A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles
William Shakespeare on Autolycus in A Winter’s Tale
An interview with old Mrs King by James Hopkins
A manuscript by James Hopkins which was in a book into which he was copying the old records; the second page of it shews the burials for 1761 on the facing page. The Rector enquired of her reminiscences which were mainly about five Pastors of the Meeting and of Venn Eyre in our Church. I have not yet checked the accuracy of her recollection of dates.
For the purpose of ascertaining the history of Stambourne as // as I cd. I called this day (Thursday 8th April 1813) on old Mrs King widow of the late Wm King who died 14 years ago viz: 24th March 1799. I found her in good health & considering that she is 76 years of age* wonderfully in possession of her faculties. She resides in a farm house on what is called Morley’s Farm near the meeting. Her *Maiden name was Price. She was brought up at The Slough the substance of her informatyion seems to be as follows:- Believes there was a meeting house or place of worship for dissenters at or on the farm called Newhouse now in possession of her son Wm King believes there were two dissenting teachers of the name of Havers [so I find the name written in Mr Bowyer’s Tithe Book] brothers [I find mention of a Mr Henry Havers buried October 5th 1707, the other Mr Havers dissenting teacher buried at the meeting 1723, in the old registers] does not recollect when the meeting was built. nor when the house continguous to it. Remembers a 3d Mr Havers (Henry) nephew to the preceding says he was 22 years dissenting preacher at Stambourn recollects their coming to visit a school which was kept at the Butcher’s Arms, rewarding the best answerers with fruit. recollects his funeral when she was only 12 years of age.] reckoning from 1737 the time of her birth Mr Havers died 1749 adding 22 years of his ministry to 1723 when his predecessor died his death must have been 1745] recollects the day of the month 2d Decr. Mr Mayhew succeeded him as teacher [I conjecture anno 1750]staid but 4 yrs having married a lady of Lynn in Norfolk who p[referred residing there Succeeded by Mr Hullum [I suppose about 1754] who staid 22 years left Stambourn [blot 1776] & died at Melford. Mr King was the next dissenting minister he staid 2 years and was succeeded Mr Benj.n Beddow  who died in June 1810 and was buried in the meeting next to Mr Henry Havers. Mrs King having pointed ou to the bricklayer where the latter had been interred. His successor was Mr Spurgeon who had been minister at Clare Suffolk thus as the old lady remarks she recollects 6 dissenting ministers in Stambourn
Having been always been brought to the meeting does not possess so much information respecting the church does not know who was Mr Bowyer’s predecessor always had an excellenmt character of him does not know whether he built any part of the parsonage in taking his tythe he received the farmers separately at his house or 2 or 3 togetherr rather than all together at an Inn at 7 or 8 oclock used to dismiss them with the observation that it was time for them to be at home.
Recollects Mr Eyre very well. Latterly was very intimate with his family latterly Mr E did not visit Stambourn at all died at Lynn was a magistrate and much occupied with magisterial duties Mr Frost lived at Stambourn Hall married a woman who had been servant to Mrs Lowe.
Her statements that she recalls both Mayhew & Eyre decamped to Lynn are questionable.; perhaps a confused recollection of an old mind. I shall endeavour to find some evidence there this Spring.
This report is referred to in both the list of Pastors in Chapter 4 and in the paragraph on Venn Eyre in Chapter 8
[The red spellings in the transcript I have not corrected as they may be Hopkins idiosyncrasies
Do the two * need footnotes?]
Georgina Heatley & Ralph Vaughan Williams
The ?????? of brief incumbency John Forster (185868) (M.A. corpus Christi) here raised six questions, one of which is discussed here
There is a note in the Folk Song Society’s library linking a visit by Georgina [Loxley] Heatley, in 1867 @ the age of four, to Stambourne with Ralph Vaughan Williams; does our village have a connection with the great composer ? The answer is no.
Georgina Heatley remembers an old woman singing old songs to her. One, Tony Kendall discovered the note which was published later by Frank Dineen. The songs were related in her old age to F.V.W at lectures he is reported to have held in Brentwood where Georgina ended her long life..
Why did she come here; with whom did she stay; who was the old lady?
Georgina was born in Brighton in 1863, the seventh child of the Revd Henry Davis Heatley M.A. & Marion [Heathcote]. She died in 1942.
Her father was born about 1820 the 3d s.o. Richard Heatley, gent. of St Dunstan’s in the East [a dockland parish]. He went to St John’s College, Oxon:, Matric: 21 June 1938, B.A. 1842; M.A. 1845 and was appointed Rector of Ingrave in 1867, the year Georgina came to Stambourne.
Her eldest brother, born about 1851, was Henry Richard who went to Keble; matric: 18 Oct 1870 aet 19 y; B.A.1874; M.A. 1877. In 1851 her father was a ” clerk, of Charlton, Dorset”.
Dr William Cole, who begins his note with ” 1867 is a long time ago ” has kindly written me of his association with R.V.W. Cole is unable to connect him with either the Queen’s Chapel, the Stambourne 1867 legend or indeed Brentwood.
