Essex Connections of Norfolk and Suffolk Recusants

On the afternoon of Saturday 7th July I spoke to an audience of around 40 members of the Essex Recusant Society in Brentwood on ‘Essex Connections of Suffolk and Norfolk Recusants’. I concentrated on three families from Suffolk who at some point held lands in Essex – the Kytsons of Hengrave, the Tasburghs of Flixton and the Rookwoods of Stanningfield. Of these, the Rookwoods were the most significant Essex landowners, holding the manors of Claverings and Shrieves in Colne Engaine from before the Reformation until the mid-eighteenth century. Many questions remain unanswered about Catholics who held lands in counties other than their own – what was the effect on local people of an absentee landlord who also happened to be a Catholic? My paper, which was drawn from my research on these families, did not do as much as I should have liked to answer that broader question, but I believe it is certainly one that is worthy of further investigation.

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