Drake, Nicholas

Birth Name Drake, Nicholas
Gender male
Age at Death 56 years


From Drake in England, p. 64, 65:
At the Court held on 14 June 1302, he gave 4s. for his entry fine "upon one cotland which his father held," his pledge being G. Symund. The entry fine usually represented the rentable value of the holding for a year. At the same Court his wife, who is not named, was fined the customary 6d. for brewing. Nicholas must have been a good farmer and have prospered, for three years later we find him paying another 2s. for entry on three rods of land lying at "Eldo land by Graunger's land" and agreeing to pay a half-penny annually at Michaelmas for increment. Again G. Symund was one of his pledges, the other being Walter Wrungy. Then, at the Court held on 29 October 1317 he is named as one of the sureties for William atte Bregge, who "received the lord's great mill and the farm from Michaelmas last past for two years thence ensuing ... paying to the lord annually during the said two years 32, quarters of corn and i2 quarters of [word illegible]." The mill was not only important to the lord for such returns but also represented the most costly building, other than his house or the parish church, which he would need to provide for his manor. The need to find sureties for its safety as well as the income, whether in money or in kind as here, is obvious and the sureties would be drawn from among the more substantial tenants.
In Drake in England the question of who was Nicholas's father was left open, although the present solution was advanced. During the restudy of the evidence the following considerations were thought to make the fact that he was the son of the first Nicholas Drake reasonably certain, a view which was accepted by the College of Arms examiners. The given facts are that he was of age, married, and his father dead before 14 June 13o2,. At the Courts in 1303 the widow of Nicholas Drake is named and G. Symund acts as her pledge, as he does for the second Nicholas. Now she cannot have been the widow of the latter, for no report of his death or of the admission of an heir was found in the intervening Courts, and the conclusion that she was his mother followed. The link being strengthened by G. Symund, who must have been a close friend of the family, agreeing to act as their pledge.
It is unfortunate that the Court Rolls for 1305-16, 1320-25 and 1330 have not survived so that the full details of his transactions could be traced, for it would appear that he was the founder of the family's fortunes in the ways open to the manorial tenant of his day. He is named in the taxation roll Of 1327 when 124 of the inhabitants of Great Waltham were assessed to pay the twentieth part of the value of their moveable goods, certain items being excepted, paying 13 3/4d. so that his goods were then worth rather more than 1.2.11 pounds...
In the next year, or at any rate shortly afterwards, a Survey or Extent of the Manor was made. The original has not survived but a slightly later copy, incomplete at the beginning, was written on the back of a parchment roll made from various scraps shortly after 1354. This has never been edited and some of the problems posed by it still remain to be answered;...The entry for Nicholas Drake is found among those for the Molmen, that is customary tenants who had commuted all their labor services for payments in money, and reads: "Nicholas Drake holds 1 1/2 acres of land of granger land, 2 acres of Blachche land and 7 acres of Symon Geffray's land. And renders by the year 2s. 6d., that is to say equally at the four terms."
Formerly he had held some land for which only part of the labor services had been commuted but this was now owned by Maud "Cissor" (the Taylor). Among the entries for the Molmen is one for Juliana Drake, the only other occurrence of the name in the Survey, who held a small piece of land (a blot obscures the details) for which a halfpenny was paid each Michaelmas. Her name was not found in the Court Rolls and the most probable explanation is that she was the unnamed wife of Nicholas Drake presented for brewing in 1302.


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth 1275 Great Waltham, Essex, England    
Death 1331 Great Waltham, Essex, England    


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Drake, Nicholasbefore 1260before 1302-06-14
Mother (Drake), Agnes
         Drake, Nicholas 1275 1331


Family of Drake, Nicholas and Grenville, Juliana

Married Wife Grenville, Juliana ( * 1285 + 1328 )
Name Birth Date Death Date
Drake, William1320
Drake, Robertbefore 13211392