The Foxearth and District Local History Society
Borley Miscellany

A collection of historical documents about Borley. The extract from the 'History and Topography of Essex', which we have included later on, has been much quoted in books and articles about Borley Rectory despite being an immensely tedious and stultifyingly boring recital of the genealogy of the noble families who had only a slight and passing relevance to the history of Borley.

Inventory of Ancient and Historical Monuments-
(Commissioned by H. M. Government 1908
on buildings before 1714). Borley.

Borley Hall, nearly 1 mile E. S. E. of the church. The house is two storied with attics, the walls are partly of plastered timbered framing and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably early in the 17th century as a modified L shaped plan with wings extending S. and W. There are modern additions at the S. end. On the. E. Elevation there are three gables, the N. end of the elevation is set back and the upper storey projects. The upper storey also projects on the S. side and the W. wing. The original chimneystack of the west wing has two hexagonal shafts with moulded heads and bases. The central chimneystack of the S. wing has two square attached shafts. Inside the building, on the ground floor, the room at the end of the W. wing has moulded ceiling beams carried on chamfered wall posts. In the room at the end of the S. wing the ceiling joists are exposed.

Borley Place - House and Barns- S. W. of the church. The house is modern but in the cellar are same moulded joists of mid 16th century date some chamfered, all reused. The barn on the S. E. of the house is timber framed and plastered, the roof is tiled. It was built in the 15th. Century but has been partly rebuilt and is of five bays with large old doors in the middle of the West front. Three trusses of the roof are original and have tie beams with curved braces, king posts and central purlins. The barn on the S. side of the house is timber framed and plastered, the roof is thatched, it was built in the 17th. Century and is of six bays.

Cottage-quarter of a mile W. of the church is of two storeys. The walls are partly of plastered timber framing and partly brick; the roofs are thatched. It was built in the 15th century but much altered in the early 17th century. There is a modern addition on the west side. The early 17th century chimney stack has diagonal pilasters on each side, Inside the building the chamfered ceiling beams are exposed in several rooms, on the S. side of the chimney stack is an original roof truss with a cambered tie bean which has curved braces and octagonal king post with moulded capital and base and four way struts, another cambered tie beam is visible on the N. side of the chimney stack

Kelly's directory 1882 - Borley.

BORLEY is a parish, in the Eastern division of the county, Hinckford hundred, Sudbury union and county court district, Hedingham rural deanery, Colchester arch-deaconry and St. Albans diocese, 2 miles north-west from Sudbury station and from Melford station, situate on the Stour, which separates it from Suffolk.

The church (dedication unknown) is a small building, consisting of chancel, nave and a western embattled tower, with a bells and contains many tombs of the Waldegrave family, including a magnificent marble monument 14 feet in height, with a cornice supported by six pillars of the Corinthian order, beneath which lie full-length figures of Sir Edward and Lady Frances Waldegrave, 1561-99, with a marginal inscription in Latin and a record of other alliances of this family : in the chancel is a brass to John Durham, Norfolk, 1601. The register of baptisms dates from 1652; burials, 1656 ; marriages, 1709. The living is a rectory, yearly value 240, with a glebe of 10 acres, in the gift of and held by the Rev. Henry Dawson Ellis Bull m.a. of Wadham College, Oxford. Lord Carlingford who is lord of the manor and James S. Gardiner esq. are the principal landowners. There is a School Board for the parishes of Borley and Liston, composed of 5 members—3 for Borley and 2 for Liston. The soil is loam and clay; subsoil, clay and gravel.
The chief crops are wheat, beans and barley. The area is 776 acres; rateable value, £1,544; and the population in 1881 was 210.
Borley Green is 1 mile west.

Sexton, William Reeve.
Post Office.—Isaac Ward, receiver. Letters through Sudbury arrive at 7 a.m.; dispatched at 5.45 ; the nearest money order office & telegraph office are at Sudbury
Board School (mixed), for 64 children, average attendance 51, under the Borley & Liston school board, with a residence for the mistress, built in 1878; clerk to school board, William Firmin, of Sudbury f mistress, Miss Anne Brockwell

Bull Rev. Henry Dawson Ellis [rector]
Coker John Sidey, The Place
Gardiner James Spalding, landowner & farmer, Borley lodge
Payne Orlando, farmer,Borley Hall farm
Sillitoe Joseph, beer retailer
Theobald William Kirby, shopkeeper
Wiseman John Fyson, miller

Kelly's Directory 1897 -Borley.

