A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.
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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
In 1066 there was a single manor of 2½ hides at Dedham, held by Aelfric Camp. It was held in demesne in 1086 by Roger of Ramis (d. 1087). (fn. 1) It later descended with the honor of Rayne. During the 12th century that fief was frequently divided into moieties representing the lines of Roger's grandsons Robert and Roger of Ramis (fl. 1135), and the later partition of Dedham into two halves may have been influenced by that div- ision. (fn. 2) The overlordship was recorded until 1329. (fn. 3)
Edward of Salisbury (d. 1129) apparently obtained the demesne tenanc by marriage to Adelize, daughter of Roger of Ramis. Their daughter Leonie, or more probably a descendant of the same name, married Robert of Stuteville (d. 1185), himself a great-grandson of Roger of Ramis. (fn. 4) Robert was succeeded by his son Henry of Stuteville (d. 1230), who left England on crusade in 1190. (fn. 5) In his absence it was claimed that William of Stuteville (d. 1203), son of another Robert of Stuteville (d. 1186), held ½ knight's fee in Dedham, but the manor does not appear to have passed to William's sons Robert (d. 1205) or Nicholas (d. 1219). (fn. 6) As a Norman, Henry of Stuteville forfeited his English lands in 1203, but his mother Leonie held two ½ fees in 1214-15. (fn. 7) In 1219 she held only ½ a knight's fee, the other ½ fee having presumably been granted to Campsey priory (Suff.). (fn. 8)
The Stuteville half fee, later called DEDHAM HALL, was held by Henry of Stuteville's son John in 1232. (fn. 9) He died in 1258 and was suc- ceeded by his son, Robert. (fn. 10) In 1281 Robert (d. 1306) held jointly with his wife Eleanor (d. 1310) who succeeded him. (fn. 11) Their son John of Stuteville granted a life interest in the manor to Hervey of Stanton (d. 1327) in 1314. (fn. 12) John died in 1322 and was succeeded by his son Robert, a minor, (fn. 13) who was either dead or whose estates had been forfeited by 1337 when the manor was granted to Robert of Ufford, earl of Suffolk (d. 1369). (fn. 14) It passed with the earldom to William of Ufford (d. 1382), (fn. 15) and to Michael de la Pole (d. 1389). It was forfeited on the latter's attain- der in 1388, (fn. 16) and was sold in 1389 to Nicholas Exton, mayor of London (d. 1393). (fn. 17) It was thus not restored, with Langham, to Michael de la Pole's son Michael (d. 1415), but was sold to him after Exton's death. (fn. 18)
In 1399 de la Pole quitclaimed the manor to Roger Walden, archbishop of Canterbury, who held at his death in 1406. (fn. 19) He was succeeded by his brother John Walden (d. 1417) who held jointly with his wife Idony (d. 1426). (fn. 20) In 1416 they sold the reversion to John Teynton retain- ing a life interest to themselves. (fn. 21) Teynton appears to have conveyed the manor in 1428 to John Fastolf (d. 1459). (fn. 22) William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, failed in an attempt to recover the manor from Fastolf, probably in the period 1445-50, (fn. 23) but before 1480 his son John, duke of Suffolk, had ousted Fastolf's devisee John Paston (d. 1466) or his son John (d. 1479). (fn. 24) The manor then descended with Langham until 1558 when it was incorporated into the duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 25) If the manor was, as it was later alleged, sold by Charles I in 1629, (fn. 26) it was re- covered, for it was among confiscated royal estates sold by Act of Parliament in 1650. (fn. 27) In 1656 Henry Flower and Richard Roberts sold the manor to John Cole, Edward Firmin, and Thomas Walford, (fn. 28) but royal ownership was probably re-established at the Restoration, and the site of the manor, and presumably the lord- ship, was still held by duchy of Lancaster in 1970. (fn. 29)
Dedham Hall stood at the east end of the present churchyard facing Royal Square, approximately on the site of Duchy House (fig. 28, no. 37). (fn. 30) The two fishponds next to the manor house in 1240, (fn. 31) and the dovecot recorded in 1329 and 1337, (fn. 32) were presumably those leased in 1412-13. (fn. 33) The dovecot stood near a cottage on East Lane called Culverhouse in 1762. (fn. 34) The house and garden, worth 12d. beyond repairs in 1337, were worth nothing by 1369. (fn. 35) The house was still standing in 1382, and probably in 1388 when the lessee had to maintain the buildings. (fn. 36) A hall, old stable, barns, and chambers were recorded in 1412-13, and a manor house with hall, chamber, and other buildings in 1427. The manorial enclosure called the Thrift (Le Frythe), contained a dovecot, garden, pasture, oak and ash