There is nothing particularly striking about the countryside around Linstead Parva, for here is that pleasant aspect, that homely appearance which green meadows and cultivated fields, swaying branches, and straggling hedges so happily convey. The district here, in fact, is entirely of the type one associates with lush grass on which contemplatively browse the patient cattle, of growing crops and agricultural pursuits, suits, a district which in good season echoes to the merry sound of the binder as it performs its task amidst the golden corn.

And the church here is entirely in keeping with its environment, a building of the friendly countryside harmonising so completely that it seems to be at one with the varied attractions the countryside so liberally offers. Its churchyard is on the edge of fields, and in the very trees here there is none of that ordered array so often discovered in similar places more urban in planning. For even the trees in this rural spot seem to suggest that here is a place far removed from the town and its man-made attractions.

On the opposite corner to which the church stands is a rather fine old house known as Chapel Farm, and this, as an example of the queer way in which the boundaries of our parishes wind and wander, is actually in Chediston. Nearby, also, is another residence with splendid chimneys, and these two buildings comprise practically the only signs of human activity in the vicinity of the Linstead Parva house of worship.

An avenue of stately trees lines the path to the South porch of this pleasant little religious structure, which first seems to have come into being during the 13th century, although many later additions have occurred, notably in connection with the porch itself, which was rebuilt just forty years ago. As one sometimes finds, however, various people have endeavoured to perpetuate their names-or, at any rate, their initials-in this case, by carving them on the inner arch, one of these examples of old time bad manners giving a date so long ago as 1591.

Besides the porch, the Church of St. Margaret contains chancel and nave and a curious little bell-turret of wood, the latter, although not impressive, seeming entirely in keeping with its leafy surroundings. At the West end also is a single-light window with a trefoil-headed niche on either side, in each of these niches being the base on which figures once stood.

Unlike many of our houses of worship, the North doorway at Linstead has not been filled in, but now leads to a modern vestry, in which are photographs and press cuttings referring to the church in recent years. A rather curious point in connection with this edifice is that despite being rather smaller than many others, it has contrived to retain a somewhat imposing appearance, at least from the interior aspect. Much of this spacious effect is caused undoubtedly by the deeply-splayed lancet window in the North wall of the chance] facing a much larger one on the opposite side. Both these interesting survivals date from the 15th century, and another relic retained in the chancel is a piscina, small, it is true, small and plain, but in a very good state of preservation.

Close to this is the priest's door, and on the West jamb of this a dial, very clear despite its years of exposure.

Considerable restoration has occurred in Linstead Church, notably in 1891, whilst it suffered the loss of many of its treasures through the depredations of Will Dowsing, whose demolitions included a "Picture of Christ on the outside of the steeple, nailed to a Cross, and another superstitious one," and, internally, a "Picture of God the Father, and of Christ and 5 more superstitious in the Chancel."

Also, this seventeenth century iconoclast states that he removed "Crosses on the Font," roof but a glance at the font to-day reveals no signs of damage. On the contrary, this particular relic is in a quite good condition - much better, in fact, than many of its kind. True, there appears to be no crosses in evidence, for on the eight panels of the bowl are, alternately, the depictions of angels holding shields and lions whilst other angels and lions are to be seen around the base of the bowl and supporting the stem respectively.

Amongst the woodwork in this building are several bench-ends, some of which once graced what may be termed the "sister church" of Linstead Magna, but which, alas is no more. Here, again, however, we find very good and well-preserved examples indeed, and examples, moreover, which can be distinguished plainly enough from those of modern design. And whilst on the subject of woodwork the roof must claim our attention, for this is quite an impressive affair, dating from the fifteenth century, high-pitched and of the hammer-beam type, although unfortunately the beams no longer exhibit their terminals of angels' heads or other designs so frequently seen in our Suffolk houses of worship and the destruction of which may quite feasiibly be laid at the door of Mr. Dowsing.

