A history of Halesworth, Suffolk, UK, through the ages.


Volume 1


Halesworth Manor and the Argentein Family

By the middle of the twelfth century, Halesworth Manor was in the possession of Thomas de Halesworth as sub-tenant of the Honour of Chester. On his death it passed to his daughter Rose de Halesworth who married Reginald de Argentine and the Manor remained in the hands of this family for almost 300 years until John Argentein died in 1423, and the manor passed to his sisters who had married into Alington Family.

The Family of Argentein took their name from David de Argentein, a Norman who served under William the Conqueror and is listed in the Roll of Battle Abbey, probably one of the knights who fought at the Battle of Hastings. Their armorial bearing were 'three covered cups argent, upon a field of gules' because they held the office of hereditary cup-bearer to the King at his coronation. This sign can be seen on the stonework of the arch and in the stained glass in the south window of the Chancel in the Parish Church.

We know that Richard de Argentine, who died in 1246, was a witness of the acceptance of the revised Magna Carta in 1225, and that he was also responsible for obtaining a licence for a market and fair at Halesworth in 1222. To get the King to aqree to this, Richard de Argentine gave him two 'palfreys' or riding horses, and the Manor was then able to hold a weekly market, and an annual fair, which took place on the eve of, and following day, of the Feast of St Luke, which was celebrated on the 18th of October each year.

Many of these old and noble families are able to trace their manorial history back many centuries, and the 'Family Tree' of the Halesworth Manor and the Argenteins can be pieced together.


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