Ilketshall St. John

Pages 161-163

The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk: Volume 1. Originally published by WS Crowell, Ipswich, 1846.

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This is a small parish, containing about 740 acres of land, with a population of only 71 souls, according to the last census. It is now the manor of the Rev. Jeremy Day, of Hetherset.

The advowson of St. John's Church was conveyed in the year 1267, by Sir James de Ilketshall, with one acre of land, which he held of Robert de Meynwaryn, to the Prioress of Bungay; whose successor, with monastic rapacity, obtained its appropriation in 1307, as has been already shown. It passed with the other possessions of Bungay Nunnery, in the sixteenth century, to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, and lapsed to the Crown, on the attainder of his unfortunate grandson, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It has never been re-granted; and is one of the Crown livings in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor.

There is an ancient and singular intrenchment in this parish, about three quarters of a mile eastward of the church, which consists of a conical hill encircled by a moat, and strengthened with a breastwork and outer ditch on the south. The hill, which is now not more than fifteen feet high, is about ninety feet in diameter at the base; and the breastwork measures one hundred and eighty-six feet, from east to west, which is its greatest extent, projecting only one hundred and eleven to the south. The whole site is closely planted with trees and underwood. Though decidedly not a Roman work, its position near the Roman road, called Stone-street, proves it to have been a speculatory fort, some how or other connected with that military way. It was probably raised by the Danes, who had a more important fortress on the north side of the river, at Earsham. A spoon, part of a brooch, and a spur, all of brass, have been dug up on the mound, but they are of an age many centuries posterior to the Danish dynasty in England.

The church is a small unpretending edifice, comprising a nave and chancel only, with a square tower at the west end, open to the body of the church. The whole fabric is in sound condition, and most reputably kept. In the tower is one bell with this legend:

Sancte Petre, ora pro me.

A lancet window on the north side of the chancel shows this to be the very edifice existing when the benefice was granted to the Nuns of Bungay. The font is octangular, and bears the arms of Mowbray and Bigot.

Monuments.—Thomas Colman, celebrated for his virtues, hospitality, and devotion in God's house of prayer, fell asleep without sigh or groan, Feb. 18, 1695.

Richard Chase, M.A., Minister of this parish, and Rector of Hempstead cum Lessingham, and Ellingham in Norfolk, died March 23, 1785, aged 70 years.

Samuel Crisp, A.M., Rector of this parish and Ellingham, died July 4, 1717, aged 69.

Ann, relict of John Gooch, of Bungay, was buried Sept. 3, 1679.

In the church-yard are altar-tombs for Richard Day, Gent., of Yoxford, who died May 2, 1811, aged 40. Cathe. his wife died 13th August in the same year, aged 36. Richard Day, Gent., died Sept. 16, 1802, aged 55 years. Sarah his wife died Jan. 10, 1818, aged 69.

Rectors of Ilketshall St. John.

Rectors. Date. Patrons.
Sim. de Birston 1301 Prioress and Convent of Bungay.
Roger de Kenyngton 1325 Id.
Richard de Melton 1329 Id.
Simon Blakeman 1329 Id.
Robert Serle 1341 Id.
Alex. de Boyne de Beccles 1351 Id.
John Heved de N. Burlingham 1356 Id.
John Pryk 1380 Id.
William Cukhoohe 1408 Id.
William Botyed de Depham 1415 Id.
Thomas Porter 1435 Id.
Robert Rethford 1460 Id.
William Savey 1462 Id.
John Hardy 1470 Prioress and Convent of Bungay.
Robert Coseler 1480 Id.
William Spicer 1538 Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
Robert Hunne 1554 Id.
John Greffith 1555 The King and Queen.
John Leake 1575 William Dix and Will. Cautrell.
Alexander Smith 1579 The Crown.
Clement Bacon 1608 Id.
Abraham Swallow 1609 Id.
Richard Hawys 1626 Id.
Amyas Readinge 1626 Id., revoking the Institution of Hawys.
Michael Adams 1661
Jonathan Brideoake 1664 Id.
Thomas Castles 1674 Id.
John Pyke 1680 Id.
Samuel Crispe 1687 Id.
Samuel Batho 1717 Id.
John Mingay 1738 Id.
Richard Chase 1761 Id.
William Walker 1786 Id.
William Walker, 2nd time 1820 Id.
Russel Richards 1832 Id.
George Henry Bosanquet 1835 Id.
Charles James Hutton 1837 Id.

Estimatio ejusdem xiij marc: Synodalia per an: ixd. Denarij S. Petri, ivd. ob.

The parish registers commence in 1538.