Thomas G. Keys


Although this direct line of father to eldest son became extinct in 1689, it is important for you to know that all of our other Devon and Watford family branches, twigs and a few nuts also spring from these Norfolk Line roots.
There are many dedicated people who have helped me make these materials available for you and we give all of this as a gift to you. We appreciate your thanks as that is our only payment, and we appreciate that you will not be to critical of errors, some of which may be ours, and some of which are from our predecessors.


Heydon Manor


Blomefield’s History of Norfolk, (Vol.6, page 241). The town of Heydon was not in the William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book, but was then called Stinetuna or Stinton and was in Eyersford Hundred.  The town was about a mile long and half a mile across and is in the liberty of the Duchy of Lancaster.  The seat was called Heydon Hall and Manor and also Stinton Hall and Manor. Heydon and Stinton Manors were subsequently divided. The regal settlement of Heydon Manor makes the eldest son heir. The Domesday Book was the name of the national record books of all taxable lands and any and all properties, including people and animals, in Great Britain as ordered by William the Conqueror.


Going north from Norwich a distance of 14 miles, the land rises by a gentle slope all the way.  It reaches a considerable elevation; so that looking back you could see the spires of old Norwich with all the country lying in between.  From this position of the land the domain was called in the popular local language of the ancient time, "The Highdown Manor." The family became known as the owners of the High Down Manor, and the name H-e-y-d-o-n was pronounced originally as Hydon. The first time we find the name, it was attached to Thomas de Heydon; Justice of Norfolk, under Magna Carta.

Our Heydon genealogy documents are from the earliest recorded beginning ca.1000-1100 and go forward being first published in the early 1500's. Since that time, there have been countless other Heydon/Haydon/Hayden research groups making efforts to correctly maintain the family genealogy and history record. Among these were the later efforts, 1883-1888, of Jabez Haskell Hayden, Levi Hayden, and the Rev. William Hayden covering many extended visits to England.


Many further necessary corrections have been made to their reports.  I acknowledge that I may have errors, as the combined efforts of many resources in England, Canada, Australia and USA still don't have all the answers and we have also been digging for years. No genealogy report is ever perfect (except for that of our Lord Jesus) so I have tried desperately to accurately list all family names, dates and information in each and every manuscript in this book as it pertains to our own family history. A name in bold type and underlined means that the person named is the direct lineal descendant, father to son. Many thanks to Carol Wordingham in England for her kind research and input. Thanks also to Gayle Hayden Cloud for the Latin document translations.
            (Some trivia)  Quoting from a British news media report way back in 2001: "An obscure Norman nobleman who made his fortune after the Battle of Hastings has been named as the richest Briton of the last millennium.  During the Norman Conquest the allies were rewarded with vast riches. William the Conqueror rewarded his cousin, William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, (See sidebar tab) for his bravery in the Norman Conquest. He was given lands and estates valued at more than £57 bn in today's (2001) terms. That means he tops the Sunday Times newspaper's Richest of the Rich list; higher than Microsoft boss Bill Gates, the richest living person in the world, who is currently, in 2001, worth £53.1 bn.  The top half of the list, showing the richest 200 people in Britain since 1066, is dominated by early and medieval figures. Three of the top four on the list came to England with William the Conqueror. It reveals the enormous rewards he handed out to his allies for the part they played in the 1066 invasion." The Warrens awarded a portion of their lands to their Heydon cousins who fought alongside.
 In various places through this report are notes from the three American Hayden brothers, Jabez, William, and Levi, in their genealogy research as published in 1888 that some of their data is taken from The Record of The House of Gurney by Daniel Gurney, Esq. in 1848 including the pedigree of the Heydon Family of the Norfolk Line.  I finally received just 1 page # 412 of this printed file record and I have included it below for you to read.  It was very badly darkened from age so I have computer cleaned it. 
The following is difficult to resize properly so you may need a magnifying glass

The Original Heydon Family Line of all Heydon/Haydon/Hayden Families

Norfolk, Devon, Watford and all other branches.

Starting with generation # 1 and onward,


1. Sir William de Heydon, Knight, born ca. 1080.  His daughter was Isabel de Heydon born ca. 1104.  She was married in Poynton, Chesire in 1127 to William de Warrene who was the son of John de Warrene and Alice de Townsend.  This is the earliest Heydon name or date on record.  A son of William was Simon:


2. Sir Simon de Heydon, Knight, no dates for Simon: He was knighted in the Holy Land.  There is a birth gap of exactly 105 years between #1 Sir William and #3 Thomas below, son of Simon, born in 1185.  All following names and dates are all on record.


   Time Line: Richard I Coeur de Lion (King Richard the Lion Hearted) 1189-1199


There are many historical photographs for you to view in this report that cover the ancient family homes of Heydon Village, Heydon Church, Baconsthorpe Hall and Castle,  Saxlingham, and Heydon Hall, although the new Heydon Hall itself is not a family estate and never has been.


Autumn Tints

A watercolor painting of our first home, Heydon Village, by Keith Johnson.

Richard The Lionheart at the Battle Of Acre and in 1190 during the 3rd Crusade

"...., King Henry III appointed Thomas de Heydon (next) as Justice Itinerant (Traveling Judge) in Norfolk in 1221. This Thomas was the son of Samuel (de Heydon) whom Richard the Lion Hearted knighted in the Holy Land."


3.      Thomas de Heydon (original spelling), of Heydon, in South Erpingham, justice itinerant in Norfolk County.  In the reign of Henry III, 1221, born about 1185, and died about 1250. (Age 65)   The office of “Justice of Eyre” was a commission held directly from the King, having appellate jurisdiction of superior cases, so litigants would not have to travel all the way up to Westminster.(either walking or by horse) One of the five provisions of Magna Carta signed by King John in 1215 was that such local justices should be appointed in the counties.  This was not fulfilled, however, until after the death of King John, during the minority years (age 9) of his son Henry III, and under the regency of Herbert de Burgh.  This Thomas de Heydon # 3 therefore, was the first judge in Norfolk appointed under Magna Carta. (Please see the English History section elsewhere and the copy of Magna Carta of 1215.) From him, the several family lines appear to have all proceeded.  The principal branch, in the person of the eldest son, William de Heydon, Sr.# 4 remained in Norfolk, (The Norfolk Line) creating the estates at Heydon, Baconsthorpe, and elsewhere, while a branch in the line of a younger, second son by the name of John de Heydon, settled in Devon, the Devon Line, in the reign of King Edward I, 1273. The American Connecticut and Massachusetts Haydons/Haydens probably spring from this branch in 1630. Another branch, a few generations later, under King Edward III, about 1373, moved to Watford, (called the Watford or Hertfordshire Line) near London, in the county of Hertford. (The Maryland and Kentucky Heydons/Haydens do trace from this line).


The Devon Line Report, spelled HAYDON starting with John de Heydon who is the father of the Devon Line is located in the left sidebar of this genealogy.  John is a younger son of Thomas above.  From this point forward this report here, concerns only the Norfolk Line spelled HEYDON.


4.       William de Heydon I, of Heydon, Esq., (ca 1210/20, d 1272) at age 52/62, was the eldest son and heir of Thomas (above), of this estate at Heydon, South Erpingham. His first son was also named William II,  Esq.


5.         William de Heydon II born abt. 1250 died about 1307, age 57, also of Heydon, succeeded his father.  The old 1887 Jabez Hayden genealogy says that this William II was born in 1272, which is not correct, as his son Simon was born in 1280. "He lived at Heydon in the reign of King Edward I, which was from 1272 to 1307.  He had 3 sons: Simon, Thomas who died 1370 and Richard." (When no specific dates are stated that simply means that none were/are known).


6.         Simon Heydon, of Heydon, his son and heir, b.ca 1280 succeeded him.  Simon had two sons, David the elder and heir; and (Sir) Richard Heydon, (who later had a son named John). Richard who entered the army in Edward III ‘s time and in the days of the Black Prince, engaged in the wars then carried on in France where Richard was killed, about A.D. 1370.  Richard appears to have been the ancestor of the Watford Branch, also called Hertfordshire branch, which settled at Watford about 1375.  See their separate Watford file. (See sidebar) David succeeded #6.Simon.


7.         David Heydon, of Heydon, (no dates) who married Margarette and had by her his son and heir, Hugh Heydon.


8.         Hugh Heydon, of Heydon,  (no dates) who married Alice Loverd, daughter and heiress of Loverds, by whom he had the Manor of Loverds, in Heydon, and whose arms, Argent pair of windmill sails, SABLE, was quartered by the Heydons.  By Alice he had his heir next:


9.         William de Heydon, of Heydon, Esq. (no dates) who succeeded him, and married Isabel Moore, the daughter of John Moore of Norwich.,Gent. Their 2 children are: Robert, (born ca.1350/60) who became heir and successor, and, in 1380 William de Heydon gave in marriage a daughter whose name was Isabel to William de Warren. (2nd set of these names)


 (More trivia) William I (William The Conqueror) and Queen Matilda, had their daughter Gundred.  Gundred married her cousin William de Warren.  Their son was also named William de Warren who married Elizabeth Vermandois.  Their son was Reginald who married Adelia de Mobray.  Their son was also named William Warren who married Isabel, a daughter of Sir William de Heydon, Knight #9.  Therefore, Isabel Heydon married William de Warren who was the great, great grandson of William I, King of England. This is the only slight connection of any Heydon anytime with William the Conqueror.   Fifteen generations later, in 1620, a direct descendant of William and Isabel, a Richard Warren came to America on the Mayflower.


10.       Robert Heydon, Esq., of Heydon, (no dates, but born about ca 1350-60) who married Cecily Oulton, daughter and heiress of Roger Oulton in Norfolk, Esq., an eminent lawyer in the reign of Henry IV, (1399-1413) “whose arms, quarterly Vert and Gules, a lion rampant Argent, over all, the Heydons were quartered.  His son and heir succeeded him,


11.       William Heydon, Esq. of Loverds and Heydon, b.abt.1390, died in 1476.  When he was about age 14, if born in 1390, the 1404 records do show his 1st wife as Elizabeth de Say, the daughter and heiress of Sir John de Say of Loverds.  The 1415 records show he was lord of the manor of Loverds.   His second wife was Jane Warren, daughter and heiress of John Warren, of Lincolnshire “whose arms, chequer or an Azure, on a canton Gules, a lion Argent, is also quartered by the Heydon family.”  William was the first of the family who settled at Baconsthorpe, having purchased a moiety (portion) of this manor of Wood Hall in that town.  “He flourished in the reign of Henry V, that is from 1413 to 1422.”  He is buried in the chapel in the north aisle of the Church of Baconsthorpe, with this epitaph:


“O Jesu tolle a me quod feci, Et remaneat mihi quod tu fecesti;

Ne pereat quod sanguine tui redemisti”.


First line translation: "O Jesus, lift from me that which I have done, (forgive my sins), And may that which you have done endure for me.

Second line translation: "May it not perish that which you have saved (redeemed) by your blood." Or:, "May what you have saved by your blood endure forever.)


This description is now destroyed. His son and heir succeeded him:


12.       John Heydon (born ca 1410, died 1480, age 70.) had land in Heydon in 1431 and moved his family to Baconsthorpe in 1447 where his father William had already moved and had land and estates. The Heydon families sold some, but not all, of their estates in and around Heydon. John married Eleanor Winter, (year-?) daughter of Edmund Winter Esq. of Barningham, Norfolk, by whom he had one son, #13-Henry who inherited.  John became “a lawyer of eminent practice and dignity and in the reigns of Henry VI, and Edward IV” (1422 to 1480), “whereby he much advanced the estate and fortunes of his family; being also a feofee and trustee of most of the great estates in Norfolk County. (Feofee definition: One who is invested with an estate by feoffment, which is itself defined as, the conveyance of any corporal hereditament to another, accompanied by actual delivery of possession.)  In  1431 he was made Recorder of Norwich; in 1442 he obtained a patent from King Henry VI, that he should not at any time be called to the degree of a sergeant-at-law, being in singular favor with that prince for his attachment to the House of Lancaster. In 1446 he purchased Pateslee Manor, and the moieties of the Manors Heddenham and Kelling.  In 1447 he was executor of the will of Lady Joan Bardolf, and to that of Sir John Clifton, Knight, Buckingham Castle. In 1464 he was appointed by the will of Lady Isabel Morley as counselor to her executors. In 1472, Walter Lyhert, Bishop of Norwich, left him in the Bishop’s will his cup, that he daily used, of silver gilt, with the cover. No other children are mentioned. #12-John began the building of Baconsthorpe Hall in 1475 but died in 1480 with only the tower completed. (The records do state "that he died in 1480, 5 years after he started construction on the tower".) John was buried in a chapel that he built for a burial place for himself and family, on the south side of the Norwich cathedral, joining to the present consistory on the west, now in ruins.  He and his family have been great benefactors of this cathedral, as their arms in many places testify.  By his last will he gave to the prior and convent all that they owed him, (he forgave their indebtedness to him) on condition that they erect a tomb for him. 


1477, March 24; -17 Edward, IV, (Will dated of John Heydon) Vigil of Annunciation of Blessed Virgin.  John  Heydon  of Baconsthorpe, Esqre., desires to be buried in the church of Holy Trinity, Norwich, and executors to pay all debts in full., etc. Will Proved June 20, 1480. Cur. Ep. Nor. Reg. Caston,  fol. 49-173.


John died possessed of the lordships of Baconsthorpe, Loschel, Boschem, Broche’s in Salthouse, Loverd’s in Heydon, Saxlingham, Oulton Hall and Leche’s in Oulton, Thursford, Walsingham Magna, Bakenham's in Carlton Road, Hocham Parva, Laundes in Tibenham, Pentsthor- and Hackford with Reepham, called Haydon’s Manor, there”. Some of these may have been "manors" which were areas of land sometimes with cottages within a village.  Sometimes a manor overlapped into two parishes and individual parishes were often made up of more than one manor.


