Estuna or East-Town
This parish was formerly large and well inhabited; and is reputed to have
carried on a considerable traffic, especially in fishery. In most of the old
wills of the ancient inhabitants, bequests are made of their nets and fishing
It was situated on a cliff, separated by the river, on the north, from
Southwold, and was the most eastern promontory in the kingdom; hence called
Easton: it became very early vested in the Bevant family; hence Easton Bavent.
By the encroachment of the sea, it has now become reduced to only one or two
In the 9th of King Edward I., Thomas de Bevant held the lord-ship and advowson
of this parish; and in the 2nd of the following reign, either he, or a
descendant of the same name, was attached for taking wreck at sea, between
Benacre and Snodespyche; he answered, he did not know where Snodespyche was, but
that he and his ancestors had always taken wreck in Easton.
In the 4th of King Edward III., the said Thomas had a grant for a weekly market
here, on Wednesday, and an annual fair on the eve and morrow of St. Nicholas;
and in the 13th of that reign, Thomas de Bevant, and Alice Ms wife, settled this
lordship, with Cheddiston, in this hundred, on himself for life; remainder to
William his son, and Catherine his wife; remainder to Felicia his daughter,
sister of William; and the remainder to John, son of Thomas Ubbeston; remainder
to Richard, son of John, son of Baldwin Bavent. In the 20th of the same reign,
William Bavent, and Robert Pavilli, were lords.
The parish church was dedicated to St. Nicholas, the fisherman's patron, but has
long since been demolished by the sea. Here was also a chapel, dedicated to St.
Margaret: it was probably in being in 1638, when a license was granted for two
persons to be married there.
The living was long held by sequestration, no clergyman choosing to take
institution to it, until it became discharged of first 'fruits and tenths, in
Queen Anne's time. It is now consolidated to Benacre.
The manor and advowson here being appendant, the following list of patrons will
also serve to point out the descent of the, lordship:
||Heir of Sir John Shardelow, Knt
||Richard de Glosbeck
||Thomas Hopton, Esq
||Sir Thomas Bavent, Knt
||William Roberts, Esq
||John Argentin, Knt
||Wm. Roberds Smith, Esq.
||Jeffery Howland, Esq.
In 1695, Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of John Howland, of Streatham, in
Surrey, Esq., married Wriothesly Russel, afterwards Duke of Bedford, and the
patronage continued in that family till Thos. Carthew, of Benacre, Esq.,
purchased it of the said Dutchess dowager, in 1719, or thereabouts: from him it
passed to William Gooch, Esq., by purchase, in 1743, and Sir Thomas Sherlock
Gooch, of Benacre, Bart., is the present proprietor.
On Trinity Sunday, in 1748, divine service was celebrated in a barn in this
parish, by the Rev. Mr. North; when prayers, and the 39 articles of religion,
were read in due form, and a sermon preached in the afternoon; the declaration
of the minister's assent to the said articles, having been subscribed. Mr.
Gardner, the Dunwich historian, was present: he observes, "a chair and a little
table occupied the places of desk and pulpit; for pews were substituted stools
and benches; and the want of mats was sufficiently supplied by a plenty of
straw, that covered the area of the nave of the church."
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page