trees. (fn. 37) In 1575 the timber-framed and tiled house was rectangular with an open hall 45 feet long and two ruinous storeyed ends; the single storeyed kitchen, about half the size of the hall, 'nearly square' and with a brick stack, was probably detached. (fn. 38) The house was prob- ably demolished c. 1586 when the manor was leased to Thomas Seckford, who also held the manor of Overhall and Netherhall; c. 1605 the only buildings on the 9 a. of land were a barn and a ruined dovecot. (fn. 39) The surviving Duchy House was built in the 19th century, but Duchy barn to its rear may be a surviving remnant of the earlier outbuildings. (fn. 40) A demesne pasture called 'Cunnyngerslade' in 1412-13 and 'le conynger' in 1427, later Coneyfere, was prob- ably the site of a manorial warren. (fn. 41)
Before 1230, and probably before 1219, Leonie or her son Henry of Stuteville granted ½ knight's fee in Dedham to Campsey priory (Suff.). (fn. 42) From 1232 to 1236 Henry's son John disputed the grant, (fn. 43) but in 1240 he made a new grant to the priory of the estate later known as the manor of DEDHAM CAMPSEY or NETHERHALL. (fn. 44) John of Stuteville retained the mesne lordship in 1240, and the overlordship was recorded until 1383. (fn. 45)
The priory had apparently sold the manor to Sir John Fastolf by 1428, but his title, although confirmed in 1451, was disputed by the earls of Suffolk. (fn. 46) After Fastolf's death in 1459, John de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, claimed the manor from Fastolf's devisee, John Paston. (fn. 47) The manor reverted to the priory before the Dissolution when it passed to the crown. (fn. 48)
In 1537 Netherhall was granted to Sir Hum- phrey Wingfield (d. 1545), (fn. 49) who was succeeded by his son Robert Wingfield who sold the manor in 1562 to Thomas Seckford. (fn. 50) Between 1578 and 1583 he had been succeeded by another Thomas Seckford (d. 1588), a minor, apparently his grandson. He was succeeded by Charles Seckford (d. 1592), probably his cousin, and Charles by his son, another Thomas. (fn. 51)
The descent for most of the 17th century is unknown. In 1691 Anne Barrett and Nicholas Bowden sold it to Nicholas Freeman. (fn. 52) Samuel Atkinson was recorded as lord between 1707 and 1714, (fn. 53) although Seckford and Eleanor Cage sold the manor to him in 1713. (fn. 54) By 1719 Samuel had been succeeded by his widow Mary who was still lady of manor in 1735. (fn. 55) Another Samuel Atkinson was lord between 1746 and 1773. (fn. 56) Elizabeth Rolph had succeeded by 1774 and Oliver Baron and William Marpleadris in 1775. (fn. 57) George Thomson was lord in the follow- ing year, but he was dead by 1783 when his trustees held the manor. It passed in 1804 to Atkinson Bush, who held until 1812, (fn. 58) and then to Tobias Browne who held until 1830. (fn. 59) Between 1830 and 1832 Charles Baglehole was lord, but by 1833 the manor had been sold to Francis Smythies (d. 1840), (fn. 60) who was suc- ceeded by his son, other Francis Smythies (d. 1888). (fn. 61) The younger Francis was succeeded by F. B. Smythies, (fn. 62) who sold the manor in 1896 to G. F. Beaumont (d. 1926). (fn. 63) Beaumont was succeeded by the trustees of his will, H. F. Beaumont and his son J. L. Beaumont, who held in 1951. (fn. 64) The manor was purchased by Cecil Rosen in 1954. (fn. 65)
Netherhall manor house stood on the site now known as Dedham Hall (fig. 28, no. 29); it had taken that name by 1857. (fn. 66) In 1414-15 there was a thatched hall, three barns, and other outbuild- ings including a 'cheese house' at the manor's gate. (fn. 67) There were three dovecots and fishponds in 1562, the latter stocked with carp in 1762. (fn. 68) The earliest part of the surviving timber-framed house is the low eastern cross wing, perhaps of the late 15th or earlier 16th century. It was prob- ably jettied on the east and north and has a three-bayed crown-post roof. The hall range seems to have been replaced in the earlier 17th century by a three-bayed, two-storeyed range with attics and a large chimney stack towards the west end. It was perhaps arranged as a two- bayed hall with great chamber above and a small heated bay west of the stack. The south front had mullioned and transomed windows. (fn. 69) A two-bayed north-west cross wing was added later in the 17th century, probably for services. As part of renovations in the earlier 18th century small rear service buildings were added. A single-storeyed west extension was made to the main range, probably early in the 19th century. Extensive renovation took place c. 1957 when the main range was refenestrated with metal casements and both its stacks were altered. There are two early 17th-century barns, one now ruined.
