Edmunds family (c.1522-1670)

Edmunds armsThe Edmunds family were prominent in Winslow from the Tudor period until the Civil War. They included several clergymen and gentlemen. They owned the Old Crown, whose stone fireplaces were probably installed by them. The coat of arms on the right comes from The Visitation of Bucks 1634.

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1. Richard Edmunds appears in Winslow records from 1522. His wife was named Alice. In 1528 he bought a messuage and virgate of land from Agnes Boston. He died in 1556 leaving goods valued at £34: see his inventory. His house consisted of hall, chamber and kitchen.

2. Richard Edmunds, presumably the son of the above, was Fellow of New College, Oxford, 1548-58. He seems to have been curate of Winslow from 1558, and then became Rector of Wavendon in 1571 and Shenley in 1574. He died in December 1605 or January 1606; see his will. His wife seems to have been a member of the Boston family.

Agnes Edmunds his sister (d.1615) seems to have married William Glenister.

3. William Edmunds, gentleman, son of Richard (2), held the Crown, 60 acres of land in Winslow and a yardland in Shipton in 1610. He married (1) Elizabeth King (d.1620); (2) Margaret, who outlived him. He died in 1632. See his will and inventory.

William had 3 sisters who married three of the most important men in Winslow:

4. Richard Edmunds, gentleman, son of William, b.1612. He was at Brasenose College in 1626. There is a list of his holdings of land (at least 90 acres) in c.1635. He seems to have left Winslow in the 1640s and to have lived in London, but at some point he was coroner for Bucks, and he was living in Winslow in 1661. At the 1649 manor court he was fined "for contempt in words and misbehaviour in court"; perhaps this was related to the political situation at the time. See below for a Chancery case in which he was involved in 1661. He died between 1666 and 1669, having sold most of his property in Winslow. He was married 3 times:

Richard had several sisters, including:

5. Thomas Edmunds, son of Richard by his first marriage, was born at Winslow in 1637 and died at Tingewick, where he had recently become Rector, in 1670. See his will. He was unmarried, and apparently the end of the direct male line of the Edmunds family.

There was a William Edmunds in Winslow from the 1660s to early 1700s (at one time tenant of The Angel). The Visitation of Bucks 1634 says Richard (4) and his first wife Sarah had a son named William, but it doesn't seem likely that this was the same person.

Thomas' sister Anne (b.1640) married Thomas Grace of Swanbourne (d.1678). She was buried in 1663, and his wife was named Sarah when he made his will (Centre for Bucks Studies, D/A/Wf/53/241). Their daughter Elizabeth Grace (1660-1728), who married Thomas Rice (d.1729), inherited from her great-aunt Joan Kirby and was mentioned in the will of her uncle Thomas Edmunds, which is presumably why her father only left her 5s (the rest of his estate went to his daughters by his 2nd marriage). Thomas and Elizabeth Rice's children all seem to have died young except Anne (b.1694); Elizabeth Rice, spinster, who is mentioned at some manor courts, may also have been their daughter.

National Archives, C8/189/41: Richard Edmonds v John Grainge and others

The main points have been summarised below. The verdict is unknown but there must have been a settlement as in 1663 Edmunds and Grange together sold the disputed property.

[ff.1 & 3] Complaint of Richard Edmonds of Winslowe gent.  3 May 1661

About 18 years since Robert Grange of Lt Horwood deceased [see his will, which clarifies some issues here] proposed to lend £150 at interest on the security of 40 acres which Edmonds surrendered to the use of Robert’s younger son [blank] Grange now deceased.  On repayment after 3 years the surrender would be void or reduced to a mortgage. [See court of 10 April 1643]

Robert Grange and his son received the rents and profits towards satisfaction of principal and interest, to the yearly value of £15.  Edmonds was ready to repay but “the estate was vested in [blank] Grange an Infant and your Orator could not obeteyne any legall reassureance”.

11 or 12 years ago [blank] Grange died and the property descended to his eldest brother John Grange.  Not long after, Robert Grange died and the trust descended to John Grange. 
The mortgage has long been paid from the rents and profits, and John Grange should surrender the property but he and Elizabeth Grange his mother claim that it was an absolute purchase.

f.2, Latin] Writ directed to Richard Mead, William Duncombe, Joseph Duncombe, Henry Cowley, Henry Wells & James Spencer, to summon Elizabeth Grange widow and John Grange.  Dated 1 June 13 Charles II.

[f.4] Answer of John & Elizabeth Grange, 15 June 13 Charles II.  Taken by Henry Cowley & James Spencer.

Robert Grainge purchased 1½ yardlands from Edmunds, but for what consideration they do not know.  They believe it was a conditional surrender.  It was to William Grainge then aged 3, second son of Robert & Elizabeth, who died 14 years ago.  John, then an infant, was admitted as brother and heir.

John has in his custody an agreement of Edmunds made with Robert after William’s death where he promised to pay all moneys due to him at or before the next manor court, or to perfect John’s estate.

Robert for the latter part of his life had possession and took the profits “as the extreamity of the then rageing warres would permit him”.

Since Robert’s death, Richard Meade & William Burton gents, Robert’s executors, to whom he devised the profits of all his lands during his children’s minority, have received the profits for fulfilling Robert’s will.
They deny that Edmunds was ever ready to repay the money.  It was his act to vest the estate in William “for which he may thanke himself”.

The rents and profits never exceeded £10 a year “out of which also the taxes & billeting of souldiers were paid & defrayd by the said Robert Grainge”. They do not believe the interest of the £150 was ever paid from the profits, much less the principal.

Robert, willing that the property be settled on Richard Grainge his fourth son, in his will devised unto Richard a meadow called Abbotts Meade “much better then the said Coppiehold lands, and the losse thereof would much spoile the farme & estate by him devised” to John with the proviso that if John within a year of turning 21 should surrender “All those Coppiehold lands … which he lately purchased of Richard Edmunds of Winslow gent.” commonly reputed to be 1½ yardlands then the bequest of Abbotts Meade to Richard would be void and for John’s use instead.  The will was proved at the PCC  [PROB 11/211/265]. John duly made the surrender to his brother Richard. No money due upon mortgage was ever tendered to him.  It is true that he refused to surrender the property to Edmunds.

[f.5]  22 Nov 1661.  Answer of Richard Grange aged 14.

Robert Grainge his father died in 1649 when Richard was 2.  His father in his will devised to him Abbotts Mead.  Confirms what John said about the surrenders.

[f.6]  21 ?Nov 1661.  Answer of Richard Meade

Edmunds “as hee hath heard hath beene Coroner for the County of Bucks” and he doesn’t believe he could be “soe unadvised as to mortgage his land to an infant”.

Robert Grainge would gladly have received repayment “in the height of the rage of the late unhappy civill[?] wars when itt was much better to have had money then Land”.

At Robert’s death the lands were let for £10, out of which taxes and impositions were abated. Robert died in 1649 when John was aged 12.

William Burton/Barton died in 1654. Meade was surviving executor.  He has given account to Elizabeth Grainge and is discharged of his executorship.  She has received the rents since 1649.

Copyright 10 August, 2018