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 Quadrings 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 the Quadrings purchased Esol house and lands from Sir John Harleston at the same time or even before they acquired 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 other 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 as well as annual rents in the parishes of Nonington and Goodnestone.

John Quadring 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 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. Richard Quadring, 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 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 there after a minor rebellion in October of 1483 against Richard and these knights were well rewarded 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, 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.

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 and subsequently had his estates confiscated by the King. Such was Malyverer’s  power in a time of ineffectual central authority that he 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 August of 1484 a “grant in tail male” was made by Richard III to William Malyverer, esquire, “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 entailed land and property had belonged to Sir George Brown of Betchworth Castle in Surrey, who was another one of the leaders of the 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 had subsequently been 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 was then given by King Richard III such loyal supporters such as William Malyverer.

Early historians such as Thomas Philpott in his 1659 “Villare Cantianum: or, Kent surveyed and illustrated”; and William Hasted in the chapter on Nonington in his “The History and Topographical Survey of Kent, volume IX” published in 1800 record that Thomas Quadryng and his late wife Anne, herself a wealthy heiress in her own right, had a daughter 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 1483 conveyed the Manor of Fredville and other property to John Nethersole, who shortly afterwards conveyed it to William Boys of Bonnington.

However, it now appears that these early historians were mistaken and that the Thomas Quadryng and wife Anne they write of were actually a different 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’”.

The contemporary documents show that Thomas Quadryng the Elder of Fredeuyle did not die around 1482 and leave his property to his only daughter and sole heiress Joane but that he 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.

Thomas the Elder may well have had to sell Fredeuyle and other property in and around Nonington to settle debts or to possibly avoid having his property seized for debt. As to the sale of Fredeuyle and Beauchamp’, the chain of events appears to be as follows.
In the Trinity Term of the Law Courts [June and July] in the first year of the reign of Richard III [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 Fredenyle 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 has been illegally seized by John Metford, a wealthy London grocer and, who may well have seized possession of the properties as payment for money owed to him by Thomas Quadryng.

The plaintiffs stated that they had had 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”, who had died in April of 1483. This meant they claimed to have held the knights fee for the manor before King Edward IV’s death, and they also produced suit [of court] to show that they had fulfilled their feudal duty to their overlord for the manors thereby confirming their possession of the manors. After further claims and counter-claims the plaintiffs possession of the property was confirmed by the court.

On 8th July, 1484, seemingly 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: