We find in Domesday Book, under the title of invasions (fn. 1) in this
hundred, that William Earl Warren held in Bradeham half a
carucate of land, which Godric held; and two freemen held two oxgangs, valued at x. s.; this was forfeited, and the King seized it, and
Robert Blund farmed it of the King, and Godric, who paid into the
Exchequer xx. s. per annum, and the freemen of the hundred could not
say how it passed to him.
Under the land of Ralph de Tony, it is said that he held in Bradenham, half a carucate of land; and 8 socmen held half a carucate
and four acres of meadow; (fn. 2) and under the title of the land of William Earl Warren, that a freeman held 30 acres, which formerly
belonged to S. Osmund, who had the soc and sac, then and now valued
at 5s. (fn. 3)
The Kaillis or Caleys were no doubt very early enfeoft in this
town by the Earl Warren. In the 9th of King John, a fine was levied
between Adam de Kailli, petent, Michael de Ponyngs and Margery his
wife, tenant, of the dower of Margery, from John de Kailli, her first
husband; and in the 12th of Henry III. an agreement by way of fine
was made before Martin de Pateshull, archdeacon of Norfolk, Stephen
de Segrave, William son of Warin, William de Insula, &c. itinerant
justices, between Adam de Kailli, querent, and Margery, widow of
John de Kailli, about waste made in the dower of Margery, in the
wood of Bradeham, she being to have only reasonable estover of
house-bote, hedge-bote, and wood to burn, by the view of the forester of
Adam; it appears there was a park here full of wood, and several
woods about the park, whereof Adam was to fell a fourth part yearly;
and if Margery should want wood to repair her houses, (fn. 4) she might
have it. In the 15th of Edward I. the jury say, that Osbert de Caley
claimed free-warren here, the assize of bread and beer, view of frankpledge, weyf, &c. In the 9th of Edward II. Thomas de Cailley was
lord, and held four fees of the Earl Warren, in Bradenham, Hilburgh,
Cranwich, Denvere, and Hillington, and settled this manor, excepting
the advowson, on Michael de Calley for life, and the 3d part in reversion, after the death of Joan, then wife of William de Wasteneys, Knt.
widow of Adam de Cailley, she holding it in dower. In the 9th of
Edward III. it was settled by Adam de Clifton and Eleanor his wife,
on themselves in tail with Cranewiz, &c. and Sir Adam was lord about
the 40th of the said King; and in the 51st of the same King, Sir John
de Clifton was lord, and then granted to Richard Holdich, &c. and
their heirs, this manor, that of Cranwich, &c. in trust. The 12th of
King Richard II. Sir John de Clifton and Elizabeth his wife held this
manor, and Constantine was his son and heir. In the 3d of Henry IV.
Margaret de Clifton held the 5th part of a fee here of the Earl of
March; and in the reign of Henry VI. John de Clifton was lord; and
by his will dated 16 Aug. 1447, wills that this manor and others should
remain in the hands of his executors for 12 years, and then return to
his right heirs, and by this will it came to the Knevets of Bukenham
Castle; and on an inquisition taken the 5th of Henry VII. it was
found that John Knevet, late deceased, held this manor (and that Sir
William was his heir) of the Earl of Arundel, as of his castle of
Castleacre, by knight's service, and in the 8th of Henry VIII. Sir
William died seized of it, and it descended to his heirs. In the 33d of
the said King, a fine was levied between William Read, citizen and
mercer of London, and Anne his wife, querents, and Edmund Knevet
and Anne his wife, defendants, of this manor, conveyed to William;
and William Read, his son and heir, was lord in the 34th of the said
King, on the death of his father, and is then said to hold it of the
honour of Clare. In the 1st of Queen Elizabeth, William son of
the last William Read, had livery of these manors, West Bradenham,
Gooderston, &c. in Norfolk, with three in Suffolk; and by a daughter
and coheir of Sir William Read of Massingham in Norfolk, it came by
marriage to Sir William Wythypole of Christ Church in Ipswich
in Suffolk, descended from Robert Wythypole of Wythypol in Shropshire, who bare
Per pale or and gul. three lions passant in a bordure counterchanged.
