THE HUNDRED OF SHROPHAM.
This hundred is bounded on the east by Depwade and Diss; on the
north by Wayland and Forehoe; on the west by Grymshoe; and on
the south by Giltcross, from which it is parted by the rivulet that runs
from Quidenham Meer into the Little Ouse at Thetford, by the Atlas
called Thet, without any reason, for I do not find it so named in any
evidences whatever. This is a large hundred, (or half hundred, as it
is sometimes called,) the fee of which, from the Confessor's time to
the latter end of King Henry VI. (fn. 1) constantly attended the Castle
manor of Bokenham, (fn. 2) being sometimes whole, and sometimes divided,
as that was, but then it was wholly in William De-la-pole Marquis
and Earl of Suffolk, who levied a fine of it between himself and his
trustees. It was in John De-la-pole Earl of Lincoln, who died in
1487; after in Edmund De-la-pole Earl of Suffolk, who was beheaded
for treason in 1513, and so it became forfeited to the Crown; immediately after, it was granted to Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk,
and his heirs, who, about 1545, exchanged it for other lands with the
Crown, in which it continued some time. In 1573, the Queen let it
to Edw. Fludd, Gent, for 21 years, at 10l. a year, who surrendered
his letters patent to be cancelled in 1584, and the Queen, for 15l.
fine, let it to Tho. Lovell, Gent, for 21 years. In 1622, it was granted
by letters patent to Sir George Marshall, Knt. Robert Causfield, Esq.
and their heirs, in fee, to be held by the fee-farm rent of 10l. a year,
in 1628, Mr. Robert Tichbourne and Mr. Andrew Palmer held it in
trust, with others, for Robert Hethe, serjeant at law, who, jointly with
his trustees, in 1634, sold it to Rob. Wilton, Esq. and his heirs, (fn. 3) in
whose family it continued till Nicholas Wilton of Wilby, Esq. sold it
to Henry Kedington, Esq. of Hockham, who sold it to Ralph Hare of
Harpham, Esq. and Hugh, son of Tho. Hare, Esq. of Hargham, (fn. 4) the
heir of that family, is now  lord, who holds it by the aforesaid
yearly fee-farm rent. The ancient rent that it paid before the forfeiture was only half a mark. The leets of the whole hundred belong
to it with all superiour liberties, except those of Eccles, HockhamMagna, and Old-Bokenham. All the towns are in Rockland deanery,
(which is made up of this and Giltcross hundred,) except Thetford,
which, though it be in this hundred, I look upon as single, it being a
deanery of itself belonging to the archdeaconry of Norwich, as this
doth to the archdeaconry of Norfolk.
This hundred paid for every tenth 100l. 14s. 4d. out of which the
deductions came to 7l. 1s. so that the King received clear 98l. 13s. 4d.
Wilby joins to Banham on the north, and had at the Conqueror's
survey two manors; the head manor, which hath been since called by
divers names, according to those of its different owners, and now
Wilby Hall manor,
Belonged to Fader in the Confessor's time, and to William de Schoies,
or Escois, (sc. the Scot, or Will. of Scotland, as he is sometimes
called,) in the Conqueror's; it had a church then, and 10 acres of
glebe, the whole town being a mile long, and as much broad, and
paid 15d. out of every 20s. taxed upon the hundred. (fn. 5) The advowson
belonged to this manor, and in the reign of William Rufus, William
de Escois, or Scoies, by the name of William de Hestois, (fn. 6) gave the advowson of Wilby, along with that of Banham, and a carucate of land
there, together with two parts of the tithes of his demeans in both
places, to the abbey of St. Mary at York. (fn. 7) In 1226, Stephen de
Ebroic was lord; he is sometimes called Ebrois, D' Ebrois, Deveres,
and D'Evereux, and this year he had grant for a market and fair in
Banham; he was succeeded by
