Snapes or Snapys
In the year 1099, William Martel, Albreda his wife, and Jeffrey their son and
heir, gave the manor of Snape, with the benefit of wrecks of the sea, from Thorp
to Orford Ness, to the Abbot and Convent of St. John, at Colchester, for the
purpose of founding in this parish, a Priory, which should be a cell to that
By this deed of gift it appears evident that the founder intended to have this
design immediately put in execution, which the monies of Colchester delayed
until 1155; at which period a Prior, and some Benedictine monks from that house,
Isabel, Countess of Suffolk, and patroness of this Priory, preferred a complaint
to Pope Boniface IX., which stated that the Abbot and Convent of Colchester did
not maintain a sufficient number of religious here, according to the intention
of the founders;. when this house was made conventual, and exempt from
subjection to Colchester.
In 1508, it was in the Crown, but by what means is not known, and was granted to
Butley Abbey; but the Prior and Canons re-signed all claim to the same in the
following year. It was one of those small Monasteries that were suppressed in
1524, and given towards the endowment of Ipswich College.
It was dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary; and its valuation, in Taxatio
Ecclesiastica, in thirteen parishes, is 32
12s. 7½d., but in 1534,
£99 1s. 11½d.
In 1532, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, obtained a grant of this Monastery: it
subsequently became the estate of Sir Henry Johnson, and passed as the Friston
property, to the Earl of Strafford. It was recently the possession of Richard
William Howard Vyse, Esq.
ARMS. The same as Colchester Abbey. Gules; a cross, or; on a border of
the second, eight mullets of six points, of the first.
CHARITIES. The Rev. John Lambert, by a codicil, dated in 1802, bequeathed
to this parish £200; the interest thereof to
be distributed by the churchwardens, at Christmas, to poor housekeepers who do
not receive pay of the parish. This legacy is invested in stock, being
£250 three per cent, Consols.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page