A. D Bayne.

Royal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) online

. (page 35 of 70)
Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 35 of 70)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

vessels. The Ore rises from a spring near Framlingham, flows eastward,
and expands into an estuary as it approaches Aldborough, where it
suddenly turns southward and flows into the sea below Orford. The
Waveney rises near Lopham, in Norfolk, flows from west to east,
dividing the two counties, and joins the Yare at Eeedham, near
Breydon water, an expansion formed by these united rivers, narrowing
again and then turning southward to the sea, from which it is
navigable to Beccles and Bungay. Westward, the little Ouse is navigable
to Thetford, and the Lark to Bury St. Edmund's. Thus natural facilities
are afforded for water conveyance of goods in most parts of the

The productions of the county are wheat, barley, peas, beans, seeds of
various kinds, mangolds, turnips, and other roots. The wheat is of
excellent quality, and usually commands a high price. The barley is
amongst the best grown in England, and is largely malted for the Burton
and other large breweries. Mangel wurtzel and turnips are grown of
great weight and good quality for grazing purposes. Some farmers grow
flax in the neighbourhood of Eye, Debenham, and Framlingham ; and
factories are in operation for preparing the flax. There is a great whole-
sale trade in cattle, corn, malt, &c., at different markets in the county,


especially Ipswich and Bury. Suffolk manufactures are such as are in
some way connected with agriculture.

There is no other part of England containing so many manufacturers
of engines and machines for agricultural purposes^ or where the imple-
ments of husbandry are made more perfect than in Suffolk. This is
owing to the large capital employed in the business, and the competition
among the manufacturers,, which tends to the detection of every defect,
and ingenuity is exercised to make improvements in every respect. The
piincipal firms are Messrs. Ransome, Sims, and Head, Ipswich ; Messrs.
Garrett and Sons, Leiston ; Messrs. E. E,, and F. Turner, Ipswich ;
Messrs. Woods, Cocksedge, and Warner, Stowmarket ; Mr. Burrell,
Thetford. There are many other firms engaged in this department of
industry ; but as we are only drawing up a rapid sketch of the county,
we must pass them by. We may be justified in assigning the foremost
place among agricultural machinists to Messrs. Ransome, Sims, and
Head, and Messrs. Garrett. Both their concerns were of humble origin,
and rose from small beginnings to colossal dimensions. Their engines
and implements may be found in every English county, in every country
in Europe, and in our Colonies.

The manufacture of artificial manures is also carried on to a great
extent, especially from coprolites, which are found in great abundance in
Suffolk. This branch of business was begun more than twenty years ago
by Mr. E. Packard, of Saxmundham, on a very small scale, and the firm
of which that gentleman is the head now sends out 20,000 tons annually
of manure made from coproHtes ; while Messrs. Fison, of Iswich, Messrs.
Prentice, of Stowmarket, and other manufacturers, produce very large
quantities of this and other kinds of artificial manures. Messrs. Prentice
have also established the manufacture of gun cotton.

There are many maltstries and breweries in the county, and vast quan-
tities of malt are produced at Stowmarket. Along the coast there are
some thousands of fishermen, and at Lowestoft many vessels are equipped
for the fisheries, which are on a great scale. The mackerel and herring
fisheries are now very important at Lowestoft, employing hundreds of
vessels and some thousands of hands. Notwithstanding the great success
of this branch of industry, most of the fishermen are very poor.

On looking at returns as to the social condition of the people in Suffolk,
some curious facts present themselves. The births are one in thirty-two
of the population, and eight per cent, are claimed as illegitimate; the
deaths are one in fifty-one of the population — the proportion in all England
being one in forty-six, and in Norfolk one in forty-eight. The criminal re-
turns exhibit a great increase of crime during the centur3\ Between 1801
and 1851, the population increased fifty-six per cent. ; crime more than 300


per cent, in the half-centuiy. Pauperism is the plague-spot of the
county. One in every twelve persons in this county is a pauper, and the
average cost of relief for the five years ending in 1851 was £142,688 per

The educational returns of this county are almost as discouraging. In
1851, there were 143 parishes without any school, except here and there
a dame's school. In the hundreds of Hoxne and Eisbridge, only eight
per cent, of the males attended any school ; and in a large number of
schools in the county, the average attendance of the children was less
than two years. Out of 1219 in-door paupers in Suffolk, ten only could
read and write well ; nearly eighty per cent, of the felons were without
any education, forty-six per cent, of the men and fifty-two per cent, of
the women who were married could not sign their names to the marriage

