SEXTON, John II, of Cambridge.

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



Mar. 1416

Family and Education

?2s. inc. Richard.

Offices Held

Bailiff, Cambridge Sept. 1407-9 1416-17, 1419-20.1

Commr. of array, Cambridge Aug. 1415.


In 1407 Sexton stood surety for the attendance in Parliament of Simon Bentbow, and he was also present at the elections held in Cambridge in 1413 (May), 1414 (Nov.) and 1415, he himself being returned the following year. His election to Parliament was preceded by experience in local government as both bailiff and royal commissioner.

Sexton is known to have owned property in St. Edmund’s parish, Cambridge: in 1411, described as a butcher, he released his right to a tenement there; and a deed of 1432 refers to his former occupation of a messuage in the same parish. In 1411-12 he and another butcher had purchased 13 acres of land in Cambridge and Barnwell, sold under the terms of the will of Robert Brigham*. Sexton addressed a petition to the chancellor, Bishop Langley of Durham, in 1424, after one Edmund Spending, who had been imprisoned in Cambridge castle until he found sureties that he would keep the peace towards him, was released prematurely on bail offered by persons deemed to be of insufficient standing and worth; clearly he considered himself to be in danger.2 In April 1426, being then described as John Sexton ‘the elder’, he was elected as one of the 24 ‘discreet burgesses’ of the common council when this body was reconstituted in the guildhall following a controversy over its election.3 Thereafter it is impossible to identify him with certainty.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: E.M. Wade


  • 1. Add. 5833, ff. 134-5.
  • 2. E210/4244; Cambridge Antiq. Soc. xxxi. nos. 207, 358; C1/5/8.
  • 3. J.C. Cooper, Annals, i. 175.
  • 4. The John Sexton who served as treasurer of Cambridge in 1435, and later attended the elections of parliamentary burgesses and witnessed local deeds, was perhaps the elder John’s son. So, too, may have been Richard Sexton, the Cambridge MP of 1427; Cooper, i. 186; Cambridge Antiq. Soc. ix. 4; C219/15/4.