BIGARD, John (d.1397/8), of Lymington and Southampton, Hants.
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Family and Education
s. of Thomas Bigard of Southampton (d.1392/3). m. Alice, s.p.
Among the beneficiaries of the will (dated 21 Feb. 1392) of John’s father, a merchant who had served as steward of Southampton in 1380-1 and 1390-1, were his ‘brother’s sons’, Bartholomew, John and Robert Mundy. They were to succeed to his property in Simnel Street and Fish Market, but John Bigard, in addition to the reversion of a house built of stone in ‘le smale lane’ (now Market Lane) and of a vacant plot in which Thomas’s third wife, Margaret, had a life interest, inherited all the lands and tenements not otherwise allocated.1 How extensive these were is not known, but evidently John, who was also a merchant (his principal interest apparently being in the export of cloth from Southampton), had already managed to establish himself elsewhere: it was as ‘of Lymington’ that, ten years previously, he had taken a lease on a house in Broad Lane, Southampton. After his father’s death he purchased from a Romsey man a messuage, curtilage and dovecote as well as arable land and part of a meadow in the town and suburbs; and in the same year, 1393, he had a life tenancy in a building which William Malmeshull† then bequeathed to Beaulieu abbey. Among Bigard’s later holdings were tenements on Simnel Street, Above Bar Street and French Street.2
Bigard showed scant interest in the borough’s affairs, only occasionally appearing as a witness to local deeds.3 His will, dated 13 Aug. 1397, named his widow as executrix. Left a wealthy woman, before the end of 1409 she married a Spanish merchant, Pedro Peras, who resided for some years afterwards in Southampton.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Stewards’ Bks. (Soton Rec. Soc. xxxv), p. vii; Hants RO, D/CJ 30.
- 2. E122/138/16; Queen’s Coll. Oxf. God’s House, D473, 663, 1089, R372; Black Bk. Southampton (Soton Rec. Soc. xiii), 41; CCR, 1399-1402, p. 426.
- 3. Southampton Civic RO, SC4/2/154, 156; God’s House, D384.
- 4. A.A. Ruddock, ‘Alien merchants in Southampton’, EHR, lxi. 6; Black Bk. 113; ibid. (Soton Rec. Soc. xiv), 16.