"Pakenham -Village of Two Mills"
A book written by N.R. Whitwell
with permission kindly given by S. Whitwell to publish on
the Pakenham -Village web site.

Chapter 7 - The Manors of Pakenham

In 1844 the Parish was in four Manors:

Pakenham Hall which belonged to Lord Calthorpe.

Maulkins Hall (alias New Hall) and Beaumonts Hall, which belonged to Joseph Wilson Esq.

Nether Hall which belonged to William Chenery Bassett Esq.

Newe House which belonged to the Revd. W.J. Spring-Casborne who was also the owner of the wood and impropriator of the rectory - that is, he was empowered to place the profits accruing from church property into the hands of a layman.

Pakenham Wood was of 124 acres, with a noted fox cover.

Other parts of the Parish belonged to families known as Quayle, Rogers, Tinlin, Compton-Thornhill, Jones, White, Greene, Reeve, Spring, Hollingworth, Symonds and Discipline.

The Manor of Pakenham Hall

This was given by Edward the Confessor to the Abbey of St. Edmunds in the year 1060. In 1199, Abbot Sampson assigned a third of the demesne (manor house and grounds) and tithes of Pakenham to St. Saviour's Hospital in Bury St. Edmunds. One of the customs Pakenham owed to the Abbey was that of keeping watch and ward in the town when required.

In 1256, Abbot Edmund de Walpole appropriated the church at Pakenham to the maintenance of hospitality at Bury, the vicar being allowed to retain the church manse and land, with the tithes therefrom and with all altar dues, tithes of grist, hay, lambs, calves, poultry, milk etc. It is clear that the vicar's income must now be independent of the income from wheat, barley, oats, upon which it had largely to depended.

The Lordship remained with the Abbey until the Dissolution, when it reverted to the Crown. On 27th September, 1545, it was granted to Robert Spring and Thomas, his son.

The family of Spring in Suffolk is first found in Lavenham, where they were eminent local merchants. Thomas Spring has a monument erected to his memory in Lavenham church. When Thomas Spring died in 1846, he left Thomas and James. This James, the second son, was slain in an inter village fight in 1493 between Lavenham and Brent Eleigh and lies buried in Lavenham vestry. Feelings between the two villages were particularly bitter at the time.

Thomas was a great benefactor to Lavenham Church, rebuilding most of it, including the carved chapel on the north side where he lies interred. He had two sons, Sir John Spring Kt. and Robert Spring, the purchaser of the Manor. Robert Spring lived at Lavenham. He died in 1550 when the Manor was vested in his son and heir Thomas Spring. Upon his death the Manor passed to his son and heir, Robert.

Robert Spring levied a fine of the Manor (a purchase fee in addition to the piece of property) against Thomas Poley and others, and he had licence to alienate the same in 1753 to his cousin Sir William Spring Kt. of Pakenham, the son of Sir John Spring.  Alienate meant to transfer the lieu or hold on the property - convey, in modern parlance?

Sir William Spring was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I and was High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1578 and 1579. He died on 3rd January 1599 and the Manor passed to his son and heir, John Spring of Pakenham. A fine was levied of the Manor against him in 1601, probably by way of settlement. He died on 14th November, 1601, and the Manor passed to his son and heir, Sir William Spring Kt. who was High Sheriff and MP for Suffolk. He was knighted by James I in February, 1610, and he died in 1637 at Ridenhall, the residence of his son-in-law, and was buried at Pakenham. The Manor passed to Sir William Spring of Pakenham who was baptised at Stanton on the 13th March, 1613.  Created baronet on the 11th August, 1641, he was made High Sheriff for Suffolk in the same year and in 1646 was elected MP for Bury St. Edmunds. He died on the 17th December,1654, and is buried in Pakenham Church, as is his widow who survived him twenty four years. The Manor passed to Sir William's son and heir, Sir Thomas Spring, third Baronet, who was baptised at Pakenham on the 12th December, 1672, and who married the Hon. Merolina, daughter of Thomas Lord Jermyn at Rushbrook on the 28th May, 1691.

