BURTON, Sir John I (d. by 1395), of Notts.
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Family and Education
Commr. of sewers, Notts. Apr. 1395.
Verderer, Sherwood forest, Notts. to d.
An obscure figure, about whose background and parentage little is known, Burton comes to notice in June 1375, when royal letters of protection issued in anticipation of his departure overseas with John, duke of Brittany, were revoked because he remained in London ‘looking after his own affairs’. He did, however, eventually take up arms, being retained by John of Gaunt in 1378 to serve in the fleet which it was hoped would rid the Channel of French pirates. He may, perhaps, already have secured the post of yeoman of Gaunt’s great wardrobe, in which capacity he was busily occupied with various assignments during the autumn of 1379 and the summer of 1381.2Evidence of Burton’s connexions with Nottinghamshire is not easy to find, possibly because he owed his success there to ducal patronage rather than family ties. But he was evidently a local figure of some consequence, as his five returns to Parliament and appointment as verderer of Sherwood forest bear witness. He seems, moreover, to have been on fairly intimate terms with Sir John Leek*, since he twice stood surety for him during the early 1380s as a farmer of the Foljambe estates, and also, in 1392, served with him as a trustee of land in Kniveton. Meanwhile, in 1390, he witnessed a conveyance of the Nottinghamshire manor of Shelton for the widow of Sir Thomas Staunton, and not long afterwards he acted in the same capacity when some of the estates of the late Lord Furnival in Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire were settled on trustees.3
Burton was dead by 28 Oct. 1395, when orders were issued for his replacement as verderer. The Sir John Burton who represented Nottinghamshire in the Parliament of 1401 may well have been his son.4