Dineen, who now lives in Ingrave, points to a coincidence between the dates of Georgina’s father going there & Forster’s death here. Save they were both men of the cloth I see no significance in it.
In a further attempt to find a connection, I have painted a word picture of the village in this year which follows this note. I do not see that it answers the questions about her visit nor does it suggest that Rector Forster was any part of the story. ←L28
Parish Register Entries, St Thomas, Stambourne 1867
Sarah Ann Mickley 29 Sep
Willie Mickley 28 April
Laura Rebecca Coxshead 26 May
Margaret Ross 14 July
Miriam Mickley 29 Sep
Mary Parmenter 3 Feb
Robt Cooper Smith 16 March aet 76 Churchwarden
James Lawsey 21 April
John Parmenter 2 June aet 83 Parish Clerk
Abraham Playl 10 June
Fredk Ashard 8 Aug
Robt Hale 15 Aug
John Hales 1 March 1868 aet 64 Killed by a horse
Smart/Ashard Brown/Bligh JF 1 Jan
Melton/Rulton Crick 11 Jan
Hardy/Hales Hasler 27 Jan
Humphry/Wiffen Lewsey 13 Feby
Wesley/Harvey Dickens/Dickens Richd Warren 19 July
Metson/Bunton Coote Xmas Day
All of Stambourne
Church repairs 1871 & 1874 – about 100 of the Great, the Good & Local Gentry & parishioners contributed – none of their names is in the Heatley connection.
27 April 1869 – Rosalie Forster & Edward Goodall Dawson were witnesses to Laura F & Ben Smith.
Annex 1: The state of the village in 1867
During the incumbency of John Forster when Georgina Heatley came to stay.
The Railway reached Great Yeldham, the largest nearby village which shares a NE/SW border with us, five years earlier in 1862. It never came on to Stambourne.
Our population was around its peak at 550 souls.
It was an almost exclusively farming village with a small strawplatting [plaiting?]industry; I take this to mean hatmaking. It died out very soon after.
There were several shops and tradesmaen such as a cobbler; a postal point was instituted about this time.
It was and is, a substantially nonconformist area; the ratio of attenders at Sunday worship was about two to one.
There were only six moderately large houses; two were hostelries, one was a manse, there was the Queen Anne Rectory, the Tudor Hall and the recently built Georgian Hill Farm. Many of the smaller houses were very old and most were thatched.
The Hall was occupied by three generations of Lewis Fry, a distant sprig of the Bristol Quaker cocoa family. At this time they gave a piece of land for the building of the school and later enlarged it. They did not attend our church.
A complex Bowyer, Sparrow, Lewsey family, much given to intermarriage, held the Red Lion Inn. This XVc building was formerly Moone Hall, one of the three manor houses. There was a smithy in the grounds.
There are scant records of the Butcher’s Arms, now the White House.
The Ruffles Family held Church Farm and contributed largely to the Restoration of the Church when it was undertaken 6 years later; at this time it was in a poor condition.
Barker Myall, had recently left the Hall to occupy his new ‘mansion’ in Stambourne Green; this has already completely disappeared and details are unknown.
Hill Farm was held by Unwins.
John Cooper Houchin was the Pastor and was 48 y.o.; he seems to have been a nice man, though no academic. His small memoir is largely just a few prayers.
Save Forster, none of the names in the Ingrave story appears in our registers.
Most of these people would have had servants though there were remarkably few in the 1881 census. Presumably Georgina’s old lady was one of these or perhaps a member of one of the families keeping an Inn. I have found no hint of a musical family; the church had a minstrels gallery but no organ.
I feel sure there are no more documentary sources hidden in Stambourne. In 1994 I wrote that I should investigate further; I have no success here, in Ingrave or elsewhere. It is said that at the time of the formation of the double benefice in 1952 and the sale of our Rectory, many papers were thrown away; there is oral tradition that the final unique incumbent was ill in his last years.
St Catherine’s College; a three-part connection
There is a connection between Stambourne & Aula Sancta Katerina, now St Catherine’s College, with three strands extending over three centuries. These are:
Dr Woodlark founded the Hall in 1473 & purchased Ridgewell Vicarage to fund it.
Reginald Bainbrigge, Master from 1526, was our Rector for the next six years.
There is a possible connection between him & Queen Anne of Cleves; my notes on this are in annex 2; it must be regarded as unproven.
Henry Havers and his son both were students there in 16401660
This connection was elaborated in a guest talk in August 1993 and my text forms annex 3.
Annex 2i: Anne Of Cleves & Rector Bainbridge
Vol: Rectors File: Cleves Ho Page 9.4 Annex 2 pt 1
Some Notes from P.GM Dickinson’s Little Guide,[6th edition rewritten in 1957] on the Vicarage, Hamlet Road. Haverhill, which is now called Anne of Cleves House, to which 1 surmise Bainbridge may have been a visitor. Vol:Rectors. File ClevesHo(use)
The Vicarage. in Hamlet Road, anciently the manor house of the Beaumonts. was built about 1656 and was luckily too far our of the town to be affected by the great fire [of 1665]. It has some very fine brick chimneys., some excellent panelling in the interior and is noteworthy for the singular arched veranda of the Gothic revival which hides the facade facing, the road.
