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The Clopton Chronicles

A Project of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society

 

 

 

Of Norman Blood

 

 

Regarding

 

The First Clopton

 

By Suellen Clopton Blanton,[1] bblanton@fast.net

 

 

A Modest Place In History

 

Into the record went the number of slaves and freemen,

livestock, meadows and mills.  All were counted and valued;

nothing was to be overlooked.  It would become known

as the Domesday Book.  And this is where the Cloptons

made their modest entry into history.

 

 

Genealogy is not an exact science.  Those who study every branch, twig and leaf of the Clopton family tree, will, with little encouragement - or none at all, come to think about it - lapse into endless debates regarding specific facts relating to the early descendants of our patriarch, Guillaume Peche.[2]  Let us not fling ourselves into the fray right now of who begot whom and when and where; instead, let us content ourselves with discovering what we do know about our earliest Clopton ancestors.  There is no record of their hopes and dreams, their fears and wishes.  Only the niggardly scraps of information contained in a few tattered and shattered legal documents remain to mark their lives.

For all practical purposes in ancient times, the king or queen owned everything.  The ruling monarch owned the land and everything that was built, grew, ran or walked upon its surface.  The king could take a cow, a castle or a life with equal ease.  It was good to be king.  And if the monarch died without an heir or had failed to designate one, there were plenty of applicants for the job.  Such was the case when Edward “the Confessor” died in 1066.[3]  His brother-in-law, Harold,[4] was quickly designated his successor, but the crown was to rest uneasily and shortly upon his head.

                Of the five other contenders,[5] none was more disappointed nor as determined to gain the title than one William, Duke of Normandy,[6] second cousin of the late king.  William gathered together seven or eight thousand family, friends, neighbors, and a large contingent of mercenaries, including approximately 3,000 horsemen, 1,000 archers, and the rest infantry.  For good measure he brilliantly garnered the support of the Pope, who declared the little adventure a Holy War.  Thus he was able to assure those who died in battle, absolution for their sins.  And to those who survived, he promised land.  So the merry band crossed the channel and whipped the stuffing out of poor Harold’s forces.  They raped, pillaged and generally made life miserable for the otherwise peaceful English citizens.[7]  For all its cruelty, the Conquest united England to western Europe and opened the floodgates of European culture and institutions, theology, philosophy, and science.

                England was the spoils, and William, now king and dubbed “the Conqueror,” wasted no time dividing up the land and granting titles hither and yon.  And, naturally, he levied taxes on one and all.  The ancient system of taxation he inherited depended more or less on an honor system which worked fairly well when the population was small and everyone who was anybody knew everyone who was worth knowing.  But in the next 20 years the Dukes got Duchesses, the Counts got Countesses, the Barons got Baronesses, the Knights got Ladies, and there was something of a population explosion.  Between blessed events and immigrations, approximately 20,000 Normans and Frenchmen settled in England by 1085. 

                William, suspecting he might not be getting his fair share of taxes, ordered a survey to be made in 1086.  It was not a census, because it did not list the names of everyone, just the heads of households of the important landowners of the time.  It contained detailed statements of the value of every plot of land and every manor house.  Into the record went the number of slaves and freemen, livestock, meadows and mills.  All were counted and valued; nothing was to be overlooked.  It would become known as the Domesday Book.  And this is where the Cloptons made their modest entry into history.

            Guillaume Peche[8] was an undertenant, that is, he held the hamlet of Cloptunna[9] and Dalham[10] for Richard FitzGilbert, ‘nee de Bienfaite.  FitzGilbert was one of about 190 direct tenants of the king.  And it was in this capacity of undertenant that we find reference to our Guillaume in the Domesday Book.  In beautifully written, clear Latin script, we find his name: William Peccatum.[11]

                When Guillaume came to England is unknown.  There is no record that he was a companion of William in his conquest.  It is not clear if our patriarch ever adopted the English name, William, or if, in fact, he saw the need to assume the surname, De Cloptunne.  The French brought the concept of last names with them, but it would be years before the custom caught on with most folk.  The wealthy often assumed the names of their place of residence, the French “de” meaning “of.”[12]  Hence, William of Clopton.  The spelling of our last name changed through the generations as can be seen on surviving documents.

