Or Stratum, the street or way that leads to the Roman settlement
at Brampton; from which name, I take it to have been of Roman
original; it passes by several names for distinction from the other
towns of the same name in this county; as Stratton-Parva, juxta
Hevingham, juxta Buxton, juxta Brampton, but more commonly
in the last centuries, by that of Strawless, it standing in the midst
of a heath, where formerly no corn grew.
The whole belonged to Herold in the Confessor's time, and at
the Conqueror's survey, the chief part of it was held by Walter
Giffard, and was appendant to Marsham manor; it had then three
carucates of land, a wood able to maintain 30 swine, was worth 40s.
per annum, and was a mile long and half a mile broad, and paid xid. to
the geld towards every 20s. raised in the hundred. (fn. 1) This afterwards
belonged to Richard Fitz Gilbert Earl of Clare, who infeoffed
Rosceline in it, whose son William was lord and patron here, and was
succeeded by William his son, who assumed the name of Stratton,
from this his lordship, which was always held by them and their
successours, lords here, of the honour of Clare, as it is at this day
of the King, who in right of that honour is lord paramount of the
waste, as appeared in a trial in Sir Edward Clere's time, who was lord
here, when the lord and tenants recovered their right to all the trees
belonging to them, growing on the waste, by proving that they
immemorially had liberty to plant on the waste, and take down and
convert all such trees at their pleasure.
There was then also another part here, which belonged to William
Bishop of Thetford, (fn. 2) in his own right; this he gave to the see, and it
was always held of it, after it was granted off.
A third part was then a berewic or appendant to Cawston
manor, (fn. 3) from which it was soon separated, and joined to this manor.
William de Stratton lived in 1195, and afterwards I find
Ralf, son of Robert de Stratton; this family centered in female
heiresses; for in 1267 Reginald de Refham and Annora his wife held
a 4th part of the advowson and manor, and sold it to Henry de Hauten
or Houton, and Alice his wife, and this was after held by Alice Hauten,
John de Refeham, and William Marshall. In 1271 Benedict de
Dufford and Agnes his wife had the other parts of Stratton Streless;
and before 1285, the whole advowson was sold to William de Merkeshale, who was sole patron. In 1312 the manor was settled by
Eustace de Dalling, their trustee, on Reginald de Refham and Joan his
wife in part; and in 1314 the heirs of Bartholomew Hauteyn, William
de Merkeshall, and Reginald de Refham, held it at one fee of the
honour of Clare, by the name of Stratton Parva.
In 1333 William de Merkeshall and Alice his wife had the
manor and advowson settled on them in tail; in 1343 Rob. Clere
and Alice his wife had two parts of the manor and advowson settled
on them in tail, with remainders to William, Walter, Robert, and
Nicholas, their sons; and in 1343 the said Robert and Reginald de
Refham held two parts of a fee, late William Marshall's and John de
Refham's, of the honour of Clare in chief; and in 1361 the other
third part was purchased of William Bretoun of Essex, and Joan his
wife, by Will. son of Robert Clere and Dionise his wife, who had the
whole manor and advowson; and in 1365 they settled them on William de Wichingham, and other their trustees. Henry Clere was
lord in 1369, and in 1395 Dionise his widow was lady; in 1442 Robert
Clere, Esq. of Ormesby owned it, and by will in 1445, gave it, after
the death of Elizabeth his wife, to Thomas his second son, and his
heirs; in 1498 Sir Robert Clere had it after the death of Elizabeth his
mother, and after him Sir John Clere, Knt. who left it about 1556, to
Edward his son and heir, who had livery of it this year; it being
head of the honour of Clere; this Sir Edward Clere, Knt. sold the
advowson, manor, and whole estate, before 1560, to Henry Marsham, Gent. in whose family it still continues.
The family of the Marshams took their sirname from the neighbouring village of Marsham, where they inhabited from the time of
Henry 1.; but the family being very numerous, I cannot pretend to
trace them regularly, before the time of King Edward I. in whose
John de Marsham lived at Marsham, and died about 1325,
and his son,
Thomas de Marsham, removed thence, and was a merchant in
Norwich in 1350; he did not use the present arms of the family, but
always sealed with a chevron between a mullet, and crescent in chief,
and a croslet in base, and used a croslet for his crest; his son,
Robert de Marsham, lived and died at Stratton, and was the
first of the family that came hither; he is buried in the nave of the
church, with this on a brass, now lost,
Orate pro anima Roberti Marsham.
