|Mo16 Sir Thomas Moyle
Born: before 1500, probably at Eastwell
Married: before 1528 Katherin
|Sir Thomas Moyle was a commissioner for Henry VIII in the dissolution
of the monasteries, and speaker of the House of Commons in the Parliament
of England from 1541 to 1544.
He was the fourth son of John Moyle (died 1500, born in Cornwall, MP for Bodmin and Kentish, Cornish and Devon landowner) and Anne Darcy (his second wife, one of Sir Robert Darcy's daughters and heirs). By 1528, Thomas had followed his father's example and married an heiress, Katherine Jordeyne, one of the daughters of Edward Jordeyne (died 1514), a leading goldsmith at Cheapside with a manor at Raynham and employed at the mint in the Tower of London.
Moyle employed Richard Plantagenet to build Eastwell Place and (according to family tradition recorded around 1720 in Desiderata Curiosa) listened to his claims to be son of Richard III's son and allowed him to live in the grounds until his death in 1550.
Mo15 Catharine Moyle
Mo15-2 Amy Moyle married Thomas Kempe
But an art historian, John Physick tells a more recent and concrete story which is clearly attached to the specific forebears of the elder Heneage Finch. Physick takes us back only as far as that same early Tudor period which saw the rise of the Kingsmills. In the fifteenth century a Cornwall family called Moyle came to Kent. They began to acquire wealth through land when in 1537 one Sir Thomas Moyle became a member and later Chancellor of the "Court of Augmentations," which administered the monastic property seized by Henry VIII. He hunted down heretics zealously, and with his rewards was able to buy the estate of Eastwell from the daughters of Sir Christopher Hales, Henry VIII's Attorney-General. The Finches first enter the picture when Catherine Moyle, the daughter of Sir Thomas Moyle and his wife, Katherine Jourdain, marries a Sir Thomas Finch, a member of the then middling minor gentry of Kent. This man had distinguished himself on the battlefield and fighting at sea. This military Sir Thomas is our first individualized male Finch, and it was his help in 1553 in suppressing Wyatt's rebellion in Kent and consequent marriage to Catherine Moyle of Eastwell that brought the family Eastwell.
But the Finches, as the repeated name of Heneage testifies to, saw as
their founder a wealthy Elizabethan heiress, Elizabeth Heneage. Her contribution
was twofold: vast monies and two titles. On November 4, 1672, in Heneage
House, London, the home of her father, Sir Thomas Heneage, Elizabeth I's
Vice-Chamberlain, Chancelor to the Duchy of Lancaster, the elder son of
Sir Thomas and Catherine Moyle Finch, Sir Moyle Finch garnered the sole
child to a man of enormous means with all the right connections. The rest
is not quite history, but it falls into place naturally enough. In 1689
Sir Moyle Finch gained permission to enclose 1000 acres around the house
and embattle it; Eastwell began to change from a relatively modest Elizabethan
manor to a great house, a center around which the district could form itself.
Sir Moyle and his Elizabeth Heneage Finch also produced eight children
before in 1614 he died.*
|Moyle made his will on 1 August 1560, leaving his wife property at
Clerkenwell and his grandchildren houses in Newgate. Also leaving some
land and an endowment to Eastwell parish for an almshouse, he split the
remainder of his estates (in Kent, Surrey, Middlesex, Devon, and Somerset)
between his daughter Amy's widower Thomas Kempe and his daughter Katherine.
Katherine's husband was Sir Thomas Finch, and the couple's children were
the ancestors of the earls of Winchilsea and Nottingham. (He also left
£6 13s. 4d. to Clement Norton, a former vicar of Faversham who had,
like Moyle, joined in the 1543 anti-evangelical prebendaries' plot to overthrow
Thomas Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury.)
Richard Plantagenet or Richard of Eastwell (? 1469 - December 22, 1550)
is known only from Francis Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, which indicates that
the reclusive bricklayer may have been a son of Richard III, the last Plantagenet
King of England.
Whilst working on Eastwell Place for Sir Thomas Moyle around 1546, Moyle discovered Richard reading and, having been told his story, offered him stewardship of the house's kitchens. Used to seclusion, however, Richard declined the offer and was granted his request to build a one-room house on Moyle's estate and live there as the family 'odd-job' man until he died.
Though his tomb does not survive, Peck states that his entry in the Eastwell parish burial register survived in 1720 as follows:
"Rychard Plantagenet was buryed on the 22. daye of December, anno ut
supra. Ex registro de Eastwell, sub anno 1550."