(Re Baconsthorpe: Ranulf, the son of Grimbaldus (related to William de Warrene), settled at Thorpe in Norfolk, and Roger Bacon, the grandson of Randulf, was the first to use the name Bacon.  The village later became Baconsthorpe. Heydons and Bacon had common ancestry with William de Warren with intermarriages.)


From letters written and published by the Paston family of Norfolk, it would seem that #12 John was not always a well-liked person, as he would sometimes pay bribes to get whatever he wanted.  There are several of the original hard cover bound books called the Paston Papers which were "loaned" to me (shipped out of England and later returned) from a private collection in 2000 that show the distaste for some of the Heydons by some of the Pastons, and yet their children continued to intermarry with the titled money for generations.  See the separate groups of photographs on Baconsthorpe Hall, Baconsthorpe Castle, and Saxlingham.


13.       Sir Henry Heydon, Knight, of Baconsthorpe, (b-abt 1425, died in 1503)

His will was dated Feb. 20, 1503. Sir Henry Heydon, Knight.- - “My synfull carkeys,” If I die in Norfolk, to be buried in the Cathedral of the same shire, in the chapel where my father is buried; but if I die in  London, then to be buried in  the Grey Friars of London, in  the chapel of our Lady.  Bequests for religious services and various orders of Friars and sisters of Normans in  Norwich and various other bequests.  He lists ownership of 43 properties and manors. (-Not included here by me, but which covered a good bit of England)


The old Jabez Hayden “gospel” genealogy of 1887 says Henry was born in 1468, which is not possible because Henry and wife Elizabeth Ann Boleyn were in real estate much earlier in 1443. (Read on)  Henry's father, Sir John was born about 1410, so somewhere in that time frame, #12-Sir John has to grow up, get married and have this son #13 Henry also grow to maturity and marry and both of them in the space of just 33 years, that is from John born in 1410 to Henry married and in real estate in 1443. (Yes, a lot of them did indeed marry at age of 14 or 15 and have babies. Due to so many diseases, very few lived past the age of 30.) . (Here's the conflict with the 1468 birth date). "In 1443 the moiety,” means a portion or part, “of Hyde Manor, in Pangborn, Berkshire, the moiety of Nutfield, in Surrey, and the moiety of Shipton Solery Manor in Gloucestershire were settled by John Armstrong on the said Sir Henry Heydon and Ann, his wife as her inheritance." -(So he could not have been born in 1468.)


#13- Sir Henry married Ann Boleyn, by whom he had 8 children, (three sons and five daughters), Ann was the daughter of Sir Jeffrey Boleyn, Knight, and the future Lord Mayor of London; consequently she was aunt to the Anne Boleyn, (1507-1536) who was King Henry VIII's second queen and mother of Queen Elizabeth. The seven living children named in his will are: John, William, Henry, Kateryn, Dorothe, Bridgett, and Anne. Amy is not listed as surviving.


#13- Sir Henry finished building the hall or manor house at Baconsthorpe, (see photos) a spacious, "sumptuous pile" entirely from the ground, except the tower, which was built by his father, in the space of six years; also the church and noble house in West Wickham, in Kent, which place he had purchased before the death of his father and dwelt there; and it continued in the family till the reign of Queen Elizabeth when a lot of the Heydon property was seized and/or sold. (I’ll tell you why later on.) Sir Henry Heydon also built the church at Salthouse, between 1497 and 1503 and the causeway between Thursford and Walsingham was made at his expense.  His will is dated Feb. 20, 1503 and he died in 1503, and was buried beside his father in Heydon chapel, in Norwich Cathedral.  (There are well over 15 Heydons entombed in Norwich Cathedral.)


In the “Norfolk Tour” vol., p.1042, in relation to the above two gentlemen; in the Norwich Cathedral, below, amongst the other celebrated persons whose place of sepulture (burial) is in this church, may be noticed #12 John Haydon, Esq. a great favorite of Edward V, and #13 Sir Henry Heydon, Knight, who built at his own expense, Salthouse Church, in the beginning of the reign of Henry VII”.   In Salthouse Church, the arms of  #13 Henry Heydon with his wife Ann Boleyn are above the arches on the south arcade.  (Salthouse Church pictures 2nd set down)

















Norwich Cathedral, A copy from a hand colored steel engraving of 1837 hanging in  our home.
1948 picture of Salthouse Church

This church has just celebrated its 500th anniversary of the rebuiding of nave and chancel by Sir Henry Heydon of Baconsthorpe in 1503.
Heydon's Baconsthorpe Hall Ruins
 The entire left  side and entire back are gone.

The 8 children of  #13 Sir Henry and Elizabeth Ann Boleyn are as follows:


i.  John Heydon: eldest and heir: See his next generation #14 report.


ii. Henry Heydon, Esq.:  (no info.)


iii. William Heydon: He was slain in Kett’s Insurrection in 1549,and buried in St. Peter's Church, Mancroft, Norwich; Looking into the quaint old church, St Michael’s at Pleas, in Norwich, where John de Heydon was rector in 1349, there are some rich old tapestry hangings placed there in 1573.  “We attended service (1887 report) both in the Cathedral and in St. Peter’s Mancroft where William Heydon, killed by the rebels in Kett’s insurrection in 1549 was buried."  Kett's Rebellion: July 12, 1549, Robert Kett (a Norfolk tanner and landowner) and his followers camp near Norwich in protest against enclosures and exploitation. They also expressed problems with the clergy but adopted the new Prayer Book. The rebellion was defeated at the Battle of Dussindale on 27 August.)


iv. Amy Heydon: married to Sir Roger L’Estrange, of Hunstanton, Knight


v. Dorothy Heydon: (b 1484-d.1507) married to Sir Thomas Brooke, (b.abt 1470, d. July-year?) son and heir of Lord Cobham. Their daughter, Elizabeth Brooke b.1500/07 died Oct 1542, Sherborn, Dorset. She married Sir Thomas Wyatt, Knight, born abt. 1503,Allington Castle, Allington, Maidstone, Kent (A future great grandson, Haute Wyatt, no dates, emigrated to America. Wyatt descendants living in Lawrence County, Ohio, year 2001.)


vi. Elizabeth Heydon: married to Walter Hobart, of Hale’s Hall, Esq.


vii. Ann Heydon: wife of William Gurney, Esq. Of West Barsham


viii. Bridget Heydon: who married Sir Wm. Paston, Knight of Paston.   He was steward of the house of Cecilia, a Duchess of York, widow of Richard, Duke of York, father and mother of King Edward IV); and made by her supervisor of her will, with orders to see her buried in Foderhey Collegiate Church by the side of her husband.  He was also chief bailiff of the honor of Eye. In 1497, an exchange was made between him and William Burdwell, Jr. Esq’, who settled Witchingham Manor, in Salthouse and Kelling, on Sir Henry Heydon, which he gave to Burdwell in return his manor of Drayton Hall in Searnington and Dillington. He was Lord of Dorkethye-in Snoring Parva. (In Latin, means Little Snoring)


On Aug. 11, 1490, - 5 Henry VII.  “An obligation of W. Mekelfeld, armig., to Christopher Willoughby, Knight, in  20li., in  case the marriage between John Heydon, son  and heir of Sir Henry Heydon, Knight and Catherine, daughter of said Wm. Mekelfeld should not come off.”

Harleian Chapters, B.M.,53 d.31. Contributed by Rev. Augustus Jessopp, D.D.. Mekelfeld lost the bet,see next


14.       Sir John Heydon, (Knight) of Baconsthorpe, born ca. 1468,died Aug 16, 1550/51.  Eldest son and heir.  John was created Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Henry VIII (1509). He was a great courtier, and is said to have lived profusely in his father’s time but afterwards "became much reformed and a great husband.”  He married Catherine Willoughby, (she was born in 1470 and died 1542, age 72) daughter of Lord Christopher Willoughby, of Parham; Co. Suffolk. They had several sons, the eldest, was Christopher (Sr.). The other children are as follows: George; Thomas who married and had a daughter; Elizabeth marr. Thomas Darcye, Essex, Esq.,  Anne marr. Edward Sulyard, Esq.; Eleanor marr.to John Townshend Esq. son and heir of Sir Roger Townshend of Rainham, Knight; Margery marr. Everard Digby of Rutlandshire; and Ursula no info.)   In the reign of King Richard II, a Robert Belknap, who was Lord Chief-Justice of the Common Pleas, had for reasons unknown to us, forfeited to the Crown his manors at West Wickham, Baston, Keston and Southcourt in Kent, all of which had in the meantime come into the possession of the Heydons; but Sir Edward Belknap, the heir, having been reinstated in “blood and lands", by the Parliament in the reign of Henry VIII. (1516)  #14-Sir John Heydon had to repurchase all of them again!"  In 1520, under Henry VIII, he #14-(Sir John was one of the commanders of the famous Field of the Cloth of Gold, when Henry VIII received from Francis I the noted shield, executed by Benvenuto Cellini, and still preserved in the armory of Windsor Castle as the most valuable piece in the collection. (I still cannot locate a picture of this shield but at the end of this report is a great story and pictures about the Field of The Cloth of Gold.) He also attended the King at Gravelines, and in 1522 was sent by him to meet the Emperor Charles V., at Dover.  His Lady Catherine, deceased at age 72, A.D. 1542; Sir John died Aug.16, 1550 in his 82nd year, and both are buried under an altar-tomb in the north aisle of Norwich Cathedral.  In 1803 the brass plates disappeared, but these arms are still remaining: Quarterly, Argent and Gules, a Cross, engrailed, counterchanged, Heydon quartering Warren and Oulton, and impaling the Willoughby arms, or, fretly azure, with the crest of Heydon, a talbot, passant ermine and motto:


“Regarde que suyst De Vertue Null male.”


This is a very old Latin or French that will not translate fully. The first word is a command - "pay attention to" or "be mindful of", Our word "regard" comes from Latin through this French word. but the second part,  De Vertue Null male, loosely translated means "concerning the lack of virtue (or truth) in evil men".) There is no trace of the crest or motto remaining but high up on the east wall of the south aisle is another shield, from its shape and size evidently from the dexter side of this slab, bearing –Heydon quartering Warren and Oulton.


15.       Sir Christopher I, born estimate 1488, and died 1540 before his own father) eldest son of the above, married Ann  Heveningham  (or Heverington,) daughter of Sir John Heveningham or Heverington, of Ketteringham, Knight.  He had four children: John, his eldest, who died young,  #16-Christopher II who then inherited, and two daughters, Catherine marr Sir Miles Corbet, Knight of Sprowston and Mary married Roger Wyndham son/heir of Sir Edmund Wyndham Knight.


16.       Sir Christopher Heydon,(II) Knight, Estimate birth date,1515, inherited in 1551, from his grandfather, John #14-who had died on Aug. 16, 1550).  Christopher was one of the Magistrates of Norfolk from 1561-1562.  Patent Roll 985.  #16-Christopher II, died Dec. 10, 1579. “He was held in great esteem and veneration for his many excellent qualities, particularly for his justice, charity and remarkable hospitality, equal to his ample estate.  He is said to have entertained thirty head, or master shepherds of his own flocks at a Christmas dinner at Baconsthorpe.”  He was known as “the great housekeeper” in the county. He was married three times. His first wife was Lady Ann (Drury) who died Sept 5, 1561 and she is entombed in the south aisle of Baconsthorpe Church with him.  She was the daughter of Sir William Drury, Knight, of Hawsted, Co. Suffolk. There is a brass plaque to her memory set in the wall; photo below of plaque.  Also see 1887 photo of ruins below of the Saxlingham home built by him.


Wall brass monument plaque of Lady Ann Drury Heydon, died Sept 5, 1561, first wife of Sir Christopher Heydon, Knight.  She is wearing a Mary Stuart cap and ruff and a heraldic mantle including the arms of her father, Sir William Drury. Two pierced mullets and a Tau (T) Cross.  Use a magnifying glass for better viewing. When church maintenance relocated this they glued it on a wall sloppy. (2001 photo courtesy of Tom Stevenson, Drury Family.)

      #16-Sir Christopher II , 2nd wife was Dame Temperance Carewe, Birth date-?, died Oct. 9, 1577, daughter of Sir Weighment (or Simon) Carewe,Knight. In conjunction with his second wife “Dame Temperance”, he granted the lands of Patslee Manor to Cains College, Cambridge, and died possessed of very large estates. Wives and the children are entombed with Sir Christopher.  He had 7 or 8 children as follows: three sons, William who inherited;  Henry-lists as a pensioner at St. John’s College, Cambridge in 1609, and Christopher, (who was later appointed administrator of the Duke of Norfolk's estate). Another ancient record also lists a 4th son Miles who was admitted to the Inner Temple in Nov of 1610. Five daughters are recorded: Hassette, Jane, and Mary who married Thomas Biennerbasset Esq. of Barsham, Suffolk; Ursula married Roger Townshend Esq s.p.; Elizabeth married John Wentworth Esq. of Mountneys,Essex.


1562.--- Dame Temperence Carewe, wife # 2 above, became the guardian in 1562 to a young lad named Thomas de Grey II, a boy of just 7 (born in 1555) who inherited the Merton estates when his father died in 1562, who was Thomas de Grey Sr. of Merton.  The boy was “very delicate and fearing he might slip through their hands”, (with his estates and money) the Heydons married him off, when he was just 10 years old, to Elizabeth Drury, age 16, born Feb. 8, 1547, daughter of Robert and Audrey Drury, and niece of Anne, the first wife of Sir Christopher Heydon of Baconsthorpe. They were married at Baconsthorpe and the boy ward did die at Baconsthorpe in March 21, 1566 at the age of 11. (The previous from Parkhurst correspondence at Cambridge, Ec.II.34. and the Drury Family Pedigree genealogy).


