Rebecca Banks1

b. circa 1877
FatherGeorge Banks1 b. c 1836
MotherMary Funnell1 b. 8 Mar 1840
     Rebecca Banks was born circa 1877 at Little Horsted, Sussex, England.1 She was the daughter of George Banks and Mary Funnell.1

Citations

  1. [S70] 1881 Census for England, "RG11 piece 1053 folio 71 page 2."

Thomas Banks1

b. circa 1863
FatherGeorge Banks1 b. c 1836
MotherMary Funnell1 b. 8 Mar 1840
     Thomas Banks was born circa 1863 at Little Horsted, Sussex, England.1 He was the son of George Banks and Mary Funnell.1

Citations

  1. [S69] 1871 Census for England, "RG10 piece 1053 folio 69 page 3."

Thomas William Banks

b. 1891, d. 1891
FatherGeorge William Banks b. 1859, d. 1910
MotherMary Esther Humphrey b. 1863
     Thomas William Banks died in 1891 at Malling, Kent, England.1
Thomas William Banks was born in 1891 at Birling, Malling, Kent, England.2 He was the son of George William Banks and Mary Esther Humphrey.

Citations

  1. [S141] General Register Office: Indexes to Deaths, Sep 1837 - 2006, "Jun 1891, Malling, Vol 2a Page 402, "age 0 years.""
  2. [S142] General Register Office: Indexes to Births, Sep 1837-2006, "Apr-Jun 1891, Malling, Vol 2a Page 611."

William Banks

b. 11 January 1698
     William Banks was baptized on 11 January 1698 at Alfriston, Sussex, England.
William Banks married Charity Pockney, daughter of Thomas Pockney and Elizabeth Howell, on 17 April 1722 at West Hoathly, Sussex, England.1

Family

Charity Pockney b. 10 Apr 1696
Marriage*
William Banks married Charity Pockney, daughter of Thomas Pockney and Elizabeth Howell, on 17 April 1722 at West Hoathly, Sussex, England.1 

Citations

  1. [S24] Index to Sussex Marriages, 1538-1837, Compact Disc SFHGCD003, compiled by Sussex Family History Group, 2008.

Edmund Bannister

b. 16 July 1828, d. 1886
     Edmund Bannister was baptized on 16 July 1828 at Brighton, Sussex, England.
Edmund Bannister married Elizabeth Cottingham on 24 November 1856 at St Nicholas Church, Brighton, Sussex, England.
Edmund Bannister died in 1886 at Brighton, Sussex, England.

Family

Elizabeth Cottingham b. 10 May 1829, d. 1885
Marriage*
Edmund Bannister married Elizabeth Cottingham on 24 November 1856 at St Nicholas Church, Brighton, Sussex, England
Child

Emily Bannister

b. 23 April 1861, d. 16 August 1914
FatherEdmund Bannister b. 16 Jul 1828, d. 1886
MotherElizabeth Cottingham b. 10 May 1829, d. 1885
     Emily Bannister was born on 23 April 1861 at Brighton, Sussex, England. She was the daughter of Edmund Bannister and Elizabeth Cottingham.
Emily Bannister married Henry Richard Joseph Wadey, son of Richard Wadey and Eliza Ede, in 1883 at Brighton, Sussex, England.
Emily Bannister died on 16 August 1914 at Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at age 53.

Family

Henry Richard Joseph Wadey b. 3 May 1859, d. 9 Jun 1933
Marriage*
Emily Bannister married Henry Richard Joseph Wadey, son of Richard Wadey and Eliza Ede, in 1883 at Brighton, Sussex, England
Children

Ann Barber alias Nynne

b. 24 April 1615, d. 1681
FatherWilliam Barber alias Nynne b. c 1580, d. 1625
MotherElizabeth Fuller d. 1625
     Ann Barber alias Nynne was born in 1615 at Ticehurst, Sussex, England.
Ann Barber alias Nynne was baptized on 24 April 1615 at Ticehurst, Sussex, England.1 She was the daughter of William Barber alias Nynne and Elizabeth Fuller.
Ann Barber alias Nynne married Noah Knight on 27 June 1637 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.2
Ann Barber alias Nynne died in 1681 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.
Ann Barber alias Nynne was buried on 24 May 1681 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.3

Family

Noah Knight d. 1681
Marriage*
Ann Barber alias Nynne married Noah Knight on 27 June 1637 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.2 
Children

Citations

  1. [S23] Index to Sussex Baptisms, 1538 onwards, compiled by Sussex Family History Group, http://www.sfhg.org.uk/, ongoing project,.
  2. [S24] Index to Sussex Marriages, 1538-1837, Compact Disc SFHGCD003, compiled by Sussex Family History Group, 2008.
  3. [S388] Website "FamilySearch" (http://www.familysearch.org/) "GS Film number: 1468914."

Anne Barber alias Nynne

b. 16 February 1644/45
FatherThomas Barber alias Nynne b. 1 Jan 1585, d. 1649
MotherAnne Latter b. 11 Dec 1608, d. c 1675
     Anne Barber alias Nynne was baptized on 16 February 1644/45 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.1 She was the daughter of Thomas Barber alias Nynne and Anne Latter.
There is a document dated 24 January 1670/71 in which Samuel Theobald, "of Tonbridge, yeoman", releases his step-daughter Anne Barber, spinster, from any obligation to him. This is clearly indicating a separation of affairs between Samuel and Anne Barber, but we do not know the circumstances behind it (was Anne about to be married?). The fact that this document ended up with Mary Barber's papers (wife of Anne's brother Thomas) indicates that the unmarried Anne Barber was still in touch with her brother (who was also unmarried at this time) and that perhaps he was assisting her in this matter. The document is transcribed below:
Knowe all men by these presents that I Samuell Theobald of Tonbridge in the county of Kent yeoman for good causes and considerations me hereunto moveing Have remised released and for ever quiteclaymed and by these presents doe fully cleerly and absolutely for and from me mine executors and adm[ini]strators remise releas and for ever quiteclaime unto Anne Barbar of Tonbridge aforsaid Spinster her heires executors and adm[ini]strators all and all manner of accons causes of accons sutes Controversies bonds obligations bills debts duties recconings accompts defamations wrongs assaults trepasses and demands whatsoever which I the said Samuell Theobald mine Executors adm[ini]strators or assignes have had may might could or ought to have of from or against the said Anne Barbar her heires executors or adm[ini]strators for any cause question matter or thing whatsoever from the beginning of the world until the day of the date of these presents In witnes whereof I the said Samuell Theobald have to this my present writing sett my hand and seale the fower and Twenteth day of January In the Two and Twenteth yeare of the Reigne of our sovereigne Lord Charles the second by the grace of God King of England Scotland France & Ireland defender of the faith &c Anno d[omi]ni 1670
Sealed and delivered in the
p[resen]nce of Geo. Hooper: &
Richard Polhill
Samuel Theobald.
(Transcribed by Gillian Rickard for Geoffrey Barber, April 2014.)2

Citations

  1. [S23] Index to Sussex Baptisms, 1538 onwards, compiled by Sussex Family History Group, http://www.sfhg.org.uk/, ongoing project,.
  2. [S590] Release Declaration, Samuel Theobold-Ann Barber 1670/71 (Collection of the solicitors Messrs. Walker, Templer and Thomson of Tonbridge), 24 Jan 1670/71. (KHLC: TU1/M2/1).

Bonnetts Barber alias Nynne

Bonnetts and Bachelands (now Town Hill House), Rotherfield. (Postcard c1900)
      THE "BONNETTS" PROPERTY

The property known as Bonnetts is located on Rotherfield Hill on the northern side of what is now known as Church Road. It is opposite the western boundary of the Rotherfield St Denys church yard.

The Bonnetts property comprises four elements:
1. A messuage & garden of 1 rood [1/4 acre] with a barn called Bonnets and a "Way" from the messuage to the barn.
2. A garden of 1 rood called Bachelands next to the barn.
3. A parcel of meadow 1/2 acre
4. A kitchen (later described as a wooden building, and a lodge or hovel) once of Alice A'Downe and a garden once of Adam Fermor.

The property can be found on the 1842 Tithe map of Rotherfield [ESRO TD/E 156]:
1. Plot 2413 is identified on the tithe map as a a garden, 31 perches or 0.78 roods in area, and this is considered to be Bachelands.
2. Plot 2415 is identified on the Tithe map as Town Hill House and garden, 1 rood and 34 perches, or 0.46 acres in area. This is considered to be the parcel of meadow of 1/2 acre.
3. Plot 2414 is identified as a lodge and yard, 37 perches or 0.92 roods in area, and is considered to be the lodge or hovel once of Alice A'Downe and a garden once of Adam Farmer.
4. There is a"Way" in the middle of the properties lying between plots 2413 and 2415 together with a curiously shaped plot, possibly a garden, all with no plot numbers on the tithe map. The description of the property in 1627 of "Mes & gdn at Retherfeild Hill [sic.], of 1 rod [rood], and a barn called Bonnetts, with a Way from sd mes to the barn" could mean that the messuage, garden, way and barn totalled 1 rood in area, and if so then this would be close. The messuage (dwelling) may have been located where Town Hill House is located now on the main street, or it could have been in that curiously shaped plot in the Way between the existing barn and Town Hill House. The original cottage called Bonnets may actually be part of the existing barn or could also be in that curiously shaped plot in the Way.

Various transactions relating to this property have been discovered (mostly manorial surrenders and admissions) and are listed below:

On 27 Sep 1516 Thomas Morely is admitted to the property [Latin]: "27 Sep 1516 Copy Surrender of Alice A Downe, wd, to use of Tho Morley. Small pcl [parcel] land (?belonging to) a Cottage called Bonetts on Retherfield Hill." [ESRO SAS AB 395]

On 11 May 1530 John Nynde is admitted to the property [Latin]: "11 May 1530, Copy Surrender of Tho. Morley & Rose his wf [wife] to use of Joh ?Synde & Joan his wf. Cott with ?Kitchen (coquina), & gdn, in Retherfield also small pcl land of 1/2 acre, & garden belonging, late Alice Downe's." [ESRO SAS AB 396]

On 23 Sep 1591 George Nynne is admitted to the property "Comes George Nynne & prays 1 mes. with garden on R. hyll cont. 1 rod & 1 barn formerly called Bennetts with a road to the sd mes. & barn & a garden cont. 1 rod called Bacheland near the sd barn & a parcel of meadow cont. 1/2 ac. & 1 kitchen formerly Alice Adowne's & 1 garden formerly Adam Farmer's of which John N. his father died siesed". [Pullein Transcripts Vol III pg 58]

It appears that Bachelands may have been acquired between 1530 and 1591, as it is not specifically mentioned in the 1530 admission but is mentioned in the 1591 admission. We know that George Nynne alias Barber was a merchant in skins (fellmonger) (Pullein pg 281) and that he also inherited a freehold 22 1/2 acre property in the High Cross area of Rotherfield called Drapers (Pullein Transcripts Vol III pg 57) which is clearly shown on the 1597 survey map. Tanning and leather work were a major industry in Rotherfield (Pullein pg 281).

On 11 Oct 1627 Thomas Nynne als Barber is admitted to the property on the death of his father George [Latin]: "11 Oct 1627 Mes & gdn at Retherfeild Hill [sic.], of 1 rod, and a barn called Bonnetts, with a Way from sd mes to the barn; Also a gdn of 1 rod called Bacheland next to sd barn; Also a pcl meadow of 1/2 ac, & a Kitchen (coquinam) once of Alice Adowne, & a gdn once of Adam Farmer." [ESRO SAS AB 398]

On 7 Jan 1661/62 Thomas Barber alias Nynne leases the property from his mother: "7 Jan 1661/62 Lease by Samuel Theobold of Tonbridge, Kent, clothier and Ann his wife, to Thomas Barber alias Nine, of Frant, Sussex, then servant to Thomas Weller, gent., of a messuage or tenement, outhouse, barn and stall and a small piece of land lying near the said barn, together with all gardens, closes, backside, etc. in Rotherfield Town. Also, 4 pieces of land and wood containing 22 acres, called Drapyers in Rotherfield; all which premises the said Samuel held by right of An his wife made to her by jointure and lease from Thomas Barber alias Nine, her former husband, father of the above named Thomas. Term, the life of the said Ann Theobold party to the deed and mother of the said Thomas: rent yearly 11 pounds/5s. Signature of Samuel Theobold, and mark of Ann Theobold & seals. Witnesses: William Jeffrey, Ann Barber (mk)" [ESRO SAS FA 781]

On 6 Dec 1677 Thomas Nynne alias Barber surrenders the property and Edmund Latter is admitted: "6 Dec 1677 To this Court came Thomas Nynne alias Barbour and surrendered into the hands of the Lords, by the acceptance of their aforesaid steward, one messuage or tenement, one garden and one barn, called Bonnetts, and a certain way leading from the messuage to the aforesaid barn, and also one other garden containing one rood of land called Bathelands lying near the aforesaid barn, and one piece of meadow containing half an acre, and one wooden building, in English a lodge or hovel, and one garden previously Adam Fermor’s, situated and lying in Retherfeild, held by rent of [blank], heriot, relief and other services, to the use of Edmund Latter and his heirs, according to the custom of the aforesaid manor. And thereupon to this court came the aforesaid Edmund and sought that he be admitted to the messuage, tenement, barn, garden, lands and premises aforesaid, with the appurtenances, to whom the lords, through their aforesaid steward, granted seisin thereof by rod, to have and to hold to the same Edmund and his heirs, at the will of the lords, according to the custom of the aforesaid manor, by the rent and services formerly due in respect thereof and by right accustomed. And he gave to the lords, as fine and heriot, a composition, £3 13s 4d. And he is admitted as tenant thereof. And he has seisin by rod. And he makes fealty to the lords." [ESRO ABE 7401]

On 24 Oct 1678 Edmund Latter surrenders the property as settlement on his intended wife Mary Lashmore: "Copy Surrender of Edmund Latter to Use of sd Edmund for Life, & then to Mary Lashmore his intended wife, then to their issue; & his Admission thereon. Mes in which sd Edmund [Latter] dwells, with gdn, on Retherfeild Hill, of 1 rood, & barn called Bonnetts with Way leading from sd mes to sd barn; Also gdn of 1 rood called Bachelands next sd barn, and piece meadow of 1/2 ac, also Lodge or Hovell (tigellum) and gdn formerly of Adam Fermor, in Retherfeild. (A rough endorsement states "Latters Settlement on His Wife. This is copphold [copyhold?] from a thorn left in the fence of the Lawrel Hedg the other side of sd Lawrel hedg westward is freehold")." [ESRO SAS AB 405] This transactions illustrates one means of ensuring that a property belonging to a male could be used for the benefit of his wife after his death but still go to his heirs in the event that his wife remarried (otherwise a woman's property became her husband's property on marriage, but in this case she does not own the property and only has a right to use). Jointure is the term used to describe a provision made by a husband for his wife by settling property upon her at marriage for her use after his death.

On 5 Oct 1706 Mary Latter, widow, & relict of Edmund L., cordwinder [sic.] and Humphrey Latter of Groombridge, Kent, mercer, only son & heir of said Edmund, sign a covenant (a contract of sale) for 125 pounds to surrender the property at the next Court Baron of the Manor of Rotherfield to Humphrey Fowle of Rotherfield, esq. "A Mes with gdn upon Rotherfield Hill, of 1 rood; Also barn called Bonnetts with a Way from the Mes aforsd to sd barn; Also gdn of 1 rood called Bachelands nr sd barn; & pcl meadow of 1/2 ac; Also Lodge or Hovell heretofore a Kitchen & now one gdn heretofore belonging to Adam Fermor; All held of Manor of Rotherfield & now in occpn of Jas Mugridge & late the lands & tenmts of sd Edmund Latter, deed, & by him surrendered on 4 Oct 1678 to Use of sd Edmund for Life & Remainder to sd Mary by name of Mary Lashmore his then intended wife for her Life." [ESRO SAS AB 408]

On 19 Sep 1747, John Latter of Tunbridge, Kent cordwainer, paid Humphrey Fowle 140 pounds for the property and a more detailed description is given: "Mes or tenmt with barn, bldgs, closes, gdns, orchds, etc, in Rotherfield, bounding to High St on S [South], to mes and gdn of sd Humphry F. on W, & to mes and lands of sd Humphry F. now in occpn of Jas Mugridge the elder on N & E, all of 1 ac, in occpns of Hen Latter & Edw Taylor." [ESRO SAS AB 410]

On 23 Dec 1854 the property was surrendered by Spencer Shelley on the death of Sir John Shelley, and the Earl of Chichester & Viscount Gage were admitted as the new owners. The property was described as: "Mes [messuage] with gdn [garden] on Rotherfield Hill, of 1 rood; Also Bn [barn] called Bennetts [sic.] with a Way leading from sd mes to sd bn [said messuage to said barn]; Also a gdn of 1 rood called Backland [sic.] nr sd bn, & 1 piece of meadow of 1/2 ac, & a Lodge or Hovel, afterwards a gdn, once Farmers since Latters;" [ESRO SAS AB 1461]

Notes Concerning Some of the People Mentioned:
1. Bonnett - the court rolls for the manor of Rotherfield in 1456 has the entry: "The homag present that the tenement of Simon Bonnet viz the plastered hall & grange, are ruiness. Therefore he has a day before Easter next under pain of 13/4 [13s/4d fine?] 34HVI [1456]". It gives some description of the house, if indeed this was "Bonnets". Note that a grange, in this context, probably means a barn or granary, as this is the old meaning of the word. Two years earlier, in 1454, Simon Bonnet was also mentioned again in the court rolls for the same problem: "The Homag present that the buildings of John Astyn are in decay in everything. And the house of Simon Bonnet. And the houses of John at Fryth, John Hunt & Thos A'Downe". At least this is evidence of a family called Bonnet in Rotherfield in the 15th Century, although we cannot be certain about the house.
2. Alice A'Downe - no connection identified. Although A'Downe of Rotherfield is a name which appears in the Barber family tree, it is via the Latter family who married into the Barber alias Nynne family much later in 1639.
3. Thomas Morely - at present no connection has been proven. However, he surrendered a second property called Drapers to the Nynne alias Barber family in the 1500s. While there is no actual record of surrender, he did own Drapers in 1509 as evidenced in a quit rental, and from c1580 it is in the hands of the Nynne alias Barber family up until 1787. The two transfers lead one to suspect a family connection but there is no proof.
4. Adam Farmer/Fermor - suspected of being a family relative of the Nynne alias Barber family, as "John Nen married Alis Farmer" on 8 Apr 1554 in Rotherfield. He is possibly a brother to Alis Farmer. John Nynne's will (probate 25 May 1591) named Adam Farmer, son of John Farmer, as one of the overseers.
5. Samuel Theobold - third husband of Ann (nee Latter, married first husband William Heath 1630 and married second husband Thomas Nynne alias Barber 1639). Ann Latter is the daughter of Edmund Latter and Agnes Alchorne (nee A'Downe), baptised 11 Dec 1608 at Rotherfield. According to Pullein, Edmund Latter acquired a property called Salters in Rotherfield in 1595 (Pullein p303).
6. Edmund Latter - likely the grandson of Edmund Latter and Agnes Alchorn (nee A'Downe) - and the son of John Latter bap. 15 Jan 1636/37. He is mentioned in Edmund Latter's will of 1654 in Tonbridge. Another possibility is that he is actually Edmund Heath, son of Anne Latter (to William Heath, her first husband) who may have changed his surname to Latter (a possibility?).
7. Humphrey Fowle - notes from Bill Green (a Fowle family researcher): In the autumn of 1747 Humphrey Fowle was approaching 65 years of age and was apparently selling at least some of his many holdings (sold messuage etc in Balcombe in November). It should be noted that he was a Rotherfield church warden in 1714-16. As an interesting side light when he died in 1756 he had no male heir so he left everything to a Thomas Peckham with whom he lived. Mr. Peckham was to take the Fowle name to preserve the Fowle line. Peckham died without issue and that was the end of the Rotherfield junior Fowle line. See also Pullein - there is a lot of history on the Fowles.

Author's Comments:
The Grade II listed property Town Hill House in Church Road, Rotherfield (also known as Kingsclere in the past) incorporates the major part of the property known in the old manorial records as "Bonnetts" – in particular the barn and the way. The house dates from the 18th Century, so is later than the period of interest here.
The piece of land referred to as Bachelands fronts on to Church Road and has a surviving stone wall on the road boundary which was the subject of archaeological investigation in 2003, and some parts were dated to the 15th and 16th centuries. The house behind the wall is known today as "The Friars" and is fairly recent. It seems to have always been a garden, at least up until 1854. There is speculation of an association between Bachelands and John Bache/Bathe, rector of Rotherfield 1406 to 1430.
The outline of the Way on the 1842 tithe map has curious indentations and shapes, and the description of the property refers to a number of gardens and structures. It would surely be an interesting site for archaeological excavation in the future.

IMAGES.
Image: An early 20th-century postcard of the Bonnetts property now called Town Hill House (called Kings-clere at that time) in Church Road, Rotherfield. Note the high brick wall in front of the plot called Bachelands (now a house called The Friars), with the plot appearing to be vacant land at that time. The entrance to the "Way" between Bachelands and Town Hill House is clearly visible.
Image: An early 20th-century postcard looking down Church Road (Rotherfield Hill). Note Town Hill House down the hill on the right and the Rotherfield St Denys church lych gate on the left.
Image: The 1842 Tithe Map of Rotherfield Village. The Rotherfield St Denys church is clearly shown in plot 3130. The property Bachelands is plot 2413 and Bonnetts comprises plots 2414, 2415 and the Way. (ESRO, TD/E 1560006.)
Image: The Bonnetts and Bachelands property viewed from the church steeple. Town Hill House (on the left obscured by trees) with barn and meadow. 'The Friars' house is in the centre of the photo and is on the plot known as Bachelands. (Photo: Alan Yates, Rotherfield 2013).

