Assington  Ampton Blythburgh Boxted  Bramfield Brent Eleigh Brome Elmswell  Brundish Bures  Bury St Edmunds  Dalham  Ellough Framlingham  Fressingfield  Gazely Helmingham  Keddington Long Melford Marlesford  Milden Nettlestead Redgrave Reydon Rushbrooke  Sotherton  Sotterley Spexhall  Stoken by Nayland   Stowlangtoft  Wingfield  Woodbridge Worlingham
Assington - St Edmund
Robert (1577) & Wife and John Gurdon (1623) & Wife Brampton Gurdon (1648) & Two Wives
Ampton - St Peter
Brass of c.1490
pamlimsest of portion of lady of c. 1460
Two sons c. 1490 Brass of c. 1480; probably of the Cockets Brass of c.1480
William Whettell (1628)  by Nicholas Stone. Sir Henry Calthorpe (1638) & Wife by John & Matthias Christmas Dorothy Calthorpe (1693 at 45)
'To the pious memory of Mrs Dorothy Calthorpe, this virgin foundress of the alms house, left this life for a better...'
'A virgin rotary is oft in snares this safely vow'd and made ye poor her heirs'
James Calthorpe (1784)  Attrib. to Bacon. MP for Hindon 1699-1784; he was unmarried and the last of the line.
Blythburgh - All Saints

Sir John Hopton (1478) & Margaret (Saville)(1451)
Tomb of Purbeck marble. Note the collection of ledger stones. Bodies brought from Walberswick
Brent Eleigh - St Mary
Edward Colman by Thomas Dunn (1734)

              Boxted - Holy Tritity

Above: William Poley (1587) & Wife The effigies are of oak, a late use of this material.

Right: Sir John (1638) (erected late 17th C) & Dame Abigail Poley (erected 1725 and is less elaborate than the former and of alabaster)

Bramfield - St Andrew

Above & left: Arthur Coke (1629) & Wife by Nicholas Stone. She holds her dead baby.

Brome - St Mary
Brome is difficult to find. From the A140, turn east signed posted Brome; then at the first crossroads do not carry straight on - which looks the obvious way - but rather turn left on a 'yellow' road which has no signpost. Brome is a straggly village and the church is soon on the right.
Church is open and you can park in the road outside although there is little space. Very dark interior. O/S Ref: TM 146 764

Sir Thomas Cornwallis (1604) & Anne (Jerningham).  Eldest son of Sir John (below). They were supporters of Mary II (Tudor); he was Comptroller of the Royal Household as well as Treasurer of Calais. Later he was accused of selling Calais to the French and imprisoned for many years, although this charge was probably political in origin.

Sir John Cornwallis (1544) . and Mary (Suilliard) Steward to the household of Prince Edward (later Edward VI)

Frederick, 1st Baron Cornwallis (1662) He was granted the honour from Charles II upon their return from exile, but clearly did not live long to enjoy it. Lady Elizabeth Cornwallis (1681 ) Married Charles, 3rd Baron Cornwallis,  at 18, had four sons and died at 25.

St Lawrence
'Under this grave entombed lieth a man of noble fame, a souldier to the prince was he. John Colby night his name. He lived forty years and nyne, in credit with the best and died such as here yow see, his soul in heven doth rest The 29 of November in AD 1599'
'Here lieth buried the bodies of John Colby esquire and Alice his wife who had issue between them 4 sonnes & nine daughters and ye said John deceased in Ano 1540 and Alice his wife deceased Ano 1560'
Edmund de Burnedisshe (1360) Parson of Castrre (Castor) The insciption is in Norman French
Francis Colby (1599) and Margery (Wentworth)(1528). His brass is now in possession of Philadelphia Museum of Art    'If life in God and like of good, yf love of Christ, and eke his word. Yf strif with vice, as fire with wood, if death with faith; in th'only Lord are tokens sure of endless bliss, which God prepared, has for his. Then Thomas Glenham here doth lye who rests with Christ in heaven hye.'
St Mary's

