Bridget Mannock, William Littlebury and Henry Wyndham

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Dedham’s parish church.

There’s a marriage on 7 July 1573 in Wormingford for Bridgit Manocke and William Litlbury.[1]Although the register doesn’t say so, William was a widow when he married Bridget. His will mentions Thomas Appleton, his late wife’s brother, who lived in Little Waldingfield in Suffolk, … Continue reading The Norfolk Visitation for the Wyndham family tells us that this should be the marriage of Thomas and Dennice’s daughter. This shows Bridget, daughter of Thomas Mannock of Wormingford, third son of George, marrying Henry Wyndham – her second husband after marrying a man called Littlebury. It’s interesting that the Norfolk Visitation says that George had at least three sons when the Essex and Suffolk Visitations say George had only two. As William, who inherited Gifford’s Hall was the eldest, then Edward, who was named in George’s will but not in any Visitations was presumably the second son.

Bridget wasn’t married to William Littlebury for very long. He died only a year later, and was buried in Dedham on 27 July 1574. His PCC will left a property in Bradfield and Wrabness, via an indenture from 1571, to several men – including my relative William Cardinall (“William Carnall of Much Bromley”) – to set up a school in Dedham. In fact, William Cardinall left money to the school as well.

But there’s something a little odd going on… although the Wormingford register definitely says that Bridget and William were married there in 1573, his will was written in 1571 and mentions… his wife Bridget. Then again, we don’t see the original version of PCC wills so it’s possible that Bridget was added in later – I’m not sure they were meant to do it, though. The will mentions the school bequest being in an indenture from 1571, so perhaps he and Bridget had a long engagement and the will began to be put together in 1571 in advance, partly based on the indenture. William left her, for life, property in Dedham, Stratford, Ardleigh and Great Bromley, which would go to their children after her death. But it doesn’t appear they had any.

Henry Wyndham

There are several sources online saying that Henry Wyndham and Bridget married at Mileham in Norfolk in 1575, but having looked at the parish register for that church, there were no marriages there at all that year. I would imagine their year of marriage began as a guess based on when William Littlebury died, and it has since passed into “fact”. There’s some online records claiming that Henry and Bridget married in King’s Lynn in 1574 – unlikely given that William Littlebury died in July that same year, and on checking the register, they’re simply not there. I can’t see a transcription of their marriage online, unfortunately, but it presumably took place in the late 1570s/early 1580s as their daughter Susan married Miles Clarke at St Bride’s Fleet Street in 1608.[2]The Norfolk Visitation tells us that Susan married Miles Clark of Wroxham. I think Bridget might’ve been slightly older than Henry – he was apparently very young when his father, Thomas, died in 1553 on a sea voyage. According to the Norfolk Visitation, Henry and Bridget had six daughters and one son.

At some point after Henry and Bridget’s marriage, they were involved in a chancery suit brought by Joan Lufkin, wife of William. She was claiming to be the heir of property in Dedham which had been William Littlebury’s – his will mentions Joan, as “Jone Lufkyn, sumetyme my mayde nowe wyfe to Willyam Lufkin vicar of Boxted.” William left her a legacy of £20, so perhaps it hadn’t been paid and Joan was claiming the Dedham property to make up for it. Then again, William mentions several Lufkins in his will, and says that a man called Thomas Lufkyn was “brought up with me.” So although there wasn’t necessarily a family link by blood there, there was a sort of adopted or fostered family link instead.

The Norfolk Visitation takes the Wyndhams back a long way. But purely concerning Henry, it tells us that he had two sisters, neither of whom are named, and that he and Bridget had three daughters and one son. As he was named Thomas, perhaps he was named after Bridget’s father. According to the Norfolk Visitation, their children were:

  • Susan married Miles Clark of Wroxham on 10th June 1608 at St Bride’s, Fleet Street, London (marriage info found by me)
  • Frances married Sir Henry Frankland of Aldwark, North Yorkshire
  • Elizabeth married John Harper of Norwich
  • Mary
  • Thomas married Susan, daughter of Thomas Cleare of Stokesby. They had five sons and one daughter
  • Bridget married Thomas Frankland of North Aldwark
  • Judith

I would assume that the will of Henry Wyndham, gentleman of Norwich that was proved in 1622 was his.

First published 14th November 2020


1 Although the register doesn’t say so, William was a widow when he married Bridget. His will mentions Thomas Appleton, his late wife’s brother, who lived in Little Waldingfield in Suffolk, and on 24 July 1565, Elizabeth wife of William Littlebury was buried in Dedham. There are several Littleburys in the Dedham registers, but it doesn’t look as if William had children by either of his wives. Certainly, no children are mentioned in his will.
2 The Norfolk Visitation tells us that Susan married Miles Clark of Wroxham.