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Mayors of Faversham 1600 to 1649

1603 King James I comes to the throne, until 1625

1600 Esay Spracklinge See also 1613 and 1614
Esay came from St Lawrence in Thanet and appears to have settled at Faversham, being possibly a merchant adventurer. His first wife died 9th April 1597, and is buried in the Church, the gravestone is now near the chancel-gates.

Here lieth buried the Body of Millesent, the late wife of Esay Spraclinge, gent.,and the yongest daughter of Edwarde Crayforde of Mongeham Magna within the County of Kent, Esquire, the which Edward died in February 1558 and the said Millisent died the 9th  day of April 1597, being of the age of 39 years 11 weeks and 2 days and had by the said Esay 7 sons and three daughters.

1601 Robert Allen
Robert gave a house in Partridge Lane to the corporation of Faversham, for the use of poor widows. 

Oath of the Town Clerk. Duties include being always ready at Mayor's and Jurats' sending, keeping their lawful counsels secret, entering plaints between party and party, keeping records of the town, and giving no copies thereof that are not granted by the court or by licence of the Mayor.

This oath taken 2 June 1602 by Thomas Kenett, then admitted Town Clerk by Robert Allen, Mayor. [1602]

The earliest parts of the book (folios 5r-27r and 30r-38v) appear to have been written... | The National Archives

1602 Thomas Menfield See also 1613
Thomas’ name is variously spelt in the records; sometimes it appears as "Mendfield" or "Menfielde". 

It does not appear anywhere in the record that he was a native of Faversham. He was born in 1568, and beyond the fact that he graduated at Cambridge University nothing is known of his early life. At the age of 29 he was living in Faversham and was appointed by the Corporation to obtain from the inhabitants an annual subscription, or benevolence, in augmentation of the vicar's income. When he was 32 he was chosen as one of the jurats (or magistrates) of the town. From 1603 to 1605 he acted as an Overseer of the Sluice, Quays, Wharfs, Channel and Watermen, and in 1612 he was deputed with others to improve the channel of the creek and make a new sluice. In 1604, 1605 and 1612 he served as one of the auditors of the town; in 1606, as one of the receivers of the stock of corn for the poor; from 1609 to 1611, as one of the receivers of the profits of the grammar school lands; and in 1613 as one of the Governors of the House of Correction (the gaol).

1603 John Caslocke senior
John was buried in the parish church in 1613 and is commemorated by a monument on the west wall, north transept. It depicts a kneeling man and his four sons facing his kneeling wife and two daughters.

Here lyeth JOHN CASTLOCK ye Elder late Jurate & twice Maior of this Towne & Captaine of the select band who died ye 26th day of February 1613 being about ye age of threescore and one: and ALICE his wife who died ye third day of March 1613 being about ye age of threescore & nine: They were married some forty yeares & had issue fower sones JOHN Maior at ye tyme of their death, WILLIAM, DANIEL, ABRAHAM & two daughters BENNET & ELIZABETH. 

"He that with zeale did oft frequent this place: He that with grave respect ye bench did grace: He that for justice was ye most servere: He whome ye good did love, ye bad did feare: Hee that by virtuous wife had hopeful race: that lived to see their sonne in father's place: that fourty yeares and borne ye marriage yoake lo here's interred bu death's attendinge stroke, ans that's most strainge, ere much they gan to wither envious death surpriz'd them both togeather for both tooke leave, a thing not often seene of world's delights, and but fower dais betweene like doleful turtle having lost her mate, made all of love, she moaning yeelds to fate. As if she vow'd that palefac'd death with sworde should not devide them ne from bed nor borde from bed: for both rest in still sleeping tombe waiting ye last, & saints most joyful dome from borde: for both set down (wher angels gather ye guests) in Heav'n, at boarde with Isaac's father"

He was a Brewer, (noted in an intestacy document, concerning his father's estate.)  

