Carlton Colville

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

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'Carlton Colville', in The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk: Volume 1, (Ipswich, 1846) pp. 237-243. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

In this section

Carlton Colville.

Carlton signifies the village of husbandmen, and the adjunct of Colville was obtained from a Norman family, that possessed great influence here. At the period of the Conqueror's Survey the parish formed part of the estate of Earl Hugh, but in Saxon times Burchard had held two carucates of land for a manor. It contained wood for 30 pigs, 1 draught-horse, 8 geese, 23 pigs, and 100 sheep; and its value had risen from 30s. to 40s. The village was one leuca and eight furlongs in length, and ten furlongs in breadth, and paid 4s. land-tax. In the same village thirty free-men had held, under Burchard, two carucates of land with six acres of meadow: they formerly had eight ploughs, but now kept only four; and the estate had decreased in value from £ 4 to 60s.

Hugo de Montford also held an estate in Carlton, in which two free-men, as tenants of Burchard, held 30 acres, valued at 3s., and 400 herrings: and another free-man of Burchard farmed 30 acres of land, and half an acre of meadow; and had kept, before the Conquest, a plough, but had then none. The value of this farm had not risen from the old rent, and was still valued at 5s., and 300 herrings. The family of Colville, descended from Gilbert de Colvylle, who is said to have come over in the army of William the Conqueror, was early enfeoffed here. Sir Roger de Colville obtained a license from the Crown to hold a market and fair in Carlton in the fifty-first of Henry III. In the following year (1267) this Sir Roger was Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, and received of Robert de Kelling twenty shillings for not being a knight. He married Galiena Walpole, the King having honoured his nuptials with his presence. This knight was a person of tyrannical and arbitrary character. Upon the return of Edward I. from the Holy Land, he was charged with an undue exercise of his rights of free-warren, stretching his privileges beyond the license allowed by his monarch; "posuit in defenso de warren: suâ plus quā id R. ei concessit." (fn. 1) And moreover, that under the pretence of having received a writ from the Crown for conducting certain persons to London, he had extorted from Ralph de Becket 40s. and 12 pigs, when the said Ralph had never been to London; and that he had obtained from John le Latimer 30s. in the same way. (fn. 2) A further charge was exhibited against this rapacious knight, that he had raised a certain weir in the river, called Wicflet, and appropriated it to his own use, having no warrant to do so. (fn. 3) There is a charter extant (fn. 4) which shows the vast estate possessed by this family in Carlton and its neighbourhood, by which Roger de Colville grants to Robert his son, his manor of Coldham, with lands in Huggechall, Frostenden, Wangeford, Reydone, Estone, Wenhaston, Thuriton, Northale, Henstede, Wrentham, Wiligham, Elech, Soterle, Magna Wirlingham, Parva Wirlingham, North Cove, Beccles, Endegate, Barsham, Riggesfield, Redesham, Branthorne, Schadenfield, Westhal, and Stovene, in the county of Suffolk, and Giligham, in Norfolk. The Colvilles retained estates in Carlton long after they had alienated the manor; for by an inquisition, taken on Monday after the feast of the decollation of St. John the Baptist, in the second of Richard II., it was found by the jury, that Roger Colville, Knt., held in Carlton and Petoughe one knight's fee, belonging to the castle and manor of Rising in Norfolk. (fn. 5) Roger de Mohaut also held two knights' fees in Carlton and Kessingland of the honour of Chester. (fn. 6)

The manor of Carlton Hall passed from the Colvilles early in the fourteenth century, when they retired to estates obtained by marriage with the heiress of De Marisco, or Marsh, in West Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

