ABBOT, John, of Melcombe Regis, Dorset.
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Family and Education
Mayor, Melcombe Regis Sept. 1399-1400.2
By 1379 Abbot owned property in Melcombe, which later included a house in St. Mary Street. He was engaged in the wine trade, importing, for example, 14 casks of wine on the Welfare of Plymouth, which dropped anchor in the Wey estuary in December 1383. He also traded in cloth; and in 1395-6 he was assessed for alnage on eight broadcloths sold in Melcombe.3
The prospects of Abbot’s family benefited from his friendship with Thomas Cole I* of Weymouth, who was perhaps a relative by marriage. In 1409 Cole conveyed to Abbot (along with John Mey of Dorchester) one of his properties in Weymouth, and by his will, made in 1413, he named Abbot’s children as legatees of all his landed holdings in Weymouth, Melcombe, Piddletrenthide and Ilchester in the event of the death of his own son without leaving direct heirs. Abbot himself was named as an executor.4
Abbot attended the shire court at Dorchester to report the results of the Melcombe elections to the Parliaments of 1413 (May) and 1414 (Nov.), and he was probably still living in 1422 when his son John (described as ‘junior’) witnessed the electoral indenture for the knights of the shire returned for Dorset to the Parliament of that year.5 All three of Abbot’s sons served as MPs: Robert sat for Melcombe Regis in 1420 and 1421 (May), John for Weymouth in 1423, and William for Melcombe in 1437.