BHO

Kirkley

Pages 260-269

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

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Kirkley.

Kirkley occupies the north-eastern angle of the Hundred of Mutford, being bounded on the east by the ocean, and on the north by Lake Lothing, an arm, or inlet of which runs to the southward, and is known as Kirkley Ham. It probably afforded a very secure anchorage to the small vessels of ancient days during the prevalence of eastern gales, at the period when the sea entered the lake by a broad unimpeded channel.

Kirkley was never a place of importance, notwithstanding the ancient assertions of the inhabitants of Lowestoft, and is very briefly noticed in Domesday Book: it is remarkable, therefore, that it should have given its name to a portion of the adjacent ocean, while so near the more populous and wealthy towns of Yarmouth and Lowestoft. In the time of Edward the Confessor, the principal estate here was the property of Gurth, the brother of Harold, which being forfeited at the Conquest, was retained in the hands of the King, under the stewardship of Roger Bigot. Hugo de Montford had also a farm in this village, valued by the Saxons at 2s., which he raised to 3s., and a payment of two hundred herrings. The smallness of this latter impost proves that the fisheries here were then of limited extent. The chief support of this village at the present day, as well as that of the contiguous parish of Pakefield, arises from this branch of trade, which is considered to have declined of late.

In the fifty-fifth of Henry III., Alan de Wymundhale obtained a license for a market and fair, with free-warren in his demesne lands here; (fn. 1) and in the fourteenth of Edward I., Edmund de Wymundhale claimed the same. (fn. 2) The manor was soon after transferred to the family of Fastolf, for in 1378, Hugh Fastolf, Esq., granted it, with other estates, to John Fastolf, his brother. In the seventeenth of Henry VII., it was the property of John Fastolf, Esq., (fn. 3) and went afterwards to Anthony Rouse, Esq., who conveyed it to Henry Hobart, of Loddon, Esq. He died in 1560, seized, inter alia, of the manor of Kirkley, with the advowson of the church, (fn. 4) which latter appears to have been previously held by the Norfolk family. In the will of this gentleman, proved May 3rd, 1561, the lordship is called the manor of Kirkley Hall, though in the Mutford rentals, temp. Henry VIII., it is styled Fastolf's manor. James Hobart, Esq., was lord in 1642, and Robert Richmond in 1680. It passed from the Richmonds, by marriage, to the Garneys of Hedenham, in Norfolk, and on the extinction of that branch of the family, early in the present century, fell by heirship to the Irbys. There is now no manor-house.

The number of inhabitants amounted, in 1841, to 433, though from an account of the parish, taken in 1676, in pursuance of the penal laws then in force against religious dissenters, it appears that they then amounted to only 103, from sixteen years of age and upwards, of which number eighteen were dissenters.

The Church,

which is dedicated to St. Peter, and valued in the King's books at £15. 10s., is, like that at Kessingland, a modern erection of nondescript architecture, built out of the ruins of a larger and more elegant structure, of which a square tower, about seventy feet high, alone remains. It is open to the elements, and contains only one bell, of most lugubrious tone. The old church consisted of a nave and north aisle: on the site of the former portion is erected the present building. The north wall of this is entirely of brick, but the south is composed of the flints and freestone collected from the ruins of the older fabric. The old church probably fell into decay about the year 1640, for there is the following entry in the Kirkley register books, copied from an ecclesiastical visitation record.

"September 14, 1663. Kirkley. The church there is, and hath been, for more than twenty years past, ruinous and in exceeding great decay in the roofs, walls, pillars, pavements, pulpits, seats, and the steeple. The charge to the making good all which will amount to 3 or 400 £, by common estimation; and the whole revenues of the town are not worth above £ 100 per year. The ornaments and books are wanting. The people resort to Pakefield Church."

