South Elmham, St Michael

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

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'South Elmham, St Michael', in The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk: Volume 1, (Ipswich, 1846) pp. 226-227. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

Saint Michael South Elmham

is a very small parish, containing only 825 acres of land, with a population, in 1841, of 145 inhabitants. The minister has no glebe but the church-yard. The advowson of St. Michael was granted at a very early period to the small cell and priory of Rumburgh. In 1207, William de Munkensy, fil: Will: de Munkensi tulit assisam de ecclie Scti Michael: de Elmham versus Priorem de Rumburgh. (fn. 20) The monks appear to have absorbed the entire proceeds of this benefice; for in 1241, when it was returned that the prior and convent of Rumburgh held this church for their own uses, it is added— "nulla vicaria." (fn. 21) Upon the dissolution of that establishment in the reign of Henry VIII., it fell into the hands of that monarch, to whom it was granted by Act of Parliament in 1533. In 1555, John Redwyke held the impropriation, when the rectory was valued at £4. 18s. 9d. (fn. 22) In 1627, Bartholomew Andre or Audie held it, and William Myles was curate; and in 1636, . . . . . . Fairfax, curate of Rumburgh, also officiated here. On the 9th of May, 1709, Henry Kifford was the minister, (fn. 23) after which occur the following names.

John Banks 1764
Humphrey Waring 1785 William Elmy, Esq.
John Francis Browne Bohun 1802 Bence Sparrow, Clk.
The same, instituted a second time 1805 Bence Bence, Clk.
William Tyson 1816 John Francis Browne Bohun.

Estimatur ad x marc.

It was consolidated, as a perpetual curacy, with that of Rumburgh, Nov. 2nd, 1805.

The impropriate tithes passed from the Rev. Bence Bence to John Norman, Gent., of St. Margaret South Elmham, and are now the property of his son-in-law, Mr. George Durrant. Many portions of the tithes, however, have long been disposed of to the proprietors of lands within the parish. (fn. 24)

The manor was granted by Henry VIII. to Sir Edward North, (fn. 25) and passing with the other property in South Elmham, is now held by Sir Robert Shafto Adair.

The Church
of St. Michael is a small, humble fabric, but boasting considerable antiquity; and has a fine Norman doorway on the south side of the nave, with billet mouldings, in good preservation. It comprises a nave and chancel, with a square tower, in which now hangs one bell only; two broken bells having been sold from it about five-and-twenty years since. It contains a plain octangular font, and is reputably kept, though the interior is damp, the edifice standing on a strip of cold wet common land.

Monuments.—Henry Longe, Gent., died 24th of Nov., 1727. Rebecca, his wife, daughter of Timothy Weld, Gent., died 4th of Dec., 1735.

Arms.—Longe . . . . . . a lion pass. . . . . impaling Weld, . . . . a fess countercrenellated erm., between 3 crescents.

A piece of land, reputed to contain about two acres and a quarter, has been appropriated, from ancient time, to the uses of the parish. It lies intermixed with the property of the Adair family, and its precise boundaries are unknown. The rent is applied in aid of the church and poor-rates.


  • 20. Plac. 9 John. Harl. MSS. 972.
  • 21. Lib. Inst. pen. Epis. Norwic.
  • 22. Id.
  • 23. Id.
  • 24. MSS. Norman.
  • 25. Jermyn MSS.