The Drapers at Froyle

Gauden Draper, the first member of the family to become Lord of the Manor of Froyle; the son of Cresheld Draper and Sarah (nee Gauden) married Mary Loggins at the Parish Church of St. Mary-le-Bone, London on the 23rd April 1695. Another entry in that Parish Register on the same day reveals that his mother Sarah Draper widow married William Loggins (she was his second wife - see Loggins Pedigree). On the death of Cresheld Draper, Sarah had left Crayford, the Draper Estates being sold to Sir Cloudesley Shovel.

From the time of their marriage Gauden Draper and his wife lived at Butlers Marston Co. Warwick until 1705 when Gauden inherited the manor of Froyle from his uncle Jonathon Gauden who died in that year. In Jonathon’s will dated 1703 Gauden is referred to as “of Butlers Marston in the county of Warwick”. From the time of his arriving at Froyle until his death five years later Gauden was faced with constant frustrations, see the “Case of Mr Gauden Draper”. This was in the main occasioned by Samuel Diggle, the “attorney who handled the affairs of Samuel and Jonathon and later even Benjamin Gauden, “ruining the estate”. Even Jonathon, shortly before his death complained he could not get documents he required from Diggle and as some evidence of Diggle’s obstructive tactics the Will of Jonathon dated 1703 was not proved until fifteen years after his death (P.C.C. PROB II - 574: 1720) when Benjamin Gauden and Sarah Loggins (brother and sister) renounced Gauden and Mary Draper had two children born at Butlers Marston, William born 1697, and Frances born 1702 who died 29th March 1721 in the 19th year of her age and was buried at Froyle.

Gauden Draper, a man of wealth through his father’s legacy, must have felt increased security as Lord of the Manor of Froyle but this was soon dissipated through the machinations of Diggle and Gauden was plagued over questions of title and mortgages involving Serjeant Wynne and Edward Colston, and one Goodyear. There is proof that the Court Baron was held at the usual periods with William Guidot as Steward.

This was a period of affluence for the Manor. Hops had been introduced in the 17th century and the soil of Froyle proved exceptionally suitable for superb quality in every way and Farnham became a great market for wheat and hops with a great reputation for careful selection and reputation for quality over a wide area. It was said of hops that three disastrous years could be recouped by one normal year. All Froyle leases contained clauses that the Lord could insist on land being converted to the planting of hops with financial rights secured to both parties. To this day in the hedges of field boundaries stray hop bines are evidence that the land was devoted to hop growing decades ago. All timber trees were reserved for the Lord with rights of ingress and egress for his servants to enter and fell and cart away and saplings protected from destruction by cattle or removal by tenants.

Hunting, shooting and fishing rights were also reserved to the Lord so that Froyle should have meant an agreeable existence to Gauden, but it did not. He was aged 38 when he and his family moved to Froyle and dead and buried in Froyle aged 43 in 1710. The Drapers did not come of long lived stock but one is entitled to feel that the continuing vexations and problems with which he had to deal hastened his decease.

At the time of his death both his children were minors, William then aged 12 and Frances aged 8. Until William reached his majority in 1719 his mother aided by other members of the Loggin family including Francis Loggin, gent. of the Temple, London, administered the estate.

An armorial ledger stone marks Gauden’s grave in the Sanctuary at Froyle.

Here lyeth the body of Gauden Draper Esq., late Lord of this Manor, who dyed the 14th day of August in the year of our Lord 1710 in the 43d of his age.

Denis Gauden

Although much is known of John Gauden’s early life and education, very little is known about his brother, Denis, who was his senior, and born at Maylands, Essex c.1600. Unlike his brother, he chose to operate in the City of London with Mercantile and Commercial interest, becoming a 1iveryman of the Clothworkers Company, one of the twelve great livery companies of the City of London.

About the year 1630, he married, and between the years 1634 to 1646 four children were born: Samuel, the eldest, Benjamin, Sarah and Jonathon.  Denis Gauden had become an individual of importance, having become Surveyor of Victualling to the Navy and, by 1662, had acquired an estate in Clapham, which place at that time was a country retreat for men successful in the City.
It may well be that the selection of Clapham was due to his second marriage, for in 1653 he had married Elizabeth Clarke of Clapham. The estate he acquired can be identified with lands held by William de Breuse, who died seized of two knights’ fees in Clapham, 19 Edward I. Bartholomew Clerke, Dean of the Arches who died in 1589 was lord of the Manor of Clapham, it is probable that Elizabeth was a close relative by 25th July 1662 the fine Mansion which Denis Gauden was building for his brother, who understood he would become Bishop of Winchester and for Which Bishopric there was then no Palace, was almost completed. Pepys was impressed, see his diary for that date: “After some debate, Creed and I resolved to go to Clapham, to Mr Gauden’s. When I came there, the first thing to show me was his house which is almost built. I find it very regular and finely contrived, and the gardens and offices about it as convenient and as full of good variety as any I saw in my life. It is true he hath, been censured for laying out so much money; but he tells me that he built it for his brother, who is since dead* (the Bishop) who, when he should come to be Bishop of Winchester, which he was promised, to which bishopricke at present there is no house, he did intend to dwell there. By and by to dinner, and in comes Hr. Creed: I saluted Hr. Gauden’s lady, and the young ladies, and his sister, the Bishop’s widow; who was it seems, Sir W. if Russel’s daughter, the Treasurer of the Navy; who I find to be very wellbred, and a woman of excellant discourse. Towards the eveningwe bade them adieu! and took horse.”