REFERENCES

1. Martin, David: “A Brief Archaeological/Architectural Report on the Front Boundary Wall at The Friars, Church Road, Rotherfield , East Sussex”, Archaeology South East, Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Project Ref: 1757, Report No: 1512: Site Ref: P97/10, Date of Survey: 2003
2. Pullein, Catharine: “Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors”, Published 1928.
3. Pullein, Catharine: “Vol I, Court Rolls of the Manor of Rotherfield, Sussex from the year 1444 to 1457/58”. Handwritten transcription. “The only rolls now remaining for the reign of King Henry VI.” Handed to Alan Yates, Rotherfield from the estate of a deceased churchwarden.
4. Pullein, Catharine: Her personal handwritten notebook held at the Sussex Archaeological Society Barbican Library, Lewes.
5. Sussex Archaeological Society (SAS) “AB” and “FA” Files held at the East Sussex Record Office.

DNA Barber alias Nynne

b. 2002
     DNA Barber alias Nynne was born in 2002.
THE BARBER DNA
The author's Y-DNA results have been recorded at under two project studies: one for the surname BARBER and another for the surname NIN/NINN/NYNNE. Any male person with a paternal ancestry that goes back to the Barber alias Nynne families (ie going back on the male line only) and who has an interest in genetic genealogy can have their Y-DNA tested and recorded as part of these studies by ordering the test at this web site.
One day there might be a match with another person who may help determine whether the family name should be Barber or Nynne! As females do not have a Y chromosome, they can only participate if they obtain a DNA sample from a male relative whose paternal ancestry goes back to the Barber alias Nynne families.
The mt-DNA test and the autosomal Family Finder Family test have also been completed at .

Drapers Barber alias Nynne

Drapers on the 1597 map of the manor of Rotherfield.
      THE "DRAPERS" PROPERTY

The property known as Drapers (or Drapyers) is located in the High Cross area of Rotherfield adjacent to another property called Grubreed. “Drapers fronts the Mayfield Rd between Grubreed Cottages and Lew farm”.1 In the 1597 survey of the manor of Rotherfield it was noted as 27 acres 0 roods and 10 perches in size, but was described as 22 acres in a lease dated 1662.
The property is first mention in a 1296 list of tax payers (called a subsidy roll) as being owned by Alexander Draper and is last mentioned in the 1871 census. It was in the Barber alias Nynne family for about 200 years from c1590 to 1787. Various documents show that it was a valuable source of timber and was also used for crops, animals and fell mongering (mentioned in wills of 1627, 1683 and 1799).
The centre point of the property can be located using Google Earth at latitude 51° 2’ 21.76” North; longitude 0° 13’ 25.91” East.

History of Events
1296 Alexander Draper listed as owner in a subsidy roll (list of tax payers).2
1509 Thomas Morley pays yearly rent of ijd (2 pence) for Drapers to Rotherfield Church.1
1597 The property is drawn on the 1597 survey of the manor of Rotherfield map and shows “Georg Barbar” as the freehold owner and indicates the size of the property as 27 acres 0 roods and 10 perches.3
1627 The property transfers to Thomas Barber alias Nynne on the death of his father George Nynne alias Barber.4
1649 On the death of Thomas Barber alias Nynne of Rotherfield the property is held by his wife Ann Barber as guardian for the young Thomas Barber alias Nynne (born 1640 Rotherfield). Ann Barber remarried Samuel Theobold of Tonbridge and they occupied the property (and a cottage in Rotherfield town).5
1662 On coming of age, Thomas Barber alias Ninne leases Drapers and the cottage in Rotherfield town to his mother Ann for life for the rent of £11/5s per year. Thomas is working in Frant at this time, and later moves to Tonbridge where he marries in 1672 and has a family.6
1709 According to Pullein, by 1709 John Moone of Rotherfield "for some years had held ...... Drapers". He would have been the occupier as opposed to the proprietor or owner, so the land would have been leased at the time. Pullein incorrectly ascribes the ownership to Holman.7
1720 A record survives of Mary Barber paying the annual rental for Drapers to the manor of Rotherfield "Mary Barber of Tunbridge, widow for Drapers 3s/4d".8
1732 Mary Barber buried in Tonbridge. While no will or transfer record has been found, it likely passed to her eldest surviving son, Thomas Barber, who passed all his properties to his nephew Thomas Barber of Tonbridge (son of Richard, the eldest son of Mary) in his will of 1749.9,10
1754 Thomas Barber died prematurely in 1754 leaving the property with his widow, Elizabeth Barber of Tonbridge, and their only child Thomas, born in 1752.
1750-64 Land tax records show the property owned by "Mr. Barber" but leased to John Parsons. Elizabeth would have held the property for her only son Thomas.11
1765-87 Land tax records show the property was owned by "Mr. Barber" but leased to William Peerless.11
1788 William Peerless appears on the land tax records as the owner of the property. It is presumed that Elizabeth Barber or her son Thomas sold the property in 1787.11
1800 The will of William Peerless, a glover and fell monger, leaves Drapers to his son Henry Peerless with his younger son William Peerless having the right to occupy and make a living from the property as long as he remains in Rotherfield and continues in business as a glover and fell monger.12
1861 Census - a cottage at the location “Drapyers” next to Grubreed is occupied by agricultural labourer George Richeson with wife Ann and children George, Flora and William.13
1871 Census - a cottage at the location “Drapyers” next to Grubreed is occupied by William Haywood, a jobbing gardener, and his wife Betsy and daughter Eliza.14
1881 Census - no reference to “Drapyers”. The cottage at this location was now called “Spring Cottage”. The name of its’ neighbouring property “Grubreed”, however, was still being used.15
1911 Census - the household next to Grub Reed cottages is given the postal address of "Drapers, Rotherfield”, indicating that the name was still in use. The house was occupied by Alfred and Ada Crittall, and their two sons. Alfred was a general labourer. The name had not been forgotten. Is it still remembered today?16
Image: Drapers in 2011 on Google Earth.
Image: Drapers on the 1597 map of Rotherfield. Compare this to the 2011 Google Earth image.

Citations

  1. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "page 235."
  2. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "page 56."
  3. [S105] Survey (map) of land held of the Manor of Rotherfield, "described in the Year 1597 by Richard Allin of Roberstsbridge in Sussex, and new drawn on vellum and collored in the yeare 1664 by John Pattenden of Brenchley in Kent", of the manor of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, 1597 (ESRO: ACC 363/111r).
  4. [S120] Transcription of Thomas Nynne als Barber Admission, 24 Jul 1627. (ESRO SAS AB 397).
  5. [S103] Transcript of the Parish Register of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, (ESRO: PAR 465/1/1/1).
  6. [S117] Transcription of Theobold/Barber alias Nine Lease, 7 Jan 1661/2. (ESRO SAS FA 781).
  7. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "page 156."
  8. [S106] Rentals of the manor of Rotherfield, 22 Apr 1720 (ESRO: ACC2953/130).
  9. [S133] Transcript of the Parish Register of Tonbridge, Kent, England, 1547-1730 (KHLC: TR 2451/20).
  10. [S341] Will of Thomas Barber of Tonbridge, Kent, England, made 16 May 1749, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 16 Jun 1749. (TNA: PROB 11/770/346).
  11. [S124] Land tax of the manor of Rotherfield, Sussex, 1750-1779 (ESRO: XA31/34).
  12. [S129] Will of William Peerless of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 9 Feb 1799, proved in the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 7 Nov 1800. (ESRO: PBT 1/1/68/507).
  13. [S68] 1861 Census for England, "RG09/574/7/8."
  14. [S69] 1871 Census for England, "RG10/1050/10/12."
  15. [S70] 1881 Census for England, "RG11/1050/5/4."
  16. [S73] 1911 Census for England "RG14PN4935 RG78PN214 RD74 SD1 ED8 SN62."

Elizabeth Barber alias Nynne

b. 11 September 1642
FatherThomas Barber alias Nynne b. 1 Jan 1585, d. 1649
MotherAnne Latter b. 11 Dec 1608, d. c 1675
     Elizabeth Barber alias Nynne was baptized on 11 September 1642 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.1 She was the daughter of Thomas Barber alias Nynne and Anne Latter.

Citations

  1. [S23] Index to Sussex Baptisms, 1538 onwards, compiled by Sussex Family History Group, http://www.sfhg.org.uk/, ongoing project,.

Elizabeth Barber alias Nynne

b. 15 December 1594
FatherGeorge Barber alias Nynne b. c 1558, d. 1627
MotherElizabeth Godsell b. 21 Dec 1561, d. 1638
     Elizabeth Barber alias Nynne was baptized on 15 December 1594 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.1 She was the daughter of George Barber alias Nynne and Elizabeth Godsell.
Elizabeth Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of Henry Aderoll alias Skinner dated 6 July 1612 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.2
Elizabeth Barber alias Nynne married William Bowden on 26 May 1622 at Horsmonden, Kent, England, Surname BARBER (no alias NYNNE). Elizabeth BOWDEN is mentioned as a daughter in her mother's will of 1637 thus confirming her married name. William Bowden is mentioned as a witness on her brother Thomas's marriage licence.3,4
Elizabeth Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of George Barber alias Nynne dated 18 January 1617 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.5
Elizabeth Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of Elizabeth Godsell dated 12 September 1637 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.6
The marriage record for Elizabeth's son William Bowden implies that Elizabeth remarried sometime after the death of her husband William in 1645 but before her son's marriage in 1656, as her son is referred to as William Bowden, son of Elizabeth Weston of Heathfield. However, there is a gap in the Ticehurst marriages in the Sussex Marriage Index for the period 1641-1653 and the marriage has not been found yet.
If the remarriage of Elizabeth to a WESTON is correct, there are two possible burials at Heathfield All Saints:
6 Oct 1663: ------- Weston, wife of old Weston
13 Oct 1666: ------- Weston, wife of John Senior.

Family

William Bowden d. 1645
Marriage*
Elizabeth Barber alias Nynne married William Bowden on 26 May 1622 at Horsmonden, Kent, England, Surname BARBER (no alias NYNNE). Elizabeth BOWDEN is mentioned as a daughter in her mother's will of 1637 thus confirming her married name. William Bowden is mentioned as a witness on her brother Thomas's marriage licence.3,4 
Children

Citations

  1. [S103] Transcript of the Parish Register of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, (ESRO: PAR 465/1/1/1).
  2. [S361] Will of Henry Aderoll alias Skynner of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 6 Jul 1612, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 2 Nov 1613. (TNA: PROB 11/122/389).
  3. [S28] Will of Elizabeth Nynne als Barber of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 12 Sep 1637, proved in the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 3 Dec 1638. (ESRO: PBT/1/1/25/189).
  4. [S388] Website "FamilySearch" (http://www.familysearch.org/) ""England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NLCQ-RZV : 10 December 2014), William Bowden and Elizabeth Barber, 26 May 1622; citing Horsmonden, Kent, England, reference ; FHL microfilm 992,521."
  5. [S113] Will of George Nynne als Barber of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 18 Jan 1617, proved in the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 26 May 1627. (ESRO: PBT/1/1/20/40A).
  6. [S114] Will of Elizabeth Nyne als Barber of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 12 Sep 1637, proved in the Archdeaconry Court at Lewes, 3 Dec 1638. (ESRO: PBT/1/1/25/189).