The veranda has now been removed but was I think seen by Dan Pillar; certainly he knew it was a Vicarage. The front now looks to me to be Elizabethan as do the chimneys.
Annex 2ii: Anne Of Cleves & Haverhill
FileAnne of Cleves & Haverhill.. Vol:Persons Annex 2:ii 9.#4 to be connected
The former vicarage @ the East Endof the High Street of Haverhill now bears a plaque saying it was the property, of the Queen. she was divorced June 1540 & received a large property settlement. The High Street is a former Roman Road though the Blue Guide calls it Hamlet Road.
Data from Queens of England by Agnes Strickland.. vol IV of XV,`,. Ath.. Lib, DA282 S91
Anne died 15 July in Chelsea Palace; H VIII died 1547
p362 H VII1 exchanges Bisham (Norfolk ?) for Westropp. Suffolk,, and adjoining manors on
viii Jan M.Vo 1.iii [is this idiosyncrasy for 1547 as in XVc plus 50 minus 3]
Penshurst; Bletchingley., Hever; Dartford; Blackfriars, Denham. Hall, Essex from, 1541 on
As none of these is Haverhill (Risbridge hundred no 29) could it count as adjoining Westropp = West Thorpe (Hartismere hundred no 22)? None of them is Cookley (Blything hundred no 26) either, which PGMD does say H VIII did give her. They are 20 mi apart and Haverhill is 50 rni away in the SW” corner.
p366 Her will does not mention any property by name
Kathleen Duchess of Suffolk 4th wife, of Chas Brandon was left a massive diamond
There was also a letter from her asking Edward VI to confirm his father’s grants but it did not give any more precise geography.
Conclusion: none of the named properties can be thought of as being in Haverhill. but neither can any of them be said to be adjoining West Thorpe. This was indeed a royal fief & Cookley did pay Kings tax. There is however a marked concentration of her property in Suffolk.
Is there a fuller list of her properties anywhere ?
Notes from A Shell Guide Suffolk Norman Scarfe New edition 1976
p 97. Haverhill pronounced Hayveril. Former Vicarage has splendid Tudor chimneys & queer cockney Gothic front, decaying disgracefully.
He does not mention Cookley, Westhrop nor Queen Anne.
This annex ends with two pages of Domesday notes which do little to clarify the problem.
Annex 2iii: Suffolk Domesday by J H = Lord John Hervey: 1889-91; Bury Free Press: Library; LDB Suffolk
This near anonymous translation from the Ipswich Library [942.64] is re-arranged in hundreds & so is fairly very easy to follow. The paperback covers of the original parts are bound at the end of each of the 2 volumes as a sort of index in alphabetical order.
Blything Hundred p33 Free-men under Roger Bigot
p33 In Cookley Goodrich, a freeman held 30 acres; & Wulsin, Roger Bigot’s predecessor had the third part of the commendation & Wulsin’s 2 brothers had the 2 ………Always 2 bordars. 1 plough team 2ac meadow wood for 7 hogs Val 4s The King & the Earl have soche Robt de Vallibus holds of Roger Bigot
p37 Wm of Scoies has the manor of Cookley…. A long entry v.i. Phillimore who translates the |doB?? word Écouis….He pays the King’s gelt 7.5d
[Thorpe is nearby though West Thorp is 20 mi NE]
Hartismere Hundred p9 Lands of Robert Malet. In Suffolk
p9 At Westhorp (Westorp in Latin text) – Hubert holds of Robert Maslet 42 ac t.r.e. 3 bordars 1 plough 1.5 ac meadow val 10/- under him 4 freemen held 12 ac
Moreover in Westhorp (Westor) 4 freemen…Edric…28 ac 1 plough 1 ac m 4/-; now 5/-
p17 In Westhorp (Westur) 3 freemen and a half (!!) 30 ac 1 plough 1 ac m 50d; now 5/- The King & the Earl have Soche Abbot claims 1 Ordric c 10 ac others of Ulric of Eudo s o Spiruit
p45 Lands of Peter de Valoigne
In Westhorp (West Torp) a freeman, Alti 9 ac wood 2 hogs val 18d
Lands of Walter the Deacon
In Westhorp (Westorp) Britric a freeman under commendation held 6 ac val 12d
p47 Lands of Eudo s o Spiruic [v.s.]