 

 

An ancient Clopton seal, now located at the British Museum.  This photograph first appeared in Erwin, Lucy Lane Erwin’s 1939, The Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, Virginia

 

                Our family settled first at Cloptunna, which was at that time within the town of Wickhambrook.  By 1135 they were well on their way to fortune, if not fame.  A surviving deed, preserved in the British Museum,[13] was written by Walter DeCloptunne, of Clopton Hall, the grandson of Guillaume Peche and Alfwen.  He gives some land in the village of Stanfield,[14] about three miles east of Wickhambrook, to Laurence de Danardeston[15] to hold, “to him and his heirs forever.”

According to the first Clopton genealogist, Sir Simonds D’Ewes,[16] William De Cloptone, who died in 1294, had “so large an estate in the town of Wickhambrook in the 43 Henry III, as it was called Feodum Wilhelmi de Cloptone.”[17]   His son Clement owned land in Cowlinge, about 3 miles west of Wickhambrook, and sold a bit of it in 1323.[18]  Documents have not survived to tell us how long Clement and his brothers, Adam, William, Hugo, and Robert continued to reside in the vicinity of Wickhambrook.  But documents[19] place their eldest brother, Walter, the son and heir, about three miles south of Clopton Hall, and refer to him as Lord of Chiperley Manor.  Walter and his wife, Alice FitzHugh, were buried in the Church of the Blessed Mary, near Chipley Priory.[20]

In the early 1100’s, there was a great push by the Catholic Church to establish places of worship in England.  The great Norman lords of England demonstrated their piety and devotion by erecting cathedrals, monasteries and priories.  The very earliest surviving documented building connected to the ancient Cloptons is found at the ruins of Chipley Priory,[21] located on land granted to the Cloptons.[22]  The exact date of the foundation of this priory is not known, however, the earliest records pertaining to it are of the year 1235.  It seems very likely the priory was built much earlier than this as the stones may have come from Caen, Normandy.  Only a few beautifully carved stones remain from the original building.  Gene Carlton Clopton’s A Brief History of Chipley Priory[23] states:  “The style of the moulding is typical of the beautiful work done by the East Anglian school of Anglo-Saxon masons.  Their work was strongly influenced by ideas imported from Norman architectural developments in France to which they added their own flair for creativity to ease the stern and austere effects common in much of Norman design.”

The priory was annexed to the College of Stoke-by-Clare in 1468.  A large part of the original structure, and probably the adjoining church, seems to have been incorporated into the farmhouse, which now occupies the site of the priory.  The owners of the house, which is known as Clopton Hall,[24] once discovered numerous human bones when digging a new garden beside their farmhouse.  They re-interred the bones in the garden.  They also discovered a chapel bell and stone sarcophagus, which have been placed at Poslingford Church.[25]  A lead coffin known to have once been on the site and used as a watering trough for many years has been lost.  No remains of Chiperley Manor has been found.

 

 

St. Mary, Poslingford, is located about one mile north, as the crow flies from the site of The Church of the Blessed Mary and Chipley Priory.  A bell, stone sarcophagus (a coffin), and an old chest found at the site are now at Poslingford.  The Cloptons owned extensive property around Poslingford, and it is possible at least some of the family worshipped at St. Mary.  Although the building has seen much restoration, it retains its Norman doors and a small window in the nave from that period.  The porch, seen here, is early 16th century.  It is a lovely, well maintained building featuring a 14th century piscine, the basin for washing the Communion or Mass vessels, and a sedilia, a seat for the priests, also from that century.  Thirteenth century scrolls are featured in a chancel window.

 

 

 

                The eighth generation of Cloptons would mark the transition from the Wickhambrook-Poslingford area to Long Melford and Hadleigh and begin an era of great wealth which would last 200 years.

 

 

 

        1.  Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham1 was born in Normandy, possibly, and died Aft. 1088 in Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds, or at Dalham, about 4 miles north of Wickhambrook2.  He married Alfwen3.  She died Abt. 1088.

 

Child of Guillaume Peche and Alfwen is:

+      2                 i.    William2 Clopton, Gent., of Clopton Hall, Suffolk, born in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds; died in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly.  All Saints Church at Wickhambrook dates from about 1240, too late to be the burial place for William and Anne, although there was probably an earlier church.  A small Saxon figure is on the south wall.

