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Cressener Family in Earls Colne

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Surnames/tags: Earls_Colne Cressener
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This is an overview of the Cressener family in Earls Colne, part of the Earls Colne One Place Study

This profile is part of the Earls Colne, Essex One Place Study.

The Cresseners arrived from Normandy after the conquest, seated at Hawkedon and Reed (Rede) in Suffolk and branching into Norfolk and Essex in the 14th Century. They married into the houses of Mortimer Lords of Attilborough and Ferrers.

Plea roll dated 1465/6 details Alexander Cressovere who sued William Geddyng in relation to fine levied in 1316/7 between William de la Cressovere of Ikelyngham (Icklingham) and Petronilla his wife complainants and Adam de Gedding and another over land and rents in Ikelyngham. The pedigree puts John, Walter, Robert, William and Alexander as children of William and Petronilla. But the dates are too wide apart for Alexander to be this Williams son, whose wife’s name doesn’t match.[1]

1374 Sudbury College was founded by Simon of Sudbury and was later reported to have many coats of arms in the stained glass windows including ; Clopton impaling Peacock, Simon Sudbury, Pykenham, Waldgrave, Cressener, Crane, Heigham, Broughton. [2]

c1427 William Cressener secured a marriage to the widow of the Lord Scrope of Bolton, perhaps a pivotal moment in the family fortunes. The Cresseners of Morley in Norfolk and Earls Colne in Essex descend from this marriage. [3]

The sheriff of the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk in 1464-65, and again in 1480-81, was Alexander Cressener of Preston and Hawkedon, Suffolk. He was a cousin of both Edward IV and Richard III. His mother, Lady Margaret Neville, was an older half-sister of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York. The Cressener homes in Suffolk were not far from Cecily Neville's castle of Clare and her town of Sudbury. Lady Margaret Neville may well have visited her half-sister at Clare, and when she died in 1463 she chose to be buried at Clare Priory. Alexander later celebrated his family connection with Richard III by inserting King Richard's arms, impaling those of , Queen Anne Neville his cousin, in the stained glass of the east window of Hawkedon church, where they survive.[4]

Alexander Cresseners grandson Sir John Cressener of Norfolk married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Roger Townshend (died 1493) a distinguished lawyer whose other children included Agnes a nun at Barking Abbey. Sir Roger perhaps visited Prioress Cressener when he sat at Assizes held at Dartford in summer 1492. {Check, Sir John son of John married Elizabeth le Strange. Was John of Norfolk from another son of Alexander?}[5]

http://www.tudorwomen.com/?page_id=667 Elizabeth Cressener x2

Burials at Sudbury, Suffolk

List of Cressener burials before 1631 (Spelled Cressnor in the book) Sudbury St Gregories [6][7]

John Cressener
Maud Cressener
Margaret Fuller, daughter of John Cressener
William Cressener
Thomas Cressener
Robert Cressener and Christian his wife.
Walter Cressener
William Cressener d 1454 and Margaret his wife who died 1461
Jone, daughter of ... Cressener. Wife of Richard Walgrave.
Alexander and John Cressener

Inquisitions Post Mortem

1265/6 Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry III, File 32..[8]

618 William le Cressoner alias de la Cressener. 50 Hen. III.

1323/4 Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward II, File 81..[9]

Writ of certiorari de feodis &c. 5 February, 17 Edward II.
Note Ikelyngham. 1/2 knight’s fee which William de la Cressenore holds.

1348/9 Addenda to vol 8..[10]

456 John Bernak 22 Edward III.
Note Ikelyngham. Tenements held by Ralph le Cressoner. 7/8 fee

1410 Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry IV, Entries 800-860..[11]

841Robert Cressener and son William Writ 28 Oct. 1410.

1414 Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry V, Entries 250-299..[12]

250 Robert Cressener C 138/10, no. 42
264 William son and heir of Robert Cressener Proof of age Writ for proof of age. He is in the ward of Richard Waldegrave, knight, who should be warned. 24 June 1414.

