The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
James Cole, son of Andrew Cole and Mrs Cole
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c 1500
c 1535
Joan Drew
c 1555
Thomasine Grantham
Lionel Cole's records
In the Parish of East Grinstead, Sussex; (probably)
Lionel Cole's records

Lionel Cole's records

JAMES COLE of East Grinstead, Sussex (c 1500-1559).

He was the uncle of Andrew Cole the son of John Cole of Edenbridge and therefore the brother of John Cole and the son of Andrew. In 1534 he was stated to be over 30 years of age and can therefore be supposed to have been born about 1500. This would mean that his father Andrew must have been born about 1580 and may well have had an earlier wife than Agnes Blundell. This would explain why James is not mentioned in the will of John Blundell. Neither is he mentioned in the will of Andrew Cole because by 1546 he was well established. He may have inherited property in East Grinstead from his mother. He should not be confused with James Cole the brother of Andrew who was buried in January 1560. James Cole of East Grinstead died in 1559 and his wife Thomasine was a widow on 23rd August 1559.

In 1534 there was a case Duffield versus Drew at the Court of the Star Chamber. This was a dispute between John Drew and his cousin Thomas Drew over a large property called Tabilherst in East Grinstead parish, which should have descended to John but was left to Robert and his son Thomas by will. One of the witnesses was James Cole, despite the fact that he had married Joan, widow of Robert Drew, and was therefore an interested party. Robert Drew had died about 1524.The deed of entail which showed that the land rightfully belonged to John was handed by Sir Edward Bray, knight, to James Cole, whose wife said that she would rather burn it than hand it to John.

In 1539 James Cole was described as an able billman in the muster roll of the borough of East Grinstead, equipped with alman ryvetts (flexible light armour), a bill and a dagger. (PRO SP 2/5).In 1545 he was named in a commission (PRO DL 3/47 M3b).

In 1550 Thomas Grantham died and later James Cole married his widow Thomasine. Thomas Grantham's eldest son was old enough to act as overseer (of the will) so that Thomasine must have been born before 1510 and was of a comparable age to James.

In 1552 a pardon was granted to James Cole of East Grinstead, yeoman (Patent Rolls). This could mean that he was involved with "the Captain of the Rebellions at Grinsted" whom Sir Thomas Cawarden took by force in 1549 when an estimated thousand persons began marching in the fields, presumably at East Grinstead. (Surrey Archaeological Collections).

James died in 1559 leaving a will (PCC), written 15th August 1559. He bequeathed his house in East Grinstead to his widow Thomasine, and after her to James Cole of Edenbridge, the son of John Cole, and failing that to Andrew Cole, brother of James Cole of Edenbridge. "Also I give and bequeath to Thomasine my lease of Harrads which I had late of Sir Richard Sackville for and during her natural life, and after her death to my nephew James Cole". Thomasine died only a few days after her husband, leaving a will (PCC) dated 23rd August 1559. There is no indication of a trade in these wills, but two heifers, a grey mare and a calf were bequeathed , as well as 248 shillings in cash (not a vast amount). Thomasine appears to have had two sons named Hugh Grantham and Henry Grantham and a son-in-law John Bugzell, but James Cole had no descendants. His "sister" Johane Brown can not be identified in Edenbridge and was probably the sister of one of his wives.

In his will James Cole owned a burgage in East Grinstead together with Blackwell and the lease of Harwoods. He left his property to his nephew James, of whom there is no further reference, and after him to his nephew Andrew. In 1564 Andrew Cole, then presumably ages 8, held two burgages and two portlands in East Grinstead, in the occupation of Thomas Wright. This property is today known as the "Dorset Arms" but was once known as the "Newe Inn" and later as "the Ounce" and then as "the Cat", both these titles being derived from the two leopards which form the supporters of the Dorset arms. In 1575 the burgage was now held by John Duffield, with William Duffield and Thomas Wright as tenants. All this could suggest that James Cole was an innkeeper, and there may be a connection in the family history between butchery and catering.

Ancestor's report
No descendent's report
Cole, Coale, Coaler, Coal, Coles family records
The ancestral pedigree of James Cole
1st marriage Andrew Colem: c 1500Mrs 
 b: c 1480
d: 1546 Edenbridge, Kent
 b: c 1500
d: 1559
bur: 1559 East Grinstead, Sussex, (probably)
1st marriage James Colem: c 1535Joan Drew 2nd marriage
 b: c 1500
d: 1559
bur: 1559 East Grinstead, Sussex, (probably)
 b: c 1500 widow of Robert Drew
2nd marriage James Colem: c 1555Thomasine Grantham 2nd marriage
 b: c 1500
d: 1559
bur: 1559 East Grinstead, Sussex, (probably)
 b: c 1500 widow of Thomas Grantham

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