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Oxenbridges of Sussex

By a curious route of someone contacting me and introducing me to an Oxenbridge researcher, I found out about the articles in the Sussex Archaeological Collections, a research series that has been going for around 150 years. In some early volumes were two research articles by William Durrant Comber. A special journey to the Sussex society's lovely library later and I have copies of these ancient articles. Here they are plus some other material that is relevant:

(Note that some of the files are large.)

Plus three items from other publications:

Interestingly Cooper's research found one earlier generation than those in the visitation and his research agrees fairly well with the published visitation. Significant differences are:

  • The mother and name of the Oxenbridge wife of Sir Thomas Digby who d. between 1513 and 1535: Cooper has her as Anna, dau of Anne Blount, and the Sussex visitation as Dorothy, dau. of Friswid Maningham.

  • The name of the Oxenbridge dau. who married Sir Richard Carew is given by Cooper as Margaret while the Surrey visitation calls her Maud or Malin.

    Mill Stevenson in his "List of Monumental Brasses in Surrey" states, pp. 36-7, that the current brass for Richard Carew and Malyn is a restoration but that the surviving text included:

    "... whyche Sr Richard decessed the xxiii day of May Anno dni mn bc xxo ct the said dame Malyn dyed ye ... day of Ano mo bc ...".
    This is probably good enough evidence that his wife was Malyn.

    Some books state that Malyn Oxenbridge married (1) a William Cheyney and (2) Richard Carew. However the more plausible story is that she did not and that a much more complicated set of relationships occurred. The final solution is in the last paragraph of a note in the above Sussex Arch Colls, vol 66, pp. 256-7 where it slowly becomes evident that Malyn Oxenbridge had a sister Margaret who m. (1) William Fincham and had two daughters, the second born posthumously and named Malyn Fincham.

    Margaret Oxenbridge then m. a John Cheyney who already had several children by his first wife, including his eldest son William. This William then proceeded to marry Malyn Fincham, the daughter of his, William's, new step-mother, Margaret Oxenbridge. See also the Cambridge visitation and Salzman's earlier article on the Cheneys, both available above.

  • Sir Goddard Oxenbridge's first wife is named Elizabeth by Cooper and Anne in the Sussex visitation. And Cooper does not give him a third wife while the visitation says she was Faythe Devenishe.

Cooper at the end refers to the visitation manuscripts at the College of Arms as one of his sources. It may just be that the published visitations which, being early Harleian publications, were NOT from the College's original manuscripts, are different to the originals. Cooper also, of course, used wills and other surviving documents of those times.

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