Publications: General series


Volume No

Book Title



The Restoration of Blythburgh Church, 1881-1906. The Dispute between the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Blythburgh Church Restoration Committee. Edited by Alan Mackley.

In 1881, after decades of mouldering into ruin, the grand fifteenth-century church of Blythburgh, Suffolk, "The Cathedral of the Marshes", was closed as unsafe.  The church was saved, but its rescue involved a bitter twenty-five year long dispute between Blythburgh vicars and committees, and William Morris and his Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, who feared the medieval fabric would be over-restored and the character of the building lost forever. 

59 Rookwood Family Papers, 1606-1761 2016

The Rookwoods of Coldham Hall in Stanningfield, Suffolk were Roman Catholic recusants whose notoriety rests on Ambrose Rookword's involvement in the Gunpowder Plot.  In 1606 he was hanged, drawn and quartered for treason for supplying the plotters with horses. A century later another Ambrose Rookwood suffered the same fate for conspiring to assassinate William III. Tainted by treason, the Rookwood family nevertheless managed to hold on to their estates in Suffolk and Essex.  The documents in this volume tell a remarkable story of their resilience, survival and reinvention, underlining the Rookwoods' profound Catholic faith, their patronage of the Jesuits, and their cultural and literary interests.

58 Wills of Archdeaconry of Suffolk


Wills of the Archdeaconry of Suffolk, 1627-1628

May 2015

Edited by Marion Allen. The book contains abstracts of 286 wills proved in the court of the archdeacon of Suffolk in the years 1627 and 1628. This court was the place to prove the third and humblest category of wills of testators whose real estate was situated in only one parish. The court's jurisdiction covered the eastern half of the county, an extensive and rich area of farming and industrial parishes, market towns, coastal ports and the large town of Ipswich.

Elizabeth de Burgh


Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare


Elizabeth de Burgh (1295-1360), daughter of one of the most powerful earls in England and cousin of Edward II, lost her third husband at the age of twenty-six, and spent the rest of her life as a widow. In 1317, having inherited one-third of the lands of her brother, Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, she established herself at Clare, which became her main administrative centre for her estates in East Anglia, Dorset and South Wales. Edited and introduced by Jennifer Ward.

Suffolk Humane Society


The Minute Books of the Suffolk Humane Society: A Pioneer Lifesaving Organisation and the World's First Sailing Lifeboat, 1806-1892


Edited and introduced by Robert Malster. The documents presented here detail the activities and finances of this lifesaving organisation that was set up in 1806 to reward those who saved their fellows from drowning and in 1807 undertook financing the world's first sailing lifeboat, the Frances Ann.

Wartime in West Suffolk


Wartime in West Suffolk, The Diary of Winifred Challis, 1942-1943


Winifred Challis spent most of her life in West Suffolk and during the Second World War was one of nearly five hundred people who kept a diary for the social research organisation Mass Observation. For several months in 1942-43 she immersed herself in diary-writing, producing commentaries on wartime life in and around Bury St Edmunds. Edited and introduced by Robert Malcolmson and Peter Searby.

Records of Mildenhall Churhwardens


Records of the Churchwardens of Mildenhall, Collections, 1446-1454, Accounts, 1503-1553


The documents in this volume bring to life the day-to-day business and upkeep of the large church of Mildenhall, belonging to a parish whose manor was the richest in the possession of Bury St Edmunds Abbey. The Collections record the weekly offerings gathered in aid of church building and maintenance. Edited and introduced by Judith Middleton-Stewart.

Archdeaconry of Sudbury


Wills of the Archdeaconry of Sudbury II: 1461-1474


This volume contains abstracts, in English, of more than 770 wills made between 1461 and 1474, by residents of the parishes of western Suffolk and eastern Cambridgeshire that comprised the archdeaconry of Sudbury. There are also some 50 probate sentences, together with 'probate sentences', which provide details of the granting of probate, without the associated wills. Edited and introduced by Peter Northeast and Heather Falvey.


