Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Vavasour, John

VAVASOUR, JOHN (d. 1506?), judge, was eldest son of John Vavasour of Spaldington in Yorkshire, by his wife Isabell, daughter and coheir of Thomas de la Haye, lord of Spaldington (Misc. Gen. et Herald. i. 194; Glover, Visitation of Yorkshire, ed. Foster, p. 116). He studied law at the Inner Temple. His first employment in court recorded in the year-books took place in Trinity term 1467. In Trinity term 1478 he was invested with the order of the coif; in June 1483, in the last fortnight of the reign of Edward V, he was nominated a king's serjeant, an appointment renewed by Richard III and Henry VII. On 23 Sept. 1485 he was appointed one of the justices of pleas within the duchy of Lancaster. In the first year of Henry's reign the post of recorder of York was contested by candidates nominated by the king and by the Earl of Northumberland, and the corporation took advantage of the rivalry to elect Vavasour. He ingratiated himself with the king during a royal visit to York in April 1486, and afterwards as the bearer of despatches in regard to the complicity of John de la Pole, earl of Lincoln [q. v.], in Simnel's rebellion. He was knighted, and on 10 April 1489 was appointed on the commission to make inquest in the city of York concerning the insurrection. On 14 Aug. 1490 he was appointed puisne justice of the common pleas. From a memorial dated 1505–6 it appears that he was concerned in Sir Richard Empson's lawsuit against Sir Robert Plumpton [see under Plumpton, Sir William], and that he suffered himself to be influenced by Empson. Vavasour died without issue, probably soon after Michaelmas 1506. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Talboys, son of Sir William Talboys [q. v.]

[Foss's Judges of England, v. 78; Gent. Mag. 1851 i. 477–85, ii. 461; Dugdale's Origines, pp. 47, 215; Plumpton Correspondence (Camden Soc.), pp. lxxxix, cvii, 159, 161; Campbell's Materials for Reign of Henry VII (Rolls Ser.), i. 84, 559, ii. 443; Brewer's Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, i. 1097.]

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