In 1649, Colonel Leicester Devereux was lord of one third part, in
right of Elizabeth, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir William
Withipole, who was son of the Lord Viscount Hereford, and Robert
Yallop, Esq. who in right of his wife, another coheiress, had two parts
of three, of this manor: in 1665, the Lord Viscount Hereford having
purchased the whole, sold it to Henry Warner, Esq. of WormillHall, near Mildenhall in Suffolk, who sold it to Robert Thompson,
Esq. about 1684; from the Thompsons it descended to the wife of
Anthony Burward of Woodbridge in Suffolk, and the said Anthony
holds it for life.
In the 24th of Henry III. William de Bradenham son of Simon,
held here the fifth part of a knight's fee of the Earl of Gloucester, and
he of the King; this was no doubt that part which Ralph de Tony was
lord of at the survey; and in the 20th of Edw. III. the heirs of William de Brigham, and the heirs of Thomas de Woodehyrde, held the
same. Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knt. died also seized of this manor, and
left Margaret his sister and heir, married to Edmund Bedingfeld of
Oxburgh; but it was afterwards united to the Earl Warren's manor,
with which it now remains.
In the 17th of Edward II. Richard le Plays, and his tenants, held
here of the Earl of Pembroke, of his castle of Acre, a quarter of a
Knight's fee; this descended to the heirs of Plaiz, the Earls of Oxford, and it was acquitted of all services by the deed of Ralph de
Plaiz, paying 4s. per annum to the manor of Weting; this was held
by William Maupas, and Ralph atte Rode, of Sir Giles de Plais, 31st
of Edward I. but has been long since united to the capital manor.
The tenths of this town were 2l. 16s.
The church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and consists of a nave,
a north and a south isle, all built of flint, &c. and covered with lead;
the nave is in length about 44 feet, and in breadth, with the two isles,
about 36 feet; the roof of the nave is supported by pillars formed of
4 pilasters united together, making 8 arches 4 on a side, with a window over each arch. In the nave lies a marble gravestone thus
Here lyeth the Body of Mr. Thomas Clemence, who in hopes
of a joyfull Resurrection, departed this Life the 29th Day of October, 1727, aged 66 Years.
At the west part of the south isle stands a four-square tower of flint,
with quoins and battlements of freestone, and on the summit is a small
weathercock. In this tower hang three bells; on the second is,
Virginis egregie Nocor Campana Marie.
The lower part of the tower is open, and serves as a porch to the
church, there being a door on the south side.
The chancel is separated from the nave by an old wooden screen,
over which the King's arms are painted; and it is in length about 29
feet, and in breadth about 18: on the pavement towards the west end,
lies a very antique marble gravestone deprived of its brasses; its inscription was between two fillets of brass round the verge of the stone,
at the summit of the stone, in a niche like a quaterfoil, was the head of
a priest in brass, and a cross runs the length of the stone with some
thing couchant at the feet of it; from the incision made to let the
letters of brass in, this appears to be the inscription,
Continet. Hæ Fossa. Thome. nunc. Corpus. et Ossa.
Ecclesle, Gector. Huius. ertitit. Atque Hrotector
Gratia. Oueso. Dei. Propitietur. Ei.
This is in memory of Thomas Cayley, who was rector here in
the reign of Edward I.
On a marble gravestone near the communion table,
Here rest the Bodies of the Rev'd Mr. Samuel Needham
Minister of this Parish about 33 Years, and of Mrs. Alice Needham his Wife, who liv'd respected, and died lamented by all that
He Died 28 September 1718, Æt. 63.
She 16 August 1719, Æt. 72.
Only two of their children survived them, Peter Needham, D. D.
rector of Stanwick in Northamptonshire, who paid this last instance of
duty and gratitude to his excellent parents, and Elizabeth Needham
married to the Rev. and worthy Mr. Thomas Townshend, rector of
Shipdham in this county.
Against the south wall of the chancel, near the east end are three
arches, with seats for the bishop, priest, and deacon, one seat rising
higher than the other, and at the head of the uppermost is an arch for
holy water. In the north wall is a neat carved arch, to preserve relicks
in: these arches and cupboards in walls to be observed in many chancels, were the tabernacula or repositories, (fn. 5) where the holy oil and
chrism, eucharist, and sometimes relicks, were preserved and secured.