In 1348, Sir Bartholomew de Burghursh appears as lord of Carlton Colville. In that year he was in the wars of Gascony, (fn. 7) and obtained for himself and Cicely his wife, and their heirs, free-warren in Carlton Colville, and in all other their demesne lands. (fn. 8) This gallant warrior died on the 5th of April, 1369, his will having been made the day before. He left this manor to Elizabeth, his daughter and heiress, who married Edward, Lord Despencer. Sir Bartholomew constituted Margaret, his second wife, sister of Bartholomew, Lord Badlesmere, and Sir Walter Paveley, his executors. In Dugdale is a long and very interesting account of the funeral of this great warrior, who was buried at Walsingham, in Norfolk, before the celebrated image of the Virgin there. He bore for arms, gules, a lion ramp: double queued or. Edward Despencer, Earl of Gloucester, died, seized of the manor of Carlton Hall, in the forty-ninth of Edward III., and bequeathed his body to be buried in the Abbey of Tewkesbury, near his ancestors. (fn. 9) Richard Despencer, his grandson, dying in 1414, without issue, this manor became the property of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Worcester, in right of Isabel his wife, sister and heiress of the aforesaid Richard Despencer. The manor passed, upon the death of Richard Beauchamp, in 1431, without issue male, to James, Lord Audley, from whose successors it passed, in somewhat less than a century, to the family of Brewes, who retained it about a hundred years. The lordship was next the property of the Heveninghams; Sir Arthur Heveningham holding it in 1624, and William Heveningham, Esq. presenting to the church in 1657. It has subsequently been held by the Allins, who bequeathed it to the family of Anguish, and was held by the late Rev. George Anguish, of Somerleyton Hall, whose nephew, Lord Sydney Godolphin Osborne, sold it in 1844 to Samuel Morton Peto, Esq., of the city of London, who is the present lord.

Carlton Hall is a modern farm-house, having been built about a century ago on the site of the old mansion, which was destroyed by fire. This calamity is thus recorded in the registers of the parish:

"On Sunday, April 18, 1736, Carleton Hall, bake-house, barn, and stables were burnt down by a foul chimney taking fire.

"John Crettan, Tenant."

The inhabitants of Carlton Colville claim a right of free fishery in Spratt's, and other waters in Carlton Ham. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth there was a suit between the said inhabitants and the lord of the manor, who claimed an exclusive right of fishing therein; when judgment was given in favour of the inhabitants. (fn. 10)

The Manor of Broomholm Priory.

A manor, with a moiety of the tithes of this parish, was granted at an early period to the Priory of Broomholm, in Norfolk, and continued there till the Dissolution, when it fell to the Crown. On the 22nd of February, 1585, Queen Elizabeth demised the moiety of Broomholm for three lives to Joanna Skeene, the wife of Robert Skeene, Helen Skeene, and Robert Skeene, the son of the said Robert Skeene. The said Queen did afterwards, by letters patent, under the Great Seal of England, dated 27th of June, in the fortieth year of her reign, give and grant unto Sir Michael Stanhope, of Sudborne, and Edward Stanhope, and their heirs, amongst other things the said moiety. These parties sold this moiety, on the 23rd of November, eighth of James I., to Robert Skeene the elder, and his heirs for ever, who, in 1661, resold the same moiety to Robert London, Gent. The Londons again sold it for £1000 to Augustine Reeve, Esq., of Bracondale; but in 1682 it was reconveyed to the aforesaid Robert London. On the 22nd of December, 1727, the said Robert London, by his will, reciting that he had agreed with the Rev. John Tanner, commissary, and Vicar of Lowestoft, to convey to him and his heirs, the said moiety of the tithes of Carlton, and a farm in that parish, for £1330, and had received £100 in part payment, devised the said tithes, &c., to be sold to the said Mr. Tanner, by his executors, on payment of £1230. Mr. Tanner devised them to Thomas Tanner, Rector of Hadleigh, who passed them in 1785 to Richard Mills, his son-in-law, for life; with power to Mary Elizabeth, his daughter, wife of Mr. Mills, to dispose of them as she pleased, either in her lifetime, or by will. (fn. 11) Richard Mills sold this moiety of the tithes of Carlton, with the farm, &c., to Charles Pearse, Gent., in 1803, for £ 9334. 13s. 4d., whose son is the present possessor.

