In Domesday Book, is called Oxenburgh, taking its name from its
site on the Ouse or Wissey, a river navigable from hence to Cambridge, Lynn, &c.; thus Oxford, from a ford over the Ouse; and
this name it very well answers, as being a peninsula, surrounded by
this and two or three other rivulets, except in the north-east point.
The adjunct word burgh bespeaks its eminence, showing it to have
been some fortified town, and place of strength; and besides its
natural site above observed, about half a mile from the town, to the
north west, on a place called the Warren-Hill, may be observed a
very deep vallum or trench adjoining. The word burgh may also signify some remarkable place of burial, and about the limits of the
town are several tumuli, three or four near one another, on the common a little south of the church and town; and by the river that
divides the town from the common, (near the said tumuli,) are several
places contiguous, about 4 or 5 yards long and two or three broad,
having the earth sunk a little, where it may be justly concluded many
persons who fell in some battle were interred, those little pits being
called by ancient people the Danes graves. (fn. 1)
That it was a place of account in the time of the Romans, appears
from coins of silver and brass found here, two of Constantine being a
few years past recovered; and that it continued so in the Saxon age
appears from coins of their kings, an Aedelred being not long since
dug up. In the time of the Danes it was, (and probably before,) in
royal hands, and Cnute their King having made Turchill or
Turketel, a Dane, and one of their chief leaders, Earl of the EastAngles, he became governour and lord of the town, as he was of
Attleburgh, the cities of Thetford, and Norwich, as places of
strength and eminence; so that the lciani, (fn. 2) a Roman station, might
be with some show of reason and justice presumed to have been here,
rather than at Ickborough, (if it was in the neighbourhood,) where
Talbot in his notes of Antoninus's Itinerary has fixed it, for this
place bears also the same distance as Ickburgh to Villa Faustini and
Camborito, as is assigned by him.
The aforesaid Turchill held this lordship in the Confessor's time,
but when William I. became King, he gave it to Ralph de Limesio
a Norman Baron, his sister's son, on whom he bestowed 41 manors in
several counties, with the lands of Christina, one of the sisters of
Prince Edgar, grandson of King Edmund Ironside, who was brother
to King Edward the Confessor.
At the grand survey we find there were 3 carucates of land in domain, 7 villeins, 9 bordars, and 3 household servants; 12 acres of
meadow, 2 mills, a fishery, 180 sheep, and 8 freemen held 100 acres
and 3 carucates of land, and 12 acres of meadow; it was one mile in
length and half a mile in breadth, and paid xi. pence Dane-gelt, when
the hundred was taxed at xxs. and was always valued at 100s. and one
of those freemen, Ralph de Tony laid claim to, his ancestour having
the soc and sac, as the hundred testified. (fn. 3)
Gerard de Limesi (great grandson of Ralph,) had issue John de
Limesi whose son Hugh dying young and sans issue, the barony of
Limesi (of which this town was part) was divided between Hugh de
Odingsels, knight, grandson of Hugh, a Fleming, who married Basilia, and David de Lindsey, a Scot, who married Alianore the daughters
of Gerard, and sisters and coheirs of John de Limesi aforesaid.
David de Lindsey had by Atianore, several children, David,
Gerard, &c. and Alice.
David, the eldest son, was lord here and of Cavendish in Suffolk, in
the reign of Henry III; (fn. 4) and in 1223, a precept was directed to the
sheriff of Suffolk, to deliver to this David (then in custody of the King
of Scotland) seizen of all his lands in his bailywick which were detained, because he had not done his service to the King in his Welsh
expedition. This David and his brothers dying without issue, his
moiety in this lordship came to Sir Henry de Pinkeny, Knt. by the
marriage of Alice, sister and heir to David; and by his son, Sir
Henry, it was by deed granted to his kinsman, Sir William Odingsels, lord of the other moiety, son of Sir Hugh de Odyngsels abovementioned as appears by the following Pedigree:
Sciant, &c. quod ego Henricus de Pinkeny, miles, concessi,
&c. Dno. Willo. Odyngsel, &c. omnia illa dominica, &c. in villa
de Periton et de Maxstoke, &c. (fn. 5) que habui de dono quondam Dni.
Davidis de Lindesey, avunculi mei, et Dni. Gerardi fratris sui, et cum
homagio et toto servitio Huberti Ruffin, et omn. hered. vel assignatorum suor. in villa de Oxburgh, et cum advocatione ecclesiar. scil.
medietal. advocationis. ecclesie de Oxeburgh, &c. habend. &c. de
me et heredib. meis, predicto Dno. Willo. &c. faciendo inde mihi &c.
servitium sex militum quando scutagium advenerit, &c. et de terris et
tenement. predicti Huberti Ruffin, et hered. &c. in predicta villâ de
Oxeburch, servitium quarterij unius militis, &c. sans date. (fn. 6)
Pinkeny thus granting his moiety to Sir William de Odingsel, he
became lord of the whole town;
Hubert Ruffin held it under him; this Hubert, (fn. 7) and Richard his
son, gave lands here to the abbey of West Derham, and afterwards
convyed away his right herein to
Ralph de Wygornia, or Worcester; who in 1252, had a patent dated
at Winchester, for a weekly mercate here, on Tuesday, and a fair
every year, for two days, on the Vigil, and on the Nativity of the
Blessed Virgin. (fn. 8) In 1265, the lord had the return of all writs here,
and his steward would not permit the sheriff to enter into his fee. (fn. 9)
In the 3d of Edward I. Nicholas de Weyland was found to be
lord, and to hold it of Robert Burnel, and he of Odingsels, the capital
lord; (fn. 10) this Nicholas married Julian, daughter and heir of the said
Robert, and had the manor of Garboldesham in Norfolk of 10l. per
annum given him by Robert Burnel, (fn. 11) and probably this also; the lord
had then the lete, a toll here, and other privileges belonging to
this lordship, as part of the barony of Limesi. On the 20th of January, in the 12th of Edward I. he had a confirmation of the aforesaid
mercate and fair, and on the 12th of May in the following year of
the said King, had a grant of another fair for two days, on the
vigil, and the day of the Assumption; also one for 8 days every year,
on the vigil day and morrow after the Annunciation of the Blessed
Virgin, and for 5 days following, (fn. 12) and of free-warren in all his demeans.
In the 15th year of the said King, Sir Nicholas de Weyland, Knt. had
these following privileges of this lordship allowed in Eyre, view of
frankpledge, assize of bread and beer, gallows, pillory, tumbrell, weyf
and stray, the aforesaid three fairs in the year, and the weekly mercate; (fn. 13)
all which bespeak this town to have been in that age a place of consequence, capable of great reception; and it appears from many old
ruins and foundations, to have been in length (from the closes nigh
to Goodestone-common, where the old road laid to the town, to the
entrance of the low ground by Oxburgh-Hithe) above a mile and an
half; about 30 houses and cottages having been pulled down, &c. in
the space of about 30 years. All these fairs were kept regularly and
annually (as appears from the court-rolls of the manor) till about the
reign of Queen Elizabeth; and one fair still continues to be kept on
the Annunciation, where horses and cows are brought to be sold, and
tradesmen resort with their goods.
In 1315, Sir William de Weyland, Knt. was lord; (fn. 14) and in
1318 a fine was levied between him and Elizabeth his wife, querents,
and Laurence de Riston, defendant, of this manor, on a marriage settlement. In 1327, the said Sir William, on an inquisition, was found
to die seized of this manor held of the heirs of Burnel, by the service
of one knight's fee, and of certain tenements in Shipeden and Hempsted, which were members of the said manor, and the said heirs held
the same, of the heirs of John de Limesi, by the aforesaid service; and
the premises were of the yearly value of 15l. 6s. 5d. and Robert was
son of Sir William.
By an inquisition taken in 1326, (fn. 15) it appears that Robert de Weyland, then a knight, held it of John de Grey and Margaret his wife,
one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir William de Odyngsels; this
Sir Robert, by Cecilia his wife, daughter of Sir Thomas de Baldock,
Sir Edmund Weyland his son and heir, who married Alianore,
daughter of Sir John Wesenham, and dying without issue, about the
43d of Edward III. this lordship descended to
Sir John Weyland, his brother; and in the 59th of the said King
a fine was levied between John de Eccles, querent, this Sir John and
Burga his wife, of the manor of Vaux in Ruston in Norfolk, which
Burga was the daughter and heir of John Sparwe, Esq. (fn. 16) of Yorkshire,
and the Lady Burga his wife, relict of Sir William de Vaux. Sir John
had by this Burga, Peter, who died young, and
Elizabeth his daughter and heir, who being married to John
Harewell, Esq. of Warwickshire had
Joan, their daughter and heir, married to John Streche, of Devonshire, who was lord in right of his wife, and kept his court here in
the 2d year of Henry V.; (fn. 17) and in 1427, Joan (then his widow) kept
her first court; and soon after, on certain terms resigned her right for
life to her cousin,
Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knt. whose relation to her will appear
from the following pedigrees of the Weylands and Tudenhams. (fn. 18) (fn. 19) (fn. 20) (fn. 21) (fn. 22) (fn. 23) (fn. 24) (fn. 25) (fn. 26) (fn. 27)
In 1434, on the death of Joan Streche, a fine was levied between Sir
Thomas Tudenham, and Sir John Knevet, who married Joan daughter of Sir John Botetourt and Catherine his wife, one of the sisters, and
now coheirs, of Sir John Weyland, grandfather to the said Joan Streche, who died without issue? (fn. 28) by virtue of which, this manor, with
those of Charsfield, Brandeston, Westerfield, &c. in Suffolk, was granted
to Sir Thomas, and the manor of Radwell in Somersetshire, &c. to Sir
John, being lately the possessions of the aforesaid Joan.