A fine roof, as I have conveyed, even despite this mutilation and despite the various repairs which have been carried out, and which are apparent amidst the mellowed effect of the ancient work. Little more can be said, however, about this rather appealing little house of worship, whose very atmosphere seems redolent of the countryside it serves, for now it is necessary to discover a few facts in connection with Linstead Parva itself.

Therefore, we will start with the manor here, which in the twelfth century was the property of William de Casineto, and it was this owner who is known to history as the founder of theAbbey at Sibton, which, of course, became quite a prosperus establishment, although to-day only a few broken walls exist as a reminder of the unenduring effects of man's handiwork William de Casineto, naturally enough, endowed Sibton Abbey with his manor of Linstead Parva and when the dissolution of the monasteries occurred, it was seized by the Crown and presented by the eighth Henry to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.

To trace the history of the manor in detail is unnecessry but eventually it became the property of Sir Joshua Vanneck, Bt., who of course was the second son of Cornelius Vanneck, Paymaster of the Land Forces of the United Provinces.

Sir Joshua became a prosperous merchant in the City of London, and was dignified with the title of baronet. At his death in 1771, Linstead Parva Manor became the property of his eldest son, Sir Gerrard Vanneck, but, as the latter died unmarried, the estate and title went to another son, Sir Joshua, who, towards the end of the eighteenth century, was elevated to the Irish peerage as Baron Huntingfield, of Heveningham Hall, and to-day the manor is the property of the same family in the person of the fifth baron.

So much for the manor of Linstead Parva, for now we come to the story of a native of the village who played a conspicuous part in the religious differences of a period before tolerance n such matters had come into being. I have said that the subject of these remarks was a native of Linstead Parva, but in actual fact it seems rather doubtful from which Linstead he hailed-whether from Parva or Magna. Yet his story well deserves mention, if only as an example of the bitterness which existed between the devotees of two sects, both of which professed the Christian faith, the faith whose very foundation is peace and good will.

Thomas Everard-or Everett, as he is sometimes called-was born in 1560, and in his father he had a worthy example of that devotion to principle which was later to distinguish his every action. For the father, a stout supporter of the Roman Catholic doctrine, suffered imprisonment on that account, and there can be no doubt that he did much to imbue the son with the same determined spirit, more especially as Thomas Everard pursued his studies at home for over six years before proceeding to Cambridge, where he remained some eighteen months.

Later, we find him a member of the English College at Rheims, and there, and also at Courtrai, he made divinity and philosophy his own particular studies. Eventually Thomas Everard was admitted to the Society of Jesus, -a Jesuit, in other words, and the Jesuits, of course, were very far from being popular in our native country. Thus, when he returned to England in 1603 he only just managed to evade arrest, upon which he once more made his way to the Continent.

Some fourteen years later Thomas Everard again set his feet upon English soil, and for a time carried on work of a religious nature in Suffolk and in Norfolk. On this occasion, however, he was not so fortunate. The authorities seized this heretic son of Suffolk, and for two years he languished in gaol - or, perhaps, languished is the wrong word for one who always had his religious principles to stay him and to fortify him when in the grip of adversity. Following imprisonment, Everard was deported, but, despite his treatment here, and with the laudable ambition of trying to spread what he, at least, believed to be the true faith, he once more endeavoured to enter England, but, being arrested at Dover, was again imprisoned.

Yet he was very much more fortunate than many others who defied the authorities over matters of conscience-and this applies, of, course, to both the old faith and the new. After a time Everard escaped merely with the loss of his books, his pictures and "other impertinences."

This remarkable character was the author and translator of many theological works, but it is because of the strong fight he waged for principle's sake that we can admire him today, even although our own principles may be entirely different. But in this respect he resembled many other stout sons of Suffolk who struggled and suffered, worked and strived, yes, and in many instances, gave their lives, for the faith they professed and in whose tenets they so implicitly believed.

YEOMAN.
from the Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury, May 24th, 1935.