The Foxearth and District Local History Society

A collection of historical documents about Pentlow

See also Pentlow, its History and Romance


Pentelawe circa 1045. -Pentlauua 1086 (D. B. ) Pentelawe in 1119-1247. Pentlewe in 1254 (Ass)-Pentlowe in 1261 1323 1334. In 1358-Pentleg also in 1371(B. M. ) This is a difficult name. The first part of the name is reminicent of Panfield supra 448-9 and it may be that Ekwall is right in his tentative suggestion (R. N. 319-20) that the river Stour (or its valley) was once known as the Paente, in the same way as the Blackwater was. The only other similar names noted are Petney (Norfolk) Penteleia, (D. B. ) The name may therefore mean 'hill by the Pant river. Hoe Lane was the home of John atte Hoo(1325 D. B. ) Bradfields Farm, Buntings Farm, Goldings, Paines Manor, Pannels Ash, Parmenters, Ropers, and Skillets Farm are probobly associated with the families of William de Bradefeud(1255 FF), Seman Buntyng(1327 SR) William Golding (1555 Deed) Roger Payne (1247 RH) John Panell (1527 Deed) Richard Permentario (1247 RH) *Bradfeilde Hall in 1547, Bradfeildes in 1570 FF *Paynes in 1547

White’ s History, Gazetteer & Directory of Essex 1848

PENTLOW, a scattered village, pleasantly situated on the south side of the Stour Valley, 3 ½ miles E. of Clare, opposite Cavendish, in Suffolk, has in its parish 364 souls, and 1805 acres of land. H. C. Mathew, Esq. , is lord of the manor, and resides at Pentlow Hall, a fine ancient mansion, which has recently been repaired and enlarged, and is encompassed by well wooded grounds, near the river. It was successively held by the Baynard, Fitzwalter, Ratcliff, Fitz-Humphrey, Norman, Cavendish, Felton, Kemp, and other families, some of whom were long seated here. A great part of the parish belongs to Earl Howe, the Rev. Edward Pemberton, J. Sperling, Esq. , and several smaller owners, mostly freeholders.

The quit-rents of Bowers Hall, an ancient manor and farm-house, belong to Hill’ s Charity, at Long Melford, but the estate belongs to J. Sperling, Esq.

The Church (St. Gregory,) is an interesting structure of great antiquity, having a semicircular east end, and a round tower, containing five bells. The architecture is a mixture of the pure Norman and pointed styles, and the large stone font has a wooden covering, ornamented in the florid style of the time of Henry Vll. The walls of the tower are of flint, 4 feet thick. On the north side of the chancel is Kemp’ s Chapel, in which is a very fine tomb, on which are recumbent effigies of Judge Kemp, his lady, and his son John, who died in the early part of the 17th century. Round the tomb are 14 kneeling figures of children. The Chapel window is filled with stained glass, and the roof is divided into compartments, with Gothic quartrefoils, & c. In the chancel is a curious old tomb of the Feltons, who were connected by marriage with the noble family of Hervey.

The rectory, valued in K. B. at £ 12, and in 1831 at £ 445, is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. Edw. Bull, who has 19a. 1r. 33p. of glebe, and a large and handsome residence.

The tithes commuted in 1838, for £ 518 per annum. In 1715, Susan Gooch left a house and 16a. 3r. 14p. of land, in trust with the church-wardens and rector, for the relief of three poor men and three poor widows, above 55 years of age. This property is now let for £ 20 per annum.

Aggis Jas. shopkpr. & parish clerk
Bull Rev. Edward, Rectory
Deves Benjamin, castrator
Golding James, carpenter
Harrington Elizabeth, schoolmistress
Howlett John, gardener
Ives Edward, blacksmith
Mathew Hy, Coldham, Esq. , Hall
Plum John, schoolmaster
Ray Charles, shopkeeper


Brand Thomas, Pentlow street
Chickall George, Bradfields
Chickall John, Ropers
Chickall Mary, Buntins
Ewer John, Pagnells Ash
Groom Susanna, Skilots
Orbell Elizabeth, Hoggs Farm
Orbell Joseph, Larks in the Wood
Orbell Wm. jun. Street Farm
Orbell Wm. sen. Bowers Hall
Letters from Clare.
Rev. E. Bull.

The church has an apse chancel and a round tower, and is good. Charities, £24.

Post Office (Kelly's) Directory 1855

PENTLOW is a parish situated on the river Stour, 3 1/2 miles east of Clare, 15 miles from Bury St. Edmund's,
and 6 miles north-west of Sudbury station, in the Hundred of Hinckford and Sudbury Union, North Essex.
The living is a rectory; the Rev. Edward Bull, M.A., is the patron and incumbent. The church of St. Gregory has
a round tower and apse chancel, and contains a peal of 5 bells. The population, in 1851, was 330. The area of
the parish is 1,847 acres.

Bull Rev. Edward, M.A. Rectory
Matthew Henry Coldham, esq. Pentlow Hall

Brand Thomas, farmer, Pentlow street
Chickall Charlotte .(Miss), farmr. Buntings
Chickall George, farmer, Bradfields
Davis George, farmer
Ewer John, farmer. Pannell's Ash
Ives Edward, blacksmith
Orbell Elzbth.(Mrs.),farmer,Hoggs farm
Orbell Joseph,farmer,Larks in the wood
Orbell Robert, farmer, Bower ball
Orbell William, farmer, Street farm
Ray Charles, shopkeeper
Letters received through Sudbury,
The nearest money order office is at Clare

Kelly's Directory 1882

PENTLOW is a parish on the borders of Suffolk situated on the river Stour, 1 mile from Cavendish station on the Great Eastern railway, 4 miles east from Clare and 51/2 north-west from Sudbury, in the Eastern division of the county,hundred of Hinckford, udbury union and county court district, Yeldham rural deanery, Colchester archdeaconry and St. Albans diocese.