Robert Marsham his son lies by him, with this on a brass plate,
Orate pro anima Roberti Marsam.
This Robert was alive in 1465, and
1, John Marsham was his son and heir, though he had in all four
sons, viz. 2, Andrew Marsham of Marsham, who lived in 1473, and
had issue sons and daughters, as had, 3, Robert Marsham, his brother.
Their brother Richard, in 1461, was monk in the priory of Norwich, and almoner of that monastery. (Vol. iii. p. 613.)
This John Marsham of Stratton Parva was the first of the
family that I have met with that bare the present arms of,
Arg. crusuly fitchè sab. a lion passant gul. between two bendlets
az. each charged with three croslets or.
By his will dated in 1473, 24 July (in Regr. Paynot.) 13 Edward IV.
he gave 12 marks to new make and glaze a window on the north part
of Little-Stratton church, (fn. 4) and ordered himself to be buried in the
middle of the nave of St. Margaret's church there, by Agnes his wife;
over them lies a stone with this on a brass plate now remaining,
Orate pro animabus Johannis Marsham, et Agnetis Consur'
tis sue, quorum animabus propicietur Deus.
Besides a daughter Maud, who was living in 1473, he had a son,
John, called in Evidences, senior, of Stratton; his will occurs in
Regr. Spurling, fo. 53; he died in 1515, as did Ellen his wife, and
are both interred in the nave of this church, with the following inscriptions on brass plates;
Orate pro anima Johannis Marsham, qui obijt xxo die Aprilis
Ao Xi M. Vcxv. cuius anime propicietur Deus
Orate pro anima Ellene Marsham, quondam Uxoris Johannis
Marsham, que obiit AoDni. MoUcrvo
They had several children, as Agnes, alive in 1473, &c. and 4 sons.
2d, James, grocer in Norwich, who died in 1544, leaving Cecily his
widow, and John his son, &c. for whom see vol. iv. p. 84. 3d, Thomas
Marsham. 4th, another brother, who died a factor abroad in 1510,
see vol. ii. fo. 192.
John Marsham, their eldest son, was the common ancestor of
the Marshams of Stratton, Melton Parva, and Londom, from whence
those of Kent descended; he was a grocer, and great merchant in
Norwich, by which he much advanced his fortunes; in 1510 he was
sheriff of the city (vol. iii. p. 192) in 1511 being in great favour with
the commons, was sent up at the city's charge to King Henry VIII. to
justify the city in relation to their contests with the prior and convent
of Norwich, (vol. iii. p.193), in 1516 he was sent again to the King, with
the mayor, to settle those contests, and had three horses, and two servants allowed him at the publick charge: in 1518 he was mayor, and
died in 1525, and is buried in the church of St. John at Maddermarket in Norwich, in which parish he dwelt, in a large house of his
own building, in the window of which the arms of Marsham, impaled
with those of Elizabeth Claxton his wife, still remain; she survived him, and purchased Little Melton manor, as in vol. v. p. 11, and
was buried by her husband in 1559. In 1534 his executors paid money
towards building the Common-council chamber in the Gild-hall,
(vol. iv. p. 229) in which his picture is still to be seen; (vol. iv. p. 231;)
his will appears in Regr. Briggs, fo. 167. His inscriptions, &c. may
be seen at vol. iv. p. 290; he had 5 sons and 8 daughters, of which
Margaret Marsham, was buried by her father in 1563, Elizabeth
was alive and married to Layer in 1557, &c.; his 4 elder sons were,
1. Henry Marsham of Stratton, who first, jointly with his
brother Thomas, purchased the advowson, manor, and whole estate
there, of Sir Edward Clere; he presented in 1544 and 1560, and
dying without issue, it went to his brother,
2. Thomas Marsham, of whom afterwards.
The third brother was,
3. Ralph Marsham of Norwich, who was one of the feast hainers or holders there, in 1547, (vol. iii. p. 225,) a great merchant in 1554,
(vol. iii. p. 270,) lord of Little Melton, by his mother's gift, he having
married one of her own family, viz a daughter of Hamond Claxton
of Great Livermere in Suffolk, by whom he had two sons.