1497/8 Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, Entries 1-50..[13]

21 Alexander Cressener Writ of Amotus 16 May, inquisition Wednesday after Midsummer, 13 Henry VII.

1497/8 Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, Entries 51-100..[14]

80 Alexander Cressener Writ of Mandamus 21 May, inquisition 29 May, 13 Henry VII.
81 Anne Knyvet, Writ 16 May, inquisition 24 May, 13 Henry VII.
84 Alexander Cressener Writ of Amotus 16 May, inquisition 20 May, 13 Henry VII.
93 Anne Knyvet Writ 16 May, inquisition Wednesday after the Nativity of St. John, the Baptist, 13 Henry VII.
95John Cressener Writ of Mandamus 21 May, inquisition Wednesday after the Nativity of St. John, the Baptist, 13 Henry VII.

1497/8 Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, Entries 101-150..[15]

101 Anne Knyvet Writ of Amotus 16 May, inquisition 20 May, 13 Henry VII.
102 John Cressener Writ of Mandamus 21 May, inquisition 24 May, 13 Henry VII.
103 John Cressener Writ of Mandamus 21 May, inquisition 29 May, 13 Henry VII.

Alphamstone c6 miles from Earls Colne Essex

Cresseners in Alphamstone, in the hundred of Hinckford, prior to the dissolution were under tenants of the abbot and convent of St Edmundsbury. [3]

Eynesbury Cresseners

The manor of Eynesbury is probably that part of the property of Saher de Quincy passed to his son Roger de Quincy d 1264 Whose 3 daughters Margaret de Ferrers, Elizabeth Comyn and Ellen la Zouche who received their share in 1277. There were 4 manors to be divided; Eynesbury, the Rectory Manor, Puttocks-Hardwick and Caldecott. Eynesbury ended being split 2/3 to Margaret and 1/3 to Ellen. Eynesbury Cressener’s a quarter part of Eynesbury (The other 3 parts being Eynesbury-Ferrer’s, Eynesbury-Berkeley’s and Eynesbury-Buckley’s) probably then devolved via Margaret de Ferrers d1281 and others, eventually to Robert Cressener who left it to his son William in 1410[16]

William was succeeded by his sonAlexander who granted it to Anne Knyvett, formerly wife of his son, John Cressener, for life. She died in 1497 and was succeeded by her son John Cressener, who is said to have died in 1536. He was succeeded by his son John, who was in seisin of the manor in 1544, when he conveyed the manor to Nicholas Lestrange. [17]


The name was derived from the great family of "Ferrers", Earls of Derby and was held in the reign of Edward II (1284-1327) by John de-Ferrers. [3] (Possibly John de Ferrers of Chartley). It was afterwards held by John Mortimer, and then by marriage to the Cresseners.[3]

Ralph Cressener at the time of his death in 1411, held the Manor of Ferrers and Robert, possibly his brother held it at the time of his death in 1413 [3]

1542 31. Trin. and Mich. Henry Payne, gentleman, pl. John Cressener, esquire, son and heir of John Cressener, knight, def. The manor of Ferrers alias Ferrours, and 4 messuages, 1 water-mill, 100 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, 20 acres of wood and 40s. rent in Bures Seynt Mary, Lammarshe and Alfhamston. Def. quitclaimed to pl. and his heirs. Cons. 220l [18]

The Manor subsequently passed to Anthony Waldegrave of Smallbridge, who married – Elizabeth Graye Daughter and Heiress of Ralphe Graye, Burnt Pelham, Herts[19]


Alexander Cressener Held the Manor of Hawkedon along with 200 Acres< [20]

The Manors of Suffolk : notes on their history and devolution by Copinger, Walter Arthur, 1847-1910 vol 5 p249

Hawkedon church brass c 1500 possible Cressener family. (Illustration 3 pages above)


John Wroe and his wife Sybil were recorded in Earls Colne in 1482. Sibyls daughter Sybil Baynham, from a subsequent marriage married John Cressener both of whom ended their days in Woodham Walter, Maldon. Their son George was buried in Earls Colne in 1610.

Mores Manor, Boxsted

William Cressener held Mores Manor in Boxsted and was succeeded by his third son Ralph Cressener and he by Robert Cressener and he by Alexander Cressener the brother of Ralph.[21]

Mortimers, Preston and Netherhall in Otley

Sir John Mortimer (fl. 1335-51) would appear to have had a daughter who married a member of the Ferrers family, whose daughter married Robert Cressener (d. 1410) to whom the manors of ‘Mortimer’s’ in Preston and Netherhall in Otley passed. It was next inherited by his son William Cressener (1392-1454) [22]

Alexander Cressener Held the Manor of Mortimers and Netherhall. [20]

Mount Bures 1662-1750

Mount Bures is about 6 miles from Earls Colne

John Cressener, wealthy grocer of London purchased the manor in 1662 from Sir Richard Wiseman.

