from The History and Topography of the County of Essex by Thos. Wright and W. Bartlett, Volume 2, pages 736 to 738. [ MBK_BV2 ]
Great This is the largest of the two parishes of this name; in records written, Weigheberga, Wigheberga, Wigberwe, Wykebyrh.
The Saxon [....], a battle; [....], or
[....], a fort; may, as is supposed, have been the original name. There have,
undoubtedly, been engagements between the ancient inhabitants and piratical invaders
in this neighbourhood; and the remains of a tumulus, near the church of Great
Wigborough, may mark the burial-place of men slain in battle. Great Wigborough
contains about two thousand acres of land ; the village is on the road between
Maldon and Colchester ; from the latter place distant eight miles, and from London
forty-six. [ Note 1 ]
A portion of this parish belonged to the nunnery of Barking, before and after the Conquest; and Aluric, a Saxon freeman, had another part, which was in the possession of Hugh de St. Quintin, at the time of the survey. There were, therefore, two manors.
The mansion of Abbots', or Abbess'-hall, is a large ancient building, a mile southwest from
the church, and not far from Salcot Virli. This estate belonged to the
celleresse of the nunnery of Barking, [ Note 2 ] and continued in that house, or in the priory
of St. Osyth, till the dissolution of monasteries; when, in 1540, it was granted, by
Henry the eighth, to Thomas lord Cromwell; from whom, again passing to the
crown, it was included in the estates appropriated to the maintenance of the princess
Mary, afterwards queen. In 1545 king Henry granted it to Charles Tuke, esq.;
and, on his death, in 1547, his heir was his son, George Tuke, esq. In 1562, queen
Elizabeth granted this estate to Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk; on whose
arraignment and execution, this and his other estates were confiscated; but, in 1597,
was, by queen Elizabeth, restored to his second son, Thomas, baron Howard of
Walden, created earl of Suffolk in 1603. [ Note 3 ] Dying in 1626, he was succeeded by his
eldest son and heir, Theophilus, earl of Suffolk; who died in 1640, leaving this estate
to his eldest son and heir, James Howard, earl of Suffolk; and he, in 1647, sold it
to Chaloner Chute, esq., and John Aylett, gent., of Fering, together with the manor
of Salcote, in Wigborough; and it was afterwards conveyed, by John Aylett, to
sir Mark Guyon, of Coggeshall, knt., who presented to the rectory in 1688 ; and
he bequeathed it, by will, In 1689, to his son William; and if he died without issue
male, to his two daughters, Elizabeth and Rachel. Elizabeth became the wife of
Edward Bullock, esq., of Falkborne hall, and died in childbed, as did also her child,
within the month. The other daughter, Rachel, was married to Thomas Guyon, esq.,
and afterwards to John Bullock, esq., of Dynes hall, in Great Maplested, younger
brother of the said Edward: they had issue, John, who did not marry, and Rachel,
who also died unmarried, and without a will, in 1765, when her real estates descended
to her kinsman and heir-at-law, John Bullock, esq., of Falkborn hall; and it now
belongs to his descendants.
The mansion of the estate of Abbots' Wic is in this parish, but the lands extend
into Salcot Verli. It belonged, in 1645, to colonel Thornhill; and afterwards to
The manor-house of Mulsham, or Moulsham, is near the church, on the north-east.
Aluric, a freeman, had this estate in the time of Edward the Confessor; and at
the survey it belonged to Hugh de St. Quintin. Afterwards it was holden of the
honour of Mandeville, by the families of Patteshull, [ Note 4 ] Att Lee, Barle, and Leven-
thorp. Part of this estate belonged to sir John Peake, lord mayor of London in
1687; and his only daughter, Margery, conveyed it to her husband, sir John Shaw,
bart., [ Note 5 ] of Eltham, who died in 1721, leaving his son John heir to his title and
estates; who, in 1716, married Anna Maria, one of the daughters and co-heiresses
of sir Thomas Barnardiston, bart., of Kedington hall, in Suffolk, and dying in 1739,
was succeeded by his only son, sir John Shaw, bart. A third part of this estate
belonged to John Wale, esq., of Calne priory.
The church is on a hill of considerable height, commanding an extensive prospect
toward the sea, and on the coast, and in every direction. It is dedicated to
St. Stephen. [ Note 6 ]
Salcot Wigborough is a hamlet to Great Wigborough ; and there is a pound near
the church, which belongs to the lord of that manor: the name is supposed to have
originated from salt-works, mentioned in records as having been in the neighbouring
parish of Peldon, to which the sea-water might be conveyed from Pyefleet creek by
this place, where, as the name seems to indicate, there might at that time be a "store-house."
Though now a poor decayed village, this has probably been, as reported,
the chief, or only town, in the parish. There is a fair here on the 24th of August.
The church is a good lofty building, near the creek, opposite to Salcot Verli.
It has a nave and chancel, of one pace, and is a much more considerable and handsomer
building than the other church, to which it is a chapel. Formerly there was
a chantry here, well endowed.
The population of this parish amounted to four hundred and ten in 1821, and had
increased to four hundred and thirty-four in 1831.
Note 1. Soil of the Wigboroughs: a strong tenacious loam, of a rich brown colour, to the depth of six or seven
feet. There are no springs. Hollow draining useless. Expense of working very great; but the crops
heavy. Average annual produce per acre ; wheat twenty-four, barley thirty-two bushels.
Note 2. Monast. Angl. vol. i. p. 80.
Note 3. Dugdale's Baron, vol. ii. p. 276. Newcourt, vol. ii. p. 663.
Note 4. Arms of Pateshull .- Argent, a fesse, between three crescents, sable. On the roof of Salcot Wig-
Note 5. His father, sir John Shaw, knt., created a baronet in 1665, proved a faithful subject and true friend
to king Charles the second, in his exile, sending him large sums of money to Brussels and Antwerp,
when there appeared little or no probability of his restoration. He was, in consequence, favoured with
a seat in parliament, without the trouble and expense of a canvass; and also, besides the dignity of a
baronet, had the profitable place of being one of the collectors of the customs. His family had estates at
Birch, and other parts of this county.