HATHERSHAM, John II (1360-1417), of Lingfield, Hathersham and Coombe Neville, Surr.
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Family and Education
Tax collector, Surr. Mar. 1392, Oct. 1393, Mar. 1404.
J.p. Surr. 13 Feb. 1407-July 1411.
Commr. to hold an assize, Surr. Jan. 1414.
Hathersham was less than one year old when his father died in August 1361, leaving him heir to an extensive estate comprising the manor of Coombe Neville and other property in Lingfield, Hathersham, Crowhurst and Limpsfield, Surrey, as well as land and rents in the Berkshire village of South Moreton and other unspecified holdings in Wiltshire.2 His inheritance was initially entrusted to Nicholas Heryng† (or Lorayne), his aunt Christine’s second husband, but in 1368 his uncle (and godfather), John Hathersham I, obtained custody of the property, which he retained until John came of age 13 years later. As a result of a serious fire caused by certain royal servants during their brief stay at Coombe Neville, Hathersham was allowed to hold this part of his nephew’s patrimony free of rent; and in February 1376 he and Heryng were also awarded the marriage of the young heir as further compensation for their expenditure on repairs. Our Member took formal livery of his estates in February 1382, some two months after proving his age before the escheator.3 Over the years he was able to add considerably to his possessions in Surrey, which by 1412 were said to produce at least £40 a year. Besides inheriting his uncle’s land in Crowhurst, Limpsfield and Lingfield, he further consolidated his interests in that area by a purchase of additional farmland made during the Michaelmas term of 1390. Some of the property (together with holdings in Edenbridge, Kent) appears to have been sold by him seven years later, although his estates were subject to so many conveyances that it is hard to distinguish real sales from enfeoffments-to-uses. His disposal of the Berkshire property left to him by his father—which he settled upon Walter Younge and his heirs in 1391—seems real enough however, since no mention is made of this part of his inheritance in his inquisition post mortem. Hathersham’s most notable acquisition occurred in February 1408, when his cousin, Joan, and her husband, John Silverton, released to him their title to land, rents and farm buildings in Horne, Burstow, Nutfield, Blechingley, Walkingstead, Lingfield and Crowhurst, as well as other holdings in the villages of Strode and Chelsfield in Kent. This estate formed part of Joan’s inheritance from her father, William Roderham, and it seems that Hathersham’s interest was in part no more than reversionary. His other cousin, Agnes Virly, came to a similar arrangement with him at a later date, although since the two sisters outlived him, he was unable to reap the full benefit of this settlement.4
Few details have survived of Hathersham’s career, although he must have occupied a fairly prominent place among the local gentry. In July 1391, as ‘lord of Coombe Neville’, he granted a charter of manumission to one of his villeins; and in the following year he obtained his first commission as a tax collector in Surrey. In February 1394 he stood surety at the Exchequer for Thomas Kemys, who had taken over the farm of certain crown estates in Buckinghamshire. His other acquaintances included the wealthy knight, Sir Philip St. Cler, with whom he witnessed a deed for Sir John Dallingridge* in January 1396, and whose estates he subsequently held as a feoffee-to-uses. He was closely involved, along with Dallingridge’s brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Sackville II*, in St. Cler’s purchase of land in Ospringe, Kent, for which the latter advanced 650 marks in February 1404. Two years later he and Sackville were chosen by his neighbour, Reynold, Lord Cobham of Sterborough, to act as trustees of property in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Wiltshire. Hathersham also held land in Charlwood, Surrey, in trust, but he does not otherwise appear to have been particularly interested in such transactions.5
It was in May 1415 that Hathersham settled the bulk of his estates upon feoffees-to-uses, including John Gaynesford† and Sir William Cheyne. He died on 28 Oct. 1417, shortly after witnessing the return made for Surrey to the forthcoming Parliament, and he was buried near the altar of Lingfield parish church. His wife, Agnes, was then pregnant, but either miscarried or lost the child in infancy, because his next heirs were found to be his two cousins, Alice Virly and Joan Silverton. Hathersham’s feoffees eventually obtained permission to found a chantry at Merton priory which was to be financed from the profits of the manor of Coombe Neville and which was dedicated almost exclusively to members of the royal family. Agnes Hathersham was still alive in April 1429 when her late husband’s feoffees confirmed her in possession of dower properties in Crowhurst and Lingfield.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. CIPM, xii. 51; xv. 665; C138/28/45.
- 2. CIPM, xii. 51; xv. 665; CFR, vii. 63, 196-9; VCH Berks. iii. 501; VCH Surr. iii. 225, 292, 502; C138/28/45.
- 3. CFR, vii. 225 (bis ); CCR, 1364-7, pp. 452-3; 1381-5, p. 41; CPR, 1367-70, p. 101; 1374-7, p. 235; CIPM, xv. 665.
- 4. VCH Berks. iii. 501; VCH Surr. iii. 292; Feudal Aids, vi. 516; CP25(1)231/63/21, 290/58/301, 61/119; CPR, 1388-92, p. 459; CCR, 1402-5, p. 298.
- 5. CCR, 1389-92, p. 484; 1392-6, pp. 499, 512; 1402-5, pp. 305, 307; 1405-9, pp. 468-9, 471; CPR, 1408-13, p. 36; CFR, xi. 111; CP25(1)231/66/15.
- 6. C138/28/45; C219/12/2; CCR, 1413-19, pp. 414-15; 1422-9, pp. 146-7, 153; 1429-35, pp. 61-62; CPR, 1416-22, p. 126; 1422-9, p. 202; Surr. Arch. Colls. xxx. 65-66; Recs. Merton Priory ed. Heales, 297.