Borley is a parish on the river Stour, which separates it from Suffolk, l 1/2 miles South West form Long Melford station on the Sudbury and Haverhill branch of the Great Eastern railway, 3 miles north west of from Sudbury and 11 miles north east of Halstead, in the northern, division of the county, Hinckford Hundred, North Hinckford petty sessional division, Sudbury Union and county court district, and in the rural deanery of Hedinghan, archdeaconry of Colchester and diocese of St Albans, The church (dedication unknown)is a small building of stone in Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and embattled western tower, containing bells, and contains many tombs of the Waldegrave family, including a monument 14 feet high, with a cornice supported by six pillars of the Corinthian order, beneath which lie full length figures of Sir Edward Waldegrave, who was knighted in 1553, at the coronation of Queen Mary, and who died in 1599 and Lady Frances (Neville) his wife, who died in 1599; with a marginal inscription in Latin and a record of other alliances of this family; in the chancel is a brass to John Durham of Norfolk, ob. 1601. There are 180 sittings. The register of baptisms dates from 1652; burials from 1656; marriages from 1709. The living is a rectory, net yearly value L150, with 10 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of and held since 1892 by the Rev. Henry Foyster Bull M. A. of Exeter College, Oxford. Lord Carlingford K. P. , P. C. who is lord of the manor, and James S. Gardiner esq. are the principal landowners. The soil is loam and clay, subsoil clay and gravel. The chief crops are wheat, beans and barley, The area is 790 acres of land and 5 of water; the population in 1891 was 195.

The Borley Witches

Michaelmas 1578 Session Rolls -Indictment1 March 1578The jurors present that Margaret Ganne alias Welles and Joan Norfolk of Borley, spinsters, are likewise witches and enchatresses, and that they bewitched John Furmyn at Borley aforesaid on the above date, so that he languished vehemently until 1 May then next following when he died; and so the jurors say that the said Margaret and Joan killed and murdered the said John by witcheraft, contrary to the peace, etc. (document Q/SR 68/34) 1578
Assizes held at Brentwood 14th July 157826 May 1578Recognizances of Roger Welles otherwise Gan, Thomas Ryce and John Clarke, all of BORLEY, yeoman, before Thomas Gentleman esq., for the appearance of Margaret Welles otherwise Gan; to answer.
1578 Joan Norfolk recognizance that John Bragge, William Fyrmyn, William Blackwell, Nicholas Norfocke of Borley, husbandmen, and Alice Fyrmyn and Alice Byrde of same, widows, give evidence re witchcraft of said Joan.
MICHAELMAS 1578 General Sessions2-3rd October 1578 John Bragge, Alice Fyrmyn and William fyrmyn to give evidence against Margaret Ganne [alias Welles] at the next Assizes(document Q/SR 68/3,3) 1578

Henry Kente of Foxearth professes to be at the next Sessions for procuring certain [persons] to be on the Great Inquest

Warrant for good behaviour to be made against John Kent of FOXEARTH at the suit of Thomas Carter [deleted].
Assizes held at Chelmsford 6 August 1579 12 December 1578Indictment of Joan Norfolke of Barley spinster at FOXEARTH bewitched a grey gelding worth £3, belonging to Geo.Bragg yeoman, whereupon it died. Pleads not guilty; not guilty.
Assizes held at Chelmsford 2 April 1579INQUISITION taken at Braintree 2 April 20 [sic] Eliz, before Robert Lord Ryche, Tho.Myldmaye and others The jurors say that Margaret Gannd alias Welles and Joan Norfolk both of Borley spinsters, 1 march 20 Elizabeth there bewitched John Furmyn where of he died 1 May following. Both plead not guilty
[ASS 35/21/4/51] T/A 418/31/51
1579Margaret Ganne/Wells and Joan Norfolke. Both spinsters, on 1st March 1578, bewitched John Fyrrmyn who died at Borley on 1st May Evidence given by John Bragge, Alice Fyrmyn and William Fyrmyn. No verdict.
28th August 1579Joan Norfolke, at Foxeyearth, bewitched Henry Kent of Foxeyearth who was for three days greatly troubled in divers parts of his body. No verdict. 130-1 1579
Assizes held at Chelmsford 6 August 1579, 15 April 1579Indictment of Margt.Milles of Borely spinster at FOXEARTH bewitched five Pleads not guilty; not guilty.
Assizes held at Chelmsford 6 August 1579, 28 August 1579Indictment of Joan Norfolke of Borely spinster at FOXEARTH bewitched Hen.Kent of the same by which for 3 days after he was grievously vexed and disquiested (inquitat') in divers parts of his body. Pleads not guilty; not guilty
Sessions Rolls Michaelmas 1579 September 1579Indictments of Henry Kent the elder and Henry Kent the Younger of Foxearth, Yeomen, for an assault and battery on Margaret, wife of Roger Ganne alias wells, and richard Salmon, servant to the said roger, at the same. (document Q/SR 72/41) 1579

The History and Topography of Essex-1842.

