Scoteleia, or Sceueleia
The very ancient family of Visdelieu, became early seated in this parish, and
continued here about seven generations.
William de Visdelieu, in 1300, married Rose, sister and heir of Elizabeth de
Shotisbroke; by whom he left an only son, Sir Thomas Visdelieu, Knt., who left
two daughters, co-heiresses, between whom his large estate became divisible.
This lordship descended to Margaret, the eldest daughter; who married Thomas
Mossells, Esq., and they, having no male issue, it descended to their youngest
daughter, Joan; who married John Felton,1 Esq., and
he inherited the property in her right.
John Felton was sometimes, for his eminence as a merchant, termed "John de
Chapman." His son, Robert Felton, Esq., married Margery, sister and heiress of
Sir Thomas Sampson, of Playford, in this county, Knt.; and acquired that
lordship, with several other manors and estates in that neighbourhood, by this
Robert Felton, who died in 1506, by his will, desired "that his body be buried
in the chancel of the church of Shotley, as near to his grandfather as can
conveniently be, and that a stone be laid over him, like that of his
This estate became the inheritance of the Right Hon. John Hervey, first Earl of
Bristol, by his marriage with Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas
Felton, of Playford, in this county, Bart., Comptroller of the Household, and
Privy Councillor to Queen Anne. It still continues in that noble house,
Frederick William, Marquess of Bristol, being the present lord and patron.
William Talmach, rector of this parish, in 1538, and also of Easton,
Wickhambrook, and Helmingham, all in this county, was appointed, by letters
patent from the Bishop of Norwich, in 1527, Commissary of Suffolk Archdeaconry,
and Official of Sudbury Archdeaconry.
George Raymond, M.A., rector here, and minister of St. Lawrence and St.
Nicholas, in Ipswich, was, in 1713, appointed to the same offices. He was
interred in St. Nicholas churchyard, in 1725.
The Rev. John Pretyman, D.D., was also rector of Shotley, Precentor and
Archdeacon of Lincoln, Prebendary of Norwich, and also of Biggleswade, in
Bedfordshire. Dr. Pretyman was a native of Bury St. Edmund's; only brother of
Sir George Pretyman Tomline, Bart., Bishop of Winchester, prelate of the most
noble Order of the Garter. He died at Lincoln, June 5th, 1817.
The present rector of Shotley, is the Rev. Samuel Forster, D.D., formerly head
master of the grammar school, Norwich.
ARMS. Visdelieu: argent; three wolves' heads erased, gules
(probably in allusion to their name Wolf's Face) . Felton: gules; two lions
passant, ermine, crowned, or.
CHARITIES. An estate devised for six poor inhabitants of this parish, by
Andrew Barfoot, in 1591, containing about five acres: yearly rent, £6 6s.; winch
is distributed annually among poor widows, and other poor persons. A sacrament
fund of £10, the interest applied to the purpose of the gift.
1. Mr. Rokewode says, "the pedigrees of Felton will generally be
found incorrect." In the descent of Sir Thomas Felton, we have followed Mr.
Blomefield's authority, which differs materially from that of Mr. Kirby.
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page