POLLOW, John, of Exeter, Devon.

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 1413
Oct. 1416

Family and Education

m. by 1404, 1da.1

Offices Held

Controller of customs and subsidies, Exeter and Dartmouth 18 Dec. 1404-Feb. 1412, Exeter 1412-July 1417; collector, Exeter and Dartmouth 14 May 1418-Nov. 1423.

Steward, Exeter Mich. 1408-9; receiver 1412-13; member of the council of 12, 1413-16, 1417-23.2

Keeper of the Magdalen hospital, Exeter Apr. 1439.3


Pollow, a cloth merchant, had established trading interests in Exeter by 1399, when he was assessed for alnage there, but he did not become a freeman of the city until two years later, then paying a fee of 26s.8d. for the privilege. For nearly 20 years he was involved first in supervising and then in collecting the customs in the port, and it was while holding royal office that he was returned to all of his four Parliaments. Investigations made at Exeter in 1419 revealed that he and his fellow customer, William Glover* of Dartmouth, had concealed certain dues from the Exchequer, but the sums of money involved were small and the allegations did not prejudice Pollow’s re-appointment.4 It was as a feoffee that Pollow received rents from property in ‘Genestrete’, Exeter, which were used to pay for John Pytman’s obit in the church of St. Mary Major. On his own account he held a messuage, a garden and 12 shops in South Street, where he lived, a house next to St. James’s church, and more property in ‘Maudeleynstrete’ and ‘Prustrete’.5 In March and July 1414 he served as a juror at important judicial sessions held in the city,6 and he evidently took an active interest in other local affairs until 1423. He then retired from public service, but was still living 20 years later.

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Exeter City RO, mayors’ ct. roll 6 Hen. IV m. 1.
  • 2. Mayors’ ct. rolls 6 Hen. IV-2 Hen. VI.
  • 3. G. Oliver, Monasticon Dioecesis Exoniensis, 403; mayor’s ct. roll 18-19 Hen. VI m. 16.
  • 4. E101/338/11; mayor’s ct. roll 2 Hen. IV m. 28; CIMisc. vii. 572.
  • 5. Exeter City RO, misc. docs. 51/1/2/10, 11; mayors’ ct. rolls 5 Hen. IV m. 38, 6 Hen. IV m. 1, 21-22 Hen. VI m. 29; ED/M/748; Oliver, 143.
  • 6. KB9/205/2 m. 65, 3 m. 107.