The Old Parish of Nonington

A small place in East Kent history

Month: June 2013

The hamlet of Essesole in 1501

The descriptions of the house and land plots have been taken from the Essesole Manor rental roll of 1501. As can be seen on the sketch map, traced from the 1870’s OS map, the house plots and roads are still readily recognizable, especially to long term residents of Nonington. Some of the 1501 roads and tracks are now just foot-paths and the Easole Street and Beauchamps Lane junction is slightly different, the Sandwich Road approach to the roundabout then ran where the barn conversions are now and the approach road was then arable land.

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Nonington and the Volunteer Rifles

On 12 May 1859 Jonathan Peel the Secretary of State for War, wrote  to the lieutenants of the counties of England, Scotland and Wales authorising the formation of volunteer rifle corps and of artillery . The volunteer corps were to be raised under the provisions of the Volunteer Act 1804 previously used during the Napoleonic Wars to form local defence forces.

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Nonington Parish Charities

Thomas Bate of Challock held land in Challock and Nonington with which he made bequests during the reign of Henry VIII.

In Nonington his bequest consisted of:-

“Landes given by Thomas Bate to thentent that one priest shulde celebrate masse within the said parishe iij (3) tymes yerelie for ever.

Also: rent or  ferme of v rods (5 rods or 1 ¼ acres) of land in the parish of Nonyngton next Harelestrete (Holt Street Buttes, now Butter Street) butts now or late in the tenure of Richard Mockett there, yerely  ijs (2s) (previously owned by the Knights of St. John and confiscated by the Crown).

Also: rent or ferme of i (one) and half acres at Frogham Hill there now in tenere of William Stuppell yerely xviijd.(18.d)”.

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Eswala, or Eswalt, and the d’Aubignys (also Albini).

One of the families favoured with awards of land by William II was the d’Aubigny’s (also Albini, Albineo, and Albinione) one of whom was William, (known as ‘Pincerna’), Master Butler of the Royal Household. Around 1100 or so Pincerna’s younger brother, Nigel, gave the Manor of Eswalt (Eswala) to his kinsman the Abbot of St. Alban’s Abbey in Hertfordshire, possibly to help the Abbey’s finances. Some sources say that the Abbot was Nigel’s uncle, others that he was a cousin. William d’Aubigny also held the neighbouring Cnoltune (Knolton) estate which passed into the possession of the Earls of Arundal through Pincerna’s son, William “Strong Hand” d’Aubigny, 1st Earl of Arundel and 1st Earl of Lincoln.

Nigel had come to England with William the Conquerer and was one of his ablest commanders and William rewarded him with lands in Normandy and England. He also served the Conquerer’s successor, William Rufus, as “Bow Bearer” and was also greatly favoured by King Henry I, called Beauclerk, whom he supported against the king’s elder brother, Robert “Curthose”, Duke of Normandy, when he tried to take over the throne after Rufus’s death.

During the Battle of Tinchbray in Normandy in 1106 Nigel captured Curthose and gave him to the king. As reward for this gift Nigel received the English lands of  Robert, Baron de Fronteboef, which he had forfeited for supporting Curthose. Nigel was also later further rewarded  for his support of the king with the all the lands in Normandy and England of Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland, both , which had been forfeited to the Crown for rebellion against William Rufus in 1095. King Henry also arranged for Nigel to marry Robert’s wife,  Matilda, who had obtained an annulment for their marriage. He subsequently had his uncle’s wife as well as his lands, but at least it kept everything in the family.

Robert de Mowbray was the brother of Nigel’s mother, Amicia de Mowbray, and was imprisoned after he was captured. Some sources state that he was allowed to become a monk at St. Alban’s Abbey and died  in 1106, whilst others say he was imprisoned for the rest of his  life and died in 1125.

The marriage was childless and in 1118 Nigel divorced Matilda and married Gudred de Gourney, the only child of Gerard de Gournay and Edith, the daughter of William, Earl of Warren and Surrey and his wife, Gudred, the daughter of William the Conquerer.

Nigel’s land holdings  eventually amounted to some 120 manors in Normandy and 140 or so in England making him a very wealthy and powerful magnate.
He had two sons, Roger and Henry, Roger succeeded him and inherited the Mowbray lands and by the special command of King Henry assume the surname of Mowbray and founded the Mowbray dynasty.


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