Thomas Barber alias Nynne
b. 3 May 1640
|Father||Thomas Nynne alias Barber b. 1 Jan 1585|
|Mother||Anne Latter b. 11 Dec 1608|
Tonbridge, Kent coat of arms
Thomas Barber alias Nynne was baptized on 3 May 1640 at Rotherfield, Sussex, England. He was the son of Thomas Nynne alias Barber and Anne Latter.
His father died when he was only nine years old, and his mother was left a widow (again) to raise a young family. At some time between 1649 and 1662 she married Samuel Theobold and continued to live in the properties in Rotherfield. It is apparent from the lease of 7 Jan 1661/62 that her husband Thomas had foreseen this possibility and given her the right to hold all his properties by jointure and lease while she still lived, ensuring that she could provide for herself and her family in the event of his death, and also thus protecting his children’s inheritance in case Anne remarried (which she did). On 7 Jan 1661/62 at the age of 21 years, Thomas leased these properties from his mother and her third husband, Samuel Theobold, (i.e. the cottage in Rotherfield Town - this would be Bonnetts and Bachelands, and the 22 acres of land known as Drapers) and agreed to pay them a rent of £11/5s per year, with the term of the lease being for the life of Anne, his mother.11Sussex Archaeological Society, Transcription, 7 Jan 1661/2, Rotherfield, Sussex, England (ESRO, SAS FA 781). This provided her with an annuity for the rest of her life. On Anne’s death the properties would pass to Thomas under the original jointure and lease agreement.
The lease is transcribed as: "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)."1
In 1662 Thomas was living and working in Frant as a servant to Thomas Weller, gent. It is likely that he had lived in Frant since birth as his parents had married there in 1639, and the family’s cottage in Rotherfield was noted as being in the occupation of William Roote in 1631, and Thomas Latter in 1639 indicating that his father was living elsewhere, probably Frant.2,3
It is interesting to note that a Thomas Weller jun. witnessed the 1635 will of William Heath, the first husband of Thomas' mother, Ann. This is likely to be the same Thomas Weller mentioned above. According to the Tonbridge Historical Society: “The Wellers were primarily a family of lawyers, with long-standing ties of service to the Nevills. Several generations of Wellers acted as stewards on the Nevill estates at Eridge and Birling”.
This Thomas Weller may be the same Thomas Weller who played an important role in the Civil War around Tonbridge 1642-46. He wrote his memoirs and later moved away from Tonbridge and died at Eridge Green (in Frant) in 1670 age 68 years. Thomas Weller's will was made Feb 1668 and refers to his son Thomas "residing in Tonbridge". His eventual death in 1670, and the fact that his son lived in Tonbridge, may have been the reason for Thomas deciding to move to Hilden (near Tonbridge), an event which we know must have occurred between 1662 and 1672.4,5
In 1662 Thomas Barber's uncle, John Barber, was also living in Frant as the burial of his wife is recorded there: "Mary, wife of John Barber, Retherfield". John was the only brother of Thomas's father and may have played a role in the young Thomas' upbringing given that his father died when he was nine years old.6
By 1672 Thomas was living in Tonbridge in Kent, and so began a period where the family lived there for the next 170 years, although they maintained a connection to Rotherfield through the ownership of the Drapers property.
Thomas Barber alias Nynne and Mary Rootes obtained a marriage licence on 11 October 1672 at Chevening, Kent, England.7 "11 Oct 1672 Thomas Barber alias Nin, of Tunbridge, Kent, Bachr, abt 30, & Mary Rootes, of the same, Spr, abt 25, at own disp; alleged by Edwd Clarke, of Cheevening, Kent, Dr of Divy; at Cheevening." There is a gap in the parish register for Chevening from June 1651 restarting in 1685. There are also no surviving Bishop's Transcripts so without this licence the marriage would have been lost.8
In 1677 there is a manorial record of the transfer of the Bonnetts and Bathelands properties from Thomas Nynne alias Barbour to Edmund Latter, likely a family relative of Thomas given that his mother's maiden name was also Latter. It is even possible that Edmund Latter is Thomas Barber's step brother (born Edmond Heath but could have changed his name if raised by the Latter family after their father's early death). These are the properties in Rotherfield village that were leased to Thomas by his mother Anne in 1662 and first held by John Nynne in 1530. The transfer is almost certainly subsequent to the death of Anne, although no burial has been found for her. The document is transcribed below.
Retherfield Court Roll, 1677, Nynne alias Barber
Court Baron of William Dyke, Esquire, and Ralph Snowden, held in the same place for the tenants of the aforesaid manor on the sixth day of December in the 29th year of the reign of our Lord Charles the Second, by the grace of God, now King of England etc, and in the year of our Lord 1677, by Thomas Hoop [or Hooper], gentleman, steward.