Above : Knight, cross legged early 14th C. Oak (under north window)
Right: Tomb chest (small) with with shields in cusped foils
Sir William Waldegrave (1613) & Wife (1681) base with columns and pediments. Children kneel on N side (south chapel)
Also in south chapel: Tomb chest with shields on lozenges. Indents of brasses on lid
In Chancel: Founder's monument: Tomb chest with indents of brasses

Stephen's Chapel
(One mile north-east)

These monuments were originally in Earl's Colne Prior, Essex, the church where the De Vere Earls of Oxford were buried.  They were moved here in the 1930's The lithographs are taken from Chancellor's Essex.

Top Left: Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford (attribution in Chancellor) c 1300 The tomb chest does not belong.

Top Right: Thomas de Vere, 8th Earl of Oxford (attribution in Chancellor) c1370 Alabaster. Note the deVere arms of stars on the 'jupon'. The tomb chest is said to have been wider originally and held 2 effigies.

Lower Left: Richard de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford (attribution in Chancellor) c 1420 Alabaster

Lower Right: Alice de Vere, wife of the 9th Earl (attribution in Chancellor) c 1420 Alabaster

The above two effigies appear to now be resting on the same tomb chest, although it is difficult to deduce how this comes about from the lithographs! The elevation of the tomb chest certainly indicates this. I will have a look eventually.

Coffin lid mid 12th C lower half showing flatly carved legs. Said to be Alberic de Vere, Great Chamberlain
Bury St Edmunds
Park in the modestly priced car park near the churches. Entrance to the Cathedral, to St Mary's and to the Abbey grounds is free; photography is allowed and thereare no charges. The churches and the abbey ruins are adjacent
Cathedral Church of St James
The cathedral is a cathedral of the Modern Foundation, the see being founded in 1914. Prior to this it was a medieval parish church, although the choir was rebuilt in 1867. The cathedral was further enlarge 1960-1970 The original church was built by the monks, it is said, so that the townsfolk did not worship in the abbey nave, because of hostility between them and the monks.
Mrs Reynolds (1736) James Reynolds (1738) Chief Justice of the Exchequer. Black and white marble
St Mary's Church
 Sir William Carew (1501) & Wife
Sir Robert Drury (1536) & Wife. He was Speaker of the House of Commons. Canopy lost.  John Barat (1467) Cadaver effigy which hold the inscription shown below
'He that will sadly behold one with his ie, May se hys owyn merowr and lerne for to die.' There are other inscriptions on the tomb chest, e.g: 'Thus erthe on to erthe to gedir now is knet, So endeth each creature Q'd John Baeret, Qwerfor ze pepil in weye of charite.'  On the side of the tomb chest can be seen the figure of John Barat in life wearing his SS collar and holding a scroll with the words, 'Grace me Governe'. John Baret was a wealthy clothier and founded a chantry chapel to contain his tomb, the roof is painted in a repeated pattern with this latter inscription and the deceased's monogram surrounded by the SS collar .

A French Queen Brasses

 Mary Tudor (1533) Sister of Henry VIII; She married first Louis XII of France (who was the widower of Ann of Brittany who herself was the widow of Louis's cousin Charles VIII) and then, on his death,  Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, at first in secret. She was the grandmother of Lady Jane Gray. She was first buried in the Abbey  and at the dissolution her remains were moved here. The photographs show the grave and wall plaques. The original tomb top was placed over her new grave.

