John Lok (or Bolt) and Thomas Drew* being chosen—but when the venue of the Parliament was changed from York to Westminster a second election was held before January 1401, and two others returned.)
  • 2. CCR, 1399-1402, p. 575.
  • 3. E122/95/27; Harl. Roll H23; Gras, 558; CPR, 1408-13, p. 384.