Frances Barber alias Nynne

b. 16 March 1588/89, d. 1648
FatherGeorge Barber alias Nynne b. c 1558, d. 1627
MotherElizabeth Godsell b. 21 Dec 1561, d. 1638
     Frances Barber alias Nynne was baptized on 16 March 1588/89 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.1 She was the daughter of George Barber alias Nynne and Elizabeth Godsell.
Frances Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of Henry Aderoll alias Skinner dated 6 July 1612 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.2
Frances Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of George Barber alias Nynne dated 18 January 1617 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.3
Frances Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of Elizabeth Godsell dated 12 September 1637 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.4
Frances Barber alias Nynne and Abednego Breade obtained a marriage licence on 6 March 1640/41 at Archdeaconry of Lewes, Sussex, England.
Frances Barber alias Nynne married Abednego Breade on 11 March 1640/41 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.
Frances Barber alias Nynne died in 1648 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.
Frances Barber alias Nynne was buried on 22 September 1648 at St Denys, Rotherfield, Sussex, England, no first name, but "wife of Abednego Breed".5

Family

Abednego Breade
Marriage License*
Frances Barber alias Nynne and Abednego Breade obtained a marriage licence on 6 March 1640/41 at Archdeaconry of Lewes, Sussex, England
Marriage
Frances Barber alias Nynne married Abednego Breade on 11 March 1640/41 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England

Citations

  1. [S103] Transcript of the Parish Register of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, (ESRO: PAR 465/1/1/1).
  2. [S361] Will of Henry Aderoll alias Skynner of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 6 Jul 1612, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 2 Nov 1613. (TNA: PROB 11/122/389).
  3. [S113] Will of George Nynne als Barber of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 18 Jan 1617, proved in the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 26 May 1627. (ESRO: PBT/1/1/20/40A).
  4. [S114] Will of Elizabeth Nyne als Barber of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 12 Sep 1637, proved in the Archdeaconry Court at Lewes, 3 Dec 1638. (ESRO: PBT/1/1/25/189).
  5. [S443] Rotherfield St Denys, Burials and MIs, undated, Rotherfield, Sussex (http://www.stdenysrotherfield.org.uk/familyhistory.htm).

