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Thomas Frowick
(Abt 1320-After 1374)
Maud de Durham
(Abt 1327-After 1374)
John Cornhill
(Abt 1330-)
(Abt 1333-)
Henry Frowick
(Abt 1345-Abt 1385)
Alice Cornhill
(Abt 1355-Abt 1416)
Thomas Frowick of South Mimms, Hertfordshire


Family Links

1. Elizabeth Ashe

  • Sir Henry Frowick of South Mimms, Hertfordshire

Thomas Frowick of South Mimms, Hertfordshire 1

  • Marriage (1): Elizabeth Ashe before 1416
  • Died: 17 Feb 1449 1
  • BuriedMale: St. Giles' Church, Blanche Lane, South Mimms, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, EN6 3PE, GB

  General Notes:

Family and Education
e. s. of Henry Frowyk (d.1386) of South Mimms, esquire, by Alice Cornwall (d.1416). m. by 1416, Elizabeth (d.1455), da. and h. of William Ashe (d.1411) of Weld, Herts. by his w. Margery Somersham, 19 ch. inc. Sir Henry.

Offices Held
Commr. of array, Mdx. May 1418; to raise a crown loan Nov. 1419, July 1426, May 1428; of inquiry July, Oct. 1420, Apr. 1431 (persons liable for taxation); to arrest malefactors June 1428; of oyer and terminer Jan. 1430 (treasons and felonies); kiddles, Mdx., Bucks. Aug. 1433, Essex, Herts., Mdx. Oct. 1436; to distribute a tax allowance, Mdx. Jan. 1436.

J.p. Mdx. 14 Nov. 1418-d.

From the 13th century onwards, if not before, members of the Frowyk family were prominent as London merchants and Middlesex landowners. With a father and grandfather who had both represented the county in Parliament, it was inevitable that Thomas Frowyk would be called upon to play his part in local government, although he clearly lacked the driving ambition which made his younger brother, Henry, such an important figure in the City. A minor at the time of his father's death in 1386, Thomas eventually succeeded to an estate in and around South Mimms, where he spent the rest of his life. His marriage to Elizabeth, the grand daughter and eventually sole heir of John Somersham, took place before 1416, when the Hertfordshire manors of Sherlands, Winridge and Weld in Oakhurst, which formed her inheritance, had passed into their joint possession. From his mother, Alice Cornwall, who also died in 1416, Frowyk inherited the manor of Willesden in Middlesex, but he was too fond of the pleasures of the chase to keep on his father's residence in the City, and appears to have sold off most of his interests there at an early date. We do not know when he acquired the manor of Brockham in Surrey, but it was probably in his hands by 1436, at which time his total landed income was assessed at 90 a year, or more.

Frowyk appears to have been fairly inactive until May 1418, when he was appointed to his first royal commission. His close connexion with (Sir) Thomas Charlton, the son of his mother's second marriage, was already well established, however, and the two men remained on intimate terms for the rest of their lives, sitting together for Middlesex in the Parliaments of 1422 and 1427, as well as becoming involved in each other's property transactions. Frowyk was often made a feoffee-to-uses by his brother, Henry, who invested a substantial proportion of his commercial profits in land: both of them also acted in the same capacity\emdash many times with their half-brother, Charlton\emdash for friends and neighbours, including William Waldern, John Durham and Richard, Lord Strange. Once, in about 1425, Frowyk faced an action in the court of Chancery for refusing to release his title to the manor of Yelling, which had been settled upon him by Thomas Hotoft as a feoffee-to-uses. He was at this time attempting to arbitrate in a similar dispute between members of the Lorchyn family, but on the whole he managed to avoid arguments over property.