The church of St. George consists of apsidal chancel, nave, south porch and a round tower at the west end containing 5 bells; on the north side is a chapel, containing a very fine monument with recumbent figures of George Kempe ob. 1606, JohnKempe esq. his son and Ellinor his wife, together with the kneeling figures of their children, 10 daughters and 4 sons: the chancel contains memorial tablets to the families of Mathew and Bull and a curious old tomb of the Feltons. The register dates from the year 1539.

The living is a rectory, yearly tithe rent- charge �518, with residence and 27 acres of glebe, in the gift of and held by the Kev. Felix Edward Pepys Bull B.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1859 an octagon tower in the Tudor style, standing in the rectory grounds, was erected by the Rev. Edward Bull m.a. formerly rector here, to the memory of his father: it is considered a fine specimen of architectural art and has a spiral staircase to the top from which a fine view is obtained, above 46 churches being visible. The charities are of �27 yearly value, arising from a farm in Pentlow left by Mrs. Susan Gooch of Great Livermore, and are administered by a body of trustees of whom the rector is one. Henry Pearl esq. is lord of the manor.

The principal landowners are Robert Orbell esq. Henry John Sperling and Henry Pearl esqs. and Rev. Felix Edward Pepys Bull, Rev. John Foster and the Christian Knowledge Society. The soil is clay, loam and gravel; subsoil, various. The chief crops are wheat, beans and barley. The area is 1,847 acres; rateable value, �2,504; and the population of the parish in 1881 was 293.

Parish Clerk, John Dedham,
Letter Box cleared at 6 p.m. Letters through Sudbury,
The nearest money order office is at Clare
Parish School (mixed), built in 1876, for 100 children, with an average attendance of 54; Miss Ida Steer, mistress.
Bull Rev. Felix Edward Pepys B.A. Rectory
Bull Mrs. Rectory
Chickall Miss, Buntings
Offard Daniel, Pagnells ash
Oldham Joshua, Pentlow hall
Orbell Robert
Evans Thomas, Hardy, blacksmith
Garrett Joseph Stammers, miller
Orbell Robert, farmer & landowner
Offard Daniel, farmer, miller & maltster,
Pagnells ash; & at Cavendish, Suffolk
Orbell Joseph, farmer, Skelletto & Hogg's farm
Thurgood Charles, beer retailer

Kelly's directory 1906

PENTLOW is a parish on the river Stour, on the borders of Suffolk, 1 mile south from Cavendish station , on the Sudbury and Haverhill branch of the Great Eastern railway, 4 miles east from Clare and 5 1/2 north-west from Sudbury, in the Northern division of the county, hundred of Hinckford, North Hinckford petty sessional division, Sudbury union and county court district, and in the rural deanery of Yeldham, archdeaconry of Colchester and diocese of St. Albans.

The church of St. George is an edifice of flint, in the Norman and Early English styles, consisting of apsidal chancel with north chapel, nave, south porch and an embattled round tower at the west end containing 5 bells:

the original Norman church was probably destroyed in the 14th century, after which the present structure was erected on the old foundations, the tower being reared against the Norman west doorway: in the chapel is a very fine monument, with recumbent figures, to George Kempe, ob. 1606, John Kempe esq. his son and Ellinor his wife, together with the kneeling figures of their children, 10 daughters and 4 sons:

the chancel contains an altar tomb with shields of arms to the Felton family, bearing the date 1542 but without inscription, as well as memorial tablets to the families of Mathew and Bull:

the font is Early Norman, and has a 15th century canopy, which opens with doors:

In 1887 the chief part of the church was thoroughly restored at a cost exceeding £1,000, under the direction of Mr. W. M. Fawcett, architect, of Cambridge: a pulpit and lectern have since been presented, and all the woodwork is of the best English oak: the only fittings retained were the Jacobean communion table and the rails around it: there are 120 sittings.

The register dates from the year 1539, and contains a list of rectors from 1323. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £275, with residence and 27 acres of glebe, in the gift of and held since 1877 by the Eev. Felix Edward Pepys Bull M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge, rural dean of Yeldham, J.P. Essex, and F.E.G.S. In 1859 an octagonal tower in the Tudor style was erected in the Tectory grounds by the Eev. Edward Bull M.A. rector, here from 1834, to the memory of his father; it is considered a fine work and has a spiral staircase to the top, from which a fine view is obtained, above 45 churches being visible.

The charities include

There are three manors, viz. Pentlow Hall, Bowes or Bower Hall, and Paines. Of these, Pentlow Hall is the chief. The noble families of Baignard, FitzWalter, and Ratcliffe, Barons FitzWalter and Earls of Sussex, continued chief lords of it for a long time. Under them it was holden by the families of FitzHumphrey, Norman, Kempe &c.

Henry Pearl esq. is lord of the manor of Pentlow Hall. Brogden Sperling esq. of Dynes Hall, Great Maplestead Mrs. Julia Brand, of Brook Hall, Foxearth, Henry Pearl esq. the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the rector.

The soil is clay, loam and gravel; subsoil various. The chief crops are wheat, beans and barley The area is 1,888 acres of land and 10 of water- rateable value, £1,495; the population of the parish in 1901 was £274.

