PARKER, John I (d.1395), of Havering atte Bower, Essex.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Under parker of Kings Langley, Herts. by 24 June 1373-1383.
Parker of Burstwick-in-Holderness, Yorks. 30 Sept. 1375-?d.
Usher of the chamber to Queen Anne by May 1390-June 1394.
As no strictly local man of this name has been found, it seems highly likely that the MP is to be identified with a royal servant who in 1361 received a pension of £5 a year for good service to the Crown. By 1365, when he was granted a corrody at the Maison Dieu in Dover, he had entered the employment of Isabel, daughter of Edward III, who was at that time in possession of her mother’s dower in Wiltshire, including the fee farm of Malmesbury. Parker obviously stood high in favour both with Isabel and her husband Ingram de Coucy, earl of Bedford: in 1369 they assigned to him an annuity of £10 from the manor of Tremworth, Kent, and in 1373 he was appointed under parker of Isabel’s estate at Kings Langley, with a fee of 3d. a day. Two years later Ingram de Coucy awarded him the parkership of Burstwick-in-Holderness for life, and by 1378, when he was described as ‘of Ipswich’ and as Isabel’s ‘esquire’, he was in receipt of a further pension of ten marks a year from her Wiltshire manor of Corsham.1 Following Princess Isabel’s death in 1379, Parker acted as one of her executors; and 13 years later he and her brother Edmund, duke of York, were engaged in founding a chantry at Brentwood, Essex, where prayers were to be said for her soul.2
Meanwhile, between 1367 and 1378, Parker, described as ‘King’s sergeant’, had been regularly employed as a purveyor of provisions for the royal mews at Westminster, and in 1376 he had received as a reward a life grant of the profits of the ferry across the Thames at Chertsey.3 Richard II confirmed all Parker’s annuities and by 1386 had engaged him in the service of his queen, Anne of Bohemia, who in her turn took possession of the dower lands, including the fee farm of Malmesbury, formerly held by the King’s aunt. By this time he was probably resident at Queen Anne’s manor of Havering atte Bower, where he held several tenements by her gift, and from the issues of which he was paid a pension of £5 a year, perhaps as part of his wages as an usher of the queen’s chamber, an office he was discharging by May 1390.4 Queen Anne died in 1394, but Parker remained in Richard II’s service, being described as a King’s esquire when he was confirmed in the reversions (granted to him by the late queen) of the offices of water bailiff of Bristol and constable of Richmond, Yorkshire. In January 1395 he was preparing to join the King in Ireland, but by the beginning of the following May he was dead.5
The identification of John Parker the royal servant with the Malmesbury MP rests entirely on the former’s long and close association with two successive holders of the fee farm of the borough, since he is not known to have had any other connexion with the town, nor to have owned any property there. Richard Parker I*, who subsequently sat for Malmesbury, may, however, have been a relation.
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: Charles Kightly
- 1. CPR, 1358-61, p. 502; 1370-4, p. 387; 1377-81, p. 267; 1381-5, p. 175; CIPM, xv. 312.
- 2. CPR, 1381-5, pp. 204-5, 215, 222, 312; 1391-5, p. 150; CCR, 1385-9, p. 271.
- 3. CPR, 1364-7, p. 379; 1367-70, pp. 217, 373; 1370-4, pp. 43, 253-4, 406; 1374-7, pp. 71, 214, 238, 364, 436; 1377-81, p. 3.
- 4. CPR, 1385-9, pp. 382-3; 1388-92, p. 257; CCR, 1392-6, pp. 316, 327.
- 5. CPR, 1391-6, pp. 499, 531, 584; CFR, xi. 147.