"Mr. Bacon, sen., Mr. Bacon, jun., and Mr. Richardson, who were rectors of Kirkley as well as Pakefield, from about the Restoration to a. d. 1748, read prayers and preached in Pakefield Church, both parts of the Lord's day, instead of officiating one part of the day at Pakefield, and the other at Kirkley, as they must have done if Kirkley Church had been fit for use: so that the parishioners had then little or no disadvantage by the decay of this church, but that of going a little further for divine offices; but when upon Mr. Richardson's decease, in 1748, Mr. North became rector of Pakefield, and as such only thought himself obliged to officiate but one part of the Lord's day; and Mr. Hall, the rector of Kirkley, thought himself excused from all publick duty, because the church could not be officiated in; the parishioners, both of Pakefield and Kirkley, soon found great inconveniences from the want of that divine service they used to have, and thereupon thought themselves obliged to endeavour to rebuild Kirkley Church. Mr. Fowler, merchant in Kirkley, encouraged them greatly, by offering them £ 20 towards it, tho' he was then in a bad state of health, and not likely to live long. Mr. Tanner, of Lowestoft, gave them further encouragement, by promising them not less than Mr. Fowler had offered, and all the assistance in his power. By his means, several contributions, and a faculty from the bishop for selling the bells towards it, were soon obtained; and Mr. Benjamin Ellis, then churchwarden, contributed handsomely; took great pains, and was at much trouble, both in soliciting contributions far and near; putting out the work and overlooking the workmen, who began about Lady Day, 1750: finished the walls, put on the new roof, and thatched it before winter. The next spring the seats and inside work was begun, and so far finished, at Michaelmas, 1751, that on October 6th, 1751, Mr. Tanner read prayers, and preached in the new church, to a very numerous congregation, and there hath been prayers and sermons in it every fortnight in the afternoon (except on Sacrament days) ever since. But not unto us, O Lord, but unto thy name, be the praise, who worketh in us, both to will and to do, of thy good pleasure." (fn. 5)

It appears that Mr. Hall, whose unconscientious refusal to perform divine service, brought about the rebuilding of Kirkley church, had been long solicited so to do, by Mr. Tanner, who was at that time Vicar of Lowestoft, and commissary and official in the archdeaconry of Suffolk. This worthy man "failed not to use all the mild and persuasive arguments in his power, to prevail on the incumbent of Kirkley to make an allowance (to the minister of Pakefield for officiating in his stead), but to no purpose; so that finding him inflexible in his resolution he left him with this threat, 'Sir, if you will not officiate in Pakefield church, I will build you a church at Kirkley, and in that you shall officiate.'" (fn. 6)

I venture to print the following list of contributors to the rebuilding of Kirkley church, as it may prove interesting to many of their descendants who are yet resident in the neighbourhood.

An Account of the Contributors towards rebuilding Kirkley Church.