In Westhorp (Westorp) Geoffrey now; Ulricus Hagana 1 carucate as a manor; 17 men 100 beasts t.r.e. [a long entry] of 20/- to 30/- for 35 ac St Edmund t.r.e. had both soche &* sache – can neither give away or sell it away from the church
Annex 2iv: Phillimore’ LDB Suffolk 2 vols; Anne of CLEVES?;lib;ldbsuff2
Cookley in Blythburgh Hundred
Chapter 7 Lands of Roger Bigot
24 As in JH Soche is jurisdiction. Roger de vals is tr Vaux
3 Wm of Écouis has the manor; Wulfric t.r.e. 6 car: 6 vill; 11 smlhldr; 1 slave; 2 lords, 2 mens ploughswood 80 pigs; meadow 6 ac; 1 mill; 2 cobs; 50 animals
half church with 1 ac
Huard of Vernone & Robt of Vaux are residents of this manor 50s: 80s 14 x 7 furlongs
It pays 7.5d in the King’s tax
Haverhill in Risbridge Hundred
Chap 14 Land of St Edmund’s
160 2 freemen; 5 ac St E has jurisdiction and patronage
Chap 16 Bp of Bayeux
1 24 ac; 3s Tihel from Bp St E has the 6 forfeitures
Chap 25 Richard s o Ct Gilbert
82 Fridebern + 6 have 80 ac Payne also holds this
95 13 freemen: 60 ac 30s
102 2 fmn: 26 ac 4.5s 6 forfeitures of St E as we said above = ut ſup(er)ius diximus
Chap 42 Tihel of Hellean (Herion)
2 Clarenbold t.r.e. 1 by half league 37 men 40s 5 ac belonging to the church Others hold here
West Thorp in Hartismere Hundred
Chap 6 Robert Malet
58 see JH
60 see JH plus 1 freeman 7 ac 14d he could not sell his land
210 see JH PH tr Spirwic
Chap 14 St Edmund’s
132 8 freemen under the patronage of the Abbot 60 ac 10s In the same 1 man 7 ac 14d he could not sell
142 1 fmn belonging to St E 1 ac 2d
I did not see these St E’s lands in JH
Chap 37 Peter of Valognes
7 as JH who uses Alti which PH has as Auti
Chap 41 Walter the Deacon
9 Britric as in JH but he was under P de V v.s.
Chap 53 Eudo s o Spirwic
6 as JH
Chap 66 Robert Blunt
14 In Westhorpe [Westturp] 4 fmn under the patronage of Aki tre 4.5 ac Val 16d [not in JH]
Annex 3: A talk @ St Catherines College in 1993
There is a link with three main strands dating from its very foundation as Katherine Hall, Aula Sancta Katerina and the tiny Essex village in which we live in a seventeenth century labourer’s thatched cottage and act as officers of the Norman Church of Saints Peter & Thomas Becket.
Our Roman conquerors built a road from Cambridge towards their capital of Camulodomum which is now Colchester. The village of Ridgewell, or Redeswell, is half a day’s ride away; Stambourne adjoins it. Our solid tower was built early in the reign of our next conqueror, William the Bastard, and is almost unchanged today. An early English nave was soon added for the population of some one hundred souls; there are little more than twice as many now.
When Dr Woodlark founded the Hall in the year of our Lord 1473 he purchased for 3 130 the Vicarage of Ridgewell to give it income. Curiously, two large Ridgewell farms lie within our parish boundaries. They yielded 3 5 3s 4d this odd sum of three shillings and fourpence was a common unit for it was one quarter of an ancient English Mark. As late as 1861 the Vicar of Ridgewell had a vote in the election of the Master; his candidate lost. Another early connection was that Queens College, which provided some of the land on which the Hall was built, had just purchased land in Stambourne.
We move on half a century to just before King Henry VIII formed the Anglican Church, sacking the Pope and making himself its head. The Pop refused him leave to divorce his Queen, Catherine of Aragon. The King also dissolved and appropriated the property of our monasteries together with some colleges; happily not St Catherine’s. The registers shew rents from the village of Stoke, where the College of Canons was dissolved and also that the Dean, Dr Robert Sturton, had paid for masses for his soul to be said here. Now this same Dean had the duty to appoint a priest to SS Peter & Thomas in return for which he received the first year’s income, a custom known as first fruits. In 1526 Dr Sturton appointed Reginald Bainbrigg, later seventh Master of Catherine Hall, to us. In thus looking to his souls as well as to his purse he got a poor deal because Henry VIII abolished the mass too though as it was restored by his daughter Queen Mary I perhaps the Dean didnot spend too long in purgatory. Why should the important Master of an ancient foundation accept the cure of a tiny farming village some distance away ? Answer: money. The King had had made a survey called Valor Ecclesiasticus. This Hall, which his scribes spelt with a K and no H was worth £ 59 14s 9d; this precise sum must have been lifted from its own account books. The Master’s stipend was however only five pounds. Unlike Ridgewell’s Vicar, our priest has always been a Rector with a right to the parish income. The Valor records us as having £ 10 0s 0d, so, after paying a clerk to most, if not all, his work here the Mast has doubled his income. Over twelve years he collected five valuable Essex parishes as well as a stall in Wells Cathedral. It would be quite possible for a fit horseman he was aet.32 at the time to ride to Stambourne on Saturday, take early Mass and preach at mattins on Sunday and still be back at High Table for dinner. On his Essex journeys he would pass a fine Tudor mansion which bears a plaque saying it was the house of Queen Anne of Cleves; to this day its door opens on to the highway the Romans built. This Anne was the second of his queens that King Henry had divorced he was disappointed by ‘ The Flanders Mare ‘ but her generous settlement did include several Suffolk manors. A senior cleric would be a welcome visitor to this highborn and lonely lady. It is quite probable that he did know her for it was his patron, The Bishop of Wells, that was sent by Henry to the Duke with the news of the annulment and Bishop Clerk was poisoned at Dunkerque on his way home for his pains. The mansion is now a home for elderly ladies plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose. Surprisingly, his University never gave Bainbrigg a doctorate none of our five and fifty Rectors has had one. His lasting memorial here is to have doubled the size of the church; it remains just as he left it. The Lord of the Manor paid for the work but it was doubtless the Rector & his Cambridge colleagues that planned and arranged the execution of it.
