East Anglia Shattocks

East Anglia is an area that comprises the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, including the City of Peterborough unitary authority. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Angles, a tribe whose name originated in Anglia, northern Germany. (Wikipedia)

Parish records in England were mandated in 1538, although many parishes did not begin recording births, deaths and marriages until later, some decades later. The first record of a Shattock in Norfolk is dated 1576.

East Anglia was a major cloth producing county, second only to Somerset in the 16th century with fulling mills along the Stour valley of Suffolk and Essex where cloth-making was concentrated along the Stour river. The Stour river formed a boundary between Suffolk and Essex.

There is a Christopher Shattock who had a family in Norfolk, just a bit north of Suffolk. Christopher and Margaret Shattock (sic Shittocke) baptized Mary Shattock in 1576 in Dickleburgh and Langmere in Norfolk. (Dickleburgh is 82 miles north of London.) That means Christopher was born about 1550. Christopher is a name strongly associated with the Staplegrove Shattocks. Christopher had a brother Thomas who also had a family in Norfolk. Thomas and Julyan Shattock (sic Shyttocke) had a child Henry in 1570, also in Dickleburgh and Langmere. All these names are associated with Staplegrove Shattocks.

There are Shattocks found in Suffolk and Essex just south of Norfolk in the early 17th century, but they have the genetic marker for Stogumber Shattocks.

But there is an even more ancient record of Shattocks in the area. John Shattock from Leicester discovered a William Shattock (spelled variously as Chattock, Schattok, Schattock, and Shattock) who died in 1382, leaving a will. The question becomes, was this William Shattock the ancestor of Christopher and Thomas found in Norfolk when parish records begin almost two hundred years later? Was William who died in 1382 possibly the common ancestor of all Shattocks, who appear in west Somerset records beginning in the middle of the 15th century? Based on DNA test results I designate this common ancestor of Shattocks Y17171. Was Y17171 in fact William of Norwich, Norfolk, or his father or son?

Drapers stall in a medieval Norwich fair. They sold a type of cloth called broadcloth, made of wool that had been "fulled," that is, woolen cloth that was cleaned, thickened and softened. The draper would arrange to have the cloth dyed. He would also sell cloth from the continent, particularly Flanders, especially before local weavers acquired the necessary skills.

There are a number of reasons why this possibility deserves serious investigation.

  1. Yorkshire, southwest England (including west Somerset) and East Anglia are considered to be the major centers of the cloth trade in England. This helps make an English point of origin of the Shattocks in east Anglia more plausible if Somerset and the area around Norwich were major woolen cloth centers. Medieval wool and cloth merchants would travel between these two centers on their hunt for high quality wool and cloth.
  2. The southwest counties of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset became major producers of white broadcloth when the invention of mechanical fulling made water power rather than human power the most efficient method of thickening cloth. According to Kenneth G. Ponting in The Woolen Industry of South-West England (Adams & Dart, 1971, p. 13) "The new invention of mechanical fulling by water-power was adopted by all the main areas engaged in cloth-making, but more fully and with greater effect in the West of England, where it lead to that area's great age of Tudor [16th century] broadcloth. " And: "In east Anglia during this period, the trade suffered to some extent in comparison with the West of England, because the lower rainfall and the flatter nature of the country meant that the rivers of East Anglia were not so suited to the establishment of fulling mills."
  3. What I call the Stogumber London Shattocks are found in parish records of East Anglia, specifically in Suffolk and Essex, beginning early in the 17th century. Did they share a common ancestor, William of Norwich? However, the fact they are not found earlier in the records suggest they may have originated from west Somerset not East Anglia.
  4. The founder of Shattucks in America, William Shattuck (1622-1672), settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. Bernard Bailyn, in The Barbarous Years (p. 426) describes Watertown as "even more completely an East Anglia town than Ipswich." Ipswich in Suffolk (East Anglia) is close to the Needham Market village where Stogumber London Shattocks are found in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, there is plenty of evidence of west Somerset pilgrims in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. On the other hand, the fact is that the American Shattucks and the London Shattocks share an SNP, Y19751, that defines them as an independent branch of the Shattocks going back to the 16th century. Does this make East Anglia a more likely point of origin for William Shattuck?

