in the County of  S U F F O L K

By the Rev. Sir J O H N  C U L L U M, Bart. F.R. and A. SS.


L O N D O N, 1784






Lords of the Manor, and other Proprietors of Land

 Among the obligations we owe to the religious societies founded by our ancestors, one is their preserving many notices of families and property which would otherwise never have reached our time.  They were extremely careful of the evidences of their professions and privileges, transcribing them into registers, and often placing them on the altars of their churches, and the perpetuity of such communities prevented the dispersion and loss of their muniments.  To these circumstances it is owing, that we have now some very ancient records of the village at present under consideration.

 In the time of King Edward the Confessor, Leofstan the sewer of abbot Leofstan, and Stannard his relation, gave Halsted to St. Edmond.  About the same time, Odo and his wife are said to have done the same.  What these donations were does not appear, but they were probably all the lands which those benefactors possessed in this place.  Something, however, more specific and important was bestowed by that pious monarch early in his reign, for Halsted was involved in his enormous grant to the monastery of the royalties (Fura regalia) of all the villages in eight and a half contiguous hundreds.

 At the Conqueror’s survey, XXVIII free-men held here IIII carrucates of land, or about CCCC acres.  Odo held I carrucate; Albold and Peter, two ecclesiastics, II; and Agenetus XX acres.  Who the principal lord was does not appear, for I should think no one of those named was such.  The inferior proprietors had the privilege, not always enjoyed by persons in their station, of alienating their lands without the licence of their lord.  The right of holding courts for deciding the disputes and punishing the offences of the vassals belonged to the monastery, as well as a right of common.  There were III villains, XXI bordarers, and II slaves; three orders of vassals that are constantly mentioned as distinct in Domesday, and as appendant to manors, but whose specific kinds and degrees of servitude, interpreters seem not well able to ascertain.

 In the time of the Conqueror, St. Edmund possessed here IIII carrucates of land, as appears in the register of John Northwold.

 Anselm, abbot of St. Edmund (who presided from 1119 to 1148) with the advice of his barons, granted Halsted, or (as it is expressed in another evidence) lands in Halsted, to William son of Ailboldus, and Robert his son and heir.  And the said William and Robert confirmed to the abbey the churches of Bertune and Culeford in fee.

 Henry I. gave Halsted to St. Edmund and abbot Anselm, for the service of the altar, and particularly for buying wine for the celebration of the masses.

 Hervey, who was sacrist in the time of the same abbot, recovered for the mastery some lands of Thomas Noel of Hausted.

 About this time, a family, as was common, took its name from the place, and in the reign of king Stephen, Ralph de Halstede and Roger his brother gave the abbot an opportunity of carrying a point of great consequence from the crown.  The story is thus related.  William Martell the king’s sewer, attended by many prelates, barons, and others, and sitting in his seat of justice in the bishop’s garden at Norwich; two courtiers (duo curiales) Jordan de Blossseville and Richard de Waldan, produced a young man named Herbert, who was ready to prove to the court that he served Robert Fitz Gilbert in the army when the king led his forces against Bedford, at that time in the possession of his enemies, and that Robert and Adam de Horningsherth had discourse with Ralph de Halstede and Roger his brother (who had come privately out of the town, and changed their horses, shields, and saddles) about betraying and murdering the king.  They therefore demanded, in the king’s name, that the cause might be heard and justice done.  Upon this, Ording the abbot, who was present, stood up and harangued the court, informing them that the accused brothers were within the liberty of St. Edmund, and therefore amenable only to him.  This privilege was discussed at large, and the abbot established his claim by the determination of the court, and confirmation of the king.

 The above Ralph held here of the abbot one carrucate and a half of land, and two borderers, as appears among the records of abbot Baldwyn.

 Of this family was probably John de Hawsted, who, I Edw. II. obtained a grant to himself and the heirs of his body of the manor of Deushangre com. Northamp. with certain lands in Whittlewood and divers other lands in the said county, and II Edward II. was in the wars of Scotland.  15 Edward II. he had the castle and honour of Clare, co. Suff. committed to his charge, and I Edward III. was made seneschal of Gascoine.  Morever, 4 Edward III. in consideration of his services done, and to be done, he obtained a grnat of 200 marks sterling to be paid annually during his life, out of the customs of Bourdeaux.  He had summons to parliament 6, 8, 9 Edward III. but never after.

 Abbot Sampson (who presided from 1192 to 1211) and the convent granted to Rober, the son of Ralph de Halstede, and his heirs a meadow in Halstede belonging to Horningsherth Hall, and lying between the great road to Clare and the pond near the mill of the said Robert, to be holden by the free service of paying IIs. annually to Horningsherth-Hall.

 The said Robert had one knight’s fee in Haustede, and half a one in Brockley.

 Abbot Sampson and the convent granted and confirmed to Thomas, the son of Robert Noel, and his heirs all the land which Galfrid the Sacrist held in Halstede, by the service of paying yearly XLs.  These were doubtless the lands which Henry I. gave for the service of the altar, which Hervey the Sacrist recovered of Noel for the monastery, and which Noel was now glad to redeem by this annuity.  This annuity continued, I believe, to be paid till the Dissolution, and was sometimes applied to its original purpose, for in the account of the bailiff of the manor, 7 Henry V. XLs. were said to be paid to the Sacrist, for finding wine to celebrate masses in the monastery.  The next year for buying wax candles for the high altar.

 The said abbot and convent confirmed also to the said Thomas and his heirs all the socage which William, the son of Ailbold, and Walter, the son of the said William, and uncle of the said Thomas, held in Halstede and Esselde, and all the land which they held in Bury St. Edmund’s, by the service of paying annually to the steward of the hundred of Thingo xviijd.  This Thomas held also lands in Dickleburgh in Norfolk, of the abbot and convent, by the service of finding a horse of Xs. value for the king’s army, when he went into Wales, at the expense of the abbot and convent.

 A fine was levied 53 Henry III. between Richard le Chanoyne, petent, and John Noel, tenent, of 3 carrucates of land in Haustede, the right of John.

 A fine was levied 53 Henry III. between Benedict de Haustede, querent, and Galfrid Watlow and Claricia his wife, impediments, of a messuage, and 5-1/2 acres of land in Haustede, the right of Benedict.

 A fine was levied the same year between Henry de Stanton, querent, and Walter de Stanton, deforciant, of I messuage, 24 acres of land and I acre of wood, with their appurtenances, in Haustede, the right of Henry, who granted them to Walter for his life.

 The earliest principal lords of the village that are specified as such in records are the family of EUSTACE, or FITZ EUSTACE.  The first record in my possession that mentioned them is dated the last year of Henry III. and as it has preserved also a point of law, though happily now for us nothing more than a matter of curiosity, I shall give it in the language of the original.

[NOTE:  Latin to English dictionary:
Latin to English translator: ]

Henricus, Dei gratia, &c. Dilecto clerico suo magistro Richardo Clifford, escaetori suo citra Trentam, salutem.  Cum nos clamavimus custodiam omnium terrarum et tenementorum que fuerunt Eustachii filii Thome nuper defuncti ad nos pertinere, pro eo quod idem Eustachius manerium de Casewyk cum pertinentiis tenuit de nobis in capite.  Et ballivi dilecti nobis in Christo abbatis de Sancto Edmundo ad nos et consilium nostrum accesserunt, ex parte predicti abbatis, et nobis intimarunt quod custodia manerii de Halfsted, quod suit predicti Eustachii, et quod est de feodo ipsius abbatis, prope villam Sancti Edmundi, ad ipsum abbatem, et non ad nos, pertinet, eo quod predictum manerium de Casewyk, quod predictus Eustachius de nobis tenuit in capite, est de Baronia de Cokes, que suit escaeta nostra, et non de corpore corone nostre: et in magna carta nostra continetur, quod custodia terrarum que sunt de feodo aliorum habere non debemus occasione  alicujus Baronie, aut alicujus partis ejusdem que suit escaeta nostra.  Cum rotulos scaccarii nostri scrutari fecimus, et scrutatis rotulis eisdem invenimus, quod predictum manerium de Casewyk est de Baronia de Chokes que suit escaeta nostra, sicut ballivi predicti abbatis asserunt, et non de corpore corone nostre.  Et vidimus, quod per predictum manerium de Casewyk, ex causa predicta, non possumus custodiam predicti manerii de Halstede quod est de feodo predicti abbatis habere, ac si idem manerium de Casewyk esset de corona nostra.  Nolentes predicto abbati super detencione predicti manerii de Halstede injuriare, vobis mandamus, quod custodiam ejusdem manerii de Halstede, cum pertinentiis, predicto abbati, tanquam domino feodi illius, vel suis ballivis, ad opus ejusdem abbatis liberetis habendum usque ad legitimam etatem heredum Eustachii predicti.  Teste meipso apud Westm. Xxiij die Maij, anno regni nostri LVI.

