KENDALE, Stephen, of Lostwithiel and Treworgey, Cornw.

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

s. and h. of John Kendale*.1 m. Christine, at least 2s. inc. Richard† and prob. Thomas†.

Offices Held

Mayor, Lostwithiel Mich. 1418-19, 1427-8, 1429-30, 1436-8.2

Tax collector, Cornw. Mar. 1442.


Stephen inherited property in Lostwithiel, Penkneth in Lanlivery and Bridgend in St. Winnow from his father, as well as a reversionary interest in a more substantial estate near Looe which had belonged to his kinsman John, son of Richard Kendale of Treworgey. By 1429 he was at odds with John’s daughter and heir, Christine, wife of John Malerbe, over the way her father’s possessions had been allotted after his death, claiming that John had made over to him a large portion of them; but an amicable agreement was eventually reached whereby they shared the inheritance, Stephen’s portion including lands, rents, a mill and eight messuages in Treworgey and elsewhere. It seems that Christine Malerbe had no children, and consequently in 1438 she transferred all her share to Stephen, including the fishery in the river Looe, and property in the parishes of Morval, Liskeard, Duloe, Pelynt and St. Ive. Stephen lived at Lostwithiel, but under a licence issued by Bishop Lacy of Exeter in 1431, he and his wife and children were permitted to worship privately wherever they stayed in the diocese.3

In February 1406 Kendale had stood surety in Chancery in favour of Philip Webbe of Evesham, Worcestershire, a defendant in a suit for trespass, and other evidence suggests that he had friends, perhaps distant kinsmen, even farther afield, in Westmorland. In the year of his only known election to Parliament (1417), he himself was being sued in the court of common pleas for debt and was outlawed for failing to appear to answer the charges; however, on the day after the Commons assembled, 17 Nov., he took out a royal pardon for his trespasses. One of his creditors was a London tailor, and it seems quite likely that he had established trading links in the City. Certainly, he had an interest in the Cornish tin trade, and is recorded in June 1420 bringing a consignment of tin weighing some 2,500 lbs. to be coined and stamped in the coinage hall at Lostwithiel. Then, too, his sons, Richard and Edmund, later owned a ship called Le Barke, and it would not be stretching the evidence too far to suggest that all three shipped tin to London and elsewhere. By 1431 Stephen and Thomas Kendale (MP for Lostwithiel in 1427 and probably another son of his) were both in debt to Sir John Cornwall (Henry VI’s great-uncle by marriage) in sums amounting to over £170 owed for transactions completed in the capital. Stephen was present at the shire elections for Cornwall held either at Lostwithiel or Launceston in 1413, 1425, 1426, 1427, 1433 and 1442; and in 1437, during the fourth of his five mayoralties for Lostwithiel, he stood surety for one of the borough’s representatives in the Commons, Otto Nicoll.4

After the death of Thomas Kendale in 1439, the family was again split over a dispute concerning property: in July 1440 a royal commission of oyer and terminer headed by the chief justice, (Sir) John Hody*, was set up to investigate the complaint of Thomas’s widow, Maud, that Stephen (probably her father-in-law) and his son Edmund, a chaplain,5 had forced their way into her property at Lostwithiel and ‘Trewenelak’, assaulted and imprisoned her, broken open a chest and stolen both goods worth £100 and important documents. The quarrel had not been settled ten years later, when Stephen, his son, Richard, and their friend John Loure petitioned the chancellor of England for justice, claiming that Maud and her new husband, Udy Vivian, had kept the profits of a tin-works which Thomas Kendale had asked them to spend on maintaining a chantry priest. Perhaps in connexion with the same affair, on 24 Aug. 1440 a gang of men including one Edmund Pery, chaplain, had lain in wait at Lostwithiel to ambush and murder Stephen Kendale and his wife, Christine, and in fact Pery had gone so far as to strike the latter over the head with a baselard and to have severely beaten and wounded Stephen himself. Richard Kendale, rushing to his parents’ defence and in retaliation, had fatally injured the chaplain in the thigh, so he, his father and Edmund Kendale (by this time parson of Ludgvan) were all driven to seek the King’s pardon for manslaughter. It was only five months later that Stephen was again in trouble: on this occasion the j.p.s in Middlesex required him to make a formal undertaking not to molest one John Luky.6

In 1450 Stephen conveyed some of his property in and near Lostwithiel to William Horde and his wife, Joan. It is unclear whether he was still alive four years later when reliefs were said to be due from him to the duchy of Cornwall for lands acquired from William Malerbe at Lanrest on the manor of Liskeard.7 Kendale’s descendants were seated at Pelyn in Lanlivery, and played a prominent part in the history of Lostwithiel over the next two centuries, both as mayors and parliamentary representatives.8

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. C241/217/44.
  • 2. C241/212/22, 213/22, 44, 221/2, 18, 228/16, 78, 117, 132; HMC Var. i. 336.
  • 3. JUST 1/1513 mm. 56, 56d, 1540 m. 90; Cornw. Feet of Fines (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. 1950), 976, 1026; Reg. Lacy (Canterbury and York Soc. lx), 241; CAD, iv. A10364; v. A11422.
  • 4. CCR, 1405-9, p. 103; 1416-22, p. 95; 1429-36, pp. 160, 165; 1452-61, p. 119; E101/265/4; C219/11/1, 13/3, 4, 5, 14/4, 15/1, 2.
  • 5. Edmund studied at Oxford from 1431 to 1436: Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. ed. Emden, ii. 103-4.
  • 6. CPR, 1436-41, pp. 451, 454, 470; C1/18/76; C244/30/216; CCR, 1435-41, p. 427.
  • 7. Cornw. Feet of Fines, 1091; Duchy of Cornw. RO, ministers’ acct. 55.
  • 8. Mems. Lostwithiel, 94-95; Parochial Hist. Cornw. ed. Polsue, iii. 21-22.