NELOND, William, of East Grinstead, Suss.
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Family and Education
m. Joan. ?2s.
In 1385 Nelond completed the conveyance of two messuages in East Grinstead to John Sleghtere† and his wife, but replaced them almost immediately with two more, which together with three-and-a-half acres of land he purchased from others. Along with his wife and kinsman, John Nelond, William alleged at the assizes held at East Grinstead in 1402 that William and Agnes Godeman had wrongfully dispossessed him of a house and some 160 acres of land at Horsted Keynes, but the suit was not resolved. In 1409 he began to pay a new annual rent of 2d. to the duchy of Lancaster for a plot of land 16 feet long and 12 feet wide in East Grinstead on which he had built a shop; and that same year John Nelond settled on him and his wife for their lives an annual income of 40s. raised from certain lands in the vicinity known as ‘Kentwynes’.1
William’s precise relationship to John Nelond and his brother, Thomas, is nowhere stated, but it was evidently a close one, perhaps even that of father and sons. The brothers both achieved a certain standing in the region, John (d.1437) through his marriage to Margaret, widow of Thomas St. Cler*, the former shire knight, whereby he acquired a landed estate and armigerous rank, and Thomas (d.c.1432) by being elected in about 1414 as prior of the great Cluniac monastery at Lewes. When, in 1434, formal arrangements were completed for masses to be sung in the priory church, where Thomas lay buried, and for prayers to be said for the welfare of his brother, provision was also made for the souls of William Nelond and his wife, Joan.2