Is bounded on the east by Dickleburgh, on the west by Burston, on
the south by Thelton, and on the north by Gissing. It is a rectory
appendant to the manor, and being discharged of first fruits and
tenths, is capable of augmentation. The rectory hath a house and
16 acres of glebe: Norwich Domesday says, that Richard de Boyland
was then patron, that the rector had a house and xv. acres of land;
that the procurations were then vi.s. viii.d. and the synodals xxii.d.
|King's Books.||Clear Value.||Synodals.||Arch. Procur.|
|Acres Glebe.||Norw. Taxat.||Lincoln Taxat.|
|16||0||0||11 Marks.||16 Marks.|
The following persons appear to have been
1305, 6 kal. Dec. Robert de Boswyle, accolite, William de
1328, 7 kal. Mar. Will. de Schymplyng, accolite. Roger, son of
Will. de Shympling.
1338, 12 July, John de Cherchegate, priest to St. George's church at
1349, Robert Sampson, priest. Emma, late wife of Roger de
1361, 13 Sept. Ric. de Halle, priest. Ditto.
1362, 21 Sept. Peter Scott. Ditto.
1386, 19 April, Tho. de Welles. Thomas de Glemesford.
1393, 28 March, Welles changed this with John Mulle for Mildeston rectory, in Sarum diocese. Roger de Ellingham and Joan
1396, 29 March, Mulle exchanged with Will. Stone for Ludenham
in Kent. Ditto.
1401, 29 Aug. John Drury, priest, who resigned Watton vicarage
in exchange for this. Roger de Elyngham.
1408, 7 Aug. John Cok of Illington, priest.
1421, 8 Octob. Reginald Pepper of Berton Bendysch, priest, on
the resignation of Cok. Ditto.
1421, 6 March, Tho. Young, on Pepper's resignation. William,
son of Roger de Elyngham of Elyngham, near Bungey.
1422, 22 March, Rich. Senyngwell, on Young's resignation. Ditto.
1430, 20 Sept. Walter Skyde of Disse. Lapse.
1432, 23 Octob. Thomas Wright. Lapse.
1434, 14 Dec. John Grygby. William Elyngham of Elyngham by Bungey.
1437, 12 Octob. Richard de Schymplyng, on Grygby's resignation.
William Elyngham of Elyngham by Bungey.
1449, 31 Jan. Robert Caade, resigned to John Beest, in exchange
for Winterburn Basset rectory, in Wiltshire. Ditto.
1451, 21 April, Thomas Messinger, on Beest's death. Ditto.
1504, John Odiham.
1507, 4 Aug. James Galle. (fn. 1) Lapse.
1525, 19 Octob. Thomas Warde. Thomas Shardelowe, Esq.
1536, 26 March, John Lanman, (fn. 2) on Ward's death. John Aldham,
lord of the moiety of Elyngham's manor here, by turns.
1563, 26 June, Thomas Oxford, alias Farmor, A. M. Stephen
1572, 24 Nov. William Luffkyn, on Oxford's resignation. Stephen Shardelowe, and John Aldham, patrons.
1609, 1 Aug. Nicholas Colte. (fn. 3) John Sherdelowe.
1642, Jeremiah Gowen. (fn. 4) Adrian Mott of Braintree, and
Margaret Carter of Stratford in Essex.
1649, Thomas Cole, (fn. 5) clerk, A. M. John and James Mott,
1684, 9 Dec. John Rand. John Buxton, Esq. united to
1706, 1 Jan. John Calver, on Rand's death. Robert Buxton,
Esq. united to Gissing.
1729, The Rev. Mr. Thomas Buxton, the present rector,
[1736,] united to Thorp-Parva.
The Church hath a steeple, round at bottom, and octangular at
top, and four small bells; it is leaded, though the chancel is thatched,
and the north porch tiled. It is dedicated to St. George, (fn. 6) whose
effigies, with his shield, viz. arg. a plain cross gul. is to be seen in a
south window of the chancel, and seems to be as old as the building,
which in all appearance was in the beginning of the thirteenth
century, (though the steeple is much older,) for then William de
Shimplyng was lord and patron, whose arms still remain under this
effigies, viz. arg. a chief gul. a fess between six de-lises sab.
