Was the lordship of the Earl Warren; Toka, a Saxon thane, whom
we have often mentioned, being deprived of it at the conquest, who
had in King Edward's reign, 6 villains, 16 bordarers and 3 servi, with
3 carucates, and one carucate, and 3 acres of meadow belonging to
his men, or tenants, 2 mills, one salt work, &c. 400 sheep, &c. 2
churches endowed with 60 acres, and 14 breeding mares, that pastured in the woods; this was held by Ralf, under the Earl Warren.
It extended into Bagthorp, Houghton, Barmere, Sedistern, and Helgeton, valued in the whole, in King Edward's time, at 8l. and 10l. per
ann. at the survey, with 20s. in demean; all Rudham being one leuca
long, and one broad, and paid 4s. and 3d. gelt. (fn. 1)
This Ralph was the ancestor of the family of De Cainety, or
Cheyney, of which was John de Cheyney, founder of Coxford priory;
whose daughter, and heiress, Emma, as I take it, brought it by marriage to Michael Belet, about the year 1150. Of the family of this
Ralph de Cheyney, see in Horseford, Taverham hundred.
The Belets were a family of great honour and worth; Hervey
Belet lived in the reign of King Henry I. was father of Michael Belet,
cupbearer to King Henry II. who served under the Earl Warren, at
the coronation of Alianore, wife to that King; (he served that day
for Hugh Earl of Arundel;) and married Emma, daughter and heir of
John de Cayneto, or Cheyney, by whom he had Michael and Hervey
Belet, &c. his sons. This Michael (as I take it) was a judge in the
32d of Henry II. and high sheriff of Leicestershire, in the 29th, 30th,
&c. of that King. (fn. 2) On the 28th of Dec. Ao. 7° of King John, by a
patent dated at Marlborough, he had a grant to himself and his heirs,
of being the King's butler.—"Johannes Dei gratia, &c. Sciatis nos
reddidisse et præsenti charta confirmâsse Magisto. Mich. Beleth, filio
Mich. Beleth, et heredib; suis, officium suum de Pincernora nostra, et
omnia alia, Jura ad pdict. officium ptin. cum omn. ptinentijs suis. habend. et tenend. de nobis et integre, et honorifice, sicut ipse Michael
pater pdicti Magri Mich. vel aliquis antecessor. suorum officium illud
melius, et liberius, &c. habuit et tenuit. Concessimus etiam eid. Mago.
Mich. et heredibus suis omnes terras que fuerunt, Hervei Beleth, avi
ejus, de cujuscunq; feodo fuerunt."—Witnesses, John Bishop of Norwich, Henry Bishop of Salisbury, Geff. Fitzpiers Earl of Essex, William
Marshall Earl of Pembroke, Robert de Turnham, William Briwer,
Peter de Stok, Geff. de Lucy, Geff. de Lutterell, &c.
In the 16th of King John, Hervey Belet was lord, and had a grant
of a fair, to be held yearly, on the feast of St. Matthew, and the vigil
of St. Matthew; this Hervey gave to the priory of Coxford to this
lordship, as I shall here show.
Takes its name from its site, on a small stream, or rivulet, in this parish; Cock, or Cocker, occurs as the name of a river, as Cockermouth
in Cumberland, Cockley, and Cockfield in Suffolk, &c.—William Chene
founded in the church of St. Mary of Rudham, a priory, in the reign
of King Stecen, but was removed to a place more East, called Coxford.
John de Caineto, Querceto, or de Cheyney, was a great benefactor, or founder of it, for canons of the order of St. Austin, and
dedicated to God, and the Virgin Mary, who gave them the churches
of East, and West Rudham, with their appertenances, and all the layland which Bruno and William, the priests, held, viz. what Ralph de
Querceto, his grandfather, and Will, his son, held in perpetual alms;
also the gardens of Freke, Godwin, Lambert, Wilmot, Warin, and
Alman, the mill, and pool, of Cokeford Cadwellwang, the water of
Taterset, and Kettleswang, and all Nowmerewang, Ralph Fitz Ulmar,
and his land, Burstan, and his land, and this in exchange for the land
of Almar de Gartun, which Moses holds, and the service of Somerled,
the priest, and his land, which his uncle William de Querceto gave
to him, Godwyn, the scrivener, and his land, and Pocheswda, and
all the land of Marham, of his fee, the mill of Thorp, at the pond, with
the pond, and the service which the men of the town are to do about
the repairing of the bank of the said pool, and two men living nigh
the mill, Godwin, and Ulfing his brother, and their lands, half the
wood of Besefen, which is without the park, for the souls of his grandfather Ralph, and his wife, of his father and his wife, of William de
Querceto, his uncle, and his wife, and Roger and his wife, his sisters,
and Waleran de Rochford, except only the service of the Earl, (viz.
