Peter Brown Family History

John Howes - Early Payne family of Sussex - Part Two


I will now return to the mid 15th century and another likely descendent of the Twineham Paynes, Thomas, whom I believe is the ancestor of the various Payne families in Ardingly, West Hoathly, and Balcombe.

Thomas Payne and Agnes (c1445- ?). Thomas was probably born in the 1440’s the son of Richard of Twineham. He is linked to the later families in Ardingly by a document dated 1556/1558 (Court of Chancery C/1/1462/12) of a case between John Payne great grandson of Thomas Payne vs. John Wheler and Thomas Lutman over lands in Ardingly.

An earlier document dated 4 Jun 1467 (MSS 51807-WSRO) to Thomas and Agnes from John Backshelve concerned the use of land in John Backshelve’s marlpit called Horscroft that abutted Thomas’ land. Horscroft is in Hapstead, Ardingly close to where most properties occupied by the Paynes in Ardingly and West Hoathly and Lindfield were located.

A quitclaim deed dated 24 Mar 1488/9 (MSS 30845-WSRO) from Thomas Payne and his son Richard of Lindfield to John Michelborne als Mascall concerned land called Glebers (Clevers) that had been a gift from William Gleber to the Paynes. John Michelborne was the brother of Richard who married Margaret Payne. If my assumptions are correct Thomas Payne was Margaret’s uncle. Clevers is later known as West Hill.

Richard Payne (C1465- after 1524). Richard appeared in a number of documents over the next decades. To distinguish him I have referred to him as Richard senior. In addition to the quitclaim dated 25 Oct 1497 which referenced Walstead (Part 1) later documents linked Richard with the Paynes of West Hoathly.

25 Jan 1513/4 (AMS 637-ESRO). Richard Homewood of Benenden Kent quitclaimed to John Michylburne land and woods called Ashcombe (40ac) in West Hoathly. Ashcombe was later associated with Stoneland, a longtime residence of the Paynes.  The same date (MSS 17416 WSRO) there was a deed poll from William Homewood to John Michelbourne concerning Ashcombe and on 10 Dec 1514 (MSS 17417 WSRO) there was a feoffment of Ashcombe from John Michelbourne to various people including Richard Payne and Henry Payne.

23 Dec 1520, Richard was cited in the will of John Chaloner of Lindfield as Richard Payne of the Hoth.

15 Nov 1524 (MSS 17419 WSRO) Deed poll from John Michelborne to Richard Payne Senior as indemnity against claims on Ashcombe. In 1524 Richard paid a lay subsidy of £2.00 in Ardingly.

Richard was the father of at least 2 sons John and Richard and probably was father of four more although he could be their uncle. He may have been the occupant of Stoneland in the early 16th century. There are six Paynes, all born around the end of the 15th century who occupied lands in the Ardingly area, who may descend from Richard.

Richard Payne Jr (c1500- before 1562)  In a bargain and sale dated 23 Jun 1545 (SAS D/50 – ESRO) Richard Payne of Erdingleigh, smith sold to Stephen Borde a moiety of land called Benkeland, which he had recovered by fine against several individuals including John Michelborne and Alice. This land was bordered to the north by Stoneland in West Hoathly, and to the west by the road from Turners Hill to Hapsett and to the east by a stream, presumably the Cob. This land may correspond with Hickpotts. The only other reference to Hickpotts was the birth of a son John to John Payne of Hickpotts in 1562 but by later in 1562 Hickpotts was occupied by the Easton Family.

Hapstead – John Payne (c1490-1558) Hapstead (Hapsett) is a hamlet in the parish of Ardingly now part of that village. It was a place where several members of the Payne family were dwelling in the 16th century.

In a grant dated 3 Oct 1551 (ADD MSS 51808 WSRO) John Payne, was a husbandman whose son Richard had died. Richard’s wife Margaret acting as his executrix granted to John Payne, son of the elder John Payne lands and tenements called Hapsett in Ardingly. The Chancery document, cited earlier established John as the great grandson of Thomas. The story can be followed in the Ardingly parish registers. John Payne senior was buried on Jan 1 1558 and Margaret died that year leaving an administration dated 18 Oct 1558.

Hapsett was therefore in the hands of the younger John Payne who married Ann Fauconer in Balcombe on 25 Jan 1550/1. The younger John Payne would have been born around 1520 as would his late brother Richard and were grandsons of the Richard Payne senior quoted in the 1497 document. John, heir of Hapsett was buried on 28 Oct 1571 and he and Ann had three children from the register but there were others including George Payne born before the Ardingly registers began. In an arbitration award dated 5 Jun 1576 (ADD MSS 51809 WSRO) the arbitrators were appointed by George Payne son and heir of John Payne, late of Hapsett (forester) with John Payne of Wickam in Lindfield and and others. The arbitration concerned the title to a freehold tenement and 5 acres at Hapsett, occupied by Vincent Pulleyn and shows that the Paynes of Hapsett were kinsmen of Paynes in Lindfield. There was also John Payne of Hapsett, who had a daughter Joan baptized and buried on 1 Feb 1578. Hapsett then came into the hands of Richard Payne, son of Alexander Payne of Balcombe another putative son of Richard.