George Barber alias Nynne

b. circa 1558, d. 1627
FatherJohn Barber alias Nynne b. c 1530, d. 1591
MotherAlice Farmer b. c 1530, d. 1595
George Barber's property called Drapers on the 1597 map of Rotherfield (ESRO: ACC 0363-111R).
     George Barber alias Nynne was born circa 1558 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England; probably. He was the son of John Barber alias Nynne and Alice Farmer.
George Barber alias Nynne married Elizabeth Godsell, daughter of Richard Godsell, on 2 December 1582 at Hadlow, Kent, England.1
The only possibility for their marriage was found at Hadlow in Kent and although this has been shown above it should not be treated as certain. Subsequent research found Elizabeth Godsell (or Gutsold/Gutsall) baptised 21 Dec 1561 at Brenchley in Kent, daughter of Richard Gutsold/Gutsall.
There is circumstantial evidence for supporting this marriage being the correct one. Their daughter, Elizabeth married William Bowden in 1622 in Horsmonden, Kent which is a village next to Brenchley i.e. in the area where her mother may have been born. In addition there are many Godsell/Gudsell/Gotsole/Gutsall baptisms in Frant and Ticehurst from 1605 onwards. If this is correct, it highlights that they used the surname Barber outside of Rotherfield, and not Nynne, which could indicate that Barber was their real surname, and Nynne just an alias.
Also, there is a gap between their marriage in 1582 and their first known child, Thomas, in 1585. Could there have been an earlier child (named George?) baptised elsewhere and who later died?2
At the manorial court of 2 May 1587, George Nynne alias Barber is listed as one of the "Sureties", and is "for south borgh sworn" (south borgh is also known as southborough or south township). He is recorded as "George Nynne, surety presents that John Butcher junior & Ralph Barre living in the south township have (illegible) to the hurt of the Queen's highway by the fault of Abraham Butcher, & have a day given to scour, under pain of 3s 4d."3
This is a good example of the responsibilities of the headborough where they were appointed by the manorial court and held responsible for the good behaviour of a group of people (for the south township in George's case). They brought matters to the court for judgement, which in the above case resulted in an order to scour the road or be fined 3s 4d. The position was held for a period of time and then someone else in the area was appointed. This method of keeping law and order goes back to early Saxon times.
George Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of John Barber alias Nynne dated 10 April 1589 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.4
Following the burial of his father on 15 May 1591, the manorial court of 23 Sep 1591 records: "Comes George Nynne (makes homag that he?) holds of the lord certain lands called Drapers cont. 22 1/2 ac. by rent of 22 1/2d", of which John Nynne his father died seised". and also on the same date: "Comes George Nynne & prays 1 mes. with garden on R. hyll cont. 1 rod & 1 barn formerly called Bennetts with a road to the sd mes. & barn & a garden cont. 1 rod called Bacheland near the sd barn & a parcel of meadow cont. 1/2 ac. & 1 kitchen formerly Alice Adowne's & 1 garden formerly Adam Farmer's of which John N. his father died siesed".
These entries are recording the transfer of the two properties called Bonnetts/Bennetts and Drapers to George subsequent to the death of his father. The first is more a notification to the lord of the manor (to whom George will have to pay a rent), as Drapers is held freehold and its transfer or inheritance is not subject to the manorial court. However Bonnetts is held copyhold and the second entry is part of the actual transfer to George as heir.5,6
On the 26th September 1592, George Barbar is recorded as being a juror in a coroners' inquest at Rotherfield. The case concerned a spinster, Agnes Hosmere, who had hanged herself.7
"Georg Barbar" is recorded as the owner of a freehold property known as Drapers on a 1597 survey map of the manor of Rotherfield. We know this was known as Drapers as it is mentioned in the Thomas Barber of Tonbridge will of 1683 and the location on the map matches the description of “Draper’s land” in Catherine Pullein’s book. According to the map, the property is 27 acres 0 roods and 10 perches. On the lease of 1662, the property is stated as being 22 acres. It is not known when the Drapers property came into the Nynne alias Barber family. However, the yearly rents of Rotherfield Church for 1509 record "Thomas Morley for Drapers on Mich. ijd" (Mich. meaning Michaelmas, 29 September, when the payment was due) indicating it was not held at that time.8,9
On 22 May 1603, George Barber or Nynne was appointed a churchwarden at Rotherfield St Denys. This was the same year that a new bell was purchased for the church, and cast on the bell is the inscription "Georg Barber, Edmund Knell, Wardens 1603". The bell survives today and is the fifth bell in a peal of eight.10
An entry in the churchwardens' accounts dated 22 Dec 1603 records the sale of an old bell, probably the one that was replaced by the new bell of 1603: "Md the day and yere above, written George Nynne and Edmund Knell, churchwardens, have sould unto Anthony ffowle of Retherfeild, gentleman, a littell Bell weying six and ffifty pound and heved receaved of the sayd Anthony for the same bell 28s. And this was recorded by the said Churchwardens in the presence of us: George Nynne his mark, Edmund Knell his mark, John Hosmer, clark there" . This document has George’s mark, written by his own hand, and although it probably indicates that he could not write it has clearly been written with a confident hand.11,12
At the manorial court of 4th April 1605, the list of people comprising the homage (the tenants of the manor assembled in the court) ends with "George Nynne alias Barber, searcher of raw tanned leather is sworn", giving some insight into his occupation. In this context, a searcher was a representative of a certain craft or guild whose role was to police the craft on behalf of the civic authorities and in the interests of the guild. For the leather industry there was a statute concerning the “true and just tanning, currying and working of leather” requiring mayors, bailiffs or other head officers in market towns to appoint and swear yearly two or more persons “of the most honest and skilful men” to search and apply a seal to leather that was of acceptable quality and to seize any leather or leather goods that had not been sufficiently tanned or curried. The appointment as a searcher was, in London at least, for a maximum of two years. (Danby Pickering, "The Statutes at Large, Vol VII", (1763), Cambridge. p. 106 (1 Jacobi [1604], CAP. XXII)).
George may therefore have had a background in the leather industry, possibly as a tanner or currier, both specialist crafts. A tanner treats skins of animals to produce leather, and a currier applies techniques of dressing, finishing and colouring to the tanned hide to make it strong, flexible and waterproof. He may also have been a fellmonger - a dealer in skins and hides. In Roland Harris’s "Rotherfield Historic Character Assessment Report, June 2008" he includes a section on economic history and states: "There are references to tanning, a currier, a saddler and glove makers in the period c1600-50. In 1652 tanners from Rotherfield sold their goods at the Lewes leather". Interestingly, George's grandson, William Bowden (1629- ) of Ticehurst, was a tanner.13,14
George Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of Alexander Farmer dated 4 January 1605/6 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.15
George Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of Henry Aderoll alias Skinner dated 6 July 1612 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.16
On 6 July 1612, Henry Aderoll alias Skynner made a will in which George Nynne alias Barber was the executor and all the Nynne alias Barber children named as beneficiaries along with the children of William Savage. There is no indication of the relationship between Henry Aderoll and the Barber or Savage family. However, manorial records show that William Savage’s wife is Gertrude (nee Farmer, bap. 20 March 1551/52 at Rotherfield, daughter of Thomas and Margaret Farmer) so there may have been a common family connection through the Farmers, as George’s mother Alice’s maiden name was Farmer also. There are no records in Rotherfield for the Savage family although the surname does appear in nearby Wadhurst and Ticehurst (e.g. Dorothy dau. William Savage buried at Wadhurst in 1619). The 1597 map of the survey of the manor of Rotherfield shows properties close to George Barber held by a Nicholas Adroll, Thomas Adroll and also a Robert Skinner but they are not mentioned in Henry’s will.
The will reads: In the name of God Amen the vith day of July in the year of our lord god one thousand six hundred and twelve I Henry Aderoll als Skynner of Retherfeild in the county of Sussex being sicke in body but of good and perfect remembrance thanks be given to Allmightie God therefore doe make and declare this my last will and testament in manner and forme following that is to say ffirst and principally I will and bequeath my soule unto Allmightie God my nercifull maker, Saviour and Redeemer by whome and through whome I hope to have foregiveness of all my synnes and my body to the earth from whence it came and Decently to be buried where it shall please God. Item I will and bequeath unto Nathaniel Savage (the sonne of William Savage, gent) the some of ffyve pounds of lawfull money of England to be paid to him by my executor within one year next after my decease. Item I will and bequeath unto Elizabeth Savage, Hester Savage and Thomas savage the children of the said William Savage and to each and every of them three, Three pounds of like money a peece to be paid to them and every of them by my Executor withion one yeare next after my decease. Item I will and bequeath unto Thomas Nynne als barber, Ffrances Nynne als barber, Elizabeth Nynne als Barber, Mary Nynne als Barber and to John Nynne als barber the children of George Nynne als Barber and to each and every of them tenne shillings of like lawfull money a peece to be paid to them and every of them by my Executor within one yeare next after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth the wife of the said George Nynne one joyned chest. Item I will and bequeath unto Mary the daughter of the said George Nynne one other chest. All the rest of my goods and household stuff not before given and bequeathed, my debts first paid, my legacies discharged and funeral expenses p’formed I will and bequeath unto George Nynne als Barber whome I make my sole Executor of this my will. And I doe ordayne and make William Nynne als Barber to be my faithfull and trustie overseer. And I give to him iijs iiijd and his charges borne. There being witnesses ./ John Hosmer and William Chowne. The marke of Henry Aderoll als Skynner.
Transcribed by John Howes, December 2012. (Probate was granted 2 Nov 1613)
Court Rolls of the manor of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, 1587-1593, Vol. 3 of handwritten translation by Catherine Pullein c1928 (ESRO: PAR 465/26/1/3), p. 35 (PDF document p. 22/106).16,17
George Barber alias Nynne died in 1627 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.
George Barber alias Nynne was buried on 11 April 1627 at St Denys, Rotherfield, Sussex, England, aged about 68 years and recorded as "George Barber als Nyne.18"
George Barber alias Nynne left a will made on 18 January 1617 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.19
"George Nynne als Barber of Retherfeld, Sussex, sick in body, my body to be decently buried when it shall please God. I will to Thomas my son my best 'cobberd' [cupboard], my long table frame and two forms belonging to it standing in my hall, my great joined chest, and my great watering vat and all my weans [pigs 12 or so weeks old], coortes [carts] and ploughs, yokes, 'tyghtes' and all my other husbandry tackle and tools. I will to Elizabeth, my wife, all the residue of my household stuff not before by me willed. My will is that my wife Elizabeth and her assigns shall have the chamber over the hall with a chimney in it and a little buttery chamber at the end of my said hall in my now dwelling house with free liberty to go and come to and from the said rooms in my said house during her life and also she, at the costs and charges of Thomas my said son, and his heirs, shall have sufficient fire and 'flett' [Old English - dwelling, floor, ground] in my said dwelling house for life, with frank and free liberty to bake and brew and to dress meat and drink and to do any other necessary business fit for housekeeping in my said messuage or dwelling house, with free liberty to have and take meet [suitable] and necessary water to do her or their businesses in or about the said messuage for life, with liberty to go and come to and from the same premises to do the same at her will and pleasure. I give to Frances, my daughter, £10 to be paid to her or her heirs or assigns within one year after my decease. I will to Elizabeth, my daughter, £10 to be paid to her, her heirs or assigns within two years after my decease. I will to Mary, my daughter, £10 to be paid to her, her heirs or assigns within three years after my decease. I will that my son Thomas, his heirs or assigns, shall pay to John my son out of my freehold land lying in Retherfeld £10 within five years after my decease and if my son Thomas does not pay the same to John then it will be lawful for John to enter upon all my freehold land lands and into any part and parcel thereof and to distrain and to impound and keep in his custody until the said sum of £10 be fully paid and satisfied. The rest of my goods and chattels not before willed and bequeathed, my debts first paid, my legacies discharged and my funeral expenses performed, I will to Elizabeth my wife and to Thomas my son who I make my executors. I make John Nynne als Barber, and William Nynne als Barber, my loving brothers, my overseers in trust of this will. And to each of them 3s 4d apiece and their charges borne in and about my business.
Mark of George Nynne als Barber.
Witnesses: John Hosmer seni., Willm Barber alius Nynne, John Hosmer Jun.
Probate 26 May 1627 on the oath of Thomas Nynne als Barber, the son ,and one of the executors named, power reserved to Elizabeth Nynne als Barber, the relict of the deceased, the other executor named in the will."
(Transcribed by Gillian Rickard for Geoffrey Barber, 2010.)
His estate was probated on 26 May 1627 at Lewes, Sussex, England.
The items listed in both George and Elizabeth's wills give us a wonderful insight into the domestic life of this family. The Elizabethan age was a time of rising standards of living, with significant progress in the structure and layout of ordinary houses and also improvements in household furniture from rudimentary, functional pieces to items that were better quality, more comfortable and decorative. An understanding of the development of houses and household items at this time is required to put the information in these wills in context.
At the start of Elizabethan period (1558-1603) the majority of people lived in a single storey house which comprised two rooms:
The parlour or chamber which was where the husband and wife slept. The parlour however had multiple uses being the best room in the house and was also used to entertain visitors.
The hall used for cooking and eating as well as being the room where other family members slept. It would have had an open ceiling with smoke from the fire drifting up to the rafters, usually escaping from a small hole in the gable end, and so is often referred to as an “open hall”. ( F.G. Emmison, “Elizabethan Life – Home, Work and Land”, Essex Record Office Publication No. 69 (1976)).
Against the side of the house there may have been a lean-to used as a buttery (for brewing), pantry or larder. This could also have been a small room constructed inside the house by taking up some of the space in the hall for example.
Larger cottages may have had a third room, called a service room, where food was prepared. This is not necessarily the same as a kitchen which was often a separate building detached from the main house to reduce the fire risk. Some cottages also had separate barns.
Smoke was a problem in early houses, and smoke bays were introduced to isolate the smoke but still allow it to escape through the roof or gable end. This enabled the rest of the roof space area to be used for an upstairs room. Peter Harness, conservation officer in the London Borough of Bexley, wrote the following about smoke bay houses:
"Smoke bay houses first made their appearance at a time traditionally associated with the ‘Great Rebuilding’ around 1550. On the evolutionary scale, this type comes between the open hall of the Middle Ages and the brick chimney houses of the 17th century. The smoke bay was an attempt to confine the smoke from the fire within a narrow timber-framed bay screened with lath and plaster. The bay would have continued to the apex of the roof, and is today evidenced by heavy sooting on some remaining timbers, and on plastered panelling within. The use of the bay to heat the hall-kitchen would have presented a considerable fire risk, even though the inside was plastered to protect the timber framing.” (Webpage Institute of Historic Building Conservation (http://www.ihbc.org.uk/context_archive/16/smoke.htm) “A Smoke-Bay House” by Peter Harness”. Accessed: 19 Apr 2014).
Upstairs rooms were called sollars (or solar or soller) meaning loft (as opposed to a seller or cellar which is a storeroom most often on the ground floor and not underground as we would think today). The sollar was sometimes used for storage, but also as private living and sleeping quarters as they were separate from the noise and smells of the hall which everyone used.
The “Great Rebuilding” mentioned by Peter Harness refers to the period 1570-1640 where there was a revolution in housing design, although the term is somewhat discredited now. Bricks started to be used in ordinary housing for the construction of fireplaces and the central hearth in the open hall was replaced by a single or double (back to back) fireplace which allowed the heating of both rooms. More importantly, the installation of chimneys facilitated greater development of upper chambers under the roof rafters and new houses began to be constructed as fully two storey houses. This new style of “closed” housing is essentially what we are familiar with today. (Danae Tankard, "Houses of the Weald and Downland", Carnegie Publishing, (2012) pp. 79,80.)
George Barber’s will (1617) specifically gives his wife the use of “the chamber over the hall with a chimney in it and a little buttery chamber at the end of my said hall” indicating that they had a two story house with chimneys and an internal buttery chamber. This buttery would have been a room in which butts, barrels or bottles of alcoholic drink were stored and from which they were served into the hall.
More information about the house can be gleaned from the description of their property (called Bonnetts) in the manorial court rolls, as after George died in 1627 there is a record of his son Thomas being admitted to the property:
11 Oct 1627: Steward: Tho Houghton, gent. Admission of Tho Nynne als Barber, eldest son of Geo N.als B., on his father's death. Messuage & garden at Retherfield Hill, of 1 rod, & a barn called Bonnetts, with a Way from said messuage to the barn; Also a garden of 1 rod called Bacheland next to said barn; Also a parcel [of] meadow of 1/2 ac, a Kitchen (coquinam) once of Alice Adowne, & a garden once of Adam Farmer. (ESRO SAS AB 398)
This indicates that they likely had a separate building which functioned as a kitchen. A separate barn is also mentioned. One is left with the impression that they had certainly kept up with the changing times and probably were considered to have had quite a comfortable house.
As an aside, the description of the Bonnetts/Bennetts property (with the “Way”, ½ acre meadow, garden of 1 rod, etc.) and its location on Rotherfield Hill (now Church Road), allows the location of the property to be identified. Using the 1842 tithe map we see that the property would have been at the location of the current Town Hill House, a Grade II listed property dating from the 18th century which is just across the road from the church (see Appendix II). It appears that George and Elizabeth’s cottage has not survived, unless it has been incorporated in the newer house. In April 2014 the owner, Mrs P. Rice, was kind enough to show me the inside of the house. First impressions are that the back of the house looks older than the front which has had some modification in recent times including the removal of two chimneys which are clearly visible on c1910 postcards. An archaeological inspection, particularly in the roof space, is required to properly determine its age.
George’s will also mentions specific items of furniture, in particular “my best 'cobberd' [cupboard], my long table frame and two forms belonging to it standing in my hall”. We know from this that the hall was furnished with one or more cupboards and a refectory style table with two long benches (forms) confirming that the hall was used for meals. In the early 1500s a table would have been a board or plank of wood sitting on two trestles. George’s will refers to the “long table frame”, indicating that he had a rigid table with fixed ends joined by stretchers or rails. In Elizabethan times, tables with four or more legs joined by stretchers near the floor level became common. George’s table would have been a valuable item, the centre piece for the house, particularly if it was the work of a joiner and decorated with some wood turning or carving.
George also mentions “my great joined chest” which emphasises the difference between joiner and carpenter made furniture which became significant at this time. Most Elizabethan homes were sparsely furnished with crude and utilitarian items produced by a carpenter (or, in the case of chests, produced by a carpenter and a blacksmith). However, during this period the craft of the joiner started to come to the fore, making furniture using joints and producing superior and more ornamental pieces. We therefore find many wills where some furniture items are specifically identified as “joined” because of their value and status. Elizabeth Barber’s will (1637) is typical and mentions a number of chests one of which is “joined” (the work of a joiner) and the others which are “boarded” (the work of a carpenter). It is important to note that chests were often just as important for their use as seating as well as storage, as a chair was a rare item in most households at the start of the 17th century and if there was one it was reserved for the head of the family (hence the origin of the word “chairman”).

