Aldborough or Aldeburc
The following particulars concerning this place are collected from "Aldborough
Described," published in 1819.
Two hundred years ago, Aldborough was a place of considerable importance; but
repeated incroachments from the sea reduced it to the rank of a small and
insignificant fishing town. During the last century, the ocean made great
ravages; and in the recollection of persons yet living, destroyed many houses,
together with the market-place and the cross.
Depopulated and impoverished by these encroachments, it was hastening to
complete decay; but within the last fifteen or twenty years, several families of
distinction, wishing for a greater degree of privacy and retirement than can be
enjoyed in a more fashionable watering place, have made this town their summer
residence; and in consequence of this auspicious event, its appearance has been
It does not appear from any ancient records, that Aldborough ever contained
public buildings of extent or consequence; nor has there at any time been
discovered vestiges, which could convey an idea of ancient splendor or
The manor and advowson, many years after the grant made to Thomas, Duke of
Norfolk, became by purchase, the property of Sir Henry Johnson, Knt., and by the
marriage of his granddaughter with Thomas Wentworh, 1st Earl of Strafford, were
carried into that family. They are now vested in Fred. William Thos. Vernon
Wentworth, Esq., of Wentworth Castle, in Yorkshire, by descent from his
great-grandfather, Fred. Thomas, 3rd Earl of Strafford.
The former importance of Aldborough induced several Monarchs to grant it
extensive charters; the first of which was given by King Edward VI., in the
second year of his reign, this was confirmed by Philip and Mary, as well as by
Queen Elizabeth. James I, in the fourth year of his reign, granted the borough
greater indulgences, and gave it a new constitution.
The interest in this borough was long vested in the Crespigny family, but was
disposed of by them in 1818, to Samuel Walker, and Joshua Walker, Esqrs. It did
not send representatives to Parliament until the 13th of Queen Elizabeth; a list
of which, continued from that by Kirby, to the period when this borough became
disfranchised by Act of Parliament, in 1832, is subjoined.
ARMS. Town of Aldborough: on the sea, a ship under sail; on the main
shroud, a lion rampant.
Thomas Pye and John Mendham, of this town, convicted of holding heretical
opinions, were sentenced to suffer open penance, or scourgings, about this
parish church, before a solemn procession, six several Sundays; and three
whippings about the market-place of Harleston, three principal market days;
their necks, legs, and feet, bare; both of them to carry a taper of a pound
weight, round the church and market place, each time; which tapers, when their
penance was finished, to be humbly and devoutly offered upon the high altar of
the parish church of Aldborough, at the offering of the high mass.
The Rev. George Crabbe, LL.B., one of the most distinguished poets of his day,
was a native of this borough, where his father held a situation in the customs.
Bred up to the profession of physic, he for some years practiced as a surgeon
and apothecary, in this his native town; but owing, as it is believed, to older
practitioners being already established in the place, he did not succeed so well
as a sanguine and well-informed young man had every reason to expect.
Disgusted, at length, with a profession which afforded him so small a practice,
and not a little out of humor with the scene of his first and unsuccessful
attempt, he quitted Aldborough, and repaired to the Metropolis; where he arrived
without having formed any particular plan, but where he hoped that the exertion
of his talents would enable him to succeed.
Here he commenced literary adventurer; and had he foreseen all the sorrows and
disappointments which awaited him in his new career, it is probable he would
either have remained in his native place, or, if he had gone to London at all,
engaged himself to beat the mortar in some dispensary. He, however, gave his
whole mind to the pursuit by which he was then striving to live, and by which
he, in due time, attained to competence and honor.
Mr. Crabbe, during the whole of the time he spent in town, experienced nothing
but disappointments and repulses, until his circumstances became fearfully
critical; absolute want stared him in the face, a gaol seemed his only immediate
refuge, when he resolved to make one effort more, and this proved eminently
He ventured to address a letter to that eminent statesman Edmund Burke, Esq., to
which the Eight Hon. Gentleman gave instant attention, and immediately appointed
an hour for Mr. Crabbe to call upon him: the short interview that ensued,
entirely, and for ever, changed the nature of his worldly circumstances. He had
afterwards many other friends, kind, liberal, and powerful, who assisted him in
his professional career; but it was one hand alone that rescued him when he was
sinking, and through his friendly exertions our author became introduced to some
of the first characters of the age.
Mr. Crabbe having been admitted to Deacon's orders, became licensed as curate to
the Rev. Mr. Bennett, rector of Aldborough; he immediately bade a grateful adieu
to his illustrious patron, and came down to take up his residence once more in
his native place. He afterwards attended the late Duke of Rutland, as Chaplain,
when Viceroy of Ireland; and in 1789, Lord Thurlow presented him to the rectory
of Muston, in Leicestershire, and of West Allington, in Lincolnshire; and in
1814, he was inducted to the living of Trowbridge, to which he was presented by
the Duke of Rutland; where he died, Feb. 3rd, 1832, in the 78th year of his age.
CHARITIES. Slauden Quay Trust Estate. This property, which consists of a
quay or wharf, with certain coal yards, saltings, and other premises, situate on
the river Aid, is held of the manor of Aldborough, under the gift or grant, as
supposed, of a former lord of the manor, of the family of the Earl of Strafford;
but there is no record of the donation now extant. The premises are vested in
trustees, for the general use of the inhabitants. The revenues of the charity
arise from' the tolls collected for loading and discharging barges on the quay,
which are let at about £50 a year rent; and
the income has been applied towards the support of a school, for the education
of the children of the poorer classes, as far as circumstances will permit. In a
parish terrier mention is made of a piece of arable land, containing about one
acre, the rent of which is distributed among the poor. The yearly rent charge of
£.11, is paid on land called the Town Marsh,
and is applied in apprenticing poor children; to the minister for a sermon
preached on Good Friday; and the residue is given, in bread and money, to the
poor, on the same day.
Mem. August 24, 1809. A most beautiful and novel sight presented itself
here: it consisted of upwards of 350 ships, many from the Baltic, and some from
Flushing, with French prisoners and wounded men. They anchored off this place,
within a short distance, and remained the greater part of the day.
November 22, 1818. Anew organ was opened in this parish church, built by Mr.
Bryceson, of Long Acre, London.
||Members for Aldborough
||Z. P. Fonnereau, Nicholas Linwood, Thomas Fonnereau
||Thomas Fonnereau, Richard Combe, Martin Fonnereau
||Martin Fonnereau, Philip Claude Crespigney
||Samuel Salt. Philip Claude Crespigney
||George Lord Grey, Thomas Grenville
||Sir John Aubrey, Bart. Mich. Ang. Taylor
||Imp. Parl, George Johnstone
||Sir John Aubrey, Bart. John M'Mahon
||Lord Dufferin, Andrew Strahan
||Joshua Walker, Samuel Walker
||Joshua Walker, James Blair
||Joshua Walker, John Wilson Croker
||Marquis of Douro, John Wilson Croker
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page