History of Norfolk/Volume 6

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478242History of Norfolk — Volume 6Charles Parkin


The History of the County of Norfolk, (a county of a very great ex- tent,) being left unfinished by the Reverend Mr. Blomefield, at his death, who had treated chiefly on the southern parts of it, and no person since that time proposing, or inclining to complete the same: as I was known to have made, for many years past, considerable col- lections on that subject, and had assisted Mr. Blomefield, present- ing him with the entire history of the hundreds of Grimshow, and South Greenhow, several gentlemen solicited me to undertake this work, which I complied with, in hopes of its being acceptable, not only to the gentlemen of Norfolk, but to all lovers of antiquity in general.

The materials and assistances, that I have made use of, will best appear from my vouchers and quotations herein cited, viz. large col- lections of antique, original, authentick manuscripts, in publick and private libraries, registers, &c. of religious houses, in particular of the voluminous ones of the cathedral church of Norwich, its many In- stitutions, and Will-books, from the reign of King Edward I. to this time. To all these I had free access, from Dr. Tanner, (the late Bishop of St. Asaph,) when Chancellor of that church, from the late Right Reverend Dr. Hayter, when he presided there, and from the present worthy Chancellor, the Reverend Dr. Atwell: to these I may add, Records in the Tower of London, in the Rolls, Pipe-Office, those of the Eschaetors, and Fines levied in the King's-Court.

Here I must not omit the most ancient manuscript of England, Domesday Book, deposited in the Exchequer, the spring and fountain of all English chorography, composed in the reign of William the Conqueror: by the help of these, the reader will observe, and find a series, and succession of the lords of every manor and town in this history, brought down from the reign of Edward the Confessor, to this present time, and without the assistance of this ever-valuable manu- script, vain, weak, and imperfect, must every attempt be in a history of this nature.

At the head, therefore, of every town and lordship, I have placed the account which I find of it, and its lord, as taken from the aforesaid book; and besides those towns that are now in being, it will appear that at the grand survey there were also many other towns, which at this time are so totally ruined, that even the site of several of them is unknown, destroyed, and mouldered away with their ancient lords and inhabitants:—Nunc seges est ubi Troja fuit.

Give me leave also to mention that valuable collection of the an- tiquities of this county, which Peter le Neve, Esq. Norroy, King at Arms, was employed in about 40 years, being, for the most part, extracts out of ancient records and manuscripts relating to temporal tenures; and though wrote in very minute pieces and fragments of paper, and undigested, were of singular and eminent service; for the favour, and help of these, I am obliged to Thomas Martin, Gent. of Palgrave in Suffolk, and thank him in this publick and grateful manner; Bishop Tanner and he being entrusted with the same, by the worthy collector of them.

From all these materials, an account will be here given of the ab- beys, priories, and other religious houses, of the churches with their monuments, &c. of the rectors, vicars, &c. Also of the ancient and present nobility and gentry of this county, with their arms, quarterings, and many pedigrees, in a more complete manner than has ever yet appeared in publick.

As every reader will observe, that I differ in my derivation of the names of the towns herein mentioned, from the generality of historians, I look upon myself obliged, and in duty bound, to assign my reasons for so doing, and must say, that our ancient historians were bad ety- mologists, and that some modern ones may be ranked in the same class.

We are informed by them, that the town of Appledore in Kent de- rives its name from apple-trees. —Barham Downs, from a hill where boars abide;—Barton from wood, or barley corn. —Whereas Apple- dore is derived (as the town of Appleby in Westmoreland is, where a famous Roman station was, called by Antoninus, in his Itinerary, Abal- laba) from the British word ab, or av, which word signifies a river, or water; le and by are Saxon additional words, expressing a dwelling by the water: thus we find the towns of Appleton, Appleford, and the hundred of Appletree in Derbyshire.—Barham is a ham or dwelling on a hill, from Bergh; thus, Barley and Barkway, (a way over the hills,) in Hertfordshire, and Barton, a town on, or by a hill, and Barrow, a tumulus.

Stow says, that Hunstanton in Norfolk takes its name from sweet- ness, (I presume he means honey,) but it is more reasonable to believe from a little rivulet here, the Hun; and we meet with Hunworth in Norfolk, Hunwick, in the county of Durham, and Hunstede, a town in Denmark, seated on the river Hun.

I cannot forbear taking notice of a remark made by Fuller:— "Mount Libanus, so called (as some say) from the Greek word, sig- nifying frankincense, of which there is plenty here produced; but, as parents give names to their children, not children to their parents, so I conclude it called from the Hebrew word, libanus, from its whiteness; the faithfull snow forsakes not the top of it, but remains there all the year long," —and that his conclusion is just, may be proved by the Alps, so called for the same reason;—Ab albis rupibus.

A modern author asserts, that Snestesham in Norfolk is so corruptly called, for Netesham, its ancient name, being fambus for herds of cows, whereas, in Domesday Book, it is wrote Snetesham, from a rivulet, called Snet.—Snetterton is also a town in this county; Snet or Snyte, is a river in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, and Snetre, one in Northumberland.

Cambden, in his history of Northumberland, calls Risingham a town of venerable antiquity, standing on the river Rhead; and that it signifies, in the old English, and high Dutch languages, a town of giants, from riese, a word for a giant; but rie and rey, are well known to be names of rivers, giving names to towns adjoining to them;—as Ryegate in Surrey, Rydale in Yorkshire, Riburgh, and Rising, in Norfolk.

The said author thinks, that Buckinghamshire has its name from beech-trees, and some think from its plenty of bucks.—There are four towns in this county of Norfolk, called Buckenham, or Buckingham; all these have their site by some stream of water, or river, and are wrote in the grand survey, Bokenham, Bukenham, and Bucham. Bo, or bu, denotes the winding of any stream; thus, Bow (by Stratford) in Middlesex;—Bows in Yorkshire (the ancient Roman Levatre;)— Boethorp by Norwich.—Ken is the British name of rivers in many counties, Lancashire, Wiltshire, and Berkshire; from this proceed Ken- ford and Kenet, towns in Cambridgeshire; and Leland calls Kenlet a pretty brook, in the vale of Montgomery; and Aken a famous city in Germany, called by the French, Aix-la-Chapelle.—Buckworth or Bu- cheworth, in Huntingdonshire, is seated at the confluence of two rivers, as worth always implies, (thus Keyserwart in Germany;) and Buxton. in Norfolk is wrote in the grand survey, Buchestuna and Bukestun. Kess and chess are also words for a river, or water, as Chiswick in Mid- dlesex, Keswick in Norfolk, &c.

Hertford is called also, (as is said, ) from an hart, and the arms of that town (an hart couchant in a river) is brought to confirm it, which is a mean, low rebus, the name being owing to the British word rit, and so is a ford or passage over a river or water; He-Rit, or E-Rit; ford being added by the Saxons. Erith is a town (in the parish of Bluntsham) in Huntingdonshire, where was the grand ford or passage out of that county into the Isle of Ely, over the river Ouse; so that, to make the aforesaid rebus complete, the hart should have been at least passant, or trippant, to set forth the ford. The famous city of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, is of the same original, and is called in Latin, Tra- jectus ad Rhenum.

Derham is interpreted to be a place for deer, but its true derivation is from the British word dur, (water,) as in Durham, Derby, Dort, or Dortrect, a city in Holland, is a ford over the water or river.—God- slow is (as some will have it ) a stow, or dwelling dedicated to God; whereas it expresses only a dwelling by good water, as Godstow in Oxfordshire,—Godeston in Norfolk, and in Surrey.

It would be an endless task to enumerate more instances, wherein historians seem to me to have greatly erred in the etymology of towns, and shall here make this general remark, that as far as I have consi- dered this subject, it appears that towns derive their names from their natural site, from something durable, lasting, and permanent for ages to come, and what would set forth, and easily explain itself, and so justify the Britains, and after them the Saxons, and prove the reason of their being so named. And it appears, that this was generally from some river, or water, by which they had their site; and though the names of most rivers (little ones especially) are, by length of time, lost and unknown, yet the continuance, and constant flow of their streams, will endure to confirm this remark:

Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis ævum.

A learned gentleman and Saxon antiquary, long since observed: "That our Saxon ancestors were a very wise and understanding people, that they did not, as men do now a-days, for the glory of a short continuance, name the places of their conquest after them- selves, or some of their great masters, but even according to nature's self."

There are some towns in this county that still retain their British names entire, and from their site; viz. Lynn, Winch, Geist, Trows, &c. as at first given them by the Britons, the aborigines of this isle; and to many the Saxons have added the final syllables, of ham, ton, ley, thorp, worth, den, dale, ing, how, sted, wold, ferd, burgh, &c. Many Roman towns also retained part of their old British names, as appears from the Itinerary of Antoninus, &c.

To the remark above made, it may be objected, that there are many towns that take their names from trees of different kinds, which are subject to decay, and not from any natural, durable site; as Ashwell in Hertfordshire; Ashill in Norfolk; Ashsted in Surry, from ash trees.

To this it may be replied, that the real, true, and old names of towns are to be taken from the Book of Domesday, which being com- posed in the reign of the Conqueror, remain there, as they were in the time of Edward the Confessor, and in the Saxon age; since that time they are much corrupted, and falsely spelt.—Ashwell, in that book, is wrote Escewell, (seated on the river Read,)—Ashill in Nor- folk, Escelea, seated on wet, spongy meadows; the hundred being called Weyland. Ashsted in Surry, standing by the river Mole. Ash is the name of a river in Hertfordshire;—Esse and Esh, rivers in Der- byshire, Leicestershire, &c. In Sussex, we find the river Ashburn, from which the ancient and noble family of the Earl of Asburnham derives its name. How wide from truth then must the derivation of Ashingdon in Essex be? so called, (as an old historian says,) as being a mount or hill of asses.

Okeley in Surry, and in Essex, is generally said to be so called from trees of oak, but their site is near the water, the first near the head of the river Mole, wrote in the grand survey, Aclea.—Oke and Ock are rivers in Devonshire, Berkshire, &c. — Okeburn, a town in Wiltshire, and Okebrook and Okeworth, in Derbyshire and York- shire.

Boxley in Kent, and Boxwell in Gloucestershire, thought to be so named from box trees, are wrote Buceslea, and Buceswella, one stand- ing on a winding stream, as has been above observed; and thus Bokestede, or Boxstede, in Essex, on the river Stour;—and thus is it with Willoughby in Nottinghamshire, wrote at the Conquest Wil-ge-by, that is by a well, or fine spring of water; Willy is a river, and a town in Wiltshire, and hence comes Wilton and Wilford, &c. And as towns thus appear not to be derived from any particular kind of trees, so are they not from wood in general. Woodstock in Oxfordshire, is Vudeston, seated by a river;—Woodburgh in Nottinghamshire, Ude- burgh; as Woodbridge in Suffolk, and Woodford in Essex, all bearing a near relation to the Roman udus.

The Britons used several monosyllables, to denote and express water;—a, ea, and e, as in Acle, or Akele in Norfolk, &c. Eaton in Buckinghamshire, &c. and Ely in Cambridgeshire.—Eu and ew, as Euston in Suffolk, Ewell in Surry, &c.—Guy and Wy, as Guyton, in Norfolk, Wye in Kent, &c. Here I cannot omit observing, that a famous chancellor of Cambridge University, who lived in the reign of Richard II. wrote himself at times, Wido, Eudo, Guydo, and Ivo de la Zouch, as appears from the registers of that University, and of the see of Ely.

Just therefore is the remark of an eminent antiquary, Edward Lloyd, who asserts, that the most general way of naming towns among the Britions, was from their rivers, on which they were seated; and I may add, if we reflect rightly on this subject, that even the names of most of our counties, and those of our hun- dreds, are also derived from the said original; water being one of the greatest blessings, one of the most necessary supports of human life; for as Pindar styles it, [Arizon then Udor].

Another observation that I shall here add, is, that no town in the British age took its name from its lord or owner; the monks were the first who gave the name of some saint, or person eminent for his piety, &c. St. Alban's, a town in Hertfordshire, where Offa, the great King of the Mercians, founded a monastery in 793, which being dedicated to St. Alban, (called the Proto-Martyr among the first Christian bishops,) assumed that name. This St. Alban is said to have suffered at a place called Holm-Hurst, near the ancient Roman city, called Verulam, by the Romans, and Verulam-Ceaster, or Wat- ling-street, by the Saxons, before it had the name of St. Alban's.

St. Ives in Huntingdonshire, so called from a Persian bishop Ivo, whose relicks being here discovered, (as is said,) about the year 1001, its ancient name being Slepe; and Slepe is said to arise out of the ruins of the Roman Ritomagus.

Ivo is undoubtedly a Saxon name; and how this Persian bishop could be of this name, is a quære; but as the monks might be his godfathers, historians copy after them.

St. Neot's, in the said county, on the removal of St. Neot's body here, assumed his name; the cloister-historians disagree about him, and the time wherein he lived; they assert him to have been one of the sons of Adulf, King of the West Saxons, and brother of King Alfred; whereas Alfred was the son of Athelwolph, King over the greatest part of England, who died in the year 857, and had no son named Neot, (as the Saxon chronicle proves; ) and this town was called Eynbury, or Eynolvesbury, before the time of this Neot; and we find Eynford, a hundred in Norfolk, and Eynesham, a town in Oxfordshire.

Thus Peterburgh was first named Medeshamstede, standing on a river by the meadows; and St. Osyth, in Essex, was called at first Chick, from the adjoining river: from these instances it is plain, that the Saxons altered the ancient names of some towns, taken from their natural, real site, and imposed new names on them, coined by the monks in their cloisters.

After this inquiry into the names of towns, I shall here adjoin some remarks relating to the names of persons in general.

The Britons had but one name, and that not hereditary, as Arvi- ragus, Cingetorax, Taximagulus, Cassivellanus, famous kings; Cuno- beline, the great King of the Iceni, had these three sons, Adminius, Caratacus and Togadumnus; and Androgeus was the son of Immanu- entius, King of the Trinobantes.

The same custom prevailed among the Saxon kings. Sigebert, Egbert, Edgar; Ethelwolph, the son of Egbert, (the great West Saxon king,) succeeded his father, and left four sons, Ethelbald, Ethel- bert, Etheldred and Alfred, who were all kings, in their order of the West Saxons. About the time of the Conquest, we find the Kings Etheldred, Canute, Harold, &c. Among the chief nobility, Leofric Earl of Mercia succeeded by his son Algar, who was father of Edwin and Morker, two famous earls.—Godwin Earl of Kent had six sons, Swain, Harold, Ulnoth, Tosti, Guert, and Leofwine; and, at the sur- vey, we find a great number of the Saxon thanes, and nobility, who were deprived of their lordships; as Thoke, Osmund, Bondo, Orgar, Edric, &c. in this county.

Sirnames were first assumed in France, about the year 1000, and were local, taken from those towns, or places, of which the persons who assumed them were lords and owners, and were soon after brought into England. In the troublesome reign of King Etheldred, this kingdom being cruelly ravaged by the Danes, that King, with his queen and family, took refuge in France, (Emma, his queen, being sister to Rich. Duke of Normandy,) where he continued till the death of the Danish King Swain; but his two sons, Edward and Alfred, staid in Normandy, and were there educated. After the death of King Etheldred, and of the Danish kings, Canute, Harold, and Hardi- Canute, Edward was sent for by the English nobility, and chose king in 1041, (as the Saxon Chronicle, ) and introduced this Norman custom.

One of the first that I find to have used it in England, was Thorald de Bukenhale, who assumed his sirname from his lordship and town of Bukenhale in Lincolnshire; he was brother to the famous Lady Godiva, wife of Leofric, the noble Earl of Mercia, had great posses- sions, and was founder of the priory of Spalding in Lincolnshire, in 1052.

Soon after this, in the reign of King Edward, we meet with Edric de Laxfield, lord of Hickling, Rachel de Gimingham, lord of Repps,— Alwi de Thetford, lord of Kirby in Norfolk, all deprived at the Conquest, whose descendants continued the said sirnames; so that it is a mistake to say, "that after diligent inquiry made, no sirnames, descending to posterity can be found before the Conquest."

At the time of making the Book of Domesday in 1086, this Norman custom had much prevailed. Selden, in his preface to Eadmer, gives us the names of several persons of different hundreds in Cam- bridgeshire, then sworn by commissioners appointed to make it.

In Stapleho hundred, Nicholas de Chenet, (Kennet,) William de Chippenham, Warin de Saham, Alan de Burwell, Alfric de Snaille- well, &c. and in the said county we find Giffard de Drayton, Gilbert de Histon, Roger de Childerley, Brun. de Chesterton, Almer de Cotenham, &c.

These were chiefly Normans, and probably some were Englishmen; for, on this great occasion, many, both Franci and Angli, were sworn to the truth of what they knew relating to the tenures of those places. Undoubtedly they were relations, friends, dependants, and of the re- tinue of those Norman lords, who held the aforesaid towns (by grant of the Conqueror) in capite, and by knight's service, and were en- feoffed therein by the said lords, and so held under them, and assumed their sirnames from the towns, wherein they were thus enfeoffed, ac- cording to the Norman custom. Hence it appears, that local sirnames of noblemen, gentlemen, &c. were seldom used in England before the reign of the Confessor, and that towns did not take their names from any lord or owner, but gave names to their lords.

It is impossible in a work of this nature to prevent mistakes and errours made by the author, or the press; it is therefore humbly re- quested that the reader will excuse and pardon them, and be of the same humane and candid sentiment with the poet:

Non ego paucis Offendar maculis, quas aut incuria fudit, Aut humana parum cavit natura. Hor.


This hundred is bounded on the south, by the river Wissey, which separates it from the hundred of Grimshoe; on the west by a rivulet that arises at Shingham and empties itself into the Wissey against Whittington near Stoke, from the hundred of Clacklose; on the north it joins to the hundreds of Freebridge citra Lynn, and Launditch; and on the east, to those of Weyland and Mitford.

It is an hundred of a very large extent, and takes its name of Grenhoe from the green hills or tumuli lying by the London road to Swaffham, on the heath between Cley and North Pickenham. It is mostly open and a champain, and famous for the number and sound feed of sheep, and is called South in respect of another hundred of the same name that lies in the north part of this county.

It was at the Conquest the demesnes of the Kings of England, and the King had then 14 letes in it; from the Crown it came to the Albineys Earls of Arundel, and descended to John Fitz-Alan, lord of Clun and Oswaldstree in Wales, son of John Fitz-Alan and Isabel his wife, who was daughter of William and sister and coheir of Hugh de Albaney Earls of Arundel, who died in 1243; the aforesaid John, in 1249 held this hundred and that of Launditch, paying a fee-farm rent of 18s. 6d. per annum; and John L'Estrange held the said two hundreds of him, paying to him the aforesaid fee-farm rent and 6l. per annum; and at an inquisition taken in the 3d of King Edward I. the jury present this hundred to be held by the heirs of the aforesaid John FitzAlan. The commissioners for the King were Sir Robert de Caston, Sir Robert de Hulmo, and Sir Robert de Saham; the inquisition was on the oaths of 12 men for the hundred, and of five men out of each township, who were to enquire by this commission after the privileges which the lords of manors held, the excesses of the sheriffs, coroners, &c. and the usurpations made on the King's rights, &c.; the names of the jurors for the hundred, were, Alan de Aula of Swaffham, Robert de Hill of Dudelington, Robert de Castilc of Fuldon, William Page of Sporle, Alexander Warner of the same, Hugo de Withcand of Swaffham, Peter Alexander of Fuldon, Hugo Pelliperarius of Cressingham Magna, Osbert son of William de Bradenham, &c.

In the 23d of Edward I. Richard Fitz-Alan Earl of Arundel gives and grants to John son of John Lord Le Estrange of Lutcham, all the lands which his father had and held of his fee, with the hundreds of South Greenhoe and Launditch, to be held by the said John and Clementia his wife; and in the 21st of King Richard II. this hundred, with that of Launditch was granted to his uncle, John Duke of Lancaster; and in the next year, they were granted to Edmund of Langley Duke of York, with the manors of Mileham and Breston, late part of the possessions of Richard Earl of Arundel attainted; but on the accession of King Henry IV. to the Crown, Thomas, son of Richard Earl of Arundel, was restored in blood and to his possessions; and on the 1st of September, in the 8th of King Henry IV. the said Thomas Earl of Arundel, by his deed dated at Arundel, gives and grants to Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, his uncle, Sir Thomas Camoys, Sir John Bohun, Sir John Wiltshire, &c. the hundreds of South-Greenhoe and Laundich; and they being seized of the same, grant them to Beatrice Countess of Arundel, wife of the said Thomas, for life; and the said Sir John Bohun, Sir John Wiltshire, &c. in the 3d of Henry VI. gave the said hundreds to Henry Earl of Northumberland, Sir Ralph Cromwell Lord Cromwell, and John Lord Scroop, to hold the same after the decease of the aforesaid Beatrice to them and their heirs; and the said Beatrice dying, the aforesaid Henry Earl of Northumberland, Ralph Lord Cromwell, &c. grant the said hundreds in 33d of Henry VI. to Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knt. and his heirs, to have and to hold the same; by virtue of which grant the said Sir Thomas was seized. and took the profits of the same during his life; and on his death in 1461, Margaret Beding feld, widow of Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. sister and heir to the said Sir Thomas, was lady of this hundred of South-Greenhoe, and from her it descended to her grandson, Sir Edmund Beding feld, Knt. of the Bath, whose immediate heir and descendant, Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Bart. of Oxburgh-Hall, is the present lord,

The whole hundred is in the liberty of his Grace the Duke of Norfolk.

The valuation of each town to the land-tax is — per annum. [left column]

The quarterly payment for each town, for quarterage, vagrant money, &c. for a 600l. levy, each quarter. [right column]


By Castleacre, is a little village on the north side or point of the hundred. In the Confessor's time, Osmund was lord; and at the general survey, it was royal domain, and farmed or held of the Conqueror by Godric, and occurs by the name of Nieutuna, the NewTown, or rather the town near the water, as (Ni-Eu-Tuna) may be interpreted

When Godric entered on it, there were eight villeins, and the same number at the Confessor's time, 2 carucates at all times in domain, and in the Confessor's time, and after, 6 carucates amongst the men, and there were always two mills and half a salt-pit, and six freemen had their mansions or dwelling here; it was five furlongs in length, and five in breadth, and paid 9d. gelt.

In the reign of King Henry I. William son of Robert was lord of this town, who gave, by deed sans date, to the priory of Castleacre annual rent of 10s. issuing out of his mill here, in pure alms for the health of his own soul, his father Robert's, his brother John's. The witnesses were William the priest of Kemestun or Kempston, William de Blumville, Walter de Halteyn, Ralph son of Baldwin, William Bardulf, Humphrey de Duneham, Hubart de Acra, William de Pagrava, &c. This was that William de Bosevilla (as I take it) who in the said reign gave also by deed sans date to the aforesaid priory the church of Newton, for the soul of King Henry I. (who most likely gave him this lordship,) his children, &c. and Eborard Bishop of Norwich confirmed the said grant.

About the reign of King John, Hubert de Burgo, the King's chamberlain, and afterwards Earl of Kent, was lord, and confirmed the gift of his ancestor, William de Bosville; and in the reign of Henry III. John de Burgh was found to hold here one knight's fee of the Earl of Albemarle by the service of one pair of gilt spurs of the price of 12d. per annum, and the Earl of the King in capite; and the said John had view of frankpledge without the King's bailiff. William son of Robert de Pagrave of Pagrave had lands, and had a lordship which was (as I conceive) his lordship of Pagrave that extended into this town, and confirmed to the aforesaid Hubert de Burgh the site of a mill called Kirk Mill in Newton, and the suit of all his men here, and in Pagrave to it; and covenanted that he and his heirs should grind all their corn and malt here, with a clause of distress on him, &c. to do the said suit, his heirs and men paying for ever a pound of cumin, or three halfpence per annum, John de Dunham, Alan and Roger de Wesenham, Hamon and William de Acra, William de Wigenhall, Edmund de Walsingham, Reginard de Marham, and John Extraneus, or Le Strange, &c.

In the 15th of Edward I. Michael de Caudewell or Cankewell was lord, and was found to have view of frankpledge, assize of bread and beer, weyf, &c. This Michael was son of Baldwin de Caudewell who purchased this manor of John de Burgh then deceased, in 15th of Edward I. but in the 11th of Edward II. a suit was commenced between Alice daughter of Michael de Cankewell, and John de la Warr, and Joan his wife, Edmund de Combes and Robert Fitz-Walter, heirs of John son of Hubert de Burgh, concerning the right of this manor, which was awarded to Alice; and in the 19th of the said reign a fine was levied between John le Leche and Alice his wife, (the aforesaid Alice, as I presume,) querents, Henry vicar of the church of Newton, and Roger le Barkere, chaplain, defendants, of this manor, which was settled on John and Alice his wife for their lives, remainder to Nicholas and Hamon their sons in tail; and Richard Holdich, by his deed indented, dated at Newton on Monday next after Easter, in the 8th year of Richard II. confirmed to Sibill, widow of Nicholas Le Leche, this manor with the appurtenances which she had of the feoffment of her husband Nicholas, for life only, with remainder to William le Leche, son and heir of Nicholas, and to the heirs of his body; remainder to Catherine, daughter of the said Nicholas, and Agnes widow of William le Leche; by her deed in French, dated at Castleacre on Monday the Feast of St. Nicholas, in the 2d of Henry IV. writing that whereas the King had granted to John Payn, his chief butiler, the ward and marriage of her husband's and her son and heir, with the manor of Newton and all other his lands in Norfolk, she the said Agnes released all her right of dower in all the said lands during the continuance of the patent, to the patentee, for an annuity of 40s. sterling.

In the 12th of Henry VI. William Leche and Catherine his wife were found to hold this lordship, with one tenement in Oulton, and one in Caston, of the honour of Albemarle; and Robert their son dying sans issue, Catherine, sister to the said William, married to Wysbeche of Wysbeche, having by him a son, Simon Wysbeche; he was his kinsman and heir; but of this family of Wysbeche I meet with no further account.

In the 1st of Richard III. Thomas Gent of Kempostn, and Robert Mounsey of Castleacre, enfeoffed Thomas Candeler, John Baker, Francis Calibut, and William Fisher of Castleacre, in lands here, with the moiety of a fold course, all formerly belonging to Edmund Gourney, and afterwards to William Hawtrey of West-Lexham, then Roger Prior's of Castleacre, and after that John Chapman's of Newton, also in 22s. and one halfpenny rent, payable out of several lands.

In the 28th of Henry VIII. Thomas Beckham held it, after Beckham Sir William Turner of East Bashom, then Thomas Termar, Esq. then Sir Robert Dynne, then Mr. Briggs, and about 1571 John Laxford, and Edmund Laxford in 1637: about the middle of the last century, Mr. John Nabs, whose daughter being married to Riches Brown, Gent. they conveyed it to Mr. Thomas Patrick of Castleacre, by whose daughter and heir Hellen, it came by marriage to Matthew Halcote, Gent. of Lytcham, and his grandson, Mr. Matthew Halcote of Howe by East Derham is the present lord.

The tenths of this town were 3l.

The temporalities of the Prior of Westacre here were taxed at 3s. 6d.

The church of Newton is dedicated to All-Saints, has a body or nave with a chancel of flint and boulder covered with thatch; between the nave and chancel is a low four-square tower with quoins of freestone, with a wooden cap or cover; through the arch of this tower is the passage between the nave and chancel, in the tower hang two bells, and the staircase served also for the rood-loft, part of which is still standing. This is the only church in the deaneries of Cranwich and Fincham built in this collegiate or cathedral fashion. The old church of Westminster, built by the Confessor, is generally said to have been the first that was erected in England of this model, and it is very probable that this was built about the same age, having the face of great antiquity, being a low, dark, and heavy pile; the whole length is about 67 feet, breadth about 16. The communion table is railed in, and there is a gravestone near it in memory of Miras Clerk who died June 27, 1699, aged 59. It was appropriated in the reign of Edward I. We find from the register called Norwich Domesday, that the rectory appropriated had no land belonging to it, that the vicar had no house, but what he hired, and had tithe of peas and beans; the rectory was valued at 8 marks, and the vicarage at 40s. but paid no tenths but 10d. Peter-pence.


  • 1227, Robert de Creic, presented by the Prior and Convent of Castleacre.
  • 1314, John de Bretham.
  • 1321, Hen de Wretham.
  • 1346, Thomas de Bernham.
  • 1351, William Gray, by lapse.
  • 1362, William Alisandre,
  • 1374, Thomas Daws.
  • 1378, John Fouke.
  • 1390, Reginard Quylter.
  • 1395, John Skerlawe.
  • 1406, Walter Jakys at Schupton.
  • 1409, John Ketewe: he was vicar of Stretton in Lincoln Diocese, and exchanged with Jakys.
  • 1413, William Smith.
  • 1416, John Tauntot.
  • 1418, William Brooke.
  • 1421, Stephen Smallwode, res.
  • 1424, Robert Holme.
  • 1425, John Howel.
  • 1452, John Malton.
  • 1491, James Panche, collated by the Bishop.
  • 1491, John Russell, collated.
  • 1530, Thomas Patrick.
  • 1531, John Heywey, ob.
  • 1559, John Hardie, presented by Thomas Duke of Norfolk.
  • 1566, Robert Audeley. Thomas Duke of Norfolk.
  • 1586, John Kinion, A. B. on the death of Awdley. Richard Beckham, Gent.
  • 1590, Anthony Wolley, by lapse.
  • 1603, Joseph Colman, presented by the Bishop of Ely, in whose patronage it now continues.
  • 1630, William Thompson, A. M. united to Castleacre vicarage.
  • 1664, Benjamin Riveleye.
  • 1697, John Craske. The King by lapse, of London, united to the vicarage of Narford.

16 January, 1721, James Parker. The Bishop of Ely.

The vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 2l. 15s. but is discharged of first fruits and tenths, being but 20l. per annum, clear value, synodals 16d.; procurations 5s. and it is capable of augmentation.

Dr. Kennet observes, that the impropriations of Newton and Narford in Suffolk, belonging to the see of Ely, when the leases of them were renewed by Dr. Lany Bishop of Ely, an augmentation was reserved of 10l. per annum to the vicar of Narford, and 12l. per annum to the vicar of Newton; but he is under a mistake in saying they were in Suffolk.

There is service here once in a fortnight only; the church is in a very bad condition.


In ancient writings Holm and Hale appear not only to be two distinct lordships, but two distinct villages, and occur by the names of South-Holm juxta Hale, and Hale, or Hill-Hale; and on the union of these lordships, &c. under one and the same lord, obtained the name of Holm-Hale.

Holm Manor[edit]

(So called from its low, and moist situation, and land enclosed with water,) at the survey was held by the Lord Bainard, who had half a carucate of land, the fourth part of a mill, which a freeman held in the Confessor's time.

By the inquisitions taken in the 24th of King Henry III. it appears that Giles de Hulmo was lord, who was son of Sir Robert de Hulmo, Lord of Filby, and of this manor, held by half a knight's fee of the Lord Fitz-Walter; and in the 3d of King Edward I. Sir Robert de Hulmo, son of Giles, was lord, and one of the commissioners or justices of Trail-Baston, when Roger de Beckerton, the Earl of Gloucester's bailiff, came into this lordship of Sir Robert's, and seized cows, which he drove to Clare in Suffolk, which the jury presented as a grievance, it being out of the Earl's fee. In the 15th of the said King, Giles de Ulmo produced before the justices itincrant, the charter of King Henry III. granted to his father, Sir Robert, for a weekly market here on Monday, and free-warren in his demesne lands here; and the jury present the said Giles, as holding a whole knight's fee at full age, and not being a knight. Besides this tenure, the said family held also half a carucate of land, 4 bordsmen, pannage for 20 hogs, two parts of a mill, two acres of meadow valued at 20s. which Godric held, and at the survey was in the King's hands, and after that came to the Earl of Richmond, as I take it, and this was held of Giles de Hulmo in the 24th of Henry III. by Oliva de Aula.

In the 20th of Edward III. Stephen de Titeshale and Richard de Burwood, were lords of the Fitz-Walter fee, held by Giles de Hulmo, and John Dodington, &c. held of Stephen, &c. what Oliva de Aula held; but about the end of this King's reign, both these tenures came into the family of Illey, lords of Hale.

Hale Manor[edit]

In the 24th of Henry III. the heirs of Edmund de Illey were found to hold in Hale, one knight's fee of the Lord Fitz-Walter, and that lord of the King.

In the 15th year of Edward I. Edmund de Illey had the assize of bread and beer, view of frankpledge, weyf, &c. here; and in the 6th of Edward II. a fine was levied between Edmund de Illey, son of Thomas, and Alice his wife, and John de Plumstead, of this manor, settled on Edmund and Alice, Joan, widow of Thomas, holding then the third part in dower. In the 15th of the said King, he had a grant of free-warren in all his lands here and in Stanefield in Suffolk; and in the 20th of Edward III. he appears to hold the same, being then a knight. In the year 1349, Sir Edmund died, and in the said year, Alan de Illey; and in the year 1374, Sir Richard de Illey, son, and grandson, most likely, of Sir Edmund, presented as lords, to the church of Hale; but in the 13th of Richard II. a fine was levied between Sir Robert de Illey, Knt. lord, and Catharine his wife, and Sir Miles Stapleton, Sir Roger Boys, Richard, master of the college of Norton Soupecors, by which it was conveyed to Sir Roger Boys, who married Sibilla, daughter and heir of Sir Robert; and in the 4th of Hen. IV. Sir Roger was found to hold Holm-Hale of the Earl of Rutland, as parcel of the barony of Baynard; this Sir Roger was buried in the choir of Ingham priory in Norfolk, according to his will, dated 22d February, 1421, and Catharine, the widow of Sir Robert de Illey, was buried in the chancel of Plumstede, according to her will, dated December 1st, 1417. The Lady Sibilla, relict of Sir Roger, by deed dated the 20th of February, in the 2d of Henry VI. leased the manor of Hill-Hale to John Byrd of Hale, with the lands called Harefeld, except the rents, services, free-warren, profits of coneys, court leet, court baron, advowson of the church, wards, reliefs, marriages, and eschaets, for 4 years from Michaelmas before the date, for 10l 13s. 4d. per annum. The said John, to indemnify Sibill against the King for all fifteenths, subsidies, &c. and against all others, for lord's rents, suits and services, to keep the enclosures in repair, taking underwood to do it, and to burn in his furnace and to brew with, &c. and Sibill to have half the strays. The said lady, by indenture dated the 31st of March, in the 30th of Henry VI. articled to sell to Laurence Booth, clerk, master of Pembroke-Hall in Cambridge, and his assigns, if the title was approved, the manors of Hill-Hale, Holm-Hale, Whites or Groos, with all the lands, tenements, rents, pastures, meadows, woods, groves, &c. suits, services, courts, leets, and all manner of franchises, liberties, and advowsons of two churches in the said town, for 200l. and 500 marks, at several payments specified in the deed; the master and fellows of that house being for ever to pray specially, and to celebrate an obit yearly, for Sibill, and five persons she should name, with a mass by note; and likewise to distribute 10 marks yearly on the day thereof to the master and fellows for the prayers and obit before mentioned. But this never took effect; for on the death of this lady, it descended to Catherine, daughter of Robert Boys, son of Sir Roger, and the Lady Sibill, which Robert died in or about 1450, his will being proved on the 6th of November in the said year; and by the marriage of the said Catherine to Sir Edmund Jenny, of Knateshall in Suffolk, he became lord and died so, in the 15th of Henry VIII. leaving Francis his grandson, aged 13 years, his heir; son of William, eldest son to Sir Edmund, the said Sir Edmund, by his will dated in 1522, bequeathing all the lordships here abovementioned, to his grandson. From the Jennys it came to the Bedingfelds; and in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Anthony Bedingfeld, Esq. 3d son of Sir Henry Bedingfeld of Oxburgh, was lord, which Anthony married Elizabeth, one of the daughters and coheirs of Ralph Danyel of Swaffham, Gent. and Anthony Bedingfeld of Testerton in Norfolk, Esq. descended from the aforesaid Anthony, died lord in 1707, whose son, Francis Bedingfeld, sold it to Henry Ibbot of Swaffham, attorney; and his son, Benjamin Ibbot, Gent. is the present lord.

The aforesaid Danyel held also a capital messuage here, called

Berrer's, or Bures-Hall[edit]

Which hall was purchased of the Beding felds by the Eyres. In 1739, John Eyre, Esq. died, and it is at present enjoyed by Dr. Eyre, but no manor or lordship belongs to it, it being annexed to the other.

Elwyn's Groose's, and White Manor[edit]

In the 24th of Henry III. Petronilla le Groos was found to hold here the fourth part of a fee of the Lord Fitz-Walter, which John le Groos held in the 30th of Edward III. John White held this in the 3d of Henry IV. and soon after, it seems to be annexed to the foregoing lordships.

The fines are at the lord's will, and the eldest son is heir.

In this parish was also a hamlet called Erneford, which stood by the bridge that retains the name at this day, near which stands a farmhouse; this bridge is over a small stream that arises at East Bradenham, and runs hence to the Pickenhams, and probably was anciently known by the name of Erne. In a deed, I find that Richard son of Richard le Glover de Ernford juxta Hale, confirmed to Godfrey de Ernford, chaplain, a messuage in this hamlet, dated at North Pickenham 13th of Edward II.

The temporalities of Westacre priory in Holm and Hale were taxed in 1428, at 2l. 16s. 6d.; of Sporle priory at 6d.; and of the canons of Thetford at 11s. The Prioress of Blakebergh had lands here, and Jesus college in Oxford owns an enclosure called Crakeshields.

As here were formerly two capital lordships of Holm and Hale, so these lordships had for some time two churches to which they presented. Of the church of Holm. In the beginning of Edward I. Sir Robert de Hulmo was patron, the rector then had a manse, with 30 acres, the was rectory was estimated at 10 marks, Peter-pence 4d. ob. Before this there was both a rector and vicar belonging to this church; on the 29th of July, 1243, William de Ralegh Bishop of Norwich consolidated the vicarage of Holm, then void by the death of John de Happesbure, chaplain, it appearing that Thomas de Blundevile, Bishop, his predecessor, had collated the said John to the said vicarage, and also had collated Thomas de Norwich to it. Thomas de Tregoz, rector of the church of Holm, being present, and appealing in behalf of himself, and his patrons, John Lord Strange, and earnestly desiring the said vicarage to be consolidated to his rectory, and this was to take effect on the death of the said Thomas de Norwich.


  • 1340, Robert de Beeston was instituted to South-Holm. Richard Burwode, patron, Robert de Burwode, rector.
  • 1352, John de Tifteshall, on the resignation of Burwode. Stephen de Tifteshall. And soon after it was consolidated to the church of Hale.


In the beginning of King Edward the First's reign, there appear to have been three portions in this church, two held by Adam Talebot, and one by Alan Colyn; there was a manse and 30 acres of land belonging to it; it was estimated at 10 marks, and paid Peter-pence 4d. ob.

  • 1317, Adam Talebot. Peter Talerot of Fincham, by the consent of Sir Edmund Illey.
  • 1320, Thomas Doraunt, John de Plumstede, rector afterwards of Clenchwarton.
  • 1334, Ralph de Welle. Sir Edmund Illey.
  • 1349, William de Illey. Sir Edmund de Illey.
  • 1349, EdmundCole. Alan de Illey. Cole died in 1383.
  • 1374, John Wrygthe. Sir Richard Illey, and Edmund Cole rector of a mediety of Hale.
  • 1388, Robert Ferrers. Robert Illey.
  • 1399, Jon Atte Fen. Sir Roger Boys, this turn.
  • 1405, Thomas Soper. William Soper of Myldenhale.
  • 1408, John South. Sir Roger Boys. He was custos of the chantry of All-Saints in the church of Harington in Lincoln diocese, and exchanged with Soper.
  • John Cokesson occurs rector in 1421, as appears from the will of Sir Roger Boys, and was one of his executors; his own will bears date on Easter-day, 1431, in which year he died, and was buried in the chancel of Hale, on the south side; he bequeathed 40s. to the new tower then building, and legacies to Trinity and St. Andrew's GILDS.
  • 1431, John Grome. Sibilla, relict of Sir Roger Boys. In his will, proved 3d November, 1438, he styles himself rector of St. Andrew of Hill-Hale, and gives 6s. 8d. to the high altar of the old church of Holm.
  • 1434, John South was rector.
  • 1438, John Cokston. By Sibilla, &c. By his will proved 27 May, 1442, he ordered to be buried before the image of St. Andrew in the chancel.
  • Richard Pye occurs rector of Holm Hale in 1439, as appears from the will of Robert Boys, Esq.; and on the 4th October,
  • 1442, Richard Pye to Hill Hale, as I take it.
  • 1442, John Osmund. By Sibilla, &c.
  • 1450, Robert Faux. Ditto.
  • 1453, Robert Mayster, to Hale St. Andrew, called the new church, on the resignation of Osmund. Edmund Blake, Esq.
  • 1454, Edmund Blake. Edmund Blake, Esq.
  • 1470, William Palmer, collated by lapse; by his will, dated 11 January, 1473, he gives a legacy to St. Mary's light, &c. About this time the three portions abovementioned were consolidated, for after this I meet with only one rector.
  • 1513, Brian Lucas; his will was proved 7th April, 1543.
  • 1543, John Clenchwarton. John Jenny, Esq. Ob.
  • 1557, Christopher Hotsone, ob. Arthur Jenny, Esq.
  • 1559, John Watson, ob. by lapse.
  • 1560, John Parkinson, ob. the Queen.
  • 1566, John Leeder, A. M. Arthur Jenny, Esq. res.
  • 1579, Francis Abbot. Ditto.
  • 1582, Robert Boninge. The Queen, by lapse.
  • 1595, Marmaduke Cholmlye. Eustace Bedingfeld, Esq. son and heir of Anthony; he was also rector of Wolverton Norfolk.
  • 1599, Henry Bury, res. The Queen. In his answer to King James's Queries in 1603, he says there were 189 communicants here; he was vicar of Sporle.
  • 1612, Leonard Burton, S. T. B. James Jordan, this turn.
  • 1621, Edward Barker, A. M. and licensed preacher; by James Jordan, on a grant from Ann, widow of Anthony Bedingfeld, Esq.
  • 1639, Dudley Hopper, ob. The University of Cambridge.
  • 1661. Robert Wright, ob. Thomas Bedingfeld of Testerton. Esq.
  • 1675, Timothy Caryan. Thomas Bedingfeld, Esq.
  • 1711, John Rolfe, A. M. on Caryan's death. By Jeremy Benton: united to Necton.

On the 13 June, in the 4th of William and Mary, Anthony Bedingfeld of Testerton, Esq. sold the advowson to Edmund Booth, clerk; and his daughters, Penelope and Sarah, to Jeremiah Benton, 25 August 1709, and he to John Rolfe, clerk, 30th December 1713; and Rolfe to Benjamin Young, attorney at Swaffham in August, 1720, who gave it to his youngest son, Mr. William Young of Caius college in Cambridge, who in 1749, at the death of Rolf, presented his cousin,

The Rev. Mr. Thomas Patrick Young of Caius college, who is now rector, and holds it united to Necton.

This rectory is valued in the King's Books by the name of HolmeHale, alias Hale Brian, at 12l. 16s. 5d. ob. and its sworn value being 49l. per annum, it is discharged from first-fruits: synodals 1s. 10d. procurations 11s. To this rectory belongs a manor, of which the rector is lord. It stands thus in the Revision in 1630; Holme-Hale, alias North-Hale, with the church of South-Holme, consolidated.

The church of Holm-Hale is dedicated to St. Andrew, and was begun to be built in the reign of King Richard III. and was some years in building, as appears from several old wills; the tower was building in 1431, and in 1435, when John Wyscard bequeathed to the building of it 40s. and to the high altar of the new church 3s. 4d. and to that of the old church of Holm-Hale 6s. 8d. which was then standing. It is a lofty pile of flint and boulder; the body or nave is in length about 18 yards, and in breadth, including the north isle, about 10 yards. The roof is of oak, supported by the effigies of priests, &c. but they are beat off, covered, together with the isle, with lead. The tower stands at the west end, and is built of the aforesaid materials, being very large and strong, with quoins and embattlements of free-stone, in which hang 6 large musical bells. The chancel is tiled; there is a north porch leaded. The parsonage joins to the east part of the churchyard.

On a gravestone in the nave,

Here lyeth the Body of Robert Hammond Gent. who left this life April 16, 1682.

On a gravestone against the reading-desk, with a brass plate,
Vous que cette Tombe voies, pour les ames Edmond Illeye Chevalier, et Alice sa femme et les Enfans priez

The shields of brass are reaved; it is in memory of Sir Edmund Illey, and Alice his lady.

In a window in the nave are the remains of the arms of

Blake, ermine, on a pile indented sable, bezanty, two lions gambs erect and erased gules, in an orle of escallops of the second, over all a bendlet vert.

In the north isle is a stone for Mr. Edward Rust, who died July 8, 1748, Æt. 67, whose family hath been in this parish for many ages.

In the east window of the north isle is the arms of

Illey, ermine, two chevronels sable.

On the woodwork of the uppermost stall of this isle is the shield of

Jenny and Buckle quarterly.

Jenney, erm. a bend gul. cottised or, Buckle, sab. a chevron between three buckles lozengy, their tongues upward, or, impaling quarterly, Boys, arg. two coronels, and a canton gules, over all on a bend sab. an annulet or, and Illey as above.

The chancel is separated from the nave by an old screen; it is in length about 26 feet, and in breadth about 15; near the east end on the pavement lies a marble stone with the arms of Eyre, arg. on a chevron sable, three quaterfoils or.

Hic jacet Henricus Eyre Armiger è clarâ Stirpe in Agro Derbiensi oriundus, Juris olim peritissimus, et Insigne Virtutis Exemplar. Sola manet Virtus post funera, dum vivis, hanc ama; Vale, obiit Die Octavo Octob. Ao Dni. 1719, Ætat. 52.

Near to this, is another with the arms of Eyre impaling Bedingfeld.

Here lieth the Body of Mary Eyre Widow, and Relict of Thomas Eyre, of Bury's-Hall Esq; Deceased, one of the Daughters of Sir Henry Bedingfeld late of Beck-Hall Knt. and Bart. she was very Exemplary and eminent for her Piety, Charity and other Virtues, and exchanged this Life for a better the 28 Day of September 1710, Ætat. 67.

On a black marble,

Hic jacet Johannes Eyre Armiger, Herì omnium Deliciæ, hodiè, Luctus et desiderium, Juris Asylum, et priscæ Fidei vivum exemplar, ad cujus privatum Tribunal, dissidentes procul dissiti, Ipsique Sæpè incogniti, certatim provocarunt, cujus Fores, Viduis, Orphanis, Egenis, Calamitosis omnibus patuere semper, Qui non sibi, sed alijs omnibus natus videbatur, Qui pacem cum omnibus semper habuit, Pacem inter omnes conciliavit: super defuncti Tumulum, dicant nunc omnes.

Requiescat in pace.

obijt Anno 1739. Martij 12. Ætatis 62.

Also one with the arms of Bedingfeld impaling two swords in saltier, their points down between four flowers de-lis.

Here lieth the Body of Anthony Bedingfeld, Gent. Son of Thomas Bedingfeld, late of Testerton, Gent. who dyed September 9, 1707, Aged 60 Years.

Adjoining another, with the same impaled coat,

Here lieth the Body of Margaret Bedingfeld Relict of Anthony Bedingfeld late of Testerton Esq; who dyed December 19, 1722, Aged 78. Requiescat in Pace.

  • 1503, February 7, Edmund Miller, alias Mason of Holm-Hale, Gent. being about to go to perform a pilgrimage, he had vowed to Rome, made his will, and made William Palmer, rector here, his executor; but if he went, he returned safe; for he was interred in 1505.


This is a depopulated village, and consists only of a manor-house, a farm-house adjoining, and a poor rectory-house like a cottage, at the east end of the churchyard; it lies on the east side of a little rivulet that runs by Cressingham-Magna, and thence southwards to this place.

In Domesday Book, it is wrote Bredeneia, and so takes its name from its site, a dwelling or abode on the water.

From the general survey of the Conqueror we learn that Bond (a Saxon) held it in the time of the Confessor, but Hugh Montfort was at that time lord; there were then in demesne three carucates of land, and three amongst the freemen, pannage for 100 hogs, one mill belonging to this lordship, and the fourth part of another. It was one leuca wanting two furlongs long, and four furlongs broad; and was valued then at 5l. at the survey at 3l. per annum, and paid 8d. to the gelt.

William Earl Warren held at the same time by exchange one carucate, which three freemen held in the time of the Confessor, then and now valued at 20s. per annum,

Ralph de Toenio, or Tony, had also four socmen who held one carucate of land, but the soc and sac was in the King.

By this it appears that the chief lordship in this town was in the Conqueror's time held by one of the Norman chiefs and barons, Hugh de Montefort, and was enjoyed some considerable time after by his descendants, for in the year 1179 Hugh de Montefort gave the tithe of his mansion-house here to the abbey of Bermondsey in Surrey; but soon after, about 1190, Peter de Pelevile was lord. In the 24th year of King Henry III. Thomas de Belhouse held this lordship by the fourth part of a knight's fee, of Henry de Pelevile, the capital lord, who held this town and Bilney in Norfolk, of the honour (as it is then said) of Haughley; and in the 38th of the said King, Peter de Pelevile was found to have died seized of the same, held by the service of half a fee, and 5s. per annum ward to Dover castle, and that William de Gyney and Sir William de Wichenston, alias Wiston, were his next heirs; but in a roll of the Pipe-Office it is said that the aforesaid Peter died in the 56th of the said King Henry, and that then William de Gysney (son and heir of Joan, sister of Peter,) one of his heirs, paid 50s. for the moiety of a fee here and in Bilney, and that William de Wiston (son of Emme, the other sister of Peter) paid as much for the other moiety.

After this, in the 3d of Edward I. Richard Belhouse was found to hold the lordship of Sir William de Gyney, and to have the assise of bread and beer here: and in the 18th of that King was sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, and died in the 13th of Edward II. Thomas, his son and heir, and Sarah, his widow, then paying relief for his lands.

Upon an inquisition taken in the 31st of Edward III. the jury find that Sir Richard de Belhouse died seized of this manor, and lands in Bilney, held of the castle of Dover by one knight's fee, and paying 10s. per annum castle-guard, and doing suit to the King's court or manor of Haughley, that his father purchased it, that his widow was endowed with the 3d part of this manor, and that Richard, his son and heir, was aged 9 years; but by the escheat-rolls in the 10th of Henry VI. Sir Richard is said to have died in the 36th of Edward III. and to have left two daughters and coheirs; Emme, married to — Oldhall, by whom she had Sir Edmund Oldhall, father of Sir William Oldhall, aged 30, in the 10th of Henry VI. and lord of this manor; and Maud married to William Bozun of Wissingset in Norfolk, father of Richard, aged 30; this Sir William seems to have given this lordship to the prior and convent of St. Mary at Thetford, on certain terms and conditions; for in the 27th of Henry VI. on the 13th of March, license was granted to the said prior, to purchase lands, tenements, &c. to the value of 20l. per annum; and on the 12th of May, in the 31st of the said King, the prior, by virtue of the said license purchased of Richard Waller, Esq. Robert Boorle, Esq. John Bertram, Gent. and William Norwych, junior, this manor; and the King, on the 23d of June, in the said year, confirmed the said purchase, with 100 acres of land here, late Sir William Oldhall's, which they had some time past purchased, and gave license to the said Richard Waller, Esq. &c. feoffees of the said manor, to assign and convey it.

On the general dissolution of abbies, it came to the Crown, and was given to the Duke of Norfolk, who was lord in the 37th of Henry VIII. and in that year the said Duke had license to alienate it, with the appurtenances in Langford, Hilburgh, Cressingham-Magna and Parva, to Robert Hogan and his heirs; and in the 1st year of King Edward VI. Thomas, son and heir of Robert Hogan, (who died the 4th of March in the said year,) had livery of it. In the 1st of Queen Mary license was granted to this Thomas to alienate it to James and Robert Downes, at which time Thomas Duke of Norfolk had a yearly pension out of it of 2l. 1s. 4d. which is paid by the present lord to the Dukes of Norfolk; and accordingly, in the 1st of Queen Elizabeth, James Downes was lord, and Robert his son and heir, in 1571, held this manor with the appurtenances, 4 tofts, 1000 acres of land, 60 of meadow, 100 of pasture, held of the Queen in capite, and died about the 37th of the said Queen. In the 12th of James I. Thomas Downes, Esq. was lord; and by Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Downes, it came (by marriage) to Sir Edward Mostyn of Flintshire, and was sold from that family to Cressy Tasburgh, Esq. second son of Sir John Tasburgh of Flixton-Hall in Suffolk, by his wife Lettice, daughter and sole heir of Sir James Cressy; the said Cressy Tasburgh married the Lady — Philips, widow to Sir — Philips; and dying sans issue, left this manor to his brother, John Tasburgh, Esq. fourth son of the aforesaid Sir John, which John married Mary, 4th daughter of Sir John Braumont of Gracedieu in Leicester's, and relict of Sir Edmund Williams, and had by her, JohnBeaumont-Tasburgh, who marrying Elizabeth, daughter of Sir George Blount of Sodington in Worcestershire, Baronet, had by her Francis Tasburgh, Esq. the present lord, who married Mary, daughter of Sir Simon Dewes, Bart. of Stow Langtoft in Suffolk.

The manor-house stands near the church, and is a large convenient old house built of clunch, stone, &c. with good gardens and walks adjoining to the river side.

That part of this township held by William Earl Warren at the survey, continued under the said fee for several ages, and was held about the reign of Richard II. and Henry IV. of Thomas Holdich, Esq. and his parceners.

The other part held by Ralph de Toenio or Tony, was land belonging to his lordship of Cressingham-Parva, extending into this town; but both these were united (by purchase or otherwise) to the capital lordship about the reign of Henry V.

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the tenths of this village were 4l. 11s. 1d. clear of all deductions, there being 16s. 11d. deducted on account of the revenues of the religious here, they being taxed by themselves.

In the reign of Henry VI. the Prior of Wirmegay was taxed for his temporalities in this town at 16s. 6d. The Abbot of Wendlyng 5s. The Prior of Shouldham 6s. 8d. The priory of Westacre of a portion of tithes 1 mark. These coming to the Crown at the Dissolution, were granted to the Duke of Norfolk, (as I conceive,) and from hence proceeds the pension paid to him as I have mentioned.

The church is dedicated to St. Mary, it is a single pile of flint, pebble stones, &c. standing on a rising ground near the hall, in length about 31 feet and 18 in breadth; at the east end is the chancel, of equal elevation and breadth, and about 20 feet in length, and separated only from the body by an arch of stone. On the summit of the west gable is a small stone-arch, wherein hangs the bell, the rope coming through the roof into the church, which bespeaks the antiquity of the church, being built (as is most likely) in the Saxon age, and the whole is covered with thatch. In the windows there were formerly these arms: Arg. three pales wavy gules—Downs.

Quarterly arg. six mullets gul. pierced sable in a bordure of the same, in the 1st and 4th, and sab. two bars and three annulets in chief arg. in the 2d and 3d quarters, Tilles and Curson. And in the great window of the hall of the manor-house, are the said arms of Downs quartering Tilles and Curson as above. Crest, a fox's head.

Motto, parle bien ou parle rien.

In the year 1279, Hugh de Montefort gave (as I have observed) the tithes of his mansion-house to the abbey of Bermondsey, and Peter de Pelevile, lord, in the reign of King Richard I. gave to the prior and convent of Westacre in Norfolk the patronage of this church; for in the 3d of King Edward III. that prior was impleaded on account that this advowson was given without the King's license, and the prior's plea was, that at that time it was lawful for any one to alienate without his license, it being before the statute of mortmain; and in the beginning of Edward the First's reign we find the prior of Westacre to be patron, and the rector to have a mansion-house endowed, with 30 acres of land, the rectory being valued at 12 marks, and paid Peter-pence 5d. ob.


Peter de Romayn, rector about 1260.

Ralph de Wykes, about 1270.

  • 1307, Robert de Howton, presented by the Prior and Convent of Westacre, as were all the following rectors.
  • 1314, Ralph de Pagrave. Ditto. This Ralph was rural dean of Cranwich, rector of Sudburn cum Orford, and in 1311, chancellor of Norwich.
  • 1320, Jeffrey de Clare, on the resignation of Pagrave, who exchanged with him for Sudburne with the chapel of Orford.
  • 1334, Robert de Brockford; he exchanged with Clare for a mediety in the church of West Walton.
  • William de Dunston, rector. In
  • 1349, William de Bergh; he exchanged with Dunston for the church of Strumshale.
  • 1349, Ralph Rands,
  • 1376, William Portflory of Westacre.
  • 1392, John de Wygenhale.
  • 1395, Thomas Bulwer, he exchanged with Wygenhale for the church of East Walton in Norfolk.
  • 1421, Thomas Dykkes; he was rector of a mediety in the church of Narburgh in Norfolk, and exchanged with Bulwer.
  • 1456, John Hervy, alias Leanpet.
  • 1474, John Wulterton; by his will dated the 3d April 1499, he gives legacies to Trinity gild in this church, to the torches and the Sepulchre light.
  • 1500, Thomas Patrick, on the death of Wulterton, by &c.
  • 1529, John Methelwold, by William Prior of Westacre.

Rectors presented by the Crown[edit]

  • 1554, William Rixe, on the death of the last rector, presented by King Philip and Queen Mary ob.
  • 1571, Richard Wennington.
  • 1581, John Ashley, on the death of the last rector; he was also rector of Langford.
  • 1596, John Mapted, A. M.; he was also rector of Langford; in his answers to the Queries of King James I. in 1603, he observes that there were then 25 communicants in this parish.
  • Samuel Hill, S. T. B. occurs rector in 1604; ob.
  • 1611, Stephen Haxbie, A. M.
  • 1620, Thomas Adams, A. M. ob.
  • 1643, James Reeve.
  • 1656, Simon Canon, A. M.; he was presented by Oliver the Protector, and admitted by the commissioners at Whitehall, appointed for the approbation of publick preachers during the Rebellion. He was also rector of Cressingham-Parva.
  • 1680, Thomas Felstead, A. M. on the death of Canon.
  • 1690, Edmund Wase, on the resignation of Felstead; he was succeeded at his death by.
  • Thomas Pigg, who was presented by the King, and held it with Watton vicarage, and on his taking South Pickenham rectory it was voided, and the

Rev. Mr. Edward Chamberlain holds it, with the rectories of Great Cressingham and Scoulton.

This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 6l. 7s. 3d. ob. and being in clear value 45l. per annum, is discharged of first-fruits and tenths, but pays 18d. synodals and 6s. 8d. procurations, and is capable of augmentation.


This town has its name from its long ford over the adjoining river. In the time of the Confessor, Bond was lord; at the survey, Hugh de Monte-fort or Montfort, who had 2 carucates in demesne; there were 21 villeins in Bond's time, now 17, pannage for 100 hogs, 25 acres of meadow, 2 mills and a fishery. It was a mile long and half a mile broad, and was valued in the Confessor's time at 6l. at the survey at 5l. 5s. and paid 8d. to the gelt, when the hundred paid, and was taxed at 20s.

In the reign of Henry II. William son of Richard de Francheville gave two parts of the tithes of his lordship here to the monastery of Bermondsey in Surry. This Richard held this of Hugh de Montfort (descended of Hugh, the 1st lord,) which Hugh confirmed in the said year the same grant, and gave the tithe of his manor-house here, and at Bodney, Wyke's, and Naketon, to the said abbey. In the 12th of Henry III. a tine was levied between William de Francheville, querent, and John de Jarpenvill, defendant, of the third part of two knights fees here, against a fine levied the 1st of Richard the First in the King's court, before Hugh Bishop of Durham, William son of Audelin, Michael Belef, and Robert de Whitsend, justices itinerant, at Glemsford, between John de Jarpenvill and Isabell his wife, mother of the said John, whose heir he is, and William de Franchevill or Frevile, father of the said William, whose heir he is, granted now to William; and in the 24th of the said King, William de Boyton held a lordship here, and a fine appears to be levied in the 35th of the said reign, between Lauretta de Boyton, querent, and Ralph de Francheville, defendant, of 5 marks rent in Gorbodesham, released to her and her heirs, with the manor and advowson of this town, paying two pair of white gloves, or one penny per annum.

In the 15th of Edward I. William de Boyton claimed to have view of frankpledge, assize of bread and beer in his manor; and in the 22d of the said King had a grant of free warren here, in Combes and Finburgh in Suffolk, he then being styled de Boyton in Suffolk, where I suppose he resided. In the 30th of the same reign, Sir William de Boyton held this lordship of Roger de Heveningham, lord of Totham Parva in Essex, by the service of half a mark per annum and the 3d part of a knight's fee, it being worth 18l.; and by an inquisition then ad quod damnum, the jury present, that it would not be to the King's prejudice, if Sir William granted one messuage, 50 acres of land, &c. in Old Newton, Suffolk, held in capite, to William his son and heir, then of age; by this it appears, that by the old laws of England, a tenant in capite could not grant or assign without license.

William de Boyton was lord in the time of Edward II. and one of the knights of the shire for Suffolk in three parliaments of that King, and sued, in the 9th of that reign, Alexander de Clavering, sheriff of Suffolk, for 27s. and odd pence, his wages as knight, and recovered it, the jury finding that Clavering had levied the money of the county; he died about the 19th of the said King, when this manor descended to William his son, held of the heirs of Sir Philip Heveningham by the service of 6s. 8d. per annum. In the 19th of Edward III. Osbert de Boyton died seized of it, and the lordship of Totington, and John was his heir, aged 11 years; and in the 32d of the said King, Sir Bartholomew Bateman, Knt. who had a grant of a rent charge of 20 marks per annum, issuing out of this manor and Old Newton in Suffolk, from Osbert aforesaid, released by his deed, to John his son, all his right therein, and to Sir Thomas Felton, Knt.

After this the Methwolds were lords, and John Methwold presented to the church in 1408; Margaret Methwold, widow, likely, of John, presented in 1446; her will bears date on St. Andrew's day in the said year; she desires to be buried in the churchyard of Langford St. Andrew, mentions her sons John, Thomas, and Robert supervisor of her will, her daughter Isabel, and her brother Hugh Bokenham. In 1496, Richard Methwold presented and died soon after, son (as it is said, of Hugh, and Margaret his wife, ) and the said Rich. was lord 15th of Edward IV. William Methwold, Esq. was lord after Richard, and died the 26th of October in the 30th of Hen. VIII.; of this family was William Methwold, who by deed dated 5th October, in the 34th of Henry VIII. sold all his lands and tenements in Glemsford in Suffolk, called Methwolds and Wymbolds, to John Smith of Cavendish, and sealed with six escallops, and named Alice, widow of William Methwold of Langford, Esq. Richard Methwold of Breccles in Norfolk, Gent. John Oliver, of West Toft's, yeoman, and Edmund Bytson of Langford, clerk, his executors. John Methwold was son to William Methwold, Esq. and Alice his wife, and died lord in the 3d year of Edward VI. and had by Jane his wife, Thomas, who was lord in 1571, and married Elizabeth, sister of Robert Downes, Esq. of Bodney; and on her decease, had a second wife named Dorothy; by his first wife he had Thomas Methwold, lord, who presented in 1596, and probably James Methwold, Esq. who presented in 1603. In 1626, Thomas Methwold, Esq. was lord and presented, and died in 1632.

Afterwards this lordship was sold to Thomas Garrard of London, salter, who was lord in 1648; he married Ann, daughter of Francis Jacob of Creeting in Suffolk, and was buried in the church of GraceChurch street, London, was son of John Garrard of Berking in Essex, and by Ann his wife had Jacob Garrard of this town, created baronet 16th August, 1662, who married Mary, daughter of Ambrose Jennings of London, Gent. by whom he had Sir Thomas Garrard, Bart. who married Sarah, daughter of Nicholas Berman of Peasonhale in Suffolk, and had by her Jacob Garrard of Lang ford, Esq who died before his father, and left by Abigail his wife, daughter of Sir John Holland of Quidenham, baronet, two daughters; Alathea, married to Sir Francis Bickley, Bart. of Attleburgh in Norfolk, by whom there is no issue, and Sarah, married to Charles, 3d son of Sir George Downing of East Hatley in Cambrigeshire, Bart. so that this lordship came to Sir Nicholas Garrard, Bart. second son to Sir Thomas, who married Cecilia, daughter of Sir Edwin Steed of Steed's-Hall in Kent, who died in 1727 without issue, and Jacob Garrard Downing, Esq. son of Charles aforesaid, is the present lord.

The tenths of this town were 1l. 18s. deductions 8s. remain 1l. 10s.

The prior of Bermundsey was charged for his spiritualities here in 1428, at 11s.

The prior of Wirmegeye for his temporalities in land, meadow, and fishery, at 36s. 4d.

Here is now only the manor-house standing, a large good building of brick, and now turned into a farm-house, to which was a park adjoining.

The church of Langford is dedicated to St. Andrew, and stands near to the manor-house, on the west side of it, and is an ancient fabrick of flint, as appears from the old Gothick arch over the south door, and from the arch that divides the church from the chancel; it is a single building, covered with tiles, as the chancel is, which is camerated and plaistered; at the west end is a square tower embattled, in which hangs one bell. In the east window of the chancel in a pannel of glass is the broken effigies of a Methwold, lord of this town, in complete armour, with his arms on his shield, and under him Methelwold, azure, six escalops or. In the south window of the chancel is the same shield, and on the summit of a north window is the effigies of St. Christopher.

On a marble on the pavement within the rails of the communion table,

The Remains of Dame Sarah, Daughter and Heir of Nicholas Berman of Peason-Hall in the County of Suffolk, Gent. Widow and Relict of Sir Thomas Garrard Bart. by whom she became Mother of 9 Children, viz. Jacob, Mary, Sarah, Thomas, Sarah, Nicholas, Katherine, and Esther twins, and John. The same Dame Sarah departed this Life on the 12th Day of May Ao. Dni. 1703, to whose honour'd Memory her much oblig'd Daughter in Law Dame Cecilia, Widow and Relict of Sir Nicholas Garrard Bart. as a grateful Acknowledgment of many Favours, humbly dedicates this marble Ao. Dni. 1729.

On a black marble on the pavement adjoining,

Here lieth the Body of Sir Nicholas Garrard Bart. who died the 11 of March, Anno Dni. 1727.

Against the north wall of the chancel is a very large and costly monument of marble and alabaster raised altarwise, and with a back or wall-piece; on the body of it lies on a mat the effigies of Sir Nicholas Garrard in full proportion on his right side, and leaning on his right hand, in the dress and habit of an old Roman; at his back is a pedestal, and on that an urn with a flame, &c. On each side of this pedestal stands an effigies in full length, &c. of alabaster, the one of Sir Jacob, the other of Sir Thomas Garrard, Barts. both in the aforesaid dress. On the pedestal is this inscription:

Near this Place lye interr'd the Remains of Sir Jacob Garrard, (eldest Son and Heir of Thomas Garrard, Esq. an Eminent, Wealthy, and Honourable Citizen,) the Honour of Knighthood was conferred upon him by his Pious and Royal Master King Charles I. in the Year 1641, and by King Charles II. he was created a Bart. in the Year 1662, having aided and assisted the Royal Family with Men, Money and Arms. in their Distress and Exile, for which he became Obnoxious to the Usurpers of Authority, and was Try'd by the Committee for raising Supplies, as a Delinquent, but nobly Defended both his Life and Estate with unshaken Resolution and stedfast Loyalty. He departed this Life in September 1666, having Eternized his Memory by living Acts of Charity, continued Acknowledgments for the Mercy of God received in his Deliverance. He married Mary Jennings, a lady of exemplary Piety and Virtue, by whom he had many children, several of which died young, four only surviving, Thomas, Jacob, Isaac and Mary, the Eldest Son Thomas succeeded his Father in Honour and Estate, the two younger Married but left no surviving Issue, Mary the Daughter, married with Richard Berney of Reedham in the County of Norfolk Esq.

On the basis of the monument, under the figure of Sir Nicholas,

Sir Thomas Garrard Bart lies, (as also doth Sarah his Wife,) near this Place, she was the only Daughter and Heiress of Nicholas Bermen of Peason-hall in the County of Suffolk Gent. by whom he had 9 Children, 4 Sons and 5 Daughters, 6 of them viz. 2 Sons and 4 Daughters dying in their Minority were likewise buried here, and 2 Sons and a Daughter viz. Jacob, Nicholas and Mary surviv'd: Mary married with Samuel Kerridge of Shelley-Hall in the County of Suffolk Esq; she departed this Life in April 1702, and is likewise interred in this Chancel; Jacob the Eldest married Abigail Daughter of Sir John Holland of Quidenham in the County of Norfolk Bart. by whom he had several Children who all died Infants, except only two Daughters, Alathea married to Sir Francis Bickley of Attleburgh in the County of Norfolk Bart. by whom she had several Children, who all died Young; and Sarah married Charles Downing Esq; Comptroller of his Majesty's Customs, third Son of Sir George Downing of East-Hatley in the County of Cambridge, Knight and Baronet, by Francis Howard, Grand-Daughter of the Right Honourable the Lord William Howard of Naworth in the County of Cumberland, by him the said Sarah hath had several Children, of which the only Survivor is Jacob-garrard Downing, Esq; Jacob Garrard died in the Life time of his Father Sir Thomas Garrard, and is with his deceas'd Children interr'd in this Chancel.

Here likewise is deposited the Body of Sir Nicholas Garrard Bart. 3d Son of Sir Thomas Garrard, he succeeded his Father in Title and Estate, lived infinitely beloved, and died equally lamented without Issue, the 11 of March, Ano Dni. 1727, leaving behind him his disconsolate Widow Dame Cecilia Garrard, only Daughter of Sir Edwin Stede of Stede-Hall in the County of Kent, by Cecilia Daughter of Sir William Clard of Ford in Wreatham in the same County, which Dame Cecilia Garrard to perpetuate the Memory of her Dear and entirely beloved Husband, together with his worthy Ancestors, hath in Duty and Respect, as much as in obedience to his Desire, caus'd this Monument to be erected.

On the summit of the monument is this impaled coat;

Garrard, az. two lions guardant and combatant arg. with the arms of Ulster, as a baronet, impaling

Stede, arg. a chevron between three boars heads couped sable, and muzzled or.

Below are two Cupids resting on a cornish.

Opposite to this monument, against the south wall, are fixed several insignia of honour, as the shield, mantle, torce, helmet, spurs and sword, and several banners, one of Garrard impaling Jennings, arg. a chevron, gul. between three plummets sab. another of Garrard impaling Berman, arg. a flower-de-lis gul.

This is a large heavy monument, and the statues ill performed, considering the cost, which is said to have been 400 guineas.

This place being thus adorned with the insignia, &c. of Richard Garrard, I shall here speak a word or two of that ancient custom.

Burton observes, p. 97, that a sword was hung up in the church at the funeral of a knight, and not of any person under that degree, because knights, at their first dubbing, did in former times take an oath to defend religion and the church, and in memorial of that, this weapon was allowed to be hung up there.

The Lady Wiche brought an action in the King's Bench against the parson of St. Margaret's church in Lothbury, London, for that the said parson had taken away a coat armour and certain penons, with the arms of Sir Hugh Wiche, her husband, (once Lord Mayor of London, who died the 7th of Edward IV.) and a sword out of the chapel where he was buried: the parson pleading that these arms, &c. were matters of offering, and oblations, and therefore of right did belong to him; but Justice Yelverton held it no plea, and that they are not intended as offerings or oblations, but were hung up in honour of the deceased, and therefore do not belong to the parsons. And if the parson has not a right to take these down in his chancel when once hung up, no other person can lay any pretence or claim to them.

In a window on the north side of the church are the arms of Methwold, arg. three barrulets gul. in a bordure az.—Moulton in the said church formerly was arg. a cross flory vert, on the dexter part a crescent gul. and Sefold.

This rectory, in the reign of Edward I. had a manse with 40 acres of glebe, and was valued at 4 marks and a half, besides the portion of the abbey of Bermondsey, which was taxed for it at 20s. Peter-pence 10d.


  • 1311, John de Boyton, presented by Sir William de Boyton.
  • 1349, Robert de Ireland, res. by Sir John Heveningham, Knt.
  • 1352, Nicholas Cunch. Ditto.
  • 1360, John Winter, by John de Boyton. He was rector of Thornegg, and exchanged with Cunch.
  • 1361, John Bolney. John de Cressingham-Magna and John Bray of Hilburghworth.
  • 1400, John Spyllemere. Robert de Ashfeld.
  • 1408, Robert Osberne of Len Episcopi, by John Methwold of Langford. In the 12th of Henry IV. the Prior of Bermundsey recovered damages against Osborn, &c. for beating of his servants, and hindering them in gathering of his tithe corn at Langford. (Montfort's portion no doubt.)
  • 1416, William Knight of Sporle, on the resignation of Osberne, by John Methwold.
  • John Bradewell, rector, died.
  • 1446, Robert Hecocks, by Margaret Methwold of Langford, widow.
  • 1450, John Cok, by lapse.
  • 1456, Robert Heycock, by lapse. I take this to be the aforesaid Robert Heycock who went to Narford, and now returned.
  • 1462, Thomas Skoot, by lapse.
  • 1496, James Sonkye, by Richard Methwold, Esq. In
  • 1499, Richard Lambe of this town, by will gives a legacy to St. Andrew's gild here.
  • 1511, Thomas Cook, A.M.: he was also rector of Hilburgh: the first fruits at this time were 53s. 4d.
  • 1534, Edmund Betson, as I take it; but the name is torn out of the Institution Book. He was deprived by Queen Mary, being a secular married priest, 15 March 1553.
  • 1554, Thomas Downes, on the deprivation of
    Edmund Betson, by lapse.
  • 1561, Richard Wingfeld, by Robert Downes, Gent. Thomas Ashill died rector.
  • 1596, John Mapted, A. M. obiit. by Thomas Methwold, Gent.; he was also rector of Bodney; in his answers to King James's Enquiry, he says there were 41 communicants here.
  • 1603, Robert Gryffyn, by James Methwold, Esq. rector also of Booton in Ingworth deanery.
  • Ralph Sherman, died rector.
  • 1626, Edward (or Thomas) Smith, ob. Thomas Methwold, Esq.
  • 1666, Samel Farrand, A. M. ob. Thomas Garrard, Esq.; he was also rector of Mundford.
  • 1680, Matthew Blewet, A. M. Sir Thomas Garrard, Bart. He was also rector of Ickburch, and about this time, this rectory was consolidated to Ickburgh, which see at vol. ii. p. 239.
  • 1693, Thomas Jukes.
  • 1696, John Ellis, at whose death

The Reverend Mr. Horrex, the present rector, succeeded.

This Rectory is valued at 4l. 15s. 10d. and being consolidated with Ickburgh, and both but of 43l. 6s. 8d. clear value, is discharged of tenths and first fruits, and is capable of augmentation; synodals 16d. procurations 5s.

Burials here,

30 July, 1608, Dorothy, wife of Thomas Methwold, Esq. 25 January 1630, Judith, wife of Thomas Methwold, Esq. 22 December 1632, Thomas Methwold, Esq. 4 September 1666, Sir Jacob Garrard, he died at West-Ham in Essex; in this year John Garrard, son of Sir Thomas, and Sarah his wife, formerly buried at West-Ham church, was removed here. 23 May 1669, Mary, wife of Sir Jacob, formerly buried in Grace Church chancel London, and now removed here, on account of the great fire. 1st April 1677, Thomas, son of Sir Jacob Garrard, Esq. 6 January 1679, Thomas, son of Sir Jacob Garrard, Bart. 10 January 1681, Jacob, son of Jacob Garrard, Esq. 19 August 1682, John, son of Jacob Garrard, Esq. 2 April 1684, Jacob Garrard of East-Ham, Esq. 22 April 1602, Mary, wife of Samuel Kerridge, Esq. of Shelley-Hall in Suffolk.


At the great survey this town occurs by the name of Fulgaduna, Fulendun, and Phuldon, and takes its name from the plenty of wild fowl which frequented it, it being seated in the midst of fens, and morasses; fugol in Saxon signifies wild fowl, and in some antique writings it is wrote Fugeldune.

The Earl Warren's Manor[edit]

"In Fulgadun thirty-four freemen held in the time of King Edward the Confessor 6 carucates of land, and they now hold the same under the Earl William, and he has one carucate valued at 20s there were then under them 16 villains and 16 bordarers, and so now; here were two fisheries, the whole is accounted one mile long, and half a mile broad, and pays to the geld 16d.; it was in King Edward's time valued at 3 li. now at 6li. Earl William says, he held this land by exchange." Roger (probably de Paveley) seems to have held this lordship under William, the second Earl Warren, and gave the tithe of his lands here to the abbey of Castleacre, founded by the Earl Warren; and Robert de Freville gave by deed sans date about the reign of Henry I. two parts of the tithes of his demesnes lands here, to the said abbey. After this, Fulk de Beaufo held it in the time of King John; this Fulk had four daughters, and by their marriage, this lordship was parcelled out and divided, as may be seen in Hockwold, vol. ii. p. 177.

By an inquisition taken the 24th of Henry III. Michael de Ponyngs, a descendant of Sir Luke de Ponyngs, (who married one of the heiresses of Aquillon by Agatha daughter of Fulk,) held here and in Bodney, one fee and a half of the Earl Warren; Petronilla de Thurne held this of Thomas Cok or Coke, about the 48th of Henry III. and he of Ponyngs; and the said Thomas held of the Ingaldesthorps (who married another of Fulk's daughters) part of a fee here, called Blount's fee, held of the manor of Skulthorpe in Norfolk, which the Earl Warren held in capite; at the same time Robert de Blount held lands of Robert de Scales, into which family also a daughter of Fulk's was married, and in the 52d of the said King mention is made of a mill here called Beck-Myln, and the little stream that runs by the hall bears that name at this day.

William, son of Alexander Coke of Fuldon, held a manor here in the 18th of Edward I. which he settled on John de Brandon and Aveline daughter of Peter le Newman, and the said Aveline granted to the aforesaid John Brandon the same, with all her homages, rents, customs, services, wards, reliefs, eschaets, marriages of her tenants, and all her turbary, to which Edmund de Inglethorp was witness in the 15th of Edward I. and one Edmund de Inglethorp had the assize of bread and beer in this town, and frankpledge, together with Luke de Ponyngs, and Robert de Scales. Also in the 33d of the said King, Edmund de Inglethorp, and Ivetta his wife, had by fine levied between them and Robert de Fuldon, lands here settled on them in tail, remainder to Thomas, brother to Edmund, remainder to John de Mundeford and Sibill his wife, and the heirs of Sibill, sister of Edmund, and daughter of Sir Thomas de Inglethorp.

In the 17th of Edward II. Michael de Ponyngs and his tenants held 7 fees here, in Bodney, Wilton, &c. and Walter de Norwich held 7 fees here, and in Didlington, Northwold, &c. (under the Ingaldesthorps) of the Earl of Pembroke, as of the castle of Acre; and in the following year, Robert, son of Robert Lord Scales, being under age, Egeline, widow of Robert, had a grant of the custody of his manor here.

In the 20th of Edward III. Thomas de Cressingham, Ralph de Thirne, &c. held the 3d part of a fee of Richard Holdich and William de Hockham, and they of John de Norwich, which Petronilla de Thirne formerly held, and Roger le Mey, &c. held half a fee of John de Didlington, which John de Burhall formerly held. There is a field westward of the town, called at this day Burhall-Field, probably from this John, who lived in the time of Henry III. At the same time a fine was levied between John de la Rokele, son of Ralph de Rokele, Knt. and Joan his wife, querents, and Edmund de Ingaldesthorp, defendant, of 10 marks rent in Hockwold, Wilton, and Mundeford, and the manor of Fuldon, settled on John in tail.

Katharine Brews, (daughter of Sir John Norwich,) a nun at Dertford in Kent, held in the 3d of Richard II. Broomes fee, which afterwards descended to the Uffords Earls of Suffolk; and in the 8th of the said King John Brandon of Fouldon grants to William de Thyrne, John, vicar of Fouldon, and John Geson of Lyndford, all his messuages, lands, tenements, and faldage, with the appurtenances here, and in Didlington; and in the 6th of Henry VI. Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Carbonel, Sir William Berdwell, &c. by virtue of a feoffment made to them, remit and grant to John Harpley, Esq. the aforesaid messuages, &c. called Brandon's, with the wards, eschaets, &c.; and in the 16th of the said King, Richard Schrag and John Machon of Cockley Cley, were infeoffed in the same.

In the 3d of Henry IV. Sir John de Weyland, William Thurne, John le Veile, &c. held here, three parts of a knight's fee of Thomas Holdich, he of Sir Robert Knolls, and Sir Robert of the Earl of Arundel; parcel of his honour of Castleacre, and at the said time, the heirs of Robert le Maye held half a knight's fee here, as did Robert Gedge and Roselyn, one knight's fee here and in Didlington, of the aforesaid Earl.

Margaret, relict of Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. sister and heiress to Sir Thomas Tudenham, died seized of the manor here, (which descended to her from the Weylands and the Limeseys,) in the 15th of Edward IV. held of the Holdiches; and in the 6th of King Edward VI. Sir Edmund Bedingfeld leased out his lands, pastures, faldcourses, &c. at 4l. 3s. 4d. per ann. Soon after this, the whole of this Earl Warren's fee was in the family of the Holdiches, lords of the whole town, as will be shown.

Latimer's Manor[edit]

In Fulendun, Ribald held under Alan Earl of Richmond, half a carucate of land, which Alstan held in the Confessor's time, and is valued in Swaffham, and two freemen held one carucate of land, valued at 20s. and now at 40s. and is measured with the land of the Earl Warren.

From the above Ribald, who was lord of Midleham in Yorkshire, descended the Neviles Lord Latimer, lords of this fee under the Earls of Richmond. On an inquisition taken the 24th of Henry III. Richard Dikeman, and the heirs of Walter Faukener, held the 6th part of a fee of Mary de Nevile, and she of the Earl of Richmond, and Thomas Vincent, and John de Brandon, held of her the 3d part of a fee.

In the 20th of Edward III. Ralph de Nevil and his parceners held the 3d part of a fee late Vincent's, &c. and John Dikeman, and the heirs of Faukener, held the 6th part above-mentioned; by the parceners of Nevile, the Holdiches are most probably meant: that they had possessions here before this time is certain; in the 9th of Edward II. a fine was levied between Gilbert de Holdich, and Ralph his son, and Florence the wife of Ralph, querents, and Richard son of Gilbert, defendant, of messuages, and lands here; and in the 29th of Edward III. Richard Holdich had free-warren granted him, in all his demesne lands in Fouldon, Didlington, South Pickenham, and Congham.

In the 3d of Henry IV. the heirs of Dikeman and Faukener, held the 3d part of a fee, of Sir Robert Knolls, and he of the honour of Richmond; and at a court held the 7th of Henry VI. Thomas Holdich, late deceased, was found to have held half a fee of the Lord Nevile, and Thomas his son was 30 years old; and in the 21st of the said King, Thomas Holdych, Esq. leased his lands, messuages, wards, reliefs, eschaets, &c. for 13l. 6s. 8d. per annum.

William Methwold was found in the 32d of Henry VIII. to hold a capital messuage here of the Lord Latimer, and John was his son; and in the 35th of the said King, Richard Holdich held the manor of Fouldon-Hall of the King in capite, his father Henry dying that year, or as some say his brother; and it is probable, this family possessed, in the 34th of the said King, the whole Richmond fee here, a fine being then levied between Robert Holdich, querent, and John Nevile Lord Latimer, and Catherine his wife, defendants, of this manor.

In the sixth of Queen Elizabeth, Miles Holdich, son and heir of Richard, was lord, and held it by the payment or service of one rose yearly to the Queen, and after him John Holdich. After this, it came by the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Henry Holdich, Esq. to Sir John Sidley, and his son Sir John Sidley, Bart. sold it to Robert Long, Esq. of the family of Reymerston in Norfolk, whose son Robert was lord, and his son sold it to the Lady Bennet, widow of Sir Levinus Bennet.

In Phuldon, Walter Giffard holds one carucate of land valued in the Confessor's time at 8s.

This Walter was Earl of Buckingham, his estate descended to the Earls of Clare and Gloucester; of this I meet with no further account, so that it is probable it was united, being purchased by the lords of the other fees, or else was possessed by the prioress of the nunnery of St. George, in Thetford; who in the 9th of Edward II. is said to have a manor here, and a fald-course belonging to it; and in the 7th of Edward III. Nicholas de Gonvile was found to hold certain tenements here of the prioress; at the Dissolution this was granted, together with the site of the aforesaid nunnery, &c. to Sir Richard Fulmerston, of whom see in Thetford, vol. ii. p. 57, and in the 31st of Henry VIII. license was granted him, to alienate it to Richard Holdich, and his heirs; and so it was united to the other manors abovementioned. But some of the lands belonging to this nunnery were held in the time of Queen Elizabeth, by Sir George Howard, and Fulk Crofts, and in the reign of Charles I. by Edmund Bacon of Heggeset in Suffolk, Esq.

Here was also a manor held of the Honour of Wirmegay or Wrungey, by William de Lerling, in the 27th of Henry III. who had free-warren here; this came to the Gonviles afterwards, as appears from a fine levied in the 16th of Edward III. between Roger de Herdegrey of Norwich, querent, and John de Gonvile, and Joan his wife, defendants, with its lands, the homages and services of divers persons; and William Lord Bardolph of Wirmegay was found in the 13th of Richard II. to hold three quarters of a fee here, in Lerling, and Rushforth; this descended to the Herlings, and was held of the said honour in the 5th of Henry VI. This also, it may be presumed, came afterwards to the Holdiches.

The Lete is in the lord of the manor, and the Tenths of the town were 8l. 19s. deductions 2l. 5s. remainder 6l. 14s.

The church is a regular pile, having a nave, with a north and south isle of flint, &c. in length about 52 feet, and in breadth with the isles about 44 feet; the nave is laid with freestone, as are the passages between the north and the south doors, at the cost and charge of Mr. Raymond; the roof of the nave is of oak, and covered with lead, (as the whole church is) supported by tall octangular pillars, which form 8 lofty arches, four on a side; above are six windows, three on a side, over the pillars. At the west end of the nave is a four-square tower, of flint, &c. with quoins and embattlements of free-stone, and on them 8 stone pinnacles carved. In this tower hang five small tuneable bells, and the treble was the gift of Mr. Raymond, and bas his arms cast on it; against the north-east wall of the nave, near to the chancel, is a monument of gray marble adorned with foliages, and on the cornish is this shield,

Raymond, sable a chevron between three eaglets displayed, arg. on a chief of the second, a bendlet ingrailed between two martlets of the first, the crest a cat sejant arg. On a black marble in the centre, this inscription in letters of gold;

Under this Pew lyeth buried the Body of Sarah, only Daughter of Humphrey, second Son of Humphrey Mosely, of Ousden-hall in Suffolk, Esq; the most endearing and beloved Wife of Burham, eldest Son of Thomas Raymond, the first sole Keeper of the Papers of State and Councel at Whitehall, to King Charles the II. she lived and died very religiously, July 1st 1700, the disconsolate Burham, to his most endearing and beloved Consort, has caused this Monument to be erected, in Token of his sincere and lasting Love to her deserv'd Memory.

Her Love to him, his Sorrow for her Death Were equal, for they end, but with their Breath.

Here also lyeth the Body of Burham Raymond, Husband to the aforesaid Sarah, who died December 30, 1728, Aged 30 Years.

On the opposite wall, on the south side is a stone pedestal, where some favourite saint once had his station. On the top of the west window of the south isle is a small shield almost obscure through time, or, on a fess between three garbs gul. as many flowers de-lis of the first; and in a little pannel under it, the effigies of a person in complete armour, with a broad sword hanging in a rich scabbard by his side, and a long spear in his right hand of gold headed azure, and spurs of gold; part of his arms and his face are broken.

A large arched monument is raised on the foundation of the south isle facing the churchyard, of free-stone; under this arch on the ground lies a flat marble gravestone partly covered by the arch, and partly by the wall. These arched monuments, and this immuring of founders, was practised in ancient days: and this seems to be built about the reign of King Edward I. At the east end of this isle is the stone stair-case which led to the rood-loft; joining to this south isle is a porch covered with lead, and over the door a pedestal for some image: the church is divided from the chancel by a screen, which hath been curiously carved and painted, ornamented with canopywork and images; this chancel is in length about 38 feet, and in breadth about 20, hath a good roof of oak, covered with lead. In the east window, in two places, and in one, on the south side is

Bateman, sab. a crescent ermine in a bordure ingrailed arg.

And was thus born by Bateman Bishop of Norwich, executor to Edmund Gonvile, founder of the college of that name in Cambridge.

In the upper window, on the south side, in a roundle is the word Jesu, in another, Mercy. The windows of this chancel have been beautified with the portraitures of the 12 Apostles, 3 in each window, standing on pedestals; that of St. John the Evangelist, in the lowest window, is now the most entire, having a palm branch in one hand, and in the other a fiery dragon, issuing out of a cup, the rest of the Apostles, generally bearing in their hands the instruments of their martyrdom; it may not be improper to consider the reason of this bearing or these insignia of St. John, which I conceive is to set forth his miraculous escape from some poison which he had drank; and his raising to life two persons which had drank of the same poisoned cup.

Against the north wall of this chancel is a very large and lofty mural monument of black and white marble, adorned with foliages, having two black marble pillars of the Corinthian order, with their capitals gilt with gold, supporting the cornish; on that the busto of an angel with wings of gold; above that, the figure of an angel, winged as before; and on the summit,

Longe, gules a saltier engrailed or, on a chief of the second, three croslets pate of the first,

And on a black marble in the centre of the monument this epitaph in letters of gold;

Quod superest Ornatissimi Viri Roberti Longe Armigeri, sub Cortice marmoreo hic propè posito, jacet reconditum. Vixit non minus Patriæ, quam suorum Commodo, Annos Sexaginta et Octo, obijt, (proh Dolor) Decimo Septimo Die Septembris, Anno Redemptionis 1656, habens ex unicâ Uxore Elizabetha, tres Filios, Robertum, Henricum et Richardum, et quinque Filias, Elizabetham, Margaretum, Susannam, Mariam, et Sarah, prognatos et superstites, hujus merito amoris sui fidelissimi memoriæ, sacrum hoc dedit pignus, Elizabetha predicta jam mœrens Vidua.

On the pavement lies the gravestone of marble thus inscribed,

Robertus Longe, obijt 17 Septemb. 1656.

Elizabetha Longe, obijt 10 Octob. 1666

On the pavement near the east end of the chancel is a marble gravestone thus inscribed,

Hic jacet Corpus Susann: Uxoris secundæ Roberti Longe de Foulden, in Com. Norff. Armig. et Filiæ secund. Clem. Heigham de Barrow in Com. Suff. Armig. obijt Vicessimo Sexto Die Aprilis, Anno Domini 1689.

About the centre of the area there lies an ancient marble stone, once ornamented with a cross florè, and two fillets of brass about the verge; between these fillets was the inscription in letters of brass; by the nichings and incisions cut to let the letters in, part of the inscription seems to have been thus,
Hac sunt in Fossa Caro, Thome Palmer et Ossa.

The rest cannot be recovered, the stone being much worn; this is no doubt in memory of Palmer, the last rector, who lived in the reign of King Edward III.

This church is dedicated to all the Saints, as appears from several wills: there was also in the said town, in a place called BurhallField, a chapel dedicated to St. Edmund, long since demolished; and there is a close there called Chapel Close at this day.

In this church there were formerly these shields painted on the glass; sable, florettè de-lis or, in a canton gul. a frett azure, Mortimer, and a star of six points.


  • 1265, John de Pikenham.
  • John de Sheffend occurs rector, 24th of Edward I.
  • 1316, Reginald de Cusancia, presented by the Prior and convent of Lewes in Sussex, and probably given to that abbey by one of the Earls Warren, or one of his dependants; in 1326, he had license to be absent on account of his own affairs, and those of his church, for one year. This Cusancia was most likely an Italian; foreigners were in these times admitted to livings, insomuch that a petition was made by the commons in parliament, 21st of Edward III. that all alien monks do avoid the realm by Michaelmas, and that their livings be disposed of to young English scholars, and that such aliens as are advanced to livings, they being in their own countries but shoemakers, tailors, or chamberlains to cardinals, &c. may depart the realm before Michaelmas, and their livings be bestowed on poor scholars. Barn's life of Edward III. Ano 1347.
  • 1335, William de Monte Acuto, or Montague, he had been rector of Fincham St. Michael. Ditto.
  • 1344, John Mayduit. John Earl Warren and Surrey, the advowsons of all the livings in the presentation of the Prior of Lewes being given to him by the King, on account of the wars with France, this being a priory alien.
  • 1349, Thomas Palmere, by the Prior of Lewes.

About this time Gonvile-Hall or college in Cambridge bought, with the license of Richard Earl of Arundel, lord of the fee, the patronage of this church, with the glebes, &c. of Sir Edmund Hengrave, and Hugh de Chintriaco, prior of St. Pancrase of Lewes: and 16th of June, 1350, the Bishop of Norwich appropriated this church to that college; it was bought with this proviso, that the Prior of Lewes should enjoy the pensions here, till he should be in possession of the moiety of the church of Walpole; witnesses, Sir John de Norwich, Sir John de Ufford, Sir John de Benhale, &c. and the Prior and convent of Castleacre, in the 39th of Edward III. granted to the said college in perpetual farm, two parts of the tithes of the demesnes of Robert Frevile of Fouldon, being about 300 acres, at the annual rent of 1l. 6s. 8d. which is now paid into the Exchequer.


April 4th, 1362, Thomas Selys, the first vicar, was presented by the Society of Gonvile-Hall in Cambridge.

  • 1379, John Crane. Ditto. By his will, dated Wednesday before the Feast of St. Peter ad Vincula, 1421, he desires to be buried in the churchyard of Fouldon All-Saints, and gives legacies to the gilds of All-Saints and St. John Baptist here. Crane was elected by the Bishop of Norwich, two being presented to him by the College, according to a composition.
  • 1421, John Harleston, by the master and fellows of Gonvile-Hall, in which society the advowson now remains.
  • 1421, Nicholas Essex; he was vicar of Narburgh, and exchanged with Harleston.
  • 1443, Richard Powle, by his will, dated 26 March, 1479, desires to be buried in the new porch on the north side of the church, and gives to every gyld here 12d. to his successours a new messuage, (likely the present vicar's house,) which he bought of Nicholas Blok in Fouldon, in recompense of dilapidating the old vicarage; also a messuage and 12 acres of land to Gonvile College, on condition they keep his obit on the 1st of May for ever, and pray for his soul, (he was fellow of that college.) Regr. Gelour.
  • 1479, John Oudolf, on the death of the last vicar. Richard Roberts, by will dated the 12th of January, 1489, gives legacies to St. Edmund's gild, sepulchre light, the light of the perk here; and William Estgate, by will, 18th June 1493, gives to Trinity gild, &c.
  • 1497, William Ryghtwys: he had a bull from Pope Alexander, to hold two benefices incompatible, dated from Rome 1495, and was rector of Hockwold. About this time, 1499, September 13th, Robert Tassell, of this town, by will desires to be buried in the churchyard, leaves to the hey altyr for oblations and tithes not paid 6s. 8d. to the reparations of the church 40s. to the Trinity Gild here 4 bushels, of barley; to the White Fryers of Lyn, 4 bushels of barley; to the Grey Fryers there 4 bushels, &c.; to the Fryers Preachers there, 1 bushel; to the Awston Fryars there 1 bushel; and to a priest to pray on hoyl yer 8 marks.
  • 1502, Robert Carlton, A. M. on the death of Ryghtwys; the first fruits at this time were 5l. Resigned.
  • 1508, Robert Mynte, ob.
  • 1519, Richard Ledar, buried 10 October, 1540.
  • 1540, Sir Gregory Maptid, lately a religious man in Bury, called also Gregory Illey, from the place of his birth; he was rector of Cressingham-Parva.
  • 1566, Robert Spurgynne, on the resignation of Maptid, rector also of Colveston, ob.
  • 1582, Thomas Reve, A. M. resigned.
  • 1583, John Tayler; in his answers to King James's Enquiry in 1603, he says there were 214 communicants in this parish, ob.
  • 1625, Henry Warden, A. M. ob.
  • 1627, Francis Hobman, A. M. afterwards rector of Weting; he resigned this in 1651, (as I take it,) being rector of the Weetings; on the 26th of August,
  • 1654, Mr. John Riseing was buried, as appears from the Register, probably vicar.
  • Thomas Leader, vicar.
  • 1662, Thomas Robarts, S. T. B. on the cession of Leader. The King by lapse. He was vicar of Swaffham, ob.
  • 1678, Henry Milsop, A. M. ob.
  • 1682, Edmund Booth, inceptor artium; he was born at Norwich, educated at Caius college, vicar also of Gooderston, ob.
  • 1702, Thomas Ringsted, educated at Caius college, vicar of Gooderston, buried in the chancel of Fouldon.
  • 1719, The Rev. Mr. John Brundish, A. M. on the death of Ringsted, was presented by the Master and Fellows of Caius college in Cambridge; he was educated at Corpus Christi college in Cambridge, and holds it united to the vicarage of Didlington.

This vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 10l. 1s. 8d. but being computed but at 25l. per annum clear value, is discharged of tenths and first fruits, and is capable of augmentation. The rectory is leased to the vicar, and consists of the corn-tithe, 26 acres of pasture, 44 of arable infield, 40 acres and 2 roods outfield, in all 110 acres and 2 roods, paying per annum 9l. 14s. 6d. also seven quarters (of wheat,) three bushels and two pecks of malt; seven quarters and an half and 2 bushels, and an outrent to the King as above observed of 1l. 6s. 8d. synodals, 2s. 4d. procurations 7s. 7d. ob.

William Earl Warren, who died in 1141, confirmed to the priory of Castleacre, the tithes of Wimer his sewer, of his demesnes here.

In the time of Edward I. this rectory was valued at 32 marks had a manse with 40 acres of land belonging to it, the Peter-pence paid were 15d. The church of St. Edmund, is said to be a motherchurch, and the eldest, to which a mediety of the township belonged; and at that time there were burials there, but no baptism; and was formerly the parish church of all the township, and had 100 acres of land; at that time it had a tower, or belfry, with 2 bells, and 2 altars, besides the principal altar, and was called a chapel, improperly, by some negligent rector; yet it appears from the Register of the abbey of Lewes, &c. that Roger de Pavely, of whom we have before made mention, in his grant of tithe to Castleacre or Lewes, (Castleacre being a cell to Lewes,) calls it the chapel of St. Edmund.

The priory of Lewes was taxed for their spirituals at 5l. per annum. Castleacre 4 marks. The prior of Bromhill, for his temporalities at 7d. and Thetford monastery 10s. for spirituals.


In Domesday it occurs by the names of Cleia, Cleiatorpa, (that is Cleie-Thorp,) and Cley, and takes its name from the stream or river that rises at the head, and runs through the midst of the town, and so to Goderstone and Oxburgh, where it falls into the Wissey.

West-Hall Manor[edit]

Two freemen, and after them, Ralph Earl of Norfolk, held in the Confessor's time, lands here; at the survey it was in the King's hands, (the Earl having forfeited it for his rebellion,) and was managed for, or farmed of, the King by Godric, it having 4 carucates then in domain, now two, 6 freemen, 2 mills, and was one mile long, and one broad, valued once at 6l. afterwards at 4l. and then at 5l. and paid 14d. to the gelt.

Soon after this, it was given by the Conqueror to Alan Earl of Richmond, who had large possessions at Swaffham, &c. in this county, and was held of that honour by William Fitz-Richard, whose daughter and heir being married to Roald Conan Duke of Britain and Earl of Richmond, granted it to him about the year 1166. After this the Barons de Monte Canisio, or Montchensey, held this manor of the honour of Richmond; and under them, William de Blount held this lordship and lands, valued at 8l. per annum, in the reign of Richard I. being then in ward with Jeffery Fitz-Piers Earl of Essex, and by the inquisitions made in the 20th of Henry III. it is found to be half a knight's fee; and in the 24th of the said King, William de Valoyns was found to hold the fourth part of a fee, of the heirs of Richard Fitz-Humphrey, they of the heirs of John le Briton, he of the heirs of Warin Fitz-Alan, they of Dionysia de Montchensey, she of the Earl of Richmond, and the Earl of the King in capite; and Henry de Orniton alias de Burston, held a 4th part of the said Dionisia; and in the same year a fine was levied between Brian Fitz-Alan, petent, and William de Montchensey, (whom William le Blount called to warrant 3 parts of a knight's fee in Cley,) except the 20th part released to Warin, who regranted to Brian, the 3d part of the said 3 parts, excepting the advowson of the church, and the capital messuage, which were to remain to Warin; this 3d part consisted of 297 acres and an half of arable land, 20 of meadow, 100 of heath, all lying west of the town, and the third part of a piece of land by the said messuages to the west, the 3d part of the foreign heath, where the freemen of the town have common; the 3d part of a windmill and watermill, and the homages and services of several freemen and villeins.

In the reign of Edward I. the chief part of this manor seems to have been in the possession of the Valoyns, or Waleyns, held of the Montchenseys; William Lord Montchensey, held here and in Foxley, in the 8th of that King, two knights fees of the honour of Richmond, and paid 20s. per annum to the castle-ward there, and the said two manors were then extended at 45l. per annum; and in the 15th of the said King, Sir William Waleyns was found to be lord, and to have free warren in his domain lands here, and the assize of bread and beer, weyf, &c. This Sir William, as appears from old evidences, held one capital messuage, 214 acres of land, 5 of pasture, 18 of heath, liberty of two fald-courses, a free bull and boar, with a windmill, of Sir Robert de Valeyns by half a knight's fee, and paid to Richmond castle 4s. 8d. per annum; Sir Robert held of William Lord Montchensy, and he of the honour of Richmond; and the said Sir William, also held 287 acres and an half of the said fee, which his villeins held of him, and had free warren, weyf, and stray, assize of bread and beer, and toll for carriages through the town by ancient custom.

Sir Edmund de Pakenham was lord in the 8th of Edward II. who with Rohesia his wife settled, by a fine then levied, this manor on themselves for life, remainder to Robert son of Edmund in tail, remainder to the right heirs of Roesia; by this it appears to have been her inheritance, and probably she was daughter and heir of Valoyns; and in the 17th of that King, the aforesaid Edmund de Pakenham, Henry de Aula, and Peter Tirrel, were found to hold one fee of the barony of Montchensy, which at that time, by descent, belonged to Aymer de Valence Earl of Pembroke; but in the 16th of Edward III. a fine was levied between Thomas de Saxham, clerk, Theobald de Pakenham, Robert de Coneweston, chaplains, querents, Hugh de Saxham and Roesia his wife, (widow, as I take it, of Thomas de Pakenham,) defendants, of the manor of Cley juxta Swaffham, and the advowson, conveyed to Thomas in trust, as it seems, for the Saxhams; for in the 20th of that reign, Hugh de Saxham was found to hold the moiety of a fee late William de Walvins: in the 26th of the said king, Sir Thomas de Saxham, was lord; and in 1384, John de Saxham died seized of this lordship and advowson of the church of All-Saints, and by his will bequeathed his body to be buried in the chapel of St. Mary, in the church of the Holy Trinity of Ingham, in Norfolk, and appoints Sir Roger de Boys, Sir Miles de Boys, and Robert de Ashfield, his executors. This John was son of Robert de Saxham, and had considerable possessions in Saxham-Parva, and Troston in Suffolk; and in the 5th of Richard II. about two years before his death, had given to the priory of the Holy Trinity of Ingham, for the redemption of captives, this manor of Cley; and Thomas Moore, clerk, John de Saxham, rector of Saxham, Rich. Cratfield, and Rob. de Ashefield, were appointed by him trustees for so doing; and in the 16th of Rich. II. Tho. Moore, Rob. de Ashfield, &c. alienated, with the King's license, this manor of Cockley Cley, to the said priory; who were to find one chaplain in their church, to pray for the soul of the said John de Saxham, his ancestors and successours.

In the 3d year of King Henry IV. the priory of Ingham, was found to hold half a knight's fee of the Earl of Pembroke, and they of the honour of Richmond, and also the 4th part of a fee of the heirs of Richard Fitz-Humphrey, who held of the heirs of Le Briton, &c. of the aforesaid honour. This was held by the said priory until its dissolution, when it was granted by King Henry VIII. to William Wodehouse of Waxham, Esq. and in the 29th of that king, a fine was levied between Robert Hogan, and Bridget his wife, querents, William Wodehouse, and Ann his wife, and Thomas Wodehouse, defendants, of this manor of West-Hall, 4 messuages, and the liberty of 3 sheepfalds. Soon after this, in the 33d of the said King, a fine was levied between the aforesaid Robert and Bridget, and Thomas Hogan, defendants, and Sir Edmund Beding feld, Henry Beding feld, and Catherine his wife, querents, of the said manor, &c. and in this family it still remains, Sir Henry Bedingfield, Bart. being the present lord.

Langwade Manor[edit]

Takes its name from the family of Langwade, and was held of the hohour of Richmond, by the 4th part of a fee, and so, with that of West Hall, contained all that the Earls of Richmond held here in capite. The site of this lordship appears (by some ditches and entrenchments cast up) to have been at the utmost western limits of the fields of this town, a little to the south of Langwade-Cross, the pedestal of which is still remaining, by the road that leads over the long wade or passage over the river, adjoining to the bounds of Goderston, which wade gave name to the Langwades, and to the cross also.

The Langwades were a family of great antiquity; Robert, son of Sir Robert de Valeyns, gave by deed sans date, to Robert son of Ralph de Langwade, the right of servitude which he had in Richard, son of Robert, son of Hamon de Cley, the said Ralph and Robert gave, about the reign of King Henry III. (by deed sans date) this manor to the abbey of West Derham in Norfolk; and in the 15th of Edward I. the Abbot of West Derham (as I have above observed) held an 100 acres of land, a freefald, &c. In this abbey it remained leased out by the abbot, &c.; it extended into the fields of Oxburgh, Caldecote, and Shingham, and William the abbot granted, 12th July, in the 11th of Henry VIII. a lease of it for 40 years, with a close called Fryth-Croft in Shingham, to Sir Thomas Beding feld of Oxburgh, paying to the abbot 33s. and 4d. per annum, the said abbot reserving to himself all wards, marriages, reliefs, profits of court, &c.

Ralf de Tony also held in this town 3 socmen, who held one carucate of land, and one bordarer, and the King had the soc and sac of the socmen: this was part of the manor of Caldecote, that extended here; and at this time is held by Sir Henry Bedingfield.

East-Hall Manor[edit]

In the time of the Confessor, Toli held lands here; at the survey, Ernald held them of Rainald, son of Ivo; 3 socmen held 20 acres, of whom the King had the soc; in the Confessor's time there were 2 carucates in domain, at the survey, one valued in the Confessor's time at 3l. per annum, at the survey at 2l.

The lands which Rainald, son of Ivo held, descended to the Earls of Clare. In the reign of King Stephen, Peter de Cley, son of Sir Ralph de Clay, held this lordship; and gave part of it, with the advowson of the church of St. Peter, belonging to it, to the priory of Bukenham, in Norfolk, viz. 51 acres and an half of profitable arable land in the fields of Cley, the homage of William Fitz Alan, and Roger his son, and Alice his daughter, and the Toft, and Croft, of the said William; and the church of St. Peter was accordingly appropriated to the aforesaid priory in 1177, as appears from a certificate of the Bishop of Norwich in 1476, (on search of his evidences,) to the Barons of the Exchequer, and John de Cley, son of Peter de Cley' released by fine to the prior of Bukenham, in the 24th of Henry III: 50 acres of land here; and from an ancient roll about this time, I find that the prior had also appropriated 23 acres of glebe land, and a freefald which Sir Peter de Cley, had granted.

About the said time, Sir Simon Fitz Richard held this manor, then consisting of one messuage, 140 acres of land, &c. with a freefaldage, free bull, &c. in domain, and free warren of the Earl of Gloucester, by the 4th part of a fee, and the Earl of the King in capite, of the honour of Clare, and Sir Simon held of the said Earl 12 score acres of land, and half a messuage, and a fald-course, with free tenants, and villeins here.

In the 21st of Edward I. Thomas de Reppes gives to William Mortimer, rector of Sculthorp, Thomas de Burwell, and Richard de Depham, for a certain sum of money, his manor of East-Hall in Cley, in the 23d of that King, they grant it to Thomas son of Adam de Clifton, for life, and then to Sir Adam de Clifton, and his heirs; but Thomas de Reppes occurs lord in the 9th of Edward II. and in the 20th of Edward III. Thomas de Reppes, junior, was found to hold the 4th part of a fee of the honour of Clare, which Simon son of Richard, formerly held; and in the 40th of that King, William de Keteringham grants to Thomas Old-hall, of Clay, Edmund his son, &c. this manor, which he had of the feoffment of Adam de Cliffton; and the said Thomas Oldhall held his first court here, in the 45th of the said reign.

In the 3d year of Henry IV. Edmund Oldhall was lord; and in the 33d of Henry VI. Edmund Oldhall and Richard Schragger (as feoffees,) were lords, and the said Edmund died seized of it; as appears by his will, dated 12th of May, 1460; but in the 17th of Edward IV. Roger Langdon, and John Crudde, convey to Sir Robert Chamberlayn, Knt. Thomas Chamberlayn, &c. this manor which they lately had by the feoffment of Jeffery Cranewys; but in the 22d of the said King, Thomas Chamberlayn, Esq. Simon Blake, Gent. and Thomas Hewar, grant to Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. all their right in the manor of East Hall, which they hadby the grant of Jeffery Cranewys. Thus this part came to the Beding felds; and on the dissolution of the priory of Bukenham, their part was granted to William Wodehouse of Waxham, Esq. and was conveyed, as has been showed in West Hall, to Sir Edmund Bedingfeld, &c. in the 33d of Henry VIII. and Sir Henry Bedingfield, Bart. is the present lord.

The Earl Warren's Manor[edit]

William Earl Warren held also at the survey half a carucate of land, which Osmund held in the Confessor's time with Hilburgh; there were 5 bordars at the survey, who held one carucate and an acre of meadow, valued then at 10s. at the survey at 15s. He had also 3 beasts for burden, 6 geese, pannage for 20 hogs, 102 sheep, and 1 hive of bees; also 14 acres in Cleia, which two freemen held in the Confessor's time valued at 7d.

These lands, as I take it, lay near the lands of Hilburgh, which Osmund held in the reign of King Edward the Confessor, which town also was the lordship of the Earl Warren, at the survey; and in the time of King Henry III. Alexander de Wanton and Margaret his wife, (as appears from ancient evidences,) held 28 acres of land here, and a freefald, by the 3d part of a fee of Stephen de Ware, and paid 4d. per annum, and the said Stephen held (by the same service,) of Osbert de Cailly, and he of the Earl Warren, and the Earl of the King in capite, as of his honour of Castleacre, and Alexander, had a villein, who held of him a messuage and 10 acres of land, valued at 7d. per annum, and Andrew, son of Richman, holds of the said Alexander freely, two messuages, and 54 acres of land, paying 5s. per annum and 8d. to the scutage; and the said Alexander has 4 tenants, who hold freely of him 34 acres, and pay 2s. 3d. per annum. And Richard, son of Thomas de Goderston, holds 1 messuage and 40 acres domain of Sir Osbert de Cailly, by the 6th part of a fee, and pays to his lord 3d. per annum; after this I meet with no further account of it, it being united to the other lordships.

The tenths of this town were 7l.

In 1248, the Abbot of West-Derham, with the priory of Winwaloy, was taxed for temporalities in Cley All-Saints at 6l. 4s. 8d.

The Prior of Bokenham for his, in Cley St. Peter's, 3l. 17s. 11d. And for his spirituals in St. Peter's 8 marks.

The lord of the hundred has the lete for the east part of the town, or Cley St. Peter's; the lete-fee is 1s. and he also has the lete for that part of the town called Langwade, as appears from the ancient hundred court rolls, and the Lord of Goderston has the lete for the western part of the town, or All-Saints.

All-Saints church stands at the west end of the town; it is built chiefly of flint, consists of a nave, a south isle, and a chancel covered with lead; the nave is in length about 35 feet, and including the south isle, about the same in breadth; at the west end of the nave is a round tower of flint, embattled with freestone, in which is one bell. At the west end of the nave lies a marble gravestone with a plate of brass thus inscribed,

Here lieth the Body of John Dusgate, Gent. who died Anno Domini 1645, had two Sons and one Daughter I. D. M. D. W.D.

And these arms on a brass shield,

Dusgate, arg. three magpies proper.

The Dusgates family was of good account in this town; I find that in 1492, from a field-book made in that year, that they had considerable possessions; one of the family sold their house here to the Woodehouses, and Richard Dashwood, Esq. bought it of that family, and built to it, whose son, Richard Dashwood, Esq. has his residence here.

As you ascend the nave, lies another gravestone with a brass plate,

Here under lieth the Body of Francis Dusgate, late of this Parish, Gent. who died the 25th Day of June, Anno Domini 1633, Ætatis suæ 58.

The chancel is in length about 32 feet, and in breadth about 18, and is separated from the nave by a new wooden screen painted; the communion table is railed in, and has an ascent of two steps, and the east end of the chancel is mostly of free-stone.


  • 1300, John de Cley, was presented by William de Waleyns.

The rector had then a manse with 80 acres of land, the rectory was valued at 12 marks, Peter-pence 8d. synodals 21d. procurations 6s. 8d.

  • 1315, William de Bokeland. Sir Edmund de Pakenham.
  • 1339, Hugh de Saxham. Sir Hugh de Saxham.
  • 1342, Henry de Pakenham. Thomas de Saxham, rector of Troston, in Suffolk, Robert de Drinkeston, Robert de Coneweston, chaplain, and Theobald de Pakenham. He was rector of Hopton in Suffolk, and exchanged with Hugh de Saxham.
  • 1342, Thomas de Saxham. Thomas de Saxham, &c. He died in 1379, in which year, on the 18 July, his will was proved, and was buried in the chancel.
  • 1379, William Huggelord of Oxburgh. Richard Holdych; he died in 1384, and his will was proved 20th October, and is buried in the chancel.
  • 1384, Henry Burwode. John Saxham.
  • 1387, Roger Withery, on the resignation of Burwode. Sir Miles Stapleton, Knt. John Pyshale, clerk, Richard de Cratfield, parson of Lyng, and Robert Ashefield, clerk. Withery was a chantry priest in the collegiate church of St. Mary of Raveningham.
  • 1402, Simon Cobale, the prior and convent of Ingham.

William Docking, by his will dated 24th June, 1415, bequeaths his body to be buried before the altar of St. John Baptist, on the south side of this church, gives 20l. to the glazing of a window near the said altar, the repair of the tower, and to the maintenance of a priest to pray for him, and his parents, and for Robert Salle, John Harlewin, John Maddy, William Warner, &c.

James Walsingham resigned in 1427, to Richard Dycon, ob. The Prior, &c.

  • 1464, Richard Ereswell, ob.
  • 1515, William Echard, ob. The Prior, &c. to this church, with the chapel of St. Mary, annexed.
  • 1533, John Fulgeam, resigned
  • William Lyster of Hempstead, by virtue of a presentation hac vice from the Prior of Ingham.
  • 1563, Robert Gibson. Anthony Bedingfeld.
  • Thomas Nuce, rector also of Oxburgh, res.
  • 1585, Thomas Yorker, ob. Robert Constable, Gent. by a grant from Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq.
  • 1626, Christopher Shene, A. M. ob.
  • Edward Shene, S. T. B. rector of East Lexham, by a grant from Sir Henry Bedingfeld.
  • 1683, William Constable. John Fincham, Esq.
  • 1691, Henry Meriton. The King by lapse, united to Oxburgh, of which he was rector.
  • 1691, William Constable again, on the resignation of Meriton, ob. Thomas Doughty, Gent.
  • 1701, John Frost, S. T. B. ob. The Chancellor, Masters, Fellows, &c. of the University of Cambridge.
  • 1706, Thomas Rowell, A. M. Sir Henry Bedingfield, Bart. rector also of Cressingham-Magna.
  • 1718, John Bains, A.M. on the death of Rowell, by Sir Ralph Hare, Bart. rector also of Ringstead St. Andrew in Norfolk. He was succeeded by

The Reverend Mr. Toppin, the present rector, who hath Bradenham also.

This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 8l. 17s. 1d. and being 48l. per annum clear value, is discharged of first-fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation. In the Archdeacon's Register it is said, that the vicarage of St. Peter, and the rectory of All-Saints are consolidated.

St. Mary's chapel has been time immemorial converted into a house for the rector of All-Saints; it is a very ancient pile, as appears from its case of flint, &c. and the building is much more antique than the present mother-church of All-Saints; the nave or body is loftier than the chancel part, which is in the form of a crescent, according to the Danish taste and custom; and the old arch at the east end is still remaining, where is the light or window for this part, now a kitchen; the whole is about 31 feet in length, and 21 in breadth; about the walls of the nave may be observed several small arches, where the old windows were.

The first account I meet with of this chapel is from an old roll, (in the reign of Henry III.) wherein Sir William de Valeyns is said to have the advowson of the church of All-Saints endowed with 108 acres of land, one of pasture, and a freefald, with the chapel of St. Mary, (which he keeps to his own use,) of the gift of Sir William Blund, formerly lord of the village. It may not be improper here to observe that this Sir William descended from Gilbert de Blund or Blount, (who came into England with the Conqueror, and had large possessions given him in Suffolk, and founded at Ixworth, of which he was lord,) a famous priory for canons regular of St. Augustin; this Sir William was killed at the battle of Lewes in Sussex, between King Henry III. and his barons, in 1262, and left his estate to his two sisters and heirs, Agnes, who married Sir William Criketot; and Rohesia, who married Sir Robert de Valeyns; this Sir William Blund bore lozenge or and sable; and Valeyns, bore arg. three piles wavy gules. In 1384, mention is also made of this chapel in a will; and in 1533, the Bishop of Norwich gave license to the rector of AllSaints, to have the sacrament of the holy Eucharist in the said chapel, by which it appears that it was not then profaned; but soon after, it was made the rectory-house, for the rector of All-Saints, and so continues to this day. In 1731, the late rector's (the Rev. Mr. Bain's) workmen clearing the well (on the north side of the house,) which caved in, the bones and remains of 3 persons were found adjoining, as they were laid when buried; and in the garden here, many human bones have been dug up, which shows it to have had the privilege of burial, which was seldom granted to any chapel, when the mother-church was so near.

St. Peter's church stood at the east end of the town, adjoining to the garden walls of Richard Dashwood, Esq.; the wall of flint, wherewith the churchyard was enclosed may still be observed, and the steeple of the church, (which is said to have been accidentally burnt in the reign of Queen Elizabeth,) was standing about 50 years past. It was appropriated (as has been observed) to the priory of Bokenham, and served by a stipendiary curate. In the reign of Edward I. it was valued at 8 marks; there was a manse, with 24 acres belonging to it, synodals 18d. Peter-pence 6d. procurations 6s. 8d.

William Lause served the cure in the 20th of Edward IV. and had for his yearly stipend 6l. 6s. 8d.; and William Ingham served it, in the 21st of the said King, for 5l. 13s. 4d. The pious prior and convent, by ejecting Lause, saved 13s. 4d. per annum, and set a glorious example to all impropriators.

In 1506, Robert Smith of Cley by Swaffham bequeaths his body by will, to be buried in this church, at his father's feet; and, "I will have all the Church of St. Peter pathed at my Cost, with the Stone I have bought; except where I shall be buried, for there I will have a Marble-stone, like my Fathers: I will have my Executors set a Stone-Cross, upon the Hill between Lyn, and Cley, and another in the Ling, at South Pickenham-Gate. I give to the Prior Thomas Catfield, and the Convent of the Holy Trinity at Ingham, 12 Acres and an half of Land with a Foldgate, and an half Acre in Cley, which I purchased of Thomas Glover, for a 100 Years; for to keep a Mynde-Day, for the Soules of my Fader and Moder, and Me, and my Wife, in the Vigil of St. Peter in chayne, in St. Peter's church, at Cley; the Priest shall have for saying Exequias 4d. and a Mass Penny on the Morrow to be offered, the Ringers in Time of saying Exequias 4d. And at an 100 Years End, the Land to be sold, and Plate to be bought to be kept as a Treasure, and used in perpetual Memory of Me and my Friends, among the Brodern and Sisters of the said House."

On the 8th of January, in the 36th of Henry VIII. this rectory impropriate, with the appurtenances, divers messuages, lands, &c. in South Pickenham, lately in the tenure of John Dusgate, were granted by the King to George Heaton, and William Toker, and soon after, on the 10th of February, in the said Year, the King gave license to Heaton, &c. to alienate them to Sir Edmund Bedingfield, and his descendant Sir Henry Bedingfield, possesses the rectory at this day.

In these churches were several gilds, that of St. Peter, in this church, to which 9 acres and half of freehold-land belonged, as appears by the old Field Book.

The gild of All-Saints, in the church of that name, to this 9 acres of freehold land, and 9 acres of copyhold, belonged; in this church, as I take it, was also the gild of our Lady; to this there was one acre of free land given; and Alexander Codling of CressinghamMagna, by his will dated the 10th May, 1465, gives legacies to the gilds of Corpus Christi, and that of St. Mary of Cley.

Town Lands.

Land in Oxburgh, given by the reverend Mr. Yorker, rector of Cley All-Saints, let for 3l. per annum; the profits of this every sixth year belongs to Oxburgh.


In King Edward the Confessor's time, Harold, who was afterwards King of England, was lord of this town; which on the Conquest was given by the Conqueror to one of his lords and followers, Ralph de Tony, and at the survey he held it, and had 32 villeins, 11 bordsmen, and 4 carucates of land in demean, and 10 amongst the men, pannage for 1000 hogs, 20 acres of meadow, a mill, and a saltpit, when he entered on it, there were 4 beasts for work, and 19 young cattle, or stock, 100 hogs, 105 sheep, and 80 goats; one church, endowed with 36 acres, valued at 36d. and 5 socmen who held 5 carucates. It was in length one mile, and an half mile in breadth, and paid 9d. gelt, when the hundred was taxed at 20s.

This Ralph de Tony was with the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings, and for his services had the grant of this lordship, and many others in this county, &c.: he was son of Robert de Tony, a great Norman baron, who was standard-bearer of Normandy.

In the reign of Henry III. we find it in the same family; Robert de Tony held it of the King, but by what services the jury know not; and in the 48th of the said king, Roger de Tony died seized of it, and of Sparham, a member of it, Godwick, Steer-Hall, in CressinghamMagna, Cressingham-Parva, and Wortham, or Wretham.

In the 15th of Edward I. Ralph de Tony, lord, claimed before the itinerant judges at Norwich, Solomon de Rochester, Richard de Boyland, Robert Fulk, Mr. Thomas de Sadington, Walter de Stirchelegh, and Walter de Hopton, free warren, view of frankpledge, assise of bread and beer, gallows, weyf, &c. here; and he occurs lord, in the 34th of the said King, Clarisia being his lady.

In the 3d of Edward II. Robert de Tony, who married Maud, daughter of Malisius, Count of Strathern, in Scotland, was lord; and the said lady, in the 9th of that king, then a widow, held the same; and by Alice, heir and sister of the said Robert, who married first, Thomas Leibourne, and after, Guy de Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, it became vested in the Warwick family; and accordingly, in the 34th of Edward III. Sir Guy de Beauchamp, eldest son of Thomas Earl of Warwick, died possessed of it, and Cressingham-Parva, with the advowsons of the abbeys of Shouldham and Westacre, and the church of Necton; the Lady Philippa, his wife, a daughter Catherine, aged 7 years, and Elizabeth, aged 1 year, surviving him.

From this family it descended, in the reign of Henry VI. to the Neviles Earls of Warwick, and was in the 3d of Henry VII. released by Anne Countess of Warwick, to that King, and remained in the Crown till it was granted on the 27th of June, in the 2d and 3d of Philip, and Mary, as is expressed in the patent, to her beloved and faithful counsellor, Sir Henry Bedingfeld of Oxburgh, being parcel of the possessions called Warwick Lands, with the wood called Necton Wood, and Park, the manor of Westacre, in Grimston, and Congham, the manor of Hillington, called the Abbot's manor, the manor of Uphall, alias Ashill, Collards and Games, with the advowson of the church of Ashill, in consideration of his surrendering a pension of 100l. per annum, granted him by the said Queen for life, for his services at Framlingham, in the late rebellion, and also in exchange for the manors of Wald Newton, and Baynton, in Yorkshire, granted as above: in this family it continued, till it was sold to Henry Eyre, Esq. of Bures-Hall in Hale, whose brother, Dr, Eyre, had it; but it now belongs to Daniel Collier of Wroxham, Esq.

Sparham-Hall, Cocket's, alias Corbet's, and Churchman's[edit]

Sparham-Hall lordship was a part granted from the capital manor of Necton, by Roger de Tony, father of Ralph, to Roger de Clifford, who gave it to Henry de Burnhill or Burwell, and after the death of the said Henry, it returned to Roger aforesaid, who sold it to John Le Bretun, who held it in the 3d of Edward I.; and in the last year of that King a fine was levied between Simon le Breton, querent, and the said John, who settled the same on Simon in tail, remainder to Edmund, brother of Simon, after to Nicholas, remainder to the right heir of John; and in the 9th of Edward II. the aforesaid Edmund was lord.

In the 20th of Edward III. Thomas Breton held Sparham by the 40th part of a knight's fee, of the heirs of Roger de Clifford, and Roger, of Guy de Beauchamp, and Guy, of the King.

In the 5th of Richard II. a fine was levied between Ralph Churchman of Neketon, and Margaret his wife, and Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Thomas Breton, of Essex, Esq. who conveyed this manor, with 16s. 2d. rent in Shingham, Bodney, Holm Hale, &c. to Ralph; but in the 3d of Henry IV. it was held by Richard Thwyte.

In the beginning of King Edward the Fourth's reign, Sir Thomas Tudenham died seized of it, and Margaret his sister was found to be his heir,

After this, it was possessed by the Cockets, and in the 1st of Edward I. a fine was levied between George Cocket, Gent. querent, and Anthony Cocket, defendant, of this manor, 20 messuages, and lands, in Sparham, Necton, Fransham, Dunham, Hale, Shingham, and Bodney. The Cockets held also another manor here, which took its name from them, and was probably a part of that of Sparham, as they both, from this time, were held by the same lord; the first mention I find of this family is in the 34th of Henry VIII. when John Conway, Esq. on the 5th of September, granted to Ann Cocket, widow of Edward Cocket, Esq. one close called Birds, 7 acres of land, the liberty of a faldcourse, with the appurtenances belonging. In 1571, George Cocket was lord of Sparham-Hall, and Cockets; on the 15th of December 1621, Osbert Prat, junior, Gent. held his first court as lord; but in the year 1633, Henry Beke purchased it of Prat, William Beke and Jeremy Beke were after lords: and Anne, widow of Jeremy, held them in 1657. In 1682, Roger West, Esq. of Mersworth in Bucks, enjoyed it as heir at law to the Bekes; and in 1700, Edmund Miller, serjeant at law, purchased it of West, who dying in 1730, left it to Richard Hassell, Esq. the present lord.

To this lordship belonged a free chapel called Sparham chapel, which was endowed with the tithes of the woods of the manors of Neketon and Sparham, and of the money made of the sale of them, the whole offerings of the manor of Sparham, two parts of all the tithes both real and prædial of the demeans of the manors of Necton, and Sparham, and of 552 acres, and one rood of other lands, two parts of all the small tithes of the aforesaid manors, and of all beasts, cattle, and living things whatsoever, belonging to the lords of those manors; which endowment was first made and settled by Sir Roger de Tony, who founded this chapel, which was after given by Ralf, his son, to his monastery at Westacre, to which it was wholly appropriated, and they served it by one of their own monks, till the dissolution of that monastery, when the chapel was entirely demolished, and all its revenues granted by King Henry VIII. together with the patronage of the rectory of Necton, and advowson of the vicarage thereto belonging, 1st December, 1546, to Robert Hogan, Esq. and his heirs, in which family they continued, till they were purchased by Sir Julius Cæsar, Knt. master of the rolls in 1618, and were after owned by his lady, Dame Anne-Adelmare CÆsar, who left them to Sir Henry Hungate, Knt. her son and heir; and he, in 1620, sold them to Philip Gerard of Grey's Inn, Esq. and William Gerard, and their heirs; and in 1630, Philip Gerard, Esq. and William Gerard, presented John Gerard to the rectory; who in 1635 had the advowson and impropriation conveyed by Philip and William, to him and his heirs; and he in 1639, conveyed them to Thomas Gerard, of Staple Inn, Esq. his brother, who in 1650, passed them to Thomas Thorowgood, clerk, rector of Great Cressingham, and his son Thomas sold them to John Thorowgood of Ditchingham, who in 1677 settled them on Mary, his intended wife; Thomas Knights, and William Wincop, being her trustees; in 1715, Mr. Thorowgood, the son, settled them on William Maggs, and William Reynolds, in trust for Phillippa his wife, with remainder to John Thorowgood; and in 1717, Mary Thorowgood, the mother, Mr. Thorowgood, the son, and Phillippa, his wife, and their trustees, conveyed them to

John Rolf, clerk; and in 1719, Mary Thorowgood, the mother, John Thorowgood, the son, and Priscilla his wife, sold it to Rolf and his heirs, and the said John Rolf sold it to

Mr. Benjamin Young, attorney at law in Swaffham; and at his death, Mrs. Mary Young, widow, the present owner, had them for life, they being settled on Mr. William Young of Caius college, her second son, and his heirs.

This impropriation being a lay fee, was, ever since the Dissolution, rented by the rectors, as it now is, there being paid 35l. per annum to the patron for it; and before the Reformation, the rectors rented it at 40s. per annum, paid to the Prior of Westacre.

Richard, janitor of the monks of Acre, gave by deed to the monks there; Gurvant, his villein, of Neketun, in the presence of Stephen, parson of Neketun, Roger le Strange, &c.; and Ralph, and Richard, sons of Humphrey de Neketon, confirmed the said grant, in the presence of Master Alexander de Walpol, and others, by deed sans date.

Ricolda, daughter of Isabel de Neketon, with the consent of Richard, her son and heir, gave to the monks of Castleacre, 4 acres and one rood of land here, part of Marketsgate, and half an acre in Estcroft.

The tenths of this town, with Sparham, were 8l. 18s. Deductions 40s. Remainder 6l. 18s.

Humphrey Necton, bred amongst the Carmes at Norwich, flourished in 1259, a great writer, was born in this town, he was created D. D. in 1259, which faculty he openly professed, by reading lectures, &c. long after he resided among the friars of his own order at Cambridge, and as some say, was prior of that house, and chaplain to William de Luda Bishop of Ely; but in his latter days, he retired to his own convent at Norwich, in the church of which he was buried in 1303.

The church of Necton is dedicated to All-Saints, and is a beautiful and elegant structure; it consists of a nave, a north and a south isle of flint, &c. covered with lead; the roof of the nave is of oak, curiously wrought and embellished with painting; here are angels with their wings expanded, supporting the principals; and under them on pedestals stand the 12 Apostles, carved out in oak above 4 feet in length, painted and gilt with gold, with the instruments of their martyrdom in their hands: on the north side of the nave stand six, with the effigies of our Saviour, an orb and a cross in his hand, in the midst, St. Peter, standing next to him on his right hand; on the south side stand the other six, with the Virgin Mary in the midst, St. John the Evangelist standing next to her, on her right hand: and below these Apostles, on pedestals, are several bishops to complete the work: it may not be improper to observe on this station of St. John, that the Romish church maintain him to have been our Lady's confessor, on which account, no doubt, he is placed so near her, and at the same time assert that she was without all original sin, and also without sin actual or mortal; but this has bred such confusions between the Franciscans and Dominicans, that the Pope, with all his infallibility, dare not determine.

At the west end of the nave stands a large and lofty square tower of flint, coped and embattled with free stone, in which is a ring of five good bells.

In the porch of this church, which is leaded, about 1504, was buried Sir Jeffery Norman, parson of Dunham; and in 1506, Robert Bird, of Sparham in Nekton by the holy water stopp; he left gifts to the Holimass gild, St. John Baptist gild, and our Lady gild here.

At the west end of the church lie several gravestones; one, in memory of Thomas Handcock, Gent. who died December 9, 1719, aged 66. Another in memory of John Mason, of Necton, Gent. who died 19th November 1712, in the 65 year of his age. A third in memory of Frances, wife of John Mason of Necton, Gent. who died November 2, 1720, in the 67th year of her age. A fourth in memory of Elizabeth, daughter of John and Frances Mason, who died March 17, 1702, in the 8th year of her age.

At the lower end of the nave is a stone in memory of Mr. Nicholas Tinkler of Bittering, but late of Necton, who died 13th March, 1711, in the 45th year of his age. Adjoining, one in memory of Edward, son of Edward Rust, and Ann his wife, who died April 7, 1708, aged 9 weeks. Another in memory of Richard Mason, Esq. who died December 15, 1722, in the 37th year of his age. Near to this, one in memory of John Mason, son of Richard Mason, and Frances his wife, who died January 4, 1714. One with

Mason, arg. a fess, and in chief two lions heads couped azure,

Bearing Pell, in an escutcheon of pretence, and impaling Ermine Pell, on a canton azure, a pelican vulning herself, or. In memory of Richard Mason, Esq. who died 4th July, 1722, Ætatis suæ 39.

The pulpit is of oak handsomely carved and ornamented, and the desk stands on a gravestone of gray marble, having a portraiture and a plate of brass inscribed, but so covered as not to be legible: in the cross passage, near the south isle, lies a gray marble, half covered with the adjoining seats; on this are the portraitures of a man and his wife in brass, and a plate thus inscribed,

Orate pro animabus Roberti Goodwyn, et Sabine Uxoris eius, que quidem Sabina obiit rv, Die Aprilis Ano Dni. Mocccccxxxii, quorum animabus propitietur Deus.

Under this are two brass plates, on that on the right hand is the portraiture of seven sons, and on that on the left of three daughters kneeling.

In the east window of the south isle, Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, gul. a fess between six cross crosslets or.

Tony, arg. a maunch gul.

Fitz-Robert, or, two chevrons gul. Ralph and John Fitz-Robert were barons in King John's time; before this window is an ascent to the Holy Trinity altar.

On the pavement in the north isle, just behind the pulpit, lies a gray marble with the portraiture of a woman in brass, and on a plate,

Orate pro anima Ethelburge quondam filie Roberti Goodwyn que obiit rv die Mensis Julii Ano Dni. Mvrrvii cuius anime pro picietur Deus Amen.

At the upper end of the said isle, lies a gray marble with the portraiture of a woman in brass, in a very antique dress, with long sleeves hanging down, her hands erect, and conjoined; and on a plate,

La Feme William de Wynston qe moroust le Jour de Innocens en l'Ann de Grace M ccclrrv gist icy, Dieu de sa ame eit Mercy.

At the end of this north isle is a neat screen which separates it from a chapel, that lies further on the north side of the chancel: here on the pavement lie several gravestones, with their brasses all reaved; near the east end, is one with the portraiture of a woman in brass, and on a plate,

Here under lieth Mary Rust Widow, Daughter of Robert Goodwyn, Gent. sometime the Wife of John Bacon, Gent and after the Wife of Robert Rust, which John, died in the Year of our Lord 1528, and the said Robert Rust, died 1558, and the said Mary died in the Year 1596. There has been a Shield, but that is gone. This was called Tony's, or St. Catharine's Chapel.

On the pavement of the chancel, on a gray marble, is the portraiture of a man in brass, and on a plate,

Orate pro anima Johannis Bacon, Generosi qui obiit xx die Mensis Julii Ano Dni. Movxxviii. cujus anime propitietur Deus.

Before the rails of the communion table lies a very large gray marble, and thereon is a very curious portraiture of a lady in brass, in a supplicant posture, at her full length; at her feet are two dogs couchant, and over her head the arms of Beauchamp, with a label of three points arg. impaling gules, seven muscles or, Lord Ferrers of Groby: on the right side of this is a shield with Beauchamp, and on her left another of Ferrers, and on a rim of brass that runs round the stone, this French inscription,

Phelippe de Beauchampe qe fuit la lemme Mounst' Buy de Marrempke gist ici Dieu de S' Alme eit Mercy qe moroust le n Tohr D' just I' An de Grace Mcclrriii en fine creaunce et bone memorie manance en la glorie Amen.

This Lady Philippa was the daughter of Henry Lord Ferrers of Groby, and married Guy de Beauchamp, eldest son to Thomas Earl of Warwick; he was a stout and valiant soldier, and received the honour of knighthood, 29th of Edward III. and died at Vendosme in France, 33d of Edward III. Dugdale observes, that he left two daughters, Catharine and Margaret, nuns at Shouldham in Norfolk, and appointed by his last will, dated 26th September, in the said year, that this church of Necton should be appropriated to the said monastery, for the maintenance of his two daughters during their lives, and from and after their decease, that the house of Shouldham should be obliged to find a priest to celebrate divine service daily, for the souls of his father and mother, his own and wife's, his said two daughters, and of all the faithful departed.

It is certain this will never took effect, and that this church was never appropriated to the abbey; and at his death, as it is above observed, his eldest daughter was but 7 years, and his other aged but one year, so not capable of receiving the veil.

By the chancel door is a little stone in memory of John, son of Francis and Elizabeth Rivans, who died June 6, 1727, aged one year.

On the north side of the communion rails, is a marble gravestone, thus inscribed,

Depositum Edmundi Bird, A.M. hujus Parochiæ Vicarii obijt 19 Julij 1708, Ætat. 52. Hic jacet Sara Uxor Edmundi Bird, obijt 15th November, Ano Dni. 1721, Ætat 68. Qualis erat supremus indicabit Dies.

Within the rails on a stone,

Here lieth the Body of Easter, late Wife of John Rolf Clerk, by whom she had 2 Daughters Mary and Ann-Phillis, which said Easter Rolf, exchang'd this Life for a better the 27th Day of March, in the Year of our Lord 1714, and of her Age the Twenty-second.

In the great east window are the arms of Tony.

In the churchyard, south of the church, is an ancient tomb raised with freestone, and on that lies a thick cover of stone, in the form of a coffin, with the effigies of a lady in an antique dress carved thereon, without any shield or inscription: that this is in memory of some lady of quality is certain from her dress and habit; the inhabitants here have by tradition an account that a certain lady in ancient days going a pilgrimage to the Lady of Walsingham, died in this parish, and desired to be buried here; leaving them a considerable estate, which they enjoy at this day.

The Beauchamps Earls of Warwick being lords of the town, and patrons of the church, which, as I imagine, was built also by one of that family, and a lady of that family lying in the chancel; it is highly probable, that this tomb here was also erected to the memory of some lady of that family: Dugdale, in his View of Warwicksh. p. 330 acquaints us, that the Lady Isabell, Countess Dowager of Warwick, by her will, dated 1439, gave her tablet with the image of our lady, having a glass for it, to be offered to our Lady of Walsingham, as also her gown with wide sleeves, and a tabernacle of silver, like in the timbre to that of our lady of Caversham. I shall only add, that the dress and habit of the lady here much resembles this age, and this lady might have her jointure and die here, as the Lady Philippa aforementioned did.

In the reign of Edward I. Ralph de Thony was patron; the rector held 28 acres of land without a manse, and the vicar had a manse without any land; the rectory was valued at 26 marks, and the vicarage was taxed at 5 marks, Peter-pence 10d. ob.


Stephen, rector about the reign of Henry II. or III.

  • 1315, Ralp de Fuldone. Maud de Tony. Called also Ralph de Thirne.
  • 1355, Alban Atte-Fen, res. Guy Earl of Warwick. He was afterwards rector of Bodyngton, in the diocese of York.
  • 1371, John Semere de Carlton. The Lady Philippa de Beauchamp.
  • 1384, John Eyr, res. The King.
  • 1388, Thomas de Wroxham. Thomas Earl of Warwick. He was rector of Aleby in Norfolk, and exchanged with Eyr. By his will, dated on St. Alphage the Bishop, 1422, he desires to be buried in the monastery of Sybton in Suffolk, near to his parents.
  • 1422, Nicholas Hatheway, on the death of Wroxham, res. Rich. Earl of Warwick.
  • 1427, John Verney. John Throgmorton, Robert Andrews, and John Vaumpage, feoffees and attorneys general to Richard Earl of Warwick. He was rector of Coytyff, in Landaff diocese, and exchanged with Hatheway,
  • 1427, William Berskwell, res. John Verney, clerk, John Throgmorton, &c.
  • 1439, John Smyth. Richard Earl of Warwick. He held the church of Houghton Magna, near Northampton, and exchanged with Berkeswell.
  • William Hill, died rector.
  • 1459, Michael Clements. Thomas Huggeford, Nicholas Rody, and William Berkswell, feoffees, &c. to Richard Earl of Warwick.
  • Michael, a friar-preacher, died rector.
  • 1477, Thomas Typpe. Richard Duke of Gloucester,
  • 1485, Thomas Hylling, collated by lapse, ob.
  • 1507, Thomas Neche died rector. The King, the first fruits then were 26 marks.
  • 1550, Anthony Hogan. Bridgett Calybut, wife of John Calibut, Esq. and relict of Robert Hogan, Esq.
  • 1550, Gabriel Griffin.
  • John Barnes, rector, ob.
  • 1576, William Randall. Anthony Hogan, Esq.
  • William Pritherigge, LL. D. he resigned.
  • 1580, Henry Crooke, A. M. Anthony Hogan, Esq.
  • 1587, Anthony Hogan, rector. Henry Hogan, Esq.
  • 1630, John Gerard, ob. Philip Gerard, Esq. and William Gerard, united to the vicarage.
  • 1644, Nicholas Rust. Thomas Gerard, Gent.
  • John Brockel, res.
  • 1661, Ralph Outlaw, A. M. Tho. Thorowgood, rector of Cressingham Magna.
  • 1662, John Steer, A. M. Sir Edw. Barkham, Sir Tho. Wodehouse, and Edward Chamberlain, Esq.
  • 1693, William Delke. The King by lapse; on Delke's death, in
  • 1718, Mr. John Rolf resigned the vicarage, which was then perpetually consolidated to the rectory, and then Mr. Hen. Wastell, A. M. his father-in-law, presented him, and he obtained a union to the rectory of Holme-Hale; he died January 6, 1748, and lies interred in the chancel. And in June,
  • 1749, The Rev. Mr. Thomas Patrick Young, the present rector and vicar, was instituted at the presentation of Mrs. Mary Young, of Swaffham, widow, and now holds this consolidated rectory and vicarage, united to Holm-Hale.

To this vicarage belong a good glebe and house, adjoining to the east part of the churchyard; the rector paid no annual synodals nor procurations, but visitatorial procurations only, viz. 2s. 1d. the vicar answering the whole, viz. 1s. 9d. annual synodals, and 7s. 7d. ob. archdeacons procurations, and 2s. qr. visitatorial procurations.

The rectory is undischarged, and so incapable of augmentation, it standing thus in the King's Books; it pays first fruits and yearly tenths:

8l. 6s. 8d. Necton alias Neighton rectory, 16s. 8d. yearly tenths.

The vicarage is discharged of first-fruits and tenths, and stands thus:

8l. 1s. 8d. Necton alias Neighton vicarage, 45l. clear yearly value.

But they are now cansolidated, as is before observed, and Sparham chapel, being consolidated to the vicarage long since, occurs not in the King's Books.


  • 1300, Robert Page, of Saham Tony, presented by Sir Robert Tony.
  • 1328, Robert Hubert, of Dunham Parva: Maud de Tony.
  • 1348, William de Sutton. Thomas Beauchamp Earl of Warwick. One of this name was rector of Colveston, about this time. See vol. ii. p. 231.
  • 1349, John Gayte. Thomas Earl of Warwick.
  • John de Douchirch. See vol. ii. p. 387.
  • 1352, Hugh Skoner. Tho. Earl of Warwick. He was rector of Bowthorp in Norfolk, and exchanged with Dovehyth.
  • 1356, William Leighton. Sir Guy de Warwick. He was rector of Wermele.
  • 1359, William Walvyne. He was rector of Becham-Well St. John, in Norfolk, and exchanged with Leighton. Ditto.
  • 1368, John Galt. Philippa, relict of Sir Guy, &c. He was vicar of East Tudenham, and exchanged with Walwyne.
  • 1380, John Fauconer. The Lady Philippa, &c. First fruits 5 marks.
  • 1381, John Seymer, res. Ditto.
  • 1409, John Atte Dam of Oxburgh. Richard Earl of Warwick.
  • 1419, Robert Smith. John Baysham, rector of Olney, and John Throgmorton, Esq. attorneys to Richard Earl of Warwick.
  • 1441, Thomas Bolton, res.
  • 1446, John Wright. Tho. Huggeford, Nich. Rody, and Wil. Berkswell, chaplain, feoffees of the manor of Necton, for Rich. Earl of Warwick. He was rector of Brinkley in Cambridgeshire, and exchanged with Bolton.
  • 1448, Robert Curteys, on the resignation of Wright. Tho. Huggerford, &c.
  • 1459, Robert Mayster, on the resignation of Curteys. Ditto. He was rector of Beacham-Well, All-Saints, and exchanged with Curteys.
  • 1461, Robert Gorham, on the death of Mayster. Tho. Huggeford, &c. William Wryght, vicar, by his will, in 1499, desires to be buried in the chancel, was a benefactor to St. Mary, All-Saints and St. John Baptist gilds.
  • William Beer occurs in
  • 1504; there were at that time in this church, the gilds of our Saviour, the Holy Trinity, All-Saints, St. John Baptist and St. Mary; also the altar of St. Mary, and that of the Holy Trinity, lights of St. Mary, the Youngmen's light, &c.
  • 1507, Richard Goodwyn, on the death of the last vicar. Thomas Neche, rector of Necton; the patronage of the vicarage, being now perpetually vested in the rector, for the time being.
  • 1546, Thomas Dysse, S. T. P. on the death of Goodwyn, res. Tho. Neche, rector.
  • 1555, Gabriel Griffin. Edmund Goodwyn, farmour of the rectory, under Hogan.
  • 1557, Thomas Hobbes, ob. Ditto.
  • 1559, Thomas Briggs, res. Mary Rust, hac vice, by grant of Anthony Hogan, rector.
  • 1563, John Barnes. Ditto.
  • 1576, William Randal. Anthony Hogan.
  • 1580, Henry Croke, A. M. Ditto.
  • John Gerard, vicar, united to the rectory.
  • 1631, Edmund Agborough, A. B. The Bishop by lapse. The rector being the true patron.
  • 1661, Ralph Outlaw, A.M. on the resignation of Agborough. Tho. Thorowgood, B.D. rector of Cressingham-Magna, by grant from Ralph Outlaw, rector here, united to the rectory.
  • 1684, Edmund Bird, A. M. on the cession of Outlaw. John Thorowgood, M. D. by grant from the rector.
  • July 31, 1708, John Rolf, A. B. on the death of Bird, by John Thorowgood, M. D. united to Hale; he resigned it in 1718, and it was consolidated to the rectory.

On the north side of the chancel of this church, in 1326, a chapel was founded by the Lady Maud, relict of Sir Robert Tony, son of Sir Ralph de Tony, and dedicated to St. Mary and St. Catherine, for a chantry priest to officiate there, and to pray daily for the soul of her husband, herself, and of her father and mother; of Malisius Earl of Stratherne and Agnes his wife, and all their parents; and to this end, she gave her manor at Grimeston, which she purchased of William Sherman of Tilney, with its appurtenances, valued at 6 marks per annum, to the convent of Cokesford in Norfolk; she also gave to the said convent, a messuage, and 12 acres of land in Neketon, and the chantry priest, who was to be a secular, was to be presented by the prior and convent; he had a mansion-house assigned him in the said town, and was enjoined residence; he had a cup weighing 20s. to officiate with, and a missale then given him by John Prior of Cokesford. This chantry, had also 7 acres and 3 roods of land belonging to it, lying in Swaffham: the aforesaid chantry, with its endowment, &c. was confirmed by King Edward III. and by Rob. de Reppes, lord of the fee, and the aforesaid convent covenanted to find a chaplain to officiate in the chapel of St. Mary and St. Catherine, in Necton, and to pay him a stipend of 6 marks per annum; this is the chapel at the east end of the north isle, which is still remaining.

Chantry priests or chaplains, all presented by the Priors of Cokesford, and instituted by the Bishops of Norwich.

  • 1326, Nicholas de Bainham; he resigned to Ralph Nauthe in 1327. In 1331, Rich. de Saham. 1371, Will. Elstre. Will. Burwell, 1532. John Marshall, on the dismission of Burwell, collated by the Bishop by lapse, who dispensed with Marshall's residence three months in every year, on account of the poverty of the place.
  • Ambrose Irbie, the last chantry priest, on the dissolution of it, had a pension of 3l. 19s. 4d. per annum which he enjoyed in 1553.

I find one John Tudenham, chantry priest of the chantry of Curteys in the church of Necton, on its dissolution, to have a pension of 6l. per annum; but I question whether Necton there mentioned is not Nacton in Suffolk. This parish has an estate belonging to it, let at 65l. per annum, and one let for 5l. 10s. per annum, and several almhouses near the church, the profits of which are principally to repair and adorn the parish church, and what annually remains overplus, to be applied towards the maintenance of the poor, highways, and other common benefits of the parish.


This township is now reduced to a single farm-house, which stands south of a little rivulet, which divides the hundred of South Greenhoc from that of Clackclose; it lies to the west of Shingham, and north of Oxburgh. In Domesday Book it is wrote Caldanchota, and Caldechota, from [Cald] a cold, and [Cott], a village or house; at which time here were two manors, one held by Rainald son of Ivo, which a freeman held in the Confessor's time; the other was held by Ralph De Toenio, or Tony, and was styled a berwic, viz. a manor depending on a superiour one, as this did then on Necton, the capital manor of the Lord Tony, in this neighbourhood; the township was then half a mile in length, and 4 furlongs in breadth, and paid 5d. geld.

The first account that we find of this village, after the Conquest, is in the 11th of King John, when it seems to be under one lord, and a fine was levied between Hugh de St. Philibert, petitioner, who held this and several other lordships of the Earl of Clare, (to which Earls the lands of Rainald son of Ivo descended,) and Will. de Ware, and Hugh de Langwade, tenants, of a moiety of a mill here. Under the St. Philiberts, the Caldecotes (who took their name from the town) held a lordship here, of which family was Osbert de Caldecote, who lived in the reign of King Stephen, and Thurgis de Caldecote, who lived in the time of King John; also Sir Henry de Caldecote, who is on the roll with several other Norfolk knights, who served King Edward I. in his wars against the Scots; and bare party per pale or and azure, on a chief gules, three leopards faces of the first: King Henry III. by his writ, dated 5th October, in his 53d year, commanded Richard de Ewell and Hugh de Tower, officers of his wardrobe, that they cause to be provided for Henry Caldecote, (whom the said King, on the Feast of St. Edward, will honour with the order of knighthood, those things which belong to his new knighthood, as the King hath accustomed to find to other new knights.

In the 1st of Edward I. a fine was levied to the uses of Isabel daughter of Margery, and Margaret her sister, by Peter de Caldecote; and in the 16th of Edward I. William son of Eudo de Caldecote, chaplain, grants to Thomas son of Stephen de Ware, several rents, services and homages, held of him and his ancestors here, and in Shingham and Cley, the scutages, wards, reliefs, eschaets, &c. to be held of the capital lords, paying for them to Hugh St. Philibert, Knt. the services due; so that the whole town seems to be in him. And in the 3d of Edward III. Stephen son of Thomas de Ware, settled on John Bardolf of Spikesworth, and Richard Holdych of Didlington in trust, his capital messuage here, with 7 others, and 20 acres of land and pasture, the moiety of a watermill, and 44s. rent in Caldecote, Oxburgh, Shingham, and Cley; and about the same time Margery daughter of Thomas de Ware granted to Thomas, son of Christian de Caldecote, and Alice, (sister, as I conceive, of Margery,) all her lands, tenements, &c. which fell to her by heirship, in the villages and fields of Caldecote and Oxburgh, with all the homages, wards, reliefs, rents, eschaets, &c.

In the 9th of Edward III. Robert Durant of Takelstone, and Oliva his wife, grant to Richard Holdych aforesaid, his capital messuage here, and all other his right, in the third part of the manor and estate.

In the 31st of Edward III. John le Man held the third part of the manor of John de Denham, and John of the Earl of Clare, which Rich. Holdych, gave him and his heirs; John married, as I take it, a daughter and heir of Ware.

The Earls of Clare were the capital lords of this town, but in the 3d of Edward I. Humphry de Bohun, Earl of Hertford and Essex, held this town of the King in capite, by the service (as it is said) of the constableship of England, it being given to him on its forfeiture by Gilbert Earl of Clare; but on the marriage of the said Gilbert with Joan of Acres, the King's daughter, it was restored to him and his heirs; and in the 8th of Edward II. Robert Belet held one fee, &c. in Caldecote, Bechamwell, Fordham, Upwell, Outwell, Wyrham, Crimplesham, &c. of the honour of Clare, and Ralph Earl of Monthermer, presented to this church in 1304, as lord of the town, being then the husband of Joan of Acres, late wife to Gilbert Earl of Clare; after this the De Spencers were the capital lords; Hugh de Spencer (and as some say Earl of Gloucester) marrying Elianor, eldest sister and coheir of the aforesaid Gilbert; 10th Richard II. Richard Holdich conveyed a third part to William Ode, and Alice his wife, probably a Ware: In the 6th of Edward III. a fine was levied between Osbert de Boyton, querent, Stephen de Ware, and Alice his wife, defendants, whereby the third part of the manor and estate was conveyed to Boyton.

In the 13th of Richard II. William Ode, who married Matild, daughter and heir of John Man, held the third part of this manor, and in this family it continued till about the end of the reign of King Henry VI. when it was conveyed to Richard Sparwe, Gent. of Oxburgh, who in the year 1482, settled it on a chantry, which he then founded in the church of Oxburgh, of which more may be seen under Oxburgh.

In the 10th of Henry IV. Thomas Fykes, &c. held a court here, as lords of the other parts of this town; in the 4th of Henry V. Sir William Calthorp held his first court. In the 16th of Henry VI. a fine was levied between Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knt. &c. querents, Hugh Methwold, and Alice his wife, defendants, of two parts of this manor, conveyed to Sir Thomas, who died seized thereof in 1461, without issue; and Margaret, his sister and heir, being married to Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. brought it into that family, and in the 13th of Henry VII. Sir Edmund Bedingfeld, Knt. of the Bath, grandson of the aforesaid Margaret, was found to have the lordship, whose immediate heir and descendant, Sir Henry Bedingfield, Bart. of Oxburgh, is the present lord.

The temporalities of the Prior of Westacre in this town in 1428, were taxedd at 3s. 4d. Those of the Abbot of West Derham, with the priory of Winwaloy, at 4s. 6d. ob.

The Lete of this town, with that of Shingham, is in the lord of the hundred, the lete-fee per annum 6d.

In the 21st of Edward IV. Richard Holdych, senior, of Didlyngton, quit claimed to Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. William Grey, Esq. &c. all his right in this manor, which was a third part that came by Dorant; and in the said year, Thomas Kypping, rector of Narburgh, enfeoffed John Ratcliff Lord Fitz-Walter, and Thomas Heveningham, Esq. in all the messuages, lands, tenements, rents, services, and a fald course here, and in Oxburgh and Shingham, which he had lately of Thomas Lovel, Esq. William Grey, Esq of the gift and grant of Henry Whiston, son and heir of Thomas Whiston, late of Caldecote: this seems to be the third part which was held by Fykes, &c. which soon after came to the Bedingfelds also, and so they were lords of the whole town.

The church, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, hath been in ruins above a century past; many of the walls are still standing; the site of it is on an hill on the north side, and near to the yards of the manor, or farm-house; it was a single building of flint, chalk, &c. in length about 27 feet, and 17 in breadth, with a north and a south door and two stone pedestals or perks for images; are still to be seen by the said doors; and against the east wall or gable, are two arches or niches, for the said purpose; to this body there was anciently a chancel annexed, as appears from the foundation walls, about 20 feet in length, and 13 in breadth; the great decay of this and other churches in Norfolk is owing to the materials, which are for the most part small pebbles, flint-stones, and calk or chalk, to be found in plenty, in the fields and lands; the Romans, when they made use of such small stones, used to have a layer of their brick, in the space of about a foot and an half, to press and bind them together, which method Virtruvius, the prince of architecture, recommends. Here was the gild of the Holy Trinity, as appears from the will of Richard Mark, chaplain of Barton Bendish, in 1420.


  • 1305, Roger Boydin. Ralph Earl of Monthermer.
  • 1329, Hugh de Crulle, resigned. Lord William la Zouch de Mortimer.
  • 1333, Richard de Clanefield. Ditto.
  • 1339, Thomas de Brecklesworth. Lord Hugh le de Spencer.
  • 1340, John de Hayton, resigned. Ditto.
  • 1342, John de Kendale. John de Alveton, and William de Osberton, trustees for the Lord Hugh le de Spencer, then in foreign parts.
  • 1349, John de Stoke. King Edward III. in the minority of Hugh Lord le de Spencer.
  • 1359, Thomas de Waldeby. The Lord Edward le de Spencer. He was vicar of Stoke by Newark, and exchanged with John de Stoke.
  • 1396, John Stonham, resigned. The Lord Thomas le de Spencer.
  • 1423, Thomas Poye, resigned. Richard Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, and Lord de Spencer, capital lord of this town, by the marriage of Isabell, daughter and heir of Thomas Lord le de Sépncer and Earl of Gloucester.
  • 1424, Robert Baldezene, ob. Rich. Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, &c.
  • 1435, Richard Domesdaye; he was also rector of Fincham St. Michael. Ditto.
  • Thomas Kypping, rector here, held it united to the rectory of a portion in the church of Narburgh, and was also chantry priest at Oxburgh; by his will, in 1489, he left 20l. to the repair of this church.
  • 1497, Thomas Woderofe; he was also rector of Shingham, and a chantry priest at Oxburgh, and was there buried 17th May, 1540.
  • 1539, John Hewer, on the resignation of Woderofe, ob. The King.
  • 1551, William Shimpling, ob. He was a chantry priest at Oxburgh, and on the Dissolution of it, had a pension from the Crown in 1553, of 4l. 19s. 7d. per annum. The King.
  • 1558, Richard Carter, A. M. ob. King Philip and Queen Mary.
  • 1571, Martin Clipsham. The Queen.
  • 1583, William Strickland, A. B. The Queen. He was also rector of Melton St. Mary. (See vol. v. p. 14.) In his answer to the King's Queries in 1603, he observes that the church was then profaned, and had only a case standing, and one house in the parish.
  • 1611, William Walsham, alias Mason, A. M. resigned. The King.
  • 1612, Robert Burwood, A. B. The King.
  • Daniel Donne occurs rector in 1636, and was then vicar of Besthorp, ob.
  • 1646, Owen Thorneton, A. M. ob.

Mr. Claphamson of Hunworth, clerk, by virtue of a presentation (hac vice) from Sir Henry Bedingfeld.

  • 1688, John Meriton. Sir Henry Bedingfeld. He was rector of Boughton, and of Oxburgh.
  • 1717, The Reverend Mr. Henry Etough, the present rector. The Bishop of Norwich, by lapse; he was vicar of Eaton, and is now rector of Tharfield in Hertfordshire.

In Edward the First's time, the rector had a house and 30 acres of glebe; the rectory is valued in the King's Books at 3l. 1s. 10d. ob. and is discharged of tenths and first fruits; the old value was 5 marks, and the vill paid 20d. Peter-pence.

The rector receives from the lord of the manor 6l. 13s. 4d. per annum, and it being returned of that clear yearly value, it is capable of augmentation. It pays 18d. synodals, and 7s. 7d. ob. Archdeacon's procurations, and 9d. ob. visitatorial procurations to the Bishop.


In Domesday Book, occurs by the name of Godestuna, that is, a town seated by a good Ea, or water, a pretty rivulet running all along the north side of it, and not, as some have thought, Goderic's town, from Goderic the Sewer, lord of it by the Conqueror's gift. In the Confessor's time, Osgot held it freely; at the survey, Godric the King's Sewer or Steward; when it had 12 villeins, 16 borderers, &c. two carucates of land in demean, and five amongst the freemen belonged to this manor. There were also 10 freemen, whom the Conqueror gave to Ralph Earl of Norfolk, and afterwards to Godric; over two of these, Stigand Archbishop of Canterbury had the protection; there were amongst these 3 carucates: here was pannage for 20 swine, &c. belonging to the lordship, it was one mile in length, half a one in breadth, and paid 13d. gelt, valued in he Confessor's time at 50s. after at 100s. now at 7l.

It is probable that Godric held it only for life, as we find that King Henry II. gave it to Sir William Mountcheanor, the ancestor of the Lords de Monte Canisio, or Montchensy, as part of the King's ancient inheritance, and royal demeans. In the 34th of Henry III. Warine de Mountchensy being lord, would not permit the Sheriff's bailiff to enter his lands for view of frank-pledge, or to strain therein; this Warine was a baron of the realm, and bore for his arms, or, three escutcheons vary azure and arg. charged each with two bars gul. In the 14th of Edward I. William Lord Mountchensy, son and heir of Warine, had a patent for a weekly mercate here on Thursday; and in the following year the jury present this lordship to be held in capite by one knight's fee, and that it extended into Oxburgh, that the bailiff here appropriated the free warren beyond its bounds into Cley fields, that William Lord Montchensy claimed view of frankpledge, gallows, assise of bread and beer, free warren, a weekly Mercate on Thursday, and that it was given to the ancestor of William, by King Henry II. Dionisia, his only daughter and heir, succeeded him in this lordship; she married Hugh de Vere, a younger son of Robert Earl of Oxford, and dying in the 7th of Edward II. Audomare de Valentia, commonly called Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, son of William de Valentia and Joan his wife, sister of William Lord Mountchensy, inherited it; after his death, and that of Lady Mary his widow, who died sans issue, it descended to Isabel, 1st sister and coheir of the said Aymer, married to John Hastings Lord Abergavenny, and in this family it remained till after the death of John Hastings, the last Earl of Pembroke and Lord Abergavenny, when it came to Reginald Grey, Lord Grey of Ruthyn, his cousin and heir, who was lord in the beginning of King Henry the Fourth's reign. In this family, Lords of Ruthyn, and afterwards Earls of Kent, it was in the 20th of Henry VII. when George Grey Earl of Kent left it to his son and heir, Richard.

This Richard Earl of Kent is said to have wasted great part of his estate by gaming, &c so that in the 4th of King Henry VIII. this lordship was settled on Charles Somerset Lord Herbert, and Sir John Hussey, Knt. as feoffees of this Earl; and in the said year, it was conveyed by them, with 3005 acres of land, &c. to Sir William Capell, Knt.; and by an inquisition taken 8th of November, in the 7th of the said King, it was found that Sir William Capel, Knt. (late Lord Mayor of London) died seized of it, and Sir Gyles was his son and heir; and in this family it now remains, the Earl of Essex being lord.

The Lete is in the lord of the manor, and I find by the extent of the honour of Forncet, that it was held of that honour.

The Church is built of flint and boulder, dedicated to St. George; it consists of a nave or body, a south isle and a chancel, all covered with lead; the nave is in length about 52 feet, and in breadth, including the south isle, about 33 feet. In a window of the nave, at the upper end, are the remains of the arms of Grey, quartering Hastigns and Valence, and arg. a cross gules, St. George's arms, it being glazed most likely by the gild of that name, as appeared lately from a fragment of an inscription therein. At the west end of this nave stands a large but low four-square tower of flint, &c. with quoins and embattlements of freestone, in which are three modern bells. The south isle has been a chantry or chapel, belonging to St. George's Gild; there is an ascent of two steps, at the east end, and against a pillar, on the left hand, stands a large stone pedestal for its patron Saint: in the upper pannel of the east window is the bust of our Saviour, under that, Angels sounding the last trump, and the dead arising out of their graves, and adjoining to this isle is a porch covered with lead. The chancel is divided from the nave by a lofty screen, which has been well painted and gilt with gold, being carved and full of imagery work; on the pannels the 12 Apostles are painted with labels, also a cardinal, a bishop, &c. The length of the chancel is about 29 feet, the breadth about 20, and has 6 stalls at the west end, 3 on a side, where the rector, vicar, their capellani, or chaplains, and the chantry priests had their seats, they being obliged to join in the choir at the canonical hours, and to be obedient to the Rector or vicar, swearing obedience at their admission: and against the south wall, near the end, have been three seats of stone, one higher than the other.

It appears here were several gilds, and there were the images of St. Catherine, St. Mary, St. Nicholas, and their lights.

It was anciently a Rectory, the patronage going with the manor; in the reign of Edward I. William Lord Mountchensy was patron; it was valued at 30 marks, and the town paid Peter-pence 12d.

April 18, 1342, James de Creyke was instituted rector, being presented by Mary de St. Paul Countess of Pembroke. But

Soon after, on the 18th of October, 1343, it was appropriated to Denny abbey, in Cambridgeshire, being given thereto by the said Countess, who was third wife of Aymer Valence Earl of Pembroke, daughter of Guy Chastillon Earl of St. Paul in France, and Mary his wife, daughter of John the second Duke of Britany and Earl of Richmond, by his wife Beatrix, daughter of Henry III. King of England: she is said to be maid, wife, and widow in one day; Aymer being slain in a tournament on the wedding-day. On this appropriation a Vicarage was founded; the vicar had assigned him by Anthony, then Bishop of Norwich, 25 acres of glebe land, the 3d part of the mansionhouse of the rectory; the tithe of the corn-mills, the tithes of wool, lamb, the fishery, of flax, hemp, geese, chickens, pigeons, pigs, calves, &c. eggs, milk, and cheese; all small tithes and oblations, herbage, pasture, &c. and a pension of 5l per annum in money: seventy-three acres demean land of the rectory, all tithe-corn, annual rents, days works, and two parts of the mansion-house being excepted to the abbey; after this, in 1354, on the 10th of June, 10l. per annum was assigned to the Vicar, by William Bishop of Norwich, and no charges were to be laid on him but first-fruits.


April 17, 1343, William de Swaveseye had this Vicarage, and was presented by the convent of Denney, as were all the vicars to its dissolution: his paternal name was Aungier, called Swasey from the place of his birth; he resigned in

  • 1352, to Henry Basser, in exchange for South Lynn.
  • 1358, John Wyliot.
  • 1361, Stephen de Bokesworth.
  • 1379, Nicholas Oldman.
  • 1410, Peter Floke, alias Langwade; by his will dated 4th November, 1446, he gives 40s. to make a new font, and 10s. to the rood-loft here, also 4 marks to All-Saints Beecham-Well, to buy a silver cup, of which church he styles himself Capellane.
  • 1446, Richard Boston.
  • 1447, Richard Sechithe; he had been rector of Lynford, and was afterwards rector of Hilburgh.
  • 1460, John Flytcham; he had been rector of Beacham-Well St. John, ob.
  • 1492, Robert Barton, Margaret Asseby, abbess, and the convent of Denny.
  • 1505, Robert Berton, ob. lapse.
  • 1506, John Constable, ob.; he was the last presented by the Convent.
  • 1542, William Middlebroke, was presented by Edward Elrington, Esq. King Henry VIII. in his 31st year, granted to this Edward, the manor and abbey of Denny, with this impropriate rectory, &c.; soon after it came to William Read, citizen and mercer of London, and on an inquisition taken 20th of November, in the 34th of the said King, he was found to die seized of it, held of the King by knight's service, by the 10th part of a fee; William Read, his son, held it in 5th and 6th of Philip and Mary, and his son William had livery of this rectory, and a manor thereto belonging in 1561.

In 1562, James Tytterington, occurs vicar.

  • 1562, John Master, alias Macer. William Read, Esq.
  • 1571, John Adamson. William Read, Esq.; in his answer to King James Quaries in 1603, he says there were 123 communicants in this parish.
  • 1613, Francis Bolton, lapse.
  • 1615, Sidrach Motte, A. M. Sir William Read.
  • 1640, Luke Sheen, A. M. George Earl of Desmond, rector also of Shingham in 1662.
  • 1682, Edmund Booth, A. M. Hugh Hovell, Esq.
  • 1702, Thomas Ringstead. Humphry Styles, Esq.
  • 1719, Peter Stafford, A. B. Sir John Elwell, Bart. who married a daughter of Humphry Styles.
  • 1730, Framingham Rice, lapse.
  • 1740, John D' Artigues. Gilbert West, Esq. Since his death it hath been served by sequestration only, and the

Rev. Mr. Corney, vicar of Stanford, now serves it.

This vicarage being valued at 6l. 12s. 1d. and in clear value about 22l. per annum, is discharged of first-fruits and tenths, and is capable. of augmentation.

The synodals are 22d. procurations to the archdeacon 6s. 7d. ob. visitatorial procurations 20d.


From Domesday Book we learn, that part of this village called Pickenham, was a berewic, a little lordship or hamlet, belonging to the King's manor of Sporle, and was valued with it; and Godric then managed it for, or farmed it of, the King; there were 2 carucates in demesne; the village was half a mile long, and four furlongs broad, and paid 12d. gelt, when the hundred paid 20s. Another freeman held 12 acres, of Berner the archer, of the King's soc, all valued in Sporle.

Ribald also held under Alan Earl of Richmond, two carucates of land, which Goodwin held, to which belonged 6 villeins, 3 borderers, &c. pannage for 10 swine, 8 acres of meadow, a mill and a fishery, and 6 freemen held 1 carucate, valued in the Confessor's time at 30s. at the survey at 60s.

Out of the abovementioned tenures we find two lordships which continue at this time, Hugglesford's and Virley's.

Hugglesford Manor[edit]

Ribald, brother to Alan Earl of Richmond, was lord of Midleham in Yorkshire, and held this manor, whose issue male failing, in the reign of King Henry III. it came by the marriage of his eldest daughter and coheir, Mary, to Robert de Nevill Lord of Raby; and by an inquisition taken in the 32d of Edward I. we find that John de Wanton died in that year seized of it, which he and Margaret his wife held jointly to them and their heirs, of the feoffment of Mary de Nevill of the honour of Richmond, by one fee, and performing castle-guard at Richmond. It consisted of a capital messuage, a water mill, &c. and was then valued at 15l. 7s. per annum; Margaret his wife survived him, and Joan was his daughter and heir, who proved her age in the 34th of the said King, and was then married to Hugh de Hepham. In the 9th and 12th of Edward II. the aforesaid Margaret held this manor, and dying soon after was buried in the church of this town. After this Sir Robert Knolls was lord, and in the beginning of Henry VI. John Monkton held it, with Houghton and South Pickenham, of George Nevil Lord Latimer.

On a division of the last Lord Latimer's estate, about the 20th of Queen Elizabeth, this manor was sold to the Bedingfields of Oxburgh; and in the 32d of the said Queen, Thomas Bedingfield, Esq. sold to George Noon, Gent. a fald-course, certain free-rents, chapel-close, containing 68 acres of pasture, dove-house close, a capital messuage called the falcon, with 126 acres, part of this manor; a capital messuage called Frostes, with 94 acres and 1 rood of land here; and on an inquisition taken the 12th of Charles I. it was found that George Noon, son of William Noon and Jane his wife, (afterwards married to Clere Sacheverell, clerk, died under age 28th of June, in the 10th of the said King, and left 2 sisters; Mary, aged 7, and Iocosa or Joice, aged 4 years) possessed as above.

In the family of the Beding fields, the manor with the remaining demeans continued till about the 12th of George I. when Sir Henry Beding feld, Bart. sold this to Henry Eyre, Esq. of Bures-Hall, in Hale, and John Eyre, Esq. his brother, to Mr. Penson of London, in whose family it now remains.

This manor pays a fee farm rent of 4l. per annum to the Honour of Richmond.

Virley's Manor[edit]

Takes its name from its lord; Roger de Virley was lord in the 1st of King John, and exchanged lands at Waketon in Berkshire, with Robert de Cley and Avice his wife, for lands here; and in the 8th of Edward I. Hugh Virley died seized of it.

Simon Blake of Swaffham, Gent. left by his will, in 1489, to Thomas Blake, his nephew, the manor of Virley's, in North and South Pickenham; in the 11th of Henry VI. a fine was levied between John Smith, &c. querents, John Wheeler and Anne his wife, defendants, of a moiety of this manor, and several messuages, &c. conveyed to Smith; and in the said year there was another fine, between John Parker, &c. querents, and John Wheeler, and Anne his wife, defendants, of the other moiety; and in the 6th of Edward VI. a fine was levied between Anthony Beding field, querent, William More, and Margaret his wife, defendants, of the 4th part of the manor of Francham, alias Bures Virleys, &c. It was sold by the Bedingfields, lords of Hale, to Naylour, and Francis Naylour, Esq. was lord in 1687, and from the Naylours it was conveyed to Dr. Cannon, late Dean of Lincoln, in whose family it still remains.

Earl Warren's Manor[edit]

William Earl Warren, held at the survey half a carucate of land, which Osford held in the Confessor's time, and was always valued at 10s.

This, as I take it, is what John de Burhille held in the time of Henry III. by the 4th part of a fee, of Robert de Monte Alto, and he of the King. In the 34th of Edward I. a fine was levied between Hawisia de Mikelfield and Joan her daughter, querents, and Sibil widow of Robert de Cave, defendant, of the 4th part of 15 messuages, 7 virgates, 110 acres of land, 14 of meadow, 20 of heath, 17s. 10d. rent in Pykenham-Wade, (by which name this town often occurs,) which John de Burghill held for life, by the courtesey of England, settled on Hawise and Joan, and the heirs of Joan. In the 20th of Edward III. it was held by John Maupaz, which John de Belhouse formerly held of Robert Monthalt; and in the 3d of Henry IV. Henry Pakenham held it of the Dutchy of Lancaster, and paid 5s. per annum. After this it was united to Hugglesford manor.

The Tenths of this town were 3l. 10s. In this parish is an hamlet called Cotes; Ralph le Briton held lands here, in Henry the Third's time; in the reign of Edward III. Robert Ward of Cotes conveyed lands here, to Edmund Oldhall, and sealed with a cross moline, with three estoiles in chief, and one in base; to this hamlet there belongs a Lete, which is in the lord of the Hundred; lete fee 4d.

Sporle priory was taxed for their temporalties here at 5s. Westacre priory for theirs, at 15s. and for the spiritualities of the abbey of Conchis in their possession, 4s. The Prior of Bokenham for temporalties, 5s.

Osbert Pickenham, D. D. was bred a Carmelite at Lynn, and lived in Edward the Second's reign, and was a great writer, and prior of the Carmes or white-friars at London, when he was buried about 1330; and William Pykenham, L. L. D. dean of Stoke-Clare in Suffolk in 1493, were born here, or in South Pickenham.

The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and built of flint, stones, &c.; the body is about 42 feet in length, and with the south isle annexed, is about 30 in breadth, both covered with lead; about the middle of this isle lies a marble gravestone, whereon was a cross flory, and round the verge an old inscription in brass; by the incisions on the stone, it seems to have been,
Grate pro anima Margarete de Danton

This Margaret was here buried in the reign of King Edward II. as is above shown. At the west end, on the pavement, lie two gravestones; one in memory of John Wilkin, who died in 1728, the other, of Mary the wife of William Greenwood, who died in 1730. At the west end of the nave stands a four-square tower of flint, &c. with a wooden cap covered with lead; here are four bells; on the tenor, which is split,
"Sum Voce pulsata Mundi Maria Vocata".

On the north side of the nave is a chapel about 14 feet, covered with lead; the chancel is in length about 14 feet, and covered with tile.


Robert de Nevyle, rector.

  • 1302, Ralph de Nevyle, on the resignation of Robert, by the Lady Mary de Nevyle, Lady of Midleham.
  • 1311, Hugh de Midleham. Ditto.
  • 1312, Richard de Midleham. Ditto.
  • 1329, Henry de Dodynton. Ralph Lord Nevyle.
  • 1333, Robert de Ellewyke. Ditto.
  • 1333, John Austen.
  • 1362, Robert de Bulwere, on an exchange with Austen, for the rectory of St. Nicholas in Durham. Ditto.
  • John de Sutton.
  • 1375, Richard de Whitton; he exchanged with Sutton, for the rectory of Houghton. Sir Robert Knolles.
  • 1399, William Drayton. The Bishop of London, John Drew, rector of Harpley, &c.
  • 1400, John Heylot. Ditto. Res.
  • 1424, John Winter. Ralph Earl of Westmorland.
  • 1436, Robert Chester. George Nevil Lord Latimer.
  • Peter Dalton, rector.
  • 1456, John Nicholson. Ditto. Res.
  • 1462, William Harwood, res. Sir Robert Danby, &c. feoffees of George Lord Latimer.
  • 1462, Thomas Aleyn, res. Richard Earl of Warwick.
  • 1466, John Pye. Sir Henry Nevyll, Knt. son and heir of George Lord Latimer.
  • 1495, Gregory Norwich; he was Prior of Bushmead, and rector here, res. Richard Nevill Lord Latimer.
  • 1503, John Helmesly. Ditto.
  • 1506, Robert Wamerly. Ditto.
  • 1512, Thomas Hyanson. Ditto.
  • 1538, John Bretton, res. John Lord Latymer.
  • 1539, Richard Peers, res. Ditto.
  • 1542, William Harpur; he died rector. Ditto.
  • 1558, Roger Ocley. William Mingay hac vice on a grant from John Jenny, Esq.
  • 1585, Robert Frances, A. B. See in Houghton.
  • 1587, Henry Coilison; in his answer to the King's Quæries in 1603, he says here were 70 communicants.
  • 1611, Thomas Brown.
  • 1613, Simon Thompson, A. M. Sir Henry Bedingfied, Knt.
  • 1637, Thomas Booth, A. M. obijt.
  • 1687, Henry Tinckier.
  • 1715, Henry Wastell, A B.
  • 1719, Waters Rolf, A. B. Sir Ralf Hare, Bart. He was the last rector, it being now consolidated to Houghton.

In the reign of Edward I. this rectory was valued at 18 marks, besides the portions, viz. the portion of the abbey of Coverham in Yorkshire, 16s. that of the priory of Windham, 20s. and the pension of the rector of Northwold 20s.; the rector had then a manse with 30 acres of glebe.

In 1432, Edward Fayerman gave legacies to the light before the principal crucifix, to St. John Baptist's gild, and to St. Mary's chapel on the north side of the church, and Nicholas Braunton in 1457, of Pickenham-Cotes, to St. Mary, the crucifix, St. Erasmus, the sepulchre lights, and the torches.

In this town was an hermitage, with a chapel dedicated to St. Paul, held by John Caius, M. D. in the 4th and 5th of Philip and Mary, by Rowland Heyward, Esq. and Thomas Dixon, in the 8th of Elizabeth, soon after by Mynne and Hall.

This rectory is 5l. 14s. 2d. in the King's Books, and being of the clear value of 48l. per annum, is discharged from first-fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation; synodals 2s. procurations 7s. 7d. ob. visitatorial procurations 16d.

Burials, from the Register.

  • 1581, George Wynne, Gent.
  • 1613, John Nunne, Gent. 1616, George Nunne, Gent. 1633, George Nunne, Gent.
  • 1657, William Buckworth, Esq. justice of the peace, buried in the porch.
  • 1657, John Nunne, Gent.
  • 1667, William Soames, Gent. 1678, Thomas Soames, Gent.
  • 1691, William Millet of Cornwall, Gent.


In Pinkenham, Toli held in the Confessor's time 30 acres; but when the Conqueror came, Ralph Earl of Norfolk had it, and after him Wihenoc; it was half a carucate, one acre of wood, &c. and was in the tenure of Rainald son of Ivo; at the survey the said Wihenoc also invaded other lands, some of which Herlwin, a freeman of Rainald held of him.

Ribald Lord of Midleham, brother of Alan Earl of Richmond, had 7 freemen who held of him 5 carucates of land, (the town was 10 furlongs in length, and 6 in breadth, and paid 12d. to the gelt) valued in the Confessor's time at 40s. at the survey at 50s. From Rainald, descended the Earls of Clare, and from Ribald, the Nevilles Lord Latimers, and between them the town was divided and contained two moieties, by the name of Stewkey-Hall.

Latimer's Moiety[edit]

In the 3d of Henry IV. Sir Robert Knolls held this of the Nevilles; and in the reign of Henry VI. John Monketon; lands were leased out by the names of Herveys and Overeys in South Pickenham, in the 9th of Henry VII. by Richard Neville Lord Latimer. On an inquisition taken in the 21st of Henry VIII. it appeared that William Methwold, Esq. died 26th of Oct. in the preceeding year, seized of the manor of Stewkey-Hall, viz. a moiety of the manor of South Pickenham held of the Lord Latimer, paying 10s. 10d. per annum, and another moiety, held of the honour of Clare, paying 6d. per annum, and the manor of Langford, paying 6s. 8d. per annum, a capital messuage in Fouldon of the Lord Latimer, paying 2s. per annum, and John was his son and heir, aged 14. The Methwolds seem to have held lands here, sometime before this, Richard Methwold presented to this rectory in 1496, and styled himself of Langford, Gent.; and William Methwold, Esq. about the end of Queen Elizabeth, conveyed both moieties to Thomas Bradbury, Gent. and Bradbury to Sir Henry Hobart; from the Hobarts it came again to the Methwolds, William Methwold of Kensington, Esq. presented to the church in 1650; from him it came in 1670 to Sir Thomas Player, Knt. who conveyed it to Anthony Fisher, Esq. who partly built the manor-house, now called the Hall, and his son Anthony sold it to Sir Edward Atkins, Knt. Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, who finished the house, and resided here in the reign of King William, and the Baron's son, Rich. conveyed it to Thomas Chute, Esq. clerk of the Crown in chancery whose son Lennard dying without issue, it came to his brother, Devereux Chute; and on his death, to

Thomas Lobb Chute, son of Thomas Lobb, Esq. by Elizabeth eldest sister of Lennard, who is the present lord and patron.

Clare's Moiety[edit]

This moiety of Stewkey-hall was held by Jeffery de Stivecly, Stivecay, or Stukey, (from whom the lordship took its name.) In the reign of Edward I. of the Earl of Gloucester; and about the 14th of the said King, it descended to William de Heveningham and John de Turtevill; in the said year a fine was levied between them of the advowson of this church, as heirs to their cousin Jeffery, and were by this to present alternately.

In the 20th of Edward III. William de Hales, Richard son of Richard de Holdich, and Roger de Bodney, held the 4th part of a fee here in demesne of Richard Fitz Simon, and he of the honour of Clare, which John Tortewill formerly held, and the 4th part of a fee of John Harsick, which Heveningham held. In the 29th of the said King, Richard Holdich had free warren in his demesnes land here, and in Didlington, Fouldon and Congham; and in the 3d of Henry IV. Richard Holdich held the 4th part of a fee of Richard Earl of March, and he of the King, lately held by Richard Fitz Simon; and the 4th part late Harsicks: after this it came to the Reppes, by marriage of Anne daughter of Richard Holdich, for on the 11th of Jan. in the 22d of Hen. VII. Hen. Reppes, Gent. sold to Wil. Eyre, Gent. all his manor or moiety of Stewky-hall; and on an inquisition taken 4th October, in the 31st of Henry VIII. William Methwold was found to be lord, and he joined it to Latimer's moiety, with which it now remains.

At the great survey Ralph de Tony had a Berwic, with two carucates of land in demesne, and 6 socmen; here was also a church with 17 acres, and a wood, and was built by Edric in the Confessor's time.

This manor was granted by the Tonys to the priory of Westacre of their foundation, and leased out by them to the lords of Stewky Hall, and we find that the church abovementioned, which was dedicated to St. Andrew, was, in the time of Edward I. in the said priory, and the prior had a manse with 3 carucates of land; and from the rolls of the hundred court, it appears that a quitrent was and is paid at this time, out of the lordship of South Pickenham, late the prior of Westacre's, to the lord of the Hundred.

The Church of South Pickenham is dedicated to All the Saints, and is a single building, having only one isle or nave of flint, &c. in length about 42 feet, and in breadth about 16, with a roof of oak, covered with lead; in a south window is a shield of the Earl Warren; over the arch of a window is a stone pedestal with an angel carved thereon, and here it is likely the Virgin had her station, and an altar dedicated to her; the roof of this nave is much flatter than when first erected, lower than that of the chancel, which makes a very disagreeable prospect; on the north side of the nave is a porch covered with tiles, on the said side has been a chapel or burial-place of brick, now in ruins, without a roof and overgrown with ivy; Henry Hobart, youngest son of Sir Henry Hobart, Knt. Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, built it, and was there buried 17 November 1638.

At the west end of the nave is a very antique round tower, and on that an octangular top, raised some centuries after, and on the decay of the other, which was very probably built by Edric the Danish lord. On the summit is a little shaft; in this tower hang three bells. The chancel is divided from the nave by a wooden screen, and is 24 feet in length, and about 18 in breadth, and covered with reed. In the east window are Methelwold's arms with a crescent arg. for difference, impaling quarterly in the 1st and 4th sab. a bend engrailed between six billets arg. for Allington, a family of great antiquity in the county of Cambridge, that flourished at Botlesham and Horsheath; in the 2d and 3d gul. three covered cups arg. for Argenton, of that county, cupbearers to the Kings of England; the heiress of this family was married to the Allingtons.

Against the south wall, within the rails of the communion table, to which there is an ascent of two steps, is a compartment of white marble; on the summit is Fisher, gul. a chevron between three lions passant or, impaling Willis, party per fess gul. and arg. three lions rampant counterchanged, in a bordure ermine, and this epitaph:

Here lieth interr'd the Body of Anthony Fisher, Esq; eldest Son of William Fisher of Wisbeach, in the Isle of Ely and County of Cambridge, Esq; who married Ann the eldest Daughter of Sir Thomas Willys of Fen Dilton in the County of Cambridge Baronet, & had issue of her, 4 Sons, viz. Anthony, John, Thomas and William, and one Daughter Ann. He departed this Life the 3d Day of June 1679, In Spe Beatœ Resurrectionis. Here also lieth the Body of William Fisher Gent. (only brother of Anthony Fisher, Esq;) who died the 21st of May, 1683.

Opposite to this, on the north wall, is another compartment of white marble ornamented with two cherubs, on the summit an urn with a flame of gold, at the foot of the monument, Chute, gul. three swords bar-ways arg. hilted or, impaling Chute. Crest, a dexter arm couped, holding a sword, and on the table is this,

Juxta hoc Marmor requiescit Thomas Lennard Chute, Armiger Luctuosum sævientis Podagræ Exemplar, Non Annis sed doloribus confectus.

Insenuit Juvenis, et ad Cælos Migravit adhuc Viridis.

Vir, Fide, Virtute, Pietate, Constans, Audax, Sincerus.

Dominus non Importunus, amicus Suavissimus, Omnibus facilis. Æquusq; Nulli non charus.

Vixit Filius, Conjux, Frater, pius, Fidelis, amantissimus.

Ingenî dotes, si quis alius unquam Præclaras habuit, nec fastuosas.

Decessit omnibus verè flebilis, Inimicus enim Nemini.

Salutis. MDCCXXII.

Denatus XIo Die Maij Anno Ætatis XXXIII.

Uxorem duxit CATHERINAM filiam Edvardi Chute Armigeri quâ Unicum Suscepit filium, qui X Menses Natus obijt.

On the pavement in the chancel lies a gray marble stone with this shield,

Methwold, impaling Allington, quartering in the second quarter Argenton, in the third, azure, seven martlets or, and a canton ermine. Fitz-Tecle, and in the fourth quarter, parted per fess arg. and sab. a pale counterchanged, on each piece of the 1st, a griffin's head erased, of the 2d, Gardiner, Mary daughter and heir of Sir Richard Gardiner Lord Mayor of London, in the time of Edw. IV. and of Exning in Cambridgeshire, was married 12th of Henry VIII. to Sir Giles Allington. And on a plate of brass is this.

Here lieth William Methwold Gent. the Second Son of William Methwold of Langford, Esq; his Wife was Susanna the Daughter of George Allington of Rushford Esq; by whom he had Issue three Sons and four Daughters, he died the xxix Day of August, Ano Ætatis 56, An Elizabeth Reginæ 28, et Ano Dni. 1586.

Adjoining to this lies a black marble gravestone thus inscribed,

Sacred to the Memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Dade, late Wife of Thomas Dade, Esq. of Tannington, in the County of Suffolk, and eldest Daughter of John Vere, Gent. of the same County, she departed this Life January 11th, Ao Dni 1611, in the 73d Year of her Age.

Dade, impaling Vere of Suffolk, quarterly gul. and or, four mullets arg. and sometimes four mullets in a bordure counterchanged.

The windows of the chancel have been curiously painted; on the north side are fragments of the Salutation.

There were also in this church, in 1575, the arms of Holdich, az. on a chevron or, three seapies proper, and Hogan's arms; and Crest, a boar's paw arg. holding a lion's leg erazed gul.

In the reign of King Edward I. here were two churches, that of All-Saints valued at 5 marks, and that of St. Andrew, which were consolidated, the rector had a manse and 34 acres of land, Peterpence 7d. The lady Sibilla de Tourtevill was patroness.


Henry de Boyton occurs rector about 1266, and 1270.

  • 1338, Roger Attebrigge of Salle, presented by Robert son of Wil. Turtevill.
  • 1350, Walter Smyth, res. Rich. de Hales, hac vice.
  • 1350, Henry de Watlyngton. Rich. Holditch.
  • 1374, William Dolman. Ditto.
  • 1401, John Sacombe, res. Ditto. He was rector of Drayton, and exchanged with Dolman.
  • 1416, Robert Eastbourn. Ditto. He was rector of St. Mary atte Strande by Temple-Bar, London, and exchanged with Sacombe. Eastbourn, by will dated 14th March, 1466, desires to be buried in the chancel of South Pickenham All-Saints, gives a missal and one fowdyr of lead to the church.
  • 1466, Simon Paskelew. Ditto.
  • 1475, George Jekkys, ob. John Holdich, Esq.
  • 1479, John Berton. Ditto.
  • John Baxter. Ditto.
  • 1496, Richard Necl. Rich. Methwold of Lang ford, Gent.
  • 1521, James Beel. Will Methwold, Esq.
  • 1547, William Holtby, ob. John Clenchwarton, alias Wat son, clerk, on a grant from Sir Christopher Jenny, who had this presentation from Alice, relict of Will. Methwold, Esq.
  • 1570, Robert Hill, ob. Lapse.
  • 1570, George Ryveley, buried here.
  • Wm. Methwold, rector, in his answer to King James's Queries in 1603, says there were 107 commanicants here.
  • 1605, Wentworth Bradbury, A. M. res. Tho Bradbury, Esq.
  • 1606, Anthony Ringwood, licensed preacher, A. M by George Ringwood, assignee to Thomas Bradbury of Hale, Esq. He was buried here.
  • 1631, Edmund Cade, A. M. The King, by lapse; but afterwards it is said, October 15th, 1631, by the Earl of Holland, Chancellor, the Masters, Fellows, &c. of Cambridge. He was educated at Caius College Cambridge.
  • 1654, William Godbed, A. M. Will. Methwold, Esq. He was outed in 1658, but restored at the Restoration, and died rector.
  • 1674, Charles Chadwick, A. M. Sir John Player He was buried here,
  • 1682, Edward Beckham, S. T. B. Ann Fisher widow. He was educated at King's College Cambridge, and rector of Gayton Thorp in Norfolk, and there lies buried within the rails of the communion table, where on a plain stone is this inscription,

In charissimorum Parentum memoria Edwardus Beckham filius mœrens D. C. H. S. E. Edwardus Beckham S. T. P. Ecclesiarum de Gayton Thorp et de South Pickenham Rector, qui obiit Aprilis die 1, Ano Ætat. 76, Dni' MDCCXIV.

Juxta positæ sunt Exuviæ, Janæ Conjegis dieti Edwardi Dilectissimæ, quæ obiit die post Maritum Quarto An. Æt. LIX. H. M.

  • 1714, Thomas Warren Tho. Lennard Chute, Esq. He was educated at Catherine-Hall in Cambridge, and was afterwards rector of Boxford in Suffolk
  • 1722, Joseph Charles, A. M. on the cession of Warren ob. He was rector of Wacton, and vicar of Swaffham. Ditto.
  • 1736, 8th February, the Rev. Mr. Thomas Pigg, the present rector, holds it united to Watton vicarage, being presented by Tho. Lobbe Chute, Esq. the present patron.

This rectory is valued at 8l. 1s. 5d. ob. in the King's Books, and being of 48l. per annum clear value, is discharged of tenths and firstfruits, and is capable of augmentation. The Bishop's visitatorial synodals are 2s. his annual synodals 1s. 11d. and the Archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob. and the portion of the prior of Westacre was 26s. 8d.

The prior of Windham had a portion taxed at 20s. and Coverham abbey in Yorkshire had revenues here taxed at 16s. and the Prior of Conchis at 4s.; and the village paid to each tenth 2l. 16s. 8d.

From the Parish Register.

  • 1590, Edmund Nunne; this Family hath an estate still in this Parish, and John Nunne, Esq; Barrister at Law, had it lately.
  • 1609, Mathias Martyn, Esq. lived here.
  • 1610, "Francisca filia Henrici Bedingfield Mil' et Elizabethæ uxoris 10 Januarij Que quidem nata fuit de die Dominico viz. Tricessimo die Mensis Decembris, Anno predicto inter horam Sextam et Septimam ante Meridiem. Compatr' Robert' Wynde Miles. Ux' Edmundi Munford Militis et Alicia Uxor Thomæ Bradbury Ar'."
  • 1610, Anthon' filius Anthonij Bedingfield et Eliz' Ux' de HolmeHale 5 Feb. "Compatr' Thomas Lovell, Wentworth Bradbury, et Barbara Domina Cutts."
  • 1616, Henricus filius Cordelli Bradburye et Eliz' Uxoris, bapt' 28 Jan. Compatres Henricus Bedingfield miles, Thomas Cotton Armig' et Uxor Wentworthi Bradburye.
  • 1619, Maria filia Anthonij Ringwood Clerici et Marie Uxoris, bapt' 20 Junij, Compatres, Ric. Goodman clericus, Johanna Bodham vidua &c.

Aug. 31, 1634, "Baptizatus est Franciscus filius Mariæ Walker, quæ (ut ipsa ait) ante triennium apud Thirton in agro Norfolciensi, cuidam fidicini Nomine Johanne Botewright Nupta est; sed Is vagabundus, nebulo, et nullius Laris Homuncio existens, postquam Mariam suam Gravidam fecisset, hûc eam parituram misit, quò Infans Natus hujus Parœciæ Impensis aleretur: atq; in hunc modum jam secundò huic Villæ vafrè imposuit.

  • 1636, "Elizabetha filia Jacobi Hunter ex Annâ Uxore ejus in ipsius plateis sub Australi parte magnæ Ulmi, October 9, in Lucem Edita est, et eodem die Sacro baptismate aspersa est.
  • 1637, "Dorothea filiola Magistri Jacobi Hobart, ex dilectissimâ suâ Conjuge Catharinâ Junij 18, Sacro Baptismate Deo sacrata est Eandemq; ad Baptisterium tenuerunt Clarissimæ fæminæ Domina Dorothea, Vidua, Relicta, Honoratissimi Domini Henrici Hobart Capitalis (cum viveret) ad Placita Justiciarij, et domina Mirialis, Uxor Caroli Le Groos Equitis Aurati, et Magister Robertus Edgar Generosus."
  • 1642, Nathaniel Dod, Vir probus et Doctus, S. T. B. et olim unius Magistrorum Collegij Caio-Gonvillensis Cantabrigiâ Socius, Rector Ecclesiæ parochialis de Benington in agro Hertfordiensi, cum Beatrice Barber vi uâ de Snore-Hall in Fordham, in Comitatû Norfolcie, Sacro Con bio, auspicato (ut spero) junctus est, Maij 16. For whom see Chauncy's Antiq. of Hertfordshire, fo. 346.


This village, as well as Castle-acre and West-acre, in the Book of Domesday, are wrote singly Acra, but is now called South-acre: it contains that parish of Acre, which lies on the southern side of the river, which divides it from Castle-acre: it was in the Confessor's time held by a freeman, and at the survey was the land of the Earl Warren, held of him by Wimer; here were always 6 villeins, one borderer, one carucate in domain, and three amongst the villeins, &c. and pannage for 15 swine; it was first valued at 20s. at the survey at 25s.

It is very probable that Wimer was the ancestor of the Harsick family, for

Sir Eudo de Arsik held this lordship of the Earl Warren about the reign of Hen. I. by the service of being castellan or keeper of his castle at Acre or Castle-acre, in which office,

Sir Eudo his son succeeded, and died 6th July, 1179, leaving his son,

Sir Eudo, who was a considerable benefactor to the abbey of Castleacre, and with Alice his wife, gave them lands to repair their mill here, called Witemill, and the pool, with that of Newmill; which Alice was daughter and heir of Watshall: this last Sir Eudo, Alice his wife, and their son and heir Sir Alexander Harsick, were living in 1239, as appears by a fine then levied between them, and Ralph Prior of Castleacre; and the said Sir Eudo died 17th September, 1241, (the said Alice surviving him,) being lord also of Dunham-Magna and East Lexham; he gave lands in those towns to the hospital of St. Mary Magdalen by Lynn, with a fold course for 250 sheep at Dunham Magna, and his lady also gave land and a fold course for 250 sheep at East Lexham, which the said hospital enjoys at this day.

Sir Alexander, their son and heir, married Cecily, daughter of Jernegan, and was a benefactor also to the monks of Castleacre, and gave them lands called the Sand-Pitts.

In the 3d of Edw. I. Sir Roger Harsick was lord, and had freewarren here, view of frankpledge by the King's bailiff's permission, and assise of bread and beer.

In the 20th of the said King, Sir John de Harsick was lord, and a suit was commenced against him, Alan de Suthacre and Reginald, parson of Suthacre, by William L'Estrange, for disseizing him of his common of pasture, belonging to his tenement in this town and Pagrave.

In the 2d of Edward II. a charter of free-warren here, and in Dunham Magna, was granted to John de Harsyck, and Christian his wife, and in the 17th of that King, Hugh Driby, son of Sir Ralph de Driby, released to

John, son of Sir John Harsyke, and to Margery his wife, all his right in the manor of Driby in Lincolnshire, and license was granted to this John, to found in the church of St. George in his manor of South-acre, a chantery, with lands and tenements thereto, to the value of 10 marks per annum; in the 13th of Edward III. he was high-sheriff of Norfolk; and in the 30th of the said King, being then a knight, Sir John de Camoys, by deed, granted to him and his heirs, license to bear his crest, a plume of turky feathers, so that the said Sir John Harsyk, &c. bears it in a hoop, or; to which deed, the Lords Scales and Bardolph were witnesses: by his will dated in his manor of Southacre, 14th November, 1381, he orders his burial to be in the chapel of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, in the church of Southacre.

Sir John de Harsyck, Knt. succeeded him; in his will, dated on Wednesday after the decollation of St. John Baptist in 1384, he styles himself Sir John Harsyke, senior, Knt. bequeaths several legacies to the Lady Catharine his wife. his eldest son John, and to his son Eudo, the manor of Stanhow in Norfolk for life, remainder to his son Brian.

In the 3d of Henry IV. John de Harsike, the eldest son, and fourth of that name, was found to hold a moiety of a fee of the Earl of Arundel, and the 4th part of a fee here of the said Earl, as part of the honour of Mileham, and paid scutage on the marriage of Blanch, the King's daughter: he married Agnes, daughter and coheir of Sir William Caley of Oby, in Norfolk.

In the 2d year of Henry V. an indenture was made between Roger Harsike, Esq. son and heir of Sir John Harsike, and one of the heirs of Sir William Caley, Knt. of Oby, John Clipsby, Esq. another of the heirs of Sir William, and Alice his wife, whereby the lordships of Hempsted, Hitcham, the market of Holt, and the lordship of Oby were to be enjoyed by them, and leases of them were made: in the 7th of the said King, Roger, then a Knt. was one of those 20 lances, gentlemen of ancient coat-armour, who were returned to serve the King in the wars of France; the said Roger married Alice, daughter of Nicholas Wichingham of Fishley in Norfolk, Esq. and by his will, dated at South-acre, on Sunday after the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, 1453, and proved 8th of April, 1454; he desires to be buried in the chancel of South-acre; bequeaths to the fraternity of St. Mary at Dunham 6s. 8d. to the churches of Wickmere and Calthorp, 13s. 4d. to Edmund his brother 5 marks, and to the Lady Margaret Harsyk his sister a legacy. His Lady Alice survived him, and by her will, dated 3d October, 1458, bequeaths her body to be buried in the church of the friars-preachers at Norwich. Sir Roger left by this lady two daughters and coheirs.

Margaret, married to William Dorward, Esq. of DorwardHall, in Bocking in Essex, second son of John Dorward, Esq. serjeant at law, and speaker of the House of Commons in the reign of King Henry VI. which Margaret had this lordship, as part of her inheritance, and

Joan, the youngest daughter and coheir, married to Richard Dorward, Esq. 3d son of John, who had the manor of East-Dunham.

William, Dorward, and Margaret, had issue,

Elizabeth, their sole heir, married to Thomas Fotheringay of Brockley in Suffolk, Esq. son and heir of Gerard, by Sibill his wife, which Gerard was son and heir of Thomas Fotheringay, and Agnes, his wife, daughter and heir of Mr. Stewling of Suffolk. The aforesaid Thomas, by Elizabeth his wife, left three daughters and coheirs.

Margaret, the eldest, married Nicholas Beaupre, Esq. of Beaupre-Hall in Outwell, and in her right, was lord of this manor; Dorward-Hall in Bocking, and of Ashford in Essex; by the said Margaret he had

Edmund Beaupre, his son and heir, who left four daughters and coheirs,

Dorothy, the youngest, was married to Sir Robert Bell, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and had this manor, &c. assigned to her; by Sir Robert, she had

Sir Edmund Bell, who died in 1607. In this family it continued till it was sold to

Edw. Barkham, Knt. Lord Mayor of London in 1621, and in 1703, Dorothy, Frances, and Jane, daughters and coheirs of Sir William Barkham, Bart. conveyed it to

Andrew Fountain, Esq. whose son

Sir Andrew Fountaine, Knt. of Narford, is the present lord and patron.

The site of the old-hall, the seat of the Harsicks, may be observed at this day, in a close north-east of the church; it stands near the river, and was moated round; it is now covered with wood and bushes, but the foundations are to be seen; opposite to this manorhouse stood a free chapel, now also demolished, founded by the Harsicks, for their private use, and the chaplains were presented by them. In 1387, Richard de Stone, then perpetual chaplain, changed it with James de Norton, priest, for Burnham Sutton St. Albert.

Narburgh's Manor[edit]

Besides the aforesaid manor, belonging to the Earl Warren, part of the King's manor of Sporle, extended itself into this town, and was held or farmed of the King by Godric at the survey, to which there belonged 6 villeins, and 2 carucates of land; the town was then one mile in length, and half a one in breadth, and paid 6d. gelt, when the hundred was taxed at 20s. Godric also held two oxgangs of land, held by Oswart, a freeman in the Confessor's time, valued at xvd. By virtue of this manor, the King's bailiff, as I have observed, in the 3d of Edward I. granted leave to Sir Roger Harsick to have view of frank-pledge, and assize of bread and beer, and was held by Herbert de Suthacre, and Alan de Pagrave in the time of Henry II. and afterwards by William L'Estrange in the 20th of the said King. It was afterwards held by the family of Narburgh, and in the 17th of Edward IV. was the inheritance of Cecily, wife of John Bocking, daughter and coheir of William de Narburgh, and held then, as was found on an inquisition on the death of the said John, in right of his wife; and in the north isle of the church is to be seen the shield of Narburgh at this day. The said Cecily dying sans issue, the manor descended to Henry Spelman of Narburgh, who married Elizabeth, her sister and coheir; and in the 3d of Richard III. Henry Spelman was lord; after this I find it united to the other lordship; and in the 25th of Elizabeth, in the possession of the Bells, as appears by a precept, wherein it is said, that there was liberty in the manors of South-acre, and Narburgh, or Bockyng's, for two sheep-folds, consisting of 2500 sheep; and it continues united at this time.

The Prior of Castleacre was taxed in 1428, for his temporalities, 11s. 7d. ob. King Henry I. confirmed to the said Prior, the tithes of two carucates of land here. Simon Wanton Bishop of Norwich confirmed also to that Prior, the tithe of the land of the cementarij, or mason.

The Prior of Sporle for his temporals, at 1 mark.

The Prior of West-acre for his temporals, at 43s. 8d.

The church of Southacre is dedicated to St. George; it has a nave, a north isle, and a chancel, with a tower at the end of the nave, all built of flint stones, and boulder, and covered with lead; the nave is about 44 feet in length, and with the north isle about 30 in breadth, has a good roof of oak covered with lead: at the west end stands a large Gothick stone font, with a cover of oak raised and carved; round this cover is this inscription cut in the wood:

Grate pro animabus Magistri Ricardi Zotts, et Domini Zals tribi Baker Rectoris huius Ecclesie quie hoc opus fieri fecerunt.

On the pavement of the nave, lies a stone in memory of Robert Barkham, Gent. who died 14th March, 1629, aged 75; and at the upper end, as you enter the chancel, lies an old gravestone having a staff carved on it, and on the head or summit a cross pattee; this stone was lately removed out of the chancel, and was most likely in memory of Reginald de Harsick, rector here.

In the uppermost window, on the south side, are the arms painted in the glass of Dorward, ermine on a chevron sable, three crescents or, and of Naunton, sable, three martlets arg. In a window on the north side, over the arch that joins to the chancel, have been the effigies of three saints now defaced, the feet of them only remaining; in one pannel was St. Roche; here was a shield under him, now broke, but his name is still legible, Scus Rochus; the shield was gules, a cross flory arg. In the middle pannel was St. Antony, at his feet is Scus Antonius, and this sheld, azure a cross tau or. In the 3d pannel was Sci' Georgius, and this shield, arg. a cross gules.

In a south window of the nave, Harsick, or, a chief indented sab. in a mantle, and the crest a plume of turkey feathers in a hoop, or; also Dorward, impaling arg. a cross between 4 escollops sab. Coggeshall; and in the north windows, the arms of Spelman, Narburgh, St. George, also Dorward and Naunton, and Dorward and Harsicke impaled: in the north isle, in the lowest window, gul. a chief ermine, Nargurgh, impaling gul. three buckles lozengy or, Watshall.

At the upper end of this isle is a chapel, parted by a woodenscreen painted, on the east side of which, in the chapel, adjoining to the north wall, is a tombstone, raised about a foot and an half from the ground, and thereon lies the effigies of a Knight Templar in his military vest, cross-legg'd, his hands conjoined at his breast, with a great broad belt and sword, and a lion couchant at his feet, all of stone; there is no inscription or arms, but it is most likely in memory of Sir Eudo Harsicke, the first of that name, for the monument bespeaks great antiquity.

The Templars were habited in while, and their uppermost garment was of red cloth, with a cross pattee on their left shoulder; and to show that they were not ashamed of the doctrine of the cross, they are pourtrayed and carved, with their legs forming a saltire-cross, in armour, with the habit abovementioned over it; and their sword hanging from a broad belt buckled over their vest or inward habit, as in this monument; sometimes they are represented in armour, with their hands forming the same cross, having something like a torce or rope, close twisted about their limbs, with swords in their hands, and sometimes a plain long staff, with a cross pattee on the head.

This is called the chapel of the Assumption of our Blessed Lady, and some years past, here was in a window the effigies of Sir John Harsyke; the founder, in complete armour, on his knees, and hands conjoined, and at his right hand the arms of Harsike, impaling gul. a fess between three leopards heads jessant flowers de-lis, or, the arms of Dryby; near him also, was the effigies of his lady on her knees, and at her left hand, her arms in a single shield; there were also the arms of Calthorpe impaling Walcote.

The eastern part of this chapel is taken in, and fenced with ironrails, by the Barkhams, who made it their burial-place, and have a vault here.

As you enter, on the pavement on the left hand lies a marble gravestone near the wall, on which are the portraitures in brass of a man and woman, with their right hands joined, the woman on the right hand, the man on the left, the man in complete armour, and on his breast the arms of Harsike, and near his head the crest of turkey feathers in an hoop, as abovementioned, and at his feet, a lion couchant. The woman in an antique dress of that age; on her vest are her own arms, on the right side, ermine, a maunch gules, Calthorp, and on her left side, the arms of her husband, and at her feet is a dog couchant; on a rim of brass that goes round the stone, is this inscription,

Hic iacet Dns. Johes. Harsick Miles eiusoem Nominis tertius, qui obiit Serto die Septembris Ano Dni. Mccclxxxiv. cuius anime propicictur Deus Amen, et Domina Katherina Uxor.

This Sir John married Catharine, daughter and sole heir of Sir Bartholomew Calthorpe, Knt. of Gestingthorpe, whose father, Sir Bartholomew, married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir John de Gestingthorp of Essex, and by reason of her inheritance assumed the arms of Gestingthorpe, ermine, a maunch gules; and in a window adjoining is the same shield, still remaining.

Near to this, in the north wall, is a marble stone fixed and thus inscribed,

Hic jacet Penelope, filia Domini Edwardi Barkham Baronetti, et Franciscæ Uxoris sue, qui quidem Penelope, Ætate Puellula, sed Prudentiâ, Pietate, Virtute Matrona omnibus satis, Parentibus nimis, et Deo maxime chara, terras reliquit, ad Nuptias Agni vocata Julij 11, 1678, Annoq; Ætatis suæ, Octavo.

At the east end of this chapel, against the north wall, is a very rich and stately altar monument, of marble and alabaster, ornamented with several deaths heads, bones, &c. in basso-relievo, on this rests a large black marble slab, supported at each corner by a column of black marble of the Dorick order; on this slab lies a mat or bass of alabaster, curiously carved; and on that lie the statues of Sir Edward Barkham and his lady, on their backs, in their full length and proportions in alabaster, Sir Edward in armour, and (what is somewhat incompatible) witn his scarlet gown and golden chain about his neck, as Lord Mayor of London, over his armour; so that the statuary was of the same opinion with the Roman orator, Cedant arma togœ; he has also a book in his right hand, and rests his head on a cushion: his lady is in a dress agreeable to the age she lived in, her hands across, and rests her head on a cushion; at the head and foot of this monument are the effigies of two sons and three daughters, all kneeling on cushions. To this monument is a wall-peice of the same materials, on the summit of which is this shield, arg. three pallets gul. over all a chevron or, Barkham; and under it this motto, diligentia, fortunæmater; on each side of this, is a figure; that on the right hand representing Victory, with a laurel crown in her right hand, and on the pedestal that supports her, Barkham impaling quarterly in the first and fourth, arg. on a pale sable three crosses pattee, or, in a bordure engrailed of the 2d, Crouch; in the second and third arg. on a chevron sab. three helmets closed, or, Scot: the figure on the left hand is, a skeleton representing death, and on the pedestal the arms of Crouch and Scott quarterly, and by these figures are two hour-glasses with wings. About this monument hang several banners and streamers with the aforesaid arms, but here is no epitaph or inscription on it. This Sir Edward Barkham was Lord Mayor of London in the 19th of King James I.; he was son of Edward Barkham of this town, Esq. and was created Baronet of this town, June 28, 1623, being a native of this village; he married Jane, daughter to John Crouch, Esq. of Cornybery in Hertfordshire, by Joan, daughter and heir of John Scott of London. The crest of Barkham, on the iron work that encloses the tomb, is two arms embraced, or, hands proper, supporting a sheaf of arrows arg. in a rye band gul.

At the west end of the nave, stands a little low square tower of flint, with quoins and embattlements of free-stone, in which hang three bells, on the 2d is this inscription,

In Multis annis Resonet Eampana Johamnis

it being dedicated to St. John; on the 3d, As God will, so be it.

Over the west door of this tower are three shields carved in stone, viz. Harsick impaling Calthop alias Gestingthorp, Harsick alone, and the third shield is now obscure; by these arms it appears that this tower was erected by that Sir John Harsick, who married Catherine Calthorp, about the reign of King Edward III. In the west window of the tower is a shield of Watshall, Sir Eudo Arsic, the third, married Alice, daughter and heir of Watshall. Also in the same window the arms of Calthorp or Gestingthorp as above, and a broken shield of Dorward.

The chancel is separated from the nave of the church by a wooden screen, ornamented with pillars of the Dorick order, erected at the charge of Sir Edward Barkham aforesaid, as appears from his arms, &c. This chancel is in length about 30, and about 18 feet in breadth; on the middle of the area lies a marble stone, on the upper part of it, on a brass plate, is the portraiture of the Virgin Mary with the child Jesus in her arms; here was also on it the portraiture of a priest on his knees in his robes, and this inscription on a brass plate:

Orate pro anima Domini Thome Leman, quandam Rectoris istius Ecclesie qui obiit r Die Mensis Junii, an Mcccccxxxiiii, cuius anime propicietur Deus.

This is now reaved, but preserved in the church chest.

Near to the arch that leads into the chapel, (on the north side of the chancel,) is an old gray marble gravestone, which was ornamented with several shields, and plates of brass, now all reaved, some of these are preserved in the chest; on one plate was

Orate pro animabus Dni. Rogeri Varsyhe Militis, et alice Consortis suae quorum animabus propicietur Deus Amen.

In the centre of this stone was an heart of brass, and thereon

Domine in manus tuas commendo Spiritum meum, tc. Psal.

31, v. 5, above this,

Deus propitius esto mihi Peccatoti.

By the inscription here it is plain that this gravestone is in memory of Sir Roger Harsyke and his lady Alice, daughter of Nicholas Wichingham. Within an arch made in the south wall of the chancel, lies the effigies of a person in complete armour, carved out of oak, but without any shield or inscription: Weever, who wrote a treatise of Funeral Monuments, gives us an account of this. In the chancel under the south wall lieth entombed Sir Roger Harsick, Knt. the son and heir of John, who lived in the reign of King Henry V. and in the 29th of Henry VI. in whom the issue male ended, leaving his inheritance to his two daughters. That Weever is here mistaken is certain, the said Roger and his lady lying under the gravestone abovementioned: this wooden effigies, now all worm-eaten and crumbling to dust, has (together with the arch that it lies under) the face of greater antiquity, and as I believe, was rather in memory of Sir Roger Harsick, son of Sir Alexander. Weever wrote his treatise in the beginning of the last century, when no doubt there were here, as well as in other churches, many more valuable remains of antiquity than can be now expected, after the many fatal outrages that were committed in the civil war, yet he gives us only an account of this inarched monument, and passes by the many monuments then here and entire; which is a proof to me, that his collection was not made by him on his own view, but taken on trust; and as it was ignorantly communicated to him. At the west end of this inarched monument is a freestone fixed in the wall, thus inscribed. Aug. 1725, The Rev. Mr. William Broclebank, rector, new paved this chancel with stone, at his own charge, had the gravestones cleaned and laid even, removed none that had any inscription, but gave three plain ones to be laid in the body of the church.

The communion table is enclosed with rails and balisters, and has an ascent of one step to it of free-stone; against the east wall are the commandments in letters of gold, and the portraitures of Moses and Aaron, the gift of Mrs. Fountain, mother of Sir Andrew. In the east window is the shield of Harsike painted on the glass. To this church there belongs a large silver cup, and two silver patines or salvers; on the cup is this inscription;

The Gift of the Lady Jane Barkham Widow, to the Church of Southacre in the County of Norfolk 1642, and the arms of Barkham impaling Crouch, and the salvers, have the same arms.


Reginald de Arsick was rector in the 20th of Edward I.

About this time Norwich Domesday Book was wrote, wherein it is said that the rector had then an house and 30 acres of glebe, and Sir Roger Harsike was patron, the Prior of Sporle had a portion of tithe valued at one mark, the rectory was valued at 5l. Peterpence 6d.

  • 1321, John Child of Castleacre, presented by Sir John de Arsyk.
  • 1349, John de Fyncham. Ditto.
  • 1354, Andrew Wibbe. Ditto.
  • 1375, John de Haneworth. Sir John Arsyck.
  • 1407, John Spawk. Ditto.
  • 1412, John Dey of Dunham. Sir John Arsyck. In this rector's time, in the 15th of Henry VI. Joan Queen Dowager of Henry IV. died seized of a pension of 13s. 4d. issuing out of this rectory, and formerly belonging to the priory of Sporle.
  • 1445, George Hecham, on the death of Dey, resigned. Sir Roger Harsyck.
  • 1446, John Synnowe, resigned. Ditto.
  • 1452, John Aungier. Ditto. Aungier had been a chantry priest in the chapel here, as I take it, was instituted by proxy in 1445 for Hecham, and by his will dated the 4th of March, 1485, desires to be buried in the churchyard here.
  • 1486, Richard Butter, ob. John Dorward, Esq.
  • 1502, Thomas Leman. James Hobart, attorney-general to the King. His will is proved 31 July 1534.
  • 1534, Jeffery Baker, ob. He had been vicar of East Walton in 1518.
  • 1553, Robert Pepper, ob. Edmund Beaupre, Esq.
  • 1556, Thomas Frettwell, A. M. resigned. Ditto. Rector also of Wimbotsham.
  • 1578, Henry Bedingfeld. Catherine Winter. He was vicar of Bedingfeld in Suffolk, and rector of Uppwell in Norfolk.
  • 1581, John Smith, A. M. buried 9th March 1623.
  • 1624, Thomas Gay, A. M. licensed preacher. Sir Edward Barkham. He died 27th January 1651.
  • 1651, Benedict Rively; he was born at Lynn Regis in Norfolk, ob.
  • 1695, Robert Purland. Sir William Barkham. Vicar also of East-Walton in Norfolk, and buried in the chancel at East Walton, 24th May 1723, where lies a marble stone with this shield, sab. five wings in saltier or, and this inscription:

Hic jacet Robertus Purland, A. M. Coll. Gon. et Caij Cantab. olim Alumnus, mox Vicarius de Est-Walton, tandem Rector de Southacre, Vir pietate pariter ac probitate, et Prudentia insignis, Pastor vigilantissimus, Amicus fidissimus, Maritus amantissimus, Pater mitissimus. Qui postquam Gregi huic per L. Annos et quod excurrit invigilaverat, tandem Obdormivit in Domino, Maij xxi, 1723.

  • 1723, William Brocklebank. Sir Andrew Fountain, Knt. ob. buried here.
  • 1741, The Rev. Mr. George King, A. M. the present rector. Sir Andrew Fountain, Knt. the present patron.

This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 10l. 18s. 1d. ob. q.; tenths are 1l. 1s. 9d. ob. q. and being undischarged is incapable of augmentation, visitatorial synodals 2s. 6d.; annual synodals 18d. Archdeacon's procurations 6s. 8d.

In this parish was an house of lepers, with a church dedicated to St. Bartholomew.

Herbert de Sudacre, or Southacre, with the consent of William his heir, gave to the priory of Castleacre, the land late Anschetill de Wentling, and 20 acres in the fields of Pagrave and Sudacre, and the land at Racheness, where the church of St. Bartholomew is founded, with three roods about the church, and 2 acres of land at Bursthall, for his soul's health and Hugoline's his wife, and for the use of the lepers there remaining, and half the fold-course and common of pasture where his and his brother Alan de Pagrave's beasts went: the deed is sans date, and but about the time of Henry II.

The place where this church and house of lepers stood, is now known by the name of Bartholomew Hill in Southacre, which lies on the road from Swaffham to Castleacre, where some remains of a little peddling Fair is still kept on St. Bartholomew's Day, and here some people digging lately for stone, found several human bones, sculls, &c.

Alan de Pagrave confirmed the same, and gave them an acre at Stanhall. William de Pagrave, son of Robert de Norton, gave to the monks of Acre, all the land from the said hospital to Weleswesgate. Hamon Cook of Acre, by will sans date, but in the time of Henry II. gave 8s. to the brethren of Rachanesse.

There are no remains of the church, but it stood close to the road aforesaid, on the left hand as you go to Castleacre, the bones being dug up in the old churchyard.

In 1413, Brother William Harsyke, a Carmelite or white friar of Burnham convent, flourished under Henry IV.; he was born here, educated at Cambridge, where he took a doctor's degree in divinity, and published many things, some of which are observed in Pitts's English Writers, page 594.

The house called Southacre-Hall, a seat of the Barkhams and Lord Richardson, was sold lately by William Jenny, Esq. and Elizabeth, only sister and heir to William Lord Richardson, his wife, to Sir Andrew Fountain, Knt. (See vol. ii. p. 449, 50.)

Burials here.

Edward Barcam, Feb. 18, 1599.

Hugh Lancaster, Gent. June 5, 1607.

Hugh Barkham, son of Sir Edward Barkham, October 20, 1628.

Lady Grace Barkham, daughter of Lew. Watson Lord Rockingham, and wife to Sir Edward Barkham, Bart. March 30, 1658.

Sir Edward Barkham, Knt. and Bart. Aug. 1667.

Frances wife of Sir Edward Barkham, Bart. July 25, 1667.

John Barkham, son of Sir Edward Barkham Knt. and Bart. of Westacre, 29 July, 1670.

Mary daughter of Sir Edward Barkham, Knt. and Bart. 22 March, 1671.

Sir Edmund Bell, buried at Southacre 22 Dec. 1607.

Edward son of Robert Cony, Esq. 3 Apr. 1674.

Penelope daughter of Sir Edward Barkham, Knt, and Bart. 13 July 1675.

Penelope daughter of Robert Cony, Esq. August 9, 1675.

Sir William Barkham, Bart. 28 December, 1695.

Edward son of Sir William Barkham, 28 December, 1695.

Lady Frances, relict of Sir Edward Barkham, and afterwards wife to Henry Lord Richardson, Nov. 19, 1706.

Barkham Cony, son of William Cony, Esq. 21 July, 1718.


In the Conqueror's time, this township, then wrote Dudelingtuna, had two lordships: one held by the Earl Warren, the other by Ralph Lord Limesey, of whom see in Oxburgh.

The Earl Warren's Manor[edit]

Thirty two freemen, held of this Earl, four carucates of land, which was held in the Confessor's time, by the same number of freemen; there were always amongst them five carucates, and Ogerus, one of them, had one carucate valued at 20s. It was then 8 furlongs in length, and 4 in breadth, paid 13d. to the gelt, and was valued at 4l. 5s. per annum, and in the Confessor's time at cs.

On an inquisition taken the 24th of Henry III. Thomas Coke of this town was found to hold one fee and an half of this Earl, and the Earl of the King in capite; and in the 34th of the said reign Roger Coke held the same, and had view of frankpledge here without the King's bailiff, by which it appears to be the capital manor; also in the 9th of Edward I. Robert Coke had the assize of bread and beer, and in the 9th of Edw. II. John de Hockham was lord.

Richard de Holditch, and William de Hockham, held in the 20th of Edw. III. three parts of a fee of John de Norwich, and he of the Earl, formerly held by Thomas Coke: the family of Holditch appears to have possessions here before this; in the 7th of the said King, a fine was levied between Richard de Holdich, and Richard his son, querents, and William de Brome and Joan his wife, defendants, of 80 acres of land, 2 of meadow, 5 of pasture, and 30s. rent here and in Foulden, conveyed to Richard the father. In the 39th of the said Edward III. Richard Holdich had free warren granted him in all his lands here: in the 6th of King Richard II. Richard Holdych was lord, and lived here. And in the 9th of the said King, Richard Holdich and others alienated to the nuns of Marham, Belets in Marham, 160 acres of land, 40 of meadow, and the rent of 10s. per annum in Marham, with lands and tenements in this town, to the value of 40l.

By an inquisition taken in the 3d of Henry IV. Thomas Holdych was found to hold this manor of Sir Robert Knolls, and he of the Earl of Arundel, the tenure unknown; and in the 7th of Henry V. Richard Holdych of this town was one of those gentlemen of ancient coat armour, who were returned by the justices of peace for the county, as one of the 20 lances to serve the King in the French wars.

In the 4th and 5th of Queen Elizabeth, Miles Holdych, son and heir of Richard, had livery of this manor, with those of Foulden, Colveston, and Ranworth; and in the 13th of that reign, John Holdich, Esq. was lord, and Henry Holdich, Esq. occurs in 1592, 1603, who had by Susanna his wife, Elizabeth his daughter and heiress, married to Sir John Sidley of St. Clees in Chart Magna in Kent, whose son, Sir John Sidley, Bart. sold it in 1650, to

Robert Wilson, Esq. of Merton in Surry, who died 11th November, 1660, and was son of Rowland Wilson, merchant of London, who fined for alderman; by Catharine his wife, daughter of Richard Rudd, citizen of London, afterwards wife of John Highlord, alderman of London.

The said Rowland is said to have founded an alms-house at Merton. Robert married Catharine, daughter of Edward Ashe, of London, merchant, father of Sir Joseph Ashe, Knt. and Bart.; his second wife was Joan, daughter of Mr. Parker of London, merchant; by his first wife he had two sons, Robert Wilson, Esq. who died a bachelor in 1701, and Edward Wilson of Colveston, Esq. who married a daughter of Mr. Webster of Bungey in Suffolk, by whom he had

Robert Wilson, Esq. the present lord.

Of the family of Holditch, it appears by ancient evidences, that Gilbert Holdych of Foulden lived in the 32d of Edward I.; and in the 2d year of Edward II. Richard appears to be his son; also Ralph, who was then married to Florentia; William Holdich, son of Ralph, occurs in the 16th of Edward III.

Richard Holditch, son (as I take it) of Richard aforesaid, was lord of this town 39th Edward III. and married Alice, daughter of John Berney of Witchingham, and had 2 sons, Richard and Thomas, and 3 daughters, Joan, Alice, and Margaret married to Nicholas Beaupre of Outwell in Norfolk.

Margaret, late wife of John de Pakenham, daughter of Robert de Northwold, gave by deed, dated in the 16th of Edward II. land in Wretton, to Ralph de Holdich, and in the 16th of Edward III. Robert de Holdich of Foulden, John and William de Holdich, occur in a deed.

Richard Holdych and Agnes his wife lived in the 1st of Richard II. and 3d of Henry IV. and had a daughter Ann, married to Henry Reepes of Thorp-Market in Norfolk.

Thomas Holdych died about the 7th of Henry VI. and his son Thomas was then found to be 30 years old, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Drew of Wygenhale St. Mary Magdalen, and had Margaret his daughter, married to Jeffrey Kerville of Islington in Norfolk.

Richard Holdich presented to Colveston in 1478, and John Holdich to South Pickenham in 1475, which John, as I take it, was the first husband of Elizabeth, afterwards wife of Robert Felmingham, Gent. who by her will dated 31st Jan. 1522, bequeaths her body to be buried in the church of the Black Fryars of Norwich, by the body of her late husband, John Holdich; "and I wull a Coope browdrod upon the Back with oon Skochyn of Armes of my said Husband and myn be bought by mine Executors, to the Value of 20 Marks and better, and the same to be given to the Parish Church of Foulden." By her will it appears she had two sons by the said John, of which Robert was the eldest, and 3 daughters; Robert presented to Colveston in 1536, and had a daughter Ursula, married to Henry Hawes, Esq. of Helgey in Norfolk, and Frances, married to William Rookwood of Weston.

John Holdich lived in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and presented to Didlington in 1570, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Richers, Esq. of Swannington, and had a daughter married to Thomas Mayhew of Clipsby, Esq. lord of Colveston, &c.

The Lord Limesis's Manor[edit]

In the time of the Confessor, Hardwin held here one carucate, a mill, and a fishery, valued at 20s. &c. and was granted by the Conqueror to Ralph de Limesio, a potent baron. From the Lord Limesey, the capital lord, this part of the town descended to the Odinsels, &c. as may be seen at large in Oxburgh, and was held in the 24th of Henry III. by John de Burehall, of Hugh de Odinsels; and in the 9th of Edw. II. by John de Sharnbourn; after this I meet with no further account of it, being sold, and united to the other lordship.

The church of Dudlington is a regular structure, having a nave and south and north isles, covered with lead; the length of the nave is about 49 feet, and the breadth, including the isles, about 40 feet; the rest of the nave is of oak, and the vault of it is supported by octangular pillars, forming 8 arches, 4 on a side. At the lower end of the nave, is a very large marble gravestone about 10 feet in length and 5 in breadth, having curious nichings and engravings on it, now almost obscured by age, in memory, probably, of some of the family of Holdich; but the brass plate with the inscription is reaved: at the west end of this nave stands a four-square tower of flint, (as the church is,) with quoins and embattlements of free-stone; in this tower were lately three bells, the second is dedicated to St. Michael, and thus inscribed;

Dulcis : Sisto : Melis : Campana Vocor : Michaelis.

The windows of the north isle are ornamented with blue glass and cinquefoils of gold, so that it is likely some one of the Bardolph family was a benefactor to, or founder of, the said isle. And in the uppermost window is a shield of the arms of Holdich.

In the east window of the south isle are the broken remains of the Virgin with the child Jesus in her arms; also the arms of Lord Bardolph; the said window is edged with text [M] and crowns over them. At the bottom of the uppermost window of this isle, is ermine on a fess gules three bezants, Dagworth, an ancient Suffolk family; Thomas de Dagworth was a parliamentary baron, and was sent into Britain with 100 men of arms, and 200 archers, in 1344.

In the middle window are the remains of two figures painted on the glass, one on the right hand has an antique gown flowered with roses, and over his head, which is broke off, the letter [H] for Howard; the other has a gown flowered gutty, the head of it is also gone.

In the windows is a broken shield, seemingly arg. a saltier azure, and ermine on a fess gul. three bezants.

And these arms:

The chancel is divided from the nave by an ancient screen, and is in length about forty, and in breadth about 16 feet, and has an ascent of three steps to the communion table, which is railed in; on the pavement lies a stone thus inscribed,

Under this Stone lieth the Bodies of John Wesne, Gent: and Elizabeth his Wife, who departed this Life December 25 and 26, in the Year of our Lord 1691.

Against the south wall, near the east end is a compartment of freestone, embellished with festoons, &c.; on the summit is, sable, a wolf saliant or, and in chief a flower-de-lis, arg. between two bezants of the 2d, Wilson; and in the centre, on a black marble, this inscription in letters of gold:

Here lyeth the Body of Robert Wilson of Didlington in the county of Norfolk, Esq; Son and Heir of Robert Wilson of Merton in the County of Surry, Esq; He departed this Life on the 10th of December 1701, in the 51 Year of his Age.

Under the shield is this motto, Deducet in portum.

On a like compartment against the north wall is this inscription,

Here lyeth the Body of Edward Wilson of Didlington, Esq; second son of Robert Wilson of Merton in the County of Surry, Esq; he departed this Life April 3, 1708, in the Year of his Age 55. Here also lyeth the Body of Katharine Wilson daughter to the said Edward Wilson, who departed this Life 29th September 1699. Here also lyeth the Body of Katharine Wilson, another Daughter of the said Edward Wilson, who departed this Life February 11, 1708.

Besides the arms already observed, there were formerly in the said church those of Harsick, and arg. on a saltier azure, a cinquefoil or, in the midst, quarterly, or, 2 lions passant azure in the 1st and 4th, and arg. a cross patonce azure in the 2d and 3d, Dudley and Malpas; also gul. three sea-fowls arg. Foulere, or Fowler.

The church of Dudlington was formerly a rectory, and in the patronage of the Earls of Warren and Surry, and John Earl Warren is said, about the year 1300, to have given the presentation to the convent of Marham in Norfolk. In the 27th year of King Edward I. Alexander was rector, and one Thomas de la Ware had a trial with him, and recovered a mark damage against him for impounding his free-bull; it was found by the jury that one Jeffrey de Overbeck formerly held here one messuage, and half a carucate of land of the Prior of Lewes, paying a fee tarm rent of 1 mark per annum, and had the liberty of keeping a free-bull here, time immemorial; and that Jeffrey Overbeck enfeoffed Simon de Caitey in the said messuage, land, and free-bull; and after that, Thomas de Ware and Beatrix his wife held the same. The church was appropriated to the convent of Marham, on the 20th of December 1302, by John Bishop of Norwich, and a vicar endowed was to take place on the death of the rector.

William de London, rector in the time of Henry III.

Alexander, rector in the 27th of Edward I.


  • 1302, Aug. 1st, Oliver de Wysete, the first vicar, was presented by the convent of Marham.
  • 1302, William Picks de Thetford presented by the convent of Marham, and nominated by the Bishop of Norwich, as were the following vicars:
  • 1316, Roger, son of Henry Baker, of Dudlington.
  • 1335, Robert de Ingham.
  • 1349, Nicholas Bolswell of Methelwold.
  • Peter Man occurs in the 3d of Richard II.
  • 1397, Thomas Annfrey, res.
  • 1407, John Elomy of Shropham, in exchange for the rectory of Stanefield in Norfolk.
  • 1428, John Ereswell.
  • 1431, Robert Hecocks, res.
  • 1446, John Purle, res.
  • 1450, John Passlylaw, canon of West Derham, res.
  • 1466, Thomas Cley.
  • 1473, John Aleyn.
  • John Lychefeld, res.
  • 1482, Thomas Myntelyng.
  • Audrey Ellis, by will dated 4th April 1483, leaves money to St. John's gild here, St. Margaret's image, and the sepulchre.
  • 1488, Stephen Brownyng, on the resignation of Myntelyng.
  • 1504, Richard Carter, res.
  • 1510, John Harpley, ob.
  • 1517, Thomas Hedge, res.
  • 1524, Thomas Smythe, ob.
  • 1530, Thomas Mawdeson.
  • Robert Halman; he was also rector of Boughton and Colveston, and was deprived by Queen Mary.
  • 1554, James London, ob. the Bishop by lapse.
  • 1557, Richard Carter, A. M. presented by John Hare, Gent. for in the 38th year of King Henry VIII. this rectory, part of the possessions of the dissolved convent of Marham, was given to Nicholas Hare.
  • 1558, John Echard, on the resignation of Carter. John Hare, citizen and mercer of London. Archbishop Parker, in his Certificatorium of the Clergy, a MSS. in Bennet college library, (inter Miscel. Nr. 5,) gives him this character: " Presbyter non conjugatus, indoctus, non residet, non hospitalis, in rectoriâ sua de Skarninge, non prædicat, nec licentiatus."
  • 1570, Henry Hamond, on the death of the last vicar. John Holdich, Esq. who purchased the rectory, and the presentation to the vicarage, from John Hare.
  • Mr. Chapman, res.
  • 1578, Edmund Turner, lapse, res.
  • 1592, Thomas Hooper, A. M. Hen. Holdich, Esq.
  • 1597, Jeffrey Hooper, A. B. on the promotion of Thomas Hooper, (to North Rungton) by Ditto. In his time, in his answers to King James concerning the state of the parishes, there were then 63 communicants. Res.
  • 1615, Anthony Wilkinson, A. M. Benjamin Cooper of Yarmouth, merchant, patron of this turn.
  • 1622, Benjamin Berwick, A.M. Tho. Edgeley and Tho. Carvel for this turn; he held this and Colveston annexed by union, and the rectory of West-Toftes with them by dispensation.
  • Andrew Needham, res.
  • 1676, Wormley Martin, A. M. Borage Martin, Esq. of Thetford, patron of this turn.

At this time this church and that of Colveston were consolidated.

  • 1685, John Ellis, A. M. the King by lapse. In 1617, license was granted to take down the Vicarage-house.
  • 1720, the Rev. Mr. John Brundish, A. M. on the death of Ellis, was presented by Rob. Wilson, Esq. and now holds it united to the vicarage of Foulden.

Before the rectory was appropriated, it was valued at 20 marks; the rector had a manse, with 20 acres of glebe; and half the rectory is said to have been appropriated to the monastery of Lewes in Sassex, and confirmed by Thomas Bishop of Norwich in 1230, and was de novo appropriated to the nuns of Marham, by John Bishop of Norwich, 13 Kal. Januarij 1302, and a vicarage was endowed, taxed at the 3d part of the rectory.

The nuns at Marham were taxed for their spiritualities at 20 marks.

This vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 8l. 4s. 4d. ob. and being together with Colveston, valued at 40l. per annum, it is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation; it paid 12d. Peter-pence. The Revision says, the Bishop's procurations are 2s. ob. synodals 2s. archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob.

This village paid 4l. 15s. clear to every tenth, besides 12s. on account of the lands of the religious, and there are not above 3 or 4 farm-houses, besides the hall, which stands south of the church.


This town takes its name from a little river or creak adjoining, termed by the Saxons [Crecca].

In Domesday Book it is accounted for, under the lands of William Bishop of Thetford; (the see being not then removed to Norwich;) here were two carucates in domain in the Confessor's time, at the survey 3, one carucate amongst the freemen, then but half a carucate; now 8 acres of meadow, 2 mills, 2 fisheries or fish-ponds, 17 socmen who held 60 acres, &c. pannage for 60 swine, and 80 sheep: it was valued at 6l. in King Edward's time; now at 9l. was one mile long and half a mile broad, and paid 14d. gelt, when the hundred paid 20s. To this there belonged a church endowed with 20 acres of glebe valued at 20d.

Cressingham, or the Dean and Chapter of Norwich's Manor[edit]

This manor was enjoyed by the Bishops of the see till the reign of King Stephen, when Eborard the Bishop, being distressed in the wars between the King and the Empress Maud, was obliged to resign his right in this town and in part of Blickling in Norfolk, to two powerful knights and leaders, to preserve the rest of his bishoprick, but this being done without the consent or advice of his convent, he afterwards entreated Pope Eugenius to absolve him, and that the said lordships might be restored to his church of Norwich: and accordingly this lordship came again into the Bishop's hands; and in the beginning of King John's reign, William the prior, and the convent of Norwich, granted to John de Grey, then Bishop, the fair of Linn, together with Geywode by Linn, the Saturday market at Linn, all pleas and profits whatever, which they had by virtue of their layfee, a messuage near the chapel of St. Nicholas at Lynn, to the west, a messuage near Surflet bridge, all their salt-pits in the said villages, and the toll there, in exchange for this lordship, and that of Secheford in Norfolk.

On this exchange, the advowson of the church here was excepted, and that with the knights fees hereto belonging, being reserved to the Bishop and his successours, with the episcopal authority he had in other manors belonging to the convent, all this was confirmed by King John's letters patent, dated 10 June 1205.

After this, in 1239, it appears that the prior was lord; and in 1274, he claimed the assize of bread and ale. In 1283, an extent was made of this lordship, wherein it is recorded that it enjoyed all the liberties, which the Bishop and Prior of Norwigh had in their other manors, viz. view of frankpledge, lete, assize of bread and ale, gallows, and tumbrell, free bull and boar all the year, weyf and stray, two freefolds for sheep, and one for steers and heifers all the summer season. It had arable land in several pieces, 34 acres and 3 roods, at 12d. per acre. Arable land 71 acres 2 roods and an half, at 10d. per acre. Arable land 79 acres and 6 roods, at 8d. per acre, &c. a watermill at Glosebrigg, valued at 40s. with a fishery in the said water and pool, seven parts in the heath, 36 hens at Christmas, at 1d. per hen, and 4 geese at Michaelmas, at 2d. per goose; also 32 quarters of oats, payable at St. Michael, at 15d. a quarter; and at Easter 160 eggs, with many customs, days-works, &c.

In 1317, Sir Walter de Norwich alienated to the prior and convent 3 messuages, 169 acres of land, and 12 of meadow, in CressinghamMagna, Parva, and Hopton; and on Friday the Vigil of the Nativity of St. John Baptist, in the same year, Richard de la River, Knt. and Maud his wife, gave license to Robert the Prior, and the convent of Norwich, to receive the lands, which Sir Walter held of them; and Maud, relict of Sir Robert de Tony, gave her license also, some of the said lands belonging to the honour of Richmond being held by her.

John, son of Clement de Cressingham, and Avice his wife, gave also their license; and in 1316, Philip Payn of Hopton by Cressingham, confirmed what he held of Sir Walter, in the said villages, and what Sir Walter held of him, and William de Hockham confirmed the same for the payment of 3s. per annum. All this was purchased at 400 marks by John de Ely, alias Salmon, Bishop of Norwich, and given to the prior and convent, for the better endowment of the chantry priests founded by the said Bishop in the chapel of St. John the Evangelist built by him, at the west door of the cathedral, (for which see vol. iii. p. 499; vol. iv. p. 55, 6.)

This manor was always leased out by the priors; and in 1513, Sir Robert Southwell held it of the prior, paying 13l. 13s. 4d. in money, &c. per annum; soon after this it came to the Jenneys, who held it of the dean and chapter of Norwich, on the dissolution of the priory.

The branch of the Jenneys, lords here, descended from Will: Jenney of Knatshall in Suffolk, who was succeeded by his son, John Jenney of Knodeshale, Esq. who died in 1460, (see vol. iii. p. 156, 9, 65, 71,) and by Maud his wife, daughter and heir of John Buckle, by Joan his wife, daughter and heir of John Leiston, by Maud daughter and coheir of William Gerrard, Esq. he left Tho. Jenney, Esq. his 2d son, for whom see vol. iii. p. 178, 92,) and other children, besides his eldest son and heir, Sir Wil. Jenney, Knt. judge of the King's Bench, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Tho. Caus, Esq. and relict of Calthorp, by whom he left Sir Edm. Jenney Knatshall, his eldest son, who died in 1522, leaving Wil. Jenney, his eldest son, by Catherine, daughter and heir of Robert Bois, Esq. by Joan daughter and heir of Edmund Wichingham, Esq. son of Sir Roger Bois, by Sibil daughter and heir of Sir Robert Illeye, son and heir of Sir Edmund Illeye, by Alice his wife, daughter and heir of Edmund Plumstead: their second son Christopher, was knighted, and came and settled at Cressingham-Magna, when he married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of William Eyre of Cressingham, judge of the Common Pleas, by whom he had Elizabeth, married to William Steward, as at vol. ii. p. 454, and John Jenney, Esq. his son, who lived here in 1556; he married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Spring of Lavenham in Suffolk, afterwards wife of Edward Flood, Esq. and by her had William Jenney, lord in 1571, who married Amy, daughter of Edward Thoresby of Bocking in Essex, and had Henry Jenney, Esq. lord here in 1637, and John Jenney, lord in 1648, and Robert Jenney of London, merchant: Will. Jenney of Cressingham succeeded John, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Batchcroft of Bexwell, Esq. by whom he had Will. Jenney, Esq. barrister at law, of Lincoln's-Inn, who married Dinah, daughter of John Goldsmith of Stradset in Norfolk; he was buried here in 1687, and in 1688, Tho. Jenney, his brother, was lord here, and sold it to alderman Farrington of London, who conveyed it to Samuel Grant, councellor of London, who held it in 1692, and Edw. Chute, Esq. purchased it of Grant, whose two sons, Lennard and Devereux, dying without issue, it descended to Thomas Lobb Chute, Esq. of South Pickenham, who holds it of the dean and chapter, paying at Ladyday and St. Michael together, the sum of 13l. 13s. 4d. also 15 combs of wheat per annum, and 16 combs of malt, the duty being allowed by the dean and chapter. It pays also to the Lady Humble, or her heirs, 11l. 8s. 7d. halfpenny free-farm rent per annum; to Horace Walpole, Esq. 5s. per annum free-farm rent; to the manor of Uphall in Ashill 1s. 6d. per annum, and to the King 3s. per annum; and in 1648, John Jenney, Esq. paid to the lord of the hundred 3s. 4d. for this manor; and in 1687, Thomas Jenney paid the same. The fine is certain at 4d. per acre, and the prior was taxed for his temporalties at 16l. 11d. ob.

The old hall belonging to this lordship appears, by the arms on the walls, to be built by the Jenneys.

In a window of the parlour is a shield of Jenney, quartering in the 1st place, sable a chevron between three round buckles, or, Buckle; in the 2d, Vert. three sinister hands couped barways arg. bearing three hawks proper, Leyston; in the 3d, Sab. a cross or, between 4 wolves heads couped arg. Gerrard; in the 4th Arg. two bars and a canton gul. over all a bendlet sab. Bois; in the 5th, Ermine 2 chevrons sable, Illey; in the 6th, Arg three buckles masculy in bend between two bendlets sable. Gimingham; in the 7th, Gules a de-lis and a file of three in chief or, Plumstead; in the 8th, Witchingham; in the 9th, Quarterly or and az. on a bend gul. three escalops arg. and a mullet for distinction, Falstolf.

Hockham's, Glosebrig's and Ryley's[edit]

By the survey we find that one Ralph, who held lands of the Bishop, disseised a certain freeman, of a carucate of land, who was in the King's soc, this was valued at 20s. In the 24th of Henry III. Edmund de Hockham held here a moiety of a fee of William Boynton, he of William de Caston, and he of the Bishop of Norwich, and the Bishop of the King in capite. Roger le Virley, Thomas de Cressingham, and John de Glossbrigge, held in the 27th of Edward III. the moiety of a fee, which John son of Clement formerly held of the Calthorps, who held of the Bishop; and in the 30th of the said King, Benedict and Laurence de Hockham, chaplains, and Peter le Gross, held a moiety of the heirs of Agnes de Boyton. In the 3d of Hen. IV. Richard Ryley held the moiety of the Calthorp tenure, and Richard Hockham held that of Boynton, &c. of John Methwold, and John, of the Bishop, as part of his barony; and in the reign of Henry VIII. Sir Christopher Jenney, in whom it was united to the manor of StreetHall, and so remains at this day.

Street-Hall, alias Straw-Hall[edit]

This lordship consisted of lands partly royal domain in the Confessor's time, and given by that King to Ralph Earl of Norfolk, who forfeited it; and at the survey it was in the Crown, and held or farmed of the King by Godric, and partly of the lands of Edwin, (Earl of Mercia,) who had 1 mill valued at 60s. at the survey at 30s.; this part was given by the Conqueror to Alan Earl of Richmond, the other part came by grant to de Bosco or Bois, as in Sporle.

This lordship was held in the beginning of King Henry III. by the family of Le Briton; Sir Ralph le Briton, by his deed sans date, granted to William le Briton his brother, and John his son and heir, all his land at Sporle, Cotes and Kersingham, with the appurtenances, which he had of Henry de Veer, on the condition of entertaining him three times in the year, if he came to those places in person. The seal to this deed is curious; the Virgin with her child, seated under an arch, on each side of her is a wax taper burning, under this in a small arch is Sir Ralph on his knees, and this legend;

Mater Sancta Dei, Sit tibi Cura Mei.

The reverse is an antique head couped, with this legend.

Frange, Lrge, Cabe, Cege.

Another part of this manor belonged to the Tonys from the Conquest; and in 1263 Roger de Tony died seized of the manor of Steer-Hall, that is of the part held of the honour of Richmond; Maud, relict of Sir Robert, held it in 1282, when Sir Richard de la River, Knt. and Maud, held the other part; after this, the two other parts united, and were held by the de la Rivers, the Garlikes, and by Sir William Paston the Judge in the reign of Henry VI.; and before, this, in 1274, Walter atte Street, who gave name to the lordship, was found to hold the same of the Tonys and the Britons: after this Sir William Paston, in the reign of Henry VIII. sold it to Dame Elizabeth Fitz-Williams; and in 1622, it was conveyed to Talbot Pepys, Esq. and Richard Feveryere, Gent. by Clement Corbet, Esq. and Miles Fernley. In the reign of King Charles I. it was held by the Jenneys, and from them it came to Farrington, &c. as may be seen in the Dean and Chapter's manor, and is now possessed by Tho. Lobb Chute, Esq.

The church of Cressingham-Magna is an uniform building of flint, boulder, &c. and copings of free-stone, consisting of a nave, north and south isles, and a chancel all covered with lead, and is dedicated to St. Michael; the nave is about 48 feet long, and, together with the isles, about 42 feet wide, the vault of the nave is supported by pillars, each formed of 4 pilasters joined together, which bear up 8 neat arches, four on each side, and as many windows over them; the roof is of oak, having principals whereon are carved the effigies of bishops, priests, &c. At the west end of the nave stands the tower, of the same materials as the church, with a wooden cap covered with lead, and a weathercock thereon; in this tower hang four modern bells: in this tower is a bell-sollar, or place for the ringers; such places were in ancient time frequently erected by the gifts of welldisposed persons, for the greater convenience and decency of their processions, that the priest and people coming in at the western door might not be any way incommoded by the ropes and ringers.

On a marble gravestone near the end of the nave, is a brass portraiture of a gentlewoman, and on a plate this,

Hic in Resurrectionis spe requiescit Elizabetha Fludd Uxor Edwardi Fludd, Serenissimæ Elizabethæ Reginæ Ante-Ambulonis, quæ prius fuerat Uxor Johannis Jenny Armigeri, Obdormivit in Christo die xvii Februarij Ano Salutis 1588.

And on a brass shield, the arms of

Flood, or Fludd, vert a chevron between three wolves heads erased or, quartering in the 2d and 3d quarters, three boars heads couped, impaling Spring.

Near to the reading-desk, on the pavement, lies a marble stone, with the portraiture in brass of a gentleman in a gown robed with fur; at his right side hangs a purse, the portraiture of his wife is reaved; on a plate below we read thus:

Orate pro animabus Willielmi Eyre Armigeri Legis periti, qucnodam unius Justriciariorum Domini Regis de Ouor' pro Comit' Suffolcie et Norfolcie, et Eliz' Uxoris eius, Unius filiarum thome Barnadiston Militis, qui quidem Willielmus obiit rriiii die Mensis Octobris Ano Dm' M U bii, et dicta Elizabetha obitt Die Mensis Ano Dni Mo Ouorum animabus propitietur Deus.

On the summit of this stone, are the shields of Eyre of Buckinghamshire, az. a chevron arg. between three rye ears or, also Eyre impaling Bernardiston,

On the pavement near to the pulpit lies a marble gravestone with the portraitures of a man in armour, and his wife, in brass, on the right hand, with a string of beads by her side, and on a plate below is this,

Orate pro animabus Richardi Rycle Armigeri et Thomasine Uxoris sue qui quidem Richardus obiit Septimo die Mensis Maii AoDm Mo cccc Nonagessimo viio.

The upper part of this stone is covered by a pew, and the shields below are lost.

In the windows over the fourth arch of the nave, on the north side, are two shields, one is gul. a fess and a file arg. the 2d is barry of eight arg. and azure, a griffin sejeant, over all, or, Cauz, impaling, arg. a fess between three mullets gul. and a broken shield of Hopton impaling Scargyl.

At the east end of the north isle, in the windows, was lately a shield of Paston, and below is this inscription:

Orate pro animabus Dni' Willielmi Paston Justiciarii Regis

This Sir William was lord of Street-Hall, and built this isle; we are told also that he built the north isle of Tharfield church in Hertfordshire, as appeared by an inscription in the east window there, where there was his own and lady's portraitures thus underwritten:

Orate pro animabus Domini Willielmi Paston, et Agnetis Uroris eius Benefactorum huius Ecclesie

This Sir William was son of Clement Paston, Esq. and Beatrix his wife, sister and heir to Jeffry Somerton, Esq.; he married Agnes, daughter and coheir of Sir Edmund Berry, was a judge in the court of Common Pleas, in the reign of King Henry VI. and ancestor to the late Earl of Yarmouth.

In the east wall is a stone staircase that leads to the rood-loft, and by that, a small mural compartment of marble with this inscription:

Memoriæ Sacrum. Near to this place lieth interr'd the Body of William Smith, Esq; who departed this Life the 6th Day of December, Ano Domini 1596. Here also lieth the Body of Dorothy his Wife, who departed the 21st Day of Aug. Ano Domini 1629, they had Issue 3 Sons and 1 Daughter, viz. WilliamRobert Smith, and Sir Owen Smith, and Mary Smith.

Against the upper pillar of the south isle is a pedestal, and an ascent at the east end, and in the windows there, arg. on a chevron gul. three birds respectant, arg. their beaks and feet or, and an nulet sab. for difference.

To this south isle is annexed a porch covered with lead, and ornamented in several places with the letter M cut in stone, and a crown over it; also a sword erect, with a crown on the point, to represent, no doubt, St. Michael and his victory, to whom the church is dedicated; and the same insignia are on the tower.

The nave is divided from the chancel by a good screen, which has been curiously painted and adorned with carved work and images; over it are the Commandments, and this sentence,

Per Christi Sanguinem, Introitus in Sanctissimum.

And on that part facing the chancel is the triangular emblem of the Trinity. This chancel is in length about 37 feet, and in breadth about 18; the communion table is enclosed with rails and balisters; there is an handsome wainscot against the east wall, and that part of the roof that is directly over it is impanneled, and painted with stars, &c. and has these sentences:

HOSANNA in Altissimis. GLORIA in excelsis. SURSUM CORDA. Oculos in Montes.

Behind the screen are six stalls, three on each side of the chapel, wainscotted on the back, very much resembling the seats in collegiate churches and colleges, but now in a ruinous condition. The chancel hath 8 neat windows, 4 on a side; the arches of them are supported by beautiful pilasters, partly worked into the wall; against the east wall is a stone for the imago principalis, and an arch in the south wall where was the bason for the holy water, and within the arch,

Lavate puras Manus.

Against the north wall is a compartment of stone, adorned with foliages, &c. and on a black marble in the centre,

M.S. Elizabethæ Uxoris Thomæ Lobb Armigeri, Thomæ Chute Armigeri filiæ Natu maximæ qui patrem habuit Chalonerum è Com' Hants. Armig' in Comitijs Provincialibus non ita pridem Prolocutorem. Virtutis exercitatæ non minus quam Patriæ virum. Ipsa vero acceptam hanc a Proavis, si non adauxerit, propriam certe fecit, cum omnes quæ filiam, Uxorem, et Matrem commendare possunt, impleret partes, Hinc parvum fortasse videatur quod Patrimonio a Fratre Tho. Lenn. Chute, ei relicto, mariti locupleret Ædes, cum antea Cumulatiori multo dote se Virtutum omnium cohonestastat. Die Septembris Vicessimo Septimo Ano. Dni. 1725. Puerpura infeliciter extincta est, Filium unum, duasque Filiolas Connubialis Tori pignora relinquens, Memor et Mœrens hunc Lapidem posuit Maritus.

Lobb, arg. a pheon gul. between three boars heads couped sab. tusked arg. impaling Chute. Crest, a boar's head cooped sab.

On the pavement in the rails of the communion table, lies a little marble stone with this shield,

Willis, parted per fess gul. and arg. three lions rampant counterchanged, in a bordure ermine.

Here lyeth the Body of John Willys Son, of Thomas Willys, Esq; and Dame Willys his Wife. obijt April 28, 1703, aged 18 Months.

On the pavement before the rails a marble stone is thus inscribed:

Suprà et Infrà,

Quod suprà, Anima est, quod infrà, Corpus Henrici Lobb, qui natus est Saltash in Comitatu Cornwall, diù vixit in Piccadilly Westminster, non mediocris famæ Architecta, híc autem Recessum quærens, ipse etiam a Vitâ recessit, Die Septembris 25, 1706.

On the pavement near to the south wall lies a marble gravestone with this shield,

Or, on a bend between two flowers de-lis gul. a lion passant of the first. Lany.

H. S. E.

Edwardus Lany S. T. P. Aulæ Pembrochianœ apud Cantabrigienses Scholaris, Socius, Custos.

Collegij Greshamiensis apud Londinenses Prælector Theologicus, Academiæ A. D. MDCCVIII Procancellarius, Hujusce Ecclesiæ, antea de Salle in hoc Agro, Rector, Moritur, Aulæ, Collegio, Academiæ, Ecclesiæ, Vir Desideratissimus, V Idus Augusti A. D. MDCCXXVIII. Ætatis LXI.

In the chancel, as you enter, lies a gray marble with the effigies of a priest in brass, the plate belonging to it is, or was lately, in the church chest, and thus inscribed,
Hic iacet Johannes Aberfeid in decretis Bacclaureus quondam fector huius Ecclesie cuius anime propitietur Deus.

Near this on a gravestone,

Richard Son of William Hawkins and Edith his Wife, aged about 2 Years, was here buried September 21st 1677, his Father being then D. D. Prebendary of Norwich and Rector of this Parish.

The arms of the Priory of Norwich remain in the east window, and in one of the north windows,

On an altar monument at the west end of the churchyard,

Hic jacet humatus Vir Reverendus Gulielmus Chambers, variis molestijs diutissimè fatigatus, solutus tandem ex Corporis ergastulo, placidè sicut vixerat, in Christo Obdormiens; obijt Septimo Die Januarij Ano Domini MDCCXX Ætat' suæ 55.

Godwin the deacon gave by his deed, to God and the Holy Trinity at Norwich, his church of Cressingham-Magna, and all things thereto belonging, the houses, household stuff, lands and animals, and whatever he had moveable and immoveable here, of the Bishop's fee, for his own soul, and that of Edina his wife, by the consent of his lord, Herbert the Bishop, and promised to take upon him the habit of a religious in the said church, when God should inspire, and his Lord Herbert command him, after the decease of his wife, and desired his lord to confirm the gift, which he hid about the year 1100.


28 July 1237, John, son of Peter Saraceni, by the King, the see being void.

Walter de Calthorp, nephew of Bishop Suffield, alias Calthorp.

Roger de Scarning Bishop of Norwich, about 1270, appropriated this church to the monastery there, to take place on the decease or cession of this Walter, then rector; but it did not take effect.

  • 1294, Sir Hugh de Cressingham occurs rector in this year, rector also of Enderby, Kingsclere, Hatfield, Chalk, Borles, Barnton, Dodington, Reymerston, Rudderly, &c. prebendary of St. Paul's, and in several cathedrals, treasurer of Scotland, taken by the Scots in the battle of Stryvelin, and flayed alive by them; he was born in this town; there was a family of good account of the said name.
  • 1297, Robert de Fuldone. At this time the old pension of 4 marks per annum due from the Rector, to the Prior and convent of Norwich, was confirmed by the Bishop, and two shillings were added, granted on account of the exemption, viz. Liberty of keeping court Christian, allowed the Rectors of this church. "Ita quod nihil jurisdictionis in ipsâ ecclesiâ seu parochiâ ejusdem, quantum ad forum ecclesiasticum in posterum, aliquo tempore prior et conventus exigere valeant, seu vendicare quoquomodo. Volumus etiam et ordinamus quod idem rector et sui successores, excessus subditorum corrigend' in parochiâ memoratâ jurisdictionem ecclesiasticam, habeant sine omni contradictione dictorum priorum, et eosdem excessus, prout Deus inspiraverit, corrigant et reforment, &c. dat. 6 kal. Februarij 1297." This church was then valued at 26 marks. The rector enjoys this exemption at this day, grants licenses, proves the wills, &c. of the parishioners; for more of this matter see vol. iv. p. 559.
  • 1308, Roger de Snetesham, collated by the Bishop on the resignation of Fuldone; he was prebend of the college of the chapel in the Fields at Norwich 1306, archdeacon of Norwich 1320, of Sudbury 1324. (See vol. iii. p. 647.)
  • 1316, The Bishop collated, as appears from the register; but the name is omitted; about this time the rector had a patent to purchase 3 roods and half an acre of land to enlarge his manse.
  • 1324, Firmanus de Lavenham, dean of Orford deanery in Suffolk, 1317, rector of Bacton in Suffolk, 1316 archdeacon of Sudbury, chancellor of Norwich 1328.
  • 1329, John de Newland, rector of Massingham-Magna and of Eversham in the archdeaconry of Richmond, archdeacon of Norfolk 1335. (vol. iii p. 643.)
  • 1335 Roger de Ayremine, on the resignation of Newland.
  • 1339, William de Wath; he was rector of Herthull in York diocese, and exchanged with Ayremine.
  • 1349, William de Cressingham.
  • 1358, William de Blythe, in 1359 archdeacon of Norfolk and rector of Corton, res.
  • 1360, Hugh de Hoton.
  • 1361, John de Stokes; he was rector of Welowick in York diocese, and exchanged with Hoton.
  • 1375, William Malebeys, in 1383 archdeacon of Suffolk.
  • 1376, Stephen de Cressingham was rector of Belton in Suffolk, and exchanged with Malebys.
  • 1386, Robert de Fulmer, rector of Salle in Winchester diocese in 1390, on the resignation of the archdeacon of Suffolk.
  • 1387, Henry Sturdy, Archdeacon of Suffolk, which he exchanged with Fulmer for Cressingham, treasurer to Bishop Spencer, in his Croisade. (See vol. iii. p. 652.)
  • 1388, Thomas de Herderset, LL.D. on the resignation of Sturdy, chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and master of the King's Hall there, prebend of Rewfen and Gillingham in the church of Salisbury, rector of Gillingham and Hayes in Middlesex, a peculiar of the see of Canterbury, official to the Bishop of Ely, archdeacon of Sudbury, and rector of Yaxham in Norfolk.
  • 1390, Hugh Styrmyn, chaplain to the King, and presented by him, to the archdeaconry of Sudbury in 1387.
  • 1398, Henry Merston, he was rector of East Briggsford in Nottinghamshire, which he exchanged with Styrmyn for this, prebend of Oxgate in St. Paul's 1401; in 1408, he exchanged the rectory of Aston Clinton in Bucks for that of Dodington in the isle of Ely, prebend of Wistow in the church of York 1415, of Southwell, Hoveden, and St. Stephen's Westminster, rector of Bluntesham in Huntingdonshire, and of East Derham in Norfolk, canon of Wells, prebend of Shaldeford, rector of St. Magnus London, and of Fulham in Middlesex, died in 1433, and was buried in St. Stephen's chapel Westminster.
  • 1403, Henry Wells, alias Walton, L. L. B. custos of the free chapel of St. Edmund in Fulburn in Cambridgeshire 1389; in 1393, rector of Barton in Norfolk; in 1397, rector of Grimston Norfolk, and in 1401 dean of St. Mary's college in Norwich, archdeacon of Lincoln, died in 1421, and was buried in the abbey church of West Derham, to which he was a good benefactor.
  • 1415, William Berford, res.
  • 1422, John Maundevile, rector of Hambury in the diocese of Worcester, which he exchanged for this.
  • 1427, Ralph Wolman, alias Harple; he exchanged the church of Burnham Thorp All-Saints for this, rector of Denton in Norfolk 1432, prebend of St. Mary's college in Norwich, which he resigned in 1457.
  • 1460, Edmund Causton, A. B.
  • 1491, Henry Hawte.
  • 1496, William Thompson.
  • 1497, Simon Hunston, ob.
  • 1503, John Aberfield, dean of Fincham deanery, and commissary to the Bishop, and archdeacon of Norfolk; by his will, dated 22d of April, 1518, he gave legacies to the gilds of Corpus Christi and St. Michael here, and for a priest to sing for his soul, his father's and mother's in the church of Chedsey in Somersetshire for one year; in 1505 prebend of St. Mary's college in Norwich, buried here, as his inscription shows.
  • 1518, William Newton, afterwards rector of Massingham-Magna in Norfolk, and of Bacton in Suffolk, and in 1532, prebend of the collegiate church of St. Mary in Norwich; res.
  • 1520, Richard Redmayn, afterwards rector of Bacton, res.
  • 1525, William Barlow, rector by the Pope's dispensation, prior of Bromhill in Weting in Norfolk, afterwards Bishop of St. Asaph, St. David's, and Chichester.

In 1539, Sir Thomas Jeffreson, parish priest of Cressingham-Magna, had a pension of 4 marks per annum, as a late chantry priest of St. Mary Magdalen in Leeds in Yorkshire, and is not married.

Thomas Rokewood occurs rector in 1562.

  • 1582, John Grundye, S.T.B. presented by the Queen. Res.
  • 1598, William Boulton, S.T. B. with the chapel of St. George annexed.

This chapel stood in a close about a mile from the town, south-east called Stone-Close, belonging to the rector, and was the chapel of an hermit. Here is a fair kept yearly now on the 3d of August, but formerly on the first, belonging to the rector, in right of this chapel, which was anciently parochial.

  • 1602, George Mountaine, S.T.P. afterwards dean of Westminster, Bishop of Lincoln, London, and Archbishop of York. In 1603, there were 120 communicants in this parish.
  • 1607, Leonard Burton, S.T.B.
  • 1621, Thomas Otes, D. D. chaplain to the Lord Chancellor Bacon, prebend of Windsor and St. Paul's.
  • 1622, Edward Francklin, S.T. B. chaplain to the Lord Chancellor Bacon; in 1621 he had a dispensation to hold the rectory of St. Laurence, with the vicarage of Kelvedon alias Easterfeld in Essex. In the rebellion he was ejected out of this and the rectory of Cressingham-Parva: in endeavouring to escape from the rebels, the point of a pale in his garden run into his groin, of which wound he died, leaving a widow and four children.
  • 1644, Robert Smith, A. M. an obscure lecturer at Sudbury in Suffolk; and an intruder, but was soon ejected, and

Mr. Thomas Horrockes, put in by the Earl of Manchester.

  • 1663, Thomas Thorowgood, S.T.B. The King, on the death of the last rector, ob.
  • 1669, William Hawkins, S.T.P.: he was chaplain to Bishop Reynolds, minister of St. Peter's at Norwich, and prebend of Norwich. (See vol. iii. p. 669.)
  • 1683, John Burrell, A. M. chaplain to the Duke of Grafton, vicar of Kilverston, rector of Santon and St. Peter's in Thetford. (See vol. ii. p. 64.)
  • 1691, Michael Gregg, L. L. D. rector also of Upwell in Norfolk, ob.
  • 1698, Thomas Rowell, held this with the rectory of Cley All-Saints, and had been rector of Bretenham in Suffolk, ob.
  • 1719, William Sutton, A.M. rector of Salle, and vicar of Saxthorp, res.
  • 1725, Edward Lany, S.T.P. rector of Salle, which he resigned for this, chaplain to Queen Anne, and master of Pembrook-Hall in Cambridge. See his inscription as before.
  • 1728, John Henman, A. M. vicar also of Stanford. (See vol. ii. p. 256.)
  • April 23d, 1730, the Rev. Mr. Edward Chamberlain, A. M. the present rector, is rector of Scoulton, and of the sinecure rectory of Gedney in Lincolnshire. (See vol. ii. p. 345)

This rectory, with the chapel of St. George, stands in the King's Books at 17l. 18s. 1d. ob. and pays yearly tenths 1l. 16s. 9d. ob. qr. and so is incapable of augmentation.

Eborardus Episcopus Norwicensis, &c. dono itaque et presente Deo confirmo in usus Monachorum nostrorum in nostrâ episcopali ecclesiâ Deo servientium, quicquid ego et predecessores mei Norwicenses Episcopi habuimus in Becham, &c. decimam de dominicâ aule de Cressingham, &c. tertiam partem decimarum de dominicâ de Sechesford, et de Elmham, (in Suff.) et de Humeresfield, &c.

Revisio Archidiac. Norff. ano 1630.

Cressingham Magna rectoria.

Dommus Rex patronus ejusdem, Edwardus Franklin, S.T.P. rector (retinet etiam ecclesiam de Cressingham-Parva;)

Rector ejusdem a tempore immemoriali, exercuit et exercet omnem et omnimodam jurisdictionem ecclesiasticam, infra villam sive parochiam predictam, ex compositione antiquâ, inter priorem et conventum ecclesie cathedralis Sancte et individuæ Trinitatis Norvici, ac rectorem dicte ecclesie factâ, rectorque dicte ecclesie solvit pro jurisdictione predictâ decano et capitulo dicte ecclesie cathedralis annuatìm duos solidos legalis monete Anglie. Dictus enim rector, ejusdemque parochiani parochie predicte, antè dictam compositionem fuerunt subditi jurisdictioni peculiari dicte ecclesie cathedralis. Non visitatur ab archidiacono Norff. nec solvit incumbens, synodalia domino Episcopo Norvicensi, nec procurationes archidiacono Norfolcie.

In the new Valor, p. 392, "Ecclesiæ Norwic. lv. s. iv. d.


At the survey Ralph de Tony held this village, as a berwic depending on his manor of Necton: it was in length one mile, and half a mile in breadth, and paid 3d. gelt.

The King had here also in domain one carucate held by a freeman, three villeins, &c. valued at 12s. held at the survey, under the said Tony.

This manor passed in the Toneys with Necton; and in 1274 Ralph de Tony claimed the assize of bread and beer, free-warren, gallows, weifs and strays. In 1309 died Sir Robert de Tony, lord and patron of the church, held by half a knight's fee of the honour of Richmond; it was then valued at 18l.; and in 1317, Maud de Tony his widow had part of her dower here; the said manor being entailed on Robert de Tony and Maud his wife.

Having thus passed hitherto with Necton, it was separated by Henry VIII. who sold it to Robert Hogan, and he to Sir Richard Southwell, who was lord in 1543; and in 1558 settled it to his own use, and his heirs male, remainder to Thomas son of Sir Robert, brother of Sir Richard, in tail male, after the death of Anthony Southwell, (brother also to the said Sir Richard,) and of Ann his wife, with remainder to Francis, Robert, and Henry, brothers of Thomas, in tail male, &c.; and in 1621, the manor and advowson were alienated by Sir Thomas Southwell to Thomas Goffe; and by an inquisition taken after the death of Thomas Goffe, (son of Edward Goffe,) who married Frances, daughter of Mr. Whale, and died March 30, 1638, it appears that it was held in capite by the 50th part of a knight's fee, and Thomas his son was 10 years old and Edward his second son afterwards sold it to Thomas Crane, merchant of Norwich, who left it to his wife, who was daughter of Mr. Calybut of Saham-Tony, for her life; (she afterwards married Sir Algernon Potts, Bart.) and on her decease in 1717, it came to Mr. Thomas Shuckforth of Saham Tony, his sister's son, who soon after sold it to Thomas Lobb, Esq. and he, to Mr. Knopwood of Threxton, but the advowson was sold to the Rev. Mr. John Soley, junior, of Long-Stratton, and is now in the Rev. Mr. Brundish.

Hopton-House Manor[edit]

About a mile south of the village, in this parish, stands a farmhouse called Hopton-house.

King John, in the beginning of his reign, gave to Robert FitzRoger the lands which Stephen de Longo Campo held in Cressingham, and which Henry de Vere of Drayton, Addington, &c. in Northamptonshire, held in Mutford in Suffolk, &c. which Henry married a daughter and heir of Hildeburg, who was daughter and heir of Balderic de Bosco or Bois; to whom King Henry I. gave Mutford, Gapeton, &c. in augmentation of his barony of Baldemund, for 40l. per annum, which he had promised him for his service; and Stephen de Longo Campo De Lutcham married the other daughter and coheir, and had lands in Cressingham for his share. This I take to be the manor of Hopton, and the rather, because a few years since I saw the arms of Fitz-Robert in a window of this church, who was a descendant of Fitz-Roger, and Robert Fitz-Roger is said to be lord of Cressingham and Mutford in 1207.

Nicholas de Hopeton, in 1249, had this manor, and then infeoffed Peter Kervij in a messuage and 80 acres of land here, and Petronilla de Nerford disseized Peter of that land, as an eschaet.

In 1317, Richard de la Rivere, Knt. and Maud his wife, licensed Robert the prior, and the convent of Norwich, to purchase of Sir Walter de Norwich the lands, tenements, rents and services, which Sir Walter held of Sir Richard in Cressingham-Magna, Parva and Hopton; and about the same time Philip Payn of Hopton confirmed to the said prior, the said lands purchased in Hopton, by which it appears they were lords of the fee. (Regr. 5 Eccl. Norwic. p. 109.) Also John son of William de Hockham confirmed the same.

In 1405, a fine was levied between Robert Gurnay of Cressingham-Parva, and Thomas Stodhagh, querents, and Edward Howard and Catherine his wife, deforciants, of several parcels of land, and the liberty of a foldcourse here, and in Hopton.

And in the reign of King Henry VII. Sir Robert Lovel had a right in this manor. In the 19th of Henry VIII. a fine was levied between Christopher Jenney, Esq. &c. querents, and Anthony Gurnay, Esq. and Margaret his wife, defendants, one of the daughters and heirs of Sir Robert Lovel, Knt. deceased, of the fourth part of the manor of Hopton, and of 8 messuages and lands in Cressingham-Magna and Parva, Hilburgh, Bodney, Threxton, and Hopton. In 1537, a fine was levied between William Methwold, Esq. querent, and Sir John Mordaunt, Knt. and Elen his wife, defendants, of the 4th part of this manor, 8 messuages, and 400 acres of land, 80 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, 2 acres of wood, 200 acres of furze and heath, 300 of moor, and 40s. rent in Cressingham-Parva and Magna, Threxton and Hopton. In 1556, Thomas Edows was lord; and in 1593, Eufemia Edows, in the reign of King Charles I. John Angnish, in right of his wife, in that of King Charles II. Mr. Thomas Rivington, of London. In the year 1692, Mrs. Elizabeth Fortescue held it; in 1704, the Lady Dorrington. About 10 years past, one Butterworth had possession of it; but he being ejected, Mr. Cooper, attorney at law, is now in possession. It paid an annual free-rent to the hundred of South Greenhoe, as the hundred rolls show.

The church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and has its nave, north and south isles, built of flint, &c. The roof of the nave is supported by stone pillars, forming 4 arches on the north side, and three on the south, the nave and south isle are covered with lead, but the north isle with tile; the old roof of this isle decaying some years past, the present roof is raised so that the spars cover part of the windows over the arches of the nave, and darken the church on that side; the east end of the north and south isles is taken in with oaken screens, and were anciently two chapels, belonging most likely to the two manors; the holy water pot in the south isle is still to be seen; these chapels are now in a dirty condition, and unpaved. The church is in length about 51 feet, and in breadth, including the isles, about 40.

At the western part of the south isle of this church stood a foursquare tower of flint, &c. now in ruins, the east and north sides of it only remaining. A bell hangs on the north side of the tower, and is covered with a wooden cap.

The chancel is in length about 32 feet, and in breadth about 14; in the east window is or, two chevronels gul. Fitz-Robert, and in the same window, there were very lately the arms of Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, lord here.

In the reign of King Edward I. Norwich Domeday tells us that Ralph de Tony was patron, the rector had an house or manse with 40 acres of glebe, it was valued at 21 marks, paid for Peter-pence 6d. procurations 6s. 8d. synodals 18d.


  • 1262, Philip occurs rector.
  • 1300, Roger Brown, presented by Sir Robert Tony.
  • 1302, Thomas de Beck. Ditto.
  • 1303, Roger Brown. Ditto. On the 15th of July in the said year, Brian de Saham had it given him in commendam.
  • 1311, John de Ely. The Lady Maud, relict of Sir Robert Tony.
  • 1315, Richard de le Rokele. Ditto.
  • 1317, Peter de Hale. Ditto.
  • 1327, Nicholas de Banham, he was a chantry priest at Necton. Ditto.
  • 1330, John de Clipston. Ditto.
  • 1335, William Patryke of Grymeston. Ditto.
  • 1349, William de Hanslap. Thomas Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, lord here.
  • 1369, Walter de Gressenhale. Lady Joan de Beauchamp, lady here.
  • 1375, Sir Reginald, rector here, died intestate.
  • 1393, John Faulconer.
  • 1408, William Blakmore, res. Richard Beauchamp Earl of Warwick.
  • 1413, Richard Wellys. Ditto.
  • 1419, Thomas May, res. John Baysham, rector of Olney, and John Throgmorton, Esq. attorneys for Richard Earl of Warwick.
  • 1423, Richard Dygyld; he was rector of Uffington in Lincolnshire, and exchanged with May. Ditto.
  • 1435, William Wright, ob. Richard Earl of Warwick.
  • 1486, John Wygotte, res.; he was rector of Feltwell St. Nicholas.
  • 1493, William Thomson. King Henry VII.
  • 1515, John Wilkinson, res.
  • 1532, John Chapman, ob. Thomas Earl of Wiltshire.
  • 1535, Alan Percy, ob. Ditto.
  • 1560, Gregory Maptid, ob.; he was also vicar of Foulden. Anthony Southwell.
  • 1583, Robert Gayton. Henry le Strange, of Eye in Suffolk, hac vice by grant from William Mongey of Stertford in Hertfordshire, and Ann his wife relict of Anthony Southwell, Esq.
  • 1587, Richard Goodman, A. B. The Queen by lapse.
  • 1588, John Gildensleve, resigned. Sir Robert Southwell.
  • 1603 Richard Goodman occurs again: in his answer to King James's enquiry, he says there were 80 communicants in this parish; the King then patron, the heir of Sir Robert Southwell being under age, and in ward, ob.
  • 1627, Henry Franklyng, S. T. B. ob. John Patridge, Esq. He held it with Great-Cressingham.
  • 1644, Thomas Lea, A. M. The King.
  • 1654, Simon Canon, A. M. admitted by the Commissioners at Whitehall, appointed for the approbation of publick ministers, and presented by Edmund Goffe, Gent. ob.
  • 1680, Robert Parsent, S. T. B. Thomas Crane, Gent. resigned.
  • 1686, Edward Clerk, A. M. resigned. Ditto.
  • 1689, Alexander Croshold; he held this united to Alderford cum Attlebrigg in Norfolk, and afterwards with Merton. Ditto.
  • 1732, John Soley, A. M. on the death of Crosshold, by John Soley, senior, rector of Stratton. The present rector is the

Rev. Mr. John Brundish, junior, on the resignation of Soley, whose father; the Reverend Mr. John Brundish, vicar of Foulden, is now patron.

This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 13l. 12s. 6d. but is discharged of first fruits and tenths by the act of Queen Anne, being sworn of but 40l. per annum clear value, and so it is capable of augmentation. It hath a rectory-house and about 40 acres of glebe.

In Parvo Cressingham habet Rex in dominio ii. liberos homines de i car. terre et habent ii. car. et ii. villan. et i. bord. at al iii. villan. et i. bord. iv. acr. prati et reddit xii. sol. Radulfus de Toenio hucusque habuit. (Doms. fo. 301.)


This village is called Hildeburhwella in the survey, being seated on the decline of a hill in a springy ground, being sometimes wrote Hildeburghworth, near the joining of two rivers, the word worth signifying a nook of land in such a site.

It was held by Osmund in the time of the Confessor, William de Manerijs was lord of it by the gift of the Conqueror, and William Earl of Warren held it of him; here were then 4 carucates in domain, 120 sheep, 17 goats, pannage for 20 hogs, was half a mile and two furlongs long, and 7 furlongs broad, paid 8d. gelt, was valued in King Edward's time at 6l. at the survey at 7l.

Soon after the survey the Kaillys or Caleys held this lordship of the Earl Warren. In the second year of King John, a fine was levied of lands here, between Alice de Kailly and John de Kailly. In the 3d of Hen. III. Adam de Kailly held in Hildeburghworth, a knight's fee of the Earl Warren; and in the 34th and 41st of the said King, Osbert de Cailly had view of frankpledge, assize of bread and beer, weyf and free-warren; about this time we find this extent of this manor, viz. rent of assise per annum 6l. 17s. 5d. qr.; boscage this year 10d.; fee-farm 4l. 16s. 6d.; farm of the watermills per annum 6l. 13s. 4d.; of the rabbits of the warren and heath, 2l. 13s. 6d.; perquisites of courts this year, 6l. 8s. 6d.; farm of dovehouse, 3s. 4d.; of rents and works sold off this year, 2l. 6s. 9d; of 24 quarters and a bushel of barley 2l. 6s. 9d.; of the domain lands at 2s. 4d. per quarter. 24 acres in the lord's hands at 2d. per acre.

In 1806, Sir Thomas Cailey had livery of his mother's lands, Emme daughter and coheir of the lord Tateshale; and in 1310, he and Eleanor his wife had this manor settled on them and their heirs; and in 1825, he was found to have held it of the manor of Castleacre, by the service of one knight's fee, being valued at 26l. 17s. 4d. per annum; there was then a capital messuage, two watermills, &c. belonging to it, and Adam son of Sir Roger de Clifton was his heir.

In 1331, the said Adam was lord, and impleaded several persons for fishing in his waters here, but Margaret, (relict of Sir Thomas Cayley,) then wife to Robert Ufford Earl of Suffolk, held some dower here, as appears by her presenting to this rectory.

In Sir John Clifton's time, I find the rents of assize were per annum 18l. the park, 8l.; a mill, 6l. 13s. 8d.; the rabbit-warren, 30l.; foldage for sheep, being 900, 40s. 4d.; foldage for 100 cows, &c.; the mill called Erles Myln, 10l.; when Sir William Knevet of Bukenham Castle was accused as an adherent of Henry Earl of Richmond, against King Richard III. he was obliged to convey it to Sir James Tyrrell, Richard's great favourite; but on the accession of Henry VII. had it restored. In this family it remained till it was sold to

Robert Rich Earl of Warwick, in the reign of King James I.; and from that family to the Hares, Sir John Hare of Stow Bardolph presented as lord to the rectory in 1635; he left it by will to Hugh Hare, Esq.; his 3d son, who dying unmarried, it came to Sir Thomas Hare, Bart. who gave it to his 2d son, the present Sir Thomas Hare, Bart. who sold it to James Nelthorpe, Esq. of Linford, whose son now enjoys it.

The church, is a small but regular building, dedicated to all the Saints, having its nave, north and south isles, and chancel built of flint, &c. and covered with lead: the nave is in length about 42 feet, and the breadth with the isles 41 feet; the roof of the nave is supported by pillars forming 6 arches, 3 on a side, with windows over each arch. On the head of a seat in the nave, on the right side, is a shield with a shepherd's crook in pale, between four annulets; near the west end, on the pavement lie two small marbles with brass plates thus inscribed:

Orate pro anima Domine Oswine walshm, Sancte Monialis cuiu anime propicietur Deus Amen.

Drate pro anima Domine Anne Sefull, Sancte Monialis cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen.

At the east end of the south isle, which is longer than the nave by 9 feet, is an ascent, where was an altar; on the pavement lie two large marble gravestones, without any arms or inscription; one of these is probably for Richard Duplake of this town, who by will in 1516, desired to be buried here, and bequeathed to the reparation and making up of the south isle of this church, and to the making a new porch there, 20 marks sterling.

This porch is a neat one of flint, covered with lead; about the water table is the letter M and swords with their points erected and crowns over them, as in Cressingham-Magna, this isle being probably dedicated to St. Michael.