Richard Payne of Hapsett was buried on 3 Oct 1606 leaving a will with bequests to daughter Ann, son Edward and to Joan Balcombe, daughter of Richard Balcombe. He can be identified with the Richard who married Katherine Balcombe, a widow in Balcombe on 7 Oct 1566. Between 1566 and 1578 Richard and Katherine had six children, of whom, only Edward survived. Three others, Job, Andrew and Ann were born between 1580 and 1586.  Ann his daughter married Ninyan Brokett in Balcombe (3 Jun 1610) and died a widow in 1632, leaving a will, mentioning her brother Edward and his three children, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth. Richard’s wife Katherine probably died in 1588 - an entry in the Balcombe registers for “wife of Richard Payne of Bushes” buried 30 Mar 1588. There were numerous members of the Payne family at Hapsett plus other families including that of John Willard living there in the late 16th century. In 1785 Hapsted land was owned and occupied by Jasper Wheeler whose ancestor of the same name was at Liod in the 16th century.


Stone in Ardingly and Stoneland in West Hoathly.

Stone is north of Hapstead in Ardingly near the border with West Hoathly. Stone was occupied in the 16th century by Thomas Payne another likely son of Richard senior. Thomas may also have occupied Stoneland in West Hoathly. In a Feet of Fines transaction, dated 1546, Thomas Payne and John Payne, plaintiffs, and John Halle, gent, deforciant Manor of STONE-PLACE and tenements in Ardingly and Westhothly was quitclaimed to plaintiffs and heirs of Thomas Payne (East, 38 Hen. VIII. [1546]). Thomas was a witness to the will of Thomas Culpepper of Wakehurst Place in 1571 in which his wife Agnes was mentioned

Thomas died in 1578 and his death was presented at the South Malling court on 18 Sep 1578. This document lists four sons. The eldest, John, occupied Stoneland in West Hoathly. His second son Thomas inherited Stone and was probably born about 1525 marrying Joan around 1556. Joan was buried in Ardingly in 1562 and soon after her death Thomas married Anne Comber, the daughter of John Comber and Joan. Thomas and Ann had nine recorded children. The younger Thomas was buried in Ardingly in January 1585/6 and left no will.

The third son of the elder Thomas was Richard and is the Richard who married Joan Nicholas in Ardingly on 15 Oct 1582. He was of Stone Place and may have acquired it on the death of his brother Thomas. Richard and Joan were the parents of my 10x great grandmother Elizabeth Payne. Elizabeth married William Nicholas in Arundel on 9 Nov 1614. Initially the marriage in Arundel puzzled me until I discovered a document from the Wakehurst Archives (WH/36) a bargain and sale dated 1 Apr 1616 of lands called Tillingshurst in Ardingly by Richard Payne of Arundel and Jasper Wheeler of West Hoathly. Richard apparently occupied lands in Arundel during the 1610’s.  A deposition book at WSRO (EP 1/11/16) shows Richard’s son George, a blacksmith, “born in Ardingly age 50” living in Arundel in 1639 where he had “lived some 20 years”. The occupation of Stone was taken up by Richard’s son-in-law William Nicholas who paid £20 5s 8d in the 1621 lay tax records and is cited in a bond dated Jan 27 1640 (SAS D/140). Stone was occupied by the Nicholas family until at least 1785 when the occupant was another William Nicholas (1785 East Sussex Land Tax Records).

Thomas’ eldest son John occupied Stoneland from around 1546 near the date of his marriage to Joan, daughter of Richard Infield of Gravetye.

John Payne died in 1594 and his eldest son John inherited Stoneland. John died 31 May 1602, leaving no will but an inquisition on 7 Oct 1613 stated that he had lands called Stoneland Beaches (60ac) and Long Croft (Simmes Croft) and his son Thomas then aged 12 was heir. The Paynes of Stoneland can be followed in the West Hoathly registers. They occupied Stoneland until 1725 when the heir died and the property went to the Dungate family.

Lodge House.

Edward Payne (c 1490 to 1566) another likely son of Richard senior made a will dated 6 Mar 1559 and proved on 12 Jun 1566, in which he left his farm (called Lodge House) to his son John and the residue of his goods to son Thomas, identified as the occupant of West Hill Farm. The younger John was probably born around 1515 and the farm passed first to his son John then to his grandson Edward.

West Hill (Lullings).