In Kirkley and Pakefield.
£. s. d.
Mr. Fowler 20 0 0
Rev. Mr. North 2 2 0
Mr. Ellis, Churchwarden 6 0 0
" Edward Mason 2 2 0
" Collier 2 0 0
" Thomas Love 2 2 0
" Aldred 2 2 0
" John Wright 2 0 0
" James Harman 2 0 0
" David Mason 1 1 0
" Thomas Munds 1 1 0
" William Munds 1 1 0
" Jermany 1 1 0
" Grice 1 1 0
" Shelly 1 0 0
" Joseph Stanford 1 0 0
" Charles Garwood 1 1 0
" Smith 1 0 0
" John Halsworth 1 1 0
Mr. Chamberlayne 2 2 0
" Wigg 2 0 0
" Bell 1 1 0
Mrs. Wright 10 6
Mr. Machin 10 6
" Settaway 10 6
" Ferrier 10 6
" Thomas Coniers 10 6
" William Barnard 10 6
" Thos. Love, jun. 10 6
" James Meen 10 6
" Will. Halsworth 10 6
" James Forman 10 6
" Robt. Barber 10 6
" John Ayres 10 6
" Chapman 10 6
Anonymous 10 6
Mrs. Bell 5 0
Mr. William Barber 5 0
" John Nichols 2 6
Mr. Robert Nichols 2 6
" John Badley 2 6
£ 64. 1. 6.
In Lowestoft.
Rev. Mr. Tanner gave 42 0 0
and obtained 10 10 0
Dr. Tanner, of Hadleigh 21 0 0
Mr. Thomas Mighells 5 5 0
Mrs. Dorothy Mighells 2 2 0
" Grace Symmonds 2 2 0
Mr. John Peach 2 2 0
John Jex, Esq. 1 1 0
Dr. Davy 1 1 0
Capt. Richman 1 1 0
Mr. Mat. Arnold 1 1 0
" Samson Arnold 1 1 0
" Hayward 10 6
Widow Barry 10 6
Capt. Barlow 10 6
Mr. Bales 10 6
" Aldous Arnold 10 6
" Saml. Barker 10 6
" Buffham 10 6
Capt. Landifield 10 6
Rev. Mr. Davy 10 6
A friend of his 10 6
Mr. Brown, blacksmith 10 6
Rev. Mr. Shewell 5 0
" Mr. Belward 5 0
Mr. Reeve 5 0
" Copping 5 0
" Brice 5 0
" Hayward, jun. 5 0
Widow Soans 5 0
Mrs. Warwick, widow 5 0
Mr. Robt. Barker 2 6
" Saml. Skoulding 2 6
" Henry Durrant 2 6
" James Curtis 2 6
Mrs. Long, widow 2 6
Mr. Saml. Farrer 2 6
" Thomas Smith 2 6
" Robt. Francis 2 0
Mr. John Press 2 0
" Charles Bains 1 6
" Samuel Dew 1 6
Seventeen persons, 1s. each 17 0
one gave 6
£ 100. 3. 6.
Gunton.
Hewling Luton, Esq. 10 6
Mr. Walker 1 1 0
Oulton, &c.
Rev. Mr. Page, Rector 1 1 0
Mr. Will. Woodthorpe 10 6
" Thos. Woodthorpe 5 0
" John Yonell 5 0
Widow Hunt 2 6
Five persons, 1s. each, one 6d. 5 6
Sir Thomas Allin, Bt. 2 2 0
H. Missenden, Esq. 2 2 0
Rev. Mr. Allen 1 1 0
Yarmouth, &c.
Saml. Killet, Esq. 2 2 0
Mr. Thomas Martin 2 2 0
" Thomas Fowler 2 2 0
" Milles 1 1 0
" John Morse 1 1 0
" Dover Colby 1 1 0
" John Morris 1 1 0
" John Fowler 1 1 0
Rev. Mr. Turner 10 6
Mr. David Mason 10 6
Another David Mason 10 6
Mr. Ward, Collector 10 6
Capt. Palling 10 6
Mr. William Manning 10 6
" Thomas Manning 10 6
" Ramey, Attorney 10 6
" Eldridge 10 6
" Pexal Foster 5 0
" John Norfor 5 0
" Lancaster 5 0
" John Mason 5 0
Mr. John Crispe 5 0
" Robt. Battley 5 0
" John Reeve 2 6
" Timothy Lodge 2 6
" Jacob Masters 2 0
" John Marsh 2 0
Three persons, 1s. each 3 0
Gorleston.
Mr. Jeffery Killet 1 1 0
" John Killet 10 6
Rev. Mr. Killet, of Bradwell 10 6
Mr. Harris, of Burgh Castle 5 0
Carlton Colville.
Mr. Ham. Pearse 6 6 0
Mrs. Welham, widow 1 1 0
Rev. Mr. Wolmer 10 6
Mr. Woodthorp 10 6
" Guild 5 0
" Brooks 5 0
Widow Shien 5 0
" Cheny 5 0
Mr. Middleton 3 0
" Hemmings 3 0
Widow Critton 2 6
Five persons, 1s. each 5 0
Gisleham.
Mr. Woodthorp 10 6
" Button 10 6
