STANFORD, Richard, of Stafford.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Stafford c.1390-1391.1
Members of the Stanford family had been living in Stafford for some years when Richard first represented the borough in Parliament, so it may safely be assumed that he then sat as a resident burgess. In September 1386 he witnessed the first of several local deeds, which testify to his almost continuous presence in the Stafford area for over 40 years. A conveyance of 1416 refers to a plot of land which he owned in the town but nothing else is known about the size of his holdings.2 He is described as a skinner in the royal letters of pardon issued to him and his partner in crime, John Baxter*, in 1396 after their armed raid on the late Sir John Gresley† manor of Drakelow in Derbyshire. They appear to have been acting on behalf of Sir John’s widow, who evidently planned to remove by force the £400 which she claimed as her rightful dower. Thomas Mynors of Blacknall also took part in the robbery, and it was with the latter’s daughter, Alice, that Stanford faced other unspecified charges of felony in November of the same year. Being of a violent disposition, he again found himself at odds with the law in 1403, when he was accused of aiding and abetting the murder of John Walsall at Stafford in June of the previous year. A second royal pardon was accorded to him in February 1404, this time on a legal technicality which he had not been slow to exploit. He is last mentioned in May 1421, when he must have been quite elderly.3 He was perhaps the father or uncle of the influential Hugh Stanford*, a senior employee of the earls of Stafford, whose standing in the Midlands probably brought him considerable benefits, in later life at least.
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421