SPARWE, Thomas (d.c.1438), of New Romney, Kent.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
poss. s. of Henry Sparwe of Hythe, Kent, by his w. Isabel. m. Alice, 1da.
Jurat, New Romney 25 Mar. 1414-15, 1416-17, 1418-20, 1421-5.1
It seems likely that Sparwe originally came from Hythe, where his putative father, Henry, served as a jurat from 1370 to 1384, for in 1419-20 he was presented by a Hythe jury for obstructing a lane adjoining the property he held in the town.2 However, he had settled in Romney by 1406 and paid maltolts there until his death. In 1423 he acquired ‘Brettysplace’ along with other holdings within the liberty of New Romney which had once belonged to John Lunceford*. He was sometimes engaged in overseas trade, as in November 1421 when he imported garlic, wine, iron, pitch and tar (probably from Spain), and shipped abroad short wool (from South Downs sheep) and 4,000 billets of wood. In 1424 his fellow jurats sent him to Dover to arrange about supplying vessels for the expedition of the warden, Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, to Hainault.3
Sparwe died before March 1439, leaving his widow, Alice, to account for maltolts in his place. He had apparently made enfeoffments of his substantial landed holdings in Romney Marsh and, when ill and dying, instructed the trustees to make estate to Alice for her lifetime, with remainder to his daughter, Elizabeth. But it was afterwards claimed by the latter and her husband, Thomas Barry, in a petition to the chancellor, that the widow and her co-executor of Sparwe’s will had erased, or ‘fait estre rase’, from that document all provisions beneficial to Elizabeth, thus working to her disinheritance.4