1750, the estate was sold to John Hanbury


In 1346 the manor was vested in Nicholas Pykard. Nearly a century later the lands of Nicholas Pykard, in Rede, became vested in Walter Cressener, as we learn from an aid levied in 1428, and nine years later the manor had passed to Robert Cressener, and from him it passed to Alexander, and from him to his son and heir, Thomas Cressener, who was lord in 1501. From Thomas the manor passed to his son, John Cressener, when it devolved on his son and heir, John Cressener, who in 1538 sold the manor to Sir William Drury, Knt.' [23]

Manor called ‘Cresseners,’ 100a. land, 100a. pasture, 20a. wood, in Rede, worth 4 marks, held of William, abbot of Bury St. Edmunds, service unknown.

Pykard (Picard, Pickard’s or Cresseners), a sub-manor owned by Walter Cressener in the 15th Century[24]

In 1427/8 (6HenVI) Walter Cressener had the lands of Pykard in Rede: Robert Cressener held them in 1436/7 succeeded by Alexander, then Thomas in 1500/1 (16HenVII). The Cresseners had lands in Haukedon and bore for their arms Argent, on a be dengrailled, three Croslet’s fitche Or.[25]

Earls Colne

In Earls Colne the Cresseners held land from before 1532 until 1810 but their influence extended much wider. In 1532 Sybil Cressener, the wife of John Cressener received 25 Acres from Sybil Wroe who was possibly her mother.[26]

The estate named Spoutwell Farm was formerly a seat of the Cressener family. A gallery in the church of St Andrews was erected in 1725 by Mrs Anne Cressener. The church also has a vault belonging to the ancient family of Cressener which arrived from Bures Hamlet. [20] Page 424. Details as follows[27]

Location: At the west end of the south aisle and embellished with the Cresseners arms and quarterings and other ornaments.
Inscription: Sacred to the memory of the ancient family of Cressener in the vault beneath with several of his ancestors to whose memory this monument was by himself ordered to be erected lie interred the remains of Geo Cressener esq descended from a family originally of norman extraction who soon after the conquest fixed themselves at Haukedon and Reed in Suffolk and gave name to their chief place of their residence there called Cresseners to this day from thence about the reign of Hen the fourth they branched themselves into Essex and Norfolk and held divers considerable lordships in the several counties aforesaid they ennobled their blood by marrying into the illustrious houses of Mortimer lords of Attilburgh and Ferrers earls of Derby and Nottingham whose arms they bear quarterly and by which means they became possessed of the manors of Mortimers and Ferrers as also by the alliance of Wm Cressener of Cresseners in the parish of Haukedon aforesaid esq who married Margt relict of Rich lord Scrope of Bolton daughter of Ralph Nevill first earl of Westmoreland from which match the Cresseners of Morely in Norfolk and this family are lineally descended their ancient place of sepulchre was the Black Fryers in Sudbury but for several generations they have been buried in this church the said Geo Cressener married Maria Anna only daughter of Nath Tayler of Nun Monkdon in Yorkshire esq by Eliz his wife daughter of Rich Hutchinson esq treasurer of the navy by her he had a numerous issue several of which died young those which survived are Edw Geo and Nath Eliz married Sam Tuffenell of Langleys in Great Waltham in Essex esq and Anna Maria he died 4.11.1722 and by his last will and testament dated 28.7.1722 preceding left to this parish 5li per annum issuing out of freehold houses in Golden Lane in London of which 3li per annum are appropriated solely towards the repairs of this monument and vault adjoining and 2li per annum to be distributed yearly in bread among the poor of the said parish.


