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Melton Parish

British Isles Genealogy | County of Suffolk

Melton or Meltuna

The Dean and Chapter of the cathedral church of Ely are proprietors of this manor and advowson. There is a curious octagonal font in this church, which has been engraved in the "Archaeologia," published by the Society of Antiquaries of London.

In this parish stood the House of Industry for the hundreds of Loes and Willford, which was built in the year 1768, and has since been converted into a County Lunatic Asylum; the whole expense of which, to April 1829, was 26,881; of this sum 26,000 was raised by loans.

In the year 1764, Willford Bridge being decayed, was pulled down, and wholly rebuilt with brick, at the cost of 175; and in the year 1798, this bridge was taken down, and rebuilt with white brick and stone, at a much more considerable cost. Mr. Kirby mentions a bequest of 20, given in 1539, by Richard Cook, of this parish, and other legacies named about the same period, towards the first erection of the said bridge, which was probably built soon after.

John de Diss, rector of this parish, gave, in 1420, to the altar at Diss, in Norfolk, 13s. 4d.; to repair the said church, 26s. 8d.; to the poor, 20s.; and to St. Nicholas chapel, 6s. 8d. He was buried in Woodbridge Priory.

Dr. Joseph White, an eminent Oriental scholar, Canon of Christ Church, Regius Professor of Hebrew, and Laudian Professor of Arabic, in the University of Oxford, was rector of this parish; the hiving of which he accepted about 1790.

He was born in 1746, of parents of low circumstances, in Gloucester, where his father was a journeyman weaver, and brought up his son to the same business. Being however, a sensible man, he gave him what little learning was in his power, at one of the charity schools at Gloucester. This excited a thirst for greater acquisition in the young man, who employed all the time he could spare in the study of such books as fell in his way.

His attainments at length attracted the notice of a neighboring gentleman of fortune, who sent him to the University of Oxford, where he was entered of Wadham College, and took his degree of A.M. in 1773, and about that time engaged in the study of the Oriental languages; to which he was induced by the particular recommendation of Dr. Moore, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. In 177o, he was appointed Archbishop Land's Professor of Arabic. Lord Thurlow, then Lord Chancellor, without any solicitation, gave him a Prebend in the Cathedral of Gloucester, which at once placed him in easy and independent circumstances. In 1787, he took the degree of D.D., and was looked up to with the greatest respect in the University, as one of its chief ornaments. He died at the canonry residence at Christ Church, May 22, 1814.

CHARITIES. The parish estate is partly freehold, and partly copyhold, and consists of six cottages, occupied by paupers, and two pieces of land, called Green Man Meadow, containing together 2A. 1r. 12p., formerly given by one John Jenner, for the use of the poor. The rent of these pieces of land, at the time this report was made, was 5 10s. a year. An offer of 12, or .12 12s. a year, had been received, in 1828, for the same. The rent is laid out in bread, which is distributed among the poor. The Church Lands consist of several inclosures, containing together 27 A. 3n. 17P., the rents of which have, from ancient time, been appropriated to the repairs of the church; and several other inclosures, called the Charity Lands, containing together 13A. 3r. 16p., appropriated, under donations from persons named Halifax and Histed, for providing fuel for eight poor persons. These lands were long held at 36 a year, which sum has lately been increased: and the rents are applied, partly to the purpose of repairing the cottages, and partly to the reparation of the church, and the payment of other charges, attending the celebration of divine service; and the remainder, generally to the amount of 17 a year, is laid out in the purchase of coals, which are distributed among poor persons.

County of Suffolk

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

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