The Old Parish of Nonington

A small place in East Kent history

Month: January 2018

The Esole dovecote

For centuries domestic pigeons were kept in dovecotes, also known as a columbaria; pigeonnaire; or pigeon house. They were easy to breed and provided a meat considered to be a delicacy by the wealthy and their manure was considered to be the best fertilizer available. Pigeon dung has a very high nitrogen content and has to be allowed to compost before it can be used otherwise it “burns” plants.
The increasing use of gunpowder in warfare after the mid-1300’s also made pigeon dung very valuable due to its high nitrate content as it was then one of the few sources of the saltpeter [potassium nitrate] needed to manufacture gunpowder. Saltpeter became so valuable in the 16th and 17th centuries that dovecotes were often guarded to prevent the theft of the dung. Pigeon dung continued to be an important source of saltpeter until well into the 1700’s.
Dove feathers were also a valued resource and used for stuffing mattresses and pillows.

After the Norman invasion and occupation of England after 1066 the keeping of domestic pigeons, which were descended from rock doves, gradually became common among the aristocracy and gentry. The building of a dovecote was a feudal right [Droit de Colombier – the privilege of possessing a dovecoterestricted to the upper classes, including lords of the manor and the heads of religious institutions.  Their pigeons were allowed to fly free and feed on the countryside around the dovecote, often to the detriment of the local inhabitants crops who just had to accept it.

There is no known record of the Colkyns having a dovecote, but records regarding their property during their tenure at Esole and Freydevill are few and far between, but as lords of the manor  they would have been entitled to have one. The 1349 St. Alban’s Abbey manorial rent roll for Esole records Sir John de Beauchamp as having “a messuage with dovecote”, as does Sir John’s Post Mortem Inquisition of 1360. There was most likely a dovecote at Esole after the Boys family acquisition of Fredevyle and Beauchamp [Esole]  in the 1480’s, at least until they built the house that was to become known as Fredville mansion in the present Fredville Park. After the Boys’ move to their new house Beauchamps then appears to have become an ordinairy farm house, and there is no specific mention of a dovecote when the house and associated buildings were sold to Thomas Hammond of St. Alban’s Court in 1558. This may be because it was no longer the residence of the lord of the manor and therefore there was no entitlement to a dovecote.

The dovecote at Garway which was built for the Knight’s of St. John and dates from at least 1326. It contains 666 L shaped nesting holes.

The right to build a dovecote was a visible sign of the high status of its owner, and they were usually built in front of the owner’s house to be seen by visitors and passers-by. The Esole dovecote is therefore probably under what is now Beauchamps Wood, which was then the forstall, or open space, in front of the Esole manor house.
Fourteenth century dovecotes were usually round and built from stone, so the Esole dovecote would have almost certainly have been built from flint with walls probably a yard or more in thickness with the nesting holes, which had to be dark, private and dry, built into the flint walls from the bottom to the top. After the arrival of the brown rat into England in the early 1700’s the  first row of nest holes were built a couple of feet or more above ground level to prevent the rats from getting into the holes and destroying the eggs and squabs.
The inside walls of dovecotes were often plastered and painted white as the birds are attracted by white surfaces, and this helped to encourage them to stay. Some dovecotes had L shaped nesting holes, they are thought to have been made in that shape to accommodate the birds’ tails and in imitation of the nesting hole shape most favoured by wild birds. There was usually a ledge just below the entrance to the nesting hole which provided a perch for the birds.
A ladder was needed to reach the nesting boxes to harvest the eggs and squabs, but larger circular dovecotes had a potence. This was a revolving wooden pole which was mounted on a plinth and had arms onto which ladders could be attached and suspended a few feet off the ground. Instead of having to continually move a conventional ladder around the wall the harvester could simply rotate the potence through 360 degrees to move round to fresh nesting boxes.


The nesting boxes and potence inside the dovecote at Kinwarton in Warwickshire, which was built in the 14th century for the Abbot of Winchcombe.