            The young girl widow, Elizabeth, subsequently remarried to a Nicholas Mynne, of Walsingham, Esq., who was a greate friend of the Bishop, who thereupon sued for the widow’s dowery. To shorten this story, there was a big suit between the Heydons, the de Grey family, the Mynns, the Drurys, the Bishop; et al. Sir Christopher Heydon was one of the Justices appointed to “try the rebels”.  My record does show Heydons holding court in the Merton home for guests, 2 years earlier, 5th Elizth, 1564, Merton Hall in Merton, on the Saturday before the feast of St. Luke Evangelist. It doesn’t say who won this case but I can guess.


# 16 Christopher II -3rd wife is listed as: Agnes, daughter of Robert Clere of Chilton in  Suffolk. They had 1 child listed, named Agnes, who married Sir Theophilus Finch, Knight and Bart., on July 16, 1596 at Blickling, Norfolk. Blickling Parish Register and also listing from the Complete Peerage, Vol XII/2, pp-775-6.) Their daughter Agnes Heydon Finch died Feb. 12, 1620/21 and was buried in the church of “ye Black Friers” in London “having long dwelt with her mother, Dame Agnes Clere at Blickling”. 


            The tomb inside Baconsthorpe Church reads: "Here under this Tombe lyeth ingraved the bodies of Ladie Anne HEYDON, daughter of Syr Willm. DREWRYE, knighte, sometime wyfe of Syr Xrofer HEYDON of Baconsthorpe in the county of Norff., knighte, which Ladie Anne deceased the 5th daye of September, A. 1561, and the saide Syr Xrofer the 10th day of December, anno 1579, and also the Ladie Temperance HEYDON, second wyfe of the saide Syr Xrofer, daughter of Syr Weighment Carew, Knighte, which Ladie Temperance deceased the nynthe daye of October, in anno dni.1577.”


He caused the entails on his estates to be broken, apparently from a sense of their injustice, and so divided them among his children.  (Entail definition: to limit the inheritance of property or right to a specified line of heirs so that it cannot be left to anyone else.  An entailed estate usually passes to the eldest son.) In his will he gives,"to my daughter, Hassette. A gilt cup, which I received from the Queen (Elizabeth) for a New Years gift.” He is buried in the south aisle chapel of the church in Baconsthorpe.  Blomefield gives a full account of him, his wives, the daughters and their marriages, with the arms and inscriptions on their tombs, appending a formal list of no less than forty-six manors or estates of which he died possessed.  A glance at the map of Norfolk will show the domains must have extended from Baconsthorpe to the Sea, and on the coast from Holt to Cromer.  We shall still not follow up the collateral branches, but only the main line of this family. (Still in bold type and underlined.)


Heydon Hall built by # 16-Sir Christopher Heydon, II (1887 photo)

These ruins are already 337 years old when this picture was taken.


Before we proceed, let's do a year 2001 insert here and again thanks to Carol Wordingham, our researcher, in England who sent this interesting item. Since #16-

Christopher Heydon II, above inherited the estates in 1551, lets assume therefore that approximately 20 years later in a time warp of 1571, it was perhaps his daughter, Mary Heydon who married into the Wyndham family.  She married Roger Wyndham   of  Felbrigg, which is the house, built with the stones from the torn down portion of the Heydon Baconsthorpe.  The present day guide to Felbrigg Hall says, "Roger Windham  (the 1st to adopt the spelling that way) was a local tyrant with a mania for litigation, suing over a hundred of his poorer neighbors. He finally got his comeuppance being obliged to mortgage much of his own Felbrigg estate to his cousin". Felbrigg Hall-above.


17.       William Heydon I, born after 1510,  died March 19, 1593/4  succeeded Christopher, II at Baconsthorpe.  He was one of the deputy-lieutenants of Norfolk, a Justice of the Peace, and Admiral of the Admiralty jurisdiction and High Sheriff of the county.  He married Lady Anne Woodhouse, dau of Sir William Woodhouse, Knight of Hickling, and had three sons, #18-Christopher (III), Born Oct.14, 1561; next,-William II, later killed in France; and John who loses his hand in a sword fight, redeems himself after many years, is eventually knighted and inherits the estates.

Family after family after family now names their sons the same identical names, Christopher, William, and John. Every son  who now carries an identical name is now assigned by me a  I, II, III,  to keep all the children straight when the names constantly repeat over and over and you can follow the flow of history better. It’s Christopher, William, and John and back and forth repeatedly! Those Roman numerals are not part of their actual family name lineage.


The year is now 1567- By engaging in several projects, with certain citizens of London, this #17 William I contracted a huge, enormous debt and was forced to sell a lot of his estates that he had already inherited in 1567 from his father, #16-Christopher II.  The father, Christopher II didn't die until 12 years later in 1579 and he was really *#%* with son # 17-William I.


The records show: “The Heydons of Norfolk, by Sir William Heydon I, sold much of this property to William Earl Lytton Bulwer, Esq in 1567 which was the 9th year of Queen Elizabeth. It came first to the Dynes and afterwards to the Bulwers."


March 19, 1593- # 17 William Haydon, I died.  He was buried in the south aisle chapel of Norwich Cathedral with his ancestors.  On a mural monument, are the effigy of him and his Lady Ann Woodehouse kneeling (See photo next) with the quartered crest of Heydon above, and the arms of Waterhouse Hickling, quarterly ermine, in the first and fourth, and azure, a leopard’s face, or, in the second and third.  Blomefield gives the mottoes and inscriptions over him and his lady in full.  In 1571, his (younger) brother, Sir Christopher, was administrator of the Duke of Norfolk’s estate.  Jabez Hayden says in 1877,  “On visiting Norfolk, in the Baconsthorpe Church we found a monument to the Heydons, with kneeling effigies just outside the communion rails and close to the floor with 4 shields at the corners. The south aisle contains a monument to Sir William Heydon and his wife Ann Woodhouse dated 1592. The old brass plate of Sir John (the future 1 handed knight) is fastened in the windowsill.”


#18- Sir Christopher Heydon,(III) Knight,Born Aug 14, 1561 he graduated from Peterhurst,  Cambridge in 1579  and was buried Feb.10, 1623.  He had 14 children but I can only locate 13 by name.. First wife, Mirabel Kivet, gave him 8 children, 4 boys, William, Henry, Nathaniel, Thomas and 4 girls; “Isabel died in her cradle, Alice married Thomas Jarrat.”  William died in battle in 1627 during the invasion of the Isle of Rhee against the French.  Mirabel died July 15,1593, 30 years before Christopher.  His 2nd wife was Ann Dodge about 1598. They had 1 son and 4 daughters; Sir John, Dorothy, Elizabeth, Mary,  and Martha.  William and John are “half-brothers.” (Le Neve MSS.)

1598- Catherine Dodge of Mannington, by will left all to Anne, wife of Sir Christopher Heydon, Knight.;  From Nichole’s Collectanea, vol. 5.  Ann was daughter and co-heir of John Dodge of Mannington, she died in 1642, buried at Baconsthorpe Church. Remember Mannington house, as later in this genealogy after they lose Baconsthorpe, this is where they have to live.


July 15, 1593 Died.- Mirabella Kivet Heydon, first wife of Christopher Heydon III died at Sharrington and was buried July 16 in the chancel of the Saxlingham Church. When she died, Christopher placed their images around her tomb.  A now restored manor house stands close to the church and was the Hayden family home.  Remains of old hall are at, Holt, Norfolk. She was daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Kivet, Knight, merchant of London. Erected over Mirabella is a most curious and sumptuous monument, which takes up almost the whole area, enclosed with iron rails, there being just room enough left to go around the monument, which is raised in the form of an Egyptian pyramid of marble and stone, supported by pillars and reaching almost to the top of the chancel having an urn on the summit.  In the arch under the pyramid, and which supports it, is the effigy of a lady kneeling on a cushion, with a desk before her, on which lies a Bible opened, with these words, “I am sure that my Redeemer livith, etc.”  “Over her head an oval stone projects so curiously polished as to reflect her effigy as from a looking glass; and at each corner are two children, in all, statues of her four boys and four girls, on their knees.  There are four steps to ascend to the effigy of the lady.”  Blomefield continues with a very long and elaborate account of the ornaments, inscriptions, hieroglyphic figures and coats of arms on this monument, saying that Sir Christopher III published a volume in explanation of them.  He also gives us the particulars concerning his wives, with the monument and inscription of the second wife, Ann Dodge, buried in the church at Baconsthorpe.


1596-   #18 Sir Christopher III, had his education at the University of Cambridge, and afterwards traveled in many foreign countries.  He was High Steward of the Cathedral at Norwich, and was knighted at the sacking of Cádiz,** by Robert, Earl of Essex, 1596.   During the 1596 battle at Cádiz, the Earl of Essex had knighted both Christopher Heydon and a Robert Mansfield.  A battlefield commission and promotion one might say.   However, the record states that this Knight Christopher and John Heydon, his younger brother, along with the Earl of Essex were just 4 years later (see paragraph next in 1600) in open warfare rebellion against Queen Elizabeth. **Cádiz is a coastal city in south-west Spain, in the region of Andalusia and is the capital of the province of Cádiz. Another battle takes place here again in 1625 for which afterwards, the British Admiral, The Duke of Buckingham gets impeached.


January, 1600, four years passed, friends had become enemies and his fellow Knight Robert Mansfield chopped off John Heydon’s left hand in a duel. Story at end of Norfolk report.


February, 1600.  The Earl of Essex, Sir Christopher Heydon III, Knight, and brother John Heydon are all teamed together in open warfare against Queen Elizabeth and attempt to rouse the city of London and overthrow her reign to make a Parliamentarian form of government. 


Feb. 8, 1600: “# 18 Sir Christopher Heydon III and brother John Heydon were both seized by Richard Jenkinson, Esq.,High Sheriff of Norfolk, with their houses, goods, and chattels, for being in open rebellion against Queen Elizabeth A.D. 1600, as assistants to the Earl of Essex.  Sir Christopher lived at Mannington, and had a mansion-house at Baconsthorpe. (Much of the Baconsthorpe property had been sold off in 1567 to cover their father’s debts.) The Lady Heydon, the younger, of Mannington, then greate with child and in greate distress.  Their offense committed 8 Feb., 1600.  (Le Neu’s M.S.)”  Later he and John also lived at Thursford as that was also one of their mother’s homes.


Feb.21, 1601, Today Ash Wednesday, Robert Devereaux, The Earl of Essex was beheaded for his recent crimes against her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the State. He was 34 years old. He was not hanged, drawn, and quartered. Queen Elizabeth had Robert Earl of Essex’s head chopped off privately in a portion of the Tower reserved for Royal prisoners.  He fell to the headsman’s axe, as befitted his rank.  When the news spread, it caused a small riot in London.


Abt.  1602    Sir Christopher Heydon was fined £2000 and released. It eventually helped to bankrupt the family.  John Haydon still in prison until May 23,1603.    


 January 10, 1603    Prior to this date, Sir Christopher Heydon III  had become an eminent scholar and on this date a 551-page tome was printed at Cambridge in quarto titled, “A Defence of Judicial Astrology”, dedicated to confuting Mr. John Chamber's 1601 treatise attacking the science. Appendices include a table of all loci in the Scriptures, Councils, Fathers, Schoolmen and Divines that uphold astrology, together with a chronological list of all historiographers, poets, philosophers and physicians who have done the same. There is even a catalogue of all astronomers since the world began, starting with Adam and Seth. The work may be found in the British Museum, and though obscured, of course, by many fanciful and astrological notions, yet on a few points, as in the three degrees, natural, spiritual and celestial, as well as the influence of heavenly powers upon the earth, contains a kind of foreshadowing of some ideas taught more distinctly afterwards in the writings of Swedenborg.  Sir Christopher also leaned towards Puritanism in the Church faith and denounced English Catholics for donating money for the Pope’s causes and military activities.


March 24, 1603.  Queen Elizabeth died.  James Charles Stuart had become King James the VI of Scotland in 1567 when he was only 13 months old. Then 33 years later, on this March 24, 1603, he also became King James I of England. King James' English predecessor, Queen Elizabeth, had just died childless with no named successor. It is said that Queen Elizabeth assumed that King James would be her successor--he was a proven king and a descendant of English King Henry VII (King Henry VII's daughter Margaret married James IV of Scotland).

When King James Charles Stuart ascended to the English throne he became King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England--hence, King James VI & I. King James was now the first King of what he now called Great Britain. His ascension to the English throne forever joined the crowns of England and Scotland. The line of Scottish kings ended with King James VI. He was very Christian and is responsible for the first Holy Bibles being published in English. He was the "wise King Solomon" of Great Britain and the Roman Catholics hated him and tried very hard to kill him.

April 10, 1603.   Earl of Southampton Released from Prison.  Southampton had been spared from execution by the Queen’s mercy, but he was only released from the Tower on April 10, 1603 – three weeks after she died.  When King James came to the throne, he commanded that Southampton present himself to the King, “where he was warmly greeted”. The Earl of Southampton died of a fever 21 years later, in 1624.


1603- James I, King of England, made Sir Robert Mansfield (he who cut off John Heydon’s left hand) Vice-Admiral of the Fleet and he continued in that post through King Charles I, “and lived to a great age.”


May 23, 1603.  A special pardon was granted to Sir John Heydon for being in rebellion with the Earl of Essex; granted by King James I. (Patent Roll, 1 Jae.1.,pt.18.) They were so very fortunate.  Christopher has financial troubles also with his son’s expenses while at Cambridge.  Mansfield is gloating openly over Sir Christopher’s financial trouble.


1612    William having been in Cambridge becomes Junior Paymaster for Prince Henry until 1612.


1613-15   John Heydon, with 1 hand and the rank of Captain, was keeper of the stores and munitions at Sandown Castle. Northampton died and left John a legacy of  £100.


February 10, 1613, Christopher III was burned out accidentally at Baconsthorpe “when the interior wooden portions were destroyed by fire,” and then resided as much at Saxlingham as at Baconsthorpe, later rebuilt.


