Called also Botune, Tortune, and Bowton, was in two parts or
manors at the Conqueror's survey, the one called afterwards Botonhall, and the other Midelton's in Boton and Wichingham, but
the lete always attended the hundred, and Queen Elizabeth's steward
Gueric a Dane, and Osbert a Saxon, held Botune in the Confessor's time, and Teheli had it of the Conqueror's gift, as a whole
manor, including that socman and his services, which belonged to
Herold at the first survey. (fn. 1)
The manor called Tortune, afterwards Midleton's, Herlewin
had it in the Confessor's time, and was of the same value with
Botune manor; (fn. 2) to this the Conqueror, when he gave it to
Rainald-Fitz-Ivo added 2 socmen, which belonged formerly to
Herold, and were valued with Causton manor. (fn. 3)
William de Schoies, or Scot, had a socman here, and the church had
9 acres of glebe, then valued at 6d. per annum only, and a 3d part of
its advowson belonged to these three several parts of the village, the
whole of which was then half a mile long, and as much broad, and
paid 7d. geld.
The manor of Boton, and advowson, came to the Pecches,
Jeffry and Simon (fn. 4) Pecche his son had it, and William Pecche granted
it to Roger de Gyneto, or Gyney, the moiety of the advowson,
William Bartholomew and Fulk de Gyneto, being witnesses to it; the
said William in 1205 having recovered part of it against Ralf and
Eborard, sons of Simon, father of William, who presented to it, and
were lords of Midleton's manor, and of Scot's part, which was now joined
Soon after this, Richard de Skeyton held this, (fn. 5) and Agnes de
Baldeswell, and William de Thorp the other manor here, at half a
fee, of the manor of Panworth-Hall in Ashill, and that of the Earl of
In 1255 Simon Pecche of Brandeston had free-warren in his manor
here, and the whole advowson belonging to it; and in 1259 William
Pecche, his son, agreed with John de Thorenton, lord of the manor of
Midleton's, that they should present by turns.
In 1263 John son of Alexander de Vallibus or Vaux of Aslacton and
Keswic, had a charter for free-warren to his manor here, and in
Branteston; and in 1285, Roger son of William de Gyney, and Margaret his wife, released all their rights here to Richard de Skeyton, in
whom both manors were vested; and in 1314 Petronella or Parnel
de Nerford held Botune of the honour of Clare; and in 1315 Roger
de Gynney held a moiety of her, as one manor, (fn. 6) and Ralf de Skeyton
the other moiety, as another manor. In 1323 Oliver de Redham, and
Ralf, rector of Skeyton, as trustees, settled this and Skeyton on Sir
Ralf de Skeyton aforesaid for life, and then on Maud de Nerford and
her two sons, Ralf and Edward.
This Maud (fn. 7) was concubine to William Earl Warren, and had by
him these two sons, who took the name of Warren, the Earl having
no legitimate issue; (fn. 8) and Sir Edward Warren, (fn. 9) Knt. (fn. 10) had the
manor here; his 2d son, Sir John de Warren, Knt. succeeded him
here, and was buried in Boton church in 1382; this Sir John, in
1347, was not in possession, for then Felicia de Skeyton held it in
dower at half a fee, of Thomas de Nerford, who held it of the honour
of Clare; Sir John married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Sir
John Stafford of Wykham, Knt who afterwards remarried to John le
Mayne Warren, who in 1401 was lord here; and in 1427, Laurence
Mainwarren had it. In 1450 Sir Henry Inglose, Knt. gave the
manor and advowson, to be sold by his executors; and in 1495 Henry
Calthorp had it; he lies buried in the chancel, with his effigies, and this
inscription on brass plates:
Orate pro anima Henrici Calthory Armigeri, qui obiit
primo die Julii Ano Christi Mcccccrii cuius anime tr.
In 1529, Thomas Tropnel and others settled Boton and Skeyton
manors on Lawrence Warren, Esq. and Sibil his wife; and in 1531
John Horseman kept his first court at Booton, and after him George.
Horseman of Boton, Esq. (fn. 11) his son and heir, who was buried by his
father in Boton church in 1558; Frances his widow, married after to
Jocelyn, who had it, for in 1562 Frances Jocelyn, widow, kept court
here; about 1570, George son of John Horseman had it, and conveyed it
to Sir Christopher Heydon of Baconsthorp, Knt. who in 1573 sold it to
Christopher Layer, alderman of Norwich, and his heirs, John
Stanley, Gent. of Scothowe, Edward Fisher of Great Wichingham,
Gent. Anthony Warner, John Mapes, clerk, and Thomas Armiger of
Baconsthorp, being trustees; and the said Christopher held his first
court here this year. (fn. 12)
The family of the Leirs or Layers, (fn. 13) are descended from George
Layer of Bury in Suffolk, who lived in 1429; he increased his own
estate by marrying Margaret, sole heiress of Peter Butefaunt,
Esq. who after his death remarried to Henry Baniard of Bury.
