Westerfield Manor of Suffolk, England
The Dameron-Damron ties with Suffolk County, England, have been frequently discussed. No concrete evidence has discovered that definitely connects Lawrence Dameron with the Damerons who lived in that area, but circumstantial evidence does seem to indicate that he possibly did originate from Suffolk County, probably from the Ipswich vicinity. Below is the extracted text of a section of The Manors of Suffolk, published in England in 1905-1911, providing an account of the history of Westerfield manor. Archive. This Manor was in possession of Damerons at one time. The complete text of the section appears here as it was published except that the Dameron names are shown in bold print. A few clarifications in punctuation have been indicated by being enclosed in brackets.
Note: A glossary of some of the more obscure words that are used follows the body of the extracted text.
There are 21 entries in the Domesday Survey of lands held in this place, but only one manor is mentioned. This manor had been held in the Confessor’s time by Bar, a freeman under commendation to Ralph the Staller. It was held at the time of the Survey by Norman of Earl Alan, and consisted of a carucate of land. In Saxon times there were 2 villeins, 1 ploughteam in demesne and 1 belonging to the tenants, 3 acres of meadow, 4 beasts, 20 hogs, and 100 sheep valued at 10s. By the time of the Survey the value had increased to 20s., and there were 2 bordars, the ploughteams in demesne had increased to 2, and there was one rouncy. The Earl had the soc. The said Norman held 6 freemen with 24 acres, under commendation to Ralph the Staller, in the Confessor’s time. This holding had 1 ploughteam, and was valued at 4s., the soc being the Earl’s. Stanwin, a freeman, also had 14 acres which at the time of the Survey was held by Osbern under Earl Alan. The value was 2s. 4d. The Survey says: “It,” presumably the township or the manor, “ was 8 quarantenes long and 4 broad, and paid in a gelt 20d. The soc was the Earl’s.”
Earl Alan also held in Westerfield 20 acres, which in the Confessor’s time had belonged to 6 freemen. There was with this 1 ploughteam, and the valuation was included in that of Ipswich. At the time of the Survey, Earl Alan held this in demesne, and the King and the Earl had the soc.
Robert Malet had three small estates, two of which were held under him by Humfrey. One, consisting of 60 acres, had been held in Saxon times by Ulviet, a freeman under commendation to Gurth, and the lands lay in Rushmere. In Saxon times there had been here 1 bordar. The value was 10s. The second, consisting of 6 1/2 acres, had been held in Saxon times by 2 freemen under commendation to Ulviet and the value was 2s. The soc was the King’s and the Earl’s. The third, consisting of 10 acres, was held by a freeman under commendation, and was valued at 2s. Of this also the King and the Earl had the soc.
Roger de Poictou had half a church with 7 1/2 acres and 2 freemen, with 9 acres, the latter valued at l8d., the King and the Earl having the soc.
The Abbot of Ely had a socman named Aseret, holding of him 25 acres, 1 ploughteam, and 1 acre of meadow, valued at 5s. At the time of the Survey this was held by Hervey of the abbot by the King’s command. A freeman named Thurkettle under commendation held 8 acres valued at 16d. This Hervey held of the King and at the time of the Survey held of the abbot by the King’s command as he said. The soc was the King’s.
Hugh de Montfort held here in demesne over a freeman with 8 acres valued at 16d. The freeman had been held by Oldric. And Geoffrey de Magnaville had a small estate. It consisted of 14 acres valued at 2s., of which the King and the Earl had the soc. This had been held by Langfere, a freeman under commendation to Haldein, but at the time of the Survey was held by William of Geoffrey de Magnaville.
Three small estates here are included in the possessions of Roger de Rheims. The first was of 3 freemen with 28 acres, formerly having a Ploughteam, but at the time of the Survey none, and 1 acre of meadow, valued at 10s., of which the King and the Earl had the soc. The second was of 5 freemen, with 23 acres and 1 virgate, formerly having 1 ploughteam, but at the time of the Survey none, valued at 48. Over these freemen Girold held.
The third was of 1 freeman with 16 acres, formerly having half a ploughteam, but at the time of the Survey none, valued at 32d. of which the King and the Earl had the soc. This freeman was held by Ernald of Roger de Rheims.
Amongst the possessions of Walter the Deacon were three small properties in Westerfield. The first was held by Thurstin of Walter, as of Tedric’s fee, and consisted of 30 acres, 4 bordars, 1 ploughteam, and 2 acres of meadow, valued at 8s., which had been held in the Confessor’s time by Almar, a freeman.
The second was held by Bernard and Almar of Walter, and consisted of 3 freemen with 28 acres, formerly having half a ploughteam, valued at 36d.
The third was held by Norman of Walter the Deacon, and consisted of a freeman with 6 acres, valued at 12d. Of all these three holdings the King and the Earl had the soc.
