Kirby, or Kirkeby, signifies the dwelling at the kirken or churches;
and Bidon or Bedon was added, to distinguish it from another village
of the same name in this county; it being the name of the ancient
lords of the capital manor; that it should take its name from its
churches, is no wonder, there being two here, long before the Confessor's time; for in his survey, they were found to have each of them
10 acres of glebe, then valued at 12d. a year, and both belonged to
Robert de Curson, who held them and the manor, of Roger Bigot,
the town being half a mile long and as much broad, paid 20d. to the
geld. (fn. 1) The part which Godric the sewer managed for the King,
which formerly was Edric's, (fn. 2) and his own part, which formerly was
Edwin's, (fn. 3) and the part which was the Bishop of Baieux's, (fn. 4) with the
part of Bigot formerly Ulketel's, (fn. 5) constituted the manor belonging to
Langley abbey, afterwards called Osbern's, which now is, and hath
for some years past, been joined to the manor of Saham's and
Wodehouse in Kirby-Bedon, into which town the several manors
following extend, viz. Eaton, (fn. 6) Surlingham, (fn. 7) Framlingham, Trowse
Rokeles, Witlingham, (fn. 8) and the Dutchy of Lancaster, of which
several small parcels of land here, were held in 1447.
This manor continued in the Bigods after Curson's death, who held
it of Roger Bigot at the survey, till Hugh Bigod Earl of Norfolk
infeoffed it, with many others, no less than seven whole knights fees,
in Helenald de Bidun, (fn. 9) who held also one fee in Wadley in
Berkshire, of the honour of Warengeford. This Halenod gave the
church of Hockham, with the consent of Agnes daughter of Pain
Fitz-John, his wife, (fn. 10) to the abbey of Osney; in 1168, he and his wife
granted a mark a year rent in Sutton, to Missenden abbey; and that
they were persons of the first rank in those times, appears from the
witnesses to this deed of gift, Adam son of Will. de Sutton, his principal clerk or chaplain: Benedict his chaplain, Nic. de Brunsted his
sewer, &c. William Bishop of Norwich confirmed it; Humfry de
Bidun was lord; and in 1170, John de Bidun held an honour containing five knights fees and an half, in the county of Northampton,
as we learn from the Red Book of the Exchequer; but I do not find
he was lord here, but John de Bidun, junior, his son, was, and died
so, leaving Maud, daughter of Thomas Fitz-Bernard, (fn. 11) his widow,
lady here; who re-married to John de Bokesford, and died seized in
1254, (fn. 12) when it was found, that John de Bidon died without issue of
his body, and so his whole barony and estate descended to his five
1, Amicia or Amy, who had three daughters, Amabilia who died
single; Isabella, who had Henry Fitz-Ralf, her son and heir,
then living; and Agnes, wife of Warine de Bragenham, then living.
2, Amabilia, (fn. 13) whose son and heir, Miles de Beauchamp, held his
3, Sarah, whose three daughters inherited her part; Isabel, alive
and held her part; Maud, who was dead, but Sarah her daughter
then married to Rob de Walton or Wanton, was living, and held her
part; Philippa was dead, but John de Croxton (or Oxinton, as sometimes called) held his part.
4, Maud, whose son Robert Fitz-Jeffry was dead, but Thomas
Fitz-Robert, his son, enjoyed his part.
5, Ermengard, whose two sons, first John, sirnamed de Gatesend,
was dead, but had issue, John de Gatesend, junior, his son, whose son,
Ric. de Gatesend, held his share. 2d, Richard, whose son John was
living, and enjoyed his part.
But several of these parts were united again very soon; for in
1256, John, son of John de Gatesend, had purchased so, that he was
lord of one moiety. Before 1277, Hugh de Polsted had one part
of Gatesden's moiety or manor, and James de Creike another, but
1302, John de Saham had this moiety or manor, and the whole
advowson; from whom it took the name of Saham's, which it still
retains. John was succeeded by Hervy de Saham, who occurs lord
and patron in 1320; and in 1332, Rob de Elmham, Christian,
daughter of John de Saham, Ric. Merkaunt of Saham, Agnes, widow
of William de Horpling, and Tho. de Hillington, were joint lords and
It after belonged to John Sturmy, and then to Hervy Rockhow,
whose trustee, Tho. Panton, was lord in 1394; this Hervy was citizen
and goldsmith of London, and presented here in 1412, and in 1423,
Rob. Wirmegeye had it. In 1437, John Bacon of Baconesthorp,
and Maud his wife, presented, and in 1482, John Burges and Margaret Wyrmegay had some time before infeoffed John Blake, Esq.