Warren,) as free as his father held it: witnesses, Reinald de Warren,
Ralph de Wibervilla, Ralph, son of Osmond, Sibila, wife of Sir John,
Peter de Caineto, and Matthew his brother, Nicholas Clerk, and Godwin his brother, Scul.—and William his brother, Ralph, parson of Saxthorp, Mr. Will. Matin, Will. the priest, Nicholas de Staveley, Watch.
—the deacon, Geff. de West Rudham, Ralph Avis, Nicholas, clerk of
Barsham, Walter Clerk, and Albert, and Rigolf, Warin, and Robert
de Croft; this is sans date; but the grant was renewed before William
Bishop of Norwich, by the founder, in person; witness, William
archdeacon of Norwich: this William was William Turb, elected Bishop in 1146; and William Fitz Humphrey, archdeacon, who was
succeeded in 1149, by Roger, so that this benefaction foundation
appears to have been in or between the years 1146 and 1149.
Hervey Beleth gave them the lordship of East Rudham, with
lands in Geython, Marham, Sydistern, Beremere, and Croste, &c. for
the maintenance of an hospital at Boycodeswade, built by him, and a
secular chaplain to serve therein for ever, for his own soul, that of the
Lady Emme de Kayneto, his mother, (fn. 3) and for the souls of his brothers,
parents, and his ancestors, in pure alms. This grant or deed is sans
date, but was in or about the 16th of King John, it was for a warden, and
13 poor people, to be under the government of the prior and convent
of Coxford, and was dedicated to St. Andrew.
In the 11th of Henry III. the prior had a grant of a fair, on the
feast of the translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, and the two following days, which was confirmed in the 35th of the said King, with
piccage, stallage, &c.
In the 17th of Henry III. a fine was levied between William, the
prior of Cokesford, petent, master Michael Belet, impedent, of the
homage and service of Roger de Cressi of his fee in West Rudham, acknowledged by Michael to be the prior's right, as belonging to the
manor of Cokesford, (of the gift of Hervey Belet, brother of Michael,)
who gave them the manor of Rudham, which manor was given in
frank marriage by the ancestor of Mich. to the ancestor of Roger Cressi;
and the prior released to Michael 11 marks, due by the wills of Michael
Belet, Emme de Cheyney, and Emme de Taney. This Roger de Cressi
lived in the reign of King John, and was son of Hugh de Cressi, who
married Margaret, daughter and heir of Will. de Cheney, uncle of Sir
John de Cheney, the cofounder, who by this marriage had an interest
The prior paid 100s. on the aid granted to King Henry III. on the
marriage of his sister to the Emperor of Germany, and held 2 fees of
the Earl Warren, with tenements in East and West Rudham, with
their churches, and that of Houghton, in pure alms, of Hervey Belet,
with 30 acres of land in Bermere, of the gift of Nicholas de Bermere;
and in the 41st of Henry III. the prior impleaded Simon, son of
Richard de Pencethorp, for levying a mercate at Pencethorp to the
injury of the prior's free mercate of East Rudham.
In the 3d and 15th of Edward I. the prior had the lete and free
warren, with a free mercate on Monday, and a fair yearly on the vigil
and day of St. Matthew the Apostle. In the 23d of that King, died
William de Say, son and heir of Geff. Lord Say, and Alice his wife,
one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir John de Cheney, which Geffrey confirmed to these canons all those grants which William de
Cayneto, or Cheney, or John de Cheyney, nephew of that William, had
made unto them; (fn. 4) and for the soul of Alice his wife, and the souls
of his ancestors, &c. did, of his own gift, add the church of St. Margaret at Thorp; and this William, on his death, was found to have
the patronage of this priory.
In the 27th of the said reign, the prior had a three-week court in
this manor, which extended into West-Rudham.
