BIRDLIP, William, of St. Nicholas's parish, Gloucester.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

prob. s. of Nicholas Birdlip of Gloucester. ?1s.

Offices Held

Churchwarden of St. Nicholas’s church, Gloucester by Mar. 1400.

Steward, Gloucester Mich. 1402-3; bailiff 1403-4, 1409-10, 1412-13.1

Alnager, Gloucester 17 May 1401-9 May 1403.


Although the family took its name from the nearby village of Birdlip, a branch of it had lived in Gloucester from the mid 13th century. Nicholas Birdlip, probably William’s father, was a steward there in 1364 and bailiff in 1375-6 and appears to have been a successful merchant, with an interest in the Baltic trade. It was possibly this William Birdlip who, in 1397, was described as ‘of London, mercer’; and certainly one of his main concerns was with the manufacture of cloth, he being assessed for the subsidy of alnage levied in Gloucester both in 1397-8 and 1401-3. On the latter occasion, as himself alnager, he was responsible for the collection of this tax.2

Early in his year of office as one of the four stewards of Gloucester, Birdlip’s name appeared in the list of witnesses to a deed conveying property to the merchant John Banbury I* dated at Gloucester on 14 Oct. 1402. He had recently, however, been elected to the Parliament summoned to Westminster for 30 Sept. and there is no reason to believe that he was personally present at the execution of the deed. The following year he was chosen bailiff for the first of three occasions. On 6 Sept. 1407 he attended the shire court he held at Gloucester, and stood surety for the knights of the shire as well as the burgesses then elected. As a bailiff Birdlip was responsible in May 1413 for the borough return to the sheriff’s precept to hold a parliamentary election. He was once more an elector at the shire court in 1415.3

In 1409 Walter Welyfed of Gloucester conveyed to Birdlip two shops in the town, one of which (next to St. Nicholas’s church) he granted, some ten years later, to a local tailor on a 60-year lease. In 1412 he became a trustee of local property which had once belonged to Magota Bele, and in the summer of 1419 he acted as a feoffee-to-uses on behalf of Thomas Freville of Gloucester. He probably died soon after this.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


Variants: Bredelepe, Briddelep, Brudlep, Bryedlep.

  • 1. Gloucester Corporation Recs. ed. Stevenson, 1042, 1050, 1053, 1067, 1071-2.
  • 2. Ibid. 377, 981; VCH Glos. iv. 42, 373; Overseas Trade (Bristol Rec. Soc. vii), 42-43; CPR, 1388-92, p. 271; E101/339/2.
  • 3. CCR, 1402-5, p. 117; C219/10/4, 11/1, 6.
  • 4. Gloucester Corporation Recs. 1057 (erroneously dated 1405), 1063, 1069, 1082; CP25 (1)79/86/17.