BALDERTON, John, of Lincoln.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

m. by Sept. 1397, Margaret, wid. of William Snelleston† (d.1395), of Lincoln, merchant.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Lincoln Sept. 1396-7; mayor 1399-1400.2

Commr. of array, Lincoln Jan. 1400.

J.p. Lincoln 26 Mar. 1405-c. Mar. 1407.


When drawing up his will in January 1395, the wealthy Lincoln merchant, William Snelleston, chose his ‘faithful servant and attorney’, John Balderton, to act as his executor and also left him a personal bequest of £20. He shared this task with Snelleston’s widow, Margaret, who not only obtained the customary third of her late husband’s estate, but also received all his plate and other effects as well as £300 in cash. By September 1397, when they were granted a papal indult for plenary remission of sins at the hour of death, John and Margaret had married, and six months later they sued out royal letters of pardon specifically addressed to them as the executors of Snelleston’s will. Balderton’s marriage greatly improved his social as well as his financial position: in April 1399, for example, he and his wife were the recipients of a second papal indult, this time for the use of a portable altar, and five years later a similar licence permitted them to engage their own private chaplain.3

Meanwhile, in his capacity as bailiff of Lincoln, Balderton held the elections to the first Parliament of 1397; and in the following year he was one of the leading citizens to witness a deed for the mayor and corporation. His commercial interests were obviously buoyant at this time, for besides paying alnage on various cloths transported from Lincoln between 1398 and 1400, he also shipped out sizeable quantities of wool from the port of Boston. Between October and December 1399 at least 20 sarplers of his wool were sent to Calais, and a further 18 followed a few weeks later. In April 1406, a vessel carrying his wool was driven ashore in the Wash, and he successfully petitioned the Crown for permission to be excused any further customs dues on this particular cargo. Some idea of his wealth may be gained from the fact that in August 1404 he joined with four other Lincoln merchants to advance a loan of £200 towards the cost of Prince Henry’s campaign against the Welsh. He was, moreover, owed 40 marks by the Lincolnshire knight, Sir John Copledyke*, who defaulted upon payment and was duly outlawed. Ironically, under the circumstances, Sir John used his influence as one of the prince’s followers to secure a royal pardon and Balderton appears never to have obtained satisfaction.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.


Variants: Balderston, Baldirton, Baldyrton.

  • 1. C219/9/12; Lincs. AO, Reg. Buckingham XII, ff. 418-18v; CPL, v. 45.
  • 2. Assoc. Archit. Socs. Reps. and Pprs. xxxix. 231; Egerton Ch. 471.
  • 3. Lincs. AO, Reg. Buckingham XII, ff. 418-18v; CPL, v. 45, 224, 626; C67/30 m. 26.
  • 4. C219/9/12; E101/339/30, 340/2; E122/8/4; CCR, 1405-9, pp. 43-44; CPR, 1401-5, pp. 307, 417; 1416-22, p. 45.