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
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,
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,
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,
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
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.
Sir John Blois, only surviving son, and = Sarah, dau. of Geo. Thornbill, Esq.,
of Diddington, co. 5th Bart. Ob. 1810.
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.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page