Sufiblk returned sixteen members to Parliament before the passing of
Reform Act of 1832, but then Aldborough and Dunwich were disfran-
chised by that Act, and Eye reduced to one member. Subsequently,
Sudbury was deprived of its privilege on the ground of corruption. The
county is divided for electoral purposes into two divisions, the eastern and
the western. The polling places for the eastern division of the county
are — Ipswich, Needham, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Saxmnndham,
Halesworth, Beccles, Bungay, Lowestoft, and Gorleston. The polling
places for the west are — Bury St. Edmund's, Lavenham, Stowmarket,
Wickham Brook, Mildenhall, and Hadleigh.

The population of Suffolk at the six decennial periods of enumeration
was found to amount, in 1801, to 214,404; in 1811, to 233,963; in 1821,
to 271,541; in 1831, to 296,317; in 1841, to 315,073; in 1851, to
337,215, including 166,308 males, and 170,907 females; in 1861, to
337,070. The number of inhabited houses in 1851 was 69,282 ; empty,
3107; and those building, 449. The annual value of the real property
of the county as assessed for the purposes of the property-tax, in the year
1813, was, £1,127,404; in 1851, it was £1,834,252. The annual value
of real property rated to the poor was, in 1850, £1,366,648.

The towns of SuSblk containing more than 2000 inhabitants with their
population in 1861 :— Ipswich, 37,950 ; Lowestoft, 9,534; Beccles, 4,266;
Woodbridge, 5,515 ; Stowmarket, 3,639 ; Halesworth, 2,521 ; Eye, 2430 ;
Southwold, 2,032 ; Leiston, 2,227 ; Newmarket St. Mary, 2,002 ; Bmy,
13,318; Sudbury, 6,018 ; Bungay, 3,805 ; Mildenhall, 4,046; Hadleigh,
3,606 ; Long Melford, 2,870 ; Framlingham, 2,252 ; Gorleston, 4,472 ;
Haverhill, 2,434.

Ipswich and Lowestoft had increased in population in 1871, but most
of the other towns had decreased.



The principal towns in the eastern division of tlie county are either on
the coast or near the coast^ and almost in straight lines from south to
north. The East Suffolk Eailway crosses the county in the same direc-
tion, and there are stations at Ipswich, Woodbridge, Melton, Wickham
Market (for Framlingham), Saxmundham (with a branch to Leiston and
Aldborough), Halesworth, Beccles, Lowestoft, and Southtown next Yar-
mouth. The Eastern Union Midland hue has stations at Bramford,
Claydon, Needham Market, Stowmarket, Haughley Junction, Finning-
ham, ]\Iellis (for Eye), and Diss. There is a western hue from Haughley
to Bury and Newmarket, also branch lines from Ipswich to Hadleigh and
Sudbury, in the south of Suffolk.

This is a flourishing port, borough, and market town, and the chief
town of Sufiblk, in the eastern division of the county, sixty-nine miles
(north-east) from London, pleasantly situated at the head of the river
Orwell, which, joined by the river Gipping, flows for twelve miles direct
to the sea. The town first received its name from its being situated
where the fresh water river Gipping flows into the Orwell. " What's in
a name ? " A great deal — and formerly a great deal more than was neces-
sary ; for in Domesday Book it is spelt Gyppeswed, Gippeswiz, Gippeswic,
and afterwards Yppswyche ; but divested of all superfluous letters by those
terrible innovators, the printers, it now stands before us simply as Ipswich.

The ground on which the town stands presents so many advantages,
that it attracted settlers at an early period. In approaching it by the
London road, it appears to be low ; but viewed from Wherstead Hill, it
appears to more advantage, being situated on the side of a rising ground,
with a south aspect, and a gradual descent to the Eiver Orwell. The hiUs
which rise above it to the north and east contribute greatly to its
salubrity, sheltering it from bleak winds and furnishing springs of pure
water, with which the town is so well supplied that it has suffered less
from the ravages of fire than perhaps any place of similar extent and
population. The printers are all democrats in the republic of letters, and
have left scarcely a name unchanged in the whole topography of eastern
England. Thus the Orwell was called in the Anglo-Saxon annals the
Arwan ; probably it was originally Arwell, as we have Arwerton on one
side of it, and Arwich (Harwich) on the other, at which place the river
flows into the North sea. Here those rascally pirates, the Danes, often
landed, and spread along the shore in black array. It is recorded that
about the year 880 a battle took place near the mouth of the Orwell,
between the East Anglians under King Alfred and the Danes, who were


all routed and slain and sixteen of tlieir ships destroyed. The Danes
renewed their attacks in the years 991 and 1000, when they sailed up the
Orwell, damaged the walls, and plundered the town, then flew back to their
ships. On another occasion they came and levied the enormous fine of
£10,000 upon the cowardly inhabitants, who, instead of fighting, bought
off the invaders.