Index Wills Archdeaconry of Sudbury


This volume is a companion to P. Northeast (ed)., Wills of the Archdeaconry of Sudbury, 1439-1474: part I (SRS vol. 44) and P. Northeast and H Falvey (eds), Wills of the Archdeaconry of Sudbury, 1439-1474: part II (SRS vol. 53). It provides full indexes to those two volumes.

Civil Pleas of Suffolk Eyre 1240


The Civil Pleas of the Suffolk Eyre of 1240


This volume presents an edition and translation of the civil pleas in the Suffolk Eyre Roll of 1240, now in the National Archives, the first civil pleas from a Suffolk eyre roll to be fully published. It throws light on common law in mid thirteenth-century England and its application within the county. Edited and introduced by Eric James Gallagher.

Diary of John Lombe


The Diary of John Longe, vicar of Coddenham, 1765-1834


An affluent and clubbable gentleman-parson of the Georgian age, for forty years John Longe contributed extensively to society in rural mid-Suffolk, heading a household which included ten domestic servants, plus farm staff. John Longe recorded his activities, relationships and possessions in pocket-books and inventories, leaving a rich archive for posterity. Edited and introduced by Michael Stone.

Letters from Redgrave Hall


Letters from Redgrave Hall, The Bacon Family, 1340-1744


Edited and introduced by Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch FBA. This impressive correspondence connected with the Bacon family of Redgrave Hall ranges over the years 1340 to 1744. The originals are in the Regenstein Library of Chicago University.

Savage Fortune


Savage Fortune; an aristocratic family in the early seventeenth century


Edited and introduced by Lyn Boothman and Sir Richard Hyde-Parker. Sir Thomas (later Viscount) Savage married in 1602 and Melford Hall was just one property of many. The Savages prospered in service to the Stuart kings until Thomas died in 1635, but in 1642 his widow’s houses at St Osyth and Melford were sacked and she fell on hard times. The inventories taken after Thomas died are most illuminating.

Stutter's Casebook


Stutter's Casebook 1839-1841


Edited and introduced by Ted Cockayne and Noel Stow. The notes of a resident house apothecary and house surgeon in the Bury St Edmunds hospital are here presented side by side with transcripts. Case histories and prescriptions are analysed in detail.

John Kirby's Suffolk


John Kirby's Suffolk: His Maps and Roadbooks


Edited and introduced by John Blatchly. John Kirby surveyed the county between 1732 and 1734 for the first county roadbook, The Suffolk Traveller, 1735, given to subscribers to the first map at one mile to the inch. This was the first map since Suffolciae in Seckford’s great Atlas of 1575 to do more than plagiarise the latter.

Bury Feoffees


Bury St Edmunds Feoffees' Accounts


Edited and introduced by Margaret Statham. In 1569, the feoffees, successors of the pre-Reformation Candlemas guild, essentially undertook the government of the town. The accounts cover the period until 1601 when the town became a corporate borough.

Court Rolls of Walsham le Willows


Court Rolls Walsham II: 1351-1399


Edited and introduced by Ray Lock. The second of two volumes containing transcripts of the proceedings of the courts of the two manors of the parish. Providing evidence of a sophisticated system of local administration and justice operating in a populous and prosperous community.

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Wills of the Archdeaconry of Sudbury I: 1439-61


Edited and introduced by Peter Northeast. The first volume (of two), containing almost 1500 wills, abstracts from the earliest surviving will register of the archdeaconry, covering the county westwards from Eye and Stowmarket.

Ipswich Borough Archives


Ipswich Borough Archives 1255-1835: A Catalogue


Edited by Dr David Allen and introduced with essays by Geoffrey Martin and Frank Grace.

Cratfield Churchwardens's Accounts


Churchwardens' Accounts of Cratfield 1640-60


At a time when England was divided by civil wars and local government was considered to be breaking down, the churchwardens of the Suffolk village of Cratfield continued to keep immaculate accounts, recording items such as the price of new bellropes and the costs of the soldiers sent from the village to fight for the Parlimentary cause.  Edited by Dr Lyn Botelho, the churchwardens' accounts reveal how the villagers supported not only those fighting the Royalist armies but the 'poore pepell whose howses wer burnt in the borders of Wales by the Cavellers'.

Court Rolls of Walsham le Willows


Court Rolls Walsham I: 1303-50


Edited and introduced by Ray Lock. Transcripts of the proceedings of the courts of the two manors of the parish provide evidence of a sophisticated system of local administration and justice operating in a populous and prosperous community.

Suffolk Crests


A Dictionary of Suffolk Crests: Heraldic Crests of Suffolk Families


Edited and introduced by Joan Corder. This is the companion volume to the same author’s Dictionary of Suffolk Arms published thirty-two years earlier. The arrangement is the same, so that one can look up crests by type or by family name.

Suffolk Census Returns 1851


Suffolk Returns from the Census of Religious Worship 1851


In 1851, in addition to the normal ten-yearly census of population, there was held a census of places of worship, with questions being asked about the adequacy of seating and the numbers of adults and children attending the services.  The returns for Suffolk from this Census of Religious Worship, edited by T. C. B. Timmins, present a most enlightening picture of church and chapel life in the mid-Victorian period. Entries include information such as the number of people in attendance, including even the number of scholars present at a church service in Beccles, and they even go so far as to comment on the weather conditions on occasion. 

Town Finances of Elizabethan Ipswich


The Town Finances Elizabethan Ipswich: Select Treasurers' and Chamberlains' Accounts


Elizabethan Ipswich, which was then one of the ten richest provincial towns in the country, has provided a fascinating insight into the social and economic life of the period through its treasurers' and chamberlains' accounts. Edited by John Webb these accounts provide a mass of information on a variety of subjects from how to deal with a stranded school of whales in the Orwell to the admission of freemen and the equipping of soldiers for expeditions to Scotland, Ireland and elsewhere.

Wills of Archdeaconry of Suffolk


Wills of Archdeaconry of Suffolk 1625-6


Edited and introduced by Mrs Marion Allen.

Two East Anglian Diarists


Two East Anglain Diaries 1641-1729: Isaac Archer and William Coe


Edited and introduced by Dr Matthew Storey. Archer was an Anglican minister and Coe a gentleman farmer and native of Mildenhall, where they happened to overlap for the last twelve years of the seventeenth century. The contrast between their lives, one doubtful about his allegiance to the Church and sometimes impoverished, the other more comfortable in both senses is well brought out.

Wills of the Archdeaconry of Sudbury


Wills of Archdeaconry of Sudbury 1636-8


Edited and introduced by Mrs Nesta Evans.

Bailiffs' Minutes Dunwich


The Bailiffs' Minute Book of Dunwich 1404-30


Edited and introduced by Dr Mark Bailey. This is the single most important substantial and informative document to survive from the ‘lost’ borough’s medieval archive. Disputes with neighbouring Walberswick, elections and payment of MPs and the fortunes and organisation of the fishing industry loom large.

Oakes Diaries II


The Oakes Diaries: Business, Politics and the Family in Bury St Edmunds II: James Oakes's Diaries 1801-27


Edited by Dr Jane Fiske. 

Oakes Diaries I


The Oakes Diaries: Business, Politics and the Family in Bury St Edmunds I: Introduction and Diaries 1778-1800


Edited by Dr Jane Fiske. Oakes, who at 27 inherited one of the largest yarn-making companies in the county, at the decline of that industry’s fortunes found himself reluctantly forced into banking. He kept his diaries for forty-nine years from the age of thirty-seven, commenting on every aspect of life in the area.

Wills of Archdeaconry of Suffolk


Wills of Archdeaconry of Suffolk 1620-4


Edited and introduced by Mrs Marion Allen. Here are very full abstracts, very fully indexed, of the wills of nearly 800 of the people of east Suffolk in the years of the earlier Stuarts.

Frenchman's Year in Suffolk


A Frenchman's Year in Suffolk 1784: Francois de la Rochefoucauld's impressions of Suffolk life


Edited and introduced by Norman Scarfe. The brothers and their tutor based themselves in Bury St Edmunds, soon made firm friends and observed everything, implicitly contrasting French and English life

Wills of Archdeaconry of Sudbury


Wills of Archdeaconry of Sudbury 1630-5


Edited and introduced by Nesta Evans.

Military Survey for Babergh Hundred


The Military Survey of 1522 for Babergh Hundred


Edited and introduced by Dr John Pound. The purpose of this survey was to establish the capacity to supply arms and armour, but it formed the basis of the subsidy for the king's wars in France. The hundred includes the thriving towns of Glemsford, Melford, Lavenham and Boxford, and comparative light is thrown on the prosperity of their inhabitants.

Medieval Framlingham


Medieval Framlingham 1270-1524


Six texts covering the Bigod, Brotherton and Howard eras, a late 13th-century survey of the town, the steward’s household expenses and a detailed inventory of the castle form the core of this collection, edited and introduced by Dr John Ridgard.

James Maggs Diaries


The Southwold Diaries of James Maggs II: 1848-76


Limping Jem, as James Maggs was called in a broadsheet announcing the 'funeral' of the Southwold Corporation in 1835, continued his diary until 1876, fourteen years before his death at the age of 93. In a second volume, edited like the first by Alan Bottomley, he records the erosion of the cliff, 'scarcely leaving sufficient width for the standing of the Bath Machines', the sales of houses in the town and shipwrecks, the remains of which were often auctioned by him.  Maggs's own entries are often complimented by newspaper cuttings, public notices and other ephemera, many of which are reproduced in this volume.

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Southwold Diaires of James Maggs I: 1818-48 1982 James Maggs, schoolmaster, auctioneer and general factotum of the Suffolk town and borough of Southwold, was always well aware of what was going on and of who was doing what in the town; and form more than half a century he noted down in a succession of books all that occurred.  Although no rival to Samuel Pepys, he left a fascinating account of life, and death, in the Suffolk port, here transcribed and introduced by Alan Bottomley, himself a Southwold schoolmaster of a later generation.

Journal of Excursions


David Elisha Davy's Journal of Excursions through the County of Suffolk 1823-44


Edited with a biographical introduction by Dr John Blatchly. This is the text of a pocketbook which Davy took on visits to parishes collecting information for his collections by hundreds for a history of Suffolk. His great work, never published, remains in manuscript in the British Library.

Boxford Churchwardens' Accounts


Boxford Churchwardens' Accounts 1530-61


The impact of the Reformation on a Suffolk parish is made clear by the Churchwardens' accounts of Boxford, here transcribed and edited by Peter Northeast.  One of only two sets of churchwardens' accounts in Suffolk to survive complete throughout the period of the Reformation, those of Boxford illustrate very well the dramatic changes affecting church life and finance during the middle years of the sixteenth century.  They reveal, for instance, the purchase in 1541 of a bible, probably Coverdale's 'Great Bible', along with a chain to fasten it to the specially-made lectern.

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The Ipswich Probate Inventories 1583-1631


Michael Reed presents seventy two priced inventories of testators’ goods and chattels from the period, with an introduction explaining their implications for the local historian. 

Archives of Bury St Edmunds Abbey


The Archives of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds


This list of 1355 items dispersed in English and American libraries, and edited and introduced by R.M. Thomson, is an invaluable tool to those who work on the administrative and economic life of one of the greatest monasteries of medieval England.

Suffolk Bibliography


A Suffolk Bibliography


This well-indexed catalogue, edited and introduced by A.V. Steward, has entries arranged first by subject, then by family, and finally by parish. It remains an invaluable tool to researchers today.

Chorography of Suffolk


The Chorography of Suffolk


Edited and introduced by Dr Diarmaid MacCulloch. The author of this survey of the county in about 1602 has still not been identified, and John Norden, suggested as the Norfolk Chorographer in 1938, can be ruled out. Since parts of the original had been cut up and dispersed, the work began with a search for fragments.

Gen Ser 18


John Constable's Correspondence VIII: Further Documents and Correspondence


Edited and introduced by Leslie Parris & Conal Shields, with Ian Fleming-Williams. This volume only was printed by Clowes of Beccles.

Gen Ser 17


The Field Book of Walsham Le Willows 1577


Edited and introduced by Kenneth Melton Dodd. As well as this unusually detailed survey of two Walsham manors, there is the text of a slightly later perambulation of the parish bounds and another of manorial customs.

Gen Ser 16


Ipswich Recognizance Rolls 1294-1327: A Calendar


The first twenty-one rolls of a series which continues in files and ledgers down to the Victorian period are here paraphrased in English. These titles to property reveal much about situation, ownership and the working of the borough court at the time. Edited and introduced by Dr Geoffrey Martin.

Gen Ser 15


Joseph Hodskinson's Map of Suffolk 1783


Edited and introduced by D.P. Dymond. This map, on twelve sheets, won its maker a gold medal from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce. At the time it was by far the most detailed and accurate survey of the county available and so it remained for over forty years.

Gen Ser 14


John Constable's Discourses VII


Edited with an introduction and notes by R.B. Beckett.

Suffolk Committee for Scandalous Ministers


Suffolk Committees for Scandalous Ministers 1644-46


Edited and introduced by Dr Clive Holmes. The casebook of the Committees records the charges brought by Suffolk parishioners against clergy who were ill-affected towards the Parliamentary cause.

Gen Ser 12


John Constable's Correspondence VI: The Fishers


Edited with an introduction and notes by R.B. Beckett.

Gen Ser 11


John Constable's Correspondence V: Various Friends, C. Boner and the Artist's Children


Edited with an introduction and notes by R.B. Beckett.

Gen Ser 10


John Constable's Correspondence IV: Patrons, Dealers and Fellow Artists


Edited with an introduction and notes by R.B. Beckett.

Gen Ser 9


Poor Relief in Elizabethan Ipswich


Edited and introduced by John G. Webb. An illuminating edition of the very comprehensive documents showing how Ipswich tackled the problems of poverty in the half-century after the Dissolution.

Gen Ser 8


John Constable's Correspondence III: Correspondence with C.R. Leslie, R. A.


Edited with an introduction and notes by R.B. Beckett.

Gen Ser 7


A Dictionary of Suffolk Arms


Edited by Miss Joan Corder, and with a foreword by Sir Anthony Wagner, Garter King of Arms. The dictionary includes nearly 8,000 coats of arms of Suffolk families and individuals. It is arranged by charge like an Ordinary, but the alphabetical index of names enables it to be used as an Armory also.

Gen Ser 6


John Constable's Correspondence II: Early Friends and Maria Bicknell (Mrs Constable)


Edited with an introduction and notes by R.B. Beckett.

Gen Ser 5


The Letter-Book of William of Hoo, 1280-94


Edited with an introduction by Dr Antonia Gransden. A formulary of letters kept by an early Sacrist of the abbey of Bury St Edmunds.

Gen Ser 4


John Constable's Correspondence I: The Family at East Bergholt 1807-37


Edited with an introduction and notes by R.B. Beckett, and published jointly with HMSO under the sponsorship of HMC.

Gen Ser 3


Suffolk and the Great Rebellion 1640-60


Edited and introduced by Dr Alan Everitt. The most substantial document, the Suffolk Committee Book, 1641–45, was transcribed by Leslie Dow, then chairman and owner of the manuscript. Other sections feature Royalist risings at Exning in 1648, Eastern Association matters at Bury, and trace changes at Ipswich between 1640 and the Restoration.

Gen Ser 2


The Sibton Abbey Estates, Select Documents, 1320-1509


These documents edited and introduced by the Revd A.H. Denney show how the estates of this small Cistercian house at Sibton were managed in the period before and after the Black Death, and in the years before the dissolution of the monasteries.

Gen Ser 1


Suffolk Farming in the 19th Century


A collection of documents illustrating both improvement and depression in agriculture, edited and introduced by Dr Joan Thirsk assisted in Suffolk by Jean Imray. This Redstone Memorial Volume opens with Norman Scarfe’s memoir of the late Vincent B. Redstone and the late Lilian J. Redstone.