Judde, Sir Andrew (c.1492–1558), merchant
by Paul Slack, rev.

Judde, Sir Andrew (c.1492–1558), merchant, was the third son of John Judde (d. 1493), gentleman, of Tonbridge, Kent, and his wife, Margaret, daughter of Valentine Chiche and great-niece of Archbishop Henry Chichele. He was apprenticed in 1509 to John Buknell, a skinner of London and merchant of the staple of Calais, and took up his freedom as a member of the Skinners' Company in 1520 (he was master in 1533 and five times thereafter). Judde married three times: first, in 1523, Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Mirfyn, himself a skinner and lord mayor of London in 1518; second, by 1542, Agnes, about whom nothing is known; and third, in 1552, Mary, daughter of Thomas Mathews of Colchester and wealthy widow of another skinner, Thomas Langton. Three children survived from the first marriage, John, Richard, and Alice, who married the customs official, and one daughter from the third, Martha, who married Robert Golding in Essex.

Judde profited initially from exports of English wool through Calais, and he remained heavily involved there: he was mayor of the staple in 1552, 1555 (when he entertained King Philip of Spain in the city), and 1558. But he also had interests in the cloth trade; he dealt in lead, alum, and bullion; he lent money, arranged loans for the crown, and bought and sold former monastic land; he was a promoter of early voyages to Russia and west Africa, and a founder member of the Russia Company. It is highly unlikely that he himself travelled to Muscovy and Guinea, as a later epitaph alleged (though he had an elephant's head displayed as a curiosity in his house), but he was certainly one of the richest and most prominent of overseas merchants in early Tudor London.

Judde was also a public figure of some note, being alderman from 1541 and lord mayor in 1550–51, when he had to deal with the problems caused by dearth and by the 1551 ‘calling down’ of the coinage. ‘Judde's Law’, regulating the estates and marriages of orphan children of freemen of London, was passed during his mayoralty. He was knighted on 15 February 1551. He was a member of commercial deputations to the council, one of the City élite who gave nominal assent to the accession of Lady Jane Grey by signing the letters patent of 1553 in her favour, and then one of those organizing the defence of London in 1554 on behalf of Queen Mary against rebels led by Sir Thomas Wyatt. Nothing is known of his religious inclinations, but, like his friend Sir Thomas White, he had many charitable interests. He was treasurer of St Bartholomew's Hospital when it was remodelled in 1547, and surveyor-general of all the London hospitals in 1557–8. At the end of his mayoralty he founded six almshouses at St Helen's, Bishopsgate, with the Skinners as trustees, and in May 1553 he obtained letters patent for the erection of a free school, Tonbridge School, again with the Skinners' Company as trustees. The founder stressed the importance of instruction in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew; the school was built by the time of Judde's death and endowed with property worth £60 3s. 8d. a year. Its first master was John Proctor, fellow of All Souls, Chichele's foundation, and author of the account of Wyatt's rebellion which notes Judde's part in the defence of London Bridge. , Judde's grandson, was a later benefactor of Tonbridge School. Judde died on 4 September 1558, leaving lands in Kent, Surrey, and Hertfordshire worth £141 p.a. to his widow, with reversion to John and Richard. He was buried in St Helen's, Bishopsgate, London.



H. S. Vere-Hodge, Sir Andrew Judde (1953) · T. S. Willan, The Muscovy merchants of 1555 (1953) · W. K. Jordan, ‘Social institutions in Kent, 1480–1660: a study of the changing patterns of social aspirations’, Archaeologia Cantiana, 75 (1961) [whole issue] · F. Lambard, ‘Sir Andrew Judde’, Archaeologia Cantiana, 43 (1931), 99–101 · will, TNA: PRO, PROB 11/42A, sig. 54

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Sir Andrew Judde (c.1492–1558): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37622