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 - 8

We read of occasional visits by various members of the family to Malaga, Spain, for trading purposes; but little else about their commercial activities.

The most noteworthy event in the history of the Bright's was the establishment of Bright's Charity in 1713, which is still distributed annually in Pakenham. The Thomas Bright of the day directed that £100 be invested in land, and the annual rent of £5 be divided equally between twelve deserving poor persons, men or women, of the parishes of Pakenham and Thurston. Thus the recipients originally received a pair of boots and a pair of stockings. In the early days of this century they benefitted by receiving a voucher for groceries from the village shops. To-day 50p is donated to a few deserving persons every Christmas when the distribution of the village charities is made.

Mary Bright, daughter of the fourth Thomas Bright, was the last of the name to inherit Nether Hall. She married Edmund Tyrell, of Plashwood Hall, Haughley, in 1744, and the estate was inherited by their son, Edmund Tyrell, after the death of his father. This son, who had also inherited Plashwood Hall, sold the Nether Hall estate to George Chinery, of Bury St. Edmunds, in 1775.

One portrait of the Bright family remains on the stairway of Nether Hall to remind the visitor of their long residence. There were originally four portraits, two half length pictures of ladies, one of whom was about eighteen years old, and the other one of about forty years; and two portraits of gentlemen, dressed in the costume of the times of James II. The surviving portrait is said to be that of Agatha, aged twenty or of Mary, aged eighteen, both the daughters of the Thomas Bright of the day.

Little is known of George Chinery, except that he was described as "a Gentleman", obviously a man of independent means and that he died in 1807, and was buried in Thurston. He left the Nether Hall estate to his nephew, the Rev. William Bassett, who was Rector of Thurston. His son, William C. Bassett succeeded by entail and was residing in Nether Hall in 1857.

The Nether Hall Estate changed hands again in 1886 when it was purchased by Mr. William Hardcastle* for £38,000. He never lived in Nether Hall, and he very soon sold it to Mr. Edward Greene, who was M.P. for the Bury St. Edmunds Division, which then included Stowmarket. Mr. Edward Greene died suddenly in 1891, when he was succeeded by Mr. E. Walter Greene, who always used the Christian name of Walter.

*Edit - Please see Joseph Alfred Hardcastle & Nether Hall for the period 1865 - 1873