Sexton, James Johnson

The principal landowners are
Robert Orbell esq.
W. S. Orbell esq.
Charles Bear Mrs. Pentlow street
Bull Rev. Felix Edward Pepys M.A., J.P., F.R.G.S. (rector & rural dean), Rectory
Marsh Chas. Fielding, Pentlow hall
Orbell Robert, Paines manor
Orbell Wm. Sparrow, Paines manor


Brand Jn. Purkis, frmr. Buntings farm
Brand Stanley Edward, farmer, Pagnells Ash farm
Coe Felix, farmer, Gooch's farm
Ebbs Thomas, farm bailiff to Rev. F. E. P. Bull M.A., J.P. Skillits farm
Garrett S. J. & Co. millers (steam & water)
Ives Edward, blacksmith
Jarvis James Thomas, gardener to C. F. Marsh esq
Orbell William Sparrow, farmer & land owner, Paines manor
Plumb Daniel, higgler
Thurgood Charles, beer retailer
Twinn Charles, farmer, School farm
Wells Sidney, farmer, Pentlow Hall farm

Wall Letter Box cleared at 6 p.m. Letters through Cavendish S.O. (Suffolk) arrive at 7.45 a.m. & 1 p.m. The nearest money order & telegraph office is at Cavendish, ij miles distant Public Elementary School (mixed), built in 1876 ffor 100 children; average attendance, 39; Miss Alice Morley, mistress

Kelly's directory 1933

PENTLOW is a parish on the river Stour, on the borders of Suffolk, 1 mile south from Cavendish station on the Sudbury and Haverhill branch of the London and North Eastern railway, 4 miles east from Clare and 5½ north-west from Sudbury, in the Saffron Walden division of the county, hundred of Hinckford, North Hinckford petty sessional division, Sudbury county court district, rural district, rural deanery of Belchamp archdeaconry of Colchester and Chelmsford diocese. The church of SS. Gregory and George is an edifice of flint in the Norman and Early English styles, consisting of apsidal chancel with north chapel, nave, south porch and an embattled round tower at the west end containing 5 bells: in 1908 the tower was restored and the bells rehung at the expense of the then rector: the original Norman church was probably destroyed in the 14th century, after which the present structure was erected on the old foundations, the tower being reared against the Norman west doorway: in the chapel is a very fine monument, with recumbent figures, to George Kempe, ob. 1606, John Kempe esq. his son and Ellinor his wife, together with the kneeling figures of their children, 10 daughters and 4 sons: the chancel contains an altar tomb with shields of arms to the Felton family, bearing the date 1542, but without inscription, as well as memorial tablets to the families of Mathew and Bull: the font is Early Norman and has a 15th century canopy, which opens with doors: in 1887 the nave and chancel of the church were thoroughly restored, at a cost exceeding £1,000: the pulpit is a memorial to the late Mrs. Edward Bull, and all the woodwork is of English oak: the only fittings retained were the Jacobean communion table and the rails around it: in 1931 a stained window was erected to the memory of William Orbell of the parish; he left £600 for the poor of the parish: there are 120 sittings. The register dates from the year 1539 and there is a list of rectors from 1323. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £485, with 21 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Misses Bull, and held since 1933 by the Rev. Felix Bull.

In 1859 an octagonal tower in the Tudor style was erected in the rectory grounds by the Rev. Edward Bull M.A. then rector, to the memory of his father; from the top of the tower an extensive view is obtained, more than 45 churches being visible. The charities include the rents arising from a small farm in Pentlow, left by Mrs. Susan Gooch, of Great Livermore, now administered by a body of trustees, consisting of the rector, churchwardens and overseers, a special confidence being imposed by the testatrix in the rector and “The fine of the Alienation of Panels,” whensoever it falls, given by George Kempe, to the reparation of the church of Pentlow for ever; but this does not appear to be recognised. There are three manors, viz.: Pentlow Hall, Bowes or Bower Hall, and Paines. Of these, Pentlow Hall is the chief. The noble families of Baignard, FitzWalter, and Ratcliffe, Barons FitzWalter and Earls of Sussex, continued chief lords of it for a long time. Under them it was held by the families of FitzHumphrey, Norman, Kempe &c. Paines Manor, an early Jacobean house, is the property of Charles Cornell esq. Col. William Archibald Stewart O.B.E. is lord of the manor of Pentlow Hall. The principal landowners are Col. William Archibald Stewart O.B.E. Charles Cornell esq. and John Brand esq. The soil is clay, loam and gravel; subsoil, various. The chief crops are wheat, oats, beans, barley and sugar-beet. The area is 1,888 acres of land and 10 of water, the population in 1931 was 197.

Letters through Cavendish (Suffolk), which is the nearest M. O. & T. office

Thomas Wright's "History and Topography of the County of Essex. 1842. Pentlow.

This parish is computed to be about seven miles in circumference, occupying the northern extermity of the county, bounded by the river Stour. It consists chiefly of elevated ground, with a portion of low meadows; .

the general character of the soil is a rich sandy loam, highly productive, the annual produce of wheat is stated to be 24 bushels per acre and barley 32 bushels. ).

The face of the country being diversified in appearance, and exceedingly pleasant. It is distant from Sudbury five, from Halstead eight and from London sixty miles. .

In the reign of Edward the Confessor, a free woman held the lands of this parish, which, at the general survey of Domesday, was one of the twenty five lordships given by the Conquerer to Ralph Baigard, whose widow. Juga, founded the priory at Little Dunnow, Geofery was the son and successor of Ralph, and, on his decease, left a son named Willian, who joining the party of Robert Courthose against King Henry the First, was deprived of his estates, which were given to Robert, a younger son of Richard Fitz-Walter, ancestor of the earls of Clare and Fitz-walter. .

There are three manors in this parish; The chief manor-house of Pentlow Hall is not far distant from the church; erected about the year 1140, was of extensive dimensions, and passed successively into the possession of the noble families of Baignard, Fitz-Walter and Ratcliff, barons Fitz-Walter and earls of Sussex, it was holden under then by the Fitz-Humphreys, Normans, Kenps and others. .

In 1165, Robert Fitz-Humphery held this manor under Walter Fitz Robert; his son Walter Fitz-Humphery, flourished in the reign of King John, whose son had a grant of free-warren in this manor and in that manor of Great Yeldham, which belonged to him. He is recorded to have held, in conjunction with Thomas Manduit, three knight's fees in this parish and elsewhere, under Robert Fitz-Valter, as of his barony of Baignards. His son, Sir Walter Fitz-Hunphrey, was a knight banneret in the reign of King Edward the First; his son, Sir William, presented to this church in 1322. Walter Fitz-Humphery is recorded to have held one knight's fee and a quarter in Pentlow. The last of this family mentioned in the records was living in 1337. .

