Sir? John Philpot

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Sir? John Philpot

Birthplace: Kent, England (United Kingdom)
Death: May 25, 1384 (53-54)
London, Middlesex (now Greater London), England (United Kingdom)
Place of Burial: Sidcup, Kent (now Greater London), England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir John Philpot
Husband of Lady Joanne or Jane de Sauneford; Margaret Croydon and Margaret Birlyngham
Father of Sir John Philpot II, Knight of Compton; Thomas Philpott; Edward Philpott; Margaret Philpott and Thomasina Philpott

Managed by: Rita Kaprielian Hall
Last Updated:

About Sir? John Philpot


According to Stirnet's "Philpot1" page, this John's father was Lord Mayor of London, not this John. Furthermore, this John's date of birth seems to be wrong. John Albert Rigali, preparing for hiatus is researching these issues.

This John seems to be the same as John Philpot. Further research is warranted.

not-so-brief biography

From an unidentified source:

Sir John Philpot, Lord Mayor of London, was born about 1330 in Kent, England. He died on 25 May 1384 in London, England. His will was composed in 1381 and enrolled 26 Jul 1389. He was buried on 12 Sep 1384 in Grey Friars Church, London, England. This date is in the records of his burial but it is not know just how it fits in. His name has been found spelled Philipot, Phillepot, de Philpot, Philpot and Philpott. The place and date of his birth cannot be identified for certain, although a Kent connection has been suggested by the probate of a Halgestowe will of 1348, supposedly that of his father. The main weight of his life and interest however were in London, where he was married and purchased property in 1357. He married three times in all, each time to women of high social status and wealth.
His first wife, Joanne de Sauneford, who died in November 1374. His second wife was Margaret "Majery" de Croydon, who lived for not much over a year after marriage. His third wife was Margaret Birlyngham, daughter of John de Stodeye Vintner and former Mayor. They had three children: Edward, Margaret and Thomasina. She outlived her husband by some 40 years.
His London activities and successes were diverse; a melange of City finance and politics, combined with service as a royal officer and a fierce patriotism. As a member of the Grocer's Company, he was listed as "John Philpott, at the THREE GOLDEN SUGAR LOAVES, the corner of Durham Yard in ye Strand". He was appointed Warden of the Fraternity of St. Anthony in 1369.
In 1372 he was elected one of the two sheriffs who covered London and Middlesex, beginning on the same day the first of several periods (1372-77, 1378-79, 1380-81) as Alderman for Cornhill Ward. At the same time he acted as parliamentary representative for London on numerous occasions (1369, 1371 twice, 1377, 1380, 1381, 1383). Such was his recognized standing within royal and court circles as much as merchant ones, by 1377, that he led a deputation to both Edward III and his young successor Richard II in protest of John of Gaunt's demand for the abolition of office of mayor and its replacement by one of captain.
In 1378 he led a daring raid by fitting out a small squadron of ships with his own money, and with 1,000 men wrested from the Scottish pirate, Mercer, his cache of fifteen Spanish merchant vessels. This did not go over very well with the noblemen of the day who complained to the King that he was usurping his power. He was summoned by the Council to answer for acting without the King's leave. His reply was that he had spent his money and risked his men "not to shame the nobles or win knightly fame, but in pity for the misery of the people and country which, from being a noble realm and dominion over other nations, has through your supiness been exposed to the ravages of the vilest race. Since you would not lift a hand in its defense, I exposed myself and my property for the safety and deliverance of our country". This made him very popular with the citizens of London and let to him being elected Mayor in 1378 and 1379.
He also used his money towards the upkeep of England's coastal defences and in 1380 he paid Descendants of Sir John Philpot for 1 of 2 stone towers 60 feet high, built on either side of the river below London Bridge, between which a chain was suspended as further security against possible French naval incursions.
In addition to the regular duties of a customs official, a position he seems to have occupied by 1363 and to have retained until his death, he served on a number of royal commissions, among them a commission of enquiry in 1380, one to enforce the statute of laborers in 1381 and one of "oyer et terminer" in 1381. It was in recognition of his loyalty to the young King, particularly during the Peasants' Revolt, that Richard II knighted him in June 1381.
It has been stated that during the Peasants' Revolt, he and Henry Walworth, his successor as mayor of London, assassinated the rebel leader Wat Tyler and thereby received their reward from the 14-year old king Richard II. His money worked well for the Crown. His name regularly appeared among the top half dozen donors on list of individual contributions to City loans to the Crown. His business interests seem to have encompassed the import and export of cloth and wool as well as the more luxury items with which the Grocers and especially the pepperers, an earlier and constituent part of the Company, were identified. They extended further to the amassing of property investments in London, Kent, Middlesex and Northumbria.
Following his death, his will revealed the extent of his enduring attachment to London. Certain of his premises were charged with the payment of a daily alms to 13 Deserving men and women.
The reversion of lands not otherwise disposed of was left to the Mayor, Alderman and Commonalty of their own use in the improvement of the City of London. Philpot Lane, a short street in London, is said to be named after Sir John. Local tradition points to the two columns in the ground floor of the offices at 15 Philpot Lane as being on the site of the old Banquetting Hall of this celebrated Mayor. An old map of London dated about 1561 shows this area and all the street names. Most of this area was burned in the Great Fire of 1666, destroying nearly all the buildings.

From Catalogue of the Tombs In the Churches of the City of London A.D. 1666 by Major Payne Fisher:

John Philpot born about 1330 in London, England and Lord Mayor of London in 1378 is well documented in English history.  He was a wealthy man.  He loaned money to the Royal family.  He paid for his own Navy to fight the pirates and protect his cargo ships.
There is a street in London called Philpot Lane which is said to be named after him and on which he had his home.  This area of London was burned many years ago so there is no house of his left to history.


Surname has also been reported to be Philpott.

Date and place of death have also been (erroneously?) reported to be 1364 at an unspecified location.

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Sir? John Philpot's Timeline

Kent, England (United Kingdom)
Kent, England (United Kingdom)
May 25, 1384
Age 54
London, Middlesex (now Greater London), England (United Kingdom)