February, 1614- A major uproar in the castle ballroom occurs with King James wife present at a wedding dinner for one of her ladies and an almost sword fight among one of Christopher Heydon’s III sons, whose name is still not known, with the younger Earl of Essex III. (His father was the one who got his head chopped off). The younger Earl of Essex’s III wife had run off a few months earlier with King James “favorite friend”, a Robert Carr.  King James wife’s favorite # 1 maid named Jane Drummond married the Earl of Roxburgh and this was their wedding dinner. The Queen gave a lavish banquet for them.  So, there was probably lots of gossip and wine flowing at the dinner. At the wedding feast, a loud quarrel “brabble” happened “twixt the younger Earl of Essex and ‘young Heydon’ with one hand.”  While Heydon went to get his sword, The Archbishop of Canterbury made the young Earl cool his heels and chill out, so to speak. The Queen was very angry at this display at her banquet and “Heydon with the one hand” was put into the Fleet Prison for some time.  This historical record uses the term, “young Heydon with one hand” and has all the historians puzzled still today, because that other John Heydon with one hand who got it cut off in a fight with Mansfield would now have to be at least 35 years old. This one handed Heydon at the banquet has never been identified.


The written comments from guests to their friends are recorded as follows: 

Phillip Gawdy wrote, “Mr. Heydon did very muche overshoote himselfe, and as it is thought will never recover his former favour.”


“Every man condemns him.  No one takes his part.”


“Heydon did carry himself in this business towards my Lord of Essex so idly and unadvisedly as his very best friends do altogether dyslyke thereof.”


John Chamberlain  wrote, “The day was a dismal one to him and his house, for in the morning there was a decree issued in Chancery that the sheriff and the local justices were to “raise the county and turn “the father out by force”. He resisted and made a last desperate stand but was forcibly evicted.


And Phillip Gawdy wrote to his cousin, “That very day his father was put out of possession of Baconsthorpe.” In Feb. 1614 Christopher was living at Baconsthorpe so the culprit has to be any one of his sons as their age is perfect with the exception of deceased William.  His sons still living are Henry, Nathaniel, Thomas and John.
April 1616      William is a Captain in a Regiment of Sir Robert Sydnen.


In 1619, King James of England sister was Elizabeth, wife of Frederick V who was crowned King of Bohemia in 1619.  Bohemia was surrounded by a lot of other countries then and eventually was gobbled up. The Palentine area was over run by invading French, Swedish, Spanish and German Imperialists and was devastated by Catholic and Lutheran religious wars considered to be some of the most fierce and cruel fighting Western Civilization had ever seen. The western Palatinate of Germany is on the border with France. By 1621 he lost his throne, his Palantine lands and the majority of their possessions and they had to flee across the border to Germany.


In 1620, reign of King James I, the Privy Council (the King’s personal advisors), issued letters to all the nobility and gentry in England, requesting a loan for the recovery of the Protestant Rhenish Palatinate which had been invaded by Spain (a region in the German area just west of the Rhine River) Sir Christopher Heydon III with the Protestants earnestly solicited it, and sent a letter to the Council, telling them that the local Catholics were collecting funds for the Emperor so, (Protestant) King James should support Frederick V in regaining his lost crown and grandchildren’s lands.  King James was not anxious to have the major expense of another war in another country against foreign troops so far from home, (terrible supply problems) even though this would be defending his grandchildren’s rights to their land and titles over there.   One attempt was made and lost in 1625 and then the whole matter was dropped until after 1627 when war started again and Knight Sir William Heydon was killed during the invasion. –More follows:
1620:      The good ship Mayflower with Pilgrims comes to America followed by a succession of Pilgrim ships even past 1630.
1620-1623    William Heydon was knighted in 1620 and is paymaster for the forces in the       


1623    John Heydon (one handed) was paymaster of the posts. (mail stations)


1623, Feb. 10th   Sir Christopher Heydon III died and was buried in Baconsthorpe Church. Sir William Heydon is now head of the family. Both he and John really have  to make it on their own.

1625, Feb-March- Buckingham fails to supply a British expedition properly to recover the Palatinate and the attempt fails.

1625, March 27    King James I died.


1625, April   Charles I, his son, becomes King


1625    Sir William Heydon is promoted as Lt. Of Ordinance by King Charles.
1626   The Lord High Admiral Duke of Buckingham is impeached for being  a“total screw-up.” 
1627    Sir William Heydon is promoted to Lt. General of Artillery to relieve the Huguenots at La Rochelle, France and is killed at the Isle of Rhee.


1627    The now ex-King Frederick V of Bohemia with his family (British Royal blood) is exiled in Protestant Holland, where he dies in 1631.  Their daughter Elizabeth later entered a Protestant Convent in Herford in Westphalia and much later by 1667 as the Head Abbess she oversees the principality of the abbey, which includes seven thousand people, farms, vineyards, mills and factories. There she continues to offer refuge to people of different religions including the Quakers, including one, William Penn who was given the lands of Pennsylvania, where settled thousands of future German emigrants. The term “Pennsylvania Deutsch” stems from that.  Some colonists couldn’t pronounce “Deutsch” so they still say today “Dutch” when in fact they are Pennsylvania “Deutsch”-German!


1627-    #19 Sir William Heydon,II Knight, birth date not known but he was born way before 1575 as we know from records that his younger brother John was also born before 1575.  From the Commissary Court of London regarding his will, read as follows: June 14, 1627, Nuncupative will.  Sir William Heydon, Knt., being then about to go on a voyage with the Duke of Buckingham. That’s disaster, right there. Gave all to his brother John Heydon, and made him sole executor.  Witnesses, Edward Stephens and Hildebrand Prusen. Proved (P.C.C.) 6 Nov. 1627 by his brother John Heydon. Before I tell you of the battle, the slaughter and Sir William Heydon’s death, I will give you a little history and geography as to the “where and why” of the battle.


Location: About 1½ miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, off the west coast of Rochelle, France on the Bay of Biscay is a 33 sq. mile island (85 sq km.) called, Ile de Rhe´ or Rhee Island. A part of Aquitane, it was recovered from England in 1373 and incorporated into the French crown lands and became one of the chief seaports of France.  It became a very strong Protestant French Huguenot stronghold during the Wars of Religion and successfully resisted Catholic besiegers for half a year, 1572-73.  However Cardinal Richelieu swore to crush the Huguenots, and La Rochelle fell after a siege of 14 months, (1627-28) and many thousands of Protestants were slaughtered all across France (20,000) in one day), and the Pope issued a medal in celebration. King Louis XIV, in 1681, refortified the old original Fort Saint Martin-de-Ré  in 1627 and today, 2003, it is a penitentiary. A 2-mile bridge to the mainland now connects the island.  New Rochelle, in New York is founded by Protestant refugees.


July 1627- #19-Sir William Heydon II, Lt. General of Artillery, and also treasurer of the expedition,  was killed in battle in July, 1627.  As being the eldest son, #19- William II only temporarily succeeded his father, #18 Sir Christopher III.  In spite of the previous impeachment of the Duke of Buckingham in June of 1626, King Charles I, sent Sir William II with the impeached “Screw-Up” Lord Admiral Duke of Buckingham, with 7000 men and 100 ships, in the unfortunate expedition against France to relieve the embattled Protestant Huguenots of La Rochelle and also for the recovery of the Palatinate. John had accompanied his brother Sir William to Rhee as a subordinate in command.  Sir William Heydon II was slain in the battle at the Rhee in 1627. A report has these troops as under trained, not paid, and discontented. 


When the Duke, with Sir William II, and John and the troops reached the Isle of Rhee (Rhea) with their artillery, the reinforcement fleet had not yet arrived. The French Army then crossed over from the main land and over 4,000 Englishmen of the 7000 force were slaughtered and drowned being attacked at the moment of re-embarkation. Sir William Heydon II was shot and drowned. They regrouped and continued to fight on.  Report is as follows in old original spelling: 


“As Sir William was goeing to land with the soldiers, the enemies’s approach was so furious that they were enforced by violence to retire into ye water, where he lost his life.  The troops being forced into water above their knees, thus standing he was shot, and so fell into the water but was afterwards carefully buried.  There were left many other knights and gentlemen which I have not time to relate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Of French Barons there were slaine thirty-two who charged us most furiously, but few of them returned againe. The number of horse that was slain was 112.   Of their ffote there was slaine a greate number which I am uncertain of.  Our English horse were not landed.  We are now marched cleane through the Island of St. Martin’s and have driven them to their last retreite: they are in the forte of St. Martin wch wee have now laid seige unto. The Gen’all hath gott the universal love of the Armie”.  (The newly appointed General must be Lt. Gen. John Heydon, a subordinate in command” as Sir William and the Duke were over him)


 Dr. Augustus Jessope found in the monument room of Shadwell Court, a letter that says, “Sir William Heydon was buried at St. A-flote in St Martins Island, in ye best manner my Lord General could devise, being carried to church by ye young Lord Fielding and Colonel Gray, now Master of the Ordnance with many other knights of the best degree.  My Lord General (John Heydon) and Monsignor Subize went to church with him.”Whoever speaks of him as “one, the loss of whom is much lamented at the present hour, a worthy Knight and gentleman, a valiant soldier and expert engineer.”  He died without issue (no children) and was succeeded by his younger “half” brother who became Sir John Heydon. Knight, in 1629.

1627AD Anonymous B11
Matthews: Military journal; eye-witness account of English assault and military operations in Isle of Rhee; impersonal. A Journall of All the Proceedings of the Duke of Buckingham in the Isle of Rhee London, 1627.

After this disaster, Parliament delivered another official protest against the Duke. The Duke was at Portsmouth in 1628 preparing yet another expedition for La Rochelle when he was assassinated by one of his own angry officers.  Much cheering in Parliament is reported.


This is #19 line of descent still as the family genealogy line moves across from 1 brother deceased, Sir William to brother, #19- John who is estimated as born before 1575.

1627- #19-John inherited Williams II lands and also his military position in the ordnance office.
1628 -   Duke of Buckingham is assassinated by another officer. Joy all around.
1628 Dec.   John marries Mary Phillips. (His second marriage) The 1st wife’s last name was Gerrard, a daughter of Sir Gilbert Gerrard. No records exist for 1st wife pedigree. John and Mary (Phillips) Haydon have 4 sons and 3 daughters. The son's names are: Christopher, John, William and Charles. No record on the girl's names.  Down below under the date of October 10, 1653 John and Mary jump to the front news again


1629     John is Knighted.  He is now Sr. John Heydon, Knight.
1630     The ship “Mary and John” arrives in New England with the Pilgrim Devon Families and 2 Haydon young men, William and John , maybe of the Devon Family branch. (2006 family DNA shows them to be not related.)
1633, June 29     “John Heydon, the sonne of Sir John Heydon, Knight, Lieut of the Majesties  Ordinance, is buried.”
1637 October  William sonne of same buried. Record from the Antiquary, No. 14. vol. m
1641-1642           Sir John appointed on Council of War with King Charles I.


1642, Dec. 20    Sir John was created LL.D at Oxford and is Lieut. General of the Ordnance.
1642  Parliament has been dissolved for 11 years. Civil War Starts In England.
1642   Sir John Heydon’s creditors really making serious legal trouble from massive debts inherited from father Sir Christopher III and brother William.
1642-1651 -  Puritanism in religion and Parliamentary government has taken a strong hold in England instead of being ruled by a Monarch.  This Norfolk Line of Heydon is still on the side of the King and lose their estates as a result.
1649  Jan 30   King Charles is found guilty of treason and forfeits his head on the block.


1642-1651    Other Baconsthorpe properties continued in possession of the family until the English Civil War) when the government siezed the estates of the Heydon family. Heydons of Norfolk were strong Royalists and the times had changed!  As well as Baconsthorpe, the family had a house in Wickham, Kent.  Sir John Heydon was later allowed to buy back his landed estates and in order to finance this, he demolished most of Baconsthorpe Castle himself and sold much of the stone to the nearby Felbrigg Estate. You need the land, not the castle building.


There Is Bad News And Worse News!


 October 10, 1653.  This is the date of #19 Sir John Heydon’s will and he died a week later. "Sir John Heydon, Knight, Suits pending in Chancery, and if I die before they are ended, my whole estate in Norfolk to be sold, and by a special order of the court the yearly alimony allowed my wife (Mary Phillips Heydon) to be continued for her life, and on her death to go to the payment of my debts and legacies for the five children by her deserted.  The two manors and two parsonages of Baconsthorpe and Bodham to be sold!"   Will 1st dated at Lampton-Admin. (P.C.C.) 20 March, 1653, granted to Dame Mary Phillips Heydon, the relief.  Mary went home to live with her father. I have read the actual documentation of "desertion" that was on loan to me in 2000. She abandoned Sir John and the 5 children. His child Christopher grew and also became a knight but did die before his father John who died in 1653.  The London Registers, St. Bride, Fleet Street, show that Mary Phillips Heydon, Lady to Sir John was buried on Nov. 28, 1658.


October 19, 1653,  Sir John Heydon, Knight, buried.   #19,-Sir John Heydon born est. before 1575, was buried at Heston, Middlesex on October 19, 1653. He had been probably living in a rented place in Lymston.  John had accompanied his brother Sir William to Rhee as a “subordinate in command”, being the Lieut. General of the Ordnance to King Charles I;  Wood,  Ath. Ox vol.11, p.26, says “he was as great a soldier, especially in the mathematics, was created LL.D. at Oxford, Dec.20, 1642,.” He was also a member of Charles Privy Council.  He was a staunch Royalist supporter of King Charles I and so faced final ruin at the hands of the Parliamentarians.  Parliament was now at great odds with the dictatorial King and Sir John died October 17/18,1653.  He had 3 sons, Christopher, afterwards a knight, who died before father #19 John;  #20 William III who succeeded, and Charles** who later had to handle the court litigation and loss of the family estates. There were also three daughters, one whose name was Mirabella.


1654-   In my copy of the St. Margaret, Westminster Marriage records is the following concerning the youngest son Charles:**


 “ Publication July 2, 9, and 16, 1651, of Charles Heydon of this parish, Esq., son of Sir John Heydon of Baconsthorpe Hall, Co. Norfolk, dec’d., and Susanna Wigmore of this parish, dau. of Thomas Wigmore Esq., dec’d. No marriage ever recorded.” 


