Street / Tyler Street
The rather obscured name plaque shown below sits
between numbers 17 and 19 Purplett Street:
Many house name plaques around
Ipswich bear the letters F.L.S. It stands for Freehold Land Society.
The Ipswich and Suffolk Freehold Land Society,
formed in 1849
the major driver in building Victorian housing developments around
Ipswich (see our Rosehill case study
for one of the most well known areas,
also 'California'). The name was
truncated to Freehold Land
Society and the organisation later became the Ipswich Building Society.
A view of Purplett Street from the Hawes Street end; the name
plaque is sited above the blue bin.
Street name derivations for the variants
in the 'Puplett' family name and the relatively recent change to the
current form. Interestingly, one of the famous women in
Ipswich history was Alice Tooley:-
"Alice Tooley (née Purpet), was a business woman who, after the death
of her husband, became a freewoman of Ipswich. Henry Tooley was one of
the town’s richest merchants. They traded mainly in cloth from their
property on St Mary’s Quay. None of their three children survived
adolescence. When Henry was away, Alice supervised shipments,
collected debts, made payments and kept everything running. Henry died
in 1551, and left most of his money to the townspeople of Ipswich,
including the Foundation for the alms- houses.
Alice saw these become a reality before her death in 1556. Alice and
Henry’s tomb is at St Mary at the Quay
from the Ipswich Women's Festival website, see Links.]
Possible derivation of 'Purplett'
In addition to the above source of the name 'Purplett' we read in
Sylvia Laverton's book on Shotley peninsula (see Reading
"Although the peninsula has many deposits of clay, sand and
gravel these have not given rise to specific place-names. An exception
is Purte pyt [recorded in
Domesday Book]... which appears to have been a pit or quarry in
Harkstead deriving its name from Old English (Angl.) pytt with the Old English personal
name Purta. There are no
clues about what was in the pit. In 1086 [Little Domesday] it formed
part of a 60 acre manor. Thomas de Pourtepet was a tax assessor in
Harkstead in 1327. Harkstead manor records include numerous references
to people called Purpette (numerous spellings) from the 14th to
the 18th centuries. Evidently the land held by Purta was divided when
the parish boundaries were drawn, for the lords of Harkstead manor owed
suit in Wolverston manor court for Purpette throughout the 15th
century. In his will (1499) William Tenderyng, then lord of Harkstead
manor, directed his executors to 'sell my lands called Purpetts'. The
Harkstead and Chelmondiston Tithe maps show Gravel Pit Fields and
Harkstead Clappitts lying across their common parish boundary. These
may mark the site of Purta's manor."
Perhaps this is the derivation of the name still enshrined in 'Purplett
Incidentally, the same book notes that Ceolmund's estate,
recorded as Ceolmundeston in 1174 (Pipe Rolls) but not named in
Domesday Book, evolved into Chelmondiston
parish ('tum'* = estate). Herchesteda (1086) – Hereca's place – gave
name to Harkstead parish.
[UPDATE 2.3.2018: 'I am
sure that it is right that the Purplett surname derives from Purtepit.
However, I doubt that Laverton is right to derive that place-name
from Purta. I am writing a paper on this. Also, *'tum' = estate'
should be 'tūn = estate'. Keith Briggs'. Many thanks to Keith for his
The photograph below left shows what is left of
Tyler Street in 2014 – one terrace of houses and one corner property,
the former corner shop –
since the major reshaping of the road down to Bourne Bridge, bypassing
the northern part of Wherstead Road. At one time this street would have
been closely built on both sides and running down to Stoke Quay (later
called New Cut West). Three thoroughfares used to run more-or-less
parallel from Great Whip Street/Wherstead Road eastwards to the river,
each named after benefactors of the town’s charities: Richard Felaw
(died 1483), Richard Purplett (more correctly 'Puplett', died
c. 1720), and 'Tyler'...
[UPDATE 5.8.2014: Here is a
quotation about Tooley's and Smart's
Almshouses from White's
Directory of Suffolk 1855:
"... SMART'S FOUNDATION produces about £480 p.a., arising from the
following property, under the will of Wm. Smart, in 1598; viz., a farm
of 372A.[acres], and a piece of water of
5-and-a-halfA. at Fakenham [sic;
presumably 'Falkenham', rather
than the Norfolk town]
and Kirton, let for £420; a third part of a farm of 91A.
at Creeting, let for £150; and a fifth-part of the
above-named farm of 190A. at
Brandon. One-third of the farm at Creeting was purchased with £300,
left by Wm. Tyler in 1643, for schooling, clothing, and apprenticing
poor children." So William Tyler
(died 1643) is the third benefactor of the town's charities
commemorated in these street names.]
Street name derivations. Looking
at the maps of this area on our Felaw Street
page, these names appear between the 1848 and the 1867 maps, so they
are Victorian impositions when new housing and other developments
The street namplate at this time is virtually unreadable
from a distance.
Above numbers 14 and 16 is the
terrace name plaque with an unusual use of italic caps:
F.L.S + 1884'
See above for the link to 'F.L.S.'
(Carolyn Saxon, contributor to this website from Florida, was born
& raised at number 20.)
Please email any comments and contributions by clicking here.
throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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