SERLE, John II (d.c.1456), of Southampton.

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

m. aft. Apr. 1435, Katherine (b. 10 Aug. 1417), da. of Peter James and wid. of Andrew Payn of Southampton.1

Offices Held

Under sheriff, Hants by Oct. 1419-bef. 1425.2

Water bailiff’s clerk, Southampton 1439-40; bargate broker until Mich. 1445.3


Serle is noted first, in 1407, as acting for the sheriff of Hampshire in giving notice to the tenants of the ‘Godshouse’ or hospital of St. Julian in Southampton to appear in Chancery in connexion with the forfeiture of their rents, and it may well be the case that he was already residing in the town. At the time of his return to Parliament for Portsmouth, a borough with which he had no recorded connexion, he was holding office as deputy to the then sheriff, William Bramshott*, and, indeed, it was he whom Bramshott made responsible for the delivery to the clerk of the Parliaments of the electoral returns for the shire and its three parliamentary boroughs. Serle had attended the Hampshire elections at Winchester on that occasion and was to do so again in the following year.4

After April 1435 Serle married Katherine, the daughter of the then mayor of Southampton, Peter James, and young widow of another burgess, Andrew Payn, who had bequeathed to her two messuages in the town. This property became the subject of a lawsuit in Chancery brought by the Serles against James, on the ground that the latter, ‘ymagenyng to decyve and disherite’ his daughter, had induced her, while still a minor and under his guardianship, to enfeoff William Soper* and others of her dower, of which he himself then took possession. The feoffees had refused to take action on Katherine’s behalf. In 1436 Serle witnessed a deed at St. Bride’s church, London, regarding a general release in favour of John Fleming of Southampton. He later acted as the water bailiff’s clerk in the port, receiving an annual fee of £2, and then became bargate broker, an office which he discharged until Michaelmas 1445. He was in arrears for £83 15s. at the end of his term, and the municipal authorities were still trying to recover this amount from his widow some ten years later. Serle witnessed the electoral indentures for Southampton for both Parliaments summoned in 1449. By the following year he was in possession of the Bugle Hall, which he leased from the commonalty for £2 a year, and he also held a parlour and garden for which an annual rent of 21s. was payable to God’s House. He was still living in St. Michael’s parish in 1454, but died before March 1457.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Black Bk. (Soton Rec. Soc. xiv), ii. 52; C1/15/184.
  • 2. C219/12/3; JUST 1/1540 m. 3.
  • 3. Brokage Bk. 1439-40 (Soton Rec. Soc. xl), i. p. xvi; Brokage Bk. 1443-4 (Soton Rec. Ser. vi), ii. 319; Port Bk. 1439-40 (ibid. v), p. xlviii.
  • 4. CCR, 1405-9, p. 182; C219/12/3, 4.
  • 5. C1/15/184; Port Bk. 1439-40, p. xlviii; Remembrance Bk. (Soton Rec. Soc. xxviii), i. 33-34; Black Bk. i. 153; Queen’s Coll. Oxf. God’s House, D609, R412; Southampton RO, SC13/1/1; C219/15/6, 7.