The Manor passed to his son and heir, Sir William Spring, 4th Bart., who was baptised at Pakenham in January, 1696, and who died unmarried. He was buried at Pakenham in 1735. His estate, valued at 1500 a year, descended to his sisters Merolina, who was married to Thomas Discipline of Bury St. Edmunds, and Mary, wife of the Revd. John Symonds DD, rector of Horningsheath. As a portion of the estates this Manor was allotted to Thomas Discipline in 1748.

One of the two daughters of Thomas Discipline married a John Godbold and died childless. The Manor was sold by John Godbold and his wife in 1786 to Sir Henry Gough Calthorpe, who inherited the Hampshire estates of his uncle Sir Henry Calthorpe KB, who was elevated to the peerage in 1796 with the title of Baron Calthorpe of County Norfolk.

On the death of the fourth Lord Calthorpe in 1868, this Manor passed to his son, Sir Frederick Henry William Gough Calthorpe, fifth Baron. Upon his death in 1893, it passed to his brother, Augustus Cholmondeley Gough Calthorpe, sixth Baron.

According to the Manorial rolls, in February 1898 an indenture was made between Augustus Cholmondeley, Baron Calthorpe, and Walter Gough Calthorpe, hereinafter called the said Lords, of the one part and Sir Henry Charles John Bunbury of Great Barton, hereinafter called the tenant of the other part. So it appears there were two lords of the Manor at this time.

In 1906 the same two were the Lords by further indentures. In the meantime, there were numerous Surrenders, Admissions and Be it remembered etc., all dealt with by the Steward.

Augustus Cholmondeley, Baron Calthorpe, died on 22nd July, 1910, and Dame Rachel Anstruther Gough Calthorpe signed the many and various documents in the Manorial rolls as the Lady of the Manor up to and including 28th September, 1935. The last entry in the Court Book is made on 3rd December, 1957, when a deed was made "between Sir Richard Hamilton Anstruther Gough Calthorpe, Baronet, of Hartley Wintney, Southampton, of the first part, the Rt. Hon. Ian St. John Baron Luke of Pavenham and William Herbet Harrison of Wychnor Park, Burton on Trent, hereinafter called the trustees, of the second part, and Nigel Roy Whitwell of Pakenham Manor in the County of Suffolk, Esquire, of the third part". The vesting date was 6th March 1952, giving the Lordship or Manor of Pakenham, together with other property, as tenant for life. The documents are scheduled, and together with the Court Books came home to Pakenham in 1952 and are in the possession of the present lord, Nigel Roy Whitwell, who continues to reside at Pakenham Manor.

Manor of New Hall
alias Maulkins Hall, alias Beaumonts Hall

Manor of New Hall
Manor of New Hall

This Manor belonged at the time of the Norman Survey to the Abbot of Bury St. Edmunds and the Chief Lordship at least continued with the great Abbey until the dissolution of the religious houses, when it passed to the crown.

We say Chief Lordship, for we find Henry le Strange died seised of possessing the Manor called Beman's Manor in Pakenham, held of Thomas, Abbot of Bury in 1486. Apparently this is the same Manor with New Hall. It was found the Roger, his son and heir, was then aged seventeen. This Roger, afterwards Sir Roger le Strange, died seised of the Manor on the 23rd October, 1505, leaving John his son and heir, aged four years. In 1545, the Manor was granted by the Crown to John Seaman (alias Turner). The particulars of the farm of this Manor are still preserved in the Record Office.

John Holle held his first Court for the Manor on Thursday in Easter week of 1559, on behalf of Richard Turner, son of John who died in 1551. The impression that this Richard was an infant at the time is rather strengthened by the fact that he did not have livery (legal possession) of the Manor until 1562. He died in 1588, when the Manor passed to his son and heir, Richard Turner, who held his first Court in 1591 and had licence about 1598 to alienate to John Pretyman.

Maulkins Hall
Maulkins Hall

John Pretyman had licence to alienate in 1615 to Anne Drury, widow, and she likewise to her brother, Nicholas Bacon. The Manor was shortly afterwards acquired by Paul D'Ewes.