 From the above record it appears that this family had other possessions besides those of Hawsted, which latter it is probable they acquired by Thomas Fitz Eustace marrying Joane, one of the daughters of Thomas Noel, about 6 Henry III.  They had also considerable property at Gnateshall, in this county.

 The abbot having thus his claim allowed him, immediately let the manor of Haustede, and the advowson of the church, during the minority, to William Clifford, probably a relation of the Escheator’s, for XX pounds sterling, paid in hand.  The witnesses to this agreement were William de Swyneford, Robert de Hoo, John de Saint Clare, Thomas de Ickworth, Knights, William de Walpole, Robert de Meleford, Thomas de Helegey, Stephen de Sidolfesmere, Walter Freysell, and Richard his brother, with others.

 During the minority, the church of Halstede became vacant; and William Clifford presented to it, by virtue of the above-mentioned lease.

 This minority appears to have been as long as one as well could be, for the heir did not come of age till 21 Edward I. as appears by the following note, which is entitled the Homage of Halstede.

 Memorandum, That Thomas, that is de Liseres Fitz Eustace of Halstede, did homage and fealty to abbot John, for the possessions he held in the said abbot in Halstede, in the abbot’s chapel at Cheventon, on the morrow of St. Denys the Martyr, the 21st year of the reign of Edward the son of Henry; William Talemache and many other persons standing by and viewing the ceremony.  Afterwards the said Thomas was distrained for the fine payable to the abbot, upon which he went to the said abbot at Elmeswell, upon the vigil of St. Thomas the Apostle, the beginning of 22 Edw. demanding remedy in that behalf.  Afterwards the said Thomas acknowledged at the same place, in the presence of Robert de Glemesford, Nicholas de Creffingham, Henry Bakum, Robert de Norwold, Roger de Welesham, and many others, that he claimed to hold all his possessions in Halstede of the abbot, upon which account he had been in the wardship of abbot Simon his predecessor, which wardship the said abbot recovered from the king, and let to Williaim Clifford.  By virtue of which, the said William, during the wardship, presented a certain clerk of his to the church of Halstede, who was accordingly admitted to it, and continued in it a long space of time, upon pretext that the said abbot had leased to him, the said William, the wardship of his the said Thomas’s person, and all his lands and tenements with their appurtenances.  And as it was found that the said Thomas had been in such wardship, the abbot discharged him from the fine, and the distress which had been suffered on that account.

 During the above minority, namely 14 Edward I, a survey was taken of this village among others, when Solomon de Roff and his associates, itinerant justices, made the circuit of this county.  This survey is long and minute; but its very minuteness furnishes so many striking particulars that I shall transcribe it entire.

 Haustede.  Thomas Filius Eustacii capitalis dns ejusdem ville tenet I mess. CC et XL a. terre, X a. prati, et X a. bosci, unum molendinum (cornmill) ventr. cum libertate falde apr. et. verr. cum advoc. ecclie ejusdem ville de abbate Sci. Edm’i, et facit hundredo de Thingho pro fe et tenentibus subscriptis unam sectam de iij Septimanis in iij Septimanas, et XXX d. per ann. ballivo ejusdem hundredi, et ad feretrum Sci Edmi XLs. per ann. et idem abbas tenet de dno rege in capite.  Idem Thomas tenet de eodem abbate per predicta servicia XX/IX a. terre, quas villani sui de eo tenent cum suis mess.  Galfridus Freman tenet de eodem Thoma I mess. Et XX a. terre cum pert. Pro ijs. per ann. heres Johannis del Broke tenet de eodem I mess. et iij a. terre pro iij d. per ann.  Johannes Coc tenet I mess. iij a. terre et iij rodas terre, viz. mess. et iij a. de pred.  Thoma et iij rodas de Roberto le Ros pro iiij d. et idem R. de pred. abbate.  Radulphus Carpenter tenet ij mess. et vij a terre, viz. I mess. et vj a. terre de eodem Thoma pro iiij d. ob. Per ann. et I mess. et I a. terra de Roberto le Ros, et ille R. de pred. Thoma.  Thomas le Bars tenet I mess. de eodem Thoma, et I a. terre pro v d. per ann.  Robertus Bernard tenet de eodem Thoma I mess. Et IX a. terre, I a. prati pro IX d. per ann.  Galfridus de Areford tenet I mess. et I a. terre de eodem Thoma pro vj d. per ann.  Radulphus Upholder tenet I mess. de eodem pro iiijd. per ann.  Emetyn tenet I mess. vij a terre et j rodam terre, viz. vjj a. terre de eodem Thoma, pro iiij s. per ann. et I mess. et I rodam terre de Roberto de Beylham pro iij d. et ille de predicto Thoma.  Johannes de Genen tenet v. a. de Willielmo Telemache pro I libra cimini, et ille de pred. abbate.

 Willielmus Talemache tenet I mess. cc XX/IIII a terre, xij a. prati, xxiiij a. bosci, I molend. ventr. cum libertate falde, Apr. et Verr. de abbate Sci. Edm’i pro uno feodo militis, et facit pro se et tenentibus suis I sect. ad hund. de Thingho de iij Septimanis in iij Septimanas, et ballivo ejusdem hund. xij d. per ann. et ad ward, Castelli Norwic. ad finem xx Septiman. iij s. et idem de dno rege. Idem W. tenet de eodem abbate xxxij a. terre per pred. servic. quas villani sui de eo tenent cum suis mess.  Mabil Gymel tenet de eodem Willielmo I mess. et ij a. terr pro ij s. per ann. Philippus Noel, tenet I mess. XX/IIII a terre, iij a. prati, vij a. bolci ab eodem abbate pro xvij d. per ann. et di. sect. hund de Thingho; et XL a. terre de Thoma Fil. Eustac. Pro xij d. per ann. et ille Thomas de pred. abbate, et ille ut supra.  Walterus de Stanton tenet I mess. XX/IIII a. terre, iij a prati et pasture, I a. bosci de eodem abbate pro xvij d. per ann. et di. sect. hundredo de Thingho, et ille abbas ut supra.  Robertus de Ros tenet I mess. LVI a. terr, iij a. prati, v. a. bosci, viz mess. pred. et XL a. terre, boscum, et pratum pred. de pred. Thoma Fil. Eustacii pro xvij d. per ann. et ille Thomas de pred. abbate, et idem de rege, et xij a. terre de Edmundo de Welnetham pro I d. per ann. et di lib. piperis, (pepper) et idem E. De abbate, et ille ut supra; et v. a. terre de Roberto de Beylham pro ob. per ann. et idem R. de Gilberto del Haye, et ille G. de abbate, et ille ut supra.  Adam de Denham tenet I mess. de eodem pro vj d. per ann.  Edwardus Bercarious tenet I mess. pro vij d. per ann. Agnes de Busso tenet I mess. pro vj d.  Johannes Cobbe I mess.ij a. terre pro xxx d.   Isabella filia Ricardi I mess. Pro xxij d. per ann.  Philippus Childe I mess. pro xij d.  Willielmus del Dam I mess. pro xij d.  Johannes le Hoze I mess. ij d. Willielmus de Cramaville tenet I mess. vij a. terre, II/VII a prati, viij a. bosci, viz. mess. pred XX/V et  vj a. terre, boscum et pratum pred. de pred. abbate pro IXd. per ann. et xxxij d. ad fertrum Sci Edmi. et unam sectam hundredo de Thingho pro se et tenentibus suis subscriptis; et IX a. terre de Roberto de Ros pro vjd. per ann. et ille de pred. abbate: et
vij a. terre de Philippo Noel, pro ij s. et idem de abbate; et xvj a. de Johanne Bolax pro vj d. et idem J. de pred. abbate ; et abbas de dno rege. Willielmus Attewent tenet I mess. et dim a. terre pro xij d. per ann. Johannes de Breris v a. pro v d. per ann. Galfridus Catelot I mess. pro vj d. Walterus le Holder I mess. pro I ob. Thomas Mercator I mess. pro vj d. Johannes Cott I mess. pro vij d. per ann. Willielmus Bercarins ij a. terre pro ij d. per ann.  Johannes de Beylham tenet I mess. LIj a. terre, iij a. bosci, ij prati, viz. mess. et XXX a terre, ij a. et di. bosci, I a. prati de abbate Sci Edmi pro IXd. per ann. et quarta parte I sect. ad hund. de Thingo.  Item iij a. de Willielmo Talemache pro xiiij d. et idem W. de pred. abbate:  et XIj a. terre et di a. bosci de Petro de Gymel pro ob. per ann. et idem P. de abbate. et v a. de Rogero de Exnynge pro I d. per ann. et ille de abbate: et ij a. terre, I a. bosci et I a. bosci et I a. prati de Semano de Haustede, et idem S. de abbate, et abbas de dno rege.  Benedictus de Haustede tenet I mess. et XV a. terre cum pert. viz. mess. et v a. de pred. abbate pro v d. et ij buss. avene: et v a. terre de Thoma fil. Eustac. pro ij s. I d. ob. et ille de abbate; et iij a. et di de Roberto de Ros pro ij d. et ille de pred. Thoma, et ille de abbate: et I a. et di de Willielmo Talemache pro ij d. et ille de abbate, et abbas de rege.  Johannes Filius Wakelyn tenet I mess. et IX a. terre cum pert. viz. mess. et v a. terre de pred. abbate pro iij d. per ann. et I buss. avene: et ij a. de Roberto de Beylham pro vij d. per ann. et I a. de Willielmo Talemache pro v d. per ann. et I a. de Thoma fil. Eustac. pro vj d. per ann. et ille de abbate, et abbas de rege.  Nicholaus Aldred tenet I mess. xviij a. terre, I a. prati de pred. abbate pro vij d. per ann. et I buss. avene.  Saleman Childe tenet I mess. de eodem N. pro vj d. per ann.  Adam Aldred tenet I mess. et xviij a. terre, viz. de abbate mess. et xv a. terre cum pert. pro v d. per ann. et I buss. avene; et iij a. de Galfrido Filio Osberti pro ij d. et ille de abbate.  Matilda Cobb tenet ij a. terre de eodem Adam pro iiij d. Joanna de Wramplingham tenet I mess. de abbate pro v d. et ii buss. avene per ann.  Johannes le Hore tenet I mess. et iiij a. terre de pred. abbate pro iij d. ob. per ann. et ij buss. avene.  Rogerus de Frankesle tenet I mess. et I a. terre de eodem abbate pro I d. ob per ann.  Johannes Carpenter tenet I mess. ij a. terre de eodem abbate pro xij d. per ann. Thomas Filius Osberti tenet vij a. terre pro ij d. per ann. de abbate.  Johannes de Cheventon tenet I mess. xv a. terre, iij a. bosci de pred. abbate pro IX d. per ann. Henricus Filius Nicholai et Richardus filius ejus tenet I mess. xv a. terre. iiij a. bosci de eodem abbate pro IX d. per ann. Rogerus de Manewode tenet I mess. et xv a. terre, viz. mess. et vij a. de Edmundo de Welnetham pro xiij d. et I summa avene: et ij a. de Semano de Haustede pro ij d. per ann. et ille de pred. E. et ille de abbate; et ij a. terre de Thoma fil. Eustac. pro iiij d. per ann. et ij a. terre de Johanne del Broke pro I d. et ille J. de pred. Thoma, et ille de abate. et ij a. de Hospitali Sancti Johannis de Balisford pro iiij d. in perpetuam elemosinam.  Johannes Ellyott tenet I mess. et v. a. et di terre. viz. mess. et ij a. et. di terre de Willielmo de Cramavill pro ij d. per ann. et ille de abbate; et ij a. terre de Roberto de Ros pro v d. per ann. et ille de abbate; et I a. de Galfrido Freeman pro I d. per ann. et idem G. de Thoma Fil. Eustac. et  ille de abbate, et idem abbas totum hoc de dno rege.  Bernardus tenet I mess. et iij a. terre, viz. mess. et I a. de Edmundo de Welnetham pro ij d per ann. et ij a. terre de Willielmo Talmache pro viij d. per ann. et illi de abbate ut super.  Galfridus Filius Osberti tenet I mess. et xij a. terre, viz. mess. et viij. a. pro ij d. q. per ann. de abbate, et iij a. de Semano de Haustede pro iiij d. per ann. et I a. de Johanne Bolax pro ob. per ann. et ille de abbate.  Willielmus Bercarius tenet v. a. terre et di. viz. de Willielmo Cramavill ij a. pro ij d. ij a. et di de Roberto de Belcham pro ij d. ob. et I a. de Mabil Gymel et Roberto de Ros pro I d. et illi de abbate.  Alicia soror ejusdem W. tenet I mess. I a. et I rodam terre de abbate pro I d. ob. per ann.  Idayne tenet I mess. ij a. et di terre, viz. mess. de Willielmo Cramavill pro xd. per ann. et pred. terram de Galfrido fil. Osberto pro 1 d. ob. et illi de abbate.  Willielmus Pachet tenet I mess. et di a. terre de Edmundo de Welnetham pro xij d. per ann.  Heredes Thome Parmentar tenent I mess. vij a. terre, viz. mess. et vj. a. de Willielmo Cramavill pro vj s. et. ij a. de Roberto de Beylham, et de Semano pro ij d. per ann. et illi de abbate.  Semanus de Osmundisfelde tenet I mess. xxvij a. terre, ij a. bosci et iij a. prati de abbate Sci Edmi pro xviij d. per ann.  Ricardus de Saxham tenet I mess. XX/IIII xiij a. terre cum pertin. viz. xxvij a. de pred. abbate pro xx d. per ann. et xx a. de Willielmo de Cramavill pro vj d. et ix a. et di de Roberto de Beilham pro viij d. et v. a. et di de Semano, pro iij d. et iij a. de Galfrido Filio Osberti pro I d. et I a. de Willielmo Alderman pro I d. et de Roberto Breris et Galfrido Freman v a. pro v d. et de Johanne Elyott iij a. pro I d. item I mess. et xv a. terre de Edmundo de Welthnetham pro ij s. iiij d. et iij buss. avene per ann. et iij a. et di. de Rogero de Manewode et Isabella le Ros pro iij d. et totum hoc de abbate pred.

