ORE, Robert (c.1339-c.1408), of Ore, Suss.

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



Sept. 1388

Family and Education

b.c.1339, yr. s. of John Ore (d.1361) of Ore. m. 1da.

Offices Held

Commr. of array, rape of Hastings, Suss. Mar. 1360; sewers, Kent, Suss. July 1366, May 1384, July 1389, Feb. 1390, Suss. Nov. 1396, July 1403; inquiry July 1376 (extortions of Richard Lyons†), Feb. 1389 (withdrawal of services to the King’s chapel of Hastings); oyer and terminer Dec. 1376; to levy a toll on fish in aid of the fortification of Rye Feb. 1385.

Tax collector, Suss. Mar. 1377, May 1379, Mar. 1380, Nov. 1383, May 1384.


The Ore family derived its name from the manor where it had lived since the 12th century. Robert’s father and elder brother, Richard, died within a month of one another in 1361, leaving the latter’s infant daughter, Amy, as heir to the property; but on his deathbed Richard had entrusted it to his brother and two friends, and in 1373 a settlement ensured that Robert would retain the family holdings for life. Besides Ore, he thus acquired the lordship of Pett and lands at Hollington and Guestling, all situated near Hastings.1

Ore was frequently recorded in connexion with the local family of Etchingham, to which he was probably related. From 1362 he acted as a trustee of Sir William Etchingham’s manors in Sussex, and two years later he was nominated by Richard Etchingham as one of his attorneys during an absence overseas. Subsequently he became a feoffee of the family’s property at Padbury (Buckinghamshire). Ore was also acquainted with Sir John Waleys of Glynde, who enfeoffed him of his lands early in 1376. His election to the Good Parliament a few months later came after an absence from royal commissions of nearly ten years, so it may be that he had spent some of the intervening period overseas. In 1378 Ore witnessed the grant made by the mayor and barons of Rye to the Austin friars of a new site within the town walls on which to rebuild their convent, recently burnt down by the French.2

Although Ore took out royal letters patent in April 1381 exempting him for life from holding office against his will, he nevertheless continued to receive occasional appointments to royal commissions. The fact that he was a feudal tenant of Thomas, duke of Gloucester, may have been one of the reasons for his election to the second Parliament of 1388, which was to complete the work begun by Gloucester and his fellow Lords Appellant in the Merciless Parliament.But he was not the first choice of the county electorate; rather, he replaced the earl of Arundel’s retainer, Sir William Percy*, who was excused attendance on the ground that he was needed in Sussex for the defence of the coast against incursions by the French. Indeed, it is debatable whether Ore actually made the journey to Cambridge, for the writ de expensis was made out for Nicholas Wilcombe alone.3

Ore died at an unknown date sometime between July 1405 (when he was patron of the rectory at Pett) and August 1409, by which time Pett and presumably the other Ore estates had passed to his niece, Amy, and her husband, John Halle, senior. He apparently left a daughter, Margaret, the wife of John Sidney of Penshurst.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. CIPM, xi. 398-9; CCR, 1360-4, pp. 340-1; VCH Suss. ix. 87, 190, 192; Suss. Feet of Fines (Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii), no. 2424.
  • 2. CPR, 1364-7, p. 13; 1388-92, pp. 211, 445; CCR, 1364-8, p. 289; 1377-81, pp. 91-92; HMC 5th Rep. 497; Suss. Feet of Fines, nos. 2253, 2269; Cat. Glynde Place Archs. ed. Dell, 4, 19, 1139, f. 1.
  • 3. CPR, 1377-81, p. 616; CCR, 1377-81, p. 392; 1385-9, pp. 518, 657.
  • 4. Reg. Rede (Suss. Rec. Soc. xi), 281, 304; P. Sidney, Sidneys of Penshurst, 278.