JAYCOCK, John, of Norden in West Alvington, Devon.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
?s. of John Jaycock by his w. Joan. m. Margaret, 1da.
Commr. of inquiry, Devon May 1403 (piracy).
Escheator, Devon and Cornw. 12 Feb.-30 Nov. 1407.
Coroner, Devon bef. 10 July 1417.
Tax collector, Devon Dec. 1417.
The Jaycocks were tenants on the estates of Buckfast abbey. In 1379 Joan, widow of William Kene, petitioned for a commission of oyer and terminer to bring to trial the abbot and his men, who included John Jaycock, for breaking into her property at Kingsbridge, undermining the foundations of her house and carrying off her possessions; and in 1384 Jaycock was again named when the dean and chapter of Exeter cathedral made a similar complaint about damage caused to property at Staverton and Dartington by the abbot’s followers. However, the John Jaycock named in these incidents may have been the MP’s putative father, rather than he himself, for the latter was not always on good terms with the abbot. In 1394 he acted as attorney in the court of common pleas for Joan Jaycock (probably his mother), who was alleged to have felled the abbot’s trees and depastured his land, and in another suit the abbot accused the Jaycocks of dispossessing him of a toft, seven messuages and three acres of land at Buckfastleigh.1
The Jaycock holdings were situated for the most part in the hundred of Ermington in south Devon, and in 1384 John added to them 11 messuages, 160 acres of land and rents amounting to five marks a year in Woodhouse, Alvington and elsewhere. Later he also held lands at Michelcombe of the heir to the Fitzwaryn estates. In 1410 a house in Kingsbridge called ‘Hobbele’ which he had rented from Buckfast abbey for 13s.4d. a year was transferred to John Torryng, but it was to revert after Torryng’s death to Jaycock’s daughter, Joan. In the same year Jaycock witnessed a grant made by the vicar of Hennock to the chapel of St. Edmund at Kingsbridge, but his personal preference was evidently to worship at his home in Norden where, from 1421, he had his own oratory.2
Jaycock often appears as an attorney at the Exeter assizes, and it may have been his ability as a spokesman which prompted the burgesses of Plympton Erle to send him as their representative to four consecutive Parliaments. In 1399 and twice more in 1403 he offered securities at the Exchequer for the prior of Modbury, which like Buckfast was a Benedictine house, but his most important clients were members of the Hill family (kinsmen of Sir John Hill†, j. KB), who asked him to act as a feoffee of their estates in Cornwall and Devon. Jaycock held office not only as escheator but also as a coroner of Devon, but he was dismissed from the latter post in 1417, it having been discovered that he was insufficiently qualified. He attended the parliamentary elections held at Exeter castle in 1417, 1421 and 1423.3