 

 

Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, is located on land owned by the earliest Cloptons.  There is nothing left of the original manor except the remains of an ancient moat.  Clopton Hall is about three miles north of the site of Chiperley Manor, Chipley Priory, and the Church of the Blessed Mary.  To add to the confusion, there is also a house called Clopton Hall near the site of Chiperley Priory and Chiperley Manor.  Cloptons did not live at this Clopton Hall, either.

 

 

 

 

Generation No. 2

 

        2.  William2 Clopton, Gent., of Clopton Hall, Suffolk (Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham)4 was born in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds, and died in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly.  All Saints Church at Wickhambrook dates from about 1240, too late to be the burial place for William and Anne, although there was probably an earlier church.  A small Saxon figure is on the south wall.  He married Anne Grey, of Buckingham Castle, County Norfolk5, daughter of John Grey, of Buckingham Castle, County Norfolk.  She died in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly.

       

Child of William Clopton and Anne Grey is:

+      3                 i.    Walter3 Clopton, Knt., of Clopton Hall, born in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds; died Aft. 1154 in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly.

 

 

Generation No. 3

 

        3.  Walter3 Clopton, Knt., of Clopton Hall (William2, Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham)6 was born in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds, and died Aft. 1154 in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly7.  He married Chewyt8. 

       

Child of Walter Clopton and Chewyt is:

+      4                 i.    William4 Clopton, Sir William of Clopton Hall, born in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds; died Aft. 1216 in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly.

 

 

Generation No. 4

 

        4.  William4 Clopton, Sir William of Clopton Hall (Walter3, William2, Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham)9 was born in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds, and died Aft. 1216 in Clopton Hall, Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly10.  He married Cockerell11, daughter of William Cockerell, Sir William. 

       

Children of William Clopton and Cockerell are:

+      5                 i.    Walter5 Clopton, of Wickhambrook, born in Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds; died in Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly.

        6                ii.    Richard Clopton, of Wickhambrook.

 

 

Generation No. 5

 

        5.  Walter5 Clopton, of Wickhambrook (William4, Walter3, William2, Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham)12 was born in Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds, and died in Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly.  He married Frances Trussell13, daughter of William Trussell, Sir William. 

       

Child of Walter Clopton and Frances Trussell is:

+      7                 i.    William6 Clopton, Lord of Chiperley Manor, born Aft. 1216 in Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds; died 1294 in Poslingford, County Suffolk, possibly, and believed to be buried at the Church of the Blessed Mary, near Chipley Priory about 3 miles northeast of Clare, County, Suffolk.

 

 

Generation No. 6

 

        7.  William6 Clopton, Lord of Chiperley Manor (Walter5, William4, Walter3, William2, Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham)14 was born Aft. 1216 in Wickhambrook, County Suffolk, possibly, 10 miles southwest of Bury St. Edmunds15, and died 1294 in Poslingford, County Suffolk, possibly, and believed to be buried at the Church of the Blessed Mary, near Chipley Priory about 3 miles northeast of Clare, County, Suffolk16.

       

Children of William Clopton, Lord of Chiperley Manor are:

+      8                 i.    Walter7 Clopton, Lord of Chiperley Manor, died 1327 in Poslingford, County Suffolk, possibly, and believed to be buried at The Church of the Blessed Mary, near Chipley Priory.

        9                ii.    Adam Clopton, of Chiperley Manor.

        10             iii.    Clement Clopton, of Chiperley Manor17, died Aft. 132318.

               In 1323, Clement sold some land in the village of Cowlinge, about 3 miles west of Wickhambrook, to John de Shardelowe.  "Let all men know that I, Clement son of William Cloptone have given &c., to John de Shardelowe one rood of land in the town of Coulynge &c. Given at Coulynge on the Sunday after Trinity in the 16th. Year of King Edward, son of King Edward."

               The church at Cowlinge, St. Margaret, dates from the 12th century, as evidenced by incorporated fragments in the walls, but the main church is early 14th century.

        11             iv.    William Clopton, of Chiperley Manor.

        12              v.    Hugo Clopton, of Chiperley Manor.

