Rendlesham or Rendilisham
"A remarkable place, I assure you," says Fuller, "which though now a country
village, was anciently the residence of the Kings of the East Angles; where King
Redwald, a mongrel Christian, kept at the same time altare et arulam; the
communion table, and altars for idols."
There are four manors in this parish, namely: Naunton Hall, Caketon's, Bavent's,
and Colvylle's. The advowson was formerly appendant to the latter, but since the
time of King James I., the Crown has presented.
Sir John de Holbrook, Knt., was lord of Colvylle's, and presented to this church
in 1304; it continued in that house until about 1387, when Sir John Falstaff,
Knt., presented, as lord of Colvylle's: in 1558, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk,
presented, as lord of the same manor.
The advowson afterwards reverted to the Crown, and King James presented in 1621;
but this manor, with that of Bavent's, in the time of King Charles I., belonged
to Robert Lane, Esq., who removed from Campsey Ash, and resided in this parish:
John Corrance, Esq., M.P. for Aldborough, afterwards purchased the same; and
William Long, of Dunston, near Norwich, who married a daughter and co-heiress of
that house, afterwards inherited them.
The ancient family of Naunton became seated in this parish soon after the
Conquest, and gave name to the manor still called Naunton Hall. In the reign of
King Henry III., Henry de Naunton married a daughter of Tye, and by her had
issue two sons, Hugo and Richard; the former resided here in the time of King
He married Eleanor, the daughter of Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, by whom he
had issue, Hugo de Naunton, from whom descended the Letheringham branch;
Bartholomew de Naunton, and Sir Thomas de Naunton, Knt., who settled at Rougham,
near St. Edmund's Bury. Sir Bartholomew, their second son, dwelt at Naunton
Hall, in this parish, in the time of King Richard II.
He married Joan, the daughter and co-heir of Sir John Argentein, by whom he had
issue an only daughter and heiress, Margaret, who married Robert Bokerton; and
Margaret, their only daughter, married Bartholomew Bacon, Esq., whose only
daughter, Margaret, married Robert Fitz Ralf, Esq., and a daughter of Fitz Ralf
married a Harman.
In the reign of King Henry VII., Christopher, the son of Reginald Harman, of
Tunstall, in tin's county, Esq., was owner of Naunton Hall; and in 1552, John
Harman, Esq., by deed of bargain and sale, conveyed the said manor, with
Caketon's, to James Spencer, his brother-in-law, and his heirs; who made Naunton
Hall his seat. He died in 1567, seized of this entire estate.
It continued in the house of Spencer, until the death of Edward Spencer, Esq.,
about 1734; when Anne,1 his daughter and co-heiress,
inherited the same. She married, 1st., James, fifth Duke of Hamilton, and
secondly, the Hon. Richard Savage Nassau, second son of Frederick, third Earl of
It descended to Lord Archabald Hamilton, the late Duke of Hamilton, by whom it
was sold: it was afterwards purchased by Sir George Wombwell, Bart., and by him
sold to the late Peter Isaac Thellusson, Esq., afterwards created Baron
Rendlesham. The estate is now vested in his representative, Lord Rendlesham; who
is the principal proprietor in this parish.
In the reign of King Edward III., Richard de Rendlesham resided here, and was a
trustee for divers lands, vested by that King's license, in the Prior and
Convent of Butley. He died in 1391, and was succeeded by Robert de Rendlesham,
his eldest son and heir, who deceased in 1404, without issue; and was succeeded
by Robert de Rendlesham, Ins cousin and heir.
Richard de Rendlesham, his grandson, in or about 1507, sold part of his estate
in tin's parish, and Tunstall, to Christopher Harman, Esq., and his heirs, and
part thereof to Thomas Alverd, of Ipswich, Esq., who had a considerable estate
in Rendlesham, and its vicinity. Elizabeth, his daughter and co-heir, married
William Bamburgh, Gent., who appears to have inherited this estate in right of
such marriage; from whom it passed to Head, Alexander, and Holditch.
A farm in this parish, known by the name of the Hough-Hill, said to have been
formerly the residence of Edward the Confessor, was a part of the estate of the
Earl of Bristol, and sold by him to Mr. Thellusson. It came into Lord Bristol's
family, by the marriage of John Lord Hervey, with Mary, daughter of Brigadier-
General Nicholas Lepel.