Ipswich dates from an early period in the history of the Saxon Octarchy,
when it had a mint, and was fortified with walls and surrounded by a
moat. Like other boroughs that were in the demesne of the Crown, it
was held by the sovereign himself, or perhaps one-third of the revenue
was granted to some earl, and the other two-thirds remained in the
possession of the Crown. Sometimes the earl let the revenues of the
borough to some other persons for a certain annual rent, but he never
neglected hi^ third. Some of the inhabitants had property outside of
the town held by military service, and these were the only freemen
properly so called. The rest were only serfs, and had no property at all ;
they held what little they had at the will of their masters, and conse-
quently had no will of their own, being thus happily saved the trouble of
thinking for themselves, even in secular matters, as they were also in
religious matters by the priests. An extract from Domesday Book, which
was finished in 1086, will show that in " the good old times '^ the inhabit-
ants of Ipswich enjoyed these rare privileges to the fullest extent : —
'' Half hundred of Gippeswid. This Roger Bigod keepeth in the King's
hand. In the time of Edward the Confessor, Queen Edith, who was the
daughter of Earl Goodwin, ^had two parts of the borough, and Earl
Guert, her brother, had the third part, and the queen had a grange or
demesne, to which belonged four caracutes or hides of land.'' It goes
on further to state that '^^in the time of King Edward the Confessor,
there were 538 burgesses who paid custom to the king, and they
had forty acres of land. But now (1086) there are only 110 burgesses,
who pay custom, and 100 poor burgesses who can pay no more
than one penny per head to the king's geld. So upon the whole they
have forty acres of land and 328 houses now empty ; and which in the
time of King Edward scotted to the King's geld. Roger, the vice earl,
let the whole for £40, to be paid at the feast of St. Michael ; afterwards
he could not have their rent, and he abated sixty shillings of it ; now it
pays o£37, and the earl always has the third part." It is not said whether
the revenues were let to one or more persons, but probably to some of
the principal burgesses of the town. Sometimes the king held certain
boroughs himself, and appointed one or more officers, who were called
prcepositi, or provosts, and under the Norman kings these officers were
called hallivi, or baiHves or bailiffs.


The Eev. R. Canning, editor of tlie best edition of Kirby^s " Suffolk
Traveller/^ has drawn a great portion of his information from Mr. Bacon^s
manuscript entitled " The Annals of Ipswich/^ a large thick volume of
800 folio pages belonging to the Corporation. This document is the basis
of every local history.

Though of some antiquity, the town is not remarkable for any historical
event before the Norman Conquest, when it was a small place, containing
few inhabitants, compared to the present extent of the borough. Ipswich
was a borough at the time of the Norman survey, and William I. granted
it a free market. The burgesses were first incorporated by King John,
who granted them extensive privileges. Since that time, the burgesses
have received seventeen charters, of which the most important are those
of Edward IV. and Charles II. ; and under the latter, the government was
vested in two bailiffs, twelve portmen, twenty-four common councillors,
with steward, recorder, town-clerk, two coroners, a treasurer, and inferior
officers. The Corporation, like all others, came under the Municipal Act
of the 5th and 6th William IV., and now consists of a Mayor, ten alder-
men, and thirty councillors. Courts of Quarter Sessions are held for the
trial of causes and- of prisoners accused of crimes. The borough obtained
the elective franchise in the 23rd Edward I., since which time it has
continued to return two members to Parliament. The right of voting
was formerly vested in the burgesses generally not receiving alms, about
1100, of whom not more than 400 were resident; but by the Act of the
2nd and 3rd William IV., the non-resident burgesses were disfranchised,
and the privilege of voting was extended to the £10 householders in the
borough. In the 26th Henry VIII., Ipswich was made the seat of a
suffragan bishop, who was consecrated by Archbishop Cranmer, and had a
mansion in the parish of St. Peter, the remains of which are now used as
a malthouse. During the prosecutions in the reign of Mary, several
persons suffered martyrdom here for their religion. Among the monastic
establishments formerly existing here, were a priory of Blalck Canons,
of the Order of Augustine, originally founded in 1177 in Christ Church,
which, being destroyed by fire, was re-founded soon after by John, Bishop
of Norwich, for a prior and six canons; and a priory of Black Canons,
bounded in the reign of Henry II. by Thomas Lacey and Alice his wife
in honour of St. Peter and St. Paul. Cardinal Wolsey suppressed this, and
erected on the site his college for a dean, twelve secular canons, eight
clerks, and eight choristers, with a grammar school intended as a nursery
for his college at Oxford. It was demolished after the Cardinel fell into
disgrace = A monastery of Black Friars was founded in the reign of
Henry III. in the parish of St. Mary at the Quay, of which convent the
existing portions contain the most perfect relic of antiquity in the town.


