TYNDALE, John (d.1413), of Deene, 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

Family and Education

s. and h. of William Tyndale of Tansover, Northants. by his w. Elizabeth. m. (1) by 1375, Katherine Zouche, wid. of Sir Henry Deene of Deene, 2s.; (2) by 1411/12, Joan, coh. of Sir William Moigne* (d.1404) of Sawtry and Great Raveley, Hunts.1

Offices Held

Forester of the bailiwick of Sule in the forest of Cliffe, Northants. 1358-d.2

J.p. Northants. 12 Dec. 1373-July 1388, 28 June 1390-Mar. 1393.

Commr. to recruit workmen to repair Rockingham castle Sept. 1375; of array, Northants. Apr., July 1377, Mar. 1380, Apr. 1385, Mar. 1392, Dec. 1399, Sept. 1403; to repair fences at Brigstock park Mar. 1378, Feb. 1379, dykes and enclosures at Brigstock and Benefield parks, Leics., Beds., Hunts. Aug., Sept. 1397; make proclamation against the withdrawal of labour services, Northants. July 1381; suppress rebels Dec. 1381, Mar. 1382; sell trees from the forest of Cliffe Nov. 1382; of oyer and terminer Nov. 1383 (attack on the abbot of Croyland’s property at Wellingborough); inquiry Feb. 1384 (ownership of land in Braunston), Dec. 1386 (estates of Elizabeth Keynes), Feb. 1404 (possessions of Sir Henry Green*); to make arrests, Dec. 1385, May 1393; deliver Peterborough gaol Jan. 1393, Oct. 1398.3

Escheator, Northants. and Rutland 10 Dec. 1376-26 Nov. 1377, 1 Nov. 1383-30 Nov. 1385.

Tax collector, Northants. Dec. 1384, Cambs. May 1398, Northants. Mar. 1404; collector of an aid on the marriage of Princess Blanche Dec. 1401.

Sheriff, Northants. 21 Oct. 1391-18 Oct. 1392.

Bailiff of the liberty of the abbot of Peterborough, Northants. bef. Sept. 1399.4


The Tyndale family came originally from Northumberland, but this MP belonged to a cadet branch which moved south to Tansover during, or just before, the reign of Edward I. In addition to his inheritance there, he also acquired a title to land in the Northamptonshire village of Yarwell, which his parents bought in 1358 while he was probably still a child. This property was held in chief of the Crown and carried with it the office of forester of the royal bailiwick of Sule in the forest of Cliffe, a post held by Tyndale for most of his adult life. Over the years he became seised of other estates in Staverton and Lowick, although his most notable acquisition in Northamptonshire was almost certainly the manor of Helpston, which was settled upon him in 1383 by his influential friend and neighbour, Sir William Thorpe. Tyndale was subsequently able to lease out the manor at an annual rent of £25 6s.8d., so it clearly made an appreciable difference to his landed income.5 Through his first wife, Katherine Zouche, who seems to have been related to the Lords Zouche of Harringworth, he gained possession of the manors of Deene and Deenthorpe, for although she initially held them only as a dower from a previous marriage, her stepson was prepared to let her and Tyndale buy the reversionary interest, which they did in about 1375. Ten years later the couple conveyed the two properties to feoffees, and at various dates afterwards Tyndale placed the rest of his estates in trust for the benefit of his heirs. These holdings comprised a knight’s fee in the Lincolnshire village of Kingesthorpe, formerly held by William, Lord Zouche (who may have given it to Tyndale on his marriage), and the manors of Soham and Chalteris in Cambridgeshire and of Redenhall in Harleston in Norfolk. Our Member did not live long enough to derive much financial benefit from his second marriage to Joan, the coheir of Sir William Moigne, whose estates were not to be partitioned until the death of his widow in 1412. Joan’s share consisted of the manor of Great Raveley and extensive farmland in Sawtry, Huntingdonshire, although she may well have brought him other property as well.6