William D'Ebrois, his son; at his death Maud his widow held
it in dower, and in 1256,
Will D'Everes was lord. He, and Maud his mother, sold it to
Sir Richard de Boylund, and Maud his wife, in 1278, who had
a charter of free-warren for all his lands here and in Brisingham. (fn. 8)
This William D'Everes pretended a right to the moiety of the advowson, against Simon then Abbot of York, but was cast in the suit,
and forced to release all his pretensions. In 1295, Richard de Boyland and Ellen his wife had it, and John their son and heir was 24
years old, who, in 1314, settled it on himself and Emme his wife, and
their heirs; but notwithstanding this, in 1315 Richard his brother
was lord here, who, in 1321, settled it on himself and Alice his wife,
John Le-Claver and Adam Le-Long being his trustees. In 1345, Sir
John Boyland, Knt. of Boyland Hall in Brisingham, held it at three
quarters of a fee, half of John Waleys, the other half of John Berdewell, who held it of the heirs of Hugh de Bokenham, they of the Earl
of Arundell, and he of the King, all which Maud de Boyland aforesaid lately held, and paid 30s. relief. This part seems to be the freeman and his services, which was Roger Bygod's at the Conquest,
afterwards the Earl of Arundell's, then Hugh Bokenham's, lord of
West-Herling, (fn. 9) after that the Berdewells, by whom it was sold to the
In 1363, Sir Tho. de Felton, Knt. had it settled on him, by Sir
Will. Ingaldesthorp, Knt. and Eleanor his wife, it being conveyed to
him during the life of Eleanor; great part of this manor was sold by
Sir John de Boyland, for it had now only two messuages, 108 acres
of land, 6 of meadow, and 16s. rent. In 1372, Sir Tho. Felton,
Knight of the Garter, was lord, by whom it was settled, as Riburgh
was, of which he was lord. (fn. 10)
In 1380, Sir Tho. de Felton, Knt. and Joan his wife, held it;
Mary, his eldest daughter, was then married to Sir Edmund Hengrave,
Knt. and Sibilla de Morlai was his second daughter. (fn. 11) 1386, Nicholas
Coterell, chaplain, released all his right in it to Joan, widow of Sir
Tho. de Felton, who, in 1388, settled it on herself for life, after on
Robert Bishop of London, and other trustees.
In 1414, John, son of Sir John Curson, Knt. released all his right
in the manor, late the Lady Felton's, to John Clifton, Tho. Lopham,
and other feoffees, together with Ingaldesthorp, Belagh, and Dersingham manors in Norfolk, and Barrow in Suffolk.
In 1470, Sir John Curson of Beckhalle in Belagh, Knt. gave this
manor to Thomas, his son and heir, reserving several annuities; (fn. 12) he
was lord of Ingaldesthorp, &c. and died this year. In 1511, it appears
by the will of Thomas Curson, Esq. son and heir of Sir John, that he
gave Wilby and Darsingham manors to John his son, it being then
held of the Earl of Arundell, as of Castle-Acre manor. In 1546,
John Curson, Esq. died seized, and William was his son and heir,
who had now livery of this, Ingaldesthorp, Darsingham, Byntre,
Beckhall in Belagh, Harple, and many other manors.
In 1565, William Curson, Esq. and Thomasine his wife, sold
the manor to Sir Tho. Lovell, Knt. and his heirs. (fn. 13)
In 1570, it was in Tho. Lovell, Esq. it being then called Wilby
Hall, otherwise Curson's; in this family it continued till 1627, and
then Charles Lovell of Herling, Esq. sold it to
Edward Hobart of Langley, Esq. in trust: it had then a foldcourse, but no rents. In 1631, Edward Hobart sold to Charles Lovell
of Hockering, Esq. and Edward Barkely of the same, Gent. the manors of Wilby, which late belonged to Sir Tho. Lovell, Knt. deceased,
father of the said Charles, Sir Francis Lovell, Knt. deceased, and
William Lovell, Esq. brothers of the said Charles, and Peter Pretiman,
Gent. they being conveyed to the said Edward, to the use of Sir
Thomas and the rest.