 The above detail exhibits a picture of this village very different from what some may have expected.  It has been thought that these parts of the country, so favourable to the production of trees, were some centuries ago over-run with wood, and that our forefathers lived surrounded and almost suffocated with thickets and forests.  Whereas we see by this account that the whole quantity of wood here was but 68 acres.  It is probable, indeed, that the hedges and borders of the fields were at this time furnished with timber-trees and other wood, as we shall see they afterwards were.  Even two centuries before this, when Domesday-book was drawn up, the quantity of wood here could not have been considerable.  There was then to be said “Sylva de III Porc”, or wood sufficient to yield mast for the support of three hogs.  What precise quantity of wood was supposed necessary for that purpose is not easy to say, but we may safely conclude it bore a very small proportion to the contents of the lands in the village.  (The author of Bib. Top. Brit. thinks that the word porc. in Domesday sometimes means not hogs, but porcaries, or certain number of hogs.  Perhaps that enlarged fence of the term may be applicable in the present instance.)

The prodigious quantity of arable land is a circumstance not a little remarkable.  Almost the whole village was under the plough, for there were between 13 and 14 hundred acres of arable land, and only 45 of meadow.  But this consideration will meet us again under the article of agriculture.  In the mean time it may not be amiss to observe that the above numbers of acres are by computation, for it was not till about 17 years after this, namely, 31 Edw. I. that the quantity of an acre was settled by law, and this is the reason that in this survey, the village is represented as containing less land by a fourth part than it actually does, since its acres were measured by statute.  In like manner, to this day where miles are computed, they are always longer than those that are measured.  Why computation should thus exceed mensuration, I pretend not to determine.

 The populousness of this village at so remote a period is another circumstance worth observing.  There were no less than 50 messuages or houses.  At this day there are but 52, 12 of which are divided into 2, and 3 into 3 parts, or tenements, containing in all 70 families and 415 persons.  If therefore the houses were as well stocked with inhabitants as they are now, the place must have been nearly as populous as it is at present.

 Fifty-seven persons are specified as holding land or houses, and there might perhaps be more, for when the acres holden by villans come to be distinctly enumerated, they fall short of the gross numbers said to be so holden, so that perhaps some of those occupiers may by some mistake have been omitted.  The domestics also of the lords of the two manors were certainly numerous, and ought to be reckoned among the inhabitants, though they held neither lands nor houses.

 It is not perfectly easy; to account for the populousness, which was not national.  It prevailed also, I observe, among the neighbouring villages.  Perhaps the abbatial government might be favourable to it.  The ecclesiastics were mild and indulgent landlords; their courts, where their tenants were tried, were probably less arbitrary than those of the great manerial lords, and their dependants less likely to be torn from their homes and families than those of the warlike barons.  For these causes, it is likely, the villages under the jurisdiction and protection of the neighbouring abbey might invite settles from other parts, and enjoy a population in general unknown.  So I am informed that in those parts of Italy from which the Jesuits have been expelled, the lands that belonged to that society have become worse tenanted and worse cultivated than they were before the suppression of those Religious.

 On the above 57 persons, 43 were occupiers of land, which is nearly double the number of those at present.  This great diffusion of land may at first sight be thought to have contributed to the comfort and plenteous living of the inhabitants, yet perhaps it did not in fact.  Seven of the occupiers held two-thirds of the whole, so that there were barely 400 acres to be divided among 36 persons, which is, upon an average, about 11 acres a man, but the parcels were very unequally divided.  Now a small parcel of land, it is well known, is always cultivated at a proportionably much greater expence than a large one, and generally in an inferior manner, so that no one lives more poorly, or fares more hardly than a little farmer, while the public is also a loser by his scanty crops.  Besides, most of the little occupiers of old were obliged to do many services for their lords, which took up much of their time, and prevented their making the most of their own spots.  It is probable, therefore, that the occupiers of these little patches of land did not live in greater plenty than if they had been day-labourers, and it is certain that the village, thus frittered to pieces, produced on the whole less corn than if it had been equally divided into 15 or 20 farms.

 By the above survey, is also appears that there were now two manors in the village.  That belonging to Fitz Eustace was the capital one, and emphatically called the Manor of Hawsted.  The site of the house was probably an irregular spot, near the present Lodge, surrounded with a deep moat, and containing about 2000 square yards.  It is called by some old people, I know not why, Fews Yard.  The other was called afterwards Talmache’s, alias Bokenham’s, and the present style of the manor is, the Manor of Hawsted Hall, with Bokenham’s.  The house was afterwards the residence of the Drurys, and called Hawsted House and Hawsted Place, part of which is still standing.


 The father of Thomas, mentioned in the above survey, died, as we have seen, the last of Henry III. and was called Eustace Fitz Thomas.  He married Johanna la Colvyle, who, under the title of Johanna la Colvyle (for widows, especially heiresses, often resumed their maiden names) with Thomas her son, presented Roger Fitz Eustace, probably another of her sons, to the rectory of Hawsted, 2. Edw. II.  The manor did not continue in this family more than two generations after this.  For, by the exemplification of the fine, it appears that, 10 Edw. II. Thomas Fitz Eustace and Amicia his wife settled, after their decease, the manors of Hawstede, and Codenham near Boxford, with their appurtenances, upon Robert the son of the said Thomas; that Robert died feifed of the manor of Haustede, and that Sir John Fitz Eustace, his son and heir, and Elizabeth his wife, sold it to William de Middilton and Isabella his wife, 27 Edw. III.

 The above Thomas and Robert his son, in the reigns of Edward I. and III. obtained grants of free warren in the manor of Haustede.  We complain, and with reason, of the severity of the present game laws, but what shall we say of those times, when lords were forced to sue to the crown for liberty to kill game on their own manors?


 This family was very anciently situated at Mendham in this county.  Sir William, who purchased this manor, was sheriff of Norfolk, 20 and 25 Edward III.  During the short time he was lord, namely 32 Edward III. an extent, or survey and valuation of the manor was taken, which contains some particulars that are worthy of notice.  It begins with “Est ibidem messuagium edificatum, cum tribus gardinis, et duobus curtilagiis ad eundem inclusum.  Columbarium.  Molendinum quod valet per ann. XLs”.

 Though this short description of the mansion itself conveys no specific idea, yet it implies some excellence of construction, that had not perhaps been long introduced.  It had probably been newly erected by Sir William himself.  Of the elaborate architecture of this reign, even in civil buildings, several curious particulars may be collected from Chaucer’s works.

 The house was furnished with a pigeon-house, three gardens, and two court yards.  The luxury of three gardens, at this early period, must at first appear very remarkable when it is known at how low an ebb horticulture was at the beginning of even the 16th century.  In 1512, the opulent earl of Northumberland, whose household consisted of 160 persons had, I think, but one gardener, who attended “hourly in the garden for setting of erbis, and clipping of knottis, and sweping the said garden clene.”  Nay, it should seem as if sometimes there was not even one, for among other workmen of the household, as a painter, a joiner, and a milnar is mentioned “the gardener of the place where my lord lyeth, if there be oone”.  And in 1539 and later, according to Evelyn, cabbages were imported from the Netherlands.  The truth is, in the reigns of the first Edwards, the cultivation of the garden was extended even to the more curious and delicate productions, but neglected afterwards during the contentions of the houses of York and Lancaster, when horticulture, as well as the other arts of peace and polished life, gave way to the havock and devastation of civil war; nor did it recover to any considerable degree til the time of Elizabeth.  This we learn from the description of England prefixed to Holinshed’s Chronical, published about the middle of the reign of that princess.  The passage is so curious that I cannot forbear transcribing it.  “Such herbes, fruites, and roots also, as grow yeerelie out of the ground, of feed, have been verie plentifull in this land, in the time of the first Edward, and after his daies, but in processe of time the grew also to be neglected, so that from Henry IV. till the latter end of Henry VII. and beginning of Henry VIII. There was little of no use of them in England, but they remained either unknown, or supposed as food more meete for hogs, or savage beasts, to feed upon than mankind.  Whereas in my time their use is not only resumed among the commons, I mean of melons, pompions, gourds, cucumbers, radishes, skirrets, parsnips, carrots, cabbages, navewes, turneps, and all kinds of salad herbes, but also fed upon as daintie dishes at the tables of delicate merchants, gentlemen, and nobilitie, who make their provision yeerlie for new feeds out of strange countries, from whence they have them abundantlie.”

