SAMON, Richard (d.1457), of Nottingham.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
s. and h. of John Samon (d.1415/16) of Nottingham ?by his w. Agnes.1 m. (1) by 1415, 1da. d.v.p.; (2) Elizabeth, 2s. 3da.
Bailiff, Nottingham Mich. 1414-15; mayor 1418-19, 1422-3, 1428-9, 1432-3, 1432-40, 1451-2.2
J.p. Nottingham July 1443.3
Commr. of inquiry, Notts. Jan. 1424, Apr. 1446 (liability to contribute to repairs of bridges over the Leen at Nottingham).
Assessor of parliamentary subsidies, Nottingham Aug. 1450.
Richard came of a family of wealthy Nottingham wool merchants. His great-grandfather and namesake had been one of the merchants chosen to negotiate with the royal council in 1356; and his grandfather, John, five times mayor, manufactured cloth and traded in large quantities of wool through the port of Kingston-upon-Hull. When the latter died, in about 1396, he bequeathed to his six children 90 sacks of wool as well as sums of money amounting to £520.4 Richard’s father, the mayor of 1396-7 and 1407-8, who also traded in wool and victuals, left in his will, dated 10 Aug. 1415, bequests totalling more than £350. He passed on to his son and heir his mansion in Great Smith Gate (now Pelham Street) and very many other properties in the town, together with landed holdings elsewhere in Nottinghamshire, at Newton, Colwick and other places (which had provided him with an annual income of at least £30), one-third of the manor of Gotham (acquired by the family in the 1370s), along with the right to present to the church there every third time the living fell vacant, and some land in Derbyshire, at Eyton.5 Richard not only retained this substantial inheritance intact, but also made considerable additions to it, notably in 1435 when Robert Fitling, grandson of his uncle Thomas Samon, conveyed to him ten messuages in Nottingham, seven of which, including Le Swan Inn, were situated on High Pavement. He had acted as patron of Gotham church four years earlier.6
In April 1410, along with his father and brother-in-law, Thomas Rowley, Samon was released from an appeal made by Katherine Bellers of the manslaughter of her husband, Nicholas. Little is known about his trading ventures, but he had become a merchant stapler by September 1424, for it was then that a cargo of his wool was lost when two ships carrying it from Hull to Calais foundered at sea. Mayor of Nottingham for as many as six terms, Samon was elected to the Commons for the first time only three days after his earliest mayoralty ended. He attended the local elections for the Parliaments of 1422, 1425, 1427 (standing surety for John Manchester†), 1429 (as mayor), 1430, 1432, 1433 (again as mayor), 1442, 1447 and 1449, and was also active in borough affairs as a witness and sometime j.p. During his last mayoralty, in January 1452, he drew up an agreement with his counterpart in Coventry to settle controversies over tolls.7
Samon made his will on 8 Mar. 1455, requesting burial next to his father in St. Laurence’s chapel in St. Mary’s church. Small bequests were made to local religious foundations and for repairs to Hethbeth bridge. He left 100 marks for a chaplain to celebrate masses for his soul, annual rents of £1 from Gotham to keep his obit and those of his parents and wives, 100 marks for his widow’s dower, 40 marks to each of two daughters, and a piece of silver to his other surviving daughter, Margaret, who had married Thomas†, son of John Alestre*, a fellow wool merchant. The monetary bequests alone added up to more than £240. Following his death on 18 Dec. 1457 the will was proved at Southwell on 7 Jan. His heir was his son, Thomas (d.1476).8
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Borthwick Inst. York registry wills, Reg. Bowet, f. 364. R. Thoroton, Notts. ed. Throsby, ii. 39, gives his mother’s name as Joan.
- 2. Nottingham Recs. ed. Stevenson, ii. 427-8.
- 3. Ibid. 408.
- 4. RP, ii. 457; E101/343/21, 346/9; E122/59/7, 16; CCR, 1385-9, p. 400; CPR, 1391-6, p. 114; Nottingham Archs. ct. roll 1295 m. 14d; Nottingham Recs. ii. 91-93.
- 5. York Reg. Bowet, f. 364; Trans. Thoroton Soc. xxi. 71-73; Nottingham ct. rolls 1278 m. 5d, 1279 m. 1d; Nottingham Recs. i. 179, 221; ii. 33, 78, 112-17; CP25(1)186/35/5; E179/159/48.
- 6. Nottingham ct. rolls 1307 m. 24d, 1319 mm. 4d, 8d; CCR, 1429-35, pp. 358-9, 362; Nottingham Recs. ii. 184, 414, 417; CPR, 1452-61, p. 616; J. T. Godfrey, Notes Notts. Churches, 103.
- 7. CCR, 1409-13, p. 93; CPR, 1422-9, p. 348; C219/13/1, 3, 5, 14/1-4, 15/2, 4, 7; Nottingham Recs. ii. 362.
- 8. Nottingham Recs. ii. 221, 426; Trans. Thoroton Soc. xxi. 60-61, 75-76; Notts. IPM (Thoroton Rec. Soc. xvii), 78.