The brothers of William Byne of Burwash?

Yesterday I wrote about my 12 x great grandfather William Byne of Burwash, Sussex, who died in 1559 and who is, for now, my earliest definite Byne ancestor. My principal source of information about William is Walter Renshaw’s history of the Sussex Bynes. Although Renshaw has no definite evidence of William Byne’s origins, he suggests that he may have been related to other Bynes who can be found in and around Burwash at the same period.

Burwash parish church

Burwash parish church

I noted yesterday that William Byne appointed a certain John Byne as the overseer of his will. Renshaw speculates that this may have been the John Byne of Burwash who made his will on 27th November 1559 and who was buried two days later. The will does not mention William, but then the latter had himself died three months earlier. Like William, John Byne was a yeoman farmer. He too had a wife named Joan who survived him. John’s will also mentions four children: Symon, Henry, Richard and Joan.

Symon Byne, son of John, also married a woman named Joan. They had children named Richard and Margery. Symon died in 1560, not long after his father. Henry was married twice: first to someone named Margery and secondly, in 1577, to Elinor Cruttenden. He died in 1578. Henry Byne had a son named William and another son, probably named Henry. Richard Byne died in 1561. Joan was married twice, first to Godard Cruttenden and secondly, in 1576, to Thomas Barham.

John Byne’s will also mentions a brother named Richard, whom Renshaw identifies as the Richard Byne of Ticehurst whose wife was named Gillian and who had sons named Thomas and John and daughters named Margaret, Odiane and Anne. Richard made his will in 1574, leaving property at Witherden [Witherenden?]. His widow Gillian died in 1580/1.

It’s possible, though by no means proven, that my ancestor William Byne was the brother of John and Richard Byne. They were of the same generation, and there is a certain amount of name-sharing in their families: William and John both had sons named Symon; William and Richard both had daughters named Margery or Margaret.

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