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Robert Charleton (justice)

Robert Charleton (justice): “

Ironholds: done

”’His Worship Sir Robert Charleton”’ [[Serjeant-at-law|SL]] [[Justice of the Peace|JP]] (d. 1395/6) was a British justice. He is first recorded in July 1375, when he was made a commissioner of the peace for [[Wiltshire]] and [[Somerset]]; from here on his appointments were spread over much of England, including a September 1377 investigation in Wiltshire examining men who claimed to be exempt from work under the [[Domesday Book]], one of three investigations created as a response to the surge of peasant unrest in Wiltshire, [[Devon]] and [[Surrey]] due to the ‘great rumour’. When the [[Peasants’ Revolt]] broke out in 1381 Charleton was one of the justices tasked in June 1381 of punishing rebels in Wiltshire and [[Gloucestershire]], and was appointed to a similar commission in March 1382, this time just for Gloucestershire, tasked with punishing rebels and also breaking up large gatherings of peasants with the county militia.

In January 1383 he was appointed a [[Serjeant-at-law]], and from this point served regularly on commissions of [[Assize]] and gaol delivery, continuing to be appointed to commissions of the peace and similar in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Shropshire. In November 1385 he was appointed a [[Justice of the Peace]] for [[Herefordshire]], [[Oxfordshire]], [[Bristol]] and Wiltshire, and in August 1386 he served on a commission of the peace in Staffordshire, as well as another one in June 1384 investigating the state of embankments in the [[Thames Valley]]. On 30 January 1388 Charleton was made [[Chief Justice of the Common Pleas]]; a remarkable achievement considering he had no previous experience in the [[Court of Common Pleas (England)|Court of Common Pleas]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|group=yes|feature=yes|aor=3|orderField=alpha|title=Oxford DNB article: Charleton, Sir Robert|last=Dodd|first=Gwilym |accessdate=2008-10-01}}</ref> Charleton is not known to have been close to the [[Lords Appellant]], who at that point controlled the government, but he was apparently close to [[William of Wykeham]], which is the most likely explanation for his unexpected promotion. Charleton managed to stay relatively safe in the difficult early half of 1388; despite, due to his position, being involved in the [[Merciless Parliament]] which executed most of [[Richard II of England|Richard II]]’s court and senior advisers, but when Richard reasserted his authority in May 1389 Charleton was made a [[Knight banneret]]. He attended at least seven of the eight Parliaments between February 1388 and January 1395, with the records for that in September 1388 not surviving, and on each occasion served as a Trier of Petitions. He served actively as Chief Justice until [[Michaelmas]] 1395, dying some time between 12 November 1395 and 15 January 1396, when his successor as Chief Justice was appointed.

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{{succession box | title=[[Chief Justice of the Common Pleas]] | before=[[Robert Bealknap|Sir Robert Bealknap]] | after=[[William Thirning]] | years=1388–1395}}
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{{DEFAULTSORT:Charleton, Robert}}
[[Category:Chief Justices of the Common Pleas]]
[[Category:English judges]]
[[Category:British knights]]

(Via Wikipedia – New pages [en].)

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