William Gandy - Quaker

June Harrison's notes on the first Gandy Quaker -

Name: William GANDY
Birth: 1625
Christen: 25 Sep 1625
Death: 14 Dec 1683
Burial: 16 Dec 1683 Whitley Quaker Burial Ground Cheshire
Religion: Quaker
Occupation: Farmer of Frandley.
Father: William GANDY (1602-1639)
Mother: Mary HALL (1602-)

1: Katherine
Death: 15 May 1664
Burial: 17 May 1664 Whitley Quaker Burial Ground Cheshire
Children: Thomas (1645-)
Thomas (1654-1655)
John (1657-1659)
Sarah (1658-1700)
Ellen (1661-)

2: Gulieluia Maria
Birth: 1635
Death: 17 Mar 1703
Burial: 19 Jun 1703 Frandley Quaker Burial Ground
Children: Gulieluia Maria (1668-1668)

William was the first Gandy Quaker and established a meeting at his house in Frandley. William had been convinced by Richard Hubberthorne as early as 1654. (Sufferings of the Quakers)
'In ye first month of 1654 (March) it pleased god to send his faithful messenger and servant Richard Hubbersthorne into ye parts of Cheshire to a baptists meeting at Hugh Gandy's house in Nether Whitley who at his coming confessed to ye truth that he preaches but seeing ye way strait he went back. But William Gandy of Frandley, being at that meeting was convinced by him, and several others that heard his testimony. And William received him to his house, and set open his doors for meetings. And many came from most parts of ye county every first day so that ye word of God grew. And there a meeting of ye Lords people called Quakers hath been kept and continues our faith to ye Lords praise for ever.'
William soon carried his brothers Edward, Richard and Thomas and cousin John with him and the belief carried on in the family for three generations.
William Gandy's farmhouse at Frandley was on the main route from the north to London, just six miles south of Warrington and became a regular staging post for the Quaker Missionaries ('Publishers of Truth') on their travels between the north and the capital. George Fox himself visited William several times, including one occasion on 28th June 1657 when GF noted in his journal, 'We had large meetings and visited Friends up and down the country in their meetings till we came to William Gandy's house in Cheshire, where we had a meeting of between 2,000 and 3,000 people, as it was thought, and the Everlasting Word of Life was held forth and received that day'. His preaching was claimed to have brought rain to a dry summer. Fox himself said, 'it was a noted thing generally amongst people that when I came still I brought rain ... and as far as the truth had spread in the North and South there was rain enough and pleasant showers ... and the like observance and expectation they have beyond the seas, when there is a drought they generally look for the rain and as they receive the truth and become fruitful unto God they receive from him their fruitful seasons also'. William is referred to in GF's journal on other occasions as well. In 1660 on his way from Warrington to Stafford he accepted the hospitality of his fried William Gandy, and held a meeting for worship at his house which was so largely attended that the company had to assemble out of doors. In 1669 Fox once more visited his friend William Gandy on his return from Ireland.
He also noted that William Gandy together with eighty eight others, was imprisoned in Chester goal; the ground of imprisonment was refusing to take the oath of allegiance.
In 1676 William Gandy of Seven Oaks near over Whitley, Yeoman, conveyed to Robert Hatton and another a parcel of land with a building thereon, in trust to dispose of the rents for the use of the Frandley Meeting.
It is recorded in the sufferings of the Quakers for Cheshire in 1677 that 'On Midsummer Day this year, Sir Peter Leicester, Justice of the Peace, who also acted the Part of Informant, came personally to a Meeting at the House of William Gandy, shut up the Doors, and placed a Guard of Soldiers at them, while he took a List of about two hundred Names, and fined Margaret Fox and Thomas Docwra £20 each for Preaching; he also ordered £20 to be levied on several of the Assembly for the House they met at, besides their own particular Fines, for which he issued Warrants of Distress, threatening the Constables that if they did not execute them to the utmost, he would bind them to their good Behaviour, charging them to sell a Cow for 5s. and to take enough for themselves. Those Officers, thus animated, took away for that one Meeting Goods & Cattle to the Value of about £200, from John Hathurst, Hugh Crosby, Richard Parr, Eleazar Taylor, John Eaton jun and Peter Pickering'.
In 1682 Sir Robert Leicester was responsible for another attack on the Frandley Meeting at which those 'met' were fined a total of £32.16s.8d. 'of which, they said, £3.13s.4d was for Charges, it being usual with the Constables, Informers & their Associates, to run up large Scores at Alehouses, and include the Reckoning as Part of the Fine'. (JAH)
The Frandley meeting is still active today and the present Quaker meeting house, built in 1882, is adjacent to the site of the Gandy farm.
The burial ground was established in 1657 according to the sign on the gate, and a Booke of Burialls for the county of Chester, commencing 3rd of ye 11th month 1656, suggests that there were well over 200 people buried there.
(Thanks to David Jowitt for some of the above information)
William Gandy's will is dated 3 years before his death 13 November 1680 and William was obviously a wealthy man with property and lands in Frandley, Cogshall and Seven Oaks, and this is confirmed by the Hearth Tax return on 1674 where William is shown to have the largest house in Sevenoaks.
Main points of his will are:
£400 arranged by deed to his daughter Sarah Cawley (on her wedding day 26/12(Feb)/1678), wife of the late John Cawley: amount unpaid to be raised by the sale of lands or property.
Mary his wife to have his bed and a milking cow plus rooms in 'The Hall' where he lives: the parlour with rooms over it, two bays of the old barn with the little stable and cow house until she dies or remarries.
Property includes messuage in Frandley, messuage and tenements called Fearnley's Tenenment, messuage and tenement called Sevenoaks Greene and Higginford Tenement, all in Over Whitley Lordship.
Lands in Sevenoaks and Cogshall purchased from Robert Venables.
Lands in Middlewalke, Over Whitley, purchased from Henry and Thomas Barrow, gentlemen.
Rents and tythes from these lands to his wife Mary.
After her death the lands to be sold to his loving friends Thomas Hall of Brownland in Budworth and John Holford of Middlewich, gentlemen.
Out of the profits, £50 to his daughter Ellen Thorpe, £50 for the schooling of the child or children of his brother Thomas.
£20 a year to his brothers Thomas and Richard Gandy.
£10 to Thomas's son Thomas.
£5 a year to his cousin Thomas Hall of Latchford and William Foxley's son of Antrobus.
To his loving friends Alexander Lawrence and Henry Maddock, £20 to be disposed of to such charities as they wish.
£150 to his daughter Ellen Thorpe six months after his death.
All remaining properties after 3 years to be sold and the proceeds to his brother Edward Gandy.
Executors Edward Gandy, Thomas Hall of Brownland, and John Halford.
Signed Will Gandy in the presence of John Simpson, Thomas Whittigan and Waring Robinson.