        13             vi.    Robert Clopton, of Chiperley Manor.

 

 

Generation No. 7

 

        8.  Walter7 Clopton, Lord of Chiperley Manor (William6, Walter5, William4, Walter3, William2, Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham)19 died 1327 in Poslingford, County Suffolk, possibly, and believed to be buried at The Church of the Blessed Mary, near Chipley Priory20.  He married (1) Alice FitzHugh21, daughter of Warin FitzHugh.  She died Aft. 1289 in Poslingford, County Suffolk, possibly, and believed to be buried at The Church of the Blessed Mary, near Chipley Priory22.  He married (2) Anwett or Ivetta Weyland23.  She died Aft. 1338 in Poslingford, County Suffolk, possibly, and believed to be buried at Chipley Priory, Clare24.

       

Children of Walter Clopton and Alice FitzHugh are:

        14               i.    William8 Clopton, Knt., Lord of Toppesfield Manor25, died Bet. January 22, 1375/76 and January 14, 1376/77 in England and buried in Babwell Friary26.  He married (1) Amitia or Ivetta Grey, of Buckenham Castle27.  He married (2) Mary Cockerell, of Toppesfield Manor, Hadleigh28.

        15              ii.    Thomas Clopton, Knt, of Kentwell Estate, Suffolk29, died Bet. March 8, 1381/82 and October 12, 1383 in Long Melford, County Suffolk, and buried at the Church of the Blessed Mary, near Chipley Priory30.  He married Katherine Mylde, of Clare, Suffolk3132; died Bet. February 24, 1402/03 and June 18, 1403 in Tendring Hall, Stokes-by-Nayland, County Suffolk, about 6 miles southwest of Hadleigh, and buried The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, before the altar in the South Chapel33.

               After Sir Thomas' death, Dame Katherine took as her second husband Sir William de Tendring of Stoke-by-Nayland.  Through this marriage she became the distant grandmother of three queens of England: two of the unfortunate wives of Henry the VIII, Ann Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and Queen Elizabeth I. Dame Katherine, who died in 1403, is buried at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Stoke-by-Nyland, Suffolk. Their memorial brasses are among the finest in England.  The Clopton Arms:  ermine spot on the bend in base may be seen on the mantle of the depiction of Dame Katherine.  The descendants of William Clopton and his wife, Ann Booth, are direct descendants of Guillaume Peche and Alfwen, his wife, by both the Clopton-Mylde marriage and the Mylde deTendring marriage.

See "Place of Lutons."

       

Child of Walter Clopton and Anwett Weyland is:

        16               i.    John8 Clopton, of Chiperley Manor, died Aft. 1338 in Poslingford, County Suffolk, possibly, and believed to be buried at Chipley Priory, Clare.

 

 

 

Endnotes

 

1.  Domesday, Volume II, Sutfuctit, p. 25.

2.  He is listed in the survey ordered by King William, I, taken in 1086-1087.

3.  Unfortunately her name is often given as Alice.

4.  Visitation of 1561, Harleian Manuscript 1103, Reads . . . Clopton of . . . in the county of Suffolk. Harleian Manuscript 1560, identifies him as William CloptonSee also D'Ewes, Harleian 639.

5.  Harleian Manuscript 1103, States she is the ". . . dau. of . . . Grey of Buckingham Castle in the county of Norfolk Harleian Manuscript 1560, further identifies her as Anne, dau. of John GreySee also "The Cloptons of Suffolk," p. 104.

6.  Harleian Manuscript 1103, Identifies him as ". . . Clopton, his son heir. Harleian Manuscript 1560, further identifies him as Sir Walter Clopton.

7.  Sir Simonds D'Ewes Collection, Harleian Manuscript No. 380, British Museum, He lived in the time of the reigns of King Stephen (1135-1154) and King Henry, II (1154-1189).  A deed from this collection written in Latin, is freely translated:  "Know all present and to come that I Walter, son of William de Cloptunne grant, &c., to Master Laurence de Danardeston for his service and for two marks and one-half &c., certain property in the village of Stanesfeld with its appurtenances containing in itself one acre, one-half roods, whether it holds more or less, lying at Hupsted and called le Howereho, and lying next to property which is Robert the Coachman's, to hold, to him and his heirs forever.  In witness whereof:  Radulph de Lakesewe, Robert Darnel, Wm. de Lakesewe, William Bigod and many others.  Tempo Stephen or Henry II.The deed is appended with a round seal with the device of a fleur-de-lis and the legend "Sigillvm Walteri de Cloptun."

