Framlingham - Encyclopedia

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FRAMLINGHAM, a market town in the Eye parliamentary division of Suffolk, 91 m. N.E. from London by a branch of the Great Eastern railway. Pop. (1901) 2526. The church of St Michael is a fine Perpendicular and Decorated building of black flint, surmounted by a tower 96 ft. high. In the interior there are a number of interesting monuments, among which the most noticeable are those of Thomas Howard, 3rd duke of Norfolk, and of Henry Howard, the famous earl of Surrey, who was beheaded by Henry VIII. The castle forms a picturesque ruin, consisting of the outer walls 44 ft. high and 8 ft. thick, 13 towers about 58 ft. high, a gateway and some outworks. About half a mile from the town is the Albert Memorial Middle Class College, opened in 1865, and capable of accommodating 300 boys. A bronze statue of the Prince Consort by Joseph Durham adorns the front terrace.

Framlingham (Frendlingham, Framalingaham) in early Saxon times was probably the site of a fortified earthwork to which St Edmund the Martyr is said to have fled from the Danes in 870. The Danes captured the stronghold after the escape of the king, but it was won back in 921, and remained in the hands of the crown, passing to William I. at the Conquest. Henry I. in 110o granted it to Roger Bigod, who in all probability raised the first masonry castle. Hugh, son of Roger, created earl of Norfolk in 1141, succeeded his father, and the manor and castle remained in the Bigod family until 1306, when in default of heirs it reverted to the crown, and was granted by Edward II. to his half-brother Thomas de Brotherton, created earl of Norfolk in 1312. On an account roll of Framlingham Castle of 1324 there is an entry of "rent received from the borough," also of "rent from those living outside the borough," and in all probability burghal rights had existed at a much earlier date, when the town had grown into some importance under the shelter of the castle. Town and castle followed the vicissitudes of the dukedom of Norfolk, passing to the crown in 1405, and being alternately restored and forfeited by Henry V., Richard III., Henry VII., Edward VI., Mary, Elizabeth and James I., and finally sold in 1635 to Sir Robert Hitcham, who left it in 1636 to the master and fellows of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge.

In the account roll above mentioned reference is made to a fair and a market, but no early grant of either is to be found. In 1792 two annual fairs were held, one on Whit Monday, the other on the 10th of October; and a market was held every Saturday. The market day is still Saturday, but the fairs are discontinued.

See Robert Hawes, History of Framlingham in the County of Suf f olk, edited by R. Loder (Woodbridge, 1798).

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