BOND, Thomas (c.1520-54/57), of Coventry, Warws.
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Family and Education
Thomas Bond was still a minor when his father died. Under his father’s will the family estates were to remain in the hands of his mother and uncle for four years, during which time Thomas was to receive an allowance of £10 a year provided that he applied himself to the law; otherwise the money was to go to charity. No trace of his pursuit of the law has been found apart from his ownership of Fitzherbert’s Abridgement, and the suffix ‘draper’ may mean no more than that he took up his patrimony. His marriage to the granddaughter and next heir of Richard Marler brought him a respectable dowry, although most of Marler’s property had passed to his younger son.2
The most important matter with which Bond had to deal was the future of his grandfather’s charity. His father had built a projected almshouse and had taken out a licence in mortmain to vest the institution in the Trinity guild of Coventry, but disagreement had arisen and the matter hung fire. His father’s executors were enjoined to make a fresh offer to the guild, and if it were again refused Bond was to resume the property and take such steps as he judged necessary to ensure the performance of the trust. No progress had been made before the guilds were dissolved in 1547, although the commissioners included the item ‘Bond’s lands’ among the property of the Trinity guild. The dissolution put the corporations in an awkward position: on the one hand if Bond proved that the amortisement had never taken place the property was not lost to the almshouses, but on the other they abandoned their control. The Members for Coventry, Henry Porter and Christopher Warren, had given as their reason for opposing the bill for the dissolution their concern for the fate of Corpus Christi church, ‘specially maintained of the revenues of ... guild lands’, but they may also have had ‘Bond’s lands’ in mind and in the second session of the Parliament of 1547 a bill ‘for the city of Coventry’ was introduced. On 14 Jan. 1549, two days after the bill had received its second reading, the House ordered ‘that Bond shall have a copy of the bill of Coventry, and make answer on Saturday next’. He appeared on the 21st, a Monday, ‘and hath day, Friday next’, postponed on the Friday until the next day when his answer was read. Nothing more is heard of the bill.3
The city next tried its luck in equity on the pretext that Bond was wasting the property by cutting down trees and making other depredations. The case went to arbitration and in March 1552 the judges decided that property worth £20 a year should immediately be transferred to feoffees to be named by Christopher Warren. Although this conclusion may not have been entirely satisfactory to the corporation, as the property brought under its immediate control did not represent the whole of the land claimed, it ended the quarrel with Bond. He assisted the city in the acquisition of leases and was returned as its junior Member to Mary’s first Parliament, the only Member for Coventry at this period who seems to have held no civic office. Nothing is known of his role in the Commons save that he was not listed among those Members who ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism. He attended both sessions of the Parliament, receiving on 12 Dec. 1553, six days after the close of the second, £6 14s., full payment at the statutory rate of 2s. a day for the 61 days they had lasted, with an allowance of a further six days and a separate payment of 7s.6d.for unexplained expenses. His fellow-Member, John Nethermill, received only £4 16s.10d. A month later the city again showed its confidence in Bond by making him a loan of £10.4
No further reference has been found to Bond until the will which he had made on 23 Feb. 1552 was proved on 30 June 1557. After a devout preamble in which he hoped to be of ‘the number of them which shall be saved and reign with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of God’, he asked to be buried with his grandfather in the Lady Chapel in St. Michael’s, Coventry. He bequeathed all his lands to his wife for her life unless a son was born to them after his death, and he left his three daughters 100 marks apiece. He named as executors his wife and his cousins Nicholas and Thomas Powtrell.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: S. M. Thorpe
- 1. Date of birth estimated from father’s will, PCC 19 Dyngeley. Vis. Notts. (Harl. Soc. iv), 72; C1/1199/42; PCC 21 Wrastley.
- 2. VCH Warws. viii. 249.
- 3. SC6/Edw. VI/465, m. 64, Phil. and Mary/294, m. 55; APC, ii. 193; CJ, i. 5-7.
- 4. B. Poole, Coventry, 292; C1/1209/52, 1471/10-14; Dugdale, Warws. i. 193; Coventry mayors’ accts. 1542-61, pp. 71, 502, 503, 506.
- 5. PCC 21 Wrastley.