James Marsham, his younger son, was sheriff of Norwich in 1539,
(vol. iii p. 219,) and
Robert, the eldest, was lord of Little Melton, and married Elizabeth
daughter of Robert Downes, Esq; of Bodney, and Great Melton, by
whom he had three sons.
1, Edward, lord of Melton in 1612, who by Elizabeth daughter
of Edmund Grey, Gent. of Bunwell, had.
John Marsham, lord of Melton, and lord and patron of Wramplingham, whose son Richard was a tobacconist in Norwich, and left
at his death his widow Mary, who in 1661, as guardian to her two
children, John and Anne Marsham, presented to Wramplingham; the
manor being sold, but the advowson excepted, (see vol. ii. p. 487).
2, John Marsham was the 2d son, and the third was
Thomas Marsham, alderman of London, who by Magdalen
Springham his wife, had six sons and four daughters, and from John
their 2d son, descended Robert Marsham, Bart. now Lord Romney,
whose descent may be seen at large in the Peerage, vol. iv. p. 298,
edit. Lond. 1741. He uses the ancient arms of the family, without the
croslets, and the
Crest, of a lion's head erased gul. without the croslets fitché.
Motto, Non sibi sed patriœ.
4, Robert, rector of this parish, was presented in 1560 by his brother Henry; it is to be remarked that this Robert was instituted to
the rectory when he was not in orders, and only in the 16th year of
his age; for in the 19th Institution Book, a dispensation is entered at
length, confirmed by the Queen under the great seal; by which
Mathew Parker Archbishop of Canterbury dispensed with Robert
Marsham of Stratton-Strawless, scholar, ("ob laudibilia ejus studia, quibus conjicitur te esse eruditum") being then, but in the 10th year
of his age, to hold the parish church of Stratton-Strawless, on condition
he always goes in the clergyman's habit, staies at Cambridge in persuing his studies, and takes priests orders as soon as he can.
Thomas Marsham, Esq. the second son beforementioned, was
a great favourite of the Norwich citizens, and much concerned
in the government of that place, during his life; in 1548, he was
elected member in Parliament for the city, (vol. iii. p. 263,) was
mayor in 1554, (vol. iii. p. 277,) and was buried by his father in St.
John's in 1557. Elizabeth his wife surviving him; at his death
Robert Marsham of Stratton, his son and heir, succeeded, and
became lord and patron; he is buried under a stone here, which hath
his arms on a brass plate, and an inscription, which is under the iron
pallisades of a monument in the south chapel, and so could not read it,
but that on Margaret his widow still remains loose in the church
chest, on a plate, viz.
Hic jacet Margareta nuper Uxor Roberti Marsham
Generosi, in Capella ipsius Roberti, Domini hujus manerii de
Stratton Strawley, atque veri et indubitati Patroni istius Ecclesie,
et postea uxor Henrici Lovell Armigeri, que obijt xxijo die
Julij A. D. 1604.
Thomas Marsham of Stratton, their son and heir, succeeded; he
married Lucy, daughter of Dean Suckling, who lies buried here, with
this on a brass plate,
Hic jacet Lucia nuper uxor Thome Marsham Generosi, in
Capella ipsius Thome, Domini hujus manerij de Stratton Strawles, atque veri et inbubitati Patroni istius Ecclesie, Filia Edmundi
Sucklinge, Sacre Theologie Professoris, Decani Ecclesie
Cathedralis, Sancte Trinitatis Norwici, que obijt 16° Aprilis
Ano Domini 1619.
The curious monument at the east end of the chapel, at the end of
south isle, hath the arms of Marsham, and crest of a lion's head
erased gul. with cross croslets fitché or. The cumbent effigies is this
Thomas in his shroud leaning on a pillow, lying on an altar tomb of
black marble; on the top are two angels blowing trumpets, one holds
a chaplet, with the crest and arms of Marsham. Under the effigies
Hic requiescit in Spe Resurrectionis ad Vitam Æternam, Corpus Thome Marsham Generosi, Qui fælicitur migravit ad
Superos octavo die Decembris, 1638.