Amongst the lands of the Vavasours in Westerfield we find 6 freemen–Alwin, Flint, Alwin, Edric, Uluric, Alestan, having 15 acres and 1 ploughteam, valued at 30d. The King and the Earl had the soc. The Survey says that ” one of the freemen, Flint by name, gave a pledge for that he said that they gave farm in Ipswich, and the Sheriff proved that he lied, and the said Sheriff is his surety.”
Aluric the priest held 12 acres and 2 acres of meadow, valued at 3s., of which the King and the Earl had the soc.1
- Beasts referred to cattle
- Bordars were smallholding cottagers of lesser standing than villiens (the highest class of dependent peasantry, often holding between 30 – 100 acres) but better off than cottars (lowest of the main groupings of peasants in doomsday. They had 4 acres or less of land to farm)
- Carucate was a land measurement used in the eastern counties of England that had been settled by the Danes; the equivalent of a hide, about. 120 acres
- Desmesne was the highest class of dependent peasantry, often holding between 30 – 100 acres. They were below Sokemen)
- Gelt referred to Anglo-Saxon but may refer to Dane Geld (gold)
- A messuage was a piece of land, varying in size, but large enough to accommodate a dwelling
- Money: The common currency in England in the late middle ages was the Pound consisting of a pound of silver which was divided into 20 shillings (20s.) or 240 pence (240d.). One penny equaled two half-pence or four farthings. Thus, for example, £1 11s. 6d. was the equivalent in decimal terms of £1.575
- A plough team was assessed as 8 oxen per team – however this varied from area to area dependent on the harshness of the land
- A prebend was a benefice in a cathedral or collegiate church. Part of revenue of a cathedral; portion of land; a tithe; holder of a prebend; provender; food allowance
- A rouncy was a riding horse.
- A Soc, or soke, and sokeland was land attached to a central manor for the payment of dues and for judicial purposes. The Sokelands were often large in size and may be of very old origin
- A virgate was a unit of arable land, varying in size from 18-40 acres, the average virgate was 30 acres
An article by Charles F. Dameron, Dallas, Texas, described his visit to Westerfield Hall. The article, reprinted from the Dallas Times Herald, appears in the Dameron-Damron Family Newsletter, Volume 5, Fall 1983.
Michael Collett, who noticed the missing punctuation notes that “we spent a very long time trying to find and confirm the name of John Dameron’s wife. She is recorded in the parish register as Margaret Phesse, but we have been totally unable to find any further reference to that surname. However, in a well researched family history of the Felton family, we find that John Dameron married Margaret Felton at Westerfield and we have concluded that either M. Phesse died shortly after marriage and John re-married or that it is simply an error in the parish register and there was only one Margaret, she being Felton. If we accept either premise, we can trace the Felton line and many other antecedents way back in history, including even a direct link to the Emperor Charlemagne, and several other royal personages.” (December 2008)
MANOR OF WESTERFIELD
In the time of King John, Sir William de Weyland, Knt., fined for his villeins here and in Charsfield. He does not, however, seem to have held the lordship, for this does not appear to have come to the Weyland family till the grant of Alan, Lord Burnell, of Acton Burnell, in Shropshire, to Sir John de Weyland, son of Sir Nicholas de Weyland and Beatrice his wife, about 1259, in which year a grant of free warren was made to the said Sir John de Weyland here. From this time to the time of Henry Bedingfield and Catherine his wife in 1541, the manor passed in the same course as the Manor of Brandeston, in Loes Hundred. Nicholas de Weyland had a grant of free warren here in 1285.
Davy says the manor passed on the death of Sir Edmund Weyland in 1369 to his brother Sir John Weyland, and on his death to his daughter and heir, Elizabeth, married to John Harewell, of Warwickshire, whose daughter and heir Joan married John Streech, of Devonshire, and died in 1434. He then makes the manor go to a cousin, Sir Thomas Tuddenham, upon whom he states it was settled by fine, and finally that when Sir Thomas was beheaded in 1461 it passed to Margaret, his sister and heir, the wife of Edmund Bedingfield. A portion of this statement does not, however, seem to be correct.
The manor is specifically mentioned in the inquisition p.m. of Sir Thomas Tuddenham in 1461, and in that of his sister, Margaret Bedingfield, in 1474. Henry Bedingfield and Catherine his wife are said to have sold the manor to James Dameron, for amongst the Chancery Proceedings of the time of Queen Elizabeth is an action by Matthew Goodyng against James Dameron to obtain admittance to copyholds in Westerfield Manor, “late the estate of Edward Goodyng, plaintiff’s father, and held of the defendant as of this manor of Westerfield.”
