Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet
Still under Construction, waiting for additional material from the USA



"California to Bures"
Hilton Cass travels to Bures, in search of the ancestral home of the Philbrick Family

Early in January 2017, I was contacted by Hilton Cass from California, requesting any information on his descendants, the Philbrick family

Hilton subsequently took a flight from California to Gatwick.
He spent two days in London researching his family history and then travelled to Bures in an attempt to find where his descendants once lived.

Hilton is a direct descendant of Martha Philbrick, born 1631 in Bures

The Philbricks emigrated in 1630 on the ship "Arabella", which was part of the Mayflower Fleet
At that time the family was known as Fylbrige or Filbrige and other derivations.
The Philbrick name seems to have emanated on the journey to New England

We can date back the Fylbrigge family in Bures to 1522.
The "Muster Roll" of that date lists a Jeffrey Fylbrigge, Fuller working in the village

However, Hilton was particularly interested to find information on Thomas Fylbrigg (snr) and Thomas Filbrige/Philbrick (son)

Thomas Fylbrigg (snr) , b.circa 1540 St Marys,Bures,Suffolk,England. Died Bures 1633, aged approx 93 years
Marriage 1574 St Marys,Bures,Suffolk, England to Elizabeth Philbrick

Thomas Philbrick Son was baptized on 23 September 1584 in Bures St. Mary
Thomas Philbrick married Elizabeth Knopp,(b1594) daughter of William Knopp and Elizabeth Reade, on 4 June 1615 in Bures,

Thomas and Elizabeth subsequently travelled to America on the ship "Arabella" in 1630 with their eight children
One of the children being Martha, the descendant of Hilton.

Leigh Alston our local historian, was able to determine from the Court Rolls the family possibly lived along Bridge Street and Colchester Rd,

Bridge Street
One possible location on the right hand side of the road.
These have long since been demolished.
This land is now Bures Common
Colchester Road
Typical workmens cottage along the Colchester Rd, but far too late to be 16/17th century

Photo Courtesy of Leigh Alston

Extract of Court Rolls
Thomas Fylbrige is listed as resident within the jurisdiction of Bures Rectory Manor leet in 1584, which means he was somewhere in the middle of the village, but unfortunately the name doesn't appear in any of the Rectory rentals or the 1577 survey of Netherhall which covers most of the High Street and Church Square.

Consequently he was probably in Bridge Street or the Colchester Road.
Thomas Filbrige was fined fourpence for not bothering to attend the court (as he was supposed to given that he lived within its jurisdiction).

At the same court "The Jurors present that Richard Filbrige threw fuligine, in English soote, into a public place [in commune placea to the common nuisance ".
He must have been throwing his soot into a major thoroughfare for this to be considered a nuisance.
Usually it's Bridge Street opposite the church, but there's no guarantee.

There are gaps in the courts, but by 1618 Thomas has become a chief pledge - or at least a member of the tenants' homage, i.e. a juror, and has clearly become more respectable as he's elected as one of the court's two ale tasters responsible for monitoring the quality of beer.
In 1620 he's fined for not turning up again as Thomas senior -

Thomas Filbrick is one of the jurors charged with assessing the condition of the town bridge, described as an upright and lawful man. His name appears alongside a William Gosnall
There's an interesting 1631 reference to the increasingly common problem of sub-dividing of houses into smaller tenements as the economy is struggling -

Thomas Filbrick was also in troubleas having arranged certain number of their buildings into separate cottages within the precinct of this leet against the form of statute &c.

Having seen the area in which his descendants once lived, Hilton and myself then proceeded to visit other local sites of interest, some having a direct connection to the Winthrop/Mayflower Fleet

The timetable was as follows:_
Morning:- Ferriers, Village centre including Church
Lunch was taken at the Assington Barn
Afternoon:- Smallbridge, Gt Bevills, Chapel Barn and Mount Bures

Smallbridge Hall
Home of Jemima Waldegrave, who married Herbert Pelham

Gt Bevills and its association with the Waldegraves

Home of the "French" family,
who also emigrated at the time of the Philbricks

Mount Bures Church and Motte

Chapel Barn
and the Bures Dragon
A local treasure not too be missed

Hilton outside Smallbridge Hall

Hilton at Chapel Barn

Inside Chapel Barn
More details to follow on the Philbrick Geneaology when Hilton Cass returns home

More in depth information on the families that travelled from Bures on the Winthrop Fleet can be found here
Research of Court Rolls carried out by Leigh Alston, Chairman of Bures History Soc
Local contact webmaster