Here was a Gild in honour of the same saint, (fn. 7) and a Chapel dedicated to St. Mary, which stood in Shimpling Hithe, of which there
are no remains. This had some endowment, for Girrard the Prior, (fn. 8)
and his Chapter at Norwich, with the Bishop's consent, granted to
Richard the chaplain of Shimpling, 7 roods of meadow in Roreker
in Shimpling, &c. in perpetual alms, paying yearly 5d. at the high
altar in the cathedral, to which John Pierson of Gissing, and others,
were witnesses, (fn. 9) so that this must be before 1201, for in that year
Gerrard the Prior died; this was down before the general dissolution,
for I meet with no grant of it at that time.
St. George and the dragon, and the arms of Shimpling, are carved
on the font; the chancel is covered with large grave-stones, all disrobed of their brasses; several of them were laid over the rectors, as
appear from the chalice and wafer upon them, that being the
symbol of a priest; the rest that had arms, I take to be laid over the
Shimplings and the Shardelows. The arms of
Shardelow are, arg. a chevron gul. between three croslets fitchee,
az. Crest, a plume of feathers arg.
On a small stone towards the west end of the church:
Richard Lesingham, ob. 5° die. Octob. Anno Dni. 1705, Ætatis suæ - - - -
Here let him rest,
Memory stile him dear,
'Till our Redeemer
Shall in the clouds appear.
On a marble near the pulpit: arms of
Potter, sab. a fess between three mullets arg. Crest, an elephant's
head erased arg. gutte de sang.
Here in expectation of a joyful resurrection, resteth the body of
Cicill Potter, Gent. who dyed Jan. the 29th, 1693, aged 70 years.
In a window:
Gloria in Errelsis Deo.
Here are twelve penny loaves given to as many poor people, by
the rector and church-wardens, on the first Sunday in every month,
there being land tied for it.
In the Confessor's time Torbert held this manor of Stigand, it
being then worth 20s. of whom the part in Gissing was also held by
another freeman, and was then of 5s. value, but was risen to ten in
the Conqueror's time, though Shimpling continued at the same
value. This, as one manor, was given by the Conqueror to Roger
Bygod, who gave it to Robert de Vais, (de Vallibus, or Vaus,) it
being then a mile and a quarter long, and a mile broad. (fn. 10) The
whole paid 5d. Geld. There was then a church and 10 acres glebe,
valued at 12d. and several other manors extended hither, of which I
shall afterwards treat in their proper places. The Vaises held it of
Bygod's successors, till 1237, in which year Oliver de Vallibus (fn. 11)
granted it to Richard de Rupella, (afterwards called Rokele,) settling
it on him and his heirs by fine, (fn. 12) to be held of him by knight's service;
he died in 1287, at which time he held it of John de Vallibus. This
Richard granted it to be held of him and his heirs by Richard de
Boyland, in trust for Ralph Carbonell, (fn. 13) who held it of Maud, wife of
William de Roos, who was daughter and coheir of John de Vaux.
