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Aldborough Parish

British Isles Genealogy | County of Suffolk

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 totally changed.

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 magnificence.

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 successful.

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.

King's Reign A.D. Members for Aldborough
George III 1768 Z. P. Fonnereau, Nicholas Linwood, Thomas Fonnereau
  1774 Thomas Fonnereau, Richard Combe, Martin Fonnereau
  1780 Martin Fonnereau, Philip Claude Crespigney
  1784 Samuel Salt. Philip Claude Crespigney
  1790 George Lord Grey, Thomas Grenville
  1796 Sir John Aubrey, Bart. Mich. Ang. Taylor
  1801 Imp. Parl, George Johnstone
  1802 Sir John Aubrey, Bart. John M'Mahon
  1806 The Same
  1807 The Same
  1812 Lord Dufferin, Andrew Strahan
  1818 Joshua Walker, Samuel Walker
George IV. 1820 Joshua Walker, James Blair
. 1826 Joshua Walker, John Wilson Croker
William IV 1830 Marquis of Douro, John Wilson Croker
  1831 The same

County of Suffolk

Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page

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