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My 14th great grandfather founded a famous school in Tonbridge in 1553. He was a trader, a risk taker, and an obvious negotiator. He was the Lord Mayor of London. He was a very wild thing. My father’s tree has many educators in the branches.
Andrew Judde** (1512 – 1586)
is my 14th great grandfather
In 1509 London apprenticed to John Buknell, “a Skinner and Merchant of the Staple of Calais” for 8 years. 23 Mar 1517 First evidence of him as Merchant of the Staple, so released at least a little early from his apprenticeship. On this date he paid the duty for a cargo of wool shipped to Calais. “Thereafter his name occurs frequently“.
In 1520 “took up his freedom as a member of the Skinners’ Company” London. 1520-1521 Fraternity of the Assumption of Our Lady, London; paid 4 shillings “entry money“; high on their list 1524. 1522-1523 Fraternity of Corpus Christi, London; “the account books of the Skinners show … that Andrew Judde paid 20 shillings on becoming one of the ‘Newe Brethern'”.
Mary Mirfyn was born circa 1521. Married Sir Andrew Judde in 1537, London. Died 14
Nov 1550. “Her funeral is entered both in Wriothesley’s Chronicle, and in Machyn’s Diary, both of which have been published by the Camden Society“.
In 1523 London co-executor of his father-in-law’s will with Mirfyn‘s own son. 1533 Master of the Skinners’ Co “and five times thereafter“. Merchant of the Staple of Calais. 12 Jul 1541 Alderman from this date ward of Farringdon without, London. Widowed before 1542? Had had five children with Mary; 2 not in his will. Married Agnes / Annys (—-) in 1542 London; 2nd wife, no children, nothing more known. In 1547 Treasurer of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, when it was remodelled. “Certainly one of the richest and most prominent of overseas merchants in early Tudor London“. 1550 Lord Mayor of London: “he had to deal with the problems caused by dearth and by the 1551 ‘calling down’ of the coinage“. One dau. survived from the 3rd marriage. In May 1553 Tonbridge School obtained letters patent for the erection of a free school with the Skinners’ Company as trustees. One of the Aldermen who signed the device of King Edward VI. In Sep 1555 Staple Inn, London, Felipe of Spain (consort of Queen Mary) passed the night at the Staple Inn, and “Sir Andrew presented the King with a purse containing a thousand marks in gold“. Circa 1556 Skinners Hall, London, Judde and Sir John Champneys donated money for the ceiling of the hall, and the Skinners had the arms of both carved as ornaments for the hall. Between 1556 and 1558 “At this time Sir Andrew was buying manors at Ashford and places adjoining from Sir Anthony Aucher, soon to lose his life at Calais. This estate passed to his daughter Alice and so to her son Sir Thomas Smyth, who in his turn was a benefactor of Tonbridge School“.
1557 and 1558 “Surveyor-general of all the London hospitals” London.
Before 1558 Resided at Eshetisford – Essetisford – Ashford, Kent. Will London; “Sir Andrew Jud, skinner, mayor 1551, erected one notable free school at Tunbridge in Kent, and alms houses nigh St. Helen’s church in London, and left to the Skinners lands to the value of 60 pounds 3 shillings and 8 pence the year; for the which they be bound to pay 20 pounds to the schoolmaster, 8 pounds to the usher, yearly, for ever, and four shollings the week to the six alms people, and 25 shillings and 4 pence the year in coals for ever“.
Buried Sep 1558, St Helen’s Bishopsgate, London. Probate Mar 1558 – 1605 Prerogative Court, Canterbury, Kent, Ref. 58 Noodes, 54 Welles (“De bonis non adm.”) grants, March 1558-9 & Aug 1605. Properties in St. Helene, London and Eshetisford, Kent, “etc.”
Sir Andrew, Six Times Master of the Skinner’s Company
Six times Master of the Skinners’ Company, Mayor of Calais and of London, Merchant Adventurer and Knight, Sir Andrew Judde was a man who took financial risks, grew wealthy and founded in Tonbridge one of the foremost public schools in England.
The Judde arms, with boars’ heads, and Skinners’ Company arms, with ermine, are displayed above the Porter’s Lodge entrance to Tonbridge School.
Judde (also often spelt Judd) was born about 1492, the youngest son of a significant Tonbridge landowner John Judde, whose lands were mainly to the south of the Medway, including Barden Park. His elder brothers inherited most of the estate, so Andrew went to London to seek his fortune. He was apprenticed between 1511 and 1517 to John Buknell, a man involved in both the fur trade, as a member of the Skinners’ Company, and the wool trade as a merchant of Calais – then a strategic port in English hands. Kentish wool was exported there and bought by foreign buyers, so that merchants of the ‘staple’, as Judde became in 1517, benefited from the profits in trade and in currency exchange.
Wool was not the only commodity traded through Calais. Sir Andrew’s name was also linked to trade in gold dust from Guinea, imports of oil and later also the fur trade with Russia. In 1533 he became Master of the Worshipful Company of Skinners, an annual post he was to hold six times. In 1550 he became Lord Mayor of London, when he was involved in a variety of problems ranging from the high price of larks to cases of treason. He was knighted by Edward VI at Westminster in the following year.
In his public life Sir Andrew attracted the favour of both Edward VI and Queen Mary despite the swing from Protestantism to Catholicism, through his overriding loyalty to the Crown. In spite of being nominally a Protestant, in Mary’s reign he was active in defending the city from Wyatt’s anti-Catholic rebellion.