8.  Clopton Pedigrees, as Recorded in the Original Visitation of Suffolk, 1561,  (Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), " ---- Clopton of -----, in the countye of Suff.; maryed ye daughter of --- Grey, of Buckingham Castle, in the Countye of Norff., and had issue ---- Clopton, his sonne and heire, wch maryed wth daughter of ----- Chewyt, and had yssue....."

9.  Harleian Manuscript 1103, States ". . . Clopton, his son and heirHarleian Manuscript 1560, further identified him as Sir William Clopton.

10.  He lived in the time of the reigns of King Richard, I, (1189-1199), King John (1199-1216), and King Henry, III (1216-1272).

11.  Harleian Manuscript 1103, CAUTION:  Identifies her as ". . . dau. of . . . Cockerell Harleian Manuscript 1560, identifies her father as Sir William CockerellA Maria (or Mary) Cockerell, of Toppesfield Manor, the daughter of William Cockerell, married William Clopton (died about 1376).

12.  Harleian Manuscript 1103.

13.  Harleian Manuscript 1560, Describes her as Fances, daughter of Sir William Trussel Harleian Manuscript 1103 states he "married . . . Trussell."

14.  Harleian Manuscripts 1103 and 1560, Also described in various deeds, Harleian Manuscript 380, dated 22 E. 1, as father of Walter Clopton.

15.  Sir Simonds D'Ewes Collection, Harleian Manuscript No. 380, British Museum, States that in the 43rd year (1259) of the reign of King Henry, III (1216-1172) he had "so large an estate in the town of Wickhambrook. . . as it was called Feodum Wilhelmi de Cloptone, in Wickhambrook, in the Communia Rolls of the Exchequerer, in the custody of the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer."

16.  Sir Simonds D'Ewes Collection, Harleian Manuscript No. 380, British Museum, He died in the 22nd year of the reign of King Edward, I (1272-1307).

17.  Harleian Charter, 48, C. 49, Clement, son of William Clopton, sold lands in Cowlinge to John Shardelow in 1323.

18.  Harleian Charter 48 C. 49, British Museum, Clement sold lands to John de Shardelowe:  Let all men know that I, Clement son of William Cloptone have given &c., to John de Shardelowe one rood of land in the town of Coulyngn &c. Given at Couynge on the Sunday after Trinity in the 16th year of King Edward, son of King Edward.  Edward II reigned from 1307 until 1327.

19.  Walter Clopton of Wickhambrook, 22 E. 1, when he bought lands in Chipley, &c. See deeds, Harleian Manuscript 380.

20.  Hervy, The Visitation of Suffolk 1561,  (Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 23, Their son, Sir Thomas Clopton, stated in his will that he wished to be buried between his mother's and wife's [first wife, possibly) grave in the Church of the Blessed Mary of Chipley Priory.

21.  D'Ewes Collections, Harleian Manuscripts No. 380, "Walter de Clopton soone and heire of William de Clopton of Wikhambroke, married to his first wife Alice, the daughter and coheire of William, commonly sirnamed Fitzhugh, sonne of Hugh de Warrenna.  Hee died temp. E. II."Arms:  -- Clopton, impaling on a cross five escallops.

22.  Harleian Manuscript No. 380, British Museum, A deed of partition of lands dated Wednesday after the Feast of the Apostle James, the 17th Edward I (1289) between "the same FitzHugh between Robert de Sevlisho and Mabel his wife of the one part, and the said Walter de Cloptone and Alice his wife, sister of the said Mabel, of the other part."

23.  D'Ewes. Harleian M.S. 10, See also Harleian Charter, 51 A. 48; and D'Ewes, Harleian Manuscript 639.

24.  Harleian Charters 51 A. 48, British Museum, Bearing the date 11th Edward III (1338) a deed refers to Anwett, "once the wife of Walter Cloptone and her son John."