In the upper window of the north isle, is azure a cross compony or, and gul. Cockfield; and at the east end is an ascent as to an altar. The chancel is divided from the nave by an old screen; it is in length about 30 feet, and in breadth about 18, and there is an ascent of two steps to the communion table. On the pavement lies a marble with this shield, Barry, of six arg. and gul. Wace, impaling arg. on a fess sab. three flowers-de-lis or, Pattison, and thus inscribed;

Hic jacet Corpus Amiæ Uxoris Edmundi Wace, Rectoris hujus Ecclesiæ obijt 12° Aug. An Dni. 1717, Ætatis 63.

Here has been a vestry, now in ruins. In the east window are the remains of two shattered old shields, azure two trumpets, their labia meeting in the base point, crusuly of cross croslets, or, Trumpington, and Clifton; and in the same window not long since, were to be seen the arms of the East Angles, of St. Edmund, Tatshall, Narford and Knevet: at the west end of the nave stands a neat strong four-square tower of flint, with quoins of free stone and embattlements, and four carved pinnacles, in which hang five modern bells. At the west side of this tower are two large niches for statues, one on each side the great door; and on the right side of the arch of the door is the effigies of a man in armour; his hands are by length of time decayed; on the left side, the effigies of a savage or wild man, bearing in his right hand the head of a man couped, and in his left hand a ragged staff or battoon, all carved in stone; over the arch of the door is the shield of Clifton, supported by two antelopes, or rather ibex's, sejant, and on an helmet a plume of feathers. These are the insignia of John de Clifton, who flourished in the reign of King Edward III. and was summoned to parliament, as a Baron then and in the beginning of King Richard II. and was no doubt the founder of this church, and died at Rhodes, in that King's reign: the being heirs to the Kaillis or Caleys assumed most likely their arms, using only a bend by way of distinction; and the Caleys, it is probable, being dependants, and near attached to the Earl Warren, assumed his coat; changing only the colours, a practice very frequent in ancient days.


Thomas de Kaylli, rector.

  • 1315, Michael de Cayly, presented by Sir Thomas de Cayly, Knt.
  • 1325, Richard de Hassene. Sir Robert Ufford, by the marriage of Margaret, relict of Sir Thomas de Caley. He had been rector of Narburgh mediety, and exchanged with Cayly. In
  • 1328, Richard de Crerk, rector here, was licensed to go a pilgrimage to St. James at Compostella.
  • 1335, Edmund de Shelton. Lord Robert de Ufford.
  • 1342, John Edrich. The Lady Margaret Countess of Suffolk and Sir Peter de Ty, attorneys general to Robert Ufford Earl of Suffolk, then beyond the sea.
  • 1343, Peter Lacy; he was rector of Selsey in the diocese of Chichester, and exchanged with Edrich; he held after this the chapel of St. Margaret in this parish.
  • 1351, Richard Clanylle. Robert Earl of Suffolk. He was rector of the first portion in the church of Diseley in Worcester diocese, and exchanged with Lacy.
  • 1365, Thomas Grace. Robert Earl of Suffolk. He was rector of St. Nicholas in Abindon in the diocese of Salisbury, and exchanged with Clanylle. He held also the chapel of St. Margaret here.
  • 1404, Roger Rawlyn.
  • 1413, Peter Parsey, ob. John Drew, rector of Harpley. Richard creyk, and Roger Rawlyn, by virtue of a feoffment of the manor of Hilburgh, with the advowson, from Constantine Chfton, lately deceased.
  • 1458, John Pert, A. M. ob. John Heydon, Gent. feoffee of this manor for Sir John Cliffton, Knt.
  • 1460 Richard Sechythe, buried in the chancel in 1471, and gave legacies to the gilds of St. Margaret, and the Trinity here. John Heydon.
  • 1471, John Williamson, in dec. baccal. resigned William Knevet.
  • 1509, Thomas Cook, A. M. He was also rector of Cranwich. Ditto.
  • Robert Ledall of Hilburgh, by will dated 1514, gives to the beme the which the rode shall stand on 2s.
  • 1534, John Fowle, on the resignation of the last rector. Christopher Jenney, Esq. serjeant at law, by grant from Edward Serplaw.
    John Methwold, died rector.
  • 1554, James Glover, ob. Christopher Cook, Esq. and the lady Ann Knevet his wife.
  • 1562, Richard Coggell, ob. Ditto.
  • 1576, Thomas Cross. The Queen.
  • 1581, John Pratt, A. B. The Queen, in right of the wardship of the heir of Sir Thomas Knevet, Knt. deceased. In his answer to King James's Quæries, he says there were 115 communicants here in 1603.
  • 1630, Richard Potter, A. M.
  • 1635, 23d April, William Prettiman, ob. Sir John Hare.
  • 1681, Edmund Wace, A. M.; he was rector of Bodney, educated at Caius College Cambridge, ob. Lancaster Topcliff, clerk, hac vice. These two last incumbents held this rectory an hundred years.
  • 1734, Edmund Nelson; he held it united to the vicarage of Sporle, with Palgrave-Parva consolidated, and at his death was succeeded, in
  • 1747, By his son, the Rev. Mr. Edmund Nelson, the present rector, who was presented by Mrs. Mary Nelson, patroness in full right, and holds it united to the vicarage of Sporle, with the rectory of Little Pagrave annexed.

This Rectory is valued in the King's Books at 13l. 6s. 8d. but being returned of the clear value of 49l. per annum; it is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation.

The synodals are 2s. archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob. Bishop's visitatorial procurations 3s. 4d.

St. Margaret's chapel, at the north-west end of the town of Hilburgh, in a grass close, stands the chapel of St. Margaret, built of flint and boulder, in length about 36 feet, and in breadth about 20 from out to out; the arched windows at the east and west are now the only windows remaining; it is a low plain pile, and has the face of great antiquity.

On the founding of this chapel it was ordained, that if the patron did not present in 40 days after a vacancy, that the Bishop should collate. It was founded by Sir John de Kailli and Margery his wife, who was remarried in 1207, 9 of King John, to Michael de Poynings; their son, Sir Adam de Caily, confirmed it; and his son, Sir Osbert de Caily, Knt. who married Emma, daughter and coheir of Robert Lord Tatshall, was a great benefactor; and by deed in Henry the Third's time, in honour of Christ and the Blessed Virgin, and all the Saints, and for the souls of his father, Adam de Cailli, Mabell his mother, and Margery his grandmother, and all his family deceased; he settled on Hervy de Brokedish, chaplain, and all his successours in St. Margaret's chapel at Hilburgh, for their performing divine service there, the whole furlong or went of land called Flitwong in Hilburgh-Field, joining to that land that he had before settled on the said chapel, Sir Adam de Cailly, his son, Sir Thomas and Simon de Cailly, Edmund de Illeye and others, being witnesses.
To this deed hangs a large round seal circumscribed,

Sigillvm: Osberti: De: Kailli:

He is represented on a horse running full speed, in armour, with a close helmet, his drawn sword in his hand, a shield of his arms, chequy only, and the trappings of the horse are also chequy. The reverse hath only a plain chequered shield circumscribed. SIGILLVM SECRETUM.

This seal being somewhat remarkable, I shall here add a word or two on that subject.

Whether the Norman nobility brought the use of large seals into England, or found it here, is not very certain; but certain it is, that they used them soon after their arrival; the most usual impresses being an armed man or knight on horseback with a drawn sword, and the bearer's name round him; perhaps the large territories, wherewith the Conqueror rewarded their services, induced them to believe themselves to be advanced to so many principalities, and this conceit might incline them to rival their Sovereign himself, in the grandeur of their publick instruments. Sometimes, instead of the horseman, we have a lion, leopard, greyhound, bird, or other device, part of the arms of the family, but always the person's own proper name, encircling his paternal coat, or whatever other impression he was pleased to fancy. Seals as this of a round form generally betoken something of royalty in the possessor, and a more than ordinary extent of temporal jurisdiction, whereas great ladies, under coverture, and bishops and abbots, &c. commonly made use of oval and oblong ones; if the grantor's quality was mean, and his family too inconsiderable to bear arms, the conveyances were usually ratified under the authentic seal of some public officer or corporation, the reason being assigned, "Quia sigillum meum penitus est ignotum, sigillum officialis de &c. apponi procuravi." Nobility and other persons of rank and family had also their larger and less seals, the former giving the impression of their ancestour's coat, and the latter oftentimes any little device without a scutcheon.

It has been a prevailing opinion, that no seals (on wax) were used here, till the Normans taught us this fashion; but Sir Edward Coke gives instances of grants, passed by some of our Saxon princes, sub proprio sigillo; but to this it may be replied, that the Crosses were anciently styled indifferently Signa et Sigilla. And as it is plain that sealing was in common use, soon after the Conquest, so it is certain that there were several conveyances, which (even as low down as the reign of King Edward III.) were admitted as good and legal when well attested, though they had no seals ever affixed to them, being the grants of such as still adhered to their old Saxon modes, and so retained the ancient subscriptions of names and crosses. There were other transgressions of the common rule and practice, as when Edward III. fancifully gave,
The Norman the Hunter, the Hop And the Hop-Town, With all the Bounds upside down, And in Witness that it was Sooth, He bit the Wax with his fong Tooth.

And to Aubrey de Vere's conveyance of Hatfield, a short black hafted knife was affixed instead of a seal, &c.

Many effectual ancient conveyances of right, were anciently made without writing, seizin being then only taken, by delivery of a sword, helmet, horn, spur, bow, arrow, &c. But even in those times, the more cautious thought it safest to convey their lands in scriptis, hence the [Gethrite Landboc], Telligraphum and Chirographum of the Saxon age.

Chaplains of the free-chapel of St. Margaret.

Hervy de Brokedis, occurs about the beginning of the reign of King Edward I.

  • 1315, William de Pagrave, presented by Sir Thomas Caly. 1335, John de Pagrave. 1338, Robert Wright. 1345, William Sherman. 1347, Robert Wych or Wyth. 1349, Adam de Fyncham. 1349, Roger Wardebene; all these six were presented by Sir Adam de Clifton.
  • 1351, Peter de Lacy; he had been rector, and resigned for this, and resigned this again. 1368, Thomas Grace, the King, as guardian to the heir of Sir Adam de Clifton. 1402, John Arundel, the King. 1404, Adam Mynte or Myns, Sir Robert Knolles, John Drew, rector of Harpley, James de Billyngford, Richard Gegge, and Roger Rawlyn, rector of Hitburgh. 1415, John Prentys. Richard Bowyer, chaplain. 1465, Thomas Eyr. 1465, William Botivant. William Welly. These five were presented by the King. 1494, John Williamson, on the death of William Wellys. Sir William Knevet.

John Collet occurs in 1508; he was then D. D. dean of St. Paul's London, rector of Denynton in Suffolk, &c. The income of this free-chapel is then said to be xxx. l. per annum, as appears from a rental of the Dean's estate, spiritual and temporal; which was a very considerable sum in that age, and almost equalled that great living (as Dr. Knight in his Life of this Dean calls it ) of Dennington, which is there said to be xxxi. l. per annum.

It is likely he succeeded Williamson here, and was presented by the Knevets, as he was to the rectory of Dennington, his mother being of that family.

This Chapel being dissolved by King Edward VI. was in the fourth year of his reign, given with 60 acres of land to Thomas Reve, and Giles Isham, and their heirs, to be held of the manor of East Greenwich in Kent.

At this day it is called by the neighbouring people, the Pilgrim's chapel, being visited most likely by them in their way to Walsingham, which lies through this town from London; there are said to have been above an hundred acres of land in the fields of Hilburgh belonging to it, and no doubt was very nobly endowed, being formerly accounted a manor, and lands in the said fields were held by the tenure of finding of wax-tapers, &c. for the chapel, as appears from an old field-book in the hands of Mr. Wace, the owner, who used the chapel to lay his hay in.


The church of Sporle is a lofty and spacious building of flint, &c. dedicated to the Virgin Mary; it has its nave, a north and south isles, covered with lead. At the west end of the nave, stands the tower of flint, with quoins and embattlements of freestone, and therein are three bells; to this tower there has been annexed a large porch embattled with freestone, and over that a room, probably for some anchorite or recluse, but it is now in ruins and uncovered. There is an old Gothick font, standing on 9 pilasters, and on the pavement lies a stone in memory of Thomas Prettyman, Gent. who died 15th October, 1724, aged 39. And another for Thomas Prettyman, Gent. who died April 9, 1716, aged 72. In the south isle lies a stone for Samuel son of Matthew and Sarah Clements, who died August 9, 1723, in the fourth year of his age. Another in memory of Samuel son of Mr. Matthew Clements and Sarah his wife of East Bradenham, who died February 8, 1717, in the first year of his age: at the east end of this isle is an ascent to an altar.

In the chancel, which is covered with tiles, lie several gravestones; one in memory of William Nelson, late of Little Dunham, who died 27 January, 1718, aged 59. Another for Dorothy wife of Thomas Nelson, daughter of Thomas Prettyman, Gent. and Dorothy his wife, 31 January 1711, 32. And a third, for Barbara wife of Thomas Nelson, who died 12 May, 1725, aged 35; and within the rails of the communion table, is one for William son of William Edwards late of Wisbeach, Gent. who died 19 November 1724, aged 63. On the north sipe of the chancel is a little chapel parted from the north isle, by a screen, at the east end is an ascent to an altar, and on the pavement, there lie several gravestones, with their brasses, &c. reaved; this is no doubt the chapel of St. Mary, wherein Agnes Garleke requested to be buried in 1432.

In the reign of Edward I. we have this account of it, that Sporle with Pagrave Parva was appropriated to the prior of Sporle, who had the great tithes, and the vicar the small, that it was valued with its portions, besides the vicarage, at 7 marks, the portion of the monks of Florence at x. marks, that of the monks of Roan at xx s. Peterpence 18d.

Of Pagrave the Prior of Sporle was patron, the vicar had 12 parishioners, and had the great and small tithes, and a grange with five acres.


  • 1300, Robert de Finchyngfeld, presented by the Prior and Convent of Sporle.
  • 1328, Robert de Boxstede, res. John de Sporle, prior there.
  • 1329, Walter de Swaffham. Ditto.
  • 1349, John de Bury, res. The King, (on account of the war with France,) this being a priory alienated, and from this time the King constantly presented, till it was granted to Eaton college.
  • 1354, Hamo Hamond. Ditto.
  • 1389, Henry Brandles. Ditto.
  • 1403, John Fery.
  • 1403, Luke Stoke; he was rector of Dunham-Magna, and exchanged with Fery.

In 1410, Walter Hert, who was afterwards Bishop of Norwich, (vol. iii. p. 535), resigned it to
Richard Benewatche, vicar of Halsted in Essex, in exchange; and in

  • 1411, John Aleyn, rector of Bittlebergh in Kent, exchanged it with Benewatche for this, and in 1418, resigned it to William Martynet.
  • 1436, Henry Carleton, ob. Joan Queen of England.
  • 1449, Nicholas Watyrman, ob.; he was the first presented by the Provost and Fellows of Eaton college.
  • 1501, Thomas Legate, ob.
  • 1516, John Flod or Flud, ob.
  • 1521, Henry Marshall, ob.
  • 1538, Thomas Rocke, ob.
  • 1543, Thomas Sadler.
  • 1581, Robert Duffield, to Sporle vicarage cum Pagrave rectory. The Queen.
  • 1587, Henry Bury, by the Provost, &c. He was rector of Weting All-Saints and Hale.
  • 1589, William Gutrye.
  • 1592, Robert Paynter, A. M. ob. In his answer to King James's Queries, he says that in 1603, there were 150 communicants here.
  • 1616, Samuel Hucks, A.M. who was also rector of Burlingham St. Peter, res.
  • 1628, John Stephenson, L. L. B. ob.
  • 1680, John Gunby, A.M. ob. The King. He was also rector of Dunham-Parva.
  • 1682, Thomas Wilkins, A. M. ob. He was also vicar of Hunningham.
  • 1689, Edward Riveley, ob.
  • 1729, Edmund Nelson, A. M. rector of East Bradenham, at his death

Edmund, his son succeeded, (see Hilburgh,) being presented by the Provost and Fellows of Eaton college.

It stands in the Valor in 1723, by mistake as a rectory, and Little Palgrave which is the rectory, is not so much as named. But in the last edition, in 1742, it is placed right, viz.

10l. 3s. 6d. ob. Spurley, alias Sporle vicarage, with Little Pagrave (rectory) pay one pound and four-pence halfpenny yearly tenths, and being undischarged is incapable of augmentation. The Archdeacon's Revision in 1630 says, that the church or rectory of Sporle, pays 2s. 8d. per annum synodals to the Bishop, and visitatorial synodals to him 2s. 6d. ob. and to the archdeacon for procurations 7s. 7d. ob. It paid with its hamlets, 10l. to every tenth.

Sir Matthew Holworthy, lord of the manor of Sporle, &c. gave to the town 600l. to purchase an estate, the product of which was to be assigned and given to the vicar for the preaching a sermon here in the afternoon all the year, excepting the winter quarter; with which an estate was purchased, now rented at above 60l. per annum.

Sporle Priory[edit]

Near to the church of Sporle stood the priory, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, but of the foundation I meet with no certain account; though King Henry II. who was Earl of Anjou, was probably the founder. It was a cell to the monastery of St. Florence at Saumers in the diocese of Anjou in France, of the order of St. Bennet.


John, prior of Sporle, was living in the time of King Hen. II. and witness to a deed of Ralf Bellofago, of the church of South Creke, to the monks of Castleacre.

  • 1334, Alan Mali, vel Mahe, monk of St. Florence, admitted prior, presented by Reginald, sub-prior of St. Florence at Saumers, &c. the abbot being dead.

Thomas Elyot, prior, resigned in

  • 1345, to Joha de Breidesdale; the King, on account of the wars with France.
  • 1349, William de Leke. Ditto.
  • 1361, John Godes was admitted Prior of St. Mary of Sporle, being a monk of St. Florence at Saumers, &c.
  • 1378, William de Sporle, a monk of Castleacre, was admitted prior, on the death of Godes, and was presented by King Richard II. the temporalties of this priory being then in the King's hands, on account of the war with France.
  • 1384, Thomas de Methelwold, a monk of Castleacre, admitted, being presented by the King, &c.

This priory was dissolved in the parliament held at Leicester, in the 2d of Henry V. 1424, at which parliament, all the alien priories throughout England were suppressed, and given to the King and his heirs for ever; but as few of these lands were alienated at this time to the laity, till the general suppression of monasteries in the reign of King Henry VIII. but were for the most part continued to sacred uses; so this priory, with all its dependencies, were given by King Henry VI. to his college of Eaton, upon the founding of it, in the 19th year of his reign; and has continued in that college to this day: on the 12th of September in the said year, that King settled many priories aliens tenths, fee-farm rents, pensions, &c. on his feoffees, Henry Bishop of Canterbury, John Bishop of Bath and Wells, John Bishop of St. Asaph, William Bishop of Salisbury, William Earl of Suffolk, &c. and amongst others, this of Sporle, which feoffees the same year reconveyed them, in order to the settling them on Eaton and King's College in Cambridge.

Before this, in the 15th of the said King, we find that Joan Queen Dowager of England, wife to King Henry IV. died possessed of this priory alien, with all the tenths and tithes of the church of Sporle, and a pension out of the church of Southacre, of 13s. 4d. per annum, a pension out of the rectory of Hunston of 20s. per annum, in Norfolk, and Creting priory in Suffolk.

The spiritualities of the priory here, in 1428, were 39l. 6s. and the temporals were 8s. 6d.

This town was royal demesnes, and the Confessor gave it to Ralph Earl of Norfolk, (who forfeited it by his rebellion against William the Conqueror,) at the great survey; it was managed and held for that King by Godric; in the Confessor's time there were 32 villeins, at the survey 20, and 3 borders, then 1 carucate in domain, now 4, one mill, pannage for 60 hogs, 2 beasts for burthen, 180 sheep, and 1 freeman, had half a carucate, and this town was one mile in length and half a mile in breadth.

To this manor there belonged one berwic, called Pagrave, &c. another called Pickenham, and another called Acre, or Southacre.

The whole manor, with its beruites, in the time of King Edward, was valued at 10l. and when Godric received it, at 22l. now at 24l. 2s. and paid for a fine or income 60s. Sporle and Pagrave paid 18d. gelt, when the hundred was taxed at 20s.

Sporle Manor[edit]

At the survey Godric held it for the King, and it remained royal domain, till King Henry I. gave it to

Baldwin de Bosco, or Bois, whose daughter and coheir Hildeburgh, being married to Henry de Veer, it was held by him in right of his wife. This Henry granted it to

Sir Ralph le Briton, who by his deed sans date, gave to William le Briton (his brother) and John his son and heir, all his land at Sporle, Cotes, and Kersingham, with the appurtenances, which he had of the gift of Henry de Veer, on the condition of entertaining him there three times in a year, if he came in person. In the 25th of Henry III. the aforesaid William le Briton was impleaded in the King's Bench, to show by what warrant he held this manor, the King claiming it as an eschaet, as he did all the lands of the Normans, and of all other, who withdrew their allegiance, and of those whose heirs are not of the King's side? His plea was, that he was infeoffed by his brother Sir Ralph, and he, by Henry de Veer, by a deed (which he produced) for 100l. sterling paid him, and to acquit him the said Henry of 200l. which he owed to the Jews, the witnesses to which deed were Herbert de Alenzun, then sheriff of Norfolk, William de Rokele, Robert de Rokele, &c. and Robert Passelewe, who sued for the King, acknowledged that he had this manor of the Jews; and it appeared so enrolled in the Jews exchequer. In 1274, Sir John le Briton had the assize of bread and beer of his tenants here and in Cressingham Magna; and in 1286, had view of frankpledge, tumbrel, gallows, weyfs, &c. in this manor, and other his domain lands: John le Briton, lord of Sporle, was in the 29th of Edward I. one of those noble barons, who sent a letter from the parliament held at Lincoln, to assure Pope Boniface, that the kingdom of Scotland was not of his fee, and that he had no jurisdiction over either kingdoms. Soon after, in the 33d of the said king, he was constituted one of the justices of Trail Baston, with William de Ormesby, William de Kerdeston, and Richard de Walsingham in Norfolk and Suffolk, and died seized of this town in 1310, leaving it to John, his son and heir, who died in the following year seized of the same; and Maud his sister, wife of Richard de la Rivers of Angre or Ongar in Essex, was his heir, and in right of her was lord. A branch of the noble family De Riparijs or Rivers, who were created Earls of Devonshire, by King Henry I. continued so about 2 centuries, and bore gules a griffin sejant or.

This family of De La Rivers, or De Riparijs, took their name from their habitation near a river, or from the conservatorship thereof, Angre, or Chipping Ongar, (as it is called at this day,) their seat, being on the river Rodon in Essex, which falls into the Thames: the hundred and manor of Angre or Ongar, &c. came by the marriage of Maud the 1st, or rather by Aveline the 2d, daughter of Richard de Lucy, Lord Chief Justice of England in the reign of King Henry II. sister and coheir of Herbert de Lucy her brother, to Richard de la Rivers, ancestor of the abovesaid Richard. In the 7th year of King Edward II. a fine was levied between Sir Richard de la River and Maud his wife, querents; and William, rector of Mundeford, defendant, of this manor, and 1 messuage and a carucate of land in Cressingham-Magna, &c. which were settled on Richard and Maud in tail, remainder to the right heirs of Maud, and in 1315, he was lord of this town and Dunham-Parva in Norfolk. But in the succeeding reign, Sir Thomas de la River, his brother, enjoyed it; this Thomas, in 1365, married Beatrix, widow of Sir Thomas de St. Omer of Mulbarton in Norfolk, who had then an assignation of dower; and in 1374, two fines were levied between Sir Rob. Corbet, senior, Knt. and Beatrix his wife, querents, Sir Rob. de Swillington, Knt. and Margaret his wife, John Garleke and Sarah his wife, defendants, of the manors of Sporle and Dunham-Parva, late Sir Thomas de la Rivers, one messuage and a carucate in Cressingham-Magna. By the first fine, settled on Sir Robert Corbet and Beatrix in tail, and by the 2d, (in which John Garleke and Sarah were querents, and Sir Robert Swillington and his wife Margaret defendants,) this manor and that of Cressingham-Street Hall, were settled on Sarah and her heirs. The aforesaid Margaret was daughter of Roger Belers, by Margaret his wife, daughter of Sir Richard de la River, and was married to Sir Robert Swillington of Ditchingham in Norfolk; and Sarah was sister to Sir Thomas and Sir Richard de la River, and the wife of John Garleke, Esq, which John was accordingly lord of this town, and so occurs in 1388, and after him Walter Garleke his son, whose wife Agnes, by her will dated in 1432, bequeathed her body to be buried in the chapel of St. Mary in the church of Sporle.

Soon after this, it was in the Pastons, and Sir William Paston the judge held it, and John Paston, Esq. his son, died seized of it, and Street-Hall in Cressingham, in the 6th of Edward IV. held then, as it is said, of the Earl of Oxford, by the rent of one pair of gilt spurs of 6d. price. In the reign of Henry VIII. Sir William Paston was lord of this and Easthall, alias Wottons, and a capital messuage called Rands in Pagrave-Magna, with three fold-courses in Sporle, Pagrave-Magna and Parva, and North Pickenham, &c. Sporle sheepwalk on the moor was for 500 ewes, that on Cotes-Moor for 300 ewes, 183 acres, and 206 acres of land in Sporle, with Sporle-wood of 100 acres, making two farms; in 1611 Sir William Paston died seized of it, held, as it is then found, of the Countess of Arundel, as of her castle of Rysing in Norfolk, in soccage and 6d. rent; and in the Paston family it continued in the reign of King Charles I.; but in 1660, John Thetford was lord, and after him Sir Matthew Holworthy, and his son, whose widow enjoyed it in 1730.

The lete is in the lord of the hundred; the lete-fee for Sporle is 4d. per annum, and a quarter of wheat well dressed.

In the parish of Sporle, south of the town, is a farm or hall corruptly called Pedigates, for Petygards, the name of a family that anciently possessed it; Richard Petygard of this place, as appears from an old deed in the 3d of Edward II. sealed with demi-lions passant guardant, impaling Tretty, chief ermine.


The Berewic or hamlet that belonged to this manor, which was always called Pagrave, had in the Confessor's time 13 villeins and one carucate, when Godric received it, and one carucate among the tenants, &c. and was half a mile long and five furlongs broad, and paid its gelt or tax with Sporle, to which it always belonged, as it now doth; it being always part of that parish, it never had any church or place of publick worship belonging to it, that I have met with, but its mother-church of Sporle; but soon after the Conquest, part of it was separated, and became the village called Little-Pagrave, of which hereafter.

The Manor of East-Hall in Great-Pagrave[edit]

Consisted of that land which Edric held in the Confessor's time; and at the survey was held by Ribald, of Alan Earl of Richmond, to which there belonged 6 borders, a carucate and a half valued at 10s.

William le Lirling held this in the 37th of Henry III. free warren being then granted him in his domain lands here, and in Lirling, Rushworth, &c.; and in the 9th of Edward II. William de Easthall was lord. In 1430 William Wotten of Great Pagrave conveyed it to Osbert Mundeford of Hockwold, Adam Mundeford of Feltwelle, Master Andrew Leverington, vicar of Matesale, Margaret, wife of the said Wotten, Edmund Thweyt of Rowdham, Wm. Thweyt of Norwich, and John Baxter of Swaffham; and they sold it in the reign of King Henry VI. to Simon Blake, Gent. of Swaffham. In 1478, John Cocket, Esq. was lord of East Hall; and Edmund Cocket, Esq. in 1529, soon after it was possessed by Sir John Audley of Swaffham, Knt.; and by the marriage of Anne, daughter and heir of Phillip Audley, Esq. to Christopher Paston, Esq. of Oxnead in Norfolk, was brought into that family, and from them was conveyed to Thetford, &c. and joined to Sporle manor.

Woodhall in Pagrave Magna and Parva[edit]

Consisted partly of lands belonging to the Earl Warren's fee in Pagrave-Parva, and of that berwic mentioned above in Sporle, which Godric held for the King.

In the Register of Castleacre, mention is made of this manor about the reign of Henry II. and of Richard de Woodhall, who gave a rent of 4d. to John son of Thoric de Pagrave, and William de Wodehall was witness to a deed about the same time. In the 24th of Henry III. Fresentia de Bovile was found to hold the fourth part of a fee of John de Briton, and he of Fitz-Alan Earl of Arundel, and the heir of Alexander de Goldland, a quarter of a fee of Sir John Harsick, and he of the aforesaid Earl, who held in capite; in the 9th of Edward II. John de Pomfret was returned lord of it; and in 1349 John Haket and Alice his wife grant to Thomas Haket, and William Haket, parson of Upmosden, their manor of Wodehall in Pagrave-Magna and Parva, witnesses, William and Gilbert de Fransham, William de Esthall, Roger Petigard, &c.; and in the 30th of Edward III. Henry Burgess, and Robert Chappe, junior, held here the fourth part of a fee of Thomas de Batisford, he of the Earl of Arundel, which Fresentia de Bovil formerly held. But in the 3d of Henry IV. Thomas de Wotton held of Walter Clerk the 4th part of a fee; and the heirs of John Dobbs held also a fourth part, late Chapp's; and in 1416, a fine was levied between William Westacre, archdeacon of Norfolk, querent, and Edmund Massingham and Margaret his wife, defendants, of a moiety of this manor, paying 4l. per annum to Margaret during life; and in 1427, a fine was levied between William Yelverton, and Thomas Styward, querents, Thomas Staunton and Maud his wife, defendants, of this manor, which was conveyed to William and Thomas; and soon after it was possessed by Judge Paston; and in 1444, William Waynfleet, provost of Eaton College, granted to John Paston, Edmund Paston, &c. all the goods and chattels, rents and profits of the lands, tenements, &c. which belonged to him and that college here, on account of an outlawry against John Halman and Henry Halman of Sporle; and in 1451, Henry Halman granted the same to John Paston, Esq. who died seized of this lordship, in the 6th of Edward IV. After this it passed from the Pastons, as is observed in the manor of Sporle. In the year 1655, I find it consisted of 123 acres of pasture enclosed; 175 of arable, a sheepwalk for 400 ewes, and half an 100 for the shepherd, and 24 acres in Sporle-Field.

The Lete of Pagrave-Magna is in the lord of the hundred, letepee is 14d. per annum.


Hath been for many ages in the family, who took their name from this lordship and seat of theirs, to which one of the family built a Chapel, and fixed the tithes of his manor to it, so that it became parochial, and was a long time independent of Sporle, till the prior there obtained its advowson, and got it consolidated to Sporle; though the first joint presentation that I have seen was in 1581. It is valued with Sporle, in the King's Books, and so pays no visitatorial procurations; but the Archdeacon's Revision in 1630, says that Palgrave-Parva pays 12d. synodals to the Bishop, and 12d. procurations to the archdeacon, and that it belonged to Sporle priory; the whole village, though it retains its name separate, is included in Sporle; the chapel hath been many years dilapidated, but its site is well known.

The Lete of Pagrave-Parva is in the lord of the hundred: lete fee is 4d. per annum.

Strange's, or Pagrave-Parva Manor[edit]

William Earl Warren held in the Conqueror's time land here, which St. Ricarius holds of him, namely a carucate of the fee of Fedric held by a freeman, in King Edward's time; it was always 1 carucate and half in domain, then valued at 20s. at the survey at 25s.

This lordship has been in the family of the Pagraves (who took their name from it ) for many centuries; in the reign of Henry II. John, son of Thomas de Pagrave, gave to the monks of Casleacre a rent of 4d. per annum; and in the 24th of Henry III. a fine was levied between Robert son of William de Pagrave and Mary his wife, querents, and William de Pagrave, defendant, of a carucate of land in Pagrave, granted to William for life, remainder to Robert and his heirs begotten of the said Mary. In the 41st also of the said King, a fine was levied between Robert de Pagrave, querent, and William, tenent of one messuage, one carucate of land, and 15s. per annum rent in Pagrave, granted to Robert, who granted to William an annuity of 9 marks. In the 38th of Henry VI. a fine was levied between John Pagrave, junior and Margaret his wife, querents, and John Pagrave, senior, and Ann his wife, defendants, of the manor of Pagrave, and a fold course in Pagrave-Magna and Parva, settled on John and Margaret in tail; and it appears by the will of Henry Pagrave, who died in 1527, that his wife was jointered in this manor. In 1571, John Pagrave was lord, and Sir Augustine Pagrave, Bart. died seized of it; about the year 1731, the whole manor was purchased in, and there were no outrents but 36s. 8d. payable yearly to the sheriff of Norfolk; at Sir Richard's death, it was ordered by decree in Chancery, to be sold by his heirs, with the manor of Norwood Barningham; and

The heirs of Sir Richard are the 4 daughters of Samuel Smith, late of Colkirk, Esq. deceased, his mother being Uritha Palgrave, daughter of Sir John Palgrave, grandfather of Sir Richard, and father of Sir Austin, viz.

1, Catherine, married to Thomas Bendish, Esq. of Yarmouth, who is dead, with issue.

2, Uritha, married to Offley of Derbyshire, Esq. she being dead, John Offley, Esq. is her son and heir.

3, Theodosia, who married Samuel Sparrow of Lavenham in Suffolk, Gent. who is dead, but she survives.

4, Lucy, married 1st to Pett of Dedenham in Suffolk, Gent. and after to Jonas Rolf of Lyn, Gent.; she is dead, but John Pett her son is now living.


This village lies on the east side of the hundred, near to that of Weyland, and adjoining to North Pickenham, from which it is parted by a rivulet, that arises at Bradenham; it is situated on a rising ground, and takes its name from its site, Houghton or High-Town, and is called Houghton on the Hill, to distinguish it from the other Houghton in this county. At the Conquest it became the lordship of Alan Earl of Richmond, and Ribald Lord of Midleham in Yorkshire, brother to Alan, held it under him, and Ralph son of Robert, grandson of Ribald, who was in ward of the Bishop of Canterbury, held this town and the Pickenhams, in the reign of Richard I. it being then valued at xxvl. per annum; this Ralph married Mary, daughter of Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk, and had a discharge by writ from half a knight's fee 19th of King John, and held Houghton in capite. Ralph Fitz Ralph, in the 50th of Henry III. would not permit the sheriff to enter into his manors in this county, which implies that he had return of writs therein, himself. This lord bore,
Or, on a chiefindented az. a lion passant of the 1st.

He died in the 54th of that King, and his heart was buried at Richmond, being founder of the Friars Minims there) where his wife Anastasia was buried, but his body was buried at Coverham in Yorkshire, in the monastery church there; and having no issue male, his great estate was divided between his three daughters; and in the 55th of the said King, the sheriff of Norfolk gave an account of 11l. 15s. 8d. ob. of the issues of his lands in this town, &c. in Norfolk, before he delivered the third part thereof to

Robert de Nevile, who married Mary the eldest daughter and coheir, who had with her the honour and castle of Midleham in Yorkshire, this manor, the Pickenhams, and other towns in Norfolk, and a part to

Robert de Tateshale, who married Joan, (who died without issue,) and the other part remained in the King's hands,

Anastasia, the third daughter and coheir, being under age, and this part Edward the King's son seized into his hands, and gave it to Gilbert Hansard.

This Robert de Nevile was son of Robert de Nevile Lord of Raby, and lived about 10 years her husband; when he is said to be inhumanly put to death for his criminal conversation with a Lady at Craven in Yorkshire, and his lady lived about 40 years his widow, and died in the 13th of Edward II. seized of this manor and the Pickenhams, &c. and left them to her son Ralph, then aged 40 years; and Master Richard de Clare, escheator on this side Trent, accounted for the issues of this manor, &c. belonging lately to the said Mary de Nevill, held of the honour of Richmond, and she is said to be buried at Coverham in Yorkshire, which monastery was founded by Helewisia, daughter and heir of Ralph de Glanville, a Baron, and lord chief justice of England, wife of Robert de Midleham, lord of Midleham; she held in capite by half a knight's fee the manor and advowson of Houton, of the Honour of Richmond, the manor of South Pickenham and the advowson of North Pickenham, and a moiety of the advowson of Berford. In the 14th of Edward III. Ralph de Nevile, her grandson, had a Charter of free warren in this town, &c.; and in the 41st of the said King, died seized of this manor, and John de Nevile, by his second lady, was his son and heir here, aged 16. He bare as his father, gul. a saltier arg.; and in the 49th year of Edward III. Sir John de Nevile Lord Raby, leased this manor and that of North Pickenham, to Sir Robert Knolls the great warriour, and Constantia his wife, for their lives, which said Sir Robert had also a grant of free-warren here in the 2d of Richard II. The said Sir Robert held this manor in the 3d of Henry IV. and in the 6th of that King; two fines were levied between John Drew, clerk, John Seymor of London, and the said Sir Robert, of this manor and advowson; by the first they were settled on John Drew, trustee for Sir Robert, and by the 2d on Sir Robert for life, remainder to Ralph Nevile Earl of Westmorland, Sir Thomas Colvile, Knt. &c. in trust; and in the 12th of the said reign, Ralph Nevile Earl of Westmorland granted to John Bernard, clerk, for life, an annual pension of 50 marks issuing out of this town and North and South Pickenham, and Sutton on Dervent in Yorkshire. It may not be improper to observe, that the aforesaid John Nevile Lord Raby, son of Ralph, was in the French wars, and died in the 12th of Richard II. having married to his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter and heir of William Lord Latimer of Danby, and died seized, in her right, of the manor of Carbrook called Woodhall, the reversion to his son John Nevile, whom he had by her, which John married Maud, daughter of Thomas Lord Clifford, and widow of Richard Earl of Cambridge, and died 9th of Henry VI. without issue, leaving Sir John Willoughby, Knt. son of Elizabeth his sister, who was married to William Lord Willoughby of Eresby, his next heir; but his great estate was entailed, for want of issue male, upon Ralph Nevile, his son, first Earl of Westmorland, who enjoyed them some time, and afterwards settled them upon George, his third son by his second wife Joan, daughter of John a Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, who agreed with Maud Countess of Cambridge, widow of John Lord Latimer, that in case Sir John Willoughby, Knt. commenced any suit against them, or that they should grant him any lands, they should bear their proportions, she two-thirds, and he one; she having the greatest proportion: Sir George, 3d son of Ralph Earl of Westmorland, being called to parliament by the title of Lord Latimer, married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Beauchamp Earl of Warwick; this lord in his latter days was an ideot, and his lands were granted in custody to Richard Nevile, the great Earl of Warwick, and died in the 9th of Edward IV. seized of this manor, both the Pickenhams, Fouldon, and Carbrook, Woodhall, &c. all which descended to Sir Richard Nevile, Knt. his grandson, and heir by Sir Henry Nevile Lord Latimer, his only son, who was killed at Edgcote Field, in the same year that his father died, and a little before his father, having married a daughter of the Lord Berners, by whom he had the said Sir Richard, who had not livery of his lands till the 6th of Henry VII. though he was in arms for that King at Stoke Battle: he married Anne, daughter of Humphrey Stafford of Grafton, Esq. and died 22d of Henry VIII. leaving by her John Lord Latimer, his son, &c. who was in the rebellion called the Pilgrimage of Grace, in that King's reign; which John married, for his second wife, Catherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Parr, (his first wife being Dorothy, daughter of the Earl of Oxford,) which said Catharine was afterwards married to King Henry VIII. by whose interest, most likely, John his son had livery of this manor and North Pickenham, in the 35th of Henry VIII. his father John died about the said time, together with the manors of Danby, Thornton, Snape, Welle, &c. in Yorkshire: Corby, Burton, Latimers, &c. in Northamptonshire: Compton and Norris, in Berkshire: Wadburgh, in Worcestershire: Warcup in Westmorland, and as heir to the Earl of Oxford, of Barton Bendish, Islington, Wetyng, Sandringham, Knapton, Middleton, Scales Hoo, Tittleshall, Babingley, Wolverton, Fittons in Wygenhale, Toftrees, East-Winch, in Norfolk: Holbrooke, Chellesworth, Walsham, and Preston, in Suffolk: Ken sington in Middlesex: Bures Marks or Bevers Marks in London: Oldhall in Wethersfield in Essex: Sawston, Haukeston, and Dullingham, in Cambridgeshire: Stony Stratford in Warwickshire: Calverton in Bucks: Wygeston in Leicestershire, and Tredenneke, in Cornwall. This John lived till the 20th of Queen Elizabeth, but had no issue male by Lucy, daughter of Henry Earl of Worcester, so that by the marriage of his 4 daughters and coheirs, his estate was divided.

Katherine, the 1st daughter, was married to Henry Earl of Northumberland.

Dorothy, the second, to Thomas Earl of Exeter.

Lucy, the third, to Sir William Cornwallis, ancestour to the present Lord Cornwallis.

Elizabeth, the fourth, to Sir John Danvers, Knt. from whom is descended the present Duke of Leeds, Viscount Latimer.

Soon after the death of this last Lord Latimer, this lordship came into the family of the Bedingfelds of Oxburgh, and Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. as lord and patron, presented to this church in 1688. And in this family it continued, till it was sold by Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Bart. to Henry Eyre, Esq of Bury's-Hall, about the year 1720, and John Eyre, Esq. his brother, sold it to

Mr. Penson of London, in whose family it now continues.

The Tenths of this town were 2l. 16s. 8d.

The temporalities of the Prioress of Carhow, 2s. The temporalities of the Prior of Westacre, 2s.

There are now only a farm or two, and a cottage or two in this village.

The Church is a single building of flint, &c. dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin; in length about 27 feet, and about 18 in breadth, and is covered with reed. At the west end stands a small four-square tower of flint and brick, and on the top is a little cap of wood covered with lead; in this tower hangs one bell: at the east end of this nave is the chancel, separated by a gable or wall, near a yard thick, through which is an arch about 12 feet in height, and 6 in breadth, which leads into the chancel; which seems to be much more antique than the body and tower; it is in length about 26 feet, and of equal breadth with the body.


Robert de Neville, in the 34th Henry III.

Ralph de Nevile, rector.

  • 1304, Hugh de Midleham, presented by the Lady Mary de Nevile; this lady founded a chantry of two priests in this church of Houghton, and not of Sheriff Houghton in Yorkshire, as has been represented, as appears by her own deed.

The rector had at this time a manse, with 44 acres of land, and the rectory was valued at 9 marks, Peter-pence 6d.

  • 1312, Richard de Medilham. Ditto.
  • 1315, Robert de Somerdeby. Lady Mary Nevill.
  • 1321, John de Wendeslay.
  • 1333, Thomas de Lemyng.
  • 1335, Henry de Swale.
  • 1361, Thomas de Ingleby; he, and the three before him, were presented by Ralph Lord Nevile.
  • 1370, Richard de Whittons. John Lord Nevill of Raby. He was vicar of Newton in Glendale, Durham diocese, and exchanged with Ingleby.
  • 1375, John de Sutton. Sir Robert Knolles. He was rector of North Pickenham, and exchanged with Whitton.
  • 1377, John Boys, Ditto.
  • 1380, Gregory de Hetherset. John Lord Cobham, and John Seymer, attorneys general to Sir Robert Knolles. He was rector of Skulthorp, and exchanged with Boys.
  • 1380, John Drew. John Lord Cobham, and John Seymer, &c. He was vicar of Narford, rector of Bawsey, Harpley, and Northwold.
  • 1388, John de Hockham. Robert Bishop of London, John Lord Cobham, John Crew, rector of Pudding Norton, and John Seymour, citizen of London.
  • 1415, Robert Kereby. Ralph Earl of Westmorland.
  • 1420, Thomas Wirethorp. Ralph Nevill Earl of Westmorland, who presented the two following rectors:
  • 1423, Richard Blome.
  • 1424, Robert Danson.
  • 1469, John Ferthyng. Henry Nevile Lord Latimer.
  • 1474, John (of the order of the Carmelites) collated by the Bishop of Norwich by lapse. First-fruits then 9 marks. I take this to be John Barber, who died rector in 1498; by his will dated 17th February 1497, and proved 15th May 1498, he gives a legacy to St. Mary's gild here, and to that of the Trinity in South Pickenham.
  • 1498, Robert Legge, ob. Richard Lord Latimer.
  • 1503, George Rigton, ob. Rich. Lord Latimer.
  • 1508, Peter Fulwode. Ditto.
  • 1541, John Harridanse. Sir Christopher Jenny, by virtue of a grant from John Lord Latimer.
  • 1658, Roger Olley, res. Ditto.
  • 1559, Thomas Benson. John Jenney, Esq. farmer of the lordship of Lord Latimer.
  • 1585, Robert Fraunces, A. B. res. Thomas Bradbury of Ashill, patron hac vice by grant from Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq.
  • 1587, Henry Collison, ob. Thomas Frances. In his answers to King James, he says there were 15 communicants here in 1603, and that Henry Bedingfeld, Esq. was patron.
  • 1611, Thomas Brown, A. M. licensed preacher, ob. Nicholas Brown, assignee of Sir Henry Bedingfeld; rector also of Wissinget Norfolk.
  • 1613, Simon Thompson, A. M. ob. William Prithero, assignee of Sir Henry Bedingfeld.
  • 1637, Thomas Booth, A. M. ob. Robet Booth of Wroxham.
  • 1687, Henry Tinkler, ob. Robert Alpe, Gent.
  • 1715, Henry Wastell, A. B. Sir Ralph Hare, Bart. buried in the chancel here 26th April, 1719.
  • 1719, Waters Rolf. Sir Ralph Hare, Bart.

At the death of Rolf, the Rev. Mr. Say resigned the vicarage of Swafpham, and holds this consolidated rectory, by union with Beachamwell, he being both rector and patron in Septemper 1749.

This rectory is valued at 4l. 18s. 9d. in the King's Books, and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 35l. it is discharged of firstfruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation: visitatorial procurations are 2s. 10d. to the Bishop, synodals 18d. Archdeacon's procurations 5s. and it is now consolidated to North Pickenham.


This village lies at the north-east angle of the hundred, and adjoining to the hundred of Mitford. In the Conqueror's survey it is called Bradeham: in the Confessor's time one Ailid, a Saxon lady, held it; but on the Conquest it became the lordship of Ralph Bainard; it was half a mile and 2 furlongs in length, and three furlongs in breadth, and was valued in the Confessor's time at 6l. per annum, at the survey at 12l. and paid 18d. to the gelt. Here was also a church with 15 acres of land, valued 15d.

East-Bradenham Manor[edit]

In the reign of Henry II. this manor was parcel of the possessions of Saer de Quincy Earl of Winchester, who gave to the Canons of Dunmow in Essex a yearly rent of 10s. issuing out of this lordship: he no doubt held it under the Lord Baynard, by which family the aforesaid abbey was founded. Sawer, his eldest son, enjoyed it, and on the marriage of his eldest son Robert with Hawise, 4th daughter of Hugh Kiveloc Earl of Chester, gave him this lordship to make a dower for the said Hawise, by whom he had Margaret, wife of John Lacy: Randolph Blundevile (brother to Hawise) Earl of Chester and Lincoln, surrendered this last earldom to Robert Quincy, from whom, by his daughter Margaret, it descended to John Lacy aforesaid.

Between this John Lacy Earl of Lincoln, and Roger de Quincy, second son of Sayer, and brother to the aforesaid Robert, were divers law-suits: but in the 14th of Henry III. they came to an agreement by fine then levied at Westminster, between Roger de Quincy, querent, and John de Lacy, constable of Chester, Earl of Lincoln, and Murgaret his wife, deforciants, of the inheritance of Saer late Earl of Winchester in this town, &c. and of the inheritance of Margaret de Quincy Countess of Winchester, daughter and coheir of the Earl of Leicester, and wife to Saer, viz. the moiety of the honour of Leicester, whereby John and Margaret acknowledge all the lands and inheritance of Saer in England, and the moiety of the said honour, and the whole inheritance of Margaret Countess of Winchester in England and Normandy, to be the right of Roger; who grants to John and Margaret this manor, that of Kingston in Dorsetshire, &c. This John Earl of Lincoln died on the feast of St. Mary Magdalen in 1240, and his bones, with those of his ancestors, were removed from Stanlaw in Cheshire to Whaley.

In the 3d of Edward I. John de Lindeseye, bailiff to the Earl of Lincoln, erected a gallows here, and claimed the assize of bread and beer, and view of frankpledge, as part of the liberty of the barony; and in the 15th of the said King, Walter de Sturton, who held it under the Earl of Lincoln, claimed free-warren here, and the other liberties.

In the 2d of Edward II. Henry Lacy Earl of Lincoln, son of Edmund, son of John, by Alice, daughter of the Marquis of Saluces in Italy, which Henry married Margaret daughter and heir of Sir William Longespee, conveyed by fine this manor and advowson, which Juliana de Stourton, widow of Walter, held for life (which is three parts of a knight's fee, and Huntingfeld held here, the fourth part of the said Earl,) to Thomas Abbot of Bury, and to the convent, who was to receive the Earl as a benefactor: this Earl died on St. Agatha the Virgin, in 1310, in Chancery-lane, London, and was buried on the south side of the altar of St. Paul's, aged 60 years. The cellerer of the abbey of Bury at that time was John de Eversdon, as appears from a receipt of this Earl of Lancaster, for 500 marks, paid by the abbot and convent, in part of 1609 marks, which the abbot, &c. owed him on bond, and which was no doubt for this purchase; and Julian, widow of William de Sturton, by deed in the 3d of King Edward II. released all her right to the abbot. The witnesses were Sir William Fitz Payne, Sir Edmund de Hengrave, Sir Hervey de Stanton, Sir Edmund de Pakenham, Sir Symond de Cockfield, John de Sturton, Alesander de Acre, &c. And in the Regist. Nigrum Vestiarij Sei. Edmundi, in the hands of the Bishop of Norwich (Dr. Moor) in 1699, fol. 137, &c. are entered, 1st, the letters patent of King Edward II. dated 3d of March in the 2d year of his reign, of license to Henry Lacy Earl of Lincoln, to grant the manor and advowson of this town, which Julian de Sturton held for life, to the monastery of Bury. Secondly, an agreement between Thomas Earl of Lancaster and Leicester, Steward of England, who married the daughter and heir of Henry Earl of Lincoln, and Richard Abbot of Bury, with the homages and services of the tenants, &c.; and the said abbot grants the wardship of the lands which were William de Huntingfeld's late tenant of the said manor of East Bradenham, to hold till the full age of Roger de Huntingfeld, his son and heir, and so from heir to heir, if he should die within age; but the wardships of the next heirs to come to the abbot and his successours, dated 22d April, 7th of Edward II. and it was confirmed by the said King.

In the 9th of Edward II. the Abbot of Bury, and the heir of Will. de Huntingfeld, are said to be lords of this town. In the 3d of Henry IV. the Abbot of Bury held this manor and that of Huntingfelds, being together one knight's fee, of the Earl of Lincoln, that Earl of the Earl of Rutland in right of his wife, who held in capite, as parcel of his barony called Bayniard, and in this abbey, this manor and that of Huntingfeld's (now united) continued till the general Dissolution, when the King seized it; and in the 35th of his reign granted the advowson of the church to Robert Hogan, to be held in capite; but the manor was farmed of the Crown by the said Robert Hogan, Esq. and after in Queen Elizabeth's time by Thomas Hogan, Esq. for 34l. 13s. 4d. per annum; and in the 34th of the said Queen, Henry Hogan, Esq. was possessed in his own right, and made a jointure of the manor to Anne his wife, daughter of Sir Henry Woodhouse of Waxham, and dying in the said reign, left Robert his son a minor, which Robert, at the instigation of his mother, who had him in ward, being near his full age; and in his sickness, of which he died, levied a fine 10th of King James I. of his lands here, &c. part to the use of his mother, then the Lady Cæsar (being remarried to Sir Julius Cæsar of Bennington) concerning which, there were great suits at law, between this Lady Cæsar, and his own sister, married to Mr. Day.

After this it was possessed by the Hungates, and was mortgaged and sold by Henry Hungate, Esq. who died in 1668, and then by Mrs. Lucy Hungate; afterwards it came to Mr. Morris, whose niece being married to Sir William Goulston of London, who presented to the church in 1683, brought it into that family; from Sir William it descended to Maurice Goulston, Esq. who lately sold it to Edmund Beaghn, Esq. whose son is the present lord.


Of the Huntingfields I find that Roger, lord of the manor of Huntingfield in Suffolk, soon after the Conquest, assumed the name of his lordship, and left it to William de Huntingfield, his son and heir, who founded Mendham priory in Suffolk, and died in 1155, and had by Sibil de Harleston, his wife, daughter of Roger Gyny, nine children, besides her eldest son and heir, Roger, who flourished in Henry the Second's time, and left William, his son and heir, who was a baron in King John's time, and had two wives; Alice de St. Lys, and Isabel, daughter and heir of Roger de Gressenhale in Norfolk, relict of Osmund de Stutevile of Brantingham in Yorkshire; they left one daughter, Alice, married to Richard Solers, and Roger their son and heir, who in the 14th of Henry III. purchased this manor of John de Lacy Constable of Chester, and Earl of Lincoln, and Margaret his wife, it being of the inheritance of Saer de Quincy, late Earl of Winchester; he married Joan, daughter and coheir of William de Hobing or Hobrugg; she died the 25th of Edw. I. and left William de Huntingfield their son, who died about xi. EdwardI. leaving his son, Roger de Huntingfeld, lord here, who was one of those noble peers that sent Pope Boniface word, that the kingdom of Scotland was not of his fee, and that he had no jurisdiction in temporal affairs over either of the kingdoms, which was subscribed at the parliament held at Lincoln; and in the 30th of the said King, he held the fourth part of a knight's fee here valued at 7l. 13s. 4d. and died about this time, leaving Joyce, daughter of John D'Engaine, his widow, and William his son and heir, whose widow, Sibil, remarried to William le Latimer. He died in the 7th of Edw. II. seized of this manor and lands in Skarning, and Roger was his son, eight years old; and in the 13th of the said King, Sir Walter de Norwich gave account of 30l. per annum of the custody of the lands which were William de Huntingfeld's in East-Bradenham and Mendham, during the minority of Roger, son and heir of William; and he, as a baron of the Exchequer, accounted for Hunting feld-hall manor in Suffolk. In the 10th of Edward III. Roger de Huntingfeld held the fourth part of a fee here, with its appurtenances, of the Earl of Lancaster, as of the honour of Leicester; and in the next year died seized of this manor, and William was his son and heir, seven years old, who in the 28th of the said King was one of those barons of parliament who signed the letters of procuration to Richard de Wymondsold, &c. to declare their consents, as far as in them lay, to what should be agreed (before Pope Innocent the 6th at Avignon, as a private person, and not as a judge) betwixt the envoys of the King of England, and the messengers of the French King, in order to establish a lasting peace, and to prevent the war which followed, by reason that treaty took no effect; and in the 30th of that King, he accompanied Edward the Black Prince into Gascoigne, and had letters of protection dated the 30th of February. Amongst the inquisitions in the 50th of Edward III. the jury find that William Lord Huntingfeld, long before his death, was seized of this manor, and of Mendham, Benges, the advowsons of Hunting feld, Cokeley and Petrestre, with that of the priory of Mendham in Suffolk, Maklyngton in Essex, and thereof enfeoft John de Stykford, clerk, John de Lynsted, clerk, Rich. Franceys of Tichewell, John Bate of Kerketon, and Thomas son of Robert de Toft, to them and their heirs, and levied a fine thereof in the 47th of the said King, to the right of John Bate, who, with the others, regranted them to William for life, remainder to themselves and the heirs of John Bate; which John Stykford, and John Bate, &c. released their right to John Linsted and Richard Franceys, by a fine levied in the 48th of the said King, between William de Ufford Earl of Suffolk, querent, and themselves defendents; and the manor was settled on the said Earl for life, after the decease of William Lord Huntingfeld, remainder to Thomas, William, and Edmund, sons of the said Earl, (all whom died without issue male,) and Alice, widow of Sir John de Norwich, Knt. his kinswoman, was his next heir, and 30 years old, but had not the land because of this settlement. After this it came to the three sisters of William Earl of Suffolk.

Cecily, married to the Lord Willoughby of Eresby.

Cathrine, to Robert Lord Scales,

And Margaret to William Lord Ferers of Groby.

And soon after, in the fourth or fifth year of King Richard II. it was alienated to the abbey of Bury with the King's license, by Sir Roger Boys, Knt. Robert de Ashfield, Roger Wolferton, &c. on their paying 10l. per annum; but on an inquisition ad quod damnum in the 14th of that King, it was said it would not be to the King's prejudice if that rent was released to the abbot, which was accordingly done; and it continued in the abbey till its dissolution, and has had the same lords since, as is observed before in the other manor, to which it was then united.

Hammond's Manor[edit]

In the 3d of Edward III. Thomas Virley held here, and in Euston in Suffolk, &c. lands of Thomas Lord Bardolph; and in the 13th of Rich. II. William Lord Bardolph of Wormgey in Norfolk held the fourth part of a knight's fee here, and in Yaxham, Shipdam, &c. part of the portion of Agnes his wife. In the 5th of Henry VI. Thomas Beaufort Duke of Exeter held the same, which was then held by Rob. Fishpool, as parcel of the honour of Wirmgey, and Euston was held of him by John Rookwood, as parcel of the said honour: it afterwards belonged to the Hammonds, and then to the Hungates, and was joined by William Hungate, Esq. to the other manors, and so continues.

The temporalities of the Prior of Dunmow were 9s. 1d. Those of the Prior of Castleacre 4s.; this was on account of land granted to the convent by Wimer Swift of this town in the time of Henry III.

The tenth of this town was 5l. 14s. 4d.

This village takes its name from [Brade], which in Saxon signifies broad, and [ham] a village; the houses lying scattered and dispersed about the common, at this time.

In this town arises a spring, which making a little rivulet, passes by North and South Pickenham, Cressingham-Magna, Hilburgh, &c. and empties itself into the great Ouse below Helgey-Bridge; I cannot learn that it has any name, till being joined by other rivulets, it is called below Cranwich, &c. the Wissey.

In the reign of Edward I. the Earl of Lincoln was patron; the rector had then a manse, with 30 acres, and was valued, together with the portion of the priory of Donemow, at 22 marks, of which the priory was taxed at 1 mark, Peter-pence 4d. ob.

The Church of East-Bradenham is dedicated to St. Mary, and consists of a nave, a north and south isle, with a chancel built of flint, stones, &c. and covered with lead; the vault of the nave is supported by octangular pillars, forming 8 arches, 4 on a side, and is in length about 57 feet, and in breadth, with the two isles, about 39 feet; at the west end of the nave is a convenient and decent gallery erected for the singers, joining to the tower, which is four-square, and of the same materials with the church: in this tower hang three bells. On a gravestone in the south isle is a brass plate thus inscribed;

Here resteth the Body of Bridget late Wife of Francis Page of Norwich, Baker, who departed this Life 22 October, 1646. I have finished my Course, I have, &c. 2 Timothy 4. 7. and 8 Verses.

Here also is a marble gravestone in memory of Ann Wife of John Ireson, deceased 7 July, 1661, aged 19 Years and 6 Months.

To the north isle is annexed a good porch, with a room over it, probably for a recluse.

The chancel is in length about 33 feet, and in breadth about 18, within the rails of the communion table lies a black marble gravestone with this shield.

Gul. a chevron ingrailed between three talbots sejant, arg. Hungate.

In Memory of Henry Hungate of East Bradenham, Esq. who died the 16th of May, 1668, Ætat. suæ 44.

On the pavement in the chancel lies another, with four iron rings, as the cover of a vault, and on it,

Reliquiæ Johannis Green Armigeri Comitatûs Norfolciæ diu Justitiarij in cujus piam Memoriam, non hoc uno contenta Marmore, Monumentum ad lœvum posuit ex antiquâ Hungatorum Familiâ, Oriunda Martha Mœstissima Conjux.

Against the south wall is a large and neat monument of marble, ornamented with the busts of a man and woman, two Cupids, and an urn, and the arms of

Green, per pale azure and gul. a chevron between three bucks tripping or.

Impaling Hungate, and thus inscribed,

Johannes Green Armiger, Vice Comitis Officio apud Norfolcienses, summâ cum Laude defunctus, Deo rationem redditurus, ad Cælos abijt, April 28, Ano Salutis 1684, Ætat. suæ 35. Tu autem Lector, hunc verum Ecclesiæ filium, fidelem Regis Subditum, Cleri, Bonorumque omnium Amicum, omni quo potes modo prosequere, supremi Judicij Memor.

Near to this, on the pavement, is a marble gravestone, with the arms of Green, in memory of Joshua Green of East Bradenham, Esq. who died the 9th of July, 1659. Near to this, another with the arms of Green impaling Hungate, in memory of five children, three sons and two daughters of John Green, Esq. of East Bradenham and Martha his wife. Adjoining is another in memory of Sarah wife of George Townsend, Esq. of West Wretham in Norfolk, daughter to Joshua Green of East Bradenham, Esq. who died October 16, 1667.

Here Virtuous, Pious, Sarah Townsend lies, Whose Soul Enamell'd thus, to Heaven flies.

On the head of this gravestone, az. a chevron ermine, between three escallops arg. Townsend, impaling Green.

In a window are the arms of Bury abbey.


  • 1302, William de Birston, ob. Juliana de Sturton.
  • 1313, William de Cliff. The Abbot and Convent of Bury, who presented to the Dissolution.
  • 1349, Edmund de Myldenhale.
  • 1361, William de Humberstane.
  • 1365, William de Humberstane, junior; he was rector of Walton on Trent, in the diocese of Litchfield and Coventry, and exchanged with Humberstane, senior.
  • 1368, Henry de Tytyng; he was rector of Thuresway in Lincolnshire, and exchanged with Humberstane, junior.
  • 1369, Simon Fyminer; he was vicar of East-Derham, and exchanged with Tylyng.
  • 1381, John Ive.
  • John Rameseye, rector, by his will in 1421, desires to be buried in the chancel before the high altar, and gives legacies to Trinity gild, St. Mary's gild, and St. Margaret's gild in this church.
  • 1421, Nich, Bagot, A. M. res.; he had been rector of Honeweton or Hunnington in Suffolk.
  • 1425, John Coke, res.; he was rector of Icklingham St. James in Suffolk, and exchanged with Bagot.
  • 1431, Ralph Kemp, exchanged the rectory of Haddesco for this.
  • 1444, Thomas Booff, exchanged with Kemp; he was vicar of Aylsham.
  • 1451, Thomas Hill, on the death of Booff. In
  • 1460, Thomas Stocke, res.
  • 1460, Robert Ipswell, L.L. B. res.
  • 1461, John Adam, res.; he was rector of Baldeswell in Norfolk, and exchanged with Ipswell.
  • 1470, William Duffeld, res.
  • 1477, John Segrave, res.
  • 1486, Robert Barbour, ob.
  • 1494, Edmund Bryggett, LL. B. res.
  • 1497, John Bettys, A. M. ob.
  • 1501, Edmund Potter, ob. The first fruits of this church were then 22 marks, and he was the last presented by the abbey.
  • 1542, Anthony Hogan, res. presented by Rob. Hogan, Esq.
  • 1564, Richard Frankling, res. Thomas Hogan, Esq.
  • 1597, John Banks. Ditto. In his reply to King James's Queries, he says there were 126 communicants here in 1603.
  • 1614, Robert Murden, A. B. Ann Hungate, widow.
  • 1632, John Gerrard, A. M res.
  • 1632, William Strode, S. T. B. ob. Thomas Spring, Esq.; he was son to the Lady Day, sister to Robert Hogan, who died a minor, as has been observed; but Sir Julius Cæsar and his Lady Anne brought a quare impedit and recovered the advowson.
  • 1637, Robert Seppens, A. M. res. The Lady Anne Cæsar, widow of Sir Julius Cæsar.
  • 1660, William Barrow, A. M. ob. Henry Hungate of Leicester, Esq.
  • 1676, James Dean, A. M. ob. William Dean, hac vice.
  • 1683, Nathaniel Spalding, A. M. ob. Sir William Goulston.
  • 1705, Thomas Brewer. Maurice Goulston, Esq. of Walton on the Thames.
  • 1707, Charles le Blane on the cession of Brewer, res. Ditto.
  • 1713, Samuel Croxall; afterwards D. D. residentiary of Hereford, and chaplain in ordinary to the King; he was educated at St. John's college Cambridge.
  • 1716, Isaac Sayer, A. M. on the cession of Croxall; he held this and Crownthorp in Norfolk united. Ditto.
  • 1722, The Rev. Mr. Edmund Nelson, A. B. on the death of Sayer. Maurice Goulston, Esq.; but Mr. Lucas of Shipdham is the present patron.

This church is a rectory valued at 12l. 2s. 8d. ob. in the King's Books, and the tenths are 1l. 4s. 3d. qr. synodals 18d. visitatorial procurations, 3s. 11d. ob. archdeacon's procurations, 7s. 7d. ob. The church, at the Conquest, was endowed with 15 acres of land, and there is at present a small manor belonging to the rectory.


We find in Domesday Book, under the title of invasions in this hundred, that William Earl Warren held in Bradeham half a carucate of land, which Godric held; and two freemen held two oxgangs, valued at x. s.; this was forfeited, and the King seized it, and Robert Blund farmed it of the King, and Godric, who paid into the Exchequer xx. s. per annum, and the freemen of the hundred could not say how it passed to him.

Under the land of Ralph de Tony, it is said that he held in Bradenham, half a carucate of land; and 8 socmen held half a carucate and four acres of meadow; and under the title of the land of William Earl Warren, that a freeman held 30 acres, which formerly belonged to S. Osmund, who had the soc and sac, then and now valued at 5s.

The Kaillis or Caleys were no doubt very early enfeoft in this town by the Earl Warren. In the 9th of King John, a fine was levied between Adam de Kailli, petent, Michael de Ponyngs and Margery his wife, tenant, of the dower of Margery, from John de Kailli, her first husband; and in the 12th of Henry III. an agreement by way of fine was made before Martin de Pateshull, archdeacon of Norfolk, Stephen de Segrave, William son of Warin, William de Insula, &c. itinerant justices, between Adam de Kailli, querent, and Margery, widow of John de Kailli, about waste made in the dower of Margery, in the wood of Bradeham, she being to have only reasonable estover of house-bote, hedge-bote, and wood to burn, by the view of the forester of Adam; it appears there was a park here full of wood, and several woods about the park, whereof Adam was to fell a fourth part yearly; and if Margery should want wood to repair her houses, she might have it. In the 15th of Edward I. the jury say, that Osbert de Caley claimed free-warren here, the assize of bread and beer, view of frankpledge, weyf, &c. In the 9th of Edward II. Thomas de Cailley was lord, and held four fees of the Earl Warren, in Bradenham, Hilburgh, Cranwich, Denvere, and Hillington, and settled this manor, excepting the advowson, on Michael de Calley for life, and the 3d part in reversion, after the death of Joan, then wife of William de Wasteneys, Knt. widow of Adam de Cailley, she holding it in dower. In the 9th of Edward III. it was settled by Adam de Clifton and Eleanor his wife, on themselves in tail with Cranewiz, &c. and Sir Adam was lord about the 40th of the said King; and in the 51st of the same King, Sir John de Clifton was lord, and then granted to Richard Holdich, &c. and their heirs, this manor, that of Cranwich, &c. in trust. The 12th of King Richard II. Sir John de Clifton and Elizabeth his wife held this manor, and Constantine was his son and heir. In the 3d of Henry IV. Margaret de Clifton held the 5th part of a fee here of the Earl of March; and in the reign of Henry VI. John de Clifton was lord; and by his will dated 16 Aug. 1447, wills that this manor and others should remain in the hands of his executors for 12 years, and then return to his right heirs, and by this will it came to the Knevets of Bukenham Castle; and on an inquisition taken the 5th of Henry VII. it was found that John Knevet, late deceased, held this manor (and that Sir William was his heir) of the Earl of Arundel, as of his castle of Castleacre, by knight's service, and in the 8th of Henry VIII. Sir William died seized of it, and it descended to his heirs. In the 33d of the said King, a fine was levied between William Read, citizen and mercer of London, and Anne his wife, querents, and Edmund Knevet and Anne his wife, defendants, of this manor, conveyed to William; and William Read, his son and heir, was lord in the 34th of the said King, on the death of his father, and is then said to hold it of the honour of Clare. In the 1st of Queen Elizabeth, William son of the last William Read, had livery of these manors, West Bradenham, Gooderston, &c. in Norfolk, with three in Suffolk; and by a daughter and coheir of Sir William Read of Massingham in Norfolk, it came by marriage to Sir William Wythypole of Christ Church in Ipswich in Suffolk, descended from Robert Wythypole of Wythypol in Shropshire, who bare

Per pale or and gul. three lions passant in a bordure counterchanged.

In 1649, Colonel Leicester Devereux was lord of one third part, in right of Elizabeth, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir William Withipole, who was son of the Lord Viscount Hereford, and Robert Yallop, Esq. who in right of his wife, another coheiress, had two parts of three, of this manor: in 1665, the Lord Viscount Hereford having purchased the whole, sold it to Henry Warner, Esq. of WormillHall, near Mildenhall in Suffolk, who sold it to Robert Thompson, Esq. about 1684; from the Thompsons it descended to the wife of Anthony Burward of Woodbridge in Suffolk, and the said Anthony holds it for life.

Bradenham's Manor[edit]

In the 24th of Henry III. William de Bradenham son of Simon, held here the fifth part of a knight's fee of the Earl of Gloucester, and he of the King; this was no doubt that part which Ralph de Tony was lord of at the survey; and in the 20th of Edw. III. the heirs of William de Brigham, and the heirs of Thomas de Woodehyrde, held the same. Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knt. died also seized of this manor, and left Margaret his sister and heir, married to Edmund Bedingfeld of Oxburgh; but it was afterwards united to the Earl Warren's manor, with which it now remains.

Plais's Manor[edit]

In the 17th of Edward II. Richard le Plays, and his tenants, held here of the Earl of Pembroke, of his castle of Acre, a quarter of a Knight's fee; this descended to the heirs of Plaiz, the Earls of Oxford, and it was acquitted of all services by the deed of Ralph de Plaiz, paying 4s. per annum to the manor of Weting; this was held by William Maupas, and Ralph atte Rode, of Sir Giles de Plais, 31st of Edward I. but has been long since united to the capital manor.

The tenths of this town were 2l. 16s.

The church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and consists of a nave, a north and a south isle, all built of flint, &c. and covered with lead; the nave is in length about 44 feet, and in breadth, with the two isles, about 36 feet; the roof of the nave is supported by pillars formed of 4 pilasters united together, making 8 arches 4 on a side, with a window over each arch. In the nave lies a marble gravestone thus inscribed,

Here lyeth the Body of Mr. Thomas Clemence, who in hopes of a joyfull Resurrection, departed this Life the 29th Day of October, 1727, aged 66 Years.

At the west part of the south isle stands a four-square tower of flint, with quoins and battlements of freestone, and on the summit is a small weathercock. In this tower hang three bells; on the second is,
Virginis egregie Nocor Campana Marie.

The lower part of the tower is open, and serves as a porch to the church, there being a door on the south side.

The chancel is separated from the nave by an old wooden screen, over which the King's arms are painted; and it is in length about 29 feet, and in breadth about 18: on the pavement towards the west end, lies a very antique marble gravestone deprived of its brasses; its inscription was between two fillets of brass round the verge of the stone, at the summit of the stone, in a niche like a quaterfoil, was the head of a priest in brass, and a cross runs the length of the stone with some thing couchant at the feet of it; from the incision made to let the letters of brass in, this appears to be the inscription,
Continet. Hæ Fossa. Thome. nunc. Corpus. et Ossa. Ecclesle, Gector. Huius. ertitit. Atque Hrotector Gratia. Oueso. Dei. Propitietur. Ei.

This is in memory of Thomas Cayley, who was rector here in the reign of Edward I.

On a marble gravestone near the communion table, Here rest the Bodies of the Rev'd Mr. Samuel Needham Minister of this Parish about 33 Years, and of Mrs. Alice Needham his Wife, who liv'd respected, and died lamented by all that knew them.

He Died 28 September 1718, Æt. 63.

She 16 August 1719, Æt. 72.

Only two of their children survived them, Peter Needham, D. D. rector of Stanwick in Northamptonshire, who paid this last instance of duty and gratitude to his excellent parents, and Elizabeth Needham married to the Rev. and worthy Mr. Thomas Townshend, rector of Shipdham in this county.

Against the south wall of the chancel, near the east end are three arches, with seats for the bishop, priest, and deacon, one seat rising higher than the other, and at the head of the uppermost is an arch for holy water. In the north wall is a neat carved arch, to preserve relicks in: these arches and cupboards in walls to be observed in many chancels, were the tabernacula or repositories, where the holy oil and chrism, eucharist, and sometimes relicks, were preserved and secured.

On the top of a north window in the chancel, is a shield of Caley.

In the reign of Edward I. the Caleys were patrons; the rector had a manse with 40 acres of land valued at 10 marks, Peter-pence 5d. ob.


Thomas de Caley was rector in 1318, and is buried here, as before. Son, as I take it, of Sir Thomas.

  • 1324, Elias de Grymsby. The King, as guardian to the heir of Thomas de Caley; he was chaplain to the King.
  • 1340, John de Brynkele; he was rector of Morston in the diocese of Canterbury, and exchanged with Grymsby, and was presented by Adam de Clifton. Brynkele was afterwards archdeacon of Nottingham, about 1352.
  • 1352, Roger de Wylby. Robert de Rokeland, Robert Byshop, William Hulle, and Laurence Mendware of Bukenham.

The advowson of this rectory, was given to the priory of Bukenham in Norfolk, by Sir Adam de Clifton, and on the 27th of April, 1384, was appropriated to that convent, by Henry Spencer Bishop of Norwich, and a vicarage was settled to take place, at the death of Roger de Wylby, then rector. The vicar was to have a convenient habitation, and to receive to the value of ten marks per annum, out of the profits of the rectory, that being computed to be the 3d part of the real value of it. The vicarage was to be taxed at 40s. for firstfruits, and the prior and convent were to pay a yearly pension of 10s. to the Bishop, and 3s. 4d. to the prior and convent of Norwich; and the Bishop was always to nominate to the prior and convent, who were obliged to present on such nomination.


17 September 1395, Rowland de la Rode, the first vicar, was presented by the prior and Convent of Bukenham, and nominated by the Bishop of Norwich, as were all the vicars to the Dissolution.

  • 1406, Thomas Huberd, rector, by will dated in 1436, desires to be buried in the churchyard here, gives legacies to St. Mary's light, that of the crucifix, St. Andrew, and St. Peter.
  • 1454, Robert Mounshawe, res.
  • 1454, Thomas Baldwyn, res.
  • 1475, Robert Gammelyn, ob.
  • 1497, William Millesent, res.
  • 1528, Edward Warde.

In the 32d of Henry VIII. on the dissolution of the priory of Bukenham, the rectories of West Bradenham, and Shropham, the college or chantry of Tomson, with the rectory, &c. were granted to Edmund Knevet, Esq. to be held in capite by knight's service, but the patronage of the vicarage remained in the Crown.

  • 1554, William Thorp, ob. presented by the Queen.
  • 1568, William Hattersley, res. Ditto.
  • 1572, William Howling, ob. Ditto.
  • 1559, John Bretton, A. B. He was also rector of Little Fransham. Ditto.
  • 1603, William Cowper, A. M. ob. The King.
  • 1625, Benjamin Estey, A. M. licensed preacher, ob. He was presented by the Bishop of Ely. The patronage of this vicarage came to the see of Ely, by virtue of an exchange made for these spirituals, for some of the temporals of that see.
  • 1662, Luke Skippon, S. T. P. ob. He was afterwards rector of Mileham, master elect of St. Peter's College Cambridge. The Bishop of Ely, who presented the following vicars:
  • 1676, Nicholas Booth, A. B.
  • 1682, Francis Nicholson, A. M. res. Lapse.
  • 1685, Samuel Needham, A. M. ob.
  • 1718, Thomas Topping, vicar of Whittlesey St. Andrew in the isle of Ely.

30th September, 1724, the Rev. Mr. Henry Topping, on the resignation of Mr. Thomas Topping his father, presented by the Bishop of Ely, and is the present vicar.

This vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 7l. 1s. 10d. ob. and being in clear value 44l. per annum, it is discharged of tenths and first-fruits, and is capable of augmentation.

Synodals are 2s. 6d.; visitatorial procurations 1s. 9d. qr.; archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob.

Here was a chantry called Curtis's chantry, valued in 1582, at 8l. 1s. 5d. per annum.

The chantry called St. Catherine's chantry here, was then valued at 4l. 8s. 1d. ob. per anuum.

The two chantry priests officiated in the church daily, one at the altar at the east end of the south isle, and the other at the altar at the east end of the north isle.


Is so called from its site, the river Nar running on the north side of it. Sir Henry Spelman, in his Icenia, p. 142, relates, that John Brame, a monk of Thetford, who lived in the reign of Henry IV. in a MS. history, (quoted frequently by Dr. Caius in his History of Cambridge,) maintains Narburgh to have been a city, in the time of Uter Pendagron King of Britain, about the year 500: governed by Earl Okenard; that it was besieged seven months by Waldy, a king in the neighbourhood, who on the taking it, entirely rased it.

Though this account may savour too much of the cloister, it is evident, that it was a place of eminence in the Saxon age, from its name, and the works adjoining to it. At this time, a curious large military foss or ditch, with its mound, runs from this town to Beacham-well and Berton, Eastmore fen-ground; by this entrenchment, the hundred of Clackclose, was so well secured, that no passage or entrance could be into it, but by admission here, or over the rivers Ouse, Wissey, and and Nar, which surrounded the other parts of it. At the head of this foss, near to Narburgh-Hall, was a lofty artificial hill, serving as a fort or encampment; at the foot of this hill, about the year 1600, several human bones, and pieces of armour were dug up, Sir Clement Spelman then making a garden there.

At the general survey, it was the lordship of Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk, held by Alwi in the Confessor's time, when 33 villeins belonged to it, 10 borders and 6 carucates of land. It was a mile long, and 10 furlongs broad, and paid 12d.; when the hundred gelt was 20s. it was always valued at 8l.

The family of Narburgh took their name from the town, and were soon after the Conquest, lords of it.

Robert de Narburgh lived in the reign of Henry II. and held the 4th part of a fee of William Baron of Wormegay.

John de Narburgh, with the assent of Adeliza or Alice his wife, granted and confirmed to the monks of Castleacre his turbary here, called Open Fen, and two acres of meadow given to them by his father Reginald, by deed sans date; about 1239,

William de Narburgh held here 1 fee and two parts of a fee, with the appurtenances of the Lord Bardolf, and he of Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk.

Hamon de Narburgh held half a fee in 1285.

Adam de Narburgh was found to have view of frankpledge, assize of bread, &c. and weyf in this township;

And in 1304, Hamon son of Hamond de Narburgh, conveyed by fine to

William de Narburgh a manor here, and the advowson of the church; and in 1323, William de Narburgh was lord. In 1328, one of the said name appears by a roll of the honour of Wirmgay, to hold this manor, and a part of the advowson of the church, by one fee, and two parts of a fee, suit of court, castle guard, and waytfee at Wirmegay, of the Lord Bardolph, and he of the Earl-Marshal. In 1461, William de Narburgh died lord, and bequeathed his body to be buried in the church of Narburgh, by his wife Alice, daughter of Robert Clere; he appoints

William his son executor, and his brother Edmund Clere, supervisor; this William was one of those 20 gentlemen of this county, who were returned to be gentlemen of ancient coat-armour, and were summoned to serve King Henry VI. as lances, in defence of the kingdom.

His son William did not long survive him; his will was proved 10th of January, 1461, and bequeaths his body to be buried by his wife Elizabeth in the church aforesaid. This last William left two daughters and coheirs,

Ela, married first to Thomas Shouldham, Esq. of Shouldham, and after to Henry Spelman, Esq. recorder of Norwich, and

Elizabeth, married to John Bocking, Esq. of Langham, who died in 1477.

Thomas Shuldham, Esq. by his wife Ela, had Thomas, his son and heir, who by will dated in 1514, bequeaths his body to be buried in the monastery of Pentney in Norfolk, and gave Elizabeth his wife 10l. per annum during life, out of this manor, and the 3d part of all his manor in Marham for her dowry, to his brother John Spelman the manor of Narburgh, with the appurtenances, the watermill, advowson of the church, &c. and to his heirs for ever, according to an agreement made before Mr. Francis Calybut, viz. paying for the same to his sonnys, Edward, Thomas, and William, and to his daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth, Anne, Philippa, Ela, "and to the child in my "wyffs bely, 400 marks evenly;" he appoints his brother John Spelman, and John Fincham, executors; accordingly, in 1526, a fine was levied of this lordship, between John Spelman, then serjeant at law, (afterwards one of the judges of the King's Bench, and a Knt.) and Elizabeth Shouldham, conveyed to Spelman, whose heir and descendant,

John Spelman, Esq. is the present lord.

Westacre Manor[edit]

On an inquisition taken in the 24th of Henry III. the Prior of Westacre was found to hold one knight's fee, here in pure alms of the Lord Bardolf, of the gift of the Narburghs, and in the 3d of Edward III. the prior held the same, as appears from a roll of the honour of Wirmegay, but the services of castleguard, &c. were released by the Lords Bardolph, and several free tenants of the Prior are named in the said roll; on the Dissolution of the priory it came to the Spelmans, and a fee farm rent of 1l. 5s. 7d. per annum is paid for it.

Grace's Manor[edit]

In 1239, Agnes Livermere was found to hold the 3d part of a fee of Pain Tipetot, and he of the Lord Bardolph, that Lord of the Earl of Norfolk, and the Earl of the King in capite; in 1328, it was held by John Drayton, son of John de Drayton, and had been held by Peirs Rouchin and John Crane, and castle-guard, waytfee, &c. were due and performed for it at Wirmegay. In the beginning of Henry the Fourth's reign, it was in the hands of John Grace, with its appurtenances in Pentney: it afterwards was possessed by the Spelmans, and on an inquisition taken at Norwich in 1546, on the death of John Spelman, Esq. son of Sir John, he was found to have held this lordship of the King in capite, by the 20th part of a fee; this also is united to the other manors.

The temporalities of Westacre priory here were taxed at 12 marks, their spiritualities at 2l. 3s. 8d. the lete belongs to the lord of the hundred, the lete fee is 3s.

The ancient seat of the Spelmans stands about a furlong east of the church, and is called Narburgh-hall; it is for the most part built of stone and brick, and has had a moat about it; it was erected by Judge Spelman in the time of Henry VIII. and was lately sashed, and stands very pleasantly; over the porch are the arms of Spelman and Narburgh quarterly, impaling Froyk and Sturgeon, quarterly. In the bow window of the hall are the said arms, and gules a cross ingrailed in a bordure arg. Leigh. In the great parlour, azure, an eagle displayed or, Shuldham, and barry of six arg. and sab. a bend over all ermine, Fincham; also sab. a chevron ermine between three bulla heads arg. Saunders.

The name and family of Spelman, is of great antiquity; in the Register of Missenden abbey in Bucks, fol. 94, William Martel gave to that abbey 40s. rent per annum issuing out of Snapes and Aldeburgh in Suffolk; and the land which Turstan the Frenchman held, which on his death, he gave to his servant,

Spileman, in the time of Henry II.; and in the Pipe Rolls of the 3d of King John, under the title of Hantescire, roll 15, we find the sheriff gives an account of 20s. of

William Spileman for his serjeanty. In the Pipe Rolls of Henry III. title nova oblata, William Spileman gave an account of 100s. for a fine and seizen of his father

William's land, who was lord of Brokenhurst in Hampshire; and in Testa de Nevil, he is said to hold Brokenhurst by the service of sending a servant with an habergeon for 40 days, in England, and to find litter for the King's bed, and hay for his palfreys, when he came to Brokenhurst. He died about the 16th of Henry III. and left

William his son and heir, lord of Brokenhurst, who married Maud, daughter of Sir William de Sarum, Knt. and died about 1238; they had three sons,

1st, Peter Spelman of Brokenhurst, who died without issue in 1290, and made his two sisters his heirs; Maud, married to John de Grymsted, and Catherine to Richard de Testwood, who carried off Brokenhurst, and the chief part of the old estate of the family.

The third son was William Spelman, who died also in 1290. The second son,

Sir Henry Spelman, Knt. was buried at Christ's-Church in Hampshire in 1270, and left two sons; David, his second son, by Aveline his wife, had John Spelman, who settled lands on Isabel his wife, lying at Attleburgh in Norfolk in 1304.

Robert Spelman, Esq. his eldest son, left

Stephen Spelman, his son, who was the first of the family that settled at Stow by Breccles in Norfolk about 1320; he left two sons;

Robert, his youngest, had his lands at Attleburgh, and went from thence into Suffolk about 1349, and was succeeded by Sir Anthony Spelman, his son, in 1391, whose son and heir, Robert Spelman, Gent. lived in St. Gregory's parish in Sudbury in 1421, and married a Grimston.

John Spelman, the eldest, was the first of the family that was lord of Bekerton manor in Stow (see vol. ii. p. 279, &c.) he always wrote himself, of Spelman's Place in Stow. After the death of Alice his first wife, he married a second wife, named Joan, by whom he had one daughter, married to William Kemp, and four sons; he died in 1392; his 2d son was John, his 3d William, whose daughter and heir married to John Aleyn of Earlham; his 4th son, Stephen, who was alderman and sheriff of London, died without issue in 1404, and was buried in St. Michael Queenhith, London. (Stow's Survey of London.)

Henry Spelman of Stow, the eldest, built the old part of Bekerton-Hall, or Spelman's Place, as in vol. ii. p. 279; he was buried at Stow in 1432, and Isabel his wife was buried by him in 1444; he had 2 sons; Robert, the youngest, was master of St. Gregory's chapel in Sudbury, and rector of Snitterton, of whom see vol. i. p. 421.

John, the eldest, lived at Bekerton, and was in most of the commissions for the county, by the name of John Spelman of Stow, Esq. where he was buried in 1460, as was Catharine, daughter of Thomas Styward of Swaffham in Norfolk, his first wife, in 1432; by Maron his second wife he had two sons, John and William, and by his first wife two sons and two daughters; Katharine, married to William Clipesby of Clipesby in Norfolk; he died in 1441, and is buried at Askeby; and she remarried to Edmund Paston. Agnes, the second daughter, married to Thomas Fincham of West-Winch in Norfolk, Gent.; Robert was the second son, and

Henry Spelman, Esq. the eldest, lord of Bekerton, after his marriage with Ela, relict of Thomas Shouldham, Esq. daughter and coheir of William de Narburgh, came and settled here; being the first of the family that ever settled, and had any thing to do at Narburgh; he was lord of Carbonels in Rockland, (see vol. i. p. 478,) and had for his second wife, Christian, daughter and coheir of Thomas Manning of Great-Ellingham in Norfolk, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter and coheir of Sir Thomas Jenny, for whom see vol. i. p. 488; he was buried at Narburgh by Ela his wife, and was recorder of Norwich in 1491, (See vol. iii. p. 191, and his inscription, among the monuments in this church.) By his second wife he had two sons; Thomas, the eldest son, lord of Ellingham-Magna, and Brecles-Parva, married Anne, daughter and coheir of John Conyers, Esq. and by her had John, who died without issue, and Henry, who was heir to his brother and father. See vol. i. p. 484, 8. Christopher, the second son, married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Jeffry Ratcliff, as at vol. i. p. 45. By his first wife he had three daughters; Elizabeth, married to John Goldingham, Esq. and is buried here; Anne to Edward Mackwilliams of Stanebridge in Essex; Catherine to Richard Sefoul of Waterden; and three sons,

1st, William, who was lord of Narburgh, Stow, &c; he married Anne, daughter of Christopher Coe of Boxford in Suffolk, but having no issue, his second brother,

Henry, inherited, and was lord of Rockland Tofts, but dying unmarried in 1533, the whole inheritance vested in the third brother,

Sir John Spelman of Narburgh, Knt. second Justice of the King's Bench, and before that, one of the most eminent barristers of his time; he married Elizabeth daughter and coheir of Sir Henry Frowick or Froyk of Gunnersbury in Middlesex, by whom he had 13 sons and 7 daughters; 1st, Elizabeth, married to William de Grey of Merton, Esq. (see vol. ii. p. 304;) 2d, Dorothy, to Thomas Heydon of Baconsthorp, Esq. and afterwards to William Cobb of Sandringham, Esq.; 3d, Ela, to George Jernegan of Somerleyton in Suffolk, Esq.; 4th, Bridget, to Osbert Mundeford of Feltwell, Esq.; (vol. ii. p. 193, 7;) 5th, Martha, to Alexander Brockdish of Brockdish in Norfolk, Esq.; 6th, Alice, to Francis Soame of Wantesden in Suffolk, Esq.; 7th, Anne, who died single.

1, of John, his eldest son, more hereafter;

2, Henry Spelman of Congham in Norfolk, Esq. first married to Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Knevet, by whom no issue; secondly to Frances, daughter of William Saunders of Ewell in Surrey, Esq. and by her had,

That great antiquary and most learned knight, Sir Henry Spelman, an honour to the college where he was educated, as also to the town and county he was born in: his Glossary; History of Sacrilege; Treatise De non Temerandis Ecclesijs, and other numerous valuable works, will show posterity his great learning; his Icenia or History of Norfolk, which he intended, was the first design of that kind in relation to this county, that I have met with, and great pity it is, that all his collections on that subject, except the fragment of that name, published in his Posthumous Works, should be dissipated and lost; but to rescue his person from the same fate, the author of this work hath here inserted his likeness, taken from an original picture painted in his own time, in honour of him who was so useful a member to his country, and so great a promoter of the laudable study of the general antiquities of the kingdom, and the particular ones, of this his native county; he was sheriff of Norfolk in 1605, and died at London in 1641, having married Eleanor, eldest daughter and coheir of John le Strange of Sedgeford in Norfolk, Esq. by whom he had, Sir John Spelman of Heydon in Norfolk, who died at Oxford in 1643, and married Anne, daughter of Sir John Townesend of Raynham.

3d, Francis Spelman, clerk, buried here in 1578.

4th, Erasmus Spelman of Beeston by Mileham, married Ursula, daughter of Sir Edward Baynton, of the Devises in Wiltshire, relict of Edmund Thoresby of Lyn in Norfolk.

5th, Michael, born in 1521, he lived at Whinburgh, and married Margaret, daughter of George Duke, Esq. of Brampton in Suffolk, in 1555, and had Jane, Edmund, and Elizabeth.

6th, Jerome Spelman, buried here in 1576.

7th, William married Catherine, daughter of Cornelius von Stonhove, a judge in Holland.

John Spelman, Esq. the eldest son, buried here in 1545; he married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Bleverhasset of Frense, who after his death remarried to John Eyre, Esq of Lyn; she was buried here in 1558, and he in 1561, as the inscription shows.

Thomas Spelman, their eldest son, died without issue, and his brother,

John Spelman of Narburgh, Esq. inherited, buried here in 1581; he had two wives; Judith, daughter of Sir Clement Higham of Barrow in Suffolk, buried in 1570, by whom he had Clement and William; and Catherine, daughter of William Saunders, Esq. of Ewell in Surrey, by whom he had twin sons, and one daughter, viz. Robert, Francis, and Bridget; William, the youngest son by Judith, died without issue, but

Sir Clement, the eldest, was sheriff for the county in 1598–9; he married for his first wife, Alice, sole heir of Edmund Kervile of Wigenhale, Esq. by whom he had no issue; but by his second wife, Ursula, daughter of Sir John Willougby of Rysley in Derbyshire, he had Clement and John, and dying in 1607 was buried here, as his inscription shows.

Clement, the eldest son, was recorder of Notingham, and in commission of oier and terminer for the midland circuit, and justice of the peace in Notingham and Norfolk, and died unmarried in 1679. He now stands right up, enclosed in a pillar in this chancel, so that the inscription on the pillar, is directly against his face.

John Spelman, Esq. of Narburgh, his brother, married Anne, daughter of Sir John Heveningham, by whom he had 4 sons and 8 daughters, of which I find, Ursula married John Potts, Esq. John their son being baptized at Narburgh in 1618; Elizabeth married Mr. Stephen Edgar of East Bilney in 1671, and had issue; Abigail, married Christopher Crowe of East Bilney, Esq. April 13, 1662, and had issue; Mary married Mr. Henry Towers, of Helgeye; Catharine married 1st to Mr. Bird, and after, about 1674, to Mr. William Houghton, vicar of Sharnborne, &c.; he sat twice in parliament, and died in 1662, as his inscription shows, to which I refer you, leaving

Mundeford Spelman, Esq. his son and heir, who had three wives; 1st, Mrs. Rushworth of Suffolk, who had no issue; 2d, Anne, daughter of Edward Walpole of Houghton in Norfolk, knight of the Bath, who was buried here, and had several children that died young; 3d, Julian, daughter of Miles Branthwayt of Hethel in Norfolk, Esq. who was buried here in 1734, and he in 1723, leaving three sons and one daughter, married to Mr. Allen of Lyn, merchant.

The 3d son, Mr. Henry Spelman, the 2d Mundeford, sometime rector of Crostwick in Norfolk, and now vicar and rector of Narburgh, and vicar of Narford; the eldest, is

John Spelman of Narburgh and London, Esq. who is now lord of the town and patron of the church; and by Anne, daughter and coheiress of Charles Le Gross, Esq. of Crostwick in Norfolk, he hath

John-le-Gross Spelman, his eldest son and heir, besides other children.

The church of Narburgh is dedicated to all the Saints, and has a nave, a north and a south isle, and a chancel built of flint, &c. the nave is in length about 60 feet, and about 30 in breadth, including both the isles, and is covered with reed. This nave or body is of great antiquity, much older than the isles or chancel, as is plain from the form of its building, and its different order or way of workmanship; the inside of it is camerated and impannelled with wainscot, the mitres of these pannels are ornamented with shields, many of which, through length of time, are lost and decayed, what are remaining and could be distinguished are here blazoned, though the colours in many are now very obscure, most of them relating to marriages in the Shouldham, Narburgh, and Spelman families.

