POPE, John I, of Gloucester.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Steward, Gloucester Mich. 1381-2; bailiff 1391-2, 1394-5, 1407-8.1
Tax collector, Gloucester Oct. 1393.
Alnager, Gloucester 26 Oct. 1396-24 June 1398.
Commr. to search vessels in the Severn for smuggled goods Nov. 1398.
John was a member of a prominent Gloucester family which included three other MPs during the period under review, and several 14th-century town bailiffs. He was perhaps a nephew of another John (b.1313), a goldsmith resident in Gloucester who, although ordered to be superseded as coroner there in 1367, still occupied the office in 1368-70 and was bailiff in 1372-3 and 1379-80. A churchwarden of Trinity church, the elder John was still alive in February 1381.2
Our John’s career ran along similar lines, with the difference that he was elected to Parliament for his home town. He witnessed local deeds in the last two decades of the century, sometimes in association with Robert Pope*, who may have been his elder brother. In May 1388 an order went out for his arrest by the sheriff, on a charge that he and John Nelme, following the latter’s provision by the Pope as vicar of St. Mary’s, had forcibly entered the church with armed men and refused entrance to both the patron, the abbot of St. Peter’s, and the parishioners. Whether or not he was taken into custody—and the sheriff claimed that he was unable to execute the warrant—in September following he was returned to Parliament for the third time (in company with the local coroner, Stephen Pope, who was probably his uncle). When bailiff for the second time, in January 1395, he was responsible for making the electoral return for the borough to the Parliament due to assemble that month. On this occasion he stood surety for the knights of the shire, Sir Thomas Fitznichol and Sir Gilbert Denys.3
It seems likely that Pope was a cloth manufacturer, as were at least two other members of the family. Certainly, his name appears as a contributor to the subsidy on cloth sold in Gloucester in 1397-8, in the accounts which he himself drew up as alnager. He is known to have held property in South Street, Broadsmith Street, and Westgate Street. When bailiff for the last time, in October 1407, he appeared as an elector of the knights of the shire at the county court in Gloucester.4 He is not recorded after that term of office.