" Downing 10 6
" Henry Cheny 2 6
" John Wily 2 0
Kessingland.
Saml. Proctor, Esq. 1 1 0
Mr. Cunningham 10 6
" Fairweather 10 6
" E. Durrant 10 6
" Thos. Durrant 10 6
" Colman 10 6
Mr. Cooper 10 6
" Adams 10 6
" Brandson 10 6
" Brown 7 6
" Bokenham 5 0
" Harling 5 0
" Charles Welsh 2 6
" John Burket 2 6
Benacre and Wrentham.
Thomas Gooch, Esq. 1 1 0
Mr. Aldus 5 0
" Nelson 5 0
Philip Brewster, Esq. 1 1 0
Rev. Mr. Baylie 1 1 0
Mr. Bardwell 5 0
Henstead and Sotterley.
Mrs. Howes, widow 1 1 0
Miss Bence 5 0
Mr. Lawson 5 0
Miles Barne, Esq. 5 5 0
Sir John Playters, Bt. 2 2 0
Rev. Robt. Lemon 10 6
Rev. Mr. Carter, of Worlingham 10 0
Mr. N. Baxter, of N. Cove 2 2 0
" Gibson, of Willingham 5 0
" Dalbe, of Mutford 5 0
Henham, Southwold, &c.
Sir John Rous, Bt. 2 2 0
Rev. Mr. Smears 10 6
Mr. Robt. Thompson 10 6
" Will. Thompson 5 0
" John Thompson 2 6
" Nun 2 6
" Wales 2 6
" Smith 2 6
" Ewen, of Reydon 5 0
" Jermy, of Reydon 5 0
" Reeve, of Wangford 5 0
" Wilkenson, Att. of Halesworth 10 6
" C. Harling, of Frostenden 1 0
Beccles.
Rev. Justice Page 1 1 0
Mr. Farr 10 6
" Schuldham 10 6
" Leman 10 6
" Price 5 0
" Le Grys 5 0
" Crowfoot 5 0
" Harbar 5 0
" Isaac Blowers 5 0
" Edward Blowers 5 0
" James Elmy 5 0
" Will. Elmy 5 0
" Will. Bendy 5 0
" Rede 5 0
" Keable 5 0
" Bilby, glazier 15 0
Mrs. Bohun 2 6
Mr. Edward Brook 2 6
" Debnam 2 6
Seven persons, 1s. each 7 0
Rev. Mr. Morden, of Weston 1 1 0
" Radcliff, of Ringfield 10 6
" Athow, of Gillingham 10 6
Mr. Padnal, of Wheatacre 10 6
" Alexander, of Toft Monks 1 1 0
" John Sayer, of Thurlton
Rev. Mr. Tweedy, of Trimley 1 7 0
" Stebbing, of Nacton 1 1 0
" Baynes, of Stonham 10 6
" Hewitt, of Bucklesham 10 6
" Canning 1 1 0
" Cornwallis 10 6
" R. Hingston 10 6
" Close 10 6
" Bishop 10 6
Mr. Collet, Attorney, of Woodbridge 10 6
Bungay.
William Windham, Esq. 1 1 0
Rev. Mr. Baker 10 6
Mrs. Baker 10 6
Rev. Mr. Wilson 10 6
Mr. Van Camp 10 6
Mr. Barnham 10 6
" Hen. Williams 5 0
" Nelson 5 0
" Manning, sen. and jun. 10 0
" Cooper 5 0
" Meen 5 0
" Prentice 5 0
" Lamb 5 0
" Lumley 2 6
Mrs. Webster and Son 5 0
" Arrowsmith 2 6
" Gamble 2 6
Mr. Schuldham 2 6
" Will. Kingsbury 2 6
" Botwright 2 6
" Plowman 2 6
" Winck 2 6
" Robt. Williams 2 6
" Ashby 2 6
" Pell 2 0
" Lagden 1 6
Eleven persons, 1s. each 11 0
Ilketshall St. Laurence 2 6
Norwich.
Mr. Chancellor Nash 2 2 0
" Archdeacon Goodal 1 1 0
Counsellor Preston 1 1 0
" Buckle 1 1 0
Mr. Bacon, Apothecary 1 1 0
Mrs. Britiffe 1 1 0
Mr. Lindsay, of Trowse 1 1 0
John Playters, Esq., of Yelverton 1 1 0
Rev. Mr. Frost, of Topcroft 10 6
Framlingham.
Rev. Mr. Brooks 5 0
Mr. Coggeshall 5 0
Small sums 5 0
Rev. Mr. Bence, of Kelsale 10 6
Mrs. Bence, of Saxmundham 10 6
Rev. . . . . of Darsham 10 6
" Carter, of Sibton 10 6
" Blois, of Yoxford 10 6
Mr. Copland, of Yoxford 2 6
Rev. Mr. Maborn, of Bramfield 9 0
" Ellershaw, of Ubbeston 5 0
Rev. Mr. Foster, of Halesworth 2 6
Mr. Sparrow, Attorney, of Woodbridge 9 0
£275 3 0
Received, by sale of the reed that was left 2 2 0
" by sale of bells 103 13 6
Total 380 18 6