Under this is a charnel-house window, with human bones, as placed
in the charnel, and these words,
On a table over the effigies,
Indomitæ Mortis potuissent nobile, clarum,
Si Genus, Ingenium, Tela fugâsse Viris;
Si Labor insignis, veneranda scientia Legum,
Si quem [plisosis] larga beavit Opum;
Non inclusa jacent, cujus modo membra Sepulchro,
Tam citò calcâssent, pallida mortis Iter;
Lubrica promisit fragilis sua gaudia Mundis,
Gaudia promisit Mors super astra Poli:
Mundi fallacis Curæ procul ite Prophanæ,
Grande Lucrum CHRISTVS, Mors mihi Vita, Salus.
Robert Marsham, his brother, succeeded him; he married Anne
Noblet of Semere in Suffolk, who was buried here October 2, 1665,
as a black marble over her informs us: and another over him hath
Here lyes the Body of Robert Marsham, the Son of Robert
Marsham, Gent. who departed this Life the 21st of October, 1661,
Aged Seaventy Yeares.
1. Thomas, their eldest son, died the 6th of the same month,
before his father, and lies under a marble thus inscribed,
Here lieth the Body of Thomas, the Son of Robert Marsham,
Gent. who was buried the 6 Day of October, 1661.
2. William Marsham, the 2d son, inherited at his father's
death, and married Elinor, second daughter of Samuel Harsnet of
Great Fraunsham, Esq. who after his decease married to Sir
Robert Drury, Baronet, of Ridlesworth, and was killed in her bed
by the fall of a stack of chimnies at Ridlesworth-Hall, in the November storm, in 1703, as in vol. i. p. 278, 82, and was there buried.
Against the south wall of Stratton chapel, in the south isle is a
mural monument for this William, with the arms of Marsham impaling Harsnet, as in vol. iii. p. 567; he was lord and patron, and
presented here in 1667.
Reponuntur hic Reliquiæ GULIELMI MARSHAM Generosi
qui post novem Annos Conjugij cum ELINORE Filiâ Samuelis
Harsnet de Fraunsham, in Comitatû Norfolcienci Armigeri, tandem Fato cessit, Viduaque, (nunc Conjux Roberti Druri de
Riddlesworth Baronetti,) in piam Charissimi sui quondam Conjugis Memoriam, hoc erexit Monumentum; obijt xviii die
Decembris A. D. 1674.
3. Henry Marsham of Stratton, his brother, inherited, for
whom there is a large monument of black and white marble, in the
Marsham's Chapel; and it is an altar tomb, on which are four
effigies, facing the church; first Henry himself in a gown, kneeling on
a cushion, with a book before him, and his hands erected, as are those
of Anne Themilthorp his (second) wife; the third is Henry their son,
and the fourth is Margaret, their infant daughter in swaddling clothes.
On the top are the family arms and crest, and on the front of the
Anne the Wife of Henry Marsham, Gent. and Daughter
and Heire of Charles Themylthorpe of Horsted, Esq; deceased
the 7th. Day of June, Anno Domini 1678. Æt. 37.
Henry the Sone of Henry Marsham, Gent. by the above named
Anne his Wife, deceased the 15th Day of November, Anno Domini
1678. Æt. 12.
Henry Marsham, Son of Robert Marsham, Gent. and Husband
of the said Anne, and Father of the said Henry, departed this
Life, the 29th. Day of August, A. D. 1692, Æt. 64.
Marsham impales Themilthorp.
Under the infant is this,
Margaret, Daughter of Henry Marsham, and Anne his Wife,
died 7 March, 1668. Aged one Year.
Over Henry Marsham's effigies,
I'M Come! to fill this Space, and Gone,
T' embrace my dearest Wife and Son,
Death did (to throw his Dart) delay,
'Till I to Grief my Vows should pay;
This Monument, that Vault, these Pewes,
And what of Ornament this Temple shewes,
The Blew Coates, Donatives, and Alms in Fee,
To Poor and Rich Posterity,
These Vows are paid: But Oh! that Word,
I Vow myself, to thee O Lord:
This (which my Life could not discharge,)
Kind Death hath taught to doe at large.
