FIRMAGE, Nicholas (by 1510-55 or later), of Great Yarmouth, Norf.
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Family and Education
b. by 1510.1
Water bailiff, Great Yarmouth 1531-2, 1547-8, chamberlain 1546-7, keeper, lazar hospital 1550-52 or later, churchwarden 1550-1, bailiff 1551-2, j.p. 1552-3, member of the Forty-Eight bef. 1549, of the Twenty-Four by Jan. 1549.2
Nicholas Firmage, whose parentage has not been discovered, was doubtless a younger kinsman of Henry and Richard Firmage, successively bailiffs of Yarmouth in 1531 and 1532. Styled ‘merchant’ on the election return, he was licensed two years later to keep a tavern and to sell wine; by that time he had apparently ceased to take part in municipal affairs. In January 1549 he had given £5 towards replacing the harbour works destroyed by Ket’s followers; at the end of the following year he was one of the two collectors of the benevolence for the ‘new haven’ from members of the corporation; and soon afterwards he was elected an auditor for the haven accounts.3
Firmage was bailiff of Yarmouth when John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, accepted the high stewardship of the town and this perhaps told in his favour when he was returned to the Parliament summoned in the spring of 1553 under the duke’s aegis. He was not the electors’ first choice, but with the agreement of the whole assembly the election of John Echard and Sir William Woodhouse was rescinded and a 12-strong committee chose Firmage and Woodhouse. On setting out for the Parliament Firmage received £10 towards his expenses and in the following July he submitted an account for £32 12s. laid out by him and William Bishop the younger on the town’s behalf during the Parliament. Firmage is last heard of in 1555 and no will has been found.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: N. M. Fuidge
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference.
- 2. Gt. Yarmouth, rolls 1531-2, Yarmouth rolls 1531-2, 1546-7, 1550-1; ass. bk. A, ff. 5, 26v, 36v; H. Manship, Gt. Yarmouth, i. 433; information from P. Rutledge.
- 3. Gt. Yarmouth rolls 1531-2, 1532-3; ass. bk. A, f. 5, 11v, 127; H. Swinden, Gt. Yarmouth, 398.
- 4. Gt. Yarmouth ass. bk. A, ff. 68, 68v, 80v, 127v.