Tyndale must have been quite young when he first took a seat on the Northamptonshire bench, and it is possible that he was helped at this time by his connexion with the Zouches. In February 1378 he and Sir William, the future 3rd Lord Zouche, obtained the farm of the manor of Ravensthorpe and its appurtenances in Yorkshire to hold during the minority of the heir to the Cantilupe estates at an annual farm of £40, payable to the Crown. Sir William’s share of the lease was enlarged in December 1381 to include the manor of Farnham in the same county, and on this occasion Tyndale offered sureties on his behalf at the Exchequer. As one of the two surviving cousins of the late Sir William Cantilupe, Zouche himself advanced a title to the property in question: his failure to make good his claim probably led him and Tyndale to exploit their joint tenancy, for in 1391 a royal commission was set up to investigate the various wastes and depredations said to have taken place while they were farmers. Zouche had, meanwhile, succeeded to the family title in April 1382 on the death of his father, the 2nd Lord, whose will contained a bequest of 40s. to Tyndale. The latter immediately stepped forward to assist his friend, being made a trustee of almost all his newly acquired patrimony and also acting as a mainpernor for him in Chancery. The two men remained on close terms until Zouche’s death in 1396, appearing together as witnesses to local deeds and maintaining a zealous interest in each other’s affairs. In December 1391, for instance, they offered joint securities of £100 to John, Lord Lovell, perhaps as a guarantee of the settlement made upon his marriage to Zouche’s daughter, Eleanor.7

Another of Tyndale’s associates was Sir William Thorpe, from whom, as we have seen, he acquired the manor of Helpston. He and Thorpe were co-feoffees of the Zouche estates—a mutual connexion which may first have brought them together. At all events, the elderly courtier had sufficient confidence in the MP to make him one of the three trustees responsible for setting up a richly endowed chantry at Marholm for which he made provision shortly before his death. In his will of April 1391, Sir William left Tyndale one of his best horses, a sword and a crossbow as a token of their friendship. Most of the surviving information about Tyndale concerns his involvement in the affairs of others, although his own interests were occasionally at stake as well. In May 1377, for instance, he and two colleagues offered a joint bond of 1,000 marks to Nicholas Chaddesden, each of the three pledging part of their estates as security, and from time to time Tyndale was prepared to go surety in quite substantial sums for friends with business before the courts at Westminster. In November 1387, for example, he offered pledges of £200 for the good behaviour of John Mulsho*, another member of the circle surrounding Sir William Thorpe and the Zouches. He was fairly successful avoiding litigation himself and, save for an action of mort d’ancestor brought against him at the Northampton assizes by John Knyvet* in 1394, he had little to fear from rival claims to his property.8

We do not know exactly when Tyndale became bailiff of the liberty of the abbot of Peterborough, but it seems likely that he had already assumed office by January 1394, the date of his first appointment as a parliamentary proxy by the abbot. He again undertook this duty three years later, at about the same time as the right to present to the living of Cottingham, Northamptonshire, came into his hands.9 By then a leading figure in the east Midlands, Tyndale could already look back on a distinguished official career, during which he had done loyal service as a sheriff, escheator, j.p. and shire knight. He had also forged a useful friendship with the dean of Lincoln, who employed him during this period (at a total fee of 53s.4d.) ‘for his counsel and help’ in a dispute over the living at Tensor, Northamptonshire. Tyndale’s election to the second Parliament of 1397 for Cambridgeshire, a county he never represented on any other occasion, and in which he had not so far held either royal office or commission, may possibly suggest that his personal sympathies were with King Richard, who was then poised to take his revenge on the Lords Appellant of 1388 and their friends. It certainly looks as if, during this time of political crisis, he was bent on obtaining election for Cambridgeshire if unable to do so for Northamptonshire (as he usually did); and there is, moreover, every reason to suppose that the Cambridgeshire electors felt it expedient to return him. Under the circumstances, the award to him in June 1398 of a royal pardon seems to have been no more than a formality. Even so, his evident attachment to the court party did not prevent him from accepting the consequences of Richard’s deposition and Henry of Bolingbroke’s accession in the following year; and by December 1399 he had begun again to serve as a royal commissioner. Nor was it long before he received personal summonses to Henry IV’s great councils of August 1401 and 1403; and he was also approached by the Crown at this time for a loan. By Michaelmas 1403, if not before, Tyndale had progressed so far as to acquire the farm, at £100 a year, of all the assarts and wastes between Oxford and Stamford then belonging to the queen. His connexion with Joan of Navarre appears to have grown even stronger over the next few years, for in November 1409, and again in February 1411, he was acting as an agent for the delivery of fairly large sums of money from the Rockingham area of Northamptonshire to the queen’s receiver-general. He was assisted in this by Robert Tyndale*, who was probably his kinsman. In the meantime, when the Commons in the Parliament of 1406 were called upon to select a panel of arbitrators to settle a property dispute in Northamptonshire, they saw fit to choose Tyndale as well qualified to assist in such an undertaking. In this connexion, it is interesting to note that a much earlier award made by him in a dispute between the abbot of Croyland and his tenants at Wellingborough seems to have been effective in bringing peace to that locality.10