  1. Pedigrees from the plea rolls: collected from the pleadings in the various courts of law, A.D. 1200 to 1500, from the original rolls in the Public Record Office by Wrottesley, George, 1827-1909; Great Britain. Public Record Office 1465/6
  2. A short history of the borough of Sudbury, in the county of Suffolk, compiled from materials collected by W.W. Hodson by Sperling, Charles Fredirick Denne Pub 1896Page 158-165
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 The history and topography of Essex By Thomas Wright 1836 P477
  4. Suffolk Connections of the House of York. John Ashdown-Hill. published by Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
  5. Nunneries, Learning, and Spirituality in Late Medieval English Society. Paul Lee 2001 Page 61
  6. Ancient funerall monuments within the vnited monarchie of Great Britaine John Weever 1631
  7. Index monasticus: or the abbeys and other monasteries, alien priories, ... with their dependencies, formerly established in the diocese of Norwich and the ancient kingdom of East Anglia, systematically arranged and briefly described ... and illustrated by maps of Suffolk, Norfolk. Richard Taylor. Published 1821 Page 103
  8. 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry III, File 32', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 1, Henry III, ed. J E E S Sharp (London, 1904), pp. 192-198. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/vol1/pp192-198 [accessed 10 June 2020].
  9. Maskelyne and H. C. Maxwell Lyte, Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Series 2, Volume 2, Henry VII (London, 1915), British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/series2-vol2 [accessed 10 June 2020].
  10. M. C. B. Dawes and J. B. W. Chapman, 'Addenda to Vol. VIII', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 12, Edward III (London, 1938), pp. 427-433. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/vol12/pp427-433 [accessed 10 June 2020].
  11. J. L. Kirby, 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry IV, Entries 800-860', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 19, Henry IV (London, 1992), pp. 289-306. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/vol19/pp289-306 [accessed 10 June 2020].
  12. J. L. Kirby, 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry V, Entries 250-299', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 20, Henry V (London, 1995), pp. 81-96. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/vol20/pp81-96 [accessed 10 June 2020].
  13. Maskelyne and H. C. Maxwell Lyte, 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, Entries 1-50', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Series 2, Volume 2, Henry VII (London, 1915), pp. 1-45. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/series2-vol2/pp1-45 [accessed 10 June 2020].
  14. Maskelyne and H. C. Maxwell Lyte, 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, Entries 51-100', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Series 2, Volume 2, Henry VII (London, 1915), pp. 45-67. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/series2-vol2/pp45-67 [accessed 10 June 2020].
  15. Maskelyne and H. C. Maxwell Lyte, 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, Entries 101-150', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Series 2, Volume 2, Henry VII (London, 1915), pp. 67-103. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/series2-vol2/pp67-103 [accessed 10 June 2020].
  16. [https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=eHAKAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=Eynesbury+in+Huntingdon+manor&source=bl&ots=ErD6xOc2yx&sig=ACfU3U0TzV2NhnpSVePn68IO9BHQ0nXGzw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjTvbrj7f7pAhVzRhUIHZxvBkEQ6AEwCHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=Cressener&f=false The History and Antiquities of Eynesbury and St. Neot's, in Huntingdonshire, and of St. Neot's in the County of Cornwall: With Some Critical Remarks Respecting the Two Saxon Saints from Whom These Places Derived Their Names, Volume 1. George Cornelius Gorham 1820 P126
  17. 'Parishes: Eynesbury', in A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2, ed. William Page, Granville Proby and S Inskip Ladds (London, 1932), pp. 272-280. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/hunts/vol2/pp272-280 [accessed 29 May 2020].
  18. Feet of Fines for Essex. Volume 4. 1423-1547. Edited by P. H. Reaney and Marc Fitch.(Essex Archaeological Society; Colchester, 1964) English abstracts; with indexes of names and places. Includes Divers, Unknown and Various Counties. Available at: Essex Society for Archaeology and History.
  19. Bures-online
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 A Topographical and Genealogical History of the County of Suffolk: Compiled by Augustine Page 1847 page 878
  21. The Manors of Suffolk : notes on their history and devolution by Copinger, Walter Arthur. Vol 1 P36
  22. The Medieval Mortimer Family An outline lineage. Ian Mortimer. P64
  23. The Manors of Suffolk : notes on their history and devolution by Copinger, Walter Arthur, 1847-1910 Vol 5 Page 249
  24. Suffolk Heritage
  25. The History and Antiquities of Suffolk: Thingoe Hundred By John Gage, John Gage Rokewode. Pub 1838 Page 374
  26. The Character of English Rural Society: Earls Colne, 1550-1750 By Henry French, Richard Hoyle 2007 P228
  27. Freehold Titles (ERO D/Q6/3/12 the Cressener pedigree taken from memorial in Earls Colne church) 1722 (1722) document 32600005

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