PARMENTER, John (d.1437), 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
Available from Boydell and Brewer



May 1421

Family and Education

m. Maud, 1s.2

Offices Held

Mayor, Lynn Mich. 1423-5, 1427-9, 1431-2, Jan. 1437-d.3

J.p. Lynn 12 Nov. 1424-d.

Commr. of inquiry, Lynn Jan. 1429; weirs, Norf. Feb. 1431.

Alderman of the Holy Trinity guild, Lynn June 1433-d.4


Parmenter began trading from Lynn before March 1406 when, in partnership with Robert Brunham*, he imported a cargo of wine from Gascony. This was probably his main mercantile interest, as he was later described as a vintner. In 1411-12 he served as a scabin of the Holy Trinity guild of merchants at Lynn,5 and from the guild that same year he leased three cellars on the south side of the quay. He later owned a garden in Jews Lane, and in 1428 purchased four messuages and a rood of land in its vicinity.6 As one of the party of the mediocres, he had been bound in £50 in December 1411 to keep the peace, and when an elector to the Parliament of May 1413 he subscribed the return of William Halyate and John Tilney, both of whom were inferiores. His name appeared on the election indenture of 1420, and by the time of his own first return to Parliament in the following year he had been promoted to membership of the council of 24. Parmenter served as mayor for as many as six terms in all. As such, in June 1425 he issued a letter of attorney authorizing John Copnote to receive from Henry V’s executors the 500 marks the burgesses were owed as repayment of a loan.7 In May 1430 he himself was party to a further loan of £100, to Henry VI, which, on this occasion, the men of Lynn had registered for security’s sake on the Parliament roll. In the meantime, Giles Seintlow, gauger in the port, had petitioned the chancellor for the punishment of Parmenter and his son, Robert, the alleged offence being that, along with other townspeople, they had assaulted him by night and so threatened him that he dared not exercise his office. In 1433 complaint was made by Thomas Haseley* and William Harvey that a cargo of corn they were exporting from Lynn under royal licence had been illegally confiscated by Parmenter and others. Parmenter was among the Norfolk gentry required, the following year, to take the oath not to maintain breakers of the peace.8

From April 1431 Parmenter occupied the prestigious post of alderman of the fellowship of Corpus Christi, and two years later he became alderman of the Holy Trinity guild. While serving in the latter capacity he purchased on the town’s behalf a large chalice weighing 48 ounces called ‘Le Standyng Kowpe’, and when the mayor died in January 1437, Parmenter, as alderman, took over his office, as was customary, for the remainder of the term. On 17 July following he was re-appointed as a j.p. in the town, a position he had held for 13 years previously; but he died before Michaelmas. He was survived by his widow and son.9

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


Variants. Parmontier, Permontere.

  • 1. M. McKisack, Parl. Repn. Eng. Bors. 151.
  • 2. CPR, 1436-41, p. 462.
  • 3. Norf. Official Lists ed. Le Strange, 191.
  • 4. King’s Lynn Town Hall, Be 576, Gd 48.
  • 5. Harl. Roll H23; Cal. Freeman Lynn, 39; Lynn Town Hall, Gd 55.
  • 6. Lynn Town Hall, Bc 3, Gd 55; CP25(1)169/186/47.
  • 7. HMC 11th Rep. III, 158-9, 192, 228; Recs. King’s Lynn ed. Harrod, 96; C219/12/4; McKisack, 137.
  • 8. CPR, 1429-36, pp. 61, 405; RP, v. 419b; C1/10/28; 26/290.
  • 9. Lynn Town Hall, assembly bk. 2, ff. 10, 71d, 73d; HMC 11th Rep. III, 231; CPR, 1436-41, p. 462.