The white broadcloths exported from west Somerset were destined for the dyers and weavers in the Low Countries, particularly Flemish weavers. Ponting (pp. 22-23):

  • Almost all these undyed broadcloths went in their unfinished state through the great international port of Antwerp. The importance of this trade (three-quarters of England's overseas commerce) is apparent - as is its vulnerability to political change. It is safe to say that never before or since has the commercial prosperity of the country been linked so closely to the production of there three West Country clothing counties of Wiltshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire. Such a large export trade calls for a complex organisation - particularly if the produce is handled in a semi-finished state. There must have been some flow of information between the ultimate buyer of the finished cloth in Europe, the finisher and dyer (who may not have been the same person), the London exporter and the clothier in the West Country who was responsible for only for the spinning, weaving and fulling but also for the choice of raw material -perhaps the most important task of all. Only a manufacturer of cloth can appreciate all this involved and it is strange that we have so little knowledge of how the information passed along such devious and complicated channels.

If "Shattock" or "Shaddock" is indeed a German surname, and the earliest Shattocks were deeply involved in the wool and cloth trade, then this trading network from the Low Countries, through Antwerp and London to west Somerset suggests also a natural migration path. One of the earliest family documents from the middle of the 15th century identifies Roger Shattock of Stogumber, west Somerset, as a merchant. It could be that the earliest Shattock or Shaddock family migrated to London and several descendants dispersed to the wool centers of East Anglia, Wiltshire and Somerset.

It is also possible that a merchant from a German hinterland serving the Antwerp cloth market went straight to west Somerset to buy wool and cloth directly from the supplier and never settled in East Anglia, Wiltshire or London. That is what the current evidence suggests, as shown on the map of early Shattock villages on the English Heritage page.

The DNA evidence is that Shattocks and Shaddocks are descended from a single set of parents who lived in the late 14th century, give or take 50 years. But we do not know where those parents lived. We know their grandchildren, perhaps great grandchildren, begin to show up in west Somerset records in the middle of the 15th century, i.e. Roger Shattock, a cloth merchant, and Thomas Shattocke, tenant farmer in Bishops Hull, a cloth center in the suburbs of Taunton. Of the 130 or so Shattocks and Parrishs who have been DNA tested, every single one is descended from Y17171.

The many dozens of people tracking their ancestors back in generations end up in west Somerset. Not a single one finds their Shattock ancestors in East Anglia. But is it possible that Y19751 descendants, the Stogumber and London Shattocks, in fact originate in East Anglia?

Shattocks do appear in Norfolk East Anglia when parish began. But the names Thomas, Christopher, William and Henry all are signature names for Staplegrove / Norton Fitizwarren Shattocks. This deepens the mystery because it makes you wonder if Shattocks from East Anglia came down to west Somerset as late as the 16th century or was the migration in the opposite direction, from Taunton to East Anglia / Norfolk? My reconstruction of the Staplegrove / Norton Fitzwarren parish records suggest the latter scenario.

Consider that there is DNA evidence that Chattocks from further north were sometimes recorded as Shattocks or Shaddocks. In fact the Birmingham Shaddocks are shown by DNA testing to be descended from a common ancestor with the Chattocks, totally unrelated to the west Somerset Shattocks going back 5,000 years. So I would have to say that the evidence so far is that the west Somerset Shattocks and Shaddocks can still be described as originating in west Somerset. However the scenario that suggests a single Shattock from East Anglia settled in west Somerset in the late 14th century cannot be dismissed. For instance, plagues, famine, wars and immigration could explain why the DNA and genealogical evidence points to west Somerset as the origin point of Shattocks and Shaddocks in England. Or a Shattock from East Anglia may simply have moved to west Somerset to take advantage of the cloth industry there. Once again I think DNA evidence, together with solid genealogical records, will solve this mystery.

