The Quadryng family at Fredeuyle and Esol

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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