Not much is known about Tyndale after his last return to Parliament in 1407. In May 1408 he bound himself in securities of £26 to a Yorkshireman named John Horne, and about two years later he agreed to act as a trustee for his near neighbour, Robert Chiselden*, who then faced the prospect of dispossession for outlawry.11 From then on he lived quietly in almost complete retirement at his manor of Deene, where he died within a few days of making his will, which, drawn up on 17 July 1413 was proved just over six weeks later. His widow and executrix, Joan, conveyed her share of the Moigne inheritance to John Hore I* of Childerley, who had either married or was just about to marry one of the other coheirs, Joan, widow of Thomas Priour*. Tyndale’s elder son, Richard, died two years later, so the rest of the family estates then passed to his younger brother, William, who, after living as the ward of Sir Lewis Robessart, came of age in December 1419. Although he too died young, he was at least given time to make a distinguished marriage: his wife, Alana, belonged to a cadet branch of the family of the Bigods, earls of Norfolk, and is said to have been the grand daughter of Semontius, duke of Silesia.12

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.


Variants: Tendale, Tyndal, Tyndall.

  • 1. Whereas P. Morant (Essex, ii. 280) describes our MP’s mother, Elizabeth, as a cousin and heir of Sir Henry Deene, J. Bridges (Northants. ii. 300) states that his wife, Katherine Zouche, was Deene’s widow. Katherine certainly had a title to the manor of Deene (CP25(1)178/87/71); and we may be reasonably certain that on this occasion Bridges is right. See also VCH Hunts. ii. 199; iii. 51, 205; C138/54/117. The return for 1393 (OR, i. 245) states that Tyndale was a knight, but no other reference survives to support the statement.
  • 2. Bridges, ii. 486-7; VCH Northants. ii. 602.
  • 3. C66/335 m. 12v, 350 m. 1v.
  • 4. Northants. RO, Fitzwilliam ms, 1200.
  • 5. Bridges, ii. 486-7; VCH Northants. ii. 496, 602; CCR, 1391-6, p. 16; 1396-9, p. 80; 1402-5, p. 233; CP25(1) 178/91/64; Northants. RO, Fitzwilliam ms, 1320.
  • 6. C138/11/7; CCR, 1389-92, p. 534; 1396-9, p. 80; 1413-19, p. 209; 1419-22, p. 98; Bridges, 304; VCH Hunts. iii. 51, 199, 205.
  • 7. CCR, 1381-5, pp. 220, 338, 604-5, 623; 1389-92, p. 516; 1388-92, p. 445; CFR, ix. 69, 278, 304; CAD, ii. B3554; Early Lincoln Wills ed. Gibbons, 92.
  • 8. CPR, 1391-6, p. 581; 1396-9, p. 30; Add. Ch. 857; Lincs. AO, Reg. Buckingham XII, f. 381; CCR, 1374-7, p. 538; 1385-9, p. 445; 1389-92, p. 488; CFR, x. 153-4; JUST 1/1501 rot. 23.
  • 9. SC10/39/1943, 40/1965; Bridges, ii. 299.
  • 10. C67/30 m. 5; SC6/1093/1 mm. 5, 6; PPC, ii. 74, 88, 160; RP, iii. 573; CCR, 1405-9, pp. 188-9; 1408-13, p. 447; Lincoln Dean and Chapter muns. Bi 2/8, f. 117.
  • 11. CCR, 1405-9, p. 387; CPR, 1408-13, p. 167.
  • 12. Early Lincoln Wills, 142; C138/11/7, 54/117; VCH Hunts. ii. 199 (in which, however, the widowed Joan Tyndale is confused with her coheir, Joan Priour); CAD, iii. D677; CFR, xiv. 44, 125-6; CPR, 1413-16, p. 377; CCR, 1419-22, p. 92; Morant, 280.