Paul D'Ewes died in 1630, when the Manor passed to his son and heir, the celebrated antiquarian Sir Symonds D'Ewes in 1637. There is mention of a lease by Sir Symonds (described as of Stowhall) to William Sire of Langham, for fifteen years, of the Manor of Maulkins Hall and various pasture called Laywood in Pakenham, at a yearly rent of £92. The following year he died on 20th January, 1638. The lease seems to have been granted to the said William Sire at the same rent, but for twenty one years.

From this time the Manor developed in the same course as the Manor of Stowlangtoft in Blackbourn Hundred, until the death of Sir Jermyn D'Ewes fourth Bart., unmarried, in 1731.

The original Manor House
The original Manor  House

The Manor subsequently was vested in Thomas Browne Towas of Norwich, who sold it to Sir George Wombell Bart, and it was later purchased by Henry Wilson. From this time the Manor descended in the same course as the Manors of Stowlangtoft and Langham in Blackbourn Hundred and was then vested in Arthur Maitland Wilson, of Stowlangtoft Hall.

The Court Rolls of Maulkin Hall Manor 1316-1393 and 1596-1667 are amongst the Harleian Rolls in the British Museum.

There is a Maulkins Hall minute book with Messrs. Partridge and Wilson, Solicitors, of Bury St. Edmunds and an interesting custom of this manor is that inheritance is to the youngest son!

The Manor of Nether Hall
alias Ladies Hall, alias Richardshall

This is situated partly in Pakenham and partly in Thurston. The Manor was in the Lordship of the Abbot of St. Edmunds at the time of the Survey and in the time Henry III was vested in John de Pakenham, steward to the Bishop of Ely in 1253.

John de Pakenham had a grant of free warren (royal game licence) here in 1265 and on his death the Manor passed to his son and heir, William de Pakenham. We hear of him that in about 1275 he held Bishopscroft, near the church in Pakenham, and in 1281 an action was brought against him by Henry de Pakenham relating to common pasture in Pakenham. He had a grant of free warren here in 1292 and it appears he died that year, for we find that in the same year John, son of William, son of John de Pakenham, settled the Manor on his brother Edmund de Pakenham and his heirs.

On the death of Sir Edmund Pakenham in 1332, the Manor passed to his widow Rose, and on her death to their son and heir, Sir Edmund de Pakenham, in 1353. Sir Edmunds's widow survived until 1360, but her eldest son Edmund having died in her lifetime without issue, her second son Sir Thomas Pakenham gave the Manor to his mother who gave it to Richard de Pakenham, cousin to her son Thomas. Richard died leaving an only daughter and heir, aged eleven years, so the limitation of the Abbot took effect from this time. Until the dissolution of the monastic houses the Manor remained with the Abbey of St. Edmunds. At the Dissolution it passed to the Crown and in 1544 was granted to Thomas Bacon and George his son. George Bacon died in 1579, when it passed to his son and heir John Bacon.

In 1611 John Bacon, Elizabeth his wife and George Bacon were licensed to alienate the Manor of Nether Hall with its appurtenances three messuages (houses without outbuildings), three lofts, one dovecote, one hundred acres of land, twenty acres of meadow, one hundred acres of pasture, twenty acres of wood, twenty acres of marsh, one hundred acres of firs and heath situated in Pakenham, Thurston, Great Barton, Stowlangtoft and Tostock, together with the advowson (patronage) of the church of Thurston held by the Queen, to Robert Bright, citizen and saddler of London.

Robert Bright, the purchaser, was son of Thomas Bright the elder and Margaret Payton his wife. A fine was levied of the Manor the same year against John Bacon and others.

There is a record in existence to the effect that on 1st August, 1627, the Manor was vested in him and that Thomas Bright was the son and heir apparent, William Bright and Henry Bright being two other sons. The will of Robert Bright is dated the 1st October, 1630. He was buried in Thurston on the 24th December, 1630.

Thomas Bright, the son, was the first of four successive Lords of this name. The will of Thomas Bright, the first of the name, was proved at Thurston on the 8th August, 1661. Thomas and Agatha his wife had nine children. Thomas the son was engaged in a law-suit in 1629 with his neighbours, Sir William Spring and Lady Spring, for laying violent hands upon him in church!