In 1565, Charles Lovell of East-Herling, Esq. sold it to
Robert Wilton or Wilby, Esq. and his heirs, and so it became
Which was owned by Ailid (fn. 14) in the Confessor's time, and by Ralf
Bainard in the Conqueror's, under whom it was held by Solidarius,
and had a carucate of land in demean, which shews that it was an
exact half of the town, the other manor being of the same extent and
value. (fn. 15) In 1104, Juga Bainard (his widow I suppose) had it; and in
1106, Jeffry Bainard, her son and heir, who was a great benefactor
to St. Mary's abbey at York; he was succeeded by Will. Bainard,
who taking part with Elias Earl of Main, Phillip de Braose, William
Malet, and other conspirators, against King Henry I. lost his barony,
the chief seat of which was called Bainard's castle, situate below St.
Paul's, near the Thames: upon this forfeiture it was given by the
King to Robert, a younger son to Richard Fitz-Gilbert, progenitor
to the ancient Earls of Clare, as this Robert was to the noble family
of the Fitz-Walters, (fn. 16) of whom it was always held of Bainard castle
at half a fee; Falk Baynard held it of Robert Fitz-Walter; and in
1228, Robert de Cokefield held it of Walter Fitz-Robert, as did
Richard de Cokefeud, his son, whose son and heir, John, was a minor
in the wardship of Simon de Kokefeud in 1249. About 1272,
Robert de Beckhall first had that half fee, which was formerly
Robert Cockfield's, and another quarter of a fee joined to it, held of
the Lady Maud de Boyland, from whose manor he had purchased it,
In 1315, he held the half fee of Fulk Bainard, he of Robert FitzWalter, and he of the King; and in 1386, it was held of Walter FitzWalter, Knt. and Phillipa his wife, as of their manor of Hemenhale.
In 1345, the Nomina Villarum reckons John de Brandon, and John
de Hereford, as lords here, but it was only on account of their manors
of Hargham, &c. extending hither.
In 1360, and 1399, Peter de Bekhall had it, and held the quarter of a fee of the Lady Felton.
In 1409, Nov. 4, Sir Richard Carbonell, Knt. by will, ordered
his manors of Wilby, Stodhagh, Witton, and Penesthorp, to be sold to
pay his debts; in 1459, Alice. widow of Sir Andrew Ogard, Knt. of
Bokenham castle, after of Sir Hugh Cokesey, Knt. died seized of a
part of it, which always went with that castle, till Sir Edmund Knevet
In 1495, Tho. Mownteney and Tho. Curson, Esqrs. were
lords, it being held of the said Curson, as of his manor of Wilby Hall,
by 4s. rent.
In 1526, John Mounteney of Foxele, Gent. conveyed to John
Green of Wilby, Gent. all his manors, lands, &c. in Wilby, reserving
8 marks a year to Alice Mounteney, his mother, for life.
In 1532, Richard Bainard, Gent. Edm. Knevet, Knt. and
John White, Esq. sold Bekhall manor to
John Green, John Grey, Esq. John Crofts of West-Stow,
Esq. Edm. Bacon of Troston, Esq. and John Brampton, Gent.
his trustees; and so all the parts were joined again, by Green's purchase.
In 1564, Tho. Green of Wilby, Gent. son of John Green, died;
he married Cecilia, daughter of Tho. Guybon of Lyn, and Rose his
wife, leaving his manor of Beckhall, in Wilby, Hargham, Eccles,
Banham, Bokenham, Crostwick, and Ruston, to Francis, his son and
heir, then three years old; it then contained 12 messuages, 220 acres
of land, 220 acres of pasture, 4s. 8d. rent, &c. all which were held of
Christopher Heydon, Knt. in right of Temperance, his wife, relict of
Tho. Greye, as of his manor of Bainard's Hall in Bunwell; he died
seized also of Hargham, &c.
In 1571, Mathew Bacon, Gent. was lord, in right of Cecily his
wife, relict of Tho. Green, as guardian to Francis Green, her son, who
died without issue in 1580, leaving it divisible among his five sisters.
Rose, married first to Butterworth, then to Paul Gooch of
Prudence, to John Launce of Halisworth.
Thomasine, to Tho. Edgar of Glemham in Suffolk.
The fourth, to John Prettiman, Knt. and
The fifth, to Will. Stokes, Gent. of whom
John Wilton of Topcroft, Gent. bought the several parts, and
completed his title in 1622.
John Wilton of Topcroft, Gent. purchased the advowson, and
joined it to the manor; he left one daughter, Cecily, married to Sir
John Brewse of Wenham in Suffolk, and Richard Wilton of Topcroft,
Gent. his son and heir, who married Anne, daughter of Robert
Buxton of Channons in Tibenham, Esq.; he conveyed Beckhall to
Robert his son, reserving an annuity of 50l. a year to be paid in his
house at Tunnegate Green in Topcroft, where he had a good estate:
he died in 1637: Robert Wilton of Wilby, Esq. his son and heir, was
born in 1599; he purchased Wilby Hall manor, and the hundred of
Shropham, and by so doing, joined the leet to the manor, (fn. 17) and made
the estate complete: he had three wives; by Hannah, daughter of John
Jay, Gent. he had only one daughter, Hannah, who married to Robert Buxton, Esq. Aug. 24, 1654, by whom he had Robert Buxton,
born April 9,1659, and Elizabeth, born Dec. 16, 1661; by Susanna,
his second wife, youngest daughter of Sir Anthony Drury of Besthorp,
he had issue; and by Bridget, daughter of Sir John Mead, of Lofts
in Essex, he had two daughters, and one son only, viz. Nicholas
Wilton of Wilby, Esq. who married a Clinch; he sold the manors,
hundred, and advowson, to Ralf Hare of Hargham, Esq. whose descendant, Hugh Hare, now  a minor, son of Thomas Hare of
Hargham, Esq. deceased, is lord and patron. (fn. 18)
The advowson of the rectory, after the Dissolution, came to the
Crown; and, in 1558, was held by Edward Lord North, and John
Williams, and their heirs, in free soccage by fealty only, as of East
Greenwich manor in Kent, and went afterwards as the institutions
shew you, till it was sold to John Wilton.
In 1504, William Hammond, senior, of Wilby, infeoffed a close
called Nells in Wilby, in Robert Walden, rector there, Will. Mounteney, Gent. and others, to the use of the repairs of the church for
ever; he had it of John Mounteney of Wilby, chaplain, and Robert
Hamond, deceased; it abuts west on the street, and was given in
1480, by John Nell of Wilby. (fn. 19)
In 1637, Richard Wilton of Topcroft in Norfolk, gave a rood
of ground, and built an alms-house thereon, over the door of which
his arms still remain.
The manor of Old Bokenham extended hither; in 1366, Hugh
Bernak had a messuage, and 39 acres of land, &c. and 20s. rent in
New Bokenham, Wilby, Attleburgh, and Elingham, held by the
twentieth part of a fee, which at his death was to revert to Alice
Bernak, and John, son of Will. Bernak.
In 1367, Will. Le Latimer had lands here, in which he was allowed free-warren.
Eccles manor extended hither, for in King Henry the Eighth's time,
Robert Wyngfield held half a fee here of that King, and paid 18d. to
the wardship of Norwich castle, it being part of the Bishop's manor
of Eccles, which was part of his barony before the exchange.
This rectory is valued thus in the
and being sworn of the value of 48l. 14s. 2d. it is discharged both of
first fruits and tenths. It hath a good rectory-house, and several
acres of glebe; it is in Rockland deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. (fn. 20)
|King's Books.||Synodals.||Norw. Taxat.|
|7||4||9 ob.||0||1||0||10 marks;|
It paid 3l. 6s. 8d. every tenth, and is now assessed at 455l. to the
land-tax. In 1603, there were 88 communicants, and now there are
about 160 inhabitants [1737.]
Here were two gilds kept in the gildhall, one dedicated to All-Saints,
the other to St. Peter; to the brethren of each of these gilds. Robert
Hammond gave 6s. 8d. and a new bell to the church.
