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Family and Education
s. of John Podmore by his w. Joan.1
The bp. of Bath and Wells’s bailiff of the hundred of Winterbourne Stoke, Wilts. 28 Oct. 1388-d.
Podmore had little connexion with the burgesses of Wells, and he evidently did not always live in the town. He was never admitted to the freedom of the borough, but may have been first brought to the notice of the inhabitants through his close association with Bishop Erghum of Bath and Wells. The bishop appointed him as bailiff of ‘Wynterstoke’ in 1388 for life, an appointment which was confirmed, in October 1393, by the prior of Bath and the dean and chapter of Wells and, in the following February, by Richard II. Podmore held the bailiffship on condition that he would faithfully serve the priory and chapter, neither oppressing their tenants nor putting the office out to farm. In November 1396 at Banwell, Somerset, he attested the bishop’s grant to the dean and chapter of the advowson of the church at Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire. In January following Erghum leased to him for life a messuage and one virgate of land in Wyke, within the episcopal lordship of Congresbury, at an annual rent of 24s.1d.This grant, too, was confirmed by the prior of Bath and the Wells chapter, and the recipient purchased royal confirmation in 1397. When Bishop Erghum made his will in January 1398 he bequeathed £100 to Podmore (a sum which, however, included £54 6s.8d. Podmore owed him) together with his ‘old’ silk bed, complete with silk curtains and four red hangings bearing the episcopal arms, and he also appointed him as one of his executors. Erghum wished to create a religious foundation at Wells, and it was to this end that in 1401 Podmore, described as the bishop’s ‘donzel’ (esquire), with Robert Hill* of Spaxton, steward of the estates of the diocese, and