BEKETON, John, of Great Yarmouth, 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



Family and Education

m. bef. Feb. 1394, Alice, 2da.

Offices Held

Bailiff, Yarmouth Mich. 1338-9, 1393-4, 1397-8, 1403-4.1


Beketon came from a well-established local family which had included Richard Beketon† (six times bailiff between 1338 and 1351 and MP in 1341, 1348 and 1351), a shipowner engaged in the herring trade.2 Similarly, John Beketon’s main trading interest was in fish.3 At the time of his first return to Parliament in 1386 he was one of the 24 jurats of Yarmouth, being named eleventh on the list of those who selected new borough officials. Subsequently, he himself held office as a bailiff four times. In June 1389, described as ‘of Norfolk’, he stood surety in Chancery for James Billingford, the East Anglian lawyer. When, in 1394, he and his wife Alice obtained papal indults for plenary remission of sins and for a portable altar, he was called ‘esquire’, and, indeed, his armorial bearings decorated five shields on the ceiling of the south aisle of St. Nicholas’s church, which was then in course of completion. Beketon’s arms were sometimes impaled with those of Fastolf, but no evidence has been found that Alice Beketon herself came from that important family.4

In 1402 Beketon sealed a bond for £100 payable to Oliver Roberd in the event of his failure to maintain, at his own expense, Roberd’s son Roger and Mary his wife (presumably Beketon’s daughter), and any children they might have, clothing and keeping them according to their estate until Roger attained the age of 24. In return, according to the marriage settlement, he was to enjoy the profits of certain property at Honing, several miles to the north of Yarmouth. Beketon is last recorded three years later holding land at Bradwell, a short distance from the town. The date of his death is not known. Another daughter, Anne, wife of Alexander Manning of Debach, Suffolk, was to sell her father’s property in Yarmouth to John Fastolf†, esquire, in 1428.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Norf. Official Lists ed. Le Strange, 154.
  • 2. Ibid. 151-2; A. Saul, ‘Gt. Yarmouth in 14th Cent.’ (Oxf. Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 1975), 342; C.J. Palmer, Perlustration of Yarmouth, i. 96-98.
  • 3. E122/149/27, 28.
  • 4. HMC 9th Rep. pt. 1, 305; CCR, 1389-92, p. 53; CPL, iv. 485, 492.
  • 5. Saul, 375; Norf. RO, Yarmouth ct. rolls, C4/114, 136.