William D'Eschoies, (or Le-Scot,) gave this and Banham advowsons, and a part of the tithes of his demeans, to St. Mary's abbey
near the walls at York, which was confirmed by Everard Bishop of
Norwich, and Theobald Archbishop of Canterbury; (fn. 21) part of this
portion of tithes, with that at Banham, (fn. 22) was settled by the abbey on
their cell at Rumburgh in Suffolk, and in 1528, was granted with it
to Cardinal Wolsey, towards building his colleges in Ipswich and
Oxford, by patent dated Dec. 30, 20th Henry VIII.
1310, 16 kal. Aug. John Le-Straunge, priest, instituted to Wilby,
in the Bishop's palace at Eccles. York Abbot.
1330, 7 kal. May, John de Wilby, priest. Alan Abbot of York.
Nic. de Wilby, parson of Naketon, was his executor.
1362, John de Hemeling, rector. (From a deed.)
Sir Ralf de Clifton; he resigned in
1370, 12 March, to Robert de Twiwell, sub-deacon, in exchange
for Dighton rectory. York diocese.
1404, 11 May, John Hawkeswell, shaveling.
1424, 13 Sept. Mich. Wolmer, on Hawkeswell's resignation.
1426, 3 Aug. Tho. Corky, priest, Wolmer being deprived.
1452, 21 Oct. Rich. Howson, on Corkby's death.
1460, Robert Marchall, chaplain, on Howson's resignation.
1460, 14 March, George Marchal, chaplain, on Robert's resignation.
1463, 24 Oct. Tho. Stanton, by lapse; John Basham, chaplain,
farmed it of him at 13 marks a year, and serving the cure, and three
gowns a year, fitting the said Thomas's degree.
1476,30 May, Henry Cossa, or Cossey, A.M. on Stanton's death.
Thomas Abbot of York. He had Banham, and was master of Rushworth college.
1483, Richard Grey, on Cossey's death.
1502, 6 Oct. Robert Walden, on Grey's resignation. All these
rectors were presented by the Abbots.
1530, 11 June, Miles Spencer, doctor of laws, on Walden's death.
Wil. Cleydon, doctor of laws, by grant from the Abbot. He was
after archdeacon of Sudbury, rector of Heveningham and Redenhall
in Norfolk, vicar of Soham in Cambridgeshire, dean of ChappelField college, principal official, and vicar-general. (fn. 23)
1532, 21 March, Sir John Milgate; the Abbot. He was the last
prior of Bokenham. (fn. 24)
1540, 7 Jan. Guy Kelsay, chaplain. John Folbury, &c. by
grant of the turn from the late abbot.
1553, 16 May, Kelsay resigned, Tho. Peyrson, priest, succeeded.
King Edward VI.
1555, 16 Sept. George Vicars, on Peyrson's resignation. Leonard
1563, 8 Sept. Ottinwell Wetwode, priest, on Viker's death; lapse;
buried at Eccles, where he was rector.
1586, 13 April, Peter Tytley, A.M. Edward Grigg, notary
publick, by grant of the turn.
1586,6 Oct. Tho. Irland on Titley's resignation. Peter Gooche
of Hargham, by grant of the turn from Ralf Mulley, who had it of
the grant of John Chitham, Gent. true patron.
1587, 24 Febr. Tho. Bludde, on Irland's resignation. Tho.
Gooch, doctor of physick, by grant of John Chetham, Gent. true
patron. He had Hargham.
1587, 16 July, John Hatfield, on Bludd's resignation. James
Wright, Gent. by grant of John Chetham, gent. senior, true patron.
1627, 10 Sept. Robert Boothe, A.M. on Hatfield's death. John
Bagley of Old Bokenham, yeoman, true patron, (of whom the
Wilton's purchased it.)
1644, John Stukely, on Boothe's death.
1657, Richard Waddelow, rector.
1679, 4 March, Jonathan Norton, A.M. Nicholas Wilton, Esq.
1686, 19 Aug. Tho. Baron, on Norton's death. Ditto.
1686, 11 March, John Last, A.M. on Baron's death. Nicholas
Wilton. Last was also curate of Old-Bokenham.
1720, 26 Oct. Nicholas Neech, on Last's death. Anne Hare,
widow; he held it with Shropham, and resigned it for Snitterton, and
The Rev. Mr. John Hare, LL.B. the present 
rector succeeded; who was presented by Thomas Hare of Hargham,
Esq. his eldest brother.