25.  Hervy, The Visitation of Suffolk 1561,  (Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 22, 23, States he was called Sir William Clopton.  "Breviary of Suffolk," as does the Visitation 1561, associates Cockrell with Cloptons.  Cockrell - Ermyn on a fesse azure 3 lions rampant or.

26.  Hervy, The Visitation of Suffolk 1561,  (Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 22, His will was dated January 22, 1376, proved in Norwich January 14, 1377.  Stated he was "William de Clopton, son of Walter de Clopton of Wykhambrok, cormorans in Wykhambroke, miles."  see Cur. Ep. Norw. 1376.

27.  Hervy, The Visitation of Suffolk 1561,  (Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 22, She was the daughter and co-heir of Sir William Cockerell, of Toppesfield Manor in Hadleigh.

28.  Hervy, The Visitation of Suffolk 1561,  (Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 22, States she was the daughter and co-heir of Sir William Cockerell, of Toppesfield Manor in Hadleigh.  Cites Copinger, "Manors, III. p. 164; "Proc.S.I.A.," XI. p 212-3.

29.  D'Ewes Collections, Harleian Manuscripts No. 380, "Sr. Thomas Clopton, Knight, 2d sonne of Walter de Clopton & Alicia his wife, married Katherine the sole daughter and heire of William Milde, esquire, who as is conceaved brought vnto this Familie the Mannor Kentwell and other lands in Melford.  This Sr Thomas died a^ 6 R. II, having lived temp. E. II and E. III."Arms: - Quarterly, 1 and 4, Sable, a bend Ermine, between two cotises dancette Or; 2 and 3, on a cross four escallops, Weyland, impaling Argent, a lion rampant Sable, over all a fess coutner compony Or and Azure, Mylde.He is mentioned in Lady Katherine's codicil, dated February 24, 1403, as Thomas Clopton, "my late husband."  Harleian Manuscript 10 fo. 158 Brit. Mus.

30.  Hervy, The Visitation of Suffolk 1561,  (Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 23, His will was dated March 8, 1382, proved in Ipswich October 12, 1383, as 'Thomas de Clopton, Melford, miles'   States he is "To be buried in St. Mary's Chippeleye in choir between my mother's and wife's graves; residue of goods and chattels to wife Katherine for her and her children, and I make her executrix.'   It is assumed he refers to the grave of a first wife, although her name is not known.  Will located British Museum, Harleian Charter, 58. H. 22.

31.  Hervy, The Visitation of Suffolk 1561,  (Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 23, Refers to their portraits in Long Melford Church.  He wears a tabard of Clopton with an ermine spot on the bend, she wears a kirtle of Mylde and mantle of Clopton with the ermine spot.Also, "The Cloptons of Suffolk," quotes:  "Katherin, d. of Mylde, brought wth her the mannor of Kentwell, in the countie of Suff., to Sr Thomas Clopton, Knight, being her husband."

32.  Knott, Holy Trinity Church Guide to the Stained Glass,  (A photograph of this window is located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of William Purcell Clopton).

33.  Engleheart, The Church of St. Mary the Virgin,  (Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 8-9, The monumental brasses of both Sir William  de Tendering and Katherine Mylde are found in the south chapel of the church.  They are considered among the finest in England.  Sir, Williams brass, in full armour, resting his head on his helm, bears a crest of feathers.  Citing Weaver's "Funeral Monuments" Written in 1631, the brass is described:  "Upon the Pavement before the high Aultar lyeth an auncient Gravestone, having thereon the figure of a Knight in compleat Armour, resting his Head upon his Gauntlet, with this circumscription:  'Hic iacent Tumulati, Dominus Willelmus Tendering, miles, et Katherine  Clopton uxor eiusdem:  obierunt anno Domini 1408."  Engleheart notes the incorrect death date of 1408.  Possibly Weaver misread the date and assumed they both died in that year.  Unfortunately, many publications have used this date of 1408 which is incorrect on both accounts.Also, in her will dated February 24, 1403, proved June 18, 1403, she states she wishes "to be buried in the Chapel of the Church of Stoke Neyland on the south side of the church before the altar of said chapel."

 

 

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[1] Of Norman Blood is an excerpt from The Ancestors and Descendants of Sir Thomas Clopton, Knt., & Dame Katherine Mylde, and is the property of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society which holds the copyright on this material.  Permission is granted to quote or reprint articles for noncommercial use provided credit is given to the CFGS and to the author.  Prior written permission must be obtained from the Society for commercial use.

Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton is Founder and Executive Director of The Clopton Family Genealogical Society & Clopton Family Archives.

Special thanks to Jane Cummins, Search Room Assistant, Suffolk Records Office, Bury St. Edmund’s, County Suffolk, England; Ed Hawkins; Martin Wood, LL. B., M.A., author and historian living in Groton, County Suffolk, England, who serves on the United Kingdom Editorial Board, The Winthrop Papers, A Project of the Massachusetts Historical Society; and, the Wheatley Family of Chipley Abbey Farm.  Also thanks to Clopton descendants, Ben M. Clopton, Ph.D., Jeffery B. Clopton; James M. McMillen; and, Isabel Lancaster (Clopton) Steiner.

[2] Documents of this early period did not contain dates as we understand them.  For example, a document may state that it was created in the 22nd year of the reign of Edward I.  Edward reigned from 1272 until his death in 1307.  Therefore, the document was created in 1294.  Churches did not begin to register baptisms, weddings and burials until the 16th century, so it is not possible to pin point the year of death for most people.  The best that can be accomplished is that an individual is said to have died “after” the date of the oldest surviving document relating to that individual.  This practice leaves open the possibility that one person may be the brother instead of the son, or that an extra generation may appear in a pedigree or, indeed, a generation may be left out.

[3] Son of Ethelred the Unready and his second wife, Emma of Normandy.

[4] Second son of Godwin, Earl of Wessex.

[5] Edgar, great grandson of King Ethelred; Tostig, younger brother of King Herold; Swein of Denmark, and, Harald Hardrada of Norway.

[6] Later called William the Conqueror (1027-1087), he was the illegitimate son of Robert II, “The Devil,” Duke of Normandy and Herleve, whose father was Fulbert, a local tradesman.  For a reader friendly account of the conquest, see David Howarth’s 1066 The Year of the Conquest, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1977.

[7] “Historical Notes on the Eleventh Century,” by Ben M. Clopton, Ph.D., The Clopton Family Association, based on works by David Howarth, 1066:  The Year of the Conquest, Viking Press, 1978; The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, K. O. Morgan, Editor, Oxford University Press, 1984; and, The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe, Oxford University Press, 1988.

[8] Guillaume is French for “William.”  While there are regional and ethnic variations, one common pronunciation is Gee iam (as William).  Peche is pronounces either “peee gee” or “peee cheee.”

[9] Cloptunna was within the town of Wickhambrook in the Hundred of Resbridge, County Suffolk.  Jeffery B. Clopton, who has devoted himself to the study of the ancient Clopton lines believes our ancestor also held Gestingthorpe in Essex, and that he was also an undertenant of Aubrey de Vere, progenitor of the earls of Oxford, at Belchamp Walter in Essex, in the immediate vicinity of Gestingthorpe; and he held at Stoke Holy Cross in Norfolk of Roger le Bigod, progenitor of the earls of Norfolk. His holding in Norfolk was held in 1242 by his great-great-grandson Gilbert Peche, Baron of Bourn. It is not unlikely that Guillaume Peche held lands in addition to these and it is recorded that he received a grant of Over in Cambridgeshire from the Abbot of Ramsey for life and for the life of his first wife Alfwen.

[10] Dalham is about 6 miles southeast of Newmarket, in County Suffolk, and about  4 miles north of Wickhambrook.

[11] Domesday, Volume II, Sutfuctit, p. 25.  At this time individuals did not own land.  It was considered the property of the Crown, and favored people were permitted to live on the land, paying the Crown for that privilege.  The direct tenant, reported directly to the monarch.  The direct tenant could rent portions of his land to others, who were then referred to as undertenants.

[12] See Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger’s The Year 1000, What Life was like at the Turn of the First Millennium, an Englishman’s World, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1999.

