The Crown had the lordship of this hundred, and King Henry I.
directed his writ to Ralph Basset, and Aubrey de Ver, to the sheriffs
and barons of Norfolk, certifying his grant to Eborard Bishop of
Norwich, for life, of 100s. per ann. out of the profits and issues of this
hundred, and that of Walesham.
Sir William de St. Omer farmed these two hundreds, in the 52d of
Henry III. at 9l. per ann.; and in the 3d of Edward I. Sir William let
them at 24l. per ann. together with that of Taverham and Walsham;—
Nicholas de Castello of Raveningham farmed them at the King's pleasure, in the 10th of that King.
The jury, in the 15th of Edward I. find that John Blaber of Attlebrigg had took sanctuary in the church of St. Matthew in Norwich, in
the liberty of the prior of Norwich, and that he confessed himself a
thief; but the said church, though in the liberty of the prior, was in
the precinct of Blofield hundred, and not in the city liberty, as appears from the records and rolls of Nicholas de Turri, and his associates, late itinerant justices; and that the whole parishes of St. Matthew, St. Hellen's, St. Martin's, and St. Paul's, in Norwich, were in
Blofield hundred, and not in the liberty of the city; that Ratone-row,
Tomb-land, and all the land to the river Wenson, Norman's land, or
Paul's hospital, Holm-street, and St. Giles's hospital, were all in the
said hundred, before the charters of the King granted them to the city,
which had no hamlet or village belonging to it, out of its walls or suburbs, but Heigham. Sir John de Clavering held this hundred of the
Crown in the 9th of Edward II. Bartholomew de Pyveyer had an annuity of 40l. per ann. January 24, in the—of Henry VII. for
life, out of the issues of the hundreds of Blofield, East and West
Flegg, Happing, Taverham, and Humbleyard; and King James I.
by letters patents, dated December 22, Ao. 4°, granted to Sir Charles
Cornwallis, Knt. during the lives of Charles, eldest son of Sir William
Cornwallis, Thomas Cornwallis, Esq. second son of Sir Charles, and
Thomas Cornwallis, Esq. son of Sir William, the hundred of Blofield,
with all the rights and profits, paying for the same the rent of 6l. 10s.
4d. per ann.
It appears from the register of St. Bennet's Abbey, that when an
estate, which ought to do suit to the hundred court, came to be divided,
by sale, descent, or inheritance, by divers persons into divers parts,
yet but one suit was to be done. (fn. 1)
There was anciently a deanery with its proper deans, collated by
the Bishop of Norwich. The deanery still retains the name of Blofield, but no deans have been collated for above two centuries past,
(see in Blofield town,) and this hundred made part of the said deanery.
On an appeal of death, in the King's Bench, in the 38th of Henry
III. the defendant pleaded, that he was a clerk, and would not answer; and J. R. then dean of Blofield, came into court on the behalf
of the Bishop of Norwich, and demanded him, as a clerk of Norwich
diocese, by letters patent of the Bishop, testifying that he constituted
J. R. to require and receive him of the court as a clerk of his diocese,
and he was delivered to J. R. the court speaking to him, that he should
exhibit quick and full justice to him, in the court ecclesiastical, according to the laws ecclesiastical.—This shews the manner, at that
time, of pleading the benefit of the clergy.