TAYLOR, alias PERCE (PEERS, PERES), Peter (by 1512-59 or later), of Marlborough, Wilts.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. by 1512, ?s. of Peter Taylor of Marlborough.1
Member, mayor’s council, Marlborough by 1542.2
The name Peter Taylor first appears in the general entry book of Marlborough corporation for 1532-3, where an older and a younger man who bore it are listed among the freemen. It was presumably the younger one who recurs in the next surviving book, for 1536-7, and who was by 1543 one of the mayor’s 19 councillors. He was among the 47 taxpayers in the parish of St. Mary and St. Peter in 1544-5, when he was assessed at the modest sum of 8s. towards the benevolence; six years later he was called upon to pay 20s. on goods worth £20 in the Barley ward, nearly twice as much as was required of John Broke I, with whom he was to sit in Parliament.3
The earliest reference to Taylor’s alias ‘Perce’ is on the parliamentary return of 31 Oct. 1554; it reappears in the record of his prosecution as a ‘seceder’ in the following year, where he is called a tailor by trade, and in his grant of a pardon at Elizabeth’s accession, where he is described as an innholder. The implied insufficiency of the name Taylor for such purposes suggests that it was an occupational one and that its bearer’s family name was Perce. In the form Peers this name was borne by at least two other Marlborough men christened Peter: a Peter Peers and his father and namesake were party to a suit settled in the mayor’s court in 1525, the younger of them was shortly afterwards arrested for brawling at night, and either he or another so named was the barber who in 1557 occupied a messuage in High Street belonging to Geoffrey Daniell. It is possible that Peter Taylor and Peter Peers were one and the same, more probable that they were members of the same family.4
In electing Taylor and Broke to the third Marian Parliament the borough deferred to the Queen’s request for the return of townsmen, but in Taylor’s case the result belied the hope that such Members would prove amenable. Found absent when the House was called early in January 1555 he was prosecuted in the following Easter term, distrained 40s. for non-appearance but later allowed time to answer, which he evidently failed to do before the Queen’s death put an end to the proceedings. The court’s restraint in dealing with him may imply that he was not regarded as a serious offender, but it was doubtless to consign the episode to oblivion that he sued out a pardon in 1559. No further trace of him has been found.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: T. F.T. Baker
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference.
- 2. Marlborough corp. gen. entry bk. 1542-3, f. 2.
- 3. Ibid. 1532-3, f. 1; 1537-8, f. 1; Two Taxation Lists (Wilts. Arch. Soc. recs. br. x), 25; E179/198/257.
- 4. KB 27/1176, 1180; 29/188, f. 48v; CPR, 1557-8, p. 243; 1558-60, p. 227; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xix. 81-83; Two Taxation Lists, 92; Marlborough corp. gen. entry bk. 1542-3, ff. 25-34, 35.
- 5. KB27/1176, 1180; 29/188, f. 48v; CPR, 1558-60, p. 227.