and about 1503, it was purchased by James Hobart, Knt. (fn. 14) In 1506,
Will. Lincoln of Norwich, Gent. was buried in the Black Friars there,
and it appears by his will, that Rob. Wyrmegay had married his
sister, for in it is this clause: 'I will that my executors endeavour to
recover the third part of the manor of Saham's in Kirby, which was
my sister Wormegay's right.' In 1553, Sir James settled it on his son,
Miles Hobart, who had livery in 1571, but only of two thirds, for in
1546, Sir Nic. Hare, Knt. and Rob. Hare his son, had a third part;
in 1550, Michael, son and heir of Sir Nicholas, had it, and in 1557,
Sir Nic. Hare, Knt. master of the rolls, ordered that this manor, if
his sons died without heirs male, and the third part of St. Andrew's
advowson, which he had before settled with other estates in this
hundred, on his son Michal, and Elizabeth his wife, in jointure, should
go to his brother, John Hare, mercer, of London, and his heirs; who
afterwards inherited it. In 1603, Sir Tho. Hobart, Knt. and Michael
Hare, Esq. were lords and patrons; but in 1604, Owen Shepherd,
Esq. was lord and patron. In 1610, the manor was settled in trust
on Will. Spencer, and Will. Palmer, Gents. by the said Owen, who
left it to Rob. Shepherd of Wicklingham, Esq. who was lord in
1660, as was Ambrose Shepherd, Esq. in 1693, when the three manors,
of Saham's, Osberne's, and Wodehouse, were all united, and in
1712, belonged to
William Brooke, clerk, rector here, who was succeeded by his
William Brooke, Esq. recorder of Norwich, the present lord, as
also patron of the church of St. Andrew.
The capital manor-house, and the demeans, were sold by Robert
Shepherd, Esq. to Mr. Cock of Norwich, who sold them to Capt. Nic.
Rockwood, who conveyed them to the
Berneys, who have resided here ever since; it being now the seat
of Sir Hanson Berney, Bart. of which ancient family I shall treat
at large, under Berton-Bendish in Claclose hundred.
Wodehouse Manor in Kirkeby
Was originally a moiety of Bidon's or Saham's manor; Thomas
Fitz-Robert, son of Maud de Bidun, having purchased several parts,
obtained at last a division, and made it a separate manor; he came
and dwelt by the wood here, and so called it Wodehouse manor, and
assumed the sirname of De Bosco or Du Bois of Kirby, on that
account; by which name, in 1280, he had the lete here, and all
liberties of a lete: but in 1285, the King recovered it, and let it to
him in fee-farm for ever at 6d. a year, payable to his hundred of
Henstede: he was returned by the name of Tho. Fitz-Robert, to hold
this manor, and that of Stowbidon, and lands in Thompson, of Baldwin Wake, as of his manor of Brunne in Cambridgeshire, at one fee.
In 1301, Thomas de Bosco of Kirby-bedon, and Maud his wife, settled
it on Robert de Hales their trustee, to the use of themselves for life,
remainder to their heirs; and John de Bosco, who is often called John
Atwood, their son, inherited it; whose daughter and heiress married
to Ward, as you may see under Bixley. The manor had 10 acres
in demean, 3 acres of meadow, 5l. quitrents, and 9 messuages held of
it: and it extended in Apeton, Bramerton, Rockland, Yelverton,
Wicklingham, Framlingham, Trowse, Bixley, Ameringhale, Lakenham, Caster, and Porland. In 1401, John Warde held it of
Thomas Mowbray at half a fee; in 1572, Edw. Ward. In 1586, the
manor of Kirby Wodehouse, alias Ward's, was conveyed by Stephen
Coppin, Gent. and John Hewke, to Thomas Godsalve, Esq. and John
Holland, Gent. and afterwards was purchased by the lord of Saham's
manor, and joined to it, and so continues.
Langley Abbots, alias Osborne's Manor.