1604 John Upton See also 1589
John died in 1613. In his will, dated 1 October 1613, John Upton of the Towne and libertye of Feversham (Faversham), gent. and one of the Jurats of the said Towne. To poore of Feversham £3. To my men servant and mayd servants 10s each. To Martha my wife £6.13.4. yearely out of lands in Goodnestone and Luddenham neer Feversham and tenement at the Key in Feversham in occupation of John Morris and Lewis Mitchell. Thomas Upton my sonne one silver salt and 1 dozen silver spoones of the second sort and tenements in Goodnestone and Luddenham aforesaid in occupation of William Chillenden or William Browne. John Upton my sonne exor, lands in Feversham, Ospringe, Stone, Buckland and Throwley. Witness John Lawrence, Thomas Hubbard.  Probate 22 November 1622.

Memorandum of bread weighing by the mayor, April-July 1604; assize of corn prices by jurors and of bread prices by the mayor, 26 Nov. 1604; memorandum of bread weighing, 20 Dec. [1604 ?]; assize of bread and beer, 9 April 1606; memorandum of bread weighing, 21 June 1606; assize of corn prices by jurors and of bread prices by the mayor, 2 Dec. 1607; assize of corn prices by jurors and of bread prices by the mayor, 23 May 1608, assize of corn prices by jurors and of bread prices by the mayor, 17 September 1611; assize of corn prices by jurors and of bread prices by the mayor, 17 September 1616 | The National Archives

1605 John Hayward
John was buried in the parish church in 1610 and is commemorated with a ledger with brass effigies showing him in mayoral robes and two brass plates. One with three sons and three daughters.

Here lyeth buried the Body of JOHN HAYWARDE sometime Mayor of this Town who deceased the fourth of September 1610 and married ANNA COLE daughter and coheir of THOMAS COLE and had by her issue 3 sons & 3 daughters of wch. WILLIAM the eldest was likewise here buried the 29th of July in the same year.

1606 Reginald Edwards See also 1620
Reginald was the first known inhabitant of a house that occupied numbers 59-61 West Street, with hop grounds behind. It was first recorded in the manorial records of 1532, and he lived there from 1621 to 1638.

1607 Christopher Finche & William Beale
Christopher was mayor four times, see also 1577, 1578, 1597. He was buried in the parish church and is commemorated with a ledger, with arms in the east aisle, north transept.

CHRISTOPHER who lies here with Anna his wife FINCHUS was mayor of this small town for four years As an official he died Feb 1st 1607 [Both are here an emblem of their ancient ancestors] [Who together] are sadly buried here [interred] Anna, mother died after the eight birth on 1st Sept 1592 [It is right that Marcus their youngest son buried his parents] 

William took over as mayor when Christopher died and continued in 1608.

1608 William Beale
William was buried in the parish church in 1617.  He was a witness to Thomas Menfield's will

1609 John Wood See also 1618

1610 Francis Thornhill                                            

1611 John Laurence See note 1604
John was buried in the parish church in 1626. 

From the chamberlain’s accounts the plague visited the town

1612 John Caslocke junior See also 1628
John was a descendant of William Caslocke who, about the year 1500, was induced by his brother John, the last abbot of the monastery of St Saviour here, to take up his abode in Faversham.

John Caslocke was born in 1576 and held a number of public offices in addition to serving as mayor.  It was formerly the practice of corporate towns to make by-laws for the regulation and protection of the trade of the inhabitants. Thus, ordinarily, goods could only be sold, and professions, businesses and trades could only be exercised in the town by persons who, by birth and apprenticeship, or purchase and apprenticeship, had acquired a right to do so. Consequently, in the 16th and 17th centuries, the benevolence of many persons was exercised in founding charities to enable the children of the poor to be apprenticed and thus obtain the right in due time of being enrolled as members of a trading guild or company and of pursuing their trade or calling with recognised privileges. John was one of these benevolent individuals. During his time the trade regulations of the town were revised and settled by the corporation and further rules were made for apprenticeships. In making his will in 1651, Caslocke gave £5 to be distributed among "the poorest sort of people in the town of Faversham". He also bequeathed, after the death of his wife, lands in the Isle of Harty to the mayor and corporation and their successors forever, the yearly rent to be employed towards placing poor children of Faversham in apprenticeship. This charity has long since ceased to be applied in payment of premiums to masters to induce them to board, lodge and teach apprentices during a term of 7 years. It is now expended in paying the legal expense of binding, and proving clothes for, the apprentice during the apprenticeship term. 