 It appears also from the following items, that tiles were used, or made here, at this time; a refinement not known, even in some towns, till many years afterwards.  The historian of Nottingham informs us that the first tiled house there was in 1503.  “I acr. I rode terre cum una domo tegulator. Prec. Acr. XIId.”  Whether we are to understand by the barbarous and mutilated word tegulator that the house was tiled, or inhabited by tile-makers, it may be difficult to say.  Summa valor.dom.tegulator. VI£. XIIIs. IIId. May incline one to think the former; yet, in the whole rental, but one house is so described, and summa valor. is applied to a single object, as molendini.  In a rental, 15 Henry VII. mention is made of tyle-house field, tyle-house grove, tyle leys.

 The lord held in his own hands 572 acres of arable land, 50 of meadow, pasture for 24 cows, 12 horses, and as many oxen, and 40 of wood.  This was a noble demesne, and may serve to give an idea of the plenty that must have reigned in the mansion of the principal person of the village above four centuries ago.  The proportion of arable land to meadow was greatly diminished within about 80 years, for instead of being 24 to 1, it was now only a little more than 11 to 1.  This was probably owing partly to the great encouragement which Edward III. gave to the woolen manufacture, and partly to his wars, which must have been inimical to tillage.  The consumption of flesh-meat, we may conclude, had now increased, and indeed 5 years after this, it was enjoined by statute that no grooms or servants of lords, should have flesh or fish above once a day.

 There seems to have been a park here even earlier than this, for a piece of arable land of 36 acres was called Park-field.  It lay on the west of the church.

 The principal lord had now begun to extend his property and engross the village.  The estates of Stanton and Noel (now called Nowell) and of others, to the amount of 218 acres, had been purchased.

 The pleas and perquisites of the court were worth LXVs. VIIId. a year.

 There were 32 free tenants (libere tenentes), 17 of whom performed suit of court every 3 weeks.  They paid all together LXIIIs. IId.; 3 pecks of oats (avene grosse); 5-3/4 cocks and hens.  The lord had wardship and marriage of all the heirs under age.  Among the names are those of John Fylet, whose name a farm on the east side of the green still bears.  It was early the property of the Rookwoods, and is of now of their representative, Sir Thomas Rookwood Gage, bart.  See Fillet’s arms, Plate , No. 7. of Henry Hopper, by whose name a piece of ground is still distinquished; and of Robert Cuppere, whose descendants, now called Cowper, still remain here. Plate 7:

 To this manor belonged two nativi, or servants born of servile tenants.  Their tenures and services are so distinctly enumerated, that we have a perfect idea of their state and condition.

 Thomas Frame holds I messuage and XXX acres of arable land and pasture at the yearly rent of XXs., to be paid, by equal portions, at Easter and Michaelmas, and Christmas IIIId. called offering-silver, besides I cock and II hens, at the same time.  And he shall mow the lord’s meadow IIII whole days.  And all the customary tenants, when they mow the lord’s meadow shall have I bushel of wheat for bread, and VId. for drink, and one whole day’s produce of the manor dairy for cheese.  And he shall reap VIII whole days in autumn, and shall have every day a wheaten loaf, XV of which are made of I bushel of wheat, and II herrings at nine o’clock (ad nonam), and he shall pay Merchettum (a fine which the tenant paid upon the marriage of his daughter; sometimes it was paid only when she married a man of another village, for then the Lord lost a dependent) et Heriettum (a fine of the best beast paid upon the death, or alienation of a tenant).  And he shall serve the office of head reaper, and the year he shall be in that office, he shall be discharged of half his rents and services; he shall also have meat and drink at the lord’s table, if the lord keep house; and if he does not, he shall have the same allowance of corn as a ploughman, and shall have a horse standing in the manor stable, that he may execute any of the lord’s business.  His son may marry without the lord’s license, but his widow may not (because she might marry a man who was an enemy to the lord); and she shall hold during her life the aforesaid tenements.  The said Thomas holds also another messuage and XV acres of arable land, for which he pays XIIs. a year; IId. at Christmas for offering-silver, and II hens.  He shall also mow IIII days and reap as many for the lord, for which he shall have the same allowances and privileges as before.

 All the rest held their lands by rents and services nearly in the same proportion.  The hardest terms were those imposed on John Paget, who for a messuage and III acres paid IIIs. and a hen a year, mowed XI days and reaped IIII for the lord.

 All their rents in money amounted to CIIIIs. IIId.  The mowing days were XLII; reaping days LX; the offering silver was XVIIId. Besides I cock and XVIII hens.

Annual outgoings (Redditus resoluti).

To the Sacrist of St. Edmund’s Bury XLs.
To the Hundred of Thinghoe  Iis. IIId.
To the same for the Nowel estate  XVIId. and suit
To the same for the Stanton estate XVIId. and suit
To Nowton Halle for the Nowel estate VIIId
To the same for the Stanton estate VIIId.

 The year after the above survey was taken, Sir William Middleton sold the manor, &c. to Sir William de Clopton; but I shall postpone the account of that family til I have traced the Talmaches and Bokenhams, who were lords of the other manor, to their extinction; soon after which event, the Cloptons became possessed of both.


 A branch of the family of Talmach were seated in the reign of Edward I. at Bentley, in this county, whence they removed in the reign of Henry VII. to Helmingham, the present residence of their representative the earl of Dysart.  They occur also very early in this place, as we have already seen by the funeral of the lady Cecilia Talmach, 9 Edw. I.  Who her husband was does not appear, but the expences of her interment imply that the family must have been of no little consideration.  In the account of Gilbert de Melton, one of the executors, mention is made of William Talmach, the other executor, and of John Talmach.  The former was doubtless the person whose property was considerable here, as well as at Brockley, Rede, and other contiguous villages, 14 Edw. I. when the survey of this village, before recited at length, was taken.  He also married a lady of the name of Cecilia, and died before 7 Edward II. for then a fine was levied between Cecilia the widow of Sir Wm. Talemach, querent, and Thomas Parson of Somerton, and Roger, Parson of Haustede, deforciants, of two messuages and six carucates of land, with their appurtenances, in Haustede, Brockleye, Somerton, and Hertherst; by which the above estate was settled on her four sons, John, William, Edmund, and Thomas Talmach, and their heirs, in default of which it was to go to the right heirs of the said Cecilia.

 The fee or manor of Talmach seems to have been for some time out of that family, for in the Computus of Henry de Glemham, Robert de Gifford, _____ de Rokewood, Hamon de Muckelfeld, and William de Middilton the sheriff, of the aid of XLs. from every knight’s fee granted to Edward III. in the 20th year of this reign for making his eldest son a knight (the Black Prince); Edmund de Wauncy paid XLs. for a knight’s fee which he and his tenants held in Haustede of the abbot of Bury, which William Talmage (for of the name was sometimes written) formerly held of the said abbot.

 This family began also to sell some of their property to the Cloptons at the latter end of the reign of Edward III. or the beginning of that of Richard II.  For a deed, 6 Richard II. recites that Sir Wm. Clopton had purchased lands and tenements in Halsted, Whepsted, Nowton, and Brockley, of Sir Wm. Talmach, and died feifed of them; upon whose death, John, son and heir of the said Sir Wm. Talmach, entered upon the said lands, &c. and kept Sir Wm. Clopton, son of Sir Wm. deceased, out of the possession of them.  This affair was compromised, and 16 Richard II. Sir Wm. Clopton released to Alice the daughter of Wm. Talmage and wife of Wm. Bokenham, and her heirs for ever, all his right and claim to the lands, &c. in Halsted, Nowton, Horningsheath, and Whepsted, which he had lately purchased of John Talmage.  Witnesses, Walter Clopton, chev. John Bures, John Rookwod, Wm. Rookwod, and others; to this his seal is appendant, see plate III No. 6:

  The same day he released the said Wm. Bokenham and Alice his wife from all actions real and personal, which he ever had, or could have against them, from the beginning of the world to the date of that instrument.