In 1240 Gilbert of Dedham granted Hugh of Dedham, 20 a. and all his other lands in Dedham and Stratford St. Mary (Suff.). (fn. 70) Hugh may have been the ancestor of Robert of Dedham (d. 1288) who among other lands held Overhouse and 71 a. of land from Campsey priory in socage tenure, an estate probably identical to the later manor of OVERHALL. (fn. 71) Robert was succeeded by his son Gilbert; either he or another Gilbert was alive c. 1320. (fn. 72) In 1348 Robert, son of Gilbert of Dedham, and Alice his wife, who were apparently childless, granted the manor to the priory, retaining a life interest. (fn. 73) It later descended with Netherhall as the combined manor of OVERHALL AND NETHER- HALL.
A cottage on Princel Green, said in the 18th century to have been the Netherhall court- house, is probably on the site of Overhall manor house (fig. 28, no. 5). (fn. 74) The timber-framed L- plan house, called Little Garth cottages, is set back from the road facing the centre of Princel Green amid a concentration of houses belonging to the later combined manor. It may have been built as a court house. (fn. 75) The northern and centre bays of the east range (Nos. 2-3) are a 16th- century four-bayed house with long-wall jetty, a crown-post roof, and a large contemporary chimney stack at the south end. A south bay (No. 1) was added in the late 16th century, per- haps replacing older work. A block of lobby- entry plan, projecting west and north (No. 4), may have been added as a separate dwelling in the later 17th-century. Early 18th-century modifications point to conversion to cottages then.
The precise origin of the small manor of FAITES AND WADES in Dedham, Ardleigh, and Lawford is unknown. It was established by 1360 when John Fete held his first court, and had earlier been held by Thomas, son of Peter Wade. (fn. 76) In 1366 it was apparently held by John Payn, and by 1381 it had passed to John Cranefen (d. 1392) who was succeeded by his widow Christine. (fn. 77) Alice Stampe, widow, held a court in 1461. (fn. 78) In 1518 the holders were Edward Strangman and Margaret his wife, widow of John Tympley or Tymperley. (fn. 79) Between 1529 and 1537 the manor was held by Joan Webb (d. 1564), widow of John Webb, clothier. (fn. 80) By 1543-44 it had passed, presumably by sale, to George Horsman, whose widow Frances held in 1559-60. (fn. 81)
Frances had apparently married Thomas Josselin by 1561, but the manor was held by John Wood in 1563, and John Lufkin in 1565. (fn. 82) Thomas Sanford and Margaret his wife held a court in 1571, but Thomas Lufkin, probably a relative of John, held his first court in 1573. (fn. 83) The manor then descended in the Lufkin family, being held successively by four or five other men called Thomas between 1584 and 1665. (fn. 84) The last Thomas Lufkin (fl. 1665) pre- sumably sold it to Richard Reyner who held in 1671. (fn. 85) He was dead by 1692 when his widow, Martha, held a court. (fn. 86) John Sherman held the manor in 1700, probably by marriage, as his widow, Anne Lufkin, held in 1702. (fn. 87) In 1725 she was succeeded by Thomas Lufkin, perhaps her son, who was lord in 1727. (fn. 88) The descent cannot be traced thereafter until 1758 when John Richardson (d. c. 1766) was lord. (fn. 89) His trustees sold the manor to John Bridges of Mistley who was succeeded by his nephew, George Bridges. He sold the manor to Richard Waite Cox in 1816. (fn. 90) The manor lands lay in the south-east corner of the parish in the 19th century, near Bargates (formerly Wade's) and Lufkin's Farms, but nothing certain is known of the manor house. (fn. 91) It had a dovecot in 1399 and 1414. (fn. 92)
The impropriate rectory passed from Butley priory to the crown at the Dissolution. It may have been granted to Charles, duke of Suffolk in the 16th century, (fn. 93) but by 1604 had passed to Robert Stratford who in that year sold it to Thomas Lake. (fn. 94) In 1613-14 Thomas Lake sold the rectory to John Ferneley (d. 1621) who was succeeded by his son Miles Ferneley. (fn. 95) In 1626-7 Miles sold the rectory to Anthony Bokenham. (fn. 96) Mary, widow of Anthony, or per- haps another man of the same name, and her son-in-law, Humphrey Prideaux, sold it to the trustees of the lecturer William Burkitt in 1705 for the lectureship trust. (fn. 97)