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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Fingringhoe Wills

Fingringhoe Wills abstracted by Revd. G M Benton

Clement Cocke (1400)
Richard Sothow (1501)
Thomas Hankyn (1502)
William Webbe (1502)
John Ferier (1502)
John Feryer (1504)
John Harryes (1504)
Thomas Wealde (1504)
Richard Harries (1504)
John Sothow (1504)
Joan Sowthowe (1505)
Agnes Hankyn (1505)
John Hankyn (1506)
Thomas Harry (1507)
Harry Smyth (1508)
Johanne Cole (1508)
Joan Cole (1508)
William Smyth (1508)
James Mounte (1508)
Thomas Dorrel (1509)
Richard Smyth (1510)
Edmund Sothow (1513)
George Dorell (1513)
Richard Hankyn (1515)
Alice Hampkyn (1517)
John Cole (1521)
John Obre (1522)
John Cowper (1524)
John Smyth (1524)
Thomas Harvy (1529)
John Sowthow (1530)
Sir Richard Saye (1532): ERO D/ABW 33/27
John Hulbord (1532): ERO D/ABW 14/11
William Knyght (1533)
Richard Vayalld (Weyold) (1539): ERO D/ABW 38/158
Giles Cocke (1540)
John Polley (1540)
Robert Westwode (1540)
Alice Cocke (1542)
Robert Graye (1542)
John Smyth (1543)
John Woode (1543)
Richard Dorell (1544): ERO D/ABW 12/28
John Harys (1546): ERO D/ABW 18/63
John Hamkyng (1550): ERO D/ABW 18/103
John Wayalde (1550): ERO D/ABW 39/102


{Wills will be published separately on this blog and may be searched using ‘Fingringhoe Wills’.  For enquiries use the contact form.}

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Last minute bid to preserve Chelmsford's Marconi heritage | Essex Chronicle

Last minute bid to preserve Chelmsford's Marconi heritage | Essex Chronicle

Fingringhoe Wills (5): Transactions 'New Series' Volume 20 Part 1

{Part 5}

In conclusion, we may briefly notice the bequests of goods and chattels, which are such an interesting feature in early wills owing to the particularity with which they are often recorded.  Furniture, domestic utensils, articles of clothing and so forth are named separately. For instance, John Feryer (1504) left to his godson, "a Spruse Cofyr," a feather bed and a pair of sheets, etc., a brass pot, four dishes and six platters; John Hankyn (1506) left to one of his sons, a "shottable," a fireplace and a stone mortar; Thomas Harry (1507) left to his son his best gown, a spruse cover, a brass pot, three platters, two dishes and a saucer. While the bequests of other testators included a kettle and brass pot, a table, a coverlet, pewter and brass, twenty timber trees, etc.

Dealing as we are with the effects of country folk, articles of silver are rarely specified, but Agnes Hankyn (1505) possessed a girdle harnessed with silver and two silver rings; and Joan Cole (1508) had two, and Gonor Dorell (1513) six silver spoons; the latter also owned a mazer bowl.

As might be expected in a river-side parish, boats are mentioned from time to time. John Hankyn (1506) left two fishing boats to one of his sons; Richard Hankyn (1515) left his best boat to his wife; and Robert Graye (1542), mariner, also left a boat to his wife. The Hankyns and Graye probably belonged to the well-known Harwich seafaring families of those names.

Agricultural products were a frequent form of bequest, and these tend to show that in the sixteenth century a good many of the parishioners were small holders.  To take some typical examples: Edmund Sowthow (1513) left to his wife and children, a seam of wheat each, also one of barley and one of oats; Alice Hankyn (1505) left four hens and a cock and a young hog; John Hankyn (1506) left to his wife, son and daughter , ten beasts and thirty sheep each, to another son, six oxen, two horses and thirty sheep, and to his sister, his  bees; Thomas Harry (1507) left to his wife a cow, and to his son, his horse and sheep; James Mounte (1508) left "a bullock, which beareth the bell," and a horse and saddle, and to his wife four kine and four calves; Giles Cocke (1540) left to two of his sons, ten "lawfull shepe" each; and John Woode (1543) left to his wife, twenty ewes and two beasts, and to his three daughters, two sheep each, and two lambs. Sheep seem to have been more numerous than any other stock, partly, no doubt, because free pasture was available for them on the common lands.

A few of the place-names in the following abstracts have continued in use down to the present day; references to these, and to others which are now obsolete, will be found in the footnotes.