 Alice Bokenham was dead (as was probably her husband) before 5 Henry VI. for that year, John Bokenham, her son and heir was in possession of the estate which she had inherited, and executed a deed to which is appendant his seal, that bears a fret, which was his own paternal arms, as well as of his mother.  See the plate, No. 8:

  He lived not long after, and what is something uncommon, was succeeded by a brother of both his names, as appears by the following extract from a deed dated II Henry VI.

 Omnibus Christi fidelibus, &c. Gilbertus Mylde persona ecclesie de Haustede, Johannes Woodward, &c. salutem.  Noveritis nos predict.  Gilb. &c. remisisse, relaxasse, &c. Johanni Bokenham de Haustede totum jus nostrum clameum que unquam habuimus in uno tenemento cum suis pert. in villis de Haustede, &c. quod nuper habuimus ex dono et feoffamento Johannis Bokenam senioris, fratis predicti Johannis Bokenham.

 The same year, he did homage for his lands here, as appears by the following certificate:

 Hec indentura facta inter Willielmus abbatem de monasterio Sancti Edmundi ex parta una, et Johannem Bukynham de Hawsted ex altera, testatur, quod idem Johannes fecit homagium dicto abbati, in magna camera manerii sui de Elmswell, pro terris et tenementis que clamat tenere de dicto abbate in villa de Hawsted predicta in com. Suff. et solvit feodum camerario.  In cujus rei restimonium his indenturis partes predicte sigilla sua alternatim apposuerunt.  Hiis testibus, Willielmo Wytlyseye, Adam Bury, Theodorico Hertford, monachis; Johanne Croftys, Thoma Peyton et Willielmo Berdwell, armigeris.  Datum apud Elmswell predict. vicesimo primo die mensis Januarii, anno regnie Regis Henrici VI post conquestum undecimo.

 The seal of William Curteys the abbot, of red wax, is appendant to it, and charged with the representation of the story of St. Edmund’s head being found by a wolf.  The same legend is also alluded to in the seal of Clement Denston.  See plate 4:

 This John Bokenham was married the next year (12 Henry VI.) to a woman of the name of Alice, when he entailed his estate  upon his issue, of which, I suppose despairing, 26 Henry VI. he sold “alle hese landes and tenements, wodes, medes, and pastures, rents and services, whiche were late to on John Bokenham, brother on to the seid John Bokenham, as they lye within the townys and feldes of Hawsted, Horningsherthe, Nowton, and Whepsted, in the shire of Suff, for the some of CX£ of good and lawfull money” to John Marshall, esquyer, reserving to himself and his wife a life-state therein, and subjecting himself to this strange condition: “also the seid John Bokenham shall fynde sufficeaunte surete in C/II£ to the seid John Marshall, if so be that the weiff of the said John Bokenham deye, that he schall wedd noo woman by whom he may have any issue’.  This caution proved unnecessary.  He probably did not live long after this, nor did his wife long survive him, dying his widow in 1452, as appears by her will, already recited.  So that Marshall must have been fortunate in his purchase.

 Thus ended, in this place, the interest of the Talmaches, and the Bokenhams their descendants, who had continued here for at least 166 years, a longer establishment than any succeeding lords maintained.


 By a fine, levied 33 Edward III. It appears that Sir Wm. de Clopton and Mary, his wife, bought the manor with the appurtenances of Sir Wm. de Middilton and Isabella his wife; the latter reserving to themselves an annual rent of XXs. out of the manor.  The purchase is thus described:  the manor of Haustede with its appurtenances, the advowson of the church, one toft, 200 acres of arable land, 8 of meadow, 12 of wood, six shillings and eight pence rent, and ½ pound of pepper, with the homages and all the services of Wm. de Pembregge, and 14 others.  The purchase-money was 600£, as appears by the following receipt in full.

 Noverint universi, quod ego Willielmus de Middilton recepi de dno Willo de Clopton milite centum libras in auro et argento, in persolutionem sex centum librarum, in quibus michi tenebatur pro vendicione manerii de Hausted sibi facta: de quibus sex centum libris fateor me bene et fideliter fore pacatum; et predictum dnm Willielmum heredes et executors suos inde fore quietos in perpetuum per presentes.  In cujus rei testimonium huic presenti scripto sigillum meum apposui.  Datum apud Clopton die Martis proxime post festum Sancti Gregorii Pape, anno regni Regis Edwardi tercii post conquestum tricesimo quarto.

 The seal is still entire, except part of the circumscription, and may be seen in the plate, No. 5:

 At the same time, Sir Wm. De Clopton settled his purchase, after the death of himself and his wife, upon Thomas their son and his heirs male.

 Sir Wm. died before his wife, for she was lady of the manor 10-13 Ric. II. as appears by the accounts of John Clerk, who calls himself Ballivus (Bailiff) Domine Clopton de manerior suo de Haustede; from them I shall select a few particulars.

 In 1386, among the Redditus Assisi, set or standing rents, is xviij d. rent, called Clothing Silver, paid at Christmas.  Firma terre et pasture; a garden called Nowell, let for X s. a year.  Exitus manerii, issues or profits of the manor; LXIj s. VIIj d. for M/II C/III L faggots; fruit of the garden; xvj s. for keeping sheep, for letting out the lady’s carts xiij s., for letting out her ploughs, iiij s. ij d.  Among the Redditus resoluti, or outgoings, paid annually to the Sacrist of St. Edmound’s Bury, XL s., to the bailiff of the hundred v s. iiij d.; to Nowton Hall, IX d.; to the hundred for suit, xvj d.  Among the custus minuti, shoeing the steward’s horse, vj d.  rewards to the servants of the manor vj d.; for the tax of our lord the king, for half a quindene v s. – stipendia famulorum; wages of the bailiff xiij s. iiij d. a year; of the carter, vj s. vij d.; of the deye, v s.; I qr. iij b. of oatmeal for potage for the servants.

 In 1389, among the expensa forinseca, or extxraordinaries, expences for the lady Erpingham, (Jane, the daughter of Sir William Clopton who married Sir Thomas Erpingham of Norfolk) with her servants and horses, vij s. vij d.  A horse bought for the rector and presented to him by the lady’s order, xxvj s. IX d.  Paid Stephen the bellman for a new bell, by the lady’s order, xxvj s. vij d.  The expences of a man and a carter to Sudbury (17 or 18 miles) to fetch tyles for the friers at Babwell, xviij d.  The expenses of a carter to Mildenhall (12 miles) to fetch rushes for the lady, vj d.

 How long this lady lived, I know not, nor whether Thomas Clopton, her son, upon whom, as we have seen before, the manor was settled after the death of his father and mother, ever lived to possess it; if he did, it was not long; for before the end of Ric. II, it was vested in his elder brother, Sir Wm. Clopton, who suffered some enormous outrages from Philip Fitz-Eustace and others, as may be gathered from a roll in my possession 6 feet long, containing pleadings in the court of King’s Bench, Westminster, in the reigns of Ric. II. and Henry IV.  By these it appears that Sir Wm. Clopton brought his action against Philip Fitz-Eustace, John Heyden, John Clerk, chaplain, Hugh de Baldwyne, Roger Gebon, Thomas his brother, John Lausele, John Smyth of Ashton, and John Waryn, for having on the Sunday before Micaelmas, 21 Ric. II. with force and arms, that is with swords, bows and arrows, broken into a close in Haustede belonging to the said Sr. Wm. and cut down there XX oaks, C ashes, and XL poplars and carried them off, together with other goods and chattels, namely, linen and woolen cloths, vessels of silver, brass, and copper, and other utensils belonging to his house, besides barley, beans, pease, and oats, to the value of XL£.

