FORD, Simon atte, of Bridport, Dorset.
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Family and Education
m. 1386, Agnes, wid. of Richard Suaward (d.1385) of Bridport.1
Bailiff, Bridport Mich. 1391-2, 1397-8, 1401-2, 141-15, 1417-18, 1426-7; cofferer 1393-4, 1402-4, 1410-14, 1427-8; constable 1399-1400.2
Collector, customs and subsidies, Melcombe Regis 22 Oct. 1399-Sept. 1403.
Commr. to prevent ships of over 30 tuns from leaving port, Lyme and Seaton May 1401.
Tax collector, Dorset July 1413.
Simon atte Ford may not have been a native of Bridport, being possibly related to William*, Henry* and John Ford II*, who sat in Parliament for Weymouth, Melcombe Regis and Dorchester, respectively. Indeed, he first appears in the Bridport records in 1386, the year of his marriage to Agnes, the widow of a former bailiff, Richard Suaward. In July that year Suaward’s executor conveyed a messuage in East Street to her and Ford on condition that they kept the obits specified in the deceased’s will. In the same year Ford acquired the easements of the walls adjoining his tenement in the town and ‘Lymhouse’, and he then also took out a lease on a house in ‘Kyllyngeslane’. It was along with his wife that Ford joined the fraternity of St. Katherine in St. Mary’s church.3
Ford was engaged in the manufacture of cloth, but his main business was evidently as a maker of ropes, for in February 1397 he was authorized to purchase canvas, cables ‘hawesers, uppeteys, trusseropes’ and other equipment for the King’s ships; and as late as 1423 he supplied cordage (including cables of untarred Bridport yarn) worth £92 to Wil