Henstead or Henestede
The family of Pierpoint, who were of French extraction, became very early
possessed of this lordship. At the time of the general survey, in 1078, Robert
de Pierpoint held the same, under William Earl Warren; from whom descended Simon
de Pierpoint, a person remarkable for his great fidelity to King Henry III., as
well as for the extent of his possessions.
His descendants were men of renown in their succeeding gene-rations; but did not
become ennobled until the reign of King Charles I., under the title of Earl of
Kingston, and afterwards Marquess of Dorchester.
This estate continued in their house until the time of King Edward III. John,
son of Simon Pierpoint, of this parish, married Ela, daughter of Sir William de
Calthorpe; who settled on them the manor of Hurst-Pierpoint, in Sussex, on this
marriage, in the 5th of that reign, as appears by a fine.
In the latter part of the reign of King Henry VII., it was vested in the Clopton
family; in Queen Elizabeth's time, the Sydnors, of Blundeston, held it; and at
the restoration, it was the estate of Sir Robert Brook, of Yoxford. Since that
period it belonged to the family of Mildmay, from whom it passed to the
Hallidays, who bequeathed it to John Amyas, Gent., of Beccles; whose son, the
Rev. John Amyas, rector of this parish, sold the same to Thomas Kett, Esq., of
Seething, in Norfolk. Charles Barclay, Esq., who married the eldest daughter of
Mr. Kett, is the present possessor: he resides at Henstead House.1
The Rev. John Gordon, D.D., F.R.S., Precentor and Archdeacon of Lincoln, was
rector of this parish, upon the presentation of Emanuel College, of which
society he was a Fellow: he was highly distinguished by strong natural
abilities, and an early proficiency in classical literature.
Dr. Gordon, in 1762, married the widow of Dr. Philip Williams, formerly rector
of Barrow, in this county. He died at Lincoln, January 5, 1793.
The Rev. John Amyas succeeded: he was presented by Bevill Paston Chambre, Esq.;
it having been previously decided that the right of presentation was not in
Emanuel College. Mr. Amyas was formerly of Cams College, Cambridge: he held this
lordship prior to his presentation to the living, and died April 19, 1810, aged
CHARITIES. The town land consists of about two acres, for which a rent of
£3 a year is paid, by Charles Barclay, Esq.,
being surrounded by the lands of that gentleman, and which formerly belonged to
the Rev. John Amyas. The sum of £l a year is
also paid in respect of a house in the parish of Rushmere. The rent of the land,
and annuity, are applied to the repairs of the church. In 1599, Henry Branden
gave, by will, his tenement in Rushmere; one half of the rents to be distributed
to the poor of this parish, and the other half to be applied in payment of 6s.
8d. a year to the poor of Rushmere, and the reparation of the church of
Henstead, and of the said tenement. The premises thus devised, being about three
roods in extent, were demised to a person who erected a cottage on the ground,
for which he pays a rent of 17s. a year, which is applied as the donor directed.
The poors' allotment, of 14 acres, was awarded on the enclosure of Sotterley
Common, to the poor of this parish; it lets at £20
a year, and the rent is laid out in coals which are distributed among the poor
people in winter.
1. A view and some account of this house is given in
"Davy's Seats of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Suffolk," engraved by J. Lambert.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page