1, Sable, three mallets arg. Reynham. 2, Heydon of Baconsthorp. 3, Arg. a chevron sable, between three cross croslets, gul. 4, Arg. a cross patonce, vert, Sefoule. 5, L'Strange. 6, Drury. 7, Mondford of Feltwell. 8, Sab. on a bend arg. three flowers-delis of the 1st Rungeton. 9, Arg. three water budgets gul. Ross. 10, Gul. on a chevron arg. three cross croslets fitché of the 1st, Wilton. 11, Sab. a fess dauncetté between three mullets pierced arg. Wesenham. 12, Clifton of Bukenham castle. 13, Arg. on a chevron gul. three roses of the 1st, Knowles. 14, Corbet. 15, Az. three piles wavy gul. Gernon. 16, Arg. a fess gul. between three eagles displayed sab. Elmham. 17, Jenny. 18, Scales. 19, Arg. a cross ingrailed, gul. Inglethorp. 20, Arg. a frett sab. surmounted with an escoteheon gul. De la River. 21, Bleverhassey. 22, Sab. a chevron ermine between three bulls heads caboshed, Saunders. 23, Arg. two bars between two mullets in chief pierced, and an annulet in base sable. 24, Quarterly azure and gules a cross flory between five trefoils or, Manning. 25, Arg. a fess between two chevrons gul. Peche. 26, Sab. a chevron between three estoils or stars, arg. Brewster. 27, Azure a maunch or, Conyers. 28, Arg. a fess between two chevrons sab. 29, Sab. a chevron between three lions rampant, arg. 30, Sab. three mullets pierced or. 31, Quarterly gul. and azure four crosses pattee arg. 32, Bouchier. 33, Beauchamp. 34, Lovel. 35, Arundel. 36, Reppes. 37, Spelman.

These arms are in Narburgh church, besides those already mentioned. This church being thus remarkable for so many shields, it may not be improper to speak a word or two on that subject. The bearing of arms is no doubt very ancient, some ascribe the institution of them to Cham, others to Osyris, Hercules, &c. who painted certain signs on their shields, bucklers, &c. which were afterwards called arms; thus Osyris is said to have born a royal sceptre, ensigned on the summit with an eye; Hercules a lion rampant, holding a battle axe; these marks served not only to distinguish men in the wars, but also tribes, regiments, and particular nations and countries; the Athenians bare an owl, the Persians an archer, the Romans an eagle; and God (we see) approved of these armorial ensigns; for when Moses led the children of Israel through the wilderness to the land of promise, he commanded that every one of them should pitch by their own standard, with the ensign of their father's house, Numbers, Chap. X. from whence it is observable there were two marks of distinction; 1st, Standards fixed on a pole for regiments, every regiment consisting of three tribes; 2dly, Ensigns or arms appropriated to particular tribes or families; and as all the twelve tribes were distinguished from one another by particular standards, so it is the opinion of the Hebrews, that they had figures on them, and according to the Chaldee Paraphrase, and Lightfoot, the standards were distinguished from one another by their colours, as well as figures, and each standard was of the colour of that stone in the pectoral upon which the name of the tribe, to which it belonged, was written: the figures on the standards of the four principal tribes are these: in that of Judah was born a lion, in that of Ephraim an ox, in that of Reuben the head of a man, and in that of Dan an eagle with a serpent in his talons, which are indeed the four most perfect animals; and it is presumed, that the Cherubims, which God ordered to be put over the ark, had the figures of these four standards about them; and in this manner it is, that God represents himself in Ezekiel I chap. insomuch that the prophet saw the lion, the man, the eagle, and the ox all at once, and this is the explanation of that so difficult and so magnificent a vision, according to some; and from hence it is probable that the four Evangelists assumed or had the same emblems and figures ascribed to them.

Arms, in length of time, became the rewards which princes and generals bestowed on martial men in the field, to perpetuate the memory of their valour and meritorious actions to their children and posterity. Alexander the Great (it is said) gave, by the advice of Aristotle, such marks of honour to his soldiers; and Charles the Fourth bestowed on Bartholas, a learned lawyer and a skilful statesman, this coat of armour, or, a lion rampant, his tail forked gul. which descended to his heirs. These arms were then explacito; but Paulus Jovius affirms, that in the reign of Frederick Barbarossa the Emperor, who died in 1189, that is in the beginning of our King Richard I. the bearing of arms began to be fixed; those marks and pictures used before that time in shields, banners, and standards, were but devices and impresses, and not hereditary to single families; and it is observable, that in and about those days, many, who were engaged in the Holy War, and had taken the crusade, assumed crosses, stars, &c. to show their zeal as many families in England did, which their descendants continue to this age. Camden, and Pierre Pithdu, a Frenchman, observe that arms in Christendom became hereditary and descendible, in the beginning of the reign of our Henry III. and since that time, Kings have dispensed such marks of honour by their heralds, who ought to be fit officers qualified by learning and experience to invent such arms, as may be most proper, for the quality and merit of those appointed to receive them; yet always reserving to themselves the supreme jurisdiction of judging what rewards shall be most suitable to their deserts: another way of bearing arms, and much practised in former times, was, when gentlemen who had served great lords and barons, either in the wars abroad, or at home in some honourable employments, and being enfeoft by them in lands, &c. assumed the arms of their chiefs, only varying the colours, or making some little additions to their charges, as may be instanced in several families in England, and particularly in this county, in the ancient families of Calthorps, Breccles, Thorp, Ward, Winter, Barningham, Baldock, Beckham, Caley, Clifton, Tatshall, &c, who all bear the field cheque in imitation of the arms of that powerful baron the Earl Warren and Surry; also in the families of Walpole, Gerbridge, De Grey, Hemenhale, Tendring, Peche, &c. who all bear a fess between two chevrons, in imitation of the great Lord Baynard, and Lord Fitz-Walter; and in the families of L'Strange, Hetherset, Sharnburn, Monthall, Bukenham, Stapleton, Morley, &c. who all bear the lion rampant, in imitation of that great lord the Earl of Albany. The reason why arms are so frequently seen in churches in this manner, or in painted glass, Burton gives us in his History of Leicestershire, p. 97: I have observed (says that author) that they who were either lords of the manor, patrons of the church, or benefactors thereto, or held any fees or lands of inheritance within the parish, did usually set up their coat armour, and sometimes their pictures, (drawn as near to the life as they could,) in the windows, and many times several coats were set up in lieu of matches, before either impaling or quartering was in use, which were therefore set up as in places more eminent, remarkable, and freest from injury and violence.

On the pavement of this nave lies a marble stone thus inscribed,

Hic requiescit Nehemias Ingram, Benjamini hujus Parochiæ Vicarij, apprimè fidelis Frater, Londini quondam Mercaturæ navavit operam, Vir verè pius, benignus omnibus, præsertim Pressurâ laborantibus Ano Domini 1728, Ætat. 64.

On another in the said nave,

M. S. Hoc sub Marmore Juliana, Uxor Benjamini Ingram hujus Ecclesiæ Vicarij, Henrici Harcock de Worstead in hoc Comitatû Generosi Filia, cujus anima plusquam devotissima, Ergastuli hujus impatiens, nec non Angelorum anhelans consortium, Cherubini Armata pennis, in Cælum avolavit, Feb. 14 Ano Salutis 1695, Æt. 32. Prædicti Benjamini, secunda hic requiescit Uxor charissima, priori nequaquam impar, Elizabetha, Johannis Davy de Walton orientali Generosi Filia Ano Dom. 1728, Æt. 58. Novembris vicessimo tertio 1735, Ætatis suæ 75, Sub hoc Marmore supradictus requiescit Ille Benjaminus.

He was a great benefactor to the charity for support of the clergymen's widows of this county.

A little higher lies a gray marble, and a plate of brass,

  • 1593, Here lieth the body of Richarde Awsten Gentleman, who was a good Benefactor for the Poor in the town of Narburgh.

On another gray marble adjoining,

Under this Stone lyeth buried the Body of Roger Castell of Raveningham Esquier, who departed this Lyfe the fourth Daye of Maye in the Yeare of our Lord God 1581, Ano Ætatis suæ 44.

On the head of two stalls or seats, at the east end of this isle, are the arms of Spelman and Narburgh, and Froyk and Sturgeon; and at the west end is a large antique font of stone, and near it 12 buckets, with the arms of Spelman on them.

The north isle, of different form and workmanship from the nave, is not above half the length of it; this is an additional building and not so antique as the body of this church. Isles, as may be seen from old wills, were frequently added to the nave or body of churches by religious devout persons, and were particular chapels or oratories distinct from the church, and dedicated to some saint; here the founder and his family were generally buried, and chantries were frequently kept, and some priest or priests had annual pensions to officiate and sing mass for the souls departed of the founder and his family; sometimes they were founded by some society or fraternity of persons, called in those days a gild, who also had their priests to officiate in the same manner for those of their society, &c.

Near the east end of this isle, is a lofty gray marble altar monument raised against the wall, with a wall piece of the same; on this wall-piece is the portraiture of a man and his wife on their knees, before two seats or desks engraven on a brass plate; the man has a label, viz With the Lord there is Mercy; also the woman, viz. and with hym is plenteous fiedemption. On a brass plate under them,

Here do I lye John Eyer, late Receyvor Generale to Elizabethe the Quenes Majestie in the Counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cantabridge, and Huntynton, and one of the Maisters of her hyghe Court of Chancerye, and Margaret his Wyfe, one of the Daughters of Sir Thomas Bleverhaiset of Frens Knight, late Wyfe of John Spelman Esquire, Sone and Heyre apparent of Syr John Spelman Knyght, which John Eyre dy'd the xxth Daye of May, the Yere of our Lord MV LXI. and in the thirde Yere of the Raing of Elizabeth by the Grace of God Quene of England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faithe, and the said Margaret dy'd the xvth Day of December in the Yere of our Lord MDLVIII.

This John Eyre, as Sir Henry Spelman observes in his History of Sacriledge, p. 247, was a great purchaser of religious houses that were dissolved by King Henry VIII. and bought of that King, the Friars Carmelites, the Gray Friers, the Friars Preachers or Black Friars, and the Augustin Friars at Lynn, &c. He was possessed also of Bury abbey, and died without issue.

On the aforesaid wall piece, over the portraitures, are three shields,

1st Quarterly in 1st and 4th arg. on a chevron in a bordure ingrailed sab. bezant three quaterfoils arg. Eyre, in the 2d and 3d Townsend. This is over the man, quarterly Eyre and Spelman, this is the middle escutcheon, and quarterly Eyre and Townsend; impaling 1st, Bleverhasset, and his quarterings in the second place Lowdham.

Sir Ralph Bleverhasset married Joan, or Jane, daughter and heir of John Loudham, son of Sir Thomas Lowdham of Lowdham in Suffolk, which Joane died 1501. In the 3d quarter Kelweden, Jane, daughter and heir of Sir William Kelweden of Braxsted in Essex, was married to John Lowdham of Lowdham, father of the aforesaid Sir Thomas Lowdham. In the fourth Orton. In the fifth Skelton, and in the 6th and last quarter, Bleverhasset.

On the pavement near to this monument lies a marble gravestone, and on a brass plate,

Here under lyeth buried Elizabeth Goldyngham, sometime the Wyfe of John Goldyngham Esquire, who departed this present World the IIII Day of February 1556, whose Sowle God pardon,

And this shield, arg. a bend wavy gul. Goldyngham impaling Spelman.

In a window of this isle is the figure of St. Catharine, and in the east window the arms of Narburgh of Narburgh, gul. a chief ermine; the south isle is of the same length with the nave, and is covered will lead; in the uppermost window of this isle are some remains of the figures of the Virgin Mary and of Elizabeth, mother of St. John Baptist, and over them, in a label, Unde hoe Micht ut beniat Mater Domini ad me. This was to represent the Virgin Mary's visitation of Elizabeth, and the Romish church has a festival styled Our blessed Lady's visitation of St. Elizabeth, which is fixed on the second of July. To this isle is annexed a porch; there are two arches in the walls of this isle facing the church, where it is probable the founders were buried; and at the west-end of it stands a four-square tower of flint, embattled with quoins and copings of free-stone, in which hang four bells. At the east end of the nave stands the chancel, in length about 30 feet, and in breadth about 18, of the same materials with the church. On the pavement of this chancel lie several marble gravestones; near the east end are these,

Spelman Branthwayt;

Here lyeth the Body of Mundeford Spelman, Esq; Son of John Spetman, and Anne his Wife, born August 1st, 1640, he was a Man of a most exemplary Piety in Prayers to, and in praising the great God of Heaven and Earth, and in relieving the Necessities of the poor Widow and Fatherless, was his constant Employ and delight of his Life. These are the Actions which will turn to Account on that great Day, when endless Wealth, pompous Titles and the Noise of Victories, the Pride of Learning will at best be but useless Things. By Julian his Wife, Daughter of William Branthwayt of Hethbel, Esq; he left Issue three Sons and one Daughter, he dyed the 30th of January, in the Year of our Lord 1728, in the 33d Year of his Age.

Spelman, Walpole.

Anna Uxor Mundefordij Spelman Armig' filia Domini Edwardi Walpole de Houghton hujus Comitatûs Equitis Balnei, et Susannæ unius Filiarum et Cohæredum Domini Roberti Crane de Clifton, in Agro Suffolcienci Militis, et Baronetti, obijt 29 September Ano Domini 1691.

Near to this lies a marble ornamented with four shields of brass, Spelman quartering Narburgh, Froyk, and Sturgeon. Spelman and Narburgh quarterly with an impalement now obscure, these two are on the summit. At the bottom of the stone, Spelmaa and Narburgh quarterly, and Bleverhasset quartering Loudham, Orton, and Kelveden, and two impalements, Braham; Sir Thomas Bleverhasset married Margaret, daughter of John Braham of Wetheringset in Suffolk, Esq.; the second Roydon of Roydon in Suffolk. On the said stone is the portraiture of a man in brass and on a plate,

Here lyeth John Spelman, Esq; (Sonne and heyre Apparen of Sur John Spelman Knyght,one of the Justices of the Pices before the Knng to be holden, and dame Elizabeth his wyfe, which John married Margaret oon of the Daughters to Sir Thomas Bleverhasset Knyght, and dame Margaret hi Wyfe, and had Jusse at the Daye of his deth, and Decessed the 27 Day of December, in the here of our Lord God MUoRLU. and the rrbii Yeare of the Raigne of Kyng uenty the viii on whose Sowle Jesu habe Mercy.

On another stone this epitaph on a brass plate,

Here lyeth the Body of John Spelman Esq; who first had to wyfe judyth one of the daughters of syr Clement Uigham, Knt. and after, katheryne the Daughter of William saunders, Esq; who had at the Day of his drath four Sons and one Daughter lybing, viz. Clement and William of the Body of the said Judith, and Robert, Francys, and Bryget, of the Body of the said Kathe ryne which John Deceased the rrvii Day of aprill, Ano Domini

Quand, Dieu, Voldra.

On the said stone is the portraiture of a man in brass, his hands in a praying posture; crest, a wild man proper, a chaplet on his head, and a wreath of leaves round his middle, vert; his left hand by his side; he holds in his right hand a ragged staff, but leaves sprout from the top of the dry wood; which makes me think it was designed as an emblem of the Resurrection. There are three shields of brass; the 1st is Spelman and Narburgh, quarterly; the 2d Spelman and Narburgh quarterly, impaling

Quarterly, in the 1st and 4th, sab. a fess checque or and azure between three horses heads erased arg. Heigham;

In the 2d and 3d, gul. a chevron ingrailed ermine between three doves rising or, Francis.

The third shield, Spelman and Narburgh quarterly, impaling Sable a chevron ermine between three bulls heads caboshed, arg. Saunders.

On the said pavement also lies a gray marble with the portraiture of a man and his wife in brass, in the dress of that age, and beads by their side, and on a brass plate,

Orate pro animab Henrici Spelmn, Legis periti et Recorda toris Civitatis Uorvici et Ele Uroris eius, qui quidem Hencicus obiit rriii Die septemb' An Dni M.cccclxxxxvi

Weever observes that on this stone were the arms of this Henry Spelman and Ela his wife, daughter and heir to William de Narburgh, and of Christian, daughter and coheir of Thomas Manning, Esq. and of Elizabeth his wife, daughter and coheir of Sir Thomas Jenny, Knt.; but at the end of the chancel, against the south wall, is a pedestal or pillar of stone, about 7 or 8 feet in height, and thereon stands the statue of Clement Spelman, Esq. in his robes, as a councellour and recorder, carved out of alabaster, and in full proportion, and on the pedestal is this inscription,

In this Place doth rest the Body of Clement Spelman, Esq; Recorder of Nottingham, and in Commission of Oier and Terminer for the Midland Circuit, and in Commission of the Peace for the Counties of Nottingham and Norfolk, he deceased January 30, 1679, Aged 72 Years.

The said gentleman is immured upright in the cavity of the said pedestal.

At the east end of the north part of the chancel is a small arch in the wall about 7 feet from the ground, and in it lies a demi-statue of a lady carved out of stone, and couped at the middle, in miniature, being but about a foot long, her head-dress seems very antique, her hands are conjoined on her breast, holding a heart, and she rests on her back; within the arch against the wall, is this inscription only, in letters of gold.

And on each side of this, the arms of Narburgh.

This is a piece of great antiquity, and this lady is said to have died in 1293, and probably the date was formerly inscribed here, for in an old MS. of monuments, collected about the reign of Queen Elizabeth, I find it mentioned in this manner, Dna' Agatha Narborough obijt 1293.

Near to this against the same wall is a large altar monument of gray marble, and in a wall-piece of the same, a plate of brass, thereon the portraitures of a man and woman on their knees before two desks, and this label over the man,

Jesu Fili Dei, misecere mei.

Over the woman,

Salbator Munci, memento mei.

On the robes of the woman are the arms of Froyk and Sturgeon quarterly. On a plate of brass above, our Saviour's resurrection is represented, and on another plate this epitaph:

Nere lycth buryed the Booys of Syre John Spelman Knyght and Secondary Justice of the Kyngs Bench, and Dame Elizabeth

his wyfe, which had riii Sonnes and vii Danghters of there Bodyes between them begitten, the which Syr John decessyd the rrvi Day of February, in the Nere of our Lord Bob MURLUu, and the said Dame Elizabeth decessyd the v day of Povemner, in the yere of our Lord MULUJ, on whose Sowls Jesu have Mercy, Amen.

Near to this, against the same wall, is a very large altar monument of veined marble, on which lies the statue of a woman in a recumbent posture, and a dress agreeable to the age she lived in, resting her right hand on a cushion, and holding in her left hand a book; behind the woman, on a little rise or ascent, lies the statue of a man in complete armour, resting his right hand on a cushion; these statues are of alabaster, and painted over; to this monument there is annexed a stately lofty wall-piece of the same marble, on the summit whereof are two arches, one on the right hand, the other on the left; in the arch on the right hand kneels a little girl; within the arch are the arms of Spelman, and over it Spelman quartering Narburgh, Froyk and Sturgeon. In the arch on the left hand is a tent or pavilion, and under that, an infant male child; in that arch are the arms of Spelman, and over it Spelman quartering Narburgh, Froyk, and Sturgeon, and impaling,

Or, on two bars gul. three waterbudgets arg. Willoughby,

Quartering in the 2d quarter, gul. a lion passant guardant arg.; and in the 3d, sable a fess humettè ermine, between three griffins heads erased arg. Hawe of Helgey in Norfolk, and in the fourth, Willoughby. In the opening between these arches is this inscription:

Clementi Spelman Equiti Aurato, Norfolciœ (Anno Domini 1599) Vice-Comiti, qui primò duxit Annam filiam unicam et Hæredem Edmundi Carvill Armig' eâque sine prole defuncta, secundò duxit Ursulam filiam alteram Johan' Willoughby de Risley in Comitatu Derbiœ militis, susceptisq; Johanne et Clemente filijs obiit 24 die Septemb' 1607, Conjugi suo charissimo ipsa Dna' Ursula ob merita pietatis, et concordiæ, memoriæ et amoris Symbolum, hoc mœrens posuit Monumentum.

Over this inscription is Spelman quartering in the second quarter Narburgh, in the 3d, Froyk, in the 4th arg. two bars wavy gul. a chief cheque or and azure, Adrian. In the 5th, gul. two wings conjoined in a bordure argent, Pouncy. In the 6th, azure, semy of cross croslets, and three crescents arg. Mansell. In the 7th, arg. on a cross fleury sab. five bezants, Cornwall. In the 8th, gul. two pales vairy arg. and az. on a chief or, a lion passant sab. Patrick. In the 9th az. frettè gul.

The crest is a woodman holding a tree plucked up by the roots, environed with a serpent. The whole monument is enclosed with wooden rails and balisters.

A little lower against the said wall is a neat altar monument of marble covered with a black marble slab, having a wall-piece of marble, ornamented with foliages, deaths heads, &c. and this inscription:

M.S. Hic requiescit eximiæ Pietatis Vir, Clero benevolus, munificus Egenis, Johannes Spelman Armiger, qui Patriæ Charus, Regni Comitjis Senator bis interfuit, Obdormivit in Christo Jan. 31, Ano Salutis 1662. Ætat. 56, unicam habuit Conjugem verè Generosam, Annam, Johan' Heveningham Equitis Aurati filiam, quæ 4 Filios et 8 Filias enixa, Jun' 12, 1649, Reliquias deposuit mortales, dum veniente Domino resurgent Immortales. Mundefordius filius, piè posuit.

Spelman impaling Heveningham. Crest a woodman, &c.

Mottos, Homo, Bulla. Quand, Dieu, Voldra.

In the east window of the chancel have been painted the old Prophets; the effigies of Isaias, Elias and Jeremias are still to be seen; and in a south window at the bottom of the pannels,

Orate pro anima Chome Malwavton Vicarii, &c.

Jemina Spelman, youngest daughter of John Spelman, Esq. and Anne his wife, obijt May 24, 1744, aged 7 years.

Mary, their fourth daughter, obijt 1st November 1738, aged 6 years.

The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Spelman and Branthwayt impaled.

Julian, relict of Mundeford Spelman, Esq. obijt October 30, 1734, Æt. 72. Whose whole Life was an exemplary Pattern of Piety and Prudence.

Crest, a demi-lion rampant arg. over him, a bend sab. on which three martlets holding a battle axe or.

Le Gros quarterly arg. and az. on a bend sab. three martlets or.

Impaling Turner, sab. a chevron er. between three fer-du-molins or, on a chief arg. a lion passant gul.

Vivit Post Funera Virtus.

Here lieth the Body of Charles Le Gros late of Croswight, Esq; which Family for many Generations flourished in that Place, he left by Elizabeth his Wife, Daughter of William Turner, Esq; two Daughters, the Eldest of which married John Spelman, Esq; of this Place, and the other, Thomas Western of Great Abington in the County of Cambridge, Esq; he died the 14th Day of October 1736, in the 85th Year of his Age.



In the reign of King Edward I. the prior and convent of Westacre in Norfolk held two parts of the great tithes appropriated to them. The 3d part or portion was then in the patronage of Adam Bygot, and to this, there was a rector instituted; this is said not to pay any tenths, and that the vicar payed synodals, &c. for it. Bygot's part was valued at vi. marks, the Prior of Westacre's 2 parts at 12 marks, and the vicarage at v. marks, but was not taxed.

  • 1322, Richard de Hasseneye. William de Narburgh.
  • 1325, Michael de Caley, he was rector of Hilburgh, and exchanged with Hasseney. Ditto.
  • 1325, Henry Bacun. Ditto.
  • 1338, John de Folesham. Ditto.
  • 1349, Thomas or John Glover. William de Narburgh.
  • 1355, Robert Aldhouse. Sir Thomas de Brembre, Sir William de Bergh, rector of Cantele, and Richard de Rougham.
  • 1370, Walter Kempe. Sir William de Bergh, Richard Rand rector of Bodeney, Richard de Holdych, and John Grace senior.
  • 1373, Andrew Rode, resigned. Richard Holdych, Richard Rand, &c. and John Grace. He was also vicar of Narburgh and Marhom.
  • 1376, John Barlyng, he was also vicar of Narburgh. Richard Rand, &c. Richard de Holdych of Dudlyngton, and John Grace, senior, of Beecham-Wells.
  • 1376, John Robyn. Richard Holdych, and John Grace.
  • 1398, Thomas Dickes, resigned. William de Narburgh. First fruits 6 marks.
  • 1421, Thomas Bulwer, ob. Willian Narburgh, he was rector of Bodeney, and exchanged with Dicks, and was vicar of Narburgh.
  • 1429, Nicholas Elys. The King by lapse. Buried in the chancel.
  • 1469, Thomas Kyppyng. Thomas Shouldham. He was a chantry priest at Oxburgh, and there buried.
  • 1490, Robert Brampton, in decretis baccal. Robert Bockyng.
  • 1491, Edmund Crowe, res. Ditto.
  • 1504, John Blake. Thomas Shouldham. He was a chantry priest at Oxburgh, and there buried.
  • 1514, William Starkworth or Shortwayt, chaplain. He was also vicar of Narburgh, to which vicarage this portion was now consolidated; and on the dissolution of Westacre priory, the whole came into the King's hands, and was given to the Spelmans; and in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, John Spelman had it, paying 4l. per annum to the Crown; he became the impropriator of the whole rectory, and Mundeford Spelman, Esq. about the year 1680, gave unto Mr. Carlton, then vicar of Narburgh, all his impropriated tithes of the said parish, and settled them upon him and his successours for ever; which impropriated tithes at an easy composition are said to be worth 60l. per annum, of which the far greatest part is paid out of the lands of the said worthy donor, which he hath in the said parish.

Vicars of Narburgh[edit]

  • 1308, Hugh de Narburgh, presented by the Convent of Westacre, and nominated by the Bishop of Norwich, as they all were to the Dissolution.
  • 1309, John de Bylney.
  • 1316, John de Wenhaxton.
  • 1322, John de Wretham, vicar.
  • 1330, Richard Thede.
  • 1330, William de Lekynfeld.
  • John de Acre of Cokesford resigned in 1368, and was collated by the Bishop of Norwich, to the rectory of Geywood by Lynn.
  • 1368, John de Acre, junior.
  • 1369, John de Barlyngs on the resignation of John de Acre, junior; he was vicar of Lynn All-Saints, and exchanged with Acre, and was rector of Narburgh 3d portion.
  • 1376, Andrew Reed, on the resignation of Barlyngs; he was rector of the 3d portion of Narburgh, and exchanged with Barlyngs.
  • 1378, William Wardeboys, res.; he was vicar of Marham, and exchanged with Reed.
  • 1384, Thomas de Halwahton.
  • 1424, Robert George, res.
  • 1427, Nicholas Essex of Schuldham; he was vicar of Wesenham, in Norfolk, and exchanged with George.
  • 1428, Thomas Harlston; he was vicar of Foulden in Norfolk, and exchanged with Essex.
  • 1431, Stephen Paly, he was rector of Framingham Picot in Norfolk, and exchanged with Harlston.
  • 1449, James Denne, ob.
  • 1481, Hugh Bateman.
  • 1493, William Shortwhayt, ob. In his time the portion was consolidated to this vicarage.
  • 1540, John Prior, presented by the King, and nominated by the Bishop; he was a secular married priest, and deposed the 15th of March 1553, by Queen Mary, for being married.
  • 1554, Richard Harryson, ob. The Queen. Buried here 6 May 1565.
  • 1565, Peter Becke. Ditto.
  • 1577, Francis Goldyngham, ob. In his answer to King Jumes's Queries, he says, there were 112 communicants in this parish. By Christian his wife he had Christopher a son, &c. He was buried here 10th of September, 1607.
  • 1607, Jeffrey Jackson, ob. Sir Clement Spelman.
  • 1614, John Canham, A. M. licensed preacher, ob. Ursula Spelman, relict of Sir Clement Spelman. He was also rector of Clenchwarton in Norfolk.
  • 1642, Hillary Baily. John Spelman, Esq.
  • 1660, Edward Carleton. John Spelman, Esq. buried 16 May 1692.
  • 1692, Benjamin Ingram. (See his inscription.) Mundeford Spelman, Esq.
  • 1736, The Rev. Mr. Mundeford Spelman, the present vicar, was presented by John Spelman, Esq. his brother, who is the present lord and patron, and holds it united to Narford vicarage.

This vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 9l. 10s. and pays yearly tenths 19s. Synodals 2s. Visitatorial procurations 2s. 4d. ob. Archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob. The portio decimarum appropriatarum in the King's Books 1l. 13s. 4d. Tenths 3s. 4d.; the whole being undischarged, it is incapable of augmentation.

The Prior of Pentney had lands here.

At the east end of the churchyard are the foundations of a dilapidated chapel, about 30 yards distant from the chancel's end; it was 12 yards long and 8 wide; the churchyard contains 2 acres, the vicarage-house joins to the south side of the churchyard, and hath some glebe by it.

John Lyster of Narburgh, wills in 1416, his body to be buried in the churchyard of Narburgh All-Saints, gives legacies to Corpus Christi gild, and the light of St. Mary in that church.

John Bush of Narburgh, by will in 1433, gives legacies to the gild of All-Saints, that of St. John Baptist, and of St. Andrew in this church.

Thomas Shuldham of Narburgh bequeaths his body to be buried in this chancel, and appoints John Shuldham his brother his executor, mentions his wife Ela and his father Thomas, his sons and daughters Simon, Edmund, Margaret, and Beatrix, dated 15 January 1471. He owned a good estate here, but no manor, and gave legacies to the three gilds, of St. Mary, Trinity, and All-Saints.

From the Register.

"1709, Maria filia Francisci Legate, et Elizabethœ uxoris ejus baptisata fuit 30 die Aprilis."

"Mary daughter of Francis Legate and Elizabeth his wife buried 4 May, 1709."

Huïc Mariœ à pectore ad femur usque, secunda fuit adunata filia, mortua quidem, sed ejusmodi inter hanc et vivam communicatio, ut hâc spirante, in illius corpoe visibilis dabatur motio: biceps fuit huic fœtus cujus capita quatuor sustentabant humeri, totidem annexis non tantum brachijs, sed et manibus, à pudendis etiam (quæ fuerunt duplicia) in quatuor femora, totidemque dividebatur crura, necnon et pedes omnino perfectos.

  • 1549, Henry son of Timothy Blomefield, baptised,
  • 1717, Thomas Colton of St. George's at Colgate Norwich, and Margaret Platfoot of Pentneye, married. 1683, Mary daughter of Francis and Mary Aires, baptized 23d of December. 1707, Mr. John Davy, buried. Elizabeth wife of Mr. Thomas Gonvile of WestWalton, buried.


In Domesday Book, is called Oxenburgh, taking its name from its site on the Ouse or Wissey, a river navigable from hence to Cambridge, Lynn, &c.; thus Oxford, from a ford over the Ouse; and this name it very well answers, as being a peninsula, surrounded by this and two or three other rivulets, except in the north-east point. The adjunct word burgh bespeaks its eminence, showing it to have been some fortified town, and place of strength; and besides its natural site above observed, about half a mile from the town, to the north west, on a place called the Warren-Hill, may be observed a very deep vallum or trench adjoining. The word burgh may also signify some remarkable place of burial, and about the limits of the town are several tumuli, three or four near one another, on the common a little south of the church and town; and by the river that divides the town from the common, (near the said tumuli,) are several places contiguous, about 4 or 5 yards long and two or three broad, having the earth sunk a little, where it may be justly concluded many persons who fell in some battle were interred, those little pits being called by ancient people the Danes graves.

That it was a place of account in the time of the Romans, appears from coins of silver and brass found here, two of Constantine being a few years past recovered; and that it continued so in the Saxon age appears from coins of their kings, an Aedelred being not long since dug up. In the time of the Danes it was, (and probably before,) in royal hands, and Cnute their King having made Turchill or Turketel, a Dane, and one of their chief leaders, Earl of the EastAngles, he became governour and lord of the town, as he was of Attleburgh, the cities of Thetford, and Norwich, as places of strength and eminence; so that the lciani, a Roman station, might be with some show of reason and justice presumed to have been here, rather than at Ickborough, (if it was in the neighbourhood,) where Talbot in his notes of Antoninus's Itinerary has fixed it, for this place bears also the same distance as Ickburgh to Villa Faustini and Camborito, as is assigned by him.

The aforesaid Turchill held this lordship in the Confessor's time, but when William I. became King, he gave it to Ralph de Limesio a Norman Baron, his sister's son, on whom he bestowed 41 manors in several counties, with the lands of Christina, one of the sisters of Prince Edgar, grandson of King Edmund Ironside, who was brother to King Edward the Confessor.

At the grand survey we find there were 3 carucates of land in domain, 7 villeins, 9 bordars, and 3 household servants; 12 acres of meadow, 2 mills, a fishery, 180 sheep, and 8 freemen held 100 acres and 3 carucates of land, and 12 acres of meadow; it was one mile in length and half a mile in breadth, and paid xi. pence Dane-gelt, when the hundred was taxed at xxs. and was always valued at 100s. and one of those freemen, Ralph de Tony laid claim to, his ancestour having the soc and sac, as the hundred testified.

Gerard de Limesi (great grandson of Ralph,) had issue John de Limesi whose son Hugh dying young and sans issue, the barony of Limesi (of which this town was part) was divided between Hugh de Odingsels, knight, grandson of Hugh, a Fleming, who married Basilia, and David de Lindsey, a Scot, who married Alianore the daughters of Gerard, and sisters and coheirs of John de Limesi aforesaid.

David de Lindsey had by Atianore, several children, David, Gerard, &c. and Alice.

David, the eldest son, was lord here and of Cavendish in Suffolk, in the reign of Henry III; and in 1223, a precept was directed to the sheriff of Suffolk, to deliver to this David (then in custody of the King of Scotland) seizen of all his lands in his bailywick which were detained, because he had not done his service to the King in his Welsh expedition. This David and his brothers dying without issue, his moiety in this lordship came to Sir Henry de Pinkeny, Knt. by the marriage of Alice, sister and heir to David; and by his son, Sir Henry, it was by deed granted to his kinsman, Sir William Odingsels, lord of the other moiety, son of Sir Hugh de Odyngsels abovementioned as appears by the following Pedigree:

Sciant, &c. quod ego Henricus de Pinkeny, miles, concessi, &c. Dno. Willo. Odyngsel, &c. omnia illa dominica, &c. in villa de Periton et de Maxstoke, &c. que habui de dono quondam Dni. Davidis de Lindesey, avunculi mei, et Dni. Gerardi fratris sui, et cum homagio et toto servitio Huberti Ruffin, et omn. hered. vel assignatorum suor. in villa de Oxburgh, et cum advocatione ecclesiar. scil. medietal. advocationis. ecclesie de Oxeburgh, &c. habend. &c. de me et heredib. meis, predicto Dno. Willo. &c. faciendo inde mihi &c. servitium sex militum quando scutagium advenerit, &c. et de terris et tenement. predicti Huberti Ruffin, et hered. &c. in predicta villâ de Oxeburch, servitium quarterij unius militis, &c. sans date.

Pinkeny thus granting his moiety to Sir William de Odingsel, he became lord of the whole town;

Hubert Ruffin held it under him; this Hubert, and Richard his son, gave lands here to the abbey of West Derham, and afterwards convyed away his right herein to

Ralph de Wygornia, or Worcester; who in 1252, had a patent dated at Winchester, for a weekly mercate here, on Tuesday, and a fair every year, for two days, on the Vigil, and on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. In 1265, the lord had the return of all writs here, and his steward would not permit the sheriff to enter into his fee.

In the 3d of Edward I. Nicholas de Weyland was found to be lord, and to hold it of Robert Burnel, and he of Odingsels, the capital lord; this Nicholas married Julian, daughter and heir of the said Robert, and had the manor of Garboldesham in Norfolk of 10l. per annum given him by Robert Burnel, and probably this also; the lord had then the lete, a toll here, and other privileges belonging to this lordship, as part of the barony of Limesi. On the 20th of January, in the 12th of Edward I. he had a confirmation of the aforesaid mercate and fair, and on the 12th of May in the following year of the said King, had a grant of another fair for two days, on the vigil, and the day of the Assumption; also one for 8 days every year, on the vigil day and morrow after the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, and for 5 days following, and of free-warren in all his demeans. In the 15th year of the said King, Sir Nicholas de Weyland, Knt. had these following privileges of this lordship allowed in Eyre, view of frankpledge, assize of bread and beer, gallows, pillory, tumbrell, weyf and stray, the aforesaid three fairs in the year, and the weekly mercate; all which bespeak this town to have been in that age a place of consequence, capable of great reception; and it appears from many old ruins and foundations, to have been in length (from the closes nigh to Goodestone-common, where the old road laid to the town, to the entrance of the low ground by Oxburgh-Hithe) above a mile and an half; about 30 houses and cottages having been pulled down, &c. in the space of about 30 years. All these fairs were kept regularly and annually (as appears from the court-rolls of the manor) till about the reign of Queen Elizabeth; and one fair still continues to be kept on the Annunciation, where horses and cows are brought to be sold, and tradesmen resort with their goods.

In 1315, Sir William de Weyland, Knt. was lord; and in 1318 a fine was levied between him and Elizabeth his wife, querents, and Laurence de Riston, defendant, of this manor, on a marriage settlement. In 1327, the said Sir William, on an inquisition, was found to die seized of this manor held of the heirs of Burnel, by the service of one knight's fee, and of certain tenements in Shipeden and Hempsted, which were members of the said manor, and the said heirs held the same, of the heirs of John de Limesi, by the aforesaid service; and the premises were of the yearly value of 15l. 6s. 5d. and Robert was son of Sir William.

By an inquisition taken in 1326, it appears that Robert de Weyland, then a knight, held it of John de Grey and Margaret his wife, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir William de Odyngsels; this Sir Robert, by Cecilia his wife, daughter of Sir Thomas de Baldock, had

Sir Edmund Weyland his son and heir, who married Alianore, daughter of Sir John Wesenham, and dying without issue, about the 43d of Edward III. this lordship descended to

Sir John Weyland, his brother; and in the 59th of the said King a fine was levied between John de Eccles, querent, this Sir John and Burga his wife, of the manor of Vaux in Ruston in Norfolk, which Burga was the daughter and heir of John Sparwe, Esq. of Yorkshire, and the Lady Burga his wife, relict of Sir William de Vaux. Sir John had by this Burga, Peter, who died young, and

Elizabeth his daughter and heir, who being married to John Harewell, Esq. of Warwickshire had

Joan, their daughter and heir, married to John Streche, of Devonshire, who was lord in right of his wife, and kept his court here in the 2d year of Henry V.; and in 1427, Joan (then his widow) kept her first court; and soon after, on certain terms resigned her right for life to her cousin,

Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knt. whose relation to her will appear from the following pedigrees of the Weylands and Tudenhams.

In 1434, on the death of Joan Streche, a fine was levied between Sir Thomas Tudenham, and Sir John Knevet, who married Joan daughter of Sir John Botetourt and Catherine his wife, one of the sisters, and now coheirs, of Sir John Weyland, grandfather to the said Joan Streche, who died without issue? by virtue of which, this manor, with those of Charsfield, Brandeston, Westerfield, &c. in Suffolk, was granted to Sir Thomas, and the manor of Radwell in Somersetshire, &c. to Sir John, being lately the possessions of the aforesaid Joan.

Sir Thomas Tudenham married Alice, daughter of John Wodehouse, Esq. before he was of age, and in 1436 November 22, on a full hearing of the cause at Lynn, before the chancellor of Norwich, the Prior of Lynn, &c. he was divorced from her, on proof, and her own confession of adultery; she had before this left him, and was at that time a nun professed at Crabhouse in Wigenhale in Norfolk; and he had power to remarry. But the close of his life was yet more unfortunate; for in February, 1461, John Earl of Oxford, Aubrey his son and heir, this Sir Thomas, John Clopton, John Montgomery, and William Tyrrell, Esq. were arrested by John Earl of Worcester, constable of England, on suspicion of having received letters from Margaret, wife of King Henry VI. and being convicted in court by the said Earl of Worcester, were all beheaded (except Clopton) on Tower Hill, on the 22d of February, 1461. On the same day he made his will in the Tower, and gave to

John Lord Wenlock this manor, those of Caldecote, Shingham, and Sparham, with the fourth part of the barony of Bedford, for life; but soon after, these, with the rest of his inheritance, were delivered to

Margaret, sister and sole heir to Sir Thomas, relict of Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. of Bedingfeld in Suffolk. It appears that as heir to her brother, she died seized of the lordships of Ereswel, Westerfield, Brandeston, Charsfeld, Cotton-Hall, Belings-Magna, Groundesburgh, Fenhall, Newton, Elveden, Tudenham, Chamberlains, Shardelows, and Carbonels; also of the fourth part of the manor of Whatfield, and lands in Kediton in Suffolk, the lordships of Oxburgh, Sechithe, SparhamHall, Shingham, Caldecote, Fouldon, Tyes, and Aldenham in Weston, 10l. yearly rent out of the manor of Gerboldesham in Norfolk, and the manor of Abington-Parva in Cambridgeshire.

Her will is dated at Ereswell, 24th May, 1474, and was proved by the Bishop of Norwich, she being, as is there expressed "nobilis et arma gerens." She bequeaths her body to be buried before the image of the Holy-Cross, near the altar of the Virgin in the nave of the church of St. Peter of Ereswell, 40l. for vestments, books, and necessary ornaments, and to the repair of the said church, 53s. 4d. for a vestment, in which her chantry-priest was to officiate on high festivals, before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, and 40s. for another to officiate in, on other holidays. To St. Laurence's chapel at Ereswell, 53s. 4d. and 10 marks to the poor dwelling in her manor of Ereswell and other her manors in Suffolk and Norfolk; an house with gardens, pastures, meadow grounds, and 42 acres of land, with liberty of faldage, and certain rents and services thereto belonging, for a chantry-priest to officiate daily in the church of St. Peter, for her soul, and that of her father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, husband, children, brother, &c. To the monastery of Brusyard in Suffolk, where her mother was buried, 100s. and to the nuns there 100s. to the Augustin-Friars in London, where her brother (Sir Thomas) was buried xxl. and that a good and decent marble stone be bought to cover his body, and the residue to be divided amongst the friars there. To the church of Bedingfeld, where her husband was buried, 46s. 8d. for a vestment in memory of her and her husband; to the friars-minors at Babewell, 26s. 8d.; the same sum to the Carmes at Ipswich; to the friars-preachers at Thetford 20s.; to the Augustinefriars there 20s.; and to the nuns there 10.; and to the repair of Bedingfeld nunnery 10s.; to the repair of Carhow nunnery 10s.; and to the nuns there 10s.; to the nuns of Shouldham 20s.; to be distributed amongst them; to the repair of the church of Belings-Magna 56s. 8d. a silver cup to the altar of the Virgin in the church of Ereswell, to every priest assisting at mass on the day of her sepulture 8d.; to every clerk 2d.; every poor man and woman at her burial praying for her soul 2d.; and to every poor boy 2d.; and to the Lady Alice Tudenham, a nun at Crabhouse, ten marks.

The will of her husband Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. is dated at Bedingfeld in Suffolk, 4 June 1451, and was proved on the 20th of July following; he bequeaths his body to be buried in the churchyard of Bedingfeld, gives to Margaret his wife all the goods and chattels, which Margaret Tudenham, (daughter of John Herling, Esq.) her mother, had given her; to Thomas his son and heir 12 silver spoons and a covered cup, which was his father's; and to Edmund, son and heir of Thomas, a silver cup, &c.

I have been the more particular in these wills, as they are of undoubted truth and record, and must silence a great and prevailing mistake made by Sir Henry Spelman in his Icenia, (and by others copied after him,) where he asserts, that the abovementioned Edmund Bedingfeld and Sir Thomas Tudenham being in different interests, the first attached to the house of York, the other to that of Lancaster, entered into a most solemn compact: Beding feld engaging, if his party prevailed, to intercede in the behalf of Tudenham, who was to perform the like good offices for Beding feld: the house of York prevailing in King Edward the Fourth's time, Beding feld broke his faith so solemnly plighted, begged and obtained the estate of his brother Tudenham, and left him in the hands of justice to be beheaded. Edmund Bedingfeld, whose memory is so ill treated, appears to have died above 10 years before the sentence passed, &c. on his brother-in-law Tudenham; neither Edmund or his son and heir, Thomas Bedingfeld, inherited it, dying in 1453, before his uncle Sir Thomas, and his mother Margaret first enjoyed it; and on her decease, it came to her grandson, Edmund, son of Thomas, of which Edmund, Alice Dutchess of Suffolk, by her deed, dated 1st of December in the 33d of Henry VI. 1454, grants the custody and wardship, being then a minor, to his great uncle, Sir Thomas Tudenham aforesaid.

This Edmund, son of Thomas, married first, Alice, daughter of Sir Ralph Shelton, by whom he had no issue male, his second lady was Margaret daughter of Sir John Scot of Scots-Hall in Kent and comptroller of Calais: on the coronation of King RichardIII. he was created a Knight of the Bath, and was so highly in favour with King Henry VII. for his eminent services, that he paid him a royal visit at Oxburgh, the room where he lodged, being called the King's Room to this day, and rewarded him with several valuable lordships in Yorkshire, forfeited to the Crown on the attainder of the Lord Lovell: his will is dated at Calais, on the 12th of October 1496, and was proved the 28th of January following; he bequeaths his body to be buried in the church of Oxburgh, before the Holy Trinity, and gives 40l. to lead the church of Caldecote. This Sir Edmund had a royal patent from King Edward IV. dated July 3, 1482, to build the present manor-house or hall of Oxburgh, with towers, embattlements, &c. "more castelli," and for a weekly mercate in this town, on Friday, with a pye-powder court to be kept by the steward or bailiff, of the said mercate.

This ancient seat stands a little south-west of the church of Oxburgh; being built of brick, it very much resembles Queen's College in Cambridge, built also in the same reign; the present entrance to it is over a bridge of brick, with three great arches, and embattled with free stone, (formerly over one of wood, with its draw-bridge,) through a grand majestick tower, the arch whereof is about 22 feet long and 13 broad; to this tower adjoin four turrets, one at each corner, of the same materials with the tower, brick, coped also and embattled with free-stone, projecting and octangular; the two in front are about 80 feet or more from the foundation in the moat to the summit, and about 10 feet above the great tower. The court-yard (about which stands the house) is 118 feet long and 92 broad; opposite to the great tower on the south side of the court, stands the hall, in length about 54 feet, and 34 in breadth, between the two bowwindows, the roof is of oak, (in the same style and form with that of Westminster) equal in height to the length of it, and being lately very agreeably ornamented and improved, may be justly accounted one of the best old Gothick halls in England. The outward walls of the house stand in the moat, which is pure running water, (fed by an adjoining rivulet) about 270 feet long, and 52 broad on every side, and faced with brick on the side opposite to the house, and can be raised to the depth of about 10 feet of water, or let out as occasion serves.

Sir Thomas Bedingfeld, eldest son of Sir Edmund, the founder, dying without issue, and Robert the second son being in holy orders, the inheritance descended to

Sir Edmund, the 3d son, who attended King Henry VIII. in his wars abroad, and was knighted by Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk, general of the English army at Montdedier in France on the taking of that town in 1523; by his lady, Grace, daughter of the Lord Marny, he had

Sir Henry Bedingfeld, his son and heir, who was one of those gentlemen that appeared in arms at Framlingham in Suffolk, in defence of Queen Mary, and her title to the crown, and brought with him 140 men completely armed; by her he was appointed knightmarshal of her army, captain of her guards, and on the 28th of Oct. 1555, was made governour of the Tower of London, and one of the privy council; in 1557, vice-chamberlain to the Queen, and had a pension of 100l. per annum assigned him for life, and part of the estate of Sir Thomas Wyat, forfeited on his rebellion. This gentleman had the care and charge of the Lady Elizabeth for some time, and stands charged by Mr. Fox with severity towards her; but the royal visit which she either did, or designed to pay him, in her Progress into Norfolk, shows as if it was not as that author represents it. It being unlikely she would then have designed him such an honour.

That the Queen was wont to call him her Jaylor, may be true, but that seems to have rather been a term of royal familiarity, than contempt; for had it been the latter, he would scarce have been so much at court as it appears he usually was.

His son Edmund, by Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Southwell of Hoxne in Suffolk, had Thomas, his son and heir, who by an inquisition taken on the 30th of July, in the 32d of Queen Elizabeth, at Swaffham, was found to die seized of the manors of Oxburgh, Caldecote manor held of Eliz. wife of Sir John Denham, Secche manor, Shingham manor, held of the Crown, as of the honour of Clare, Easthall manor in Cley, held of the Crown as of the honour of Clare, Westhall manor in Cley, held of the Crown as of the honour of Richmond, the rectory of Cley St. Peter's held of the Crown. The hundred of South-Greenhoe held of the Crown in capite, by half a fee, an annuity of 10l. per annum issuing out of the manor of Gerboldesham, Ickburgh manor and advowson held of the honour of Clare, Necton manor, with its appurtenances, Ashill manor, Uphall, Collards, Games, &c. held in capite, with the advowson of the church. Cavenham manor in Stoke, Werham, and Wretton held of the Crown: Buxton and Heveningham manors, held in capite. North Pickenham and Houghton manors held in capite. Swanton Morley manor held in capite, Worthing manor held in capite, Stratton-hall manor held of the manor of Hoxne, and Welham, and Rees's manors there, held of Sir Robert Inglos in Norfolk, the manors of Bedingfeld, Denham and Charsfield, Ereswell, also of Chamberlains in Ereswell, and Scots manor in Martlesham in Suffolk, Pebmarsh's and Dagworth's in Essex, with Henney and Pooly manors in the said county; all which descended to his son and heir,

Sir Henry Bedingfeld, whose great grandson,

Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Baronet, is the present lord of this town, who inherits it as immediate heir to the Weylands and Tudenhams, without any alienation, for about 500 years.

Odes, Sparrow's, or Chantry Manor[edit]

In the reign of Henry III. Nicholas de Oxburgh, was found to hold the 8th part of a fee of Hubert Ruffin, Hubert of Sir Hugh de Odynsels; in the 9th of Edward II. Nich. de Oxburgh was returned to hold it; and in the 20th of King Edward III. Christiana, wife of Nicholas, was found to have held the same of Sir John de Grey. In the 3d of Henry IV. it was held by the heirs of Christiana, that is (as I take it) by the Odes, a family of good account in this town: William Ode was lord in the 2d of Richard II. and had then a foldcourse for 240 sheep; after this, Thomas Ode, and his son John, (by Agnes Langwade his wife,) in the 33d of Henry VI. had a capital messuage and other messuages here, 300 acres of arable land, 52 acres of pasture, 20s. &c. rent of assize, with the liberty of two freefolds, and other privileges to the said messuages and lands belonging, in Oxburgh and Caldecote, and paid to the lord of Caldecote 8s. 8d. per annum.

In 1463, Thomas Wellys, LL. B. and Godfrey Joy, citizen and alderman of Norwich, enfeoffed John Hewer, alias Bocher, of Oxburgh, Thomas Kyppyng of Caldecote, clerk, Thomas Mason of StokeFerry, and Henry Malvern of Ashill, in all and singular the messuages, lands, &c. with their appurtenances in Oxburgh and Caldecote, with the liberty of two freefolds for sheep in the said villages, with all the meadows, pastures, rents, wards, reliefs, eschaets, &c. which they held lately, together with John Paston, senior, Esq. Edward Coteler, citizen and alderman of Norwich, Stephen Brasier, notary, and William Swayn of Norwich, draper, by the enfeoffment of John Whittrat, clerk, dated in 1460, to the use, behoof, and fulfilling of the last will and testament of John Ode, late of Norwich. After this, in 1480, John Hewer and Thomas Kyppyng enfeoffed Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. William Grey, Esq. John Fincham, junior, Gent. &c. in the same; what were the use and behoof of Odes will, is uncertain; probably it was given to some religious use, &c. and was held by feoffees, till license of mortmain could be obtained; for it appears, that Richard Sparwe, or Sparrowe, Gent. afterwards held it; and by his will, dated 24th of April, 1482, and proved the 10th of February 1483, gives this manor, with all the services, quitrents, lands, tenements, pastures, meadows, &c. lying in the towns and fields of Oxburgh, and Caldecote, to the founding of a chantry in the church of Oxburgh, and for the maintenance of a priest to officiate in the said church, to pray for his soul, the souls of his parents, children, and all his benefactors.

The chantry (as appears by the said will) was founded in honour of the Holy Trinity, the glorious Virgin Mary, St. John the Evangelist, and All the Saints. William Elys was named by the founder the first chantry-priest, whom he requires to be a native of the diocese of Norwich, a secular priest, and to have no ecclesiastical benefice; he appoints 12 trustees, and when it devolved to three, they were to make a new election, and to name and appoint the said priests, and on their neglect for one month, the prior of Westacre was to name, &c. and on his neglect for one month, the churchwardens of Oxburgh; and the rector of Oxburgh was supervisor of his will.

Chantry Priests[edit]

William Elys. Thomas Kyppyng, buried here in 1489. William Blome, he died about 1504. Thomas Woodrofe, rector also of Caldecote and Shingham, died in 1540. William Shymplyng was also rector of Caldecote and Shingham, and on the dissolution of this chantry in the 2d of Edward VI. had a pension from the Crown of 4l. 9s. 7d. per annum.

The capital messuage, lands, &c. were granted by the King in the said year to Osbert Mundeford and Thomas Gawdy, Esquires, and their heirs, to be held in free-soccage of the manor of Drayton in Norfolk, on the 16th of June; in the 6th of Elizabeth, it was held by Gabriel Bates, Gent. who for the sum of one hundred and sixty pounds, sold it to John Curlington, from whom it passed by John Grimston, Arthur Hewer, Thomas Chaplin, Edmund Peirce, Remigius Booth, William Scot, Gent. &c. to Thomas Craske, that is to say, the capital messuage, with about 50 acres of land, arable and pasture, the manor and most of the lands being alienated.

That it was originally well endowed, appears from what hath been already specified, and from a terrier made in the 11th of Henry VII. when there were 17 acres of pasture enclosed, sevenscore and five acres, with three roods of arable land then belonging to it. About the year 1720, Thomas, son of the aforesaid Thomas Crask, sold it to Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Bart.; the house that belonged to it, in which the priest lived, stands in the town of Oxburgh, a little east of the church, being a great building, and had lately a large hall with screens, butteries, &c. adjoining, as in colleges, enclosed next the street with a lofty long wall of free-stone, with embattlements or copings of the same; the entrance to it was through a neat and lofty arch in the walls, now worked up.

The Abbot of West Derham held here, in the reign of Henry III. the 3d part of a fourth of a fee, given to that house by Hubert Ruffin and his son; and in the 20th of Edward III. it was held of that Abbot, and at the Dissolution was granted to Sir Thomas Bedingfeld. This abbey, with the priory of St. Winwaloy in Werham, were taxed in 1428, for their temporalties here, at 46s. 8d.

Almand of Southacre held in the reign of Henry III. the 12th part of the 4th part of a fee, which in the 20th of Edward III. was held by the Prior of Westacre, and was granted by King Henry VIII. to Sir Thomas Bedingfeld: in 1428, the prior was taxed for this, at 12s. 1d.

The Abbot of Wendling, John le Man, Richard Methwold, and Robert Costeyn, held also the 4th part of a 4th part of a fee in the 20th of Edw. III. which Thomas le Warr formerly held; in the 3d of Henry IV. it was held by the Abbot, and the heirs of John Methwold; these also were granted to Sir Thomas Bedingfeld, and for them a fee-farm rent of 3l. 6s. 8d. is paid.

Godric the King's sewer held also here, at the time of the grand survey, 60 acres, part of his manor of Goderston, and is there valued; it was held by a freeman and a villein, in the Confessor's time; these 60 acres were a few years past in several hands, but on the enclosing of the town and commons about 24 years past, were purchased by Sir Henry Bedingfeld.

About two miles east of the town, in the road to Cley, a little before you come to Langwade Cross (part of which is still standing on the greenway, which is the boundary between Oxburgh and Cley) was a house of lepers; Thomas Salmon, chaplain of Oxburgh in 1380, gave by will to the Chapel of St. Mary at Oxburgh, 3s. 4d. and to the lazars at Langwade 6d. There was an ancient family of this name, who took their name from the long-wade or passage here, over the river. Ralph and Robert de Langwade gave by deed sans date, lands to West-Derham abbey.

The lete is in the lord of the manor.

The church of Oxburgh is dedicated to St. John the Evangelist; it is a large and regular edifice consisting of middle, north, and south isles, in length from the west door to the chancel about 88 feet, and including all the isles, in breadth about 53 feet; the chancel is about 46 feet long, and 21 broad, the whole is of flint-stone, &c. covered with lead, and seems to have been founded about the reign of King Edward I. At the west end stands a foursquare tower of curious workmanship of flint, with quoins and battlements of free-stone, on this is raised a lofty octangular spire all of free-stone throughout, the whole being 150 feet in height. In this tower hang five musical bells, the first thus inscribed, Omnia sint ad Gloriam Dei, 1610. The third, Te per Orbem Terrarum Sancta confietur Ecclesia, Patrem immensæ Majestatis 1582, and on this is the figure of St. Edmund. The fourth, Venerandum tuum verum, et unicum Filium, 1582. The fifth, O Christe, Rex Gloriæ Es Tu, 1586: here also is a clock, (which strikes on the bell hanging on the outside of the spire,) with a dial-plate on the west-side of the tower. At the west door, as you enter, lie two old grave-stones, one on the right hand, the other on the left, with plain crosses on them; also a third with a cross flory, and serves for the uppermost step, as you descend into the church; in memory, most probably, of some of the family of the Weylands, lords of the town, and founders of the church. The Lady Cecilia de Weyland, by her will dated in 1384, bequeathed her body to be buried in the churchyard before the west door. On each side of which is a niche of stone-work for images. On the pavement of this church lie several gravestones, deprived of their brasses: on one before the screen of the chancel, with a brass plate,

Orate pro anima Domini Johannis Bkome Capellan' qui obiit rrb Die julii Ano Dni' M. ccccciiii, Cuius, &c.

He was chaplain of Sparrow's chantry in this church; and by his will dated 16th of April, 1501, bequeathed his body to be buried here, near the altar of the crucifix, and gave all his lands and tenements in the town and fields of Oxburgh, to the keeping of his anniversary on Monday in Easter-Week for ever, placing one herse over his sepulchre, and finding two lights on it, of one pound of wax, to burn in time of exequiæ and mass performing on the day of the commemoration of his death; four torches to burn before his sepulchre, and to find one light to burn before the image of the Holy-Trinity in the chancel every festival day in time of divine service, and one penny offering at the mass on the commemoration of his death; to the increase and maintenance of the green torches in the said church 3s. 4d. to the finding and maintaining the bason light in the said church, hanging before the crucifix 3s. 4d. and to pay the Rome-shot and candle-silver of the whole village for ever. He appoints that when all his feoffees but four were dead, a new feoffment should be made to 16 or 12 of the best and honestest men of the parish.

The pulpit and desk are of neat plain oak; round the sounding board in letters of gold. "This Pulpit and Desk together with a Clock, was made by the Gift of Robert Shales, Gent. who died May 20, 1702, aged 47." Before the desk stands a very large brass eagle, supported by three lions, the whole being about 6 feet in height, thus inscribed,

Orate pro anima Chome Hyyyyng quondam Rectoris de Dar- burgh.

The roof of the nave is supported by octangular stone pillars forming 12 large arches, 6 on a side, with windows over them. In the window over the fourth arch on the south side is

Arg. on a cross gul. five escallops or, Weyland.

And in that of the fourth arch on the north:

Orate pro animab' Dni' Roberti Meyland et Cecilie Vroris eius.

Here is a mural monument of marble, on which is this,

M. S. Thomæ Hewar Gen.

Siste Viator, et percontare paulisper, providus Ego, et pariter migravi non hic solus, Opera me sequuntur Comitem, nam Ecclesiæ Ruinis prospexi, in Ævum prius simul Et Victum et Vestitum Legavi Pauperibus, Divitibus et Levamen et Exemplum. Vixi Annos 60 Æque Deo et Hominibus charus, tandem Pie occubui 16 die Mensis Febr.

Anno Dom' 1625, et hic demum Recumbo suaviter, secundum Salvatoris Adventum expectans.

Vale et fac similiter.

Moved with Compassion, Love and Zeal, the Store God gave, I left unto the Church and Poor.

My Dust to Dust, my hope wing'd Soul aspires To Heaven, the Receptacle it desires.

Where I shall see my Issue and persever In Charity with his Elect for ever.

Such is his Promise (in the Word) that saith Love dy's not and the Just shall live by Faith.

Et in hâc spe acquiesco.

Posuere hoc Oppidani de Oxboro, Pietatis et Gratitudinis ergo.

This gentleman was buried near this monument, and in his last will he desired the same; where by the gravestones, and the arms thereon, he perceived some of his ancestours (the Hewars) to be interred.

On the pavement lies a marble in memory of Abraham Younge, Gent. who departed February 26, 1719, aged 70, and of Catharine his wife, who departed April 16, 1708, aged 52. Another in memory of Jane, wife of Richard Martin, who died 1st of February, 1705.

The east end of this isle is of different work from the other parts of it; the roof is advanced, has a large window, and was, as I take it, the Chapel of St. Mary, the effigies of the Virgin with the child Jesus may be still observed, also an holy water stop, makes part of the pavement; to this isle is annexed a large porch.

On the pavement of the north isle are some gravestones also with their brasses reaved, about the midst of the isle, one very antique, which has been ornamented like the above, observed in the south isle: the inscription that runs round this was in French, as appears from the incision for the brass letters, these two words being with difficulty legible, DE CETTE VILLE. and probably was in memory of Sir John de Weyland, (or his brother Sir Edmund,) lord of the town. At the east end was a chapel dedicated to St. Anne, her image is said to be on the north side of the church; the window here has been curiously painted, now quite shattered, on the summit have been the effigies of the Apostles, &c. St. Peter, and St. John the Baptist, are still remaining: in a pannel are the remains of one lying sick in a bed, and another administering something to her relief in a cup. In another pannel the figure of an elderly person with a prolix beard, bare-headed in a close blue vest, and a gown or cloak of scarlet, with a girdle or, and a large purse hanging to it; also one on his left hand, in a white coat with a long cape or cowl hanging behind, with a cap or, and a red belt; also the figure of a third person on his right hand representing a shepherd in a russet coat, with a girdle round it; near him are sheep feeding, and a dog couchant; and on a label,

—ad—cam Porta et Saccifica.

coming from the first and principal figure.

This isle has a porch, the roof of which has been painted; over the door as you enter the church is a pedestal, and on the pavement are the remains of an old marble gravestone, probably for the founder, and it is covered with lead; the whole isle is of different workmanship, and more modern than the rest of the church.

In the chancel hangs a table thus inscribed,


Benefactors to this Church and Poor.

Thomas Hewar, Gent. by his last Will dated at Castle Rising in Norfolk, September 12, 1619, and proved there, March 25, 1625, gave a Messuage or Mansion-House, with a Barn, Stable, a Pasture Close and Hempland thereto adjoining, containing by estimation about 5 Acres, also 83 Acres of Arable Lands in several Pieces dispersed thro' the Fields, and late inclosed Grounds of OXBURGH; all which is leased to Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Baronet, at the Yearly Rent of 20 li. he making good all Repairs, and paying all Taxes whatsoever; one third Part of this, is to be laid out in the Repairs and Ornaments of the said Church, the Residue to be divided amongst the most Necessitous Poor; the Rent of this Estate is always paid to the Feoffees on St. Thomas's Day.

Mrs. Mary Hammond in the Reign of King Charles II gave a Pasture Close in the Parish, of about 3 acres, now leased to Sir Henry Bedingfeld at 50s. per Ann. which is given to the Poor on the 25th of July.

Mr. Yorker, Rector of Cockley Cley, gave 10 Acres of Land in this Parish, now leased to Sir Henry Bedingfeld at 3 li. per Annum. This is given for 5 Years to the Poor of Cley, and every Sixth Year to the Poor of Oxburgh.

Sir Henry Bedingfeld pays also at Lady Day 2 li. Yearly, for Lands belonging to the Township of Oxburgh; this is called the Walk-Money, and is then given to the Poor.

Go thou and Do likewise, for he that giveth to the Poor, lendeth to the Lord. 1735.

The chancel is separated from the church by a lofty screen, which with the pannels has been curiously painted; over this are the King's arms: as you enter, on the pavement lies a gray marble stone, with the portraiture of a priest robed, &c. with a label,

Jesu Fili Dei. miserere Me.

On which (as I find from an old account) was this epitaph.

Orate pro anima Johannis her quonbam Rectoris istins Ecs elesie qui obiit ro die Mensis Octob' Ano Dni' Mcccclrr. Cuius anime propitietur Dens.

On the same pavement is a little gray marble stone, with a rim of brass thus inscribed,

Moc suc Marmoceolo iacet Withelmus Schanchey, Chome Bedingfyld Militis quondam famularis ac olim isra pcr vene pulsans Drgana, Vigint' Ann. ruius animam, Deus ad alta Poli probehat Astra. Don. Dovemb' Ano Oni' M.ccccc Vicessimo primo.

Against the north wall of the chancel is a neat mural monument of marble, ornamented with two marble pilasters of the Ionick order, 2 piles of books, and on them 2 lamps with flames of gold; on the summit is an urn, festoons, and 2 lamps, &c.

Hic situs est Henricus Meriton, A. M. qui Hadstochiæ in agro Essexiensi, Cantabrigiæ inter Magdalenses educatus, et per Sexaginta et amplius Annos, Parochiæ hujus Rector vigilantissimus, quam nactus est Provinciam antiquâ fide, eximia Pietate, atque egregiâ rerum Sacrarum Scientiâ, implevit, ornavit. Indefessus Veritatis Indagator, Assertorque strenuus, et jam arduis et difficilibus temporibus perniciosos, Romanensium, aliorumque Errores, et Fraudes, perspicaci et firmo animo detexit et labefactavit, obiit 30 Januarij 1707.

At the bottom is this shield,

Az. on a chevron or, three roses gules, and a canton ermine, Meriton.

And under the urn above,

Impensis Johannis Meriton filij Henrici.

On the north side is the vestry, built of flint, &c. and covered with lead. At the end of the south wall is a neat wrought and enarched seat of stone for the bishop, priest, and deacon, in the cornish, which is embattled, are little angels gilt with gold; under the arch have been small shields, two only are now visible, one has a cross, the other the shield or emblem of the Trinity: on the summit of this seat there seems to have been stations for 2 images; the window here has been finely painted, on the top are several of the prophets, &c. Jeremias with this label, Patrem invocabitis, &c. 3 ch. v. 19. Isaias with this, Ecce Virgo concipiet, &c. 7 ch. 14 v. Baruch, Hic est Deus noster, &c. 3 ch. 35 v. and Moses, In principium erat Verbum, &c. Gen. 1 ch. 1 v.

The east window is very large and stately, rising as high as the summit of the roof, in the small pannels above; the 9 orders of Angels have been painted, four only of these figures are now left, with their names under them, angels, archangels, virtues, seraphims, &c. In the middle pannels have been other figures, by the robing of one, on which is the letter M, in this character, and a crown over it, it is plain the Virgin Mary was here figured; in the lower pannels, was the history of our Saviour's birth, and the Wisemen worshipping him, and their offerings, his resurrection, &c. On the great pannels of the other chancel windows have been the Apostles with labels of the Creed, &c. The roof is impannelled, on it are carved many fanciful works, viz. men plaining and boring of wood, saws, hammers, mallets, squares, wimbles, compasses, cups, &c. our Saviour's name in old characters, a shield ornamented with a cross, crowns of thorns, nails, spears, &c. to represent the crucifixion: one shield with a cross botony, another with the arms of Derham abbey, (but the colours are now faded,) az. three bucks or deers heads caboshed or, the lowest pierced with a crosier, on the summit of which is a cross-pattee, or; this church being in the patronage of that abbey, a third quarterly, arg. an eagle displayed gul. beaked, &c. or, in the first and fourth, Bedingfeld, and lozengé arg. and gul. in the second and third, Todenham, impaling arg. three Catharine wheels sable, in a bordure ingrailed gules, Scot of Scot's-hall in Kent.

Between the church and chancel is an arch of stone for the saintsbell; south of the chancel, and at the east end of the south isle, is a very beautiful chapel of free-stone, with buttresses of the same, and separated from the chancel and the south isle, with stone-work about 4 feet high, on this is raised a large arch or covering of brick-earth curiously moulded, burnt and whitened, on which are several pilasters, with capitals of the Corinthian order, cherubs, lamps, vases, &c. neatly executed; the space between the body and the arch or covering, is guarded by iron rails, on the roof, which is of oak and covered with lead, are the arms of Beding feld and Todenham, Weyland, Scot, and vert, a chevron ermine between three rams tripping arg. Wetherby, and also Shelton.

Margaret Bedingfeld, relict of Sir Edmund, Knight of the Bath, was the foundress; by her will dated 12th of January, 1513, she bequeaths her body to be buried in the church of Oxburgh, before the image of the Trinity, where I will a Chapel to be erected.

Against the south side, is a large altar monument of marble, &c. two pillars of the Corinthian order with their capitals gilt with gold, support a canopy or covering, whereon stand three shields. In the midst,

Bedingfeld, erm. a spread eagle gul. beaked and peded or, with h s quarterings,

Lozenge, arg. and gules, Todenham.

Arg. a fess between two chevronels gul. Peche.

Checque or, and gul. on a fess az. three escallops of the first, Rochester.

Arg. a fess sable, between three crescents gul. Pateshull.

Arg. on a cross gul. five escalops, or. Weyland.

Arg. an unicorn seiant sable, Herling.

Paly of six or and gul. a chief ermine, Jenny.

Arg. a chevron gul. between three lions rampant sab. Bourn of Long-Stratton.

Per pale arg. and gul. Waldgrave.

Per chevron embattled gul. and or, three lions rampant counterchanged. Wyfold.

Azure a chevron between three eagles heads erased, or. Claworth.

Crest, a demi-eagle or.

On the right of this, stands a shield with the arms of Bedingfeld and Todenham, quarterly, impaling azure a chevron ermine, between three escallops arg. Townsend, and arg. a lion rampant, and crusuly of cross croslets gules, Brews, quarterly.

On the left is the shield of Townsend, with his quarterings, viz. gul. a chevron or between three de-lises arg. Haywell.

Brewse as above, Ufford, and gul. a cross arg. in a bordure ingrailed or. Carbonell.

Arg. a chevron gul. between three cross croslets fitché azure. Shardelowe.

On the wall-piece is this inscription in letters of gold:

Casta Bedingfeldo Comes, hic Katharina Marito est, Lustris Viva decem, quæ fuit ante Comes.

Prole Virum Conjux, Vir adauxit honoribus illam, Factus post multos Nominis hujus Eques.

Inde Satellitium sumpsit, Turrimq; regendam, Pars a Consilijs Una, Maria tuis.

Privatus Senium, Christoque, Sibique dicavit, Vir pius, et veræ Religionis amans.

Hospitio largus, miserisque suisque benignus, Ad Mortem et Morbi tædia, fortis erat.

Round this inscription are several knots, and horses fetterlocks, or, (badges made use of by this family,) the fetterlock was the badge of the house of York, and might by some grant have been given to the Bedingfelds for their attachment to it; and there was a particular room (as appears from an old inventory of Oxburgh-hall) called by the name of the Fetterlock. This badge was devised by Edmund Duke of York, fifth son to King Edw. 3d, locked, as one should say, for he was far from the inheritance: and was given by King Edward IV. unlocked and somewhat open or to his second son Richard Duke of York; so fond was that King of this badge or device, that the apartments of the prebendaries of Windsor were built by him in this form, and the said King made use of it himself. Hall has a draught of a fetterlock with a falcon in it, before his History of the Life of that King; and Edmund of Langley Duke of York, when he rebuilt Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, made the highest keep in the same form. Camden says that the aforesaid Edmund bare also a falcon in a fetterlock, implying he was Locked up from all hope and possibility of the kingdom, when his brethren began to aspire thereunto; whereupon he asked his sons on a time, when he saw them beholding this device set up in a window, what was Latin for a fetterlock? whereat when the young gentlemen studied, the father said, well if you cannot tell me I will tell you: hic, hæc, hoc, taceatis; as advising them to be silent and quiet, and therewithal said, Yet God knoweth what may come to pass hereafter. This his great grandchild, King Edward IV. reported, when he commanded that his youngest son, Richard Duke of York, should use this device with the fetterlock open. There is no date to this monument erected to the memory of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Knt. Captain of the guards, Governour of the Tower of London, and privy counsellor to Queen Mary, who was buried here, as appears from the Register, on the 24th of August, 1583, and his lady on the 7th of December 1581.

Against the north wall of the said chapel is a large and lofty monument of black and white marble, resting on the pavement. On the summit is an urn of black marble ornamented with festoons, &c.; below that, two shields supported by two angels, on one of which is this inscription:

Under this Monument lyeth the Body of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, the 17th Knight of his Family, eminent for his Loyalty to his Prince, and Service of his Countrey, in the Time of the Rebellion he was kept three Years Prisoner in the Tower, and great Part of his Estate was sold by the Rebels, the rest sequestred during his Life. He had two Wifes, the first Mary Daughter to William Lord Howard of the North, by whom he had one Son, who dyed without Issue: His second Wife was, Elizabeth Daughter of Peter Houghton, Esq; by whom he had 5 Sons and 6 Daughters, he died November 22, Ano Dni' 1657, Æt. 70, and 6 Months.

On the other shield,

Here lyeth Elizabeth Wife of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Knt. and Daughter of Peter Houghton of Houghton-Tower in Lancashire, Esq; she dyed on the 11th of April Ano Dni' 1662.

Beati Mortui qui in Domino moriuntur. Eccles'

Below these, are two shields with arms, Bedingfeld, and sable three bars arg. Houghton.

On the lower part of this mural monument are two other shields, one with the arms of Bedingfeld, the other of Paston, and this inscription:

Under this Monument lyeth the Body of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, the first Baronet of the Family, made by the especial Favour of King Charles the II. He was Tall and Comely, endow'd with rare Parts both Natural and acquir'd, He serv'd King Charles I. in all the Rebellion, and till the Restoration was a great Sufferer in his Person and Estate. From which Time to his Death, he liv'd a most exemplary Life, beloved and admir'd for his Virtue and Wisdom, his Death was extremely Lamented, which happen'd on the 24th of February Ano Dni' 1684, Æt. 70 and 5 Months. He married the Daughter and Heiress of Edward Paston, Esq; by whom he had 7 Sons and 6 Daughters.

Here lyeth the Body of Dame Margaret, the only Child of Edward Paston, of Horton in the County of Gloucester, Esq; & the only Wife of Sir Henry Bedingfeld here also interr'd, a Person of extraordinary Parts, Piety and Prudence, who after 50 Years enjoyment of perfect Felicity in the Married State, pass'd 18 Years Widowhood, in an absolute Retreat, in the constant Exercise of her Devotions, and dayly Distribution of Charity, and departed this Life, January 14, 1702, Aged 84 Years, having first erected this Monument to the Memory of her Dear and deserving Husband.

Against the east wall of the chapel is a neat mural monument of black and white marble veined with red; on the summit is an urn with a flame of gold; at the bottom is a death's head between two cherubims, and the whole is ornamented with festoons, and the arms of Bedingfeld, also Bedingfeld impaling sable six swallows arg. Arundel. Bedingfeld impaling Howard.

On the body is this inscription in letters of gold,

Beneath this Monument is interr'd the most Virtuous and Pious Lady, Elizabeth, youngest Daughter of Sir John Arundel of Lanbern in Cornwall, and second Wife to Sir Henry Bedingfeld of Oxburgh, Knt. and Bart. who in the 35th Year of her Age, departed this Life, on the 13th of April 1690, leaving an only Son and 3 Daughters.

Requiescat in Pace.

Hic jacet Domina Anna Bedingfeld filia et Hæres Caroli Howard, Comitis de Berkshire ex Dorotheâ Conjuge Uxor Henrici Bedingfeld Equitis Aurati, quæ Pietate in Deum, Charitate in Egenos, Equitate in omnes insignis, obijt die 19 Septembris 1682, Ætatis suæ 32.

Requiescat in Pace.

Here lyeth the Body of Sir Henry Bedingfeld Son of Sir Henry Bedingfeld by Dame Margaret Paston, he was a Person of great Worth and Honour, and particularly eminent for his great Hospitality, he had two Wifes, the first Ann Howard, only Child then living, of Charles Lord Viscount Andover, and afterwards Earl of Berkshire, by whom he had no issue; the last Wife was Elizabeth, youngest Daughter of Sir John Arundel, by whom he has left one Son and two Daughters, and departed this Life, September 14, 1704, Aged 68.

Requiescat in Pace.

On the pavement near to the east end, lies an old marble gravestone, on which was the effigies of a person in brass, &c. now reaved.

About the middle lies a gravestone:

Orate pro anima Thomæ Marwood, qui obdormivit in Domino 26 Octob' 1718, Pauperes in eo, Patrem, Domus Bedingfeldiana, Amicum verum, et Benefactorem insignem, perdiderunt.

Requiescat in Pace.

On the south side in the church-yard, is a black marble of a very large size, on which is this;

Hic jacet Dionisius Shales Generosus, qui obijt September 2 1689. Ano Æt. 71. Sub eôdem Marmore jacet Filia ejus Maria quæ obijt Febr' 18, 1696–7, Ano Æt. 40.

On the North Side of this Stone lyeth the Body of Alice the Wife of Dionise Shales, who departed this Life May the 20th 1702, Aged 83 Years. Here lyeth the Body of Robert Shales, second Sone of Dionise and Alice, who died May 20th 1702, Aged 47 Years.

Dionisius Shales, Gent obijt 1723.


About the beginning of the reign of King Edward I. we find from Norwich Domesday, that Sir William de Odynsels was lord of the town and patron of the church; the Rector then had a mansion-house with 15 acres of glebe; the rectory was valued at 18 marks, procurations and synodals 7s. 7d. ob. St. Peter's-pence one shilling.

Henry de Hastings occurs rector in the 57th of Henry III. and in the 14th of Edward I. one of the same name was rector of Stratford on Avon in Warwickshire in 1316; and the lord and patron of this town being of that county, it is probable he was one and the same person.

Richard de la Coppe; he was presented by the Lady Margaret Grey, widow of John de Grey Lord of Rotherfield, daughter and coheir of William Odyngsells, Knt. of Maxstoke in Warwickshire; he occurs rector in the 4th and 5th of Edward III.

William Breton, resigned in 1337.

  • 1337, Nicholas Oliver. Sir John de Grey.
  • 1343, Alan de Retford. Ditto. Oliver exchanged with Retford, for the church of Malberthorp in Lincolnshire.
  • 1366, Peter Bray. The Lady Avice de Grey, widow of Sir John de Grey Baron of Rotherfield, daughter and coheir to John Lord Marmion.
  • Stephen de Holt, he was also rector of Barnham-Broome in Norfolk, and in 1383, vicar-general to the Bishop of Norwich. In his will he desires to be buried in the church of St. Giles at Norwich.
  • 1386, John Elvered. Robert de Fordham rector of Thirston, Edmund Gurnay, Nicholas de Massingham, Hugh de Holland, John de Methelwold, and John Chante of East-Walton. By his will, dated at Oxburgh, 1st of October, and proved the 16th of the said month 1416, he desires to be buried in the church of St. John the Evangelist of Oxburgh, gives one Manual and 8 marks, to buy a Gradual for that church, to every order of friars at Lynn 20s.; to John Ardern for his stipend to pray for him and his benefactors 3 years 27 marks; to the Abbess of Marham 6s. 8d.; and to every nun there, 20d.; to Crabhouse 20s.; to the House of Hales 13s. 4d.; to the House of Bromhill to repair it, 6 quarters of barley; to Buckton new tower 3s. 4d.
  • 1416, William Whytemete, presented by the Abbot and convent of West-Derham.
  • Edmund Gurnay and Hugh de Holand gave the advowson of this church to that abbey. They seem to have been trustees for that purpose. In the 41st of Edward III. a fine was levied between Sir William Crosier, Knt. querent, and John Lord Grey of Rotherfield, defendent, of the advowson of this church, conveyed to Sir William; and in the 46th of Edw. III. a fine was levied between Reginald de Shirland, &c. querents, and Sir William Crosier, Knt. defendent, of this advowson, conveyed to Reginald, &c. In the 50th of the said King, a patent was granted to appropriate this church to West-Derham; but Henry Spencer, the active and warlike Bishop of Norwich, who was no friend to the monastick order, would not consent to it. And before this, in the 35th of the said King, an inquisition "Ad quod damnum, &c." was brought, whereon the jury present that it would not be to the King's prejudice, if John de Grey Lord Rotherfeld granted the advowson to the prior and brethren of St. John of Jerusalem in England.
  • Whytemete resigned this rectory, for that of Yuxham in Norfolk; he was buried at the east end of the north isle of the church of Upwell in Norfolk, where he was a soul or chantry priest; on his gravestone there, is this inscription on a brass plate,
  • Nic iacet Dns' Millms' Mhntemete quondam Rector be Mars ham, qui obiit bii bie Mensis Scptemb' An Dni Mccccfffii, cuius anime propittietur Deus, Amen.
  • 1429, John Saresson, alias Wygenhale, doctor in the decrees, on the 28 of December 1425, was presented by the convent of Wendlyng in Norfolk, to Yaxham, and exchanged that, with Whytemete, for the rectory of Oxburgh, to which he was presented by the convent of West Derham; on the 26th of October, 1447, he was instituted into the prebend of St. Mary's Mass in the collegiate church of St. Mary in the Fields at Norwich, collated by the Bishop of Norwich; and in May 1452, to the archdeaconry of Sudbury; was also Abbot of WestDerham, rector of Massingham Magna in Norfolk, and vicar-general to the Bishop of Norwich 1436, and Dean of St. Mary college, alias chapel in the Field college, at Norwich, John de Wethamstede, Abbot of St. Alban's, calls this Wygenhale, "Vir altæ discretionis, et morum gravitate pollens."
  • 1448, John Wellys, L. L. D. ob. The convent of Wendlyng.
  • 1451 Richard Cranwell. Ditto.
  • 1446, John Kerr, or Carr, buried in the chancel, in the middle of the quire, as is above shewn; he resigned the church of Newton Flotman, Norfolk, in 1445.
  • 1470, John Wilton. Ditto.
  • Thomas Harvey occurs rector in 1472, ob.
  • 1470, John Gardener, chaplain, buried in St. John the Evangelist's church, before the image of St. Paul, to keep up the green-torches, 2s.; to the gilds of Corpus Christi, Holy-Trinity, St. Mary, St. John Baptist, and St. Peter 2s. each; and the other 2 gilds of All-Saints, and St. Thomas the Martyr 12d. each. So that now there were no less than 7 gilds in this parish.
  • 1501, Ambrose Ede, doctor of decrees; he had been vicar of Methwold, Norfolk, was principal official or chancellor to the Bishop of Norwich in 1500, died rector of this church, and of Caston, near Breccles in Norfolk, and master of Thompson college in Norfolk.
  • 1502, John Forster, ob. John, Abbot, and convent of West-Derham. He was archdeacon of Huntington, prebend of Moreton Magna, in the church of Hereford.
  • 1512, Robert Bedingfeld, second son of Sir Edmund Bedingfeld of Oxburgh, was pensioner of Corpus Christi college in Cambridge, and a benefactor thereto, by making the west windows of the building, leading from the college, to Bennet church (which was then used as a chapel for the college) at his own charge. In 1537 he was rector of Caysterton Parva, in Lincoln diocese, and was instituted rector of Ereswell in 1533, being buried in Oxburgh church in 1539, July 19.
  • 1539, Edmund Warter, alias Tofts, presented by Richard Warden, on a grant of the presentation hac vice from the abbot, &c.; at the Dissolution he was Abbot of Hagreby in Lincolnshire, and on the surrender of that house, had a pension from the Crown of 16l. per ann. which he enjoyed in 1553, and was also rector of Thurlethorp St. Helens in Lincolnshire.
  • 1554, Edmund Cosyn, S. T. B. on the deprivation of Warter; presented by Francis Baldero, Gent.

On the Dissolution of the abbey of West-Derham, the advowson of this church was given to Edward Lord Clinton in the 6th of Edward VI. to be held of the King, as of the manor of East-Greenwich in free-soccage; and in the said year, the aforesaid lord sold it to William Breton of London, Gent. who conveyed it soon after, to Francis Baldero, Gent. of Redgrave in Suffolk, from whom it came to Edmund Dethick, Esq. of Wyrmegay, and then to Henry Reynolds, Esq. of Belstede in Suffolk, who sold it to John Hethe of Lynn Regis, and of Kypier in the county of Durham, who conveyed it to John Chetham of Livermere in Suffolk, Gent. on the 22d of May, 19th of Elizabeth, and Chetham conveyed it to Edmund Bedingfeld 4th of August, 26th of Elizabeth, and Sir Henry Bedingfeld, 18th of Charles I. to Henry Meriton, clerk, of Stilton in Huntingtonshire, which Henry left it to John Meriton, his son, rector here, and he gave it to his widow for life, after whose death it went to John Meriton, clerk, his son and heir, who sold it to Caius College in Cambridge, and that society now hath the patronage.

  • 1558, Edmund Warter iterum; he was deprived 15th of March 1553, being then a married priest, divorced and suspended from celebrating of divine service: and on the accession of Queen Elizabeth, was restored to his right; he resigned before his death. By his will, dated 27th of January, 1584, he wills to be buried in the middle alley of Oxburgh, by Joan his late wife, and he was accordingly buried 15th of January, 1585, and must have been a very old man, if we consider him an abbot before the Dissolution. In the 11th of Elizabeth, one Edmund Warter was instituted to Heringby in Norfolk.
  • 1579, Thomas Scott, A. M. The Queen by lapse. One of the same name was rector of Northwold about the same same time.
  • 1581, Thomas Nuce, S. T. B. Thomas Chetham, Esq.; he was fellow of Pembroke-hall, rector of Cley All-Saints in Norfolk, vicar of Gasely in Suffolk, and prebendary of Ely. He lies buried in the chancel of Gasely, with this epitaph on a black marble gravestone,

Here who lyes if you Enquere, 'Tis Thomas Nuce his Sepulchre.

Vicar of this Parish late, Whose Soul enjoys a happy State.

And in fullness shall of Tyme, Re-assume this Earthly Slyme.

By his Side, now as in Life, Lyes the Body of his Wife, And who in a Number even, Five Sons brought him, Daughters Seven.

To the World, they living dyde, So dyeing, livinge they abide.

He dy'd the 8th Day of November 1617, She dy'd the 12th of January 1613.

  • 1583, Thomas Scott, ob. probably the same with the aforesaid Thomas Scott, and rector of Northwold.
  • 1607, John Sherwin, A. M. Sir Henry Bedingfeld. He was rector of Ickburgh, and of Beacham-well St. John.
  • 1616, John Sherwin, A. M. ob. Sir Hen. Bedingfeld. Vicar also of Stow Bardolph.
  • 1641, William Scott, A. M. ob. Ditto.
  • 1647, Henry Meriton, A. B. ob. Robert Williamson, John Watts, and Robert Clerk. He was also rector of Boughton.
  • 1707, John Meriton, A. M. rector of Boughton and Caldecote, ob. buried here in 1707. John Novell, clerk, trustee for Meriton.
  • 1717, September 25, the Rev. Mr. Charles Parkin, A. M. late of Pembroke-hall in Cambridge, the present rector, was presented by Mrs. Mary Meriton, relict of the last rector, and holds it united to the rectory of Boughton, to whom I am obliged for his great pains and industry in the account of this town, hundred, &c.

Parkin, vert, a chevron between three ostrich's feathers, arg. in a bordure or.

Crest, a demi-woman proper, holding an ostrich's feather arg.

Motto, Nisi Christus, Nemo.

From the ancient wills of persons here buried, we may learn several particulars relating to the Gilds, images, lights, &c. belonging formerly to this church.

  • 1420, Nicholas Blaunche, rector of Shingham, was buried in Oxburgh churchyard, and gave to Shingham church, a chalice and patin, and a legacy to St. Mary's altar, in Oxburgh church, &c.
  • Richard Reed of Oxburgh wills, in 1438, to be buried before the great crucifix of our Lord in the church of Oxburgh, and gives a legacy to Corpus Christi gild; this gild had 3 acres of land in the field of Oxburgh.
  • Thomas Wayprow, in 1447, gives legacies to St. Mary's altar, and St. Thomas's altar.
  • Robert Gelour of Oxburgh, by will dated 30th of October, 1472, desires to be buried on the north side of the church of St. John the Apostle, &c. of Oxburgh, before the image of St. Anne there, gives to the gild of Corpus Christi 6s. 8d.; to the light before the crucifix 11s.; to that before the sepulchre 2s. 4d.: to the green light 13s. 4d.; to Sir William the priest xxd.; to John Blome, chaplain 12d.; and to Sir Thomas, stipendiary priest there 8d.; Thomas Harvey, rector, and John Hewer, executor. Regr. Gelour, p. 1.

Richard Sparwe or Sparrowe, in 1412, desires to be buried before the image of the crucifix standing on the south side of the church of Oxburgh, bequeaths legacies to the gilds of Corpus Christi, and St. Thomas, to the torches, and towards the maintenance of the 15 waxcandles burning before the image of St. Mary, in that church; he also gives 6 acres and 3 roods of free land in the fields of Stow Bedon called Burgh Crofts, to the maintenance of a wax-candle to burn before the image of the crucifix in time of divine service. Regr. Caston, p. 189.

John Rowning, by will dated in 1500, desires to be buried in the church of Oxburgh; Item, I bequeath to Mary my Wife 4 Acres of Land, and 4 Fete more or lece, lying at the Mill-Hill, for Terme of her Life, to the Intent that she shall keepe for my Sowl, and all Crystian Sowls, a competent Yereday Yerly during her Life; and after, to the Disposition of the Church Revyse of Oxburgh then beyng, they to occupy it, to the Beholfe of the said Church, provided alway that my Yer-Day be Yerly observed and kept. Regr. Spyltimer, p. 285.

The Lady Margaret Bedingfeld, by will dated 12 January, 1513, gives to the gilds of the Holy Trinity, St. Thomas, and CorpusChristi here, 6s. 8d. to each, and legacies to the high altar of several neighbouring churches.

They were called gilds, from the Saxon word [Gild] or [Geld] which signifies money, because a gild is a society or fraternity, associating themselves either upon the account of charity, religion, or trade, and they contributed money, goods, and often lands, for the support of their common charges, and are said to be common, even in the Saxon times. These gilds had their frequent meetings, and their grand annual, on the day of the saint to whom they were dedicated, and maintained a priest or priests, to sing mass, and celebrate divine service, for the souls of the King and Queen, and for the souls of the living and dead of their fraternity; from hence the several companies in cities and corporations had their beginning, and the chief hall of the city of London, and that of Norwich, &c. is called at this day Gild-Hall: license was generally granted from the Crown to found them. They consisted of a custos, alderman, or master, and as many persons men and women, in the township or neighbourhood as thought fit to be of the fraternity; and the warden or alderman, with the major part of the society were empowered to choose annually a warden and other officers, for the government of the same; they as a body corporate, had power to purchase lands, &c. for the maintenance for their chaplains, who were to pray at the altar belonging to them in the parish church: divers of the nobility, bishops, and other eminent persons thought it no dishonour to be admitted into them, which admission was sued for with great reverence; and an oath was taken to be good and true to the masters of the gilds, and to all the brethren. We have an account of a festival of the gild of the Holy Cross at Abingdon in Berkshire: this fraternity held their feast yearly on the 3d of May, the Invention of the Holy-Cross, and then they used to have twelve priests to sing a dirige, for which they had given them four-pence a piece; they had also 12 minstrels, who had 2s. 3d. besides their diet and horsemeat. At one of these feasts 23d of Henry the Sixth, they had six calves, valued at 2s. 2d. a piece, 16 lambs, 12d. a piece, 80 capons, 3d. a piece, 80 geese, 2d. ob. a piece, 800 eggs which cost 5d. the hundred, and many marrowbones, creame, and floure, besides what theyre servants and others brought in; and pageants, plays, and May-games to captivate the senses of the zealous beholders, and to allure the people to the greater liberality; (for they did not make their feasts without profit, for those that sat at dyner pay'd one rate, and those that stood pay'd another.) These plays were histories of the Old and New Testament, the persons therein mentioned being brought upon the stage, whom the poet according to his fancy, brings in, talking to one another; a specimen of one of these plays, called Corpus Christi, may be seen in Stephen's Additions to the Monasticon. These gilds also gave annual charity: stipends to poor persons, found beds, and entertainments for poor people that were strangers, and had people to keep and tend the said beds, and did other works of charity; the houses, where those entertainments were held, were generally near the church; and the house on the south side of the churchyard of Oxburgh, belonged to one of the gilds there, and is called in old writings the gild-hall, and the house on the east side of the said churchyard, was another gild-hall, and belonged to that of Corpus Christi, the cielings being painted and beautified with the portraiture of our Saviour, the five wounds, &c. as may be observed at this day.

South-west of the present church, about half a mile, and near to the rectory-house, stands the ancient parochial or mother church, being a single building of flint, &c. with a finishing over, and having four large buttresses of free-stone, one at each corner: it is a very plain rude edifice about 34 feet in length, and 20 in breadth, very much resembling that draught of the church of Glastonbury, said to be built by Joseph of Arimathea, as exhibited by Sir Henry Spelman, in his History of the Councils.

About the south-west part of this pile, near the foundation of the buttress, a gardener digging some few years past, found a small Saxon brass coin, on one side the legend is Aedelred Rex, the reverse is obscure, but seems to be Leofstan, probably the mint-master. This is that Edelred or Eldred, who was King of England in 946, about whose reign this church was most likely erected. The greatest part of the old pile is still entire, with the arches of the east and west windows, and some of the principals of the old roof; the western part of it is now a dove-house, and has been so time immemorial; it was most likely disused some ages since, upon the building of the other church, as may be supposed from the burials of several rectors there, some ages past. On the north side of the east window, is an arch in the wall, no doubt for the imago principalis, which was enjoined to be in all churches; to this old church there belonged a very large churchyard or cemetery, containing 3 or 4 acres of ground, now part of the glebe; incredible number of human bones and sculls have been dug up, in the ground round this edifice; now the smallness of the old church, bearing no proportion to its cemetery, shows that the parish in those early days was very large, and required a large cemetery to inter them in; but small churches were often found, and very mean ones too, at that time in large places: if there was but room for an altar, and for a number to hear mass, it was sufficient. Preaching in those days, and till near our own times, being often in the churchyards, as under the oak in St. Clement's churchyard, and in the Green-yard at Norwich, at Paul's-cross in London, &c.

