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representative of the county, a sketch of his life may be interesting to the
reader.

Charles Tyrell, Esq., of Plashwood and Gipping, was born in 1776. He
was the son of the Eev. Charles Tyrell, and cousin of Edmund Tyrell,
Esq., of Gipping Hall, who was High Sheriff" of Suff'olk in 1774. He
entered the University of Cambridge at an early age, and took the degree
of Bachelor of Arts three years before the beginning of the present
century. In the famous year 1815, he served the office of High Sheriff"
of the county, and indeed he had at this time become a man of mark by
the prominent share he took in county matters. The most memorable
epoch in his life, however, was connected with the dawn of reform in
Parliamentary and Municipal representation. During the last illness of
George IV. in May and June, 1830, determined eff'orts were set on foot to
oust the Duke of Wellington from the supreme place in the council of
the nation, and the death of " the King's Most Excellent Majesty," on
the 26th of the latter month, precipitated the action of those who were
not yet known as " Reformers," by necessitating a general election. At



A DESCRIPTION OF SUFFOLK. OO'-i

this timo the imdivided county of Siiifolk was represented by Sir William
Rowley, Whig, and Sir Thomas Sherlock Gooch, Tory, the former of
whom announced the resignation of his seat on account of his inability to
give to his Parliamentary duties that attention which was required by the
times, whilst Sir Thomas it appears liad dissatisfied many of his con-
stituents by his abstention from voting on various questions of retrench-
ment. Sir Henry Bunbury having offered himself for the vacant seat as
an entirely independent candidate — an advocate for the constitutional
reform of abuses in general, a strong and most determined effort was
made to induce Mr. Tyrell to come forward for the second seat. At first
that gentleman, who had indeed promised to support Sir Thomas Gooch,
although not approving altogether of his political conduct, declined the
proposal ; but as great pressure was brought to bear upon him, backed by
a requisition signed by a thousand freeholders of the county, he in a very
frank and manly way represented to Sir Thomas the position in which he
found himself, and ultimately felt himself free to place his services at the
disposal of the constituency. Just at this time public action in England
was stimulated by the news from France, then, as now, in a state of
revolution. On the 29th of July, the tricolour hoisted on the Tuilleries,
where the white flag of the Bourbons had floated for fifteen years, pro-
claimed that the sovereignty of France had passed away from the grasp
of the elder branch of that house; on the 1st of August, the Duke of
Orleans assumed the functions of Lieutenant- General of the kingdom ;
on the 2nd, Charles X., too late in his concessions, formally abdicated in
favour of his grandson, the Duke of Bordeaux ; and a week later the
Duke of Orleans accepted the Crown as Louis Philippe, King of the
French, under circumstances which sliould have warned him against that
dogged opposition to salutary changes which within twenty years proved
as fatal to his own regime as it had to that of his predecessor. While these
momentous events were happening across the Channel, Sufiblk was all
excitement, and men were at work in earnest. On the 6th of August,
the nomination took place at Stowmarket, and tbe prominent actors on
that day were — Sir Thomas Gooch, Sir Henry Bunbury, and Mr. Tyrell,
with their respective proposers and seconders, Colonel Rushbrooke, Sir
Charles Brook Vere, the Earl of Euston, Sir Hyde Parker, Richard
Dalton, Esq., and J. H. Heigliam, Esq. — Mr. Tyrell has long been the
only survivor. On Tuesday, the 10th of August, a second nomination
took place at Ipswich, and we leain from the Bury Post of that date that
Sir Henry Bunbury made his entry in an open carriage, accompanied by
his three sons, and preceded by the Earl of Euston, Sir R. Hardland, J.
Moseley, Esq., H. Blake, Esq., J. H. Powell, Esq., &c., and followed by
Lord Huntingfield, Sir Hyde Parker, &c. Mr. TyrelFs cavalcade followed,



