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