Playford or Plageforda
In 1227, Thomas de Blumvillo (or Blundeville), Bishop of Norwich, purchased
lands in this parish; and Harvey Fitz Peter gave the rent of half-a-mark, with
certain homages here, to West Dereham Abbey, in Norfolk. Weever has this notice:
"John Felbrydge and Margery his wife in the glasse windoo." "Thomas Sampson,
esquyer, which dyed in anno 1439, and Margery his wife. "In Playford church.
The Felbrigg's of this parish were a junior branch of a family of that name,
very early seated at Felbrigg, in Norfolk, of whom Mr. Parkin gives a full
account, in his history of that parish; from which we collect the following
particulars, concerning this Suffolk, or younger branch.
John, second son of Sir Roger Felbrigg (alias Bigod), and Cecilia his wife, was
lord of Tuttington Hall, in this county, in the 13th of King Edward III., by the
gift of his father; and Roger, his son, held the same in the 41st of that reign.
Sir George Felbrigg, Knt., was son of the said Roger; he married, 1st, Avice (or
Amy), relict of Edmund de Reedisham, daughter and heir of Sir Roger de Hales, by
whom he had no surviving issue. His second wife was Margery, eldest daughter and
co-heir of Sir John de Aspale, widow of Sir Thomas Naunton, Knt.
In the 41st of Edward III., the King wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury, his
Chancellor, to pardon his beloved Esquire, George de Felbrigg, for money due to
the Crown, for lands granted to him on forfeiture: about the end of his reign,
he was Esquire of the Body to that King.
In the 7th of King Richard II., he, and Margery his wife, held the lordships of
Wortham and Ingham, in this county. He was in the King's army, when he marched
into Scotland, in his 9th year; was Knighted by him on his entrance into that
country, and had a grant of £40 per annum, for life, payable out of the issues
of Norfolk and Suffolk, by the Sheriff; was appointed one of the King's
Proctors, in his 10th year, to conclude a league with William Duke of
Guelderland, and Thomas, Duke of Gloucester and Constable of England; and, in
the 15th of the said King, one of the Lieutenants in the Court of Chivalry, to
hear and determine the cause between the Lords Morley and Lovell.
Sir George Felbrigg died in 1400, and was buried in St. Mary's church, in this
parish; and Margery his wife, in 1419, who appointed Richard Felbrigg, her
second son, executor. In a window of the church of Playford, which was built by
Sir George, was his portrait, and that of his second wife, with the arms of
Felbrigg, impaling Aspal.
He was succeeded by Sir John Felbrigg, his eldest son and heir, by Margery his
wife; who, by his will, dated in 1423, was buried in the chancel of this parish
church, in which were formerly the arms of Felbrigg impaling Waldegrave,
probably his lady.
Sir John left an only daughter and heir, Margery, who married Thomas Sampson,
Esq.: he inherited this property, in her right, and died in 1489, as above. His
quartered coat then was, Sampson, quartering Felbrigg, and Aspal.
This estate continued in the Sampson family, until the death of Sir Thomas
Sampson, Knt., in . Margery, his sister and heiress, married Robert, son of John
Felton, Esq., of Shotley, who inherited in her right; and since that period it
has passed the same as the Shotley property. Frederick William, Marquess of
Bristol, is now lord and patron.
The Hall, which exhibits a curious specimen of ancient domestic architecture, is
now the residence of Thomas Clarkson1, Esq., whose
benevolent exertions for the abolition of slavery are well known throughout the
ARMS. Blundeville: quarterly per fess indented, or and azure; a bend,
argent. Felbrigg: or; a lion rampant, gules, armed, azure. Sampson:
argent; a cross flory, gules, between four escallops, sable.
1. There is an excellent portrait of this gentleman, from the
original, by A. E. Chalon, Esq., R.A., engraved by C. Turner, Esq., engraver in
ordinary to his Majesty: published by Mr. Stephen Piper, of Ipswich.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page