BARANTYN, Drew (d.1415), of London.

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

Constituency

Dates

1395
Sept. 1397
Jan. 1404
1410
Feb. 1413
May 1413

Family and Education

yr. s. of Thomas Barantyn of Chalgrove, Oxon.; yr. bro. of Thomas*. m. (1) by Feb. 1391, Margery, da. of Thomas Burgh of London, wid. of Sir Nicholas Twyford (d.1390) of London, goldsmith; (2) by July 1415, Christine (d. Mar. 1428), s.p.1

Offices Held

Warden, Goldsmiths’ Co. 19 May 1380-1, 1385-6.2

Common councillor, Goldsmiths’ Co. 1381-2.3

Alderman, Aldersgate Ward 12 Mar. 1392-3, 1397-24 Mar. 1414, Farringdon Ward Without 12 Mar. 1394-7, Bishopsgate Ward 24 Mar. 1414-d. ; mayor, London 13 Oct. 1398-9, 1408-9.4

Collector of subsidy, London Mar., Oct. 1393.5

Sheriff, London and Mdx. Mich. 1394-5.

Commr. to make arrests, London Mar. 1394, Kent, Mdx., Surr. July 1399; recruit goldsmiths and artisans for royal employment May 1396; of gaol delivery Jan. 1399;6 oyer and terminer Sept. 1401 (the count of Denia’s ransom), Nov. 1405 (capture of a Breton ship).

Biography

Barantyn came from a family of well-endowed Oxfordshire landowners, but although he himself ‘becam wonderfull riche and purchased fayre lands’, he was important as a leading craftsman and financier rather than as a man of property. His great wealth and powerful connexions — themselves acquired through his mastery of the goldsmith’s craft — earned him a well-deserved place among the rulers of London, and enabled him to play a not inconsiderable part in national affairs. Barantyn received his training in the workshop of Robert Oxenford, to whom he was apprenticed in 1363; seven years later he became a freeman of the City of London and a member of the Goldsmiths’ Company, being admitted under the name of ‘Andreas’ because, as he later pointed out, the clerk was not only negligent, but also knew little Latin.7 He began taking on his own apprentices in 1379, one year before his first election as warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company, and continued to do so until 1398 at least. He played a leading part in the affairs of his guild, most notably where the acquisition of property was concerned. When, in February 1393, the Company obtained a licence to hold land and rents worth £20 a year, Barantyn and his colleagues Adam* and Henry Bamme assumed responsibility for all the necessary conveyances and also secured the royal letters patent sanctioning their grant. It is more than likely that Barantyn used his undoubted influence with Henry IV to obtain the Goldsmiths’ charter of 1404. This concession, which gave the company far greater powers than before, may well have been made in return for the offer of loans or extended credit by leading members of the guild. The widely held belief that Barantyn himself built the second Goldsmiths’ Hall in 1407 has no foundation in fact, although he lived for many years next to the hall, which was connected to his own house by a gallery.8

Barantyn’s reputation as a goldsmith grew steadily over the years. In July 1387 a cup made in his workshop was presented by Richard II to a messenger from Duke John IV of Britanny; and by 1393 he and his partner, John Doubler, appear to have been doing business regularly with the royal household. In July of that year they supplied the master of the Mint with gold worth over £70 for making two collars and a brooch for the King: the sums of £29 and £67 assigned to them later in the year may have been intended to pay off this debt, although they probably undertook other work during this period as well. Another of Barantyn’s gold cups (worth 40 marks) was given by King Richard to the queen of Sweden in May 1394; and he was also then working for both John of Gaunt and Margaret Marshal, countess of Norfolk, the latter of whom obtained permission from the Crown for him to melt down silver coinage to the value of £100 and turn it into plate. Richard II again owed Barantyn money in February 1397 when £700 was assigned to him out of the customs at Southampton. The London collectors still had to pay him £110 in September of that year, but he finally managed to recover the money from the Exchequer in the following July. Soon afterwards he was appointed to give an expert valuation of the stock left by John Pynchoun, one of the richest jewellers in London.9

