LUCAS, Robert (d.1420), of Ipswich, Suff.
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Family and Education
m. bef. Aug. 1399, Joan.
Bailiff, Ipswich Sept. 1395-6, 1397-9, 1405-6, 1408-10, 1417-d.; coroner 1400-5, 1407-8, 1410-11, 1414-16.1
J.p Ipswich 20 June 1397-c. Oct. 1399.
Commr. to assemble ships in Ipswich and Harwich to combat piracy May 1398.
Collector of customs and subsidies, Ipswich 21 Nov. 1400-7 July 1401, 17 Oct. 1401-3 May 1402, 8 May-5 Dec. 1404, 9 Nov. 1405-11 May 1406, of tunnage and poundage 6 Apr. 1406-20 Feb. 1407, controller of customs 24 Mar.-19 Sept. 1401.
Early on in his career, Lucas traded in cloth: in 1394-5 he was assessed for alnage on several lengths sold in Suffolk. Over the years he had an interest in a number of properties in Ipswich: in 1395 he was leased by the bailiffs a plot of waste ground near the fish market; a year later in association with Henry Wall*, he acquired land in the suburbs from John Arnold I*; and in 1399 he sold a tenement in St. Lawrence’s parish and, along with Arnold, conveyed to John Bernard III* five shops in St. Mildred’s. Also in 1399 he and his wife sold to Richard Church* of Gislingham a shop and land in St. Lawrence’s. Later transactions concerned Lucas’s property in the parishes of St. Peter and St. Nicholas.2 As bailiff of Ipswich, Lucas was responsible for making returns to the Parliaments of 1399, 1406 (when he himself was one of those elected), 1410, 1417 and 1419. He was party to the elections of 1411 and 1414 (Nov.) as coroner, and also to that of 1413 (May).3
In his later years Lucas was sometimes described as ‘gentleman’, and on occasion he acted as a feoffee for members of the Suffolk gentry. For instance, in 1399 he was named as a trustee of land in Stoke and Sproughton and from 1403 to 1406 of property at Hintlesham, in transactions which brought him into contact with Sir John Howard* and the Cloptons. In May 1407 he was among those who secured a royal licence to grant to the parson of St. Stephen’s, Ipswich, a garden for the enlargement of the cemetery.4
Lucas brought pleas of debt in the courts at Westminster against the parson of Somerton for £20 (before July 1412) and against another Suffolk gentleman for £6 (before 1417); both defendants obtained royal pardons of outlawry for failing to answer him. In April 1420 he and his fellow bailiff, William Debenham II*, were sued in Chancery by John Shipley, the bailiff of the duchy of Lancaster’s estates in Suffolk, for the wrongful arrest of one of the duchy’s tenants for a felony. Lucas provided securities for Debenham on 20 June, undertaking that his colleague would keep the peace towards the plaintiff. He must have died shortly after this, for at the Exchequer at Michaelmas Debenham was allowed time to produce the accounts of Lucas’s executors for the issues of the bailiffship.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: K.N. Houghton
- 1. E368/169-93; N. Bacon, Annalls of Ipswiche ed. Richardson, 87-90, where he is also given as bailiff 1404-5.
- 2. E101/342/8; HMC 9th Rep. i. 234b; Ipswich RO, recog. rolls 18-23 Ric. II, 1-5 Hen. IV, 1-10 Hen. V; deed AII 25/15; Stowe Ch. 393.
- 3. C219/10/1, 3, 5, 6, 11/1, 4, 12/2, 3.
- 4. Add. Ch. 8382; CPR, 1401-5, p. 314; 1405-8, pp. 248, 320.
- 5. CPR, 1408-13, p. 343; 1416-22, p. 23; C1/5/165; CCR, 1419-22, p. 115; E368/193 m. 103.