RYEBREAD, Hugh (d.1414), of London.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. bef. Oct. 1404, Joan, s.p.1
Ryebread’s early life and family history remain obscure, although his first known appearance, in September 1400, when he and four men from Spalding, Lincolnshire, were being sued by a local landowner for trespass, suggests that he had personal connexions in the area. Three of his four mainpernors (who included John Gatyn*) were London fishmongers, however, and he himself was thus described two years later on standing surety in Chancery for a servant. In the spring of 1403 he joined with William Brampton I*, William Askham* and other influential members of the Fishmongers’ Mystery in founding the perpetual fraternity and guild of St. Peter in the church of St. Peter Cornhill, which was subject to their own carefully devised regulations. By this date Ryebread had established himself as a man of some consequence in the City, and soon afterwards he was summoned to do jury service as a resident of Bridge Ward at the husting court. Again, in September 1406, he sat on a jury—this time to investigate the withholding of dues from the Exchequer by the civic authorities. He took part in the London parliamentary elections of 1407, presumably by virtue of his own return to the Lower House in the previous year, but otherwise he had little to do with the government of the City, and never held office there.2
In October 1404 Ryebread and his wife filed a plea of nuisance in the husting court against a neighbour whose anti-social activities were disturbing them as owners of a tenement in the parish of St. Nicholas, Crooked Lane. The fishmonger had evidently disposed of these premises by the time of his death, perhaps to raise money for the shop in Bridge Street, which he and his trustees acquired in December 1406. According to the lay subsidy returns of 1412, Ryebread’s London property was worth only 6s.8d. a year, so it is unlikely that he made any other investments in land. His commercial activities may, none the less, have been diverse, for in September 1410 we find him shipping a quantity of finished cloth into the port of London. Yet compared with the other men who represented the City during this period he appears almost poor. His will certainly conveys an impression of modest comfort rather than great riches, with its small bequests to the church of St. Margaret, Bridge Street, upon which he also settled his shop. Ryebread died between late March and 15 May 1414, and was buried in St. Margaret’s churchyard next to his late wife, Joan. Since he left no children, the whole of his estate was given over to pious uses.3
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Riebrede, Reybrede.
- 1. Corporation of London RO, hep 129 m. 1.
- 2. CCR, 1399-1402, pp. 204, 568; CPR, 1401-5, p. 260; HMC 6th Rep. 407-14; Corporation of London RO, hpl 128 m. 1; Cal. Letter Bk. London, I, 51-52; C219/10/4.
- 3. Corporation of London RO, hep 129 m. 1; Guildhall Studies in London Hist. i. 176-7; Arch. Jnl. xliv. 67; E122/76/32 m. 8.