CHAPMAN, Richard (c.1504-80), of Bath, Som.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
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Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1504, yr. s. of Thomas Chapman (d.1524) of Bath by Edith. m. by Mar. 1549, ?Julian, da. of Henry Cavell of Bath.1

Offices Held

Alderman, Bath by 1554-d., mayor 1554-5.2


Richard Chapman was the godson of Sir Richard Eastington who bequeathed 3s.4d. to him in 1512. He came of what was perhaps the most important and prolific of the Bath merchant families. His father had been one of the three clothiers by whose industry and wealth the city had flourished earlier in the century, and Chapman inherited £20, a house and three mills from him. Save that Chapman was a clothier who rose to the mayoralty and that he was connected by marriage with the principal citizens almost nothing has come to light about his life. In 1546 he was assessed for the subsidy on goods worth £15 and five years later on goods worth £11. He secured a 21-year lease of the rectory of Widcombe, Somerset, and some ex-monastic property in 1546, but when this lease fell in he did not try to renew it. His return, with another Bath man, Edward Ludwell, to the first Parliament of Mary’s reign may have marked a local reaction against the non-residents to whom the city’s representation had been passing. Neither he nor Ludwell was noted to be amongst those who ‘stood for the true religion’, that is to say Protestantism, in this Parliament. He died in 1580 and was buried in the abbey church on 5 Feb. The Julian Chapman, widow, buried there four years later may have been his wife.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. His younger brother Peter was aged 96 at his death in 1602, Churchwardens’ Accts. St. Michael’s, Bath, ed. Pearson, 138; PCC 9 Fetiplace, 26 Bodfelde, 3 Coode; Reg. Bath Abbey (Harl. Soc. Reg. xxviii), 331.
  • 2. Municipal Recs. Bath, ed. King and Watts, xxiv; Req.2/20/42.
  • 3. PCC 9 Fetiplace, 26 Bodfelde; Leland, Itin. ed. Smith, i. 143; LP Hen VIII, xxi; CPR, 1569-72, p. 129; E179/170/218, 246; Reg. Bath Abbey, 330-1.