ID: WIG_MOR / Elaine Barker

TitleMorant history 1768 - the Wigboroughs

Philip Morant's The History and Antiquities of Essex 1768

Great Wigborough, Salcot Wigborough and Little Wigborough


Two contiguous Parishes so named stand west of those we have been last describing. The name is formed from the two Saxon words, Wig, a battle, and burg or burh, a fort, or castle. These parts were much exposed to the incursions of the pirating northern Nations, as I have frequently observed, and therefore here might be some fortification to oppose their landing; in or near which some remarkable Battle was fought.

What renders it most probable, is, that near the church of Great Wigborough there is a Tumulus probably thrown up to cover the slain; which upon wasting of the bodies, may have sunk to its present low state.

The name is otherwise written in records, Wiegheberga, Wighebera, Wigberwe, Wykebyrh.


is the largest of the two, as the name denotes.
The Nunnery of Berking had part of this parish before and after the Conquest; Aluric, a freeman, had another part, which Hugh de St. Quintin held at the time of the Survey.
These produced two Maners 1. The maner of Abbess-hall 2. The maner of Moulsham


took that appellation from the Lady Abbess of Berking; or from the Abbot of St Osith, who had a Maner here.
The mansion house is large, and lies about a mile south west from the Church, towards and not far from Salcot-Verley.
This Estate belonged to the Celleresse of the Nunnery; and the collector of Wigberwe paid 10 libre [£10] by even portions at the two feasts of St Michael and Easter.
It continued in that House, or in St Osith, till the dissolution of Monasteries. K Henry VIII granted it, 10 April 1540, to
Thomas Lord Cromwell.
Upon his attainder it soon fell to the Crown again, and was appointed toward the maintenance of Lady Mary, afterwards, Queen Mary I. In 1545, the same King granted to
Charles Tuke Esq; and his heirs, the maner of Abbotts-hall in Wigborough, and Abbotts grove 12 acres; to hold in capite, by the 40th part of a knight's fee. He dyed 29 March 1547, possessed of Abbots-hall and the grove, and 100 acres of arable, 20 of meadow, 100 of pasture, 20 of wood, 40 of marsh, 100 of furze and heath, and 6 libre [£6] rent, holden of the King, as above. He held also, in this parish, Layer-Marney, and Messing, a messuage called Vyners, and 40 acres of arable, 20 of meadow, 100 of pasture, 20 of wood, 40 of marsh, and 20s rent, of John Danyell Esq; by fealty, and other lands in Wigborough and Layer Marney. - George Tuke Esq; his son and successor, held the same at the time of his decease.
Qu. Elizabeth, 12 February 1562, granted the maner of Wigbarghe, otherwise Wigberghe, or Great Wigborough, Salcote, and Tollesbury, & to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. He was reckoned the greatest subject in England, but imprudently forming a design to marry Mary Queen of Scots, and entering into a conspiracy against Qu. Elizabeth, he was arraigned 16 January 1572, and beheaded 2 June following, and his estates were confiscated to the Crown. He married first, Mary second daughter, and one of the heirs of Henry Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel. His second wife was Margaret , only surviving daughter and sole heir of Thomas Lord Audeley of Walden. By the former he had - Philip, who bore only the title of Earl of Arundel, and by the second, Thomas - Philip, the eldest son, was restored in blood by a special act of parliament in 1580, but afterwards being thought guilty of disloyal practices, and condemned to dye, his estates came to the Crown, and Qu. Elizabeth presented to this Living in 1591 - Thomas, the second son, being restored in blood in 1584, Qu. Elizabeth granted him, in 1594, this Maner with the Advowson of the Church. He was summoned to Parliament in 1597 by the title of Baron Howard of Walden, and created Earl of Suffolk 21 July 1603. Departing this life 28 May 1626, he was succeeded by his eldest son and heir - Theophilus, Earl of Suffolk, who, at the time of his decease 3 June 1640, transmitted this estate to his eldest son and heir - James Howard, Earl of Suffolk. He sold it, 17 March 1647 to
Chaloner Chute, Esq; and John Aylet, of Fering Gent, together with the maner of Salcote in Wigborowe, for the sum of 3,500 libre [£3,500]. John Aylett conveyed it to
Sir Mark Guyon, of Coggeshall, K[nigh]t, who presented to the Rectory in 1688. He bequeathed this estate, by will 10 March 1689, to his son William; and if he dyed without issue male, to his two Daughters,
Elizabeth and Rachel. The first became wife of Edward Bullock, of Falkborne-hall Esq; but died in child-bed, as well as her child, within the month.
Rachel, the other daughter, was married to Thomas Guyon Esq; and afterwards to John Bullock, of Dynes-hall in Great Maplestead Esq; younger brother of Edward above-mentioned. They had issue, John, who did not marry; and Rachel. She dyed unmarried, and, without a will, in 1765, whereupon her real estates descended to her kinsman, and heir at law, John Bullock of Falkborne-hall Esq; who enjoys This, among the rest; and her personal estate came to her kinsman, Lieutenant-Colonel Mordaunt Cracherode, Governor of Fort St Philip in Minorca.
The Bullock Family had long been seated, and had Estates before, in this neighbourhood, particularly at Loftes in Great Totham. Edward Bullock, who dyed 10 February 1595, held in Great and Little Wigborowe, a messuage and lands called Skippetts; a messuage, and 30 acres, and crofts of land adjoyning, with appertenances, of Sir John Cotton, as of his maner of Copthall, by fealty, and rent of 14d per annum. and other lands elsewhere.