Above: Jankyn Smith (1481) & Ann. Brass He built the chancel aisle and was supposed to have given the town the Guildhall
Right: Archdeacon John Fyners (1509) brass Archdeacon of Sudbury

Wall Monuments

Above far left & right:
General view of wall monuments, presumably resited at west end of north aisle.
Above Left: Anna Martini (1732)
Above Centre:
James Oakes (1829) & Elizabeth (1802)
Above Right:
Joshua Grigby (1771) 'A Lawyer of unblemished integrety' Also his wife Mary Tubby (1767)
Edward William Lake (1922) Six times mayor
Lt Col Collier Coldstream Guards. Dow fighting the French 1814 aged 31
The Abbey
The Abbey is in a ruinous state. There are several modern slabs covering the graves of early abbots in the chapter house (one is below shown left) and many18th and 19th century mostly now illegible wall monuments are fixed to the outside walls of the old charnal house; this building is railed off and locked.

Ordingus (1148-1156)
Samson (1182-1210) shown
Richard of the Island (1229-1233)
Henry of Rushbroke (1233-1248)
Edmund of Walpole (1248-1261)

Weathered and illegible wall monuments

The tombstone to the right reads:

Left: 'Ann Spink'. Right:  'Reader, pause at this humble stone <that> records the fall of unguarded youth by the allurements of vice and the treacherous snares of seduction. Sarah Lloyd on the 23rd of April 1800 in the 22nd year of her age suffered a just but ignominious death for admitting her abandon <seducer> into the dwelling house of her mistress in the night of 3rd October 1799 and becoming the instrument in his hands of the crimes of robbery and house burning. These were her last words: "May my example be a warning to Thousands."'


Left: The wall monument to the far left reads: '_ Elizabeth _'; next, 'John Boldero' and that to the far right, 'William _'.

 'Henry Cockton author of 'Valentine Vox', 'Sylvester Sound', 'The Love Match' and other works. His remains were interred in this church yard June 30 1853. No stone marks his resting place. A few admirers of his genius raised this tablet to his memory AD 1884. His works are his best monuments'


The tablet on the far left reads: 'Captain Bartholomew Gosnold explorer and prime mover behind the first permanent settlement in North American at Jamestown Virginia where he died 22 August 1609. Also his familiy buried in this churchyard. His wife Mary (d 1665) Her parents Robert and Martha Golding (d 1611 and 1614) and his daughter Martha (d 1598) Hence Martha's Vinyard 1602.'
The next tablet reads: 'Margaret ...Spink (1700)'

St Mary

Sir Martin Stuteville (1631)
and his two wives
Their children kneel in the 'predella' below
Ellough - All Saints 
 ' Heer lyeth buryd Margret Chewt the faithful loving wife of Arthur Chewt gentleman daughter to Christofer Playters esquire whoe died at the age of 85 in Februarie 1607

 Above: Rev Richard Aldous Arnold (1877) & Charlotte (Munnings) (1832)

 Unknown lady c 1520 
Framlingham - St Michael
Church is open. You can park in the market place near the church; this is free but limited to one hour. There may be other free parking places nearby O/S Ref: TM 285 635

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1547), son of the 3rd Duke, and his wife Frances (de Vere), daughter of the 15th Earl of Oxford. Their two sons and three daughters kneel at the Head and foot of the tomb. Painted alabaster; made in 1614.
See below.


Above: Elizabeth, daughter of 4th Duke (1560) 
Small tomb chest with now blank shields; no indication of an effigy.

Right: Mary Fitzalan (1540 - 1557) and Margaret Audley (1540 - 1564) First two wives of the Fourth Duke of Norfolk. One rests her feet on a stag, the other a dragon. His third wife was Elizabeth Dacre who died giving birth to a daughter (whose tomb is shown above) who also died. In fact his first two wives had also died in childbirth. Scanty remains of a canopy.

