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Yoxford Parish

British Isles Genealogy | County of Suffolk

Gokesford or Jochesford

This remarkably pleasant village, in the time of King Henry I., was the demesne of Roger Bigod, Earl of the East Angles, and founder of Thetford Abbey; who granted to that Monastery all the right that he held in this parish church, with all the lands belonging thereto; which Herbert, Bishop of Norwich, appropriated to the said Monastery.

The Prior also held a manor here, which, with the church, in 1324, were seized by the King, as belonging to an alien Priory.

In the time of King Henry VIII., Yoxford church and impropriate tithes were taxed at two marks; and the vicarage of which they were then patrons, at six marks and a half.

In 1411, William Smith was licensed to settle divers messuages, and four acres of land, in this parish, upon the above Monastery.

William de Pirnho held under the above Roger Bigod, at Pirnho, in Norfolk, in the reign of King Henry I.; a parish from which his family name was derived, but long since demolished. He was a person of considerable account at Court, and witnessed to a charter of that King, to the Abbey of Ramsey, with Gilbert Fitz Richard, and others.

His descendants became interested in this county, at a very early period. In the 24th of King Henry III., William de Pirnho released to Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, by fine, his right of fishery from the Mill of Cliff, and the Bridge of Bungay; and the Earl granted him a fishery from Bungay Bridge to the Earl's vineyard.

Reginald de Pirnho, by deed without date, confirmed to the Monks of Sibton, in this county, all the land which Robert Aldred gave them in Stickingland, in Suffolk. This Reginald was brother of the said William.

In the 34th of the same reign, it appears by a fine then levied, that Roger Bigod had the custody of Sara, daughter of William de Pirnho, deceased; which Sara married, in the 41st of that King, to James de Creke, and they had this manor of Yoxford conveyed to them by fine, from Jeffrey le Neve, and Catherine his wife; it being the inheritance of William de Pirnho, her father.

In the 14th of King Edward I., Alice, daughter of William de Pirnho, released to John de Creke, son of James, her right in certain messuages and lands in Yoxford, Burgh, and Grundisburgh, in this county.

In the 18th of the same reign, William, son and heir of Sara de Pirnho, granted by fine, two parts of the lordships of Yoxford, Middleton, and Burgh, and the reversion of the third part, which Joan, late wife of John de Creke, held in dower, to Robert, son and heir of Hugh de Swyllington, and Helewise de Pirnho his wife, and his heirs. This Sara and Helewise were sisters.

Robert de Swyllington had issue two sons; William, the eldest, was lord of this parish in the 35th of King Edward I.; and in the 4th of the following reign, had a grant of free warren in the same. He died without issue, and Adam his brother, succeeded.

It continued in his descendants until the death of Sir John Swyllington, in the 6th of Henry V., without issue; when this, with his other large possessions, passed to his sister Margaret, wife of Sir John Gra, of South Ingleby, in Lincolnshire; who also died without issue.

In the 6th of King Henry VI., a release of this estate, with divers other manors, was made to John, son of Thomas Hopton, natural son of Sir Robert Swyllington; who, it appears, from some previous settlement, made his claim and obtained this property.

It continued in the Hopton family until the time of Queen Elizabeth; when Sir Robert Brooke, Knt., and Alderman of London, purchased it; from whom it passed to the family of Blois, of Grundisburgh, by the marriage of Sir William Blois, with Martha, daughter of Sir Robert Brooke, of Cockfield Hall, in this parish. His first court was held here in 1660.

Charles Blois, Esq., their eldest surviving son, succeeded. He was created a Baronet in 1686; and upon the death of his aunt, Mary, the only surviving child of Sir Robert Brooke, in 1693, he removed from Grundisburgh to Cockfield Hall, in Yoxford.

Sir Charles Blois, the 6th and present Baronet, married, in 1789, Clara, daughter of Jocelyn Price, Esq., of Camblesworth Hall, in the county of York, and has issue several children. He succeeded to the title and estates in 1810, on the decease of his father.

Blois,1 Of Cockfield Hall.

Sir Charles Blois, 1st Bart. = Mary, dau. of Sir Robert Kemp, Bart., of Gissing, in Norfolk.

William Blois, Esq., left a son = Jane, daughter of Sir Robert Kemp, of Ubbeston, in Suffolk.

Sir Charles Blois, 2nd Bart., who succeeded his grandfather.
       Sir Charles Blois succeeded his nephew, as 3rd Bart.

Sir Chas. Blois, 1st. Bart, married 2ndly = Anne, dau. of Ralph Hawtrey, Esq., of Riselip, in   

Sir Ralph Blois, 2nd son and 4th Bart. = Elizabeth, dau. of Reginald Rabett, Esq. Bramfield, in Ob. 1762.                                                    Suffolk.

