Mo16 Sir Thomas Moyle

    was the son of John Moyle (Mo17) and Anne Darcy (Da17)
    Mo16 Sir Thomas Moyle
    Born: before 1500, probably at Eastwell 

    Married: before 1528 Katherin Jordan (Jo16)
    Died: 2nd October 1560,  in Eastwell Court, Kent.
    Sir Thomas' will was probated in 1560, PCC, 55 Mellershe.

    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.

    His life rests entirely on Heneage family tradition as transmitted in the Desiderata Curiosa account. According to this, he boarded with a Latin schoolmaster until he was 15 or 16, without knowing who his real parents were (though he was visited 4 times a year by a mysterious gentleman who paid for his upkeep and who once took him to a "fine, great house" where Richard was met and treated kindly by a man in a "star and garter"). At the age of 16, just before the battle of Bosworth, the gentleman took him to see Richard III, who informed him he was his son. The king told him to watch the battle from a safe vantage point and that, if he won, he would acknowledge him as his son but that, if he lost, he must forever conceal his identity. The latter occurred, with Richard of Eastwell fleeing to London to be apprenticed to a bricklayer, though keeping up the Latin he had learned by reading during his work.

    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." 
    An interesting book on this subject is written by Barbara Willard, entitled, "A Sprig of Broom". It is an account of 'what might have been'.

    The record of Richard's burial was re-discovered in the parish registers around Michaelmas 1720 by Lord Heneage, earl of Winchelsea, whilst he was researching his own family, and passed on (along with family tradition of his story) to Thomas Brett, L. L. D, who communicated it in a letter to William Warren, L. L. D., president of Trinity Hall, who in turn passed it on to Peck.