Wudebryge, Vdebriga or Udebrige
The following additional observations concerning this parish, are extracted from
a copy of the "Suffolk Traveller," formerly belonging to the Rev. Thomas
Carthew, A.M., and F.A.S., perpetual curate of Woodbridge; which are in marginal
notes, principally of his handwriting.
In the second edition of that publication it is said: "Wood-bridge took its name
from a wooden bridge, built over a hollow way, to make a communication between
two parks, separated by the road which leads from Woodbridge market-place
towards Ipswich. At the foot of the hill from this hollow way, about a stone's
throw from where the bridge might stand, is a house, which at this day retains
the name of Dry-Bridge."
Mr. Carthew observes: "This silly story about the two parks, accounts very well
for the house being called Drybridge House: but that an ancient town should take
its name from so trifling a circumstance, and withal so recent, for the bridge
was standing within a century, is a supposition too foolish even for such an
author as the compiler of this book.
"Were I to hazard a conjecture on a matter so obscure as the original of a
town's name, I should think it was originally Oden, or Woden Burgh, or Bury, or
Brigg: i. e. Woden's Town. In the Priory rolls, in Henry VII. time, it is still
Wodebrigg, and the spelling in the Confessor's time, Udelsbruge, favors this
etymology. Brigg and Burgh are synonymous. See ' Verstegan,' 212. Thus Felbrigg,
in Norfolk, is written Felbrig and Felburgh."
To the account of the Lime-kiln quay, where formerly the Ludlow man of war was
built, Mr. C. adds, "and where there is still a dock for building of ships,
wherein merchant ships to the amount of 200 tons burthen are frequently built,
besides small craft."
"The Priory was granted, in the 33rd of King Henry VIII., to Sir John Wingfield,
and Dorothy his wife, but they dying without issue, it was, by Queen Elizabeth,
re-granted to Thomas Seckford, Esq., and after continuing 109 years in that
family, it came by will, anno 1698, to the Norths, of Sternfield; and from them
also by will, about the year 1711, to the family of Carthew."
The manor which formerly belonged to this Priory, is now the property of Rolla
Rouse, Esq., Barrister at Law, who purchased it of Mr. Dykes Alexander. The
lordship of Woodbridge Ufford, &c., is vested in the Rev. J. Worsley.
"The church of this town, being only a bare curacy, was in 1607, augmented by
Mrs. Dorothy Seckford, who by will did devise her impropriated rectory of
Woodbridge, to the persons to whom she had devised her estate at Woodbridge, to
settle an orthodox minister to the same during life."
Weever has these inscriptions from this parish church: "Hie jacet Johannes
Albred, quondam Twelewever istius ville ob. primo die Maij 1400. et Agnes uxor
eius ""This Twelewever, with Agnes his wife, were at the charges (people of all
degrees being then forward to beautify the house of God) to cut, gild, and
paint, a rood loft or a partition betwixt the body of the church and the choir:
whereupon the pictures of the cross, and crucifix, the virgin Mary, of angels,
archangels, saints, and martyrs, are figured to the life: which how glorious it
was all standing, may be discerned by that which remaineth."
For John Kempe, who died July 3, 1459, and Joan and Margaret, his wives; also
for "Robert Partrich, botcher who dyed on Midsomer day, 1533, Mariory and Alis
his wyffs - - - Mariory the 6th of Henry VIII., Alis on their souls, their
children souls, and all cristen souls, almighty Jesu haue mercy."
Robert Beale (or Belus), if not a native, was the eldest son of Robert Beale, a
descendant from a family of that name, residents in this parish. He appears to
have been educated to the profession of the civil and canon law, and married
Editha, daughter of Henry St. Barbe, of Somersetshire, and sister to the lady of
Sir Francis Walsingham; under whose patronage he first appeared at court. In
1571, he was Secretary to Sir Francis, when sent Ambassador to France; and
himself was sent in the same capacity, in 1576, to the Prince of Orange. His
most considerable work is a collection of some of the Spanish historians, under
the title "Rerum Hispanicarum Scriptores:" Francfort, 1579, 2 vols., folio. He
died in 1601.
Jeffrey Pitman, Esq., was originally a tanner in this parish, and afterwards
High Sheriff of Suffolk, at the decease of King James. He had two wives, Alice
and Anne; by the first, he had seven children, three of which died in their
infancy: William his eldest son, and Jeffrey his second son, were both students
in the law, at Gray's Inn, and died unmarried, in the lifetime of their father,
who deceased in 1627. Anne his wife, and Mary and Avis his two daughters,
survived: Mary married to Edmund Burwell, of Rougham, in this county, Esq., and
Avis, to Wm. Alston, of Marlsford, Gent. Mr. Pitman was a liberal benefactor to
the town of Woodbridge.
