ROKESLEE, Thomas, of New Romney, Kent.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. (1) bef. 1403, Alice; (2) bef. 1418, Joan.2
Jurat, New Romney 25 Mar. 1405-6, 1418-26; treasurer 1423-4.3
Master of St. John’s hospital, Romney c.1408-c.1414.4
Cinque Ports’ bailiff at Yarmouth Sept.-Nov. 1418.5
Rokeslee paid maltolts in Bocherye ward, Romney, from 1393 to 1427, and is known to have owned property in St. Laurence’s parish in the town.6 Over the years he was frequently engaged on business for the community. In 1395-6 he went to Saltwood castle with James Tiece* for talks with William Makenade, Archbishop Courtenay’s steward, and, doubtless as a corollary, he then rode to Canterbury to see Romney’s counsel for advice on matters touching the town’s franchise. Also that year he visited Sandwich to defend a suit arising over the boat belonging to Romney’s common barge. In April 1401 Rokeslee stood surety for John Colyn, the deputy bailiff of Romney, when the latter undertook to submit to the commonalty in the matter of certain guns he had seized by way of distraint. Early in 1406 a man from Hythe was fined for insulting him in his capacity as one of the jurats. Later, as master of St. John’s hospital, Rokeslee sometimes advanced money to the town from the brethren’s revenues.7
Rokeslee seems to have been in trouble in about 1413, for he paid Romney 13s.4d. to recover his freedom (‘pur estre reconsiliez a la fraunchise’) and to be excused serving as a jurat for four years. He resumed participation in the town’s affairs in 1418. Through his second marrige he had obtained some 140 acres of land and rents of 20s. at Guestling and Icklesham in Sussex, but that same year he and his wife conveyed these holdings to Roger atte Gate* of Winchelsea.8 Rokeslee is not recorded after 1427.
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: A. P.M. Wright
No connexion has been traced between him and the family of Rokeslee of Sandling, Kent, which sold its manors before 1372: CIPM, xiii. 242; CCR, 1381-5, p. 224.
- 1. He and Thomas Smith III* evidently took the places of John Adam* and Richard Clitheroe II* whose names are recorded on the return, for it was the former pair who received payment for attending the Parliament: Romney assmt. bk. 2, f. 92.
- 2. Ibid. f. 60; CP25(1)240/84/2.
- 3. Assmt. bk. 2, ff. 52, 90, 92, 94, 96, 98, 100, 102, 103.
- 4. Ibid. ff. 68, 84.
- 5. Ibid. f. 90.
- 6. Ibid. ff. 30-104; Kent AO, NR/JBr/6, no. 13.
- 7. Assmt. bk. 2, ff. 41, 43, 52, 68.
- 8. Ibid. ff. 76, 96, 100; CP25(1)240/84/2.