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Campsey Ash Parish

British Isles Genealogy | County of Suffolk

Capesea, Campess, Or Caumpes

Previous to 1195, Theobald de Valoines gave his estate in this parish to his two sisters, Joan and Agnes, for the purpose of founding a nunnery here, wherein they and other pious women might live to the service of God: this design having been put into execution, Joan de Valoies became the first prioress of this monastery.

In "Valor Ecclesiasticus,"1534, the gross value is .2 13 Os. 5d. It contained a prioress and nineteen nuns, previously to the dissolution. The last prioress was Elizabeth Buttry, who died in 1548, and was buried in St. Stephen's church, in Norwich.

Among the annual charges upon the endowment, according to the wills of the founder, and succeeding benefactors, were these: "For three wax candles, of the weight of three pounds, on the anniversary of Lady Anne Waylond, in the church of Ashe; and at the mass of the blessed Virgin, in the church of Campsey, 3s. 6d." "For seven flagons of oil, for burning in the lamps in the chapel of the blessed Virgin Mary and St. Nicholas, 5s. l0d.; and three flagons of wine, for celebrating masses in the chantry, 2s. 8d. per annum." "For annual alms to poor persons on certain days, 19s." The sum of .10 was annually divided between the prioress, sacrist, camerarius, almoner, celarer, and infirmarer; and .6 13s. 4d. between nuns of this nunnery, according to ancient custom.

At the dissolution, in 1543, it was granted to Sir William Willoughby, Knt.; who sold the lordship of this parish to Anthony Bull, of Ipswich, Gent.; and the priory, with the demesne lands, to John Lane, Gent., who made the Abbey his residence, until Ms death, which happened in or about the 3rd of Queen Elizabeth.

It continued in his descendants until the time of King Charles I., when Robert Lane, Esq., removed to Mendlesham, in Hartismere hundred, and sold this estate to Frederick Scot, Gent., a descendant from the Scots, of Glemsford, in this county. He resided here in 1655, but afterwards sold the same to Sir Henry Wood, of Loudham, Knt., and removed to Leiston, where he died in 1662, and was buried there.

From the Woods it passed to William Chapman, Esq., and was lately the property of Jacob Whitbread, Esq.1

Ash High House was erected by William (not John) Glover, Esq., a retainer of Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk (not Norfolk), about the year 1600; and obtained its present appellation from the circumstance of its being four stories in height.2

In or about the year 1652, William Glover, Esq., his grandson, sold this estate to John Sheppard, Gent., a descendant of a family of considerable antiquity, originally seated at Mendlesham, in this county. The Gentleman's Magazine for 1830, at pages 398 and 510, contains biographical notices of this respectable family, from which account we derive the following particulars:

The John Sheppard who purchased this estate, and removing hither made it his residence, was eldest son of John Sheppard, who lived at Mendlesham, in the reigns of James and Charles I., by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of John Lane, of this parish, Gent. Their second son, Edmund, continued at Mendlesham.

John, only son of John Sheppard, of this parish, died unmarried in 1671, and devised this property to be sold by his kinsman, Edmund Sheppard, jun., who thereupon disposed of it to his father, Edmund Sheppard, of Rendlesham, Gent., who died in 1676; and this estate descended to the above-mentioned Edmund Sheppard, Esq., who, removing from Mendlesham, made this his future residence.

He married Anne, only daughter of Sir John Coell, of Depden, Knt., one of the Masters in Chancery, during the reign of King Charles II.; by whom he had several children, all of whom, how-ever, died unmarried, excepting John, who survived him.

He died here in 1708, and was succeeded by his son, John Sheppard; who, after his father's decease, made great additions to his seat here, and considerable improvements. He married the Eight Hon. Anne, Countess of Leicester, relict of the Eight Hon. Philip Sydney, fifth Earl of Leicester, and one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Sir Robert Reeve (alias Wright), of Thwaite, in this county, Bart., by whom he had no issue. He married, secondly, Hannah Wilmot, by whom, likewise, he had no issue.

Mr. Sheppard died in 1747, and it appears that he was succeeded in his estates by his kinsman, John Sheppard, a descendant from a branch of 'this family, who became early seated at Wetheringset, in this county, and a descendant of his is the present proprietor; a son of John Wilson Sheppard, Esq., who died in 1830, at Bury St. Edmund's, during his attendance at the assizes, as High Sheriff for the county.

The old seat mentioned by Kirby, as purchased of Theophilus Howard, Earl of Suffolk, by John Braham (or Brame), Gent., is the manor of Ash, a member of Framlingham manor, and parcel of Bi-god's; formerly held by William de Hoo, at half-a-knight's fee; and in the 2nd of Queen Elizabeth, by Lord Abergavenny: the same property that Anthony Bull bought, as above. It continued in that house for several generations, until the death of John Bra-ham, Esq., Banister- at- Law, in 1700; who, by Jane his wife, eldest daughter of Sir John Duke, of Benhall Lodge, Bart., left two daughters and co-heirs, Elizabeth and Jane, who in 1764, were residents therein.

The advowson now is, and always was, appendant to this manor. In 1312, the widow of Roger Bigod, last of that surname, Earl of Norfolk, presented to this church; in 1361, the relict of Thomas de Brotherton; in 1395, the Lady Margaret, Countess of Norfolk, the eldest daughter of Thomas de Brotherton; in 1447, John, Viscount Beaumont, in right of Lady Catherine his wife, the widow of John Mowbray, Earl of Norfolk; in 1506, Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey; in 1533, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk; in 1561, William, Lord Willoughby; in 1607, Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk; in 1637, Theophilus Howard, Earl of Suffolk; in 1671, John Brame, Gent.; and in 1817, the Lord Rendlesham, whose descendant is the present proprietor.

The Rev. George Frederic Tavel, rector of this parish, and Euston in Suffolk, died April 26, 1829. This amiable man, and accomplished scholar, was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1795, proceeded to the degree of A.M. In 1798, and 1800, he was appointed one of the Moderators, and in the latter year a Taxor of the University: he, for many years, filled the important office of Tutor in his College. In 1811, he was presented by the Society, to the vicarage of Kellington, in Yorkshire; and in the same year he married to the Lady Augusta Fitzroy, the 4th daughter of Augustus Henry, 3rd Duke of Grafton, by his 2nd wife, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. Sir Richard Wrottesley, Bart., and Dean of Windsor. Mr. Tavel was presented to tin's living in 1817, by Sir Ralph James Woodford, Bait.; on which occasion he vacated the vicarage of Kellington. In 1818, he was elected a Fellow of the

Royal Society; and in 1828, he was presented by his brother-in-law, the Duke of Grafton, to the rectory of Euston.

ARMS. Lane: argent; three chevronels, sable. Skot: argent; three Catherine wheels, sable, within a bordure engrailed, gules. Sheppard: sable; a fess between three talbots passant, argent. Glover: sable; a fess crenelle, ermine, between three crescents, argent. Braham: sable; a cross patonce, or.

CHARITIES. The parish estate here, of which the acquisition is unknown, comprises a messuage, called the "Town House, "in two tenements, with a yard and a piece of land, containing by estimation, two acres, which are let together at .10 a year; with a piece of waste, containing about an acre, unproductive, having a sand-pit therein. The income is, by usage, appropriated by the churchwardens to the reparation and ornament of the church, and other expenses of their office.

1. This Chantry was probably that founded by Maud de Lancaster, and afterwards removed to Bruisyard, where it will be further noticed.

2. A view of this house is given in the "Excursions in Suffolk."

County of Suffolk

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

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