Pigeon meat was considered a delicacy with, usually, only the young birds, known as squabs, being eaten. In the 14th century humorist medical books stated that squab was “hot and moist” food, but the meat of older pigeons was hot, dry, and “barely edible”.
Pigeons feed their young on regurgitated “pigeon milk” which means they can begin to hatch their young as early as March and continue on into October or even early November. The squabs were harvested when they were around 28-30 days old, as they were by then large enough to eat but unable to fly and therefore easy to catch. A number of birds were allowed to mature to provide future breeding stock. Various fourteenth and fifteenth century, and later, household accounts indicate that peak harvest times were April and May, and then from August to early December. There would almost certainly be no squabs from December to late March so the de Beauchamps and their successors at Esole would have enjoyed a ready supply of squabs for nine or so months of the year.
When restrictions of the building of dovecotes were lifted in the late 1500’s they were commonly built by all classes from aristocrats to country cottagers and many examples of sixteenth to nineteenth century dovecotes are still to be found. The keeping of pigeons for food declined in the nineteenth century as much cheaper meat became more readily available all year round.


The Canterbury Bank

Hammond, Plumptre, & Co., the Canterbury bank

William Osmund Hammond by Henry Tanworth Wells. An 1855 portrait in chalks
William Osmund Hammond

As well as being land-owners, the Hammonds of St. Alban’s Court and the Plumptres of Fredville were also partners in a Canterbury bank.  In 1818, the bank was called Hammond, Plumptre, Furley, Hilton & McMaster, but was more generally known as the Canterbury Bank. However, over the years the bank was also often referred to variously as: Plumptre, Hammond & Co.; Hammond, Plumptre & Co; or simply Hammond & Co.

John Pembleton Plumptre, artist unknown.

By 1830 the bank’s partners were: William Osmond Hammond, John Pembleton Plumptre, Deane John Parker and John Furley. Fifteen years later the Bankers Magazine recorded that the banks partners were by then:William Osmund Hammond, of St. Alban’s Court, Nonington, Kent;  John Pemberton Plumptre, of Fredville, Nonington, and M.P. for Kent; John Furley, of Canterbury, who had replaced the late William Foord Hinton; and William Henry Furley, of Canterbury.

Some five or so years later the banks partners were recorded as: William Osmond Hammond, St. Alban’s Court, Nonington, Kent, Esquire; John Pemberton Plumptre, Fredville, Nonington, Esquire; William Henry Furley, Canterbury, Esquire; Thomas Hilton, Nackington House, near Canterbury, Esquire; and John Furley, Jun.,Canterbury, Esquire.

The Canterbury Bank building

By the late 1880′s Hammond & Co’s Canterbury Bank were at 51, High Street, Canterbury, with George Furley and McMaster as managers. The bank must have been prospering as in 1888 new premises designed by John Green Hall where built on the site. There were many buildings by John Green Hall in Canterbury but the Canterbury bank is said to be his finest work. Sadly he never saw it completed as he sadly died during its construction. These premises are now the present Lloyds Bank building on the corner of the High Street and St. Margaret’s Street.
The 1901 census for the Parish of Nonington record that both Charles J. Plumptre of Fredville, the nephew of John Pembleton Plumptre, and William Oxenden Hammond, the son of William Osmond Hammond, as both being a “partner in bank”.
In early 1903 Kelly’s Directory for Kent reported in its Canterbury section: “There are three banks , viz.: the Canterbury bank, carried on under the firm of Hammond, Plumptre, Hilton, McMaster & Furley, and branches of the London and County Banking Company and Lloyds Bank.” However, this was soon to change as later that year Capital & Counties Bank took over Hammond & Co.  In turn, Capital & Counties Bank were themselves acquired by Lloyds in 1918.

Acol, or Ackholt, in the old parish of Nonington-revised 11.01.2018

Ackholt, Acholt or Acol, Nonington. Also:1283 Ackholt; 1469 Akholte; 1626 Acholt.

Ackholt is now in the Parish of Aylesham and lies just the other side of the railway-line where the Nonington to Womenswold bridle way crosses the Snowdown to Aylesham road on the southern boundary of the old parish of Nonington.

Pronouced Acol (Aye-kul) with a long a and the t dropped as is usual in the old East Kent dialect, the name derives from the Old English (O.E.): ac; oak & holt ; thicket, literally meaning an oak thicket or wood. To the east of Ackholt  is the hamlet of Holt Street, another “holt”, indicating this area was once heavily wooded.
The influx of “foreigners” from all over the U.K. in the 1920’s seeking work in the Kent Coalfields led to common usage of a hard C when saying the name, so that it is now generally pronounced as “Ak-olt” when referring to Ackholt Road, and “Aye-kul” when referring to the old hamlet and nearby Acol Bank.Ackholt was a manorial sub-division of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Manor of Wingham, and was formed until well after the Norman invasion of 1066.

