HATHERSHAM, John I (d.c.1394), of Lingfield and Crowhurst, Surr.
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Family and Education
Tax collector, Surr. Mar., June 1371, Dec. 1372, Mar., Nov. 1377; surveyor Dec. 1380.
Sheriff, Surr. and Suss. 5 Nov. 1379-18 Oct. 1380.
Commr. of array, Surr. Mar. 1380.
J.p. Surr. 15 July 1389-June 1390.
The subject of this biography was the younger son of a prominent Surrey landowner, John Hathersham, whose marriage to Nicola, daughter and coheir of William Neville, had enabled him to consolidate his estates there, besides bringing him other property in Wiltshire and Berkshire. Hathersham senior played an active part in local government, not only serving as a royal commissioner and j.p., but also representing Surrey in at least five Parliaments. On his death in 1358, the bulk of his estates passed to his elder son, William, who died three years later, shortly after the birth of his own son and heir, John II. The latter’s inheritance was at first entrusted to Nicholas Heryng† (or Lorayne), our Member’s brother-in-law, but in 1368 Hathersham (who was the child’s godfather as well as his uncle) himself obtained custody of the property. It included the manor of Coombe Neville, which was granted to him free of rent on the condition that he made good the damage caused there by a recent fire. The repairs must have proved costly, for in February 1376 he and Heryng were awarded the marriage of the young heir as further compensation for their expenditure. Hathersham retained his nephew’s patrimony until his coming of age in 1382, by which time he had acquired other possessions to offset the loss of revenue involved in the surrender of such profitable holdings.2
Hathersham’s own marriage, which took place in, or before, 1366, appears to have brought him an interest in property in Horsham, Sussex, although he and his wife, Emma, soon disposed of their title. Between 1371 and 1373 the couple acquired several plots of land and rents in Crowhurst, Limpsfield and Lingfield, perhaps by purchase, or, as seems more likely, in furtherance of a settlement once made upon the MP by his father, who owned estates there. Seven years later Hathersham and his wife bought the reversion of a messuage and extensive farmland in the same area, and in 1386 he alone became the owner of another messuage with appurtenances in Crowhurst.3 His most distinguished neighbours were the Lords Cobham of Sterborough; and in June 1364 he witnessed a deed for Joan, the widowed Lady Cobham. He also had dealings with John, Lord Cobham of Cobham in Kent, with whom, in November 1384, he was associated as a feoffee-to-uses in the conveyance of certain family property. Hathersham was, moreover, a trustee for his own sister, Katherine, whose first husband left her the manor of Scadbury in Kent, and whose second husband, the above-mentioned Nicholas Heryng, joined with her, in 1369, in settling the manor upon the MP and others.4
Not much more is known about Hathersham’s personal affairs, although it is clear from his appointment as sheriff of Surrey and Sussex and his six returns to Parliament that his standing in the local community was no less than his father’s had been. In February 1382 he and Thomas Wateys the younger were accused of conspiring to travel abroad with the intention of bringing lawsuits prejudicial to the Crown, but the matter was dropped and no more is heard of it after that date. Hathersham had other legal business in hand, most notably an action for the recovery of £60 from one Roger Pryncle, who three years later was pardoned his outlawry for failing to appear in court when summoned. It was in 1385 that the MP received royal letters of exemption from any form of office-holding or work in local government—an exemption which evidently did not preclude his appointment as a j.p. in 1389. Meanwhile, in October 1387, he was again involved in litigation, this time in his capacity as an executor of the late Adamandus Fytelyng, a clerk who was alleged to have left debts of £200. His mainpernors on this occasion were Robert Loxley* and William Weston I*, although once again the case lapsed after a few terms. Hathersham himself appeared as a plaintiff in February 1389, in a hitherto fruitless attempt to recover part of the expenses due to him as a Member of the Merciless Parliament of the previous year. His lawsuit against the sheriff—who claimed to have settled his account—was successful, but his inflated claim for damages was greatly reduced.5
Hathersham was still alive in December 1392, when one of his farm animals was stolen at Lingfield. His attempts to obtain redress proved futile, however, and the suspect was outlawed for persistently refusing to defend himself. Since his nephew, John Hathersham II, is last described as ‘the younger’ in February 1394, we may assume that our Member died at some point shortly after this date. If he left any children they did not long survive him, for his estates passed into his nephew’s hands within a matter of months.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Hadderesham, Hadrysham.
- 1. VCH Surr. iii. 502; SC8/83/4105A and B; Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii. 162; CFR, vii. 63, 225. The pedigree of this MP given by E.A. Webb, G.W. Miller and J. Beckwith (Chislehurst, 109-10) confuses him with his nephew, John Hathersham II, although the latter was always known as either ‘the younger’ or ‘son of William Hathersham’ during his uncle’s lifetime.
- 2. VCH Surr. iii. 502; CFR, vii. 63, 196-9, 225; CCR, 1364-8, pp. 452-3; CPR, 1367-70, p. 101; 1374-7, p. 235; CIPM, xv. 665.
- 3. CP25(1)230/57/78, 58/110, 60/12, 62/91; Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii. 162; CCR, 1369-74, p. 419.
- 4. CCR, 1364-8, p. 66; 1381-5, p. 637; Webb, Miller and Beckwith, 109-10, 353.
- 5. CCR, 1381-5, pp. 114, 545; 1385-9, pp. 28, 436; Yr. Bk. 1387-8 ed. Thornley, 100-2; E13/106 f. 17v.
- 6. CPR, 1391-6, p. 246; CFR, xi. 111; C138/28/45.