SHAPLEIGH, John I (d.1414), of Exeter, Devon.

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

1st. s. of John Shaplegh (d.1410), of Exeter by either Denise or Alice; bro. of Roger. m. Mabel 1s. John II*.

Offices Held

Receiver, Exeter Mich. 1403-4, 1409-10; member of the council of 12, 1406-7, 1408-09, 1411-12, July 1413-d.1

Constable of the Staple, Exeter Jan. 1410-11, 1412-13; mayor Jan. 1414-d.2


This John Shaplegh’s father was the steward of Exeter in the years 1386-7, 1399-1400, 1401-2, 1404-5, and 1407-8, the receiver of 1390-1 and 1394-5 the royal alnager in Devon in 1396, and the constable and then mayor of the Staple at Exeter between 1399 and 1401.3 By the provisions of his will (proved in the mayor’s court in June 1410), our MP, the eldest of four sons who were all to achieve prominence in civic government, inherited shops in the High Street. He had become a freeman of Exeter long before, on 15 June 1388, after completing the customary apprenticeship of seven years, and like his father had since then traded in cloth, which he exported to France. He also established an interest in the wine trade with Gascony. John was active in the administration of Exeter for some time before his father’s death; indeed, it occasionally happened that father and son were both members of the council of 12. The younger man was named on the panel of electors at nine out of the ten elections of local officials held between 1403 and 1413. As John Shaplegh ‘junior’ he was returned to the Parliament summoned for January 1410, having also been elected, only a week before the Commons met, as constable of the local Staple. Shaplegh did not lack connexions of importance: in 1412 John Prescott*, the former knight of the shire, bequeathed to his wife a gold ring engraved with the words ‘Hoc Nomine IHC’.4

It was this John Shaplegh’s son, John II, who sat for Exeter in the first Parliament of 1414. He himself died in July that year, while holding office as mayor of the Staple.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Exeter City RO, mayors’ ct. rolls 5 Hen. IV-2 Hen. V.
  • 2. C267/6/46-48.
  • 3. Mayors’ ct. rolls 8 Ric. II-12 Hen. IV; CFR, xi. 193; C267/6/42, 43.
  • 4. Mayors’ ct. rolls 11-12 Ric. II m. 38, 11 Hen. IV m. 37; receivers’ acct. 11-12 Hen. IV; E122/40/23, 26, 30, 30A; E101/338/11; C219/10/5; Reg. Stafford ed. Hingeston-Randolph, 400.
  • 5. C67/24.