William Layer, was sheriff of Norwich in 1526, mayor in 1537,
and is buried in St. John Maddermarket, with his wife, being succeeded
by his son, (fn. 14)
John Layer of Norwich, (fn. 15) who married Elizabeth, daughter of
John Marsham of Norwich; he died in 1560 seized of good estates
in Saxham, Faverton, Westley, Midleton, and Lowistolft in Suffolk;
Christopher Layer, their eldest son and heir, (fn. 16) who purchased
Boton, was a merchant of Norwich in 1561, sheriff of that city in
1596, mayor in 1581 and in 1589, and burgess in Parliament for the
city in 1584, and 1596; he was buried in the church of St. John
Maddermarket in 1600, and died seized of Boton, &c. and Barbara
his wife, 5th daughter of Augustine Steward of Norwich, was buried
by him in 1604, (fn. 17) leaving three sons and five daughters.
Augustine Layer, his eldest son, married Susanna, daughter of
Clement Herne, and died before his father, and
Thomas his son inherited at his grandfather's death in 1600, he
being then 12 years of age, and Christopher Layer, Gent. his uncle,
was his guardian; he married Susanna, daughter of Mr. Downing of
Grimston in Norfolk, relict of Giles Bladwell, Esq. and was buried at
Boton in 1644, and left
Christopher Layer (fn. 18) of Boton, his son and heir, who sold
Midleton's manor here, and in Wichingham in 1649; and so it
became joined to Wichingham manor; he married Susanna, daughter
and coheir of John Frere of Ashen in Essex, who was living in 1659;
they left Booton to
Christopher Layer of Booton, who married Mary, daughter of
Mr. Cracheroode of Essex, relict of Mr. Bull, serjeant at arms; she is
buried at Booton, but had no issue; so that Booton went to his
Christopher Layer of Aylesham, attorney at law, only son of
his brother, John Layer of London, by Mrs. Bernard (fn. 19) of Caxton in
Cambridgeshire. He married a daughter of Peter Elwyn of
Aylesham, to whom he sold Booton in 1713; Peter was buried at
Tutington in 1721, as was Peter his son in 1731, and Booton came
to his nephew,
Peter Elwin of Booton, Esq. the present lord and patron, who
resides in the manor-house called Booton Hall, which is about a
quarter of a mile north-west of the church, on the opposite side of
the road. He married Phillippa, third daughter of Thomas
Marsham of Stratton Strawless, Esq. (fn. 20) by whom he hath four sons;
1, Peter, fellow-commoner of Caius College; 2, Thomas; 3,
Fountain; 4, Hastings; 5, Robert; and two daughters, Anne and
The Church is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, and in
1447 there was a gild kept here to his honour, and another in
honour of the Blessed Virgin.
Valuation to the land-tax, 380l. 10s.;—county-rate to a 300l. levy,
5s. 9d.;—old tenths, 2l. 12s.;—old valuation of the rectory, 15 marks;
—synodals, 1s. 1d.;—N. V. 15d. ob.;—Bishop's procurations, 2s. 3d.;
—archaeacon's procurations, 6s. 8d.
King's Books, 7l. 12s. 6d.—Bowton Rectory,—36l. clear yearly
It being discharged of first fruits and tenths, it is capable of augmentation.
The Prior of Walsingham was taxed for temporals here at 2s. 4d.;
the prior of Longaville, at 5s. 8d.; the prior of St. Faith, 0d.; the
sacrist of Bury at 12d.; and in 1447, Mary Magdalen college in
Oxford had license to purchase lands here, and in Branteston, Salle,
and Cawston; and in 1584, Queen Elizabeth, at the request of Henry
Lord Wentworth, granted to Theopolitus Adams, and Thomas Butler
of London, five roods by Booton church, &c. lately belonging to the
Rectors of Botone.
1308, Matthew de Redham.
1329, William de Playford, by lapse, succeeded by
Sir Nicholas de Colneye, about 1353.
1391, John Yop.
1564 Edward Fenton, (fn. 21)
1611, Robert Griffith. John Layer, Gent.
1633, John Mallom, A. M. Thomas Layer, Esq.
Gabriel Wright. Christopher Layer, Esq.
John Lawrence of Horseford, at whose death,
The Rev. Mr. George Ray, the present rector, was presented by
Peter Elwin, Esq. the present patron, and holds it united to Oxnede.
There is no parsonage-house, but several glebes intermixed with
The tower is square, and hath four bells in it; the chancel is tiled,
and the nave and north porch are leaded. The town is in the liberty
of the dutchy of Lancaster.
Orate pro animbus Johannis Newhe, quondam de Boton, et
Matildis Uxoris eius qui obiit Mo cccco ri quorum tc.
Orate pro anima Johannis Newke quondam de Boton qui obitt
ro. die Decembris Ano Domini Mcccclrri cuius anime propicietur
This family were owners here many hundred years; in 1363 John
Hewke of Boton and Alice his wife were living. In 1447 Richard
Hewke of Boton, and John his son married Margaret, daughter of
John Springwell, and died in 1471 as above; their estate belonged to
Robert Muncey, clerk, in 1707, father of Dr. Mouncey, physician to
Requiesco in Pace. Here resteth the Body of Mary one of
the Daughters of Christopher Layer, Citizen and Alderman
of Norwich, who deceased the 9th of October 1602.
