Description of Fressingfield (extract from White's Directory, 1844)

A large and well-built village, on a pleasant acclivity, three and a half miles NE of Stradbroke, four a half miles S of Harleston, and nine miles W of Halesworth. It has in its parish 1456 people, 4564 acres of fertile land, the hamlets of Chepehnall Green and Ufford Green, from one to two miles SE of the village, and many scattered farm-houses, several of which are large ancient mansions, formerly the seats of the owners of the four manors, of which the following are the names and lords; viz., Chepehnall, Sir R. S. Aird; Ufford Hall, Lord Henniker, Whittingham Hall, Henry Newton Heale, Esq., and Vales Hall, Rev. Augustus Cooper. J. H. Frere, Esq., Rev. J. Arnold, G. Rant, Esq., Mrs. Scrivener, W. S. Holmes, Esq., and several smaller owners have estates in the parish, which anciently belonged partly to the De la Pole family, and partly to Bury Abbey and Eye Priory, by gift of persons named Swartingstone and Thirketel.

That excellent prelate, Dr. William Sancroft (see below, this page), Archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Ufford Hall, in this parish, where he resided after he had sacrified to conscientious scruples the high dignity which he enjoyed. He was interred in the church yard, under a hansome monument, and perpetuated his name in his native parish, by several benefactions.

The Church (SS Peter and Paul) is a large antique structure, with a tower and eight bells. The benefice is a vicarage, valued in 1835 at 597 pounds, with the rectory of Withersdale annexed to it. The Master and Fellows of Emanuel College, Cambridge, are patrons; and the Rev. Thos. Allsopp is the incumbent, and has here a good residence. Here is a neat Baptist Chapel, erected in 1835, and having seat-room for 700 hearers.

The present annual value of the parish is 7133 pounds. The Feoffment Estate comprises three tenements, given by Edward Bohun, in the 13th year of Henry VII, and occupied rent-free by poor families; and the GuiIdhall, and eight acres of land given by William Sancroft, Esq., in 1704, for the benefit of the parishioners. The upper room of the Guildhall is used as a schoolroom and the lower part of the building is a public house (the Fox and Goose), and is let with the land for 25 pounds per annum, which is applied in the service of the Church. In 1685, Dr. William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, settled upon the Vicar of Fressingfield certain fee-farm rents, amounting to over 52 pounds per annum, for increasing his maintenance, but subject to the yearly payment of 10 pounds to the master of the school in the Guildhall, for teaching five poor boys to read, write and cast accounts; and six pounds to the parish clerk, for whose residence the same donor also gave a house, on the west side of the churchyard. In compliance with the desire of the Archbishop, Sancroft in 1703, gave a yearly rentcharge of over 3 pounds, out of the manor of Ufford Hall, for distribution among the poor of the parish. In 1722, the Rev. John Shepheard left 20 pounds and directed the yearly interest to be given in bibles and prayer books, on Good Friday, to such boys as can give the best account of the catechism, responses, etc.

Fressingfield Names (extract from "White's Directory of Suffolk," 1844)

Rev. Thomas and Rev. George Allsopp, vicarage; Thomas Balls, cooper; Charles Edward Barkway, printer; Mary Barkway, dressmaker, Thomas Borrett, baker; John Chandler, gentleman; Valentine Clutten, John George Cousins, saddler, etc.; Mary Doddington, straw hat maker; John Dunnett, plumber, glazier, etc.; Owen Girdlestone, whitesmith; Emma Hart, dressmaker; Lewis Rowe, hair cutter and "lover, Rev. George Denny Spratt, Baptist minister; James Thurston, veterinary surgeon; John Tibbenham, gentleman

Academies: Charles Barkway, Lucy Chappell; Blacksmiths: Henry Aldous, James Barber; Boot & Shoe Makers: Daniel Borrett, James Meen; Bricklayers: William Borrett, Lewis Chapman,William Elliot; Butchers: Martha Chase, James Moss (and baker); Corn Millers: Martha Chase, Samuel Sheen; Farmers: Charles Balls, James Barber, Caroline Barkway, Thomas Borrett, Charles Buskard, Henry Chandler, Martha Chase, Elizabeth Clark, Edward Clutten (Ufford Green), William Clutten, Fraser Cracknell, William Davy, John Dunnett, James Ebden, William James Ebden Woodlands: John Fisher, Mr. Goodchild, David Green, George Green, Thomas Green, Robert Hart, John Hines, Henry Lombard Hudsdon, Sarah Keable, James Larter, Thomas Larter, Samuel Leftley, William Rix Lepinwell, Samuel Meen, Benjamin Mills, William Moore, Charles Muskett, William Parsley, Charles Pearce, Robert Read, Edward Ringer, William Rush (& timber merchant), John Seaman, Henry Websdale, George Whatling, John Wightman; Grocers and Drapers: Henry Bond, Rt. Churchyard (& stationer), Thomas Selby Clutten; lnns: "Angel" Martha Chase; "Fox and Goose" James Mott; "Swan" Jonathan Rodwell; Beerhouses: Martha Chandler, James Etheridge, Lot Watson; Joiners: John Etheridge (& builder), John Vincent; Tailors and Drapers: John Doddington, James Meen; Wheelwrights: George Smith, Edmund Welton; Carrier: Alfred Hart; Coaches: daily to Ipswich and Norwich, from the "Swan Inn".

Archbishop Sancroft - William Sancroft was an archbishop of Canterbury, born in 1617 at Fressingfield.Until 1651 he was a fellow of Emmanual College Cambridge. From 1651 to 1660 he was engaged in literary work. After the Restoration he was created dean of York in 1662 and in 1664 dean of St Paul's, superintending the building of St Paul's Cathedral after the Great Fire of London. He was made archbishop of Canterbury in 1678. In 1688 he signed the petition against the Declaration of Indulgence and was commited to the Tower and tried for seditious libel, but was acquitted. In 1689 he was suspended from his office for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary and returned to live out his latter days in the quiet obscurity of Fressingfield. He died there in 1693.