John Gostwick, Brewer of Willington

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Date: 1370 to 1427
Location: Willington, Bedfordshire, Englandmap
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Gostwick Name Study

John Goswick, Brewer of Willington, Bedfordshire

born abt 1370, Willington, Bedfordshire, England[1]
died abt 1427, Cople, Bedfordshire, England[2]
Language Spoken: French[3], Latin?, English

(Notable Profile)



John Gostwyk was born abt 1370,[4] the son of Robert Gostwick, Bailiff of Willington[5].
His mother's name is unknown.

I am sure as a boy, he would have had an interesting life as son of the town Bailiff. Perhaps he felt overshadowed by his father's status. John became well known as a Brewer in Willington, though perhaps he became more well known for not quite following the rules of the local manor liege. In fact we find mostly references to him from him being a pest to his neighbors. Being amerced in 1397 for Thomas Tailor justly calling the Hue and Cry was no small deal, and the fact that John continued to pay amercements and cause trouble suggests his wealth or means.

We do know from the Hallmoot, that he held tenements in Willington before 1394, when we first find him referenced. They were almost certainly those from his father, in addition to the farm in Cople, where they made their residence.

1-Jul-1393, Property, Cople, Bedfordshire, England[5]

Robert Gostwyk' of Wylyton' and John, his son, (purchase) 10 acres of land and 3 roods of meadow in Cowpull', from Hugh Felowe & his wife Margaret for 100s silver.

13-Oct-1394, Amercement, Willington, Bedfordshire, England[3] (in French)

John Gostwyk has j [1] ditch next to his tenement, that is not inflowing, causing nuisance, therefore he is amerced. & was ordered to make repairs before the next [court] under penalty of ijs [2s] (snip)
Brewers and bakers against the assize are amerced vijs iiijd [7s 4d]; John Gostwik amerced [2d]
Also they present that the same John has obstructed a certain boundary called le Mare, causing nuisance. Therefore he is amerced, & was ordered to repair it before the next [court] under penalty of xijd [12d] (snip)
Also that John Warner has made an encroachment at le Gostwykes [and] made one hedge, causing nuisance.

22-Oct-1395, Hallmoot, Willington, Bedfordshire, England[6]

The tasters of ale present that John Goswyk [3d] brewed and broke the assize of ale and therefore [is] amerced.
John Gostwyk has not mended one ditch as ordered above. Therefore he is amerced and he is ordered to mend it before the next under a penalty of xld [40d] and that...he is ordered to mend it before the next under a penalty of half a mark [6s 8d].

26-May-1396, Hallmoot, Willington, Bedfordshire, England[7]

Adam Abel was amerced [2d] because of a suit by John Gostwyk in a plea of debt, that is to say for [6s 8d] and which was ordered to be raised from his goods and chattels.
Adam Abel is amerced [2d] because of a false claim in a plea against John Gostwyk.

8-Oct-1397, Hallmoot, Willington, Bedfordshire, England[8]

Thomas Taillour justly called the hue on John Gostewyk [2d] by the pledge of the Constable.

Note: Calling the Hue and Cry meant to sound the alarm and bring everyone, legally to your aid within sound of the alarm. If the constable determined it was false, you were amerced, if it was valid, the person accused was amerced.

13-Oct-1399, Historical Context, England

King Henry IV is coroneted as King of England, deposing his cousin, Richard II

9-Oct-1403, Hallmoot, Willington, Bedfordshire, England

John Gostewyk [1d] brewed constantly and broke the assize of ale.

29-Oct-1404, Hallmoot, Willington, Bedfordshire, England

John Gostewyk [2d], brewed and sold ale and has broken the assize.

Marriage & Children

abt 1399, marriage, Willington, Bedfordshire, England

John Gostwyk married Unknown Unknown
  1. John Gostwick, the Younger, b. 1405

1405, Historical Context, Willington, Bedfordshire, England

Thomas de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, Lord of Willington, was executed for high treason in 1405. John de Mowbray, brother of executed Thomas de Mowbray, became Lord of Willington.

11-Oct-1407, Historical Context, England

Joan Navarre, Queen Consort of England is first recognized in Bedford Court Rolls on this date.

12-Oct-1407, Hallmoot, Willington, Bedfordshire, England[9]

John Gostwyk’ has one overflowing ditch {snip} John Maryon has one overflowing ditch below Gostewyk’ in Coupulende {snip}

Note: This is the first time since his father we see the property bought mentioned...Gostewyk's in Cople End

10-Oct-1425, Hallmoot, Willington, Bedfordshire, England[10]

Brewing amercements: John Gostwyk the younger [2d] once, brewed and sold ale against the assize and therefore is amerced.

Note: this is the first mention of John the younger

29-Sep-1426, Juror, Willington Manor Court, Willington, Bedfordshire, England[11]

12 sworn men:
  • John Marion
  • John Gostewyk (the) younger
  • Robert Waryner
  • John Frelove
  • John Gostewyk
  • John Passewater
  • Geoffrey Aubry
  • William Frenshe
  • Thomas Stoughton
  • Robert Myton
  • John Waryner
  • John Goffe
  • Geoffrey Palmer

Note: both father and son are elected as members of the '12 Sworn Men' of Hallmoot.

abt 1427, Cople, Bedfordshire, England[12]

John's death is based on his being toward his late 50's, and his last (confident) reference in Sep-1426. Location is his home, established by citation.

Research Notes

Pre-1500 evidenciary logic

Re: Birth date
Based on the assumption he is 'of age' (17-21) by the time he begins amercements as a Brewer. He could be older, as records are sparse before this time; at least bef 1375, GoW pg 53 suggests c1370[13][3]
Additionally, we stretch to be outside statistical likelihood by pulling his birth date back much farther. He is at this point, 57yrs old upon last cited reference, in an era of plagues.

Re: Birth location
While 1370 is well before the start of Robert's Bailiff appointment, we have evidence of the family being local to Willington beyond John beyond Robert.

Re: Marriage date
Unless you doubt John the younger as son of this John, the following logic is used...
  • John is 'of age' (17-21) in 1425, when amerced for brewing. (1425-18=b. bef1407)
I placed his marriage between 1390-1406. I like the earlier side based on John the Younger's evidence and placed it at 1399.

Re: Marriage location
Perhaps they wed at one of the religious institutions nearby, but I pick Willington based on statistical evidence recorded for lots of weddings at Willington in that era, fewer say at the Piory. It might be interesting to chart what options there were in 1400 for weddings in Beds, there may be more than I suspect.

Re: Death date
We find him serving as juror Sep-1426, and so suggest he died abt 1427, given that he was 57yrs old by then, or even older.[11]

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Occupation: Brewer
Occupation: Brewer

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