This Ralph conveyed it to
Roger de Schymplyng, to be held by knight's service of
Richard Rokeles's heirs; and in 1280, the said Roger (fn. 14) was lord, the
manor being settled upon him, and Emma his wife, in tail; after their
deaths it came to William de Schympling, (fn. 15) their son, who held it of
Richard Rokell at half a fee, he of the Earl-Marshal, and he of the
King in capite. This William married Margaret de Tacolveston, (fn. 16)
on whom the manor was settled for life in 1303, it being then held
of William de Roos and Maud his wife, and Petronell de Vaux, her
sister. This William purchased a great part of the town of divers
persons. He had a son named Roger, who presented in 1328, and
held it till about 1345, when he was dead, and Emma his wife had
it, at whose death it fell divisible between their three daughters: (fn. 17)
Isabel, married to John Kirtling, to whom this manor was
Joan, who had Moring-Thorp manor, and
Katerine, married to William de Ellyngham, who had Dalling
manor in Flordon. Isabell had issue, Roger and Emma, who left
none, so that this manor and advowson descended to Roger, son of
William de Elyngham and Katerine his wife, daughter of Roger de
Schymplyng, which said Roger de Elyngham held it in 1401, by
half a fee, of John Copledick, Knt. who held it of the Lady Roos,
she of Thomas Mowbray, and he in capite of the King. How it
went from the Elynghams I do not know, but imagine it must be by
female heiresses; for in 1521, Humphry Wyngfield had a moiety of
it, and John Aldham had another part; he died in 1558, and was
buried in this chancel, leaving his part to John his son, (fn. 18) who held it
jointly with Bonaventure Shardelowe, in 1571; Mr. Aldham had a
fourth part of the manor, and a third turn, and Mr. Shardelow three
parts and two turns. The patronage and manor was in Mr. John
Motte, who was buried October 7, 1640, and John Motte, and his
brother James, presented in 1649. It looks as if the Mottes had
Aldham's part, and after purchased Shardelow's of Mr. John Shardelowe, who held it till 1611, together with Dalling manor in Florden,
which was held of Shimpling manor. He conveyed it to Edmund
Skipwith, Esq. and Antony Barry, Gent. and they to Thomas Wales,
and John Basely, Gent. who conveyed it to the Motts, from whom,
I am apt to think, it came to the Proctors, for John Buxton of St.
Margaret's in South Elmham had it, in right of his wife, who was
kinswoman and heiress of Mr. Proctor, rector of Gissing; after this
it came to Robert Buxton, Esq. who died and left it to Elizabeth his
wife, who is since dead, and Elizabeth Buxton, their only daughter,
a minor, is now  lady and patroness.
The Leet belongs to the manor, and the fine is at the lord's will.
As to the other parts of this village, (fn. 19) they being parts of the manors
of Titshall, Fersfield, and Brisingham, it is sufficient to observe, that
they went with those manors, except that part held by Fulco, of
which the register called Pinchbek, fo. 182, says that Fulco or Fulcher held of the Abbot in Simplingaham and Gissing, 70 acres, and
4 borderers, being infeoffed by Abbot Baldwin in the time of the
Conqueror; this, about Edward the First's time, was in Sir John
Shardelowe, a judge in that King's reign, in whose family it continued till 1630, when it was sold to Mr. Mott. The seat of the Shardelows is now called the Place, and is the estate of the Duke of
Grafton; and (as I am informed) formerly belonged to Isaac Pennington, (fn. 20) alderman of London, one of those rebels that sat as judges
at the King's trial, for which villainy he was knighted. He lived
to the Restoration, when, according to his deserts, his estates were
seized as forfeited to King Charles II. who gave this to the Duke
of Grafton; upon the forfeiture, the copyhold on the different
manors were also seized, which is the reason that the quitrents to
Gissing, Titshall, &c. are so large, they being made so when the Lords
I have seen an ancient deed made by John Camerarius, or Chambers, of Shimpling, to Richard de Kentwell, clerk, and Alice his wife,
and their heirs, of 3 acres of land in this town, witnessed by Sir
Gerard de Wachesam, Knt. and others, which is remarkable, for its
never having any seal, and its being dated at Shimpling in the churchyard, on Sunday next before Pentecost, anno 1294. (fn. 21) This shews us
that seals (as Lambard justly observes (fn. 22) ) were not in common use at
this time; and, therefore, to make a conveyance the most solemn and
publick that could be, the deed was read to the parish, after service,
in the churchyard, that all might know it, and be witnesses, if occasion
required. The Saxons used no seals, only signed the mark of a cross
to their instruments, to which the scribe affixed their names, by which
they had a double meaning; first, to denote their being Christians,
and then, as such, to confirm it by the symbol of their faith. The first
sealed charter we meet with is that of Edward the Confessor to
Westminster abbey, which use he brought with him from Normandy,
where he was brought up; and for that reason it was approved of by
the Norman Conqueror; though sealing grew into common use by
degrees, the King at first only using it, then some of the nobility, after