A Latin charter of 1309 records that John, the son of Stephen de Akolte (Acholt) sold to John, the son of Thomas de Akholte, and Lucia, his mother, a windmill (unum molendinum ventifluim), which was situated near Holestrete [Holt Street] on the manor of Freydvile (Fredville) in the parish of Nonington. Sold with the windmill was two shillings and two hens free rent (duos solidos et duas gallinas de libere redditu) from Thomas le Kete of Holestrete, who was presumably then the miller. To confirm the grant John, son of Stephen de Akolte, was to receive 20 marks sterling (£.12 13s 4d) gersuman (a fee paid to the lord of the manor when the ownership of property on his manor was transferred, who in this case was the Archbishop of Canterbury).
The charter also noted that because he was under age and did not have his own seal, John, the son of Stephen de Akolte,  had signed under the seal of John de Grenchelle, a local land-owner who appears to have held land in or near Bekesbourne, and may have been a relative or guardian of the young John.
The windmill is not recorded in Archbishop Pecham’s survey of Wingham manor between 1283-5  indicating it was built between the survey and 1309. In 1341 John de Acholte granted the mill along with other property and rents in Nonyngton, Rollynge (Rolling) and Wimelyngewelde (Womenswold) near Crodewode (Crudeswood or Curleswood) to Peter Heyward.

Ackholt-from the 1859 Poor Law Commissioners map of Nonington

In 1425 the following transaction was recorded:“Akholte, June 21, 3 Hen. VI. (1425) John Helar, son of John Helar, late of Akholte in the par. of Nonynton, Kent, grants to Thomas Hunte parcarius* of Cruddyswood a croft** of 5 acres with appurtenances at Akholte between the common way of the vill of Akholte on N. and land of Thomas Hopedey on E. and Court land of Lordship of Akholte on S. and W. Warranty against all men. Witnesses: John Orlyston, John Marchaunt, Thomas Hopedey, John Cook, John Veryar’, Gervase Dudeman, Richard Guodhyewe. Thomas Lewar’, John Bery, Richard Beniamyn and others”

*A parker or park-keeper; a pinder; a foldkeeper. A pinder was an employee of a landowner who would go around and collect the rental dues from the tennants on the land. If the tennants could not pay in money, the pinder would take livestock in lieu of payment and put them in the pinfold until they could pay. Also, the pinder would catch any livestock that had got loose and put them in the pinfold and would charge a price to the animals owner to get it back.
**A small enclosed field or pasture near a house. A small farm, especially a tenant farm.

Throughout the 1440’s there was a protracted and convoluted dispute over ownership of Akholte and subsidiary property in Womenswold, Nonington [Cookys or Cooks Hill, which was part of the Manor of Fredville], Chillenden (Chillenden Court, part of the Manor of Hame [Hamill]) and Rowling. It was resolved in 1448 when the disputed land and property was divided amongst several claimants.

The Acol, or Ackholt, area, 1870's OS map
The Acol, or Ackholt, area, 1870’s OS map

The Boys family of Fredville owned large areas of land in and around the parish of Nonington from the late fifteenth to late seventeenth centuries, Ackholt was one of these holdings, held from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Manor of Wingham. Ackholt was described in great detail as part of the marriage settlement of John Boys, grandson of Sir Edward Boys the Elder of Fredville in 1626.

Financial difficulties after the English Civil War caused the Boys family to sell various parts of their extensive land holdings, and in 1666 John Boys of Fredville and his eldest son, Nicholas sold:

“Ackholt farm and 200 acres of land; arable and pasture, and Ackholt Wood, 20 acres of coppiced woodland.

Also: 2 messuages or tenements and appurtenances adjoining the farm.

Also:1 tenement/messuage & barne, & orchard & 8 acres of arable land adjoining Ackholt farm.

Also: 1 other tenement & a hemp plot”.

The “1 other tenement & a hemp plot” in the 1666 sale may have been Ackholt Wood House and some three and a half acres of land which was at the southern end of Ackholt Wood and was listed in 1839 as belonging to Sir Brook William Bridges and occupied by William Gilham. It did not appear on the the 1859 Poor Law Commissioners map, and therefore presumably no longer occupied, but the other buildings referred to can be seen on the 1859 map.

For more information please go to: Aylesham

In March of 1753 the heirs of Charles Fielding sold Ackholt to Sir Brook Bridges, Bt., of Goodnestone and it is still owned by Sir Brooke’s descendant, Lord Fitzwalter of Goodnestone Park.