Sir Thomas Tudenham married Alice, daughter of John Wodehouse,
Esq. before he was of age, and in 1436 November 22, on a full hearing of the cause at Lynn, before the chancellor of Norwich, the Prior
of Lynn, &c. he was divorced from her, on proof, and her own confession of adultery; she had before this left him, and was at that time
a nun professed at Crabhouse in Wigenhale in Norfolk; and he had
power to remarry. (fn. 29) But the close of his life was yet more unfortunate; for in February, 1461, John Earl of Oxford, Aubrey his son and
heir, (fn. 30) this Sir Thomas, John Clopton, John Montgomery, and William
Tyrrell, Esq. were arrested by John Earl of Worcester, constable
of England, on suspicion of having received letters from Margaret,
wife of King Henry VI. and being convicted in court by the said Earl
of Worcester, were all beheaded (except Clopton) on Tower Hill, on
the 22d of February, 1461. On the same day he made his will in the
Tower, and gave to
John Lord Wenlock this manor, those of Caldecote, Shingham, and
Sparham, with the fourth part of the barony of Bedford, for life;
but soon after, these, with the rest of his inheritance, were delivered to
Margaret, sister and sole heir to Sir Thomas, relict of Edmund
Bedingfeld, Esq. of Bedingfeld in Suffolk. It appears that as heir
to her brother, she died seized of the lordships of Ereswel, Westerfield,
Brandeston, Charsfeld, Cotton-Hall, Belings-Magna, Groundesburgh,
Fenhall, Newton, Elveden, Tudenham, Chamberlains, Shardelows, and
Carbonels; also of the fourth part of the manor of Whatfield, and lands
in Kediton in Suffolk, the lordships of Oxburgh, Sechithe, SparhamHall, Shingham, Caldecote, Fouldon, Tyes, and Aldenham in Weston,
10l. yearly rent out of the manor of Gerboldesham in Norfolk, and the
manor of Abington-Parva in Cambridgeshire. (fn. 31)
Her will is dated at Ereswell, 24th May, 1474, (fn. 32) and was proved by
the Bishop of Norwich, she being, as is there expressed "nobilis et
arma gerens." She bequeaths her body to be buried before the
image of the Holy-Cross, near the altar of the Virgin in the nave of
the church of St. Peter of Ereswell, 40l. for vestments, books, and
necessary ornaments, and to the repair of the said church, 53s. 4d.
for a vestment, in which her chantry-priest was to officiate on high
festivals, before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, and 40s. for another to
officiate in, on other holidays. To St. Laurence's chapel at Ereswell, 53s. 4d. and 10 marks to the poor dwelling in her manor of Ereswell and other her manors in Suffolk and Norfolk; an house with
gardens, pastures, meadow grounds, and 42 acres of land, with liberty
of faldage, and certain rents and services thereto belonging, for a
chantry-priest to officiate daily in the church of St. Peter, for her
soul, and that of her father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, husband, children, brother, &c. To the monastery of Brusyard in Suffolk, where her mother was buried, 100s. and to the nuns there 100s.
to the Augustin-Friars in London, where her brother (Sir Thomas)
was buried xxl. and that a good and decent marble stone be bought
to cover his body, and the residue to be divided amongst the friars
there. To the church of Bedingfeld, where her husband was buried, 46s. 8d. for a vestment in memory of her and her husband; to
the friars-minors at Babewell, 26s. 8d.; the same sum to the Carmes
at Ipswich; to the friars-preachers at Thetford 20s.; to the Augustinefriars there 20s.; and to the nuns there 10.; and to the repair of Bedingfeld nunnery 10s.; to the repair of Carhow nunnery 10s.; and
to the nuns there 10s.; to the nuns of Shouldham 20s.; to be distributed amongst them; to the repair of the church of Belings-Magna
56s. 8d. a silver cup to the altar of the Virgin in the church of Ereswell,
to every priest assisting at mass on the day of her sepulture 8d.; to
every clerk 2d.; every poor man and woman at her burial praying
for her soul 2d.; and to every poor boy 2d.; and to the Lady Alice
Tudenham, a nun at Crabhouse, ten marks.
The will of her husband Edmund Bedingfeld, Esq. is dated at
Bedingfeld in Suffolk, 4 June 1451, and was proved on the 20th of
July following; (fn. 33) he bequeaths his body to be buried in the churchyard
of Bedingfeld, gives to Margaret his wife all the goods and chattels,
which Margaret Tudenham, (daughter of John Herling, Esq.) her mother, had given her; to Thomas his son and heir 12 silver spoons and
a covered cup, which was his father's; and to Edmund, son and heir
of Thomas, a silver cup, &c.
I have been the more particular in these wills, as they are of undoubted truth and record, and must silence a great and prevailing
mistake made by Sir Henry Spelman in his Icenia, (and by others
copied after him,) where he asserts, that the abovementioned Edmund
Bedingfeld and Sir Thomas Tudenham being in different interests, the
first attached to the house of York, the other to that of Lancaster,
entered into a most solemn compact: (fn. 34) Beding feld engaging, if his
party prevailed, to intercede in the behalf of Tudenham, who was to
perform the like good offices for Beding feld: the house of York prevailing in King Edward the Fourth's time, Beding feld broke his faith
so solemnly plighted, begged and obtained the estate of his brother
Tudenham, and left him in the hands of justice to be beheaded. Edmund Bedingfeld, whose memory is so ill treated, appears to have died
above 10 years before the sentence passed, &c. on his brother-in-law
Tudenham; neither Edmund or his son and heir, Thomas Bedingfeld,
inherited it, dying in 1453, before his uncle Sir Thomas, and his mother
Margaret first enjoyed it; and on her decease, it came to her grandson, Edmund, son of Thomas, of which Edmund, Alice Dutchess of
Suffolk, by her deed, dated 1st of December in the 33d of Henry VI.
1454, grants the custody and wardship, being then a minor, to his great
uncle, Sir Thomas Tudenham aforesaid. (fn. 35)
This Edmund, son of Thomas, married first, Alice, daughter of
Sir Ralph Shelton, by whom he had no issue male, his second lady was
Margaret daughter of Sir John Scot of Scots-Hall in Kent and
comptroller of Calais: (fn. 36) on the coronation of King RichardIII. he was
created a Knight of the Bath, and was so highly in favour with King
Henry VII. for his eminent services, that he paid him a royal visit at
Oxburgh, the room where he lodged, being called the King's Room
to this day, and rewarded him with several valuable lordships in Yorkshire, forfeited to the Crown on the attainder of the Lord Lovell: his
will is dated at Calais, on the 12th of October 1496, and was proved
the 28th of January following; he bequeaths his body to be buried in
the church of Oxburgh, before the Holy Trinity, and gives 40l. to
lead the church of Caldecote. This Sir Edmund (fn. 37) had a royal patent
from King Edward IV. dated July 3, 1482, to build the present manor-house or hall of Oxburgh, with towers, embattlements, &c.
