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Sproughton Parish

British Isles Genealogy | County of Suffolk


The manor of Boss Hall, in Sproughton, was so called from Edward de Bordeshawe, who resided there in the time of Henry III., and in whose family it continued for some generations. It afterwards came into the family of Bull: the hall was built by Anthony Bull, portman of Ipswich, in the time of James I. Thomas, Insson, left three daughters; one married to Benjamin Cutler, of Sproughton; another, to Charles Vesey, of Hintlesham, Esq.; and the other, to Serjeant Major John Moodie, of Ipswich, in 1655. It afterwards passed into the Broke family, of Nacton; and was lately sold by them to the late Mr. Thomas Kersey, of Whitton; whose son now resides there.

In the 11th of King Henry VI., 1433, Sir William Drowries held one knight's fee in this parish; from whom it passed to Sir Thomas Sampson, of Playford, Knt.: this manor and advowson remains in the same house, as at the period Mr. Kirby's account was published, Frederick William, Marquess of Bristol, being the present lord and patron; having passed as the lordship of Playford.

The Chauntry1 afterwards came into the possession of Metcalfe Russel, Esq.; from whom it descended to Michael, son of Peter Collinson, Esq., the ingenious botanist, and long an eminent member of the Royal Society; the intimate friend of Franklin, Linnaeus, &c., and who held correspondence with eminent men in almost every nation of the world.

Mr. Collinson came into possession of the said property upon the death of the above named Metcalfe Russel, in 1785; and, like his father, was distinguished for his knowledge in natural history, and the attention lie gave to botanical subjects in particular. He died in 1705, in the 67th year of his age, and was buried in the chancel of this parish church. Charles Streynsham Collinson, Esq., his only son, who had been long on the civil service in India, succeeded; upon whose death, in 1831, this estate was purchased by Charles Spooner Lillingstone, Esq., who is the present proprietor.

The house formerly the residence of Admiral Sir Robt. Harland, Bart., has been pulled down; but John Josselyn, Esq., has a neat residence for a country gentleman, situated in this parish.

The Rev. William Layton, a gentleman who devoted much of his time to topographical and genealogical enquiry, especially into the history of his native county, was a native of this parish.

He was the only surviving son of the Rev. Andrew Layton, A.M., for 28 years rector of St. Matthew, in Ipswich; descended from a very ancient, and highly respectable family, in Yorkshire; and was born in the rectory house here.

At a very early age he was placed under the care and tuition of his uncle, the Rev. Anthony Temple, A.M., the learned and eminent master of the free grammar school at Richmond, hi Yorkshire; from thence he was removed to St. Paul's school, London; with an exhibition from which school he was entered a pensioner of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he proceeded to the degree of A.B. in 1773, and to that of A.M. in 1776. In 1774 he was licensed, on the nomination of George William, Earl of Bristol, to the perpetual curacy of Playford, in this county; and the following year was presented, by the Crown, to the rectory of Helraley, in the same county, and to that of St. Matthew, in Ipswich.

Mr. Layton possessed a very valuable and extensive library, rich in works of topography, antiquities, and genealogy, to which branches of literature he was early and ardently attached; and in which not a book is to be found that does not contain some marks of his corrective hand. But his attention was chiefly directed to the ecclesiastical history of his native county; and in this, his favourite department, his manuscript collections were most ample, and of great value from their extreme accuracy, and minuteness of research.

To the 6th volume of "Illustrations of the Literary History of the 18th Century," published in 183.1, is prefixed the following dedication: "To the Rev. William Layton, M.A., rector of St. Matthew, Ipswich; a gentleman to whom the late Mr. Nichols was indebted, during a friendship of more than forty years, for much valuable literary assistance, this volume is respectfully dedicated, by his faithful humble servants, J. B. Nichols and Son."

Mr. Layton died at his residence in St. Mary at Elms, Ipswich, February 19, LS31, in his 81st year; and his remains were deposited in the family vault, in the churchyard of St. Matthew, in the same town. Few persons ever passed a more active and useful life.

We also meet with the following, who held the rectory of this parish: in 1525, William Kempe, B.D.; who, in 1519, was appointed Commissary of the Archdeaconry of Suffolk, by Richard Nykke, or Nix, Bishop of Norwich.

The Rev George Rogers, A.M., was a native of Bury St. Edmund's, and received the rudiments of his education at the free grammar school in that town, then under the superintendence of that accomplished scholar, the Rev. Robert Graham, A.M. From thence he was removed to Trinity College, Cambridge, of winch society, on proceeding to the degree of A.B., in 1704, he was elected a Fellow; and, in 1707, he proceeded to that of A.M.

In 1766, he was presented, by Sir Charles Davers, Bart., to the rectory of Welnetham Parva, which he resigned on his presentation, by the same patron, to that of Horningshcath, both in Suffolk, in 1767. In 1784, Mr. Rogers was presented, by Frederick, 4th Earl of Bristol, and Bishop of Derry, to the rectory of this parish, which he held for upwards of half a century: he died Dec. 15, 1835, at
the patriarchal age of 94 years.

He was the author of several sermons, and edited those of his intimate friend, the Rev. Edward Evanson; to which he prefixed a brief, but well written memoir of the author. Mr. Rogers was well versed in classics and theology. A private plate was engraved, for the gratification of his friends, from a portrait by W. M. Bennett.

CHARITIES. The annual sum of 1 6s. is paid as a rent charge on a field in Whitton, in this county; and the same is applied in furnishing bread, which is distributed among poor widows. Origin unknown. A double cottage, in this parish, is occupied rent free, by two poor widows, and is repaired by the parish: it appears to have been settled by Elizabeth Bull, in 1618, for that purpose.

1. The Chauntry has been engraved in Neale Scot's "Excursions," and for Clarke's Pocket Book.

County of Suffolk

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

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