EDWARD, Thomas.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
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Thomas Edward had no recorded connexion with Taunton. Indeed, his election to Parliament for the borough appears to have been contrived by Thomas Chaucer* of Ewelme, the bishop of Winchester’s steward and constable of Taunton castle. He was a close associate of Chaucer’s friend, John Golafre of Fyfield, for whom he acted as mainpernor on the occasion of his election to Parliament as knight of the shire for Berkshire in 1407; and, since he was also then party to the Berkshire electoral indenture, it looks very likely that he himself lived in that county. Edward, being a co-feoffee with Chaucer and Robert James* in Golafre’s manor of Tidmarsh, may be presumed to have been well known to Chaucer, who possibly felt that interference with the elections at Taunton in 1410 was necessary at a time of local opposition to his cousin the bishop’s control over the town. The men initially returned were Thomas Bacot*, bailiff of the bishop’s liberty and clearly, therefore, to be trusted, and William Mott who (being a co-feoffee of Chaucer and Golafre in the estates of John Verney in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire) evidently belonged to Chaucer’s circle as well. Mott’s name remained on the schedule recording the election, but, at some stage before the Parliament met it was erased from the indenture, Edward’s name being inserted instead. It is interesting to note that Golafre formally conveyed his property to his colleagues (Chaucer, James and Edward) on 24 Apr. 1410, during the second session of the Parliament of which they were all Members, Chaucer, indeed, being Speaker.1

On 11 June following, Edward was commissioned as a member of the royal household to purvey wine for consumption over the next six months: yet another pointer to his connexion with Thomas Chaucer, who was chief butler at that time. Later the same year he was associated with yet another of Chaucer’s friends, the vintner Lewis John*, in taking possession of lands and rents in the parish of Aldbourne, Wiltshire, and also as his fellow trustee of property in London. Edward is last recorded in 1413 as being present at the Berkshire elections to Henry V’s first Parliament, to which the county again returned John Golafre, while one of its boroughs, Wallingford, returned Lewis John.2

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. C219/10/4, 5; CCR, 1405-9, p. 400; 1435-41, pp. 2-4; CAD, iii. D1328; vi. C4638, 6160.
  • 2. CPR, 1408-13, p. 195; E326/11807; Corporation of London RO, hr 141/60; C219/11/2.