The second Thomas Bright executed a deed in 1711, by which he conveyed to his son, Thomas, the Manor and all his other lands in Suffolk.

Nether Hall

The extent or value of the farm called Batlie was situated in the village of Rougham and was settled on the father of Thomas Bright Sr. by his father Robert in 1621 on the marriage of the son and was retained by the latter after he gave possession of Nether Hall to Thomas Bright Jr. He made his will, dated 4th May, 1713, under the style of Thomas Bright the Elder and he recites that his son Thomas Bright had by his note obliged himself to lay out £100 on the purchase of land for the benefit of the poor of Thurston and Pakenham and directed the rents thereof to be given to twelve poor men and women, or children, of the said parishes. In satisfaction of this charity, £5 a year is to this day laid out in articles of clothing by the owner of the Nether Hall estate.

He was buried in Thurston Church on 8th June, 1713, at the age of eighty four. Mary Bright, his widow, survived her husband seventeen years and her only son eight years, leaving a daughter to inherit the estates.

The Manor had passed under the will of the third Thomas Bright in 1727 to his son, the fourth Thomas Bright, who died in 1736 at the early age of twenty three, unmarried and intestate. The Manor passed to his sister Mary, married to Edmund Tyrell, of Gipping. Then the Manor passed to her son and heir, Edmund Tyrell, of Gipping Hall.

Edmund Tyrell was High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1744 and died unmarried in 1799. He devised (distributed) his estates to his cousin the Revd. Charles Tyrell, rector of St. Peter's Church in Thurston, who sold the Manor to George Chinery of Bury St. Edmunds. Thence it passed to his widow and later to his nephew the Revd. William Bassett, rector of Thurston, from whom it passed to his son William Chinery Bassett, who was residing there in 1857.

In 1885, Edward Greene was Lord and in 1896 the Manor was vested in Sir Edward Walter Greene of Nether Hall and described as 'a fine, neat and commodious mansion of brick in the Queen Anne style, standing in a well-kept and wooded park'. It was restored and enlarged in 1875 and 1891.

Nether Hall changed hands again in 1886 when it was purchased by William Hardcastle. He never lived there and soon sold it to Mr. Edward Greene, who bought the entire estate in 1874.

Mr. Edward Greene became Conservative Member of Parliament for Bury St. Edmunds and it is interesting to note that Mr. Hardcastle was an Essex brewer and was the other Member of Parliament (Liberal) for Bury St. Edmunds. In the 1865 election, Hardcastle headed the poll with 331 votes and Edward Greene was second with 300 votes, whilst Lord Alfred Harvey lost his seat.

Edward Greene represented Bury St. Edmunds in Parliament for 20 years and lived at Nether Hall from 1874 to 1891.

There was a robbery at Nether Hall when over £6,000 worth of gold and silver was stolen. In 1883 when, Edward Greene was trying out a new tricycle, it ran away with him down the slope, causing an accident which threw him badly, breaking his arm and causing much bruising. The next year, 1884, saw the introduction of the Reform Act, which reduced the representation of Bury St. Edmunds to one Member of Parliament only. It also enfranchised the Suffolk labourers for the first time.