The manor of Broomholm became united with that of Carlton Hall after the Dissolution. By a deed of indenture, dated April 1st, twenty-second of James I., between Sir Arthur Heveningham, and Dame Mary his wife, on the first part, and Sir John Heveningham, and Dame Bridget his wife, on the second part, Sir John Corbett, and others, on the third part, the manors of Carlton Hall, and Broomholm, and the advowson of the church of Carlton, were settled on Sir John Heveningham and Dame Bridget his wife, for life; and then to their children: (fn. 12) but in 1648, William Heveningham, their son, being one of the judges of Charles I., was at the restoration tried and convicted of high treason, and had all his estates forfeited. Being one of the nineteen regicides who surrendered themselves upon the proclamation of the 6th of June, 1660, he was pardoned; and the year following, Mary, daughter of John, Earl of Dover, his second wife, obtained a patent from Charles II., for most, if not all, of her husband's estates, (fn. 13) amongst which was this of Carlton; for we find it held by the trustees of Lady Mary Heveningham. It subsequently passed as has been shown in the descent of Carlton Hall.

The moiety of the tithes here, and the manor, were probably granted to the Priory of Broomholm in 1252; for in that year Gilbert, son of Thomas de Ilketshall, gave to that establishment his tithes in Hedenham, viz.: two garbs of the demeans of Gilbert, and also two garbs of the demeans of Roger de Mohaut in Kessingland, and also of the demeans of Roger de Colville, of Carlton. (fn. 14)

The parish contains nearly 2800 acres of land; and the tithes of the Rector's mediety, comprising 1518 acres and 36 perches, have been commuted for £392. 10s., including £5. 10s. as the tithe of the glebe lands. Mr. Hall, Rector of Carlton, let his mediety of the tithes in 1769, for twenty-one years, provided he should so long live, for £120. 9s. per annum.

A national school was built here in 1843, at the cost of £200, towards which the Rev. George Anguish, the late lord and patron, gave £70.—£40 were obtained from the society at Ipswich; £60 from the Privy-Council; the residue being furnished by private subscriptions, of which Mr. Pearse gave £10. The number of scholars educated therein amounts to about 85; the entire population of the parish amounting, in 1841, to 785 souls.

The advowson of Carlton was sold by Lord Osborne in 1844 to W. Andrews, Esq., for £3000.

The Church,

which is dedicated to St. Peter, is not inelegantly proportioned, but being open to the thatch of the roof, has a very barn-like appearance. It comprises a nave and chancel, with a square tower; and has a porch on the south side, on which is placed a stone cross. A degree of sanctity appears to be still attached to this relic of ancient superstition, as a pilgrimage was made to it not more than two or three years since by a stranger, who remained before it on his knees for a considerable time, and left the parish immediately on the conclusion of his prayers. The church must be of considerable antiquity, as there is a small round-headed window in the north wall of the nave, though the general features of the edifice are of a later period. It contains a good octangular font of stone. There was formerly a chapel of Our Lady here, and provision for finding a light to burn before the image. (fn. 15) Some of the windows were also filled with stained glass, as we learn from the will of Robert Dolfyn, who died in 1505. "I bequeath v marc for a glass window to be had in the south est side of the church door, desyring to have in the said window the images of Our Lady, St. John ye Evan:, St. John ye Bapt:, desyring also to have the picture of my fader and moder, with my sons and my daughters." (fn. 16) Matthew Belyngeham, of Carlton Colville, by his last will, dated Oct. 18th, 1473, desires his body to be buried in the church of St. Peter of Carlton, and leaves to Catharine, his daughter, £3 in money. (fn. 17)

On digging a grave in the chancel, in 1837, for Martha, the wife of John Reeve, who died on the 25th of September in that year, the body of John Brown, who died Rector of Carlton in 1717, was discovered in a nearly uncorrupted state. His head was covered with venerable grey locks, and the shroud perfect. One argument—if any were needed—against interring within the walls of churches: a practice which originated in the superstitions of a darker age, and was fostered by the cupidity of the clergy.