Our greatest treasure is the Great East Window he installed. Much of it was smashed by the puritans but their remain two donor figures and the entire top five lights twenty feet from the sanctuary floor. These have heraldic shields of the MackWilliam family hung on trees by a brook with stepping stones, for Stambourne, and reeds for Ridgewell. At the very peak of the window are two figures in white clerical habits. There is no hard evidencce who these may be but I think we have a likeness of Master Bainbrigg, our Rector, and perhaps too of Dr Sturton.
The third strand was woven at the time of the Civil War. A hard day’s ride, this time, down the Roman road to London lies the old town of Harlow. It now takes half an hour by motorway. In nearby Matching lived Farmer Haver with his son Henry. Though illiterate, the farmer was trying hard; he signed his will not with just a mark but with two florid crosses. He sent Henry here as a sizar, a kind of working student. It was probably Master Bainbrigg who changed the Hall from a Fellows Club into an undergraduate College. The Fellows were said to be served by ‘gownd waiting men, little dirty paw’d sizars’ Their fees were only £ 2 as against £ 16 for a nobleman and it may be that our Henry Havers, who had acquired a terminal S in college, was a bible clerk with few menial duties. If so his main task would be to read lessons at meals for which he got eight pence per week with another fourpence yearly for attending chapel. At this time a lady living in Holborn, a part of London where we have our flat, left an estate to provide five pounds per annum for each of four poor scholars. As that estate was in Harlow Henry may well have been one of them and been quite comfortably off. The Master, Richard Sibbes, ‘was inclined to Puritanism’ and young Oliver Cromwell was a fellow student this was the eldest son of the Protector who won the Civil War and executed King Charles I. Clearly our Henry was nonconformist from his early days and when he had gained his B.A. he became chaplain to the Earl of Warwick who fought with Cromwell. In 1652 Cromwell, who had appropriated our Rectory from the dead king, gave it to Henry Havers under the Great Seal; he was to stay in our village until his death in 1707.
The next Master, with the similar name of Ralph Brownrigge, was a ‘sympathiser alike of the Church of England, Presbyterianism and Calvinism’ but was in fact sacked for preaching in support of the King. This may explain why our Henry never returned to make his M.A. Clearly, at this time, the college was a broadminded institution.
At the end of the war our Rectory reverted to the Crown but Havers had sound legal title to his cure. However, in 1662 he sacked himself by refusing to sign the Act of Uniformity. Some other Acts should have compelled him to move away but he simply refused to comply we have stories of his having a moat around his NewHouse Farm and of hiding from searching soldiers in a brewing kiln and he stayed with us preaching to his own presbyterian flock till his death at the age of 87. He was a great and good man.
He had three sons. The first, Henry of course, probably came to St Catherine’s. The second, Philip, who was later convicted of perjury, claimed an M.A. but I find no record of his having earned it. Philip did have son , another Henry, who did obtain an M.A. from here. These three Henrys served the NonConformist Stambourne Meeting from 1662 to 1745 so that it became, and remains a stronger force in our village than the Anglican congregation. The second Henry built the first Chapel in 1717 but it has twice been replaced.
I am surprised not to find the third son, Clopton Havers, in the College History for his is an international name. He came here to matriculate but left without taking a degree. This may have been because of his father’s disgrace at the Restoration or because of Philip’s dirty business. He then went to Ghent, Gant, in Belgium and proceeded M.D. As a Student I knew of his work on the blood supply of bone twenty years before I came to Stambourne and found his birth entered in our register. It is quite possible that the great microscopist Antonious van Leeuwenhoek saw the Haversian canals a year or two before Havers described them perhaps this upright College had some doubts of him. On his return he married Dorcas Fuller and joined the College of Physicians; as he had did not have a Cambridge degree he was not eligible for an English M.D. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, still the greatest scientific honour this country can bestow, during the presidency of Samuel Pepys. The election was hotly contested: this family was not popular with the Establishment. With Master Bainbrigg he has one of the the two entries our tiny village has in the Dictionary of National Biography. He returned several times when his father was ill and was, I am sure, a good man. He was my only predecessor in the village with an M.D. He is also our only known connection with New England for, through his mother Dorothy Clopton, he was distantly related to the first Governor of Massachusetts.
I have now given you three connections between our Saxon village and this ancient College; that of the founder, the seventh Master, and a family of students at the time of the Commonwealth. They have all had a permanent and benign influence on the two major buildings and the practice of worship in them. In an insubstantial way, my son Jonathan and I have kept that connection alive.