"more castelli," and for a weekly mercate in this town, on Friday,
with a pye-powder court to be kept by the steward or bailiff, of the said
This ancient seat stands a little south-west of the church of Oxburgh; being built of brick, it very much resembles Queen's College in
Cambridge, built also in the same reign; the present entrance to it
is over a bridge of brick, with three great arches, and embattled with
free stone, (formerly over one of wood, with its draw-bridge,) through
a grand majestick tower, the arch whereof is about 22 feet long and
13 broad; to this tower adjoin four turrets, one at each corner, of the
same materials with the tower, brick, coped also and embattled with
free-stone, projecting and octangular; the two in front are about 80
feet or more from the foundation in the moat to the summit, and
about 10 feet above the great tower. The court-yard (about which
stands the house) is 118 feet long and 92 broad; opposite to the
great tower on the south side of the court, stands the hall, in
length about 54 feet, and 34 in breadth, between the two bowwindows, the roof is of oak, (in the same style and form with that of
Westminster) equal in height to the length of it, and being lately very
agreeably ornamented and improved, may be justly accounted one of
the best old Gothick halls in England. The outward walls of the
house stand in the moat, which is pure running water, (fed by an adjoining rivulet) about 270 feet long, and 52 broad on every side, and
faced with brick on the side opposite to the house, and can be
raised to the depth of about 10 feet of water, or let out as occasion
Sir Thomas Bedingfeld, eldest son of Sir Edmund, the founder,
dying without issue, and Robert the second son being in holy orders,
the inheritance descended to
Sir Edmund, the 3d son, who attended King Henry VIII. in his
wars abroad, and was knighted by Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk,
general of the English army at Montdedier in France on the taking
of that town in 1523; by his lady, Grace, daughter of the Lord
Marny, he had
Sir Henry Bedingfeld, his son and heir, who was one of those
gentlemen that appeared in arms at Framlingham in Suffolk, in defence of Queen Mary, and her title to the crown, and brought with
him 140 men completely armed; by her he was appointed knightmarshal of her army, captain of her guards, and on the 28th of Oct.
1555, was made governour of the Tower of London, and one of the
privy council; in 1557, vice-chamberlain to the Queen, and had a
pension of 100l. per annum assigned him for life, and part of the estate
of Sir Thomas Wyat, forfeited on his rebellion. This gentleman had
the care and charge of the Lady Elizabeth for some time, and
stands charged by Mr. Fox with severity towards her; (fn. 38) but the royal
visit which she either did, or designed to pay him, in her Progress
into Norfolk, (fn. 39) shows as if it was not as that author represents it. It
being unlikely she would then have designed him such an honour.
That the Queen was wont to call him her Jaylor, may be true, but
that seems to have rather been a term of royal familiarity, than contempt; for had it been the latter, he would scarce have been so much
at court as it appears he usually was.
His son Edmund, by Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Southwell of
Hoxne in Suffolk, had Thomas, his son and heir, who by an inquisition taken on the 30th of July, in the 32d of Queen Elizabeth, at
Swaffham, was found to die seized of the manors of Oxburgh, Caldecote manor held of Eliz. wife of Sir John Denham, Secche manor,
Shingham manor, held of the Crown, as of the honour of Clare, Easthall manor in Cley, held of the Crown as of the honour of Clare, Westhall manor in Cley, held of the Crown as of the honour of Richmond,
the rectory of Cley St. Peter's held of the Crown. The hundred of
South-Greenhoe held of the Crown in capite, by half a fee, an annuity of 10l. per annum issuing out of the manor of Gerboldesham,
Ickburgh manor and advowson held of the honour of Clare, Necton
manor, with its appurtenances, Ashill manor, Uphall, Collards, Games,
&c. held in capite, with the advowson of the church. Cavenham manor in Stoke, Werham, and Wretton held of the Crown: Buxton and
Heveningham manors, held in capite. North Pickenham and Houghton manors held in capite. Swanton Morley manor held in capite,
Worthing manor held in capite, Stratton-hall manor held of the
manor of Hoxne, and Welham, and Rees's manors there, held of Sir
Robert Inglos in Norfolk, the manors of Bedingfeld, Denham and
Charsfield, Ereswell, also of Chamberlains in Ereswell, and Scots
manor in Martlesham in Suffolk, Pebmarsh's and Dagworth's in Essex,
with Henney and Pooly manors in the said county; all which descended to his son and heir,
Sir Henry Bedingfeld, whose great grandson,
Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Baronet, is the present lord of this town,
who inherits it as immediate heir to the Weylands and Tudenhams,
without any alienation, for about 500 years.
Odes, Sparrow's, or Chantry Manor.
In the reign of Henry III. Nicholas de Oxburgh, was found to
hold the 8th part of a fee of Hubert Ruffin, Hubert of Sir Hugh de
Odynsels; (fn. 40) in the 9th of Edward II. Nich. de Oxburgh was returned
to hold it; and in the 20th of King Edward III. Christiana, wife of
Nicholas, was found to have held the same of Sir John de Grey. In
the 3d of Henry IV. it was held by the heirs of Christiana, that is (as
I take it) by the Odes, a family of good account in this town: William Ode was lord in the 2d of Richard II. and had then a foldcourse
for 240 sheep; after this, Thomas Ode, and his son John, (by Agnes
Langwade his wife,) in the 33d of Henry VI. had a capital messuage
and other messuages here, 300 acres of arable land, 52 acres of pasture, 20s. &c. rent of assize, with the liberty of two freefolds, and other
privileges to the said messuages and lands belonging, in Oxburgh and
Caldecote, and paid to the lord of Caldecote 8s. 8d. per annum.
In 1463, Thomas Wellys, LL. B. and Godfrey Joy, citizen and
alderman of Norwich, enfeoffed John Hewer, alias Bocher, of Oxburgh, Thomas Kyppyng of Caldecote, clerk, Thomas Mason of StokeFerry, and Henry Malvern of Ashill, in all and singular the messuages,
lands, &c. with their appurtenances in Oxburgh and Caldecote, with
the liberty of two freefolds for sheep in the said villages, with all the
meadows, pastures, rents, wards, reliefs, eschaets, &c. which they
held lately, together with John Paston, senior, Esq. Edward Coteler,
citizen and alderman of Norwich, Stephen Brasier, notary, and William Swayn of Norwich, draper, by the enfeoffment of John Whittrat,
clerk, dated in 1460, to the use, behoof, and fulfilling of the last will
and testament of John Ode, late of Norwich. After this, in 1480,
John Hewer and Thomas Kyppyng enfeoffed Edmund Bedingfeld,
Esq. William Grey, Esq. John Fincham, junior, Gent. &c. in the
same; what were the use and behoof of Odes will, is uncertain; probably it was given to some religious use, &c. and was held by
feoffees, till license of mortmain could be obtained; for it appears,
that Richard Sparwe, or Sparrowe, Gent. afterwards held it; and by
his will, dated 24th of April, 1482, (fn. 41) and proved the 10th of February
1483, gives this manor, with all the services, quitrents, lands, tenements, pastures, meadows, &c. lying in the towns and fields of
Oxburgh, and Caldecote, to the founding of a chantry in the church
of Oxburgh, and for the maintenance of a priest to officiate in the
said church, to pray for his soul, the souls of his parents, children, and
all his benefactors.
The chantry (as appears by the said will) was founded in honour
of the Holy Trinity, the glorious Virgin Mary, St. John the
Evangelist, and All the Saints. William Elys was named by the
founder the first chantry-priest, whom he requires to be a native of
the diocese of Norwich, a secular priest, and to have no ecclesiastical
benefice; he appoints 12 trustees, and when it devolved to three, they
were to make a new election, and to name and appoint the said priests,
and on their neglect for one month, the prior of Westacre was to
name, &c. and on his neglect for one month, the churchwardens of
Oxburgh; and the rector of Oxburgh was supervisor of his will.
William Elys. Thomas Kyppyng, buried here in 1489. William
Blome, he died about 1504. Thomas Woodrofe, rector also of Caldecote and Shingham, died in 1540. William Shymplyng was also
rector of Caldecote and Shingham, and on the dissolution of this
chantry in the 2d of Edward VI. had a pension from the Crown of
4l. 9s. 7d. per annum.
The capital messuage, lands, &c. were granted by the King in
the said year to Osbert Mundeford and Thomas Gawdy, Esquires, and
their heirs, to be held in free-soccage of the manor of Drayton in Norfolk, on the 16th of June; in the 6th of Elizabeth, it was held by
Gabriel Bates, Gent. who for the sum of one hundred and sixty
pounds, sold it to John Curlington, from whom it passed by John
Grimston, Arthur Hewer, Thomas Chaplin, Edmund Peirce, Remigius
Booth, William Scot, Gent. &c. to Thomas Craske, that is to say, the
capital messuage, with about 50 acres of land, arable and pasture, the
manor and most of the lands being alienated.
That it was originally well endowed, appears from what hath been
already specified, and from a terrier made in the 11th of Henry VII.
when there were 17 acres of pasture enclosed, sevenscore and five
acres, with three roods of arable land then belonging to it. About
the year 1720, Thomas, son of the aforesaid Thomas Crask, sold it to
Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Bart.; the house that belonged to it, in which
the priest lived, stands in the town of Oxburgh, a little east of the
church, being a great building, and had lately a large hall with
screens, butteries, &c. adjoining, as in colleges, enclosed next the street
with a lofty long wall of free-stone, with embattlements or copings of
the same; the entrance to it was through a neat and lofty arch in the
walls, now worked up.
The Abbot of West Derham held here, in the reign of Henry III.
the 3d part of a fourth of a fee, given to that house by Hubert Ruffin
and his son; and in the 20th of Edward III. it was held of that
Abbot, and at the Dissolution was granted to Sir Thomas Bedingfeld. This abbey, with the priory of St. Winwaloy in Werham, were
taxed in 1428, for their temporalties here, at 46s. 8d.
