POPE, Thomas (d.1400), of Gloucester.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Bailiff, Gloucester Mich. 1392-4, 1395-7.2
Tax collector, Gloucester Oct. 1393.
Thomas’s father had been a prominent local goldsmith, and he was undoubtedly closely related to three other parliamentary burgesses for Gloucester, John Pope I*, Robert Pope* and Stephen Pope*. Already heir to the goldsmith’s property in the town, Thomas was further enriched by his marriage to the widow of John Head, who at Maisemore on 27 Mar. 1391 made a formal gift to him of all her goods and chattels both in England and overseas. Perhaps, being a merchant himself, he took over Head’s trading concerns, too. On 1 June following another Gloucester burgess, John Raulyn, granted him his ship, Le Katerine of Bristol, and all his moveable possessions, and shortly afterwards (14 July) he procured official exemplification of both these grants. Two days later he was allowed bail when arrested on charges brought by one of Head’s executors, Thomas Hewes, who alleged that he had threatened his life. Little is known of Pope’s mercantile interests, although it may be inferred that he shipped commodities overseas from Bristol. He also had dealings in the county palatine of Chester, where from the spring of 1392 attorneys acted on his behalf.3
Pope was twice chosen as a bailiff of Gloucester for two consecutive annual terms, and on the occasion of both of his elections to Parliament he was occupying this office. Through his first marriage he had acquired ten messuages, nine shops and over 40 acres of arable land, meadow and woods in Maisemore and Gloucester, which he and his wife conveyed to trustees in August 1391, although some of this property was undoubtedly included in the religious benefactions made by him in the following year. In association with six other Gloucester men, who included one of the recently appointed trustees, the chaplain John Tymmes, Pope sought to donate six messuages, a toft, shops and rents to the chapel of St. Mary in Holy Trinity church. Before, on 21 Sept. 1392, the royal licence to amortize was obtained, the findings of a second inquiry favoured a gift by Pope, once more in association with Tymmes and on this occasion with three others who included Ellen Pope, to St. Peter’s abbey, Gloucester, of lands in Maisemore, this being in completion of a benefaction put into train by John Head, William Heyberer* and Sir Laurence Sebrooke* three years earlier. (The licence for this second grant was finally purchased the following February.) Pope retained holdings in the Mercery and Butchery and also in Smith’s Street, Gloucester, which following his death were to pass to his widow, Margery, and her second husband, Pope’s friend Roger Ball*, and later still to come into the hands of the proctors of the fraternity of St. Thomas of Canterbury in Holy Trinity church, it having been Pope’s intention that the church should benefit in this way.4 However, in his will, made on 28 Sept. 1400, he asked to be buried in the Blackfriars at Gloucester. He gave away all his armour, including a tunic called a ‘jak’, and his swords and other weapons, while Roger Ball was to have his best grey horse. Pope’s son, Roger, had reversionary rights to all his property. Probate was granted on 1 Nov.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. CFR, vii. 260, 262; CCR, 1374-7, p. 29; CPR, 1388-92, p. 467; 1391-6, pp. 163-4.
- 2. Gloucester Corporation Recs. ed. Stevenson, 1029, 1031, 1033, 1035; E372/241 m. 14d; Gloucester Guildhall, rolls 1351, 1357.
- 3. CCR, 1389-92, pp. 480, 482, 483; CPR, 1388-92, p. 467; DKR, xxxvi. 386.
- 4. CP25(1)78/81/100, 82/102; C143/412/13, 417/8; CPR, 1391-6, pp. 163-4, 204; Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. viii. 256; Gloucester Rental 1455 ed. Cole, 30, 86.
- 5. Lambeth Pal. Lib. Reg. Arundel, 1, f. 174d.