Stratford St. Mary, or Stratfort
Sir Edward Sulyard, of Haughley Park, had a considerable estate in this parish;
which he sold, in 1657, to Major General Sir Phillip Skippon1,
who took a conspicuous part in the army under Oliver Cromwell, by whom he was
appointed Governor of Bristol, and commanded the infantry at the Battle of
Naseby, when he was severely wounded. He was also one of the Protector's Council
of State, and had £1000 per annum, in lands, assigned to him by the Parliament,
for his services.
This manor was vested in the De-la-Pole family, from the 7th of Richard II., to
the 28th of Henry VI.; and in the 31st of Henry VIII., it was granted to Thomas
Cromwell, Earl of Essex, beheaded July 28th, 1540.
In the 4th of Edward II., Robert de Reydon had a grant of free warren in the
lordship of this parish, and of Wenham Combusta, Hadleigh, Holton, Leyham,
Hintlesham, Woolverstone, and Badingham, in this county.
William Dowsing, of this parish, was appointed the principal of the
Parliamentary visitors, in 1643, to inspect and remove all superstitious images,
paintings, inscriptions, &c., from the churches in this county; which, to the
regret of all modern antiquaries, he most effectually did. The "Journal," of
this tasteless and fanatical zealot, was published, in 1780, in 4to, by Mr. B.
Loder, of Woodbridge.
The author of "Magna Britannica," states that William Nicholson, D.D.,
Archdeacon of Brecknock, and Bishop of Gloucester, was a native of this parish,
the son of a rich clothier here.
CHARITIES. The "poors' lands" here, consist of two acres of meadow in this, and
the adjoining parish of Langham, in Essex, let at £4 13s. a year, and the rent
is distributed in money to the poor: it is not known when, or by whom, these
lands were given. A house, yard, and garden, and two acres of land in Stratford,
were purchased by the parishioners, about 1735; the rents of which, about £5
15s. 6d. per annum, are expended in the purchase of linen cloth for the poor. A
house, in two tenements, and a piece of ground, containing about one acre, near
the church, are let for £7 10s. a year; and the rents are applied to the
reparation of the church, agreeable to ancient usage. A portion of White's
charity (see East Bergholt), being £2 4s a year, is given in bread to the poor;
and the yearly sum of;. £5 is paid, by the occupier of lands in East Bergholt,
of the gift of Robert Clarke, in 1731, and applied in sending six poor children
to a school in this parish; and two other poor children are sent to school under
the charity of Lettice Dykes, of East Bergholt, and William Littlebury, of
Dedham, in Essex.
1. His Portrait was published in Ricraft's "Survey of
England's Champions," 1647.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page