Until records are shown proving the ancestry of William, I have detached him from parents Fitche-7 and Worth-90. (17 Aug 2014 - Athey-67) Also, there are unfounded claims on the internet that William Fitche was the son of Thomas Fytche and the husband of Joanna Goldsborough.
WILLIAM FECCHE, FICCHE, FYCCHE, FICHE, FYCHE, FYTCHE, FITCHE* of Wicken Bonhunt, Essex Co., England. All of these spellings were used at one time or another in manor court and other records. The most common spelling of the name in later generations, however, was Fytche, which, except where it differs in direct quotations, will be used here.
William was a husbandman, a tenant farmer, who raised grain as well as cows and sheep.
In 1428, William's name appears for the first time on a document, on the records of the Exchequer of Pleas. The record reads: Mich. 7 Hen. VI Essex. William Fecche puts himself against John Parker of Rykeling, husbandman. Breach of service contract at Wyken. This court appearance took place at the Michaelmas session in 7 Henry VI. It is the first of many such suits filed by William.
To explain the Exchequer of Pleas: The jurisdiction of the Exchequer as a court of common law was originally confined to matters directly concerning the King's revenue. But this definition was loose enough to secure to the officers of the Exchequer and their dependants the privilege of pleading and being impleaded in their own Court and to enable any accountant at the Exchequer or anybody indebted to the Crown to sue in this court upon a sugggestion of quominus, that is, of his being 'the less' able to satisfy the Crown by reason of the cause of action he had against the defendant. By a fiction similar to that which ultimately opened the King's Bench to all kinds of personal actions, the application of the writ of quominus was eventually so far extended that practically everyone might institute in the Exchequer proceedings in any personal action and in ejectment.
Another case: Mich 14 Hen. VI "William Ficche, by his attorney, puts himself the fourth day against Thomas Wheler of Claueryng, laborer, in a plea that he render to him 24 sheep worth 40s, which he unjustly detains ..." The 'fourth day' phrase means that this was the fourth time the defendant had been summoned to appear.
Child (may have been others):
+ 2 i John, b. bef. 1437.
The Fitch (Fycche, Fytche, Fitche, Ffytche, etc.) Family was originally German and came to England from Saxony very early on. Several of the family came to America in 1638 and settled in Connecticut. One of the grand children of the immigrants, Jedediah Fitch, moved by himself to the Island of Nantucket and there married Abigail Coffin. Their son, Beriah married Deborah Gorham (giving us our Mayflower connection) and Beriah's daughter, Eunice married Benjamin Barnard. Their daughter, Matilda Barnard married Henry Canaday in North Carolina. Thus the Fitch family became a part of our heritage.
The family dates back to the 1200s with the family living in Fitch Castle in Widdington Parish in the northwest part of Essex County in England. In those days, it was simply too hard to trace back as records were not very orderly if they existed at all.
He is listed in a court record in 1428 as William Fecche and in 1435 as William Ficche and in 1436 as William Fycche. He lived in Bonhunt, later called Wicken Bonhunt when the two manors were combined into a town.
By 1440, William had acquired new lands and moved a few miles away to the town of Widdington. By 1450, he was titled as Yeoman living in Wicken. This meant he owned his lands outright and was no longer a tenant farmer on another's land.
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