The present Keeper’s Cottage was not part of the 1753 purchase and remained independent of the Goodnestone estate until the 1830’s. Keeper’s Cottage and the present Ackholt Houseouse, built in the late 19th century to replace the 1666 farm house, and known locally as Misery Farm, are all that remain of Ackholt hamlet.

 A row of cottages was built between Keeper’s Cottage and the railway line, presumably after 1859 as they are not shown on the 1859 Poor Law Commissioners map. The row was demolished in the 1950’s.

Sir John Harleston at Esol and Freydvill’-revised 2.1.2017

The 1377 St. Alban’s Abbey manorial rental rolls for Esol record that the house, buildings and land previously held by Sir John de Beauchamp was then owned Sir John Harleston, who also had a life interest in the Manor of Freydvill’.

Sir John Harleston, sometimes spelt Harlestone or Herliston, had much in common with Sir John de Beauchamp, his predecessor at Esol. Sir John was a knight from a land-owning Essex family and he served and fought in the Hundred Years War with some distinction on behalf of the English Crown, and as a captain in the Free Companies. John Harleston was with Edward III’s army that invaded Normandy in 1346 where his share in the sale of a French knight taken during the march through Normandy amounted to no less than £1,500. This campaign led to the English victory over the French at Crecy. Possibly Crecy is where John Harleston did some service for Geoffrey de Say, Lord Say, as at some time prior to 1356 he was given a lifetimes interest in the Manor of Freydvill’ by Lord Say with the interest reverting to the de Says or their heirs when Sir John died. He retained this interest at least into the 1390’s.

In 1359 he was credited with the capture of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, some thirty miles north-west of Dijon. The town had been used as a storage depot by the French and according to the chronicler Jean Froissart, the supplies captured were enough to feed the English army for a month.

The Hundred Years War between England and France consisted of periods of campaigning with intense fighting interspersed with truces and peace treaties. During these periods of peace soldiers would be paid off as they were not needed and there were no standing armies at this time. Many unemployed soldiers then formed themselves into “free companies” and raided and looted the towns and countryside of France on their own behalves. In France these companies were known as “bandes de routiers” or “écorcheurs” and were usually led by captains from the lesser nobility, such as John Harleston.
These armed bands became notorious in France after the Treaty of Brétigny concluded in 1360 between King Edward III of England, and King John II which released the French king on payment of a ransom of three million crowns. The treaty also temporarily brought hostilities to a halt, and saw the English renounce claims to Anjou and Normandy while retaining Gascony and Guyenne. However, the treaty was never fully implemented, and war broke out again in 1369.

John Harleston gained some notoriety during his time as a very successful “routier”. It was said by the chronicler Jean Froissart that Harleston gave a banquet where the guests drank from a hundred silver chalices looted from churches in the Champagne area of France. An English chronicler Thomas Walsingham, praised him for his leadership abilities and his skills with weapons. Harleston successfully led a free company for several years in the early 1360’s and became very wealthy, but appears to have suffered from remorse as in 1366 he went on a pilgrimage to Nazareth in penance for the sins he’d committed as a “routier”.

During the 1360’s he appears to have embarked on various diplomatic and other missions on behalf of the King, and he helped negotiate a truce in 1366 between England and France. On the resumption of hostilities between England and France in 1369 Sir John was appointed Captain of Guise and held the post until late 1376. In 1379 he was made Captain of Cherbourg, and for at least part of that year he was also Captain of Froissart and Kervyn de Lettenhove. During his time at Cherbourg he took part in various skirmishes, and in one of these he captured a French knight, William de Bordes, whom he gave to King Richard II in return for a grant of 10,000 francs. Sir John is also said to have received £1,583 6s 8d for the ransom of another unnamed French knight,  a considerable sum at a time when Richard II’s annual revenue was around £70,000.

After serving as Captain of Cherbourg he accompanied Thomas Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester, on raids into various parts of France which further added to his considerable wealth. For these raids he contracted to provide six bannerets [knights of the highest order of knighthood], seventy three knights and eighty archers.

As reward for his service he was made a Knight of the Chamber by King Richard II. As with Sir John de Beauchamp it’s likely Sir John Harleston acquired Esol as a stopping off place for journeys between England and the Continent through the port of Sandwich, it’s ideally situated just some five or six miles from the port and would have provided a comfortable place to stay on arrival from the Continent or awaiting a ship to cross the Channel for Sir John or members of his household and entourage.