Regarding the daughter named Mirabella: My records show she was born in 1646 and married Laurence Lomax, Esq of Eye.  She is buried in the Eye church in Suffolk. On a blue slab at the east end of the south aisle, where it was moved during alterations in 1869, her inscription reads as follows:


 Here lieth interred the body of Mirabella Lomax, wife to Lawrence Lomax, Esq., and second daughter to the ancient and noble Sir John Heydon of Baconsthorpe, in Norfolk., Knight, and General of the Ordinance to King Charles the First, and one of his Privy Council, who departed this life the 2nd day of May, in  the 63rd year of her age, Anno Dom.1702.


For age 63, this works out to be born in 1639 and not 1646. If birth year record is correct then she was only 56 when she died.  #20 William is also buried next to her.


1673, May 23- "The indebtedness deed for recovery (bankruptcy) for all of the lands and manors in and of Baconsthorpe, Bodham, and Hempstead together with the right of patronage of the churches and all 140 acres plus any and all other manors and royalties is delivered against Charles Heydon; Draft of Deed of Recovery dated  1673 (25 Car.II,) 23 May."   The court record lists Charles as a son of John # 19.  I still don’t find him in any genealogy, just in  county records.  William didn’t die until 1689.


William Heydon III sold and confirmed the estate here and Charles Heydon had to handle the court legal work to Mr.  Daniel Bridges, a woolen dealer in London,(who also later went bankrupt) and Wm. Town of London, a scrivener, and to John Crichload, citizen and fishmonger of London. After Mr. Bridges, the woolen dealer also went bankrupt; the commissioners sold the Hall to Zurdishaddia Lang who left it to his son John Lang.  John Lang in turn bequeathed to Reverend Girdlestone who also seems to have been called Zurdishaddia. 


The following is a list of properties  forfeited:

The Manors of Baconsthorpe, Woodhall, (Woodhall alone needed eighty servants to maintain it) , and Bodham, and all that site called Baconsthorpe Hall, with the edifices, dovehouses, barnes, stables, orchards, gardens, courtyards, waters, hop yards, dayry yard, the green hill behind the stable, the but-yard and entry thereunto , and all those enclosed grounds or arable meadow and pasture, now or late called Deere Park,” containing by estimation 140 acres, and other lands in Baconsthorpe, and Bodham, and Hempstead, belonging to the said Charles Heydon, together with the avowed and right of patronage of Baconsthorpe and Bodham churches, and all the manors and royalties belonging to the manor of Baconsthorpe and Bodham; and it is hereby agreed that the aforesaid recovery be suffered, & c.”


Sept 17, 1689, - # 20. William Heydon III Gent  The last male member in the line of succession of the Heydons of Norfolk dies and so dies the dynasty. Everything is gone.  The youngest son, Charles, is still alive and left to close out the estate for the court.  We have neither  address for him nor any other relatives after the year of 1689.


I recently discovered this parish report in 2003; things get lost for years and then re-discovered.

By Mirabella Heydon Lomax tomb in the church of Eye in Suffolk is this:


"Here also lieth the body of William Heydon, Esq., second son to Sir John Heydon and last male of that family who departed the 17 Sept, 1689. "


20th century note: The gatehouse was turned into a house but "even that has now fallen into disrepair and part of it was recently demolished for safety reason."  Another story that Oliver Cromwell's "Roundheads" tore down Baconsthorpe probably means the large "Hall residence" up front as we know Heydon himself tore down the small “castle-?”-and sold the stones to Felbrigg estate to pay his massive fines to Parliament. (See Photos of Baconsthorpe ruins.)


A visitor’s notation:  "In Baconsthorpe Church there is a brass plaque to (#16) Ann Drury Heydon, 1561, set in the wall near the monument.  Other brasses commemorate Alice Heydon 1479;  (#14) Sir John Heydon 1550;   (#16) Sir Christopher Heydon 1579 and his wife Ann Drury 1561.  The Heydon arms can be seen in the upper windows of the chancel.  (See photos next)  These windows were originally in the old Baconsthorpe family home before it was destroyed."  Alice from 1479 is not known in any genealogy record but with that date she will at least fit into both #11 and # 13.  Some other researcher is permitted to search for Alice.



The Arms of Heydon of Norfolk. They reference their crest on the helm/helmet as a,

"Spotted dog", a Dalmatian. This church window was originally in the Heydon home.

Photos courtesy of Tom Stevenson; Drury family,  http://www.genealogysource.com/hayden.htm


(In 1888) “The old Baconsthorpe Hall gateway, (See Photo) of imposing structure, flanked by two lofty octagon towers, and situated about fifty yards in front of the tower and bridge has been converted into a spacious farm house and kept in perfect repair.  It is now the property (1888) of G. Thurston Mott, Esq., and is called Baconsthorpe Hall.  We were very kindly received at the rectory and at the house by those having charge of the premises, and were politely shown over the grounds, and physically refreshed by an offering of bread, milk and wine.  The old Baconsthorpe ruins had a special interest for us from the fact that they had been the home of the Heydons, for many generations, and of no other family, they having built them from 1475, and living in them until 1613, when the interior wooden portions of them were destroyed by fire. 


“In Mr. Daniel Gurney’s ‘Record of the House of Gurney,’ the pedigree of the Heydons is given at some length, and nearly complete.  He states that he has in his possession several original letters of the second Sir Christopher and Sir William, his son, bearing dates from 1579 to 1602, and prints several of these in full in his work, London, 1848 and 1858.   I find also that younger sons of the family appear frequently in history as rectors in various parishes in the county, and one of the lines, though deceased 250 years ago, is still remembered and spoken of in the neighborhood as the great ‘Sir Christopher’.”

                                                     Requiescat in pace. Amen





Re: Sir John Heydon #14 in the Field of the Cloth of Gold.  As one of the commanders he would have been in charge of Henry’s guard or was put in charge of part of the planning for the meeting.  The historical accounts of the meeting make this a very lavish affair where one entire field was transformed into a fairy kingdom with people from the English and French Courts mingling while Henry and Francis met.  There were also very lavish tournaments, jousts, feats and fetes throughout the event.


Background Information


In the early 16th century (1520) the balance of power in Western Europe was a precarious one; the major players being Francis I of France and Charles, Holy Roman Emperor. Each monarch tried to build a set of alliances to swing the balance in their favor. Into the mix came England, under Henry VIII. Henry's chief advisor, Thomas, Cardinal Wolsey, favored an alliance with France. Henry's queen, Catherine, favored the Empire (the Emperor Charles was her nephew). Yet Henry and Catherine's daughter Mary was affianced to Francis's son, the Dauphin.

Henry himself was undecided as to which alliance offered him the best chance of personal and national gain. He played a waiting game in an attempt to stay on good terms with both Charles and Francis, hoping perhaps that no matter which monarch gained the ascendancy, England would benefit.


The Meeting

In 1520 Henry was persuaded to forge an alliance with France. A meeting was arranged between the two monarchs at a location just outside Calais, a bit of unremarkable countryside between the villages of Ardres and Guines. Francis and Henry were personal as well as political rivals, and each king prided himself on the magnificence of his court. Henry brought with him virtually his entire court, and he was determined to impress his host with the size and splendour of his retinue.

It was described as a display of medieval chivalry at which King Henry VIII of England. attempted to outdo Francis both by the splendour of his equipment, the cunning of his diplomacy and even his physical strength.

When it was determined that the castles of both villages were in too great a state of disrepair to house the courts, they camped in fields, Francis at Ardres and Henry at Guines. This was no ordinary camping expedition, however; huge pavilions were erected to serve as halls and chapels, and great silken tents decorated with gems and cloth of gold. The jousting and feasting, the color and glitter, the tents and trappings dazzled all of Europe.

Cloth of Gold was a fabric woven with thin strands of gold interspersed with more traditional materials, often silk. It might be used for clothing or for a ceremonial cloth used as a canopy for thrones. The use of gold textiles and embroideries in the Middle Ages is illustrated by the pageantry at the meeting of the Field of the Cloth of Gold-1520.

It is this ostentatious display of wealth and power that earned the meeting-place between Francis and Henry the sobriquet "The Field of the Cloth of Gold". The meeting lasted for three weeks (June 7-June 24, 1520), during which time each court strove to outdo the other in offering splendid entertainments and making grandiose gestures. Feasts and jousts were held, including a tilt between Henry and Francis themselves. Balls, masques, fireworks, and military sports were just some of the activities on offer. The expense incurred by both monarchs was enormous, and put tremendous strain on the finances of each country.

At the Field of the Cloth of Gold, Henry suddenly challenged Francis to a wrestling match. Francis seized Henry in a lightning grip and threw him to the ground. Henry went white with embarrassment, but held back his temper. The ceremonies continued, but Henry could not forgive such a personal humiliation. Any chance for co-operative friendship dissipated with this incident. Indeed, Henry had already begun negotiations with Francis's enemy (Holy Roman) Emperor Charles V. Within a month, Charles declared war on France, with Henry in support


Yet for all the trouble they went to, the results of the meeting were negligible. Though Henry and Francis agreed in principle to an alliance, it was just two weeks later that Henry met with Charles himself in England.By the terms of this new treaty between England and the Empire, each agreed to not sign any new treaties with France for two years, and the betrothal of Mary to the Dauphin was broken in favor of a new betrothal to Charles himself (this alliance would later be broken also). Over the next several years the three monarchs formed, broke, and reformed alliances in an ever-shifting attempt to gain ascendance in Europe, with no one gaining any permanent advantage.



This copy is made and owned by Thornbird Arms, California. 1987


The first  “de Heydon” was most likely a son of William de Cardon who was a Norman knight

and who was at the Battle of Hastings in 1066; and living in Heydon, Cambridgeshire in1086.

It is logical that a son would have been named William de Heydon and not Cardon.

William de Cardon may well have been a junior knight in 1066, as he was not given large estates in England.  Domesday Book names him “as a man of Geoffrey de Mandeville” and all other people only listed as statistics as quantity by status.   No record has been found of his parents; French records are not as complete as England, due “in part” to the French Revolution and two World Wars.


Richard I Coeur de Lion

Richard The Lionhearted

  Laws of Richard I (Coeur de Lion)

Concerning Crusaders Who Were to Go by Sea.

1189 A.D.


Richard by the grace of God king of England, and duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, to all his subjects who are about to go by sea to Jerusalem, greeting. know that we, by the common counsel of upright men, have made the laws here given. Whoever slays a man on ship. board shall be bound to the dead man and thrown into the sea. But if he shall slay him on land, he shall be bound to the dead man and buried in the earth. If any one, moreover, shall be convicted through lawful witnesses of having drawn a knife to strike another, or of having struck him so as to draw blood, he shall lose his hand. But if he shall strike him with his fist without drawing blood, he shall be dipped three times in the sea. But if any one shall taunt or insult a comrade or charge him with hatred of God: as many times as he shall have insulted him, so many ounces of silver shall he pay. A robber, moreover, convicted of theft, shall be shorn like a hired fighter, and boiling tar shall be poured over his head, and feathers from a cushion shall be shaken out over his head, -so that he may be publicly known; and at the first land where the ships put in he shall be cast on shore. Under my own witness at Chinon.





Duel between a youthful John Heydon and Sir Robert Mansfield, January 1600.


            The severed left hand of Sir John Heydon, Knight, is exhibited in the Lushington Room at the Museum at Canterbury, and its history is somewhat curious.  A manuscript describing the remarkable duel, which took place near Norwich, in January 1600, accompanies it.  The manuscript is thus headed:


“The hand of Sir John Heydon, Knight, who in the year 1600 fought a duel with Sir Robert Mansfield, Knight, near Norwich city, wch Sir John Heydon dyed of ye wounds he recd in the said duel, (as I’m informed).  I had this hand from Mrs. Lomax, whose mother was nearly related to the Heydons.”  (Youthful John Heydon, not yet a knight, did not die)


            The manuscript we should judge was not contemporaneous, nor nearly so, with the event it describes, but rather appears to be in the orthography and writing of the commencement of the 18th century. although it may be earlier.  The following “N.B.” gives it’s own date: -“The document, together with the hand of Sir John Heydon, were given to me by Charles Viscount Maynard.  A.D. 1822. -Danl.Jarvis.” 


            Mr. Jarvis was a doctor of medicine, resident at Margate, who presented the hand and the accompanying manuscript to the museum at Canterbury, probably at the time of the date of the indorsement, or soon afterwards.  The Mrs. Lomax alluded to as above, was a direct lineal descendant of Mirabel, the daughter of Sir John Heydon.


            The relic we have alluded to is the left hand, carefully dried.  It has been severed from the wrist about an inch below the little finger-transversely cutting the wrist bones, which have fallen out of the socket.  Sir John, in spite of the averment of the manuscript, did not die of this wound, but survived it some years, to be known hereafter as “Heydon with one hand.”


            We have no account of the cause of this duel, although the manuscript minutely describes the affair itself, and certain proceedings, which were attendant upon it.  The mutilated hand, which is the left looks as if injured by a sabre blow.  This we know could not have been the case, as the combatants fought with their rapiers.  More probably it was amputated by a surgeon.  The excision is through the metacarpus of the little finger, down through the trapezoid and trapezium bones of the wrist below the third finger.


            The duel was fought near Norwich.  The combatants rode some little way towards the scene of action, accompanied by two friend, but they quickly parted company from their seconds, if such they might be called, and rode off.  Sir John Heydon in advance, he being constrained to do so by Sir Robert Mansfield, who suspected or insinuated a suspicion of treachery from the very beginning.  And here it is proper to remark, that the manuscript account of this duel is entirely an ex parte statement of the latter knight.  At length, upon a hill between two highways, they dismounted and fought.  There appear to have been no witnesses present, although certain evidence of two labouring men is subjoined, which confirms parts only of the strange incidents connected with this duel.


