John Malory (Mallore) (c.1380 - 1436) MP

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About John Malory (Mallore)

He's not "unknown" any longer. This is almost certainly John Malory of Newbold Revel - father of by far the most likely candidate to have authored the Morte d'Arthur.

As a Member of Parliament, he has some importance on his own account.

MALLORY, John (d.1436), of Newbold Revel, Warws. and Winwick, Northants. 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

* Constituency Dates

  • WARWICKSHIRE May 1413
  • WARWICKSHIRE 1419
  • WARWICKSHIRE May 1421
  • WARWICKSHIRE 1423
  • WARWICKSHIRE 1427

s. of Sir John Mallory of Winwick by [unknown mother - it was his grandfather who married the heiress of Newbold Revel]. m. Philippa, da. of Sir William Chetwynd† of Ingestre, Staffs. and Grendon, Warws., 1s. Sir Thomas†, 1da. ?Kntd. bef. d.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Warws. and Leics. 30 Nov. 1416-10 Nov. 1417, 6 Nov. 1424-15 Jan. 1426.

Commr. of array, Warws. May 1418; to raise royal loans Nov. 1419.

J.p. Warws. 12 Feb. 1422-d.

Escheator, Warws. and Leics. 13 Nov. 1423-6 Nov. 1424.

Biography

In about 1405 Mallory inherited from his father (the sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire 1391-2, and of Northamptonshire 1392-3), the manor of Winwick, which had belonged to the family since the 13th century, together with that of Stormsworth (Leicestershire), and from his mother Newbold Revel (then known as ‘Fenny Newbold’) and lands in Easenhall, Stretton, Aston and Pailton, all in Warwickshire.1 In 1412 his property in Northamptonshire was estimated to be worth £20 a year, and in 1436 his widow was said to have landed holdings in Warwickshire and elsewhere worth £60 annually.2 It is unlikely that either figure was particularly accurate.

It may have been this John Mallory ‘esquire’ who was a prisoner in the Tower in February 1400, at the same time as the surviving conspirators of the plot to dethrone Henry IV, but if so he evidently escaped severe penalty. Mallory’s marriage led to his involvement in the affairs of the Chetwynd family, prominent members of the minor gentry of the region: thus in 1412 he was party to transactions with kinsmen of his wife and the Hertfordshire landowner Sir John Poultney*; and in 1423 he assisted his brother-in-law, John Chetwynd*, in a lawsuit over land at Alspath. Having been first returned to Parliament in 1413, he was appointed sheriff of Warwickshire three years later. It is not known when he first came to the attention of Richard, earl of Warwick, but at Easter 1417 he witnessed the deed by which the manor of Baginton was settled on the earl in reversion. Furthermore, there were family connexions which might have encouraged his entrance into the Warwick circle: his kinsman, Sir Giles Mallory*, had once served as chief steward of the Beauchamp estates, and his own son, Thomas, had joined the earl’s retinue for the French campaign of 1415. In 1419, the year of his second return to Parliament, Mallory was associated in business transactions with others of that affinity such as Sir Thomas Burdet*, Sir Alfred Trussell* and John Harewell*. His name appeared on the list of 13 sent by the j.p.s. of Warwickshire to the King’s Council in January 1420 in response to a request for information about those best able to do military service, but there is no evidence that he ever took part in the conquest of France.3 Under Henry VI he held office as a j.p., escheator and sheriff for a second term (as such supervising the elections of 1425). His own fifth election to Parliament in 1427 was the cause of considerable local unrest. Immediately after he and (Sir) William Mountfort I* had been chosen, a mob from Warwick led by (Sir) William Peyto* insisted on the substitution of the latter’s name for Mallory’s on the electoral indenture, Peyto having secured the connivance of the under sheriff. Eventually a jury at Monks Kirby, Mallory’s home, declared him duly elected, but which of the two men actually sat in the Commons on this occasion remains unclear. There is a possibility that there were political, not just personal, issues involved here: Mallory may by then have joined the affinity of the duke of Norfolk, while Peyto was a Beauchamp retainer. That Mallory may have discarded his former attachment to Warwick is suggested by his appearance at the head of a Warwickshire jury which in 1429 brought indictments against followers of the earl’s aunt Joan, Lady Beauchamp of Abergavenny.4

Mallory is last recorded on his re-appointment as a j.p. in October 1435. He was excluded from the bench in February following and died before June, when his widow negotiated with Sir Edward Doddingsells† the marriage of her daughter to Doddingsells’s son.5 Mallory’s son Sir Thomas, who sat for Warwickshire in 1445, was best known to contemporaries for his violent criminal activities, but to posterity as author of the Morte D’Arthur. Ref Volumes: 1386-1421 Author: L. S. Woodger

Notes

He has been distinguished from John Mallory of Walton-on-the Wolds, Leics., s. of Sir John Mallory of the same, who held lands in Northants. and Beds. which in 1412 were estimated to be worth 40 marks a year (Feudal Aids, vi. 492-3).

   1. VCH Warws. vi. 175; Warws. Feet of Fines (Dugdale Soc. xviii), no. 2330; J. Bridges, Northants. i. 603; W. Dugdale, Warws. 82; J. Nichols, Leics. iv. 368; CAD, iii. A6084.
   2. Feudal Aids, vi. 492-3; EHR, xlix. 639.
   3. CCR, 1399-1402, p. 43; CAD, ii. A2753; iv. A8467; W. Bagot, Mems. Bagot Fam. app. p. vii; E28/97 m. 32; Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 315; H.E. Chetwynd-Stapylton, Chetwynds of Ingestre, 85.
   4. C219/13/3; M.C. Carpenter, ‘Pol. Soc. Warws.’ (Cambridge Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1976), 110, 115, 117, app. p. 108; KB27/677 rex m. 5; RP, iv. 412.
   5. CCR, 1429-35, pp. 313-14.