Almand of Southacre held in the reign of Henry III. the 12th part
of the 4th part of a fee, which in the 20th of Edward III. was
held by the Prior of Westacre, and was granted by King Henry VIII.
to Sir Thomas Bedingfeld: in 1428, the prior was taxed for this, at
The Abbot of Wendling, John le Man, Richard Methwold, and
Robert Costeyn, held also the 4th part of a 4th part of a fee in the
20th of Edw. III. which Thomas le Warr formerly held; in the 3d of
Henry IV. it was held by the Abbot, and the heirs of John Methwold;
these also were granted to Sir Thomas Bedingfeld, and for them a
fee-farm rent of 3l. 6s. 8d. is paid.
Godric the King's sewer held also here, at the time of the grand
survey, 60 acres, part of his manor of Goderston, and is there valued; (fn. 42)
it was held by a freeman and a villein, in the Confessor's time; these
60 acres were a few years past in several hands, but on the enclosing
of the town and commons about 24 years past, were purchased by Sir
About two miles east of the town, (fn. 43) in the road to Cley, a little before you come to Langwade Cross (part of which is still standing on
the greenway, which is the boundary between Oxburgh and Cley) was
a house of lepers; (fn. 44) Thomas Salmon, chaplain of Oxburgh in 1380,
gave by will to the Chapel of St. Mary at Oxburgh, 3s. 4d. and to
the lazars at Langwade 6d. There was an ancient family of this
name, who took their name from the long-wade or passage here, over
the river. Ralph and Robert de Langwade gave by deed sans date,
lands to West-Derham abbey.
The lete is in the lord of the manor.
The church of Oxburgh is dedicated to St. John the Evangelist;
it is a large and regular edifice consisting of middle, north, and south
isles, in length from the west door to the chancel about 88 feet, and
including all the isles, in breadth about 53 feet; the chancel is about
46 feet long, and 21 broad, the whole is of flint-stone, &c. covered
with lead, and seems to have been founded about the reign of King
Edward I. At the west end stands a foursquare tower of curious
workmanship of flint, with quoins and battlements of free-stone, on
this is raised a lofty octangular spire all of free-stone throughout, the
whole being 150 feet in height. In this tower hang five musical bells,
the first thus inscribed, Omnia sint ad Gloriam Dei, 1610. The
third, Te per Orbem Terrarum Sancta confietur Ecclesia, Patrem immensæ Majestatis 1582, and on this is the figure of St. Edmund.
The fourth, Venerandum tuum verum, et unicum Filium, 1582. The
fifth, O Christe, Rex Gloriæ Es Tu, 1586: here also is a clock,
(which strikes on the bell hanging on the outside of the spire,) with
a dial-plate on the west-side of the tower. At the west door, as you
enter, lie two old grave-stones, one on the right hand, the other on
the left, with plain crosses on them; also a third with a cross flory,
and serves for the uppermost step, as you descend into the church; in
memory, most probably, of some of the family of the Weylands, lords
of the town, and founders of the church. The Lady Cecilia de Weyland, by her will dated in 1384, bequeathed her body to be buried in
the churchyard before the west door. (fn. 45) On each side of which is a
niche of stone-work for images. On the pavement of this church lie
several gravestones, deprived of their brasses: on one before the screen
of the chancel, with a brass plate,
Orate pro anima Domini Johannis Bkome Capellan' qui obiit
rrb Die julii Ano Dni' M. ccccciiii, Cuius, &c.
He was chaplain of Sparrow's chantry in this church; and by his
will dated 16th of April, 1501, bequeathed his body to be buried here,
near the altar of the crucifix, and gave all his lands and tenements in
the town and fields of Oxburgh, to the keeping of his anniversary on
Monday in Easter-Week for ever, placing one herse over his sepulchre,
and finding two lights on it, of one pound of wax, to burn in time of
exequiæ and mass performing on the day of the commemoration of his
death; four torches to burn before his sepulchre, and to find one light
to burn before the image of the Holy-Trinity in the chancel every
festival day in time of divine service, and one penny offering at the
mass on the commemoration of his death; to the increase and maintenance of the green torches in the said church 3s. 4d. to the finding
and maintaining the bason light in the said church, hanging before
the crucifix 3s. 4d. and to pay the Rome-shot and candle-silver of the
whole village for ever. He appoints that when all his feoffees but four
were dead, a new feoffment should be made to 16 or 12 of the best
and honestest men of the parish. (fn. 46)
The pulpit and desk are of neat plain oak; round the sounding board
in letters of gold. "This Pulpit and Desk together with a Clock,
was made by the Gift of Robert Shales, Gent. who died May
20, 1702, aged 47." Before the desk stands a very large brass
eagle, supported by three lions, the whole being about 6 feet in height,
Orate pro anima Chome Hyyyyng (fn. 47) quondam Rectoris de Dar-
The roof of the nave is supported by octangular stone pillars forming 12 large arches, 6 on a side, with windows over them. In the
window over the fourth arch on the south side is
Arg. on a cross gul. five escallops or, Weyland.
And in that of the fourth arch on the north:
Orate pro animab' Dni' Roberti Meyland et Cecilie Vroris
Here is a mural monument of marble, on which is this,
M. S. Thomæ Hewar Gen.
Siste Viator, et percontare paulisper, providus
Ego, et pariter migravi non hic solus,
Opera me sequuntur Comitem, nam Ecclesiæ
Ruinis prospexi, in Ævum prius simul
Et Victum et Vestitum Legavi
Pauperibus, Divitibus et Levamen et
Exemplum. Vixi Annos 60 Æque
Deo et Hominibus charus, tandem
Pie occubui 16 die Mensis Febr.
Anno Dom' 1625, et hic demum
Recumbo suaviter, secundum
Salvatoris Adventum expectans.
Vale et fac similiter.
Moved with Compassion, Love and Zeal, the Store
God gave, I left unto the Church and Poor.
My Dust to Dust, my hope wing'd Soul aspires
To Heaven, the Receptacle it desires.
Where I shall see my Issue and persever
In Charity with his Elect for ever.
Such is his Promise (in the Word) that saith
Love dy's not and the Just shall live by Faith.
Et in hâc spe acquiesco.
Posuere hoc Oppidani de Oxboro,
Pietatis et Gratitudinis ergo.
This gentleman was buried near this monument, and in his last will
he desired the same; where by the gravestones, and the arms thereon,
he perceived some of his ancestours (the Hewars) to be interred.
On the pavement lies a marble in memory of Abraham Younge,
Gent. who departed February 26, 1719, aged 70, and of Catharine
his wife, who departed April 16, 1708, aged 52. Another in memory of Jane, wife of Richard Martin, who died 1st of February,
The east end of this isle is of different work from the other parts of
it; the roof is advanced, has a large window, and was, as I take it, the
Chapel of St. Mary, the effigies of the Virgin with the child Jesus
may be still observed, also an holy water stop, makes part of the pavement; to this isle is annexed a large porch.
On the pavement of the north isle are some gravestones also with
their brasses reaved, about the midst of the isle, one very antique,
which has been ornamented like the above, observed in the south isle:
the inscription that runs round this was in French, as appears from
the incision for the brass letters, these two words being with difficulty
legible, DE CETTE VILLE. and probably was in memory of Sir
John de Weyland, (or his brother Sir Edmund,) lord of the town. At
the east end was a chapel dedicated to St. Anne, her image is said to
be on the north side of the church; the window here has been curiously painted, now quite shattered, on the summit have been the
effigies of the Apostles, &c. St. Peter, and St. John the Baptist, are
still remaining: in a pannel are the remains of one lying sick in a
bed, and another administering something to her relief in a cup. In
another pannel the figure of an elderly person with a prolix beard,
bare-headed in a close blue vest, and a gown or cloak of scarlet, with
a girdle or, and a large purse hanging to it; also one on his left hand,
in a white coat with a long cape or cowl hanging behind, with a cap
or, and a red belt; also the figure of a third person on his right hand
representing a shepherd in a russet coat, with a girdle round it; near
him are sheep feeding, and a dog couchant; and on a label,
—ad—cam Porta et Saccifica.
coming from the first and principal figure.
This isle has a porch, the roof of which has been painted; over
the door as you enter the church is a pedestal, and on the pavement
are the remains of an old marble gravestone, probably for the founder,
and it is covered with lead; the whole isle is of different workmanship,
and more modern than the rest of the church.
In the chancel hangs a table thus inscribed,
Benefactors to this Church and Poor.