There was a monastery of White Friars in the centre of the town^ of which
there are no remains ; and a honse of Grey Friars, founded in the reign
of Edward I. by Sir Robert Tyljelot, uf which some portion of the walls
is remaining.

The Free Grammar School is of uncertain foundation ; it was endowed
by Henry VIII. with £38 los. 4d. per annum from the fee farm rent of
the borough, which endowment was confirmed by a charter of Elizabeth,
and augmented with subsequent legacies.

Queen Elizabeth visited the borough in 1561, stayed four days, and
sailed down the Orwell in great pomp, attended by the Corporation
attired in their robes of office. George II. also visited the town on his
way from Lowestoft, upon which occasion an address of congratulation
was i^rescnted to him by the Corporation. George IV. also visited the
town Avlien Regent. Full details of all these visits and other events
are given in succeeding chapters.

Ipswich comprises the large populous parishes of St. Clement, St.
Helen, St. Mary at Elms, St. Mary at the Quay, St. Mary Stoke, St. Mary
at the Tower, St. Matthew, St. Nicholas, St, Peter, St. Stephen, and
mthin the limits of the borough the parish of Whitton'with Thurleston,
and part of that of Westerfield. The parish churches are all ancient
handsome structures in various styles of architecture. There are places
of worship for Baptists, Independents, Methodists, Unitarians, the
Society of Friends, also a Roman Cotholic Chapel and a Synagogue for
the Jews.

Under an Act passed in 1810 the town was paved, and is lighted with
gas, and a fund has been raised for its general improvement. There are
a few handsome streets, and some narrow and irregularly built. The
houses are generally well built, and many of them are ancient and
decorated with carved work. The erection of some new ranges of build-
ings and the construction of several new streets have greatly improved the
appearance of the town. The inhabitants are well supplied with water
from the river and from springs ; the air is salubrious and the
temperature mild, the town being sheltered from the colder winds by hills
on the north-east. The environs are pleasant and picturesque.

The public buildings are the Town Hall, recently built at a cost of
£15,000 ; the Corn Hall built in 1850 ; the Custom House built in 1845 ;
the East Suffolk Hospital built in 1835, with additions in 1809 ; the
Museum ; the County Courts ; Temperance Hall, built in 1810 ; the Post
Office ; a Public Hall, built by a Company, and large enough for 2000
people at public meetings, concerts, &c.

The Market Place, constructed in 1811 at an expense of £10,000,
comprises two spacious quadrangular ranges of buildings, supported on



columns of stone, adjoining wliich. is the enclosed cattle market. The
market days are Tuesday and Saturday ; the former, for corn, is held
in the new Corn Hall, a large building erected at an expense of
£33,000. The fairs are on May 4th, called St. George's Fair, for cittle ;
August 26th, for lambs ; and September 25th, for butter and cheese,
which last has almost fallen into disuse. The articles manufactured in
the town are chiefly engines and machines for agricultural purposes,
boots and shoes, paper, pottery, and Roman cement, from all which
arises a great wholesale trade

The Old House, as it is' called by the people, is now occupied
by a bookseller, and a very picturesque old house it is, with its carved
panels, pUasters, and brackets. The Museum is a model of its kind,
for it was arranged with admirable method by Professor Henslow,
whose portrait hangs above a case of plants wliich he gave to the
town. There is also a painting of Thomas Clarkson, representing him
as addressing an anti-slavery meeting. The Mechanics^ Institute
has a good library and reading-room, which is generally filled with


The Free Grammar School, long held in the refectory of the
Black Dominican Friary, is now held in a handsome edifice built in
1852 ; and has £57 yearly endowment, eight scholarships, and two ex-
hibitions. The Blue Coat and Red Sleeve Schools are also endowed.
The Industrial Training School, for penitent orphan females, was
founded in 1857, and is supported by voluntary contributions.
There are also national and denominational schools for elementary
instruction. The East Suffolk Hospital was founded in 1836, ac-
commodates about forty indoor patients, and has usually about 200
outdoor patients. Two Lunatic Asylums, the Bellvue and the Grove,
are in St. Helenas parish, with ten and eleven inmates. There
are several Almshouses, a Shipwrecked Seaman's Society, and other
charitable institutions. The total yearly amount of endowed charities
is £2459.

