PIKING (PEKING), Henry (d.1444), of Norwich, Norf.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. bef. Feb. 1417, Alice, 1da.
Shreiff, Norwich Mich. 1419-20.1
Henry was probably a descendant of John Piking, the bailiff of Norwich in 1375-6, 1381-2 and 1387-8, and a kinsman of a namesake who was treasurer there in 1389-90 and still living in 1395, but no precise relationship to either man has been discovered.2 He is first recorded attending an important meeting of the assembly at the guildhall in February 1414, and two months later he was selected from Mancroft leet to serve on the council of 80. He attested the Norwich electoral indenture for the Parliament of 1417, and in October 1419, as one of the new sheriffs, he returned into Chancery the indenture which the outgoing sheriffs had drawn up. Subsequently, although he himself was elected to the House of Commons only once, he was among the few citizens named on the indentures for elections to the Parliaments of 1420, 1421 (May), 1427, 1429, 1431, 1432, 1433 and 1435. By December 1424 he had attained the rank of alderman, as such witnessing the regulations then promulgated for the better government of the city, under which he and his 23 fellows agreed to stricter controls over their functions. Along with the other aldermen, in March 1437 Piking complied with general feeling at an assembly in Norwich that William de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, should be allowed to act as arbitrator in the factional disputes then dividing the city; and he was among the local dignitaries named in 1441 along with the mayor and sheriffs in lawsuits brought by the prior of Norwich cathedral priory and the abbot of Wendling alleging errors, defects and misprisions in their dealings over certain disputed properties.3
Little is known of Piking’s own holdings in the city, although in 1417 he and his wife had been possessed of a messuage and tenement in St. Stephen’s parish, and four years afterwards he had acted on behalf of Richard Purdance* as a feoffee of a house in the neighbouring parish of St. Peter Mancroft.4 Piking made his will on 8 May 1444, leaving his widow a tenement and gardens in St. Vedast’s parish, with remainder after her death to his daughter Alice, wife of the former mayor, William Ashwell. He requested burial in St. Giles’s church. Probate was granted in the consistory court of Norwich on 19 June.5