Thomas Hewar, Gent. by his last Will dated at Castle Rising in
Norfolk, September 12, 1619, and proved there, March 25, 1625, gave
a Messuage or Mansion-House, with a Barn, Stable, a Pasture Close
and Hempland thereto adjoining, containing by estimation about 5
Acres, also 83 Acres of Arable Lands in several Pieces dispersed thro'
the Fields, and late inclosed Grounds of OXBURGH; all which is
leased to Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Baronet, at the Yearly Rent of
20 li. he making good all Repairs, and paying all Taxes whatsoever;
one third Part of this, is to be laid out in the Repairs and Ornaments
of the said Church, the Residue to be divided amongst the most Necessitous Poor; the Rent of this Estate is always paid to the Feoffees
on St. Thomas's Day.
|Rev. Mr. Charles Parkin, Rector of Oxburgh.||Feoffees for
|Mr. Thomas Young of Oxburgh,|
|Mr. Robert Collison late of Oxburgh,|
|Mr. Thomas Sutton late of Oxburgh,|
Mrs. Mary Hammond in the Reign of King Charles II gave a
Pasture Close in the Parish, of about 3 acres, now leased to Sir Henry
Bedingfeld at 50s. per Ann. which is given to the Poor on the
25th of July.
Mr. Yorker, Rector of Cockley Cley, gave 10 Acres of Land in
this Parish, now leased to Sir Henry Bedingfeld at 3 li. per Annum.
This is given for 5 Years to the Poor of Cley, and every Sixth Year
to the Poor of Oxburgh.
Sir Henry Bedingfeld pays also at Lady Day 2 li. Yearly, for
Lands belonging to the Township of Oxburgh; this is called the
Walk-Money, and is then given to the Poor.
Go thou and Do likewise, for he that giveth to the Poor, lendeth to
the Lord. 1735.
The chancel is separated from the church by a lofty screen, which
with the pannels has been curiously painted; over this are the King's
arms: as you enter, on the pavement lies a gray marble stone, with
the portraiture of a priest robed, &c. with a label,
Jesu Fili Dei. miserere Me.
On which (as I find from an old account) was this epitaph.
Orate pro anima Johannis her quonbam Rectoris istins Ecs
elesie qui obiit ro die Mensis Octob' Ano Dni' Mcccclrr. Cuius
anime propitietur Dens.
On the same pavement is a little gray marble stone, with a rim of
brass thus inscribed,
Moc suc Marmoceolo iacet Withelmus Schanchey, Chome
Bedingfyld Militis quondam famularis ac olim isra pcr vene
pulsans Drgana, Vigint' Ann. ruius animam, Deus ad alta Poli
probehat Astra. Don. Dovemb' Ano Oni' M.ccccc Vicessimo
Against the north wall of the chancel is a neat mural monument of
marble, ornamented with two marble pilasters of the Ionick order, 2
piles of books, and on them 2 lamps with flames of gold; on the summit
is an urn, festoons, and 2 lamps, &c.
Hic situs est Henricus Meriton, A. M. qui Hadstochiæ
in agro Essexiensi, Cantabrigiæ inter Magdalenses educatus, et
per Sexaginta et amplius Annos, Parochiæ hujus Rector vigilantissimus, quam nactus est Provinciam antiquâ fide, eximia Pietate,
atque egregiâ rerum Sacrarum Scientiâ, implevit, ornavit. Indefessus Veritatis Indagator, Assertorque strenuus, et jam arduis et
difficilibus temporibus perniciosos, Romanensium, aliorumque
Errores, et Fraudes, perspicaci et firmo animo detexit et labefactavit, obiit 30 Januarij 1707.
At the bottom is this shield,
Az. on a chevron or, three roses gules, and a canton ermine,
And under the urn above,
Impensis Johannis Meriton filij Henrici.
On the north side is the vestry, built of flint, &c. and covered
with lead. At the end of the south wall is a neat wrought and
enarched seat of stone for the bishop, priest, and deacon, in the cornish,
which is embattled, are little angels gilt with gold; under the arch
have been small shields, two only are now visible, one has a cross, the
other the shield or emblem of the Trinity: on the summit of this seat
there seems to have been stations for 2 images; the window here has
been finely painted, on the top are several of the prophets, &c.
Jeremias with this label, Patrem invocabitis, &c. 3 ch. v. 19. Isaias
with this, Ecce Virgo concipiet, &c. 7 ch. 14 v. Baruch, Hic est Deus
noster, &c. 3 ch. 35 v. and Moses, In principium erat Verbum, &c.
Gen. 1 ch. 1 v.
The east window is very large and stately, rising as high as the
summit of the roof, in the small pannels above; the 9 orders of
Angels have been painted, four only of these figures are now left,
with their names under them, angels, archangels, virtues, seraphims,
&c. (fn. 48) In the middle pannels have been other figures, by the robing
of one, on which is the letter M, in this character, and a crown over
it, it is plain the Virgin Mary was here figured; in the lower pannels,
was the history of our Saviour's birth, and the Wisemen worshipping
him, and their offerings, his resurrection, &c. On the great pannels of
the other chancel windows have been the Apostles with labels of the
Creed, &c. The roof is impannelled, on it are carved many fanciful
works, viz. men plaining and boring of wood, saws, hammers, mallets,
squares, wimbles, compasses, cups, &c. our Saviour's name in old characters, a shield ornamented with a cross, crowns of thorns, nails,
spears, &c. to represent the crucifixion: one shield with a cross botony, another with the arms of Derham abbey, (but the colours are
now faded,) az. three bucks or deers heads caboshed or, the lowest
pierced with a crosier, on the summit of which is a cross-pattee, or;
this church being in the patronage of that abbey, a third quarterly,
arg. an eagle displayed gul. beaked, &c. or, in the first and fourth,
Bedingfeld, and lozengé arg. and gul. in the second and third,
Todenham, impaling arg. three Catharine wheels sable, in a bordure
ingrailed gules, Scot of Scot's-hall in Kent.
Between the church and chancel is an arch of stone for the saintsbell; south of the chancel, and at the east end of the south isle, is a
very beautiful chapel of free-stone, with buttresses of the same, and
separated from the chancel and the south isle, with stone-work about
4 feet high, on this is raised a large arch or covering of brick-earth
curiously moulded, burnt and whitened, on which are several pilasters,
with capitals of the Corinthian order, cherubs, lamps, vases, &c. neatly
executed; the space between the body and the arch or covering, is
guarded by iron rails, on the roof, which is of oak and covered with
lead, are the arms of Beding feld and Todenham, Weyland, Scot, and
vert, a chevron ermine between three rams tripping arg. Wetherby,
and also Shelton.
Margaret Bedingfeld, relict of Sir Edmund, Knight of the Bath,
was the foundress; by her will dated 12th of January, 1513, she bequeaths her body to be buried in the church of Oxburgh, before the
image of the Trinity, where I will a Chapel to be erected.
Against the south side, is a large altar monument of marble, &c.
two pillars of the Corinthian order with their capitals gilt with gold,
support a canopy or covering, whereon stand three shields. In the
Bedingfeld, erm. a spread eagle gul. beaked and peded or,
with h s quarterings,
Lozenge, arg. and gules, Todenham.
Arg. a fess between two chevronels gul. Peche.
Checque or, and gul. on a fess az. three escallops of the first,
Rochester. (fn. 49)
Arg. a fess sable, between three crescents gul. Pateshull.
Arg. on a cross gul. five escalops, or. Weyland.
Arg. an unicorn seiant sable, Herling.
Paly of six or and gul. a chief ermine, Jenny.
Arg. a chevron gul. between three lions rampant sab. Bourn
Per pale arg. and gul. Waldgrave.
Per chevron embattled gul. and or, three lions rampant counterchanged. Wyfold. (fn. 50)
Azure a chevron between three eagles heads erased, or. Claworth. (fn. 51)
Crest, a demi-eagle or.
On the right of this, stands a shield with the arms of Bedingfeld
and Todenham, quarterly, impaling azure a chevron ermine, between
three escallops arg. Townsend, and arg. a lion rampant, and
crusuly of cross croslets gules, Brews, quarterly.
On the left is the shield of Townsend, with his quarterings, viz.
gul. a chevron or between three de-lises arg. Haywell.
Brewse as above, Ufford, and gul. a cross arg. in a bordure ingrailed or. Carbonell.
Arg. a chevron gul. between three cross croslets fitché azure.
On the wall-piece is this inscription in letters of gold:
Casta Bedingfeldo Comes, hic Katharina Marito est,
Lustris Viva decem, quæ fuit ante Comes.
Prole Virum Conjux, Vir adauxit honoribus illam,
Factus post multos Nominis hujus Eques.
Inde Satellitium sumpsit, Turrimq; regendam,
Pars a Consilijs Una, Maria tuis.
Privatus Senium, Christoque, Sibique dicavit,
Vir pius, et veræ Religionis amans.
Hospitio largus, miserisque suisque benignus,
Ad Mortem et Morbi tædia, fortis erat.