Why would Staplegrove Shattocks be found so far north in England at such an early date? The 16th century was growth period for the cloth export market. Shattocks from Staplegrove were beginning to venture out from west Somerset at this time, with records of Shattocks in London, particularly the Southwark area just outside the city at about this time. There also appears to be Shattocks who ventured to the South Molton, Tiverton and Exeter areas of Devon because of the burgeoning cloth markets there. Nearby Topsham was a major cloth export port. Apparently at this time Norfolk and Suffolk, where west Somerset expatriate Shattocks involved in the wool and cloth trade are found (see Stogumber London Shattocks) were major cloth centers much closer to the London export market.

Later "Chattucks" are recorded in parish records in Norfolk. It is difficult to determine if these were Chattocks or Chaddocks from the north of England, who are not related to the Shattocks and Shaddocks of the west country. Perhaps a DNA test in the future will determine this.

Still, John Shattock of Leicester's discovery of William Shattock, who died in 1382 and who is buried in St John the Baptist Church in Norwich in Norfolk, provides an interesting scenario. He was a Rector, with an income from his rectory. His death date puts William within the estimated range of the life of Y17171, the common ancestor of west Somerset Shattocks and Shaddocks. What makes the find intriguing is that William is found in an area where Flemish weavers were settled in the early to mid-14th century. But the fact he was a rector is at odds with this fact.

Worset Stall. Worsted is a high-quality type of wool yarn, and the fabric made from this yarn. The name derives from Worstead, a village in the English county of Norfolk. That village, together with North Walsham and Aylsham, formed a manufacturing centre for yarn and cloth in the 12th century, when pasture enclosure and liming rendered the East Anglian soil too rich for the older agrarian sheep breeds. In the same period, many weavers from Flanders moved to Norfolk. "Worsted" yarns/fabrics are distinct from woollens (though both are made from sheep's wool): the former is considered stronger, finer, smoother, and harder than the latter.

The scenario would be that a Shattock from Norfolk, who might have been a travelling wool or cloth merchant, settled in the Bishops Hull area of Taunton. I still think the two Shattock brothers with families in Dickleburgh in the mid-sixteenth century were from Staplegrove or Bishops Hull, but perhaps there was some kind of trade relationship between the cloth makers in Norfolk and Taunton.

I am looking forward to John's continued research into William Shattock. Here are his notes so far:

John: "We know quite a bit about William Shattock, considering he lived in the 14th Century. His name is spelt differently in various records but we know it’s the same person because the common factor is that he was Rector of Hackford (Hakeford) All Saints by Reepham in Norfolk. His name is spelt Chattock, Schattok, Schattock, and Shattock in various documents, including his Will of 1382. In French text and at his initiation in 1367 by a French Baron it is spelt Chattock and it is assumed that the “Ch” would be the same pronunciation as in “champagne” or “chateau” rather than as in “chip” or “chart”. Schattok is a more middle English spelling and of course Shattock is the spelling we know best.

William Shattock was first instituted as the Rector of Hackford All Saints in Norfolk in 1367 by Sir Thomas de Roos (Ros), Lord Hamelake (Helmsley).

Sir Thomas de Ros of Helmsley was of French descent and his family came to England with William the Conqueror. He was a rich and powerful man as the 4th Lord of Hemsley or Baron de Ros of Hemsley. He was born on 13 January 1337 in Stoke Albany Northamptonshire. He died in Uffington Lincolnshire on 8 June 1384 but his body was taken to Hemsley in North Yorkshire where he is buried in Rievaulx Abbey. His importance is important to recognise because he was the person who put forward or presented William Shattock to be Rector of Hackford All Saints. Sir Thomas de Ros held other offices including Warden of Scotland from 1372. He had influence with King Richard II enough to secure, by his request, the pardon of a William Colville regarding the death of a John Aleyn, Archdeacon of Suffolk, in 1381.