Nathaniel Fairfax, M.D., who practiced in this town for several years, was of
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and brother to John Fairfax, A.M., vicar of
Barking, in this county, and a Fellow of the same College: he was of the same
family as General Fairfax, who headed the Parliamentarians in the civil war. Dr.
Fairfax was twice married: his first wife was Elizabeth, the daughter of _______
Blackerby, of Norwich, who died in 1680; the second was Elizabeth, the widow of
Francis Willard, of Woodbridge, and daughter of Nathaniel Bacon, of Ipswich,
Esq., who survived him. He was author of a whimsical treatise of the "Bulk and
Selvedge of the World, wherein the Greatness, Littleness, and Lastingness of
Bodies are freely handled." This was dedicated to Sir William Blois, Knt., of
Grundisburgh Hall: published in 8vo. London, 1 674; and was presented by his son
Blackerby, afterwards M.D. also, to the library of the above named college, when
a student there.
ARMS. Pitman: gules; two battle axes in saltier, or, between four
mullets, argent. Fairfax: argent; three bars, gyronelle, gules;
surmounted by a lion rampant, sable, armed and languid, azure; with a crescent
NOTE. The public are indebted to the late Mr. Robert Loder, the
Framlingham historian, for much interesting information respecting this town,
contained in his "Statutes and Ordinances for the Government of the Almshouses,
in Woodbridge;" which gives a full, and correct account of that noble
institution. At the end are prefixed notes relating to the Priory, the church,
and its ancient and modern monumental inscriptions.
In 1796, appeared his second edition, enlarged, of the "Orders, Constitutions,
and directions, for and concerning the Free School at Woodbridge." His edition
of the "Woodbridge Terrier, exhibiting an account of all the Charities in that
Town," published in 1787, was followed by a second impression, in 1811, with
notes and explanations. With this edition it was Mr. Loder's intention to have
connected a History of the ancient and present state of the town, want of
materials, however, obliged him to decline it. This is to be regretted, as
nothing further has since appeared concerning this place.
The following is abridged from Mr. Loder's account of Charities, Estates, and
Town Houses, given in his "Terrier of Woodbridge," 2nd edition. 1811.
CHARITIES. An almshouse, and garden thereto belonging, situate in the
said town, founded in 1587, by Thomas Seckford, Esq., Master of the Requests,
for the reception of thirteen poor men. Also a messuage in the said garden, for
the reception of three poor widows, nurses to the said alms-men. For the support
thereof, endowed by the founder with an estate in Clerkenwell, in Middlesex, now
let on building leases, at the net annual rent of £.563
10s.; also a piece of laud in Woodbridge, containing 2A. 3r., and a small
tenement in the same town, called Capthall. The principal inmate receives
£.27 per annum, the twelve poor men
£.20 each, and the three nurses each
£.12. There is an exhibition to the minister
of £.10, to the churchwardens
£.5 each, and to the poor of Clerkenwell,
£.10 annually. The remainder is expended in
clothing, firing, surgery, repairs, &c. The surplus, if any, to be distributed
among such poor and indigent people, living in Woodbridge, as do not receive
alms of that, or any other parish.
Since the above period the revenues of this institution have greatly increased,
so much so, that the governors recently determined upon the erection of a
handsome structure,1 for affording to twenty-four
necessitous and decayed tradesmen, and women, a comfortable asylum in their old
A free school founded in 1662, by indenture of five parts, between Robert
Marryott, sen., of Bredfield, Esq.; Francis Burwell, of Sutton, Esq.; Mrs.
Dorothy Seckford, of Seckford Hall, in Great [Dealings, widow; Robert Marryott,
jun., of Bredfield, Esq.; John Sayer, of Woodbridge, Gent., and others,
inhabitants of the said town. To the three first may be attributed the
establishment of the school; the latter being only parties in the deed of
institution, on behalf of the inhabitants, who, by the settlement, granted
£.10 per annum from the town estate, with a
grant of £.5, chargeable on lands in Great
Bealings, and a like sum on lands in Bredfield, and ditto on lands in Sutton,
amounting together to £.25, with a
schoolhouse, garden, &c., and 2½ acres of
pasture land, in Woodbridge. By the ordinances of this school, the master is
obliged to teach boys, being children of the inhabitants of the town, free; and
also any other like boy, for £.1 only, since
augmented to £.3, by an order of Chancery.
