Or Bernesworth, Goodale, or Berningham Stafford, for by all
these names, this village hath passed, in order to distinguish it from
the other villages of the same name.
At the Conquest it was in four parts; one was valued as part of the
King's manor of Aylesham, and was under the care of Godric; the
advowson of the church, which had then 9 acres of glebe, and the
second part, belonged to William de Warren, (fn. 1) and was formerly
owned by Herold; a third part was valued with Blickling manor,
and was owned by William Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford, and
the fourth part belonged to Brant, a noble Dane in the time of Edward the Confessor, and to Robert Fitz Corbun in the time of
the Conqueror, when the whole town was seven furlongs long, and
four furlongs broad, and paid 3d. three farthings to the geld, towards
every 20s. raised by the hundred.
The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and there was a gild of
St. John Baptist held in it; the tower is square, and hath two
bells, and a third stands broken in the church; the nave is leaded,
the chancel thatched, the south porch tiled, and a north vestry is
Under the communion-table lies a stone altarwise, viz. the ends to
the south and north, on which a brass plate is thus inscribed,
Here ys Edmundys Grave; JESU his Sowlle hauue.
In the nave is a pew erected by a Shepherd; a skeleton carved in
wood is fixed at the south-west corner of it; and this carved on the
For Couples join'd in Wedlock: and my Friend
That Stranger is: This Seate I did intend.
But at the Coste and Charge of Stephen Crosbee.
All you that doe this Place pass by
As you are nowe, even soe was I,
Remember Death for you must dye,
And as I am, soe shall you be,
Anno Domini 1640.
This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 5l. 15s. 2d. ob. ana
stands there by the name of Barningham Parva, and being sworn
of the clear yearly value of 45l.; it is discharged of first-fruits and
tenths, and is capable of augmentation; it pays procurations to the
Bishop at the visitation 17d. qr.; synodals 9d.; and 4s. procurations
to the archdeacon; the old valuation was 7 marks; it paid to every
tenth 1l. 15s. clear; is now valued to the land-tax at 314l. 10s.
and 5s. 6d. to every 300l. levy of the county rate. It is in the dutchy
of Lancaster, and took its name from [Bar] bread-corn, [ing] low
meadow, and [ham], a village; so that it signifies the village or dwelling
by the low meadows, abounding with wheat.
1320, Master de Roger Strattone. Sir Hugh Audeley, Knt. Resigned.
1328, Philip de Okeley. Ditto. Res.
1339, Hugh de Wynnesbury. Hugh de Audley Earl of Gloucester.
1340, Robert de Wynnesbury, changed this for the rectory of
Montgomori in Hereford diocese, with
Sir Walter de Brykyndon, who was licensed by the King in
1441 to change this with John de Newton, for Cheshunt vicarage in
Hertfordshire; but it seems not to have taken effect, for in 1343
Brikyndon resigned this rectory, and Sir Robert de Causton,
Knt. gave it to
Bartholomew French. In 1349 Robert, Baron of Stafford and Lord of Tunbrigge was patron, and in
1361, James Beck was rector. In 1374 Hugh Earl of Stafford,
gave it to
John Littleker, and in
1437, when Thomas Bradley resigned it,
Richard Bisheton was presented by Humfry Earl of Stafford and Perche, Lord of Tonebrigge and Caus. In 1460
John Duke of Norfolk died seized of the advowson, and the Earl
of Surrey was also patron of Bernyngham Goodale, alias Stafford.
In 1540 Thomas Duke of Norfolk gave it to
Robert Denton, whose successour,
Thomas Hill, died rector. In 1565 Edward Clere, Esq.
a trustee to the Howards, presented
George Wicks, who was succeeded by
Philip Wicks, and in 1631 John Dix, alias Ramseye, of
Wickmere, Esq. presented
Thomas Cooper, and afterwards
Richardson Jackson, at whose death in 1670 John Dix gave
William Plumstede, A. M. who held it with Wickmere, and
at his death in 1692 Richard Knight, Gent. patron in full right,
John Gray, A. M. at whose death Richard Knight, Esq.
of Attlebridge, the present patron, gave it to the present rector,
Mr. John Browne, who holds it united to Ashwellthorp
The manor was anciently in a family that took their sirname from
this lordship; Humfry de Berningham was sole lord, as the Red
Book of the Exchequer informs me; and held it of the honour of
the Abbot of St. Edmund's Bury in Henry the First's time, as land
of the new feoffment: he bare for his arms,
Arg. on a bend gul. cotized. az. three escalops or, and some of
his descendants bare the field, az. a bend ingrailed or.