Edward Greene was a keen farmer and lecturer. He founded the famous Ixworth Farmers Club and was returned at the following election with a comfortable majority, continuing to represent Bury St. Edmunds until his death in 1891. His son Walter returned to Nether Hall upon the death of his father and greatly enlarged and modernised the Hall. The Park was also improved by scores of labourers digging out a large lake in the winter of 1891-2. This project was not as innocent as it may seem as the spoil was deliberately banked up so that residents of the Lodge could not oversee the grounds of Nether Hall. His quest for privacy also seems a little excessive, since he was hardly ever in residence, preferring to follow the restless lifestyle of the superrich that was then fashionable. Thus March or April would see him leave for the continent, normally Monte Carlo; June was spent at Cowes, before taking off for the West of Scotland in July where he rented an estate for grouse shooting and deer stalking. In September he returned to Nether Hall in time for the partridge shooting, but his winter months were punctuated by excursions to Newmarket for the racing and frequent trips to London. It was an exhausting business being rich in those days! But though in many ways his lifestyle resembled that of the Prince of Wales, he never had much to do with the 'fast set', of doubtful reputation. Walter, in fact, besides being a patron of Thurston Church, conducted services in the Tin Tabernacle at Pakenham. He also sank the well adjoining the reading room by The Fox public house. He presented the pump for public use, by offering it to the Parish Council for the benefit of the parishioners. At the Quarterly Meeting of the Parish Council in March, 1902, the Council resolved to overhaul the pump so that it was in good working order and to enclose it with a light ornamental fence that has a manger in one corner and a self closing gate 4 feet high, to prevent nuisances. It was also agreed that "a notice should be painted on a board - white letters on a black ground, with capital letters 1" high, the smaller letters 0.5", to be placed within the enclosure, to be executed by Mr. Gooch of Norton".

The notice ran thus:

This pump was presented to the Parish in 1891 by Sir Walter Greene Bt. MP.
It was taken over and fenced by the Parish Council.
Any person damaging the same or committing any nuisance in the enclosure will be prosecuted.

By Order of the Parish Council,
Pakenham 5 May 1902
H. Cross Chairman

The Chairman and overseer chose the fence, which cost 6.5.0d.
Walter Greene was High Sheriff in 1897 and Nether Hall became the envy of the Suffolk gentry.  In 1900 he was granted the baronetcy promised to his father just before his death and so became 'Sir Walter'.

Although losing an election to the Parliament at his first attempt, he was returned unopposed in 1900. By 1905 he decided not to stand for Parliament again. When he died in 1920, Nether Hall and the estate was sold (his son Sir Raymond Greene having left Suffolk for London). The new buyer was Mr. A.J. Edwards, a Covent Garden merchant who lived in the Hall for only 2 years, when he sold it to Mr. Harold Patrick Martin.

After the death of Mrs. Harold Martin in 1972, Nether Hall was inherited by their son Thomas Acquin Martin who with his wife was determined to preserve the badly deteriorated Hall. In order to do this, a scheme of modernisation and restoration was embarked upon within the Kristina Martin Charitable Trust, which was formed in 1965 on the death of their only child, aged 22 years.

Nether Hall thus became a Country Club within the Trust. All profits therefrom are strictly used for charitable purposes, so in no way detracts from the period flavour of the Mansion with its admirable setting.

Manor of Red Castle

Nothing is known of this Manor, save the statement in a paper read before the Suffolk Institute in 1899, that it was one of the Manors of Pakenham, then belonging to Prebendary H. Jones.

Newe House

This house is described as 'a picturesque gable mansion of red brick' and was built in 1622 by Robert Bright of Nether Hall, who sold it to Sir William Spring of Pakenham Hall. Of Pakenham Hall hardly a trace is left. Modern cultivations over the site have brought to the surface sufficient broken red bricks to discolour the surface of the soil, but little else. Should one stand upon the site, a very clear and uninterrupted view of the Fen area of Pakenham is revealed. The site almost adjoins Old Hall Farm but is nearer the windmill and at the top of the hill that slopes all the way down to the river.

Newe House in 1900
Newe House in 1900

Sir William Spring married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Hamon L'Estrange of Hunstanton, who outlived her husband by 24 years. Having six children, she was known as 'The Old Lady Spring' and was the first of the Spring widows to reside in Newe House, which became the dower house of the Spring family.

From the Spring family, Newe House belonged to the Revd. W.J. Spring-Casbourne, who was also the owner of the famous Pakenham Wood of 124 acres, well known for its fox cover. He was also the impropriator of the Rectory.

Newe House 1980
Newe House today (1980)

Next we hear of 'American' Reeve.

'American' Reeve was the most colourful character that ever lived in Pakenham. His name was legend. Old men, when recalling past village incidents, were wont to say "Ah, that would be in the days of 'American', that would."

