As those of you researching in the village of Bures are aware, this is a
large village which is on both sides of the river Stour. The river forms
the boundary between the counties of Suffolk and Essex, on the Suffolk side
the village is known as BURES ST MARY and on the Essex side it is know as
BURES HAMLET. (A little further on the Essex side you will also find MOUNT
If you find ancestors in either of these two places - fear not, they are
one village and more importantly for research, one parish, and the name just
distinguishes which side of the river you will find your ancestors homes.
BURES ST MARY is a large and well built village on both sides of the
navigable river Stour, 5.5 miles SSE of Sudbury and nearly 5 miles W of
I contains about 1500 inhabitants and has a large tan yard, several malting
establishments, good inns, and well stocked shops. It has a fair on Holy
Thursday and its parish is divided into two townships - viz. Bures and Bures
The former contains 984 souls and 2543acres 1rod 12perches and the latter is
on the south side of the river in Hinckford Hundred, Essex and has 612
inhabitants and 1588acres 3rods 17perches of land.
Osgood Hanbury Esq is lord of the manor and owner of a great part of the
soil in both townships which are connected by a good bridge. The other
principal landowners are Sir J R Rowley and Mrs Holmes in Bures, and Col J
Rolt and Major Brock in Bures Hamlet.
Galfridus de Fontibus says St Edmond was crowned king of the East Angles at
Bures, but most other writers are agreed that the ceremony took place at
in the reign of Edward I, Hugh Lord Bardolf held the moan of Bures. Edward
IV granted the estates or manors of Overhall and Netherhall - otherwise
Sylvester Hall in this parish, to Ann wife of Lord Boucher.
Smallbridge, now a farm house was long the seat of the ancient family of
The Church of St Mary is a neat structure with a tower containing six bells
and formerly surmounted by a handsome spire, which was set on fire by
lightening in 1733, and burnt down together with all the wood work in the
tower where the heat was so great that the bells were melted. In the
chancel are several monuments of the Bures or Buers who took their name from
the parish and of the knightly family of Waldegrave.
Upon a tomb on the north side, lies the cross legged figure of a knight
supposed to represent one Cornard, who is said to have sold the farm called
Corn Hall for four pence in the time of Henry III.
The benefice is a Vicarage valued in KB at 12pounds 6shillings and 6 pence
and in 1835 at 273 pounds, but now having a yearly modus of 327 pounds
awarded in 1840 when the great tithes of the parish were commuted for
844pounds 10 shillings per annum, payable to O Hanbury Esq and other
Mr Hanbury is patron and the Rev Arthur Hanbury MA incumbent.
The late W Martin Esq of Lincolns Inn, London left 2,000 pounds in trust
among other things, to pay 40 pounds a year to the vicar of Bures.
Here is a small Baptist Chapel built in 1834 and a large National School
erected in 1840.
Mrs Dorcas Bridges in 1803 left 353 pounds 17shillings and 7 pence three per
cent stock the dividends thereof to be distributed yearly on Christmas day
by the minister and churchwardens among the poor widows of the parish not
receiving parochial relief.
In 1825 John Dupont left 20shillings a year out of a house in Bures Hamlet
for poor widows of that hamlet.
There follows quite a number of names in the directory, first are the
'gentry' of the village then the headings are Inns and Taverns, Bakers,
Blacksmiths, Bricklayers, Butchers, Farmers, Malters and Corn Merchants,
Shoemakers, Tailors and Wheelwrights. Should you wish to have a look up
please let me know.
If you have an interest in the Waldegrave family you might like to note that
the respected local historian and author, Barry Wall will be giving a talk
on 'The Waldegrave and Eden Families of Sudbury' to the Suffolk Family
History Society, Sudbury and District Group on 31st May. Contact me for
further details if you would like to come along.
Bures St Mary Parish Records are available on 32 fiche from 1538-1900 at the
Suffolk Record Office and have been filmed.
1851 Census Index available from the Suffolk Family History Society on
A host of web sites for St Mary's Church
this is the parish church web site for St Mary giving details of services
and the village today as well as in the past.
Simon's Suffolk Churches
Aiden Semmen's Sylly Suffolk
Simon again - St Stephen's Chapel just outside of Bures on the way to
Mount Bures (on the Essex side of the river)