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Covehithe Parish

British Isles Genealogy | County of Suffolk

Covehithe or Northales

This church was impropriated to the monks of Wangford Priory, and granted therewith, on the dissolution of that Monastery, to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk; in whose family it continued until 1612, when Sir John Rous, Knt., purchased this impropriation of the Duke of Norfolk, together with the other Wangford estates, and the fee thereof still continues in that family; but Sir Thomas Sherlock Gooch, Bart., is the present impropriator, under a lease for 99 years; being part of the estate purchased by his ancestor, of Thomas Carthew, of Benacre, Esq. The vicarage has been since consolidated to Benacre.

In 1308, John de Cove, and Eve his wife, had a grant of free warren in their lands here.

The lordship of this parish was vested in Simon de Pierpoint, and subsequently passed to the Dacres family; in which it continued until about the middle of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Sir Thos. Sherlock Gooch, Bart., of Benacre Hall, is the present owner of the lordship.

John Bale, Bishop of Ossory, in Ireland, son of Henry Bale, and Margaret his wife, was born in this parish, the 21st of November, 1495. His parents being in poor circumstances, and encumbered with a large family, he was entered, at twelve years of age, in the Monastery of Carmelites, at Norwich, and from thence removed to Jesus College, in Cambridge.

He was educated in the Roman religion, but afterwards became a protestant, through the instrumentality of Thos. Lord Wentworth, which, however, greatly exposed him to the displeasure of the Romish clergy, against whom he was protected by Lord Cromwell, a nobleman high in favor with King Henry VIII. On Cromwell's death, Bale was obliged to retire into Holland, where he resided eight years; during which time he wrote several pieces against popery.

On the accession of Edward VI., he was recalled into England, and presented to the living of Bishops Stocke, in Southampton: in 1552, he was nominated to the see of Ossory, in Ireland; whence on the death of King Edward, he was forced to fly, and in his passage over the sea, was taken prisoner by pirates; after many hardships and dangers, he arrived safely in Switzerland, where he continued during the reign of Queen Mary.

After her death, he returned from exile, but not to his bishopric, contenting himself with a Prebend in the cathedral church of Canterbury, to which he was promoted in 1560; and in which city he died, in 1563, and was buried in the cathedral of that place.

Fuller says, "One may wonder, that, being so learned a man, who had done and suffered so much for religion, higher promotion was not forced upon him; seeing, about the beginning of Queen Elizabeth, bishoprics went about begging able men to receive them.

But probably he was a person more learned than discreet, fitter to write than to govern, as unable to command his own passion; and 'biliosus Balaeus' passeth for his true character."

His fame now chiefly rests on his "De Scriptoribus Britannicis;" which, with every deduction that can be made from this great work, it must ever be regarded as the foundation of British biography.

CHARITIES. An allotment of 40 acres, or thereabouts, which was set out for the poor on an inclosure, lets at 25 a year; which is laid out in coals, and given among the poor of the parish, in different quantities, according to the size of their families. There is another piece of land in this parish, which has long been appropriated to the poor; and by the report of old inhabitants, it is represented to contain about seven acres, but its precise extent and boundaries are not known: part of it is waste, and serves no other purpose than that of a covert for game. The sum of 2 12s. 6d. a year, is paid as rent, by a tenant of Sir Thomas Sherlock Gooch, Bart.; but it appears from the returns of Charitable Donations made to Parliament in 1786, that it then produced 3 15s. a year.

County of Suffolk

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

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