Thomas de Berningham held it, and after him his son
Matthew; in 1260 Walter de Berningham held it at half a fee. In 1279, (fn. 2)
in the Register of Bury Abbey called Pinchbeck, fo. 118, it is said,
that John de Sancto Claro held the 4th part of a fee of the abbot of
Bury, (fn. 3) which Eustace de Berningham formerly held, which in the
time of Abbot Baldwin, who lived in the Conqueror's days, one
Walter de Berningham, lord here, had a charter from King
Edward I. (fn. 4) for a fair and market here, and for liberty of freewarren in this and Wickmere manors.
In 1312 Sir Henry de Seagrave, Hugh Tirrel, and 25 others,
came hither armed to the manor-house of William de Berningham, and
fired it in five several places, and seized the Lady Petronel de Gra,
mother of the said William, and pricked her with swords, and cut her
with knives, to force her to tell them of her jewels, money and plate,
and brake open her chests, &c. for which they were all indited, but
produced the King's pardon; in 1313 Walter de Berningham settled
this manor and advowson, and the manor of Wykemere, on himself
for life, (fn. 5) remainder to
Gilbert de Clare Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, and
their heirs; and in 1315 the Countess of Gloucester was in possession of them; (fn. 6) but upon the marriage of Isabel, sister and coheir
of Gilbert de Clare, Hugh de Audley her husband had them, and
was lord and patron here. In 1371 Ralf Earl of Stafford, in
right of Margaret his wife, one of the daughters and heiresses of
Hugh de Audley Earl of Gloucester, held this manor, and Hugh his
son and heir was then 31 years of age; and in 1401 the Earl of Stafford was lord, and Adam de Gelbie held a fourth of a fee in this town,
which belonged to the manor of Wickmere, of him: in 1423 Sir Hugh
Stafford Earl of Stafford, son of Sir Hugh, Knt. of the Garter,
and Lord Bourchier, in right of his wife, held this and Wickmere, and
left them to Edmund his brother, who left issue, Humphry Earl of
Stafford, nephew and heir to this Sir Hugh, 20 years old, who
married Elizabeth, daughter and heir to Bartholomew Lord
Bourchier, who remarried to Sir Lewis Robsart, Knt. of the
Garter, and Lord Bourchier in her right; in 1495 it was in the
hands of Katherine Dutchess of Bedford, and was then found to
extend into Wickmere, Wulterton, Erpingham, Iteringham and
Matlask; and it descended to Edward Duke of Buckinghamshire,
with Wickmere, Wells, Warham, Wyveton, &c. who was attainted in
the time of King Henry VIII. This Lady Katherine held these
in dower, as daughter of Richard Woodevile Earl Rivers, and
widow of Henry Stafford Duke of Bucks and Constable of England; she died 21 December in this year.
After the attainder aforesaid, in the year 1522, King Henry VIII.
granted this manor and advowson, parcel of the possessions of Edward
late Duke of Bucks attainted, to Thomas Duke of Norfolk, with
remainder to his son, Thomas Earl of Surrey, who had livery
thereof in 1524, and it was owned by Philip Earl of Arundel, at
his attainder in 1583: (fn. 7) in 1615, John Dix, alias Ramsey, of Wickmere, Esq. (fn. 8) as trustee to Thomas Earl of Arundel, granted a rent
charge of 20l. per annum to James Wilford of Lincolnes Inn, Esq. out
of this manor, and then mortgaged it to Thomas Marsham of London,
Esq. and it was after sold by John Tasburgh, who married a daughter
and coheir of John Dix, alias Ramsey, to whom the Norfolk family
had conveyed the manor and advowson, to Richard Knight of
Attlebridge, Esq. who was high sheriff of Norfolk in 1704; but the
manor belonged to Mr. John Gurnay of Norwich in 1733, and at
his death came to his son, Mr. John Gurnay, who is the present