BOND, John (by 1485-1537/38), of Coventry, Warws. and Sefton, Lancs.
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Family and Education
Warden, Coventry 1508-9, sheriff or bailiff 1 511-12, mayor 1520-1; commr. subsidy 1515, 1523, 1524.2
John Bond’s grandfather had settled in Coventry where he prospered as a draper. His father achieved the mayoralty, purchased an estate and provided in his will of 18 Mar. 1506 for the foundation of the Bablake almshouse in the city. Bond’s inheritance made him one of the wealthiest men in Coventry and, although he continued in the family trade and became, like his father, a merchant of the staple, he was able to marry into a cadet branch of the Molyneux family of Sefton, Lancashire, and by his death had himself obtained arms: his brother-in-law Sir Edmund Molyneux became a justice of the common pleas in 1550. At some time before 1515 Bond bought land at Little Bromwich, near Coventry, where he imparked some 30 acres and, with the consent of the bishop and the rector, endowed a chapel so that his tenants might attend mass when floods prevented their reaching the parish church. He also acquired some interest in his wife’s ancestral home, for in his will he was to style himself of Sefton. In the certificate of the musters taken by Thomas, Marquess of Dorset in 1522 Bond was said to be worth 500 marks in goods and to have lands worth £30 a year. His mercantile interests stretched to places as far apart as Southampton and York and, although he dealt primarily in cloth, he was able to supply anything from fish and madder to timber and iron. On at least one occasion he was forced to sue for payment for cloth supplied.3
It is possible, but unlikely, that Bond was the London draper who was granted a pardon in 1509. A second pardon, five years later, may have been occasioned by service in the French war of 1513: a John Bond, yeoman, had then been appointed to serve and in 1515 the Coventry merchant shared with the soldier and courtier Sir Edward Belknap in the grant of a wardship. But Bond was to be most active in the affairs of his own city. His mayoral term was an eventful one. He was obliged to bring a chancery suit against Thomas Harvy for his refusal to serve as sheriff: the plea may well have been unsuccessful as in the following year the city ordained heavy fines, ranging from £100 to £20, for such refusal to accept office. In the winter of 1520 the city faced a dearth of grain with which Bond coped by first organizing a census and a record of the provisions available, together with an estimate of the rate at which they would be consumed, and then by bringing extra food into the city at his own expense. Although this represented only a fraction of the city’s needs, he was officially thanked for his pains. At about this time, probably during Bond’s mayoral year, several heretics were burnt at Coventry during an episcopal visitation, including one Thomas Bond, shoemaker. It is not known whether John Bond played any part in these proceedings. In 1518 he had been named an overseer in the will of William Pysforde the younger, one of the city’s Lollard circle, and his father may have had similar connexions, but their religious foundations bespeak their orthodoxy: the poor men in the elder Bond’s almshouse were to repay their benefactor by praying for his soul and he also left bequests to two religious houses in Coventry.4
Bond’s service and standing in the city explain his return to the Parliament of 1529. He may already have been related to his fellow-Member, the recorder Roger Wigston, by the marriage of his daughter Dorothy to Roger Gillot of Leicester, a kinsman of Wigston’s mother. His name appears on a list drawn up by Cromwell early in 1533 and thought to be of Members opposed to the bill in restraint of appeals: as a draper, he may have been one of several Members whose objections in principle were reinforced by their fear of the possible commercial repercussions of the measure. His appearances on a further list compiled by Cromwell probably in December 1534 is not easy to explain. The Members concerned, several of whom besides Bond had figured in the earlier list, are thought to have had a particular, but unknown, connexion with the treasons bill than on its passage through Parliament. If they formed a committee, Bond’s inclusion may be taken as an indication of his standing as a Member. He was presumably returned again to the Parliament of 1536, in accordance with the King’s general request for the re-election of the previous Members.5
The date of Bond’s death is unknown, but the will which he made on 3 Dec. 1537 (which has a conventional preamble) was proved on the following 9 July. He gave £10 yearly for his son Thomas ‘to find him in the law’ and made provision for his five married daughters. He had had difficulties with his father’s almshouse: the elder Bond had instructed his feoffees, including his son John, to build and maintain it and this had been done, the income from the appointed lands being paid over each year. John Bond’s attempt to transfer possession of the lands to the Trinity guild of Coventry had failed and he now charged his executors, his wife and his brother-in-law Dr. Anthony Molyneux, rector of Sefton, to make a final offer of ‘the said lands as were appointed or like in value and as good’ to the guild: if this was again refused his son was to resume the lands and make other provision for the continuance of the almshouse.6
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: S. M. Thorpe
- 1. Evidently of age at fa.’s death, PCC 22 Adeane. PCC 19 Dyngeley; Vis. Notts. (Harl. Soc. iv), 72; B. Poole, Coventry, 145.
- 2. Coventry Leet Bk. (EETS cxxxiv), ii. 624, 637, 675; Statutes, iii. 171; LP Hen. VIII, iii, iv.
- 3. VCH Warws. ii. 112, 161; vii. 66, 67, 365; viii. 135-6; E179/192/125, 130; DNB (Molyneux, Sir Edmund); Dugdale, Warws. i. 885; Coventry accts. var. 18, f. 44v; C1/290/25, 453/8, 479/37, 1495/18; LP Hen. VIII, ii-iv; Coventry Leet Bk. ii. 609 et passim.
- 4. LP Hen. VIII, i, ii; C67/62, m. 2; C1/392/50; VCH Warws. ii. 168; viii. 129, 132; Coventry Leet Bk. ii. 668-9, 674, 676, 696; Foxe, Acts and Mons. iv. 557; F. Smith, Coventry, 79; Jnl. Eccles. Hist. xiv. 173; PCC 22 Adeane, 22 Ayloffe; Bull. IHR, xliv. 120-5.
- 5. LP Hen. VIII, vii. 1522(ii) citing SP1/87, f. 106v; ix. 1077 citing SP1/99, p. 234.
- 6. PCC 19 Dyngeley; VCH Lancs. iii. 63.