2018-04-07 12:49:01 UTC
I want to begin by thanking John Brandon for pointing out the book:
Victor Belcher, Richard Bond, Mike Gray & Andy Wittrick, eds., _Sutton House: A Tudor Courtier's House in Hackney_ (London: National Trust/ English Heritage, 2004).
There is a National Trust property in Hackney "Sutton House" that was owned by the Machells of London in the second half of the 16th century. The National Trust and English Heritage have published an interesting and well sourced book concerned with the history of the house and the people that owned it. I will excise a few quotes about Machells, but it is worthy of additional study.
John Machell (sheriff and alderman) purchased the house "The Bryk Place" (now Sutton House) from Ralph Sadleir in 1550. John's several positions are described in some detail as are his marriages (first to Ellen Castlelock, second to Joan Luddington, the latter being the mother of the Machell brothers, John, Matthew and Thomas). John M died in 1558. [p 91]
Then there is an extended discussion of John's Will. The house passed to John Jr as a minor in 1565. Matthew had a "small amount of property" in Kingshold Manor. Youngest brother Thomas received a cottage or tenement to the East of Sutton House. [p 92]
John Jr is extensively discussed next. It is argued that he was not the Captain of Horse, this being a misreading from his activity as Justice of the Peace. The text continues:
"in fact he seems to have played no significant part in the life of the city and no achievements in any other field are recorded. Were it not for the many legal disputes i which he was embroiled and which cast some light on his character and activities, he would be a very shadowy figure indeed". [p 93]
On p. 96, disputes with Matthew are discussed. Among other things it is mentioned that Matthew lived nearby at Shackelwell. There is a complicated array of lawsuits involving properties, especially the "Tanhouse", and most certainly they were bitter and acrimonious. There was litigation up to the time of Matthew's death.
The most remarkable discussion is concerned with John Jr.'s financial overreach, purchasing expensive properties in Cambridgeshire (Hinxton and Woodbury) beginning in the 1570s, possibly influenced by the Hynde links to Cambridgeshire. This led him into possibly armed (!) conflict with Sir James Deane. It is a long story but the upshot is that John Machell Jr spent six years at the King's Bench Prison. [p98] He retired to Cambridgeshire, bitter and he turned even on his own oldest son John, who pre-deceased him. While it is not quite certain, it is believed that John Jr. was out of Sutton House about 1605.
Some other aspects of this are treated by Bernard O'Connor at this link, with several references and discussion of John Machell's activities leading to his imprisonment. I also include the link because the book is hard to get (even the Cambridge U. library could not find their copy and had to get the book via interlibrary loan).