I leave you with some words that will have been used by Master Bainbrigg in both places. Freely translated from the College Grace, they are:
Peace be with you
Queens’ College & the Stambourn family: landowners here
From the late XVc until the early part of the XXth Queen’s College, Cambridge ownes a large estate in the village. The information is largely contained in :
A Collection of Essex Deeds at Queens’ College, Cambridge Trans. Essex Arch: Soc: XXns
78 1933; they were translated & transcribed by the Revd J . F. Williams
The Estate was bought from Thomas Stambourn of Black Notley, gent, so the geographical title had become a family name by 25 Feb 1483/4, the date of the final transfer.
It is described as ” a messuage, 100 a arable land, 2 a meadow, 50 a of pasture & 20 a of wood in Brodbroke, Stanborn & Rodeswell” in almost identical terms in several places..
I have a sale map of 1903 showing land belonging to Queens’ College in Chapel End Way. The property probably extended from near the parcel of ‘Wast’ that became the Chapel Yard into Ridgewell Norton.
I began to list the deeds but have done only these first three; Williams’ text cannot be bettered. I have completed a list of all the names that appear in it; the earlier deeds have witnesses too. It is in ch. 3
Deed #1 Richard de Ewell & his s Ric grant to Philip de Stanburn land of Wm s o Ric de Briderok
Witnesses: Wm Peyur John Bucher Ric & Geof Bathun [others not of Stamborn[
#2 Wm s o John Peyur of Stn to Stephen Mots of the same of tnmt Hy Chote held of Wm s o Paul Peyur
Ws: John de Stamburn; 5 others sine address
#3 Grant to John Wellwrythe of Stanborn
24 Feb 1351
The mother of Henry VI, whose two queens, Margaret of Anjou and Elizabeth Woodville, were the successive patrons of the College, was christened Catherine. In 1472 she bought a property
over against Whitefriars in Milner Street.
It is worth checking whether either College is a Whitefriars foundation (particularly in relation to our two whiterobed priests) and whether this had any bearing on the twin coincidences of the origin of the land for the Aula and their both having an interest in the same tiny village.
From the Church at Hoo, East Suffolk 30 years ago.
Pause ere thou enter traveller & bethink thee
How Holy, yet how homelike is this place:
Time that thou spendest humbly here shall link thee
With men unknown who once were of thy race.
This is thy Father’s house: to Him address thee
Whom here his children worhsip face to face
He at thy coming with peace will bless thee
Thy going out make joyful with His grace
This metre was copied & illuminated By Mrs Norma Brenneman @ Thanksgiving in 1978.
She hung it in the porch of SS Peter & Thomas Becket where it stayed for more than a quarter of a century when the wardens had to remove it to prevent its being vandalised. It now, in February 1995, hangs framed near the Font.
The Stambourne Singers
This group was formed by Tim & Widget Finn in the autumn of 1973, primarily out of a shared interest in madrigal singing. Tim was attached to Boosey & Hawkes. The Finns owned Church Farm House [which they had renamed the Parsonage] immediately opposite the Church so it was natural they should wish to use the building and the organ. The connection prospered with the increasing skill of the members and the ecclesiastical authority was most fortunate in their wish to help at festival services. Some pieces such as unusual carols and the anthem Beatus Vir were heard several times and we came to feel they belonged to us.
The situation remained much the same for a decade and a most succesful tenth anniversary concert was held in the church. Thereafter the Finns left Stambourne but the Singers continued to use the name. When Christopher & Margaret Jones, both later to become Methodist ministers, bought Church Farm the connection was happily reestablished. When they too moved away the association was formalised by the church providing permanent storage facitlities for them in the cleared Tower, wherein they practised. At about this time a second decade Twentieth anniversary concert was held in 1993.
On 13 October 1996 Michael Horne, one of many conductors to follow the founder , wrote a Carol for us. This Stambourne Carol, of which the first line is [sadly inapproriately, see ch.7]
Stambourne Bells for ever ringing, in the frosty midnight air
is marked copyright on my printed copy. I have not received a reply to my request to include it here.
The village has two war memorials. The standing cross built by public subscription in 1918 is in the SW part of the churchyard and it is here that Remembrance Sunday, as it now is, is celebrated yearly. The other is a nicely carved and prepared marble plaque on the north wall of the Congregational chapel at its east end. Interestingly, the two lists differ.
On the base of the cross are carved the names:
On the plaque the names are :
Fred Metson 1915
Thos Metson 1915
Ernest Drew 1915
Harry Drew 1916
Frank Metson 1918
Charles Tubbard 1917
The explanation sent me by the late Revd Wilfred Potts is that his congregation was not restricted to the ecclesiastical parish, which in 1918 was the same as the civil one, but was drawn from geographically surrounding dwellings. The chapel being on the northern boundary of the village a substantial number came from Birdbrook and some too from Cornish Hall End.
By the Grace of God, none was added after the war of 19391945 nor in any of the conflicts since. There is a folk memory of a Seaman named Edward Bond having worked here before enlisting but the admiralty records do not record his death in action that is recalled by these senior parishioners.
