SHOTESBROOKE, John, of Ordeston in Ashbury, Berks.
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Family and Education
Commr. of oyer and terminer, Berks. July 1416; array May 1418, Mar. 1419; to raise royal loans Nov. 1419, Jan. 1420; of inquiry, Oxon., Berks. July 1428 (felonies), Wilts. July 1443 (wastes at Stratton St. Margaret); to assess a tax Jan. 1436; of kiddles, Berks., Bucks., Oxon. May 1438.
J.p. Berks. 14 Nov. 1417-June 1433.
On the death before April 1391 of Gilbert Shotesbrooke, who had sat for Berkshire in 1379 and 1380, his eldest son, John, succeeded to Ordeston, and probably also to such other lands as he later held in Berkshire at Aldworth and Beckett in Shrivenham. These holdings, together with his property in Wiltshire, at Purton, Upper Stratton and Broad Blunsdon, were to provide the shire knight with an annual income of £44, as assessed for the purposes of taxation in 1412. Besides these, he also inherited, before the end of Richard II’s reign, his mother’s moiety of the manor of Standon in Staffordshire, situated at some considerable distance from his main landed interests.2
In November 1391 Shotesbrooke appeared in the Exchequer to provide sureties for Richard Lambard, who was then awarded custody of a manor in Wiltshire. Mainpernors of his own, required in March 1403 to stand bail if he was arrested by the sheriff of Oxfordshire to answer a suit for trespass, included his younger brother, Robert. The latter’s distinguished career as a royal retainer in the service of all three Lancastrian monarchs was destined to overshadow John’s more mundane achievements; yet it was he, rather than Henry of Monmouth’s annuitant, who was elected to two of that King’s Parliaments. In September 1418, while Sir Robert was serving with the King in Normandy, John agreed to look after his interests at home by acting as his attorney. He attended the elections held in Berkshire for the Parliaments of 1421 (May) and 1427; and he served on the local bench for 16 years without a break.3
In the summer of 1421 Shotesbrooke fell into trouble with the Crown. Having recently inherited the second moiety of Standon as the next male heir of his cousin, Henry Boydell, clerk, he had attempted to enter into possession of the advowson of the church there without making the formal suit to the King required on account of the minority of the chief lord, Humphrey, earl of Stafford. He was fined £5 before being given a royal pardon on 17 July. But this was not the end of the matter, for in the following year the Crown, claiming damages of 1,000 marks, sued him for the next presentation to the church, arguing that as Boydell (the incumbent as well as owner) had died before livery had been made to Shotesbrooke of his moiety, the King’s rights of wardship entitled him to patronage. Shotesbrooke defended himself in court by asserting that he and the Boydells had presented to the church alternately, and that it was now his turn by virtue of his ownership of the Shotesbrooke moiety. The judgement is not recorded. Shotesbrooke’s title to the manor of Standon was to be challenged subsequently by a distant kinsman, John Mounforde, but in 1437 the latter made a quitclaim of the property to John Stafford, bishop of Bath and Wells, and others including Sir Robert Shotesbrooke, all apparently acting as the MP’s feoffees.4
Meanwhile, in 1434, Shotesbrooke had taken the generally prescribed oath not to maintain malefactors, as administered in Berkshire by his brother, one of the knights of the shire in the previous Parliament. About five years earlier his only child, Elizabeth, had been married to John Roger† the younger, one of the sons of John Roger I* of Bridport. The latter settled on the couple various estates he had purchased in Berkshire, to which gift Shotesbrooke responded by granting them his manor of Beckett. He is last recorded in July 1443 when appointed to a royal commission of which only he himself and his son-in-law were members.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Peds. Plea Rolls, ed. Wrottesley, 312.
- 2. CCR, 1389-92, p. 338; Feudal Aids, vi. 400, 535; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xvii. 86-87; VCH Berks. iv. 508-9, 535.
- 3. CFR, xi. 18; CCR, 1402-5, p. 155; DKR, xli. 699; C219/12/5, 13/5.
- 4. CFR, xiv. 399-400; CPR, 1416-22, p. 383; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xvii. 86-87; CCR, 1435-41, pp. 185-6.
- 5. CPR, 1429-36, p. 402; 1441-6, p. 201; CAD, i. B365.