This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 18l. 6s. 8d. and is discharged of tenths and first-fruits, and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 40l. it is capable of augmentation.

Synodals 18d. visitatorial procurations to the Bishop 4s. 7d. procurations to the archdeacon 7s. 7d. ob.

Some years since an act passed to impower Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Bart. lord here, to drain, improve, and enclose seven hundred acres of land called Oxburgh common, which was accordingly done. The village contains about 30 houses and 180 inhabitants.

Burials of gentlemen, &c. from the parish register.

  • 1540, Thomas Woodrofe, chaplain.
  • 1541, Mr. Edward Greene, Gent.
  • 1542, Mrs. Margaret Yelverton.
  • 1570, Edmund Grimston, Gent.
  • 1584, William Tassel, Esq.
  • 1580, Robert Constable, Esq.
  • 1587, Grace, wife to George Ryveley, rector of South-Pickenham.
  • 1597, Thomas Bretton, Gent. From the year 1607, to 1660, there is a chasm in the register.
  • 1684, John Shadwell, Esq. (father of the poet Shadwell.)
  • 1685, John Bedingfeld, Esq.
  • 1685, Mrs. Susan Clough, wife of Mr. John Clough, rector of Suffield.
  • 1715, Robert Lawrence, Gent. of Brockdish.
  • 1720, Mrs. Anne Lawrence, widow of Robert.
  • 1732, Mrs. Mary Parkin, late wife to the present rector, and widow of his predecessor.
  • 1736, William Pordage, Gent.


Harold son of Goodwin Earl of Kent, was lord of this town in the beginning of the reign of Edward the Confessor, from whom it came to the Confessor, who gave it to

Ralph Guader, or Waher, Earl of Norfolk, who was lord here, as we learn from Domesday, where we have this account of the town.

Suafham, now the lordship of Alan Earl of Richmond, was royal demesnes, and after belonged to the earldom of Norfolk; it was a mile long, and as much broad, and had one carucate in demesne, afterwards two, and at the survey four, a mill and the moiety of another, and one fishpond or fishery. It was accounted for as two manors, and valued in the Confessor's time at 8l. per annum at the survey at 16l. and there was 20s. per annum more belonging to it, and the whole paid 16d. to the Dane-gelt.

This Ralph Earl of Norfolk, entering into a conspiracy with other lords, against the Conqueror, lost all his possessions, and fled into France, and the Conqueror gave this lordship, &c. to his sonin-law,

Alan Rufus, alias Fergaunt, Earl of Richmond in Yorkshire, who married his daughter Constance. This Alan is also said to have all the lands given to him, that Edwin Earl of Mercia possessed in the Confessor's time, either in Yorkshire, Norfolk, or Suffolk, and are said to be 444 lordships; which Earl Edwin styled himself at times, Earl of the East Angles, and the lordships belonging to this Alan, as Earl of Richmond, in this county alone, are said to be 81.

Earl Alan died in 1093, and was buried near the south door of the abbey of St. Edmund in Suffolk, before the altar of St. Nicholas.

The lordship of this town being thus vested in the Earls of Richmond, it was looked upon as a member of, and went along with, that honour successively.

About the 17th of King John, this town had a mercate granted to it, for in that year, the King directed his precept to the heriff of Norfolk, to abolish the mercate then granted, if he found it to be to the damage of the mercate of Eudo de Arsic at Dunham; but as I conceive it was found otherwise, because it has continued to this time; and in the 37th of King Henry III. we find that Peter de Savoy Earl of Richmond, uncle to Queen Eleanor, wife to King Henry III. and lord of the town, had a confirmation of the former grant of a mercate weekly, and also of two fairs here yearly. In the 50th of the said King, Earl Peter would not permit the sheriff to enter into his manors here, &c. which implies that he had return of writs, within himself. In the third year of King Edward I. John de Dreux Duke of Britain and Richmond was lord, and held the manor in capite; and in the 8th year of that King, the said John being lord, an extent was made of the manor, on Sunday after the Feast of St. John Port Latin, before Thomas de Normanville, &c. on the oaths of William de Shirring, &c. from whence we learn, that there was then a capital messuage belonging to it valued at 10s. per annum, 213 acres of arable land in demesne, valued at 5d. per acre, a fold of the customary tenants at 40s. and 80 acres of pasture valued at 40s. per annum; chevage valued at 3s. two windmills, valued at 40s. the rent of assize, &c. 22l. 9s. 8d. the toll of the town for carriages, valued at 12s. per annum. The customs and duties of the mercate, xviil. per annum, pleas and perquisites of the courts, xxl. Insomuch, that with these and other dues and customs, this manor was valued in the whole at 92l. 10s. 2d. qr. per annum, and the church of Swaffham, which was in the gift or presentation of the Earl of Richmond, was then valued at 80l. per annum.

Then follows an account of the several knights-fees in Norfolk, belonging to the honour of Richmond, and the time when they performed ward at Richmond castle. In 1286, the jury say that John de Dreux Earl of Richmond, &c. and lord here, claimed free-warren in all his demesne lands here, view of frankpledge, gallows, pillory, tumbrell, assize of bread and beer, weyf, the sheriff's turn twice in a year, return of writs, and a weekly mercate on Saturday.

In 1308, John de Britannia Earl of Richmond was lord, and had a confirmation of two fairs here and the market, and a Fair at Fodringhay in Northamptonshire, of a market and fair at Leystoff in Suffolk, and two markets at Botolph's-Town, (now Boston,) in Lincolnshire, and at Kirton in the said county. In the beginning of the reign of King Richard II. it appears from the King's letters patent, that the men and tenants belonging to the honour of Richmond, (and consequently the inhabitants of this town,) were freed from all toll, pontage, murage, pavage, passage, lastage, stallage, kaiage and piccage, on account of their goods, through all England.

These were considerable privileges, and include a freedom from all dues, tributes, tolls, &c. due by sea or land, in passing and repassing from place to place. And in the 3d year of the said Richard, there was an exemplification passed under the great seal, of a pleading in the time of King Henry III. between Peter of Savoy Earl of Richmond, and the citizens of Lincoln, wherein Peter claimed that all his men and tenants of the honour of Richmond, should be quit of toll, throughout England, and it was allowed him, and ordered by the King, that letters patent should pass for that purpose.

In 1425, Ralph Nevile Earl of Westmorland died seized of this manor and advowson, and the honour of Richmond, (which he had given him by King Henry IV. on his accession to the Crown, and held it for life,) and of 20 knights fees and a quarter, and 8l. 10s. rent of assize, issuing out of certain tenements and lands in this town, Nerford, Hederset, Huningham, Wramplingham, Saxthorp, North and South Pickenham, Foxley, Cley, Sistern, Westfield, Lyn, Fincham, Mileham, Horningtoft, Kypton, Redenhale, Thurning, Hekling, Attlebrygge, Starston, Hyndryngham, Dalling, Brunham, Bathelee, Sharington, Rougham, Becham-well, Wissingset, Southfeild, Midleherling, Redelesworth, Swannington, Titeshale, Costesy, Baubergh, Rockland, and Berford in Norfolk, all held by knight's service, for term of life only, the reversion thereof being granted by King Henry IV. in the first year of his reign, to John Duke of Bedford, with the county of Richmond, the castle, honour, and seigniory.

In 1435, John Duke of Bedford, son to King Henry IV. died seized of the manor and advowson of the church of Swaffham, also of the liberty of keeping a court here called shire-court, from month to month, belonging to the honour of Richmond.

In 1456, Edmund of Hadham Earl of Richmond, the King's half brother, died seized of two parts of this lordship and advowson, held in capite, by him and the heirs males of his body, and also of a certain liberty of return of writs, and other mandates of the King, as parcel of the castle and honour of Richmond, with the reversion of the third part, after the death of Jaquetta Dutchess of Bedford, relict of John Duke of Bedford and Earl of Richmond.

In 1473, King Edward IV. granted this lordship to George Duke of Clarence, his brother, Henry Earl of Richmond, then being in banishment; but on the accession of King Henry VII. to the Crown, it became parcel of the Crown-lands, and was held by King Henry VIII. Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, who in the 26th year of her reign, recites, that she by her letters patent under the great seal dated 4th of May, in the 12th year of her reign, did demise to Phillip Strelly, Gent. then one of the captains of the village of Berwick, amongst other things, all and singular the lands and demesnes of the lordship or manor of Swaffham, and the warren of coneys called Spinney-Park, &c.: and to Sir Henry Bedingfeld, the lordship and manor of Swaffham, except courts baron and letes of the said manor; the Queen, therefore, on the surrender of that lease, demiseth to Robert Chabenor, and Anne his wife, and Payne their son, all the premises aforesaid, which are parcel of the honour of Richmond, and of Richmond-fee by the name of the manor of Swaffham, (except as before excepted,) to hold to them and their heirs successively, paying for the warren and land called Spinney-Park, 6l. 10s. per annum, and for the demesne lands and premises, 7l. 10s. and the best beast for an heriot.

In 1620, we have much knowledge, of the state of the town, from the verdict of the jury, given at the court of the manor then held, viz. that the freeholders hold of the manor by soccage, fealty, and freerent, and pay for free-rent 4d. per acre, and for every acre of copyhold 3d. per acre, for every copyhold messuage 9d.; that the copyholders may make leases of their copyhold estates for 21 years, without license of the lord, and on admittance 2d. per acre. To their knowledge, there never was any manor-house, but many acres of demesne lands, and Edward Heye, and Christopher Watson, were farmers thereof; there is another manor called Haspals and Whitsands, which was granted by King Edward VI. to certain persons and their heirs, under which grant, Robert Halman, Gent. &c. who have the said manor, keep court, &c. no mill now belongs to the manor, but two newly built, and they know not of any fishing or fouling: the lord hath weyfs, strays, and felons-goods, now no fair but a market, wherein six score and thirteen stalls, and 14 shops, and the toll and profits, taken by the bailiff of the manor; the Lord Bishop of Norwich hath the right of presentation to the vicarage, and Nicholas Bate, clerk, is incumbent: the vicarage-house is in much decay; the impropriation is worth 100l. per annum; John Stallon, Gent. is the farmer of it; the copyholders of inheritance used to top, lop, cut, stub, and fell down their wood, and their timber-trees, standing on their copyhold-lands, and to pull their houses down at pleasure; the lord hath many great commons, &c. and the tenants are not stinted in their common, the lord and his farmers have kept sheep on part of the demesnes, and common about 1400, till of late, that some part of the demesnes, about 80 acres, have been ploughed, and 1400 sheep kept, to the damage of the tenants: there are two town-houses, parcel of the manor of Aspalls and Whitsands, one for the relief of the poor, the other for the clerk of the parish to live in: that the King's Majesty was lately owner of the manor, but now the Prince.

In the beginning of the reign of King Charles I. Sir Edward Coke farmed this lordship of the King, and about 1630 it was possessed by Sir Edward Barkham, who in 1633 procured a grant for three fairs to be kept here. One on May day, another on the 10th of July, and the third, on the third of November.

In the family of the Barkhams it continued, till it came by the marriage of Ellen, daughter and sole heir of Sir Edward Barkham, Bart. by his second wife, Frances, daughter of Sir John Napier of Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire, to

Charles Yallop, Esq. of Bowthorp near Norwich, who mortgaged it to Mr. Nash of London; but his son,

Edward Yallop, alias Spelman, Esq. of Westacre-High-House hath recovered it, and is now lord here.

The custom of the manor is to the eldest son.

Aspal's Manor[edit]

In 1239, Olive de Aula, or Hall, held here and in Holme-Hale, a moiety of one knight's fee of Giles de Holme, he of Robert son of Roger, and he of the Earl of Richmond, and the Earl of the King in capite.

In 1338, John Lovel of Barton Bendish, and Olive his wife conveyed it by fine to John de Dodyngton and Mary his wife, the quitrents being 24s. per annum, and soon after Henry Atte-Cross died seized of it; and in the following year, Walter Del-Gate, and Margaret his wife, held it of Henry Atte-Cross, and William son of Agatha Dick of Castleacre.

In 1345, John de Dodyngton, John Revech, and their parceners, held here, in Holm-Hale, and Pykenham, half a fee of Stephen de Tetleshall, and he of Robert son of Roger, and he of the Earl of Richmond, which Olive de Aula formerly held.

In 1381, William Cote, vicar of Swaffham, Roger Atte-Lound, chaplain, John Bachelor, and John Atte-Cross, junior, granted it to Thomas Tiveteshall of Neketon and his heirs, by the name of the manor of Haspalys, which they held of the gift of Thomas Wombe of Swaffham.

In the 3d of Henry IV. William Robyn and his partners held here in Holm-Hale, &c. half a fee of the heirs of Robert Illey, who held of the honour of Richmond.

In the 14th of Henry VI. Thomas Styward of Swaffham-Market, son and heir of Thomas Styward of the same, deceased, granted to John Walpole, clerk, vicar of Swaffham, Thomas Beaupre of Well, John Heylet, chaplain, Osbert Mundford of Hokewold, Adam Mundford of Feltwell, and John Spelman of Stow-Bydon, and their heirs, his manor of Haspale in Swaffham Market, with liberty of a freefold, together with 50 acres of land in one piece at Shortlyng, called Estgate-brech, and liberty of driving the sheep to the moor of Cootys to water. And in 1436, John Walpole, Thomas Beaupre, &c. granted to Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knt. Thomas Shuldham, Jeffry Norris, Ralph Geyton, and William Prentys, their manor of Aspale, and appointed John Blake, and John Sowle, their attorneys, to deliver seizin. After this, it was held by Hugh Fenne, and by his daughter and heir Cecily, it came to Thomas Ludford of Westminster, scrivener; and in 1473, was on the death of Ludford, conveyed by William Alburgh citizen and mercer of London, (on whom it was settled in trust) to Henry Spelman, Simon Blake, &c.; but in the following year, Anthony Woodvill Earl of Rivers, and Lord Scales, &c. (the lord, as I take it, who held it in capite) granted to Richard Southwell, Henry Heydon, Esq. Edmund Clere, Henry Spelman, &c. his manor of Aspales, late Hugh Fenn's; and in 1475, Robert Southwell, &c. enfeoffed Symond Blake, William Grey, Roger Townsend, Thomas Brampton, &c. in the said manor, and the said Roger Townsend, Thomas Brampton, &c. resigned all their right in the said manor, to Symond Blake, Gent. and Robert Fuller, clerk, for the sole use of Blake.

This Simon Blake, by will dated 10th December, 1487, gives his manors called Haspalds and Whitesondes, to be settled on feoffees to find for ever, an honest and secular chaplain, not instituted into any vicarage, rectory, or free chapel, or other spiritual benefice, but to officiate, and daily say Matins, the Hours, Mass at 7 every morning, and Vespers, and all divine offices, and on all festivals, and when ever service is sung by note, to assist in the church, with other chaplains and clerks, in singing in the choir there, and to pray especially for the health of his soul, his wife Joan's, his parents, Thomas Blake, Esq. and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Heigham, Esq. Margaret, Richard, and John Aleyn, John Bocking, and Joan, late wife of Thomas Bocking, Esq. and all his benefactors, and faithful deceased, to be called Blake's chantry priest, and his chantry was the south transept chapel of the church of Swaffham, where he lies buried under a marble stone near the altar of Our Lady of Pity; and the said altar to be called the altar of the chantry of Simon Blake, the priest to have 8 marks per annum, to be paid on the four quarter days, by equal payments; a new chantry priest is to be chosen on the death of the old one, by the vicar of Swaffham for the time being, the churchwardens, and 5 at least of his 16 feoffees; and on their neglect to choose in the space of 8 weeks from the voidance, then the nomination and election to be in the master of St. Martin's-College at Thompson in Norfolk; and when his 16 feoffees are reduced by death to six, they are to renew the feoffment to themselves and 10 more; the vicar and churchwardens are always to receive the profits and manage the estates, pay the priest, &c. He gave also 5l. to be placed in a chest in the church, out of which, 5s. may be borrowed by any poor person of this town on pledges, but no one to have more than 5s. at a time: he gives an alms-house for four poor people, and to Trinity gild here 10 ewes and 5 sheep; a cup of silver gilt, to the church of Swaffham, formerly Mr. John Botewright's, rector of that church; to Margaret Heigham of Marham (the abbess) 4s. per annum out of a close in Holm-Hale, and after the death of the said Margaret to be settled on the said nuns for their clothing; to every priest at Swaffham 12d.; to every clerk 6d.; to the boys of the choir 3d.; to every priest in the hundreds of South-Greenhoe and Clackclose 4d.; for the obit of Edmund Blake late of Hale 40d. per annum. He wills his own obit to be kept yearly, and gives to every priest officiating at it 4d. to every lay clerk 2d. and to each of the 12 boys choristers there 1d.; 20d. to the poor; to the clerk 4d. and to the sexton for ringing 4d. and appoints a lamp to burn by his grave on all holidays and Lordsdays from matins, to compline, and the bellman of the town of Swaffham to take care of it, and to have 4d. per annum; Sir Roger Townshend, Knt. and the Lady Ann Wyngfield were supervisors of his will.

This manor continued thus settled till the dissolution of chantrys, in the reign of King Edward VI.; and in the 3d year of that King, he granted it, with a fold course and about 90 acres of land, to John Wright and William Walter, &c. for the use of the town, to be held in capite by the 40th part of a knight's fee. In the 5th of the said King, license was granted to William Walter, &c. to alienate it to William Orrell, &c. feoffees, &c.

In 1627, May 16, an inquisition was taken before Sir William Yelverton Bart. Sir Henry Beding feld, Knt. Sir John Hare, Knt. and Thomas Athow, sergeant at law, commissioners for charitable uses, when the jury found, that the late dissolved chantry of Swaffham, founded by Simon Blake, and the lordship and manor of Haspal and Whitsand, with the fold course and 60 acres of land in Swaffham, with the Church-croft, alias the Shooting-croft, was by King Edward VI. by patent dated 26th July, in the 3d of his reign, for 126l. granted to John Wright and William Walter, and their heirs and assignees, to pay yearly to nine poor people in Swaffham 56s. and that the purchase was made with the common-stock of the town, for the repairing of the church, maintenance of the poor, repairing the highways, common-wells, &c. that Wright died, and Walter survived, and after died, whose son, William Walter, assigned the trust by deed, dated 27th May, 5th of Edward VI. to William Orrell, &c. who enfeoft, by deed dated 27th of September, in the 35th of Elizabeth, Robert Halman, &c. as feoffees, to have the government of the lands, manors, &c. and it continues at this present time in the hands of feoffees, in the said town. John Reader held this chantry at the dissolution of it, and had a pension from King Edward VI. of 5l. per annum which he held in 1553. He being the last chantry priest.

Whitsand's Manor[edit]

Hugh de Whytsand, by deed sans date, granted to Walter his son, and Agnes his wife and their heirs, the moiety of it, and of a fald in the fields of Swaffham, with the homages and services of the several tenants, and all services suits of court, &c. This Hugh lived in the reign of King Edward I. for in the 3d of that King, one of that name occurs in the hundred roll of South Greenhoe, as an inhabitant of Swaffham. In 1320, Isabel de Quitsand, held it, and in 1239, Gilbert de Quitsand of Swaffham confirmed it to Gilbert his son, and Catharine daughter of Peter Maupas of Swaffham, and their heirs, with a fold-course, and the homages and services of all his free-tenants in the said town; and afterwards this manor was annexed to that of Aspals, and had the same lords as is there observed.

The fine of these manors is only an additional year's quitrent to every new tenant, in the nature of a relief

Saltrey, Sawtrey Manor, alias Priors-Thorns[edit]

In the reign of Henry II. the Abbot of Sawtrey in Huntingdonshire held 2 carucates, and a manor in this town and Narford, of the gift of Warine de Bassingbourn and Alan of Swaffham: and in the 32d of that King, a fine was levied between Adam Abbot of Sawtrey, and a Warin de Bassingbourn, whereby he acquitted the Abbot of the suit of the court, due to the manor of Swaffham, and demanded by Peter of Savoy Earl of Richmond; and in this abbey the manor continued till the general Dissolution of King Henry VIII. who gave it, in the 29th year of his reign, to

Sir Richard Williams, alias Cromwell; and in the 30th of the said King, license was granted to alienate it, with all the appurtenances in Swaffham, Narford and Stow, to

Sir John Crofts of West Stow in Suffolk, and his heirs. In the 1st and 2d year of Philip and Mary, a fine was levied between Ralph Chamberlain, querent, John Crofts and Margaret his wife, defendants, of the manor of Prior's or Fryers Thorns, with the appurtenances, and liberty of a fold in Swaffham.

In the 15th of Elizabeth, license was granted to Ralph Chamberlain, to alienate it to Thomas and John Ives, and their heirs.

And soon after it was conveyed to Richard Beckham, Esq. by the name of the manor late of John Crofts, by Sir Ralf Chamberlain and his trustees, Sir John Crofts, and Margaret his wife, and Thomas Crofts, Esq. their son, having released it to Sir Ralf.

From the Beckhams it came to the Fountains,

And Sir Andrew Fountain of Narford, Knt. is the present lord and owner of the whole manor, all the lands belonging to it being purchased in.

The site of it is about a mile and half, west of Swaffham, on a very high hill, surveying the country at a great distance; the situation is clean and pleasant, and formerly the monks of Sawtrey had two or three of their fraternity residing here, it being a sort of hotel or house of reception for pilgrims that travelled this way to Walsingham, or from thence to St. Thomas Becket at Canterbury, the way leading cross the county from hence, still retaining the name of Becket's way.

This town is very pleasantly and healthfully seated on a rising ground, in a fine open champaign country; it has a good market every week on Saturday, and three fairs in the year, 1st of May, the 10th of July, and the 3d of November; the wells in the town are generally about 50 yards deep. On the north-west side is a spacious heath, famous a few years past for horse-races. In ancient days the Earls of Richmond had a prison in this town, and at this time here is a house of correction, or bridewell, which was erected in the 41st year of Queen Elizabeth, for the hundreds of South-Greenhoe, Weyland, Grimshoe, Shropham, Gilt-Cross, Freebridge in the part of Marshland, and citra Lynn, and Clackclose. The rate for the hundreds, for the charge of erecting it, was fixed by the justices, Sir Basingbourn Gawdy, Humphry Guybon, Clement Spelman, Edmund Mundeford, and Gregory Pratt, Esq. in this manner; South-Greenhoe 10l. Weyland 6l. Grimshoe 6l. Shropham 7l. 10s. Gilt-Cross 6l. 10s. Freebridge in Marshland 10l. 13s. 4d. Freebridge citra Lynn 10l. Clackclose 11l.

The inhabitants of the town still enjoy privileges beyond their neighbours, the town being ancient demesnes King Charles I. in the 13th year of his reign, 29th of March, exemplified the privileges of ancient demesne manors, that they were free from payment of toll, and from contribution to the expenses of knights of parliament, not to be put in assizes upon juries, or any recognizances, but only in the court of the manor, the manors of Swaffham-Market, Narford, South and North-Pickenham, Pagrave, Foulden, and Cressingham-Magna, in this hundred, are certified to be ancient demesne, by the Chamberlains of the Exchequer, and command is given to let them enjoy those privileges unless they held lands and tenements of another tenure, for which they may be put on juries at the assizes.

In this parish of Swaffham, north-west of the town, above half a mile, by the Lynn road, was an hamlet in ancient days called Stow, and Guthlakes-Stow, from a chapel that was there dedicated to St. Guthlac. In the Register of the Abbey of Castleacre, now in the library of the Right Hon. the Earl of Oxford, this place is often mentioned. Alan son of Godfrey of Swaffham, by deed suns date, gave to the monks of Castleacre, 2 acres of land, at Stow-Slod, lying between that land that Alan de Bassingbourn gave to the monks of Sawtree. The said Alan, by deed sans date, gave to the said monks of Ailrick de Stow and Margaret his wife, their family and services, with liberty of a fold-course, and all the tenement which they held of him in Swaffham, and Guthlakes-Stow, and 18 acres thereof lying near St. Guthlack's chapel, and 6 acres of land at Marham Stokes, &c. This Alan lived in the reign of King Henry II. as appears from a deed of his sans date, wherein he gives to the said monks the yearly rent of 4d. which Roger son of Baldwin held of him at Accingate, for the health of his own soul, and that of Margaret Countess of Richmond, which Margaret was the wife of Conan Duke of Britain, &c. who lived in the reign of King Henry II. and daughter of Henry Earl of Huntington. The said Alan also gave them two parts of the tithes of his own house.

Gilbert de Gaunt, by deed confirmed to the said monks, 40 acres of land at Gudlacistovia, which Earl Alan his uncle had granted to them; this Gilbert de Gaunt was Earl of Lincoln, in the time of Henry II. Alexander de Bassingbourne, by deed sans date, released to them all the land that was William de Meldeburne, in the village of GuthlakesStow, &c. These and many other gifts were given here and in Swaffham to the monastery of Castleacre, and it is probable that, on account of some of these, the prior and convent were obliged in those times to find a priest to officiate on certain days in the chapel of St. Guthlack, for in the 39th year of King Edward III. the prior of Castleacre was summoned to a court held here by Sir Godfrey de Folejambe, Knt. steward to John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster and Earl of Richmond, on Friday after the feast of St. Martin the Bishop, to show cause why he ought not to find a chantry priest to officiate here in the said chapel of Stow, for two days in every week, as he had been presented for not doing it; but he showed that he was under no obligation so to do.

This place is now by corruption called Good-Luck's Closes; this chapel was standing in 1464, as appears from the will of Richard Plumhe, chaplain, who by will then gives 3s. to the repair of the ceiling over the high-altar of this chapel.

The tenths of this town were 12l. clear.

The temporalities of the Prior a Pentney here in 1428, at 6d.

Those of the Prior of Castleacre, at 7s. 7d. ob. q.

Those of the Abbot of Sawtree 4l. 2s. 8d.

The spiritualities of the Prior of Rumburgh in Suffolk, at 20s. This priory was founded by Alan Earl of Richmond, and was a cell to the abbey at York, and had this portion out of the rectory here. It was dissolved by letters patent, dated 30th of December, in the 20th of Henry VIII. (before the general Dissolution,) and granted to Cardinal Woolsey, towards endowing his colleges at Oxford and Ipswich, and the Abbot of St. Mary at York released to Thomas Capon, Dean of the Cardinal's college at Ipswich, all his right in the monastery of Rumburgh, and in the possessions thereof lying in many towns in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Thomas Duke of Norfolk, had a pension and portion of tithes here, (which belonged to the Prior of Castleacre,) in the 4th and 5th of Philip and Mary.

The lete of this town is in the lord of the manor.

The Church of Swaffham is built in the form of a cathedral, having a nave, north and south isles, a chancel, and two transept chapels, making it in the shape of a cross. It is a lofty magnificent Gothick pile, of a very venerable aspect, being the largest and most beautiful parish church in the neighbourhood; the whole is covered with lead, and built for the most part with flint, freestone, brick, &c.; the upper part of the nave is coped and embattled with free-stone. At the west end of which is a stately large and lofty foursquare tower built entirely of free-stone and embattled; about the water-table, and under the battlements are these shields,

The emblems of St. Peter and St. Paul, to whom the church is dedicated. At each corner of the battlements, stands a pinnacle of carved stone, and on the summit of the tower a curious turret of wood covered with lead, in which hangs the Saint's bell; round this, raised in the form of a lantern, stand several tall shafts covered with lead, and bearing on their heads a weathercock; in this tower, which by its height is seen several miles round, hang eight large musical bells; and there is a clock with a dial-plate on the west side: this tower was begun in 1507 and finished in 1510, Sir Robert Lovell, Knt. of this town, and John Oxburgh and John Newell, Church-Reeves, laid the first stone, on which was Deo Sacrum.

At the entrance on the west side of the tower is a neat large folding door of oak, lately erected; over this, on the tower, are several niches for images, two of a very great length, one on each side of the great west window; from the west door to the entrance into the chancel is about 41 yards, which is equal to the length of the nave of the cathedral of St. David's, and the breadth of the nave, together with the two side isles within the walls, is about 17 yards.

The vault of this church, and the side isles, are supported by fine slender pillars, consisting each of four small pilasters joined together, and forming 14 lofty curious turned arches, 7 on a side, over these arches are 28 neat and light windows, 14 on a side, two over each arch: the roof is wonderfully beautiful of oak, neatly wrought and carved, supported by many angels with their wings expanded, bearing shields on their breasts, and on them are several insignia, instruments, &c. relating to our Saviour and his crucifixion, &c. as crosses, nails, the seamless coat, ladder, cup, and spear. These, &c. are on the north side, crown of thorns, spear, pincers, hammer, three dice, two whips, a lantern, an escallop, two spears in saltier, a crown, a mitre, &c. on the south side.

In the windows over the arches on the north side of this nave are the effigies in pannels of the glass of benefactors, men and their wives on their knees, and hands erect, and joined in a supplicant posture, painted in close round gowns of blue and purple, turned up and robed with fur, coloured or, with beads, &c. by their sides. One of these represents Thomas Styward and Cecily his wife, with an Orate pro animabus, &c. Walter Taylur and Isabel his wife, with an Orate, &c. Nicholas Wryght and his wife,with an Orate, &c.

In a window over the upper arch on the south side, in a pannel is a broken shield, quarterly, first and fourth lost, in 2d and 3d Fitzwalter, impaling party per fess gules and or, a pale counterchanged, two lions rampant in chief, and one in base of the 2d. In a window over the 2d arch is Beding feld and Tudenham quarterly, impaling Scot.

At the west end of the nave, stands a stone font with an high wainscot cover; and as you ascend, on the pavement lies a large gray marble stone, but the brasses are reaved; a little higher is a small gravestone, and on a brass plate this:

Here in my Grave the chiefest Rest I have, No greater Rest, can Christian Creature crave.

Here lyeth the Body of Thomas Cannon the son of Abry Cannon, and buried the fyrst of June, Ano Dni. 1634.

Adjoining is a marble gravestone in memory of Mrs. Rose Case, wife of Mr. John Case, who died 22d of April 1712, aged 63 years.

A little higher lies a stone in memory of Dorothy wife of Tobias Sheldrake, October 5, 1689.

On the pavement, higher yet, lies a black marble stone in memory of Mr. Henry Devall, who died 30th of January 1728, aged 45 years. Per fess gul. and or, four flowers-de-lis counterchanged. Devall.

At the upper end of the nave (before the old rood-loft) lie several old marble gravestones. On one is the portraiture of a man in complete armour, that of his wife, with the shields, &c. of brass, that were thereon, are stolen and gone. Adjoining to this lies another stone, with the portraiture of an armed man in brass, with a dog couchant at his feet, but that of his wife, &c. is reaved and lost. On the pavement at the west end of the south isle lies a marble stone in memory of Thomas Bodham, Gent. who died 21st of June 1725, aged 38.

Bodham arg. on a cross gul. five mullets or.

Near to this hang two dozen of leather-buckets, with keys in saltier, and this date, 1723.

About the middle of this isle is a little chapel 13 feet in length, and about 8 in breadth, with a large window to the south. This is the chapel of Corpus Christi, founded by John Pain and Catharine his wife, who are there interred.

At the upper end of this isle lies a large gray marble stone, with the portraiture of a person in complete armour, on his surcoat are the arms of Touchet and Audley, quarterly, viz. in 1st and 4th ermine a chevron gul. in 2d and 3d gul. a frett or, by which we are assured that it is in memory of Sir John Audley of this town, who lived and died in the reign of King Henry VIII. and the same shield is painted on the glass in the window of the parlour in the vicar's house; the nobility and gentry in ancient days, wore over their armour, rich surcoats of silk and satin embroidery, as the heralds do at this day, whereon was curiously wrought the arms of their house and family in their proper colours, &c. and such a coat the renowned Lord Audley wore at the battle of Poitiers in France; this stone had also the portraiture of his lady, and several shields in brass, &c. all which are reaved except part of one at the foot of the stone, and on the left side, which seems, being almost obscure, to be only the impalement of his lady, the other part being covered by a pew, viz.

Quarterly in 1st quarter quarterly a chevron, a fess indented, &c. between three lions heads erased, and as many plates in 1st and 4th, in 2d and 3d quarter lozengy, the 4th as the 1st.

This Sir John was of a noble family, being descended from Sir John Touchet of Marketon, who by Jane, sister and heir of Nicholas Lord Audley, had

James Touchet Lord Audley, who had two wives; by his first wife, Margaret, daughter of Thomas Lord Roos of Hamlake, he had Sir John Touchet Lord Audley, and by Eleanor his second wife, two daughters; Anne, married to Richard Delabere, and Margaret to Grey Lord Powis, and three sons: Thomas the youngest, Edmund the second was Bishop of Rochester, Hereford and Salisbury;

Sir Humphry Audley, Knt. the eldest son, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Philip Courtney, Knt. relict of Sir Thomas Lutterell, and had two daughters, the youngest married Stewkley of Devonshire, and the eldest John Hadley of Somertsetshire; but their son,

Sir John Awdley, lived at Swaffham in 1526, and had two wives; Elizabeth, his second wife, and Muriel, daughter of Sir Thomas Brewse of Wenham in Suffolk, by whom he had

Richard Awdley of Swaffham, Esq. who married Catharine, daughter of Richard, younger son of the Lord Scroop of Bolton, and had

Edmund Awdeley of Great Pagrave, Esq. who had two wives; his second wife was Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Tirrel of Warley in Essex; his 1st wife was Mary, daughter of Sir Philip Paris of Linton in Cambridgeshire, by whom he had three sons.

Philip, his eldest son, married Margaret, daughter and coheir of John Calibut of Castleacre in Norfolk, Esq. and had Anne, a sole daughter and heiress, who married Christopher Paston of Oxnead in Norfolk,

His second son was James Awdeley; and his third,

Thomas Awdeley of Attlebrigge, who married Catharine, daughter of Reginald Knatchbull, whose daughter and coheir, Catherine, married to Richard Butler of Cullam in Ireland.

In the said isle lie several old gravestones deprived of their brasses, also a porch is annexed to this isle, with a lofty roof of oak, supported by angels with shields on their breasts, charged with keys and swords in saltier, and covered with lead.

At the east end of the said isle is Blake's chantry or transept chapel of the Virgin Mary, or Lady's Chapel, where the Archdeacon's court is held. Against the south wall, there is a neat mural stone monument, with two Dorick pillars supporting an arch, under which is the effigies of a gentlewoman in marble, kneeling on a cushion; on her gown is carved the quartered coat of steward; in her right hand she holds a book, and rests her left hand on a death's head; before her face in the arch is

Resuscitabor Et Vivam.

And behind her,

Hic inhumatur Caterina una Filiarum et Hæredum Thomæ

Paine, quondam de Castleacre Arm' et nuper Uxor Gulielmi Steward de Ely Armig' quæ obiit 15 April 1590.

On the summit of the monument stand these shields, or, and a fess checque azure and arg. an eschutcheon of the 3d, with a lion rampant gules, bruised with a ragged staff in bend of the 1st, Steward,

And impaling gul. three crescents arg. and a chief ermine. Fulneby.

The second shield has, Steward quartering in the 2d quarter or, the fess checque as before, Steward. In the 3d vert, three boars heads couped arg. Burley. In the 4th, arg. a lion rampant sable, on his shoulder a mullet of the first Walkfare. In the 5th, arg a chevron gules between three hurts, Baskerville. The 6th quarter as the 1st, impaling azure a fess between three leopards heads or, Paine. The third shield is Steward as before, impaling Paine, and at the foot of the monument are three shields; first Steward with his quarterings as above, the second Steward with his quarterings impaling Paine, and the third is Paine alone, and these verses:

In obitum Generosissimæ Fæminæ Katharinæ Stuardæ.

Hic Katharina tuum Corpus Stewarde repostum est, Sed domus Æterni Te capit alta Patris.

Namq; tuæ raræ dotes documenta dederunt, Hanc semper fueris quam meditata domum.

Tam devota Deo semper, tam fida Marito, Tam Bona, tam Natis provida Mater eras.

Tam Famulis dominata Piè, nulliq; molesta Mortali, cunctis Æqua, benigna bonis.

Sic demum Christo cujus mandata colebas, Te Moriens animo non dubitante dabas.

On a stone on the pavement,

Here lyeth the Body of Mary Skippon, Daughter of the Reverend Luke Skippon of Mileham, D. D. Master Elect of Peter-House Cambridge, Convocation Clerk for the Diocess of Norwich, eminent for his Piety, Learning and Loyalty, she departed this Life the 28th of May, 1713, Aged 71 Years.

In the south wall is an arch for the holy water, and in the upper part of the east window this shield, gules a cross botony arg.

The north isle of this church is generally reported and believed to be built by John Chapman, a tinker of this town; the history of it I shall here transcribe from Sir Roger Twysden's Remembrances, MS. p. 299, published by our great English antiquary Mr. Hearne of Oxford, and then shall give my opinion on it.

The story of the pedlar of Swaffham Market, is in substance this:

That dreaming one night if he went to London, he should certainly meet with a man upon London Bridge, which would tell him good news; he was so perplext in his mind, that till he set upon his journey,
/?/Tho. Caij Vindic. Antiq. Acad. Oxon. vol. i. p. 84. Appendix.
he could have no rest: to London therefore he hasts, and walk'd upon the Bridge for some hours, where being espyed by a Shopkeeper, and asked what he wanted, he answered, you may well ask me that question, for truly (quoth he) I am come hither upon a very vain errand, and so told the story of his dream which occasioned the journey. Whereupon the Shopkeeper reply'd, alas good friend! should I have heeded dreams, I might have proved myself, as very a fool as thou hast; for 'tis not long since that I dreamt, that at a place called Swaffham-Market in Norfolk, dwells one John Chapman a Pedlar, who hath a tree in his backside under which is buried a Pot of Money. Now therefore, if I should have made a journey thither to dig for such hidden treasure, judge you whether I should not have been counted a fool. To whom the pedlar cunningly said "Yes verily;" I will therefore return home and follow my business, not heeding such dreams hence forward. But when he came home, (being satisfied that his dream was fulfilled,) he took occasion to dig in that place, and accordingly found a large pot full of money, which he prudently conceal'd, putting the pot amongst the rest of his brass. After a time it happen'd that one, who came to his house and beholding the pot, observed an inscription upon it, which being in Latin, he interpreted it, that under that there was an other twice as good. Of this inscription the Pedlar was before ignorant, or at least minded it not, but when he heard the meaning of it he said, 'tis very true, in the shop where I bought this pot, stood another under it, which was twice as big; but considering that it might tend to his further profit to dig deeper in the same place where he found that, he fell again to work, and discover'd such a pot, as was intimated by the inscription, full of old coine: notwithstanding all which, he so conceal'd his wealth, that the neighbours took no notice of it. But not long after the inhabitance of Swaffham resolving to reedify their church, and having consulted the workmen about the charge, they made a levy, wherein they taxed the Pedlar, according to no other rate than what they had formerly done. But he knowing his own ability, came to the church and desired the workmen to shew him thir model, and to tell him what they esteemed the charge of the North-isle would amount to; which when they told him, he presently undertook to pay them for building it, and not only that, but of a very tall and beautifull tower steeple. This is the tradition of the inhabitants, as it was told me there. And in testimony thereof, there was then his picture, with his wife and three children, in every window of the isle, with an inscription running through the bottom of all those windows, viz. Grate pro bono Statu Johannis Chapman, Uroris eius, et Liberorum suorum, qui quiuem for hannes hane Alam rum Tenestris, tecto et feri fecit.

It was in Henry the Seventh's time, but the year I now remember not, my notes being left with Mr. William Sedgwike, who trickt the pictures, he being then with me,

In that isle is his seat, of an antique form, and on each side the entrance, the statue of the Pedlar of about a foot in length, with his pack on his back, very artificially cut.

This was sent me from Mr. William Dugdale of Blyth Hall in Warwickshire, in a letter dated the 29th of January 1652-3, which I have since learnt from others to have been most true.

Roger Twysden.

And in effect the same has been found, in the Histoires Admirables de nostre Temps, par Simon Goulart, imprimé à Geneve 1614, Tom. 3, p. 366. Soubs ce titre, Songe marveilleus, &c. Et Johannis Fungeri Etimologicon Latino-Grœcum, pag. 1110 et 1111.

It is somewhat surprising to find such considerable persons as Sir William Dugdale, Sir Roger Twysden, &c. to patronize or credit such a monkish legend and tradition savouring so much of the cloister, and that the townsmen and neighbourhood should also believe it, I shall therefore endeavour to clear up this trite story.

The seat of the pedlar observed by Dugdale in his time, to be in the north isle, was taken down with others some years past, when the greatest part of the church, with the east end of the said isle, was new seated and pewed in a modern way; but in the north transept chapel there is now a patched piece of woodwork, collected out of the fragments of ancient stalls and seats, and here united. On the lower part of this work is this inscription, Grate pro animabus, and near the top, Johannis Langman Katerine this part no doubt belonged to some seat made at the charge of John Langman, who appears from an ancient MS. of this church, called the Black-Book, to have been a considerable benefactor to it. In the middle of this work, and between the inscriptions, is twice represented the effigies of a man as busied in his shop, with a mark of an I and C. conjoined near it; probably for John Chapman and Catharine his wife, and the figure of a woman also carved in two places, and looking over the door of a shop. This work is supported on each side by the heads of the founder's seat, on both which, near the summit, is a pedlar carved, with a pack upon his shoulders, and below him, near the bottom, a figure which is commonly said to be a dog, but from his being muzzled, and a chain running cross his back, is much more likely to prove a bear, and so it seems to be in the window of the north isle. The uppermost window but one of this isle is now the only one where the effigies are remaining, here they are represented in two places in a suppliant posture, with close round purple gowns turned up, and robed with fur, tinctured or. He has a rich pilgrim's purse or pouch hanging from a curious belt or girdle, and a little dagger, and from her right side hangs a string or lace, at the end of which is something very like to the shield and arms of the ancient family of the Knevets in Norfolk, but I believe nothing more than a buckle; behind her kneels her son in a close blue gown furred or; there were two more children behind him, but they are broken and lost. At the bottom of the window this fragment of an inscription now remains,
Fenetice, ad Dei et Santorum eius gloriam.

Over the head of the man in one pannel as a label,
Petite Derce quoque Paul Beate.

In another,

Christi Baptista Pisca

That the north isle of this church was founded by John Chapman, who was churchwarden in 1462, is beyond dispute; but that the founder was a pedlar, is very improbable, for the richness of his habit, &c. shows that he was a person of distinction: now had this Chapman been really a pedlar, it would have been more commendable, to have had a portraiture suitable to his calling, (as is the picture of the pedlar, who was a benefactor to the church of St. Mary Lambeth in Surry,) and to have been represented on the glass, as the pedlar is on his seat. If the carved work was designed to perpetuate the memory of his low degree, the affectation of a dress on the glass so much superiour to his station, being of a piece with other benefactors in the windows, men of estate and worth, must be ridiculous to his own times, and frustrate the very end and intent of the carving, by showing posterity that he was a man of figure and fortune.

The truth of the case seems to be no more than this; the figures of a pedlar, and a man and woman busied in their shop, were according to the low taste of that age in a modest manner to set forth the name of the founder, Chapman, a trader or dealer, the word chapman for a trader is of great antiquity, and pedlars are often called by that name even to this day, by some ancient people; such rebusses are frequently met with on old works, but I shall only mention one, and that because it is in the very church.

Near to the communion table, on the north side, is the altar monument of John Botwright, D.D. rector of the church when it was rebuilt; on the body of the tomb are four shields, two to represent his priesthood, bearing the sacramental cups, and the triangular emblem of the Trinity, and two to represent his name, bearing boats and wimbles, instruments essential to any wright or worker in wood, an anigma or rebus full as obscure, as chapman, under the figure of a pedlar.

At the upper end of this isle, which is paved with marble, in the pavement lies a large marble gravestone, with the portraiture of a man and his wife in brass, with their hands erect, this is commonly affirmed to be in memory of the founder of the isle and his wife.

At the west end stands a very large fire-engine, with two keys in saltier painted on it, and the year 1706.

In this isle is a large and lofty gallery erected for the singers; the ascent is by a stone staircase in the wall adjoining, the way no doubt to the ancient rood-loft; at the end of this isle is a wooden-screen, on the pannels of it, several saints, men, and women have been painted, and on the cornice has been an inscription now defaced. This leads into the north transept chapel, or Trinity chapel, where the remains of Chapman's seat, commonly called the Pedlar's seat, as has been observed, is now fixed; on the pavement lie some old gravestones, with their brasses reaved. The modern ones are, one in memory of Richard Hammond, Gent. who died 16 May, 1724, aged 25 years.

Adjoining is another, with Hammond's arms, and thus inscribed,

Here lyeth Interr'd the Body of Nicholas Hammond, Gent. third Son of Anthony Hammond of Narford in this County, Gent. he had Issue two Sons, Richard, who died May 16, 1724, and Nicholas, who in Memory of his Kind and indulgent Father, laid down this Stone, in token of his lasting and dutiful Affection, he died 11 October 1725, Aged 70 Years.

Also one in memory of Frances More, fifth daughter of Luke Constable, late of this parish, Esq. and widow of John More, late of GreatYarmouth, merchant, she died February 26, 1708-9, aged 78 years.

At the east end of the nave stands the chancel, the arch here, and at the west end, are very grand and spacious, rising almost to the summit of the roof of the church; it is in length about 15 yards, and 7 in breadth, and the roof is of oak, supported by angels. On the pavement as you ascend, lies a gray marble in memory of some priest, as appears from the incision of the stone where the brass effigies was.

On the same pavement lies a stone in memory of Robert Crow, Gent. who died 21 May 1725, aged 38 years. Adjoining, another in memory of Anna wife of Robert Crow, who died 29th of May 1727, aged 37 years.

Another thus inscribed,

In Memoriam Thomæ Theodorick, Gent. qui obijt xxi Aug' Ano Dni' 1724, Ætatis suæ LXXXIIII.

Against the north wall, near the communion table, is an arch in the wall, and under it, on an altar monument of stone, lies the effigies of John Botewright, D.D. master of Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, chaplain to King Henry VI. rector of this parish, in his doctor's robes, on his back, his hands conjoined and erect; at his head kneel two angels, St. Michael and Oriel, one on each side, with their heads broke off; the dœmon that lies couchant or crushed at his feet has had better fortune, his head being still entire; this effigies, &c. which is of stone, has been decently painted in proper colours, but is now daubed over with whitening. On the body of this monument are four shields, one containing three cups with the sacramental wafer on the lips of each of them, a second with the triangular emblem of the Trinity, these are to represent his office and calling of the priesthood; the third shield bears three boats or barges, and the fourth has three wimbles or augurs; the two last are by way of rebus, and in allusion to his name, Boatright or Botewright.

This way of setting forth the office of the deceased, by some instru ment, &c. is very antique; it was practised by the Greeks in the age of Homer, who informs us that when his hero Ulysses visited the infernal shades, he was first addressed by Elpenor, who entreated him to take care of his body, to erect a monument for him, and to put that oar on it, which he was used to row with when alive:

Odys. l. xi.

This was also practised by the Romans, and thus Æneas, in honour of Misenus,

Ingenti mole sepulchrum

Imponit, suaque arma viro, remumque, tubamque. Æn. vi. l. 233.

And in the age of Botwright, &c. nothing was more usual than to transmit to posterity the names of founders, benefactors, and persons interred, by way of rebus and hieroglyphical marks; thus in the chapel of St. Erasmus at Westminster, built by Abbot Islip, are many such devices alluding to his name; as one slipping boughs from a tree, an eye with a slip of a tree, a youth slipping from the bough of a tree, with a label from his mouth J Slip. And in the church of Peterborough, on the present organ-loft, which was the old rood-loft, is a tun, on that a kirk or chirch, and on that the bird called a robin, to set forth the founder, Robert Kirkton, once abbot; and so late as Queen Elizabeth's time we find the same in use, as we may perceive from the staple and tun cut on the cross of this town of Swaffham, in memory of Stapleton, (vicar of this parish) the founder of it.

This rector's will bears date on the Passover, 1474; herein he mentions his guardian angel, Oriel, whom he calls his custos, and desires to be buried before the image of St. Peter, (the saint that is of the church,) gives all his vestments to the church of Swaffham, on condition of being commemorated as a benefactor, to the abbies of Castleacre, Westacre, Pentney, Marham, Blackburgh, Crabhouse, Shouldham, Denny and Carhow, 6s. 8d. each; to every house of friars and nuns, at Lynn and Cambridge, 6s. 8d. bequeaths legacies to the poor of Swaffham, and a croft to the town; appoints Simon Blake, Robert Fuller, vicar, and T. Wygenhale, chaplain, his executors.

In this rector's time, the present church was began, about the end of the reign of King Edward IV. when the chancel was finished, by this rector here buried, but the church was not completed till the reign of King Henry VII. and the tower at the west end was not finished till the year 1510.

The communion table is railed in, and has an ascent of two steps, and against the east wall are the Ten Commandments wrote, and over them a glory. On the pavement here, lies a stone in memory of John Case, who died 12 December 1700, æt. suæ 64.

On the north side of this chancel is the vestry, in which is a library; the greatest part of the books were the gift of the Spelmans of Narburgh. Here is preserved a MS. paper book, commonly called the Black Book of Swaffham, containing a terrier of the lands belonging to the church, an inventory of the vestments, plate, &c. from which I have taken the following account:

There were 6 acres and 3 roods of land to find a light burning before the image of the Virgin Mary in her chapel on the south side of the church, and 6 acres and 2 roods to find lights on Christmas-day, Epiphany and Easter, before the great-crucifix on the rood-loft, and the gilds of the Ascencion, and of St. Nicholas had lands also.

There was a large gilt chalice, and two lesser chalices; a cloth of gold tissue belonging to St. Nicholas's altar, and an altar cloth of black velvet, and another of fine linen at Trinity altar, given by Dr. Botwright, with much more fine plate and vestments.

The general commemoration or mass for the dead benefactors, was solemnized every Whitsundy, and the day following, mass of requiem was sung by note specially for Dr. Botwright, and then the following benefactors were commemorated thus:

Ye shall pray especially for the Sowle of Sir John, sumtime Vikar of this Chirch, which gaf 1 Mesbooke, 1 Chalice, 1 Vestment, and a great Chest.

And of Syr John Candeler, sumetyme Vikar of this Chirch, which give her ii new Graelis, 1 Cross of Copyr gilt with Staff and Baner to the same, 1 Processionari's Tabil gylt upon the hye Auter.

And of Sir John Drew sumtyme Person of Harple, which gave here 1 Vestment for 1 Prest of Bordalisander.

And of Hue Mustarder, which gefe a Chalice, and of Alyce his Wife, which geve the lytel Bell of the Tower.

And of Richard Cross and Katharyne his Wyf, which gave fifty Marks to repair the old Stepil, and the Vestry that is now.

And of Thomas Barber, which geve 1 of the best Antiphoneris, and one Cloth for the Presbyter.

And of Christian Aloff, which gave a Vestment of reed Sylk for a Sole Prest.

And of Mr. Richard Bastun, somtym Viker here, which geve 1 Mesbok Abbreviatt, and 1 Martiloge, and ii Clothis of Silk for Hersis and Gravis, and in Money xls.

And of Thomas Hykkis, which geve the great Processionary, and of Matthew Mayken which gave 4 reed Vestments.

And of Thomas Blake, which geve 1 Chalice gylt, and the Clock Belle, and did make divers Pathnigs in the old Chirch.

And of John Baxter and Margaret his Wyf, which gave a Sylveren Censure, and in Money 4 Nobles, to the Reparation of the old Chirch.

And of John Bachelor of London, which geve 1 hool reed Vestment,

And of Steveyn Lord and Marion his Wyf, which geve iiii Queen Copis of Bordalysander, ii Aubis for Candelberrers in Procession, and vii Marks for peynting of St. Peter's Tabernacle.

And of Thomas Styward and Cecily his Wyf, which geve i Sautyr to the Queer, and did Seat Stole the North Syde of the old Chirch to the cross Alley between the old Dooris, and did Pathe the middle Chirch from the Quere Dore to the seyd Aley, and did glase ii Wyndows in the Quer, and oder ii in the old Chirch on the South Side, and geve i Invitatory Book, and in Money xls. with other Costs.

And of Maister William Cross sumtyme Viker here, which geve ii hye Latyn Candlestikks before the hye Auter, i Vestment for a Soul sole Prest, and in Mony to the Reparation of the old Chirch vii Marks.

And of Maister John Bery, sumtyme here Parson, which geve the principal Mesbooke, 1 Chalice gravyn and gylt, 1 hool black Vestment for Messis of the Deed, 1 Vestment of red Silk, 1 necessary Book, clep'd the Ordinal, vi Marke to the buying of the new Legendis, and did make the Stallis in the Queer, and celid the Chancell with oder Costis besides.

And of Maister John Walpole sumtyme here Viker, which beside many oder Costis geve to the Reparation of the old Chirch xls. Also for the Soulis of Robert Serjawnt and Katheryn his Wyf, which geve ii Sylveren Candelstykks.

Also Henry Serjeant and Anneys his Wyf, which geve a Crismatory of Sylver, 1 Halywater stop of Sylver, with a Sprykkyllyng Styk to the same, with oder Costis.

And of John Pope which geve a Chalice.

And of Geoffry Sawle and Cecyly his Wyf, which gefe a hool whyght Vestment, i silver Censor, ii sylver Basyns, and did peynt the Images of the old Crucifix, and of our Lady, and of St. John, and geve a reed Clothe for the Presbytery, with Braunchis and Fowlis, and in Money to the Chirch xxvis. viiid. a blue Clothe of Wurstede for the Heerce, and about the hye Autor expended xxiili.

And of Katheryn Robyn, which gave a Pyxt of Sylver, and did glase a Windown in the South Syde of the olde Chirche.

And of Syr John Heylott, that geven to our Ladys Autor a whyght Vestment, and in Money to the Chirch vis. viiid.

And of Geoffry Cursun, which geve the Organys, in the which, and in oder Costis expended in the Chirch xiiili. xiiis. iiiid. And of William Evan, which geve the Lectryn of Latyn in the Queer, and in Money to the olde Rode Lofte iiili. vis. viiid. And of John Bladsmyth, which expended in part of our Ladies Chapel with gravyng and peyntyng of Ymagis and Tabernaclys in the same Chapell, and in Deskys, Tabyll and Clothis to the Auter, a Vestment, and the former Part of the olde Rode-Loft, with the Rode Auter, with oder Costis to the Summe of cxix Marks.

"Also for the Soule of John Chapman and Catharyne his Wyf, the which geve ij Shyppys of Sylver, ij grete Antiphoners on Grayle; ij gret Candelsticks, on hole sute of Cloth of Tyssews, and also did make the North Ysle, with glasyng, stolyng and Pathing of the same with Marbyl, and did geve to making the New Stepyll in Mony, besyde the Premisses cxxli."

And of William Gardener and Agnes his Wyf, which expended in the old Chirch ixli. And of Syr William Myller, which geve iii Bokys cheny'd in our Ladyse Chapell, and in Mony to the Reparation of the Chirch and the Stepyll, and to the Hollowing of the Chirch viii Marks. And of Jeffrey Baxter and Johne his Wyffe, the which gave ii Paxbreds of Sylver, and on blu Vestment for on Pryst, and in Mony to the Reparation of the Chirch and the Stepyll, with glasing of on Wyndow of the South Part of the Chirch lli. And of William Coo and Emme his Wyf, which did make the Roffe of the Porch, and the Rowell in the Chirche, and also geve in Mony to the Reparation of the Chirch 33s. 4d. And of Robert Payne, the which gaff on Cope of whyght Damaske, and did Pathe the mid Aley of the old Chirch with Marbyl, and also did make a Part of the New Chirch with all Charges, from the nether Cross Alley to the Stepyll, and the RodeAutyr, and the Chapell of the Trynyte, and gaff xx Tun of Free Stone to the Stepyll, and also in Mony to the edyfying of the Stepyll xx Marks. And of Mr. Robert Coppyng, late Parson of this Chirche, which gaff in Mony to the edyfying the Stepyll xx Marks. And of Thomas Bannoke which did glase ii Wyndows in the Chirche, and gaffe in Mony to the edyfying of the Chirch and the Stepyll xiii Mark. And of Thomas Rame, which gaff to the edyfying of the Chirch and Stepyll xs. and in Mony to the making of a new Sepulchyr iiiili. And of Symond Oxborow, the which gaff to the edifying of the Stepyll v Mark. And of William Langman, which gaff to the edyfying of the Stepyll xxxiiis. iiiid. And of Raffe Hamonde, the which did the Cost of Stoling in the Trinity Chapell, and did make the Cofyr that stond in the Vestry to kepe the Tokys and Vestments, and also gaff to the edyfying of the Stepyll xxxiiis. iiiid. And of John Plummere and Margaret his Wyff, which dede expend in making of the old Chapell of the Trynyte, with the Rode-Loft of the said Chapell, and of a Cross of Sylver and Gylt, with other Costs to the Honor of God lxli. And of Richard Plowright and Cecyly Fuller, wheche expended in a Peyre Chaleys, and in other Things to the Honowr of God VI Mark. And of John Walsingham, which expended in Glasing of the gret Wyndow in our Lady's Chapell, and in a blew Cope with ij Tunekells to the same, and to the makyng of the new Chirche and Stepyll xlli. and more. And of John Angere Parson of Southacre, which did Glason a Windowe on the South Syde of the New Chirche.

Also for the Soule of Mr. John Botewryth sumtym Parson of this Chirch, which gaff the Chirche-Crofte, the best blew Chesebyll with a Cope to the same, and divers Bokys cheyn'd in the Chawnsell, and in our Lady's Chapell.

And of Walter Taylor and Isabell his Wyffe, which did make the new Rofe of the Chirch from the Chancel to the Cross-Aley, and gaff an hole Vestment of rede Velvet with Angel splayde, and in Freestone and Mony to the makyng of the Chirch and Stepyll 36li.

And of John Langman and Agnes his Wyffe, which did make all the gret Stolys of both Sydes of the myd Aley.

And of Mr. Robert Fullere sumtyme vicar, which did expend in the makyng the Chirch and Stepyll, and other Costs xxli. And of Thomas Hyx and Alice his Wyff, which gaff a Grayle, ij. Processionarys, and did glasen a window in the Clarestory, and expended in the Reparation of the Stepyll and Chirch xiili. And of Cateryn Norman, of whose Goods were expended to the Honor of God, in this Chirch v Mark. And of Cecyly Blake, which gaff a whyth Vestment to the Rode Auter. And of Thomas Bryston, which gaff a peyr Chaleys, and to the makyng of the Gabyll betwyx the Chirche and the Chaunsell xx Mark. And of Richard Newman and Christian his Wyffe, which gaff to the Reparation of the Chirche XI Mark. And of John Payn and Cateryne his Wyffe, which dede make the lytell Chapell of Corpus Christi, and the Teretory in the same Chapell, and gaff XL Chaldron of Lyme to the makyng of the Stepyll, with many other Costs. And of Thomas Cock, which ded make certeyn Stolys in the South Yle.

Also for the Soules of Symond Blake Gentylman and Jone his Wyff, which ded expendyn in Pathyng with Marbyll of the Cross Aley before Chancell Dore, in reparation of the Organs brokyn with the fallyng of the Chirch, with glasing of a window in the Claristory, and in finding of a Free-Mason to the making of the Chirch by the space of a Yere, and in Money given to the makyng of the new Stepyll xlli. Also the said Symond and Jone gave the Chawntrey, with Mass Boke, Chalys, Vestment and awther Clothes to the same, and assigned lyvelode be Godd's Grace suffycyent to maynteyn and contynew the same Chauntrey, with the Lawmpe brenyng over his Grave, after the Form of the Wyll Tripartyte of the said Symond made upon the said Chawntrey, and that the Chawntry-Prest shuld begynn his immediately after hys Decesse, he assigned vli. to be delyvered to the Chirch-Revys, to help to pay the said Prest his hyer, unto the Time that Mony myth be made of the Livelode for the said Prest, and he assign'd other vli. to be delyver'd to the said Chirche-Revys, to the Help and Releve of poor Men of this Town, undyr this Form following, that is to say, if any pore Man or pore Woman nedeth to borow Mony to the Sum of vs. and under, that he or she so being in Necessyte shuld have of the Money 5s. upon a suffycient Plegge to ese themselves, be space of half a Yere, and then to bring ageyn and deliver the said vs. to the Chirche Revys, and to have their Pleggs delyver'd agayn unto them. And that the said Plegges shuld be in safe kepyng, he dede ordayn a great chest under ij Keys for to stand in the Chirche, in the which Chest he wold the Plegges should be leyd, and therein safe kept by the Chirche-Revys having the Keys, and the Governawns of the said Chest and Money, to the Use and intent before rehers'd.

Also for the Soule of Thomas Blake, Esq. who gave viiili. to the Augmentation of the Chirche.

And of Thomas Styward and Agnes his Wyff, who gaff a Cross of Silver and gylt, a peyr of Silver Candelstykks ij Silver Basons, a Moustre for the Sacrament, a peyr gret Organs XLli. in Money, and of his Wyffe vli. in Mony, with other divers good deeds.

And of Mr. John Serjeant, whyche gaff ij Silver Sensurs, ij Shypps, a Halywater Stoppe, and Strengsile of Sylver, and certen Mony.

And of Robert Newman and Katheryne his Wyfe, who gaff in ready Mony to the Steple x Mark, with other Cost and Charges.

And of John Oxburgh and Alys hys Wyffe, which gaff in Money to the Reparation of the Chirch and Stepil xli. xiiis. iiiid. and a Halywater Stopp of Laten.

And of John Newell, which gaff a Chrysmatory of Sylver, and to the Reparation of the Chirche in Money vli.

And of Robert Wyngyff, which gaffe ij Paxeys of Sylver and gylt, and in Money viiili. xiiis. iiiid. and of Margaret Wyngyff hys Wife, in Money to the Reparation of the Stepull vli. with other good deeds.

And of Thomas Blake and Cecely his Wyff, wheche gaffe in Money to the glasing of the Stepull window xli.

And of Thomas Pepyr, which gaff to the Chirche in Money xxli.

And of John Sparke, which gaff ij Corpeis and iij Surpells.

And of Master William Gullet Priest, and many Years Curat here, which gave in Mony to the Byldyng of the Alms-Houses eight Pounds. And of Nicholas Wryght, that gaff unto the Chyrcke a Lyme-Kylle with five Rood of Land. And of Kateryn Colleyn that gaff 3 Surpless to the Honour of God. Also for the Soules of these that follow, who were all benefactors towards building the Church and Steeple.

William Morrel and Catherine his Wife, Thomas and John Morrel, Richard and William Hare, Thomas Wignale, William Carter, John Cooper, William Coppin, William Oldmedew, Thomas Smith, William Coe, John Cantley, Robert Notingham, John Allen and Mary his Wife, John Blake Draper and Elizabeth his Wife, Joan Fayken, Nicholas Grave, Adam Bond, Walter Cely, Margaret Pepyr, Richard Treshare, Margaret Serjeant, Theobald Bryel, Walter Pain, William Ram, John Taylor, John Sibby and Christian his Wife, William Codd and Margaret his Wife, Maud Bolton, John Bryon.

And for the Soules of all the Benefactors of this Church.

I have been the more particular in this last account, because it not only acquaints us with the benefactors and founders of this church, but also with the practice and custom of that age in commemorating them, &c.

Staveley, in his History of Churches, has observed, p. 129, that few of our parochial country churches have any remarks or memorials left of their particular founders, or the time of their building, and assigns this for reason, seeing the modest and pious founders, built these fabricks generally out of pure devotion, they would not in any case sound a trumpet before their own performances. Whereas our ignorance in this case is owing to the great length of time since their foundation, the many alterations and additions that have been made in the churches themselves, and the great disorders and confusions that have happened since the time of their foundation, which have not only defaced and ruined the records and evidences, but even the marble stones and brasses, which would have given us a clear light. The Romish Clergy never enjoined silence in these cases; they were prodigal of their indulgences here, and such benefactors and their posterity were entitled to, and often had most solemn pardons granted them to last for many centuries. They eternalized the memory of their founders, and commemorated them annually and kept their solemn obits; this it was that pushed on the inhabitants of all townships, villages, &c. to contribute: plays also were frequently acted to raise money, which were not only pleasing to the ear, but likewise satisfying the belly. On these obits, gaude-days, days of commemoration, &c. their chief study was to exceed one another, and thus they made the profuseness and vanity of their entertainments a mark of their zeal and devotion:

Prævisis alijs, Eliensia Festa videre, Est quasi prævisa Nocte videre diem.

That they were not so modest is plain, from our frequent meeting with Orate pro anima, &c. even at this time, and to be found almost on every glass window, &c. before the rebellion, from the many shields and arms cut on stone, &c. from old rebusses and allusions to founders names, and from that list of every particular benefactor, which no doubt every church had (as well as this of Swaffham) to commemorate them at stated times.

In the reign of Edward I. the Earl of Richmond was patron of this church; the rector had then a mansion-house near to the church, and was valued at 70 marks. The vicar had also a mansion-house near the church, and was valued at 16 marks, the portion of the monastery of Rumburgh here was valued at 20d. Romescot, or Peter-pence 16d. (Domesd. Norwich.)


Turchillus, presbyter, of Swaffham in the reign of King Hen. II.

Alan de Bassyngborne occurs rector about the 20th of Hen. II.

  • 1296, Peter Arnold.
  • 1312, Luke de Chevyngny, presented by John de Britannia Earl of Richmond, to whom he was chaplain.
  • 1349, Robert de Creyk. Queen Philippa.
  • 1380, John Bonryng. John Lestrop, Robert Bealknap, Knt. and John Fitz-Nichol, Esq. attorney generals to John Duke of Britain and Earl of Richmond; and the rectory was then valued at 80l. per annum in the King's Books.
  • 1383, Reginall Hall. King Richard II. the lands of the Earl of Richmond being then in the King's hands; he was rector of Notefeld in the diocese of Winchester, and exchanged with Banryng.
  • 1393, Richard Maudelyn. Ann Queen of England. In 1294 he was prebend of Heydun cum Walton in the church of Lincoln; and in 1397, rector of Wigan in Lancashire, archdeacon of Sudbury 1398, rector also of East-Derham and of Hays in Middlesex, and in 1299, prebend of St. Stephen's, Westminster.
  • 1398, John Maperley. The King, on the resignation of Maudelyn.
  • 1409, Andrew Bondeby, alias Atte Kyrk. Ralph Nevill Earl of Westmorland; he was sub-dean of York, and rector of Preston in Holderness, Yorkshire, with the chapel of Hedon, and exchanged with Maperley.
  • 1414, John de Aula, or Hall, de Lutchurch, alias Knyvynton. Ralph Earl of Westmorland, on the resignation of Atte Kyrk; this Knyvyngton was vicar of St. Sepulchre's in London, and exchanged with Atte Kyrk.
  • 1414, John Bury. Ralph Earl of Westmorland. He was rector of Snyterle with the chapel of Glaunford, and exchanged with Knyvynton; by his will dated 30th of May 1434, he desires to be buried in the chancel of this church, and the chancel to be selyd with estrych bord at his cost; proved 9th of December, 1434. Regr. Surflete, p. 159.
  • 1435, Mr. John Botwright, A. M. Sacræ Theologiæ Scolaris, on the death of Bury. John Duke of Bedford and Earl of Richmond. Of this rector see before.
  • 1474, Robert Copping, ob.
  • 1495, John de Giglis, LL. D. King Henry VII, He was rector of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, London; prebend of More and Hoxon in the church of St. Paul's, London; canon of Wells; archdeacon of London 22d of June 1482; rector of Lanham in Suffolk, which he resigned in 1497, being then made Bishop of Worcester.
  • 1497, Peter Caversham. King Henry VII. He was Abbot of Notley in the diocese of Lincoln in Buckinghamshire in 1460, the last rector here,

For King Henry VII. patron of the church, by charter dated at Westminster the 12th of June in the 18th year of his reign, granted to John, then abbot, and to the prior and convent of Westminster, and their successours, the advowson and patronage of this rectory in free almes, with license to appropriate the same to them and their successours; pursuant to which, the said rectory was appropriated in the year 1503, and King Henry VIII. on the 9th of August, in the 34th year of his reign, granted the rectory to the dean and chapter of Westminster, on the erection of that church into an episcopal see, to hold freely in pure almes, except 3l. 6s. 8d. paid yearly to the Bishop of Norwich, and 10s. to the archdeacon for procurations, and the impropriation is at this day in the church of Westminster. Dr. Reuben Clarke, late archdeacon of Essex, had the lease of the impropriation, and it now belongs to his son, who is a minor, for whom Baron Clarke acts as guardian.

Caversham died in 1503, and was presented to the church of Sawtre-All-Saints in Huntingdonshire, on the 7th of May 1488, by the abbot and convent of Ramsey.

There was from the most ancient times a vicar under the rector, presented by him; so that the rectory was a sinecure.


  • 1299, Richard de Wichford, collated by the Bishop.
  • 1309, Thomas de Langeford, presented by Peter Arnold, rector.
  • 1312, John de Suthgate, collated by the Bishop of Norwich.
  • 1322, Walter Corpekyll of Dunham. Luke de Chevyngne, rector.
  • 1339, John de Welveton. Ditto.
  • 1339, John Giffard. Ditto. He was vicar of Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire, and exchanged with Welveton.
  • 1348, John Say. Ditto.
  • 1350, William Robyn. Robert de Creyk, rector.
  • 1358, William Cote. Ditto.
  • 1388, John Candeler. Reginald Halle, rector. Candeler was afterwards rector of Dalham in Suffolk, Barton St. Andrew, and Lynn All-Saints in Norfolk.
  • 1404, John Clerk. John Maperly, rector. He was rector of Dalham, and exchanged with Candeler.
  • 1407, Richard Baston. Ditto. He was vicar of Hokyngton in Cambridgeshire, and exchanged with Clerk.
  • 1420, William Cross, S. T. B. by John Bury, rector, on the resignation of Baston; by his will dated on Thursday after the Feast of St. Lawrence 1434, he desires to be buried in the chancel of Swaffham, gives to Pembroke-Hall in Cambridge, (where he was educated,) 40s. (Regr. Surflete, p. 148.)
  • 1434, John Cateroff. John Bury. Res.
  • 1434, John Walpole, after rector of Fincham St. Michael. Ditto.
  • 1436, John Moresburgh, ob. He was rector of Shipdam, and exchanged with Walpole. John Botwright, rector here, and patron as rector, of this vicarage.
  • 1465, Robert Fuller, A. M. Ditto.
  • 1488, John Carter, collated by the Bishop of Norwich.
  • 1514, Thomas Leman; he was afterwards rector of Southacre.
  • 1534, Nicholas Tymperley, not 18 years of age, ob. By Thomas Duke of Norfolk, assignee to the abbot and convent of Westminster.
  • 1550, John Fuller, LL. D. The Bishop of Norwich. He was rector of East-Derham and North-Creak, and vicar general to the Bishop of Norwich in 1550. About this time the patronage of this vicarage was given by King Edward VI. to the Bishop of Norwich, and his successours.
  • September 4, 1554, Thomas Dysse, S. T. P. The Bishop of Norwich. Rector also of Bradwell in Suffolk.
  • Robert Stapleton, who built the Market Cross.
  • 1575, George Gardiner, S. T. P. the Queen. Res. He was dean of Norwich, &c.
  • 1580, Robert Grafton, A. M. ob.
  • 1589, Francis Snell, S. T. B. ob.
  • 1589, Nicholas Bate, A. M. ob. He was prebend of the fourth stall in the the church of Norwich. In his answers to King James, 1603, he says there were then 500 communicants here.
  • 1628, Gregory Franklyng, A. M. ob.
  • 1630, Robert King, S. T. B. rector also of St. Michael Coslany in Norwich.
  • 1662, Thomas Roberts. He was vicar also of Fouldon, ob.
  • 1678, John Sparrow, A. M. ob.
  • 1696, Thomas Ibbot, A. B. res. He was also rector of Beachamwell St. John, St. Mary and All-Saints, educated at Clare-Hall, Cambridge.
  • 1720, Joseph Charles, rector of Wacton Parva in 1719, educated at Jesus college in Oxford, and rector of South Pickenham, ob.
  • 1737, James Reynolds, was collated by Bishop Butts, his father-inlaw, and held it with the rectory of Lackford in Suffolk, but being collated by the said Bishop, then Bishop of Ely, to the rectory of Willingham in the county of Cambridge, which he now holds with Lackford, he resigned this, and in
  • 1738, Robert Say was collated by Bishop Gooch, and held it united to the rectories of Beachamwell St. Mary and St. John consolidated, but on his taking the consolidated rectory of North Pickenham and Houghton, (as at p. 133,) he resigned this vicarage, and in
  • 1748, Dr. Samuel Lisle, then Bishop of Norwich, collated his domestick chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Gilbert Bouchery, A. M. the present vicar, son of Weyman Bouchery, late rector of Blakenham Super Montem, in Suffolk; he was born at Ipswich, and was scholar and fellow of Clarehall in Cambridge; on his taking Swaffham, he voided the rectory of LLanymynech in Shropshire, which he was collated to by Bishop Lisle, when on the see of St. Asaph, of whose gift he now holds the prebend of Meliden in the church of St. Asaph, and the sinecure rectory of LLansanfraid in Montgomeryshire.

The vicarage is valued at 14l. 5s. 10d. in the King's Books, and being undischarged, pays first fruits, and 1l. 8s. 7d. yearly-tenths. The Revision in 1630 says, that the farmer of the impropriate rectory paid an annual pension of 10s. and the vicar paid synodals to the Bishop 2s. 8d. visitatorial procurations 3s. 6d. ob. qr. archidiaconal procurations 7s. 7d. ob. The Terrier in 1747, hath a vicarage-house on the north side of the churchyard, the site of it, with the two gardens, contain 1 acre 1 rood; the churchyard contains 3 acres, and the whole glebe is 41 acres in 27 pieces.

There is paid to the vicar 10l. yearly, 5l. at Midsummer, and 5l. at Christmas, and ten combs of the best dressed wheat, ten combs of best dressed mistling, five combs of rye, and five combs of barley, yearly, by the impropriators or their tenants.

The tithes of hay, clover, turnips, lamb and wool belong to the vicar, also all other small tithes and ecclesiastical dues. Also 4d. a cow, or two meals of milk in Whitsun-week, one penny herbage, and one halfpenny the calf, and one penny for a heifer dry stock, for a heifer of the 1st calf 1d. herbage; and a half-penny the calf, and 3d. the two meals for milk.

Mortuaries are due to the vicar, and Easter offerings from all above 16 years old, by custom, as was proved upon a trial between the Rev. Mr. Robert Say and Travel Fuller, at Thetford assizes in 1746.

The real value of this vicarage is above 100l. per annum.

There are two small manors in this town, known by the name of Haspals and Whitesands, the quitrents of which, and other dues belonging to the same, the churchwardens receive for the use of the town.

Also an estate of about 50l. a year, which being formerly chantry lands, was given to the town by King Edward VI. and since confirmed by several royal grants, and is appropriated to the relief of 9 poor widows, the reparation of the church, mending the highways, repairing the town-houses and town-wells, and payment of the clerk and sexton their wages.

Susan Machin, widow, gave 12s. yearly to the churchwardens, for the use of 12 widows who take no collection.

Edward Chapman, Gent. gave 10l. the interest for the poor, to be paid by the churchwardens.

Thomas Theodorick gave three dwellings for 6 poor people.

There is also an alms-house in Mangate-street.

There is now on the north side of the churchyard, a house standing towards the eastern part of it, the lower part for the use of the clerk of the parish church, and the upper part for the use of a schoolmaster, to be chosen by the minister and church-wardens, and the majority of the parishioners then present.

There is a free-school lately built in the Camping-land, founded by Nicholas Hammond, Gent. late of this parish, with a dwelling for the master, and the interest of 500l. (until a purchase can be made) for teaching 20 boys; the choice of the master is in the following trustees, the vicar of Swaffham, the rectors of Necton, Great Cressingham, Ashill, and Hilburgh, and their successours for ever.

Over the school-house door, are the crest and arms of Hammond;

Crest, on a mound vert, a dove rising with an olive-branch in its mouth proper.

Or, on a chevron sable, voided az. three martlets of the field.

  • 1736, Nicholas Hammond, Esq. gave by will, in 1724, a thousand pounds, five hundred for erecting a school-house, five hundred for endowing the same, for instructing xx. boys in reading, writing and arithmetic.

Benefactors, who promote knowledge, virtue and industry, Deserve to be recorded on earth, and rewarded in Heaven.

There is a silver chalice and patin of about 36 oz.

Books in the library, on the north side of the chancel, as by the catalogue appear.

The biggest bell weighs about 20 hundred weight.

Here was also, besides the parochial church of Swaffham, and the CHAPEL of St. Guthlack, a free chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, said to be in the manor of John de Britannia Earl of Richmond, and in the parish of Swaffham.

This chapel was well endowed, John de Britannia abovementioned gave to his chaplain here and to his successours, in the 32d of Edward I. 38 acres of land in Swaffham, and one messuage; and divers others, gave to the said chaplain, other lands in Swaffham and elsewhere. From the Institution Books at Norwich, I find

That this chapel was given to John son of Henry de Suthgate of Swaffham, on the 25th of May 1319, by John Earl of Richmond.

  • 1349, William Robyn, was instituted and presented by Queen Philippa. (Lib. Instit. 4, p. 113.)
  • 1351, Richard Talbot. Ditto. &c.
  • Julian Model of Swaffham wills, in 1422, to be buried in the church. (Regr. Hurning, p. 106.)

Thomas Steward of Swaffham gives by will, in 1433, to every light sustained or maintained by charity, 8d. (because many lights had land bequeathed for their perpetual maintenance,) and to the work of St. Guthlack's chapel 40d. (Regr. Surflete, p. 127.)

In the year 1485, I find that the gild of St. John Baptist in this town flourished much; in that year Robert Fuller the vicar was chosen alderman of it, John Bryston and John Gold, treasurers, and John Sawer, bedell; that gild then numbered 77 brothers and sisters, who paid each 40d. ob. per annum.

Thomas Styward of Swaffham, Gent. by Will, 1511, bequeaths to the Repair of this Church xl. and a Monster of Sylver Gylt, for to beare the Blessed Sacrament, weyng 100 Ounces and above. Also a payer of Organs, the Price xxiiii Marks or more, (by this Will, &c. it appears here was service as in choirs or cathedral churches,) Item To the Repair of 60 Parish Churches next adjoining unto the said Town 20s. each, but to Sporle Church 40s. Item To the renewing the Charter of Swaffham x li. (Regr. Johnson, fo. 29.)

In the parlour of the vicarage-house are these arms painted in glass, Touchet and Audley (as before) quarterly, sab. three martlets arg. Naunton impaling sab. an estoil or, between two flaunches ermine, Hobert, but this shield is transposed. The badge of King Henry VII. the white and red rose united, France and England quarterly or, a chevron between three lions heads gules, Nix Bishop of Norwich, in whose time the house was built.

This town hath been also noted, as the birthplace of brother John de Swaffham, D. D. of Cambridge, and a Carmelite or white-friar of the monastery at Lyn, where he was educated; he was allowed to be a man of great learning, but employed it in a very strenuous manner against the doctrine of Wickliff, against whose followers he wrote a book; he was made Bishop of Bangor by Pope Gregory XI. and lived in 1394, in King Richard the Second's time; being an active man under Pope Boniface IX. at the council held at Stanford, against the disciples of Wickliff.


This village takes its name from the ford or passage over the river Nar, on the south side of which it stands. In the grand survey it is called Nereforda. Phanceon was then the lord of it, being part of the honour, and held of Alan Earl of Richmond: in the Confessor's time Alfach a Saxon was the owner of it; there were then 3 carucates in domain, and the same at the survey, and 6 carucates held by the tenants, and 4 freemen held 1 carucate of land; there was one mill and the moiety of another, and a fishery, &c.; it was a mile in length, and as much in breadth, and paid 18d. gelt, being first valued at 4l. and at the last survey at 5l. per annum.

The Manor of Narford, alias Oldhall[edit]

Phanceon, who was lord at the survey, was most probably the ancestour of the noble family of Narford; he or his immediate descendant might take up that surname from this his lordship, as was the common and general practice of that age, derived from the Normans; that the family of Narford had lands here, and in Norfolk, nigh to the time of the great survey, appears from ancient records.

William de Narford was witness to a charter of the abbey of St. Bennet at Holm in Norfolk. In the reign of Henry II. Geldewine de Nereford owed King Richard I. 20s. for his lands in Norfolk; Sir Peter de Narford was lord in 1218, and then gave the rectory of Stanfield in Suffolk to the priory of Haveringland, alias Mountjoy, in Norfolk; of this family, was Robert de Narford, who married Alice, daughter of John Pouchard, and was principal governour or warden of Dover castle in the reign of King John, under Hubert de Burgh, lord chief justice of England, who with his wife founded the priory of de Prato or Pree, (that is in the meadow,) between North-Creke and Burnham.

In 1219 Margaret de Ponte (or Brigge,) and John her son, were summoned to answer to John de Narford, to show why, contrary to the King's prohibition, they impleaded him in the Court Christian for a lay-fee in Nereford, which they acknowledged, and for which they were fined; and in 1227, a fine was levied between Maud de Pagrave and John de Narford, whereby Maud released a messuage and lands here; and in the same year, there was another fine, between William son of John de Narford, petent, and Peter de Narford, tenent, of the moiety of a knight's fee here, who acknowledged it to be the right of Peter, who gave the mill called Well-Mill to William; and in 1239, Thomas de Nerford held half a knight's-fee of the Earl Warren, as of the manor of Lyng, and the Earl of the honour of Richmond, and at the same time Petronilla de Nerford, (mother of the aforesaid Thomas,) and Edmund her son, held here half a knight's-fee of Robert Fitz Roger, and he of the Earl of Richmond, and that Earl of the King in capite, and paid to the scutage then granted on the marriage of Isabell the King's sister to the Roman Emperor.

By an inquisition in 1274, William de Narford was found to be lord, and to have free-warren, not only in his domain lands, but in those of other men in this town, which were held of the honour of Richmond, and the bailiffs of the Earl of Richmond kept the lete; and in 1277, the aforesaid William, then a knight, and Joldewin or Geldewin, son of Eudo de Narford, held one knight's fee here, and paid to the ward of Richmond castle 10s. per annum. This Sir William married Petronilla, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir John de Vallibus, or Vaux, who brought a very considerable estate to this family; and on a division of it, in the 16th of the aforesaid King, between her and her sister Maud, married to William de Roos, Petronilla had assigned to her the lordships of Thirston and Shotesham, and a moiety of those of Holt, Cley juxta Mare, and Houghton by Walsingham in Norfolk; with many knights fees in Norfolk and Suffolk. Sir William was one of those great men, who were summoned to attend King Edward I. at Portsmouth, in an expedition to Gascoigne in his 22d year, to recover that province, and was in that year, and in the 25th of the said King, called to parliament as a baron; by a deed of his, sans date (reciting that he had granted to Sir John de Aspall and Sir Roger his brother, the manor of Stonham Antegayn in Suffolk, with the advowson, to be held of him and his heirs,) he revokes the said grant, and regrants it to Roger le Bigot Earl of Norfolk, and his heirs; the witnesses were Sir Thomas de Wayland, John Lovetot, Roger Loveday, Peter de Bedingfeld, William de Eiresy, William le Fleming, Robert de Boys, &c. He died in the 29th year of the aforesaid King, and was found to hold 32 knights fees and a quarter. His arms were, Gules a lion rampant ermine. Petronilla survived him, and was lady of this manor in 1315, and died in 1326, and was buried in the neighbouring priory of Pentney, founded by her ancestour, Sir Robert de Vaux: in 1321 she gave to the canons of Langley in Norfolk, her lands in Thirston, for the health of the souls of her father, and husband deceased. She had by Sir William three sons, Sir John de Narford, (who married Agnes, daughter of William, and sister and heir of Edmund de Berford, and died in 1320, without issue, by Narford, and was buried at Pentney;) the said Agnes was relict of Sir John Argentein, by whom she had issue; and lastly, wife to Sir John Matrevers, by whom she had also issue;) her 2d son by Sir William, was Sir Thomas, heir to his brother Sir John; and her 3d son was Edmund, who died in 1330, sans issue, and left his brother Sir Thomas his heir, to whom the King, in 1334, granted a mercate and two fairs at Narford; this knight resided chiefly at Panworth-hall. In 1342, he licensed the prior of Mountjey to take lands in Heverland of his fee in mortmain. This Sir Thomas had two wives; Alice, who was alive in 1343, and Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of John Perers of Holt, son of Perers, by Gunnora, daughter and coheir of Thomas de Ormesby, Esq. as appears from an inquisition taken in 1374, on the death of Julian, sister to the said Elizabeth, wife of John Falconer, who died without issue. The will of Sir Thomas is dated at Holt, and was proved in November 1375, whereby he ordered to be buried at Holt.

Sir John de Nerford was his son and heir by his first wife: Dugdale says that he was slain in the wars of France in the 38th of Edward III.; but it appears that he survived his father, and died the year following, seized of several lordships in Norfolk, and 12 knights fees and an half in Suffolk, and that Margery his daughter and heir, was then 18 years old. Le Neve says, that in 1396, she was then wife of John Brews; others say, that she vowed chastity, but they seem to be mistaken; for it is evident from her will, that she died in a single state and unmarried, about 1417. This Margery, conveyed by fine in 1382 to Sir John de Cobham of Couling castle in Kent, the manors of Panworth-hall and Narford, the moieties of those of Holt and Cley, with the advowson of Holt, which Alice de Nevile held for life; which Alice was, as I take it, her mother, and married to Sir John Nevile of Essex; and in 1385, it was certified, that this village being part of the honour of Richmond was Toll-free.

In the 3d of Hen. IV. Edmund Oldhall held here, half a fee of the honour of Richmond; and in the 14th of Henry VI. the jury present Sir William Oldhallto hold half a knight's fee of the said honour; this family gave name to this manor, though their interest herein was short; for in the 2d of Edward IV. John Cocket was lord of the manor of Oldhall; and in 1494, he was found to hold the same of the manor of Lyng.

Between the terms of St. Michael, in the 9th and 10th of Elizabeth, and those of St. Michael in the 14th and 15th of the said Queen, Richard Beckham had livery of the manors of Narford called Cockets, and that called John Crofts, and John Beckham, Esq. died about 1658, lord of the same, and left Richard his son and heir, which said John had license on the 7th of April, in the 7th of Charles I. to alienate the manors of Narford and Sawtrey, 4 messuages, 6 tofts, a watermill, dove-house, 2 gardens, 600 acres of land, 30 of meadow, 100 of pasture, 500 acres of heath and furze, and 60s. rent, with liberty of two foldages in Narford, Custhorpe, and East-Walton, to Martin Southouse, Gent.

Westacre Manor[edit]

About the end of King Henry III. Edmund le Leche and his parceners held a moiety of a fee here, of the Earl of Richmond, and the Earl in capite; and in the 8th of Edward I. the heirs of Roger de Cressey held lands, who were probably the parceners abovementioned. In the 33d of the said King, Edmund le Leche of Beeston had a charter for free-warren here; and in the 15th of Edward II. Edmund and Margaret his wife, conveyed them to John de Horsted and his heirs. Soon after this, it was in the priory of Westacre, and the prior, in 1345, paid 20s. for the aid then assessed, and in 1401, he paid to the aid on the marriage of Blanch, the King's eldest daughter. On Wednesday after the feast of St. Dunstan in 1503, Thomas Clerk, S.T.B. prior of Westacre, held his first court at Narford, on Thursday after the Epiphany; in 1522, Thomas Brygett, S.T.B. prior held a court; and in 1524, William Wingfeld, prior, held his first court. On the dissolution of the priory it came to the Crown, and was granted on the 6th of January, in the 2d and 3d of Philip and Mary, to Sir Thomas Gresham, founder of the Royal Exchange at London, to be held by knight's service in capite, about the 26th of Elizabeth, Sir Henry Nevile, couzin and heir, in right of his wife, to the aforesaid knight, had livery of it.

The whole village now belongs to Sir Andrew Fountaine, Knt. of whose family I shall take occasion to speak here; that learned and worthy knight having his residence in a seat of his own erecting, at this place, called Narford-hall, which for elegance is truly curious; the valuable library of books, excellent collection of pictures, coins, and many other rare pieces of antiquity, the whole furniture and ornaments herein, are sufficient to excite the curiosity of the learned, and preserve the memory of their judicious owner.

The family of Fountaine, was originally of Salle in Norfolk, and assumed the sirname of De Fonte, or Fontibus, from the springs or fountains that they dwelled by. (See vol. ii. p. 215.)

The first that I meet with, who assumed this name, was,

John de Fonte, called also often, De Fontibus De Salle, who lived in the latter end of Henry the Third's time, was much in favour with Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk, of whose gift he had divers lands at Briston in Norfolk; he died in the beginning of Edward I. from him descended a numerous family, which in a few generations, settled in many of the adjacent villages; but

Robert de Fontibus de Salle, his eldest son, flourished there, and increased his fortunes in the times of Edward I. and II. whose great grandson,

John Ffunteyn of Salle was returned as one of the chief gentlemen of the county in 1430, he was a principal benefactor, if not the sole founder of the north isle and north transept of the present church of Salle, in the latter of which he was buried in 1453, together with his three wives: his stone, with his own effigies, and that of his wives and three children, is now in the said transept, and is here exhibited to your view, at the expense of the aforesaid worthy knight, to whom I am much obliged, for this and many other favours. His eldest son by his first wife Alice, was

Mathew de Fonte, or FFunteyn of Salle, who added to his fortunes by marrying with Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of William Walshe of Colby, by Margaret, daughter and heiress of Simon Damme, Gent. of Susted, in whose right this family have ever since quartered the arms of Walshe, Harsick, and Damme, they had many children; William their son lies buried by them, in the nave of Salle church, with this inscription on a brass plate;

Grate pro animabus Millielmi Founteyn, et Magarete Lroris sue, qui quidem Dillielmus obiit Anno Domini MoUoU0. ruius anime propicietur Deus.

Ralf their son was alive in 1535, but their eldest son and heir was,

Arthur Fountaine, Esq. who married Frances, daughter of Clement Palgrave, Esq. by whom he had 4 sons and 4 daughters; 1, Palgrave; 2, Mary, married to Thomas Parkington; 3, Dorothy, to John Hobard; 4, Beatrice, to Robert Cubit. His 4th son was Martin Fountain, his 2d Thomas, and his 3d was Arthur, who married Anne Stanhowe, by whom he had three sons, Martin the youngest, Arthur his second, and John his eldest: in the north isle of Salle church is a mural monument with the arms and crest of Fountaine, with a crescent for difference and this inscription.

JOHANNES FOUNTAINE, Serviens ad legem, filius primogenitus Arthuri Fountaine de Dalling in hoc Comitatû, unius Filiorum Arthuri Fountaine de Salle, obijt decimo quarto Die Junij, Ano Dni' 1671, Ætatis 70. Et in hâc Insulâ jacet Sepultus.

John, eldest son and heir of Arthur Fountaine of Salle, married Mary, daughter and heiress of James Brigge of Salle, (as in Brigge's pedigree, vol. ii. p. 223,) in whose right this family have ever since quartered the arms of Brigge, Beaupre, and St. Omer.

They had 5 daughters and 2 sons; 1, Beatrix; 2, Margaret;. 3, Palgrave; 4, Frances, married to Erasmus Earle of Salle; 5, Mary, to John Daye, John was the second son, and

Brigg Fountaine, Esq. of Salle, was the eldest son and heir; he died in 1661, and by Joanna, eldest sister of Robert Henley, Esq. he had

Andrew Fountaine, Esq. who married Sarah, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Chicheley, who lies interred in a vault, at the east end of the south isle of Narford church, and a mural monument against the south wall there, is thus inscribed;

In the Vault adjoining lies the Body of ANDREW FOUNTAINE of Sall, (in this County) Esq; who died the 7th of October 1661, and of JOANNA HENLY, eldest Sister of Robert Henly, Esq; who succeeded the Duke of Buckingham, in the Mastership of the King's Bench Office; the said Andrew served in three several Sessions of Parliament, in the Reign of King Charles 2, He married Sarah Chichely, youngest Daughter of Sir Thomas Chichely Master of the Ordinance, Chancellour of the Dutchye of Lancaster, and privy Councellour to King Charles and James II. by whom he had several Children, and left surviving, Sir Andrew, Brig, and Elizabeth, ob. lmo Februarij 1706, Æt. LXXIV.

At the east end of this isle, is an altar monument of white, on which is placed a sarcophagus of Egyptian, and on that a pyramid of gray marble; on which, are the crest, arms, and supporters of Fountaine, with this motto;


And on the top is a white marble urn:


Fountaine impales Chichely, or, a chevron between three cinquefoils gules.

Clent, arg. a fess wavy between three bears paws erased and erected sab. impaling Fountaine.

On the outside, in the churchyard, is a very neat altar tomb, placed like an altar; against the east wall of this isle, at the south end, is a shield of Fountaine, with a crescent for difference on the fess; it is of Portland stone covered with a black marble, and on the east side is this:


Elizabeth, sister to Sir Andrew, married Colonel Edward Clent of Knightwick in Worcestershire, afterwards of Norfolk, by whom he left one only daughter,

Elizabeth, married to Captain William Price: she is dead, and interred in the vault here, and left one only son,

Brig Price, who is now a minor.

January 14, 1725, John Anstis, Garter King at Arms, by order of King George I. granted by patent to Sir Andrew Fountaine, Knt. then vice-chamberlain to the Princess of Wales, and tutor to his highness Prince William, for whom he was installed (as proxy) knight of the honourable Order of the Bath, supporters to his arms, viz. on either side a lion gul. with wings erected or, with the old family motto of, Vix. Ea. Nostra Voco, and the ancient arms of Fountaine, or, a fess gul. between three elephants heads erased sab.

The Romans appear to have had a station at this place, many Roman bricks being found by the workmen about the hall; and Sir Andrew Fountaine shewed me a Roman vase of brass, dug up in the Hall-yard.

There was a chapel also here formerly; for many human bones, and a stone coffin were dug up; this was the cell and chapel of some hermit, for they generally chose their station near some frequented road or passage over a river, as this was.

