THORP - ABBOTS,
So called to distinguish it from other villages of this name, (fn. 1) it being
for many ages, part of the possessions of the Abbot of Bury, and of
those manors that were appropriated to the Abbot's own use; and from
its being much larger than the other neighbouring vill called ThorpParva in Diss hundred, it is often named Thorp-Magna; and of late
years, Thorp-Cornwaleis, from its lords.
This town belonged to Ailfric Bishop of Elmham in King Edgar's
time, (for whom see vol. iii. p. 460,) who gave it to Bury abbey, (fn. 2) to
which it belonged ever since, to its dissolution; the abbots of that house
being always lords and patrons. At the survey, the manor had two
carucates in demean, and was seven furlongs long, and six broad, and
paid 4d. geld or tax. (fn. 3) The church had 12 acres of glebe, then worth
2s. a year; and the Abbot had the soke or superiour jurisdiction here
exempt from the hundred, except the services of two freemen which
belonged to Hersam; and in all returns made to the King, the Abbot
is said to hold this town as part of his barony.
In 1285, Roger Bigod Earl of Norfolk, as Lord of Ersham hundred,
claimed freewarren here, but it was not allowed him, the Abbot recovering it against him, proving by Domesday, that he was sole lord,
and had the paramountship of Thorp in right of his church, exempt
from the hundred: about this time, Robert of Thorp held it by lease for
life from the Abbot; and it appears, that he had a good estate in the
town, for in 1271, he purchased of Arnold de Bedingfield and Orframnia his wife, two messuages, a mill, 120 acres of land, 4 acres of
meadow, 10 acres of wood, here and in Preleston.
In 1425, Will. Curteys, then abbot, leased it to Will. Grice of
Brockdish for 10 years, at 22 marks a year. At the Dissolution, it was
bought of King Henry VIII. by Giles Bridges, Esq. citizen and draper of London, son of Sir John Bridges, Knt. (fn. 4) Lord Mayor of London,
who died in 1521, and is buried in St. Nic. Acon church in Lumbardstreet; his wife was daughter of Tho. Ayloffe of Braxted in Essex.
This Giles married Eleanor daughter of John Robins, Gent. of Worcestershire, and they conveyed it to Robert Southwell Esq. who in
1546, sold it to
Thomas Cornwaleis, Esq. and his heirs: he was afterwards
knighted, and became a man of great figure and reputation; an account of him and his descendants (who have been lords here) may be
seen in the 4th volume of the Peerage, edit. London 1741, p. 175, to
which I refer you.
The Right Hon. Charles Cornwaleis, Lord Cornwaleis of Eye,
and Baronet, constable of the Tower of London, lord lieutenant of the
Tower hamlets, and one of the lords of his Majesty's most honourable
privy council, is now lord and patron, and hath the lete here.
His arms are quarterly, 1 and 4, sable, gutté d'eau, on a fess arg.
three cornish choughs proper.
Crest, on a wreath a mount vert, thereon a stag lodged arg. attired
or, with a garland of laurel proper, about his neck.
Supporters, two stags, attired and gorged arg.
Motto, Virtus vincit Invidiam.
This rectory stands thus in the King's Books:
6l. Thorp-Abbots rectory. 49l. clear yearly value.
And being discharged of first-fruits and tenths, it is capable of augmentation.
In Domesday we find, that the church is dedicated to All the Saints,
and the rector had a house and nine acres of land, that it was valued
at 15 marks, (fn. 5) paid 2s. synodals, 7s. 7d. ob. procurations, and 7d. ob.
Peter-pence. The vicarage was dissolved and fallen into the rectory.
The Abbot of Bury was taxed for his temporals here, viz. the manor,
demeans, mill, silva cedua, &c. at 20l. 4s. 1d. and the village paid 36s.
clear to every tenth.
presented by the abbots of bury.
1303, Peter de Tatington, who changed for Hoxne in
1324, with Richard Frebern of Fulbourne, who resigned in 1331, in
exchange for Botesham in Ely diocese, with
Barth. Peryn, who changed for Frekenham in
1340, with Robert de Overee, and he in 1348, for Bradfield, with
Simon son of John de Thurlow of Lopham, who died in 1381,
and was succeeded by
John de Rekynghale, S.T.B. (fn. 6) who exchanged for Fresingfield mediety with
George Palmer in 1399, and he in
1408, with Tho. Springthorp, for Besby in Lincoln diocese.
1414, Will. Ward ob.
1449, John Brackle, D. D. a gray friar at Norwich, for whom see
vol. iv. p. 110, 15.
1461, Brother John Norwich, a Premonstatensian canon. Lapse.
John London, ob.
1472, Philip London, ob.
1475, Andrew Daldy.
1484, Robert Cross.
1527, Robert Draicot, resigned.
1530, Robert Norwich, or Norrys, ob.
1538, John Manser, ob.; he was the last presented by the Abbot.
The six following rectors were all presented by Sir Thomas Cornwaleis, Knt.:
1558, Will. Hudson, who held it united to Billingford.
1560, Rob. Crabbe, resigned.
1561, William Towsell, ob.
1566, George Webbe, resigned.
1577, Ric. Peacock.
1588, Edm. Risley; he returned 63 communicants.
1607, John Woolward, A. M. resigned. Mary Countess of Bath,
younger daughter of Sir Thomas Cornwaleis, Knt. on whom he had
settled this town for life.
1642, Thomas Woods, A. M. ordained priest this year, born at Pulham St. Mary, ob. Frederick Cornwaleis, Bart.
1661, John Jermy, resigned. Ditto, Baron of Eye.
1667, Thomas Page, ob. Charles Lord Cornwaleis Baron of
1673, Charles Robins, A. B. resigned. Ditto,
1683, Sam. Bayes, ob. Ditto,
1694, The Rev. Mr. Abraham Cooper, the present rector, was presented by Charles Ld. Cornwaleis, and now holds it united to
The steeple is round at bottom and octangular at top, having a clock
and two bells; the chancel, church, and south porch are tiled. There
was a brass by the pulpit, with this on it:
Orata pro anima Gogeri parbey, cuius anime propicietur Deus.
The arms of the East-Angles and Bury-Abbey are in the windows,
but no other memorials, save a piece of black marble fixed into the
south side of the wall in the churchyard, with this:
Near this Place lyeth the Body of Susan late wife of Henry
Chamberlain late of Flordon-hall, who died March 1, 1707, aged