It his possible that the Fourth Duke had intended for his effigy to lie between that of his two wives but he was executed (see below)and buried in the Church of St Peter ad Vincula in the grounds of the Tower of London
After the death of the Duke, the family moved to Arundel and the family name of Howard was changed to Fitxalan Howard

Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond (1536) - illegitimate son of Henry VIII and Elizabeth Blount, & his wife Lady Mary Howard (1557), sister to the Earl of Surrey, is companion  Tomb chest with fluted pilasters and shields between. Above frieze of stories from Genesis. No effigies. The four figures standing at the corners hold instruments of the passion: that holding a hammer is shown in detail. He was a double dukedom by the king as well as several appointed to several offices of state Sir Robert Hitcham (1636) He bought the castle from the Howards in 1635 and bequeathed them to Pembroke College, Cambridge, his former college. Signed by Francis Griggs 1638. Member of Parliament and judge; a notable philanthropist, he neither married nor fathered any children.

Thomas Howard II, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (1554)

and his first wife Anne of York (1511), daughter of Edward IV

The fourteen figures in the niches around the tomb chest include those of the Apostles. He fought at the Battle of Flodden with this father, the 2nd Duke.

Jane Kerridge (Porter) (1744) and her only child, Cecilia Kerridge (1747)
By Roubiliac
Mary Porter (1696) & children:
Richard (1691, 7 weeks), Richard (1775, 18 months), John (1669, 3), Charles (1669, 4 months), Mary (1669), John (1673, 3), Robert (1673, 2), Sarah (1679,4), Elizabeth (1679, 10), Elizabeth (-). Added below her husband, Richard (1701)
A surviving daughter, Jane, responsible for the monument
Edward Alpe (1714)
and his sons:
Francis (1692), Edward (1700)
Added later:
Alice (1720), wife & Frederick (1726), son
Thomas (1664) & Elizabeth Alexander (1654)
and their children:
Thomas (1658), John (1660), Joseph (1644) & Elizabeth (1633)
Benjamin Hatcher (1778), Thomas Pretyman (1781) surgeon, & Jane Hall younger daughter of Thomas & Ann Pretyman; and of her son George John Bicker (1836) perpetual curate, 'buried at his own request in the wall of the school room he built...'
Sarah (1823) his first wife, buried at Bruisyard
Sarah (1835) his second wife, buried along side him
Left: Medieval slab with foliated cross in low relief.
Above from left to right: Leger Stones: 1.
Edmund Goodwin MD (1829), Jasper Pierson (1838), Mary, daughter of  William Edwards (1837); 2. Mary Coggleshale (1726) @17: 3. John Browne (1693) @ 32, Ann Gibb (1783) @ 54; 4. Elizabeth Browne (1732) @ 28 and her 3 sons who died in infancy: Bryckwood, Tyrrell & William; John Browne (1735) @ 42, presumable the husband; 5. Henry Mead Ogle (1825) of  Drogheda, Ireland, representative in parliament of his native town.6. Thomas Alexander the elder (1664), Elizabeth Alexander (1772) 7. Thomas Alexander (1658) 'of Grayes Inne', son of Thomas and Elizabeth

Those Dastardly Dukes of Norfolk

Historical dramas set in the Tudor period all seem to feature a 'Duke of Norfolk', usually a rather unpleasant character. Are they the same person? Probably not and this brief piece will help to clarify the matter.

The First Howard, Duke of Norfolk was John (the 'Jockey of Norfolk') supporter of Richard III and who, like Richard, was killed at the Battle of Bosworth.

He son Thomas, the Second Duke, was the victor of the Battle of Flodden where the Scots king, James IV was killed; he was buried in Thetford Priory, Norfolk, but this tomb was lost at the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The Third Duke, Thomas II,  whose monument is shown above, strongly opposed  Cardinal Wolsey but, being much less able, failed to take Wolsey's place on the latter's death as he had hoped.  He presided over the trial and death sentence of Anne Boleyn, even thought she was his niece and the evidence for her guilt dubious to say the least.  He gained much from the Dissolution of the Monasteries. He allied himself with Gardiner and the old prelates against Thomas Cromwell to prevent an alliance with the German protestants; his niece was Catherine Howard whom he used as a pawn against Cromwell and who became Henry's 5th wife. She however was executed for adultery and Henry, now under the influence of his sixth wife Catherine Parr and Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford (brother of Jane; later Protector Somerset), favoured the reforming party so Norfolk was marginalized.