Disbursed on account of rebuilding Kirkley Church.

£. s. d.
To Thomas Love, jun., for removing the dirt and rubbish between the old church walls 1 4 2
To Mr. Roxwell, for plans, advice, and assistance, in settling the dimensions and putting out the work 5 5 0
To John Halsworth, bricklayer, for work and stuff, as by agreement 130 9 0
" more, for additional work 6 10 11
" more, for altering the south windows 6 0 0
" more, for altering the floor at the east end 10 0
For drawing articles, stamps, &c., relating to Mr. Halsworth's work 14 0
To James Chamberlayne, to roof as per agreement 70 0 0
" more, for a treat at putting on the roof 3 0 0
" more, for additional work 5 2 0
" more, for a loft for the bell, bell-wheel, &c. 9 15 6
For a lattice for the steeple window 18 0
To expenses and assistance in buying the reed 4 0
To six hundred reed at £ 2. 8. per hundred 14 8 0
For carting it from Benacre to the churchyard 4 10 0
For drink for carters at 1s. per load 12 0
For recovering reed when dispersed by a flood 4 0
To thatchers, for laying on the reed, broaches, &c. 10 17 2
To straw for the roof 1 10 0
To the glaziers, as per bills and receipt 9 14 0
To John Wigg, blacksmith, as per bill 7 15 6
" more, by a second bill, for a clapper for the bell, &c. 5 9 8
To Mr. Bell, joiner, for the desk, pulpit, seats, and communion table 65 7 4
To Mr. Smyth, joiner, for measuring joiner's work 5 0
To Fuller, mason, for repairing the steeple 5 7 6
More, to said Fuller, as by two bills 3 15 6
To Mr. Lindsey, for lime 12 0
To the Chancellor's Office, for a faculty to sell the bells 2 13 4
To charge for shipping the bells for London 1 7 6
To commission for selling them, and other charges at London 3 6 0
To Mr. Horth, for the greater weight of the bell he delivered, above the weight of the bell he had of us 3 2 6
To the churchwardens of Gillingham for the font 1 1 0
For fetching it, and help to load and unload it 7 0
For a lock for the church door 10 6
For a Bible, £ 2. 2. 0., and folio Common Prayer book, 16s. 2 18 0
For a quarto Common Prayer book for clerk, and Act against Swearing 5 6
For the surplice, £1. 12. 6., and hood, 14s. 2 6 6
For pulpit cushion, desk cloth, communion table-carpet, and making 1 11 6
For a silver paten, £1. 15. 0., and hard metal pewter flagon, 10s. 2 5 0
For a linen cloth, and napkin for the communion table 7 0
Towards making good the church way 1 1 0
Towards Mr. Ellis' expenses in getting contributions 2 2 0
£395 4 7
Total receipts 380 18 6
Due to balance 14 6 1

Which balance was paid by Mr. Tanner, and by him made an addition to his former gift.

There is also due to Mr. Ellis, churchwarden, about forty shillings expended by him in soliciting contributions, more than he had yet received.

