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Wife and children

No will has been found for Richard Mede, but there is one for Agnes Mede of Clavering in 1555, who was probably his widow. (1) While there is no direct evidence for this, there are several pieces of circumstantial evidence. Her executors were her brothers James Parish of Stocking Pelham and John Parish of Berden, so her maiden name was Parish.

In Hilary term 1531, John Parys, senior, of London, draper, and John Parys, junior, the executors of Thomas Parys, of Berden, sued Richard Mede, of Claveryng, yeoman, for taking goods and chattels worth ten marks that had belonged to Thomas, during the life of Thomas Parys. (2) This was not a case of breaking and entering since they did not allege “clausum fregit” or “domum fregit”, which would be the case if had entered without permission. This sounds more like a dispute over inheritance.

Then, in Feet of Fines, 1534: Thomas Meede, Richard Meede, Robert Meede, Thomas Cheperfeld, John Parrys and John Woode, plaintiffs. William Hawke and Elizabeth his wife, deforciants. 100 acres of land, 8 acres of meadow, 20 acres of pasture and 10 acres of wood in Berden, Manuden and Claveryng. Deforciants quitclaimed to plaintiffs and the heirs of Thomas Meede. Consideration 80/. (3)

The first three must be the eldest sons of Thomas Mede of Clavering, while John Parrys is one of the executors of Agnes. In her will, she mentions Agnes, “my youngest daughter” and sons Richard, Robert and John. In his will of 1556, Robert Mede of Clavering mentions his brother Richard, his wife Joan, sisters Agnes, Elizabeth and Margaret, and a child that his wife “is great with”. (4)

In the Visitations of Essex, Richard Mede of Clavering has a son named John whose first wife is Mary Hall. (5) These must be the John and Mary who are found selling land in Clavering in 1565:

William Dellowe, plaintiff. John Meade & wife Mary, deforciants, 10 acres arable & 7 acres pasture in Clavering. £40. (6)

A few years later, in 1571, John Meade bought land in Clavering; John Meade, plaintiff. William Ferneley & wife Bridget, John Ferneley & wife Martha, Henry Walker & wife Judith & Robert Blome & wife Rebecca, deforciants. 1messuage,160 acres arable, 10 acres meadow, 20 acres pasture & 3 acres wood in Clavering. 130 marks. (7)

In the long list of cases in Common Pleas involving Richard Meade of Clavering, entries occur every year from 1551 until 1561, but before that there is a gap of five years from 1546 to 1551. (8) This could mean that Richard Meade senior died soon after 1546 and it is his son thereafter.

While this is not certain, the available evidence suggests that Agnes Mede was the widow of Richard and their children were Richard, John, Robert, Elizabeth, Margaret and Agnes.


(1) Will of Agnes Mede, of Clavering, 1555, Essex Record Office D/ABR 1/33/1 https://sites.google.com/site/meadfamilyhistory/home/wills/essex/1550-1600

(2) TNA: CP40 1531 Hilary/fronts 486 http://aalt.law.uh.edu/H8/CP40no1068/aCP40no1068fronts/IMG_0486.htm

(3) Feet of Fines for Essex, Hilary 1534, page 193 http://esah1852.org.uk/images/pdf/ffines/F1400000.pdf

(4) Will of Robert Mede of Clavering, 1556 Essex Record Office D/ABR 1/63/2 https://sites.google.com/site/meadfamilyhistory/home/wills/essex/1550-1600

(5) Visitation of Essex, 1634 https://archive.org/details/visitationsofess1314metc/page/448

(6) Feet of Fines for Essex, Hilary 1565, page 105 http://esah1852.org.uk/images/pdf/ffines/F1500000.pdf

(7) Michaelmas 1571, page 162 http://esah1852.org.uk/images/pdf/ffines/F1500000.pdf

(8) Richard Mede of Clavering in Plea Rolls https://sites.google.com/site/meadfamilyhistory/home/legal-records/mede-east

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