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TIMELINE PART 3. 1603-1790
Scotland and England are United
King James Stuart VI of Scotland, a Protestant, became King of England and Scotland as James I.
A modified witchcraft law was enacted. King James had a great fear of witches.
Catholics plotted to blow up King James at the Opening of Parliament. One of the assassins was Guy Fawkes. This event is remembered each November the 5th with the old rhyme,
“Remember, remember the 5th of November…………….”
JOHN ALLEN, vicar of Lakenheath, was registered as a school teacher as well as vicar. This marks the beginning of formal education in the village.
King James issued Charters establishing colonies in America which involved Suffolk people. James Fort which became Jamestown, Virginia, was settled.
William Kemp, an actor friend of William Shakespeare, danced from London to Norwich in nine days.
A hunting lodge was built for King James in Newmarket.
Transportation of felons to penal colonies began.
The King James Authorised Version of the Bible was printed.
The first known horse race took place between Linton and Newmarket.
The Mayflower left for America and religious freedom.
James I died and was succeeded by King Charles I.
The Protestant Parliament objected to the King’s belief in the Divine Right of Kings and protests became louder.
A villager, DANIEL MUSSON, possibly a Puritan and a regular non-attender at church, was reported to the Bishop.
Fen drainage was begun but was interrupted by the coming Civil War.
Sir Christopher Wren, astronomer, mathematician and architect was born.
JOHN GRIGSON became vicar of Lakenheath.
The Civil War between King and Parliament began. The first battle was at Edgehill in Warwickshire.
Sir Isaac Newton, world famous mathematician and scientist was born.
The Puritan Parliament forbade the use of the Book of Common Prayer.
John Grigson did not accept this and was ejected from the living of Lakenheath.
He was replaced by JOHN WESTWOOD, a Puritan Cleric.
Read about Puritan Changes in Lakenheath.
King Charles I was defeated and imprisoned.
Suffolk born Matthew Hopkins, called the Witchfinder General, was responsible for ‘detecting’ and bringing to trial at least 230 people in three years and 18 of these were hung in Bury St. Edmunds.
Charles I was executed and the Commonwealth period began.
The Stewart/Styward family retained the lease of the Manor but at a greatly increased rent imposed by Parliament, which had confiscated the lands of Ely Abbey.
OLIVER CROMWELL became Lord Protector of a United Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. Politically, Wales was already a part of England.
The monarchy was restored and Charles II became King.
A Bill was passed by Parliament for the drainage of Lakenheath Fen.
The fen at Littleport (Burnt Fen), was successfully drained.
The Hearth Tax to raise money for the Royal Household was passed.
J T Munday has calculated that there were 219 chimneys here and payment was set at 2 shillings per. chimney. The poor were exempted from the tax.
The BEDFORD DRAINAGE ACT gave reclaimed fenland for the use of the poor of Lakenheath for turf (peat) for fuel. It was known as POOR’S TURF-LAND.
SIR NICHOLAS STEWART MP of Hartley Mauditt, Hampshire, was bequeathed the lease of the Manor and lands.
The drainage of Lakenheath Fen was completed.
The Great Plague of London killed 200,000 people. It was followed by theGreat fire of London. No greater damage was done to any city in the country until the Blitz of the Second World War. Re-building the city would cost at least £37 billion today.
Santon Downham was buried in The Great Sand Flood. The sand probably came from the drying land of Lakenheath Fen and the sand of the Warren.
360 adults were living in the village.
King Charles II died and was succeeded by King James II who favoured Catholics. Two years later he was deposed and fled the country after what became known as The Glorious Revolution.
William of Orange (Holland) and his wife, Mary, both Protestants, ruled jointly.
The Bill Of Rights was passed which set out basic rights of citizens and The Act of Settlement barred Roman Catholics from the monarchy.
THOMAS KITCHENER arrived in the village to become the Land Agent of Lakenheath Manor and lands for Sir Nicholas Stewart.
Read about the Manor, Thomas Kitchener and his descendants.
Queen Anne reigns.
THE ACT OF UNION between England and Scotland united both countries as a single sovereign state to be known as GREAT BRITAIN.
Sir Nicholas Stewart died aged 96. He left the manor lease to his son Charles and after Charles, to SIR SIMEON STEWART, 2nd Baronet of Hartley Mauditt who died in 1761.
The village was seriously damaged by fire. Most of what we think of as ‘old’ Lakenheath was built after this time. Traces of earlier buildings can be seen on the gable ends of a few houses on the High Street, for example ‘Churchgate Farm’ and ‘Churchgate House’ and there are some from earlier times in Anchor Lane.