1613 Thomas Menfield & Esay Spracklinge
Thomas was also mayor in 1602 and died on 29th July during this second mayoralty and is buried in the parish church.

He is commemorated with a large monument with kneeling figures, part of the inscription is now missing on the west wall, south transept. There is also a brass plate to the left of the monument which reads A PILLAR OF THE FAMOUS PORTS A PATRON OF THE FEEBLE POOR A PATTERNE FOR THE FADING RITCH LIES HERE OBLIGED TO DEATH'S LORE THE PORTS, THE PORE, THE RYTCH & ALL LAMENT & LANGUISH WITH HIS FALL BUT GOD DOTH GIVE & GOD DOTH TAKE WHOM GOD WILL HAVE NONE MUST FORSAKE

"on which day, being Friday, about four of the clock in the morning, he departed this mortal life" at the age of 43. In 1873 some of his books were still in the grammar school library.

In his will, executed only three days before his death, in the presence of the vicar and two others, he stated - "And touching my worldly goods, wherewith God hath abundantly blessed me, I beseech Almighty God to guide and direct me in disposing thereof."He then gives £10 to the poor of Faversham; £5 in wheat and money to the poor of Whitstable: sundry legacies to his servants, relations and friends; a white bell salt of silver of the value of 20 marks (a mark was about 67p) to remain in the custody of the mayor for the time being, for better furnishing of his table, upon which salt were to be engraven the town arms and "ex dono T.M.";  £10 to the vicar of Faversham; to the grammar school library all his books which Mr Crosse the master should think fit, except such English books as the testator's wife should please to retain; and £10 to each of the Sergeants at Mace.  He went on to direct that a convenient site within the town should be purchased by his executor in the name of the mayor, jurats and commonality, within eight years of his decease, and that six convenient dwelling-houses should be built thereon, all under one roof, fit for six poor people to dwell in, and that his executor, within the same time, should purchase for and in the name of the mayor, jurats and commonality, so much land as should be yearly worth £30 at a reasonable rent, and if the executor should fail to do this, he bequeathed instead £1000. And he declared that six poor widows of the Town and Liberty of Faversham should have their dwelling in the said houses during widowhood and receive £4 a year each out of the profits of the lands to be purchased. Twenty shillings of the same profits were to be yearly spent upon a dinner at the passing at the accounts, the residue to be kept as a reserve fund during the first ten years and afterwards to be yearly bestowed, and equally distributed in clothing to the six widows. The six almshouses were accordingly erected by Christopher Saker, the executor, on a piece of land on the east side of Preston Street and were conveyed by him to the Corporation on 4th October, 1623, but he neglected to purchase the other land to the value of £30 a year and a little before his death he paid the Corporation £400 only, instead of the £1000. This sum the Corporation lent to several persons on insufficient security and the whole was ultimately lost. The Corporation, however, continued to pay the appointed annuity of £4 each to the widows and to keep the houses in repair out of their Corporation funds, aided by small charities, until 1836, when all the town's charities were placed under the management of a separate body of trustees, and it became unlawful thenceforth to spend any part of borough funds on the objects of this charity. In accordance with a scheme approved by the Court of Chancery, the present Almshouses and Chapel in South Road (from Henry Wreight's charity) and six of them were appropriated to the almspeople on the foundation of Thomas Menfield. The old almshouses in Preston Street were later sold. The site is now occupied by shops, almost opposite the Assembly Halls. 

1614 Esay Spracklinge See also 1600 and 1613
We don’t know where Esay’s grave is, but from his wife Millisent’s grave, we can see they had 10 children.

