GOODLAKE, Thomas, of London and Uxendon, Mdx.
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Family and Education
Commr. to make an arrest, London Aug. 1384.
Keeper of the King’s park and warrens at Isleworth, Mdx. 9 July 1387-6 Nov. 1399.
Problems of identification make it difficult to describe Goodlake’s early career with any degree of certainty. A London mercer of the same name was involved in the financial dealings of the wealthy vintner, John Stodeye, in November 1375, but although the subject of this biography subsequently married one of Stodeye’s daughters, his appointment as an esquire of the body to Richard II does not suggest that he began life as a merchant. The mercer may well have been his father, and was, perhaps, the Thomas Goodlake who, in November 1376, became controller of Calais.2
Goodlake’s marriage to Joan Stodeye took place between 1376 and 1379. It brought him one quarter of an extensive estate in the City, large quantities of plate and a number of influential connexions. His three brothers-in-law, Henry Vanner*, Sir Nicholas Brembre† and Sir John Philipot†, were among the most powerful Londoners of their day, and he was inevitably drawn into their affairs. His relationship with Brembre, sometime guardian of the young Joan Stodeye, was particularly close: as early as April 1376 he became involved in the property transactions of Thomas Bere, one of Brembre’s most trusted feoffees, and through Bere he held the manor of Uxendon to Brembre’s use. It is not entirely clear if the manor and advowson of Hanworth in the same county were settled on him under similar conditions, although his brother-in-law appears to have enjoyed all the revenues until his death in February 1388.3 How far Brembre used his position at Court to assist members of his family remains open to conjecture, but Goodlake may have acted as a trustee for Richard II in July 1384, and he was certainly named as a mainpernor by the latter’s half-brother, Thomas Holand, earl of Kent, in the following August. He had joined the royal household as a King’s esquire by November 1385, when he was awarded a messuage in London worth 60s. a year. Further marks of royal favour followed with the grant to him for life in July 1387 of the office of parker and keeper of the warrens at the King’s manor of Isleworth.4 Brembre’s sudden fall as one of the principal victims of the Merciless Parliament had few lasting repercussions for Goodlake, who may even be said to have benefited from the dramatic events of February 1388. It seems that Brembre had taken the precaution of entrusting cattle as well as property to his kinsman, and these remained in Goodlake’s hands after the wholesale confiscation of Brembre’s estates following his execution for treason. He also retained the manors of Uxendon and Hanworth (which were together worth over £22 a year); and at a much later date, in January 1397, when he was actually sitting in the House of Commons, he and another crown servant, William Sendham, were given custody of Brembre’s holdings in Staines and Stanwell, Middlesex, and Egham, Surrey. This grant was made ‘in recompense of the 100 marks which the King granted to the said Thomas’, although in fact it brought the two men only £11 a year between them.5
Meanwhile, in May 1393, Goodlake obtained royal letters of protection for one year on the assumption that he was going abroad to serve under Sir John Golafre, captain of Cherbourg, but these were cancelled five months later because he had stayed at home. Little is known of Goodlake’s activities during this period, although he clearly continued to prosper. Even if it owed nothing to Richard II’s direct intervention, his return to the first Parliament of 1397 appears to reflect a desire on the part of the Middlesex gentry to stand well with the King, especially as his fellow shire knight and near neighbour, Thomas Maidstone, had also been a member of the royal household. The deposition of King Richard came as a severe blow to Goodlake, who was obliged to relinquish the parkership of Isleworth manor soon after Henry IV mounted the throne. Yet although he lost his place at Court, there is nothing to suggest that he suffered any lasting misfortunes as a result of the Lancastrian usurpation. His three daughters all made good marriages: on the death of her first husband, the London grocer, John Hadley*, Thomasina, the eldest, married Sir John Boys*, while her younger sisters became, respectively, the wives of John St. Jermayn, another Londoner, and Thomas Grey, esquire. Their mother evidently died before December 1400, when Goodlake instructed his feoffees to divide part of her inheritance between them. The loss of some of her London property was, however, offset by the acquisition of land and rents in Pinner, Middlesex, which had come into his hands during the previous year.6
Goodlake once again received letters of protection for a journey overseas in the summer of 1401, but his proposed destination remains unknown. He may then have been involved in the lawsuit with Sir Robert Bardolf’s widow which led, in 1403, to a brief period of outlawry for his failure to pay the debts and damages of £22 awarded to her by the courts. His last years were not without incident, either, for in March 1404 he and his adversary, Thomas Chamber of Highgate, were bound over to keep the peace while suing each other for averring threats. He was still alive in 1412, when his own London property and that which he held with his sister-in-law, Margaret Philipot, bore a joint valuation of £27 10s. a year, but no more is heard of him after this date.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. Corporation of London RO, hr 108/62; R. Bird, Turbulent London Ric. II, 2-3, app. I.
- 2. Corporation of London RO, hr 103/307-8, 312-13; Rot. Gasc. et Franc. ed. Carte, ii. 118, 120.
- 3. Bird, 2-3; Corporation of London RO, hr 106/43-44, 121/147, 122/77-78; VCH Mdx. ii. 392; iv. 207; CIMisc. v. nos. 149, 192; CPR, 1388-92, p. 379.
- 4. CPR, 1381-5, pp. 440-1, 452; 1385-9, p. 337.
- 5. VCH Mdx. ii. 392; iv. 207; CIMisc. v. nos. 149, 192; CPR, 1385-9, p. 481; 1388-92, p. 379; 1391-6, p. 403; 1396-9, p. 49.
- 6. CPR, 1399-1401, p. 53; Corporation of London RO, hr 130/77; CCR, 1396-9, p. 492.
- 7. Rot. Gasc. et Franc. i. 186; CPR, 1401-5, p. 244; 1402-5, pp. 361, 364; Arch. Jnl. xliv. 63, 69.