Henry IV proved an even more generous patron to Barantyn, who, in turn, became a leading royal creditor. In June 1407, for instance, he and others were promised £890 for jewellery which they had sold to the King six months before. It is unclear if a collar ‘dez garnisez de petre’ which Henry bought from Barantyn for £550 at this time was one of these purchases or a new indulgence on his part, but the sum of £100 spent by him on gold vessels for the French ambassadors in January 1408 confirms his admiration of Barantyn’s work. A few days later the goldsmith delivered a brooch worth 1,000 marks to King Henry’s agents, but despite the assignment which was made to him from the Exchequer, the money was still unpaid in September of that year, when an arrangement came into effect whereby he and his colleague, John Reynwell*, were allowed to ship wool from Chichester and London free of customs duties until the debt was made good. At least one other item of goldsmith’s work bought from Barantyn by the Crown was later used as security for raising loans to finance Henry V’s first expedition to France in 1415. This highly elaborate piece, known as ‘the Michael’, passed into the hands of Thomas, Lord Camoys, who commanded the English left flank at Agincourt. Wrought of gold with a foot of silver and emeralds ornamented with 88 pearls, and itself set with six sapphires, 23 rubies and 76 pearls, it weighed in all over 11 lbs and was worth £200.10 Barantyn made at least four cash loans to the Crown as well as supplying jewellery on credit. In May 1402 he lent Henry IV £150 on the security of a cross, and in March 1408 he advanced a further £27. His next loan of 100 marks in June 1410 was followed a few weeks later by a far larger one of £1,500 repayable out of the wool subsidy. That his position as a royal creditor gave him considerable influence in national affairs is evident from the contents of a letter allegedly sent by Robert, duke of Albany, regent of Scotland, to Richard, earl of Cambridge, shortly before the discovery of the earl’s treasonable conspiracy in July 1415. Albany agreed to further the plot by releasing the pretender who claimed to be Richard II in return for a suitable hostage. As regards the latter, the duke suggested any one of 18 prominent Englishmen, among whom were the bishop of Norwich, the earl of Westmorland and two Londoners, one being Richard Whittington* and the other Drew Barantyn.11

Barantyn’s other financial affairs were conducted on a predictably impressive scale. Between November 1387 and October 1413, for example, he attempted to recover more than £606 long overdue on miscellaneous bonds entered before the mayor of the Staple of Westminster.12 Other debts, such as the £64 owed to him by two Essex men in 1400 were paid promptly, since despite his great wealth, Barantyn was never reluctant to sue persistent defaulters for the smallest amounts, although often without much hope of success. He was, however, owed fairly large sums by certain London merchants, notably John Lardener, the mercer, who bound himself in £300 to submit the question of his debts to private arbitration in February 1410. Interestingly enough, John Rous II, whom Lardener chose to mediate on his behalf, was then sitting in the House of Commons with Barantyn, so they may well have seized this opportunity to effect a compromise. Such an amicable solution was not possible in the case of John Presden, the grocer, who was sued by Barantyn’s executors for over £1,050.13The goldsmith himself undertook to pay substantial sums of money to a number of eminent people, but was rarely the only party to such obligations. In 1394 he and five others (including Whittington) bound themselves in £6,000 to deliver £3,000 to William, earl of Salisbury. Two years later Barantyn and other associates acknowledged a joint debt of £460 13s.4d. due, inter alios, to John, Lord Cobham, and payable within a few months — an arrangement which was still unfulfilled in June 1399 when Cobham invoked process of law. Barantyn was more punctilious in delivering the £70 which he and his brother had promised to Reynold Malyns by November 1405, presumably because they were related to him by marriage.14

