John Golafre

John Golafre (died 1442) was an English courtier and Member of Parliament.

Memento Mori in St Nicholas Church, Fyfield

He was born the only son of Thomas Golafre of Radley Manor in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire). An uncle was Sir John Brocas, Master of the King's Horse.[1] A cousin, Sir John Golafre, was a close friend of the king.[1]

By 1395 he had secured a position at the court of Richard II. By 1396 he had inherited the extensive estates of his uncle, another Sir John Golafre. In 1406 he gained possession of Fyfield Manor in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), which he made his home.

In 1397 he was appointed Sheriff of Oxfordshire and Berkshire. He was also that year elected as a Knight of the Shire (MP) for Oxfordshire. In 1399 he was briefly imprisoned by Henry IV for his support of King Richard but in 1404 was reappointed sheriff. He was afterwards appointed sheriff for 1414 and 1424. During much of this period he also served as a Justice of the Peace (JP) for Oxfordshire.

He was elected MP for Berkshire in 1401 and re-elected on another 11 occasions between then and 1429. He also served on a number of commissions and was tax controller (1404), escheator (1409–1410), controller and surveyor of Woodstock Palace (1413–1438) in Oxfordshire and verderer of Woodstock Park (1398 to his death in 1442).

He was amongst Henry V's army on his second French expedition in 1417 and was appointed Receiver-General of the Duchy of Normandy and all occupied France in 1418.

On his death in 1442 he was buried under a remarkable two-tier "memento mori" tomb in the Golafre chantry which he founded in St Nicholas' church, Fyfield. On the lower tier he is portrayed by a stone carving of a cadaver in an advanced state of decay with sunken eyes, taut neck and exposed ribs. On the upper tier he is presented in full plate armour.[2]

He married three times: firstly Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Edmund de la Pole of Boarstall Castle in Buckinghamshire, co-heiress of her mother, Elizabeth Handlo, and widow of Sir Ingram Bruyn of South Ockendon in Essex; secondly Nicola, the daughter and heiress of Thomas Devenish of Greatham in Hampshire and widow of John Englefield of Englefield House in Berkshire; and thirdly Margaret, the daughter of Sir John Heveningham, and widow of Sir Walter de la Pole of Dernford in Sawston, Cambridgeshire.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "John Golafre (d. 1442)". David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Victoria County History of Berkshire Volume 4". British History Online. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
John Abberbury
Thomas Barantyn
Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire
1397–1398
With: William Wilcotes
Succeeded by
John Wilcotes
Thomas Barantyn
Preceded by
Robert James
Edmund Sparsholt
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1401
With: Thomas Gloucester
Succeeded by
John Arches
Robert James
Preceded by
Sir William Langford
Edmund Sparsholt
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1404
With: John Arches
Succeeded by
Thomas Childrey
Laurence Drew
Preceded by
Thomas Childrey
Laurence Drew
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1407–1410
With: Edmund Sparsholt 1407
Robert James 1410
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
Unknown
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1413–1414
With: Robert de la Mare 1413
Edmund Sparsholt 1414
Succeeded by
Laurence Drew
John Shotesbrook
Preceded by
Unknown
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1416
With: Sir Peter Bessels
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
William Danvers
Thomas Rothwell
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1421
With: William Fynderne
Succeeded by
William Danvers
William Perkins
Preceded by
William Danvers
William Perkins
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1422
With: Unknown
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Bessels
Unknown
Preceded by
Unknown
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1426–1430
With: Unknown
Succeeded by
Unknown
Political offices
Preceded by
William Wood
High Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire
1397–1399
Succeeded by
Nicholas Golafre
Preceded by
Thomas Chaucer
High Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire
1404–1405
Succeeded by
Sir William Langford
Preceded by
Thomas Wykeham
High Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire
1414–1415
Succeeded by
John Wilcotes
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Stonor
High Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire
1424–1426
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Walkstead