HOLMAN, alias PYERS, Thomas, of Barnstaple, Devon.
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Family and Education
m. by 1419, Joan, 1s. 1da.
Town clerk, Barnstaple by 6 Dec. 1406-aft. Jan. 1418.2
Perhaps a kinsman of Thomas Holman* the merchant, this MP is usually distinguished from his namesake by the use of the alias of Pyers. In January 1418, when he acquired a messuage in High Street, the conveyance was witnessed by the other Thomas Holman, on whose behalf he himself witnessed similar transactions.3 Holman was most probably already serving as town clerk by the time of his election to Parliament in 1406; certainly he was discharging the office before the Parliament was dissolved on 22 Dec. From 1419 he and his wife held two houses situated in the prior’s fee, next to St. Andrew’s churchyard. But not all of their property in Barnstaple was acquired by strictly legal means: according to a petition presented to the chancellor by Oliver Chamberlain, during Henry V’s absence in Normandy, Holman and other malefactors, armed with bows and arrows, and swords and bucklers, had evicted him from his house in the town; and at a later date, in 1423, he was charged at the Exeter assizes with disseising Thomas Hoper* of other premises.4
Holman’s death occurred before 1444, when his widow, along with her daughter, Agnes (wife of John Prust ‘of Gorven’), was leased back for term of their lives the property in Barnstaple and Boutport they had given to the Cluniac priory of St. Mary Magdalen, the prior promising to celebrate an obit annually for the souls of Holman, his wife and their children, Agnes and Thomas.5