SCRIVEN JOHN, (d.c.1435), of Shrewsbury, Longnor and Frodesley, Salop.

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

s. and h. of Reynold Scriven of Shrewsbury. m. bef. 1392, Joan da. and h. of John Hunald of Frodesley,1 1s.

Offices Held

Assessor, Shrewsbury Sept. 1392-3, 1400-1; bailiff 1402-3, 1406-7.2

Tax collector, Salop Nov. 1416.


There can be little doubt that Scriven’s father, bailiff of Shrewsbury in 1371-2 and 1395-6, was well-to-do, for it was once reported that more than £200 had been stolen from a chest belonging to him. And when, in 1380, a royal commission was set up to investigate reports that elections to local offices had been illegally made by the ‘less sufficient’ burgesses, another article, providing for an inquiry into the allegation that te new bailiffs so chosen had assaulted and imprisoned Reynold Scriven, described him as one of their betters. Otherwise, however, the report, at least in saying that, as a result, Scriven’s three sons had died of grief, undoubtedly exaggerated: for when, in March 1389, complaint was made that several Shrewsbury men had broken into the earl of Arundel’s park at Shrawardine, hunted and fished there and assaulted his servants, Reynold’s son, John, was listed among them. Later that year, William Longnorle alleged that after he had impleaded Reynold before the Shrewsbury bailiffs for trespass and was stating his case in the courtroom, the accused and his son had so violently attacked him that he lost his sight. Neither appears to have been penalized for his actions. Reynold died some time between 1398 and July 1401, whereupon John, the executor of his will, inherited his property in Shrewsbury. By the time of his one and only return to Parliament he had also acquired, by marriage, the manor of Frodesley (eight miles away) and evidently the advowson as well, for in 1406 he presented another Reynold Scriven, probably a younger brother, to the living.3

Scriven’s election to the Gloucester Parliament of 1407 followed immediately after his second term as bailiff. He and his fellow Member, Thomas Pride, were paid £4 for their expenses, 1s. each per day for 21 days, and another £2 13s.4d. for going ‘versus Regem pro pardonacione subsidii habenda’; while Scriven alone received 20s. more for obtaining various letters under the privy seal regarding Shrewsbury’s fee farm. In April 1408 at Shrewsbury he was a juror at the royal inquiry held before one of the barons of the Exchequer concerning the extent of the damage done to villages in the vicinity after Welsh rebels had set them on fire; and on three later occasions, in 1409, 1410 and 1412, he performed a similar function at the sessions of the peace held in Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth. In an indictment presented to the j.p.s in August 1411 it was alleged that certain shoemakers had sold him shoes at prices exceeding the statutory limit.4

At the assizes held at Bridgnorth in 1410 Scriven had been accused of disseising Nicholas Gerard* of a messuage and two shops in Shrewsbury; but his title to other premises proved sound. In 1413 he was in possession of a building near St. Julian’s church, and in the following year he leased from John Perle II* still more property in the town and in the suburbs of Abbey Foregate and Coleham. By 1431, when he was described as a ‘gentleman’, his holdings in Shrewsbury were said to be worth £6 1s.4d. annually, his manor of Marton (which had one belonged to his father-in-law) £2 p.a., and that of Frodesley £4 13s.4d a year.5 It was his son John, junior, who in 1422 had attended the elections for the knights of the shire at Shrewsbury castle, but in 1429 both father and son were present, and the John Scriven who took part in the election of 1433 and was included in the following year among the Shropshire gentry required to take the oath not to maintain breakers of the peace, was probably the former. He died, however, before 1437 when the manor court at Frodesley was held in the presence of his widow.6

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


Variants: Scrivein, Scryveyn, Skryven.

  • 1. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 4), xii, 159; lii. 196-203; liv. 79-80; VCH Salop, viii. 81-82; Bodl. Blakeway ms 24, f. 30. The pedigree in Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 434, is erroneous.
  • 2. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), iii. 241-2; Shrewsbury Guildhall, box II, 67, 67, ff. 10, 11.
  • 3. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), iii. 241; (ser. 3), v. 40; CPR, 1377-81, p. 579; 1385-9, p. 331; 1388-92, pp. 56, 211; Shrewsbury Guildhall, box II, 67, f. 47d; VCH Salop, viii. 81-82.
  • 4. Shrewsbury Guildhall, box VIII, 355; E179/166/48; Salop Peace Roll ed. Kimball, 33, 88, 89, 96, 101, 104.
  • 5. JUST 1/751 m. 2d; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. liv. 74; Shrewsbury Lib. deed 186; CFR, xiv. 172; Feudal Aids, iv. 256-7, 260, 262, 264.
  • 6. C219/13/1, 14/1, 4; CPR, 1429-36, p. 408; Add. 54389, ff. 2, 3; Shrewsbury Lib. deed 121.