Frowyk's career followed a conventional pattern: he sat for over 30 years on the Middlesex bench, and served on a creditable, if not unduly impressive, number of local commissions. Five times a shire knight for his county, and a regular attender at the Middlesex parliamentary elections (he was present on at least ten occasions between 1420 and 1442 to see others returned to the Commons), he was, none the less, a man of somewhat circumscribed political interests. The bequest of 'my best courser' made to him by his kinsman, John Durham, in 1420, and the eloquent testimony to his prowess as a huntsman contained in his epitaph, show him to have been a country gentleman remarkably like Chaucer's franklin in tastes and character. If the verses allegedly composed by John Whethamstead, abbot of St. Albans, for his friend's tomb are to be believed, Frowyk also shared his literary counterpart's generous and hospitable disposition, being one of the county's richest and best-respected landowners. His connexion with Whethamstead was no doubt already established by the summer of 1431, when he and other prominent local figures met the abbot and the bishop of Ely at Hertford during the aftermath of a lollard rising, 'precepto regis in prioratu congregati pro sessione contra Lollardos et mutuo pecuniae'. At some point over the next three years Frowyk began a suit at common law for the recovery of 20 owed to him by a Hertfordshire man, who, after repeated evasions, was pardoned his outlawry for failing to appear in court. Understandably, in view of his status, Frowyk was among the Middlesex gentry ordered, in May 1434, to take oaths that they would not help persons disturbing the peace. He was again approached by officers of the Crown in February 1436, this time with a request for a contribution of 100 marks towards the war-effort.

Despite his reputation as a moderate, peace-loving man, Frowyk was prepared to come to the assistance of his half-brother, Sir Thomas Charlton, who, in 1438, became involved in a dispute with Ralph, Lord Cromwell, over the enclosure of common land in the manor of Edmonton. In August of that year Frowyk and his neighbours assembled there in force to defend the rights which had been lost, but which, thanks to Cromwell's conciliatory behaviour, they were soon able to regain. Frowyk was probably quite old by October 1439, the date of his first will, although he lived on for another ten years, during which he endowed a chantry chapel at the church of South Mimms with property from his estates. He and Abbot Whethamstead were still on close terms, for when the latter became involved in a disagreement with his successor soon after retiring in November 1440, he called upon his old friend to stand surety in 1,000 on his behalf. Frowyk added an extensive codicil to his will in March 1442, and two years later he was exempted for life by the Crown for serving on juries or holding any royal office. He none the less continued to act as a j.p. until his death, which, according to his memorial brass, occurred on 17 Feb. 1449. He was there depicted as having had 19 children, only four of whom evidently survived to adulthood. His eldest son and heir, Sir Henry, married Joan, the daughter of Sir Thomas Lewknor, and was himself returned as a shire knight for Middlesex. Frowyk predeceased his wife, who died in 1455 and was buried beside him in the family chapel at South Mimms.

[History of Parliament]


1438 Thomas Frowyk of Middlesex, esquire, granted to Henry his brother, ci tizen, alderman, and mercer, two tenements, one in St. Mary Magdalen Mi lk Street between that church to S. and the tenement in which Richard Love las, mercer, lived to N., and the other in Honey Lane, between the cemete ry of All Hallows Honey Lane to E. and the church of St. Mary Magdalen Mi lk Street to W.

Thomas's will, proved in 1448, states that the manors of Oldford and Brock ham were to remain in the hands of feoffees for a year, his debts being pa id from the issues therefrom, after which Brockham was to remain to his wi fe Elizabeth for her life, reverting to his son Henry and his issue. Hen ry was succeeded by his son Thomas, and the latter by his son Henry, who m arried Ann Knolles
and died in 1527, leaving as sole heir his daughter Elizabeth, wife of Jo hn Coningsby, who was holding it with her husband in 1530. In 1547 Elizabe th settled an annuity of 27 on Mary, widow of her brother Thomas, who h ad predeceased his father. Elizabeth Coningsby married William Dodd as her
second husband, but at her death she was succeeded in the lordship of Broc kham by Henry Coningsby, her son by her first husband, who was knight ed in 1585. Sir Henry died in 1590 and was succeeded by his eldest son Ral ph who held until 1606, in which year he joined with his brothers Phil ip and Henry in conveying the manor to Thomas Wight.

