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Burgh Castle Parish

British Isles Genealogy | County of Suffolk

Burgh Castle or Crobersburge

The lordship of this parish was always a demesne of the Crown; and Stigand, Bishop of Norwich, held it by soccage in the Confessor's time, when the whole was valued at 100 shillings. Radulph Balistarius was lord, at the conquest; and afterwards Roger de Burgh, and Ralph his son.

King Henry I., gave this manor to Vincent, Prior of Bromholme, in Norfolk; which the said Ralph, son of Roger de Burgh, held of him by grand serjeantry; which serjeantry Ralph granted to Gilbert de Wesenham, and he afterwards re-granted to the King; who confirmed the same free to the Convent, reserving the advowson to the Crown, and the dower to Alice, widow of Roger de Burgh, during her life. In consideration of this grant, the Convent released to the King, a rent-charge of five marks per annum from the exchequer, which he had granted.

In the 14th of King Edward I., the Prior of the said house held the same, in capite, by the serjeantry of providing an archer to serve the King's army in Wales, during forty days: at this time the Prior claimed view of frankpledge, assize of bread and ale, and other liberties. This manor continued in the Monastery of Bromholme, until the 26th of King Henry VIII., when that house was surrendered to the Crown; where it remained until Queen Mary sold this manor to Wm. Roberts, Esq., Town Clerk of Yarmouth: it was lately vested in Mrs. Lydia Barret, of Thwaite, in Norfolk.

In 1764, it belonged to Joshua Smith, Esq. William Smith, of this parish, married Dorothy, eldest daughter of Sir Arthur Hopton, K.B., son of Sir Owen Hopton, Knt. This lady subsequently be-came the wife of Sir Nathaniel Bacon, of Stifkey, in Norfolk; who settled a moiety of Eccles manor, in that county, upon Sir Owen Smith, probably her son by the former marriage.

The Castle here is supposed to be the Garianonum of the Romans, where the Stablesian Horse lay in garrison, in order to guard the shore from the frequent inroads of the Saxon pirates. It, however, still remains a disputed point, whether this or Castor was that station; but Burgh was evidently a Roman fortress. A vast number of coins have been found, at different times, in and about these walls; and several fragments of urns, particularly in a field to the east, commonly considered the burial place of the soldiers. The whole building occupies 5A. 2R.

In or near this Castle was a Saxon Monastery of religious persons, founded by Sigebert, fifth King of the East Angles, by the advice and assistance of Furseus, an Irish Monk, and Saint, about 640. But very little is known of its history; and it is uncertain how long the religious occupied it after the death of their principal patron, King Sigebert; but St. Furseus, soon after that event, quitted his retirement here, and went to France.

St. Felix, the Bishop of Dunwich, favored the establishment of this Monastery, and it was afterwards enriched by the bounty of King Anna and his nobles, before 654. The manor, &c. of Burgh Castle, was valued in the time of King Henry VIII., as part of the possessions of Bromholme Priory, at 19 10s.

CHARITIES. A piece of land, containing about 9 acres, was allotted for the use of the poor, and is let, by the parish officers, to different persons, at rents amounting together to 14 15s. a year. Another allotment of about 6 acres, which was awarded on the enclosure, lets at 12 15s. a year. These rents are laid out in the purchase of coals, which are given to the poor in winter.

County of Suffolk

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

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