PITT, John, of Bridgwater, Som.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
?s. of John Pitt of Bridgwater. m. Alice, 1s.1
Bailiff, Bridgwater Oct. 1410-11; constable 1423-4; steward of the guild merchant 1431-2.2
Collector of customs and subsidies, Bridgwater and district 24 May-July 1421, 7 Nov. 1433-July 1441; controller 12 July 1427-c. Nov. 1433.
Commr. to requisition ships, Bridgwater Mar. 1436, May 1439.
Pitt, possibly the son of the John Pitt who was holding a tenement in Bridgwater in 1387, was a prominent merchant. In 1413 and 1414 he was engaged in the export of various kinds of cloth, and his subsequent position in the port as customer and then controller was one of considerable influence. He held property in Fore Street, Friarn Street and elsewhere in Bridgwater, but apparently little outside the town. Indeed, most of his activities were confined to Bridgwater, although on one occasion, in 1415, he stood surety at the Exchequer for the abbot of Cleeve, and on another he witnessed a deed concerning lands outside the town for Thomas Horsey.3
Pitt was a member of the delegations sent to the shire court to witness the parliamentary returns for Bridgwater in 1417, 1419 and 1421 (May). In his accounts for 1427-8 the bailiff of Bridgwater recorded giving 20s. to Pitt ‘to Parliament ward’; but in 1432 he and Thomas Cave* received no more than one mark each for the same service. In 1432 he was paid 20d. for going to Ilchester, presumably on the town’s business as steward of the guild. He was still alive in October 1441.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Pette, Putte, Pyt.
- 1. Som. Feet of Fines (Som Rec. Soc. xxii), 68; Bridgwater Bor. Archs. (ibid. liii), 427; (lx), 795.
- 2. E368/183; Bridgwater Bor. Archs. (lviii), 561, 653; Ancient Deeds, Bath ed. Shickle, 2/95.
- 3. Bridgwater Bor. Archs. (lviii), 558, 610-12, 618, 626; (lx), 734-5; E12225/7; Som. Feet of Fines 68, 94; CFR, xiv. 128; CCR, 1435-41, p. 159.
- 4. Bridgwater Bor. Archs. (lviii), 641, 653, 706; C219/12/2, 3, 5.