['Parishes: Betchworth', A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3 (1911), pp. 166-73.]

  Burial Notes:

In the Lady Chapel?


Manorial Estate: Old Ford Manor, South Mimms, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, EN6, GB. 2 The manor of OLD FOLD emerged from the capital manor. It was bought from Ernulf de Mandeville by the Frowyks, who were prosperous London merchants, shortly after 1271 (fn. 29) and it descended in the direct male line of the family until 1527. In 1308 Henry Frowyk was kidnapped by Thomas Lewknor, lord of South Mimms, William Pouns, a local landowner, (fn. 30) his son Richard, and John of Felstead, parson of Hadley. Henry was married to William Pouns's daughter, Margaret, for which act the Frowyks subsequently obtained financial redress, on the grounds that Henry was a minor in the wardship of his mother Agnes. (fn. 31) Henry died in 1377, having outlived his son Thomas. His grandson Henry married Alice Cornwall, whose second husband Thomas Charlton had the manor in 1397, (fn. 32) apparently during the minority of Thomas, Henry and Alice's son. Thomas Frowyk was the husband of Elizabeth Aske, heir to the manor of Weld or Newberries in Shenley (Herts.). (fn. 33) His son and heir Henry married Joan Lewknor (fn. 34) but was sued for debt by Sir Roger Lewknor and committed to prison. (fn. 35) Accordingly Henry sold the manor of Weld and lands in Shenley, Aldenham, and St. Albans (Herts.) in 1473 (fn. 36) and sold the manor of Durhams and land in London to his cousin Thomas Frowyk of Gunnersbury two years later, (fn. 37) although he retained Old Fold. His successors seem not to have paid the rent for Old Fold which was due to the manor of South Mimms, and in 1501 Henry's grandson and namesake was distrained for the non-payment for many years. (fn. 38) The younger Henry married Anne, daughter and coheir of Robert Knollys, who brought the manor of North Mimms (Herts.) into the Frowyk family. Henry's son Thomas married Mary, daughter of Sir William Sandys, and died without issue. (fn. 39) By will proved in 1527, Henry therefore left his estates to his daughter Elizabeth and the children of her first husband John Coningsby. (fn. 40) It was not until 1547, however, that Elizabeth recovered Old Fold from John Palmer and his wife Mary, whose first husband had been Thomas Frowyk. (fn. 41)

29. Lysons, Mdx. Parishes, 228; J.I. 1/540 rot. 3v.
30. C.P. 25(1)/148/37/320; and see p. 275.
31. Year Bk. 2 & 3 Edw. II (Selden Soc. xix), 162.
32. Cass, South Mimms, 25.
33. Brittain, South Mymms, 17; V.C.H. Herts. ii. 270.
34. Mdx. Pedigrees, ed. R. Mundy, 90.
35. Cal. Pat. 1476-85, 8.
36. Cal. Close, 1476-85, 12.
37. Cal. Close, 1468-76, 351-2.
38. Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Ct. Roll) 14/28, f. 4v.
39. Cass, South Mimms, 102, 111.
40. Story of Potters Bar, 41.
41. C.P. 25(2)/61/473/1 Edw. VI Hil.

Thomas married Elizabeth Ashe before 1416. (Elizabeth Ashe died in 1455 and was buried in St. Giles' Church, Blanche Lane, South Mimms, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, EN6 3PE, GB.)


1 J. S. Roskell and L. Clark, editors, <i>The History of Parliament: The House of Commons, 1386-1421 </i>, 4 Volumes (N.p.: Boydell and Brewer, 1993).

2 Victoria County History, editor, <i>A History of the County of Middlesex</i>, 12 (London: Victoria County History, 1962), 5: 282-285.

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