Wengrave was an alderman, leading merchant and eventually Mayor of London 1316/18. Recorder of London 1304-19. Elected as city representative in parliament of 1312. He was a supporter of Edward II and owed his mayoralty to royal pressure rather than the usual support of fellow merchants. 'In 1319 the government of the city passed out of the king's control when Wengrave's rivals were able to collect enough evidence to proscribe him for corruption.' (N. Fryde, 2004, p. 169). A John Wengrave was sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire in 1303. The surname is rare enough for it to be fairly certain this was the same person and, thus, possibly a member of the gentry (specifically a lawyer) involved in trade, rather than a merchant with social pretensions.
The manor of Bournehall was ... granted the manor in 1317 to John de Wengrave and Christiana his wife and John their son, and in the same yeare one John Blaket released all claim in it to the said John de Wengrave and Christiana his wife and to John their son, with remainder to Thomas brother of John the younger. In 1336 John de Wengrave and Christiana and John the son granted the manor to John Hauteyn, of London, and Isabella his wife. (VCH) This seems to be the sole evidence I can find of genealogical data.
Anthony Pessaigne (Sir Antonio Pessagno) 'historical importance lies in his position as the chief financier of Edward II between 1312 and 1319. His massive loans and furnishing of commodities for the royal household and of supplies for the war against Scotland kept the king financially afloat during much of the period when the opposition of the lords ordainer severely limited his power.' (E. Fryde)
Direct evidence may be lacking but the idea that this licence, and the position as mayor, were 'brought' by loans and grants to Edward II is suggestive.
Biographical source include;
- Fryde, Natalie, 2004, The Tyranny and Fall of Edward II 1321-1326 (Cambridge University University) esp. pp. 168-9
E. B. Fryde, 2004 , Pessagno, Sir Antonio (b. c.1280, d. in or after 1334) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press) online copy (subscription may be needed)
Page, Wm (ed), 1908,'Parishes: Bushey' VCH Hertfordshire Vol. 2 p. 179-186 online copy