Alfred Reeve, to give him his correct name, began life as a smallholder who lived in the thatched house on the turnpike opposite Pakenham windmill. While working in his fields he used to see a beautiful young lady, Anne Twitchett, walking from Pakenham to her dressmaking work in Ixworth. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Twitchett, who kept the small general store next to The Bell in Pakenham Street.

It was not long before Alfred Reeve, then aged 39 years and a married man, had eloped with 'Lady' Anne, aged 19 years, and they disappeared for some time from the Pakenham scene. It transpired that they went to the prairies of USA, where Reeve first became engaged in the buffalo (bison) hide trade. He worked on the prairies with a gang of flayers, shooting buffalo by the hundreds and selling their hides to the expanding leather trade. He became acquainted with the early ranchers and conceived the idea of improving their herds of Spanish Longhorns with the introduction of English pedigree cattle. Thus he and Anne, now his wife, travelled to and from the States, buying pedigree cattle in England and shipping them to USA. The cattle were entrained to the early railhead of City ("where they died with their boots on"), which acted as his base. He soon made a large fortune.

The Bell and Twitchett's shop
The Bell and Twitchett's shop, in The Street.

In the late 1870's, 'American' returned to England and astounded local people by walking into the sale room at Bury St. Edmunds to make the first, unassailable bid of £10,000 for Newe House, Home Farm, and Pakenham Wood, which were being offered on that day. So he became an English landed property owner.

He then endeavoured to establish himself as an English country gentleman. He delivered his cards to all local mansions and invited the local aristocracy to shooting parties; but everywhere his well-meaning gestures were either ignored or coolly received. He raised frowns on the brows of the village gentry, sitting in their family pews in the front of the nave, when he took his poorer relatives to sit in the Spring family pews up in the chancel of Pakenham church.

He therefore turned his activities to the enhancement of village life, while retaining many of his 'Wild West' ways. He distributed largesse to the poorer villagers, scattering coins to the thinly clad children in the street, and buying groceries and clothes which he gave to needy families. Frequently he would appear on horseback in the village, sitting on a fully equipped cowboy saddle, complete with lasso, ropes and a rolled blanket, while he himself was a clad in the characteristic Wild West accoutrements - ten gallon hat, bandana and denim tight fitting trousers, over which were fixed fur covered chaps. He would wear pointed, high heeled boots, garnished with jangling spurs. Villagers would place empty tins in the hedgerows along his route, and he would promptly oblige them by placing a bullet from his six shooter straight through the middle of each.

He presented the Prince of Wales with a pedigree bull, which he had exhibited at the Royal Show at Sandringham, and in return he received a gold ring, studded with three diamonds, from the future King Edward VII. He is reputed to have introduced the first self-binder into England, and demonstrated its capabilities on one of his fields by Pakenham Wood.

But his gay young wife grew tired of quiet village life, and he sold his estate to Major General Percival. He ended his life, at the age of 90 years, in The Trevor Hotel, Knightsbridge, which he owned. His last wish - to be buried in Pakenham - was granted by the vicar of the day, on condition that he was buried as far away from the church as possible and in an unmarked grave. Accordingly, no tombstone marks the grave of 'American' Reeve, which is by the kissing gate leading into the Close.

And so in 1907 Newe House became the property of Major General A.Percival JP. It then passed to Lt. Col. Charles Douglas Parry-Crooke CMG, JP, who resided there until 1947, when the late Adrian Evan Spicer acquired it and lived there until his death in 1975. His elder son Julian has succeeded his father and now occupies the house with his wife and family.

The Lodge
The Lodge

Barton Mere

This house was the seat of Sir W.H. Quayle Jones JP and is an old mansion taking its name from the Mere which comprises ten acres of water. It formerly belonged to the L'Estrange family (see pre-historic Pakenham). In 1728, it passed by marriage to Capt. Curwen from whom the late Revd. Harry Jones MA inherited it. Much more recently it was the residence of the late Major General 'Jock' Wentworth-Reeve, but is now in the ownership and occupation of Carles Murton Webb Esq.

Barton Mere House
Barton Mere House
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