BALE, John (by 1531-61/62), of Bath, Som.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. by 1531. m. Margaret, ?da. of Thomas Chapman of Bath.1

Offices Held

Alderman, Bath by 1554.2


The John Bale ‘gentleman’ who was elected to Parliament in 1558 was presumably the citizen of Bath and not a namesake who married into the Somerset family of Gould. In 1554 Bale was one of the brethren of the corporation who entered into a bond with Humphrey Cotton. Perhaps a brother-in-law of William and Richard Chapman, he may have been a clothier like them although the only hint of his occupation is that he owned the Hart inn in Bath. The vicar of Bathford was instituted to his living in Bale’s town house during 1556.3

Bale was a sick man when he made his will on 30 Nov. 1561. After asking to be buried in the church of St. Mary of Stalls, he left a gown each to his ‘brothers’, Richard and William Chapman, various small bequests to his godchildren and friends, and 6s.8d. ‘to the building of the merchant house’. He left the residue of all his lands and possessions to his wife Margaret, and he mentioned no children. The will was proved on 14 May 1562 by Richard Chapman on behalf of the widow.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference, 1552, Som. Med. Wills (Som. Rec. Soc. xxi), 145. PCC 13 Streat.
  • 2. Municipal Recs. Bath, ed. King and Watts, p. xxiv.
  • 3. Ibid. xxiv.; Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, III; Reg. Gilbert Bourne (Som. Rec. Soc. lv), 141.
  • 4. PCC 13 Streat.