Thomas' father left him land and houses in his will in the parish of Leyham and Nedging. His sister and her husband got some land in Blyston. A good question, to which I don't know the answer, is did he outright own the property or was it leased or a copy hold. I know that he held Nedging Hall by lease from the Duke of Suffolk.
It was not unusual for a man to have two or more wives and that is exactly the case here, or at least according to the Munnings Pedigree. Once again, much of the information about the Munnings comes from that document. So, it tells us that Thomas had two wives, the first one identified only as the daughter of a man who's surname was Barker. We do not know when she was born, when she died, what her name was or when she married Thomas. I have seen her identified as Lady Barker, since we know absolutely nothing about her, then I think it's safe to say that this is a mistake. Thomas was never knighted so he was not Sir Thomas and his wife in turn a Lady. She is simply "Unknown Barker".
Wife number two, at least, has a first and last name, she was Alice, the daughter of William Risby of Lavenham. Alice outlived her husband by over 30 years, she wrote her will in 1582 and died in 1587. Thomas says in his will that they had been married for 16 years, and that she had a daughter from a previous marriage. So, if Thomas died in 1556, then they married in 1540.
Thomas is the first Munning in the pedigree to have a substantial number of children. Some are credited to wife number one and some to Alice. They are:
1. Humphrey b. unknown d. 1596
2. Margaret m. Crispe
3. Christian m. Unknown Thompson of Orford
4. Elizabeth m. Robert Wodor Lavenham
5. Bridget m. William Knapp
6. Nicholas d. infant
Humphrey through Elizabeth are said to be the children of the first wife and the rest, children of Alice.
Thomas wrote his will in October of 1556, it was probated in May of 1557. Now at first glance this will seems pretty straight forward. After multiple read throughs I was struck by, not only the order in which he makes his bequests, but the size of the bequests. In general, most wills that I have read from that period start with bequeaths to the oldest son, who inherits the largest share of the father's estate, followed by the remaining sons and then the daughters.
Thomas, in his will, makes his bequests in the following order: Robert, Thomas, Alice his wife, George, Humphrey, Margaret Cryspe, Christian Thomsan, unmarried daughter Bridget, Alice's daughter Elizabeth.
Robert - Land in Leyham, Hadleigh, Semer
Thomas - Lease of Nedging Hall
Alice - unspecified land
George - copyhold land in Nedging
Humphrey - a farm called Hazelwood and an admonishment to not give his step-mother any trouble over it.
So if the pedigree order of children is correct, then Thomas gave his youngest son the largest share of his estate. I wonder if the birth order is incorrect, would he favor the children of his second wife over that of the first? Would the youngest inherit the lion's share? Sure wish we could find some baptismal records!