Roger Fitz-Ozbert held a fee here, which came to the abbey of
Langley soon after, if not at its first foundation. The Abbot was
always taxed at 36s. 9d. ob. for his manor of Kirby, which at the
Dissolution came to the Crown, and was granted in 1543, by Henry
VIII. to John Corbet, Esq. to be held by the rent of 3s. 8d. ob. a
year; and immediately after, the King licensed Corbet to sell it to
Robert and Thomas Osborne; (fn. 15) and Thomas was lord in 1572.
In 1587, it was settled on Fiske, as trustee to the Osbornes; and in
1589, Tho. Osborne, Gent. settled it in trust on Will. Temperley,
Esq. and Will. Money, junior, who in 1394, released it to Osborn
again; and in 1605, Tho. Osborne, Gent. obtained license to alien
it, and in 1672, John Coppledicke, Esq. was lord; and sometime
after, it became joined to Saham's manor, with which it now
The church of St. Mary at Kirby-Bedon, was appropriated to the
abbey of Langleye, and the rectory was valued at 8 marks, and the
vicarage at 5, but was not taxed; and so occurs not in the King's
Books; it paid 2s. synodals: but in 1550, Bishop Thirlby released
20d. out of the synodals; the archdeacon's procurations are 6s. 8d.
Peter-pence 12d. carvage 5d. and the vicar had a house in the
Vicars of St. Mary,
Presented by the Convent of Langley.
1308, William old Barlick of Saxlingham.
1328, John de Billing ford.
1349, Tho. Bee of Harple.
1395, Walter Turner of Shotesham.
1441, John Dalton.
1490, Henry Hart; he died, and in
1505, John Warmull had it by lapse, who was the last instituted to
this church; it having been held as a curacy ever since the Dissolution, when the impropriation vested in the Crown, and was afterwards granted off; and in 1575, belonged to Rog. Manners, Esq. and
afterwards to Sir Nicholas Hare, who sold it to Stephen Moss, and he
to Mr. Fellow, who conveyed it to Henry Kimbold, and he to Thomas Dethyck in 1578; and afterwards
William Brooke, who had the manors, and was patron, rector,
and impropriator, gave the impropriation to Edward Brooke his son,
whose widow, Mrs. Eliz. Brooke, now owns it, and pays a stipend
of 8l. per annum to the rector of St. Andrew's, for serving the cure;
the rector of that parish, having been constantly curate here, ever
since the Dissolution. In
1603, Hammet Hyde, curate, and rector of St. Andrew, returned
answer, that there were then 40 communicants in this parish, that it
was an impropriation, and that the impropriator constantly paid him
his stipend out of the tithes.
The church stood east of St. Andrew's, their churchyards being
parted by the road only; it is now in ruins; it had a south porch,
nave, and chancel, the steeple is standing, and is round, and had two
large bells, which were lately taken down, and placed in St. Andrew's
John de Cressingham, resigned in
1318, to Roger de Burgo, who was presented by John de Samam;
he changed this for Bykere in Lincolnshire, in
1320, with Rob. de Wetheringsete, who had it of Hervy de
Saham's gift. In
1333, Hervy de North-Elmham was presented by Rob. de Elmham, Christian, daughter of John de Saham, Ric. Merkaunt of
Saham, Agnes, widow of Wil. de Horpling, and John HillingTON, joint patrons.
1387, John Gowe of Aslacby. John Sturmy, patron. 1393, Tho.