 Fitz-Eustace, who was the principal, after various delays put in his answer, and alledged that the close into which he had broken, and the trees which he had cut down and carried away belonged to him, and not to Clopton.  To the rest of the charge he made no reply.  He was found guilty of the whole and adjudged to pay xxiij£ damages.  To avoid payment, he availed himself of all the procrastinations and evasions which the law has always allowed, and it does not appear that the business was concluded, 9 Henry IV.  Yet during this litigation, namely on the Thursday after the feast of St. Batholomew, 8 Henry IV. Robert Fitz-Eustace, probably a brother of Philip, had given up to Sir William all claim to the manor of Hawsted, both for himself and his heirs.

 What a picture of the violent mode in which our ancestors suffered their animosities against one another to burst forth!  The cutting down trees might perhaps tend to the ascertaining of right, but the carrying off corn and household furniture could proceed from nothing but the lawless and ferocious manners of age; and what aggravated the enormity was that the parties were nearly related, for it appears by the pedigree that Edmund Clopton, Sir William’s brother, had married a Fitz Eustace.  I wish that these disorders had been confined to the laity, but one of the above-named rioters was in orders, and I doubt the excesses committed by ecclesiastics form part of the character of early times.  I Edw. III. no less than 32 clerici, among several townsmen of Bury, were convicted of a most daring assault upon the abbey.  The mutual hatred of the seculars and regulars was excessive.

 Let us now for a moment turn our thoughts to a more pleasing subject.  During this vexatious disturbance, Sir Wm. Clopton granted to Thomas Smyth a piece of ground called Dokmedw, in Haustede, for the annual payment of a rose, at the nativity of St. John the Baptist, to Sir William and his heirs, in lieu of all services.  Dated at Haustede on Sunday next before the feast of All Saints, 3 Henry IV.

 Ancient deeds are often dated on a Sunday, being executed in churches or church-yards, for the greater notoriety.

 But I should not have noticed this instrument, if it had not been for its giving me an opportunity of illustrating ancient manners.

 The rose was formerly a greater object of luxury than it is at present.  The water distilled from it gave a flavour to a variety of dishes, and served to wash the hands at meals, a custom still preserved in some of our colleges.  At marriages and other festivities, the guests wore chaplets of roses.  The author of the romance of Perce-Forest, describing an entertainment, says every person wore a chaplet of roses on their head.  The constable of France (and probably other great officers, at other courts) when he waited on the king at dinner had one of these crowns.  Women, when they took the veil and when they married were thus adorned.  Warriors wore their helmets encircled with these flowers, as appears from their monumental figures.  This fondness of our ancestors for this fragrant and elegant flower, and the various uses to which they applied it, explains a particular that at first sight seems somewhat whimsical, which is, the bushels of roses sometimes paid by vassals to their lords.  For part of the above I am indebted to the agreeable author of “Histoire de lavie privee des Francois” Vol. II p. 221.  The single rose paid as an acknowledgement was the diminutive representative of a bushel, as a single pepper-corn, which is still a reserved rent, is of a pound; a payment, originally of some worth, dwindling by degrees to a meer formality.

 Tired out, I suppose, with the vexations attending his property in this place, Sir William by a deed in French dated at Melford, 2 Henry V conveyed the manor with its appurtenances, which had been his father’s, to William Clopton, son of Sir Thomas, and who was his first cousin.

 But he could not ensure him the quiet possession of his purchase, for the family of Fitz Eustace and their connections appear to have quitted their property here with great reluctance, and given their successors every possible molestation.  For not many years after the outrageous attack before mentioned succeeded another much more disingenuous and formidable.  The first notice that occurs of it is from the following writ out of the court of chivalry, preserved in Harl. MSS. No 1178. 36 and thus entitled in the catalogue “A writ in French of John duke of Bedford, Constable of England, requiring John duke of Norfolk and Marshall of England to bring Willima Clopton, of Suffolk, esq. to answer in the court of chivalrie to Robert Eland of the county of Lincoln, esq. who charged the said William Clopton with putting his seal of arms to a false and forged deed.”

 This curious record shews with what formality affairs of honour were formerly adjusted.  We now proceed in a much more summary manner.  The charge was of a very serious nature; whether the court came to any decision about it or whether any combat ensued does not appear; but probably neither, for we soon after find the parties engaging in another court, and with arms very different from those of chivalry.  For in Easter term, 8 Henry VI. William Clopton and William Galyon esquires, brought an action in the court of King’s Bench against Roger Bernerdeston, of Kedyngton, in the county of Suffolk, gentilman, and Robert Eland of Ratheby, in the county of Lincoln, gentilman, and Elizabeth his wife, for having caused, on Sunday next before the exaltation of the holy cross (14 Sept) 8 Henry VI. to be published and read at Kedyngton and Melford, in the county of Suffolk, two deeds, by virtue of which the said Robert and Elizabeth claimed the manor and advowson of Hawstede, to the disturbing of the said William and William in the possession of the same, to their damage of M£.

 Eland pretended that the said manor and advowson were granted and confirmed 17 Edward III. by Sir Robert Bretonn, knight, William de Rokelond, and Robert de Hildercle, to Sir John Fitz Eustace and Elizabeth his wife, and their heirs, in default of which to the heirs and assigns of the said John for ever.  And that by virtue of a letter of attorney from the said Sir Robert, William, and Robert, directed to Sir John de Welnetham, knight, Richard Freffell and Sir John de Bradefeld, rector of the church of Hausted, the said John and Elizabeth were put in full possession of the said manor and advowson.  That from the said John and Elizabeth the said manor and advowson descended to their son John, whose daughter Elizabeth was then the wife of him the said Robert Eland, who claimed the same in her right.  The deeds upon which he founded his claim were produced and read in court.

 There is one circumstance in the pleadings that may be worth remarking, which is that in an age when they were so careless in orthography, that if the name of a person or place was recited twice in the same deed, it was generally spelled two different ways, Eland should quibble about a letter alledging that he lived at Raytheby, and not at Ratheby, as set forth in his adversary’s bill.

 But even in this court this affair was not determined, but referred to arbitrators, whose award, though rather long, is too curious not to be transcribed.

