BACOT, Thomas (d.c.1412), of Taunton, Som.
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Family and Education
m. bef. 1393, Ellen (d. 1419), 1s. 1da.
Bailiff, bp. of Winchester’s liberty of Taunton 1387-d.1
Bacot was probably resident in Taunton for most of his life. In 1393 he completed two transactions concerning property in the vicinity: the first involved a messuage in ‘Northton’ near Taunton, of which he was enfeoffed to the use of John Aylrych and his wife Margery; the second another building in the same place, which was then settled on Bacot himself together with his wife and their heirs. Bacot also held property on the castle mound in Taunton itself, and in 1410 John Cutte of ‘Northton’ gave him and Hugh Baly all his holdings elsewhere in the town, in Cock Street. In 1411 Bacot paid Bishop Beaufort a fine of 12d. when he took over the tenancy of two plots of waste land between his own tenement and the mound, at a yearly rent of 2d.2
Bacot was unusual among the Taunton parliamentary burgesses for his long service in office on behalf of the bishop of Winchester as bailiff of the liberty, a post which commanded a salary of £4 a year, besides various perquisites. As bailiff, Bacot had a certain standing in the region; indeed, he was considered worthy enough to attest the electoral indenture of return for the knights of the shire for Somerset for the Parliament of 1407. It seems likely that he owed his own single election to Parliament, early in 1410, to Bishop Beaufort’s influence, especially as at that time the townspeople of Taunton were attempting to obtain self-government and overthrow the bishop’s officers. What befell Bacot shortly after his return home from Westminster, was perhaps symptomatic of a continued popular animosity to Beaufort’s rule in the locality. On 21 May at Ilchester he was assaulted by John St. Aubyn*, and so badly wounded that his recovery was deemed a miracle.3 Nor did he long survive the attack. He died before 1413, when his widow took on responsibility for the annual rent due to the bishop. In the following year she was obliged to pay a 20s. fine to obtain possession of two messuages on the castle mound. Bacot left two children: Richard, who owned a house in Cock Street, and Isabel, who married John Sok and inherited one of the messuages near the castle on North Street after her mother’s death in 1419.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Hants RO, bp. of Winchester’s pipe rolls, 159394-411.
- 2. Som. Feet of Fines (Som. Rec. Soc. xvii), 158; Add. 30289, f. 86; bp. of Winchester’s pipe rolls, 159413-17.
- 3. R.G. Hedworth Whitty, Ct. of Taunton, 68; E159/186 Rec. Trin. rot. 12; C219/10/4.
- 4. Bp. of Winchester’s pipe rolls, 159419-20; Add. 30289, ff. 72, 73.