{Wills will be published separately on this blog and may be searched using ‘Fingringhoe Wills’.  For enquiries use the contact form.}

Monday, 29 December 2014

Fingringhoe Wills (4): Transactions 'New Series' Volume 20 Part 1

{Part 4}

But perhaps the most interesting fact in connection with the history of the church that these documents reveal, is its correct dedication. Fingringhoe church is said to be dedicated to St. Andrew, but I have long felt that this ascription was doubtful.[1]  The dedication was unknown to Newcourt (1710), and to Holman, the Essex historian (c.1720), although in the second draft[2] of the latter's notes on the parish a later hand has inserted "St. Andrew" in the blank left in the MS. This attribution was copied by Salmon (1740),[3] Morant and other writers,[4] and thus passed into current use. It is not uncommon to find, however, from the evidence afforded by ancient wills, that the original dedication of a church has been wrongly supplanted.  Certainly a large percentage of dedications in use to-day are of doubtful authenticity, while many still remain unknown. This is due to the lack of an authoritative list of English dedications. The matter is further complicated by the fact that dedications were frequently changed in the Middle Ages; moreover, the re-consecration that necessarily followed the enlarging of Fingringhoe church in the fourteenth century[5] provided a special opportunity for altering its dedication if such were desired; but, as we shall see, there is good reason for supposing that the dedication remained unchanged from the erection of the church in the twelfth century down to the Reformation.

We may now turn to the wills in question, where the patron saint is mentioned no fewer than five times, the name being spelt differently in each case. The earliest reference dates from 1504, "the church of St. Awdeon in the said town [of Fyngryngho]"; in 1504-5 we find "the churchyard of St. Audeon, Fyngryngho"; and similar allusions are met with in 1505-6 (St. Audoyn), 1530-1 (St. Awdorn), and 1532? (St. Audoene). The evidence thus adduced proves conclusively that the correct dedication is to St. Audoen or Ouen, whose name underwent various modifications, and in this country became anglicized into Owen and, probably, Ewen. St. Owen, the great friend and biographer of St. Eloy, and the well-known patron saint of Rouen, was bishop of that city. He was born about 609, and died at Clichy, near Paris, on 24 August, 683, on which day he is commemorated in the York Calendar; and in the Sarurn Missal a "memorial" of him occurs on the same day (St. Bartholomew), his name being also included in the long list of invocations in the Sevenfold Litany, which was recited during the ceremonies of Easter Eve.

The choice of St. Owen as patron of an Essex parish at first sight may seem somewhat singular, but it has an historical significance and can easily be accounted for. The manor of Fingringhoe was granted by St. Edward the Confessor to the abbey of St. Ouen, at Rouen, and became part of the temporalities of the priory of West Mersea, a cell of the abbey, to which it was appropriated.  The abbey presented to the vicarage until the reign of Edward III., when Mersea, as an alien priory, fell to the Crown. The dedication, therefore, marks the association of the church with a foreign religious house: similar connections have influenced other English dedications.

The substitution of St. Andrew for St. Owen is probably due to some early eighteenth-century misreading of St. Audoenus.[6]

Besides Fingringhoe, there are two ancient churches in England – at Hereford and Bromham, Beds. - under the patronage of St. Owen; there was also a church of St. Owen at Gloucester, but this no longer exists, though the name is retained in the designation of the parish with which it has been incorporated "St. Mary de Crypt with All Saints and St. Owen." Assuming that Ewen represents Owen there is, in addition, St. Ewen's, Bristol, which was demolished in 1820, though the name is preserved in conjunction with that of Christ Church, into which parish it has been absorbed.  Mention may also be made of the London church of St. Ewen, in Newgate Market, which was destroyed in 1546.[7]



[1] A suggesti on, based merely on iconographical detail, was made forty-five years ago (EAT., vol.  iii. (n .s.)  pp. 119-20) that the original dedication was to  SS. Mary the Virgin and Michael; and in Miss Arnold-Forster's S tudies in  Church Dedications (1899), (vol. iii ., p. 124), the patron is given as St . George, or St. Andrew - St. George evidently beiug derived from a misinterpretation of the carving of St. Micbael outside the south porch.
[2] Preserved with the original, in the Colchest er and Esse x Museum.
[3] As the Holman MSS. passed from Holman, through Tindal, to Salmon, the addition of the dedication must have been made either by Tindal, or by Salmon himself.
[4] The dedication of Fingringhoe church is given as St. Andrew in  Ecton's  Theasarus (1742), on the authority of Browne Willis;  also in Bacon 's Liber Regis  (1786).
[5] One of the original fourteenth century consecration crosses still exists on the south-west respond of the nave arcade.
[6] A similar mistake in the inscription of Pentlow church to St Gregory in place of St George, the true dedication, is due, so our President informs me, to a like carelessness on somebody’s part.
[7] See Miss Arnold Foster’s Studies, vol i, pp 176-177.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Fingringhoe Wills (3): Transactions 'New Series' Volume 20 Part 1

{Part 3}

The bad state of the roads in the Middle Ages was the cause of much inconvenience, and since they were entirely dependent on individual effort, their maintenance was regarded as a work of mercy.  Bequests for the purpose were therefore common, and occur in the wills under consideration. John Sowthow (1504) left a remnant of money "to the ways";  Alice Hampkyn (1517) left 13s. 4d. "for the highways of Fyngryngho"; similarly, John Obre (1522) left 20s. "to the repair of the highway between Fyngryngho and Colchester"; and John Sowthow (1530) left 10 marks "to the repair of the highway from Fyngryngho church to Weststrete house." A bequest by John Cowper (1524) of 26s. 8d. "to the repair of the steps" is somewhat puzzling. The same term occurs in the will of Thomas Beriff, dated 1563 (P.C.C. Chayre 40), who left money for the "mending of highwaies, bridges and the steepes" in Brightlingsea. Evidently "the steps" were connected with the water-side, and Dr. E. P. Dickin has suggested[1] that they might have been the steps of a quay or stepping-stones across a fleet.

