THE HUNDRED OF EARSHAM.
This hundred or rather half hundred, is wholly in the liberty of
the Duke of Norfolk, and joins to Diss hundred on the west, Depwade
and Lodne on the north, and Waveney river (which divides Norfolk
and Suffolk) on the south; the east end of it terminating upon the
town of Bongeye in Suffolk, which island, (fn. 1) by the winding of the river
northward, juts out as it were into Norfolk.
The fee of it is appendant to the manor of Earsham, and was first
granted with it, to Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk, by King Ric. I.
and was confirmed to Hugh Bigot by Henry II. when he made him
Earl of Norfolk, (fn. 2) In 1269, Roger Bigot, then Earl, held it as parcel
of his barony. In 1285, Robert de Tateshale, lord of Bukenham-castle,
sued Roger le Bigod Earl of Norfolk, and John Grenecurtel, his warrener, or game-keeper, (fn. 3) for this half hundred, for taking away his dogs,
and two hares, from the game-keeper of his manor of Denton, in the
half hundred; upon which, the Earl sets forth his liberties, and shows,
that in the Confessor's time, Bishop Stigand had the soc and sac of all
the half hundred, except Thorp, which belonged to St. Edmund's at
Bury, Pulhams, to St. Etheldred of Ely, and such parts of Redenhall
and Denton, as belonged to Earl Ralf who had the soc, sac, and all
jurisdiction of his own men or tenants there, when he forfeited; and
when the grant of the hundred passed to his ancestors, they then had,
as he now hath, free-warren through the whole hundred; and the
letes, or superiour jurisdiction and paramountship, in his own, and all
other persons fees, except those before mentioned; with view of frankpledge, assise of bread and ale, a common gallows, infangthef, weyf, (fn. 4)
and all other liberties belonging to a hundred. (fn. 5) The whole, with
Earsham manor, being valued at 30l. and held of the Crown by a feefarm of 40d. (fn. 6) to which Robert answered, that he had free-warren also
to his manor of Denton, and it appearing that it was that part which
belonged to Earl Ralf, it was agreed between the parties, at the instance
of R. de Ingham, and his fellow justices itinerants at Norwich, that both
should have free-warren in Denton. In 1352, the jury for the hundred
presented, that the inhabitants of Bongeye used, time out of mind,
to repair the bridges between Bongeye, and Suffolk, and those between
Bongeye, Ditchingham, and Earsham in Norfolk. (fn. 7)
In 1374, there were free-rents paid to the hundred from Brockdish,
Lyncroft, Prilleston, Reveshale, Sterston, Redenhale, Aldebergh, and
Denton. The perquisites of eleven hundred-courts held at Harleston,
were 5l. 9s. 6d. The profits of the nine letes belonging to the hundred
5l. 8s. 7d. and of the eight views of frankpledge 3l. 17s. The profit of
Harleston market and fairs, 3l. 10s. &c. The whole received this year
from the hundred and accounted for to the head manor of Forncet, was
46l. 15s. 5d. 3q. and in 1537, Rob. Appleyard, steward, accounted
for the profits received of the bailiff of the hundred, to John Robsart, receiver-general, much the same as before.
This is often written anciently Erlesham, and was thought to take
its name from the Earls of Norfolk, the lords of it; but it is not so,
for it was called by this name long before it belonged to the Earls:
Hersam, as spelt in Domesday, seems to signify the station of the
army; and accordingly there is an encampment by the church; this
hundred (with that of Diss) makes up the deanery of Redenhall in
the archdeaconry of Norwich, and paid clear to every tenth, 49l. 18s 4d.
