BARTHOLOMEW (BARTILMEWE, BARTILMOES), Richard (by 1455-?1525 or later), of Salisbury, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1455. m. by 1481, Margery, 5s.3

Offices Held

Member of the Forty-Eight, Salisbury 1476, of the Twenty-Four 1479, mayor 1487, 1507, jt. keeper of the keys 1488, assessor, New Street ward 1490, 1492, 1495, 1498, 1512, for city 1497, 1513, auditor 1491-1507 1509, 1511-20; commr. subsidy 1512, 1514, 1515, 1523, 1524.4


Richard Bartholomew, a dealer in bricks, tiles and slates who also exported lead and cloth, was among the wealthiest of Salisbury merchants. He and Thomas Coke head the list of plaintiffs in a chancery action against the city of London over attempts to levy scavage on merchandise from Salisbury, a dispute which led them to appear together before the lord mayor on 27 Feb. 1500. On many occasions, chiefly in the reign of Henry VII, Bartholomew was called upon to act for the corporation in matters touching the administration of the city or in negotiations with the King’s Council. In these tasks he was often associated with Coke, whose daughter Alice had married Bartholomew’s son John. On 24 Oct. 1496 both men were promised 12d. a day for attending the Council at Westminster, and at the same time they paid £20 for ten years’ enjoyment of property outside Castle Gate. Bartholomew himself was paid £15 14s.8d. in 1488, of which £10 was for his pension as mayor and the rest for his expenses; in 1508, on the conclusion of his second term, he received £18 13s.4d.5

Bartholomew was always returned to Parliament with Coke as his fellow-Member. After their election on 16 Jan. 1512 both men were authorized to buy in London a set of new standard measures. In that year and in 1497 they were given 12d. a day for their expenses but in 1515 the rate rose to 20d. a day. Whereas Coke remitted his share in 1514 in return for exemption from municipal office, there is no sign that Bartholomew tried to strike a similar bargain, although he too was an elderly man who might have been equally glad of relief from some of his duties. When in 1515 the King asked that Members of the previous Parliament should be returned again, Coke and Bartholomew may have felt that it was sufficient compliance for them to attend only the first session; they were replaced by John Abarough and Thomas Brodegate on 4 Oct. 1515, five weeks before the opening of the second session.6

Bartholomew had a son bearing his Christian name who was elected to the council of Forty-Eight in 1502 and who was auditor with his father from that year until 1504. Richard Bartholomew junior died in 1506, two years after his brother John; both described themselves in their wills as merchants of Salisbury, both asked to be buried in St. Thomas’s church, and both named their father as supervisor. Neither will nor inquisition survives for the Member himself, who last appears in the corporation ledger on 6 Mar. 1523, when it was agreed that the key to the council chamber held by him should be delivered to Robert Keilway I. It is unlikely, however, that this entry followed his death, for it was probably he rather than a younger namesake who was a subsidy commissioner in the 1520s and who was himself assessed on goods worth £19 in January 1525.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Salisbury corp. ledger B, f. 225.
  • 2. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; Ibid. f. 232v.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Ledger B, ff. 126, 207v; PCC 25 Holgrave, 8 Adeane.
  • 4. Ledger B, ff. 126-244 passim; Statutes, iii. 80, 113, 170; LP Hen. VIII, iii. iv.
  • 5. Churchwardens’ Accts. of St. Edmund and St. Thomas, Sarum (Wilts. Rec. Soc. 1896), 48; VCH Wilts. vi. 127; C1/224/76; City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 1, f. 67; Ledger B, ff. 143v-226 passim.
  • 6. Ledger B, ff. 225, 231, 233v, 238v; Wells act bk. 1450-1553, f. 280.
  • 7. Ledger B, ff. 207v-14 passim, 251v; PCC 25 Holgrave, 8 Adeane; LP Hen. VIII, iii; E179197/154, 259/16.