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Stoke by Clare, Suffolk Villages & Towns - History, Genealogy & Trade Directories

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Stoke by Clare Public Houses

Stoke-by-Clare in 1844, is a large and well-built village, pleasantly situated on the north bank of the river Stour, 2 1/2 miles W.S.W of Clare, and 7 miles E.S.E. of Haverhill, has in its parish 868 souls.and 2329a. 1R. 22p. of fertile land. It has a small fair for pedlery, &c, on Whit-Monday. A Benedictine Priory, which had been founded at Clare Castle, was translated to Stoke ,but about l415, Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, having augmented its revenues, obtained the king's permission to change the institution into a College, consisting of a dean and six secular canons. At the dissolution, it was valued at 324. 4s. Id. per annum, and granted to Sir John Cheke and Walter Mildmay, from whom it passed to the Triggs. It afterwards passed with the manor to Sir Gervase Elwes, who was created a baronet in 1660, and died in 1705, but the title became extinct on the death of his grandson, Sir Hervey Elwes, in 1763. From this distinguished miser, the estate passed to his worthy successor, John Elwes, Esq., as afterwards noticed. On the death of the last named miser, in 1789, it passed to the late J. H. T. Elwes, Esq., from whom it came to John Payne Elwes, Esq., the present lord of the manor of Stoke-with-Chilton, and owner of the fine old family mansion, called Stoke College, now occupied by Charles Gonne, Esq. But part of the soil belongs to Mrs. Payne, Mrs. Jardine, Messrs. J. A. Fitch, W. Walford, and D. Pannell, and a few smaller owners. All the parish is freehold, except a small farm belonging to Mrs. Payne. The Church (St. Augustine) is a neat structure, with a tower and six hells, and was appropriated to Stoke College. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, valued in 1835 at 130, and now having 59a. of glebe, a yearly modus of 117. 18. 6d., awarded in 1841, and a yearly rent-charge of 30, left by Sir Gervase Elwes in 1678. Lady Rush is patroness, and the Rev. Henry Griffin, M.A., incumbent. Here is a small Chapel used by the Baptists and Independents.
In 1681, Mary Barnes left 225 to be laid out in the purchase of land, the rents and profits thereof to ;be employed in apprenticing poor children of Stoke parish. The land purchased comprises 10a. 2r. 22p., let for 31. 10s. a year, which is dispensed by the churchwardens and overseers in apprentice fees. In 1526, Richard Brown directed an Almshouse to be erected at Stoke for six poor people, to each of whom he left 6s. 8d. yearly, charged on his estate, called Stowers, at Ashen, in Essex, which he also charged with the expense of repairing the almshouse. J. P. Elwes, Esq., owns this estate, and pays 40s. to the almspeople, and 10s. a year for repairs. The poor of Stoke have had from time immemorial 1a. 1r. 17p. of land in Wixoe, and it is now let for 4. 10s. a year, which is divided among the almspeople and other poor parishioners, together with a yearly rent-charge of 20s., left by William Bendlow in the 19th Elizabeth, out of a farm, called Glyns, in Finchingfield, Essex. A cottage occupied by two aged parishioners was given by Ralph Turner, who endowed it in 1599 with an annuity of 6s. 8d., out of Huddes Gap, now belonging to the Rev. M. J. Brunwin, of Blackwater, Essex, who also pays 20s. a year for the poor out of Tenter Croft, pursuant to the bequest of Thomas Edwards, in 1653. The yearly sum of 40s. is paid by ancient custom out of the Town Close, and is distributed among the poor on Plough Monday. In 1678, Sir Gervase Elwes, to the end that the office of schoolmaster and perpetual curate of Stoke might continue for ever in some good Protestant divine, charged his mansion house and estate at Stoke with a yearly rent-charge of 30, but there is no free school here, except a Sunday School supported by subscription.
In the annals of avarice, there is not a more celebrated name than that of Elwes. Sir Gervase Elwes, of Stoke, who died in 1705, involved, as far as they would go, all his estates, so that his grandson and successor, Sir Hervey Elwes, found that he was nominally possessed of some thousands a-year, but had really only a clear income of about 100 per annum. He declared, on his arrival at the family seat of Stoke, that he would never leave it till he had entirely cleared the paternal estate, and he lived not only to do that, but to amass above 100,000 in addition. The accumulation of money was the only passion and employment of the long life of Sir Hervey, who, though given over in his youth for a consumption, attained to the age of upwards of eighty years. To avoid the expense of company, he doomed himself, for about sixty years, to the strictest solitude ; scarcely knew the indulgence of fire and candle, aud resided in a mansion where the wind entered at every broken casement, and the rain descended through the roof. His household consisted of one man and two maids ; and such was the systematic economy which governed his whole establishment, that the annual expenditure of Sir Harvey, though worth at least 250,000, amounted to only 110. Among the few acquaintances he had (says Mr. Topham,) was an occasional club at his own village of Stoke, and there were members of it two baronets