The parish of Borley extends northward from Brundon and is bounded on the east by the river Stour, The name is compounded of the Saxon words Bap, and Ley, that is Boar's Pasture.

It's circumference is about five miles, its distance from Sudbury two, and from London fifty seven miles.

In the reign of Edward the Confessor, a freeman named Lewin held the lands of the parish, which at the time of the survey, belonged to Adeliza, countess Albemarle, half sister of the Conqueror, and married to Odo, earl of Campangne, to whom the Conqueror gave the earldom of Holderness, in Yorkshire. Their daughter, Judith, was married to Waltheof, the British earl of Northumberland and Huntingdon: and their son and heir, Stephen, earl of Albemarle, attended Robert Curthose, duke of Normandy, on his expedition to the Holy Land, and distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of bravery in a great battle near Antioch, where he commanded the rear of the Christian army. He married Hawise, daughter of Ralph de Mortimer, by whom he had William and Ingelram, and four daughters. William the eldest son, surnamed Le Gros, defeated the rebel army at the battle of the Standard, in 1138, and, for his important service to the state, was ennobled by the title of earl of Yorkshire. He married Cecily, daughter of William, son of Duncan, brother of Malcolm the Third, king of Scotland, by Alice, daughter of Robert de Romney, lord of the honour of Skipton, in Craven. The offspring of this marriage was two daughters, co-heiresses, Hawise and Cicily, or Amicia, which last was married to --- Eston, or Easton, family whose surname was derived from the manor of Easton, in Walter Belchamp, Hawise the eldest daughter had three husbands; William de Mandeville, earl of Essex, who died in 1189 without issue,

William de Fortibus, earl of Essex who died in 1194, to whom she bore a son, named William;and Baldwinde Betum, earl of the Isle of Vight, who died in 1212, and whom she survived, her son William de Fortibus, succeeded the family honours and estates, and distinguished by his activities and prowess in the wars of the barons, He married Aveline, daughter and co-heiress of Richard, lord of Stanstead Mountfichet, by whom he had William de Fortibus, third earl of Albemarle, of that name. He succeeded his father on his death in 1241, and married Christiana, daughter and co-heiress of Allan, of Galloway. His second wife was Isabel, daughter of Baldwin, earl of Devonshire; by her he had a son John, Thomas and Willian, all who died under age, and had two daughters, Avice and Aveline.

He died in 1260, and was survived by his widow, Isabel, who, on the death of brother, Baldwin de Rivers, fifth earl of Devon, assumed the style of countess of Albemarle and Devon, and lady of the Isle of Wight. She died in 1293 leaving her only daughter her heiress. This lady being considered too great a match for a subject, was by the policy of King Henry the Third, married to his second son, Edmund Crouchback, earl of Lancaster, the King, and the Queen and nearly all the nobility of England attending the marriage in 1269. And, in the succeeding reign, she was persuaded to give up the sovereignty of her lands and castles to Edward the First, receiving property of equal value, and twenty thousand marks from the monarch.

She died without issue in 1293, and this lordship coming to the or-own, was, given by King Edward the Third, to the prior and convent of Christ's Church, in Canterbury, in exchange for the town and the port of Sandwich, in Kent, with appurtenances and revenues in the Isle of Sheppey, belonging to the monastery, granting then a free warren in Borley, and other demesnes.

In 1539 and in 1541 it was, with other estates, granted to the dean and chapter of Christ's church in Canterbury; but they having been charged with an annuity of £200 for maintenance of scholars in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, this estate and several others were, in 1545, assigned to the crown for the discharge of the incumbrance; and soon afterwards, the manor of Borley was granted to Edward Waldegrave, of the noble family of that name, of Smallbridge, in Suffolk, and of Navestock, in Ongar.

