BOLOUR, Thomas (d.c.1455), of Rochester, Kent.

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



Family and Education

prob. s. of Richard Bolour*. m. Silvestra (d.c. 1463), 2da.

Offices Held


Thomas was most likely the son of Richard Bolour, whose house in Rochester came into his possession. In March 1416 he was one of several persons of Rochester whose arrest and immediate appearance before the court of Chancery was ordered to be undertaken by the sheriff of Kent and the city bailiff. Their alleged offences are not recorded, but may have been similar to those detailed in a complaint made to the chancellor against Bolour, John Potager* and others not long afterwards (at an unknown date between 1417 and 1424). In his petition Philip Broun of Rochester claimed that Bolour and his confederates, after plotting for seven years to kill him out of their ‘haut malice et enmyte encontre tout droit et reson’, had eventually assaulted him, robbed him of 36s. and left him for dead in the castle ditch. Not content with that, they had then held him prisoner until he rendered to them a pipe of red wine, a dozen capons, a haunch of beef, bread worth 4s. and spices worth 5s. In May 1424 as ‘citizen of Rochester, chapman’, Bolour was pardoned his outlawry in London for failing to appear in court in the previous reign when sued by John Gedney* the London draper for a debt of £2. He was present in the shire court held at Rochester on Christmas day 1430 to attest the electoral indenture for Kent and its two boroughs for the forthcoming Parliament, and he is also recorded as a witness to local deeds sealed in June 1437 and March 1445.1

Bolour made his will on 24 July 1455, requesting burial before the Trinity altar in St. Nicholas’s church, Rochester. On 20 Oct. the same year he drew up an indenture setting out his last wishes with regard to his property. These were that after his death his widow Silvestra would release to his feoffees all her interest in holdings he had given her in jointure, receiving in return a settlement for life of the buildings once called ‘Tannerestenement’ and ‘Richard Bolourstenement’, certain gardens and a ‘berne and dussehouse’ (?barn and doss-house) near the city wall; and, in return for a payment of ten marks, she was to have all his movable goods and ‘marchandisez’. Only on Silvestra’s death were the premises and land to be divided between Bolour’s daughters, Marion, wife of John Nicoll† the mercer, and Margery, wife of Thomas Prylle, although they were to have immediate possession of his other holdings in Rochester and its suburbs, including a malt mill, provided they each paid the testator’s estate 33s.4d. There is no record of probate, but Bolour died before March 1462 when, as his widow, Silvestra acquired five tenements called ‘Rothynges rents’ in St. Clement’s parish. Her own will, made on 3 June 1463 was proved two years later. In it she exonerated the Carmelite friars of Aylesford from payment of a debt of 16s.8d. owed to her late husband, leaving them 3s.2d. in addition to pray for his soul.2

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. CPR, 1416-22, p. 71; 1422-9, p. 150; C1/4/120; Harl. Ch. 49 A 49; CCR, 1441-7, p. 358; C219/14/2.
  • 2. Rochester consist. ct. wills, 2, ff. 29d-31, 308; CAD, ii. B3148.