Family

Elizabeth Godsell b. 21 Dec 1561, d. 1638
Marriage*
George Barber alias Nynne married Elizabeth Godsell, daughter of Richard Godsell, on 2 December 1582 at Hadlow, Kent, England.1 
Children

Citations

  1. [S388] Website "FamilySearch" (http://www.familysearch.org/).
  2. [S388] Website "FamilySearch" (http://www.familysearch.org/) "GS Film number: 992517."
  3. [S441] Indexed translation of a court book of the manor of Rotherfield, 1587-1593 (ESRO: PAR 465/26/1/3) "p. 1."
  4. [S112] Will of John Barber als Nynne of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 10 Apr 1589, proved in the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 25 May 1591. (ESRO: PBT 1/1/8/423D).
  5. [S441] Indexed translation of a court book of the manor of Rotherfield, 1587-1593 (ESRO: PAR 465/26/1/3) "Pullein unnumbered page but between 57 and 59 (PDF document pg 58/106)."
  6. [S335] Catharine Pullein's notebook from the box file marked "Pullein" in the Working Papers Room at the Sussex Archaeological Society's Barbican Library in Lewes, East Sussex., c1925. (unknown document ref) p. 108.
  7. [S280] R F Hunnisett, "Sussex Coroners' Inquests 1558-1603", PRO Publications, First Edition (1996) "Inquest No 443, p. 109."
  8. [S105] Survey (map) of land held of the Manor of Rotherfield, "described in the Year 1597 by Richard Allin of Roberstsbridge in Sussex, and new drawn on vellum and collored in the yeare 1664 by John Pattenden of Brenchley in Kent", of the manor of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, 1597 (ESRO: ACC 363/111r).
  9. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "pp. 235, 321."
  10. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "pp. 107,224."
  11. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "pp. 241,242."
  12. [S108] Churchwardens' account book for Rotherfield, 1510-1675. (ESRO: PAR 465/10/3/1) p. 56.
  13. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "p. 281."
  14. [S438] Roland B Harris, "Rotherfield Historical Character Assessment Report 2008 (Sussex Extensive Urban Survey Project)", Wealden District Council, First Edition (June 2008) "p. 13."
  15. [S451] Indexed translation of a court book of the manor of Rotherfield, 1593-1606 (ESRO: PAR 465/26/1/4) "Court of the manor of Rotherfield held Thursday 15 January 3 James I [1605/06].
    "
  16. [S361] Will of Henry Aderoll alias Skynner of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 6 Jul 1612, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 2 Nov 1613. (TNA: PROB 11/122/389).
  17. [S441] Indexed translation of a court book of the manor of Rotherfield, 1587-1593 (ESRO: PAR 465/26/1/3) "p. 35 (PDF document p. 22/106)."
  18. [S103] Transcript of the Parish Register of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, (ESRO: PAR 465/1/1/1).
  19. [S113] Will of George Nynne als Barber of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 18 Jan 1617, proved in the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 26 May 1627. (ESRO: PBT/1/1/20/40A).

George Barber alias Nynne

b. circa 1554, d. 1555
FatherJohn Barber alias Nynne b. c 1530, d. 1591
MotherAlice Farmer b. c 1530, d. 1595
     George Barber alias Nynne was born circa 1554.
George Barber alias Nynne died in 1555 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England. He was the son of John Barber alias Nynne and Alice Farmer.
George Barber alias Nynne was buried on 6 January 1555 at St Denys, Rotherfield, Sussex, England, recorded as "George, son of John Nynde" which would normally indicate he died a young child. The date also fits perfectly with John and Alice's marriage. However, there is a chance that this could be a son of the previous generation, John and Joan, as their son William's burial in 1548 also says "son of John".1,2

Citations

  1. [S103] Transcript of the Parish Register of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, (ESRO: PAR 465/1/1/1).
  2. [S443] Rotherfield St Denys, Burials and MIs, undated, Rotherfield, Sussex (http://www.stdenysrotherfield.org.uk/familyhistory.htm).

Introduction Barber alias Nynne

      The search for the Barber family history began in my parent's hometown of Brighton in East Sussex. My mother had a good memory for family matters so I made an excellent start getting birth, marriage and death certificates and working back through the census returns. In the 1851 census I discovered that our earliest Barber in Brighton was born in Tonbridge in Kent and, with the help of genealogist Gillian Rickard, started to build an interesting picture of the Barbers who lived there which included three generations of malsters (makers of malt) and a long history of property ownership. A marriage licence dated 1672 between Thomas Barber alias Nin and Mary Rootes both of Tonbridge revealed the first usage of "alias Nin" in the surname, and the mention of a property called Drapers in Thomas's will of 1683 was the means by which earlier generations were traced back to Rotherfield in Sussex. The existence of a surprising amount of manorial records, wills, church records and published research for Rotherfield enabled the line to extend back to 1530, nearly five hundred years of family history.

This website traces the family back to the very beginnings of church records (the recording of baptisms, marriages and burials commenced in 1538) and even back a little further through manorial records. I have been very fortunate with this research, much of which has been possible because of research and transcriptions done by others in the past. I have been told that it is a rare achievement indeed to have gone back so far in such detail.

The research also traces about 200 years of ownership of a property in Rotherfield called Drapers which is clearly shown on a 1597 map of the lands of the manor of Rotherfield as being held by Georg Barbar [sic]. A list of tax payers in the 1296 Sussex subsidy roll for Rotherfield includes an Alexander Draper and Pullein links him to the property suggesting that he was probably one of the earliest owners. Other Rotherfield properties which were owned by the Barber family include a cottage in the village called "Bonnetts" and a small area of associated land called "Bachelands" which may have connections to John Bache, rector of Rotherfield St Denys 1406-1430. Bonnetts and Bachelands were owned by the Barbers from 1530 and sold in 1677, a few years after the family had moved to Hildenborough in Kent (near Tonbridge), although the more valuable Drapers property was kept until 1787. The income from the Drapers property was probably very important to the prosperity of many generations of Barbers and although they were not wealthy it allowed them to remain land owners and operate their own farms and businesses. They were able to purchase or lease other properties in the Tonbridge area including a house in Hildenborough purchased in 1691, Finches (4 acres) in Tonbridge purchased in 1743, and Tonbridge town site land and shops, some of which was still owned at the time of Mary Barber's death in 1841.

By the late 1700s the Barbers appear to have been in a very comfortable financial position, although it appears that a business venture in Ightham (near Tonbridge and pronounced "Item"!) may have caused the loss of some of their properties. In the early 1800s the family dispersed from Tonbridge with the eldest son Thomas Barber moving to Brighton in Sussex. The move to a larger city saw their occupations change and three generations of cabinet makers/carpenters followed resulting in the families moving from the propertied positions they had in Tonbridge to a more working class existence based on employment with less opportunity for financial improvement. In the case of my own family, this eventually led to migration to Australia seeking better opportunities and higher wages.

Having spent many years on this project I feel it would be remiss of me not to make some personal observations about the family history. While recognising that we have limited knowledge of the actual people involved and the challenges they faced, I feel that there is some wisdom to be gained. Here are my observations:

1. The period 1500-1785 appears to be a time of increasing prosperity for the family despite four consecutive generations where the husband died early leaving a widow with a young family. The involvement of extended family members and trusted business connections such as the Wellers in Rotherfield and Tonbridge, and the Polhill and Children families in Tonbridge, is seen again and again in the records. In most cases properties were held for long periods of time and purchased from, leased or sold to other family members. It appears they looked after each other's interests. This may have been out of necessity - you needed to deal with people you could trust - but it also appears to have been effective. Extended family and connections were important.

2. Marriage was often a practical arrangement, sometimes postponed until an inheritance was received or occurring after a widowed mother had died, suggesting perhaps that there was a need for a woman to manage the house and also that financial arrangements needed to be in place in order to attract a suitable bride. We must remember that these were times when love was not necessarily the main factor in a marriage and also that there was a lot of work in running a self-supporting household that would have farmed, grown, stored and cooked its own food, baked bread, brewed beer, etc. Much of this would have been the responsibility of the women in the household and an unmarried son inheriting a house or cottage would be in need of a partner. The marriage in 1639 of Thomas Barber (age 54) to the widow Ann Heath (age 30 years), just four months after the death of his mother, appears to fall into this category especially when one considers that there is evidence of a marriage settlement (property rights) being given to Ann at the time of their marriage. The marriage of Thomas Barber to Elizabeth Waite in 1749, just five months after he inherited from his unmarried uncle, is probably another example. These are indications that marriage may have been an arrangement based more on practical considerations than love. The wills left by the husbands do however reflect genuine affection and concern for their wives and indicate to me their importance and status in the family especially when we also consider that as widows they showed they were more than capable as heads of their families.

3. I am often drawn to the example of the unmarried uncle, Thomas Barber (1675-1749), a malster whose hard work built up a prosperous business in Tonbridge making malt from barley and who successfully involved his nephew Thomas Barber whose father had died when he was only 9 years old. He eventually passed the business and his accumulated properties to the younger Thomas while also looking after other members of his extended family, especially his sister Elizabeth and her family. He appears to have played an important role as a family elder given the early death of his brother Richard who left his wife Margaret with five young children under the age of 9 years. His nephew Thomas and his other nephew Richard did not marry until after the uncle died. I think this is another example of where hard work and some sacrifice were required in serving the best interests of the family.

4. Ownership of property over long periods of time probably created much of the wealth, and more importantly, provided an income to the family in hard times. As well as providing income to the widowed families, it also allowed the family to pay an annuity to older parents, equivalent to our modern old age pension. There are two documented examples of this in the Barber family - one in 1662 and another in 1776 - indicating that it may have been a common practice in families that could afford to do so. Having property was important for keeping their families safe and secure and I feel there are lessons here in the importance of financial independence and in the custodianship of assets across more than one generation.

5. The decline in Barber family wealth in the 1800's and 1900's is obvious and coincides with the move to the cities. With assistance from his family, Thomas Barber established a business in cabinetmaking/undertaking in Brighton with later generations seeking employment in cabinet making and carpentry and ultimately becoming unskilled. Working for others is generally not the path to wealth, especially in the trades. The move to Australia in 1950 provided access to better wages and gave the ability to save money for home ownership, something which was no longer possible for the family in England. Interestingly, the wider access to higher education in the 20th century has allowed children to seek more professional (and higher paid) levels of employment and our current generations are benefitting from this. Where this leads is for future generations to decide.

I must acknowledge the wonderful work done by Catherine Pullein in her book "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", published in 1928. This book is a treasure to those who have an interest in the history of the parish of Rotherfield. I would, however, like to point out two small errors in the book relating to the Barber alias Nynne family.1
1. Firstly, Chapter XIX, page 223 in the list of churchwardens - a John Wynde is listed for 1532. This should be John Nynde (who is actually the same person as the John Barber listed for 1531).
2. Secondly, Chapter XIII, page 156, fourth paragraph, states that in 1690/91, according to the Rates Book, John Moone "for some years he had held the Holmans' twenty-two acres called Drapers". He may have held it as a tenant, but the property was owned by Mary Barber in Tonbridge at that time (see Appendix I).
Last year I obtained a copy of Catherine Pullein's handwritten transcriptions of the churchwarden's accounts book and five volumes of manorial court rolls transcribed from Latin. The existence of these documents was previously unknown and they came to light when they were handed to Alan Yates, Archivist for the Rotherfield St Denys Church, by the grandson of a deceased former churchwarden who had kept them in a box in her flat. They represent a wonderful find and have provided new information regarding the Barber alias Nynnes in Rotherfield. They are an example of the enormous amount of work done by Pullein for which I am very grateful. I was with Alan when he handed these over to the East Sussex Record Office at The Keep on 9 April 2014.