The manor however was acquired by William Dameron of Anthony Bedingfield and others in 1552, and passed to John Dameron, who by his will 1st Feb. 1596 devised the same to his wife Margaret, she to bring up his daughter’s children, Anthony Collett, Philologus, John[,] Dameron[,] Martha, Abigail, and Edny Collett, to find Joane Collett, testator’s daughter, sufficient meat, drink, clothes, and lodging. After his wife’s decease he bequeathed the manor to the said Anthony Collett at his age of one and twenty years, and to the heirs of his body. Failing these, remainder to Philologus Collett his brother[,] Dameron Collett, and Martha Collett, sisters of the said Anthony. Anthony the devisee, was the son of John Collett, of Westerfield by Joan his wife, daughter and heir of the said John Dameron.
Anthony Collett married Elizabeth, daughter of John Jesmond, of Norwich, and died 11th Aug. 1640, when the manor passed to his son and heir, Anthony Collett, who is entered in the Suffolk Visitation in 1664. He married Elizabeth, daughter of William Manning, of Knodishall, and his will is dated 11th Feb. 1677. Amongst the Exchequer Depositions in 1641 will be found particulars of an action by Lionel Cooke against the bailiffs, &c., of Ipswich, as to whether the capital messuage in Westerfield, lately belonging to Anthony Collett deceased, was within the liberty of Ipswich or not.
Upon Anthony Collett’s death the manor passed to his son and heir, Cornelius Collett. He married 1st in 1675 Martha, daughter and coheir of William Fox, of Hollesley, and 2ndly in 1680 Elizabeth, daughter of Bence Dowsing, of Alderton. Cornelius Collett died before 1688, for administration to his estate was granted to his widow Elizabeth the 3rd June this year, and the manor passed to his son, Cornelius Collett, of Melton, who married Margaret, daughter of — Crisp, of Melton. Cornelius Collett the same year conveyed the manor by a fine to his cousin, Samuel Collett, son of Samuel Collett, of Westerfield, and of Elizabeth his wife, daughter and coheir of William Fox, of Hollesley. Whether the conveyance was to Samuel as beneficial owner or to him as trustee we cannot say, but possibly the latter, for we later find the manor vested in Cornelius Collett, the son of the grantor, who had died in 1741 or 1742, for his will is dated 23rd July, 1741, and proved 30th May, 1742. This Cornelius Collett, the third in succession of the name, married 1st a wife named Jane, and 2ndly Margaret Driver, and had an only daughter and heir, Margaret, married 6th April, 1790, to Rev. John Davis Plestow, of Ipswich, afterwards rector of Harkstead.
Cornelius Collett by his will dated 27th March, 1789, devised all his real and personal estate to his daughter Margaret, and the heirs of her body, and in default of these to Cornelius Collett, of Woodbridge, merchant, his nephew, and to William Goodwin, of Earl Soham, in trust for sale, and to divide the proceeds amongst the children of his late brother Anthony. Testator made a codicil 7th Sept. 1789, providing for the children of his daughter if she died under age, and this will was proved 18th Feb. 1790, Cornelius having died 8th Feb. 1790. In 1802 Henry Collett died at Westerfield in his 78th year, but it docs not appear that he held the manor. He had filled the office of Clerk of the Peace for the county upwards of 50 years.
The manor was held in 1820 by Mileson Edgar, of Red House Park, son and heir of Mileson Edgar by Elizabeth his wife, only daughter of Richard Chariton, of London. Mileson Edgar, the son, married 16th Oct. 1783, his cousin Susanna, eldest daughter of Robert Edgar, of Wickhambrook, High Sheriff in 1747, by Susanna his wife, only child of Rev. William Gery, prebendary of Peterborough, and died 16th June, 1830, when the manor passed to his son and heir, the Rev. Mileson Gery Edgar, who married 1st 19th Feb. 1818, Mary Anne, eldest daughter of Nathaniel Brickwood, of Dulwich, and 2ndly, 26th March, 1840, Elizabeth, daughter of William Arkell, of London, great-great-grand daughter of Sir Matthew Hale. On his death, 3rd August, 1853, the manor passed to his widow, and on her death, 11th June, 1890, devolved upon his nephew, Capt. Mileson Edgar, of Red House Park, 2nd son of the Rev. Edward Raikes Edgar, by Mary, eldest daughter of Charles Collett. He married 28th Oct. 1878, Fanny Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Schreiber, rector of Bradwell, Essex.
A manor called Westerfield is included in a fine levied in 1326 by Richard Len, of Ipswich, and Emma his wife against Giles de Wachesham, and John Alto Northshete, chaplain; and in 1552 Anthony Wingfield paid a rent for the “Manor of Westerfeilde Hall late Waylands” to the lord of Wikes Ufford Manor.
Arms of COLLETT: Sable, on a cheyron engrailed between 3 hinds trippant, Argent, as many annulets of the first. Of EDGAR: Party per chevron, Or, and Azure, in chief two fleurs de lis, Gules, 5 fusiles in fesse of the first, each charged with escallop of the third.