STOKKES, Elias, of Derby.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Derby Mich. 1395-6.2
Tax collector, Derbys. Sept. 1432.
In the summer of 1393, at the sessions of the peace held in Derby, Elias went surety for a fellow burgess, and along with John Stokkes*, quite likely his brother, he provided securities in £100 before judges of the King’s bench for Richard Sherman*.3 At the borough elections of September 1397 he found mainprise for the appearance in the Commons of Thomas Shore and William Groos, and he later attended the election of 1411. Stokkes was distrained, but not empanelled, to serve as a juror at the lollard inquiries held at Derby in March 1414, and acted in this capacity three months later, when royal commissioners were investigating crimes committed in the town.4
By this time Stokkes had been trading for several years as a wool merchant. Before 1397 he had gone into partnership with Robert Kynalton, a sheep farmer from Shropshire, only for the latter apparently to break their contract by failing to account with him for the profits. Stokkes built up business contacts with traders in Lincoln, too, and by 1424 he had extended his interests to Calais, whither, as a merchant of the Staple, he shipped wool from Kingston-upon-Hull. Following the loss of one such shipment when the vessel foundered at sea, he obtained a royal licence to export the same quantity of wool free of subsidies.5 The profits from such activities had enabled Elias, along with his son, Thomas, to purchase in 1408 property in Derby from Henry Booth*, for whom he witnessed an indenture the following year, and with whom he later became associated as co-feoffee of lands at Newton Solney and Repton. In May 1420 he transferred to his son eight messuages in Derby, but continued to acquire property there by purchasing in 1426 two dwellings and 20 acres of land from John Sparham*, and by obtaining, five years later, an interest in seven more messuages, two torts and 52 acres of land.6
Stokkes was present for the borough elections of March 1432, but before November of the same year he was imprisoned along with John Spicer III* and Roger Wolley* in Nottingham gaol. Their offences are not known.7 Nothing more is heard of him.