BOLD, Philip (by 1521-65 or later), of London and Aldenham, Herts.

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 1521, ?s. of Francis Bold. m. (1) 1543, Helen (d.1549), da. of Thomas Spencer of London, wid. of Richard Downes of London; (2) Joan, wid. of Ralph Stepneth of Aldenham and of William Layton (d.1551) of Harrow, Mdx.1

Offices Held

Warden, Clothworkers’ Co. 1548-9, 1553-4, master 1555-6.2


Philip Bold was probably the son of Francis Bold, who lived in Spain in the late 1530s looking after the interests of his master, a London clothworker. Philip Bold was admitted to the livery of the Clothworkers’ Company in 1543, on his marriage to the widow of Richard Downes, whose servant and factor he had been. By his will of 8 Dec. 1542 Downes named Bold his executor, with the duty of bringing up his son and the obligation to live in his house in the parish of St. Michael, Cornhill until the boy came of age; as Bold served as churchwarden for this parish three times between 1547 and 1555 he presumably complied. By his second marriage Bold acquired an interest in the manor of Aldenham, which had been granted to his wife and her first husband Ralph Stepneth in 1546. Robert Stepneth, Ralph’s cousin, was also returned to the Parliament of 1555.3

Bold exported cloth to Antwerp from at least 1547 and went over to the Low Countries himself from time to time. He was one of the Merchant Adventurers with whom Cecil negotiated a loan to the crown in 1552. In September 1554 he sued out a general pardon as Philip Bold of Aldenham and London, alias of Antwerp, merchant, and the following year he was among those empowered by the Merchant Adventurers to negotiate an agreement with the authorities in Bergen-op-Zoom. He also invested in the voyage of discovery which gave an opening to English merchants in Russia and was followed in February 1555 by the incorporation of the shareholders into the Company of Merchant Adventurers of England for the discovery of unknown lands, which marked the beginning of the Russia Company. As a Member of the Parliament of 1555 Bold must have been interested in the bill to repeal the Act of 1497 for Merchant Adventurers (12 Hen. VII, c.6), which passed the Lords but was still before the Commons at the dissolution. It is, however, in connexion with a different bill that his name appears: he is included in the list of Members who followed the lead of (Sir) Anthony Kingston in opposing one of the government’s religious measures.4

In 1544 Bold paid £184 for a messuage, formerly belonging to the college of St. Thomas of Acon, in the parish of St. Michael, Cornhill (probably the house which Richard Downes had previously leased), and other messuages of the college in the same parish. He also bought chantry lands in London and eight counties jointly with Thomas Cecil: some of these, for which the two partners paid £1,776 in September 1552, they re-sold within a few weeks. After the death of his second wife in 1558 Bold sold all the property which he had bought in 1544 and removed to Aldenham. He was still living there three years later but may have returned to London by 1565, when he was granted the reversion to the office of gauger of wine and oils within the city. This is the last trace found of him.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Clothworkers’ Co. orders of ct. 1536-58, f. 162; PCC 15 Spert, 28 Coode, 9 Powell; Reg. St. Michael, Cornhill, 179; C142/118/63; PCC Admins. ed. Glencross, 1559-71, p. 2.
  • 2. Clothworkers’ Co. orders of ct. 1536-58, ff. 203v, 248, 264.
  • 3. G. Connell-Smith, Forerunners of Drake, 111-12; Clothworkers’ Co. orders of ct. 1536-58, f. 162; PCC 15 Spert; W. H. Overall, Churchwardens’ Accts. of St. Michael, Cornhill, 61, 88, 117; C142/118/63.
  • 4. E122/167/1, ex. inf. Prof. P. Ramsey; J. W. Burgon, Sir Thomas Gresham, i. 466; CPR, 1554-5, pp. 55-59, 354; O. de Smedt, De Engelse Natie te Antwerpen, i. 194; W. R. Scott, Jt. Stock Companies, ii. 36-39; LJ, i. 505; CJ, i. 44-46; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xix; CPR, 1550-3, pp. 332, 429, 441; London IPMs (Brit. Rec. Soc.), ii. 25, 93; Clothworkers’ Co. orders of ct. 1558-81, ff. 37, 73; City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 15, f. 481v.