Queen Anne died and George I became King. He was the first of four Hanoverian monarchs.
The Transportation Act was intended to reduce the prison population by sending prisoners to Virginia. Later amendments to the Act led to convicts being transported to Australia.
Lakenheath Hall was now the residence of SIR SIMEON STEWART.
Travel was becoming more and more important. Turnpike Trusts were beginning to be set up to improve and develop a road system.
Roads at this time were little more than cart tracks and travelling could be a hazardous undertaking for more than one reason.
The Tudor vicarage, situated where 64 and 66 High Street are now, was destroyed by fire. It was more than 100 years before a new one was built in Back Street opposite the church. This is now Shakespeare House.
Extract from the Ipswich Journal, 5th September 1741.
“Whereas a dreadful Fire hath lately happen’d in the Town of Lakenheath, in the County of Suffolk, and the poor unhappy Sufferers have join’d in one Petition,
imploring the Charity of well-disposed Persons towards their Relief: It is thought proper to give this publick Notice thereof, that no Encouragement may be givento any particular Person or Persons who shall go about begging under that Pretence”.
The 2nd Baronet, Sir Simeon, obtained the right by Act of Parliament to enclose land in the village. He changed the spelling of the family name to STUART.
For several generations the family had claimed descent from the Royal House of Stuart. It could have been at this time that the street was diverted.
Yet another fire destroyed all the Parish Records. Open cooking fires and candles in homes were an ever-present risk and house fires were not unusual.
The Cambridge to London journey took two days by stagecoach. By 1820 it took just seven hours, both road and vehicles are improved considerably.
JOHN EVANS and ROBERT KITCHENER founded their charity. It was this John Evans who built the first Wesleyan Preaching House in Suffolk here in the village
Read about Lakenheath Charities.
JOHN WESLEY made the first of several visits to Lakenheath.
Read about the beginnings of Methodism in Lakenheath.
The Little Ouse, also known at the time as Brandon River, was widened and straightened and it’s course changed to improve boat access.
The river had been many years but this encouraged the further development of Lakenheath Lode and the village quays.
The reign of George III began.
The Claypits pond on Undley Road was dug to provide clay for the repairing of flood and lode banks. Much later it became a popular swimming place for children even though its steep sides could be dangerous.
A century later a £20 reward was offered for information leading to the prosecution for vandalism of flood and lode banks.
‘An Act For The Drainage and Preservation Of Certain Fen Land In The Parishes of Lakenheath And Brandon’ gave wide ranging powers to local landowners.
Read about the Lakenheath Fen Commissioners
Read about the last Kitchener.
The American War of Independence separated the young United States from Great Britain.
Sir Simeon Stuart 3rd Bt. died and his son, another Sir Simeon, inherited the lease on Hall and land but it’s unlikely that he spent much time here.
It’s been suggested that ‘maiden aunts’ resided at the Hall rather than the main family.
The last Sir Simeon Stuart, 4th Bt., to own Lakenheath Hall, created ‘Pleasure Gardens’ at the Hall.
Anthony M Breen in archaeological report, Lakenheath Hall
It’s possible that the third baronet may have enlarged the grounds by diverting the High Street but this is by no means certain.
Any information regarding the diversion of the High Street would be most welcome.
The windmill which stood at the junction of Wings Road and Mill Road was built and continued in use until 1877.1784 ROBERT EAGLE is living either in Wangord or Lakenheath with his recently married wife Elizabeth, nee King, of Bardwell Suffolk.
Source: Research by Guido Smoglian, Melbourne Australia
The London to Norwich mail coach route passed through Cambridge, Newmarket, Red Lodge and Barton Mills towards Thetford along what is now the A11.
The French Revolution.
In this year ROBERT EAGLE of Wangford agrees to provide a new road at his own expense in exchange for the closure and diversion of an existing road which ran through his land. By this time he owned Hall and lands in the village.
Bury St Edmunds Records Office Q/SH 65Lakenheath Diversion 1795 FL517/3/10
This year saw the first mail coach from London to Ipswich. Fares were £3. 3 shillings inside, or £1. 11 shillings and 6d outside.
Daily Life in 18th Century England. Kirstin Olsen
The world's first iron bridge was built at Ironbridge in Shropshire.
Sir Simeon Stuart probably sold the Hall and it’s lands about 1790 and so the Styward/Stewart/Stuart link with the village came to an end.
The arrival of the Eagle family marked the beginning of a new chapter in the village story.
By the end of the 18th C in George III’s reign there were 745 people in the village living in 156 houses. Lakenheath had become a significant village with a number of wealthy and influential inhabitants and there was a new owner in the Hall. The Hall is now called North Lawn Cottage.