BOWDE, Simon (d.1595), of Norwich, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

?s. of John Bowde by his w. Elizabeth. m. Alice (d.1588), 2s. 2da.

Offices Held

Freeman, Norwich 1565, alderman, sheriff 1568-9, claviour 1572, mayor 1579-80, 1588-9.


Bowde was granted his licence ‘to buy wool grown in the Queen’s dominions and to sell it to the inhabitants of Norwich’ on 23 Oct. 1570. In 1577 he was reprimanded for profiteering. He was one of eight persons appointed in February 1570 to ‘make and establish a book for order of the Dutch strangers’, and in association with Thomas Beaumont and Robert Suckling he conferred with the ecclesiastical commissioners about the Norwich men’s wish to have foreign churches put under the direction of the bishop of the diocese in which they were situated. In 1576 Bowde was given £20 and sent to London with orders to prosecute some London merchants who were trying to sell their goods in Norwich. In 1584-5, while in London as Member of Parliament, he and Christopher Layer negotiated with the lord treasurer to obtain for their city a lease of the alnage and subsidy of the new stuffs made at Norwich. During the Parliament he received wages of 5s. a day. He continued to be active for the remainder of his life, and on at least one occasion was appointed an arbitrator by the Privy Council. He died in 1595 and was buried in the parish church of St. Stephen. By his will, made 1 July 1593 and proved 2 May 1595, he made bequests of money and clothing to his family and servants. The poor of St. Stephen’s received 40s., those of other wards £6, and provision was made for the poor at his funeral. His son Simon and his son-in-law alderman Joshua Culley were the executors and chief beneficiaries.

Blomefield, Norf. iii. 291-2; iv. 161; Norwich Recs. i. 313, 417; ii. 176, 193, 347; Reg. Norwich Freeman, passim; H. Le Strange, Norf. Official Lists, 108, 109; Norwich assembly min. bks. chamberlains’ acct. bks. and corp. ct. bk. passim; CPR, 1569-72, p. 21; APC, x. 25; xiv. 110; Walloons and their church at Norwich (Hug. Soc. i), pt. 1, pp. 28, 31; Lansd. 27, f. 146; 44, f. 70; PCC 35 Scott.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.