Sir Edward was master of the wardrobe to King Philip and Queen Mary; also chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, and representative for Essex, in the parliament that met on the 20th of January, 1557. He married Frances, daughter of Sir Edward Neville, and had by her two sons, Nicholas and Charles, and three daughters; Mary, married to John, lord Petre, of Writtle. Catharine, to John Gowen, Esq. of Devonshire; and Magdalene, to John Southcote, Esq. son and heir of John Southcote, of Witham. Sir Edward died in the Tower of London, in 1561, and is buried in Borley church, his lady is also interred in the same grave, having enjoyed this estate till her decease in 1599, in the eightieth year of her age,

Charles Waldegrave, Esq. the eldest son, was of Staining Hall, in Norfolk, and of Chewton, in Somersetshire; and the second son, Nicholas, had this manor of Borley Hall. His wife Catharine, daughter of Winston Browne, Esq. of Roding Abess, brought him the manor of Langenhoe; and he had also, besides this estate, some lands in Bulmer.

On his death in 1621, he was succeeded by his only son, Philip, who made Borley Hall his residence. By his wife Mary, daughter of Richard White of Hutton, in this county, he had his only son, John Waldegrave Esq. whose successor in this estate was his son Philip, by his wife Katharine, and he on his decease in 1720, gave it with other possessions to his brother James, lord Waldegrave, created viscount Chewton and earl Waldegrave in 1729, whose noble family have retained this, with the manor of Navestock and other possessions in this county, at the present time.

A message of lands, named Rockleys, Ligons and Fredes, and described as lying in Borley and Foxearth, were purchased by Sir Edward Waldegrave, of Thomas Cecil, in 1552.

Borley Hall is about half a mile eastwards of the church, near the banks of the Stour; and the old house, called Borley Place, is near the church, and not far distance from the village green.

The church is a plain ancient building on an eminence, from which the surrounding country presents prospects highly beautiful and interesting.

The advowson of the rectory has belonged to the Waldegrave family from Henry the Eight's reign to the present time. The living has ten acres of Glebe.

In this church is a splendid monument to the memory of several individuals of the Waldegrave family. It is about fourteen feet in height, nine in length, and in breadth five, with a cornice of elegant workmanship, supported by six marble pillars of the Corinthian order; beneath are finely executed whole length statues in marble, of Sir Edward Waldegrave and his lady Frances; they lie beside each other, with uplifted hands, and the general expression of devotion and resignedness on their features.

Sir Edward's head rests on his helmet, and there is an elegant marble urn at his feet, the lady Frances reclines her head upon a pillow, and at her feet there is the figure of a squirrel. The effigies of their five children are at the head and on the south side of the tomb. The family arms are elegantly represented in relief on the canopy, and on the edge, which is of black marble, there is the following inscription. "Eduard oblit ab ------- etc. - Translation --Edward died in the year of our lord, one thousand five hundred and sixty one;at his age forty four, on the first day of September. Frances died in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred and ninety nine;of her age seventy, on the eighteenth day of October. "Lo! within this tomb lies Edward Waldegrave, and (with him) Francesjormerly companion of his bed, but now of his grave A family beyond the reach of misfortune has the wife provided with sustenance, -has the husband outstripped in the race, -have their children increased during their term of life. Lo! man, what honours, what descent, what wealth, will profit thee, when vital heat shall leave thy frame! Thou seest nothing remain when the structure of man is dissolved. Earth it part reclaims, and so does heaven. On the north wall of the chancel, a female figure is placed in a devotional attitude, between two pillars, which support a canopy; she kneels on a cushion, with a book open before her, and above there appear cherubim, encircled with rays of glory: below is the following inscription- "Pulvis in hoc tumulo, -- Translation- Within this tomb lies buried the dust of Magdalen, Waldegrave's daughter and Southcott's only spouse. Chaste virgin, a prolific mother, and to her partner a most pious wife. Steadfast in faith, she lived uncorrupted by riches. "Life gave death, death the gave the life which life denied. Welcome death, and farewell cruel life. She died the eighth day of September, 1598,

In the chancel, on the ground, a brass plate in black marble bears the following inscription:-Hic in Domino--etc. Translation--"Here rests in the Lord, John Durhame, the third son of Thomas Durhame, of West Durhame, in the county of Norfolk, Esq. who, when he had lived sixty seven years, on the twenty ninth day of the month of July, in the year of the Incarnate Word of 1601, yielded to the mandate of death".

This parish, in 1821, contained one hundred and ninety five inhabitants, and according to the census of 1831, the number was precisely the same,