On the top of a north window in the chancel, is a shield of Caley.
In the reign of Edward I. the Caleys were patrons; the rector had
a manse with 40 acres of land valued at 10 marks, Peter-pence 5d. ob.
Thomas de Caley was rector in 1318, and is buried here, as
before. Son, as I take it, of Sir Thomas.
1324, Elias de Grymsby. The King, as guardian to the heir of
Thomas de Caley; he was chaplain to the King.
1340, John de Brynkele; he was rector of Morston in the diocese
of Canterbury, and exchanged with Grymsby, and was presented by
Adam de Clifton. Brynkele was afterwards archdeacon of Nottingham, about 1352.
1352, Roger de Wylby. Robert de Rokeland, Robert Byshop, William Hulle, and Laurence Mendware of Bukenham.
The advowson of this rectory, was given to the priory of Bukenham in Norfolk, by Sir Adam de Clifton, and on the 27th of
April, 1384, was appropriated to that convent, by Henry Spencer
Bishop of Norwich, and a vicarage was settled to take place, at the
death of Roger de Wylby, then rector. The vicar was to have a convenient habitation, and to receive to the value of ten marks per annum,
out of the profits of the rectory, that being computed to be the 3d part
of the real value of it. (fn. 6) The vicarage was to be taxed at 40s. for firstfruits, and the prior and convent were to pay a yearly pension of
10s. (fn. 7) to the Bishop, and 3s. 4d. to the prior and convent of Norwich;
and the Bishop was always to nominate to the prior and convent, who
were obliged to present on such nomination.
17 September 1395, Rowland de la Rode, (fn. 8) the first vicar, was presented by the prior and Convent of Bukenham, and nominated by the
Bishop of Norwich, as were all the vicars to the Dissolution.
1406, Thomas Huberd, rector, by will dated in 1436, desires to be
buried in the churchyard here, gives legacies to St. Mary's light, that
of the crucifix, St. Andrew, and St. Peter.
1454, Robert Mounshawe, res.
1454, Thomas Baldwyn, res.
1475, Robert Gammelyn, ob.
1497, William Millesent, res.
1528, Edward Warde.
In the 32d of Henry VIII. on the dissolution of the priory of Bukenham, the rectories of West Bradenham, and Shropham, the college or chantry of Tomson, with the rectory, &c. were granted to
Edmund Knevet, Esq. to be held in capite by knight's service, but the
patronage of the vicarage remained in the Crown.
1554, William Thorp, ob. (fn. 9) presented by the Queen.
1568, William Hattersley, res. Ditto.
1572, William Howling, ob. Ditto.
1559, John Bretton, A. B. He was also rector of Little Fransham.
1603, William Cowper, A. M. ob. The King.
1625, Benjamin Estey, A. M. licensed preacher, ob. He was presented by the Bishop of Ely. The patronage of this vicarage came
to the see of Ely, by virtue of an exchange made for these spirituals,
for some of the temporals of that see.
1662, Luke Skippon, S. T. P. ob. He was afterwards rector of
Mileham, master elect of St. Peter's College Cambridge. The
Bishop of Ely, who presented the following vicars:
1676, Nicholas Booth, A. B.
1682, Francis Nicholson, A. M. res. Lapse.
1685, Samuel Needham, A. M. ob.
1718, Thomas Topping, vicar of Whittlesey St. Andrew in the isle of
30th September, 1724, the Rev. Mr. Henry Topping, on the
resignation of Mr. Thomas Topping his father, presented by the Bishop
of Ely, and is the present vicar.
This vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 7l. 1s. 10d. ob. and
being in clear value 44l. per annum, it is discharged of tenths and
first-fruits, and is capable of augmentation.
Synodals are 2s. 6d.; visitatorial procurations 1s. 9d. qr.; archdeacon's procurations 7s. 7d. ob.
Here was a chantry called Curtis's chantry, valued in 1582, at
8l. 1s. 5d. per annum.
The chantry called St. Catherine's chantry here, was then
valued at 4l. 8s. 1d. ob. per anuum.
The two chantry priests officiated in the church daily, one at the
altar at the east end of the south isle, and the other at the altar at the
east end of the north isle.