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Robert Spencer’s 7 foot inventory

Here, Emma Sealy of the Ipswich branch of Suffolk Record Office details an interesting discovery she made:

“A desire to develop my palaeography skills and to learn more about probate records, as a result of the Wednesday digitisation work, lead me to the inventory of Robert Spencer, 14 February 1633 (Ref: HD382/1). This probate inventory for Naunton Hall in Rendlesham is at least 7 feet long and there are forty rooms / buildings listed, and contains a great number of featherbeds, boulsters, chairs and curtains. Also, amongst other things, “armes for one horse & foot men” and “one little old gunne” in the hall and “twenty three dairy cowes & a bull … in the pastures and beyond.”

Wanting to know who inherited the hall, my research took me to Robert Spencer’s detailed will (Ref: IC/AA1/70/112) also dated 14 February 1633.  He names his wife Elizabeth and his six children Edward, Henry, William, Leonard, Mary and Jane.  Naunton Hall was left to Edward along with land in Rigate, Surrey. Elizabeth is bequeathed land in Campsey Ashe.  In addition to details of monies and recipients Robert Spencer also requested “And my bodie to the earth be buried in Christian burial in the chancell of Rendlesham aforesaid.”

A search through the parish book for St Gregory’s, Rendlesham (Ref: FC173/A3/1) yielded a record of his burial: “Robert Spencer gent dyed at Rendlesham the 15th of February 1633. And [was buried] in Rendlesham chancell the 16th of February beinge Shrove Tuesday.”  The current church guide for St Gregory’s lists other Spencers (but not Robert) being buried in the church. Perhaps his monument did not survive?”

Record of Robert's burial from the parish book (Ref: IRO/FC173/a3/1)

Record of Robert’s burial from the parish book (Ref: IRO/FC173/a3/1)