354 HISTOKY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

the lioirsemen being more than 150 in number; and Sir Thomas Gooch's
procession wisely arrived from an opposite point of the compass. The
show of hands was most decidedly in favour of the two baronets from
West Suffolk ; and at the close of the poll on that day. Sir Henry
Bunbury had received the suffrages of 1,055 electors, and Mr. TyrelPs
requisitionists had justified their appeal by polHng exactly 1,000 votes,
whilst Sir Thomas Gooch had only received 624, Shortly after the
voting had recommenced on the following morning, it was announced that
Sir Thomas had struck his flag, and the Sheriff closed the poll, subse-
quently declaring the numbers as follows : — Bunbury, 1,097 j Tyrell,
1,044; Gooch, 627. At the '"^ chairing '^ of the successful candidates —
without which in those days no Parliamentary election could be considered
complete — we find Sir Henry Bunbury in a full Court dress, wearing
his orders on his breast, and a handsome crimson-and- white sash, upon a
platform borne on the shoulders of thirty men. Behind him was placed
an elegant chair of crimson silk, and above his head a splendid canopy,
supported by framework tastefully entwined with evergreens and flowers.
Mr. Tyrell followed, in a full suit of Court mourning, on a platform taste-
fully decorated with festoons of white satin, supported by branches of
oak, interspersed with flowers, and borne on the shoulders of thirty men.

In addition to the pageantry of the past, we read of flags, banners, and
favours, of bands of music, of ringing of bells, and discharge of fire-
works, now no longer lawful. The importance of this memorable contest
is thus dilated on in the Bury Post for the 18th of August, 1830 : —

" It is but little to say of the Suffolk election that it is the only con-
test which has taken place in the county within forty years. There were
circumstances of a peculiar nature to give it importance. It was not a con-
test between two great families, or two parties, such as parties used to be —
it was a struggle for independence ; and the novelty and boldness of the
attempt to bring in two gentlemen by the voice of the great body of the
freeholders had turned the attention of all parties to the event. The
success of the experiment was regarded as doubtful ; the preparations in
all parts of the county evinced an admirable zeal in the cause, but there
was a want of that concert and methodical arrangement which are found
among more practised electioneerers. This very fact adds to the greatness
of the triumph, since it proves that piinciple, and not management, won
the day. Neither is it possible to ascribe the victory to length of purse ;
so far from it, both the candidates selected by the county came forward
on the express condition that they were not to be put to any expense ; and
it is a fact that all the fi*eeholders who voted for Sir Henry Bunbury and
Mr. Tyrell went to the poll at their own charge, or by the voluntary
assistance of their neighbours. Their choice was the free and constitutional



A DESCliin'lON OF SUITOLK. i}55

expression of the public will, and never did this county — never until this
period did any county in England — assume an attitude so dignified as that
which produced the return of Sir Henry Bunbury and Mr. TyreW." At
the dissolution consequent on the defeat of Earl Grey's ministry in the
following year, on going into committee on the Reform Bill, Sir Henry
Bunbury and Mr. Tyrell (both of whom had voted with the ministry)
were re-elected without opposition. By the Parliament then elected, the
Reform Bill became law, Suffolk was divided into two constituencies, and
at the general election of 18o2, Sir Henry Bunbury having retired from
the representation, Mr. Tyrell was returned at the head of the poll to
the first Reformed Parliament, the numbers being : Mr. Tyrell, 1828 ; Sir
Hyde Parker, 1664; Mr. H. S. AVaddington, 1272. At the dissolution in
1835, Mr. Tyrell did not offer himself for re-election, and he lived in
comparative retirement till his death, which occurred on I'uesday, the 9th
of January, 1872, aged 96.

HAUGHLKY (ST. MAKV),

A parish three miles from Stowniarket, containing 900 inhabitants. The
area is 2497a. 3k. 9p. The living is a discharged vicarage; net income,
£158. The Church is an ancient structure in the decorated English style,
with a square embattled tower on the south side. The nave is lighted
by a range of clerestory Avindows, and at the west end there is a
noble window of seven lights, enriched with flowing tracery. At an
early period, this was a place of some importance, and had a market,
which is now discontinued. The parish was formerly the head of an
honour or barony, under the appellation of Hagenet, and there are atill
traces of a very strong Castle supposed to have been of Anglo-Saxon
origin. It is now reduced to a few strong walls. The date of its demoli-
tion is 1173, in the reign of Henry II. It was afterwards rebuilt and
fortified by Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, and did good service to the family.
Kirby, in his "Suffolk I'raveller " (1744), says that in his time the
remains of Haughley Castle, in figure, inclined to a square, having a moat,
and fortified with rampart walls on all sides except the north, where
stood the keep, which from its peculiar situation and great means of
defence, was capable of defending itself. A portion of the foundation of
this tower yet exists, and shows that the keep was erected in a circular
form, and most probably rose to a considerable height. The extent of
ground occupied by the Castle and its fortifications is estimated at seven
acres.