Although he made his name as a goldsmith, Barantyn had many other commercial interests, chiefly in the wool trade, through which he was able to recover a substantial proportion of his loans to the Crown. Not surprisingly he appears among the leading members of a consortium of English merchants who planned to open up a direct trade in cloth and wool with the Mediterranean. This venture caused great alarm to the Genoese, who, fearing a threat to their own mercantile supremacy, arrested the English ships and confiscated their cargoes. After vociferous protests, Barantyn and his colleagues obtained letters of marque authorizing the seizure from Genoese merchants in England of goods to the value of £34,000 (a figure which allowed for generous damages of £10,000 over and above their original losses). The indiscriminate confiscation, by Barantyn’s agents in particular, of merchandise from other Italian states provoked a series of complaints, some of which reached the court of Chancery, where he and William Flete* stood charged, among other crimes, of having a Piedmontese merchant wrongfully imprisoned and then robbing him of goods worth £500. The understandable intransigence of the Genoese ambassadors posed another problem and led to further delays while the exact amount of compensation was reconsidered. Nor did a petition to the Parliament of November 1414 do much to expedite matters. Indeed, Barantyn had been dead for almost 12 years when the Genoese obtained their final acquittance.15

At the time of his death, Barantyn was one of the richest property owners in London. The bulk of his holdings there came to him through his marriage to Margery, the widow of Sir Nicholas Twyford, a former warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company. From her first husband Margery had acquired a life interest in a large and impressive house with a row of 54 shops and solars adjoining in the parish of St. John Zachary, as well as an inn called Le Griffon on the Hope and other premises in West Cheap which shortly after his marriage Barantyn exchanged for a more compact block of property nearer to his new home.16 As the grand daughter of another wealthy goldsmith, Simon Burgh, Margery also laid claim to an inn and 12 shops in the parish of St. Botolph Without Aldersgate; and when, in 1402, her title was challenged by the prior of the London Carthusians, she managed to uphold it. The same parties had previously been involved in protracted litigation over three messuages and 15 shops ‘in the suburbs’ which also came to Margery through her paternal grandfather; and here, too, during the Trinity term of 1397 (after four years in the courts), she was successful. She and Barantyn also held their own against the Cistercian abbot of St. Mary Graces, who, at some point before January 1393 had tried to evict them from the extensive and valuable property left to Margery in the parish of St. Agnes Within Aldersgate by her great-grandmother, Alice Juvenal. For the best part of two decades the Barantyns fought off the abbot first in the husting court and then in Chancery, finally freeing themselves, by December 1409, to dispose of the property by sale.17Despite the legal problems arising from his wife’s inheritance, Barantyn had every reason to congratulate himself upon making an advantageous and profitable marriage. With such a lucrative estate in his hands, he had less incentive than many contemporary Londoners to invest his own profits in land. He did, however, acquire at least one messuage and 16 shops in the parish of St. Vedast during the early 1390s; and later, in June 1406, he became owner of the ‘Jewyngardyn’, an attractive plot of land with shops and houses lying next to it in the parish of St. Giles Without Cripplegate. Since he made no further purchases of any note in the City, his annual income from property there must have been fairly constant for the last nine years of his life. According to the London lay subsidy return of 1412, he could depend on almost £56 a year from this source, while an inquisition post mortem held five years later returned the far lower (but probably less accurate) figure of £38.18 To this must, of course, he added his revenues from the country, which were considerable.