C.R.Pyman and his coach business
In his pictorial record of his long service to the village as a farmer and officer of the parish Council, Derrick Johnson includes four reproductions of cards illustrating this enterprise. His text is:
C.R.Pyman started his coach business in 1929 with a 1925 Chevrolet 14 seater pictured top left. He then decided he needed a larger bus so he purchased a 20 seater Commer Centaur 1935 model which is the very top photograph which he used all through the last war, seen in the photo with blackout masks in 1943. In 1946 he purchased a new 30 seater utility bus second left and his last coach before he retired was a 1952 Bedford Vega bottom left.
The Pymans are still an influential family in the village but their transport business is now made up of several enormous, perhaps 43 tonner, freight lorries.
Green Farm Brick Works
Adrian CorderBirch traced the history of this enterprise about a decade ago in I think, the Essex Review. Some of these notes are from recollections of that publication, the others from our records.
1844, December 27 Thomas Barham, brickmaker of Haverhill m. Maria Peacock of Stambourne
1858, January 9 Ezekiel appears as a bricklayer
1859, 15 October Richard Owen of Toppesfield is a Bricklayer
In the latter part of the XIXc George Ruffle owned Green Farm, which is a part of what I have called our fourth estate or division. The 1861 census shows he farmed 197 acres employing 9 men and two boys, so it must have been nearly the whole of that area. In the 1860s and onwards he made bricks and tiles there.
The 1871 census has:
William Ship, a brickmaker, living @ Brick Field, Stambourne Green
Isaac Ambrose Ashard, aet 19 y., a brick maker living @ Dyers End
Jeremiah Ashard, aet 14 y. his brother, a brickmaker’s boy
In 1875 Isaac was employed at Potters Hall Brick Works in Great Yeldham.
The 1881 census has:
Samuel Clarke, aet 30, born Castle Hedingham, a brickmaker living @ The Brick Yard here.
1914, 12 April Allan Ruggles of Pound House, Dyers End, is a bricklayer as is his son Percy.
1920, 11 September Ben Symonds is a bricklayer of Birdbrook.
George Ruffle died about 1895; this was in the period 189096 when RiceJones failed to complete the burial register and we have no record of the date. The Farm and brickworks were sold the following year when there were 20,000 one and a half inch pipes and 50,000 coping tiles and bricks in stock.
George Jarvis Unwin of Baythorne Hall [which fine old timbered house is still owned by the family] bought the farm but the works was closed. It was always small and appears to have occupied 1.786 acres of the NW corner of field 114. There are remarkably few brick structures in the village, the most striking being the stables in Mill Road, now part of the new house built by George Argent in the 1980s. The massive brickwork of the Prudential building in High Holborn was made of Hedingham brick, to transport which a railway sidingwas built; it may well be that Ruffle had a similar outlet.
Annex 4: Pyman’s Coaches
The photocopy I have is very dark. Do we have anything better? The original p/cards???
Annex 5: The Brickworks at Stambourne Green and Green Farm
A list of known Sale Catalogues in the Essex Record Office & elsewhere
B 5401 1953 Essex Hall Farm, part of Essex Hall Estate with a plan including a cottage
B 1527 1887 Newhouse Farm; 67 acres. The deeds begin in 1831; it casts no light on whether
Henry Havers built or bought it around 16624
B 642 is another copy
B 3117 1911 Newhouse Farm; 70 acres
Great Tagley Dairy Farm; 224 acres
1908/9 Samuel Joseph & Daisy Eleanor Smith are shewn as living @ New house Farm
Little Tagley cottage
D/Du 1891 205/197 1st edition 14 cottages marked up copy with a plan
Manor of Ridgewell & 5 cotts @ Stambourne Green & land @ 3 Chimneys
The names of Chaplin, E.W.Cock & Theophilus Cock are mentioned
JBE c.1900 Chapel End Way shewing property of Queens College.
JBE c.1900 Sale of Berwick Hall; near one edge our church is shewn dedicated only to
Federation of Essex Women’s Institutes
In March 1992 the Village W.I. belonged, as it had for many years, to the Federation. Shortly thereafter the group, though still thriving, found the burden of the subscription too great and resigned from it. One of its last activities was to provide a description of the village for its annual publication; this is the text I provided with minor alterations to bring it up to date the rate of change is amazing.
This rural village of Stambourne, first recorded in Little Domesday, lies fifty miles to the northeast of London along the Roding Road 13 miles past Great Dunmow. Almost on the Suffolk border, it is ten miles from both Braintree & Sudbury. It has retained its sense of isolation by being distant from any large centre or main route. It never has a railway station and the three now nearest to it are each some twenty miles away.
The name, from the anglosaxon roots stan and burn for stony brook, probably derives from the two large flat stepping stones in the rivulet below the church. It is commemorated, perhaps uniquely, in their depiction, along with reads (reeds?) for adjacent Ridgewell, in the heads of the very fine XVIc heraldic stained glass in the magnificent East Window in the Norman church
It is a street village on the Hplan. Its centre was devoid of substantial dwellings, other than two of the three manor houses and the old Rectory, until after the last war. There is now some one hundred houses of which thirty are of the XVIIc, though only eight are still thatched. The Hall and the Red Lion Inn [since reverted to its original name of Moone Hall] have much Elizabethan oak construction. The Inn housed the courts. The third manor, Grenvilles, is now represented by a cottage, completely rebuilt, at which time its moat was filled in, on the Yeldham road. It too has some massive old beams. The population of about 250 is well down on its Victorian peak of 577 in the 1871 census but the three dozen horses are the highest number for decades; though only (one?) is a carthorse and he is retired.
