BOTHALL, John, of Nottingham.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

s. of Thomas Bothall† of Nottingham by his w. Cecily. m. by 1407, Emmot, 1da.

Offices Held

Controller of customs and subsidies, Kingston-upon-Hull and ports between Grimsby and Hornsea 7 Oct. 1399-Mar. 1401, 4 Oct. 1403-Feb. 1405.

Alnager, Notts. 12 Nov. 1403-4, Mich. 1406-11.


There was a tradition of parliamentary service in the Bothall family: Roger Bothall, mayor of Nottingham in 1334-5, had represented the borough in 1338, and John’s father, the bailiff of 1370-1, did likewise in four subsequent Parliaments. Thomas Bothall was a wool buyer and is known to have produced cloth in Nottingham between 1392 and 1402. He died before January 1407, when his widow made her will. She left nothing to their son John, but bequeathed to her grand daughter Alice, a carpet, blankets, a measure and a bowl.1

John was already a burgess by Christmas 1395, when he provided pledges for the admission to the freedom of two other men. He probably followed his father’s trade, for he had been involved in a lawsuit over cloth with Thomas Fox* in 1394; and his appointments as controller of customs in Hull and as alnager of Nottinghamshire suggest an interest in mercantile affairs. He is known also to have imported wine, which he sold in his own tavern. He was alnager at the time of his only recorded election to Parliament.2

At the Nottingham great tourn of October 1407 Bothall was charged with placing dung on the highway in a lane between his house and St. Mary’s churchyard. In May following he alleged in the borough court that his servant Margaret Pope had forged copies of the keys to his dwelling-house, and having unlocked the door to his tavern had distributed 30 gallons of wine among her neighbours. As well as this property, Bothall held a messuage on High Pavement which he leased out in 1421 and then, a year later, conveyed to feoffees.3 In the meantime, in October 1409, Bothall’s goods had been declared forfeit to the Crown as a result of his escape from the custody of the sheriff of Nottingham. His imprisonment had resulted perhaps from his outlawry in the common pleas for failing to answer charges of debts amounting to £28 13s.4d. owed to a London mercer and a merchant of Lincoln. The outlawry was pardoned in November 1420, and seven years later, described as ‘of Nottingham, chapman’, Bothall obtained a second pardon, with regard to a suit brought by Hugh Martel, BCL.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


The return (C219/10/4) reads Rothall, but no man of this name can be traced and there can be hardly any doubt that the MP was Bothall. Contemporary variants: Botall, Botehale, Bothale.

  • 1. Nottingham Recs. ed. Stevenson, i. 424-5; CPR, 1391-6, p. 630; E101/343/21, 346/9; Borthwick Inst. York, York registry wills, iii. f. 282.
  • 2. Nottingham Recs. i. 284, 286; Nottingham Archs. ct. roll 1294 m. 1d; E101/343/21; CAD, iii. D939.
  • 3. Nottingham Recs. ii. 42, 65; Nottingham Archs. ct. roll 1317 m. 3d, 1318 m. 16d.
  • 4. CPR, 1408-13, p. 119; 1416-22, p. 290; 1422-9, p. 432.