Journal Article

November 2010

An Update on the Croydon-cum-Clopton Worthies

Avril Emery

In Journal No 52, August 2005 I did a piece, part 2, about famous sons of Croydon-cum-Clopton who had made a mark in the world. My main source material for the very early people was from a book published in 1904 by the Reverend Walter Jones M.A. Rector of Seagrave, Leicestershire and formerly Vicar of Wendy-cum-Shingay. For those of you who have not been with us that long or even those who have been with us but for some strange reason don't want to hoard a decade's worth of the Journal; here is the paragraph which concerns us today.

"As early as 1200 the family of Clopton, then, and for some time after, called Le Rus or Rouse, had considerable possessions in Clopton, Bassingbourne and Hauxton, but, most of these had passed away from them when the son was born who was to restore their fallen fortunes. Their son, Robert, went into trade, became a rich merchant and Alderman of London and, in 1441, was elected Lord Mayor. Dying childless he founded a Chantry in Clopton Church and left his riches to his brother, William, whose only child, Alice, by his wife Ellen Pigott, of Abington, took the Clopton Estate, in marriage, to Henry Chichely of Wimpole.

More records have been added to the database for Jewish FH research at

When this item was published we had an email from Murray Miles, a long standing member in Canada. the gist of which is as follows:- My ancestors were the PIGOTTS from Abington Pigotts and I have, over the years obtained a lot of information on this family. I must admit that once you get back prior to 1550 a lot of information that has been obtained has to be taken with a "grain of salt" and I try to concentrate on the history/ancestors after 1550. I have, on the Pigott line gone back to old JOHN PIGOTT "a wool merchant from Hitchin who obtained the Manor at Abington 1426-1428" and in his will of 1465 passes the Manor on to his son Thomas.

JOHN PIGOTT's wife was MARGARET CHICHELY, daughter of HENRY and ALICE (CLOPTON) CHICHELY of Wimpole. It is at this point that I question Avril's article. I'm not saying I am right and she is wrong ... just questioning.? I have the father of Alice Clopton as Robert Clopton who was Lord Mayor of London in 1441-42 whereas Avril has Robert Clopton with no children and the father of Alice Clopton being Robert's brother William who marries an Ellen Pigott of Abington.

I replied to Murray, all that time ago, and told him I would look into it further and report back. This is where I break out the sackcloth and ashes! I started looking into it and got some way then the immediate needs of the living, both youngest and oldest, became more important and it got shelved. In May our youngest son left home and in the ensuing rearrangement of the bedrooms, Murray's email, and my half done investigation, saw daylight for the first time for some time!. I have delved a bit deeper and I think that, very belatedly, I have found the hitch. I now believe that there was a ROBERT CLOPTON the Elder, who was the gent who was the Alderman and Lord Mayor and there was ROBERT CLOPTON the Younger who wasn't. It was Robert the younger who died childless and passed his estates to his brother William, Robert the Elder was both the Lord Mayor and father of both Robert the younger, William and Alice Chichely.

Here follows an abridged version of the relevant passage in the Victoria County History of Cambridgeshire. Robert and Margaret FitzRalph sold their share (of the Clopton Estates) to Robert Clopton, a London draper, in 1431. In 1445 Gilbert Hore of Childerley sold his half of a third of Clopton Manor to Alderman Robert Clopton. Elizabeth Lovell, nee Bereford, and her husband William Lovell sold her third in 1457 to Robert Clopton the Younger.


Royston and District Family History Society