Monuments.—Mary Ann Jermyn, died Nov. 3, 1834, aged 17 years. Sarah, wife of Charles Pearse, Gent., died June, 1740, aged 68. Charles Pearse, died Dec. 29, 1744, aged 68. Pearse bears, vert a bend cotised or, and impales a chev. erm. between 3 crescents.

Charles Pearse, died 28 Sept., 1783, aged 74.

Charles Hall, Rector, died June 13, 1770.

Robert, son of James Selling, died Aug., 1671. Robert Selling, son of Robert Selling, Gent., died 26 Sept., 1686, aged 44. Mary Selling, died Oct. 20th, 1692.

On opening a grave in the church-yard, in May, 1844, the skeletons of about thirty persons were discovered lying close to each other. The clerk says there was a pestilence in this parish some centuries since, and that these were the remains of persons who died infected. The registers of this parish commence thus: "A register book for Carlton Colvile p'rish, begun in the year 1710 by John Browne, Rector, being the 40th year from his induction." The older registers were burnt when Carlton Hall was destroyed by fire, as already related.

Rectors of Carlton Colville.

Rectors. Date. Patrons.
William de Weston (rec: med: 1326
Alanus Seger 1329 Sir John de Cove.
John de Sporle 1349 Bartholomew Burghursh, Mil.
Richard Mayster 1361 Id.
William Pyk 1399 Eliz: D'na la Despencer.
John Eyr 1426 Att: Ric: de Bello Campo.
William Hyveden 1444 Jacob: D'ns de Audeley, et Alianor: ux:
Richard Pede 1444 Id.
Nicholas Henley 1447 Id.
John Bempdebow 1455 Id.
Alanus Braytoft 1460 John, Lord Audeley.
John Ifeld 1465 Humphrey Audeley, Arm.
Robert Cade 1465 Id.
William Craske 1473 The King.
Richard Colman 1493 John Audeley, Arm.
Nicholas Fuller 1524 Joanna Brewes.
Robert Bard 1525 Ead., relict of Thomas Brewes, Esq.
John Harrys 1537 Ead.
John Dixson 1540 Ead.
William Stephans 1554 Ead.
Jacobus Lawson
John Gough 1560 Sir John Brewes.
Robert Tenet 1562 Id.
Robert Tenet 1565 Id.
Robert Seaman 1596 Thomas Brewes.
Robert Seaman 1596 Robert Brewes, Arm.
John Brawlerd 1657 William Heveningham.
John Brown 1670 Charles Cornwallis de Rock; co: Wig.
Joseph Poolhouse 1717 Sir Richard Allin, Bt.
Robert Wolmer 1719 Sir Richard Allin, Bt., Henry, Earl of Uxbridge, and Sir Hen. Ashurst, Bt.
Charles Hall 1764 His own petition.
John Ewen 1770 Sir Ashurst Allin, Bt.
Edward Jermyn 1806 The King, on lunacy of Thos. Anguish, Esq.

Estimatio ejusdem xxxiij marc.


  • 1. Rotuli Hundredorum.
  • 2. Id.
  • 3. Id.
  • 4. Brit. Mus.
  • 5. Blomefield.
  • 6. Testa de Nevill, p. 291.
  • 7. Froissart.
  • 8. Dugdale's Baronage, ii. p. 35.
  • 9. Dugdale's Baronage.
  • 10. Records in parish chest.
  • 11. Jermyn MSS.
  • 12. Id.
  • 13. Blomefield.
  • 14. Id.
  • 15. Rix. 358. 333. Norwic.
  • 16. Rix. 358.
  • 17. Harl. MSS.