Homage: Nicholas Hosmer , Abraham Alchorne , Thomas Hosmer (sworn)
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.9
Thomas Barber alias Nynne was buried on 1 November 1683 at Tonbridge, Kent, England, aged 43 years with the entry stating that Thomas is "of Hilden". Hildenborough is now a suburb of Tonbridge.10
Thomas Barber alias Nynne left a will made on 2 November 1683 at Tonbridge, Kent, England.11
"In the name of God Amen the eigh and twentith of Octobar in 1683 I Thomas Barbar of tonbridg in the county of kent husbane man being at this present of sound and parfect minde and memory praysed bee God but sick and weake in body doe therfore make and ordayne this to be my last Testament and will In manner and forme following first and principallye I will and resigne my soule into the hands of God my maker hoping To have pardn for all my sins throe the merits deth and resurriktion of Jesus Christ my alon Redemar and my body I commit to the earth in such desent mannar to bee buried as mine Ex[ecutrix] hereaftar named shall thinke fite And as concerning that estate aswell reall as parsonall which god of his mercy hath lent me here on earth I orden will and dispose of as followith that is to say I will and giv unto mary my loving wif all my lands lying in Pearsil(?) in the couty of sothsex known by the name of Dreapars or by any other name or names what so ever for term of har natarall life with libarty to sell the timbar now standing theron within the spas of thre years aftar my desis preserving the under wads [underwoods ?] and timbar that shall renew grow or incres theron derring har natarall life and aftar har deses for the yeus of my to sons Ricard Barbar and Thomas Barbar paying therout to Elizabeth Barbar my daftar the some of forty and fif poundes with in too years aftar my wifs deses the rest of my Goods and chatells watever to my wif toward bringing up of my thre children Richard Thomas and Elizabeth I likwis make and ordayn mary my wif soll exsecutar of this my testamint and last will and to pay my depts and fenarall charges wher unto I have set my hand and sill
The marke of Thomas Barbar
Aftar har disis and
To mary my wif was entalined
Befor the selling herof did
Selid and delevered befor
The mark of William Ousbun
The marke of John mepam
Decemb. 14 1683
[in Latin] the executrix of this testament made oath before me Joh: Stileman surrogate"
(Transcribed by Gillian Rickard for Geoffrey Barber, 2010).
We know from his will that Thomas was a 'husbane man', or husbandman, a small farmer, and that he owned the property in Sussex called "Drapyers" which was at least partly woodland. It must have been quite a valuable property to be able to bear raising the sum of £45 against it to be given to his daughter Elizabeth as her share of her father's estate. When Thomas was buried he was described as being "of Hilden" (near Tonbridge), and it is likely he and Mary farmed there as tenant farmers on leased land as the Drapers property in Sussex is the only property mentioned in the will.
The Hildenborough Parish Council website contains a list of historical properties in the area and it states that there exists a receipt for work done in 1692 to Marden Cottages (now known as the Old House, a Grade II listed property) for a widow Barber who appears to have become the owner of this property in 1692 according to the Tonbridge Overseers of the Poor rating assessments (searched from 1670 forward). However, the receipt for work done in 1692 needs to be sighted to prove the link to Mardens Cottages as the rating assessments do not specifically identify the property, just the general location. The Old House is on Philpots Lane (at the intersection with Nizels Lane - if you extend Nizels Lane it would run into the house). The house is extensively described on the British Listed Buildings web site. To further support this, one of the witnesses on Thomas Barber's will of 1683 was Richard Polhill. According to the Hildenborough Parish Council website, Richard was the owner of Philpot's (manor) on Philpot's Lane and probably a neighbour. The parish council website has the following information about Philpots manor: "The manor is recorded in 1300 when John de Philipott left land to Robert Charles, bailiff of Tunbridge forest. It passed by marriage about the time of Henry VIII to the Childrens, one of the oldest families in the Tonbridge district. In the time of Charles II, it belonged to Richard Polhill, one of whose ancestors was bow-bender to Elizabeth I. It is said to be haunted by two men."12,13
Fig. 9 – Tunbridge in 1795 showing the bridge over the river Medway and the ruined castle in the background.
|Mary Rootes b. c 1647|
Thomas Barber alias Nynne and Mary Rootes obtained a marriage licence on 11 October 1672 at Chevening, Kent, England.7
- [S119] Sussex Archaeological Society, Transcription, 7 Jan 1661/2, Rotherfield, Sussex, England (East Sussex County Record Office, SAS FA 781).
- [S443] Sussex Archaeological Society, Transcription, 12 Jun 1631, Rotherfield, Sussex, England (East Sussex County Record Office, SAS AB 279).
- [S442] Sussex Archaeological Society, Transcription, 5 Sep 1639, Rotherfield, Sussex, England (East Sussex County Record Office, SAS AB 401).
- [S164] Frank Chapman "The Book of Tonbridge", Barracuda Books Limited, Chesham, England, First Edition (1976) "Tom Weller's War" pp 55-57.
- [S444] J.J. Howard "Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, Vol II, New Series", Hamilton, Adams, and Co., Paternoster Row, First Edition (1876).
- [S124] Transcript of the Parish Register of Frant, Sussex, England, 1544-1881 (East Sussex County Record Office, PAR 344).
- [S129] "Harleian Society: Allegations for Marriage Licences Issued By The Vicar: General of The Archbishop of Canterbury, 1669 To 1679. Volume 34", The Harleian Society, First Edition (1892), (Canterbury Cathedral Archives).
- [S134] Transcript of the Parish Register of Chevening, Kent, England, (Centre for Kentish Studies, P88/1/1).
- [S109] Court Books of the manor of Rotherfield, Sussex, England, 1631-1753 (East Sussex County Record Office, ABE 74O1) pg 252, 6 Dec 1677, Nynne alias Barber.
- [S135] Transcript of the Parish Register of Tonbridge, Kent, England, 1547-1730 (Centre for Kentish Studies, TR 2451/20).
- [S5] Will of Thomas Barber of Tonbridge, Kent, England, 28 Oct 1683, proved 14 Dec 1683 (Centre for Kentish Studies, DRa/PW4).
- [S377] Webpage Hildenborough Parish Council (http://www.hildenboroughpc.kentparishes.gov.uk/).
- [S378] Webpage British Listed Buildings (http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/) "Old House, Hildenborough."