His son - Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey - was tried for treason, having been accused of plotting to set aside Prince Edward and claiming the throne himself, as well as for quartering his arms with the (attributed) royal arms of Edward the Confessor, an act that had been forbidden by the College of Arms. There was no evidence for the former but there was for the latter so both Surrey and his father were arrested on the orders of an increasingly paranoid Henry VIII imprisoned and sentenced to death. Surrey was executed in 1547 but the Duke escaped execution as King Henry died the day before this was to be carried out; he remained imprisoned but was released following Mary's ascension in 1553. The Duke was first buried in All Hallows, Barking in Tower Street but his body was moved here by his son who erected the monument in 1614. The father had testified against his son at the trial.

The Fourth Duke (Thomas Howard III, son of Henry, Earl of Surrey above) was involved in plots against Elizabeth I, in which he was to marry Mary Stuart (Mary Queen of Scots) .For his part in the Ridolfi plot of 1571, which involved his marriage to Mary, Spanish invasion and deposition and murder of Elizabeth, he was executed.


St John the Baptist
Fressingfield - St Peter & St Paul Gazeley - All Saints

Above: Willliam Brewes (Brewse) & Elizabeth (Hopton) c1489

Left: Sir Robert Gardener (1619) At his feet, unusually, a rhinocerous. At the base of the monuments, again unusually, lie his robes and armour.

John Blennerhasser (1510), Wife and Sons. Indents of brass. See also Frenze, Norfolk

Edmund Heigham (1604) & Alice Pierson (1599)
Helmingham - St Mary Keddington
St Peter & St Paul
Long Melford
Holy Trinity
Marlesford - St Andrew

Above left top: S
ir Lionel Tollemache Dated 1729. He semi-reclines in Roman costume and his grieving wife sits at his feet.
Above left bottom:
Lionel Tollemache (1640)
Above right:
Lionel Tollemache (1605) who kneels in the upper compartment. Three other Lionels - father, grand father and great grandfather - kneel in arches below. This monument has a very long epitaph.
There are monuments to other members of the family in the church

Sir Thomas (1503) & Lady Barnardiston shown foreground
Sir Thomas & Lady Barnardison (1520) Recumbent effigies on plain tomb chest; children kneeling against side. Back wall with arms.
Sir Thomas Barnardison (1610) & Two Wives He recumbent, the  Wives kneel facing each other. Big superstructure. Below low arch into which coffin is being pushed.
Grissell (1609) daughter of above. She keels between two columns (partly visible in background)
Sir Nathaniel Barnardison (1653) & Wife (1669) Two frontal demi-figures, both resting heads on a hand and elbow on a pillow.
Sir Thomas Barnardson (1724) Two standing putti holding skull and torch

Sir William Cordell (1580) Speaker and Master of the Rolls. Alabaster.
There are many monuments to the Clopton family in the Clopton Chapel

William Alston (1641) & Avis (Pitman)

Milden - St Peter Nettlestead - St Mary Redgrave
St Mary the Virgin
Sotherton - St Andrew

 James Allington (1625) Alabaster  


Samuel Sayer (1625) & Wife shown
Knight (c1500) Brass

Nicholas Bacon & Anne Butts By Nicholas Stone in 1616; the architectural parts by  Bernard Jenssen to Stone's design. shown
Anne Butts (1609) brass in the medieval tradition.
Dorothy, Lady Gawdy (1621) simple oval tablet by Nicholas Stone.
Bacon tablets of 1660 (Anne Butts) & 1685; style of Nicholas Stone
Sir John Holt, Chief Justice (1710) He sits in the centre, flanked by Justice and Vigilence. On the cornice putti groups. By Thomas Green of Camberwell