July 2, 1756. Mr. Walford, of Woodbridge, brought 20s. to Mr. Tanner, which he said had been some time ago collected towards the rebuilding Kirkley Church, but by some accident retained from being sent before. The donors were—

Mr. Carter, Rector of Tunstall 5s.
" Briggs, Rector of Alderton 5
" Clarke, Minister of Woodbridge 5
" Thomas Folkard 5

Ten shillings of which were given to Mr. Ellis, towards what he had disbursed more than he had received, and the other ten shillings the said John Tanner kept towards what he had disbursed on account of this church, more than he had received.

On the 5th of December, 1749, when the workmen began to clear away the rubbish from the ruins of the old church, they discovered, at the distance of eighteen feet from the east wall, and six feet from the north, a stone with a brass label thus inscribed:

and on another label, found in the north aisle, a like legend for John Boodhurd, who died in August, 1486.

The font of the old church was broken by the falling in of the pile, and the one now in use was brought, as we have seen, from a ruinated church at Gillingham. It is octangular and plain. The present fabric contains no monumental record. There was formerly a rectory in this parish, of which no vestige remains. It was near Kirkley bridge, for the second piece of land, mentioned in the perambulation book, is an acre of marsh belonging to the Rector, lying next Kirkley bridge, and the fifth piece is that whereon the parsonage stood. (fn. 7)

The number of acres in the parish amounts to 514, of which 19 acres, and 3 perches, are glebes. The living is augmented with 12 acres of land lying in Sprowston, in Norfolk, and the amount of its commutation is £137. 10s., exclusive of £ 5 charged for the tithes.

The earliest resister bears the date of 1701. It appears by old parish papers that the Rector is entitled to a payment in lieu of the tithe of fish caught by the boats of this parish, called Christ's half dole.

Rectors of Kirkley.

Rectors. Date Patrons.
Oliver Beneyt, de Gernemuth 1308 Will. of Tyvetshall, Clemencia, his wife, and Alice of Herryngflet.
John of Loudham 1344 Clemencia, relict of John of Loudham, Knt.
John Gerard, of Theberton 1349 Abbot and Convent of Leiston.
Thomas de Marlesford 1361 The same.
John Tradesham 1382 Margaret Mareschall, Countess of Norfolk.
Richard Wetherlee 1383 The same.
John Guerard 1416 John, Earl Mareschall and Nottingham.
John Catheroo The same.
Robert Banyngham 1421 John Lancaster, Richard Stevesacre, and Robert Southwell, Feoffees and General Attorneys, by letters patent, of John Moubray, E. Marshal.
Robert Hay, of Carlton 1422 John, Earl Marshal, &c.
William Holden 1436 Katherine, Duchess of Norfolk.
Simon Dolfyn John, Duke of Norfolk.
Thomas Maundevyle 1453 John, Viscount Beaumont.
John Loft 1469 John Wodevyll.
Robert Anderle, alias Cann 1484 John, Duke of Norfolk.
John Custance 1489 The Bishop, by lapse.
Edward Lenney 1490 The King.
Henry Gert
John Warmall 1505 The Bishop, by lapse.
Thomas Mille 1511
Henry Geffraye 1526 Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
Robert Taylor 1539 The same.
John Gayton 1555 The Bishop, by lapse.
Edward Multone The same.
Robert Nudde
John Towne 1570 William Roberts, Gent.
Thomas Yeowle 1589 James Hobart, Esq.
William Wyncopp 1597 The same.
William Girling 1613 Edward Hobart, Esq.
Edward Bonn 1634 The same.
William Hinton 1642 James Hobart, Esq.
William Bacon
William Bacon 1680 Robert Richmond, Gent.
Philip Richardson 1697 The same.
Charles Hall 1748 His own petition.
William Temple 1770 Charles Garneys, Esq.
William Temple 1798 The same.
Robert Parr 1809 Robert Reeve, Gent.
Robert John Francis 1812 The same.

Estimatio ejusdem vij marc.

Footnotes

  • 1. Rot. Pat.
  • 2. Plac. Cor. an. 1285.
  • 3. Jermyn MSS.
  • 4. Reg. Norwic. Bircham.
  • 5. Parish Registers.
  • 6. Gillingwater, p. 84, note.
  • 7. Jermyn MSS.