SNELL, Nicholas, of Stafford.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Stafford 1 Nov. 1389-90.1
Although the Snell family enjoyed considerable influence in later medieval Stafford, very little is known about the subject of this biography.2 He may well have been the son of Hugh Snell† (d.1379), who represented the borough in no less than 12 Parliaments and with whom he was returned in 1373 and 1376. Another of his putative kinsmen, John Snell I*, carried on this tradition of parliamentary service, if on a less impressive scale. The first known reference to Nicholas’s local activities occurs in November 1382, when he witnessed a deed for Sir Nicholas Stafford*. Snell again appeared as a witness in the spring and early summer of 1390, but he was then acting in an official capacity as bailiff of Stafford. His property there included a garden near the shirehall, which had come into his hands by April 1398 if not before.3 The Nicholas Snell of Stafford, husbandman, who was sued for robbery in 1414 and who was still living in the town nine years later, cannot positively be identified as the MP’s son, although the two men were almost certainly related.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. E364/23F; CCR, 1389-92, pp. 277-8, 281-2.
- 2. A Nicholas Snell was admitted to the freedom of Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1369-70 (T. Pape, Med. Newcastle-under-Lyme, 143), but since there is no other evidence to connect our Member with the borough it seems likely that this reference concerns another person.
- 3. Staffs. RO, D1721/1/1/1, f. 69; Wm. Salt Lib. Stafford, Chetwynd mss, bdle. 7, no. 12; CCR, 1389-92, pp. 277-8, 281-2.
- 4. Chetwynd mss, bdle. 7, no. 20; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xvii. 50.