MELLIS (ST. MAKY),

A parish in the Hundred of Hartismere, Western Division of Suttblk, near
the railway station, 3 A miles (west by north) from Eye. The parish com-



0.36 HisToiiY or EASTEKIJs englanli.

prises 1o44-a. 2k. Tlie living is a rectory, and in the patronage of tlie
Crown ; the tithes have been commuted for a rent charge of £345, and
the glebe comprises eight acres, valued at £10 per annum. The Church
is a handsome structure in the later English style ; the tower fell down
about 1720. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. There is a
branch line from this place to Eye.

EYE (ST. PETEK AND ST. PAUL),

A borough, market town, and parish, in the Union and Hundred of
Hartismere, Western Division of Suffolk, eighty-nine miles (north-east)
from London. The name of the place, formerly Eay, is derived fi'om its
situation on a tract of land surrounded Avith water. Soon after the
Conquest, Kobert Malet, who accompanied William I. to England, having
obtained the honour of Eye, erected a Castle here, of which there arc
some slight remains near the Mill Hill. The same Kobert Malet also
founded a Benedictine monastery, dedicated to St. Peter, at first a cell to
Bernay Abbey in Normandy, but made denizen by Richard III. In this
monastery was preserved St. Felix's Book of the Gospels, written in
large Lombardic characters, and called the Red Book, on which the
people used to be sworn ; it was removed fi-om the abbey at Dunwich,
when that place was destroyed by the sea.

The town is pleasantly situated in a valley surrounded on all sides by
streams of water. The market is on Tuesday, for corn, and there is also
a market on Saturday for butter and vegetables. King John granted the-
earliest charter ; later charters were afterwards bestowed, under the last of
Avhich, that of WilHam III., the Corporation consisted of two bailiffs, ten
principal burgesses, twenty-four councillors, a recorder, town clerk,
treasurer, two chamberlains, and other officers. By the Act of William
IV., the government is now vested in a Mayor, three other aldermen, and
twelve councillors. The franchise Avas conferred in the thirteenth of
Elizabeth, and the borough returned two members till the Reform Act of
1832, which deprived the town of one; and the Reform Act of 1867
altogether disfranchised the place.

The parish comprises 4340 acres ; the surface is finely undulated, and
the lower lands are watered by numerous streams. The hxmg is a
vicarage, and Sir E. Kerrison is the patron. The Church is a handsome
structm'e in the later English style, with a square embattled tower,
crowned with pinnacles ; the nave is lighted by a handsome range of
clerestory windows, and it is separated from the chancel by a richly
carved screen. In 1840 the Church was repaired by subscription. Sir E.
Kerrison contributing £300. There is a new Town Hall, where the market
is held, and where the magistrates sit in petty sessions.



A DESCRIPTrON OF SUrPOLK. ' .'557

Sir Edwtard Clarence Kerrison is the Lord of the several Manors in the
vicinity of Eye, and the owner of a great part of the soil. He re-built
the National School Houses a few years since at his own expense. The
Workhouse for the Hartismere Hundred is situated near the Church.
The Methodists and Baptists have places of worship here. Messrs.
Robert Chase and Brothers have a large flax factory, which gives employ-
ment to ;100 people. Mr. B. C. Etheridge carries on a large brewery.

MENDLESHAM (ST. MARy),

A ]oarish_, formerly a market toAvn, in the Hundred of Hartismere,
fifteen and a-half miles (north-north-west) from Ipswich, five and a-half
miles (north-east) from Haughley Station. The area of the parish is about
394



Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 41 of 70)