            To return, however, to Sir John Heydon and Sir Robert Mansfield.  The only description of the duel, which we have, is from the manuscript in the Canterbury Museum, placed alongside the amputated hand.


Report of Sir Robert Mansfield


            “Sir Edwyn Ryche carried me without Ber Street Gate; my dere nephew Knyvett brought Sir John Heydon thither, whereupon we rid away towards Mr. Doyley’s and in a close upon this side the water, I entreated Sir Edward Ryche to go to my nephew Knyvett to the end we might be dismissed; (Knyvett, a gentleman of Her Majesty’s Privy Chamber) whereupon we parted, and they both lighted and searched us, and measured our rapiers, and found Sir John Heydon’s longer than myn, by a full ynche; then I desired Sir Edwyn Ryche to see if his rapier would fytt the other, and it would, but he would not let me have it, Then I saide I would fyght with my owne, my nephew Knyvett refused it absolutelie; and thereuppon, after many persuasions that I would suffer Sir John”s rapier to go back to be shortened, I absolutelie refused, and swore that they should not kepe me from ending the difference at that tyme with my owne sworde; whereupon we mounted on  horseback, and I led the waie, for so Sir John would have it.  By and by, my nephew Knyvett called and tould me we were to ryde to Rackeywards, as I understood it, but being ignorant of the waie I was so directed by Sir John Heydon, who ledd me another waie and refused to fyght in a narrow place that we did ryde through, which had a depe dyke on the one side and ploughed lands on the other side.  And then he made me take a waie to the topp of a hill between tow great high waies where he would have nedes me leight, for he would ryde no further, although he sawe companye rydeing on both syds. (Concern about being seen as dueling had been outlawed) When I sawe no remedie, I fitted myself thereunto, and cam upp to him, and in the verie first thrust, he hurte me in the breste, which I followed and hurte him in twoo places, whereof one was in the thigh, whereupon he turned his back towards me, and following of him he stumbled, and after I did judge he would falle I stoke him a blowe on the face, wherewith he fell upon his hands and knees, and he cried, “That I would not kyll him baselie on the grounde, for he would make me any satisfaction I would demand”, which I confesse held me from doinge him any further hurte until he did rise; and when he was upp, without speaking any worde he ran me into the brest againe, and my thruste myst him, as I thought, by his coming home to me.  Then we fell to stabbes with our daggers, and at his goinge out I strooke him upon the hend with my sworde, and another blowe at his face, which made him loose his dagger, which instantlie he recovered; afterwards I charged to halfe sword, and then he cryed to me to hould my hands, for he would make me any satisfaction; wherewith I stepped back, and soddenlie, before there passed any wordes, he thrust and hitt withall, came to stabbs with his dagger, and hurte me in the right arms two stabbs, whereupon I never left him, untill, he cryed the third tyme to hould my hand, saiing againe he would make me any satisfaction, whereunto I answered, I would never trust a treacherous villaine the third tyme, unless he would laye downe his rapier and dagger, which att the first in valiant terms he denied, untill he sawe me presse him so hotlie, he said, “if I would not kyll him he would laie down his rapier and dagger and make me what ever satisfaction  I would,”  which I promised by oaths to performe, though he in the interim thrust his rapier in the grounde to breake it, but perceiving it would not breake, he laid his rapier and dagger crosse waies close by his fete, and stepped back as I willed him.  Then I tooke upp his rapier and dagger, and carried them to the place where I left my purse and inkhorne, and drewe out my articles from my breste, where I carried them, and brought them with ink and penn to him to signe, whose seeing me come towards him, fell downe, and told me I had killed him, and he was not able to wryte.  Then I did protest to kill him, which I would have done if he had not signed the articles, and thereupon he sett his hand, and tould me he could wryte no better, and so I putt upp the articles in my pockett, and at his request I cast my cloak uppon him, and goeing towards my house with his rapier and dagger I espied twoe men coming verie nere, and it made me call them for wytness, and then I asked Sir John whether he had signed this paper, which I drewe forth out of my pockett, who would make me no other answer but that he hoped there was nothing but the articles, and willed me to remember he hadd not then redd them.  Then, finding myself very ill, and hadd no use att all of my right arme, verie little of the other, and one of my wounds to rattle, I tooke both rapier and dagger, and left my ruffe, my spurres, and the scabberd of my dagger, behind me; and being mounted, I caused one of the poore men to cast Sir John’s cloak about me, and so I cam galloping to my house, where I found Sir John Townsend, with many other gentlemen of worth, who can wytness of the unbuttoning and unripping of my doublett, and striping of myself to be laide in bedd, in what manner and case I leave to their reports, and myself to justifie the truthe thereof, further, than by reputation or discreation, I shall be tyed within the cares of the least sence be contraried nor with any honestie by Sir John Heydon himself, unto home I gave his life twice at that tyme-once, to my own endangering of my life by suffering hym to rise, and the second tyme, when he yielded me his rapier and dagger, wherof the world my be satisfied by carrieing it awaie, and keeping it.  In testimonie hereof I sett my hand. 

                                                                                                “Robert Mansfield”

Indorsed—“To my very friende,

            Mr. George Birchu, Norwich.”


The manuscript, besides the above document, contains the letter of Sir Bassingbourne Gaudy and Mr. Hungate, to Lord Thomas Howard and the Earl of Nottingham, relative to the duel and the depositions of the two husbandmen, who were examined in the matter.  Another letter is from Sir Bassingbourne Gaudy to the Lord Chief Justice Popham, and the reply of the Lord Chief Justice.


Rumours of foul play, reflecting strongly on Sir Robert Mansfield, had become prevalent, and hence the comments and inquiries.  Sir John Heydon, though grievously wounded, survived the encounter.  He lived until 1653, and bore the soubriquet of  Heydon with one hand, “ for in that year, at the marriage of Jane Drummond, one of the Maids of Honour to the Queen of James I, he appears to have had a quarrel with the same** Robert, Earl of Essex, which was to be decided “presently”, but whilst Heydon went to fetch his sword, Essex was restrained by the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The Queen, affronted at the unseemly “brabble” at her feast, and the fault being laid upon Heydon, he was temporarily confined in the Fleet Prison.  The occasion, as the narrative relates, was “dismil to him and his family,” for a Decree in Chancery was issued that day that the Sheriff and Justices of Norfolk should raise the county, and thrust his father out of all of the possessions which he held. **Not the same Essex, and not the same Heydon!  It was the younger, 3rd Earl of Essex as his father, the 2nd Earl had his head chopped off by queen Elizabeth already back in 1601. Also, this second Heydon now in this banquet hall argument is supposed to be some other young son of Sir Christopher who was at that time living in Baconsthorpe. I may be guilty of the crime of “assumption” but I assume it was this Christopher of Baconsthorpe second son, also named John after his one handed Uncle John and therein may be the confusion of the author. It was also young John’s daughter who kept the hand and passed it onward to her/his son. That still leaves open the question about this younger son’s missing hand?


The above documents are imperfect in some degree.  The letters to the Lord Thomas Howard and to the Earl of Nottingham are unsigned, and no allusion is made in the other portion of the manuscript to the death of  a Sir John Heydon.  The affair of the duel is strange enough, when we consider the circumstances attending it, and even in those days, when every gentleman wore his rapier by his side and personal encounters were of common occurrence, it awakened inquiry and comment.  Sir Robert Mansfield appears to have set out with his opponent, prepared for every contingency; -he had his articles as he called them carefully placed within his vest, in a most businesslike manner, as if certain of the issue of the combat; he carried his pen and his inkhorn, like a scrivener of the day; his sword, indeed, was an inch shorter than his opponent’s, but his attendant knight, if not his second, refused to accommodate him according to his account, with the temporary loan of his own sword, that he might fight on even terms.  In his account, he insinuates suspicion against his opponent from the very beginning, although we are unable to conclude how Sir John Heydon’s refusal to fight “in a narrow place,” or his ultimate determination to bring the affair to an issue “on the top of a hill between two great high waies,” could be more prejudicial to one party than to another.  Sir Robert Mansfield, according to the deposition of one of the husbandmen, Thomas Yarham, exclaimed, “Old father, search me,” and unbuttoned his doublet, but Sir Robert had nothing on his breast but the doublet, his waistcoat, and a shirt.  The said husbandman did not see Sir Robert Mansfield put any pen into Sir John Heydon’s hand, but he saw a very short pen lie on the ground hard by.  The other husbandman, Henry Hardyn of Norwich, confirms this account.  He saw Sir Robert Mansfield going towards Sir John Heydon,”with a written paper in his hand without either pen or ink,” and he heard Sir John reply, when requested to set his hand to the same,” that he could not, nor would not,” and that Sir Robert Mansfield made no answer.  Also that Sir Robert Mansfield, In spite of his saying “he was very ill, had no use at all of his right arm, and very little of the other,” as per statement,” mounted his horse, with all the weapons he carried out of the field, without any help.”  Sir Robert having taken Sir John’s cloak left him his own; no attempt however seems to have been made by any of the parties present to staunch the blood from Sir John Heydon’s wounds, or otherwise assist him.  He was lifted up into a cart, and carried home some half-an-hour after Sir Robert Mansfield had quitted the field.


The letters of Sir Bassingbourne Goudy and Mr. Hungate relate chiefly to the facts that no force or practyse was used to draw the husbandmen to Sir Robert Mansfield’s house,” and that their “speeches” were set down by a public notary and that they all “decry or disdain to be instruments of any such base practices as he and we are most unjustly charged withall, who would more willingly quench the fire already kindled, than be procurers of any further mischiefe.”


The Lord Chief Justice’s letter is written in a mild and conciliatory spirit, although he could not refrain from rebuking “such reports as had grown from Sir Robert Mansfield, as in terming Sir Christopher Heydon and his brother ‘base knaves,’ with many unbecoming terms to be given by one gentleman to another.”


Nothing further appears to have arisen out of this affair, and Sir Robert Mansfield, seems in the reign of King James to have risen in favour with the Administration, and to have held the important office of Treasurer to the Navy.


We may note a curious expression in Sir Robert Mansfield’s narrative.  He speaks of finding “one of his wounds to “rattell.”  We can guess the meaning, but have been unable to find in any dictionary any appropriate signification beyond the meaning “to make a noise.”-i.e., “to be troublesome.”


In the fight, Sir John Heydon appears at one time to have attacked his opponent with his sword in one hand and his dagger on the other, Sir Robert refusing to trust him unless “he laid down his rapier and dagger.”


Note. - Another account of this mysterious duel is given in the Gentlemen’s Magazine for May 1853, page 481, and an extended memoir of Sir Robert Mansfield is to be found in Mansell’s “History of the Family of Maunsell. -London 1850.



The 2nd Earl of Essex had earlier knighted Sir Robert Mansfield in1596, at the capture of Cádiz and had also knighted Sir Christopher Heydon, John’s elder brother.


Another Day, Another Sword Fight


This is the same Robert Mansfield in this following letter, but not the same above Sir John Heydon. There was a very large, extended titled, family of Heydons and they loved to all use the same names for their children, mostly Christopher, William, John, Thomas, etc. This drives Royal census takers and genealogists’ crazy. The person who signed ,Ro. Dawbeney, is also not known.

This next John Heydon does get killed and the year is now 1602. Our older Sir John Heydon, with the one hand, lives until October 1653.  No one, anywhere, has ever been able to trace or identify (still,2003) who this next Sir John Heydon is as there were several Sir John Heydons at this same time period around England and they ran in Royal circles.


Baconsthorpe, 22 October 1602  (This is 2 years and 9 mos. after the previous sword fight)

To ye Right Worshippfull Sr.

Bass,Gaydy Knight,Highe

Sherif of Norff.


            Sr. With rememberaunce of my dewtie, this is to ascertayne you that after your coming from Norwich yesterdays the challenge between Sr. Robert Mansfylde and Sr. John Heydon took effecte.  The first payd for it but bled onlye, but Sir John Heydon before this is thought to be deade.  The nuse we had from one that cam from Norwh. Yesterdays, whoe upon the waye mette wth passengers that cam to the ende of the fraye, and reported thus.  They went about twelve of the clocke from Norwch to fight about half a myle distant from Herford without frends of eyther side. (Meaning that they had no “seconds” to assist them.) In the fight passengers cam bye and before their neere approach they did see Sr. John Heydon falle; he is hurte in many places, but the deadlye wounde is by a thruste in at his throte and out at the toppe of his heade.  Sir Robert went to Norwich with the armes of the other who leye upon the grownde till the foresaid passengers cam to him, but could neyther stande nor speake, and they conveyed him to a house next to the place, but further he reports not.  Thus much I thought to certifie you, yf it be newse it shall be welcome, yf not I desire you to continewe good construction of mee.  I am and will be redeye to doe any s’vice for the discharge of my dewtie, or that might contente your worship.

                                                                                                            Ro. Dawbeney


  Robert Devereaux, Second Earl of Essex-2 left pictures    King James I of Scotland

February 8, 1601 Robert Devereaux, Second Earl of Essex, is in open warfare rebellion against Queen Elizabeth along with Knight Christopher Heydon and brother John Heydon.

“You would depose the Queen. You would be King of England and call a parliament!”

Essex intrigued with King James I of Scotland to induce him to support a rising, along with his friend, Lord Mountjoy, who had succeeded to his command in Ireland, whom he implored to land troops in Wales. His only real accomplice, however, was Shakespeare's patron, the Earl of Southampton. The rash Essex was a bad head for any insurrection and the London mob, with whom he was really popular, was not so foolish as to rise against Queen Elizabeth. There was, however, actually something like a small riot when Essex and Southampton were seized and sent to the Tower. Essex was beheaded on 25th February 1601 and there is indeed good reason for believing that the Queen broke her aged heart when she signed his death warrant.                                                     

Vain and rash beyond anyone of his age, lacking any real measure of statesmanship, Robert Devereux, Second earl of Essex, had been lifted by the inheritance of his titled family birth into a position for which he was wholly unfitted. Yet he possessed, in a marked degree, qualities which endeared him to Queen Elizabeth to others with whom he quarrelled: most utter frankness, warm affection and generosity and, in war, the courage of a Paladin of romance.