The original building of Judde’s ‘Grammar School’ in Tonbridge, viewed from the High Street, as it was in 1836. (THS 12.003)
In 1553 there were two exciting developments in the life of Sir Andrew Judde. The first was that he received a charter from Edward VI to found a school in Tonbridge. Perhaps wishing to invest some of his wealth for the benefit of the town in which he grew up, he bought 30 acres of pasture land known as ‘sand hills’ just to the south of St. Pancras in London. The rents from this land were to provide funds for the new Tonbridge School, raising the sum of £13: 6s and 8d in 1558. Later, as this land was developed for housing the rents increased substantially, enabling the Skinners’ Company, who took over the management of the charity and governorship of the school on Sir Andrew’s death, to add to the Judde foundation a Workhouse (1720) and three more schools, including the Judd School in Tonbridge (1888) and Skinners’ School in Tunbridge Wells (1887).
The original foundation stone of Tonbridge School has been preserved and is now mounted above the Headmaster’s Entrance.
At its foundation, Tonbridge School was to be free, boarding and a grammar school. The last condition meant that the ‘three tongues’ of Latin, Greek and Hebrew should be taught. Another condition was that the school should be close to the Parish Church for regular worship and as Sir Andrew did not own land near enough, it is thought that he rented or bought land from his nephew Henry, who had just inherited land called ‘Houselands’ close to the centre of Tonbridge. The school opened there in 1553 with just 16 pupils, but now there are a total of about 3,200 children educated in Skinners’ Company schools.
The second important event in 1553 was the despatch of an expedition by the Merchant Adventurers Company of London, of which Sir Andrew was a prominent member. He and others financed the expedition to look for a north east passage through the Arctic to Asia, and to find new markets for English wool. Two of the three ships were lost near Lapland, but the third drifted by accident into the gulf of Archangel and its captain, Richard Chancellor, went on to make the difficult overland journey to Moscow to meet the tsar, Ivan the Terrible. He had with him a letter from the King and from that year the trade with Russia began and the Muscovy Company was created. Richard Judde, Sir Andrew’s son, was with Chancellor on his second expedition to Russia. On that occasion two of the four ships were lost which, with the first expedition, amounts to a less than fifty per cent rate of success. It was a risky enterprise but expeditions continued to be financed by the Company in which Sir Andrew played a leading role, and before long strict rules were drafted to improve safety and therefore the success of the expeditions. One expedition, to Guinea, brought back a rare trophy, the head of an elephant, which Sir Andrew kept in his house to show to visitors.
Sir Andrew Judde died in 1558 and was survived by his third wife, Mary, four sons and two daughters. He is buried in St. Helen’s Church on Bishopsgate in London, and a memorial there, thought to be commissioned by his heirs in about 1600, describes some aspects of his life. It is not thought to be very accurate since, because of his public duties, he never visited Russia and Guinea himself, though he was closely involved in the finance and organisation of expeditions there. The epitaph reads:
TO RVSSIA AND MVSCOVA / TO SPAYNE GYNNY WITHOVT FAYLE / TRAVELD HE BY LAND AND SEA / BOTHE MAYRE OF LONDON AND STAPLE / THE COMMONWELTHE HE NORISHED / SO WORTHELIE IN ALL HIS DAIES / THAT ECH STATE FULL WELL HIM LOVED / TO HIS PERPETVAL PRAYES
THREE WYVES HE HAD ONE WAS MARY / FOWER SUNES ONE MAYDE HAD HE BY HER / ANNYS HAD NONE BY HIM TRVLY / BY DAME MARY HAD ONE DOWGHTER / THVS IN THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER / A THOWSANDE FYVE HVNDRED FYFTEY / AND EYGHT, DIED THIS WORTHIE STAPLAR / WORSHIPYNGE HIS POSTERYTYE
In addition to the Judd School, and Judd House at Tonbridge School, Sir Andrew’s name is commemorated by Judd Road in Tonbridge and Judd Street on what is now the Skinners’ Company Estate in St. Pancras.
Copies of An Essay on the Life of Sir Andrew Judde (1849) by George Maberley Smith and Sir Andrew Judde (1953) by H. S. Vere Hodge are in the Local Studies Collection at Tonbridge Reference Library.
I am a descendant of Sir Andrew’s oldest brother, Thomas Judde. He’s my 12th great-grandfather. I haven’t been able to find a name for his wife, but I do know he was born and died in Wiltshire, 1490-1554. I also know that Thomas’s brother, William John Judd, bequeaths in his will (which is dated July 18, 1527), a 20-shilling gold ring to Thomas’s wife (who is not named), and £5 to Thomas’s daughter, Constance.
Sir Andrew Judde is my 14th great grandfather also.
I found him through Ancestry.com. Your birth and death dates are different from what I found there. I am taking yours and wondering where you got them. You are welcoe to contact me if you wish to do so.
Thanks for visiting here. I have met a few of my very distant relatives like this. It is pretty exciting. I like it more than the DNA people ancestry matches you with..then it is up to you to figure out why your DNA is related..too complicated. Sir Andrew was a very fancy dude. I like him a lot.
You have made me look at this to double check all the tree facts and I found a fatal flaw in the tree…back in the US at Martha Cary….so I am probably not your relative. I am going to make a comment at the top and leave it though…for those who are looking for Sir Andrew..he is a very cool guy. This is not the first time I have rebuilt a tree after finding errors. Thanks for making me look at it again.
He is my moms 15th great grandfather on her dads side.