Sir John was back in England in 1381 and helped to defeat and punish participants in the Peasants Revolt in Kent and Essex on behalf of King Richard II.  However, he was not in England for long, and he returned to the Continent as part of Despenser’s Crusade of 1383.  This was a military expedition led by Henry le Despenser, the Fighting Bishop of Norwich, which was intended to help the city of Ghent in its struggle against the supporters of the Antipope Clement VII during the great Western or Papal Schism, a split within the Catholic Church which lasted from 1378 to 1417.  This expedition was an integral part of the Hundred Years War as France supported Clement, whose court was based in Avignon, whilst the English supported Pope Urban VI whose court was in Rome.

In 1384 Sir John embarked on a journey to Rome but despite having an Imperial safe conduct from the Holy Roman Empire, he was taken prisoner by Bruno von Rappoltstein, an independent nobleman with holdings in both France and the Holy Roman Empire. Supplications from both the King of England and the Pope in Rome could not effect Sir John’s release. Even the intervention of King Wenceslas IV of Bohemia, the eldest son of the Holy Roman Emperor was to no avail, and  Sir John was held prisoner by Bruno von Rappoltstein at various places until 1392.
On his release he was granted an annuity of one hundred marks by King Richard II to help compensate him for losses incurred during his imprisonment and this annuity was subsequently confirmed by Henry IV in October 1399. After his release Sir John led a quieter life, but still retained some interest in the Royal Court’s affairs until his death in the early 15th century.

It appears that in the late 1390’s Sir John transferred this life interest in the Manor of Fredville to John Quadryng, a City of London mercer, and his wife Margaret.
The situation regarding the ownership of the manor of Fredville becomes rather complicated due to a complicated series of inheritances. It must be remembered that by the 1360’s the Barony of Say held the Knight’s Fee of Essewelle, and the subsidiary Manor of Freydvill’ which appears to have reverted back to the Barony at the death without male heirs of the last John Colkyn in the early to mid-1340’s, but Esole, the other subsidiary manor of the fee, was held by the Abbey of St. Alban’s, which appears to have obtained it at some time in the 1340’s.

In 1362 William de Say came of age and became the 3rd Baron Say. He married Beatrix de Brewose, who inherited her brother’s property when he died without issue, and they had two children, John and Elizabeth.

William de Say died in 1376 when John was about two and Elizabeth about eight years old and because of John’s minority their father’s estates and property were taken into the hands of the Crown and the children were made Wards of the Crown.

John de Say, the 4th and last Baron Say, was a ward of King Richard II when he died in 1382 aged about 10 years old and without issue. His sister Elizabeth was aged about sixteen, and was her brother’s heir to both title and property. After her inheritance Elizabeth married Sir John de Falvesle, a Northamptonshire knight who was summoned to Parliament as Lord Say. The couple had no children before Sir John’s death. Elizabeth remarried around 1393, taking Sir William Heroun, also Heron, as her second husband and in his turn he was also summoned to Parliament as Lord Say.

When Elizabeth Heroun died without issue in 1399 her title and extensive property, including the Manor of Freydeuyle, went to her second husband Sir William and after his death in 1404, again without issue, the Post Mortem Inquiry for the property he held in Kent recorded: “John Herleston, knight, holds the manor of Fredvill’ for life by the grant of Geoffrey de Say, with reversion in virtue of the above fine to the heirs of Elizabeth, annual value when it occurs 100s”. Even though Sir John had previously transferred his interest to John Quadryng et al the manor still reverted to Elizabeth Heroun’s heirs.

William de Say, 3rd Baron Say had three sisters and each sisters heirs received one third of the baronies land and property. These heirs were: William Clynton, knight son and heir of Idonea, first sister of William de Say, 3rd Baron; Roger Fenes, or Fienes, son of William Fenes, knight son and heir of Joan, the second sister of William de Say, 3rd Baron; and sisters Maud Bosenho and Mary de Worthyngton, née Alden, the daughters and joint heirs of Elizabeth,  the third sister of William de Say, 3rd Baron.

Maud disposed of her one-sixth share in 1401:-“that by fine levied in the king’s court Maud who was wife of Thomas Bosenho acknowledged the right of John Quadrynge, and made a quitclaim of the manor to them and the heirs of the said John”. This feet of fines of the 1st of May 1401 is generally believed to represent the transfer of the whole of the Manor of Fredeuyle to the Quadryngs, but in fact it represents just one sixth of it.