It is difficult to establish the exact chronology of Barantyn’s numerous acquisitions outside London. He is known to have held land in at least eight counties at various times, although when he died his possessions were concentrated in Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Buckinghamshire. As early as July 1383 he held part of a knight’s fee in Herkstead, Essex, although no other references to his interests there have survived. Eight years later Sir Richard Adderbury I* confirmed Barantyn and his elder brother, Thomas, in possession of the manor of Little Haseley, Oxfordshire. On Thomas’s death in 1400, the goldsmith became sole lord of the manor and retained it for the rest of his life. He also took on the farm of the agistment in the neighbouring royal park at Watlington and collected miscellaneous rents in this area. As in London, Barantyn came into a good deal of property through marriage. His wife’s first husband, Sir Nicholas, had, for example, settled widespread land and rents in Tottenham and Edmonton, Middlesex, upon her for life. These were conveyed by Barantyn to Roger Walden, the archbishop of Canterbury, and his brother, John*, as trustees in the Hilary term of 1399, presumably so as to strengthen his hand in the event of Margery’s early death, especially since she was childless. Over the years the couple consolidated Twyford’s original estates in Exning, Suffolk, acquiring piecemeal almost all the three manors which made up the village, and also gaining possession of the manor and advowson of Frostenden. In all, their Suffolk property was worth over £80 a year, quite apart from the relatively small sums which came to them from Margery’s scattered holdings in Burwell, Fordham and ‘Roche’ (probably Reach), across the Cambridgeshire border. They also owned over 160 acres of farmland and various dwellings in Hambleden and Ibstone, Buckinghamshire.19 For a while, Barantyn shared an interest in the manor of Fawsley, Northamptonshire, eventually becoming joint lord of the manor with his friend, Geoffrey Somerton. In May 1410, they successfully petitioned for a royal commission to investigate a revolt by the local bondmen, who were refusing to perform the usual customs and services, perhaps because of the unduly oppressive behaviour of their new masters. Our Member could certainly drive a hard bargain, as Thomas, Lord Morley, discovered to his cost. In, or just before, December 1399, he sold Barantyn the manor of Walkerne, Hertfordshire, to which he subsequently added the advowson of Datchworth church. Morley may well have been under considerable financial pressure to raise the £400 which Barantyn paid him (almost certainly on the strength of a punitive mortgage), for in the following July Henry IV intervened personally to reverse the sale. A few days after being promised reimbursement in full at the Exchequer, Barantyn conveyed the manor back to Morley’s trustees, but made sure that he could still use the granges at Walkerne for storing his own wheat. Only the roughest estimate can now be given of his annual income from estates in the country, especially as the very approximate figure of £100 given in his inquisition post mortem includes neither the revenues from Margery’s land in Middlesex nor the profits of the manor of Fawsley.20

Barantyn’s services as a mainpernor and feoffee were no doubt much in demand, although he is known to have stood surety for friends and colleagues on only five occasions during his long career. In June 1401 Henry IV’s esquire, Janico Dartasso, made him his attorney in England, but he did not evidently perform such a service for anyone else.21 He appears more frequently as a trustee, holding land to the use of many eminent Londoners and the wealthy knight, Sir Baldwin Berford, in whose property transactions he played a leading part.22 From 1385 onwards, Barantyn was involved in the affairs of Sir Nicholas Twyford, who made him both his feoffee and executor. It was in the latter capacity that, in July 1400, Barantyn joined with his wife, Margery (Twyford’s widow), in setting up a chantry in the church of St. Matthew, Friday Street, where masses were said daily for the deceased’s soul.23

As a newly elected alderman, Barantyn was among the chief protagonists in Richard II’s quarrel with the City. This came to a head in June 1392, when he and all the other leading civic dignitaries were summoned to Nottingham and accused of unspecified acts of maladministration. Richard suspended the normal government of London, and on 18 July Barantyn and his colleagues were ordered to appear before a commission of inquiry, preparatory to the imposition of a joint fine of 3,000 marks. He was, however, confirmed in his aldermanry soon afterwards, holding office during royal pleasure until the following September, when a general pardon was issued by the King and the state of emergency ceased.24 Because of his great artistry as a goldsmith, Barantyn himself had little to fear from Richard’s displeasure, and went on to establish himself as one of the most prominent members of the civic hierarchy. That he was twice elected mayor of London is itself a mark of his great prestige and popularity among the rulers of the City who also chose him to represent them in at least six Parliaments. During his first mayoralty, Barantyn headed the deputation of Londoners which welcomed Henry of Lancaster and his supporters into the City. How far he used his own influence in favour of the Lancastrian cause remains open to conjecture, for although the people of London nursed many grievances against Richard II, he had benefited personally from the latter’s patronage, and, like his colleague, Richard Whittington, may have felt more sympathetic towards him. Clearly, his change of loyalty was not unaffected by the dictates of opportunism.