ABBOTS-WIC. The house stands in this parish but the lands extend into Salcote Verley. This estate belongs as well as Salcote to Mrs Crank. It belonged in 1645 to Col. Thornhill, as appears by the Sequestrators Book in my possession. Quaere, whether this is not what belonged to St Osith.

The Maner of MULSHAM

took its name from William de Mulsham, who had it formerly: It is otherwise called Moulsham. The house stands a little way north-east from the Church.
In Edward the Confessor's reign Aluric, a freeman, had this estate: Hugh de St. Quintin held it at the time of the Survey.
It was afterwards holden of the Honor of Mandeville, by the Families of Patteshull, att Lee, Barle, and Leventhorp. But as we have given a full account of them, a little above, under Tolleshunt-Knights and Layer-Breton we shall beg leave not to enlarge upon them here. The Arms of Patteshull are on the roof of the Chancel of Salcot-Wigborough Chapel.
In the Feodary of the Honor of Castle-Hedingham we have the following succession of the lords of this maner. Wigborowe and Salcot-Virle, Maner called Mulshams. Walter de Pattishull in 1351. Robert Gedding in 1356, Walter at Lee in 1384. John at Lee, - John Barley, and Sir William Thirlewite, in the time of King Henry VI. Will. Barley in 1505. - Richard Franke Esq: Simeon Brograve, and John Longmer Gent, in right of Mary, Dorothy, and Helen, their wives, and Elizabeth, wife of Francis Huberd Gent. sisters and coheirs of Thomas Leventhorpe Esq; held this maner of the Honor of Castle Hedingham, by one knight's fee.
Part of this estate belonged to Sir John Peake, Lord Mayor of London in 1687. His only daughter and heir
Margery brought it in marriage to Sir John Shaw, of Eltham, Bar[one]t. He dyed 11 December 1721 leaving his son and heir - Sir John Shaw, Bart. In September 1716 he married Anna-Maria, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir Thomas Barnardiston of Kedington-hall in Suffolk Bart. and departing this life 4 March 1738-9, was succeeded by his only son - Sir John Shaw, Bart.
A third part of this estate belonged to the late John Wade of Colne-Priory, Esq;
The Hyde, an estate here so called, belongs to Mr Kilham.
Philip Roberts Esq; Mr Philip Havens, and Mr Massingarb, have also estates here.
And Mrs Houssaye has two farms.
THE CHURCH, dedicated to St Stephen is of one pace with the Chancel, leaded. In a Tower of stone are 2 Bells. It stands on the top of a hill, from whence there is a very extensive prospect at Sea, and all round.
This Rectory was originally appendent to the capital maner, and in the gift of Berking Nunnery till its dissolution. K Henry VIII granted it, 10 April 1540, to Thomas Lord Cromwell. Upon his attainder it fell again to the Crown, and continued in it till Qu. Elizabeth gave it with the maner, to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. His son Thomas Earl of Suffolk had it with the Maner, as related above. James Earl of Suffolk alienated it, and it was in Sir Mark Guyon in 1680.
This parish is rated to the land-tax at 891 libre [£891] 1s 0d and Salcote-Wigborough at 142 libre [£142].2s
There is a Fair at Salcot, August 24.