Round this inscription are several knots, and horses fetterlocks, or,
(badges made use of by this family,) the fetterlock was the badge of
the house of York, and might by some grant have been given to the
Bedingfelds for their attachment to it; and there was a particular
room (as appears from an old inventory of Oxburgh-hall) called by
the name of the Fetterlock. This badge was devised by Edmund
Duke of York, fifth son to King Edw. 3d, locked, as one should say, (fn. 52)
for he was far from the inheritance: and was given by King Edward
IV. unlocked and somewhat open or to his second son Richard Duke
of York; so fond was that King of this badge or device, that the
apartments of the prebendaries of Windsor were built by him in this
form, and the said King made use of it himself. Hall has a draught
of a fetterlock with a falcon in it, before his History of the Life of that
King; and Edmund of Langley Duke of York, when he rebuilt Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, made the highest keep in the
same form. Camden says that the aforesaid Edmund bare also a falcon in a fetterlock, implying he was Locked up from all hope and
possibility of the kingdom, when his brethren began to aspire thereunto; whereupon he asked his sons on a time, when he saw them beholding this device set up in a window, what was Latin for a fetterlock?
whereat when the young gentlemen studied, the father said, well if
you cannot tell me I will tell you: hic, hæc, hoc, taceatis; (fn. 53) as advising
them to be silent and quiet, and therewithal said, Yet God knoweth
what may come to pass hereafter. This his great grandchild, King
Edward IV. reported, when he commanded that his youngest son,
Richard Duke of York, should use this device with the fetterlock open.
There is no date to this monument erected to the memory of Sir
Henry Bedingfeld, Knt. Captain of the guards, Governour of the
Tower of London, and privy counsellor to Queen Mary, who was
buried here, as appears from the Register, on the 24th of August,
1583, and his lady on the 7th of December 1581.
Against the north wall of the said chapel is a large and lofty monument of black and white marble, resting on the pavement. On the
summit is an urn of black marble ornamented with festoons, &c.;
below that, two shields supported by two angels, on one of which is
Under this Monument lyeth the Body of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, the 17th Knight of his Family, eminent for his Loyalty to
his Prince, and Service of his Countrey, in the Time of the Rebellion he was kept three Years Prisoner in the Tower, and great
Part of his Estate was sold by the Rebels, the rest sequestred
during his Life. He had two Wifes, the first Mary Daughter to
William Lord Howard of the North, by whom he had one Son,
who dyed without Issue: His second Wife was, Elizabeth
Daughter of Peter Houghton, Esq; by whom he had 5 Sons and
6 Daughters, he died November 22, Ano Dni' 1657, Æt. 70, and
On the other shield,
Here lyeth Elizabeth Wife of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Knt. and
Daughter of Peter Houghton of Houghton-Tower in Lancashire,
Esq; she dyed on the 11th of April Ano Dni' 1662.
Beati Mortui qui in Domino moriuntur. Eccles'
Below these, are two shields with arms,
Bedingfeld, and sable three bars arg. Houghton.
On the lower part of this mural monument are two other shields,
one with the arms of Bedingfeld, the other of Paston, and this
Under this Monument lyeth the Body of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, the first Baronet of the Family, made by the especial
Favour of King Charles the II. He was Tall and Comely,
endow'd with rare Parts both Natural and acquir'd, He serv'd
King Charles I. in all the Rebellion, and till the Restoration was
a great Sufferer in his Person and Estate. From which Time to
his Death, he liv'd a most exemplary Life, beloved and admir'd
for his Virtue and Wisdom, his Death was extremely Lamented,
which happen'd on the 24th of February Ano Dni' 1684, Æt. 70
and 5 Months. He married the Daughter and Heiress of Edward Paston, Esq; by whom he had 7 Sons and 6 Daughters.
Here lyeth the Body of Dame Margaret, the only Child of
Edward Paston, of Horton in the County of Gloucester, Esq; &
the only Wife of Sir Henry Bedingfeld here also interr'd, a Person of extraordinary Parts, Piety and Prudence, who after 50
Years enjoyment of perfect Felicity in the Married State, pass'd
18 Years Widowhood, in an absolute Retreat, in the constant
Exercise of her Devotions, and dayly Distribution of Charity,
and departed this Life, January 14, 1702, Aged 84 Years, having
first erected this Monument to the Memory of her Dear and deserving Husband.
Against the east wall of the chapel is a neat mural monument of
black and white marble veined with red; on the summit is an urn with
a flame of gold; at the bottom is a death's head between two cherubims, and the whole is ornamented with festoons, and the arms of
Bedingfeld, also Bedingfeld impaling sable six swallows arg.
Arundel. Bedingfeld impaling Howard.
On the body is this inscription in letters of gold,
Beneath this Monument is interr'd the most Virtuous and
Pious Lady, Elizabeth, youngest Daughter of Sir John Arundel
of Lanbern in Cornwall, and second Wife to Sir Henry Bedingfeld of Oxburgh, Knt. and Bart. who in the 35th Year of her Age,
departed this Life, on the 13th of April 1690, leaving an only
Son and 3 Daughters.
Requiescat in Pace.
Hic jacet Domina Anna Bedingfeld filia et Hæres Caroli
Howard, Comitis de Berkshire ex Dorotheâ Conjuge Uxor
Henrici Bedingfeld Equitis Aurati, quæ Pietate in Deum, Charitate in Egenos, Equitate in omnes insignis, obijt die 19 Septembris 1682, Ætatis suæ 32.
Requiescat in Pace.
Here lyeth the Body of Sir Henry Bedingfeld Son of Sir
Henry Bedingfeld by Dame Margaret Paston, he was a
Person of great Worth and Honour, and particularly eminent for
his great Hospitality, he had two Wifes, the first Ann Howard,
only Child then living, of Charles Lord Viscount Andover,
and afterwards Earl of Berkshire, by whom he had no issue;
the last Wife was Elizabeth, youngest Daughter of Sir John
Arundel, by whom he has left one Son and two Daughters, and
departed this Life, September 14, 1704, Aged 68.
Requiescat in Pace.
On the pavement near to the east end, lies an old marble gravestone, on which was the effigies of a person in brass, &c. now reaved.
About the middle lies a gravestone:
Orate pro anima Thomæ Marwood, qui obdormivit in Domino 26 Octob' 1718, Pauperes in eo, Patrem, Domus Bedingfeldiana, Amicum verum, et Benefactorem insignem, perdiderunt.
Requiescat in Pace.
On the south side in the church-yard, is a black marble of a very
large size, on which is this;
Hic jacet Dionisius Shales Generosus, qui obijt September
2 1689. Ano Æt. 71. Sub eôdem Marmore jacet Filia ejus
Maria quæ obijt Febr' 18, 1696–7, Ano Æt. 40.
On the North Side of this Stone lyeth the Body of Alice the
Wife of Dionise Shales, who departed this Life May the 20th
1702, Aged 83 Years. Here lyeth the Body of Robert Shales, (fn. 54)
second Sone of Dionise and Alice, who died May 20th 1702,
Aged 47 Years.
Dionisius Shales, Gent obijt 1723.
About the beginning of the reign of King Edward I. we find from
Norwich Domesday, that Sir William de Odynsels was lord of the
town and patron of the church; the Rector then had a mansion-house
with 15 acres of glebe; the rectory was valued at 18 marks, procurations and synodals 7s. 7d. ob. St. Peter's-pence one shilling.
Henry de Hastings (fn. 55) occurs rector in the 57th of Henry III. and
in the 14th of Edward I. one of the same name was rector of Stratford on Avon in Warwickshire in 1316; and the lord and patron of this
town being of that county, it is probable he was one and the same
Richard de la Coppe; he was presented by the Lady Margaret
Grey, widow of John de Grey Lord of Rotherfield, daughter and
coheir of William Odyngsells, Knt. of Maxstoke in Warwickshire; he
occurs rector in the 4th and 5th of Edward III. (fn. 56)
William Breton, resigned in 1337.
1337, Nicholas Oliver. Sir John de Grey.
1343, Alan de Retford. Ditto. Oliver exchanged with Retford,
for the church of Malberthorp in Lincolnshire.
1366, Peter Bray. The Lady Avice de Grey, widow of Sir John
de Grey Baron of Rotherfield, daughter and coheir to John Lord
Stephen de Holt, he was also rector of Barnham-Broome in Norfolk, and in 1383, vicar-general to the Bishop of Norwich. (fn. 57) In his
will he desires to be buried in the church of St. Giles at Norwich.