Roger Norman held this estate at the time of his decease, in 1349; he had also other lands in various parts of the country, particulary a messuage and sixty acres of land in this parish called Mersey's. His grandson Giles, son of Roger, was his heir, and left under the guardianship of John Fermer of Foxearth, but he died at the age of eighteen, in 1362; in cosequence of which, the manor of Pentlow and the advowson of the church, holden by John, lord Fitz-Valter, descended on the three daughters of Elene, sister of his grandfather, Roger; these were Christian, married to William Chamberlayn, of Cavendish; Juliana, married to Richard Cavendish; and Beatrix, the wife of John de Glomesford. .

In 1369, the estate was conveyed by these co-heiresses to John de Cavendish, descended from Robert, the youngest son of Robert Gernon, of the noble family of the Gernons of Boulogne. Sir John Gernon took the name of Cavendish from his seat and residence in the town of that name. His son by his wife Catharine, daughter of John Smythe Esq, of Cavendish, was named after his father, and succeeded to his estates and honours; he was educated for the bar and became eminent in his profession, was, in 1366, made a Judge of the King's Bench, and in 1372, a Justice of the Common Pleas, and Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1373, .

He was also chancellor of the University of Cambridge; had a grant of an annuity of a hundred marks in 1378; and was summoned to Parliament from 1372 to 1381; but had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the insurgents under Wat Tyler and Jack Straw, he was conveyed to the town of St. Edmundsbury, and beheaded, the mob were in a high degree incensed against him, because it was his son, John Cavendish, who dispatched Wat Tyler in Smithfield. He left by his wife Alice, two sons, Sir Andrew, his successor, who lived at Cavendish, became high sherrif of Suffolk and Norfolk in 1384, and died in 1396, but his wife, Rose, lived till 1420, having, with her husband, jointly presented to Pentlow church in 1393. The widow, previous to her decease, had conveyed the manor and advowson of the living to John Halls and others, William. their son and heir, having died without issue.

Sir Thomas Cavendish, the celebrated navigator, the third person and second Englishman who achieved the circumnavigation of the globe, was of this family. The arms of Cavendish are on a slab now in the church at Cavendish, (which parish adjoins Pentlow, ) on a tomb supposed to be that of Thomas Cavndish, who died in 1477. Thomas Cavendish, son of the last named Thomas, was clerk of the pipe in the Exchequer, and by his wife, Alice Smith, was the father of George Cavendish, of Glemsford, in Suffolk, and of William. George was the gentleman usher and faithful friend of Cardinal Wolsey, and wrote of his life; he is generally considered to have founded the honours and wealth of this noble family, but it was not the case; his line appears to have ended or fallen into obscurity with his grandson, William, who was a mercer in London, and sold his estates in the neighbourhood, in 1569, to William Downes. Sir Villian Cavendish, brother of George, one of the commissioners for taking the survey of religious houses, and became the fortunate founder of the ducal families of Devonshire and Newcastle, the latter now being extinct in that name, but the present Duke of Devonshire is the ninth in lineal descent from this Wiliam Cavendish. .

The next possessor of this manor was Thomas, Lord Cobham, who left it, by will, dated April, 1471, to his illegitimate son, Reginald Cobham. Villiam Felton, of Sudbury, was owner of this estate 1490. He married Anne, daughter and heiress of Ralph Bank, by whom he had Margaret, wife of John Drury of Rougham; and Joan. On his decease, in 1493, he held the manor of Pentlow, and advowson of the rectory, of Sir Ratcliff, Lord FitzValter, as of his manor of Shymplingthorne; and other estates. Edmund, his son and successor, married Anne, daughter of John Brough, by whom he had Edmund. His second wife, was Anne, daughterlof Sir Thmas Lucy, of Varwickshire, by whom he had a son, Thomas, of Clerkenwell. On his decease, in 1519, his son Edmund was his successor at Pentlow Hall; he married Frances, daughter of John Butler of Coventry, by whom he had George, William, Dunstall, Edmund, John and a daughter. George Felton, Esq. the eldest son, had six daughters by his wife Margaret, daughter of John Carew, of St. Edmundsbury. He is supposed to have disposed of this estate, for it was not among the possessions of his successor, Edmund Felton Esq. who died in 1570. .

The next recorded possessor is George Kemp, Esq. The sixth son of William Kemp, Esq. of Spains Hall, in Finchingfield. He had three wives, but had no offspring except by his second wife, Margery Appulderfield, who bore him five sons and three daughters. He died in 1606, aged seventy six, He was succeeded by John Kemp, Esq. his eldest son, who married Eleanor, daughter of John Drew, Esq. of Devonshire, one of the exigenters of the court of common pleas, by whom he had four sons and ten daughters. He died in 1609. George the second, but eldest surviving son, was created a baronet in 1626, and married a lady whos family name was Brooke, by whom he had two daughters, one of whom married Sir John Winter, but dying without offspring, Sir George settled this estate upon his nephew, John, the son of his brother, John Kenp, by his wife, the sister of Sir Robert Brooke. He married Katharine, daughter of Robert Flower, of Borley, and widow of Ralph Redman, and had by her three daughters, Lucy and Mary, who died unmarried, and Barbara, married to Francis Daniel, Esq. of Bulmer; and this lady sold the estate to Joshua Brise, Esq. of Clare, from whom it descended to his son, Shadrach, who was sheriff of Suffolk in 1762, and on his decease, it came to his brother, Samuel. On the death of Samuel, in 1827, at the age of ninety six years, this manor was devised by to his great niece, Elizabeth Maria, wife of William Mathew, Esq. she being the only child of Edward Coldham, Esq. of Bury st. Edmunds, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Joshua Brice, of Clare. Pentlow Hall is now the residence of Mrs. Mathew, a widow; and on her decease, stands limited to the Rev. Edward William Xathew(vicar of Great Coggeshall, ) and minister of St. James, Bury st. Ednunds, and to his issue in tail. The manor house of Bower's Hall is about mile distant from the church, in a south-westerly direction, and opposite to some part of Cavendish, on the other side of the river. In the rolls of Foxearth Hall this estate is called the fee of Bourhall; and does not occur in any other record till the reign of King Henry the Seventh, when it belonged to John Hill, a clothier of Long Melford in Suffolk, who by will, conveyed this estate, the white rents(that is the quit rents) excepted, to Sir William Hodgeson, to pray for the souls of him and friends, in the parish church of Melford. The quit rents he gave to the poor of the town of Melford, and the fine of the alienations he gave to the reparations of the church to Pentlow for ever. * These quit rents amounted to four pounds nineteen shillings, four capons, one day's work in the hay season, and fowling, besides fourteen pence and a farthing for rents and services in Pentlow. .

