from The History and Topography of the County of Essex by Thos. Wright and W. Bartlett, Volume 2, pages 740 and 741. [ MST_BV1 ]
This small parish is near the sea, and lies south-east from Great Wigborough.
It is computed to contain seven hundred acres of land. The village is distant from
Colchester six miles, and forty-six from London. [ Note 1 ]
Before the Conquest this parish belonged to Got, a freeman ; and at the survey
formed part of the extensive possessions of Hamo Dapifer, whose under-tenant was
Vital. There is only one manor.
Copt, or Cipt-hall, manor-house is near the east end of the church. This estate
was conveyed by Mabel, daughter of Robert Fitz Hamo, to her husband, Robert,
natural son of king Henry the first: he died in 1147, and this manor was holden
under his descendants, successively earls of Gloucester, by Robert de Septem
Vannis, or of Seven Fans ; also written Senaunz and Senance. He died in 1253:
Robert was his son and heir; whose heir was his nephew John, from whom it passed
to some of the same family; and in 1364, William de Septvanz granted this manor
to William de Boudon and his heirs; and in 1376, William, son and heir of sir
William de Septvance, conveyed this estate, with the advowson of the church, to
Walter de la Lee, and Robert de Tey, knts. In 1390 it belonged to John de Boys,
and Thomas Bataile, who, in that year, presented to the living ; and yet, in 1398,
Robert Senance had all, or part, of this estate.
The next possessor on record was Richard Buckland, esq., who died 1435, holding
this manor, with the advowson of the church, of Richard, duke of York, as of his
honour of Clare, by knight's service. The son of his daughter Agnes, Richard
Wichingham, esq., was his heir ; and after him, Agnes, wife of Nicholas Sharpe, esq.,
had this estate for life ; from whom it descended to Thomas Cotton, esq., and to
Joanna his wife, daughter of the said Nicholas and Agnes. It afterwards belonged
to the Cotton family, and was sold by sir John Cotton [ Note 2 ] to the governors of the '
Charter-house, London, who are the present owners of it.
The church is a plain building, with a square tower. It is dedicated to St. Nicholas;
situated near the hall, on the sea-shore.
There were only ninety-five inhabitants in this parish in 1821 ; increased to one
hundred and twenty-three in 1831.
Note 1. Average annual produce per acre; wheat twenty-four, barley thirty-six bushels.
Note 2. Thomas Cotton married, first, Margery, daughter of Philip Wentworth, by whom he had a daughter.
By his second wife, Joanna, daughter of the above-mentioned Nicholas and Agnes, he had Robert, John, Leonard, a priest, William, and Etheldreda, wife of John Bassingbourn. At the time of his death, in 1499, he held this manor; in which he was succeeded by his son, sir Robert Cotton, of Landwood, in
Cambridgeshire; who, dying in 1517, left, by Alice his wife, his son Thomas, who died in 1526, and was succeeded by his posthumous son, John, who died in 1593, leaving, by Isabel his wife, daughter of William Spencer, his son and heir, sir John Cotton, knt., of Landwood, who died in 1620; and he or his
son sold this estate Sir John Cotton, of Landwood, was created a baronet in 1644.