The Earl of Essex treason against Queen Elizabeth, breaks out in open warfare after resisting arrest by the Queen's representatives at 10 in the morning. He and about 200 followers parade through London, hoping to stir up a rebellion against his sometime patroness Queen Elizabeth. Meeting with little success, he returns home in the afternoon and prepares to mount a defense. After several parlays, Essex and his followers which include the Earl of Southampton,  Sir Christopher Heydon and John Heydon  yield to the Lord Admiral's forces at 10 at night.

February 19, 1601
Essex, Southampton and others brought to trial

Being demanded what they could say for themselves to lessen a judgment of death, the Earl of Essex replied he was quite willing to die, though he would not despise clemency as long as no cringing submission was involved in securing it. The Earl of Southampton sought pardon with greater earnestness, moving the hearts of every bystander to pity with ingenuous modesty. After he was done, the Lord High Steward spake again and pronounced a sentence of death upon both of them, that they should be hanged, bowelled and quartered as the law provides. **

Sir Christopher Heydon was fined  £2000 and later released, (sometime before 1603). Remember, he had inherited the estates and the money. This massive fine became impossible to pay which managed to bankrupt the Baconsthorpe estates. There is no record of John Heydon being fined and he was kept in prison until 1603.  

February 21, 1601
Essex confesses

Feeling somewhat abashed at the obstinate denials he offered in his trial just two days ago, the Earl of Essex has now made a full confession of his crimes to the four Privy Councilors that Queen Elizabeth agreed to send to him.

Essex now admits that he and his followers intended to seize the Court and take the Queen herself into their power. Then, under color of her own authority, they would have changed the Government, called a parliament and condemned all those whom they considered to have misgoverned the State.

   February 25, 1601 
Earl of Essex executed   

        Today Ash Wednesday, Robert Devereaux, The Earl of Essex was beheaded for his recent crimes against her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the State. He was 34 years old. He was not hanged, drawn, and quartered. He was executed in private in a portion of the Tower reserved for Royal prisoners and he fell to the headsman’s axe, as befitted his rank.

Over a hundred people witnessed his execution, which took place on a scaffold about three yards square and railed round in the high court above Caesar's Tower.

Sir Walter Raleigh was present at the first, until others prevailed upon him to leave, lest he seem to be feeding his eyes at the sight of the Earl's blood.
Before coming to the block, Essex prayed for forgiveness, and for God's blessing upon the Queen, her nobles and ministers of Church and State. He asked both them and the world to have a charitable opinion of him for his intention towards her Majesty, whose death, he protested upon his salvation, he never meant, nor violence to her person.

Coming to the block, after fitting his head thereto he was willed by one of the ministers present to recite the beginning of the 51st Psalm. When he had said two verses he uttered the words, "Executioner, strike home. Come Lord Jesus, come Lord Jesus, and receive my soul: O Lord into thy hands I commend my spirit." In the midst of which sentence the executioner struck.

Though he had to strike three times, neither Essex's hands, body nor head stirred. Finally the executioner lifted up the Earl's (Essex) severed head for all to see, saying, "God save the Queen."

Unfortunately, as he returned from the Tower the executioner was accosted by a crowd of people and beaten. If the sheriffs of London had not intervened, he had surely been murdered.

Procedures for execution of persons of High Treason.

“A traitor shall be drawn to the place of execution from his prison, as being not worthy any more to tread upon the face of the earth whereof he was made: also for that he hath been retrograde to nature, therefore is he drawn backward at a horse-tail. And whereas God hath made the head of man the highest and most supreme part, as being his chief grace and ornament, he must be drawn with his head declining downward, and lying so near the ground as may be, being thought unfit to take benefit of the common air.


**For which cause also he shall be strangled, being hanged up by the neck between heaven and earth, as deemed unworthy of both or either; as likewise, that the eyes of men may behold, and their hearts contemn him. His bowels and inward parts taken out and burned, who inwardly had conceived and harboured in his heart such horrible treason. After, to have his head cut off, which had imagined the mischief. And lastly, his body to be quartered, and the quarters set up in some high and eminent place, to the view and detestation of men, and to become a prey for the fowls of the air. And this is a reward due to traitors, whose hearts be hardened; for that it is a physic of state and government, to let out corrupt blood from the heart.”  


                                                                      OUCH !








         By Rev. Wm. B Hayden-1877


            The arms of the Norfolk Line  (the direct male Norfolk line today is now extinct) belong to the most ancient class.  As is well known, the custom of employing these cognizances grew out of the crusades.  The arms of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, founded by the crusaders in Syria and Palestine, was a “Cross Crosslet.”  That is, a Greek cross with cross pieces at the ends of its four arms.  The knights were knights of the cross, and many of them adopted some form of the holy symbol as the device for their shields.


The engrailed cross, which is that of the Heydons, is a figure found among some of the oldest of the drawings of armorial devices that have come down to us; one of them dating from King Edward I, about 1275.  Several other families had it.  In those days all arms were assumptive, each knight choosing the signs by which he would be known.


Thomas de Heydon appeared in public life while Henry III was yet a minor; and it was during the reign of that monarch that armorial bearings came into use in England.  That the Heydons were known by an engrailed cross would imply that an ancestor had been engaged in those eastern wars.  The second crusade, in which Richard Coeur de Lion, (Richard the Lionhearted) played so prominent a part, had just closed. And Thomas’s father had probably taken part in it.  Thomas de Heydon himself was born during King Richard’s lifetime.  That he should receive so important an appointment from the crown as that of the first judge in Norfolk County would indicate that the family possessed some distinguished claims to preferment.  Very soon, the Heydon Arms were impaled with those of other families, i.e.; the arms of the bridegroom and bride being placed side by side, each occupying one-half of the shield.  In the course of their history this occurred in a great many instances.  At first, with the Loverds, Oultons, Warrens, Willoughbys, Boleyns, and Gurneys.  Two instances of this impaling are given in the accompanying plates (pictures) of Arms, viz.: “Gurney and Heydon,” and “Ann Boleyn and Heydon.”  Later, these connections by marriage became to numerous to be copied here.  (Ann Boleyn was the aunt of Anne Boleyn, one wife of Henry VIII).


Thus too, in process of time, came the numerous quarterings, which the descendants of these marriages were entitled to bear.  The plates (pictures) show several of these quartered arms; as in the first of Heydon and Gurney.  The arms of the Heydon, Watford Branch, which at first was identical to the Norfolk Branch, are here given with the quarterings of the several families with which they intermarried. Viz.: Aubrey, Newton, Twynboe and Longville.


Colonel Bulwer, in his “Heydon pedigree,” page 15, states that,”In the manor-house at Saxlingham, built by John Heydon, who married a daughter of Lord Willoughby, is Heydon impaling quarterly in the first and fourth, a cross engrailed, Ufford.”  The Ufford cross is drawn with a slight difference.  But the device of Robert de Ufford is the drawing, which has been preserved from the time of King Edward I.


The HAYDON DEVON ARMS family lines also, were varied by a few quarterings.  These quarterings in the different lines may have given rise to an occasional misunderstanding.  Some Americans appear to have mistaken a quartering for the original arms.  Thus, one family has used the device of three eaglets displayed, or (gold).  This was on the Fitz-Symon arms, which came late by marriage into the Norfolk Heydon line.  Four eagles displayed were also on the Corham Arms, of Devon, who intermarried with the Heydon Cadhay branch.  Descendants of these marriages, no doubt, were entitled to assume these bearings on the other side of the water.


The arms given in the plates of this book are all historically authentic.  Those on the first page, of Pedigree of Heydon, Gurney impaling Heydon, Gurney and Heydon, with the quarterings, Ann Boleyn and Heydon, were copied by Mrs. Wm. B. Hayden, from the Gurney Book in the British Museum.  Those of the NORFOLK, WATFORD, and DEVON Heydon lines, on the second, third and fourth pages of plates, were officially obtained by Mr. Levi Hayden from the College of Arms in London.

. .  END . . .



Heydon Family Coat of Arms

Mostly Collected from the Hayden genealogy of 1887-88



A Coat of Arms was issued to an individual, not a family, and of course, has no legal standing in the United States. Still, it is interesting to collect and study the Arms of our ancestors.

Heydon / Gerrard Coat of Arms


This coat of arms is from "Hertfordshire's Past 14, "It is the Coat of Arms of John HEYDON, impaling that of his first wife, Joan GERARD (died c1641-5, and probably buried at Harrow). It was described by Clutterbuck, (History of Hertfordshire, V.I, 1815) as being on the north wall of Oxhey Chapel. It had disappeared in the 1870's.

On the north wall of the chancel in Baconsthorpe Church just outside the communion rails and close to the floor there is a slab 4 ft. 8 in. by 1 ft. 8 in. which appears to have been a top of a table tomb. Indents of kneeling figures and inscription remain, but rather poorly defined, with four shields at the corners, two of which, on the sinister side remain, bearing:

I. Quarterly; 1 and 4, HEYDON (argent and gules, a cross engrailed
counterchanged); 2, WARREN (chequee or and azure, on a canton gules a lion
rampant of the first); 3, OULTON (quarterly vert and gules, a lion rampant
argent over all); 2, BEKE (gules, a cross moline argent); 3, a lion rampant :
4, ENGAINE (gules, a fess dancettee between six cross-crosslets or).

II. Quarterly: 1, WILLOUGHBY; 2, BEKE; 3, a lion rampant; 4, ENGAINE.
Sir John HEYDON of Baconsthorpe, Knight, who married Catherine, daughter
of Sir Christopher WILLOUGHBY, of Parham, Co. Suffolk, died 16 Aug. 1550, and,
according to Blomefield (Hs. of Norfolk) was buried 'under an altar tomb in the
north aisle of this church, now deprived of its brass plated, but these arms are
still remaining: Quarterly, argent and gules, a cross engrailed counterchanged
HEYDON quartering WARREN and OLDTON; and impaling WILLOUGHBY...with the crest of
HEYDON a talbot passant, ermine, and motto, 'Regarde que suyst De Vertue Null
Male.'" Blomefield blazons the arms of WILLOUGHBY...
There is no trace of the crest or motto remaining but high up on the
east wall of the south aisle is another shield, from its shape and size
evidently from the dexter side of this slab, bearing: - HEYDON quartering WARREN
and OULTON (same as dexter side of I).
Blomefield also states that in the south aisle ' on a tomb are the
effigies of Sir Christopher HEYDON, his two wives and children with the
quartered coat of HEYDON and the arms of DRURY, and or, three lions passant in
pale sable CARE'. This was evidently the tomb of Sir Christopher, the grandson
of Sir John HEYDON, and his two wives, Anne daughter of Sir William DRURY, of
Hasted, Co. Suffolk, and Temperance, daughter of Sir Weighment CARE. No traces
of the original slab remain, but on the east wall of the South aisle, to the
left of the monument to Sir William HEYDON and Anne (WOODHOUS) HIS WIFE (son of Sir Christopher) there is the figure of Anne HEYDON in heraldic mantle, 1 ft.
high, bearing, on the dexter side of the mantle, HEYDON and OULTON, and on the
sinister, DRURY (argent, on a chief vert a cross tau between two mullets pierced
or) [ The original DRURY coat was without the tau which was added by Nicholas de
DRURY, who went with John of GAUNT to Spain and thence to the Holy Land.
Burke.], and FELTON (sable, two lions passant ermine ducally crowned or). The
black-letter inscription is fixed to the sill of the easternmost window of the
south aisle...
'Here under this Tombe lyeth ingraved the bodies of Ladie Anne HEYDON,
daughter of Syr Willm. DREWRYE, knighte, sometime wyfe of Syr Xrofer HEYDON of
Baconsthorpe in the county of Norff., knighte, which Ladie Anne deceased the 5th
daye of September, A. 1561, and the saide Sir Xrofer the 10th day of December,
anno `579, and also the Ladie Temperance HEYDON, seconde wyfe of the saide Sir
Xrofer, daughter of Sir Weighment CAREWE, Knight, which ladie Temperance
deceased the nynthe daye of October, in anno dni. 1577.








The Conqueror and His Companions

by J.R. Planché, Somerset Herald. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1874.

"De Garenes i vint Willeme" is all we learn from Wace about his appearance at Hastings, except that his helmet fitted him admirably, "Mult li sist bien et chief li helme;" for the mention of which interesting circumstance I suspect the gallant knight is more indebted to rhyme than to record — to the art of poetry rather than to the skill of his armourer. Fortunately we have made his acquaintance some time previous to the Conquest, and there are circumstances of much more importance and interest connected with him than the well-fitting of his helmet. His parentage has been variously represented, and that of his wife the subject of the keenest controversy.

To begin with the beginning. Without bewildering the reader with the conflicting accounts of the early contemporary chroniclers, and the unsatisfactory conclusions of more recent writers, I will at once refer to the earliest mention of William de Warren in history that I am aware of, which occurs in Orderic Vital's account of the battle of Mortemer and its results in 1054. "Duke William," (not William de Warren) he tells us, "being enraged by the shelter and safe conduct granted by Roger de Mortemer, who commanded his Norman forces on that occasion, to the Comte de Montdidier, who had fought on the side of the enemy French and taken refuge in Roger de Mortemer’s, Norman Castle of Mortemer. Duke William banished Roger de Mortemer from Normandy and confiscated all his possessions;" but being afterwards reconciled to him he restored them to him, with the exception of Mortemer’s own “Castle of Mortemer”, which the Duke gave to William de Warren, "one of his loyal young vassals," whom Orderic makes the Conqueror describe as a cousin or kinsman of De Mortemer, acknowledging no consanguinity to himself.