Walter de Bernham (1327)  More than life size

 St Margaret
St Nicholas
Stoken by Nayland - St Mary
Fanny Watts (1921) Inscribed 'Fanny my beloved wife Vivet in Aeternum Amor, Leonard Watts'. By Paul Montford. In churchyard Thomas Jermyn (1692) shown
Sir Robert Danvers (1722) gray sarcophagus below broken pediment.
Left: Sir Francis Mannock (1634) alabaster  Right: Lady Ann Windesor (1615) alabaster
Many other monuments in the church

 Sotterley - St Margaret
Jane Playters
see left
Left: Sir Thomas Playter (1638) knight & bt, with his two wives: Ann (Swan) (1594) & Anne (Browne)

Edward Marshall and erected 1658.

Below kneel 21 children and lies one baby; one of the little girls turns round and makes a face at her sister. Black and white marble.

William Playters (1512) & Jane (Jenney) His brass is lost; hers is shown right

Thomas Playters (1578) English Inscription

Thomasen (Tyrell) wife of William Playters (1578) English inscription.

Thomas Playters (1479) & Anne (Denays) (1479) English inscription

Sir Thomas Sotterley (Soterie) (1468)

Christopher Playters (1547) The inscription in English refers to two wives but they are not represented

Spexhall - St Peter Stowlangtoft - St George

Silvester Browne (1593).
The lowest inscription is to her daughter Mary Downinge (1601)

Paul d'Ewes by John Johnson (1624)

Wingfield - St Andrew
Very small village with less than 350 inhabitants. Church is open; park outside. Very light interior. Excellent pub (The de la Pole Arms) opposite the church: good food and then you may park in the car park. O/S Ref: TM 230 768

Sir John Wingfield (1361) The effigy rests on a tomb chest with four quatrefoils enclosing shields; above crocketed ogee arch. Note that the shields are actually plain, having lost their painting long ago; however painted card shields have been very skillfully inserted over the blank shields in recent times.

Sir John planned to build a large church at Wingfield and this was carried out by his widow, Alianore. The couple had one child - a daughter Katherine - who married Michael de la Pole, by now the 1st Earl of Suffolk, the estate thus passing to the de la Pole family, a brief history of which may be found below.

Stothard's etching (see below) shows some of the colouring on this effigy but it was very faint in his time and is now virtually non-existent.

The monument may well have been originally in its own chantry chapel (the site of which is now the vestry) but was moved to the present position when this chapel fell into decay.

Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk (1415) & Katherine (de Stafford), Countess of Suffolk (1376).

The effigies are, unusually for the date, of wood and rest on a tall tomb chest against whose north side are three sedilia. Gabled niches on the south & west sides, now empty of statues..

He was the son of the 1st Earl and Katherine, daughter of  Sir John Wingfield above. He travelled with Henry V in the invasion of France but died early of dysentery at the siege of Harfleur.

and  Elizabeth of York (1444 - 1503+), Sister of Edward IV.

Alabaster effigies on tomb chest with five shields in quatrefoils.

The second Duke was the master time-server, who married the sister of Edward IV and whose son - John, Earl of Lincoln made a bid for the throne; the latter John had been designated his heir by Richard III after the death of his son, the alternative possible heir, Edward, Earl of Warwick, son of his executed brother, George Duke of Clarence, was considered too young to inherit the throne.

Below are reproduction Charles Stothard's etchings of the monuments at Wingfield; he reported at the time of his drawing that the polychrome was in poor condition: it has now almost disappeared.

John de la Pole, 5th Earl and 2nd Duke of Suffolk (1442-1491)  and  Elizabeth of York (1444 - 1503+), Sister of Edward IV.

Medieval Upstarts
The de la Poles - Merchants, Financiers, Barons, Earls, Marquises, Dukes and Kings Nearly

William de la Pole (  -1366)
was a wealthy merchant and financier from Hull, who financed the government of the day and became the first mayor of that city.