The wood was about nine acres*. .

Hills chantry, in Melford church, was established on this foundation; and the master of the college of Sudbury, for the time being, had the sole nomination of the chantry priest. .

On the general suppression of religious institutions of this description, this manor becoming vested in the crown, was granted, in 1548, to Sir Thomas Paston, who soon afterwards sold it to Edward and Thomas Abbot, who made a partition of it 1550, two parts being allotted to Edward, ahd the remaining third part becoming the property of Thomas. Edward was succeeded by his son George, who sold his portion to John Shawaraden, from whom it was conveyed to Roger Goodday, the eldest son of John Goodday, of Braintree, by his second wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Vood, of Rayne, and widow of Richard Everard, Esq, of Great Valthan; he married Ursula, daughter and co-heiress of Baldwin Payne, a merchant of London, and had by her seven sons and eight daughters. .

He was buried here, on his decease in 1517. George Goodday, his grandson, was of Bowers Hall, and of Gray's Inn, London, and had by Frances Alston, his wife, a son named Samuel, who died young, and Elizabeth, his daughter and heiress. She was married to John Langham, Esq. and Frances, the wife of Sir Richard lewnan. In 1699, the estate was sold to Xrs. Sarah Groom, of London, widow, who left it to her son Samuel, and afterwards became the property of Henry Sperling, Esq. .

The manor of Paines is on an eminence, near the road from the church of Pentlow to Belchamp St. Pauls; it anciently received the name of Hogges, from James Hoog, to whom it belonged in 1398; and to John Hogge, of the same family, in 1432. It passed from this family either by descent or purchase, to John de Vere, earl of Oxford, who, on his death in 1562, held this among his numerous extensive possessions. .

The church, dedicated to St. Gregory, occupies a low situation, about a mile distant from the parsonage house, which is a good convenient building on a hill. The most remarkable feature in Pentlow church is the circular east end; and it is rather surprising that Mr. Gage, in his "Observations upon the ecclesiastical round towers of Norfolk and Suffolk", should not have noticed this, or indeed anything else relative to the church, as its features are striking, this appears in its mixture of pure Norman, and early pointed style. The arch, in the interior of the tower, is strictly Norman, and that which separates the chancel from the nave is pointed. The font is of stone, large and ornamented, and probably coeval with the church; but the covering is of wood, and is a specimen of the florid style of Henry the Seventh.

The walls of the tower are of flint, and nowhere less than four feet thick; and, in the body of the church, the walls are from two feet and a half to three feet.

The chapel on the north side is Kemp's chapel. * This is appendant to the manor of Pentlow Hall, as is also one half of the chancel, which is kept in repair by the possessor of the manor, but from what cause it is now impossible to ascertain. This chapel has lately undergone a thorough reparation, at the expense of the Rev. E. W. Mathew. The very fine tomb of the Kemps, having on it the recumbent figures of Judge Kemp, who died in 1606, and his son, John Ke3np, Esq. who died in 1609, and his wife, Eleanor Drew, of Devonshire, together with fourteen children kneeling round, has been restored, and the inscriptions and arms, with numerous quarterings, repainted.

The chapel window has been opened and filled with stained glass, and the roof divided into compartments, with Gothic quarterfoils, etc.

In the chancel is a very curious tomb of the Feltons, who were descended from the Feltons of Playford, in Suffolk, and connected by marriage with the noble family of Hervey. On it are the arms of Felton, Butler, etc, At the west end is a fine old Saxon font.

George Kemp, Esq. gave £ 26. 14s. 4d. to remain as stock to be employed for the relief of eight poor old folk, for their dwelling, where most need shall be. Susan Gooch, of Great Livernere, gave a farm in Pentlow, of tjO a year, in trust to the feoffes, the rents to be disposed of in money to three poor widows, and three poor men of this parish, on Lady Day and Kichaelmas, which six persons must be collectioners at least one whole year, before they partake of this benefaction. The rector of the parish, for the time being, is appointed to be always one of the feoffes, and a special trust is committed to him, to take care that the distribution be according to the donors will. The number of trustees are required to be six or nine; to be renewed when reduced to three, and are to be owners, if so many, or, if not, chief inhabitants of the place.

This parish, in 1821, contained three hundred and ten, and, in 1831, three hundred and forty inhabitants.


The name Pentlow (Pentelowe, 1045, Pantelowe, 1245) means hill by a river, Previous owners claim to have found evidence of Roman remains and a recent archaeological Investigation to the south of the main house found many fragments of early medieval ware.

The Domesday Book states that a free woman (Ailed, widow of Thurston) held Pentlow before 1066 as a manor, (Pentlow Mill was in existence and mentioned "always one mill".)