that the nobles in general, who engraved on their seals their own
effigies covered with their coat armour; after this, the gentlemen
followed, and used the arms of their family for difference sake. But
about the time of Edward III. seals became of general use, and they
that had no coat armour, sealed with their own device, as flowers,
birds, beasts, or whatever they chiefly delighted in, as a dog, a hare,
&c.; and nothing was more common than an invention or rebus for
their names, as a swan and a tun for Swanton, a hare for Hare, &c.;
and because very few of the commonality could write, (all learning
at that time being among the religious only,) the person's name was
usually circumscribed on his seal, so that at once they set both their
name and seal, which was so sacred a thing in those days, that one
man never used another's seal, without its being particularly taken
notice of in the instrument sealed, and for this reason, every one
carried their seal about them, either on their rings, or on a roundel
fastened sometimes to their purse, sometimes to their girdle; nay,
oftentimes where a man's seal was not much known, he procured
some one in publick office to affix theirs, for the greater confirmation:
thus Hugh de Schalers, (or Scales,) a younger son of the Lord Scales's
family, parson of Harlton in Cambridgeshire, upon his agreeing to
pay the Prior of Bernewell 30s. for the two third parts of the tithe
corn due to the said Prior out of several lands in his parish, because
his seal was known to few, he procured the archdeacon's official to
put his seal of office, for more ample confirmation: (fn. 23) and when this was
not done, nothing was more common than for a publick notary to
affix his mark, which being registered at their admission into their
office, was of as publick a nature as any seal could be, and of as great
sanction to any instrument, those officers being always sworn to the
true execution of their office, and to affix no other mark, than that
they had registered, to any instrument; so their testimony could be as
well known by their mark, as by their name; for which reason they
were called Publick Notaries, Nota in Latin signifying a mark, and
Publick because their mark was publickly registered, and their office
was to be publick to all that had any occasion for them to strengthen
their evidence. There are few of these officers among us now, and
such as we have, have so far varied from the original of their name,
that they use no mark at all, only add N. P. for Notary Publick, at
the end of their names. Thus also the use of seals is now laid
aside, I mean the true use of them, as the distinguishing mark of
one family from another, and of one branch from another; and
was it enjomed by publick authority, that every one in office
should, upon his admission, choose and appropriate to himself a
particular seal, and register a copy of it publickly, and should never
use any other but that alone, under a severe penalty, I am apt to
think, in a short time we should see the good effects of it; (fn. 24) for a
great number of those vagabonds that infest our country under
pretence of certificates signed by proper magistrates, (whose hands
are oftener counterfeit than real,) would be detected; for though
it is easy for an ill-designing person to forge a handwriting, it is
directly the contrary as to a seal; and though it is in the power
of all to know the magistrates names, it is but very few of such sort
of people that could know their seals; so that it would in a great
measure (if not altogether) put a stop to that vile practice; and it
would be easy for every magistrate to know the seals of all others, if
they were entered properly, engraved, and published: and it might
be of service, if all the office seals in England (or in those foreign
parts that any way concern the realm) were engraved and published,
for then it would be in every one's power to know whether the seals
of office affixed to all passes, &c. were genuine or no; for it is well
known that numbers travel this nation, under pretence of passes
from our consuls and agents abroad, and sometimes even deceive
careful magistrates with the pretended hands and seals of such, it
being sometimes impossible for them to know the truth, which by
this means would evidently appear. And thus much, and a great
deal more, may be said to encourage the true and original use of that
wise Conqueror's practice, who can scarce be said to put any thing
into use but what he found was of advantage to his government.
This rectory is in Norfolk archdeaconry, and Redenhall deanery:
it had 69 communicants in 1603, and hath now  23 houses,
and about 130 inhabitants. The town is valued at 300l. per annum. (fn. 25)
Here are 3 acres of town land, one piece is a small pightle abutting
on the land of Robert Leman, Esq. another piece is called Susan's
pightle, lying in Gissing, and was given by a woman of this name, to
repair the church porch, (as I am informed,) the other piece lies in
Diss Heywode, and pays an annual rent of 5s.
The Commons are Kett's Fen, which contains about 4 acres;
Pound Green, 1 acre; Hall Green, 4 acres; the Bottom, 6 acres;
and the Lower Green, 6 acres.