*   John Gauden died in September 1662

We learn from Lysons that this splendid mansion was demolished about 1760 who states: “This mansion-house which was pulled down about thirty years since, was a very magnificent edifice. Some of the rooms were wainscotted with Japan, and a spacious galley occupied the whole length of the house, both above and below stairs. From the time of its completion the house was occupied by Denis Gauden himself, where he had a very valuable library, and other collections, particularly engraved portraits, models of ships, matters of all sorts relating to the City of London, and draughts to illustrate them, and frontispieces of all the gravers in Europe”.

On the 29th January 1665/6 Pepys was again visiting Clapham: “Mr. Evelyn and I into my lord Brouncher’s coach, and rode together with excellent discourse till we came to Clapham. He set me down at Mr. Gauden’s, where I took a book and into the gardens, and there walked and read until dark. Anon came in Creed and Mr. Gauden, and his sons, and then they bring in three ladies, who were in the house, but I do not know them - his daughter and two nieces, daughters of Mr. Whistler’s, with whom and Creed mighty sport at supper, the ladies very pretty and mirthful. After supper, I made the ladies sing, yet it was the saddest stuff I ever heard. However, we sat up late, and then I, in the best chamber, like a prince to bed, and Creed with me, and, being I sleepy, talked but little”.

In spite of the Great Fire of London in 1666, things were going well for Denis Gauden, for in that year he purchased the Manor of Froyle Co. Hants for his eldest son, Samuel and, although Denis himself never became Lord of the Manor, it is interesting to note that in John Ogilby Description of the principle roads of the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales published in 1675 that section of Road London to Southampton, “Froile” Church has “Sir Denis Gauden” engraved beside it.

The year 1667 was to prove a peak year, for in that year Gauden became Sheriff, later in the year being knighted, Master of the Clothworkers Company and on 18~’h June of that year elected Alderman of the Ward of Dowgate, serving in that capacity until 19th September 1676. The Fire Courts of the City of London show that Sir Denis and the Court of the Clothworkers the onerous task Company and their Counsel were faced with in new leases and arrangements which had to be decided in the agreements as to the rebuilding of the destroyed property and the compliance with new building regulations to reduce further fire risks and also one has to bear in mind his responsibilities for the victualling of the navy during a very complicated period for the English navy and Dutch and French relentless harassing of En1ish shipping. Pepys had very great regard for Sir Denis and the respect was mutual: “April 2nd. 1666. Walking with Mr. Gauden in Westminster Hall, to talk of his son Benjamin; and I propounded a match him, and at last named my sister which  he embraces heartily; and, full of it, did go with him to London to the ‘Change; and then with Sir W. Warren, who very wisely did shew me that by matching my sister with Mr. Gauden would undo me in all places, every body suspecting me in all I do; and I shall neither be able to serve him; nor free myself from imputation of being his faction, while I am placed for his severest check. I was convinced that it would be for neither of our interests to make this alliance”.

A constant companion and friend of both Denis Gauden and Samuel Pepys was William Hewer, Pepys’ chief assistant and constant companion. He was a nephew of Mr. Blackburne so often mentioned in the Diary. In 1665 Hewer lost his father who died of the plague and in the following year on the 4th September in the great fire “W. Hewer this day went to see how his mother did, and comes late home, telling us how he hath been forced to remove her to Islington, her house in Pye Corner being burned”.

Hewer’s efficiency and loyalty to Pepys had its reward for he became afterwards a Commissioner of the Navy and Treasurer for Tangier. He, together with Gauden’s two sons Benjamin and Jonathon were executors in the will of Sir Denis who died at his Clapham mansion a ruined man but with the satisfaction that all his four children were well provided for particularly Samuel who had Froyle and Sarah, his daughter, who married Cresheld Draper of Crayford in Kent whose son Gauden Draper was to inherit the Manor of Froyle.

Sir Denis died at his house in 1688 and was buried in the family vault of Holy Trinity, Clapham on 1st July. The House and estate were purchased afterwards by Hewer and bequeathed by him to his relation, a son of the Rev. Samuel Edgley, then Vicar of Wandsworth, who took the name of Hewer, and was the last of that family that settled there. His widow occupied the estate some time after his death.

Samuel and Jonathon Gauden lie buried in the Chancel in the Parish Church of Froyle under Armourial ledger stones. Benjamin who died at Chertsey, Co. Surrey left instructions in his will that he desired to be buried in the family vault at Clapham. The church at Clapham being much decayed was pulled down except for the South aisle and the erection of a new church on a different site was begun in 1774. The South aisle of the old church contained many impressive monuments, but none to the Gaudens. Against the north wall, however, is the monument to William Hewer, Esquire, Commissioner to the navy, who died in 1715. It contains a long eulogy in latin and is ornamented with a medallion of him and his coat of arms (Hewer bears sable, two talbots heads erased in pale Or, between two flaunches ermine). Tese are the same arms borne by the Hewers of Oxborough, Co. Norfolk.

A further link between Sir Denis, Samuel Pepys and William Hewer is that they were all of the Clothworkers Company of the City of London and each was Master respectively for the following years: Gauden in 1667, Pepys in 1677 and Hewer in 1686. All were to die in that splendid mansion at Clapham.

William Hewer was not only executor of Sir Denis’ will, but also, that of Samuel Pepys, who describes him as “friend William Hewer of Clapham in Surrey, Esqre., and he to have £500”. He also gives to his executor, Mr. Hewer of Clapham, with whom testator was at this time residing, all his models of ships and other vessels. Hewer’s heir, Hewer Edgley Hewer, held lands in Froyle.
Pepys was born 25th February 1632 and died 26th May 1703, his will is dated 2nd August 1701 (p.c.c., 97, Degg).