HUNT, Thomas II, of Bedford.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
poss. bro. of William Hunt II*.
Bailiff, Bedford 1414, 1423-4; mayor 1433.1
Hunt was already one of the most prosperous men in Bedford by 1417, when his contribution to the lay subsidy was assessed at 6s. He attested the indentures for the borough elections to the Parliaments of May and December 1421, 1422, 1423, 1425, 1426, 1431, 1432 and 1433 (on the last occasion as mayor); and he was also chosen by the burgesses to act as one of their spokesmen (along with William Hunt II, who may have been his brother) during their dispute with the rest of the townspeople over liability for the payment of MPs’ expenses. The matter was finally settled in February 1425 at Westminster by two justices of the court of common pleas, who imposed a compromise on both factions. A wealthy local widow named Joan Kempstow chose Hunt to be one of her trustees, and it was in this capacity that in 1427 he made a general release of property to one of his neighbours.2 Although invariably described as a resident of Bedford up to the time of his mayoralty, in 1433, the subject of this biography may, perhaps, have been the Thomas Hunt of Silsoe, yeoman, who took part in the riots at the Bedford sessions of the peace six years later. He and another William Hunt (described as ‘of Kempston’) were both members of the retinue of Reynold, Lord Grey of Ruthin, and as such became involved in a particularly violent brawl with the supporters of John, Lord Fanhope, Grey’s rival. It is worth noting that Grey then employed a rent collector named Thomas Hunt at his two manors of Wrest-in-Silsoe and Flitton, Bedfordshire; and that the same man also leased tenements in Assheby David, Northamptonshire, and Wrest from the Greys during this period.3
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. Beds. RO, DDTW175, 343; Bedford Town Hall, DDX67/56; C219/14/4.
- 2. Beds. Town Hall, unnumbered lay subsidy roll 1417; DDX67/57/87; Ancient Chs. and Muns. Bedford (1895), no. 20; C219/12/5, 6, 13/1, 2, 3, 4, 14/2, 3, 4.
- 3. CPR, 1436-41, pp. 282-3; Beds. RO, DDL26/408; Grey of Ruthin Valor ed. Jack, 77, 99; SC6/119/4.