Leonard Mawe, a younger son of Simon Mawe, and Margery his wife, was born in
this parish, in 1573; of whom Dr. Fuller gives the following account: "He was
bred in Cambridge, where he was Proctor of the University, Fellow and Master of
Peter-house, after of Trinity College, whereof he deserved well; shewing what
might be done in five years, by good husbandry, to disengage that foundation
from a great debt.
"He was Chaplain to King Charles whilst he was a Prince, and waited on him in
Spain; by whom he was preferred Bishop of Bath and Wells, in 1628. He had the
reputation of a good scholar, grave preacher, a mild man, and one of gentle
deportment. He died anno Domini, 1629."
In this parish was born, July 28, 1754, William Henry Nassau, Earl of Rochford,
Viscount Tunbridge, and Baron of Enfield; son of the Hon. Richard Savage Nassau,
and of her Grace, Anne Duchess Dowager of Hamilton and Brandon, and daughter of
Edward Spencer, of Rendlesham, Esq.
John Caperon (or Capron), was instituted to this rectory in 1349, on the
presentation of Sir Thomas de Holbrook. By his will, dated in 1375, he
bequeathed his body to be buried in the chancel here, before the image of St.
Gregory, and gave 40s. towards making a tabernacle for the said image, and 10s.
for erecting a cross, at the division of the King's highway, between Tunstall
and Rendlesham. An old monument in the chancel of this church, is supposed to
have been erected to his memory.
Lawrence Echard, M.A., Archdeacon of Stow, was instituted here in 1722, on the
presentation of King George I. An historian of considerable merit: his principal
work is the History of England, in 3 vols. folio. He died in 1730.
Samuel Henley, D.D., F.A.S., was instituted to this living in 1782, on the
presentation of King George III., and died at the rectory here, December 29,
1815. This eminently learned Orientalist, was some time Professor of Moral
Philosophy at the College of Williamsburg, in Virginia. He was afterwards
appointed one of the assistants at Harrow School; and was elected F.S.A., in
1778, at which time he was curate of Northall, in Middlesex; and in 1805,
presented, by the East India Company, Principal of their then newly established
College, at Hertford. Dr. Henley was the author of several learned publications.
Mem. Some years since, on opening a rise of ground in the church-yard, on
the north side of the church,2 a great number of
human bones were discovered, lying confusedly within three feet of the surface;
supposed to be the remains of persons who died of some contagious disease, which
rapidly carried off a large part of the population.
In 1830, the princely residence of Rendlesham House3,
in this parish, surpassed by few in the kingdom, was unfortunately entirely
destroyed by fire. It originated in the conservatory, which was warmed by flues
that passed under a suite of rooms. The damage was estimated at
£,100,000. No part of the property was
ARMS. Naunton: sable; three martlets, argent. Rendlesham:
gules; three bucks' heads caboshed, argent; attired, or. Harman: azure; a
chevron between six rams accrossted, counter tripping, argent, 2, 2, and 2.
Spencer: quarterly, argent and gules; on the 2nd and 3rd, a frett, or; over
all a bend, sable: three mullets of the 1st within a bordure, counterchanged.
Corrance: on a chevron, sable, between three ravens, proper, as many
leopards' heads, or.
CHARITIES. The town estate consists of five roods of land, in Rendlesham,
on part of which four tenements, occupied by paupers, have been erected; and the
remainder is let at 2s. 6d. a year. A piece of land, in this parish, containing
1A. 2R. 26p., intermixed with the glebe land, for which the rector pays
£.1 a year. Several pieces of land in the
parish of Snape, containing together 11A. 1R. 33p., let at
£.12 a year. These lands were obtained in
1615, by exchange with Thomas Mawe, Gent., for other lands in Rendlesham; and
the uses then settled were, for the payment of the King's taske, the reparation
of the church, and maintenance of the poor: hut it has long been the custom for
the overseers of the poor to receive and apply the rents with the poors' rate.
1. Elizabeth, her sister, married in 1739, Sir James Dashwood,
of Kirtlington Park, in the county of Oxford, Bart., who died at her house in
Grosvenor Square, London, April 19, 1798, in the 84th year of her age, and was
buried at Rendlesham.
2. A neat engraving of this parish church, from a drawing by Mr.
Isaac Johnson, is given in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1821, accompanied with a
full account of that building, its inscriptions, rectors, &c.
3. A view of this mansion is engraved in Davy's "Suffolk Seats,"
accompanied with a particular description of the structure.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page