By Colin Richmond

John Hopton's grownup existence spanned the years among 1430 and 1478, seemingly some of the most turbulent sessions in English background. He, even if, neither turns out to were through the 'Wars of the Roses', nor to have displayed these attitudes typically attributed to the higher periods of the time: unflagging vanity, brutal ambition, greedy competitiveness. If his vices weren't extravagant, his virtues too have been unexceptional, these might be of a kind of kingdom gentleman we frequently go together with a later age. Colin Richmond's booklet is an try and position a specific English gentleman within the framework of the realm he knew. It opens with the tale of this landless Yorkshireman's acquisition of wealthy homes in Suffolk, and a dialogue of these estates themselves, how they have been controlled and their yield; it maintains with an outline of John, his awesome moment spouse Thomasin, their family members, and their lifestyles at Blythburgh.

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Additional info for John Hopton: A Fifteenth Century Suffolk Gentleman

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The prior of Blythburgh apparently had sheep at Blythburgh that year too: he paid 6s 8d for pasturing them in le Haughe. Later accounts are not at all helpful.

Surfleete, f2gv) of 15 March 1428 was proved 22 September 1428: Parr 11, pp2io—12; m, P4. 106 SRO. HA 3 0 / 3 6 9 / 1 8 0 , with a fine seal of Fastolf; HA 3 0 / 3 6 9 / 1 2 4 . 107 SRO, V5/19/1/14. 108 Copinger, 11, pp62-3109 His will, dated 17 April 1484 proved 3 July i486: Test Ebor iv, PP5-6. 27 JOHN HOPTON her mother in 1427; Margaret had by then married William Edlington; he survived her and continued to hold the estate by courtesy until his death in April 1466. In his will he styled himself William Edlington esquire of Castle Carlton,110 and although he made a number of bequests to the church there as well as to the neighbouring churches of Saltfleetby and South and North Riston, it was cat my chamber door within Frere Austyns in London5 that he desired to be buried.

It seems, therefore, that use of demesne fen and marsh in the operation of the fold courses was not made until sometime after demesne arable and pasture had been put to such service. If we knew how many sheep there were at Blythburgh between the late 1470s and the mid-1480s we might be able to interpret this evidence in terms of an increased demesne flock; but we have no detailed information of that sort and so must continue to wonder how the fold courses worked. The one figure for that flock which we do have comes from 1477-8.

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