This village now consists of but two or three houses, besides the Hall; but that it was considerable in the reign of Edward III. appears from his grant of a mercate and two fairs here, to Sir Thomas de Nerford, and the court-rolls of the manor in the reign of Henry VI. show that there were then above an hundred dwelling-houses, besides an hamlet called Custhorpe, or Cowsthorpe, situated in the meadows, near the river towards Westacre: and mention of it is made in the 7th of Charles I.

The old tenths were 3l. The religious concerned here, besides the prior of West-Acre, were the prior of Pentney, who in 1428 was charged at 2l. 16s. 6d. ob. tenths for his temporalties; this was possessed by Robert Hogan after the dissolution of that house, and in the 7th of James I. by Robert Angel and John Walker.

Conan Duke of Britain and Earl of Richmond, by deed sans date, in the reign of Henry II. gave to the church of Norwich, land here, and 10s. rent per ann.

William, Prior of St. Pancrase of Lewes in Sussex, gave to the monks of Castleacre, a mill in Nerford and 5 perches of land, near the church of St. Mary Magdalen of Wigenhall in Norfolk, for an anniversary to be kept for him, by deed sans date.

Richolda, daughter of Isabell de Neketon, with the consent of Richard her son and heir, gave to the monks of Castleacre, 4 acres and 1 rood of land lying in Nerford, 5 perches of it laying at Markete Gate, sans date.

Gelduin, son of William de Nerford, gave to the said monks a toft, and 2 acres of land, with all his right in the mill and pool, called New-Melle.

Bonde de Nerford, with the consent of Richard his son and heir, gave them the homage of Gervase the miller, son of Goodwin, and his family.

Robert, Prior of Westacre, by deed, acknowledged to have received to farm of the prior of Castleacre, all the tithes, which Gregory son of Adam held of them, with the appurtenances in Nerford, two parts of the domain given them by Conan, for the soul of Alan Earl of Richmond, paying one mark per annum.

Robert, Prior of Westacre, released to the monks of Castleacre, the tithe of a mill in Nerford, called Fordmille, and the tithe of a meadow, which they have on the south part of the mill-pool, &c. sans date.

The Church of Narford is a small regular building dedicated to the Virgin Mary, consisting of a nave, a north and south isle, with a chancel, all covered with lead; and at the west end of the nave stands a foursquare tower, with three bells, on which Sir Andrew Fountaine, a few years past, erected a spire of wood, and painted, with a weather-cock and ball gilt.

The south porch is tiled. At the west end of the nave lies a gravestone, having a cross pattée carved on the summit of a staff, the insignia of some knight templar. In the chancel, under the north wall, with an arch raised over it, lies a marble stone, with a large cross floral carved on it, in memory of the founder, no doubt some religious, probably some rector or vicar of the church. In the north isle are stones for

Thomas Metcalfe, March 15, 1736.

John, 1729 25. Thomas, 1719. 12. Sons of Thomas and Elianor Browne.

Jeffrey Browne, October 2, 1740. 60. A good Companion and an honest Friend Rare Vertues in this Age, and here they End, In Hopes of a Joyfull Resurrection.

In the nave, a stone lies over Mrs. Merriam Parker, daughter of Thomas Billingsly, Gent. 28 July, 1721. 23.

She was a very virtuous sober woman, and a faithful servant in Mr. Fountaine's family 7 years, and her death was much lamented by them.

In the beginning of King Edward the First's reign, we find that the prior of Westacre, had the rectory here appropriated to him, which was endowed with a manse, and a carucate of land, and was valued with the vicarage at x. marks, Peter-pence were 13d. and the patronage of the vicarage was in that priory.

In 1265, Simon Bishop of Norwich confirmed to the priory of Castleacre, two parts of all the tithes of the domain, formerly of Godwin, Jeffrey, and Brundon son of Saul, in Nerford, which were let to the prior of Westacre at 1 mark per annum.

Edmund, rector of Nerford in the reign of King John.



  • 1306, Jeffrey de Marham.
  • 1321, William de Bonewyke. Henry, prior, &c.
  • 1349, Thomas Mazoune, res.
  • 1379, John Swynstede, in exchange for the rectory of Kyrkstede.
  • 1380, John Deen, res.
  • 1385, Richard Mason, in exchange for the rectory of Bawsey, res.
  • 1398, John Peyntour, in exchange for Kerbroke.
  • 1398, Robert Thirne.
  • 1412, Thomas Borell.
  • 1436, Thomas Kelsey.
  • 1444, James Dennee.
  • 1449, Richard Salysbury, afterwards vicar of Castleacre.
  • 1450, Robert Hecock, rector of Langford.
  • 1461, William Potkyn, ob.
  • 1490, John Cosen.
  • 1504, Richard Gottis, L.L. B. res.
  • 1518, William Stertwayht, was the last presented by the convent.
  • 1540, Richard Best. The King.
  • 1544, John Hardye. Ditto. Deprived in 1553 by Queen Mary, being a married priest.
  • 1554, Richard Maken, ob. John Calybutt, Esq.
  • 1557, Richard Harrison, vicar also of Narburgh. Ditto.
  • 1558, John Hardye, restored on the accession of Queen Elizabeth.
  • 1569, George Ryvelie, rector of South-Pickenham, res.
  • 1570, William Harpham, ob. Philip Awdley, Gent. and Margaret his wife.
  • 1574, Simon Syllet. John Wingfeld, and Ann his wife.
  • 1592, Ralph Same, A. M. res. Philip Awdley and Margaret his wife, George Townsend, Gent. and Catherine his wife.
  • 1602, Philip Weyks, A. B. res. George Townsend. In his reply to King James's Queries in 1603, he observes that there were then 40 communicants in the parish.
  • 1617, Henry Neve, A. M. ob. Thomas Reymes, Gent. for this turn.
  • 1647, Thomas Blake, ob. Thomas Goodrich of North-Creak.
  • 1666, Edward Carlton, vicar also of Narburgh, ob. Mundeford Spilman, Esq.

When the lease of the great tithes of this town (which were granted to the see of Ely in Queen Elizabeth's time) was renewed by Dr. Lany Bishop of Ely, an augmentationof 10l. per annum was reserved to this vicar and his successours, to be paid by the lessee, who is patron of the vicarage. Before this it appears from the accounts of the receiver-general of the court of augmentation in the reign of Henry VIII. that a yearly pension was paid and accounted for by him, of 1l. 13s. 4d. as an augmentation to the vicar of Narford for ever, out of the lands late belonging to Westacre priory, and the same pension I find to be continued and paid by the receiver-general in the 13th of Queen Elizabeth.

  • 1692, John Craske, A. M. ob. vicar also of Newton. Mundeford Spelman, Esq.
  • 1713, Benjamin Ingram, vicar also of Narburgh, ob. John Spelman, Esq. He was succeeded in
  • 1735, by the Rev. Mr. Mundeford Spelman, the present vicar, who was presented by John Spelman, Esq. the present patron, and holds it with Narburgh.

It appears from the will of Richard Rand, in 1417, that there was then standing in the churchyard a chapel dedicated (as the church was) to St. Mary; and in 1465, John Broshard by will gave legacies to the gild of St. Mary, to that of the Holy-Trinity, and to that of St. Mary's chapel in the churchyard, the foundations of which may still be seen in the north part of the churchyard, at some distance from the church.

This vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 6l. 13s. 4d. and being sworn of the value of 31l. per annum is discharged from firstfruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation.

Visitatorial procurations 20d. synodals 2s. 2d. archdeacon's procurations 4s.

In that part of the parish of Westacre, which lies on the south side of the river Nar, and is consequently in this hundred; on a hill about half a furlong from the river, between Southacre and Narford, are the ruins of a chapel, commonly called Becket's Chapel. It being dedicated to St. Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury, on the day of whose Translation, viz. July 7th, there is an annual fair held here, which in 1478, was granted by King Edward IV. to the prior of Westacre, to which monastery this was a cell: the custos or master, and 2 or 3 monks, his brethren, dwelt in a house joined to the north-east part of the chapel, and performed divine service daily, it standing by the pass over the river, where the Pilgrims and other travellers passed by Castleacre, to our Lady at Walsingham; the chapel was 60 feet long and 30 broad, and its cemetery or burial-place was walled in, and was as many yards in breadth and length.

The eastern part of this hundred is a very good soil, and chiefly enclosed, and hath its share of wood; the western part is champaign, and a very poor barren sandy soil, though now so much improved by marling and claying, that it often produces very good crops of corn.


This hundred is bounded on the east by that of Tunstede, on the west by the hundreds of Holt and Eynesford, on the south by Taverham hundred, and on the north by that of North Erpingham.

The fee of it remained in the Crown till 1226, and then King Henry III. granted it to Hubert de Burgh Earl of Kent, at which time it appears, that the hundred court was held at Cawston ParkGate; for William de Calthorp, and Nicholas de Reppes, who had a dispute of right, both appeared, and left it to six of their neighbours, who knew the truth of the facts, there to determine it, which was accordingly done in favour of William; an excellent instance of the speedy course of justice in those days, and much to be wished that it might be restored in our own. Hubert aforesaid granted it for life to Hugh le Parker, (or his park-keeper at Cawston,) to which manor this hundred then belonged; and at his death John de Burgh, senior, son of Hubert, had it; and in 1273 released the manor and hundred to King Edward I. when it was worth 22l. per annum, the old rental being only 10l. per annum. In 1285 the King had settled it on Queen Eleanor his consort, and John de Berewyk, clerk, her treasurer, received the profits for her; in 1301 William Curson of Carlton farmed it with the hundred of North Erpingham, &c. which attended this hundred. In 1357, Isabel Queen of England, mother of King Edward III. died seized of both these hundreds, and that King was found her heir, who by indenture dated 25th of June 1371, settled it upon his son,

John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, when he married Constance, the only daughter and heir of Don Pedro King of Castile, &c. in exchange for the honour, earldom, castle, &c. of Richmond; and from this time it became parcel of the Dutchy of Lancaster, together with the manor of Aylsham, and hundreds of North Erpingham, Gallowe, and Brothercross. In 1396, Sir Thomas Erpingham, Knt. held it for life, by grant from the Duke of Lancaster; and in 1414, the reversion, after Sir Thomas's death, was settled on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop of Norwich, John Woodehouse, Esq. and others, as feoffees in trust. In 1474, Elizabeth, wife of King Edward IV. held it in jointure, and from that time it hath passed as the manor of Aylesham; to which I refer you.

This hundred constitutes the deanery of Ingworth, in the archdeaconry of Norwich; and paid clear to every tenth 109l. 7s. 4d. and the religious paid to every tenth, for their revenues here, 24l. 9s. 8d.


The town of Heydon is not known by that name in Domesday Book, but was then in Eynsford hundred, and was called Stinetuna, or Stinton, which is said now to be in Salle, because the manorhouse was afterwards, though anciently, removed into the part of Stinton manor, that extended into Salle bounds; Whither, a Saxon, was lord of it at the Confessor's survey, from whom the Conqueror took it, and gave it to William de Warrenna, or Warren, of whom Ralf held it at the Conqueror's survey, when there were 3 carucates of land in demean, and 8 in the tenants hands; there were 9 villeins, 39 bordars and 3 servants, wood that maintained 100 swine, 1 mill, two working horses, 40 swine in the yards, 120 sheep, 27 goats, 3 bee-hives, the advowson of the church, which had 14 acres of glebe, 14 socmen that held 80 acres of land, and had 4 carucates of ploughed land among them, wood that maintained 10 hogs, 1 acre of meadow, and one bordar, two of the socmen Earl Ralf held, when he forfeited his estate, and they had 12 acres of 20 pence yearly value; the whole manor was then worth 5l. and rose to 7l.; the town was above a mile long, and half as much broad, and paid xi.d. to the King's tax, towards every 20s. raised in the hundred: the present name of Heydon, or Haydon as it is commonly called, signifies the high down or plain on the hill, which is agreeable to its situation. It is in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster, and had a weekly market, now disused, which was kept on the market-green, on the south side of the church; this manor continued in the Warrens till they infeoffed William Caineto or Cheyney in it, who, when he founded his priory of regular canons at East-Rudham, about 1143, (afterwards removed by John Cheyney to Cockesford,) gave it to that house; for by the record called Testa de Nevile it appears, that all Heydon was of the Earl Warren's fee, of whom the prior of Coxford held it at 2 fees; but afterwards alienated it from that monastery; for in 1239 John de Corpesty was lord, and settled it on himself for life, and then to Roger de Clere and his heirs; this Roger divided it, parting from one half, and the advowson, to John le Brus or Brewse, and this was the manor called Heydon, alias Stinton-Hall; and the other half he sold to Peter le Butilier, or Butler, which was afterwards called Heydon manor only; and in 1249 Maud, widow of Roger, sued John Bruse and Peter Butler, for her dower in her husband's estate in Haydon alias Stintonhall manor, and in Haydon manor there.

In 1256 Roger Brewse was lord of Stinton alias Heydon, and had a pillory allowed him there; and in 1267 Richard de Brewse had it, who in 1285, jointly with Alice his wife, had these liberties allowed in Eire, viz. view of frankpledge, assize of bread and ale, a common gallows, pillory and cucking stool. In 1310 Sir Giles de Brewse of Stinton-hall owned the manor and lete, and market there, and it appears that the lete, till this time, belonged to Cawston manor, to which the lord of this manor paid 5s. per annum for it, it being granted from Cawston, with the part of Heydon advowson belonging to it, by John son of Sir Hubert de Burgh; so that Heydon advowson afterwards belonged to Stinton manor wholly. Sir Giles died this year, and Lady Alice his widow presented to Heydon; at her death the whole descended to Sir John Brewse their son, who occurs lord about 1330, and was a knight in 1335, when he was found to hold this manor and advowson, in Stinton, Heydon, Corpesty and Olton, of the barony which Sir Giles de Brewse formerly held, and which was held of the Lord Say, and that Lord held it in capite: in 1360, it was settled on Sir Robert de Ufford Earl of Suffolk, and other trustees, to the use of Sir John Brewse, senior, Knt. In 1406 Sir Robert Brewse, Knt. settled it on Sir William de Willughby Lord of Eresby, and several other feoffees; and in 1433 Elizabeth his widow owned it. Their son, Sir Thomas Brewse of Stir-tonhall in Salle, Knt. was lord and patron in 1476, and died about 1489, (for whom see vol.v. p. 406,) and after the death of Elizabeth his 2d wife, who presented here as his widow in 1497, it went to

Sir Roger Townshend, one of the judges of the common-pleas, in right of Anne his wife, daughter and coheir of Sir William, son and heir of the said Sir Tho. Brewse, who had for his eldest son and heir, Sir Roger Townshend, who was knighted in 1525; but he did not possess this manor, for at the death of the Lady Anne Townshend his mother, in 1551, it came to Roger, son of Richard, son of John Townshend, next brother and heir to Sir Roger Townshend, who died without issue; and he being then a minor, was in the wardship of Philip and Mary, and was lord and patron here in 1576. In his time viz. ano 1581, there was a most fair and perfect drag or extent of the manor of Stinton-hall, in Salle, Heydon, and other adjacent villages, made by John Goodwin, then supervisor of the manors of the said Roger Townshend, Esq. which is a fine folio MS. now in the possession of the lord of the manor, with this acrostick and verses at its beginning:


I nspice per totum, Lector, non invide, Libru M N ec poteris magna quicquam reprehendere Culp A R es facile minimum faciles absolvit Acume N O mnis at in tanto, mens est fundenda Labor E G randis enim Labor est, et quæ Solertia Majo R E sse potest? Quod majus opus? quam mente Scient I R ura fatigato peragranda patientia Curs U I psius ante tuum breviter proponere Visu M T alia per certas sunt hic quasi tradita Classe S O mnia proponit, quæ Rure videre licebi T V t tibi quæque Domi pateant manifestè Sedent I V illas hìc videas, hìc Arva virentia, necno N N igrantes Lucos, qui vertice Sydera Tangun T S tagna Paludoso cernas circundata Junc O E t varium currens Sinuoso Tramite Flume N N on desunt læti præbentes pascua Camp I D ulcia prata legas, diverso consita Flor E I nsuper hìc quæcunque tenent Agrestia Nome N A nte tuos, quicunque legis, sunt obvia Vultu S R es etiam recte formis Liber omnibus Ist E M ensural, verèque refert, ut planius Isti C I nspicias propria descriptum quidque Figur A G randior iste Labor si sit, mitissime Lecto R E x opera Scriptum, Scribentis consule Libru M R ugas, Oro, Cave, Placidâ lege singula Front E I sta tuum nam ritè docet Clementia Nome N.

Quisquis es, hùc torvo qui flectis Lumine Vultu Et tacito nostrum murmure carpis Opus, Antea quam carpas, si possis, corrige Culpas, Aut meliore meo doctior adde Libro. Hoc bene si possis, tamen hic male Crimina Carpis, Debuerant veniam, nam meruisse tuam, Sed mea si carpis, cum tu nihil addere possis, En tibi Ridiculi Signa propino Viri.

At Roger's death in 1590, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir John Townshend, Knt. at whose death in 1603, Lady Anne, his widow, had it, and presented in 1612, and after her death Sir Roger Townshend, Bart. enjoyed it till the year 1643, when he sold it to

Erasmus Earle, Esq. serjeant at law, who purchased, and joined the several manors of this town, all which continue in his family at this day.

To the manor of Stinton-hall belong: 1, The Queen's lete, held by the lord of Stinton yearly on Lammas-day. 2, Heydon lete, which includes Corpusty wholly, and great part of Olton. 3, Stinton or St. Andrew's lete, because held on that day; this lete extends into Salle and Dallyng, and the lete-fee paid by the tenants is 2s. 4d. ob. q. 4, Heydon St. Andrew's lete, which includes part of Salle, and all are in the drift of Stinton lete; and to this manor belonged the patronage of Salle and Heydon.

The fines are at the will of the lord; it gives dower, and the custom is gavel-kind, and the heriot on descent is 2s. 8d.

Heydon cum Membris[edit]

Heydon manor being parted, as is before observed, from Stinton, and vested in Peter Butler, it was by him divided into many under manors or fees, which took their names from their several owners; but the principal part, called Heydon manor, came to Maud de Longa Spata, or Long-Spee; and in 1285 Beatrix, widow of John de Corpesty, had an interest in it. In 1315, it belonged to Edmund Bacon, who with Simon de Creping, the prior of Coxford, Aymer de Valence Earl of Pembrook, &c. had lordships here. In 1327, Sir Richard Mortoft lived at Mortoft in Heydon-field, and had one of the small manors here. In 1401 Thomas de Morley held Heydon manor of the honour of Rhye, and in 1404 it was found that Elizabeth wife of Sir William Heydon, daughter and heir of Sir John Say, held one of the under manors here, called Loverd's (from a family of that name, to whom Butler first granted it) of the King, as parcel of the dutchy of Lancaster.

The ancient family of the Heydons took their name from this town, where they originally sprung; but as their chief residence, when in full prosperity, was at Baconsthorp, I design to speak of them at large under that place.

In 1415 John Heydon was lord of Loverd's, and in 1476 died seized of it; afterwards Heydon manors came to the

Dynnes, an ancient family here, of which great numbers are buried in the church; in 1493 John Dynne died seized of Pinkny-hall in Taterset; and in 1493 Robert his son and heir was buried here. In 1517 died Henry Dynne of Heydon, Esq. who married Winifred daughter of Thomas Caus, and left Robert his son and heir, whose custody and marriage the King granted to Sir John Heydon, Knt. and two daughters Cecily and Mary; he died seized of Pinkny-hall manor, and those of Begvile's, Lucy's, and Taterset, Heydon, Taterford, and Bromesthorp, besides others in Heydon, Salle, and Oulton; he was buried in this church, and willed, that if his son died under age, all his estates should be sold, and 100 marks given to Norwich cathedral, 100 marks to our blessed Lady at Cokkesford, &c. He made his aunt, Dame Margaret Dynne, and his brother Thomas Wilkins, executors, and his master, Sir John Heydon, supervisor. In 1572 Sir Christopher Heydon had a manor here, but in 1581, the whole came to be vested in Henry Dynne of Heydon, Esq. one of the auditors of the Exchequer to Queen Elizabeth, and he it was that built Heydonhall, the present seat of Augustine Earle, Esq. which is a good strong building, pleasantly situated, not far distant from the church northwards; he was buried here in 1586. In 1588, William Colfer, senior, settled his manors of Heydon, Leeches, Coxfords, Lewes, Overbeeks, Benfields, Loverds, Creping's, &c. (all which were now joined, and sold on the death of Auditor Dynne) and extended into Heydon, Salle, Corpusty, Thirning, Wood-Dalling, Gestwick, Foulsham, Repham, Iteringham, Olton, Briston, Saxthorp, and Coston, on William Colfer; junior, and Richard Colfer, after this, it came to Robert Kemp, Esq. who was buried here in 1616; and in 1650, Sir Robert Kemp of Finchingfield in Essex, his son, sold all his estate in Heydon and Salle, to John Earle, Esq. and John Drury his trustee.

The manor of Heydon cum membris, in general makes the eldest son, the heir; but the fines of the several united manors are various; those ex parte Lewes, are arbitrary; those ex parte Crepings 2s. an acre; the fines, ex parte Howards, Overbecks, Loverds, &c. are 4s. an acre.

The family of the Earles, who now are, and for several generations have been, lords of this place, is of great antiquity, and had its origin in the adjacent town of Salle, which is very remarkable, for its giving rise to three of the ancient families of this county, viz. Fountaine, Briggs, and Erle; about 1350, it seems as if the family divided, for Alexander le Erle owned an estate at Willingham, and Sotterly in Suffolk, and was settled there, but

1. William le Erle, his brother, I suppose as the eldest, continued at Salle, for I find in 1360, he owned an estate there, which hath continued in the family to this day; his son,

2. John Erle, was owner of divers lands purchased by him in Salle about 1405, and his descendants continued purchasing and adding to the estate, both in Salle and Cawston; though I do not find any lands belonging to the family in Heydon, till,

3. John Erle of Salle, Gent. about 1520, purchased divers lands there; this John lived to be very old, being buried at Salle, in October 1570, leaving

4. John Erle of Salle, his son and heir; he added to the estate by purchasing in Heydon; by his first wife, Agnes Locksmith, who was buried at Salle in 1560, he had no issue; but by his second, Catherine, who was buried there in 1606, he had 3 sons and 7 daughters; and dying in February 1611, was buried with his ancestors at Salle.

5. Thomas Earle of Salle, his eldest son and heir, had 2 wives, Margery, daughter of William Oxburgh of Aylsham, who died in 1599 without issue, was his second wife; but by Anne, daughter of John Founteyn of Salle, Esq. who was buried at Salle in 1598, he had one son and three daughters, and dying in September 1605, he was buried at Salle by his wives, and left his father, and father in law, executors, and guardians to his son,

6. Erasmus Earle, Esq. who was baptized at Salle, September 20, 1590; he was sent early to Norwich school, and after he had passed through his studies there, was admitted student of Furnival's Inn, but removing thence, was admitted of Lincoln's Inn, April 7, 1612. In 1639 he was autumnal lecturer of that society, and bencher of it in the years 1635, 6, 7, 8, 9, 40, and 41; and for some time treasurer there: and now having made great proficiency in the law, he became concerned for many principal people, but especially transacted the affairs of the chief families of his own county; and behaved with so much reputation, that in 1644, he and Mr. Thurloe were secretaries for the English at the treaty of Uxbridge; and on the 12th of October, 1648, he was called to the degree of serjeant at law; and the same year succeeded William Denny, Esq. as steward of Norwich city, and in the latter part of it, was chosen recorder there, in the room of Samuel Smith, Esq. in which post he continued till 1653; December 6, 1648, he was sent with a commission of Oyer and Terminer to Norwich, though the trials did not come on till Christmas Day; and afterwards sent with the like commission the York circuit. In the long parliament begun 1640, he was chosen member for Norwich city; when Oliver Cromwell took upon him the protectorship, he made him his own serjeant, and after his death, he enjoyed the same post, under his son Richard, being likewise serjeant to the Commonwealth. Such was his reputation in business, being esteemed one of the most able lawyers of his time, that in the Norfolk circuit he had almost monopolized it: at the Restoration he took the benefit of the King's pardon, and was on the 21st of June, 1660, again called to the degree of serjeant at law, with Sir Thomas Bedingfield, Hugh Windham, John Fountaine, and others, and continued in great reputation and business to the end of his days.

He raised a good estate, and among many other purchases, bought the manors of Salle, Cawston and Heydon, to the last of which he removed from Salle, and the manor-house called Heydon-hall, hath been the seat of the family ever since. He married Frances, daughter of James Fountaine of Salle, Esq. February 25, 1616, and she was buried at Heydon, 13 September 1671, and had 4 sons and 2 daughters. Having lived to a good old age, he died at Heydon 7 September 1667, and is buried in the east chapel of the north isle, under an exceeding large altar tomb, over which is a mural monument with the arms and inscription, as here exhibited to your view.

7. John Earle, Esq. his eldest son was baptised at Salle, in April 1622, was admitted of Pembrook-hall in July 1640, was afterwards of Lincoln's Inn, barrister at law, and sheriff of Norfolk in the year 1654. He married Sarah, one of the daughters of Sir John Hare of Stow Bardolf, Knt. sister of Sir Ralf Hare, Bart. by Elizabeth, only daughter of Thomas Lord Coventry, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, by Sarah daughter of Edward Seabright of Besford in the county of Worcester, Bart. She died in 1667, and was buried at Heydon, by whom he himself was also interred in 1697. His eldest son

8. Raphe Earle of Salle, Esq. was admitted fellow commoner of Pembrook-Hall, under the tuition of Mr. Neech, in 1672; but died single in 1679, and was buried by his grandfather at Heydon.

9. Erasmus Earle of Heydon, Esq. 2d son of John, became heir at his father's death; he married Eleanor, daughter and sole heir of Augustine Castle of Raveningham, Esq. having been fellow commoner of Pembrook-Hall, under the tuition of Dr. Browne, and high sheriff of Norfolk in the year 1690. He was buried at Heydon in March 1721, and she in 1736. They had four sons,

1. John Earle, gentleman-commoner of University college in Oxford, died single in 1721, before his father.

2. Erasmus Earle, Esq. was admitted pensioner of PembrookHall, under the tuition of Dr. Long, the present master. He married Hannah-Maria, sister to Colonel Thomas de Grey of Merton, in 1717, daughter of William de Grey, Esq. and widow of James Calthorp, Esq. son and heir of Sir Christopher Calthorp of East Barsham, Knight of the Bath, who died before his father, and left by her one son only, who died without issue.

The said Erasmus died at Bath, October 28, 1728, and was interred at Heydon, 13 November following, but left no issue.

4. Edward Earle, the 4th son, was born 1697, and died unmarried in 1731, so that the whole estate came to the 3d son, at his brother Erasmus's death, viz.

10. Augustine Earle of Heydon, Esq. one of the hon. commissioners of the excise, and member of the society of antiquaries in London, who now enjoys it; being lord of the several manors of Heydon, Salle, Cawston, &c. at this time, and hath his residence or country seat at Heydon-Hall.

He married Frances, daughter and sole heiress of Robert Blaicklock of Seascate-Hall in Cumberland, Esq. in 1726, who is now living; by whom he hath had three sons and three daughters.

1. Erasmus Earle, his eldest son, was admitted fellow commoner of Pembrook-Hall, under the tuition of Dr. Long, the present master, and is now fellow of St. Peter's college in Cambridge, and member of the society of antiquaries in London.

2. Robert, born in 1729, died in 1732.

3. Augustine, born 1737, died 1744.

The eldest daughter, 1, Mary, is now living.

2. Frances, the second daughter, is dead, and buried at Heydon; and

3. Elizabeth, the third daughter, is now alive.

The Earles bear for their coat armour, the ancient arms of the family,

Az a fess between two bars gemelles, or.

Crest on a torce of their colours, a lion's paw erased proper, holding a pheon or.

And for the motto,


The church is dedicated to St. Peter and Paul, and is a rectory not capable of augmentation, it being charged with first fruits and yearly tenths, for it stands thus in the King's Books;

9l. 18s. 6d. ob. Haydon rectory, 19s. 8d. ob. yearly tenths.

The synodals are 1s. 6d. the archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob.; the whole town paid 4l. 3s. to every tenth, but had a deduction always of 30s. allowed, on account of the revenues belonging to the religious, lying in the parish; for the prior of St. Faith had as many revenues as were estimated at 20 marks, the prior of Coxford had ix s. iii d. in annual rents, and the prior of Lewes 27s. It is laid at 460l. to the land tax, and pays 9s. to the county rates at every 300l. levy.

Rectors of St. Peter's Church at Heydon[edit]

  • 1310, Roger de Brewse, subdeacon. Lady Alice, widow of Sir Giles de Brewse, lord of Stinton manor in Salle, to which this advowson belongs. He died this year, and held Stinton and this advowson, of Jeffry de Say.
  • 1330, Edmund Lonewade priest. John de Brewse.
  • 1331, John de Catefield, priest. John son of Giles de Brewse.
  • 1332, John de Boseville. Ditto.
  • 1335, Roger de Dallyng, subdeacon, res. Sir John Brewse, Knt.
  • 1338, Roger de Norwich, priest. Ditto.
  • 1340, Robert de Hardeshull, priest. Ditto.
  • 1360, John de Pyssale, clerk, res. Sir Robert de Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, Edmund de Ufford, his brother, William Tucheburgh, &c. patrons, by purchase.
  • 1361, William de Aylesham, priest, buried in the chancel in 1373. Ditto.
  • 1374, John Tyveteshall, clerk. Sir John Brewse, senior, Knt. who in 1383 settled it with Stinton manor in Salle, to divers uses.
  • 1406, Robert Hygge, priest. Sir William de Willughby Lord of Eresby, Miles de Stapleton, Simon de Felbrigge, William de Argentein, Knts. William Scheffeld, rector of Salle, William Hewe, rector of Hasketon, John de Yelverton, Robert de Martham, and Robert Rouse, patrons for this turn as Brewse's feoffees.
  • 1433, John Brixi of Lopham, priest. Ela, widow of Sir Robert Brewse, Knt.

In 1472, Richard Hokele, or Hokell, one of the serving chaplains in this church ever since 1445 gave 5 marks for a new bell, and was buried in the north isle, in the chapel of which, he served at the altar of St. John Baptist, at the end there, and his brass thus inscribed still remains;

Grate pro anima Domini Richardi Rohpll Capellani, qui obiit rbiiiobie Mensis Aprilis Ano Domini Mo CCCCCo LXXii cuius anime propitietur Deus Amen.

  • 1476, Thomas Gardiner, rector, res. and was succeeded by,
  • 1476, Master Thomas Dalton, priest. Sir Thomas Brewse of Salle, Knt.

Another chantry priest or chaplain, at the altar in the north isle, lies buried there with this,
Orate pro anima ficardi Jeffrason Capellani, cuius anime &c.

  • 1479, Sir Robert Hare, priest, A. M. he died rector. Sir Tho. Brewse, Knt.
  • 1497, Master Thomas Hare, L. L. D. chancellor of Norwich, &c. (See vol. iii. p. 633) Lady Elizabeth, relict of Sir Tho. Brewse, Knt. He resigned in
  • 1506 to Master Henry Bothby, clerk. Anthony Hansard and Roger Townesend, Esqrs.
  • 1522 Sir Richard Hansard, on Bothby's death. Roger Townesend, Esq.
  • 1523 Roger Townesend, scholar at the University, on Hansard's death, was instituted by his proctor, William Salman. Ditto.
  • 1538 William Call, S. T. D. sometime warden of the gray friars in Norwich, and minister provincial of the order, (though a great enemy (see vol. iii. p. 202, 1568) to Bilney the martyr, could turn, rather than burn, as he did,) was instituted by William Burtfield, his proxy, at the presentation of Sir Roger Townesend, Knt. patron here, in right of the Lady Anne his wife; on Call's death, in
  • 1539, Master Leonard Heydon, clerk, succeeded. Sir Roger Townshend, Knt.

In 1551, Lady Anne Townesend, died seized of this advowson and Stinton-Hall manor.

  • 1554, Sir Thomas Claxton, priest. Philip and Mary, King and Queen, as guardians to Roger, son and heir of Richard Townesend, he being a minor. On Claxton's death in
  • 1574, Arthur Williams, clerk, had it. Henry Dynne, Gent. in the place of William Perne, to whom Roger Townesend, Esq. had granted this turn. He resigned.
  • 1576, Robert Greenwood, A. B. he died rector. Roger Townesend, Esq.
  • 1602, William Wells, S. T. B. he resigned. Sir John Townesend, Knt.
  • 1603, Edward Mundye, A. M. Ditto.
  • 1612, Thomas Partington, clerk; he died rector. Lady Anne, relict of Sir John Townesend, Knt.
  • 1642, William Malkinson, A. M. Mary Lady Vere, late wife of Horace Lord Vere, late Baron of Tilbury, and Timothy Fetton of London, Gent.
  • 1645, John Davy, who lieth buried in the chancel, with the arms of Davy and Calthorp impaled, and Davy's crest of an elephant's head upon a crown, from which comes a chain which turns over the elephant's trunk, and this,

Sacred to the Memory of the Rev. John Davy Clerke, of this Parish, ob. 1647. Æt. 39. John Davy of Heigham, Gent. his Son ob. 30 January 1710. Æt. 63. Judith Davy relict of John Davy, Gent. 11 September 1724, 80.

  • 1647, Thomas Newman. Erasmus Earle, Esq.
  • 1662, William Simpson. Erasmus Earle, serjeant at law.
  • 1700, John Basset, rector. Erasmus Earle, Esq.
  • Arthur Gallant, buried here. Ditto.

The Rev Mr. Andrew Shaw is the present rector, 1749, and

Augustine Earle, Esq. is the present patron.

There is a rectory-house on the east part of the churchyard, and a croft of 3 acres adjoining, besides other glebes in Heydon and Corpesty, and in 1480, there were 18 acres 1 rood of glebe, and 1s. 6d. rent, and now the rectory of Irmingland is consolidated to this.

The church is a good regular building, having a nave, 2 isles and chancel, covered with lead; the north vestry is in decay; there is a handsome square tower and three bells, and north and south porches, tiled.

There are many memorials for the Dynnes, an ancient family residing here; their motto is, nec temere, nec timide; their arms, sab. a plume of four feathers, between four croslets patte arg. and a plume for their crest.

On brass plates in the church,

Orate pro animabus Roberti Aynne et Alicie Uroris sue, qui quidem Kabertus, obiit biiio die Nobembris Ano Dni' Mccccl;riro.

Orate pro anima Alicie Dyne filie Johannis Dyne Armig' que obiit Ano Dni' Mocccxxx cuius anime propittietur Deus.

This John Dynne built the rood-loft, and his name is still on the door; the present church was rebuilt at this time, to which he was a considerable benefactor.

Nic iacet Dompnus Thomas Dynme filius Johannis Dynne, nuper Monarchus Sancti Beneicti de Hulmo qui obiit rriro die Julii Anno Domini Mo cccclrrb ruius anime propirietur Deus Amen.

Mic iaret Chisabeth, nuper Aror Roberti Dynne, filia Monrici Noon, nuper de schelfanger Armigeri, et Nepta nuper Menrici Noon be radem Militis, que quidem Eliazabeth obiit ro die

Septembr' Anno Dni' Mocccco cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen.

Orate pro anima Roberti Dynne Generosi, ac pro animabus Parentum et amicorum ipsius Roberti, qui obiit rvi.o die Mail Ano Dni' Mcccclxxxxviii quorum animabus propicictur Deus.

Hic iacet Robertus Dynne Armiger, qui duas durerat Urores, viz. primam elizabetham, Filiam Radulfi Willikins, quondam Civis et Maior' Civitatis Uorbici, Secundam Beatricem, Filiam Johannis Tendall Militis, qui quidem Robbertus obiit rrodie Martii Anna Dni' Millmo Ouingentessimo Octogessimo

Nec Temere, Nec Timidi.

Here under lyeth buried the Body of Henry Dynne of Heydon Esquier, late one of the Auditors to our Soberaigne Ladie Eliza beth Oueene of England, of her highness honorable Courte of Erchequer, habng Issue by JOhn his Wife, William, Thomas Robert, Henrie, Anthony Elizabeth, Prudence, Alice, Minifride, Margaret and Beatrice, who deceased at his House in London the rrv Dan of November, in the Yere of our Lord God Moccccclxxxvi, being the Time of his Death, of Age of Liii Years.

There are several stones more of this family with their inscriptions rent off, and on some their arms remain, as on the stone of John Dynne, who was buried about 1471.

Hic iacet Johannes Beck, cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen. Drat pro anima Katerine Beck, cuius anime, &c.

On an altar tomb at the east end of the south isle,

Here lieth the Body of Robert Kempe, Esq; who descended of that ancient Family of Spayneshall in Essex obijt July 1615, and next unto him lyeth the Body of his loveing Wife Mrs. Frances Kempe, who died December 1633.

Mary one of the Daughters of Robert Kempe, Esq; sometime the Wife of Nicholas Osborne, Gent. and late Wife of John Kitchingman, Gent. died June 1644. Osborn and Kemp impaled.

On a brass plate in the chancel,

Here lieth Dorothy Daughter of John and Fraunces Castell of Raveningham, late Wife of George Mordaunt, second Sonne of Henry Mordaunt of Massingham Parva, they had Issue, LeStrange, Robert, John, Henry, Mary, George, and Thomas, of whom she died in Child-Birth, in December 1681, Anno Domini 1618.

Pietatis Conjugalis Ergo P.

Mordaunt and Castle impaled, and both their crests, Castle's being a griffin's head.

A flat stone in the north isle;

Taverner, arg. a bend fusillé sab. impaling, Richers, arg, three annulets az.

Mors omnibus communis est.

Hic jacet Amia Taverner, Uxor Thomæ Taverner Generosi, una Filiarum et Coheredum Edmundi Richers de Swannington Armigeri, procreata de Corpore Elizabethœ Bedingfield primæ Uxoris suæ, que quidem Amia obijt vicessimo Secundo die Februarij Anno Domini 1630.

  • 1664 Tabitha Wife of John Drewry ob. April 10.

On a black marble at the east end of the south isle,

Colfer, in a bordure a lion rampant, an annulet for difference, impaling a chevron between 3 mullets.

Here lyeth the Body of Edward Colfer, Esq; Councellor at Law, late of Lincolne's-Inne, who yielded up his Soul to God, His Life to Nature, His Body to the Earth, His Memory to the World: Isabell Colfer, his sad and sorrowful Wife, most unwilling to Part with him, but most willing to Honour him, hath dedicated this Monument to his Memory, as a loyal Testimony of her Love and Affection to him: He dyed at Aylsham in Norfolk, in the Year of our Lord 1657, and of his Age the 65th.

He learn'd to Die, while he had Breath, And so he Lives, even after Death.

At the west end of the church, against the north pillar of the steeple.

Here lyeth the Body of Nicholas Steward Batchelour, obijt 2 October 1708, Æt. 75. He was Bailiff to Erasmus Earle of Heydon, Esq; for the space of 29 Years, during which Time, he approved himself a faithful and honest Servant, in the Discharge of so great a Trust, and as a gratefull Testimony of his Love for the Family, wherein he had so long serv'd, he bequeath'd all he had (except a few Legacies) to the said Erasmus Earle, Esq; who in consideration of his faithfull Services, caused this Monument to be erected to his Memory, A. D. 1711.

On a black marble in the altar,

Earle's crest and arms quartering De Grey.

To the Memory of Erasmus Earle late of Heydon, Esq; second Son of Erasmus, Grandson of John, and Great Grandson of Erasmus Earle, Esq; Serjeant at Law, who departed this Life at Bath the 19th of October 1728, in the 36 Year of his Age, and lies here interr'd.

Earle impales Castle, in a lozenge.

Here lieth the Body of Eleanor Earle, the Relict of Erasmus Earle Esq; She died the 12th of February 1733, Aged 66 Years.

On a black marble,

Here rest the Remains of the Rev. ARTHUR GALLANT, late Rector of Brinton and Heydon cum Irmingland, a faithfull Pastor, lived greatly Esteemed, and died much Lamented, July 3, 1713, Aged 56 Years. His eldest Daughter Susanna the Wife of Francis Stafford of Norwich, affixed this Stone to his Memory.

In several of the windows, are shields of the arms of Morley.

The windows are much defaced, but were formerly adorned with many saints, confessors, martyrs, &c. as the legend of St. Margaret in a south window; St. Peter, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, Jude and Ozias in the north windows; but there is one north window very remarkable; on it are painted many young swearers, drunkards, diceplayers, and other profligate livers, with a representation of hell, and such sinners as those in its flames; placed there, no doubt, as a view and warning-piece, for to deter youth from such living.

The following twelve sentences are in scrolls from the youths' mouths:

1. Be Goddys hert, I have all Lyunde.

2. Be Goddys Ynstole, myn Hod,

3. it ween, be Goddys blod,

4. of God my is better be apon

5. Be the Body of God, I wyl go to Towne,

6. Be Goddys Somle and I to Choune,

7. lard, be th Armys of Godd dere,

8. Be the Sydys of God, the Dyes arn here.

9. Be Goddys Feet, me thowt it ryth smale,

10. Be the nie of God this was good Ale,

11. Dar Swear upon a Booke,

12. God fals for mede

After which is this lamentation:

Alas my Child have the thus dyth, The cursyd Swerrerys, al be hys Lemys be rent asundryth. Alas! my Mone, how may I mendene, the Thevys on the Cros lympeth, Thei wyst nowt thua theyed inded. but the may wete beter Thyngs, Yuth therfore, therfore ye ben qwers than thei tore Ye that with Othys grevyth the on Erth so Thou grevist up hymself seyth in his Sawtyer Lo.

Here were held gilds in honour of St. Peter, St. Mary the Virgin, St. John Baptist, the Holy Trinity and the Annunciation, and there were lights kept in the church, at our Ladies Altar, and the Sepulchre, besides those, of the Assumption, and of our Lady of Pity.


Commonly called Caston, at the Confessor's survey was found to belong to Herold, then Earl of the East Angles, and afterwards King of England; and at his death, this and his possessions belonged to William Duke of Normandy, commonly called William the Conqueror, who slew him at the battle of Hastings in Sussex, and seized his crown; the manor was then a very considerable one, having no less than eleven carucates of land, 80 acres of pasture, 36 villeins, 26 borders, 6 household servants, and 4 carucates in demean, and the freemen held 26 carucates; there was a wood so large as to feed 1500 hogs, 2 mills, 60 sheep, 50 goats, 5 hives of bees, and 10 socmen, all which King William held at the survey taken by him, so that the whole town is ancient demean, and enjoys the privileges of that tenure, as also those of the dutchy of Lancaster, of which this manor is a member, and consequently within its liberty, but was exempted from the jurisdiction of the dutchy, by John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster; in token whereof at this day, a brazen gauntlet (or hand) is still carried before the lord of the manor or his steward, whenever they hold court here, some say, as the device or rebus of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, who assigned all the royalties to be held of him, by the lords of the manor; and the plough-coulter in the hand denotes the manor to be held in free-soccage and not in capite, or by knight's service. An exact representation of it, may be seen at p. 246. This I take to be the real fact; though there are other accounts that say, that this manor was held of the dutchy, from its first erection, by the service of being champion to the Dukes of Lancaster, of which office the gauntlet is a token, it being the very thing, which every one that challenges another to fight, according to the law of arms, throws down, and if the challenged takes it up, the combat is agreed on, and now the sending and accepting a glove (the gauntlet, being the iron-glove of a suit of armour) is the way of giving and accepting an honourable challenge, (if true honour can have any such thing.) But as to record, I find nothing concerning this entered, and our great antiquary, Sir Henry Spelman, who mentions it under Cawston, in his Icenia, knew nothing of its original; which is not very much to be wondered at, because the manor was always returned befor the erection of the dutchy, as held of the Crown by homage and knight's service, but since that time, there being no service nor homage done at the death of the lord, the tenure being altered from knight's service to soccage, I always find the returns made by the juries on the several inquisitions taken, were, that they knew not by what service it was held, which they could not do, the tenure being non-apparent in the feodaries' books.

At the first survey it was worth 30l. at the second 40l. by tale, and was then above two miles long, and as much broad, and paid 7d. to the geld or tax towards every 20s. raised on the hundred; there were several berewics or manors belonging to, and held of, this, in the several villages of Marsham, Blickling, Olton, Matelask, Strattonstrawless, Colby, Wickmere, Boton, Whitwell, and Branteston, and of the freemen belonging to the manor: Rainald Fitz-Ivo held 2, William Bishop of Thetford 2, Godric the Sewer 2, which Earl Ralf (Guader) held, when he forfeited, William de Warren 2, and Roger Bigot 2, besides those held of Alan Earl of Richmond.

It remained in the Crown some time, for in 1193 Eustace de Nevile farmed it with Aylesham manor, of King Richard I.; and it is said that in 1156, William, brother to King Hen. II. held it, and that William de Cheyney, then sheriff, had an allowance for looking after it. In 1197, when King Richard I. levied a tallage upon all the burghs and manors of ancient demean, Robert Fitz-Roger, Osbert Fitz-Hervei, William de Glanville, Michael Belet, and master Roger de Sancto Eadmundo, his commisioners for that purpose, laid 7l, 12s. 6d. upon the tenants and men of Cawston, and 117s. 3d. upon the men of Saham; and it continued in the Crown till

King John, in the 3d. year of his reign, ano 1201, granted it to

Hubert de Burgo, or Burgh, Earl of Kent to be held in capite of the Crown, by what service was not known, but the record called Testa de Nevil says, it was believed to be held by the ancient annual farm. Hubert died in 1243, and Margaret his widow, had her dower in this manor, which she released in

  • 1246 to John de Burgo, her son-in-law, son of Hubert, by Margaret daughter of Sir Robert Harsick, Knt. his first wife, together with her dower in Newton, and many other manors in Suffolk, Sussex, Somersetshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Dorsetshire and Cornwall. This John was knighted on Whitsunday 1229, by King Henry III. and married Hawise, daughter and heir to William Lanvaille, (who brought with her the barony of St. Clere,) and of Maud his wife, daughter of Gilbert Peeche; in 1242 he had a protection from all debts due from him to the King, as well in the Great Exchequer, as in the exchequer of the Jews, they being to be respited as long as he was in the King's service in Gascoigne; in 1251, when the King raised a tallage on the tenants in ancient demean, this John, lord here, and of Sutherton, was forced to raise the tallage on the men and tenants of those places, as ancient demean. In 1253, he had a special license to hunt any where in the King's lands, in this and divers other counties. In 1372, by the name of John de Burgo, senior, he granted to King Edward I. in fee, the manors of Cawston in Norfolk, Whately, in Northamptonshire, Weyland in Essex and Suffolk, Estwode and Ralegh, with Rochford hundred in Essex, Saham in Cambridgeshire, Kingesbury, Camelmelborn, Crompton, &c. with its hundred in Somersetshire, Wynford in Dorsetshire, and Banstede in Surrey, for which the King was to pay him a clear annuity of 500l. per annum, for life, and convey to him the wardenship of the Tower of London for life, the custody of Colchester Castle and the hundred of Tendring, and John de Burg, junior, Knt. his son and heir, confirmed it; it seems this took place immediately, for in
  • 1274, this manor was found to be in the King's hands, and was settled on his Queen, with Fakenham, Aylesham, &c. and the two hundreds of north and south Erpingham; in 1229, William de Curson of Carleton in Norfolk was the King's steward here, and paid 34l. and half a mark clear, for the arrears of the farms of the King's manors of Aylesham, Cawston, Hautbois, and the hundreds of north and south Erpingham, and was allowed a deduction for Cawston-mill, which was blown down. In 1285, the King assigned it to Queen Eleanor his consort, who was found to hold it with Aylesham, and the hundreds of north and south Erpingham, the whole being then worth 100l. per annum. William Curson being her steward, and such he occurs in 1301; at her death it came to King Edward I. again, who died seized, leaving it to his successour,

King Edward II. who in the 2d year of his reign, ano 1309, granted it to

Gilbert de Clare Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, and the heirs of his body, with the manors of Fakenham-Dam, Aylesham, and the two hundreds to be held in capite, by the service of two knights fees; but on Gloucester's death without issue they reverted to the Crown, and in

  • 1314, the King granted them all to David de Strabolgi Earl of Athol, to hold them till his lands in Scotland should be reduced to the King's subjection, and he restored, and peaceably settled in them; he was lord in 1316, but they were restored to the Crown sometime before 1330, for in that year, Causton, Costesey and Fakenham were granted to

Robert de Ufford Earl of Suffolk for life; and in 1336, to the heirs male of his body, for his late loyal service that he performed for King Edward III. against Roger Mortimer late Earl of March; besides those, he had a grant for life of the town and castle of Orford in Suffolk, of Gravesend in Kent, Burgh in Norfolk, Gestingthorp in Essex, &c. in all amounting to 300 marks per ann. In 1355 Thomas de Cokefield farmed them under him; in 1368 the Earl died seized of this manor, held in capite at one fee, and of the honour of Eye, town and castle of Orford, Benhale, &c.

William de la Poole, his son and heir, succeeded him, who in 1381 was lord here, and patron, and died this year, and Roger de Scales, Knt. Robert de Wilby, Knt. and Henry de Ferrers, Knt. were his cousins and heirs; and so for want of issue of his body, it devolved again to the Crown, where it remained till

  • 1385, and then King Richard II. granted to

Sir Michael de la Poole, Knt. chancellor of England, now created Earl of Suffolk, and to the heirs male of his body, 20l. per annum out of the profits of Suffolk county, and 500l. yearly out of the hereditaments of William Ufford, late Earl of Suffolk, for which the following manors were conveyed to the said Earl, and confirmed to him by the King's girding him with a sword, Burgh, Cawston, Baketon, and Costesey, with knights fees in Blickling, Bawdeswell, Hethill, Stanfield, &c. in Norfolk, castle, town, manor, and honour of Eye, the hundreds of Hertesmere and Stowe, the manors of Combs, Haughley, Trendon, Lowestoft, and Lothinglond hundred in Suffolk, and Gestingthorp in Essex, of which he died seized in 1414, and

Katherine his widow held Cawston, and the chief of the estate for life, and was lady here in 1415, and Michael de la Pole Earl of Suffolk was heir in reversion; who had three daughters, Katerine, 4 years old, Elizabeth 3 years old, and Isabel 1 year old; but he never inherited it, for on his death without male issue, after Katherine's death it went to his brother,

William de la Pole Earl of Suffolk, who held it in capite in 1425, with the advowson of the honour of Wormegeye at 1 fee, with Burgh manor: he died about 1449, seized of the whole estate, and

John de la Poole Duke of Suffolk, his son and heir, was then 7 years old: he died seized in 1491, and the estate went to

Edmund de la Poole Earl of Suffolk, who was attainted, and so this manor and advowson came to the Crown in 1494, 10th Henry 7th, and remained there till

  • 1504, and then Henry VIIth granted it to

Gerald, son of the Earl of Kildare, and Elizabeth Zouch his wife, and their heirs male; this Gerald was a great man in his time in Ireland, as the Annals of that kingdom testify; he had two wives, but this manor being limited to the heirs male of Elizabeth Zouch, who had none, at his death in 1514 it fell to the Crown; and then Sir Robert Drury, Knt. Sir John Heydon, Knt. and Edmund Gelget, preferred a petition to the King on the behalf of Margaret de la Poole Countess of Suffolk, late wife of Edmund de la Poole, whose jointure it was, setting forth that she had a right for life in the manors of Westhorp, Wiverston, Huntingfield, Thorndon, Virleys, Moundevyles, Swanes, Nedding, Benhaule, and Haughle in Suffolk, Cawston, Kerdeston, Saxlingham, Burgh by Aylesham, and Segesford in Norfolk, and they were assigned her; but devolved to the Crown at her death, which was about 1516, and there remained till

  • 1539, 31st of Henry VIII. and then that King granted Cawston and the advowson to

Sir James Bulleyn, Knt. and Elizabeth his wife, in exchange for the manors of Haverseale and Kempsing in Kent. In 1550, the 5th of Edward VI. for 500l. paid into the Exchequer, it was granted to remain after the death of Sir James Bullen, Knt. and Elizabeth his wife; and the longest liver of them to the Lady Eliz. daughter of Queen Anne Bullen, by Henry VIII, and afterwards Queen of England, and so it came again to the Crown.

In 1562, when Queen Elizabeth had the manor and advowson, there was an exact survey of it made by William Minne, William Dix, and Thomas Sidney, Gents. her commissioners for that purpose, on the oaths of 13 tenants on the jury, who said, that the Queen was lady and patroness, and had court-baron and lete, weyf and stray, with all game and royalty of fesaunt and partridge to the same belonging; that it was ancient demesne, and a liberty within itself, and that no sheriff or escheator could serve process in the manor, the tenants of which were not to appear at any assizes or sessions, or any other courts out of the franchise; also no spiritual officer could serve any citation there, but the clarke of the town; and they were not to appear before any spiritual juage out of the lordship. The Queen had a warren of conies, and a fald-course in her several ground, called the Park, and a lodge lately built on her several ground called Leeches adjoining thereto; the fald course is let at 5l. per annum. It hath a fair, market, and all escheats, worth 26s. 8d. per annum; a wartermill let by copy of court roll at 4s. per annum; they sue all fines on the freehold by their own steward or his deputy, and pay a set fee of 2s. 4d. each fine sued, for the recording it, and the fines sued on the base tenure only 4d.; the customary fines for the demised lands of the site of the manor, or ancient demeans, is 2d. an acre; the tenants have been judges in traverse for the freehold; the free-rents are 12l. 13s. 10d. per annum, with the stikepence, and the base tenure rents or quitrents are 12l. 16s. Item, our Custom is, for the whole fines of the base tenure lands 2s. an acre, and for the petty fine (or fine of alienation) when lands are sold, xiid. the acre, and more for issue for every acre for the year 1d.

The Commons are in general for all the inhabitants of Cawston, and in the precinct of the manor, viz. at Falling 1 acre, BaywoodGreen 5 acres, the common from Blakebrigge towards Heydon north 8 score acres, set out by marks and crosses. The 4th common is going from Causton-Woodrow on the south side of the Queen's several ground, called the Park, leading to the common water-run of Causton and Aylesham, towards Marhsam, Buxton-Doles, and Heveringland, &c. Malborne's Haven, between Causton and Marsham, &c. 1 acre of common against William Alexander's house, &c. by Branteston, 10 acres lying between Booton common south, and Reed's close north.

The site of the manor is a messuage called Leeches or Baywood, much dilapidated, a brew-house, stable and long barn of 4 bayes, &c. the old site is builded with divers cottages, holden by copy of court roll by divers tenants, the which site, with certain other demean lands, as the faldcourse, warren and wood, by the old extent with the profits of the fair and market was formerly 11l. 18s. 8d. but are now raised.

In 1572, it was 55l. per annum, and was afterwards granted by the Queen for a term to Sir Thomas Gresham, Knt. but that being out in

  • 1610, King James I. granted it to Sir Henry Hobart, Knt. his attorney general, who purchased it of him, to be held by knights service to him and his heirs in fee; his son,

Sir Henry Hobart had it in 1612, whose son,

Sir John Hobart, in 1662, sold it to

Erasmus Earle, sergeant at law, for 3450l. and James Long his trustee, in whose family it still continues,

Augustine Earle, Esq. being now lord and patron, for which family see under Heydon.

In 1605, James I. granted them his charter of certificate, that they and the tenants of Burgh manors by Aylesham, were tenants in ancient demean, and as such were free from toll, stallage, cheminage, pontage, panage, picage, murage and passage, in all England, and this charter was renewed in King Charles the First's time, ano 1625.

  • 1207, Jeffry Fitz kept two gosshawks, to have all the timber falling in Causton-Park, and all the windfalls of the top-wood.
  • 1457, Ela wife of Robert Brewse, Knt. died seized of 200 acres called Jerberg's Park in Cawston, and Robert de Brewse her son proved that it was not subject to the liberty of warren belonging to Cawston, and had no dependance on that court, because John son of Sir Hubert de Burgh, granted it absolutely free to William, son of William Gerrridge or Jerberge of Yarmouth, when he severed it from Cawston manor: in 1636, Roger Townesend, Bart. died seized of Gerberge's wood and park, containing 200 acres in Cawston, held in free soccage of Cawston manor; and Roger, his son and heir, was 8 years old.

In 1200, Henry III. first granted a charter to Hubert de Burgh, for liberty of free warren in his manor of Cawston.

In 1263, John de Burgh obtained a charter from Henry III. for a weekly market every Tuesday, and a fair on St. Remigius's day (October 1) and morrow.

And Edward I. granted a fair, which is kept here on St. Agnes's day, 21 January, and morrow, it being the dedication day of the church; and there is a sheep-shew, or fair for sheep, at the Woodrow-house on August 14; and formerly the church-wardens were obliged to pay an annual sum to make a crown for the principal image of St. Agnes, standing on the north side of the altar, at the east end of the chancel, and to adorn it.

Banningham, a member of Cawston, was granted off by Henry I. to Walter Tusard, who holdsit (per arbalisteriam) by the serjeanty of finding one archer, or foot-soldier, with a cross-bow, for the King's service; and Avis Tussard held it, when the record called Testa de Nevile was wrote.

In 1339, Jeffry le Scroop held Neyland manor in Essex and Suffolk, of this manor of Cawston, by the service of one rose a year; and Sir Henry le Scroop, Knt. his son, held it after him, in 1392.

The original of Leche's manor, was by a grant made by John de Burgh, of part of the lands and rents of the great manor, to Baldwyn son of John de Cankewelle, in 1274, with 52 acres of land, within the hedge of Causton Park, the said Baldwin being to have all royalties in his part or manor, paying yearly to the said John and his heirs a bearded arrow; and from that time, the lord of this manor always had an iron bearded arrow carried before him or his steward, whenever a court was held; at this time there is a mace carried at every court, having a bearded arrow at top, in token of the tenure, and to shew that it holds of the chief manor by it, and so is consequently held of that, as of the dutchy of Lancaster, in free-soccage. See this exactly described under Heydon, at p. 246.

It came afterwards to Robert Leeche, and after his death in 1399, William Leeche of Newton by Castleacre held that manor, with lands in Cawston and Olton of this manor, and Katerine wife of John Wisbitch, was his sister and heir; in 1405 William Leeche held it, and John was son and heir 8 years old. In 1460 Agnes Bacon, late wife of William Leche, and Nicholas son and heir of John Cannon, and Alice his wife, daughter and heiress of the said William and Agnes, sold it to John Heydon.

In 1521, Sir Roger Townsend was lord of Leeches manor in Cawston, and let the manor-house in Cawston, warren of conies, faldage and manor for 20 marks, and the 2d of October, in the 2d of Edward VI. he and his son Thomas sold the whole manor of Leeche's to Sir James Bulleyn, Knt. and so it became joined to, and hath continued with the great manor ever since.

Caston's Manor in Cawston[edit]

Walter de Cawston lived, and had an estate here about Richard the First's time, and was succeeded by Robert his son; Richer de Causton, and Stephen and Henry, sons of Richer, are mentioned to live in the time of Roger, prior of Norwich. In 1251, William de Causton was married to Maud, daughter of Vincent, and had divers lands granted them from the manor by John de Burgh; in 1267 Hugh their son had lands here and in Branteston. In 1289, John de Causton and Selona his wife purchased another estate here, of John de Wigenhale and Egidia his wife: in 1304, Robert de Causton purchased of Thomas de Whitwell, chaplain, 2 messuages, 116 acres of land, 4 of meadow, 3 of pasture, and 4s. rents, in Caston, Heydon, Oulton, Heveringland, Swannington, Branteston, and Boton; this Robert was one of those wise men whom Edward III. in 1304, thought fit to appoint to meet at Westminster, to be of counsil to his beloved son Thomas of Woodstock Duke of Gloucester, whom he had appointed Custos of England, during his absence in the French wars, with the Prince of Wales, and many noble lords in his company. In 1302 he and John de Wesenham were commissioned to lay an embargo on all ships from the mouth of the Thames northward, and to supply them with men and arms to resist the French, then making an invasion. 1460 John de Causton, Knt. had it, and in 1368, Robert de Causton died, and half a tenement in Stanford, part of the manor of Causton, of the manor of Wormegeye, with rents in Breydeston, and left two daughters, Margery 7 years old, and Mary 4: in 1506 John Curson, alderman of Norwich, buried at Letheringset, gave all his estate in Cawston, Boton, Hevingham, Heverland, and Branteston, with the court-leets and warren, to Thomas his son, to sing for him 5 years, and then to go to John his son, &c. In 1637 Sir Edmund Sawyer and Anne his wife, sold it to Sir John Hobart, Knt. and Bart. and he sold it immediately to Sergeant Earle, and so it united to the great manor.

Mey's or Sterling's Manor[edit]

Was parcel of the great manor, granted off by Henry I. and King John; in 1201, William son of Robert le Mey, had 20s. lands formerly the King's demean, and William son of Arnold, 40s. worth; and in 1231, William conveyed other lands here, to Jeffry de Causton; this William, in 1249, had other lands, rents, &c. here, of the ancient demeans of the grant of Henry I. held by the serjeanty or service of keeping and feeding one bloodhound.

This William married his daughter Christian, to Stephen de Aylesham, and conveyed to him with her, Hervy de Ingworth his villein, and his land, which Stephen gave to Bury abbey. In 1255, William son of William le May, paid a relief of 10l. to King Hen. III, to have seizen of all his father's lands; in 1274, a part of this manor which laid in Stanho, in Smithdon hundred, was now parted from this, and held by John King and Joan his wife, who, with William May, held the whole serjeanty of keeping a large hunting-hound for the King.

In 1276 William le Mey, as a tenant in capite, was summoned to attend Edward I. in his expedition into Wales: in 1285 Johanna or Joan le Mey was lady, and the serjeanty is thus expressed (per serjantiam custodiendi unum burtelettum ad voluntatem sumptibus suis proprijs.) In 1308 Robert Bedingfield and Joan his wife held Mey's manor, of the inheritance of the said Joan, in Causton and Stanhowe, by keeping a hound for the King, whenever the King sends one for that purpose, and Katherine and Elizabeth were their daughters and heirs; and in 1316, Joan le May of Cawston, wife of Robert de Bedingfield, infeoffed it in William son of Bartholomew de Stanhowe, and Walter March, and the heirs of Walter in it; and now it was found, that if the King sent the hound, he was to pay 14d. a week for their keeping it, and that no tenants of the lands held by this serjeanty ever served on juries, or appeared on any recognizances, by reason of the tenure. In 1353, Robert le May of Causton had license to sell the Causton part of manor there, to Henry de Brampton and his heirs, viz. 9 messuages, 80 acres of land, 4 of pasture, a sheeps-walk, and 5s. rent, to be held at the 6th part of a fee so that the sergeanty now all laid on the Stanhowe part, called May's manor in Stanhowe. In 1458 John Aggys, Gent. lord here, ordered his wife Margaret to sell it, and to be divided among Henry, Edmund, John, and Thomas, Katherine and Alice, his children, and William his bastard son. In 1543 William Knightly of Norwich, Gent. gave Mey's manor here to his son George; in 1565 Thomas Gaudy, Esq. sold the manors of Mey's and Sterling's, in Cawston, Branteston, and Heveringland, to John Gibbs, with the sheep-walks belonging to it; it was after this John Peter's, who sold it to John Jenny, Gent. and Thomas Deye, Gent. and in

  • 1655 Clement Herne, Esq. was lord, the rents of assize being then 1l. 5s. 5d. and it now belongs to

Paston Herne, Esq. of Heverlond.

The old site is in a close at the division of Cawston parish, almost by Heverlond: it is enclosed with an old moat, and contained about an acre.

The Church is dedicated to St. Agnes, and stands thus in the King's Books.

15l. 13s. 11d. ob. Cawston Rectoria, alias Caston, 1l. 11s. 4d. ob. qr. yearly tenths.

Hubert de Burgh gave 10 acres glebe to the church.

The advowson belonged to the manor, till Mr. Earle settled it on Pembrook Hall in Cambridge, who are always to nominate two of their fellows to the lord of the manor, who must present one of them so nominated.

  • 1283 John de Wyckham was rector, and the living was then worth 60 marks a year.

It is in Ingworth deanery and Norwich archdeaconry, pays first fruits and tenths, and is incapable of augmentation.

In 1378 Sir Roger Boys, Knt. and others, aliened to the prior of the Holy Trinity at Ingham in Norfolk, a messuage and 87 acres, in Worsted, Scottowe, Buxton, and Causton.

  • 1477, lands in Boton, Salle and Causton, aliened in mortmain, to Mary Magdalen's college in Oxford.
  • Synodals 1s. 1d.; visitatorial procurations, 3s. 11d.; archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob.; tenth of the lands of the religious here, 2l.


  • 1189, Henry de Castello, rector.
  • 1316, Henry de Hale, priest. David de Strabolgi Earl of Athol.
  • 1348, Adam de Skakelthorp; he made his will in 1370, and was prebendary of Paynes hall in Lincoln diocese, and lies buried in Cawston chancel, before the principal image of St. Agnes; he was a very great and wealthy person; among others, he gave legacies to his friends, William de Lughteburgh, rector of Salle, John de Pyeshale rector of Alderton, William de Aylesham, rector of Heydon, John Broun, rector of Tacolneston, and Peter de Mindham, vicar of Byker; he gave his organs, then standing in Cawston chancel, to Hickling priory, and to each canon 12d.; he had letters of fraternity, and was a benefactor to every house of friars in Norwich, and his obit kept accordingly; he was a great benefactor to the building of the south isle of Dennington church in Suffolk, and to the repair of the chapel and altar of St. Mary, at the east end of that isle; and to St. Margaret's chapel and altar, at the east end of the north isle there. He appointed brother Hugh de Boundale, prior of Yarmouth, to pray for his lord Sir Robert Ufford Earl of Suffolk, and Margaret daughter of Sir John Norwich, Knt. his wife, to whom he was chaplain; and ordered, that the day after his death he should be carried in his coffin into Cawston chancel, and there set on two stools, and be covered with a green worsted cloth, and then two wax-tapers, each weighing two pound and a half, to be placed in two iron candlesticks, one at his head, and one at his feet. Proved in 1470.
  • 1370, John de Lynsted, rector.
  • 1371, Sir John de Pyeshale, priest, (concerned in founding Brundish chantry.) Sir William de Ufford Earl of Suffolk, lord of Eye, Framlingham, and Cawston.
  • 1621, died Edward Hammond, who is buried in the chancel with this,

Hic jacet corpus Edwardi Hammond, rectoris hujusce ecclesie, quadraginta septem annos, qui obijt decimo die Junij A. D. 1621.

  • 1621, Thomas Colby, rector. D. D. and 1644.
  • 1661, Mr. Conyers, rector, died Aug. 6th.
  • 1663, Mr. Thomas Durham, rector.
  • 1666, Edward Earle gave a receipt for tithes. 1675, John Hildeyerd, rector, commissary to the archdeacon of Norfolk, 1683 L. L. D; be married Elizabeth Duncomb of Ipswich, and had by her, John, Francis, Edmund, Philippa, and Elizabeth. He was son of Christopher Hildeyerd, son of Richard, second son of Martin Hildeyerd of Winestead in Yorkshire, by Emma, daughter of Sir Robert Rudston of Yorkshire, from whose eldest son, Sir Robert Hildeyerd of Winestead, and Henry of Lincolnshire, descended.
  • Robert Whitefoot, rector, died August 14, 1720. He was son to the Rev. Mr. John Whitefoot of Norwich, for whom see vol. iv. p. 189.
  • 1721, Thomas Browne, rector, fellow of Pembrook-Hall. Erasmus Earle, patron. He lies buried in the chancel, under a stone thus inscribed,

S. H. M. Sepulta jacet Elizabetha, viri reverendi Thomœ Browne, A. M. hujus ecclesiæ rectoris, uxor dilectissima, nusquam satis deflenda, cum duobus, Thomâ scilicet, et Jacob-Augustino filiolis, beatam resurrectionem expectans, nata November xvio MDCXCVo denato Junij xxiiio MDCCXXVIo.

On a chevron between three lozenges, three mullets.

The Rev. Mr. Leonard Addison, A. M. late president of Pembrookhall, succeeded Browne, and is the present rector, and holds it with the rectory of Salle, and vicarage of Saxthorp.

  • 1460 John Barker of Cawston buried there, gave ten marks towards seating the church, and 10 marks towards building the rood-loft, commonly called the candlebeam, and 20 marks towards the new steeple now building at Heydon, and a legacy towards building one of the porches, and 100l. to his wife Katerine.

There is a brass in the church, for one of the family,
Orate pro anima Johannis Barker, qui obiit A. D. Mbro vii cuius anime propicietur Deus.

  • 1504 Richard Broune of Caston, buried before the image of our Lady of Pity, in the chapel of our Lady, in the church of St. Agnes at Caston, gave 4 marks to paint a pane of the rood loft, to our Lady's gild kept in this chapel 3s. 4d. to St. Agnes gild in the church 3s. 4d. to Sir John Browne his brother, to sing for him and his friends at our Lady's altar in this her chapel 1 yere 10 marks, and 10l. for a cope.
  • William Gelyons, was a benefactor to the gild of St. John the Baptist, held in that saint's chapel, and to the gilds of St. Peter, and of St. Thomas, and that of the Holy Trinity; to the plough-lights of Cawston town, Sygate, Eastgate, and the dams, to the lights before St. Agnes, St. Mary, St. James, &c. in the church.

The Church is a noble free-stone pile, having a fine square tower 40 yards high, and 6 bells and a clock in it, a nave, 2 isles, 2 transept chapels, a north chancel chapel, and north vestry and south porch, all leaded. This noble fabric, except the north isle, was built by Michael de la Poole Earl of Suffolk, lord here, and Catherine his wife, daughter of Hugh Earl of Stafford, son of Michael de la Pole Earl of Suffolk, and Catherine daughter and heiress of Sir John Wingfield, his wife; his patron, St. Michael, with the dragon, is carved on stone over the west door, with the arms following on 7 shields,

1. De la Poole, with an annulet on the fess for difference. The arms of Miles de la Pole, fifth son of the founder, and a benefactor.

2. Morley, impaling De la Pole and Wingfield quartered; Wingfield's bends are not cotised. The arms of the founder's eldest daughter, Isabel, who married William Lord Morley; both of them were benefactors to the tower.

3. Delapole and Wingfield quartered, impaling Stafford, or, a chevron gul. arms of the founder and his lady.

4. Delapole and Wingfield quartered; the arms of the founder's, father and mother.

5. Delapole and Wingfield quartered, impaling England, with a label of three points.

6. Chequy, a bend ermine Clifton, impales Delapole.

7. Delapole, with a de-lis, on the fess for difference. This was the shield of Alexander de la Pole, sixth and youngest son of Michael the founder, who was a benefactor to the building.

Over the north door is this,
Orate pro anima Roberti Orburgh, et pro quibus tenetur qui istub Ele fieri fecit.

Between the arms of Ufford and Delapole are Wingfield quartered, and at top, on each side, are the arms of England and France, all carved in stone

On the arch of the porch are Delapole and Wingfield's arms quartered.

There are two old gravestones on the south side of the churchyard, near the cross isle, one with the effigies of a man, the other of a woman, of very ancient sculpture in relievo, the supposed founders of the south chapel; but it is not likely, the tombs appearing much older than the building.

In the nave on antique stone:

In the chancel, before the altar:

Orate pro animabus Tohanis de Lynstede, qui fecit fieri istam aut perpetuam Amen.

In the east window are the arms of the East-Angles, Edward the Confessor, Bishop Nix of Norwich, Ufford Earl of Suffolk, Delapole Earl of Suffolk quartering Wingfield, France and England, and the arms of Sir James Bulleyn, Knt. lord here in 1540, quartered with Butler Earl of Ormond, impaling sab. on a fess gules between three mullets arg. three croslets or; Sir James's effigies kneeling in his surcoat of arms, and that of Elizabeth his wife were here formerly, but are now defaced; there was also another effigies, with a surcoat of arg. on a chief sab. two mullets of the field.

In the north chapel, against the chancel,
Orate pro amimabus Maargarete Harwarv, et Willi. Herward, et Nichi. Herman, et Tohannis Domsyng, nuper Uirorum predicte Margarete.

In a north window, az. five de-lises in chief or.

Pihet qui istam fenestram fieri fecit

On the screens are painted the four Doctors of the Church, the 12 Apostles, and many saints, and this,
Prey for the Sowlis of William Athereth, and Alice his Wyff, the wcche dede these iiii Panys Peynte be the Erecutoris lyff

In the nave,
Orate pro animabus Willi. Denne, et Elianore Uxoris eius qui obiit rioDni. MoUoiiio

In 1503 William Denne of Cawston, oon of the atturnes of the common law, made his will, and ordered to be buried here by his wife's tomb, under oon stone and gave a legacy to repair the church.

Mr. Edward Dewing late of Cawston, 1731. 65.

Æque maritus per Amans, ac pater Indulgentissimus, tam Herus benignus, quam Amicus sincerus, factis sine Fuco et Fallaciâ, nec non ei potissimum Egenis succurrere fuit.

Elizabeth Wife of Edward Dewing Yeoman, Daughter of Augustine Breeze of Cardistone, 1711, 54 Years and 9 Months.

Mary, Daughter of Edward Dewing, June 10, 1711. 15.

Elizabeth, the Wife of William Lowe of Norwich, Daughter of Edward Dewing of Caston, 1st of July 1719. 29.

Clement Leedes of Cawston 1732. 29.

In the north cross chapel,
Orate pro anima Roberti Rumpe, qui obiit rriodie Septemb. Ano Dni. Mccccrrio cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen.

The south transept windows are adorned with the several histories of the Creation, Deluge, Passion, &c.; and in it are the following memorials:

Anne Sporle Widow, 1694. Edward Lomb, Gent. August 24, 1670.

Depositum mortale Thomæ Lomb, Gen. è Christi Collegio in Academiâ Cantab. A. B. super ipsius almæ Matris gremio Vitam hanc meliori mutavit, 4 Octob. A. D, 1687.

Edward Lombe of Weston in Norfolk, Esq. 4 February 1703, 42. Elizabeth his wife 5 November 1702, 37. and 6 of her children.

Lombe, az. two combs in fess between a broken standard, the one part in chief, the other in base barways arg. impaling three estoils two and one.

Orate pro anima Henrici Goodman, qui obiit Ano. Dni. Mo Uo rrci.cuius anime propicieiur Deus Amen.

On a stone having the effigies of a man and woman,

Here lieth the Body of William Gurney, Gent. March 10 1578, and Anne his Wife 19 January 1596, they had 1 Son and 3 Daughters.

Gurney impaling Waytes of Norfolk, az. a fess or between three fishes naiant arg.

In the windows, which are very fine painting,
Orate pro animabus Thome Hogehyns, et Annicie Uxoris sue, Patris et Matris ejusdem Thome>

Orate pro animabus Richardi Barter, et Matildis uxoris eius.

This, on an old reading-desk, having the four doctors of the church carved on it, and his effigies, kneeling on a cushion, with his cap by him, and she kneeling also on a cushion,
Orate pro animabus Roberti Sparham de Causton et.

The parsonage-house stands on the south side of the churchyard. These arms were formerly in the windows, of which few now remain,

Mildmay, per fess arg. and sab. three greyhounds heads erased counterchanged collared or.

Sir Christopher Heydon's whole coat, impaling Lady Gray, his relict.

St. George. Delapole, quartering Wingfield and Stafford.

Az. two chevrons or, Delapole quarters Arundel, 1. Paine, arg a chevron vairè between three lions rampant az. quartered with Jermy, with a crescent for difference.

Paine, impaling Bulleyn, with a mullet.

Poley, er. a lion rampant sab. with a crescent, and Tempest, arg a bend between six martlets sable with a crescent.

Dengaine, gul a fess dancette between six croslets or.

Bulleyn, with a mullet. Ormond, Lord Hoo, quarterly sab. and arg. Gurnay, arg. a cross ingrailed gul. with a crescent impaling Wayte. Waterton, barry of six er. and gul. three crescents sub.

Quarterings of Pain or Bulleyn. 1. Lord Hoo, quartering Morley. 2. St. Omer. 3. Tremaine, az. three dexter hands arg. 4. Wichingham. 5. St. Legar, az. a frette arg. a chief gul. 6. Spencer.

I find a hamlet, called Alvington, in Cawston.

The cross and shambles are in decay, the market being much declined.

The Romans have been in these parts, as is evident from their coins found hereabouts; in 1728, a brass coin of Favstina was dug up in sinking a cellar.

Value to lard tax, 905l.; county rate to a 300l. levy, 1l.; the old tenth of the town, 10l.


This town in Domesday Book is written ELESHAM, that is, the village at the leas or pasture by the water, which exactly answers to its situation; the whole town with its berewics of Scipedan, Brundal, and Crachefort or Crakeford, belonged to Guert or Guerd, the Dane, who was a great owner in this county, and at that time the manor extended into Tatituna or Tutington; it had 6 carucates in demean, and among the several tenants and berwicks, the whole was no less than 18 carucates; the woods here were then large enough to maintain 400 swine, there were 20 villeins, 88 bordars or tenants, that paid poultry and other provisions, for the lords board or table; two servants in the house, and 60 socmen or tenants, that ploughed the lord's land, and held a carucate and half among them; the manor was then worth with its berwicks, 12l. per annum, and was 2 miles long and as much broad, and paid 20d. to the geld or tax, towards every 20s. raised by the hundred; and Crakeford hamlet was then four furlongs and an half long, and four furlongs broad, and paid 4d. gelt towards every 20s. raised in the hundred. The whole came to Ralf Earl of Norfolk, but on his forfeiture, the Conqueror seized it, and Godric managed it for him; and when the survey was taken by that prince, about the year 1086, it appears that the manor was raised from 12 to 25, and was now worth 29l. a year, besides 20s. as an annual fine: the parts in Tutington and Crakeford were now separated from the manor, and were first held by William Earl Warren, of whom Humphry, nephew of Ralf, brother of Ilger, held them; and after he forfeited them Drogo or Drue had them, but the King claiming them from him, Warren recovered them as his ancient inheritance.

From this time the manor continued in the Crown, whole and undivided, till King Richard the First's time, and he it was that divided it, by giving a part to Bury abbey, which was the original of Sexton's manor here, and by granting another part off, which was the original of Bolwick's manor; so that now there are 4 manors in this town, the capital, or Lancaster manor, Rectory and Vicarage manor, Sexton's and Bolwick's; of all which, I shall speak separately.

Aylesham, ex parte Lancastrie, or Lancaster's[edit]

Aylesham whole town was in the hands of Henry II. and he held it in right of his Crown, from the Conqueror, his progenitor; and in 1156 he had assigned it to his brother William for life, for his better support and honour, with Cawston. In 1199 Eustace de Nevile farmed them both of King John, till 1213, and then that King directed his writ, to the sheriff of Norfolk, to deliver possession of Aylesham to Baldwyn de Ayre; but in 1226, the King give it to Hubert de Burgo or Burgh Earl of Kent, and so it became joined to Cawston and the hundreds. In 1227, the tenants pleaded, that when King Richard I. went to the Holy Land, he conveyed the manor for a time to Eustace de Nevile, who sold many parcels of the demeans, to several of the tenants, who were now ordered to produce their grants, which several did, and they were all allowed, and those that did not, lost their land; and the same year, John le Grey pleaded, that he held his manor of Sheringham of this manor, by 12d. per annum paid at Lammas day, and the service of one fee; in 1296 it was in the King's hands, for Richard Cailly his bailiff distrained John Holmgey, for 4s. 11d. rent for a place called Holmecroft, which was held by the said rent, and the service of being provost or reeve of the King's mill, and mercate of Aylesham; and it passed with Cawston (which see) till about 1330, and then Queen Isabel, the King's mother, had it for life, and died seized, and then it continued in the Crown till 1371, when it was first made parcel of the dutchy of Lancaster, by the King's giving it to his son, John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, and the heirs of his body, and from that time it became the head, or principal town of that Dutchy, in this county.

This John took his name from the town of Gaunt, where he was born, being fourth son to King Edward III. and was created Earl of Richmond in 1342, the revenues of which earldom he then exchanged with the King; this man was King of Castile and Leons, Duke of Guyen, Acquitaine and Lancaster, Earl of Richmond, Derby, Lincoln, and Leycester, and high steward of England; he had three wives,

1. Blanch, daughter and coheir of Henry Duke of Lancaster, by whom he had Henry, afterward King of England; 3d Phillippa, wife to John King of Portugal; 2d, Elizabeth, married to John Holland Duke of Excester.

His second wife was Constance, daughter and one of the coheirs, of Peter King of Castile, by whom he had issue; Catherine, married to Henry, son of John, King of Spaine, with the title to the kingdoms of CASTILE and LEONS.

His third wife was, Katherine, daughter of Pain Roet, alias Guien, King of Armes, and widow of Sir Otes Swynford, Knt. by whom he had issue before marriage; first, John, sirnamed Beaufort, Earl of Somerset and Marquis of Dorset; 2d, Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester and Cardinal of St. Eusebius, and Chancellor of England; 3d, Joane Beaufort, first married to Ralf Nevile 1st Earl of Westmorland, and after to Lord Robert Ferrers.

He died seized of the dutchy and manor, in the 22d of Rich. II. 1398, being the greatest subject of the English Crown; so great, that "as great as John of Gaunt" then was and still remains, one of our English proverbs.

At his death Katerine his widow held it for life, and at her death,

Henry Plantaginet, son and heir of John of Gaunt, inherited it, who being crowned King by the name of Henry IV. united the whole inheritance of Lancaster unto the Crown, since which, the ducal title of Lancaster hath been drowned in the title of the regal dignity. But in honour of the house of Lancaster, this King instituted the Dutchy Court; to the end, the lands belonging to the dutchy, might in all following times be distinguished and known from the lands of the Crown.

It was after granted by the King, to Sir Thomas Erpingham, Knt. for life, and in 1414, King Henry the Vth settled it on his feoffees, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Richard Bishop of Norwich, Walter Hungerford, John Phelip, Knts. Hugh Mortimer, John Woodehouse, John Leventhorp, Esqrs. and others, together with the manors of Wighton, Fakenham, Snetesham, Gimmingham, Tunsted, &c. and the hundreds of north and south Erpingham, Gallowe, and Brothercross, with many others in divers counties. In 1460, it was settled among others on trustees, to fulfil the will of King Henry VI.; and in 1474, Edward IV. settled it on Elizabeth his Queen for life; and from that, to the present time, it hath belonged to the Crown, as parcel of the Dutchy of Lancaster, of which it is now held, by the Right Hon. John Hobart Earl of Buckinghamshire, the present lord.

This being the capital manor of the Dutchy, the Dutchy-Court hath been always held here; and whereas the privileges belonging to those tenants are large, it will not be amiss to speak of them here.

Upon the erection of the dutchy court, by King Henry IV. May 4, in the 3d year of his reign, anno 1401, the Charter of the Dutchy was confirmed by King and parliament, which sets forth, that

Edward III. granted for him, and his heirs and successours, to John of Gaunt Duke of Aquitain and Lancaster, and Blanch his wife, that they and the heirs of their bodies, and all their tenants of the lands and fees, which were in the possession of Henry Earl of Lancaster, in the sixteenth year of Edward III. anno 1341, should be for ever free, from panage, passage, paage, lastage, stallage, tallage, carriage, pesage, picage, and ferage, throughout all England, and other places in the King's dominion; and King Rich. II. granted to the said Duke, all Fines, forfeitures, and amerciaments, of what kind or nature soever, of all his men and tenants in the said lands or fees, and all estrap and wastes, whatsoever, in the said fees; together with all forfeitures for murder and felony committed in the said fees, or by tenants of the fees in other men's lands; and also all the goods of felons de se, and forfeitures to the clerk of the markets, in as ample a manner as the said King had them before this grant; and further, the said King granted the assize of bread, wine, and beer, and all victuals, to be under a clerk of the markets, appointed by the said Duke, and that the King's clerks of the markets shall not enter the fees, to exercise any jurisdiction there, and that the said Duke should have the chattles of all fugitives and outlaws in the said fees; the said Duke was also to have execution by his own officers, of all writs, summons, processes, extracts and precepts, so that no sheriff, bailiff, or other officer of the King, was to enter into the liberty, or exercise any office or jurisdiction therein, unless in default of due execution, by the proper officers of the liberty; the said Duke was also to have weyf, and stray, deodands, and treasure found in the liberty, &c. and Henry IV. confirmed the whole, by consent of parliament, and ordained for himself and heirs, that in the whole dutchy of Lancaster, all these royal franchises, privileges, and grants should for, ever stand valid and in full force, and be executed by the proper officers of the Dutchy; and Edward IV. in the first year of his reign, confirmed all the liberties to the tenants of the Dutchy; as did many of the succeeding Kings, so that there are now proper officers, as coroners, stewards, clerks, of the markets, &c. appointed for the liberty of the Dutchy, in the several counties it extends into.

The manors in this town, are fine certain, both for houses and lands, and give a moiety dower, and the lands descend in gavel kind.

Sexton's Manor[edit]

Had its rise out of the capital manor; it being given by King Richard I. in free alms to the monastery of St. Edmund at Bury in Suffolk, to find four wax tapers continually burning at St Edmund's Shrine in that church, the manor being then 10l. a year; this was confirmed by King John, to Sampson, abbot there, and was held formerly under King Richard, before he granted it; half by William Bardolph, and half by John de Hastings; it appears that in this King's reign, the manor-house here was called Abbot's Hall; but the whole being soon after appropriated to the Sacristan or Sexton of that monastery, it took the present name of Sexton's; and it is a wonder in our law, as Sir Henry Spelman says, for one manor to be held of another, by the rod, at the will of the lord, and granted by copy of court-roll, as the manor of Sexton's is, of the manor of Ailsham; but military fees are often so held.

In 1296 it was found, that all the tenants of this manor were obliged to grind at the abbot's water-mill; in 1285, the abbot of St. Edmund had view of frankpledge, assize of bread and ale, free warren, or liberty of game, and a ducking-stool, in this manor; which in 1428 was returned to be of 27l. value, to the sacrist of the monastery annually, but at the Dissolution it was fallen under 20l. per annum. By the dissolution of Bury abbey, it fell into Henry the Eighth's hands, who granted it in 1545 to Edward Wood and his heirs, to be held in capite of the King's manor of Ailesham, by the 40th part of a Knight's fee, and 55s. 8d. ob. rent; he left it to Robert Wood, his son and heir, at his death in 1547, who was mayor of Norwich in 1578, as you may see at p. 84, and from that time it hath passed as Braconash; and Thomas Wood, Esq. of Braconash is now lord. As also of

The Manor of Bolewike[edit]

Which takes its name from Master Henry de Bolewic, who gave name to it, also to the manor-house called Bolwick-Hall, and there was a mill near it, heretofore called Bolewic-mill; it was first granted from the great manor by King John, to Hugh de Boves, at a quarter of a fee; passed then to the Bolewics, and from them to the Whitwells, and in 1261 Richard de Whitwell held it; in 1297, John father of William of Whitwell; held this and Skeyton in 1389, Robert Salle, Knt. left his manor of Bolewicke; to Frances his wife, for life, and then to be sold; he lived at Oxnead, and was killed by the rebels in Richard the Second's time, and at his wife's death William de Danby, called Lord Latimer, and Thomas Trussel, his executors, sold it. It passed through various families, and was sold in 1518 by Agnes Milton, widow, to Thomas Aleyn and his heirs, and in 1537 Henry Aleyn sold it, to Margaret Wimer, widow; and soon after it came to the Woods.

The Vicarage Manor[edit]

Doth now, and always did from the appropriation of the church, belong to the vicar, it being then settled on the vicars for ever: before that time it belonged to the rectory; the advowson of which was appendant to the manor, till William Rufus, lord here, gave to the abbey of St. Martin at Battle in Sussex, which was founded by the Conqueror, the church of Eilesham, with the chapels of Stivecaie, (Stifecay, or Stukecay,) with two parts of its tithes, and Shipeden with two parts of its tithes, and Brundele in like manner, and Banningham in like manner, and the mediety of the church of Ingworth, and all the fee or manor that Brithric the parson of Ailesham held, namely this manor, and the land of one socman in Aylesham, added to this manor; and Ailesham rectory afterwards became (the Bishop's consent being obtained) appropriated to Battle abbey, which had about two 3d parts of the great tithes, and the vicar had all the small-tithes of the whole town, and the greattithes of about a 3d part of the town, the site of the rectory-house, and the whole manor thereto belonging, settled on him and his successours, all which the vicars have enjoyed to this day; and further, the Bishop on settling the appropriation, reserved to himself the nomination of all the vicars, and accordingly the Bishops always nominated to the abbots, who presented on their nomination, to the Dissolution; but for some time past, the dean and chapter of Canterbury have presented to the vicarage without such nomination from the Bishop of Norwich. In 1285, Robert then vicar of Ailesham, had the assize of bread and beer of all the tenants of his manor, and all other liberties belonging to a manor. The vicarage being then valued at 28 marks. It now stands in the King's Books by the name of Ailesham vicarage, and is valued at 17l. 19s. 7d. and pays first fruits, and 1l. 15s. 11d. ob. yearly tenths, and is consequently incapable of augmentation; the Peter-pence were 19d. the visitatorial procurations are 4s. 6d. synodals 2s. 8d. archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob. In 1367, King Edward III. granted license for the vicar, to enlarge the site of the rectory, which was then, as now, the vicarage-house, which joins to the south side of the churchyard, and the present edifice is a handsome new brick building, erected wholly by Mr. Jonathan Wrench, late vicar there, father of the present vicar; the Terrier hath 5 acres of glebe.

The appropriate rectory was valued at 70 marks, and being granted by Henry VIII. after the Dissolution, to the dean and chapter of Canterbury, and confirmed by Queen Elizabeth, it is now held by lease of that church, and the chancel here is repaired, part by the appropriator, and part by the vicar.


Brithtric, in the time of the Conqueror.

John de Hastings was instituted in the time of John of Oxford Bishop of Norwich, being presented by Battle abbey.

  • 1213, William Reoinges. King John, patron of this turn, they paid xl. yearly to the abbey, for the two third parts of the tithes. (Tanner's Notitia, fo. 551.)

Vicars of Ailesham[edit]

  • 1225, Bishop Pandulf consented to the appropriation, and collated Rodfrid his nephew to the vicarage; (see vol. iii. p. 482;) for on the settlement of the vicarage, the Bishop reserved the nomination of the vicars to the see, and accordingly the following vicars were nominated by the Bishops, and presented by the abbots of Battle.
  • 1285, Robert.
  • 1312, Richer of Aylesham, who was educated at St. Peter's College in Cambridge, to which he was a benefactor, and gave a house to that college. (Pits, p. 47.)
  • 1325, Master John de Burnham, who in
  • 1328, changed it for Hopton, with Adam de Tirington.
  • 1335, Robert de Rollesby, vicar.
  • 1335, Master Robert de Heselarton, priest, doctor of physick, a noted practitioner in those days; he exchanged for Eccles in
  • 1340, with John de Lenn, (Vol. i. p. 409.)
  • 1349, John de Thorney, alias de Dickleburgh.
  • 1371, Master Thomas Gylmyn; he was put in by the Pope's provision.
  • 1398, John Bromley, res. in exchange for Blundeston, with Nicholas Stoke, who in
  • 1418, resigned it for Burgh St. Margaret, to Master Thomas Fringe of Great Walsingham, who in
  • 1429, changed it for Bradwell, with Tho. Booth, who exchanged it in
  • 1444, with Ralf Kemp, for East Bradenham; on Kemp's death, in
  • 1451, Edmund Keche had it, and resigned it in exchange for Belton, in
  • 1452, to Thomas Lord Bishop of Dromer in Ireland, who exchanged it in
  • 1461, for Marsham, with Master Nicholas Stanton, LL. B. In
  • 1484, Henry Falke, doctor in the decrees, official to the archdeacon of Norfolk, (see vol. iii. p. 660) had it, and resigned in
  • 1489, to Christopher Litton, who was presented by John Abbot of Battle, at the Bishop of Norwich's nomination, as was in
  • 1490, Master Henry Tylson, bachelor in the decrees, on Litton's resignation; he is buried under a stone in the middle of the chancel, with his effigies on it, and two labels of brass:
  • In Manus tuas Domine thas Domine commendo Spiritum meum, Redemisti me, Deus beritatis.
  • Reposita est hec Spes mea in Sinu meo: Credo quod Redemptor meus bitit, et in nohissimo die de terra Surrecturus sum, et Occulis meis bidebo Deum Salbatorem meum.
  • Orate pro anima Magistri Chome Tylson, in decretis Baccalarli, ac etiam quondam istius Ecclesie Vicarii, cuius anime misereatur omnipo- tens Deus.

He was succeeded by Master William Bulleyn, who resigned; and in

  • 1542, Richard Redman, clerk, who had a grant of the next turn of the nomination, from Richard Nix Bishop of Norwich, gave it to Master John Bury, that vile persecutor, whose name ought to be branded to posterity, for an evil doer; he was commissary to the Bishop, and by that power, did abundance of mischief: being a proper instrument for such a man as Bishop Nix was: he resigned in
  • 1547, to Master Thomas Whitby, S. T. B. but in
  • 1554, The Queen presented John Bury again, he being then LL. B. and he held it by union with Marsham. In
  • 1574, Lancelot Thexton had it, and resigned: and in
  • 1581, The Bishop presented William Burton in full right.
  • 1582, The Queen presented William Burton.
  • 1584, Moses Fowler, S. T. B. by lapse; he was succeeded by John Furmarie, S. T. B. who was presented by Alice Norgate, widow, by a lease from the late abbot and convent of Battle. He is buried in the chancel under a stone, having two brass plates thus inscribed:

John Furmary Bachelor of Divinitie, in the Universitie of Cambridge, Archdeacon of Stowe, Prebend of Walton in the Church of Lincolne, and Vicar of the Parish Churc hof Aylisham, a learned Devine, a painful Preacher, a loveing Husband, a kinde Father, and a charitable Neighbor, and now a blessed Citizen in Heaven, dyed the 4th of August

Margery Furmary sole Wife and Widowe to John Furmaty paynefull in hir Laboure, provident for her Charge, faithfull to hir Friends, and mercifull to her Enemies, now resteth in the Lord, She dyed the 28th Day of October 1622, in the 74th Yeare of her Age, not thro' the distemperature of a diseased Body, but thro' the Violence of a murderous Hand, and hereby lieth buried.