William Clynton quitclaimed his one third of the manor, presumably at around the same time as Maud. It’s recorded:   “that when in seisin of Thomas de Charleton and the others William de Clynton by writing under his seal made a quitclaim of his right to them and to the heirs and assigns of John Quadrynge”. John Quadryng therefore had clear possession of one half of the Manor of Fredeuyle.

For some time after the 1401 feet of fines the other two heirs, Roger Fiennes and Mary de Worthyngton, retained a one third and one sixth share respectively in the Manor of Fredeuyle.  Mary and her husband, Otto de Worthyngton, appear to transfer the ownership of their one-sixth of the manor of Fredeuyll by a 1413 feet of fines to John and Margaret Quadryng but Roger Fienes still retained his one third in 1430 and nothing has yet come to light as to the disposal of this final one-third share before his death in 1449.

Sir Roger Fiennes was an English Knight of the Shire, High Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex, and builder of Herstmonceux Castle. He accompanied King Henry V to France and fought at Agincourt in 1415. His younger brother was James Fiennes, who was made 1st Baron Saye and Sele in 1447, and was Constable of Dover Castle and Warden of the Cinque Ports from 1447 to 1450.  James also held the office of Lord High Treasurer of England from 1449 to 1450, and while in office he was beheaded at the Standard in Cheapside, London, on 4th July, 1450, by rebels under the leadership of Jack Cade.

The Quadryng family at Fredeuyle and Esol-revised 1.1.17

John Quadryng, a City of London mercer, aquired one half of the Manor of Fredeuyle, as Freydvill’ was by then known, in the opening years of the 15th century and the manor remained with the Quadryng, also Quadring, family for much of that century.

It’s not clear when the Quadryngs acquired the Esol house and lands as there are at present no known records of any such property purchases by the Quardryngs. It’s highly likely that they purchased Esol house and lands from Sir John Harleston at the same time, or possibly before, they acquired the Manor of Fredeuyle.

A mercer by trade, John Quadryng may have bought Esol partly as a country residence and partly for use as a warehouse for storing the wool he exported and the silk, linen, fustian, and other textiles he imported through the nearby ports of Dover and Sandwich. Esol was especially well situated for trading through Sandwich which was only some six miles or so away by, for the time, a good direct road. After 1363 Calais was made the wool staple [market] through which all wool exports from England to the Continent had to pass.

During their tenure at Esol the Quadryngs acquired other land in and around Nonington. In addition to their holdings at Esol and Fredville they also held land in North and South Nonington, which were part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Manor of Wingham. The 1469 survey of the manor of Wingham records the heirs of Richard Quadryng holding an unspecified amount of land in South Nonington and about 135 acres in North Nonington. During their tenure at Esol the Quadryngs built up a holding of over 400 acres of arable, pasture and woodland as well as annual rents in the parishes of Nonington and Goodnestone.

John Quadryng added to the Nonington acquisitions in 1403 with the purchase of  “1 messuage, 1 toft, 80 acres of land, 3 acres of meadow, 3 acres of marsh, 6 acres of pasture, 3 acres of wood, 24 shillings of rent and a rent of 4 bushels of barley in Sholdon’, Staple, Northborne, Eastry, Hamme, Wodenesbergh’, Lymmyng and Elham”.

As merchants the Quadryngs needed a ready supply of cash and credit to trade, and were susceptible to the ups and downs of fortune where losses can be more easily made than profits. The loss of a cargo or a bad debt would have put the family in the financial mire. Richard Quadryng, draper and citizen of London and probably John’s grand-son, traded through various English ports including Bristol and in 1436 he took Robert Frere of Bristol, esquire, before Richard Estfeld, Mayor of the Staple at Westminster for a debt of £20.00. This indicates that Richard was a member of “Mayor and Company of Merchants of the Staple of England”.

[“The Company of Merchants of the Staple is one of the oldest mercantile corporations in England. It is rare, possibly unique, in being ‘of England‘ and not bounded by any city or municipality. It may trace its ancestry back as far as 1282 or even further. A group of 26 wool merchants apparently first started the Company. The Dukes of Burgundy and Counts of Flanders granted it charters. The Merchants were in Bruges in 1282, Dordrecht in 1285, Antwerp in 1296 and St Omer in 1313. The Company controlled the export of wool to the continent from 1314.  The Duke of Flanders awarded a grant to the English Merchants in 1341. Its first charter from an English monarch was in 1347 giving it control of the export trade in staple commodities. Commercial significance was in Calais – under English rule from 1347 and the main port for wool.    Exports were restricted to the Freemen of the Company who, in return for their monopoly, paid a levy back to the Crown.  With some two hundred merchants, in 1363 it was known as the “New Company of English Merchants dwelling nowe at Calais” and in 1369 as “The Mayor and Company of the Staple at Calais“. The Company later paid for and eventually managed the garrison in the city” –information from the website of The Company of the Staple of England].

