Bealings Magna, or Belinges
The principal lordship of this parish was bought of the heirs of the Pitts, of
Crows' Hall, in Debenham, by James (not George ) Bridges, Esq., who resided
here. The hall, some years afterwards, became the residence of the farmer of the
estate, and was at length pulled down by Sir John Henniker, Bart., who at that
period was owner of the property; and it now belongs to the Right Hon. John
Henniker Major, Baron Henniker, M.P. for East Suffolk, his representative.
The Seckford Hall estate, in this parish, became the inheritance of a family of
that name about the time of King Edward II., and so continued until the death of
Mrs. Dorothy Seckford, in 1673.
In 1359, Sir John de Seckford resided here; he was son of Sir John de Seckford,
of this parish, Knt., and Joan his wife, eldest daughter and co-heir of Sir
William Hakeford; and who, in 1331, became in her right, owner of Hakeford Hall
manor, in the parish of West Herling, in Norfolk. He married Alice, daughter of
_______ _______, who kept court at West Herling, in 1372, Sir John de Seckford,
her husband, being then dead.
Sir George de Seckford succeeded, who possessed the said manor, and in 1401,
settled it on Margaret his wife, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Jenny, Knt.;
who after the death of Sir George, re-married to Augustine Stratton, and this
property passed to George Seckford, Esq.
He married Alice, daughter of Thomas Rokes, of Ridlesworth, in Norfolk, and died
in 1450: his widow re-married Sir Henry Wingfield, Knt., who, in 1470, joined
with her in a release of Hakeford Hall manor, to Thomas Seckford, Esq., lord of
Seckford Hall manor, in this parish. He was her son by the former marriage.
This Thomas Seckford married, first, Margaret, daughter of John Purrey, of
Aylesham, in Norfolk; and secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of _______ _______. He
died in 1507, leaving Thomas Seckford, Esq., of this parish, his heir; who
married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Wingfield, of Letheringham, in this
county, Knt. He represented the borough of Orford in several parliaments; died
in 1575, aged 80; and lies interred in this parish church, where a monument
remains to his memory.
Thomas Seckford, Esq., one of the masters of the Court of Request, and surveyor
of the Court of Wards and Liveries, the munificent founder of the almshouses in
Woodbridge, was second son of the said Thomas Seckford, Esq., and Margaret his
wife. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Harlowe, Esq., relict of Sir
Martin Bowes, of London, Knt; died without issue, in 1587-8, aged 72; and was
buried in a vault which he erected himself, in a chapel on the north side of the
chancel of Woodbridge church.
Erancis, his elder brother, deceased before their father.
Charles Seckford, Esq., succeeded his grandfather, in the Seckford Hall estate,
and his uncle Thomas, in the Woodbridge Priory estate; and married Mary,
daughter of Thomas Steyning, of Earl Soham, Esq., by Frances his wife, Countess
dowager of Surrey, daughter of John Vere, Earl of Oxford. He represented the
borough of Aldeburgh in parliament, in the 14th of Queen Elizabeth, and died in
1591, aged 37; buried at Woodbridge, as was his widow in 1596.
Sir Thomas Seckford succeeded, and married Amie, daughter of ______ Brewster: he
died in 1610, leaving Thomas, his only surviving son, who died in 1624, at
Trinity College Cambridge, aged 10, and lies buried in the chapel there, under a
handsome monument, erected by his uncle, Henry Seckford, Esq.; who, on this
failure of issue male, of his brother Thomas, became seized of the whole
property. He died in 1026, without issue.
Henry Seckford, Esq., of Clerkenwell, Master of the Pavilion to King James,
supported his claim as heir male, and sued his livery in the 5th of King
Charles, 1029; he suffered a recovery, and being seized in fee of the entire
estate, settled the same on himself, and Dorothy his wife, and their heirs in
fee. He died in 1038, without issue.
Mrs. Dorothy Seckford, his widow, was the daughter of Sir Henry North, Knt., and
sister of Henry North, of Sternfield, in this county, Esq. She died at Seckford
Hall, in 1673, and bequeathed that estate to Seckford Cage, Esq., the heir
general of the Seckfords; who sold it to Samuel Atkinson, Esq., of Croydon, in
Surrey. It is now the property of James Morrison, Esq., M,P., by purchase.
The inscription on the church porch, mentioned by Mr. Kirby, reads as follows: "Orate
pro Animabus Thomas Seckeford Armi: et Margareta uxs;" and Mr. Weever gives
the following memorials from this church: "Thomas Seckford, esquire, Elizabeth
and Margaret his wives, which Thomas dyed xxiii. of Novemb. in 1505." "Thomas
Sampson, esquire, dyed the 5. of February 1507." (His family resided at the
adjoining parish of Playford.)
ARMS. Seckford: ermine; on a fess, gules, three escallops, or; and for
their crest, a talbot, passant, ermine.
The prior and convent at Woodbridge, were seized of rent in Bealings Magna, 5s.,
and Bealings Parva, 2s.
Major Edward Moor, author of "Oriental Fragments," "Hindoo Pantheon," "A Suffolk
Glossary,"&c. has a neat seat in this parish.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page