My 10 x great grandparents Stephen and Mary Byne of Burwash, Sussex, had six children: two daughters and four sons. Their daughter Elizabeth (1613 – 1639) married Gregory Markwick but died at a young age, while their other daughter Mary (born in 1620) seems to have remained unmarried. As I noted in my last post, two of their sons, my 9 x great grandfather Magnus (1615 – 1671) and his brother Edward (1623 – 1682), both studied at Cambridge and entered the Church. I’ve written about Magnus and Edward elsewhere, and will probably re-visit them at a future date.

In this post I want to set down what we know about Stephen and Mary Byne’s other two sons, John and Stephen junior, both of whom followed in their father’s (and indeed their grandfather’s and great grandfather’s) footsteps and became yeoman fathers. Once again, my principal source is Walter Renshaw’s history of the Byne family.

Countryside near Burwash (via bandbchurchhouse.co.uk)

Countryside near Burwash (via bandbchurchhouse.co.uk)

John Byne, who was baptised at Burwash on 2nd May 1617, was the third son of Stephen and Mary Byne. He married Elizabeth, widow of Simon Conye or Coney of Burwash. Renshaw deduces this (page 154, footnote) from a Chancery suit in which John and his wife Elizabeth were plaintiffs and John Polhill of Tunbridge and John Coney were defendants.

Simon Coney died in 1648 and his widow Elizabeth’s marriage to John Byne seems to have taken place shortly after this date, when John would already have been in his thirties. The Coneys were another longstanding Sussex family whose lives intertwine with those of my ancestors in a number of ways. For example, Simon was probably a close relative of Mark Coney, who married Ellen or Helen Byne, daughter of the John Byne of Burwash whose identity is still a mystery, and sister of Anne Byne who married Christopher Manser, and of Elizabeth, the third wife of Magnus Byne of Framfield. I’ll have more to say about the Coney family and their connection with the Bynes and Polhills on another occasion.

John and Elizabeth Byne had five children: Stephen, baptised at Burwash on 14th April 1650; Mary, baptised there on 28th December 1651; John Byne, baptised there on 24th April 1657 and buried there on 15th September 1659; Edward Byne, baptised there on 12th September 1661; and Anne, buried there on 15th May 1680.

John Byne made his will on 20th April 1662, leaving a property in Burwash called Woodlands to his son Stephen and another called Herrings Mead, which he had inherited from his uncle William, to his son Edward. He directed that his executors should sell his houses in Burwash Town ‘and use the money arising thereby for the educating and bringing up of my two daughters Mary and Anne.’ John appointed his brother Stephen as his executor and the will was proved at Lewes on 5th May 1662, meaning that John predeceased his father, Stephen Byne senior, by two years. His widow Elizabeth was buried at Burwash on 15th February 1688/9.

Graves in Burwash churchyard

Graves in Burwash churchyard

Stephen Byne junior, the fifth son of Stephen and Mary Byne, was also a yeoman of Burwash and was married twice (Renshaw, page 159). His first marriage was to Ann Peckham, daughter of John Peckham of Framfield. She was buried at Burwash on 17th January 1677/8. Stephen’s second wife, whom he married on 19th October 1678 at Maresfield, was Alice Heathfield of Burwash. Like his father before him, Stephen was a churchwarden at Burwash, in the years 1670, 1671 and 1672.

By his first wife Ann, Stephen Byne had three children: Magnus, baptised at Burwash on 11th April 1672; Anne, baptised there in 1674; and Mary. By his second wife Alice, Stephen had four children: Alice, baptised at Burwash in 1681 and buried there on 10th February 1733/4; Stephen, baptised there on 14th February 1683/4; William; and John, baptised there on 9th February 1689/90.

Stephen Byne made his will on 14th October 1691, directing that all his lands, both copyhold and freehold, should be sold and requesting his loving friends John Polhill and Stephen Coney (see above), both of Burwash, to aid and assist in the sale. Stephen left sums of money to his children and to his wife Alice, whom he appointed as executrix of his will. Stephen Byne was buried at Burwash on 17th November 1691.