POTAGER, John (d.c.1456), of Rochester, Kent.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. Joan (d.c.1464), 1da.
Tax collector, Kent May 1437.
On an unknown date between 1417 and 1424 Potager and others were the subject of a complaint to the chancellor made by a Rochester citizen, who alleged that they had not only assaulted him and left him for dead in the castle ditch while robbing him of 36s., but had subsequently constrained him until he rendered up to them various items of bread, wine and poultry. Potager attended the shire court at Rochester in October 1422 to attest the electoral indenture for Kent and its two boroughs for the forthcoming Parliament. He witnessed deeds at Rochester later that same year and again in 1433 and 1437.1
Meanwhile, on 18 Dec. 1423 Potager and John Draper II* had been appointed as first churchwardens of Rochester’s newly built church dedicated to St. Nicholas. Not long afterwards he became embroiled in a dispute with the prior and chapter of the cathedral over a rent of two bushels of wheat, or 14d. a year, levied on land in St. Margaret’s parish in the suburbs. The matter was considered sufficiently serious to require the arbitration of Bishop Langdon, and an agreement was signed in accordance with his judgement in April 1425. Six years later the abbess and convent of Denney, Cambridgeshire, granted Potager a lease on a house and wharf on the bank of the Medway for 70 years, at an annual rent of 8s.8d. As a feoffee of five tenements in St. Clement’s parish, called ‘Rothinges rentes’, he released his right in the premises to a draper named Thomas Cotyng in 1441.2
Potager made his will on 15 June 1456. He requested burial in St. Nicholas’s, and made bequests to that church and St. Margaret’s, as well as assigning 20s. to mend ‘noxious ways’ in the two parishes. He left his widow, Joan, for life his principal ‘mancion’, a certain piece of woodland, and the remainder of his lease from Denney abbey, and to one of his servants a small messuage in ‘Appellane’ at the south gate of the city. Half the proceeds of the sale of his ‘place’ near St. Clement’s church were to be used by his executors for the welfare of his soul, and the rest given to his daughter, Joan. The latter was to inherit all his other property after the death of his widow. The three children of William Swan received bequests altogether amounting to ten marks. When Potager’s widow made her will on 23 Apr. 1464 she also requested burial in St. Nicholas’s.3
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger