The Hadleigh SocietyMay 2017
Newsletter Index Up Nov 2017 May 2017


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Your Contributions? 

Your Committee Needs You

Blue Plaques 

Guildhall Kitchen 


Local List

Roger Green on Simon of Sudury 

Publicising The Society and its Events 

NOTICE OF THE 35th AGM, 2017 

Your Contributions?

Itís AGM time and as usual thereís the opportunity to get more involved in the work of the Society, if youíd like to do that. We particularly seek committee members but there are other tasks that donít involve meetings.

One of those roles is to provide interesting and relevant articles that might inform or entertain our members. Although the direct readership is not great, what you write might still be picked up by Google searches over the next hundred years so itís small opportunity for a bit of immortality. This is probably a good opportunity to note that the Hadleigh Society has had a website for over 20 years which has a newsletter archive going back to 1984.

Budding journalists, or maybe retired ones, your pieces will be gratefully received. Perhaps you have a view on Hadleigh now or how you would like it to develop or some interesting item of Hadleigh history you wish to share. Contact the Editor. We make a start in this issue with Mavis Winders contributing a report on our most recent talk.

We hope to see you at the AGM. We will get the business items over as quickly as we can, to be followed by a presentation of Ever Changing Hadleigh by Jan Byrne and Sue Angland. Finally, wine and nibbles.


Your Committee Needs You

Last year several of our committee members stepped down.  Weíve now strengthened our sub-committees but we still need more people to get involved in running the Society.  If you think you could help to keep the Society going and would like to talk about what is involved then please phone the Honorary Secretary, Graham Panton or any other committee member.  Contact details are on the back page and on the website.   

Blue Plaques

Should Hadleigh mark buildings with blue plaques?  In London, where English Heritage administers the scheme, there are strict criteria which include: the person must have been dead for 20 years, be eminent, be recognisable to the well-informed passer-by or deserve recognition. Plaques there can only be erected on the actual building, not just where it once stood. Some other places have less stringent conditions.

We invite suggestions for ĎBlue Plaquesí in Hadleigh. This discussion was prompted by a proposal to recognise Oswald Gayford in this way. More recently we have had a proposal that his sister should be similarly honoured. Other suggestions are: William Pykenham, Hugh James Rose, John Muriel aka Simon Dewes.

In our next Newsletter we will summarise the achievements of these people and the places with which they are associated. In the meantime it would be useful to test how well-known these people are.  If you recognise any of them please send an email or write to the Honorary Secretary.

Guildhall Kitchen

We reported in December 2015 on the inauguration of this project. We now have listed building consent to carry out exploratory work.

There have been two planning applications so far this year which have deserved our attention. In neither case did we object to the principle of the building proposals but in each case we identified aspects of the designs which should have been improved. In both cases we did get the height of the buildings reduced. Our correspondence with the planners can be found on our website at

McCarthy & Stone (B/16/00760)

The Society felt that the site layout and the height and siting of the apartment block could be significantly improved. Historic England and Suffolk Preservation Society made similar points.

On this site the Council ought to seek to optimise the siteís potential to accommodate, create and sustain an appropriate mix of uses, to respond to local character and history, to reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials, to safeguard the natural environment and create a safe, accessible and pleasant place in which to live.

Despite this, on 1 February the planning committee approved, subject to conditions.

7 Bridge Street Demolition of bungalow and erection of two dwellings (B/16/01701)

Our objections can be found on our website (as above). The principal issue was design and scale of the two buildings, especially as they are in the conservation area. Objections were also made by the councilís heritage team, Historic England

This decision did not go to committee but was delegated to the planning officer who approved on 18 April. 

Local List

If youíve been to one of our recent talks you may have seen the work of our Environment Group in compiling a Local List. Patrick Taylor and Dick Fletcher are developing our Hadleigh list for which they now have a list of candidate properties.    Hadleigh has a higher proportion of listed buildings than most other towns in the UK but it still has many more buildings that deserve to be identified as heritage assets. If formally included on a Local List these buildings can be a material consideration in the planning process, particularly in the development of a local plan.

Roger Green on Simon of Sudury

The French Connection

The usual account of Simonís life is born in Sudbury, Bishop of London, Archbishop of Canterbury, Chancellor of England and finally beheaded in the Peasantsí Revolt of 1381.  However, it is now suggested that he may have been born in East Dereham and that he was in Avignon from 1346 - 1356 (about a quarter of his adult life).  He does have a definite French connection.

It is believed that Simon read law at Cambridge University and probably continued his studies in Paris becoming a Doctor of Law.  Like most of his contemporaries he would have been fluent in Latin (religious services) and French (the language for Law).  Around 1344 he received a benefice at Herringswell which was in the gift of the Abbott of Bury St Edmunds and by 1345 he was also in the service of the Bishop of Norwich and the stage was set for him to become embroiled in a bitter dispute between Abbott and Bishop. 

As the dispute rolled on it eventually led to a Royal Order for Simonís arrest and imprisonment and it was at this point that he fled to Avignon.

Avignon was the seat of the Pope at this time (1309 - 1377) and Simon felt he would be safe with Papal protection.  Clement VI, the first Pope Simon served, proclaimed ĎMy predecessors do not know how to be Popeí and promptly set about showing how it was done: a banquet for 3,000 guests serving 1,023 sheep, 118 cattle, 101 calves, 914 kids, 60 pigs, 10,471 hens, 1,440 geese, 300 pike, 46,856 cheeses and 50,000 tarts!  The banquet only lasted a few days.

While in Avignon Simon was made Canon of Lincoln, of Hereford, Salisbury and Henstridge near Wells and although he would have received the income for each would not have appeared in any of them as he would have been arrested. Receiving an income in absentia was quite common at the time.  About 18 months after Simonís arrival the Black Death wiped out about three quarters of the population of Avignon including many members of the Papal Curia (Clement and Simon survived) and it is most probably this lack of clergy that assisted Simonís meteoric rise in the Popeís service.

Innocent VI followed Clement as Pope and was very different, reforming the Papal Court, insisting that clergy return to parishes from which they were receiving an income and he also stopped the habitual feasting and carousing.  Following the lifting of the warrant for Simonís arrest in 1356 Innocent sent him to England as Papal Nuncio to urge Edward III to seek peace in the Hundred Years War with France.  The treaty which was agreed in 1360 was due in large part to Simonís efforts and led to a nine year truce.  In 1361 Simon became Bishop of London and in 1375 Archbishop of Canterbury.

Roger was both amusing and very informative holding everyoneís attention throughout - not least when he produced a replica of Simonís head held in St Gregoryís Church, Sudbury and a facial reconstruction completed by Dundee University.  Simon looked like a man to be reckoned with!

We get good attendance at our meetings but the number of members is slowly diminishing. The committee recently invited one of our members, Martin Looker, to lead a discussion from which several ideas arose. Overall we want to raise the profile of the Society so that more people in Hadleigh know what we do. The wider use of email to distribute posters has led to fewer paper versions being on display.  Many of you do print and display yours but we aim to improve the coverage around the town centre. Any help with this would be warmly welcomed.

NOTICE OF THE 35th AGM, 2017

The 35th Annual General Meeting of The Hadleigh Society is to be held in Hadleigh Old Town Hall on Tuesday 13th June 2017 at 8 p.m. and all members are invited to attend.


1.   Apologies for absence

2.   Minutes of the 34th AGM

3.   Treasurerís Report

4.   History Group Report

5.   Environment & Planning Report

6.   Chairís Review

7.   Election of Officers and Executive Committee Members

This will be followed by a brief presentation of Ever Changing Hadleigh by Jan Byrne and Sue Angland and then to finish, wine and nibbles.

The 2016 AGM Minutes can be found on our website at .  Copies will be available at the Meeting, together with the Annual Accounts. If you want a paper copy in advance please contact the Secretary.