CHAPMAN (CHEPMAN), Roger, of Wells, Som.
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Family and Education
Keeper of the streets (vicorum), Wells Mich. 1382-3; constable of the peace 1394-8; master 1398-9; auditor 1410-12.1
Tax collector, Wells Nov. 1383, May 1384, Dec. 1385.
Chapman, who had been admitted to the freedom of Wells by 1382, provided pledges for the admission of 11 other burgesses between then and 1410. He held several offices concerned with the administration of the borough, and in addition was elected to the master’s council at Michaelmas 1392, and named as a local tax collector in 1397-8 and 1411. For one year he himself acted as master of the town, this being after he had twice represented Wells in Parliament.2
By 1382 Chapman had taken over a shop on the High Street as a tenant of Nicholas Cristesham*, and it was no doubt there that he carried on his business as a mercer. He was assessed for alnage on four ‘dozens’ of woollen cloth sold in Somerset in 1395-6, and on 31 broad cloths in 1402-3. Chapman was present at the parliamentary elections held at Wells in October 1407, when he attested the returns for all the Somerset boroughs. On 1 Dec. 1409 a royal commission was set up to arrest him and Simon Bailly* and take them before the King’s Council. Their alleged offences are not stated, and in any case both were at liberty by early January following, for they were sent together to the shire court at Ilchester to witness the electoral returns for Wells for the forthcoming Parliament. Chapman is last recorded, in April 1415, as being given power of attorney to deliver seisin of land in ‘Doultecote’ near Wells.3