Crest and arms of Layer, impaling Cracherood, a saltier
er. between four lions heads erased.
Mary Wife of Christopher Layer, Esq; died January 3, 1710,
Aged 52 Years.
Depositum Thomæ Layer Armigeri qui obijt 22 Aprilis 1644.
Hic jacet Edwardus filius primus Thomæ Layer, et
Franciscæ Uxoris Suæ qui obijt 22 die Oct. 1641, Ætatis Suæ
Here lieth the Body of Edward Fellowes, Gent. who was
born at Inglefield in Berkshire, and died March 13, 1717,
Aged 60 Years, being uncle to Elizabeth the Wife of John
Mathews, of this Parish.
On a brass by the font,
Orate pro anima Rogeri Sehelyng, cuius anime tr.
Orate pro animabus Johanniz Chelyng et Elizabethe uxoris eius
quorum animabus propicietur Deus Amen.
Orate pro anima Johanne nuper uxoris Johannis Shyllyng
Hic jacet Johannis Cartere, cuius anime propicietur Deus. Amen.
In a north window, next the pulpit, a woman and man on their
knees at prayers.
Orate pro animabus Johannis Mast
On a south window a man kneeling, from his mouth a label, on
Jesu Fili Dei Miserere mei.
Orate pro animabus Radulfi March ant, tc.
In the second, south, is Sir William de Kerdeston, and his lady, with
the arms of Kerdeston, and this under them,
Orate pro animabus Domini Willelmi de Herdeston, et
On a label from her mouth,
Trinitas Sancte Conforta me in omini Opete bono.
On another from his,
Et una cum piis meum commendo.
There are several other broken effigies and inscriptions in the windows; and in the lower south window is the history of our Saviour
entering Jerusalem, riding on an ass, and this,
Os anna Fili David.
The windows were very fine formerly, and had the following arms
in them, but most are now lost.
Gyney, paly of six, or and gul. a chief erm. impaling
Warren, chequy or and az. on a canton gul. a lion rampant
arg. the canton and lion being Nerford's arms, quartering 1st,
or, on a chevron gul. three swans arg. 2d, az. crusuly three
Gyney single, Calthorp with a crescent. Wichingham.
Shelton. Herne or Heron, ar. three heronshaws or hernes
In the house late Mr. Horseman's (or the manor-house) in the
Horseman, arg. a pair of horse barnacles, between three
torteauxes, on a chief per pale az. and gul. three roses arg.
Calthorp, with a crescent.
Whitby, arg. on a chevron az. an annulet of the field for
difference, between three birds sab. impaling Bacon, az. three
boars passant or, and sometimes arg. and az a fretté or.
Gerbridge, with an annulet sab. for difference. Bullen, impaling Butler.
In the chancel is a brass thus inscribed,
Orate pro anima Johanne Herward, qu abijt rvi die Aprilis,
ruius anime propicictur Deus Amen.
This family had a good estate here, Robert Harward of Aldburgh
married Mary, daughter of John Berney of Redham, and had Clement
Harward of Aldburgh, their son and heir; but Robert, their 4th son,
had Boton estate, and settled there; he is buried in Boton church,
with his three wives; by Mary, daughter of Thomas Duke of Brampton
in Suffolk, he had John, his 2d son, but heir, who married Bridget,
daughter of Christopher Perne of West Barsham in Norfolk; he was
buried here in 1568; Robert, his only son, died without issue, and
Elizabeth, his sole daughter and heiress, married to Thomas, 2d son of
Hamond Claxton of Great Livermere in Suffolk, who was 2d son of
William Claxton of Cheston in Suffolk, and Elizabeth Throkmorton
his wife, and so brought their Boton estate to the Claxtons, in which
family it continued till lately.
Henry Herward, Gent. was buried in this church in 1531, and
Clement Herward of Gressenhall was his brother, and John Herward
of Elsing, Gent. was then living; in 1549 Thomas son of Robert
Herward's arms against the north wall of the church, viz.
Az. a fess gobonnè arg. and gul. between three owls of the 2d.
In 1330 William de Claxton, prior of Norwich, (of whom in
vol. ii. p. 602,) first raised this family: of which, in 1476, Hamond
Claxton was sheriff of Norwich, and mayor in 1485; and in 1619,
Thomas Claxton was alderman of Norwich. In 1559 Hammond Claxton the elder of Cheston, Gent. was much in favour with Thomas Duke
of Norfolk; Hammond Claxton of Livermere and Norwich married
Anne, daughter of Thomas Clarke of Okeley in Somersetshire, who is
buried in St. Mary's in Coslany in Norwich. Ano 1605, with the arms
of Claxton and Clarke, as in vol. iv. p. 371, 490.