The annual payment of each
town in this hundred to the land
tax, at 4s. in the pound.
|Langmere in Dickleburgh||67||0||0|
|Pulham St. Mary||203||16||0|
The quarterly payment for each
town to the justices of the sessions,
&c. for quarterage vagrant-money,
bridge money, &c. for a 600l. levy
|valued with Rushall.|
|Wortwell in Redenhall||87||10||0|
The Manor of Earsham
Was the chief manor of the hundred, and belonged to Stigand the
Archbishop at the Confessor's survey, (fn. 8) when there were 3 carucates
in demean, 2 mills, wood sufficient to maintain 300 swine, 3 saddle
horses, 30 goats, &c. and was worth 11l. being then a mile and an
half long, and a mile broad, and paid 6d. to the geld or tax. At the
Conquest it belonged to the Conqueror, who committed the management of it to William de Noiers. The soc and sac belonged to it, and
the whole was risen to 40l. value. There were then belonging to this
manor, 12 socmen in Denton; Stigand had the soc of nine of them in
Ersham, and the Abbot of St. Edmund had the soc of three of them,
who held 40 acres, which they could neither give nor sell, without
license from that church.
From the time it was granted to the Norfolk family along with the
half hundred from the Crown, it passed with Forncet manor, to which
I refer you; the Duke of Norfolk being lord of the manor and
hundred, and owner of the park here, which is now disparked, though
in 35 Edw. I. it was well stocked, and belonged to the lodge or manor
house, which had 286 acres in demean, 16 acres of meadow, and the
hall dykes or fishery, a watermill, and many woods and fens; (fn. 9) all which
were kept for the use of the family of Roger Bigot, then lord, who
chiefly resided at his adjacent castle of Bongeye.
There was a manor here, which formerly belonged to William de
Fraxineto, or Freney, who gave the tithes of the demeans of it to the
monks at Castleacre; (fn. 10) it after came to Rog. de Glanvile, who confirmed that donation, as did Simon Bishop of Norwich in 1265; but it
extinguished or was joined to the other manor, for I meet with nothing
of it since.
The church is dedicated to All the Saints; Norwich Domesday
tells us, the rector had then a house and 40 acres of land, and now
hath about 37 acres; it was first valued at 24, and after at 30 marks,
and paid 2s. synodals, 7d. Peter-pence, and the village 4l. 8s. clear to
every tenth. It is incapable of augmentation, and so consequently
pays first-fruits and yearly tenths, and stands thus in the King's
15l. Earsham Rectory. 1l. 10s. Tenths.
1305, Walter de Bonyngton. Hugh Bigot Earl of Norfolk, and
1321, Giles de Wingfield. Tho. de Brotherton.
1349, Rob. Swan. Sir Edw. Montague, Knt.
1361, John de Methelwold. The King, as guardian to Sir Edward's
1390, Will. Fitz-Piers. Margaret Countess of Norfolk.
1394, Tho. de Orton; he changed for Thaxted in London diocese,
Rob. Witton, doctor in the decrees, in 1407. Elizabeth
Dutchess of Norfolk.
1412, Rob. Gouerton, ob. John Duke of Norfolk.
1437, Henry Bradfield, res. Ditto.
1444, Rob Stafford, res. Ditto.
1466, John Wace; he was buried in 1502, and gave a piece of
alder-carr to repair the church, and a piece in North-Meadow towards paying the town charges for evermore. (fn. 11)
1502, Will. Pynchebek, united to Alburgh. ob. Eliz. Dutchess of
1504, Will. Holme, res. Ditto.
1510, Rob. Legge, ob. Thomas Earl of Surrey.
1524, Tho. Seman; he and the five following were presented by
Tho. Duke of Norfolk.
1526, Reginald Maynerd, priest, buried in the church.
1543, Henry Simonds, deprived in 1553, by Queen Mary, as a
married priest, and
Henry Cumbreford, S. T. B. was instituted, who resigned in
1558, to Alan Persey, (fn. 12) brother to Anne Countess of Arundell.
1560, Will. Dyer, ob.
1585, Edward Key, A. M. Will. Mayster, LL. D. this turn; (fn. 13)
in 1603, he returned answer that there were 260 communicants in this
1612, John Blague, A. M. ob. Earl of Northampton.
1618, Nic. Sherwood, A. B. he was ejected in 1643, by the Earl of
Manchester, but lived to be restored, and died Apr. 19, and his wife
Apr. 22, 1671. (fn. 14)
1671, John Doughty, A. M. Will. Doughty, this turn. He is
buried by the altar rails.
