FYNCH, Vincent II (d.c.1430), of Icklesham and Netherfield, Suss.
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er. s. of Vincent Fynch I*. s.p.
Vincent was returned to Parliament for Winchelsea in February 1406 while his father was mayor of the town. On the electoral return he was designated ‘junior’. At an unknown date in or after 1415 he inherited part of the family’s substantial landed holdings in east Sussex, and being a Portsman he was able to claim exemption from taxation on some of them in the years 1418 to 1421. However, he had little to do with Winchelsea, preferring to live as a country gentleman away from the town. In 1428 he and his younger brother, William†, were recorded as holders of seven knights’ fees in Icklesham and elsewhere. Through their mother they were related to the wealthy and influential Sir Roger Fiennes* of Herstmonceux, who in the 142os included them among the feoffees of his estates. The connexion can only have proved advantageous to Vincent when he sought election as a knight of the shire in 1426.1
Fynch was several times at odds with the abbot of Battle. In 1423 he claimed damages of £40 in the common pleas after the abbot’s men had allegedly broken into his fields at Dengemarsh, Kent, reaped his hay there and carried off 20 cartloads of it, and then depastured the ground with his cattle. But the abbot asserted that, in accordance with the charter granted to the abbey by William the Conqueror, the case should be tried in his manorial court at Wye, and the justices overruled Fynch’s objection that the abbot’s hired officers should not be judges in his own cause. Later, in December 1429, Archbishop Chichele gave judgement in a suit between the abbey and Fynch over tithes from certain lands at Netherfield. Fynch would appear to have had a violent temperament. A few years earlier he had so terrorized Henry Dobyll of Wittersham, Kent, that he dared not remain at home for fear of death, and only escaped Fynch’s numerous ambushes through his friends’ warnings; and Fynch himself had even publicly declared that he would not for £200 spare to beat and slay Dobyll, whereupon the latter prayed piteously to the chancellor, Bishop Beaufort, that a subpoena be addressed to Fynch to avert his own otherwise imminent destruction. Perhaps the conveyance of some 160 acres of land which Dobyll and his wife made to Vincent’s brother, William, in 1428 formed part of the process of reconciliation between them. Nevertheless, by the following July Vincent was in trouble again. Probably in connexion with an assize of novel disseisin at which he was alleged to have ousted his kinsman, Herbert Fynch, from land at Battle (a suit, moreover, in which the abbot of Battle took a close interest), he was made to enter into a bond under pain of £200 to keep the peace in Sussex, and to appear in Chancery the following Michaelmas to answer the charges against him.2
Fynch probably died in about 1430, whereupon his share of the family estates passed to his brother William (d.1443).3
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: A. P.M. Wright
- 1. E179/225/36, 38, 40, 42; CCR, 1429-35, p. 45; Feudal Aids, v. 150-1.
- 2. C47/64/11 no. 384; Sale Cat. Battle Abbey Chs. (1835), 105; C1/6/137; CP25(1)241/86/2; CCR, 1422-9, p. 471; C260/131 no. 29.
- 3. William served as sheriff of Surr. and Suss. in 1430-1, as MP for Winchelsea in 1433 and as a mayor there 1433-5: Arch Cant. xiii. 322-3; Cotton Julius B IV, ff. 50, 51.