1386, John Elvered. Robert de Fordham rector of Thirston, Edmund Gurnay, Nicholas de Massingham, Hugh de Holland, John de
Methelwold, and John Chante of East-Walton. By his will, dated at
Oxburgh, 1st of October, and proved the 16th of the said month 1416,
he desires to be buried in the church of St. John the Evangelist of
Oxburgh, gives one Manual and 8 marks, to buy a Gradual for that
church, to every order of friars at Lynn 20s.; to John Ardern for his
stipend to pray for him and his benefactors 3 years 27 marks; to the
Abbess of Marham 6s. 8d.; and to every nun there, 20d.; to Crabhouse 20s.; to the House of Hales 13s. 4d.; to the House of
Bromhill to repair it, 6 quarters of barley; to Buckton new tower
3s. 4d. (fn. 58)
1416, William Whytemete, presented by the Abbot and convent of
Edmund Gurnay and Hugh de Holand gave the advowson of this
church to that abbey. They seem to have been trustees for that purpose. In the 41st of Edward III. a fine was levied between Sir William Crosier, Knt. querent, and John Lord Grey of Rotherfield, defendent, of the advowson of this church, conveyed to Sir William; and
in the 46th of Edw. III. a fine was levied between Reginald de Shirland, &c. querents, and Sir William Crosier, Knt. defendent, of this
advowson, conveyed to Reginald, &c. In the 50th of the said King,
a patent was granted to appropriate this church to West-Derham; but
Henry Spencer, the active and warlike Bishop of Norwich, who was no
friend to the monastick order, would not consent to it. And before
this, in the 35th of the said King, an inquisition "Ad quod damnum,
&c." was brought, whereon the jury present that it would not be to
the King's prejudice, if John de Grey Lord Rotherfeld granted the advowson to the prior and brethren of St. John of Jerusalem in England.
Whytemete resigned this rectory, for that of Yuxham in Norfolk; he
was buried at the east end of the north isle of the church of Upwell in
Norfolk, where he was a soul or chantry priest; on his gravestone
there, is this inscription on a brass plate,
Nic iacet Dns' Millms' Mhntemete quondam Rector be Mars
ham, qui obiit bii bie Mensis Scptemb' An Dni Mccccfffii,
cuius anime propittietur Deus, Amen.
1429, John Saresson, alias Wygenhale, doctor in the decrees, on the
28 of December 1425, was presented by the convent of Wendlyng in
Norfolk, to Yaxham, and exchanged that, with Whytemete, for the
rectory of Oxburgh, to which he was presented by the convent of West
Derham; on the 26th of October, 1447, he was instituted into the
prebend of St. Mary's Mass in the collegiate church of St. Mary in
the Fields at Norwich, collated by the Bishop of Norwich; and in
May 1452, to the archdeaconry of Sudbury; (fn. 59) was also Abbot of WestDerham, rector of Massingham Magna in Norfolk, and vicar-general
to the Bishop of Norwich 1436, and Dean of St. Mary college, alias
chapel in the Field college, at Norwich, John de Wethamstede, Abbot
of St. Alban's, calls this Wygenhale, "Vir altæ discretionis, et morum
gravitate pollens." (fn. 60)
1448, John Wellys, L. L. D. ob. The convent of Wendlyng.
1451 Richard Cranwell. Ditto.
1446, John Kerr, or Carr, buried in the chancel, in the middle of
the quire, as is above shewn; he resigned the church of Newton Flotman, Norfolk, in 1445.
1470, John Wilton. Ditto.
Thomas Harvey occurs rector in 1472, ob.
1470, John Gardener, chaplain, buried in St. John the Evangelist's
church, before the image of St. Paul, to keep up the green-torches, 2s.;
to the gilds of Corpus Christi, Holy-Trinity, St. Mary, St. John Baptist, and St. Peter 2s. each; and the other 2 gilds of All-Saints, and
St. Thomas the Martyr 12d. each. So that now there were no less
than 7 gilds in this parish.
1501, Ambrose Ede, doctor of decrees; he had been vicar of Methwold, Norfolk, was principal official or chancellor to the Bishop of
Norwich in 1500, died rector of this church, and of Caston, near
Breccles in Norfolk, and master of Thompson college in Norfolk.
1502, John Forster, ob. John, Abbot, and convent of West-Derham. He was archdeacon of Huntington, prebend of Moreton Magna,
in the church of Hereford.
1512, Robert Bedingfeld, second son of Sir Edmund Bedingfeld of Oxburgh, was pensioner of Corpus Christi college in Cambridge,
and a benefactor thereto, by making the west windows of the building,
leading from the college, to Bennet church (which was then used as a
chapel for the college) at his own charge. In 1537 he was rector of
Caysterton Parva, in Lincoln diocese, and was instituted rector of
Ereswell in 1533, being buried in Oxburgh church in 1539, July 19.
1539, Edmund Warter, alias Tofts, presented by Richard Warden, on a grant of the presentation hac vice from the abbot, &c.; at
the Dissolution he was Abbot of Hagreby in Lincolnshire, and on the
surrender of that house, had a pension from the Crown of 16l. per
ann. which he enjoyed in 1553, and was also rector of Thurlethorp St.
Helens in Lincolnshire.
1554, Edmund Cosyn, S. T. B. on the deprivation of Warter; (fn. 61)
presented by Francis Baldero, Gent.
On the Dissolution of the abbey of West-Derham, the advowson
of this church was given to Edward Lord Clinton in the 6th of
Edward VI. to be held of the King, as of the manor of East-Greenwich
in free-soccage; and in the said year, the aforesaid lord sold it to William Breton of London, Gent. who conveyed it soon after, to Francis
Baldero, Gent. of Redgrave in Suffolk, from whom it came to Edmund Dethick, Esq. of Wyrmegay, and then to Henry Reynolds, Esq.
of Belstede in Suffolk, who sold it to John Hethe of Lynn Regis, and
of Kypier in the county of Durham, who conveyed it to John Chetham
of Livermere in Suffolk, Gent. on the 22d of May, 19th of Elizabeth,
and Chetham conveyed it to Edmund Bedingfeld 4th of August, 26th
of Elizabeth, and Sir Henry Bedingfeld, 18th of Charles I. to Henry
Meriton, clerk, of Stilton in Huntingtonshire, which Henry left it to
John Meriton, his son, rector here, and he gave it to his widow for
life, after whose death it went to John Meriton, clerk, his son and
heir, who sold it to Caius College in Cambridge, and that society
now hath the patronage.
1558, Edmund Warter iterum; (fn. 62) he was deprived 15th of March
1553, being then a married priest, divorced and suspended from celebrating of divine service: and on the accession of Queen Elizabeth,
was restored to his right; he resigned before his death. By his will,
dated 27th of January, 1584, he wills to be buried in the middle alley
of Oxburgh, by Joan his late wife, and he was accordingly buried 15th
of January, 1585, and must have been a very old man, if we consider
him an abbot before the Dissolution. In the 11th of Elizabeth, one
Edmund Warter was instituted to Heringby in Norfolk.
1579, Thomas Scott, A. M. The Queen by lapse. One of the
same name was rector of Northwold about the same same time.
1581, Thomas Nuce, S. T. B. Thomas Chetham, Esq.; he was
fellow of Pembroke-hall, rector of Cley All-Saints in Norfolk, vicar
of Gasely in Suffolk, and prebendary of Ely. He lies buried in
the chancel of Gasely, with this epitaph on a black marble gravestone,
Here who lyes if you Enquere,
'Tis Thomas Nuce his Sepulchre.
Vicar of this Parish late,
Whose Soul enjoys a happy State.
And in fullness shall of Tyme,
Re-assume this Earthly Slyme.
By his Side, now as in Life,
Lyes the Body of his Wife,
And who in a Number even,
Five Sons brought him, Daughters Seven.
To the World, they living dyde,
So dyeing, livinge they abide.
He dy'd the 8th Day of November 1617, She dy'd the 12th of
1583, Thomas Scott, ob. probably the same with the aforesaid Thomas Scott, and rector of Northwold.
1607, John Sherwin, A. M. Sir Henry Bedingfeld. He was
rector of Ickburgh, and of Beacham-well St. John.
1616, John Sherwin, A. M. ob. Sir Hen. Bedingfeld. Vicar
also of Stow Bardolph.
1641, William Scott, A. M. ob. Ditto.
1647, Henry Meriton, A. B. ob. Robert Williamson, John
Watts, and Robert Clerk. He was also rector of Boughton.
1707, John Meriton, A. M. (fn. 63) rector of Boughton and Caldecote,
ob. buried here in 1707. John Novell, clerk, trustee for Meriton.
1717, September 25, the Rev. Mr. Charles Parkin, A. M. late of
Pembroke-hall in Cambridge, the present rector, (fn. 64) was presented
by Mrs. Mary Meriton, relict of the last rector, and holds it united
to the rectory of Boughton, to whom I am obliged for his great
pains and industry in the account of this town, hundred, &c.
Parkin, vert, a chevron between three ostrich's feathers, arg. in
a bordure or.
