BRABAN, John (d.c.1443), of Dover, Kent.

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



Oct. 1416
May 1421
Dec. 1421

Family and Education

prob. s. of Robert Braban of Dover.

Offices Held

Dep. mayor, Dover July 1418, Aug. 1421, Oct. 1423, Aug. 1425;5 jurat Sept. 1421-2, 1424-5, 1426-7, 1428-30, 1432-3, 1437-8, 1439-42;6 dep. bailiff Aug. 1423; mayor Sept. 1425-6, 1427-8, 1433-6.7

Cinque Ports’ bailiff at Yarmouth Sept.-Nov. 1413, 1419.8


A John Braban was engaged in importing wine and exporting cloth at Dover in 1398-9 and 1405, but whether this was the future MP is uncertain, for the latter is recorded in a lawsuit at Dover in 1400 as John Braban ‘junior’ — a description applied to him for some three years more. Our John was frequently party to litigation in the local courts in the course of the next 20 years. Early in 1406 he appeared as the agent at Dover of John de Zamora, the queen of Castile’s attorney in London, in his action on behalf of a Spanish merchant who had lost 1,000 gold coins carried in certain vessels captured off Fecamp by ships from the Cinque Ports. As such he was instrumental in handing over to Zamora sums of money paid in restitution by the men of Dover.9

In the spring of 1411 Braban and John Strete*, his fellow townsman, received from John Oxenden, clerk, a bond for £200 payable at Whitsun following, on which they sued for recovery in the autumn. In 1416 Braban acquired a messuage and 23 acres of land at Buckland and Charlton near Dover, and a few years later he added to his holdings in Brenchley, elsewhere in Kent.10 In other transactions he evidently acted as a trustee, rather than on his own account: he was, for example, a party to conveyances of 1426 and 1435 relating to buildings in Dover; and he acquired an interest in 1437 in land belonging to the late Thomas Colyn alias Oxenden (probably a kinsman of his debtor of 1411).11

Besides representing Dover in nine Parliaments, Braban was often engaged on business for the town which required journeys to London and elsewhere. Thus, in 1427-8, while mayor, he went to ‘le Mot’ at Canterbury for discussions with the lieutenant warden about his town’s dispute with its member-port of Faversham; and in 1429 he acted as one of the bearers of the canopy at Henry VI’s coronation, a ceremonial duty for which Dover paid him expenses at a daily rate of 3s.4d. He represented Dover at six meetings of the Brodhull between July 1433 and July 1436. When mayor in 1434-5 he spent two weeks in London seeking an audience with the warden, Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, ‘pro libertate’, and on the same visit he commissioned a copy to be made of the Ports’ charter. Then, in March 1436, the Brodhull decided to send him as one of a delegation protesting to Gloucester and others of the King’s Council about the calling out of the Ports’ full ship service, since this was by then customarily required only when the King was to take part in an expedition in person. New Romney subsequently paid him 10s. for taking the Ports’ charters to show Gloucester ‘in salvacione libertatis nostre pro navigio domini Regis’.12

Braban last compounded for his maltolts in 1442-3, at 6s.8d. (reduced from 10s.), and is not recorded thereafter.13

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: A. P.M. Wright


  • 1. He also represented New Romney for 16 days: Rommey assmt. bk. 2, f. 88d.
  • 2. For 33 days’ attendance at the autumn session he received 2s.8d. per day from Dover; and for another 32 days, during which he also represented New Romney, he received 20d. a day from each town: Add. 29615, f. 75; Romney assmt. bk. 2, f. 103.
  • 3. For 25 days at 2s.8d. a day: Add. 29615, f. 173.
  • 4. For 38 days at 3s.4d. a day and 40 days at 20d. a day from Dover and a total of £3 6s. 8d. from New Romney: Add. 29810, f. 4; Romney assmt. bk. 2, f. 173.
  • 5. Egerton 2088, ff. 189, 192, 199, 210, 216.
  • 6. Ibid. f. 199; Add. 29615, ff. 77, 116, 138, 151, 181; 29810, ff. 20, 31, 39; Dover Chs. ed. Statham, 194.
  • 7. Egerton 2088, f. 209; Add. 29615, ff. 85, 125, 189, 202; 29810, f. 4.
  • 8. Romney assmt. bk. 2, ff. 80, 92.
  • 9. E122/126/27, 45, 36; Egerton 2088, ff. 119, 130, 132-207; E28/28/49, 52, 37/12.
  • 10. Egerton 2088, f. 161; CP25(1)113/285/152, 114/294/10.
  • 11. CAD, i. B1353; iii. B3911; Dover Chs. 196.
  • 12. Add. 29615, ff. 125, 158; 29810, f. 2; White and Black Bks. of Cinque Ports (Kent Rec. Ser. xix), 1, 3, 5-8; Romney assmt. bk. 2, f. 123.
  • 13. Add. 29810, f. 46.