Some information has just come to light about the Quardyngs of Esol that has made necessary some corrections in the previous article. Nothing major, but it does correct some obvious anomalies.
In 1368 Sir John’s nephew Roger and other co-heirs offered “le manoir de Easole” to the Priory of Christ Church in Canterbury on the condition: “namely, that one of your monks there should be perpetually specially assigned and deputed to sing mass, at the Altar of Our Lady in the Crypt, wearing vestments decorated with the arms of the Warwick family, and praying for the souls of our said uncle and our ancestors”. The priory’s response was that: “to bear and perform such a charge for so small a repayment, where there is scarcely any profit, would be too burdensome for us; wherefore, Sire, be pleased in this case to have us excused”. The refusal of the bequest indicates how unprofitable agricultural land had become in the aftermath of the Black Death of 1348 to 1350 which had killed up to half of the population of England. Sporadic outbreaks of this awful disease continued to occur in England into the 1360’s and beyond.
After Christ Church’s refusal of Esol the Beauchamp family appear to have sold the property because the 1377 St. Alban’s Abbey manorial rental rolls for Esol record that the property previously held by Sir John de Beauchamp was then owned by Dominus (Lord) Richard Ricilynge, the Richard de Retlyng recorded in the 1346 Hundred Roll as holding part of the knights fee of Essewelle.
The Manor of Freydvill’ was held by Sir John Harleston who had been given a life interest in the manor which had been granted to him by the 2nd Lord de Say prior to 1356. Sir John died in October of 1404.
John de Say, fourth and last Baron Say, died in 1382 aged about 12 years old and was without a direct male heir. Subsequently for the next two decades the over-lordship of the Manor of Freydevill’, as part of the Barony of Say, passed by a complicated chain of inheritance to various surviving sisters of the third baron and then inturn to their heirs which resulted in the sub-division of the barony and its constituent manors.
The Manor of Fredeuyle, as Freydvill’ was by then known, was sold by Sir John Harleston and others in May of 1401 to John Quadryng’, a City of London mercer, and it remained in the Quadryng, also Quadring, family’s possession for much of the 15th century.
It’s not clear when the Quadrings acquired the house and lands at Esol as there is no mention in the Feet of Fines dated May 1st of 1401 of any property being included in the sale of the Manor of Fredeuyle, so it’s possible that the Esol house and lands were purchased before the Manor of Fredeuyle .
A mercer by trade, John Quadring’ 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 Quadrings acquired land in and around Nonington. In addition to the 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 Quadrings built up a holding of over 400 acres of arable, pasture and woodland in the parishes of Nonington and Goodnestone.
In 1403 John Quadring purchased “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 Quadrings 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. In the mid-1440′s Richard Quadryng, a London draper and probably John’s grand-son, 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 a Thomas Quadryng as the newly indentured apprentice of Master Mercer John Godyng of London, this is believed to be the son of Thomas Quadryng of Fredevyle, who was to be the last Quadryng owner of that manor.
In May, 1483, Thomas Quadring’ 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 only reigned from April to 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, 1483.
During 1483 Thomas Quadryng the Elder was pursuing several debtors for payment, whilst at the same time apparently being pursued for payment of debts himself. . It’s most likely that the debts were business debts, but they may possibly have bribes or penalties incurred for supporting the wrong side in the ongoing power struggle.
England was at this time in the last throes of the Wars of the Roses and Richard III 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 in the county against Richard and these knights were well rewarded with land and property confiscated from the rebels.
Thomas Quadring’ had crossed swords with William Malyverer in October of 1483 on behalf of Joan Langley, the widow of William Langley of Knolton who had married William Malyverer most likely for either political reasons or under duress. Malyverer had previously seized the Kent lands of his wife’s late husband despite their having 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 against Richard III and subsequently had his estates confiscated by the King. Such was his power in a time of ineffectual central authority that Malyverer retained custody of both the late William Langley’s heir and his Kent holdings in spite of the 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. One of the manors inherited by John Langley was the manor of Knolton.
In 1484 a “grant in tail male” was made to William Malyverer, esq., “for services against the rebels” 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 manor of Hertang (Hartanger in Barfreston) was one of the manors confiscated from Richard Guildford, and it probable “lands in the lordship of Freydefeld (Fredvill)” and “ lands called Mottes in the parish of Nonyngton (in Frogham)” were taken from the Quadryng estates.
I had previously thought that Thomas Quadryng must have died shortly after these encounters with Malyverer and that his only daughter Joane, was sole heiress to Thomas and his late wife Anne, herself a wealthy heiress in her own right, and had conveyed her inherited property to her husband, Richard Dryland. However, it now appears that I was mistaken and that the Thomas Quadryng and wife Anne were actually a different part of the Quadryng family who had estates in the Faversham area. The confusion arises from the fact that both Thomas’ had wives called Anne.
Thomas Quadryng of Fredeuyle [Fredville] was still alive when “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’” were the Feet of Fines of 8 July 1484 was drawn up. The sale gave rise to a court case in which John Nethersole, William Boys, Thomas Butte and Robert Gerneys represented by William Rose, their attorney, sought to regain possession of the above properties from John Metford whom they claimed had illegally seized possession of them. The gist of the case appears to be that John Nethersole et al had bought the properties from Thomas Quadryng only to have John Metford take possession. Metford was a wealthy London grocer and it appears he must have seized the properties in settlement of a debt, only to find that the properties had already been sold. The case was settled in favour of John Nethersole, and by a feet of fines of 1485 he conveyed Fredeuyle, Beauchamps and the Nonyngton land, to William Boys of Bonnington.
Boys appears to have done well at this time as he also gained possession of other land locally, including the Manor of Shebbertswell (Shepherdswell) which had also previously belonged to the rebellious Richard Guildford.
Thomas Quadryng and his wife Anne both appear on the 1484 Feet of Fines, and Thomas appears in court in person during the court case, so both were obviously still alive at the time of the sale. Thomas Quadryng appears to have lived on for some years as in 1493 Thomas Quadryng the Elder, citizen and mercer of London went to court for payment of an £80 debt owed to him by Richard Seintnicholas, citizen and tailor of London who had property in Ash, Wingham, and Elmstone in Kent.