Nacton or Nachetuna
During the latter part of the Anglo-Saxon dynasty, the Danes, who had become a
powerful people in the north, turned their attention southward, and at various
times infested these coasts, with a view of finally getting possession of the
country. Suffolk shared in the general calamity, resulting from the depredatory
incursions of these lawless plunderers. Within the space of ten years, they
pillaged the town of Ipswich twice; first, in or about the year 991, and again
In the latter period, Ulfketel, desirous of restoring the fortunes of his
degraded country, risked a battle with the Danes, at Nacton; but his vigorous
and persevering courage proved unavailing. He sustained a signal defeat, and the
Danish triumphs were complete. The whole of East-Anglia was over-run; neither
towns nor churches were spared, unless redeemed by the inhabitants with large
sums of money, and the most dreadful outrages were every where committed.
The Fastolf family, who were patrons of the living, and probably owners of this
lordship, appear also to have resided here. Weever gives two inscriptions from
this church, to members of that house, namely: Nicholas, son of Thomas Fastalff,
Esq., who died in 1479; and Richard Fastalff, another son, who died the same
year. There were also formerly to be seen in this church, the ARMS of
of Suffolk: quarterly, or and azure; on a bend, gules, three escallops, argent;
impaling Windham. Fastolf: and gules; a chevron between ten cross
crosslets, or: Kyme. Also, Fastolf: and per pale, sable and argent; a
lion rampant, counterchanged.
In the church of St. Margaret, in Ipswich, were formerly the same arms; and
Fastolf: and argent, three chevronels: Watervile, quarterly. The Suffolk
branch of the family also quartered, Mandevile, Braham, and Tye;
and impaled Tyrrell.
The manor and estate passed from the Fastolf family to that of Broke, by
marriage, in the time of King Henry VIII. This family, which has been itself of
great importance for several centuries, traces its remote descent to a common
ancestor with the Brooke's of Leighton; the Brooke's of Norton (created Baronets
in 1662); and the Brooke's of Mere: namely, William de la Brooke, son of Adam,
lord of Leighton, antecedent to the reign of Henry III.
The Philip Broke, Esq., mentioned by Kirby, as being at that period in
possession of this estate, and who had previously represented the borough of
Ipswich in parliament, was great nephew of Sir Robert Broke, Bart., of this
parish, whom he also mentions. This Philip married, in 1732, Anne, daughter and
co-heir of Martin Bowes, Esq., of Bury St. Edmund's.
Philip Bowes Broke, Esq., his only son, succeeded. He married Elizabeth,
daughter, and eventually heiress, of the Rev. Charles Beaumont, of Witnesham, in
this county; and by her, left at his decease, in 1801,
Sir Philip Bowes Vere Broke, of this parish, K.C.B., his eldest son and
successor; a distinguished naval officer, who obtained a baronetcy, 2nd
November, 1813, in consideration of the gallant victory he had achieved, the 1st
of June previously, as Captain of the Shannon ship of war, over the United
States frigate, of superior force, the Chesapeake.
He married Sarah Louisa, daughter of Sir William Fowle Middleton, Bart., of
Shrubland Hall, in this county, and died January 2, 1841. His eldest son and
successor, Sir Philip Broke, Bart., is a Commander in the Royal Navy, and now
inherits this estate.
That brave English Admiral, Edward Vernon, Esq., who distinguished himself at
the taking of Porto Bello, in 1739, and represented Ipswich in parliament from
1740 to the time of his death, which took place in 1757, was a resident of this
He bequeathed the chief of his property to Francis Vernon, his nephew; who
re-built the house here, and enclosed the park; and in 1762, was created Baron
Orwell, in 1776, a Viscount, and, the following year, Earl of Shipbroke: he died
in 1783, without issue, and the title became extinct.
John Vernon, Esq., his nephew, inherited his estate; who exchanged the property
here for Wherstead Lodge, in Samford hundred, with Sir Robert Harland, Bart.;
who married Arethusa, daughter of the late Henry Vernon, Esq., of Great Thurlow,
in this county; niece of Francis, Earl of Shipbroke, and sister of the above
John Vernon, Esq.
Orwell Park is now the seat of Sir Robert Harland, only son of Admiral Sir
Robert Harland, late of Sproughton, in this county, Bart., so created March 16,
ARMS. Broke: or; a cross engrailed, party per pale, sable and
gules. Harland: or; on a bend wavy, between two sea lions, sable, three
bucks' heads cabossed, argent.
John Tudenham, chauntry priest, of the chauntry of Curties, in the church of
Necton, on its dissolution, received a pension of £6 per annum. (Which Mr.
Blomefield supposes mean this parish, and not Necton, in Norfolk.)
Thomas Peacock, A.M., chauntry priest of St. Lawrence church, at Ipswich, and
rector of this parish, was installed, April 23, 1554, Prebendary of the fourth
stall in Norwich Cathedral.
John Mole, eminent for his skill and knowledge in the science of algebra, died
at Nacton, Sept. 20, 1827, in the 85th year of his age. Mr. Mole was a native of
Old Newton, near Stowmarket, in this county. In the above science he was not
indebted to any instruction from others, but acquired his intimate knowledge of
this difficult branch of arithmetic solely from himself.
In 1788, he published "Elements of Algebra," and the reviews of that period
expatiate largely on the merits of this treatise, and speak of it in terms of
the highest commendation. Mr. Mole was also a contributor to the "Ipswich
Magazine," published in 1799. He was, in the strictest sense of the term, a
self-taught genius; and in the study and pursuit of his favorite science, had
deservedly attained considerable celebrity.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page