William Shattock was Rector of All Saints at Hackford by Reepham in Norfolk. All Saints was a Church that shared a graveyard with two other churches or there were three parish churches in the same curtilage within Reepham. Although the churches represented the Parishes of Hackford, Reepham and Whitwell, they were all located in the market town of Reepham. All Saints was destroyed by fire in 1543 leaving only the tower, which was finally demolished in the 18th Century.

The position of Rector would itself command some authority and wealth in the 14th Century. A Rector would have both land of his own and he would also collect tythes from the population amounting to 10% of their income or produce. Peasants would also have had to give their time and labour to work the Rector’s land without payment. A Rector didn’t necessarily live in his Parish and could appoint a Vicar for this purpose.

Hakeford, or Hackford, was one of the Lordships of the Earl Warren (de Warenne). William Shattock was Rector of Hackford until his death in 1382 but he wasn’t buried in his own Church but in the Church of St John the Baptist in Maddermarket in the City of Norwich Norfolk. His burial inside the Church building is a statement of his status.

Medieval Norwich 1300-1500

St John the Baptist, in Norwich, the place of his burial, might also tell us something else about this man because the church was part of a Priory occupied by the Friars de Sacco or Brethren of the Sac. The Parish relocated to the 15th Century Church of St George at Colgate in that Century. The following reference to St John the Baptist is taken from a “An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 4, the History of the City and County of Norwich, Part II”. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.

the parish was united to St. George at Colgate, and the church used by the friars for their own, in which I find the following persons were buried,

1372, Sir Edmund Wauncy, Knt. and John Banham of Langhale.

1382, Will. Schattock, rector of Hakeford All-Saints by Reepham.

1394, Tho. Hilde, vicar of Bauburgh.

1397, Sir Andrew, the chaplain of Cringleford

1408, Walter de Bixton, merchant, in the choir by Elen his first wife.

The Friars were the Friars of the Sac or commonly called Black Friars because of the colour of their habits.

William Shattock left a Will dated 1382. "

John has also identified a possible reason why at least one Shattock may have left East Anglia and settled in west Somerset.

John: "Norwich was a city that at in medieval times was only 2nd to London in size. It was a “city built on wool”. Although William Shattock’s parish was out of town, the church that he was buried in was in the town centre. The Parish Church moved from St John the Baptist Maddermarket (where William was buried) to St George in Colegate on the other side of the river after William’s death. Colegate was an area where the very wealthiest of wool merchants apparently lived https://www.britainexpress.com/counties/norfolk/norwich/st-george-colegate.htm There is also a clue in the street name of Maddermarket. The madder market was a place where dyes were sold to colour wool and cloth. Madder is a root that was used to create a popular red dye. William was therefor surrounded by the wool trade if he was not also actually part of it.

I’m not sure if William was associated with the Friars or whether they just occupied the Church of St John in Maddermarket after the Parish moved to Colegate on the other side of the river in Norwich. The friars apparently came to Norwich in the 13th Century. http://oldcity.org.uk/norwich/history/history05.php

Although his title was a Rector, we also don’t know whether he had any personal involvement with the wool trade. He may done. Certainly he would be collecting personal tythes from those living in his Parish of Hackford. The fact that he’s mentioned at all in the history of this era must mean that he was a very prominent and important individual. The fact he’s buried within the Church of St John the Baptist also confirms this. It would have been a relatively new build at the time of his death and burial.

William died shortly after the peasant revolt of 1381 when the peasants took control of and sacked Norwich. In Norfolk the riot was led by a dyer called Litster. They attacked and took from the wealthy merchants of Norwich. The Bishop Henry le Despenser (probably William’s boss and the Bishop of Norwich) took an army of Knights and armed men to put down the rioters, involving slaughter, hangings, and beheadings. The Bishop was himself dressed in the armour of a Knight, indicating the power of the Church was not restricted to the pastoral welfare of mankind but also as military man who was known to be involved in hand to hand fighting and slaughter of his enemies.

https://erenow.com/postclassical/summerofblood1381/24.html "

So in this scenario, one or more Shattocks may have fled turmoil in East Anglia and found refuge in west Somerset.