Family history research never finishes, but at some point one needs to decide to publish in order to make it available to a wider audience. Long term preservation of the information is also a consideration, and a hardcopy book still offers greater security over digital copies which can be so easily deleted and lost. Copies of the Barber alias Nynne book which was published in January 2015
have been sent to the Sussex and Kent county archives, libraries and the Society of Genealogists in London.

© Geoffrey Barber 2015.

Citations

  1. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928).

Jane Barber alias Nynne

b. 4 March 1665
FatherJohn Barber alias Nynne b. 13 Feb 1602, d. 1667
MotherEleanor Maynard b. 23 Feb 1625/26, d. 1681
     Jane Barber alias Nynne was baptized on 4 March 1665 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.1 She was the daughter of John Barber alias Nynne and Eleanor Maynard.

Citations

  1. [S388] Website "FamilySearch" (http://www.familysearch.org/) "GS Film number: 1468914."

John Barber alias Nynne

b. circa 1530, d. 1591
FatherJohn Barber alias Nynne b. c 1500, d. 1548
MotherJoan (?) b. c 1500, d. 1577
     John Barber alias Nynne was born circa 1530 at England. He was the son of John Barber alias Nynne and Joan (?)
John Barber alias Nynne married Alice Farmer, daughter of John Farmer, on 8 April 1554 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.1
The marriage is recorded as "John Nen married Alis Farmer".1
Farmer/Fermor is an old Rotherfield name with a long history in the parish.2
There is an interesting entry on the inside back cover of the Rotherfield churchwarden accounts book (undated but a comparison of the handwriting with other entries in the book by ESRO archivist Christopher Whittick dates it at 1550 to 1560):
Be it known by thys present that I John nynde otherwise called barber of the parishe of Retherfyld have reseived [received]of the parish aforesaid 3 pounds of good & lawfull English money for the keeping of a child & have made promis to the parish to keep her honestly & to discharge the parish of the said child for ever.
John Nynne has been paid £3 to take responsibility for the girl, either as an adoption or as a servant, and thus discharge the parish of any obligation for her. There may be a connection to the fact that John and Alice’s first child George was buried in 1555, and so she may have been taken in to assist or comfort Alice.3
John lived during the reign of “Bloody Queen Mary” (1553-1558) who tried to turn England back to Catholicism and took religious persecution to extremes. Three Rotherfield citizens were burnt at the stake in Lewes for their Protestant beliefs (Alexander Hosmer and Ann Ashdowne, burnt about 22 June 1557, and later John Ashdowne). In 1556 the rector of Rotherfield, William Collyer was deprived of his living and although a new rector, John Baxter, was appointed, there are no entries in the church registers from 1555 until 1558 when Queen Mary died. Norman Peachell, an 11xgreat grandson of John Filknisch (Fyltnesse/Filtness), churchwarden with John Barber in 1532, writes that John Filknisch's son Edward was "taken for heresy in the days of Bloody Mary but somehow got away with it". Pullein states that Edward and two others were taken in 1556 but managed to flee and escape before reaching Lewes, eventually returning to Rotherfield where Edward is mentioned in manorial court records of 10 March 1557/58. It was a dangerous time in Rotherfield and would have affected everyone in the village.4
John Farmer's will made 13 Oct 1558 mentions "John Nynde's two children". One of these is obviously George Nynne but who is the other, as all are accounted for in John Nynne's will made in 1589? Could it be the adopted child?5,6
John Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of John Farmer dated 13 October 1558 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.6,5
In the manorial court held on 11 May 1 Eliz. (1559), John Nynde is elected a headman. On 17 October 1 Eliz. (1559) he is listed as one of three "constables of this hundred" and also headman of Southborough and his presentations to the court refer to him as the "headman there with his ten" (his jury of ten men). In the manorial court held 29 April 2 Eliz. [1560] John Nynne is listed again as headborough (or headborgh) for Southborough, and at the end of his presentation to the court two from within the ten men are nominated for headborough, and one is appointed to the position, indicating that John had completed his period of service. Transcriptions of manorial court records for 1557 and 1558 (i.e. Queen Mary's reign) do exist and have been searched but there was no mention of John Nynne as having any official positions or involvement, which was probably wise given there was so much upheaval in the parish with regard to convictions for heresy.7
Pullein mentions that the Manor was divided into three tithings: Northborough, Southborough and Frant, with a headman over each. According to the Middle English Dictionary, the tithing was “an English system of collective surety within a territorial unit by which a group of ten freemen or villagers combined to give security for each other to keep the peace and to guarantee payment of fines or fees”. In practice, the number of villagers in a tithing would vary according to the situation and could be more or less than ten. The word “borgh” is another word meaning a tithing, hence the name Northborgh, Southborgh, etc., or Northborough and Southborough.
A headman would attend the Rotherfield court with his tithing (nominally ten men hence “with his ten”) and they were responsible for keeping the peace in their area. Southborough was evidently the most important for in it lay the village and the church where so much business was transacted.
Although having various meanings, by the early 16th century the term headman (also called headborgh or headborough) described a parish law-enforcement officer subordinate to constable. In the court rolls they are listed immediately under the constables for the hundred (a hundred being an administrative area comprising a number of parishes – originally an area supporting a hundred families, or ten tithings). Their responsibilities can be seen by the various items that John Nynne "with his ten" presented to the court, all requiring judgements and fines to be dispensed to those responsible. Upkeep of roads, hedges, ditches and property are frequent topics, although occasional disputes leading to damage or violence are also presented. The phrase "John Nynne and his ten" also highlights an interesting aspect concerning the evolution of the jury system. In earlier times, a defendant could establish his innocence by taking an oath and getting a required number of persons, typically twelve, to swear they believed the defendant's oath (called compurgation). This later became a group of people from the community (e.g. John Nynne and his ten) who knew the parties and the facts at issue and who could swear as to the guilt or innocence of the accused. This appears to be how the court operated in Rotherfield at this time.8
On the 22 March 1572, Robert Rivers and John Ninne alias Barber were made churchwardens of Rotherfield St Denys for that year.9
In 1572, the churchwardens' accounts record the building of a new seat in the church: "Mem. that Nicholas Manard, Richard Coe, John Stapely, William Dongate, Leonard Callis, thomas Lockier, John howman and John Ninne did build and sett upp the newe seatt next belowe and adjoyninge to the chauncell viz: on the north side off the chauncell Door at their own costs and charges for them and their heires to sett in, and that any other usinge or setting in the same is by them to be forbidden" . The paying for seats to be built and re-built in the church for the exclusive use by the owners and their heirs, and the subsequent buying and selling of these seats, was a characteristic of the church for about one hundred and sixty years after seats were first introduced in 1532. This may be the seat that was sold on 19 July 1679 "that formerly did belong to Thomas Barbour".10
On the 9th June 1574, John Nynne was a juror in a coroners' inquest held at Rotherfield. The inquest concerned a person, John Buckeleyne, who had drowned himself. On the 8th August 1582, John Nynne was again a juror at a coroners' inquest concerning the killing of John Westnet by poachers.11,12
John's service to the parish as a headborough, a churchwarden and as a juror at coronial inquests indicates that he was a respected member of the community.
The earliest evidence of the Barber alias Nynnes possessing the property called Drapers occurs in John’s lifetime. Drapers was 22½ acres of land in the High Cross area just outside Rotherfield village. Catherine Pullein's notebooks record extracts from an undated Quit Rental for Rotherfield which she states is "proved by me to be before Feb. 1580" which records "John Nynn. For 12 acres of freland called Drapers lying between scottyll croch and fathermans. For 101/2 acres (ditto)". This is evidence of John Nynn owning the property Drapers at that time.13
There are also a number of property transactions in the manorial court rolls that involve John Nynne and the Farmer family:
At the manorial court of 2 May 1587, John Nynne is mentioned: Adam Farmer out of Court, viz. Sep 11(?) by John Nynne alias Barber deputy of Isaac Alchorne, bedell, in presence of John Staple, Nic. Coe & George Farmer, surrenders 1 mess. 1 barn & 1 garden cont. 1/2 ac. at Town hyll in R. to use of Margt Farmer his wife.
Pullein adds a note that Adam Farmer, a weaver, was buried 18 Apr 1587. If this is the same Adam Farmer as mentioned above then he therefore can't be the Adam Farmer (son of John Farmer) who was appointed overseer in John Nynne's will in 1589. The above entry is an example of a deathbed transfer where a person near death could instruct a manorial officer in the presence of witnesses regarding the disposal of his property on his death. Those present then attended the next manorial court meet to carry out the dying (or dead) tenants wishes.14,15
At the manorial court held on 2 Aug 1587: "Thomas Farmer at Marke (Cross) surr. 1 messuage, 1 garden, 1 piece of land cont. 3 acres on furling of Frith in R. To use of John Nynne alias Barber"
At the manorial court held on 1 Apr 1588: "John Nynne alias Barber prays to be admitted to 1 mess. 1 barn 1 garden & 1 parcel adjt to sd mes. at Mark crosse cont. 3 ac on f. of Fryth in R. which Thos Farmer at the court held on 2 Augt last surrendered to use of sd John. Comes John N. alias B & surr. above to use of Thos Farmer & his heirs."
This may be an example where a copyhold property was surrendered to the use of a will, with John Nynne alias Barber the executor of the will (needs further work to check this as it would appear that Thomas Farmer was buried 15 Apr 1591). If anything, it does indicate a close relationship between the Farmers and the Barber alias Nynne.
Immediately following these transactions Thomas and Margaret Farmer nominate their daughter Gertrude Savage, wife of William Savage, as their heir so the transactions do appear to be part of an inheritance strategy. The families of John Barber and William Savage are linked again in the will of Henry Aderoll alias Skynner in 1612 (documented in under George Nynne alias Barber) which names both families’ children as beneficiaries.16
John Barber alias Nynne died in 1591 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.
John Barber alias Nynne was buried on 15 May 1591 at St Denys, Rotherfield, Sussex, England; recorded as John Barber als Nynne.1
John Barber alias Nynne left a will made on 10 April 1589 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.17
His estate was probated on 25 May 1591 at Lewes, Sussex, England.
John Barber als Nynne of Retherfield, Sussex, my body to be buried in the churchyard of Retherfield. I will to Alice Barber my wife the house wherein I now dwell together with the barn, outhouses, orchard, garden and the little croft thereunto adjoining for life and also to her all the household stuff within the said house together with half the corn in the barn and half the corn on the ground which I the said John or George my son have or hath in occupying for me. I will to William my son £10 to be paid to him within two years next after my decease. (crossed out: Item: I give unto Mary my daughter £20, £10 whereof to be paid unto the said Mary within four years next after my decease & the other £10 to be paid to the said Mary within four years next after the time of payment of her said first £10.) I will to my son John £10 to be paid to him 6 years after my decease. My will and meaning is that if any of my aforesaid sons or Mary my daughter die before the time of payment, not being married, then his, her or their part shall remain to them, him or her who survives. My will is that my sister Margaret shall have a sufficient dwelling in my house with my wife for life. I will to George my eldest son, who I make the sole executor of this my last will and testament, the residue of all my goods and chattels and of the execution hereof I make Adam Farmer, son to John Farmer, deceased, and Thomas Barber, my brother, overseers.
John Barber's sign.
Witnesses: John Wickham, John Middleton.
Probate 25 May 1591 to George, the son and executor named. William Barber als Nynne minor.
(Transcribed by Gillian Rickard for Geoffrey Barber, 2010.)
During John’s lifetime, there were other Nynne alias Barbers in the nearby parish of Ticehurst. The earliest reference is a baptism on 25 Aug 1577 of Thomas son of Richard Nynne als Barbor. Given the rarity of the name it is almost certain that Richard is related to John, possibly a brother or son. If Richard was born c1555 then his baptism may never have been recorded as there are gaps in the church records at Rotherfield during the reign of Queen Mary. However, there is no mention of Richard in John Nynne alias Barber's will made in 1589, so he is more likely to be John's brother rather than his son in which case he may have been born before 1538 when the recording of baptisms first began.18
Richard was obviously a respected member of the community in Ticehurst as he appears as a juror in a coroners' inquest on 3 Oct 1584 at Etchingham where the case concerned John Sovage of Ticehurst, who had hanged himself.19
Richard was buried in Ticehurst on 20 Apr 1603 as Richard Nynn als Barber.18
The administration of Richard's estate was granted to his wife: 5 May 1603 – admon of the goods of Richard Nyn late of Tiseherst, deceased, granted to Johanne, his relict, in the person of Robert Oteingham, notary public and procurator. Bonds William Nyn of Tiseherst, ‘paylemaker’, and Christopher Fowle of the same parish, husbandman, in £30. Inventory examined, value £15 15s 2d.20
There are baptisms for two of Richard’s sons in the Ticehurst registers: Thomas (25 August 1577) and John (11 Oct 1584). Both were buried in 1584. The above grant of administration suggests that there is at least one surviving son, William, whose baptism has not been found. The burial entry for Richard's wife Joan on 24 May 1620 supports this by stating that she is "mother of William". There are also burials in Ticehurst of Silvester Barber alias Nynn on 20 November 1608 and Richard Barber alias Nynn on 19 March 1610 who could also be children of Richard and Joan.
Their son William married Elizabeth Fuller at Ticehurst on 21 August 1609 and the Ticehurst parish registers record the following baptisms of William's children: Susan (bap. 1611, bur. 1611), Ann (bap. 1615), Richard (bap. 1622, bur. 1631). The entry in the burial register for Richard in 1631 states that he is the son of William Barber alias Nynn and this is the last reference to the Nynn surname in Ticehurst. There is also a marriage in Ticehurst on 4 February 1638/39 of a Thomas Barber and Joan Primer and this Thomas is another son of William and Elizabeth (baptised at Burwash on 15 April 1610, "son of William Barber of Tishurst"). William was buried in Ticehurst on 13 January 1625 and the Barber surname does carry through the Ticehurst parish registers into the 1700’s. Prior to the earliest Richard, the only Barber in Ticehurst is a Jhon (John) Barber, gent, and his wife Elizabeth who first get mentioned with the baptism of their son Wyllm (William) on 30 Aug 1562. Wyllm and Elizabeth are both buried in 1562. There are some Sussex Archaeological Society deeds relating to this family, and a brief inspection indicated that no males survived, that the name Nynne was never mentioned, that there were a number of daughters, and that a daughter Frances Barber was the main beneficiary.