The Museum of Natural History was built in 1847, and is supported
by a corporation rate. The Public Library contains about 8000 volumes.
The Mechanics Institution includes a large Lecture Hall, and has a library
of about 7000 volumes. There are an Arboretum, Public Gardens, a
Horticultural Society, a Young Men's Christian Association, and a Church
of England Young Men's Society. The Working Men's College and
Club is one of the most flourishing institutions of the kind in the Eastern



Tlie Port of Ipswich is rapidly rising in importance^ and has a very-
large foreign and coasting trade. The number of vessels above fifty tons
burden registered at the port before 1842 was 119^ and their aggregate
tonnage 12^339. The coasting trade consists chiefly in corn and malt,
and in timber for ship building, with which it supplies the dockyards.
Very extensive improvements have been made to facilitate commercial
enterprize. The river was fourteen feet deep up to the town, but it has
been made deeper. The navigation is thus improved. Boats sail with
every tide to Harwich, affording an aquatic excursion of twelve miles,
with views of beautiful scenery on each side of the river.

The Harbour includes quays and a wet dock, the latter formed in 1842,
and although the Orwell dries far down at low water, vessels drawing
sixteen feet can no^v ascend to the town and float in the wet dock. The
vessels belonging to the port in 1864 were fifty-two small sailing vessels,
with an aggregate of 1728 tons ; 127 large sailing vessels, of aggregately
13,923 tons; five small steam vessels, of aggregately 219 tons, and five
large steam vessels, of aggregately 436 tons. The vessels which entered
in 1863 were six British sailing vessels, of aggregately 1529 tons, from
British colonies ; eighty-eight British sailing vessels, of aggregately 9864
tons, from foreign countries ; 114 foreign sailing vessels, of aggregately
14,096 tons, from foreign countries ; 1022 sailing vessels, of aggregately
3440 tons, coastwise. The vessels which cleared in 1863 were forty -
eight British sailing vessels, of aggregately 3921 tons, to foreign
countries ; seventy-one foreign sailing vessels, of aggregately 6995 tons,
to foreign countries ; one British steam vessel of 147 tons, to foreign
countries; 852 sailing vessels, of aggregately 45,138 tons, coastwise;
and sixteen steam vessels, of aggregately 3440 tons, coastwise. The
amount of customs in 1862 was £19,726, it greatly rose in 1865, and was
£24,371 in 1867.

The present trade of the town is considerable, and belonging to the
port there are 188 ships, representing an aggregate burden of 16,159
tons. There arc four ship-building yards, belonging to Messrs. Cubbold,
Bayley, Kobertson, and Lambert. Malting and brewing is also carried on
to a large extent. The imports are iron, coals, stone, timber, slates, and
linseed, for the production of linseed oil and oil cake at the extensive
works of Messrs. Barber and Mr. Mason.

The Canal from Ipswich to Stowmarket, constructed in 1 793 at a cost
of £26,380, affords great facility for inland navigation. It has been con-
structed in the old channel of the river Gipping from Ipswich to Stow-
market. The Quay is accessible to ships of 200 tons burden. The


Custom House is a ueat brick building. Ship-building is carried on to a
considerable extent, and several of Morton's slips are in use. There are
rope-walks for the supply of the shipping, and all other branches of
industry required for the prosperity of the port. There are commodious
public baths on the quay and some beautiful walks near the river Orwell.
The Orwell Works of Messrs. Ransome and Co. are the most extensive
in the Eastern Counties for the building of engines and the production of
machines and implements of husbandry. The works cover an area of
eleven acres, placed on a most convenient position on the banks of the
Orwell, bounded on the west by the dock. A tramway traverses the
whole area. About 1,200 mechanics are employed here, exclusive of
seventy clerks in the various offices, one of which is 100 feet in length,

Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 35 of 70)