ATTILBRIDGE, Robert, of Cambridge.
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Family and Education
Porter of Cambridge castle and keeper of the King’s warren at Cambridge and Chesterton 8 Apr. 1399-?d.
Treasurer, Cambridge Apr. 1425-6; bailiff Sept. 1426-7.1
In the spring of 1399 Attilbridge, described as ‘King’s servant’, replaced Thomas Beverley* as porter of Cambridge castle and custodian of the royal warren there and at Chesterton. He was to hold these posts for life, receiving a daily wage of 2d. — an arrangement which Henry IV confirmed in November following.2
Although he quite often took part in borough elections (doing so in anticipation of the Parliaments of April and November 1414, 1415, 1419, 1423 and 1425), his own parliamentary service took place several years before he had much experience of borough office. In April 1426, during his term as treasurer, he was appointed to the common council, and later that year, when newly-elected bailiff, he represented the town at the Magna Congregatio called by the chancellor of the university. This was in spite of the part he had played in a period of bitter hostility between town and gown some years earlier. In 1418 he had been accused by the university, in charges laid before the King’s Council, of abetting the mayor, John Bilney I†, in his campaign to bring it into disrepute by making false allegations against the scholars, a compaign which he financed by practising extortion in the town, or so it was claimed. Attilbridge was violently handled by riotous clerks, and his name was mentioned in threatening verses pinned to the door of the mayor’s house. Referred to as ‘the rascal Attilbridge’, similar charges were again brought against him in 1420. It was asserted that, although the university authorities had previously his life by banishing from the town those who threatened him, yet he had worked to create divisions both within the university, by inciting scholars against the chancellor, and between it and the town, doing so as one of the ‘quarrelsome laymen’ of Bilney’s mayoral council.3
Nothing is heard of Attilbridge after the year of his bailiffship.