MARLBOROUGH, Thomas, of Southampton.
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Family and Education
Dep. town clerk, Southampton by July 1406; clerk by Apr. 1409-c.1416.1
Commr. to appraise a hulk, Southampton July 1413.
Possibly the descendant of a burgess of Southampton, Robert Marlborough (fl. 1348), Thomas, a lawyer by profession, first appears in March 1391 as acting in Chancery on behalf of the parson of Kynget, but is more generally found serving as an attorney in the local courts, at liveries of seisin, and as an executor. He acted in the last-mentioned capacity, for instance, on behalf of Alexander Day, himself an executor of the wealthy merchant, John Polymond†, thereby taking on the administration of both wills. As official attorney for the borough in the Exchequer, he accounted for the fee farm in 1402, 1403, 1406, 1407 and 1413. In the meantime, following an inquiry in the same court into the content of the Antique Custume of Edward I as applied to the ports of Southampton, Sandwich and Winchelsea, he procured an exemplification of the documents under the Exchequer seal in letters patent issued in January 1408. When returned to at least five of his 11 Parliaments for Southampton, Marlborough was holding office as town clerk.2
On 6 Nov. 1422, just three days before the opening of Henry VI’s first Parliament (Marlborough’s ninth session), he was appointed by Henry IV’s queen, Joan of Navarre, to appear with two others as her attorneys in the royal courts, particularly in the Exchequer, and to seize all property and collect all revenues granted her by her late husband. Following a petition presented in the second Parliament of 1414 (when Marlborough had been one of the representatives), the borough of Southampton had procured a patent releasing it for ten years from payment of 140 of the 300 marks it normally delivered as fee farm to the queen; and now, on 12 Nov., a composition between her and the borough secured the latter’s freedom from all distraint and an undertaking that she would appoint no other attorneys than the three, including Marlborough, named six days earlier. On 19 Dec. 1423, two days after the adjournment of the Parliament of that year, Marlborough found surety in Chancery in £40 to keep the peace towards one Miranda Devecoke, and a similar recognizance in 40 marks was entered into on his behalf by, among others, John Veel†, a merchant and former mayor of Winchester, who was then Member for his home town.3
Marlborough, who lived in French Street, Southampton, also held two gardens next to the town wall, a house in Simnel Street, a garden in English Street and a messuage in East Street. Towards the end of his life, perhaps as Polymond’s executor, he was also in possession of property on the east side of French Street.