SPALDING, Ralph, of Newington and Southwark, Surr.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Tax collector, Southwark Mar. 1395, Dec. 1407.
Spalding, a brewer by trade, may have been the brother or some other kinsman of the William Spalding who sat for Southwark in the Parliament of 1391. Nothing is known of him, however, before June 1397, when, described as a resident of the borough, he was being sued for trespass by the prior of Bermondsey, Surrey. He witnessed two local deeds in March 1406 and June 1407, and in the following year again appeared in court, this time because of a violent dispute with John Thoresley, a Southwark leather merchant, during which he and six others were bound over in Chancery to keep the peace. In January 1409 a skinner named John Fely was himself obliged to offer sureties for his good behaviour towards Spalding, and Thoresley’s presence among his mainpernors may perhaps be taken as evidence of some longstanding feud between the leather merchant and his former adversary.1 During the Hilary term of 1413 Spalding began three separate actions for debts owed to him by local tradesmen, none of whom were prepared to appear in court and defend themselves. Spalding had acquired a tenement in Newington, Surrey, by May 1415, for he was then summoned to defend his title to the property before the justices of assize meeting at Southwark. The jury found in his favour; and he was awarded damages of 40 marks to compensate for the false claims made against him by the plaintiffs.2