1615 Edward Hales See also 1630

1616 John Philpott See also 1584
John was a lawyer who ten years earlier unsuccessfully contested the case with the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports for the customs of the oyster fisheries

1617 Christopher Warrener
Christopher was buried in the parish church in 1621 but it seems there was some controversy surrounding him…opinions concerning the re-election of the mayor, 1617.

Minutes | The National Archives

From the chamberlain’s accounts the shambles in the market taken down. This left the Market Square free, as we now know it.

1618 William Tomyln & John Wood
William was only mayor once and presumably died in office, as John took over.

John was twice mayor and was buried in the parish church in 1640. He is commemorated with a ledger, in the south aisle. 

Here lyeth the Body of JOHN WOOD late of Feversham Gent who dyed the 25th day of July 1640 and had issue by ZUTPHANIA his wife and daughter of Sir CHRISTOPHER CLYVE of Preston Knight one only daughter ZUTPHANIA of his age 25.

1619 John Besbeech See also 1629

1620 Reginald Edwards See also 1606

1621 Thomas Napleton the elder
Thomas was buried in the parish church in 1625 and is commemorated by a brass on ledger. The ledger has, in later script, ENTRANCE TO VAULT, west aisle, north transept.

Her lyeth the Body of THOS NAPLETON ye Elder one of ye Jurates of ye Towne of Faversham & some tyme Maior of ye said Towne Hee deceased ye 30th of Septem anno 1625

1622 William Thurston See also 1636

1623 John Greenstreet
John’s brother Robert was mayor in 1635, 1344 and 1648. The family initially came from Lynsted.

Wardens were appointed to apprehend rogues and wandering people. New stocks, with manacles, were made and fixed next to the pillory in the Market Place

1624 Samuel Hayward See note in 1627
Samuel was buried in the parish church in 1633. He is commemorated by a ledger in the south aisle, now hidden.

Death hath added to the ornament of this place the worthy memorial of SAMUEL HAYWARD Gentleman sometime Jurat of this Town and once Mayor He married ELIZABETH the daughter and sole heir of WILLIAM LEMON of the Isle of Graine Gent and had by her issue one son & two daughters WILLIAM, ALICE & ABIGAIL the which ELIZABETH he buried & took again to wife BARBARIE daughter of JOHN CASLOCKE of this Town Gent & had issue by her only one son named JOHN He departed this life the 17th of Aprill 1633

1625 Boys Owre See also 1633
Boys’ (possible) ancestor, Roger Urre, was mayor in 1303 and 1305.

1626 John Tye

1627 Samuel Preston
Samuel was buried in the parish church in 1640.

Samuel Preston late one of the jurats of Faversham who departed this lyfe the first day of July 1640

He left three volumes of Mr Perkins works to the church, forty shillings a year, for ever, towards the weekly lecture.

1628 John Caslocke junior See also 1612
John was buried in the parish church in 1651 and is commemorated by a slate oval tablet on the north wall, north transept.

Here lyeth interred ye Body of JOHN CASLOCKE Esq late Jurat, twice Maijor and Capt of the select band of the Towne of Faversham in ye county of Kent, he took to wife BENNET one of ye daughters and coheyres of THOMAS COLE of the said Towne Gent by whome he had issue 3 sonnes & 4 daughters and after her decease he happily marryed ALICE one of the daughters and coheyres of SAMUEL HAWARD of ye Isle of Harty in the said county, Gent and dyed on ye XXVII day of September in the LXXVIIth yeare of his age anno Doni MDCLI his perpetual legacy to the poore records his piety and to his fame his surviving wife has erected this monument of her lasting love both sacred to memory. 

Excerpts from his will give us an interesting insight into how he lived....

