DUDMERE, Thomas, of Rochester, Kent.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. bef. 1377, Joan.1
Poll tax collector, Rochester Mar. 1377.
Commr. for the repair of the walls of Rochester Sept. 1386.
Nothing is known of Dudmere before his first election to Parliament in 1373. In October 1375 he stood bail under pain of £40 for his kinsman, John Dudmere, a clerk living in London. He witnessed a deed at Rochester in June 1376, and in the following year he and his wife were assessed for the poll tax (of which he himself had been named a collector) as dwelling in the city. Four years later, in 1381, he was a fugitive from justice, after taking an active part in the insurrection at Rochester during the Peasants’ Revolt. (Whether he did so from fear of the consequences of having been officially associated with an odious tax, or from genuine sympathy with the aims of the insurgents, is not clear.) Like so many others who had thrown in their lot with the rebels he laid low for a time, and on 25 Aug. he was indicted in absentia for offences committed in the previous June, and his property, worth £1 16s.10d., declared forfeit. However, he was able to secure a royal pardon on 30 Apr. following, and his participation in the Revolt appears to have had no detrimental effect on his subsequent career.2
A year later, in March 1383, Dudmere was appointed with one other man to supply masons, carpenters and labourers for works on a footbridge across the Medway and on the old Rochester bridge. He evidently gave satisfaction on that occasion, as in March 1388 he was again contracted to supply labour, as well as materials, this time for the building of the stone bridge intended to replace the old wooden one, for which funds were being provided by John, Lord Cobham, and Sir Robert Knolles. He was still engaged in this important project in October 1390.3
In 1392 Dudmere acquired two messuages in Maidstone, but he continued to live in Rochester, where in 1395 he stood surety at the local elections for the appearance in Parliament of Richard Broke, and he witnessed deeds there in 1398, 1401 and 1407.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
Variants: Dedemore, Dodemere, Duddesmere.