Pentlow manor straddled the Stour River for the length of Cavendish and was thus always in what became Essex and Suffolk, Later owners included the families of Baignard, FitzGilbert and FitzHumphrey. (It remained in the FitzHumphrey family through the reigns of Richard I, John, Henry III, Edwards I and II.) Sir William FitzHumphrey refurbished the church in 1322. (The round west tower and the original north chapel date from this time . The chapel was rebuilt in the early 17th century for the Kempes.)

When Walter FitzHumphrey died in 1337 the manor passed into the Norman family and from them to John de Cavendish. His son, Sir John Cavendish, became Lord Chief Justice in 1372. The Peasants' Revolt in 1381 is referred to In most books written in the 18th and 19th centuries about Pentlow.

"A band of them near 50,000 strong, as infuriated as the canille of Paris or the peasants of Gallicia in the crisis of a revolution marched to the Chief Justice's mansion at Cavendish, which they plundered and burned. The venerable judge made his escape but was taken in a cottage in the neighbourhood. Unmoved by his grey hairs they carried him in a procession to Bury St. Edmunds It was resolved however that he should be treated with insult as well as cruelty for his head being immediately struck off, it was placed in the pillory amidst savage yells and execrations of the bystanders."

Early historians were horrified. Another writes,

" The Peasants' Revolt led to more frightful devastations in a jacquerie movement in England, where in the worst of times, some respect has been shown-to the influence of station and dictates of humanity."

in a separate account it is recorded that the men of Cavendish assembled at Pentlow with axes and threw the house in the river. The original house was reputed to be of the same dimensions as the church, "as to its breadth and length" and it is thought that it might have extended as far as the existing depression in the lawn (to the east),

The west wing of the present house is thought to date from about 1475. (The original roof may still be seen in the attic.) Around 1500 the main hall and an east wing were added, making the house an H shape. The property had passed around 1420 from the Cavendish family to a John Hall and then to Thomas, Lord Cobeham or Cobham who in his will left it to his natural son, Reginald Cobham who sold it to William Feiton in 1490, William's son, Edmund., inherited it in 1493 and left it in turn to his son, Edmund, whose tomb may be seen in the chancel of the church, (date, 1542) The roundels of 16th century glass in the oriel window include Felton arms. Pevsner writes, "An uncommonly fine manor house of c. 1500 with alterations of the late ,C. 16 (e.g. the hall horizontally divided.)" The Royal Commission (1916) believes the hall was divided around 1580. As the house had been bought by Judge George Kernpe (sixth and youngest son of William Kempe of Spains Hall in Finchingfield) before 1570 it may have been he who made the alterations. Pevsner thinks that the brackets in the kitchen (the original front door) probably supported a second oriel window, (ihe fine chamfered beams in the entrance hall were uncovered during restoration work in 1992.)

A good description of parts of the house and its outbuildings may be found in a lease between Elenor (Eleanor) Kempe and her 12 surviving children and her brother-in-law, George Kempe and his wife. (1608) The lease was for 15 years by which time the young George Kempe would come of age and inherit his property. Eleanor, her husband John, and his father, Judge George Kernpe may be seen, three recumbent effigies on a tomb chest with 10 kneeling daughters facing 4 kneeling sons in the Kempe Chapel which has a "charming" (Pevsner) tunnel-vault ceiling. The lease gave Eleanor and her children the use of the "little parlor, sellor, the storehouse, the kitchyn, bakehouse, the lawder, brewing house and upper rooms, also the little backyeards adioyning kitchin" and they have the use of "the hall in common" with her brother-in-law and his wife, and "the greate chamber in severalty" (the room over the great hall). As the parlor adjoins the "great garden""within the moate of the scite" it was therefore in what is now the Georgian end of the house above the cellar (at least part of which must have existed in 1609). Both parties could "fish in rivers, moates, and pondes" and both had half rights to the "fruite in the orchards'. "Conyes' (rabbits), "swyne", "a milshe cow" and "pegions" (pigeons), hennes, duckes, and a gelding were kept.

Outbuildings mentioned include the "geldings stable and chamber over it and cochehouse" which survive today, Gone now are the "hennehouse, duckehouse, upper chamber next to duckehouse for private use", "also"; a house at the end of the carthorse stable". A description of the property in 1810 records the brewhouse and larder with 2 rooms over them as "length 30 feet and breadth 20 feet".. The carthorse barn and stable were 80 by 23 and were located to the east of the house, probably near to the long yew hedges where much rubble continues to make gardening difficult,

The house stayed in the Kempe family, (There is an interesting description of the extent of the property, including the mill and extensive farm land etc, with the early names of the fields in an agreement between Sir George Kempe (Eleanor's son) and his wife, Dame Thomasin, made in her "dower" at Pentlow Hall.) The last of the Kempes was Barbara Kempe Danyell, daughter of John Kempe,nephew and heir of George. Barbara died in 1739 and is buried in the Kempe Chapel with her two unmarried sisters and parents.

It is unclear when Pentlow was sold to Joshua Brise (on her death?) but it is left at Joshua Brise's death in 1749 to his second son, Samuel. Joshua had 2 sons (Shadrach, childless, and Samuel, a bachelor) and 4 daughters. Ann married Thomas Ruggles (whose father bought Spains Hall in 1760 from the Dyer family who had married into the Kempe family), Ann died before Joshua l'u leaving a son and daughter. Joshua's other daughters were Frances (unmarried), Mary (died early in 1769 without issue) and Elizabeth (who left a daughter, Elizabeth Maria Coldham (later Mathew)). When Shadrach died he left Samuel his property for life with bequests to his niece, Elizabeth Maria Coldham, and his nephew, Thomas Ruggles. Shadrach stipulated that after Samuel's death the property should go to his nephew provided he took the Brise name, Should he die without issue or fail to change his name, Elizabeth Coldham would inherit, Samuel lived until he was 94, dying in 1827, As Samuel was so long lived, Snadrach's property went to his great nephew, Thomas Ruggles-Brise, whose descendant still lives at Spains Hall. All of Samuel's personal property, including Pentlow and

