BURDON, Nicholas (d.1403), of Maplebeck, Notts.
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Family and Education
s. of John Burdon (fl. 1388) of Maplebeck. m. Millicent (d. Sept. 1419), da. of John Bekering, 1da. Kntd. between 1402 and d.1
Auditor of the accounts of ministers of the Crown in Cheshire and the principality of Wales 4 Feb. 1395-d.2
The Burdon family settled at Maplebeck by the beginning of the 12th century, and about 100 years later they acquired their second manor of Boughton through an advantageous marriage. Several of Nicholas’s ancestors are now chiefly remembered as friends and patrons of Rufford abbey, although they boasted an even earlier association with successive constables of Chester, and this may well have helped Burdon to secure the important — and lucrative — post of auditor of the King’s estates in Cheshire and the principality of Wales. His appointment, which was made in February 1395, while he was representing Nottinghamshire for the first and only time in Parliament, also came as recognition of his services as an esquire of the body to Richard II: indeed, his election to the Lower House probably owed as much to his influence at Court as his position in the local community. Whatever personal attachment Burdon may have felt for King Richard did not, even so, prevent him from accepting the Lancastrian coup d’état of 1399 and throwing in his lot with the newly crowned Henry IV. The latter, who in turn was grateful for the support of Richard’s former servants, promptly confirmed him in office and, moreover, continued to retain him as an officer of the royal household. In April 1402 Burdon and his colleague, William Spridlington, were assigned £29 as wages and expenses for their ‘necessary labours’ in taking the annual audit, and they also received a present of game from the King by way of an additional reward.3
Burdon’s loyalty to the new regime was clearly now beyond question, and when, in 1403, a combination of Welsh and northern rebels marched with the Percys against King Henry he enlisted under the royal banner, only to fall on 21 July at the battle of Shrewsbury. He left but one child, a daughter named Elizabeth, who married Sir Robert Markham. Her mother, Millicent, retained one third of the Burdon estates as dower, and it was clearly with the intention of gaining possession of the entire inheritance that Sir Robert’s father, the judge, John Markham, made her his second wife. On his death in 1409, Millicent married her influential neighbour, Sir William Meryng*, to whom she brought two dowers, as well as the property left to her by her father, John Bekering.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. R. Thoroton, Notts. ed. Throsby, iii. 129-31; Vis. Notts. 13.
- 2. DKR, xxxi. 181, 247; Letters Hen. IV ed. Hingeston, i. 95.
- 3. DKR, xxxi. 181, 247; xxxvi. 75; CPR, 1391-6, pp. 533, 538; 1399-1401, p. 33; Rufford Chs. (Thoroton Soc. xxix), pp. lxxxiv-lxxxvii; Letters Hen. IV, i. 95.
- 4. Thoroton, iii. 129-31; Mon. Brasses ed. Mill Stephenson, 395; HP ed. Wedgwood 1439-1509, Biogs. 585.