Barbers of Fressingfield


I like to escape into history and to find through my own genealogical records some length and breadth and perspective for the living of my days. My faith is based in historical realities and in eternal certainties.

But my existence is also rooted in a family that goes back to Adam and Eve. I can only get so far back in thinking of earthly fore-bearers. I am of the earth, earthly. My true humanity or humaness will only come about through my union with Christ, the Second Adam, in whose likeness and by whose Spirit I am being daily renewed.

Chippenhall (Chipenhale, Chevenhall) – are names from various times in the history of a place, a manor house (associated along with Chippenhall Green) where the Barber family lived for many years, within the parish of Fressingfield, in north east Suffolk, England.

My more immediate ancestors came to the Guelph area of Ontario in 1836 but for centuries before (I’m back directly in my research to 1434), Barbers lived in and around Fressingfield. Other neighbouring towns, like Cratfield, Wingfield, Stradbroke, Metfield and the Saints (the Southelmham parishes - the seven saints around All Saints), all knew the sounds of Barber voices and the unique walk, noses and ears of my ancestors.

That Barbers were in Fressingfield in the 14th Century at least and beyond, as also evidenced in the following —

item: Feoffment – date: 25 Sept 1323_ [For a certain sum of money, (1) to (2),piece of pasture in Fresingfeld between free pasture of Fresingfeld churchon S.and land of Prior and convent of Eye on N., 1 head abutting E. on pasture of Roger Dreye, other head abutting W. on free pasture of said church and (1)’s messuage; to hold of chief lords of fee for accustomed services. Warranty clause. Witnesses: Alexander de Chebenhale, Richard Edward, John le Barbour, Henry le Sumptr’, Alan Scherpe and others. Given at Fresingfeld, Sunday afterfeast of St Matthew, 17 Edw.II.

item: Feoffment - date:13 Dec 1431 (1) to(2), piece of land (3a.) lying in Fresyngfeld between Wynnesgrene on S. andc lose of J.B. on N., abutting E. on tenement of J.B. and W. on tenement called Wynnes; which (1) lately had by feoffment of John Haneworth of Pulham[Nf.]; to hold of chief lord of fee for accustomed services. Warranty clause. Witnesses: Thomas Breuse, esq., William Dalengeo, Henry Palmere, Richard Scheep, John Barbour and others. Given at Fresyngfeld, Thursday the feast of St Lucy, 10 Hen. VI.

item: Feoffment - date: 2 Sept 1458 (1) to (2),all lands and tenements which he lately had together with John Bowen and John Date alias Russheye both now deceased, as well by gift and feoffment of Robert Gode of Wylbey [Wilby] as by that of John Bale, son of John Bale of Fresyngfeld and Thomas Keenge of Wytyngham [Whittingham in Fressingfield], as well as of John Barbour, son of Roger Barbour of Fresyngfeld, William Cook of Lynstedemagna [Linstead Magna] and Richard Schep of Fresyngfeld, and also of Richard Schep, Robert Banyard of Fresyngfeld, John Sherwynd, clerk, John Swan, clerk and Henry Bateman of Mendham, husbandman, in Fresyngfeld, Mendham, Weybrede [Weybread] and Wetheresdale [Withersdale], by 6 separate charters dated at Fresyngfeld on feast of St Maurus 6 Hen. VI, Sunday before Nativity ofSt John the Baptist 7 Hen. VI, feast of St Lucy 10 Hen. VI, at Mendham on Thursday after Translation of St Thomas the Martyr, 12 Hen. VI, at Fresyngfeld on Sunday after St Barnabas, 15 Hen. VI, and at Mendham on 5 Mar. 17 Hen. VI; to hold of chieflords of fees for accustomed services. Warranty clause. Witnesses: John Calwere, Robert Godbald, Thomas Godbald, Richard Bohun, John Barbour, John Wolnawe, Robert Skynnere, Thomas Date, John Sandecroft and others. Given at Fressyngfeld,2 Sept. 37 Hen.VI.

Nicholas Barber, born about 1524, lived at Chippenhall. He was the son of James and Alice and he married Agnes (last name unknown) who was born abouut 1522, also at Fressingfield. Nicholas died in 1598 (buried 28 June, 1598, Fressingfield) and left a Will which is full of interesting facts and tidbits – and that speaks of a life totally foreign, different and ‘other’ than my own.

Chippenhall manor house was, until at least recently, an upscale B & B.

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