John Sanderson (17th-century landowner)
John Sanderson (1578/9-c.1653) was a landowner who held extensive property in Northamptonshire.
Background and family
John Sanderson was christened at Swineshead, Huntingdonshire (now Bedfordshire) on 8 February 1578/9, a son of Lawrence Sanderson, the rector of that parish, and his wife Joan. Evidence suggests that his father was a close relative of John Sanderson, a noted academic who like Laurence had come from Lancashire and matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in the early 1550s.
John married Cecily, a daughter of William & Anne Gage and widow of Robert Tawyer of Stanwick, Northamptonshire. Her father was living at Rushton when he made his will in 1616. It was proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury two years later and included a bequest to his daughter Cecily of 20 marks “which John Sanderson her husband oweth mee for lambes”. William also made bequests of £10 each to be paid at the age of 21 to John and Cecily’s children, Laurence, Thomas, Susan and Robert and to Cecily’s son William Tawyer.
John was described as a gentleman when the christening of his son Lawrence took place at Roxton, Bedfordshire in 1604. He did not stay there for long afterwards, as on 28 January 1606/7 a certificate was issued by the commissioners for collecting tax in Northamptonshire confirming that John Saunderson had been living at Moulton for most of the previous year and so was responsible for paying tax there.
In 1608-9, John and Cecily Sanderson sued Thomas Harrison and William Houghton in connection with water mills at Stanwick called “Stanwick Mills”. The dispute concerned an ancient custom of "suit and grist" to the mills by the inhabitants of Raunds, Irthlingborough, Chelveston and Caldecott. It also related to windmills in Raunds and Irthlingborough. The Sandersons alleged that the defendants had infringed the relevant manorial custom; the legal action evidently aimed at stopping these new mills from diverting business away from the Sandersons’ own mills at Stanwick.
In May 1609, King James I granted Stanwick Manor to George Salter and John Williams. By 1622, ownership had passed into the hands of John and Cecily Saunderson, John Coxe and William Tawyer, who at that stage conveyed it to Nicholas Atkins and his son John. William Tawyer was presumably Cecily’s son by her first marriage and the same person as “William Tawyer, son and heir of Robert Tawyer of Stanwick, co. Northampton” who was admitted to Gray’s Inn on 20 October 1623.
In 1621, Richard Pickes and Eleanor his wife and Henry Calthorpe and Dorothy his wife sold the advowson of Little Addington, Northamptonshire to John Sanderson, who was described as living in that parish. Six years later, John presented his son Laurence (1604-c.1687) to the living, where he was vicar until deprived by authority of Parliament in 1646.
In 1623, Thomas Shuckborough junior and Eleanor his wife granted the manor of Little Harrowden to John Sanderson. Nine years later, John Sanderson, his wife Cecily and John Sanderson junior conveyed the same manor to Edward Vaux, Lord Harrowden.
By a deed dated 30 July 1629, John Sanderson, who was described as a gentleman of Moulton, purchased property that he was already in occupation of, which was described as “all that scite of the manner or mansion of Moulton”, along with several named closes, 60 acres of land in the common fields of Moulton and other land. The deed does not state the purchase price for this property, which was to be held direct from the King at an annual rent of £8.10s. The manor house stood to the north of the church on the site now occupied by Manor Farm, which John Bridges, a historian of the county, described in 1720 as “the new house, now called the Hall”.
On 15 May 1651, John Sanderson made his final will. It does not mention his wife Cecily, so she had almost certainly died by that stage. It is evident that by the end of his life John was a wealthy man; specific bequests included his farm, land and other property at Moulton and over £500 in cash. The will was proved at the Court of Civil Commission on 13 June 1653.
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- Feet of Fines, Northants, Michaelmas 7 Charles I. Cited in 'Parishes: Little Harrowden', A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4 (1937), pp. 185-187. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=66345 Date accessed: 5 April 2015.
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