Sir John Blois, only surviving son, and = Sarah, dau. of Geo. Thornbill, Esq., of Diddington, co. 5th Bart. Ob. 1810.                                    Huntington

Sir Charles Blois, 6th and present Bart.

The advowson of St. Margaret's rectory, in the city of Norwich, was, and still is appendant to the manor of Cockfield Hall, in this parish; and by the early presentations made to that living, the said lordship appears to have been vested, at the periods affixed, in the following persons: In 1330, James de Yokesford was patron; who sold it to John de Norwich, clerk: in 1338, Hugh Banden, of Yoxford, instituted at the presentation of Emma, relict of John de Norwich, clerk: 1349, John de Norwich, lord of Yoxford: 1352, the same: 1357, Sir John de Norwich le Cosyn, Knt,, who was lord of Yoxford: 1376, John Norwich, Esq.: in 1421, John Domlyn was presented by John Norwich, of Yoxford; who, in 1428, gave this advowson to be sold, with his manor of Yoxford, as appendant thereto. In 1439, Sir John Fastolf, Knt., John Berney, and others, probably trustees: in 1459, John Hopton, Esq., and Robert Baniard; and the presentation continued in the Hopton family, by themselves or trustees, until 1544, when Sir Arthur Hopton, Knt., presented.

In 1580, Edward Duke, Esq., presented, as lord of Cockfield Hall:2 and from that time the lords of that manor have totally neglected it. It has been served by sequestration for many years.

An historical error, respecting the death and burial of the Lady Katherine Grey, is corrected by a note, copied from a manuscript by Reyce, now in the College of Arms, relating to Suffolk antiquities, and inserted in the "Gentleman's Magazine," for 1823, part ii., p. 11; as follows:

"There lie buried in the Church and Chancel at Yoxford, the bowels of the Lady Katherine, wife of Edward Seimour Earl of Hartford. She was daughter of Henry Grey Duke of Suffolk, and of Mary the French Queen, the youngest of the two daughters of King Henry VII.: of the elder, K. James and K. Charles were descended. This Lady Katherine had been committed prisoner to Sir Owen Hopton, Lieftenant of the Tower, for marrying without the Queen's knowledge, and was by him kept at Cockfield Hell, in Yoxford, being his house, where she died. I have been often told by aged people in Yoxford, that after her death, a little dog she had, would never more eat any meat, but lay and died upon her grave."

This statement is corroborated by the following entry in the parish register of Yoxford: "The Lady Katherine Gray, buried 2lst Feb. 1567." Most authorities state her to have died a prisoner in the Tower.

Philip Gillet (alias Candler), Master of Woodbridge Grammar School for 19 years, who died in 1689, descended from an ancient family of that name, who formerly resided in this parish. Philip, his son, was also Master of the same school 14 years: he died in 1739. Anne Candler, a Suffolk cottager, and authoress3 (noticed in the parish of Holton, in Samford hundred), was a native of Yoxford.

CHARITIES. There are two pieces of land in this parish, which by usage are appropriated to the repairs and service of the church. One of them, containing about an acre, adjoins the estate of D. E. Davy, Esq. The other, which is called the "Town Garden," and is opposite the Three Tuns Inn, contains about half-an-acre. Annual rent together, 2 1s. In 1651, Robert Sillett, by will charged his close, called "Martin's Croft," in Yoxford, with the payment of 5 a year; to be disbursed and bestowed for needful apparel, and not otherwise, for the use of the poorest and most needy of this parish; to be payable on the 1st of November. The sum of 50, paid in satisfaction of a donation, by Anthony Bedingfield, of 50s. a year, for the poor of Yoxford, was laid out in the purchase of a rent charge of 50s. a year; charged by deed, dated in 1716, on two freehold closes in Darsham, containing by estimation, four acres; to be paid on the 17th November, yearly.

1. For an account of the early members of this ancient family, see the parish of Grundisburgh.

2. An engraving of Cockfield Hall, is given in "Davy's Views of the Seats of the Noblemen and Gentlemen in Suffolk," and in "Excursions through Suffolk;" also of the Grove, which formerly belonged to Mr. Clulterbuck, and was rebuilt by Eleazer Davy, Esq. (father of David Elisha Davy, Esq., the joint collector, with Henry Jermyn, Esq., of materials for a History of Suffolk), late in the occupation of Lord Manners. The house of Mr. Ingham has been rebuilt by the late proprietor, Mr. J. Howlett. la "Column's Suffolk Brasses" are etchings from this parish church, of Anthony Cooke, who deceased in 1613, and of Christian Foxe, who died in 1618.

3 See "Stanzas addressed to the Inhabitants of Yoxford, in 1787.""Suffolk Garland,"p. 41.

County of Suffolk

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

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