Sir John was one of the most successful of King Edward III commanders in the wars in Northern France and the Low Countries. He fought in Flanders in 1338; was present at the array at Vironfosse when the armies of the English and French kings met but did not come to battle in October, 1339 ; and took part in the sea battle of Sluys on 24th June, 1340.
dward, Prince of Wales and eldest son of Edward III, played a key part in the great victory over the French at Crécy on 26th August, 1346 even though he was only aged 16 at the time. Known as Edward of Woodstock during his life time he became known as the Black Prince after his death, possibly due to the black armour he wore. During the battle Sir John carried the Royal Standard whilst fighting alongside the Earl of Warwick and his brother-in-law, Lord Say. Sir John was also present at the successful siege of Calais which lasted from September, 1346 to August, 1347, which gained possession of Calais for the English Crown which retained it until 1558 when it was finally lost in the reign of Mary Tudor, who reputedly said “When I am dead and opened, you shall find ‘Calais’ lying in my heart”.
At some time after 1346 Sir John de Beauchamp (often referred to as Bello Campo in Latin documents) acquired several holding in and around the parish of Nonington, possibly with money received from ransoming French prisoners taken at the Battle of Crecy. The post mortem inquisition after his death in 1360 recorded these as:
Monketon, (now Gooseberry Hall Farm) consisting of eight acres of arable land; unspecified land at Adesham (Adisham); 24s rent of free tenants at Fredevill; tenements at Easole consisting of a messuage with dovecot, 60 acres of arable land and 12 acres of pasture all held of the Abbot of St. Alban’s, part of which is now Beauchamps; Wyngeham (Wingham), no details specified but probably refers to property in Nonington held from the manor of Wyngeham, most likely in North or South Nonington; Godneston (Goodnestone), 5s land-unspecified.
Sir John also had other Kent property. He held the adjoining manors of Silham and Mere in the southern part of the parish Rainham some 34 miles south of London on the Dover road, and also the Manor of Cheddyngston, now Chiddingstone, in the parish of Cobham parish on the same road some seven miles closer to London. Nonington is some thirty-five miles or so from these holdings.