DOWE, William, of Bedford.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Bedford 1407-8, 1410, 1412; mayor 1418-19, 1422-3.1
Dowe’s name first appears on the Bedford burgess roll of 1399; and three years later he was one of the jurors present at a view of frankpledge held by the mayor. The evidence of the local lay subsidy rolls for 1399 and 1417 suggests that between these two dates he rose to become quite the richest man in the town, although his occupation remains unknown. Somewhat surprisingly in view of his wealth and long career in municipal office, he sat only once in the Commons, but he did attest the indentures for the borough elections to the Parliaments of 1413 (May), 1419, 1420, 1421 (Dec.), 1422, 1423, 1425, 1426 and 1429. Dowe evidently had interests elsewhere in Bedfordshire, as at some point before 1414 he and Geoffrey Plummer acquired a plot of land in Biddenham from William Brown*.2