BISLEY, John II, of St. John the Baptist's parish, Gloucester.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Nov. 1414
May 1421

Family and Education

prob. s. of John Bisley I*. m. bef. Apr. 1407, Katherine, da. of Anselm Guise of Elmore, Glos., ?2s. John† and Thomas†.

Offices Held

Bailiff, Gloucester Mich. 1410-11, 1417-18, 1422-4, ?1425-6.2


In 1407, when the parson of St. John the Baptist’s church, Gloucester, procured a royal licence to acquire land for a cemetery, in accordance with an agreement between him and his parishioners, John Bisley was named among the latter. It was most probably he who, in the Gloucester stewards’ accounts of 1409-10, was recorded as receiving an annual fee of 20s. together with 11s. for his robe, and, if so, he evidently followed the same profession as John Bisley I. Described as John Bisley ‘senior’, he witnessed local deeds in 1414 and as late as September 1425. He attended the parliamentary elections held at Gloucester in 1413, 1415 and 1420, John Bisley ‘junior’ being also present on this last occasion. The latter had meantime acted as John senior’s mainpernor at his election in 1419. On 4 Nov. 1423 John Bisley II was one of the bailiffs responsible for replying to the sheriff’s precept to hold the parliamentary elections, and also during this official year he and his fellow bailiff, Richard Dalby*, were prosecuted by the abbot of St. Peter’s for illegally permitting Grace Lane, near the abbey, to be befouled with animal entrails.3

It may well have been this John Bisley who purchased land at Wotton near Gloucester at Easter 1403, and it was certainly he who further extended the family holdings by marrying Katherine, the daughter of Anselm Guise, who died in 1407. Together with Guise’s widow, Anne, in February 1410 he entered into recognizances undertaking to make payments totalling £100 to Katherine, widow of Sir John Bromwych, within three years; and on 26 Mar. Anne Guise conveyed the manor of Dalingworth to him and her daughter. Bisley is known to have received the manorial profits, at least from August that year, but later, in 1412, he became involved in a dispute with the Crown over the ownership of Dalingworth, he and his wife being, however, granted custody of the same in May that year, pending the decision of the court of Chancery. In February 1419 Bisley witnessed a conveyance at Elmore involving the rest of the Guise estate. Meanwhile, when, in 1412, assessments of the value of landed holdings were made for the purposes of taxation, he had been said to own land in Gloucestershire worth £20 a year.4

The Bisleys acquired considerable property in Gloucester, too, most of which later (but by 1455) passed to Thomas Bisley, the Gloucester MP of 1429, who was probably John Bisley II’s son. John’s widow was then still alive and dwelling in Northgate Street, where, in another house, ‘Thomas’s father’ was said to have died.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. It is just possible that John Bisley I rather than his probable son represented Gloucester in the Parliaments of 1406 and 1407. John II was described as ‘senior’ on the returns for the Parliaments of 1414 (Nov.), 1419, and 1421 (May), in order to distinguish him from the John Bisley ‘junior’, who sat in 1426.
  • 2. Gloucester Corporation Recs. ed. Stevenson, 1078-9, 1081, 1085-7; C219/13/2; E372/256 m. 13d. The sole source for the 1425-6 term is S. Rudder’s New Hist. Glos. 115. Probably the youngest John was bailiff in 1427-8, and master of St. Margaret’s hospital subsequently. See Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. lxxiv. 72-73; Gloucester Corporation Recs. 1092, 1101, 1105, 1128.
  • 3. CPR, 1405-8, p. 376; HMC 12th Rep. IX, 241; Gloucester Corporation Recs. 1075, 1088; C219/11/1, 6, 12/3, 4, 13/2, 3, 14/3, 5; C1/4/176. The elector in 1432 and 1435 along with Thomas Bisley was probably the youngest John.
  • 4. CP25(1)79/84/13; C137/85/4; CCR, 1409-13, pp. 78-79; C44/23/20; Glos. RO, D326/T16/1; CFR, xiii. 238; C115/K2/6682, ff. 37d-39.
  • 5. Gloucester Rental 1455 ed. Cole, 14, 27-30, 33-34, 42, 46, 54, 58, 60-62, 67-78, 87-90, 105-8, 114.