Bardolf or Bardolph, Thomas, fifth Baron Bardolf 1368-1408, born at Birling, near Cuckmere Haven, Sussex, on 22 Dec. 1368, was son and heir of William, fourth baron Bardolf, by his wife Agnes, daughter of Michael, second baron Poynings [qv.]. Her sister Mary married Sir Arnold Savage [qv.], the well-known speaker of the House of Commons. The family had long been settled at Wormegay in Norfolk, though the first baron Bardolf by writ was son of William Bardolf [qv.], one of the baronial leaders under Simon de Montfort, and died in September 1304. William, the fourth baron, was Hugh's great-grandson, was born about 1349, served in the wars in France and Ireland, and died before 29 Jan. 1385-6. His will, dated 12 Sept. 1384, is printed in the Testamenta Vetusta, i. 116. His younger son, Sir William Bardolf, unlike his brother Thomas, remained faithful to Henry IV, served under the Duke of Burgundy in 1411, and died on 25 July 1423. His widow married Sir Thomas Mortimer (d. 1402), an adherent of the Duke of Gloucester, who had been attainted in 1397, and died on 12 June 1403
Thomas Bardolf succeeded his father as fifth baron in 1386. He had married, before 8 July 1382, Amicia, daughter of Ralph, second baron Cromwell, and aunt of Ralph, fourth baron Cromwell [qv.], and had on 9 May 1383 been enfeoffed by his father of the manor of Reskington. His mother in her will requested Henry Percy, first earl of Northumberland [qv.], to superintend the arrangements for her funeral, and Bardolf's daughter Anne married Sir William Clifford, Northumberland's right-hand man. Bardolf therefore naturally followed the political lead of the Percies during Richard II's reign. On 5 April 1399 he received letters of protection on going to Ireland with the king (Rymer, viii. 79), but there is little doubt that he, like Northumberland, joined Henry of Lancaster when he landed in Yorkshire in the following July, and from the beginning of Henry IV's reign he was an active member of the privy council (Nicolas, Ordinances, &c. i. 106 sqq.). On 9 Feb. 1400 he offered to assist Henry against the French or the Scots without wages or reward, and accompanied the king on his invasion of Scotland in the following August
The loyalty of the Percies to Henry IV was, however, short-lived, and Bardolf appears to have been implicated to some extent in Hotspur's rebellion of 1403. He is said to have been convicted of treason and pardoned (Chron., ed. Giles, p. 42), but even Mr. Wylie is unable to throw light on this obscure affair. In any case Bardolf seems to have been fully restored to favour, and continued a regular attendant at the privy council until the beginning of 1405. Secretly, however, he was privy to the plots formed in the winter of 1404-5. Even at the council board he had shown a refractory disposition in opposing grants and other measures, and when, in May 1405, Henry summoned him to Worcester to serve against the Welsh, Bardolf disobeyed the order and made his way to Northumberland. On 12 June his property was declared confiscated, and on the 19th the peers found that he had committed treason, but suggested that a proclamation should be made ordering him to appear within fifteen days of Midsummer, or else to be condemned by default. Instead of appearing at York on 10 Aug., the date fixed, Bardolf, with Northumberland, fled to Scotland. Some of his lands were granted to Prince John, afterwards Duke of Bedford, and others to Henry and Thomas Beaufort
Soon afterwards the Scots proposed to surrender Northumberland and Bardolf in exchange for the Earl of Douglas, who had been captured by the English at Homildon Hill; but the two peers escaped to Wales. To Bardolf is ascribed the famous tripartite treaty dividing England and Wales between Owen Glendower [qv.], Sir Edmund Mortimer (1376-1409?) [qv.], and the Earl of Northumberland, which was now solemnly agreed to. During the spring of 1406 Northumberland and Bardolf remained in Wales, giving what help they could to Owen Glendower, but in July they sought safer refuge at Paris. There they represented themselves as the supporters, not of the pseudo Richard, but of the young Earl of March (Ramsay, i. 112, 113). They failed, however, to obtain any material support, were equally unsuccessful in Flanders, and finally returned to Scotland. They had still some secret supporters in the north of England, where the prevalent disorder seemed to offer some faint hopes of success. In January 1407-8 they crossed the Tweed, and advanced to Thirsk, where they issued a manifesto. But their following was small, and on 19 Feb. they were defeated by Sir Thomas Rokeby [qv.] at Bramham Moor. Northumberland was killed, and Bardolf, who was captured, died of his wounds the same night. His body was quartered, and parts of it sent to London, Lynn, Shrewsbury, and York, the head being exhibited at Lincoln (English Chron. ed. Davies, p. 34). Lord Bardolf figures prominently in Shakespeare's Henry IV, part ii., the other Bardolf, Pistol's friend, who appears in both parts, and also in Henry V, seems to be entirely imaginary
By his wife, who died on 1 July 1421, Bardolf had issue two daughters: Anne, who married first Sir William Clifford, and secondly Sir Reginald Cobham; and Joan (1390-1447), who married Sir William Phelip (1383-1441) of Dennington, Suffolk, and Erpingham, Norfolk [cf. art. Erpingham, Sir Thomas]. He served at Agincourt, was captain of Harfleur 1421-1422, treasurer of the household to Henry V, and chamberlain to Henry VI, and on 13 Nov. 1437 was created Baron Bardolf; on his death in 1441 the peerage became extinct.
Full details of Bardolf's life, with ample references to the original authorities, are given in Wylie's Hist. of Henry IV and Ramsay's Lancaster and York. The chief are Ordinances of the Privy Council, ed. Nicolas
Rymer's Federa, vol. viii.
Cal. Rot. Pat.
Cal. Rot. Claus.
Sussex Archæol. Coll. vol. xi.
Blomefield's Norfolk, passim
G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerage.
Contributor: A. F. P. [Albert Frederick Pollard]