Derek Palgrave, secretary of the Palgrave Society, recently contacted this web site with information that he was transcribing letters that were sent to William Weddell, the then owner of Newby Hall in Yorkshire by Rev William Palgrave who was Rector of Palgrave from 1766-1799. Derek tells us that he was something of a character and kept in touch with many of the literary figures of his day including: Thomas Gray, William Mason and Horace Walpole.

To date Derek has transcribed extracts from the will and codicils of The Rev Palgrave and has kindly given permission for them to be published here. 


I give and bequeath unto all my servants, that shall be living with me at my decease, cloaths for mourning.

I direct and appoint my Executor hereinafter named as soon as conveniently can be, after my decease, to pay and distribute, at his discretion, the sum of twenty pounds to and amongst such poor persons of the parish of Palgrave and the further sum of Twenty pounds amongst such poor persons of the parish of Thrandeston, as do not receive Collection from their said respective parishes.

The picture of my brother and myself , now standing in the garret, I desire may be burnt

To John Boreham my Butler if living with me at the time of my decease I leave all my cloathes, linen, wearing apparel of every sort and kind and the sum of seventy pounds. To William Roper, my coachman, if living with me at the time of my decease, I leave the sum of forty pounds. To Mary Oakley, who now lives with me in the place of Anne Forster, who has left, I leave twenty pounds. To Elizabeth Coles housemaid if living with me at the time of my decease, I leave twenty pounds. To the parish boy who shall be with me, I leave ten pounds to be disposed of in such manner as my Executors shall think most to his advantage.

My funeral I desire may be as private as possible and six poor men to have a guinea each who carry me to my grave. To the Reverend William Walter, Rector of Stuston and late Curate of Palgrave, I leave all my wine, which shall be in my cellars, and the sum of thirty pounds. To the Reverend Harry White of Eye, my curate of Thrandeston, I leave the sum of thirty pounds.

To John Boreham, my Butler, I have left seventy pounds. I now leave him an addition of thirty pounds to make it up [to] one hundred and to William Roper, my Coachman, I have left forty pounds I now leave him an addition of ten pounds to make it up [to] fifty.

To Timothy Gray, clerk to the parish, I leave ten pounds.

Extract from Arthur Mee’s “The Kings of England”

PALGRVE. No pleasanter English setting could be found than the Wide green, planted with avenues of trees, which forms the Village street of Palgrave. Its 14th.century church has an embattled tower and the original chancel arch, though the chancel has been made new. The hammer beam roof is decorated with carved flowers. The chief treasure is the Norman font, with heads of two men and two women below the corner niches. As in so many Suffolk churches, much fine work has been lavished on the embattled porch. The mouldings are filled in with heads, roses, and crowns; there are carved niches on either side of the doorway, and in the spandrels is a primitive St George with his dragon. A marble tablet in the porch was set up in 1771 by Sir John Fenn, editor of the Paston Letters, to his friend Honest Thomas Martin, lawyer and antiquarian, a quaint character who left valuable notes on 200 Suffolk churches. His disregard for money brought him to poverty. The inscription tells us that it is here so that posterity might be informed in what sacred place were deposited the remains of that able and indefatigable antiquary. A room above the porch has been taken away but the stairs remain. The armour once kept in this room is over the door.

From this small place went out into the world George Crabb, a man of wide scholarship, in the early 19th century. He studied in turn for medicine, the church, and the law, worote several legal works, and published a series of dictionaries. From 1774 to 1785 Anne Letitia Barbauld was living. here, helping her husband in a boarding school for boys. deescribed as one of the most classical and elegant writers of her time, she revealed another side of her character in the genius she showed at managing boys. Among her Palgrave scholars Were Chief Justice Lord Denman, Sir William Gill the antiquarian, and William Taylor, who "made WaIter Scott a .poet" by the inspiration of his ballad Lenore. It was for the use of the boys in the school here that Mrs Barbauld wrote Hymns in Prose for Children, considered her best work.

On a tombstone in the churchyard is the familiar inscription to a blacksmith; and a wagoner’s stone has on it a team of six horses drawing a covered wagon.

Anna Laetitia Barbauld, (1743-1825)

Anna Aikin was the daughter of John Aikin of Warrington Academy and sister of Dr. John Aikin; she married Rev. Rochemont Barbauld in 1774. According to Arthur Mee’s The Kings of England Barbauld taught school in Palgrave, Suffolk (1774-87) and corresponded with Elizabeth Montagu, Dr. Johnson, Richardson, Joseph Johnson, Joanna Baillie, Hannah More, and Fanny Burney. A prominent voice in liberal politics, she early developed a reputation as a poet and reviewed fiction for the Monthly Review (1809-1815) and edited the British Novelists in 50 volumes (1810). Among her pupils were William Roscoe and William Taylor of Norwich. Her husband committed suicide in 1808.