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Will Dated 20th May 1651 John Caslock the Elder, Esquire. He is of indifferent health. All debts, legacies and funeral costs to be first paid. To the poor of Faversham, £5. To his wife, Alice, who is his executor, £40, his silver basin and ewer, his best silver can, best silver salt, one trencher salt ?, 6 best silver spoons, best bedstedle beds and bedding with linen and ?, complete and furnished, 1 trundle bed and bedding, 6 pairs of best sheets, 6 pairs of pillow cases, 6 cupboard clothes, 6 table clothes, 36 napkins, ? towels, 100 cwt of pewter, a brass pot, a brass kettle, a brass skillett, pair of andirons, 5 shovels and tongs, 2 spits and an iron dripping pan, 1 great wrought chair, 6 ? wrought chairs or stools..... ? a couch chair. All his books, pictures in the parlour, all the furniture and implements his wife has in her closet.... There are then various bequests to relatives, servants and friends...  After his wife's death Finners to the Mayor and Commonality of Faversham and their successors, for ever, the rent to be used every year to place out poor children of Faversham apprentice and not otherwise.  Witnesses: John Upton and Ezeckia Abraham Proved 17th October 1651

1629 John Besbeech See also 1619
John was buried in the parish church in 1631 and is commemorated by a slate ledger stone, inscribed around the margins, in the west aisle, south transept.

Heere lyeth the Body of JOHN BEESBEECH who was twice Mayor of this Towne [who had to wife MARY by whom he left 4 sons and one daughter]

He died the 12th of June 1631 at the age of 43. 

1630 Edward Hales See also 1615
Edward was buried in the parish church in 1634 and is commemorated by a brass plate, with arms, on ledger on the north side of the chancel.

To the Memory of EDWARD HALES Gent here interr'd of this Town twice Mayor & Captain of ye Select Band onely son of EDWARD HALES of Chilham in Kent Gent by MARTHA sister of Sr CHARLES HALES Kt wch EDWARD married BENNET daughter of CLEMENT FINCH of Grove-Hurst in ye same county Gent by whom he had issue five sons & seaven daughters and died Xth of January Ao D'ni 1634 aged about 52 yeares and wedded about 31

From the chamberlain’s accounts the backside of the house of correction made an artillery ground

1631 John Trowts senior
John was buried in the parish church in 1635

Letter to the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports requiring him to give directions to the Mayor and Jurats of Faversham for the further examination of the English and Irishmen taken in a frigate [not identified]. If nothing further is found against the men they are to be discharged each having given a good bond not to serve any foreign prince without express permission and licence.

Page 275. Letter to the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports requiring him to give directions... | The National Archives

1632 Mark Trowts senior
Mark was buried in the parish church in 1636. He is commemorated in a brass, chancel in front of north choir stalls.

Here lyeth the Body [of MARKE TROWTS late Jurate and once Major of this Town who departed this life the 31st of May A.D. 1636 aged 56 years He had issue by Ann his wife 3 sonnnes, JNO, MARKE and WILLIAM

On a brass plate, it states: "Rest Happy man, for while thou didst remaine wth us noe rest nor ease thou couldst obtaine Deathes p't is acted then from sorrowes cease Our hopes are firme yt thou dost rest in peace"

This extract is interesting, despite being such an important route, the highway was a problem.

Letter to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London regarding the assistance they can give to the repair of the Canterbury to London road at Boughton Blean [Kent] between Canterbury and Feversham [Faversham], the road now being almost impassable

Page 493. Letter to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London regarding the assistance they... | The National Archives

1633 Boys Owre See also 1625
Boys was buried in the parish church in 1650. e is commemorated by a ledger in the central aisle, north transept.

Here lyeth the Body of BOYS OWRE Gent son of ALEXANDER OWRE Gent deceased and MARGARETT his wife daughter of VINCENT BOYS Esq likewise deceased who departed this life the 5th of September 1650 and in the 67th year of his age

Also here lyeth JANE his wife daughter of JAMES CODDE of Wateringbury Gent She was buried October ye 21st 1691 in the 94th year of her age  

1634 John Knowler senior
John was buried in the parish church in 1640 and is commemorated with a ledger, part hidden by seating which he shares with his son, also mayor, see 1643.  On the margins of the ledger

He[re lyeth ye Body] of JOHN KNOWLER who was sometoime Maior of this To[wn] [  ] ARD and THOMAS and alsoe 3 daughters SARAH SUSAN and PLEASE He lived till his age of 67 yeares and died the 19th of May [1640].

