John Perkins (Parkyns) (1360 - 1399) MP

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Birthplace: Ufton Nervet, West Berkshire, England or Knowlton, Chiswick, Kent, England
Death: Died in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England
Managed by: Marya Van Metre
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About John Perkins (Parkyns)

John Perkins/Perkyns (son of Henry) was born in 1360 in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England and died January 5, 1400 (at age 39), at Ufton Robert, the manor originally belonged to King Richard II (1377-1399). John was the first to receive a coat of arms from the Despencer family and served as the High Sheriff of the Despencer family and Seneschal to Thomas Despencer, Duke of Gloucester.


Excerpted from

[Ufton is a village in West Berkshire, England]

The toponym Ufton is derived from the Old English Uffa-tūn = "Uffa's farmstead" and the Domesday Book of 1086 records it as Offetune.

Three manors have existed in this area: Ufton Robert, Ufton Nervet and Ufton Pole. The Domesday Book records the first two.The original Ufton Nervet, also known as Ufton Richard, was about 1 mile (1.6 km) north west of the current village, in the current location of Ufton Green. It had its own parish church of St John the Baptist, the ruined west wall of which still survives. The place was named after Richard Neyrvut, later corrupted to Nervet, who held the manor in the 13th century.

Ufton Robert manor house was just west of the current village and had a moat, which still survives. Excavations in the 19th century found bridge piles, a gateway and other foundations. The moat is also part of a set of linked medieval fishponds fed from an artificial stream which flowed into the south pond. The water was controlled to the ponds and moat by a series of sluices.[3] The manor came into the hands of the Perkyns family around 1411. When they bought the manor of Ufton Pole in 1560 the two manors were combined and the main residence moved to Ufton Pole, which is now Ufton Court, a large Elizabethan manor house south-west of the village.

In 1434–35 the parishes of Ufton Nervet and Ufton Robert were merged and Ufton Robert's parish church of St Peter became the church of the merged parish. Although the original parish of Ufton Nervet had ceased to exist, this eventually became the name of the current village and parish.


Excerpted from The Perkins family in ye olden times by Mansfield Parkyns, 11916, Utica, NY, pp. 40-41: available online at

In the 21st Richard II. (1398) John Parkyns was seneschal to Thomas DeSpencer, Earl of Gloucester, and in the first year of Henry IV. (1400) he had a grant of land at Shipton-under-Whichwood (in Oxfordshire), one of the forfeited manors of the DeSpencers, who had enormous estates in various counties.

In the pamphlet, "Perkins Arms in England," someone has introduced "was" in your quotation. "John Parkyns was acknowledged, temp. Richard II. to hold an estate of the manor of Madresfield by fealty and 8s. 5d. per annum" and so destroyed the meaning. The words of the old Court Roll of Madresfield Manor are (bar abbreviations) : "Johannes Parkyns cognovit tenere de domina 2 messuagia et 18 die'tas terrae reddends per annum 8s. 5a. et sectam curie et fecit fidelitatem."

•Free Translation — John Parkyns acknowleged to hold of her Ladyship's manor two messuages (dwelling houses and the adjoining land appropriated to the use of the household, including the adjacent buildings); to furnish 18 days' provisions; to pay 8 shillings B pence for rent; to become her adherent; to give the property necessary care; and he did homage.

John Parkyns acknowledges to hold "cognovit tenere," etc. represents an old feudal custom. On a new lord succeeding to the lordship the freeholders and others who held lands of his manors attended his first court and acknowledged that they held their property by certain "services" — "a peppercorn," "a pound of cummin," "a pair of spurs," etc., but commonly by a small money payment and "fealty" or "socage" or "court suit," etc.

I no doubt sent Mr. Turner the note in the words (Latin or English) in which I received it from a late friend of mine who had just found the old "Court Roll" (from which it was taken) in private hands. I afterwards obtained the complete "Roll"; it gives the names of other persons who "acknowledged" and the date (Tuesday next after Lady Day, 1390) and it seems that John Parkyns had just acquired his property (by purchase or otherwise) for he "did fealty" (or homage) ("fecit fidelitatem") not unlike our custom of being "presented" to the Queen on appointment to office under the Crown.



Seneshal to Thomas, Duke of Gloucester

Henry Perkins

Peter Morley - fl. 1381

aka Perkins (Little Peter)

1381 Sergeant to Hugh de Spencer, Shipton Manor, Oxon

m. Agnes Taylor

aka Peter de Morlaix

Family seat Upton, Berks.


-------------------- From:

  • BIRTH: John was born in 1360 in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England[1,2]
  • DEATH: He died in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England on 5 January 1399/1400; he was 39[1].
  • NAME: James Fulton Perkins explains the final morphing of the Perkins name from Henry's generation to that of his son, John:
    • "...When Henry married his eldest son was to be called John Perkyns (born 1360 in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England and died 05 Jan 1400 in the same place); again the suffix to indicate the eldest but changed from "kin" to "kyns". John became quite well educated and began often signing his name as John Perkins...Thus began the spelling carried by all subsequent generations..."[3]
  • OCCUPATION: John prospered, becoming Lord of Madresfield manor and carrying on the "family business", inheriting the position of High Steward to the DeSpencer family. In a 1398 Court Roll of Madresfield manor, he is listed as Seneschal and Amiger to Thomas DeSpencer, Earl of Gloucester[4].
  • COAT OF ARMS: With his Duke's influence, John was granted the right to bear arms and became the first Perkins to own a Coat of Arms. It contained a fesse dancette between six billets[3].
  • MARRIAGE: We know nothing of John's wife, nor of any other children.


  • 1. Placeholder, This Is, A Title Of No Consequence Because It Does Not Exist., (NeverNeverLand: Spoof Publications), [PlaceHold], III:1432.
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John Perkins 1360's Timeline

Gloucester, England
Ufton Nervet, West Berkshire, England or Knowlton, Chiswick, Kent, England
Age 20
Madresfield, Worcestershire, England
January 5, 1399
Age 39
Madresfield, Worcestershire, England