The Church is dedicated to the honour of all the Saints; the
chancel and south porch are tiled; there is a low square tower, and
On stones in the chancel.
Kedington impales Buxton, with two falchions for Kedington's
Henry Kedington, Esq. died March 21 Anno Dom: 1713, aged 40
Kedington, arg. on a bend sab. six falchions in saltire proper, impales Buxton.
Margaret, Relict of Henry Kedington of Hockham in Norff:
Esq; eldest daughter of Robert Buxton of Channons-Hall in
Tybenham, Esq; died Oct: 21, 1711, aged 56 Years.
Here lyeth the Body of that faithful Patriot, and true Lover of
his Country, Rob. Wilton of Wylby, in the County of Norff.
Esquire, Son of Richard Wilton of Topcroft in the same County,
Gent. by Anne the Daughter of Robert Buxton of Tybenham,
Esq; his first Wife was Hannah, Daughter of Robert Jay, Gent.
by whom he had Issue Hannah, living at the time of his Death:
His second Wife was Susan, one of the Daughters of Sir Anthony Drury of Besthorp, Knt. by whom he had 3 daughters,
Bridgett, Ann, Elizabeth, living at the time of his death: His
last Wife was Bridgett, one of the Daughters of Sir John Mead,
Knt. of Lofts in the County of Essex, by whom he left 2
Daughters, Joanna and Dorothy, and only one so much beloved
son Nicholas, he exchanged this Mortal, for an immortal Life,
the 19 of Nov. 1657, in the 58 Yeare of his Age.
Wilton's arms with three escutcheons joined to it, viz. Jay,gul. on
a bend ingrailed sab. three cinquefoils arg. a crescent or for difference.
Drury. Meade, sab. a chevron or, between three pelicans az. vulning
themselves proper, a crescent.
S. M. Dominæ Brigitæ, Roberti Wilton, Armigeri, conjugis
suavissimæ, Johannis Mede, Equitis aurati Filiæ quicquid uspiam
Amoris, Sanctimoniæ, Prudentiæ, Veritatis, Honoris, repertum
erat, in Terris experta, neque beata satis, adhue inde cœlitum in
album adscribi voluit, 15 Cal. Apr. An° Dni. 1652, Ætatis suæ 32o.
Arms against the north wall are, Wilton impaling Mede, Drury,
Bell impaling Knevett, which was put up for Muriell, widow
of Sir Robert Bell of Beaupre-Hall in Norff: Knt. Daughter of
Sir Tho. Knyvet the Elder, of Ashwell-Thorp in Norff: Knt. who
(they say) was buried here.
Per fess embattled, three suns proper, a coat of pretence, girone of
eight, on a chief three annulets. Crest, a hawk.
Here lyeth the Body of Elizabeth Peirson, the second wife of
Tho. Peirson of Middleton, in the County of Norfolk, Esq; She
dyed at this Place the 87th of Oct. 1727. The Few Years She
lived in Norfolk, She gained a great Esteem by her good Nature,
and Humanity to all People, an Account of her Family, which
was very Honourable, as she was descended, from several Bishops,
as well as other Clergy of uneommon Credit, is to be seen in
the Church of Midleton.
The following inscriptions in the church,
Hic jacet Corpus Johannis Hatfield, Clerici, qui obijt Svo die Sept.
Anno Domini, 1627.
Wilton impales Drury.
D. N. Susannæ Roberti Wilton, Armigeri, Conjugis secundæ,
Anthonij Drury Equitis aurati Filiæ, Tranquilli Cineres, cujus
Pars purior, Turbine fatigata terrestri, ad Cœli Quietem advolavit, Calendis Augusti, A° Dni. 1643. Ætat. suæ 34.
A broken inscription for Hannah, Daughter of Henry Jay of
London, Clothier, Wife of Robert Wilton, who died the 16 of
April, 1635, aged 31.
Another inscription for Jay himself, who died the last of Jan.
Anne, Sister to John Hatfield, Clerk, died the 29th of Jan. 1648.