1635       Robert Greenstreet                       See also 1644 and 1648

Robert’s brother John was mayor in 1623.

From the chamberlain’s accounts a leaden pump erected near the market.  For a long time a fish market was located here

First introduced by Sir Francis Drake in 1573, clearly tobacco was a lucrative business by now.!

Order of Lords Commissioners for licensing retailers of tobacco to the mayor concerning the clash of interests between Henry Broadnax, patentee of the parish of Ospringe, and the patentee of Faversham | The National Archives

1636 William Thurston See also 1622
William gifted the first of the three staves of office. At the top is a shield of arms surrounded by the inscription "God Bless King Charles the Second".

In this year, there was a great plague in the town and 79 people died.

1637 Nathaniel Besbeech
Nathaniel was the son of John Besbeech who was mayor in 1619 and 1629. Again, the mayor was busy with the duties of the Cinque Ports

Letter to the mayors etc of the Cinque Ports ['northern ports'] 'viz. Sandwich, Dover, Faversham, Milton and Rochester' [Kent], to send representatives to the Council by 1 July to discuss levies to facilitate trade with France [tonnage and poundage], as previously agreed for western ports by an order of 27 June 1632

Pages 295-296. Letter to the mayors etc of the Cinque Ports ['northern ports'] 'viz.... | The National Archives

1638 Henry Wreight See also 1645
Henry was a mercer and one of the most active in the town in showing dissatisfaction towards the monarchy (Charles I). His descendent, also called Henry, was mayor in 1809, 1818 and 1828 and one of the town’s greatest benefactors.

Receipt for £20, by the mayor of Dover, being Faversham's contribution to 'the setting forth of a shipp of warre this yeare for His Majesties service' | The National Archives

1639 Thomas Napleton senior See also 1647
Thomas’ father had been mayor in 1621 and his son was mayor in 1664 and 1672.

The mayor was summoned to Maidstone, to pay the town's part of eight thousand pounds, demanded of the ports for a ship of eight hundred tons for King Charles I. Our town's proportion of which was, forty pounds seventeen shillings and four pence.

1640 John Fearne See also 1652 and 1656

1641 George Moreton            

1642 John Trowts See also 1660 and 1669
This year, the Civil war began, in general the southeast of England was parliamentarian. The war ran until 1648.

1643 John Knowler
John was the son of John Knowler who was mayor in 1634. John was buried in the parish church in 1676 and his inscription states he was mayor three times, according to Jacob, he was only mayor in this year, although his sons Robert and Thomas were mayors. He is commemorated with a ledger, part hidden by seating. Main part of ledger:

Nr here lyeth interred ye Body of JOHN KNOWLER Jurat eldest son of JOHN KNOWLER Jurat here before interred He was three times Mayor of this Town and had 14 children and left surviving only 3 daughters ELIZABETH, SUSANA and MARY He departed this life the 24th of April in ye year of Our Lord 1676 aged 80 years.

In the 1662 and 1663 Hearth Tax lists, John is listed as having 9 hearths, also as a jurat, so he was still involved in the administration of the town. In 1671, it is noted he is living in Abbey Street.

1644 Robert Greenstreet See also 1635 and 1648

1645 Henry Wreight See also 1638

1646 John Preston   

1647 Thomas Napleton senior See also 1639
Thomas’ father had been mayor in 1621 and his son was mayor in 1664 and 1672.

1648 Robert Greenstreet See also 1635 and 1644
In this year, six jurats and two commoners, who were Royalists, were disfranchised for joining in the insurrection against the parliament. Following the restoration in 1660, this was repealed. But those who had subscribed to the petition for the trial of Charles I were put out of office

1649 Thomas Knowler See also 1654 and 1658
From the chamberlain’s accounts the year before the making of private traders tokens commenced in London, and this year, and the succeeding ones, the example was followed by great numbers of our townsmen, even so low down as by the common porter's deputy, the backer of corn from the keys to the vessels in the Creeke, and continued until 1669, none of a later date having come within my observation 

1625 King Charles I comes to the throne, until 1647

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