Samuel's house in Clare (Sigor's) was left to Elizabeth Maria Coldham Mathew and her husband, William Mathew, who were already living at Pentlow Hall. Mathew's debts were cancelled. They appear to have married about 1786 or 87 and may have moved to Pentlow at about that time. Elizabeth inherited her uncle's personal property ("furniture, plate, towels, china, utensils, liquors, books, prints and household goods") and the "family pictures" for her life. These were then to go to John Ruggles. Photographs of the Brise family protraits are in the laundry room at Pentlow and include portraits of Joshua Brise, his wife and their children. (The originals are still at Spains Hall.) (According to a will of the Reverend Edward William Mathew, their only child, Elizabeth Maria had sold property settled on her at her marriage to buy Pentlow Mill and some additonal land.) The Rev. Mathew died the year before his mother in 1834 His eldest son, William Brise Mathew,died aged 22 in 1840. (They are all buried at Pentlow Church.) One imagines that it was the Mathews at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century who carried out much of the planting of the garden and installed the liberty bell to commemorate Waterloo (inscribed, 1815), hung at what is now the back of the house.

Henry Coldham Mathew inherited Pentlow from his elder brother, William. Henry regularly borrowed large sums against his inheritance and finally assigned Pentlow to Henry Pearie in 1874 (Henry Pearle was still proprietor of Pentlow Hall and Pentlow Hall Farm in 1898.)

The Kempe Chapel

On the rear of the Kempe Chapel is the following inscription: Sarah Stone While excellent qualities which have adorned persons in higher life Have been notified to posterity, Let not the desert of those in a humble station Fade from recollection. Sarah Stone lived during a lengthened period in the families of Brise and Mathew By each of whom her offices were justly appreciated: For "not with eye service", but with conscientious regard To their interest and comfort, The duties of her employment were fulfilled. The Revd. Edward William Mathew hath placed this memorial, Not only as a tribute to one thus approved, But that encouragement be afforded to those in like situations To observe whatever is honest, commendable, and of good report. She died January 11, 1809 aged 75 years


The Church

Parish Church of St. Gregory, formerly of St. George, stands on the N. side of the parish. The walls are of flint and pebble rubble, with dressings of limestone and clunch; the roofs are tiled.

The apsidal Chancel and the Nave were built probably in the middle of the 12th century. Possibly in the 14th century a N. chapel was added, and the West Tower early in the same century. Late in the 16th or early in the 17th century the North Chapel was rebuilt. The church was restored in the 19th century, when the South Porch was added. TThe 12th-century apse and the 14th-century tower are interesting. The 12th-century font, and the 16th-century monument in the chancel are also noteworthy.

The Chancel (23 ft. by 16� ft.) terminates in a semi-circular apse, and has an E. window, all modern, except part of the 14th-century splays and rear arch. In the N. wall is a late 16th or early 17th-century arch; it is four-centred and of one double chamfered order on the N. side; the responds are chamfered. In the S. wall are two early 14th-century windows, much restored; they are each of two pointed lights in a two-centred head; between them is a doorway, probably of c. 1400, with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch. The 15th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders, the outer continuous on the W. face, and the inner resting on attached semi-circular shafts with moulded and embattled capitals and moulded bases; on the W. face is a moulded label with a carved head at the apex and modern stops.

 The North Chapel (16 ft. by 9� ft.) was almost entirely rebuilt c. 1600, and has crow-stepped brick gables at the E. and W. ends. In the E. wall is a late 15th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights in a two-centred head; the jambs are probably of the 14th century. In the N. wall is a window of c. 1600, and of three four-centred lights under a square head. Further W. is a doorway of c. 1600, with a moulded four-centred arch.

The Nave (39 ft. by 20 ft.). The western angles are largely built with rough flint quoins. In the N. wall are three windows, the easternmost is modern, except the sill and the internal splays, and the two western windows are of the same date and detail as those in the S. wall of the chancel, and are much restored; between them is the 14th-century N. doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch. The N.E. angle is splayed across and may contain the staircase to the former rood-loft. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern is modern, except the splays, and the western is uniform with the western windows in the N. wall. Further W. is the S. doorway, which is uniform with the N. doorway. In the W. wall is a 12th-century doorway with a semi-circular arch of two orders, the outer moulded and the inner order plain; at the apex is the carved head of a muzzled bear; the jambs have each a circular attached shaft with scalloped and carved capital, square carved abacus and moulded base.

The West Tower (about 16 ft. in diameter) is round, and of three stages, undivided externally; the parapet is embattled. The ground stage has, facing N. and S., a loop, and facing W. a window, all modern, except the splays and rear arch, which are of c. 1400. The second stage has, facing N. and S., a loop similar to those in the ground stage. The bell-chamber has, facing N.E. and W., an early 14th-century window of two uncusped lights in a two-centred head, much restored; facing S. is a window of c. 1400, and of two cinquefoiled lights under a two-centred head, much restored. The Roof of the N. chapel has a moulded wall-plate with billet ornament, of c. 1600.







The Village

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th-century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Some of the buildings have original chimneystacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition-Good, or fairly good, without exception.

(5). Pannel's Ash, house and barn, 200 yards .S.W. of H). The House is of L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the S. and E. At both ends of the W. front the upper storey projects and is gabled. The original \V. chimneystack in the E. wing has an octagonal shaft. Inside the building, on the first floor, the shaped and chamfered wall-posts are exposed. The Barn is of six bays.

(6). Parmenter's Farm, house, now three tenements, 530 yards E. of (4), was built c. 1600. Inside the building, in the N. wall of the upper storey, is an original window with diamond-shaped mullions, now blocked.

