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Amongst Norman Hidden's papers was the following collection of notes on Rack Close (?later Joyes' Close):
c 1470 rental of Hungerford, listed under Sandon Fee: John Kymer ten' 1 toft cum rekkys pertin' Regne. et r. per annum xiid.
'rekkys' = racks (either holding fodder in a sheepfold or for stretching cloth.
'regne' = regina, therefore Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV. [Elizabeth Woodville was married secretly to Edward IV on 1 May 1464; the marriage was made public at Michaelmas 1464 and Elizabeth was crowned 26 May 1465. These facts help to date the document as having been compiled later than 26 May 1465]
'John Kymer' = ? John Kymber "prepositus" 1473, also compotus H/RTa 16 dated 24 August 1420. Grant by Thomas Webbe to John Kember, both of Hungerford, of a tenement in Stockyn Street 36ft by 26ft, with curtilage, between tenement of the vicar and that of John Brown.
In 1548 a draft lease of the possessions of the B.V.M. Chantry in Hungerford contains the following: "Farm of one tenement called the [D]ye house with appurtenances situate next to the King's Mill, together with one meadow enclosed lying within the Fee of Sandon called Well Close and another close called Rack Close there, demised to George Lovelacke by indenture dated 14 October, 32 Henry VIII (= 1540) for a term of 40 years."
In the 1552 town survey the B.V.M. Chantry holds 1 close called Rack Close in the tenure of George Lovelacke. Quit rent 2d. [check if 12d?]
In the 1573 survey, Rack Close appears in a section which covers Sandon Fee and closely following properties in the Church Lane / Church Croft area. A close called Rack Close is held by John Dolman, at a quit rent of 12d (thus corresponding with the the c1470 entry).
In the 1591 Survey it is not possible to identify Rack Close. It had not disappeared however, for in 1609 it appears as a 'chantry' possession, occupied by Widow Maile: "one tenement and a close called Rack Close, quit rent 12d." [Widow Maile is probably the relict of Thomas Maile weaver and died 1617, rather than of "our honest neighbour" Richard Maile the elder whose wife is more likely to have been Ellen Mayle "our honest neighbour", died 1604.
In the 1676 quit rent roll, Rack Close (quit rent 1s.) is held by apparently anonymous "owners" in Sandon Fee and by Mr Husey on the East side (quit rent 2d.).
Unfortunately, most of the Sandon Fee portion of the 1753 quit rent roll has been cut away and lost. In 1774 when the next quit rent roll is available the name Rack Close does not appear. Instead two new names appear: Burches (?) Close "lost by earthquake" quit rent 2d; and Joye's Close, quit rent 1 shilling. The entry reads: "David Cockynge (?) for Joyes Close 1s. (super script by a later hand: Edward Dismore for Joyes Close)" [Cockynge may be J.H.'s mistranscription of Jackson]
In 1795 Joye's Close was held by Edward Dismore, late David Jackson's; and in 1805, 1818, 1832 by Edward Dismore, senior.; in 1836 by Ann Dismore.
[c1930 A.G. Bartholomew, house in the Croft?]
Parish Register: Joyes (Joyce)
1723 Barackia Joyes m. Sarah Young, both of Ramsbury. 1728 Richard Joys m. Mary Allen
1735 Anthony Woodroffe leaves by will a bequest to his niece Ann wife of John Joyce.
1735 baptised Deborah daughter of Richard Joyce.
1742/3 (January) baptised William son of William and Mary Joyce.