Thomas son of Edward of Lodge was the occupant of West Hill, which lies on the western boundary of Ardingly near Balcombe. As noted above West Hill was originally Clevers and had been in the hands of the Paynes before 1488 (see earlier). He was probably born around 1520.Thomas married Joan his who was buried in Ardingly on 24 Apr 1568 and had at least five children. Thomas was buried on Apr 3 1573. The property was then occupied by his son Thomas who was married twice. His first wife, Elizabeth, was buried in Ardingly on 27 Oct 1576 and he then married Joan Vennoul on 9 Sep 1578 and had six recorded children. On 25 Jan 1583 in the book of John Rowe, Thomas held two pieces of land called Le Hooke and Macony in Ardingly containing in total 20 acres and a parcel of one virgate of land called West Hill alias Bredens. His youngest son, Richard christened 2 Nov 1589 later occupied Hooke.

Lywood (Liode).

Lywood is in the south part of Ardingly, north of Lindfield. The earliest occupant was John, probably the son of Edward of Lodge. John was buried in Ardingly (14 Jun 1573). John was originally married to Amye who died in 1562. He remarried and had 6 recorded children. His son John (born 1566) inherited the farm and married Mary Gasson (14 Jan 1583/4). John had three daughters and the property passed to Alexander Payne who died unmarried 1611 leaving a will.

Alexander Payne (c1555-1611). Alexander born to John and Mary of Liode before the start of the parish registers in Ardingly, is confirmed by statements in his will made shortly before his death in 1611. Alexander never married but made bequests to many members of the Payne family.

Alexander was cited in an Exemplification of Common Recovery (AMS310 Hilary Term, 1578 ESRO). In this Thomas Godman and Alexander Payne, demandants, v. William Jenner, tenant, Thomas Browne, Kt., vouchee for 1 messuage, 2 gardens, 20a. land, 20a. meadow, 10a. pasture, 2a. wood, 20a. heath in Lindfield.

In 1593 Alexander purchased Cross Farm in Waldron (ROB/3/5 to ROB/3/15, ESRO).

Alexander’s will contained the following bequest “I devise all my lands and tenements and hereditaments in Waldron in the said county of Sussex unto John Faukner of Balcombe in the county aforesaid, yeoman, Jesper Wheeler of Westhothely in the said county, yeoman and John Bridges of Ardingly aforesaid yeoman to have and to hold the above” --- “to the intent and purpose that they” --- “shall sell the same to paye and discharge all and singular my debts and legacies hereafter described”. Following Alexander’s death his executors carried out these wishes as shown in documents dated 21 May 1611 (ESRO ROB/3/16 and ROB/3/17). Other bequests went to Alexander Payne godson and nephew, son of his brother Francis of lands in Ardingly called Berrylands and Withylands which are near Hapstead. Bequests went to Richard Payne of Stone his children- Thomas, Edward, Richard, Emma, Elizabeth, and Mary. Richard Payne was also a witness to the will.


Busses Farm now known as Holly Farm is located close to Pickeridge in West Hoathly. Henry(I) and his descendents were the occupants of Busses and the adjacent Ludwell. Henry was probably a son of Richard the elder, born around 1490 and was first mentioned in the 1514 document cited above and paid the 1524 lay subsidy. This may also be the Henry who was a witness in 1542.

In 1555 (SAS/A19 ESRO) Francis Carew of Beddington, sold John Mascall some properties and rents for day work due from tenants of other Carew properties. Henry Payne occupant of Ludwell (half yardland) and was required to pay 3 days labour or 9 pence.

Henry (I) paid a lay subsidy in the Hundred of Strete in 1549 which may reflect his occupation of property in Ditchling called Park Gate.

Henry’s son Henry(II) who was born around 1515 married Elizabeth around 1540 and had nine children five of whom were under 21 when Henry left a will dated 1566, leaving lands in Ardingly to his son Leonard. Son Henry(III) inherited his lands in West Hoathly. Elizabeth Payne, the widow of Henry granted on 21 Aug 1573 (SAS/PN/739) “to Henry Paine her son of all the free lands and tenements called Busses in the Parish of Westhothlegh which she had by gift of Hery Paine her late husband by charter of 12 Aug 1 Eliz (1558).

Henry (II) acquired Ludwell as a grant from the Carew Family in 1578 (AMS 6367/6 ESRO) and The Book of John Rowe notes that in 1597, Henry Payne for ½ yard land called Ludwell paid “xxvjs  viijd for relief and herriot each”

Henry Payne(III), yeoman of West Hoathly married Dorothy Mylles on the 29 May 1580 in Reigate and died on the 10 Sept 1608. At an inquest held in East Grinstead his heir was his son Henry aged 19 years, 1 month and 14 days (ie born Apr 17 1590). His lands included Ludwells, Busses and Butchers in West Hoathly and a cottage in Ditchling. Henry’s will dated 5 Sept 1608 in Ditchling left Ludwells to Dorothy for life, paying son Henry £3.00 per year at 21. His other property and lands called Parkgate in Ditchling were to be sold for the benefit of five younger sons and daughter Elizabeth. Trustees for his children were Sir Richard Michelborne and Francis Moore. In 1611 the Book of John Rowe recorded that Henry Payne still held 1 acre of land called Wildecroft in Ditchling.

In part 3, I will deal with the Paynes of Horsted Keynes and Balcombe and some of the early Payne Families in East Grinstead.