Sir Robert de Ufford gave them the mill of Thorp-Market, and
Cecilia, his widow, daughter and coheir of Robert de Valoines, released
her right in the pool and fishery, to William de Hempton, the prior,
about the 10th of Edward II.—William de Hindringham gave 5
messuages, 16 acres of land, and 4s. rent, in East-Rudham and
Houghton, in the 9th of Edward III. A fine was levied, in the 17th of
Edward II. between Sir William Heron, Lord Say, and the lady Elizabeth, his wife, and Thomas Archbishop of York, &c. their feoffees,
of the advowson of this priory, and 12 knights fees, in East and
West Rudham, Cokeford, Houghton, Barmere, Siddistern, Marsham,
Geyton, Midleton, Clenchwarton, Shouldham, Letton, Thorp-Market
Stratton, Reedham, Taverham, Attlebrigg, Kettleston, Repham, Salle,
Heydon, Corpusly, Creke, Stanho, Choseley, &c. with many knights
fees in Surrey, Sussex, Bucks, Northamptonshire, Suffolk, Hertfordshire,
and 36 in Kent; this lady being the daughter of William, sister and
heir of John Lord Say, and so lineally descended from Geffrey de Say,
who married Alice, daughter and coheir of Sir John de Cheney, founder of this priory; and, dying without issue, Sir John Clinton Lord
Clinton, and Roger Lord Fenys, were found to be her cousins and
heirs, as appears by the close rolls of Henry VI. and the Lord Clinton
resigned or released to Roger Lord Fenys, his right in the patronage,
in the 6th of Henry VI.
In 1428, their temporalities, in this town, were valued at 85l. 12s.
11d. per annum, the whole of their temporalities, at 143l. 19s. 4d. and
the whole of their spiritualities, at 78l. 13s, 4d.—Total, 222l. 12s. 8d.
In this priory were an abbot, and 9 black canons.
John Matthew, prior, granted, April 30, in the 20th of Henry VIII.
to Thomas Duke of Norfolk, Kilverston manor, given to the priory
by Margaret, (one of the daughters and coheirs of William de Cheyney,) wife of Hugh de Cressi, the Duke being collector of the subsidy
granted by the clergy to the King, and the convent being in debt to
the King, the Duke covenanted to discharge it, for which consideration
they conveyed it.
At the Dissolution, it was valued, as Dugdale, at 121l. 18s. 10d. ob.
as Speed, at 153l. 7s. 1d. which shows how low the visitors laid it from
what is above said. King Henry VIII. on the 9th of May, in his
29th year, gave the manor of East-Rudham, with the site of the priory
of Cokesford, the impropriate rectory, and patronage of the vicarage,
to Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk. In the 21st of Elizabeth, Philip
Howard Earl of Arundel, son to the said Duke, had license to alien
it to Sir Roger Townsend, whose immediate heir, the Right Honourable
George Lord Viscount Townsend, is the present lord.
The abbey church was standing (as Sir Henry Spelmanrelates) in
the reign of King James I. (fn. 5) and in part of the abbey lived Henry Cornwaleys, Esq. (in the time of Queen Elizabeth,) who married Anne,
daughter and coheir of Roger Rookwood, Esq. of Euston in Suffolk;
and, in a parlour here, were the arms of the Duke of Norfolk, in a
garter; and in a chamber, azure, a chevron, between three crosses,
pattée, or; Calybut, quartering, or, a saltire vert; crest, a greyhound
passant, azure, pierced on the shoulder with a martlet, argent.—Anne
Calybut, daughter and coheir of Edgar Calybut, serjeant at law, was
second wife of the said Henry Cornwaleys.
Besides the benefactors abovementioned, I find that William son of
Robert de Hingoldesthorp, Tiphania de Pavili, Thomas de Pavili,
Anselm de Hillington, Geffrey, son of Anselm de Hillington, Robert
son of Robert the merchant, of Hillington, Lewes, son of Roger de
Hillington, Richard de Merley of Hillington, Richard de Senges, and
William, son of Augustine de Congham, gave them lands, sans date;
Albert Bond gave them half a mark rent out of Bausey mill, in the
time of Adam de Dalling, prior, in the time of Edward I.
In the 19th of Edward II. the prior had a patent for 3 messuages
100 acres of land, and 10s. rent in Grimston, Congham, Rydon Wyveling, and Appleton, granted by Maud de Tony; and in the 9th of
Edward III. William de Hindringham gave 5 messuages, 16 acres of
land, and 4s. rent, in this town, and Houghton, and, in the said year,
they had a patent for the manor of Thorp, in West-Wretham, given
by Thomas de Nethergate.—A parcel of Roman coins, in a little pot,
is said to be found in the ruins of the priory in 1719.
