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HODY, Sir JOHN (d. 1441), chief justice of the king's bench, of an old Devonshire family, was son of Thomas Hody, lord of the manor of Kington Magna, near Shaftesbury, Dorset, and king's escheator there under Henry V, by Margaret, daughter of John Cole of Nitheway, Torbay. From 1425 his name often occurs in the year-books, and he must have become a serjeant-at-law before 1436, for in that year he contributed as a serjeant to the equipment of the army sent into France. He represented Shaftesbury in parliament in 1423, 1425, 1428, and 1438, and the county of Somerset in 1434 and 1440. On 13 April 1440 he succeeded Sir John Juyn as chief justice of the king's bench, died in December 1441, and was buried at Woolavington, Somersetshire. Prince says of him that he won golden opinions, and Coke (Institutes, pref.) says he was one of the ‘famous and expert sages of the law’ who assisted Lyttelton. He had estates at Stowell in Somerset and Pillesden in Dorset, the latter acquired through his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Jewe, by whom he had five sons, including William Hody [q. v.], who became chief baron in 1486, and several daughters.

[Foss's Lives of the Judges; Prince's Worthies; Hutchins's Dorset, i. 317; Risdon's Devon, xvi. 60; Collect. Topogr. vii. 22; Register Chichele Lambeth, 481 b.; Engl. Chron. (Camd. Soc.), p. 60; Rot. Parl. iv. 285, v. 477; Pat. 18 Hen. VI, p. 3, m. 5.]

J. A. H.