CAVE, Thomas, of Bridgwater, Som.

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



Apr. 1414

Family and Education

prob. s. of Thomas Cave of Bridgwater. m. (1) Iseult (d.1415/16), da. of Hugh Mareys, 1s; (2) Alice.1

Offices Held

Portreeve, Bridgwater Oct. 1406-7; constable 1417-18.2


This MP was probably the son of the Thomas Cave who, said by Collinson to have come from Northamptonshire, owned premises in Bridgwater by 1387 and was still alive in 1405. He himself was taxed as living in Dampiet ward and seems to have been one of the collectors for the ward in 1404. His first marriage brought him a considerable amount of property in the town, although in her will, made on 20 July 1415, his wife instructed that her eight tenements (including their dwelling-place), a cottage, a stall and a garden were all to be sold after Cave’s death in order to found a chantry. Five years later Cave, ‘pericula mortis michi evenire timens’, transferred these holdings to William Gascoigne* and others to carry out his deceased wife’s wishes, but in fact he lived on for several years more. Cave witnessed a number of local deeds between 1405 and 1429. He was also more closely concerned in several property transactions, notably a conveyance of the manor of Currypool in 1406 (arranging for the life interest of Richard Boyton*) and the trusteeship of buildings in Bridgwater to finance an obit. He assisted William Gascoigne to purchase lands in 1421, and was a feoffee for William Poulet of lands elsewhere in Somerset in 1427. In 1433 he granted to feoffees his tenement in Orlove Street, Bridgwater, and the seal still preserved on the deed, which depicts a girl playing with a kid and bears the motto ‘Frange. Lege. Tege.’, may have belonged to him.3

Cave’s activities as agent in final concords and as a trustee suggest that he was a lawyer, and he may perhaps be identified as the man who in 1403 was acting as attorney in the Exchequer for the abbot of Athelney in rendering account for a clerical tax. He also served as a juryman at Bridgwater and, in 1413, as a pledge before the justices holding sessions in the town. Cave was a member of the delegation sent from Bridgwater to the county court to witness the borough’s parliamentary returns of 1410, 1413 (May), 1414 (Nov.), 1417, 1420 and 1421 (Dec.). In 1432 he and his fellow Member, John Pitt*, each received one mark from the town for their services in the Commons. Cave died before September 1438.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421


  • 1. J. Collinson, Hist. Som. iii. 87.
  • 2. Bridgwater Bor. Archs. (Som. Rec. Soc. lviii), 541, 587.
  • 3. Ibid. (lii), 427; (lviii), 529-30, 534, 569, 573-5, 596, 626, 645, 658; Som. Feet of Fines (ibid. xxii), 23, 56; CCR, 1422-9, p. 331.
  • 4. E143/20/1/34, 2/43; E137/39/1; E179/4/12; C219/10/5, 11/2, 5, 12/2, 4, 6; Bridgwater Bor. Archs. (Som. Rec. Soc. lviii), 653, 685.