Alice Holford (bailiff)

Alice Holford (died 1455) was an English bailiff of London Bridge for 25 years. She was a rare example of a woman in authority in the fifteenth century.

Alice Holford
OccupationBailiff of London Bridge
Spouse(s)Nicholas Holford


Holford was married to Nicholas Holford, who was the bailiff of London Bridge. When he died in 1433 she took over the job. She had the task of gathering the toll from boats that sailed under the bridge and from the wagons that passed over it into London. The task was complicated because the fee depended on what was being carried.[1] A woman having a position of authority and responsibility in the fifteenth century was unusual. This came about because she inherited her husband's business. She died in office in 1455, twenty-two years later.[2]


  1. ^ Mount, Toni (2014-11-15). The Medieval Housewife. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445644028.
  2. ^ "Women traders and artisans in London (act. c. 1200–c. 1500) | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/52233. Retrieved 2019-07-17. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)