CAPLYN, Nicholas (d.c.1590), of Southampton.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

s. of Richard Caplyn, and bro. of John I.

Offices Held

Water bailiff, Southampton 1553-4; gov. Southampton g.s. 1554, sheriff 1557-8, mayor 1560-1, 1577-8, alderman by 1561.


Caplyn moved to Southampton from Poole about 1547, regularly attending the court leet, though fined trivial sums for missing a few sittings in 1585, 1587 and 1589. He traded in canvas, wine, fruit and resin and in 1582 subscribed towards Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s last voyage. One of Southampton’s many creditors, he was also a joint creditor with William Stavely for £66 13s.4d. borrowed on behalf of the corporation from John Calthrop of London, a transaction which suggests that he had a credit rating in the metropolis. These debts were satisfied by 1564. In 1571 he went to London to support Southampton’s case in the dispute with the Channel Islands, for which he received his expenses. He was, in 1581, paid £10 for his expenses in attending Parliament. He was sometimes fined for various misdemeanours of a civic and mercantile nature, and his purchase of wheat and meal in the open market for re-sale led to a successful charge of regrating against his servant in 1581. His death must have taken place between 22 Apr. 1589 and 12 May 1590, on which later date his heirs were fined for non-attendance at the court leet.

Third Remembrance Bk. i. (Soton Rec. Ser.), pp. xvii. 60, 64-5; ii. 86, 145, 154-5 et passim; Bks. of Examinations and Depositions 1570-94 (Soton Rec. Soc.), passim; Black Bk. i. (Soton Rec. Soc.), 154-65; iii. 96-9, 129-31; Ct. Leet Recs. (Soton Rec. Soc.), passim; D. B. Quinn, Gilbert Voyages (Hak. Soc. lxxxiv), 330; J. G. Davies, Hist. Soton, 203.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.