Vixisti Pater Ærumnas Pietate secutus Arseni intentata Manus tibi tertia nuper Barboritana Lues finxit velut Arrius olim, At Mater viduam fudit cum Sanguine vitam.

Intrabat Scelus iste Domos, et Stamina sacra Rumpebat, cadit illa cruentæ Præda Rapinæ: His ego progenitus quo post hæc Fata superstes De stirpe excisa, solus relicta propago; Cuncta regis Deus, O faxis Mihi nec mea Morte Vita unquam careat, careat nec Mors mea Vita, Inque tuos simul Amplexus, Vultusque Parentum Seu Vitæ Ærumnis tenendam, seu Morte cruenta.

Vovit Deo, dicavitque Parentibus, JOHANNES FURMARY F.

In 1610, John Hunt occurs vicar, and in

  • 1634, John Philips.
  • 1699, died Mr. Nathaniel Gill, vicar of Aylesham, and rector of Burgh by Aylesham, he was ejected from both in the Rebellion, and lost a temporal estate of 60l. per annum, had a wife and 4 children, and being a great loyalist, was of course a great sufferer in those times. (Walker, p. 253, 259.) After Gill,

Mr. Robert Fawcet had it.

Mr. Jonathan Wrench, who built the vicarage-house, was brother to Sir Benjamin Wrench, M. D. of Norwich, he is buried here, but some time before his death, resigned to

The Rev. Mr. Jonathan Wrench, his son, the present vicar, who holds it with Moulton-Magna, and was presented by the dean and chapter of Canterbury.

The Church is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, and had gilds in it, held to the honour of St. Michael, St. Peter, St. Margaret, St. John Baptist, and All-Saints; this noble pile was built by John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, and is a regular building having a nave, two isles, two transepts, a chancel, and two isles thereto adjoining; a square tower, chimes, clock and ten bells, with a small broach or spire on the top; there is an old charnel-house at the end of the chancel; the porch is covered with lead, as is the whole building; the south transept chapel is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was fitted up new in 1489, at the expense of Thomas Aleyn, senior, of Lyng, and other benefactors; on the south window there remains a neat painting of the Salutation; this window was made all new of stone and glass in 1516, at the cost of Jone wife of Robert Bell, citizen of Norwich. In 1471, Katherine, widow of Robert Purdy, was buried by her husband, and gave legacies to the lamps burning before the high altar, to the light before the holy rood, to the light burning before the image of the blessed Virgin in her chapel, to the fraternity of St. Michael the Archangel in the church, to Nicholas her son, a chantry priest here, and to the light maintained by the money collected at the plowlode of Hundegate. The north transept was called St. Peter's chapel, and that saint's Gild was kept in it, as appears from the will of William Praty, who was buried in it in 1490; the south chancel isle was St. Thomas's chapel.

The following inscriptions may be read on several brass plates in this church:

Orate pro animabus Richardi Moward, nuper Cibis et Vicecomi- tis Cibitatis Norwici, et Cecelie uxoris eius, qui obiit riiio die Jauuarii Anno Domini Mo cccco lxxxxix.

Orate pro anima Alicie Moward, que obiit biio die Mensis Julii Anno Domini Mcccclxxxii cuius anime propicietur Deus. Amen.

Orate pro anima Margarete Noward, nuper uxoris Ricardi Howard, ac quondam uxoris Edwardi Cutler, Maioris Civitatis Norwici, que obiit rr die Decembris Ano Dni' Mo ccccolxxxiiio cuius anime propicietur Deus.

This Richard Howard was sheriff of Norwich in 1488, he built the church-porch here, and R. H. remains carved on the roof, and this over the door:

Orate pro animabus Ricardi Howard, Alicie, Margarete, et Cecelie urorum eius, qui obiit, &c.

On his gravestone, himself and wife Cecily are represented in their winding sheets.

On the front of the porch, are the arms of England and France quartered, St. George's cross, and a cross floré, and there are also two shields with a saltier on each.

Orate pro anima Johannis Howard, qui obiit ultimo die Au. gusti Anno Domini Mo Ho v cuius anime propicietur Deus.

Orate pro anima Ricardi Howard Junioris, qui obiit xxiio die Octobris, Ano Dni' Mcccclxxxiii. cuius anime propicietur Deus.

Orate pro anima Margarete Herby, nuper uxoris Ricardi Merby, cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen.

Wic iacent Robertus Farman, et Katerina uxoris eiusdem, quorum animabus propicietur Dus Amen.

Orate Frengh, fratris Chome Frengh, quondam Hicarii vuius Ecclesie, Orate pro Johannis Mamond Mcccclxxxv

Orate pro animabus Roberti Newman, et Marione uxoris sue, quorum animabus propicietur Deus Amen.

Ye worldly greatnes that passeth here me bye Pray for my Sowle with Charitie, I you pray For I Robert Orwell departed, here I lye And Marion my Myffe under thes Stones in Clay. As we be now, so ye be, another Day Schall lye as lowe, consumed wite dredsfull Deth. In nomine Thesu so no nay, Ouia ad te omnis Caro beniet

Wic iacent Robertus Potelond quondam Maior Civitatis Nor- wici, et Margareta uxoris eius, quorum animabus propicietur Deus Ameu.

Orate pro anima Chome Mymer, quondam de Aylesham Worsted Weaber, qui cum multis bonis suis propriis istam Eccle- siam in Vita sua ct post Mortem charitatibe ornabit, qui obiit iiiio die Junii Ano Christi, MVobii cuius anime propicietuc Deus.

He is represented in his winding sheet; the adorning of the church here mentioned, still appears; the screens being beautifully painted with saints, martyrs, and confessors, as was the roof; the remaining inscription shows us, that this work was done in 1507, at the charge of this Thomas Wymer, Joan and Agnes his wives, John Jannys, and others, whose names are now lost.

Orate pro animabus Thome Wymer. Johanne et Agnetis ur. orum eius, qui hanc partem Tohannis Jannys buius Operis deaurari fecerunt, qui obiit Anno Dui' M.CCCCC VIJo.

Hic iacent Johannes Jannys, et Agnes uror eius, qui quidem Johannes abiit octabo die Mensis Marcii Ano Dni' Moccccolr. quoram animabus propicietur Deus Amen.

This John and Agnes were father and mother to Robert Jannis, grocer, sheriff in 1509, and mayor of Norwich in 1517, and 1524; who out of affection to the place of his birth, founded a Free-School here, and endowed it with 10l. per annum, clear, paid from the city of Norwich, as at p. 397, vol. iv.

He lies buried in St. George's church at Colgate in Norwich; (see vol. iv. fo. 467;) his picture is in the Guildhall, (see vol. iv. p. 229,) to which he was a great benefactor, and I have one of the same kind and age in my own possession.

Of Bishop Jeggon's life and monument in this chancel, you may see a full account in my second volume, fo. 401, [vol. iii. p. 563,] to which I refer you.

Near the Bishop's, is a small mural monument with the arms of

Jeggon, impaling sab. a chevron between four de-lises arg.

Here lies interr'd John Jegon, Esq; second sonne to that Reverend Father in God, John Jegon Doctor in Divinity, and some time Bishop of this Diocese, he was not of many Years, yet his modest Carriage and Behaviour equall'd him with the Antientest, he was much addicted to the Enquiry of Learning and the Arts, for which cause, he betook himself to the University, from whence after some continuance, he passed to the Jnnes of Court: but desirous still of more, then here colud be attain'd to; like Elias, that he might the better mount unto Heaven, there to contemplate on the perfection of his Creator, he laies aside his Mantle, which is here locked up in the common Wardrobe the Earth. 'till at the last Day he shall come to put it on againe, he dyed the 14th of September 1631, being af Age 19 Yeares and a half, in whose Memory his sad Mother, caused this Inscription to be made.

See here's noe Pyramis, here is no costly Peece, That boasts of Memphis, or all skilfull Greece, He wrongs thy better Part, mistakes thy worth, That thinks carv'd Statues, can set Thee forth, False Mettals need the Artist's Help, to add Ought to the purer Gold, would shewe him madd, And stately Structures, in vain on Thee were spent, Thou to thyself, art the best Monument.

The Font is neatly carved; on it are the emblems of the four Evangelists, the instruments of the passion, a crucifix, the arms of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, Lord Morley, Bourchier, St. George, and a cross floré.

The following inscriptions are to be seen here:

Warkhouse impaling Doughty.

Sub hoc Marmore jacet Sepulta Anna Warkhouse, Roberti Doughty, Armigeri, Filia natù maxima, et Johannis Warkhouse Generosi Uxor amantissima, quæ obijt 29° die Januarij Anno Domini 1671.

Henry Norgate, Gent. died 7 January 1611, Nicholas Norgate Clerk, Son of Thomas Norgate late of Aylesham, Gent. died 16 October 1675.

Norgate, gul. two gauntlets in saltier or.

Crest on a coronet, a wolf passant.

Lawes, or, on a chief azure, three stars of the first; these arms were afterwards assumed by Rippingall, but were in reality the arms of Lawes of Aylesham, grand-father to Mr. Rippingal's wife.

D. S. Sub hoc, Sepulta jacet Hanna uxor amantissmia Henrici Rippingall, Gen' quæ obiit 12mo Septemb' A. D. 1701.

Elizabeth wife of Joseph Elden of Aylesham, ob. March 12, 1724. Æt. 52. Joseph Elden, Nov. 22, 1726, Æt. 63. Thomas Coulson, July 1. 1726. 66. Martha his Wife, Sept. 8, 1727. Æt. 76: Anne, Daughter of Thomas Wilde, Gent. and Mary his Wife 1656.

Elizabeth Riseborow, 1698. Mary Springall her Daughter 1728, Æt. 83. Samuel Soame Senior Gent. 1726, 74. Elizabeth Wife of Thomas Soame, 1727. 24. Elizabeth Daughter of Samuel & Mary Soame, 1724. 34. Samuel Soame their Son, 1724, 35.

Elizabeth Wife of Simon Olyet, 1694. Prudence their Daughter 1694. Bridget Wife of Simon Olyet 1714, 53. Simon Olyet. Thomas and William, Sons of Thomas Gournay 16 - - - -

The crest and arms of Jermy, with a crescent.

M. S. Sub hoc Marmore Sepultus jacet Gulielmus, Johannis Jermy de Bayfield Armigeri, Filius natú secundus, Cœlebs, obijt 17° die Martij A. D. 1709. Annoque Æt. 28.

Jermy impaling Fuller, arg. three bars and a canton gul.

M. S. Sub hoc Marmore contumulatæ sunt, Maria Samuelis Fuller de Magnâ Jernemuthâ Armigeri, Filia Johannis Jermy Junioris verò de Bayfield Armigeri, Uxor, et Maria, eorum proles unica, quarum illa, nata Martij 31, 1681. denata est Aprilis 3, 1712. Hæc vero nata est Nov' 8 denata Feb' 14, 1707.

Jermy, impaling Starkey.

M. S. Sub hoc Marmore sepulta jacet Maria, Gulielmi Starkey de Pulham Clerici, Filia, Johannis Jermy Junioris, vero de Bayfield Armigeri, Uxor, natam Oct. 8. 1690. mortuam Aug. 17 1714, memorat hæc Tabella, brevi et ipsa interitura.

Jermy impales Chare, arg. three pickaxes sab.

M. S. Jvnæ Filiæ unicæ et Hæredis Johannis Chare, de Wandsworth in Comitatû Surriæ Armigeri, et Johannis Jermy de Bayfield, in Comitatû Norfolciæ Armigeri, Uxoris, quæ obijt 2do die Octobris, A. D. 1734, et Ætatis suæ 85.

Jermy and crest impaling Chare.

Hic requiescunt Ossa et Cineres, Johannis Jermy de Bayfield, in Comitatû Norfolciæ Armigeri; Oriundi ex Johanne Jermy Milite, ex Margareta uxore ejus, unâ Filiarum et Cohæredum Rogeri Bigot Comitis Norfolciœ, et Comitis Mareschalli Angliæ, Tempore Edwardi Secundi Regis Angliœ. Qui quidem Johannes Jermy de Bayfield, nupserit Janæ Filiæ Johannis Chare de Wandsworth in Comitatû Surriœ Armigeri, cum quâ in connubio Annos 58 feliciter Vitam agebat, et ex quâ, hic juxta positâ, suscepit Liberos, Johannem, Aliciam et Gulielmum, de quibus Gulielmus Parentum ad Latera jacet, Johanne et Alicia Superstitibns, obijt 18 die Decem. Ano Dni' 1735. Annum agens 83°.

Hic jacet Maria Jermy, nata ex Johanne et Maria uxore ejus, Filiâ Benjamini Wrench Militis 20 Dec. 1722, denata vero 6 Sept. 1723,

On the north side in the churchyard is an altar tomb enclosed in an iron pallisade, having the crest and arms of Scot, a boar cooped with an arrow pierced in at the upper part of the head, and out of the mouth, proper.

Arg. on a fess sab. three boars heads cooped or.

Exuviæ FRANCISCI SCOTT Armigeri, jacent hìc repositæ, Francisci Scott de Camberwell in Agro Surriensi Armigeri, et Luciæ uxoris ejus, Filij natû maximi, Stirpe inclytâ et per antiquâ Prognati, hujusce oppidi Incolæ, Comitatûsque Irenarchœ: Pauca ergò meminisse Illo digna sat erit: Munia Magistratûs cauti vigilanter confecit, Leges atque Jura municipalia omnibus indiscriminatìm administravit, Fraudem inhibens omnimodam, parùm Abhorrens Famam, pro nihilo Pompam habens, Ostentationem omnem neglectìm et vaniloquiam præterijt, utpote, qui Se non animo efferens, Honorem ullum haud quæreret, Operam maluit totam Reip. offerre suam, e Rebus humanis ad plures migravit, Die Decemb' 12 Annoque Salutis 1740, Ætatis 69°.

This Francis Scott, Esq. married Katherine, Daughter and heir of John Thompson of Burgh by Aylesham, but had no issue; he was son of Francis Scott, Esq. of Camberwell, by Lucy only daughter and heir of Peter Vancourt, merchant in London; who was 2d son to Sir Peter Scott of Camberwell in Surry, Knt. by Elizabeth daughter of Edmund Kiderminster of Langley in Bucks, Esq. Sir Peter being son of Acton Scott, and Anne Edmunds his wife; Sir Peter died about 1622, and Acton Scott was living in 1596,

This Francis left only one brother, James Scott of London, Gent. who is now living.

The county bridewell stands near the market-place, and hath on it this following inscription cut in wood:



The freé-school slands not far from the churchyard; it was first founded by Robert Jannys, mayor of Norwich in 1517, and endowed with ten pounds a year, paid by the treasurer of the great hospital at Norwich, of which the mayor, &c. of the city are governors, it being due quarterly, and the manor of Pakenhams in Shropham is tied for it, (see vol. iv. p. 397,) and Archbishop Parker founded two scholarships in Corpus Christi, commonly called Bennet College, in Cambridge, and appropriated them to this and Windham school (see vol. iii p. 310, 11, 12, 15, 16,) one of the scholars must be born in Aylesham, but it is sufficient for the other to be educated at the free-school there, and he must be sent up to the college by the nomination of the mayor and court of Norwich: the other to be admitted by the college without any such nomination. I am informed also, that the schoolmaster receives an annuity of 10l. out of the watermill at Aylesham, which originally belonged to the manor; and in 1370 was granted by King Edward III. to Sir Robert Knolles, and Constance his wife, but fell to Queen Elizabeth, in 1562, by the attainder of John Withe.

In 1585, there was a great dispute about the nomination of the schoolmaster, before Edmund Bishop of Norwich; the officers and townsmen of Ailesham having chosen Robert Sutton, A. M. schoolmaster, and the vicar, with the consent of the Bishop, and John Suckling, Esq. mayor of Norwich, Sir William Heydon, Knt. &c. William Danson, who was admitted accordingly.

The Rev. Mr. Ray, rector of Oxnede and Booton, is the present schoolmaster.

Among the schools in Norfolk, certified to Queen Elizabeth in 1562, is this,

"A grammar school in Ailesham, being an incorporation of the city of Norwich, erected by Jannys late citizen and alderman, now departed, stipend of the master, ten pound."

In 1417, Nicholas Stone, chaplain, gave legacies to the lights of Corpus Christi, the holy rood, and the Virgin Mary.

In 1443, Sir Alan Elgold was a priest here.

In 1479, John Northawe was buried in the church porch, and gave a black velvet altar cloth, and founded a wax candle, to burn a whole year before the image of the Virgin Mary, at the east end of the chancel, and lights before St. John Baptist, and St. Peter's images, and a legacy to St. Margaret's gild, and 23s. 4d. to John Green his chaplain, to go the next jubilee year to St. James at Compostella, and there pray for his soul.

  • 1505, Robert Schilling was chaplain and parish priest under the vicar.
  • 1506, John Boller, priest, was buried in St. Thomas's chapel in this church, by his father, and ordered 30 marble stones, of the length and breadth of those covering his father's, to cover his grave with. He gave to the church a pair of organs, and willed that they should serve both the quire, and Lady mass, and that they should be set in the same key, with the great organs in the church, and the principal pipe to be five quarters of a yard long, of good metal and sweet harmony, and shall stand on that side the choir next our Lady's chapel, to serve both; he gave legacies to the gilds of our Lady, and St. John, at his altar in the chapel at the east.

In the White Register of Bury abbey, folio 27, are divers deeds of benefactions to that monastery in this town, by which it appears, that Henry son of Agnes de Ingworth, gave them a tenement here, Richard his brother did the same, William son of Henry de Ingworth gave 7 acres, and Margery his sister 4d. per annum rent, and Alice her sister the same, Hugh, dean of Ingworth deanery, was a benefactor and so was William le Mey, and Robert son of Robert de Aylesham.

An agreement was made between William de Hoo, sacrist of St. Edmund's monastery, and so lord of Sexton's manor, and Agnes relict of William son of Bartholomew, by which she released 4s. 6d. annual rent to the monastery.

Richard I. confirmed to God and St. Edmund, and Abbot Sampson, and the monks at Bury, and their successours, 10l. rent in the soke of Aylesham, viz. 5l. rent and demeans, which William Bardolph held, and other 5l. paid by John Hastinges, John the chaplain of Ailesham, Hugh the dean of Ingworth, Peter de Calthorp, and 26 tenants more, to find a good and sufficient light always burning at the shrine, before the body of the blessed martyr St. Edmund.

In 1512, William Rushburgh gave a fodir of lead of 4l. value, towards covering the cloister of Binham abbey, and founded a priest to sing in Aylesham church, for his soul, and the souls of Sir John Windham, and Sir Roger Townshend, Knts. and of his father and mother; and another priest in the church of St. Alban, to sing for his own, and Sir Henry Rushburgh soules, and gave legacies to Sir William Rushburgh of St. Albans, and for a stone over his mother's grave in St. Michael's churchyard there, he gave Coldham Hall in Ailesham to Cecily his wife, paying 10l. per annum to John Swan, alderman of Norwich; Sir Thomas Windham, Knt. and Roger Townshend, Esq. were supervisors.

  • 1518, John Rushburgh, buried in the church by his father, leaving Helen his wife, 3 sons and a daughter.
  • 1572 Robert Baxter of Aylsham, by will dated 2d of April, ordered his body to be buried here, and gave many charitable legacies to Stukey, Wighton and Little Walsingham, of which under those places.

This town, in the time of Edward the 2d and 3d, was the chief town in the county for the linen manufacture; in old records, nothing more common than the Ailesham webs, the fine cloth of Ailesham, the Ailesham linens, &c. but about the time of Hen. VIII. I find it much decreased, and the woollen manufacture had got the upper hand; and about James the First's, time it was chiefly inhabited by knitters, even men, women, and children, are said to be employed at that work, which is now decayed every where, the modern invention of weaving of stockings, breeches, waistcoats, and gloves, having almost demolished it.

It is a neat little market town, of about 120 families; the situation of it is on the river Bure, in the most agreeable and pleasant part of Norfolk, and it is much frequented in the summer season, by reason of the Spaw, which is a spring about half a mile distant from the town, the water of which tasting very strong of the mineral, is esteemed of great service in asthmas; it is purgative, and is said to be of the vitriolick kind; and being touched with galls, or an oaken leaf, turns very black immediately.

In James the First's time, this place is said to be governed by a bailiff.

The market was on Saturday, but by authority altered to Tuesday, and there were then two fairs allowed, the first of which is held on the 12th of March, and the second on the second Tuesday in September. The fine certain of the manor is 2½d. an acre. It paid formerly to every tenth 11l. besides 2l. 10s. paid by the religious for their revenues; the bridge over the Bure is reparied by the county.

It is valued in the King's Tax at 1427l. 2s. 6d. and pays 30s. to every 300l. levy of the county rate.

Thomas Hudson, glover, of Aylesham, an honest laborious man, having a wife and three children, bore a good will to the Gospel, and having learned to read of Anthony and Thomas Norgate, greatly profited in spiritual knowledge, about the time that Queen Mary came to the throne; when God's service being forced to gave place to Popish errours and superstition, he fled into Suffolk, and stayed there a long time, but his wife and children being troubled at his absence, he returned and concealed himself about half a year, till Commissary Berry, vicar of the town, suspecting him to be at home, went to his wife and threatened to burn her, if she would not discover where her husband was; which when Hudson knew, he grew more bold and zealous, spent his time in prayer, singing psalms, and godly exhortations with his neighbours; and going now publickly about, he was taken by the constables, at the information of one Crouch, and carried to the vicar, who examined him what the Sacrament was? he said, worms meat; my belief is in Christ crucified. Again he asked him, whether he belived the mass, to put away sin? he replied, no! God forbid, it is a patched up monster. At this Berry fumed, and said he would write to the Bishop his good lord, who, he trusted, would handle him according to his deserts: oh! Sir, said Hudson, there is no lord but God; which angered him again: however he asked him, whether he would recant or no? to which Hudson replied, God forbid, I had rather die many deaths than do so. Upon which Berry seeing all persuasions vain, sent him bound to the Bishop, like a thief; who kept him in prison a month, which time he spent in praying and reading; and on the 19th of May, 1558, he was burnt at Norwich, with two other martyrs in the same fire, as you may see in vol. iii. p. 274.

See more of this in Fox's Martyrs, fo. 2036.

There are many families of note that have inhabited this town, as

The Holls or Holleys, for whom see vol. iv. p. 507.

Barker of Aylesham had a grant of

Gul. a chevron or, between three lioncels rampant arg.

I find by some notes taken in this church some years since, that the following inscriptions are now lost:

Orate pro anima Roberti Hakyn, et Margarete uxoris eius.

Orate pro animabus Johis' de Brdeford, et uxoris

From the Parish Register.

Dorothea Jeggon, Filia Johannis Jeggon Episcopi Norvicensis, at Dorotheæ uxoris ejus Bapt' 27 Mart. 1616.

Francis Son of Sir Charles Cornwaleis, Knt. bapt' 6 March 1619.

Katherine, 1628. Anne, 1631, Sarah, 1632, 3 Daughters of John Neve, Gent. and Elizabeth his Wife.

William Son of William and Frances Doughty, 1646. Thomas Doughty, Gent. buried 1612. Anne Wife of Robert Doughty buried, 1614.

Johannes, Jegon Norvicensis Episcopus, Sepultus 13 Mart' 1617.

Hamond Son of Hamond and Lucy Claxton, buried 1694, this family was of Booton, and owned the Estate here, late Mr. Elden's, and now Mrs. Harbord's.

Robert Son of Robert and Francis Jermy, buried 1697. and William Lawes Scoolmaster here.

Thomas Doughty 1660. Mrs. Anne Doughty, 1671. Robert Doughty, Esq; 1679, and many more of this Family, and of the Jermys, &c.

The Vicar's Manor hath about 30 tenants, and he receives the great tithes of that part called Stongate.

In 1306, Eustace de Kimberley was vicar here. 1312, Richer of Aylesham resigned North Elmham for this. 1429, Thomas Boof or Booth, vicar. 1547, Thomas Wilby, and not Whitby, was vicar. John Hunt, S. T. B. was presented by King James I.; and in 1614, 11 August, John Hunt, S. T. B. was instituted again, at the presentation of the dean and chapter of Canterbury. "ad corroborandum titulum, et in majorem cautelam." Thomas Paske, S. T. P. succeeded Hunt, and at his death, in 1634, John Phillips; succeeded in 1663 by Nathaniel Gill; and he in 1668 by Robert Fawcet; and he in 1700 by Mr. Wrench. Here was a gild of St. Mary.

Of houses in Aylesham given to Norwich city, by John Vaughan, see vol. iii. p. 411.


Or the village at the marsh, commonly called Massam, lies south of Aylesham; the lordship and ad vowson of which, belonged to the late Earl of Yarmouth, whose estate is now on sale, according to the directon of his Lordship's will.

At the Confessor's survey, Herold had it, and gave it to the bishoprick, and Erfast the Bishop held it; but when the Conqueror seized the lands of the see, William Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford obtained it of the Conqueror's gift, in fee and inheritance, as he did most of the old revenues of his bishoprick, and left it again to the see; with which it continued till 1535, and being then vested in the Crown, it continued there, till Queen Elizabeth granted it to Sir James Bulleyn, for a term of years; but about 1575 it was aliened from the Crown, for Robert Thetford, Esq. then owned it, and paid 18d. a year castle-gard to Norwich castle; it was after that, purchased by Sir Henry Hobart, and sold to the Freemans, and after that, to the Pastons.

This town is in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster, and the tenants of the manor always enjoyed freedom from toll, and all other liberties belonging to the dutchy, and tenants in ancient demean; the lord hath liberty of free warren or game, by charter from King Henry III. dated in 1250, who then granted it to Walter Bishop of Norwich. At the Conqueror's survey, it was a mile and 3 furlongs long, and 7 furlongs broad, and paid xid. to the geld or tax; the manor then extended into Stratton and Brampton, and there was a part of it in Marsham and Hevingham, which was granted to Walter Giffart, and constituted the manor of Catts, here and in Hevingham, of which see under that town.

This town paid clear to every tenth 3l. 6s. 8d. and the religious paid for their lands here 13s. 4d.

It is valued to the land tax at 408l. 13s. 4d. and pays 7s. 6d. to every 300l. levy of the county rate.

The ancient family of the Marshams took their name from this place, and removed hence to Norwich and Stratton Strawless, their present seat, of which family I shall speak under that place.

I find, that the manors of Snoring and Noers in Iteringham extended hither.

The church is dedicated to all the Saints, and there were two gilds held in it, one in honour of all the Saints, the other of St. John the Baptist; it was very full of images, with lights burning before them, for I find in the ancient wills registered in the Bishop's Office, that there were the lights of All-Saints, the Brown Rood, the High Rood, St. Thomas, St. Nicholas, St. Margaret, St. Catharine, St. Christopher, St. Erasmus, St. John, St. Sithe, St. Anthony, St. Rodiburt St. Anne, St. Mary of Pity, St. James, St. John Baptist, St. Swithen and St. Lawrence.

The tower is square, and hath four bells; the two isles, nave, chancel, and south porch are all leaded; the windows are very finely painted; in a north chancel window is the Virgin, with AVE GRA: DNS. T[ECUM] on the screens are many saints painted, and this inscription:

Orate pro animabus Johannis de Norton, et Margarete uxoris, quocum animabus Deus propicietur.

On the font are carved the seven sacraments of the Romish church, 4 saints and 4 confessors, and St. George and the dragon; on the north isle windows is St. Margaret standing on a dragon; in the south isle windows are the Apostles with the Creed in labels from their mouths. In the north isle east window is the crucifixion, and at bottom in four ovals the emblems of the four Evangelists, in the next window but one, are three fine effigies, with labels:

1. Sanctus Kenelmus Rer.

2. Sanctus Edmundus Rer.

3. Sanctus Edwardus Rer.

In the pane under St. Edmund is a man kneeling in a blue surcoat saying,

sancte Edmunde ora pro me.

And under him

Orate pro animabus Chome de Norton et Marie uxoris predicti Thome.

The wife kneels under St. Kenelm, and under St. Edward are two images, and this between them,

Ora pro me Sanrte Edwarde.

Orate pro anima Roberti Attevill.

In these windows are portraitures of St. Agatha, St. Ethelred, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. David, St. Brice, Christ's Baptism in Jordan, and many other saints and confessors.

The upper or clerestory windows are very perfect, and the several Orates fair, but so high I could not read them; there are the arms of England, France, Verdon, Clopton, Bavent, Morley, West Saxons, East Angles, emblem of the Trinity, &c. and in one of them,

Orate pro anima willieclmi attchille.

Pray for the Soul of John Bclknay, Gen.

Norwich see, impaling Bishop Wakering s cognizance, az. a pelican vulning herself proper.

Bishop Lyhert's arms, Jenny.

Moore, sab. a chevron between three mullets arg.

There is a large freestone in the nave, with the word Oblivio six times round this inscription:

Oblivio. Oblivioni datus, Sum Tanquam Mortuus a Corde, Oblivio.

On a broken brass, nailed upon a seat,

Orate pro anima Johannis Bysschay, qui obit Mcccclrrn et pro anima Agnetis Uxoris M. cccclxxxix et pro quibus tenentur.

On a black marble by the desk;

Here lieth Mrs. Margaret Lyng, by her Father and Mother, she lived most Part of her Days in Mr. Doughty's Family at Hanworth, and was from thence brought to this Place, October 18, 1698. Aged 74. whose worth and Goodness cannot be expressed within the limits of a Gravestone.

The rectory is valued in the King's Books at 10l. 10s. and stands by the name of Marsam rectory; it is sworn of the clear yearly value of 43l. and so is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation; it was anciently valued at 24 marks, and the prior of Castleacre had a portion of tithes here, valued at half a mark; it being formerly in the Bishop's own collation; the archdeacon had nothing to do here, and therefore received no procurations from the rector, who pays to the Bishop for synodals 22d. and for visitatorial procurations 2s. 8d.

The rector hath a rectory manor here.

John Swan gave by will, 20s. a year to the poor. Elizabeth Swan his wife, gave 15s. a year to the poor, ano 1693, to be paid every Easter Monday, out of certain lands in the parish.

In the north isle there are stones for Thomas Grix, 1720, 74. Thomas son of James Grix, 1712, 15. Mary wife of Andrew Dix, 1621.

In the south isle are stones for Susan Jeckel widow, 1704. 70. William Jeckel, 1728. 68.

At the altar. John, son of James and Anne Norris, born 1721, died 1725. John, another son, 1725. Thomas, another son, 1726. He was rector here, and is buried by his children.


The rectors were collated by the Bishops in right of the manor, and after that was aliened from the see, the lords of the manor (to which the advowson belongs,) always presented.

  • 1321, Simon de Lauselle, subdeacon.
  • 1353, Robert de Stratton, L. L. D. subdeacon, &c.

In 1424, Richard de Middleton was rector; see vol. iii. p. 495.

  • 1461, Thomas Lord Bishop of Dromer in Ireland, resigned Aylesham vicarage for this, in exchange with Master Nicholas Stanton, L. L. B.

In 1509, Thomas Senyche, rector, commissary to the archdeacon of Norfolk; vol. iii. p. 656.

  • 1530, William White, rector official to the archdeacon of Norwich. Ibid. p. 659.
  • 1554, Commissary Berry held it with Aylesham, (see p. 275.) In.
  • 1592, Ralf Dodge held it with Mannington.
  • Samuel Oates, had it of the gift of Sir Henry Hobart; and in 1605, the King presented
  • Samuel Oates, junior.

The Rev. Mr. Pate (of whom at vol. iv. p. 62) was succeeded in

  • 1717, by James Norris, who died in 1729, and was succeeded by
  • Robert Harvey, who held it united to Lyng, (see vol. iv. p. 400,) at whose death,

The Rev. Mr. Nathaniel Ponder, the present rector, succeeded, and holds it united to Lyng rectory.


La Mers, or the Marsh; so called from its situation, the churchyard being washed by the river Bure: at the Conqueror's survey it was part of Buxton, and valued with it, all but 20 acres, which a free woman then held; it is now in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster.

It was parted from Buxton very early, and became a separat manor, and a church was consequently erected on it, it being now divided from Buxton by the river that runs between them, the lord of Lammas having free fishery, as far as the bounds of the parish extends on the Lammas side, as the lord of Buxton hath, as far as that parish extends on the Buxton side.

It was first granted by Ralf de Bellafago or Beaufoe, to Osbern, who his said to have founded the church, and to have given the advowson to Holm abbey, to which it was confirmed by King Henry I. in 1177, and by Pope Lucius II.; but notwithstanding this, Reginald le Gros, lord here in 1227, presented to it, and held it of the honour of Rhye, and Roger le Gros also had it; but in 1248, Stephen de Redham, and Robert Abbot of Holm had a long suit, which was settled before the itinerant justices  ; when Stephen agreed, to hold his land in Scotthow, Lammas, and Riston, of the abbey, by the yearly rent of 50s. and 50 bushels of barley, and he released to the abbot all his right in a carucate of land in Scothowe, and the abbot released to Stephen all his right in this manor and advowson. Bartholomew, son of Stephen, succeeded his father; and in 1281 sold the manor and advowson to Oliver de Ingham, there being then 120 acres in demean, and 15 messuages held of the manor; John son of Oliver succeeded, and had it in 1309. In 1327, Mariona de Ingham was lady, as was Joan, relict of Sir Roger le Strange, Knt. in 1349. In 1350, Sir Miles Stapleton, Knt. of Bedale in Yorkshire had it, and settled it on himself and Joan his wife for their lives, remainder to their son John, and Isolda his wife and their heirs, and it continued a long time, in this family, as you may see in Ingham at large, which manor it constantly attended, through the Stapletons and Calthorps, till William Calthorp, Esq. sold it about 1561 to John Culpepper, Esq. and not long after, it was conveyed to the Allens of this town; John, Rich. and Robt. Allen, brothers, were lords in 1579; the last of these sold it to Mathew Sparrow, Gent. and it after belonged to Mr. Thomas Sadler, who died in 1667, whose daughter Susanna carried it to her husband, Edward Eyre, Gent. who was buried here in 1709, and Mary his only daughter married Thomas Damant of Lammas, Gent. who was lord here, (but not patron, the patronage being sold from the manor,) she died in 1709, and the said Thomas, in 1731, leaving it to Mr. Thomas Damant, the present lord, his only son by Alice Sancroft, his second wife.

The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew, whose image stood in a tabernacle in the chancel, in the east wall on the north side of the altar, which was the station or place of the principal image in every church, under which the officiating priest always stood, and so doth at this day; the rubrick of the communion service enjoining the priest to stand at the north side of the table.

Here was a gild also kept in honour of that saint, which supported a light always burning before his image. There was also an altar of our Lady in this church, and a light burning constantly before her image, there was also a light kept up before the rood on the rood-loft, and another before the brown-rood.

There is a rectory-house and six acres and two roods of glebe; it paid 8d. synodals, 4d. Peter-pence, and 4s. archdeacon's procurations, but now it pays with Hautbois-Parva, which is consolidated to it, 12d. synodals, 6s. archdeacon's procurations, and 21d. visitatorial procurations, it standing thus in the King's Books:

7l. Hautbois vulgo Hobbies parva cum Lammas rectory, 43l. clear yearly value.

And being discharged, it is capable of augmentation. The religious concerned her were, the Prior of Bromholm, whose temporals were taxed at 7s. 2d. those of the Prior of Norwich at 18d. and those of the Prior of Hickling at 4d. The whole village paid 30s. clear to every tenth, besides 16s. paid by the religious for their revenues here. It is laid with Hautbois-Parva at 276l. 15s. to the land-tax, and pays 6s. 6d. to every 300l. levy of the county rate.

There is a low square tower and four bells; the church hath no isles, and is thatched, as is the chancel, the south porch is tiled.

In a north window is painted the last judgment, the blessed standing under the judgment-seat on the right hand, with this over their heads:

Unite Benedicti Patris mei.

Over the wicked, on the left hand:

Oui fariunt ista, non percipiunt Regna celestia.

Ite Maledicti in Ignem Cternum.

In other panes of the window, is the blessed Virgin, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty, and entertaining the stranger; and these sentences,

First pane,

The Hungry Man says, For Hunger Bredy.

The Virgin answers, The to Fede, In me nogh reedy.

Second pane,

The Naked calls out, For Cold J Oual.

The Virgin answers, Doo on a Cloth the Marme withall.

Third pane,

The Thirsty saith, For Thirst J Cleve.

The Virgin says, Habe Drynv for the Lord that ye Lebe.

Fourth pane,

The Stranger cries, Hostel, J Crabe.

She replies, Cine wery in and you shall have.

In a north window is a priest in his habit, kneeling in a praying posture, and this,

Pray for the Sowll of Sic Adam Mylkynson Prest:

On a brass plate,

Orate pro animabus Chome Dowys, et Agnetis uxoris sue quorum animabus propicietur Deus Amen.

In the chancel window, Marshal's arms, gul. a bend lozengè or, and there were formerly the arms of White, Stapleton, Morley, and Ingham, which last still remains.

There are stones for Mr. Thomas Sadler, 23 September 1667. Katherine his late Wife, 13 May 1649. Susanna his second Wife, 3 June, 1676. Susanna Wife of Mr. Edward Eyre, only Child of Mr. Thomas Sadler, by Susanna his Wife, January 20, 1693.

Crest, a dove proper. Eyre, sab. a chev. between 3 de-lises arg. impaling

Damant, sab. a turnip proper, a chief or, guttè de l'armes. (See Guillim abridged, vol. i. p. 318.)

Hic jacet sepultum Corpus Edvardi Eyre Generosi, obijt 2° die Febr' A. D. 1709, Æt. suæ 76. Hic jacet sepultum Corpus Mariæ Damant, uxoris Thomæ Damant de Lammas Generosi, et Filiæ unicæ prædicti Edwardi Eyre, obijt decimo die Maij, Anno Domini 1709. Æt. suæ 39.

Damant impales Sandcroft.

Sacred to the Memory of Thomas Damant, Gent. who died the 8th of July 1731, Aged 62 Years; here also lie the bodies of three of his Children, by Alice his Wife, viz. William-Sandcroft, buried April 16, 1713. Allen, Nov. 23, 1715, and Alice, 16 March, 1716.

On a brass,

Hic iacet Corpus Marie uxoris Willelmi Banspoole tunioris, que mortua est secundo die Oct.A.D.1611.

Here Resteth what was Mortal of William Harstone, Gent. April 6. 1694. 55.

Harstone, per chev. ingrailed O. S. in chief 3 stones, in base, a hart passant counterchanged, which cannot fail of making Hartstone.

Hic jacet Corpus Gulielmi Sparrow, quondam Rectoris hujus Parochiæ qui obijt Febr' 25, Ano Dni. 1645. Dorothy Daughter of William and Dorothy Sparrow, Aug. 24, 1642.

On a mural monument in the churchyard, against the south church wall,

About six Foot from this Wall, resteth in Hopes of a joyful Resurrection, the Bodies of Robert and John Scales, Father and Son late of Hauteboys parva, of the same Occupation, as was their blessed Saviour and Redeemer; Robert departed this Life the 12 of November 1727, Aged 79 Years, and John died the 28th of January 1727, in the 40th Year of his Age.

As in a Moment we are gone, And whilst our Time doth fly, Let us always prepared be For blest Eternity.

Rectors of Lammas only[edit]

  • 1328, Robert Brown. Lady Maryona de Ingham.
  • 1349, Thomas Coyn. Joan, relict of Sir Roger le Strange, Knt.
  • 1352, Walter de Brandon de Fundenhall. Sir Miles Stapleton, Knt. who presented the following Rectors:
  • 1383, Thomas Russell.
  • 1384, John Hamerton.
  • 1389, William Evenwood.
  • 1409, Robert Steel.
  • 1413, Alan Smith, resigned.
  • 1414, Robert Pays resigned.
  • 1414, Hugh le Fen of Wickmere, who resigned to Thomas Atte Fennne.
  • 1428, Thomas Clerk. Henry Earl of Northampton, Sir John Talbot, Thomas Scales, Ralf and Henry Grey, and Thomas Kerdeston, Knts. William Paston, John Roys, William Ascogh, Edmund Stapleton, Esqrs. and John Brakeley, friar, feoffees of Brian Stapleton.
  • 1446, John Clerk. Sir. Miles Stapleton, Knt. who presented the three following rectors:
  • 1447, Thomas Marum, resigned.
  • 1449, William Durant, ob.
  • 1460, John Prentice.
  • 1470, Stephen Dobson, resigned. Sir Richard Harcourt, Knt. in right of Catherine his wife; and now Little Hautbois was consolidated to it.

Rectors of Lammas with Little-Hautbois[edit]

  • 1481, Robert Childerhouse, resigned. Ditto.
  • 1494, William Wooderys, in exchange for Brampton. Elizabeth wife of William Calthorp, Esq.
  • 1514, Richard Clerkson. John Call, assigne of Sir Francis Calthorp, Knt. and Edmund Calthorp, Esq.
  • 1541, James Winder. Ditto. Buried in the chancel in 1561, when John Culpepper, Esq. presented
  • John Johnson, who was deprived in 1578, and John, Richard, and Robert Allen, presented
  • Thomas Sommerfield; and in
  • 1581, Thomas Elvin.
  • 1609, Thomas Wilson, A. M. Robert Allen, senior.
  • 1611, Philip Hatley. Ditto.
  • 1618, William Sparrowe, buried here. Matthew Sparrow, Gent. 1645, Thomas Edwards, who purchased the advowson from the manor, presented
  • Edward Warnes, who died rector in 1700: he was a great benefactor to Norwich city, on which he settled Little-Hautbois-Hall, &c. and to Yarmouth. His will, and an account of him, occurs in vol. iv. p. 93, &c.
  • 1700, John Barker. Israel Long, Esq. He died rector, and was succeeded by
  • James Taylor, who purchased the advowson, and resigned; and

In 1738, the Rev. William Lubbock, B. D. late fellow of Caius College, was presented by James Taylor, patron in fee simple, and it was united to Stalham vicarage, which Mr. Lubbock since resigned, and now holds it by union with Scothowe vicarage.


Or Hobbies Parva, is in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster; it is called Haut Bois, in French, The High Wood, and the ancient family which took their name from hence, is sirnamed in Latin records, de alto Bosco, and indeed it should seem to be denominated from the high woods by the water, which answers the situation and name.

The manors of Buxton, Lammas, and Scothowe extended hither, to which last, the manor of Holm abbey in this town was joined by the abbot. In Henry the Third's time, Peter son of Sir Peter de Alto Bosco, or Hautbois, lord of Hautbois-Parva, gave to Robert, abbot of St. Bennet, all his fishery in the town of Little Hautbois, from the house of Henry Bell to Little Hautbois mill, and the common fishery thence to Buxton bounds; this manor continued joined to the Abbot of Holm's manor of Scotow; in 1401 that abbot was found to hold his manor here, as parcel of his barony, and it had been in that monastery ever since the Confessor's time, and so went with it to the see of Norwich, and is now leased by the Bishop with Scothow.

There was another manor here in the family of Hautbois, to which the advowson belonged, which in 1315 belonged to Ralf de Colney, and Lawrence de Reppes, afterwards John de Wilby had it, and then Richard de Reppes. In 1368, John Armory, and in 1380, John de Bures, and now the advowson went in moieties, in Bures and Truyt, and in 1402, John son and heir of John de Bures, and Alice his wife, releaesd all right to John Rookwood and others, and he and Walter Truyt sold the advowson, and after that it became consolidated to Lammas, this manor, by divers alienations, became very small, and at last was joined to Great-Hautbois, with which it now remains.

The Church was dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, and there was a gild of St. Katherine kept in it; the church was in use in 1531, but is now totally dilapidated; it stood by the road side, about a fur long on the left hand, after you have passed Mayton bridge from Fretenham; it was not very small, the ruins are covered with earth, but are very easy to be traced; it was valued at 4 marks, paid 2s. procurations to the archdeacon, 4d. synodals to the Bishop, and 3d. Peter-pence; it had 2 acres of glebe in Fretenham, and 7 acres and 20 perches in Little-Hobbies, belonged to it. In 1428, the Abbot of Holm's manor and demeans were valued at 8l. 15s. 11d. qr. a year, and the village paid 1l. clear to every tenth; it is valued to the land tax and county rate with Lammas.

For Hautbois-Parva Hall, see in Lammas.

For two donations settled from lands here, see vol. iii. p. 410, vol. iv. p. 359.

Rectors of Hautbois-Parva[edit]

  • 1349, Gyles Jerge of Hardingham. John de Wilby.
  • 1350, Simon de Shotesham. Richard de Reppes.
  • 1368, Robert de Toftrys. John Armory. He changed it this year for Thorp Market, with
  • John Baldwin, who in 1380 changed it for St. Mathew in Ipswich, with
  • Hugh de Contasthorp, who was presented by John de Bures, as was
  • Peter Wadgate in 1384, who was buried in the chancel in 1392, and was succeeded by
  • William Hegelegh, (Ditto,) who changed in 1393 for Watton vicarage with
  • William Cranebere.
  • 1394, John Lote. Walter Trwyte, and Catherine his wife.
  • 1400, Thomas de Foxton, ob. Ditto. The six following rectors were presented by William Trwyte:
  • 1405, John Drake.
  • 1407, Thomas Sandall.
  • 1413, Thomas Trwyte or Truyte.
  • 1420, Richard Tammys.
  • 1423, John Wright.
  • 1424, Edmund Money.
  • 1428, William Paston, by lapse.
  • 1432, Thomas Smith, by lapse.
  • 1435, Thomas Grey, by lapse. He was the last rector, for when he voided it, it was consolidated to Lammas, and so remains, Sir Richard Harcourt, Knt. then patron, consenting to it.


Or Hobbies, church, hath a round steeple, a nave and chancel leaded, and stands alone, not far from the river; it hath no memorial in it, but this on a brass plate:

Orate pro animabus Richardi Hall, et Sillibe uxoris sue qui obiit ir die Octob.Anna Domini Moacccii.

The advowson of the church of the Assumption of St. Mary the Vingin here, was given in the year 1199, by Peter de alto Bosco or Hautbois, to the prior and canons of St. Mary at Cokesford, in the parish of Rudham in Norfolk, in consideration of which, the prior released to Peter all right he had in the church of Tutington, and in the tithes of the tenants of the said Peter, and of Pickenham mill, and of the fishery there, and of the hay in the meadows there, all which the said prior and convent had right to, by the deed of his father; and immediately after this, Hautbois rectory was appropriated to the prior of Coxford, who served it by a stipendiary parochial chaplain, and in 1277, the Bishop of Norwich, upon a suit between Robert Baynard, then lord, and the prior, returned it to be legally appropriated, and that the lord had not any just claim to it, but that it was valued at 6 marks, and that accordingly the prior paid 8s. to each tenth for it, so that the King was answered all just dues, the said prior having only 4s. rent of temporals in the said town. The Abbot of Caen in Normandy had temporals here taxed at 5s. 9d. ob. and the Prior of Bromholme had his, taxed at 3s.

In 1480, the church was disappropriated, and a rector instituted; and from that time the priors of Coxford always had the patronage, to the Dissolution, when it was granted to the Duke of Norfolk, and it hath ever since remained in that family, and their trustees or feoffees have constantly presented to it.


  • 1480, 13 October, Gregory Voket. The Bishop collated
  • Richard Young, because the prior presented an unfit person; he died in 1505, and
  • Nicholas Blake had it by lapse, at whose death
  • Oliver Hinde had it in 1532, and was the last presented by the prior; at his resignation in 1547, Thomas Nobbes, who had a grant of this turn, gave it to
  • John Cocks, who held it by union with Colteshall.
  • 1557, William Galebank. Thomas Duke of Norfolk.
  • 1561, Thomas Carr, by lapse, united to Scothow.
  • 1564, Simon Bullock. Thomas Duke of Norfolk.
  • 1569, Nicholas Ailand. Ditto. At his resignation in 1574, William Dix, and William Cantrel, feoffees to the Norfolk family, gave it to Richard Coope, who resigned in 1589, and Dix and John Holland, Esq. another feoffee, presented
  • Roger Chidlow; and in 1604 John Holland of Kenninghall, Esq. feoffee, gave it to
  • John Chidlow, who was buried in Siseland church, December 4, 1652, and
  • John Rose had it, at whose death, in 1661, Henry Lord Arundel of Wardour, &c. gave it to Edw. Warnes, who held it united to Lammas, and at his death, Christian Warnes his wife, who had the next turn from the Norfolk family, gave it in
  • 1701, to John Barker, who held it also united to Lammas, and at his death, Francis Taylor, Esq. gave it to

The Rev. Mr. Samuel Taylor, his son, the present rector.

There is no rectory-house, but eleven acres and 3 roods of glebe. It stands thus in the King's Books:

4l. 6s. 8d. Hautbois, vulgo Hobbies Magna rectory 35l. clear yearly value.

So that being discharged, it is capable of augmentation. It pays 13d. procurations to the Bishop at the visitation, synodals 8d. archdeacon's procurations 4s. and the old valuation was six marks.

The village is in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster; and paid 30s. to every tenth, besides 4s. paid by the religious for their lands here. It is laid to the land-tax at 234l. 15s. and pays 5s. 6d. to every 300l. levy of the county rate.

In this church was a famous image of St. Theobald, commonly called St. Tebbald of Hobbies; it was much frequented for its many pretended miracles, so that pilgrimages used to be made to it. In 1507, in the will of Agnes Parker of Keswic is this, "Item I owe a pilgrimage to Canterbury, another to St. Tebbald of Hobbies, and another to St. Albert at Cringleforde," and in 1507 Thomas Wood of Cowteshale gave legacies to the gild of the Virgin Mary, in the church of the Assumption of the Virgin at Hobbies, and to paint the new tabernacle of St. Theobald there, and this saint being so famous, made some mistake the dedication of the church, and suppose it to have been dedicated to St. Theobald, which is not so.

Ther was also a chantry here, founded and endowed by John Parham, with divers lands here, and in Hobies-Parva, Scoriston, &c. of which John Castre was chantry priest in 1442; at the Dissolution King Edward VI. in 1557, granted among other things to Thomas Woodhouse of Waxham, Esq. the Chauntry called de alto Bosco, in the town of Hautbois-Magna, with all the manors, letes, lands, rents, and services thereto belonging in Norfolk, to be held in soccage by fealty only, of the King's manor of Brook, and the next year he sold it to William Mingay of Norwich, notary publick, and his heirs, John Blomefield, Esq. being witness. Under this grant also passed,
The Hospital of St. Mary, commonly called God's-house, at the head of Hobbies Causeway, which was founded about 1235 by Sir Peter de alto Bosco or Hautbois, for his own and ancestors souls, for the reception of travellers and poor people; he settled ten acres and one rood of land in Great-Hautbois, and 2 acres and an half, and all Millfen Marsh, by Great-Hautbois Causeway, and all the rents and services which Stephen de Walton and 26 other tenants paid, together with all his lands in Little-Hautbois, Worsted, Swannington, and Banningham, and Roger son of Roger le Povere, Roger Trussebut, and Sir Richard de Cham, Knt. lords of the several fees of the lands given by Sir Peter, released all their right to Peter Olive, chaplain, the first custos or master of the Hospital.

The founder appointed the almoner of St. Bennet to be principal guardian of this house, enjoining him to commit the custody of it to the master or custos of the hospital of St. James, at the head of the Causeway of St. Bennet at the Holm, who should yearly account with the almoner, and govern this house, by a deputy appointed by the said master, who should be custos of this hospital, and as such, account yearly with the master of St. James's hospital.

The master was to be free from all dues to Sir Peter, as lord of Hautbois manor; Thomas de alto Bosco, and Richard his son were witnesses.

This house was licensed by Pope Alexander the 4th, in the third year of his pontificate, to have a chapel, bell, and proper chaplain, for the use of the poor of the hospital, the revenues being able to bear the expense, and Roger, then custos, certified this license to the Bishop of Norwich.

The revenues of this chapel of St. Mary were taxed at 18s. 10d.

The Manor of Hautbois-Magna[edit]

Belonged to the Abbot of St. Bennet at the Holm, one part, of the gift of King Edward the Confessor, and of Elgelwin, a Saxon ealderman or thane, lord of it, under that prince, and the other, of the gift of Ralph Earl of Norfolk, when he granted the burial of his wife to that monastery, with the King's consent; this part was held of the abbey at the Conqueror's survey, by William de Warren, of whom Ralf Stalra held it, and the other part was held by Ralf de Beaufoe, of whom Eudo held it; the whole village being then six furlongs long, and four broad, and paid 2d. to the geld or tax, towards every 20s. raised by the hundred.

Soon after the survey, Herman held one half, under the abbot, at the will of the convent, but his son,

William, who took the sirname of De alto Bosco or Hautbois, was infeoffed in the half of Great Hautbois; which he was to hold of the monastery, at half a fee; he had also all Little-Hautbois, with the Abbot's land at Calthorp, the land of Ulf, and the land of Ralf in Erpingham, to hold at half a fee more, and had the stewardship of the abbot, granted him by Alfwold, abbot there; his son

William was a great man in his days, being very much concerned for the affairs of the monastery all his life time; he had several sons, as Peter, William, Thomas, &c, from whom issued several branches of the family, but the principal estate went to his eldest son,

Sir Peter de alto Bosco, or Hautbois, who was a knight, and paid at the rate of a quarter of a fee for his manor here, to the Earl Warren, his chief lord, of whom he held it; he appears to be very old in 1234, and died about 1239, for in 1238 he released by several deeds to the Abbot of St. Bennet's all his right in the manors of Thugarton, Thwait, Antingham, and Shipden, and in the hundred of Tunsted, and in the offices of the stewardship and procuratorship to the monastery, for 17l. a year, to be paid him for life, for his better support in his extremity of age; he was founder of the Mason Dieu here, and gave the advowson to Coxford priory.

He sealed with barry, an orle of holly leaves proper, circumscribed,

He left Peter, Thomas, and John, who was vicar of Tutington.

Peter de alto Bosco, in 1242, paid the King 25s. relief for his lands here, which Sir Peter his father held, of the inheritance of the Earl Warren, that Earl being underage, and the King's ward; this Peter being seized also of the manors of Calthorp and Erpingham, which had passed with this manor ever since the Conquest, settled them on Maud his mother in dower, and during her life, sold them to Walter de Suffield Bishop of Norwich, and William de Calthorp and his heirs, and Peter, by fine levied, settled Calthorp advowson on the Bishop in 1246.

He died about 1247; for in 1248 Samson, son of Isaac, a Jew, at Norwich, impleaded Robert de Torkesey, then abbot of St. Benet's, before the justices assigned for the custody of the Jews, for a part of the lands of Peter, and Samson recovered; and then he and Isaac de Warwic, by their starr, released all right in this land to the abbot, and in the land of Robert de Worstede, with warranty against all Jews. I suppose he died without issue, for Walter son of Richard, who was son of Thomas de alto Bosco, son of Sir Peter, was found to be his heir, after the death of John, vicar of Tutington, who was brother of Peter, who in the beginning of Edward the First's time was lord here, and is often called de Calthorp, as well as de Hautbois; he left no issue, so that Maud, Margery, and Eufresia, his three sisters, inherited, and they all jointly with Hamon, son of Nicholas de Sibton, husband to Eufresia, released all their right to the abbot of St. Bennet's, in all the estates late of John son of Peter de Hautbois in Great and Little Hautbois, Colteshall, Tutington, Banningham, Calthorp, Thugarton and Erpingham, and so this manor vested in the convent; and in 1315 the Abbot of St. Bennet was returned lord of it.

The other, part which Eudo held of Ralf de Beaufo, he of the Earl Warren, and he of the Abbot of St. Bennet's, came to the Baniards, and passed in that family with Merton, which you may see in vol. ii. p. 299.

Hugh de Milieres had a part under the Baniards, for he granted to Roger son of Reiner de Hobbosia, land of his fee lying here, by the land of the fee of Sir Bartholomew de Redham, who held another part of it, under the Baniards. In 1251 Stephen de Redham had that part, and in 1275 Bartholomew de Redham impleaded Roger Baignard, and William his brother, in the Earl Warren's court, at his castle of Castleacre, by the King's writ, for 1 messuage, 66 acres of ground, 10 acres of marsh, and 10s. rent of assize in Great Hautbois; and in 1285, the King had the Lete over all Robert Baniard's tenants; but in 1299, after a long suit, Bartholomew de Redham recovered the manor against Robert son of Robert Banyard, who renewed the action the year following, and the sheriff accounted for 20l. for the profits of this year; and now it appeared that Bartholomew de Redham was diseised by the bailiffs of the Queen Consort, of a messuage, 120 acres of land, 20 of meadow, and of 5s. rent, which Bartholomew had just recovered against Rob. Baniard, before Barth. de Lovetot, and Richard de Tony, justices of assize, at an assize held at Aylesham; and after the Queen's death it came to the King's hands, who ordered the sheriff to deliver them to Bartholomew's heirs, who had now possession, and the same year William de Newton, and Margaret his wife, the heiress, I suppose, of Redham conveyed it absolutely to the said Robert, son of Robert Baniard and his heirs. It containing then 9 messuages, 7 cottages, 131 acres of land, 20 of meadow, 4 of aldercar, a free fishery in the river, 1 acre and half called Dovehouse-yard, 5s. rent, 2 messuages, 14 acres in Scothow, 15 villeins, and their families, &c.

In 1307, Joan, widow of Robert Baniard of Whetacre, and John Baniard, settled this manor on Sir Robert, son of the said Rob. Baniard deceased, and Maud his wife, and their heirs; and in 1312, Sir Robert and Maud held it, and resided here, and now built the manor-house, called Hautbois Castle; so called, no doubt, because he had a royal license to embattle it after the manner of a Castle; in 1313 he added much to the manor, by purchasing here and in Scothowe, of John Peverel and Joan his wife. In 1315 Sir Robert and Maud settled the whole on Henry de Stanton, and Alfred de Brok, for their lives. In 1318 Robert gave to the abbot of Langley 100 acres of land, and 5s. rent in Chatgrave and Whetacre, which he held of Robert Fitz Walter, as parcel of the manors of Whetacre and Chatgrave, &c. in 1329 Robert Baniard held the 3d part of a fee here and in Tutington and Calthorp, and of Earl John de Warren's castle of Acre, and

Thomas Baniard was his son and heir, who sold the revertion after the death of his mother, Maud, widow of Sir Robert, to

Sir Thomas Rosceline, Knt. in 1345 Margery de Champain, widow of John, released to Sir John Willoughby, Knt. lord of Eresby, and Joan his wife, all her right in the sixth part of this manor, held for life, by Maud widow of Sir Robert Baniard, and in all the manors and estates descended to her, as one of the six sisters and coheirs of Sir Thomas Rosceline, Knt. and William son of Robert de Bokenham, cousin and one of the heirs of Sir Thomas, sold his 6th part to the said Sir John; and Sir Robert Tiffour, Knt. and Maud his wife, sold their 6th part, and in 1348 Sir John and Joan his wife held the moiety of Whetacre and Hautbois of John Lord Fitzwalter, and John Willoughby was their son and heir, and the next year it was found that Maud widow of Sir Robert Baniard held Whetacre, and this manor for life; one half of Hautbois was held of Sir John Willoughby, Knt. lately deceased, and of Joan his wife, one of the coheirs of Sir Tho. Rosceline, and the other half of the said Joan, who was then living, and had the other half, of her own inheritance.

In 1402, William de Willoughby and his feoffees settled the moiety of this manor on John le Strange, Knt. and other trustees; in 1309, Sir William Bowet and Joan his wife settled it with Horseford; in 1427, Sir Thomas Dacre, junior, Knt. and Elizabeth his wife, had it, and settled it with Horseford, in 1447; in 1487, Joan, widow of Richard Fynes Lord Dacres, Knt. had it, and Thomas Fynes was her cousin and heir; in 1491 she held it with Horseford, Burgh St. Margaret, the advowsons of Langley abbey, and the priories of St. Faith and Petereston, &c. in 1511, Thomas Fynes Lord Dacres died seized of them all. In 1553 Thomas Fynes Lord Dacres held Hautbois, by knight's service, of the Earl of Arundel, and Georges Fynes was his son and heir, who in 1570, by the name of George Lord Dacres settled it on Roger Manwood and other trustees to the use of himself and Lady Anne his wife for life, and their heirs male; in 1606, Sampson Lennard, Esq. and Margaret his wife had it with Horseford, and settled it on Sir Walter Covest, Knt. it was afterwards separated from Horseford, and passing through divers owners, it lately belonged to the Aides of Horsted-Hall, and at the death of Mr. Thomas Ayde of Horstead, was sold by his only daughter Susanna, and the Rev. Mr. Charles Tillet, her husband, to the present Lord Leonard Batcheller, Esq.


Commonly called Coulshill, and in Domsday Coketeshall and Cokereshall, no doubt from some Saxon owner, Stigand the Archbishop had it, and occupied it by 16 socmen, and after granted it to Turold; and at the Conqueror's survey, the ancestor of the Earl Warren had it of that Prince's gift, all but Ralf Stalra's part, which contained 110 acres of land, which he gave with the burial of his wife, to the Abbot of St. Bennet at Holm, who joined it to his adjacent manor of Hautbois, with which it always passed. Colteshall had then a church and 10 acres of glebe, and was above a mile long and half a mile broad, and paid 12d. geld or tax towards every 20s. raised in the hundred.

Roger of Poictou, third son of Roger de Montgomery Earl of Arundel, &c. held 4 socmen and 30 acres here, formerly Bishop Stigand's, which he joined to his manor in Fretenham.

Ralf de Camois died seized of this manor in 1218, William de Hakeford, and Walter de Rochford, held three parts of a fee here, and paid aid accordingly to the Earl Warren, and now the manor entered in the Hackfords, and passed with West-Herling from them to the Seckfords, as you may see at p. 301, vol. i.

But the Lete and superiour jurisdictions of all kinds always belonged to the Crown, and accordingly King Henry III. as superiour lord of the whole town, and of all the tenants of Sir William de Hackford there; by letters patent dated at Woodstock, June, 13, 1231, granted to all men, women, boys, and girls, born or to be born in his village of Couteshall, that they should be free from al Villenage of body and blood, they and their families, in all parts of England, and that they should not be forced to serve any offices for any one, unless they liked it, and that all frays or trangression of bloodshed, bargains, and all quarrels and suits, concerning the town of Colteshall, should be determined twice every year, before the King's officers at the Letes there, and the natives of Colteshall; shall be free from Toll, by water and by land in all fairs and markets throughout England, and from all stallage, poundage, and picage, being the King's tenants, and as such, they were to pay to him and his successours 20s. to the Aid, to make his eldest son, Knt. when ever it happened, so that the King's officers demanded it in the village, and if not there demanded, it was not to be paid; and they were in like manner to pay 20s. for scutage, as often as it was raised on the new acquired royal demeans, of which this town was part, and that they were to pay six shillings every Michaelmass, for the Fee of those demeans; but as the patent is very remarkable, I have added it for your view. The Atlas, page 271, says, Cowshill, a village on the banks of the Bure, to which Henry III. granted this privilege among others, that a servant that remained here a year should go out Free; of which there is not a word of truth, for servants are not mentioned in the Charter, which was confirmed by King Henry IV. in the ninth year of his reign, with this clause added, that if there were any privileges in their former charter, that neither they nor their ancestors had made use of, yet they and their successours might at any time use them, without any molestation from any of the King's justices, sheriffs, bailiffs, or other officers whatever; this is dated at Westminster, 21 December, 1407, and King Henry the Sixth, with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal in his 1st paliament held at Westminster, in the 3d year of his reign, by letters patent, dated October 5, confirmed the said Charters, and afterwards, conveyed all his rights in this town to his college (called King's College in Cambridge), to which this village now belongs.

This manumission or charter of freedom to the natives of this village was a very great favour and privilege in those days; there were few then born freemen, half of most villages were either customary tenants, and so bound to perform all their customary services to their lords, or else Villains, I may say in plain English slaves, to their several lords, who had so absolute a power, that they could grant them, their wives and children born, or ever hereafter to be born of them, together with all their household goods, cattle and chattels whatever, to whomever they pleased; and indeed nothing is more common in antiquity, than to meet with grants of this nature from one lord to another, or to whomever he would; nay so absolute was the lord's jurisdiction over them, that they could not live out of the precincts of the manor without their lord's leave, nor marry their children to another lord's tenant, without their own lord's license; but in all ages men were naturally desirous of liberty, for these villains continually endeavoured to procure their freedom, either by pleasing their lord so much as to obtain a manumission, or by getting some friend or relation to purchase it for them; now this grant at once manumised all the natives of Colteshall and all their posterity, male and female, and that in so ample a manner, that contrary to other freemen (who were obliged to do suit at court and serve the offices of the manor, as collectorships, reeveships, &c.) they were not to be put into any office without their own consent, and though they removed into any other lord's fee or manor, yet they and their posterity should remain free. Now because I have mentioned these manumissions, and shewn their extent, it may not be amiss to subjoin an example or two of such assertions, many people being ignorant in what state their forefathers lived, and so are not capable of sufficiently valuing the freedom which we now enjoy.

In the time of Edward I. lived Sir Giles de Wachesham, Knt. lord of a manor in Wortham in Suffolk, he died in 1278, so that this deed though ti hath no date, must be before that time; this Giles granted to William de Hereford, rector of the mediety of the church of Wortham, Richard son of Hervy Ingald, with all his family, and all his chattels for two marks, and the said William, who had purchased him, made him and all his descendents free, on condition that he and his successours for ever, should pay a penny a year to the church of St. Mary at Wortham, upon the day of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, at the high altar, to find a light at that altar, and to the said William and his successours 3 roots or races of ginger every Michaelmas day.

The manor continued in the Hackfords and Seckfords, and in 1401 was found to be in the Dutchy of Lancaster, and the advowson was sold to the master and brethren of St. Giles hospital in Norwich, about 1450, and the manor and advowson was afterwards sold to trustees for the use of King's college in Cambridge; but by reason of the prior conveyance of the advowson, that college, though they tried for it, could not for a long time recover it, but did afterwards gain it, and have presented to it ever since, the college being now sole lords and patrons.

There was a Church here, long before the Conquest, but the present building, after it was finished, was dedicated to St. John the Baptist, on the day of the Conversion of St. Paul, by William de Middleton Bishop of Norwich, in the year 1284; the tower is square, and hath six bells in it, the nave and chancel are thatched, the north porch and south isle leaded, and the porch tiled; on a monument against the north wall,

M. S. Quod fuit Mortale, juxta situm est, Gulielmi Perkins Generosi, quem (laetus refero) erga Deum immortalem Pietas, erga Conjugem inviolata Fides, erga Liberos amor perspectissimus, post Funera felicem reddidere: Qui Calculi Doloribus, diu multumque tortus, in Spem futuræ et beatæ Vitæ Mortalitatem exuit, 4to Febr' Anno Salutis 1711, Ætatis 63. Hoc pietatis Testimonium poni curavit Gulielmus Perkins, S. T. P. Filius natû maximus, Collegij Divi Johannis Evangelistæ in Academiâ Cantabrigiœ Socius.

On brasses in the nave,

Orate pro anima roberti Postyl.

Hir iacet alica Pope, cufus anime propicietur Deus.

Pray for the Sowle of William Brasey.

Orate pro anima Roberti Breyge, cuius anime propitietur Deus Amen.

William Varden, ob. 22 April 1724. Æt. 24.

Orate pro anima Roberti Horne, cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen.

Richard Lubbock, of this Parish Merchant, March 17, 1686. Barbara his wife December 19, 1727. Robert Lubbock their eldest son late of Norwich Merchant, May 30, 1729. Æt. 56.

Pake, an eagle displayed between three lozenges.

Elizabetha Filia Samuelis Pake, M. D. (de Buriâ Sancti Edmundi in Comitatû Suffolciœ et Elizabethæ uxoris) obijt die undecimo Aprilis A. D. MDCCXXII Æt. XIVo.

Plumstede's arms and crest, an eagle's head erased on a coronet.

Owen Plumsted, Gent. June 11, 1704. Martha his wife March 8, 1692.

In the middle of the altar, Henry Palmer, Gent. for whom a monument against the north chancel wall hath this inscription,

Hic juxta positæ sunt exuviæ, Henrici Palmer Generosi, cujus Pietatem, Vitæque Integritatem, maximâ Laude et Imitatione dignissimas, ut hoc marmor Posteris testaretur, ex animo optat Georgius Warren, Nepos et Hæres, qui quidem Henricus postquam Legem edidicisset, eamque summo Honore et probitate per Annos LV. peritissime exercuisset tandem animam Deo placidè reddidit, Aug. 24, Ano Æt. 82. Salutis 1714,

On another monument against the north chancel wall,

Near to this Place in hopes of a joyful and blessed Eternity, lieth the Body of Mr. John Chapman late of this Parish Merchant, who by his last Will and Testament, gave and bequeathed to the Benefit of this Parish for ever, the yearly Sum of Ten Pounds, to be paid out of certain Lands lying in the said Parish, and in Great-Hautbois in the County of Norfolk, to a Schoolmaster, to be approved of by the Chancellor of the Diocess of Norwich, and the Minister of Colteshall for the Time being, to the Intent that ten poor Lads of the same Parish, may be taught freely Reading English, Writing and Arithmetick: He also gave in his Will Twenty Pounds, to be distributed among such poor people as followed him to his Grave: He was desirous to have Founded in his Life Time a School in this Parish, for the free Education of poor Children; and it is very probable he would have effected it, and thereby been a living Example of Charity to others, if it had not pleased God to take him out of this transitory Life, after a short Indispostion of Body in the 57th Year of his Age, and in the Year of our Lord 1719.

Blessed is he that considereth the Poor. Psalm XLI. I.

There were formerly in the windows here, the arms of St. George, Seckford, Felbrigge, Clere and le Gros, Warren, Clare, and France and England. The steeple is 67 feet high, the nave is 50 feet long and 31 broad, the isle is of the same length with the nave and 9 feet broad, the chancel is 30 feet long and 20 broad.

It stands thus in the King's books;

7l. 2s. 6d. Colesale alias Colteshall rectory 14s. 3d. yearly tenths. And being undischarged it is incapable of augmentation, being said in the last Valor to be 200l. per. annum.

At the Confessor's survey there were 10 acres of glebe; and in 1231 the rector had a license in mortmain to receive an acre of pasture, and half an acre of marsh; and about 1270 Roger then rector, gave a house and 3 roods of land here, which in 1285 Sir Ralf de Hakeford, then rector, recovered against John de Summerton, chaplain, who sued for it, and had it settled on his church for ever.

The Rectory was anciently valued at ten marks; it pays 21d. qr. visitatorial procurations, and 16d. synodals to the Bishop, and 5s. procurations to the archdeacon; the whole village paid 8d. Peter-pence, and 2l. 17s clear to every tenth, besides the lands of the religious here, for which the abbot of Holm was taxed for his mill and lands at 50s. the abbot of Caen in Normandy, for his fishery and revenues here, 25s. 10d., and the prioress of Carrow had Churches tenement here, and 20 acres of land given by Robert Everard, chaplain, to that abbey in 1449.

It is valued at 473l. 10s. to the land-tax, and pays 10s. to every 300l. levy of the County rate. There was a gild of St. John the Baptist held anciently on Midsummer-day.


  • 1270, Roger.
  • 1289, Ralf de Hakeford.
  • 1300, Ralf de Hakeford. Sir William de Hakeford.
  • 1304, William Goscelyn. Ditto.
  • 1305, Master Ralf de Hakeford again. Ditto.
  • 1325, Robert Rouland. Sir John Foliot, Knt. in right of his wife.
  • 1347, Edmund de Easton. John de Sekeford.
  • 1374, Sir William Elmham, Knt. was lord and patron.
  • 1406, John Brydecock. Sir Simon Felbrigge, Knt. Oliver Groose, Esq. John Felbrigge, clerk, John Yelverton, Tho. Owdolf, and Robert Gostlin, chaplains, patrons of this turn only. In 1420 Bridecock exchanged this, for Redenhall vicarage with Master John de Aylesham. Thomas Duke of Exeter, Earl of Dorset and Harcourt, Admiral of England and Ireland. In 1425, Augustine Stratton and Margaret his wife, widow of Sir George Seckford, Knt. settled the manor and advowson on Sir Simon Felbrigge, Knt. and other trustees, to the use of George Seckford, Esq. In 1426 Aylesham exchanged for Beeston by Mileham rectory with
  • Thomas Crundale. George Seckford Esq. He resigned in
  • 1440, to Simon Belton. Ditto. who resigned in
  • 1452, to Thomas Hancock. George Seckford, Esq. in full right.
  • 1458, Nicholas Harryngton, the last presented by Seckford, who sold the advowson to
  • John Selot, master of St. Giles's hospital in Norwich, and he was presented rector here by the Brethren of the hospital in 1465, and Pope Paul the second, by bull dated at St. Mark's at Rome, February 23, 1465, annexed it for ever to the Mastership of the hospital, and appointed that if any master resigned that office, this rectory of course should be void. In 1479 the hospital presented their master,
  • John Smith, L.L. D. at whose death in
  • 1489, Master Oliver Dynham, A. M. had it, and the Provost and scholars of the college of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Nicholas in Cambridge (now called King's college) presented
  • Robert Ellesmere, A. M. the manor now being purchased by the college with the advowson: but on a Jus Patronatus tried April 9, 1490, it was found to be annexed to the mastership, and severed from the manor.
  • 1495, Thomas Schenkwyn.
  • 1497, Nicholas Goldwell.
  • 1498, Robert Honywood, L.L. D. fellow of All-Souls in Oxford, dean of the Chapel in the Fields in Norwich, master of Bek hospital, chancellor, &c.
  • 1499, John Julles.
  • 1513, William Sooper, A. M.
  • 1519, John Hekker, who was the last presented by the hospital; he resigned it in 1522, and from that time the College hath presented here, having recovered it by the King's writ on a trial against the hospital.
  • 1522, John Cock, A. M. united to Horstede in 1554, at his death in
  • 1556, Guthlac Cordal had it, and on his resignation in
  • 1564, Nicholas Aylonde, had it united to Horstede in 1571, who died in 1607, and in
  • 1608, Richard Sutton, S. T. B. held it united to Horstede, on whose death in
  • 1619, Henry Howgrave, S. T. B. succeeded and died in 1645 possessed of this and Horsted, and was succeeded in
  • 1646, by George Goade, A. M. and he in a very little while by
  • Thomas Jenner, who in 1657 was complained of to the sessions in order to dispossess him, and being unable to make head against their proceedings, in 1658, he resigned to the college, and they gave this and Horstede to
  • Grindal Sheaf, S. T. P. canon of Windsor, (who published Vindiciœ Senectutis, or a Plea of Old Age, London 1639, octavo,) and fellow of King's college in Cambridge, of whose numerous preferments and wealth you may see in Wood's Fasti, &c. vol. i. fo. 798; he resigned the livings in 1661, and
  • Daniel Warren, A. M. had them, at whose death in
  • 1700, Mr. John Layton succeeded, and died August 16, 1728, and

Doctor Gilbert Burroughs, fellow of King's, had them, at whose death

The Rev. Mr. Robert Parr, late fellow of King's, the present rector, succeeded, and now holds them.


Or Bilhagh, signifies the dwelling-place at the water, and it stands accordingly close by the river Bure; the church itself being not above 80 yards from it, but notwithstanding that, placed on such a hill, that it commands the adjacent flats, which by the shelves and eminences on both sides, plainly show, that the whole was formerly covered with water; the parsonage-house stands between the river and churchyard, directly under it, the bottom of the steeple being higher than the top of the house, the hill on which the church stands is so steep towards the river or west part, that the human bones (of which I saw great numbers) lie uncovered, by the earth's falling from them; occasioned by decay of the stone wall round the churchyard, which was made to keep the hill from slipping away.

This village is in the jurisdiction of the dutchy of Lancaster, and belonged in the Confessor's time to Ralf Stulra, who gave all that he had here to the Abbot of St. Bennet at Holm, who by that gift had the whole advowson, which passed with the monastery till its dissolution, and then went to the see of Norwich, which now hath it, and all the revenues of the said abbey, one part of it then, as now, belonged to Hoveton or Hofton manor, another to Aylesham, and another part or manor belonged to Herold in the Confessor's time, and to Ralf de Beaufoe at the Conquest, over which Hofton manor had the soc or chief juridiction; Robert Aguillon, in 1235, had a part or manor, and confirmed all gifts made to the Abbot of St. Bennet's, and after him William Bertram, a Norman, owned it; and in 1285 Thomas Bardolf held it; in 1315 the Abbot of St. Bennet was chief lord, and a manor was held of him by Robert Baniard and by Roger du Bois in 1401.

In 1538, Robert Paynel of Belagh, Gent. had a lease from the Bishop of Norwich of the site and demeans of the manor of Hoveton St. John's, to which the manor and jurisdiction of this town belonged; and it continued in that family till 1689, and then John Paynel, Gent. sold it to Giles Cutting, attorney at law; and it is now held by Thomas Bell, Esq. who was high sheriff of Norfolk in 1738.

The church is ddeicated to St. Peter, and there was a gild kept here, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, before her image in the chancel, and there was a chapel in the north part of the church dedicated to St. Helen; it stands thus in the King's Books:

6l. Belehaw alias Bilough rectory 34l. clear yearly value,

And being discharged of first fruits and tenths, it is capable of augmentation; it pays 18d. procurations, to the Bishop at the visitation, and 8d. yearly synodals, and a pension of 2s. a year, which used to be paid to the sacrist of St. Bennet's monastery; and 6s. 8d. procurations to the archdeacon; the village paid 2l. 10s. clear to every tenth, besides 8s. paid by the Abbot of St. Bennet's, and the Prior of Butley in Suffolk, for their revenues here, the Prior was laid at 10s. and so consequently paid 1s. to each tenth. The Abbot of Caen in Normandy was taxed for rents here belonging to Colteshall, at 3s. ob. qr. and the Abbot paid the rest.

The town is laid at 266l. 10s. to the land-tax, and pays 6s. to every 300l. levy of the county rate.

There was a family very ancient, which took their name from the town, John son of Ybri de Belhagh had an estate here in Henry the Second's time, whose family continued a long time here. Belagh was 9 furlongs long and 3 and an half broad, and paid 6d. geld.


The old value of the rectory was 15 marks. In

  • 1330, Robert de Hardeshull resigned the mediety of Holveston in exchange for Belagh, with

Sir John de Catfield, priest, and in 1349 the Abbot of Holm presented

John de Ludham to it, who exchanged it in

  • 1364, with William Potyn, for the custody or rectory of Penshirst chapel in Rochester diocese, and in 1370 Potyn resigned, to
  • William de Swukbrok in exchange for the perpetual chantry, for the soul of Thomas Legge, late citizen of London, founded in the parish church of St. Christopher in that city. In
  • 1449, Mr. Robert Popy in Dec. Bac. resigned Bernham-Broom for this, in exchange with
  • Robert Ryngman. In
  • 1459, John Jppeswell, official to the archdeacon of Norwich, was rector (see vol. iii. p. 659.) In the altar on the south side, is a stone with the cup and wafer on it, and this on a brass plate,
  • Orate pro anima Johannis Feelde, nuper Rectoris istius Eccle sie de Bylaugh, qut obiit rrodie Julii anno Domini MoUoviii cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen.

He was a native of this town.

A brass in the chancel hath this,

Orate pro anima : Willi Feelde, cuius anime propicfetur Deus Amen.

About 1628 Roger Fookes was rector, who was succeeded by Thomas Jenny. At the death of Bainbridge Dean, the Bishop of Norwich, in full right patron, gave it to the present rector,

The Rev. Mr. William Hay, A. M. who was collated September 16, 1741, and had it united to Barton Tuft vicarage.

The tower is square, and hath three bells in it; the nave and chancel are thatched, the north isle leaded, and the south porch are tiled.

In the isle there are stones for Henry Paynell, Gent, 17 July, 1579. Thomasin his Wife, Daughter of John Barney of Langley, Esq; by whom he had 5 Sons and 5 Daughters. John, eldest Son of Henry Paynell, Esq; and Winefred his Wife. Thomas third Son of Robert Paynell, Esq; 1678.

On a mural monument,

M. S. S. Heic juxta sita est Catherina uxor Johannis Paynel, de hujus Vico Bylaugh Armigeri, unica soboles Gulielmi Gasselyn, de Burnham Thorpe in eodem Agro Norfolciensi Generosi; marito peperit quatuor Filios, totidemque Filias, et Puerpera Roberti (ipsius Gnati Genethlijs) expiravit, xxii. Julij MDCLXXXVII. Conjux ejus dilectissimus, ex Amore suo hoc posuit Monumentum.

Paynel, gul. two chevrons arg. impaling

Gasselyn or Gastelyn, or, billettè az.

Leman, az. a fess between three dolphins embowed arg. a crescent er. for difference.

Crest, in an oak, a pelican on her nest, vulning herself, with her young ones under her, the whole coloured proper.

Depositum Thomæ Leman Generosi, Legi, Regi, Religioni, Devoti, qui Anno post Restaurationem Caroli Secundi 2do Incarnationis Christi 1661, lætus occubuit Novemb' 6. Æt. Suæ 75. Subterque hoc marmore unà cum uxore Emma, requiescit in Spem Gloriæ futuræ.

There are memorials in the nave for, Henry Utting, 1715. 40. Margaret Daughter of Robert Blake, Gent. and Mary his Wife 1718, Æt. 16 Months.

Crest, a plume of feathers, and arms of Blake as at p 48, Vol. i.

In the chancel,

Depositum Mariæ Dean, ob. nono die Novemb' 1704. Æt 33.

On the wainscot at the altar, crest, a buck's head erazed az. armed or, and Green's arms as at p. 411, vol. i. and this date, 1679.

Thomas Husbands, Esq; 1660. Willoughby his Relict 1681. Their Children, Thomas, 1674. Judith, 1678. Elizabeth, 1678.

Husbands of Essex, arg. on a chevron, and sometimes on a fess ingrailed gul. between three martlets sab. three mullets or; the Norfolk family generally bare the chevron, and the Essex family the fess ingrailed.

In a north chancel window St. Michael holds a sceptre and sword, and a pair of scales, a man in one scale, and the Bible in the other, and under him a great number of men, women, and children, and over them,



Called Swanton Abbots, from the Abbot of Holm, who was lord of it, to distinguish it from other towns of the same name in this county.

The Register of Holm abbey (fo. 6) tells us, that it was given to that convent soon after its foundation, by Saxi, a Saxon nobleman, and at the Conquest it appears to be one of the manors settled for the monks maintenance, and it was then valued at 3l.; the church had 7 acres glebe, and the town was above a mile long and as much broad, and paid 4d. to the geld, towards every 20s. raised by the hundred.

By deeds without dates, entered in Holm Register, it appears that William de Whitwell and Clarice his wife, released to Reginald, abbot of St. Bennet's, all right of commonage in this town and North-Walsham, which, before this, belonged to his manor of Skeyton; and Robert, son of William de Skeyton released all his right of common of pasture in Swanton, and Walsham woods, which before belonged to his manor of Skeyton; and Richer, son of Clarice, released also; and Sir Reginald le Gros also released all right to common in the wood here, and many others conveyed divers lands and rights to the monastery, so that the Abbot was sole lord of the whole town; and had free warren allowed in eire: and what is mentioned in the Atlas, at p. 271, is false, and doth not at all relate to this Swanton, which was always held in chief of the King, as parcel of the Abbot of Holme's barony, with which it came to the see of Norwich, and in 1546 was let to Sir William Paston, Knt. together with the advowson, as at large in vol. iv. p. 542. The manor now goes with the late Earl of Yarmouth's estate, it having been in the hands of the Pastons ever since the aforesaid time. And the whole town is in the dutchy of Lancaster. It paid to every tenth 35s. clear, is valued to the land-tax at 252l. 16s. 3d. and pays 6s. 3d. to every 300l. levy of the county rate, and the Abbot of St. Bennet's was laid for his manor, lands, mill, rents, &c. at 10l. 9s. 6d. and the almoner of that convent, for his revenues here, at 6s.

The Church is dedicated to St. Michael, is in the deanery of Ingworth, and the archdeaconry of Norwich, and pays to the archdeacon 3s. 4d. procurations, and 9d. synodals to the Bishop, and a pension of 16s. 8d. in right of Holm abbey; and 19d. ob. visitatorial procurations; it was anciently valued at 6 marks, and is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation. It stands thus in the King's Books:

6l. 10s. Swanton Abbatis rectory, 34l. clear yearly value.

By deed without date Nicholas, rector of Swanton, agreed with the Abbot of St. Bennet, that if he enjoyed all great and small tithes, he would pay the Abbot 3s. a year for 60 sheaves called Nuns sheaves, and the old pension for the tithe sheaves of the Abbot's demeans, so that the pension of 16s. 8d. paid by the Rector to the Abbot, was now fixed.

In Edward the First's time,

Thomas de Walcote was presented by the Abbot.

  • 1311, Henry de Berney.
  • 1314, Alexander de Berneye, rector here, exchanged this for Heighham by Norwich, with
  • William de Broke. (See vol. iv. p. 506.)
  • 1331, John Pain,
  • 1341, Roger Springheus, who in 1342 exchanged this with

Sir Andrew Springheus, for St. Peter of Maydewell in Lincoln diocese.

  • 1353, Henry de Kenton.
  • 1408, Roger Crede.
  • 1477, Stephen Multon; he was buried in the chancel by the reading-desk, his effigies in brass still remains on his stone, and this,
  • Orate pro anima Stephani Multon, qui obiit rrbiiiodie Junii AnoDni Mcccclrrvii. cuius anime propicietur Deus Amen

The abbots always presented, and after them the bishops, &c. till leased out, and then the Pastons.

Richard Lubbit, rector here, was sequestered in the Usurpation, according to Walker, Part II. fo. 296.

In 1698, Theophilus Browne, A. M. was presented by the Earl of Yarmouth, and held it united to Calthorp, and it is now held by

The Rev. Mr. John Gallant.

Bartholomew de Wichingham was buried in this church in 1497, leaving Isabel his wife, and Edmund and Andrew his sons, and had a considerable estate here. The arms of Le Gros were in the windows, but are now gone; gul. a cross floré arg. remains.

There are memorials in the chancel for, Mary Wife of John Fox 1722, 57. John Fox, 1718, Æt. 5. William Fox 1705, 73. Anne his Wife, 1706. 65.

In the church, Margaret Wife of John Wegge 1621.

Elizabeth Knolls the third Daughter of John and Margaret Wegge, the only Wife of Phelip Knolls, Mother of 3 Children, Thomas, John, Mary, dying Anno Christi 1641, September 18, Aged 60 Years, lies here interred, expecting a joyful Resurrection.

Valedictio Filij Johannis, qui hoc posuit.

Chara vale mea, chara Vale, tua Funera flevi, Me consolatur, Cœlica Vita tua.


Or Bernesworth, Goodale, or Berningham Stafford, for by all these names, this village hath passed, in order to distinguish it from the other villages of the same name.

At the Conquest it was in four parts; one was valued as part of the King's manor of Aylesham, and was under the care of Godric; the advowson of the church, which had then 9 acres of glebe, and the second part, belonged to William de Warren, and was formerly owned by Herold; a third part was valued with Blickling manor, and was owned by William Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford, and the fourth part belonged to Brant, a noble Dane in the time of Edward the Confessor, and to Robert Fitz Corbun in the time of the Conqueror, when the whole town was seven furlongs long, and four furlongs broad, and paid 3d. three farthings to the geld, towards every 20s. raised by the hundred.

The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and there was a gild of St. John Baptist held in it; the tower is square, and hath two bells, and a third stands broken in the church; the nave is leaded, the chancel thatched, the south porch tiled, and a north vestry is ruinated.

Under the communion-table lies a stone altarwise, viz. the ends to the south and north, on which a brass plate is thus inscribed,

Here ys Edmundys Grave; JESU his Sowlle hauue.

In the nave is a pew erected by a Shepherd; a skeleton carved in wood is fixed at the south-west corner of it; and this carved on the pew,

For Couples join'd in Wedlock: and my Friend That Stranger is: This Seate I did intend.

But at the Coste and Charge of Stephen Crosbee.

All you that doe this Place pass by As you are nowe, even soe was I, Remember Death for you must dye, And as I am, soe shall you be, Anno Domini 1640.

This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 5l. 15s. 2d. ob. ana stands there by the name of Barningham Parva, and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 45l.; it is discharged of first-fruits and tenths, and is capable of augmentation; it pays procurations to the Bishop at the visitation 17d. qr.; synodals 9d.; and 4s. procurations to the archdeacon; the old valuation was 7 marks; it paid to every tenth 1l. 15s. clear; is now valued to the land-tax at 314l. 10s. and 5s. 6d. to every 300l. levy of the county rate. It is in the dutchy of Lancaster, and took its name from [Bar] bread-corn, [ing] low meadow, and [ham], a village; so that it signifies the village or dwelling by the low meadows, abounding with wheat.


  • 1320, Master de Roger Strattone. Sir Hugh Audeley, Knt. Resigned.
  • 1328, Philip de Okeley. Ditto. Res.
  • 1339, Hugh de Wynnesbury. Hugh de Audley Earl of Gloucester.
  • 1340, Robert de Wynnesbury, changed this for the rectory of Montgomori in Hereford diocese, with

Sir Walter de Brykyndon, who was licensed by the King in 1441 to change this with John de Newton, for Cheshunt vicarage in Hertfordshire; but it seems not to have taken effect, for in 1343 Brikyndon resigned this rectory, and Sir Robert de Causton, Knt. gave it to

Bartholomew French. In 1349 Robert, Baron of Stafford and Lord of Tunbrigge was patron, and in

  • 1361, James Beck was rector. In 1374 Hugh Earl of Stafford, gave it to
  • John Littleker, and in
  • 1437, when Thomas Bradley resigned it,
  • Richard Bisheton was presented by Humfry Earl of Stafford and Perche, Lord of Tonebrigge and Caus. In 1460 John Duke of Norfolk died seized of the advowson, and the Earl of Surrey was also patron of Bernyngham Goodale, alias Stafford. In 1540 Thomas Duke of Norfolk gave it to
  • Robert Denton, whose successour,
  • Thomas Hill, died rector. In 1565 Edward Clere, Esq. a trustee to the Howards, presented
  • George Wicks, who was succeeded by
  • Philip Wicks, and in 1631 John Dix, alias Ramseye, of Wickmere, Esq. presented
  • Thomas Cooper, and afterwards
  • Richardson Jackson, at whose death in 1670 John Dix gave it to
  • William Plumstede, A. M. who held it with Wickmere, and at his death in 1692 Richard Knight, Gent. patron in full right, presented
  • John Gray, A. M. at whose death Richard Knight, Esq. of Attlebridge, the present patron, gave it to the present rector,
    Mr. John Browne, who holds it united to Ashwellthorp rectory.

The manor was anciently in a family that took their sirname from this lordship; Humfry de Berningham was sole lord, as the Red Book of the Exchequer informs me; and held it of the honour of the Abbot of St. Edmund's Bury in Henry the First's time, as land of the new feoffment: he bare for his arms,

Arg. on a bend gul. cotized. az. three escalops or, and some of his descendants bare the field, az. a bend ingrailed or.

Thomas de Berningham held it, and after him his son Matthew; in 1260 Walter de Berningham held it at half a fee. In 1279, in the Register of Bury Abbey called Pinchbeck, fo. 118, it is said, that John de Sancto Claro held the 4th part of a fee of the abbot of Bury, which Eustace de Berningham formerly held, which in the time of Abbot Baldwin, who lived in the Conqueror's days, one Burchard held.

Walter de Berningham, lord here, had a charter from King Edward I. for a fair and market here, and for liberty of freewarren in this and Wickmere manors.

In 1312 Sir Henry de Seagrave, Hugh Tirrel, and 25 others, came hither armed to the manor-house of William de Berningham, and fired it in five several places, and seized the Lady Petronel de Gra, mother of the said William, and pricked her with swords, and cut her with knives, to force her to tell them of her jewels, money and plate, and brake open her chests, &c. for which they were all indited, but produced the King's pardon; in 1313 Walter de Berningham settled this manor and advowson, and the manor of Wykemere, on himself for life, remainder to

Gilbert de Clare Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, and their heirs; and in 1315 the Countess of Gloucester was in possession of them; but upon the marriage of Isabel, sister and coheir of Gilbert de Clare, Hugh de Audley her husband had them, and was lord and patron here. In 1371 Ralf Earl of Stafford, in right of Margaret his wife, one of the daughters and heiresses of Hugh de Audley Earl of Gloucester, held this manor, and Hugh his son and heir was then 31 years of age; and in 1401 the Earl of Stafford was lord, and Adam de Gelbie held a fourth of a fee in this town, which belonged to the manor of Wickmere, of him: in 1423 Sir Hugh Stafford Earl of Stafford, son of Sir Hugh, Knt. of the Garter, and Lord Bourchier, in right of his wife, held this and Wickmere, and left them to Edmund his brother, who left issue, Humphry Earl of Stafford, nephew and heir to this Sir Hugh, 20 years old, who married Elizabeth, daughter and heir to Bartholomew Lord Bourchier, who remarried to Sir Lewis Robsart, Knt. of the Garter, and Lord Bourchier in her right; in 1495 it was in the hands of Katherine Dutchess of Bedford, and was then found to extend into Wickmere, Wulterton, Erpingham, Iteringham and Matlask; and it descended to Edward Duke of Buckinghamshire, with Wickmere, Wells, Warham, Wyveton, &c. who was attainted in the time of King Henry VIII. This Lady Katherine held these in dower, as daughter of Richard Woodevile Earl Rivers, and widow of Henry Stafford Duke of Bucks and Constable of England; she died 21 December in this year.

After the attainder aforesaid, in the year 1522, King Henry VIII. granted this manor and advowson, parcel of the possessions of Edward late Duke of Bucks attainted, to Thomas Duke of Norfolk, with remainder to his son, Thomas Earl of Surrey, who had livery thereof in 1524, and it was owned by Philip Earl of Arundel, at his attainder in 1583: in 1615, John Dix, alias Ramsey, of Wickmere, Esq. as trustee to Thomas Earl of Arundel, granted a rent charge of 20l. per annum to James Wilford of Lincolnes Inn, Esq. out of this manor, and then mortgaged it to Thomas Marsham of <