besides himself, Sir Cordell Firebrace and Sir John Barnardiston. However rich they were, the reckoning was always an object of their investigation. As they were one day settling this difficult point, an odd fellow, who was a member, called out to a friend who was passing, "For Heaven's sake, step up stairs and assist the poor! Here are three baronets, worth a million of money, quarrelling about a farthing!" On the death of Sir Hervey, in 1763, he lay in state, such as it was, at Stoke; and some of his tenants observed with more humour than decency, that it was well he could not see it. His immense property devolved to his nephew, John Meggot, who, by his will, was ordered to assume the name and arms of Elwes. This was the celebrated John Elwes, Esq., whose mother had been left a widow by a rich brewer, with a fortune of one hundred thousand pounds, and starved herself to death. He proved himself a worthy heir to her and Sir Hervey. During the life of his miserly uncle, he often visited him at Stoke, and ingratiated himself into his favour by always changing his dress for one of a humbler description before he reached the mansion. After his uncle's death, he settled at Stoke, and for some time kept a pack of hounds and a few hunters, at the cost of about 300 a-year. After a residence of nearlv 14 years at Stoke, he was chosen to represent Berkshire in Parliament, on which occasion he removed to his seat at Marcham, in that county. He now relinquished the keeping of horses and dogs; and no man could be more attentive to his senatorial duties than Mr. Elwes. In travelling, he rode on horseback, avoiding all turnpikes and public-houses, carrying in his pockets crusts of bread, hard boiled eggs, &c, for his own refreshment, and allowing his horse to feast on the grass which fringed the sides of the roads. On his retirement from public life, to avoid the expense of a contested election, he was desirous of visiting his seat at Stoke, where he had not been for some years. "When he reached this place, once the seat of more active scenes, somewhat resembling hospitality, and where his fox-hounds had diffused something like vivacity around, he remarked that he had formerly expended a great deal of money very foolishly, but that a man grows wiser in time. Daring his last residence at Stoke, the mansion was suffered to fall into decay for want of repairs. If a window was broken, there was to be no repair but that of a little brown paper, or piecing in a bit of broken glass, which had at length been done so frequently, and in so many shapes, that it would have puzzled a mathematician to say what figure they described. To save fire, he would walk about the remains of an old greenhouse, or sit with a servant in the kitchen. During the harvest, he would amuse himself with going into the fields to glean the corn on the grounds of his own tenants; and they used to leave a little more than common, to please the old gentleman, who was as eager after it as any pauper in the parish. In the advance of the season, his morning employment was to pick up any stray chips, bones, and other things to carry to the fire, in his pocket; and he was one day surprised by a neigbouring gentleman in the act of pulling down a crow's nest, for that purpose. On the gentleman wondering why he gave himself this trouble, " Oh, Sir! replied old Elwes, " it is really a shame that these creatures should do so - do but see what waste they make 1 they don't care how extravagant they are." His food and dress were of the meanest description. He once eat a moor hen,
that had heen brought out of the river by a rat; and he wore a wig that had been picked up in the rut of a lane. But with all his meanness, he sometimes displayed a real generosity of spirit,'and occasionally became the dupe of artful adventurers. He once embarked and sacrificed 25,000 in an iron work in America, of which he knew nothing. He was also an occasional gambler, strict in the payment of his losses, but never asking for his winnings if they were withheld; and several instances are recorded of bis voluntarily advancing large sums to assist his friends in their difficulties. He died in 1789, and bequeathed his real and personal estates, to the value of half a million, to his two natural sons, George and John, the latter of whom succeeded to the Stoke estate.
STOKE-BY-CLARE.
Bard John, wheelwright
Bridge Thomas Little, gentleman
Bruster Thomas, miller & schoolmaster
Chapman John, tailor
Crown John, surgeon
Doe Robert, shoemaker
Dyke Rev. William, curate
Eldred Daniel D. joiner and victualler, Red Lion
Emberson Cornelius. baker & beer house
Farrant Thomas, baker & beer house
Fitch Joshua A. corn miller
Gonne Chas. Esq. S<oe College
Gowers Mary, bricklayer
Hale Elizabeth, shopkeeper
Jardine John Hy. solicitor, & clerk & supt. registrar of Risbridge Union
Ling David, butcher
Reeve William, tailor
Rogers Hannah, baker & shopkeeper
Rogers William, parish clerk
Sparks William, blacksmith
Stribling John, blacksmith
Tatum William, lime burner
Turner John, beerhouse & shopkeeper
Turner Samuel, gardener
Wright Ebenz. joiner & victualler, George
FARMERS.
Andrews Robert
Canham Abm (& brickmaker)
Deeks charles
Farrant Thomas
Pannell Daniel, Beyton End
Tattersall Edm
Turner ann
Viall King, Chapel street
Walford Walter, Moor Hall



And Last updated on: Saturday, 02-Jul-2016 00:36:17 BST