Robert Dore of Wadsley

Robert Lynley has found that two other men listed in this roll, Alan de Bradley and Richard de Cottingham, were also in the Patent Rolls amongst the several leaders of the York Riots of November 1380. This led to the suggestion that Robert Hode was also involved, and pardoned with others in 1382. A Robert Hode litster, was listed as a Freemen of York in 1391. It is interesting to note that the Wadsleys held the area of Loxley Chase and Loxley Common between Wadsley and Worral.(1) The troubles in York are well described in the work by P.M. Tillott (A History of the County of York: the City of York, 1961), an extract from pages 80-84 is reproduced here:

Disputes within the body politic of the city were nothing new. As early as 1301 the commonalty complained that it did not know what happened to the financial impositions laid upon it by the city magistrates; and in 1311 and 1316 there were allegations of fraud on the part of the collectors of taxes. Meantime, in 1306, a number of citizens led by such prominent men as Andrew Bolingbroke and Robert Meek had formed themselves into an unlicensed guild. Their objects were ostensibly religious, but they were said to have used their association to avoid their due share of taxes. The guild was dissolved by the king’s justices, and for a time its members were boycotted by their fellow citizens; Andrew Bolingbroke, however, became mayor for a second time in 1309. This episode was associated with a certain amount of violence in city politics: when Bolingbroke had previously been mayor in 1305 he had been attacked with a drawn knife and trampled so that he scarcely escaped with his life.
There, so far as the records go, the story of troubles ends for the moment; but in 1357 the mayor, John Langton, is found objecting to the nomination of John Gisburne as bailiff; in 1364 the mayoral election was disturbed for a day and a half by rioting; and in 1369 Roger Selby alleged that he was assaulted in the execution of his mayoral duties. In 1371 there was again strife between Langton and Gisburne, this time for the mayoral office. The king intervened by forbidding either to be made mayor and by proscribing all debates and unlawful assemblies, but Gisburne nevertheless did become mayor for that and the succeeding year. These conflicts, in so far as they were not merely personal, may represent competition for the control of the city government between the old ruling group, represented by Langton, and the new class of rich merchants of which Gisburne, who traded extensively in wool, cloth, wine, and lead, was typical. Within a few years, however, the spirit of dissension had spread more widely. Towards the end of 1380 ‘great and notorious rumour’ came to Parliament of a ‘horrible thing’ done at York. On 25 November Gisburne, who was again mayor, had been chased out of the city by rioters. They had then broken into the Guildhall and sworn Simon Quixley mayor against his will; compelled the bones gentz of the city to swear obedience to Simon; and proclaimed that, whenever the bell on Ouse Bridge should ring ‘aukeward’, all the communes would rise to defend the new dispensation.
The government was compelled to intervene. Quixley was expelled from the mayoralty and Gisburne restored, and both were ordered to appear before the king’s council, though in the end Quixley was ordered to answer before Gisburne instead. Meantime 24 of the most notorious rioters were brought to London and imprisoned in the Tower until January 1381, when they were released on bonds of good behaviour. A commission was appointed to investigate the outbreak, 40 leading citizens were ordered to appear before the council, and another commission, headed by John of Gaunt, was instructed to settle the dispute, which was described as one between the communitas of the city and Gisburne. Finally, in May 1381, the mayor was ordered to compel all rich men not of any craft, and six representatives of each craft, to enter into bonds of £40 to keep the peace.


1.  Joseph Hunter, Hallamshire, London, 1819.