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Thomas Atwater

Birthdate: (50)
Birthplace: Royton, Lenham, Kent, England
Death: circa October 5, 1484 (46-54)
Royton, Lenham, Kent, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Baron of Royton John Atwater and Joan Atwater
Husband of Elinor Atwater
Father of John Atwater and Esquire Robert, Jr. Atwater

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About Thomas Atwater

Presumptive ancestor. His will was proved 5th October, 1484 naming wife Eliner, Robert Atwater, Jr. and John Atwater, not naming relationship; properties in Boughton Malherbe and Lenham. (Archdeaconry Court, Canterbury, Book 3, page 23 Quoted)

The oldest Atwater of the line known, his lineage is presumptive, for his will of 1484 names Robert and John and his wife Eliner, but does not specify the relationship, as does the wills of his descendants which confirm this lineage.

Thomas Atwater of Roynton, Lenhan, county Kent, England died in Roynton, Lenhan, county Kent, England, in 1484. Eliner _____ died in Roynton in 1497. She was buried the churchyard of Lenham. The following appear in Thomas's will but no relationship is given.

i. Robert Atwater was born in Roynton. ii. John Atwater [#41984]: He was born in England. This Thomas Atwater is most probably the father of Robert and John given above. His will was proved October 5, 1484, and is on file in Canterbury, Kent. This is the earliest will recorded in Canterbury of an Atwater of Royton. It will mentions his wife, Eliner, Robert Atwater, Jr., and John Atwater. While the relationship to Robert and John was not specified in the will, it seems certain if they were other than sons, the relationship certainly would have been given. The will also mentions the properties Bromecroft and Chotecroft in Boughton Malherbe, Langderfield and other properties in Lenham.

Will will of Eliner was proved May 16, 1497. Again, it mentions Robert Atwater and John Atwater without specifying their relationship to her. It also mentions properties Bromecroft, Derplon and other properties in Lenham.

From Atwater History, pp. 59+ comes the following information.

Lenham is a town and parish in county Kent, southwest England, about 40 miles WSW from the center of London. It is midway between between the towns of Maidstone and Ashford, about nine miles from each. Its name comes from the river Len which begins in the parish, and ham: town. This is a very old place, some historians believing it to have been a Roman station. As early as 804, the kings of Kent and Mercia joined in a grant to the Abbot of the Monastery of St. Augustine, near Canterbury (about 10 miles to the west), of "certain land in Lenham".

The parish is about five miles long and four miles wide, lying chiefly in a valley. It is said to be "well inhabited" and "the valley part extremely well watered, for at the eastern extremity of the town there arises a spring, accounted the head of the river Stour, which flowing thence southward by Royton Chapel, at about a mile distance from its source, receives into its stream two other small ones from the northwest, and goes its way to Ashford and Canterbury."

Royton is a district in the parish of Lenham southeast from the church of St. Mary [which is at the south end of Lenham] about a mile. The name applies to a section of the parish which had an organization of its own in early times, and a market regularly held within or near its limits. The high-road from Maidstone, thru Lenham to Ashford, ran thru Royton street. Royton is mentioned as early as 1259 when Simon Fitzadam was in possession of the manor at Royton. His successor was Robert de Royton who took his surname from from the place. The manor was purchased by Robert Atwater [who is not the Robert Atwater of this genealogy] early in the reign of Henry VIII, and he made it his residence and it continued in the possession of his descendants thru his daughter, Mary Honywood, until toward the end of the 1800s.

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Thomas Atwater's Timeline

Royton, Lenham, Kent, England
Age 9
Royton, Lenham, Kent, England
Age 11
Royton, Lenham, Kent, England
October 5, 1484
Age 50
Royton, Lenham, Kent, England