WATERDEN, Robert (d.1399), of Bishop's Lynn, Norf.

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



Jan. 1390

Family and Education

?1s. Thomas Waterden*.

Offices Held

Chamberlain, Lynn Mich. 1375-6.1

Constable of the Staple, Lynn 21 Sept. 1390-Mar. 1394; mayor 6 Oct. 1397-d.2


A burgess of Lynn by 1371, Robert Waterden held property in ‘Dampgate’ (now Norfolk Street). He acted as an elector of the officers of the borough on eight occasions between 1377 and 1395, and of the parliamentary burgesses in 1378, 1382, 1383, 1384, 1386 and 1390 (Nov.). By the last date he had been made a member of the council of 24. However, apart from these activities and his appointment in August 1383 as one of 12 guardians of the lands and person of Emma Beeston, a royal ward, he did not involve himself over much in local affairs.3 He was doubtless more interested in his own business as a merchant, which appears to have been considerable.

In July 1375 he had taken out a royal licence to ship 400 quarters of malt from Lynn to Norway. Five years later seamen manning a barge of his captured La Marienknight of Lübeck, which was laden with merchandise from Scotland, and he received instructions from the government to retain the goods until further notice, but to release the ship. Trading for the most part in leather and wool (of which latter commodity he shipped, in the spring of 1385, as many as 2,245 fleeces, and between October 1398 and April 1399 a total of 24 sacks and 55 cloves together with 1,620 fleeces), Waterden also exported cloth. Glass and Rhenish wine figured among his imports. In November 1388 he contributed about £3 towards the cost of a royal embassy sent to Prussia to settle disputes between English and German merchants. Although he never held any major administrative office in Lynn as such, his fellow merchants chose him as constable of the Staple in 1390, the year of his only election to Parliament, and as mayor of the Staple seven years afterwards. He was re-elected mayor in 1398 and 1399, and at his death, which occurred shortly before 31 Dec. 1399, the post was handed over to Thomas Waterden, who was very likely his son.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Red Reg. King’s Lynn ed. Ingleby, ii. f. 156d.
  • 2. C267/7/13, 15-17.
  • 3. King’s Lynn Town Hall, Ea 47; Reg Reg. ff. 115d, 121, 124, 131, 133, 135, 160-1, 167, 168-9; CPR, 1381-5, p. 304.
  • 4. CPR, 1374-7, p. 121; 1377-81, p. 414; E122/93/31, 94/5, 18; N.S.B. Gras, Early Eng. Customs System, 446, 541, 544; CCR, 1385-9, p. 566.