Pakenham History : The History of Nether Hall

"The History of Nether Hall and the Various Owners "
A short history written by W.R. Rayner
with kind permission given by his daughter Gill Applegate to publish on
the Pakenham -Village web site.

PAGE - 6

There is no record of a definite date when Newe House passed to the Spring family. We do read however that William Fiske, gentleman, the father-in-law of Henry Bright, wrote a folio manuscript, which was beautifully executed, entitled, "Notes of Observations for Understanding the Holy scriptures, following therein the Circumstances of Time, Place and Person", in 1644, after he was sixty years of age, and in residence with his son-in-law at Newe House. Also there is no mention of Newe House in Henry's will, dated 1652, thus we can assume that it was sold to Sir William Spring, Bart., at some time between these dates.

This Sir William Spring, the third holder of the name of William in the family line, was a distinguished Parliamentarian, who was M.P. for Bury St. Edmunds in 1640, and was thus a member of both the Short and the Long Parliaments, which disputed the right of Charles I to levy taxes without a Parliament, a quarrel which ultimately led to the outbreak of the Civil War. Al- though there is no evidence that Sir William Spring engaged in armed combat on behalf of the cause of Parliament, we do know that he was a prominent member of the Bury St. Edmunds Committee of the Eastern Association, which recruited men for Cromwell's Ironsides. He was also a staunch friend of Sir Nicholas Barnardiston of Kedington, a more famous advocate of the Puritan cause, upon whose death he wrote an acrostic elegy.

Sir William Spring married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Hamon L'Estrange of Hunstanton, who bore him six children, and outlived her husband, who died in 1654, for twenty-four years. Known as "the old Lady Spring", she was the first of the Spring widows to reside in Newe House, which became the dower house of the Spring family. For many years there were strained relationships between the Bright's of Nether Hall and the Spring's of Pakenham Hall. The families were engaged in a lawsuit from 1668 to 1672, occasioned by Sir William and Lady Spring "laying violent hands" upon Thomas Bright in Pakenham Church. The outcome of this lawsuit we cannot discover. There is also mention of another quarrel with Hamon le Strange, owner of the Barton Mere estate, and a relative of "the old Lady Spring", concerning the fishing rights in Barton Mere, to the borders of which the Nether Hall estate extended.

Nether Hall remained in the possession of the Bright family until 1765. During their tenure they took no part in the political or military life of the country, occupying themselves with the mercantile activities of their London business and managing their estate in Suffolk.