Laurence Jackson B.D. 25 April 1730, upon Dennison's d[eath] Humfrey Sydenham, Cl[erk]


is a Hamlet to Great-Wigborough. The Lord of Gr. Wigborough maner has a Pound near this church. The name seems to be from a Salt-work, or store-house here; for Cote signifies a little house, or building. In Peldon we find one salt-work, to which the water might be conveyed from Pifleet creek. Salcot, though now a poor decayed Village, is reported to have been a Market Town, and a considerable place, the Streets having been paved. The fair and lofty building of the Church, now a Chapel to Wigborough, and the Chantry here, give some countenance to the tradition. The Church stands near the Creek, which parts it from that of Salcot-Virley; they are so near one another as to have founded a tradition, ever to be met with in the like case, that two sisters not agreeing, each built a Church for herself. This is of one pace with the Chancel, tiled; the Tower has one bell. Tis not improbable, that this and Salcot-Virley were once the same vill, as the name seems to shew. The difficulty of passing the Creek to go to Church, might induce the lord of Virley to build one for his tenants. This, which is now esteemed but a Chapel, makes much the greater appearance. In this Church there was formerly a Chantry, well endowed.


lies south-east of the other, nearer the sea.
Got, a freeman, was possessed of this estate in Edward the Confessor's reign: Hamo Dapifer, and his under-tenant Vital, held it at the time of the Survey.
Hamo Dapifer, Steward, or Sewer, of Normandy dying without issue, left his great possessions to his elder brother Robert Fitz-hamon, whose eldest daughter and coheir, Mabel, brought this in marriage to Robert Earl of Gloucester, natural son of King Henry I. He died in 1147. His eldest son - William, by Hawise, daughter of Robert Boffu, Earl of Leicester, left at the time of his decease in 1173, three daughters, Mabel, Amice, and Isabel. Amice the second, was married to Richard de Clare, Earl of Hertford; and in her right her eldest son - Gilbert de Clare inherited the Earldom and Honor of Gloucester.

Here is only one MANER

Copped-hall, otherwsie Cipped, or Cipt-hall, stands near the east end of the Church.
Under the Earls of Gloucester, this maner was holden by an antient Family surnamed Senannz, de Cennants, Senance, Septvance, or rather Sept Vanns, de Septem Vannis, i.e. of Seven Fans. Robert Senannz, who dyed in 1253, held of Ralph 'de Suford', in this parish, 300 acres of arable, 2 of meadow, pasture of marsh worth 22s 7d. a year, and rent of assise from the free tenants 37s 3d ob qa. and 2 pounds of pepper; by the service of 2 knights fees, with dower - Robert his son and heir, was 3 years old. Under Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, - Robert de Cennants held 2 fees in Wykebyrh. Of Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare, William de Clinton, Earl of Huntingdon, held jointly with Richard 'Dallesle' this maner of Wiggebergh, in 1354. His nephew - John was his heir. And yet we find it after that in the Sennanz family. For in1364, - William de Septvanz granted this maner to William de Boudon, and his heirs : And, in 1376, - William, son and heir of Sir William de Septvance, released to Walter de la Lee and Robert de Teye, K[nigh]ts all his right in the maner called Coppede-hall in Little Wygebergh, with the Advowson of the Church. However, - Robert Senance held, in 1398, two fees in Little Wigbergh, under Roger de Mortimer, Earl of March, who had one lete in Wigbereue.

