BRADLEY, THOMAS, probably accompanied John Cabot on his North American voyage in 1498; fl. 1484–1505.
Bradley appears to have been in the service of Richard III, who presented him (1484–85) with a Breton prize, the Michael of Crozon, then lying at Bristol. Bradley subsequently entered the service of Henry VII. After John Cabot had returned from his 1497 voyage to North America Henry VII manned and victualled a ship at Bristol, on which Cabot sailed as “chief patron.” It was probably for this ship that payments were made by the king between 22 March and 6 April 1498, amounting in all to £113 8s., sufficient to outfit a moderate-sized vessel. The ship belonged to Lancelot Thirkill of London and Bradley is named with Thirkill in a payment made 1–3 April and is described as “going to the new Isle.” He is also named with Thirkill in the record of the payment of the final instalment. It appears likely that he was intended to look after the king’s interest on the voyage. If he sailed, as he most probably did, he survived the voyage, since it was almost certainly he who accompanied an English mission to the queen of Naples at Valencia in 1505 as interpreter.
BM, Harley MS 433, f.82. PRO, E. 101/414, 16 (payments between 22 March and 6 April 1498). The great chronicle of London, ed. Isobel Thornley (London, 1939), 287. PRO, Memorials of King Henry the Seventh (Gairdner), 223–24. Williamson, Cabot voyages (1962); Voyages of the Cabots (1929), 33, 181.