Thame Local History
15th Century Period (1400 - 1499)
Richard Quartermain was a significant fifteenth century benefactor of Thame.
His family had held the manor of North Weston since the twelfth century.
North Weston was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, being a part of the manor of Thame, but it later became a 'subinfeudated' manor of Old Thame. That is to say, a subsidiary manor whose lord was vested with feudal rights such as the ability to hold manorial courts.
The Domesday manor of Rycote had passed by marriage to the steward of Richard II's household, Nicholas Englefied, in the fourteenth century.
In 1415 Nicholas Englefield died and the manor of Rycote passed to Richard Quartermain of North Weston through his marriage to Richard Englefield's daughter Sybil.
Richard had been trained in the Customs in London, and was throughout his life a patron of trade and commerce and a benefactor of the poor and needy.
At Thame he endowed the original Alms House near the Church, and created the Chantry or Guild of St Christopher. The south trancept of St Mary's Church became known as St Christopher's Chapel.
At Rycote, close to his own manor house, Richard Quartermain built a chapel and chantry, consecrated in 1449.
Richard Quartermain died childless and left the bulk of his estate to his protégé Richard Fowler, who had risen to become Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and lived at North Weston manor house whilst the Quartermains lived at Rycote manor house.
North Weston manor house was known as Hall Place and little of nothing of it remains today.
Richard and Sybil Quartermain are buried in Thame Church, where their tomb is decorated with fine brasses depicting them and, it is thought, Richard Fowler.
In 1419 another 'subinfeudated' manor is first recorded at Thame. Baldington manor was named after the Baldington family. The manor had lands in Old Thame, Moreton and North Weston and property in New Thame.
Richard Quartermain was one of two exceptionally wealthy fifteenth century merchants within the parish of Thame, the other was Geoffrey Dormer.
The Dormer family had long been resident in Thame and Geoffrey Dormer became a merchant of the staple of Calais. In 1473 this wealthy wool merchant is said to have bought the Baldington Manor House, also known as Place House, which was situated off what is now North Street, Thame.
The Dormers were noted for their acquisition of land throughout the manors of Thame, and had a reputation for enclosing land much to the inconvenience of other tenants. Geoffrey Dormer, for instance, was presented in 1481 for enclosing land at Moreton.
The manor of Baldington was passed on by Geoffrey Dormer to his son, also Geoffrey Dormer, in 1498.
Thame Alms Houses