Bequests to the parish church were numerous and, as is frequently the case, these and kindred items throw a fresh light on its history.  Naturally, its needs in connection with repair and upkeep were remembered:  William Webbe (1502) left 26s. 8d. for its reparation; Agnes Hankyn (1505), John Hankyn (1506), and Alice Hampkyn (1517), left the residue of their goods to the church, the earlier bequest being for repairs; John Feryer (1504) left 20s. for two stocks, i.e. two separate funds to provide for certain expenses, and also ordered his son to pay 10s. to the church "in shorttyng of dettes"; and Gonor Dorell (1513) desired certain proceeds to be disposed of for such things in the church as the vicar should deem of most profit.

The following references to various images, each with its attendant light, occur:
1400.   Lamps of St. Mary, St. Michael and St. Katherine.[2] 
1505.   The painting of the image of Our Lady of Pity.
1508.   Light before Our Lady of Pity.
1508.   Light before St. Anthony.
1509.   Two tapers of a pound apiece, to be kept burning before Our Lady for ever.
1524.   A tabernacle and image of Our Lady in it, to be set in the chapel of Our Lady; and a candle, of half a pound, to be kept perpetually before the said image.

A testator also left 10s. in 1504, for lights in the church.

In addition to the above there would have been, according to the invariable rule, an image of the patron saint near the high altar; and no doubt one of the images of Our Lady also stood in the chancel, probably at the north end of the altar. "Our Lady of Pity" was the group called the Pieta , and represented the Blessed Virgin seated, with the dead body of her Divine Son on her lap, a conception very popular in this country during the century preceding the Reformation.[3]  The tabernacle, or·canopy of tabernacle work, and image of Our Lady ordered to be set in the chapel of Our Lady, gives us the hitherto unknown dedication of the south chapel.  This chapel is some decades later than the south aisle,[4] and was added c.1360, when the chancel was rebuilt.

Images in two neighbouring churches are also mentioned, namely, at Langenhoe:
1506.   Lights before Our Lady and St. Clement.
and Donyland:
1508.   Repair of the image of Our Lady.

The certificate of the church goods at Fingringhoe in Edward VI.'s reign is unfortunately lost, so it is interesting to know that the parish was provided with some exceptionally rich vestments. In 1504 John Sowthow left the large sum of 20 marks, i.e. something like £200 in modern money, to buy a cope of "tyssu," or cloth of gold, to match the chasuble already in possession of the church.  The "church box" is also referred to in the same will.

We learn from the will of John Hankyn (1506) that a Gild of St. Peter, hitherto unrecorded among the Religious Gilds of Essex,[5] existed in the parish.

The following is a list of the clergy mentioned, generally as witnesses, in the various wills.  The vicars are given by Newcourt;[6] the other names are those of curates and clergy of uncertain status:
1502-3.   Sir Richard Pyngull (alias Pyngyll, vicar).
1504.   The parson of Donyland.
1504-5.   Sir John Wodward alias Woodward), vicar.
1505-18.   Sir John Webbe, vicar.
1505-6.   Sir John Well,[7] curate.
1506-7.   Sir John Parke.
1521.   Sir James Tunstall.
1522.   Leonard Richardson, priest.
1524-29.   Sir Richard Warde, curate.
1532.   Sir Richard Saye, vicar.
1539-51.   Sir (or Mr.) Nicholas Gladman, vicar.





[1] History of Brightlingsea (1913) p 166.
[2] Emblems of these saints and of St. Anthony, together with a winged heart pierced by a word, suggestive of Our Lady of Pity, are carved on an oak curtain-beam, which has recently been erect ed at the Entrance t o t he south chapel.
[3] See E. Peacock, ‘Our Lady of Pity’, Archaeological Journal, vol xlviii (1891) pp 111-116.
[4] The foundations of the original east wall of the so uth aisle were revealed in July, 1930, when a step was being laid down at the entrance to the south chapel.  Two or three fragments of stained glass were also found among the debris.
[5] See EAT vol xii pp. 280-290; vol xv p98; vol xvi pp. 59, 307
[6] Repetorium, vol ii, pp. 266-267.
[7] Probably a transcriber’s error for ‘Webbe’.