Michael, 1st Earl of Suffolk (1330 - 1389) was the son of the Hull merchant.  He fought in Scotland and  in the 100 years war, serving under the Black Prince. He negotiated the marriage of Richard II to Anne of Bohemia. From 1383 he was chancellor and adviser to Richard II; he was promoted to baron in 1366 and to earl in 1385.  He enriched himself by not always honorable means.

In the 'Wonderful Parliament' of 1386, he was impeached on charges of corruption and negligence and his dismissal was demanded. He was sentenced to imprisonment (in Corfe Castle), fined heavily and some of his lands forfeited. However when the parliament ended, Richard released him and he again became one of the royalist party and the King's closest adviser. But  in 1388 the 'Lords Apellant' - the baronial opposition to Richard II - charged him with treason and he was condemned to death and forfeiture of his title and lands. He managed to flee to the continent where he died in exile.
He married Catherine the daughter and heiress of Sir John de Wingfield (see his effigy above).

Michael, 2nd Earl of Suffolk  (1361-1415)  - see effigies above -was the eldest son of the 1st Earl but, because of his father's disgrace, did not succeed to the title on the latter's death although the earldom was later restored to him in 1391. He sailed to France with King Henry V but died of dysentery at the siege of Harfleur.

Michael, 3rd Earl of Suffolk (1394-1415) was the eldest son of the second earl. He served with his father at Harfleur and succeeded to the title on the latter's death there but did not enjoy the earldom for long as he was killed at the Battle of Agincourt later that same year.

William, 4th Earl and 1st Marquis & 1st Duke of Suffolk (1396-1450)  was the second son of Michael the 2nd Earl, succeeding to the title on his elder brother's death. He fought and held posts in France under Henry V and later, following the King's death, under Henry's brother, John Duke of Bedford, now Regent of France. He surrendered to Joan of Arc and was a prisoner for a while. He was released following the payment of a ransom and continued campaigning in France.

On his return to England in 1431 he joined the court and became an ally of Cardinal Beauford of the 'peace party', his long experience of war probably convincing him that peace was the wisest way forward. He negotiated the marriage of Henry VI to Margaret of Anjou but a secret clause was  put into the agreement to surrender the English possessions of Anjou and Maine as part of a truce between the antagonists. He stood proxy for Henry in a marriage ceremony in France and escorted the King's new bride to England. He was now promoted to marquis.  In 1435, following the death of the Duke of Bedford and the reconciliation of the Duke of Burgundy, who had been an ally of the English, with the French King, the tide now turned in the favour of the French. 

On the death of both his rival Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, Henry V's brother (whom he was said to have murdered), and Cardinal Beauford in 1447, Suffolk became the power behind the throne. Henry VI was a weak king who also seemed to suffer from some mental disorder and  had come to the throne as an infant.  These factors probably led to Henry being  ruled by his favourites, the role of the King's Council being much reduced in its power. This led to much resentment and the cause of bitter rivalry at court. The Wars of the Roses were about to begin. Richard, Duke of York, who had been the commander in France and whose influence was now increasing, was packed off to Ireland by Suffolk who then replaced him in France with the Duke of Somerset. Somerset's lack of ability as a commander contributed to the loss of Normandy.

In 1450 Suffolk was promoted to the Dukedom but later that year was impeached, being blamed for the loss of the French possessions and corrupt government at home; he had certainly greatly enriched himself.  He was exiled by Henry VI but, on attempting to cross the Channel, his craft  was intercepted by the ship Nicholas of the Tower; he was taken aboard a small boat and beheaded by 'six strokes of a rusty sword'. He body was thrown onto the beach at Dover. This murder may have been organised by the Duke of York  but remains an unsolved mystery. Although he is said to have been buried at Wingfield, there is certainly no monument there and another source states that he may have been buried at Hull.

He married Alice Chaucer - granddaughter of the poet - whose magnificent monument remains at Ewelme, Oxfordshire.

There is an old English Ballad (possibly a version of Child Number 170) which appears to refer to his death and in which he is referred to as The Duke of Cotton - his birthplace in Suffolk.

