PROPHET, John I (d.c.1399), of Hereford.

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



Family and Education

Offices Held

Mayor, Hereford Oct. 1392-3.1


Prophet was engaged in the cloth trade of Hereford. At the beginning of Richard II’s reign he was one of the 25 citizens appointed by the Crown as custodians of the city, with full powers to array the inhabitants for defence. Between 1385 and 1397 he regularly witnessed local deeds.2 In May 1389, along with five other Hereford men, Richard Nash* among them, he applied for a royal licence to amortize two messuages in aid of the foundation of a chantry at the altar of the Holy Rood in All Saints church, so as to provide services for the souls of their ancestors. Permission was not obtained from the King until November, however, and from Bishop Trefnant not until June 1391. It may well have been this John Prophet who was named in the summer of 1391 as one of the seven deputies, in counties in the Midlands, of William Hervy*, the chief alnager of England, and, if so, he was holding office when returned to Parliament for Hereford that autumn. Following his death in about 1399 there was placed on his tomb, in the east cloister of the cathedral near one of the south doors, a brass bearing the inscription ‘Hic jacet Johannes Prophete, quondam major Harfordiae’.3

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


Variants: Profit, Profite, Profyt, Prophete, Prophyte. He has been distinguished from the John Prophet who was clerk of the Council under Richard II, Henry IV’s secretary, 1402-6, keeper of the privy seal, 1406-15, and dean of Hereford from 1393 to 1406 (T.F. Tout, Chapters v. 97), with whom he was acquainted: C241/182/98. Perhaps they were related.

  • 1. J. Duncumb in his Hist. Herefs. is probably wrong in placing Prophet as mayor in 1391: CAD, vi. C4657.
  • 2. E101/339/4; CPR, 1377-81, p. 5; Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. (NLW 1955), nos. 152, 167, 175, 179, 702.
  • 3. CPR, 1388-92, pp. 158, 432; Reg. Trefnant (Canterbury and York Soc. xx), 15-16; Duncumb, i. 594; C143/408/20; R. Gosling, Hist. City and Cathedral Hereford, 104.