Barantyn died on 14 Dec. 1415 and was buried in the church of St. John Zachary, to which he left various annual rents for pious works and the upkeep of a chantry. His will lists bequests of over £1,000 in money to be shared by friends, relatives and charitable institutions, although he is chiefly remembered as a beneficiary of the Goldsmiths’ Company. Since he had no children, most of his estates went to Reynold Barantyn, his nephew. The latter was obliged to wait almost four years and pay 200 marks for livery of his inheritance because of a delay in the issue of writs from Chancery and certain errors in one of the original inquisitions post mortem. Barantyn’s widow, Christine, also experienced a number of problems regarding the custody of her dower. This was confiscated by the Crown in February 1419 on her marriage, without royal licence, to John Manning, the coroner of Wiltshire, and the couple had to pay a fine of £40 to recover it. On Manning’s death she married Reynold Barantyn, perhaps as a mutually defensive move to consolidate both their titles. With him she was caught up in protracted and only partially successful litigation over the ownership of the goldsmith’s property in the parish of St. Vedast. At least Reynold had the satisfaction of surviving her, and thus inheriting all that remained of his late uncle’s estate.25

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.

Notes

  • 1. Corporation of London RO, hr 119/20, 74, 82, 143/42; hpl 116, Monday aft. feast Annunciation, 17 Ric. II; Berks. Bucks. and Oxon. Arch. Jnl. xxxii. 57.
  • 2. T.F. Reddaway and L.E.M. Walker, Early Hist. Goldsmiths’ Company, 327.
  • 3. Cal. P. and M. London, 1381-1412, p. 29.
  • 4. Beaven, Aldermen, i. 2, 34, 143; Cal. Letter Bk. London, H, 444-5, 450; I, 69-70, 78.
  • 5. Cal. Letter Bk. London, H, 393, 404. Barantyn was, however, discharged from the second appointment within 12 days ‘for certain reasonable causes’.
  • 6. C66/350 m. 2d.
  • 7. J. Leland, Itin. ed. Toulmin Smith, v. 232-3; Reddaway and Walker, 279; Cal. Letter Bk. London, I, 6.
  • 8. C143/416/36; Westminster Abbey mun. 5059; Corporation of London RO, hr 121/180, 192, 194; CPR, 1391-6, p. 262; J. Stow, Surv. London ed. Kingsford, i. 305; Reddaway and Walker, 70-71; W. Herbert. Gt. Livery Companies of London, ii. 224.
  • 9. CPR, 1391-6, p. 670; Cal. Letter Bk. London, H, 446; Issues ed. Devon, 255; DL28/1/4, f. 20d; E401/604, 606, 609; E403/517 m. 16, 543 mm. 17, 20, 559 m. 13.
  • 10. E404/22/540-1, 23/176, 215; CPR, 1405-8, p. 469; Suss. Arch. Colls. xv. 134.
  • 11. CPR, 1408-13, pp. 216-17; PPC, ii. 114; DKR, xliii. 583; J.H. Wylie, Hen. V, i. 518.
  • 12. C241/176/77, 179/20, 181/57, 182/45, 200/41-42, 206/32.
  • 13. CPR, 1399-1401, pp. 392, 492; 1405-8, p. 402; 1408-13, p. 242; 1422-9, p. 429; CCR, 1399-1402, pp. 190, 196; 1402-5, p. 209; 1409-13, p. 85; Cal. P. and M. London, 1413-37, p. 95; Corporation of London RO, hcp 106, Monday bef. feast St. Gregory, 5 Ric. II; hpl 100, feast St. Peter’s Chair, 1 Ric. II.
  • 14. CCR, 1392-6, p. 235; 1405-9, p. 76; C241/188/104.
  • 15. C1/6/30, 97, 69/215; E122/72/8; RP, iv. 50-51; CPR, 1408-13, pp. 461-2; 1413-16, p. 90; CCR, 1413-19, p. 55; 1422-9, p. 405; A.A. Ruddock, Italians in Southampton (Soton. Rec. Ser. i), 58-59.
  • 16. C138/20/43; Corporation of London RO, hr 119/20, 74, 82, 98, 120/51-52, 122/18, 128/73, 138/15-16, 141/47-48, 56, 1