1702, Edw. Chebsey, buried by Doughty. Will. Longevile,
Esq. assignee to the Duke of Norfolk.
1717, Charles Buchanan. John Anstis, Esq. Garter Principal
King at Arms, united to Ditchingham.
1718, Samuel Ganning, (fn. 15) Ditto. At his death in
1740, The Rev Mr. John Burcham, the present rector, (fn. 16) was presented by his father, who purchased this turn of Mr. Ganning, who is
said to have purchased the advowson of the assignee of the late Duke
The church stands on an old encampment, which, by its oval form,
seems to have been a work of the Danes or Saxons. The tower is
square, and hath three bells, the nave, the chancel, and south porch,
are tiled, and the north porch is leaded; at the door of which, lies a
stone over Thomas Berry, Apr. 17, 1653.
On a mural monument in the chancel, on the south side, by the
Juxtà depositæ sunt Reliquiæ, Gulielmi Lamb Generosi,
Vitæ integri, Scelerisque Puri, Dei servi, veri Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ Filij, Pacis æque ac Charitatis Alumni, omnibusque Amici,
obijt 20 Aug. 1724, Ao æt. suæ 54°. Cujus Memoriæ hoc sacravit
in Lachrymis Filia ejus unica Martina.
Lamb, sab. on a fess or, between three cinquefoils arg. a lion
passant gul. between two mullets of the first, impaling.
Arg. in a bordure ingrailed, a lion rampant sab.
Under this monument lies a flat black marble for Sir Thomas
Barker, Knt. who died Aug. 22, 1658,
Barker, per fess nebule az. and or, three martlets counterchanged, a canton er. Crest, a lion saliant,
In the altar rails, on black marbles,
M. S. Johannes Filius secundus, Johannes Filius tertius Johannis Buxton de Chanonz in primâ ætate obierunt, et hic sepeliuntur; Fato cessit alter Mense Junij 1710, alter Maij 1712.
Robert Gooch of Earsham Esq; ob. 2 Apr. 1655, æt. 53.
Anne Dr. of Leonard and Dorothy Gooch, ob. 29 Dec. 1692.
Leonard Gooch Gent. ob. 10 Jan. 1686.
Gooche's arms and crest, an arm in pale cooped at the elbow,
the sleeve parted per pale embattled A. S. the hand proper; to
this is sometimes added a wolf's head erased proper, held in the
Dorothy Wife of Leonard Gooch Gent. one of the Daughters
of Richard Catlyn of Kirby Esq; ob. 19 June, 1685, æt. 48.
Gooch impales Catlyn.
On a monument against the north wall,
In Memoriâ Eternâ erunt justi.
Near this Place lies interred the Body of Robert Gooch late of
this Town Esq; who departed this Life upon the 29th Day of
Sept. A. D. 1704, and in the 76 Year of his Age. To whose
(never to be forgotten) Memory, his Niece Dame Barbara Ward,
Wife of Sir Edw. Ward Bart. of Bixley in this County, has
caused this Monument to be erected, as a small, but lasting
Token of her Gratitude, to so good a Friend, and just a Guardian.
On brasses by the chancel door,
Orate pro anima Margarete Throckmerton Filia Johannis
Hic iacet Simon Throkmerton, secundus Filius Johannis
Throkmerton, nuper South-Clmham, in Comitatu Suflalcie, qui
fuit secundus Filius Thome Throkmerton, nuper de Throkmerton
in Comitatu Wygornie, obiit decimo Die Julii, Ao Dni. Mo ccccc
There is a silver cup with this on it,
For the Tovne of Ersam Al Sayntes.
And a flaggon with this,
Sarah Gooch D. D. Ecclesiæ de Earsham.
The estate formerly the Throkmertons, was afterwards the Gooches,
and then the Buxtons, on which John Buxton, Esq. built the present
house called Earsham Lodge or Hall; and afterwards sold it to Colonel William Windham, who is interred under the altar; and it is now
the seat of the Windhams.
For Ric. Belward, and others of this town, see Fox's Martyrs,
fo. 660, 1.
I do not find that the Abbot of Sibton had any thing to do here,
though it is said that he had, in the Atlas, p. 332.