John, 5th Earl and 2nd Duke of Suffolk (1442-1491) - see effigies above - was the only son of William, the 1st Duke. He was restored to the Dukedom by Henry VI but nevertheless sided with the Yorkist and fought at the 2nd Battle of St Albans. On the death of Edward IV- whose sister he married - he supported Richard III and, following the latter's death at Bosworth, swore fealty to Henry VII! His disputes with the Paston family are well recorded in the famous Paston Letters, where he is portrayed unfavourably. A master time server indeed.

John, Earl of Lincoln  (1464-1487 ) was the first son of the Second Duke. Richard III's young son Edward, had died in 1484 so the King needed to find an heir to the throne. The candidates were his two nephews: John, Earl of Lincoln, son of his sister, and Edward, Earl of Warwick, son of his executed brother, George, Duke of Clarence. The latter - later himself executed by Henry VII on no valid charge - was still a child so John was selected. He fought with Richard at Bosworth but Henry VII had no wish to alienate the de la Pole family so he was granted office by the new King. However, with his eye still on the throne, he joined the Lambert Simnel rebellion in 1487 and was killed at the Battle of Stoke - the last battle of the Wars of the Roses.

Edmund, 6th Earl of Suffolk (1472-1513) was the second son of the Second Duke and attained his majority during the reign of Henry VII. However his inheritance was affected by the act of attainder passed against his elder brother, The Earl of Lincoln. He agreed with the King to revert to the title of Earl and the King restored a portion of his forfeited property in return for a substantial annual fee. In 1501 he heard the Emperor Maximilian would help any of the Yorkist bloodline regain the English throne; he visited Maximilian but this scheme subsequently came to nothing. He was condemned with his brothers and others in 1504. He returned to England in 1506 and remained unmolested but was excepted from a general pardon by Henry VIII and executed in 1513. His younger brother Richard continued the claim to the throne until his death at the Battle of Pavis in 1525. 

Some Brass Matrices & A Ledger Stone

A Priest A Priest; the lower part of this matrix is covered by furniture Unknown These three have been reset into the floor of the room below the tower. The first is to: Richard de la Pole (1403), son of Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, presumably the second earl. The others are indecipherable/ Ledger stone: Margaret Stanhaw (Cornwallis) 1704

St Mary
Worlingham - All Saints 
Thomas Seckford (1587) Tomb chest with open arcade; no effigy
Ieoffrey Pitman (1627) & Two Wives & Two Sons shown
Above: Robert Bernard Sparrow (1805) died and was buried in Tobago; his only son Robert Acheson Bernard St John Sparrow (1818 & 19) Above: Mrs Parnell Duke (Rouse) (1637) & daughter Mrs Anne Duke (1698) Incription below
Right: Nycholas Wrenne & Mary (Coe) (1511)
'An epitaph on Mrs Parnell Rous alias Duke wife to John Duke of Worlingham, in the County of Suff. Esqre made ye 22th. Aprill 1637.
A Rous by Birth; by Marriage made a Duke; Christ'ned Parnell, she liu'd without Rebuke;
She di'd most St: Like, now take All Together, She was unparallel'd. So lives for ever.'
'An Epitaph on the Dovelike Virgin Mrs. Anne Duke daughter to ye before nam'd persons made ye 10th Jan. A.D. 1698.
A Virgin here doth lie a Duke by name No soule more spotles none more quitt from blame
Now her Reward she hath her spouse doth see Endles her joyes and her Felicity
Divine her life was, modest and sincere. Untouch't by vice; her actions pure and clear
Kept as she hath her soul from what's amisse even so for ever ow it rests in blisse.'
With many thanks to Dr D and Mrs J Kelsall and to Jean McCreanor for kindly providing most of the photographs in this section. Those of Bury - and the history lessons - are by the Webmaster.
< Home - Index - Page>  <Top of Page>