Family

Alice Farmer b. c 1530, d. 1595
Marriage*
John Barber alias Nynne married Alice Farmer, daughter of John Farmer, on 8 April 1554 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.1 
Children

Citations

  1. [S103] Transcript of the Parish Register of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, (ESRO: PAR 465/1/1/1).
  2. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "Chap XXX and XXXI "The Fermors of Walsh Manor.""
  3. [S108] Churchwardens' account book for Rotherfield, 1510-1675. (ESRO: PAR 465/10/3/1) page 144.
  4. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "Chap XXIII "The Marian Persecution in Rotherfield.""
  5. [S586] Will of John Fermar of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 13 Oct 1558, proved in the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 20 Mar 1558/59. (ESRO: PBT 1/1/4/305A).
  6. [S572] R. Garraway Rice & edited by Walter H. Godfrey, "Transcript of Sussex Wills, Vol IV: Racton to Yapton", Sussex Record Society, First Edition (1940) "p. 25."
  7. [S440] Indexed translation of a court book of the manor of Rotherfield, 1557-1560 (ESRO: PAR 465/26/1/2) "page 9 of 78 (1559), page 51 of 78 (1560)."
  8. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "pp48,49."
  9. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "page 223."
  10. [S104] Catharine Pullein, "Rotherfield: The Story of Some Wealden Manors", Courier, First Edition (1928) "page 247,252,253."
  11. [S280] R F Hunnisett, "Sussex Coroners' Inquests 1558-1603", PRO Publications, First Edition (1996) "Inquest No 127, p28."
  12. [S280] R F Hunnisett, "Sussex Coroners' Inquests 1558-1603", PRO Publications, First Edition (1996) "Inquest No 285, p64."
  13. [S335] Catharine Pullein's notebook from the box file marked "Pullein" in the Working Papers Room at the Sussex Archaeological Society's Barbican Library in Lewes, East Sussex., c1925. (unknown document ref) page 108.
  14. [S111] Court Rolls of the manor of Rotherfield, 1587-1631 (ESRO: ACC 2953/86).
  15. [S441] Indexed translation of a court book of the manor of Rotherfield, 1587-1593 (ESRO: PAR 465/26/1/3) "page 5/106 and 7/106 of the PDF (pages 6&7 are out of order)."
  16. [S441] Indexed translation of a court book of the manor of Rotherfield, 1587-1593 (ESRO: PAR 465/26/1/3) "page 11/106, and page 22/106 of the PDF."
  17. [S112] Will of John Barber als Nynne of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 10 Apr 1589, proved in the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 25 May 1591. (ESRO: PBT 1/1/8/423D).
  18. [S116] Transcript of the Parish Register of Ticehurst, Sussex, England, (ESRO: PAR 492/2/1).
  19. [S280] R F Hunnisett, "Sussex Coroners' Inquests 1558-1603", PRO Publications, First Edition (1996) "Inquest No 311, p70."
  20. [S130] Letters of administration of the estate of Richard Nyn of Ticehurst, Sussex, England, granted by the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 5 May 1603 (ESRO: PBT 1/3/3/17F).

John Barber alias Nynne

b. 13 February 1602, d. 1667
FatherGeorge Barber alias Nynne b. c 1558, d. 1627
MotherElizabeth Godsell b. 21 Dec 1561, d. 1638
     John Barber alias Nynne was baptized on 13 February 1602 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England. He was the son of George Barber alias Nynne and Elizabeth Godsell.
John Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of Henry Aderoll alias Skinner dated 6 July 1612 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.1
John Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of George Barber alias Nynne dated 18 January 1617 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.2
John Barber alias Nynne was a witness: Admon: 1635: Appeared personally Mr. William Aweret, notary public and procurator for John Barber als Nyn natural and legitimate brother of Mary Barber als Nyn late of Retherfield deceased and renounced administration of the goods and chattels of the said deceased .3
John Barber alias Nynne witnessed the will of Elizabeth Godsell dated 12 September 1637 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.4
The records for the “Relief of Irish Protestants 1642 – East Sussex Contributors” show John Barber in Rotherfield:
John Barber 1d.5
John Barber alias Nynne married Mary (?) circa 1646 at Sussex, England.
John's wife has been identified as Mary purely on the burial in 1662 which says "Mary, wife of John Barber, Retherfield", as the mother's name is not given on any of the children's baptisms. However, it is possible that Mary was a second wife as there is a marriage of John Barber to Joan Coarde on 16 Sep 1645 at Burwash. A Joan Goorde/Goarde/Gourde was baptised 30 Sep 1627 at Barcombe, daughter of Thomas. Another Joan Gord was baptised 30 Oct 1625 at East Grinstead, daughter of Henry and Margaret. These two would appear to be the only possibilities in the SFHG baptism index. While it is possible that Joan Coarde/Goard was John Barber of Rotherfield's first wife (the marriage date fits well with the children's births and no other family has been found for them), there is a burial of a John Barber on 23 Jan 1646 at Warbleton which could also account for him. There is also the marriage of John Barber and Margaret Comber on 21 May 1644 at Buxted which would also have to be a contender.6,7
John's wife Mary was buried on 20 June 1662 in Frant, and her burial entry reads "Mary, wife of John Barber, Rotherfield".8
John Barber alias Nynne married Eleanor Maynard, daughter of Arthur Maynard and Jane Chowne, on 10 September 1663 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.7
There are no other John Barbers of marriageable age in the area that could be the spouse of Eleanor Maynard. Eleanor would have been age 37 and therefore a marriage to a 61 year old widower seems possible.
John Barber alias Nynne died in 1667 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.
John Barber alias Nynne was buried on 30 December 1667 at St Denys, Rotherfield, Sussex, England.9

Family 1

Mary (?) d. 1662
Marriage*
John Barber alias Nynne married Mary (?) circa 1646 at Sussex, England
Children

Family 2

Eleanor Maynard b. 23 Feb 1625/26, d. 1681
Marriage*
John Barber alias Nynne married Eleanor Maynard, daughter of Arthur Maynard and Jane Chowne, on 10 September 1663 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England.7 
Children

Citations

  1. [S361] Will of Henry Aderoll alias Skynner of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 6 Jul 1612, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 2 Nov 1613. (TNA: PROB 11/122/389).
  2. [S113] Will of George Nynne als Barber of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 18 Jan 1617, proved in the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 26 May 1627. (ESRO: PBT/1/1/20/40A).
  3. [S362] Letters of administration of the estate of Mary Barber of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, granted by the Archdeaconry court of Lewes, 1635 (ESRO: W/B6/219).
  4. [S114] Will of Elizabeth Nyne als Barber of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, made 12 Sep 1637, proved in the Archdeaconry Court at Lewes, 3 Dec 1638. (ESRO: PBT/1/1/25/189).
  5. [S110] M J Burchall ed. "East Sussex Contributors to the Relief of Irish Protestants 1642", Sussex Genealogical Centre, Occasional Paper No 10, First Edition (1984).
  6. [S23] Index to Sussex Baptisms, 1538 onwards, compiled by Sussex Family History Group, http://www.sfhg.org.uk/, ongoing project,.
  7. [S24] Index to Sussex Marriages, 1538-1837, Compact Disc SFHGCD003, compiled by Sussex Family History Group, 2008.
  8. [S122] Transcript of the Parish Register of Frant, Sussex, England, 1544-1881 (ESRO: PAR 344/1).
  9. [S388] Website "FamilySearch" (http://www.familysearch.org/) "GS Film number: 1468914."