RESON, Walter, of Wareham, Dorset.

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. (1) by 1409, Margaret, ?1s. (2) by 1439, Alice, wid. of Robert Quarrel of Winterbourne ‘Quarrelston’, Dorset, and William Tybenham.1

Offices Held

Tax collector, Dorset Dec. 1406, July 1413, Nov. 1416, Mar. 1442.

Collector of customs and subsidies, Melcombe Regis and adjacent ports 17 Mar.-30 July 1408, 18 July 1417-Nov. 1427; controller to Oct. 1415-July 1417.

Bailiff, Wareham Mich. 1418-19; mayor 1422-3, 1428-9.2

Dep. butler Melcombe and Weymouth 22 Nov. 1418-Dec. 1427.


Although described as ‘of Blandford’ in 1406 when he was first named as a collector of parliamentary subsidies in Dorset, Reson usually resided at Wareham. At the assizes held at Dorchester in 1409 he was accused, along with his first wife and the parson of St. Michael’s church, Wareham, of illegally acquiring lands in Worgret and Stoborough, just outside the town.3 His only return to Parliament for another borough, Melcombe Regis, may be attributed to the influential position he then commanded in the port, as both collector of customs and deputy butler. Reson discharged office as customer of Melcombe for over ten years, owing his continued occupation of the post to the nomination of Bishop Beaufort of Winchester, and from March 1423 he was also ex officio surveyor and controller of the tronage and pesage of wool. His first appointment as deputy butler had been made by Nicholas Merbury*, but he was confirmed in the position in 1424 by Merbury’s successor as chief butler, Beaufort’s cousin Thomas Chaucer*. Twenty years later he was again associated with the bishop, this time as a co-feoffee of a manor in Piddletrentide, which together they conveyed to Hyde abbey.4

Meanwhile Reson had occasionally witnessed deeds at Wareham and, when not himself elected for the borough, he was chosen as one of the committee of four making the return of parliamentary burgesses in almost all the elections for Wareham between 1413 and 1437. He also attested the indentures of return for the county in 1417, 1421 (May) and 1425. At the time of his own election in 1422 he was mayor of Wareham, having recently, on 30 Sept., acted as attorney for the town bailiffs of the previous year when their accounts as overseers of exports were up for audit in the Exchequer. In November 1431 he served on a jury at Wareham called upon to give evidence relating to feudal services in east Dorset to the collectors of a subsidy granted in the Parliament he himself had attended earlier that year.5

By his second marriage Reson acquired an interest in a manor in Winterbourne Stickland. He is last mentioned in 1446, when he sued John Salesbury of Fryer Mayne for breaking his close at Stapleton Iwerne (to the north of Blandford).6

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. JUST 1/1519 mm. 26, 31; Dorset Feet of Fines, ii. 356; J. Hutchins, Dorset, i. 332.
  • 2. E368/91; Hutchins, i. 82, 108.
  • 3. JUST 1/1519 mm. 26, 31.
  • 4. CPR, 1422-9, p. 65; Winchester Coll. muns. 14770-1.
  • 5. Dorset Nat. Hist. and Arch. Soc. lxv. 96, 104; C219/11/2, 5, 12/2, 3, 5, 6, 13/3, 4, 14/1, 2, 15/1; Feudal Aids, ii. 109.
  • 6. C88/133/61; CPR, 1446-52, p. 199. John Reson, perhaps Walter’s son, was mayor of Wareham in 1458-9 and 1460-1 (Dorset Nat. Hist. and Arch. Soc. lxv. 105; Dorchester Recs. ed. Mayo, 21). Walter’s relationship to Thomas Reson, the MP of 1426, is not recorded.