Matthew de Caineto was the first prior.
Herebert or Hubert, occurs prior in the 10th of Richard I. and 4th
of Henry III.
William occurs, 17th Henry III.
Adam de Dalling occurs in the reign of Henry I. Ao. 29.
John occurs prior, 34th and 41st Henry III.
Hugh de Elmham occurs, in the 14th of Edward I.
William de Hempton, elected prior 1315.
John Thorp, died prior 1342, and John de Thornham elected that
Peter de Tekenhow, elected in 1346, on Thornham's resignation.
Henry de Elmham was prior about 1369.
John de Walsingham, elected in 1404.
Edmund de Snetesham occurs in 1430, and resigned.
John de Dereham, chose 1438.
Edmund de Snetesham elected again, on Dereham's death, 1449.
John Wichingham succeeded, and resigned in 1463, when John
Knollys, alias Clement, was elected; and, on his death, in 1478, Henry Mileham was elected, and occurs prior in 1498. John Matthews
occurs prior in 1534, with John Nevill, and 8 other canons, subscribed
to the King's supremacy, and, and on the dissolution of the priory, he
had a pension of 15l. per ann. granted to him, as is said. By a fine
levied, it appears, that Thomas was prior in the 21st of Henry VIII.
and John Adamson after him, as Willis says.—Robart Sharington,
chaplain, left to every indigent person, in the hospital of St. Andrew
at Cokesford, money, in 1491. This was most likely the hospital abovementioned, called Boycodeswade.
Temporalities of Castleacre priory were, in 1428, valued at 6s. 8d.
The tenths were 6l. 10s.—Deducted, 13s. 4d.—Lete fee to the
lord of the hundred, 2s.
I find the guild of St. Radegunds, of Cokesford; there was the
chapel of that name in 1463, within the priory of Coxford, and a
lady anchoress there in 1526.
The church of East-Rudham is dedicated to St. Mary, and was
appropriated to the priory of Coxford: the present valor of the
vicarage is 6l. 6s 8d.
The rectory appropriated was valued at 20 marks, and was given
by Hervy Belet; and the vicarage at 5 marks: the prior had a
moiety of the obventions. Peter-pence, 18d.
In a south window of the chancel are the arms of John of Gaunt
Duke of Lancaster, France and England, quarterly, with a label of 3
points, ermine, impaling Castile and Leon, quarterly: those also of
Gourney, and of Inglethorp: and, gules, a bend between six crosses,
On a gravestone, with a brass plate:
Orate p. aiab; Rici. Dey, notarii, et Isabellae uxoris suæ, qui quidem Ric. obt. 25 die Feb. Ao. 1507.
1301, John de Titeshale, instituted vicar, presented by the prior and
convent of Cokesford.
1310, Peter de Buxstone. Ditto.
1314, Richard Ringstede. Ditto,
1306, Bened. de Fakenham. Ditto.
1328, William Keys. Ditto.
1349, John de Sustede. Ditto.
1393, Thomas Grey. Ditto.
1416, Adam de Erneley. Ditto.
1425, William Mallere. Ditto.
1429, Thomas Howlet. Ditto.
1448, William Leutt, by John, prior, &c.
1478, John Belle, by the Bishop, a lapse.
1511, John Stifling, by the prior, &c.
1554, William Blakey, the Bishop, a lapse.
1555, Bernard Mankinholles. Ditto.
1566, John Muriel, by the Duke of Norfolk.
1597, Henry Baldwin, by Jane, relict of Sir Roger Townsend.
1612, Richard Kettlewell, by Sir John Stanhope, Baron de Har
1625, John Robotham, by Sir Roger Townsend, Bart.
1629, John Ramsey. Ditto.
1669, Thomas Gibson, by Hor. Lord Townsend.
1693, Ant. Austin by Charles Lord Townsend.
1697, William Marshall, the Bishop, a lapse.
1704, Robert Baldwin, by Charles Townsend,
1707, Patr. Guthry. Ditto.
1720, John Athill. Ditto.
1721, Robert Spencer. Ditto.
1762, Mr. Thomas Burslem. Ditto.