John de Boys and Thomas Bataile had this maner, and presented to the Living, in 1390.
The next possessor of this estate upon record was Richard Bukland Esq; who dyed in 1435. He held this maner of Little Wiggebergh, called Copped-hall, with the Advowson of the Church, of Richard Duke of York, as of his Honor of Clare, by knight's service. The son of his daughter - Agnes, namely Richard Wichingham Esq; was his next heir - Agnes, most probably daughter of these, and wife of Nicolas Sharpe Esq; held for the term of her life, this maner of Copped-hall, and lands, tenements, rents and services, in Great and Little Wiggebergh, Salcote, and Peldon, with the Advowson of this Church, of Cecily Duchess of York, as of her Honor of Clare, by fealty, and yearly rent of 1d. Remainder to
Thomas Cotton, Esq; born in 1444*, and to Joanna his wife, daughter of the said Nicolas and Agnes: Agnes departed this life in 1484.

* Thomas was descended from Sir Henry Cotton, of Cottonhall in Suffolk. William, the sixth in descent from him, married Alice, daughter and heir of John Abbot, and had by her, Thomas, abovementioned, husband of Joanna, daughter of Nicolas Sharpe - Sir John Cotton of Landwood, or Landwade, was created a Baronet 14 July 1641.

Thomas Cotton, married first, Margery, daughter of Philip Wentworth, by whom he had a daughter. By his second wife, Joanna above-mentioned, he had Robert, John, Leonard a priest, William; and Etheldreda, wife of John Bassingbourn. At the time of his decease 20 July 1499, he held this maner of Copydhall, with the Advowson of the Church, of the Honor of Clare, as above. His eldest son and heir - Sir Robert Cotton, of Landwood in Cambridgeshire, held also the same, and dying 18 July 1517, left, by Alice his wife, daughter of ... Thornborough, and widow of Sir Nicolas Griffin - Thomas, his son, then ten years old. He departed this life, 30 March 1526 - John his posthumous son, succeeded him; and dyed in 1593. By Isabella, his wife, daughter of William Spencer he left his son and heir - Sir John Cotton, of Landwood, K[nigh]t who presented to this Church in 1613, and dyed in 1620. He, or his son - Sir John Cotton, sold both the Advowson of the Church, and the Maner with the demesnes, to the Governors of the Charter-House, London; It is in their rental amongst the purchases valued in farm-rents of 200 libre [£200] In them they have continued ever since.
Abraham Messingarb hath as estate here, and in Gr. Wigborough.
THE CHURCH dedicated to St Nicolas, is of one pace with the Chancel, tiled. In a Tower there is 1 little Bell.
This Rectory hath been always appendent to the Maner.
The Parish is rated to the land-tax at 320 libre [£320]

George Trotter 24 April 1708 upon Lidgould's d[eath]
Samuel Urlwyn M.A. 25 June 1721 upon Trotter's d[eath]           [all incumbents presented by]
Benjamin Woolaston M.A. 3 June 1729 upon Urlwyn's d[eath]         } Governors of the Charterhouse
Frederic Richards B.A. 1 July 1734 upon Woolaston's d[eath]
John Temple M.A. 24 November 1761 upon Richard's d[eath]
Fyge Jauncey 9 May 1764 upon Temple's resig[nation]

Morant gives extensive quotes and references to his sources, not transcribed here. Copies of The History and Antiquities of Essex are available at the Essex Records Office and the Local Studies room at Colchester Library. Mersea Museum has photographs of these pages - see MTE .

AuthorElaine Barker
Keywordsviners, copt hall, faulkborne
SourceMersea Museum