This remains mainly a farming village though only a few men now work the machines; much is contracted out. Many hedgerows have been destroyed, for there are no sheep and few [currently none]cattle but the field names and boundaries are much the same as they were in the 1837 Tithe survey. The livery stables and the transport company are the only commerce. Neither Inn and no beer shop now survives and a parttime Post Office is the only survivor of the seven shops and two blacksmiths previously recorded. Amateur Groups include the Stambourne Players, the Singers and a flourishing Canine Academy which draw on neighbouring villagers. The archery club, which was revived for several years, met on Sunday mornings in conformity with the Act Of Henry VII which has never been repealed. The school closed in 1952 and combined with Toppesfield; our schoolhouse became the village hall. The benefice is now one of the group of five Upper Colne Parishes.
The finest monument is the impressive squat Norman tower of the Church of St Peter & St Thomas Becket. It is mainly of local flint with saxon traces and Roman bricks; it was built soon after the conquest, probably in 1085 A.D. The first written record is of the advowson in 1174 and some early clerics are listed; the first Rector, perhaps Lay, was Robert de Redeswell who appears in a de Banco Roll in 1277. It has a good claim to be the oldest building to be in continuous liturgical use in the area. Nothing is known of the XIIIc nave with its massive beams resting on allegorically carved supports. In 1530 60 the MackWilliams added the chancel, north chapel and aisle and the south Porch; many of their rose, rose bush and thumbscrew badges and their motto Espoir me confort can be seen. The lychgate, with its unusual transverse roof, was the bequest of Rector Lawrence Pickles. The Registers are continuous from 1559 with remarkably few gaps.
Our greatest treasure is the medieval stained glass in the East window with its heraldic pedigree of the MackWilliams. Sadly, only two of their portraits survive in it, those of the donor’s father, Henry & his mother, Elizabeth Hartishorn. There are four painted portraits on the surviving prereformation panels of the left hand side of the much restored screen Saints George, Denys & Edmund and that of King Henry VI (142271) known as the Saint of Lancaster. The Coat of Arms is early George III; 1767 carved into the stonework may suggest its date. It is in remarkable condition with its original colours; only the black pigment needed touching in when it was restored & remounted in 1985.
There are two squints from the north aisle to the altar which are probably for lepers, rather than officiating priests, since they date from the time when this was an external wall. In 1992 the north chapel and the tower main chamber have been restored, this being refloored with ancient gravestones removed from the churchyard in 1952.
This was a Nonconformist area from well before the Civil War. The Revd Henry Havers B.A., Rector 16511662, formally founded the Meeting when he was ejected under the Bartholomew Act. He left the village only for short periods and was preaching regularly here until his death in 1707 AD. He was buried by his successor in the churchyard for the first chapel was not built until 1716/17 on a ‘parcel of the Wast’ granted his son, also Henry, in 1710. A third Henry continued the presbyterian Ministry making a total family pastorate of eightysix years. Clopton Havers, son of the first Henry, was the village’s most famous resident. His name is know to every medical student from his description of the Haversian canals of bone and he was elected an early Fellow of the Royal Society during the presidency of Samuel Pepys. The present chapel dates from 1966 & is the third on the site.
The early history of the village records several famous names. Hamo (the steward) Dapifer owned much of it and was known as the ‘Companion of the Conqueror.’ Geoffrey de Mandeville was the first Earl of Essex and owned Moone Hall. The Grenvilles owned the third of the manors and presented the church to the Priory of Stoke. The remaining part of the village belonged to the de Stanburns who were possibly descended from the Freeman Alstan of Domesday.
The three manors were united by the MackWilliams in 1420. Isabella MackWilliam married Sir John Seymour of Canonbury Tower and was mother to Protector Seymour, the first Duke of Somerset who built the House. The family died out when the last Henry MackWilliam was killed in a duel in 1599. No major events nor the residence of any armigerous person seems to have disturbed the peace of the village since. The first titled resident known to have been buried here is Dame Gwen ffrançonDavis who died in her hundred and first year having enjoyed the unique experience of being honoured by Her Majesty as a centenarian.
There are two War Memorials to the 191418 War, a cross in the churchyard and a plaque on the wall of the chapel. Interestingly, the names on them differ since many of the Congregational members came from nearby Birdbrook outside the parish. By the Grace of God none has had to be added since that time.
Annex 6: Emily Martin’s Sampler
Sampler made by Emily d o Wm & Emma Martin born 9 Aug 1878 baptised 20 Dec 1891 by D R-J. She was 12 years old.
Was later Mrs Kent but Stambourne has no record of marriage or death/burial.
Annex 8: Blacksmith’s mark
End(s?) beaten thin
Blacksmith’s mark found on a bar 1 metre x 30 mm x 4 mm said to be in Shand’s field by Michael Shelton 7th Aug 1988 – ? a door bar similar to those @ The Grange.
Annex 9: Ellen Martin’s Certificate