The town lands are situate in the parish of Martlesham, and consist of the Lamb
Farm, comprising a cottage, now in three tenements, with a barn, outbuildings,
and 51A. 20p. of land, being copyhold of the manor of Martlesham Hall. It was
given by one John Dodd, in the reign of King Henry VII., to be employed for the
maintenance of the poor people of Woodbridge, and to defray such other charges
as the town should be charged with. The Street Farm contains 9A. 2r. 39p. of
copyhold land, partly held of the manor of Seckford Hall, and partly of that of
Iken cum Framlingham. This was given by the will of Jeffery Pitman, in 1627, to
feoffees, to the intent that the rents and profits thereof, should be employed
about the reparations and maintenance of the church. These together produce the
yearly rent of £.55. The sum of
£.10 is paid to the master of the school;
the residue is paid to the churchwardens, in aid of a church rate.
In 1637, John Sayer gave by will, unto the inhabitants of this town, his close,
called Garden Close, in Melton, in the county of Suffolk, and the hop ground at
the lower end thereof, containing by estimation 10A., and his fen in Melton, and
his hemp-land thereto belonging; for purchasing bread and clothing for the poor.
This estate now consists of five enclosures, containing in the whole 15A. 2r.
26p.; the rent of the land is wholly laid out in the purchase of bread, and
forty-two 3d. loaves are weekly distributed, on Sundays, among poor persons
attending the church.
There are also several small sums paid as rent charges and ground rents, and a
large house in Pound Street, made use of as a work-house; with several houses in
different streets belonging to the town, where poor persons dwell rent free.
Mem. In 1666, the plague raged with great violence here, which carried
off the minister, his wife and child, and three hundred inhabitants.
In 1804, Messrs. Alexander and Co. opened a banking house in Stone Street, in
In 1807, February 18th, a tremendous storm, in which four vessels belonging to
this port were totally lost, together with most of the crews, by which
calamitous event upwards of forty persons resident in this place, were left
widows and fatherless. A liberal subscription was raised for their relief.
February 5th, 1814, the new theatre in this town was opened, under the direction
of Mr. Fisher.
In 1815, the sale of the materials of the barracks here, took place. They were
erected in 1803, and were capable of containing 724 cavalry, officers and men,
and 720 horses; and infantry, 4165 officers and men.
October 29th, 1818, a new organ was opened in this parish church: most of the
respectable families attended: the sum of.84 was collected.
Of the different persons appointed to the Mastership of Woodbridge School, Mr.
Hawes has noticed the following:
Edmund Brome, clk., was born in the parish of Clerkenwell, London, in 1642, and
was admitted of St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1657, where he continued until
after the restoration of King Charles II. He was elected master of this school,
in 1665, and curate here in the following year, and soon after was appointed
chaplain to Mrs. Dorothy Seckford, who granted him a lease of the great tithes
of this parish for 60 years; and he afterwards held the livings of Great and
Little Bealings. Mr. B. was twice married; by the first wife he had issue, a
daughter Dorothy, who married Richard Taylor, vicar of Witcham, in the Isle of
Ely; and Edmund, President of St. John's College. By his second marriage he had
Philip Gillet (alias Candler), a descendant from an ancient family of that name,
resident at Yoxford, in this county. He was schoolmaster here about nineteen
years, and married Deborah, the daughter of Richard Golty, rector of
Framlingham, by whom he had issue two sons and four daughters. He deceased in
1689; she in 1695.
Philip Gillett (alias Candler), their eldest son, succeeded to the mastership of
this school, and was afterwards instituted to the rectory of Hollesly, in this
county. He married, first, Deborah, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Samuel
Golty, rector of Denning-ton, by whom he had no surviving issue; secondly, Mary,
one of the daughters and co-heirs of John Clinch, of Miselton Hall, in Burgh,
Gent., by whom he had issue one son and two daughters.
[Mr. Hawes acknowledges himself much beholden to this gentleman for the perusal
of the manuscript collections of Mr. Zaccheus Leverland, so frequently quoted in
his own; and the ready aid Mr. W. S. Fitch, of Ipswich, has afforded, by the
liberal use of his valuable transcript from Mr. Hawes manuscript, demands from
us a similar acknowledgment, in closing our account of this hundred.]
ARMS. Brome: ermine; a chief indented, gules. Gillet (alias
Candler]: ermine; on a bend engrailed, sable, three pikes' heads erased, argent,
double brassed, gules. Crest: a pike's head erect,, erased, gules, double
1. A neat engraving of this building, by D. Buckle, from a
drawing by S. Read, appeared in Mr. Pawsey's Ladies' Pocket Book, for 1840.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page