The Mayor of the Mob: The Life Records of John Northampton
By Brad Kirkland
Master’s Thesis, University of York, 2010
Abstract: This study provides context for the political conflicts of the last quarter of the fourteenth century in London through the life of its most controversial mayor, John Northampton.
Through a thorough examination of the historical records, numerous discoveries about his life and impact upon London politics are made.Some of these new discoveries include:
1: the identity of Northampton’s father;
2: Northampton’s occupations prior to becoming a draper;
3: that his business included wool-trading;
4: that his constitutional reform requiring the Common Council to be elected by the misteries was intended to apply to the mayor, sheriffs and aldermen;
5: that he conspired with the king to arrange for an unconstitutional second term as mayor;
6: that the size of Northampton’s mob after his election loss was larger than recorded and probably armed;
7: that Northampton sailed for Spain with John of Gaunt once released from prison to avoid assassination by his London rivals;
8: that Northampton may have stayed abroad after Gaunt returned until he could be pardoned.