In the mid-1440′s Richard Quadryng raised a mortgage of £200 against land and property held in Nonyngton which was the subject of various legal proceedings and transfers in 1447. A few years later in 1456 Richard Quadrynge, Robert Euyngham and Robert Sandeforde demised land & tenements in Chislet and Lympe to John de St. Nicholas of Ash, possibly to ease persisting financial problems.

The Mercer’s Company register for 1476 records that Thomas Quadryng, presumably the son of Richard Quadryng, was made a Freeman [member] of the Mercers Company of London and  the same year another Thomas Quadryng , the son of the new Freeman, was apprenticed to John Godyng, a Master Mercer of London.

In May, 1483, Thomas Quadryng the Elder was one of the representatives of the City of London who greeted Edward V at Harnsey Park, now Hornsey Park in present Harringay. The boy king had succeeded Edward IV in April of 1483 and only reigned  until June of 1483 before being deposed and, as one of the unfortunate ” Princes in the Tower”,  then possibly  murdered by his uncle,  Richard, Duke of Gloucester,  who then proclaimed himself King Richard III and was crowned on 6th July of 1483.

During 1483 Thomas Quadryng the Elder was pursuing several debtors for payment, whilst at the same time was also being pursued for payment of debts himself. This is the most likely cause of his having apparently sold “the manors of Fredeuyle and Beauchamp’ [previously known as Esol] and 2 messuages, 405 acres of land, 3 acres of wood and 76 shillings and 4 pence of rent and a rent of 8 cocks, 30 hens and 1 pair of gloves in Nonyngton’ and Godneston’” at some time before the death of King Edward IV in April of 1483.

Thomas Philpott in his 1659 “Villare Cantianum: or, Kent surveyed and illustrated”; and William Hasted  in his “The History and Topographical Survey of Kent, volume IX” published in 1800 both recorded that Thomas Quadryng and his late wife Anne, herself a wealthy heiress in her own right, had a daughter called Joane who was their sole heiress and inherited their joint property. Joane was then said to have conveyed her inherited property to her husband, Richard Dryland, who in 1484 conveyed the Manor of Fredville and other property to John Nethersole, who in turn shortly afterwards conveyed it to William Boys of Bonnington. However, the Thomas Quadryng and wife Anne they write of were actually a different branch of the Quadryng family who had several estates in the Faversham area. The confusion probably initially arose from the fact that both Thomas’ had wives called Anne.

Close examination of contemporary documents appears to show a different chain of events regarding the sale of “the manors of Fredeuyle and Beauchamp’ [Esol] and 2 messuages, 405 acres of land, 3 acres of wood and 76 shillings and 4 pence of rent and a rent of 8 cocks, 30 hens and 1 pair of gloves in Nonyngton’ and Godneston’”. Thomas Quadryng the Elder of Fredeuyle did not die around 1482 and leave his property to an only daughter and sole heiress but was still alive into the 1490’s, as was his son, Thomas Quadryng the Younger.

In 1476 Thomas Quadryng the Elder became a Freeman [member] of the Mercers Company of London Freeman by patrimony, meaning his father or a close relative was also a Freeman of the Mercers Company.  In that same year Thomas Quadryng  the Elder’s son, Thomas the Younger, was apprenticed to John Godyng, a Master Mercer of London, and the Mercers Company record that Thomas the Younger was in his turn made a Freeman of the Company in 1490.

In the Trinity Term of the Law Courts [June and July] of 1484 John Nethersole, William Boys, Thomas Butte and Robert Gerneys through William Rose, their attorney, began legal proceedings to regain possession of “the manors of Fredeuyle and Beauchamp with appurtenances, and two messuages, 405 acres of land, three acres of wood and 76s 4d of rent, and the rent of eight cocks, 30 hens and one pair of gloves with appurtenances in Nonyngton and Godneston” as their right. They claimed that the property in question had been illegally seized by John Metford, a wealthy London grocer, who appears to have taken possession of the properties as payment for money owed to him by Thomas Quadryng.