Crest, a demi-woman proper, holding an ostrich's feather arg.
Motto, Nisi Christus, Nemo.
From the ancient wills of persons here buried, we may learn several
particulars relating to the Gilds, images, lights, &c. belonging formerly to this church.
1420, Nicholas Blaunche, rector of Shingham, was buried in Oxburgh churchyard, and gave to Shingham church, a chalice and patin,
and a legacy to St. Mary's altar, in Oxburgh church, &c.
Richard Reed of Oxburgh wills, in 1438, to be buried before the
great crucifix of our Lord in the church of Oxburgh, and gives a
legacy to Corpus Christi gild; this gild had 3 acres of land in the
field of Oxburgh.
Thomas Wayprow, in 1447, gives legacies to St. Mary's altar, and
St. Thomas's altar.
Robert Gelour of Oxburgh, by will dated 30th of October, 1472, desires to be buried on the north side of the church of St. John the
Apostle, &c. of Oxburgh, before the image of St. Anne there, gives to
the gild of Corpus Christi 6s. 8d.; to the light before the crucifix 11s.;
to that before the sepulchre 2s. 4d.: to the green light 13s. 4d.; to Sir
William the priest xxd.; to John Blome, chaplain 12d.; and to Sir
Thomas, stipendiary priest there 8d.; Thomas Harvey, rector, and
John Hewer, executor. Regr. Gelour, p. 1.
Richard Sparwe or Sparrowe, in 1412, desires to be buried before the image of the crucifix standing on the south side of the church
of Oxburgh, bequeaths legacies to the gilds of Corpus Christi, and St.
Thomas, to the torches, and towards the maintenance of the 15 waxcandles burning before the image of St. Mary, in that church; he also
gives 6 acres and 3 roods of free land in the fields of Stow Bedon called Burgh Crofts, to the maintenance of a wax-candle to burn before
the image of the crucifix in time of divine service. Regr. Caston,
John Rowning, by will dated in 1500, desires to be buried in the
church of Oxburgh; Item, I bequeath to Mary my Wife 4 Acres of
Land, and 4 Fete more or lece, lying at the Mill-Hill, for Terme of
her Life, to the Intent that she shall keepe for my Sowl, and all Crystian Sowls, a competent Yereday Yerly during her Life; and after, to
the Disposition of the Church Revyse of Oxburgh then beyng, they to
occupy it, to the Beholfe of the said Church, provided alway that my
Yer-Day be Yerly observed and kept. Regr. Spyltimer, p. 285.
The Lady Margaret Bedingfeld, by will dated 12 January, 1513,
gives to the gilds of the Holy Trinity, St. Thomas, and CorpusChristi
here, 6s. 8d. to each, and legacies to the high altar of several neighbouring churches.
They were called gilds, from the Saxon word [Gild] or [Geld] which
signifies money, because a gild is a society or fraternity, associating
themselves either upon the account of charity, religion, or trade, and
they contributed money, goods, and often lands, for the support of
their common charges, and are said to be common, even in the Saxon
times. These gilds had their frequent meetings, and their grand
annual, on the day of the saint to whom they were dedicated, and
maintained a priest or priests, to sing mass, and celebrate divine service, for the souls of the King and Queen, and for the souls of the
living and dead of their fraternity; from hence the several companies in cities and corporations had their beginning, and the chief
hall of the city of London, and that of Norwich, &c. is called at
this day Gild-Hall: license was generally granted from the Crown
to found them. They consisted of a custos, alderman, or master,
and as many persons men and women, in the township or neighbourhood as thought fit to be of the fraternity; and the warden or alderman, with the major part of the society were empowered to choose
annually a warden and other officers, for the government of the same;
they as a body corporate, had power to purchase lands, &c. for the
maintenance for their chaplains, who were to pray at the altar belonging to them in the parish church: divers of the nobility, bishops,
and other eminent persons thought it no dishonour to be admitted
into them, which admission was sued for with great reverence; and
an oath was taken to be good and true to the masters of the gilds, and
to all the brethren. We have an account of a festival of the gild of
the Holy Cross at Abingdon in Berkshire: this fraternity held their
feast yearly on the 3d of May, the Invention of the Holy-Cross, and
then they used to have twelve priests to sing a dirige, for which they
had given them four-pence a piece; they had also 12 minstrels, who
had 2s. 3d. besides their diet and horsemeat. At one of these feasts
23d of Henry the Sixth, they had six calves, valued at 2s. 2d. a piece,
16 lambs, 12d. a piece, 80 capons, 3d. a piece, 80 geese, 2d. ob. a
piece, 800 eggs which cost 5d. the hundred, and many marrowbones, creame, and floure, besides what theyre servants and others
brought in; and pageants, plays, and May-games to captivate the
senses of the zealous beholders, and to allure the people to the
greater liberality; (for they did not make their feasts without profit,
for those that sat at dyner pay'd one rate, and those that stood pay'd
another.) These plays were histories of the Old and New Testament,
the persons therein mentioned being brought upon the stage, whom
the poet according to his fancy, brings in, talking to one another; a
specimen of one of these plays, called Corpus Christi, may be seen
in Stephen's Additions to the Monasticon. These gilds also gave
annual charity: stipends to poor persons, found beds, and entertainments for poor people that were strangers, and had people to keep
and tend the said beds, and did other works of charity; the houses,
where those entertainments were held, were generally near the
church; and the house on the south side of the churchyard of Oxburgh, belonged to one of the gilds there, and is called in old writings
the gild-hall, and the house on the east side of the said churchyard,
was another gild-hall, and belonged to that of Corpus Christi, the
cielings being painted and beautified with the portraiture of our Saviour, the five wounds, &c. as may be observed at this day.
South-west of the present church, about half a mile, and near to
the rectory-house, stands the ancient parochial or mother church, being a single building of flint, &c. with a finishing over, and having
four large buttresses of free-stone, one at each corner: it is a very
plain rude edifice about 34 feet in length, and 20 in breadth, very
much resembling that draught of the church of Glastonbury, said to
be built by Joseph of Arimathea, as exhibited by Sir Henry Spelman,
in his History of the Councils.
About the south-west part of this pile, near the foundation of the
buttress, a gardener digging some few years past, found a small Saxon
brass coin, on one side the legend is Aedelred Rex, the reverse is
obscure, but seems to be Leofstan, probably the mint-master. This is
that Edelred or Eldred, who was King of England in 946, about
whose reign this church was most likely erected. The greatest part
of the old pile is still entire, with the arches of the east and west windows, and some of the principals of the old roof; the western part
of it is now a dove-house, and has been so time immemorial; it was
most likely disused some ages since, upon the building of the other
church, as may be supposed from the burials of several rectors there,
some ages past. On the north side of the east window, is an arch in
the wall, no doubt for the imago principalis, which was enjoined to
be in all churches; to this old church there belonged a very large
churchyard or cemetery, containing 3 or 4 acres of ground, now part
of the glebe; incredible number of human bones and sculls have been
dug up, in the ground round this edifice; now the smallness of the
old church, bearing no proportion to its cemetery, shows that the
parish in those early days was very large, and required a large cemetery to inter them in; but small churches were often found, and
very mean ones too, at that time in large places: if there was but
room for an altar, and for a number to hear mass, it was sufficient.
Preaching in those days, and till near our own times, being often in
the churchyards, as under the oak in St. Clement's churchyard, and in
the Green-yard at Norwich, at Paul's-cross in London, &c.
This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 18l. 6s. 8d. and is
discharged of tenths and first-fruits, and being sworn of the clear
yearly value of 40l. it is capable of augmentation.
Synodals 18d. visitatorial procurations to the Bishop 4s. 7d. procurations to the archdeacon 7s. 7d. ob.
Some years since an act passed to impower Sir Henry Bedingfeld,
Bart. lord here, to drain, improve, and enclose seven hundred acres
of land called Oxburgh common, which was accordingly done. The
village contains about 30 houses and 180 inhabitants.
Burials of gentlemen, &c. from the parish register.
1540, Thomas Woodrofe, chaplain.
1541, Mr. Edward Greene, Gent.
1542, Mrs. Margaret Yelverton.
1570, Edmund Grimston, Gent.
1584, William Tassel, Esq.
1580, Robert Constable, Esq.
1587, Grace, wife to George Ryveley, rector of South-Pickenham.
1597, Thomas Bretton, Gent. From the year 1607, to 1660, there
is a chasm in the register.
1684, John Shadwell, Esq. (father of the poet Shadwell.)
1685, John Bedingfeld, Esq.
1685, Mrs. Susan Clough, wife of Mr. John Clough, rector of
1715, Robert Lawrence, Gent. of Brockdish.
1720, Mrs. Anne Lawrence, widow of Robert.
1732, Mrs. Mary Parkin, late wife to the present rector, and
widow of his predecessor.
1736, William Pordage, Gent.