(7). Cottage, three tenements, 300 yards E.N.E. of (C), has an original central chimney-stack of T-shaped plan. In the N. wall is an original window with diamond-shaped mullions, now blocked.

(8). Larks in the Wood, house, nearly 1 in. SSW. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It was built about the middle of the 16th century on a rectangular plan, and was extended towards the S. early in the 17th century; Late in the same century additions were made on the N.E. and S.W., making the plan L-shaped. At the N. end of the W. elevation the upper storey projects and is gabled. The original central chimneystack has three octagonal shafts. Inside the building, on the two lowcr floors, the original block has moulded ceiling-beams and wall-plates; those on the ground floor have moulded joists with foliated stops and shaped wall-posts.

(9). Skillet's Farm, house, nearly 1 m. S. of the church, with modern additions at the E. and W. ends.

(10). Cottage, 500 yards E.N.E. of (9), with modern tenements at the N. and S. ends. The original central chimney-stack has two octagonal shafts. Inside the building are several old doors, two of them have strap-hinges. The original staircase has solid oak steps.

(ll). Pentlow Street, house, l m. S.E. of the church, was built in the second half of the 16th century, on a T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the N.W. end. There are two modern additions on the N.E. side. Inside the building, a room in the S.E. wing has an original moulded ceiling-beam with carved foliage ornament.

"A TRUE TERRIER" done in 1810 of the parish of Pentlow

A True Terrier of all the Buildings, Glebe Lands, Tythes and other profits and rights "belonging to the Parish of Pentlow in the County of Essex and Diocese of London, taken the 8th day of June 1810, pursuant to notice given for that purpose on Tuesday the 3rd day and exhibited at the primary visitation of John Lord Bishop of London.

Imprimis a Dwelling House nearly fronting the East, extending 60 feet in front and containing within its walls about 235 square yards, plastered and tiled and consisting of a Hall, 2 Parlours and a Kitchen, with 4 Rooms on the Second Floor and 3 Garrets.

Hear, adjoining and towards the South, first a New House plastered with a flat hoard roof, then an outbuilding containing a Brew House and larder with two rooms over them plastered and tiled, in length 30 feet and in breadth 20 feet, next one other outbuilding plastered and tiled and weather boarded in length 44 feet and in breadth 11 feet containing a coal house, wood house and garden house. Lastly at some distance towards the north a Coach House with Stables adjoining plastered and tiled 54 feet long and 18 feet broad, all of which buildings are situated in a yard with together with the moat ponds and gardens according to a survey of the premises, belonging to the Parsonage of Pentlow, Essex AD 1767 by Finley, Surveyor, contains two acres and thirty perches.

Abutting upon the said Yard and Gardens, towards the north and west a field called Moat Field containing by said survey 5 acres 1 roof and 37 perches, nearly half of which constitute an orchard and plantation of firs.

Abutting upon the said Yard, towards the east field, called Barn Field containing by the said survey, 7 acres and 1 perch, wherein is situated a barn and Stable 80 ft. in length and 23 feet in breadth with a Cow Shed and Cart Lodge adjoining

To the South of the said Yard but separated by the road leading to Foxearth a croft called Long Croft containing by the said Survey 4 acres, three roods and four perches.

Abutting on land belonging to Skillets on the West and upon the West and upon the road leading to Foxearth on the north a close called Billermans Close containing by the said survey, one acre, two roods and 21 perches and situated very nearly in the middle of the said field extending across from north to south.

Three Fields called sand pits abutting upon the road leading from the Parsonage House to the Church and containing by said Survey as follows Little Sand Pit 1 acre 3 roods 37 perches, Middle Sand Pit 7 acres and 21 perches, Lower Sand Pit 7 acres 3 roods and 29 perches.

A Wood lying between Wood Lane belonging to John Campbell Esqo containing by said survey 1 acre, 3 roods and 12 perches in which there are about 50 small Oaks.

In the Yard and Gardens aforesaid and in Moat Pasture 12 Elms and 1 Oak.

The great and small tythes of every description arising from all lands, tenements and hereditaments in Pentlow there being no customs of any kind to exempt any from the payment of all manner of tythes.

There are no pensions, stipends or other charges payable by Law or established custom out of the living.

An Account of Church Lands, goods etc. towards the support of the Parish Clerk. There is a small meadow called Clerks Meadow abutting upon a Meadow called Middle Marsh belonging to H. Sperling Esq. containing by estimation nearly 1 acre and now in occupation of Mr. Samuel Jay.

The goods and utensils of the Church consist of a Communion Table with a Green Cloth fringed with silver gilt, a pewter flagon, a silver chalice and paten, a bible and common prayer book, a font of stone and five bells.

The body of the Church is repaired at the expense of the Parishioners, the southern half of the Chancel at the expense of the Rector and the northern half of the said Chancel together with the Chapel adjoining at the expense of the Proprietor of Pentlow Hall.

Part of the northern fence of the Church Yard from the little gate towards the west is repaired at the expense of the Proprietor of Pentlow Hall. The remaining fences of the same and of the Church Lane at the expense of the Parishioners.

Signed by -


The 1641 Protestation.

The names of the inhabitants of Pentlow in Suffolk subscribed in this protestation taken by all in the parish church of Pentlow this February 23rd 1641

House of Lords Journal Volume 64: 23 March 1832

Pentlow: Upon reading the Petition of the Inhabitants of the Parish of Pentlow, in Essex, and its Vicinity, whose Names are thereunto subscribed; praying their Lordships "to foster and encourage to the utmost of their Ability such a System of Education in Ireland, and such only, as shall provide for the free Use of the Bible in Schools or Places of Learning;" and further praying their Lordships "not to provide by Parliamentary Grants for the Propagation of the Tenets of the Church of Rome:"

It is Ordered, That the said Petition do lie on the Table.