The four plaintiffs stated that they had been in possession of the property “as of fee and lawfully at the time of peace at the time of lord Edward IV, late king of England”, which meant they had held it since before April of 1483. As evidence of this they produced proof of suit of court to show that they had fulfilled their feudal duty to their overlord for Fredeuyle and Beauchamp [previously Esol], so confirming their possession of the two manors. After further claims and counter-claims before the court the plaintiffs possession of the property was confirmed.

On 8th July, 1484, after the end of the court proceedings, a feet of fines [a form of conveyance of property] with John Nethersole, William Boys, Thomas Butte and Robert Gerveis as the querents [plaintiffs], and Thomas Quadryng’ and Anne, his wife, as the deforciants [one/those who keep out of possession the rightful owner of an estate] confirmed the ownership of the property in question by the plaintiffs. The fact Anne, Thomas’s wife, appears with him on the feet of fines is evidence of her still being alive, and therefore of her not being the mother of Joane Dryland, née Quadryng.

In 1485 John Nethersole in turn conveyed the properties to William Boys of Bonnington in Goodneston. Boys appears to have done well at this time as he also gained possession of other property locally,  including the Manor of Shebbertswell (Shepherdswell) which had also previously belonged to the rebellious Richard Guildford.

England was at this time in the last throes of the Wars of the Roses and Richard III, who had  had himself crowned King in July of 1483 was striving to bring the country under his control, and Kent was one of the counties where he faced opposition. Sir William Malyverer was one of six knights from King Richard III’s estates in the North of England brought down to Kent to restore order after a minor rebellion there against Richard III in October of 1483. These knights were well rewarded by the King with land and property confiscated from the rebels. The Kent rebellion was one of several insurrections in England and Wales known collectively as the Buckingham Rebellion which were intended to assist Henry Tudor, later Henry VII, to overthrow Richard III and become king in his place. The rebellion failed when Henry Tudor and five hundred armed men in seven ships were unable to cross the sea from Brittany because of a storm.

Malyverer was rewarded for services against the rebels by King Richard in August of 1484 with a grant in tail male [meaning only a direct male descendant  who could trace his descent through male descendants of Malyverer could inherit the property] which included “Hertang (Hartanger), and Paratt’s landis, (both) in the parish of Berston (Barfreston);  also a windmill called Berston Mylle; (Barfreston mill), lands in the lordship of Freydefeld (Fredvill) ; the manor of Eythorne, and a rent therein; lands called Mottes in the parish of Nonyngton (in Frogham)“. The entailed land and property had belonged to Sir George Brown of Betchworth Castle in Surrey who had been another of the leaders of the  Kent rebellion. Malyverer was also made Escheator for Kent.

Sir George had been tried in Westminster Hall and taken to Tower Hill and beheaded on 3/4 December of 1483 and his estates were subsequently declared forfeit to the Crown by an Act of Attainder in January of 1484. Land and property belonging to Sir Richard Guildford, Sir George Brown, Sir John Fogge, and other rebels forfeit to the Crown had then been given by King Richard III  loyal supporters such as William Malyverer.

William Langley of Knolton died in February of 1483 leaving as his heir his son John, who was a minor.  Joan, William’s newly widowed wife, appears to have married William Malyverer shortly after her first husbands death, most likely for either political reasons or under duress. The manor of Knolton is only a mile or so to the north-east of Esol and William Langley, or at least his widow, appears to have been a close friend as well as once being a close neighbour of the Quadryngs, as by this time they were no longer in possession of Esol.
Around the time of the Buckingham Rebellion Thomas Quadryng crossed swords with William Malyverer on behalf of Joan when in November of 1483 Malyverer  seized the Kent lands of his wife’s late husband which had previously been granted together with the custody of the young John Langley to Richard Guildford (Guldeford) of Rolvenden, Kent. Guildford was one of the leaders of the Kent rebellion and subsequently had his estates confiscated by the King, and also loosing the custody of the young John Langley and his property.
Such was Malyverer’s  power in a time of ineffectual central authority that despite a royal grant awarding “the warde & marriage of John Langley son & heire of the said William; with the keeping of alle Lordshipds ect” to Joan Langley and Thomas Quadring he managed to retain possession of his step-son’s property until August of 1485 when Richard III was defeated and slain at the Battle of Bosworth and Henry Tudor became King Henry VII.

Thomas Quadryng the Elder lived at least until 1490, when he was involved in a court case to recover a debt of £80.00 from Richard Seintnicholas, citizen and tailor of London, who had property in and around nearby Ash.

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