Panton and Hervy Rokhaw, gave it to
John de Kirby; (fn. 16) and in 1412, the said Hervy presented
Will. Lightfoot, who resigned in 1424, and
John Biskelee, or Bixley succeeded, on the presentation of
Robert Wirmegeye; he resigned in 1437, and John Bacon of
Baconesthorp, and Maud his wife, gave it to
Tho. Messenger of Fakenham, who was succeeded by
Rob. Howlyn, at whose death, in
1480, William, son of Robert Wirmegey, was instituted at the presentation of John Blake, Esq. feoffee of the manor, from John
Burges and Margaret Wirmegey; he died, and in 1481, JOHN
Ward, Gent. presented
Henry Hert, on whose death Sir James Hobart, Knt. gave
John Warmull, vicar of St. Mary's. In
1582, Oct. 4, Tho. Cuthbert, rector, was buried here; and the
assignee of Michael Hare, Esq. gave it to
Hummet Hide, buried here 7 Sept. 1610. In 1604, Owen
Shepherd, Esq. presented
Daniel Thaxter, buried here Oct. 7, 1625, and in less than
two months, his wife and seven children were buried by him. In
1625, Owen Shepherd gave it to
Henry Moyse, A. M. who died rector, and in 1634, Edward
Hobart, Esq. presented
Edw. Boun, A. M. who held it united to the mediety of
Pakefield; he was succeeded by
Nic. Shepherd, who (as Walker says (fn. 17) ) was plundered and
often imprisoned, and during his troubles, contracted so many debts
for the support of himself and family, that at his death, his goods
were seized, his widow utterly deprived of all maintenance, and
reduced to great necessity; and was at last relieved by the charity of
the corporation for ministers widows: whether he was any thing
more than presented in the rebellion, I do not find; for in 1661,
Robert Shepherd of Wicklingham, Esq. presented
Nic. Shepherd, who was buried Feb. 1, 1671; and in 1672,
John Bendish of London, and Martha his wife presented
William Brooke, who was lord, patron, rector, curate, and
impropriator, and so died; (fn. 18) and in 1714, Will. Brooke, Esq. (fn. 19) his
eldest son, on the 2d of April, presented
Gilbert Pickering, who resigned the 8th of the same month,
and then he gave it to
Francis Brooke, his brother, who held it sometime united to
Surlingham, and after that, to Carleton and Ashby; and at his death,
the said William (who is now patron) gave it to
The Rev. Mr. Ric. Brooke, son of the said Francis, who is
the present rector, and holds it united to the consolidated rectory of
All-Saints, St. Julian's, &c. in Norwich city. (fn. 20)
When Norwich Domesday was made, John de Gatesden was patron;
the rector had then, as now, a house joining to the south side of the
churchyard, and a grange or barn in the churchyard, and 2 acres of
glebe; it was first valued at 11, and after, at 10 marks, and pays 2s.
synodals, 6s. 8d. procurations, 12d. Peter-pence, and 6d. carvage. It
stands thus in the King's Books,
6l. 4s. 9d. ob. Kirkby-Beadon (or Bedon) Sancti Andree Rectoria.
36l. clear yearly value.
So that it is capable of augmentation. The temporals of the Prioress
of Carrow were valued at 37s. 8d. and the town paid to each tenth
clear (without one pound paid by the religious for their revenues here)
5l. 13s. 4d. Here was a gild of St. John, for in 1558, Will. Necton
of Norwich, sold half an acre belonging to this gild, which he had of
the grant of Edw. VI.
In 1668, 31 Oct. Rob. Harris, clerk, was buried here. In 1690,
two faculties were passed for seats in the church, one to Sir Ric.
Berney's house, and the other to Mrs. Sheldrake's.
The tower which stood at the west end of the church is down, but
now there is fixed up in the lower part of it, a convenience to hang
three bells in; the nave, chancel, and south porch, are all thatched;
but the dormitory on the north side of the chancel, built by the Rockwoods, is leaded; and there are no isles; the porch was built in 1479,
by the executors of Robert Osborne, who ordered his body to be buried
in the churchyard, by Robert Connald and Joan his wife; and that
over their three graves, they should build a church porch, which they
did accordingly: at the east end of the chancel in the yard, there is
an altar tomb for Thomas son of Robert Harris, Gent. and Grace his
Wife. Jan. 9, 1680, aged 74.
In the east chancel window,
Rookwood impales or, on a chevron sab. three martlets arg.
Rookwood quarters gul. - - - impaling pally of eight or and sab. on
a chief gul. three martlets of the first.
In a south window. Arg. a chevron sab. between three hammers
The inscription is reaved from a stone, but there remains a heart,
Credo quod Redemptor meus vivit, t de terra surrecturus sum
t in carne mea vivebo deum Salvatorem meum.
Another stone hath lost its effigies and inscription, but this is cut
Here lyeth Dussing.
This ancient family was fixed a long time here, and Dussing's Dale
on Mushold-heath, (fn. 21) took its name from one of them.
In the church on a stone; Sara Wife of Owen Dussing, Daughter
of Robert Stileman of Field-Dawling in Norff. Gent. died Nov. 2,
Hic laret Johannes Dussing (fn. 22) t Uror eius, quorum animabus
Orate pro animabus Willi. Dussing, et Katherine Uroris sue
qui obierunt decimo die Mensis Februarii A. D. Mcccccv quocum
animabus propicietur deus. [Their two effiies in their winding
On a mural monument on the north side of the chancel, are the
effigies of a man and woman in praying postures, before a faldstool,
with the arms of
Shepherd, arg. on a chief indented gul. three battle-axes or.