[13] Sir Simonds D’Ewes Collection, Harleian Manuscript Number 380.  A note written by Sir Simonds reads:  “This is the copie of a most ancient deed of Walter de Cloptun’s, in King Stephen’s time or H. II. Transcript, 6 Aug. 1631.”  Added to this deed is a round seal with the device of a fleur-de-lis and the legend Sigillvm Walteri de Cloptun.  “Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Walterus filius Willielmi de Clopton concessi &c., Magistro Laurencio de Denardeston pro homagio suo et pro duabu marcis et dimid’ &c., quondam gravam in Villa de Stanesfeld cum suis pertinenciis que continet in se unam acram et dimidiam rod’ sive habeatur plus sive minus jacentem apud Hupstete et apellatur le Howereho, et jacet juxta gravam queerat Roberti Carpuntarii.  Tenend’ &c., Hiis testibus Radulpho de Lakesewe, Willielmo Bigod et multis aliis.

[14] The church at Stansfield, All Saints, is very large.  Within the church are some 18th century memorials to the Kedington and Plume families.

[15] This may be a mistranslation.  It is possible the name is Barnardistone.  The Cloptons and Barnardistones were closely allied through several marriages.

[17] D’Ewes Collection, 380.  He found the reference in the “Communia Rolls of the Exchequer, in the custody of the Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer.”  He noted that the records were “proved by several deeds in my custody being the very ancient originals themselves, most of which I found amongst my wife’s evidences at Lutons Hall, in the said county of Suffolk, commonly called Kentwell.”

[18] Harleian Charter 48 C. 49, British Museum.  A free translation reads “Let all men know that I, Clement son of William Cloptone have given &c., to John de Shardelowe one rood of land in the town of Coulynge &c. Given at Coulynge on the Sunday after Trinity in the 16th. Year of King Edward, son of King Edward.”

[19] Harleian Charter 48 C. 49, British Museum, Deeds, Harleian Manuscript Number 380, British Museum.  A deed of partition of lands of FitzHugh between Robert de Sevelisho and Mabel his wife of the one part, and Walter de Cloptone and Alice his wife, sister of the said Mabel, of the other part, bearing the date of Wednesday after the Feast of the Apostle James in the seventeen year of King Edward I’s reign.

[20] As stated in the will of Thomas De Cloptone.  He does not specifically state his father is buried at the church, but it is assumed he is.  “in the choir between my mother’s and wife’s graves.”  Harleian Charter, British Museum 58 H. 22, taken from Haydon, folio 177a, a book in the Norwich (County Norfolk) Registry.

[21] Clopton, Chipley Priory, cites Medieval Religious Houses, England and Wales, by D. Knowles & R. M.dHaddock, 1971.  There is a church in Wickhambrook, All Saints, which may have served as a place of worship for some of the early Cloptons.  The church dates from about 1240, and a small Saxon figure with shield is found in the exterior of the south wall.

[22] Deeds, Harleian Manuscript Number 380 located British Museum.

[23] Gene Carlton Clopton, Chipley Priory, Brother’s Printing, Inc., Atlanta, a two page booklet printed.  On June 18, 1990, an historical marker was placed at Chipley Abbey noting the Cloptons who lived near the Priory and thought to be buried there.  Unfortunately the lovely brass plaque is incorrect in stating the patriarch of the Cloptons was a companion in arms with William the Conqueror.  It is also incorrect in stating that Cloptons were buried at the priory itself.  The will of Sir Thomas De Cloptone, Knt., dated 1382 (Harleian Charter, British Museum 58. H. 22), states that he wishes to be buried in the choir between his mother ‘s and wife’s graves in the Church of the Blessed Mary, at “Chippeleye.”  He specifically states he is leaving money for the priory.

The priory belonged to the Augustinian Canons (also, Canons Regular) during pre-reformation times.  Canons are members of a religious group living according to a canon, or rules.  The Augustinian Canons following rules based on the love of God and neighbor, respect for authority, care of the sick, and self-discipline.  They were known as the Black Canons because of their black robes.  The person in charge of a priory was called a prior.  If the priory was subject to a resident abbot, the house was then called an abbey or monastery.

[24] Although named “Clopton Hall,” no Cloptons ever lived in the house.  Their place of residence was called Chiperley Manor.

[25] Mel Birch, Suffolk Parish Churches, Details of over 500 Churches Past and Present, The Castell Pocket Guides, Richard Castell Publishing, Limited, Thwaite Eye, Suffolk, n.d., p. 121