Under his son,
Thou wer't too quick and large to stay,
Within thy little House of Clay;
Such early manly Parts (which Ev'n)
At Twelve did speak thee XXXVII.
Presag'd, that one, so grave, so good,
Would misse Life's common Period,
And Heav'n must be obey'd, 'twas found,
Thou'rt ripe for that, and now art Crown'd.
M. P. P. (fn. 5)
Over the woman,
Here lie a virtuous Son and Mother,
Who died in Kindness to each other
Death seaz'd him first, when shee him freed,
By yielding up herself in's stead,
Which was no sooner done, but Hee
Dyes too, to keep her Company.
This thou'lt think unhappie Fate
To two such Heires of fayre Estate,
But 'twas not; for they did foregoe
A State for Life' n Reversion too,
To gaine Possession of a Fee
In Rich and Bless'd Eternitie.
He married for his second wife, Grace, daughter of Thomas
Bishop of Hasly-Hall in Thorndon in Suffolk, who after Marsham's
death, remarried to John Cornwaleis of Wingfield College in Suffolk;
she had no children, and is buried here. Her sister lies under a black
marble in the nave, with the crest of a bull's head erased, and the
arms of Alpe, Az. a fess er. between 3 alpes arg. impaling
Bishop, argent, on a bend cotized gul. 3 bezants.
Here lieth the Body of Mary, the Widow of Francis Alpe
of Burston in the County of Norfolk, Gent. and Daughter of
Thomas Bishop of Hasly-Hall in Thornedon in the County of
Suffolk, Gent. she departed this Life the 27th. of March, 1687.
and was Sister to the now Wife of Henry Marsham. (See Vol. i
Thomas Marsham, Esq. their son and heir, is the present lord
and patron, and dwells in the family seat here, which was built by
the aforesaid William Marsham; he married Dorothy, 5th daughter
of Leonard Gooch of Earsham, by Dorothy his wife, who was
sister to Sir Nevile Catline, of Kirby Caam in Norfolk; she is still
living; he hath had by her the following issue, viz. four sons and six
1, Margaret, buried in 1700.
2, Mary, now living, and widow of John Croshold, Esq. late mayor
of Norwich, as in vol. iii. p. 443, by whom she had Alexander, who
died student of Caius College in 1748, and 3 daughters, Mary,
Phillipa, and Lucy, now living:
3, Phillipa, married to Peter Elwin of Booton, Esq. and have
issue, of whom under Booton.
4, Elizabeth. 5, Margaretta. 6. Lucy, all alive and single.
Henry and Robert, the two first born sons, died infants.
Robert Marsham, Gent. is now living and single, and
Leonard, the 4th son, was buried in 1746, æt. 35.
This town is in the liberty of the dutchy of Lancaster, is valued
to the land-tax at 361l. per ann. pays 7s. 9d. to every 300l. levy of
the county rate, and anciently paid to every tenth levied upon
the hundred, 2l. 10s. but had 10s. deducted for the revenues of the
religious here, they paying, by themselves. The town contains about
The rectory stands thus in the King's Book, by the name of
Stratton Strawley, was valued at 8l. 8s. 1d. ob. but being sworn of
the clear value of 30l. it is discharged of first fruits and tenths, and is
capable of augmentation. It was valued in the old Valor at 12 marks,
and paid 9d. Peter-pence; it now pays annually 22d. synodals to the
Bishop, and 5s. procurations to the Archdeacon, and 2s. 1d. procurations at the Bishop's visitation. The temporals of the priory of
Walsingham in this town were taxed at 2s. and the Prior of Longavile
had a portion of tithes here, valued at one mark. There is a parsonage-house adjoining to the west part of the churchyard.
The Church is dedicated to St. Margaret, and had before their
dissolution two gilds kept in it; one in the church in honour of St.
Margaret, and another in the south isle chapel, in honour of the
Virgin Mary, to whom that chapel was dedicated at its first foundation, by the Cleres, lords here. In the times of superstition, there
were images of the several saints, with lights burning before them in
service time, viz. of St. Margaret, which was the principal image, and
always as such, stood in the east chancel wall, on the north side of
the altar, (so that the officiating priest always stood directly under it,)
St. Mary, in her chapel; St. John the Evangelist, and Baptist, St.