 To all trew cristen men to whome this present writing cometh to, we Clement Denston, clerk, Richard Alred and Robert Peyton, we sendyn zou gretyng in God everlasting.  Know ze that whereas we the seyd Clement, Richard and Robert, arbitrators chosen, upon the right, title, and possession of the maner of Haustede, in the shir of Suff. with the appurtenances, and the avoyson of the chirch of the same towne, awardedyn be our dedes endented tripartite, which beren the date in the fest of Seynt Symond and Jude, the zer of regne of Kyng Harri the sixte after the conquest the xijthe.  Ther as the seid Robt. Eland shewith a dede endented and seyth, that the seid maner of Hawsted shuld be tailled to his wyfe; and William Clopton and William Galyon seyn that it is a fals dede and a forged, and theruppon they token axcion of forging of that dede in the Kynges Bench ageyn the said Rob. Eland, Elizabeth his wyf and Roger Berneston: and the seid Wm. Clopton and his counceill han shewed and declaryd to us the seyd arbitrators, that the maner of Hawsted with the appertenaces was zone to Sir John Fitz Eustace and tho Elizabeth his wyf, and to the heires of Sir John.  And the letter of attorne was according to that dede; and as Wm. Clopton seyth, that Eland or on for hym hath rased that dede, and newe wretyn it ayen, and made thereof a dede in the taille.  And Wm. Clopton and his counceyl declared that the dede that is untrewe is not of the hand in writing, ne of ynke of the letter of attorne, which letter is trewe in writing.  And ther as the dede and letter of attorne were put in daying divers tymes er than we the seid arbitraitors medlyd therwith; that is to sey, whan John Symond, recorder of London, and John Doreward squyer of Essex, Robert Caundish, Thomas Fulthorpe, and Wm. Goodred, sergeaunts of the lawe and other recordedyn, that it is the same dede that they sye; and Robert Caundysh seyth, he myght not have the dede of Eland to sen it out in the light ayenst the sonne, atte leyser.  And now we thre arbitrators han the dede, and mowe sen it ageyn the sonne at our leyser, we seyn how it was lyke to have be wrete beforn, and was rased of that letter, and sith wreten ther on azen with a dede and a feble ynke to seme old, and the ynke untrewly gommyd, that with esy handelyng the ynke wull faden, and weryn away: ther as the letter of attorne is wretyn with a trew ynke, and for any handelying wull last as a trew dede asketh.  Also we the seid arbitrators han full knowlich of all the olde men aboute Hausted, and of a worshipfull person that dwelled with Sir Wm. Clopton knyght, when he bought Hausted, that highte Sir Robert Clerk, seyde upon his deth bedde, that ther was never non suche tayle as the seid Robert Eland speketh of, ne non seisyn delyvered be none suche dede, ne never was taille of the maner of Hausted herd of, to any of the Fitz Eustach, but a taille to the heir malis, the which was made be syn to Fitz Eustach, and that was determyned as he seith.  And now we han the dede that the said Robert Eland shewed, and atte our leyser mowe sen it in the sonne, we have fully perceyved that it was lyke to have be wrete beforne tyme, and is now rased, and newe wretyn ageyn.  So that we the said arbitrators fully we knowe that it is an untrewe dede and forged.  Wherfor we the seid arbitrators awardyn that the seid William Clopton han that untrewe dede to cancelle it, and to don therewith as him lyst.  In wittenesse that this was our entent, and the cause of our award and accorde as for that article of the untrue dede, we the seyd Clement, Richard and Robert, arbitrators in the articles above reherced, han sette to our seeles.  Wretyn in the Fest of Seynt Symon and Jude, the zer of the regne of kyng Harry the Sixte after the Conquest the xijthe.

 All their three seals are entire.   That of Denston, who was archdeacon of Sudbury, is engraven, see the plate No. 3; the wolf and St. Edmund’s head appear towards the bottom.  Alred’s, a noble one, almost 1-1/2 inch in diameter, bears a chevron engrailed between three griffins heads erased; Peyton’s, a cross engrailed, in the dexter quarter a mullet. Plate 3:

 Thus was this tedious businesss finally arranged, and the charge of forgery retorted and proved upon Eland.

 During the time of this dispute, there seems to have been a manumission of the Nativi; for in a rental of 7 Henry V. is this: “jam sequitur de terris et tenementis modo demissis ad firmam, que quidem tenementa nativi tenentes ab antiquo tenuerunt.”  The manor this year was said to be of the clear yearly value of XLIj £ XV s. IX d. and half a pound of pepper.  This last was paid for a piece of land called eleven acres, near Gag’s Green, which lies at the northern extremity of the village.  Nowell’s Garden was let for X s. a year.

 William Clopton died in 1446, and was buried in Melford Church in this County, where his figure in armour lies on an altar monument within an arch, at the upper end of the North aile.  Within the arch are painted these escutcheons:

1. S a bend A. between 2 cotises dancette O.  Clopton
2. A lion rampant S fess compon. O and B.  Mylde
3. Clopton empaling A, in a chief V 2 mullets pierced O.  Drury
4. Clopton empaling G, a saltire between 4 crosses patte O.  Franceys.

He was succeeded by his son John Clopton of whom, as connected with this village, nothing occurs.  He was sheriff of the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk 30 Henry VI. Married Alice Darcy of Maldon, in Essex, and died advanced in years 13 Henry VII.  He and his wife are buried under an altar monument of grey marble, within an arch, on the N. side of the communion table at Melford, and at their heads are still remaining their portraits kneeling, painted small in fresco, with the arms of Clopton and Darcy (A 3 cinquefoils G) on their dress.  It should not be omitted that not long before his death, he was instrumental in at least repairing, perhaps rebuilding that most beautiful chapel, now used for a school at the E. end of Melford chancel.

 After his death, Sir Wm. Clopton his son became possessed of this manor; and 19 Henry VII. by the name of Sir Wm. Clopton of Melford, in the county of Suffolk, knight, son and heir of John Clopton, esquire, enfeoffed Sir Wm. Waldegrave, knight, Sir Robert Peyton, knight, and several others in it to the use of his will.  To this deed he affixed the seal of Francey’s, his grandmother being an heiress of that name; it is of red wax, near an inch in diameter, the shield is represented as hanging on a tree, which diverges at top into two round heads.

 The next year he sold the manor and advowson, with their appurtenances, to Sir Robert Drury, knight, in exchange for the manors of Hensted and Blomstons, in this county, and M marcs, CC of which were paid in hand; and the rest were to be paid by installments between the hours of nine and ten in the forenoon, at the rode altar in the church of the mastery at St. Edmund’s Bury.  The deed is dated 16 Nov. 20 Henry VII. and signed within the fold of the parchment, William Clopton, though it is only said that the parties have interchangeably set their seals.  The seal is broken off.  Several receipts on paper for the purchase-money are still extant, and signed “By me Wyllyam Clopton, knight.”  His seal, a ton, out of which issues some plant, perhaps a caltrop, which might be contracted to the first syllable of his name.  Sir William, 12 Feb. following, suffered a recovery of the manor, &c. to the use of Sir Robert Drury.  To this is appendant a seal of green wax, represented in the plate No. 1, and two days afterwards, John, Robert and William, sons of Sir William, released their title in the said manor, &c. to Sir Robert. Plate 1:

 Thus ceased this family’s interest here, after a continuance of better than 140 years; and the Drurys now engrossed almost the whole village.

 The Cloptons took their name from a village in this county, from which they were probably detached very early, as there is no record that mentions their having any possessions there.  William de Clopton had property at Wickhambrook, 43 Henry III. and his grandson Sir Thomas acquired the manor of Kentwell, in Melford, by marrying Catharine, the daugher and heiress of Wm. Mylde or Meld, who died 48 Henry III.  It was his brother Sir William who purchased this manor, and probably resided here; but his son selling it to William son of Sir Thomas, the family quitted this place, residing at their noble seat called Kentwell-Hall in Melford, where they continued til Sir William Clopton left an only daughter and heir married to Sir Simonds D’Ewes.  Their only daughter Sissilia, who died in 1661, was the wife of Sir Thomas Darcy, bart.  Soon after the Revolution, that estate was in Sir Thomas Robinson, bart. whose grandson Sir Thomas, early in this century, sold it to John More, alias Mould, esquire, whose descendants still possess it.

 A younger branch of the Cloptons had for some time been seated at Lyston, in Essex, about two miles off, where they continued till Poley Clopton, M.D. a batchelor, left that estate to his only sister, married to Edward Crispe, of Bury, esq.  They sold it to Wm. Campbell, esq, who now resides there.

 The name, I believe, became extinct by the death of Dr. Poley Clopton in 1730, who left the chief part of his estate for the founding an hospital at Bury, for six old men and six old women.  His sister died without issue; her niece Elizabeth Clopton was married in 1746 to the Rev. Mr. Gilbert Affleck, of Dalham, in this county who died in 1763; Hannah, another, was married to Martin Folkes, esq, of Chevely in Cambridgeshire; and the issue of those two matches are the representatives of this ancient and respectable family.

Note: Included here is Plate 10, an image from another chapter (yet to be transcribed) of the seal on a gold ring of Thomas Cullum who died 6 April, 1664, after whom a street was named in London. Within the gold ring is engraven the name of his friend, Ralph Ingram, with his own, apparently not an uncommon custom at the time. Plate 10:


DRURY pedigree charts from this book

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