BULLA (BULLEY), Thomas (by 1498-1544), of Southwark, Surr.

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 1498.2

Offices Held

Warden, St. Margaret’s, Southwark 1519-20, in 1536, auditor 1521-40; yeoman of the crown by 1536, of the guard by 1536.3


The evidence for Thomas Bulla’s Membership of the Parliament of 1536 rests on a memorandum prepared after the hallowing on 25 Sept. 1536 of the extension of St. Margaret’s churchyard in Southwark, for which he and others had laboured for over two years. This memorandum ends:

Farther more it is to be known by this record that our sovereign lord King Henry the eight ... and the xxvii th year of his most noble reign set a Parliament holden at Westminster ... at which Parliament [was] one Thomas Bulley yeoman of the crown and the King’s most honourable guard, then being church wardens the same time Thomas Bulley and William Chandeler. And the said Thomas Bulley, then being burgess of the Parliament, got granted and given by the said Parliament, by the lords spiritual and temporal, and the Commons house in mortmain forever to the parish church of St. Margaret in Southwark under the King’s letters patent and his broad seal which remaineth in a chest within the same church of St. Margaret’s for the safe and sure keeping of the same and so the same Thomas Bulley being church warden for 2 years full.

God save the King.

The Act for the enlargement of the churchyard (28 Hen. VIII, c.31) was passed during the Parliament of 1536, which had been summoned at the beginning of the regnal year 28 Henry VIII, and it is thus likely that the memorandum was in error on this point. Although to accept this is to discount its implication that Bulla had raised the matter during the last session of the previous Parliament (which had met in 27 Henry VIII), he may well have been a Member at that time: he could have replaced Sir John Shilstone in 1532-3, when the nomination was left to the Duke of Suffolk, and his re-election in 1536 would have complied with the King’s directive for the return of the previous Members. Although not returned to the Parliament of 1539 he sat again in 1542.4

Apart from his Membership and local activities little has come to light about Bulla beyond the performance of his Household duties. By trade he may have been a bowyer, as in 1540 the King paid him 10s. for a New Year’s gift of two bows; his nephew Humphrey Colet followed this trade. Bulla is mentioned in 1544 as one of the tenants of houses in St. Saviour’s Southwark, and of land in Newington, Surrey. He died that year and on 2 Aug. was buried appropriately in the new churchyard.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: D. F. Coros / A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Greater London RO, P92/SAV/25.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference.
  • 3. Greater London RO, P92/SAV/8-12, 14, 15, 17, 21, f. 4v, 25.
  • 4. Surr. Arch. Colls. xiii. 33; Greater London RO, P92/SAV/25, 466; LP Hen. VIII, vii. 56 citing SP1/82, ff. 59-62.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xv, xvi, xix; C. E. and H. H. Collett, Fam. Collett; Greater London RO, P92/SAV/356.