Christopher, St. Nicholas, and St. Erasmus.
The present tower is square, and hath 6 bells in it, being a very large
one, but not carried to that height as at first designed, by a third part;
it was built in 1422, the old steeple being decayed, for in that year
Reginald Crowe, chaplain of Horstede, gave a legacy to it, he
being of the same family with Reginald, rector here, if not the same
person, that had resigned; the Crowes were a family very ancient
in this town; in 1199 and 1202, Robert, Walter, and Jeffry Crowe,
brothers, had good estates here.
The nave is an ancient building; in an arch under the north wall
lies its founder carved in Derbyshire marble; cross-legged, all in mailarmour, his belt by his side, and other accoutrements: Mr. Weever,
fo. 812, by reason the Bardolfs arms are in the east chancel window,
imagines him to have been of that family; but I think not, but rather
take it to be Ralf de Stratton, the last of that name, who was
lord and patron here, and the antique appearance of the effigies
answers to the time, and his arms also, arg. a cross moline sab. remain
in the north church window by him, and in the east chancel window;
though the Strattons have since born, on a plain cross, 5 bezants.
The south porch is tiled, the church and chancel of an equal height,
are thatched, and the south isle and its chapel, with a vault adjoining
thereto, are leaded,
In the nave is a brass thus inscribed,
Orate pro anima Margarete Cadenham, quondam uxoris
Henrici Codenham,ruius anime propicietur Deus Amen.
In the east chancel window, gul. a fess between three croslets or,
impales Warren, chequy O. B.
Gul. a lion passant or. Gul. two piles in point ingrailed arg.
Stratton. Bardolf; and on the screens is a saltier ingrailed.
There is an altar tomb in the churchyard on the south side, for
Henry Lemon, 1741, Elizabeth his daughter 1737, Æt. 15. and for
Henry, Sarah, Martha, his infant children, Anne his wife, Henry,
Anne, and Mary, his children, survived him.
Mr. Thomas Bulwer of Buxton, who married Anne, daughter
of Robert Marsham, gave an hundred pounds, the interest for the
benefit of the poor; with 75l. of it, land in Marsham was purchased,
and the rest remains in money at this time.
Rectors of Stratton.
1244, Peter (de Stratton) rector.
1302, Edmund de Merkeshall. William de Merkeshall,
1335, Richard de Merkeshall. Reginald de Refham.
1349, William de Wrecham. Robert Clere of Ormesby.
1361, John de Catfield. (See vol. iv. p. 77.) William Clere.
1369, Hervy Larke. Ditto.
1395, Reginald Crowe of Stratton. Dionisia Clere.
1418, Robert Gosselyn. Ditto.
1442, Richard Sterne. Robert Clere of Ormesby, Esq.
1444, William Burgh. Ditto.
1475, John Wiltcayr. Elizabeth Clere of Takelneston; see
vol. v. p. 166.
1491 John Wright. Ditto. He lies buried by the altar, with this
on a brass plate,
Orate pro anima Domini Johannis Mryght, quondam
Rectaris istius Elclesie, cuius anime propicietur Deus.
1508, Sir William Coldham, chaplain here, gave a legacy to our
Lady's gild, and to St. John's gild at Hevingham.
1518, Thomas Barlow. Sir Rorert Clere, Knt. On his resignation there was a pension of 4 marks per annum for life, reserved by
the Bishop's knowledge.
1544, Thomas Slater; he died rector. Thomas and Henry
Marsham, assignees of John Sutterton, citizen and merchant of
Norwich, who was assignee of Sir John Clere, Knt.
1555, James Slater, died rector. Sir John Clere, Knt.
1560, Robert Marsham, scholar (of whom before). He resigned.
1570, Ralf Marham, (Ditto.) united to Buxton vicarage.
1618, John Svendlove; he died rector. Edmund Suckling, dean
of Norwich, assignee of Marsham, united to Skeyton.
1667, Henry Dickerson, united to Fretenham. Will. Marsham.
1675, William Heylet, by lapse, united to Hevingham; at his death
In 1721, the Rev. William Connold, the present rector, was presented by Thomas Marsham, Esq. the present patron, and holds it
united to Tulington vicarage.