DEY (DAY), Nicholas (by 1482-1543), of Southampton, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1482. m. (2) Joan, 2s. 3da.3

Offices Held

Subsidy collector, Southampton 1513, steward 1514-15, water bailiff 1516, sheriff 1516-17, mayor 1518-19, 1528-9, 1538-9; commr. subsidy 1523, Hants 1524.4


Nicholas Dey started his career as a tailor. He had probably only come of age recently when on 14 Aug. 1503 he gave the mayor and aldermen a bond for 100s. to be forfeited ‘if the said Nicholas from this day forward be found suspiciously with the wife of John Hetton or with any other beside his own wife’. During the mayoralty of Nicholas Cowart, in 1510-11, Dey paid 66s.8d. to become a freeman. Two years later he was acting as a collector for the subsidy in the parishes of St. John and St. Michael where he later rented a house near the Fishmarket.5

The evidence for Dey’s Membership of the Parliament of 1523 is contained in the audit of a port book of 1520-1. He had stood surety in 1521 for a debt for petty custom amounting to £1 16s.8d. and it must have been in or after 1523 that the auditors allowed Dey this sum in part payment of his expenses as one of the town’s Members in the Parliament of that year. He was also paid for his attendance in the last four sessions of the Parliament of 1529, receiving for three of them sums which, at the statutory rate of 2s. a day, included a travel allowance and in one case presumably a substantial addition: thus for the fifth session, lasting 63 days, the amount paid was £8 14s., for the sixth, of 75 days, £8, and for the seventh of 46 days, £5. For his attendance ‘at two times’ in 1536, that is, at the last session of the old Parliament and in its successor of June-July, Dey was reimbursed in part by his release from a debt of £6 14s. owed to the town: whether he received the balance of some £5 does not appear. He had presumably had leave of absence from the House when on 17 Feb. 1533 he answered an inquiry of Cromwell’s from Southampton.6

With John Mill, his fellow-Member in at least one Parliament, Dey undertook a negotiation in London in 1521 for the ‘weal and profit of the town’, and was named on the subsidy commissions for Southampton in 1523 and for Hampshire in 1524. During his last mayoralty an indenture of the goods of the Austin Friars in Southampton was delivered to him by the visitor at the time of the friary’s dissolution. Dey made his will on 4 Jan. 1543. After asking to be buried beside his first wife in St. Mary’s church and remembering various churches, he provided for his second wife and children. He named his wife sole executrix and John Mill and Thomas Dore supervisors. The will was proved late in the following month.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Third Bk. of Remembrance, i (Soton rec. ser. ii), 19.
  • 2. Ibid. 49.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Hants RO, wills B 1542.
  • 4. Bk. of Remembrance (Soton Rec. Soc. xv), iii. 99, 101; Third Bk. of Remembrance, i. app. i; LP Hen. VIII, iii, iv.
  • 5. Bk. of Remembrance, i. 18; iii. 99, 101; Soton RO, bk. of oaths and ordinances, f.5v.
  • 6. Third Bk. of Remembrance, i. 19, 49; Soton RO, stewards bk. 1533-4; LP Hen. VIII, vi.
  • 7. Bk. of Remembrance, i. 113; LP Hen. VIII, iii, iv, vi, xiii; Third Bk. of Remembrance, i. 63; Hants RO, wills B 1542.