BOND, William (1454/55-1539/44), of London and Lutton, Dorset.
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Family and Education
b. 1454/55, s. and h. of Robert Bond of Lutton by Mary, da. of Sir John Hody of Pilsdon, Dorset. m. (1) 1496/97, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of John Prouz or Prout of Bredy, Dorset, wid. of Leonard Hyde; (2) by 1501, Lucy, da. of William Stanley of Winterbourne Monkton, Dorset, 3s. 3da.1
Comptroller of customs, port of Poole, Dorset by Mar. 1528.2
This ‘changeling’ Member was an old man when he made his appearance in the Parliament of 1529. A gentleman of minor importance in his county, William Bond was allied by marriage with neighbouring families of similar status but his maternal relations numbered celebrated lawyers and avid parliamentarians. The enthusiasm felt for the institution by the Hodys and their dependants probably brought into it several Members who might otherwise not have sat. The heir to the Hody interest in 1529 was the recently appointed solicitor-general Baldwin Malet, and it may have been he who encouraged Bond to seek election. A septua-genarian without experience of the House would not have made much of a recruit even though he was a kinsman of the solicitor-general, but Bond had probably been elected on one or more earlier occasions for which the names are lost. Not that his career had been a distinguished one; for many years he had lived in London, where he engaged in the wool trade, and when he was not in the City he was in Dorset attending to his small inheritance in the Isle of Purbeck. Its apogee was his appointment as comptroller of the customs in the port of Poole with authority over shipping at Lyme Regis, Poole and Weymouth.3
Customs officials were frequently returned to Parliament by the ports under their jurisdiction, but Bond was not elected by the people of Weymouth; they chose as one of their Members John Clerke of nearby Melcombe Regis. When Clerke arrived in London to attend the opening session he met Bond, who said that he was anxious to sit in Parliament and asked whether Clerke knew of any vacancies. Clerke answered that he himself had been elected a Member for Weymouth and had already received 20s. for his wages, but that he would give Bond both the seat and the money, and arrange with the sheriff to return Bond in his place. Bond jumped at the opportunity, the sheriff Andrew Luttrell (a friend and neighbour of Baldwin Malet) agreed to the change, and Bond was admitted to the House of Commons: Clerke went home, ‘as [he later maintained] good and lawful was for him to do’. So far so good, but as session followed session Bond’s enthusiasm slumped. When his attendance had cost him over £50 of his own money, with no dissolution in sight, he appealed to Chancellor Audley for redress. Alleging that Clerke had promised him the usual parliamentary wages paid by Weymouth, which at the statutory rate of 2s. a day amounted to £44, or in lieu of that a suitable recompense, he explained that he could not sue the town for the money, since ‘there was no contract nor promise made by them for the same’ with him. Clerke for his part refused to pay, saying that although Bond had undertaken to serve ‘for all the time of this whole Parliament’ for the 20s. originally given to him, the town had agreed to pay him a further £4 or £5, more than enough for one who had so cheerfully accepted the offer of 1529. Regrettably, the outcome of this curious affair is not known, but neither Weymouth nor Bond can have welcomed the King’s request in 1536 that the Members who had already served so long should be re-elected to a further Parliament called for that summer: Bond was then over 80, and Malet had been dead for three years, so that an excuse to choose another, more youthful, man may have been found. In 1535 Bond put another bill of complaint into Chancery against a Devon merchant to whom he had entrusted contraband seized on his orders in October 1528; he accused the merchant of refusing either to replace the goods or to pay for them, with the result that Bond was being sued in the Exchequer by the King. The financial embarrassment thus caused may have helped to spur him into the campaign for his parliamentary wages.4
In May 1539 the commissioners for musters in Dorset recorded that in the hundred of Hasilor (in which Lutton lay) William Bond possessed two harnesses, ‘one for a bowman and one for a billman’: then in his mid 80s, Bond had not long to live. Before April 1544 his son and heir Denis Bond was complaining in Chancery about the widow of John Hayward, whom he accused of retaining £200 which William Bond had ‘put in a bank or stock ... to be occupied jointly ... in trade and course of merchandises’: the widow countered that all the parties to this enterprise had rendered account both of the principal and of the profits during Bond’s lifetime.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Helen Miller
- 1. Date of birth taken from Bond’s son’s notes on the family, Hutchins, Dorset, i. 602-3. C. H. Mayo, Recs. Dorchester, 312.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, vi; E122/121/8.
- 3. Hutchins, i. 602-3; E122/121/7-8, 207/2; C1/477/21.
- 4. C1/740/40-41 ptd. in A. F. Pollard, ‘A Changeling MP’, Bull. IHR, x. 25-27; C1/727/30.
- 5. SP2/S; C1/956/26-27.