SWAN, Richard, of Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

m. by Dec. 1414, Agnes.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Kingston-upon-Hull Mich. 1414-15.2


The Swans were a long established Hull family, and Richard was almost certainly a close kinsman of the Thomas Swan who served as controller of the royal customs there in the late 14th century. He may himself have been made town baliff in 1391, but it seems more likely, on chronological grounds, that the office was then occupied by another of his kinsmen with the same name.3 There is, however, little doubt that the Richard Swan who acted in August 1409 and February 1410 as a trustee of tenements in Hull eventually represented the borough in Parliament. He may already have been involved, along with two other local men, in litigation for the recovery of a debt of 40s. from one William Ruglyn of Whitby, but the action proved unsuccessful, and two years later Ruglyn was pardoned a sentence of outlawry incurred because of his failure to appear in court. Richard was married by December 1414, when he and his wife, Agnes, acquired a tenement in ‘Le Pavement’ (Walkergate) from a widow named Cecily Sutton. He then held office as bailiff of Hull, and went on, just after his term ended, to sit in the House of Commons. John Saunderson, who was returned to the next Parliament, in March 1416, seems to have been one of Richard’s closest friends, since he not only choose him to execute his will (made in August 1418), but also left him a bequest of 40s. as a reward ‘for his labour’. Richard lived on until October 1425, the date of a conveyance whereby he settled the above-mentioned tenement upon his trustees, perhaps as a preliminary to the drafting of his own will.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.


  • 1. Cal. Hull Deeds ed. Stanewell, D231.
  • 2. C219/11/5; Cal. Hull Deeds, D236A.
  • 3. CFR, x. 226; E368/165, Mich. rot. 3v.
  • 4. Cal. Hull Deeds, D206, 208, 231, 272; CPR, 1408-13, p. 341; Borthwick Inst. York, York registry wills, iii. ff. 608-9.