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Carleton, William (d.1309?) (DNB00)


CARLETON, WILLIAM (d. 1309?), judge, appears to have been a Yorkshireman. He was designated 'civis Eboracensis' in a roll of 1291 (Rot. Orig. Abbrev. i. 75). The earliest mention of him occurs under date 1286, when he was placed in possession of the vacant abbey of Ramsey in Huntingdonshire, to hold during the king's pleasure. Between 1286 and 1290 inclusive he acted as one of the justices of the Jews, officials with functions similar to those exercised by the barons of the exchequer, but limited to the transaction of business in which the Jewish community was concerned. His salary appears to have been 20l. per annum. On the expulsion of the Jews, which took place in 1290, it is probable that he was immediately created a baron, as we find him ranked next after John de Cobham, the senior baron, in the list of justices summoned to parliament in 1295. He was despatched to Antwerp in 1297 to negotiate, on behalf of the king, a loan of 10,000l. with the merchants there, presumably for the purposes of the expedition to Flanders. By the death of John de Cobham, in 1300, he became senior baron. He was reappointed on the accession of Edward II (1307), at whose coronation he was present, and the same year received permission, in consideration of his 'long and meritorious and unremitting service,' to attend at the exchequer at his own convenience. The following year he is mentioned as one of the judges assigned to try cases of forestalling in the city of London. As after this year he is not again summoned to parliament, it is probable that he died before the next writ was issued (the 11th of the ensuing June). As his name does not occur in the 'Inquisitiones post Mortem,' we may infer that, like many other of the earlier barons of the exchequer, he was of humble origin; and as he is described as 'civis Eboracensis,' it seems not altogether improbable that he was the tenant of Carleton in Yorkshire, under Henry de Percy.

[Rot. Orig. Abbrev. i. 51, 75, 112; Dugdale's Chron. Ser. 18, 32; Madox's Exch. i. 230, ii. 62; Foss's Lives of the Judges; Rot. Parl. i. 169, 194; Parl. Writs, i. 29, ii. div. ii. pt. i. 18, pt. ii. 4, 19.]

J. M. R.