In the Meeting for 5th June 1684 it is recorded that, 'an account from Adrien Sale, bookseller in London, is brought herewith of money owing by William Gandy for books, which said account is delivered unto John Worral to show unto Edward Gandy that he with his fellow Executors may see to the discharging of the same'.
In the 1680-3 period Will Gandy is often cited as one of the friends who will enquire into various things and write papers for the Meetings. On 4/5/1682 it was recorded that 'Will Gandy hath paid Rich. Jarrott ye eight pounds as was ordered at the last meeting'. At the same meeting 'It is ordered that Will Gandy, Robert Hatton, John Wottall, Thomas Tytley, James Hatton, Thos. Hough & Thos. Richardson meet this day two weeks at Frandley about sufferings'.
In the early 1680s there is also a lot of concern at the various meetings that the Frandley meeting house is in need of refurbishment and some money is allocated for it and Will Gandy, John Crosbie, Thomas Rowlands and John Worrall are appointed to oversee the work and give an account of the money spent.
Will Gandy also oversees the burial of Rich Cooke who died in August 1683.
William Gandy is recorded it the Gt. Budworth church records as being buried there and not in the Quaker burial ground, on 16 Feb. 1683.

16 Nov. 1658 Quarter Sessions. Presentments:
Also one stone bridge called Waterless bridge standing in the highway betwixt Gt. Budworth & Knutsford to be out of repair.
Also William Gandy of Over Whitley, Yeoman, & Edward his brother for that they, or their servants, with 1 cart and 3 horses laden with lime about 21 Oct. last past did goe over and part of the aforesaid bridge did break downe to the great danger of the fall of the whole Bridge. (JAH).
In 1662 Sir Peter Leicester made a list of the Fee farmers in Whitley, and included an estimate of the annual value of each farmer's land, conservatively assessed at 8s 3d p.a. on the average Whitley acre. At the going rate of 18 years' purchase a good farm like William Gandy's at Sevenoaks, worth £30 pa, had a value of £540. (Capital & Innovation by C.F.Foster).
In 1662 William Gandy is listed as a Fee farmer paying £2 rent for 'The Chapel Ground' in Antrobus by Sir P.L. (C.F.F.)
William Gandy of Frandley, Quaker is listed as paying £30 in Seven oaks. (C.F.F.)
According to C.F.F. Wm. is likely to have been the W.G. who shipped a cargo of 30 tons of cheese to London in the 'Ann of Brighton' on 10 October 1670. This was the first year that cheese ships departed from the new warehouse in Sutton Weaver beside Frodsham. Gandy does not seem to have sent another cargo in his own name, but may have been one of the partners in 'Thomas Hall & Partners' who shipped cheese to London from Sutton throughout the 1670s. (His mother, of course, was Mary Hall) (JAH).

In the book 'Antrobus A Parish at the Millennium' there is the following reference under the entry for Frandley Farm, 'In 1676 William Gandy gave a plot of land containing a building to the Quakers for the use of the Frandley Meeting and the land is still in use today for this purpose.
William Gandy was a Yeoman farmer and tanner who appeared to own land in a number of areas locally. Deeds dating back to 1719 in possession of the current owner of Frandley Farm mention land in Senna Green, Whitley Reed and Cogshall as well as Frandley and it can be assumed that the Gandy family, up to William's conversion to the Quaker movement, were reasonably well off. However, this was to change over the next 70 years as succeeding generations of Gandys were persecuted for their religious beliefs and fined for various offences such as outdoor meetings deemed by the authorities to be 'riotous gatherings'. To meet the fines, it eventually became necessary to mortgage and then sell their property, until in the 1730s the family left Frandley and emigrated to North America. The late Richard Nixon, one time President of the US, was a descendant of Mary Gandy, one of the original Gandy settlers in America'.

In Burghall's Memorials of the Civil War in Cheshire he says the following,
'1655 The Quakers, a giddy and absurd sort of Heretics, holding partly with Papists, partly with Anabaptists, partly with Antimonians began lately to start up amongst us, and this year they multiplied in many places. Their Religion consists chiefly in censoring others, and railing upon them, especially Ministers, whom they despised and counted as the Dung of the Earth; making it their ordinary practice to disturb them in their Sermons. They denied the Trinity, they denied the Scriptures to be the word of God, and they said that they had no Sin'. Burghall later mentions several occasions when his own services were interrupted.

Last Modified: 30 Oct 2011
Created: 30 Oct 2011


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