CHIPPENHAM, Thomas I, of Hereford.
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Family and Education
Mayor, Hereford Oct. 1391-2, 1398-1401.1
Thomas may have been a grandson of John Chippenham, steward of Hereford at some point before 1338. Certainly his family was a local one of some prominence, with interests in the cloth trade. Thomas was one of the 25 custodians of the city appointed by the Crown in July 1377 to keep the peace there and with full powers to array the inhabitants for its defence. He is known to have held property in the city two years later, when he purchased a messuage from Henry Catchpole I*.2 In April 1382 Chippenham took out a royal pardon. His offences were not specified, but may have been connected with the serious crimes recently committed by his servant, John Sutton, who, having himself secured a pardon in January, had none the less been indicted before the j.p.s in Hereford in March for clipping coin. After failure to appear for trial, Sutton was outlawed in August 1384 and five years later ordered to be arrested by a royal serjeant-at-arms. He remained at large, however, until late in 1390 when taken in a field near Norwich, only to be released the following year at the supplication of the queen.3
Chippenham was one of those leading citizens who, in October 1389, became involved in a lengthy dispute with the dean and chapter of the cathedral and during the last decade of the 14th century he held office as mayor of Hereford for no fewer than four annual terms. In 1393 he was instrumental in effecting the sale of Henry Catchpole’s house, the ‘Booth Hall’, to the civic authorities, the object being to provide a suitable place for the holding of the assizes and the sessions of the peace. In the same year he was made a feoffee of all the local property belonging to the Falk family, and shortly afterwards he was associated with the lawyer Philip Holgot* as mainpernor for an Exchequer lessee of land in Dorstone, Herefordshire. In August 1397 he witnessed an indenture drawn up by Bishop Trefnant of Hereford.4 Chippenham took out a second royal pardon in March 1398, no doubt to escape any adverse consequences of his Membership of the Merciless Parliament. Early in Henry IV’s reign he was ready to lend the new King £10 towards the costs of his Scottish campaign, and in August 1404 he joined with three other Hereford citizens in making a loan of £100 towards the government’s military activities over the Welsh border.5
In March 1406 Chippenham purchased a royal licence enabling him to grant in mortmain a messuage in Hereford worth £1 p.a. in order to found a chantry at the altar of the Holy Trinity in the parish church of St. Peter, where prayers were to be said for his welfare on earth and his soul after death. Nothing more is heard of him. Margaret Chippenham, subsequently the wife of John Vale esquire, Prince Henry’s receiver at Calais in 1410, may well have been his widow, for by his will made in 1415 Vale requested masses in St. Peter’s for Thomas Chippenham’s soul. She was recorded as in possession of property in Hereford worth £5 a year in 1431.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 298; CAD, iii. B4120; Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. (NLW 1955), nos. 198, 495, 1162, 1491. J. Duncumb in Herefs. i. 364 was probably wrong in calling Chippenham mayor in 1390 and 1397.
- 2. E101/339/14; CCR, 1377-81, p. 5; CP25(1)83/48/11.
- 3. C67/29 mm. 10, 21; C88/56/58; CCR, 1381-5, p. 473; CPR, 1388-92, pp. 211, 414; Issues ed. Devon, 241; E364/26 m. Ad.
- 4. Hereford Cathedral Muns. nos. 131, 1491, 2935-54; CAD, vi. C4657, 6733; CPR, 1391-6, p. 213; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 286-7; CFR, xi. 83.
- 5. C67/30 m. 30; CPR, 1396-9, p. 345; 1401-5, p. 417; E404/17/344.
- 6. C143/437/24; CPR, 1405-8, p. 161; Reg. Chichele, ii. 83; Reg. Mascall (Canterbury and York Soc. xxi), 190; Feudal Aids, ii. 422.