The probabilities are that he was the son of a Ralph de Warren, a benefactor to the abbey of La Trinité du Mont about the middle of the 11th century, who, as well as Roger de Mortemer, Nicholas de Basqueville, Walter de St. Martin, and many others, were the issue of some of the numerous nieces of the Duchess Gonnor ("Nepotes plures predicta Gunnora"), who have been inaccurately set down as kinsmen instead of distant connections of her great-grandson the Conqueror.

William de Warren, to whom the Duke of Normandy gave the Castle of Mortemer, was a young man, we are told, at that period, and would, therefore, scarcely have attained the prime of life in 1066. He is named amongst the principal persons summoned to attend the Council at Lillebonne, when the invasion of England was decided upon, and was no doubt present in the great battle, for his services in which he received as his share of the spoil some three hundred manors, nearly half that number being in the county of Norfolk.

In 1067, on the King's departure for Normandy, William de Warren was joined with Hugh de Grentmesnil, Hugh de Montfort, and other valiant men in the government of England, under the superior jurisdiction of the Earl-bishop Odo and William Fitz 0sbern.

In 1074, on the breaking out of the rebellion of Roger, Earl of Hereford, and Ralph, Earl of Norfolk, we find him associated with Richard de Bienfaite as Chief Justiciaries of England, and summoning the rebels to appear before the King's High Court; and on their refusal, William de Warren with Robert, son of William Malet, marched against Earl Ralph, and routing the rebels at Fagadune, pursued them to Norwich, taking many prisoners, whom, according to the barbarous practice of the age, they mutilated by chopping off the right foot—an unmistakable proof that the sufferers had taken a step in the wrong direction.

Of his personal prowess no special anecdote has been preserved, and it is as the husband of the mysterious Gundred, or Gundrada, that his name has descended to the present day with any special interest attached to it.

Whether the hand of this lady was bestowed upon him previously to his services at Senlac, or as a part of his reward for them, does not appear, and our ignorance of the date of their marriage has been the principal obstacle in the way of those who have so hotly disputed her relationship to William the Conqueror, for could we even arrive at an approximate date it might enable us to calculate her probable age at that period, and whether she was born before or after 1053, on which fact depends the whole question.

That they were married before 1078 is certain, as in that year they founded the Priory of Lewes in Sussex, and we have the charters of King William, which he granted to that establishment for the health of the souls of his lord and ancestor, King Edward, of his father Count-Robert, of his own soul and that of his wife, Queen Matilda, and of all their children and successors, and for the souls of William de Warren and his wife Gundrada, his (William's) daughter and their heirs.

The words "my daughter" — "filiæ meæ" — would be decisive of her being the acknowledged child of the King; but independently of their being scarcely legible, it is contended that they are in a different and later hand; and there is this to be observed, which I do not remember having seen noticed, that the King has just previously used the expression "our children and successors" (filiorum atque successorum nostrorum"), so that his particularising Gundrada as "my daughter" would imply that she was not by his wife Matilda.

Exactly in opposition to this is the declaration of William de Warren himself, in whose charter to the priory, granted after the death of Gundred in childbirth (6 kalends of June, 1085), he states his donations to be for the salvation of the souls, amongst others, of his lady Queen Matilda, mother of his wife ("matris uxoris meæ"), excluding in turn King William from any share in her parentage. Was she then the sister of Gherbod the Fleming, Earl of Chester, as Orderic Vital distinctly describes her, without the slightest allusion to her parents? And, if so, was Queen Matilda the mother of both by a previous marriage, which has been utterly ignored by contemporary writers, and never yet established by recent investigators? Mr. Freeman accepts that interpretation, and I can advance no argument in dispute of it. It is much more likely, as he observes, that a stepfather should call the daughter of his wife his daughter, than that a husband should speak of the mother of his wife in anything but a strictly literal sense.

Then how are we to account for the universal silence of the chroniclers, native and foreign, on the subject? Mr. Freeman quotes the instance of their apparent ignorance of the marriage of Robert the Devil with the widow of UIf; but this is a much more important case. We have the unequivocal declaration of William de Warren that Queen Matilda was the mother of his wife, and unless that charter is spurious, of which there is not the slightest suspicion, the evidence to that extent is conclusive.

But we have not yet done with riddles. Amongst the benefactors of Bermondsey, I find one Richard Guett, recorded as brother of the Countess of Warren, and the donor of the manor of Cowyke to the monks of that abbey, 11th of Rufus, A.D. 1098.

Gundred at that period had been dead thirteen years; but that she is the person alluded to there can be no doubt, as she is styled only "Comtesse Warenne;" whereas Isabelle de Vermandois, wife of her son, the second William, was Countess of Warren and Surrey.

Then who was this Richard Guett? Was he another child of Matilda of Flanders, a brother or halfbrother of Gherbod and Gundred, or a brother-in-law, for the old writers pay little attention to these nice distinctions, as we have seen in the case of Odo of Champagne? Had Matilda of Flanders as many husbands as Adelaide, Countess of Ponthieu, and, like her, issue by each? What was the real cause of the inhibition of her marriage with William, Duke of Normandy, — its delay for six years?  (Queen Matilda as a 17-year-old girl was a monstress teenager witch with a real attitude problem. “If I can’t have him, nobody can have him).” What truth is there in the story of her unreturned affection for the Anglo-Saxon Brihtric Meaw, and of her vindictive conduct to him after she became Queen of England? I have hesitated to believe in the popular tradition that Duke William grossly assaulted the daughter of Baldwin in the street or in her own chamber, not that I have any doubt about his being capable of such an outrage, but because he was too politic to commit it, and she was not the woman to have forgiven it, assuming that the offence was the simple refusal of his hand on the ground of his illegitimacy. It is obvious, however, that the early life of Matilda is involved in mystery, and it is highly probable that a clearer insight into it would enable us to account for much which we now reject as legend, or fail to reconcile with acknowledged facts. If there be any foundation for the story of William's brutality, the outburst of ungovernable fury might have been due to a much greater provocation than has been assigned for it. Brihtric, the son of Algar or Alfar, surnamed Meaw (Snow), from the extreme fairness of his complexion, an Anglo-Saxon Thegn, possessor of large domains in England, had been sent on an embassy from King Edward the Confessor to the Connt of Flanders. Matilda, we are told, fell desperately in love with him, and offered herself to him in marriage! Either disgusted by her forwardness, or preferring another, he declined the flattering proposal. "Hell hath no fury like a woman foiled," and she kept her wrath warm till she was in a position to ruin the man she had so passionately loved. She had no sooner become the Queen of England than she induced William to confiscate, on some pretence, all Brihtric's estates, and obtained the greater proportion for herself. The unfortunate Thegn was arrested at his house at Hanley, in Worcestershire, on the very day Saint Wulfstan had consecrated a chapel of his building, dragged to Winchester, and died in a dungeon! The truth of this story is supported by the impartial evidence of Domesday, in which Hanley and the principal manors held by Brihtric in the time of King Edward are recorded as the possessions of Queen Matilda, and the remainder passed to Fitz Hamon.

After her hand had been rejected by the noble Saxon, it is presumed she became the wife of a Fleming, named Gherbod, who appears to have held the hereditary office of Advocate of the Abbey of Saint Bertin, in St. Omers, and by whom she had at least two children, viz., Gherbod, to whom William gave the earldom of Chester, and Gundred, "the sister of Gherbod," and wife of William de Warren. Was this a clandestine or an informal marriage, which, as it has never been acknowledged by any chronicler, contemporary or other, might have been unknown to the Duke of Normandy, when he proposed to one whom he believed to be the maiden daughter of the Count of Flanders, and the corporal chastisement inflicted, however unworthy of a man, passed over, sub silentio, for prudential reasons, by the parties who had been guilty of a disgraceful suppression of facts? The subsequent marriage under such circumstances will awaken no surprise in any one who has studied the character of William. Utterly unscrupulous, destitute of every generous, noble, or delicate feeling, every action of his life was dictated by POLICY alone. An alliance with the Count of Flanders might be considered by the crafty schemer sufficiently advantageous to warrant his overlooking any objectionable antecedents in the conduct of a granddaughter of a king of France, his first discovery of which had provoked his savage nature into a momentary ebullition of fury. Her being the mother of two children was a point in her favour with a man whose sole motive for marrying was the perpetuation of a dynasty, and the fair prospect of legitimate issue, in whose veins the blood of the Capets should enrich that of the Furrier of Falaise, would overcome any hesitation at espousing the widow of an Advocate of St. Bertin. On the other hand, Count Baldwin would be too happy to embrace the opportunity of reinstating his daughter in a position befitting her birth, and, as well as the lady herself, gladly condone past insults for future advantages and the hope of smothering, in the splendor of a ducal wedding, the awkward whispers of scandal.

I have said thus much simply to show the view that may be taken of these mysterious circumstances, in opposition to the rose-colored representations of some modern historians, who, upon no stronger evidence, elevate the Conqueror into a model husband, and describe Matilda as the perfection of womankind. To return to Gundred: her mother, Matilda, the third child of parents who were married in 1027, could not well have been born before 1030, and would therefore be some three years younger than the Conqueror.

In 1047, the time named as that of the Duke's first proposal, she would have been seventeen, and at that age either passionately in love with Brihtric, or already the youthful bride of the Advocate of St. Bertin.

In either case her rejection of William — and in the latter the Papal inhibition — is perfectly understandable. Assuming the marriage, she could scarcely have been the mother of the younger Gherbod and his sister Gundred before 1050; and the Countess of Warren, who died in childbed in 1085, would, according to this calculation, have then been in her thirty-fifth year. These dates are fairly presumable, and are not contradicted by any circumstances of which I am aware.

No date has ever been assigned to the marriage of Gundred, but it is probable that it took place subsequent to the invasion, and about the same time that the earldom of Chester was bestowed on her brother Gherbod, with whom she may have come to England in the train of their mother, Matilda, on her visit in 1068, for there is not the slightest trace of Gherbod's presence at Hastings; and the magnificent gift of the County Palatine of Chester to a foreigner unknown to fame must have been owing to private family influence, as no service of any description is recorded for which it could be considered a merited reward.

In the foundation charter to Lewes, William de Warren himself tells us that he set out with his wife, Gundred, on a journey to Rome, but was unable to pass the German frontier in consequence of the war raging between the Emperor and the Pope. They therefore visited the Abbey of Cluni, where the Prior and the community most hospitably entertained them in the absence of Hugh, the Abbot. No date is mentioned, but the circumstances to which he alludes enable us to arrive at an approximate one.

In the Council of Worms, 23rd of January in that year, sentence of excommunication was passed upon the contumacious Kaiser, and his subjects absolved from their oath of fidelity; and in the following year, Henry, accompanied by his wife and infant son, Conrad, presented himself as a penitent before the walls of the Castle of Canossa, in Lombardy, where the Pontiff was then residing; and after remaining for three days, with naked feet and without food, in token of his contrition, was admitted, on the fourth, to the presence of the triumphant Pontiff, in consequence of the mediation of his cousin, the Countess Matilda, the Count of Savoy, and the Abbot of Cluni, who were at that period at Canossa with his Holiness.

This latter event occurred on the 26th of January 1077, and we therefore know that Abbot Hugh was then in Lombardy. How long he was absent from Cluni on that occasion I cannot say, but we may fairly conjecture that William and Gundred were the guests of the Prior towards the close of the year 1076, or in the early part of 1077, in which latter year, they having long before resolved to found some religious house for the welfare of their souls, determined that, in gratitude for their reception at the Abbey of Cluni, it should rather be of the Cluniac order than any other. Having obtained the license of King William, Abbot Hugh, at their request, sent over four of his monks, the principal of whom, named Lanzo, became the first Prior of St. Pancras at Lewes, which was founded and endowed by the Earl accordingly.

The Countess died, as before stated, in 1085, and was buried in the chapter house at Lewes.

On the breaking out of Bishop Odo's rebellion, in the first year of the reign of Rufus, William, Earl of Warren, stood fast by the King, and served him most loyally both in the field and the council-chamber, for which good service he was created Earl of Surrey.

He enjoyed his new dignity but for a brief period, dying in 1089, 8 kalends of July (where, or of what disorder, is not stated), and was buried near his wife in the chapter house of Lewes.

The discovery of their coffins a few years ago raised the controversy respecting the parentage of Gundred, which can scarcely even now be considered absolutely decided.

As in the case of Adelaide, Countess of Ponthieu, some charter or trustworthy document may yet be discovered which will clear up, by a simple fact, the mystery surrounding the early life of the Queen of the Conqueror, and not only enable us correctly to affiliate Gherbod and Gundred, but also to identify the hitherto unnoticed claimant to the honour of being one of their nearest relations, Richard Guett, the benefactor of Bermondsey, "brother of the Countess of Warren." From the register of Ely, in the Bodleian Library, Dugdale quotes the following tale of wonder: — " It is reported that this Earl William did violently detain certain lands from the monks of Ely, for which, being after admonished by the Abbot, and not making restitution, he died miserably; and though his death happened very far off the Isle of Ely, the same night he died, the Abbot, lying quietly in his bed, and meditating on heavenly things, heard the soul of the Earl in its carriage away by the Devil, cry out loudly and with a known and distinct voice, 'Lord have mercy upon me! Lord have mercy upon me!' and moreover that the next day the Abbot acquainted all the monks in Chapter therewith; and, likewise, that about four days after there came a messenger to them from the wife of the Earl with one hundred shillings for the good of his soul, who told them that he died the very hour the Abbot heard that outcry; but that neither the Abbot nor any of the monks would receive it, not thinking it safe for them to take the money of a damned person."

"If the first part of this story," adds honest old Norroy, " as the Abbot's hearing that noise, be no truer than the last, viz., that his lady sent them one hundred shillings, I shall deem it to be a mere fiction in regard the lady was certainly dead about three years before."

What appears more incredible to me is that there was not one monk to be found in the convent who would pocket the money "for the good of the soul" of the departed delinquent, who had "died miserably," — a statement which, taken in conjunction with the preternatural communication of the event to the holy Abbot, conveys to my mind an ugly idea of a guilty foreknowledge of it.
This  is the end of the Norfolk Heydon Report.