Crest, a demi-buck reguardant proper,
(The arms and crest were granted by William Camden in 1598,)
Sab. on a fess erm. between three annulets or, a lion passant sab.
The Memorial of Robert Shepherd Esq. and Anne his
Wife, Ann. Dom. 1600.
Christ is to me as Life on Earth, and Death to me is Gain,
Because I Trust through him alone, Salvation to obtain.
So brittle is the State of Man, so soone it doth decay,
So all the Glory of the World, Must fade and passe away.
Disce, quid Es, quid Eris,
Memor esto, quod morieris.
Near this, on a square marble fixed in the wall,
This monument was repaired A. D. 1664, at the Charge of a
Grandson of the entombed, viz. Nicolas Sheppard Rector of
this Church, on whose Soul Jesus have Mercy.
Brooke, gul. on a chevron, arg. a lion rampant, sab. crowned or.
Exuviæ Rebeccæ Brooke cælibis Filiæ Willielmi Brooke,
Armigeri, et Franciscæ Uxoris ejus, ob. 3 Jan. 1739, æt. 29°
Arms and crest of Brooke.
Edward Brooke of Bramerton, Gent. ob. 12 Febr. 1718, æt. 63.
He was youngest son of William Brooke, Clerk, formerly rector
Eliz. Beding field, Wife of Edward Bedingfield. Gent. of
Kirby, and daughter of John Taseburgh of Flyrton, ob. 11 Febr.
Richard Stevenson Gent. Aug. 9, 1666.
In the nave,
Mary Wife of Will. Denny Gent. Nov. 9, 1679.
Denny, gul. a saltier between twelve croslets pate or. Crest, a
hand holding ears of corn.
In a window,
Ave Maria Gratja plena, Dominus tecum.
In the dormitory,
Rookwood, arg. three chess rooks and a chief sab. impaling on
a chevron, three choughs. Crest, a lion sedant holding a spear.
Edw Rookwood of Kirby, Gent. 10 June 1677, æt. 25.
Rookwood impales paly of six or and sab. on a chief gul. three
martlets of the first.
Rookwood's arms, and a crest of a nag's head ooped.
Dorothy Relict of Edward Rookwood, late of Euston in
Suffolk, Esq; 2 Nov. 1683, æt. 78.
Nicholas son of Edward Rookwood and Eliz. his Wife,
died April 18, 1678, æt. 2 Years.
Sir Thomas Berney Bart. died April 12, 1748, æt, 53.
Crest, a coronet, in which three feathers argent.
Berney, per pale az. and gul. a cross ingrailed erm. quartering,
1, Redham, gul. a chevron erm. between three reed sheaves or.
2, Caston. 3, On a canton gul. a croslet or; a coat of pretence of
Folkes, per pale gul. and vert, a de-lis erm. quartering arg. on a
chief az. three lioncels rampant of the field. Three mascles az.
Motto of Berney: NIL TEMERE, NEQUE TIMORE.
Francis Cremer, Gent. was buried in the nave in 1730, for whom
there is a mural monument erected against the north wall.
Cremer, per fess arg. and sab. a cross floré between four mallets counterchanged, impaling
Quarterly, 1, arg. on a chief gul. three cinquefoils or, between
three nag's heads sab. 2 and 1. 2d. gul. on a cross arg. five mullets sab. 4, as 1.
M. S. Francisci Cremer, de hâc Parochiâ Generosi. Filij
primogeniti Francisci Cremer de Ingolsthorp in Comitatû Norfolciæ Armigeri, Qui in Academiâ Lugduni sex Annos commoravit alumnus, et post Laborem multum in Studijs Mathematicis
feliciter impensum, plurimis ingenij Dotibus indutus, animam
suam, sub lætâ spe, Deo gratè reddidit, die 24° Feb. A. D. 1730.
annoque æt. suæ 39°.
Juxta hoc Monumentum quoque sepulta jacet, sub spe ultimi
judicij, Magdalena conjux prima supradicti Francisci Cremer
Generosi, Filia unigenita Edwardi Coleman de Civitate Londini
Generosi, unà cum quatuor Filijs, quos ille suscepit de Susannâ.
conjuge suâ secundâ, et Relictâ, Filiâ Johannis Randal de Chedgrave, in Comitatû Norfolciæ Generosi.