BOLT, William (d.1409), of Winchester, Hants.

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



Sept. 1397

Family and Education

m. by 1366, Alice da. of Robert atte Asch and wid. of John Toumber (d.1361), of Winchester, 1s. Richard*, 4da.1

Offices Held

Commons’ bailiff, Winchester Mich. 1380-1; bailiff of the 24, 1385-6; chamberlain 1394-5; mayor 1395-6, 1405-6.2


William Bolt began his career as a carpenter, but later became prominent among the fullers and clothiers as a result of his marriage, which gave him control of the amalgamated interests of two early 14th century fulling families, the Toumbers and Causes. He sold at least 63 cloths in 1394-5 and 82 in 1398-9, and was one of those who shared in the running of the fulling mill at Priors Barton.3 Through his marriage Bolt also obtained a number of properties in Winchester, to which he and his wife added yet more. The former Toumber house, where the Bolts lived, must then have been one of the most substantial buildings in the Brocks area. Situated at the corner of Tanner Street and Buck Street it enclosed a whole group of tenements. A plot nearby, together with a tenter, was settled in 1369 on their young daughter Cecily, who later granted it to Joan, Alice and Agnes, her sisters, with reversion to their parents if they should all die without issue. In 1387 Agnes Mandevyle, whose husband James had been hanged for his part in the Peasants’ Revolt, sold a cottage on the west side of Buck Street to the Bolts, who later transferred it to St. John’s hospital. By 1393 they owned another house in Tanner Street, and in 1402 acquired a corner tenement in Minster Street which they immediately conveyed to their son, Richard. In the latter year the Bolts brought a suit in the city court and the assizes against Richard Shouelar and Juliana his mother, relations of the Causes, over title to other premises; and perhaps because the Shouelars were people of no consequence in Winchester, they were completely successful in their claim. In 1405 Mark le Faire* conveyed to them a house on the west side of Tanner Street with access to Wongar Street by a great gate. Later, they also held property in Jewry Street.4

Bolt’s career was otherwise fairly uneventful. But he appeared as surety for the attendance in Parliament of William Juge† when the latter was elected in 1380, and it was he who, as bailiff of the 24, forwarded the electoral return of 1385 to the sheriff of Hampshire. His own election to Parliament followed within a year of the close of his first mayoralty. Bolt is last heard of in February 1409, and he died before November that year.5 His widow, who retained some of the property, survived until 1418 or later.6

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. D.J. Keene, Surv. Winchester (Winchester Studies 2), ii. 1166-7, 1419; Winchester RO, 34/BX/TC9, enrolments m. 7d; Stowe 846, f. 74.
  • 2. Stowe 846, ff. 77v, 83v, 100, 114v, 136; Winchester RO, chamberlains’ accts. 18-19 Ric. II.
  • 3. E101/344/10, 12; Black Bk. Winchester ed. Bird, 10.
  • 4. Keene, ii. nos. 82-89, 226, 275-6, 429, 435, 448, 465, 593, 800; Stowe 846, ff. 60, 64, 66, 74, 88, 97, 98, 111v, 112, 123, 130v; Winchester RO, 34/BX/TC9, enrolments mm. 6d, 25, 34d, 43d; JUST 1/1513 m. 60d, 1518 m. 1; CP25(1)207/30/50.
  • 5. C219/8/4, 12; Black Bk. 10; Stowe 846, f. 124v.
  • 6. CPR, 1416-22, pp. 98, 434.