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Washbrooke Parish

British Isles Genealogy | County of Suffolk

Great Belstead, Belesteda or Belsteda

This was part of the estate and lordship of Odo de Campania, Earl of Champaign, in France, who was nearly related to William I. or the Conqueror, and partook largely of his bounty. He was made by him, Earl of Albemarle and Holderness. This Norman Baron left his large possessions to his son Stephen, and his heirs; one of whose descendants gave this manor to the Abbey of Albermarle.

The manor of Amer (or Hamer) Hall, belonged to the Abbey of Aumerle, in Normandy, in the time of King Henry III.; and at the dissolution of the alien priories, it was, together with the impropriation of the church of the hamlet of Felchurch, or Velechurch, granted to the Nunnery of Dartford, in Kent.

The manor, with the rectory and advowson of the vicarage of Washbrooke, were granted to Sir Percival Hart, in the 31st of Henry the 8th.

In the time of King James I., it was the property of the Bedingfields; and in 1058, belonged to Sir Henry Bedingfield, of Darsham, Knt.

The family of De Grey, of Merton, in Norfolk, have, for nearly a century, possessed this property. Thomas de Grey, after serving the office of Solicitor General, in 1763, and Attorney General, in 1706, was, in 1771, advanced to the dignity of Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; which place he resigned in 1780, when he was created Baron Walsingham, of Walsingham, in Norfolk. The
estate still continues in the head of that family.

The church is consolidated with Copdock; and the Hon. and Rev. Frederick de Grey is incumbent, who has lately, at a considerable expense, repaired and ornamented it.

County of Suffolk

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

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