COLMAN, Thomas, of Southwark, Surr.
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Family and Education
Colman, a chandler by trade, was perhaps the Thomas Colman who, in December 1399, was being sued by William Maryner for trespass in Kent; and he may almost certainly be identified with the Thomas Colman ‘of Surrey’ listed among the mainpernors of John Warwick in Chancery five years later. A namesake of his (possibly even his grandfather) had represented Southwark in no less than 14 Parliaments between 1328 and 1344, so there was a longstanding family connexion with the borough. On his second appearance as a surety, this time on behalf of Richard Clerk, a London citizen, in January 1408, our Member was described as living in Southwark; and in the following month he served on the jury at an inquisition ad quod damnum held there to examine a proposed gift of land in Bermondsey to London Bridge. At some point before May 1422 he had become involved in the affairs of John Reed, master of the hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr, one of the most powerful local religious houses, for it was then that Peter Vine recovered from him and the master’s other feoffees the 12 messuages which they had illegally entered in the City of London.1 Colman and his wife themselves acquired a number of properties in Southwark, although some of these were evidently held on a short-term basis as trustees: at Michaelmas 1418, for example, they sold one messuage and its appurtenances to members of the Mercers’ Company; and again, during the Hilary term of 1429, they disposed of two other messuages and a plot of land to John Gylle, one of their neighbours. Meanwhile, in December 1422 and June 1425, Colman witnessed two local deeds, the second of which refers to another of his tenements in St. Olave’s parish, Southwark.2